The 2019 Kathryn Klassic at Cal State Fullerton

2019 — Fullerton, CA, CA/US

Kristiana Baez Paradigm

1 rounds

Debated: Norman High School (2005- 2009), University of Oklahoma (2009-2014)
Coached: University of Texas at San Antonio (2014-2015)
Caddo Magnet High School (2014-2015)
Baylor University (2015-2017)

University of Iowa (2017-present)


I am not too biased against any particular argument, it's your round so do what you do, but do it well.
I did however primarily read kritiks, but I have also done strictly policy debate in my career, so I have been exposed to a wide variety of arguments and I am not someone who will always vote for the k or for FW. I like to think that I am a favorable judge for either.

Kritiks: Although, I am familiar with some kritiks, I do not pretend to be an expert on all. There are still many kritiks that I have trouble understanding. That being said, I think that case specific links are the best. Generic links are not as compelling especially if you are flagging certain cards for me to call for at the end of the round. It seems that many times debaters don't take the time to really explain what the alternative is like, whether it solves part of the aff, is purely rejection, etc. If for some reason the alternative isn't extended or explained in the 2nr, I won't just apply it as a case turn for you. An impact level debate is also still important even if the K excludes the evaluation of specific impacts. It is really helpful to articulate how the K turns the case as well. On a framing level, do not just assume that I will believe that the truth claims of the affirmative are false, there needs to be in-depth analysis for why I should dismiss parts of the aff preferably with evidence to back it up.

Performance/Methodology debates- Since I debated for OU and I debated in the D3, I am not unfamiliar with these debates. I am in no way biased in one way or another. I think that arguments need to be competitive. The things you may talk about in your performance/methodology may be true, but there needs to be a clear link articulated to the argument that you are debating. Many times competing methodologies start to sound really similar to each other, so teams need to establish a clear difference between the arguments.

Clash of Civ. debates- I think that these debates can be really great because clash is kind of important. However, these debates tend to get really muddled, so you need to work extra hard to make things clear for me rather than just assuming I will lean one way or another. When it comes to K Affs v. FW, I think that you need to do a lot of work and don't just go for generic arguments like switch side without giving specific examples of things like in round abuse, etc. or interesting impact arguments. Ex: just saying roleplaying good/bad without a really good explanation is not going to be compelling.

CPs- I really like counterplans especially if they are specific to the aff, which shows that you have done your research. Although PIKs are annoying to deal with if you are aff, I enjoy a witty PIK. However, make it clear that it is a PIK and explain why it solves the aff. Generic cps with generic solvency cards aren't really going to do it for me. However, if the evidence is good then I am more likely to believe you when you claim aff solvency. There needs to be a good articulation for why the aff links to the net benefit and good answers to cp solvency deficits, assuming there are any. Permutation debate needs to be hashed out on both sides, with Da/net benefits to the permutations made clear.

DAs- I find it pretty easy to follow DAs. However, if you go for it I am most likely going to be reading ev after the round, so it better be good. If your link cards are generic and outdated and the aff is better in that department, then you need to have a good reason why your evidence is more qualified, etc. Make your scenario clear, DAs are great but some teams tend to go for a terminal impact without explanation of the scenario or the internal link args. Comparative analysis is important so I know how to evaluate the evidence that I am reading. Tell me why the link o/w the link turn etc. Impact analysis is very important, timeframe, probability, magnitude, etc., so I can know why the Da impacts are more important than the affs impacts. A good articulation of why the Da turns each advantage is extremely helpful because the 2ar will most likely be going for those impacts in the 2ar.

Theory- I generally err neg on theory unless there is a really good debate over it. Your generic blocks aren't going to be very compelling. If you articulate why condo causes a double turn, etc. specific to the round is a better way to go with it. I think that arguments such as vague alternatives especially when an alternative morphs during the round are good. However, minor theory concerns such as multiple perms bad aren't as legitimate in my opinion.

Topicality- Generic T shells are not something that hold my attention, however, a specific definition or a T in tandem with another position to get a link, is strategic. If you are going to go for T, then go for it starting in the block and make it a legitimate option and I will evaluate it.

Other notes: If you are unclear, I can't flow you and I don't get the evidence as you read it, so clarity over speed is always preferable.
Don't be rude, your points will suffer. There is a difference between being aggressive and being a jerk.
Impact calc please, don't make me call for everyones impacts and force me to evaluate it myself. I don't want to do the work for you.
The last two rebuttals should be writing my ballot, tell me how I vote and why. Don't get too bogged down to give a big picture evaluation.

Accomplish something in your cross-x time, keep me interested, have an agenda during your cx and use the answers you get in cx and incorporate them into your speeches. Cx is wasted if you pick apart the DA but don't talk about it in your speech.

Joseph Barquin Paradigm

4 rounds

I have had a total of less than 6 rounds on the hs cx topic this year. Dont assume I know what you're reading.


LAMDL 2017 to present (cx)

Northwood HS 2017 to 2018 (cx)

Southwestern College 2014 to 2019 (cx)

San Marino HS 2018 to present (cx/ld)

Mission Vista HS 2019 to present (cx/ld/pf/parli/whatever else)

I do have a hearing problem in my right ear. If I've never heard you b4 or it's the first round of the day. PLEASE go about 80% of your normal spread for about 20 seconds so I can get acclimated to your voice. If you don't, I'm going to miss a good chunk of your first minute or so.

Email chain:

I've been a part of the greater college debate community since I started debating in 2k5/2k6. I took a few years off after I left debate but came back in 2014. Back then I preferred policy v policy debate but I rarely get to watch those rounds these days. I'll vote on almost anything at this point if it's impacted correctly and you don't look like a flying douchebag.

Performances and K Affs: I view performance debate a little differently than some other critics. I’m a believer that if you’re to be doing a performance, your entire round needs to be real to the performance of your first constructive. If you deviate from the message of the performance and don’t actually embody it, I can be convinced pretty quickly to vote against you for lack of embodiment. I find myself less sympathetic to affirmative teams that don’t remind me why the aff is a good idea in relation to whatever off cases the neg team reads. If you just read generic k aff blocks to t/fw/k or the k, it is a travesty that needs to be fixed. You read/performed a 1ac, please use it.

Topicality: I have a decent threshold for topicality. I prefer the interpretations debate but a conceded we meet or reasonability argument is just as good a place to pull the trigger. Even if the aff interp sounds very topical, if the standards associated with it in the 2ar are found to be severely lacking compared to the model of debate the neg interp adheres to, I’ll 80% likely vote neg. One of my favorite parts of T is the definitions debate. A well articulated reason for why the context or quals of their definition is problematic compared to yours can pretty much undercut the entire standards/impx debate. Control the Uniqueness question on T and it can go very far for you.

Framework/ROB: Defend the model of debate you feel should be advocated. If that means advocating ericson against every K aff so be it. As for the impacts debate, I'm more in the line that fairness is an internal link to an impact. But I'm also open to viewing as an impact if you win that it should be in front of me. *shrug* debate it out. My vote skew for t/fw is around a 60/40 for the neg whatever that means. If you're aff and the neg concedes a we meet, extend that thing on the top of flow so I don't have to evaluate the rest of the t/fw flow. I'm lazy. The easier my decision is, the better. Well articulated CI with correct applications of the aff connected to an impact and disads to the neg interp is great. TVA? should solve enough of the aff to justify some neg ground so it can have a stasis point. I generally think parts of the aff that aren't solved can be utilized as neg ground. But at the same time if the TVA doesn't resolve portions of the aff that are key to resolving major conflict points indicated by the 1ac, I'm less likely to be persuaded by a tva.

ROB and ROJ > everything. It helps me filter how I as a judge should view the round and what my ballot is suppose to symbolize. Even if you're winning a flow, if it doesn't meet the ROJ/ROB that is won at the end, I'm 100 likely not going to include it in the evaluation of why you win a round. Do I feel that they're cheaty? yep. Do I care? nope. Debate it out.

Kritiks: Please please contextualize your links. There's nothing more aggravating when the neg extends links without explaining to me how the aff specifically links to the K or how the links acts as disads to the perm. Alts need to resolve something. If it doesn't or I have no idea what your alt does, i'm going to err aff. This is a communicative activity and your job is to communicate to me and the other debater(s) that your alt and its solvency can actually do something. Perms are great. Creative perms that aren't abusive are also great. Some people are convince if you run a K aff you don't get to access a perm, I'm on the other side of this debate. Methods aren't run in parallel. Movements that believe in different things create solidarity with one another for goals. But again, debate it out and impact it out.

CP: lean neg on conditionality but i've voted for multiple contradictory worlds bad when a neg has run 6-7 off and 3 of the counterplans/K's link to each other. Love pics. Love well explained net benefits to the CP. Love the solvency debates associated with the cp debate as well. I’ll also vote for a cp without a DA if the CP solves better than the aff. But you don’t really want to be in that rabbit hole unless you’ve done an amazing solvency debate on the aff vs the cp. Pivots around the cp/da debate can be very advantageous. You'll need to spend a little time on the overview though as to what this pivot means though. Should the offense associated with the pivot come into play? or the pivot one that makes no sense and should be disregarded?

DA: The more specific the link the better. The better the impact analysis the better. Have fun with this. I’m persuaded by really creative disads that have interesting impact calc vs the aff. If the da o/w and turns case, all the better lol. If the debate comes down to cp/da vs plan, paint me a world of what the different worlds look like. A world of the aff trying to resolve it's impacts and triggering the disad scenario vs what the cp does that prevents the da from occuring is one that makes the decision easier and can help the impact debate SOOOO much/

Case debate: very necessary in almost all forms of policy debate. Use it to your advantage. Impact out your turns. Tell me what it means to the rest of the flows that you’re going for. Aff – utilize the story telling potential that your aff is designed around. There are so many rounds that amazing solvency or advantages don’t get explained well because debaters get bogged down on the line by line and don’t see the bigger picture.

For LD debaters:

I encountered something at voices. I hit my physical threshold on being able to fully flow a round. Enunciate your claims and slow down a bit so I can actually flow it. When half the constructive is literally just analytics and you're 300+ wpm... that's lit unflowable and I'm not going to the docs to resolve that. If you lose because it's not on my flow? Shrug. Don't care.

FW: You all need to slow down here. I'm not familiar enough with your specific event to just flow it effortlessly.

No RVI's

Jasmine Stidham "You have the power to stop Nebel t in this activity" Mission accepted.

no nebel. the 1ar just needs to be nebel is bad vote aff. and we are done.

I prefer a substantive debate with 3-4 off to something like 13 off. I'll flow you regardless but I reserve the right roast you.

Paradoxes aren't super persuasive in front of me.

Tricks are meh. They're hard to flow for me so you'd actually have to slow down to read your trick and then is it really a trick at that point?

Theory is good if it isn't a blippy mess. Just saying a team is "condo" and they should lose without an interp, and why condo is problematic will not get you a ballot. Sorry not sorry.

HWL UPDATE: Weird af cps justifily severance perms. threshold will be very low. You'll know when you've entered that from my reaction.

Lastly, please be nice to each other. LD is such a short event that to there's really no point to get toxic from 2 cx's

Natalie Bennie Paradigm

6 rounds e-mail chain, but know I do not follow along with docs during the debate and do not tend to read a ton of evidence afterwards.

Debated at Samford University.

Currently coaching as a graduate student at Wake Forest.

Top level stuff:

  • Do what you do best. Please do not try and change your debating to try and win my ballot-- chances are it won't help you out and you'll have less fun. I will listen to any argument and have experience running the gamut of them.
  • My default position is as a policymaker and that debate is a game (a very challenging one, often with legitimate real-world applications, but a game nonetheless). That said--if you want me to evaluate the round in any other way, be clear about what my role as a judge is and present a justification for that interpretation, and I will be happy to do so



  • I am often very compelled by a topical version of the aff.
  • Fairness is probably not an impact by itself, *update* but I find myself voting on it more often than I expect to.

Non-traditional affs:

  • Go for it
  • I don't think non-traditional aff necessarily need to be "topical," but I do think that the resolution ought to play a central role in your decision to run this affirmative.


  • Go for it
  • Specificity is always preferable to generics and will probably be rewarded
  • I am willing to no-link a disad
  • I am often very compelled by a good overview that includes a thorough turns case analysis.
  • Condo is fine and probably good. 3 CP's and a K are probably not. Cheater counterplans are probably cheating-- don't be afraid to take on this debate as the affirmative. I will vote on theory, but if there are other args you're winning, you should go for them instead.


  • Go for it
  • Specificity is preferable to generics and will probably be rewarded
  • While I may be familiar with your literature base, I will still hold you to a high threshold for explanation. I've seen a lot of k debates devolve into a battle of buzzwords with warranted analysis getting lost in the midst of it (to be fair, this is also true of a lot of policy debates). I will probably reward your ability to explain your own argument.

Tips for speaks:

  • Time efficiency— Have the 1ac ready to send before the start time/the 1nc to send asap. Stands should be set up before the round. Inefficient rounds = lower speaks and less decision time, which may either help or hurt you (if that’s a gamble you’re interested in making).
  • Assertiveness is not a license for disrespect or hostility.
  • say smart things! Be nice!
  • Make bold choices— trust your instincts.

Other stuff:

  • Be kind. Be conscious of the person you're speaking to and how your tone/language choices/body language could be coming off.
  • You are an intelligent and competent human being. Don't be afraid to use your brain and make some common-sense answers to arguments. I think a lot of what we say in debate is silly and could be taken down by a few good attacks, even without cards. Trust yourself to make smart arguments.
  • Do not clip cards.
  • Have fun! I love this activity and will put in as much effort judging your round as you did preparing for it.

Aron Berger Paradigm

5 rounds

Updated for October 2018.

Put me on the email chain -

Note - I only check this email at debate tournaments, so if you are trying to contact me for some other reason, my response will be delayed.

Short version.

I've started to question the utility of these paradigm things. In short, do whatever you want. Read whatever you want to read. All styles of debate can be done well or poorly. My decision in any particular debate does not reflect a judgement on those styles but instead on the aptitude with which they are deployed in the given debate. Content matters less than strategy, unless the content of your argument makes it a bad strategy. I tend to make decisions quickly. This should not indicate to you whether the debate was close or not. Just because I go for or have gone for certain arguments does not mean I will automatically understand your arguments or do work for you. Similarly, it doesn't mean I will automatically discount any particular argument. I like clash. I dislike attempts to avoid clash. Perm do the aff is not an argument.

One thing I have noticed about debate is the proliferation of "cut the card there." When you stop reading before what your evidence indicates what you will read, you or your partner must mark the card in the speech doc and have a copy of those marks ready for anyone who needs them. To quote Andy Montee,
"If you just yell out "Mark the card at bacon!" you have to physically mark the card on your computer. It is not the responsibility of the other team or myself to do so."
Not marking evidence, and relying "cut the card there" to indicate where you stopped reading, is a form of clipping cards, and I will treat it as such. Since this seems to be an acceptable thing in debate at the moment, at the first occurrence of "cut the card there" I will ask for the marks, and if I notice you going through the doc to mark your cards post-speech, I will warn you about basically everything above.

Background info on me: I'm a first year out of college debate. I debated at the college level for 4 years at the University of Southern California. Attended the NDT four times, making it to doubles twice and octas once. I debated at the high school level for 4 years at Notre Dame High School. Qualified to the TOC 3 times. I was both 2A and 2N during my debate career.

Longer version.

Debate is a rhetorical game where debaters use a set of (ostensibly) mutually agreed upon scripts to persuade a judge. Scripts are rhetorical conventions that have been constructed in order for the game to make sense to all involved - impact calculus, uniqueness, etc. are examples of these scripts, convenient ways of describing a world that make the complexity of that world reducible to a (hopefully) less than 2 hour conversation. Debaters who can control how these scripts operate within the debate, either by implicitly agreeing to them and winning their set of contentions, or through the use of competing framing arguments, generally seem to win more debates. For example, many debates occur in which the value of life is never questioned - that is a script implicitly accepted in those debates for the purpose of brevity. This is not to say that I want to judge a bunch of death good debates, though I won't say the opposite either. Regardless, controlling the framing of the debate will serve you well.

I seem to be judging a lot of framework/T-USFG debates. I think quite a few of the commonly held framework predispositions are arbitrary, so I'll just say this: yes, you can read your K aff in front of me. Yes, you can go for framework in front of me. I don't really care, just make it a good debate.

Here are some of my reflections about FW rounds that I have judged.

-I find myself voting affirmative when the negative fails to explain their impact beyond "limits are important for negative ground" or "we won't learn stuff about immigration" or "fairness is important because otherwise debate isn't fair."

-I find myself voting negative when the aff fails to provide a workable vision of what debate would/should look like. T/FW/whatever we call it is a question of models of debate. That the neg could have read a particular strategy against your particular aff is not a defense of your model. In other words, "potential abuse" is important. You need a defense of your model of debate.

-Almost all of the K affs that I saw on the education topic were basically little more than a criticism of education policy. I did not hear a persuasive response to "do it on the neg" in these contexts.

-Topical versions of the aff are not counter-plans. They don't have to be perfect. They should, however, be well researched (though not necessarily evidenced in the debate) and explained. I would prefer 1 good TVA over 5 asserted TVAs.

-Asserting that debate is a game is fair enough, but does not on its own provide a reason to discount any of the aff's impact turns. I do believe fairness is an impact. I don't think it is an impact that automatically trumps all other impacts. As with all other things, impact calculus on the parts of the debaters matters most.

Case Debate
I would prefer to adjudicate a debate in which the negative reads less than or equal to 4 well constructed offcase positions and invests a good deal of time in taking apart the aff instead of a debate in which throwaway offcase positions are used as a timeskew and the case is addressed sparsely and with only impact defense. A diverse 1NC that attacks advantages at every level is helpful regardless of your broader strategy. Most affs are terribly constructed and have awful chains of internal links. Most affs wont solve the things they say they solve. Point it out.

You do not need a card to make a smart case arguments. In fact, the desire for cards to make an argument can often work to limit the vectors of attack you have against the case. Example: you do not need a card to point out a missing internal link, or that the aff's internal link evidence is about X and their impact evidence is about Y.

CPs and DAs
Not much to say here. If you have them, read them. Specificity is your friend. "DA turns case" arguments are invaluable.

Teams have found it difficult to convince me that the reading of any particular counterplan makes being aff impossible and as such is a voting issue.

At the same time, I find myself increasingly annoyed at the "use fiat as a battering ram" approach to counter-plans. Indefinite parole that is immune from deportation or cancellation, has full work authorization, all the benefits of LPR, etc. is just not something that exists in the literature base and is a ridiculous interpretation of what scholars in the field are actually talking about. All that being said, it is up to the debaters to figure this stuff out in the round.

I have voted for conditionality bad only once, in a debate where the 2NR spent about 15 seconds on it.

"Judge kick" is an inevitable element of conditionality. If the status quo is always an option, then a 2NR that includes a counterplan is not always and forever bound to that counterplan. In other words, if the counerplan is described by the negative as conditional, then my default is to also consider the status quo, and not just the counterplan. I can be persuaded otherwise.


Sure, why not. I've read them, I've debated against them. Just be specific about what your alternative does. If it is a pic, say that it is and what your pic removes from the aff. If you are debating against a K, defend your aff. Generic K answers like the Boggs card are far less useful than justifying whatever assumption that the neg is critiquing.

Permutations are tricky. All too often, the aff just kinda extends "perm do both" and leaves it there. Explain what parts of the criticism you are permuting, how that interacts with the links, etc.

"No perms in a method debate" is a bad argument. You can wish away the form of "permutation," but you cannot do away with the logic of opportunity cost. If your K doesn't actually link, find a better argument.

As said above, "perm: do the aff" is not a thing.

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of severance permutations or intrinsic permutations. A permutation is legitimate only if it contains the entire aff plan and some to all of the negative counterplan/alternative. At the same time, many alternative texts are not representative of everything that an alternative would do - in my opinion, any evidence included by the negative as descriptive of the alternative is fair game for permutations. Example - many alt texts are written as "The alternative is to vote negative" - but the alt card says that "interrogating tropes of security" is important. A permutation that does the plan and interrogates tropes of security is not intrinsic.

If you have a theory of power, explain it and its implications for the aff. Meta arguments such as these have broad implications for both the link and the alternative.

Speaker Points

Points are always arbitrary and I wont pretend that my personal scale is anything different. Average speakers get in the low to mid 28s. Good speakers get in the high 28s to low 29s. Mid to high 29s, good job. You wont get a 27 unless you consistently do something annoying, like telling your partner "faster!" over and over during their speech.

Other random thoughts.

--Puns translate directly to increased speaker points.

--Please don't call me judge.

--When reading evidence, I will only evaluate warrants that are highlighted.

--I hate word-salad cards.

--Arguments that are "new in the 2" - generally the bar for me is whether the opponent team could have expected this argument based on the content of the previous speech. This excludes new impact turns to a disad in the 2AR, but maintains the capacity for 2As to cross apply, say, an impact defense argument on the case in the 2NR (intervening actors check, for example) to a disad scenario. If an argument is made in the 2AC, conceded by the neg block, not mentioned in the 1AR (and thus not responded to by the 2NR), it would be 'new' for the 2AR to extend and elaborate on the argument. While this may seem arbitrary, and while dropped arguments are, in a provisional sense, true, it is the job of the debaters to jump on strategic mishaps, not me. However, if a completely new argument arises in the 2NR or 2AR, I am willing to strike it from my flow without a debater pointing out that it is, in fact new.

--Speed is good, clarity is better.

--Confidence in your arguments, your partner, and yourself is good, disrespecting your opponents is bad.

--Ethically repugnant arguments will not make me want to vote for you. At the same time, however, if you cannot defeat ostensibly "bad" arguments, then you are a bad advocate and you should lose.

--If a debate does not occur, I will either flip a coin or consult tab.

--Please, "settler colonialism", not "set col". similarly, "afro-pessimism" not "afro-pess" -- yeah, I'm grumpy.

