New York City Invitational Debate and Speech Tournament

2019 — Bronx, New York, NY/US

Brianna Aaron Paradigm

3 rounds


I know absolutely nothing about this year's resolution so take it with a grain of salt whenever you read your positions. You'll have to compensate for my lack of knowledge by explaining your position a bit more. All of my comments below apply to LD/Policy.


Hey everyone! I'm Brianna and I debated for Newark Science for 6 years, graduating in 2018. I also do college policy at Wake Forest University.

Put on the email chains. Note that I probably won't look at the email chain unless there's a severe clarity issue or I feel like I need to read cards after the round.


1. Newark Science/Science Park/Science...(we've been through a lot with our name) (NJ)

2. Success Academy HS (NY)

3. FlexDebate


Tips to attain speaks if I'm judging you:

1. Great CXing-Debaters are stale nowadays. It's up to you to compensate for that. CX is a good way of getting me to pay attention to you more by being a bit sassy (read: not rude, but funny).

2. Combining effective crystallizing and debate line by line is essential. People have this weird concept of truth>tech or tech>truth but I think both of these are tools on how you should win a round. Otherwise, you're probably not doing good debating.

3. Don't be offensive. If your A strat is to be an ass in CX or your speeches, then I might not be the judge for you. I will vote down or drop the speaks (depending on how I feel) of anyone who says or does bigoted practices in the round. Again, sass does not equal being rude. Find a good balance of both.

4. Let me get adjusted to your spread before going to your 100% or else it will be hard to evaluate some of the arguments at the top of your speech. Slow down on tags and plantexes.

5. PLEASE BE CLEAR. I don't care what your rep is on the circuit or how good of a debater you think you are. If I can't understand your spread, I'm not voting for the arguments you think you made. I'll say clear three times, then I'm done.


Funny but no. These aren't real arguments. Please don't subject me to this hell.


I've been judging an odd amount of phil debates lately and have voted on Kant arguments a bit so I thought I might as well include this section. I think of phil debates like K debates since they're both philosophies of different veins of thought. This means that all of my K views will still apply here.

1. This is not my style of debate so you put yourself at severe risk if you decide to read a Kant aff or whatever else in front of me. I'll cite this in my RFD if this round ends up confusing me.

2. If you read tricks with your phil to shut down conversations on structural violence, then I will not vote for you. For example, if you choose to read skep vs an aff that talks about Black oppression and you make the argument that morality doesn't exist therefore we can't take an ethical stance against racism, then I'll definitely not vote for your argument and will drop you.

3. You need to warrant your argument. If you're trying to go for a blip in the 1AC where you read one small sentence with no implication, then I WILL NOT vote for you. Arguments need warrants and more often than not tricky phil debates lack them.


I was primarily a CRT debater in high school so I'm familiar with a lot of the Kritikal lit in the antiblackness and humanistic realms. That being said, DO NOT THINK I AM GOING TO BE YOUR FAVORITE K HACK. I will not automatically vote for you just because you pulled out your K in front of me. In fact, sometimes it is better for you to just stick to your theory or DA/CP strat because otherwise you'll be confused and then I'll be confused and then there's a lot of confusion and no one likes a confused judge.

1. I love Kritiks with good links so generic state bad links is fine but I'd prefer to see this in combination with something that is aff specific.

2. Make sure that the alt is clearly explained or you have an easy chance of losing the round if I don't understand this alternate world that I'm voting for.

3. I need framing like really really really need framing. You might have the most amazing Kritik out there in the world but I won't know how to evaluate any of the arguments you've made when you haven't told me how to gear my ballot. So, make sure you have a ROB/ROJ/Value/Value criterion or whatever you want to call it so I know how to write my ballot.

Performance Affs

Don't really have any strong opinions here. I think that they're a necessity in the debate community and am probably a lot more open to them than your average judge but oftentimes, when I've engaged with K Affs, I've had to ask myself what does the advocacy do or solve for? If you can answer this question (or tell me why an answer is not needed), then this would be largely helpful.


I really do love a good CP debate esp strategic PICs. Make sure that you have clear net benefits.

I'm definitely not the best to evaluate a hard core PTX debate though so if you want to do that in front of me just give a clear overview and explain the story well. (Weighing becomes even more essential in debates. If you extend a bunch a links without providing me with a clear cut way to evaluate them in the round, then I don't know how to sign my ballot.)

Topicality or Framework

Yes. I've surprisingly found myself leaning towards T or wondering why kids don't read it, especially when I'm left wondering what the Aff does or solves for. Just make sure that you're doing effective weighing between voters and standards. The 1NC also should preferably not just be a bunch of theory and topicality shells. Try to engage but if you can't then do what you gotta do. Brownie points for non-basic voters outside of fairness or shells that aren't just T-resolved/FWK-hypothetical implementation.


1. I don't like friv theory so it'll probably be a NO to the debaters who read font-sized theory or whatever other bad argument is out there. I do, however, think theory is strategic so yes read theory as another strategic arg to take out the Aff/Neg just so long as it makes sense. Just make sure you weigh and provide concrete voters.

2. This is not my best style of debate so if this debate looks messy then I just won't evaluate it and I will default to substance. So, make sure your flow is clean and pay attention to if I'm flowing you. Odds are if I stop flowing your theory shell, then you need to move on.

3. I default to reasonability and drop the argument unless told otherwise. So, it's up to you to set the voters.

4. I have a really high threshold on voting on an RVI like I'm not saying that it is impossible for me to do it but you really have to win that argument or show me why it's something to look towards within the round.

Miscellaneous Things:

1. Weigh, weigh, weigh please. For the love of everything amazing, WEIGH!

2. Defense doesn't win you rounds. Make sure that you have enough offense on the flow to make me evaluate the args.

3. I don't have any constraining principles on what the round or debate should look like. If you want it to be a game, then sure. If it's an advocacy space, then sure. If you want to perform, then sure. You do you and just show me the best version of that.

4. I love clearly explained overviews. This will help me so much in regards to breaking down an aff and even a Neg.

5. If you're neg make sure that you have offense vs the Aff's case specifically. I love good turns case args.

Pirzada Ahmad Paradigm

6 rounds


Eight years of policy debate

2014-2018 Dartmouth

2018-2019 note:

I have very little knowledge about the executive power topic. Please minimize the use of unexplained acronyms, and please do not assume I am aware of common topic themes, tropes, and developments.

What you probably want:

1] Please add me to the email chain with adazrip (at)

2] I have experience with every type of argument. Read whatever positions you want.

3] I enjoy good planless aff vs Topicality/Framework debates. I imagine I will be in the back for quite a few clash debates on the college circuit. Procedural fairness/competitive equity is the most persuasive neg impact to me, while aff kritiks of framework and limits are usually pretty good when specific to the aff.

4] I am fine for Topicality vs plan affs.

5] I probably lean more towards truth over tech compared to most, but cross-applications, even under-developed ones, are necessary to overcome concessions. For instance, a ten card slew of wishy-washy uniqueness cards can probably be beaten by two really good cards and a few smart analytics that seem to fall on the side of contemporary “truth.” However, dropping (zero cross-application on either case or the DA flows) lightly developed and somewhat silly turns case and solves case arguments on the DA in the 2AR is likely to not end well for the aff.

6] Please resolve argument interactions. I will make my decision by identifying what I think are the key points of contestation. If neither team writes a ballot for me by identifying these issues and explaining how I should resolve them, then the losing team is likely to be unhappy with my decision as they will probably have thought the debate came down to a different set of concerns.

7] Evidence quality is important. Evidence that is not highlighted to include a claim, warrant, and impact is not going to carry much weight for me. You’re better off reading one good card instead of seven two sentence cards. I love when debaters take the time to explain the merits of key quality pieces of evidence and why they matter in the larger puzzle of the debate.

8] I think I am moderately expressive.

9] Pick and choose arguments. For example, 2-3 well-developed case defense pushes in the 2NR will go way further than 8 shallow extensions.


1] I strongly prefer limits arguments over ones about ground.

2] I like debates over interpretations on the basis of predictable definitions and research burdens. This includes comparative caselist arguments, as well as evidence qualifications.

3] For planless affs vs T/FW debates, please explain the competing arguments’ interaction with one another and how to evaluate the inevitably largely disparate standards/impacts. For example, the neg is likely to win some procedural fairness impact, while the aff is likely to win some educational and exclusion-based offense. Tell me how to resolve the debate and why I should prefer your way of resolving the debate over the other team’s proposed method.


1] DAs are most persuasive when the neg tells a story. Especially with the link, try to tell me a story that is tailored to the aff and/or its internal links.

2] Good impact overviews will put you in a great position to execute the DA to its fullest potential. This includes smart external offense, solves case, and turns case claims.

3] It is likely that the aff will have some game on some parts of the DA. Explain to me how I should evaluate the holistic risk of the DA, both at the level of the specific components of the DA (e.g. link frames uniqueness) and in comparison to the likely somewhat mitigated (by a CP, turns case/solves case, or case defense) aff.


1] I am okay for well-researched cheating CPs (distinct from a generic process CP like Consult X random agent without an aff-specific solvency advocate). If you can find a wonky process CP that is specific to the aff, more power to you. Evidence for the CP about the literature or topic expertise (note: this is distinct from just having a solvency advocate) is usually helpful/necessary to respond to theory.

2] That being said, I am probably pretty okay for the aff on CP and competition theory. Just debate it well and devote a fair amount of 1AR time to it.

3] The 1AR and 2AR should not include perm do both unless you can explain how one could do both and how that combination can shield the link. Absent explanation of the perm, a simple neg response of “perm do both links to the net benefit because it maintains the aff’s original link” is almost always sufficient. Smart, creative explanations will be rewarded. Silly perms that are well explained should be taken seriously by the neg - don’t just blow them off with “still links to the DA” if they explain how the combination could avoid the link. Even if the necessary response is only a sentence long - don’t just grandstand, explain the warrant against the perm. If the perm explanation is stupid, illogical, impossible, or unpredictable [interpretation of the plan], then just say so and explain why.


1] Debates are won and lost with the alt. This applies to both teams. The caveat to this is when the neg successfully goes for presumption, which I am probably pretty good for if the aff messes up k framework/role of the ballot/impact framing.

2] Specificity is important for both teams e.g. links for the negative, solvency deficit/DA explanations for the aff, etc.

3] I am probably better for aff inclusive kritiks than most. The aff should probably defend their advantages as opposed to going for theory because the neg is likely to have some great discourses + assumptions matter cards related to their k’s genre. That being said, theory is certainly a viable option, but I am not as put off by AIKs as many others.

4] Please don’t assume I know the kritik’s or the aff answers’ literature bases much at all. Both teams will do well to paint a coherent story and explain as much as possible. Historical examples tend to help both teams.

5] “Not our [insert primary author’s name]” is almost always a lie. Aff teams - please don’t fold in response.

6] I am okay for a big policy aff against a kritik. I promise.

Other things that I like and dislike:

1] Clarity. Start speeches slow. Read analytics and theory slowly. Take deep breaths in between arguments. Tag your arguments with a 3-7 word header. If you blip through an argument or don’t label it effectively, I am likely to either miss it on my flow entirely or misflow it. Emphasize important phrases and key terms in cards. Hard number 2AC arguments on off-case. Reference aff arguments in order (unless explicitly grouped or if you said you were starting in a different place). Most of all, explain your strategy at some point (usually 2NR/2AR).

2] Well executed cross exes are awesome. If you manage to find and poke at a weakness in the other team’s argument, please exploit it (e.g. if their advantage’s uniqueness is wack, read a card about it in the 1NC after poking at it in 1AC CX). Also, let each other talk in CX, please. There are many ways to effectively cut someone off after a while, but if you keep interrupting every two seconds, your CX will not seem that worthwhile to me.

3] I strongly dislike when people dodge questions in CX. Unless you’re reading some form of the opacity K, your speaker points will suffer if you seem to be avoiding CX questions, especially if the other team is asking you to explain your argument. If prompted for an explanation about an argument you made, then you should want to talk MORE, not LESS! Chances are, that if the other team didn’t get it, neither did I - if they’re going to let you explain your argument’s thesis, take advantage and wax poetic!

4] I dislike new 2AR arguments to the point where I scrutinize my flow after the debate to see if all of the aff’s potentially important arguments were in the 1AR in some way or form. The bar is not high for an argument to be considered to have been in the 1AR, but little 1AR development usually means the aff is likely to be limited to little further development in the 2AR before it becomes too new.

5] Don’t grandstand as substitution for extension please. Saying the other team “massively undercovered/dropped X” or that you “are way ahead” on something is not an argument. It is obviously okay and somewhat useful to sometimes point out concessions, my point is just that an extension must go further than just an assertion about coverage.

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 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 you...debate =)

Emma Belanger Paradigm

4 rounds

I graduated from Strath Haven (PA) in 2016, and I did two years of policy debate there. I'm studying at Hamilton College, Class of 2020.

My email is - if there's an email chain, I want to be on it! Also feel free to email me with any questions you have, pre-round or post-round.

I am okay with pretty much anything in policy debate. I'm just looking to watch and flow a good debate, so please read arguments you're comfortable with and you understand. There's nothing worse than watching someone struggle to answer questions in CX because their coach wrote their overviews and they don't understand anything they're saying in their speeches.

Spreading is cool, just understand that I'll be trying to flow and if I can't catch what you're saying then obviously I can't flow it. I was used to speed in high school, but keep in mind that I'm not doing policy in college, so my ears might need to warm up to it. I would suggest starting slower and gradually reaching your full speed.

If you don't go to the line-by-line, I'll be incredibly annoyed. I don't know much about the topic so that's where you're going to win/lose the debate. Make sure you warrant your arguments, no tag-line extensions please.

Immigration Topic

I am very unfamiliar with this topic, but as long as your aff/DA/K/CP/whatever is coherently put together and I can flow it, I shouldn't have any problem understanding it.


In order for the neg to win on T, every level needs to be thoroughly explained and impacted. I don't want to hear "extend the voters for fairness and education" - that's not an extension. You need to contextualize the violation to the round and do a good job of extending your impacts, as well as answer every argument from the affirmative.


Disads are my favorite off-case by far. In my opinion, they are the most straightforward of arguments to make against an affirmative, and if you have good evidence and use it to your advantage, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to go for the DA and win the round. Turns case args are your best friend in these debates. Aff - please make arguments in your block on every level of the DA if possible, it sets you up incredibly well out of the 2AC.


I'll be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Ks in high school debate. If they're not too complicated, it's obviously fine, but I personally struggle to understand new theory in the span of a single debate round. If you're going to read Baudrillard or Foucault, you'd better understand what you're talking about and be able to explain it and contextualize it to the round. This doesn't mean don't read a K; I'm just saying that I want it to be explained and impacted reasonably well and in an understandable way. If Ks are your thing, read 'em.


I like them, just explain and contextualize them. Make sure your solvency advocate actually functions, and try to make your CP as specific to the aff as you can.

K Affs

I feel pretty much the same way about K Affs as I do about Ks, I need a lot of explanation and contextualization throughout the round before I am fully willing to sign my ballot for the aff. Also, please do your best to explain any technical terms you use, especially if you repeat them more than once or twice. I have a lot of experience debating against K affs, but I've only ever really read one, so I'm not that knowledgeable on the arguments you'll be making.


Honestly, I'm indifferent. If you're going to spread it, however, make sure you emphasize what you want me to flow or it'll be annoying.

Talia Blatt Paradigm

6 rounds

To the northeast HS judges -- Roberto Montero, Bing AY, the Morbecks, Alex Lennon, and Ken Karas, to name a few -- you all taught me so much of what I know and how I feel about debate. I can't thank you all enough.

You have < 10 seconds before the round:

a.) Tech > “truth” or ideological predispositions – although some level of judge intervention is inevitable, I will do my best to ensure that if you win the flow, you win the debate

b.) I will vote for both framework and k affs (see subpoint a)

c.) Rebuttals should frame why you win the debate

d.) In terms of qualifications, I did the whole TOC/speaker awards/late elims thing and I debate for Harvard but I’m a first year out – make of all of that what you will

e.) I love subpoints

Email Chain:

You have time:

As I debater, I am most frustrated by decisions in which I feel the judge voted in a way that doesn’t reflect the reality of the debate they judged. This could be because:

a.) The judge voted based on predetermined personal beliefs

b.) The judge heavily and somewhat arbitrarily intervened for one side

c.) The judge read all of the evidence at the end of the debate and reconstructed what could have happened, but didn’t

d.) The judge gave weight to new 1AR/2NR/2AR arguments

e.) The judge did other “work” for the debaters, making cross-applications or other analysis that the debaters themselves did not make in the debate

As a judge, I will attempt to NOT do these things, and to base my decision as much on the flow as I can.

Yes, I have biases. For example, I will generally assume that death and suffering are bad unless told otherwise. However, I will insist that debaters create clear metrics for evaluating impacts. My favorite thought experiment for this is the following:

If the 1AC presents all the ways their plan or advocacy CAUSES extinction, and the negative team makes purely “defensive” arguments about how the aff doesn’t cause extinction, and the aff wins in the 2AR that they do cause extinction, I will vote aff: Both teams implicitly agreed that extinction is a good we should try to reach. Obviously speaker points in this debate would be quite low, and I’d be frustrated with the decision, but I will do my best to work within the evaluative system the debaters have either explicitly or implicitly created.

Do I have thoughts about the way arguments should be deployed? Yes, and I will delineate them below, but they can almost always be reversed by good debating. What do I mean by good debating? Line-by-line, warranted analysis that clashes with the other team’s analysis, strategic use of evidence, organizational clarity, and impact and ballot framing are the most important things to me.

Framework and K Affs:

This is where all of the stuff I said about tech > truth and voting on the flow comes in – whoever does the best line-by-line and impact/ballot framing will win the debate. I debated and judge in the northeast. I would estimate that maybe 75% of my neg debates in high school were k aff v. framework rounds, so I like to think that I am familiar with how these debates go down, and I enjoy them.

If you are going for framework:

a.) Go for whatever impact you like going for – procedural fairness, clash, switch-side debate, et cetera. I disliked it when judges “liked T” but “didn’t believe” that fairness or clash was an impact. Tell me what I should think are impacts and why, and I’ll listen.

b.) Answer case or at the very least explain why you don’t have to answer case.

c.) Close doors in the 2NR. You know the 2AR will expand on case or a disad – try to cut that off.

d.) Line by line. Please. Messy and late-breaking clash rounds favor the aff.

e.) The TVA is your friend. The combination of the argument that deficits to the TVA are negative ground and the argument that reading stuff on the neg is good is very persuasive to me.

f.) Don’t be afraid to extend stuff on case in the 2NR, particularly presumption level claims that question their advocacy’s ability to solve stuff.

If you are going for a k aff:

a.) Please defend something. I love it when k affs defend some form of material action, but please advocate for something.

b.) A couple smart, powerful disads > laundry list of similar, poorly explained/differentiated disads to T

c.) Compare models of debate – what does your model of debate do? Why does it resolve the harms you say their model creates, and why does it limit their offense?

d.) Line by line, especially in the 1AR, is so important – don’t force your 2A to make new arguments

e.) Impact framing

f.) If you do cool non-traditional stuff, bring it back up after the 1AC. I am always a little disappointed when the 1AC includes some song or performance but it disappears immediately.


I LOVE the politics disad. As such if you extend it well, I will be happy, and if you extend it poorly, I will be sad. Extending a politics disad well means reading a ton of uniqueness cards and subpointing multiple answers to every 2AC argument. If this is done in the 1NR, and extended in the 2NR, speaks will be bueno.

Topic or process disads are also cool. Impact calc and turns case arguments are the move, especially link turns case arguments.

I don't have fixed ideological positions on the more nitty-gritty stuff -- it's up to the debaters to prove whether uniqueness controls the direction of the link, or vice versa, for instance.


EXPLAIN WHAT IT DOES! I don’t have a ton of experience judging on this topic; I won’t immediately know the agency or mechanism you are talking about.

Multi-actor fiat, delay, conditions, and some + process and consult = sketch; international fiat on an international topic I will probably be okay with if you have the evidence. Solvency advocates can basically make any counterplan legitimate to me, but I will listen to any theory debate, and the 2A in me may or may not pop out. Not to feed a fed horse, but all of these leanings can be reversed by good (read: clear) theory debating.

I probably won't judgekick unless I am explicitly instructed to.

Policy T:

EXPLAIN YOUR INTERP! I don’t have the topic knowledge to know if there is “consensus” about what certain terms in the resolution mean.

I may be more willing to listen to reasonability than other judges,


Most of my aff debates in high school were soft left aff versus the k. I like it when there are links to the plan, not to the status quo. I also like turns case analysis and when the alt does stuff.

Please don't assume that I am wholly unfamiliar with all k stuff because I ran mostly policy affs. I am pretty familiar with a lot of the anti-blackness and cap literature and I am very up for those throw-downs.

I have a medium level understanding of a lot of the other literature, but unless it's something super new or Frankensteined together, I will probably be able to follow you.

Do I have any judging quirks?

a.) I will care significantly less about evidence than a lot of judges you might have. If a piece of evidence is contested in a way that is irresolvable absent a post-round reading, I will call for that evidence. But unless evidence is contested or called attention to, I will not read it – I care far more about how it is used and the analysis that surrounds it. “The Jones card is better than their Adams card” matters far less to me than “They are misconstruing the Adams evidence – she concludes that China is a defensive realist for xyz reasons; we read red.” In general, a logical analytic matters just as much if not more to me than a card that is “fire.”

b.) I have some but not a lot of topic knowledge. Please err on the side of explanation.

c.) Most of my debates in high school were against k teams, but I went to Michigan and helped at the Dartmouth debate camp. I like to think that means I have some amount of both policy and critical experience.

d.) I was a 2A for most of high school but I 2Ned or double two-ed for a few years. That means I may lean aff on theory surrounding questionable counterplans but I lean negative when it comes to holding a high bar for the 2AR.

e.) I am passionate about climate change. If you like going for warming good, I am the wrong judge for you. I will look for any way to vote for the other team and your speaks will suffer. I honestly have no idea why the debate community continues to treat this as a legitimate argument. (If this seems at odds with my tech>truth beliefs, I agree that I am not being wholly consistent, but the notion of breeding apathy among youth about climate change is frankly abhorrent to me. Just as tech over truth does not extend to arguments like racism is good, climate change is something I feel obligated to hold the line on.)

f.) I care a lot about the participation of women, especially WOC, in debate. I will be extremely sensitive to the way non cis white men are treated in the debate space.

g.) I want to help debaters who don't receive a lot of formal coaching. I remember feeling intimidated and isolated in high school debate rounds when the other team had 3+ professional coaches in the room while my partner and I sat alone, desperately trying to figure out what we could do. A lot of my coaching in high school came from incredibly kind strangers in the debate community who were willing to help (take pity on) a panicked kid who didn't have the cards to answer a disad. If you ever have questions, whether they're about my decision or just arguments in general, email me: or find me in the hallway, and I will do my best to help you out.

h.) Subpoints!

i.) I love, love, love topic education arguments, whether they're on framework/T or when you are aff going against a K or when you are going for a k and making arguments about what topic education SHOULD look like. As a policy 2A I loved making arguments about the way grassroots organizing can amalgamate careful policy research with novel or radical forms of praxis and pedagogy. Teams that do this will make me happy.

j.) References to Magi Ortiz, Debayan Sen, Rayhan Ahmed = +0.2 speaks; references to any Lex debater / Lexington debate in general, including Sheryl Kaczmarek = +0.1 speaks.

