Lexington Winter Invitational

2019 — Lexington, MA/US

Elvis Alvarado Paradigm

6 rounds

I did policy debate all throughout high school and have experience running both traditional and critical affirmatives and I do not have a preference. I appreciate clear and organized arguments that define the roll of the ballot and tell me why I should adopt your position. I am open to all types of arguments as long as they are substantiated appropriately and I am comfortable with speed as long as the tags and rebuttals are clear.

Jorman Antigua Paradigm

6 rounds


school affiliation: acorn community high school (Brooklyn NY), NYUDL (new york urban debate league), stuyversant high school (New york, NY)
years debating: 4 years of high school, starting college debate

in a debate round i have done everything from cp and politics to performance

my first highschool topic was aid to south Africa, last one was reduce military (if that matters)

I will vote on whatever arguments win, this means I may vote on anything, it could come down to Counterplan-Disad, Procedurals, Kritiks, Affs with no plan text, to even performance. tell me what your argument is and what the ballot signifies (if it has a meaning)...i.e. policy maker etc...(...)

speaker points: be persuasive and make it interesting thin line between funny and ass hole at times may it be in cross-x or your speech you decide *background music* ...analysis/argumentation (don't lie about reading a hole card if u didn't,don't just read cards and tag~line extend ~_~ ) i will call for evidence if needed and i will hit you wit the world famous "cum on son" lol


impact your arguments (duhh)

Topicality: i like a good t debate, their fun and at times educational, make sure you impact it, and give a correct abuse story...

counter plans: have a good net benefit prove how they solve the case

dis ads: you can run them i vote for anything and am familiar with most scenarios

k: i was a k db8er for the better half of my db8 career so i'm pretty familiar with most k~lit u will read unless its like some deep
nietzsche, zizek, lacan type ish but i get it...and if you explain it give a good story and show alternative solvency i will vote for it...it is also fine if you kick the alt and go for it as a case turn just debate it out...

preformance: i did this too...explain what the round comes down to...i.e. role of the judge/ballot/db8ers...and if their is a form of spill over what this is and means in real world and debate world... block framework lol...and show me why your/this performance is key...may it be a movement or just you expressing your self...i like methodology db8s so if it comes down to the aff and neg being both performance teams be clear on the framework for the round and how your methodology is better and how the other may recreate these forms of oppression you may be speaking about...may it be the deletion of identity or whiteness etc...same things apply if your running a counter~advocacy against a performance team...(*whispers* solvency)...k vs performance rounds same as methodology prove the link and as for the alt prove the solvency... framework vs performance rounds i had a lot of these, boring but fun to see the way they play out depending on interp, vio, impacts and stuff...

framework: any kind is fine...same justification as Topicality...depending on how your spinning framework within a round... *yells* education =)

theory: sure

short & sweet

#swag...have fun...do you...debate =)

Shree Awsare Paradigm

6 rounds

1/13/20 - Included Short Version, LD and PF Addendum added below

Current School Affiliations: NoBro (2016-), Emory (2019-)

Previous School Affiliations: JMU (2011-2016), Broad Run High School (2014-2016), Thomas Jefferson High School (2012-2014), Columbia University (2007-2011), Fordham University (2011), Monta Vista High School (2003-2007).

HS Topic Knowledge: Slightly above average. Led lab at DDI & actively cut cards for NoBro.

College Topic Knowledge: Below Average. I occasionally cut K answers and that's the extent of research. I need the topic disambiguated - topicality and complex topic mechanism-based counterplans will need more pentime and clarification.

Email Chain: shree.debate@gmail.com

5 min version:

Line-by-Line x-------------------------------------- "Cloud Clash"/Overviews

Truth -------------------------------------------x-------- Tech

Insert Opponent Evidence-------------------------------------------x Read Evidence

Must Explain Cards ---------x------------------------------ Will Read Into Evidence

Judge Kick ----------------------x------------------------ Stuck w/ choice

Read Topical Affs ---------x-------------------------------- Free for All

Counter-Interpret Words -x------------------------------------ CI: "Discussion of Topic"

Aff Defends Model of Debate -x-------------------------------- T Impact Turns/RVI only

Limits/Fairness ------x-------------------------------------------- Skills/Other

No Ks on Neg -----------------------------------------x--- Yes Ks on Neg

Arguments about 1AC x------------------------------------ Personal Attacks

Cheaty CPs Good ------------------------x-------------------------- Aff Always Wins Theory/PDCP

Always a Risk -------------------------x----------- Zero Risk/Presumption

2010 Speaker Points -----x------------------------------------- 2020 Speaker Points

Long Version

No judge is tabula rasa, and I am no exception. My ideal debate involves two teams who read well-researched positions, engage in line-by-line refutation of their opponents’ arguments, and demonstrate strategic choice-making and vertical development of arguments. Not all debate is good debate. It is my firm belief that any model of debate (whatever the content) that disincentivizes any of the aforementioned qualities is an inferior product that is simultaneously less rigorous and less enjoyable. In the past, I have taken a more laissez-faire attitude towards judging rounds, but I’ve started to realize that I have been rewarding practices conducted by debaters on both sides of the artificial “traditional” and “critical” divide that are detrimental to the overall quality of debates – antics of which I was often guilty of pursuing as a competitor. As such, I will be making my biases transparent so that you can be more informed when you do your prefs. I’ve split this philosophy up into non-negotiables and preferences below.


(1) Only complete arguments will be evaluated. A complete argument consists of a claim, warrant, and data. This seems basic, but in the rush to construct 7+ off, scattershot 1NCs, some teams been encouraged to forward DA shells with poorly highlighted evidence without warrants, CP shells with just a text and no accompanying solvency cards, or cards tagged “extinction” (which is a word, not an argument) in hopes that they will get more words per minute out than the other team. You can miss me with that. Incomplete arguments will not be flowed, and in the event that an incomplete argument grows up to be a complete argument in a future speech, I will evaluate it as if you made the argument for the first time in that future speech, and I will give your opponents a new opportunity to respond with analytics and cards.

(2) You MUST be flowable. While I will try my best to keep up, I will feel zero remorse in the post-round if you tell me that I did not appropriately decode the word vomit on 2AC 5 subpoint C or the treatise you regurgitated about some vague "theory of power" in a 2NC overview. Not only should you limit your speed such that you maintain clarity at all times, but it would help me immensely if you used consistent, easily transcribable soundbytes so I can make connections on the flow effortlessly instead of speaking in large paragraphs with run-on sentences.

(3) Topicality is a voting issue, and never a reverse voting issue. The affirmative must defend the whole resolution or an example of the resolution. Nothing about this requirement is “the logic of genocide,” “psychologically violent,” nor a “will to mastery” that can be analogized to violence in “Abu Ghraib” or “drone strikes.” Ultimately, debate is a voluntary activity that you have the choice to not partake in, and to the extent that you've chosen to participate, it is only valuable insofar as the negative has an opportunity to anticipate and clash with your claims. That being said, I believe that critical affirmative approaches to the topic that may stray from traditional plan texts have immense value, but only if they creatively affirm the resolution in some way rather than being a negative argument or atopical. Here are some thoughts if you have me in the back of a K Aff v T debate.
(A) 2ACs should counter-define or prove they meet the words in the resolution to prove that the 1AC as presented is an example of the resolution, or they will have an extremely uphill battle in the face of a competently extended fairness violation. I am not persuaded by vacuous CIs like “discussion of the topic,” “only our aff is topical,” and others that are unsubstantiated by evidence interpreting words in the topic statement. None of those CIs would be acceptable in any other T debate (imagine if a Increase Sentencing of White Collar Crime aff responded to T – CJR = Reduce Criminalization with CI: discussion of the topic – L 27.5). That being said, I don’t think this forecloses critical approaches beyond traditional interpretations of fiat – I think there are plenty of ways to creatively define “USFG” as an agent outside the 3 branches in DC (see Burch’s Performative Revolutionary Fiat or “we demand” style affs) or "policing" as exceeding a law enforcement context that could posit a broader but more inclusive limit on the topic. 2ACs can also make criticisms of expert based definitions, suggesting alternate, non-traditional definitions that are grounded in lived experience or social location, and make the case for why their definitions should be preferred. But, no definition at all = no model of debate, which implies that there is no equitable role for the negative team to anticipate their opponents' arguments and critically engage their scholarship
(B) The "impact" debate should be focused on a particular set of limits – the negative should defend the benefits of narrowing deliberation over a topic, and the affirmative should point out the myopia of such a curriculum. I think there is a defensible case to be made that a curriculum where the affirmative is limited to the 3 branches as an agent or a narrow subset of what policing means distorts the cross-disciplinary literature over criminal justice and is exclusive of particular bodies of thought which may have an impact that outweighs the convenience of negative researchers, in the same way that a definition of CJR that limits out the increase white collar crime aff might arguably be contrived, uneducational, and have an impact. However, impact turns that suggest the reading of topicality itself is a violent form of conditioning or that the negative should not be able to anticipate and engage your argument are significantly less convincing and don't require much to be refuted.
(C) I am annoyed by negative arguments read on the affirmative side. Positions that are pessimistic about the possibility of improving the status quo are negative arguments… by definition... and are reasons to vote for the negative team. Turns out there is a vast body of defensible literature in your area of the library that is hopeful about the propensity for change. Please be willing to research and defend more than 1 "theory of power."
(D) I am more in the "limits/fairness" camp than the "skills" camp. The latter opens the neg up arguments about why we should prefer aff impact claims that exceed the intrinsic competitive nature of debate, permutation arguments to teach different skills to different people through different genres of argument, and arguments about how the neg's skills cannot be universalized to all and can be used for evil. This is not to say that "skills" style impacts are unwinnable in front of me, but it is certainly more uphill.

(4) There are 2 speakers on each team who have an equal amount of time to speak, and I will cast a ballot in favor of one winning team. I don’t really care about ins and outs or alternative use prep time, but there should NOT be debates where students are “kicked out” or otherwise don’t participate in an entire debate. Calling for a double win, intentionally interrupting an opponent’s speech, soliciting outside participation in a speech or cross-x, breaking time limits, playing board games, or devolving the debate into a 2 hour long discussion is a recipe for a quick L for the team that initiates it.

(5) I do not feel comfortable making decisions in contest rounds about the unconfirmable personal behavior or character of minors or coaching staffs that occur outside of debates. That said, arguments about things that are observable within the debate are fair game, and I have no tolerance for racism, etc - which I think is prolific in debate despite its pretense of liberalism.

(6) Attempts to negotiate speaker points with me within a contest round (eg, "please give me a 30 because x") will backfire. The last time someone tried to negotiate speaker points, they received a 24. Would not recommend.


(1) I am not staunchly offense/defense, as I believe in the existence of terminal defense and believe presumption can decide debates. Much of this depends on the quality of debating, but I can be compelled that negligible solvency to an affirmative case should be treated as zero, or that there is no internal link to a DA, or that a K aff doesn't meet its role of the ballot and should lose on presumption.

(2) Line-By-Line > OV/Implicit Clash. My favorite debaters number arguments and reference those numbers as they debate, regardless of whether they are debating a DA, T, K or CP – but a “they say” approach that follows the arguments in the order that they are presented is also acceptable. Implicit clash would be okay if people flowed more carefully and answered arguments in the order that they were presented - oftentimes it is not. 1+ minute overviews frustrate me and said frustration will be taken out on your speaker points.

(3) Judge Instruction in DA/CP Debates = Key. Does UQ frame the link debate, or do the links frame a close UQ debate and why? Does the DA turns the case or the other way around, and why? Does the internal net benefit to a process CP outweigh the impact of a CP solvency deficit? None of these questions should be left up to me.

(4) I enjoy T and Theory Debates more than most, but you will need to slow down for your analytics and adequately impact your arguments. If you want to read new 2NC CPs to avoid impact turns, generic process CPs, etc, I'm all ears if you are proficient at debating theory and won't take it out on your speaker points.

(5) Plan (Aff) v K Debates Thoughts. These appear to be the majority of debates that I watch. For teams reading the K: My familiarity with your literature base will be above average, and I won't need long explanations of terminology to demystify concepts. I am more interested in you establishing specific links to the affirmative and concrete impacts that turn or outweigh it.

For teams debating against the K: I am more interested in arguments (analytics and cards) that substantively engage the K while having a robust defense of the case. The K's "greatest hits" are useful but at some point, you are going to have to answer their "K turns the case" and other tricks they may have by using your aff. I do not necessarily need carded evidence to overcome their characterizations, smart analytics are often enough to respond to contrived uniqueness, link, or case turn arguments. Debaters on the policy end of the spectrum that I've judged tend to say I evaluate K debates like a "checklist."

(6) I have little familiarity with economics. I understand economics at high speed even less. The last time I studied economics was AP Macro in high school, and I didn't do so well in that class. If you are committing to a strategy centered on business confidence, the stock market, etc, it would help if you slowed down and added more details about how the economy works than you might have otherwise - you probably don't want me to make guesses by reconstructing the debate from your evidence.

(7) New Affs Bad/Must Be Disclosed is not a compelling argument - I have never voted on this argument sans 1 or 2 times it was conceded by the affirmative team in 3 consecutive speeches. I think there is arguably a case to be made that new affs might justify leniency for negative conditionality or that new K affs prove debate is controlled more by competitive incentives than subject formation, but I am not as sold as some of my colleagues that new affs justify shenanigans across the board (I have no idea why a new affirmative makes process counterplans more competitive or theoretically legitimate, for example).


LD Paradigm: I respect the potential of LD as an valuable event but don't believe that potential is being reached. Some LD debates I've watched have featured impressive debaters that make complete arguments, flow, and respond to their opponents. Others deal with interesting moral inquiries from a literature base that isn’t present in policy debates which I think are productive. However, more often than not what counts as debate these days (especially "tricks debate") is disease inducing and often the round devolves to an intellectually lazy version of policy. If you would like to receive speaker points higher than a 28, you will need to do the following:

1 - Flowing and Line by line refutation is mandatory. Visibly not doing either will start you at a very generous 26. Trying to do "cloud clash" or just haphazardly reading your coach's blocks as "overviews" will get you somewhere between a 27.5-27.9.

2 - Arguments must be complete - a claim, warrant, and data. My threshold for "tricks" is high - your dropped "indexical" or "monism" or "aff never wins" theory argument will not receive my ballot or speaker points higher than 28 if you did not explain it in enough depth for me to understand it and for me to be able to explain to your opponent why they lost. That said, if you make a complete argument that is "tricky" and it is unanswered, I would not hesitate to vote for it. I was a philosophy major at an analytic philosophy focused department so these arguments aren't necessarily lost on me - that said, the versions of these arguments made in LD are often painfully bad.

3 - Both plan focused debates and K debates are fine. Theoretical objections to either are fine as well. I am open to thinking that a policy making paradigm is ill suited in LD despite policy being my primary activity, and that the nature of theoretical objections (conditionality, etc) may have different weight considering the way time limits in LD are construed.

4 - You need to extend arguments made in previous speech in their complete form. You can't just flag "they dropped the DA" and move on - you need to extend the relevant pieces of the DA for it to be evaluated.

5 - Using the terms "pre-fiat," "post-fiat," or "LARP" automatically starts you at a 28 or lower. No one roleplays, no one shows up in wigs and a gavel to roleplay as politicians. Pre-fiat and post-fiat is a vocabulary that died 2 decades ago. It's 2020. Please leave it in the past, or you will get speaker points from the past.

6 - Reading is essential. If you are reading Wilderson and can't answer the question "what does the phrase 'political ontology' mean" or are reading Kant and can't answer the question "what is the categorical imperative" it's time to pack your bags and hit the books. Embarassing CXes will receive embarassing speaker points.

7 - Personal attacks are not a winning strategy in front of me. "I know what you did last summer" "I know what you wrote on the wiki in December" "In X debate Y opponent said Z mean things to me" or worse "I know what your coaches did last summer" is neither confirmable nor a reason why your opponent did not do the better debating in this particular round. Instead, make K links to the arguments made in THIS debate to receive better speaker points and even a W.


