Columbia University Invitational

2019 — New York, NY/US

Wilfredo Abrahante Paradigm

Traditional judge that likes to see contentions well developed or negated through strong, sound, and logical arguments.

Please enunciate clearly. While spreading can be advantageous in your rebuttals, please do not forsake the quality of your arguments for speed, especially during your construct.

I value respect so please be mannerly in your conduct toward judge and fellow opponent.

I have judged at local and national tournaments.

Kenan Anderson Paradigm

NOTE FOR MINNEAPPLE: I have not been judging on the circuit at all this year before this and have mostly been working with novices/Middle schoolers so y’all need to SLOW DOWN A LOT (LIKE 60% SPEED). I WILL NOT FLOW OFF OF SPEECH DOCS OR GO BACK TO FILL THEM IN. I’ll say SLOW 2-3 times but will not vote off arguments I didn’t catch or did not understand because they were too fast.


MN Locals – 1

LARP – 1

Ks – 2/3 (high theory def 3)

Non-topical – 3/4 (high theory def 4)

Theory – 3 (I’m down with T-framework and real abuse)

Tricks - 5

LOGISTICS: start an email chain plz. also if you're one of those hip new kids who read DAs on case DON'T it's confusing and bad for both of us. Anything with a link chain should be an off case

Short Version: Go like 60% speed, I flow on paper and do not backflow or look at speech docs unless their is an evidence challenge. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or don't catch if you're going too fast. so high theory or complex ID politics K's are risky and if you read them EXPLAIN it basic terms. LARP was mostly my thing. Not a fan of petty theory. I think Non-T affs tend to need better explanations for why they should win. I don't know a lot about phil.

Long Version: I debated for 4 years at Apple Valley highschool in Minnesota. I debated on the circuit my last three years and qualified to TOC my senior year. I'm now a student at NYU.

CX: CX is important, but I think I have a lower tolerance for shady, dodgy, or annoying CX habits. 9/10 debaters know what their opponent is trying to ask and just dodge the question. That doesn't impress me as a judge and will earn you low speaks. Don't hide in CX answer questions.

Speed: I debated on the circuit but I was HORRIBLE at flowing speed in part because debaters are super unclear. You seriously should slow down a noticeable amount if I'm your judge because unlike when I was a competitior I won't flow off your speech doc. And I won't go back to look at it if I don't understand the K or whatever. If I don't understand it when you read it, I'm not going to let your cards win the round for you after the 2AR.

Kritiks: I read a fair amount of soft left kritiks my senior year. I never read, but got fairly familiar with kritiks such as Wilderson, black nihilism, ableism, anthro. I've never heard a habeas viscus kritik I understood (not saying it can't be done, it just hasn't yet). Open and have a base level knowledge of model minority but definitely will need a little more heavy explanation on it. Same goes for high theory kritiks. EXPLAIN THE LINKS AND THE ALT.

phil: was never really my thing beyond reading util and answering Kant, so you'll need to explain more (side note: did run a testimony aff at camp once that i thought was really good)

Theory/T: I almost never read this my senior year. While I think there are times for theory, A) prove real abuse B) be slower/clearer than other ares C) weigh. I'm going to quote Chetan Hertzig's paradigm here because I think he sums up my views well "I will vote on theory that is actually justified (as in, you couldn't have answered the position without it, or there was something about the opponent's strategy that made it impossible for you to win without theory). Is that subjective? You bet. Is there a brightline? Probably not. Don't like this view? Don't pref me."

Truth testing: never liked it or understood it????

Non-Topical Affs: I prefer critical discussion of the topic. I wrote one of these but never read it in high school. I faced these a lot my senior year, and never read T or FWK. That being said I think a lot of non-topical affs don't provide a clear enough argument as for why to vote for them. I think there are also lots of good arguments for why non-topical affs aren't good. BUT PLEASE IF YOU READ T ACTUALLY MAKE ARGUMENTS INTERACTING WITH THE AFF AND SPECIFICALLY THE ROB. Overall I think these debates are often really hard to resolve so please spend extra time articulating why you should get the ballot even if you don't defend the resolution. (Side note: I've seen an increasing trend of affs that try to find the slimmest link to the topic, while obviously not really being topical, I don't understand this or see the advantage) In short, simply reading arguments in the AC that are true, doesn't win you the ballot, you need to explain what voting for the affirmative does.

LARP: Yes. Do it. My favorite. Things to know, I probably know more about politics than you, and am an econ major. I think good counterplans and PICs are the way to win basically every round. (I read PICs all the time)

Disclosure: True arg, disclose, and be reasonable about it. Winning that you shouldn't have to disclose will usually be an uphill battle with me.

Tricks: don't. ever. please.

Jordana Bales Paradigm

LD Debate Overview-- Judging for Bronx Science at the 2019 Columbia Invitational

I am newer to judging LD but have experience judging other forms of debate. Make every argument clear and tell me why it is important! Why should I vote for you?

No spreading. I do not have a problem with it on principle. I just will not be able to follow your argument. Please be clear in your articulation. Don’t use a ton of debate jargon/buzzwords- explain what you’re trying to say in your own words and make it clear. This goes for both policy and critical oriented debaters.

Argument-Specific (I prefer LD oriented traditional arguments)

Critical affs- very unfamiliar. Run them if you have NOTHING else, but be sure you explain yourself VERY clearly.

Neg arguments:
Disad- Explain the story/scenario of how the aff causes a specific impact and why that impact is the most important. I prefer you use traditional impact calculus in your framing.
Counterplan- Provide a competitive counterplan and explain the NET BENEFITS of why the counterplan is better than the aff
Topicality- Prove the aff is untopical and tell me why it’s important
Kritik- Unfamiliar- explain every argument clearly. I strongly advise you not to run one. If you chose to run a K, narrow the argument down to the impacts of the K.

Biren Dhulia Paradigm

I am a parent judge who has judged LD before at local tournaments. I will try my best to evaluate circuit-style arguments, just make sure you explain everything clearly and give me reasons to vote for you. No spreading or debate jargon please.

Bhavya Dhulia Paradigm

I am a parent judge who has judged LD before at local tournaments. I will try my best to evaluate circuit-style arguments, just make sure you explain everything clearly and give me reasons to vote for you. No spreading or debate jargon please.

Zoe Ewing Paradigm

Hi! I did LD for 4 years and graduated in 2017, going to TOC twice and clearing there as a senior. I coached Byram Hills for two years. I've also worked at camps every summer since graduating, as Co-Assistant Director of NSD Philly 2019 and as a lab leader at NSD Flagship 2017-2019, TDC 2018, and VBI LA I 2017.

Email: Please put me on email chains!


I have no preference as to what you do with your speech time as long as your arguments have warrants and some framing as to why they're relevant. Don't assume I’m familiar with any dense literature and clearly explain the ballot implications of every argument.

I will aim to be as non-interventionist as possible and will vote on almost* any argument as long as it a) is not abhorrent and b) contains a logical warrant. Examples of arguments I would not vote on include "racism/sexism/homophobia good" (because those are abhorrent) or "the sky is blue so affirm" (because that lacks a logical warrant).

*I've added a couple of exceptions, scroll down to the "other notes" section to see them.

Please slow down on interpretations, advocacy/framing mechanism texts, and author names. I don't check speech docs in round, so don't bank on me reading along with your speech. I only check speech docs if some detail is contested or if it's my fault that I miss something.

I also believe strongly in trigger warnings for graphic narratives or discussions of particularly sensitive issues. I am fine stopping rounds in instances where a debater is unable to debate due to triggering material--please let me know if this happens. I expect the debater who failed to give a trigger warning to concede the round in such instances.

These should never be relevant because I will never use a default if an argument is made on either side of the issue—the defaults are only here for the (hopefully rare) case when no debater makes a single argument on some important framing issue.

  • Truth testing over comparing worlds
  • Competing interps over reasonability—I also have no idea how I’d evaluate a “gut check” reasonability brightline so please don’t ask me to gut check. It would probably not work out in your favor.
  • Drop the arg on theory, drop the debater on topicality
  • No RVIs (and if the RVI is won, I meets do not trigger RVIs)
  • Metatheory before theory; T and theory on the same layer
  • I don't have a default side for presumption. In the absence of any offense left in the round and no presumption arguments made, I would vote for the person who had better strategy/technical skill/argument quality (in other words, the person I would give higher speaks to).
  • I don't think a default for whether Ks or theory should come first in the abstract is possible since they're both just pre-fiat arguments about what debate should look like. I'd default to whichever position indicts the other probably, but these positions frequently indict each other, so weighing really matters here. Just make those meta-level framing arguments and avoid chicken-and-egg debates.