--Just because I go for certain arguments does not mean I will either automatically understand your argument or supplement your lack of analysis with my understanding of the literature.

--Random buzzwords are not arguments. I don't care until you impact a statement.

--There can always be 0 risk of something.

--Ad homs about the other teams authors aren't arguments.

--A claim without a warrant is just that.

--Theory and T debates are not my favorite.

--No insults or general shenanigans.

--Binding and prior consultation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is probably pedagogically relevant.

Mia Bonitto Paradigm

3 rounds

I would like to receive the speech docs, please ask for my email before the debate.

I am currently an assistant clinical professor of education and psychology at Wichita State University. My research focuses on assessment for children with disabilities and mental health needs for diverse students in schools. I have judged at 3-5 college tournaments a year since graduating undergrad, 9 years ago. I also have judged regularly on the high school circuit. I am currently the assistant director of debate at Wichita State University, however, I still do limited topic work. The thing I find myself asking for more than anything else in decisions is more big-picture explanations.

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

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

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

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

Speaker Points: Norms keep changing with points and I'm trying to be attentive in giving points consistent with the community norms. I have been told that my points are both wildly too high and wildly too low at various points throughout the 9 years I have been around judging college debates. Know that I honestly am trying and I do apologize if I mess it up. This semester I'm going to generally start at 28.5 for what I perceive to be average in the division, 29 and up if I think you should clear.

Emily Bosch Paradigm

3 rounds

Updated – 2019
this update is an attempt to be more clear about how I have been judging debates/ changes I have gathered after judging for 6 years.


Yes I want to be on the email chain -->

I FLOW ON PAPER. I judge debates much more effectively / think harder about the debate / give better comments when I flow on paper. This is the only thing that I wish debaters would more effectively adapt to – give me a little pen time when you transition from card to card / arg to arg and please consider that I have to flip sheets between arguments.

I believe judges should adapt to the debaters, not the other way around. I will do my absolute best to objectively and fairly judge your debate, regardless of the arguments you choose to read. I would much prefer that you read the arguments you’re interested in / are better at debating than attempting to adapt to what you interpret as my preferences based upon what I have written here.

I find myself to be a much more “technical” judge than I once thought, and by that I mean I tend to pay a lot of attention to the way arguments evolve as the debate progresses. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the 2NR / 2AR spin game, but that those “spins” need to be traceable to previous speeches. In addition, I have and will vote on technical concessions SO LONG AS there is an IMPACT to that concession – debaters concede irrelevant arguments all the time, as it turns out.

I evaluate debates in segments – I think each flow has compartmentalized “mini-debates” that take place within them that I evaluate piece by piece (for example, on a critique, the “link debate” “perm debate” “alt debate”etc etc, on a disad the “uniqueness debate” “link debate” “impact debate” “impact turn debate” etc etc etc). If you label these segments clearly and follow these segments throughout the debate, I will be a great judge for you and your speaker points will reflect your organization / flow tech.

WITH THAT SAID!! I do enjoy non-traditional flow and speaking styles, so do not be afraid to pref me if you debate with a different style – I judge these debates a lot and have no problem following / figuring out what needs to be evaluated.

I’m a very expressive judge. You will know if I am feeling your argument if you pay attention to my non-verbal communication. I believe debate is a communication activity and you, as debaters, should know how I’m vibing with your arguments throughout the debate.

Note about speed: Speed is fine, but please make your card / argument transitions clear with vocal inflection. If I miss an argument, 97% of the time it’s because I didn’t hear you say “and” and I thought you were still reading evidence. Your speaker points will reflect it if you SLOW DOWN on tags and don’t just read them like another piece of evidence. IMHO, debate is still a persuasive activity, and being persuasive gets you bonus points. I will always be fan of a slower, persuasive rebuttal.

I don’t think you will have an issue reading almost any argument in front of me, but since folks seem to just read philosophies to find out how people feel about K debate and framework, I guess I’ll say some stuff.

Affirmatives: I think affirmatives should, AT THE VERY LEAST, be in the direction of the topic (but being topical is so much better). I think the best K affs have a resolutional component and have literature that is inherent to the topic. I can and have been persuaded otherwise, this is just my baseline.

Affirmatives should have a solvency method - I don't particularly care if that's an instrumental affirmation of US(fg) action or not (see FW discussion below), but you've gotta have a method that you have solvency for - I really don't like affs that state a lot of problems and argue that the revelation of those problems somehow does anything - that's not negatable. This is along the same lines of "advocacy" statements that don't take an "action" (I use the word action very carefully - I think a lot of things are actions). Statements are quite difficult to negate.


I think topicality debates need to be SLOWER than other arguments - you want me to write down more, you need to give me more time to flow. In general, I DESPISE T debates that are read entirely off blocks and read at the speed of cards. I don't think this is helpful, I don't think this creates depth, I don't think this is good for education, and I'm probably flowing like 2 words / argument tbh.

I am significantly more persuaded by topicality arguments (ie: the affirmative needs to defend international space cooperation bc that’s key to limits) than framework arguments (ie: debate is a game, the affirmative needs to defend instrumental USFG action bc them’s the rules and and it's unfair and they are cheater cheater pants).

I think negative limits arguments have the capacity to be quite persuasive if teams go for the correct internal links based upon the aff / 2ac strategy. One of the biggest mistakes I see (primarily) 2Ns make is going for the wrong limits scenario. Just like any argument, some links are stronger than others, and you don't need every link to win in the 2NR, so pick the best ones that you think tell the most compelling limits story based upon the particular affirmative. Don't forget to contextualize limits arguments to the COUNTER-INTERPRETATION not (only) the aff itself.

Topical versions of the affirmative are important, but you have to actually explain WHY they are topical versions of the aff (ie how they meet your interpretation, even better if they also meet the counter interp) and how they address the affirmative team’s offense. Ev for TVAs is preferred. I don't think you need to have a TVA to win the debate.

Things that are not persuasive to me:

“People quit”
“Small schools XYZ”

I’ll default to competing interpretations unless you tell me otherwise. Reasonability – how do I decide what is reasonable and by what metric do I use?


To make a link argument, YOU HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THE AFF. The aff has to have DONE SOMETHING that you have linked to an argument. I don’t think links of omission are links. If the 2NR is explicitly going for a link of omission, you’re going to have a hard time.

I don’t think criticisms always need an alternative (critique IS a VERB, after all). Make sure you explain how the "alternative" interacts with affirmative solvency / how they are different / how the alt accesses the aff (beyond just a generic root cause explanation).

I'm a sucker for K tricks - affs: don't get bamboozled.

Aff fw v ks: Often is an argument made in the 2AC that is just repeated over and over and not advanced in any meaningful way. If you think framework is important for how I evaluate the K debate, you need to do better than that.

“Role of the ballot”:

I have significant problems with ROBs. I think "role of the ballot" is an empty and meaningless phrase. The "role of the ballot" is to let tabroom know who won and lost the debate. I don't think my ballot does anything for activism / changing the structures of debate / anything at all. I tend to think most ROB claims boil down to "ROB: Vote for me" which is silly af.

Now, this is different than telling me how to evaluate the debate, how I should filter impacts, how I should prioritize arguments, or in general, how I should make my decision. You can and must do that to win the debate.

Perm stuff:
Permutations are tests of competition, and that is all. That means if you read severance / intrinsicness - those are reasons to reject the perm, not the team (unless the negative team gives me a compelling reason for why the team should be rejected, tbh, haven't heard one yet.).

There is a lot of discussion about why competition standards for advocacies / methods should change when a K aff is read – eh, I’m unconvinced this is true. My default position is that your method should compete, which means, it has to withstand the permutation test. I could, perhaps, be persuaded that the affirmative shouldn't get a perm if the negative is willing to commit the time and energy to explaining why competition standards should change, how they should change, what debate looks like with those competition standards, how it applies in that particular debate, etc. Sound like a lot? Yeah, it kinda is... just beat the permutation with disads and solid link explanations.

You can be certain that I absolutely will not reject a perm on an assertion of "no perms in critical debates" or "no plan, no perm."

Case debate:
is highly under-appreciated. Oftentimes 2ACs just assume the neg doesn’t know anything about the aff and entirely mishandle case arguments. Punish. Them.
I have and will vote on case turns if they outweigh the aff or if the aff has such diminished solvency that they outweigh the aff.

Theory: most theory debates are garbage. Prove me wrong. If there is one conditional K, don’t waste your time. If the alt isn’t actually vague, make a different argument.

Brett Bricker Paradigm

2 rounds

Associate Director of Debate @ KU

Last Updated: Pre-GSU 2016

Quick pre-round notes:

I would prefer speech docs while I judge. Please email them to

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

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

More info:

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

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

Argument issues:

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

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

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

Rundown of general thoughts about counterplans:

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

Demeanor issues:

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

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

Any questions, ask.

Thomas Buttgereit Paradigm

5 rounds

2019 Update

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

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

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

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

Basic Paradigm

Please put me on the email chain

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

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

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

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

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

K Debate:

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

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

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


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

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

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

Clash Debates:

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

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

Final Thoughts:

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

Timothy Byram Paradigm

6 rounds


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

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

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

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

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

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

Vida Chiri Paradigm

2 rounds

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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

Leah Clark-Villanueva Paradigm

6 rounds

Yes, please add me to the email chain.

Program Manager at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League (LAMDL). Former CSUF policy debater.

I frequently judge for Harvard-Westlake in high school LD, and CSUN for college policy.

PLEASE BE PROMPT TO YOUR ROUND. Don't make the tournament late because you're still prepping after start time. AFF - set up an email chain once you know who your opponent is.

Speaker Points (HS Policy/LD)

27.0 = base speaker points/below average

27.5 = average novice level debate

28 = average varsity debate

29+ = excellent varsity debate

Speaker Points (College Policy)

28.0 = base speaker points/novice level

28.5= average open debate

28.6- 29.1 = above average open debate

29.2+ = excellent open debate

*I will adjust speaker points that align with community norms.

[Short Version]

Judge/Debate Biases

These are common debate beliefs I come into the round with. If your arguments don't align with them, I will still listen to it but in order to win the ballot you must provide warrants and impacts as to why I should prefer your framework/arguments over my implicit debate bias listed below:

*I listen to and flow your arguments and evidence. I don't read cards unless: 1. I suspect you are clipping, 2. you call on me to read warrants in a specific card., or 3. I think your tagline is supercharged vs what your evidence says. It's up to *you* to explain your cards to me, it's not my job to read them because you are unclear in your analysis, weighing, reading, or identifying which arguments matter. Debate is a persuasive competition, not Judge Has The Doc Therefore They Can Read My Evidence and Vote on an Argument (my blocks) Explained/Answered for 5 Seconds In My Last Speech competition.

-AFFs should present a plan in the direction of the resolution, I will vote on risk on solvency outweighs CP/K alts

-AFFs should solve or try to solve something

-(More specific to LD) Narrow down the debate to the *most* important arguments I should weigh. The AFF doesn't have enough time to go line by line on everything and the most common reason why I vote down AFF teams in LD is because they attempt to answer every NEG answer (poorly) without framing the round and crystalizing which arguments I should vote for. The NEG can always outspread you - tell me why your AFF still matters despite multiple offs the NEG read.

-K AFFs that do not present a plan text must: 1. Be resolutional - 1ac should generally mention or talk about the topic even if you're not defending it, 2. Prove the 1AC/AFF is a prereq to policy, why does the AFF come before policy, why does policy fail without the aff? 3. Provide sufficient defense to TVAs - if NEG proves the AFF (or solvency for AFF's harms) can happen with a plan text, I am very persuaded by TVAs. K teams must have a strong defense to this.

-Link to the squo/"Truth Claims" as an impact is not enough. These are generic and I am less persuaded by generic truth claims arguments without sufficient impacts, explanation of author literature & arguments, and defense to policy edu good arguments. I can agree with your analysis and root cause to squo impacts, but if it does not answer policy solvency questions or if idk how the AFF solves its own impacts (or what it aims to solve), I can easily vote for policy alternatives good args.

-Critique of the resolution > Critique of the squo

-NEG K alts do not have to solve the entirety of the AFF, but must prove a disadvantage or explain why a rejection of the AFF is better than the alt, or the squo solves.

-If AFF gets a perm, the NEG gets condo

-Debate is a game, if it is a survival strategy I need more warrants and impacts other than "the aff/alt is a survival strategy" with no explanation of how you are winning in-round impacts

-Framing is important, the team that gives me the best guide on how/why I should vote for X typically wins the round. What's the ROB, ROJ, the purpose of this round, impact calc, how should I evaluate the debate?

-Edu is the most important impact in each round, when the debate is messy or close I tend to evaluate the round in terms of 1. who did the better debating, 2. who best explained arguments and impacts and made me more clearly understand the debate, 3. who understood their evidence/case the most.

-I have never heard or voted on a convincing RVI - I find condo bad arguments to be more persuasive.

-If I have to read the warrants/impacts in your cards, you haven't done a good job of explaining your arguments. Don't expect me to follow the doc and read your cards. I will do so to clarify something I must have missed or misheard, but I should not be reading cards because you are unclear and do not explain your evidence.

-Dropped arguments are not always necessarily true - I will vote on dropped arguments if it was impacted out and explained why it's a voter, but not if the only warrant is "they conceded _____it so it's a voter"

-I flow arguments, not authors. It will be helpful to clarify which authors are important by summarizing/impacting their arguments instead of name dropping them without context or explanation.

[Long Version]

POLICY (scroll down for LD)

K Teams - If you're high theory, explain like you're low theory. If I don't know what the function of your alt/advocacy is or what it does, I'll vote for the team that makes the most sense or I understand more. Your Aff/K is a journey, guide me through it. Do the work for me throughout the debate and it makes it easier for me to cast a ballot for you. Explain how your alt/advocacy solves. Real world comparisons/spillovers are important, but why you why is the debate space necessarily key to you performing your K? What's the ROB, what's the ROJ? How should I evaluate the debate?

Policy Teams - Impact out your T/FW. Evidence is good but I need more impact calc and real-world and in-round comparisons about why your aff or neg case is key. Your education, fairness, ground, etc. and how you outweigh. Do the work for me. T/FW args should be specific to the AFF. What and how did the AFF violate the rules and why should I default or vote on the rules/args you presented?

EXTEND ARGUMENTS, NOT JUST AUTHORS. I flow args and sometimes authors. If you say "Extend this Yi evidence..." and move on without at least summarizing what the Yi evidence is, I might miss it. Again, do the work for me so it's easier for me to vote for you.

Overviews should tell a story about your case. I'm very big-picture, and will vote on pragmatic solutions as well as theoretical ones.

Quality over quantity is always better; don't run 6 offs and read a few cards on each and expect strong arguments. If I miss something because you're unclear, that's on you. I listen to your speech more than I read cards, unless you tell me to highlight a specific author.

Debate however you want, but if your arguments and CX is bigoted then you will get lower speaks.

I don't lean towards K debates vs Traditional debates more. Debate how you want, but do the work and make clear distinctions on voters, impact, solvency, links, etc.

I did traditional debate in high school but moved to K debates in college. I have a better lit background on K affs and arguments but will vote on CPs, DAs, and T if it applies and the work is done. Case extensions, clash, impact scenarios, WHY your educational value is better than the other team, etc. are all important things to discuss during round.

If you don't have a warrant for your arguments, I'm not counting it. Given that, you don't need a piece of evidence for every claim, but you have to explain your logical reasoning for WHY I should agree with your claim.

Extend arguments. If you bring it up in the 1A/N but it never gets mentioned anywhere else but your 2AR/NR, it's dropped.

Condo is fine. My default is if the AFF gets a perm, the NEG gets conditionality. Convince me otherwise by impacting out why multiple worlds is bad, uneducational, etc. Be ready to answer performative contradiction arguments.

Paperless: I stop time after the flash gets taken out of your laptop or you indicate that you're just sending the email. I'm pretty lenient with this as I understand how frustrating computer problems may be, but if I sense a team is abusing this and not using prep, then I start time again.

Read my face. I don't have a poker face. If I look confused you probably said something that didn't make sense. If I'm nodding, keep going. I either agree with the arg you're making and/or think your response is fire. If I look neutral/look up look down or if I'm not typing anything, I'm processing your speech and info and thinking about what it means. Use this as clues as to where you want to allocate your time and focus on certain arguments in the rebuttals.

Sometimes I flow cx, other times I just listen. I take notes for any potential links the neg can garner from the AFF's answer. I also write down any arguments I'll be looking out for in the remaining speeches and want to hear. USE THIS TIME TO BETTER EXPLAIN YOUR PLAN/ALT/ADVOCACY IF YOU'RE ASKED ABOUT IT, ESPECIALLY IF IT'S HIGH THEORY AND NEEDS TO BE REARTICULATED.

CX should be utilized more than just clarification. This is your time to engage with your opponent and frame the debate/your performance in your favor.


Pretty basic and straightforward. I need specific reasons why the perm won't work. Call out illegitimate perms and why those arguments are abusive to the NEG. Links and net benefits should be extended throughout the round. Call out severance/intrinsic perms.


T is fine. I need reasons why an untopical aff is uneducational *in* the round and why you definition is more beneficial. Provide competing interps or I will default to the one that was extended and impacted.

IMPACT OUT EDUCATION ARGUMENTS - and provide TVAs. I give this argument more weight than other standards - I'm an educator and view debate as a game. If you believe debate is a survival strategy, provide reasons why I should view it as a survival strat and why I should vote on that argument.

There's a difference between being topical and being resolutional. Policy team = topical plan, K teams = resolutional i.e. critiquing the resolution (K AFF) but still talking about the general area of the resolution. These are separate arguments so please answer/differentiate them accordingly.

Make it clear how the AFF is abusive, how it's unfair, etc. Don't run generic T arguments unless you can develop the impacts more clearly and effectively. If it's a strategic time suck then you do you.

Other standards like reasonability, ground, fairness, etc. come second to education since I believe that to be the most important goal in debate - to educate one another. If something about the other team hindered you from getting more education in a round i.e. not disclosing, not being topical, etc. then impact those other arguments as well and why they're voting issues.


Framework is an important tool to evaluate debates. Why is your FW better I enjoy FW debates more than T, but these can work cohesively to beat K AFFs. What I look for in T/FW agrs to beat K AFFs: Why is the resolution important to debate, why the FW of the AFF is wrong or doesn't analyze ___, even if AFF wins root cause their method doesn't solve for _____, pragmatic/material solutions vs theoretical ones.


K AFFs: I believe teams tend to pref me bc of my K background, but I find myself voting down teams that have generic "Links to the status squo" type AFFs without a specific reason why *the topic* needs to be critiqued first. K AFFs need to talk specifically about the resolution and make prereq to policy arguments, otherwise I will be easily swayed by T/FW arguments especially TVAs. Analyzing/winning root cause does not automatically mean your method solves your impacts. Focus on method/topic specific solvency rather than *just* critiquing the squo/state/civil society/modernity.

K NEG: I enjoy K debates when you know your case and not a filler K that you decided to run. Know your alt. Why do you solve better? Why are you mutually exclusive? Why are you a prerequisite to the plan/advocacy? Why doesn't the Perm solve?

Proving root cause (Cap, Set Col, Antiblackness, Ableism, Patriarchy, etc.) does not mean you win the round. Prove HOW the AFF specifically makes these impacts worse than the squo. If you do not make these arguments, I am more inclined to vote for the AFF if they make a "the K is non-unique and a link to the squo, not the AFF" argument.



Traditional vs. Policy-oriented/K teams

Policy LD - Paradigm about policy debate applies here. LD is difficult to be thorough in your K/CP/Plan text explanations. Impact calc + card analysis > overspreading your opponent. If you read a bunch of cards with no explanation or impact calc during your last speech, do not rely on me cross-applying or analyzing arguments if you didn't do that work during the debate. Have blocks ready to answer procedural arguments. Just because I allow CPs/Ks/Plan texts in LD does not mean I will vote for it.

Traditional LD teams - I am open to voting for teams who do not have a clearly labeled FW (i.e. "My value is X, my value criterion is X"). I am also open to voting for teams who have a plan text/advocacy statement/CP. If a team has these components, it doesn't mean I will automatically vote for them, but be prepared to make arguments as to WHY policy-oriented style of LD debate is unfair, uneducational, take away ground, etc. If the other team's performance clashes with your view of how LD debate should be, make that an argument. Do not assume that I will default to how LD traditionally should be unless you can impact out why I should vote on procedurals.

Traditional LD vs. Traditional LD

I like clash. I've voted for V and VC that have apriori arguments and have been extended throughout the round. I'm not super techy so I focus more on the argument than definitions. Contentions should be consistent with your value and value criteria and you should show why your opponent is inconsistent or why your V and VC is better.

Deven Cooper Paradigm

1 rounds

High school debate: Baltimore Urban Debate League

College debate: Univ of Louisville then Towson Univ

Grad work: Cal State Fullerton

Current: Director of Debate at Long Beach State (CSULB)


Speaker Scale

29.5-30: one of the best speakers I expect to see this year and has a high grade of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and Swag is on 100.

29.1 - 29.5: very good speaker has a middle grade of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and mid-range swag.
29: quite good speaker; low range of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent, and mid-range swag.

28.4 - 28.9: good speaker; may have some above average range/ parts of the C.U.N.T.S acronym but must work on a few of them and may have some issues to work out.

28 - 28.3: solid speaker; needs some work; probably has average range/ parts of the C.U.N.T.S acronym but must work on a few of them and may have some issues to work out.

27.1 - 27.5: okay speaker; needs significant work on the C.U.N.T.S acronym.

< 27: you have done something deeply problematic in this debate like clipping cards or violence.

Judging Proper

I am willing to hear any arguments that are well explained and impacted and relate to how your strategy is going to produce scholarship or policy action. I will refer to an educator framework unless told otherwise..This means I will evaluate the round based on how you tell me you want it to be framed and I will offer comments on how you could make your argument better after the round. Comparison, Framing, OFFENSE is key for me.