PF Paradigm: I think there is merit to a style of debate that adapts to a less technical audience, and there is a version of this activity that is meaningful. That said, I am not a blank slate - as a policy critic, I have strong, negative feelings about some of the pedagogical choices made in the "flay" version of this activity. While there are exceptions, there seems to be an extremely low standard for responding to arguments in the order that they were presented, and an even lower standard for evidence quality (bordering on academic dishonesty). For you to receive speaker points higher than a 28, all of the following will be required:

(1) Do not paraphrase evidence. I expect that you include the full paragraph to include the context that your author is speaking in. You have not overcome the "no paraphrasing" standard if your "card" has 3 words highlighted and does not contain complete sentences. If you paraphrase evidence, I will evaluate your excerpt with the same force as an analytic or opinion asserted by a debater.
(2) Extensions of argument labels or claims without warrants will not be evaluated as arguments. "Extend the X Analysis" is not an argument. If no one manages to make a complete argument, I will intervene when making a decision. You will not like that.
(3) I expect the second rebuttal to respond to every argument in the first rebuttal. I will not be extending arguments from your grand crossfire (or crossfires in general). I steadfastly believe it is the second team's obligation to address both sides of the flow in the second rebuttal. A second team that neglects to attack both the opposing case and rebuild against the prior rebuttal will have a very low chance of winning my ballot because they have conceded large swaths of argument. A team that ignores this bit of adaptation should expect to see speaker points that reflect a performance that I see as half-complete.

Didi Barry Paradigm

6 rounds

brooklyn tech ‘18 | cornell '22 --updated dec 2019

yes, i want to be on the email chain: klb323@cornell.edu

about me: i debated as a 2n at brooklyn tech for 4 years, qualifying to the toc my senior year with 4 bids; currently taking a hiatus from debate but debated until jan 2019. in high school and now in college i've read majority k arguments but have been going for t and counter plans with growing frequency.

i've heard/debated it all so i am open and willing to vote for anything...you know the spiel, just do whatever your little heart desires.

a note on patriarchy: im tired of seeing weird gender dynamics so going forward, for every time a dude debater cuts off their femme partner or any other femme during the debate i will deduct .1 speakers points from the dude and add it to the gal...be better pls! respect womxn in debate.

top level stuff:

i personally believe affs should have a relationship to the topic but what it means to be topical is up for debate. you should be prepared to defend your model of debate, if you can’t, you will probably lose. i believe in tech over truth to an extent, if an argument is flowed without a coherent response i presume it to be true. a claim without a warrant or an argument without an impact mean little to me.

t-usfg v k affs:

these were the majority of debates i had in high school and the bulk of debates i anticipate judging. for the most part, i enjoy them and think they can be both educational and fun. having read a non-traditional affirmative going on 4 out of my 5 years debating thus far, i’m a sucker for those that are well developed and strategically written. that being said, as i mentioned above, affs should have a clear relationship to the topic. i think stable advocacies are necessary for fair and meaningful debates. i’ve come to firmly believe that survival strategies along with any arguments of that vein have no place in the activity, my ballot is a referendum on arguments not individuals.

neg: i like nuanced framework arguments and feel that debate is probably a game. i think it’s fairly easy to win my ballot given you:

(1) engage the aff! reading specific disads to the model of debate that the aff presents instead of your generic a2 planless aff blocks will get you farther.

(2) extend an impact...procedural fairness, eh, i lean more towards thinking fairness is an internal link...but regardless i think that fairness arguments that have clear internal links to topic education and clash are super persuasive.

(3) read a tva!!!!! i don’t think the tva has to solve the entirety of the aff but as i generally view tva’s as counterplans, they should access some if not all of the affs major offense. a smart tva that the aff mishandles is a super easy neg ballot.

aff: go for less in the 2ac, 26 blippy state bad arguments are not going to be as persuasive as 8 flushed out ones. i don’t think framework is particularly violent so stating “framework is genocide” will not get you very far in front of me. above all make sure to protect your affirmative. i find these debates are most easily won when:

(1) the aff reads strategic impact turns to the neg’s model of debate.

(2) provides a counter interpretation with net benefits to your own model. explain to me what your model of debate looks like, what affs are included, which are excluded, what is the negatives role in these debates?...a case list would be great

(3) wins sufficient disads to the tva.

both sides should be doing extensive comparative impact calculus by the final rebuttals.

the k:

almost every single 2nr i've given in the past 3 years has gone for the k. i have substantial knowledge in many veins of critical literature so it's safe to assume that i will be familiar with anything you choose to read.

k v policy affs: please read specific links, i don't think you necessarily you need a link to the plantext but it's your burden to prove why the implementation of the affirmative is uniquely undesirable. the impact debate is important and i think a lot of k's fall short on this level, don't assume that i just agree that the aff for example maintaining neoliberalism is bad, you need to be doing impact framing. i don't believe an alternative must always be extended into the 2nr but if you choose to forgo it you must win the link, impact, and framework portion of the debate or risk a loss to presumption (yes, i will pull the trigger on this).

quick note on permutation theory: i don't hate it but i don't find it particularly persuasive. really shitty perm theory will just annoy me, probably lower your speaks, and i'll just end up granting the aff their permutation anyway.

k v non-traditional affs: all the above applies here as well. i do tend to think these debates can become pretty messy. it seems the general trend for the "new age" of k debate is to fill overviews with extensive "embedded clash" that isn't effectively applied on the line by line, do this in front of me and you will lose; i will not cross apply arguments for you. additionally, i'm a stickler for nuanced debates, especially when it comes to how the aff and neg theories compete, i love strong empirical examples and good framing in these debates tends to be non-negotiable. too often i see the k lose to the permutation because the neg has not flushed out how their theory of power is incompatible or implicates the theory that the aff presents. please know your shit, it will be obvious if you don't and it will just be a painful debate for all of us to get through if no one has a clue what they're talking about. i think in these debates it would do you well to have an alt, i generally default to viewing these debates as competing methods, more often than not a decision will be determined based off of which team presents a more desirable/ethical method of resolving the impacts presented in the debate.


ran them, love them, read them! come at me with your most creative (or boring, i mean, do what youre best at but like if it's 8 am and you've chosen *whatever the generic cp for this topic* is as your warrior, lets at least try reading with some ethos) counterplan texts. you have evidence: great. if you don't have evidence: also great. disad links: yes, don't make me sad, please have one. shady piks: go for it! just be sure to handle the theory debate.


does not equal framework. a round winning 2nr on t will receive no lower than a 29.3...maybe, y'all be trying it sometimes

case debate:

in a word, robust.


i am not an LD debater but i have observed/judged/coached a good number of LD rounds, i assume that all the text above should give you a pretty good idea of whether or not i'll be a good judge for you. my approach to judging LD debates is pretty standard, i will evaluate how the arguments made in the debate implicate each other on the flow, in short...i will vote for the person i think has done the better debating. if you're reading this and you have any specific quarries that the remainder of my paradigm has not answered then feel free to shoot me an email.

also RVI’s...no, never that, read one in front of me and i will be highly compelled to dock your speaks.

Moselle Burke Paradigm

6 rounds

Hello! My email is mosieburkebdl@gmail.com - Please add me to the chain!

I debated for six years, high school and middle school, on the Boston Debate League's high school circuit for Boston Latin Academy. I attended national circuit tournaments for four of those six years.

I'm currently a junior Philosophy major at Haverford College, and while I don't debate in college, I spent the summer doing topic research and thus am decently familiar with relevant literature

****If you came here from Maryanne's paradigm, ask the other team "did y'all make a perm?" during your speech and she just might give you a 30.****

Short version:

-I lean K, and I will likely be somewhat familiar with your K's lit base.

-I'm especially well-versed in literature surrounding semio/capitalism and I ran versions of the cap K throughout most of high school.

-I was a 1N who took T in 95% of my 1NRs and I will understand and appreciate your tricks

-Evidence comparison will get you much farther than a barrage of blippy cards

-Solid development on the case pages gets great results

-Speed and tons of off-case positions are okay (but i might ask you for flow paper if you run a ton of off)

-I'm most likely to vote on K & case or T 2NRs against policy affs, and almost always prefer K 2NRs vs K affs

-I'll vote on a CP and politics if that's what you really want to do but I'm not too familiar with them and might not be the best at evaluating those args


As of Newark 2020, I have not yet judged a tournament on this topic.



I have judged one local MA tournament in Lincoln-Douglas.

I have six years of experience debating in policy, and 3 years of policy judging experience.

I understand theory arguments better than most arguments that are more specific to LD. This doesn't mean you shouldn't use other arguments, it just means that the explanation you might think goes without saying would probably serve you well.

I'm not super sure what other information an LD paradigm needs - please feel free to email me, or ask pre-round if you have questions!


Full paradigm:

Clipping cards gets a loss and 0 speaks. If you don't know what that means, ask. I have voted on this before and will do it again if necessary.


Speed is fine, but if you blast through 8 analytics in 15 seconds, I won't get them all and it won't be my fault. Don't bury your best arguments!

Strong, direct CX is great! (However:)

Don't be cruel, disrespectful, or belittling. This is especially true if you are more experienced/knowledgeable than the other team. If you're a senior with 4 years of national circuit experience and 3 summers of camps, don't be a jerk to sophomores who just entered varsity just because you want to flex. This doesn't mean go easy, it means that you should take your opponents and their arguments seriously.

Things like author creds and dates can be important - if you notice something, call it out.


I am well-versed in a bunch of K literature (ask about particular authors), but that doesn't mean you don't have to explain things. Pedagogically, it's important to communicate the theoretical nuances you're using to make your arguments.

I am sympathetic to arguments about ivory tower positions/armchair philosophy. I debated in a UDL, on a small team, and in a program that often lacked funding. Don't aim to win arguments by virtue of your opponents not having the resources to engage them. If you do this, you're causing direct harm to the activity and to fellow debaters, and that's an impact scenario I am happy to vote on.

Performance is 100% fine by me. If you incorporate a performance, make sure I hear about it in later speeches.

If you run a K based around structural inequality and/or identity (besides cap because it's cap), I will do my best to evaluate it objectively. However, I will most likely not relate to your lived experiences and I admit that I can make mistakes in judging these debates. If you feel that I have done this, please talk to me after the round.

K Affs:

K affs are great but require explanation. Judge experience doesn't absolve you of the obligation to make your arguments clear and explain how whatever theory you're using interacts with other arguments.


I was a 1N, and there wasn't a single neg block my senior year where I didn't take the T flow. I LOVE good T debates, and this is where all of your clever tricks will be appreciated. Make strategic concessions, go hard on "they don't meet the counter-interp", do fun things with internal links. T debates work like a very abstract, complex disadvantage, meaning that every level of a T debate is crucial and defense usually won't win by itself.

Compare interp evidence! This comparison can win you debates.

Don't make RVI arguments on these flows. They are garbage.


If it's a time suck, and it works, nice job.

I will not vote on theory without in-round impacts or examples.

With that being said, if you pull a really clever trick with theory, and they fall for it, I will happily vote on it. For examples of this, ask me in-round (shoutout to Will Hutchinson).

I will not vote on condo unless there are 3+ conditional advocacies, at least two of which contradict each other, or 2 contradictory advocacies and explicit abusive cross-application of offense.

I default to reject the argument, unless you have very strong reasons I should reject the team.


As neg, you need at least one item from this list in the 2NR:

1. strong TVA

2. strong case hit

3. pre-requisite arguments in the 2NR.

As aff, you need at least one item from this list in the 2AR:

1. impact turns

2. aff outweighs

3. strong defense (reasonability, we meet, etc.) AND a counter-interp

Don't throw in arguments about "small schools" to get the moral high ground if you don't make debate accessible in other ways :) Ericson and Army Officer School aren't revolutionary cards, but nice try.


Links are almost always a sliding scale as opposed to Yes/No. How much of a link is there? How does that effect the impact debate?

"we win on magnitude so vote aff" is not impact calc and is not an argument


I debated K affs and K strats, so I am not very used to counterplan debates, but I will absolutely vote on them

The likelihood of a PIC winning is proportional to the scale of the link in the net benefit

CPs are where I think theory is slightly more relevant - why are particular types of CPs bad? Don't say "x counterplans bad" in general - contextualize those arguments to the counterplan.


Good case debates are fantastic.

Bad case debates are terrible.

Neg: if you don't have OFFENSE (not just defense) on the case flow, you will not get my ballot unless you have an off-case position in the 2NR (read: don't just go for case defense.).

Aff: don't try to go for 3 advantages in the 2AR if you have other flows to get to. It will almost always be worth it to kick an advantage/scenario or two.

Jason Courville Paradigm

3 rounds

For email chains and any questions, my email is jason.courville@kinkaid.org

Speaking Style (Speed, Quantity) - I like fast debate. Speed is fine as long as you are clear and loud. I will be vocal if you are not. A large quantity of quality arguments is great. Supplementing a large number of quality arguments with efficient grouping and cross-application is even better.

Theory - Theory arguments should be well impacted/warranted. I treat blippy/non-warranted/3 second theory arguments as non-arguments. My threshold for voting on a punishment voter ("reject the team") is higher than a "reject the argument, not the team" impacted argument. I'm open to a wide variety of argument types as long as you can justify them as theoretically valuable.

Topicality - My topicality threshold is established by the combination of answers.

Good aff defense + no aff offense + solid defense of reasonability = higher threshold/harder to win for the neg.

Good aff defense + no aff offense + neg wins competing interps = low threshold/easy to win for the neg.

Counterplans - counterplan types (from more acceptable to more illegit): advantage CPs, textually/functionally competitive PICs, agent CPs, textually but not functionally competitive PICs (ex. most word pics), plan contingent counterplans (consult, quid pro quo, delay)

Disadvantages - Impact calculus is important. Especially comparison of different impact filters (ex. probability outweighs magnitude) and contextual warrants based on the specific scenarios in question. Not just advantage vs disadvantage but also weighing different sub-components of the debate is helpful (uniqueness vs direction of the link, our link turn outweighs their link, etc).

Kritiks - My default framework is to assess whether the aff has affirmed the desirability of a topical plan. If you want to set up an alternative framework, I'm open to it as long as you win it on the line-by-line. I most often vote aff vs a kritik on a combination of case leverage + perm. It is wise to spend time specifically describing the world of the permutation in a way that resolves possible negative offense while identifying/impacting the perm's net benefit.

I most often vote neg for a kritik when the neg has done three things:
1. effectively neutralized the aff's ability to weigh their case,
2. there is clear offense against the perm, and
3. the neg has done a great job of doing specific link/alternative work as well as contextualizing the impact debate to the aff they are debating against.

Performance/Projects - I’ve voted both for and against no plan affs. When I’ve voted against no plan affs on framework, the neg team won that theory outweighed education impacts and the neg neutralized the offense for the aff’s interpretation.

Other Comments
Things that can be a big deal/great tiebreaker for resolving high clash/card war areas of the flow:
- subpointing your warrants/tiebreaking arguments when you are extending,
- weighing qualifications (if you make it an explicit issue),
- comparing warrants/data/methodology,
- establishing criteria I should use to evaluate evidence quality,
- weighing the relative value of different criteria/arguments for evidence quality (ex. recency vs preponderance/quantity of evidence)

If you do none of the above and your opponent does not either, I will be reading lots of evidence and the losing team is going to think that my decision involved a high level of intervention. They will be correct.

Larry Dang Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated for Berkeley February 2020

(If you happen to be old enough to vote and are unsure of who to support in primaries, feel free to hit me up! Just shoot me a quick email at larry.dang2018@gmail.com letting me know you want follow up, and I'll reach out after the tournament. I support and am volunteering for Bernie Sanders but have done extensive research on all the Democratic candidates, particularly Warren and Buttigieg, so I'm glad to talk about any of your questions or concerns.)


I hate to say it, but I almost like judging. I care a lot about giving really good RFDs and helpful comments. Do what you will with that information. I'm also super expressive with my face while judging - take that to your advantage.

Read whatever you want - I really do mean it. As humans tend to do, I have my predispositions. They are evident in the rest of my paradigm, which I worked to make very clear on my positions. However, I like to believe that I am a fair judge who can evaluate whatever style of argument you bring to the table, be it very policy, very K, or something new altogether.

You will benefit from reading the section of my paradigm on the arguments you plan to execute in front of me. I explain how I think arguments are best won. With that said, my suggestions are functional in nature. You should do what you do best. I will reward you for being smart, strategic, and hard-working.