Important note on defaults: If both debaters carry out the debate under some shared framing assumption that was not argued for, I will use that shared assumption as my default rather than these (i.e. if both debaters collapse to theory shells in their 2NR and 2AR but forget to read a voter, I would act as if a voter had been read rather than intervene, cross all theory off the flow, and vote for some random 1AR substance extension).

Other Notes

  • Please be ready to debate when you walk into the room – this means pre-flowing during your opponent's prep if you need to and having the AC speech doc ready to send.
  • I end up judging a lot of rounds that result in determining the validity of very short arguments made early in rounds that end up mattering much more later in the round (e.g. spikes). These often rely on making judgments on the weight of each argument on a somewhat arbitrary basis. I do everything I can to evaluate the round in a non-interventionist manner, but the burden is on debaters to prevent situations in which intervention could occur. If you plan to muddle rounds to sufficiently confuse your opponent to win, please ensure that you are not also confusing your judge to the point where I cannot easily trace your path to the ballot.
  • To be more specific about the previous point, if a round has two contradictory spikes that indict each other and one debater wins one spike and the other debater wins the other, I will default to argument quality/strength of link weighing. There is no way to be absolutely objective about this, so please interact your arguments!
  • NEW: I will not vote on "evaluate the theory debate after the [insert speech]" if the argument is made in the speech mentioned in the spike. For example, I won't vote on "evaluate the theory debate after the 2nr" if it's made in the 2nr. This is because any answer to the spike is technically a theory argument, making it unclear if even evaluating answers to the argument is legitimate. I will also not vote on this argument in any speech absent a clear articulation of what constitutes the theory debate and just generally have a low threshold for responses.
  • I require theory violations to be verifiable. I’ve seen rounds where people lied about whether a position is broken or whether something was on the wiki. Just provide screenshots please! If someone makes an I meet to an unverifiable shell with no verification (i.e. a disclosure shell without screenshots or a coin flip shell that's just word of mouth), I default to the I meet being true (innocent until proven guilty).
  • I won’t go to someone’s wiki to check a disclosure violation myself—that’d be like looking up a definition on T.
  • Flash/email everything you read off your computer to your opponent and judges! People often exclude analytics when they flash stuff and those are sometimes hardest to flow.
  • If I have met you at previous tournaments or camps, please don't make conversation with me that could make your opponent feel excluded. I promise that reminding me that I have judged you before or that you know students I coach will not have any bearing over whether I will vote for you--I would have marked you as a conflict if that were true, and it just leaves your opponent feeling rattled and unsure of whether I will be impartial. I have been on the opposite end of this enough times to know how much it sucks when it looks like your opponent and judge are friends.


I will try to assign speaks based solely on strategic vision, argument quality, and in-round behavior. I will say clear/slow/loud as many times as needed. I do not disclose speaks during the RFD but will if you come to find me individually or email me after the round.

I dock speaks for:

  • Being unnecessarily rude/patronizing/condescending (especially when you’re much better than your opponent)
  • Lack of framing issues
  • Being racist/sexist/homophobic/ableist/etc—this is a given
  • Stealing prep time/not being ready/delaying the round in any way
  • Having gendered language in your pre-written spikes/shells/etc
  • Talking about what I did as a debater or making personal appeals to me, talking about my former teammates, the debaters I coach, or well-known people in the activity--this excludes people with less "rep" or fewer connections in debate and makes everyone uncomfortable

Have fun—this is your activity! Make it a good experience for everyone. I am happy to answer questions about my paradigm before the round or about my decision after the round.

Lolita Gole Paradigm

Although I've been judging for quite awhile now, I am a lay judge, with no background in debate. After 3 years of judging and parenting a varsity LD debater, my technical knowledge has expanded, but is still limited. Know that I will judge you technically to the best of my ability, but ultimately, as judges, we are to award the round to the most convincing debater. Clarity is very important to me as a judge, so I think the round should be kept at a conversational speed (no spreading!).

Rahul Gosain Paradigm

I debated for 4 years for Scarsdale High School. I qualified to TOC twice, reaching octofinals my senior year (2015).

Debate is your activity not mine so I’ll try to avoid injecting my personal biases into my evaluation of arguments. If you’re ahead, even by just a little bit, on the side if an issue I’m not inclined towards, I’ll vote for you. This means that I’m not committed to a particular set of "noninterventionist" norms; I’ll attempt to use the paradigmatic preferences that debaters assume in the round.

The preferences below are for situations in which debaters' assumptions are unclear or there are no arguments resolving a clear disagreement. They are (unless specifically noted) entirely up for debate. In general, I hope to evaluate rounds similarly to Tom Evnen or Mark Gorthey. Here are some basics:

  • I default to truth testing.
  • Theory and topicality are questions of competing interps, but by that I only mean that defense isn't sufficient to win a theory debate. If you have a different understanding, explain how your warrants for the paradigm justify the conclusion you want them to, preferably in the first speech you read it.
  • Theory is drop the argument, topicality is drop the debater.
  • I have an extremely low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments, but I would like some mention of the argument in every speech. The exception is conceded paradigm issues (drop the debater, competing interps, aff gets perms in method debates, etc).
  • No new 2AR RVIs. This is a hard requirement. I don’t see a way to evaluate these debates in a wholly noninterventionist way, so I’d prefer to minimize the direct ballot implications of new 2AR arguments.

I assign speaks mainly based on strategy and argument quality.

  • I'll say slow, clear, or loud as much as necessary – if you're making an effort to adapt, I won't lower speaks, and I will be especially conscious about not penalizing debaters with speech impediments. However, if I don't hear an argument because of a lack of clarity, I won't vote on it.
  • I won’t hesitate to lower speaks for rude post-round behavior like exaggerated expressions of confusion or loudly dropping objects. I believe that post-round discussion is valuable so this deliberately doesn’t apply to questions from the debaters or others who watched the round.

Albert Han Paradigm

Han, Albert

I debated for Bronx Science for three years in LD. Since graduating in June 2012, I have had some experience judging debate tournaments - the last was in 2015/2016. Therefore, consider treating me as someone who’s several tiers above a parent judge.

As for specifics: don’t spread as fast as you can. Speed and clarity are two different things, and I highly value the latter. I was never a big debater of kritiks, theory, and all that other fun stuff, so try not to use them. But if you do, make sure to explain them well. I’ll do my best to accommodate.

Framework is important. So is weighing.

If you have any specific questions, please ask me before the round.

Amiee Harris Paradigm

3 rounds

Not Submitted

Chetan Hertzig Paradigm

5 rounds

EXPERIENCE: I'm the head coach at Harrison High School in New York; I was an assistant coach at Lexington from 1998-2004 (I debated there from 1994-1998), at Sacred Heart from 2004-2008, and at Scarsdale from 2007-2008. I'm not presently affiliated with these programs or their students.

If you're in high school, please just call me Hertzig.

Please include me on the email chain:


CLARITY in both delivery and substance is the most important thing for me. If you're clearer than your opponent, I'll probably vote for you.


- Starting speeches slowly and building speed as you go (rather than starting at top speed)
- Speaking slower than average circuit speed
- Providing an explicit decision-calculus/voting issues
- Explicitly linking to a standard or ROB in speeches, especially rebuttals
- Telling a clear and coherent ballot story
- Weighing between your extensions and your opponent's (not just giving me two non-clashing sets of extensions)
- Reading a whole res aff that defends the topic as a principle
- Having a layered NC and responsive/specific turns off the aff
- Making topical critical arguments/reading Ks that are grounded in the topic lit
- Comparing evidence and weighing
- Giving structured speeches
- Using good word economy


- Using profanity in the round. I don't care what your purpose is; it's not necessary.
- Using ad homs of any kind against your opponent (e.g., commenting on their race, clothing, or practices as a debater). Find a non-personal way of making the argument.
- Reacting non-verbally when your opponent is speaking (e.g., violently shaking your head, making faces, waving your arms, etc.). It's rude, unpersuasive, and unnecessary.
- Indicting or insulting an opponent's team or coach in round (e.g., "It's no surprise [team name] is going for T this round")
- Sitting during CX and/or speeches unless you're physically unable to stand


For the most part, I want to see a substantive round about the topic. My conception of what counts as topical argumentation is based on what's in the topic literature.