I avoid the privileging of certain teams or styles over others because that makes debate more unfair, uneducational, and makes people not feel valued or wanted in this community.

I judge debates according to the systematic connection of arguments rather than solely line by line…BUT doesn’t mean if the other team drops turns or other arguments that I won’t evaluate that. They must be impacted and explained. PLEASE always point out reason why the opposing team is bad and have contextualized reasons for why they have created a bad impact. I DO vote on framework and theory arguments….I’ve been known to vote on Condo

Don’t try to adapt to how I used to debate if you genuinely don’t believe in doing so or just want to win a ballot. If you are doing a performance I will hold you to the level that it is practiced, you have a reason for doing so, and relates to the overall argument you are making…Don’t think “oh! I did a performance in front of Deven I win.” You are sadly mistaken if so.

Overall I would like to see a good debate where people are confident in their arguments and feel comfortable being themselves and arguing how they feel is best. I am not here to exclude you or make you fell worthless or that you are a "lazy" intellectual as some debaters may call others, but I do like to see you defend your side to the best of your ability

A few issues that should be clarified:

Paperless: Prep time ends when the flash is out of your computer. Any malfunctioning means your prep has begun again. If the opponent you are facing doesn't have a laptop you must have a viewing one or give up not be classist GOSH...

Framework and Theory: I love smart arguments in this area. I am not inclined to just vote on debate will be destroyed or traditional framework will lead to genocide unless explained very well and impacted. There must be a concrete connection to the impacts articulated on these and most be weighed. I will not vote on conditionality good alone…You better point out the contradictions in the 2AC/1AR. I am persuaded by the deliberation arguments and topical version of the Aff.

Performance: It must be linked to an argument that is able to defend the performance and be able to explain the overall impact on debate or the world itself. Please don’t do a performance to just do it…you MUST have a purpose and connect it to arguments. Plus debate is a place of politics and args about debate are not absent politics sometimes they are even a pre-req to “real” politics, but I can be persuaded otherwise. You must have a role of the ballot or framework to defend yourself or on the other side say why the role of the ballot is bad. I also think those critics who believe this style of debate is anti-intellectual or not political are oversimplifying the nuance of each team that does performance. Take your role as an educator and stop being an intellectual coward.

Topic/Resolution: I will vote on reasons why or why not to go by the topic...unlike some closed minded judges who are detached from the reality that the topics chosen may not allow for one to embrace their subjectivity or social location. This doesn’t mean I think talking about puppies and candy should win, for those who dumb down debate in their framework args in that way. You should have a concrete and material basis why you chose not to engage the topic and linked to some affirmation against racism/sexism/homophobia/classism/elitism/white supremacy and produces politics that are progressive.

High Theory K: i.e Hiediggar, Zizek, D&G, Butler, Arant, and their colleagues…this must be explained to me in a way that can make some material sense to me as in a clear link to what the aff has done or an explanation of the resolution…I feel that a lot of times teams that do these types of arguments assume a world of abstract that doesn’t relate fully to how to address the needs of the oppressed that isn’t a privileged one. However, I do enjoy Nietzsche args that are well explained and contextualized. Offense is key with running these args and answering them.

Disadvantages: I’m cool with them just be well explained and have a link/link wall that can paint the story…you can get away with a generic link with me if you run politics disads. Disads on case should be impacted and have a clear link to what the aff has done to create/perpetuate the disad. If you are a K team and you kick the alt that solves for the disads…that is problematic for me.

Counterplans: They have to solve at least part of the case and address some of the fundamental issues dealing with the aff’s advantages especially if it’s a performance or critical aff…I’m cool with perm theory with a voter attached.

Race/ Identity arguments: LOVE these especially from the black/Lantinx perspective, but this doesn’t mean you will win just because you run them like that. I like to see the linkage between what the aff does wrong or what the aff has perpetuated. I’m NOT likely to vote on a link of omission.

Case Args: Only go for case turns…they are the best and are offensive , however case defense may work. If you run a K or performance you need to have some interaction with the aff to say why it is bad.

Ben Crossan Paradigm

3 rounds

Debated for four years in high school in the NYUDL.
Debated for five years in college for SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Binghamton and finally Towson.
Currently the assistant director of debate at UC Berkeley. 

Just rewriting this and thought folk I judge would have a better perspective than me on whether or not you should pref me. To that end I'll be soliciting feedback and posting it here.

If I've judged you in the past, please feel free to fill out this form: and I will post the results here. 

Responses so far:

If you had to give advice to a team who had this judge in the back of the room, what would you tell them?

-I would tell this team to go with what they're comfortable with, make smart arguments and then impact out every argument you're going for in your final speech. It's more important to frame the round appropriately then worry about the techne on the line by line.

-This judge buys links of omission. (Not literally buys them, but gets, understands, appreciates, evaluates even in the presence of a perm).

-Ben is very intelligent and capable. He is more well versed in critical literature, but he will offer sound advice in any debate he adjudicates.

-Don't be average

-Debate the round and off the flow. This judge will listen to almost any argument and evaluate based on the debate. Warranted explanations are key, strategy is important.

-You can go for anything in front of him. Concretizing what your arguments mean for the rest of the debate is important.

-Ben tends to view debates holistically - will do cross-applications from other flows even if not explicit in the debate.

-he is great, even when he believes a "truth" to certain arguments he cares much more about analyzing what was actually said in the debate

-Do what you do, he'll follow you. Don't sacrifice smart arguments for the sake of techne, even though he'll follow the techne.

-Ben won't vote on contrived links and will vote for a perm when there is little risk of a link

On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the least similar and 10 being the most similar, rate how you thought the round went down matched up to this judge's assessment of the round based on the RFD











What areas of scholarship do you feel this judge is familiar with?

-From the round I had him, he seemed fairly familiar with identity politics arguments along with an understanding of psychoanalysis

-I'm not exactly sure - k's definitely.

-Ben is well versed in critical literature. In my particular round he showed vast knowledge in critical Chicanx/Coloniality literature

-Our coach indicated Ben's familiarity with antiblackness. Ben seemed competent on the arguments floating in the round

-This judge is good at fairly evaluating all arguments introduced in the round, which makes me believe he is familiar with multiple types of scholarship. His comments and suggestions showed not only a knowledge of what happened in the round but also outside contextual knowledge about the style of arguments and strategic tips for the round.

-He seems to not be ideologicallly biased when assessing evidence, so I don't find it particularly relevant what scholarship they're familiar with because they will listen to most literature.

-Very knowledgeable about race/gender scholarship, persuaded by state bad args


-His RFD didn't indicate any particular academic preferences.

-he didn't really indicate an area

What areas of scholarship do you feel this judge is unfamiliar with?

-No idea.

-Probably the politics disad. But really the politics disad is terrible anyway.

-Ben seemed familiar with all of the topics discussed in the round/RFD

-Cj and I were unsure if ASU is reading Berlant properly, i would have much rather had a 2ac calling them out for (mis)reading berlant, but I wasn't sure if Ben would have that sort of techy/nerdy/scholarly knowledge of Berlant and queerness.

-uh based off the round and the RFD i do not believe the judge has an difficulty with any types of scholarship.

-You can go for anything in front of him. Concretizing what your arguments mean for the rest of the debate is important.

-Not entirely sure.


-don't know

-Nothing seems to be out of range.

-it's not so much that he is unfamiliar but he has a high threshold for scholarship

What was the quality of this judge's RFD?











What was the quality of this judge's post-round comments?











Do you have any additional comments?


-He's smart. Don't be unsmart.

-Ben is very helpful and will aid students find relevant information for the arguments they are reading. He helped me find some awesome cards!

-None, pleasant judging

-I wanted to type in my judge notes here, but rereading them is kinda embarrassing. We wont on a dropped case turn in the 1AR, so my evaluation of the judges evaluation of the theoretical parts of the debate might be limited.

-He gives good comments after the round so ask questions



-He was a great critic overall.

-he is a good judge



Michael Eisenstadt Paradigm

1 rounds

Michael Eisenstadt, Ph.D.

Director of Forensics, California State University Long Beach | Notre Dame High School

9th Year Judging College Debate | 14th Year Judging High School Debate

2014 CEDA Pacific Region Critic of the Year | 2018 "Top Critic Award" at the Las Vegas Classic (UNLV) | 2019 CEDA Pacific Region Critic of the Year

For questions of any kind, please e-mail me at:

Tournaments Judged This Season (2019-2020): CNDI 3-Week, Jack Howe Memorial Invitational (Long Beach), Aztec Invitational (SDSU), Meadows, Fall at the Beach, Glenbrooks, Alta, Cal Swing 1, Cal Swing 2, Golden Desert, D1 NDT Qualifier (Pacific Championships), ADA Nationals

Updated 9-17-19

***I would like to be on the e-mail chain (, not my Tabroom e-mail).***

I will not necessarily read along with your speeches, but I would like to have evidence in the case that particular cards are disputed in cross-x and/or to make reading them after the debate concludes quicker.

This judge philosophy is just that, a philosophy. I think I have become more ambivalent to what your argument is over the years and more concerned with how you argue it. My job is to evaluate the arguments made in a debate, your job is to tell me why and how I should vote for them. Therefore, I think the following information is more helpful for you than me telling you what arguments I "like." This is your debate and not mine. Every day is #GAMEDAY and I will work hard when judging your debate, the same way I appreciated those who worked hard to judge my own.

An important meta-theoretical note: I believe in a 'healthy diet' of persuasion. I perceive there to be a serious problem with communication in competitive debate. Debates are won by important communicative moments (see below). Whether they are fast, slow, passionate, or hilarious, they must happen. I believe Will Repko has called these "Moments of Connection." Reading into your computer screen with no emphasis or clarity would make having such a moment extraordinarily difficult.

Debate is a communicative activity. This means that to win an argument a) I have to understand it and b) I have to hear it clearly enough to know it was there. At the end of the round, if we have a disagreement about something, usually a failure to achieve those requirements will be my explanation. Reading directly into your computer during your speeches and/or making no attempt at eye contact drastically heightens the risk of a miscommunication.

I am deeply concerned about the trend of evidence quality in debate. Teams seem to frequently read evidence that either fails to make a warranted claim OR that is highlighted down into oblivion. I think that a team who reads fewer, better (read: warranted) cards and sets the bar high for their opponents has a much better chance of winning their nexus/framing arguments.

Debate is what you make it. For some, debate is a game of verbal chess that is designed to teach them about institutional policy-making. For others, it is a place to develop community and advocacy skills for the problems and issues they face on an everyday basis whether at school, within debate, or elsewhere. I believe that one of the best things about this activity is that it can accomplish so many different things for so many individuals and it serves a variety of purposes. I think either or any of these approaches teach us the transferable skills debate can offer. No matter the arguments presented in a debate, I will always recognize this and will always support you for what you do. Over the years I have found myself voting fairly evenly for and against "framework" arguments because I will evaluate the arguments made in the debate itself. My ballot will never be an endorsement of one form of debate over another, it will very simply represent who I thought did the better debating.

Framework. In 1984, Dr. David Zarefsky famously argued, "the person who can set the terms of the debate has the power to win it." Generally, the 2NR that goes for "Topicality + Case D to Aff Impact Turns" is more likely to win in front of me than the 2NR who only goes for "State Good/Inevitable," though that is typically suitable defense on the case when the affirmative criticizes governmental action. The negative wins in front of me going for this 2NR strategy most often when it includes some combination of the following 3 arguments:

1. An interpretation supported by definitional evidence (that is ideally contextual to the topic). I am uncertain why negative interpretations like "direction of the topic" circumvents affirmative offense. These softer interpretations typically hurt the negative's ability to win the limits DA without much payoff. I have found that negative teams have a more uphill battle in front of me when the only term in the resolution they have defined is "United States Federal Government."

2. A Topical Version of the Aff and/or Switch Side Debate argument - I think of "framework" as the intersection between Topicality and argument(s) about how I prioritize impacts, which impacts should be prioritized, and what the best strategy for dealing with those impacts is. So, having a "counterplan" that plays defense to and/or solves portions of the case (and/or the impact turns) can be a good way to beat the affirmative. I find myself voting affirmative in debates where the 2NR did not address the affirmative's substantive offense (so, you did not respond to internal links to impact turns, address impact priority arguments, etc.). I also think this sets the negative up to make arguments about potential neg ground as well as a switch-side debate argument.

3. An impact - I have voted on procedural and structural fairness, topic education, and argument advocacy/testing impacts. Ideally, the 2NR will be careful to identify why these impacts access/outweigh the affirmative's offense and/or solve it. I think that debate is generally more valuable for "argument testing" than "truth testing," since the vast majority of arguments made in a debate rely on assumptions that "the plan/aff happens" or "the alternative/framework resolves a link."

Conversely, the affirmative should point out and capitalize on the absence of these arguments.

Presumption: This is a legal term that I think folks are often confused about. Presumption means that the affirmative has not met their burden of proof (sufficient evidence for change) and that I should err negative and be skeptical of change. Although a 2NR should try to avoid finding themselves with no offense, I am increasingly compelled by arguments that an affirmative who has not chosen to defend a(n) change/outcome (note: this does not mean a plan) has not met their burden of proof. For instance, an affirmative that says "the State is always bad" but does not offer some alternative to it has not overcome the presumption that shifting away from "the State" would be inherently risky. Of course, a framework argument about what it means to vote affirmative, or whether the role of the debate is to advocate for/against change factors into how I think about these issues.

Flowing: is a dying art. Regardless of whether I am instructed to or not, I will record all of the arguments on a flow. You should flow too. Reading along with speech docs does not constitute flowing. I am frustrated by teams who spend an entire cross-x asking which cards were read and requesting a speech doc with fewer cards. In the days of paper debate (I am a dinosaur to the teens of 2020), you would not have such a luxury. There are clearly instances where this is not uncalled for, but the majority of cases appear to be flowing issues, and not "card dumps" from an opposing team.

Permutations: I am almost never persuaded by the argument that the affirmative does not get a permutation in a "method debate." Permutations are mathematical combinations and all methods are permutations of theories and methods that preceded it. I could [rather easily] be persuaded that if the affirmative has no stable advocacy or plan, then they should not get a permutation. That is a different case and has a different warrant (affirmative conditionality). "Perm do the aff" is not an argument, it is not a permutation and says nothing about how a counterplan or alternative competes with the aff. I have also found that teams seem to have difficulty in defending the theoretical legitimacy of permutations. Although I would have an astronomically high threshold for voting on an argument like "severance permutations are a voting issue," such arguments could be persuasive reasons to reject a permutation.

Risk: I find that I am mostly on the "1% risk" side of things when a team has [good] evidence to support a claim. However, I can also be easily persuaded there is a "0% risk" if a team has made too much of a logical leap between their evidence and their claim, especially if the opposing team has also indicted their opponent's evidence and compared it to their own. This is especially true of "Link->Internal Link" questions for advantages and disadvantages.

Tech and Truth: If all arguments were equal in a debate, I would err on the side of truth. However, that is rarely (and should not be) the case. When there is not a clear attempt by both teams to engage in line-by-line refutation, one team tends to miss important framing arguments their opponents are making that undercut the "impact" of their truth claims. This understanding is distinct from "they dropped an arg, judge, so it must be true," since that is not a warranted extension of an argument nor is it a comparison that tells me why the "dropped argument" (how do we know it was dropped if we aren't debating line-by-line and making these comparisons? Could an argument somewhere else or on an entirely different sheet answer it?) should affect the way I evaluate other portions of the debate.

Other important notes:

A) I will vote for the team who I found to do the better debating. This means if your framing argument is "your ballot is political because _______" and I vote for you, my ballot is NOT necessarily an endorsement of that politics. Rather, it means you won your impact prioritization and did the better debating, nothing more, nothing less.

B) I do not want to preside over accusations about what has or has not happened outside of the debate I am judging. In these situations, I will always defer to the arguments presented in a debate first and try to resolve the debate in that fashion, since I am often not witness to the events that are brought up about what may or may not have happened prior to a debate.

C) I am ambivalent about argument selection and theory and am willing to vote against my own convictions. E.G. I think the Delay CP is 100% cheating and unfair but I will not credit a 2AR on that position that does not defeat the negative's arguments about why the CP is good/legitimate or I think conditionality is generally good but would still vote that it is bad if the negative is unable to defend their 1NC strategy.

D) I am unwilling to "judge kick" a CP extended by the 2NR unless they have explicitly told me why I should. The affirmative should, of course, contest the claim that I can always revert to the status quo in the event that a counterplan is insufficient/unnecessary.

Ignacio Evans Paradigm

4 rounds

I have been involved with debate for a min now. All debates are performances . I believe education should be what debates are about . I read the topic paper every year( or when it stop being Throw backs). Topical education is something i consider but can be impact turned. Topicality is a method of the objective game. I will vote on conversations of community norms like predictability good , switch side , or even static notions of politics. Framework is how we frame our work. Method debates I welcome. We are intellectuals so we should be responsible for such i.e you can be voted down if the debaters or their positions/in round performance are racist, sexist, classist, or ableist . If not voted down,I still reserve the discretion to give the debater(s) responsible a 3.5 in speaker points . Do what you do and do it well.

Doug Fraleigh Paradigm

5 rounds

Please add me to your email chain,


Director of Forensics, Fresno State. Competed in policy debate for four years for Sacramento State and coached policy at UC Berkeley, Sacramento State, Cornell, and Fresno State. Returned to coaching and judging in fall 2018 after serving as our department’s undergraduate advisor and chair, judged at ASU, SF State, San Diego State, UNLV, Northridge, USC, and Fullerton on this topic.

What Should You Know About How I Judge?

1. Run the arguments you run best, whether critical or policy. It is more important to me that you be clear (with your alt, your plan, your CP, your FW arguments, etc.) than follow any particular model of debate. If your arguments are vague or only become apparent in rebuttals, you are less likely to persuade me.

2. I am a flow-centric judge and the line-by-line debate is important to my decision.

3. I may not be persuaded by a very minimally developed argument (e.g. “T is an RVI, fairness”) even when it is dropped. However, I have a relatively low threshold for how much detail you need when extending an argument that was not answered. If the 1NC runs six off case positions and no case arguments, 2AC can safely spend a minute extending case (no need for detailed overviews) and focus on answering the off case.

4. My speaker points are mostly in the 28s-- low 28s for solid debating, mid 28s for good debating, and high 28s for very good debating, 29s for excellent debating. The considerations below are primary factors for me when assigning points.

What Can You Do to Earn Speaker Points?

1. Clash with your opponents’ arguments is essential. I am very impressed when debaters make on point answers and less impressed when the round looks like competing persuasive speeches. Debaters who extend arguments (explain why their arguments prevail on contested issues) earn top-tier points.

2. The quality of your evidence is very important. I look to the content, the match between content and tag, and credibility of your authors. I appreciate debaters who continue to research throughout the season. It is a plus when policy evidence accounts for recent events (e.g. Democratic House and Mattis resignation) and critical debaters incorporate recent literature.

3. Organization is very important. Be very clear and signpost where you are on the flow as you move through the debate. The more precise you are on the flow, the better. For example, instead of just saying you are on “case” or “the K” and mashing all your arguments together, identify the part of the argument you are on. (For example, “on the China scenario, three responses,” “go to framework,” or “now I’m on the alt.” If I am trying to figure out where you are, I am wasting cognitive resources that could be better spent listening to your argument.

4. Good delivery is a plus. Regardless of how fast you are going, it is important to enunciate well. This is especially important for analytics (and really/really important for analytics you plan to use in 2NR/2AR). I can follow the evidence on your speech doc, but don’t have this option when you are creating arguments on the fly. It is also a good idea to slow down a bit on the most essential arguments in 2NR/2AR, e.g. when you are advocating for how I should put the round together.

5. Be enthusiastic about your arguments, but when interacting with others in the round, err on the side of chill. The chance to travel with your squad, debate with your partner, and compete against other colleges is a privilege; enjoy the journey.

Procedural Considerations

1. Tag-team cross-x is all right. When speakers are prompted by their partner, the speaker needs to follow up by making the argument and that is what I will flow. I listen carefully to cross-x and promise not to check real or fantasy sports scores until prep time starts.

2. I do not want to adjudicate what happened before the round started.

Policy Rounds

1. For me, the round usually comes down to case vs. disads and counterplans. It is often a good negative strategy to refute case (even with analytics), rather than concede a case with massive impacts. However, I rarely give aff 0% risk of any advantage and am unlikely to vote on presumption alone in the absence of any offense. The same principles apply to disads; it is strategic to minimize the links and impacts, but I rarely give neg 0% risk. I can be persuaded that other more probable arguments, such as lives saved or human rights protected, outweigh an infinitesimal risk of nuclear war. I like the debaters to argue for how I should balance the arguments, but in the absence of such arguments (or if the explanation is very limited), then it is up to me to put the round together.

2. On T, neg is most likely to win when they do a really good job explaining and defending their standards (blips not helpful here if you are seriously considering going for T in 2NR), and explaining how their definitions meet the standards for T better than their opponents’ do. If the T debate is close, I generally vote aff.

3. No preference for or bias against any particular counterplan. The domain of neg’s fiat power on CPs is up for debate. Both counterplan text and permutations should be clear.

Critical Rounds

1. Critical Affs. For critical affs, a key argument for me is the rationale for debating about the K rather than debating about a plan that purports to be topical. What is the opportunity cost of having a policy debate instead? I am open to a wide variety of arguments by both sides to address this question. A second important consideration is your vision of what the round should look like.

2. Critical Negs vs Policy Cases. The link to the aff should be clear. If the link is based on evidence (especially multi-page evidence), specify where in the evidence you are getting the link. I am most likely to be persuaded by a clear and specific alt that is developed in the 1NC. If you are not using a link/impact/alt format, explain your model for what the debate should look like.