Would appreciate if you add me to the email chain in advance - just let me know that you did so. Email: larry.dang2018@gmail.com

Framing This Paradigm

I believe that reading paradigms is less a practice of learning how judges view specific arguments and more a practice of learning different ways to execute arguments. My debate knowledge has increased exponentially from reading paradigms, and I write this with that frame in mind. Take that as you will.


Head-Royce 2018, Harvard 2022 (currently on leave) Sociology and Statistics

I debated on the national policy circuit for all 4 years of high school. I accumulated some bids, got some speaker awards, did the TOC thing and broke there in 2017. Most of the arguments I read were critiques, on the AFF and the NEG, though I engaged with more traditional policy arguments a fair amount at camp, so please don't assume I can't judge a policy round or that I'll hate it or be biased against you. I believe that traditional policy genuinely has value, and I coach for it now in addition to K stuff - it just wasn't my focus as a debater. The Ks I read in rounds were mostly about capitalism, neoliberalism, sovereignty, biopolitics, critical security studies, and psychoanalysis. The K arguments I coach now are mostly in the vein of afropessimism, security studies, and capitalism. I have a good working knowledge of other common K authors/lit bases in debate like Baudrillard, Deleuze, queer pessimism, other queer theory, Spanos, critiques of death, disability studies, feminist critiques, and the likes. However, you should never take any of this as an excuse for lackluster explanation - shallow K debates are a big sad. All in all, do what you do best. That'll make for the best and most enjoyable debate.


Tech over truth - e.g. don't drop stuff and answer arguments. However, what constitutes tech is up for debate. There are many different ways to be a skilled and technical debater that isn't always just following the line by line religiously or forcing opponents to drop an argument. Smart framing claims and innovative arguments can go a long way. With that said, please do try to do line by line when appropriate - it's not the only way to debate, but it definitely is an effective way that is tried and true. A few more quick thoughts.

Execution probably matters more than evidence, but good evidence/cards goes a long way + helps speaks.

Don't cheat - no clipping cards or falsifying evidence.

Achieving 0% risk is difficult but not impossible.

Voting NEG on presumption exists - some AFFs don't say anything.

Cross-ex is binding - I will listen and flow it (to an extent).

Do some impact framing at the top of every final rebuttal.

Be kind to one another and by all means don't be bigoted.


I read K AFFs for most of high school, so they're generally what you might call my forte. Some thoughts:

- A lot of K AFFs don't seem to in any way clearly do anything. Please make sure the 2AR (and the rest of AFF speeches) does not forget to explain the AFF. It becomes hard to vote AFF when I don't know what I'm voting for, even if you did everything else right.

- When answering framework, make sure that you have a justification for why your K AFF must exist in debate. Even if you have forwarded a generally good idea, framework begs the question not of whether the K AFF should exist but why it should be presented in round. Make arguments about how your K AFF interacts with the status quo of debate arguments, or how debate is a platform, or how argumentative spaces are key.

- When answering Ks of your AFF, the winner will usually be the team who can concretize their argument better. Don't forget that. Keep it simple and keep it real. Don't get bogged down in theory.


Despite having read K AFFs most of high school, I also read and really like framework. In many ways, I do believe it makes the game work.

- Some general agreement about what debate constitutes is probably necessary for debate to function, even with K debates. Your job reading FW is to convince the judge that that agreement should be the resolution. Don't forget that FW is T-USFG. You are fundamentally arguing for a model of debate, with limits that provides teams the ability to predict and prepare for arguments. You forward a way to organize a game. Don't let a K team force you into defending more than you need to.

- Game framing is very helpful in FW rounds. If you can win that debate is a game, then you hedge back against most of the offense the AFF will go for. You can best prove that debate is a game by giving empirics about the way that all debaters shift arguments to get a competitive advantage. Present the question of why the K AFF needs to occur in debate and strategically concede aspects of how the K literature might be useful while making it clear that that literature can be accessed outside of debate while your impacts to FW, such as policy education and advocacy skills, are best accessed in debate.

- I generally don't like fairness as the single independent impact on FW, though winning that it is an intrinsic good is possible if you can force the K team to make arguments about the value of the ballot. If the K team says they think the ballot is good, then they are in one way or another arguing that fairness in debate is somewhat necessary insofar as fairness maintains the value of the ballot. Other than that, go for your preferred FW impacts. Some will work better than others against different types of K AFFs.

Plan AFFs

Do your thing. I think this is pretty straightforward. I will say, I'm not the biggest fan of when teams have a million impact scenarios and very little explanation of the AFF's solvency mechanism. I think that's a pretty abusive use of the tech over truth framing in debate, and I will in that instance grant the neg a chance to use framing to get their way (and vice versa with the neg reading a million off). With that said, I'll listen to what you have to say.


I read Ks for most of my high school debate career. I think that they're a great way to think about the world and deepen our understandings of the world and problematize the mundane. Some thoughts on how to effectively execute.

- No, reading a K doesn't mean you have an auto pass from doing line by line. Overviews are good but not to be abused.

- The alt is usually the weakest part of the K, so I often find it effective to do things like take the link debate and make turns case arguments. These make the threshold for winning alt solvency much lower. Things about how your systemic critique complicates the way the AFF can solve or makes the AFF do more harm than good are very effective.

- The framework debate on the K is important - you should use it to your advantage to shift how the judge analyzes the round. Don't just throw it out there. You can use framework to make the judge think more deeply about whether or not it is ethical to take a policy action even if it solves the AFF's impacts, or you can use framework to have the judge consider implementation complications (e.g. the Trump regime) that the AFF doesn't factor in because of fiat.


The biggest mistake NEGs make going for T is forgetting that at the end of the day, the impact debate is always still the most important, even with a procedural. Give me strong T impacts, limits and ground arguments that internal link to fairness and education - you can't win without it, even if you win that they violate and your interp is more predictable or precise.

I like to think about the meaning of the topic and what different models of the resolution look like. I'm okay with throwaway T 1NCs, but don't throw it away when there's opportunity. T can be a very good argument, as long as you remember to keep the impact debate in mind. Different models of the topic have different effects on people's education and fairness of debates. It's not sufficient to prove the AFF doesn't meet your interpretation.


I like to hear nuanced DA debates, especially when they're contextualized well to the AFF's mechanism. Just don't take for granted the amount to which policy debaters are used to the idea that proving a link to the DA makes it true. At least make an attempt to explain the internal link between your link story and the impact scenario. Otherwise, I think this is an easy avenue for the AFF to win a no risk of DA argument.


Like with DAs, I really enjoy when CPs are related to the AFF's literature/mechanism. I will reward with speaker points a well-researched DA/CP strategy. Don't forget that in the 2NR, the CP is just a way for you to lower the threshold of DA/internal offense that you need to win. The CP is a very effective strategy, but it is not the offense that wins the debate.

Use theory against abusive CPs when you're AFF - I will take it into account. For the NEG, read smart CPs or be prepared to defend against theory. It will favor the NEG if a CP is maybe abusive (process, PIC, agent, etc.) but is core controversy in the literature.

For the arms sales topic, I kinda think topic specific args for multi-plank CP theory is convincing for reject the arg. It might help a lot with cheaty CPs on this topic.


I am willing to vote for theory to reject the team. Theory arguments with claims about how the violation specifically engages with the topic literature are especially convincing. My threshold to reject the team is high but winnable and I enjoy theory when it's done well. Don't forget to go for reject the arg strategically when things are really cheaty. Impact out reject the team and reject the arg differently when theory is a big part of the debate strategy.

Speaker Points

I consider 28.5 to be about decently average (not a bad thing). If it helps for context, I debated from 2014 to 2018, so that's my frame of reference for points. I follow this guide pretty religiously. Here's a breakdown:

29.7-30: You are one of the best speakers I've ever seen

29.3-29.6: You should get a top 10 speaker award, and I'm really quite impressed

28.9-29.2: You gave some really good speeches and probably deserve a speaker award

28.7-28.8: You are a decently good speaker, are above average, and have a fair shot at breaking

28.3-28.6: You are probably squarely in the middle of the pool (standard for circuit bid tournament)

27.8-28.1: You need some work - keep trying, though!

27-27.7: This tournament was/is probably going to be rough for you, but don't give up!

Below 27: You almost certainly did something offensive to deserve this

Ways to increase speaks: have organized speeches, be friendly in round, have good evidence, know what your evidence says, be effective in cross ex, be funny (but don't force it)

Ways to decrease speaks: have disorganized speeches, be mean, make it clear that you are reading blocks you don't really get, treat the debate as a joke (don't waste our time)

Ways to get a 0: be blatantly racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, or generally bigoted towards your opponents or people in the round in any way

Don't forget to have fun in debate. Good luck! Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have, whether it be about your arguments or my paradigm. I'm always happy to help :)

Ben Dewhurst Paradigm

6 rounds

Ben Dewhurst, Boston College 2021

Update for anything I happen to judge over the summer--

So, I've been out of the debate mindset for some time now. Only a few months, but when you're a debater rather than a coach, that feels like quite a long time. I only bring that up to warn you, I'm generally a little rusty.

I like policy and kritiks. Not really partial to one or the other. I've done both; both have their benefits and their flaws. I know this is a cliche, but I seriously think that at the end of the day, people generally make things more complicated than they need to be, and the better argument will just win.

To be a little more specific, here is how I generally approach debates:

Cards don't hold any weight until you extend the warrants. Warrants don't matter unless they make it onto my flow. So if your approach is to spend the block reading 11 cards in a row at an incomprehensible speed, only to shadow-extend them in your last rebuttal, I am just not the kind of judge you want. I used to think that being unfazed that kind of debating made you smarter, but that's just not the case. Be as technical or as fast as you want, but at the end of the day, it comes down to persuasion and clarity.

One thing I *do* have a problem with-- arguments related to things happening outside of the round involving specific debaters or teams. Just don't. I can explain more if you like, but I'd prefer to keep this paradigm short.

Any other questions, please feel free to ask! I'll admit that I'm a little jaded by the activity, but I still love to talk about debate and I'd be happy to chat about specific arguments you may have questions about.

Good luck, have fun!

Aminata Dieng Paradigm

6 rounds


Hi, I debated for Brooklyn Tech for 4 years. I’m currently studying CS and English at Tufts. Afro-pessimism was my 2NR/2AR in every single round for the last three years. I like to watch all sorts of debates so please do what you're best at and I'll adjudicate accordingly.

I was coached by William Cheung for my entire career and have just about absorbed his judging philosophy so for anything more specific, his paradigm is pasted directly below:

Here is the start of my paradigm:
As everyone else says, rule of thumb: DO WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT
Whether your go-to strat is to throw stuff at the wall and hope it sticks, a straight up disad/cp, or a one-off K; I will be more than happy to judge your round…
given that you:

1) Have a claim, warrant, and impact to every argument. It isn’t an argument absent these three elements, and I will have trouble/not be able to/want to adjudicate what you’ve said.
2) Make sure, on that note to properly explain your positions, don’t make an assumption that I know your DA scenario (perhaps fill me in on the internal work), or K jargon. Maybe i haven't judged that many rounds this topic and don't understand abbreviations right away - help me out.
3) Have comparative analysis of evidence, arguments, and preformative styles as it compares to your own and how I ought toprioritize impacts as it relates to your framing of the round.
4) Be Persuasive, it will go a long way to making me to sign my ballot your way if you can make the round enjoyable, touching, funny, etc – it will also help your speaks.
5) Write the ballot for me in your 2nr/2ar, tell me how you win. Take risks, and don’t go for everything. Make me think, “woah, cool, gonna vote on that” “What they said in the last rebuttal was exactly how I prioritized stuff too, judging is soooo easy [it's often not :(]"

As for some nitty gritty details:

1) I love a good K or performance debate but absent the four points above, I won’t “hack” for your position. For instance, saying racism bad without analysis towards your opponent’s position (warrant comparison) won’t get you very far in the debate. I will very often sympathize with you, as my personal debate career revolves around the K more than often, but I will NOT do the work for you.
2) I love smart, strategic CPs

3) I love absurd, creative arguments – unlike most judges (don’t get too carried away), I enjoy inventive and properly executed arguments whether they be freshly cut CPs like above, or criticisms that challenge debate structures. Reading poems, speaking babble, and “mirroring” your opponents etc, are things I will not immediately hate, just again, PROPERLY execute it. On that note, if you are a victim of some babbly criticism, please go for framework
4) Go for theory cheap shots in front of me, just do it persuasively. In-round abuse stories help, pre-empt your opponents final speech, and close the doors
5) Go for T in front of me – A good T debate that that includes a discussion on how the topic should be limited, what the value of a particular interp is, and how judges ought to evaluate an interpretation is something I find enjoyable. Just as always, be persuasive!
6) Have case debates – forcing your opponents to debate their case position with specific, smart arguments will always go a long way. Even if it is only defensive, mitigating offense will go a long way, and often throws people off balance. I find there to be a striking lack of case debate from my experience, and would be more than happy to judge more of it

Also, some other things:

1) Look up sometimes when I judge you to gauge my reaction - perhaps you might have said something off-putting sounding unintentionally (race/gender/etc) or have gone for a terrible, terrible flow and I have cringed. It will give you a clue
2) I have no problem voting on terminal defense or presumption
3) I will default to competing interpretations and body counts unless alternative mechanisms of evaluating the round or alternative impacts are introduced and analyzed in opposition to bodies in a debate. For instance, I will presume nukes hurt, unless you tell me death isn’t an impact and why
4) I will avoid looking at evidence, unless there is a dispute over evidence in a round or a debater spins it as part of being persuasive
5) I am an open minded judge, and respect all “realms” of debate, though of course, I will always already have some bias, I will do my best to mitigate it.

Falianne Forges Paradigm

6 rounds

Semifinalist at NAUDL in 2018

Qualified for NSDA in 2017

Debated 6 years in the Boston Debate League

Former K debater

Commonly judge Afro-Pess debates

If you want to know more, ask before the round

Email: forges.f.bla2@gmail.com

Julia Gyourko Paradigm

6 rounds

I did policy for three years at Strath Haven (PA) and I'm currently a junior at Wesleyan University. I was a 1A/2N if that's important to you.

I do want to be on the email chain: jgyourko@gmail.com

As a judge, I think that it's my responsibility to not let my personal preferences/background interfere with the debate at hand. I will vote based on my flow.

Important Points

1) Do what you do best. I will vote for anything, so long as it's well articulated.

2) Speed is good. Just try to make your transitions as clear as possible.

3) The affs that I read in high school always had a plan text and endorsed the resolution. In general, I believe that doing so is good. That being said, don't let my background stop you from doing what you do best. I really just want to watch you give your best debate possible.

4) Have fun and be respectful!

5) Don't cheat and don't steal prep.

Specific Arguments

T/Theory- Super underrated. If you're going to read it, actually engage with the other teams args rather than spreading a generic shell against them. Theory extensions need to have warrants and impacts just like on other flows. "Extend education/fairness" is not an extension--tell me why education and fairness are important.

Disads- Were my most common 2NR strat. You need to commit to a solid 30 seconds of 2NR just doing comparative impact calc, and another 20/30 explaining the scenario in depth. A 2AR spending time on "this da makes no sense/neg never explained the da after the 1AC" is a fairly compelling arg.

Counterplans- They're good. Especially plan-specific ones. Again, please take time in the 2NR to explain what the CP does, and how it functions with the plan. Please have a good solvency advocate in the 1NC.

Kritiks- Can be useful. In high school I mostly read Marx and securitization stuff, but I've debated against basically everything in terms of k lit. Just explain the theoretical basis of your k and you should be good. These types of debates can get messy on the flow, so make sure to signpost where you're going. In my opinion, a link of omission means perm do both solves.

General Aff Notes- Please explain what your aff does and how it attempts to solve for it's impacts. It is the burden of the affirmative to prove that your aff is a good idea.

Critical Affirmatives- See above. I'm just going to take this entire section out of Alexander Belanger's paradigm "The best ones have a specific philosophical mechanism that indicates how the affirmative operates, typically in regards to the resolution. The worst ones are a bunch of critical authors thrown together to create absolutely nothing. Make sure you’re reading the former, and you should be good."