If, after the round, I don't feel that I can articulate what you wanted me to vote for, I'm probably not going to vote for it.

Speed: Slow down, articulate/enunciate, and inflect - no monotone spreading, bizarre breathing patterns, or foot-stomping. I will say "slow" and/or "clear," but if I have to call out those words more than twice in a speech, your speaks are going to suffer. I'm fine with debaters slowing or clearing their opponents if necessary. I think this is an important check on ableism in rounds.

Theory: I don't view theory the way I view other arguments on the flow. I will intervene against theory that's clearly unnecessary/frivolous, even if you're winning the line-by-line on theory. I will vote on theory that is actually justified (as in, you couldn't have answered the position without it, or there was something about the opponent's strategy that made it impossible for you to win without theory). Is that subjective? You bet. Is there a brightline? Probably not. Don't like this view? Don't pref me.

Framework: If you and your opponent agree on a FW, great. If not, make the FW debate relatively short (i.e., not 4 minutes of a 7 minute speech). Also, please explain the philosophical concepts you're using instead of assuming that I know them. I probably don't.

Policy Arguments: I dislike generic politics DAs and extinction impacts on topics that clearly don't link to them. If you want to run those impacts on a topic about nuclear weapons, go for it. If the topic's about compulsory voting, I'll be very receptive to good defensive answers from the aff.

Ks and Non-T Arguments: I generally prefer TOPICAL critical arguments, but I'm okay with non-topical affs if you make it super-clear why you had to be non-topical to read them. Otherwise, I tend to think a TVA will solve.

Disclosure Theory: I'll vote for this if I think it's won on the flow, but I'm not a huge fan of rounds that come down to this.

Tricks: Shut the front door! Who are you?! (In other words, "no.")

Extensions: I need to hear the claim, warrant, and impact in an extension. Don't just extend names and claims.

"Flex Prep": Different people use these words to mean different things. I am fine with you asking clarification questions of your opponent during prep time. I am not okay with you ending CX early and taking the rest of the time as prep time.

Other Stuff: Link to a standard, burden, or clear role of the ballot. Signpost. Give me voting issues or a decision calculus of some kind. WEIGH. Be nice. And stand up.

To research more stuff about life career coaching then visit Life coach.

Wesley Hu Paradigm

My email is

I debated for Millburn High School from 2012 to 2016. I'll vote on anything so long as a semblance of a warrant for it exists, and I understand it. Debate is a game of arguments, so my job is not simply to evaluate claims. “The sky is blue thus affirm” is never going to be sufficient for my ballot, even if conceded.

General: Please weigh, and be responsive to your opponent. Absent explicit comparison between two arguments that justify directly contradictory conclusions, I will not hesitate to intervene and decide myself which is better warranted. I have a really low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments, especially if you’re the aff. But, if you need an argument to win the round, you should at least mention that it exists. Otherwise, it doesn't make much sense for me to reward you for a winning strategy that includes the argument. An argument is new if it would have been directly responsive to your opponent’s arguments in a prior speech. I will ignore new arguments in late rebuttals, but new implications or weighing are not necessarily new arguments.

I only care about execution. Do what you do best. But if your position is one that you think I’ll be unfamiliar with or have a hard time understanding, please slow down and emphasize explanation.

Defaults: The fundamental principle guiding how I judge debates is to vote for who did the better debating; this is the principle I default to and it encompasses how I treat rounds. Consider what I should do in this scenario: the aff gets up, declares "the standard is maximizing expected well-being," and reads 6 minutes of util advantages. The neg responds with 7 minutes of disadvantages, turns and defense on case, evidence comparison, and impact calc. The entire debate is contention weighing. My intuition tells me that I should evaluate which debater won the most offense under util. There are an infinite number of assumptions implicit in any conversation. We agree about some things just by virtue of being there and speaking with each other. We debate about the essential identified points of contestation.

Thus, if I need to default on any issues, I'll default to whatever both debaters seem to implicitly agree.

Speaks: I will say clear, slower, or louder. Please be audible since I can’t vote on arguments I don’t flow. I assign speaks based on a combination of strategy (understanding how layers in a round interact, and collapsing to the layer(s) that is/are important) and efficiency (how effectively you engage in the line by line arguments within said layers), and only those two things – notably, I do not consider how well you speak (not what this activity is about), or how good your arguments are (it would be biased, and debaters shouldn't have to conform to a judge's stylistic preferences). Do whatever you want in round – stand, sit, eat, do pushups, etc., as long as you're not mean or exclusionary; if and only if you are, I will dock speaks, and I will do so significantly. Also, just please don't be mean or exclusionary.

Cyrus Jackson Paradigm

5 rounds


Policy/LD rounds


Please watch speed and make sure that all arguments and evidence are being clearly articulated. I recommend slowing down on taglines for evidence being read and slowing down when making theory arguments, providing analytics, and giving an overview such that these arguments can be flown effectively.

Adjudicating rounds

Policy rounds are more straightforward in terms of evaluating how the round went. I generally recommend that Aff teams thoroughly explain their plan's solvency mechanisms and plainly articulate the internal links between their inherency, harms/impacts, and solvency before the first affirmative rebuttal. Affirmative teams should generally aim to read three advantages.

I recommend that neg teams in more straightforward policy rounds leverage a few policy strategies against it and hone in on one by the 2NR with a strong link/internal link story and impact calculus. This does not give negative teams free rein to run off case positions for the sake of it, especially if those arguments are contradicting to a degree. If NEG teams run counter plans, they should have a net benefit and be somewhat competitive with the affirmative being debated. Disadvantages should have a strong uniqueness and link and be believably impacted out.

I try not to intervene in more straightforward policy rounds, often weighing the impacts of both positions using arguments and impact calculus given on the flow.

Kritikal Rounds/ Soft Left Affs/ Advocacies, Narrative, and Performance

I am open to hearing 'non-traditional affirmatives' or performance advocacies. Sign Posting helps a lot in these rounds, as these rounds often involve theory, framework, and somewhat complicated overviews. The team running these arguments will need some robust framework and analytics that explains exactly why a policy is not best or unable to solve for the issue in the squo they advocate for/against, how advocating for/against said cause realigns the debate space, and how this specific discourse will shape society and reality. I am less inclined to vote for kritiks that rely on 'reject the 1AC' as a solvency mechanism or kritiks that rely on poorly explained or ineffective alternatives, especially when the opposing team challenges the solvency of these kritiks.

I recommend that NEG teams do more than run topicality and framework when going against KAFFS and Performance Affs. Generating offense by running a Kritik, counter advocacy, or PIC may be a better way to combat these kinds of cases. Many KAFF teams are often able to effectively handle topicality and framework args, so being able to leverage offense through other avenues may be more effective.

As far as structuring these KAFF and performance aff rounds, I recommend the affirmative team read an advocacy statement/kritik alt/ and try not to change their advocacy/position in the round. It can be difficult to understand performance affs and kaffs, nevermind flowing and evaluating them. An advocacy statement really helps judges to focus on the important issues in the round. Moreover, it allows the opposing team to better clash with the case.

Structure and Rules

For the most part, I view speech time and speaker positions as being fixed and necessary to make the debate accessible and fair. Even if both teams agree on a different set of 'rules' for the round, I may still intervene and suggest the default speech times and speaker positions so as to not interfere with the logistics of the tournament. When teams are not in agreement on what the rules of debate are regarding speech time and speaker positions or are fine with the established rules for speech time and speaker positions, I will uphold the default rules and will refuse to flow after time has been called.

I don't flow Cross-X and won't evaluate any arguments brought up in Cross-X unless it is brought up in a speech later in the debate and thoroughly impacted out.

I am open to all theory arguments, as long as they are explained and (most importantly) impacted out.

I will only vote for Topicality arguments if the NEG team spends the whole 2NR on topicality and a majority of the 1NR explaining the violation and the role of the ballot with a reference to the wording of the plan and arguments/methodology in case.

Ashley Kim Paradigm

8 rounds

I debated for four years for Timothy Christian School and graduated in 2014.


What makes me really happy and engaged in rounds: Cases with a strong, unique framework, and that tell a story or paint a picture that appeals to emotion, logic, and intuition. Debaters who extend their frameworks, actively impact arguments back to them, and use their frameworks to exclude their opponents arguments when possible.