3. K vs K Debates. I look to the debaters to make arguments about how the round should be judged.

Performance Rounds

I can be persuaded to vote for a performance. A performance can be rhetorical (or is always rhetorical, depending on your definition of rhetoric). However, I need to understand what arguments are being made by your performance and why you are saying these arguments warrant a decision for your side. It should also be apparent to your opponents. Don’t be subtle when explaining this.

Pablo Gannon Paradigm

2 rounds


Undergrad: MSU
Grad: Wake Forest
Currently with George Mason

Arguments I am a bad judge for:

1. Counterplans that say we should not do something. Like, “Congress should declare that it will never escalate conflict over Syria.” Both theoretically and in terms of solvency, this is not persuasive.

2. When planks of a counterplan are kicked, even though it was initially one counterplan.

3. When answering T, saying that “we are in the direction of the topic.”

The following are what I thought about real situations I've judged in recent memory:

1. Let’s say the 2ac says “perm do both” on the counterplan. The 2nc says “it links to midterms because of x warrant.” The 1ar says the phrase “extend perm do both” and nothing else. The 2nr drops the perm and then the 2ar makes a big deal about it not being answered. In this situation the 1ar did not develop the argument any further and only repeated the 2ac. If the 2nc warrant for why it links to midterms is uncontested, then I don’t care that the meaningless standalone phrase “perm do both” was not directly addressed a second time. In another context, a lot of rfd’s on topicality start off by mentioning that the 2ar did not extend their counter-interpretation. If the 2ac and the 1ar are clear about it, then it does not really need to be repeated a third time.

2. If the neg block has 2 separate counterplans, and the 2nr combines them into one advocacy, this is pretty clearly introducing a new world. The 2ar would be allowed to make new theoretical arguments and would also be able to introduce new disadvantages based on how the two previously separate counterplans might interact.

3. Say the aff says “speed bad,” and the neg adapts and slows down. In the 2ar, the aff goes fast again, knowing that the neg can’t bring it back up. I vote neg.

Little annoyances:

1. Excessive use of body language during opponents’ speeches

2. When people crouch down and read incomprehensibly off of their partner’s laptop

3. Not seeing someone’s face because the stand is too high

4. The 2ar phrase that goes something like “to vote for them, you have to be able to look me in the eye after the debate and tell me that ...”

5. The whole angle of “x is inevitable, it’s only a question of its effectiveness.” It's not conceptually wrong, but is overplayed and often not true.

6. A 2ac "perm do the cp" in situations that obviously don't make sense.

Tom Gliniecki Paradigm

3 rounds

I'm currently the Assistant Director of Debate at UNLV. Yes, I'd like to be on the email chain: thomas.gliniecki at . Yes, I'll still make you compile a doc at the end of the round anyway.

I'm still not voting on "politics isn't intrinsic." I get it if you throw it out there out of force of habit, especially if I'm on a panel- but I will be happier if you don't. Negs, remember you don't need to waste your time answering it, though again, I'll get it if you do.


K/T in "non-traditional" debates- I think debate is at its best when there is a negotiated point of stasis that each side could predict, and when there is a legitimate opportunity for the negative to have a meaningful role in a contested debate. I generally think that if the aff did not defend a topical plan, that they've denied the negative a meaningful role, and have denied the necessary precondition for in-depth engagement.
Neg Ks against "policy" affs tend to propose that I consider one idea external to or somewhere within the 1AC to the exclusion of all else; I tend to think I shouldn't do that. A "K" with very well-articulated ties to the topic, the plan action, and the advantages might be persuasive to me, however, you will need to identify how your alt competes with the _plan_, how your links apply to the _plan_, and consider tying your alt to an alternative policy option. If that sounds too much like a “counterplan” and thus offends your sensibilities, we’re probably not on the same page.
The K has a very bad record in front of me, despite some valiant efforts. If you must do this, try to couch your argument as "mutually exclusive counterplan that solves inevitable extinction- try or die." The more it seems like a disad-counterplan strategy, the more likely I am to be receptive to your argument.

T in "policy" debates- While it's somewhat hard to forecast at the very beginning of a topic, I have historically been very good for the neg when they have high-quality evidence in support of a more restrictive interpretation of the topic. In these debates, I tend to have a lot of skepticism toward aff defense against limits explosion- for example, "functional limits" just seem like an invitation to a deluge of one-and-done affs with bad (but unpredictable and thus "good" for two hours) tricks vs. whatever generic is supposed to stop the aff from existing, and the lack of solvency advocate has never stopped anyone. This topic in particular strikes me as quite tough for the neg, so I may lack sympathy for some aff offensive args as well (e.g. overlimiting).

CP competition- CPs that are just rewritings of the plan or compete on something that doesn't appear in the plan will have problems. This also applies if your CP competes on a word that could be interpreted multiple ways; you will need to decisively win that it should be interpreted a certain way to win a competition arg.

Conditionality- I think we're past the point of no return on ever getting back to only reading 1 or 2 conditional advocacies. While I feel a certain unease in admitting it, I don't think there are a lot of circumstances where the aff could convince me the neg should lose because they crossed some line the aff drew on this issue.
I think that if you want me to consider the status quo as an option after the debate when you're going for a CP, that needs to be explicitly spoken to during the debate. The best way to ensure I remember that is to say it's a thing in the 2NR.

Other CP Theory- I’m rejecting the arg and not the team. Outside of what I discussed above, I probably strongly lean neg on most other CP theory questions, though particularly egregious examples (multi-actor international fiat, and also the US, for instance) could change that calculus. "Both federal and state action" strikes me as egregious.

DAs/Advantages- The CP/DA or DA/case throwdowns are very much what I would like to see. Impact calculus by both sides is important, as is making arguments why your impacts interact with the other side’s. Strength of link and internal link tend to be very important in deciding how much risk a given position gets, so comparison of link probability is also a critical component of a successful rebuttal.
A lot of terminal impacts can get pretty stupid and could be refuted by well-deployed analytics, but internal links, in my experience, can be a lot stupider. When people tag something as “X is key to” something, the card will probably just say “X has a marginally relevant implication” on it. Evidence comparison is extremely important in how I’ll assign risks; I have a very high threshold for what I consider quality evidence, and teams should be very aggressive in identifying weak or unqualified evidence and refuting it analytically. Debate should be about hard work and finding the best research about the topic- if I get the sense that you’ve done that, you will be rewarded, and punished if I sense you haven’t.
Also, I will under literally no sequence of events vote for the argument that the politics disad “isn’t intrinsic.” Actually develop reasons why there’s no link, or why political capital doesn’t exist conceptually/why it’s not key rather than relying on theoretical constructions which offend me.

Other stuff- I think of cross-x as a speech; while I won’t necessarily flow it, it’s critical in framing how I will think of a position throughout the debate, and exposing flaws in evidence. Cross-x is also a pretty important part of how I will make speaker point decisions.

Be respectful, have fun, work hard- any questions, feel free to ask.

Gabriela Gonzalez Paradigm

5 rounds



CSUF policy debate 5yrs (2010-2016)

The Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League 2yrs (2008-2010)

Currently: Coach and Program Manager for The Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League

I engaged and debated different types of literature: critical theory (anti-blackness and settler colonialism) and policy-oriented arguments during my early years of debate. I am not very particular about any type of argument. I think that in order to have a good debate in front of me you have to engage and understand what the other team is saying.

My experience in college debate and working with UDLs has taught me that any argument has the ability to or Critical arguments. All of them have a pedagogical value. It’s your job as the debater to prove to me why yours is a viable strategy or why your arguments are best. Prove to me why it matters. If you choose to go for framework or the politics DA, then justify that decision. I don’t really care if you go for what you think I like and if you are losing that argument then it would probably annoy me. Just do you.

Framework vs. Plan less or vague affirmatives

As a critical affirmative, please tell me what the affirmative does. What does the affirmative do about its impacts? If you are going for a structural impact, then please tell me how your method will alleviate that either for the world, debate, or something. I don’t want to be left thinking what does that affirmative does at the end of the 2ar because I will more likely than not vote negative.

I don’t mind framework as long as you can prove to me why the method that you offer for the debate, world, policy, etc. is crucial. Please explain how you solve for "x" harm or the squo goes. I promise you this will do wonders for you in front of me. I will not be doing the work for you or any of the internals for you. As long as your argument has a claim, warrant, and evidence that is clear, then what I personally believe is meh. You either win the debate based on the flow or nah.

Seems rudimental but debaters forget to do this during speeches.


If I can't understand what you're saying when you are speaking, then I'll yell out "clear" and after the second time I yell out clear then I won't flow what I can't understand. I will also reduce your speaker points. I tend to have facial expressions during rounds. If you catch me squinting, then it is probably because I can’t understand what you are saying. Just slow down if that helps.

DA+ Counter Plans

Cp have to have a net benefit.

I need specific impact scenarios--just saying hegemony, racism, global warming, and nuclear war does not win the ballot please explain how we get to that point. I really like when a 2AR gives a good explanation of how the aff solves or how the affirmative triggers the impact.

Make sure to articulate most parts of the DA. just bc you have a big impact that doesn't mean much for me please explain how it relates to the affirmative especially in the rebuttal. impact comparisons are pretty good too.

Theory debates

Not my strong point, but if you are going for this which I understand the strategic reasoning behind this, then explain the "why its bad that X thing" and how that should outweigh anything else. Also, slow down during these debates especially on the interpretation.

Speaker Quirks to watch out for:

Being too dominant in a partnership. Have faith that your partner is capable of responding and asking questions during CX. If you see them struggling, then I am not opposed to you stepping in but at least give them a chance.

Lincoln Douglas

For the most part, my paradigm applies to much of the args made in this sector of the activity a couple of things that you should mindful of when you have me as a judge:

1) I appreciate disclosure, but any theory args that are made about disclosure I don't appreciate, especially if I wasn't in the room to make sure neg/aff accusation are actually being saiD. If I'm not in the room its just a case of "they said I said." If you have it in writing, then I guess I can appreciate your arg more. I would still vote on it, but its not a decision I am happy about.

2) Time: LD leaves a lot of unresolved problems for me as a judge. Please make sure:

aff with plan text *make sure to not forget about the plan solvency mechanism and how you solve for your harms. this should be throughout the debate but especially in the last speeches. I understand there is an issue of time but at least 30 sec of explaining aff mechanisms.

sympathetic towards time constraints but be strategic and mindful of where to spend the most time in the debate. Ex: if you are too focused on the impact when the impact is already established then this is time badly spent.


If you are concerned with the affirmative making new arguments in the 2AR have a blip that asks judges not evaluate. Because of the time (6 vs 3min), I am usually left with lots of unresolved issues so I tend to filter the debate in a way that holistically makes sense to me.

DA (Reify and clarify the LINK debate and not just be impact heavy)

T ( make sure to impact out and warrant education and fairness claims)

Ben Hagwood Paradigm

2 rounds

Benjamin Hagwood, Assistant Coach, Liberty University


About me:

I debated for five years at Liberty University. This will be my third year judging. Since trading places (debater to judge) my view of debate has matured and my perspective has become more open to views that I currently did not have. To begin I will say that I understand that debate is a game, with that being said I realize that some people use it as a place to protest, advocate and discuss their political, social, religious and individual ideas. I used my time as a debater to stretch the rules and practices of an activity that I viewed as net –beneficial to the growth of academics and potentially policy-makers. As a critic I enter a round with my predispositions just like everyone else but I don’t want to limit the discussion that can take place in any round.


The stuff you need to read: (do you pref me or not)


1. I think everything in debate is debate-able. I tend to enter the debate believing that I will vote for the team that persuades me that their argument is the superior to their opponents. I will say that I am not amused by offensive language or jokes (you should call people out on what they do though). So if someone does something that I think is offensive and you don’t call them out on it they could potentially still win the round if you don’t say something they will just also have a 0.


2. Not reading a plan text doesn’t necessarily equal a loss in my book. I think great discussions can emerge from different ideas or strategies. This however does not mean that there is no way I would vote against you. If you are reading an argument that magically seems to shift out of every link in the debate that’s probably bad (again that is up for debate, also I think there is a large difference between not having a link and only having bad links).


3. I absolutely love DA and case debates. I tend to believe that people don’t have good defenses of their case anymore because they just believe that no one argues inherency or solvency anymore, just CP’s and K’s. I think a formidable strategy is to completely deconstruct a case and go with a simple DA.


4. I think critical theory is interesting. I have to admit graduate school stretched the theory that I would generally read but it has introduced me to new arguments and helped me grow. But my base knowledge is still critical race theory. This is generally my area of interest but I am definitely interested and reading other forms of critical theory. I will admit Baudrillard is still collecting dust on my “electronic” bookshelf. I intend to start reading more of if soon but so far I have only dabbled in his theories.


5. I think that a well-placed theory violation can change the entire direction of a debate. I think that you can do whatever you want but you probably should be able to justify doing it. Being negative is not enough to be able to run four conditional positions that contradict each other. Those worlds are not hermeneutically sealed…sorry. Actually I am not sorry just don’t run bad strategies.


6. Performance debate is growing and here to stay. That is not to say that you are not making important points, it’s just that generally (and most people won’t admit this) judging a team that executes a good performance is tough because you generally want to watch and enjoy and then remember that you also have to evaluate. Needless to say I am a fan of performance, but only if you do it well. Bad performances…please don’t do it in front of me.


7. Clash of civilization – I haven’t actually judged many of these. I don’t know if I will or not in the future. I will say that if done well I think that framework can be a great strategy against a lot of teams. My particular opinion is that there is probably a better option to run against most teams (that don’t defend tradition notions of debate) but if that’s what you want to roll with then that’s what you should roll with. 


8. CP’s do it.


9. Speaker Points: (ways to gain and lose them janks)

 a. A tasteful bowtie will definitely increase your overall speaker points. (Max .5 increase)

 b. A joke that is actually funny will also increase your speaker points. (Max .5 increase)

 c. Bad jokes (Max 1.0 decrease)

 d. Offensive language or actions (Max 30.0 decrease)

 I am rather easy to talk to if you have any questions. Have fun and be smart when you think of your strategy. Do what you do and I shall tell you if I love it or not.



Jyleesa Hampton Paradigm

2 rounds

Assistant Director of Speech and Debate at Presentation High School and Public Admin phd student. I debated policy, traditional ld and pfd in high school (4 years) and in college at KU (5 years). Since 2015 I've been assistant coaching debate at KU. Before and during that time I've also been coaching high school (policy primarily) at local and nationally competitive programs.

Familiar with wide variety of critical literature and philosophy and public policy and political theory. Coached a swath of debaters centering critical argumentation and policy research. Judge a reasonable amount of debates in college/hs and usually worked at some camp/begun research on both topics in the summer. That said please don't assume I know your specific thing. Explain acronyms, nuance and important distinctions for your AFF and NEG arguments.

The flow matters. Tech and Truth matter. I obvi will read cards but your spin is way more important.

I think that affs should be topical. What "TOPICAL" means is determined by the debate. I think it's important for people to innovate and find new and creative ways to interpret the topic. I think that the topic is an important stasis that aff's should engage. I default to competing interpretations - meaning that you are better off reading some kind of counter interpretation (of terms, debate, whatever) than not.

I think Aff's should advocate doing something - like a plan or advocacy text is nice but not necessary - but I am of the mind that affirmative's should depart from the status quo.

Framework is fine. Please impact out your links though and please don't leave me to wade through the offense both teams are winning in that world.

I will vote on theory. I think severance is prolly bad. I typically think conditionality is good for the negative. K's are not cheating (hope noone says that anymore). PICS are good but also maybe not all kinds of PICS so that could be a thing.

I think competition is good. Plan plus debate sucks. I default that comparing two things of which is better depends on an opportunity cost. I am open to teams forwarding an alternative model of competition.

Disads are dope. Link spin can often be more important than the link cards. But
you need a link. I feel like that's agreed upon but you know I'm gone say it anyway.

Just a Kansas girl who loves a good case debate. but seriously, offensive and defensive case args can go a long way with me and generally boosters other parts of the off case strategy.

When extending the K please apply the links to the aff. State links are basic but for some reason really poorly answered a lot of the time so I mean I get it. Links to the mechanism and advantages are spicier. I think that if you're reading a K with an alternative that it should be clear what that alternative does or does not do, solves or turns by the end of the block. I'm sympathetic to predictable 1ar cross applications in a world of a poorly explained alternatives. External offense is nice, please have some.

I acknowledge debate is a public event. I also acknowledge the concerns and material implications of some folks in some spaces as well. I will not be enforcing any recording standards or policing teams to debate "x" way. I want debaters at in all divisions, of all argument proclivities to debate to their best ability, forward their best strategy and answers and do what you do.

Card clipping and cheating is not okay so please don't do it.
NEW YEAR NEW POINT SYSTEM (college) - 28.6-28.9 good, 28.9-29.4 really good, 29.4+ bestest.

This trend of paraphrasing cards in PFD as if you read the whole card = not okay and educationally suspect imo.

Middle/High Schoolers: You smart. You loyal. I appreciate you. And I appreciate you being reasonable to one another in the debate.

I wanna be on the chain:

Derek Hilligoss Paradigm

4 rounds

Boring stuff: Debated for too long at University of Central Oklahoma where we qualified to the NDT 4x, NDT octafinalist 2x, 1st round recipient, and other stuff. Currently a coach and grad student at Wake Forest. Go Deacs!

If you have any questions before or after the round/tournament you are more than welcome to email me

Also plz add me to the chain thanks! also add for the 2020 NDT

The stuff you actually care about:

TL;DR do what you do and do it well. Don't let my arg preferences sway you away from doing what you want.

The biggest thing for me is that I value good impact framing/calc. It seems simple enough but if you aren't framing why your impacts matter more then you are leaving it up for me or the other team to decide. You don't want that.

Framework: Go for whatever version of framework you like but I tend to think it should interact with the aff at some level. If you give the 2NC/2NR and make no reference to the aff you will find it harder to win my ballot. The easiest way to go about this is to go for a smart TVA and Education based impacts. I'm not anti-fairness impacts I just find them harder to win than other impacts but don't let that dissuade you if that's your go to impact. For both sides it is critical to explain your vision for debate. You'll find it hard to win "no planless affs ever" in front of me because I do think their are benefits to them so you should be able to win why this specific aff/model is bad.

Planless affs: The one note I wanna make outside of FW notes is that you have to be able to answer the "what do you do" question no matter how silly it may seem. If I don't know what the aff does after the 1AC/CX that's gonna put you in a rough spot. I don't think this means you have to do anything but you should have a good justification for why you don't have to.

Theory: Not my fav type of debates mostly because I was never good at them. That being said if you think you are gonna roll a team on a given theory argument go for it. The only thing of note is I think condo to a certain extent is good and counterplans should probably have solvency advocates.

Topicality: Decided I needed a section here for the NDT- Don't judge many of these debates but the neg has a high burden to explain the violation- I'm usually in the clash world so the different types of STM or Arms Control mechs I slightly understanding but explaining those details will help me vote your way. Explain what your world looks like vs the other teams on the question of what types of affs are and aren't allowed under your interp.

Counterplans: Again have some sort of solvency advocate. Not all counterplans are created equal and there are certainly cheating Counterplans but it's up to the debaters to tell me why that matters.

Disads: The only thing I wanna note here is please dear god highlight your cards better. I don't wanna have to read 30 crappy cards to get the story of the disad and it makes it easier for the aff to win with a few solid cards.

Kritiks: Specific links go a long way. This doesn't mean it has to be exactly about the plan but your application will do better than a generic "law bad" card. Applying your theory to the aff's advantages in a way that takes out solvency will make your lives so much easier.

I tend to think mega-overviews are poorly done because teams assume they answer every arg in it. If that's your style please please don't just do a mega-overview and assume it answers everything. You'll find your points and wins go up when you apply your mega-overview to the line by line.

Case defense isn't a must but it does go a long way in helping your argument and making the aff do more work. For both sides either way you have to frame your impacts. So even if the neg doesn't have case defense they might be trying to frame out your impacts. This means doing better than reading a generic util card (jesus christ can we get rid of Issac?).

For the aff FW I'm less compelled by fairness impacts (like come on it's 2018 the aff gets to at some level weigh the aff against the K) but I think a well developed FW argument about legal/pragmatic engagement will do more for you than fairness/limits impacts.

Examples on both sides will help me a lot. This is more true in some debates more than others but if you have a control on historical examples of your theory (or in answering your opponents theory) you will win more in front of me.

Random things:

If you are unclear I'll yell clear twice before I stop flowing. I'll make it apparent I'm not flowing to let you know you need to adjust still.

If you clip you will lose even if the other team doesn't call you out. Unless argued otherwise I will more than likely be reading along with you so if I catch you I'll be more than happy to vote you down and give you zero speaks for it.

A good CX can go a long way. Use CX wisely because it could win or lose you the debate.

Asking what cards the other team did/didn't read is prep and or CX time and also lets me know you didn't flow the speech- I'll start the time for you :)

Nadia Hussein Paradigm

2 rounds

About Me:

I have debated for three years at Georgia State and did a mixture of debate in high school. Now I’m a graduate coach at Wake Forest

I want to be on the email chain; use


Slow down when reading your tag and author, or I won't be able to catch it.

If GSU debate has taught me anything, it's to be extremely open minded to a variety of arguments. If you want to run death good, afropessimism, deterrence das, no period plan flaw, K affs, traditional affs, feminist killjoy etc, go for it. Just be sure to explain why you should win with this argument. ROB will be who debated the best unless I'm given another ROB with reason to perfer it. I'm against judge fill in but will vote down oppressive/offensive language/arguments especially if the other team points it out.


Do whatever you're best at, stay topical (or be ready to explain why topicality doesn't matter), be organized, and extend your case and why it outweighs throughout. I tend to err aff on framework if they have and defend a plan text, but you have to lock in if you decide to do that, otherwise I'll be persuaded to neg's abuse claims.


I love a good k with a clear link and impact. Your alts have to be clearly explained. I'll buy links of omission but the neg has to defend why the aff can't simply perm. Negs really have to take time in the block to explain why the aff can't perm and why it's net better to do the alt alone. Affs have to explain why they can perm and why the perm is net better than aff alone or why the alt can't solve the case. Don't drop theory args, or I will have to vote the other way.