Kevin Kuswa Paradigm

4 rounds

Updated 2019. Coaching at Berkeley Prep in Tampa. Nothing massive has changed except I give slightly higher points across the board to match inflation. Keep in mind, I am still pleased to hear qualification debates and deep examples win rounds. I know you all work hard so I will too. Any argument preference or style is fine with me: good debate is good debate. Email: kevindkuswa at gmail dot com.

Updated 2017. Currently coaching for Berkeley Prep in Tampa. Been judging a lot on the China topic, enjoying it. Could emphasize just about everything in the comments below, but wanted to especially highlight my thirst for good evidence qualification debates...

_____________________________ (previous paradigm)

Summary: Quality over quantity, be specific, use examples, debate about evidence.

I think debate is an incredibly special and valuable activity despite being deeply flawed and even dangerous in some ways. If you are interested in more conversations about debate or a certain decision (you could also use this to add me to an email chain for the round if there is one), contact me at kevindkuswa at gmail dot com. It is a privilege to be judging you—I know it takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment to participate in debate. At a minimum you are here and devoting your weekend to the activity—you add in travel time, research, practice and all the other aspects of preparation and you really are expressing some dedication.

So, the first issue is filling out your preference sheets. I’m usually more preferred by the kritikal or non-traditional crowd, but I would encourage other teams to think about giving me a try. I work hard to be as fair as possible in every debate, I strive to vote on well-explained arguments as articulated in the round, and my ballots have been quite balanced in close rounds on indicative ideological issues. I’m not affiliated with a particular debate team right now and may be able to judge at the NDT, so give me a try early on and then go from there.

The second issue is at the tournament—you have me as a judge and are looking for some suggestions that might help in the round. In addition to a list of things I’m about to give you, it’s good that you are taking the time to read this statement. We are about to spend over an hour talking to and with each other—you might as well try to get some insight from a document that has been written for this purpose.

1. Have some energy, care about the debate. This goes without saying for most, but enthusiasm is contagious and we’ve all put in some work to get to the debate. Most of you will probably speak as fast as you possibly can and spend a majority of your time reading things from a computer screen (which is fine—that can be done efficiently and even beautifully), but it is also possible to make equally or more compelling arguments in other ways in a five or ten minute speech (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQVq5mugw_Y).

2. Examples win debates. Well-developed examples are necessary to make the abstract concrete, they show an understanding of the issues in the round, and they tend to control our understandings of how particular changes will play out. Good examples take many forms and might include all sorts of elements (paraphrasing, citing, narrating, quantifying, conditioning, countering, embedding, extending, etc.), but the best examples are easily applicable, supported by references and other experiences, and used to frame specific portions of the debate. I’m not sure this will be very helpful because it’s so broad, but at the very least you should be able to answer the question, “What are your examples?” For example, refer to Carville’s commencement speech to Tulane graduates in 2008…he offers the example of Abe Lincoln to make the point that “failure is the oxygen of success” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMiSKPpyvMk.

3. Argument comparison wins debate. Get in there and compare evidence—debate the non-highlighted portion of cards (or the cryptic nature of their highlighting). Debate the warrants and compare them in terms of application, rationale, depth, etc. The trinity of impact, plausibility, and verge analysis doesn’t hurt, especially if those variables are weighed against one another. It’s nice to hear good explanations that follow phrases like “Even if…,” “On balance…,” or “In the context of…” I know that evidence comparison is being done at an extremely high level, but I also fear that one of the effects of paperless debate might be a tilt toward competing speech documents that feature less direct evidence comparison. Prove me wrong.

4. Debates about the relative validity of sources win rounds. Where is the evidence on both sides coming from and why are those sources better or worse? Qualification debates can make a big difference, especially because these arguments are surprisingly rare. It’s also shocking that more evidence is not used to indict other sources and effectively remove an entire card (or even argument) from consideration. The more good qualification arguments you can make, the better. Until this kind of argument is more common, I am thirsty enough for source comparisons (in many ways, this is what debate is about—evidence comparison), that I’ll add a few decimal points when it happens. I do not know exactly where my points are relative to other judges, but I would say I am along a spectrum where 27.4 is pretty good but not far from average, 27.7 is good and really contributing to the debate, 28 is very good and above average, 28.5 is outstanding and belongs in elims, and 29.1 or above is excellent for that division—could contend for one of the best speeches at the tournament.

5. All debates can still be won in 2AR. For all the speakers, that’s a corollary of the “Be gritty” mantra. Persevere, take risks and defend your choices

(https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit). The ballot is not based on record at previous tournaments, gpa, school ranking, or number of coaches.

6. Do not be afraid to go for a little more than usual in the 2NR—it might even help you avoid being repetitive. It is certainly possible to be too greedy, leaving a bloated strategy that can’t stand up to a good 2AR, but I usually think this speech leaves too much on the table.

7. Beginning in the 1AR, brand new arguments should only be in reference to new arguments in the previous speech. Admittedly this is a fuzzy line and it is up to the teams to point out brand new arguments as well as the implications. The reason I’ve decided to include a point on this is because in some cases a 2AR has been so new that I have had to serve as the filter. That is rare and involves more than just a new example or a new paraphrasing (and more than a new response to a new argument in the 2NR).

8. Very good arguments can be made without evidence being introduced in card form, but I do like good cards that are as specific and warranted as possible. Use the evidence you do introduce and do as much direct quoting of key words and phrases to enhance your evidence comparison and the validity of your argument overall.

9. CX matters. This probably deserves its own philosophy, but it is worth repeating that CX is a very important time for exposing flaws in arguments, for setting yourself up for the rebuttals, for going over strengths and weaknesses in arguments, and for generating direct clash. I do not have numbers for this or a clear definition of what it means to “win CX,” but I get the sense that the team that “wins” the four questioning periods often wins the debate.

10. I lean toward “reciprocity” arguments over “punish them because…” arguments. This is a very loose observation and there are many exceptions, but my sympathies connect more to arguments about how certain theoretical moves made by your opponent open up more avenues for you (remember to spell out what those avenues look like and how they benefit you). If there are places to make arguments about how you have been disadvantaged or harmed by your opponent’s positions (and there certainly are), those discussions are most compelling when contextualized, linked to larger issues in the debate, and fully justified.

Overall, enjoy yourself—remember to learn things when you can and that competition is usually better as a means than as an ends.

And, finally, the third big issue is post-round. Usually I will not call for many cards—it will help your cause to point out which cards are most significant in the rebuttals (and explain why). I will try to provide a few suggestions for future rounds if there is enough time. Feel free to ask questions as well. In terms of a long-term request, I have two favors to ask. First, give back to the activity when you can. Judging high school debates and helping local programs is the way the community sustains itself and grows—every little bit helps. Whether you realize it or not, you are a very qualified judge for all the debate events at high school tournaments. Second, consider going into teaching. If you enjoy debate at all, then bringing some of the skills of advocacy, the passion of thinking hard about issues, or the ability to apply strategy to argumentation, might make teaching a great calling for you and for your future students (https://www.ted.com/talks/christopher_emdin_teach_teachers_how_to_create_magic note: debaters are definitely part of academia, but represent a group than can engage in Emdin’s terms). There are lots of good paths to pursue, but teaching is one where debaters excel and often find fulfilling. Best of luck along the ways.

Jack Lassiter Paradigm

5 rounds

Baylor Debate GA/Berkeley Prep Assistant Coach - 2017-2019


I have an appreciation for framework debates, especially when the internal link work is thorough and done on the top of your kritik/topicality violation before it is applied to pivotal questions on the flow that you resolve through comparative arguments. On framework, I personally gravitate towards arguments concerning the strategic, critical, or pedagogical utility of the activity - I am readily persuaded to vote for an interpretation of the activity's purpose, role, or import in almost any direction [any position I encounter that I find untenable and/or unwinnable will be promptly included in the updates below]

The Kritik

I have almost no rigid expectations with regard to the K. I spent a great deal of my time competing reading Security, Queer Theory, and Psychoanalysis arguments. The bodies of literature that I am most familiar with in terms of critical thought are rhetorical theory (emphasizing materialism) and semiotics. I have studied and debated the work of Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze, to that extent I would say I have an operative understanding and relative familiarity with a number of concepts that both thinkers are concerned with.


I think that by virtue of evaluating a topicality flow I almost have to view interpretations in terms of competition. I can't really explain reasonability to myself in any persuasive way, if that changes there will surely be an update about it - this is also not to say nobody could convince me to vote for reasonability, only that I will not default in that direction without prompt.


Theory debates can be great - I reward strategic decisions that embed an explanation of the argument's contingent and applied importance to the activity when going for a theory argument on a counterplan.

I believe that permutations often prompt crucial methodological and theoretical reflection in debate - structurally competitive arguments are usually generative of the most sound strategic and methodological prescriptions.


Judging for Damien Debate - Berkeley 2016

In judging I am necessarily making comparisons. Making this process easier by developing or controlling the structure of comparisons and distinctions on my flow is the best advice I could give to anyone trying to make me vote for an argument.

I don't feel like it is really possible to fully prevent myself from intervening in a decision if neither team is resolving questions about how I should be evaluating or weighing arguments. I believe this can be decisively important in the following contexts: The impact level of framework debates, The impact level of any debate really, The method debate in a K v K round, The link debate... The list goes on. But, identifying particular points of clash and then seeing how they are resolved is almost always my approach to determining how I will vote, so doing that work explicitly in the round will almost always benefit you.

If you have any questions about my experience, argumentative preferences, or RFD's feel free to ask me at any time in person or via email.

I may on occasion request pieces of evidence, if thats the case it can be sent to my email: Jack.Lassiter4@gmail.com

Kayla Leong Paradigm

6 rounds

she/her/hers -- and yes, add me to the email chain: kleong2082@bths.edu

I'm a current sophomore in college studying history with 3 years of policy experience in high school, debating for Brooklyn Tech. I went for the K on the aff and neg during most of high school and will be able to get a good grasp on most kritiks, especially those that grapple with race and gender, albeit my familiarity with more theoretical literature/dead white man stuff is very limited. To be really honest I kind of hate it. However, I will vote using my flow every time so the moral of all this is to please do you and whatever you feel most comfortable with. Be nice to each other and have a good time.

William Cheung and Leo Zausen were my coaches so look at their pages for a more comprehensive idea of how I judge.

tl;dr: I don't care what you read as long as it's not oppressive and violent in any way, as those debates are the best ones. Also please err on the side of using less debate jargon as I only judge sometimes and no longer debate in college.

Victor Li Paradigm

5 rounds

Arcadia High School ’16, debated for three semesters at Georgetown

email: victor.jx.li@gmail.com

You should always go for the most strategic argument/the one you're clearly winning. Don't let this philosophy dissuade you from executing a particular strategy; this is just how I think about debate personally, and I will be persuaded to shift the way I evaluate things if you make a convincing argument.

I haven’t judged a ton this year, so I’d really appreciate it if you explained the acronyms/topic jargon floating around.

Disadvantages (and I guess advantages): I believe in terminal defense. Card quality is paramount for me – the context within which a card is written in, the specific claims it makes, the research methodology, and a host of other nit-picky stuff matters in determining who’s on the right side of an issue. I will almost always defer to the team that has one card that’s just better versus a collection of a bunch of cards that approximate the claim the other wants to make. I’d also say “truth > tech” but I feel it’s a bit of an overgeneralizing way to view things.

Generally, if the opposing team’s disad/advantage has an internal link card that’s just blatantly out of context/doesn’t match up at all with the previous cards in the advantage, just pointing that out is probably sufficient for me to assign it very low risk.

Counterplans: Conditionality is good, and I’m also (generally) likely to let the neg get away with more egregious stuff (like fiating away some solvency deficits to the states counterplan). However, I do lean aff in terms of the kinds of permutations you can get away with (e.g. “perm do the aff through the counterplan’s method” is almost always a way to beat your classic process counterplan, if explained correctly).

I really enjoy advantage counterplan debates. I’d also really appreciate it if the 2NC rehighlights a lot of the aff’s internal link cards in those debates.

Topicality: I generally think a big topic is better, and overlimiting is a problem. This doesn’t mean T is unwinnable in front of me (debated for a small school in HS, so I am sympathetic) – if you’re neg, providing a caselist and sketching out the logical boundaries of that caselist is probably the best way to get my ballot. I personally think these lists are often intentionally contrived to list the most ridiculous ideas possible, which means most examples don't pass the "this aff loses automatically to states/generic topic cp/standing up and saying 'hey this aff makes literally negative sense'" test, so they wouldn't be read anyway – so being persuasive on “these are actual strategic, unmanageable affs” is super important.

Kritiks: Probably familiar with a lot of the mainstream lit, but explaining it never hurts if you’re in doubt. I think the best way to win a K in front of me is explaining the impact of each link on perm solvency. I think consequences of a hypothetical action matter in determining whether that action is something I want to affirm. Fiat isn’t real, but honestly in like 99% of cases when you say it the alt isn’t either, so we might as well use it.

Non-traditional affs: Against framework, my default assumption is that a vision of debate where the affirmative must defend an instrumental affirmation of the resolution is good. I can be convinced this model of debate is a bad one, but I think it’s an uphill battle for the aff if the neg executes correctly. I don’t think arguments about “education” or “switch-side debate” are all that persuasive, but I do think it’s important to have a stable stasis point to focus that education. I also think fairness is an impact.


- I take a (relatively) long time to decide rounds – please don’t take it as some sort of indication of the outcome

- I will dock your speaks if you’re being rude, condescending, or making the opposing team feel uncomfortable. We’re all just here to have fun and learn – please try to keep the atmosphere civil

Kevin Lu Paradigm

6 rounds

Lexington High School Class of 2018

I did 4 years of policy debate in high school.

Put me on the email chain: klu609@gmail.com



I will vote on any argument as long as it is defended well

I appreciate good case debate

I am not well versed in the immigration topic, so you'll probably need to do a little more explaining on topic specific things (especially T)

Top speed is not always useful if you're not clear or efficient

Don't clip and don't steal prep.

Don't be rude of disrespectful to your opponents, partner, or me

Thoughts about LD:

I don't really understand Kant, and most other things that don't exist in policy that do in LD. Take that as you will. If you do try to go for something that I don't really know about please EXPLAIN it more than you would to most other judges. I tend to not vote on theory unless your opponent is actually abusive or it's just dropped (i.e. I will probably not vote on random theory arguments you throw in the NC to waste time).


KAffs/Framework - This is what everyone reads paradigms for so I'm putting this first. I read a K aff my junior year but also frequently went for framework so I've been on both sides of the debate. I really enjoy listening to a good clash of civs debate especially when impact calc is done on both sides. I think K affs can be strategic if deployed correctly. I prefer K affs that have some link to the topic, the stronger the better. I also prefer affirmatives that actually defend something. This can involve in round and/or out of round solvency but must be explained to the degree I think that the aff is a good idea.

Especially in clash of civs debates, I find that a lot of k aff teams aren't as proficient on the nitty gritty of the line by line, and thus get punished because they don't answer the nuances of the negatives arguments and spend more time focusing on the warrants of their impact turn. While winning your offensive arguments are important, generic answers to specific negative arguments is never a winning strategy. Additionally, counterinterpretations that set limits on the topic and avoids negative offense are very cool.

On the negative, I find that fairness is often the most persuasive impact 90% of the time. Arguments like predictable limits and ground are also especially persuasive to me. That being said, I do also think skills arguments can be persuasive, especially if they are used to internal link turn affirmative solvency/skills claims. Do it on the negative and topical versions of the aff are also very important pieces of defense that I think should be in most debates. Impact calc is very important. I find that in many debates when framework teams lose to a k aff, it is because there is not enough comparative impact calc done by the negative. This includes telling me why a more limited topic is preferable, EVEN if it may limit out more affs/be slightly more exclusionary.

Ks - I think a good K debate can be fun. I ran some Ks in high school, but my knowledge is mostly limited to setcol, positive peace/security, afropessimism and neolib. Outside of that I probably understand K lit a lot less than you so there is a higher burden on you to explain why your arguments are true and how it interacts with the aff. Links should be well explained and contextualized to the affirmative, not just prewritten blocks that you read every round. Each link should also have a clear impact to it. I also believe that a K should have an alternative that solves the impacts of the K (and link arguments if you're going for a PIK), otherwise the K is just a non-unique DA.

