Airline Annual Clash of the Vikings

2019 — Bossier City, LA/US

Cameron Abrams Paradigm


I'm currently a freshman at Rhodes College and I debated at Airline High School for four years. I've made the transition from Policy Debate to Mock Trial but I still seek to be as involved as possible by judging Policy when I can (just forgive me if i'm not as nuanced as I was when I was debating. Run whatever you are most comfortable with running, so long as you are respectful to your opponents and myself, I'll do my best to keep up and give you detailed feedback. Spreading is fine as long as you are clear

Contact Information (put me in the email chain)

K Affs / Kritiks:

K debates are interesting to watch and I feel that the literature base behind critiques is something that everyone (including myself) should be more well-versed in. That being said, it is imperative that you have enough of a grasp on the literature underpinning your K to effectively convey your argument. It's pretty much a guarantee that you are more familiar with your kritik than I am as a judge so just be sure that you communicate to me what my role is as the judge.


Two important things about framework that I have learned from trial and error 1.) Make sure that all of your framework arguments are contextualized to the debate that you are currently having. 2.) Although framework is extremely important, don't think that spending all of your time on framework will warrant a W. Granted, a team dropping FW or mishandling it will drastically decrease their chances of winning, don't under-cover their arguments to focus on your framework. Say what needs to be said and move on.

Speaker Points:

A 27 or a 28 is pretty standard. Speed, if done well, is fine but never emphasize speed over clarity. Remain aware of the people that occupy the debate space including your judge(s) and opponents. Particularly aggressive and or offensive behavior will lower your speaks drastically if it becomes a recurrent issue. (as a sidenote don't drown out your partner's cx. Open cross is fine so long as the person that is asking/answering the question is being given time to ask/answer their questions)


Basically just make sure that you are organized, I'm willing to vote on anything so long as the explanation is done well. Keep in mind that every judge is human, nobody is going to catch every single word, make sure that you are willing to adapt to your situation.

Delton Abrams Paradigm

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Bob Alexander Paradigm

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Megan Arbuckle Paradigm

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Ethan Arbuckle Paradigm

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Daniel Baskin Paradigm

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James Bohn Paradigm

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Shannon Bothel Paradigm

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Kisha Brown Paradigm

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Marissa Brown Paradigm

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Maxteshia Brown Paradigm

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Robert Brown Paradigm

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Martin Dale Bryant Paradigm

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Rachel Bryant Paradigm

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Kristy Coleman Paradigm

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Sean Cooksey Paradigm

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Dylan Davis Paradigm

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Barry Dunford Paradigm

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Lee Dunford Paradigm

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Jon Edie Paradigm

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Aj Edwards Paradigm

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Trey Gibson Paradigm

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Thomas Greathouse Paradigm

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Debate History -

Benton HS Debate 2005-2010

Personal Paradigms -

Here's the short version - I believe that the debate is about finding the best policy option in the round. That said, I will listen to the debate you want to have. If you don't tell me what I should vote on and do some analysis as to why you're leaving me to evaluate the round according to my personal preferences.

Case - The affirmative should have a plan. On the negative side I like to see case arguments as part of your overall strategy, however, they would most likely be too weak on their own to convince me to vote for you.

Theory - I enjoy theory arguments and will vote on them provided that there are actual instances of abuse in the round.

Kritiks - I was not a strong K debater in school. I understand their use strategically, however, I always preferred to debate straight policy with the exception of some specific scenarios. Having said that, I will listen to and vote on Ks providing they are well-structured and with impacts clearly defined. If you can clearly evaluate the impacts of your K vs the plan's advantage and also tell me what signing the ballot for you actually does I will be much more inclined to vote on it. Having a clear framework will help.

Cx - I'm good with open CX but the people that are supposed to be doing the CX get first crack. Don't talk over your partner; you'll lose points doing that.

A note about speed and clarity - I am fine with speed. You do need to be clear though. If I can't understand you, it may as well not have happened. I will tell you if you are not being clear enough.

Sydney Green Paradigm

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Chrishonda Harper Paradigm

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Maria Hart Paradigm

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Ronald Hart Paradigm

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Rhona Ingram Paradigm

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Nathan Jagot Paradigm

Debated for Caddo Magnet 2014-2018

Assistant Coach @ Caddo Magnet

Political Science major @ LA Tech, c/o '21


Email chain:

Prep ends when the speech doc is saved/flashed.