I’m good with das but there has to be work done on how it links to the aff, or I will agree with the aff on no link args. If you have a solid Nonunique arg and extend it and I will vote on that. Solid impact calc will seal the deal for me, but if the aff successfully turns the DA or explains why the case outweighs the DA, I will vote on that as well. Long story short the more clash on the DA the better.


Love a creative CP, but it needs to solve/have a net benefit (DA or a K) along with stealing aff ground; otherwise I will agree with aff's perm and theory args. Aff needs to clearly explain why CP can't solve case, beat the net benefit, and articulate why the perm is best. Don't drop theory or you lose my ballot.


I will vote neg on a T arg if you convince me the violation is clear, the aff's counter interpretation is unreasonable, and the impact is big. I will vote aff if they convince me that their aff is reasonable, counter interpretation is better or equal to the negs, and a benefit to their definition, but aff can chuck topicality and still win if they articulate why being topical doesn't matter or is worse for debate. If the aff locks in and says they're T however, they cannot shift or it's an auto win for the neg.


I lean aff in most cases unless the neg provides me with a clear violation, story, and impact. 2acs have to clearly explain why the aff is fair and/or better. Tech is important when arguing FW but explanation is key when you arguing framework. Truth always better than tech.


cross ex is binding, answer the questions honestly, don't ask why the aff should win during 1ac cross ex or generic questions like that.

Korey Johnson Paradigm

6 rounds


BY Audre Lorde


The difference between poetry and rhetoric

is being ready to kill


instead of your children.


I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds

and a dead child dragging his shattered black

face off the edge of my sleep

blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders

is the only liquid for miles

and my stomach

churns at the imagined taste while

my mouth splits into dry lips

without loyalty or reason

thirsting for the wetness of his blood

as it sinks into the whiteness

of the desert where I am lost

without imagery or magic

trying to make power out of hatred and destruction

trying to heal my dying son with kisses

only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.


A policeman who shot down a ten year old in Queens

stood over the boy with his cop shoes in childish blood

and a voice said “Die you little motherfucker” and

there are tapes to prove it. At his trial

this policeman said in his own defense

“I didn't notice the size nor nothing else

only the color”. And

there are tapes to prove that, too.


Today that 37 year old white man

with 13 years of police forcing

was set free

by eleven white men who said they were satisfied

justice had been done

and one Black Woman who said

“They convinced me” meaning

they had dragged her 4'10'' black Woman's frame

over the hot coals

of four centuries of white male approval

until she let go

the first real power she ever had

and lined her own womb with cement

to make a graveyard for our children.


I have not been able to touch the destruction

within me.

But unless I learn to use

the difference between poetry and rhetoric

my power too will run corrupt as poisonous mold

or lie limp and useless as an unconnected wire

and one day I will take my teenaged plug

and connect it to the nearest socket

raping an 85 year old white woman

who is somebody's mother

and as I beat her senseless and set a torch to her bed

a greek chorus will be singing in 3/4 time


“Poor thing. She never hurt a soul. What beasts they are.”

Willie Johnson Paradigm

3 rounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jacob Justice Paradigm

2 rounds

Debated in high school for Dexter High School. Debated 5 years at Wayne State University. Masters student at the University of Kansas.

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

First things first:

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

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

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

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

General Notes:

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

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

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

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

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


See: my previous thoughts about clash.

Teams should defend an example of the resolution. I don't think being topical is an unreasonable expectation when the resolution does not force you to take a conservative or repugnant action (i.e., when legalizing pot or closing military bases is topical).

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

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

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

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

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


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

Theory –

It will be tough to persuade me that two conditional advocacies is egregious and unmanageable for the 2AC. Beyond that is pushing your luck.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Amber Kelsie Paradigm

1 rounds

I am a graduate student of Communication at Pitt, currently coaching Towson, debated at Dartmouth

Paradigm writing is the worst.  It's also a farce. 


I see debate as a performance, and I vote for the better performance.  That performance can include any number of kinds of arguments.  A performance has stakes for an audience both immediate and abstracted elsewhere.  That performance should involve the endorsement (or no) of a certain politic.

I tend to evaluate debates based on comparative advantage, unless told to evaluate competing methodologies, or unless (in the context of performance debate usually) the debaters seem to think we all agreed that they are debating "competing methodologies."

Debate how you can, the best you can. 

Swag is good.  Complexity. Concretization.  Examples. Comparison. 

I don't tend to call for evidence, since it often overdetermines how I then piece together the debate.

I'm probably understanding your kritik, but it means I also probably have a higher threshold for what you must articulate.

For the time being, I will not be using my AA speaker point policy.

Sean Kennedy Paradigm

2 rounds

Sean Kennedy - Debated at: University of Kansas

Coaching for: University of Kansas and Shawnee Mission South High School

In general I would prefer to judge based upon the perspective presented by the debaters in the debate. Framing issues are very important to me, and I think debaters should make it clear what they believe those issues are through tone, organization, or explicit labeling (ie "this is a framing issue for the debate" or some similar phrase). Embedded clash is fine, but I think that concept carries some limitations - there is only so far that I am willing to stretch my reading of a (negative/affirmative) argument on X page/part of the flow, that does not reference Y (affirmative/negative) argument on another page/part of the flow. Some of my more difficult decisions have revolved around this point, so to avoid any ambiguity debaters should be explicit about how they want arguments to be read within the debate, especially if they intend a particular argument to be direct refutation to a specific opponent argument.

Beyond that I will try to keep as open a mind about arguments as possible - I have enjoyed initiating and responding to a diverse set of arguments during my time as a debater, and I have had both good and bad experiences everywhere across the spectrum, so I think as a judge I am unlikely to decide debates based on my personal feelings about content/style of argument than the quality of execution and in-round performance.

As a caveat to that - I do think that the affirmative has an obligation to respond to the resolution, though I think whether that means/requires a plan, no plan, resolution as a metaphor, etc is up to the debaters to decide during the round. However, I am generally, although certainly not always, persuaded by arguments that the affirmative should have a plan.

I am also willing to believe that there is zero risk or close enough to zero risk of link/impact arguments to vote on defense, should the debate appear to resolve the issue that strongly.

Whether or not I kick a counterplan/alt for the 2nr (what some people call "judge conditionality" or "judge kick") depends on what happens in the debate. I will always favor an explicit argument made by either team on that score over some presumption on my part. I have similar feelings about presumption when there is a counterplan/alt. The reason for this is that although there may be logical reasons for kicking advocacies or evaluating presumption in a certain light, I think that debate as a pedagogical activity is best when it forces debaters to make their choices explicit, rather than forcing the judge to read into a choice that was NOT made or requiring that both teams and the judge have an unspoken agreement about what the logical terms for the debate were (this is probably more obvious and necessary in some cases, ie not being able to answer your own arguments, than I think it is in the case of advocacies).

Please be kind to your competitors and treat their arguments with respect - you don't know where they come from or what their arguments mean to them, and I think this community can only work if we value basic decency towards others as much as much as we do argumentative prowess. In that vein, jokes are good, but I'm certainly much less amused by personal attacks and derision than I am by dry humor or cheekiness.

Beau Larsen Paradigm

6 rounds

Questions and email chains can be directed to: beau.a.larsen [@] My pronouns are THEY / THEM / THEIRS. I like snacks and water at almost all times. Trying to be better at keeping a /straight/ face while judging; don't over analyze my expressions though I'm typically just thinking about how an argument could/should develop.

***I'm a Grad Asst at Wake Forest completing my M.A in Communication and Rhetoric. If you would like to talk about Wake Forest or about attending RKS 2020, feel free to come up and talk to me or send an email! ***

Debated on the MN circuit, six bids to the TOC. Debated for the University of Southern California from 2014-2018, two first round bids to the NDT, Top Speaker of the 2018 CEDA Tournament, Baby Jo Debater of the Year.

I've defended and coached a wide range of argumentation - performance, critical theory, politics DAs, topicality, security ks, fiatted plans, etc. All of which I've developed meaningful education and skills from.


You do you, I'll do my best to evaluate your arguments. I prefer judging debaters who not /full speed/, clearer and make less but smarter and more in depth arguments. Fast debates are cool too but I will say clear if I can't flow what you are saying.

My biggest preference is to judge debaters who are engaged and enthusiastic. Please do not debate like you don't want to be debating. Persuade and communicate. Clarity is important. Greater the explanation, the better. Impact out your link arguments. Warrants, empirics, examples. These practices will increase your speaker points. Debate evidence. Cite their evidence in your link/internal link/impact scenarios, and vise versa.

- I really am not a fan of tag team cross ex

- I typically flow cross ex and find that it is often situating my ballot/where the debate goes


I like smart well thought out theory arguments - compare interps and respond to standards.


Probably more lenient than others on what I think CPs can do/fiat but that's still up for the theory debate.


Love them. Impact and turns case analysis are a must.

***K affs***

I judge a lot of debates where affirmatives do not read a fiatted plan text, I default to the belief that these affs should defend a method/mechanism/plan with a solvency claim, should be resolutional, have isolated harms, etc. Can be persuaded else wise, it's up for debate. The negative should have some engagement with aff argumentation and generate offense and turns case arguments against the aff. Offense can come in a multitudinous amount of ways. This could be a topicality or framework argument. The negative should make sure to respond to aff offense/impact turns and compare your models of debate in developing your offense. Case and framework arguments that engage in aff literature are clutch. Affs should be able to talk about their model of debate and the role of the negative alongside their offense.

KvK debate, think through competition and framing for the round. Delineations are important between the aff and the alt. The negative (and affirmative) should think through turns case arguments and external impacts.

- Ballot claims don't particularly grab my attention esp when that phrased about how x team seeks recognition

George Lee Paradigm

2 rounds

Do you. Do what you do and do it well. I've been apart of the debate community for 6 years and come to the conclusion that all debates are a series of competing dramatic performances that I could be perusauded on anyday, any performance. With that being said, if rap, poetry or storytelling is not your thing.. Dont do it just because your in front of me. I value clash and big picture focus, however #LineByLineMatters. 

"Power is the ability to define phenomena, and make it act in a desired manner. " - Huey P. Newton


“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the f*ck on.”  â€• Tupac Shakur



Joel Lemuel Paradigm

3 rounds

If you are pressed for time jump to the takeaways/bolded parts of each topic/section.

Coaching/Judging History

I have been involved with competitive policy debate in some fashion for the last 15 years. I competed  through high school through college and I have coached middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students. I have experience judging in urban debate leagues as well as the national circuit.I'm currently the director of forensics at California State University - Northridge so I mostly judge intercollegiate debates. That means I am unlikely to know most of the acronyms, anecdotes, inside-baseball references about other levels of debate and you should probably explain them in MUCH more detail than you would for the average judge. 
Speaker Points
I used to think a 28 indicated a good speaker and a 27 indicated an average speaker. I am learning this may no longer be the case. The takeaway is…Rather than stick to some arbitrary standard for the sake of tradition I will adjust my scale to bring it in line with community norms. 
The Role of the Ballot/Purpose of the Activity/Non-Traditional Teams

The first thing I want to say isn’t actually a part of my philosophy on judging debates as much as it is an observation about debates I have watched and judged. I can’t count the number of rounds I have watched where a debater says something akin to, “Debate is fundamentally X,” or “the role of the ballot is X.” This is not a criticism. These debaters are astute and clearly understand that defining the nature and purpose of the activity is an extremely useful (often essential)tool for winning debates. That said, in truth, debate is both everything and nothing and the role of the ballot is multipleAsserting the "purpose of debate" or "the role of the ballot" is essentially a meaningless utterance in my opinion. Arguing in favor "a particular purpose of debate” or “a particular role of the ballot” in a given round requires reasons and support. Policy debate could be conceived as a training ground for concerned citizens to learn how to feel and think about particular policies that could be enacted by their government. Policy debate could also be conceived as a space students to voice their dissatisfaction with the actions or inactions of the governments that claim to represent them through various forms of performance. Excellent debaters understand policy debate is a cultural resource filled with potential and possibility. Rather than stubbornly clinging to dogmatic axioms, these debaters take a measured approach that recognizes the affordances and constraints contained within competing visions of "the purpose of debate" or the "role of the ballot” and debate the issue like they would any other. 
The problem is assessing the affordances and constraints of different visions requires a sober assessment of what it is we do here. Most debaters are content to assert, “the most educational model of debate is X,” or the “most competitive model of debate is Y.” Both of these approaches miss the boat because they willfully ignore other aspects of the activity. Debates should probably be educational. What we learn and why is (like everything else) up for debate, but it’s hard to argue we shouldn’t be learning something from the activity. Fairness in a vacuum is a coin-flip and that’s hardly worth our time. On the other hand, probably isn’t a purely educational enterprise. Debate isn’t school. If it were students wouldn’t be so excited about doing debate work that they ignore their school work. The competitive aspects of the activity are important and can’t be ignored or disregarded lightly. How fair things have to be and which arguments teams are entitled to make are up for debate, but I think we need to respect some constraints lest we confuse all discourse for argument. The phrase “debate is a game/the content is irrelevant” probably won’t get you very far, but that’s because games are silly and unimportant by definition. But there are lots of contests that are very important were fairness is paramount (e.g. elections, academic publishing, trials). Rather than assert the same banal lines from recycled framework blocks, excellent debaters will try to draw analogies between policy debate and other activities that matter and where fairness is non-negotiable. 
So the takeaway is … I generally think the topic exists for a reason and the aff has to tie their advocacy to the topic, although I am open to arguments to the contrary. I tend to think of things in terms of options and alternatives. So even if topicality is a necessarily flawed system that privileges some voices over others, I tend to ask myself what the alternative to reading topicality would be. Comparison of impacts, alternatives, options, is always preferable to blanket statements like “T = genocidal” or “non-traditional aff’s are impossible to research.”
Burden of Persuasion vs. Burden of Rejoinder
One of things that makes policy debate a fairly unique activity from a policy/legal perspective is our emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. If one competitor says something then the opponent needs to answer it, otherwise the judge treats the argument as gospel. Debaters might think their judges aren't as attentive to the flow as they would like, but ask any litigator if trial judges care in the least whether the other attorney answered their arguments effectively. Emphasizing the burden of rejoinder is a way of respecting the voice and arguments of the students who their valuable time competing in this activity. But like everything else in debate there are affordances as well as constraints in emphasizing the burden of rejoinder. Personally, I think our activity has placed so much emphasis on the burden of rejoinder that we have lost almost all emphasis on the burden of persuasion. I can’t count the number of rounds I have participated in (as a debater and as a judge) where the vast majority of the claims made in the debate were absolutely implausible. The average politics disad is so contrived that its laughable. Teams string together dozens of improbable internal link chains and treat them as if they were a cohesive whole. Truth be told, the probability of the average “big stick” advantage/disad is less than 1% and that’s just real talk. This practice is so ubiquitous because we place such a heavy emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. Fast teams read a disad that was never very probable to begin with and because the 2AC is not fast enough to poke holes in every layer of the disad the judge treats those internal links as conceded (and thus 100% probable). Somehow, through no work of their own the neg’s disad went from being a steaming pile of non-sense to a more or less perfectly reasonable description of reality. I don't think this norm serves our students very well. But it is so ingrained in the training of most debates and coaches (more so the coaches than the debaters actually) that it’s sustained by inertia. 
The takeaway is… that when i judge, I try (imperfectly to be sure) to balance my expectations that students meet both the burden of rejoinder and the burden of persuasion. Does this require judge intervention? Perhaps, to some degree, but isn't that what it means to “allow ones self to be persuaded?” To be clear, I do not think it is my job to be the sole arbiter of whether a claim was true or false, probable or unlikely, significant or insignificant. I do think about these things constantly though and i think it is both impossible and undesirable for me to ignore those thoughts in the moment of decision. It would behoove anyone I judge to take this into account and actively argue in favor of a particular balance between the burdens or rejoinder and persuasion in a particular round.
Importance of Evidence/Cards
I once heard a judge tell another competitor, “a card no matter how bad will always beat an analytic no matter how good.” For the sake of civility I will refrain from using this person’s name, but I could not disagree more with this statement. Arguments are claims backed by reasons with support. The nature of appropriate support will depend on the nature of the reason and on the nature of the claim. To the extent that cards are valuable as forms of support in debate it’s because they lend the authority and credibility of an expert to an argument. But there are some arguments were technical expertise is irrelevant. One example might be the field of morality and ethics. If a debater makes a claim about the morality of assisted suicide backed by sound reasoning there is no a priori reason to prefer a card from an ethicist who argues the contrary. People reason in many different ways and arguments that might seem formally or technically valid might be perfectly reasonable in other settings. I generally prefer debates with a good amount of cards because they tend to correlate with research and that is something I think is valuable in and of itself. But all too often teams uses cards as a crutch to supplement the lack of sound reasoning. 
The takeaway is … If you need to choose between fully explaining yourself and reading a card always choose the former.
KritiksI tend to think I am more friendly to critical arguments that most judges who debated around the same time I did but that might be wishful thinking on my part. My experience judging K teams suggests you are much more likely to convince me the AFF's methodology/epistemology is flawed by somehow relating your impacts to the logical consequence of the plan or aff method (e.g. "they solve their advantage, but it's actually a bad thing" or "they cant *really* solve their big impact + we *actually* solve a smaller impact" etc...) than you are by saying your impacts/framework is a-priori for some reason or another. I am very willing to listen to a-priori framework arguments (and vote on them more frequently than you might imagine) but the bolder the claim the more support you need. 
The takeaway is … I would say I am more friendly to critical arguments than some judges, but that also means I require a higher level of explanation and depth for those arguments. For instance, it is not sufficient to argue that the aff’s reps/epistemology/ontology/whatever is bad and these questions come first. You have to tell me in what way the aff’s methodology is flawed and how exactly would this result in flawed thinking/policy/ect. Unlike disads, individual links to kritiks have to have impacts to be meaningful. In general, I think people read too many cards when running kritiks at the expense of doing a lot textual and comparative work.
I have a relatively high threshold for theory arguments, but I am not one of those judges that thinks the neg teams gets to do whatever they want. You can win theory debates with me in the back, but it probably isn’t your best shot. As a general rule (though not universal) I think that if you didn’t have to do research for an argument, you don’t learn anything by running it. 
I have VERY high threshold for negative theory arguments that are not called topicality. It doesn’t mean I wont vote on these arguments if the aff teams makes huge errors, but a person going for one of these argument would look so silly that it would be hard to give them anything about a 27. 

Chris Leonardi Paradigm

5 rounds

Modern problems require modern solutions.

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

Nick Lepp Paradigm

6 rounds

I am currently a graduate assistant/assistant coach at the University of Georgia. This is my 12th year in policy debate.

I use he/him pronouns.

Last updated: 4/30/2019

Please put me on the email chain & make me an ev doc at the end of the debate.

Judging at the eTOC: Please slow down a little bit and emphasize clarity more than normal. In the practice debates I've judged, I've missed a few slight nuances because of weird feedback from your speakers and mine. I'll yell clear at you if I cannot understand you (which I am unlikely to do in-person) because I know this isn't really your fault. But please keep this in mind and try your best to speak more clearly than you normally do.

Top level things:

I think about debate in terms of risk (does the risk of the advantage being true outweigh the risk of the disad being true?). I am willing to vote on presumption, particularly when people say really ridiculous stuff.

I like nuance and for you to sound smart. If you sound like you've done research and you know what's going on, I'm likely to give you great points. Having nuances and explaining your distinctions is the easiest way to get my ballot.

I really feel like judge direction is a lost art. If you win the argument that you're advancing, why should it matter? What does this mean for the debate? What does it mean for your arguments or the other team's arguments? This is the number one easiest way to win my (and really anyone's) ballot in a debate. Direct your judges to think a certain way, because if you don't, your judges are likely to go rogue and decide things that make sense to them but not to you. So impact your arguments and tell me what to do with them. I think it's way more valuable to do that than include one more tiny argument.

How I decide debates:

First: who solves what?-- does the aff solve its impacts, and (assuming it's in the 2NR) does the negative's competitive advocacy solve its own impacts and/or the aff? In framework debates, this means the first questions I resolve are "does the aff solve itself?" and "does the TVA solve the aff sufficiently?"

Second: Who’s impact is bigger? This is the most important question in the debate. Do impact calculus.

Third: Whatever you have told me matters. Because I have started with solvency & impact calculus questions, everything else is always filtered along those lines (including framework/role of the ballot/role of the judge args).

Other misc things:

1. A dropped argument is a true argument but it needs to be a complete argument to begin with or I will likely allow people new answers. For example, this epidemic with high schoolers reading aspec on the bottom of T flows to hide it: if it’s so quick I didn’t catch it in the 1NC, the 1AR gets all the new args they want.

2. I am very flowcentric. Do not ask me to not flow, because I won't listen to you. Please do line-by-line. If you don't, I'll be frustrated and less likely to buy new extrapolations of arguments. Your speaker points will definitely drop if you don't do line-by-line. I'm not a huge fan of overviews at all. I am unlikely to yell clear at you if I cannot understand you.

3. Debate Decorum: I expect some civility and politeness between you and your opponent. This is an academic activity and a community where we clash of a variety of diverse ideas. If you forget this, it's likely to show in your speaker points. If things get particularly egregious (shouting racial slurs at your opponent, physically harming or intimidating your opponents, etc) I will intervene and you will lose. That being said, show me that you care. Show me that you know things, that you've done research on this topic, that you want to win, and that debate matters to you. I love this activity and if you also love it I want to know that.

"The existence of speech time limits, the assumption that you will not interrupt an opponent's speech intentionally, and the fact that I (and not you) will be signing a ballot that decides a winner and loser is non-negotiable." (taken verbatim from Shree Awsare).