What makes me really sad and bored in rounds: Generic util frameworks like "maximizing well-being", "maximizing happiness", "societal well-being", which lead to debaters to try to cover too much in the round and then eventually mutually agree implicitly or explicitly that whoever achieves X wins the round.


I value substance and clash (engaging with and actually addressing the warrant of your opponent's argument, weighing, etc.)
I'll evaluate any argument or position as long as it's well-warranted and you give me a working method of evaluation.

Theory is fine as long as you prove that there is actual abuse in the round.

I don't want a line-by-line off-time roadmap. Give me a general roadmap (e.g. "Framework, AC, NC") then signpost (e.g. "Contention 1 subpoint A", "the Neg f/w", "their second contention", etc.) as you debate.

Please confirm with your opponent that you're both okay with flex-prep, evidence sharing, etc. before the round starts.

**Varsity LD**

I have not judged varsity much in the past couple years. It is safe to assume that I have little to no familiarity with circuit arguments. If you run circuit-type arguments, I will do my best to evaluate your position, but it is your burden to be absolutely clear about what is happening in the round. I can evaluate new information, but I don't know all the technicalities associated with circuit arguments.

**All LD**

Please give me a method of evaluation for the round, and link contention level arguments into whichever method you think is winning in the round. Please weigh arguments. I'll flow new arguments and analyses in second rebuttal speeches but I won't vote on them. I generally accept new cross applications, since those involve pre-existing arguments.

I assign speaker points on a 25-30 point scale. Speaker points will reflect how I perceived your ability to make and extend effective arguments, and strategize overall. (25 - completely unprepared, 26 - below average, 27 - average, 28 - good, 29 - very well-done, 30 - excellent; offensive arguments may go below a 25; I don't believe I've ever given lower than a 26 before, and my average is probably around a 28; I try to be a little more lenient with novice speaks, but this doesn't always happen; I also try to assign speaks relatively, based on previous rounds within the tournament)

Good arguments and extensions include a claim, warrant(s), and impact(s). I'll give some leeway to aff extensions, but they must include more than the label ("the value criterion," "Contention 2," "the impact," "[insert card name]"). If an argument is dependent on another argument, you should extend all relevant parts to make your point. If you're the Neg debater and have ample time to do so, I expect a thorough extension of all relevant points. If you're the Aff, please at least extend the claims of the underlying points and explain the important one as needed.

If you are a more experienced debater obviously facing a novice or non-native English speaker, and I detect abuse (spreading, tricks, etc.), this will probably reflect in your speaks.

I won't say you can't spread, but just know that the faster you go and less clear you are, the greater risk you run of me not understanding your arguments. The faster you go, the more I'm just listening for key words and less I'm actually trying to understand what you're saying. If you are going to spread, start slow then speed up. Slow down for tags and card names and anything you really want me to understand/write down. I'll say clear if I don't understand you, and if I say it twice you should consider permanently slowing down.

Recently debaters have started sharing cases via email/USB? This is fine, but don't bother asking me to share your case with me in advance. I'll evaluate the round based on my interpretation of what happened in speeches - if both debaters are clear, my interpretation should be pretty close to what actually happened in the round. I only call for evidence after the round if I feel I need it to make my decision, but this doesn't happen often. If I couldn't understand your evidence/I didn't evaluate it the way you wanted me to, you probably weren't as clear in the round as I needed you to be.

Overall, I'm pretty technical (or I try my best to be at least), but when the round is unclear or very close, I'll probably end up looking for the easiest way to evaluate and judge the round. With that said, if you can appeal to both being technical and giving me an easy way to judge the round, not only will I probably consider your arguments more positively, it will probably also reflect well in your speaks.

Side note: You can ask me to time your speeches/prep for you, but based on experience, I've learned that I am generally a poor time-keeper. I highly prefer debaters to time themselves and each other, and especially keep track of prep-time. If you at least want me to write down your remaining prep time, I will do that for you, just let me know.


I've judged PF many times now in the past couple years; I understand PF debate is supposed to appeal to persuading the general public, but like LD, I evaluate the round pretty technically. I also get that there isn't exactly a framework structure in PF, but at least give me some sort of method of evaluation. After all, there must be something that you're trying to achieve. So make that goal explicit, and link back to it throughout the round.

The problem I've had with most PF rounds is that clash/weighing is done poorly, so the round ends up unnecessarily close, making it very difficult for me to make a decision. Please, as best as you can, don't let this happen!

As with LD, I am not a good time keeper, and am even worse with PF. Everyone should keep track of their own time and each other's time.


I will dock speaks for unprofessional dress. I'm fine with casual professional dress and I'm pretty reasonable overall, but you should not come tournaments in sweats and sneakers. If you have special circumstances that prevented you from dressing appropriately and you're worried that I am going to dock your speaks, you can notify me before the round - pass me a note or something if it's a private issue.

Benjamin Koh Paradigm

4 rounds

I am on the planning committee for the Texas Debate Collective and the director for NSD Philadelphia I'm a MA candidate in American Studies where I'm working on the intersection between Asian-American and Disability Studies. I coach Loyola JC, Bronx Science YW, and Bergen County EL.


  1. The round belongs to its debaters, not the judge, so it's the job of the debaters to tell me who won, not the other way around. I do my best to evaluate rounds in terms of least intervention, which means I search first for weighing as a means to scale what the key issues are, then examine the arguments thereof. The biases and defaults in this paradigm are meant to help you, not to restrict what you want to do.
  2. If you use the word "retarded" as an equivalence to the word "stupid" or "bad" without acknowledgement (that is, an apology upon saying it), I will drop you

Evidence Ethics/ Clipping Cards/ etc.

  1. Evidence ethics is an argument to be made in the debate round. I will not stop the round because of an accusation of people miscutting or misusing evidence, for there is a fair academic debate to be had.
  2. Card clipping: I will review recordings if available. To accuse someone of clipping cards will cause the round to stop. I'll decide using whatever material I have to figure out if somebody has clipped. If I decide a debater was clipping, I will give that person a L20. If the person accusing is wrong, for I have decided that clipping did not occur, I will give the accuser a L20. I have never judged an accusation of card clipping. I'm not as good at flowing as other judges are, and will invariably give somebody the benefit of the doubt that they did not clip cards.


  1. I evaluate speaker points on strategy, arg quality, time allocation, and if you are respectful and nice. When did nice become equated with weakness? I am not impressed by overt-aggression or ad hominen styles of debate. Micro versions of this include "You should've listened in lab more!" or "I have no idea what you're thinking!" Come on. If it's nasty to say to somebody outside of debate it absolutely is in the debate round. Kindness should matter more.
  2. What I do not factor in, however, is literal speaking clarity, efficiency, etc.
  3. I don't consider the number of times I say clear or slow into speaker points
  4. I will not evaluate arguments about "not calling blocks" or what not. Similarly, you can't just tell me to give you a 30.
  5. I won't give you higher speaks if you end your speech early- nor will I sign the ballot before the end of the 2AR. I don't know why judges do this. This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
  6. I don't find stand up 2ARs or 2NRs perceptually dominant at all

Post- Round

  1. I think post-round discussion is valuable. However, if debater A has just lost the round, and in A’s questioning of the judge, opponent B decides to comment and enter into this conversation, I will drop opponent B’s speaker points and get angry in the process
  2. If I sit and you are the winner (that is, the other 2 judges voted for you), and would like to ask me extensive questions, I will ask that you let the other RFDs be given and then let the opponent leave before asking me more questions. I'm fine answering questions, but just to be fair the other people in the room should be allowed to leave.

Ram Krishnan Paradigm

Please do not speed read. Talk slowly and clearly. A little fast is fine by me. State your contentions as clearly as possible.

Nathan Lam Paradigm

I debated for three years on the circuit at San Marino HS and acquired a measly three bids. I am now judging as a member of Columbia Debate Society.

This is my third year out of the activity so I am pretty rusty with speed and unfamiliar with whatever the current LD topic is, so clarity and articulation are always helpful.

I will evaluate debates on an offense/defense paradigm and will submit the ballot that is most persuasive to me. Building a compelling ballot story with a correct depiction of what actually happened in the debate and thoughtful weighing is deeply appreciated.


Make the impact relevant to a framework.


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


I will evaluate non-frivolous theory. I prefer a fleshed-out and structured shell.