Don't take too long while you're "sending the doc over" and still typing.

Don't clip.

Don't call me "judge."

Evidence quality > evidence quantity.

Tech v. Truth is very much over-debated and over-theorized and I'm not sure why it is. If your evidence is correct/accurate about how things operate and your internal links are logical, then you're in the clear. Truth claims warrant a certain amount of technical skills to be won, just as technical arguments need a good deal of truth in reality to be won.

Debate's stressful. Don't be a jerk.

Play smart. Be scrappy.

A few of my debate coaches and people who helped shape how I approach the activity: Neill Normand, Kasi & Jonathan McCartney, Sam Gustavson, Ian Dill, Darius White, Calen Martin, Cole Allen, Ethan Courtman, and Jake Crusan.

Frame your arguments:

If you can tell me what the central points of the debate are in the final rebuttals, make effective arguments and prove why you're winning, you will most likely win the debate. I think line by line is good, but that you also need to keep in mind the big picture/nexus question for the debate. Being wax poetic is especially good (but not necessary), but tell me what's most important and why, and explain it. "Even if" statements are also really useful in this situation, and be sure to use competing claims and why making the decision for you should be easy even if you're not winning the other/most important parts of the debate.

Be strategic:

Embedded clash is important. For argument extensions, make sure you have a claim, warrant, and an impact. Make sure you use this to your advantage and point out interactions between different arguments, be smart in pointing out double turns, etc.

Clarity > speed:

I'd rather hear a very engaging 4-5 off debate that has a variety of winning 2NRs against a certain aff, rather than a team who reads 8-10 off just to scare the other team. Slow down on blocks and analytics, because they're going to be the point in the debate where I really start paying attention to the arguments at hand and seeing how they function (also the point in the debate where you should explain them as such). Being efficient and prepared rather than fast and blippy until the 2NR is better than not.

Line by line is important:

This is very important and I think some debaters sadly forget about. Answer arguments in the order in which they appear - if "they say (x), but (x)" statements are helpful in this instance. Clean flows = good flows = organized debates = good debates.


CX should be treated as another speech. Write down your questions beforehand and have a strategy. Some judges flow CX, I tend to stray away of that, but I may star an argument a team mentions something multiple times or if an argument seemed to be critical for any particular side during CX. If an important argument is an effective turning point for the debate in CX, point it out in later speeches.

Critical Affirmatives:

I'll listen to it, but I'm finding myself frustrated with a lot of these types of affirmatives. The 1AC should ground itself with a foundational disagreement with resolutional action - meaning a solid, specific topic link - and go from there about debating it. Not doing so will likely result to me just voting negative on T. Debates where the affirmative identifies a problem with resolutional action and uses that as offense against framework/T-USfg are much more interesting than stale debates.

***I think for topics where the resolution mandates the USfg reduces something negative it does (like restrict immigration or reduce arms sales), reading an aff with a plan is much more legitimate than not reading a plan.

***If you're reading this before round and are unsure about what your strategy with your K aff would be with me judging you based on everything above, I'd suggest reading an aff with a plan.


I think this is the most legitimate strategy against planless affs. Though it's a legitimate claim that the aff not using the USfg as an agent is unfair, you need to explain why in terms of why it's bad for normative debate practices and why it's bad that you can't engage with the aff as well as you could with one that had a specific policy proposal.

Fairness is an impact in itself, but that should be explained in terms of what unfairness is, how the affirmative makes it worse, and then funnel into discussion of other "greatest hits" impacts on the flow.

Make sure your TVA is logical and at accesses the affirmative's offense, and the aff answers need to be logical and established in order for me to not vote on it.

Well-thought out aff impact turns to T/Framework are convincing to me if executed effectively.

Framework should also be debated in the context of every aff - don't just read the same overview you do for every K aff. Specific overviews + reasons to reject the aff = higher speaks and more of a chance I'll vote for you.