I am incredibly uncomfortable adjudicating things that did not occur in the debate I am watching. Please do not ask me to judge based on something that didn’t happen in the round. I am likely to ignore you.

4. Judge kicking makes sense to me but I frequently forget about it, so if you want me to judge kick something you should tell me so in the block/2NR.

5. Teams should get to insert rehighlightings of the other team's cards, but obviously should have to read cards if they're new/haven't been introduced into the debate yet. Two offshoots of this-- 1. You should insert rehighlightings of other team's cards if they suck 2. You should read cards that don't suck.

6. Please highlight your ev so it reads as complete sentences. This does not mean that I need you to highlight complete sentences-- but if you are brick highlighting, I want to be able to read highlighted portions of your ev as complete sentences—it flows better to me. IE don't skip the letter "a" or the words "in" or "the". Just a random pet peeve.

7. Card Reading: I tend to not do a lot of it after debates unless things are highly technical or I think the debaters aren’t explaining things well. That being said, I’ll likely read at least some cards. Please put together a card doc for me.

8. Debaters parroting their partners: I usually just flow what the partner said. That, obviously, only exists within reason (you don’t get to give a third speech in a debate obvi, but you can interrupt your partner to say something and I will flow it).

9. New 2AR args are bad for debate. I consciously hold the line against them as much as I can. I as a 2N feel as if I got a few decisions where a judge voted aff on an arg that didn't exist until the 2AR and it's the most frustrating. You can expect me to try to trace lines between args in earlier & later speeches. However, if I think the argument they're making is the true argument or a logical extrapolation of something said in the 1AR, I'm more likely to buy it. 2As-- this means if you're gonna do some 2A magic and cheat, you should trick me into thinking that you're not cheating.

Some specifics:

Disads: I’m better for the smart DAs than the silly ones, but I understand the value of bad DAs and will vote for them. I will likely reward you with higher speaker points if I think I understand your story really well and/or you have some cool/unique spin on it. I am fine with logical take outs to DAs that don’t require cards (especially if there’s some logic missing internally in the DA). Don’t just read new cards in the block or 1AR, explain your args.

Theory, CPs, and K Alternatives: I put these pieces together because a lot of my thoughts on these three args blend together.

Competition is determined off the plantext, not off cross-x. PICs & PIKs are only competitive if they PIC/PIK out of something in the plantext. I do not believe that you get to PIC/PIK out of a justification or non-plantext based word. The only way I will ever be convinced otherwise is if the aff allows you to do so.

Condo: It’s good. I can be persuaded otherwise, but all things equal I’m very neg leaning here. “They should get one less CP” is an arbitrary interp and makes no sense. "Performative Contradictions" is a term of art that has been bastardized to no end by debate. You're either saying the neg has double turned themselves or you're saying conditionality is bad; in my mind, perf con is not even worthy of being written on my flow.

Particular Theory: I’m way better for this than most judges. States theory, international fiat, consult/condition, vague alts, utopian alts, etc—I have gone for all of these and actively coach my debaters to do the same. My predisposition is to reject the arg not the team, but I can be persuaded to reject the team on non-condo theory args (you should introduce the arg as reject the team in the 2AC if you want this to be an option).

Theory can be a reason you get to make a cheating perm.

Counterplans/alternatives that use aff evidence as solvency advocates are awesome.

If the CP/alt links less I think it makes sense that I prefer it, but make that arg yourself because I won’t make it for you.

Case: "Where have all my heroes gone?"-- Justin Green

I love love love case debate. You should make logical extrapolations that take out the internal link chains and make me question how the advantage makes sense. The block should read more cards but feel free to make logical case take outs without cards. I don't think you should have to go for impact defense to beat advantages-- uniqueness and internal link take outs are almost always the easier place to attack advantages. I tend to prefer a well-developed take out to the death by a thousand cuts strategy.

Affs-- 2NR that don't do well-developed case debate are generally overwhelmed by your "try or die"/"case outweighs"/"1% chance of solvency" args.

Topicality: It's only ever a voter and not a reverse voter. I oftentimes feel like teams get away with bloody murder teams should just go for T against. That being said, I’m not great for silly/arbitrary T interps. That being said, I am a sucker for plantext in a vacuum and will vote aff on terminal defense.

Kritiks: I like Ks that care about people and things. I'm optimistic to a fault. I certainly believe that things are still terrible for billions of beings, but it's hard to convince me that everything in the world is so absolutely screwed.

Your long overview is actively bad for debate and you will not change my mind.

Make your K interact with the affirmative. I want your links to primarily be about the result of the aff as opposed to just the reading of the aff. Thus, for example, fiat bad links are pretty easily beaten in front of me, but reasons why x policy should not occur are much more persuasive.Don't just explain your theory of how power works, explain how the aff is bad according to your theory of power.

I have a masters degree in communication studies and am a PhD student. I primarily study queer theory (generally falling in the queer optimism/utopianism camp), theories of biopower, neoliberalism & capitalism (not the same thing), and humanism. Judith Butler and Michel Foucault are my favorite theorists. Grad school has taught me that theory is way more complex than I used to think it was. What this means for you: I have read some K literature, although I tend to read it academically rather than for debate nowadays. I am much better now for relatively complex theory arguments than I used to be but will get annoyed if I know that you’re deploying the theory wrong. I'm still not good for things like "death good," "meaning doesn't mean anything," or "language is meaningless" because I don't think those are questions even worth asking. I have not read a lot of literature about antiblackness academically, but I have read some of it from a debate standpoint. I am still unwilling to fill in those blanks for you if you are lacking them (ex-- just saying the words "yes antiblackness ontological, natal alienation proves" is almost not an argument in my mind).

I consistently find myself entirely ignoring the framework debate when judging a plan-based aff versus a K. I fundamentally believe I should weigh the aff & the neg should get access to a K. I will reinterpret your args as just “weigh the aff against the K.” For example-- if you say something like "the aff has to prove that their presentation of the 1AC is ethical", I think the way they do that is by me weighing the implications of the 1AC versus the implications of your criticism. Thus, when evaluating the debate through this framework, I will evaluate the merits of the 1AC versus the K (in other words, if you prove that the implementation of the 1AC is unethical then I vote for you, if you don't prove that it's unethical than I vote aff). I also start from the question "what does the action of the aff solve versus what does the action of the neg solve?" regardless of any framework arguments, so I don't even evaluate framework args first (which should also tell you how unpersuasive this style of argument is for me). Teams should spend less time on framework in front of me and more time winning the substance of their arguments. This also means that hardline “you don’t get a K” and “don’t weigh the aff against the K” style interps are completely unpersuasive to me. This also means that the role of the ballot/judge is only ever to vote for whoever did the better debating. I will not deviate from this, so, again, don't waste your time even saying the words "the role of the ballot/judge is x" in front of me.

“Perms are a negative argument” and “method v method debate means no perms” are both not arguments. I will not write these words on my flow.

Ultimately, I evaluate K debates just like I evaluate policy debates—explain your args well and put the debate together and I’m happy to vote on it. Technical line by line still matters and dropped args are still true args. If you want to win the debate on some metaframing issue, flag it as such and apply it on the line by line. Just be a good debater and I’m on board.

2NRs on the K that include case debate (with some level of internal link/impact defense; not just your security K cards on case) are substantially more persuasive to me.

Framework debates: you should also read my section on Ks (right above this one) as well.

Framework is a strategy and it makes a lot of sense as a strategy. Just like every other strategy, you should try to tailor it to be as specific to the aff as you possibly can. For example, how does this particular aff make it impossible for you to debate? What does it mean for how debate looks writ-large? What's the valuable topic education we could have had from a topical discussion of this aff in particular? Same basic idea goes for when you’re answering generic aff args—the generic “state always bad” arg is pretty easily beaten by nuanced neg responses in front of me. The more specific you are, the more likely I am to vote for you on framework and the more likely I am to give you good speaks.

Stop reading big-ass overviews. They’re bad for debate. Your points will suffer. Do line by line. Be a good debater and stop being lazy. The amount of times I have written something like "do line by line" in this paradigm should really tell you something about how I think.

I do not find truth testing/"ignore the aff's args because they're not T" very persuasive. I think it's circular & requires judge intervention.

I do, however, think that fairness/limits/ground is an impact and that it is, oftentimes, the most important standard in a T debate.

T and/or framework is not genocide, nor is it ever rape, nor is it real literal violence against you or anyone else. I am unlikely to be persuaded by 2AR grandstanding ("omg I can't believe they'd ever say T against us") against 2NRs who go for T/framework. Just make arguments instead.

I’m a sucker for a good TVA. Teams seem to want to just laundry list potential TVAs and then say "idk, maybe these things let them discuss their theory". I believe that strategy is super easily beaten by a K team having some nuanced response. It makes way more sense to me if the TVA is set up almost like a CP-- it should solve a majority or all of the aff. If you set it up like that and then add the sufficiency framing/"flaws are neg ground" style args I'm WAY more likely to buy what you have to say (this goes along with the whole "I like nuance and specificity and you to sound like you're debating the merits of the aff" motif that I've had throughout my paradigm).

I oftentimes wonder how non-topical affs solve themselves. The negative should exploit this because I do feel comfortable voting neg on presumption in clash & K v K debates. However, I won’t ever intervene to vote on presumption. That’s an argument that the debaters need to make.

Non-topical affs should have nuance & do line by line as well. Answer the neg’s args, frame the debate, and tell me why your aff in particular could not have been topical. The same basic idea applies here as it does everywhere else: the more generic you are, the more likely I am to vote against you.

Cross-ex: I am becoming increasingly bored and frustrated with watching how this tends to go down. Unless I am judging a novice debate, questions like "did you read X card" or "where did you mark Y card" are officially counting as parts of cross-x. I tend to start the timer for cross-ex pretty quickly after speeches end (obviously take a sec to get water if you need to) so pay attention to that. I'm really not much of a stickler about many things in debate, but given that people have started to take 2+ minutes to ask where cards were marked/which cards were read, I feel more justified counting that as cross-x time.

I pay attention & listen to CX but I do not flow it. Have a presence in CX & make an impact. I am listening.

Speaker points-- I do my best to moderate these based on the tournament I'm at and what division I'm in. That being said, I won’t lie—I am not a point fairy (seriously why do teams need a 28.9 to clear these days?).

29.7-- Top speaker
29-29.5-- You really impressed me and I expect you to be deep in the tournament
28.9-- I think you deserve to clear
28.3-- Not terrible but not super impressive
27.5-- Yikes
I will award the lowest possible points for people who violate the basic human dignities that people should be afforded while debating (IE non-black people don't say the N word).

I've also been known to give 20s to people who don't make arguments.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me before the debate begins, or send me an email. I also do seriously invite conversation about the debate after it occurs-- post-rounds are oftentimes the most valuable instantiation of feedback, the best way to get better at debate, and important for improving intellectually. I know that post-rounds sometimes get heated, and I think we all get defensive sometimes when we're being pressed on things we've said (or think we've said) so I will likely consciously try to take deep breaths and relax if I feel myself getting angry during these times. This also means that I may take a second to respond to your questions because I am thinking. I also might take slightly awkward pauses between words-- that's not because I don't think your question is important, I'm just trying to choose my words carefully so I can correctly convey my thoughts. I only post this here because I don't want anyone to feel like they're being attacked or anything for asking questions, and I apologize in advance if anything I say sounds like that.

Julio Lopez Paradigm

4 rounds

I'm open to both Policy and K. I like K's with a clear affirmative, must explain links. I like T arguments that are rooted in education.

-Lean towards policy

-however open to any argument as long as you signpost clearly

-I don't like spreading

-don't let my paradigm diswade you from making the arguments you want to make\

- I'm open to Kritical arguments as long as you are clear on your links and alt.

-if you don't fully understand your argument, don't run it in front of me

Eric Maag Paradigm

2 rounds

Not Submitted

Brian McBride Paradigm

4 rounds

For starters, I should admit a bit of my recent self. After experiencing my left arm go numb this last June, I was diagnosed with DDD – degenerative disc disease. I was involved in a horrendous debate van accident in the mid 90s and another bad car crash last year. In short, it hurts me to flow. I can’t really take anything for it at tournaments because it makes me too foggy to judge and coach. As such, I don’t really feel like I’m as good at flowing as I used to be. I try to correct for it by revisiting my flows during prep time.

I give speaker points on the basis of what happens in debates, not on the basis of who should clear. I don’t give speaker points because of the existence of a plan or a policy. I do not give speaker points on the basis of whether or not I agree with your arguments. I do change my speaker points for tournaments and within divisions. If it’s a JV debate, I try to give points on the basis of the division. I have very rarely looked at the other points that other judges give except when the ballots come in for my own debaters. I guess I’m behind the times.



Alex McVey Paradigm

3 rounds

Alex McVey -

Yes Email chain - j.alexander.mcvey at gmail

I flow on paper. I need pen time. Clarity is really important to me. I'll always say "clear" if I think you're not being clear, at least 1-2 times. If you don't respond accordingly, the debate probably won't end well for you.

I find myself increasingly making decisions on the basis of the quality of rebuttal warrant explanation and impact comparison. It's really important to me that you're not just extending your evidence, but explaining the internal warrants of your evidence, telling a clear and compelling story, and telling me why these things matter. I find that the more I judge debates, I'm reading less and less evidence, and relying more and more on 2nr vs 2ar explanation and impact calculus. If there are cards that you want me to pay attention to in particular, you should call the card out by name in the last rebuttal, and explain some of its internal warrants. Debaters who make lots of "even if" statements, who tell me what matters and why, who condense the debate down to the most important issues, and who do in depth impact calculus seem to be winning my ballots more often than not.

I have always leaned toward the K side of things, and almost exclusively cut K cards, but have also coached very policy oriented teams, again, mostly helping them to answer K stuff.

Run what you're good at. Despite my K leaning tendencies, I’m comfortable watching a good straight up debate. I’ve seen a number of debates where the block focused on a kritik that the aff thoroughly covered and left behind what seemed to be a good undercovered disad/cp strat in order to adapt to me as a judge. Didn't think it was necessary.

Theoretical issues: Blippy, scatter-shot theory means little, well-developed, well-impacted theory means a lot. Again, pen time good.

I have no hard and set rules about whether affs do or don't have to have plans, and am open to hearing all types of affs and all types of framework arguments for/against these affs. Against planless/non-topical affs, I tend to think topicality arguments are generally more persuasive than framework arguments. Or rather, I think a framework argument without a topicality argument probably doesn't have a link. I'm not sure what the link is to most "policy/political action good" type framework arguments if you don't win a T argument that says the focus of the resolution has to be USFG policy. I think all of these debates are ultimately just a question of link, impact, and solvency comparison.

I tend to be expressive when I judge debates. I don't really try to have a poker face. Nodding = I'm getting it, into your flow, not necessarily that it's a winner. Frowny/frustrated face = maybe not getting it, could be a better way to say it, maybe don't like what you're doing. But please, don't let that deter you from your strat because I vote for plenty things that frustrate me while I'm hearing them executed, and vote down plenty of things that excite me when first executed. All about how it unfolds.

I tend to err on truth over tech, with a few exceptions. Dropping round-winners/game-changers like the permutation, entire theoretical issues, the floating PIC, T version of the aff/do it on the neg, etc... will be much harder (but not impossible) to overcome with embedded clash. That being said, if you DO find yourself having dropped one of these, I'm open to explanations for why you should get new arguments, why something else that was said was actually responsive, etc... It just makes your burden for work on these issues much much more difficult.

Be wary of conflating impacts, especially in K debates. For example, If their impact is antiblackness, and your impact is racism, and you debate as if those impacts are the same and you're just trying to win a better internal link, you're gonna have a bad time.

I intuitively don't agree with "No perms in a method debate" and "No Plan = No Perm" arguments. My thinking on this is that these arguments are usually enthymematic with framework; there is usually an unstated premise that the aff did something which skews competition to such a degree that it justifies a change in competitive framework. It makes more sense for me for the neg to just win a framework argument. That being said, I vote for things that don't make intuitive sense to me all the time. I'm interested in hearing arguments about how competition shifts in response to various conditions of aff and neg argumentation, I just tend to think those are arguments about the permutation rather than reasons the aff doesn't get one.

I like debate arguments that involve metaphors, fiction, stories, and thought experiments. What I don't understand is teams on either side pretending as if a metaphor or thought experiment is literal and defending or attacking it as such. I think there's value to recognizing the rhetorical and philosophical work of a metaphor, story, or fictional thought experiment and its capacities to affect us in round, and treating it as such. I feel like the perceived need to externalize debate politics pushes people to literalize metaphors which takes away from the powerful intervention into thought that those metaphors otherwise could perform.

A nested concern with that above - I don't really understand a lot of these "we meets" on Framework that obviously non-topical affs make. I/E - "We're a discursive/affective/symbolic/psychoanalytic restriction on Presidential Power" - Nope. You're really not. You aren't restricting pres powers, and I'm cool with it, just be honest about what the research and academic labor in the 1ac actually does. I think Neg teams give affs too much leeway on this, and K Affs waste too much time on making these nonsensical (and ultimately defensive) arguments. If you don't have a plan, just impact turn T. You can make other args about why you solve topic education and why you discuss core topic controversies while still being honest about the fact that you aren't topical and impact turn the neg's attempt to require you to be such.

RIP impact calculus. I'd love to see it make a comeback.

I think affs are a little shy about going for condo bad in front of me. I generally think Condo is OK but negatives have gotten a bit out of control with it. I don't think condo is an all or nothing debate - i/e I disagree intuitively with the claim that "If any condo is good, all condo is good." I think the more specific the aff's condo bad story is, the more likely I am to vote for it - I/E I could easily see myself being persuaded by arguments like contradictory condo uniquely bad, multiple plank condo uniquely bad, condo consult/conditions CP's uniquely bad, neg gets 1 CP, 1 K, and the squo, etc... I do think there's a difference between 5 conditional CP's and one conditional CP, even if it's an arbitrary one. I guess I know it when I see it? Or rather, I know it when affs highlight specific abuse scenarios. Not like any of these are auto winners - I'm happy to vote for flagrant condo proliferation if the neg justifies it. I just don't think affs are making negs work hard enough on these debates.

I think negs are a little shy about making fun of 1ac construction in front of me. I saw a few truly bad affirmatives last year. Examples I had in mind are kritik affirmatives that are a random smattering of cards that have little to do with one another. I tend to think kritik affirmatives, even if not topical/blatantly planless, should have some sort of inherency, harms, solvency structure, where they identify a problem with a mode of thinking/structure of power/squo ideology, offer an alternative method of thinking / acting in the world, and claim why that alternative method is good. If your kritik affirmative has no logical argumentative through line, I'm unlikely to find it very persuasive. However, I feel like negative's rarely ever press on this, and allow affirmatives to get away with ludicrous 2AC explanations that are nearly impossible to trace back to the cards and story presented in the 1ac. More 1nc analytical arguments about why the aff just doesn't make sense would be welcome from this judge.

Be kind to one another. We're all in this together.

Joshua Michael Paradigm

1 rounds

Updated 2/13/2020

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

DA/CP – 1) No special feelings.


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

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

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

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

Will Morgan Paradigm

3 rounds

Some Thoughts Regarding Topics Past and Present:

Space: "I want to be buried in an anonymous crater inside the moon. I want to build miniature golf courses on all the stars. I want to prove that Atlantis was a summer resort for cave men. I want to prove that Los Angeles is a practical joke played on us by superior beings on a humorous planet. I want to expose heaven as an exclusive sanitarium filled with rich psychopaths who think they can fly. I want to show that the Bible was serialized in a Roman children’s magazine. I want to prove that the sun was born when God fell asleep with a lit cigarette, tired after a hard night of judging. I want to prove once and for all that I am not crazy."

Executive Authority: "Scientists always said there is no such thing as a soul. Now they are in a position to prove it. Total Death. Soul Death. It’s what the Egyptians called the Second and Final Death. This awesome power to destroy souls forever is now vested in farsighted and responsible people in the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon. Governments fall from sheer indifference. Authority figures, deprived of the vampiric energy they suck off their constituents, are seen for what they are: dead empty masks manipulated by computers. And what is behind the computers? Remote control. Of course. Don't intend to be here when this shithouse goes up. Nothing here now but the recordings. Shut them off, they are as radioactive as an old joke."

NHI: "Incredible nervous state, trepidation beyond words: to be this much in love is to be sick (and I love to be sick)."

Emissions: "Already many of the surrounding buildings had disappeared beneath the proliferating vegetation. Huge club mosses and calamites blotted out the white rectangular faces, shading the lizards in their window lairs. Beyond the lagoon, the endless tides of silt had begun to accumulate into enormous glittering banks, here and there overtopping the shoreline like the immense tippings of some distant goldmine. The light drummed against his brain, bathing the submerged levels below his consciousness, carrying him downwards to warm pellucid depths, where the nominal realities of time and space ceased to exist. Guided by his dreams, he was moving back into his emergent past, through a succession of ever stranger landscapes centered on the lagoon, each of which seemed to represent one of his own spinal levels."


Some things that I, a judge of college ~policy~ debates, find myself desirous of on the eve of the 2019-2020 debate season:

1. I want to know what the central question of a given debate is and what the criteria for its evaluation are.

2. I want to be impressed by your debating. Failing that, I will settle for being mystified.

3. I want to experience moments of creativity, intellectual, artistic or otherwise (!?).

4. I want the above to proceed from within the space of debate's rules (someone will speak, someone will lose, no one will touch and so on and so forth).

5. I want for the poems and stories you read that they should not become so burdened by the impresses of reality at the end of your debates.

6. I want that debate itself should become a little bit less convinced of its own reality. Where has play gone off to? I would like to know.

7. I want debate to be fun. If you are having fun debating, share. Please.

8. I want you to know what my email is.


Then: Michigan

Now: UC Berkeley

Toni Nielson Paradigm

4 rounds

Toni Nielson
Debate Coach at Fullerton College
Executive Director - Bay Area Urban Debate League (2013-2017)
Co-Director of Debate at CSU, Fullerton for 7 years (2005-2012)
Debated in College for 5 years
Debated in High School for 3 years
Rounds on the Topic: less than 5

Email Chain:

I just want to see you do what you are good at. I like any debater who convinces me the know what they are talking about.