Jianyu Lan Paradigm

5 rounds

I am a parent judge, I would like to judge a traditional debate.

Please do not read any progressive/circuit arguments in front of me (ex. K's, Theory/T, LARP, dense phil, etc.).

I would like you to have a clear value and value criterion when debating.

I will judge you on speaking skills, perceptual dominance, and content of your cases and rebuttal speeches.

Be nice, clear, and professional.


Michelle Li Paradigm

Hey! I debated for Hunter College High School (NY) for four years (graduated in 2018), debated entirely on the national circuit in the northeast, and qualled to the TOC my senior year. I am now a sophomore at NYU and still do debate and am a 2N with Pacy Yan!

*UPDATE 3/9: I have now taken the hot Cheetos policy off my paradigm. Rest in peace.*

Tl; dr: feel free to read anything. As long as you have warrants, don’t rely on your lingo, slow down on plan/interp/standard/etc. texts, make your links/abuse stories as specific as possible, weigh, and are not blatantly offensive (sexist/racist/ableist/homophobic/etc.), we should be good. I like unique arguments of all "types." I have preferences on how you run certain arguments, but ultimately, it is your round, and you should go for your best/most comfortable arguments. I will take the route of least intervention. If you have any questions, feel free to fb message or email me!!

Email: I’ll only flow along with the speech doc for names of cards, but won’t rely on it so that I don’t miss extempted args. Compiling the speech doc is prep but flashing isn’t (unless it takes you a suspiciously long time to flash).

People I coach: Hunter SK, Roslyn WB, Brookline AD, Byram Hills TD

Other conflicts: Hunter, Acton-Boxborough ML, Roslyn AG, Mission San Jose SC, Acton-Boxborough CX, Acton-Boxborough AV

Things (I say "things" because some of you think these are arguments but they really are not) I will not vote on, and will dock your speaks for:

-Sexual assault doesn't matter/rape good/some other version of that -- I will actually stop listening to part of/the rest of the speech if you say this.

-Any version of "oppression doesn't exist/is good" (this is not the same thing as extinction outweighs)

-Unnecessarily bringing up your opponent's private life as a reason to vote for you -- especially if the implications are homophobic/sexist/etc.

Misc. Defaults (very, very loose, and only apply if no one makes any arguments in round) and other stuff:

-Tech>>>truth. I also think the burden is on the debaters to point out misrepresented/powertagged evidence, so I won't interfere (this could change as I keep judging though).


-Ethical confidence

-The more creative you are/entertaining the round is, the better your speaks will be

-You can ask questions after the round or send me a fb message/email about my RFD, but if you or your 100 coaches grill me aggressively, I will change your speaks to a 0 and walk out of the room


K’s: I’ve realized that I have a higher threshold and more preferences for K’s than other arguments, so don’t just read one in front of me because I used to read them. I read everything from identity politics to high theory throughout my career, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to explain your K in simple terms. I also want K debates to be more tech.

-Please know your K lit. If you botch it I will be sad :(, and you will also be sad about your speaks.

-I evaluate the ROB similarly to a normative FW debate. You need to be winning your specific ROB+offense linking back to it for me to grant you the K. This does not mean engage in Oppression Olympics — rather, tell me why combatting colonialism controls the internal link to liberating womxn, why analyzing media is key to the res, etc. Also, please don’t read a performance without justifying why that’s important in the ROB/somewhere in the method because I?? Don’t?? Know?? Why?? You’re?? Reading it?????? And will probably ignore it. If there are 2 competing ROB’s and both debaters pretend that that debate’s a wash, I will be frustrated.

-I think methods debate is dying because people don’t card solvency anymore. I’m more willing than you think to pull the trigger on presumption. AFF’s need to do something (this can be as vague as utopian politics or be hyper-specific to the topic — just don’t rant about how the world is horrible for 6 minutes.)

-Please have specific dis-ads to the perms (preferably ones that aren’t just generated off the links), and respond to each perm individually.

-I like brief overviews on the K if you’re running one, especially if your lit is really dense

-One of my favorite authors is Denise Ferreira da Silva; if you card and run her lit correctly I will give you no less than a 29.5

Performance: totally cool with it. I read these and I like unique methods. Again, just warrant why it's important in the ROB. Trigger warnings are good.

Non-T AFF’s: go for them. Please have reasons as to why we should reject the res/interpret it differently. More thoughts on these in the “non-T AFF’s/K’s vs T/theory” section.

Theory: I really couldn’t care less about how frivolous the shell is, just slow down on interps and weigh standards

-I won't default any voters; you should be reading them. If you don't, I probably won't vote on the shell.

-Semantic I meet’s are, of course, cool :) but they don't trigger RVI's

-I tend to think disclosure theory is true, and will like you more if you disclose. That being said, if you win why disclosure is bad, I will vote for you. If you’re running disclosure theory, please have a screenshot in the speech doc/ready if I call for it.

T: I like T, I suppose, especially against non-T AFF's that don't do anything/arbitrarily say fuck the topic.

Non-T AFF’s/K’s vs. Theory/T:

-I don’t have a preference/bias as to which comes first; you should be doing this weighing.

-I really dislike generic fairness bad/theory and T are oppressive dumps. I would much prefer you interact with the standards or articulate why that specific shell is oppressive. That being said, if you do win an impact turn on theory/T, I will vote on it.

-The more specific your interp is to the AFF/K, the happier I will be, and the higher your speaks will be. I would also be much happier if you linked some parts of the shell back as offense under the ROB instead of excluding the entire K.


-I like these! I tend to find these to be pretty funny.

-I don't care if you're sketchy about them in CX.

-Please number your analytics

-Love creative/trolly a priori’s

-I will not be amused if you read these against a K AFF and go “haha! Oppression doesn’t exist!!!” I will give you a L0 (to clarify, I don’t care if you read these against K AFF’s, just don’t be a dick.)

Phil/FW: I’m familiar with the common LD frameworks, but don’t assume that I know your lingo !

-I’m extremely skeptical of epistemic modesty (and honestly not even sure how it really works ngl)

LARP: please please please weigh!!

-I think LARP debates can be really good but half of the time they're not :(

-I like unique plans/CP's/PIC's/etc.

-I've realized I'm kind of bad at understanding what CP's do (esp. if it's some other policy), so err on the side of more explanation

-Bonus points if your util fw isn’t just Bostrom/Goodin/Woller/Sunstein/Paterson/Sinnott-Armstrong/Bryant/Coverstone/Sinhababu/Yudkowsky

-Love plan flaw

Anna Lokey Paradigm

I debated LD all four years of high school. I am now a senior at Columbia studying Philosophy and Political Science. In no particular order, here’s some of my preferences:

  1. Some arguments matter more than others! Weigh your arguments!!!!!!!!

  2. Don’t be snippy to your opponent during CX. It’s literally their job to ask you the tough questions. Answer them graciously.

  3. I'll believe anything that goes untouched on the flow.

  4. If you want to spread, by all means, go ahead. But keep in mind that I’ll be focusing more effort into trying to understand the words you’re saying rather than following your arguments. And that doesn’t bode well for the speaker points, sis.

  5. Roadmapping and signposting is always appreciated tbqh.

  6. I LOVE a good value debate. At the end of the day, it’s your value+criterion versus your opponent’s. I wanna hear that discourse!!!!!!! I don’t wanna have to figure out your overarching arguments because you used all your time debating the minutiae of contentions.

  7. Don’t cite a philosopher if you’re not knowledgeable of their work and prepared to fully contextualize their arguments with yours. I will know if you just read a quote and decided to throw that in your case. Trust. This is definitely my personal bias coming through, but it still makes me HARD CRINGE when I think back to how many times I cited Locke haphazardly and 100% incorrectly back in the day.

*****My biggest regret from HS debate is that the entire time I was neurotic and out for BLOOD. Debating is fun. Let’s have fun! Does that sound sincere? I'm trying to sound sincere.

Marciarose Long Paradigm

5 rounds

I enjoy a substantive debate that has real clash versus unwarranted ideas or ill-linked impacts.

Also, I look for a strong theoretical framework that provides warrants for deontological or consequential arguments. The framework debate should focus on who provides the best value and criterion, not who better achieves them (that should be left for the contention level arguments). Linking to an opponent's framework is completely acceptable if the debate can better achieve it at the contention level.