Novice paradigm

Hello novices!



-line by line

-impact calc

-using evidence

-using warrants

-splitting the block (if you don't know what this means, ask!)

-picking up on dropped arguments

-being assertive

-referencing Debayan Sen, Magi Ortiz, or Rayhan Ahmed (if you don't know who these scrubs are, no worries)

-frame my ballot (why do I vote for you? what impacts does voting for you ameliorate, and why do those impacts matter/matter more than the other team's impacts?)

-show me your flows after the round (+.1 speaks)

-asking questions!! email me ( ) with any questions about my decision/debate in general


-extending claims without warrants + impacts

-bullying your partner or the other team

-block repetition (see above)

-switching flows without telling me when you are switching (signposting)

-reading arguments/blocks you don't understand

Abbie Booker Paradigm

3 rounds

I'm a recent grad from East Kentwood High School and am soon attending and debating for Towson University. While I am known as a "K" debater (mostly race and gender and sexuality) I'm open to any args. I'm a pretty basic judge, I'll listen to your args and evaluate based on the flow.

I am intollerant of a couple things and will mark teams down in either speaker points or in my decision based on the following:

-Don't be oppressive, so don't use slurs that don't apply to your social location, don't promote antiblackness, islamaphobia, transphobia, ect., don't justify unjust violence... basically just try to be good person and there will be no problem.

-Don't be unjustifiably rude, if the other team is making args out of line or that you find offensive you have the right to responde in your own way within reason, but slandering other teams just for the "ethos boost" won't help too much with me judging.


Explain clearly what my role is, am I a judge? An ethical decision maker? and educator? and how should my role frame how I evaluate the flow and why your framework for debate is better than the other teams. HAVE IMPACTS

USFG args:

I'm not really a fan of the traditional "you must roleplay/defend USFG action." I tend to lean more in favor of teams that provide solid justification for why they shouldnt have to be the USFG to still access the resolution. But framing args about using macro structures vs micro strctures are fine.


Explain clearly why the other teams violation of the resolution creates your impacts. More than just "we don't have fair ground" but why does ground matter? What happens next? I'm not a judge who is all "teams must be tied 100% to the resolution." I think that makes the resolution too limiting, but T debates are still good to test how limited debate should be. And I will vote on T if the neg can prove why the aff is too far outside the resolution to deserve a ballot. But USFG T debates are not a fav of mine.


You do you just make sure to explain how the counterplan solves the harms of the aff or at least prevents more bad things from happening.


Again, you do you. And make sure the impact on the disad is framed in a way so it outweighs all of the impacts the aff wins.


Ahh, these are my favs (I'm sure you could tell by now.) If your reading a K, make sure the links are articulated well throughout the debate. Also, have strong answers to the perms. Use your lit to your advantage. I don't think debaters need to read a bunch of cards (my 1AC actually had no cards) but feel free to name drop authors or trigger words/phrases to add some logos to you speech. The final speech should zone in on the world of the aff, world of the perm, and world of the alt.

If your debating against a K, try to win the perm. If the team can't provide a solid reason for why the perm shouldn't exist or is impossible, than its an easy win. Also answer their big framing claims, such as ontology, epistomology, ideology, ect. Disproving those claims, or framing how the aff functions within the same framing, gives the aff a lot more leverage.

**********Please ask peoples pronouns if you don't know them. Misgendering is a no-no.

If you have any questions, please ask!

Jack Booth Paradigm

6 rounds


I would like to be in the email chain: You can also reach me there if you want to ask me questions before a round and you have a disability that makes it difficult to communicate something to me in the room. Also, feel free to email with constructive questions about the round after it is over.

I did policy debate for 3 years in high school and am currently in my third year of debate at NYU. I've gone for a few different arguments in debate, spanning from "straight policy" to "high theory." Debate is for the debaters so do your thing and I'll do my best to provide a fair decision.


It seems this is the main reason most people read paradigms these days. I have voted both ways in these debates, and have been on both sides (2A reading a k aff & 1N going for fw in the block) of the framework debate in my career. Generally, I think the impact vs the impact turn is what my decision comes down to most of the time, since there aren't many counter-interpretations that are predictable. If your affirmative doesn't come to the conclusion that the resolution is true, you're much better off just going for impact turns to fairness and education in front of me. I think negative teams here most often miss why things like fairness and education are important. Impact these claims out into some tangible benefit that I can compare against the impact turn.

Other Argument Preferences:

I think all affs should have a clear impact story with a good solvency advocate explaining why the aff resolves the links to those impacts. I really enjoy affs that are creative and outside of what a lot of people are reading, but are still grounded in the resolution. If you can find a clever interpretation of the topic or policy idea that the community hasn't thought of yet, I'll probably bump your speaks a bit.

Disads: Love 'em. Impact framing is very important in these debates. A lot of disads (especially politics) have pretty bad ev/internal link chains, so try to wow me with 1 good card rather than spitting out 10 bad ones.

Counterplans: They should have solvency advocates and a clear story for competition. Exploit generic link chains in affs. I don't presume anything for theory questions. I won't judge kick unless you tell me to in the 2NR.

Kritiks: Both sides of these debates often involve a lot of "cloud clash," especially in high school, which can make it hard to evaluate at the end of the round. Have a clear link story and a reason why the alternative resolves those links. Absent an alt, have a framework as to why your impacts matter/why you still win the round. For affs, pick either the impact turn strat or the perm strat and stick with it. I like impact turns better, but sometimes perms are more strategic. In terms of literature, I'm most familiar with psychoanalysis and (*big sigh) Baudrillard.

Topicality: I default to competing interps most of the time, but you can convince me that I should vote on reasonability. Be clear about what your interp includes and excludes and why that is a good thing.

Speaker Points:

This is a pretty good scale that I like to use:

Final thoughts:

I have a lot of personal political and philosophical beliefs, but I try my best to leave them at the door. Being funny or just doing things to make the debate more enjoyable will boost your speaker points. I think debate is a game, and I think it's a pretty fun one. So while winning or losing, always try to have fun. You don't need to always take things so seriously. I don't understand why someone would do this activity if they didn't enjoy it.

Matt Cekanor Paradigm

6 rounds

*Yes, add me to the email chain. My email is

*Update as of CFLs 2019*

Stop stealing prep.

*Update as of the Pennsbury Tournament 2019*

A DA is not a full DA until a uniqueness, link, internal link and impact argument is presented. Too many teams are getting away with 2 card DA shells in the 1NC and then reading uniqueness walls in the block. I will generally allow for new 1AR answers.

Shortest Version (higher numbers are comfort/preference)

CP- 9/10

DA- 9/10

Case- 10/10

K- 7/10

T- 8/10

Clash Debates- 8/10

Competing Interps > Reasonability

Err aff on theory- 3 condo is more than enough

Evidence: Quality > Quantity

Total defense/0% risk is possible in front of me.

Detailed Version (For Pref Sheets)

Experience- This will be my first year coaching at Northview High School. Before moving to Goergia I coached for 7 years at Marquette High and I debated there for four years. During that time period my partner and I had great success in the state of Wisconsin, broke at many national tournaments, and qualified to the TOC. I have not been able to do much research for the Marquette High squad and therefore need more of an explanation of technicalities oj the topic. In addition, I have not had the opportunity to judge too many Varsity rounds on the topic so some degree of explanation as to the intricacies of some of your arguments that you might think are obvious to anyone debating on the topic might need a little bit more explanation in front of me.

Individuals who have most influenced my thoughts about debate/who's decision making calculus is most similar to mine: Tyler Thur (former partner), Ben Schultz (former coach). If you have any questions, or need some context for my thoughts about debate, feel free to check their wikis or talk to them. We aren't clones of each other by any means, but their paradigms could explain some context.

I know that I tend to rant on and on about some of my opinions regarding particular arguments or argumentative styles in debate so for the sake of efficiency,here are a couple of major highlights about my thoughts and predispositions as a judge.

-I believe that rounds often lack comparative claims about the relative quality of arguments and how this impacts the interactions of arguments. Put another way, impact calculus does not only pertain to weighing the magnitude, timeframe and probability of impacts against each other but also pertains to comparing the way in which defensive arguments, claims about qualifications, evidence quality or other similar arguments impact how I should evaluate certain arguments within the round. When debating, always ask the question "Why?", such as "If I win this argument, WHY is this important?", "If I lose this argument WHY does this matter?". If you start thinking in these terms and can explain each level of this analysis to me, then you will get closer to winning the round. In general, the more often this happens and the earlier this happens it will be easier for me to understand where you are going with certain arguments. This type of analysis definitely warrants higher speaker points from me and it helps you as a debater eliminate my predispositions from the debate.

-For me to vote on a single argument, it must have a claim, warrant, impact, and impact comparison

-I debated in, and currently coach in, a team culture that places high importance on evidence quality and this fact is evident in how I judge. I believe that part of my job as a judge is to evaluate evidence as a way to compare arguments made by either team. Quality of cards without a doubt beats quantity of cards, in my opinion. This does not mean that I will decide rounds only on evidence, or call for cards without there having been moments in which the particular cards in question were not highlighted in the round. Again, it is your job to tell me why you think this particular card is important within the narrative of the round. I also find it easier to make decisions one way or another in which debaters describe the comparative lens through which I should view evidence ie. author qualifications, recency, predictive vs. descriptive claims, etc.

- I do believe that terminal defense is a real possibility in debate rounds. This means that I will not always evaluate the round through a lens of offense-defense. Again this plays into evidence questions and the relative impacts of arguments claims made above.

With those three main paradigmatic questions out of the way, here are my thoughts on particular arguments. This list is by no means exhaustive and if you have any questions about specifics, feel free to ask. Again, these are just predispositions that I would like to eliminate as much as possible while judging but I cannot shy away from the fact that they exist and will impact the way I think about rounds.

Case- Debates are won or lost in the case debate. By this, I mean that proving whether or not the aff successfully accesses all, some or none of the case advantages has implications on ever single flow of the debate and should be a fundamental question of most 2NRs and 2ARs. I think that blocks that are heavy in case defense or impact turns are incredibly advantageous for the neg because they enable you to win any CP (by proving the case defense as a response to the solvency deficit), K (see below) or DA (pretty obvious). I think that most affs can be divided into two categories: affs with a lot of impacts but poor internal links and affs with very solid internal links but questionable impacts. Acknowledging which of these two categories the aff you are debating falls should shape how you approach the case debate.

I will say that I think the strategy of going for the K with case defense is an argument combination that is rarely taken advantage of. I think that case defense allows you to provide substantive ways in which I can call into question the assumptions of the aff. I think that it is very difficult in high school debate for an aff team to come back from a block that consists of the K and case defense exclusively (NOTE: This is not me encouraging you to exclusively debate like this in front of me, I just think that it is an under used strategy).

DA- I most often evaluate the DA through a lens of probability. Your job as the aff team when debating a DA is to use your defensive arguments to question the probability of the internal links to the aff. Likewise, the neg should use turns case arguments as a reason why your DA calls into question the probability of the aff's internal link. I think that an interesting argument that is often not taken advantage of by the neg is DA is the prerequisite for the aff argument.

K- I am not completely immersed in as much critical literature as some other judges but I would think that I am a decent enough judge for the K. I by no means want you to avoid reading it in front of me. I think that the best critiques are critiques that directly engage the action of the affirmative, however, criticisms or the representations of the aff are also fair. Most rounds on the K are won in front of me when the 2N explains how the K turns the case or is somehow a prerequisite for the aff. I do find permutations persuasive when this sort of analysis is lacking, however. I also find that I will give higher speaker points to the team that explains links to specific lines in their opponents' evidence or to the logic within cross-x answers etc.

K affs- After having judged an increasing amount of debates between plan-less affs and framework, I have started to realize that my thoughts on this question are changing.

1.) Topicality is winning more debates in front of me- While I think that it is possible for teams to win debates vs. plan-less affirmatives without reading topicality, my thoughts on T as an effective strategy against these affs has changed to the point where I think this is a strategic position.

2.) The form vs. content distinction is persuasive- Teams that make arguments that distinguish between the content of the affirmative and the form of policy debate are generally persuasive to me. I think that the evolution in TVA and negative state action arguments have persuaded me that the content of the affirmative can be accessed through "topical" action. This, of course, does not mean that there isn't room for discussion here. Aff teams should be specific when making these arguments.

3.) Case in T debates- Regardless of the side you're on in one of these debates, I think that a lot of the debate comes down to whether or not the aff can access the affirmative and if this gives them offense on the T debate. I have been persuaded by "aff comes first" arguments in the past, particularly when the case is conceded. Negatives need to have arguments (preferably specific ones) about why the aff can't access their offense.

For reference, here is what I used to say about K affs:

I want to start out this section of my paradigm by saying that I have not judged many debates in which the affirmative has not read a plan text. I have openly coached teams that do not read plan texts and am open to the idea, however, I am not an experienced judge in this area of the debate. This means that if you are a team that does not defend resolutional action or does not read a plan text you must be clear as to how your advocacy statement or performative impact rectifies the impacts isolated in the 1AC. I think that strong negative offense against these positions stems from kritiks or disads to the performative action/mechanism of the affirmative. In other words, I think the best answers to these affirmatives directly answer the thesis of the affirmative. I do not think that framework/T debates are the best answers to these arguments. Again, if framework is your response, that's fine but you will need to be making portable skills arguments that are contextualized to lack of access in debate, otherization in the debate space etc., to win my ballot in framework debates.

T- While I used to say that T is not necessarily my strong suit, I think that this has changed in the last year particularly given the lack of negative offense on the immigration topic. I think that portable skills are the best impact teams can make when they are engaged in T or theory debates. Comparative impact calculus and a discussion of how each team accesses their impacts will be important in winning my ballot in T debates. I find it incredibly problematic when there are multiple T interpretations in the round, especially when there are multiple definitions of the same word.

Theory- I debated on a team that engaged in a lot of theory debates in high school. There were multiple tournaments where most of our debates boiled down to theory questions, so I would like to think that I am a good judge for theory debates. I think that teams forget that theory debates are structured like a disadvantage. Again, comparative impact calculus is important to win my ballots in these debates. I will say that I tend to err aff on most theory questions. For example, I think that it is probably problematic for there to be more than one conditional advocacy in a round (and that it is equally problematic for your counter interpretation to be dispositionality) and I think that counterplans that compete off of certainty are bad for education and unfair to the aff. Again, portable skills are the most important to me in terms of my predispositions so you will need to do work in round to explain your arguments in this context.

Larry Dang Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated for Bronx October 2019


I am probably one of few people in the world who comes close to actually enjoying judging. Do what you will with that information. Also, I'm super expressive with my face while judging, so take that to your advantage to key into how I feel about how things are going.

Read whatever you want - I really do mean it. If you read the rest of my paradigm, you'll see some of my predispositions, but I like to think that I am a pretty fair judge who will do my best to ride with what works for you. Plan AFF, K AFF, DA/CP, Ks, Framework, T, theory (even death good, but if this gets exploited I might change my mind) - you do you. That'll make things fun and interesting for the both of us.

My knowledge of the arms sale topic comes from the prep work I did and continue to do to coach my BDL teams. I have a sense of the lit base, but I'll need you to explain your acronyms and whatnot.

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

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.


Education: Head-Royce 2018, Harvard Sociology and Statistics 2022 | Coaching: Boston Debate League

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.


Not too much to say here. 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.

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. I guess points inflation is kinda built into the way I see things, but I'll try to compensate. Here's a breakdown:

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

29.4-29.7: You should get a top 10 speaker award, and I'm really quite impressed

29-29.3: You gave some really good speeches and probably deserve a speaker award

28.8-28.9: You are a decently good speaker, are above average, and have a fair shot at breaking

28.3-28.7: You are probably squarely in the middle of the pool

27.8-28.2: 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 :)

Damiyr Davis Paradigm

6 rounds

Debate as hard as you can absent racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, classist and ableist arguments.

Slow down on cp the texts competition and turns .

Have fun

Malcolm Davis Paradigm

4 rounds

I debated in high school a lot, now I debate a little in college. I like debate, and I hope you do too!

I think debates should be fun and I do not like it when people aren't friendly.


CX Paradigm for bronx 2019

This is my first time judging circuit policy! I have lots of experience judging PF and college parli, but I'm well aware policy is a different beast and so I hope you'll bear with me! If I can't understand you I'll yell clear!

Do add me to the email chain:

I don't have strong beliefs that should move you to alter your style in front of me. I have more experience judging policy-style rounds than K debates. That said, my academic interests are much more in line with the sort of literature I understand appears in many K debates (I'm a philosophy major with specific interests in french post-structuralism, german idealism, and psychoanalysis). That said, my experience with this sort of literature is not in the context of debate.

If you have more specific questions, ask me before the round or shoot me an email.


PF Paradigm:

As I get old and grumpy, I am increasingly frustrated with PF's bells and whistles. We are all regular people. You don't need to 'strongly urge an affirmation' or proudly declare what the 'thesis of your case' is or anything, you just need to debate the round and explain what's going on clearly.

I will evaluate the arguments as best I can based on what I understand in the round and what lands on my flow. I regret to admit that if something makes no sense to me I will be deeply reluctant to vote on it.

I don't have strong opinions about most practices in PF (defense in first summary, frontlining case in second rebuttal) beyond my personal beliefs about what is strategic. I am more than open to hearing arguments in the debate about why I should care about these things.

I deeply appreciate clever strategies and will reward them with speaker points that reflect how stylish the play was.

If you want to win my ballot, win the round. If you want to win my heart, concede everything your opponent says and still win the round.

If you have specific questions that I have failed to answer here, feel free to ask them before the round, shoot me a message on Facebook, send me an email, or mail me a postcard.

Dante De Blasio Paradigm

6 rounds

Background: Hi, my name is Dante. In 2019, I graduated from Yale where I studied political philosophy. I did policy debate for three years in high school at Brooklyn Technical High School and went to the TOC my senior year. I have not debated since but I have judged occasionally. As a debater, I read policy affs, critical race theory, and post-modern philosophy so I feel comfortable with pretty much whatever though I will say that I was mostly a K debater. FYI I have not yet judged the arm sales topic.

At the end of the day, I'm voting for the team that does the better debating. I try to come into each round as a blank slate. That being said, I'm more familiar with certain types of arguments than others.

My thoughts on specific types of arguments:

Plans/CPs/DAs: Go for it.

T: Not my strong suit, so you might want to do some extra explaining, but I'll vote for it.

Theory: Again, not my strong suit, but, as I was taught as a debater, I will prioritize it in my judging decision.

Framework: I'll vote for it. I ran k affs/performance affs in high school so I can certainly be convinced that they should exist. However, I view framework as a logical position against affs with little tie to the resolution.

Ks: Yeah, you can go a little wild here. I love creative Ks and I ran a lot of pomo in high school. That being said, I do hold Ks to a higher standard since I ran them so much in high school. I want specific links (you don't always need cards if you explain them well), I want a compelling alt, and I want all jargon explained and tied to the real world. This last point is important. I try to come into the round as a blank slate so assume you're explaining your position to somebody who is totally unfamiliar with your given position.

In terms of style, I'm going to copy and paste some overarching advice from one of my former coaches, William Cheung:

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 performative styles as it compares to your own and how I ought to prioritize 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 :(]""

That's about it. Good luck!

Adegoke Fakorede Paradigm

3 rounds

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

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

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

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

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

Falianne Forges Paradigm

3 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


Jayanne Forrest Paradigm

3 rounds

My name is pronounced “Jay” (like pay, hay, say) “anne” ... if you can’t pronounce it, call me Jay

My email is

**I should note here, that I get triggered by graphic depictions of anti-black violence (e.g. those very graphic examples of police brutality used to support afro pessimism).

Hello! I debated for Fort Lauderdale High School in Florida for 4 years in LD and Policy. I graduated in 2018 and I go to Columbia University if anyone is looking to hire judges in NY!

Anyways, I view debate as an educational and fun activity that has changed me for the better. I loved bringing my activism and philosophy I loved into debate. If you read a unique position well that will benefit your speaker points. Also if you bring food that I like that will boost speaks a few tenths of a point.

I won’t tell you what to debate or what to run in front of me. However, I’ll note that I am not the judge for any complex theory debates because I find them boring, messy, often poorly ran and hard to resolve. Any position being run should be explained well, and as long as your spreading is clear, I will 9/10 understand and flow and be good.

Last few things: if you say anything blatantly anti-black, xenophobic, racist, misogynistic, anti-queer, ableist, etc. and your opponent calls you out for the attack on them, I will drop you. Debate should be a home space for everyone and you are responsible for the things you say because it is a speaking activity.

I love performance (e.g. music, dance, art) and identity politics that are not just about Blackness (especially if you’re not black ;) ) and I encourage you to do whatever you are passionate about.

Have fun and be great!

Update, after Blue Key:

If you plan to read afro-pessimism, please read a trigger warning or simply take out those horrific examples of modern day gratuitous violence. Black violence as a spectacle should not be normalized in debate or ANYWHERE.

I also don’t think that non-black and ESPECIALLY white debaters should be reading radical black authors (e.g. afropessimism, Black Nationalism, etc.). Read your social and racial justice positions sure, but please leave the voices of our radical black authors/groups (e.g. the Black Panthers) out of your advocacies.

This "strategic" practice of reading Black narratives and fake-woke alliances really needs to stop... so if you're not Black and you read aforementioned positions I will drop you. If you say any racial slur written by the author (or just on your own whim) I will drop you and give you zero speaker points.

Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.

Robin Forsyth Paradigm

3 rounds

I debated for Georgetown Day School


I'm not going to buy racism, sexism, ableism or anything of that character is good

Do what you do best, I really do enjoy all kinds of debates.

that being said go for presumption

Arguments have a claim, warrants, data and or historical examples to back those warrants and an implication all of which must be extended.

Impact calculus wins debates.

Slow down on analytics, if it isn't on my flow i'm not going to evaluate it.

I like stories, tell me a story about what happens how and why not just that it will happen.

Analytics, including those which use your personal knowledge of the world, carry just as much weight as a card absent debate over an authors qualifications, the unique characteristics of their data set or some other such comparison. Simply saying we have a card and they don’t will not only make me dislike you, it won’t get my ballot.

I flow cross-ex, use it well.

Put me on the email chain:


I have been on both sides of this debate and feel that I'm fairly impartial. I tend to think fairness is an internal link not stand alone impact but can be convinced otherwise. If you are the negative try and use case answers to mitigate the ability of the aff to weigh their offense against FW, if you are aff do your best to do the opposite. I think the role of the judge/ballot/debate is under utilized in these debates.

Arms sales is an interesting topic for definitions, everyone, policy and otherwise, should utilize the implications of these definitions for enacting policy, organizing or conceptualizing arms policy. Arms control is also a place where teams which avoid portions of the resolution should be able to tell me in historical context why those portions of the resolution are wrong, and why your aff is at the core of where we need to be looking when we think of arms sales. This is all to say generic arguments from your backfiles will bore me and are unlikely to win my ballot when you all have a lot to talk about.

One more note on fairness: as a k debater this was my favorite impact to see the negative read because it is very very easy to beat absent a skills/education/reflexivity argument or something along those lines.