T - I default competing interpretations unless persuaded otherwise. Otherwise do what you want on T.

DAs - I like a good DA debate. Aff specific DAs are probably better but I'm never opposed to a good generic DA which you can spin to link it to the aff. Rehighlighting evidence on both sides in a DA debate is awesome. Smart analytics are good too, especially when a DA is just logically silly. Turns case is very important from both teams, and so is answering them. I find a lot of the time, one team fails to do so and it makes it very hard to vote for them.

CPs - I'm open to anything on this front. I do prefer counterplans with a solvency advocates and well articulated netbenefits. I'll evaluate any CP as long as you can win it's theoretically legit. That being said, I do lean aff on international fiat, process cps, word pics, and 2NC cps, and negative on most other theory arguments against counterplans.

Condo - I think 3 condo is ok, 4 is pushing it but this is all up for debate.

Miscellaneous Things

>29.5 for using less than 30 seconds of prep total

+0.1 speaks for any GOOD jokes about Rajeev Raghavan, Matthew Tan, Chris Jun, Eric Deng, Michelle Li, or Pacy Yan

Mason Marriott-Voss Paradigm

6 rounds

Yes I want to be on the email chain: flashingisprep@gmail.com

**Please make the subject line of your email something that makes sense (ex: TFA State - Round 3 - Texas CM v MSU GS)**

All other things (questions, comments, speech doc requests, etc) should go to masonnmv[at]gmail[dot]com

[Pre-TFA State UPDATE - 2/25/2020]

Still judging only clash debates so here is a more complete framework rant

  • Ideologically I slightly lean aff for reasonability reasons. In the real debate world we actual live in, (some) K affs are predictable, and (most) K affs that are in the direction of the resolution are not hard to engage with. Not only that, but ideally we all have case negs to the best teams at the tournament anyway. That being said, framework is still absolutely negative ground, and K affs are (often) impossible to pin down. Also a lot of K affs require you to spot them solvency before you can win offense which is probably not something we should have to do. Two things you should take away from that
    • On the aff, defense goes a long way. The negatives fairness and limits offense is often blown way out of proportion and you should stop letting them get away with that
    • On the neg, negative engagement is the easiest standard to convince me of. The 2AR will probably say "our aff is contestable because XYZ" but framework debates are questions of models not just about the aff.
  • I vote aff in these debates when:
    • The 2AR wins that impositions of limits are bad. I don't often find myself voting that "limits in the abstract are always terrible" but re-framing that same argument as "imposing X limit on debate is bad for Y reason" is something that I find a lot more compelling, especially when the 2NR doesn't do impact comparison and instead just asserts "but I promise limits are super great"
    • The 2AR wins that their interpretation solves limits with even a small net benefit of some kind. Mostly this happens when the the aff spends a lot of time on defense (an under-utilized component of framework debates, see above), or when the 2NR rants about impacts for 5 minutes without talking about internal links.
  • I vote neg in these debates when:
    • The 2NR does great internal link work. I would love for the 2NR to include a section that says "their interp is A which allows for B because C which doesn't solve D because E" Doing so will force you to clearly articulate an internal link differential which is a thing I care about, while also dramatically raising the threshold the aff has to meet to win any of their defense (again, a thing I care about)
    • There isn't a role for the negative under the affs interp. I believe clash is great, and the negative often gets away with telling me that they are the only ones that allow for clash to occur. Not only that but the negative often is better at telling me why the types of clash that we have under their interp is good for XYZ reason.
  • I think debate is great, I wouldn't devote 100% of my non-schoolwork time to it if I didn't, so you will have a hard time convincing me that "debate is terrible, we shouldn't do it, clash is always bad in every instance" and the negative will have an easy time winning "debate can be good, you don't even have to read a plan just say something at all please"
  • I find it really hard to explain why the act of reading framework in and of itself is violent or bad. Specifically, I will have a really hard time voting on "you read framework you should lose" if the 2NR doesn't go for it, and I really don't care about framework linking to X other position that you read. If you don't put framework in the 1NC the aff gets to run wild in the 2AC, and fallback positions are a thing. If you're neg you still need to answer it but don't think you have to go for framework or you're screwed because as long as you answer it I don't care that much at all.

[MID SEASON UPDATE - 12/11/2019]

  • I increasingly find myself saying something like this in the RFDs "I have you saying quote: *reads exactly what I have written on my flow* in the 2NR/2AR, to me that is not a complete argument nor does it answer the explanation the other team is doing" - this might be me being picky, but just know that I have a slightly higher threshold than average for what qualifies as extending a complete argument
    • I have also done this a couple of times "I have you saying quote: *reads from flow* in the 1AR/block, while the 2NR/2AR explanation is very good you have not made this into an actual argument until then"
    • This is not a tech over truth claim. Truth does come before tech, but there is a minimum threshold that your truthful argument has to meet for me to feel comfortable evaluating it
  • For framework, some new thoughts
    • To quote Bankey: there are two framework 2ARs: 1) limits are bad, or 2) we solve limits. While there are a plethora of winning 2ARs on framework, if you don't do either of those things you are going to be in a rough spot
    • If the aff is going for the "we solve limits" 2AR, the 2NR would be greatly served by having a section which says "their interp is A which allows for B because C which doesn't solve D because E" Doing so will force you to clearly articulate an internal link differential between your interp and their interp. If you can't do that in the 2NR then maybe go for a different standard.
  • I still continue to only judge clash debates. I've accepted that fate by now, but know that if for some reason I'm in a policy debate I will probably not be as educated as I should be.
  • Specifically, I seem to end up judging a lot of *different flavor of anti-blackness* vs *state engagement and fiat are good* debates. I can almost promise that I've heard someone make a much better version of the argument you're making and I can also promise that I'll just wish I was watching that person debate and not you when you're making that mediocre argument.
    • I enjoy these debates when:
      • There are examples from both sides on the ontology portion of the debate
      • Each side answers the specifics of the others examples
      • I hear an example I haven't heard before (examples are a trend here if that wasn't clear enough)
      • You clearly know what you're talking about/look like you've actually read a book - if you know your shit, make that clear, it makes me happy that students know things
    • I DO NOT enjoy these debate when:
      • You assume you're winning ontology true/not true without doing any explanation
      • You sound like you're annoyed the other team exists/is making arguments (yes even if their arguments are bad you should still respect them)
      • When there are only non-black people in the room and nobody talks about/seems to recognize/cares about that fact
      • It's clear you are just reading blocks and don't actually know what your cards say - I will still vote for you, I'll just be upset about it and you're speaks will not be happy


General Things:

  • Tell me how to vote and why, hold my hand as much as possible and you will be rewarded
  • Your evidence quality matters a lot to me, but I won't read evidence unless I need to. Use that to your advantage, compelling and in depth evidence comparison goes a loooong way.
    • If/when I call for cards I will ask for "whatever you think is important" That is NOT an invitation to send me everything you read, nor is it a promise to read everything you send me. Instead it's an opportunity to do what you should have done in the speech and tell me which cards you think I should read (that does include opponent evidence if you so choose).
  • Truth over tech, you should have a warrant to prove why your truth claim is true
  • Take risks and have fun. When you're engaged and having fun it makes my job more enjoyable and a happy me = better speaks
  • Always happy to answer specific questions you have before the debate. The question "do you have any specific paradigms judge" (or anything along those lines) will be answered with "do whatever you want"

Framework - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:

  • State good isn't offense for a framework argument, and state bad isn't offense against it - unlikely you will tell me otherwise
  • Your interp isn't just a model that dictates the way debates go down, but also a research model that dictates the way we prepare for debates - you should have reasons why both in and out of round their interp is bad and yours is good
  • If the aff says arms sales are bad I do not understand why winning arms sales are good is not a reason to vote neg. On the aff that should help you answer fairness/ground, on the neg that should give you another 2NR option if you so choose.
  • I am more than willing to vote for intervention/heg/cap/arms sales are good. Often times I think the aff is too flippant about answering the impact turns that get read on case and the negative fails to capitalize on that.
  • Increasingly I am becoming less and less of a fan of arguments that say "framework is policing/the prison/any other actually bad thing" In fact, I think that it is very dangerous to equivocate the violence that happens in a prison to the "violence" that happens when teams read framework.
  • Answering the aff is not a microaggression. Neither is reading generic evidence. Debaters make bad/non-responsive arguments all the time, that's not a reason to vote them down, just a reason you don't have to spend as much time answering the argument.

Until I judge more rounds on this topic I won't have as many topic specific things to say. Please consult the previous seasons paradigm for any additional information


Yes I want to be on the email chain: flashingisprep@gmail.com

General things:

  • Tell me how to vote and why, not only will this help your chances of winning, it will also help your speaks
  • I will read your evidence after the debate, not during, so the more you do the ev comparison for me during the debate the more likely I am to believe you - that being said, your evidence quality matters a lot to me, and I will read the evidence that I think is relevant while making my decision, so make sure to tell me which evidence matters
  • Take risks. It makes my job a lot more fun and often pays off big. Your speaks will be rewarded for it.
  • Truth over tech, and you should have a warrant to prove why your truth claim is true
  • I increasingly keep judge clash debates, I have judged maybe two high level disad/cp debates since the Greenhill tournament, that means two things
    • First, in clash debates I find myself leaning aff on the internal link level but neg on the impact level, I think the 2NR impact explanation sounds pretty but the internal link is dramatically under explained, and the 2AR can often be very compelling on a "you don't solve your own impact" level. The topical versions that teams are reading (mostly the generic open borders stuff) is also only really ever compelling to me in a world where the aff goes for "our discussion good" which is increasingly not the way the aff is answering framework. If your aff defends restrictions are bad and provides a mechanism for resolving (whatever that means) that then I am a fan. If your aff is just "debate is bad, fairness and clash are bad" then I am not a fan
    • IF you do have me in a policy v policy debate, make sure you explain which part of the debate matters and why, and do a little bit more handle holding me through the debate in the 2NR and 2AR than you would in front of your regular policy judges as I will need to shake the rust off

Policy things - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:

  • Uniqueness controls the direction of the link, you will be hard pressed to persuade me otherwise
  • Undecided on indefinite parole good/bad - probably lean neg on this question but haven't seen it really debated out enough yet
  • The topic is LPR - way more thoughts on this later, but unlikely you convince me your non-LPR aff is T
  • If your CP has a solvency advocate (each plank, together) I think it's almost impossible to lose to any theory argument
  • Presumption flips aff if the CP is a larger change from the status quo than the aff is (fully explained in the CPs section at the bottom)
  • The 1AR is a constructive, you should probably read some cards

Clash of civ things - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:

  • Fairness is an internal link, but negative engagement and clash are very compelling impacts
  • State good isn't offense for a FW argument, and state bad isn't offense against it - unlikely you will tell me otherwise
  • If the aff says and defends that restrictions on immigration are bad I find it harder to win a limits impact but a little easier to win a topical version
  • Your interp isn't just a model that dictates the way debates go down, but also a research model that dictates the way we prepare for debates - you should have reasons why both in and out of round their interp is bad and yours is good
  • Ericson is descriptive of debate 15 years ago, not prescriptive of what debate should be. I think this makes it a little difficult to win a predictability internal link, you still can just make sure you do slightly more work than you normally would here for me
  • Negative engagement/clash is an impact but probably doesn't solve the affs education offense because the neg wants to be able to go for the temporary CP and base, instead it is good as a critical thinking model

K v K things - these are my initial thoughts, all of these (unless otherwise stated) are things I think are true but I can be convinced otherwise if you out debate someone on it:

  • I don't judge a lot of these debates, but when these debates are good, I highly enjoy them. The more specific you get with your links/alt explanation/link turns/alt offense the happier I will be
  • The aff gets a perm - "this is a method debate" is not a real world thing to do, only way I really change my mind here is if the aff drops this argument
  • You are not responsible for other things your author wrote that you haven't read, but you are responsible for other things/theories that the parts you have read rely on for their theorization (your psychoanalysis aff probably has to defend the Lack even if you don't make any of your arguments about it)
  • Examples are the key to winning the link v link turn debate for me
  • Just because you read a Zizek card doesn't mean you can just make any argument you want - your theory should be consistent and you should tie your arguments back to your evidence, I will read your evidence after the debate while making my decision

Feel free to email me with any questions - masonnmv[at]gmail[dot]com - yes this is different from the email above, please use each for its intended purpose.

After that quick and dirty, here is my rant about the topic as I've seen it so far. Increasingly on this topic I find myself becoming more and more frustrated with the trajectory of affirmatives who have decided to read a plan. Two large complaints that I have:

  • Your aff should be LPR
  • You should specify which restrictions you reduce

Let me unpack those two things

First, LPR. I feel very strongly that the aff has to be for the purpose of LPR and only for the purpose of LPR. I know that generally the community is moving in this direction but I feel like it’s worthwhile for me to talk about this because I find myself more ideological about this than others I’ve talked to. I think that “legal immigration” most clearly means “admission to the United States for the purpose of long term permanent residence” and anything that isn’t that is fairly clearly negative ground. There are two versions of the refugee/asylum/T/U visas affs that are mainly being read now.

The first type just makes it easier to get those visas. This is the “determine that environmentally-displaced persons constitute ‘refugees’” aff’s. Or the “remove the requirement to cooperate with law enforcement” aff. These affs, for me, and almost impossibly defensible. Those people that enter under those new expanded rules are not permanent residents, nor are they guaranteed to be permanent residents. The most popular counter-interp for these affs, “legal immigration is path to lpr” to me is poor at best. It begs the question of what a “path” is, which I have yet to find a good definition of. For example, H1-B’s might be considered a path to LPR because the majority of people here on H1-Bs apply for transfer of status and become LPR. Without a good definition of what a “path to LPR” means I have no idea how that interp can set a limit on the topic that excludes non-immigrant and temporary visas. With these affs they all have the similar we meet/reasonability story that happens in the 2AR which goes something like “but our visas end up with LPR and aren’t temporary because they eventually become permanent so please don’t vote neg” But this we meet argument is not even close to compelling. In my mind this is the negatives argument, and at best for you is just the same as saying “we are effectually topical so don’t vote neg” The plan doesn’t immediately give people LPR, and I don’t think that our model of debate is defensible.

The second type of that aff changes those visas and makes them LPR. These are the “for the purpose of long term permanent residence” affs. These are think are more defensible than the type above, and end up raising a lot of interesting T questions, but I would prefer it if they weren’t topical. The problem that I have with these affs is that they just make any non-topical group topical. I have no idea why the plan can fiat that they give refugees immediate LPR and why they would not be able to fiat that H1-Bs are LPR (I keep using H1-Bs because I feel like everyone agrees that those are by definition not topical). The problem that I run into when thinking about these types of affs though is that I don’t think that there is a good interp that clearly limits these types of affs out. I think that there are two ways you can try and limit out these affs. The first, is a definition of restrictions that would say that making a new LPR isn’t reducing a restriction. But I think that a compelling answer to that is probably that the restriction that exists on getting LPR is the 1 year requirement which the plan would eliminate. I think that this could go either way, but that’s the point of debate. The second way you can limit this out is to say that a reduction has to be pre-existing. The aff increases the cap from 0 to 200 LPR refugee visas, which is technically a reduction of a cap but it doesn’t increase a currently existing cap. That coupled with a literature argument about there not being any lit to contest reducing restrictions that don’t officially exist to me feels weak but doable. In general this is the debate the aff wants to have in front of me, because despite the fact I don’t want these affs to be topical I don’t know how to safely limit them out without just arbitrarily deciding that they shouldn’t be topical.

Second, specification. This one really gets me going but comes up in debates less. The topic is not immigration good/bad. The topic is restrictions good/bad. The number of affs with plan texts that resemble “Plan: The USfg should substantially reduce its restrictions on legal immigration for artificial intelligence professionals.” is sad but not surprising. Look I get it, you don’t want to debate PICs. But come on, you have to actually defend something. The best debates on this topic are not “should we let in AI professionals to the US?’ but instead centered around how we should do that. And unless you want every debate to be indefinite parole vs LPR then it would benefit everyone if you just specified. If you read a plan, and a solvency advocate that goes with it, that defends a specific restriction(s) then I am very comfortable inflating your speaks AND telling the neg that their generic CP/links don’t assume the specific mechanism of the aff. If you do not do that (read a real plan that is), I am very comfortable voting neg on a circumvention argument. Let’s be real, you are reading your plan like that because you think it has strategic value, and truthfully, it does. And with that in mind I think that there has to be some incentive for the aff to foster clash and read a real plan text so if you are aff in front of me and you don’t read a real plan, make sure you spend more time than you want to answering vagueness arguments/case circumvention arguments. I am also more comfortable with cheating CPs against affs with vague plans, and dramatically less comfortable with cheating CPs against affs that specify.