Strong argumentation begins with the framework but is ultimately won or lost in how strong the contentions and refutations of the opponents' contentions are. Cards/evidence/theories are crucial to developing the contentions and proving the framework true or impactful. I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that LD does not require any evidence. If a consequentialist or utilitarian claim is made, then evidence that supports the claim is crucial to winning the point.

I like meta-ethical debates that ask us to question the nature of morality as it pertains to a resolution and kritiks, but I am not a fan of subtextual, existential arguments that ask us to question our existence or reality in general. I believe there must be some basic assumptions about why we are sitting in a round.

Also, I am not a fan of agenda cases with the warrant that this provides the only forum to advocate for a particular cause such as feminism, racism, etc. I find counterplans, disads, overviews, etc. that are topical to be perfectly legitimate. I am not opposed to nontraditional cases as long as they are substantive and offer a clear weighing mechanism.

I believe that debate is a competitive event, and having its own specialized jargon does not necessarily hurt the event so long as using the jargon does not become the event. I do not mind the use of the terms such as "drop," "extend," "turn," "flow," or "cross-apply," but they should not replace the substance and do not automatically add impacts. I am not big on technical wins, so your opponent dropping a contention or card does not automatically win you the round. I will not intervene: You must impact. You have to do the work: Impact and link back to the value structure and/or provide me with a clear weighing mechanism for the round.

If the case is truth-testing, you may only need to prove the resolution true or false to win; however, most rounds are won by not only refuting opponents' points, but extending your own points or turning your opponents' points into offense for your side of the debate.

Although I do not mind a brisk pace, I have a low appreciation for policy-style spewing. Moreover, I shouldn't have to read your cards to understand what you are running. I am familiar with many philosophers, but my ballot is contingent on how well you use, analyze, extend, link, and weigh evidence and theory (not on how well I read it).

Lastly, I do not value a policy theory shell. If your opponent is being abusive, please just explain why the burden, observation, or framework is abusive. There is no need to give interpretation, standards, violations, and voters, etc. I definitely will not entertain theory shells on time skews, so don't waste your time.

I love LD: A fast-paced round with lots of clash, impacting, turns, and clear voters is exhilirating!! Have fun in the round!!

Henry Magowan Paradigm

5 rounds

I debated for 3 years in high school on the incredibly lay Colorado circuit, so as a judge I'm accustomed to value clash being held as the top priority in rounds and have less experience with kritiks and theory. That said, I encourage unique approaches to the resolution and am willing to vote on almost anything so long as you clearly warrant your argument in a way that can be explained as an rfd. I suggest that for any strategies you may employ that include theory debate or kritiks, you spend ample time on concise explanation.

Joseph Millman Paradigm

I competed for four years in Lincoln Douglas debate, graduating high school in 2013. I debated on the national circuit.

As of Columbia 2019, I have judged once in the past two years, so I will not be up to date on recent trends in debate. I do not evaluate embedded clash. Arguments must be clearly warranted and impacted. I enjoy strategic debate. I do not have a preference for a particular style.

Stuart Milstein Paradigm

Not Submitted

Linda Mohlenhoff Paradigm

5 rounds

I am an active coach and advisor for Forensic Debate and Speech with 10 years experience judging tournaments at the local, state, and national levels. I am familiar with requirements at each level of competition, novice through varsity, for high school students. My original training and education was as an English teacher at the secondary level (NYS Eng/Language Arts, 7-12). In that capacity the importance of developing skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, analysis and research, was the focus of training. When debating, the mastery of clear communication skills, and the ability to present a well supported, convincing argument come alive. A strong argument will demonstrate sharp critical thinking and analysis of an issue; these are key elements in both Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas debate. Presenting with clarity and enthusiasm is vital to delivering both affirmative and negative positions. Be aware of your speed: "electronic speed" that does not enhance articulate delivery is not an advantage. Your thoughts, reasoning, and the development of your position are essential. I identify as a diversity enhancing judge and support inclusion. The art of debate is a challenging, highly original, and thought provoking experience for everyone to share.

Linda Mohlenhoff

Tracy Pridgen Paradigm

I'm a lay judge, so I prefer lay cases, no spreading, and a clear articulation of all arguments. Don't assume I have background knowledge on what you're running, I'd rather you explain arguments in-round. If I can't understand you I'll say 'clear' and expect you to slow down. Please read topical cases. Put me on the email chain:

Srivatsav Pyda Paradigm

I debated for Harker from 2014-2017. I mostly read policy arguments. I care a lot about evidence quality. Arguments do not begin at 100% truth. I haven't judged in a while, so for Apple Valley, especially the earlier rounds, please read a little slower.

I don't like preclusion-based arguments. By this I mean arguments that say "x is the root cause of y" or "x argument/framework comes before y framework". These arguments are impact calculus, albeit usually pretty good impact calculus, and do not mean none of the links to y matter. This means I am strongly in favor of epistemic modesty. This does not mean I'm not open to framework debates. It does mean I think a stategy that concedes all of the other side's offense and just answers the framework or impact is very bad.

my email is - add me to the email chain.

If your opponent points out or I find out you didn't disclose (absent outstanding circumstances), I will vote against you.

Fariha Rahman Paradigm

My name is Fariha, I’m a freshman in college and I debated at Brooklyn Tech. I did policy debate in HS but am very comfortable in LD. I read a K aff and Afropess and don't particularly enjoy Framework, but if y'all win on Framework I'll vote for it -they just aren't the most fun debates to watch. Love K debates, not the biggest fan of high theory but I'll vote on it.

I do not care what you read as long as it isn’t offensive but please don’t get caught up in jargon that I won’t understand as I don’t debate anymore.

In the end, just do what you’re good at because those are the debates that will be the best.

On spreading - spreading takes some getting use to and because I haven’t debated in a very long time, I’ve lost a little bit of my ear for spreading, but as long as you start off at a decent speed and build up we’ll be good - just PLEASE be clear

This is very brief but if there are any other questions you have please feel free to email me at and yes please put me on the email chain.

Please be nice, don’t be overly snarky to your opponents and make jokes and engage with one another!

Matthew Simons Paradigm

5 rounds

Hi everyone! My name is Matthew and I’m a sophomore in Columbia College majoring in economics-mathematics. My debate experience primarily consists of undergraduate parliamentary debate, but I did a brief stint at the VBI debate camp and competed off and on in lay debate. Some general rules:

  • High school debate has a lot of bells and whistles but I value core debate skills: round vision, weighing, warranting, logic, etc. If you’re going to run a super dense case, be prepared to actually engage with the warranting / arguments.
  • I don’t read evidence in round because I’ll probably lose track of the round if I try. That being said, make your taglines and author names clear, and make your rebuttals clear as well. Don’t assume I have read your evidence when you make arguments.
  • I have some familiarity with nat-circuit cases, like Ks and theory, but only so much, so if you run those make sure you clearly warrant and weigh points.
  • The fastest speaking speed I can parse through is 2X speed on the Economist’s online magazine, so try not to go faster than that. I’ll still flow but you take substantial risk that I miss points.
  • I’m partial to some cases more than others aka ECON. If you mention credit derivatives I will be very happy. I also really value creative cases, because that makes the round more fun and engaging.

Debate is meant to be a fun activity so don’t let competition get in the way of that! That being said, some find it more accessible than others, so always be respectful and trigger warn cases.

John Staunton Paradigm

UPDATE FOR SCARSDALE: Typing is pretty difficult for me right now, so I'm going to flow with pen and paper over the weekend. If you can bring me computer paper, I'd greatly appreciate it.

I debated for four years at the Bronx High School of Science. I primarily debated on the national circuit and I got a bid in my senior year, while competing in many bid rounds during my sophomore, junior, and senior years. I didn't debate much in my senior year. Since then, I worked at NSD and VBI for 2 summers, coached multiple independent debaters and coached Bronx Science. So far, I have coached 7 bids and 3 kids to the TOC.


Conflicts: Bronx Science, NCSSM AM, Westview/Beaverton Independent RS, American Heritage BG, Sage Hills TG, Lake Highland SL

Short Version: I ran almost all types of arguments throughout my career, so I'll be fine listening to anything. Make sure you weigh back to some sort of framework and compare your arguments. I take the route of least intervention. If you're running a confusing position, please explain it well. Spreading is cool and I will yell "clear." If you have any questions, my email is at the top.