I did not attend a camp this year, so my one word of advice here is be careful with the acronyms and don’t assume I know what the common T args are. That said I like topicality and in-depth discussion of not only the implications of an interpretation for debate but for policy makers should they adopt these definitions


I don't mind generic link evidence if you have in-depth contextualization backed by strong historical examples, especially if you are going for politics.


I tend to agree with the aff on theory against uniform 50 state fiat and anything more than 2 conditional counter-plans, otherwise I'm pretty good for the negative on theory pertaining to the counter-plan. Otherwise I enjoy a good advantage counter-plan, PIC, or any other counter-plan.


These are the arguments I have gone for the most. I am most familiar with Derrida, Bataille, Baudrillard and orthodox Marxism but am pretty comfortable with the other common literature bases. Again, historical examples and case specific analysis is far more important than just having evidence that mentions terms used by the affirmative. Please do line by line, you can save a lot of time by just explaining your thesis in relation to particular affirmative arguments rather than recontextualizing a 3 minute overview. That being said, I do not practice what i preach and will listen if you opt for a lecture instead of a speech.

make a presumption argument

I am not a good judge for you if you think you can talk about capitalism without mentioning its settler colonial and anti-black contradictions, these are central and the primary nexus of capitalist oppression.


These are my favorite debates, if done well and not just blocked out debate jargon. If you be creative and think on your feet you will be able to easily win on theory in front of me as i think most teams are woefully insufficient in their responses to most theory arguments.

k affs:


Case Debate:

I think the affirmative rarely capitalizes on the lack of in-depth case debating that is common in 2nr. If you anticipate this and use cross-ex to beat back against shoddy negative arguments on case then a 2ar which spends a lot of time on impact calculus and the case will be a good choice against most negative strategies.

I really enjoy plan flaws, particularly for use against affirmative framing arguments pertaining to policy-making or scenario-planning.

It is far more easy to persuade me that I should vote negative on presumption than it is in front of most (perhaps nearly all) judges, particularly if the affirmative is not explaining their solvency mechanism in the final rebuttals. This means you should extend your aff, even if you think they didn’t go to the case page.

You will get better speaker points if you:

go for presumption

know well and care about the subject you are talking about

are funny

use cross-ex well

give me a history lesson

read and make arguments based on authors qualifications

You will get very good speaker points if you donate here:

Cash App $SZulu and or

Atticus Glen Paradigm

4 rounds

*add me to the email chain:

high school: montgomery bell academy – coach: mamaroneck

*updated for gds*

my arguments in high school were very flex

you could say i’m “deep in the k lit”

i’m reasonably big brain about econ

feel free to email me with questions about my debate opinions at any time

keep in mind that these are my personal opinions: i’ll still evaluate the debate obviously, but there are much higher thresholds for winning some arguments than others

i am extremely unlikely to be persuaded by:

affs without plans

personal callouts

arguments about identity

“don’t weigh the case”

framework no ks hoohoo

i am likely to be persuaded by:

procedural fairness (don’t even waste your time with other framework impacts in front of me)

reasonability / substance crowd-out

no plan, no perm

i dislike:

“conjunctive fallacy” without contesting the substance of the disad


process counterplans

anything approaching death good

plan inclusive alts

framework impacts that aren’t procedural fairness

ks of “the academy”

arguments that debate has any connection to the real world whatsoever

new pages for overviews

i like:

k affs with plans

very specific k links, especially to the consequences of the plan

alts that function like counterplans (e.g. specific movements)

util bad

k vs k debates

ks of disads

growth good


line by line


judge kick BUT i won't judge kick the counterplan unless the 2nr tells me to

brownie points:

jokes (!)

references to my friends

Matt Grimes Paradigm

3 rounds

I was a high school debater in the mid-2000s and have coached mostly regional policy debate teams since then. I don't judge many rounds on the national circuit and I'm not especially up on the newest lingo or arguments. Still, I can flow decently fast, I am well-versed in the broad types of arguments folks make, and I am willing to listen to any argument you care to make.

I tended toward policy-oriented debates when I was competing, but these days I mostly find myself coaching critical arguments (on both the affirmative and negative). Any of these types of arguments can win you the round if you're giving me clear reasons why I should vote for you. The same goes for topicality and theory arguments, though you'll probably have to slow down and articulate them thoroughly if you want me to vote on them.

Other things:

-I like debates where folks are reasonably friendly, even when arguments are hotly contested.

-My day job is as a high school teacher and I'm here for the educational value of the activity. You can argue that other things matter more, but you should know that this is my bias.

-I use he/him pronouns.

-Feel free to ask my anything else before the round starts.

Miguel Hamidjojo Paradigm

6 rounds

Read your tags slowly and clearly if you want me to count it on my flow. Make sure to tell me that something is a tag.

Claim, Warrant, Impact all your stuff. I'll vote for anything substantial.

Signpost and roadmap-- for all intents and purposes I am 5 years old, please baby me. If you write my ballot for me in your 2ar/2nr, I would be happy.

Not too familiar with heavy theory, but I am very familiar with Marx. Make sure you actually understand the stuff though, if you can't explain it then I can't vote on it. Please do go slow.

Topicality is fine, but DON'T spread T/T theory.

Don't really feel either way about K affs.

Jeremy Hammond Paradigm

I have judged a lot of debates. I view myself as a reasonable judge. I have judged every type of debate and find myself capable in any instance. I hate when people cry wolf with the word "conceded."

Kevon Haughton Paradigm

3 rounds

Ive done Policy Debate for 7 years from high school through to college. In college I debated for Rutgers University Newark. I qualified to the NDT 3 times and was a CEDA Quarter finalist in 2016.

Affiliation - Blake Debate

Public Forum

Ultimately the biggest problem I see in PF debate is a lack of warranting, evidence comparison, and impact calculus. These three things are essential to winning my ballot. Also, I am a very technical judge, I flow everything (including cross) and dropped arguments are true arguments.

In terms of evidence - please read actual cards and do not just "paraphrase" authors.

Warranting and evidence comparison is essential. Extending a bunch of claims without reasoning is not persuasive. Why should I prefer your evidence over your opponents evidence. Similarly you need to compare the impacts, do not just extend your own impact while ignoring the opponents, why does your impact outweigh? Saying evaluate the "cost benefit analysis" is NOT impact calculus.

If an argument is in the Final Focus but was not in the Summary I will not evaluate it.

Finally, if you use racist, sexists, transphobic, ableist, xenophobic, classist, heteronormative, or another discriminatory or oppressive discourse you will not win my ballot and your speaker points will be greatly effected.

Daniel Iskhakov Paradigm

6 rounds

Bronx Science graduate; used to run mostly Ks

Feel free to run any argument in front of me. I want you to tell me how to vote and how I should view the round. Besides that, I'm down for anything. I will literally vote for any argument from death good to hegemony solves. Just don't do anything stupid (racism good, etc.)


DA should at least have a aff-specific link and not just "immigration reform means Trump loses political capital". Make sure impact calc is tight, and good evidence comparison will notch up your speaker points. I want you to tell me a story of how the aff actually triggers the impacts.


Haven't gone for that many CPs, not really my favorite argument. Whatever you run, make sure that you have a clear net-benefit.

Framework and Topicality

Unless its not even in the direction of the topic, I won't automatically vote down an aff because it violates your interpretation of framework and the resolution. If there is no significant impact and there is sufficient response from aff, I will weigh education over fairness.

I like to hear cleverly thought out T arguments against K affs that aren't just USFG, but an explanation, again, is necessary.

Similarly, I love smart T arguments but topicality debates should be grounded in the literature and you should try to make arguments contextual to the topic.


I run Ks very often and love a good K debate but I also hate it when the links for the Ks are not explained well or are just generic. Most of the K debate is rooted in the link debate and you have to be able to do this well in order for me to understand how the kritik functions in terms of the affirmative.

A side note: I am not a judge who thinks you need to win the alternative debate in order to win the round. As long as you can prove that each link is a non unique disad to the aff, and those disads outweigh, I will gladly vote neg. However, winning the alternative debate definitely makes your job a LOT easier. If you do go for the alt, I need to know what the alt is supposed to do, how it is supposed to do it, and why what it does matters. You have to be able to explain the alt well, a lot of debaters do not read the literature behind their kritik and this means they cannot explain their alternatives well or just summarize the tags of the cards when explaining the alt.

Love creative K args, topic-specific Ks are really cool too

Ks I've ran: Cap (almost every variant of it: logistics, Dean, etc.), biopower, academia (Moten and Harney, Tuck and Yang, etc.), ID stuff (orientalist, queer theory), lacan.

K affs

I have read K affs the majority of my debate career. I love the notion of criticizing debate as a whole and I will likely be on your side, but if it is a nontraditional aff, an EXPLANATION is necessary. If I don't understand what the aff is, what it does, or why it's good, then I will absolutely default neg.


I don't come across it very often. However, I am willing to vote on it if enough effort is put into a theory argument. IE: If a team extends condo in 1 sentence in the 1ar with minimal explanation and the 2nr drops it, I am very likely to give the 2nr leeway- the 2ar could be 5 minutes of condo, but the bar will be substantially raised if I am to vote on it.

Feel free to add me to the email chain:

K. Karas Paradigm

4 rounds

I was a policy debater in high school (Glenbrook North) and college (Georgetown) many years ago.  I have been on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues for the last decade and I have been actively coaching and judging these past two seasons.  I'm a strict tabula rasa judge and I'm fine with well-articulated speed.  Take CX and the obligation to be polite seriously, but please make sure to have fun.   

Natalie Kelly Paradigm

3 rounds

I was a 2A in high school and ran soft left affs mostly focusing on violence against women for my last two years, but am very familiar with high-magnitude, low-probability impacts. That being said, please do whatever you do best and can explain well. – please add me to the email chain (emailing isn’t prep but don’t steal prep – if you’re not a first year debater, I will drop speaks for trying to sneakily prep while “emailing/flashing”)

General preferences:

· Tech > truth and dropped arguments are true, but please explain why these arguments matter, especially for theory and other typically blippy arguments

· Ev spin/contextualization and rehighlights of evidence > ev quantity, recency, or quality in a vacuum – obviously, if your evidence is low quality or too old, I probably won’t vote on it, but strategically using your cards is more important than just saying “our evidence post-dates” (+ speaks if you rehighlight ev and it works)

· In general, I appreciate innovation – either introduce something creative or have a really thought-out, nuanced argument about core generics

o Small, interesting affs are a good way to increase speaks and get you ahead early on

· Have fun and be respectful of everyone in the room


· I love a good politics scenario and CP. If your DA is innovative and not too contrived, I’ll be impressed and increase speaks.

· I’m fine with generics, but please have a specific link or be able to contextualize your link to the aff

· Slow down on CP texts (especially if you have multiple planks) and be ready to explain those planks in the block

· Solvency advocates are necessary and even better if they come from the aff’s authors

· I won’t kick the 2NR’s advocacy for them (CP, K)


· I like techy T debates and think that a good amount of affs aren’t really topical

o I think it works really well and is convincing if negs use a case list and TVA in these debates, but you also need viable impacts

· Competing interpretations > reasonability like 80% of the time

· T debates should be about your vision of the topic, not necessarily in-round abuse

· If T is extended through the block as a viable option and extended well, I am much more likely to vote for it even if I think the aff is reasonably topical than if T isn’t well extended but I believe the aff is egregiously unfair


· Condo – probably need at least 3 conditional advocacies and it’s an uphill battle, so be prepared to go all out

· I lean towards rejecting the argument, not the team, but can be persuaded otherwise, if you’re willing to take the time to go for theory

· Lean aff: new affs bad, word pic, consult cps, aspec etc.

· Lean neg: conditions cps, agent cps, multiplank cps, international fiat, 50 state fiat


· I’m familiar with K’s mainly from debating against them, which means you can’t just spit jargon at me (I’ve debated afropess, cap, security, setcol, and victimization the most, but have hit Baudrillard/high theory and death good a good amount)

o On that note, I have pretty high standards for the 2AC in a one off K debate – I think the best 2ACs are more analytics than cards and strategically use the aff, please don’t let what could be a nuanced, critical debate devolve into state good vs. state bad

o 2AC FW can either be strategic or a waste of time – affs should get to weigh their aff and role of ballot debates are often an excuse to not win your warrants

· Ks often are weak in the link portion – affs, point this out at a higher level than “link of omission” – neg, links are reasons why the aff is bad, not root cause claims

· Please have a stable alt, or at least explain why your alt shouldn’t be stable

· K affs – these should be in the direction of the resolution (but I can be persuaded against that for the arms topic)

o I’m fine with performance/nontraditional affs, but I don’t think the neg should be forced to debate against your personal experiences or that debate can be a survival strategy

o Please be clear about your advocacy and what exactly voting for you does

· FW/T-USFG – I lean neg and believe that debate is a game; however, the 2N still needs to do a good amount of work to prove their model of debate in round

o TVA – I think these are some of the most strategic ways to win a FW debate and often get neglected by the end

o Affs should defend an interpretation about their model of debate and try to impact turn the neg’s impacts

o Please don’t just throw out 5-10 disads to fairness and education in the 2AC, or, if you’re going to, choose only a few and truly explain them in the 2AR

o I think fairness and education are independent impacts, but you have to contextualize them to the round

· K vs. K – go for it, be sure to explain your method and how it’s different from the other team’s, the aff should get the perm

Aziza Kurbonova Paradigm

6 rounds

Tech > Truth

DA: Higher threshold for neg, explain internal link story, more likely to vote on probable/realistic impact scenarios

T & FW: procedural arguments good, both teams need to respond to/weigh each other's standards, need both offensive and defensive arguments

K & K aff: I am familiar with most literature bases. I have a propensity towards semi-pragmatic alts such as micro-political activism. If your solvency mechanism is pedagogical, however, explain the world of the alt and respond to solvency deficit arguments.

CP: You need to prove competitiveness.

On-case: explain how you access your advantages

If you have prep time left over, I will allocate higher speaker points.

Kevin Kuswa Paradigm

1 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 (

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”

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

( 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 ( 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

2 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:

Jake Lee Paradigm

3 rounds

Jake Lee (He/Him)

Current: University of Pittsburgh ('20) and Assistant Coach with Pine Crest

Past: Glenbrook South High School ('16 and Assistant)

Conflicts: Glenbrook South, Pine Crest

Qualified to the NDT in 2019

Last Updated: Before Bronx

Put me on the Chain. My email:

Must Read:

Debate is a communication activity that requires both sides to be persuasive and provide clarity of their arguments. In order to win my ballot, you need to clash directly with opponents arguments and persuade me as to why I should be voting for you all. Regardless of what style of debate you all do, Policy or K Debate, you need to frame the debate around your arguments. Do not force me to do work for you at the end of the round hoping I just know what to do with the cards/arguments. In reality, most judges really do not know what to do with certain arguments at the end of the round. I am going to tell you, the main reason why you think that so called "bad" judge did not pick you up is because most of you all are unclear on what to do with certain arguments at the end of the round. Yes, you did say things, but the best debaters are those who tell judges what to do with arguments and frame them to help the judge understand why they should vote for you. Seriously this is how you are going to get anything above a 29. Judge direction is vital; provide closure at the end, and you will see the odds swing in your favor. This applies to every argument in debate.

Your goal as the debaters should be the following: communicating clearly your argument, being persuasive, clashing with your opponent, and not having me read cards at the end of the round. Accomplishing those four tasks increases your odds of a win

I am starting to get really annoyed with debaters saying an argument is "conceded" and/or "dropped" when it was not. So to counter this, ANY debater that claims an argument is "conceded" or "dropped", and it was not, you will lose -.2 speaker points everytime you are wrong since I think it is unpersuasive. So choose to say the words at your own risk.

General Debate Thoughts:

Intrinsic Logic Matters: You kids allow way too much BS in debate. There are so many ridiculous impact scenarios in debate that can be beaten with one sentence, yet you all just let it happen. If the aff/neg has to jump through many hurdles to get to their scenario, then you should be questioning the risk of it.

Line-by-Line please: I try my best to have an organized flow. Failure to do so makes the debate very convoluted and frustrating for me to judge. Please be organized with arguments.

Disprove the thesis of an argument rather than the conclusion of one. What I mean by this is stop just reading impact defense to answer stuff and challenge links, internal links, and/or solvency of an argument. If an argument is absurd, should not be too hard to beat, right?

Will not vote on Debate Bad, Death Good (Sorry Calum), or arguments like racism Good, sexism Good, etc.

If you give the 2NR/2AR without using your computer, and only using your flow, I will reward you with +.2 speaker points. Stolen from Brian Box: "Reading a script into the screen for 3 minutes at a time is not debating. Use your flow. Engage in line-by-line. Look up. If your 2NR/2AR plan is to read a 2-minute script that your partner typed during prep time, then you're already behind. Debate!"

You are NOT allowed to insert the re-highlighting of a card. You MUST re-read you re-highlighting. Every card you just "re-insert" is a -.3 speaker points

I do not follow the doc, but this does not allow you to clip. Teams must do that work to issue an ethics violation with evidence over this matter. Whoever loses the challenge loses my ballot and gets ZERO speaker points

Arms Sales Topic Thoughts:

Coach at Pine Crest and was a Lab Leader at the Michigan Camp, so pretty familiar with the topic.

This topic is very timely. With that in mind, I reward teams who constantly update their arguments to correlate with current events. With this administration, presidency, congress, and other various political quagmires, the world is very complex and can really mess with certain arguments on both the aff and neg. Updated cards > Camp Cards

For teams who have impacts that have the words "Miscalculation", "Entanglement" and/or "Accidental", you cannot just say these words over and over again as a sufficient explanation of your impact. If you cannot tell me who goes to war with who and why, I will think impact is unpersuasive and has a very low risk.

Topicality debates are really decent on this topic, especially Substantial. However, some substantial definitions and warrants are really bad and unpersuasive

I am waiting for the first team to stand up and say the order of the 1NC and/or block is just case. Dead Serious

Allies and Deterrence are the better DAs on the topic

Anyone going to read an executive authority DA?

Impact Turns are under rated for this topic. Except SPARK

Specific Debate Thoughts:

Affs: They need to do something to alter the status quo. I cannot stress this enough. Read your policy/critical affirmative, but it has to do something in line with the topic. The more you distance yourself away from the topic, the more likely it is for me to vote neg on Topicality.

Framing contentions: Not persuasive. Blame MSU on the NHI topic and literally 90% of affs on the Education topic. They do not come close to answering anything the neg said.

Counterplans: Need to be competitive and have a solvency advocate that is descriptive of the mechanism. Theory will go much better for the neg when you do have a solvency advocate. Consult and Conditions CPs are probably illegitimate.

Disadvantages: Overviews are nice. Plan specific links magnify a risk of a DA by a lot. Politics DAs are absurd. Even though I enjoy reading one when I debate, I really doubt the aff somehow causes Rubio/Romney/Any small house committee to lose their PC.

Topicality: Reka Fink is right about T being a great argument. Provide a coherent story for the violation and interpretation of your argument. Precision controls the direction of reasonability. Limits Arguments > Ground Arguments

Critiques: Probably a better judge for the K than most people suspect. Links should be contextualized to the aff/plan. Links about the plan > Links about advantage thesis/impacts. An alternative should have to do something. I think the aff gets to have perms, unless the neg provides a coherent reason as to why I should not all a permutation.

Framework: Framework is a question of what model of debate is good. I obviously have personal biases about the aff defending USFG action of the resolution, but I will not take them into account when I judge. These debates often fail to provide good enough impact calculus to break ties in arguments, which is often very frustrating. Please compare impacts. I rather see these debates come down to where both sides pick and choose specific pieces of offense and clash against each other on those differences. YES Fairness can be an impact, just explain to me why it is good, and why it outweighs and turns the aff's offense. The neg lets the aff get away with way too much offense. Neg, you ALSO need to answer the aff's counter-interpretation. This is where the aff just hammers the negative 100% of the time. Do it on the neg or round/ballot not key is undervalued in debate.

Condo is probably fine. Unless you are reading a ton of multiplank counterplans, then the mathematical abuse is probably going to go aff


People that have taught me the most about debate: Tara Tate, Jon Voss, Calum Matheson, Allie Chase, Corinne Sugino, Brian Rubaie, and Kurt Fifelski

Roast Harrison Hall, Sam Franz, or Josiah Macumber for .2 extra speaker points

Please make jokes. If you have had me in the back before, you know I try to loosen the round and make it fun and enjoyable. Please return the favor for me, I won't punish you for making a bad joke.

I do not care if you have to leave the room, just come back ASAP so we can finish the round

Usage of derogatory terms towards a person's race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and/or physical appearance will lose my ballot, receive ZERO speakers points AND a discussion with your coach. Any of other violations of Title IX and/or the ADA will see similar consequences.

Kayla Leong Paradigm

6 rounds


I'm a current college freshman with a few years of HS experience in policy, debating for Brooklyn Tech. I went for the critique on the aff and neg during high school and will be able to get a good grasp on most K lit, albeit my familiarity with high theory is very limited. However, I will vote on any argument that you present as long as it's debated well and is non-oppressive. Please explain your impacts!!!

Please be on time for your debate. CX should be open and it is binding. Sign post. Be polite to your opponents.

Please explain your acronyms as I haven't judged any rounds on this topic.

Add me to your email chain:

Reece Likeke Paradigm

5 rounds

First and foremost, don't read arguments just because you think I like them - do whatever it is you've been trained to do.

The following are my thoughts about debate after my last NDT ---

Update 2019 - I debated at UNLV for four years. My career highlights include breaking at the NDT twice once as a pure k debater who read planless settler colonialism affs and post structuralism on the neg; the other while reading hard right affs and cps, das, ks, and framework vs planless affs on the negative. The people who have influenced the way I think about debate the most are Roman Kezios, Tyler Snelling, Darrion, Matt Gomez, Nick Lepp, Nate Wong, and Chris Thiele. I think it is fair to say that I have experienced a wide diversity of arguments, and I do not have overwhelming biases that will cause me to exclude certain arguments. However, I am probably most qualified to judge k v k and clash of civs debates because most of my research as a debater and as a coach has been focused on those things. If I do end up judging you in a policy v policy debate, I'll still be a capable critic. During my final year of college debate, I had to adapt and learn this style of debate. My senior year of college debate involved reading sanctions and treaties affs against various policy strategies. So rest assured my flowing skills are sharp enough to keep up with the recent trend of nine off strategies. That said, here are my thoughts on positions that will be most relevant to the debates I expect to judge.

K vs K Debates and Clash of Civs---

Ks vs Ks - These are easily my favorite debates out of any. Oftentimes an excellent critique against a K aff has a link story based off of either the aff's theorization of violence or their strategy for resistance within the given debate space. Links are obviously important to establish competition, but those are only a small piece of the puzzle. If you have an alternative that mechanizes some form of material resistance to solve the affirmative, I need you to explain how it is distinct from the affirmative and how the links prove the perm would destroy the alt's ability to solve. If your alternative is simply to refuse the aff or some sort of a framing device that says I reject the aff on the basis of its complacency in X violence give me a framing device for which impacts I prioritize and why. Am I an ethical researcher? Am I prioritizing the best strategy to resist x? Am I an un ethical decision maker? What does it mean if I am any of those things given the imapcts and tactics presented to me in the round? I need to understand what I am voting for. Usually the role of debate and the ballot are pretty important in these debates. I do read a LOT OF THEORY and these debates excite me when teams do their research and deploy something I haven't seen yet.