Here’s what I think helps make a debater successful –

1. Details: evidence and analytics, aff and neg – the threshold for being as specific as humanly possible about your arg and opponent's arg remains the same; details demonstrate knowledge
2. Direct organized refutation: Answer the other team and don’t make me guess about it – I hate guessing because it feels like intervention. I'm trying to let the debaters have the debate.
3. Debating at a reasonable pace: I ain’t the quickest flow in the west, even when I was at my best which was a while ago. I intend on voting for arguments which draw considerable debates and not on voting for arguments that were a 15 seconds of a speech. If one team concedes an argument, it still has to be an important and relevant argument to be a round winner.
4. Framing: tell me how you want me to see the round and why I shouldn’t see it your opponents way
5. Comparison: you aren’t debating in a vacuum – see your weakness & strengths in the debate and compare those to your opponent. I love when debaters know what they are losing and deal with it in a sophisticated way.

Some style notes - I like to hear the internals of evidence so either slow down a little or be clear. I flow CX, but I do this for my own edification so if you want an arg you still have to make it in a speech. I often don't get the authors name the first time you read the ev. I figure if the card is an important extension you will say the name again (in the block or rebuttals) so I know what ev you are talking about. I rarely read a bunch of cards at the end of the debate.

Now you are asking,
Can I read an aff without a plan? I lean rather in the direction of a topical plan, instrumentally implemented these days. This is a big change in my previous thoughts and the result of years of working with young, beginning debate. I appreciate policy discussion and believe the ground it provides is a preferable locus for debate. So I am somewhat prone to vote neg on framework must implement a plan.

Can I go for politics/CP or is this a K judge? Yes to both; I don't care for this distinction ideologically anymore. As far as literature, I lean slightly more in the K direction. My history of politics and CP debate are more basic than my history of K debate.

Theory - lean negative in most instances. Topicality - lean affirmative (if they have a plan) in most instances. I lean neg on K framework which strikes me as fair negative ground of a topical plan of action.

Truth v Tech - lean in the direction of tech. Debate, the skill, requires refuting arguments. So my lean in the direction of the tech is not a declaration to abandon reality. I will and do vote on unanswered arguments, particularly ones that are at the core of the debate. Gigantic caveat, I will struggle to vote on an argument just because it is dropped. The concession must be relevant and compelling to the debate. I will also be hesitant to vote on arguments that fly in the face of reality.

Here's what I like: I like what you know things about. And if you don't know anything, but get through rounds cause you say a bunch and then the other team drops stuff - then I don't think you have a great strategy. Upside for you, I truly believe you do know something after working and prepping the debate on the topic. Do us both a favor: If what you know applies in this round, then debate that.

Good luck!.

Austin Oliver Paradigm

2 rounds

Add me to the chain -

Coaching history:

Gilman School - 2019-Present

George Mason University - 2018-Present

Recently graduated from George Mason University where I debated for 5 years. Before that I debated for half of high school in southeast VA. I qualified for the NDT twice and had so. much. fun.

I'm just going to give my opinions on things that I always scroll down to when reading people's paradigms:

Topicality: It's in the neg's interest to explain clearly why the dynamics of the topic mean I should err neg on limits, and/or why debatability outweighs aff offense. Absent that kind of common-sense impact framing deciding between a limited neg-leaning topic and a relatively unlimited aff-leaning topic is too intervention-y for my comfort. I see reasonability as a schema through which to evaluate competing interpretations, not an exclusive paradigm. I can be convinced to apply reasonability in an alternative fashion, but I am unconvinced by "arguments" that use reasonability as a stand-in for impact comparison (do not repeat that you are reasonable without explanation in the hopes that my gut-approach to the topic includes your aff).

Theory: I'm open to anything but my threshold for voting aff on delay cps bad is quite different from my threshold for voting aff on vague alternatives bad. If you're negative and reading something that is obviously pushing it it would be helpful for you to have arguments as to why reading your horribly unfair argument is distinct from every other time said horribly unfair argument has been read or is warranted by the topic/specific affirmative.

Condo: I don't care but see above.

DAs: I believe there can be zero risk of one. Having a diversity of arguments does not have to and shouldn't trade off with smart framing arguments. Spending time winning a single damning argument with certainty is more helpful to me than reading a block your 1A wrote that extends every piece of UQ/Link/Impact ev in the debate. "Link determines direction of uniqueness" is generally more intuitive to me than the inverse.

Ks: If you read it one off I understand if your speeches don't reflect normative organization and think it's in your interest to mix things up. I'll flow straight down. If you're affirmative in one of these debates it's your job to use that to your advantage and reconstruct things for me.

Framework: I often vote for non-topical affirmatives in part because framework debates are unnecessarily complicated. Simplifying things will substantially increase your chances of winning a ballot. For the neg this means picking an impact in the 2NR; fairness is one and is often (in my opinion) a better 2NR choice than decision-making/delib (explanation of which tends to be very nebulous and vulnerable to aff link/impact turns). If you go for an education impact, explain why your interp/model solves it or just explain why the aff precludes it. It doesn't take much to convince me that you should get topic education as an impact turn against affs that are explicitly anti-topical, but outside of that context this will require work for me. I say that fairness is often a better option because I generally believe that fairness is required for debate to have internal consistency/meaning, and teams whose strategy on T line up with that will put themselves in a good position in debates that I am judging. As explained above, I am partial to fairness/competitive equity impacts and so it is in the aff's interest to explain why they produce/justify reasonably fair debates/affirmatives OR spend a lot of time impact turning fairness instead of repeating that it's infinitely regressive/doesn't have a brightline/is just an internal link to education/shadow extending another sentence-long 2AC arg.

These statements represent my feelings and quite likely my proclivities in judging; they do not, however, represent any hardline stance that I will take regardless of the context supplied by a debate. I flow a lot and will use it more than anything else to make a decision if I am judging you.

- Austin xoxo

Jackie Poapst Paradigm

1 rounds

About me:

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

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

I vote neg more than aff.

Paperless or questions:

Top level Space Topic thoughts:

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

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

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

Update Wake 2019: Random Things that Annoy me:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Competing Interpretations > Reasonability

Predictable Limits > Ground/Education

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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


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

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

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

Critical Affirmatives:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall Sound:

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


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

Your Decorum:

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

My Decorum:

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

<3 Jackie

Kat Queirolo Paradigm

3 rounds

Kat Queirolo Judging Philosophy

Years in college debate: 5

Years in high school debate: 3

This is my first year out. I'll be updating this periodically as I work through my preferences, so consider this document a work in progress

I did policy debate at the University of Puget Sound. In school, I studied political theory and queer studies with a few encounters with philosophy.

I view debate as a competitive, educational and persuasive activity. More important than what I think is what you do.

I’m truly fine voting for any argument you want to make provided it is clearly articulated, performatively compelling, and robustly extended into the final rebuttals.

I enjoy a wide range of arguments. When I competed I most enjoyed debates about liberation, how can we make ourselves free in a world composed of systems of violence that impact us in the room, what freedom means, what debate can mean for freedom and how transformative politics can move us personally-politically to make the world otherwise. I am most persuaded by robust explanations of how you envision the world to be, how we ought to organize our political actions in order to accomplish the work of liberation. I like detailed explanation of link stories and alternatives, though I don't hold alternatives to a higher standard than I would a plan or a counterplan. Most important is that your alternative, counterplan, plan or advocacy solve the harms you isolate and tell me are important.

To the extent that this is possible, I will try to keep my personal inclinations out of the debate. In the event that debaters fail to articulate standards of evaluation, I will default to my own interpretation.

Offense is important. Have reasons why you win the debate. Have reasons why they lose the debate. Tell me why you win--frame my ballot for me. How do I evaluate arguments in the context of other arguments, or in the context of framing questions. How do you want me to view your arguments--through the frame of a theme, through the line-by-line, some other system. I'm fine organizing my flowing around "non-traditional" frames of interpretation if you give me "alternative" standards to consider.

If someone wants to win on presumption, it needs to be explained as an argument.

Why is your model a good model of debate, what are the roles of the aff/neg. What is the role of the judge. What is the purpose of debate as an activity. Convince me of the urgency of supporting your model of debate. I don't think that what we do in debate is separate from the rest of the world; I am most convinced of framework arguments, either traditional or "non-traditional," that connect what we do in this activity to real things that are happening in the world; that said, if you win the argument that debate is just a game and that what we do here has no bearing elsewhere, then I will vote in favor of your interpretation. That said, I do think that framework is often an excuse to refuse to debate questions that are urgent in their own right; accordingly, I appreciate when your interpretation includes room for the substance of the other team's arguments to be discussed. A topical version of the affirmative supported by robust analysis of how this accomodates the other team's own urgent questions is therefore the best way to convince me that your model of debate is urgent, fair, and educational.

Please be clear on your model of competition and why what the other team did was bad, eg. have good links and robust impact comparison. Please explain to me how the alternative/what you did resolves the links to the affirmative. Permutations need to be explained operationally eg. how does the perm work and how is that different from the alt/counterplan and are best if coupled with a model of competition. I can be convinced that the permutation is just a test of competition or that it is an advocacy in its own right worth affirming. Once an alternative is introduced into the debate it is an invitation to further expand on the possibilities of advocacies introduced, ie the permutation is an opportunity to expand on the possibilities of political organizing or theoretical elaboration. I appreciate specific link analysis to permutations eg. why is the permutation something that your advocacy resolves better.

Framing debates: You should always control how the debate is framed. What arguments do you think are the most important. Why should I evaluate the debate through your perspective as opposed to the other team's. If the debate is about methods, what are the methods. How do I evaluate competition in a methods debate. What is the implication of their method, your method. Please tell me what your role is in a methods debate, their role, my role.

Lately, I've been encountering a lot of teams articulating competition and link storiess according to theories of power. I'm not sure if this is new or became more popular during my time out of the activity, but I hadn't encountered these arguments as frequently as I am now seeing them that I am judging. This is something I am still working out, but if you imagine that this framing of competition matters more than other frames, please tell me your theory of power and explain it to highlight the shortcomings of the other team's arguments and why your theory of power resolves the links, disads, or impacts you isolate. I am intrigued by the avenues opened up by these lines of argument. What alternatives does your theory of power elaborate, what modes of organizing does it make possible. How does your theory of power relate to what is happening in the debate round itself - are there opportunities for link analysis according to what previously might have been called a performative link. If your primary link story is your theory of power, please do not just assert a claim that power works in x way and that the other team thinks about power in y way. I will be more convinced by a theory of power that isolates specific shortcomings in the other team's advocacy that isolates links and impacts than I will be of a theory of power that works more as a solvency deficit and a link of omission.

I always like to hear new arguments. I am pretty theoretically unflappable. I will more likely than not understand the words you are saying. More important than using the right words is making those words mean something.

More generally, evidence is a starting point: take the research you have done and transform it into a complete argument.

Above all, find some way to enjoy the debate! I know that is not always possible. We come to this activity for different reasons. We should live out those reasons.

Shanara Reid-Brinkley Paradigm

2 rounds

In college, my debate style was left of center, but I was trained at Emory which means as much as I lean toward critiques and performance debates as my personal preference, I am equally as qualified to judge straight up policy debates. In debates where the policy framework meets the critical framework I vote for the team with the better argument even if I find the opposing teams position more interesting or entertaining, I can reward that with speaker points.
I don’t have any preconceived ideas about debate theory, so I tend to vote directly on the flow. If you win the theory argument and it has implications that you explain, I’m more than willing to vote there.
I am open to and willing to engage alternative stylistic practices and choices for debates.
I hate reading evidence after a debate because it means that the debaters have been sloppy and inefficient in explaining and defending their arguments. Thus, I only read cards if you have not done your job. That being said, if there is evidence you would like to be a part of my consideration because if I need to read evidence, I will only call for what has been directly referenced by you.
Important things to know about debating in front of me. I like smart asses, in general, but I think to many people cross the line in debate. So be forceful and aggressive, but watch the rudeness factor with the other team. It gets under my skin. But, more importantly, watch your attitude with me. I am infamous for arguing with teams after a decision. I will be respectful toward you initially, the more disrespectful and confrontational you become, the more of the same you will get. I’m a 5ft 2in. black woman from inner-city Atlanta. I may be older and wiser, but I will still get at ‘cha. That being said, I’m always willing to calmly and rationally discuss a decision, you can often learn what is likely to win my ballot and that can be a serious advantage for you throughout the year. I can be very supportive and will offer suggestions both for improving debate skills, but also in improving arguments, and pointing to interesting directions for more evidence. If your research pertains to any of the following subject matters, I might be a particularly useful judge for you: feminist theories (particularly women of color), critical social theories of race, poststructural theories of race, gender, class, and sexuality; globalization; hip hop; cultural studies, etc.

Jeanette Rodriguez Salcedo Paradigm

5 rounds

I see debate as a space for knowledge production, where we can use our ideas about the world to transform the world or make it a better place. The debaters get to decide what the debate should be about, be that a plan text or a critical approach to the topic. There are various approaches to the resolution and I am open to listening to your particular approach. You should advocate an approach that engages/attempts to engage the resolution.

That in mind I will provide a disclaimer, do not say evil things for the sake of competition, that approach is not persuasive at all! By evil I mean saying that genocides are good/necessary or that rape is ok, this extreme is not one that will persuade me to vote for you.


NEG- If you are going to go for framework make sure that the rebuttals contextualize the framework debate to the affirmative. Specificity in these debates goes a long way because often times framework is a blanket extension of standards with no explanation as to how the 1AC in particular causes the impacts.

AFF- If you are answering framework make sure you address their interpretation or provide a counter interpretation for the debate. Alf's should attempt to address the resolution, but if you dismiss the resolution I expect there to be a defense of a non-topical approach.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

If you have any questions please feel free to email me @

David Rooney Paradigm

1 rounds

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

Overview/Long of it:

Now coaching at Baylor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T: Do it up, love it

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

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

Other things:

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

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

Please respect people's pronoun choices.

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

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

Brian Rubaie Paradigm

4 rounds

Iowa, Greenhill - edited for UMich 2020 - brubaie at gmail, please add to email chains!


There are three versions below: TLDR (10 second read); Short/Pre-Round version (1 min), and Long/Pre-Tourney version (2-3). The short/long versions are an "either/or" thing, they're more or less identical besides length. The paradigms of recent college debaters Primavera Martinez and Johnnie Stupek stand out as more modern and well-written versions of much of what I'm trying to communicate below.


TLDR - 10 second version

If you put time and effort into your craft, you're good. I will always give my undivided attention, stay open-minded, and be thorough. To quote Einstein, things should be as simple as possible, but no more.


Short Pre-round - 1 min

Stuff I know and don't know: Expert in nothing, familiar with most. Have debated, coached, and judged most everything and really enjoy most all of it.

K or policy? Why not both? I think the community's rough divide is occasionally principled but, more often, it is just sound and fury. I love great K debates and I love great policy debates. I'm more experienced at sorting policy/policy than K/K, but I'm equally interested in judging whatever.

What I will vote on: I have a lower quality filter than most. I'm not really proud or ashamed of that, it's just a fact. I lean much more heavily tech than truth. I often vote on things I don't agree with and sometimes on ones I don't feel great about. Winning in front of me is like good Southern cooking: cook up something spicy and delicious, and I'll probably avoid deeper questioning about what the ingredients are or how you cooked it up. I have very little ability to assess things from events outside the debate.

Which evidence I read: I skim 60-90% of cards as they are read, but I rarely read them in any meaningful depth. I skim to check context, confirm tags, or stay engaged. I usually only read ev which I'm directed to read and which is cited by name, but I can easily be directed to be more ev-oriented. Just tell me what to do.

What the aff should defend and what I prefer on the neg: The Aff should defend something controversial and debatable in relationship to the topic and establish a role for the Neg. The Neg should dig in on the 1ac. A 1nc with extra case often leads to extra points and Ws. I prefer fewer, better cards and a smaller number of good links etc. I also prefer a block going deep on 1-2 2NR options instead of 3-4.

What the neg can get away with: You can probably get away with more in terms of CP theory, K alt evolution, etc. in front of me than most. My tech-leaning ways tend to make me a good judge for bold 2Ns of any kind. I'm not heavily policy or K biased, but the data suggests I'm at a bit friendlier to the neg lifetime. I'm about the tech, and the aff too often just drops stuff without fighting back enough late in an attempt to recover. Speaking of...

What the aff can get away with: You can also probably get away with a more 'evolving' 1AR in front of me than most. I do punish big 2AC errors, but I also can be easily persuaded to allow some new-ish 1AR angles (i.e. "they did x, y, and z new things, we get this new 1AR thing.") I feel for the neg, but I also really admire great 1ARs that change the game after a bad 2AC.

If I were coaching a team that was neg to go for framework: I'd probably tell them to: a) Dig in and calculate an impact. I sometimes hear a big 2NC explanation that doesn't make it into the 2NR. Figure out what the 2NR impact calculus on your biggest impact sounds like. b) I often find that the neg is doing better at winning/calculating a procedural impact (fairness, ground, etc.) than a pedagogical one (skills, deliberation, etc.) That being said, do what you do, just impact it deeply. This can't be an after-thought: if you win this, you probably win the debate, and vice versa. c) Put some genuine effort into nailing down the 1AC's thesis claim/core goal and explaining why the interpretation you have forwarded can do something positive for achieving that. You don't need to win that a TVA, reading it on the neg, and/or anything else does the aff as well as the aff, but having some effective defense can go a long way.

If I were coaching a team that was aff vs. framework: I'd say to: a) Define some role for the neg and have a "debate key" claim. You don't have to give them the 1NC, but why is debate about the 1AC (and not just the act of having read it) a good thing and what do those debates look like? There should be some reason the 1NC speaking for 8-9 minutes is good. I used to be somewhat dismissive of "other stuff outside of debate solves," but I find myself voting on it more because the aff sometimes misses answering this. b) Lean more on impact turns/core aff offense than counter-interpretations. I find that neg teams are usually weakest on refuting core aff thesis points while being much stronger on procedural issues. I wouldn't abandon defense, but I would perhaps frame it more as how your counter-interp can create a stable role for the neg, desirable neg ground, more ethically grounded debates, etc. than leaning in on "we're right that 'resolved' is mental analysis."


Long pre-tournament version

1. What is the burden of the aff in the 1ac?

Up for debate, but I prefer that affs:

(a) Defend a controversial change in the area of the topic

(b) Display consistency and clarity, and

(c) Answer CX questions. If you don't do those things, I'd prefer a strategy that revolves around "those impositions are bad" vs. "why not?"

2. Constructing the 1NC

Less is more! Said this above, but smaller 1NCs that contain more cards with deeper highlighting will be rewarded. I appreciate an artful big 1NC so long as it isn't just throwing the box.

You need an argument saying "the 1ac doesn't achieve/resolve/correctly analyze (x)." I am skeptical of modern 1ac construction. Many affs (of all types) defend close to nothing. Some affs withstand heavy scrutiny, but very few survive a battle with a thoughtful 2N without some damage.

3. Earning better speaker points -- how to gain and lose points.

You will gain points if:

General -- you demonstrate rich knowledge of your evidence and can demonstrate you produced it. Extra points if it's from a book, but some additional love if it's from a peer-reviewed source, etc.

CX -- being concise, using the language of the other team, making complex things simple.

2NR -- talking about the 1AR in detail, framing/comparing instead of extending, making choices.

2AR -- isolating the 2-3 biggest issues and why you won them, making honest "even if" comparisons.

You may lose points if:

General -- being rude and unhelpful, replacing substance with noise, replacing listening with dismissiveness.

CX -- way-too-long answers, acting like the other team is stupid, making simple things complex.

2NR -- ignoring the 1AR/restating and extending the 2NC, going for too much/making bad choices.

2AR -- scattering a mix of everything in hope the neg dies by a thousand small cuts, ignoring the 2NR.

4. Evidence

Evidence quality matters, but my inclination is still to begin deciding a debate by scouring the flow before reading any evidence. I am moved by great ev, but it needs to be sold by the debaters. I am happy to give evidence quality greater priority, just tell me how and what to reward.

There are many good short tags/cards, but at a minimum I prefer tags that are at least half of a sentence and cards that are at least a few sentences. Highlighting must accurately convey the author's point.

5. Docs

I look at docs during the speech on occasion, but I don't read all of it or follow along. I will not start to follow along if you are unclear unless I'm worried you're clipping. I look at the docs most directly during CX. If you ask about a particular card directly, I'll usually be right there in the doc with you.

6. Early topic thoughts

College -- TBD

High School - CJS - I have enjoyed my initial topic reading and will update this as my thoughts clarify a bit.

7. Neg v K affs

Press heavily on what the aff does. You will get pushback on questions like "what question does the ballot answer?" etc but I like those foundational questions and want you to ask them.

Set up frameworks for competition and tell me what the role of the neg/burden of rejoinder is. If the aff is an analysis but not a proscription, does the neg win if it offers a better analysis (i.e. suggests capital and not race is more determinative of oppression?) This could be the more developed version of "you don't get a perm" -- the aff proposed an analysis of how x operates, the neg's theory of power was always distinct, etc.

Offense-defense doesn't make much sense in these debates. Does the neg have to win the aff proposing a survival strategy made the world worse? That's a high burden. Perhaps the neg needs only to win "defense" or to prove a better method.

8. Arguments/things I'm better and worse for as a judge...

Ks: I know more about structural Ks like afropessism, settler colonialism, queer theory, etc than continental philosophy/high theory/postmodernism/most Europeans. Not as good for floating PICs, better for "we don't need an alt."

CPs: The more you disagree with the aff, the better off you'll be. The less you disagree with the aff/the more you try to manufacture competition in illogical ways, the worse off you'll be.