You NEED to engage case. Smart analytics on case are just as good as impact turns/no solvency arguments. Make sure to utilize it, it's there for a reason. Interact with it, don't forget it. Scrap the 2-3 card DA that you won't extend past the 1NC and put some of that time and effort on case.

Good case debates about the warrants of the aff, internal link strength, sensibility, etc. are good. Debating case makes you better.

I like impact turns. I like it when teams read impact turns specific to the aff.

Spark = silly. I won't even bother telling you how silly it is---I'll give you my professors' emails and let you take it up with them.


Caselists = good.

Don't get bogged down in the non-essential details.

Competing interps, when actually competitive = good.

Reasonability against arbitrary/asinine interps that are semi-ridiculous = 100% will vote on it.


Long text = slow down.

Specific PICs are good, I like them. Debate them well.

Consult and conditions counterplans are fine as long as you defend them as you're supposed to practically and theoretically. Don't get too carried away.

Make sure it's actually competitive---this means it needs to access not only the impacts of the advantage, but the rest of the advantage itself.


The DA should have specific links to what the aff is talking about, or at least a claim that what the aff is fiating will cause what you say it will because it's that large of a policy.

Your block work on the DA should be thorough explanation, as well as lots of cards that prove your argument(s). Specific links/analysis to the aff are highly appreciated.

Lots of cards + lots of analysis = extra good.


Being from a relatively small school, I understand their strategic value. If you think there may be a risk that I don't know what you mean, don't use buzz-words and be sure to explain your args well.

Couple of K things I value:

Link Contextualization---You absolutely need to win a link to the affirmative. Generic links rarely grab my attention, unless the aff just mishandles it completely. A K 1NC that has mechanism and content links to the aff (links to the aff's process, either K-based or state-based, depending on the type of aff) is better than a K 1NC that has the link arguments "state + scenario analysis bad," without mentioning the aff's advantages. A smart 2NR will go all-in on 1 or 2 solid links with clear impacts. Links should be able to turn case without winning the alternative (even though you should still win your alt), and should each have an impact-level claim that are distinct from the other links and that can independently win you the debate. But, you need to win the alternative to win the debate, tell my why it resolves your links specific to the aff and any other link you may read - this is where the links that fit the aff best come in. I'd rather hear the 2NR go for 2 solid links rather than 3-4 not-so-good links.

Framework---a decisive win on framework will make me much more likely to vote for you, regardless if you're aff or neg.


I'll consider theory only if it is severely mishandled/conceded by the other team. I think having it as your A-game strategy isn't as strategic, but don't be discouraged and think you can't go for it in front of me, just remember there are certain times and places for those debates.

Conditionality is bad if an absurd number of advocacies are in the 1NC (more than 4 is questionable, but I'm open to a debate on whether or not that is true), but make sure to contextualize your theory blocks to the debate at hand and tell me why what they did in round is bad and incentivizes worse debates for everyone else. Tell me more of a story about what they did, why they should lose, and what your model of debate looks like under a certain interpretation (that isn't just repeating your interpretation you read in the 2AC/2NC).

Final rebuttals:

These should be used to write my ballot. Easy ways to do this are to do the "final review of the debate" at the top of the 2NR/2AR and then get into the substance/nuance of individual arguments you're winning on the flow.

If Debating In Louisiana:

Don't call me judge and don't waste your speech time for thanking me to judge you.

Don't waste time asking "judge ready? partner ready? opponent ready? audience ready?" That takes WAY too long and just asking if everyone is ready is better.

Explain your arguments well. Answer your opponents' arguments well. I judge LD sometimes in-state because of tab-based restraints and something I've noticed is a severe lack of clash in these debates, and I think forcing yourself to interact with the other team's arguments is generally a good thing in debate.

You don't need to shake my hand if I judge you. I'm anywhere from 1-5 years older than y'all and that's weird and you probably have the flu.

Good luck and have fun!

Amber Kennedy Paradigm

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Harvey Latcha Paradigm

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Keithen Lewis Paradigm

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Kasi McCartney Paradigm

Current Debate Coach at Caddo Magnet HS

LHSSL Executive Secretary


Please show up on time. Have email chains, stands and other needs set up before the start time of the round.