Plan vs K - I have been on both sides of these debates. I usually find that the affirmatives who are ready to justify why their 1ac s education is useful for some larger or material purpose is in a good spot. If you think that it is an unfair burden for you to have to justify why talking about your aff is good you should strike me. This honestly is a skill that most teams who were excellent at debating the k thrived at. Debate the k and have a good articulation of what impacts should be prioritized and why. Contest alt solvency or the negative s framework.

K vs Plan - Having a link to the plan is always sweet and preferred. My coaching background influenced me to make ks as specific to the aff as possible. That said, I realize that k debates now a days can be interesting even when the links are sweeping and super meta. These debates are still interesting, and I have gone for this genre of arguments. Remember to be clear about what your framework argument is and what metric for impacts I should use in why. You need to neutralize the aff s offense in some way or I will easily check out on risk of the aff outweighs the k. Sometimes k teams find innovative pics or alt solvency arguments.

Framework Debates for the neg- If I am being honest, I would much rather see a team go for a critique against a planless aff. Framework debates get very stale after a while, but every now and then something interesting can happen. Teams that go for fairness need to win some kind of argument about debate being a game or they need to neutralize the aff s offense through a tva or switch sides debate argument. Classic defenses of debate as a place for democratic deliberation are fine too, but you need to be ready to interact with the aff s impact turns to how society works. I expect you clash with the aff s offense.

Framework Debates for Planless Affs - Go the route of impact turning t if you want but i need to be able to understand what my ballot does and what voting aff does or disrupts. Sometimes these debates can be hard to win for the aff if the neg does a great job of contesting aff solvency. Other ways of engaging t could be providing a different model of debate or metric for competition that helps accomplish some end. Example, maybe the rez is a spring board for x project. Overall explain what impacts matter and why.

Morally Suspect Impact Turns - I've read a planless set col aff against the ICBMS DA and lost, so I know that it sucks to lose to these. That said, I m still tech over truth. I will feel bad if i ever have to vote on these, but if you lost you lost. In a nut shell, if you are that team that impact turns the k go right a head. I will expect the affirmative to defend the moral high ground, but if they fail to do so they will lose the debate. Morally suspect impact turns are repulsive in truth, but the aff needs to understand what components of them are problematic and explain why. I am never going to check out on X thing is immoral and anti _____ so vote for us. Surface level explanation is not something I am a fan of in clash of civs debates from either side. The best clash of civs debates where the k team beats the impact turn usually involves some kind of nuanced explanation about why the neg s metric for weighing impacts is premised on something problematic and therefore reproductive of something violent. I will expect some sort of role for evaluating impacts or some kind of metric. What does this look like? Maybe the negs impact turns are premised on some sort of consequentalist or humanist ethics and those metrics for prioritizing impacts are rooted in things that are bad. IDK explain these things to me in a way that makes sense. Overall these strategies shouldn't work against teams that are on top of their game.

Performance Arguments; If reading performative arguments is your thing, feel free to do that. Just note that I will still flow the debate and expect clear articulation of what my ballot should mean and what impacts should matter and why. I did these things a little bit, but there are still traits to these arguments that I have yet to learn. I will flow the debate, and the team that clashes with the other team s arguments the best is probably the one that is most likely to get my ballot.

Policy v Policy Debates ---

Topicality - I default to competing interpretations, but I can be persuaded that reasonability is the lens through which I should view competing interpretations especially in situations where definitions are arbitrary and clearly contrived to exclude the affirmative. Impact framing still matters in these debates. For example, why is a predictable limit better than a smaller but arbitrary limit? Why does overlimiting outweigh underlimiting or vice versa? Ideally one team will explain these things for me so I can vote as non interventionist of a way as possible. Remember that T is about envisioning what debates about the topic look like under each team's respective interp.

Theory - Most theory is a reason to reject the argument and not the team. For it to be something I'll vote for the 1AR or 2AC has to spend time developing the argument. If a 5 second blip becomes massive in the following speech I will likely leen neg. Conditionality is something that gives me pause, but I realize that being negative can be hard especially when you don't spend a lot of time researching or going for ks.

Disads - I'll obviously read cards in these debates, but I want to hear evidence comparison from the debaters. Impact framing matters a lot in these debates. Does the Disad turn the case prior to the case solving or turning the DA? Is the other team's impact defense less qualified or applicable to your impact? Does the link control the direction of the uniqueness? Break this down for me, and don't put me in a position where I have to reconstruct everything to make a decision.

Case Debates and Circumvention - The art of robustly contesting the case has gone wayside especially with two topics that allowed and incentivized the neg to rely on one generic that solved everything (ESR and States). If I see a great case debate I will be thrilled. Things like circumvention are RESOLVED BY DURABLE FIAT, unless you read an argument that calls into question the legitimacy of fiat (i.e. a K). Otherwise, I am inclined to believe that Trump hates every aff so you need durable fiat to be aff.

CP Debates - Process counterplans are annoying, but negative teams that out tech and out debate the aff about its theoretical legitimacy will still win my ballot. In the end I generally believe that clever counterplans that establish another avenue to solving the aff, while establishing clear competition, are in great spots. Remember to give me some clear impact framing. Aff teams explain what your solvency deficit is and what that means depending on how high of a risk of the da the neg is winning. Neg, give me some clear judge direction do. I.E. CP resolves most of the aff but there is a low risk of the da what does this mean?

Pet Peeves

1. I will NEVER EVER insert a reading of a theory or book into the debate for you. Judges who do this really annoy me. For example, saying the "native is abject" is nothing more then a buzzword until you unpack that. If I have no idea what I am voting for I probably will not vote for it.

2. Saying an argument is dropped or conceded when it clearly isn't. I have a good flow, so no matter how many times you say it is dropped I will know the truth.

3. Reading Andrea Smith (I have massive issues with this author, and I believe she is an unethical person.) That said, I won't dock points or vote you down automatically if you read the card without knowing about her history. However, I will let you know why you should not read Andrea Smith Cards after the debate.

Last Notes are tips that can help you get great speaker points in front of me

1. Keep the flow organized. If the k overview is 30 seconds and the rest is line by line I will be quite impressed. K debaters, don't worry if u can't do this because most people don't. If you do it though I will give a bit of extra points.

2. Clarity over speed

3. Tech over truth

4. Line by line is a good thing in my opinion, but I understand that great debates can happen without it. Regardless, I am going to be very meticulous about holding everyone to my flow. The 2AR can never become the 4AC- if those arguments were not in earlier speeches I strike them from my flow.

5. I like innovation more than anything when I watch debates. Be creative, don't just rehash the same framework blocks or pessimism cards everyone else uses. If you use the same ev find a creative way to deploy it.

6. Be nice if the other team is clearly new to debate or outmatched.

7. Debate T as if you really believe in what you are saying. This takes the boredom out of clash of civs debates for me. On another small note, you can't say debate is nothing more then a game and then also say its educational and influential at a political level. That doesn't make sense. Pick one or the other.

8. Have very clear impact framing and write my ballot for me. I hate it when I judge people, and they seem to think I'll magically fill in the gap.

9. Make eye contact with me at key moments.

Here are some things I m firmly against

1. Physically assaulting or touching the debater

2. Grabbing the other team's computers or flows

3. Grabbing my computer or flow

Final Note

if you have a relationship to disability let me know and I will make any and all necessary measures to ensure the space is accessible for you. I myself have type one diabetes, and I have had to inform judges of specific needs I had. If telling me in person makes you uncomfortable feel free to do it via email, proxy, or private message.

Geordano Liriano Paradigm

6 rounds

Graduated from the University of Iowa (19')

Debated for the New York City Urban Debate League 2008-2014

Email Chain:

General thoughts:

Speed is fine just be flowable, new sheet for the overview is good just think about the argument being constructed as a whole. Go for the best argument, I vote for the team that did the better debating, the metric for deciding however is up for discussion and I hope you all problematize and decide what that metric should be.

I'm usually flowing cross examination. Explain your arguments well, ask good questions and above all, be respectful.


Debate it out. But…

  • Potential abuse is ehhh
  • Aff’s should prove how their somehow grounded in the resolution
  • Make sure your interpretation makes sense

Performance/Critique debate

Know what you’re talking about and it’ll be good. Try not to rant because no one ever knows what to flow and it might not be an argument. So …Make arguments…

K vs K debates

Make for very good debates, I think there is a lot of potential in the community to create both new scholarship and solidify existing one. This takes a lot of work and I am willing to hear a high theory debate but juts remember to make comparisons between the things you’re saying and what their saying about you. These debates go a few ways but the most common is the high theory debater who doesn’t say “Link turn/Impact/Framing/alternative etc.”

Left/Right debates

Framework can win the ballot but answering offense is important, as opposed to other judges I think defense can be enough to answer specific arguments such as the role of a ballot or a standard. Its important for both teams to highlight their competing theories about debate/the world and win said theory for example a critique may explain the future as always already violent towards a particular group, the opposing team should win a counter-claim to this deterministic viewpoint because team A will use this theory to respond to reformism claims.

Some bullet point stuff:

  • Ø I will always flow your speech, doesn’t matter if it’s a poem, song or non-verbal movement
  • Ø Ethics violations are about ETHICS, not mistakes. This doesn’t mean I won’t vote on an ethics violation but that I will take into account how the action in question was done. With that said, please say “mark the card [last word]” or some variation.

Jessica Liu Paradigm

4 rounds

unionville ’19 | cornell ’23 (not debating)

4 years policy debate as a 2n



i am a new judge, but i will try to ensure a fair and thoughtful decision based on a careful flow. the best debates have well-researched clash, in-depth explanations, and many argument comparisons. please be considerate of everyone in the room. if there are any ways i can make the debate more accessible for you, please let me know.


  • tech > truth
  • as a debater, i am most experienced in the policy side but have gone for arguments across the spectrum. i ran mostly soft-left and occasionally big stick affs and went for da/cp/t about 70% of the time and a k 30% of the time vs. policy affs.
  • i went for t-usfg with a procedural fairness impact in 95% of my 2nrs vs. k/no plan affs. the other 5% were case turns.
  • types of rounds i am experienced in (from most to least): policy v. policy, policy v. k, k v. k (no experience)
  • i will call clear 2x; after that, i will just flow what i can. i think it is a reasonable expectation to be able to understand every word, even the warrants of the card.
  • evidence quality undoubtedly matters — spin will at best be a lens through which i will view the contested evidence.
  • any flavor of “debate bad” arguments will be an uphill battle to win.
  • i will not evaluate arguments about actions that occurred outside of the round.
  • i have no topic knowledge, so providing more explanation on particularly complex internal link chains or nuanced counterplans would be appreciated.


do what you do best. my predispositions can be overcome by quality debating.

t-usfg/fw —

  • i heavily lean negative because i believe debate is a game (that does not shape subjectivity) with strategic value and not having a limited topic and predictable stasis point cancels the opportunity for clash and productive debate.
  • fairness (because preserving equitable competition is necessary to actualize any benefits of debate) > clash > dialogue > other neg impacts (“decision making,” “debate skills”)
  • tvas do not need to solve the aff and prove that the aff could access similar content and literature base with a resolutional tie.
  • tvas must meet the neg’s interp.

k affs —

  • neg presumption ballots are very appealing in these debates since i just do not think these affs do anything. the aff needs to have clear impact calculus.
  • there must be judge instruction: what am i voting for? why is that thing good?
  • if the aff forgoes defending the topic, there should be a substantive critique of the resolutional mechanism.

ks —

  • i am most familiar with capitalism, neoliberalism, settler colonialism, and discourse (i.e. security, victimization) kritiks.
  • because of my policy background, i am predisposed to think: material resolution of conditions and violence is good, extinction is bad, and fiat is good.
  • i have a high threshold for explanation, especially for race and high theory based kritiks (i have only ever debated against these).
  • explicit line-by-line >>> overview that implicitly answers arguments (i will not make cross applications without instruction)
  • on the fw debate, affs will always get to weigh their aff.
  • sectioning the kritik in the neg block and doing line-by-line within each section (i.e. the fw debate, the perm debate, the link debate, the alt debate, etc.) creates a much cleaner flow.
  • generic links (i.e. state bad) are unpersuasive especially if the aff makes link distinctions, which also makes voting for the perm much easier.
  • if the alt is kicked, there must be explicit explanation on how the status quo resolves the links to the plan.
  • if there is not case debate while going for the k, there will likely be an aff ballot.

topicality —

  • since t is about competing visions of the topic, a clear picture of the topic with details about how debates and research occur and specific case lists under each definition are essential.
  • describe and compare the contours of debate under not only the neg’s interp but also the aff’s interp, and explain why those differences matter.
  • i default to competing interpretations.
  • reasonability is an argument about why your definition is reasonably predictable, not why it is just “good enough.”

das —

  • make “turns case” and outweighs analyses contextualized to the aff’s specific impacts.
  • there must be a high risk of the da for me to vote on the “turns case” arguments, so disproving the framing flow would still be beneficial.
  • the more contrived the internal link scenario the higher the burden of explanation and carded evidence will be for the neg.

cp —

  • slow down on the cp text.
  • i would prefer having a carded solvency advocate.
  • sufficiency framing is at best a reason why the solvency deficits should be weighed slightly less — i would much prefer that the neg just do the solvency debate.
  • evidence that compares the cp to the plan makes the cp probably legitimate.
  • cps that solely compete on immediacy and certainty are questionable and will be difficult to win.

theory —

  • slow down on analytics and warrant arguments.
  • there must be detailed explanation of the world of debate under each model and the impacts of defaulting to each interp.
  • most theory arguments are reasons to reject the argument, not the team.
  • i rarely ran more than 3 conditional advocacies in neg rounds but if more than that is present in the neg strat 1) i am more sympathetic towards the aff 2) the neg should be very prepared to defend their multiple strategies.
  • if theory is dropped, the opposing team must extend it throughout the debate for it to be voted on.

public forum:

i have never competed in this event and my only experience has been in the background research and progressive strategies components. i am not familiar with most pf norms, so most of my reasoning will default to policy norms.

  • my flow will dictate the winner and loser.
  • arguments should be answered in the same order they are presented.
  • an argument must be in the previous speech for it to be extended (except for first rebuttal).
  • 2nd rebuttal should answer the speech preceding it and extend their own case.
  • arguments with evidence to back up claims will almost always have more weight than smart analytics.
  • i strongly oppose paraphrasing (but understand the utility of it in short time constraints). if paraphrased evidence is disputed, i will evaluate the evidence from my own perspective (i will not consider evidence spin). if the evidence is misconstrued, i will treat it as if it has not been read in round and strike it from my flow.
  • i am familiar with theory and kritiks (look above for preferences) and am open to hearing them. however, i do not see the strategic value in going for a kritik in this event because the level and depth of explanations and argument comparisons required to run a kritik well far exceeds the time limits of pf speeches.

Zhane Lloyd Paradigm

6 rounds

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Yes, include me on the email chain.

Brooklyn Tech: 2011 - 2012 (those three novice UDL tournaments apparently count)
NYU: 2014 - 2018

I help coach for Brooklyn Tech and The New School.

Update 2019: I don't feel like deleting below the TL;DR because some things may still apply, but I'd like to add some new stuff that are probably most salient for debaters required to look at a paradigm 15 minutes before the round.

1). SPACE TOPIC SPECIFIC: I don't care whether or not you explicitly talk about China/Russia cooperation, but I think outer space itself is a cool topic and I do want to hear about it in round.

2). There is 75% chance I know something about what you're saying, but for debater's sake, I don't know anything and want it explained to me. Very well. I am a storyteller and I like storytelling. Tell me the story of your argument.

3). Impact framing matters SO much. I need the question "why should I care" to be answered by the debaters. The question "why should I care about your argument more than your opponents" should also be answered.

4). I don't have an argument or style preference. The creative in me loves a good performance though.

5). I can't believe I have to say this, but the 2NR and 2AR are the round winning speeches. This seems like a 'duh', but I've been questioned about arguments that were in the debate that I didn't evaluate and usually it's because it wasn't in the final two speeches. If debaters don't care enough to put an argument in their final speech, then I don't care enough to evaluate it.

6). Don't "Two Sweet" me anymore (your speaks won't decrease if you do, but they won't increase either). I've grown increasingly annoyed with the wrestlers who do it. So if you want to use my love of pro wrestling (or video games) as a way to enhance your speaks, talk to me about Kofi Kingston and The New Day. Or Galarian Weezing.

TL;DR - Debating for NYU pretty much means I'll vote for anything argued reasonably well with very few exceptions.

Most of the affs I ran at NYU were soft left - government solvency w/structural violence impacts - so I think it makes me sympathetic towards most kinds of aff, irregardless of where they fall on the spectrum. Either that or my feeling that debate is a game so debaters are entitled to whatever argument they think is most strategic. Within reason of course.

My feelings on affs that do nothing is based on the topic. For something like education or immigration that effects the average person and not just fancy policymakers in $2,000 suits- I want an aff that interacts with those structures in some way (even if it's just an epistemic shift). If it's something like space exploration or executive authority - I'm less likely to care that the aff does nothing. Regardless of how I feel about the topic or the aff, I'll always vote for whichever team I think did the better debating.

I don’t mind speed, but when you read tags, slow down. I need to understand what you’re saying because it’s going on my flow. This is also true of analytics and theory arguments. If it’s not on my flow, I’m not going to evaluate it.

A White boy from Walter Payton joined the NYU team and read nothing but Baudrillard in his first year, so it's made me more sympathetic towards post-modernism (still doesn't rank high in my fave args though). With that being said, if you want a judge to help you argue it better, then I'm not the judge for you.

Yes, I will vote on T and Framework. I went for T a lot in my senior year and was also pretty sympathetic towards Framework. If the 2NR was popping or the 2AR was shit (or both), I will pull the trigger on Framework or T as I would a K, DA, or CP.

Even though I lean towards Ks (primarily ones centered around Blackness), I do not know all of the scholarship, so I expect that to be well explained in the debate. That should be a good rule of thumb regardless to be honest. Of course, there is nothing wrong with a traditional disad or counterplan – I am willing to vote on those as well.

Also, there's a 99% chance I will be wearing a WWE shirt. Make a reference and I'll give you higher speaks.

Queen LouAllen Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a versatile judge as long as the argument is well articulated. I have no real preference for arguments but it is a requirement to run the argument as it was intended to be ran. I need a clean cut story as to why you win, meaning there should be some type of summary in your last few speeches somewhere I do prefer global over views instead of overviews on each argument but I will still flow the overviews as to where you put them regardless. I do no work for either team meaning if its not there, it will not be evaluated so if you are going for an argument and haven't put in the work for it, depending on what the other team does, you will be voted down. Other than that I don't judge upon ethos but keep it cordial during the debate, have a great time and good luck to you.

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:



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

Brian Manuel Paradigm

Director of Policy Debate @ Stanford University; Director of Debate @ Edgemont Jr./Sr. High School

(High School Constraints - Edgemont)

(College Constraints - Stanford, Harvard, and a crew of exceptionally talented college debaters I've had the pleasure to coach)

2017-2018 PF TOC Update: April 23rd, 2018

As you can see I used to have a very strong leaning towards how evidence needs to be presented during a debate. I've backtracked pretty substantially on this point. Therefore, I won't ask for your case ahead of time. However, I do still prefer evidence that is directly quoted and cited according to the rules of the tournament we are at. I do not like paraphrasing and will only accept paraphrasing as a logical argument to be made in the round and will not credit you for reading a qualified author.

I know a lot about debate, arguments, and the topics you are debating. I have an extremely competitive set of students that are constantly talking about the topic, I tutor students around the world in PF, and I generally like to be educated on the things that students will debate in front of me.

Beyond what I've said above, I'll give you an additional piece of advice: If you would strike Stefan Bauschard or Amisha Mehta than you'd probably want to strike me. I tend to fall somewhere in between where they are at in their philosophies.

Last but not least, I don't intend to steal your cards...we have more than we can use...however if it means you'll throw me up on a Reddit post that can get over 100+ responses than maybe I'll have to start doing it!

**Disregard the section about asking me to conflict you if you feel uncomfortable debating in front of me since I've judged minimally and don't have any experience judging any of the teams in the field more than once therefore, it doesn't apply to you**

2016-2017 Season Update: September 11, 2016

HS Public Forum Update: This is my first year really becoming involved in Public Forum Debate. I have a lot of strong opinions as far as the activity goes. However, my strongest opinion centers on the way that evidence is used, mis-cited, paraphrased, and taken out of context during debates. Therefore, I will start by requiring that each student give me a a copy of their Pro/Con case prior to their speech and also provide me a copy of all qualified sources they'll cite throughout the debate prior to their introduction. I will proactively fact check all of your citations and quotations, as I feel it is needed. Furthermore, I'd strongly prefer that evidence be directly quoted from the original text or not presented at all. I feel that those are the only two presentable forms of argumentation in debate. I will not accept paraphrased evidence. If it is presented in a debate I will not give it any weight at all. Instead I will always defer to the team who presented evidence directly quoted from the original citation. I also believe that a debater who references no evidence at all, but rather just makes up arguments based on the knowledge they've gained from reading, is more acceptable than paraphrasing.

Paraphrasing to me is a shortcut for those debaters who are too lazy to directly quote a piece of text because they feel it is either too long or too cumbersome to include in their case. To me this is laziness and will not be rewarded.

Beyond that the debate is open for the debaters to interpret. I'd like if debaters focused on internal links, weighing impacts, and instructing me on how to write my ballot during the summary and final focus. Too many debaters allow the judge to make up their mind and intervene with their own personal inclinations without giving them any guidance on how to evaluate competing issues. Work Hard and I'll reward you. Be Lazy and it won't work out for you.

NDT/CEDA Update: I'm getting older and I'm spending increasingly more hours on debate (directing, coaching, and tabulating at the HS and College level) than I used to. I really love the activity of debate, and the argumentative creativity being developed, but I'm slowly starting to grow hatred toward many of the attitudes people are adopting toward one another, which in turn results in me hating the activity a little more each day. I believe the foundational element of this activity is a mutual respect amongst competitors and judges. Without this foundational element the activity is doomed for the future.

As a result, I don't want to be a part of a debate unless the four debaters in the room really want me to be there and feel I will benefit them by judging their debate. I feel debate should be an inclusive environment and each student in the debate should feel comfortable debating in front of the judge assigned to them.

I also don’t want people to think this has to do with any one set of arguments being run. I really enjoy academic debates centered on discussions of the topic and/or resolution. However, I don’t prefer disregarding or disrespectful attitudes toward one another. This includes judges toward students, students toward judges, students toward observers, observers toward students, and most importantly students toward students.

As I grow older my tolerance for listening to disparaging, disregarding, and disrespectful comments amongst participants has completely eroded. I'm not going to tolerate it anymore. I got way better things to do with my time than listen to someone talk down to me when I've not done the same to them. I treat everyone with respect and I demand the same in return. I think sometimes debaters, in the heat of competition, forget that even if a judge knows less about their lived/personal experience or hasn’t read as much of their literature as they have; that the judges, for the most part, understand how argumentation operates and how debates are evaluated. Too many debaters want to rely on the pref sheet and using it to get judges who will automatically check in, which is antithetical to debate education. Judges should and do vote for the "worse" or "less true" arguments in rounds when they were debated better. Debate is a performative/communicative activity. Its not about who wrote the best constructives only. Its about how teams clash throughout the debate.

