Tournament of Champions

2019 — Lexington, KY/US

Brianna Aaron Paradigm

4 rounds

Newark Science '18 (competed in LD and Policy for 6 years) and Wake Forest University '22 (competing in college policy and public debate)

For the email chains: (won't look at docs unless necessary)


Newark Science (NJ), Success Academy HS (NY), and FlexDebate participants

Paradigm should be applicable for both the LD and Policy debaters.


Let's be honest. Debaters are stale nowadays and I get severely bored. Debate should be as much about style and charisma as it should be about technical skills. If you don't have an effective combination of tech and ethos, then your speaks probably won't look the way you want them to look. If your A-rule is to be an ass in the round, then I will either drop your speaks or drop the team (depending on how I feel that day and the severity of what occurred). Also, PLEASE BE CLEAR. I don't typically look at cards and, if I feel the need to keep clearing you, your speaks will go down.


There's really no brightline to what a trick is and what it is not so, if I feel like your argument is unwarranted or blippy, then I won't vote on it. Do with that what you will.


There's an arguably terrible delineation between philosophy and K debates in LD. They're both philosophies (just different veins of thought) so I'll evaluate them similarly. This, however, is not the lit base I study or even care about so you put yourself at severe risks with reading this arg in front of me, especially if the lit base is dense.

Additionally, reading any args that shut down convos on oppression will be an auto reason why I don't evaluate the argument. In some cases, it'll also be a reason you lose the round.


With my background, I obviously like Ks (with my specialties being in antiblackness lit bases and antihumanist scholarship) but I WILL NOT be your favorite K hack. Some things to note here:

1. Do not pull out a K if you're not comfortable with it. At the end of it all, everyone will be confused in the round and you won't be satisfied with what I write on the ballot. Just stick with your theory, fwk, or DA/CP strat please if this isn't your style of debate.

2. You need good framing, alt explanation, and a clearly devised overview (preferably not too long for the LDers).

3. Performance/Kritikal Affs need to solve for something. If they don't solve for anything, then tell me why that's a viable ballot for me. Really not a fan of debate bad affs but I'll vote on it.

4. Pre-fiat and Post-fiat distinctions are arbitrary to me.

Stock Issues (CPs/DAs)

All for it. Just provide me with weighing and a short overview and we're good. Not the best for hard core PTX debates.

Topicality, Framework, and Theory

Yes. I default reasonability and drop the argument unless told otherwise. If this debate is messy or confusing, I will just stop flowing because I don't care for thinking through bad arguments. So, be alert. I also won't vote on frivolous theory unless it was just horrifically answered.

In LD, I'll vote for a RVI (very reluctantly) if need be because it's a part of LD norms.

FWK v K affs: Contrary to whatever preconceived assumption you may have, I'll lean whatever side has sufficiently made good arguments.

Good luck and remember to keep these rounds interesting!

Greg Achten Paradigm

2 rounds


I expect the debate to be conducted as though it were a classroom setting. As such inappropriate behavior, specifically cursing, will not be tolerated. If you choose to curse during the debate expect dramatically lower speaker points. Further, if the behavior of one of the teams crosses the line into what I deem to be inappropriate or highly objectionable behavior I will stop the debate and award a loss to the offending team. Examples of this behavior include but are not limited to highly sexual or sexualized performances, abusive behavior or threats of violences.


The execution of the argument is almost as important as the quality of the evidence supporting the argument. A really good disad with good cards that is poorly explained and poorly extended is not compelling to me. Conversely a well explained argument with evidence of poor quality is also unlikely to impress me.

Critiques: If your K is not mainstream you will need to explain it to me. Probably most importantly though, the affirmative can make a wide range of critical arguments in front of me but will be way better off if they have a plan or defend a policy alternative. I have a very strong neg leaning on the question of whether the aff should have a plan or should have to defend something. Finally, arguments like “debate is bad and should be destroyed" will likely not be compelling to me.

Topicality/Theory: I am slightly less prone than other judges to vote on topicality. Although I do take a fairly strict view of the topic and am willing to enforce that view when teams do a good job of arguing topicality I often find topicality arguments that are not based on expert/technical definitions of key terms of art in the resolution to fairly hard for the negative to win. I probably err slightly neg. on most theory issues, though I have voted aff. on things like PIC’s bad, etc. so I am not terribly biased. Arguments like “abbreviating USFG is too vague” or “You misspelled enforcement and that’s a VI” are non-starters. Don’t waste your time. Theory arguments are generally too underdeveloped for my tastes so if that is a key part of your strategy invest some time.

Evidence: Quality is extremely important and seems to be declining. I have noticed a disturbing trend towards people reading short cards with little or no explanation in them or that are underlined such that they are barely sentence fragments. I will not give you credit for unread portions of evidence.

Cross examination: is very important. Cross-ex should be more than I need this card and what is your third answer to X. A good cross-ex will dramatically increase your points, a bad one will hurt them. Everyone in the debate should be courteous.


My policy philosophy mostly applies here - my background is almost entirely in policy debate though I have been coaching LD more and more. But it is hard for me to separate my years of policy debate experience from the way I judge LD debates.

Having said that here are some things that specifically apply to my LD judging. First, I am strongly opposed to the disturbing trend of every debate becoming a theory debate. I do believe that there is a time and a place for theory debates and that this is an important check on abusive arguments, but in most instances the theory debates I have seen are about inane or non-abusive practices that almost certainly do not rise to the level of being voting issues in my opinion. I think many LD debaters would benefit from learning to explain "reject the argument not the debater" a little better or why even if their opponent wins a theory argument it may not be a voting issue. Having said that I try very hard not impose my views on the debate round and have voted for theory arguments several times that I thought were not especially good.

Second, I think that many debates about values/value criteria are very difficult to sort out. Be clear about why justice is more important than util or whatever your value is. Likewise debates about values should never turn into theory debates.

Third, the trend of frontloading theory pre-empts into the AC is terrible. It is very, very unlikely that I will vote on poorly explained, blippy theory pre-empts. Your time would be better spent reading cards about the topic.

Public Forum

The only thing I will add here is that I strongly oppose the practice of paraphrasing evidence. I will not look through an entire article to find out if your paraphrasing accurately reflects the article. If you cannot point to a specific line or paragraph in the article I will disregard your paraphrasing entirely. If I am your judge I would strongly suggest reading only direct quotations in your speeches.

Jonathan Alston Paradigm

3 rounds

I am a head coach at Newark Science and have coached there for years. I teach LD during the summer at the Global Debate Symposium. I formerly taught LD at University of North Texas and I previously taught at Stanford's Summer Debate Institute.

I do believe that basic things are true, though. The Affirmative must present a problem with the way things are right now. Their advocacy must reasonably solve that problem. The advantages of doing the advocacy must outweigh the disadvantages of following the advocacy. You don't have to have a USFG plan, but you must advocate for something.

Be clear. Be very clear. If you are spreading politics or something that is easy to understand, then just be clear. I can understand very clear debaters at high speeds when what they are saying is easy to understand. Start off slower so I get used to your voice and I'll be fine.

Do not spread philosophy. If I have a hard time understanding it at conversational speeds I will not understand it at high speeds. (Don't spread Kant or Foucault.)

Slow down for analytics. If you are comparing or making analytical arguments that I need to understand, slow down for it.

I want to hear the warrants in the evidence. Be clear when reading evidence. I don't read cards after the round if I don't understand them during the round.

Make it make sense. I'll vote on it if it is reasonable. Please tell me how it functions and how I should evaluate it. The most important thing about theory for me is to make it make sense. I would like for the debates about the debate to be interesting. I am not into frivolous theory. If you like running frivolous theory, I am not the best judge for you.

Don't take it out of context. I do ask for cites. Cites should be readily available. Don't cut evidence in an unclear or sloppy manner. Cut evidence ethically. Do not take evidence out of context by cutting qualifiers like "might" or "maybe".

Speaker Points
30 I learned something from the experience. I really enjoyed the thoughtful debate. I was moved. I give out 30's. It's not an impossible standard. I just consider it an extremely high, but achievable, standard of excellence. I haven't given out at least two years.
29 Excellent
28 Solid
27 Okay

For policy Debate (And LD, because I judge them the same way).
Same as for LD. Make sense. Big picture is important. I can't understand spreading dense philosophy. Don't assume I am already familiar with what you are saying. Explain things to me. Starting in 2013 our LDers have been highly influenced by the growing similarity between policy and LD. We tested the similarity of the activities in 2014 - 2015 by having two of our LDers be the first two students in the history of the Tournament of Champions to qualify in policy and LD in the same year. They did this by only attending three policy tournaments (The Old Scranton Tournament and Emory) on the Oceans topic running Reparations and USFG funding of The Association of Black Scuba Divers.

We are also in the process of building our policy program. Our teams tend to debate the resolution with non-util impacts or engages in methods debates. Don't assume that I am familiar with the specifics of a lit base. Please break things down to me. I need to hear and understand warrants. Make it simple for me. The more simple the story, the more likely that I'll understand it.

I won't outright reject anything unless it is blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic.

Important: Don't curse in front of me. I don't like high school students cursing in front of me. Please don't do it. I may take off points because of it. If the curse is an essential part of the textual evidence, I am more lenient. But that would be the exception. Ultimately, I do not think that high school students are grown, and the language that is used should be consistent with my classroom standards.

Note: I generally don't enjoy debates that are more than three off in LD. However, do what you do well. Just going by what I've seen in the past.

David Asafu-Adjaye Paradigm

6 rounds

Hey y’all. I’m David and I debated at Newark Science for 4 years on the state, regional, and national level.

My email for speech docs is

My influences in debate have been Chris Randall, Jonathan Alston, Aaron Timmons, Christian Quiroz, and Carlos Astacio in addition to a few others.



-Monta Vista RB, Monta Vista RR

-Newark Science

-DebateDrills Content Coach (conflict policy and roster available here)

Two primary beliefs:

1. Debate is a communicative activity and the power in debate is because the students take control of the discourse. I am an adjudicator but the debate is yours to have.

2. I am not tabula rasa. Anyone that claims that they have no biases or have the ability to put ALL biases away is probably wrong. I will try to put certain biases away but I will always hold on to some of them. For example, don’t make racist, sexist, transphobic, etc arguments in front of me. Use your judgment on that. Also don’t read skep. JUst because.


These are my favorite arguments to hear and were the arguments that I read most of my junior and senior year. Please DO NOT just read these because you see me in the back of the room. I do not want to see K’s messed up so I have a pretty high threshold for K’s. Please make sure you explain your link story and what your alt does. I feel like these are the areas where K debates often get stuck. I like K weighing which is heavily dependent on framing. I feel like people throw out buzzwords such as antiblackness and expecting me to check off my ballot right there. Explain it or you will lose to the kid going for US heg good. K Lit is diverse. I do not know your high theory K’s. I only cared enough to read just enough to prove them wrong or find inconsistencies. Please explain things like Deleuze, Nietzsche, Derrida, and Heidegger to me in a less esoteric manner than usual.


CP’s are cool. I love a variety of CP’s but in order to win a CP in my head you need to either solve the entirety of the aff with some net benefit or prove that the net benefit to the CP outweighs the aff. Competition is a thing. I do believe certain counterplans can be egregious but that’s for y’all to debate about.


Nah. If you were looking for this part to see whether you can read this. Umm No. Win debates. JK You can try to get me to understand it but I likely won't and won't care to either.

Just like people think that I love K’s because I came from Newark, people think I hate theory which is far from true. I’m actually a fan of well-constructed shells and actually really enjoyed reading theory myself. I’m not a fan of tricky shells and also don’t really like disclosure theory but I’ll vote on it. Just have an actual abuse story. I won’t even list my defaults because I am so susceptible to having them changed if you make an argument as to why. The one thing I will say is that theory is a procedural. Do with that information what you may.


Their fine. I feel like people love to read these crazy scenarios in order to magnify the impact. More power to you. If you feel like you have to read 10 internal links to reach your nuke war scenario and you can win all of them, more power to you. Just make the story make sense. I vote for things that matter and make sense.


YAY. Read you nice plans. Be ready to defend them.


I would rather not vote on presumption but have my own views on it. I think it’s a great tool if you realize the 1AR was 4 minutes of terminal defense against the off case and even though they don’t have any offense neither do you. I don’t like presumption triggers.

Speaker points

I’ll start at a 28 and move up or down from there. I like funny rounds. Debates can be so boring sometimes. Use CX effectively and make strategic decisions in order to increase your speaks. I’m tired and probably hungry so make the debate more tolerable.

Sam Azbel Paradigm

5 rounds

LD Paradigm

Ill keep this short:

This is my 10th year involved in LD. I qualled to the TOC, and have coached for the last 6 years as a private coach, assistant at a big program, head of LD at a program, and now run FlexDebate.

I believe that debate is a game and you should play it however you want. Im fine with really any argument so long as it is obviously not racist/sexist/homophobic etc. I have usually found that its better for debaters to read what they are most comfortable with in front of me.

The only thing that I genuinely find harder to judge than other things are full on util v. util card-fests because Im not the best at flowing.

Slow down on tags and standards texts plz.

EDIT: Tricks debate is super boring and non innovating these days, so I am usually less impressed by those debates.

If you have anymore questions feel free to email me at

PF Paradigm:

Got involved more seriously in PF these last few years-- currently coach Princeton along with a few other teams and am the Director of PF at NSD. I am a flow judge. Make sure to extend offense in the summary. The second rebuttal does not necessarily have to frontline, but obviously often times it is strategic to do so. I also do not think that the first summary necessarily has to make defense, but again, might be strategic in some instances to do so. Finally, please make sure to weigh in later speeches, otherwise it makes it tough for me. Overall, have fun and learn something while you are at it!

Mike Bietz Paradigm

2 rounds

Head Coach: Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles CA |

Use for sharing speech documents. No more email or flashdrive problems. The affirmative should have this ready to go before the round starts.

Jonah Feldman, coach at UC Berkeley, summed up a lot of what I have to say about how I evaluate arguments


I do not believe that a dropped argument is necessarily a true argument

I am primarily interested in voting on high quality arguments that are well explained, persuasively advanced, and supported with qualified evidence and insightful examples. I am not interested in voting on low quality arguments that are insufficiently explained, poorly evidenced, and don't make sense. Whether or not the argument was dropped is a secondary concern...

How should this effect the way I debate?

1) Choose more, especially in rebuttals. Instead of extending a lot of different answers to an advantage or offcase argument, pick your spots and lock in.

2) If the other team has dropped an argument, don't take it for granted that it's a done deal. Make sure it's a complete argument and that you've fully explained important components and implications of winning that argument.

His full paradigm:

More stuff:

I never thought I'd have to say this, but you have to read aloud what you want me to consider in the round. Paraphrasing doesn't count as "evidence."

The affirmative probably should be topical.

I think that I'm one of the few circuit LD judges who votes affirmative more than I vote negative. I prefer an affirmative that provides a problem and then a solution/alternative to the problem. Negatives must engage. Being independently right isn't enough.

I would probably consider myself a policy-maker with an extremely left bent. Answering oppression with extinction usually doesn't add up for me. I'll take immediate, known harms over long term, speculative, multi-link impacts 90 out of 100 times. This isn't paradigmatic so much as it is negatives failing to engage the affirmative.

Given my propensity to vote affirmative and give the affirmative a lot of leeway in defining the scope of the problem/solution, and requiring the negative to engage, I'd suggest you take out the 3 minutes of theory pre-empts and add more substance.

Topicality is probably not an RVI, ever. Same with Ks. Today I saw someone contend that if he puts defense on a Kritik to make debate a safe space, the judge should vote for him because he'll feel attacked.

Cut your presumption spikes. It's bad for debate to instruct judges not to look for winning arguments. It also encourages debaters to make rounds unclear or irreconcilable if they are behind on actual issues.

Where an argument can be made "substantively" or without theory, just make it without theory. For example, you opponent not having solvency isn't a theory violation. it just means they can't solve. Running theory flips the coin again. So it's both annoying and bad strategy. Other examples might include: Plan flaws, no solvency advocate, and so on. Theory IS the great equalizer in that it gives someone who is otherwise losing an argument a chance to win.

Cross-x cannot be transferred to prep time.

Some annoyances:

- Not letting your opponents answer a question. More specifically, male debaters who have been socialized to think its ok to interrupt females who have been socialized not to put up a fight. If you ask the question, give them a chance to answer.

- Ignoring or belittling the oppression or marginalization of people in favor of smug libertarian arguments will definitely not end up well for you.

- People who don't disclose or they password protect or require their opponents to delete speech documents. I'm not sure why what you read is private or a secret if you've read it out loud. The whole system of "connected" kids and coaches who know each other using backchannel methods to obtain intelligence is one of the most exclusionary aspects of debate. This *is* what happens when people don't disclose. I'll assume if you don't disclose you prefer the exclusionary system.

Some considerations for you:

- if you’re reading such old white male cards that you have to edit for gendered language, maybe consider finding someone who doesn’t use gendered language... and if you notice that ONLY white men are defending it, maybe consider changing your argument.

- if you find yourself having to pre-empt race or gender arguments in your case, maybe you shouldn't run the arguments.

Grant Brown Paradigm

4 rounds

Grant Brown (He/Him/His)

Millard North ’17, Swarthmore College ’21 (Studying Philosophy)

Instructor at the National Symposium for Debate and the Texas Debate Collective

Assistant Lincoln-Douglas Coach at Lake Highland Prep


Conflicts: Millard North, Lake Highland Preparatory

A spreadsheet, for your reference, with my decisions can be found here.

Last Updates: 2019 Bronx

The Short Version

As a student when I considered a judge I usually looked for a few specific things, I will answer those here:

1. What are their qualifications?

I qualified three times to the TOC, cleared twice, and reached semifinals my senior year. I have taught seven weeks of camp for three summers and am in my third year as an assistant coach at Lake Highland.

2. What will they listen to?

Anything - excluding discourses and practices which exclude other participants.

3. What are they experienced in?

I coach a wide variety of arguments and am fairly comfortable adjudicating any style of debate. I am most familiar with kritik based arguments, particularly those which are invested in critical-theory and continental philosophy. I find myself to generally be the least certain of my decisions in debates involving dense amounts of theory and tricks.

4. What do they like?

I don’t have any predetermined notion of what debate should look, act, feel, or sound like and I greatly enjoy when debaters experiment within the space of the activity. In general, if you communicate clearly, are well researched, show depth of understanding in the literature you are reading, and bring passion to the debate I will enjoy whatever you have to present.

5. How do they adjudicate debates?

I generally have a fairly systematic way of adjudicating debates. I begin by attempting to discern the priority of the various layers of arguments presented, examples include frameworks or weighing arguments which specify which types of impacts matter, a theory argument which contests the fairness or education of a position, a kritik which indicts the performance of the affirmative, etc. Once I have determined the priority of layers, I proceed to evaluating the different arguments on each layer, looking for an offensive reason to vote, accounting for defense, bringing in other necessary layers, and whatever else is necessary to find an adequate resolution to the debate.

Longer Version

General things to note:

I flow on a computer in an excel document.

Speed is great so long as you’re clear – I will call “clear” or “slow” a reasonable amount of times – I have a very high threshold for clarity.

I’ll do my best to be tabula rasa and be “tech over truth” but these concepts are vague at best. Smart technically work can make up for weaker truths and pinpointed truths can overwhelm technicalities.

I find the evaluation of embedded clash to be inevitable. This isn't to say I ignore the line-by-line of the flow, but that what I determine to be relevant parts of the flow for a particular portion of the debate - the pieces that make up the arguments I'm evaluating - tends to be based on a fairly holistic and interconnected view. This is not something I prefer, I'd rather not have to do any embedded evaluation, but I find it to be a necessity in many debates which have lackluster weighing and explanation by debaters.

There must be an explained and impacted warrant to an argument in order for me to vote on it. I have a high threshold for explanation. If they entirely concede a theory argument and you extend it with no warrants, I will happily refuse to vote on it. It is impossible to resolve a set of competing claims and I refuse to do that work for you – warrants are an unmovable threshold. I don’t care if the warrant is a misunderstanding or perhaps even false, for example: “Dogs can fly because they have legs which enable movement that could allow them to ascend vertically.” That is sufficient if it is conceded, but there must be some potential justification/reasoning for your claim.

I prefer not to have to use defaults to make important judgements about a debate, as hopefully they’ve been explained by the debaters, but in the cases where they are required, I’ve listed my general views here. I default to a comparative worlds paradigm in which I weigh the desirability of the affirmative versus the negative based on provided impact framing. I default to presuming negative, unless there is an alternative advocacy (counterplan, kritik) in the 2NR without the choice of the status-quo, in which case I presume affirmative. Furthermore, I presume that the status-quo is always an option for the negative, but I will only evaluate it as such if the 2NR explicitly does work on this question. Lastly, I default that layers can be weighed against each other on the same level (theory, topicality, kritiks).

I’ve decided that absent thorough explanation of what arguments such as “evaluate the theory debate after the 1AR/2NR” mean I am not going to evaluate them. If you can explain which layers and arguments in the debate this applies to when you extend it, feel free to go for it, but otherwise I’d recommend against it.

As my time in the activity steadily increases, I find myself more frequently compelled by arguments which are positionally defended, well researched, and grounded in educational content and less frequently compelled by arguments which are frivolous, poorly justified, and used entirely for technical advantage. This stands as a general rule of thumb, but in practice has led to a real distaste for cheap-shots, tricks, and frivolous theory arguments, as I find the ones that I frequently judge to be at least intuitively pointless, unnecessary, and unoffensive. After these types of debates, I almost always find myself asking “Why couldn’t they have just responded to the substance of their opponent’s argument?” Though I imagine I will still vote for those positions, this certainly effects my distribution of speaker points and threshold for responses to certain positions and is something to keep in mind. Practically, this just means that I’d prefer to see, regardless of your preferred style of debate, a few well-developed and defended positions, be it a theory interpretation, kritik, counterplan, or otherwise, rather than a random smattering of underdeveloped and unjustified ones.


I’m most familiar with this style of debating, usually from the poststructuralist and continental philosophy angle, and they are my favorite debates to judge when done well.

I really value clarity of explanation, especially in the context of dense philosophy. The most common concern I find myself raising to debaters is a lack of through development of a worldview. Working through the way that your understanding of the world operates, be it through the alternative resolving the links, your theory of violence explaining a root-cause, or otherwise is crucial to convey what I should be voting for at the end of the debate.

I find that a large number of alternatives are either not competitive or are poorly explained but the affirmative fails to articulate a solid permutation. Similarly, explain your permutations - one sentence in the 1AR and 3 minutes in the 2AR won't cut it.

"Kritikal" Affirmatives

I'm a fairly receptive judge to these positions. I don't really care if you defend the topic entirely, a little bit, or not at all. You should just advocate what you can justify and defend. It generally holds true that the further the affirmative is from the topic the more topicality’s concern for fairness becomes persuasive, but well developed arguments on either side can shift this greatly.

You should forefront an explanation of what you defend, be it a methodology, implementation of a plan, theory of approach or analysis, or otherwise. It is usually shiftiness in conjunction with a lack of clear story from the affirmative that results in sympathy for procedurals such as topicality and other negative objections in these debates in front of me.

I generally find negative tricks against these positions (switch-side debate, topical version, truth-testing, fairness first) to be fairly weak but I end up voting on them quite frequently due to lack of a forwarding of a different vision for the debate from affirmatives.


I am least comfortable adjudging intricate theory debates; however I enjoy these debates when there is a lot of clash and weighing on one or two shells. I do not enjoy these debates as much when there are multiple shells, meta-theory, or a lack of clash and weighing. A majority of my decisions on theory come down to either dropped arguments or weighing in an otherwise extremely messy debate.

I default to no RVI, drop the argument, and competing interpretations. I default to a pretty modest understanding of competing interpretations in which a risk of offense isn't "game over" - if you disagree you ought to explain your version.

I am profoundly unpersuaded by any claims that appeal to a constitutive nature of the activity/judge and jurisdiction claims. So unpersuaded that if it is anything less than dropped I'm unsure if I would vote for it. It seems logically incoherent.

The later in the round the shell is read the less likely I am going to feel comfortable voting on it. That's not to say I won't vote on 2NR or even 2AR theory, but I'd really prefer that I didn't have to, plus you're basically putting the debate in my hands in that point - it's a big risk.

I will vote on disclosure theory and brackets theory, though using either, especially increasingly specified interpretations, for purely technical gain is yucky.

I have a voting record that is fairly favorable towards theory, however I have become increasingly aware of my bias against theory "tricks". This includes things such as "must read a counter-interpretation," arbitrary independent voters (e.g. strategy skew, I'm fine with things such as resolvability), etc. These are usually extended without a warrant and are dependent on either intuition/prior interpretative beliefs about the nature of theory or a purely technical evaluation that will vote on mere claims - in these instances I am likely to refuse to vote on these arguments. I will however vote on these arguments when they actually have a warrant.


You should have a clear interpretation and violation that explains your vision of the topic. The affirmative should either defend the violation or have a counter-definition or competitive counter-interpretation.

You should isolate the ground that you lose, the limits that are broken - reference case-lists and be specific.

I enjoy T debates that include carded topic-lit evidence to support their impacts and interpretation.

Everything in the theory section applies here as well.

Policy Arguments

I enjoy these greatly and wish I judged them more.

Good analytics can be more effective than bad evidence - I'm a good judge for strong "spin" and extrapolation outside of the evidence itself.

Explain your scenarios in later speeches - advantage/disadvantage overviews are great.

I'm mostly neutral on multiple condo, though I suppose I slightly lean affirmative if its more than two or three.

Ethical Frameworks

I've gotten significantly better at judging these debates and I spend pretty much all my time in college reading, studying, and discussing philosophy.

I'd implore you to give overviews and slow down to explain the main points of clash in later speeches. These debates can get very messy with a variety of preclusion claims, hijacks, etc. and a clear explanation of the implications of your extensions and arguments can sway the debate in your favor.

I'm a fan of frameworks interacting with kritiks, theory, and otherwise.


I have voted on these arguments frequently when they are well explained in the context of the rest of the debate in terms of both their content (the claim and warrant) and function (their impact). You should therefore explain how your trick interacts with other layers and arguments in the debate if you want to go for it.

Being honest with your sketchiness is in your best interest - for both strategic reasons and for my own comprehension. I'm okay with voting for an argument I didn't see coming, but if I can't logically put together from the pieces you explain in the later speeches how the argument functions i.e. why it affirms, takes out theory, etc, I'm probably not going to vote on it.

Ethics Questions

If accusations of clipping/cross-reading are made I will a) stop the debate b) confirm the accuser wishes to stake the round on this question c) render a decision based on the guilt of the accused.

If I notice an ethics violation I will skip A and B and proceed unilaterally to C.

Questions of misrepresentation/miscutting should be addressed in the round - in whatever form you determine to be best.


I disclose speaks. I believe it helps students learn what they can do better and helps discourage bad practices.

A thirty requires an affective component – passion and exceptionality – that is what distinguishes it from a very high 29.

Here is a rough framework I will attempt to follow – I assign speaks relative to the pool so a 29.5 at a local tournament is different than a 29.5 at the TOC:

<25-26: Unethical; offensive, clipping of cards.

27-28: Significantly below average, unlikely to clear.

28-29: Slightly below, at, or slightly above average, potential to clear but won't make it far (I try to average a 28.5)

29-30: Significantly above average, most likely to clear and will be competitive in late elims.

Chris Castillo Paradigm

6 rounds

I am the LD coach at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx. I've been involved in debate since the year 2000. I judge a lot. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo at gmail dot com.

I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.

Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments. D

Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.

Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".

Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity.

Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during cx. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.

Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.

Matthew Chen Paradigm

3 rounds

put me on the email chain:

Strake '18

University of Chicago '22

gbx 19 update --- I have not judged or listened to a round since TOC 2019. As such, I'm not very accustomed to spreading. You'll have to build up to your top speed and slow down on tags and analytics a LOT. I'll call clear and slow as much as necessary, but if I miss something because you were going too fast that's on you.

also, because of my time out of debate, I'm not up to date on the newest strategies and philosophies. No, I haven't read whatever new author top lab dug up. Feel free to read it if you can explain it, but please realize that I won't know how you expect me to evaluate offense or syllogism indicts unless you spell it out very clearly for me. The inverse implication of this is true though - if you can clearly explain to me how you think I should evaluate offense and what framework arguments matter with a dense philosophical or critical position, your speaks will almost certainly be among the best I've ever given.

In order of arg style, I will probably be best at judging policy v policy, T/theory, or policy v K debates. I'm fine judging other styles but they'll definitely require more explanation and less speed.

tl:dr; you do you. be respectful to each other and everyone watching. additionally, feel free to tell me if i'm doing something/acting in a way that makes you feel unwelcome, either during the rfd or during a round.


1] Don't cheat - miscutting, clipping, strawmanning etc. It's an auto-loss with 0 speaks if I catch you. Ev ethics claims aren't theory arguments - if you make an ev ethics challenge, you stake the round on it and the loser of the challenge gets an L0. (this only applies if you directly accuse your opponent of cheating though - if you read brackets with an ev ethics standard that's different).

2] I'm not going to follow the speech doc, so signpost and be clear. I'll look after the round to verify evidence claims though, but generally debating evidence well is more important than shitting cards out.

3] weigh as early as possible - i.e. disad outweighs case in 1nc, t standards weighing in 1ar. The later you weigh, the lower my credence in your claims is

4] I have found that many analytics get too short to qualify as arguments - especially on theory. At the point where your drop the debater arguments are literally "1) deterrence 2) rectify time lost on theory 3) sets good norms" and then nothing else, you haven't made an argument.

5] I will assume zero prior knowledge when going into a round on any subject, which means it's on you to make me understand your warrant purely from the speech itself. For example, even if I know what the warrant for something like gratuitous violence, if I don't think your explanation completes a logical warrant chain on why gratuitious is an accurate description of relationships, I won't vote for you.

6] then larger your claim is, the higher the threshold i have for a warrant. "there is no hope for progress ever" is a much larger, more broad claim than "this action can do something good", and as such, needs a stronger warrant to be won.

7] don't be offensive - going for "racism is ok", for example, is an easy way to lose

8] if you can't explain how your study was conducted/important control factors/etc. and your opponent calls you out on this, i'm probably not going to vote for said piece of evidence no matter how fantastic you insist it is or how qualified the author is. good ev matters, but being able to explain evidence matters more.

Kassie Colón Paradigm

3 rounds

Hi there,

My name is Kassie Colón and if you're reading this I'm probably judging you or you're trying to decide if I should. A little about me, I was a policy debater for about six years (Fort Lauderdale and WVU) before deciding to leave the activity to focus on the mission of my grassroots organization Project La Resolana (if you debated me, yes "La Resolana" was my affirmative freshman year :p ). I graduated from WVU in December 2019 with a BA in Latin American Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, and Geography. I don't have any predispositions about debate other than, do what you want just don't be problematic about it. I don't believe in restricting debaters from what they're good at and I couldn't mean this more. This is YOUR debate, not MINE and I'm appreciative to be a part of it or not. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask me before the round or send me an email at My only request is that you put me on the email chain, be open to learning/growing, and give me enough pen time to flow everything (start speeches slow then speed up, take a second to breathe before switching flows, etc.). Debate is supposed to be a fun and educational activity, so show me what ya got and I'll do my best to adjudicate :)

Good luck!

Deven Cooper Paradigm

6 rounds

High school debate: Baltimore Urban Debate League

College debate: Univ of Louisville then Towson Univ

Grad work: Cal State Fullerton

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


Speaker Scale

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

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

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

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

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

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

Judging Proper

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

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

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

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

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

A few issues that should be clarified:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Henry Curtis Paradigm

6 rounds

--This is my first major edit to my paradigm in, like, two years, so ask me questions before the round if there's anything here that doesn't make sense or I forgot.--

I debated four years of policy and one year of LD in high school from 2003 to 2008. I've been coaching LD since I graduated and I've been with Lexington for the past 5ish years. I'm also working on a PhD in philosophy (this doesn't mean what you think it means, see below).

General info/Speaker points stuff

--Email chains are cool, include me on them:

--Run whatever you want to run as long as it isn't actively offensive. If you want a K debate, have a K debate. If you're looking for a values or stock debate, that's cool too. The space is yours, do what you want with it. There's stuff that I'm probably less good at judging than other people, but I won't drop you for running a specific type of argument unless, again, it's actively offensive.

--I'm 100% team tech over truth. A dropped argument is a true argument. That being said (and this applies generally as well), the dumber an argument is, the lower my threshold for a response is. So, while most arguments require actual, thought out responses, if you respond to "must concede after the AC" by just saying "no I don't", that'll count. So, don't drop stuff, but don't waste time on really bad arguments. If an argument is given without a warrant, it doesn't need as developed of a response.

--On that subject, warrants are cool too. I hate vague extensions, they bother me and that'll reflect in your speaker points. If you're extending a card, a theory shell, anything really, give me the warrant behind the card. What does the [evidence/shell/value/whatever] say, why is it right, and what does that have to do with my ballot? Better extensions and better storytelling mean better speaker points. Blippy extensions with no explanation require less to respond to because, as above, blippy extensions are bad arguments.

--I'm not the best at flowing. This matters less in a world of speech docs, but for stuff like detailed underviews (like cramming drop the debater, RVI, reasonability, and random evaluate theory after the 1AR spike into the same subpoint) or longer theory shells, slow down. No, seriously, slow down. I won't get all of the details, and then when you're posting me after the round about how I could have missed underview A, subpoint 3, as extended with random other thing on a totally different flow as defense somewhere else, I'll just say I didn't get it on the flow and we'll both be mad.

--I don't like doing work for debaters. Embedded clash is a nicer way of saying judge intervention. Don't make me do it. Offense weighing and comparison is probably the most important thing for me (and key to good speaker points). Don't just say why your stuff is good, say why your stuff is better/more important to my ballot than their stuff.

--Last thing for speaker points, the most important factor for me is strategy. If you make strategic arguments and there isn't anywhere where I think you should have done something different, then you'll get very high speaker points. Strategy is number one for me, but that gets weighed against not being a jerk in round, being funny, and being a good speaker. If you do everything perfectly but you're not a clear speaker, then you won't get a 30, but you'll still get above a 29.5. I'll say clear or slow if I need to, but if I say it a couple of times, then you should know what'll happen to your speaks. If I say clear, don't do that thing where you're clear for a couple of seconds and then just go back to how you were speaking before. Also, general rule of thumb, be loud. I don't hear stuff very well, so the louder you are the better. Don't scream at me, but you get the point.


--At least 80% of my neg ballots when I debated policy were on T. Love me a good T debate.

--General stuff: I default to competing interpretations, no RVI, drop the debater unless told otherwise. Also, general pet peeve, if you're going to tell me drop the argument and it isn't blatantly clear what argument I'm dropping, then tell me what argument I'd be dropping.

--RVIs need a little bit of work for me. You need to convince me why you get RVIs in the first place (RVIs are much more convincing against multiple shells or 7 off strats) and then actively identify what constitutes an RVI and why.

--1AR theory is fine-ish, but when a round turns into shell versus shell, it usually breaks down into incomprehensible nonsense and then I get sad and then I trash your speaker points. If it gets to this point, what makes me happy is offense comparison. This is usually easier if we're weighing between fairness and education voters, but if it's fairness v. fairness, then be super specific about why your opponent is being worse for fairness than you are. Compare offense, don't just extend yours. Alternatively, go meta and tell me why aff or neg theory comes first. Either way, don't ignore the other side of the flow, because then I have to do weighing for you and nobody likes that.

--I'll vote for disclosure shells, but the dumb argument vs. strength of response weighing from before applies here. If there's straight up nothing on the wiki and they're from a school where you'd expect something to be there, then fine. But if it's a small school non-circuit debater and/or your interp is "must disclose all speech docs, past 2NR strategies, and what they've had for lunch the past five days", then a lesser response is required.

--Generally speaking, if there's an obvious win on substance and a more difficult win on T or theory and you go for T or theory, I consider that a less than strategic move and it'll reflect in your speaker points.

DA/Counterplan/LARPy Stuff

--I was a policy debater after all, so I'm pretty comfortable with this kind of debate.

--Impact calc is your best friend. Good impact calc means good speaker points and typically is a tiebreaker if I want to avoid intervening. If I have a better understanding of why your impacts matter more than your opponent's, then you're probably going to win.

--This is a general thing, but I'll highlight it here and elsewhere, but extensions should include storytelling for me. Don't just extend the cards from the disad, explain the warrants and tell me how they link together into the story of the disad. Better extensions, better speaker points.


--So remember how I said that me being a philosophy PhD doesn't mean what you think it means? I study bioethics and general normative theory and have had any knowledge/appreciation of continental philosophy beaten out of me over the last 5 years. So, I'm actually not the best at evaluating super dense Ks, high theory, that sort of stuff. That being said, you can totally run it if that's your thing. However, you're going to ahve to take extra time for storytelling. What's going on in the K, what does the aff/res do that is bad, why should I care, and what do you do to make it better/different? So, don't avoid running Ks if that's your A-strat. Do what you do best. Just be good at it and we're fine. If you've grabbed a K from a teammate that you haven't seen before and don't know how to properly extend and explain, it probably won't go well and you should consider doing something else (this applies generally).

--Framework v. framework debates are almost as bad as theory v. theory debates in terms of incomprehensibility. So, do active weighing work. Why does your framework matter more? If your framework precludes, why? If they say their framework precludes, why doesn't it. If both frameworks preclude each other and I have no in-round way to determine whose actually does, we're all going to be upset.

--Role of the ballot/role of the judge is probably the single most important layer of the flow. I mean, you have the power to tell me what my ballot does. Use it to your advantage. If you win that the only thing I should care about is whatever the role of the ballot says I should care about, that's kind of a big deal. Use it to your advantage. On the other side of the flow, you really should spend time here if you're responding to a K.

--Totally fine with performances, but, and this also applies generally, weighing pre versus post fiat offense and why the performance itself matters is pretty important. This is another area where the role of the ballot is your best friend.

--Like I said, I'm usually pretty good about ethics frameworks since that's kind of what I do for a living. That being said, debate phil is 99% of the time waaaaaaayyyyyyyy different from academic phil. This is especially the case for K authors like Foucault, but also for Kant, Mill, Rawls, etc. So, you'll have a little more leeway with explaining evidence for something like a Kant framework, but you still need to do actual extensions and explanations.

Other miscellaneous stuff

--Again, if this is your thing, this is your thing so do it, but I'm generally not a fan of tricks. Most tricks arguments fall into the camp of bad arguments I describe above where a response of "nuh-uh" is sufficient. Again, if this is what you do, then do it, just be super clear about where stuff is located, both when you're reading it and when you're responding to stuff in c/x. Nothing is more infuriating than shifty c/x responses. Saying stuff like "lol I don't know what an a priori is" when it's pretty clear you do is an easy way to get your speaks docked. Don't be that person.

--In that regard, unless you legitimately don't know what the person is asking about, don't say "I don't know what that means". If you've been to camp or the TOC or on the circuit at all, I assume you at least have some understanding of what terms like pre-fiat or spike mean. That's being shifty and wasting c/x time and it's annoying.

--Flex prep is fine. To a lesser extent, so it using c/x time as prep if you want. It isn't a good look, but c/x time is your time to ask questions and use it strategically. Asking questions is generally better than not. Also, both c/x and flex prep are binding.

That's all I can think of for now, I'll try to be better about updating this more regularly. Again, if something here isn't clear or if you want to know more, find me at the tournament and ask or ask me before the round starts.

Dino De La O Paradigm

2 rounds


For policy, feel free to do whatever you want. I feel comfortable judging most debates. Especially clash of civ and K debates. I'm least comfortable judging straight up advantage vs disad debates, but I'll do my best to get into the technical aspects of these issues.

I'm particularly good at evaluating

T Framework v K affs. Lean equal on this debate.




K v Extinction. Lean equal on this debate


Please don’t make me vote on tricks. I will tank your speaks on the basis of an unimpressive strategy. I’d prefer if you debated in manners that aren’t predicated on your opponent missing an argument.

Law Magnet ‘16

UT Austin ‘19


Conflicts: Lake Highland

Background: I qualified to the TOC my junior/senior year and I’ve taught at NSD/TDC. I graduated from UT Austin and I teach/coach at Lake Highland.

Shortcut: I’m pretty open minded to different styles (minus tricks) and I am comfortable judging most t/theory, k, and phil debates. Frankly, I’m not the ideal judge for an intense larp v larp debate. However, I do enjoy larp v phil/k, and I tend to side with larp in these debates. I particularly like small plans and pic strategies, so don’t be discouraged from reading these. I’m just probably not the best if the 2nr/2ar collapse is all larp v larp and very close.


- Tech over truth, but your arguments must have warrants even if they are concessions.

- I default to truth testing, but that doesn’t really mean much since people set up methods/rob early on now. I find myself judging a lot of T and K debates.

- Please collapse in the 2NR/2AR.

- I use an offense/defense paradigm.

- I don’t really feel comfortable doing embedded clash. Err on specificity.

- I default to epistemic confidence, but I’m fine with using epistemic modesty.

- Condo can be tricky depending on your strategy. I think condo is defensible in larp strategies and in some Ks like Cap. But I can be compelled by condo bad arguments vs certain Ks, especially when they are also paired with T/theory. See the K and larp section for specific views.


- I really enjoy a variety of K debate, particularly pessimism, cap/semiocap, and psychoanalysis.

- I like Non-T K affs. I find impact turn strategies to T more convincing than a counter interp, but this debate is also winnable. Note: I find myself voting on T Framework a lot. While I like K affs, the 1AR is usually terrible at defending their method against fairness.

- Topical K affs are fine. I think the counter interp is more winnable in these debates, but impact turns are also possible.

- I think a lot of 1NC Ks fall into dangerous territory when paired with T/theory. Most of the time, the voter implications just straight up conflict with each other and I err aff on this contradictions debate. I also don’t think conditionality is the best response in questions of conflicting framing mechanisms, not simply conflicting advocacies. Just be careful how you pair your T + K strats and make sure you have good blocks to contradictions if you choose to forcefully layer your strategy. Some Ks can be layered organically like T + Cap, but others are more difficult like T + Afropess.

- I honestly don’t get policy framework and “can’t weigh the case” arguments on the K. My view is that the aff can weigh the case if they win that the thesis of the K is false. If the Ks theory is false, then the links have no impact. For example, if an afropess debater says the aff can’t weigh the case, my view is that if ontology is false, the case already outweighs the K. I think "can't weigh the case" is mostly applicable to just reps Ks. The rest is just a topical debate with two separate framing mechanisms. For the neg, just go for your theory is true and win a link, or "they can weigh the case but the K outweighs".

- My default on perms is that they are tests of competition. Frankly, I’m not exactly sure what it would mean for them to function as advocacies, but feel free to change my default and overexplain the implication.