I generally look to the fastest and easiest way to resolve the debate. In order to win you should make clear impact calculus throughout the debate and provide a specific path for round resolution in the 2NR/2AR. First tell me how you win the round, then tell me why even if I buy into some of the other team's arguments you should still win. This is how you win my ballot.

I default to a policy maker framework. I will vote for non-policy strategies but they MUST present a clean structure for their impacts. I prefer the affirmative to have a plan text. I do not consider myself an activist or that my role is to balance forces within the debate community.

Identity Politics - You should probably not pref me. You MUST have a link to the aff or specific in round actions for me to vote on this. I understand and sympathize with the issues in round, but this is not my preferred argument. It will take a lot of convincing to get me to vote on a strategy that is outside the resolutional bounds. I ultimately believe that traditional forms of debate have value.

Theory – I think theory is definitely a voting issue, but there needs to be some form of in round abuse for me to truly buy that it is a reason alone to reject one team or the other. I do not think that simply kicking a CP in block is a time skew that is truly worth voting against a neg team unless there are other circumstances. I do love tricky CP's (consult CP's, clever agent CP's, process CP's etc.) and it would be hard for me to believe that on this topic they're really that unpredictable.

Case - I must say I have a hard time being persuaded that the negative has enough weight on their side to win with only case defense and a DA. What can I say, I'm a product of the late 90's. I much prefer to have a CP/K in there to give the flexibility, especially with a topic that allows for affirmatives to have heavy military impacts. Please be careful and make sure that if you takea case only route that you attack each advantage with offense and have a very very weighty DA on your side.

Kritiks- Not my bread and butter, although I do understand their strategic benefit, having come from an underfunded public school. It is my preference that K’s have a clear order and structure. I will vote on the K if you win that your impacts outweigh the impacts of the plan and that there is a true need for action, but I would not be the judge to introduce an extremely loose and unstructured argument to. I understand and buy into threat construction and realism claims, but in the end, I much prefer a well executed CP and politics debate to a poorly executed critical strategy. You will need to a have link specific to the plan. Links based off of the SQ will not be enough for me.

Framework - I default to the framework that the aff can weight the impacts of their plan versus the impacts of the neg.

Impacts – I believe that impact analysis is at the heart of a judging decision. You are an advocate for your arguments and as such you should provide insight and analysis as to why your specific impacts are the greatest in the round, how they should be evaluated by the judge and how they change the evaluation of the impacts to the other team’s case. Without this assessment I feel like you leave too much wiggle room for the judge to pick their personal preference of impact.

T - normally I like T, not my favorite on the arms sales topic

Speaker points- Speed can be an advantage in the round and should be encouraged, but always with the intent of being clear first. My ability to clearly understand your arguments is crucial to getting them evaluated at the end of the round. The ability to provide analytics and analysis in the round will get you much further with me. As far as CX is concerned, I simply ask that the person who is supposed to be asking/answering the questions, gets the first shot at speaking. If they ask for help that’s perfectly fine, but don’t overwhelm your partner’s ability to conduct their own cx. Baseline speaks for me is 28.5 and you move up or down from there. I hardly ever give above a 29.5

Jerry McCauley Paradigm

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Jonathan Mccartney Paradigm

Jonathan McCartney

Volunteer Assistant Coach for Caddo Magnet 1998 - Present

Former Assistant Coach at UT 2002-2005, debated for University of Texas 1999-2002, debated for Caddo Magnet HS 1994-1998

Please put me on the email chain:

I listen to all arguments and try to decide debates based on my flow and my understanding of the positions as clearly articulated by the teams within the round. I used to judge a lot of college and high school policy debates a decade ago. Now I am an attorney, and since 2008 I have been principally focused on my legal career, so my involvement in the activity is only part time. While I am not as active of a judge now as I was a decade ago or so, I do maintain involvement with high school policy debate on a volunteer basis. Here are my current thoughts on how I evaluate debates:

Framework: My default setting is to evaluate the policy consequences of a plan vs the status quo or a competitive alternative. I can be persuaded to evaluate the debate through another framework, and I will work to decide framework debates based on the specific arguments made by the debaters within the debate.