Long Version:
1. Theory/T: I read this extensively during my sophomore and junior years and enjoyed having these debates a lot. I don't default to any voters or paradigms, meaning you will have to justify those yourself. If no voters are read and there are no arguments that tell me to evaluate the shell otherwise, I will evaluate it as a response to whatever argument violated the shell. That being said, if paradigms and voters are conceded in the following speech, it is not necessary to extend it, but at your own risk. If your opponent points out that you didn't extend it and makes arguments as to why that means theory is no longer a voting issue, I will then move on to the next layer. I would prefer it if these debates are based on weighing offense back to each interpretation. I also don't care if you use it as a strategic tool or not. However, if you hit a K, I would prefer you read it as a link to the role of the ballot rather than something that just excludes any and all discussion on their issues. Lastly, asking me to gut check frivolous theory isn't a response to theory, so I will not do that, absent some mechanism telling me what theory shells to "gut check" and why said theory shell fits that description.

2. Kritiks: I read Ks a lot more often later in my career, starting junior year, and I also enjoy these debates a lot. I probably enjoy listening to K debates more than anything else, granted there is comparison and weighing. You should start your later rebuttal speeches with the role of the ballot or other framing arguments. I try to be well read on as much literature as possible, so I know and understand most of the common K arguments on the topic (from identity politics to high theory). However, that does not necessarily mean I, or your opponent, will understand your particular position; so, be sure to explain it well. That does not mean repeating what your tagline says; rather, it means you should explain it in a different way, using simple terminology and concrete examples. These examples don't even have to be real historical occurrences, since you can often relate an argument to some physical scenario (I know what yellow is because it is not any other color). When it comes to making a decision, it is necessary that I understand how each argument functions in round: why it answers your opponent's argument, the relevant advantages and disadvantages, etc. In other words, you should aim to explain your positions in the best way possible, but I will be primarily concerned with the interactions I see on the flow. Non-topical ACs are cool, but I think it's better if they're disclosed. It's hard to have a debate against a case you had no idea would be run and it is impossible to expect that you'll have prep against it absent disclosure. You will not be penalized for not disclosed your non-topical cases and I will not have a bias for disclosure theory in this instance.

3. Framework: Framework debates can be very interesting and have some of the best interaction. Not many debaters opt to do framework debate anymore, which is sad. Make sure you explain how offense functions under your framework and what the arguments in your framework mean with complicated philosophy. I enjoy cases that use non-utilitarian frameworks with a plan. I am also open to hearing framework arguments against Ks. You can make arguments for why your framework comes first, but you can also read your framework as a counter method. Just don't make arguments for why your framework means their issues don't matter, as the other option is not only more interesting and involves better interactions, but it also ensures that debate remains a safe space. Impact justified frameworks aren't great either. The only impact I assume is bad coming into the round is oppression.

4. LARP: Unique plan texts are fun to hear and they should be disclosed. However, I prefer plans in the context of non-utilitarian frameworks. I think politics DAs, and most extinction scenarios are rather ridiculous, but that just means if your opponent loses to these arguments, that's completely their fault. I also will not automatically prioritize evidence over analytics, absent reasons to do so.

5. Tricks: I enjoyed running this a lot - just not against Ks involving issues of oppression. Those debates are uncomfortable for everyone else in the room, and if you use tricks to conclude that oppression is permissible, then you should expect to be dropped with low speaks. That being said, I will definitely evaluate tricks and will enjoy rounds with interesting and unique tricks - even if they are straight up ridiculous. I'll probably laugh, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Also, tricks don't necessarily mean just "skep" or "presumption." They can be topical and substantive too. Putting substantive tricks inside your T and theory shells is something I'd find cool too.

6. Speaks: I will generally follow the guidelines for calculating speaker points in the document under "Speaker Points Calculation." Your speaks will automatically go to 0 if you are offensive or violent in the round. Additionally, I do not think it is under my jurisdiction to evaluate arguments about speaker points in round. Clearly, they are not a source of contestation or impact my decision calculus, and so I will ignore arguments that ask me to change your speaks.

7. Miscellaneous:
a. Sit or stand - I don't care. Just be clear (and yes, I will yell "clear" or "slow.")
b. It would be nice if you slowed down on taglines, author names, interps, plan texts, and important stuff like that.
c. I want CX to start right at the end of the speech and prep to start right at the end of CX. Don't waste time asking "Is everyone ready?"
d. I think disclosure it good for debate, but I also think forcing your opponent to disclose is bad. In general, I prefer seeing disclosure.
e. I personally don't think flashing should count as prep, but I don't think that is under my jurisdiction. If both debaters want flashing to count as prep, then it will.
f. Spreading is good. I will yell "clear."
g. I tend to not evaluate embedded clash, unless I cannot logically come to a decision without evaluating it. If the aff is winning an argument for why pineapple pizza is terrible on one part of the flow and the neg is winning an argument on another part of the flow that pineapple pizza is great, I will have to evaluate embedded clash in that instance, even though the aff is probably correct.
h. If you have any questions you can ask me in round or email me. My email is at the top.

Decision Calculus:
Generally, I try to evaluate rounds by making the most logically consistent decision, while also intervening as little as possible. First, I look at all of the framing arguments that tell me how I should prioritize layers in the round. For example, which comes first: substance or theory? Once I sort through the layers in the round, I start from the top. If a debater wins that layer and wins that it is a reason I should vote for them, then I will vote for them. On a particular layer, I have to have some sort of framework for how I evaluate arguments on that layer, so I evaluate those framing issues first. Then, I need impact calculus for how to evaluate arguments under that framework on that layer. Lastly, I determine who wins the best impacts under that framework. For example, say that fairness is a voter and theory is drop the debater with competing interpretations and no RVIs. Then, the impact calculus is that impacts to strategy come before any other standard no matter what. So, I have to determine which interpretation is best for strategy and I determine who wins on the theory flow there. If the person responding to theory wins, then I simply move on to the next layer below that since there is no RVIs. This is a very simple example, but the same logic applies for any situation. This describes how I view the round at a macro level.

At a micro level, things get a little bit more complicated because we have to consider questions such as whether I evaluate embedded clash, whether I can even evaluate arguments that I don't fully understand, etc. The general way I go about evaluating arguments on the micro level is to compare the claims and see which person has the best warrant. Of course, what counts as the "best" warrant is subject to the judge and is why judge intervention is inevitable, but to minimize the risk of intervention, you should tell me why your warrants are the better warrants. This is just basic warrant comparison. Given this, I do need to understand the argument's premises and how it interacts. I find that in most rounds, only one debater will be doing warrant comparison on any given issue, so resolving that is easy. I evaluate arguments primarily on the place of contestation. Physically speaking, this would mean where the arguments are on the flow. Therefore, I will not freely evaluate embedded clash, unless I'm told to. If I'm told to, then I will just cross apply whatever arguments you are making to the correct place on the flow. However, after I draw a conclusion from a specific place on the flow, it needs to be logically consistent with every other part of my decision calculus. Therefore, I will evaluate embedded clash if and only if conclusions I draw from two different parts of the flow contradict. For example, consider a round where the aff wins on the AC that material strategies are good because the state is inevitable. Say this argument was conceded. However, on the K flow, there are arguments for why the state is not necessarily inevitable and those arguments are won. It would be logically inconsistent to say that material strategies are good since the state is inevitable if I can also say that the state is not inevitable. The way I resolve this is to take the arguments on different parts of the flow and see what comparisons exist.

There are three categories of arguments that I find to be paradigmatically outside my jurisdiction, and so I will not evaluate these arguments even if you make arguments as to why I should. The first category of arguments are offensive ones. If you make a claim that someone needs to warrant why oppression exists, or if you make a claim that is outright offensive or violent, then I will not only ignore the argument, but I will also drop you and give you a 24 (or lower depending on the degree of violence I find in the argument). The second category is arguments about speaker points. Clearly, your opponent is not going to focus on disproving your argument for why I should give you 30 speaks and so it is not a source of contestation and is not relevant to my decision calculus. Therefore, I will just ignore these arguments. The third category of arguments are new arguments in the last rebuttal speech. I will not evaluate new arguments in the 2AR, with the one exception that you criticize an egregious form of violence in the 2NR. This means I will not vote on 2AR theory in almost any circumstance. I will only evaluate new arguments in the 2NR if you explicitly justify why that is allowed (allow new 2NR responses to spikes). So, while I generally follow a specific path to deciding the round, this outlines the few exceptions to that.