Therefore, as a result I will allow any person or team to ask me to conflict them if they feel uncomfortable debating in front of me or feel that the current system of judge placement requires them to prefer me since I'm a better fit than the other judge(s). I won't ask you any questions and won't even respond to the request beyond replying "request honored". Upon receiving the request I will go into my account and make sure I conflict you from future events. I feel this way you'll have a better chance at reducing the size of the judge pool and you'll get to remove a judge that you don't feel comfortable debating in front of which will narrow the number of judges available to you and might allow you to get more preferable judges. My email is Please direct all conflict requests to this email.

2014-2015 Season Update: September 2, 2014 (The gift that keeps on giving!!)

The following are not for the faint of heart!

Some days you just can't get ready in the morning without being bothered.Then you just need to be cheered up and it fails or someone threatens to eat your phone.
However, when it's all said and done you can at least sleep having sweet dreams.

**On a more serious note. Dylan Quigley raised a point on the College Policy Debate facebook group about what "competition" means when people are judging debates. I think this is a great question and I believe Gabe had an even better response. Therefore, I'll go with his answer "Because this is an emerging debate with no clear consensus, I would encourage judges to let the debaters hash out a theory of competition instead of trying to create one for them. I think in an era were students are taking their power to mold the "world of debate" they debate in it is especially important for us judges to *listen* to their arguments and learn from their theories. No shade towards the original post, I just think it's worthwhile to emphasis the relationship between "new debate" (whatevs that is) and student's ability to create theories of debate on their own instead of choosing a theory that's imposed on them." However, in the absence of these debates happening in the round I will default to a traditional interpretation of "competition." This interpretation says the neg must proves their alternative method/advocacy is better than the affirmative method/advocacy or combination of the affirmatives method/advocacy and all or part of the negatives method/advocacy. Also in these situations I'll default to a general theory of opportunity cost which includes the negatives burden of proving the affirmative undesirable.

2013-2014 Season Update: December 25, 2013 (Yes, it's here are your presents!!)

If you love debate as much as Sukhi loves these cups, please let it show!!

If you can mimic this stunt, you'll thoroughly impress me and be well rewarded: Sukhi Dance

And you thought you had a sick blog!!

Also why cut cards when you can have sick Uke skills like these and these!!

To only be shown up by a 2 year old killing it to Adele

Finally, we need to rock out of 2013 with the Stanford version of the Harlem Shake by Suzuki and KJaggz

2012-2013 Season Update: August 22, 2012

Instead of forcing you to read long diatribes (see below) about my feelings on arguments and debate practices. I will instead generate a list of things I believe about debate and their current practices. You can read this list and I believe you'll be able to adequately figure out where to place me on your preference sheet. If you'd like to read more about my feelings on debate, then continue below the fold! Have a great season.

1. TKO is still in play, and will always be that way!

2. You must win a link to a DA - if you don't talk about it I'm willing to assign it zero risk. Uniqueness doesn't mean there is a risk of a link.

2a. "Issue Specific Uniqueness" IS NOT a utopian answer to all affirmative arguments.

3. You must defend something on the aff - by doing so it also implies you should be able to defend your epistemological assumptions underlying that advocacy.

4. T is about reasonability not competing interpretations. This doesn't mean every affirmative is reasonably topical.

5. Debate should be hard; its what makes it fun and keeps us interested.

6. Research is good - its rewarding, makes you smarter, and improves your arguments.

7. "Steal the entire affirmative" strategies are bad. However, affirmative teams are even worse at calling teams out on it. This mean they are still very much in play. Therefore, affirmatives should learn how to defeat them, instead of just believing they'll somehow go away.

8. There are other parts to an argument other than the impact. You should try talking about them, I heard they're pretty cool.

9. Your affirmative should have advantages that are intrinsic to the mechanism you choose to defend with the aff. Refer to #6, it helps solve this dilemma.

10. Have fun and smile! The debaters, judges, and coaches in this activity are your life long friends and colleagues. We are all rooting you on to succeed. We all love the activity or we wouldn't be here. If you don't like something, don't hate the player, hate the game!

Clipping/Cross-reading/Mis-marking: I hear that this is coming back. To prosecute cheating, the accusing team needs hard evidence. A time trial is not hard evidence. A recording of the speech must be presented. I will stop the debate, listen to the recording, and compare it to the evidence read. If cheating occurred, the offending debater and their partner will receive zero speaker points and a loss. I'd also encourage them to quit. I consider this offense to be more serious than fabricating evidence. It is an honor system that strikes at the very core of what we do here.

Additional caveat that was discussed with me at a previous tournament - I believe that the status quo is always a logical option for the negative unless it is explicitly stated and agreed to in CX or its won in a speech.

Newly Updated Philosophy - November 18, 2011

So after talking to Tim Aldrete at USC, he convinced me that I needed more carrots and less sticks in my philosophy. Therefore, I have a small carrot for those debaters who wish to invoke it. Its called a T.K.O (Technical Knockout). This basically means that at any point of the debate you believe you've solidly already won the debate, beyond a reasonable doubt, (dropped T argument, double turn, strategic miscue that is irreparable by the other team) you can invoke a TKO and immediately end the debate. If a team chooses this path and succeeds, I will give them 30 speaker points each and an immediate win. If the team chooses to invoke this but its unclear you've TKO'd the other team or in fact choose wrong, you obviously will lose and your points will be severely effected. Who dares to take the challenge?

Past Updated Philosophy - September 9, 2010

I am Currently the Assistant Coach @ Lakeland/Panas High School, College Prep School, and Harvard Debate. I’m also involved with Research & Marketing for Planet Debate. This topic will be my 14th in competitive debate and 10th as a full time coach. Debate is my full time job and I love this activity pretty much more than anything I’ve ever done in my life. I enjoy the competition, the knowledge gained, and the people I’ve come to be friends with and likewise I really enjoy people who have the same passion I have for this activity.

I last posted an update to my judge philosophy a number of years ago and think it is finally time I revisit it and make some changes.

First, I’ll be the first to admit that I probably haven’t been the best judge the last few years and I think a majority of that has come from pure exhaustion. I’ve been traveling upwards of 20+ weekends a year and am constantly working when I am home. I don’t get much time to re-charge my batteries before I’m off to another tournament. Then while at tournaments I’m usually putting in extremely late nights cutting cards and preparing my teams, which trades off with being adequately awake and tuned in. This year I’ve lessened my travel schedule and plan to be much better rested for debates than I was in previous years.

Second, since my earlier days of coaching/judging my ideology about debate has changed somewhat. This new ideology will tend to complement hard working teams and disadvantage lazy teams who try and get by with the same generics being ran every debate. Don’t let this frighten you, but rather encourage you to become more involved in developing positions and arguments. When this happens I’m overly delighted and reward you with higher speaker points and more than likely a victory.

Calen Martin Paradigm

4 rounds

Debated for 4 years in highschool for Caddo - Am now debating at the University of Kentucky 


Argument preference - I am open to hear whatever strategy/arguments you think can best be executed to win the debate.  I think that flex is important and dont particularly prefer hearing one sort of strategy over the other.  That being said, I primarily went for critques in highschool but am now tranistioning to a heavier policy focus.  Feel free to read either in front of me.  Ill vote for Heg good just as quickly as ill vote for the death K.  Win the flow and the substance of the debate and ill give you my ballot.  


Conditionality - two is pretty safe, anymore and im more sympathetic.  This doesnt mean that you cant read more than two in front of me, but if you do and the AFF extends condo be ready to have that debate.  


CPs/DAs - I like them, especially when they are case specific and deal with the AFFs mechanism.  Im more sympathetic to AFF theory vs Word pics, consults, and mores generic process cps.  If your go-to counterplan is more generic, thats fine, just be ready to answer theoretical objections.  


Ks - your links need to be specific to the AFF.  Even generic link cards can be bolstered by some quick analytic application to what the plan actually does.  If you dont explain to me why the plan links, its hard to win a turns case argument.  Additionally,  I need reasons as to why the alt would be able to resolve at least some of the link arguments.  


T - I judged a few debates at camp over the summer so I have a rough idea of constitutes the topic.  T requires concise explanation.  I think that limits (for policy affs) is likely to be the largest impact.  


I wont call for cards that you have not properly explained in the debate.  You need to be clear.  Debate is about effective communication and persuasion.  Delivery is important.  If you want high speaks in front of me, CX is the place to earn them.  

Monben Mayon Paradigm

6 rounds


Not best judge for theory

The framework debate should be prioritized in EVERY SPEECH. I prioritize persuasion, TRUTH over TECH, and clarity.


Criteria for high speaks: Your arguments are supported by specific evidence and I am able to follow your arguments THROUGHOUT the round (obviously, the winner will get the higher speaker point. I rarely give low point wins.)


Read the policy section. It applies to LD as well.


1. Whether the politic you're endorsing is institutional or communal, please show up with a method that makes sense and works

- you cant just put a bunch of kritikal literature in an aff, say the world sucks, and be like "at least the conversation is good" OR throw me a whole bunch of inherency about pollution in the South China Sea with one solvency card from a Huffington Post article

- I personally have done more K debate but I also admire the style of traditional debates: state action, counterplans, disads, give me all of it. I'll bump your speaks if you read a disad with a terminal impact that isn't nuclear war or extinction lmao

2. If you're going to go for discourse as an impact/voter, tell me how the discourse you provide affects the demographic for which you are advocating and

- In other words, what does "burning it down",or "the libidinal economy", or "post-metaphysical dynamics" mean for shorty in line at the welfare office? What about that white dude in the coal mine in Arkansas?

3. Cross Ex is binding, say it wit' ya chest.

A hack for my ballet: The more simple the better. Aff should do something and the ideal neg strategy should be some case specific case turns coupled with a kritik or counterplan

[[[[[PUBLIC FORUM]]]]]]

- I've done PF at several national and local tournaments

- Keep in mind that public forum debate serves to communicate complex messages with public forums so your discussion should ALWAYS sound/seem accessible to those who don't debate. No super special language, arguments about what should be"common sense/knowledge", or bad attitudes.

Quick questions and stuff: with the subject line "DEBATE JUDGING"

Michael McCabe Paradigm

3 rounds

La Salle College: Head Coach of Policy Debate, 2012-2016, Head Coach of Speech and Debate, 2016-Present.

Email chain:

Emory Update

General Debate Thoughts



Read no cards------------------X-----------------Read all the cards

Conditionality good----X--------------------------Conditionality bad

States CP good-----------------------X-----------States CP bad

Politics DA is a thing------------X-----------------Politics DA not a thing

Always VTL-X--------------------------------------Sometimes NVTL

UQ matters most--------------------------X------Link matters most

Fairness is a thing----X---------------------------Fairness isn’t an impact

Try or die-------------------------------X----------No risk

Not our Baudrillard-------------------------------X Yes your Baudrillard

Clarity-X--------------------------------------------I’ll just read the docs

Limits--------------------X--------------------------Aff ground

Presumption------X--------------------------------Never votes on presumption

Longer ev--------X---------------------------------More ev

"Insert this rehighlighting"----------------------X-I only read what you read


I have just started judging LD with some regularity. See above and below for my general debate thoughts - one thing to be specific, no tricks. I hate LD tricks.


Full disclosure: I am not nearly as involved in argument construction as I was three or four years ago.

General truths:

  • You should do what you do best and do it well – A good judge will not force their preconceived notions on debaters, but you should argue effectively. An effective argument has three parts: a claim, a warrant, and some sort of greater implication regardless of your style. And I think I am a good judge in that I will allow the arguments to develop themselves, and take the responsibility of the judge being a educator seriously
  • My flow will determine every debate I judge. There's one exception to that, I will not vote on any morally reprehensible argument. My standard for evaluating that: if your argument makes me uncomfortable as a high school educator, I will reject it. You should ask yourself, if my teachers/administrators were observing, would I make this same argument?
  • Speed is fine, but clarity is important. Most debaters could slow down, get more arguments out, and increase judges comprehension.
  • Tech>truth; however, when you have tech and truth on your side, it’s hard to lose.
  • Less is more. A smaller 1NC strategy with a lot of emphasis on the case is almost always better than 7 off. An affirmative with two advantages with a solid wall of internal links is my ideal 1AC.
  • Be respectful of your partners, opponents, and judges.
  • I will generally write out my RFD's and will provide a copy of it in the online ballot. This shouldn't be a cause of concern if you think my RFD is taking a little longer than you think it should. As a coach, I think it is beneficial to see this from a judge - otherwise we are left to our students relatively biased version of events or what they believe they heard the judge say - so I like to provide that same respect for fellow coaches.

Argument Specific:

Framework: I think that debate is a competitive game and if I were to offer my preference - the affirmative should defend a topical plan - that's my preference, not an absolute. I think if you look back at my judging history, the amount of framework debates I've judged is rather high. I think you'll also see that framework hasn't resulted in a neg ballot more than about 50%. Last year I think I voted neg on framework more-I don't think it was a change in my views, I think it was the Surveillance topic being an example of negative state action.

For teams going for framework:

1. I am most persuaded about form of education arguments and dialogue/engagement, rather than fairness standards. That doesn't mean you should avoid procedural fairness claims.

2. You need to tailor your framework impacts to the aff at hand.

3. You need to be specific. What is the topical version of their specific aff, why is the law necessary for achieving justice (and particularly a form of justice that would resolve some of the 1AC impacts). Engagement with the case is necessary.

For teams answering framework:

1. What does your model of debate look like? What does voting aff mean? Sometimes this gets lost in the line by line. You should be winning some meta-claims.

2. Be explicit about the language of your impact turns and how that plays out by voting affirmative.

Topicality: I am sympathetic to reasonability, but will default to competing interpretations. Topicality is no different from other arguments. I want a clear picture of what your internpretion means for debate (I.E. why is your version of limits good, what does the other teams interpretation justify, what's a topical case list, etc.)

Dis-ads: I think that all four parts of a dis-ad are important, which is why I believe in assigning an (dis)advantage, no risk. I think that internal link uniqueness is not attacked enough by the affirmative.

Counterplans: Love a well researched case specific counterplan with a specific solvency advocate. Who doesn't though? For theory I probably default aff on consult, word pics, and process cps. Default neg on pics and advantage cps.

Kritiks: The more specific the alternative is, the better in my mind. The more specific the links are to the action of plan, the better.

Condo: 1 is good, 2 is probably good, 3 is pushing it. It's going to take some work to win on condo.

Paperless: Prep ends when the email is sent (exception, local tournaments that still use 5 minutes - prep ends when the doc is saved). I will ask to be included on email chains because it is just easier to call for evidence (and to determine clipping); however, for time’s sake I will not ask to be included for flashing.

Cheating: Any cheating will be punished immediately with a loss and zero speaker points for the offending team. Any accusations of cheating will be taken seriously--the round will end immediately.

Krishna Menon Paradigm

4 rounds

TLDR: Say whatever you want to say- if you are passionate and enthusiastic about your argumentation, I am more inclined to be an enthusiastic and active Judge. I have little to say about argumentative preference besides the fact that I am probably not the person to have in the back of a room for a policy-policy T debate given that I have little topic knowledge and hate unresponsive theory debates.

I am here first and foremost to listen to the things you have woken up early in the morning to come tell me. Do not be afraid to talk to me during your speeches, do not be afraid to tell me which way to vote and why to do it, and do not be afraid of the LBL!

Tech over truth always unless a substantive argument is made by either side as for why debate techne should be reconsidered.

People that have influenced the way I think abt competition and debate: Kevin Kuswa, Dr. Reid-Brinkley, Daryl Burch, Amber Kelsie, Taylor Brough, Ignacio Evans, Jack Lassiter, and Nick Lepp.

About me: I debated for Berkeley Preparatory School and as a hybrid team in HS. I had 5 bids my senior year, and 2 my junior year. My senior year, I went to 6 tournaments and got to finals of 4, and got to a bid round and a top 10 speaker award at all 6.

I debated on the 2018-2019 college topic (executive authority) at Wake Forest, cleared at a couple national tournaments and got to Octafinals of CEDA before transferring to Columbia and choosing to no longer pursue collegiate debate.

In both high school and college I was primarily a performance and K debater, but this by no means indicates I lean towards a particular side of the argumentative spectrum- if anything, it means I have a higher burden for both sides in clash of civ debates given that I have been on both sides of that debate several times.

FW debates:

for the love of god, please have external impacts to your moel and describe the limits and ground provided by the model of debate you are forwarding.

This means: negative teams going for framework, please isolate why your model of debate is GOOD and what it provides for the community, not just arguments as for why they make your model of debate worse/unplayable.

Aff teams- don't just talk about why their model is bad/harmful- please talk about the minutia of your own model- what can the aff say under your model? what is predictable ground the neg can say in response? Why is this model of debate preferable to theirs?

Aff against the K:

if you have a plan-

- if you say extinction and are good at the util debate, by all means, go for it.

- please defend your aff and why it's a good idea instead of relying on arbitrary FW arguments. I am v inclined to give the neg the K and the aff their aff unless an argument as for why either should be excluded is repeatedly extended and dropped by both sides.

- if you're going for the perm, please answer the LBL from the negative team as for why you get the perm instead of making a series of compelling, common-sense perm arguments in the 2AR that should've been in the 1ar.

if you don't-

- big fan of either the link turn or the perm in K v K debates.

- please have a theory of competition!!! that makes these debates so much easier to resolve from my end.

- please do impact calculus- it is unbelievably frustrating to have to determine on my own which nebulous impact matters more or impacts solvency- tell me what to evaluate first and why I should evaluate it first.

Going for the K:

- the primary theory bases I read during my career: afropessimism, queer pessimism, quare theory, anything involving gender, and psychoanalysis- if you are reading anything outside of these literature bases, please be comfortable giving me a greater degree of explanation instead of dropping buzzwords.

- do not be afraid to be creative- a creative, well-thought-out, and well-executed strategy is always more interesting to listen to early in the morning.

- if you're kicking out of the alt, please explain why your link arguments still have uniqueness, especially in a world where your alternative was the only thing generative uniqueness for the K as a whole.

- much better for alts that question/change epistemology in the round or result in some form of praxis than a nebulous alt that never claims to resolve any of the impacts of the Kritik.

- sucker for external impacts and links that turn case.

- answer fairness and reciprocity arguments on the framework flow please

Roberto Montero Paradigm

3 rounds

Roberto Montero, Bronx Science ’16, Binghamton ’20. I debated 4 years in high school and broke at the ToC if that means anything to you.

There are two types of arguments in debate (and their inverses): smart arguments and good arguments. Some arguments happen to be both but most of the time they are neither (thus either a bad argument or a not-so-intelligent argument). A smart argument is well-researched, nuanced, and interesting. Good arguments are strategic and effective at winning debates. For example, the politics disad is a ‘good argument’ in that it wins a lot of debates and can be executed and deployed to perfection in the correct hands. That doesn’t make it a smart argument because every novice can tell you that it doesn’t reflect real politics outside of a basic uniqueness claim (which half the time is cut out of context because news articles aren’t written as conclusive as cards are purported to be). A smart argument isn’t always good however. If you have a critique that you’ve put a grad thesis amount of work into, it might make some interesting observations about the world/aff but may not be the most strategic.

Understanding the distinction between these two types of arguments is a recipe for combining them and developing the most well rounded arguments and a higher quality of debates. However, it isn’t my job to sit behind my laptop and mock the quality of your arguments, rather it is up to you as debaters to develop and articulate your arguments as such. When judging I do my best to let debaters do the debating so regardless of what my opinions/thoughts on your arguments are, as long as they are warranted, impacted and clearly extended throughout the speeches. This is also important for understanding how I judge debates—framing your rebuttals with important technical concessions on the line by line is valuable in making my decision easier and not make me sift through dropped arguments on both sides.

The biggest problem in most debates starts with that whole line by line thing. Teddy Albiniak taught me that one of the ways that high schoolers develop bad habits is through imitating prominent college debaters. The thing that bothers me the most is the reliance on 7/8 minute overviews. While this may be something that works for some very talented college debaters, generally it shouldn’t be a tactic employed by most. There is a place for an overview, and it serves a valuable and strategic function but there is such a thing as excessive. This is one of the biggest tradeoffs with engaging in the line by line in general which is pretty important.

*This last portion, like most of my paradigm, assumes a basic model of debate. This means that if you present an alternative model of debate and a different metric for evaluating arguments I will accept that. To quote Alain Badiou It’s only a principle, it’s not a programme. Debate isn’t standard and that is one of the things that makes it such an enjoyable and valuable activity, so take this with a grain of salt.

The second biggest problem is case debating. ~~Newsflash~~ most affs are bad. Not even most, definitely all of the affirmatives are bad. One of the best way to satisfy judges (and me) is by exploiting that on the case page. The threshold for smart 1nc case analytics is a little high but by the block some smart engagement with the warrants and internal links of the 1ac, especially at a basic, logical level, can only help you in the long run. This is particularly important for me as a judge because I can easily justify pulling the trigger on a presumption/0 risk of the aff type argument if mishandled by the affirmative and well-articulated/nuanced by the negative. This is not to say it’s impossible to be aff or that even that the standard is higher but that you should be prepared to defend the 1ac against larger level solvency questions.

We also need to talk about presumption. It is important, especially versus critical affirmatives. If your aff cannot answer the question of why the ballot is key or implicate it in any sense, you have abdicated my role as an adjudicator. All I can really do is enter a team that is victorious on a ballot, just saying that this is obvious does not mean the issue goes away. Perhaps this contradiction is too much to overcome in 8 minutes of a 1ac, and maybe is a problem with how we construct affirmatives but something persuasive needs to be said that doesn't amount to "You're right nothing we said or do matters but you should vote for us anyways" in 1ac cross-x.

Tl;dr please debate the case. Just do it. Like cigarettes and overviews it’s not cool just because the big kids do it.

As for specific arguments I don’t have much to say on all the ~nuances~ of agent counter plans or the intricacies of politics disad theory. I think the go through every issue thing is cliché and generally just a waste of time. If you have any specific questions about my thoughts on some random thing I’d be happy to answer it but I won’t bother to write down an arbitrary opinion on the 7th subpoint of some condo block from 2006. The only issue worth addressing (and what I’m almost confident is the only thing people look at) is framework.


The biggest problem with framework is that a lot of 2nr’s seem to forget to extend an impact. And when they do remember to extend an impact it turns out to just be a really bad impact. Although I’m willing to vote on a dropped fairness argument I’m still skeptical that the age old phrase ‘Debate is a game so fairness you broke the rules you lose’ meets the necessary threshold of an argument. If you plan on going for this impact in front of me make sure it is clearly articulated and not the same circular claim without a warrant.

What I think the so called ‘intrinsic’ value of debate is can be loosely understood as clash. The ability for two teams to debate the merits of competing positions seems valuable not only for education but is just plain fun. Not to say that clash is an impact in it of itself because at some level it’s fundamentally inevitable, but it’s a question of what that clash looks like. This should structure how you articulate a framework impact (or answer one for that matter) most likely to get my ballot. If framework is a question of competing models or visions of debate then you just have to prove comparatively that your model produces better debates, skills or education.