- I don’t really like Ks that only have links to the aff’s framework and not to the advocacy, but the rob can control the direction of what I should evaluate as offense, i.e. “I should reject bad epistemology”. I can be convinced by perms in these debates so have good blocks to perms if you don’t have advocacy links.


- I really enjoy T/theory debates, with a preference towards T. I personally don’t care if you run T/theory for strategy, but I can be compelled by impact turns.

- I tend to vote for T Framework a lot. I really like K aff's and I think fairness is probably bad. But, I find that 1ARs are terrible at defending their model of debate against fairness and I could be easily convinced that fairness comes first.

- Default Paradigm Issues: competing interps, no RVIs, semantics first. I won’t default on voter questions such as fairness/education or drop the debater/argument – you need to explain why T/theory is a voting issue. I feel comfortable assuming semantics first because of my default to truth testing. These are just defaults and can be changed.

- I think RVIs are strategic to force the 2NR to go for T and reasonability is strategic to discourage the 2NR from going for T.

- I enjoy 2NR collapses on semantics or pragmatics. I particularly like Semantics + Limits T strategies.

- Disclosure is a strategic shell. I’m still open to defenses against disclosure. I can see some potential with K angles.

- The generic 1AR combo shells are ok. Not super impressive, so maybe consider a different shell, but I’ll evaluate them.


- I think I get a rep for liking phil debate because that’s what I did during high school, but I’m more impressed by K or T debates. However, phil is fine and I’m comfortable evaluating it.

- The distinction between phil and K often gets blurred for me. I think it’s more of a distinction in debate to distinguish between critical and western philosophy. From western phil, I particularly like Hegel.


- I enjoy larp strategy and I selectively coach it to my students as well. I mostly focus on small plans/pics and util v k/phil. I think util is very strategic in these cases and I’m familiar evaluating these clash of civ debates. However, I’m not the best at evaluating an intense and close util v util debate.

- I think layered util frameworks with TFJs, EM, Extinction First, etc. can be strategic.

- Process CPs, Agent CPs, and PICs are fine and theoretically defensible. Affs can still read 1AR theory.

- Condo is defensible with larp strategies but can be challenged by 1AR theory.

- Like I mentioned in the Ks section, I see perms as tests of competitions. You can change my default but overexplain on what it would look like to treat perms as advocacies.


- This is my least favorite style of debate. I will still vote on frivolous tricks if they have warrants, but I won’t be impressed. I also think these arguments don’t take much to beat.

- Burden structures are a gray area. They can be paired with frivolous tricks or they can simply set up a burden for the round under which a framework and offense are read. I much prefer the latter.

- I think heavy 1AC underviews can be fine and don’t have to be “tricks”. For example, some heavy underviews just set up paradigm and defensive issues. I think they can get frivolous when bad offensive interps become introduced.

Speaker Points:

- I don’t have a solid scale and its more contextual to the tournament I’m attending.

- I base speaker points largely on strategy. I consider the 1AC/1NC construction, 1AR strategy, and the 2NR/2AR collapse.

- My paradigm also highlights debates that I find impressive or literature that I particularly enjoy. You’ll probably get higher speaks executing these debates effectively over going for something I don’t enjoy like tricks. I’ll vote on the latter, but they aren’t impressive and speaker points will reflect this.

- CX can lose you speaker points but it won’t give you much extra.

- Be respectful. You don’t have to be nice but don’t be mean. This can factor into speaker points.

- Don’t read advanced strategies against novices. This won’t impress me and speaker points will be effected.


- I don’t count sending the doc or flashing as prep but everything must be compiled in one speech doc before you stop prep to send the doc.

Eric Deng Paradigm

2 rounds

Last Update: Pre-Peninsula/Harvard Westlake 2020

- Please set-up the email chain before the round starts. I will be irritated if you ask me for my email 🙃. If you do have to ask for my email, don't. I'll just ask for relevant cards after the debate.

- I know a bit about the topic because I taught at camp, but don't assume I know acronyms.

- Probably start a little slower. The last tournament I judged was Bronx and I have not debated since camp this past summer.

- I find that I have a habit of protecting the 2nr. If I have to ask if the neg could have predicted the wild spin in the 2ar, chances are they couldn't have and you should prepare your 2ar accordingly.

- No I do not understand the hottest new k so please explain or do not read it at all. You will definitely like my decision better either way. laughing

- tech>truth -- dropped arguments are true, but you have to tell me why it being true wins you the round/is important. If you're upset after the round about x dropped argument, this is probably why.

San Marino High School 18

NYU 22

getting a new doc is prep, otherwise you should learn to flow

General --

I debated LD and got 5 bids to the TOC and reached octas my senior year. I read arguments mostly on the policy/k spectrum. I did policy in college for a year as a 2A. I've taught at VBI and TDI.

I could care less about what the 1AC/1NC was. I care more about how the arguments are explained and impacted out in later speeches. That's not to say I don't care about the technical aspects of the debate, but one liners are not complete arguments. I get frustrated when this doesn't happen which may mean a more frustrating decision for you.

Clarity >>>>> speed (especially on theory/phil/spikes). Debate is still a communicative activity and that requires that you go at a speed that is understandable and flowable. I'm far from a flowbot and its something you should be aware of.

I thought I would be more ideological, but I've slowly stopped caring as I judged. Chances are I'm tired and only want you to make the debate easy. Bad arguments (mostly theory) are annoyances.

Some particularly bad arguments I've heard so far (this is a working list) :

"neg limits good"

"neg may not [insert 1nc here]"

"neg may not read dispo counterplans"

"only have to affirm under one indexical"

"vote for me because I am [x identity category]"

"must disclose round reports"

"if i win i get rvis then i should win off an rvi because its an implicit counter interp"

Reading these theory arguments doesn't constitute a loss, just that your odds of beating back the intuitive responses are low. I don't hate theory as a strategic tool, but when there is clearly a better debate to be had, I tend to give leeway to answering these arguments. If they are poorly answered and nicely executed however, you won't be punished, but I still won't be happy.

Outside of your usual gutcheck of "bad" arguments, below are just some thoughts on how I view certain aspects of debate.

For some more background surrounding my thoughts on debate, it might be beneficial to reference some of my debate influences: Raffi Piliero, Jong Hak Won, Li-Ren Chang, Kamiran Dadah, Devane Murphy.

My peers that I agree mostly with: Danielle Dosch, Whit Jackson, Sean Fahey, Julian Kuffour, Ronak Ahuja.

Non-negotiable: I will not vote on arguments that require me to make a referendum on any debater as a person outside of debate.

Philosophy/Traditional Frameworks

I'm less familiar with philosophy so you should slow down and explain things rather than blitz out your preclusion blocks. That being said, I think I would be a fine judge for you if you know your theory and attempt to explain it relative to their's as opposed to a mish mosh of "hijacks" and "pre-reqs". Quantity>Quality is the aspect of traditional LD debate that I hate the most so if you avoid that you'll most likely be fine. Tricks are fine, but the worse the argument is the less I care about it.


Theory is also something that you shouldn't be going full speed on. I suck at flowing and if I miss something than its on you. I find the answer to most theory arguments are that it is the role of negative to make the debate hard for the aff and vice versa. I recognize that this is a slippery slope and arbitrary, but common sense should tell you what this applies to more. Refer to the list for a general idea. I'm not very amenable to plans bad a la nebel, t-plural is a much better argument in front of me.

Counterplan theory is the only theory that people should really be reading (outside of variants of tricks bad). My leanings are condo good, advantage cps good, agent cps good (states, courts, congress, etc.), and the rest are determined by solvency advocates. If you have a solvency advocate, it's most likely legitimate and you should be prepared to debate it.

Disclosure is almost always a good thing, but I'm receptive to arguments otherwise. Exceptions are usually reserved for explicit criticisms of the practice of disclosure (e.g. surveillance). It's probably arbitrary which I'll be the first to admit, but you know it when you see it.

FW v K Aff/Plan v K

I think my ideological tendencies regarding framework versus k affs is slightly neg. This is not to say I'm 80-20 FW, but more like 55-45 FW. Smart debating should overcome any of my ideological biases. Fairness is an impact, but it might not necessarily be the best one to go for depending on the debate. Both going for framework and debating against it should involve a checklist: TVA, truth-testing, skills, fairness first, etc. are all things that need to be answered. The same goes for being aff against the k.

All this being said, I judge every debate with the assumption that every argument made is made with the intention of winning the debate/ballot. What that means for your position, I don't know, but I think it's a relevant tidbit that probably has to be pointed out at some point in the debate.


I give comparatively lower speaks, not because I thought every debater I judged was bad but that speaker points inflation is disingenuous and denies other potentially deserving debaters opportunities at a tournament.

Adapting to a style of debate that I may like may help your speaks, but it may also be to your detriment. Similarly, you may debate in a manner that I hate, but, if executed well, may be deserving of higher speaks. Point is, your style will not have an impact on your speaks, only your strategic vision and execution. Make my job easy and I'll make your's easy.

I will never give 30s unless you fundamentally changed how I view debate/are the best debater I have ever seen.

David Dosch Paradigm

2 rounds

I debated for four years at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, California. I qualified to the TOC my junior and senior years, attaining a career total of 8 bids. I am the Co-Director of the The Debate Intensive. I am a conflict for any competitors on this list:

Speed is fine. I don't care if you sit or stand, feel free to lay down if that’s how you're most comfortable. I come into the round with very few rigid preconceptions about what arguments should be read. Nearly all of the defaults outlined below can be changed by explicit arguments to the contrary. I will not blatantly intervene against any position (save for those which are morally repugnant).

As a competitor I ran primarily policy style arguments, so I feel very comfortable evaluating these types of debates. Robust evidence comparison is a tool that I feel is very underutilized. Identifying power-tagged evidence and pointing out intuitive logical gaps in an advantage can be just as effective as reading a hefty carded prep-out. I would say that I am fine with more conditionality than most judges. Feel free to read condo bad theory, just know that it’s a slight uphill battle.

The bulk of the K debate should not be centered around arbitrary assertions about the "role of the ballot." I absolutely loathe the state of K debate in contemporary LD. I will reward competitors who can make it through the round without using the phrase ROB or relying on the contrived pre/post-fiat metaphor, with extra speaker points. Rather than relying on Trifonas 03 as your ace in the hole, you should make arguments which actually explain why your criticism is a prior question to the hypothetical consequences of the 1AC. Many kritiks suffer from links which are overly generic and alternatives which are horribly convoluted. Remedy this by pulling specific lines from the Affirmative and by being able to provide an intelligible explanation of your alternative in CX. I'll vote on your silly K tricks (floating PIK, VTL > Extinction, Alt solves the case) just be prepared to defend them theoretically.

Performance/K Affs
I gave this topic a separate heading because it presents unique challenges that may raise more nuanced questions. I am fine with performances and non-topical positions; often they introduce very interesting discussions and literature bases into the round which might otherwise be over looked. I would prefer that your position be at least in the direction of the topic, but that’s no mandate. Please defend something tangible. By tangible I do not mean realistic (feel free to burn it down, just please do tell us what that means!), rather I ask that you defend a consistent position so your opponent can formulate a coherent strategy. I will vote on T. I think topical version of the Aff arguments are pretty close to being silver bullets, so be sure you are winning impact turns to topicality or some other offensive reason why the topical version of your position is bad.

I default to viewing theory as an issue of competing interpretations. To me this means that you need offense on theory to either beat it back, or, assuming you've justified it, gain access to an RVI. Offense on the theory flow can come in the form of turns to your opponent's standards or a counter interpretation with standards of its own. I do not believe that competing interpretations necessitates an explicit counter-interp. If you want to justify an alternate understanding of competing interpretations, go for it, just explain the effect it has on the theory debate. To me reasonability means that winning sufficient defense on your opponent's abuse story is enough to beat back theory. Again, if your understanding of reasonability differs from the above explanation, warrant it and impact it. I default to drop the debater and no RVIs. As mentioned above, you must have offense in order to access an RVI. I will not vote on the RVI + I meet double whammy or any similarly preposterous shenanigans.

I'll touch on the issue of "spikes" here because it fits more neatly under the theory heading than any other. I strongly dislike spike-heavy strategies that rely on deception and trickery to snag a few easy ballots. Please slow down for short spikes. Though not mandatory, it would be greatly appreciated if you numbered your spikes. If your 1AR is four minutes of extending 1AC blips, expect very poor speaks. I am extremely receptive to the argument that spikes needn't be answered until they are extended. I will not tolerate CX evasiveness about the implication of spikes. Answer your opponent's questions honestly or face the wrath of the loss 25.

Ethical Frameworks
I default to a paradigm of epistemic modesty where I assign offense credence to the extent that the framework it links back to is won. I do not view frameworks as being entirely preclusive impact filters. I find framework heavy strategies that concede the entirety of the opposing contention to be unpersuasive. I find framework heavy strategies to be more effective when coupled with case turns/case defense. If you are going to read a generic NC against a plan, please read a link specific to the plan just as you would for a DA or a Kritik.

Be comparative with warrants for your framework. Don't just insist that your framework justifications "come first", instead address the differences between your frameworks at the warrant level. I enjoy good framework clash and appreciate the strategic value of contesting framework.


My range is 25-30. An average performance will earn a 27. Good disclosure practices will earn you extra speaks (like a .5 boost or something).

Danielle Dosch Paradigm

2 rounds

***Below are the preferences I had while debating. They do not have a significant impact on the way I evaluate debates. I’m just going to vote for whoever wins.

Update: There is no "flow clarification" time slot in a debate. If you want to ask your opponent what was read/not read, you must do it in CX or prep -- better yet, flow!



Cross ex is a speech, not extra prep — treat it as such.

Labeling an argument a “voting issue” does not make it a voting issue.

Clipping cards is cheating, and you will receive a loss 25 if you do it.

Prep ends when the email has been sent. Don’t steal prep - you’re not sneaky.

Don’t be annoying, treat your opponents with respect, and if you appear to have a lot of background knowledge on the subject that is being discussed I will improve speaks.

Speaks range generally: 27-29.5 — 30s are unattainable — there’s no ceiling on excellence.


K vs. aff —

Your kritik should disagree with and disprove the aff. You should include a link wall that pulls lines from the aff, and you should answer the case. The Kritik should outweigh and turn the case and incorporate other K tricks as well. The 2NR should explain the thesis of the position and an explanation of the above.

Aff vs. K —

The case probably outweighs, and don’t be afraid of staking the 2ar on that. Unless your aff is set up for the link turn, impact turn everything you can – security, heg, neolib – excluding that which would be morally repugnant. Most importantly though, make the debate about your aff. So often the aff seems to forget that the onus is on the negative to disagree with the aff, not the other way around. 


My favorite neg strategies include these. It should solve the aff and avoid a tangible disadvantage. Answer the perm by isolating a DA or explaining why it is severance or intrinsic – “perm is illogical” isn’t an argument and “CP solves better” isn’t a DA to the perm. 1-2 condo is good, 3+ is pushing it. I am pretty neutral on cheaty CPs – generally, I think you should just defend your aff, but I am not predisposed towards voting against theory arguments. Judge kick only if you tell me to, so tell me to!


My favorite neg strategies also include these. 2NR should be fore fronted with impact calculus. Explain why the DA turns and outweighs the case before the case turns the DA, and rather than explaining why probability or magnitude should be prioritized categorically, explain it in terms of strength of link.


**You must do it.** Do it well and you’ll see a boost to speaks. Your evidence should be recent and of high quality, and don’t undervalue the utility of smart analytics!


T vs. Non-topical Affs —

Don’t be afraid to go one off framework in front of me, but you should definitely answer the case (as always!). I think fairness is best articulated as an internal link, but procedural fairness definitely matters to some degree in itself. Include a robust topical version of the aff.

Non-topical Affs vs. T —

It’s helpful to extend a counter-interp that mitigates some of their fairness offense and isolate offense as to why the exclusion of your aff and the like would be more detrimental than a world with slightly less predictability and increased prep burden.

Non-topical Affs vs. K —

Not a very good judge for these debates -- exception to this is probably cap.


If your argument is frivolous, the threshold for your opponent’s responses drops pretty significantly. If you are debating a frivolous argument, use reasonability to your favor. Other than that, the way you debate theory/topicality shouldn’t differ drastically from the way you’d conduct a plan/CP debate.


I honestly enjoy these debates when executed well. I am partial towards epistemic modesty, but that can be changed with in-round arguments. I will be most pleased if you explain your philosophical framework as reason why your offense matters and not a preclusive impact filter. If your strategy is to concede the case and just answer framework, I am not the best judge for you, but if you mitigate the probability of the case (notice a trend?) through defense or an advantage CP, I will be thrilled. Please don’t extend your framework card by card — begin with an overview that includes the thesis of your position and a summary of your offense.

Jonathan Dubin Paradigm

7 rounds

I am the current director of speech and debate and Yearbook adviser at Coral Springs High School.

From 1997-2000, I competed in LD and extemp. From 2004-2018, I was an editor at The Miami Herald.

I am in the learning stages for judging PF and LD, so I will need clear arguments and technical explanations. I cannot keep up with spreading yet.

In PF I appreciate unique arguments, but they must be conveyed clearly and in a way most people can understand. In LD, feel free to use any wild arguments or theories, just be able to back them up!

I have no bias toward any argument or theory or style but I require respect for your opponent(s).

Any other specifics, please ask.

Zipporah Edwards Paradigm

3 rounds

I am a parent judge and have judged for the past 3.5 years at traditional tournaments in North and South Carolina in LD and occasionally PF. Do not spread – I cannot flow speed. Avoid excessively dense philosophy. Counterplans, disads, plans etc. are fine. Err against kritiks unless you think you can explain it very well. Do not read non-topical affs, I have essentially no experience with these and likely won’t vote on them. Good evidence and clear explanation are key.


Evan Engel Paradigm

3 rounds

Email Chain:

I debated LD for 3 years for Harvard-Westlake School (2014-17) - 13 career bids, Dukes and Bailey 17', won some tournaments/broke at the TOC. I loved debate because of the variety. I could be a fan of any argument you want to read, provided it 1) is explained in a way I can understand and 2) has an explicit reason why that means you should win. I like when debaters appreciate the space they've been given and use it to do what they like. This means engage in the resolution and your speaking time however you want whether that means dense ethical philosophy, debate theory, or critical debate. Just do what you find meaningful even if that just means doing what gives you the best chance to win. My biggest preference in terms of what you run is that you make good arguments, which you understand and execute well. I hated judges that say "I won't vote on X because I disagree with/don't like it" so I try not to be one, but I reserve the right to hold debaters to a reasonable standard of quality argumentation.


You must share your speech docs with your opponent. Flashing, emailing, pocketbox, whatever method of sharing you prefer as long as it's more effective than looking over your shoulder.

I think disclosure is very good for debate - this is not to say you cannot beat disclosure theory in front of me - it just means you will have a very hard time.

Prep ends when the flash drive leaves the computer/the email is sent


I like good K debate a lot. An NR containing a well explained, and well impacted K that doesn't forget about the case is a good thing. An NR containing a K you've never read the lit for is hair pullingly frustrating. Ask yourself if you can explain your position without the use of buzzwords, if the answer is no, you risk being in the latter category.

I'm not generally a huge fan of the 4 minute K overview followed by line by line constituted primarily by "that was in the overview". Take time to clearly explain and implicate the links/impacts/framing arguments and contextualize them to the aff.

Non-T/Performance Affs

I believe people should be able to do whatever they want with their affirmative, and I will by no means auto vote you down for not being topical. That said, T/Framework was my favorite argument in high school, and I will be hard pressed to vote aff absent a robust defense against it - whether that comes in the form of impact turns, a counter-interp, or something else is up to you. I find myself voting aff during these debates more often than not for two reasons - 1. The NR on framework is more whining about how hard the aff was to prep than it is clear impact comparison 2. The NR doesn't engage the 1ar arguments properly - the 2nr should both deal with the warrant AND implication of these arguments because too often I have on my flow "this doesn't make any sense" without an explanation of why or why that matters.


I think these can be some of the best debates around. I would love you if you did good evidence comparison and comparison of links to the impact rather than doing superficial weighing of impacts. I've read DA's, CP's, and Plans (basically every aff round), so I like to think I know most of the lingo and the function. The straight turn and impact turn are both deeply underutilized arguments in LD. I'm sick of judging 1ARs that are 80% defense against the DA.

I'm not a fan of plans bad theory arguments. I think you should either read a T shell or a more nuanced reason why their type of plan text is bad.


Your interp needs evidence, standards and voting issues. A good T debate is one of my favorite debates and should involve a deep comparison of the world of debate each interp justifies, not just competing 6-points of the limits standard. Textuality as a voter just barely meets the standard for coherent argument, i'll vote on it, but it will be defeated easily in front of me. RVIs on T are not a thing.


I'm not a fan of frivolous theory, i'll vote on it, but there is a low bar to answering it. If you're struggling to figure out whether a certain shell is too frivolous for me to give the benefit of the doubt, don't read it. I am extremely persuaded by infinite regress/arbitrariness arguments against the vast majority of spec shells.

Ethical Philosophy/Framework

I am far and away the least versed in this part of LD. I'm not unwilling to vote on anything you choose to read, just understand that if it's more complicated than the simple end of ripstein or util, you will need to explain it to me like I'm a distracted 5 year old. You should know that I generally speaking am a firm believer that comparative worlds is the best interpretation for debate, as a result, I will likely not love your burdens aff/whatever postdating related trend is popular.


I will vote for these arguments if I absolutely have to, but I greatly dislike them. Chances are if you're winning in front of me on a blippy theory spike or an apriori it's because the rest of the debate was literally impossible to evaluate and you will not be happy with your speaks because of it.

Tom Evnen Paradigm

3 rounds

Current affiliations (for TOC 2019): NSD, TDC, Lake Highland Prep, Westview's Rohith Sudhakar.

I have coached and judged for various schools on the national circuit more or less since 2003. I am fine with whatever kind of debate you would like to have; I am more attached to the idea that you have the kind of round you would like to have, than that you debate in the ways I find most interesting. So, if you have a vision for how you would like me to judge a debate, then just argue for that vision in the round, and I will adjudicate it on the flow.

I have thought most about ethical framework debate, K debate, theory debate, and tricks. I think less about LARP debate, though I'm fine judging LARP debates.

Zoe Ewing Paradigm

4 rounds

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.

Adegoke Fakorede Paradigm

2 rounds

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

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

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

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

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

email is: for email chains

Katherine Fennell Paradigm

5 rounds

Stuyvesant High School ‘17
UC Berkeley '21
Summer Camps: Instructor at NSD Flagship (2017, 2018, 2019), NSD Philadelphia (2017, 2018, 2019), and Texas Debate Collective (2017, 2018, 2019). I am the co-director at NSD Philadelphia (2020) with Zoe Ewing.

Updated for Strake: 12/9/19

Hi! My name is Katherine, and I debated LD for Stuyvesant in NYC for four years, and qualled to TOC my senior year. I now coach.


(a) If you read disclosure against someone who is obviously a novice or traditional debater who doesn’t know how to answer it, I will not evaluate it under competing interps.

(b) I will not vote on a theory interpretation or violation that involves policing the appearance or clothing of an opponent. I also will intervene against (i.e. not evaluate) extremely frivolous shells.

Defaults – these only matter if no one makes any arguments to the contrary.

  • If you read theory (paragraph or shell) in the 1NC/1AR/2NR, you need to justify voters (fairness/education/drop the debater) in order for it to be a complete argument that I will evaluate. This means, if the 1AR says "condo kills aff strategy because it creates a moving target and allows the negative to go whichever flow the 1ar undercovered, which kills fairness," I will not evaluate it because there is no voter or implication.
    • If you read theory in the 1AC and don't justify voters, the 2NR gets to contest new 1AR voters.
    • I will default competing interpretations and no RVIs
  • Epistemic Confidence
  • T > theory > substance
  • Theory > K
  • Fairness > education
  • Pragmatics > semantics
  • Truth testing

General Notes

  • I’ll say ‘slow’ or ‘clear’ if necessary. I don't flow off of the speech doc, so if I keep saying 'clear' and you aren't adapting there is a solid chance I'm missing arguments.
  • I very much think you need an impact filtering mechanism (a standard text, a ROB, etc) -- otherwise, I will be left to evaluate impacts as I see fit which probably won't make you happy.
  • Extensions need warrants and impacts, even if you are extending a conceded argument. If you are extending a case that is conceded, it isn't sufficient to say "extend my whole case."
  • If you are debating a novice or someone who lacks a lot of circuit experience, please make the round educational and inclusive. This does not necessarily mean go full on traditional (although that's definitely fine), but it does mean don't go full speed and a bunch of offs. Your speaks will go way down if you are rude/exclusive/inaccessible.


  • Flashing isn't included in prep time. Compiling the doc is.


  • I am fine with disclosure theory and other shells that require out of round violations if you have a verifiable violation (screenshots, for example). I really don't want to hear a debate over who said what in some pre-round encounter.
  • If you go for reasonability, please provide a brightline. If you don't provide a brightline, or provide a brightline of gut check, I will probably gut check to competing interps.


  • I am familiar with a good amount of literature and I am open to whatever. That being said, you should err on over explanations and don't assume I know the lit you are talking about. I will only vote on arguments made in the round, not on my understanding of the literature.
  • K ‘tricks’ are great and I am totally fine voting for them if they are won– VTL, alt solves case, floating PIKs, etc. They probably need to be at least hinted at in the 1NC. (See this article).
  • I think the conceptual divide between Ks and phil is pretty arbitrary. Ks should have a ROB/framework to evaluate impacts - People often read Ks with an unjustified consequentialist framework which makes it really easy to answer with a phil aff. Just because you say the word "role of the ballot" doesn't mean it comes above the framework debate.
  • Link analysis is key – make it specific, quote aff evidence in the 1NC, have an external impact to the links (ie not just the aff does X and that’s a link, but the aff does X and that is bad because Y and leads to this bad impacts


  • Impact turns on DAs are good – I’m fine with cap good/bad, extinction good/bad, econ collapse good/bad, warming, etc. Death good/bad is also fine.
  • Empirical warrants should have statistical methodologies, sample sizes, etc – good evidence and study comparison necessitates methodology comparison and will be rewarded with higher speaks.
  • Please weigh impacts and internal links (IE compare the way you access X impact versus how they do).


  • Go for it! I probably will not be the best for super dense analytic framework v. framework debates, but I will do my best.


  • I am going to be annoyed if your A-strat is an argument that boils down to, "I defined this word as this, thus vote aff." Arguments need warrants or I will not vote on them, even if conceded. I would prefer if you had a clever trick, like a thoughtful contingent standard, rather than arguments that would justify voting one side every single round.
  • A prioris and other sketchy things need to be clear in the first speech or else I’ll probably be convinced by reasons why your opponent should get new responses.
  • If you go for a trick, you actually have to go for it – I will probably not vote off an argument that was extended for 10 sec in the 1AR or 2AR

Performance/non T affs

  • Fine with whatever you want to do. Preferably your aff is in the direction of the topic and provides a coherent method and role of the ballot to evaluate the debate, but I’ll listen to and evaluate whatever.
  • Make sure that if you don’t defend the resolution, it’s clear that you don’t defend the resolution or you defend some method affirmation of the resolution
  • Be nice to kids who don’t know how to engage your aff

K affs v. T

  • I don’t have a leaning on this debate and won’t decide ideologically. You should both be making arguments specifically in the context of the 1AC, not just “K always comes above T” or “T always comes above the aff”
  • I tend to think that affs answering T-FW need to defend some model of debate instead of just impact turning theory. Whether that's articulated as a counter interp or just an explanation of "here is my model of debate" doesn't matter. This debate should be a debate between competing models of debate, weighing the DAs and net benefits to each model instead of just floating impacts that are never interacted.
  • Extended the TVA without any analysis/implications done is not persuasive to me. You have to explain what the implication of winning the TVA is (ie which arguments does it exclude?).


  • I’ll give speaks based on strategy, technical proficiency, in round persona, how interesting you make the debate, good collapses in the 2NR/2AR
  • Things to get higher speaks:
    • Start off slowly at first and get faster gradually
    • Say "And" or "also" in a different tone of voice and speed when you are transitioning to a new argument in your case (IE after cards)
    • Collapsing in the 2NR/2AR and giving a ballot story
    • Not wasting time flashing
    • Line by lining the aff / not just reading a card dump
    • Having the speech doc sent by the time you enter the room if you are flight B (+ .1)
  • Things that will hurt your speaks
    • Being mean or obnoxious
    • Going for the "Resolved" a priori, or any other a priori that relies on a definition that would justify voting one side every round
    • Not answering the aff at all
    • Reading 1AR theory when substance is easily winnable
    • Only reading off of a speech doc for any speech that is not the 1AC.

TJ Foley Paradigm

5 rounds

I debated for five years at Valley High School in West Des Moines, IA, graduating in 2017. I qualified to TOC my junior and senior years, accumulating eight career bids and getting to octos my senior year. I currently go to Harvard and study social studies.

INTRODUCING THE 30 SPEAKS CHALLENGE! If you make an argument that I should give you a 30, here is what will happen:

1. Immediately after the round, I'm going to go to a random number generator and select a number 1-7.

2. That number will correlate to a numbered question, taken from UChicago Supplemental Essays among other sources. See the bottom for essay questions.

3. You will close your laptop and immediately respond with an answer. Your answer cannot exceed 30 seconds long.

4. If the answer is creative, humorous, and interesting, I'll give you a 30. If it's not, then I'll give you what you would have gotten anyway and then subtracting 0.3 speaks. High risk, high reward.

5. I'll repeat this process with your opponent if they wish. If both of you succeed, then whoever wins the round will get a 30 and whoever loses will get a 29.9.*

Note: I reserve the right to not follow the terms of this challenge should something egregious or unsafe occur in the round, or if you are just overwhelmingly rude to everyone.


I'll vote on any argument, but if you read/do the following, your speaks will be lowered.

1. Disclosure theory (especially must disclose full text/open source)

2. AFC

3. If you refer to yourself as "we"

4. If you just read for 7 minutes (your speaks are inversely related to the amount of time spent reading)

5. If you spread against a novice/lay debater/someone of an obviously different skill level instead of including them in the round and making it a learning experience.

Short Version
At its core, debate is your game. I really don't care what you do as long as you aren't offensive. I enjoy good framework debates the most but in the end, do what you want. I'm not great at flowing, so slow down on tags and author names. I'm not a big fan of AFC and really don't like disclosure theory or brackets theory. This means I have a low threshold for responses, but if you win it I'll vote for it begrudgingly. Speaks are based on strategy and usually start at a 28.5 and go up or down from there.

Long Version

Ks: I don't understand a lot of the lit, but a well executed K is impressive. I think K vs. framework debates are interesting. My advice if you want to run a K is to overexplain the implications of the arguments you're running and don't assume I understand all of it.

Theory: I default to theory is an issue of competing interpretations. RVIs are fine to go for, but please weigh between warrants for an RVI instead of 15 blippy arguments for an RVI and 15 blippy arguments against an RVI. Voters other than fairness and education are neat. Oh, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE SLOW DOWN ON INTERPS AND COUNTERINTERPS.

Util: Weigh everything and it could be interesting. I'm majoring in international relations and did a lot of policy work outside of debate so I'll probably understand what the plan or CP does, but if you're going for something complex/debatey (recontextualizing fiat or something like that) explain what that means.

Framework: Love it. A good framework debate with weighing and preclusion is really fun to watch. However, weigh between preclusion arguments and explain why yours operates on a higher level instead of just going "I preclude." Also, number arguments so they're easier to flow. Framework vs. ROTB debates are cool to watch.

Random things: Don't refer to yourself in the plural that "we meet" or "our argument." There is one of you and it gets kinda annoying. I won't drop you for it obviously but I might dock you speaks. Also, signpost clearly and number blippy arguments so they're at least somewhat flowable.

Ask me questions before the round if I missed anything. Good luck!

30 Speaks Challenge Questions:

1. In 2015, the city of Melbourne, Australia created a "tree-mail" service, in which all of the trees in the city received an email address so that residents could report any tree-related issues. As an unexpected result, people began to email their favorite trees sweet and occasionally humorous letters. Imagine this has been expanded to any object (tree or otherwise) in the world, and share with us the letter you’d send to your favorite.

2. Lost your keys? Alohomora. Noisy roommate? Quietus. Feel the need to shatter windows for some reason? Finestra. Create your own spell, charm, jinx, or other means for magical mayhem. How is it enacted? Is there an incantation? Does it involve a potion or other magical object? If so, what's in it or what is it? What does it do?

3. So where is Waldo, really?

4. Dog and Cat. Coffee and Tea. Great Gatsby and Catcher in the Rye. Everyone knows there are two types of people in the world. What are they?

5. Joan of Arkansas. Queen Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Babe Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Mash up a historical figure with a new time period, environment, location, or occupation, and tell us their story.

6. You’re on a voyage in the thirteenth century, sailing across the tempestuous seas. What if, suddenly, you fell off the edge of the Earth?

7. You are about to be reincarnated into a specific office supply tool in a specific office. Whose office is it, what office supply are you, and why?

Sunil Gedela Paradigm

2 rounds

Updated 25 August 2019

TL;DR: Parent judge (arghh/ yipeee/ whatever-you-feel). I am able to flow most common types of args (but not dense phil/Ks) delivered at normal speed. I value logical args/ rebuttals, even if purely analytical.

Spreading: I will likely miss some args but will do my best to follow along with any speech docs you share. I strongly recommend you slow down for your tags and crucial points, especially if extemporaneous. Do signpost.

Case Debate: I expect a basic level of case debate in addition to whatever else you may choose to run.

Theory: I am unlikely to view it favorably unless you can show a timely pre-round good faith effort to avoid citing the violation in question. Unless it is a completely unexpected/ egregious in-round violation, the burden is on you to have engaged in pre-round communications if it could have voided the need for a theory debate.

Warrants: Incontrovertible, objective, data based cards are more potent than opinions/ claims. If I call for a card, I am also checking the text you minimized/ did not read.

ROB/ ROJ: Unless proven otherwise, all args will be viewed as a strategy to win a HS debate round and not as an altruistic endeavor to effect societal/ policy change.

Trent Gilbert Paradigm

6 rounds

For when you inevitably ask for my email for the email chain, my email is


Stanford University '21
Valley HS '17
Conflicts: Valley HS, Southwoods HS

I debated LD for 5 years and coached for 2 years at West Des Moines Valley High School. During my time as a debater, I attended the TOC my sophomore, junior and senior year and attended Nationals my freshman, sophomore, junior and senior year. I acquired 12 bids total during my career, cleared at the TOC my senior year, and was awarded ninth at Nationals my senior year. I've also worked at NSD, TDC, and VBI as an instructor.

If I had to guess, I think I probably approach rounds most similarly to TJ Foley, Leah Shapiro, Evan McKinney, and Jason Smith since they all influenced my understanding of debate in some way. Evan and TJ because we were pretty close teammates that prepped together and debated similarly, Leah because she was most involved in helping me prep my Junior and Senior Year/influenced my strategic vision a ton and Jason because he had a consistent presence in my career as a debater (and even as a coach). Dave McGinnis and Christian Tarsney also had an incredibly formative influence on myself as a debater (and person), though I think I probably approach theory debates slightly differently than they do.


I will evaluate any arguments you make in the round so long as they are not blatantly offensive. I have found that I am often more compelled to vote on line-by-line comparison in rounds rather than overviews that are not directly implicated as responses to arguments on the flow. That said, an overview clarifying the way line-by-line argumentation functions in the context of the round as a whole generally makes it a lot more clear for me on how to evaluate certain arguments.

It was really maddening to me when a judge didn't seem to care about making the correct decision, so please know I'll make my best attempt to fairly and accurately judge your round. I'm okay with you asking me questions after the round about my decision so long as they don't hold up the tournament and your questions don't become insulting to me or your opponent.

UPDATE: I guess I will also add here that I've decided I will no longer intervene against any theory (yes, this does mean I will vote on disclosure theory, an update from my initial paradigm)— this is not to say I'd like to hear either disclosure theory or brackets theory though, and you'll be quite displeased by the speaks you receive if you go for disclosure or brackets bad and really didn't need to.


I will try to default on paradigmatic issues to what's assumed by the debaters (for example, if no one reads a fairness voter, but both debaters talk about fairness like its an end goal, I'll evaluate the round with the assumption that fairness is a voter. To clarify, though, I won't assume fairness is a voter if one debater contests whether or not it is and points out that no fairness voter was read). I also will evaluate internal links on standards if they are embedded implicitly (within reason) to the standard.

If no one seems to take a stance on any issue, here are my defaults:
1) I default to fairness and education are voters.
2) I default to drop the argument.
3) I default to no RVIs (and that you need to win a counterinterp to win with an RVI)
4) I default to competing interpretations. With that said, I will assume the counterinterp is the converse of the interpretation even if no counterinterp is explicitly read. I think this avoids the regressive theory trick about needing a counterinterp to win under competing interps and also makes the round possible to resolve in a muddled theory debate.
5) I default to metatheory comes before other theory.
6) I default to T and theory being on the same layer.

Trust me, though; you should address paradigmatic questions if they're of even vague relevance. If I'm in a situation where I have to default, I'll be pretty frustrated.

A few more things you should be cognizant of:

1) I am not the best at flowing- I catch the majority of arguments made but usually not all of them. if you are reading a dense position filled with analytics and particularly theory, I recommend slowing down. Also, for very technical debates it is best to signpost clearly (it's maddening when I'm trying to flow a speech and I realize the debater suddenly started talking about another layer of the flow without telling me). If you don't do this, there is a decent chance I will miss a few of your arguments.
2) While I read mostly framework heavy positions as a debater, this does not mean I will automatically understand your position- I expect you to make your framework clear enough to me in rebuttals that I feel comfortable explaining the ballot story after the round.
3) When reading Kritiks, it's best to have a well-explained ballot story. I think Kritiks that are well executed are often very compelling, but often Kritiks go poorly explained. Also keep in mind that I probably will not be up to date about the latest norms tied to critical debate and most definitely won't extrapolate implications from your Kritik that weren't explicitly stated in the round, and I've found this particularly applies in reference to pre-fiat implications of a K that are either not explained or barely explained (consistent with my general interpretation of arguments).
4) I rarely took the more than 3-off approach when negating as a debater, but that isn't to say I don't appreciate general LARPy tendencies. I think disads that are pretty specific to the topic with unique impacting that isn't strictly utilitarian are pretty strategic and of course T is a great strategy as well.
5) This is tied in with the don't be offensive part of my paradigm, but I won't vote on anything advocating the exclusion of a certain member of the community (this includes your opponent, your opponent's coach, Dave McGinnis, and anyone else in the community). It will make me particularly unlikely to vote for you as well.

Beyond this, feel free to ask me questions before the round.

Mark Gorthey Paradigm

6 rounds


TOC 2019 Conflicts: Walt Whitman HS, Scarsdale HS, Westview RS, Hunter MN

I debated LD on the local and national circuit for Westlake High School in Texas, graduating in 2013. I coached Scarsdale High School, and currently coach for Walt Whitman High School.

I will vote on any argument so long as the conclusion follows from the premises–my primary aim is to operate under the shared assumptions held by both debaters, so I will avoid "defaulting" on any framing issue at all costs and will detest being forced to do so. I will evaluate arguments as they are presented on the flow, so I will always prioritize explicit over implicit comparison made between arguments. If you'd like me to be on an email chain, send everything to

Michael Harrington Paradigm

2 rounds

***I will fill this in or UD this when needed – I’m learning about my judging as the year progresses***

- Let me preface this w/ saying the 2019-2020 year (Space topic) is my first year out from debating, so do as you will with that.

- Yeah add me to the chain…Please don’t use my old email that some of you know—use this one:

- ***I seek to judge the round that occurred in front of me & to not only give feedback, but to also learn from you all [because you’re valid & you work hard on your arguments]. Every judge should come into a round with the openness to listen to the debaters b/c it isn’t their career #iSaidWhatiSaid. But if you saying something racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, ableist or problematic to anyone, then it’s a no-go. Other than that, DO YOU because you can’t let NO haters stop you from doing what you want in your career and that’s on period.***

- I’m a graduate student at Baylor. I debated four years at Liberty starting as a novice until my senior year where I ended my career as a 2x NDT octafinalist, CEDA quarterfinalist, & a first-round recipient. I did policy my novice year & more critical stuff my last three years. 1A/2N.

- Here’s how I would pref me if I was still debating (1: good – 4: eh).
Kritiks (identity politics): 1
Kritiks (high theory tingz): 4
Policy (Soft left): 2/3
Policy (Heg): ¾

- If you’re reading this before the round & you just need the basics: Big picture stories are my jam (i.e.- here’s the main story and how the aff implicates xyz OR how the aff does xyz bad thing). I LOVE ballot framing (i.e.- what we here for?). Condensed debates are always more nuanced (i.e.- sitting on a particular arg). I typically work backwards (i.e.- I evaluate the debate from the 2ar/2nr and circle what’s important/key args…So if it is important in the 1NC/1AC- make sure you have it in the 2NR/2AR). Don’t assume I know your lango on the K or the latest updates on the DA (i.e.- *insert big words* without explaining b/c you assume I know it won’t be the best thing to do). Last thing, have fun & be petty (not rude) – I know debate sometimes forces people to take everything so seriously all the time, but I promise it’s SO much better if you just doing you & having a good time!

Here’s the tea on your particular args:


· I actually love a good disad debate! I think that a good link wall in the block is killer & it puts the aff in tougher positions.

· I think empirics that prove the story-line of the DA is SO helpful & slept on. (i.e.- this happened previously when X, which resulted in Y, but the distinction now is Z).

· To make these debates more juicy, I do think that there needs to be more impact distinction and framing than typical (i.e.- if y’all are both going for war scenarios, I need you to tell me more about why your scenario comes first or is more probable).


· Ehhhh, if counterplans are you’re thing, I think you need to make sure you’re highlighting a few things for me: why it competes, (if there are) what parts of the aff do you do, & explaining the nuances/planks(if any) of the CP. I think having an overview that is precise & slowing down on that portion would be very beneficial if you’re going for the CP.

· Internal NBs are good, tbh (obvi external ones are as well). Just make sure you explain how the CP avoids said NB.

· If you’re going for/answering theory args, slow down! If you think you’re going to win a theory argument that was 5 seconds of speeding through your block, then lololol no.

Kritik (Identity based args) aff/neg-

· If this is your thing, do you! These debates are best when you isolate an understanding of how power operates in a simplistic way.

· If you’re going for “it’s a question of orientation” or “what we do in the face of X” – I’m good for you, but don’t shy away from explaining why that orientation is important, along with why the aff is necessary.

· I just think making sure you explain your stories interaction with the power you claim puts you in a better position—along with a way to navigate and/or solve said issue.