I understand that the two above statements might make you slightly uncomfortable but I feel like I should put that out there just so that everyone is on the same page.

------------------------------2016-17 Season-----------------------------------------

I am a first year out. I debated for four years at the Liberal Arts and Science academy and currently attend the University of Texas in Austin. I have always been a 2A so that does actively shape the way that I think about/approach debate.

Short and sweet – Yes put me on the email chain - flashingisprep@gmail.com. I lean more truth over tech in the sense that I will not vote on something that can't explain to the other team at the end of the debate, but that doesn’t mean you can just drop things and hope I ignore them. Do what you do best. Seriously. I would rather judge a good debate on something I am less familiar with than a bad debate any day. The more you can write my ballot in the 2NR/2AR, and tell me what I am voting on and why, the more likely you are to win but also the more likely I am to give you better speaks. Make my job easy and you will be rewarded. I will be somewhat/very expressive during the debate, and I will flow cross ex

Any specific questions feel free to email me: masonnmv [at] gmail [dot] com - yes I realize that this is a different email from the one above, please use each email for its intended purpose.

Now what you are probably here for:

K affs and Framework – I read mostly traditional affs throughout my career but I did read a variety of different K affs with moderate levels of success. I would like to think that I will do my very best to evaluate the debate in front of me but there are a couple of thoughts that I have about framework debates in general that will always be a part of my decision calculus no matter how hard I try and be objective.

First, my senior year my partner and I went for framework against every single K aff that we debated except for one, against which we went for the global/local K. I think that K affs tend to not meet their own interp more often than you would think, and get away with it, and in the instances in which they do meet their interp, it is often very easy to win a limits disad. I also think that a lot of the offense that K teams like to go for is often only a question of “our education is unique” which I feel is often resolved by switch side and maybe the topical version. Limits and clash are the negative standards that I find the most persuasive, and I most commonly went for clash as an impact that has intrinsic value. I am least persuaded by the topic education standards people like to go for, but I encourage you to do what you are the best at and if that’s topic education then go for it. I tend to think about switch side debate more than other people do when evaluating framework debates. I lean neg in general on framework that's for sure.

That being said, there is nothing intrinsic to me about debate that requires that you read a plan, nor do I think that not reading a plan means that no productive debate can occur. I think predictability is definitely a question of the lens through which you view the resolution (eg: on the China topic, even “policy” teams knew that people were going to read a Pan aff. Doing research in a particular area helps to guide what you and others are able to predict will be read during the year), which means that K on K debates can be highly productive/clash can occur. I think that the neg often gets away with way too much offense in terms of things like the limits disad etc as the aff often forgets to test the internal links of their impacts and instead just goes for the impact turn. To use the limits disad as an example, I think that the negs interp is not nearly as limiting as they often get to spin it as, and the world of the aff is often not as bad as the neg says it is. Don’t get me wrong, impact turning things is fantastic, but sometimes smart effective defense can be just as useful.

Other thoughts on framework debates

  • One carded, smart, topical, topical version of the aff goes A LOT farther than 4 short generic ones. Specificity matters a lot in these topical version debates. Both the aff and the neg can exploit this to great effect
  • If your aff has a solvency advocate that links your theory to the topic in the same way you claim to, you are in a MUCH better place. It cuts back against a lot of their offense and makes it substantially harder for them to win anything that isn’t limits
  • I tend to think that both interps have some educational value, if you are winning reasons why the education that your interp provides is comparatively better than the education that their interp provides you are 75% of the way to winning these debates
  • I think that debate is a game, but that doesn't mean that it can't have other intrinsic value, eg it can definitely be a home, or a place of individual expression, or even an academic space or educational training ground. I get this framing from my years playing soccer, which while being a game, also provides a lot of good to a lot of people. What that really means for y'all is that I am probably not the best judge for "it's a game cause some wins so vote neg because fairness"
  • The more specific that each sides offense gets, the better. There is often a lot of offense happening on both sides of these debates so the more you are able to get ahead on the specifics of how your offense interacts with their offense the better.

I think it is very hard to win state good is a net benefit to framework, especially if you’re coupling it with a switch side debate argument.

Now the more specific things

Kritiks vs Plans –

  • Buzzwords do NOT equal explanation. Just because I might be familiar with your author/argument doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t explain it.
  • Specificity matters. Feel free to read your generic link cards but be prepared to explain them in the specific context of the aff. On the aff, read your generic K answer cards if you have to/want to but again, be prepared to explain them in the specific context of the aff
  • I am better for the negative than most for frameworks that do not let the aff leverage its advantages – I generally think that the aff just assumes that obviously they get the aff and don’t spend enough time here. Yes you can go for framework as the alt/without the alt/whatever you want to call it. Especially if you have a link specific to the aff/something the aff did and not just a link to the squo this can be a very effective strategy.
  • Link turns and “the aff is a good idea”/”our reps are true” are sufficient offense to vote aff, but mostly only when coupled with a perm, and you have to explain to me why the aforementioned statement is true. You don’t always have to have external offense against the alt but it would greatly increase your chances of winning. If they kick the alt you can sometimes still get the perm, but you have to do the work to tell me why you should
  • On the aff, you should defend the aff and you shouldn’t forget about the aff. Often people get caught up in going for “psychoanalysis bad” instead of actually just answering the links and defending the aff. You should still have specific K offense but seriously, if the K is competitive, then the aff is offense in and of itself. Unless you don’t get to weigh it. See above

Kritiks vs No Plans –

  • Just because this is a “method debate” does not mean the aff does not get a permutation. I definitely think that it is actually most real world to combine different methods and see how they interact. Just because we are in debate doesn’t mean that that same standard should apply. Now you can win specific reasons why in the context of your theory the perm still fails, but the aff probably gets the perm.
  • See K vs plans stuff as well – specificity matters a ton. Especially in the link vs link turn debate. The aff will almost always have some chance at a link turn, so whoever is ahead on the spin and explanation game will probably win that part of the debate. Historical/contextual examples are super useful and super underutilized. Don’t just assume your truth claim is true, say words and explain why.

Disads –

  • I have different thoughts about risk than most people do. Start at 0% risk and build up, NOT at 100% and work down. I think that it is the negatives burden to prove that their internal links are true and not necessarily the affs burden to disprove them. That being said, if the aff only reads a non-unique in the 2AC I think that the negative is going to have a very easy time proving that the rest of their disad is true. What this means is that I am a sucker for a 2AC that maybe reads one or two cards but mainly makes smart and true analytic arguments to answer the disad at each level. Especially if your disad is bad (if you have to ask then yes, yes it is), then I think that the 2AC probably doesn’t need to even read a card and can instead get away with talking about the disad in its entirety for about 45 seconds or less. This is the best example of where I am more truth over tech
  • Yes disads can go away in cross ex if it is done correctly, but you still have to make those same arguments in your next speech. A well-executed cross ex on a disad in my opinion is more concerned about what the 1NC evidence says than what the 1N has to say about it.
  • The 1AR is basically a constructive. Let’s be real, I got through A LOT of my high school career going for cards that were in the 1AR. As long as you have a similar analytic argument in the 2AC, you can often justify the card. I don’t think that it’s the 2A’s burden to start answering a disad before it becomes a real disad (see above about analytics being awesome). This does NOT mean you can just drop it. But I often don’t think that you need to read cards.
  • I really enjoy a good impact turn debate. My senior year this was my bread and butter, and this is where I am more tech over truth. I think that sometimes the CP just solves the aff and so impact turning the net benefit is often an effective and useful answer to CPs. So on the negative just be prepared to defend your impact(s). This goes both ways, if you are ready to impact turn the aff then go for it. These debate are awesome and often involve a lot of strangely qualified evidence and if you do this well I can’t say that your speaker points wouldn’t see a small not-so-subconscious boost.
    • On that note I should add: You will receive minimum speaker points and lose if you read racism good, sexism good, and a variety of other arguments where your moral compass should understand that thing is un-impact turn-able. If you have to ask, you shouldn’t go for it

Counterplans –

  • I have thoughts about presumption that I think are different from others when it comes to counterplans. Presumption flips affirmative when the counterplan is more change from the status quo than the aff
    • For example: Plan: USfg should feed Africa and go to the moon, CP: USfg should feed Africa, Presumption stays negative.
    • Example two: Plan: USfg should invest in renewables, CP: USfg should sign the Law of the Sea, iron fertilize the ocean, build CCS, and instate a carbon tax, Presumption flips aff.
    • Obviously there are instances where this is not a perfect standard which is why I think it is up to the debaters to explain which way presumption flips and why. This doesn’t come up a ton but when it does it matters.
  • On CP theory in general – I am a 2A. Always have been. That being said, I think that you are much better off going for perm do the counterplan/the counterplan isn’t competitive, instead of trying to go for “delay CPs are a voting issue”. I have a hard time believing that I should reject the team because they read a [insert process] counterplan, but I can be persuaded if you have to go for it.
  • Also while I am on theory: I have a lot of thoughts about conditionality, but I try my best to judge the debate that happened in front of me. I try to view and evaluate the condo debate the same way someone would evaluate a T debate: which interp have the debaters proved to me is best for a model of debate. I do subconsciously lean aff on this question, but if it's a new aff, do whatever you want.
  • 2NC CPs/amendments to CP texts: they justify new 1AR arguments (perms, offense, solvency deficits, links to the net benefit, etc), they are very rarely a reason to reject the team, I could be persuaded that it’s a reason to reject the argument
  • The solvency deficit just has to outweigh the risk of the net benefit. Both sides should be doing this comparative work for me please.

Case debate –

  • Please do it. I view this the same way that I view disads, it’s the affs burden to prove that their internal links are true and not the negs burden to disprove them. So just like with disads, a smart 1NC on case can be devastating and the less generic your case work is the 1NC the higher the threshold will be for 2AC answers. Basically just read the stuff about disads but switch the aff and the neg
  • I am not a fan of the fast, blippy, 2AC case answers, nor am I a fan of your 45 second long block of text that you are going to spread through and call an overview. The 2AC should actually answer case args and the block and 2NR will be given a lot of leeway if you don’t. “Yes war – their evidence doesn’t assume miscalc” is not an answer.

Topicality –

  • T is and always will be a question of competing models of debate. That might sound to you like "competing interps" but there is a distinction. Competing interps for me is much more a question of how I should evaluate offense in a topicality debate. Reasonability just means that your interpretation is reasonable (not that the aff is reasonable)/your interp is sufficient to resolve a risk of their offense, competing interps just means that it should only be a question of offense/defense. But in both worlds I am still evaluating different, comparable models of debate.
  • I am less concerned about your ability to read your five sub-points ground and fairness block and more concerned with your ability to outline what the world of the other teams interp looks like. Why is it bad for debate (both aff and neg ground) etc.
  • That being said, I went for T a lot in high school. T QPQ and framework were our two most common 2nrs. So do what you have to do. And yes, T is a topic generic.
  • Topicality is about the model of debate that you endorse, so have a defense of that. Case lists, and why the affs on that list are bad or good, are a must.
  • For reference from the China topic – on a scale of Yes T-QPQ We Meet/Counter Interp double bind to No T-QPQ We Meet/Counter Interp double bind I’m a firm “no”.

To close I would like to quote Ezra Serrins, my high school debate partner, "I appreciate it when debaters take arguments seriously but you shouldn't take yourself too seriously"

Ben Morbeck Paradigm

6 rounds

Benjamin Morbeck

Updated 1-22-2020

Debated 2 years of policy at Strath Haven HS

Currently in my 3rd year of policy at the University of Rochester

Was the main policy coach for Strath Haven last year (2018-19), but i don't coach as much this year

Yes, add me to the email chain: benmo28@gmail.com

Top level stuff:

As a debater and a coach, I live pretty exclusively on the policy side of things. This reflects my research interests and my competence in judging more than deeply-held beliefs about debate.

I evaluate the round probabilistically -- comparing the risk that each team accesses their impacts, regardless of whether it is a DA, K or T debate. Good defense is often as important as offense in my decisions, but there is very infrequently "zero risk".

Condo/most forms of neg flex are good -- please run wild with CPs. Affs -- you can still win this debate, you'll just need to devote a lot more time to get me to vote on condo than for other judges.

I find I have an increasingly low tolerance for non-substantive arguments in policy rounds---things like ASPEC, frivolous T arguments, plan flaws, or even very generic impact turns (e.g. spark) etc. My threshold for affs answering these is incredibly low. I think there are almost no situations where negatives would be better served by going for these instead of a DA/CP strategy in front of me.

Evidence quality is very important to me. I'm trying to read more evidence after debates not because I like to needlessly intervene but because I think that it makes my decisions more informed. It is very much to your advantage to influence how I look at evidence after the round by pointing out where your own evidence is great and your opponents' is trash during the debate. This also means I am hesitant to vote on, for example, disad stories that are contrived and supported mainly by "spin" rather than quality evidence.

Some specific stuff:

T-USFG/Framework: I tend to err negative in these debates. I very rarely hear a compelling answer to arguments such as "topical version of the aff" or "read it on the neg" when they are well-executed. Also -- the fact that I view debate as a game has substantial bearing on how I judge these debates. Even if the role of debate is debateable, it's still an uphill battle to win that the ballot affects subjectivity or the world outside of debate, and likewise tough to convince me that we should ignore things like procedural fairness.

Topicality: I have a strong preference for substance over T. Ground is generally more important than limits -- if you can prove you lost your core topic arguments this debate will be easier for you, but that also cuts the other way against larger affs -- if you can't convince me of that I'll probably never vote on T no matter how good your ev is. Reasonability is way overrated -- just win your vision of the topic is better.

Kritiks: they must indict the ability of the case to solve its impacts, otherwise i'll probably vote affirmative.

Disads: I love these. I value specificity and recency of research over anything resembling a generic DA block -- args like "past immigration policy thumps" will not get you very far. I'm also a great judge for politics (I think there's almost always a risk) and an even better judge for spotting the neg links to politics. Unless your plan text explicitly identifies an actor that isn't congress, you probably link to politics and need to actually answer the DA.

Counterplans: Lean decently neg on CP legitimacy, aff on competition -- which just means I want to see more people go for "perm do the CP". International CPs are probably the one area I lean aff on -- I don't really think they disprove the aff or resolution. I'm happy to judge kick in the 2NR, but you need to tell me. All theory that is not condo is a reason to reject the argument and not the team.

I'm a real hack for voting negative on the combination of poor impacting of solvency deficits in the 2AR and the undercovering of turns case arguments by the 1AR and 2AR. Affs: make sure you quantify the impact of a solvency deficit in the 2AR, and i probably have a higher threshold on this than most other judges.

Impact framing debates -- don't find them very persuasive. They're tough to judge and I fall back on my predispositions. Answer the DAs and CPs substantively instead of relying on framing -- your aff probably doesn't link to them anyway!

Other stuff:

With the email chain, please try to avoid putting cards you are reading in the body of the email. I'd much prefer if they were in a separate doc (even if it's just 1 or 2 cards).

Disclosure is very important to me and I'm not sure why disclosure practices are so poor in high school debate: I strongly believe open source format is beneficial to the debate community. I'm hesitant to see this debate played out in the round (i.e. disclosure theory), but would love to use some carrots to encourage good disclosure practices. Let me know your wiki page is dope (read: fully open source) before I submit my decision and I'll bump your speaks .3. Is that a little too much? maybe, but it's 2019 now and drastic actions are necessary.

Similarly, in the interest of disclosure, if you would like the docs from a round that i judged, feel free to email me.

Ryan Nierman Paradigm

3 rounds

U of M - Dearborn - BSE Computer Engineering & Engineering Mathematics (2011)

Oakland University - PhD Applied Mathematics (2017)

I debated for Groves High School for two years, U of M - Dearborn for one year, and I debated for U of M - Ann Arbor for one year. I have been coaching at Groves High School since August 2007, where I am currently Co-Director of Debate.