The second biggest problem with framework debates is that negative teams let affs get away with too much. If the 2ar gets to stand up and weigh the entirety of the 1ac versus framework it puts you way behind. The easiest way for an affirmative to defeat framework is to complicate and problematize the way they have constructed the world. This means if you win some truth claims about your aff and the way the world operates through your theory or interpretation then it nullifies a lot of their arguments. For example if you read an affirmative that says the global system of capitalism is bad and the 2nr doesn’t answer the case debate, then what do their skills matter if they can only reproduce a system of capital you have critiqued. This, like any good framework rebuttal, requires a lot of framing and contextualizing the line by line through these bigger picture questions.

The best way for negative teams to check back against this is to just reduce the risk of the aff. You can look back up to that whole portion about case debating, it applies to K affs as well. The other necessary piece is a topical version of the aff. Obviously not helpful against an anti-topical aff but in a majority of framework debates a persuasive and nuanced topical version of the aff goes a long way in resolving a lot of their offense. It still requires a larger impact in conjunction because at the end of the day it is still a defensive argument.

Tl;dr don’t waste time, make good arguments, do line by line, debate the case, extend a framework impact, don’t say talks about how.


Brendon Morris Paradigm

7 rounds

Hey, if you're reading this I'm probably judging you soon; first things first thanks for looking this up rather than asking me what my paradigm/preference is. Second if you really don't want to read this everything can be summed up in two words, "DO YOU."

How to win in front of me: 
Explain to me why I should vote for you and don't make me do work. I've noticed that I take "the path of least resistance" when voting; this means 9/10 I will make the decision that requires no work from me. You can do this by signposting and roadmapping so that my flow stays as clean as possible. If you don't do this I will try to flow arguments on the right flow but some arguments are bound to get lost so please try stay clean. You can also do this by actually flowing the other team and not just their speech doc. Too often debaters will scream for 5 minutes about a dropped perm when the other team answered it with analytics and those were not flown. Please don't be this team.



By default theory and topicality are voters and come aprior unless there is no offense on the flow. I generally love theory debates but like with any judge you have to dedicate the time into it if you would like to win. If you can't speak for 5 minutes about condo in the 2AR then don't go for condo; it's as simple as that. Lastly you don't need to prove in round abuse to win but it REALLY helps and you probably won't win unless you can do this.


I feel framework should be argued in almost any debate as I will not do work for a team. Unless the debate is policy aff v da+cp then you should probably be reading framework. I default to utilitarianism and will view myself as a policy maker unless told other wise. This is not to say I lean toward these arguments (in fact I think util is weak and policy maker framing is weaker than that) but unless I explicitly hear "interpretation", "role of the judge", or "role of the ballot," I have to default to something. Now here I would like to note that Theory, Topicality, and Framework all interact with each other and you as the debater should see this interactions and use them to win. Please view these flows holistically.


I am comfortable voting on these as I believe every judge is but I beg you (unless it's a politics debate) please do not just read more cards but explain why you're authors disprove thier's. Not much else to say here besides impact calc plz.


I am a philosophy and political science major so please read whatever you would like as far as literature goes; I have probably read it or debated it at some point so seriously don't be afraid. Now my openness also leaves you with a burden of really understanding the argument you are reading. Please leave the cards and explain the thought process, while I have voted on poorly run K's before those teams never do get high speaker points.

K Affs:

Look above for maybe a bit more, but I will always be open to voting and have voted on K affs of all kinds. I tend to think the neg has a difficult time winning policy framework against K affs for two reasons; first they debate framework/topicality most every round and will be better versed, and second framework/topicality tends to get turned rather heavily and costs teams rounds. With that said I have voted on framework/topicality it just tends to be the only argument the neg goes for in these cases.


Perms are a test of competition unless I am told otherwise and 3+ perms is probably abusive but that's for theory.

Judge Intervention:

So I will only intervene in three instances. First if the 2AR makes new arguments I will ignore them as there is no 3NR. Second I will shadow extend arguments into the 2R's (if you don't know what this means just ignore it). Third I will judge kick conditional arguments despite this I will be upset if you don't make it clear what you're going for.


  • What gets you good speaks:
    • Following the flow
    • Making it easier for me to flow
    • Making things interesting
    • Clear spreading
    • Productive CX
  • What hurts your speaks:
    • Being really boring
    • Wasting CX or Preptime
    • Being rude

Quick Bio

I am currently a senior at Assumption College and a Political Science/Philosophy double major. I did 3 years of policy debate in high school, have been judging for 4 years and coaching on and off during that time. As a debater I typically ran policy affs and went for K's on the neg (Cap and Nietzsche mostly) but I also really enjoyed splitting the block CP/DA for the 2NC and K/Case for the 1NR. Despite all of this I had to have gone for theory in 40% of my rounds, mostly condo bad.


David Neustadt Paradigm

3 rounds


I have experience debating competitively in high school and college from 2008-2015. I debated at Baltimore City College and Harvard.

I don't prefer listening to certain arguments over others.

I like debates where debaters successfully clash on crucial, core issues in the debate.

I see my role as a judge to decide on a winner and loser of the debate, and to justify to the debaters, especially the losing team, the reasons for my decision.

I do not seek to read evidence after debates, and will usually only read evidence to resolve crucial questions that are not resolved by the debaters.

Alma Nicholson Paradigm

2 rounds

I am a coach and teacher at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. I have been involved with debate on the local, regional, and national circuit as a competitor, judge, and coach for more years than I care to put in print.

Non-traditional Debate Warning: If you are looking for a judge that is into non-plan, non-topical K affs, poetry, or other interp affs, I am definitely not the best (or even second best) judge for you. I love a good POI, Oratory, and DI, but I love them in those event categories.

Speed: Once upon a time, I kept a fairly fast and thorough flow. I think that I still keep a good flow, but perhaps not as fast. I am older now (it happens to us all), and my hands hurt a bit more, so I find that I need a little time to warm up to the pace. Another issue concerning speed is that debaters, more often than not, think they are clearer than they actually are. Paperless debate has made this worse. I'll usually try give one "clearer" or "louder" warning per speaker, but after that, either you or your partner had better be paying attention to my facial expressions and whether I’m flowing. I have a terrible poker face, so it will be pretty obvious. If I don’t flow the argument or card text then that argument or card text it is not in the round and I am definitely not going to ask about it. I am inclined to be more impressed with a debater who is clear, efficient, and persuasive who speaks slightly slower than a debater who feels the need to show me their mad spreading skills. In terms of speed and T, theory, and k’s: SLOW DOWN - slow way down (see notes on kritiks). Please read my comments at the end of this page concerning the ever growing negative aspects of paperless debate.

The Role of the Affirmative: I expect the affirmative to advocate the resolution through TOPICAL PLAN action. Yes, the aff must have a plan and it must be clearly stated in the AC. If you want to run a critical aff stating that the resolution is racist, ablest, ageist, or anything else that suggests an unwillingness to affirm the resolution at hand, as written, then I am not going to be a good judge for you. I am possibly willing to listen to a critical aff that advocates the resolution. (Please see my notes on kritiks later). Performance/Project teams will probably find it a challenge to meet my view of the affirmative's role.

Topicality: It’s a voter. I like a good T debate that involves actual evidence and a description of why the aff does not meet the interpretation. The standards debate should include a viable limits argument. Why is the affirmative's interpretation of limits bad for debate? If you are going for ground, make sure you impact why it's a big deal to you in the round, and/or even for debate as a whole. Negative teams who plan to go for topicality should be prepared to go “all in." At best, you could weigh “T” and one other position. You’re unlikely to get much ground or be terribly persuasive if T is one of 3 or 4 positions in the 2NR (And really, why have four positions remaining in the 2NR?). Impact analysis on T is just as important as it is on any other position. Don’t bother to kritik T with me in the room. T is not racist. Do not run RVI’s on T. It is worth noting that a T debate needs to be a bit slower due to its needed explanation, but it does not need to be handled as slowly as a kritik.

Counterplans: Preferably, counterplans are non-topical, which creates a clearer division of ground. Counterplans also need to be clearly competitive. A CP that is basically just steals the plan is probably not competitive and is just stealing ground, but the idea of PICs can be debated in round. Conditional CP’s are probably a bad thing, but the debate as to why must be specific. A clear net benefit is better for competiveness. If going for the CP in the 2NR, the negative does not automatically get the assumption of the Status Quo as the alternative in place of the CP as a voting issue. This choice must be explained in the 2NR. The aff should definitely argue whether the neg can operate in multiple worlds, or must treat the CP as their new advocacy. Note: I find most severance perms abusive. When I have voted on such a perm, it has usually been because the neg mishandled the flow and allowed the aff to get away with it. The neg needs to note that it is the affirmative’s job to advocate their plan, in its entirety, through the 2AR. It is one thing for the Aff to kick an advantage, but it's an entirely different thing to sever part or all of the plan. Affirmatives should not argue that the "neg does not get any fiat." That's ridiculously limiting.

Disadvantages: I’m old school policy, so I like disads. Disads should have a comparable risk to the net benefits of the AC and/or serve as a net benefit to the CP. There should be a significant link debate (offense/defense) and a clear impact calculus. I hate it when teams wait until the 2NR/2AR to finally weigh the impacts. Reading more cards is not weighing an impact; it’s just reading more cards. An impact calculus requires clear analysis. I will put as much effort into weighing the disad risk as a decision calculus as you spend trying to persuade me that the argument is worth the vote.

Kritiks: Despite Newman having a new director that is well known for his love of the K, I have not grown to love kritiks. This is definitely true in terms of non-topical K affs and neg kritiks that probably have little to do with the actual plan. Some teams have become overly reliant upon them (running the same position every single year) and use them to avoid having to debate the topic or debate policies they don’t like. I find that most kritiks have ambiguous implications at best and the alternative (if there is one) is often not an alternative at all. I have found myself voting for some of these arguments, despite my not even understanding the position, because the other team failed to explain clearly why the argument has little bearing in the round or fails to point out the shortcomings of the alt. You should also be aware that I most likely have not read the critical literature you are referencing and citing. I have a rudimentary understanding of philosophy. I was not a philosophy major. I do not plan to go back to graduate school to study philosophy. If you plan to run any critical positions in my presence, you must do the following:

1) Slow Down. Really. Slow. Down. I mean conversational speed slow down

2) Explain your position clearly – no blippy tag lines or argument extensions

3) Have a specific link

4) Have a clear alternative – something more tangible than “being part of the ___ mindset," “avoiding the evils of capitalism,” or "do nothing." Huh??

Despite my personal disposition on the kritiks, the opposing team will still need to say more than “The K is bringing down policy and should go away.”

Performance/Project Debates: I’m still a cost-benefits analysis policy judge at heart. I have not changed my mind on the position that performance/project positions leave little ground for the opposing team. I have no idea how to weigh your performance against the other team’s position (performance or traditional) for the purposes of winning a debate.

Cross Ex: CX is important for fleshing out a strategy and provide clarification of arguments; I generally think that answers in cross ex are binding. I actually listen to cross ex, often take notes and even find it interesting. I also find it not that interesting on many occasions. Tag team CX is okay, but avoid taking it over. Not being able to handle your cross ex will result in lower speaker points. Taking over a partner’s CX will also result in lower speaks. CX starts when the speaker is finished. If you need 30 seconds to “set up” then that will come out of prep.

Role of the Ballot: My ballot determines who wins the round. That is all. If you win, you are (perhaps) one round closer to clearing. If you lose, you are (perhaps) one round closer to not clearing. My ballot does not send a message to the debate community; it is not a teaching tool; it is not an endorsement of a particular action or philosophy.

Theory: Save theory debates for when they really need needed and warranted. Too many debaters are running theory as their “go to” argument. Debating theory as a "default" argument every round cheapens the arguments and makes judges less likely to take them seriously. Do not run any theory arguments against Topicality (see above).


Paperless Debate: Speaking style has simply become worse with paperless debate. Card reading has become choppy, debaters have problems toggling back and forth on the computer, debaters are taking liberties with prep while flashing or emailing speech docs, and instead of flowing the arguments as they are being presented, debaters are back-flowing from flashed material that may or may not have actually made it into the speech. Some judges have resorted to reading the email chain. These are all poor debate practices. Teams are saving paper and tons of money when flying, but debates have become sloppy.

Prep Time: Your prep ends when you have finished loading the flash drive and hand it off to the opposing team. If an email chain is set up, your prep ends when you hit “send.” This means that you are standing up to speak. If you start conversing with your partner, I will continue to run prep and I will probably dock your speaks for stealing prep.

Flowing: Do it. Follow the flow, not the “flashed” cards. Do not mess up my flow!!

Label Arguments: “First off, A-uniqueness” is not a label for my flow. Label each off case – every single one of them. When you move to the case debate, be clear as to where you are and when you are moving on to another advantage, etc. This is also true for the 1A; the AC needs to be crystal clear.

Reading Cards Post Round: I rarely do so. To get me to read a card requires a specific request during your speech and an explanation as to why and what I am looking for exactly. If I am part of the email chain, this does not mean I am automatically going to read cards. If I call for a card without you requesting it or go to the email chain without direction then something was so unclear that I felt I had no choice. This presents an opportunity to intervene, which I do not like doing if I can avoid it.

Card Clipping: It’s cheating. Don’t do it. If an accusation is brought up in the round, I will take it seriously (even stop the round if necessary). If you bring it up as an accusation, you need to be darn certain you are correct. Be clear where you stop reading a card if you do not finish. "Stop card" is probably not clear enough.

As we say in New Orleans, “Be Nice or Leave”. It is fine to be competitive, but have fun. You are competitors in the round, but you should be friends outside of the round. Being a jerk in the round will not lead to friendships and it will definitely hurt your speaker points.

Magi Ortiz Paradigm

6 rounds




Read no cards------------------------X-----------Read all the cards

Conditionality good--X----------------------------Conditionality bad

States CP good-------------X---------------------States CP bad

Politics DA is a thing--------X---------------------Politics DA not a thing

UQ matters most---------------------------X-----Link matters most

Not our Baudrillard-------------------------------X Yes your Baudrillard

Limits-----------X-----------------------------------Aff ground

Presumption--------------------------------X------Never votes on presumption

Resting grumpy face---X--------------------------Grumpy face is your fault

Longer ev------------X-----------------------------More ev

"Insert this rehighlighting"----------------------X-I only read what you read

Fiat solves circumvention-----X-------------------LOL trump messes w/ ur aff

CX about impacts----------------------------X----CX about links and solvency

Util=Trutil-X----------------------------------Kantianism / virtue ethics

AT: --------------------------------------------------------X A2:

Creds to Buntin

Miles Owens Paradigm

6 rounds

General Thoughts – I try to be as tab as possible. However, I think everyone inevitably comes in with some preconceived notions about debate. Don’t feel like you have to adapt to my preferences – you should do whatever you do best – but if what you do best happens to be judge adaptation, here are some of my thoughts:

Framework – All I ask is that you engage each others’ interpretations--don’t just read and extend. Look to my comments on topicality if you're interested in how I try to evaluate the standards debate. 

Case Debate – I think case-specific strategies that integrate intelligent on-case arguments into the 1NC can be really compelling. 

DA/CPs – The more specific the better, but I’ll vote on anything. 

Kritikal Debate – I like kritikal debate, but I think it’s much more persuasive when it interacts with the 1AC/2AC. For example, I like specific 2NC link analysis (doesn’t necessarily need to be carded) that points to arguments being made in the 1AC/2AC, and I like 2NC attempts to gain in roads to the case by suggesting the alternative is a necessary precondition to case solvency. I'm fine with kritikal affirmatives so long as you explain the significance of voting affirmative. A general note: given that I'm trying to evaluate your arguments as though I'm hearing them for the first time, please operate under the assumption that I'm completely unfamiliar with the literature you're reading. 

Topicality – My threshold for T is the same as any other type of argument, but like all other positions, there are central issues that the 2NR needs to resolve in order for me to vote on T. If neither team articulates a framework within which I can vote, then I’ll default to competing interpretations, but I’d much rather not have to default to anything. Assuming I’m voting in a competing interpretations framework, I think of standards – or reasons to prefer – as external impacts to a vote for a given team’s interpretation. That means I think that comparative impact calculus has a huge place in a 2NR that’s going for T. Explain to me what debate looks like if I vote for your interpretation and why that vision should be preferred to one that would allow for cases like the affirmative. Also, it’ll be a lot easier for me to vote negative if there’s in-round abuse. 

Theory – It’s easier for me to evaluate theory debates when one actually happens, which means engaging the other team's arguments and not just reading blocks and talking past one another. If you expect to win on theory (independently), you should probably give me some kind of substantive reason why a given violation merits a rejection of the team, and not just the argument. 

Non-Traditional Debate – As long as I’m provided with a standard for evaluation that I feel both teams can reasonably meet, I don’t care what you do. 

In Round Decorum – Don’t be mean, but try to have fun. 

Speed – As long as you’re clear, I’m fine with speed. 

Speaker Points – 27.5 is average. I'll add points for things like clarity and efficiency, and I'll subtract points for particularly messy debating.

If you have any specific questions, please ask. Feel free to email me after round with questions:



Donny Peters Paradigm

4 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.

Yasaswi Pisupati Paradigm

6 rounds

Hi, my name is Yash. I'm a second year debater for NYU, debating in JV. While I personally run more policy style arguments, I'm open toward all arguments...except for League of Legends spec. Never League of Legends spec. I'm fine with spreading, but speed should not be a substitute for clarity, and slow down a little bit on the tags. I have a lot of emotions on my face most of the time during rounds, so use that to your advantage. I have a few more thoughts on some specific arguments, but really my motto is you do you, just do it persuasively. Also, bringing me gummi bears before the round won't help you win but it'll help sustain me.


While I do not oppose K arguments, I have limited experience running and opposing them. If you do end up running a Kritik make sure the argument is well articulated and understandable. If you need to explain the argument in CX explain it clearly.


Really enjoy DAs, and am familiar with the most common ones - politics, trade, econ, etc. Just reading the most cards doesn't mean you win the uniqueness debate or you win the link debate though.


I like performance affs, but will definitely vote for T if you're winning the T flow - give me clear impacts on both the aff and the neg side. If you're a pretty topical policy aff and you drop the T flow I will literally hate you.


A gnarly CP and a well articulated DA is a pretty slamming combo in my books, so please, bring it on.

Please add me to the email

Wasim Rahaman Paradigm

4 rounds

Northside '19 (2N)

Northwestern '23 (yes debating, 2A)

Assistant coach @ Edgemont

Put me on the email chain (but I won’t be flowing off the doc) --- AND

Compile and send a doc of cards referenced in your side's final rebuttal as soon as possible after the 2NR/2AR


Postround me--X---------------------------Don’t



Evidence quality-X----------------------------Evidence quantity

Framing contentions----------------------------X-Util, risk = magnitude x probability

I know about the HS topic----------------------X-------I don’t

Yes judge kick--------X---------------------No judge kick

NEG on theory------X-----------------------AFF on theory

NEG on CP competition---------------------------X--AFF on CP competition

T is dead------------------------X-----No it’s not

Reasonability---------------------X--------Competing interpretations

Wayne Tang speaks---X--------------------------2019 speaks

Make jokes------------------------X-----Just debate

Only one debater gives each speech.

I won't vote on anything outside of the round.

You cannot argue for your speaks.

I won't flow anything that is said after the timer goes off.

I did not think this would be necessary, but experience has proved me wrong---please do not:

---burn things or produce smoke in round. Classrooms have smoke detectors in them.

---spray things on others or produce smoke in their vicinity without their consent. I am not asthmatic nor do I have allergies, but some debaters are/do, and violating this runs the risk of prompting genuinely serious medical emergencies.

---vandalize classrooms of schools that are gracious enough to host debate tournaments.

---interrupt your opponents' speeches.

---threaten your opponents, myself, or other judges.

I reserve the right to award 25s for violations of these last five simple rules.

I have literally been told by debaters that they preffed me because I was brown. Please do not pref me because I am brown. My identity will never be a factor in a decision I make on the debate in front of me.

Kristin Raveneau Paradigm

6 rounds

I want to be on the email chain:

I debate College Policy at NYU. Earlier in college I read more soft left Affs with performative elements, but I've been getting progressively more performative and more kritical as my college career progresses. That means I'm open to hearing whatever arguments you want to read as long as you're able to defend it. In terms of policy, I've never read a strictly "policy" AFF, but I've coached teams reading them and am familiar with that style. With this in mind, you should read whatever makes you most comfortable and confident and I'll vibe with you.

Flow - I will flow what I hear. If you're fast, I can keep up as long as you're clear. If I can't understand you I will say "clear." I flow performative elements (music, poetry, dance), but if you think I might not flow something flag it for me. It's your job to tell me what is most important, I won't do that work for you.

Flashing/email chain - Be organized. I don't want to wait 5 minutes for you to reply to the email chain or flash files. If I feel like you're taking too long prep time will start again. Don't waste my, your opponent's, or your partner's time. Stealing prep is disrespectful and if I see it, your speaker points will be docked. That applies to Novices too (although my threshold is a bit higher) because it's important to get into good habits from the beginning.

Speaking/CX - Be respectful. I love sass and attitude in CX and in speeches, but be aware of where the line is between sass and disrespect. This includes being disrespectful to your own partner (don't talk over them during CX). Debate should be a community and space where we all feel safe, if you jeopardize that and the other team problematizes and impacts this out, I am willing to vote on that outweighing all of your hypothetical policy impacts. If you make me laugh your speaks are going up.

FW/T - I will vote on T and FW, so feel free to read it in front of me. For both AFFs and NEGs, you need to have a clear abuse story and explain to me why your interpretation creates a better model of debate. Don't just say "our model of debate is better for fairness and education," you must also prove to me why those things are necessary and good and why the counter-interp is insufficient.

K - I mostly read them in college and they are my favorite arguments in debate. THERE SHOULD BE CLASH WITH THE AFFIRMATIVE. You need to link specifically to something in the AFF, not the squo. Even though I am familiar with K lit, I'm not going to do work for you. Explain clearly and have a compelling story. You need to show me the world of the Kritik. If at the end of the debate I don't understand what your alt is (how it functions, what it looks like, how it resolves the links, how/if it solves the AFF) I probably won't vote for it. You should be giving explanations that compare the world of the AFF and the world of the K.

NOTE: Be careful if you read anthro against anti-blackness teams. I find it is often argued in very problematic ways and I typically hate hearing anthro in those rounds. I have, however, voted for anthro many times (unfortunately), so it can be done successfully, just TREAD CAREFULLY.

DA - Here, it's all about the link and impact debate. Have specific links to the plan and have a cohesive impact story. If you're going for the DA, I want to hear in depth impact comparisons. If everyone is claiming the same impacts or everything leads to extinction, you will need a more robust story to get me to prioritize the DA. My preference is that you read a CP that solves for the DA. If you're not reading a CP that can overcome the DA, make it clear to me why this is worse than the squo.

CP - It's all about solvency and competition. That means you need to have a net benefit.

Jose Rivera Paradigm

6 rounds

1. I hate spreading slow down if you want me to flow your arguments, if its not on my flow its not a part of the round. It doesn't matter how well its explained or extended. At best depending on speech it will be a new argument and will be evaluated from then forth. I do want to be part of the email chain, my email is, note that just because I am part of the email chain that does not mean I flow everything I read, I only flow what I hear so make sure I can hear your arguments. Beware I will be following along to make sure no one is cutting cards and I will call out teams for cutting card so be sure to do things correctly. I will drop cards before the team and continued cutting will result in me stopping the round and contacting tab.