DA/case: Yes please. I don't judge this a bunch anymore, but it's not because of disinterest. I try to do a lot of policy research and have enjoyed the early policy debates I've watched in our squad room.

9. Things I'm better and worse at as a judge...

I will listen, flow, and think with all my energy regardless of time of day, your record, division, argument choice, etc. I do not always listen, flow, and think perfectly, but that's the goal. You try to debate your best so you deserve me trying to do my best.

I'm not A+ in economic debates or with high theory. I am interested in that stuff, i.e. my first semester in my MBA has been a blast, it's just not a strength relative to IR, political science, or even some strains of critical theory like Afro-pessimism. Not saying I know much in those relative to some in debate, I just know more of the core tenets there than in branches of economics that might guide a precise difference in the text of the prizes CP.

10. All the framework all the time

Answering framework

Tell me what the biggest impact is and guide the debate through that.

Take clear, defined stances. Dismissing basic, common sense questions about what the aff does is often a bad move because it makes it look like the aff doesn't do or defend anything/makes limits more persuasive. It is much better to do the "we explained and defended this consistently and clearly the whole round" thing with me in the back.

I think the "we took a stance in the direction of the topic that locked in your core neg generics" approach is a good one. For instance, saying "we K'd all nuclear weapons/surveillance, so you get the best version of deterrence/the terror DA" is a solid answer to ground/idea testing.

Tell me what debate should look like. What is the neg doing here/what role should they play? If you can explain what ideas in the 1ac are testable and why testing them is good it goes a long way to answering a lot of neg framework args.

Address the TVA. Is the TVA T? Would "slap a plan on the aff" style TVA ever result in meaningful dialogue about the thing the aff proposes?

Going for framework

There's no singular argument on framework I favor, I just prefer direct engagement. I liked how Hemanth debated in these rounds: he made lots of comparisons, used the language of the other team, made CX matter, and broke things down very clearly. I don't even remember what his angle was. I just liked how he framed debates and treated people.

I don't get why folks quit going for fairness and limits in front of me. It's generally the thing the neg's interp most clearly resolves. I almost never say "you didn't win fairness mattered at all" or "debate is better with no rules or prior preparation." It is much more common for me to vote on well-packaged aff defense/counter-interp/doesn't solve the aff arguments that aren't addressed than it is to vote on "fairness bad."

It is not hard to convince me that the aff should be a contestable, stable, debatable thing, but many affs can persuasively argue that the stable, contestable thing they affirm isn't the USFG. Dig in on the internal link: why is the neg's model the most educational, predictable, stable, fair ground. Engage the counter-interpretation or competing model thoroughly.

Similarly, explain why the kinds of debates you want to have matter. Too often, negs just say "the aff's ground is one-sided and concessionary." That's a good start, but every good argument is a comparison. Talk about the value of debates under your model (it targets a deep literature base, i.e. space policy, IR, etc. with good arguments on both sides and tons of practical application to a wide range of issues.)

A thoughtful TVA can go a long way. Some extra time, evidence, and/or argument development here is usually time well spent. Digging into the other team's literature base is often very helpful: read Black scholars like Mills/Taylor who defend political engagement, indigenous scholars who demand accountability, etc.

Nick Ryan Paradigm

2 rounds

Philosophy Updated 9-5-17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ADA Novice Packet Tournaments:

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

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

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

Tyler Snelling Paradigm

4 rounds

*Updated after 2016 Texas 

Debaters should have the ability to argue about what the terms of the debate are and how that relates to my decision. I prefer judging debates where the competitors are invested in their arguments, whatever those might be.

It is very rare in the debates I’ve judged so far that one team loses every argument on the flow. Consequently, it often seems going for a few less arguments would improve the quality of the debating between the aff and neg’s arguments. Most debates are decided in terms of how well either team characterizes each other’s options and framing of the interaction between issues in the debate. In most debates, I refrain from evaluating issues outside of how they occurred in the speeches of the debate.



Prep time only goes until your done prepping your speech, which means email (or in the worse cases flash and hand) time don't count against you. Please include me on your email chain (email = snelling101[at]gmail…] Sometimes in cross-x when people are asking questions about evidence, I like to be able to look at the cards as well. During speeches, I do not look at documents because I think debate should be a speech activity. If one of the teams is not paperless, then I don’t open the document.

I am better at flowing if I can maintain eye-contact with the person speaking. This doesn’t mean I’m going to be staring at you, but that you should make sure to not allow stands or laptops get in the way of your face and mine.


Speaker Points:

I spend most of my time at the end of the debate trying to decide who won and what I would have needed from the other team to win the debate or general commentary about the debate. While I’m filling out the ballot, I spend a few seconds trying to decide speaker points. I don’t have a static starting point for assigning or categorizing speakers, but try to decide how well the speakers used / responded during Cross-x, whether a decision made by one of the speakers uniquely helped improve/hurt the teams chances of winning and how well the speakers brought together the debate in their final rebuttals.

I take notes during cross-x and enjoy when debaters get strategic concessions that are used in their speeches.


Argument related comments:

- Counterplans generally require a solvency advocate. This can be aff evidence or neg evidence.

- It is nearly impossible to persuade me the negative should be forced to read a policy position or not get their alternative.

- Critiques may not need to have an alternative to be competitive with the aff, but I will not judge kick an alt (or counterplan) for you unless the framing in the 2NR justifies that option.

- I find it insufficient to read a hodgepodge of cards or arguments that “critique the squo” and call it an affirmative.

- In K aff verse K debates, links need impacts / clear internal links. The negative can win a link and still lose the debate if it’s unclear why that link “matters”.

- Competing methodologies seems like a buzz phrase that does not establish why the affirmative should not be able to have a permutation. Similarly, asserting there is a permutation that is advantageous, does not explain why I should allow the aff to access that option.



In-round Accessibility

Part of my responsibility as the judge is to make the debate accessible. If there is something I can do to help with that – please let me know. If you don’t feel like disclosing then you’re welcome to email me (address above).



Pet Peeves:

1- Clipping cards is punishable with a loss and 0 speaker points. Borrowing this line from Gabe: “To be very clear I do not feel that I need a debater to initiate a clipping challenge, as an educator I feel I have a responsibility to monitor against cheating.”

2- I value very highly the safety for ALL competitors to engage in this activity, so please be considerate of others. Making arguments with sexist, racist, ableist, and other exclusionary language can be especially harmful for people in the activity.

3- Please make sure you ask your opponents what gender pronouns they would like to have used. Misgendering is a serious issue.

4- Stealing prep time

5- Reading conditional arguments that clearly and unquestionably contradict 

6- Repeating that an argument was conceded- especially if it clearly was not  

7- Asking cross-x questions that go nowhere in developing the strategy or understanding of the debate.

8- Don’t be disrespectful to the people who host tournaments. They often times put their PC on the line to host, so you should clean up trash EVEN IF YOU DIDN’T PRODUCE IT.

Brief Bio

I am not the greatest judge for you if your speaking style includes: monotone, hyper-fast, undifferentiated tag-cards. I consider myself to have a sufficient flow and haven’t had problems judging debates in the past, but I thought a fair warning was important. I will ask you to be clear once, but after that point arguments will just be missing.

I studied philosophy and sociology as an undergraduate and I’m studying communication at UNLV.

3 years of debate at Millard South High School (qualified to NFLs & TOC)

4 years of debate at Concordia College – Moorhead (qualified to NDT twice)

First year coaching at University of Nevada- Las Vegas  



Daniel Stanfield Paradigm

1 rounds

Updated for 2018 CEDA/NDT

Dan Stanfield

2 Years at Los Rios Community College

1 Year at CSU Fullerton

1 Year at UNLV

2 Years Coaching at UWG

Currently Graduate Coach @ Baylor University

Coached for CKM on TI topic

Coached for Juan Diego on Surveillance

Current Coach for SLC West

Add me to your email chain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change in 2014

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

Erin Szczechowski Paradigm

3 rounds

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

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

Like to be added to the email chain:

For the Affirmative:

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

For the Negative:


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


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


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


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

Agent CPs and Consult CPs tend to make me sad.

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


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

In General:

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

Rylee Taylor Paradigm

3 rounds

Updated 8/22/2019


I am a former coach and debater from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I am currently a Masters student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

3rd year judging college debate

6th year judging high school debate

N/A rounds on the college topic judged so far

8 rounds judged on the high school topic so far

Please include me on the email chain -

*strongly prefer email over pocketbox(or speech drop)

TLDR Version:
I am willing to evaluate any arguments that you make, as long as you explain and execute it well. There is no need to change your arguments to something you think I like or will vote on, just give me the best debate you can, using your best arguments, and you will be fine. I try very hard to keep my personal opinions out of my decision as much as possible. I am more of a tech > truth judge, because I think technical debate is good debate. If you aren't doing line by line debate, or keeping things organized in some other manner, my flows probably look a mess which isn't good for anyone, so please keep things clean.

Long Version:
I will attempt to be as neutral as possible and evaluate the arguments presented in the debate independent of my own opinions.

I think it is important to EXTEND WARRANTS inside your evidence. You should explain the importance/relevance/ implications of the evidence as well. Tagline extended claims without warrants are not complete arguments.

Smart analytical arguments beat terrible cards all day, every day. Please don't just card dump if you never plan to explain any of those arguments or worse yet, if you aren't sure what to say. I would prefer you take the time to logically think through the other teams arguments than just read a bunch of cards that don't make arguments.

Judge Instructions/Directions: This is super important, especially in the last rebuttals, tell me why I should vote for you in response to the other teams arguments about why I should vote for them. Tell me how I should begin evaluating the round by comparing your arguments to the other team's.

Theory: Slow down on theoretical arguments, or I won't be able to flow them. They should not be read at the same speed as a card. I am fine to adjudicate theory args but you need to be specific, tell me how many conditional advocacies is too many and what specific abuse that causes.

Affirmatives with a plan: If I don't understand what the aff does at the end of the round or how it accesses its impacts, I won't vote for it. Make sure you are contextualizing your arguments to the specific round and not just reading generic blocks.

Critical Affirmatives- I am open to critical affirmatives that either defend a relationship to the topic or make offense reasons as to why they don't have to. Be careful about trying to be tricky, it may confuse the other team (idk why you want that) but it could easily backfire and leave me lost as well.

Negative critical arguments: I am willing to vote on any argument as long as it is well explained and has specific links to the aff. Your Kritik should have an alt and impact that is explained by the negative, I am highly unlikely to vote negative if you do not extend the alt. I am not familiar with all critical arguments, but I have had experience with a wide variety; capitalism, ableism, queerness, and anti-blackness are the arguments I am most familiar with. My last year as a debater I primarily read Warren on the negative, so I am most familiar with afro pessimism arguments when it comes to my understanding of anti-blackness. Good alt explanation can resolve any lack of knowledge I have. I am not a fan of post modernist critiques so it is a slightly higher threshold for explanation. The affirmative should always permutate critical arguments, and explain how the permutation functions, as well as how it resolves any residual links to the kritik.

Other negative arguments
CPs— I am fine with counterplans, but prefer they have some sort of solvency advocate as well as a net benefit. The text of the CP (and all perms) should be written out, and distributed to the other team. Affirmative permutations need to be explained, if you go for it, I need to know why I should prefer the perm to the CP and how it gets out of any DA links.

Disadvantages- I really like a DA vs. Case debate, but you need to have a link to the aff. Make sure to explain how the aff links to the disad and then how it triggers the impact(have a clear link story).

Topicality- I feel that it is a very strategic argument to be made in debate. Needs to be well articulated with both sides submitting competing interpretations. T arguments should be extremely structured and organized to make it easier for me to see why this is a voting issue. If you don't have a TVA and a list of specific abuses caused by the affirmatives interpretation, you will have a hard time winning T in front of me.

Speaker Points- You should be clear and able to explain your arguments well. I enjoy jokes and clever analogies that are relevant to the round and arguments being made. I adjust my points based off the level of debate I am judging, so a 28.5 in Novice is not equal to a 28.5 in Open.

Few other things-

  1. Do not steal prep!!!! I do not take time for sending out the document, but when the team that took prep calls time, everyone else should pause until the speech is handed over and begins.
  2. Only one person should be speaking per speech, unless it is a performative necessity or an accessibility issue in which case that should be made clear during the debate.
  3. Flow! If you are not flowing I notice and it probably reflects in the quality of your speeches, in particular the line by line debate.
  4. My face is pretty expressive, if I look confused or annoyed (during a speech or CX) I probably am and you should be reflexive about that.
  5. Debate should be fun; it is a game so be nice and courteous to everyone involved.

If you would like something explained further, please feel free to ask me questions before the round or send me an email. If you have any questions about debating in college or about debate in general, feel free to contact me, I am more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Samantha Thies Paradigm

4 rounds

Updated: 9/20/19

I am a former coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I debated for four years as an undergrad at James Madison University. This is my second-year judging.


Yes I would like to be on the email chain:

General Thoughts:

A complete argument makes a claim that is supported by detailed warrants and has an impact. If you are not completing your argument, I will not be voting on it.

Generally, I’ll lean tech>truth. That being said, a conceded argument is only true when the entire argument – claim, warrant, impact – is extended. That doesn’t mean you have to invest lots of time there, but saying “it was dropped!” is not enough for me.

I’m rather offense/defense oriented, although I think I could be persuaded to vote on presumption with a lot of investment in that argument during the debate. I will stick to what I have on the flow, so you can win tech-y line-by-line with me, or you can win that over-arching arguments effect other parts of the debate. Whatever the case is, you’re gonna need at least one very good piece of offense to win my ballot.

Judge instructions are super important, especially in the final rebuttals. You should be telling me how the pieces of the debate fit together, and why that means you win. This includes impact calc and how I should evaluate impacts. Do this and you’ve won my ballot, and basically written my RFD for me.

Good analytic arguments can beat trash cards any day.

The more specific a permutation is on a CP or K, the better chance you have of winning it; explain the perm in the context of your plan or aff and give examples of how it could work. I’m a sucker for smart and well-thought-out perms, but that also means I have a pretty high standard of analysis required to vote on one.

If you really want me to read a specific piece of evidence, you should flag that to me in the debate. I think reading all the round's evidence after the debate and re-interpreting the args through warrants that were never actually made is a terrible form of judge intervention. I will rely on the debater’s own explanation of their evidence. It is the other team’s responsibility to point out mis-characterizations or contested points in their opponents’ evidence. If the comparison and analysis on opposing interpretations of a card is comparable on both sides, then I will read the evidence and make my decision from there.

It will likely benefit you to slow down in front of me; I have hearing damage and will very likely miss your 10 second analytic argument.

Specific Notes on Positions:

Topicality/Framework – I love T debates; I was in mostly T debates while I was an undergrad and defended it on both sides. Affs should have a relationship to the topic. What that relationship looks like is up for debate. Affs with plans are cool and should be able to defend why their plan is good and fits within the topic. More teams should read T against cheating policy/plan affs! Affs without plans are cool and should be able to defend why their approach to debate is good and fits within the topic.

Is fairness an impact? Is education an impact? What should I prioritize, and why? That’s all debatable, you tell me!

TVA’s are necessary if you want to win, and if there’s no TVA to the aff you should be explicit about why. I view TVA’s a lot like CP’s that solve the offense on T from the aff and has a net benefit (ie. the DA’s you have to their interp).

Impact comparison wins T debates! Uniqueness matters in T debate! To quote Lindsey Shook, “inevitability and uniqueness matter in debates about the impacts to topicality and I take those questions seriously and find they are often where decisions begin for me.”

I think the distinction made between framework and T is arbitrary, so your “framework” argument should still tell me what part of the resolution the aff violates. Stating that the aff doesn’t have a plan and should therefore lose is not an explanation of how they failed to fulfill the standard set by the resolution and will not be a winning argument in front of me.

T debates get so messy so quick, so kiss your overviews goodbye! Do your work on the line-by-line. If you can clean up my flow in a messy round you will get bonus speaker points for being fantastic!

DAs – I have not watched any policy debates on this topic. I like DA debates and am fine if you want to read one, but I probably have not have seen your DA before; keep that in mind when you're trying to explain it to me. Politics DAs annoy me but I can vote for them. I will just be sad about it.

CPs – I think this is where debaters should do more work in front of me. I won’t be familiar with your specific advantage CP or 100000 plank CP, so it’s really important to clearly explain the mechanism or I will be totally lost. Judge direction is critical here, tell me how I should view the CP, how it resolves the aff and net benefit, and how the pieces fit together in the entire debate.

CPs should be textually and functionally competitive and should have a solvency advocate.

Ks/Advocacies – I am probably familiar with most of the lit, but I will certainly not fill in gaps of explanation for you. A full explanation of your theory/method and how it resolves/solves/disproves/excludes weighing the aff is key to my ballot.

Stop reading 5-minute overviews! Stop reading overviews period! A lot of the stuff in an overview actually answers arguments on the line-by-line, so please make my flow happy and keep them together.

I’m not really of the “you link you lose” mentality; K debaters should explain how their alt resolves the link to the aff or give me a reason to evaluate the round otherwise. Also, Ks still have impacts – talk about them (especially the aff).

Specificity is pretty important to me with the K. Generic state bad K links are just as boring and unpersuasive as generic 2AC realism/consequences answers. Argument interaction and evidence comparison are underutilized by teams answering and going for the K.

Theory – I do not have strong ideological biases around common theory arguments, so these are winnable in front of me if it is actually impacted properly. I do think multi-plank CPs are rude, but I would still vote for one.

Throw out your trash blocks and have a conversation about what you think good, competitive and robust debates should look like and why. Be responsive to the other teams warrants – that means actually listening and not copy-pasting your block. Please slow down speeding through your pre-written answers!!

If theory is something you want me to vote on, you will have to make a significant time investment in it; I have a pretty high standard for debaters to beat “reject the arg not the team”. If you want to use theory/in-round abuse/other theoretical shit the other team did as a reason why you get to do something theoretically sketchy, you're probably a smart debater.

Speaker Points – I’m still developing a method for assigning speaker points. I will try to follow the outline below as closely as possible, but it will be my general guide based on what I think the community norms are.

26.9 or lower: Something bad happened!

27-27.5: Major structural mistakes were made in-round and/or debaters were generally rude/unpleasant.

27.6-28.6: Average to above average understanding of the arguments and round. Some minor mistakes were made and/or debaters had trouble putting the entire round together.

28.7-29.2: Speeches were great, few errors were made, and/or the debaters deserve to be in out-rounds.

29-29.2: This team should be in late out-rounds or win the tournament.

29.3-30: One of the best speeches I have ever seen.

Other things that influence speaks include: clarity, (good) use of humor or wit, knowledge and mastery of history or examples pertaining to ones argument, stealing prep, interrupting speeches, dominating ones partner during their speeches or crossex, and overall command of crossex, and taking 1000000 years to send an email or continue with a debate.

I will try to adjust speaks for the division I’m in - so I will not have the same standard for a 28.5 speech in varsity that I would for a 28.5 speech in novice.

Please email me with any other inquires not addressed above.

Michelle Thomas Paradigm

5 rounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

some odds and ends -

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

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

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

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


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

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

- Yes

- Fairness 4 whom cmon judge

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

- All about the UQ

- Link controls cmon judge

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

- Obvi dot gov

- Allow ties, cmon judge!

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

- Time 4 change

- No hybrids cmon judge

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

- Hella cheating

- Core ground, cmon judge!

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

- Ya

- lol nah, cmon judge

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

- Ya

- No! cmon judge

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

- New framing args needed

- Bostorm 2 cmon judge

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

- meh sure

- no! cmon judge!

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

- For cowards

- alright with me cmon judge

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

- publish date quals

- current quals cmon judge

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

- sure

- read it aloud cmon judge!

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

- sure

- no cmon judge

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

- yes

- nah cmon judge

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

- im willing to intervene

- zip it, cmon judge!

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

- not really

- of course, cmon judge!

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

- swing, swing

- more prelims, cmon judge!

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

- traditional cx and prep

- alt us time, cmon judge

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

- too fast, too furious

- p reasonable, cmon judge

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

- reasonably good

- too little, cmon judge

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

- lol, nah

- good enough, cmon judge

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

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

- sure

- packet or bust, cmon judge

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

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

- let my ppl flip

- side equalization, cmon judge

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

- usfg or bust

- time 4 change, cmon judge

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

- speaker points r broken

- agreed, cmon judge

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

- ya, regional db8 is good

- too taxing, cmon judge

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

- negation theory bb

- no perf con, cmon judge

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

- all args are condo

- only cps and ks r cmon judge

28. Maintaining brackets is educationally sound.

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

- agreed

- break brackets, cmon judge


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

- eh

-save db8, cmon judge!

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

- agreed

- too limiting, cmon judge

Ryan Wash Paradigm

3 rounds

Do not attempt to appease me. I do not want you to debate to me but rather persuade me to believe you. Stay true to your argument set and do what got you here. That being said, who cares what I personally believe, this is your activity. Below is my process for making a decision in a debate:

Who should I be when evaluating the debate?

What is the main question/issue of the debate?

Who best answered/addressed that question/issue? Note: The characteristics of best should be determined by you and not me.

Are their reasons why their approach is dangerous or insufficient that overwhelms its positive potential.

Speaker Points: I give points based on how clear, efficient and engaging you are. What happened to debaters being able to be serious, funny, personable and entertaining simultaneously? You will be awarded of quality speaking even if you do not win the debate.

Michael Wimsatt Paradigm

3 rounds

I take judge instruction very seriously.

Arbitrariness and follow-on are probably more important to me than other judges.

I like Kritik arguments even less than my reputation suggests.

I dislike run and gun strategies.

Successfully executing one/two off strategies will earn substantial speaker point boosts.

The wipeout/spark genre will not be considered. If you have to ask, you already have your answer.

Jefferson Yahom Paradigm

6 rounds

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

A few things I think are generally good:

- I don't like disclosure theory.

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

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

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

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

Speaker points:

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

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

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

Types of debates I'm in and my thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

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