Please include me on the email chain: ryannierman@gmail.com

Top Level: Do whatever you want. My job is to evaluate the debate, not tell you what to read.

Speed: Speed is not a problem so long as you remain clear.

Topicality: I am willing to vote on T. I think that there should be substantial work done on the Interpretation vs Counter-Interpretation debate, with impacted standards or reasons to prefer your interpretation. There needs to be specific explanations of your standards and why they are better than the aff's or vice versa. Why does one standard give a better internal link to education or fairness than another, etc?

CPs: I am willing to listen to any type of CP and multiple counterplans in the same round. I also try to remain objective in terms of whether I think a certain cp is abusive or not - the legitimacy of a counterplan is up for debate and thus can vary from one round to the next.

Disads: Sure. There should be a clear link to the aff. Yes, there can be zero risk. The overviews should focus in on why your impacts outweigh and turn case. Let the story of the DA be revealed on the line-by-line.

Kritiks: I enjoy a good kritik debate. Having said that, you shouldn't run the K just because I am judging. If you decided to read the K, make sure that there is a clear link to the aff. This may include reading new link scenarios in the block. There should also be a clear explanation of the impact with specific impact analysis. For the alternative debate, this is where some time needs to be spent. What is the alt? Does it solve the aff? What does the world of the alternative look like? And finally, who does the alternative? What is my role as the judge? The neg should also isolate a clear f/w - why does methodology, ontology, reps, discourse, etc. come first?

Theory: I don't lean any particular way on the theory debate. For me, a theory debate must be more than just reading and re-reading one's blocks. There needs to be impacted reasons as to why I should vote one way or another. If there are dropped independent voters on the theory debate, I will definitely look there first. Finally, there should be an articulated reason why I should reject the team on theory, otherwise I default to just rejecting the argument.

Performance: I find myself judging more and more of these debates. I prefer if the performative affirmation or action is germane to the topic, but that is up for debate. I am certainly willing to listen to your arguments, and evaluate them fairly.

Paperless Debate: I try to give the paperless teams the benefit of the doubt should a computer issue occur. I do not take prep time for flashing, but don't use this as an excuse to steal prep.

Other general comments:

Line-by-line is extremely important in evaluating the rounds, especially on procedural flows.

Clipping cards is cheating! If caught, you will lose the round and get the lowest possible speaker points the tournament allows.

Finally, don't change what works for you. I am willing to hear and vote on any type of argument, so don't alter your winning strat to fit what you may think my philosophy is.

Sydney Pasquinelli Paradigm

4 rounds


  • Director of Debate @ Wayne State University
  • Policy Debate Coach @ Edgemont High School
  • BA- Wayne State University
  • MA - Wake Forest University
  • PHD - University of Pittsburgh
  • she/hers, or they/theirs is fine too

Sonny Patel Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated: 7/8 Harvard debate camp
PF -

i judge by the flow. i am someone who appreciates depth of warranting way more than quantity of arguments. i am someone who would relish 2 minutes of framework debate in the FF (but that's just me). crossfire questions that harp on 1 point but never translate to the flow (eg "whats your methodology?" ) are frustrating. Academic creativity, taking risks, and demonstration of depth of clash through warranting will be rewarded w/ speaker points.


- i view the speech act as an act and an art. debate is foremost a communicative activity. i want to be compelled.
- i go back and forth on t/fw vs kritik/performance affs, which is supported by my voting record.
- i'm open to voting on nearly anything you put in front of me. details below.
- academic creativity & originality will be rewarded
- clarity matters. i flow by ear, including your cards' warrants and cites
- tag team cx is okay as long as its not dominating
- don't vape in my round, it makes me feel like an enabler

i've been in 2 camp rounds + a handful of practice debates on the arms sales resolution and will have >50 rounds by the end of the season. i've assisted with coaching debate on the north shore for several years. i am currently the head coach for u chicago lab school. former policy debater at maine east (north shore, wayne tang gharana) with some college debating at iowa. i identify as subaltern, prefer he/they pronouns. my academic background is medicine. this means i haven't spent my summers deeply reading into the topic aside camp files. it also means you may be counseled on tobacco cessation.

how to win my ballot:
*entertain me.* connect with me. teach me something. be creative. its impossible for me to be completely objective, but i try to be fair in the way i adjudicate the round.

as tim 'the man' alderete said, "all judges lie." with that in mind...
i get bored- which is why i reward creativity in research and argumentation by being more forgiving in articulation. if you cut something clever, you want me in the back of your room. i appreciate the speech as an act and an art. i prefer debates with good clash than 2 disparate topics. while i personally believe in debate pedagogy, i'll let you convince me it's elitist, marginalizing, broken, or racist. i wish i could adhere to a paradigmatic mantra like 'tech over truth.' but i've noticed that i lean towards truth in debates where both teams are reading lit from same branch of theory. my speaker point range is 27-30, above 28.1 being what i think is 'satisfactory' for your division. do not abuse the 2nr. kindly put me on the email chain, even if im just observing: uclabdb8@gmail.com

i think debaters should be able to defend why their departure from (Classic mode) Policy is preferable. however i don't enter the round believing plan texts are necessary for a topical discussion. i enjoy being swayed one way or the other debate to debate on k aff vs t/fw. overall, its an interesting direction students have taken Policy. i used to be a HUGE t & spec hack. nowadays, the they tend to get messy. so some flow organization is much appreciated: number your args, sign post through the line-by-line, slow down to give me a little pen time. i do not enter the round with an assumption of the necessity of plan texts. argument of T through analogy, metaphor, exclusion/inclusion is just as valid as a discussion of voters; i tend to vote on analysis with specificity and/or(?) creativity.

kritiks, etc.
i enjoy performance, original poetry, rap, singing, moments of sovereignty, etc. i find most "high theory" and critical identity politics literature & debates enjoyable. i dont mind how you choose to organize k speeches/overviews so long as there is some way you organize thoughts on my flow. 'long k overviews' can be (though rarely are) beautiful. i appreciate a developed analysis (more specific the better, analogies help a lot). i default to empiricism/historical analysis as competitive warranting unless you frame the debate otherwise. i understand that the time constraint of debate can prevent debaters from fully unpacking a kritik. if i am unfamiliar with the argument you are making, i will prioritize your explanation. i may also read your evidence and google-educate myself. this is a good thing and a bad thing, and i think its important you know that asterisk.

theory and ethics challenges
i have no way to fairly judge arguments that implicate your opponent's behavior before the round, unless i've witnessed it myself or you are able to provide objective evidence. debate is a competitive environment which means i take accusations with a degree of skepticism. i think the trend to turn debate into a kangaroo court, or use the ballot as a tool to ostracize members from the community speaks to the student/coach's tooling of authority at tournaments as well as the necessity for pain in their notion of justice. a really good podcast that speaks to this topic in detail is invisibilia: the callout.
regarding traditional theory args, whatever happened to presumption debates? i more often find theory compelling when contextualized to why there's a specific reason to object to the argument (e.g. why the way this specific perm operates is abusive/sets a bad precedent). as someone who used to go hard on theory pimps, i think there's an elegant way to trap someone. and it same stipulations apply- if you want me to vote for it, make sure i'm able to clearly hear and distinguish your subpoints.

i always enjoy creative, case specific PICs. i like hearing good story-weaving in the overview. impact analysis, a thorough perm debate also key. i do vote on theory - see above.

NOVICES: Congrats! you're slowly sinking into a strange yet fascinating vortex called policy debate. it will change your life, hopefully for the better. focus on the line by line and impact analysis. if you're confused, ask instead of apologize. this year is about exploring. i'm here to judge and help. :)

Donny Peters Paradigm

3 rounds

Donny Peters

Assistant Debate Coach

Damien High School

16 years coaching. Before Damien I have coached at; Cal State Fullerton, Santa Magarita High School, Fairmont HIgh School, Illinois State University, Ball State University, Wayne State University and West Virginia University.

I have been judging/coaching for 15 years, mostly college. After reading over paradigms for my entire adult life, I am not sure how helpful they really are. They seem to be mostly a chance to rant, a coping mechanism, a way to get debaters not to pref them and some who generually try but usually fail to explain how they judge debates. Regardless, my prferences are below, but feel free to ask me before the round if you have any questions.

Evidence: This is an evidence based activity. I put great effort to listening, reading and understanding your evidence. If you have poor evidence, under highlight or misrepresent your evidence (intentional or unintentional) it makes it difficult for me to evaluate your arguments. Those who have solid evidence, are able to explain their evidence in a persuasive matter tend to get higher speaker points, win more rounds etc.

Overall: Debate how you like (with some constraints below). I will work hard to make the best decision I am capable of. Make debates clear for me, put signfiicant effort in the final 2 rebuttals on the arguments you want me to evaluate and give me an approach to how I shold evaluate the round.

Nontraditional Affs : I tend to enjoy reading the literature base for most nontraditional affirmatives. I'm not completely sold on the pedagogcal value of these arguments at the high school level. I do believe that aff should have a stable stasis point in the direction of the resolution. The more persuasive affs tend to have a personal relationship with the arguments in the round and have an ability to apply their method and theory to personal experience.

Framework: I do appreciate the necessity of this argument. I am more persuaded by topical version arguments than the aff has no place in the debate. If there is no TVA then the aff need to win a strong justification for why their aff is necessary for the debate community. The affirmative cannot simply say that the TVA doesn't solve. Rather there can be no debate to be had with the TVA. Fairness in the abstract is an impact but not a persuasive one. The neg need to win specific reasons how the aff is unfair and and how that impacts the competitiveness and pedagogical value of debate. Agonism, decision making and education may be persuasive impacts if correctly done.

Counter plans: I attempt to be as impartial as I can concerning counterplan theory. I don’t exclude any CP’s on face. I do understand the necessity for affirmatives to go for theory on abusive counterplans or strategically when they do not have any other offense. Don’t hesitate to go for consult cp’s bad, process cps bad, condo, etc. For theory, in particular conditionality, the aff should provide an interpretation that protects the aff without overlimiting the neg.

DA's : who doesn't love a good DA? I do not automatically give the neg a risk of the DA. Not really sure there is much else to say.

Kritiks- Althoughout I enojy a good K debate, good K debates at the high school level are hard to come by. Make sure you know your argument and have specific applications to the affirmative.My academic interests involve studying Foucault Lacan, Derrida, Deleuze, , etc. So I am rather familiar with the literature. Just because I know the literature does not mean I am going to interpret your argumetn for you.

Overall, The key to get my ballot is to make sure its clear in the 2NR/2AR the arguments you want me to vote for and impact them out. That may seem simple, but many teams leave it up to the judge to determine how to prioritize and evaluate arguments.

Zack Schnall Paradigm

6 rounds

Name: Zack Schnall

Affiliation: Debater at Lexington 2016, Harvard 2021; Assistant Coach at Lexington

School Strikes: Lexington

Decided to clean up this paradigm by deleting a bunch. If you feel like you’re missing helpful information, email me at z.schnall.4@gmail.com.

Bias: I don’t care what you talk about (with some exceptions, see offensiveness below), but my one ‘bias’ is that debate should be about trying to make the world a better place – whatever that means to you. If you think that debate is just a game and want to mess around for two hours, I am not the right judge for you. If you’re convinced that your plan or advocacy or alternative is really the best course of action to take, you should be able to convince me as well without too much effort. If you don’t think your plan/advocacy/alternative is defensible outside of debate, don’t read it in front of me. To clarify: theoretical/kritikal arguments or otherwise radical arguments are fine – but you should be able to defend them.

In 2016-17, I had a consistent negative voting record (60/40 neg over 40 rounds) that held across all types of debates, from policy to clash to k v. k. I think I give 2ARs less leeway to extrapolate from 1AR shadow extensions than the average judge. Aff strategies should be introduced in the 2AC, flagged and executed in the 1AR, and resolved in the 2AR.

Flowing: I decide debates based on my flow and will default to flowing speeches and most of CX. If you want me to not flow or to look up during a speech, tell me. If I am not able to rearticulate an argument based off of what I was able to write down, I will not vote on it.

Offensiveness: Making offensive arguments (hurtful, not the opposite of defensive) will damage your speaker points. If you are doing something that is clearly offending or otherwise hurting an opponent, stop doing it. I don’t want to decide a debate on meta-issues (clipping, representations, etc.), but if your representations are sufficiently offensive, I am willing to vote against them.

Dropped Arguments: “1AR dropped turns case” doesn’t equate to a neg ballot. Always give warranted explanations. Debate your opponents at their best, and you will do your best.

Clarity: I want to hear what you are saying, not just have a vague idea of what your tag is. You can still spread in front of me; I talk pretty fast myself, and have a decent flow. In the interest of avoiding interference with your speech, I will NOT say clear during your speech unless you ask me to do so before the round. Slow down on advocacy texts and theory. I will probably refer back to a speech doc for advocacy texts, not for cards or theory. If it’s not on my flow, it won’t be in my rfd.

Sander Straus Paradigm

6 rounds

The Meadows School '15

Northeastern University '19

e-mail: pokerman1996@gmail.com ***PLEASE ADD ME TO YOUR EMAIL CHAIN***

*If you have any questions ask me before the round – it will not hurt your speaks in any way, it can only help*

About me – I debated for 4 years at The Meadows School in Las Vegas, NV -- I tended to be more policy than K during my debate career

How to win in front of me:
— explanation - usually, the team that explains their arguments (and how they interact with the other team's arguments) more will win

— you can convince me an argument is good in many ways —> cross ex, persuasion, good evidence, etc.

— explain net benefits to CPs and how the CP solves for some/all of the aff —> I won't do this for you via my flows

— make the link to Ks and DAs VERY clear – shady links need ever more analysis

— @AFFs – make sure you have offense on your advantages/solvency or you will lose 100% of the time

— @AFFs – make perms on CPs and Ks – tends to be a solid way to either garner offense or make the neg's positions non-competitive/not mutually exclusive

— go as fast as you want just be clear (slow down on tags) - if you're not/I can't understand you I will say "clear" (at that point slow down and enunciate better)

Specific arguments:
— DAs - please explain the link, people tend to read DAs with terrible link evidence and tend to not explain it. I'm not very convinced by "1% risk of a link means you vote neg" args – you should be explaining the link in that time. TURNS CASE IS IMPORTANT. If the 2ar is really really good on uniqueness, and just spends like 2-3 minutes doing amazing explanation, its almost impossible for me to be convinced by negative 'try or die' arguments.

— Politics - Trump's presidency makes this topic even more interesting. There is a lot of good ev. and literature out there given the political scene right now and it is a hot topic right now even with the archaic immigration laws that we currently have in the U.S. Nonetheless, PTX can easily be defeated by affirmative arguments about the illegitimacy of political capital or the low quality of negative evidence. Still, sometimes the negative wins by out-teching the aff.

— CPs - theory is really, really important because most counterplans are extremely theoretically illegitimate. In particular, the argument that 'counterplans that do/can result in the entirety of the plan are a voting issue' is very persuasive to me. Explain how the CP solves the aff and the specific net benefit to the CP. I WILL NOT DO THIS FOR YOU. *If you read Lopez, you better win theory.*

— T - T is good, especially on this topic where a lot of affs are K are shady on how they link to the resolution. Your explanation o/w evidence, but cards are important for definitional purposes. Why is your interp. of the topic better? Limits isn't really an argument, because there are an infinite amount of cases under any theoretical topic - i think of limits as the key internal link to ground, which is a much more important impact. Since teams rarely do impact comparison when going for topicality, if you do even a little bit you'll probably win. Reasonability isn't a real argument, don't waste your time.