Kritik (POMO, etc) aff/neg-

· High theory? Make it low. I understand that some of y’all are deep-deep-deep in the archives with whatever lit base you come from, but remember that we aren’t. If you can’t explain to me in translation what you’re saying in the most basic form possible, then I may not be the best for you.

· Make applications, please. The way I can process something that is complex is by making sure I understand it in conjunction to said example.

· Mmm, yeah just explain everything v. simple & you’ll be fine.

Kritik (Security, Cap)-

· These are both viable options that I think are strategic. I think most policy-sided teams get so used to the DA debate that they don’t do well on explaining the theory of cap. I think a little more time on this in relation to the aff will do y’all justice.

· I do think that having/making contextualized links will make it more useful for you in the long run. (i.e.- having an identity ptx link, but then utilizing that in the block to explain how the aff manifest said link *we know they are this b/c the 1ac/2ac said….which means that…)

· **[THIS APPLIES TO ALL THE KRITIKS PORTION THOUGH] Make sure if you’re going for the alternative, you explain how that alt is able to overcome the links you’ve made. (If you can’t articulate why the alt solves the link, then you’re in a rough spot).


· No, they aren’t the same. But it is up to you to explain the difference to me.

· So one of the things that I clearly wait/listen for in the 2NR is a clear interpretation extension. In my career, I found that for critical debaters its always an uphill battle versus FW & they have to explain everything so thoroughly – but somehow fw/t debaters can win on these arguments b/c “we know what they meant” or “its clear what their interp is”…yeah, no! If it ain’t there & the aff points it out, then that’s not good for you. I do think T can be done and done good versus critical debaters (think Michigan GW or Harvard CM/MS), but I think mediocrity shouldn’t be tolerated.

· Fairness is an impact.

· Insofar as T goes, make sure you have definitions that are clearly extrapolating what your interpretation would justify/mean.

· TVA’s are poppin’—so yes, have some.

· I also think you should contextualize everything to the particular aff and CONTEST THE AFF on some level, please.

Theory args-

· Slow down on them, please. I’m not going to get all 17 points in twenty seconds if you blazing through them.

· Can be strategic for final speeches, but time needs to be allocated there earlier if that will be your option in final speeches.

· Read your blocks, but also answer their particular theory arg about why what you did/do is bad.

If something is unclear or you want to ask me a question about a particular argument, email me! I enjoy talking about how we think about debate. Have fun!

Julia Henry Paradigm

5 rounds

Add me:

**LD 2019

I never did LD and I haven't judged very many rounds of it. I will most likely be able to keep up with the arguments you are making, but I would really appreciate some judge instruction on what it means if you win certain arguments.

Updated 2/18/19

Currently debating at KU (3rd year). Debated at Hutchinson HS for four years.

Read what you want in front of me, but that doesn't mean I will know everything there is to know about the arguments you are making. I read more policy arguments than anything else, but that also doesn't mean I'm not willing to listen and vote on other forms of arguments.

I haven't judged outside of Kansas this year and I also haven't judged very many debates in general, so I know very little about this topic. Please don't expect me to know the ends and outs of every topic specific argument.

Please be kind and respectful to everyone in the room. It makes the debate space much more enjoyable to be in.

Kritiks: Preferable if they have a specific link, but as long as you win a framework argument and an impact to the link you should be fine. However, I am persuaded by case outweighs arguments if coupled with a framework argument as well. It just depends on who does the best debating.

Counterplans: Are always welcome. You should make a judge kick argument.

Disads: Again, very welcome. Remember that I haven't judged very many high level debates this year. Don't assume I know the intricacies of them. Explanation > tons of cards.

Topicality: Also, Explanation > tons of cards. In order for me to vote on T I need an impact to vote on. No offense means you don't get my ballot.

Framework: I read it a lot but don't equate this with me hacking for it. You again have to win an impact, and win defense to any impact turns they are going for. Creative TVAs are very welcome, and can be very helpful with dealing with aff offense. Aff teams, you don't need a lot of arguments to win my ballot. If you win that your impact turn outweighs their impacts or an interp that solves a lot of the negs offense, you can win my ballot.

Chetan Hertzig Paradigm

2 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.

Derek Hilligoss Paradigm

3 rounds

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

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

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

The stuff you actually care about:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Random things:

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

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

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

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

Nadia Hussein Paradigm

6 rounds

About Me:

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

I want to be on the email chain; use


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Whit Jackson Paradigm

3 rounds

Add me to the chain:

conflicts: DebateDrills (roster here), Brentwood (class of 2018)


Two notes on the nukes topic:

1. I've done a good amount of prep for this topic, but I still am not super well versed in a lot of acronyms and weapons systems people are mentioning. Please explain these terms.

2. I am still very undecided on the scope of aff and neg fiat on this topic (eg circumvention/rearmament/nfu compliance/etc). Don't defer to me if this is central to the debate, debate it out in round.



1) Disclose. First three/last three is a bare minimum to win in front of me. Full text is the bare minimum to get above 28 speaks. I will probably require open source by TOC 2020.

2) I will not vote on any argument about something that occurs outside of the debate (disclosure is the only exception). Death good, arguments about your opponents appearance, and explicitly offensive actions end the round and get a L20. I think the ballot is a terrible tool for rendering a moral judgement on debaters.

3) Fair Play. Miscut evidence, clipping, reading ahead, outside communication, etc are cheating. Accusations without proof mean you lose. “Evidence ethics” ends the round and it’s decided on that alone.

4) I won't vote on arguments I can't understand in the speech they're first made. I don't flow from the doc. I'll slow/clear but if you don't adapt I'll give up and stop flowing until you do.

5) Prep ends when the doc is sent. Flow clarification is prep/CX. If you can't send a marked doc immediately once your speech ends you'll lose at least .5 speaks. Ditto for "mark the card there."



1) Stop dropping arguments. Please.

2) I don't want to judge rounds about absurd theory arguments, tricks, or most LD phil debates. I don't usually enjoy judging these debates and I don't think I'm very good at resolving them. The biggest exception to this is well-developed phil that doesn't rely on absurd claims that would never be taken seriously in a classroom (these debates are rare, but among my favorites).

3) Bad for aff vagueness. If the answer to "what does your aff do" only becomes clear late in the debate, I'll usually lean neg on questions of competition and solvency (provided the neg points this out).

4) I lean further neg than most on counterplan theory. Creative counterplans are underutilized. The best answer to most "cheating" counterplans is competition rather than theory. Condo is probably good but 2NRs that mishandle it deserve to be punished. I'll judge kick a condo CP (flag it in the 2NR).

5) If you read an advocacy, I'll hold you to defending it. "Not defending implementation" makes negative sense to me and extra-topicality should lose to the TVA 10/10 times. You're probably better off reading a K aff than a franken-aff that tries to meet in the middle.

6) I like judging well executed T debates. I think the limits of the topic should be predictable and set by the topic's wording (I'm unlikely to exclude an affirmative without a definitional basis). Any version of T - Plans Bad is not very persuasive to me.

7) I think my record is near 50/50 in K Aff vs. T debates. I coach students on both sides. Thoughts:

Aff: I think affirmatives do have some burden of "affirming" something -- i'm pretty easily persuaded that pure pessimism is neg ground and am likely to vote on a presumption arg if the aff doesn't do anything. When answering T counter-define words and have a debateable counterinterp ("discussion of the topic", "only our aff", etc. wouldn't make sense in any other T debate). Justify why a model of debate with reduced predictability is preferable to a model that excludes _______.

Neg: Fairness >>> skills, don't read a 4 minute overview, don't rely on stupid args like truth-testing. A significant number of T 2NRs I've heard recently seem like they didn't even listen to the 1AR -- don't expect me to save you from technical drops. Neg usually under-develop the TVA, but I find having one less important than a lot of judges do.

8) K debates should have more investment into framework by both sides. Ks need to disprove the aff (FW contextualizes what this means). Affs shouldn't forget they have an aff. Negs shouldn't drop the case. Unless the alt explicitly includes the aff, it isn't a PIK. "Role of the ballot" doesn't mean anything.

9) Random paradigmatic things:

- Insert re-highlighting: sure

- "You didn't read a fairness voter" isn't super compelling to me if it's justified why the round is skewed. I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that both sides should have a roughly equal shot of winning, all things equal.

- 1AR doesn't get add ons. 2NR doesn't get new uniqueness, links, etc.

- I will disregard any argument about my "jurisdiction" as a judge.

Patrick Johnson Paradigm

4 rounds

For all debate formats- Run whatever you want, but for the love of all that's good and right, please, please respond to what your opponent runs, explain your clash analysis, and give me a weighing mechanism. cool


LD- Not only should V/VC be defined, I'd like to know your rationale why they are superior over other V/VC you could have chosen. ALSO, have clarity on how the VC gets you to the V. And of course, contrast how your V is superior. In the event your opponent has the same V, and/or tries to claim your advantages through his/her V, clarity of comparison analysis, and reinforcement, are pretty darn important. All too often I'm seeing debaters essentially referring to an opponents position, as if that somehow provides clash. I need analysis of opponents arguments to give me a reason to flow to your side.

CX- I like on-case arguments, T is fine. Not huge fan of Theory when all you know is how to read the canned script of your Theory argument w/o understanding or being able to explain your own argument, same goes for K.

PF/Parli- Comparative Impacts! Logical pace w/o spread- breathe and just explain ideas and clash.

Josh Johnwell Paradigm

4 rounds

Joshua F. Johnwell (they/them/queer/whatever you want)
NYU Debate - open (Junior)
Houston, TX / Nat HS Circuit (4 Years)
GDI (Gonzaga) Alum - 4WK, 5WK Scholars, 2WK

Email questions to
or just ask before round, preferably. oh & YAS, EMAIL CHAIN ME

**Updated 4/27/19 for ToC: I expect so much from y'all -- please slow down on theory and your shells for me -- or at least spread through card and go slow for tag. Please read a TVA if you're going for T/FW; just do you -- please don't authenticity check me or make me relive trauma, thanks.

**Updated 10/10/18 for Bronx: hi so idk much about the LD topic whatsoever this semester, so please default to fleshing out the warrants for me, etc. also, please be wholesome; there's a lot going on in my life lately. For those who have me in policy, cool, I debated on the Latinx America topic so I'm sort of familiar, but still you be you.

**Updated 3/3/18 for Lakeland LD/CX: My paradigm was written with policy debate in mind. I'm not too huge on "theory" hacks (just, no, please), I don't like RVIs, I don't like huge underviews, IF THEY READ A CASE WITH A PLAN/ADVOCACY/WHATEVER -- ANSWER IT (Idk why I have to say this). I like T more now than my paradigm suggests (idk why). Also my lit base on the multitudes of LD frameworks are limited af -- i'm a policy debater. Make reference to Beyoncé and queer stuff and I MIGHT boost speakers if you're funny.

Idk why I have to say this either but: yes, I am Black.

If you are not Black (white and non black poc) do not read anti-blackness/Afrofuturism/pessimism/optimism arguments in front of me (aff/neg) if the other team calls you out at ALL you will lose the debate.... same for other PoC arguments that the authors say are for PoC. If it is not your position you don't get to use other peoples bodies to get a ballot.
******* - Jalisa Jackson

Most of this wiki is just a copy-and-paste of sarah lundeen's

This is basically just a TL;DR:

I'm reliant on my flow to dictate where the direction of our debate is going and i'm voting for the team that does the better debating. i desire the community aspect of debate and the friendliness that comes along with that. i dig rounds, and a community, where everyone is comfortable and getting what they want out of the activity, and i will try to accomodate that however means necessary. i live for the sass and clash in a debate, but there's a line to be drawn. also, i'm pigeonholed as asian a majority of the time, even though i'm black, and that annoys me and my psyche, so please don't assume anything -- also feel free to come up and conversate / have a discussion with me; i'm a southerner who loves branching out. i hate stealing prep.

If it's not in my job description, i ain't doing it. Now, i will listen to whatever type of debate you want to have (K, policy, performance, other), just do you boo. i'm not here to make a changes or to impose rules on this sphere. if you're good, great; just stick to what you're good at (i'm a very blank slate judge). i will not call for cards/ev after a round unless there's a fact check claim or just a large issue about the ev. with that being said tho, i'm not calling for ev if the debater is simply like "this evidence is on fire" or "call for this card after the round" - explain the warrants and flesh it out for me as a judge. I will not do the work for y'all, and i reward those who make my life easier.

Timing/Paperless - Speed: fine (idk why people go slow af on tags and an unclear sprint through the cite/card tho...?). Your prep time runs until you are finished prepping your speech - i.e. it is ready to email, saved to the jumpdrive, viewing computer, in the dropbox, whatever your method is. if you do not know how to functionally do these things or how to work your laptop, we're all going to have a bad time. Specifically, I hate people who steal prep (this can be in a multiude of fashions) and will call out against it - i.e. when the prep timer stops, you stop, all parties stop; just chill.

CP – I love a good CP neagative strategy and will give the neg more leverage on theory, but i will still evaluate aff theory (it just needs to be developed) and the neg still needs to defend their world. Conditional planks and multiple cp's is where things are gross for me, however. your cp should have a net benefit and you need to impact it out for me buy it especially if it's in the 2nr. i like "shady cp's" (Richard Min™) if done right– i.e. consult, process, delay, courts lol, but with that said they're probably bad for debate and i will most likely err aff theory. if you can explain the competitiveness in a topic-specific way, textually or functionally, i would live for this. Perms: do them, love them; they are a test of competition. PICS: i'm a fan, personally, but needs to be super specific and not a "throw-away" cp; embed that ish into your strat.

K – slay. me. i love the K; debate the k; live the k. I'm not familiar with the whole lot of dead french guys. Alternatives need to articulate what their world looks like, how it resolves the links, etc. i hold a high threshold for a k debate. my 2nrs in HS were baudrillard (i know, i'm sorry), cap, queer theory, etc. so i'm familiar with some literature, just not super specific. K affs need to be able to explain their framework/warrant to vote aff in a way which provides negative ground and debatability. I love k debate/performance and i think it has a lot of value to bring to the debate community –i prefer judging methodology debates too. pls don't just read blocks done by coaches/backfiles if you're reading these args, i love to see clash with links, da's to different methods/alts, etc.

Topicality – I'm not the biggest T fan, but i will vote on it! i say i'm not the biggest fan because i largely look at plans in a vaccum and reasonability sits well with me. that being said, this usually pertains to topics i'm debating on, and i have no knowledge of china besides helping out former HS teammates this year. a good t debate gives me a case list of examples under their interpretation. i evaluate t debates in a defense-offense type of way especially in competing interpretations debate. give me impact analysis, please.

DA – yaaas. you really can't go wrong with this. i love a good politics debate. give me a link story please for any type of scenario. i love the "traditional" craft and things you can do with a simple disad (turns, outweighs, etc.). most disads now-a-days have become let me just read the weirdest scenario and hope they don't have cards on it-- that's fine, i just want specifics and more specific links/story/argument will buy me more. do the werk.

Theory/Framework – i'm not a big fan of huge theoritical debates, but i can dig framework. FW has been read a bunch of times to my cases and i enjoy the substantive part of these debates. your framework needs to rise above the influence of "we could've done more" or "you need to be [XYZ]" because i feel like those debates are shallow and don't really engage with one another. if it's "impossible for you to debate" at this point, c'mon... if you have some good arguments about why they make debater better/worse in that it makes us better informes/more ignorant, better or worse people, etc I am all ears. Also, condo is okay until it becomes a mess i.e. condtradicting advocacies, taking it all into the block and not specificying your strat, always going for it in the 2ar, etc.

Underview – I would rather vote on how y'all debated, instead of intervening in anyway so i don't get post-rounded. Impact assessment and evaluation of the debate in the last rebuttals are important. a helpful tip is to write the ballot for me in the rebuttals, and most of the time mine will reflect that if you're winning. Speaks are a thing.

I don't enjoy listening to debates in which gendered/racist/ableist/homophobic/exclusionary language is used. At the very least your speaker points will be effected.

Anthony Joseph Paradigm

6 rounds

I think specific development of argumentation is good debate and how that is evaluated by adjudicators is important.

What that means is that I think that every debate/r/r(s) must make complete arguments, not to say that you shouldn’t pref me if you aren’t going to make an incomplete argument but that you should try your best to include a claim a warrant and an impact for your arguments.

the claim is what you are trying to say, the specific argument that you want me to understand
the warrant being a reason for why that point is being made, where is the claim being made?
the impact – what about that makes the status quo worse, what about that specific claim is uq to your impact story.

without pinpointing in the affirmative or the negatives model for [x y z/ CP, T, DA, K FW, Case] you will most likely already be behind.

I need you to know the evidence you are reading, too much debaters are just reading evidence and reading new

evidence I don’t know why that is, I think that if you started actually teasing out arguments instead of relying on your

coaches blocks debates would go a lot further in the long run. I think that you also need to be able to refute and defend

an arguments against the opponents best arguments at the end of the day,

if you are confused about why your strategy didn’t work in front of me its probably because

you spoke too fast in your computer at lightning speed,
you didn’t catch my side cues about being oddly annoyed at you not recognizing my cues, or its because
you didn’t frame how I should evaluate arguments.

All good debate requires CLASH – you cannot win debates by just extending your own arguments you must make responsive arguments to very hyper specific arguments that the other team is extending as well you must use the same formula for making your own arguments in order to respond to the other teams arguments.

If you are not doing this then even if you read performance arguments, identity politics, etc – you are already behind because debate is about models and its about testing, so even if your aff or alternative or model or anything else is independently being debated then you are losing the debate already –

T/fw Aff – I think that critical affirmatives if you aren’t going for a general impact turn story, I need you to tell me what the aff and the neg ground looks like under your interp, I need reasons to prefer your counter interp over their interp and I need you to tell me why the affirmative needed to be read on the aff specifically outside some tautology about the overrepresentation of framework itself. If you don’t do those things and you say- “they could have read Baudrillard, feminism, k links” and only go for K debate is good then you are already behind in the debate. Iterative testing has to be answered, why does your aff not have to be tested if its in debate, and also you have to answer what type of debates the affirmatives interp preserves what type of education if any is necessary to preserve on your side. Also you have to impact turn the mechanism of their education as well, whatever that might be.

T /fw Neg – I am starting to be persuaded by the argument that the affirmative shouldn’t be the only version / we should have more debates over the affirmative/ testing args more and more, however actually nuanced discussion about the types of debates that your tva preserves would be good. It need to be actually engaging with the brim surface of the K lit so it needs to be more inclusive of just the aff against a really good critical team, it needs to be about the other types of affs you include and the types of debates you preserve as well.
Fairness isn’t really my thing, although, whatever.

DA – PTX is really the only DA I am having trouble getting when read against K teams – like I get the theoretical necessity of it, but its never really debated about the merits of the internal link between the aff and maybe an example of how the affirmative itself links to the da if you choose to go for it, if that makes any sense. Who knows. Besides that I think the 2nr usually ends up losing to the aff o/w because of a lack of impact comparison.

CP – love CP’s need more of them. Theory on the CP is always again debated too fast and so it ends up losing to impact turns/ aff o/w

K- I really am starting to hate the K, meaningless debates happening all around.. Stop reading overviews, you don’t use them ever again. Its annoying after the seventeenth time. The most interesting thing that never is discussed is the permutation debate – also a lot of shallow debating happening – 13 second links are das to the perm aren’t actually das to the perm, or combined is just 1 da to the perm, maybe.. without an impact story.
I like good alt work, I don’t know if teams are even good at going for the links in the 2nr as linear da, so if you kick the alt have a good reason.
FW is super important, so you should probably spend more time using your overview to indict the affirmatives ethics/ model of action

The link debate – somehow you all have forgotten how to extend links on the k – you can use the same formula at the top for making an argument here, except I also need to know at the end for the claim warrant impact about why it turns the affirmative, you must also label the links and also keep up with the arguments that other teams are making under specific links, it just would make for better debates if the vast amount of arguments were being debated out instead of having me sort through it with no framing and then the subsequent frustration that results becomes an echo chamber for worse dialogue and argument development.

If you are not making substantive link arguments in the 2nr, and you did a great job in the 2nc and you lose, don’t ask me why. If you said we don’t have to re-spin the wheel, but you didn’t answer the 2ac argument on the K, the 1ar argument they made to link turn the k, but they didn’t answer the link and you have no framing for how to resolve either of those things, im most likely going to vote aff unless something horrific happens I’m down for any argument if explained well.

I enjoy thorough debating, so if the merits of the debate were framed in a more digestible way, for me that is critical. Im down for most things, except for like high speed debates without blocks where debaters believe that judges get every word on their paper and then have the audacity to get upset in the post round – Please come correct, do something to ease the judges inevitable lack of translating every word on the paper, and maybe it would help you in the long run.

im giving speaks based on how well you debate- it has everything and nothing to do with your speaking in the 1ac and 1nc – that speech is hard but instead of walking around with your friends maybe you could be warming up because that’s what you came here to do.
And CX is really a waste of time these days – you don’t even extend it in the speech

I will not judge kick arguments based on my own preference, sorry that seems like the ultimate line to cross.
Can we start writing our prep on the board from now on, the stealing prep isn’t even being done in high fashion, if you want to steal from the academy can you at least not get caught. Ffs

Theory – if you speed through your theory without giving the blocks and you are looking at me for some response – please see my emails: I have two;


Please come to the debate to have fun, with the desire to win the debate, or have fun.

Jessica Jung Paradigm

2 rounds


My name is Jessica Jung. I won NPDA in 2018-2019 with my partner, Lila Lavender as a hybrid team (the first all transwomen national champion team yay!!) I also did NPDA Parli for four years in college for UC Berkeley where I competed on and off. I was mostly a kritikal debater personally but I dabbled in case and theory every so often. I generally believe that debate is a game and should be treated like one. This means that I am content agnostic (for the most part and with a few exceptions such as instances of violence in the round) and that I see debate from a more technical standpoint. Technical debate was what I learned at Cal and is what I am most familiar with and thus, that tends to affect my judging. That being said, one of my goals in debate when I competed was to turn debate into a spectacle (whether that was good or not has yet to be seen) but as such, I am very open to new arguments, new types of debate and pushing the envelope for what NPDA parli is or could be. That being said, anything that is new takes some getting used to so don't be surprised if I find these cool new novel arguments difficult to evaluate.

A few personal requests:

1. Please read trigger warnings or content warnings before discussing any topics related to sexual violence. Please do so before the round and not at the top of the PMC so that if I or anyone else in the room needs to take a second, or abstain from the debate, there is a moment to exercise some amount of personal privilege.

2. Do not misgender your opponents, intentional or otherwise. I would generally recommend defaulting to "they" if you do not know someone's pronouns and to use "my opponents" in the round as I find using people's first names in the round to be kind of uncomfortable.

3. I would prefer you do not give me a "shout out" or refer to my personal history during your speech or during debates. Not sure exactly how to phrase it but I find it uncomfortable for debaters to refer to me via first name or reference my debate history in the round. Before or after is fine, we can make small talk etc but please just don't be weird about it during the round.

4. Please debate however makes you the most comfortable, I have zero preferences whether you sit or stand, what you wear etc as long as you're respectful of your opponents and your partner.

TL;DR fine with theory, K’s, case, explain your arguments with warrants and explicit implications, will default to tech evaluation on the flow, don’t be bad to your opponents

Evaluative Framework:

- I'm comfortable with case, theory, K's etc. I'm fairly content agnostic in this regard.

- I'm fairly comfortable with speed but if I call clear or slow, please heed these requests, otherwise I will just miss things on the flow because I can't write fast enough.

- I evaluate the debate based on the flow, which generally means I will vote in whatever way minimizes my intervention in the round. I think that some amount of judge intervention is inevitable but I will still aim to make decisions with the least amount of intervention possible.

- I stole this from Trevor Greenan but we got a similar debate education so this should be totally justifiable: I vote in this order:
1. conceded arguments
2. arguments with warrants and substantive analysis
3. arguments with in-round weighing/framing
4. arguments with implicit clash/framing
5. arguments I am more familiar with

- In round articulation of arguments is very important. Even if conceded arguments have certain potential implications for the round, unless those implications are made explicit or within the original reading of the argument, I am unwilling to grant you those implications as that feels interventionist. This generally means you should be more explicit than not. This applies to: concessions, extensions, impacts, weighing etc.

- I generally don't like voting on blippy arguments or underdeveloped arguments especially if these arguments are just claims with no warrants or impacts. I have a high threshold for these types of arguments and am also willing to grant late responses if the original argument or its explanation was unclear or massively underdeveloped.

- I do not grant shadow extensions, or at the very least, treat them as new arguments. This means that arguments not extended by the MG cannot be leveraged in the PMR, arguments not extended by the MO cannot be leveraged in the LOR etc. While grouped/blanket extensions are fine, for example if an entire advantage/DA is dropped or extending a section of the flow like all the impacts, but for the most part if you want anything specific from these extensions you should do them in the MG/MO. This also includes new cross applications from extended arguments onto other sheets/layers of the debate as these cross-apps should have been done by the MG/MO.

- I protect against new arguments but you should call Point of Orders just in case as I am not perfect and can/may miss things.

- I have a high threshold for voting on presumption and presumption is a portion of debate I may not be the most comfortable on. I'm still willing to evaluate the layer, just don't assume that I'm following your presumption collapse 100%.

- I don't mind conditionality. That being said, my preference is towards less wide, more tall/deep debates but whatever floats your boat.

Argument Specifics:


- have a stable and clear interp text
- read theory arguments with explicit voters
- if not explicitly articulated, I will default to drop the argument
- I default to competing interpretations
- read brightlines for reasonability
- generally friv T is fine by me but I'll be honest and say I don't find friv theory debates to be all that interesting
- I might have a lower threshold for voting on RVI's than other judges on the circuit but I am still generally unwilling to pull the trigger on them unless they're substantively developed, even if its conceded (see the point about implications/explanations above)
- if standards are not articulated in substantively different ways or are not given different implications (like terminalizing out to fairness or education) then I am unwilling to auto-vote on a conceded standard if the other similar standards have answers to them or if the other team has some amount of mitigation.


- sequencing arguments such as prior questions or root cause claims need to be warranted and substantively explained as well as interacted with the other portions of the debate
- clear links please, not links of omission, try and make them specific to the 1ac
- I evaluate links via strength of link. comparative work on the links done by the debaters would make me really happy! be sure to weigh relinks and links against each other
- rejecting the resolution in front of me is fine as long as you defend and justify your choice
- I believe that I can follow along with most K arguments you read in front of me but don't assume I'm intimately familiar with the literature
- do not assume that because I did mostly kritikal debate in college that I am exclusively a K hack, if anything I am likely to expect a lot from K debates and may have higher evaluative thresholds for K's because that's what I am most familiar with. that being said, I love kritiks so feel free to run them in front of me.
- I evaluate permutations as a test of competition and not advocacies unless told otherwise. I also prefer to have explicit perm texts and I'm talking like "permutation: do both" as a fine example of an explicit text. Just saying the plan and the alt are not mutually exclusive does not count as a perm argument.
- I'll evaluate/vote on severance permutations if there is substantive explanation and if there's no argument why severance is bad/unfair.


- not sure if there's really such a thing as terminal defense but am still willing to buy these arguments
- prefer less generic case arguments than not (who doesn't really) but am still fine with your generic advantages and DAs.
- more specific and warranted the better
- CPs need to stable texts
- I evaluate permutations as a test of competition and not advocacies unless told otherwise. I also prefer to have explicit perm texts and I'm talking like "permutation: do both" as a fine example of an explicit text. Just saying the plan and the CP are not mutually exclusive does not count as a perm argument.
- PICs/cheater CP's are fine with me but so is PICs bad and CP theory

Sheryl Kaczmarek Paradigm

4 rounds

Sheryl Kaczmarek Lexington High School --

General Thoughts

I expect debaters to treat one another, their judges and any observers, with respect, and I also expect all audience members to treat every participant in a round with respect. If you plan to accuse your opponent(s) of being intellectually dishonest or of cheating, please be prepared to stake the round on that claim. Accusations of that sort are NOT JUST ARGUMENTS, they are round ending claims for me, one way or the other, so don't make the accusation in a speech if you don't want me to judge the round based on that argument alone, either for or against the person making the claim. I believe debate is an oral and aural experience, which means that while I want to be included on the email chain, I will NOT be reading along with you, and I will not give you credit for arguments I cannot hear/understand if you do not change your speaking after I shout clearer or louder for the second time. I take the flow very seriously and I probably judge as much as anyone my age, across the disciplines, but I still need everyone to explain their arguments because I may not "know" all of the nuances for every topic in every event, and I should not judge on what I know anyhow. There is an exception: I will NOT vote for arguments that are racist, sexist or in any other way biased against a group based on gender identity, religion or any other characteristic and I will NOT vote for suicide/self harm alternatives. None of those are things I can endorse as a long time high school teacher and decent human.

Policy Paradigm

The Resolution -- I would prefer that debaters actually address the resolution, but I do vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often. That is because it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question, in the context of the rest of the round.

Framework -- I often find that these debates get really messy really fast. Debaters tend to make too many arguments and tend not to answer the arguments of the opposition very clearly. I would prefer more direct clash, and fewer arguments overall. While I don't think framework arguments are as interesting as many other types of arguments in a debate, I will vote for the team which best promotes their vision of debate through their framework arguments, or at least look at the rest of the arguments in the round through that lens.

Links -- You should have them, for both Disads and Kritiks. I would really like to know what the affirmative has done to cause the impacts referenced in a Disad, and I think there has to be something the affirmative does (or thinks) which triggers a Kritik. I don't care how big the impact/implication is if the affirmative does not cause it in the first place.

Solvency -- I expect actual solvency advocates for both plans and counterplans. If you are going to have multi-plank plans or counterplans, make sure you have solvency advocates for those combinations of actions, and even if you are advocating a single action, I still expect some source that suggests this action as a solution for the problems you have identified with the SQ, or with the Affirmative (which is why your counterplan is better).

Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly really annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part of the card you read really needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.

New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot make enough sense of it to write it down, I will not be able to vote for it. If you don't have the time to explain some complicated philosophical position to me, and to link it to the opposition, you might want to try a different strategy. I will try to follow you, but there is no guarantee I will succeed.

Old/Traditional Arguments -- I have been judging long enough that I have a full range of experiences with inherency, case specific disads, theoretical arguments against politics disads and many other arguments from policy debate's past, and I also understand the stock issues and traditional policy-making. If you want to really confuse your opponents, and amuse me, you'll kick it old school rather than going post-modern.

LD Paradigm

The Resolution -- The thing that originally attracted me about LD (as opposed to policy) was that debaters actually addressed the whole resolution. These days, that happens far less often in LD than it used to. I do like hearing the resolution debated, but I also vote for non-resolutional, non-topical or critical affirmatives fairly often in LD. That is because I believe it is up to the debaters in the round to resolve the issue of whether the affirmative ought to be endorsing the resolution, or not, and I will vote based on which side makes the better arguments on that question, in the context of the rest of the round.

Framework -- I think LDers are better at framework debates than policy debaters, as a general rule, but I have noticed a trend to lazy framework debates in LD in recent years. How often should debaters recycle Winter and Leighton, for example, before looking for something new? If you want to stake the round on the framework you can, or you can allow it to be the lens through which I will look at the rest of the arguments in the round.

Policy Arguments in LD -- I understand all of the policy arguments that have migrated to LD quite well, and I remember when many of them were first developed in Policy. The biggest mistake LDers make with policy arguments -- Counterplans, Perm Theory, Topicality, Disads, Solvency, etc. -- is making the assumption that your particular interpretation of any of those arguments is the same as mine. Don't do that! If you don't explain something, I have no choice but to default to my understanding of that thing. For example, if you say, "Perm do Both," with no other words, I will interpret that to mean, "let's see if it is possible to do the Aff Plan and the Neg Counterplan at the same time, and if it is, the Counterplan goes away." If you mean something different, you need to tell me. That is true for all judges, but especially true for someone with over 40 years of policy experience. I try to keep what I think out of the round, but absent your thoughts, I have to use my own.

Evidence -- I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Highlighting random words which would be incoherent if read slowly really annoys me and pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is more than annoying. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part if the card you read really needs to say extinction will be the result. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.

New Arguments/Very Complicated Arguments -- Please do not expect me to do any work for you on arguments I do not understand. I judge based on the flow and if I do not understand what I have written down, or cannot make enough sense of it to write it down, I will not be able to vote for it. If you don't have the time to explain some complicated philosophical position to me, and to link it to the opposition, you might want to try a different strategy. I will try to follow you, but there is no guarantee I will succeed.

Traditional Arguments -- I would still be pleased to listen to cases with a Value Premise and a Criterion. I almost certainly prefer traditional arguments to new arguments that I cannot understand at full debate speed.

Theory -- Theory arguments are not magical, and theory arguments which are not fully explained, as they are being presented, are unlikely to be persuasive for me, particularly if presented in a paragraph, since there is no way of knowing which ones I won't notice or write down, and no one can write down all of the arguments in a densely packed theory paragraph. I also don't like theory arguments that are crafted for one particular debate. If it is not an argument that can be used in multiple debates (like topicality, conditionality, etc) then it probably ought not be run in front of me. New 1AR theory is risky, in my opinion, because the NR typically has more than enough time to answer it, and I don't especially like disclosure theory arguments because I am not in a position to judge what was done or said before a round, and because I am not at all sure I ought to be voting on things that happened before official speech or CX time begins. All of that being said, I have voted on theory, even new 1AR theory, and disclosure theory, if a debater WINS the argument, but it does not make me smile.

PF Paradigm

The Resolution -- PF still debates the resolution, which is one of the things I really like about the activity. Please make sure you do debate the resolution when debating in front of me. It would be best if the Final Focus on each side attempted to guide me to either endorse or reject the resolution.

Framework -- This is beginning to be a thing in PF in some places. I am perfectly willing to consider a lens through which I can look at the arguments in the debate, but given the time limits, please keep your framework simple and focused, should you decide to use one.

Policy or LD Behaviors/Arguments in PF -- I personally believe each form of debate ought to be its own thing. I do not want you to talk quickly in PF, just because I also judge LD and Policy, and I really don't want to see theory arguments, plans, counterplans or kritiks in PF. I will definitely flow, and will judge the debate based on the flow, but I want PF to be PF. That being said, I will not automatically vote against a team that brings Policy/LD arguments/stylistic approaches into PF. It is still a debate and the opposition needs to answer the arguments that are presented in order to win my ballot, even if they are arguments I don't want to see in PF.

Paraphrasing -- I really wish the NSDA had decided to kill paraphrasing in PF. When someone paraphrases inaccurately, I have a huge problem with it. I expect debaters to be able to immediately access the text of the cards they have paraphrased -- there should not need to be an off time search for the article, or for the exact place in the article where they drew their paraphrasing from. Taking a 150 page article and making a claim from it is not paraphrasing unless you can point to the exact place your statement is based upon.

Evidence -- If you are using evidence, I expect your evidence to be highlighted consistent with the intent of your authors, and I expect your tags to make claims that you will prove with the parts you read from your evidence. Pretending your cards include warrants for the claims you make (when they do not) is unacceptable. If your tag says "causes extinction," the text of of the part you card you read needs to say extinction will happen. Misrepresenting your evidence is a huge issue for me. More often then not, when I read cards in a round, it is because I fear misrepresentation.

Theory -- This has begun to be a thing in PF in some places, especially with respect to disclosure theory, and I am not a fan. As previously noted, I want PF to be PF. While I do think that PFers can be too secretive (for example, getting excited because people are watching their debates -- debates are educational and should be open to observers) I don't think that PFers ought to be expending their very limited time in rounds talking about whether they ought to have disclosed their case to their opponents before the round. Like everything else I would prefer not be true, I can see myself voting on theory in PF because I do vote based on the flow, but how about debating the case in front of you, instead of inventing new arguments you don't really have time to discuss? I would like that, and happy judges give better speaker points.

Charles Karcher Paradigm

2 rounds

Hi! I'm Charles. I like debate a lot. I have coached and judged a good amount since graduating in 2018. I did LD in high school and now study International Relations and English at the University of Florida. My orientation to debate was mostly inspired by Jack Ave and Sean Fahey, but I now find myself to be smack in the middle of the Policy/K spectrum.

If you find yourself debating with me as the judge on a panel with a parent/lay/traditional judge (or judges), please just engage in a traditional round and don't try to get my tech ballot. Treat me as a traditional judge and just win the flow in a slow, persuasive way. It is incredibly rude to disregard a parent's ballot and spread in front of them if they are apprehensive about it. They are spending their weekend doing intense intellectual labor because their child has the same passion as you, and, in many cases, they have it more stressful because they deem themselves inferior to tech judges that know their way around progressive debate. The least you can do is show some respect for them. Debate is fundamentally an activity of communication and you should be able to adapt to panels.

Here's my email: chazkinz [@] gmail [dot] com.

Here are my conflicts: Interlake, Sarasota, Oak Hall, Cypress Bay, Altamont, Valley, Newsome DB, Eagan AI, Brophy SA. I write for Champion Briefs and have worked at Samford and NSD Philly.

Please make sure that all of the highlighting in your speech docs is yellow. If you need to insert a rehighlighting of your opponent's ev, please do that in green. This is really important. If you don't know how to use the UniHighlight function on Verbatim, I'd be happy to show you!

Quick prefs: 1 - LARP, K; 2 - high theory; 3 - theory, phil; 4 - friv theory, tricks

Big things:

1/ Debate is a game that we play on the weekends with our friends. Whatever you like, I am here for it. I care about debate and I hope that you do too. Even if you're a terrible person in real life, at least be nice to me and your opponent during the round. Demonstrate that you enjoy being in the round and make an effort. Cut good, updated cards. Make smart arguments. Have a sense of humor. Please don't be a brick wall. Don't make me hate judging your round.

2/ The current norms surrounding card tagging in LD are absolutely abysmal. "Extinction" and "That's bad" are not tags. Those are just random words. A legit tag will outline the claim that the card makes and the warrants that it has in it. For example: "Nick Arozarena is a great guy - he's attractive, received a ton of Silver bids to the TOC in PF, and has a great sense of humor. That's Karcher in '18:"

3/ “Please do not spread out debaters who clearly can not spread. You can still win this way if you're really that much of a tryhard, but I will decimate your speaks because you're an asshole. Be considerate and inclusive.” -Sean Fahey

4/ "If you want to read a case full of analytic arguments that sounds like you are reciting the alphabet or practicing how to count please, for the love of god, strike me." -Daiya Massac

5/If you enter an image/chart/graphic into the round, I will not evaluate it unless you read alongside it a detailed description of the contents of the graphic in the same speech in which the graphic is presented.

6/ I default to ROJ > ROB; ROJ ≠ ROB; ROTB > theory; presume aff; comparative worlds; reps/pre-fiat impacts > everything else.

7/ Not a fan of frivolous theory but I will reluctantly vote on it. I think disclosure is a good thing for everyone, and am very comfortable voting on disclosure theory, as long as it doesn't get too frivolous.

8/ The 1AC should, at the very least, answer the resolutional question. I'm always willing to vote on FW; TVA's are persuasive; I think that out of round impacts (advocacy skills, movement building) are more convincing than in round impacts (procedural fairness, etc.), especially when answering micropolitical affs.

9/ I don't disclose speaks anymore. stop trying to break the bracket, relax, and enjoy your time at the tournament. that being said, i am partial to raising speaks if you bring me some form of caffeine to the round. also please flash all analytics, otherwise you run the risk of me not catching them. my flowing isn't the best these days. sorry.

K Debate

This is the type of debate in which I am most comfortable judging. Just explain your arguments well and don’t assume that I know everything that you are talking about.

You may find me to be particularly useful as your judge if your research involves authors including Marx, Deleuze and/or Guattari, Puar, Hardt and/or Negri, Jodi Dean, Butler, Baudrillard, Foucault, or Agamben.


LARP is fun. I like DAs and well-thought-out plan affs. Tech over truth, unless I’m told to evaluate impacts differently.

A well-cut LARP strategy with good internal links, impact chains, and recent evidence will be rewarded with high speaker points.


Trigger warnings are good.

If I laugh in between speeches or during cross-ex, I'm honestly probably looking at memes so don't think that I'm laughing at you.

Anything else, ask me before the round!




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

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

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

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

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

Fairness is a thing---------------X----------------Delgado 92

Try or die---------X--------------------------------What's the opposite of try or die

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

Clarity--X-------------------------------------------Srsly who doesn't like clarity

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fiat double-bind-----X--------------------------------------literally any other arg

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

AFF (acronym)------------------------------------------X- Aff (truncated word)

Practicing your ABC’s and 123’s in the 1AC------------------------------------------X-No trix pls

1AR should be a card wall------------X---------------------------------No 1AR cards

2NR should be a card wall--------------X--------------------------------No 2NR cards

Memes in speech doc--X-------------------------------------------I'm a boomer and wouldn't appreciate these

Speaker point fairy----------------------------------------------X--I start at 28 and go up from there

Brian Klarman Paradigm

4 rounds

Judge Philosophy 

Conflicts: Dartmouth College, Emory University, Pace Academy, and North Broward 

Preferences: I don't really care about what argument you make. I tend to think bad arguments will lose. The debate things I think about the most are counterplans and topicality arguments. That being said, I cut everything and coach everything. I feel like I mostly judge K debates where no one agrees about anything at this point. In those, I generally am familiar with that set of arguments (I am completing my MA in cultural studies, focusing on questions of race & gender) but not how to fit them into a debate. I tend to be very comfortable with how DAs, CPs, T arguments, and case fit into debate, but I tend to do weird research so I might not know what all the technical stuff of the CP is. That also means that the purpose of a K argument (or answer to the purpose) might require more explanation than the purpose of another argument. The things I think you actually need to know about me are below. I tried to lay out what I do in most debates while they are happening and afterwords and be as honest as possible. 

Flowing: I will try to flow every argument in the debate. I expect that debaters will be doing the same thing. I could not possibly care less what the speech doc says or if you are "skipping a card" in the doc (that being said, I would like to be on the chain because I like glancing at cards after debates & trying to learn more about the topic/have informed discussions after the debates; also if you are doing some super annoying thing in the doc just to mess with the other team, I will likely be upset at you when I realize that in the post round/give points). When I flow speeches that set up argument structure (1nc on case, 2ac on off case), I will attempt to number the speech and will give higher speaker points to 1ns and 2as who set up that structure themselves (as well as be able to better understand their arguments; the 1nc that makes 4 analytics in a row without numbering is basically unflowable which means when the 2ac drops something I won't care). In subsequent speeches, I will go by the order of those numbers and will attempt to find what you are answering before I flow what you say. This means that if the 2nc starts on 2ac 4, I will mostly likely miss the first few arguments trying to figure out where to flow it (unless they say "2ac 4 - X - here's our answer" which would just be easily flowable but I might be confused about why the 2nc started on 2ac 4). If the 2nc starts on 2ac 1, I will not have an issue flowing. If the negative block (or 1ar) decides that the order is irrelevant, I am likely to be very grumpy; it is hard to vote on technical concessions or other things if the flow gets ruined and it makes it hard to tell a 1ar "you dropped X" when the block does not answer 2ac arguments. In addition to initial numbering, I will be able to better understand later speeches if you give me some idea (probably by number or argument) where the thing you are extending is on my flow. If you would like to only extend an impact turn or thumper or some no internal link argument in the 1ar that is 2ac 9 on my flow but don't tell me that you are starting at 2ac 9, it is going to take me a minute to find it on my flow. If, however, the 1ar goes to a flow and says "2ac 9 - they dropped X - here's what it is and why it matters" I will be able to immediately find it on my flow (it is easier to find numbers than exact arguments on a flow). 