Topicality: I like well developed Topicality debates with clear interpretations supported by compelling evidence. Distinctions in definition sources can go a long way, for example, reasons why a particular government agency definition might be preferable when interpreting words in the resolution can be persuasive. I tend to default to competing interpretations when deciding T debates, however I can be persuaded otherwise, particularly if the aff has a strong argument why their interpretation provides superior predictable ground.

Counter Plans: I like them. I tend to default neg on most counterplan theory, (Pics, Conditionality, etc) but I can definitely be persuaded otherwise. I think theory is a powerful tool which seems to be underutilized by many affirmative teams, but it has to be well explained. Well executed theory arguments can decide debates. As a default setting: I am generally fine with Consult CPs, Conditions CPs or Agent CPs that are debated well by the negative and have good evidence. While I probably default neg on Conditionality in the world of 1 or 2 CPs, I could be persuaded that 3 or 4 CPs or more might be too many - if an aff team debates the issue very well. If its a new aff, that could be a reason to be more flexible on conditionality if the negative articulates that argument clearly. Unless well developed otherwise, Pics Bad or Consult/Conditions CPs bad etc are probably just reasons to reject the argument (unless the neg completely drops a voting issue). I do not automatically Judge Kick a CP, unless the 2NR clearly explains how they want it to work. Example: 2NR says something like: "even if they win the perm, it only means CP is not competitive and it would just go away and we get the SQ, and then our DA still outweighs the Case." I can also be persuaded by the Aff that the neg is stuck with the CP if they go for it in the 2NR. While these are some general thoughts on CP theory: its all open to debate.

Kritks: I tend to prefer Kritks which specifically link to the plan or its advantages. Generic Links to the Status Quo are not my favorite, and I can to be persuaded that a Perm would probably solve them unless the negative team does a good job explaining otherwise. While I tend to default to a somewhat policy making style of impact evaluation, I can be persuaded that certain philosophical considerations can come first. Explaining how a Kritk turns the case or disproves affirmative impact claims is also critical in helping decide these debates.

Disads: I like them. The strength of the Link story is at the heart of good disadvantage debate. Making the link (or link turn) specific to the plan makes a big difference, and quality distinctions in link evidence can be decisive. Controlling uniqueness is important, but evaluating the link comes first. Reasoned explanation of why a disad impact outweights case and/or turns the case is good, but having evidence to support those claims is better.

Impact Evaluations Decide Debates: Explaining why the timeframe, probability or magnitude of a given impact outweights another impact is critical to deciding debates in late rebuttals. Having evidence to support that impact claim is better. For example, a timeframe claim with a warrant is good, but having evidence to support it is decisive. Explaining how one impact accesses the other team’s impacts within a debate, or how various impacts interact with one another is also crucial. In close debates, the team doing the better impact assessment in the 2NR/2AR tends to win.

Speaker Points: Please be clear and be polite.

Dominick Mercer Paradigm

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Margo Miller Paradigm

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Breanna Moffett Paradigm

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Aubry Moffett Paradigm

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Kevin Molloy Paradigm

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Hannah Morris Paradigm

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Alma Nicholson Paradigm

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.

Christopher Norman Paradigm

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Neill Normand Paradigm

From the beginning, I think debaters need to understand that I was never a policy debater myself. I took over a successful team at Caddo when they needed faculty support, and the debaters and alums taught me the activity. Over the next fifteen years I learned enough to teach it to novices and intermediates. I judged actively for about fifteen years, but since bringing a new coach to our school two years ago, I have not been in many rounds. If you want someone who is going to understand clipped references to acronyms or core camp affs that you think everyone already knows on this arms control topic, I am not that guy. You are going to have to break things down and explain. I am a flow judge, but kind of rusty.

Now, Caddo has been known as a fairly critical team over the last decade, and I have learned to appreciate those arguments a good bit. As someone who teaches sociology, psychology, and philosophy at my high school, I am sympathetic to many identity arguments, critiques of epistemology, etc. However, I am not going to be down with a lot of jargon-filled blocks on framework—you must explain why I should weigh your project or method against fairness arguments of the policy world. I like the kind of literature discussed in critical rounds, but I have voted for policy affs outweighing a critique in different debates, especially where the aff won the framework and the neg did not.

That being said, I am very comfortable listening to case, disad, counterplan rounds. I think topicality sets important rules of the game & so if you plan to flout those rules, you better have a compelling reason. I certainly value the kind of knowledge and skills that policy debaters learn through the activity.