Judging Record:

Speaker Points Calculation:

Judging Statistics:

Jacob Thomas Paradigm

5 rounds

I judge a fair number of circuit tournaments but I'm not up on the latest literature (k or otherwise) and I'm certainly not the judge you want if you depend on hyper-technical debate.

With that being said, I'm fairly good with speed, but add me to the email chain.

I try to be tab - I'll analyze what you read to the best of my ability.

Here are some things you ought to know:

I tend not to vote off spikes or any type of paragraph theory.

I have no idea what "comes first" in a round. Make sure you offer weighing. Otherwise, it could be a coin flip.

While I will read all cards, I won't interpret them. It is up to you to tell me why your opponent misuses or super-charges a card.

I don't mind T/Theory, especially when warranted, but I'm not a huge fan of theory for offense. I will try to stay tab on it, but you should be aware of my predisposition. I tend to buy fairness arguments more than education arguments, which I find to be a wash.

I'm not a huge fan of mind-shift change alts, mostly because I tend not to understand them. You can run it, and I will engage with it, but I'm not that smart.

Since I'm not that smart, offer clear voters and weighing.

I don't care if you stand, sit, or do handstands. Actually, I might give you higher speaks if you can deliver a speech from the handstand position.

I really don't like people taking a long time getting a file together to email it. I'm reasonable about it, but you ought to be reasonable as well.

I will dock your speaks if you're a jerk. This has a low threshold - go out of your way to be nice.

I don't like people who shout over their opponents in CX. You should try to control the cross, but don't depend on volume to do it.

I don't have a set view on disclosure. I will evaluate the arguments you make, for and against.

I don't know if I have anything that I default to - take that for what it's worth.

my email:

Andrea Thompson Paradigm

3 rounds


I'm a fairly traditional current debate coach. Although evidence is certainly important, I believe that it is the application of evidence and logic of an argument that really makes it compelling. I do not mind some speed, but I would rather debaters speak TO me rather than read/spread/spew AT me. I love framework debates when debaters really weigh values and connect their contentions to their value and criterion. As a whole I'm not a huge fan of kritiks or counterplans in LD, but if you can explain it clearly and convincingly, you could definitely still win a round running such a case with me as judge. Please be organized so I know where to write down your arguments on my flow. LD is not CX, so a dropped argument is in and of itself not necessarily a reason to win or lose a round - it all depends on what argument is dropped, and what the response to the dropping of it is. In the last speech, I should be given voters - the reasons why you've already won the round. I always use my flow to determine who has won the round.


I'm a fairly traditional former PF debater and current debate coach. Although evidence is certainly important, I believe that it is the application of evidence and logic of an argument that really makes it compelling. I do not mind some speed, but I would rather debaters speak TO me rather than read/spread/spew AT me. I appreciate framework debates (whether practical or more LD in nature) and on case arguments, but I am not a fan of counterplans/topicalities/squirrely PF cases. I'd prefer if debaters debated about the topic rather than about the game of PF itself. Please be organized so I know where to write down your arguments on my flow. PF is not CX, so a dropped argument is in and of itself not necessarily a reason to win or lose a round - it all depends on what argument is dropped, and what the response to the dropping of it is. In the last speech, I should be given voters - the reasons why you've already won the round. I always use my flow to determine who has won the round.

Alexander Thorp Paradigm

LD Debate Overview-- Judging for Bronx Science at the 2019 Columbia Invitational

I am newer to judging LD but have experience judging other forms of debate. Make every argument clear and tell me why it is important! Why should I vote for you?

No spreading. I do not have a problem with it on principle. I just will not be able to follow your argument. Please be clear in your articulation. Don’t use a ton of debate jargon/buzzwords- explain what you’re trying to say in your own words and make it clear. This goes for both policy and critical oriented debaters.

Argument-Specific (I prefer LD oriented traditional arguments)

Critical affs- very unfamiliar. Run them if you have NOTHING else, but be sure you explain yourself VERY clearly.

Neg arguments:
Disad- Explain the story/scenario of how the aff causes a specific impact and why that impact is the most important. I prefer you use traditional impact calculus in your framing.
Counterplan- Provide a competitive counterplan and explain the NET BENEFITS of why the counterplan is better than the aff
Topicality- Prove the aff is untopical and tell me why it’s important
Kritik- Unfamiliar- explain every argument clearly. I strongly advise you not to run one. If you chose to run a K, narrow the argument down to the impacts of the K.

Varun Venkatesh Paradigm

Conflicts: Hunter,Lynbrook, Scarsdale, Princeton DS,Byram Hills LG


I debated for 4 years in LD at Lynbrook High School in California and graduated in 2017. I qualified to the TOC twice and broke my senior year. The majority of my debates during high school revolved around theory util and kritiks but that doesn’t mean I won’t be effective at evaluating other types of debates, I’ll just have less background knowledge and experience resolving them so you’ll have to do more explanation. Please weigh and impact arguments that'll make the round so much easier for me to make a decision. I don’t know what type of judge I am but I am open to voting on p much any argument as long as it has a warrant that I can articulate in the rfd and explain the function of the argument in the round. This mean go for all your nontopical k affs, frivoulous theory and tricks but you still have to win them like any other argument. I default drop the debater, competing interps and no rvi but that's only if no other argument is made on either side. I still am figuring out speaker points but I tend reward people for being entertaining and creative with their strategies as well as for good execution and clarity of strategic vision in the round. Most importantly just have fun. I enjoyed debate a lot when I did it and hopefully you do too :)

Hong Wang Paradigm

I am a traditional parent judge, and while I have judged many tournaments, I have not had any experience or instruction judging progressive tournaments. I prefer traditional arguments with heavy emphasis on framework and value/value criterion debate.

If you choose to run progressive arguments, please flush out your arguments and impacts thoroughly. Keep in mind I have extremely little background knowledge on theory, kritiks, disads, etc. so it is in your best interest to keep things traditional.

I can handle light speed, but your speech must be clear. If I cannot understand you, I cannot flow and it is much harder for me to make an informed and fair decision.

Please also provide off-time roadmaps and signpost clearly. At the end of your speech, give me clear voting issues and do not drop the framework debate.

Finally, please be polite to your judge and your opponents. Be cordial during cross examination and during rebuttals. Refute your opponent’s arguments and not your opponent.

Thank you and best of luck in your future debate endeavors!

Brian Wiora Paradigm

5 rounds


I am an assistant coach for Harrison High School. I debated for four years in LD at Greenhill from 2009-2013. I was a philosophy major in college and now teach Poetry at Columbia University. I judged semis at the TOC in 2019.


Debate is fun! I enjoy judging good debates full of a lot of nuanced clash and weighing. The best debaters, in my opinion, are clear, well versed on the topic and, above all, persuasive. I think unwarranted arguments, tricks/spikes, and unnecessary/multiple theory shells are bad for debate and an unpersuasive strategy. Feel free to run what you want in front of me, but I am more likely to drop a claim than add a warrant or impact.

Things I like

-A philosophical framework debate (with standards as opposed to ROB).


-A good topicality debate

Things I don't like and won't vote for

-Fairness as a voting issue. Fairness is not a voter because A) Debate is an inherently unfair activity B) Fairness is not an intrinsic reason why we do debate and C) If fairness were a voter, I would flip a coin to decide the round. If you are interested in running a fairness voter in front of me, I would suggest playing a game of Chutes and Ladders or Tic-Tac-Toe instead.

-Unwarranted arguments. Again, I am more likely to drop a claim than add a warrant

-Any argument appealing to the Role of the Ballot/Role of the Judge as an A priori. In general, I do not think any argument in debate is an A priori, but especially not arguments that rely on my status as a judge or educator.

My Default Assumptions (unless proven otherwise in the round)

-I operate under an offense/defense paradigm.

-The Role of the Ballot is to decide which debater better justified their side of the resolution.

-Debate is good. Philosophy is good for debate. Policymaking is good for debate too.

-Education is a voter, but less persuasive to me than Advocacy Skills, Critical Thinking, etc.

-No RVIs on T.

-Performance debate is fine, but the best performances link back to the topic.

Any other issue should be resolved by the debaters

Catherine Zhu Paradigm

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.

Matt Zinman Paradigm

I debated for Harrison High School in NY for 4 years and went to the TOC my senior year.

I am fine with anything but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE weigh and impact your arguments.