2. I hate theory, and have only voted on it once. Also I don't like arguments on Race don't run them, the chance i will not vote on them is very high. Every Other argument is fine and long as they are well articulated and explained(See 3). In order to vote on an argument there needs to be an impact to it and I need to know how we arrive to the impact. But I want to know more than A + B = C, I need to know the story of how we arrive at your impact and why they matter. I will not simply vote on a dropped argument unless there is no other way to vote an I need to make decision, I consider this Judge intervention and I hate doing this. You as a debater should be telling me how to vote I will have to deduct speaker points if I have to do any work for you.

3. At the beginning of each round I am a blank slate, think of me as 6 or 7-year-old. Explain arguments to me as such. I only evaluate things said in round, my own person knowledge and opinion will not affect. For example if someone in a round says the sky is purple reads evidence the sky is purple and it goes uncontested then the sky is purple. I believe this is important because I consider anything else judge intervention which I am highly opposed too and again will result in speaker point deduction. That being said I default to a standard policy making framework at the beginning of each round unless I am told otherwise.

4. Last but not least be respectful to me and to each other, and I would appreciate good show of sportsmanship at the beginning and end of a round. Any disrespect of any kind will result in speaker point deduction on a per incident basis. Continued disrespect will result in notifying tournament staff. Although I do not expect it will go that far.

Devon Schley Paradigm

3 rounds

First of all +1 for actually reading judging paradigms. You've already started off well.

Add me to the email chain:

Experience: I debated for three years in high school at Baltimore City College and now I'm one of their coaches. This is my fifth year judging HS debate.

Paradigm: Just a general overview of how I judge debates: I'm fine with spreading as long as you are clear enough. I will listen to almost anything and as long as it's argued well. A dropped argument is a true argument (within reason). I like competitive spirit but don't be a terrible person. By that I mean you can get fiery in your speeches and cross-ex but personal attacks are not cool unless they are really out of line (i.e. they said something outright offensive: racist, sexist, patriarchal, heteronormative,etc.). I want to see a good debate so run what you're comfortable with and know what you're talking about please.

Specifics: Now I'll talk about a few things that are more specific to argumentative style and my own preferences.

DISCLAIMER: Everything beyond this point is my point of view so you should take it with a grain of salt. I'll always judge a debate based on what happens in the round not based on how I feel about the arguments ran. However I will tell you how I felt after the round.

K: I primarily debated kritically during my debating career so that is naturally what I prefer to hear and I know more about. If you run a K, you can trust that I'll probably have a good idea of what you're talking about unless you are running something really obscure.

I read a lot of Deleuze and Foucault myself so I have a higher threshold for these arguments. I really hate generic answers to these arguments...but they can win the debate if they aren't answered well.

Race, so this is an interesting subject. I have read some of the literature behind most classic race arguments and my team has read(or is currently reading) most of the better kritical race theory arguments so I am used to hearing them and I understand them very well. Thus likewise, I expect them to be run well or you are already starting off from behind in my book. If you are an all white partnership, be careful what you say. I'm not going to vote you down for being wrong but being offensive can affect speaker points. So I will listen, just don't say anything that will make me regret that.

Policy: I wouldn't say that straight up policy is something that I love listening to but I will listen to it. Keep it clean. Keep it understandable. Otherwise I have no issues.

T: I really dislike this argument in 99% of situations. If the other team answers it reasonably I will not vote on it. Read something responsive. T is not responsive. If you plan on winning T it better be the whole 2NR or else I'll give the 2AR a lot of leeway on it unless the 1AR just straight dropped it, but you still need an impact. T alone is not a voter. Also if you go for T, especially against a K Aff there damn sure better be some real impacts. I mean real world impacts. Weighing your "education" against systemic issues is not going to be an easy debate to win in front of me.

Theory: I have nothing for or against theory. Be articulate and make sure I understand all the parts of your argument and why what they're doing is bad.

At the end of the day when I'm judging I really just want to see a good debate so if you give me that you can be sure that I will judge it fairly and unbiased.

Lee Sharmat Paradigm

Tags slow

Overt Speed - not my favorite

If I request "clear" a couple of times - and you don't do it - I will put my pen down.  If you see that, it's a problem...for you.

Rebuttals - stop reading cards.  Talk to me.  Line by lines - yes!

Roadmaps and signposting makes me happy.

Multiple DA's annoy me.

Daniel Shatzkin Paradigm

6 rounds

Been around debate for 15+ years I'm fine with speed as long as you're clear. I'll say clearer or slower a few times as needed.

Lincoln Douglas

Run what you want as long as it isn't frivolous theory, or an argument that is disrespectful. You should be topical, I default to reasonability but I'm willing to evaluate T and theory however you tell me to. K's should have specific links not just ones of omission. Potential abuse probably won't get my vote on a theory shell.


I haven't judged policy regularly in about 5-6 years so my knowledge on the current k lit and common off case positions is pretty low. Aff's should be about the topic even if they don't have explicit plan texts. If you can tell my how you're addressing the topic you're probably ok. I default to being a policy maker but I'll vote on pretty much everything as long as it's a reasonably topical aff or the neg arguments have explicit links and are logical and understandable. I tend to prefer classic case, da, cp strategies but I'm willing to vote for the K if it's well explained. Avoid frivolous theory and T arguments like OSPEC please.

Alex Sherman Paradigm

6 rounds


I've read every kind of aff from straight up heg good to baudrillard, I care way less about what arguments you make than how well you defend them

I went for the K a lot in high school and still do, but I also love a good policy round, and would much rather you debate to your strengths than to what arguments you think I'll like.

Put me on the email chain,

Long version

My favorite judges in high school were always the ones who seemed really excited to be there judging my round, and the ones who emphasized voting on what was in the round. I love debate and I know you care about the activity to be giving up your weekends to compete in it, and I would be an asshole if I didn’t put all my effort into making the best decision I can. If you don’t think I’m paying enough attention, go ahead and call me out. Nothing here is set in stone, but, if you don't tell me to change how I'd evaluate any of these, then they're my defaults.

1 Tech Over truth, but to an extent. True arguments require less technical explanation for me to buy what you're selling.

2 Mediocre strategies may win in front of me, but, speaker points will likely suffer. If the 1ar drops aspec that was at the bottom of your t overview, and that’s your a-strat, I’m probably not the judge for you. I prefer debates with either really tricky and nuanced strategies, or teams that are willing to just bet it all on black and go for impact turns. I've found that teams that do a better job articulating how I should evaluate arguments do better in front of me than teams that just wait for me to reconstruct what an argument means for my decision. I'm not smart so if you tell me how arguments implicate the rest of the debate, you'll be in a better spot

3 Protecting the 2nr. There's nothing worse than giving what you think is a fire 2nr and then watching the judge nod along with an argument you're certain wasn't in the 1ar. 2ars should have a high standard for drawing arguments from the 1ar unless they were clear in the speech. I.E. new 2ar cross applications should be justified in the speech/flagged in the 1ar. If I don’t think I could have seen it coming, I probably will think it’s new.

4 Counterplans: They should compete with the aff. Theory arguments are usually just reasons to reject the counterplan. You don't need a solvency advocate, but having one definitely makes your job easier. Exploit generic link chains in affs.

Generic pics are awful, and specific pics are one of the fastest ways to get good speaks, but in both cases, pics bad needs to come back with a vengeance. I won't judge kick unless you tell me to in the 2NR.

5 Disads: 2acs with bold strats, i.e. straight turning a disad would increase my value to life, and your speaker points. I am very much in the camp that a disad that isn't a full argument in the 1nc is a terrible strategic decision hint: 1a's pull out your impact turns. Outside of that though, I really do like them, whether you're a plug and chug politics team, or a team with the amazing topic link card that no one else has found.

6 Kritiks I like them, they’re probably my favorite argument. I’m really into high theory, and probably am a good judge for you if you like to run kritiks. I’ve run all kinds of things, mainstream stuff like cap, and apoc rhet, to stuff like dng, baudrillard, and halberstam. You don’t need to have an alt to win, but you should justify why. Your links should be specific to the aff. If I can’t tell what aff your debating in your 2nc on the k, we’re both gonna have a bad time.

Generally though, I think that affs need to be doing a lot better job answering k's. Please talk about your aff more and generic backfile cards less. Most cases outweigh the k, and one thing that always confused me was when there were debates where that comparison didnt really start until the last two rebuttals. Examples are also fantastic.

I also think more affs should just bite the link and impact turn the K. Obvi dont read racism/sexism/ableism good, thats the quickest way to a 25 and an L short of conceding the round, but, every K makes other claims that you can, and probably should consider reading offense against.

7 Topicality: Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't really understand ground arguments - if you don't have generics ready to go for core topic areas, or arguments that make debating the aff irrelevant (impact turns, process cp's etc) that seems like a you problem. I get some affs are really small and don't do much, but either they have an absurd impact claim that you can turn or outweigh, or they'd need such a contrived interpretation of the topic to be T that you could just go for limits.

Reasonability has never really made sense to me either, because usually those debates just boil down into the same silly buzzwords that everyone uses. I think reasonability can be an incredibly gnarly argument if it's framed more in the form of an explanation of why offense/defense is bad for topicality debates. Scotty P wrote a really good explanation of what that would look like here

8 Speaks

Things that will get you good speaks

5 minutes of Antonio in the 2nr

9 Clipping- Don’t do it. I’ll be sad, and have to give you a 0

10 No argument too strange- I can be convinced to vote on anything if you do well. T is a rvi, double win theory, normativity k, silence k. If you think you can pull it off, and want to risk a ballot on it go ahead. If you execute it poorly, I'll probably be annoyed, but at the same time, no one ever did anything to radically change debate without taking a lot of risks.

11 Non-traditional affs. I think I’m a pretty good judge for these. I think these affirmatives are unfair, but, don't really know why that's bad (fairness is not an impact). I don’t really think framework is deployed effectively very often, which is unfortunate, because I oftentimes think that many of the claims from framework teams make a lot of intuitive sense. I ended up voting against framework about 60% of the time last year, but I'd attribute that a lot more to what happened in the rounds I judged than to a general predisposition. Affs should have really good answers to do it on the neg and the TVA and neg teams should be ready to explain what the impact to framework is.

I also think you have to answer disads, even if you dont defend hypothetical implementation of usfg action. This doesn't mean I'm waiting to vote on your aff flips the 2020 election shell, but rather that if you can think of a nuanced way to articulate a link I wont be a super tough sell on the aff has to defend the consequences of their epistemology. I.e. if an aff says that executive power is bad, I feel like John Yoo would have some things to say about that, even if the aff doesn't implement a policy.

I also really enjoy K vs K debates. One side note is that I tend to find that the theory of power debate is far less compelling than specific applications.

Questions? Email me at I’ll probably answer pretty quickly.

Morgan Spicer Paradigm

3 rounds

Add me to the email chain and feel free to email me after the round

Current policy debater at UF. I have run everything from ptx and heg good scenarios to non-topical affirmatives. Everything below is purely a preference thing - I can and will vote on arguments made during a debate that aren't properly responded to, even if I personally dislike the argument.

Update for Blue Key:

1. I've noticed an increasing tendency of debaters to read blocks directly from their computer for the entirety of the debate, including 2NR/2AR. While it's fine if you do this (although I would rather you not because you're probably missing the line by line) PLEASE slow down. If you make a fantastic argument but it wasn't on my flow, I won't vote for it.

2. My biggest ask for any debater is for them to paint a picture for me and tell me where/why I should vote in their last speeches. This is as true for a ptx DA as it is for a set col K. However, it is true that I am not likely to be super well-versed in the kritik you are reading, so please avoid high level jargon, as I probably won't know what you are saying. I am not afraid to not vote on an argument because I didn't understand it, and am similarly not afraid to explain that in my RFD.

3. My background is pretty much entirely in policy debate (I did traditional LD for about a year). This means that I am significantly less experienced with the theory debates that seem to be more common in LD. As I mention below, I have a decently high threshold for dropping a team on theory, so do with that what you will. If you are reading theory, either slow down or send out what you are reading.

Top Level

- Have fun and be nice to each other, we are all here because we love the activity! (If you are rude, it will more than likely negatively affect your speaks).

- I think judges should adapt to debater's preferences, not the other way around, so please make arguments that you like and care about and I will do my best to evaluate the round.

- I default to a util framing so if that is not what you want please offer me another way to evaluate the round.

- Tech and truth matter but I lean slightly tech > truth, unless the arg is on-face a lie or a "death/suffering good" arg (please do not make this arg in front of me).

- I am willing to vote on solely defensive arguments (i.e. presumption or 0 risk of a DA) but love offense whenever possible.

- Totally fine with speed, but if you aren't clear and I don't get something on my flow I won't vote on it. I will say "Clear" as many times as necessary during a round but your speaks will begin to drop after the second time.


I tend to think that affs should have some relation to the resolution, but how and to what extent is up for debate. If you are non-t, be prepared to defend why you have chosen to not defend the resolution and show me how your aff does something.


I like them, the more specific (and ideally the more true) the impact the better. Be prepared to do impact calc throughout the round, and tell me why the impacts of the DA mean I shouldn't risk voting aff.


Again, I like them. I like smart, interesting, and specific CPs but please make sure that you are explaining how it solves the aff, or how it solves sufficiently to avoid risking the DA. A net benefit is crucial, and if it's not in the 2NR I won't vote on the CP. Affs - don't be afraid to call a CP out on being abusive. At minimum, they probably justify cheater perms.

If you have multiple planks please explain all of them - or just don't read spend the time reading them in the 1NC.

I'm fine with judge kick if I am asked to do it but you need to explicitly tell me it's an option. Affs - once again, don't be afraid to call this out as abusive.


I really enjoy these debates, but please do not assume I am well-read on whatever literature you are reading. Also, please don't continue to use jargon without explaining to me (or the other team) what that means. I also really want to know how the K interacts with the impacts of the aff, and the more specific the link the better.

I'm fine with kicking the alt, but tend to get frustrated when that is done in the block with no attempt to justify/defend the alt.


As someone who reads a non-t aff and fw on neg, I like to think I don't have as little bias as possible in FW debates. Things I need from either side: continuous extension of your interpretations, advantages to your interpretation, and offense as to why the other teams understanding of debate is bad. TVAs are very persuasive, and I do tend to view out of round impacts as more important/persuasive than in round impacts (i.e. big fan of fairness as an internal link to education).


I like T debates when they consist of more than debaters just speeding through their blocks. PLEASE slow down when reading T shells. Just saying the word "fairness" is not a sufficient impact, tell me why the other team is making debate uniquely bad.


I love love love a good case debate. Affs are generally really bad and I really enjoy seeing the aff being pushed back against. Don't be afraid to go for a case only 2NR if you have the args.


I think pretty much all theory violations are reasons to reject the argument and not the team. If the argument "reason to reject the team" isn't made and defended I default to reject the arg.

I am very unlikely to vote on condo if the team is reading three or fewer conditional advocacies, but feel free to make the arguments to convince me otherwise.

Hannah Stafford Paradigm

3 rounds

I debated for 8 years in policy debate, in high school I debated at The Blake School and in college debated at Rutgers-University. I currently coach policy and PF at The Blake School.

Public Forum

Ultimately the biggest problem I see in PF debate is a lack of warranting, evidence comparison, and impact calculus. These three things are essential to winning my ballot. Also, I am a very technical judge, I flow everything (including cross) and dropped arguments are true arguments.

In terms of evidence - please read actual cards and do not just "paraphrase" authors.

Warranting and evidence comparison is essential. Extending a bunch of claims without reasoning is not persuasive. Why should I prefer your evidence over your opponents evidence. Similarly you need to compare the impacts, do not just extend your own impact while ignoring the opponents, why does your impact outweigh? Saying evaluate the "cost benefit analysis" is NOT impact calculus.

If an argument is in the Final Focus but was not in the Summary I will not evaluate it.

Finally, if you use racist, sexists, transphobic, ableist, xenophobic, classist, heteronormative, or another discriminatory or oppressive discourse you will not win my ballot and your speaker points will be greatly effected.

Policy Debate

Apparently my philosophy was deleted when the judge wiki was taken down - this will be posted shortly before I judge my next policy tournament :(

Peter Susko Paradigm

6 rounds

If you are starting an email chain for the debate, I would like to be included on it:


Debate should be centered on the hypothetical world where the United States federal government takes action. I default to a utilitarian calculus and view arguments in an offense/defense paradigm.


Most topicality debates come down to limits. This means it would be in your best interest to explain the world of your interpretation—what AFFs are topical, what negative arguments are available, etc—and compare this with your opponent’s interpretation. Topicality debates become very messy very fast, which means it is extremely important to provide a clear reasoning for why I should vote for you at the top of the 2NR/2AR.


Conditionality is good. I default to rejecting the argument and not the team, unless told otherwise. Counterplans that result in plan action are questionably competitive. In a world where the 2NR goes for the counterplan, I will not evaluate the status quo unless told to by the negative. The norm is for theory debates to be shallow, which means you should slow down and provide specific examples of abuse if you want to make this a viable option in the rebuttals. The trend towards multi-plank counterplans has hurt clarity of what CPs do to solve the AFF. I think clarity in the 1NC on the counterplan text and a portion of the negative block on the utility of each plank would resolve this. I am also convinced the AFF should be allowed to answer some planks in the 1AR if the 1NC is unintelligible on the text.


I am willing to vote on a zero percent risk of a link. Vice versa, I am also willing to vote negative on presumption on case if you cannot defend your affirmative leads to more change than the status quo. Issue specific uniqueness is more important than a laundry list of thumpers. Rebuttals should include impact comparison, which decreases the amount of intervention that I need to do at the end of the debate.


I am not familiar with the literature, or terminology, for most criticisms. If reading a criticism is your main offensive argument on the negative, this means you’ll need to explain more clearly how your particular criticism implicates the affirmative’s impacts. For impact framing, this means explaining how the impacts of the criticism (whether it entails a VTL claim, epistemology, etc.) outweigh or come before the affirmative. The best debaters are able to draw links from affirmative evidence and use empirical examples to show how the affirmative is flawed. Role of the ballot/judge arguments are self-serving and unpersuasive.


In my eight years as a debater, I ran a policy affirmative and primarily went for framework against performance AFFs. The flow during performance debates usually gets destroyed at some point during the 2AC/block. Debaters should take the time to provide organizational cues [impact debate here, fairness debate here, accessibility debate here, etc.] in order to make your argument more persuasive. My lack of experience and knowledge with/on the literature base is important. I will not often place arguments for you across multiple flows, and have often not treated an argument as a global framing argument [unless explicitly told]. Impact framing and clear analysis help alleviate this barrier. At the end of the debate, I should know how the affirmative's advocacy operates, the impact I am voting for, and how that impact operates against the NEG.


I am not the fastest flow and rely heavily on short hand in order to catch up. I am better on debates I am more familiar with because my short hand is better. Either way, debaters should provide organizational cues (i.e. group the link debate, I’ll explain that here). Cues like that give me flow time to better understand the debate and understand your arguments in relation to the rest of the debate.


Prep time continues until the jump drive is out of the computer / the email has been sent to the email chain. This won't affect speaker points, however, it does prolong the round and eliminate time that I have to evaluate the round.

Erin Szczechowski Paradigm

4 rounds

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

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

Like to be added to the email chain:

For the Affirmative:

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

For the Negative:


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


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


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


Haven't gone for that many CPs, but I enjoy solid ones that actually solve for the case. Agent-CPs make me sad. I can be persuaded to vote that PICs are abusive. Whatever you run, make sure that you have a clear net-benefit.


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

In General:

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

Misty Tippets Paradigm

2 rounds

Debated 4 years at Weber State University (2013-2017)

Four time NDT Qualifier, 2017 NDT Octa-Finalist, 2015 CEDA Quater-Finalist

Currently a Graduate Assistant at James Madison University

I believe debate is for the debaters, I am happy to listen to whatever your argument is and will do my best to adapt to you so you don’t have to change the way you debate. I would much rather you do what you are comfortable with than read an argument just because you think it is something I would prefer to hear. I debated for 8 years and have read and coached all different kinds of arguments, so you should feel comfortable doing whatever you want in front of me. Everything else I’m going to say is just my preference about debate arguments and doesn’t mean that my mind can’t be changed. The last thing I'll say here is the most important thing for me in debates is that you defend your arguments. You can read almost anything in front of me as long as you can defend it. I decide the debates based off of what is on my flow, and nothing else.

Critical Affirmatives – I believe affirmatives should have a relation to the resolution, but I think there are many different interpretations as to what that can mean. To get my ballot with a non-traditional affirmative you must justify why your discussion/performance is a better one for us to have than talking about the resolution or why the resolution is bad. I am sympathetic to arguments that the negative needs to be able to engage the affirmative on some level, and I don't think that "they could read the cap K" is good ground. Counter interpretations are important on framework and will help me frame your impact turns. To win your impact turns to any argument I think the affirmative should have some mechanism to be able to solve them. Overall, I think it is important for any affirmative to actually solve for something, having a clear explanation starting from the 1AC of how you do that is important, and that explanation should stay consistent throughout the debate.

Framework – I think negative framework arguments against critical affirmatives are strategic and love to listen to thought out arguments about why the resolution is an important form of education. Fairness and ground are also impacts I will vote on and I perceive them as being important claims to win the theory of your argument. I am easily compelled that the negative loses ground when a non-topical affirmative is read, and having a list of what that ground is and why it is important is helpful when evaluating that debate. Even if you don't have cards about the affirmative it is important that you are framing your arguments and impacts in the context of the affirmative. If your FW 2NC has no mention of the affirmative that will be a problem for you. I view topical versions of the affirmative and switch side arguments as an important aspect to win this debate.

Kritiks – As I reached the end of my debate career this is the form of debate I mostly participated in which means I will have a basic understanding of your arguments. My research was more in structural critiques, especially feminism. I have dappled in many other areas of philosophy, but I wouldn’t assume that I know a lot about your Baudrillard K, so if that is your thing explanation is important. If you have an alternative, it is important for you to explain how the alternative functions and resolves your link arguments. I would prefer links specific to the affirmative over generic links. I am not a huge fan of links of omission. You will do better in front of me if you actually explain these arguments rather than reading your generic blocks full speed at me. In method v method debates I think you need to have a clear explanation of how you would like competition to function, the sentence "no permutations in a method debate" doesn't make sense and I think you need to have more warrants to why the permutation cannot function or wouldn't solve.

For affirmatives answering critiques, I believe that impact turns are highly useful in these debates and are generally underutilized by debaters. I don't think permutations need to have net benefits, but view them as just a test of competition. However just saying extend "perm do both" isn't an acceptable extension in the 1AR and 2AR, you should explain how it can shield the links. As for reading framework on the aff against a critique, it will be very hard for you to convince me that a negative team doesn’t get the critique at all, but you can easily win that you should be able to weigh the impacts of the 1AC.

Counterplans – Please slow down on the text of the CP, especially if it is extremely long. I am fine with anything as long as you can defend it and it has a clear net benefit. If I can't explain in my RFD how the counterplan solves majority of the affirmative or its net benefit then i'm probably not going to vote for it, so start the explanation in the block.