Ethos matters. We all know how important cross-ex is to establishing a confident position, but don’t be rude. If you can have a really competitive round and still treat your opponent—and your partner!—with respect, then that goes a long way with me on speaker points.

Email chain—yes.

I am not a proficient enough typist to flow on the laptop, but if you signpost your arguments well enough, I should be able to flow a debate at speed. Being able to read the evidence during the speech certainly helps me though.

Do what you do best in front of me, give full explanations of why I should vote for you, and you will be ok. Make blippy arguments that claim you won because of something that was barely in the debate and dropped by the other team—then no matter how pissed you act when “post-rounding” me at the end, you will still have lost.

This is a great activity. Have fun with it & don’t take yourself too seriously, then we all win.

Scott Parson Paradigm

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Callie Pharr Paradigm

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Lillian Poe Paradigm

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William Ponder Paradigm

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Kelee Portee Paradigm

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Hannah Ross Paradigm

8 rounds

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Leslie Salley Paradigm

8 rounds

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Josh Stewart Paradigm

8 rounds

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Lora Teutsch Paradigm

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Sachin Thorat Paradigm

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Lindsay Thurman Paradigm

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Nandini Tivakaran Paradigm

I debated CX as a student at Airline High School for 3 years, and I attended the Emory National Debate Institute twice. I also debated IPDA for a year for Bossier Parish Community College and Airline High School. I am currently a freshman at George Mason University, studying Economics (so be sure to explain that econ impact smile)

I will flow any argument. If you run a kritik, however, please slow down and avoid spreading, and explain all arguments clearly. Please take the time to explain the fundamentals of the philosophy if you run a K. K-Affs are fine as well, but the same rules apply as stated above. Framework must be contextualized to the debate. I absolutely love a strategic T, and I am a fan of CP/DA strats. If you do run a CP, however, you must have a clearly explained net benefit. If you run a policy strat, clearly spell out the internal link chain, or it may be hard to buy an existential impact.

I value quality of arguments far more than quantity of arguments, so please slow down and explain your arguments clearly. This does not mean that dropping key arguments will be overlooked. This simply means that, at times, I will overlook smaller concessions if your arguments are explained more clearly, if you give a better impact calc, and if you show a better understanding of the debate round as a whole. In general, I am not a fan of spreading.

Open CX is fine, but do not talk over each other. You don't need to take prep time to email/flash evidence, as long as it is not excessive. I value fairness of debate highly, and will not tolerate card clipping. Please be respectful and use the round as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Please add me to the email chain (, but note that I will not do any of the work by reading the internals for you.

I am unfamiliar with this year's resolution, so please do not assume I am familiar with this year's common strategies.

If you have any questions about the round after it is completed, feel free to email me at, and I will try my best to clarify anything from the RFD.

Sanjeevi Tivakaran Paradigm

I am a parent of debaters, and I would be considered a lay judge. Please do not spread. Speak slowly and clearly, and please do not use any debate jargon. Thank you.

Keli Traylor Paradigm

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Dwain Traylor Paradigm

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Christopher Vincent Paradigm

Christopher Vincent
Director of Speech & Debate
Isidore Newman School, New Orleans

Add me to the email chain:

Northwestern Update:

I haven't judged a college round since 2016, so Northwestern will be the first time in quite some time. I will be perfectly honest, I'm not as fast as I once was, and being online I ask that you go a bit slower than what you would otherwise normally do. I have also not done a lot of work on the topic and so I am prone to be less familiar with acronyms or short-hand descriptions. In other words, please explain/contextualize topic specific terms. What I do promise is that I will listen to, flow, and evaluate the debate that is in front of me.

Grapevine/Online Update:
Please slow down! It is much harder for me to hear online. Go at about 75% rather than 100% of your normal pace!!!

Relevant for Both Policy & LD:

This is my 17th year in debate. I debated in high school, and then went on to debate at the University of Louisville. In addition, I was the Director of Debate at both Fern Creek & Brown School in KY, a former graduate assistant for the University of Louisville, and the Director of Speech & Debate at LSU. I am also a doctoral candidate in Communication & Rhetorical studies, with a Graduate Certificate in Womens, Gender, and Sexuality studies.