CX: I love CX. It is maybe my favorite "speech." I often try to flow it or take some notes at the least. That means you should pick words carefully in CX. I will especially try to write down anything about the advocacy and frameworks for evaluating debates (meaning metrics for thinking about things, which is not always how debate uses the word). CX can be fun even when teams get heated, but when CX is just people yelling at people and it is clear that people are more upset than enjoying things, I tend to lose interest. I like when people answering questions are honest, explain things, etc. I sometimes have the docs open and if we are having a fight about some card, I will look at it. I am not yet entirely comfortable with this, but if I miss the answer to a question, I may re-ask for the answer after the timer (I will do this with things like status or clarification, I don't think I will with other things yet but I might). I am also not comfortable interrupting CX to say things, but if someone is intentionally saying something that isn't true to answer clarification questions or refusing to answer clarification questions I may do so. If I make any definitive judgement about these things, I will try to update my philosophy again.    

Look at me: I do not have a good poker face. I'd recommend looking for expression or other gestures. When I cannot flow people, I tend to look very confused. Same when an argument is bad. When I think an argument has already been explained and/or you are saying things that aren't arguments, I tend to sit there with my pen on my paper waiting for you to say something that needs to be flowed.   

How I make a decision: At the end of the debate, I try to figure out what arguments are going to decide the debate (there tend to be 1-3), parse those out, and figure out what happens from there. It is generally better if debaters tell me what those things will be either on the line by line or in an overview (this is the only reason I could really imagine having an overview unless it is to explain some super complicated thing). I tend to think the best speeches are the ones that both identify these key points, explain why they win and then what happens if they win those key things. If there is no discussion of key points (either implicit or explicit), it is highly possible that I will try to find a few points that are key and then explain my decision from there (I determined this argument was probably the most important, here's how I evaluated it, here's why it deals with lots of other stuff). Any decision like that just makes me grumpy, especially because it always ends with the judge CX forever about why I decided this way and my answer tends to be "I didn't know how else to decide"

Speaker points: I'm going to be honest, I don't know if I understand this entire speaker point thing. I think my points might be a bit low. I don't plan on just raising them; if you need higher points I get that I might not be the judge for you. At the moment, I don't think that raising points just to raise them is a great idea because it eliminates a lot of range and variation in points that I think signal improvement for debaters and help communicate about the debate. I might revisit this later on if people want. I don't really know what an "average" speech looks like. If I had to try and articulate some made-up scale, it would probably look something like this: if the speech you gave was the best it could have been and/or basically won you the debate, its in the 29.3+ space. If the speech kept things going and helped a bit but not as much as it could, its in the 28.7+ range. If the speech was fine but didn't have much value value, I tend to think its in the 28.2+ range. If the speech wasn't good and didn't help much, it in the 27.5+ area. If the speech is bad, we are in the like 27 or even 26.8+ range. I don't think I've given many points lower than 27 and if I did, something must have gone very wrong. I tend to find most speeches between that 28-29 range. I think I average in the low 28s but I don't really know or care. Only a few speeches have just crushed the debate for me. I tend to have a lot of issue judging debates when I feel that all the speeches were about 28.2s or something and I have to give people different points. I think my default is to make the thing I think the top end or top middle (so if it was 28.2, maybe i'd give 28.3-28 to everyone). That being said, I think I am more willing to use high range in points based on speeches. I am also happy to add points for well used CX, good numbering, clarity of cards and highlighting (like if I can understand all the warrants in the evidence while you are reading), partners who work well together and make each other look good (I think basically every bold move in debate could be characterized by the 2nr/2ar as a big mistake or a big efficiency gain; if you can convince me that the 1ar under-covering the DA was to trick them to go for it, I will likely think the 1ar choice was smart and hence deserves better points, same with other speeches), etc. If people have a better way of doing speaker points, I am happy to talk about it. 

Do not: Clip cards, lie, use something out of context, or do anything else unethical. These will result in loss of speaker points or loss of rounds.

Amit Kukreja Paradigm

4 rounds

Updated for Harvard 2020

Conflicts: Any former/current students of Debatdrills, Success Academy, and Newark Science.

I’m Amit Kukreja and I debated for Newark Science in Newark, NJ for four years.

If it helps, I debated on the local NJ Circuit, the national circuit, and was a member of the USA Debate Team. I did PF for a couple of tournaments my freshman/sophomore year. I went to the TOC in LD my junior and senior year. I competed in policy my senior year at one national circuit tournament and received a bid in policy to the TOC and won the NJ State championship in policy. I debated internationally in worlds format for Team USA my senior year. For the better part of three years, I mainly did LD.

I like judging debates. I'm seriously a nerd. I don't judge at debate tournaments as much as some people do, but I watch debates. Like a lot of debates. I watch random debates online for 2 hours about capitalism vs. communism or about freedom of speech vs. censorship. I genuinely enjoy the art of argumentation and I believe it influences how I think about the world. However, I also really care about public speaking. The art of performing to me matters even more sometimes then the content of what is said, which means how you control the room/audience/judge is VERY integral to me. Basically -- keep me entertained. Yes you can spread. Yes you can read a thousand cards. But if I am not entertained in the debate, I just won't care that much about what you have to say. Find a way to grab my attention as the judge and hold on to that attention as much as you can. I like debate, I enjoy watching debates, but I need to be entertained to actually provide the energy it takes to vote for you. Make sure you get my attention and then use it to win your arg.


I would say I know a decent amount about the topic. Maybe not all the jargon, but a decent amount of stuff. I enjoy creative affs whether they are policy or kritikal, and I've enjoyed neg strats focused heavily on strategy of what the 2NR can look like.



I like these arguments. My main thing is framing in the 2NR when going for the K. I need to know why the alt matters, how it affects my ballot, why I shouldn't look to the aff, etc. I am becoming much more hesitant to the idealism of all Kritiks (i.e marxism solves everything) - so when going for the alt, please explain to me your links in order for me to grant you that a "rejection of cap" solves every problem. That doesn't mean I won't vote off a super vague alt or a general rejection alt or just an alt that is idealistic, my point is that when you explain it try to find ways for it to be a bit more material in explanation so I can contextualize what the alt does a bit better. Aff - go for the perm, disads to the alt, and explain why the aff solves the impacts to the K.

K affs are fine. Please just be able to explain the relation you have to the topic (if you do not have one, please explain why it's not relevant) and be able to explain what your method does to solve the impacts you've contextualized. If you don't really have a method that does something, I'm not going to be the most comfortable voting aff if I don't know exactly what I'm voting for.

I like really cool CPs with net benefits. Have net benefits. I really enjoy fun word pics or pics out of the aff which force the aff to engage. I'm fine with theory against abusive CPs.


These are fine as well, please explains turns case arguments and have uq. Explain the story of your disad in the 2NR vs just explaining each part individually. Impact analysis is really important for me.

Theory is fine. I like knowing what the abuse is. I'm fine with framework v k aff debates. These debates ultimately boil down to what purpose I believe debate should serve, so the team that better compares how debate as an activity allows specific impacts and contextualizes why those impacts are relevant will win in front of me.

I dont really like this. Some tricks are fine, but aprioris and random theory shells are not cool. Don't read this in front of me please.

Speaker points -- I'm not that strict on points but even getting a 29 requires some hard work. I do believe some judges give out points at an inflated level way too much now. Being funny, being passionate, making the other debater look really bad, using CX to your advantage, weighing - that increases speaks. Seriously, i will fall asleep if you don't make the debate interesting. If you do, your points will reflect that.

Other than that, if you have any questions email me at

Paras Kumar Paradigm

2 rounds

UC Berkeley 2015, Rancho Bernardo 2011

Conflicts/Association: DebateDrills (Conflict Policy and Roster Available here)

1) Hi! My name is Paras. It bothers me when people butcher the pronunciation of my name, so please make an effort to get it right. It's pronounced like a "par" in golf, with an "us" at the end. I will probably laugh at you if you call me "Paris" or some iteration thereof.

2) I do not actively judge - I very actively teach "line-by-line" debate. Frankly, I am much better at coaching than judging, largely because I find it difficult to follow a lot of high-level circuit debate. I frequently find myself having no idea about any of the details of the evidence read in debates - most debates are too fast for me to meaningfully track. This is supercharged by the lack of effort most debaters put towards numbering, signposting, and clarity.

3) I will not read along your speech doc, and will only call for it to analyze relevant evidence that is contested. I will yell clear / slow 3 times, after which, it's on you. In my experience, most debaters are generous in their self-assessment of how clear and easy they are to follow. I am not afraid to let you know that I voted you down because I had no idea what you said. You have been warned.

4) Technique over truth, but truth makes me happy. I strongly believe debate is about form, not content. I view debate as a game and don't want to impose my views of what makes for good and bad debate on you.

5) Util/LARP/Policy: Please slow down for your tags and author names before every card. I am serious--if you don't do this for every tag and author, highest speaks you will get is 29 and the chances of me making a bad decision rise significantly since my flow becomes a mess, making following rebuttals a nightmare. Some quick thoughts:

A) I believe terminal defense exists. If your extinction scenario has no brink, has significant alternate causality, and significant alternate solvency, I feel comfortable rounding down .01% probabilities of things happening to 0.

B) Empirical claims need empirical warrants, which means you should know (at minimum) the sample size, geographical scope, time frame, duration, statistical significance, variables controlled for, and source of your methodologies. Otherwise most weighing on the util debate, especially on the direction of the link, becomes superficial and surface level. You also will have a hard-time controlling the link on issues where your ev is straw-manned and/or power-tagged and/or generally low quality.

C) I strongly prefer you weigh your impacts and internal links early and often, i.e. in the 1N and 1AR. The general rule of thumb is that if you have the opportunity to weigh your impacts/internal links vs. your opponent's impacts/internal links in the 1N or 1AR, sandbagging the weighing the 2N or 2AR for strategy or time purposes is strongly discouraged. This means disads read in the 1N should be weighed vs the 1AC advantages in the 1N itself.

D) I am open to evaluating arguments that are considered unconventional like extinction/death good, warming good, collapse good, heg bad, cap good, etc.

6) Theory/Topicality: Please slow down for the text of your interpretations. I default drop debater, no RVIs, competing interps using a metric of in round abuse (not norm setting), fairness >> education, pragmatics >> semantics, text of interp >> spirit, and theory about K >> K. These are purely defaults--most debaters challenge them one way or another, so this rarely matters. Few notes:

i) I am most persuaded by real abuse, not potential abuse. Not enough debaters leverage drop the argument and reasonability vs. stupid shells.

ii) Frivolous theory--I think debate is a chess match, and I understand that this is a tool that is often very strategic to layer your opponent/expose weaknesses. If you read friv theory and do it well, you will pick my ballot but won't get high speaks (28 max). Wondering if your shell is frivolous? If you have to ask, it probably is. If you are a debater who struggles at answering frivolous theory / hates the fact that judges vote on it, all I can say is get better at beating these arguments. They are called frivolous for a reason. I think most debaters over invest vs. friv theory--20 seconds of good, smart arguments should be sufficient to beat the shell.

iii) Weighing--I prefer to see weighing on the standards and voters done early. The general rule of thumb is that if you have an opportunity to weigh your standards/voters vs. your opponent's standards/voters in the 1N or 1AR, sandbagging until the 2N or 2AR is not encouraged. Obviously you can't weigh arguments until there is actual clash on this layer of the flow, but as soon as clash is introduced, weighing should happen. So if you are the 1AR responding to a T shell and you read net benefits to a counterinterp, you need to weigh those net benefits in the 1AR. You can obviously go for strength of link weighing and respond to 2NR weighing, but introducing brand new weighing in the 2AR that the negative never had a chance to respond too is not a winning strategy in front of me. This is the only way to check for a lack of 3NR--otherwise a lot of really tech theory debates can't be resolved in a non-arbitrary way and lead to me doing a lot of work for one side or the other.

iv) Out of round theory violations--I have no problem evaluating these debates assuming I can verify the violation.

7) Kritik's: I am comfortable adopting the role of a scholar/educator if you win that framing. I have broad big-picture understanding of the major claims/theses and strategic function of most common Ks on the circuit, but I have not read the lit basis. This means a few things for you:

A) I will not follow jargon that is not commonly used in everyday language - it's in your best interest to take time to explain to me the thesis of your arguments in non-technical terms. This lets me understand what you are arguing for because flowing you at 300 WPM is hard. This applies to afropess, setcol, "high theory"/psychoanalysis (whatever that means), cap, etc.

B) I'd prefer to see the aff be at least tangentially related to the topic. You don't have to roleplay as a policymaker and you can read offense in the form of a poem/story/irony/whatever really, but if your aff is blatantly non-T, I probably won't be the best judge for you. I am persuaded by the value of switch side debate.

C) I lean towards empirical analyses of abstract concepts like ontology. I am inherently skeptical of claims that are non-falsifiable. This applies to some K alts--the more vague your alt is and the more it relies on unprovable historical and/or empirical assumptions, the less likely I am to be persuaded by it if the solvency of the alternative is pressed.

8) LD Phil/Framework: I really only feel comfortable with teaching and evaluating debates using util and non-ideal consequentialist framings (such as minimizing oppression/structural violence). I have not read most normative frameworks, so if you stray far from classical LD frameworks (e.g. Deont, Rawls, Political philosophy), I will likely not have background to your literature base. I think I can competently evaluate debates using the classical non-util frameworks, but again, I don't teach our students these debates because I don't know what's going on most of the time. For example, even after doing this at a high level for 12 years, I am still confused how we weigh conflicting violations under Kantian ethics.

I don't default to epistemic modesty because I don't understand how to assign risk of your framework being true in a non-arbitrary fashion, but am happy to use EM to evaluate the framework debate if it is won.

9) Tricks: I will reluctantly vote off of tricks if they are clearly won (e.g. skep/skep triggers, permissibility triggers, presumption, wanky logic based affs etc.). That being said, these debates are usually a race to the bottom in terms of avoiding well-developed substantive clash and are typically pedagogically vacuous because they focus the debate on to what I think are mostly trivial issues.

10) The way I judge will reflect how I give RFD’s: I will first figure out what is the highest layer of the debate, and then decide on a framework to judge that layer, and then figure out who has the most offense back to that framework. If there is no winner produced on the first layer, I will look at the second layer, and so on.

11) I expect you to let me finish my RFD before you start questioning me. This is non-negotiable. I also expect your coaches to watch and flow the entire debate if they intend on questioning me. They are welcome to listen to the recordings of the debate and email me after, but I will not tolerate questioning from people who did not flow the entire round.

12) Speaks—
a) Don’t be evasive in CX. You know what an apriori is. You know what skep triggers are. If you play dumb, I will tank your speaks. I have 0 patience for such shenanigans.
b) Technical efficiency matters. If you aren’t technically sound, the highest you'll get in front of me is a 28.5. The more technically impressive you are, the higher your speaks will be.
c) Strategic vision matters. If there was a faster way you could’ve won, speaks will suffer. I want you to go for the kill and to do it fast.
d) Big picture vision matters. The best debaters do the line by line while telling a story. Write my ballot for me.
e) How easy you are to flow matters. Do you clearly delineate when cards end? Do you signpost well? Do you give me a split second to catch up to you when you transition between layers of the debate? Did you slow down for theory interps and plan/cp texts and K alt texts?

13) I presume aff absent explicit argumentation otherwise.

I know you want to win, so please consider the round yours—do with it as you please. Take time to enjoy the process though because once it’s done, it’s done forever. I look back at my time in high school debate with great fondness, and I still miss the process of competing. Please remember that the true joy and value of playing this game is not derived from wins and losses. You are not your debate record and accomplishments. Good luck!


Jonas Le Barillec Paradigm

6 rounds

Cal RR Policy Update: I did mostly LD in high school, and attended a few policy tournaments. I went to policy camp going into my junior and senior year. I have yet to judge a round on this year's policy topic, however I coached on last year's military aid topic which has quite the overlap in the topic literature with the arms sales topic. I believe argument explanation, regardless of content, is very important. Any of my defaults can be challenged and I will vote for any argument that is won. I am more than happy to entertain any questions either through my email, facebook, or before the round.

UPDATED: 9/21/2019

2013-2017: Competed at Peninsula HS (CA)

Yes I want to be on the email chain, add me:

I primarily read policy arguments during the regular season. At camp I experimented with everything including high theory, performance, (ethical) framework, theory, and tricks.

I am willing to judge, listen to, and vote for anything. Just explain it well. I am not a fan of strategies which are heavily reliant on blippy arguments and frequently find myself holding the bar for answers to poor uneveloped arguments extremely low.

Speed should not be an issue, but be clear.

Theory Defaults:
Drop the argument

Other Defaults:

Epistemic Modesty

If I shout TAGS it means that the end of your cards and the beginning of your next tags are not distinct enough.
If you want a better chance at winning and higher speaks start rebuttal speech with a real impact overview and not just explaining how debate works.

Explaining dense arguments will make me more likely to vote for them/higher speaks.

CX and prep are both flex prep. You can just use CX to prep if you want to, and you can use prep to ask questions, and both!

Incomplete extensions will be viewed with heavy skepticism when evaluating the argument. 99% of the time this is just shouting an argument or an author name without explaining what they say/warrant.

Aff vs. the K: No Link + Perm (Yes)

K vs. the Aff: Ks without a link (No)

"Read the Cards!" : If your 2NR/2AR puts your faith in me to just read all the evidence in the debate without any prodding as to what I am looking for, odds are you may be disappointed. I will not make arguments for you/come to conclusions about an argument on my own.




Buffet 2NRs/2ARs

Only the negative reads off-case positions, if you call a 1ar shell a "new off" and not a "new sheet", you will lose speaks.

No, I do not disclose speaks.

Role of the Ballot = Roll of the Eyes; It's just impact calc.

CX begins immediately after the 1AC and the 1NC.

Mina Lee Paradigm

2 rounds


- i really dont care about things so despite my personal preferences i still evaluate most arguments as arguments and will vote on them if and when they are won so just do good debate thank

- tricks/friv theory/a priori/skep/racism good/other bullshit is out, Ks and performance stuff/policy is in, philosophy/high theory is eh (it's interesting, i’ll try my best but if I don't understand it then I don't understand it and I won't vote on itttttt), traditional debate is fine

addendum: T is fine i guess. like i am much much much more willing to listen to a T debate than a theory debate

addendum #2: if you can win a ~compelling abuse story on theory then sURE i'll vote for it i guess i have done it a good number of times before

addendum #3: fun fact i have almost a 50-50 voting record on t v k affs so stop reading half-assed k-affs/neg k strats in front of me bc u think i will like them better it is soooooooooooo annoying

-disclosing is good

-email chains are good (

-debate is about education if you just treat it like a game, treat other debaters like your enemies, and treat your arguments like cheap shots at winning, i will be sad and so will you when the round is over

-bc of the above point, i do like answering questions about things you think you could have done differently/other learning opportunities from the round so feel free to ask or to hit me up on facebook/email

-idc who your coach is or who you think you are, if you think i made a bad decision and you and your ~ posse ~ decide to yell at me for the sake of trying to prove me wrong as opposed to trying to understand the decision i will just leave the room lmao

-i don’t really care that much about things and i am usually very tired

-be nice

-i don't care if you sit or stand please stop asking me

-please don’t shake my hand

-please start slow especially in the morning i am so tired spreading is so fast i do not know why people think it is a good idea to scream at me at 40000 wpm at 8 in the morning :(

Quick thoughts because I’m too lazy to write a real paradigm:

0) An introduction: hello I debated for Edgemont LD (2018) and now I go to Princeton where I don’t do debate because hahahahahahahaha. I was coached by Brian Manuel, Rodrigo Paramo, Jack Ave, and was heavily influenced by Aurelia Williams, Chris Randall, Eli Smith, Jacob Koshak, and Sydney Pasquinelli. Put me on the email chain:

1) IMPORTANT: I like sass but don’t be mean! I almost quit debate on three separate occasions in my senior year alone. I also almost quit debate after my second tournament ever because I was laughed at for not knowing deontology. People suck. If someone is clearly not as experienced as you and you read 7 off I will give you a 25 and you may also lose! So! Don’t! Be! A! Dick! As much as this activity can suck sometimes there are things I have learned that I wouldn’t have been able to learn anywhere else in high school and I will always, always be grateful for that. Don’t be the reason someone feels like they need to walk away from those opportunities.

1.5) Evidence ethics/other out-of-round issues: a) dont be shady with your evidence b) if you're going to make accusations, then be willing to stake the round on it. i'll stop the round, look at the evidence, and decide the round based on whoever I think is right on the question. but tbh there are so much unnecessary politics and personal/ad-hom attack brought into rounds whenever this happens and they make me uncomfortable and sad and angry please treat debaters like people thank you

2) I'm honestly pretty expressive, just read my face and you'll have a good idea re: how I feel about the round

3) Arguments I read: I mostly read policy-esque arguments with critical impacts and then second half of senior year I said “fuck it” and went really hard for ID politics K debate. I finished out my career reading a performance aff that I also ran as a neg K in outrounds. That being said, if you can explain an argument really well to me I will probably vote for it. Don’t assume just because I was a “K debater” I know all your warrants and I’ll just make the arguments for you when you blip through them. In fact, if you do that and you’re missing warrants I will be EXTRA sad and so will you when you hear my rfd. My favorite neg strat my senior year was one-off K where most of my case arguments were just links to the K so if that tells you anything about how much I enjoy the explanation of complicated critical (or even philosophical) arguments, there ya go

4) JUST BECAUSE I READ AN ARGUMENT DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD READ IT IN FRONT OF MEEeee. Do what you’re good at (for the most part) and if you explain it well to me I’ll probably vote on it. I don’t hate philosophy, I was just never good at it so I never read it in high school. But if you think Kant is a cool guy and you can get me to understand his nonsense, then sure! Go for it! I’m telling you right now though I have no problem just being like “I did not understand this argument so I did not vote on it”

5) EXCEPTIONS: If you read tricks/frivolous theory/a prioris/whatever etc. etc. in front of me I will just pretend I didn’t hear you and not flow it and just doodle some flowers on my flow and also kill your speaks (see: Rebecca Kuang)

6) Flowing and analytics: I’m going to flow what I hear so if I say clear and you don’t slow down or get clear and if I miss 25 of your 30 analytical arguments and any of your post-rounding includes “but it was in the speech doc” I will just shrug my shoulders, pack my stuff up, and go get myself a coffee. NOTE: I’ll say clear/loud/slow twice and then your speaks will probably go down, but I’ll keep saying clear to keep the round going

7) T v K: I know I read a performance aff but tbh I think I’m pretty 50-50 on the T v K aff debate. I am definitely not 50-50 on the K v frivolous theory to answer Ks because people don’t actually know how to answer Ks, and if you try to randomly up-layer to answer a K that you handled poorly, I will be sad and so will you when you see your speaks and probably also the results of the round

8) ON FAIRNESS: I don't really think it's its own voter, i'll vote on it but i usually just evaluate it as an internal link to education which means that i also care about in round abuse more than i care about norm setting by default, but i will listen to arguments to the contrary i suppose

9) More on theory in general: if there's actual abuse then obviously go nuts with theory but in general theory debates really bore me and so if you must run theory I will likely be very lazy in evaluating the debate and if I can find something easy to vote on or a simple reason to default to other flows where there’s more interesting offense, I will probably do so. I was also never particularly good at really detailed theory debates, so my evaluation of intense line-by-line argumentation will probably be shit. Sorry :)

10) disclose lol.

Joel Lemuel Paradigm

6 rounds

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

Coaching/Judging History

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

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

Chris Leonardi Paradigm

4 rounds

Modern problems require modern solutions.

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

Carter Levinson Paradigm

2 rounds

Homewood Flossmoor High School ‘16

University of Pittsburgh ‘20

Meta Level:


1.) The critical versus policy divide is illusory and the borders between them are far more viscous than you would like to believe. Despite what you may believe based upon my current argumentative proclivities, I have no preferences in terms of critical or policy arguments. This is NOT to say that I am tabula rasa. Aristotle was far too presumptuous to believe such a thing was possible. I DO have preferences, but these preferences are based upon HOW not WHAT you argue. Read a plan, go for a tricky counterplan--but impress me in the WAY that you do so.


2.) Research first. Whether you debate critiques or policy, high quality evidence presented effectively determines the validity of your strategy. Show me that you have a well-researched strategy that grapples with an important issue and I will reward you accordingly (speaker points, the W etc.) Consequently, I will call for cards often and read them in the light of the debate round at hand. I don't necessarily believe that the evidence you read is MORE important than the spin utilised in the round, but I do consider spin and card quality to be equal in assessing the value of evidence. Throwing good cards at me is not enough to win a debate, but neither is throwing good spin at me without good evidence to back it up. For <ALL> teams, evidence does not necessarily refer to cards, it can be any sort of warrant to support your case, but cards will still always be considered.


Also, Put me on the email chain:


3.) Framing Wins debates.


a.) Impact Calculus: This seems redundant to say, but impact calculus is perhaps the single most important that you can do in a given debate. Yet, unfortunately, it seems to be one of the things debaters that debaters do the most poorly. Speak to me in terms of risk analysis, the tools you are most familiar with (magnitude, timeframe and probability) are only internal links (or pathways) for you to access the end goal of giving me a risk of an impact. Tell me what i’m risking by voting for the other team.


b.) Hyperbolic impact claims are unpersuasive: This is not me taking a crack at “big-stick” impacts, nor does it it mean you should switch to “structural” style impacts (although these are also usually persuasive in front of me.) Economic decline=nuclear war=extinction is not the equation to my ballot. You should instead aim to make smaller, more compartmentalized arguments about what a limited nuclear war would do to the environment or perhaps what it could do to geopolitics in an unstable, chaotic region etc. Don’t ditch your current AFF, but rather change how you argue these claims in the first place. Do not be overconfident in what your AFF solves, as often times the ‘smaller’ you think your impact is a greater risk can be assigned to it.


c.) Impact Framing: Distinct from impact calculus, but equally important. I start with assessing comparative risk, but arguments that change how I consider impacts are a necessity if you want to be making critical arguments (or even more traditional arguments like the politics disad) Tell me what you want me to do at the end of the round. Am I a policymaker? the president? A Philosopher? What do those roles mean I do? What do I look at first? If there’s a greater risk of war, maybe I should look at poverty first. These are the arguments that are the most open to interpretation and the more of them the make the less you'll be complaining about intervention at the end of the round. Or, to steal from Joe Krakoff, who is himself stealing faces,” I will attempt to emulate some or all of the following people when deciding your debate: Mike Hester, Julio Cortàzar, jon sharp, Jack Ewing, THE judy butler, THE Judith Butler, John Turner, Amber Kelsie, Jean Genet, Jorge Luis Borges, Félix Guattari, and Jim Gentile. I am (un)comfortable playing (m)any of these roles -- and any role at all -- so lest I choose one to my fancy, you had better tell me how to decide your debate.


“Specific” Arguments

I didn’t initially want to include this section, as I firmly believe the things I have written above apply to all styles, and arguments equally. Consequently, my priority goes as follows: What was said in the debate trumps my preferences. However, in close debates these guidelines and thoughts I have in regards to different types of arguments may be the difference between a win and a loss or, at the very least, speaker points.


Disads: Defense is both awesome and necessary on both sides. I certainly believe that zero risk is a thing, or at least that you can mitigate the risk close enough to zero that the “noise” that clouds all predictions makes the status quo a better option. I will attempt to judge these debates as some strange and probably inaccurate combination of Kevin Hirn and Calum Matheson.

A final note: if at all possible, and by that I mean if you anything remotely more specific, read that instead of the politics disad.


Counterplans: I like specific, nuanced theory debates. I find these debates exciting rather than droll, and think that every counterplan and practice in debate is legitimate until someone tells me that it isn’t. Fairness and education are internal link arguments, please explain these debates in terms of impacts. What should we be debating about? What are the implications of using certain practices? USE YOUR BRAINS! DON’T READ BLOCKS! I will reward those who do this heavily.

Other advice: Slow down on text, make nuanced perms coming out of the 2AC, the more specific your perm is in the 2AC the less likely I will hack out for generic 2NRs on the perm links to the net benefit.


Critiques: You will be hard pressed to find a set of critical literature that I don’t like or haven’t heard of. I like critical strategies best (especially if you plan on going 1-Off) when you let research inform the strategy instead of debate arguments. If you show me proof that you have a robust knowledge of the theory external to the evidence you are reading, and you have well-researched high-quality evidence that contests with claims of the AFF, then I will reward you graciously.

Side note: I am unlikely to be persuaded by the use of personal experience as evidence (unless you are reading evidence why personal experience is a good strategy of resistance) I am FAR more likely to persuaded by arguments about larger (potentially) structural issues (think Wilderson, Yancy, Butler, Irigaray etc) rather than solipsistic narratives.


Topicality: Fairness impacts are bad. The Rowland Evidence is bad. These debates have the potential to be awesome, however they often fall short of the mark. Topicality provides that rare opportunity to discuss what type of debates we should be having. If you make your impact arguments about comparing visions of the topic rather than circular claims about fairness and predictability than I am a good judge for you.


Framework: I firmly believe that these debates are incredibly complicated and are full of small intricate parts that never get fleshed out. Both sides take absolutely ridiculous claims as obviously true (Debates about the Government produce better decisions, Framework is the same as real violence etc) These are obviously fringe claims, but I have seen them made time and time again and very few people challenge them at more than a cursory level. Both sides are posing serious questions about the future of this activity and need to treat the debate with that level of seriousness.

Flesh out questions that don’t get fleshed out usually, it can only benefit you. What is the relationship of the state debate to the theory debate? Who has to win State good/Bad to win? Who has to win theory to win? What if one side wins one part of the debate and not the other? What should I do? Don’t assume you are winning all your offense, assume your opponents are doing a better job than you think they are, play smart defense. Calculate impacts, Frame the debate. Otherwise I will certainly choose in a way that isn’t good for you.


Miscellaneous: “In order that you are not surprised should the following take place in your debate, I will tell you now I do not intend to vote on blippy arguments that side-step the real question of the debate. This will not apply against a category of warranted arguments that might be considered "must answer" or even "cheap shots" arguments that are, however, germane to the debate. Examples include but are not limited to floating pics, topical versions, truth testing, cp results in the aff. If you like to hide a one sentence ASPEC violation in a 2nc block or practice other forms of argumentative cowardice, I will be displeased and I expect you will feel similar displeasure as a result of my own.”

Matt Liu Paradigm

3 rounds

Matt Liu (formerly Matt Struth)

University of Wyoming

Last updated: 5-15-19

Email chain:

I put a pretty high premium on effective communication. Too many debaters do not do their evidence justice. You should not expect me to read your evidence after the round and realize it’s awesome. You should make sure I know it’s awesome while you read it. I find many debaters over-estimate the amount of ideas they believe they communicate to the judge. Debaters who concentrate on persuading the judge, not just entering arguments into the record, will control the narrative of the round and win my ballot far more often than those who don’t. I have tended to draw a harder line on comprehensibility than the average judge. I won’t evaluate evidence I couldn’t understand. I also don’t call clear: if you’re unclear, or not loud enough, I won’t intervene and warn you, just like I wouldn't intervene and warn you that you are spending time on a bad argument. Am I flowing? You're clear.

Potential biases on theory: I will of course attempt to evaluate only the arguments in the round, however, I'll be up front about my otherwise hidden biases. Conditionality- I rarely find that debaters are able to articulate a credible and significant impact. International actor fiat seems suspect. Uniform 50 state fiat seems illogical. Various process counterplans are most often won as legitimate when the neg presents a depth of evidence that they are germane to the topic/plan. Reject the arg not the teams seems true of nearly all objections other than conditionality. I will default to evaluating the status quo even if there is a CP in the 2NR. Non-traditional affirmatives- I'll evaluate like any other argument. If you win it, you win it. I have yet to hear an explanation of procedural fairness as an impact that makes sense to me (as an internal link, yes). None of these biases are locked in; in-round debating will be the ultimate determinant of an argument’s legitimacy.

Clock management: In practice I have let teams end prep when they begin the emailing/jumping process. Your general goal should be to be completely ready to talk when you say ‘end prep.’ No off-case counting, no flow shuffling, etc.

Cross-x is a speech. You get to try to make arguments (which I will flow) and set traps (which I will flow). Once cross-x is over I will stop listening. If you continue to try to ask questions it will annoy me- your speech time is up.

Pet-peeves: leaving the room while the other team is prepping for a final rebuttal, talking over your opponents. I get really annoyed at teams that talk loudly (I have a low threshold for what counts as loudly) during other teams speeches- especially when it’s derisive or mocking comments about the other team’s speech.

Nick Massa Paradigm

6 rounds

i'd like to be added to the email chain -

Currently debating at the University of Kansas, Class of 2021

Previously debated for four years at Shawnee Mission East, Class of 2017

You should be clear---if I can't *reasonably* understand every word, it's clipping. I'll say "clear," but it'll certainly still mess up my flow AND your speaks.

***what happens in the round matters more than anything below***

*****LD TOC 2019*****

Don't be late, speaks will take a .1 hit for every minute past start time (enforcing this for R4 and rest of tournament).

I haven't judged LD before, BUT I'm well versed in policy and my preferences below should be of help. You should limit your use of LD/topic-specific acronyms in front of me. I've heard theory is big in LD--I'm not a huge fan (condo, process/consult CP bad, etc is all fine) -- if that's your thing, you gotta commit to it and be clear on the interp, violation, etc. I'm not the best judge for the K, but if you win it, you'll win it.

I won't vote on an RVI -- spend time answering T/Theory instead -- if it's a bad arg, you don't need much anyway

I have a super high threshold for presumption -- only dropped arguments get to 0% risk

I'm not a fan of cards from other debate people


Politics isn't perfect, but this is the world we live in now. Theory arguments on the politics da are a waste of time. Spin is important.

The impact overview needs to be at the top of the 2nc/1nr/2nr with impact calc and turns case args.

Dropping a turns case argument mitigates that portion of aff offense.

2NR strategy: If you're going for the squo and a DA, there needs to be more case defense to lower the threshold for how big the DA has to be to outweigh. Inversely, if you're going for a CP and a DA, case defense is less important unless extending it as extra defense against a solvency deficit/aff offense the CP doesn't solve.


Sufficiency framing is important for the neg. The overview should explain what the counterplan does, how it solves the aff, competes, and what the net benefit is.

If you want me to judge kick the counterplan, this needs to be clear in the block and the 2nr. Affs should say judge kick is bad before the 2ar.

I generally think conditionality is good b/c neg flex. I also think the impact distinction between 2/3/4/etc condo is super arbitrary. Theory arguments other than conditionality are reasons to reject the argument, not the team.


I don't do topic research and I don't judge a ton of hs debates so you need to explain topic-specific things.

I enjoy watching good topicality debates. I lean towards competing interpretations, unless the aff spends time/is good at developing reasonability. I'm in favor of an interpretation that establishes a predictable limit on the topic, while creating openings for affirmative flexibility. Evidence quality matters.

The 2nc/1nr should include a list of potential affs the aff's c/i justifies and explain why those affs are bad for the topic.


If aff: there needs to be a coherent strategy against T-usfg and FW. You need to win debate is key to subject formation and single debate rounds matter. Internal link defense to the neg's impacts is super important and will make winning your offense way easier.

If neg: there's a difference between T and FW. T is way more defensive and has fairness/clash impacts -- I find it more persuasive than FW, which unnecessarily gives the aff a lot of room for impact turns.


Framework is the most important part of *most* K's. If you're not winning FW, you're likely not winning any offense.

Aff: I'm good for fairness/clash and arguments about consequentialism/fiat good OR just going for you outweigh under their interp.

Neg: Unless the alt actually does something material, FW is absolutely necessary if you want to win offense based on reps (otherwise you need offense against implementing the plan). I think the most strategic 2nr's spend around 2 minutes(or more) winning FW and then spend the rest on the link.

*I'll start evaluating the debate on FW - it largely determines everything else. Judge instruction matters most here!

Aff - you should have a coherent strategy. There are generally only two; impact turn OR link defense and a perm (OR a combination of both applied to specific links).

Neg- you should impact out the links AND explain how the alt solves the specific links. If you have an alt that does something material, awesome. Also, you should not read arguments that contradict the K (on a FW level) b/c you'll almost certainly lose b/c you link to your own FW

If it's a floating PIK you should make that explicitly clear in the block.

Daiya Massac Paradigm

2 rounds

I competed for Bronx Science 2012-2014, coached Scarsdale 2014-2016, and am now entering my last year of being involved with this activity by coaching independently. Conflicts- Bronx Science, Scarsdale, Lake Travis, and a few others.

Go slower then your top speed, if I don't catch an argument I am not going to flow it. I honestly don't care what is run in front of me- just signpost well and explain your arguments. slow down on tags and analytics. I am cool with flex prep. flashing/emailing better not take over a minute or it eats your prep time. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at (use email for your email chains.)

Edited for LHP RR and beyond: I honestly hate most of the arguments run this year. Don't get me wrong, I love this activity and think that it's awesome but it seems like a bunch of you on the national circuit have taken it upon yourselves to ruin this perfectly nice debate event to the point that I wish I could travel back in time and force myself to join Policy. I haven’t heard much that I thought was smart or creative aside for a few Ks, a couple plans, and a single framework shell. As I am forced to make a decision, I will do my best to adjudicate but I can’t promise you will like my speaker points nor my decision. I got a little better at flowing but being able to hear y’all’s arguments probably will just makes me dislike them a lot more. Best way to win my ballot is to establish a clear framing mechanism and offense back to it. The saving grace for your speaker points and my sanity is the way you present your arguments. Being funny, making gutsy strategic moves, reading interesting arguments, and/or being smart will be rewarded with really high speaker points. If you are a robot that just reads docs please strike me or just have your coach speak for you instead. If you have a coach that wants to waste my time please strike me. If you want to read a case full of analytic arguments that sounds like you are reciting the alphabet or practicing how to count please, for the love of god, strike me. If I judge you I apologize in advance cause if I do and you do not listen to my advice then chances are I am just going to be replaying an episode of "Entourage" in my head instead of paying attention to your boring/asinine arguments. If you want a free conflict, feel free to send me a couple bucks on Venmo and we can claim a financial relationship (just kidding). If you have any questions about my paradigm, feel free to ask me in person (please do not attempt to contact me) about my thoughts on debate.

My pronouns are He/him/his- let me know yours before the round to avoid any issue

David McGinnis Paradigm

6 rounds

I spent a bunch of time before New Trier 19 writing a policy paradigm and in the one round I got the aff read "queer eroticism" so I am done trying to explain to policy teams how to adapt to me. Those of you who would strike or otherwise depref me because I am an LD coach: good call. Those of you who would refrain from striking me and then read "queer eroticism": please reconsider.


I am the head coach at Valley High School and have been coaching LD debate since 1996.

I coach students on both the local and national circuits.

I can flow speed reasonably well, particularly if you speak clearly. If I can't flow you I will say "clear" or "slow" a couple of times before I give up and begin playing Pac Man.

I'm most familiar with philosophical framework debating, but you can debate however you like in front of me, as well as you explain your arguments clearly and do a good job of extending and weighing.


Joshua Michael Paradigm

4 rounds

Updated 2/13/2020

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



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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

DA/CP – 1) No special feelings.


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

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

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

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

Brooke Modestita Paradigm

6 rounds

Honestly you do you. I'm just here to judge the round - I don't care what the aff is , or neg strat.

I’m an expressionate judge. So you should know based off my expressions that either does or doesn’t make sense ... I try to control it but sometimes it’s an unconscious reaction

I judge off my flows

My email is:

i am a sophomore at WVU

If this matters, I am the M in West Virginia BM, We won Binghamton, Rutgers, Quarters of UNLV (I got first place speaker) just recently won JMU and qualed to the NDT second year in a row. This might matter based off how you pref me I don't know.

Policy Teams: I'd pref me mid -- listening to a policy aff v 10 off really not fun lol, I have judged policy v policy rounds on a panel and I did not sit lol so i do know what I'm doing, and i've voted on fw go for the impacts you want to and do impact calc tell me why you win and why their offense doesnt matter and my ballot is easy.. same goes to k aff's on fw ... fairness and education are impacts that still need to be flushed out and explained in relationship to offense on aff side and aff can impact turn this but again has to be flushed out and explained for me to vote in either side of the arg

*you can ask me how i view certain args before the round and pref me however you want if you think i should be higher or lower then do so this is just my opinion*

K Teams: I'd pref me high to high - I am good with super high theory i read dark deleuze, and super materiality stuff I have read materiality fw against high theory as well. I read a performance aff and know the lit really well.

*you can ask me how i view certain args before the round and pref me however you want if you think i should be higher or lower then do so this is just my opinion*

Devane Murphy Paradigm

5 rounds



My name is Devane (Da-Von) Murphy and I'm a former debater for Rutgers-Newark. My conflicts are Newark Science, Pace Academy, University High School and Rutgers-Newark. I debated 4 years of policy in high school and for a some time in college, however, I've coached Lincoln-Douglas as well as Public Forum debaters so I should be good on all fronts. I ran all types of arguments in my career from Politics to Deleuze and back and my largest piece of advice to you with me in the back of the room is to run what you are comfortable with. Now to get to the specific kinds of debate arguments. Also, i stole this from Elijah's philosophy and agree with

"If you are a policy team, please take into account that most of the "K" judges started by learning the rules of policy debate and competing traditionally. I respect your right to decide what debate means to you, but debate also means something to me and every other judge. Thinking about the form of your argument as something I may not be receptive to is much different from me saying that I don't appreciate the hard work you have done to produce the content"

Also, don't assume because of my appearance that I'm going to like or dislike certain arguments. I jumped for joy SO HARD when someone ran midterms in front of me this season and have cried because of terrible structuralism debates.

***2/9/2020 Edit***

I'm good on flowing now. thanks for being patient with me :)

****11/22/19 Edit*****

for all those doing prefs for the Shirley.

Due to a recurring hand injury I won't be able to flow debates as a I normally have in the past. I'll be using a different style of note-taking throughout the weekend and will provide feedback from there. Good luck to you all!