—Ks - not the world's biggest fan of no alt Ks and ones with bad links, but am open to listening to them. I have been more policy than critical in my debate career; this means that I most likely will not pick up on K tricks that you might have used to win rounds in the past. Explanation is very important so I can understand your K. Usually, the team that talks about the aff more wins. FW can be a reason that I shouldn't even look at the case, but it depends on how it is argued. Role of the ballot arguments are usually really self-serving, and I'll sympathize with affirmatives that do a good job of pointing this out. Explain the impact to the K and how it o/w the aff's impact, and vice versa for the aff. Also, the Neg needs to explain what the world of the alternative looks like for me to be convinced that the alt is a good idea. ***I will NOT pick up on your K tricks because I am not a huge K debater; spend more time on the components of the K than on tricks***

— Theory - conditionality is good, dispo is better. That being said, it is still a good idea to read mutiple offcase positions as condo if you have more than one. Neg – provide a C/I and explain why that's the best way to frame debate. Aff - explain the in-round abuse and why your interp. is the best for debate. EXPLAIN TERMINAL IMPACTS TO CONDO AND WHY THAT HURTS DEBATE. I have been known to vote solely on 2ARs going for condo.

— Framework - YOU HAVE TO READ THIS AGAINST ALL K AFFS - I will vote on FW so treat this is a viable 2nr strat. In addition, I'm not really sure why teams are going for decision-making/education impacts on framework; fairness and predictability arguments are much more persuasive to me. K teams will ALWAYS have more game on the education front. @Neg: explain why your vision for the topic and debate is better, try to provide a topical version of the aff as an example, and talk about in-round abuse if you go for fairness/predictability (cross apply this to T as well).

— No plan aff's - again, not a huge fan. That being said, I'm still open to listening to them. The more the aff is about the topic, the less of a threat framework should be. Make sure you explain the world of the aff and what it looks like.

– There is nothing I love more than fun, challenging debates. BE FUNNY, but still be smart. I enjoy witty humor more than nonsense. Humor --> higher speaks (given you are still good at policy debate and aren't an extemp. debater in policy)

– The better your ethos the more speaker points you will receive; if you feel like you're winning the debate, then you probably are. That being said, your performance during speeches and cross-x will determine a lot of your speaks (in addition to solid args).

Lee Thach Paradigm

3 rounds

Debated for CSU Fullerton. 4-time NDT Qualifier. CEDA Octafinalist.

B.A. in Philosophy; working on M.A. in Communication.

Coach Policy Debate for CSU Fullerton & University High School

Coach Lincoln Douglas & Public Forum for CL Education


1. Clarity > Loudness > Speed.

2. Framing > Impact > Solvency. Framing is a prior question. Don’t let me interpret the debate, interpret the debate for me.

3. Truth IS Tech. Warranting, comparative analysis, and clash structure the debate.

4. Offense vs Defense: Defense supports offense, though it's possible to win on pure defense.

5. Try or Die vs Neg on Presumption: I vote on case turns & solvency takeouts. AFF needs sufficient offense and defense for me to vote on Try or Die.

6. Theory: Inround abuse > potential abuse.

7. Debate is a simulation inside a bigger simulation.


TOPICALITY: As far as I am concerned, there is no resolution until the negative teams reads Topicality. The negative must win that their interpretation resolves their voters, while also proving abuse. The affirmative either has to win a no link we meet, a counterinterp followed up with a we meet, or just straight offense against the negative interpretation. I am more likely to vote on inround abuse over potential abuse. If you go for inround abuse, list out the lost potential for neg ground and why that resolves the voters. If you go for potential abuse, explain what precedents they set.

FRAMEWORK: When the negative runs framework, specify how you orient Fairness & Education. If your FW is about education, then explain why the affirmative is unable to access their own pedagogy, and why your framework resolves their pedagogy better and/or presents a better alternative pedagogy. If your FW is about fairness, explain why the affirmative method is unable to solve their own impacts absent a fair debate, and why your framework precedes Aff impacts and/or is an external impact.

DISADVANTAGES: Start with impact calculation by either outweighing and/or turning the case. Uniqueness sets up the timeframe, links set up probability, and the impact sets up the magnitude.

COUNTERPLANS: Specify how the CP solves the case, a DA, an independent net benefit, or just plain theory. Any net benefit to the CP can constitute as offense against the Permutation.

CASE: Case debate works best when there is comparative analysis of the evidence and a thorough dissection of the aff evidence.

KRITIKS: Framing is key since a Kritik is basically a Linear Disad with an Alt. When creating links, specify whether they are links to the Aff form and/or content. Links to the form should argue why inround discourse matters more than fiat education, and how the alternative provides a competing pedagogy. Links to the content should argue how the alternative provides the necessary material solutions to resolving the neg and aff impacts. If you’re a nihilist and Neg on Presumption is your game, then like, sure.



PLANS WITH EXTINCTION IMPACTS: Many affirmatives underappreciate their extinction impacts. If you successfully win your internal link story for your impact, then prioritize solvency so that you can weigh your impacts against any external impacts. Against other extinction level impacts, make sure to either win your probability and timeframe, or win sufficient amount of defense against the negs extinction level offense. Against structural violence impacts, explain why proximate cause is preferable over root cause, why extinction comes before value to life, and defend the epistemological, pedagogical, and ethical foundations of your affirmative. i might be an "extinction good" hack.

PLANS WITH STRUCTURAL IMPACTS: If you are facing extinction level disadvantages, then it is key that you win your value to life framing, probability/timeframe, and no link & impact defense to help substantiate why you outweigh. If you are facing a kritik, this will likely turn into a method debate about the ethics of engaging with dominant institutions, and why your method best pedagogically and materially effectuates social change.


As a 2A that ran K Affs, the main focus of my research was answering T/FW, and cutting answers to Ks. I have run Intersectionality, Postmodernism, Decolonization, & Afropessimism. Having fallen down that rabbit hole, I have become generally versed in (policy debate's version of) philosophy.

K AFF WITH A PLAN TEXT: Make sure to explain why the rhetoric of the plan is necessary to solve the impacts of the aff. Either the plan is fiated, leading a consequence that is philosophically consistent with the advantage, or the plan is only rhetorical, leading to an effective use of inround discourse (such as satire). The key question is, why was saying “United States Federal Government,” necessary, because it is likely that most kritikal teams will hone their energy into getting state links.

K BEING AFFS: Everything is bad. These affs incorporate structural analysis to diagnosis how oppression manifests metaphysically, materially, ideologically, and/or discursively. This includes Marxism, Settler Colonialism, & Afropessimism affs. Frame how the aff impact is a root cause to the negative impacts, generate offense against the alternative, and show how the perm necessitates the aff as a prior question.

K BECOMING AFF: Truth is bad. These affs include Postmodernism, Intersectionality, & Black Optimism. Adapt to turning the negative links into offense for the aff. Short story being, if you're just here to say truth is bad, then you're relying on your opponent to make truth claims before you can start generating offense.

Mira Toth Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a parent judge - make sense and I vote for you :).

I have judged a few Policy Debates, Public Forum.

Yes, I would like to be included on the email chain. myrantoth@gmail.com

I will vote you down if you show disrespect towards your opponent.

Be kind and have a great debate.

You may speak as fast as you wish. If I will have any difficulties to understand you I will raise my hand.

Scott Wheeler Paradigm

4 rounds

1. Offense-defense, but can be persuaded by reasonability in theory debates. I don't believe in "zero risk" or "terminal defense" and don't vote on presumption (though technically i guess I do in debates where the aff goes for "perm do the CP" and wins that it isn't severance, but not in any other instance). 

2. I'll submit the ballot that is most persuasive to me, and will try to think through the story of each ballot before choosing (of course, in good debates, that's what the final rebuttals do). I won't simply point to an argument on my flow and say "I voted on this," nor will my RFD lead with technical advice in lieu of an actual decision. Substantive questions are resolved probabilistically--only theoretical questions (e.g. is the perm severance, does the aff meet the interp) are resolved "yes/no," and will be done so with some unease, forced upon me by the logic of debate. 

3. Dropped arguments are "true," but this just means the warrants for them are true. Their implication can still be contested. The exception to this is when an argument and its implication are explicitly conceded by the other team for strategic reasons (like when kicking out of a disad). Then both are "true."

1. Conditionality bad is an uphill battle. I think it's good, and will be more convinced by the negative's arguments. I also don't think the number of advocacies really matters. Unless it was completely dropped, the winning 2AR on condo in front of me is one that explains why the way the negative's arguments were run together limited the ability of the aff to have offense on any sheet of paper.

2. I think of myself as aff-leaning in a lot of counterplan theory debates, but usually find myself giving the neg the counterplan anyway, generally because the aff fails to make the true arguments of why it was bad.

1. I don't think I evaluate these differently than anyone else, really. Perhaps the one exception is that I don't believe that the affirmative needs to win uniqueness for a link turn to be offense. If uniqueness really shielded a link turn that much, it would also overwhelm the link. In general, I probably give more weight to the link and less weight to uniqueness.

2. On politics, I will probably ignore "intrinsicness" or "fiat solves the link" arguments, unless badly mishandled (like dropped through two speeches).


1. I like kritiks, provided two things are true: 1--there is a link. 2--the thesis of the K indicts the truth of the aff. If the K relies on framework to make the aff irrelevant, I start to like it a lot less (role of the ballot = roll of the eyes). I'm similarly annoyed by aff framework arguments against the K. The K itself answers any argument for why policymaking is all that matters (provided there's a link). I feel negative teams should explain why the affirmative advantages rest upon the assumptions they critique, and that the aff should defend those assumptions.

2. I think I'm less techincal than some judges in evaluating K debates. Something another judge might care about, like dropping "fiat is illusory," probably matters less to me (fiat is illusory specifically matters 0%). I also won't be as technical in evaluating theory on the perm as I would be in a counterplan debate (e.g. perm do both isn't severance just because the alt said "rejection" somewhere--the perm still includes the aff). The perm debate for me is really just the link turn debate. Generally, unless the aff impact turns the K, the link debate is everything.

3. Many of these debates seem to involve one team discussing a nuanced critique and the other side arguing "state bad" or "state good." Not surprisingly, I'm generally going to side with the team doing the former. 

Nontraditional affirmatives:

Versus T:
1. I usually vote neg in these debates, because the aff never has a defensible interp (to be honest, I think the current model might be what they want--these affs require a boogeyman to rail against). Some people seem to view these debates as a plan/counterplan debate where the 1AC is weighed against the "topical version of the aff." I don't subscribe to that view. The affirmative has to defend an interp. If I do vote aff, one of two things has happened. Most often, the aff successfully impact-turned the impacts the negative went for. The other time I vote aff is when the neg doesn't have an external impact--their offense is simply "we're the better version of the discussion you want to have." In those debates, "TVA doesn't solve" does become offense against their interp.

2. I've noticed that some judges tend to dismiss T impacts that I take seriously. I've seen this with not just fairness, which I think is the truest T impact, but others run less often (like "moral hazzard") that were in the 2NR and then not in the RFD at all. I think a lot of things can be impacts to T, so aff teams might want to spend more time on them. 

3. To be honest, I enjoy judging K affs with plans, and wish teams ran them more. With judges voting on nonsense like PIC out of fiat and Schlag, I can see why teams don't. And of course you also still have to answer politics/util and regular T (which you might not be used to debating), but I think those are pretty doable and you'd be in better shape in front of me if you are a team that is at all flexible.

Versus the K:
1. Affs are in much better shape here because, for me, it's not up for debate whether planless affs get to perm. They do. I have yet to hear a convincing argument as to why there is such a thing as a "methods debate" for which theories of debate competition no longer apply. If the negative has a better methodology or starting point, I will vote aff, provided the aff methodology or starting point is good. I wouldn't vote for a counterplan that solves warming better than the aff without a link to a disad, and I don't believe competition theory goes out the window because it's a performance aff. If the aff doesn't get a perm, there's no reason the neg would have to have a link.


Topicality versus plan affs:
1. I used to enjoy these debates. It seems like I'm voting on T less often than I used to, but I also feel like I'm seeing T debated well less often. I enjoy it when the 2NC takes T and it's well-developed and it feels like a solid option out of the block. What I enjoy less is when it isn't but the 2NR goes for it as a hail mary and the whole debate occurs in the last two speeches.

2. Teams overestimate the importance of "reasonability." Winning reasonability shifts the burden to the negative--it doesn't mean that any risk of defense on means the T sheet of paper is thrown away. It generally only changes who wins in a debate where the aff's counter-interp solves for most of the neg offense but doesn't have good offense against the neg's interp.

LD section:
1. I've been judging LD less, but I still have LD students, so my familarity with the topic will be greater than what is reflected in my judging history.

2. Everything in the policy section applies. This includes the part about substantive arguments being resolved probablistically, my dislike of relying on framework to preclude arguments, and not voting on defense or presumption. If this radically affects your ability to read the arguments you like to read, you know what to do.  

3. If I haven't judged you or your debaters in a while, I think I vote on theory less often than I did say three years ago (and I might have already been on that side of the spectrum by LD standards, but I'm not sure). I've still never voted on an RVI so that hasn't changed.

4. The 1AR can skip the part of the speech where they "extend offense" and just start with the actual 1AR.

Ashley Yan Paradigm

6 rounds

Put me on the email chain: ayan0376@bths.edu

about me: i debated for brooklyn tech from 2013-2017, qualing to the TOC my senior year. i went for afropess for every 2nr/2ar for 3 years. i am more familiar with K lit but have no predispositions about what debate should look like and will try my best to stick with my flow.

top level stuff:

1) I always default to my flow, however absent a claim, warrant, and impact to every argument-I will have trouble adjudicating.

2) Please properly explain your positions. I find that the best debates are ones with material examples and not reliant on K jargon.

3) The 2nr/2ar should write my ballot and tell me why you win. I find myself increasingly frustrated by defensive 2nr/2ars that are more of an FYI then telling me how I should frame my ballot/prioritize things. I love an easy way out so that means go for theory cheap shots, under covered arguments, etc

4) 7 minute long overviews in the 2NC upset me. You should strike me if you plan on doing that or send me your entire speech doc and not give a 2NC...I will give both partners an auto 30 but drop you.

t vs k affs

Affs should have a clear relationship to the topic-if your aff doesn't mention the words "immigrant", "borders", or "immigration", my threshold for framework is going to be pretty low for the neg to win. I also think a stable advocacy is important for educational debates, if the aff is shifty-you should call them out on it.

For the aff:

1) the aff should impact turn the neg's model of debate and win why normative policy debate is bad for X, Y, Z reason

2) Provide a counter interpretation with net benefits for why your own model of debate is better for in round education or spillover claims. Both teams should be explaining to me what your model of debate looks like: what's the neg's role, what affs are included/excluded, etc

For the neg:

1) I view fairness as an important impact and think every team should enter the round with a 50/50 shot of winning. I can be fairly easily persuaded that K-affs make debate less fair but I find that the neg often times neglect to answer aff arguments about how fairness is bad/unimportant. However fairness arguments that have a clear internal link to topic education, clash, and your model of debate are more persuasive for me.

2) Defend your model of debate. I default to competing interpretations unless you tell me otherwise.


I'm pretty familiar with a good portion of contemporary critical literature, however that does not mean that you can get away with not explaining the argument/jargon outside of the literature base it comes from.

If you are reading a K vs a policy aff, it is the burden of the negative to prove the undesirability of the implementation of the plan. The 2NR must extend framework, link, and do impact calc or I will vote aff on presumption if there is no alt extended.

K vs non-traditional affs, again please DO NOT read an overview for 8 minutes with "embedded clash" and never get to the line by line. I will NOT draw any lines for you. Please explain how the aff/neg theories compete and do a lot of framing. I'm skeptical of a permutation in method vs method debate but if the neg doesn't explain how their theory of power is incompatible with the aff/perm theory then it's a really easy aff ballot for the perm. I think the 2NR should have an alt because I generally default to viewing a K vs K debate as a question of competing methods and who has a better orientation towards resolving the impacts presented in the round.


I'm honestly not great for these debates but a good DA debate with solid links is cool. Have a counterplan text with net benefits. I'm a fan of smart, strategic, and weird CPs.

Ruth Zheng Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated: Lexington High School 2013-2017, Harvard 2017—

Email Chain: ruthzheng15@gmail.com

Pretty much everything is permitted. That being said, if you do something abhorrent I will drop you. I'll evaluate the debate based on what was said in the round. If you want me to read evidence, please contest it within the debate. Framing is important. Tech \geq Truth. I won't vote for an argument if I don't understand it, though (re: grumpyface).

*Note on Framework v. Non-Topical Affs: I'm disinclined to think that fairness is a terminal impact, so persuading me otherwise will be an uphill battle (although not impossible). Limits or literally anything else is fine.