I view my role as an educator and believe that it is my job to evaluate the debate in the best way I can and in the most educational way possible. Over the past several years have found myself moving more and more to the middle. So, my paradigm is pretty simple. I like smart arguments and believe that debates should tell a clear and succinct story of the ballot. Simply put: be concise, efficient, and intentional.

Here are a few things you should know coming into the round:

1. I will flow the debate. But PLEASE slow down on the tag lines and the authors. I don’t write as fast as I used to. I will yell clear ONE TIME. After that, I will put my pen down and stop flowing. So, don't be mad at the end of the debate if I missed some arguments because you were unclear. I make lots of facial expressions, so you can use that as a guide for if I understand you

2. I value effective storytelling. I want debates to tell me a clear story about how arguments interact with one another, and as such see debates holistically. Accordingly, dropped arguments are not enough for me to vote against a team. You should both impact your arguments out and tell me why it matters.

3. I will not vote for arguments that are racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, or ableist in nature.

4. Do what you do best. While I do not believe that affirmatives have to be topical, I also find myself more invested in finding new and innovative ways to engage with the topic. Do with that what you will. I am both well versed and have coached students in a wide range of literature. I believe that there are implications to the things we talk about in debate, and believe that our social locations inevitably shape the beliefs that we hold.

5. If you do not believe that performative/critical arguments have a place, or that certain argument choices are “cheating,” I’m probably not the judge for you.

6. Know what you’re talking about. The quickest way to lose a debate in front of me is to read something because it sounds and looks “shiny.” I enjoy debates where students are well read/versed on the things they are reading, care about them, and can actually explain them. Jargon is not appealing to me. If it doesn’t make sense or if I don’t understand it at the end of the debate I will have a hard time evaluating it.

7. I will listen to Theory, FW, and T debates, but I do not believe that it is necessarily a substantive response to certain arguments. Prove actual in-round abuse, actual ground loss, actual education lost (that must necessarily trade off with other forms of education). I do not believe in neutral education, neutral conceptions of fairness, or even ground, or limits. If you run theory, be ready to defend it. Actual abuse is not because you don't understand the literature, know how to deal with the argument, or that you didn't have time to read it.

8. Be respectful of one another and to me. I am a teacher and educator first. I don’t particularly care for foul language, or behavior that would be inappropriate in the classroom.

9. Finally, make smart arguments and have fun. I promise I will do my best to evaluate the debate you give me.

If you have any other questions, just ask.

Jenna Winkler Paradigm

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John Zenter Paradigm

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chloe brown Paradigm

Please add me to the email chain:


- I did policy debate at Airline HS for 3 years, mostly soft-left stuff.

- Spreading/ speed are fine but I really don't like to flow from speech docs, so please sign post well.

- Truth over tech, I'd much prefer an underview/ "here's why we win and they don't" end to the round than impeccable line-by-line in the 2nr/ 2ar.

- Don't be rude, you will get a 25


- The only rules in debate are speech times and speech orders, everything else is theory.

- Your interp needs to have material implications, show me how your vision of debate changes the activity/ the classroom/ politics/ research, etc. Saying "roleplaying good" or "state bad" doesn't cut it.

- Compare standards and show me how they spill over beyond one round.

- Tell me what my role as a judge is or I'll default to a policymaker.


- Make it as specific as possible, generic t shells read like time wasters to me and probably will not be convincing. Tell me why the aff's interp of the resolution is uniquely bad for this round/ the topic/ debate as an activity.

- Tell me why T is an a priori issue, especially against soft-left/ k affs.


- I'm more familiar with K theory/ authors than any policy specific to the arms deal topic, that being said, please don't name drop a bunch of French guys and expect me to know exactly what you're talking about.

- Root cause args are not offense

- The alt should solve case or you should win why solving the aff doesn't matter.

- Do not assume that I know how to weigh your impacts, do some impact framing and comparison.

- Link debate seems to be getting messier and messier, please contextualize your link to the aff and don't let it get swept under the rug.

Please ask me any questions before the round, I know this isn't super specific but it will get so as the season progresses. Please don't say "cool" in CX.