****10/27/18 Edit*****

So something has been up with my writing hand over the past few months going back to the summer and it has honestly affected how quickly I can flow. So if you're preffing me at least for the near future, please make sure that you aren't going blazing fast because i just won't be able to keep up sadly.

***2018 edit***

The current trend in debate of coaches and judges just flat out not listening/evaluating the ideas of competitors because it doesn't align with you ideologically is disheartening to say the least. So, I'm gonna be upfront about which arguments I don't want to hear and then everything else is on the table:

- Weird frivolous theory (i.e. can't read with two different highlights, spikes, etc)

- skep

- metatheory

- constitutivism/truth testing (for the LD folks)

***Emory LD Edit***

I'm a policy debater in training but I'm not completely oblivious to the different terms and strategies used in LD. That being said, I hate some of the things that are supposed to be "acceptable" in the activity. First, I HATE Theory debates, particularly "metatheory" debates (whatever that means). I will vote for it if I absolutely have to but I have VERY HIGH threshold. Second, if your thing is to do whatever a "skeptrigger" is or something along that vein, please STRIKE me. It'd be a waste of your time as I have nothing to offer you educationally. Please compare impacts and tell me why I should vote for you. Other than that, everything else here is applicable. Have fun and if you make me laugh, I'll probably boost your speaks.

DA's: I like these kinds of debates even though alot of folks don't utilize them anymore. My largest criticism is that if you are going to read a DA in front of me please give some form of impact calculus that helps me to evaluate which argument should be prioritized with my ballot. And i'm not just saying calculus to mean timeframe, probability and magnitude rather to ask for a comparison between the impacts offered in the round. (just a precursor but this is necessary for all arguments not just DA's)

CP's: I like CP's however for the abusive ones (and yes I'm referring to Consult, Condition, Multi-Plank, Sunset, etc.) I'm hella persuaded by theoretical objections. I'm not saying don't run these in front of me however if someone runs theory please don't just gloss over it because it will be a reason to reject the argument and if its in the 2NR the team.

K's: I like the K too however that does not mean that I am completely familiar with the lit that you are reading as arguments. The easiest way to persuade me is to have contextualized links to the aff as well as not blazing through the intricate details of your shit. Not to say I can't flow speed (college debate is kinda fast) I would rather not flow a bunch of high theory which would mean that I won't know what you're talking about. You really don't want me to not know what you're talking about. SERIOUSLY. I will lower your speaker points without hesitation

FW vs. K-Affs: Even though I'm usually debating on the K side of this, I will vote on either side. I go with the flow and if the negative is winning and impacting their decision-making impact over the impacts of the aff then I would vote negative. On the flip side, if the aff wins that the interpretation is a targeted method of skewing certain conversations and win offense to the conversation I would vote aff. This being said, I go by my flow. Also, i'm honestly not too persuaded by fairness as an impact, but the decisionmaking parts of the argument intrigue me.

K-Affs/Performance: I'm 100% with these. However, they have to be done the right way. I don't wanna hear poetry spread at me at high speeds nor do I want to hear convoluted high theory without much explanation. That being said, I love to watch these kinds of debates and have been a part of a bunch of them.

Theory: I'll vote on it if you're impacting your standards. If you're spreading blocks, probably won't vote for it.

Jacob Nails Paradigm

6 rounds

LD Paradigm

This is the LD paradigm. Do a Ctrl+F search for “Policy Paradigm” or “PF Paradigm” if you’re looking for those. They’re toward the bottom.

I debated LD in high school for Starr's Mill high school (GA) and policy in college for Georgia State University. I coach LD, so I'll be familiar with the resolution.

If there's an email chain, please add me to it. My email is:

Harvard '20 Update:

It seems there's been a resurgence of "object fiat" theory on this topic. Object fiat has never been a real argument; it's a cop-out for people who think agent CPs are ever real arguments to explain away the most egregious ones on an arbitrary, ad hoc basis. But this new trend seems to involve accusing any CP that solves the aff of being "object fiat" (lookin at you, IndoPak affs), even when it has the same agent. That's both not object fiat and also not a real argument.

1. Unwarranted/incomplete arguments are not arguments. It seems like a lot of LDers really try to test the limits of what the bare minimum standard for a warranted argument is. Ex., “Use util because it promotes the best consequences” is not a warranted argument simply by virtue of having “because” in it; you’re just defining what util is.

2. Tech over truth in the sense that I'm perfectly fine voting for obviously false claims if the opponent can't refute them. That does not mean I'm agnostic about warrant quality. A dropped one-liner with a weak warrant doesn't receive the same weight as a well-developed argument.

3. The onus is on you not to mis-cut or powertag evidence, not on your opponent to catch you cheating. Most common culprit: If your impact card just says that bad things happen but doesn't mention extinction, you don't get to tag it as "extinction" and make Extinction First arguments about future generations and the like. It is far from a foregone conclusion that impacts like terrorism, global warming, or nuclear war cause total human extinction. If that's all your impact card mentions, you get credit for a large global catastrophe, not an existential risk. That distinction is sometimes very important.


The affirmative should affirm the topic.

I don't have any particular bias against RVIs. They're debatable in LD.

Theoretical reasons to prefer/reject an ethical theory are generally pretty terrible arguments. This includes: Must Concede FW, May Not Concede FW, Util is Unfair, Only Util is Fair, etc. You should prove that you're right, not that it's educational to pretend that you are. Many 'role of the ballot' arguments are just theoretically justified frameworks by another name, and I feel similarly about these. I also do not assume by default that your warrant comes logically prior to your opponent's because you referenced "education" or "ground"; the falsity of a standard seems at least as salient a reason not to require debaters to use it.

Permissibility does not affirm. Barring a rehash of SepOct '08/JanFeb '12-style topic wording, I have trouble conceiving of a warranted argument that would justify this. And no, none of the cards y'all tag as making this claim actually do.

"I don't defend implementation" doesn't make sense on most topics.

I default to Truth Testing. It makes much more sense to me than any other paradigm. This does not mean I want to hear your bad a prioris.

I don’t have strong opinions on most of the nuances of disclosure theory, but I do appreciate good disclosure practices. If you think your wiki exemplifies exceptional disclosure norms (open source, round reports, and cites), point it out before the round starts, and you might get +.1-.2 speaker points.


I think Conditionality Bad is much more winnable in LD than policy.

LDers are infuriatingly dodgy about answering CP status questions. This has been one of my biggest pet peeves as of late. You should answer with an immediate "it's conditional/unconditional." Your opponent's CX is not the time to spend 20 seconds pondering the matter, and I never want to hear the phrase "What do you want it to be?" You know damn well what the aff would rather it be. It would make me happy if you just specified the status in your speech to avoid this whole rodeo, e.g. "[CP Text.] It's conditional," as I no longer trust LDers to give a prompt CX answer. I do not, however, want to imply any amenability to 'must spec status' as an aff theory argument.

Most CP theory questions (PICs, Delay, cheaty process stuff) seem best resolved at the level of competition. I can't think of any types of counterplans I would consider both competitive and also theoretically illegitimate. Likewise, lack of a solvency advocate seems more like a solvency press than a voting issue.

Extremely aff leaning vs agent counterplans. These are not real arguments. It remains unclear to me how anyone seriously thinks agent CPs are ever competitive. If you can’t explain how the agent of action could choose to do the CP rather than the plan, you have not presented an opportunity cost to affirming. Neg fiat is not an excuse to forgo basic logic.

'Role of the ballot' is an overused buzzword. These are often impact justified frameworks, theoretically justified frameworks, or artificially specific.

New NR floating PIKs will be disregarded, just like any other new NR argument. This is your 2NR, not your 2NC.

Vague alternatives are bad, and any ambiguity will not work in favor of the K. Minimum standard of clarity: don't phrase your alternative as an infinitive. None of this "the alt is: to reject, to challenge, to deconstruct, etc" business. It needs a clearly specified actor. Which agent(s) will do what?

If you think your alt functions like an agent CP, be sure to read the CP section of my paradigm.

Policy Paradigm


Yes I want to be on the email chain:


I qualified to the NDT a few times at GSU, but nowadays I mostly coach/judge LD. Don't assume I'm well-read on the policy topic.

The affirmative should defend a topical USFG policy. The negative should prove that the status quo or a competitive USFG policy is preferable to the affirmative. I'll vote for arguments outside of those parameters if you win them, but I highly doubt I'm a good judge for them.

Neg leaning on: Conditionality, most cheaty CP theory questions.

Aff leaning on: Agent CPs, most cheaty CP competition questions.

I'll assume the CP can be judge-kicked unless the aff makes an argument to the contrary.

A lot of advantages/DAs are super contrived, and it’s easy to convince me that impacts short of extinction should matter more.

I do find existential risk literature interesting, but I dislike the lazy strategy of reading a card that passingly references nuke war/terrorism/warming and tagging it as "extinction." If accessing extinction specifically, as opposed to just a big non-existential impact, is important to your impact framing arguments, then you should justify that last internal link.

Straight turns are great turns.


Delay, consult, and the like don't seem competitive to me, but if the neg can prove that their CP is competitive with the plan, theory arguments telling me to disregard it anyway seem weak. 'Perm do the CP' is your friend.

I don't really understand why intrinsicness is such a dirty word. If the neg wants to say a logical policy maker should consider every germane opportunity, that cuts both ways. Likewise, I don't see any reason why the aff can't extend a permutation on a CP that was kicked, if it happens to be relevant to other flows.


The plan is the focus of the debate. The negative will be hardpressed to win that their alternate ex post facto framework is not arbitrary and self-serving.

Using critical theory to support advantages or impact framing is totally fine. I enjoy philosophy, although admittedly I'm more well-read in analytic philosophy than continental.

Most kritik alternatives are unacceptably vague. If I don't understand what it means based on the 1NC text, I'm probably not voting for it. Bare minimum: I need to know which agent(s) will take the action/adopt the mindset of the kritik. If your alternative is worded as an infinitive (it probably is), re-word it to clarify the actor.

PF Paradigm

9 November 2018 Update (Peach State Classic @ Carrollton):

Public Forum - As the rest of my paradigm suggests, my background is primarily in LD/Policy. I don't have strong opinions on PF norms in general, but I do prefer directly quoted evidence over paraphrasing. If you cannot quickly produce the specific portion of the source you're referencing on request, paraphrased evidence will be given the same weight as an analytic, which, if the claim was just "expert X says Y" with no further warrant, is zero weight.

Adesuwa Omoruyi Paradigm

6 rounds


I am one of the most naturally neutral individuals I know. I will NOT favor a side because I SHOULD. I will favor a side because you convinced me to... hence the purpose of effective argumentation. Don't assume -- just explain.


Be understood. Be clear. If I don't flow it... IT NEVER HAPPENED. Remember this during warrants / impacts / extensions. I rarely call for cards, so if I need to hear it, make sure you set the scene for optimal results.

Theory/ K

Debating about debate is fun and engaging -- if it makes sense. Silly theories are just silly, but go back to my section on presumption - I will favor a side because you convinced me to... hence the purpose of effective argumentation. If you convince me that the theory is valid, then it is for the round. I will not assume how it functions or the reasonability of it. Prove that it does or doesn't. A good K with clear explinations, links and impacts are refreshing to me. Neg must explain why aff can't perm the day away -- why is the alt superior? Aff, why is the perm better than the alt and case solo? This is where speed choices are important.


Here are a few questions you should ask yourself: Do you understand the card? Does it link to the argumentation presented? Is it topical to the context you're using it in? Do the warrants exist in the text? Is it qualified? Is it dated? clipping truly worth it? 

T's, DA's, CPs

Policy was my niche back in the day. That being said -- I'll buy it if its clear, all conditions are met, it makes sense, and if it actually does something / proves a point. I will follow the flow, and the flow alone. Keep it clean!


Finally... most importantly... tell me WHY I should be voting for you. Yes. I want voters. Explain why a drop is catastrophic. Tell me why case outweighs. You know what happens when you assume... don't assume that I'm rolling with you. Explain why I should be.



Spkr Point Breakdown

30 Likely to take the tournament

29.5 Contender to the crown 

29 Excited to see how deep you go! 

28.5 Highly likely to clear

28 Clearing is possible

27.5 On the bubble, keep pushing

27 Congrats on earning entry into the tournament!!

Spencer Orlowski Paradigm

3 rounds


TLDR: K/Policy style Coach, getting better at phil, won't vote on oppressive arguments, prefer clash and depth to tricks and blips. I reward hard work and passion for the activity. -2 speaks for "welcome to ______" tag.

Pref Cheat Sheet

1: Topical K Debate

2: Policy Debate/ Non-T Ks

3: Topical Phil Debate/ Topical Tricks & Theory

4: Generic Tricks and Dumb Theory

5/Strike: Jerks

I will not vote on explicitly oppressive arguments. No exceptions.

I try to intervene as little as possible and will look for the easiest route to the ballot. Speaker points are calculated by the quality of argumentation and the strategy of the collapse. I give a lot of low-point wins as a result. I am super sick of voting on unwarranted blippy args and I am willing to ignore them every round. (I have and will ignore shoes theory against K affs)

I default to a logical decision-making paradigm. As a result I prefer topic-centered debate but I am totally open to warranted reasons as to why that is a bad metric for debate.

I place a high value on quality evidence and think preparation is the cornerstone of the educational aspects of this activity. I think that extensions of evidence should be more than just blippy tag extensions. If you aren’t extending warrants, I am not going to find them in the evidence for you after the round.

Speed: I think clear speed improves debate. I am cool with any clear speed that isn’t being used to intentionally exclude your opponent or other judges on a panel. I will say that it seems like a lot of HS LD students rely on the email chain for judges to get their warrants: this practice will likely result in diminished speaker points and possibly a poor decision on my part. It is probably a good idea to slow down a bit on tags and make it clear when a tag starts and a card ends. Flying through theory shells at 400 wpm just seems like a bad idea if you want me to flow it all. If you can only beat a lay debater by spreading you are going to get low speaks.


Specific Arguments

Topicality: I generally believe it’s a voter but the neg needs to explain why and I will listen to reasons why it shouldn’t be, extra and fx are up for debate, abuse is just a marginally more persuasive standard, standards are reason to prefer an interp, I don’t like to vote on RVIs unless they are well warranted. I will probably ignore jargon that is unwarranted like just saying reasonability or competing interps without explanations. It feels like H.S LD conflates theory and topicality a lot. I think if you are saying someone isn't meeting a word in the rez, you need to define it.

DAs: I will vote on linear and unique Das. I don’t believe a negative needs one to win a round. I am usually very skeptical of politics but still vote offence/defense paradigm on it.

Phil: Explaining the argument helps. Compare your frameworks. I'm ok with TJFs. I generally find long frameworks really boring and prefer substantive topic debate. Stuff like Skep and Monism are super boring. The more specific the ethic to the topic, the better. I haven't seen many burden affs.

Theory: Most spec shells are just defense to solvency for me. I definitely get they are a valuable part of a strategy for time and fairness reasons but I find them generally unpersuasive. I will vote on them though if mishandled by the affirmative(or negative) . All that said if you have a really interesting super spec procedural I’ll listen to it with an open mind. 5 off all procedurals = 25 speaks. I am super persuaded by alternative punishment arguments (i.e. the impact to a spec is don’t accept no links based on clarifications of the agent in the AR). I generally think there are ways to resolve theoretical objections that don’t necessitate a ballot on theory. "6-7-4-6-3" does not constitute an argument. Plans bad is a super boring arg IMO.

Ks: Ks are probably my favorite part of debate, but bad K debate is super frustrating. As with every other position I want the link to be specific and prefer the literature to be in the context of our topic. I think the necessity of framework depends on the nature of the alternative and the presented 1AC. I generally view links as a DA to the perm. I think you need a stable alt text. The more performative, the better.

Counterplans: I don’t think conditionality is a problem but you can read whatever against the CP. I don’t think you have to establish ME in the NC but I think it ends up being more persuasive if the AR concedes it. I prefer if they have an advocate, but not a deal breaker. You should have a stable CP text. Open to perm theory, same concept as other theory shells though.

Defense: I’m predisposed to believe it’s not a voting issue but if someone concedes some fwk that says it is I guess I would vote for it. This applies to answering neg positions as well.

Performance: I am totally fine with it, but again I think it’s important to explain how it relates to an affirmation or negation of the resolution. That being said, I am completely open to arguments about why resolution centered debate is bad.

A2 K/Performance AC/NC: ENGAGE. Just framing your way out the debate is super boring to me. Cut cards answering their method. If they give you links, use them. It is insufficient to assert Ks are unfair. I really don't see a distinction between Hume vs Kant and Reed vs Wilderson

FOR PF: I did PF for 4 years in HS and I currently coach it. I flow a lot. Any argument you want in the second FF should be in the 2nd Summary. The first summary doesn't need to extend defense as long as the second rebuttal didn't respond to it. I think the 2nd rebuttal should probably respond to the first, just seems strategic. I read a lot on each topic and will hold you to a standard of accuracy for the most part. Speaker points are based on skill in crossfire, strategy of collapse, and quality of evidence. If it takes you longer than a min to produce evidence, it doesn't exist. If I think you inappropriately paraphrased I will ignore evidence. I will vote on theory and Ks. See above for notes on those positions.

Michael Overing Paradigm

3 rounds

I am Head Coach at Loyola High School in Los Angeles. I have judged hundreds if not thousands of debate rounds. [updated: February 20, 2018].

So long as your arguments are not philosophically repugnant, I expect arguments, interpretations, frameworks and other positions that intentionally exclude your opponent's offense. Simple Ballot Strategy: Tell me 1) what argument you won; 2) why you won it; and 3) why that means you win the round. Repeat.

Parsimony, relevance and path of least resistance: I am a critic of argument. I am very liberal about what you do in a debate round, but conservative in how you do it. Assertions without warrants mean very little to me and invites me to supply meaning to positions if you do not articulate what you mean. I look at the flow and ask, "to vote aff, what does the aff have to win?" ... and ... "to vote neg, what does neg have to win?" from there, I look at each of the arguments, evidence, and how well each side has put the issues together in a bigger picture. Most times, the simpler explanation (that takes into account and explains away the opposition) is likely to carry the day. The longer the argument chain, the more effort it takes to evaluate it, the easier it is to vote against you.

Full Case Disclosure Should Be Mandatory: Hiding your case is an excuse for bad debating and if you can't win without a trick, maybe you should rethink your strategy. I may have (some, slight) sympathy for not disclosing before you break new, but very little.

RVIs and Reverse Voter Standards: Fewer better explained standards are better than 20 blips.

Theory, rightly, checks abuses. Articulate the violation, standard and remedy. Actual demonstrated inround abuse is far more persuasive than hypothetical abuse.

Cross-Ex: I flow CX. I don't mind additional questioning during prep. I see little to no benefit to arguing in CX. Please refer to CX responses in your speeches.

Rebuttals: Let's admit that all debaters make new responses in rebuttals. Let's admit that new arguments are permissible when they are extensions of prior positions or answer to args by the opposition.

Win/loss/Points Disclosures: If I don't volunteer the information, please ask me. All good judges disclose.

Judges should be accountable for their decisions. Ask questions. How else do you learn what I was thinking in the round? How can can you improve in front of me? That said, I will follow the tournament's rules regarding disclosure. Also know, that I will be arguing behind the scenes in favor of disclosure. I will do my level best to answer your questions in a clear and concise manner; I may not see the round you did and maybe we can both learn from an after-round discussion.

That's the best I can promise.

John Overing Paradigm

3 rounds

I debate in policy for UC Berkeley. I debated two years for Loyola High School, where I earned six bids to the TOC and attended NSDA Nationals my senior year. I've judged over 250 rounds.


Pre-Round Paradigm-Viewing:

Win the case, win the debate. Do impact calculus.

Here's how you win in front of me:

1. Identify the issue that will win you the round

2. Collapse to that issue and win it

3. Explain why it outweighs or should be evaluated first

Mostly tab, not scared to vote on abnormal or unpopular stuff


I like kritiks. I read kritiks throughout high school and continue to do so in college. They can be very strategic, and I have a strong baseline knowledge of most positions. If you read Ks, I'll be a good judge for you.

Policy / Util

I've read, answered, and judged so many of these positions that I've lost count. I'll vote for hard right strategies against the K, and I'm happy to watch policy rounds.

Phil / LD Framework

I have a decent grasp and appreciation of most positions. There aren't many judges these days who can properly evaluate it, so I try to give some extra effort here. I miss seeing philosophy in LD. Unless running with a stacked framework, try to ensure your syllogism is coherent.


I read theory throughout high school. I think 1AR theory can be very strategic, though try not to use it as a crutch for a bad aff. I tend to think theory offense is more legitimate than others give it credit for.


I am willing to vote on disclosure theory. Should you read it? Sure, UNLESS your opponent is new to debate. I'm very opposed to disclosure theory against students new to the activity.

Procedurals and Non-Topical AFFs

These questions are up for debate. Use whatever form or content you want to make your arguments. Be prepared to defend against opposing models.


For completely conceded positions, you only need to extend the base description of the position and its syllogism, and then jump into impact calculus and implications. You don't need to name cards in extensions. If a card will become relevant, even if it was conceded, still give an explanation of the warrant.

Speaker Points

- Debate well, do something new or interesting, or give me an easy decision in a polite way.

- Open-source disclosure will make me more generous with speaks, let me know if you do this.

- Show me your flow after the round and I'll add 0.1 to 0.3 speaks. If requested, I will give feedback on your flow.

- *Please* do not attack your opponent. There's a fine line between "You are racist" and "Your position is racist," and they have wildly different meanings.

Poor behavior will affect your speaks, though (barring extreme cases) I'll keep such issues out of my decision.


I don't enforce prep time for flashing. Be reasonable.

I flow cross-ex and prep. I rarely flow off speech docs.

Camp Suggestions?

Premier Debate

Bob Overing Paradigm

4 rounds

Indu Pandey Paradigm

3 rounds

Hiya! I’m Indu. I debated for Harvard-Westlake for 4 years (graduated in 2018), qualified to the TOC 3 times, had 10 career bids, and won a couple of tournaments/cleared at the TOC. I previously coached at HW and now I coach at The Harker School.

I want to be on the email chain. Your opponent should also be on it. **Email:

Check out – it has free resources, like cards and videos, as well as blog articles about being a woman or other minority debater.

Update for Cal: Please please please be on time. The tournament is long and tightly scheduled; being late is bad for everyone. I will be pretty grumpy if you're more than like 2-3 min late. I will also enforce people being faster about sending email chains, compiling docs, getting marked docs, etc. Unless it's clear you're inexperienced, be warned.

Top Level (this is all you really need to know):

- Debate is about arguments/ideas and not individual people. You all are children and creating an actively hostile environment doesn’t really jive with me.

- I can’t vote on arguments that are immediately evident to me to be false. By that I mean, if you read a theory shell or make a competition arg and you are just objectively wrong about the violation, I cannot see myself being compelled to vote for you.

- I don’t really know how to classify myself on the weird “truth” vs “tech”/”flow”/”tab” spectrum – I just want people to be reasonable. That means I’ll lean heavily on the flow, but if you make arguments that are self-evidently ridiculous or underdeveloped it won’t float my boat.

- I love CX!!! Like, seriously. It’s my favorite part of debate. A good CX is killer, and I’ll give good speaks for it.

- Sexism, racism, etc are obviously nonstarters.

- I’ll try to give everyone in the round a fair shake even if you read arguments I never did in high school, I’ve never met you before, etc. Likewise, I expect everyone in the round to treat me with respect. Post-rounding is cool, and people have important questions to ask. Just take a deep breath and avoid insults, yelling, etc.

- I flow. Just wanted to throw that out there.

- WEIGH PLEASE. Most post-rounding is a result of a lack of weighing, and I don't feel particularly bad if I drop you because you didn't make a single comparative statement for 45 minutes.

- I'd prefer if you all "police" yourselves. By that I mean that you should hold each other accountable for speech times, CX, etc. If there's some clear age/experience/other factor that seems to prevent one party from having an equal opportunity to control the round, I will step in. This will likely be pretty uncommon.

More specific things below. Honestly, you can change my mind on most of this stuff, and I’ll really try my best to give you a fair shot at winning these arguments. I just know as a debater I appreciated when judges put their default views on things in their paradigm to ease pre-round anxiety.

Policy Arguments:

Cards are cool------------X---------------------------------Tons of spin

Evidence comparison-X--------------------------------------------Make Indu flip a coin

PTX-X--------------------------------------------PTX?!!? ):

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

States CP good (+ uniformity)----------X-----------------------------------States bad

Agent, process CPs, PICs -----------------X---------------------------Boooo Wendy Testaburger boo

Impact Calc------------------------------------------X--IMPACT CALC!!!!

4 second competition arguments -------------------------------------------X-- Real competition arguments

Answering straight turns --X-----------------------------------------—Aggressive eye roll

Kritik Arguments:

Overviews longer than my Snapchat streaks--------------------------------X-------------Line by line

What does [INSERT CONFUSING K THING HERE] mean? ------X---------------------------------------Smoke bomb!

Specific links to the aff ------------X---------------------------------Generic links

Hashing out what it means to vote AFF/NEG -X-------------------------------------------- ???????

Starting from the assumption certain arguments are true ----------------------------------------X----- Argument humility

The aff does literally anything -X---------------------------------------- Nothingness for 6 minutes

Explain the perm -X---------------------------------- hehehe perm: do both, perm: double bind, perm: do the alt & make Indu mad

COLLAPSING TO A FEW CORE ARGS IN THE 2NR/AR -XXXXXXX---------------------------------------- ha ha but what if no

Making framing args in the 1NC/1AR --X----------------------------------------------------- me arbitrarily weighing based on my ~vibes~

Theory/Topicality Arguments:

Mix-and-match buy-1-get-1-free kitchen sink theory interps -----------------------------------------X- Debating?

Defend the topic!--------------------X------------------------- Completely non-T

Fairness/Limits good---------------X------------------------------Nope nope nope

RVIs--------------------------------------------------X----No RVIs

Slowing down on analytics & interps -XXXXXX--------------------------------------------------- LKDFGLJEOIKDFGLKJFDGL

Super structured LD froufrou shell -------------------------------------------------X---------- [Thingy] is a voting issue because ground blah blah

Shells that are actually just substantive -------------------------------------------X- make a substance arg?

Arbitrariness bad --X--------------------------------------------------------------------- hyper specific shells

Definition comparison in T debates --X-------------------------------------------------- weighing is overrated go back to 2016 indu


Explain atypical framework ---X------------------------------------------ Assume Indu understands 400 WPM metaphysics at 8 AM

Straight up -X-------------------------------------------- Tricks and memery

Collapse to a few core arguments ----------X----------------------------------- Everything

Actually having offense under your FW -X----------------------------------------------- 1 sentence analytic... ha ha but what if


- Please enunciate and be clear. If I clear you, it’s not because you’re going too fast, it’s because you are nearing or already are incomprehensible. Trust me – you can be fast while still making words come out of your mouth.

- Have some personality! I really enjoy people making some jokes, sarcasm, etc.

- I’m very expressive during round. I don’t really try to suppress in any way. Do with that what you will.

- Disclosure and being straight-up at the flip/disclosing cases pre-round/other related practices are good!

- Cheating accusations: you can stake the round on these. Tab could get involved. Have audio/video evidence of clipping. (I've dropped a handful of people for clipping. I read along and feel comfortable dropping debaters regardless of if an accusation has been made. Please don't cheat.)

- Evidence ethics: you can also stake the round on this. I take an accusation of this nature to mean they have substantially changed the work of an author such that it includes or excludes critical portions of a piece of work, concludes differently than the author intended, or follows poor citation methods in a way that is academically dishonest. Here is a list of things I consider unethical (which is not exhaustive): cutting out part of a paragraph, skipping paragraphs in a single card, not noting when an author disagrees with the argument presented, and mis-citing (literally just incorrect cites).

- Like, I mentioned... I flow. That means, like you, I could miss arguments or not understand what you’re talking about. We all expect judges to be magic flow fairies, which isn’t true. Try your best to be clear, collapse to few arguments, and weigh. Little judging errors happen when there’s a million moving pieces, and I’ll feel less bad if I make a mistake and the round is like this.

- I read cards and like rewarding good evidence. My reading of evidence unless instructed or in extreme extraneous circumstances (ethics challenges, etc) does not affect my decision. I think debaters would do so much better if they read their opponent's cards because a lot of cards I've seen this season have had... sub-prime quality.

- As I went to Harvard-Westlake, I probably view debate in a similar way to my coaches and teammates. Some of them include: Travis Fife, Scott Phillips, Mike Bietz, Connor & Evan Engel, Cameron Cohen, Nick Steele.

- In light of recent events, I will wait to submit speaks until after the post-round is done. I think aggressive/rude/condescending post-rounds are bad sportsmanship and will be reflected in speaks. I'd like to think I have reasonably thick skin, so this is something that I don't think I'll have to use too often. Just wanted to give everyone a fair warning. This equally applies to your coach(es) & friend(s) who are rude to me after a round. If you can't control yourself, I will not be sympathetic.

- I sometimes (read: often) vote for a team even though I think their arguments aren't particularly good, they made contradictory arguments, or some other ridiculous thing occurs. It's incumbent upon the other debater to point this stuff out. Most of the time, they don't. If you don't, it'll just make everyone sad, including me. This scenario is where most post-rounding occurs. I won't just drop people because I don't vibe with their arguments.

- Please don't feel compelled to read arguments that you think I read in high school. I can tell when you read arguments to try to pander to me, and it's usually a worse quality debate than if you just read the position you actually wanted to. (No one believes this, but I read 50/50 K & policy args in high school and now judge 50/50 K & policy rounds... I actually don't have a preference. Seriously.) I don't need to hear decol fem and states every round -- don't worry about me. Do your own thing. (That being said, I judge a decent number of phil, theory, and clash rounds. I feel comfortable evaluating whatever you throw at me provided you do whatever you're doing well and straight up.)

- I vote relatively 50/50 in non-T aff vs FW rounds. You NEED to have offense and a defense of your vision of the topic/debate! Most of my decisions boil down to not being able to articulate what are big macro-level issues because people are overly caught in LBL. LBL is very important obviously, but that doesn't supplant the importance of explaining what model you're even defending.

- #stopsplittingthe2nr2k20 (Seriously, *who* taught you all to do this! I do not give above a 29 to people who split the 2NR even if you're in the finals of every tournament that year. There is 1/1000 instances where this is debate smart, and I bet you your round isn't that instance.)

- I don't disclose speaks -- you don't need to ask after the round. Here's random things I enjoy and reward with higher speaker points (in no particular order): being passionate about your position, numbering of args, strategic collapse in every speech, not going for every argument, weighing(!), having a personality, using examples & stats effectively, anticipating your opponent's args, good CX, judge instruction, being respectful during the RFD & post-round. While I vote on args that I think are silly sometimes, people get low speaks for those rounds. If you go for some reasonable phil and do it well/straight-up, that's fine -- high speaks. If you go for some ridiculous theory shell and bumble your way into a win, I will not be kind with speaks.

- I have chronic migraines that are sometimes triggered by excessive noise, which is sort of unfortunate given that debate... involves much yelling. I will occasionally ask debaters to speak softer if you yell-spread. I've only done this once or twice, but just wanted to give people a fair warning. (No, the migraine does not affect my ability to judge your round. It's just painful. Be a homie.)

Happy debating!

Rodrigo Paramo Paradigm

4 rounds

i debated ld and policy in high school, i coach ld @ greenhill.

toss me on the email chain:

[current/past affiliations: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18), westwood ('14-'18), greenhill ('18-now)]

I am most comfortable evaluating critical and policy debates, but find myself thoroughly enjoying 6 minutes of topicality or framework [like, T-framework against k affs, not kant] if it is delivered at a speed i can flow. I will make it clear if you are going too fast - i am very expressive so if i am lost you should be able to tell. I am a bad judge for tricks debates, and am not a great judge for denser "phil" debates - i do not coach or think about analytic philosophy outside of tournaments, so I need these debates to happen at a much slower pace in order for me to process and understand all the moving parts - notably, this is also true for whoever is answering these positions.

Thoughts I have

0) New Thoughts I Have Had Since My Last Update:

  • the tfa topic has messed so thoroughly with how i think about debate - debaters need to be very clear very early on in the debate about whether they defend implementation, what that looks like, etc. - otherwise, i will find myself hard pressed to find paths to the ballot for either side.. (for instance... im not sure cps negate if affs dont defend implementation)

1) Evidence Ethics: Last year I saw a lot of miscut evidence. I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. This year, if I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence.

I think that a piece of evidence is miscut if:

  • it starts and/or ends in the middle of a sentence or paragraph.
  • text is missing from the middle of the card (replacing that text with an ellipsis does not make it okay),
  • the next paragraph or another part of the article explicitly contradicts the argument/claim made in the card,
  • the card is highlighted in a way that modifies or does not accurately represent the author’s claim - i think students & coaches both are far too comfortable highlighting only parts of words/sentences in a way that drastically changes the meaning of a card, and i think this is bad. [Be careful with brackets - I don’t think they always mean a card is miscut, but I’ve seen that they very often do. I think that brackets, more often than not, are bad - if a bracket changes the strength of a claim made by the author, or in some other way changes the *meaning* of the evidence, it is miscut],
  • if a cite lists the wrong author, article title, etc. (I hope to decide 0 debates this year on citations - I’ll only decide debates on them without challenges in the most egregious cases).
  • if a card does not have a citation at all and the debater is asked for it, but cannot provide it, i think this means you do not get that argument. i do not think it would be super hard to convince me that this is a voting issue, but i will not presume that.

If I decide a debate on evidence ethics, I will let the debate finish as normal. If the debate is a prelim, I will decide speaks based on the content of the debate and subtract two speaker points from the debater that I vote against. If the debate is an elim, I will submit my ballot and won’t say anything about my decision until the debate is announced.

If both sides read miscut evidence, I will vote against the debater who read miscut evidence first. (I really don’t love this as a way to evaluate these debates, but the only comparable scenario that I can think of is clipping, and that’s how I would resolve those debates.)

I do not plan to go out of my way looking for miscut evidence or checking to see whether every card is cut correctly. If I do notice that something is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads it regardless of whether a challenge is made.

Please do not hesitate to ask questions about this before the debate.

Evidence Ethics Procedures: the phrase "evidence ethics" means something - if someone says it and their opponent clarifies "is this an evidence ethics challenge," i understand this to mean that the debate ends - whoever has made the accusation wins if i believe the evidence ethics violation is correct, they lose if i believe the accused did not commit an evidence ethics violation - i will not independently end the round if the accused does not ask for this - if they do, i am happy to - words matter and evidence ethics matters - see the relevant section on bennett eckert's paradigm for more of my thoughts on this question. i also believe that debaters should think carefully before accusing their opponents of academic dishonesty, plagiarism, etc. - heavy claims.

2) Clipping: i have a good ear for when clipping is occurring - if i suspect it is, i will follow along in the speech doc - if i determine i am correct, the person clipping will lose. to be very clear, this does not necessitate the opponent making a clipping accusation - i feel very comfortable making this adjudication on my own.

3) Nebel T Update: in the past i have made clear that the nebel argument did not make a lot of sense to me. in many ways, i am still receptive to the "pragmatics first" school of thought. however i must admit that nebel 19 (the second one) appeals to me on a deep level. i intuitively believe that a world where debate has plans is a better one, but jake has convinced me that our topic wordings do not often justify that world. i will obviously still judge these debates based only on what happens in the round, but i am newly receptive to the nebel argument. some thoughts:

  • portions of the grammar stuff still confuses me at the speed of a debate round, so please slow down
  • given my fondness for plans, i am more sympathetic to semantic claims when you are defending Nebel

4) Comparative Worlds/Truth-Testing:

  • i will default to a comparative worlds paradigm unless the 1ac/nc justifies otherwise - later speeches cannot shift to truth-testing without an indication of that interpretive claim in the constructives.

5) Politics Disads:

  • i follow domestic politics prettttty closely. this means i will be thrilled to reward smart analytics made on politics scenarios and will be impressed if you know your stuff. that said, this means my bs meter is pretty high on some ptx scenarios - for instance, i am not going to vote on an impeachment impact unless you tell me how we get from a 53-47 gop senate to a successful vote to remove trump from office - absent that warrant, i will not grant you "impeachment proceedings remove trump from office" [of course, the opposing side must be able to explain why a 53-47 gop senate is unlikely to cast that votes
  • i think we are quickly approaching the time when i will see elections disads - if you read one, make sure your evidence is *recent,* *high-quality,* and that you understand the playing field well so you can make intelligent analytic arguments - this election will be the thing i think about most between now and november - i will thoroughly love a good politics debate - my expectations are low but hopefully someone can prove me wrong

6) miscellaneous thoughts on Theory/topicality:

  • slow down on it - will say slow twice. after that, i will miss your arguments and that will be the RFD. this is similarly true for perm texts etc - dont super care what the doc said if i didnt flow the text near verbatim in the 1ar. if i say "slow" i have almost certainly already missed an argument - do with that what you will.
  • im pretty receptive to text of the interp/text of the rotb/plan flaw args - i generally think that when issues arise in those 3 things, they are a result of students not giving much thought to them which is a shame bc all 3 are pretty important in my view - well crafted interps, as well as cxes that isolate plan flaws/interp issues will be rewarded (this does not mean i like /bad/ plan flaw args). i am also fairly willing to check in on semantic i meets against frivolous theory.
  • you should always flash or have written down interp/counter-interp texts readily available for both your opponents and your judges
  • i will likely be easily compelled by a "debaters should not bracket evidence" argument *if* you can execute it well - i have grown sympathetic to this argument as abuses become increasingly egregious
  • theory and topicality are different and i think this implicates what the 1ar is expected to do to respond to each. it also implicates what topicality vs theory interpretations (and counter interpretations) are expected to include
  • my reluctance to vote on bad theory arguments is not because they are bad but because i literally dont understand the abuse story on many many shells. some examples: spec status; spec standard; rotb spec; cant concede the aff framework; must concede the aff framework. i am not interested in judging these debates and do not think the feedback i give in these debates is that helpful for anyone involved. good theory debates can be great, but i will feel comfortable saying "i did not understand the abuse story so i did not vote on this shell" (this also applies to framework v k affs)
  • "in the interest of disclosing my own bias, i think the best debates happen when both teams are able to reasonably predict what arguments will be read (with the exception of new affs + unbroken neg positions). i am unsympathetic to arguments about disclosure that do not contest this point. even if you cannot post broken positions on the wiki for whatever reason, it is my belief that you should be willing to provide them, in good faith, to your opponent upon request in some way." - anna (weird to quote a former student on here!)

7) miscellaneous thoughts on T-Framework

  • i spent... a lot of time last summer thinking about framework against k affs - im into it if done well - im not as into the procedural fairness version of it - get creative.
  • i do not think i have ever been convinced by the claim that judges have a jurisdictional constraint to only vote for topical affs - i do not foresee that changing [really, *any* jurisdictional constraint is unlikely to be compelling to me bc it is a claim that just kind of is incapable of a particularly good warrant]
  • I think the best framework shells will be written to pre-empt semantic I meets, and will do more than just define three words in the resolution - they will provide a model for what topical affs must defend, they will have standards level offense that has explanatory power for why debate has rules, what the role of the ballot is, etc. - I suppose in short, the claim behind a good framework shell is stronger than just “the resolution determines the division of aff and neg ground.”
  • your shell should define a word in the resolution besides just "Resolved:"
  • pretty close to 50/50 voting record in clash debates

8) miscellaneous thoughts on permutations:

  • i do not understand why the aff would not get perms in a method debate - i have never seen a compelling warrant and can't really think of one - thus, the default assumption on my part is that the aff does get perms and it is a fairly uphill battle to convince me otherwise
  • i will not grant you the perm if i am uncertain about the perm text bc the articulation between 1ar and 2ar was different
  • perm texts should be more than "perm do both" - *especially* in the 2ar
  • you should always flash or have written down perm texts readily available for both your opponents and the judges

9) miscellaneous thoughts on the Kritik

  • i am so deeply deeply unreceptive to and uninterested in this trend of explaining new identity categories with the same form and language of antiblackness literature. if you do not have a psychoanalytic warrant, dont claim you do! if you do not have evidence identifying a structural antagonism, i do not know why you are using that language! sigh.
  • kritiks i have spent a lot of time thinking about: deleuzean scholarship, queer theory (a lot of authors fall under this second category), borderlands
  • kritiks I judge a lot: afropessimism, settler colonialism
  • kritiks I don't really get: baudrillard [i am far far more receptive to baudrillard on the negative than on the affirmative, but i think it is a kinda uphill battle against identity affs in front of me]
  • i think that the best k affs will have a defense of why *debating the aff* is good - not just why *the aff* as an object is good - why is the process of reading it in an environment where the neg must respond to it good? (in other words, the affirmative should answer the question of why it is good to read non-t affs on the aff, not just in debate)
  • i really enjoy a good performance debate
    • i think that people often attempt to go for performative offense when all they have done is read cards that are formatted in a normative way, at a conventional speed, and where later speeches revert to a hyper technical style of debate - i am *very, very* skeptical of the level of offense that these performances access - to get access to a "we change debate" claim, you should... do something I haven't seen before. a performance debate should not be indistinguishable from a policy debate, and these days almost all of the ones i judge are. that is a real shame.
  • my threshold for "debate bad" is fairly high - my presumption is that there is a lot of value in debate, and that is why I have stuck around for so long.

10) miscellaneous thoughts (strategy):

  • Evidence quality is directly correlated to the amount of credibility I will grant an argument - if the card is underhighlighted, the claim is likely underwarranted. The 1ac/nc should have evidence of high quality, and the 1ar/2nr/2ar should have explanation of that evidence of a similarly high quality
  • if the 2nr is split that is rarely a great sign for speaker points - it also is liable to implicate your ability to win the debate - any 2nr with 2 shells is deeply deeply perplexing to me and a shell + a cp/da is even harder for me to understand!!!
  • i will not vote for a position i do not understand - this includes poorly explained kritiks, sloppy link scenarios on a disad, dense ncs that i probably wont get, and theory shells whose abuse story i can not adequately explain back to the debaters
  • I'll say clear/slow twice - speaks will be deducted after that
    • given how clear it is to me that no one could flow a debate round as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow them at top speed
  • clarity is important for high speaks but more important than how you sound is making strategic decisions in the 2AR/NR collapse in the 2nr/2ar
  • if any of your 1nc positions are too short to sustain a 6 minute 2nr on it i think that likely means the 1nc arg is underdeveloped. that issue should be resolved pre round, not by relying on 2nr cards/new args - i think this is particularly true of very short topicality arguments - a sentence or two of standards will likely not be enough to beat a 1ar thats just like "hold the line"
  • I love a robust debate on the case line by line - I do not love a case debate that is just three disads read on the case page, or that dumps generic case turns on the page with no signposting / interacting with cards from the ac - this is particularly true when you read all the generic turns and then do the line by line.

11) miscellaneous thoughts (rules of debate):

  • i can't think of any instances where a debate round would be better if it includes personal invectives against specific debaters/institutions/etc - i can think of many when it is worse for it.
  • on flashing: i think if you send a doc with a lot of analytics that you do not get through, you cannot just refuse to tell your opponent what analytics you did/did not read
  • i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer.
  • flex prep means asking questions during prep time - in no world does unused CX time become prep time
  • speech times dont change presumption how wild - people should deploy presumption more against affirmatives that do not defend anything!
  • i generally do not believe you can merely "insert" a list of what the aff defends - I think this is functionally equivalent to not reading it.
  • my average speaks so far this year:
    • grapevine: 28.32
    • greenhill rr: 28.63
    • greenhill: 28.43
    • marks: 28.72
    • apple valley:28.3
    • glenbrooks + glenbrooks rr: 28.71
    • ut: 28.18
    • blake: 28.9
    • first semester average: 28.52
    • churchill: 28.38
    • emory: 28.75
    • colleyville: 28.23
    • stanford: 28.65
    • cal: 28.58
    • tfa state: 28.45

11) on trigger warnings:

Debaters reading positions about suicide, depression/specific mental health, sexual violence, or any similarly traumatic issue, the onus is on them to ask those in the room permission to read the position. Spectators may leave, but judges and opponents do not have that option, meaning there is an expectation that if one of them objects to the triggering subject, that the debater will not read that position. If a debater does not adjust their strategy after being asked to, they will start the round with a 25. If you do not ask before round, but someone is triggered, speaks will similarly be docked. If there is no trigger warning but no one is triggered, the round can continue as normal.

The question for what necessitates a trigger warning is difficult to objectively delineate - if you have a reasonable suspicion someone could be negatively impacted by your position, ask before you read it - explicit narratives are probably a good starting point here. Trigger warnings are contentious in debate but I've seen students negatively impacted in rounds because they were not present and have engaged in conversations with other coaches that lead me to conclude something along these lines is necessary. At the very least, debate is (or should be) a 'safe space', and I believe this is a necessary first step towards achieving that goal. Feel free to discuss this before the round if you are worried it will become an issue in round.

This (admittedly strangely) probably means I'm not the judge for "must read a trigger warning" shells - they often make debate rounds uncomfortable and i have seen them leveraged in ways that make debate spaces unsafe - if no one was triggered, don't spend your time on that shell.

This article is very good at articulating my views on the importance of trigger warnings
It is not up for debate that if someone was triggered on account of your failure to adequately make use of trigger warnings, you'll be punished through speaks and/or the ballot

Sydney Pasquinelli Paradigm

4 rounds


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

email address for speech doc chains:

accessibility issue: I have tinnitus and a related auditory issue, making it very hard for me to focus on speech if it’s other loud noise in the background. Two implications: 1. If you are playing music in the background of your speech, please play it quietly if you would also like me to flow your speech; 2. Do not talk to your partner in a non-whispering voice when your opponents are giving their speeches. You can whisper or DM your partner… Or else I may have to shush you so that I can hear your opponents.


Overview: I have been actively coaching and judging debate since 2005. I have worked for the policy debate teams at Groves, Wake Forest, Pitt, Oklahoma, Stanford, Edgemont, and Wayne State. I have experience coaching and judging teams across a diversity of the argumentative spectrum. The things I value most in debate are: hard work, critical thinking and application, engagement, and argument innovation. Please don’t try to adapt to me by telling me what you think I want to hear. I am not here to congratulate myself on voting for arguments I believe are true. I want to hear good arguments; I therefore would like to see you perform what you are most prepared for and best at executing.

Topical policy debates: I very much appreciate and enjoy policy debates. I was a policy debater. In recent years I think I have been pegged as a K-judge, but I would like to judge more policy debates. I have been coaching a top-level policy team at Edgemont for 5 years, so my head is not out of the game. I think policy affs are hard to beat with a kritik, so the aff is not inherently behind. If the disad outweighs and turns the case, I vote neg. If the aff or the solvency deficit outweighs the disad, I vote aff. I will read evidence to determine solvency for the aff vs. the CP.

Critical debates: I very much appreciate and enjoy critical debates. I know a lot about various schools of critical and political theory and philosophy. I think the PIC is an under-used tool against critical affirmatives. I evaluate critical debates in a similar way to policy debates: if the disad outweighs and turns the case, I will vote neg. The critical method/praxis/alternative needs to be well-explained and consistently defended by the team advocating it, either on the affirmative or the negative. Severance is a voting issue and have a low tolerance for moving targets and unexplained mechanisms.

Framework debates: “Framework” is an interesting argument because it subsumes a lot of different arguments: some are topicality/theory, some are substantive, a lot of times they are haphazardly blended together. A couple notes on what I find persuasive and not persuasive:

  1. Framework as a Policy-Making K = Persuasive. In this case, framework has a link argument (aff precludes political engagement) and an impact argument (political engagement solves the aff and/or an impact bigger than the aff). This is the best way to win framework in front of me, especially as white nationalist fascists are rising to power in our country.
  2. Framework as Topicality / A-Priori Rejection = Not Persuasive. I am tired of hearing “we couldn’t debate the aff so you shouldn’t evaluate it at all.” It’s 2019, you are here debating the aff, and I am here spending 3 hours of my life making a decision about it. My job is to listen to what both sides say in every debate, so asking me to not evaluate anything the 1AC said is not persuasive to me.
  3. Framework as Topicality / Competing Interps of Debate = More Persuasive. If you are telling me that their model of debate facilitates bad pedagogy I am more likely to vote for you, because you can generate offense for your interpretation of debate compared to theirs.
  4. TVA = Not nearly as persuasive for me as for other judges. Neg teams claim the TVA is predictable unlike the aff; they also say that the TVA would allow the aff team to still read the same advantages; if these two things are both true, then why does the neg have no answer to the aff now? ... TVA seems to have more utility in the policy-making K version of framework, where the TVA proves that political engagement has better solvency for the aff impacts than the aff method.

Other Notes:

  • I don’t like tag teaming in CX and both debaters speaker points can suffer as a result of tag teaming. I might interfere to tell you to stop tag-teaming (especially novice, JV, and high school debate).
  • I only flow the debater whose speech time it is. If you prompt your partner during their speech, they have to say it for me to flow it.
  • I don’t read along or open speech docs during the debate.
  • I don’t read a lot of evidence when I am making my decisions. I heavily value research but hold the debaters accountable for how they deploy the evidence in round. I do frequently read evidence in policy debates to determine issues like plan v. CP solvency and uniqueness and link directions on disads. I also read evidence in traditional T debates. In critical rounds or framework rounds I almost never read evidence.
  • I am well-versed in debate theory. Severance is a voting issue. That’s my only hard line… Everything else is up for debate!

Scott Phillips Paradigm

4 rounds

Scott Phillips- for email chains please use iblamebricker@gmail in policy, and for LD
Coach@ Harvard Westlake/Dartmouth

2018 Updates

My general philosophy is tech/line by line focused- I try to intervene as little as possible in terms of rejecting arguments/interpreting evidence. As long as an argument has a claim/warrant I can explain to your opponent in the RFD I will vote for it. If only one side tries to resolve an issue I will defer to that argument even if it seems illogical/wrong to me- i.e. if you drop "warming outweighs-timeframe" and have no competing impact calc its GG even though that arg is terrible. 90% of the time I'm being postrounded it is because a debater wanted me to intervene in some way on their behalf either because that's the trend/what some people do or because they personally thought an argument was bad.

Old Stuff
Rounds Judged on the topic- a lot
My Ideal affirmative- 2 well constructed advantages
My Ideal 1NC- 5 off and case

Cliffs Notes-Top 10 Things you should know

1. I vote on arguments commonly considered "bad" frequently because a team mishandles them, it is my belief belief that most bad arguments can be defeated by making a thumbs down motion, so if you fail to meet that minimum threshold I will be qualmless voting against you. The overarching principle of my judging is "least intervention"-Much like Harrison Ford in Ender's Game under no circumstances will I help you with bad arguments, I believe in self help.

2. I vote on kritiks a lot because the team answering them reads a lot of bad generic answers instead of making analytic arguments based on the specific arguments they have made in that debate. To clarify this sentence - what I mean is an analytic based on your 1AC- ie "tradable permits empirically don't cause commodification and extinction since we already have them for SO2". In general I think most debaters have no idea what they are saying when reading a K and that affirmatives SHOULD win about 80-90% of the debates in which the negative goes for one.

3. No plan affs- 100% of the time when I vote against you on framework its because the other team won theory was a trump card over issues like education/K impacts and you didn't advance theory offense for your interpretation. I end up voting for no plan args frequently because the neg collapses/has no idea what to do.

4. Theory needs to come back with a vengeance

A. Entirely plan inclusive counterplans- I have never heard a theory argument to defend them that passes the minimum threshold explained above. That being said, winning a solvency deficit against them is basically impossible.

B. More than 2 conditional counterplans is just you being a chazzer

C. K frameworks/roles of the ballot that stack the deck absurdly are worse than entirely plan inclusive counterplans

D. Reject argument not team produces terrible debates with very bad strategies. Voting on theory doesn't fix this, but it improves it substantially.

5. I believe you have a choice
A. Clearly articulate your ground/say as much in CX
B. Because your position is vague you are susceptible to a reduced credibility modifier that taints many of your arguments. Plan vagueness affects plan solvency, alternative vagueness affects.... etc.

6. IMO there are, in fact, risks of things. Debaters should be aware of this and make arguments about how I should resolve risk. The plan may be popular with 5 people and unpopular with 6, should I place more emphasis on the number of people or maybe are those 5 more important? Very few link cards establish such a clear threshold that you can say with certainty (when contested) yes definite link. (this point is largely irrelevant now as the tides of history have turned and no risk people have been successfully marginalized)

7. I will always defer to debater argument resolution if one side does it and the other doesn't-no matter how bad or illogical I think the argument is. This is to me, the most important part of debate.

8. I try really hard to flow well. Teams who willfully ignore line by line/structure - I will not do work for you to figure things out if the other team does line by line barring some argument why I should.

9. I often call for lots of evidence after a debate, most of the time this is just out of curiosity. When making my decision evidence is only a factor when it is a point of contest or someone has made an argument for why it should be a part of the decision. I am not a judge who reads every card from both sides and makes a decision based on the evidence.

10. Evidence quality in debate is in terminal decline. If you have good evidence and you make an issue of it in the debate (talk about quals, or recency for uniqueness) you will most likely crush.

Making a decision:
Everything is debatable but speech times: The role of the ballot, whether evidence or analytic arguments are more important, is it acceptable for the other team to read off their computers, who gets presumption and why etc. If neither team makes an argument on the issue, the following are my defaults:

1. Evidence and analytic arguments are treated equally- I will look at the total sum of explanation offered for an argument, from any form. So if a well explained analytical will beat a poorly written piece of evidence. If one teams reads qualifications and the other doesn't, the team who read quals will receive a slight bump in the level of quality I assess to their explanation (assuming all other factors are equal). Treating them as equal until told otherwise is my way of encouraging debate.

2. Presumption, in the case of a tie or too close to call resolution of an argument, goes to the team advocating the least change. I would use presumption in the instance where each team had an advocacy and an offensive argument, and each team dropped a terminal defense argument to their own offense such that the net risk in either direction of presented offense was exactly zero. In that instance the "hidden disad" of change makes sense as a decision making tool. In no other circumstance I can think of would I use presumption unless explicitly instructed by the debaters.

3. If an argument is unresolveable (or tough to resolve) I will use a "needs" test- the burden of explanation will be assessed to the team who NEEDS the argument to win. So for example
-on a CP permutation, if the neg would win the debate without the permutation, then the aff needs it to win- so the burden of explanation is on them
-for CP solvency, if the neg would lose if the CP did not solve the case, then the neg needs to win solvency- so the burden of explanation is on them

4. Concession= truth. If you drop epistemology comes first/is a side constraint, then it is. You can drop that framing issue and still win as long as you beat the link (that your epistemology is flawed), but you will not be allowed new answers to the impact. I use a reasonable person standard- if I was unaware that the 1NC presented a epistemology first argument (based on what was said in the 1NC, not my prior knowledge of the negative team), then if the aff says "they didn't say this, therefore our answers aren't new" I would allow it. But remember, everything is debatable. If the 2NR comes back and asserts it was clearly stated when they said XYZ, the aff has to disprove that.

5. The threshold for how good a response to an argument has to be is directly related to the quality of the initial argument. Saying "RANT" is sufficient to beat a lot of voting issues. If the other team answers RANT in their 2NC sever perms are a VI block, and thats all you say, you will be in trouble. Similarly, many counterplans (consult, recommendation, delay, lopez) are easily defeated by theory arguments but almost impossible to beat on substance. A well rounded debater should avoid trying to ice skate uphill.

6. I spend a lot of time on debate. Other than eating and playing video games, basically all of my time is spent cutting cards, coaching, writing and reading about debate. A lot of judges say "I'm not a very good flow". I'm a very good flow, I may even go as far as to say probably one of the best. All that being said, it is very possible that you could say a string of words, or utter a quote from an article I have written that fully conveys your argument to me, but would leave a less experienced/judge with a life with no idea what you were saying/what your argument was. I try to temper this fact by using a "reasonable person" standard for what makes a complete argument. I feel this is essential because otherwise any student who was in my lab, had emailed me a question, or had just read a lot of the 3NR would have an absurdly unfair advantage vs a similarly skilled student. So if I made a joke in lab about saying "purple monkey dishwasher" and that meaning "we do the whole plan minus the reps", so you say that in a debate and expect me to vote on it, I won't. Unless you are debating someone else from the lab who had equal access to that information. Similarly, even if I flowed an argument/got the jist of what you were saying, but feel that the other team is being reasonable when they say your argument was poorly explained/did not constitute an argument I will be open to that and you need to respond.

Speaker points:

1. I like fast debate. That being said, some people give fast debate a bad name. You can be fast only after you are clear and efficient. I should be able to understand every word you say, not just the tags. If you are stammering (or displaying other verbal missteps) excessively you are going faster than you are capable of going imo.

2. Points are determined by how well you perform your function, which depends on what speeches you give. A 1AC should be perfectly smooth because you can practice it as much as you want. A 2NC assembled on the fly vs a new case can be excused a few missteps on the other hand. I think auto giving the 1N low points because they could be replaced by a robot in most debates is a bit unfair- a blazing fast 1NC and devastating 1NR can be game changing. That being said, rarely do people perform up to that level.

3. Points are assessed relative to the field in which you are competing. The same speech can be a 29 at a local, but a 27.5 at St Marks.


What is your threshold for T?
The threshold is established by the other teams answers- if they make good defensive arguments and argue reasonability well than my threshold will be high. If they don't it will be very low.

What are you favorite kinds of debate?
Ones in which there are clash, since that is not really a thing anymore its usually impact turn debates- heg bad, de-dev, CO2 ag and warming good- loved to go for these when I debated and love to see them debated now. CO2 ag is the upper limit of stupid I think is acceptable.

Did you run kritiks when you debated?
Not as much as Bricker would want you to believe. My senior year in HS and my senior year in college I went for K's about 30% of the time, in the other years of my debate less than 5%.

Did you ever read a critical aff?
By today's standards no- I always had a plan, though sometimes the advantages were not nuke war.

You bash the politics disad a lot, will you still vote for it?
Yes, almost always because the affirmative never does anything of the things that highlight the problem with politics.

Are you OK with speed?
Yes, if anything I dislike slow debate. However this is a double edged sword- if you do fast debate terribly I will punish you for it.

Is Fem IR beatable?

What race do you play in SC2?
Usually random, but if I pick -zerg.

If you were in Game of Thrones, which house would you belong to?

Random Gripes

A note on jumping:

I want to see good debates. I'm not interested in charging you 10 seconds of prep to jump your speeches. If, however, you show total technical incompetence at jumping/severely delay the round your speaks will suffer. A good jump is like a good road map- its not hard, so get it over with quickly.

Standards for sharing should be reciprocal, and as such are established by the team willing to do the least. If Team A doesnt jump speeches as a policy that is fine by me, but then Team B is under no obligation to let Team A see any of their evidence. If Team A doesn't jump analytics, Team B doesn't have to etc.

A note on quality:

I generally believe that there are certain "norms" in debate- don't steal prep time, don't clip cards etc. These norms are not rules, and as such as a judge I don't think its my job to enforce them. In fact, I think it SHOULD be the burden of a good team to be on top of is the other team stealing prep, are they clipping cards etc. Encouraging students to take responsibility for this is the best model imo. However, there are debates where there is a huge mismatch in terms of the quality of the teams involved. I no longer think it reasonable to expect novices entered in their first varsity tournament to check to see if the Baker Award winning team they are debating is stealing prep. I also don't really care to argue with you about whether or not you are stealing prep. So my solution is that for all things that could be considered a violation of good sportsmanship I will severely jack your points if it is a debate where I subjectively decide the other team should not be responsible for checking you.SO

-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx in the finals of the TOC vs another excellent team I would expect the other team to catch you
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx during a preset vs a vastly inferior team I will severely dock your speaker points

Raffi Piliero Paradigm

3 rounds

Harrison High School '17
Georgetown University '21 (2N/1A)

Hey! Debate is hard, and everyone puts a lot of time in - I promise to reciprocally put effort into judging your debate, and, to the best of my ability, bracket my predispositions. While I'll do my best to evaluate just the round at hand, nobody's perfect, and the rest illustrates biases that may influence things at the margins.

The only hard and fast rule is that I will not vote on any argument that makes the debate about individuals, or requires me to cast aspersions about an individual debater. Nor will I evaluate arguments about anything that took place outside of the round (judge preferences, past argumentative choices, disputes pre-round, or anything I cannot immediately verify), with the exception of disclosure theory. This is set in stone, and I will not evaluate arguments to the contrary. I recognize this line is not always super clear, so I'll make it very apparent if arguments approach this threshold (either by telling you to skip it in a prelim or visibly not flowing it if on a panel).

Feel free to ask or shoot me an email if you have specific questions.

Specific eTOC note: Everyone remains unsure about how high audio quality is going to be; I'll be a lot more willing to tell people to slow down/repeat stuff/etc. given these extenuating circumstances. Most people should slow down/be clearer generally, but especially doing it now will be much appreciated.

Tech -------X-----------------------------------Truth

Flows the doc ----------------------------------------X--It's on you to be comprehensible

Spin > Cards --------------------X----------------------Cards > Spin

Poker face----------------------------------------X--You'll know my thoughts on everything

Not ideological in clash debates -X------------------------------------------No plan no ballot

Pomo/high theory expert ---------------------------------------X---Whatever the opposite of that is

Fairness/clash/research impacts --------X----------------------------------Delib k2 solve warming/Movements

Counter-defining and offense/defense on T ---------X---------------------------------Impact turning everything

2NR needs TVA to win------------------------------------X-----Overrated/unnecessary most of the time

K links to the plan ------------------------------X--------------Unnecessary if you win framework

Extinction outweighs/impact turn vs K -------------X------------------------------Perm/no link

Conditionality bad -----------------------------------X----------Infinite and good

1NCs that proliferate incomplete arguments--------------------------------------X--Aff gets new answers

Bad for process/"cheating" CPs --------------------------------------X------Being neg's hard

Theory debates hinge on ideology -----------------------------------------X---Execution is everything

Aff-leaning on T vs Policy Affs --------------------X----------------------Neg-leaning on T vs Policy Affs

Politics in 2017 --X-----------------------------------------Politics in 2020

Intrinsicness bad ---------------------------------X-----------Better for it than most

Logical internal link presses/recutting their ev ----X--------------------------------------Impact D to everything

Bathroom breaks and small talk -----------------------------------------X-Decision time is short

Having to read an essay with my thoughts on debate ------------------------------------X--Short judge philosophies

Demarcus Powell Paradigm

4 rounds

Feel free to email me with any questions about my paradigm.

Only send speech docs to for Dallas tournaments national circuit tournament please send speech docs to

ASK FOR POLICY PARADIGM - The paradigm below is designed mostly for LD. Some things change for me when evaluating the different events/styles of debate. Also when you ask please have specific questions. Saying "What's your paradigm?", will most likely result in me laughing at you and/or saying ask me a question.

About Me: I graduated from Crowley High School in 2013, where I debated LD for three years mostly on the TFA/TOC circuit. I ran everything from super stock traditional cases to plans/counterplans to skepticism, so you probably can't go wrong with whatever you want to run.I debated at The University of Texas at Dallas, in college policy debate for 3 years .Running any sort of Morally repugnant argument can hurt you, if you're not sure if your argument will qualify ask me before we begin and I'll let you know.

Speed: I can flow moderately fast speeds (7-8 on a scale of 10), but obviously I'll catch more and understand more if you're clear while spreading. I'll say "clear"/"slow" twice before I stop attempting to flow. If I stop typing and look up, or I'm looking confused, please slow down!! Also just because I can flow speed does not mean I like hearing plan texts and interpretations at full speed, these things should be at conversational speed.

Cross Examination: While in front of me cx is binding anything you say pertaining to intricacies in your case do matter. I don't care about flex prep but I will say that the same rules of regular cx do apply and if you do so your opponent will have the chance to do so. Also be civil to one another, I don't want to hear about your high school drama during cx if this happens you will lose speaker points.

Prep Time: I would prefer that we don't waste prep time or steal it. If you're using technology (i.e. a laptop, tablet, or anything else) I will expect you to use it almost perfectly. These things are not indicative of my decision on the round rather they are pet peeves of mine that I hate to see happen in the round. I hate to see rounds delayed because debaters don't know how to use the tools they have correctly.UPDATE. You need to flow. The excessive asking for new speech docs to be sent has gotten out of hand. If there are only minor changes or one or two marked cards those are things you should catch while flowing. I can understand if there are major changes (3 or more cards being marked or removed) or new cards being read but outside of this you will get no sympathy from me. If you are smart and actually read this just start exempting things. I don't look at the speech doc I flow. If you opponent doesn't catch it so be it. If this happens in rounds I am judging it will impact your speaker points. If you would like a new doc and the changes are not excessive per my definition you are free to use your own prep time, this will not effect your speaker points.

Theory: I don't mind theory debates - I think theory can be used as part of a strategy rather than just as a mechanism for checking abuse. However, this leniency comes with a caveat; I have a very low threshold for RVI's (i.e. they're easier to justify) and I-meet arguments, so starting theory and then throwing it away will be harder provided your opponent makes the RVI/I-meet arguments (if they don't, no problem). While reading your shell, please slow down for the interpretation and use numbering/lettering to distinguish between parts of the shell!

Also theory debates tend to get very messy very quickly, so I prefer that each interpretation be on a different flow. This is how I will flow them unless told to the otherwise. I am not in the business of doing work for the debaters so if you want to cross apply something say it. I wont just assume that because you answered in one place that the answer will cross applied in all necessary places, THAT IS YOUR JOB.

  • Meta-Theory: I think meta-thoery can be very effective in checking back abuses caused by the theory debate. With that being said though the role of the ballot should be very clear and well explained, what that means is just that I will try my hardest not to interject my thoughts into the round so long as you tell me exactly how your arguments function. Although I try not to intervene I will still use my brain in round and think about arguments especially ones like Meta-Theory. I believe there are different styles of theory debates that I may not be aware of or have previously used in the past, this does not mean I will reject them I would just like you to explain to me how these arguments function.

Speaks: I start at a 27 and go up (usually) or down depending on your strategy, clarity, selection of issues, signposting, etc. I very rarely will give a 30 in a round, however receiving a 30 from me is possible but only if 1) your reading, signposting, and roadmaps are perfect 2) if the arguments coming out of your case are fully developed and explained clearly 3) if your rebuttals are perfectly organized and use all of your time wisely 4) you do not run arguments that I believe take away from any of these 3 factors. I normally don't have a problem with "morally questionable" arguments because I think there's a difference between the advocacies debaters have or justify in-round and the ones they actually support. However, this will change if one debater wins that such positions should be rejected (micropol, etc). Lastly, I do not care if you sit or stand while you speak, if your speech is affected by your choice I will not be lenient if you struggle to stand and debate at the same time. UPDATE. If you spend a large chunk of time in your 1AC reading and under-view or spikes just know I do not like this and your speaks may be impacted. This is not a model of debate I want to endorse.

General Preferences: I need a framework for evaluating the round but it doesn't have to be a traditional value-criterion setup. You're not required to read an opposing framework (as the neg) as long as your offense links somewhere. I have no problem with severing out of cases (I think it should be done in the 1AR though). NIBs/pre standards are both fine, but both should be clearly labeled or I might not catch it. If you're going to run a laundry list of spikes please number them. My tolerance of just about any argument (e.g. extinction, NIBS, AFC) can be changed through theory.

Kritiks and Micropol: Although I do not run these arguments very often, I do know what good K debate looks like. That being said I often see Kritiks butchered in LD so run them with caution. Both should have an explicit role of the ballot argument (or link to the resolution). For K's that are using postmodern authors or confusing cards, go more slowly than you normally would if you want me to understand it and vote on it.

Extensions and Signposting: Extensions should be clear, and should include the warrant of the card (you don't have to reread that part of the card, just refresh it). I not a fan of "shadow extending," or extending arguments by just talking about them in round - please say "extend"!! Signposting is vital - I'll probably just stare at you with a weird look if I'm lost.

Some of the information above may relate to paper flowing, I've now gone paperless, but many of the same things still apply. If I stop typing for long stretches then I am probably a bit lost as to where you are on the flow.

Srivatsav Pyda Paradigm

6 rounds

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.

If your opponent points out or I find out you didn't disclose (absent outstanding circumstances), I will vote against you. I've recently judged a lot of edge cases here recently, and if you think you fall in one of these edge cases, your best bet is to pseudo disclose to your opponent through messenger/email or whatever as soon as possible.

my email is - add me to the email chain.

Chris Randall Paradigm

5 rounds

Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.

Argument specifics

T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen. I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.

DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly

CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit

K- I am familiar with most of the k literature

CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at

In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).

First let me explain how to get a Hot L:

So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L


Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation is dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean

Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples

I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc

I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating

Carly Rieger Paradigm

6 rounds

email: - yes, add me to the email chain. please feel free to reach out by email/fb (i'm more likely to respond on fb) if you have questions.

i debated circuit LD at WDM Valley for four years and qualed to the TOC, receiving four bids, during my senior year. i have taught at NSD Flasgship (2018,2019), NSD Philidelphia (2018,2019), and TDC (2019). i coach for WDM Valley HS.

tl;dr - it's your round, debate it how you want to.

I will evaluate the round on the flow, everything here explains my defaults but if you make arguments as to why the round should be adjudicated in a particular way I will evaluate debate through your lens. please make the round as clear as possible - weighing is your friend, give clear overviews, justify everything, and explain. tell me the implications of your arguments.

I have the most experience with framework debate, identity K debate, and theory debate.

defaults: (this only matters if no one makes arguments to the contrary)

  • epistemic confidence
  • competing interps, no rvis
  • theory > k > substance
  • pragmatics > semantics
  • truth testing > comparing worlds


  • i’ll say ‘slow’ or ‘clear’ if necessary.
  • i am fine with flex prep.
  • i love a good framework/identity k debate, it makes my heart happy (you will probably get good speaks).
  • i very much think you need an impact mechanism (a standard text, a ROB, etc.) -- otherwise, i will be left to evaluate impacts as i see fit which probably won't make you happy.
  • extensions need warrants and impacts, even if you are extending a conceded argument. If you are extending a case that is conceded, it isn't sufficient to say "extend my whole case."
  • if you are debating a novice or someone who lacks a lot of circuit experience, please make the round educational and inclusive. this does not necessarily mean go full on traditional (although that's definitely fine), but it does mean don't go full speed and a bunch of offs (your speaks will go way down).
  • 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.


  • theory violations need to be verifiable. 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 will default to the 'i meet' being true.
  • feel free to read theory for strategic reasons (i.e. friv theory) or because there’s actual abuse.
  • if you go for reasonability, please provide a brightline. if you don't provide a brightline, or provide a brightline of gut check, i will probably gut check to competing interps.

Sarah Roberts Paradigm

3 rounds


was denver independent/denverlake independent, 2x qualified to the toc, senior at berkeley (gobears, go bernie), coach for harker.

my email is – please put me on the email chain.

unsortable thoughts:

· IMPORTANT: flex prep means asking questions during prep time - in no world does unused cx time become prep time - what????? you get your 4 (or 5) minutes that's it no more of this nonsense

· larp>>good k debate>>>theory heavy debate>>bad k debate>>tricks and phil

· i flow cx -- that means i’m exhausted of the arg that "cx doesn't check because judges don't flow it", that doesn't mean you don't need to make the arguments you establish in your actual speech.

· i’m not into postrounding. this includes but is not limited to: talking at me for thirty minutes, trying to re-read your 2a/nr at me, sending me excessive emails about why you think my decision is wrong. if you have had me in the back and have postrounded me every time, you should... maybe think about redoing your pref sheet!

· explain what perm do both looks like (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

· if you want/will need me to look at an interp/counterinterp/perm you read, those things must be sent within the speech doc. i will hold you to what is written, or you will risk me just evaluating the words I heard -- that also means no shifty changing in cx!!

· given how clear it is to me that no one can really flow a debate round as it is delivered based on prep time just becoming a spec review, you are fine to toss out a "slow" at your opponents if you can't flow/understand at their top speed. this is better than you asking 1000 clarification questions during your prep time.

· getting the round started before the start time + being efficient: +.2 speaks. why can't anyone start the email chain on time anymore makes me sad :<


speaks --

here are my averages from the fall '19 tournaments i've been at (total average, at present, is a 28.53). things that help speaks: technical competence, getting the round started on time, good articulation of k lit, bataille

· damus: 28.11

· marks: 28.32

· presentation: 28.68

· greenhill: 28.58

· greenhill rr: 28.96

general --

almost everything in the sections below applies to the way i evaluate debates, but here are some specific things that i hold true when judging these rounds. with some small exceptions, (i would like to think) i approach judging relatively similarly to rodrigo paramo (thx for teaching me ld!).

· if the 2nr is split, it will hurt your speaker points

· i will evaluate judge kick arguments

· please slow down on theory

· bracketing is not good, disclosure definitely is. be reasonable here though -- if your opponent literally has never heard of the wiki and you immediately try to crush them on disclosure theory, i will be unhappy :<

· i am not very persuaded by frivolous theory arguments and will hold responses to a lower level of depth than with well developed, pertinent theory args. if you have to ask me if a theory arg is frivolous before the round i think you probably know what the answer is.

· rvis – primarily on topicality – are not persuasive to me

k affs –

things you need to do when you’re reading these sorts of affs

· utilize 1ac ev through the whole debate and contextualize your answers to the theories in your aff

· explain exactly what the aff does/aims to do – are you working towards a paradigmatic shift in how we approach (x) policy or are you criticizing the structure of debate itself? what does voting aff do to resolve those issues?

· understand that teams sometimes just read framework because they don’t know how else to necessarily engage your aff.

· have good background knowledge... i'm so unenthused by people who pull out their ~fire~ baudrillard aff and then make args about creating meaning being good... like what? i will you to a high standard of background knowledge and contextualization/explanation.

i feel more qualified to judge high theory args than i do performances or args centered on individual identity.

fw vs k affs –

my record shows me leaning slightly more neg on framework vs k affs (maybe around 60/40?) presuming you’re not reading fairness impacts (in which case it drops to like 30/70). i think arguments about the specific mobilization/utilization of skills gained uniquely from debate tend to be much more convincing. things i’d like to see in these debates:

· examples of how movements outside of the political sphere have used political knowledge to further their cause

· reasons why knowing about the way legal systems work/interact is good

· a defense of fiat/hypothetical discussions of policies

· contextualized case arguments (which can often answer back for the “they didn’t engage us” claims)

policy affs vs ks –

too many teams pivot to the left when they hear a k in the 1nc. just defend what you did in the 1ac and explain why it’s good. some things that i think are important to do in these debates:

· win framework/win fiat/win why hypothetical discussions of policies are good

· answer the long k overview from the 2nc

· be able to explain/give examples of what the permutation will look like (you definitely get a perm)

· actually debate the k rather than just reading author indicts

· not back down from big stick impacts. you know what ground you get against literally every baudrillard k? heg good.

ks –

you need to have background knowledge of the lit and arguments, i will know if you just pulled a backfile out or haven't engaged with the lit in necessary ways! i only ever went one off in high school so i will expect a high level of articulation from you in regards to explaining your arguments and contextualizing them to the aff specifically. some things i’d like to see in a k debate

· specific quotes being pulled from the 1ac on the 2nc link debate

· technical debating rather than reading a 6 min o/v and saying it answers all the aff arguments

· having a good, in-depth explanation of the theory of your argument/why and how it interacts with the aff in cx when asked about it

· bataille

some authors i have read/continue to read in my free time/am knowledgeable about (bets are off for anyone not listed) ranked from most liked to “ehhhh”:

irigaray (bring her back), bataille, baudrillard, spanos (bring him back), lacan/psychoanalysis, berlant, edelman, deleuze/deleuze and guattari

disads –

i love seeing a well debated disad as much as i love seeing a well debated critique. i think it is really important to have good evidence and good analysis in these debates.

i am less familiar with very specific political processes disads so i may need more explanation of those whether that occurs in a quick 2nc overview or in cx given the opportunity. some things i’d like to see:

· good case engagement along with the disad. this means good impact calc as well as judge instruction

· clear explanation of the political scenario you're reading if it's a politics disad, clear analysis on the link chains if it's not a politics disad

· actual cards after the 1nc

counterplans –

truly a 2n at heart; i’ll grant you a lot of leniency in how shifty your counterplans can be. i think really specific counterplans are one of the greatest things to see in debate.

· if you cut your cp evidence from 1ac evidence/authors you’ll get a boost in speaks!

· i also think (specific, not generic word) piks/pics are pretty underutilized -- especially against k affs – i’d love to see more of these.

· i don’t think explanation-less "perm do the counterplan" or "perm do the aff" are legit.

theory –

less qualified to judge these debates imo, but will still listen to them. please slow down and don't spread through blocks -- i'll stop flowing if i can't understand it.

i have no tolerance for frivolous theory. if you are reading arguments related to what your opponents wear or what esoteric word needs to be in the 1ac, i will not enjoy the debate and will most likely not vote for you!

topicality –

a good block/2nr contains a well thought out and developed interpretation of what the topic is/view of how the topic should be explained and debated in regards to specific arguments that can/cannot be justified vis a vis the topic wording.

i really like to see good lists in t debates (untopical affs made topical by the aff’s interp, clearly topical affs that are excluded by the neg’s interp, etc).

nebel is fine to read in front of me because it’s a warranted argument! there is no good world in which somebody can just say ‘nebel bad vote aff’ and win on that! this should not be so controversial!

case debate –

there needs to be more of it in every debate. go for impact turns. i love dedev. recutting aff cards.... amazing. if the negative drops your case or does not spend time on it you can spend less time on it in the 1ar/2ar too!!!!

ethics/rhetoric –

i'm not into rhetoric violations. please ensure that it is not just a singular slip of the tongue -- often times a mention in cx/the speech and a genuine apology from the team who said it suffices and provides more education overall.

if there is egregious/violent language, i will take it upon myself to appropriately intervene and adjudicate on a case-by-case basis.

i'm lenient on ethics violations. if an ethics violation is called, i will stop the round after getting evidence of the violation from the team that called it and make my decision based on the tournament invite, the ndca rules, and the round itself.

Ideen Saiedian Paradigm

3 rounds

I debated for USC for four years and now am an assistant coach for Cal-Berkeley.


Add me on email chain please --- ideen.saiedian [at] gmail


Top Level

--  While I've done some research and judged on emissions, you should not assume I know all the acronyms or have spent a lot of time considering what the topic should look like. This is most relevant in T debates, where you will benefit from explaining how the literature, argument trends, and the direction of topic uniqueness affect the desirability of your interpretation.

--  Probably more than most judges, I believe presumption/terminal defense is possible. Proper ev and logical explanation should be applied to win a 100% takeout. Burden of proof is on the team introducing an argument. I'm very open to reasonable/less than extinction impacts.

--  I won't vote on arguments I don't understand.

--  Counterplans that have a solvency advocate, use the same agent as the aff, and compete based off the explicit mandate of the plan are legitimate. The further you deviate from this, the more I incrementally lean aff, but the negative can easily win by out-debating the aff. Perms are better way to eliminate unproductive counterplans than theory.

--  I won't kick an advocacy for the neg unless they explicitly make an argument that I can and should revert to the SQ.



--  My voting record suggests I am a better judge for critiques than my arguments in college would reflect. Take that for what you will. Here are some of my thoughts in these debates:

--  I find myself voting for critiques more often because the aff mishandles "K tricks" in the 1AR (FW, V2L, Root Cause, Floating PIK). My threshold for answering these is low.

--  Critiques that apply their general theory to the specific claims made by the 1AC and implicate the aff's ability to solve are great and under-utilized.

--  Feasibility is an important, yet under-debated, factor in determining the desirability of critique alternatives.

--  Magnitude of a link is a relevant consideration. Too often, teams let the negative get away with a sweeping impact to a marginal and insignificant link. 


Critique Affirmatives (Non-T)

--  I believe it is possible and desirable for the affirmative to argue in favor of the resolution. If the negative competently extends a framework argument, they will be in a good position.

--  I am especially convinced by topicality arguments that "solve" the aff by identifying a legitimate topical mechanism that enables a discussion of the 1AC content.

--  Magnitude of a link is also important in T debates. I am a better judge for an aff that defends the resolution minus USFG and eliminates a politics link than I am for an aff that is in the opposite direction of the topic or largely unrelated.

--  K affirmatives that choose not to defend the resolution should have a strong defense of why the discussions they create are valuable or productive. I find many of these debates often force the negative to defend polemical positions (e.g. cap/anthro/anti-blackness explain everything in the world ever) in order to avoid losing to a permutation, which turns these rounds into a root cause impact debate and obviates a discussion of 1AC content or means/ends for action.

--  In framework debates, I find myself voting for K affs when negatives read internal links (fairness, ground, predictability) without impacts, so please impact things like ground, limits, etc. with how changing the contours of debate as a competitive activity will change the valuable things we get out of it. 



John Scoggin Paradigm

2 rounds

I would like to be on the email chain, my email is jpscoggin at

I am the coach of Loyola High School in Los Angeles. I also own and operate Premier Debate along with Bob Overing. I coach Nevin Gera. I prefer a nuanced util debate to anything else.


In general, I am not a fan of frivolous theory or non-topical Ks.

High speaker points are awarded for exceptional creativity and margin of victory.

I am fine with speed as long as it is comprehensible.


If you are not comfortable disclosing to your opponent at the flip or after pairings are released it is likely in your best interest to strike me. If the tournament has a rule about when that should occur I will defer to that, if not 10 minutes after the pairing is released seems reasonable to me.

Compiling is prep. Prep ends when the email is sent or the flash drive is removed from your computer.

Stephen Scopa Paradigm

3 rounds

I debated at Pines Charter on both the local and national circuit and went to TOC my senior year. My email for speech docs is:

General: I am very much a tech > truth person who will vote for any argument you make no matter how seemingly ridiculous or bizarre, all I need is a warrant. I also have a low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments but they need to be extended in each speech. My goal is to evaluate rounds with as little intervention as possible. Judges have become too dogmatic in my opinion, so everything that follows is merely a preference or a default, nothing but the arguments you make will factor into my decision.

- I default to truth testing if no other RoB is read in the round.

- I am not exactly the best at flowing, so when you are making analytic arguments you should label them and sign post as clear as possible. Also maybe take half a second after author names.

- I don’t evaluate embedded clash unless there is an argument as to why I should or the round is irresolvable without it.

- I do not believe you get new 2n responses to AC arguments unless an argument is made for why you get those arguments in the NC- making an argument in the 2n that says something like “this was just a dumb blippy argument” is not sufficient. This goes for 2ar responses to NC arguments as well.

- Believe it or not, I will vote on disclosure theory. I’m more open to it these days than I have been in the past, but I still think frivolous disclosure theory is super annoying. Not disclosing period is one thing, not cohering to every aspect of whatever you think is good is another. Also don’t read it against novices or people who clearly don’t know what it is. I also won’t evaluate it if it becomes clear/verifiable the debater’s team won’t allow it or other similar circumstances.

- Don’t need to flash analytics to your opponent but I would like them

- Even if something is labeled an independent voter, if there is no warrant for why it is one, I won’t evaluate it as such. This is becoming slightly annoying norm. I also don’t really think “x author is sexist/racist/etc so you should lose” makes much sense. I’ll vote on it if you win it but it’s an uphill battle.

- I consider myself pretty much agnostic in terms of arguments, obviously every judge has their preferences but content has 0 effect on my decision.

- I don’t mind you “grilling” me, I think judges learn sometimes too and it can be good to keep judges accountable. Just be aware that if you are aggressive I will be sassy too.

- If your offense is conceded but you don’t extend it, it doesn’t exist. Too many affs take for granted the offense is conceded and don’t even mention it in the 2ar. Literally all you have to do is say “extend the offense, it was conceded” but apparently that is even too much for some people.

- Explaining why a card doesn’t have a warrant is terminal defense if you can’t answer with a clear articulation of a warrant.

- Saying “the aff is a good idea” doesn’t mean anything. You have to win arguments to prove this.

- I really like a good CX. People trying to be edgy without the personality for it is cringe, but people with the personality for it can be dominant. I won’t vote on arguments made it in CX, but I getting concessions or making people look silly will boost your speaks.

- This is just a preference but like... Reading T probably isn't violence. False equivalencies from K debaters are kinda whack and I'll vote on conceded arguments but if it's pointed out that it's a false equivalency I probably won't.

- If an independent voter doesn't have a warrant in the first speech I won't vote on it regardless of how long you spend going for it and explaining it in the last speech.

- If an argument is conceded it's conceded. Too often I feel like the 2ar is treating me like a lay judge over-explaining things. Be tech, I know what arguments are conceded. Obviously you should still weigh and implicate the argument if that's crucial to the 2ar/2nr strategy, but often that's not what is happening.

Theory: Go for it - this is probably one of the easier things for me to judge, and I really enjoy judging nuanced theory debates. Slow down on the interpretation a bit if it’s something more nuanced. I don’t “gut check” frivolous shells but obviously if you are winning reasonability then I will evaluate through whatever your brightline is. If neither debater makes arguments I default to the following:

- There is no impact to a shell without drop the arg or drop the debater warrants so I will just eval substance

- Competing interps

- Norms creation model

- RVIs good

- Fairness is a voter

- Education not a voter

Also, for counter interps “converse of the interp” is not sufficient, if your opponent says “idk what the converse is so I can’t be held to the norm” I will buy that argument, just actually come up with a counter interp.

I also hate the spamming of affirming/negating is harder and will probably hurt your speaks a lil for it.

I really like RVIs and think they are underutilized so if you successfully go for one I will be happy.

T: I don’t like it quite as much as theory but it’s still fun to judge. T debates weren’t nearly as nuanced when I debated so you may have to explain some of the particulars more than you may be used to. I am also a sucker for semantics.

T “framework”: To be honest I am sort of agnostic as to whether affs should be T. I probably lean yes, but I also find non-T affs pretty interesting and fun to judge. I don’t consider an aff that doesn’t defend fiat but does defend the principle of the resolution non-T, and I am less persuaded by T in that sense. Seems like you get access to literally everything but util which is plenty of ground, and I think most topics don’t semantically require implementation, and in fact, usually do the opposite. That being said, I would consider myself someone both debaters wouldn’t mind having in a clash of civs debate.

Tricks: This was my favorite style of debate when I competed and clever tricks are entertaining but that doesn’t mean I will instantly vote for you if you read them without winning why they are relevant (aka you are winning truth testing). The more clever your arguments are, the higher your speaks will be. Despite my old love for them, I usually have a low threshold for responses since the arguments are usually fairly weak. If you obviously just included an a priori because I am judging you and don’t extend a conceded one, your speaks will probably suffer. I also prefer you be more up front with them in CX if your opponent catches them, I have a lot more respect for people who are straight up about their sketchiness. If you are not the best at answering these arguments I wouldn’t worry too much, I will be more than happy to disregard them if you are winning a role of the ballot that excludes them or a shell that indicts them. Also, calling something a trick doesn’t mean anything to me -- tell me what the implication of the argument is. It also bothers me how tricks debaters have become reliant on the same resolved a priori every debate - I'd much rather listen to an interesting phil or K round than watch u extend the same a priori people have been reading for years. Think of new and clever arguments. Also, reading 16 spikes with a Kant framework isn’t a tricks aff and I really don’t like it. I judge these constantly cause I’m probably one of the few that will listen, and that hasn’t changed but don’t expect high speaks or for me to be impressed.

Ks: I feel like this is the section that needs the most updating because I do a lot of reading and coaching for the K these days. I really enjoy a good K debate. Despite my reputation, I’m a big fan of K’s and am fairly well versed in the literature. I really enjoy high theory and find good K affs super fun. I have read Deleuze, Butler, Wilderson/Warren, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Baudrillard, Edelman, etc so I definitely think Ks like these are interesting and strategic. I occasionally enjoy judging these debates the most because of how interesting and unique the arguments are. However, I cannot stand unwarranted “this is just another link” arguments, you need to explain or give a warrant as to why what you say is a link actually is one. I also am not a huge fan of identity K's, and I may vote on some responses you disagree with, just as a fair warning. Additionally, I prefer to see line by line debate, and it seems as though a lot of Ks begin/consist of long overviews without much specific reference to arguments in previous speeches, which can be difficult to flow, so you may want to consider this when going for the K in the 2n/1ar/2ar. I also am very open to you kicking the alt and going for disads, and would almost advise this in front of me cause winning the alt can be a pain. The one K I am really not liking these days is set col, cause I think almost every response is just true and most debaters I’ve seen aren’t the best at handling them, but obviously I’ll still vote on it if you win it. Ultimately if this is your favorite/ best style of debate, you should go for it.

My favorite K’s: Baudrillard, Nietzsche, Psychoanalysis

Larp: I was never a larper, never judged a high level larp round, and am probably not qualified to judge a really good DA v Util AC debate. I don’t particularly enjoy these debates, and you most likely will not enjoy me judging you but I will do my best to evaluate the round. If you can’t defend util against a dump or well justified framework you shouldn’t pref me, because “the aff is a good idea” will not get my ballot. (Update: For some reason people still stand up and larp and read disads in front of me so PLS don’t pref me or change up the strat, trust me it is best for both of us). (Update for JF20: I find this topic pretty interesting and am more open to listening to some cool plans/advantages. I would also really enjoy some larp innovation like rule util or some other more nuanced framework/new util warrants).

Fwk: This is my favorite type of debate and really want it to make a comeback. I enjoy a good framework debate, and it is probably my favorite thing to judge, but it can become fairly difficult to follow at times. As long as you clearly label arguments and make sure to weigh I feel very comfortable evaluating these rounds. However, these debates can often become muddled and devolve into a chicken and egg debate, which makes it near impossible to resolve so be careful of that. My major has given me a new passion for interesting frameworks so I would love to hear whatever unique positions you got. Also extra speaks for meta-ethics that aren’t practical reason – let’s be creative people.

Favorite phil positions: Existentialism, Levinas, any interesting meta-ethic

Speaks: I average probably a 28.5. I assign them based on mostly strategy/execution with a little bit of content, but content can only improve your speaks not make them worse really (with the exception of disclosure probably). I like unique and clever arguments and well executed strategy - I would not advise you to go for a tricks aff if you are a larp debater just because I am judging you, do what you do well to get good speaks. I am also somewhat expressive when I think about how arguments interact so don’t mind my face. Also, if I can tell your 1ar/2n/2ar is pre-written your speaks will probably suffer.

How do I get a 30?

I won’t guarantee a 30 based on these strategies but it will definitely increase your chances of getting one if you can successfully pull off any of the following:

1) Going NC, AC really well with a phil NC

2) A trick I haven’t heard before (THAT IS NOT TERRIBLE)

3) A good analytic PIC

4) Any unique fwk/K/RoB that I haven’t heard before or think is really interesting

5) A true theory shell or one I haven’t heard before

6) Execute a Skep trigger/contingent standard well

7) Really good CX

8) Successfully going for an RVI

9) Making the round super clear

Lay debates: If you are clearly better than your opponent and it is obvious that you are winning the round, please, dear lord, do not use all of your speech time just because you have the time- win the round and sit down so we can have a discussion and make it more educational than just you repeating conceded arguments for 13 minutes.

Jharick Shields Paradigm

3 rounds

Hello! My name is Jharick Shields and I am the assistant debate coach at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Mississippi. I enjoy listening to/voting for functionally all forms of argumentation, provided that it is clearly explained, implicated, and weighed. Speed is fine, people usually have problems with clarity however. I will say clear twice and then you should watch for me to put my pen down. I am a huge fan of non-verbal cues, so you should watch for those as well. They can give you key insight into how well you’re doing. I am a fan of explanation and thoroughness. People should not expect me to “check in” for certain types of analysis, but should expect to get my ballot if they tell me why they won. Claim. Warrant. Impact. Easy as pie. I am not a fan of blippy analysis and the weight i give each argument will be based on how much work went into it. You shouldn’t expect me to understand words that you do not explain. The rule of thumb is that if you had to read multiple articles to understand it, you should not just throw it at me and then complain indignantly when I tell you I didn’t understand it. I like impact analysis and this part of the debate is important. I get that your impacts are important. Weigh long term v short term. Weigh probability and magnitude. Tell me what my ballot does and tell me why it goes to you. I am not a fan of under-explained theory arguments – theory and topicality are functionally the “death penalty” so just saying the words “the neg skewed my strategy because it’s hard to respond’ doesn’t constitute an adequate reason for me to drop the debater. However, don’t interpret this as “this judge won’t vote for theory, I can’t go for condo in this debate even if it’s the right option” as some have previously. Speaker points start at a 28. They can go up or down from there based on strategy, execution, clarity, and persuasiveness. I like games, so here’s an interesting one: for every correctly identified conceded argument, you get +.1 speaks and for every incorrectly identified conceded argument, you get -.2 speaks. I look forward to judging your debates!

Also, unless you are a peer of mine or graduated, please call me Mr. Shields. K, thx.

Martin Sigalow Paradigm

2 rounds

Email chain:

I'm out of debate and unwise to pref!

Conflicts: Lake Highland.

  1. No new arguments or arguments that are the exact opposites of a previously made argument.
  2. Severely mislabeling arguments is extremely bad.
  3. No arguments contingent on the identity of the other debater will be evaluated.
  4. I will not evaluate the debate at any point before its end.
  5. I default to offense-defense, competing interps, durable fiat, perms test competition, and that the aff defends implementation.

Shikhar Srivastava Paradigm

3 rounds

background: brophy '18 (policy), cal '22, double 2'ed so no aff/neg sympathy, toc qual/coaches poll/tournament wins and all that stuff

-----------------scroll down for LD-------------


[1] - put me on the email chain

[2] good debating outweighs ANY of my following argumentative preferences, my leanings are only relevant in borderline decisions where there's no other way to arbitrate and i have to default to what i'm more convinced by.

3] always tech>truth as long as there are arguments

[4] an argument has a claim and a warrant, a good one has an impact (some ev doesn't even meet this standard) - calling out ' non-arguments' is a sufficient answer until it becomes an argument

[5] don't just tell me to read ev - do the actual debating

but i don't read ev unless it's the only possible way to adjudicate a particular issue - imo the purpose of ev is to utilize the developed warrants accompanied by the qualifications (recency, credibility, etc) to tip the argument's comparative scale in your favor (i.e. 'read our sanchez ev it's fire' or 'sanchez has a phd so he's more qualified' sans any explanation of how your warrants/qualifications will get nothing but a frowning face, but well developed comparison of warranting within evidence accompanied by


argumentative leanings:

k affs/t-usfg: are cheating. fairness is an impact, but skills/

---aff: cheating - dislike heavily

---neg: t-usfg. please. and maybe piks. shouldn't be hard to win this debate, fairness is an impact (although not the most strategic one), debate is a voluntary game, answering arguments ≠ racist, the [insert fake word here] disad is probably silly, not intrinsic to the resolution, and definitely not solveable.


---aff: impact turn everything. for race k's with soft left), impact turn their ptx (on the link as a n/b to the perm), with big stick util is trutil. use the inevitable shittiness of the alt to frame the impact turn debate. also, not enough teams cleverly utilize fw as a filter for the alt - do it.

---neg: can be the worst debates, can be the best - up to you to decide. for example, i'll have a hard time thinking a generic baudrillard debate is good, but neolib/security i'm very open to.

decision making: at the end of the round, i resolve technical questions first (was a certain argument dropped/mishandled), then use those conclusions in tandem with the debating that has been done to frame my decision on what i have isolated to be key arguments for my ballot. that being said, i'll address my thoughts on general debate practices which become relevant to my ballot

--->tech>truth: 100 percent believe in this and it's implications. if you drop the stupidest uniqueness take out on the disad and it has the shittiest warrant but it's existent, the da now has 0 risk. that being said, the implication it has is limited by the debating done/argument presented. dropping a solvency deficit doesn't mean the aff doesn't solve, it probably just means the aff only solves some percent of it's advantages (unless it's articulated to implicate 100% of solvency or the argument lends itself towards a large solvency take out via evidence or warrants).

--->ev quality: good research sets you up to win debates. that being said, a clever 2ac analytic is the same in my mind to a card from a random blog with no author quals. just because you have evidence, does not make it a better argument. please resist debate's recent tendency towards awful evidence, but don't be scared to rely heavily on smart analytics.

--->misc: default to judge kick and sufficiency framing, infinite condo is good, pics are fun but theoretically more justifiable with solvency advocates, long overviews are never helpful. the brightline on 2ar leeway is whether enough of the argument was in the 1ar to reasonably expect the 2nr to have predicted it. arguments have at claims, warrants, and impacts or they're not arguments (but one liners can be arguments). if i'm not flowing, you're not making arguments.

speaks: being a clear, loud, and snarky/clever presenter is the most important for me. research quality/innovative strategies would be next level. closing doors (be it by technical means or by good arguing) makes my decision easier. speaks inflation is probably inevitable and hurting certain debaters doesn't solve, so i'll default to the rough average at that tournament to form my scale.

-------------lincoln douglas 'debate'-------------

speaks inflation:

auto 29.8 if you use no prep - 30 for both if you convince your opponent to do the same

+.5 for every 30 seconds of speech time that you don't use (be explicit)

Jasmine Stidham Paradigm

3 rounds

-Pronouns: she/her. I will default to using they/them if I don't know you.

-Yes, put me on the chain.

-I coach/teach at the Harvard-Westlake school, I'm an assistant coach for Dartmouth, and I work at UM 7 Week in one of the seniors labs. I debated at the University of Central Oklahoma for 4 years and graduated in 2018- qualified to the NDT 4x, NDT octafinalist 2x, 1st round recipient, etc.

-LD skip down to the bottom.

Tldr: Flexibility

-No judge will ever like all of the arguments you make, but I will always attempt to evaluate them fairly. I appreciate judges who are willing to listen to positions from every angle, so I try to be one of those judges. I have coached strictly policy teams, strictly K teams, and everything in between because I enjoy all aspects of the game. Debate should be fun and you should debate in the way that makes it valuable for you, not me. My predispositions about debate are not so much ideological as much as they are systematic, i.e. I don't care which set of arguments you go for, but I believe every argument must have a claim, warrant, impact, and a distinct application. I think "tech" matters. Dropping a bunch of arguments means your "truth" claims aren't so true anymore. Evidence quality matters a lot to me. Stop reading cards that don't have a complete sentence and get off my lawn. I strive to be as non-interventionist as possible. Impact framing/judge instruction will get you far. The predispositions I have listed below are my general heuristics I use when making a decision, but I will ultimately vote for the team who wins their argument, even if it strays from these conventions. I appreciate debaters who do their thing and do it well.

-Don't base your strategy off of your (probably incorrect) assumptions about my own debate career.

-For everyone: Stop being afraid of debate. Cowardice is annoying. Don't run away from controversy just because you don't like linking to things. If you don't like defending arguments, or explaining what your argument actually means, please consider joining the marching band.

-I am growing increasingly annoyed at teams who try to proliferate as many incomplete arguments as possible in the 1NC. If your strategy is to read 5 disads in the 1NC that are missing UQ, or internal links, I will give the aff almost infinite leeway in the 1AR to answer your inevitable sandbagging. I would much rather see well-highlighted, complete positions than the poor excuse of neg arguments that I'm seeing lately. No one likes cards that could be read as fortune cookies.

-I don't mind being post-rounded or being asked a lot of questions. I did plenty of post-rounding as a debater and I recognize that it doesn't always stem from anger or disrespect. That being said, don't be a butthead. I appreciate passionate debaters who care about their arguments and I am always willing to meet you halfway in the RFD.

-I'm grumpy, but I promise I care a lot.

Topicality: Everyone needs to have evidence that has the intent to define whatever word/phrase is being contested. Evidence that offhandedly mentions how one rando decided to define 'space cooperation' doesn't cut the mustard. *Predictable* limits outweighs limits merely for the sake of limits.

Framework: I vote for framework and I vote against it. I judge a lot of "clash" debates and I'm probably even in terms of my voting record. In my ideal world, affs would defend a clear, controversial advocacy that has predictable neg ground against it, but I understand that debate isn't about me. Affs should have a counter interpretation/model of debate that they think is desirable. I am less likely to vote aff solely on impact turns because I really need to know what the aff's 'vision of debate' looks like compared to the neg. I understand that going HAM on impact turns is sometimes more strategic, so if that's really your style you should stick to it, but you must contextualize those impact turns to whatever DAs the neg is going for and do comparative impact work. I find myself voting neg a lot just by virtue of the aff never doing impact calculus. Unpersuaded by the argument that topical versions should have to solve literally everything ever in a 9 minute speech. Judge instruction is extremely important- please tell me what to evaluate first. I'm fine with any 'flavor' of framework- procedural fairness, skillz, deliberative democracy, etc. Do your thing. The neg needs to explain how the TVAs access the aff's general theory/scholarship, what those affs look like, and how it (could) resolve the aff's impact turns.

Critical affirmatives (no plan): Beyond what I have said about framework, there are a couple things you can do to make sure we're on the same page. First, I need you to answer the question of "but what do you doooo tho?!" even though that question seems obsolete. I don't need a 5 minute overview explaining every part of the aff. I really just need to know what I am voting for and why that thing is good, which seems really simple, but in many debates I am left wondering what I'm supposed to vote for. Second, I am often persuaded by presumption if the neg invests a decent amount of time going for it properly. To counter this, make sure you do the minimum of answering the BWDYDT?! question above, and perhaps give me a different way of thinking about presumption as it applies to critical affirmatives. Third, you need to have a solid relationship to/critique of the resolution. If you read 9 minutes of structural claims about the world and say virtually nothing about the resolutional mechanism, we're not going to be on the same page.

Disads: Love em. I will reiterate an important component: do not hand me a stack of cards at the end of a debate that do not have complete sentences. I would rather read 5, solid, well-highlighted UQ cards than 10 poopy cards that say "it'll pass but it's clooooose!" without ever highlighting anything beyond that sentence. Uniqueness controls the direction of uniqueness and the link controls the direction of the link- not sure why that's controversial.

Counterplans: Love em too. My only predisposition is that I tend to think conditionality is good, in most circumstances. Some teams try to get away with murder, though. I lean neg when the CP is based in the literature/there's a reasonable solvency advocate. I lean aff when the CP meets neither of those conditions. When the neg does not have a solvency advocate for their 567 analytic planks, I am persuaded by smart aff arguments about enforcement, implementation, circumvention, etc. Judge kick: will only judge kick if told to do so, assuming the aff hasn't made any theoretical objections.

Kritiks: For everyone, please focus on argument development and application in these debates rather than reading 15 poopy backfile cards that probably won't get you anything.

-Stop with the mega overviews. I am not one who will particularly like the style of 6 minute overviews, and then answering the line by line with "ya that was the overview"-- just say those things on the line by line!

-Framework: it's important- the most common mistake I see the aff make is failing to develop substantive framework arguments about legal/institutional/pragmatic engagement. I often see the 1AR get bogged down going for random blurbs about fairness, which ultimately ends up being a wash. You get to weigh your aff. Now explain why I should prioritize your form of political engagement to outweigh the neg's ethics/epistemology/ontology 1st argument(s).

-Impact framing: also important- for the aff, even if the neg does not read case defense, do not make the mistake in assuming that you auto-win. You have to win a subsequent impact framing argument that tells me why those impacts matter. For the neg, the inverse applies. If you do not read case defense, you obviously have to win your impact framing arguments.

-Roles of the ballot are usually arbitrary. My role is to tell tab who won. Just win your impact framing argument and stop telling me the ballot has a role. PLEASE.

-Really hate it when the first question of 1AC CX is, "why vote aff?"

-1 card Ks in the 1NC can sufficiently be responded to with a thumbs down + fart noise.

-If your strategy involves going for some version of "all debate is bad, this activity is meaningless and only produces bad people" please consider who your audience is. Of course you can make arguments about flaws in specific debate practices, but you should also recognize that the "debate is irredeemable" position is a tough sell to someone who has dedicated her life to the activity and tries to make it better.

-Floating PIKs: if the neg makes a PIK that clearly ~floats~ and it's flagged as such, it's up to the aff to call it out- I won't do the theory work for you. If you can't identify it/flush it out in CX, you deserve to lose.

-Examples are incredibly helpful in these debates, especially when making structural claims about the world.

Evidence: Evidence quality correlates with a higher chance of winning. Good evidence does not, however, substitute for good debating. You should be doing evidence comparison. Basic logic will always beat a terrible card without a warrant.

-If you clip, you will lose the round and receive 0 speaks. I will vote against you for clipping EVEN IF the other team does not call you on it. I know what clipping is and feel 100% comfortable calling it. Mark your ev and have a marked copy available.

-Shady disclosure practices result in you catching the L. Stop being a coward.

-If I say "clear" more than two times I will stop flowing. I say clear more than most judges because debaters are getting away with murder in terms of clarity.

-If you are a jerk to novices your max for speaker points is a 25.

-Biggest pet peeve: debaters being unnecessarily difficult in cross-ex. This includes asking absurdly vague/irrelevant questions and debaters refusing to answer questions. This also includes cutting people off, and giving excessively drawn out answers to questions that can be answered efficiently. Please recognize that cross-ex is a mutual part of the debate.

-Be respectful to each other, which includes your partner. Pettiness/sarcasm is appreciated, but recognize that there is a line and you shouldn't cross it. You should never, ever make any jokes about someone else's appearance or how they sound.

-If there are any access requirements, just let me know.

-At no point will I allow outside participation in the round.

-Hot take: I strongly believe that the community is beginning to use arguments about trigger warnings in counterproductive ways. Trigger warnings are not designed to be used whenever someone says the words "gender violence" or when a team describes some form of structural violence. I find deployments of trigger warnings in these situations to be disingenuous and harmful. This is not to say that you can never make arguments about trigger/content warnings (sometimes they definitely make sense), but I urge you to consider whether or not the content in question actually requires such warning.

LD Specific:

Updated October 2019 to reflect efficiency and a few changes.

Tldr; I come from an exclusively policy background. I had zero experience in LD before I started coaching HW last year. That means everything you do is largely filtered through my experience in policy debate, and I have outlined my thoughts on those specific arguments in the above sections. This is why I am a horrible judge for LD shenanigans and will not tolerate them. So many acceptable LD arguments would be nonstarters in policy, and I will not vote for incomprehensible arguments just because other judges will. I don't say this to disparage someone's preferred form of debate, but I really can't vote for arguments that do not pass the 'makes sense' test. I care deeply about the educational aspects of debate, and will always try to help you improve. However, I am going to hold the line when ridiculous arguments are involved. See the FAQ below to determine if you should pref me.


Q: I read a bunch of tricks/meta-theory/a prioris/paradoxes, should I pref you?

A: Absolutely not.

Q: I read phil, should I pref you?

A: I'm not ideologically opposed to phil arguments like I am with tricks. I do not judge many phil debates because most of the time tricks are involved.

Q: I really like Nebel T, should I pref you?

A: No, you shouldn't. I'm sure he's a nice and smart guy, but cutting evidence from debate blogs is such a meme. If you'd like to make a similar argument, just find non-Nebel articles and I'll be fine. This applies to most debate coach ev. To be clear, you can read T:whole rez in front of me- just not Nebel cards.

Q: I like to make theory arguments like 'must spec status' or 'must include round reports for every debate' or 'new affs bad,' should I pref you?

A: Absolutely not.

Q: Will you ever vote for an RVI?

A: Nope. Never.

Q: Will you vote for any theory arguments?

A: Of course. I am good for more policy-oriented theory arguments like condo good/bad, PICs good/bad, process CPs good/bad, etc.

Q: Will you vote for Ks?

A: Of course. Love em. See policy section.

Any other questions can be asked before the round or email me.

James Stuckert Paradigm

6 rounds

I sort of debated PF for a year and LD for three years for Strake Jesuit. I qualified for TFA State and TOC in LD, and I have instructed at TDC and NSD. I am conflicted with Strake Jesuit and Walt Whitman. Contact me/add me to docs at

· I like to think my preferences are highly flexible. I am generally fine with debaters doing whatever they want in the round, and if two debaters seem to implicitly agree on a point I will take that as an assumption even if it isn’t explicitly warranted (e.g. both debaters implicitly assuming competing interps on theory or something like that).

· That being said, I will not allow the following things when deciding a round:

o Going back on an agreement made in CX – obviously you can change your mind within a few seconds if you misspoke or make a point to clarify something later but once CX is over if you’ve taken a clear stance on something you’re stuck with it.

o Reversing a stance from an earlier speech without conceding responses to that stance. E.g. you can’t go back on weighing arguments you made if they have been conceded. Of course, you can kick conditional advocacies if you want to and your opponent hasn’t made condo bad arguments.

o New arguments in later speeches which are not responses or extensions. This includes extending an argument which was not in your previous speech but was made in a speech before that. Sometimes new weighing or extending something that you forgot to extend is necessary to resolve an irresolvable flow, but I’ll be unhappy about it.

o Arguments that say I should not select one winning side and one losing side on the ballot for myself. This includes arguments that say you get to steal the ballot and sign it yourself (ballots aren’t even paper anymore so idk how you’d do that), or arguments for double wins or double loses. (You can tell me to give higher or lower speaks, but I’ll most likely ignore you and do my own thing.)

o An argument with a premise which is supposed to be confidential to me as a judge. The main example of this would be references to strike sheets or prefs.

· Other things about me:

o I place a greater weight on CX than most experienced judges. I typically flow it, I am strict about not letting you reverse a position you took in CX, and it weighs heavily determining speaks. However, arguments cannot be extended out of CX – you must make them in speeches.

o I determine speaker points with equal weight on each speech including CX. The two factors I care about the most are strategy and the quality/creativity of arguments. Spelled out positional arguments tend to make me happier than blippy arguments, but I am fine with blips as a strategic choice.

o All else equal, I think topical affs are preferable to non-topical affs. But this is merely a personal preference – I will try and remain impartial in a debate with a non-topical aff.

o I remain agnostic about whether disclosure is a good or bad thing for the community. I will vote on disclosure theory; however, I am somewhat sympathetic to the notion that theory should only have in-round violations.

o I’m not sure why you’d want to read overtly offensive things, but I’ll be heavily biased against them. However, most of the time when debaters say offensive things it is unintentional and while they are trying to articulate a more nuanced view. I don’t think it’s prima facie offensive to read moral philosophy that denies some acts are intrinsically evil (like skep or strict ends-based ethical theories) or which denies that consequences are morally relevant (like strict means-based theories), but I will readily listen to Ks of these sorts of theories.

o Be polite to novices, even if you can win a round in 20 seconds it’s not always kind to do so. Just be aware of how your actions might make them feel.

o Avoid rhetorical appeals which aim to exclude particular styles or arguments. You can make arguments and engage in strategies which exclude these styles but respect that all types of debate carry some legitimacy (I don’t wanna hear references to “bad theory debaters” or “stupid analytic framework” or “annoying pre-fiat args”)

o When adjudicating framework debates I think that there are arguments which proactively show a framework to be false and arguments which are defense to specific warrants for a framework. This means if the reasons a framework is false “outweigh” the reasons a framework is true then the framework goes away. This is does not imply that I think framework debate is comparative; terminal defense can happen on both frameworks. If someone argues epistemic modesty or for a risk of offense model I will shift to that model.

o On theory I default to reasonability and drop the argument. The threshold is demonstrating abuse in round. Under reasonability my assumption is spirit of the interp, but if competing interps is justified I assume text. I also think it is at least conceptually possible for there to be terminal defense on a theory shell even under competing interps, but it’s probably a very rare occurrence.

Nick Stumbris Paradigm

4 rounds

Speed - When I say that I am fine with speed, I mean that I can handle pretty much any speed, I just prefer clarity. If you are SO unclear that I can't flow you, you will notice when I stop. I will also give verbal warnings if it becomes a problem. Compared to most other judges, I like to consider I have a pretty high threshold for that point.

Quick Version - Everything is debatable. I will do my best to keep myself out of the round as much as possible. I went for both policy and critical arguments when I debated so I don't really have a preference, although I am probably better oriented with policy oriented rounds. Remember that my preferences are always available for negotiation (besides the things listed in the "unacceptable" section) so do what you do and PLEASE don't try and conform to whatever things I put on here.

Other Meta level things - I am a tech oriented judge, a good analytical argument beats a bad card everyday of the week. I also believe that a dropped argument is a true argument, however, this doesn't matter if it isn't impacted. Comparative impact analysis is a must. I try to stick to the flow. I will default to offense/defense. I think it is extremely rare for there ever ever ever to be zero risk of a link.

T - I default to competing interpretations. I think you need to have a counter-interpretation in order to make me vote on reasonability. Topicality debates too often come down to whining, whereas it should be treated like any other section of debate. Impact your arguments and do comparative impact analysis (i.e. why education outweighs fairness, etc.).

CP - They should be competitive. I believe counterplans can be textually competitive, but obviously the net benefit should be formulated as such. I find myself leaning neg on a lot of CP theory questions (agent, pics, dispo, states) and think that you should reject the argument not the team. I do not think that CPs that compete on the certainty of plan (consult, condition) are competitive but that this is a reason the aff should get permutation and not a reason to reject the CP in most instances. As a side note, if running topical counterplans is your thing, then do that. Also, I can be persuaded that any differential of a link could be a possible net benefit, but if it becomes a wash, I will not be working for either side.

Conditionality- My predisposition is that the neg should get one conditional counterplan. I've not heard many good reasons that the neg should get multiple counterplans. It think that 1 is a logical limit and that to say that 2 or more is OK becomes a slippery slope. I think we all need to do a better job of protecting the aff in this department because multiple counterplans make it strategic suicide for the aff to make their best answers and forecloses a real search for the "best policy option." Along this vein, unless the neg explicitly says it I will not "reject the CP and default to the status quo because it's always a logical option."

Kritik - I think that debate should be a model for policy-making education. Reps and generic language Ks often run from topic specific education. Topic specific Ks that turn and/or solve the aff are better. I grant the aff a lot of leeway on “K doesn’t remedy “x” advantage and that outweighs” if the neg is not good and explicit about it. I also grant the aff a lot of leeway about why short term extinction claims should come before questions of the K structural impacts. However, I appreciate well run Ks, and ran a fair amount of Ks when I debated, so if it is your thing, do it well.

DA - I love a good politics debate more than anything. I am less likely to vote on cheap shots (intrinsicness, vote no, fiat solves, etc.) but can be persuaded otherwise. Evidence comparisons on all levels of the disad are necessary whether you're aff or neg. If I'm left weighing impacts after the debate because no one has done any comparative work you're probably not going to like the outcome. All in all, disads are good so you should probably run them.

UNACCEPTABLE - Cheating (obviously). This includes scrolling down on the speech doc ahead of where people are reading, clipping cards, cross reading, the whole shebang. If I catch you doing this, I will assign you a loss and minimum speaker points. Hint: It is pretty obvious when people are clipping cards.

Paperless - I will stop prep time when the jump drive is ejected from the computer. Do not abuse me being lenient with such problems. If I notice you flowing the speech doc instead of the round, I will probs tank your speaks. It seems to be that a lot of debaters don't even listen to speeches of other debaters anymore. Listen to the other team and flow what they are saying, after all, debate is a communication activity.

Speaker Points - I try to assign speaker points relative of the division I am judging (i.e. I won't be as harsh on a novice as I would a varsity debater)

Standard Scale
26 (or below) - You did not speak well. You may have been mean to your partner of the other team. You need work.
26.5 - Below average. You have more work to do and more room to increase.
27 - Slightly below average, but not too bad overall.
27.5 - Average Speaker.
28 - Above average. You spoke well.
28.5 - Good. You may good strategic decisions and probably won the round.
29 - You are a talented debater and will probably be within the top 20 speakers at the tournament.
29.5 - You will probably be in the top 10 speakers at the tournament, won the round and I loved some aspect of your speech to a large extent.
30 - Your speeches were the best 13 minutes of my life

Kedrick Stumbris Paradigm

4 rounds

put me on the email chain

tldr: do whatever you want - I've judged and coached at nearly every level (Wisconsin locals to TOC elims) and will consider any argument presented. While I try to be a neutral adjudicator as much as possible, I certainly have some predispositions that I think are important for competitors to know. Those are below. This doesn't mean you should preclude yourself from reading any argument you prefer (an argument you know well that I don't like will always do better than an argument you don't know well that I do like), but my predispositions should probably affect the way you explain your arguments and how much detail you want to put into them. I truly do despise judge intervention; please resolve debates so that I don't have to intervene and get my predispositions involved in the round. If you think I'm doing too much work for either side, it's because I would've had to do more for you. Oftentimes what you perceive as "bad decisions" are actually your poor explanations.

if you have more specific questions while doing prefs - email me - I'm very responsive

if you have more specific questions during pre-round prep, I will answer when both competitors are in the room

predispositions to other things:

- I was a policy debater and my students are all util debaters. I think substantive engagement about the topic is a good thing. This doesn't preclude reading a K aff.

- Phil debates are boring. I don't enjoy judging them. Nobody ever explains what their buzzwords mean. You should probably have to defend implementation.

- I don't know why theory debaters keep me high on their pref sheet. I feel like I've made it clear that I think you're annoying and that doing research and engaging the topic is valuable. I'm probably not the judge to argue "spikes/theory key to small schools" shenanigans because my team proves that argument is heckin' wrong.

- Your CPs need net benefits. Your disads/advantages need uniqueness. Your aff needs an inherent barrier.

Speaker points- I have recently tried to adopt a more rigid speaker point scale based on data that reflects the average points speakers get at major national tournaments now. This point scale and its inception are discussed by Bill Batterman on his blog The 3NR. The scale is found below.

29.3+ — the top speaker at the tournament.

29.1-29.2 — one of the five or ten best speakers at the tournament.

28.8-29.0 — one of the twenty best speakers at the tournament.

28.6-28.7 — a 75th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would barely clear on points.

28.4-28.5 — a 50th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would not clear on points.

28.0-28.3 — a 25th percentile speaker at the tournament.

27.7-27.9 — a 10th percentile speaker at the tournament.

Nigel Taylor-Ward Paradigm

3 rounds


Have the email chain setup. There is no reason you should be fumbling with an email chain 10 minutes past start time. It makes me seem late(big image guy) and leads to tab (understandably) sending runners to annoy me...and that annoys me. Put differently: Even if Im late, have the email chain set up and ready to send upon my arrival or speaks will decline by no LESS than 2 whole points...try me! {npiredebate at G mail}

TOC additions:

Paradigmatic additions: FWK/T and Ks are arguments that have been in debate for a while now...get over it and win the debate. If you expect a judge to stop the round after a debater reads a Shapiro or Patterson card...I'm not the judge for you and will probably laugh at you.


I go in to rounds as a blank slate, you should tell me how you want arguments treated/used("filter the debate through permutation etc.) This makes framing HUGE

I love a good T vs policy aff debate

I'm capitalist but think the Cap K is one of the most underrated and strategic positions.]

About me: Existentialist and Capitalist majoring in Finance, Intl Business and Arabic.

Don't be lay. Don't be boring. Don't be anti-semitic. Facts>Feelings. Tech>Truth (default).

"The infants in the graveyard smile widely without teeth, Carefully sewn in columns and rows, rotting little seeds...Raking tears from upturned eyes"

Aaron Timmons Paradigm

3 rounds

Aaron Timmons

Director of Debate – Greenhill School

Updated – April 2019

Please put me on the email chain –

New for the TOC 2019 – I am the Director of the Global Debate Symposium and for this summer I have hired Spencer Paul and Vishan Chaudhary from Harvard Westlake, and Ishan Bhatt from St. Andrews of the list of competitors that will be in the 2019 TOC competing in Lincoln Douglas.

Lincoln - Douglas Philosophy

I have coached debate, and been a classroom teacher, for a long time. I feel that when done well, with agreed upon “rules of engagement”, there is not a better activity to provide a training ground for young people. That said, at some point, most of the adults have left the building as it relates to national circuit Lincoln Douglas debate. I find many of the things that are now commonplace, are antithetical to the things that I love about debate. In fact, many of these practices are not educational, but also make the activity unsustainable in any meaningful way to sell to administrators, parents, new coaches, or even a new generation of debaters.

I have taken some time to reflect on how I judge debates, and have revised my paradigm. It would behoove you to read it if I have the potential to judge you. If you do not like what you read, strike me.

Debate rounds, and subsequently debate tournaments, are extensions of the classroom. While we all learn from each other, my role is parallel to that of an instructor. I will evaluate your performance. At this stage in my career, I have no interest in being the “most preferred” judge in the pool. In fact, what I see is that many in the Lincoln Douglas community (as opposed to policy debate); make preferences more based on personal relationships, than the relative experience/paradigmatic perspective of the critic. I see my role as to set a fair, but stringent, set of expectations for the students I am judging. At times, this means advancing expectations that I feel are best for the students and, at times, the broader community as well. At this point, I am also not shy to share those thoughts and expectations. I see myself as a critic of argument if I had to pigeonhole myself with a paradigmatic label. Unlike many claim to be, I am not a blank slate. If I see behaviors or practices that create a bad, unfair, or hostile environment for the extension of the classroom that is the debate round, I will intervene. I WILL do my best to be an objective evaluator of your argument but the idea that my social location is not a relevant consideration of how I view/decode arguments is just not true (nor do I personally think it is true for anyone).

Below please find a few thoughts as to how I evaluate debates.

1. Speed is not a problem. In most of the Lincoln Douglas I judge, clarity IS a problem. I judge high level policy debates quite a bit and while they are quiet fast, I don’t see clarity as much of an issue with the top teams. Please understand that unstructured paragraphs that are slurred together does not allow the pen time necessary to write things down in the detail you think it might. I reserve the right to yell “clearer” once or twice. Style and substance are fundamentally inseparable.

2. I feel theory is debated far too much in Lincoln – Douglas, and is debated poorly. I am strongly opposed to that practice. My preference is NOT to hear a bad theory debate. I believe the negative does get some “flex”, that said it can’t be unlimited. The idea of reading a “counter shell” against a theory argument is one of the silliest practices I see in contemporary debate. Before the proliferation of theory in Lincoln Douglas I thought RVI’s were silly. They have a place in contemporary LD. I DO NOT think jettisoning the case and going all in on the RVI should be the A strategy in the 1ar. While I like competing interpretations, in the end, I feel even that view is filtered through my perspective of reason/what is reasonable/the best lens for debate. Some intervention is inevitable as we judge.

3. Evidence is important. In my opinion debates/comparisons about the qualifications of authors on competing issues (particularly empirical ones), in addition to a comparison of competing warrants in the evidence, is important. Do you this and not only will your points improve, I am likely to prefer your argument if the comparison is done well. All students should have full cites for materials.

4. I am not a “blank state”. I also feel my role as a judge is to serve a duel function of rendering a decision, in addition to serving a role as educator as well.

5. Words matter. Arguments that are racist, sexist, homophobic etc will not be tolerated.

6. I am not a fan of random; multiple sentence fragments that claim to “spike” out of all of the other teams arguments. At its foundation, debate should be about argument ENGAGEMENT, not evasion.

7. Answer questions in cross-examination. Cross-ex is binding. I do listen carefully to cross – ex.

8. Although I know you have figured it out, Lincoln Douglas does not have a 2AC in the same way that policy does. 1AR’s that advance lots of offense on many negative positions will be rewarded with high points.

9. Debating with a laptop is a choice, if you are reading from a computer I have three expectations that are nonnegotiable:

A) You must jump the documents read to the opposition in a timely manner (before your speech or at worse IMMEDIATELY after your speech) to allow them to prepare or set up an email chain.

B) If your opponent does not have a laptop you need to have a viewing computer OR surrender your computer to them to allow them to prepare. The oppositions need to prep outweighs your need to prep/preflow in that moment in time.

C) My expectation is that the documents that are shared are done in a format that is the same as read by the debater that initially read the material. In other words, I will not tolerate some of the shenanigan’s that seem to exist, including but not limited to, using a non standard word processing program, all caps, no formatting etc.

10. Many debaters have been instructed, or watched others run, “metaethics” with some success. My experience is that many debaters have a very superficial grasp of what this even means. Make sure to explain, and compare your position against the position of your opponent. A good rule of thumb is to assume you don’t win every argument and frame things in an even /if perspective.

11. I do not like skepticism as an argument. It would be in your best interest to not run it in front of me. While perhaps interesting in a philosophy class in college, training young advocates to feel that “morality doesn’t exist” etc. is educationally irresponsible.

12. I do not disclose speaker points. That seems silly to me.

13. Dropped arguments and the “auto-win” seems silly to me. Just because a debater drops a card doesn’t mean you win the debate. Weighing and embedded clash are a necessary component of debate. Good debaters extend their arguments. GREAT debaters do that in addition to explaining the nexus point of clash between their arguments and that of the opposition and WHY I should prefer their argument.

14. I feel it takes more than a sentence (or in many of the rounds I judge a sentence fragment), to make an argument. If the argument was not clear originally, I will allow the opponent to make new arguments.

15. Choose. No matter the speech or the argument.

Please ask me specific questions if you have one before the debate.

Becca Traber Paradigm

3 rounds

My email is beccatraber (at) gmail (dot) com. I want to be on the email chain. I don't disclose speaks.

I debated on the national circuit for the Kinkaid School, graduated 2008. I've been coaching and teaching on the national circuit since. I am finishing my dissertation at Yale University in Political Theory and continuing to help coach Lake Highland Prep and Success when I can.

I try to be as tab as possible, but we all know, a truly tabula rasa judge is impossible. Just know that everything I'm about to say is simply a preference and not a rule; given a warranted argument, I will shift off of just about any position that I already have or that your opponent gave me. The following are thoughts on specific issues of interest to many debaters, in only the vaguest order.

Speed: I have no problem with spreading -- all I ask is that you are still clear enough to follow. What this means is that you need to have vocal variation and emphasis on important parts of your case, like card names and key arguments.

Threshold for Extensions: If I am able to understand the argument and the function of it in the context of the individual speech, it is extended. I do appreciate explicit citation of card names, for flowing purposes.

ROB/LD FW: I prefer an explicit ROB and/or standard defended as a framework for evaluating the round. I do not have a preference as to what the ROB is, as long as it capable of filtering offense. I am willing and able to judge tricks debate or k debate. When civilizations clash, I regularly vote in both directions.

Policy FW/T-Must-Be-Topical: I regularly vote both that affs must be topical and that they don't have to be. I regularly coach in both directions. I think the question is very interesting and honestly one of my favorite parts of debate--when done interestingly and with specific interaction with the content of the aff.

Disclosure: Is by now a pretty solid norm and I recognize that. I have voted many times on particular disclosure interps, but in my heart of hearts think the ways that most people handle disclosure competing interps tends to lead to regress.

CX: CX is really important to me, please use it. You have very little chance of fantastic speaker points without a really good cross-x. I would prefer if y'all don't use CX as prep, although I have no problems with questions being asked during prep time (Talk for at least three minutes: feel free to talk the rest of the time, too). If you are getting a concession you want to make absolutely sure that I write down, get eye-contact and repeat to me what you view the concession as.

Do not be unnecessarily mean. It is not very persuasive. It will drop your speaks. Be mindful of various power-dynamics at play in the room. Something I am particularly bothered by is the insistence that a marginalized debater does not understand their case, particularly when it is framed like: [male coach] wrote this for you, right [female debater]? Or isn't there a TVA, [Black debater], you could have used [white debater's] advocacy. Feel free to mention specific cases that are topical, best not to name drop. I can't think of an occasion when it is appropriate to explicitly challenge the authorship or understanding of a particular argument.

When debating someone significantly less experienced: your speaks will benefit from explaining your arguments as straightforwardly as you can. I won't penalize you for the first speeches, but in whatever speech happens after the differences in experience level becomes clear, you should treat them almost as a pedagogical exercise. Win the round, but do so in a way where you aren't only trying to tell me why you win the round, but you're trying to make sure your opponent also understands what is happening.

Theory: I'm willing to listen to either reasonability or competing interpretations. I don't assume either fairness or jurisdiction as axiomatic voting issues, so feel free to engage on that level of the theory debate. I do really enjoy a well-developed theory argument, just make sure you are holding to the same standards of warranting here that I demand anywhere. Internal links between the standards and the interpretation, and the standards and the voter, are both key. Make sure you have a robust interpretation that isn't simply the same thing as the violation, particularly if you are going under competing interpretations paradigm. I love a good counter interp that is more than defending the violation--those result in strategic and fun rounds.

"Don't Evaluate After The 1ar": Feel free to run these arguments if you want, but know that my threshold is extremely high for "evaluate debate after [speech that is not the 2ar]." It is very difficult to persuade me to meaningfully do this. A better way to make this argument would be to tell me what sort of responses I shouldn't permit and why. For instance, new paradigm issues bad, cross-apps bad, no embedded clash, no new reasons for [specific argument] -- all fine and plausible. I just don't know what it means to actually stop evaluating later speeches. Paradigmatically, speech times are speech times and it makes no sense to me why I should obviate some of your opponent's time for any in round reason. If you have a specific version of this argument you want to check with me, feel free to do so before round.

K&Phil Debate: Kritikal debate, phil/framework debate, and high theory debate are all my favorites. I don't see them as different as all that, on the whole, and enjoy judging them all. I am familiar with a wide variety of critical literature.

Accessibility note for performances: If you don't flash the exact text of your speech, please do not play any additional sounds underneath your speaking. If there is sound underneath your speaking, please flash the exact text of what you are reading. I do not want to undermine the performance you want to engage in and whichever option you prefer is fine for me. It is fine to have part of your speech be on paper with music underneath and then turn the music off when you go off paper. I struggle to understand what is being said over noise and I'm uncomfortable being unable to know what is being said with precision.

Presumption: I don't default any particular way. I am willing to listen to presumption arguments which would then make me default, given the particular way the round shakes down, but my normal response to a round where no one meets their burden is to lower my standards until one person does meet their burden. Now, I hate doing this and it makes me grumpy, so expect lower speaker points in a situation where nobody meets their burden and nobody makes an argument about why I should presume any which way. This just points to the need to clearly outline my role and the role of my ballot, and be precise as to how you are meeting it.

Varun Venkatesh Paradigm

5 rounds

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 :)

Kathy Wang Paradigm

6 rounds

now that multiple people have subtweeted me i guess it is time to properly update this paradigm on tabroom. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Conflicts for 19-20: stuyvesant (school), needham zl, american heritage boca delray nt, hunter sk

Background: i debated LD for stuyvesant from 2012-2016. i also debated for the nyu policy team for two years. i was an assistant to the ld director at vbi. my primary judging background is in lincoln douglas debate -- i've judged literally hundreds of rounds now, but there's a smattering of policy here and there when i'm needed. either way, this paradigm should be applicable. here's a link to my judging record w speaks and all if anyone's morbidly curious. feel free to call me kathy, she/her/they pronouns or whatever you want.

email chain:

General/tl;dr: i find that my stance in debate is one of the least intervention. obviously it's impossible to be perfectly tab, but i won't needlessly impose anything ideologically on the round, with an exception for blatantly offensive or terrible things. try to have a good time and i'll be happy with whatever you do. i try my best not to screw up really bad but hey, i'm not perfect!

i'll lift a little from lawrence zhou's paradigm to describe decisionmaking: "I evaluate rounds by attempting to construct two separate RFDs, one for the aff, one for the neg. The RFD that I feel is the most logical, requires the least intervention, and most consistent with the arguments made in the round is the one I go with."

in addition, i care a lot about safety in round. debate can be an space for people as young as like, 13 or 14 to be wading through. it has a lot of power in being a very personal space but that can get p violent and unhealthy. if you are uncomfortable or unsafe at any time, please let me know. don't worry about feeling bad or feeling under the spotlight. i'll do my best for that not to happen. i think debate is certainly a special place, for good or for bad, and so comfortable environments for everyone in a round are extremely important to me. if ya only got a few years here, might as well make it enjoyable.

also !! please stop misgendering ppl in round !!

1) do you care if i defend the topic?: no.
2) do you care if i read t?: no. i've judged a lot of clash of civs rounds and gone both ways.
3) sit or stand?: whatever makes you most comfortable.
4) why do you keep looking left?: idk to hear you better i hear better out of my right ear so the ear faces you.
5) do you disclose speaks?: if i remember. i reserve the right to say no. if i do, usually at least one of y'all really doesn't wanna know.
6) how speaks?: ld average is a 28.5. haven't worked it out yet for policy.
7) tech or truth? tech. my threshold is that if i can re-explain an argument in the rfd, it's good enough to vote on.
8) anything you refuse to listen to?: blatantly offensive stuff like racism good or the sorts, double win/loss, "give me [x] speaks" arguments.
9) trigger warnings?: give them and be ready to adjust if your opponent is not okay. please give me a heads up for discussions of mental health and suicide that are articulated in a personal manner. you can read it, i'd just like a moment.
10) anything else important?: i can't really process layers of audio - it gives me a really bad headache and scrambles my brain. not saying you can't play music or other audio, just not simultaneously when you speak bc i will get close to nothing.

a shortcut to my understanding: LARP/Ks > Performance/High theory > Theory/Phil/Tricks.

please slow down for tags or author names. nobody likes blazing through things. add me to the email chain, but i won't flow it during the speech bc y'all should be clear!


specific argumentation:

LARP/Straight Policy: i enjoy these debates more than people think i do! doing traditional policy style stuff was very fun for me in high school. i won't be super read up on specific nuances (especially at the beginning of topics) so err on over-explaining context if you want to go for these. policy v policy rounds, in general, do not have as much ev comparison or weighing as they really ought to, so keep an ear out for that as well.

Kritiks: i think k debate is valuable and when it's done well, i really really enjoy it. i think i'm pretty well read in most k literature (feel free to double check though!), but here's a pretty important rule of thumb: if you think you are the only person in the pool (or even debate as a whole) to read your position, tech implications need to be explained because i tend to not enjoy voting on warrantless args :( this goes for more analytic phil stuff and high theory as well -- just because something sounds complicated does not mean you can skimp on a warrant for its implications and i've noticed debaters tend to forget that!

Analytic Phil: white people philosophy is kinda hard for me to get lol. i'll listen to it & have judged surprisingly many phil rounds so i think i understand basic LD phil just from exposure, but it's not really my area of the library. if you want to go techy on the phil debate, please make sure there exists some sort of framing mechanism that makes sense and a ballot implication under it -- a lot of the time phil debates get swarmed in handling framing nuances and not a lot on substance and that's really hard to handle. also please slow down on those analytic kant frameworks please.

Theory: fine. i'm getting really frustrated with a lot of theory rounds because it's very difficult to evaluate without intervening somewhere, since a lot of them (especially 1ar theory rounds) are just not fleshed out -- in situations like that, there needs to be more emphasis on in-round impacting and how things break down on a big picture level. tech is good but make sure your tech matters. idk what to do with floating impacts w/o implications.
defaults: comparative worlds (no, andrew, this doesn't mean you HAVE to read a policy advocacy, just that it's a comparative question between what's better: aff or neg.), drop the arg, reasonability, no rvis, presume whatever is closer to the status quo.

Tricks/A prioris: i mean, i'll listen to them, but anything i don't catch isn't in the decision and you gotta be clearer. i will be preeeeetty unimpressed if you run this kind of stuff against a novice. also, don't be a jerk. you know what an a priori is.


anyways, thanks for reading! do whatever it takes to make debate a rewarding space for you because you deserve to have a good and safe time in this activity. feel free to reach out to me for any other questions or concerns, about this paradigm or even if you just need a friend. i hope you find the strength to be the best and bravest you that you can be. good luck & have fun!

Lisa Weber Paradigm

6 rounds

LD Paradigm

If I am your judge, please put me on your email chain. prefer Aff to be topical. I prefer a traditional Value/Criterion debate. I like clear signposting, that opponents refer to when refuting each other. I also require evidence to uphold your warrants and link to your personal analysis. All affirmatives should have some kind of standard that they try to win, value/criterion. The negative is not necessarily tied to the same obligation. The affirmative generally has the obligation to state a case construction that generally affirms the truth of the resolution, and the negative can take whatever route they want to show how the affirmative is not doing that sufficiently.

When I see a traditional debate that clashes on fundamental issues involving framework, impacts, and what either side thinks, really matters in my weighing of the round, it makes deciding on who was the better debater during the round an easier process. I like debate that gets to the substantive heart of whatever the issue is. There are very few arguments I would actually consider a priori. My favorite debates are the kind where one side clearly wins standards, whichever one they decide to go for, and has a compelling round story. Voters are crucial in rebuttals, and a clear link story, with warrants and weighted impacts, are the best route for my ballot.

I will listen to a Kritik but you must link it to the debate in the room, related to the resolution in some way, for me to more likely to vote for it. I am biased toward topicality.

I hold theory to higher bar. I will most likely vote reasonability instead of competing interpretations. However, if I am given a clearly phrased justification for why I should accept a competing interpretation and it is insufficiently contested, there is a better chance that I will vote for a competing interpretation. You will need to emphasize this by slowing down, if you are spreading, slow down, speak a little louder, or tell me “this is paramount, flow this”.

Reasonability. I believe that theory is intervention and my threshold for voting on theory is high. I prefer engagement and clash with your opponent. If I feel like negative has spoken too quickly for an Affirmative to adequately respond during the round, or a Neg runs 2+ independent disadvantages that are likely impossible for a "think tank" to answer in a 4 minute 1AR, and the Affirmative runs abuse theory, and gives direct examples from Neg, I'll probably vote Affirmative. Common sense counts. You do not need a card to tell me that the Enola Gay was the plane that dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima.

I default Affirmative framework for establishing ground, I default Kritiks if there are clear pre-fiat/post-fiat justifications for a K debate instead of on-case debate. I do not flow cross examination. If there are any concessions in CX, you need to point them out in your next speech, for me to weigh them.

Cross Examination

Sitting or standing, whatever you are comfortable with. I'm fine with flex prep. I think debaters should be respectful and polite, and not look at each other. Cross examination concessions are binding, if your opponent calls them out in their next speech.

Speaker Points

If I do not understand what you are saying, don’t expect to receive anything higher than a 28. You will lose speaker points if your actions are disrespectful to either myself or to your opponent. I believe in decorum and will vote you down if you are rude or condescending toward your opponent. I do not flow “super spreading”. I need to understand what you are saying, so that I can flow it. I will say “slow” and “clear” once. If there is no discernable change, I will not bother to repeat myself. If you respond, slow down, then speed up again, I will say “slow” and/or “clear” again. For my ballot, clarity over quantity. Word economy over quantity. I reward debaters who try to focus on persuasive styles of speaking over debaters who speak at the same tone, pitch, cadence, the entire debate.

If something is factually untrue, and your opponent points it out, do not expect to win it as an argument.

Please give me articulate voters at the end of the NR and 2AR.

I disclose if it is the tournament norm.

If you are unclear about my paradigm, please ask before the round begins.

Public Forum Paradigm


1. Show respect to your opponent. No shouting down. Just a "thank you" to stop their answer. When finished with answer, ask your opponent "Do you have a question?" Please ask direct questions. Also, advocate for yourself, do not let your opponent "walk all over you in Crossfire".

2. Do not be sexist/racist/transphobic/homophobic/etc.... in round. Respect all humans.

I expect PF to be a contention level debate. There may be a weighing mechanism like "cost-benefit analysis" that will help show why your side has won the debate on magnitude. (Some call this a framework)

I really like signposting of all of your contentions. I really like short taglines for your contentions. If you have long contentions, I really like them broken down into segments, A, B, C, etc. I really appreciate you signposting your direct refutations of your opponents contentions.

I like direct clash.

All evidence used in your constructed cases should be readily available to your opponent, upon request. If you slow down the debate looking for evidence that is in your constructed case, that will weigh against you when I am deciding my ballot.

I do not give automatic losses for dropped contentions or not extending every argument. I let the debaters decide the important contentions by what they decide to debate.

In your summary speech, please let me know specifically why your opponents are loosing the debate.

In your final focus speech, please let me know specifically why you are winning the debate.

Jamie Welch Paradigm

6 rounds

Yes I want to be on the chain:

I have been pretty grumpy lately about how long debates are taking so here are things I consider prep (and that I will start your prep for)

--- Asking for a "marked doc" and "which cards did you not read?"

--- Answering CX questions after the timer goes off, just sit down. If someone didn’t plan enough time to receive an answer then that’s their fault.

Soft left affs: If your answer to disads is “but the framing page!” you will get very bad speaks and most likely lose. If you use your framing page and then also make specific arguments against the disad then you are in a better spot. Framing pages encourage lazy debating. Don’t be a lazy debater.

Theory – Conditionality is good. Lean neg on basically all theory because most amounts to rejecting the argument. I always believe in judge kick. I think it’s the affs job to tell me not to kick things and explain why.

Ks – Didn’t read a lot of Ks, but I think they are strategic arguments and necessary for the neg. I don’t think the alt has to solve anything. Winning links to the plan is best but if you win a link to other things the aff has done and it has an impact then I will vote on it.

FW/T – Fairness is an impact. Limits matter. That doesn’t mean because you don’t read a plan I won’t vote for you but rather what it means to be topical is up for debate. Without a solid interp of what “your model of debate” would look like I am less likely to vote on your impact turns. Give judge direction on how to evaluate your arguments versus things like topical version, switch side, procedural fairness, limits, etc.

Marna Weston Paradigm

2 rounds

Marna Weston (coached by Dale McCall at Twin Lakes High, WPB, FL)
State Champion, Lincoln Douglas Debate & NFL District Champion, Policy Debate (Florida)


Condo is probably bad. I don't like tricks and rude stuff. I don't like people beating their opponents down in a disrespectful manner. True champions find a way to win with style, finesse, and some measure of grace. Basically, "say what you mean, and mean what you say" in front of me. Kick outs and shifts are not received well. I am comfortable with crystal clear debaters and crystal clear rebuttals. I've been focused on my policy teams this year, so I'm not familiar with the LD topic. I think there is still such a thing as an LD topic, although I keep hearing the same positions regardless of the topic a lot, and I guess that's ok. I am open to a lot of different types of discussions, and I'm excited to listen to what you bring to the debate space.

TOC Haiku:

Sacred space except

The room where we exchange thoughts

is not for condo

Full Paradigm:
Lincoln Douglas Paradigm (Scroll down to see my policy paradigm):

I guess the best statement I can make about typing a philosophy for a mutual judge preference list in Lincoln Douglas Debate is “I do not understand why this is needed.” My high school coach, Mrs. Dale McCall of Twin Lakes High in West Palm Beach, Florida and others contributed their ideas toward a new style of debate in the early 80’s where “superior speaking to lay audiences on a proposition of value” was envisioned. Any reasonable person without specialized knowledge of any kind would be a fitting judge or audience member in such a forum. That event was called Lincoln Douglas Debate. As a participant when LD was still an experimental event and the topics were chosen through individual tournament invitation, I debated in the final round of the Inaugural Lincoln Douglas Debate at the Barkley Forum in March 1983. In October 1981 a fellow teammate and I closed out the New York City Invitational at the Bronx High School of Science. My paradigm is and always has been, “be a high school Lincoln Douglas Debater”. Offer reasonable definitions (required), a value (required), and criteria as appropriate (probably optional, definitely debatable). Debate as if before a community group, and do not perform in such a way that would alienate reasonably intelligent people who have come to be both informed and entertained.

A good standard would be the “my principal” paradigm. If the principal of my school watched you debate and from your performance came to me on the Monday after your performance and said, “Mr. Weston, I am concerned that debate is confusing, exclusionary, and not an activity that is building critical thinking or communication skills for our students based on what I saw last weekend”, then you can be sure that you will have lost my ballot. Such a performance could endanger the existence of my program. My ballot acts as a defense from such examples gaining popularity. I believe enough loses might cause such practices to cease.

The “role of the ballot” and RFD when I am the critic will ideally be to honor the historic intent of the Lincoln Douglas event and those who worked so hard to bridge the debate world for general audiences, and not to exclude such persons. A rude debater can expect to lose “on face” absent any consideration of arguments withstanding in the round. The activity is about life and how one carries oneself.

Additionally, I shall not reward debaters with high speakers for “rolling over” opponents. One to six big ideas is probably the most I should hear in constructive speeches and these then boiled down to one to four critical voters at the end of the debate. “Drops” in LD are evaluated qualitatively, not quantitatively. It is certainly possible that “one big idea” could make many more ideas irrelevant to a decision, if argued effectively. A superior debater should be able to win the round with class while respecting the dignity of the opposition, in every instance. In short, any person coming into the round should be able to evaluate the round, and every person in the round must be treated in a dignified manner, either as a participant, observer, or critic.

Thank you for your interest in my thoughts.

Policy Paradigm

Updated 8/14/16

Overview: I firmly believe that policy debate is first and foremost a communication activity. Consequently, oral presentation plays a larger factor in my adjudication process than in most decisions in recent years. I focus on the “story” of the debate, but line-byline refutation can be a component of that. Know your order before you announce it. Don't change the order after you announce it. Clearly articulated arguments at any speed can be evaluated. Inarticulate utterings that cannot be understood cannot be evaluated. Be quick, but don't hurry. I will not tolerate rudeness. Cross X is binding.

My paradigm is one of few dispositions; the rest is up to the debaters. They are as follows:

1. I agree that conditionality is "probably" bad. So its "probably" not a bad idea to speak to this and support reasons why I might or might not vote on this.

2. Topical Counterplans are not OK. If at the end of the round I haave been effectiely persuaded there are two Affirmative teams, I'll probably vote Affirmative.

3. I prefer not to judge topicality debates. If you're ahead on it, explain to me why its important to care about this, or I might not understand why to vote on it.

4. I enjoy case debates. Solidly clear and irrefuably presented and reasonably current inherency evidence could really win a debate. No, really.

5. Kritikal arguments on both AFF and NEG are fine, but pay close attention to the way you communicate your position (clear and concise!).

6. The topic should be debated, but how you approach the resolution, and how you approach debate generally (content, style, etc.), should be left up to the debaters.

7. If you're Negative, show me how your approach is specific to this Affirmative. Be thoughtful in explaining what a vote for your side means and why I should endorse it.Ask meto vote for your side. Dont complete on-face grant the 1AC in favor of pre-set tangentially related points and expect me to get why that means the Negaative wins the debate. Be paricularly clear on fairness and why ground is or isnt lost and warrants a decision.These are usually not presented clearly and powerfully.

8. I will appreciate teams who competently deploy arguments from the earlier days of CEDA, such as Justification, Hasty G, etc. I also appreciate when the AFF and NEG teams sit on the correct sides of the room with respect to the judge. Otherwise, I might vote for someone but accidentally vote for the wrong team. "Sort of kidding" but I know this has happened to teams and that in my career in the activity, more than one judge thought they voted for a team, when they hadn't. If you're not on the proper side of the room, at least say in your speech which team you represent and why you think your side should win the debate. That is taken for granted a lot.:)

Public Forum Paradigm

Updated 8/14/16

To be truthful, it all goes by a little quickly for me in a PF round. I never competed in PF. The speeches are really short. I do appreciate the skills developed through the practice of concisely presenting so many arguments in a limited space of time. On a personal note, I thought the whole idea of yet another "policy is too fast and there is too much research" debate event, was that PF would remain slow for lay audiences. I have observed this is not the case, but good debates are still where you find them in PF--- as in Congress, Policy, LD, and Worlds. As such, please watch me closely and clearly indicate why as a judge I should prefer your way of evaluating the round over your opponents. I'm always pretty much up to speed on current events through working on Policy & Extemp each week of the season, so I'll probably be up to date on your issue. The key will be to express reasons to prefer your interpretation of what is important-------over what your opponent is saying. Whoever does that most effectively will likely win my ballot.


Marna Weston

Darius White Paradigm

4 rounds

My name is Darius White and I debated at C.E. Byrd High School for 4 year and debate for the University of Oklahoma currently.

Speaker Points: I generally give fairly high speaks, and I understand that their is going to be some rudeness in the debate, but try not to over-do because that will be a speak-point decrease. Also stealing prep, and speaking CONSTANTLY during your partners speech will drop your speeches quite a bit, but I usually try to be generous with the speaks.

Cross-X: I defer c-x being binding (unless told otherwise but they need to be nuanced, not tag line extensions of theory shells) and tend to flow c-x

After-round evaluation of evidence: I will try as best as possible to not call for evidence unless you are highly reliant on one piece of evidence in your last speeches, and/or evidence is into question (i.e. if you call for me to look at a piece of evidence after round), but other than that I tend to try to judge the debate on the actually speeches given by the debaters.

Theory: I have a high threshold for theory arguments and hate when teams spray through your theory blocks; I usually default to reasonability and reject-the-arguments-not-the-team
unless you win the abuse story i.e. I don't think one conditional advocacy destroys aff ground so just try to be reasonable and very persuasive when going for theory.

Disads/CP's: Impact calculation is always a good idea, and even though I am more on the K side of debate, I am down to listen to a really technical CP/DA as a net-benefit debate, so don't be shy to run these arguments in front of me. But, I feel that the CP does need a net-benefit for me to vote for it, so if the 2NR is just CP with no net-benefits, I will have a hard time finding reasons why I should vote for the CP. Turns case arguments on the DA are always tight.

Impact Turns: I really enjoy these types of debates, and they are very persuasive in my opinion, so if you got any in your files, I am down to listen.

Kritiks: I hate when teams read a random K that they have no idea what it means or says, and that is always a pet peeve. Don't run a K in front that you are not comfortable going for, but if you are very well at going for a specific criticism then do your thing because I am more familiar with this side of the debate. I feel that the alternative portion of the K is very under utilized and would like to be a debate I would want to see, but if your thing is going to turns case, then do your thing.

Framework: This is the argument I least agree with but if will listen and flow if required.

Flashing: I don't count flashing as prep unless you are taking hella a lot of time in which I will inform you that I am about to start your prep time; PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, do not steal prep.

Random shit: I like jokes, and making me laugh usually gets you some where speak point wise. Using historical references is always a good idea and paints a better picture on the impact calc. Remember to jump your cards over before the speech, and if you read any new cards that aren't on the flash, flash them before c-x or before the next speech is about to start, this is not prep time.

If you have any other questions feel free to email me:

Whit Whitmore Paradigm

6 rounds

LD Specific Business:

I am primarily a policy coach with very little LD experience. Have a little patience with me when it comes to LD specific jargon or arguments. It would behoove you to do a little more explanation than you would give to a seasoned adjudicator in the back of the room. I will most likely judge LD rounds in the same way I judge policy rounds. Hopefully my policy philosophy below will give you some insight into how I view debate. I have little tolerance and a high threshold for voting on unwarranted theory arguments. I'm not likely to care that they dropped your 'g' subpoint, if it wasn't very good. RVI's aren't a thing, and I won't vote on them.

Policy Business:

add me to the email chain:

You should debate line by line. I continue to grow frustrated with teams that do not flow. If I suspect you are not flowing (I visibly see you not doing it; you answer arguments that were not made in the previous speech but were in the speech doc; you answer arguments in speech doc order instead of speech order), you will receive no higher than a 28. This includes teams that like to "group" the 2ac into sections and just read blocks in the 2NC/1NR. Also, read cards. I don't want to hear a block with no cards.

Debate the round in a manner that you would like and defend it. I consistently vote for arguments that I don’t agree with and positions that I don’t necessarily think are good for debate. I have some pretty deeply held beliefs about debate, but I’m not so conceited that I think I have it all figured out. I still try to be as objective as possible in deciding rounds. All that being said, the following can be used to determine what I will most likely be persuaded by in close calls:

If I had my druthers, every 2nr would be a counterplan/disad or disad/case.

In the battle between truth and tech, I think I fall slightly on side of truth. That doesn’t mean that you can go around dropping arguments and then point out some fatal flaw in their logic in the 2AR. It does mean that some arguments are so poor as to necessitate only one response, and, as long as we are on the same page about what that argument is, it is ok if the explanation of that argument is shallow for most of the debate. True arguments aren’t always supported by evidence, but it certainly helps.

I think research is the most important aspect of debate. I make an effort to reward teams that work hard and do quality research on the topic, and arguments about preserving and improving topic specific education carry a lot of weight with me. However, it is not enough to read a wreck of good cards and tell me to read them. Teams that have actually worked hard tend to not only read quality evidence, but also execute and explain the arguments in the evidence well. I think there is an under-highlighting epidemic in debates, but I am willing to give debaters who know their evidence well enough to reference unhighlighted portions in the debate some leeway when comparing evidence after the round.

I think the affirmative should have a plan. I think the plan should be topical. I think topicality is a voting issue. I think teams that make a choice to not be topical are actively attempting to exclude the negative team from the debate (not the other way around). If you are not going to read a plan or be topical, you are more likely to persuade me that what you are doing is ‘ok’ if you at least attempt to relate to or talk about the topic. Being a close parallel (advocating something that would result in something similar to the resolution) is much better than being tangentially related or directly opposed to the resolution. I don’t think negative teams go for framework enough. Fairness is an impact, not a internal link. Procedural fairness is a thing and the only real impact to framework. If you go for "policy debate is key to skills and education," you are likely to lose. Winning that procedural fairness outweighs is not a given. You still need to defend against the other team's skills, education and exclusion argument.

I don’t think making a permutation is ever a reason to reject the affirmative. I don’t believe the affirmative should be allowed to sever any part of the plan, but I believe the affirmative is only responsible for the mandates of the plan. Other extraneous questions, like immediacy and certainty, can be assumed only in the absence of a counterplan that manipulates the answers to those questions. I think there are limited instances when intrinsicness perms can be justified. This usually happens when the perm is technically intrinsic, but is in the same spirit as an action the CP takes This obviously has implications for whether or not I feel some counterplans are ultimately competitive.

Because I think topic literature should drive debates (see above), I feel that both plans and counterplans should have solvency advocates. There is some gray area about what constitutes a solvency advocate, but I don’t think it is an arbitrary issue. Two cards about some obscure aspect of the plan that might not be the most desirable does not a pic make. Also, it doesn’t sit well with me when negative teams manipulate the unlimited power of negative fiat to get around literature based arguments against their counterplan (i.e. – there is a healthy debate about federal uniformity vs state innovation that you should engage if you are reading the states cp). Because I see this action as comparable to an affirmative intrinsicness answer, I am more likely to give the affirmative leeway on those arguments if the negative has a counterplan that fiats out of the best responses.

My personal belief is probably slightly affirmative on many theory questions, but I don’t think I have voted affirmative on a (non-dropped) theory argument in years. Most affirmatives are awful at debating theory. Conditionality is conditionality is conditionality. If you have won that conditionality is good, there is no need make some arbitrary interpretation that what you did in the 1NC is the upper limit of what should be allowed. On a related note, I think affirmatives that make interpretations like ‘one conditional cp is ok’ have not staked out a very strategic position in the debate and have instead ceded their best offense. Appeals to reciprocity make a lot sense to me. ‘Argument, not team’ makes sense for most theory arguments that are unrelated to the disposition of a counterplan or kritik, but I can be persuaded that time investment required for an affirmative team to win theory necessitates that it be a voting issue.

Critical teams that make arguments that are grounded in and specific to the topic are more successful in front of me than those that do not. It is even better if your arguments are highly specific to the affirmative in question. I enjoy it when you paint a picture for me with stories about why the plans harms wouldn’t actually happen or why the plan wouldn’t solve. I like to see critical teams make link arguments based on claims or evidence read by the affirmative. These link arguments don’t always have to be made with evidence. I think alternative solvency is usually the weakest aspect of the kritik. Affirmatives would be well served to spend cross-x and speech time addressing this issue. ‘Our authors have degrees/work at a think tank’ is not a response to an epistemological indict of your affirmative. Intelligent, well-articulated analytic arguments are often the most persuasive answers to a kritik.

Brian Wiora Paradigm

5 rounds

****MUST READ: I do not evaluate fairness as a voter. If you run it in front of me, I will not vote on it. You have been warned.


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. Above all, I am more likely to drop a claim, no matter how many times it is dropped/extended, than I am 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.

-Independent voters, as in those arguments that appeal to something outside of an explicit weighing mechanism (value criterion, ROB, or justified voter)

-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.

-If a card has been "cut" by a debater (as in, the debater stops reading the card mid way through and then moves on to another card), I will not vote on warrants that were cut.

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

Pacy Yan Paradigm

2 rounds

*Currently editing paradigm*

tldr before i finish editing: my beliefs about debate don't matter that much. strategy and tech impress me. i will only evaluate what happens in a debate in front of me. warrant arguments and pick good strategies.

NYU ‘22

Stuyvesant High School ‘18

She/Her Pronouns

Conflicts: Stuyvesant High School, Needham ZL, Success Academy TR, Archbishop Mitty JP, Charlotte Catholic DE, Charlotte Catholic LS, Charlotte Catholic LC, Blair Academy AC, All Saints Episcopal School GL, The Hill School NL, The Bear Creek School ML, St Bernard’s School DT, Acton ML, Kellenberg Memorial VT, Northern Valley Demarest JL, McClintock LK, Saratoga UK, Lynbrook RP, DuPont Manual PK

Please do email chains, flash drives are obnoxious (

If you have questions about my paradigm/preferences/whether or not I would tank speaks for certain things, email me or ask me before the round. This would be preferable to me having to resolve the issue in round or lowering your speaks unnecessarily.


1) Tech>Truth Do whatever. I will not paradigmatically hack against any particular real arguments. I do not care what you do in terms of how I judge. I have arguments that I strongly dislike and arguments that I like, but will try not to reflect this in my speaks as much as possible.

2) Don't be mean. I hold the position that I cannot ethically vote for arguments that would be endorsing acts of particular forms of interpersonal violence. This line might become hard to draw. I am fine with heg good, authoritarianism good, skepticism, etc., and it is a bit unclear to me what the difference between some of these positions and the arguments I might find ethically hard to vote for are such as racism good, sexual assault good, etc. are so this might result in me making judgement calls during round. I will attempt to be as reasonable as possible. I also dislike it when more experienced debaters purposely make rounds exclusionary to younger and less resourced debaters. Of course, this judgement is hard to make sometimes as well, but I will lower speaks if I am certain it is happening.

3) I'll say clear/slow unless its obvious you are not listening when I do.

4) I don't flow off the speech doc.

5) I have done a little bit of policy in college.

Longer Version:

1) I did LD for four years and ran whatever. I ran Ks for a year and I ran theory and phil for a year. As a result, I know some range of literature, but that should not be relevant. I go to NYU now and study philosophy.

2) I aim to be as least interventionist as possible. The more irresolvable a round is, the more I have to intervene. I get annoyed when I have to do this. I view having to use defaults as intervention.

3) I make faces sometimes. I aim not to, but sometimes I might communicate annoyance or amusement. Sometimes, I might communicate deep confusion. I've been told by some people that I appear angry or like I'm glaring sometimes. At any rate, some of my faces might not be your fault, but if its obvious I'm reacting to your speech or your opponent's speech, someone has probably done something wrong or right.

4) I don’t flow off the speech doc and I’ll only check it if a) I messed up on my own and missed something or b) it’s a round where the quality of evidence matters. I'm really bad at flowing author names, so reference arguments only by author at your own risk.

5) I pay more attention to CX now.

6) Here's some stuff related to framing that I think makes sense to default to and you probably will not change my mind on:

- Tech > truth

- Truth > Tech requires tech for you to win it. I am extremely unconvinced that judges can have a role in the debate that requires them intervene based on what they think is true. The only exception I can see is when there is an obvious violation of or issue related to the safety of the students. In those cases, I will, if aware of the situation, stop the debate and report it to tab if I deem that it is appropriate to do so.

- Nothing is a voter until you've made an argument that it is.

7) Here's some stuff related to framing that I think makes sense to default to, but would heavily prefer to hear a debate about if it is relevant:

- Lexical Priority > Strength of link (this just means if a claim that “aff theory outweighs neg theory” or something of the type is made, I evaluate aff theory regardless of what is won on neg theory. I also think strength of link/modesty weighing is strange when it is different layers, so if you want to go for that weighing, please justify it.)

- Generally probably low threshold for warrants if they are conceded, but if the argument is directly interactive with other warranted arguments and you are light on your warranting in extension, I will probably be receptive to “no warrant was extended” and not be super persuaded by that argument. Light warranting is also at your own risk because if the debate gets muddled, my threshold for warrants rises as I sift through arguments in an attempt to make the debate more resolvable and if the opponent points out that there isn’t a warrant for the extension of the argument that might hurt you.

- You don’t have to bother extending paradigm issues if they’re conceded, but this might harm you if the opponent makes it an issue.

- Fairness > Education

- T = Theory

- Competing interps

K v Substance

- Non "Prefiat" Ks = Substance

- K ROBs = Ethical Frameworks

- "Prefiat" Ks = Fairness or Education


- Perms are

8) Here are some thoughts I believe. Most function indifferently to how I judge rounds if both debaters make good arguments.


- Debate's a game. I have never heard a good argument against it being so. Debate being a game is not mutually exclusive with it having other important things.

- Disclosure is good. Full text disclosure is not preferable to non-full text disclosure. Open source is good. I am, however, unsure as to whether voting on out-of-round violations is a defensible norm.

- I do not like it when people rely on ethos to win rounds. I expect you to make arguments, not assertions said in a nice way.


- Nothing is a voter until you make an argument. Theory doesn't have an impact until you make an argument.

- Metatheory does not paradigmatically come before theory.

- A lot of friv theory is silly. I do not care that much about the content of your shell, but if its not strategic that will be reflected in your speaks.

- Theory/Spikes heavy affs are fine. If I didn't catch it, it doesn't exist.

- I am unsure on whether certain violations e.g. evidence ethics are good enough reasons to stop rounds. I will try avoid doing while I remain unsure.

- I do not think I can coherently evaluate “evaluate theory after x speech” if x is the speech you’re currently giving.


- I am not totally sure what counts as a trick, but it is a referred to part of debate. For the sake of the paradigm, I am generally referencing to what people might refer to as tricks or tricky debate.

- Many tricks are quite unintelligent. It is sort of silly to act as if they're intelligent. I would appreciate if you did not. I do not like unintelligent tricks much, but I find them amusing sometimes. I do not like arguments that purely exist so that your opponent misses them, but I am not sure this is unique to "tricks" since we want our opponent to miss many aspects of debate.

- Some tricks, on the contrary, are quite intelligent. Well-developed logical arguments that reach seemingly odd or unintuitive conclusions might be considered a trick by some, but many of these arguments are really quite fun to me. Tricks or tricky arguments that are well-developed make me really happy!

- If I didn't flow it, it doesn't exist.

Phil Framework

- Ethical confidence makes more intuitive sense to me than ethical modesty.

- Probably my favorite part of debate, but also frequently bastardized.

- People who know what they're talking about are good!

- I think tech and efficiency on framework debates is sometimes my favorite part of debate.

- The NC AC 1NC makes me so happy.

- I do not like impact justified frameworks.

- I am sad that phil debate is frequently seen as being the same as tricks debate.


- I am not paradigmatically against Non-T affs. I did read them in my career. I do not like it when debaters pretend to be topical when they are not. The phrase “pseudo-topical” does not make sense to me.

- Many word PIKs are silly to me. I think people shouldn't use slurs, but am not sure other words are significant enough to justify word PIKs. The reason many of them feel silly to me are because they are very rarely taken seriously by the people who read them.

- I do not think framework Ks are voting issues. I also really strongly dislike the way framework Ks are read. I think there are genuinely interesting points of philosophical interest to consider when thinking about whether an author's personal views can be disconnected from philosophy, but this debate is never had. Regardless, I still do not think framework Ks are voting issues.

- A lot of K debate can be somewhat boring. Debaters frequently only extend taglines and rely on buzzwords and judge familiarity to get away with arguments. Redundancy and lack of specificity are things I strongly dislike and something I observe on a lot of K debates. I seriously do not care how many debaters have read this argument, you have to warrant it.

- A lot of continental philosophy sounds and looks like actual nonsense. I do not like personally trying to make sense our of nonsense nor do I like it when other people try and do it. The more I study analytic philosophy, the less appreciation I have for the esoteric and often unnecessary language in continental philosophy. Because of that, I also have even less appreciation for the esoteric and often unnecessary language debaters use in debate as they try and replicate that philosophy.

- I am not super into the call-out culture that debate sometimes has. I think this is a particularly untenable model in the context of HS debate, given that many of these people are minors. I think genuinely serious accusations should be brought to administrative adults in the community or, if necessary, other authorities. I am sympathetic to the idea that one might not want to debate someone who has done something problematic, especially to them, but I am unsure whether rounds themselves are a productive or good channel to communicate this issue with. I am also sympathetic to many of the reasons why one might not want to approach authorities or other adults in the community, but this does not wholly convince me that rounds are the solution to this problem. If I am put in the position to resolve issues related to serious violations of personal safety e.g. things that would constitute violations of the law, I will probably contact tab unless I have a very good reason not to. For issues that do not fall into that category, if I feel qualified to evaluate them, I will do so as I would a normal debate. If I feel that your "call-out" appeared unnecessary, unproductive, and done for the purpose of strategic value or for the sake of ethos guised in trying to be good, I will, at a minimum, tank your speaks.


- These debates are cool, but I will preface this by saying that coming from the Northeast means that I come from an area that really sucks at case debate and substance.

- Making creative solves case arguments is awesome, especially against affs that one wouldn’t think solves case (i.e. phil affs, K affs).

- I think LDers should utilize more of some of the weighing mechanisms and rhetoric used in policy (uniqueness args, sufficiency, etc)

- Structural violence kind of makes me sad as a framework.

Non-T/K v Fwk/Theory

- The more I think about impact turns to theory/fwk, the less I am convinced they're voting issues. To me, they're either one of two things: 1) impact turns to the literal content of the shell e.g. fairness/education bad, in which case they warrant an RVI or 2) impact turns to the act of reading theory, which is meta theory. Both of these cases require more justification to be a voting issue beyond merely making the argument.

- I do not think education is the most important impact of debate. I think fairness is the only thing that debate needs to be debate. It being a gateway to education is just an interesting FYI, not a reason education is preferable.

- Fairness bad arguments are really confusing sometimes.

- I think fwk is true, despite being probably 50/50 on these debates. People going for fwk benefit from specificity and explanation.

To Do:

1) Be nice

2) Know what you’re talking about

3) Line by line stuff

4) Explain arguments

Not To Do:

Problematic things

- Endorsing oppression

- Being demeaning to people who are obviously not as experienced as you

- Being demeaning

- I will not evaluate "give me higher/30 speaks" arguments.

Technical Debate Things

- Spreading faster than you can

- Saying “gut check”

- Shadow extensions

- Putting case on the bottom of substance

- Not giving roadmaps by flows but instead by arguments

harvard update: “let’s steamroll these bowls”

emory update: "let's seize these keys" - david basile edwards (Charlotte Catholic DE), 12/03/18

apple valley update: "let's grapple these apples" - david basile edwards (Charlotte Catholic DE), 10/29/18

Greg Zoda Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated in college at Baylor and in high school at Bishop Guertin

I coach college and high school policy and high school LD


I almost always flow on paper and do my best to avoid reading evidence out of the speech doc. I have never been great at coming up with shorthand on the fly, so while I think I write relatively quickly, I'm still trying to improve my flow. I put this first because it's reasonable of you to expect me to keep as close of a record of your arguments as I can, and I'm very concerned with doing so to the best of my ability. Some things that could immediately help you immensely:

- slow down (just some) and pauses between arguments - this will honestly result in more on my flow than the inverse

- try to be conscious of pen time - I'll try to be as facially expressive as I can, and if you would prefer for a verbal cue like "slow" or "clear" instead, then please let me know

- numbering and labeling - not for the sake of some ultra-technical "you dropped our #18 answer" kind of thing, but just try to logically break up arguments and reference them when you can

- I really want to be able to hear card text without having to reference a computer - I understand that this hasn't been the norm for a while and I also completely understand that clarity is sometimes complicated by things outside of people's control, but I'm just looking for some effort in making the text of evidence at least mostly audible

More than any argumentative content or stylistic preference, I just want to hear debaters that are genuinely engaged with their research. I enjoy when the strategic aspects of debate cause people to develop clever strategies or interesting spins on arguments I may have heard before. Basically, if you are clearly invested in what you're talking about, it's relatively easy to get me interested too.

The ability to use specific examples often makes the difference in terms of how "warranted" I think an argument is. These kinds of discussions are where a lot of rounds are won or lost.

A phrase that will help you a lot in front of me is "which means that...". I really value framing issues when they are clearly connected together to form a big picture, especially in the later rebuttals. This is another way of saying that impact calculus is usually the first thing I look at when deciding rounds.

LD Specific Stuff

- I'm just not a fan of theory unless there is genuine truth to the abuse claim. This standard is obviously inherently arbitrary, but there's a difference between reading conditionality and writing massive AC underviews or theory shells with spikes, trix, cheap shots, and time sucks. I'm a fine judge for topicality and even for legitimate theory issues when debated in depth, but if you're going to do so, this can't just be a battle of the blocks.

- I'd prefer not to disclose speaks immediately after the round in most instances.

- Because I grew up doing exclusively policy debate, I am not familiar with a lot of common buzzwords for philosophical concepts in LD, even if I'm sometimes familiar with the ideas in question. For example, I've debated about utilitarianism in policy an uncountable number of times, but we never discussed things like the intent-foresight distinction or personal identity reductionism. You can obviously read these arguments, but just recognize that we don't have the exact same language regarding them.

vida chiri Paradigm

3 rounds

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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

eric emerson Paradigm

1 rounds

Greetings, by way of introduction, my name is Eric Emerson.

I coach debate (policy, LD and public forum) at the Kinkaid school. I am chair of the Board of the Houston Urban Debate League and have also directed the UTNIF.

As a judge, I evaluate arguments (claim, warrant, data and impact). I prefer arguments grounded in literature rather than regressive debate theory (take note LD). My preferences are flexible and can be overcome by persuasive, smart debaters.

I take notes, sometimes quite quickly. If I think you unclear, I will let you know in my facial expressions and on the occasion, hopefully rare, when I yell 'clear'.

If I find you/your arguments, unpleasant then your speaker points will reflect that. I disagree with judges who give out high speaker points to everyone. You gotta earn my points.

I am easily distracted and I prefer debaters to be both engaging and entertaining. If I appear distracted, it may be your fault.

Debate is a powerful educational tool that should be accessible to everyone. I try to approach all of my interactions with empathy and concern for others. I find unpleasant debates to be just that, unpleasant. I would ask that you avoid being unpleasant to your opponents, spectators, and me. Unpleasantness that threatens debate, to me, should be avoided.