Disadvantages – I enjoy a good disad and case debate with lots of comparison and explanation. I would much rather that you explain your arguments instead of reading a bunch of cards and expecting me to fill in the holes by reading all of that evidence, because I probably won’t.

Topicality - I really don't have a strong opinion about what it is and isn't topical and think it is up to you to explain to me why a particular aff makes the topic worse or better. I tend to have a pretty low standard of what it means to be reasonably topical.

Theory - I generally think conditionality is good. Other than that I really don't care what you do just be able to defend your arguments.

Finally, as I becoming older and more grumpy I am getting increasingly annoyed about stealing prep and random down time in between speeches. That doesn't mean you aren't allowed to use the restroom, just be respectful of my time. I will reward time efficiency between speeches with better speakers points. Especially if you can send the email before prep time is over. These are my preferences

--If a speaker marks the speech document and the other team wants the marked document that should happen after CX during prep time. If the other team cannot wait until after CX then they can take prep time to get the cards

--If a speak reads a cards that were not in the speech document and needs to send them out the speaker will take prep time before CX to send out the necessary evidence.

--CX ends when the timer is over. Finish your sentence quickly or take prep time to continue CX

I would like to be on the email chain –

Julonni Washington Paradigm

6 rounds

Bio - Former CUNY Debater (2013-14) and current high school coach

For the e-mail chain:

For PF: You're getting a judge with some policy background and policy (let's just face it) is a more rigorous form of debate. This means you have liberty to run more than the CBI and debate blog vetted positions in front of me. You will be better off taking advantage of that. However, I don't appreciate the mental gymnastics it takes to understand many policy positions and you folks get less speech time to spin arguments so please keep it relatively simple.

For Policy: I'll try my best to be a fair judge and vote based on the merit of the arguments presented in a given round. That being said, I think that debate (at least the way it's done at tournaments) is a game and thus do not appreciate teams who try to avoid being topical or enjoy running far left identity arguments. Beyond that, what you would deem as wise strategy and advice from most circuit judges applies for me as well. Some side notes though....

- I lean generally on the side on Condo good in theory debates.

- Any type of competition works for a counterplan. Explain the net benefit clearly if you plan to go for a CP

- Affirmative teams should spend as much time as possible on the case debate explaining why the aff is a good idea and outweighs the negative

- Good impact calc is necessary to resolve close debates and can clean up messy link clash on the off case flows.

- Politics DA >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Nearly every K

Kevin Wei Paradigm

6 rounds

Greenhill CX '16, Columbia '20

Last update: 09/29/2019

Overview: I was a CX debater/2N at Greenhill for four years; I was a CP/DA debater but will vote on any argument except offensive args as long as you can win it. I'm very familiar with cap k and security k literature but not most other k lit. Tech over truth, extend warrants, do impact comparisons and line-by-line, etc. I'm fine with speed, but be very clear on taglines, theory, analytics, etc; if I don't flow it, I'm not judging it. Flashing is not prep, flex prep is OK, open CX is OK, disclosure on wiki and/or verbally within a reasonable amount of time before the debate is critical. You will get extra speaks if you have well-researched args (e.g. AFF-specific strats, sneaky AFFs, etc; see below)

Add me to the email chain and/or feel free to email me with questions at

CX Theory: I default to thinking a couple conditional positions are justified, neg gets fiat, no wholerez, 99% of CPs are theoretically legitimate, etc. but can be convinced otherwise. Fairness is an impact only when you can articulate how I can compare it to other impacts (see 3). I think judge kick makes perfect sense but will only do it if you tell me to since judge kick is not the default in high school debates. I will vote on framework vs. k's/k affs, but I personally hate these debates - go for an AFF-specific PIK or something more interesting for bonus speaks.

LD debaters: everything above applies. I'll happily judge your framework, theory, etc. other non-CX style rounds. If you are going to read a huge block of text from your laptop: slow down and number/label your arguments, otherwise nobody will be able to flow them. I won't evaluate an argument that I can't flow.

Also, I think that silly theory violations such as "interp: opponent must flash permutation texts before reading them" are bad for debate, and I really hope you can go for/win on better args. You will get higher speaks if you go for substance when given the option between winning on substance and winning on silly theory (this does not apply if you're not winning substance, of course).

Speaks: I believe that speaks are a way of rewarding/punishing debaters for actions/performances outside of the win/loss decision on the ballot. Speaks will be adjusted to consider factors such as speaking ability, speaking clarity, research and argument quality, performance during CX, strategy/what you go for, courage, and decorum (e.g. offensive args/language, rudeness to opponents, etc are bad.). I will disclose speaks if asked.

Average tournament-adjusted speaks will be roughly 28.0 for policy debates, higher for LD debates

+.1 for making a batman joke, which tells me that you at least skimmed my paradigm

+.5 if you have a well-researched, aff-specific strat (I especially like seeing this vs k affs)

Ben Weinhardt Paradigm

3 rounds

Hey, I am Ben. I am most interested in debaters enjoying the activity and facilitating a safe and fun space to argue. I did high level debate and understand your arguments. Bet. Also sometimes i flow with my eyes closed, this is so i can focus only on the voice, I am not asleep and you can tell because I will be typing/writing with my eyes closed.

Old paradigm below


Hi, I am Ben

My Background

In highschool I debated for Dowling Catholic where I won the state tournament and went to the TOC. Later I attended Gonzaga University (2014-2018) where I qualified to the NDT four times.


I have experience with all arguments. I read Disads, ptx, policy affs, k affs, 1 off k strategies, pics, process counterplans, T violations, framework, etc. If I didn't read it, I most likely debated against it enough to understand. I try to evaluate arguments without personal bias, resolving debates by choosing the team that has properly framed the terms of the debate and won on those terms. If you want me to be a policymaker, tell me. If you want me to be a critical intellectual, tell me. To be honest, I don't care what your argumentative preference is, my job is to properly determine who won/lost the debate and i'll do my best to create a clear rationale and explanation for my decision. I also like creativity and analytic argumentation that demonstrates critical thinking.

other things

Please don't be loud, by all means be yourself, but I don't like loud speeches. Debate is an indoor activity, use your indoor voice.

Mark Weinhardt Paradigm

3 rounds

Mark E. Weinhardt


I debated a very long time ago: Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Washington (1975-78) and Dartmouth (1978-1982). I was fortunate to have some success (quarters at TOC in high school; quarters, finals, and semis at 3 NDT’s and #1 and #6 at large bids in college). I then left the activity entirely, returning as a judge and assistant coach in 2010 when my kids started debating at West Des Moines Dowling Catholic High School. I attend several tournaments a year and judge a mixture of competitive levels. In real life I am a trial lawyer with my own firm (see


I believe it is called “policy debate” for a reason, and my default approach is to evaluate the round as a policy maker in the real world (i.e., I am a U.S. Senator; the plan text is a bill before me). I can and will judge the debate differently, but you must ask me to do so and persuade me it's a good idea. Other than the kritik movement[1], debate has changed much less in 40 years than you think it has. We went fast and I can flow fast.

HOW to debate in front of me:

--I will not join the email chain or accept a flash drive. This is an oral activity. I must get your content from the spoken word, not the written word. And if I can't flow it, it's not in the debate. I will sometimes, however, call for evidence after the round to resolve conflicts in or weigh the evidence.

--Line by line GOOD. Giant overviews BAD.

--During speeches and cross-ex, I allow only one team member to talk. The other debater can’t talk to his/her partner or to me. Always stand when speaking.

--When arguing analytics, don’t just stare at your laptop and read fast. You need to look at me and persuade me why you are right, especially in late rebuttals.

WHAT to debate in front of me (almost anything, but here are some thoughts):


I will vote on K's but am not deep in the literature. If your K is named after a concept (capitalism, security), I am probably conversant with it. If it is named after a philosopher, you'd better explain it very clearly. I will weigh the case against a K absent a compelling reason not to.


I believe the affirmative is required to affirm the resolution. But I am generally lenient on T if the affirmative does this. That is, I like breadth over depth within the resolution but hate it when the aff wants a debate that has nothing to do with the resolution. Against policy affs, I think many negatives waste their time on T. But T is always a voting issue if the affirmative loses it.


I believe a counterplan must be competitive with the affirmative plan; i.e., the negative must explain why I can’t do both. I am very willing to vote on the idea that a counterplan cannot be topical. Affirmatives should argue this in front of me. I am generally not a fan of little cheating PICs.

Other theory issues

I will vote on theory but much prefer debates about the desirability of the plan text/resolution as a policy matter. Calling a theory argument a “voter” does not make it so. One conditional advocacy is OK; more than that could try my patience. Three things matter to me in theory debates: (1) Competitive fairness to both sides. (2) Education about things that transcend debate. (3) The rules of this game should attract, not repel, students from participating in it. I will vote for theory positions that do those things and I will punish positions that don't.


I applaud debaters who separate what evidence actually says from the spin their opponents put on it. I like case debates; negs invest way to little in this in most rounds.

[1] Here is how old I am: I debated against Bill Shanahan in college.

Darell Womack Paradigm

3 rounds

It's cool frfr. I'll judge your round. Don't be a racist or w/e and make your arguments well.

-See Devon Schley's Paradigm, we're basically the same person but I like Afropess less-

Chaz Wyche Paradigm

6 rounds

I reserve the right to end the debate due to anti-blackness

Jefferey Yan Paradigm

6 rounds

Name: Jefferey Yan
Affiliation: Stuyvesant High School ’15
Binghamton University '19
Background: Debated for 4 years in high school, debating in college for binghamton now.

NDT 2019 First Round, Octos. CEDA Semis.

1. i think line by line as a guideline for the structure of flowing is effective, but obviously is not the only way to structure a debate.

2. i dont like overviews much. i think embedded clash is difficult for me to

3. flashing does not count as prep, but you need to be efficient and not excessive about it.

K: this is where i'm most comfortable. in college i have had much more experience and am much more familiar with foucault, antiblackness/afropess, anthro, cap, talkin about asians, etcwhatever. i am less familiar with stuff further towards the pomo lit - while i think some of these arguments are convincing and am more than willing to vote on them, you need to do a little more to contextualize your arguments in these debates.i think a lot of pomo arguments are weakest on the impact comparison level.

K affs/nontraditional affs/what white people call "performance teams": im good for these. i think you should generally do something - my threshold for voting negative on presumption seems to drop lower and lower the more i debate - and explanations in cross ex help particularly if you focus on epistemology/knowledge production. what does my ballot do?

T: i think you need substantial explanation of your impacts espec. if youre going for a grounds or limits impacts - im particularly convinced by caselists for examples of topical affs. i think interp debating is more important than people give it credit for - using warrants of your evidence in comparison to the 2ac c/i will help put you ahead. not afraid to vote on stupid t interps if the aff mishandles them.

fw: since this is really what you're here to see, ill make it short. fw is an interesting tool that can be utilized effectively if read in the right debate. i think the block should spend time articulating specific abuse and why it implicates your ability to debate instead of generic blocks. i think ties to the topic are generally good. i think topical versions of the aff are something people should be going for more in the 2nr. i also think the largest reason i vote aff against fw is because the 2nr fails to extend an impact, and when they do, it's usually a terrible one. you need to contextualize and do impact calc with fw impacts the same as others - comparison and explanation.

i default to competing interps.

to quote allan xu: "i think i'm 51/49 against framework (ie i'd vote aff in a tie) but my bias is SUPER easily overcome by good debating."

DA: these are cool. i think DAs provide an opportunity for a lot of very specific and cool link stories. i think the part people suck the most at is the internal link debate - you need to explain to me why you access your impact before i can hook it up with a ballot. evidence comparison and specific link analysis helps with this.

ptx da: i used to hate these. tbh i still kinda do. i figure people are gonna read it anyway bc core neg ground and whatever. whatever.

CP: these are cool.explain specific net benefits and concrete forms of competition. a lot of these debates end up being about theory. if this is the case, read your blocks more slowly. its hard to flow theory at spreading speeds, especially if you think you're gonna go for a specific argument in a later speech.

Catherine Zhu Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated for Bronx (10-18-19)


Four years policy at Ingraham High in Washington. Currently doing parlimentary at Columbia. Have judged LD/Pufo in the last year, and have no familiarity with the policy topic. (LD paradigm below is also helpful) This probably means I'm not the best arbiter on T - I can evaluate straightforward, clear debates but have no preconceptions of what the topic "should" look like and will likely not do well on messy debates. If you're reading a nontopical aff, make sure you specify what your model of debate looks like - what ground looks like, what kinds of research is possible, etc. Familiar with critical race theory, feminist theory, etc. Ran soft-left policy affs (structural violence/warming impacts), but ended up debating a lot of big stick impacts anyways. Probably stay away from high theory/vague philosophical things (Deleuze?) unless you’re really good at explaining them to someone who knows less about it than you. I never (!) understood theory when I was doing policy, and still won't understand it now - I will only vote on incredibly high potential of abuse or in-round abuse, unless the argument is dropped by the other team.

Spreading is fine, slow down on tags, authors, theory, plan texts, etc. Slow down when signposting between flows. If you’re *incredibly* fast or unclear I will probably not follow, but if so I will emote that during your speech by either looking confused or not flowing. If you speed through theory, I will both get annoyed and probably not flow it correctly. Flashing is not prep, compiling is. Open cross is fine, just make sure the people who are supposed to be talking are still talking. Include me on the chain -

Trigger warn any content for both your opponents benefit and mine, especially in the context of performance or graphic descriptions in speeches.


Public Forum

I have never judged public forum, but you can generally talk fast and read whatever you want. If there are any technical aspects specific to pf that you pull, there's a chance I may not understand them unless they resemble something in policy/ld. I will listen to but not flow cross-ex - arguments should carry over into speeches. Be nice to your opponents.


LD Paradigm

I’m not super familiar with the differences between LD and policy, so most of this paradigm is telling you things/preferences I had there and you can take that how you will. The TLDR is that I’m probably like 70% policy and 30% lay/parliamentary judge right now.

Don’t make offensive arguments (I will drop you immediately), be nice to your opponents. (This includes overcompensating when you’re hitting a lay kid or being passive aggressive in round. I will dock your speaks.)

If you use a lot of buzzwords, you’re leaving it up to me to interpret what they mean from a policy debater standpoint - since it’s been a while since i’ve debated, I might not have the most clear idea of what those words mean anyways. When in doubt, do a little explaining - I tended to make a lot of arguments when I debated without using the actual buzzwords so I can probably follow. I probably fall on truth over tech, but I’m not lay enough to ignore massive amounts of dropped arguments and such. I don’t weigh arguments based on their existence/quantity, but based on degree of explanation. It’s up to you to point out powertagged args, but I will give ev much less weight if you prove that it doesn’t say what the tag says it does.

General Thoughts

-The end of the debate should be framed in terms of impacts with comparison between the two sides

- CX can be important for persuasiveness of an arg, but please carry any arguments made over into speeches.

-I will not evaluate arguments just because they exist!! If you're like 'they dropped this' and repeat the tagline you leave it up to me what that evidence means.

-I'm straight up not the best evaluator of T debates and theory, and generally have a pretty high threshold. If its your winning strat, go for it. But in close and messy debates, it probably won't go the way you want it to. Update: I will not vote on theory unless there is abuse or you can prove there is significant potential for abuse. I treat theory and T as a-priori, top level issues that come before the substance of the round.

-If you don’t explain your performance, I will just evaluate it as a cool piece of art

-Messy debates are annoying. I’m much less inclined to untangle all the threads and probably going to take an easier way out presented by a debater.

-Framing is where I go to first. Make sure your frameworks/ROBs interact.

-unless you want your k to be evaluated as a DA and you tell me so, the alt needs to actually do something. reasonably high threshold for k's, esp on link work.

-No clue what tricks are. Yikes?

-In the event of graphic descriptions of traumatic/sensitive issues, please inform everyone in the round. If your opponent expresses discomfort before the round, you had best have another strategy. In the event a round becomes uncomfortable for a debater, the round will stop and we will decide what to do.

-I will usually read evidence when its contested. I think that if you read evidence, the burden is on you to know it and have it say what you want to say. I give a good amount of weight to evidence indicts because I think there's a lot of poor quality evidence that internally contradicts.

David Zin Paradigm

3 rounds

David Zin

Debate Coach, Okemos High School

Quick version: If you want to run it, justify it and win it and I'll go for it. I tend to think the resolution is the focus (rather than the plan), but have yet to see a high school round where that was a point with which anybody took issue or advantage. I like succinct tags, but there should be an explanation/warrant or evidence after them. I do pine for the days when debaters would at least say something like "next" when moving from one argument to another. If you run a critical argument, explain it--don't assume I understand the nuances or jargon of your theory. Similarly, the few critical debaters who have delivered succinct tags on their evidence have been well-rewarded. Maybe I'm a dinosaur, but I can't flow your 55-70 word tag, and the parts I get might not be the parts you want. I think all four debaters are intelligent beings, so don't be rude to your opponent or your partner, and try not to make c-x a free-for-all, or an opportunity for you to mow over your partner. I like the final rebuttals to compare and evaluate, not just say "we beat on time-frame and magnitude"--give me some explanation, and don't assume you are winning everything on the flow. Anything else, just ask.

The longer version: I'm a dinosaur. I debated in college more than 30 years ago. I coached at Michigan State University for 5 years. I'm old enough I might have coached or debated your parents. I got back into debate because I wanted my children to learn debate.

That history is relevant because I am potentially neither as fast a flow as I used to be (rest assured, you needn't pretend the round is after-dinner speaking) and for years I did not kept pace with many of the argumentative developments that occurred. I know and understand a number of K's, but if you make the assumption I am intimately familiar with some aspect of Kato, Taoism, Heidegger, or whoever, you may not like the results you get. Half the time I still struggle to be conversant about what many of these arguments involve unless somebody prompts me (indigenous peoples and nuclear development, anthropocentrism, tech=evil, etc. is far more informative than simply saying Baudrillard or Zizek). Go for the idea/theme not the author.

Default Perspective:

Having discussed my inadequacies as a judge, here is my default position for judging rounds: Absent other argumentation, I view the focus of the round as the resolution. The resolution may implicitly shrink to the affirmative if that is the only representation discussed. If I sign the ballot affirmative, I am generally voting to implement the resolution, and if the affirmative is the only representation, then it is as embodied by the plan. However, I like the debaters to essentially have free rein--making me somewhat tabula rosa. So if you prefer a more resolution focus rather than plan focus, I'm there. I also like cases that have essential content and theory elements (stock issues), but if one is missing or bad, the negative needs to bring it up and win it to win. I do generally view my role as a policy maker, in that I am trying to evaluate the merits of a policy that will be applied to the real world--but that evaluation is being done in a format that has strong gamelike aspects and strong "cognitive laboratory" aspects. As such, I will accept counter-intuitive arguments (e.g. extinction is good), planless affs, etc. and vote on them--although you will have to justify/win such an approach if it is challenged and in many cases there is a bit of a natural bias against such arguments.

I say "absent other argumentation" because if you want me to use another process, I all ears. I'm pretty open-minded about arguments (even counter-intuitive ones), so if you want to run something, either theoretical or substantive, justify it, argue it, and if you win it, I'll vote for it.

Weighing Arguments:

The biggest problem I observed when I did judge college rounds, and at the high school level, is that debates about how I should evaluate the round are often incomplete and/or muddled, such as justifying the use of some deontological criteria on utilitarian grounds. While such consequentialism is certainly an option in evaluating deontological positions, I struggle to see how I'm not ultimately just deciding a round on some utilitarian risk-based decision calculus like I would ordinarily use. I've had this statement in my philosophy for years and no one seems to understand it: if I reject cap, or the state, or racism, or violations of human rights, or whatever because it leads to extinction/war/whatever, am I really being deontological--or just letting you access extinction via a perspective. That fine if that's why you want it, but I think it makes "reject every instance" quite difficult, since every instance probably has solvency issues and certainly creates some low internal link probabilities. If you do truly argue something deontologically, having some sort of hierarchy so I can see where the other team's impacts fit would be helpful--especially if they are arguing an deontological position as well. Applying your position might be helpful: think how you would reconcile the classic argument of "you can't have rights if you are dead, yet many have been willing to give their life for rights". Sorting out that statement does an awful lot for you in a deontology vs. utilitarianism round. Why is your argument the case for one or the other?

Given my hypothesis-testing tendencies, conditionality can be fine. However, as indicated above, by default I view the round as a policy-making choice. If you run three conditional counterplans, that's fine but I need to know what they are conditional upon or I don't know what policy I am voting for when I sign the ballot—or if I even need to evaluate them. I prefer, although almost never get it, that conditionality should be based on a substantive argument in the round, preferably a claim the other team made.

Theory and K's:

I can like both theory args, especially T, when the debate unfolds with real analysis, not a ton of 3-5 word tags that people rip through. Theory arguments (including T) can be very rewarding, and often are a place where the best debaters can show their skills. However, debaters often provide poorly developed arguments and the debate often lacks real analysis. I do not like theory arguments that eliminate ground for one side or the other, are patently abusive, or patently time sucks. I like theory arguments but want them treated well.

I'm not a fan of K's, but they definitely have a place in debate. I will vote on one (and have voted for them numerous times) if two things happen: 1) I understand it and 2) you win it. That's a relatively low threshold, but if you babble author names, jargon, or have tags longer than most plans, you make it much harder for me.

Style Stuff:

As for argument preferences, I'll vote on things that do not meet my criteria, although I dislike being put in the position of having to reconcile two incomprehensible positions. I'll vote on anything you can justify and win. If you want me in a specific paradigm, justify it and win that I should use it. I like a 2ar/2nr that ties up loose ends and evaluates--recognizing that they probably aren't winning everything on the flow.

I don't like to ask for cards after the round, or reviewing the evidence in pocketbox, etc. and will not ask for a card I couldn't understand because you were unintelligible. If there is a debate over what a card really says or signifies, or it seems to contain a nuance highlighted in the round that is worth checking, I may take a look at the evidence.

I traditionally rely on providing nonverbal feedback—if I'm not writing anything, or I'm looking at you with a confused expression, I'm probably not getting what you are saying for one reason or another.

Debate is still a communication activity, even if we rip along at several hundred words a minute. If I missed something in your speech, that is your fault--either because you did not emphasize it adequately in the round or you were unintelligible. If you are a gasper, you'll probably get better points if you slow down a bit. I tend to dislike prompting on content, but keeping your partner on pace is fine. I'd prefer you ask/answer your own c-x questions. I like numbering and organization, even though much has apparently died. At this point, even hearing "next" when going to the next tag would be a breath of fresh air (especially when it isn't being read off of a block). Similarly, I'll reward you if you have clear tags that would fit on a bumper sticker I could read without tailgating. Humor is a highly successful way to improve your speaker points. If you are organized, intelligible and funny, the much-sought-after 30 is something I have given. I haven't given many, but that reflects the debaters I've heard, not some unreasonable predisposition or threshold.

If you have questions about anything not on here, just ask.

Alan ivackovic Paradigm

4 rounds

Kentucky 2023

Assistant Coach @ Edgemont

Framework + procedural fairness + basic line by line = TKO for the NEG.

Conditionality = good.

Politics DAs + Impact Turns = good.

Act like you want to be here.

Be clear. If you hear me say clear, you really should be clear.

Util = good. Framing pages about probability = >10 IQ.

Death = bad.

heaven montague Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted