Tournament of Champions

2019 — Lexington, KY/US

Sonny Abbasi Paradigm

2 rounds


- Judged Public Forum all 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-2019 school years.

- Debated Lincoln-Douglas in High School at Houston Memorial and debated Policy at The George Washington University (attended college on a partial debate scholarship, quarters at ADA Nationals, numerous speaker awards).

- Graduated cum laude from The American University's Washington College of Law. Professionally, worked for corporations, law firms, government, and trade associations (doing policy advocacy and government relations).

- Flow Judge but don't just go off of the flow in final focus. Evaluate the round and develop a big picture.

- Full biography:

Public Forum Philosophy:

  1. Clash is very important. Respond to the other team's points. Do not ignore the other side's arguments.
  2. Speed is okay as I am a former policy debater. If I can't understand you, I will yell "clear".
  3. Extend arguments--I won't do it for you.
  4. Tell me why you should win the round--don't expect me to do focuses in my head for you.
  5. I prefer evidence and logic not just spewing of cards. If I wanted that I would be judging policy.
  6. Explain your arguments including links to impacts.
  7. This is simple but stick to the resolution.
  8. Explain why your framework is important.
  9. Show me how to evaluate the round. Go for certain arguments that you are winning in final focus and weigh those against the opponents' arguments.

Allen Abbott Paradigm

2 rounds

"Back in my day, we only had two minutes to give our summaries!"

Hi I'm Allen and I'm an old second-year out who competed in PF all four years of high school (fun fact: I also competed in DI for three years). In my hey day, Ahana (my former partner) and I cleared at the TOC and a number of other cool nat circuit tournaments. Last year, I coached Dalton CY (best team on the circuit don't @ me) and Capitol Debate's travel team. I founded PF Videos and used to be a mod of /r/Debate. I'm no longer involved in debate, sans for judging at Glenbrooks and the occasional Tabroom stalk.

Outside of debate, I'm a second-year at UChicago studying data science economics and various interdisciplinary fields in the qualitative social sciences. I don't know much about the topic, but I do have a strong academic and professional background in IR. Specifically, I have a lot of academic familiarity with secrecy in international relations, which may be of particular relevance to this topic (shoutout to Professor Austin Carson, who broke consecutively at the NDT last decade).

For those of you who had me as a judge last year: I probably haven't changed much. I've probably become a better judge than I was last year because I'm not in deep with the community (i.e. I don't know the top teams on the circuit this year and I don't personally know the topic arguments or lit, so I will have very few implicit biases walking into the round).

Important: please don't be afraid to debate fast, tech, complex, or however else you want. I still remember how debate works (I'm not that old) and I've been doing finger exercises (i.e. flowing Nueva CS rounds) for a month to prepare to flow at high speeds for Glenbrooks.

For those of you who haven't had me before, or want a refresher:

1. Tech > Truth. Most debate arguments are BS (we all know it) and I don't have a problem with smart high schoolers coming up with creative or original arguments. I've completely suspended by belief for this tournament.

2. I love argument comparison! This can take the form of (but does not exclude other methods of comparison) doing impact framing/meta weighing. Please don't forget about reading/extending internal links and terminal impacts.

3. My default beliefs for the round are:

a) second rebuttal should frontline

b) first summary should interact with defense to the extent that the second rebuttal frontlined (so, if the second rebuttal frontlines, the first summary should interact with that frontlining if they plan to go for anything from rebuttal in final focus); if second rebuttal doesn't frontline, the first speaking team can extend defense from rebuttal to final focus

c) no new arguments in final focus (unless the first final focus is answering something new in second summary)

d) the judge only calls for cards if their is a dispute over them or a debater tells me to call for them

e) the judge presumes for the first speaking team

But, debaters are always free to read theoretical justifications in the round to tell me otherwise!

4. If there is anything I can do to make the round more accessible, please let me know beforehand.

5. I love fast debate, but have Auditory Processing Disorder, which means I sometimes don't immediately comprehend everything I hear during speech. Thus, I may ask for clarifying questions after your speech about a tag or warrant I didn't catch in your speech (I'm not intervening, I'm trying to do the best that I can to give you a fair round). Please give me (and your opponents) a speech doc if you go above 300 words per minute.

6. I start at a 29 for speaker points. Points go up for good strategic decision on the flow. Points go down for miscut cards, ghost/no extensions, and bad behavior in round.

If you haven't gathered, I'm a funny (I tell myself this) and sarcastic (other people tell me this) individual. The following is a joke:

I will give you +0.1 speaker points for every TableTote height setting used in round above the first. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check this out.

Automatic 30 for a Coke Zero (not a Coke Zero Sugar) or freshly made risotto (recipe below).

Allen's Signature Parmesan Risotto


-3.5 cups chicken broth

-3 cups water

-4 tablespoons unsalted butter

-1 medium onion, finely diced or minced

-2 cups dry white wine

-2 cups Arborio rice

-1.5 cup Parmesan cheese

-Ground black pepper (white pepper, if you're feeling spunky)

-Penzy's Italian Herb Mix (which consists of oregano, basil, parsley, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary)


1. Bring the broth and water to a simmer in a large saucepan (I use a Dutch Oven) over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting after the broth reaches its boiling point. Keep on the backburner.

2. Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Once the foaming subsides (DON'T BURN THE BUTTER), add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft and translucent, about 9 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the edges of the grains are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add 1 cup of the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is completely absorbed by the rice, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of the warm broth and, stirring frequently, simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the bottom of the pan is dry.

3. Add more of the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed, to keep the pan bottom from becoming dry; cook, stirring frequently (every 1 or 2 minutes), until the grains of the rice are cooked through but still somewhat firm in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and the remaining wine. Season with the herbs, salt, pepper, and additional cheese, to taste (DON'T OVER-PEPPER! WHITE PEPPER IS ESPECIALLY STRONG).

Honestly, debaters focus too much on persuasion through auditory perception. I'd like for there to be a debate event where we use olfaction and gustation as tools for persuasion. However, PF isn't that event, and you probably weren't going to get the kitchen/utensils/wine necessary to make the risotto during a tournament. So, we're back to just debating. But you should try making this risotto! It's very good, and everyone in my residential house in college loves it (except when I over pepper/burn the butter).

Ramesh Adabala Paradigm

4 rounds

I have judged a few PF tournaments in last 4 years. I prefer traditional styled debates at an average speed. The debate should involve polished presentation skills, good contrast in the arguments, and an emphasis on evidence. I value a good balance between presentation and content. Also, be respectful to your opponents and your partner!

Ayush Aggarwal Paradigm

2 rounds

I debated 4 years in policy and pf at Saratoga High School

*I won't vote for an argument that doesn't have a warrant

*If it's important it should be in every speech (including key defense)

*Speed is fine, but slow down for taglines and citations. Don't use it exclude other debaters.


Threshold for theory is high, I'll vote on it if the abuse is egregious. Default to competing interps, no RVI, drop the arg (unless justified otherwise)


I like arguments that lean into K's and are debated like a K. I think these types of arguments are better than traditional Kritiks for PF, but I will still evaluate a K if you read it in round and know exactly what you are doing.


I prefer debaters read cards in the constructive. Paraphrasing often leads to misconstruing - I will call for cards at the end if no warrants are given

Will Alexander Paradigm

4 rounds

Background: I'm a junior at UC Berkeley; did PF and lay LD in high school (qualled to TOC in PF); coached/judged for the first two years of college; haven't done anything debate-related in a year

Arguments: I DON'T EVALUATE THEORY and am not comfortable with kritiks but will try my best to evaluate them; more experience with util debate i.e. plans/counterplans/disads.

Framework: As long as the framework is well explained, I should be fine evaluating it. If you're going to go for framework, make sure you explain clearly why I should prefer your framework over your opponents.

Speed: I can handle a decent amount and if you flash me the case anything is fine. I’ve never been uncomfortable flowing a round before. If you’re going too fast or being unclear, I’ll tell you.

Things to Do: 1) Off-time road maps are great, but don't make them excessively long. Just give me the order of flows. 2) Crystallization. 2NRs and 2ARs should collapse.

Neonne Ameer Paradigm

4 rounds

I am a former U.S. history educator & current debate coach for PF

Coached; Parliamentary debate (1 year), Policy debate (1 year), & Public Forum (2 years)

Judged rounds in public forum since Fall 2014 in both middle school and high school tournaments

Managed & Directed multiple tournaments and debate programming

Please, NO SPEED reading - talk concisely and enunciate

Flowing is my specialty - color coded - with feedback & remarks to share with you in the end

Please FLOW!

Firm believer in disclosing to all and every debater regardless of experience (this helps with understanding how well you placed and why, that way you can ask me questions as to why you may win or lose)

Please be organized and ready to debate. - Laptop and/or all papers ready to go!


Ask questions and explain during CROSS. Not just READING your cards.

UTILIZE your PREP time, Please take advantage of those 2 mins during a round.

Emphasis on your arguments in summary speeches & final focus.

Weigh & crystallize - claim, warrant, impact!

Shake hands with your opponents and judge at the end of each round.

Seshadri Anantharaman Paradigm

7 rounds

Hi! I've been judging debate for 4 years now. I primarily have experience with PF and have judged at tournaments like TOC and SCU, but at the core I AM A LAY JUDGE. However, I still vote tech > truth. At the end of the day, even if you make bad arguments, if your opponents do NOT call you out for it, I'll buy the arg.

BUT, some key things to note (no matter how tech > truth I am, I AM STILL LAY):

1) Do not spread please. I will look at you in confusion if this happens, because I cannot flow that fast.

2) ALL RACIST, !!SEXIST!!, HOMOPHOBIC, and OVERALL AGGRESSIVE rhetoric is not tolerated and will result in an automatic drop.

3) I watch cross, but don't judge on it. You don't have to scream at each other.

4) do not read theory or Ks, because I don't know the formalities of it. however I will evaluate progressive argumentation as long as the framing is clear because its important to have that in the debate space

In conclusion, you're all winners! please have fun! THANK YOU COME AGAIN.

- main ideas written by my daughter (neha seshadri of mira loma gs)

Jeremy Andreades Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a law student at Emory. I coached PF at Delbarton, CBI, and ISD. I competed in PF Bronx Science.

1. Please don't give line by line final two speeches.

2. Limit what you're going for in your final two speeches (prioritize good substantive warrants rather than more blippy responses). Group responses when you can in summary, and explicitly weigh in both speeches but especially in final focus.

3. If you would like me to vote on certain offense bring it up in both summary and final focus.

4. Use the summary to respond to responses made in the rebuttal and give me voters (alternatively you can devote time in the second rebuttal to front-lining). I am uncomfortable voting for an argument that hasn't developed at all since your case (unless of course you show me it's been dropped and bring it up in summary and final focus).

5. Please have your evidence available promptly. I will get fed up and start running prep time or docking speaker points if you can't find it quickly enough. In extreme cases, or if I feel like you are intentionally being unethical, I will drop you.

6. That being said, don't call for every card. Only ask to see evidence if you are legitimately concerned about understanding the content or context.

7. If you aren't using prep time (as in, they are searching for a card to show you), then don't prep.

8. When in doubt I will vote for the most consistently brought up, and convincingly warranted arguments.

9. Only give me an off time roadmap if you're doing something atypical.

10. You should have your preflows ready on both sides before you enter the room.

11. If you card dump, there is no way for me or your opponents to fairly ascertain credibility. I will not flow it as evidence.

12. I give speaker points based on persuasiveness and good rhetoric not technicalities. If you win every argument but sound like a robot, or just read off your computer, you will get low speaker points.

Caspar Arbeeny Paradigm

4 rounds

About Me

I debated for 4 years at Poly Prep and was relatively successful on the national circuit.

I now coach PF for Edgemont Jr/Sr HS in New York.


You know how you debate in front of a classic PF flow judge? Do that. (Weighing, Summary and final focus extensions, signposting, warrants etc.)

That said there are a few weird things about me.

0. I mostly decide debates on the link level. Links generate offense without impacts, impacts generate no offense without links. Teams that tell a compelling link story and clearly access their impact are incredibly likely to win my ballot. Extend an impact without a sufficient link at your own peril.

1. Don't run plans or advocacies unless you prove a large enough probability of the plan occuring to not make it not a plan but an advantage. (Read the Advocacies/Plans/Fiat section below).

2. Theory is important and cool, but only run it if it is justified.

3. Second summary has an obligation to extend defense, first summary does not.

4. I am not tab. My threshold for responses goes down the more extravagant an argument is. This can include incredibly dumb totally ridiculous impacts, link chains that make my head spin, or arguments that are straight up offensive.

5. I HATE THE TERM OFF TIME-ROADMAP. Saying that term lowers your speaks by .5 for every time you say it, just give the roadmap.

6. You should probably read dates. I don't think it justifies drop the debater but I think it justifies drop the arg/card.

7. I don't like independent offense in rebuttal, especially 2nd rebuttal. Case Turns/Prereqs/Weighing/Terminal Defense are fine, but new contention style offense is some real cheese. Speak faster and read it as a new contention in case as opposed to waiting until rebuttal to dump it on an unsuspecting opponent.

Long Version

  • Don’t extend through ink. If a team has made responses whether offensive or defensive they must be addressed if you want to go for the argument. NB: you should respond to ALL offensive responses put on your case regardless if you want to go for the argument.
  • Collapse. Evaluating a hundred different arguments at the end of the round is frustrating and annoying, please boil it down to 1-4 points.
  • Speech cohesion. All your speeches should resemble the others. I should be able to reasonably expect what is coming in the next speech from the previous speech. This is incredibly important especially in summary and final focus. It is so important in fact that I will not evaluate things that are not said in both the summary and final focus.
  • Weighing. This is the key to my ballot. Tell me what arguments matter the most and why they do. If one team does this and the other team doesn’t 99/100 times I will vote for the team that did. The best teams will give me an overarching weighing mechanism and will tell me why their weighing mechanism is better than their opponents. NB: The earlier in the round this appears the better off you will be.
  • Warrants. An argument without a warrant will not be evaluated. Even if a professor from MIT conducts the best study ever, you need to be able to explain logically why that study is true, without just reverting to “Because Dr. Blah Blah Blah said so.”
  • Analysis vs. Evidence. Your speeches should have a reasonable balance of both evidence and analysis. Great logic is just as important as great evidence. Don’t just spew evidence or weak analysis at me and expect me to buy it. Tell me why the evidence applies and why your logic takes out an argument.
  • Framework. I will default to a utilitarian calculus unless told to do otherwise. Please be prepared to warrant why the other framework should be used within the round.
  • Turns. If you want me to vote off of a turn, I should hear about it in both the summary and final focus. I will not extend a turn as a reason to vote for you. (Unextended turns still count as ink, just not offense)
  • Speed. Any speed you speak at should be fine as long as you are clear. Don't speak faster than this rebuttal
  • Advocacies/Plans/Fiat. I grant teams the weakest fiat you can imagine. The aff is allowed to say that the action done in the resolution is passed through congress or whatever governing body we are discussing. That is it. This means that you cannot fiat out of political conditions (i.e. CUTGO, elite influence, etc.) or say that the resolution means we will increase infrastructure spending by building 20th century community learning facilities in the middle of Utah. If you want to access plans and still win my ballot, you must prove a rock solid probability of the advocacy occurring in the real world.. (Note the following is just a guideline, other forms of proving thee following are ok as long as they actually successfully prove what they say will occur.) In an ideal world that means 3 things. First, you prove that there is a growing need for such action (i.e. If you want to run that we should build infrastructure in the form of low-income housing, you need to prove that we actually need more houses.). Second, you prove that the plan is politically likely (Bipartisan support doesn't mean anything, I want a bill on the house floor). Finally, you need to prove some sort of historical precedent for your action. If you are missing the first burden and it's pointed out, I will not by the argument on face. A lack in either of the latter 2 can be made up by strengthening the other. Of course, you can get around ALL of this by not reading any advocacies and just talking about things that are fundamentally inherent to the resolution.
  • Squirrley Arguments. To a point being squirrely is ok, often times very good. I will never drop an argument on face but as an argument gets more extravagant my threshold for responses goes down. i.e. if on reparations you read an argument that reparations commodify the suffering of African Americans, you are a-ok. If you read an argument that says that The USFG should not take any action regarding African Americans because the people in the USFG are all secretly lizard people, the other team needs to do very little work for me to not evaluate it. A simple "WTF is this contention?" might suffice in rebuttal. NB: You will be able to tell if I think an argument is stupid.
  • Defense Extensions. Some defense needs to be extended in both summary and final focus, such as a rebuttal overview that takes out an entire case. Pieces of defense such as uniqueness responses that are never responded to in summary may be extended from rebuttal to final focus to take out an argument that your opponents are collapsing on. NB: I am less likely to buy a terminally defensive extension from rebuttal to final focus if you are speaking second because I believe that it is the first speaker's job to do that in second summary and your opponent does not have an extra speech to address it.
  • Signposting/Roadmaps. Signposting is necessary, roadmaps are nice. Just tell me what issues you are going to go over and when.
  • Theory. Theory is the best way to check abuse in debate and is necessary to make sure unfair strategies are not tolerated. As a result of this I am a huge fan of theory in PF rounds but am not a fan of in using it as a way to just garner a cheap win off of a less experienced opponent. To avoid this, make sure there is a crystal clear violation that is explicitly checked for. It does not need to be presented as the classic "A is the interpretation, B is the violation, etc." but it does need to be clearly labeled as a shell. If theory is read in a round and there is a clear violation, it is where I will vote.

Speaker Points

I give speaker points on both how fluid and convincing you are and how well you do on the flow. I will only give 30s to debaters that do both effectively. If you get below a 26 you probably did something unethical or offensive.


I may call for evidence in a few situations.

  • One team tells me to.
  • I can not make a decision within the round without evaluating a piece of evidence.
  • I notice there is an inconsistency in how the evidence is used throughout the course of the debate and it is relevant to my decision. i.e. A piece of evidence changes from a card that identifies a problem to a magical catch-all solvency card.
  • I have good reason to believe you miscut a card.


I encourage teams to ask questions about my RFD after the round and for teams to come and find me after the round is over for extra feedback. As long as you are courteous and respectful I will be happy to discuss the round with you.

Bilal Askari Paradigm

7 rounds

Basically, I'm a flow/tech judge.

I debated for a long time and have been coaching for five years, but like not in a dad way. Also I'm in law school now, but not in a detached "PF is a public speaking event" kind of way.

(If you're looking for the other Bilal:


NEW: April, 2018 -- Updated for ToC (Still applies for April, 2019):

I am so sick of Neg teams expecting the Aff to have CONtentions in their case even though they're the PRO!! They should be PROtentions!! From now on, I will give a speaker point bump to any debater who refers to the Aff's contention(s) as PROtentions.

(But seriously, I'll give you some free speaks for saying things like: "Protention 1 is ..."; or "In my opponents' first Protention ..."; or "at that point, you can cleanly extend our first Protention" -- just because it shows you opened my paradigm, and because it'd be funny.)



My philosophy is that you all put a lot of effort into this activity, and it's my onus to adjudicate every round thoroughly. If you feel like I'm failing to do this in any way, pls call me out.

TL;DR: If I'm being real, I overwhelmingly and shamelessly vote off of the warrant debate. If you're winning the reasons that something will/won't happen (which means you're extending them specifically, and are being responsive to your opponents' answers) then you're almost certainly winning my ballot. All things equal, I will vote for a team with a clear warrant over a team with a warrantless impact card. Please do not hesitate to go straight for the warrant-level and spend your time there; I will gladly track internal links.

Additionally, please read your citations as clearly as possible.


General Stuff worth noting:

1) I know the topic pretty well, so you can assume I've got a reasonable amount of prior knowledge. If your argument is pretty out-there, just explain it.

2) I'm fine with swearing, but don't insult your opponents.

3) I'm fine with jargon, but don't exclude your opponents.

4) Be comfortable in-round. Take off your coat, take off your shoes; do what you gotta do.

5) Speed: I can deal with it, but please slow down for taglines and read citations clearly. Slow down if your opponents tell you to. If you simply cannot resist going into x-games mode, give your opponents a copy of your speech beforehand.

6) I pay attention to crossfire, but don't flow it; if something important happened, mention it in your speech if you want me to vote on it.

7) Framework is always the first thing I evaluate on my ballot. I vote for the team that wins under the winning framework. If only one team discusses/extends framework, that's what I default to. If there's no framework in the round, I default to NetBens.

8) Plz collapse: I've literally never seen a PF summary go for everything in the round while still weighing and resolving clash. Collapse to the arguments that will win you the round; I'm not gonna be like "lol I can't believe these losers dropped their first contention" if you go all-in on your second contention, for example.

9) My thoughts on the split, bc I get asked all the time:

I expect the rebuttal of the 2nd-speaking team to cover offense on their case (i.e. turns from the first rebuttal). I've found that in competitive rounds, it is very hard to win without doing this. In general, I won't penalize you if you can't get to defense on your case, or even if you spend all 4 minutes of rebuttal on their case -- but if that's what happens, I will be super lenient towards the first-speaking summary.

If you're doing the 1st-speaking summary, and the 2nd-speaking rebuttal didn't return to their case at all, feel free to extend offense that your partner put on their case. If the 2nd-speaking team proceeds to frontline their own case in 2nd-summary against that offense to re-establish their own offense, I'll be sympathetic to a 1st-speaking Final Focus that extends defense from rebuttal that the 1st-speaking summary could not have anticipated needing to extend.

If the 2nd-speaking rebuttal DOES return to their case to answer the responses from 1st-speaking rebuttal, and the 1st speaking summary does not address these arguments, I will be sympathetic to a 2nd-speaking summary that frames these omissions as proper drops.



I debated in college, and am fine with theory. There are issues with PF that I wouldn't mind seeing addressed. If you're running theory in front of me, it needs some structure, but mostly I just need a Role of the Ballot so I have an understanding of what you want me to do. YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOUR OPPONENTS, TOO. I'm significantly less likely to vote on potential/theoretical abuse than on in-round/demonstrated abuse. I will also retain the right to intervene, somewhat, on questions of Theory - especially ones that involve me as a judge - in a way that I don't for post-fiat args.

If you have questions about this, ask me before the round.


My email is for questions, etc. I keep all of my flows on my computer.

Jack Ave Paradigm

4 rounds

Contact info:

Affiliation: American Heritage Plantation, Poly Prep Country Day

Background: I competed for Okoboji (IA) and was at the TOC '13 in LD. I also debated policy in college the following year.

General: Debate rounds are about students so intervention should be minimized. I believe that my role in rounds is to be an educator, however, students should contextualize what that my obligation as a judge is. I default comparative worlds unless told otherwise. Slow down for interps and plan texts. I will say clear as many times as needed. Signpost and add me to your email chain, please.

Pref Shortcut

K: 1

High theory: 1

T/Theory: 2

LARP: 1/2

Tricks: 2/3

K: I really like K debate. I have trouble pulling the trigger on links of omission. Performative offensive should be linked to a method that you can defend. The alt is an advocacy and the neg should defend it as such. Knowing lit beyond tags = higher speaks. Please challenge my view of debate. I like learning in rounds.

Framework: 2013 LD was tricks, theory, and framework debate. I dislike blippy, unwarranted 'offense'. However, I really believe that good, deep phil debate is persuasive and underutilized on most topics. Most framework/phil heavy affs don't dig into literature deep enough to substantively respond to general K links and turns.

LARP: Big fan but don't assume I've read all hyper-specific topic knowledge.

Theory/T: Great, please warrant extensions and signpost. "Converse of their interp" is not a counter-interp.

Disclosure: Not really going to vote on disclosure theory unless you specifically warrant why their specific position should have been disclosed. If they are running a position relatively predictable, it is unlikely I will pull the trigger on disclosure theory.

Speaks: Make some jokes and be chill with your opponent. In-round strategy dictates range. I average 28.3-28.8.

Other thoughts: Plans/CPs should have solvency advocates. Talking over your opponent will harm speaks. Write down interps before extemping theory. When you extend offense, you need to weigh. Card clipping is an auto L25.

PF Paradigm: I am a flow judge. Offense should be extended in summary and the second rebuttal doesn't necessarily need to frontline what was said in first rebuttal (but in some cases, it definitely helps). Weighing in Summary and FF is key. I'll steal this line from my favorite judge, Thomas Mayes, "My ballot is like a piece of electricity, it takes the path of least resistance." I have a hard time voting on disclosure theory in PF. Have fun and be nice.

Harry Bagenstos Paradigm

2 rounds

I debated public forum for Greenhills (MI) on the local and national circuits in high school, and I coached Cranbrook (MI) after I graduated in 2018. I am currently a sophomore at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where I study history and political theory. This year, I have not been involved in debate in any real way but am judging at MIFA states.

At the highest level, here are some things to know about how I view debate:

I'm a pretty standard "flow" or "tech" judge, which means I'm not interested in presentation style but will vote based on whose arguments are sufficient to win the round.

I care a lot about clear explanation of arguments; to get my ballot, it should be obvious both why your argument is true and why it wins you the round.

I need to understand why your argument is the most important one in the round. Clear impact explanation and calculus is a must in front of me: I am almost certainly going to vote for the team that does a better job explaining exactly what happens if I vote for them and why that matters. Obviously this type of argument needs to be directly comparative.

I am open to all types of arguments, including those that are not considered standard PF arguments. That doesn't give you license to exclude your opponents, but as long as you explain your argument clearly (which, again, you should be doing anyway), you're probably fine.

I don't vote my politics and have often voted for arguments that in real life I find unconvincing, but I am always willing to intervene against arguments that are racist, sexist, ableist, etc.

Other than that, I'm not very interested in forcing you to change your style to adapt to me and I'm willing to defer to what seems like an implicit agreement between the teams over the rules of debate. (Note that I am not up to date with whatever new strategic developments have occurred on the circuit this year, and in particular I haven't thought hard about how a three-minute summary should affect these views. This is part of why I'm trying to err on the side of modesty in the actual rounds I judge.)

That said, here are the specific technical preconceptions (and other miscellaneous preferences) that I'm walking into the round with:

An offensive argument that I vote on (that is, an affirmative reason why you win the round) should be fully extended, with both a warrant and an impact, in both your summary and your final focus. (Ideally, you should collapse on one argument, respond to the defense on it, and explain why it's the most important in the round. Some rounds it makes sense to go for more than one piece of offense, but this is true less often than debaters think. In any case I'm not trying to make your strategic choices for you!)

The second rebuttal should answer (at least) offense and terminal defense from the first rebuttal.

Defense is sticky: you need to extend a defensive argument that they've engaged, but it doesn't become less true if they drop it and you don't extend it. At the same time, it is probably beneficial for you to explain the significance of a particular piece of defense if it's important late in the round.

You should weigh as early as possible. Good argument comparison is extremely likely to win my ballot. I think weighing arguments (reasons why your argument is more important than theirs) should be in the round before final focus, and I'm especially likely to disregard new weighing in second final focus.

Ultimately this game is about your ability to make arguments, not to recite the names of authors, so I think logical argumentation is great and I'm totally willing to vote on it. But there are some claims that you need carded evidence to make: for example, empirical claims about things that have happened in the past that are not common knowledge, especially if you're describing an overall trend or pattern.

Given the above, as well as the prevalence (at least when I debated) of evidence misrepresentation, I feel pretty comfortable calling for evidence when I think it is taken out of context or otherwise manipulated. But I try to not to vote just by comparing evidence. Your argument is limited by how well you make it, and I'm not going to intervene for you because your author makes it better; on the other hand, if your argument relies on a claim that requires evidence but that in fact you don't have evidence for, it will be very difficult for you to win that argument.

Please let me know where you are on the flow, what arguments you're grouping together, what number response you're making, etc. I don't want to miss a good argument because I'm not sure where to put it.

Sometimes the hypercompetitive debate atmosphere encourages people to be unbelievably rude to each other in round. Please don't do this! It will affect your speaker points and, if it's bad enough, possibly my decision.

I'm totally willing to answer any questions before the round, but my goal is to accommodate you. After the round, I will disclose and am happy to talk about my decision as much as you want (it makes me a better and more accountable judge).

Stan Banks Paradigm

3 rounds

Most of my debate background is in policy. High school and college. PF debate should adhere to evidence standards. Full source citations and quotes in context. Challenges for full PDFs should be limited to serious questions regarding the source or quotes without sufficient context.

I am open to all types of argumentation provided work is devoted to development in round.

Ansuman Bardalai Paradigm

2 rounds

dv '18 add me

arguments need warrants (so read many good cards). warrants should make sense (so good analytics > bad cards). warrants should also be extended properly (so I don't have to read your cards just to understand your argument). the threshold for adequately responding to an argument is determined by the quality of its warrants.

general things:

default util, drop the arg/reasonability, no rvis, epistemic modesty

please do impact calculus and judge instruction. otherwise I will disappoint you (and annihilate your speaks) and then everyone is sad

stop reading terrible theory arguments.

won't judge kick unless you say "the status quo is always an option" or something along those lines

no such thing as 0% risk but there is such a thing as risk low enough to be irrelevant

link turn on the DA doesn't require the aff to win uq (bc if that were true uq would overwhelm the link), but winning uq puts the link turn argument in a better place

read defense with an impact turn (also i like impact turns)

durable fiat solves "trump doesn't do the aff" but not "local governments don't enforce the plan"

most schools don't fund debate so stop acting like that's the only reason education matters.

k affs get perms

if your satire aff isn't funny it doesn't solve and I'll presume neg after the 1ac

ks need links more nuanced than state bad and affs need answers more nuanced than state good

k rotb are bad and you shouldn't need one to win (doesn't mean you concede util, just don't overrely on totally excluding aff offense)

if the 2nr on framework says "tva+risk of limits da" there's a solid 80% chance I'll negate

tech over truth

here are my thoughts on things:

very true:

oppression bad

existentialism/Nietzsche vs phil affs

nibs bad

plans good (this means it's very hard to win T if the only t aff under your interp is whole res)

object fiat bad (e.g. advantage is china war and cp is "china doesn't go to war")

the perm in most k v k debates with an aff that isn't just a 6 min impact turn to framework

probably true but beatable:

hege bad

cap bad

nuke war causes extinction

framework vs k affs

>2 condo bad (1 condo cp is 1 condo, 1 cp w 7 individually condo planks is way more than 7 condo)

cp theory vs sus counterplans (consult cps bad, non state actor agent cps bad)

probably untrue but winnable:

hege good

cap good

trump irreparably wrecked soft power

sketchy impact turns (dedev, co2 ag)

"limits are a prison" disads to framework

that politics disad you haven't updated since camp

<= 2 condo bad

very untrue:


bad/friv theory (afc, aspec on usfg topics, font size)

fiat double bind


avg is 28.5

29.5+ if you hold a solid zizek impression the whole round [number of people who have done this is higher than expected as of 2/17/2020] (and if you're rly good ig)

29-29.4 if your speech makes arjun's astral projection watching over my shoulder cry tears of joy

28-28.9 if you make minor (but still loss-worthy) mistakes

26-27.9 if you highkey screwed up

loss 19 for being explicitly racist/sexist/etc.

loss 0 for clipping (claim stops round, need recording of speech, and all the other stuff everyone else says)

Stefan Bauschard Paradigm

2 rounds


The first "fossil fuel" reduction topic I debated was in 1990. I've coached 5 or 6 high school and college policy topics since then. I've probably cut 20,000 cards on this topic and issues related to it in my lifetime.

I'm old. I was at the first tournament that consult NATO was read. I was also at the first tournament that a kritik was read. Roger Solt told me about the first time someone tried to read a politics DA in the 1970s. I read the Reagan DA when I debated.

I've judged many great debates between the best debaters in all formats at all levels. I judged a novice policy team that reread their 1AC in the 2AC. I've judged elementary school kids debating about the merits of school uniforms and Coke vs. Pepsi.

The rest is covered below, especially under the Policy part in the next section.


If you make your evidence hard for the other team to access when they request it, I'l assume it is crappy. If you have good evidence, you should be proud of it. If you debate in PF and you have your evidence readily available to show the other team and you aren't lying about what it says, I'll give you at least a 29.0. If you lie about your evidence, make it hard for the other team to look at it, and you are dishonest about your evidence you cannot get more than a 28.0.

1. I think you should present strong evidence to support your arguments. I think you should directly quote evidence and have it readily available upon demand. If I ask you to see your evidence after the debate and you hand me an entire article and say, "It basically says it in these 4 pages," I'll just hand it back.

2. You need to extend arguments in Summary and FF for me to vote on them.

3. I flow.

4. You can talk as fast as you want.

5. Debater math...c'mon.

6. Weigh, compare, etc.

7. I have two kids, but that doesn't mean you have to treat me like I'm an idiot.

8. I read an awful lot about the topics and I generally read a lot.

9. If I say I'm going to judge at a tournament I show up and judge at it. I've never ghosted any debaters.

10. If you start screaming at each other in crossfire then I'll just tune out.

Policy philosophy that is applicable where relevant.

1. I don’t have any real substantive argument preferences. I do my best to let those play out in the debate as they do. Unless topicality, a theory issue, or a kritik is involved, I attempt to determine the desirability of the plan relative to the status quo or a specific alternative. I think most arguments that are presented in debates are pretty interesting.

2. Debate topics and arguments tend to repeat throughout history, so I'm familiar with most topic arguments.

3. I think the affirmative should present an advocacy that is reasonably topical. I strongly believe that non-topical affirmative debate has really hurt at least the volume of debate participation, at least at the high school level. Since I think debate is good, I wish people would debate a reasonable interpretation of the topic. "Reasonability" of any interpretation is certainly up to debate, but not advocating for the resolution in some reasonable way is going to be hard, even with me trying to listen more. That said, I'll still do my best to be fair if the situation arises, so negative teams should engage the debate.

4. Link v. Uniqueness. I don’t think that uniqueness is ever absolute and that the direction of the link *usually* has a lot bigger role to play in the debate that most people give it credit for. Certainly proposals can make things worse or better, and that increment, be it large or small, always deserves some calculus in the assessment.

5. Offense v. Defense. Offense helps, and it is USUALLY impossible to reduce the risk of an argument to zero. However, unlike many others, I do not think it is impossible.

6. Back to topicality. I’m old. I thing things have gone way too far in terms of “competing interpretations.” I think that in order for “competing interpretations” to be relevant that both sides need to have a reasonable interpretation that is grounded in a definition/contextual card. Basically, I think most Affs are topical unless they are unreasonable.

7. Theory. I think theory blocks have somewhat ruined theory debates. People can’t win theory debates because the debates are dry, stale, old and not very interesting. If you want to win a specific theory debate explain why the particular argument practice at hand significantly undermines your ability to win the debate and then convince me that I should vote against the other team for having engaged in that practice. Both of those are possible, whereas reading your great “conditionality bad” file is not.

8. Voting issues. I think if you do a good job explaining why a theory argument other than topicality is a voting issue that you can win that it is. HOWEVER, I will IGNORE the random “independent voting issue” consequence.

9. Reading along. I usually read along the speech documents. While I realize this is controversial, I'm not sure why it is desirable to know less about what is going on in the debate than the debaters do during the debate. I also closely look at evidence that is being discussed in the CX. That said, I can more about how debaters use the evidence and won't independently evaluate its strengths unless I'm forced to choose between two arguments and offered little guidance.

10. I'm old and prefer, "flow, line by line" debate.

11. I think the 1NR is a rebuttal and should not be full of new arguments.

12. I prefer less aggressive communication styles and that debaters just focus on the arguments. I realize that these styles my persuade others, I'm just simply not persuaded by them.

Ian Beier Paradigm

3 rounds

I think debate is a game with educational benefits. I will listen to anything, but there are obviously some arguments that are more persuasive than others. i think this is most of what you're looking for:

1. arguments - For me to vote on an argument it must have a claim, warrant, and impact. A claim is an assertion of truth or opinion. A warrant is an analytical connection between data/grounds/evidence and your claim. An impact is the implication of that claim for how I should evaluate the debate. debate is competitive and adversarial, not cooperative. My bias is that debate strategies should be evidence-centric and, at a minimum, rooted in an academic discipline. My bias is that I do not want to consider anything prior to the reading of the 1AC when making my decision.

3. framework - arguments need to be impacted out beyond the word 'fairness' or 'education'. affirmatives do not need to read a plan to win in front of me. however, there should be some connection to the topic. fairness is a terminal impact.

4. critiques - they should have links to the plan or have a coherent story in the context of the advantages. i am less inclined to vote neg for broad criticisms that arent contextualized to the affirmative. a link of omission is not a link. similarly, affirmatives lose debates a lot just because their 2ac is similarly generic and they have no defense of the actual assumptions of the affirmative.

5. counterplans - should likely have solvency advocates but its not a dealbreaker. slow down when explaining tricks in the 2nc.

6. theory - more teams should go for theory more often. negatives should be able to do whatever they want, but affirmatives need to be able to go for theory to keep them honest.

7. topicality - its an evidentiary issue that many people impact poorly. limits, not ground, is the controlling internal link for most T-related impacts. saying 'we lose the [insert argument]' isnt really an impact without an explanation of why that argument is good. good debates make comparative claims between aff/neg opportunities to win relative to fairness.

8. clipping - i sometimes read along with speeches if i think that you are clipping. i will prompt you if i think you are clipping and if i think you are still clipping i will vote against you even if the other team doesnt issue an ethics challenge.

9. 2nr/2ar - there are lots of moving parts in debate. if you disagree with how i approach debate or think about debate differently, you should start your speech with judge instruction that provides an order of operations or helps construct that ballot. teams too often speak in absolute certainties and then forward.

unapologetically stolen from brendan bankey's judge philosophy as an addendum because there is no reason to rewrite it:

---"Perm do the counterplan" and "perm do the alt" are claims that are often unaccompanied by warrants. I will not vote for these statements unless the aff explains why they are theoretically legitimate BEFORE the 2AR. I am most likely to vote for these arguments when the aff has 1) a clear model of counterplan/alternative competition AND 2) an explanation for where the

I would prefer that debaters engage arguments instead of finesse their way out of links. This is especially awful when it takes place in clash debates. If you assert your opponent's offense does not apply when it does I will lower your speaker points.

In that vein, it is my bias that if an affirmative team chooses not to say "USFG Should" in the 1AC that they are doing it for competitive reasons. It is, definitionally, self-serving. Self-serving does not mean the aff should lose [or that its bad necessarily], just that they should be more realistic about the function of their 1AC in a competitive activity. If the aff does not say "USFG Should" they are deliberately shifting the point of stasis to other issues that they believe should take priority. It is reciprocal, therefore, for the negative to use any portion of the 1AC as it's jumping off point.

I think that limits, not ground, is the controlling internal link for most T-related impacts. Ground is an expression of the division of affirmative and negative strategies on any given topic. It is rarely an independent impact to T. I hate cross-examination questions about ground. I do not fault teams for being unhelpful to opponents that pose questions in cross-examination using the language of ground. People commonly ask questions about ground to demonstrate to the judge that the aff has not really thought out how their approach to the resolution fosters developed debates. A better, more precise question to ask would be: "What are the win conditions for the negative within your model of competition?"

old judge philosophy wiki that i will leave as a historical artifact:

Me – I debated for both Cate Palczweski and Jacob Thompson. I was the ADoD at UNLV from 2010-2013. I was at Damien High School from 2013-2015. I was at KU from 2015-2018. I am now at College Prep.

Cross-ex is rarely damning on any question. Stop saying that. if the person you are speaking over in cross-ex is your own partner who is also trying to answer the question, you may have a problem. a hilarious problem.

for the love of god can we stop having these moments in cross ex where we say "obviously debate doesnt leave this room when we say the government should do something" in a condescending tone. you sound ridiculous. no one thinks that. literally no one. this is like... the royalty of a straw-person argument.

I like solvency advocates that say what your plan says, impact comparisons, people that are having fun, and milkshakes. I flow. I vote on dropped arguments that I dont believe.

I increasingly find myself protecting negative teams because the 2AR explanation seems too new. So for all of you shady 2ARs out there, you need to hide your newness better. Or, you know, communicate with your partner so that they can help set up your argument(s).

Debate is a world of enthymemes where there is a lot of presumption on the part of community in relation to the meaning of the text that you choose to speak. It would be a mistake to not fully explain an argument because you think I "get it." Sometimes that may be the case, but that is by no means a universal truth. Play your game, but make sure I understand what game we are playing at the conclusion of the debate. E.g. If you thought an evidence comparison should have gone differently than my RFD, it is probably your fault. Debate is a communicative activity, so identifying how I should evaluate your evidence / their evidence is... important.

I think debate is a game. This probably makes me evaluate debate differently. I will listen to anything I guess. If you think an argument is stupid, I would assume that you can easily defeat said argument. These are my thoughts, but keep in mind I will not just insert these things into the debate. That is your job. I have front loaded the philosophy with the things that you are most likely here to read. Without further ado:

Clipping - in many respects I think that prompts for clarity are interventionist. However, clipping is rampant, particularly during the 1AC. if I think that you are clipping, I will say clear. If it becomes a problem, I will prompt you with something to the effect of "read all of the highlighting." If I think that you are still clipping after this prompt, I will vote against you.

Buzzwords – stop it. If you cannot explain the argument, then that dog wont hunt. Also, I would really appreciate it if people would stop saying 'sure' prior to answering questions.

Critiques – An Aff will probably lose if they read generic answers and: don’t apply them to the criticism and don’t apply them to the affirmative. The more topic specific the K the better. The negative needs to win either that you 1) solve the aff 2) outweigh the aff [in those weird method v method debates] 3) have a framework or theory that makes the aff irrelevant. I dig the impact turn (imperialism good, Fox News) but also understand that these are probably more links to the critique. I find that lots of high end theory does not make sense when it is reduced to a blurb in the debate. method v method might be a top 5 worse argument in debate next to aspec.

"non-plan affs" – That word probably bastardizes your argument but I don't have a great alternate label that people can find in a quick search through judge philosophies. These are my predispositions. If you can address them, I'm all yours (but even if you don't, you should not worry. It seems to impact the debate less and less because you are answering generic blocks with specific arguments about your method.):
First, "role of the ballot" is over-used and rarely explained as a concept. Please do not assume that you will win just because you said it. Second, my understanding of the "policy debate good" literature means if I don't understand by your last speech, I will vote on a coherent framework argument. This is becoming less and less true because people are so afraid to say limits that they just say "you killed my decision-making" and decide thats sufficient for an impact. Third, these types of arguments typically mean the other team is forced to defend the community practices and not their own. At times I think this is a straw person argument, but I have become increasingly aware that this is not as artificial as I used to think. Fourth, teams tend to hilariously mishandle form arguments and generally lack a coherent strategy on the neg when answering these affs. Most of the time, every argument is a different way to say "you gotta have a plan." Even if the arguments sound distinct in the 1NC, they usually aren't by the 2NR. Rather than focusing on what you have prewritten, you should exploit these problems in the neg strategy. I end up voting for critical teams quite a bit because of this strategic problem even though i firmly believe in the pedagogical value of affirmatives being germane to the resolution.

Framework - "a discussion of the topic rather than a topical discussion" is not a good counter-interpretation. the limits disad is real.

Topicality – T is not genocidal unless the argument is dropped. I evaluate it like a disad so you should impact out arguments beyond words like "fairness" or "education". topicality is an evidentiary issue

Theory – You should go for theory because teams dont know how to answer it. The more counterplans there are, the more sympathetic I become to theory. that being said, its hard to be negative and the neg can do whatever they want. My threshold for theory other than conditionality is somewhat high as a reason to reject the team.

Disads - do people even read judge philosophies for this anymore? Don't bury me in cards. You may not like the outcome. Explanation of 1 really good card is better than 5 bad cards. The politics disad is a thing and so are other disads. i cut a lot of politics updates.

Counterplans - should have solvency advocates and should exploit generic link chains in aff advantages. The idea that a counterplan needs a card specific to the aff is not a deal breaker. Affs should probably read CP texts... they often times fiat out of your solvency deficits. what happened to 2nc counterplans?

Case Debate - These should be a thing. Ideally, there should be more than just generic impact defense. Otherwise, you will probably lose to specificity. People should impact turn.... everything.

Lori Bendall Paradigm

7 rounds

Loren Bendall, Chagrin Falls High School

I am the parent of a debater. Although I am not currently practicing, I am an attorney who specialized in contracts and tax litigation. I have judged PF tournaments for two years.

I am not wild about speed. I will follow your points and sub-points and keep track of whether they are refuted; however, I think that excessively fast talking can diminish the persuasiveness of the underlying arguments.

Generally, I will decide the round based on who makes the most persuasive arguments, not who makes the most arguments. I am not a flow judge, but I will take notes and track all arguments to determine whether they were persuasively rebutted. I value the quality and impact of the argument over the quantity of arguments raised. If an argument has an impact, and it is not rebutted, you risk losing the round.

I think evidence is important as long as it is impactful; however, I can also be persuaded by logic, especially in rebuttal. I find that prolonged evidence battles are rarely necessary or persuasive. Arguments should be extended throughout the round.

I will consider new arguments raised in grand crossfire but not final focus.

I enjoy a lively crossfire within reason. I find trading off questions and answers to be much more persuasive than prolonged speeches. Time between sides should be divided somewhat evenly.

If I determine, based on the arguments, that a contention is a plan, that contention will be dropped.

Good luck and have fun.

Sandy Berkowitz Paradigm

2 rounds

Revised April 11, 2018

Sandy Berkowitz

The Blake School (Minneapolis, MN), where I teach communication and coach Public Forum, World Schools, Policy, and Congressional Debate. I also coach the USA Development Team and Team USA in World Schools Debate.

I debated policy in high school and college and began coaching in the early 1980s. In addition to the events listed above, I have coached and judged Lincoln Douglas, Extemp, Oratory, Rhetorical Criticism/Great Speeches, Informative, Discussion, and (and to a lesser extent) Interp events, at variety of schools in IL, NY, NC, MN, MI, ME, and CA.

Public Forum

Fundamentally, I believe that PF provides debaters with opportunities to engage and debate key issues of the day before experienced debate and community judges. It is useful and important to understand and adapt to a judge’s preferences. So, for me:

General issues

--The crux of PF is good solid argumentation delivered well. Solid arguments are those that relate to the resolution, are well organized, well warranted, and supported with quality evidence that is explained.

--Good analytical arguments are useful but not normally sufficient. If you make an argument, you bear the responsibility of supporting, explaining, and weighing the argument.

--I flow. But, clarity is your responsibility and is key to a good debate.

Evidence Ethics

--Evidence is critical to building good arguments and that includes warrants. Use academically rigorous and journalistic sources to support your arguments. Offering a laundry list of 5-10 names with few warrants or methodology is not persuasive.

--Proper citation is essential. That does not mean “University X” says. A university did not do the study or write the article. Someone did. Source name and date is required for oral source citation. Providing qualifications orally can definitely enhance the clarity and persuasiveness of your argument. The complete written citation (including source name, date, source, title, access date, url, quals, and page numbers) must be provided when asked in the round.

--Exchange of evidence is mandatory when requested. There is not infinite prep time to find evidence. If it takes you more than a minute to find a card when asked, or all you can provide is a 50 page pdf, then I will disregard it.

--Paraphrasing is not as persuasive as reading cards and using the evidence appropriately to develop and deepen your arguments.

--If you have misconstrued evidence, your entire argument can be disregarded.

--Evaluate your own and your opponents’ evidence as part of your comparative analysis.

Strategic issues

--Extending arguments goes beyond authors and tag lines. Extend and develop the arguments.

--Narrative is key. Debate is inherently persuasive. Connect the arguments and tell a story.

--It is in the best interest of the second speaking team for the rebuttalist to rebuild their case. If the 2nd speaking team does not do that, they likely yield the strategic advantage to the 1st speaking team.

--Avoid Grand becoming yelling match, which is not useful to anyone.

--Clash is critical. It is vital to weigh your arguments, which is best to begin before the final focus. Write the ballot in the final focus.

Delivery and Decorum

--PF, and all debate, is inherently a communication activity. Speed is fine, but clarity is absolutely necessary. If you unclear or blippy, you do so at your own peril.

--Be smart. Be assertive. Be engaging. But, do not be a bully.

--Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.

Finally, have fun and enjoy the opportunity for engagement on important questions of the day.

World Schools

Worlds is an exciting debate format that is different from other US debate and speech formats. It is important for you to understand and adapt to the different assumptions and styles of Worlds. Content (the interpretation of the motion [definitions, model, stance], arguments, analysis, and examples), Style (verbal and nonverbal presentation elements), and Strategy (organization, decision making, engagement, and time allocation) all factor in to the decision and should be seen as critical and interrelated areas. Some things to consider:

--As Aristotle noted, we are influenced by both logos and pathos appeals, which you should develop through both examples and analysis. Thus, narratives are critical. Not just a story to “put a face on the motion,” but an overall narrative for your side of the debate.

--Motions are, in most cases, internationally, globally focused and your examples and analysis should reflect that.

--Have multiple, varied, and international examples that are used not only in the first speeches, but are also developed further and added in the second and third speeches to be more persuasive.

--Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.

--POIs can be statements or questions and are a key element of engagement during the debate. Questioners should be strategic in what to pose and when. Speakers should purposefully choose to take POIs and smartly respond to them. Typically, speakers will take 1-2 questions per constructive speech, but that is the speaker’s strategic choice.

--Importantly, carry things down the bench. Answer the arguments of the other side. Rebuild and develop your arguments. Engage in comparative analysis.

--Third speeches should focus the debate around clash points or key questions or key issues. Narrow the debate and offer comparative analysis.

--Reply speeches should not include new arguments. But, the speech should build on the third speech (especially in the opp block), identify key voting issues, and explain why your side has won the debate.

Be smart. Be articulate. Be persuasive. Take the opportunity to get to know other teams and debaters.

Policy and LD

I judge mostly PF and World Schools. But, I have continued to judge a smattering of Policy and LD rounds over the last few years. Now that you may be concerned, let me be specific.

Overall, I believe that rounds should be judged based upon the arguments presented.

--Clarity is paramount. Obviously, my pen time is slower than it was, but I do flow well. Roadmaps are good. Sign posting and differentiating arguments is necessary. Watch me. Listen. You will be able to tell if you are going too fast or are unclear. Reasonably clear speed is ok, but clarity is key. For most of my career, I was a college professor of communication; now I teach communication in high school. I strongly believe that debaters should be able to communicate well.

--Do what you do best: policy based or critical affs are fine. But, remember, I do not hear a lot of policy or LD rounds, so explain and be clear. Having said that, my area of research as a comm professor was primarily from a feminist critical rhetorical perspective. In any case, you bear the responsibility to explain and weigh arguments, assumptions, methodology, etc. without a lot of unexplained theory/jargon.

--Please do not get mired in debate theory. Topicality, for example, was around when I debated. But, for other, new or unique theory arguments, do not assume that I have current knowledge of the assumptions or standards of the theory positions. It is your responsibility to explain, apply, and weigh in theory debates. On Framework, please engage the substance of the aff. I strongly prefer you engage the methodology and arguments of the aff, rather than default to framework arguments to avoid that discussion.

--Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.

--Last, and importantly, weigh your arguments. It is your job to put the round together for me. Tell a good story, which means incorporating the evidence and arguments into a narrative. And, weigh the issues. If you do not, at least one team will be unhappy with the results if I must intervene.

Finally, I believe that Policy and LD debate is significantly about critical thinking and engagement. Better debaters are those who engage arguments, partners, opponents, and judges critically and civilly. Be polite, smart, and even assertive, but don’t be impolite or a bully. And, have fun since debate should be fun.

Shreya Bhattacharyya Paradigm

7 rounds

I'm a sophomore at Northwestern University and I competed for four years at Dougherty Valley High School in California. My main events were Congress and Original Advocacy, but I have some experience in World Schools Debate and PF. I prefer traditional styled debates at an average speed. The debate should involve polished presentation skills, a lot of clash with the other team, and an emphasis on evidence. I value a good balance between presentation and content, so make sure you prove your ability to manage both those aspects of a debate in the round. Also, be respectful to your opponents and your partner!

Julia Bittencourt Paradigm

2 rounds


Stating something that contradicts what your opponents have said isn't debating; it's disagreeing. I look for the path of least resistance when I'm deciding a round.

If you misrepresent evidence I will drop you.

I'm not going to time you. If I catch you pausing your clock in the middle of the speech to get more time, I will stop flowing and dock your speaks :)


Debated in PF during all four years of HS for Bronx Science, Policy for a year at Emory.

Judged PF, LD, and Policy since like 2013.

Sarah Blanton Paradigm

7 rounds

Name: Sarah Blanton

Email: If there is a chain, I would like to be on it.

School Affiliation: George Mason University

Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 2

Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: 1

Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 3

Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 6

Coaching Experience: I’ve coached Lincoln Douglas at Grafton High School for two years, but while I was competing/also a high schooler. I was the head lab leader for novice LD at Mason's camp summer 2019.

Occupation: Global Affairs major and second-year policy debater at George Mason, graduating 2021.


Speed of Delivery: Whatever speed you prefer.

Format of Summary Speeches: I prefer line by line and detailed clash.

Role of the Final Focus: final speeches should conclude with impact calculus and offensive reasons to vote their way.

Extension of Arguments into later speeches: Because of my policy background, I am somewhat biased towards the policy mindset. I weigh arguments that appear in the final speech(es) much more heavily, and consider a dropped argument to be reasonably true, I understand there is limitations on extending EVERY argument you need in the final speech, but you should try to extend most of the arguments you plan to win the debate on in your final speech.

Topicality: I don’t have much experience judging PF topicality debates, so I will not be familiar with PF-specific conventions. That said, I have been in and judged several topicality policy debates, and I have no problem voting for it or structural issues with the argument.

Plans: Go for it. I’ve never judged a PF team that reads a plan, so I am not especially for or against one.

Kritiks: This is probably the area I am personally most familiar with since I have spent most of my college career doing K debate. I have a broad knowledge of many Ks, and I really enjoy judging clash debates. However, I do understand reading Ks in a topic which changes monthly creates preparation difficulties for the aff. For this reason, I will weigh prep-oriented arguments with a particular weight. I will not be sympathetic to policy arguments which glamorize exclusionary models of debate instead of focusing on the real challenges of being prepared for unconventional arguments on a monthly basis. In other words, in clash debates I will be more convinced by more personal impacts about the difficulties of preparation as opposed to interpretations which exclude critical literature or identity debate in their entirety.

Flowing/note-taking: I will flow on my laptop

Argument or style? I consider style heavily over argument when awarding speaker points, but otherwise I will only rarely use style as a tiebreaker between equally matched teams. Generally, I have a strong preference for arguments.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? YES.

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? Yes

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? I will not vote for a new argument in the final speeches, and teams should also do their best to call out their opponents for making new arguments.

Important Final Note: I WILL drop speaks for excessive rudeness towards your partner or your opponents. I am especially conscious of sexism and other forms of discrimination in debate spaces based on personal experience and what I have observed about inclusivity in the debate community. I will not tolerate bigotry between debaters, and I really appreciate kindness and courtesy in round. Don't speak over others in cross-ex, avoid demeaning language, don't ever record without other's permission, and be respectful of your partner and the other team.

Good luck and have fun!

Tracy Brown Paradigm

7 rounds

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

Be kind and have a great debate.

Try not to spread because I won't be able to flow. If you don't see me flowing, you're probably going too fast.

Christopher Bryant Paradigm

7 rounds

I believe that public forum was designed to have a "john or sally doe" off the street come in and be a judge.  That means that speaking clearly is absolutely essential.  If I cannot understand you, I cannot weigh what you say.  I also believe that clarity is important.  Finally, I am a firm believer in decorum, that is, showing respect to your opponent.  In this age of political polarization and uncompromising politics, I believe listening to your opponent and showing a willingness to give credence to your opponents arguments is one of the best lessons of public forum debate.

Kellyn Burke Paradigm

7 rounds

I am an experienced English teacher. I focus on rhetoric and overall persuasive appeal. I do not think spreading is the best plan of attack. I appreciate when debaters adapt to their competitor and the judge with focus on pace, information, and explanation.

I need to feel passion in your argument. Prioritize defense.

Truth over tech.

CX is binding.

PF is about public appeal; present yourself accordingly. cool

Kate Carroll Paradigm

2 rounds

If you're not going to be cordial and polite, do not expect exceptional speaks. The "best" debater is a reflection of skill, execution, and decorum.

(be kind or go home)

and yes, I would like to be on the email chain katecarroll4[at]gmail[dot]com

TOC 2019 PF:

showing up to rounds when they are supposed to start, or late without good reason is disrespectful to your competitors, your judges, and the tournament hosts. if a team shows up late, or exactly when the round is supposed to start, they will automatically forfeit the flip.

Refer to Christian Vasquez’s Paradigm for the PF translation of my philosophy.

• I will flow, clarity is important, and arguments must be impacted.

• Paraphrasing in front of me is not a good idea.

• Winning a defensive argument does not mean that you win the debate. I consider a turn that is not impacted as a defensive argument.

• Offense to me means impacts, you can interpret that as consequences.

• Terminal impacts do not need to be held to the threshold of nuclear war, but they also need to be more than "econ decline is bad." Your impact explanation should (at the bare minimum) look something like this: "econ decline is bad because XYZ happens"

This debate is about the resolution/topic: being a good/bad idea. This debate is not about the hypothetical implementation of any plan. there is no such thing as "fiat" in PF because there is no plan.


"Strike me if you're not going to read cards. These are cards. If I have to ask for a card at the end of the round and what you show me isn't close to that, I'm just not considering it for the round. I'll just evaluate my flow as if it wasn't there.

Telling me that you've summarized this part and that part of a 40 page PDF is ridiculous. More than half the time the article isn't about the actual debate topic and you're just hoping no one calls you out for it. Paraphrasing in public forum is out of control and it's really become intellectually dishonest.

Here's even a link to Verbatim, a macro template that works with Microsoft Word so that card cutting is really easy."

Policy: JV/Novice Specific:

I try to be more of a teacher than a judge. I believe that it's part of my role to make sure that you're using best practices, and that both teams have an idea of what is going on in the round.

if you show me your flows and they're good, I could give you extra speaker points.

that being said:

you must have a full debate with all 4 constructive speeches and all 4 rebuttals. you have to try.

I'm willing to be flexible, if you need something ask. If you're confused about the structure or how to do things, or need tech help let me know.

general policy things:

  • Clarity is important and will be reflected in speaks. I will not hesitate to yell clear if I am having trouble understanding you.
  • Be on time! start the debate on time! if you're late absent a compelling reason it will negatively impact your speaks.
  • I'll listen to anything, but in the spirit of best judging practices it’s good to know that I am not the best judge for niche kritiks
  • in order to win the debate you must win the line by line
  • Be nice to each other, will be reflected in speaks if you're a jerk to your partner/opponent
  • Pet peeve-when sides call the advantages/off case different things. don't do that
  • Tech over truth
  • If your overview is longer than 1 min it's no longer an overview, it's just a waste of your time. put the link overview on the link debate, the uniqueness overview w/the uniqueness debate, etc.
  • You must impact dropped args/args in general
  • Generally think t is not a question of solvency, I am easily convinced that limits are good.
  • Reading wipeout, Schopenhauer, death good, time cube, and/or death cult in front of me is a waste of your time.
  • Conditionality is meh, the argument for 3 being bad is a lot more compelling than 2 ill default to in round abuse. but will likely not be compelled to vote on two is abusive.
  • You must extend an interpretation and violation or CI if you're going for T!!!!!!!!!
  • I'd prefer email chains to flashing 1) faster, 2) no worries about viruses and 3) less prep thievery
  • I believe that card clipping is a reason to reject the team, but you must have coherent evidence (audio/video recording). If I catch you I will call you out and you will lose the debate (If the other team doesn't notice or calls you out). The team card clipping will get zero speaks. If you choose to stake the debate on this violation I will evaluate the evidence and if there is substantial evidence the team that card clips will lose the debate. Substantial evidence is an audio recording.

do your thing, do it well and I'll vote for you.

I would rather you not read a plan text than read a meaningless plan text. Either be policy or don't be policy, the in-between sacrifices a lot of offense.

If you are a debater that reads non-traditional arguments know a few things:
1. you still have to win the line by line to win the debate, regardless if it is on FW or the aff.
2. you must answer all relevant theory arguments
3. "help" me flow, frame things from an impact/link/etc. perspective.

if you have any questions for me, ask.


I will still vote for you if you win the debate. (absent any sorts of cheating/card clipping)

fun facts:
my favorite topic in hs was the transportation topic
I lost to one off t-its once as a sophomore
favorite color is green

Wayzata 14'
University of Minnesota 18

email me if there's any other questions katecarroll4[at]gmail[dot]com

William Caughertry Paradigm

7 rounds

As a Lincoln Douglas Judge I am a very traditional judge from a very traditional area of the country. With that, comes all of the typical impacts.

I am not able to flow spreading very effectively at all.

I, very rarely, judge policy, but those would be in slower rounds as well. Because of that, though, I am at least somewhat familiar with K debate, K AFF, theory, CP's, etc.

For me to vote on progressive argumentation in LD, it has to be very clearly ARTICULATED to me why and how you win those arguments. Crystal clear argumentation and articulation of a clear path to giving you the ballot is needed.

Kyle Chong Paradigm

4 rounds

Berkeley 19, Coach at the Nueva School

I first evaluate the framework debate, then I vote based on who generates the most offense off of the winning framework. I also appreciate a good strategy, so debaters who do a good job telling a coherent ballot story will make me happy. Finally, and arguably most importantly, I refuse to clear up clash for any team. This is the responsibility of the debaters.

Joshua Cohen Paradigm

6 rounds


I have been judging PF since 2011.

Please do not speak quickly - I will not be able to follow you.

I place a premium on well-supported, "real-world" links, which are to me a prerequisite to your impact, no matter how large.


I am a judge from Newton South HS, just outside of Boston, MA. I have been judging PF since 2010. I debated in high school in the early 80s. But don’t let that fool you.

FLOWING – I can flow SOMEWHAT faster than conversational speed. As you go faster, however, my comprehension drops. In addition to speed, I have trouble with the following: (1) Evidence tags: Because I am unable to catch most evidence tags, I probably won’t know what you are talking about when you remind me that “Smith in 17” told me something important in your partner’s last speech – unless Smith is a big deal in the round and you have talked a lot about that evidence. (2) Short argument tags, especially in the two-minute speeches, in which debaters often introduce their own argumentation structure. If you say something like, “On economic growth, remember…”, I will end up spending 5-10 seconds trying to figure out what “economic growth” argument you are referring to (and perhaps even what side of the resolution you are on). As a result, I may miss a few of your responses. It’s more helpful if you build a bit of the link chain into your tag. For example – “Our opponents say more H-1b visas boost jobs and hence economic growth, but remember…”

IMPACTS AND LINKS – I find that which side wins my ballot often depends more on link credibility than on impact magnitude. If I don’t find your link chain compelling, I will have a hard time voting for you, even if there’s something very big at the end of that chain. Argumentation that contributes to link chain credibility includes: (1) Inferences based on rigorous analysis of empirical data – i.e., a well-designed statistical analysis. If you can explain why the data in the analysis apply to (i.e., can be generalized to) the scenario being debated in the round, and why the statistical methods mitigate the risk of invalid inferences, I will find you to be compelling. (2) Consistency with history / the world we live in – For a lot of arguments, there are no rigorously conducted statistical analyses. For example, for few statistical studies look at how policies may influence public opinion, politicians, the policies of other countries, and so forth. But if you can identify pertinent historical precedents and argue that they inform the scenario being debated in the round, I will again find you to be compelling.

LESS COMPELLING ARGUMENTS – (1) Just because Professor Smith says something is true won’t necessarily convince me unless I understand *the basis* for Professor Smith’s beliefs. Yes, I’m looking for a warrant. But hopefully, you have more than your *own* explanation for Professor Smith’s conclusion. It’s best to show me that your evidence presents a coherent story with both warrants and resulting conclusions that support your argument. (2) Pasting together links from different sources often produces less compelling arguments. For example, Source A tells us that certain policies are politically divisive; Source B says that political division leads to federal gridlock; and Source C says that gridlock delays funding for the military and undermines national security, which, naturally, causes nuclear war. A problem with this sort of link chain in my mind is that the different sources use similar phrases to describe various types of events, but they aren’t really talking about the same things. For example, is the “divisiveness” described in Source A really equivalent to the “political division” described in Source B? And is the political division described in Source B emblematic of what has caused gridlock, as documented in Source C? If your opponent fleshes out these limitations, and if they have an alternative, more plausible description of how the real world works, that could be a problem for your position.

BOTTOM LINE – Fast argumentation challenges my ability to follow you. Stretched link chains challenge my tendency to believe you. You are best off presenting an intuitive narrative (i.e., a story that is consistent with how the “real world” works) and using that narrative as your foundation for establishing why your position is more credible than your opponent’s.

Mason Colby Paradigm

4 rounds

The purpose of LD is to use the resolution to examine the fundamental underpinnings of human society in a thoughtful, persuasive way. Not to bury your opponent with card after card. Not to catch your opponent off guard with positions and definitions that are cleverly unorthodox. These are important issues and should be treated as such.

I expect debaters to clearly explain their positions (without resorting to spreading, be articulate), and to tackle the big ideas that are at stake. Frame the issues that arise in the round in a way that relates to the clash of values. Don't drop points unless you want to concede them. Be civil and courteous.

PF debaters -

I expect a debate about key ideas, not nitpicking. Answer the why questions. Don’t assume that a card will win it for you. Justify your positions persuasively. “Pull this across” is not a persuasive argument. Do not spread. Distill the round down to voting issues. Read the LD paradigm above and consider the parts that are relevant to you.

Christopher Conrad Paradigm

2 rounds

The need to speak, even if one has nothing to say, becomes more pressing when one has nothing to say, just as the will to live becomes more urgent when life has lost its meaning.

My actual paradigm:

Morgan Copeland Paradigm

3 rounds

TOC Paradigm

School Affiliation: Liberty University

Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 1 ½

Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: 0

Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 2 years

Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 2 years

If you are a coach, what events do you coach? Not a coach

What is your current occupation? I am a student at Liberty University and work as a student worker in my school’s IT Communication and Marketing department

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:

Speed of Delivery

· I honestly am good with any speed just don’t sacrifice clarity for speed cuz I can only flow what I hear

Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?)

· Kinda gimme the big picture at the top of your speeches and then line by line next it makes it easier to line up thing later in the debate and helps make my decision a lot clearer

Role of the Final Focus:

The role of the final focus in my opinion is to pick what you are winning and go for it tell me why these arguments that you think you are winning outweigh anything that your opponent's may say tell me why you win

Extension of Arguments into later speeches:

· Extending arguments throughout the debate is important to me. I most likely will not vote on anything that was not in the earlier speeches but makes it into the last speech, and I will not vote on anything that was in the last speech of the debate but not earlier in the debate.

· And do not just say extend this argument really explain why this argument is important and it means that you win the debate.


· I have no opinions on topicality. I can be swayed that a plan needs topical I can also sway that a plan doesn’t need to be topical. It really just kinda depends on the debate and what arguments are being made but I do not have a preference.


· I have no problems with Kritiks in general I find many of them to be true………but not all are true…….don’t assume that I know what you are talking about so kind of try and make sure that you break it down so I know what you are talking for

· I don’t believe in going for the Kritiks as a linear DA you need the ALT and it needs to be explained well for me to even consider it


· I flow all speeches and I can only flow what I can hear so make sure you are speaking clearly so that I can hear all of your arguments.

· I do not flow CX but I do think what is said in CX in binding for the rest of the debate and I do listen to CX it doesn’t usually affect my decision unless you like lie or something about what you said or something along those lines

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally?

· I see argument and style as equal everyone should be able to put their spin on debate but I would also like to see you answering arguments also.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches?

· If you have an argument that you know you want to go for in the debate it needs to be extended through the debate I am not going to remember something from the first speech and then decide to vote on it I don’t see how that could be fair to the other team

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech?

· If you are second speaking, I would like to see you interact with your opponent’s arguments and answer them………….and then hence forth I would like to see everyone in the debate also. Answering the other teams argument is low key important to me

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus?

· I generally won’t vote on brand new arguments that appear in the grand crossfire. I don’t think its fair for me to vote on those if the other team can not respond to them

· But if the argument is something ethical like the other team was racist or condescending or something along those lines I will review those arguments if I think there is merits to it

If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here.

· As a debater there is one thing that I share with my teammates often so take it how you will and that is that “You may not get every ballot but you do win every debate through the education and experience you gain in the round alone.”

But this could also be more of my sore loser side speaking so who knows? Take it how you will......

· Also let me know if you need me to keep time or I will automatically assume that you are keeping time for yourself

· When it comes to speaker points I am pretty nice as long as you are nice, doing your best finishing speeches, and debating your opponent’s case and if you reference the show scandal within your speech you will not be disappointed in your speaker points

And I would like to be on the email chain at

And after the round if you have any questions email me and let me know and I can try and help you out best I can

Jack Crawford Paradigm

2 rounds

email chain:

I debated in HS for 4 years under La Salle NC with 2 quals for the TOC/other nat circ experience.

Holistically I have 8 years of debate experience & there arent many debate args/styled that I haven't had personal experience debating for/against. Currently a mostly K/theory debater in college in VLD.

"Progressive debater"

Speed's cool, don't spread through your tags.

I'm tab.

Post-round me one on one after the round if you really would like to challenge my decision, I won't have an argument with you in front of a room full of people.

Everything here is for LD and below this ( I marked where) I'm slowly making a PF paradigm again because I'll start judging it later in the year.


To avoid an awkward conversation at the end of a round, the perm doesn't work as offence.


I think you have the burden of providing specific links and framing your impacts at the end of the debate.

I won't do work on the Baudrillard shell for you for example, it's very important you explicitly say why you're winning what and its implications on the round. Some auths. can stretch farther and in different ways than others but you need to do it explicitly for me to give you credit for that.

TLDR: I won't vote what Baudrillard elaborates, but what you elaborate in the context of Baudrillard for example.


I'm fine with whatever, you don't need to defend USFG action but you should show how you are in some way tangentially related to the topic to avoid the FW wall. Or dont, there's still a world where I'd vote for it.

I should probably add at the bottom of this I primarily read more contemporary french theorists than anything else, with the exception of other auths. like hegelians, kantians, marxists, those crowds.


Theory: So while I'm all for your TOTALLY RADICAL hijinx on the T page, it would behoove you to win more than just that the debate was difficult for you to win. In my mind debate ought to be very difficult, to reach the threshold for me to evaluate a T shell the way it ought to be evaluated (apriori) then you should hit a higher bar than "x made the AR difficult".

That said, I'm all for extremely technical theory debate, just keep in mind what I am comfortable voting on.

I don't vote on disclosure.

I don't vote on speed theory in the event there's a speech doc. (I'll still clear you in round)

FW: I default competing interpretations if for some nightmarish event happens where nobody discusses this.

Otherwise, its a debate like any other.


I'm tab, do whatever you like.

I evaluate on the line-by-line and appreciate your ability to group & get into substantive arguments rather than blippy sentences that touch each line.

I generally advise that you don't assume you have a 100% chance in terms of the strength of link to your impact scenario, you should explain how it gets to that point with 100% certainty.

It's not that I don't vote on your 3 word 100% certainty impact analysis, but that doing this leaves you open to a compelling argument (for me).


30's for everyone

If something in CX isn't made in a speech I didn't hear it and its not on the flow.




I'm flowing. You win my ballot by winning in a technical way the flow.

Come to the round preflowed, you don't have to wait on me before you flip for sides.

Speed is fine, I debate fast in LD, you need to send out & be capable of making speech docs for the opponent if you're going to start spreading. This needs to be done in a reasonable amount of time and I won't wait around/accomodate to make this a more viable option for you. You spread, you should be able to take on the higher expectations that go along with it. -- for the email chain


I like cards and you should read them.

If you take 5-10 min. on every card call I'll get angry and start tanking speaks, you should be able to access your cards quickly.

Front half (AC/NC & AR/NR)

Constructives can be anything, I'm tab and I don't ever take my own opinons of policy into a debate round.

I will evaluate and abide by the conceded/won framework very strictly and also as an apriori issue unless told otherwise.

Rebuttals can do whatever, I don't evaluate offensive overviews coming from 2nd rebuttal. I expect 2nd rebuttal to handle offense.

Back half (2AC/2NC & 2AR/2NR)

The 3 min. summary in my eyes is something that just puts more onus on the 1st speaker to do more weighing/analysis than blippy line-by-line work.

Summaries that go first need to extend offense on the other teams case (like extend your turns), you don't need to re-extend your defense unless you're making cool tricky pivots.

Summaries that go second should do the same thing & handle defense on your case.


Please frame/weigh your impacts, if you don't go for your f/w or try to win under the f/w in ff it's prob. a really bad thing for you in my eyes.

Offense that you don't get into ff I don't evaluate, and framed offense beats a larger quantity of offense 9/10 times.


I don't vote on disclosure or formal clothes. I look down on these args being read in round, espec. in this event.

If you can't win a reason why the theory vio. made the debate impossible for you to win, it's not apriori, and I cannot imagine a scenario I'll vote on the shell. (I say why in the LD section)

It's an apriori issue that works as an RVI because the event's too short by a massive margin to prevent this from being over-strategic.

Therefore, you ought not spitball blippy poorly constructed theory args. (please) at non-tech teams because it's a coinflip if you can hit the high threshold & avoid the RVI. I can and will enforce the RVI.

Cara Day Paradigm

7 rounds

*Updated for January 2020*

St. Agnes Academy '17 | UT Austin '21


Or FB message me with questions

I am the nat circuit coach of tha bois™ of Strake Jesuit, and this is my third year coaching there. RJ Shah also continuously asks me to coach him. In high school, I did both PF and LD. I’m a junior at UT Austin.


-Debate's a game. I'm a tech> truth judge; if an argument is conceded, it becomes 100% true in the round.

*Note: The only time I will ever intervene is if you are blatantly homophobic, transphobic, racist, sexist, etc.

-Vroom Vroom: Go as fast as you want. Spreading is great if you so desire. If I don't know what you're saying, I'll say "clear" 3 times before I stop flowing, tank your speaks, and throw my computer at you. Slow down on author names, CP texts, and interps.

-I judge debates without intervening, and I keep a pretty clean flow. If you want me to vote on something, you have to extend it. ** Your extension should include author last name and content or I won't give it to you. Extend the UQ, link, internal link, and impact, or you don't get access to the argument.

-You can literally do anything you want -- don't care at all if it's sus (other than miscut evidence or planning a hostile takeover) -- and if the other team has a problem, they can read theory. Just know that I won't intervene if I think that you are being abusive unless you get called out on it. Ex: If they read a link turn, you can read an impact turn in the next speech and extend both lol

-If you really want me to listen, make it interesting (Roman Candles are highly encouraged). Sass is appreciated. I'm fine with flex prep and tag team cross in PF because it usually makes things a little more bearable to watch.

-Please do comparative weighing and meta-weighing if necessary (i.e. why scope is more important than timeframe). Rounds are so hard to adjudicate if no weighing is done because I am left to decide which impacts are more important. Absent weighing, I default to to the most terminalized impact in the round aka lives (hint: i fw extinction scenarios heavy).

- CX is binding

- Warrant your arguments -- I'll prefer an analytical claim with a warrant over some random stat with none.

- Contextualize in the back half of the round, or you're gonna beg some type of intervention from me which you probably won't like.

- If you know me, you know I think judge grilling is good for the activity. Judges should be able to justify their decisions, or they shouldn't be making them. Feel free to ask me questions after the round. It's educational!:)

-Please tell me what flow and where on the flow to start on. Signposting is astronomically important and should be done throughout the speech. If you call it an off-time roadmap, I won't be flowing you speech because I'll be too busy cleaning tears off of my keyboard due to my loss of hope for this activity.

-I'm a super easy judge to read. If I am nodding, I like your argument. If I look confused, I probably am.

- If you at any point in the debate believe that your opponent has no routes to the ballot whatsoever i.e. a conceded theory shell, you can call TKO (Technical Knock Out). The round stops as soon as you call it. What this means is that if I believe that the opposing team has no routes to the ballot, I will give you a W30. However, if there are still any possible routes left, I will give you a L20. (TKOs are 1/1 in front of me rn)


I average around a 28. Ways to get good speaks in front of me: go for the right things in later speeches and don't be bad. Getting a 30 is not impossible in front of me but very difficult (I've only ever given out three). I give speaks more on strategy and whether I think you deserve to break than on actual speaking skills.

Because evidence ethics have become super iffy in PF, I will give you a full extra speaker point if you have disclosed all tags, cites, and text 15 mins before the round on the NDCA PF Wiki under your proper team, name, and side and show it to me. I want an email chain too, preferably with cut cards if I am judging you.

If I catch you stealing prep, I start stealing ur speaks:/

If you can work a BROCKHAMPTON quote into your speeches (except from iridescence), I will give you a .5 speaks boost.

For PF:


Please go line by line and not big picture in every speech.


2nd Rebuttal should frontline all turns. Any turn not frontlined in 2nd rebuttal is conceded and has 100% strength of link -- dont try to respond in a later speech (trust me, i'll notice).


My thoughts on defense: Since you now have a three minute summary, any defense -- regardless of whether you're first or second -- needs to be in every speech. If you're collapsing properly, this shouldn't be an issue.

Turns and case offense need to be explicitly extended by author/source name. Extend what you want me to vote on.

Every argument must have a warrant -- I have a very low threshold to frontlining blip storm rebuttals.

Mirroring is super crucial to me: If you want me to evaluate an arg, it must be in BOTH summary and FF. Man ... it better be ...

If you're gonna concede a delink so that turns go away, you have to say which delink because some delinks don't necessarily take out turns.


I'm fine with new weighing in final, as long as it's comparative because I think this is what final is for -- contextualization and weighing to win the round, otherwise the round could just stop after summary.

First final can make new responses to backline defense, since the second speaking team's frontlines won't come out until second summary.


I'm fine with progressive PF- I think that policy action resolutions give fiat, and I don't have a problem w plans or CPs. Theory, Kritiks, Tricks, and DAs are fine too. If you wanna see how I evaluate these, see my LD paradigm below. PLEASE extend and weigh these just like you would with a normal substantive argument. Every part of them should be extended.

Please have a cut version of your cards; I will be annoyed if they are paraphrased with no cut version available because this is how teams so often get away with the misrepresentation of evidence which skews the round.

If you clear your opponent when I don't think it's necessary, I'll deduct a speak each time it happens. Especially if there's a speech doc, you don't need to slow down unless I'm the one clearing you.

For LD:

My Level of Comfort with these arguments is as follows (1, highest, 5, lowest)

Policy Arguments (DAs, CPs, Plans): 1

Oppression-based affs, util, and non-ideal FWs: 1

Ideal FWs: 1

Theory/T: 2

Tricks: 2

K: 3

Non-T Affs: 5

Policy Args: I ran these primarily when I debated. I love hearing these debates because I think they tend to produce the most clash. I default that conditionality is fine unless you abuse it by reading like 6 condo CPs.Extinction is one of my favorite impacts if linked well. I default to comparative worlds.

FW: I'm a philosophy major, so anything you wanna read is fine. I read authors like Young, Butler, Winter and Leighton, and Levinas in high school- I like hearing these and don't think FW debate is done enough. I will gladly listen to any other author. My specialty in my major is in ethics - Mill, Kant, Ross, Dancy, etc

Theory/T: I default competing interps (especially with T) because I think that it is a more objective way to evaluate theory. I default giving the RVI unless it's on 1AR theory. Obviously, If you make arguments otherwise for any of these, I'll still evaluate them.

If you want me to vote on your shell, extend every part of it.

Presumption: In PF, I presume neg because it is squo unless you give arguments otherwise. In LD, I presume aff because of the time skew- I will vote neg on presumption if you warrant it.

Ks: I'm probably not a great K judge. I never read Ks, and I'm generally unfamiliar with the lit that isn't super common. I will obviously still evaluate it, but if I mess up, don't blame me lol. I am REALLY not a fan of non-T affs. I hated debating against these and think they put both the judge and the opponent in an uncomfortable position because often, it seems as though voting against these or responding to them is undermining the identity of an individual. Please don't commodify an oppressed group to get a ballot in front of me.

DISCLOSE! If I am judging you at a circuit tournament, I sincerely hope you will have disclosed. I will listen to answers to disclosure theory, but know that my predisposition is that the shell is just true.

Pretty much, do anything you want, and I will listen. You are the ones debating, not me!

If at any point you feel uncomfortable because of something your opponent has said, you can stop the round to talk to me, and we can decide how to go forward from there.

The most important thing to me is that debaters read positions they like. I will do my best to judge everyone and every argument fairly.

Gabe Delsol Paradigm

7 rounds

4 years of public forum for Bronx Science (2011-2015).

3.5 years coaching public forum at Walt Whitman (2015-present).

2 years coaching public forum at debate camp (2015, 2016).

Speed: I can flow as fast as you can speak. However, I will always prefer quality over quantity and will clock you heavily for blips. The debaters make the evidence good, not the other way around.

Evidence: If it's not an out round, and you don't ask me to do so, I will probably not call for evidence. Don't be shady and DO NOT miscut your cards.

How I evaluate the round: Develop clash as the round progresses. Weigh clearly and convincingly. I'm fine with extending terminal defense, but I need offense to be clearly extended throughout the entire round. Signposting is your friend. I appreciate a well-executed logical response.

Speaks: I will clock you for rudeness and arrogance. You can get a 29.5/30 by building a strong narrative. RuPaul references get you extra speaker points

Bob Dolan Paradigm

4 rounds

I am NOT a fan of speed, nor speed/spread. Please don't make me think I'm in a Policy Round!

NSDA evidence rules require authors last name and THE DATE (minimum) so you must AT LEAST do that if you want me to accept the evidence as "legally presented". If one team notes that the other has not supplied dates, it will then become an actual issue in the round. Speaker points are at stake.

Don't just tell me that you win an argument, show me WHY you win it and what significance that has in the round.

Please narrow the debate and WEIGH arguments in Summary and Final Focus. If you want the argument in Final Focus, be sure it was in the summary.

In close rounds I want to be persuaded and I may just LISTEN to both Final Focus speeches.

I am NOT impressed by smugness, smiling sympathetically at the "stupidity" of your opponent's argument, vigarous head shaking in support of your partner's argument or opposition to your opponents'. Speaker points are DEFINETLY in play here!

Sirisha Durbhakula Paradigm

4 rounds



2. Don't be rude or offensive in the round

3. Speak with clarity and elucidation

4. ALWAYS signpost and roadmap: it makes it much clearer for me as a judge if I know what you're talking about


1. I am NOT familiar with counterplans or theory arguments so please don't run them

2. Summary and FF consistency is important when evaluating arguments

3. Have impacts and WEIGH. Too many times have I seen debaters just say we win because of X argument while never explaining why that argument is the most important to evaluate in the round.

4. Please don't run crazy and difficult to understand arguments. If your opponents can't understand the argument, I probably can't too. If you do have a less common argument, please warrant it and provide ample evidence, and I might be able to understand it.


1. I appreciate full citations (Author's last name, month and year, and source).

2. Please don't lie about your evidence; if you are, I most certainly won't vote for that argument

2. I am a strong believer in quality > quanitity. Meaning, don't tell me you win because you have more evidence, tell me you win because your evidence is more reliable, or just don't focus so much on evidence accuracy.

3. I usually flow arguments, not evidence, so telling me to refer back to some random person isn't sufficient.

How to win:

If you do these five things better than the opponents, you will win:

1. CLEARLY identify the arguments in the round and which ones are important

2. WEIGH and preferably give me a weighing mechanism to warrant me voting off of a specific argument

3. EXTEND arguments and enunciate their importance throughout the round

4. ADDRESS all the arguments in the round, and highlight dropped arguments

5. TELL me a story/narrative that uses persuasion not just evidence

Ozan Ergungor Paradigm

3 rounds


and don't give off-time roadmaps

i begged you


you didn’t

and you


-rupi kaur

David Fager Paradigm

7 rounds

PF: I did public forum for 3 years in high school and was the 2nd speaker. I expect all teams speaking 2nd to defend in the rebuttal or will consider the points dropped. I am generally okay with speed, as long as you don't mumble. Negative teams cannot run counter plans or they will be dropped. More of a line by line then a summative flow. An argument should be brought up in every speech if it is to be weighed at the end of the round. A new argument must be brought up early in first summary or any speeches before that. Anytime after that, the value and credibility to me weakens.

LD: I am new to LD, but not new to debate. I am okay with speed as long as you enunciate, I will either say "Clear" or "Louder" if you do not speak well enough for me to hear. I can Judge well explained arguments, but will need you to do the work for me on framework and which to prefer. Don't just say prefer your criteria, give me a justification for why your framework/value should be weighed over the other teams. For me, you do not win the round if you win the framework, but i use the framework that i think wins, to evaluate the remaining arguments in the round. Since my history is with PF, where counter-plans are not used, I recommend staying to the value debate, but you are not going to automatically lose if you run a CP.

Arturo Feliz-Camilo Paradigm

1 rounds

Arturo Féliz-Camilo

I am a lawyer by trade and a History teacher by choice. I teach World, APUSH, and Dominican History. I studied economic law. I'm familiar with the economic/social/historical arguments. As an attorney, I litigated criminal and civil cases. I've been coaching PF for about four years for New Horizons Bilingual School in the Dominican Republic.

I love debate, and the strategy game. I love to see a good clash of ideas and interesting/novel analysis. I'll buy any argument as long as you warrant it and support it with relevant evidence. I believe communication skills is key. If you spread, it will probably hurt your round. Your speaker points are based on your ability to communicate and that doesn't always go well with speed, in my view.

Explain, analyze, and warrant your case, don’t just read it. Weigh, impact, link, extend, boil down, crystallize.

Please sign-post/roadmap. Absent a framework and weighing I'll go with what stands in the end. So make sure you drive your debate and don't let me be the one to do it for you. Crossfires should be civil but I don't mind some fire.

Finally, I enjoy historical and common sense argumentation, just make sure you get your facts and logical premises in good order.


Matthew Feng Paradigm

7 rounds

Hello, I have been a coach for a number of teams over the past five years and competed in PF for four years before that.

I'm a normal judge - I would greatly appreciate if you weighed, if you extended arguments in their entirety (e.g. links, impacts, and implications) in each speech, and if you did your debating in a constructive way (e.g. educational, not dismissive or exclusionary of your opponents). That means I think you should be frontlining (and extending) in the second rebuttal and engaging with those frontlines in the first summary. If you don't do this, depending on how the rest of the round goes, I may drop the argument (e.g. if your opponent is properly extending their offense in each speech and you are not extending yours, I would probably defer to their argument first). If you don't weigh (or if both of you weigh in some singular way, like one of you weighs on magnitude and the other on probability), I will have to weigh myself, which you may not agree with.

I think that I'm pretty good at keeping up with the flow, but I'm not great at speed - I'll clear you if I can't understand you. I have a reasonable appetite for progressive arguments - I'll listen to Ks/T/Theory, but I'm not fully confident I have a good grasp on how to handle these arguments, so you can read them at your own risk. I definitely think there is frivolous theory (arguments that are non-sensical or not actually about checking abuse) and necessary theory (arguments that actually check abuse) - I'll accept almost any response to the former and will evaluate fairly seriously the latter. I personally don't believe that case disclosure is good, but I guess I would evaluate disclosure theory if debated and won - but I think that a lot of times these debates will just be a back-and-forth where both sides just start repeating themselves, in which case I would have to intervene to resolve the issue.

If some evidence sounds too good to be true or is contested in the round, I'll try to call for it. In that case, if I feel it's misrepresented, depending on the severity of the infraction, I'll either drop the argument or the team.

Please don't read 30s speaks theory, I will not appreciate it.

Kegan Ferguson Paradigm

7 rounds

Put me on the email chain:

Assistant Director of Debate at North Broward Prep.

Debated in Indiana/at Indiana University, and went to the NDT in '15/'16. Fifth year judging.

Policy Paradigm:

DA's: I prefer smart, clear policy debate over stringing together awful disadvantages. One of my least favorite things in debate is a DA that has entirely misconstrued evidence, no real internal links, and a nonsense impact card. I would much rather people stick to politics or well-researched DA's instead of trying to go shoddy but tricky (looking at you, Miller DA)

CP's: Delay CP's are bad, UQ CP's are meh, Conditions CP's are meh, Consult CP's are mediocre, Specific PICS are great. Go for theory against abusive stuff, but the threshold is higher for aff's outside of the core on arms sales.

Topicality: Nebulous 'it's the heart of the topic' claims do not make you topical. I default to competing interps and think that reasonability generally requires the aff to extend a counterinterp that is reasonable.

K's: Topic specifics are my fav, and always will be. Alt solvency is more important than most rounds treat it. Same goes for internal link turns to the aff. Policy aff's should focus on impact turns and alt answers instead of the perm (unless the aff is written to go for a perm)

Framework: Fairness can be an a-priori impact if you win it is one. I find it persuasive when fairness is also clearly explained as an internal link turn to aff impacts. Debate is an offense-defense activity and clearly explaining your offense matters a lot. FW is more of a question about whose interp cultivates education and good debates than it is a question of rules.

Theory: I don't particularly enjoy theory debates. I will vote on Condo bad if you win it/it's dropped, but I find most neg answers persuasive. Though the higher the number of conditional positions the more there's a debate to be had. Squo is not an option unless you say so. I won't kick the CP for you unless an argument is made for why I should.

Ethics: Don't be hateful or use bigoted language. Don't clip. Don't intentionally steal prep.

PF Paradigm:

Disclosure = slight speaker point bump

I don't need to be there for the flip. I don't care what side of the room you sit on.

Feel free to go for K's or theory arguments, but I have a high standard for quality here. Most of the debates I've judged that attempt to run these arguments have resulted in very low speaks. Don't try to force them if you haven't practiced.

If you take minutes to bring up a card that was called for I will tank your speaks.

Impact calc is most important. Warrants always beat taglines. I prefer hearing smart arguments over a large quantity of them.

2nd rebuttal should answer the 1st, non-negotiable. First summary should extend defense, especially given the 3 minute change. Arguments in final need to be in the summary. Argument spin I could clearly see coming is not new.

Keep your evidence in cut card form, and don't just hand me an article if I call for evidence after the round. I will discount it. Don't misrepresent things and then get caught when I read evidence after the round - that's a quick way to a low speaks L.


29.6 -30: I think you are debating like a Top 5 debater at a national tournament.

29.3 – 29.5: I think you are debating like a Quarter-finalist at a national tournament

28.8 – 29.2: I think you are debating like a doubles or bubble team.

28.5 – 28.7: Debating like you should be .500

28 – 28.4: Debating on a very average level

27-27.9: lots of room for improvement

Below 27: You have used some hateful language, been excessively rude, or given up mid speech

Aly Fiebrantz Paradigm

2 rounds

Current Director of Speech and Debate at NSU University School in Davie, FL.

Former Director of Forensics and Full time policy debate coach at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, FL (7 years).


General: First judging philosophies are silly. Read whatever arguments you would like to read that you think are best appropriate for that round. I will not wholesale discount or credit arguments at face value. I think people should be nice to each other. I believe in tech over truth within reason, a shitty argument is a shitty argument regardless if it's conceded but, if an argument is dropped it's probably true and my threshold for extension/impact calc is much lower. I will also add .5 to your speaker points (guidelines below) if you engage in GOOD LBL Debate that include numbers in the 2AC. I miss organization. I prefer to have the least amount of judge intervention this means saying things like "extend" are necessary for me. Most importantly I believe the debate round isn't about me it's about the debaters. You do you and you'll be fine (mostly).

Pet Peeves that may result in lower speaker points

1) Longer than 20 second overviews on ANYTHING ever.

2) Claiming you'll go LBL and then failing miserably

3) Responding to a CX question with "we don't take a stance on that"

4) Being generally rude/mean to others. Making people feel unsafe, forcing disclosure of identities etc.

5) I'll do X debate here. This is inefficient but more importantly it normally means you're answering arguments that are in fact not on that place on the flow.

Framework Debates: I don't think you need to defend a plan or the state but I do think you need to defend your interpretation of debate if pressed. Fairness/Predictability are probably good impacts but I can be persuaded otherwise. I think "fair for whom?" Is also an appropriate question when asked in a persuasive manner. I find when I do end up voting on FW it's entirely frustrating if all of the arguments from one side are in a long narrative overview and the other is extending specific arguments on a flow. I am not inclined to take arguments from one piece of a flow and apply them elsewhere without being told.

Planless Debates: I think these debates can be awesome and really enjoyable to watch, however I think you need to defend your interpretation of debate. If that means you don't have to talk about the resolution then tell me why. If that means you don't have to have a plan text that's fine just explain/defend yourself. I sometimes find Framework arguments responsive, and reasons to reject the affirmative it quite honestly just depends on the debate round.

Topicality: I think a lot of the affirmatives on this year's topic are not topical. I'll default to competing interpretations if not told otherwise. I find arguments that Fairness/predictability are good and pretty persuasive. Topicality is never a reverse voting issue, but some K's of T might be persuasive. I think if you go for T in the 2NR you need to extend your Interp, Violation & Impacts clearly.

K's: IF you read high theory stuff (Baudrillard mainly) I might not be the judge for you and/or you need further explanation. Psychoanalysis is bunk science is a believable arg for me. And Presumption is never a winning strategy. Something like Hostage taking really shouldn't be read in front of me, I find myself thinking "who cares" I think rejection is enough of an alternative almost all of the time. Reading FW against K's I don't really ever think is a round winning argument. I'm most likely going to default that the aff gets !!s and the K gets to exist.

CPs/DAs: I don't see these debates very often, but few things. I don't think counter-plans need to be textually competitive. I think if you don't have offense on the disad I'm not likely to vote aff, I don't think terminal defense is almost ever a thing. And I am not willing to judge kick arguments. I AM NOT AN ECONOMIST do not assume I understand anything about the economy at all. It's for everyone's benefit I promise.

Speaker points ... I've done a lot of thinking about this and have decided that my speaker points did not reflect the current inflation and probably unfairly punish teams from breaking when speaker points matter. I will try to follow to the following guidelines:

medicore (you probably aren't breaking): 28.3-28.8,

I'm almost impressed. Perhaps you'll break": 28.8-29.3

I'm impressed, you even were organized and did LBL: 29.4-29.7

Best speech I've ever seen. 29.8-30

E-mail me if you have any questions and include me on email chains please :)


1) I primarily judge policy so most of my reasoning etc will default to policy norms instead of PF norms.

2) BE NICE!!! This includes using offensive/racist/sexist/rhetoric. If this is done you will receive 20 speaker points.

3) I think the 2nd rebuttal needs to answer the speech that has preceded it, and extend theirs.

4) I judge/evaluate arguments as they are presented on the flow. Arguments should be answered in the order they are presented.

5) You should flash speeches or use email chains. Prep is continuously running once speeches end.

6) Terminalize your impacts. There are 3 ways and only 3 ways to evaluate impacts: magnitude, timeframe and probability. Nothing else. Use those. Anything else (like scope) will result in a loss of speaker points.

7) You must read dates. I highly recommend you do not paraphrase evidence. I will evaluate paraphrased evidence as analytics not as real evidence.

8) Disclosure is your friend. You must disclose before the debate to myself/and the other team. Doing so will result in higher speaks. If someone discloses and either a) you do not and they read disclosure theory OR b) you LIE about what you've disclosed, I consider this a TKO. This means if disclosure theory is read in the round then it is basically over. Not disclosing or lying is indefensible.

9) You can only extend things in a subsequent speech if it was in the previous speech. This means defense in summaries, impacts in all speeches, evidence extended etc.

10) Defense does not win debate rounds, you need to extend/evaluate/weigh OFFENSE. A failure to do so will result in a mental coin flip on my part because it's impossible to evaluate competing/unwarranted defensive claims.

Eddie Fitzgerald Paradigm

2 rounds

For the email chain and any contact you need -

I flow debater's speech performances and not docs, but may read evidence after speeches.


I graduated from Liberty University in the spring of 2011 after debating for 5 years. Before that I debated 1 year of LD in high school. Since then I worked as a debate coach for Timothy Christian High School in New Jersey for 6 years, traveling nationally on both the high school and college circuit. Currently I am the Associate Director of Poly Prep.

I view debate as a forum to critically test and challenge approaches to change the world for the better. I prefer in depth debate with developed material that you look like you have a grasp of. I will always work hard to evaluate correctly and with little intervention, especially if you are putting in hard work debating.

Learning debate from within the Liberty tradition I began by running conventional policy arguments with a proclivity to go for whatever K was in the round. However, during my final 3 years my partner and I did not defend the resolution and our 1nc looked very similar to our 1ac. Personally, I’m a believer and coach for advocating liberatory and conscious debate practices. However, there will certainly be a gap at times between my personal preferences and practices and what I vote on. I’m not going to judge from a biased perspective against policy arguments, and although tabula rasa is impossible I will try to evaluate the arguments presented with limited interference.

Ultimately, do not let any of this sway you from debating how you prefer. Doing what you think you are the best educator on will probably be your greatest option. If any of this is unclear or you have questions that I have not address below please feel free to ask me before a round. Have fun, debate confidently, and be genuine.

Last updated 1/10/2020

PAPERLESS and prep time (LD and Policy specific):

Prep time ends approximately when the speech doc is saved and you remove the jump drive. An overall goal (for both paperless and traditional teams) is to be prepared to begin your speech when you say end prep.

Speaking mostly to HIGH SCHOOL students:

Everyone involved in the round should be able to have access to any read piece of evidence once it has been presented. This means that if you are reading off of a computer you are responsible for providing your opponents with either a jump of what you are going to read or a physical copy before you start your speech. We shouldn’t be unreasonably fearful of people ‘stealing’ ‘our’ evidence, as source information should always be provided, and also because it’s certainly not really ‘ours’. You may, however, respectfully require your opponents to delete anything you provided them with during the round.

SPEAKING STYLES and speaker points:

I’m certainly open to (for lack of a better word) alternative and non-traditional approaches to your speech time. Passion, ethos, and emphasis are things that are usually underutilized by most speaking styles and debaters, and should be present in both constructives and rebuttals. After all, debate is at its core a communication activity. Cross-ex is a great time to exhibit this as well as advance your arguments. I may call clear once if it is an issue, however it is your responsibility to be an effective communicator during your speech. Being a jerk, unnecessarily rude, offensive, stealing prep, and not being helpful to the other team during cx or prep time are all things that will negatively effect your speaker points outside of the quality and delivery of your arguments.


Yes, I am fine with speed, but that does not give you an excuse to be unclear. I may call clear once if it is an issue, however it is your responsibility to be an effective communicator during your speech.

I have experience to evaluate theory, but certainly prefer substantive theory (topicality, NIBs, parameterizing are all examples) as opposed to frivolous theory. You should probably slow down when reading your shells if you want me to be able to write down the nuances of your argument. Due to my background in college policy there may be a few preconceptions that I have that you should be aware of. Theory is not automatically an RVI, and I probably take a little more convincing on the flow than most judges in this area. You need to explain to me why a violation has resulted in abuse that warrants either voting down the other team or rejecting a specific argument. Simply claiming one to be true is not enough work here. When answering theory, showing how the abuse can be solved by rejecting a particular argument can make the violation go away.

Conceded and dropped arguments are considered true on my flow, unless they are morally repugnant or blatantly false. An example of the latter is even if your opponent drops a theory shell, if the team clearly does not link to the violation your accusation does not make that true. Conceded arguments must still be extended, warranted, and argued, but you should focus more on their implications.

Please read the paperless / prep time and the speaking style / speaker points sections of my philosophy located above.


A quick overview statement: It seem that circuit PF is going through a growing period where it is solidifying some norms and practices. As a result of this, I will default to the understanding of the debaters in the round. I am also open to different interpretations as long as they are defended.

Concerning defense in summary: As indicated above, this is something that I am going to let the debaters determine / debate for themselves. However, if at any point the defense has been front-lined / responded to (either in 2nd rebuttal or 1st summary), then these arguments need to be answered and the defense needs to be extended for it to be available in final focus.


The rest of my philosophy is not specific towards ld or policy, high school or college, and it may do you benefit to read it as well, especially if some of your arguments tend to look like policy arguments.

FRAMEWORK (when run by the neg):

I think that negatives have the ability to and should engage with affirmatives that don’t defend a normative implementation of a plan. Even if the aff doesn’t defend the resolution there are still many substantive things that they will defend that provide ample ground. Although this ground might not be as predictable as your interpretation on FW calls for, it is still predictable enough to meet the threshold that you should be prepared for it.

Having said that, I think I’m one of those few sick individuals that will actually enjoy listening to framework debates as long as they are well developed on both sides. Granted, I will most likely be a harder sell than most, but I don’t think this should dissuade you from going for it if you think it is your best option. You will need to make inroads to the aff’s arguments by articulating ways traditional debate solves for their impacts. If you lose the impact turn to politics you will not win FW debates. You need to make arguments to the effect of traditional policy debate being key to a better form of politics and articulate net benefits to your interpretation from this. I think that the type of education we foster in debate far outweighs the preservation of the game in the strictest sense. That is to say that fairness claims alone are not the way to persuade me on FW. You should instead use claims of fairness to hedge against the impacts from the aff.

However, the main substance of FW debates (for both sides) should be about the competing benefits to the type of education and scholarship different traditions lead to.

For affirmatives concerning framework strategies, your greatest offense will be specific to your particular argument. I will be more easily persuaded if your aff is connected to the topic. I don’t appreciate aff’s that are written that hide their purpose or are exclusively constructed to impact turn FW. While I prefer some kind of relationship to the topic, I don’t think it is necessary. However, you do lose the ability to make an important strategic argument that other plan-less aff’s should employ, which is that your aff is important to topic education. More developed, this argument should be that your aff is necessary to topic education and that without it the debate ground that is left leads to bad forms of scholarship. That is to say that you aff is essentially topical. This argument is both inherently offensive and also provides the ability to make defensive claims against the neg’s offense.


This is the type of debate that I am most familiar with and have the largest literature base with (I was a philosophy major). However, messy and poor K debates are probably the worst. The key to winning this kind of debate is making the general link and alternative cards as specific as possible to the aff. I am not saying that the key is reading the most specific evidence (although this would be nice, however most of our authors here don’t write in the context of every affirmative), but that you need to find ways to apply the generic concepts to the specifics of the aff. Without this it is easier to be persuaded by the perm.

Teams are responsible for the discourse and performances in which then engage in given the context of the world we are situated in as well as the argument style the team engages in.

Aff’s have a wide range of arguments they can deploy, and are probably best sticking with the ones they are most comfortable with while doing a good job showing how they relate to the critique.

Concerning the perm, it is usually not enough work to simply show how the two different advocacies could work together. At this point it becomes easy to vote on the alternative as a purer form of advocacy without the risk of links. Aff’s should articulate net benefits to the perm to hedge against residual links and different DA’s to the perm itself. Case should be one of these net benefits, but aff’s need to watch out for indicts to foundational assumptions (concerning methodology, epistemology, ontology etc.) behind your impact claims.

Concerning framework: when was the last time a relatively moderate judge decided that the neg shouldn’t be able to run their K? The answer is probably a long time ago. The majority of these debates are compromised in the 1ar by allowing the K given that the aff gets to weigh their impacts after a lot of wasted time by both teams. I can hardly think of a situation where I would be persuaded to only evaluate the plan verses the status quo or a competitive policy option that excluded the alternative. However, I can envision certain ways that this debate goes down that convinces me to discount the impacts of the aff. In general, however, most of debate is illusory (somewhat unfortunately) and these framework questions are about what type of education is more important. If you chose to run framework with you aff you should keep these things in mind concerning your interpretation for debate.

PERFORMANCE or project verses a similar style:

These debates are some of the most important and essential ones for our community, particularly as more and more teams are participating in this form of advocacy. We need to debate and judge in light of this fact. These are also some of the most difficult debates to have. There are several reasons for this, one of the most poignant being the personal nature of these debates combined with the close relationships that most people amongst this insular community have with one another. We need to realize the value in these opportunities and the importance of preserving the pureness of our goals for the debate community. That might mean in some situations that conceding and having a conversation might be the best use of a particular debate space, and in others debating between different competing methodologies is a correct rout to go. In either case we need to realize and cherish common goals. In light of this it isn’t a bad thing to agree with large portions of your opponent’s speeches or even advocacy. Instead of reproducing the gaming paradigm of traditional debate, where competition is valued over advocacy and winning over ethics, we should instead choose to celebrate the areas of alignment we find. Conceding every round where this happens, however, is not a good idea either. This would send a message to the debate community that debate dies under this framework. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a possible time and place for it though.

When both teams largely agree on certain foundational framework questions efficacious debate can still happen. While making distinctions between advocacies and methodologies is essential for this kind of a debate, you should probably not manipulate and create links that are artificial. Distinctions that are made out of an in depth knowledge of the issues are far more beneficial and consistent. Traditional debate might look at these kinds of rounds as two ships passing in the night, but I think there can be a different metaphor – one where the teams are two ships starting at the recognition that the resolution and the debate community is flawed and that the round can be decided upon which team provides a better methodology and performance to get their ship further in the direction of what we should be as a community and culturally aware individuals.

I am undecided as to whether the aff should be allowed a perm and this should probably be debated out. However, I think that the aff should always have the ability to point out when a negative advocacy is the same as theirs.


Any bias I have towards theory will probably result in placing a burden on the team that reads the violation to prove that it should result in a voting issue. However, I don’t like shady stuff done only to be obnoxiously strategic. Don’t do it.

One thing that I definitely do not like is when teams read multiple conditional strategies that contradict each other. This will usually call into question the solvency of the critique if the aff takes advantage of this.

I don’t think that I have a bias concerning reasonability or competing interpretations, but I will probably default to competing interpretations until the aff is shown to be reasonable and from there it is up for debate.


I am probably liberal concerning counter plan theory, and aside from the question over conditionality most other theory arguments are probably reasons to reject the cp. Aside from traditional theory answers, showing why a certain CP is justified given the specific aff is a good response.

PICS that are specific to the aff are great, however word pics should probably just be articulated as links to the K.

Uniqueness controls the link only if a particular side definitively wins it.

I generally evaluate from an offense / defense standpoint, but it doesn’t mean anything if the CP links less than the plan does to a DA if the CP still meets the threshold for triggering the link. In that world there isn’t greater offense to the CP.

Darren Fleischer Paradigm

4 rounds

I am a doctoral student in the education department at George Washington University. I am not very experienced with the Public Forum format, but I will do my best to flow your arguments accurately and evaluate the round fairly. If you speak too rapidly, I may miss something, so please slow down.

I value clear arguments that link directly to the resolution. I have no tolerance for disrespectful opponents or any form of racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.

Susan Foley Paradigm

4 rounds

I have been a coach for 7 years at Campbell Hall School in California. I'm a traditional-style judge that will vote on the flow (aka "flay judge") - flow leaning. Truth over tech. When saying an author's name and year - slow down and separate it from the rest of the text.

Speech Requirements:

- 2nd rebuttal does not need to frontline (although it is strategic)

- anything extended in FF also needs to be in summary (no "sticky")

- WEIGH and tell me the story of the round in Final Focus

Things that are important for me:

- Signposting

- Clarity (please slow down when reading authors' names)

- evidence integrity - I will check cards if they seem suspect and will vote accordingly (even if other team doesn't call it out)

I do not want you to:

- Spread - I will not flow it

- Read trigger warning or disclosure theory or barely-there links to nuke war/extinction

- be rude/condescending/curt in CX

I will vote on Ks and theory ONLY if it is in response to serious abuse. If you have any other questions feel free to ask me before the round.

Tom Fones Paradigm

4 rounds

Name: Tom Fones

School Affiliation: SPA

Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 11

Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: 0

Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 31

Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 6

If you are a coach, what events do you coach? PF, LD, Congress

What is your current occupation? Teacher

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:

Speed of Delivery: Need to be understandable, prefer slower than most.

The format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?) Big Picture

Role of the Final Focus- Show voting issues and weigh.

Extension of Arguments into later speeches- Need to extend arguments to impact them.

Topicality- If needed.

Plans Not explicit plans in PF.

Kritiks- Will listen

Flowing/note-taking- Of course flowing, but the content is important, so a drop is not fatal without significant impact.

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Argument over style

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? yes

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? Don’t require, but think it’s generally good strategy.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? No

If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here.

I greatly appreciate civility and clear analysis of issues.

Catie Ford Paradigm

2 rounds

I competed for four years in public forum debate at Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida. Please make my job easier and weigh. I, like most judges, will vote off of the clearest path to the ballot. With that being said you still need to warrant your weighing analysis.

Don’t read a new contention in rebuttal and present it as an “overview”. It's abusive and your speaker points will reflect that.

If you are the second speaking team you should frontline the arguments you plan on going for in summary and final focus in the second speaking rebuttals. I don’t require a 50/50 split between your case and theirs but you should spend some time rebuilding your own case. Don’t read new turns or a new weighing analysis in second summary if you want me to vote for it.

I’m fine with speed but be mindful that if you speak so quickly that I can’t understand what you’re saying it makes it a lot harder to vote for you.

I’m open to critical arguments and most theory shells (the only exception being disclosure theory — I think its abusive to run it in a community where disclosure isn’t the norm).

If you are reading any arguments about sexual abuse you need to read a trigger warning. If you don't -- you're starting with a 26 for speaks.

I’ll call for evidence if I think it sounds interesting (or fake) but I’m not going to base my decision off the legitimacy of said piece of evidence. If you do want me to vote off of a piece of evidence you need to make that argument in round. I’m not going to intervene on either team’s behalf.

You should preflow before the round. If I have to wait for you to finish doing something that should already have been done before round, I'm probably going to get super annoyed and your speaks will reflect that.

If you make a comment that I deem racist, homophobic, sexist, or ableist at any point in the round it completely eradicates the integrity of the event and creates a space in which individuals can’t compete fairly and I won’t think twice about dropping you and giving you 0 speaks.

For speaks I consider 27 to be average, 28/29 to be above average, and 30 to be perfect.

If you have any questions please let me know and I’ll be more than happy to clarify.

Scott Franz Paradigm

4 rounds

I did public forum debate for 4 years and I don't like how fast people go now, I find it counter productive. The closer you come to spreading, the less I'm going to be able to pick up, both mentally and on the flow.

For your evidence, citing your sources as "last name, year " in case is worthless to me. I don't flow cites, I flow tags, and I also expect to hear the credentials of the sources you have. Part of warranting your arguments involve telling me why I should believe a particular source.

How to win my ballot:

1. warranting: tell me WHY a scenario/outcome/impact is likely to happen. The most persuasive thing a team can do for me is IN THEIR OWN WORDS explain the context & logic surrounding the card to demonstrate to me they know what it says.

2. The more you signpost and tell me exactly where I should look on the flow, the easier it is to flow.

4. appropriate concessions: too many teams are unwilling to concede arguments. Focus on where the clash is in the debate, know when to not waste time on arguments that turn into a wash.

How to get high speaks on my ballot:

1. Use cross x productively. Very few do it well, many make it an annoying waste of time. Ask useful, succinct questions that aren't meant to trigger another mini constructive/rebuttal in part of the debate I can't flow.

2. Present well, you're giving a speech. Speak like a normal human being. Gesticulate well. Don't put your hands in your pockets. Last but certainly not least, volume is not the only, nor is it the best, means of emphasizing words.

3. Time management. For prep and speeches, show me you know how to allocate this resource appropriately i.e. Show me you can conclude a speech without quickly uttering the phrase "and for these reasons vote [insert side here]".

Victoria Freeman Paradigm

2 rounds

General Notes-
* I am in tab much more often than I'm behind a round at this point. As such, I may be rusty on some more specific lingo/ trends(read as: don't just label an argument a RVI and expect me to accept it on face, explain why it's important)
* I have a disability that has varying levels of impact depending on the day; when it's flaring up, I might have trouble flowing spreading, or processing information at that speed. If you don't want to exclude me from the round, it'd be helpful to check in with me before the round starts. I'm also super happy to talk about it if you have more specific questions :)

I'm very open to whatever style of argument you want to make in round, so long as you do it well. Don't just dump cards, actually offer in round analysis and engage with your opponent's arguments. If something is important to the round, I expect you to spend time on it. Regardless of the style, I need to see some sort of weighing mechanism in round- that could come from an observation or impact calc (or whatever else) so long as I have some sort of idea what I should be valuing. Absent of that, I'll default to generic util weighing. I prefer cut cards over paraphrasing, but will listen to either.
Speed- I prefer a moderate, not ludicrous, pace. If you want to go absurdly fast, that's fine, but understand I'll miss some details. I think it's really important for speed to be justified by content- so, if you're talking fast enough that you have to reiterate the same underview three times because you're out of content, I'd rather you slow down. At any speed, I really value clarity. It's also good to know that some days I physically won't be able to flow super quickly, so it wouldn't hurt to double check with me about speed before round.
Round Structure- First and foremost, I expect the second rebuttal to address both sides of the flow. So, make sure, in front of me, you're allocating your time in a way such that you're able to address everything important, as dropped arguments are essentially conceded.
I don't expect line by line argumentation in summary and final focus. Instead, the round should be narrowed down to the main points. This is where I expect a lot of weighing and analysis, not just 50 author names back to back.
Other things- I am a fan of content warnings before round if you're running anything dealing with something sensitive. I am not a fan of hateful or discriminatory things being said in round, and will hesitate (heavily) to vote on anything racist/sexist/ableist. Additionally, problematic things (like racism/sexism/ableism, misgendering your opponent, anything that makes the space hostile to your opponent) will be reflected in your speaker points.

Standards/ Framework
- I don't have strong feelings any one way about V/Cr vs Single Standard and/or RoB etc. I initially learned LD through a pretty traditional framing, so I tend to track that way myself, but, I'm open to whatever you want to do if you explain in. If you're running some philosophy that's out there or uncommon, it would benefit you to explain it clearly.
Theory- I'm down, but it actually needs to be theory (read as: "Speed is unfair/ exclusionary" isn't an argument I'll evaluate; Interp, violation standard, voter framing is)
Ks- See above, I'll happily hear out a k with structure that actually functions within a round. YOU HAVE TO OFFER A LINK or there's no way for me to evaluate the K
A Priori/ Prima facie/ probably other things- justify why it matters and I'll hear it out.
**As a general interpretation, I view theory/ks/ a priori arguments etc as arguments. They aren't some sort of magical trap card that automatically win you the round. They are arguments that need to be interacted with and extended like anything else. Reading an ableism K in the NC and then leaving it there isn't going to win me over. Your opponent answering an identity K with arguments doesn't make them inherently bad, they're interacting with an argument you put out
Solvency- I don't inherently think solvency is important in LD. This doesn't mean that I won't hear out solvency arguments, but you need to justify why I should care about solvency for it to be a voting issue for me. "The aff doesn't offer any solvency" on its own isn't enough for me to vote on.

**I really don't judge policy all that often. If I'm behind your round, things were likely pretty desperate from a tab or judge hire perspective. Despite that, I will do my best to adjudicate the round- you'll probably just need to slow down a bit on taglines and important analysis for me.

Anson Fung Paradigm

7 rounds

I teach Mandarin 1 at Strake Jesuit. Good debaters are like big politicians debating on a big stage. Persuasion is necessary. Speak clearly if you want to win. Please make sure your arguments are topical. I'd like a clear story explaining your position and the reasons you should win.


Deepak Gada Paradigm

4 rounds

I am a parent judge. This is my 1st year of judging Public Forum. I value clear arguments and well structured cases. I prefer debater to be slower and clear in explaining their cases.

Shefali Gandhi Paradigm

7 rounds

I am a lay judge. I work in the medical field

I like a slower speech, with eye contact and one that is presented towards an audience. I like a speech that engages the audience, and is clear and concise. It should meet the criteria of the presentation.

For debates, while I lack in depth topic knowledge, I will take notes and evaluate the debate as a whole.

I have judged both IEs and debate at a total of around 15 tournaments for the past few years.

Name: Shefali Gandhi

School Affiliation: Clements High School

Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 3

Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: 0

Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 0

Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 0

If you are a coach, what events do you coach? N/A

What is your current occupation? Nurse

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:

Speed of Delivery

· - I am a parent judge, so please don’t go too fast. I would rather you develop a narrative in the round so that I am able to follow you.

· -That is not to say that you have to speak as if I was a child, but rather you speak at a moderate rate (similar to that of a conversation)

· -I prefer the quality of the argument over the substance of material you present.

Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?)

· -Summary should be slow, but address and condense the arguments in the round.

- Give reasons to prefer your argument.

Role of the Final Focus

· -This speech I find to be most important. Please tell me what your final arguments are AND why they are important in the context of the round

-Go big picture. Tell me exactly how I should decide my ballot.

Extension of Arguments into later speeches

-Topicality: N/A

-Plans: N/A

-Kritiks: N/A


· -I don't flow like a professional debater. I will take notes to the best of my ability. I may not catch everything.

· -In order to compensate for my inability to flow like other debate and/or coaches, speak slowly and explain your argument and why they outweigh your opponents.

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally?

· -Both style and argument are important. What you say always comes first, but the way in which is presented is still very important

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches?

· -If you want me to consider an argument that you believe to be winning, please mention it in both the summary and the final focus. The arguments should be consistent and clear.

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech?

· -No.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus?

· -No.

If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here.

· -Nothing else to be said. Have fun! Do what is expected of you in any basic lay debate round.

- Don't be derogatory towards India! I have read some articles on the topic, and am slightly informed.

Shane Gilbert Paradigm

2 rounds

TOC Update: Please read my paradigm in its entirety. While I strive to adapt to various styles, I am human in that I often resort to my own biases and vote off of what I prefer. The more you know about my predispositions, the better you will do with me as your judge. Please feel free to ask any questions before the round!

Big Picture

When a round is over, I first look at the impact level. In order to win your impact, you must have: a) extended the same link(s) in both summary and FF (even if you did so in 2nd rebuttal); b) extended that impact in both summary and FF; and c) frontlined all responses to the link(s) and impact(s) you extend. [That being said, if there is some muddled defense on your argument, I sometimes will resolve that if your weighing is much better/ the other team's argument is also muddled.]

After considering the impacts, I then look at weighing. I prefer that you do comparative weighing after you have extended your impact since it makes most sense for me to flow there. I have found that most teams I vote for are those who are generally doing much more work on the weighing debate, such as responding to the specific reasoning in their opponent's weighing and offering comparative weighing mechanisms that compel me to prefer their impact(s).

Specific Preferences

1. Do not go fast. Average circuit speed to maybe just a tad faster is my sweet spot. Although I can flow a faster rate, I am more likely to get confused and flustered, often because the debaters are muddling their own arguments instead of explaining the specific warranting. This disconnect makes it difficult for me to assess the round and make a confident decision. By speaking at an average pace, you will increase the chances that I comprehend and ultimately vote off of your argument.

2. Do not give me a roadmap. Just tell me where you're starting and then signpost from there.

3. In summary and FF, I prefer that you collapse on one of your arguments from case.

4. Give me the warranting behind your evidence, especially if you and your opponent have contradictory cards. I do not care if some author says X is true, but I do care quite a bit about why X is true. If you think your opponent's evidence is shady, tell me to call for it. If I think your evidence is shady or that I need to examine cards to make my decision, then I will call for them.

5. I see teams going for turns that they non-uniqued in rebuttal. I will never vote for an argument that you yourself tell me is non-unique, even if the non-unique response was never extended. Obviously you can read other non-uniques that do not interact with your turn, so do not misread this preference as saying that you should not use both forms of refutation in response to an argument. This preference is exclusive to teams that read responses that logically non-unique their own turns.

6. If you say something offensive, then I definitely will lower your speaks and might drop you.

7. Peculiar but maybe important (and hopefully not relevant for TOC, though some teams always manage to come up with wild arguments...): If you are making an argument about how the resolution affects domestic politics (e.g. political capital, elections, etc.), please have very good warranting as to why your argument is probable. I have a higher threshold for voting on these arguments because I think most debate resolutions are rather unlikely to impact U.S. politics to the extent that you can definitively say specific legislation or electoral results do or do not happen. If you do not think you can easily make a persuasive case as to why your politics argument is likely, then please do not read it or go for it.

Balaje Govindan Paradigm

4 rounds

I am new to Judging. I have judged a few PF tournaments in 2018 /19 but my technical knowledge of debate is very limited.

I always look for good communication, professionalism in the debate and body language that shows confidence and conviction. I will write down what I believe is important but don't expect me to write down every single thing on the flow. I also expect the debaters to maintain time.

I will also look for how each debater responds to questions and answers. I prefer professional, decent debate, rather than someone rolling the other person by aggressive interruptions. I believe debate should be vigorous but debaters should show decorum and respect when countering.

Comparative analysis is key, do strong weighing between the two worlds and explain why your world is better than theirs and why I should vote for you. Explain and extend and make sure that you EMPHASIZE what you really want me to hear. Again, slow down and be clear.

Since the rounds have limited time, if the debaters get hung up on a point going back and forth for too long, that distracts from the overall debate. I look favorably on the debater that can make their point, and at the appropriate time move on to another strong point of their argument.

Lexy Green Paradigm

2 rounds

I am old. I have been coaching and judging for over 35 years. This means that much/most of my experience predates the existence of Public Forum. I competed primarily in Policy, Lincoln Douglas (in its first year of existence), and Extemp. I have coached Policy (in the Dark Ages), Lincoln Douglas, Public Forum, Congress, and assorted speech events.

Speed does not offend me. That said, I am OLD and have carpal tunnel syndrome, so my flow is sloooooow. I will not punish you with points if you are fast and clear, but there is a risk I may not get everything you want on my flow.

There are a lot of regional/circuit differences in PF norms. I recognize that answering refutation of one's case in the second constructive speech (when speaking second) is unusual in some areas of the country. That said, I am used to LD, where the first negative speech includes both the negative case and refutation of the affirmative case. Some LDers even go "straight ref" on the negative, entirely forgoing reading a negative case and only arguing against the affirmative case. I will not punish teams speaking second for beginning refutation in their first constructive, or for answering the first team's arguments against their case in their second constructive.

I do not like surprises, not even good surprises. I always peeked at my presents as a child. Arguments should be extended in the summary speech if you want to win on them in the final focus. I favor line by line until the final focus, which should crystalize the debate and provide clear impact calc.

I think topic wording is important and that it determines burdens. I like it when teams are explicit about what the topic wording demands. A kritik is just an argument. If you can explain how it affirms or negates the res, it's all good.

Plans and counterplans are not allowed. Don't blame me. I didn't make the rules. You chose this event, despite the rules. That said, I think it is fair (and even a good idea) to talk about how the resolution would be implemented (assuming it calls for action and is not simply a question of fact/value). One can do this by looking at real world, typical proposals for resolutional action. I also don't think that the affirmative should be stuck advocating the worst possible way to implement the resolutional policy.

Evidence is important. Cheating is bad. Read author and date cites. I will grudgingly allow paraphrased evidence, but the full text must be available and easily evaluable. By this I mean that it is not okay to paraphrase evidence and then, when asked to provide it, hand over a ten page document with no highlighting/underlining of the bits that you claim to be paraphrasing. If you cannot say, "this paraphrases these three lines of text in the original document," or something like that, I'm going to disregard this "evidence." Neither I nor your opponents should have to read through the entire document to assess whether your paraphrasing is accurate.

I hate crossfire, especially the Grand Cluster F*!k. Please don't yell or speak over each other. I recognize that this aspect of PF is conducive to chaos, and that you are not responsible for this design flaw. That said, I will punish you with speaker points if you make the crossfire worse than it has to be.

Argument > Style. This is debate. Style is reflected in speaker points.

Rich Haber Paradigm

7 rounds

2019-2020 Season

Richard Haber, Chagrin Falls High School. For any e-mail chains during round (specifically for Virtual Tournaments)

I am a practicing Trial Attorney and have practiced law for nearly 30 years. I also coach of Public Forum and have done so for 8 years. With respect to LD, I assist LD debaters as needed and judge when required though I am admittedly more experienced with Public Forum.


I can handle a fair amount of speed, but please exercise some common sense with pace. Do not spread. If I am judging (Whether PF or LD) you may assume I am familiar with the topic which will certainly help me follow your argumentation. Nevertheless, I believe the judge should judge as if he/she has no prior knowledge about the topic. Thus, you will win or lose the round based upon what happens in the round. If you advocate a position that I know is not correct based upon my own review of the topic I may note it as an NVI, but it will only impact the round if your opponent calls you on it. I will not intervene in rendering a decision.

As a practicing attorney, I value professionalism. I expect debaters to be professional, respect your opponents and facilitate the exchange of ideas.


Generally, I decide the round on who persuades me. It is not a question of how many argument you win, but which arguments you win, the impacts of those arguments and how you weigh them. I am a flow judge and will track the round. If you do not respond to a contention of your opponent, you risk losing the argument, and if important in the weight of the round it could result in a loss. However, just because your opponent fails to respond to a contention or sub-contention, does not mean you win the issue. You must still persuade me why it matters.

As a trial lawyer, I think evidence is important, but it is equally important to me to logically extend your evidence. Please explain why your evidence is more important or impactful than the evidence that your opponent inevitably will argue in response. I view Summary as the opportunity to reset the round. Structure the round for me as the judge and tell me what I should be looking for through the rest of the round. It may require you rebut additional points, but in the end, start to focus and weigh the round on the 2 to 3 key issues that I will be voting on.

You should extend your case and arguments throughout the round. If you don't extend, I will assume you are dropping a contention (assuming opponent rebutted). Do not lay in wait until second speaker final focus to extend the argument - though I understand the strategy, I prefer teams debate the issues that matter, rather than prevail on a failure to debate.

To this end, cross-fire is not an opportunity to filibuster. It is intended as an exchange of ideas. Your opponent's response to a well framed question can be far more impactful to me, than refusing to allow them to answer. If they are evasive, I will get it.

You should be careful running theory or kritiks. Though I will not "drop" you for running theory or kritik, I am not a fan of avoiding the clash on the topic.

I will consider arguments raised in grand crossfire if reasonable in the flow of the round because your opponent can respond in grand cross and final focus. I will not consider new evidence or arguments raised in either final focus.

The best speakers may not always win. The team with the best reasoned arguments, offering the greatest reasonably extended impacts will prevail on my ballot.


Generally, speaking I am not as familiar with (or fond) of progressive debate). I will not automatically vote you down if you offer progressive arguments, but it will require you offer greater explanation why I should accept your arguments/position if it is not embracing the actual subject of the debate.

Because I am a trial lawyer, and because of my PF background, use of evidence, and explanation of evidence, a logical extension of this evidence and warranting about why it connects with your position is always well received. I don't like listing of evidence in PF without explanation, simply citing to evidence without some explanation of its importance does little to advance the ball for me in LD as well. I value strong logical links as much as evidentiary links.

I will flow the round. I will vote off of my flow. I will flow your CX to the extent that you make/establish point in furtherance of your case. Ultimately, I will decide the round on the debater that overall convinces me of their position. Please note, I view debate as an exchange of ideas. Engage your opponent's warrants, while furthering your own. Impacts matter when weighing warrants which may both be true.

I decide based on the most important arguments in the round, so I will not penalize a debater for failing to cover every sketchy claim put out by an opponent. I strongly prefer crystallization and voting issues in NR and 2AR.


Gerrit Hansen Paradigm

7 rounds

Top Level - 2x NDT Qualifier, in the community for 9 years now, debated for George Mason University. I try to be as objective as possible, and you should read this paradigm as my proclivities I feel the need to disclose. Do with that information what you will, but please do not quote my paradigm in your final speech expecting me to check out on that argument.

I would like to be on the email chain - gerrit.hansen96 AT

While I am sure it comes from a good place, please don't ask me to shake your hand after the debate ends. Everyone already gets sick at debate tournaments, lets not tempt fate.

Go to the bottom for non-policy formats

Style Notes

Speed is fine, I'll say clear once. If I still can't understand you, I will visually stop flowing.

Tech over Truth

I'm not a huge fan of contradictory positions, but 2 conditional positions is probably fine. Anything else is pushing it. Unless the aff is new. Then it's open season.

-Side Note: If the other team brings up an accessibility issue about some portion of your speech, the impetus is on you to fix the problem. Please don't make me punish you for being a jerk-

Specific args

The High-school Topic - You should assume I am not doing topic research, and that the topic is fairly new to me. I do not debate on your topic, nor am I a full time coach. I probably don't know a lot of acronyms or current events stuff surrounding the topic. I will read cards as a corrective to most of these things, so if you bank policy debates on spin, consider the level of explanation you go into so I don't have to go read your cards.

Topicality - I think this argument has many valuable uses in debate. Use it how you will. Evidence comparison and caselists are a MUST in these debates. Tell me what your vision of the topic looks like.

Reasonability, as a phrase, is not an argument. I'm open to any and all arguments about how T debates should be viewed, but the onus is on you to create a model for what judging debates in that way ought to look like. Default to competing interps.

Theory - Slow if you plan to go for it. High speed blocks are unpersuasive and are optically a cheap-shot. Potential abuse is probably not an impact I care about that much.

CP's - They can be cool, they can be contrived and silly. PIC's should be specific rather then general. Sympathetic with 2As on some counter-plan theory. Slow down on your CP text if you want me to catch its nuances. Word PIC's are usually silly.

DA - They're cool. The more creative the better. Politics is good. 1 good and well compared impact scenario is worth 3 with loose comparison or impact calculus.

K's - This is the style of debate I personally chose to do. I have a fairly extensive literature base, and am probably more then willing to listen to your stuff. If you argue your position well and prove that you have an understanding of your literature base I will probably want to vote for you. If you're good at what you do, do it.

Links are better when they are specific to the aff - I'm down for spin, but a generic state link or a security K with no impact defense is unlikely to make me want to vote for you

Line by line is important to me, and I have yet to hear a way to evaluate debates in a reasonably fair fashion except some version of the offense/defense paradigm. If you don't want me to flow or want to change the format of the debate, I support you in your efforts but I'm also probably not the judge for you

Debates about debate (The section is a bit of a tangent for K teams) - I grow increasingly tired of the "standard moves" in these debates. I feel many ballot commodification/currency arguments are very reductionist and very much resemble whiny debaters screaming about fiat being illusory. I will obviously vote on them, but I would say I have a higher threshold than most. I care a little bit less about what the ballot does for the aff/neg, and more about what strategies, tactics, methods, alternative world views etc my ballot ought to endorse.

K Aff's/Framework- This is a debate. Defending debate norms is cool, saying "Debate bad" is cool. Being creative on both sides is more likely to get me on your side.

Topical Versions of the Aff are a good way to mitigate offense against framework. Explain to me why it solves their impact turns, not why it is similar to the aff

The Affirmative is much more likely to win if they have a counter interpretation - I find it hard to evaluate defensive "rez already exploded" or "rez poorly written" arguments without one. Rez +1 is not an argument

Arguments about jurisdiction and authority are not good ones, so long as they are answered.

Fairness is an impact until the aff says otherwise, then its a toss up - probably just attach an external impact to be safe

Speaker Points: I used to have a convoluted scale of sorts here. To be honest, as I judge more often, I usually give pretty high speaker points. I think I tend to presume the best of debaters, and I often find it hard to judge their relative qualities against other debaters I have seen in a bad light. That being said, I have found that I punish very vindictively if you use exclusionary language or are a jerk.


I mainly participated in and judge policy. I will be upfront and say that while I am familiar with the rules and some of the norms of non-policy formats, but it is probably not as second nature to me as it is to you. I would not say that I judge more then 6 tournaments in either LD or PF a year, and speech is even more uncommon. These are some helpful thoughts:

PLEASE CLASH. Compare impacts. Compare frameworks. Acknowledge that your opponent made arguments, and tell me why I should care about your arguments more.

"Progressive" debate styles are cool. Theory is way too common in LD, but I don't plan to be the activist judge that stops it.

There is not a single thing that will matter to me LESS then if you stand up if you speak, where you speak from, etc. It is strange how common this question is in public forum.

I'm pretty good at flowing, and the flow is how I will decide the debate. Logic over persuasion. Good policy over good personality. Tech over truth.

"Off-time" Roadmaps are helpful

Don't spread if you can't be clear. PLEASE.

Ben Hanson Paradigm

2 rounds

I did PF for 4 years at duPont Manual in Louisville, Kentucky. Since graduating I’ve competed primarily in NFA-LD, impromptu and extemp at Western Kentucky University. Lately, I've been helping the Potomac School with coaching and judging.

Yes, add me to the email chain: But, if you haven’t ever used you should check it out because it’s a lot easier for file sharing in round. Especially for the upcoming online tournaments, my preference would be to create a speechdrop room rather than an email chain.

I do my best to conflict any school/team that I've worked with before in tabroom. If there appears to be an issue with my conflicts before the round, please mention it before it's too late to fix.

TLDR: Do what you’re most comfortable doing, and I’ll do my best to evaluate it well. Will vote on the flow 100% of the time. Feel free to ask questions before the round.

General Thoughts/Notes:

- Tech > Truth when applicable but certain arguments have lower thresholds than others in terms of what’s required as a response.

- In each team’s last speech, it’s be helpful if you gave me a brief overview that frames my ballot and how to filter arguments in the round. Tell me which flows to look at first and why, otherwise I’ll pick whichever one I’m vibing with the most.

- Go as fast as you want, I promise I can keep up with you. That being said, I will call clear as many times as I need to if I can’t understand you. If I find myself excessively calling clear, I will dock speaks. Place extra emphases on enunciating author names clearly so I catch them on my flow.

- Publication dates matter, please have them (I’m looking at you, PF kids). If a publication doesn’t have a date, give me a date of access instead.

- No preference if you introduce evidence as “Hanson ‘20” or “Ben Hanson of Western Kentucky University in 2020.” However I expect author quals to be readily available if requested.

- Please feel free to go into the room, set up, and flip (if necessary) before I get to the round. I usually don’t run behind at tournaments, but in the event that I do I’d prefer to not hold the tournament up any longer than I already have.

- I flow on excel so don’t be caught off guard if I don’t look up from my computer much throughout the round. Also I don’t follow CX super closely so make sure to flag important concessions on the flow during your speech.

- I do my best to catch every author name on my flow, and unpopular opinion but I prefer if evidence is referred to by author names rather than tags for the purpose of my flow.

- Don’t be afraid to ask questions about my RFD after the round. I like to think of myself as a good judge, but at the end of the day I’m not afraid to admit that I miss things from time to time. I’ll do my best to defend my decision to you if there’s any concerns you have. - Death is probably bad and there’s a pretty high threshold to convince me otherwise.


- Second rebuttal has to respond to all offense, even though I’d prefer if they’d cover defense on their case in addition to turns. If it’s not in the summary, it shouldn’t be in the final focus.

- I like signposting. I haven't seen a lot of GREAT signposting in speeches this year. As such, many of my flows have become messy because teams aren't telling me where to write down arguments. In attempt to remedy this, I've decided to begin flowing PF like you'd expect someone to flow policy/LD. I'm going to begin keeping every contention on its own sheet (don't worry about the environmental impact of this, it'll still be in excel). What this means for you, if I'm judging you, is that I need you to clearly tell me when you're switching contentions (or flows) AND what sheets to make cross applications on or I'll most likely miss your arguments and they might not make it into my RFD. Also, when giving your offtime roadmap, don't just say "our case then theirs" or vice versa, tell me the order you'll be addressing the contentions in your speech. That allows me to order my sheets correctly, and will most likely benefit you in the round.

- Extra speaks for:

a) reading real cards instead of paraphrasing AND an email chain in the round (yes, both).

b) Full disclosure and a well organized wiki (show me after the round).

***It is my understanding that online TOC is mandating the share of evidence over some sort of email chain. I'll still offer a (smaller than normal) speaker point boost if your evidence is in a cut card, rather than paraphrased. Don't send me full PDFs over an email chain or through speechdrop, I don't have the time or brain power to sift through 20 articles to find all your quotations in context.

- Speed is fine. Speech docs preferred if you’re going to > 250 WPM (especially for online TOC). I don’t like speed as a weapon of exclusion, but I don’t find speed to necessarily be exclusionary in nature. If you have questions, ask before the round.

- Theory/K friendly. Attempt at your own risk - poorly executed tech arguments/under-explained postmodern kritiks of the world are less persuasive to me than solid, policy arguments that rely on hypothetical fiat. See the policy section of my paradigm for more specific notes.

- If your opponent calls for your evidence, I expect you to be able to find it in 45 seconds or less. If it takes you longer than 45 seconds to find a card I'm striking it from my flow and I'm not evaluating it. I’m also not a big fan of teams handing each other full PDFs instead of cut cards. Citations and quotes in context should be readily available if another team asks to see that evidence. If you don't have cut cards, I'll probably dock your speaks, and I’m open to voting on (and have voted on) theory arguments related to paraphrasing


I never did policy in high school, nor have I coached it in college; but, I still don’t think you shouldn’t strike me on face. In terms of argumentation, I think I would have no problem keeping up with an average HS policy round. I don’t know the topic well though, so keep that in mind. My biggest challenge as a judge is not knowing the event super well (what each speaker needs to do in the block, which speeches it’s ok to read new cards in, etc.) so make sure to point those sorts of things out in your speech if you think they’re important in deciding my ballot. Here’s my thoughts on various positions:

DA: Majority of my collapses in college debate. Very big fan of the politics DA - elections and agenda scenarios specifically. Econ DAs are cool but I’m an Econ major so if you explain the economy improperly I’ll probably be a little upset and dock a speak or two. Well executed topic DAs are always encouraged, but I don’t know the topic well so you might have to do a little more explaining on sheets you want me to vote on in the 2NR. The federalism DA is a slept on strategy, I’ll leave it at that.

CP: As long as it sufficiently resolves the majority of the affirmative’s offense and has a net benefit, I’ll vote on it. Condo is more than likely good for debate, and I personally believe the neg is entitled to one PIC + as many ADV CPs as the aff has advantages out of the 1AC (2 ADVs = 3 CPs, etc). I’ll vote on condo if it’s all the 2AR goes for, but substance is probably the better strat if that’s an option. Any CP theory besides condo is probably a reason to reject the argument not the team, but I probably could be persuaded otherwise.

Impact Turns: Dump the tub in front of me. Super willing to vote on dedev, spark or ice age if well executed. I’ve never given a 30, but I think I might be willing to finally give one out if the neg read nothing but impact turns in the 1NC and wins the flow.

T: Probably more likely than your average judge to pull the trigger on T. I default to fairness outweighs educations, and competing interps unless one team wins otherwise, so affs should have solid answers to limits and ground arguments. Your 1NC shell has to make sense - it must have clear standards and voters otherwise I’m skeptical of it getting blown up in the block. Don’t split the 2NR if you want me to vote on T - doing so is a high risk, low reward gamble.

Theory: I default to competing interps and drop the argument, but can evaluate differently if that’s how the debate plays out. Frivolous theory is bad for debate, please don’t waste our time on this in front of me. RVIs don’t make sense and I’m 99% sure I won’t vote on an RVI so I would avoid spending a lot of time on that in any of your speeches.

K: I have a lot less experience reading/evaluating these arguments than traditional policy arguments. I would say I have a very elementary understanding of the following authors/arguments: Culp, Marxist Materialism, Security, Set Col, Baudrillard, D&G. I’m certainly open to listening to anything outside of that scope, but make sure to make your argument super clear so I know what to vote on. Slow down in your overviews and tell me a story, don’t flash me a huge block of text and expect me to read the whole thing for myself during prep because I won’t. Teams that read poorly explained or vague Ks should probably strike me, you probably won’t get my ballot on these arguments and speaks will probably reflect my distaste for how these debates typically play out. Contextualizing the alternative is crucial to getting my ballot - I can’t vote for the K if I don’t understand what my ballot endorses.

K Affs - You have to be topical, but what constitutes a topical affirmative is up for debate. I’m probably a bigger fan of framework than your average judge, but I wouldn’t quite consider myself entirely a framework hack. Limits and ground are the most important standard arguments in my mind, and I really like TVAs vs affs that kritik the topic. As the neg, don’t be afraid to think outside the box and read something besides cap and framework. I’ve read topic DAs against non-T affs plenty of times, and would have no problem with you doing the same.


- See the policy section for my notes on specific arguments.

- My condo notes from policy don’t apply to high school LD. College LD has a 6 minute 1AR, and I already think that’s too short of a speech so I couldn’t imagine only having 4 minutes. I default to the negative is entitled to ONE conditional CP unless I’m convinced otherwise. I’m very open to voting on condo if the 1NC has 2+ advocacies in it.

- Less tab than your average circuit LD judge when it comes to theory. Don’t read dumb theory arguments in front of me please.

- I’m not familiar with skep, and from what I’ve heard about the argument I don’t really want to become familiar with it. If this is your go-to strategy, you should probably strike me.

Max Hardt Paradigm

4 rounds

PF in 2020:


I am an assistant coach at The Potomac School, and previously was the Director of Forensics at Des Moines Roosevelt. If you have any questions about Public Forum, Extemp, Congress, or Interp events, come chat! Otherwise you can feel free to email me at: for any questions about events, the activity, or rounds I've judged.

I'm a flow judge that wants to be told how to feel. Ultimately, Public Forum is supposed to be persuasive--an 'winning' flow is not inherently persuasive. My speaker points are generally reflective of how easy I think you make my decisions.

Things to Remember…

0. The Debate Space: R E L A X. Have some fun. Breathe a little. Sit where you want, talk in the direction you want, live your BEST lives in my rounds. I'm not here to tell you what that looks like!

1. Framework: Cost/benefit unless otherwise determined.

2. Extensions: Links and impacts NEED to be in summary to be evaluated in final focus. Please don't just extend through ink--make an attempt to tell me why your arguments are comparatively more important than whatever they're saying.

3. Evidence: If you're bad at paraphrasing and do it anyway, that's a reasonable voter. See section on theory. Tell me what your evidence says and then explain its role in the round. I also prefer authors AND dates. I will not call for evidence unless suggested to in round.

4. Cross: If it's not in a speech it's not on my flow. HOWEVER: I want to pay attention to cross. Give me something to pay attention to. Just because I'm not flowing cross doesn't make it irrelevant--it's up to you to do something with the time.

5. Narrative: Narrow the 2nd half of the round down with how your case presents a cohesive story and 1-2 key answers on your opponents’ case. I like comparative analysis.

6. Theory: If an abuse happens, theory shells are an effective check. I think my role as an educator is to listen to the arguments as presented and make an evaluation based on what is argued.

Disclosure is good for debate. I think paraphrasing is good for public forum, but my opinion doesn't determine how I evaluate the paraphrasing shell. This is just to suggest that no one should feel intimidated by a paraphrasing shell in a round I am judging--make substantive responses in the line-by-line and it's ultimately just another argument I evaluate tabula rasa.

7. Critical positions: I'll evaluate Ks, but if you are speaking for someone else I need a good reason not to cap your speaks at 28.5.

8. Tech >< Truth: Make the arguments you want to make. If they aren't supported with SOME evidence my threshold for evaluating answers to them is, however, low.

9. Sign Post/Road Maps: Please.

**Do NOT give me blippy/underdeveloped extensions/arguments. I don’t know authors of evidence so go beyond that when talking about your evidence/arguments in round. I am not a calculator. Your win is still determined by your ability to persuade me on the importance of the arguments you are winning not just the sheer number of arguments you are winning. This is a communication event so do that with some humor and panache.**

Ryley Hartwig Paradigm

4 rounds


- 3 years national circuit PF at American Heritage-Plantation in Florida (2013-2016)

- 2 years policy debate at FSU (2016-2018)

- 2 years coaching PF for Capitol Debate (2017-current)

TOC 2019 Update

This topic is bad. Everyone knows it is, and I apologize you have to debate a bad topic at the TOC. That being said, weighing as early as possible is crucial for me to evaluate debates. The earlier you can set up your strategy for the end of the round the better. The more developed your arguments become means I am more likely to vote for them. Depth over breadth is crucial, especially on this topic.


- Do anything you want to do in terms of argumentation. It is not my job as a judge in a debate community to exclude certain forms of argumentation. There are certain arguments I will heavily discourage: Ks read just to confuse your opponent and get an easy win, theory read to confuse your opponent, anything that is racist, classist, transphobic, xenophobic, sexist, ableist, etc. I will not immediately drop you for trying to confuse your opponent, I might for the latter half. The threshold for trying to confuse your opponents will be if you refuse to answer crossfire questions or give answers that everyone knows aren't legit.

- The most frequently asked questions I get are "can you handle speed?" and "how do you feel about defense in first summary/does the second speaking team need to cover responses in rebuttal?" To the first, if you are spreading to make this event in accessible to your opponents, I will give you no higher than a 20 in speaks. I am fine with spreading, but if either your opponents or I clear you, I expect you to slow down. If your opponents need to clear you 3 or more times, I expect you send them a speech doc (if you had not already done that). To the second, I do not care. It is probably strategic to have defense in first summary/ respond to first rebuttal in second rebuttal, but if you do not do that, I'm not going to say it has magically become a dropped argument.

- K's are cool, theory is cool. You need to know what you are talking about if you read these. You should be able to explain it to your opponents. If you are doing performance stuff give me a reason why. You should be prepared for the "we are doing PF, if you want to do performance why not go back to policy" debate.

- I default to whatever debaters tell me to default to. If you are in a util v structural violence framing debate, you better have reasons to defend your side. I do not default "util is trutil" unless it is won as an argument.

- Sound logic is better than crappy cards.

- The TKO is in play. If you know, you know.

- Speaker points will be reflection of your skill and my scale will remain consistent to reflect that. The average is between a 28.2-28.5. If you are an average debater, or your performance is average in round, that is what you should expect. Do not expect a 30 from me unless the tournament does not do halves.

Any questions:


Or you can ask me before the round.

Miguel Harvey Paradigm

7 rounds

I am a parent, and I am a judge. That makes me a parent judge. I have cranky dad energy. If you don't like parent judges, auto-strike.

TLDR: If you or your coach are a person who post-rounds after losses, please know in advance that I am an extreme lay judge and strike/block me forever. I don't default one way or another on most arguments. Don't be argumentatively or personally abusive. Don't insult my (admittedly limited) intelligence. I will intervene against bigotry and disregard for others' physical and mental wellness. Tricks and excessive preempts/triggers piss me off. For email chain

LARP/1-off (setcol, cap, ap, etc)/tfw: 1

topicality/1nc non-friv theory/softleft: 1/2

most K/high theory/performance: 2

pomo/semio: 2-3

phil/heavy fw: 3

friv theory: 4

tricks: strike

Long version:

Generally, I don't think it's my job to tell debaters what to do; rather, it's the job of the debaters to tell me why to vote a certain way.

Debaters shouldn't lie or act like jerks. While I get that debate is ostensibly a competitive activity and can get very intense, this is supposed to be educational, good-spirited, and fun. Personal abuse, harassment, or competitive dishonesty of any kind is strictly unacceptable. I don't like to intervene, but blatantly oppressive/bigoted speech or behavior will make me consider voting against a debater whether or not the issue is raised by their opponent. If a debater asks you to respect and use preferred pronouns/names, I will expect you to do so. If your argument contains graphic depictions of racial, sexual, or otherwise marginalizing violence, and there's even a slight question as to whether it might be a trigger, please notify your opponent. Blatant evidence ethics violations such as clipping are an auto-voter. I consider bullying nontechnical debaters a violation of the "shouldn't act like jerks" maxim. Stop yelling at each other.

Our community and the individual people in it are deeply important to me. Please do your part to make debate safe and welcoming for competitors, judges, coaches, family members, and friends. I am moody and can be a total jerk sometimes, and I'm not so completely naive to think everything is fluffy bunnies and we'll all be best friends forever after every round, but I really do believe this activity can be a place where we lift each other up, learn from our experiences, and become better people. If you're reading this, I care about you. I hope your participation in debate reflects both self-care and care for others.

(cw: self-harm)

Mental and emotional well-being are at a crisis point in society, and particularly within our activity. We have all lost friends and colleagues to burnout, breakdown, and at worst, self-harm. If you are debating in front of me, and contribute to societal stigmas surrounding mental health or belittle/bully your opponent in any way that is related to their emotional state or personal struggles with mental wellness, you will lose with minimum speaks. I can't make that any more clear. If you are presenting arguments related to suicide, depression, or self-harm, you must give a content warning for my sake and for your opponent's. I am not flexible on this.


Speaks: You're probably not going to get a 30. I tend to start at 28 and work my way up or down. If you get a 26 or below, you likely did something bigoted/abusive. I usually range between 27.5 and the low 29s. I'm a little more generous in PF and at locals. I will dock you hard if you make the space unsafe, particularly for women, gender/sexual minorities, disabled or differently abled debaters, and debaters of color.

Speed: Fine, though I love and prioritize clarity. If you are not clear, I will say "clear" once. I like speed to be consistent between reading and extemping, but whatever you do you. If you won't flash or email docs, maybe slow down for tags for my sake and for your opponent's sake.

Kritik: Fine. I have a basic understanding of most of the literature. Explain why I should vote. Your arguments need to be coherent and well-reasoned.

Theory/T: Fine, including 1AR theory. Just like with any other winning argument, I tend to look for some sort of offense in order to vote on either side. I don't default to drop the debater or argument. My abuse threshold on friv shells is much higher. An exception to me voting on friv theory is that I will not ever vote for a shell that polices debaters' appearance, including their clothes, footwear, hair, presentation, or anything else you can think of (unless their appearance is itself violent). I'll have a fairly high threshold on a strict "you don't meet" T argument against an extremely common aff. One more thing - all voters and standards should be warranted. I get annoyed by "T is a voter because fairness and education" without a reason why those two things make T a voter. I don't care if it's obvious.

Frameworks: Fine with traditional (stock or V/C), policy-oriented, phil, critical frameworks, performance, narratives. While I don't think you have to have your own framework per se, I find it pretty curious when a debater reads one and then just abandons it in favor of traditional util weighing. I hate framing that is abusive for abuse's sake, like "the aff/neg must win every round." An example of this is the boneheaded a priori that says "Resolved" means the resolution has already been affirmed. I'm the worst person to pref if you are a tricks debater.

LARP: Great. Plans, counterplans, PICs, PIKs, disads, solvency dumps, whatever. Argue it well and it's fine. I don't think making something a floating PIK necessarily gets rid of competition problems; it has to be reasoned well. I'm skeptical of severance perms and will have to be convinced. For UIL/traditional policy debaters - please read the entirety of the aff in the 1AC and please divide labor in the block. To the extent that anyone prefs me, and you shouldn't pref me under any circumstances, I don't understand why more LARPers don't pref me.

Condo: Fine, although I don't think all conceded offense on kicked arguments just goes away because the argument is conditional (especially stuff like oppression/discourse-related offense). Be really, really careful before you kick a K, especially if it is identity-related - I think reps matter. I am more likely to entertain condo bad if there are multiple conditional advocacies.

Flashing/Email/Disclosure: I will vote for disclosure theory, but have a higher threshold for punishing or making an example of novices or non-circuit debaters who don't know or use the wiki. Lying during disclosure will get you dropped with 25 speaks. If you're super experienced, please consider not being shitty about disclosure to novice or small-school debaters who simply don't know any better. Educate them so that they'll be in a position to teach good practices in future rounds. My personal perspective on disclosure is informed by my background as a lawyer - I liken disclosure to the discovery process, and think debate is a lot better when we are informed. One caveat to prior disclosure is that I do conform to "breaking new" norms, though I listen to theory about it. For sharing, I prefer email. Please include me on email chains.

Sitting/Standing: Whatever. I have my own debaters stand if they can because it helps with volume and clarity. But do your thing, it won't affect speaks. Maybe look at me every once in a while, your call.

Flex prep: Fine. More clarity is good.

Performative issues: I am skeptical of white debaters running afropessimism or similar arguments, particularly against debaters of color, but will not tell someone they can't. That said, if you're a white person debating critical race issues against a person of color, or a man advocating feminism against a woman, or a cis/het person talking queer issues, etc., be sensitive, empathetic, and mindful. Also, I tend to notice performative contradiction and will vote on it if asked to. For example, running a language K and using the language you're critiquing (outside of argument setup/tags) is a really bad idea.

I do NOT default to util in the case of competing frameworks.

I tend to think plan flaw arguments are silly, especially if they're punctuation or capitalization-related. I have a very high threshold to vote on plan flaw. It has to be *actually* confusing or abusive, not fake confusing.

I don't vote against a "traditional" value debater because they're "less progressive" or "less cool" or whatever. Every person in our community has value. PUN INTENDED!

Warrant all arguments in both constructives and rebuttals. An extended argument means nothing to me if it isn't explained.

Some of this is LD-specific, because that's the pool to which I'll generally be assigned. Policy debaters, most of what is above applies to my policy paradigm. Critical/plan-less affs are fine. That said, just like in LD I like a good T debate and I will happily vote for TFW if it's well-argued and won. One minor thing is different from my LD paradigm: I conform a little bit more to policy norms in terms of granting RVIs less often in policy rounds, but that's about it. Obviously, framework debate is not usually as important in policy, but I'm totally down with it if that's how you debate. I guess a lot of policy debaters still default to util, so be careful if the other side isn't doing that but I guess it's fine if everyone does it. Excessive prompting/feeding during speeches may affect speaks, and I get that it's a thing sometimes, but I don't believe it's particularly educational and I expect whomever is giving the speech to articulate the argument. I am not flowing the words of the feeder, just the speaker.

PF: If you're actually reading this, congratulations! Speed is fine. Framework is great (actually, to the extent that any weighing mechanism counts as framework, I desire and enthusiastically encourage it). Nontraditional PF arguments (theory, spec advocacies) are fine. I will listen to disclosure theory, though I am less likely to buy it if the offending case is straightforward/common. Offense is important. I'm surprised and impressed when PF debaters cut actual evidence rather than summarizing it, especially offense and uniqueness evidence. If you try to read a policy/critical argument you don't understand, I will flame you in the oral, so be ready for that. For god's sake, do weighing.

All that said, I love that the format is sometimes still accessible to actual regular people. I believe PF debaters should be adaptable, like all-weather shrubbery.

More PF specifics:

Anything above regarding performative issues applies to PF, so please read carefully. I am primarily an LD judge on the Texas and national circuits. Take from that what you will, and assume I am fine with either a more progressive or traditional style of PF debate. "It's not allowed in PF" is not a warranted argument. Line by line debate is important, and as it's what I am used to, I am not likely to vote on new arguments (or arguments that weren't gone for in Summary) made in Final Focus. Weighing offense is important. Framing should be established in constructive or at the very latest on the top of rebuttal. Don't call something terminal without a warrant. Don't call link defense a turn. If you want me to use something from crossfire in my RFD, it needs to be in subsequent speeches. I have an extremely LOW tolerance for miscut or mischaracterized evidence. Evidence ethics arguments have a very low threshold - if you're shady and there's a shell or implication I am very inclined to vote on it. If you're running theory, don't run it wrong or I'll make it really obvious how little I care for your debating.

Please ask questions if I can clarify anything, and don't be afraid to engage and ask questions after the debate. That doesn't mean I want to be post-rounded or harangued about my decision, but I'm happy to discuss stuff in a rational and collegial way. If you get aggressive after the round, expect the same from me and expect me to disengage with little to no warning. My wellness isn't worth your ego trip. I encourage pre-round questions. I might suggest you look over my paradigm, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask questions.

Finally, I find Cheetos really annoying in classrooms, especially when people are using keyboards. It's the dust. Don't test my Cheeto tolerance. I'm not joking, anything that has the dust sets me off. Cheetos, Takis, all that stuff. I get that it's delicious, but keep it the hell out of the academy.

Rich Heilmann Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a parent judge with little experience judging debate. Go slow, make sure your arguments are clearly articulated. The more I hear an argument, the more likely I am to understand it. To make my job easier, give a clear reason why I should vote for you in your final speeches.

Charles Hobey Paradigm

7 rounds

I’m in between a lay and flow judge. I’ve been judging debate tournaments since 2012. Don’t spread. Use good logic and sources. Clarify the impacts of your arguments. And have fun.

John Holen Paradigm

4 rounds

Prior substantial revision:

February 19, 2020-PF paradigm

November 7, 2019-Minor tweaks to policy and LD for clarity

Yes, I do want to be on the email chain (saves time): learnthenouns[at]the-google-owned-one. No, I do not need you to flash me your evidence unless I ask (takes too long).

PGP: they/them

I have competed in or coached almost everything and I am currently the head coach at Lincoln East. I’ve spent over half my life in this activity (12 years coaching, 7 years competing) and have every intention of continuing that for the foreseeable future. My goal is to be the best judge possible for every debater. That means that I both have specific, high standards and that I also want students to not only stay in the activity but to also improve. As such, I’m going to give you as much input as possible to make you a better debater. Please read my feedback as me being invested in your success, not as me being a “mean” or "intimidating" judge. This also means that if you have any questions at all I would rather you ask them than be confused, so using post rounding as a chance to clarify your confusion is encouraged.

Overview for all events

-Debate is both educational and a game. I believe the education comes from it being an accepting and open community in which ideas engage with one another and students are empowered by finding their voice. The "game" element functions as a test of your effectiveness in presenting and defending your personal beliefs and advocacies. Thus, I consider myself a games player as it is a necessary component of the educational experience.

-A major exception: I will not listen to arguments along the lines of “oppression doesn’t exist,” “genocide is good,” “society isn’t patriarchal,” "anti-white racism is real" etc. as these make for a hostile debate space and are also self-evidently false. I will never vote for them and will seriously consider voting against you for running it even if your opponent doesn't make it an issue. [For more clarification on why I feel this way, please see the VBriefly article “Nobody Knows the Trouble I See" by Jonathan Alston and Aaron Timmons. The article can be found here].

-I flow tags and warrants and only authors if there’s nothing else to write down, so don't just rely on 'surname extensions' with zero warranting to get you through the round. I am more interested in the content of your arguments than the names of the person that you are citing.


In super-brief:
-If you plan to read a bunch of pre-written blocks that barely apply to your opponent's arguments then re-think your strat, please. I want teams to engage with each other's arguments (including T, framework, and case). The beauty of policy is that it allows for the in-depth, nuanced analysis that other events often lack. Sticking to a script rather than reacting to what's happening in the round ruins my favorite part of this event.

-I flow internal warrants and tags more often than author names so don’t rely on me knowing what “extend Smith #3 in 2k12” means in the grand scheme of the debate and, similarly, don’t power tag or plan to mumble your way through cards because I’m listening and will call you on it.

-Unless explicitly framed otherwise, I default to believing that real-world impacts are of more importance than imaginary impacts. Debate shapes our perceptions and our discourse often spills over, so responsibility for this is important. This applies to policymakers as much as K debaters so keep this in mind as you debate framing and solvency. However, if you frame it otherwise and win that framing then I will evaluate the round accordingly.

-Weighing your impacts and warranting your solvency throughout the whole round (not just the rebuttals) is a quick way to win my ballot. Otherwise, I vote off the flow/what I’m told to vote for.

Argument specifics:

-Speed and delivery: In the hundreds of rounds that I have been in, watched, and judged I have only seen one or two people that even approach being too fast (both were in college), you just must be exceptionally clear and articulate on the tags, warrants, and analytics if you are planning on topping 400wpm (might even be worth it to knock the speed down a notch on these things). I also expect a very well organized flow once you start to approach top speeds (outline style numbering/lettering can help a bunch....). Pet peeve: speed=/=clear. "Speed" is for how fast you are going. "Clear" is for mumbling. I can handle pretty fast speeds, I can't handle a lack of clarity. I will usually give you one warning, two if I am feeling generous (or if you request it) and then will start docking speaks. I am also good with you going slow, though since I can handle very fast speeds, I would suggest you give some impacted out reasons for going slow so as to avoid being spread out of the round.

-Kritiks/K Affs/performance/ID tix/whatever: I’m a good person to run your critical case in front of. I love K’s/critical/performance/id tix/new debate/most things nontraditional, I'm familiar with a lot of the lit and ran a lot of these arguments myself. I do not believe that the aff needs to act through the USFG to be topical and, in fact, engaging with the res in other ways (personal advocacy, genealogy, micropolitics, deconstruction etc) can be reasonably topical and often can provide better education and personal empowerment. For clarity, as long as you are engaging with a general premise or an interpretation of the resolution then I believe the aff can claim reasonable topicality (though neg has every right to still test them with T, see below for more details on that). As such, I am increasingly persuaded by the argument that if you are going to be expressly nontopical on the aff (as in zero attempt to engage the resolution), then you need to be prepared with a reason for not discussing the res. To be an effective advocate for these things in the real world, you have to be able to justify your method and forum, so the same is true in debate.

-Trad/policy-maker/stock issues debate: most of the circuits I debated in have leaned much more traditional so I am extremely familiar with both how to win with and how to beat a topical aff strat. That said, if you've ever debated against me or one of my students (or looked at their wikis), you know that that's not the game we usually play. So basically, I'm totally down to judge a topical debate but you shouldn't assume that I already know the nuances of how a specific DA or CP works without a little explanation.

-Framework and theory: I love: debate about the forum, method, role of the judge/ballot, and impact calc. I strongly dislike (and subsequently have a high threshold for): generic USFG/policy-making good fw, spec shells, K's are cheating args and most debate theory arguments that ask me to outright dismiss your opponent for some silly reason. Real talk, almost none of us are going to be future policymakers and wiki disclosure/pre-round prep checks most abuse so these arguments are largely bunk. I want you to engage with your opponent's case, not be lazy by reading a shell that hasn't been updated since 2001. As with most things though, I will vote for it if you justify it and win the flow (you might be sensing a theme here....).

-Topicality: I L-O-V-E a good T debate. Here are a few specifics to keep in mind:

  • By "good" I mean that the neg needs to have a full shell with a clear interp, violation, reasons to prefer/standards and voters.
  • Conversely, a good aff response to T would include we meets, a counter definition, standards and reasons why not to vote on T.
  • Since T shells are almost totally analytic, I would also suggest slowing down a bit when reading the shell, especially the violations or we meets.
  • I usually consider T to be an a priori issue though I am open to the aff weighing real-world impacts against the voters (kritikal affs, in particular, are good for this though moral imperative arguments work well too).
  • Reasonability vs competing interps: absent any debate on the issue I tend to default to reasonability in a K round and competing-interps in a policy round. However, this is a 51/49 issue for me so I would encourage engaging in this debate.
  • There does not need to be demonstrated in-round abuse (unless you provide an argument as to why I should) for me to vote on T but it does help, especially if you're kicking arguments.
  • Aff RVI's on T are almost always silly. K's of T are ok though the aff should be prepared to resolve the issue of whether there is a topical version of the aff and why rejecting the argument and not the team does not solve the k.
  • One caveat: in a round where the aff openly admits to not trying to defend the resolution, I would urge a bit more caution with T, especially of USFG, as I find the turns the aff can generate off of that to be fairly persuasive. See the sections on K's and framework for what I consider to be a more strategic procedural in these situations.
  • This is mentioned above but applies here as well, please remember that I do not think an aff must roleplay as the USFG to be topical. Advocating for the resolution can (and should) take many forms. Most of us will never have a direct role in policymaking, but hopefully, most of us will take the opportunity to advocate our beliefs in other types of forums. Thus, I do not buy that the only real topic-specific education comes from a USFG plan aff.

-Counterplans: I like the idea of the CP debate but I'm honestly not well versed in it (I probably closed on a CP twice in 7 years of debate). Basically, I understand the fundamentals quite well but will admit to lacking some knowledge of the deeper theoretical and 'techy' aspects of the CP. So feel free to run them but if you are going to get into super tech-heavy CP debate then be warned that you will need to explain things well or risk losing me.


The most important specifics:

- I consider myself a games player, so I primarily am looking to evaluate what 'wins out' in terms of argumentation in the debate.

-I love creativity and being intellectually engaged, so I’m a good person to run your Kritik/project/performance/non-topical aff/art case in front of. Of course, I still need you to make it an argument if you want me to vote for you (singing a song isn't an auto-win, especially if you sing it poorly), but otherwise, fire away.

- For your reference in terms of what I am most familiar with arguments wise, I coach a team that has typically run more critical lit (pomo, anti-blackness, D&G, Marxism, fem, neolib, etc) and often plays around with what some might call "nontraditional strategies." Though we'll also bust out more traditional philosophy (typically Kant, util, or Rawls) if topics warrant.

- If you have to use cheap strategies (i.e. blippy and arbitrary theory spikes/shells such as "aff only gets 2 contentions") to win rounds you should strike me/rethink your strat.

- I won't read the speech doc just because you can't be bothered to not slur your way through the constructive. I only ask to be on the email chain to make it easier to resolve evidence questions.

- Beyond that, I like just about every style of LD. I have greatly enjoyed judging everything from hyper-traditional to extremely fast and critical. I don't see any type as being inherently 'superior' to the others, so do what you do and I'll listen.

How I vote:

**Note: this is all assuming that no other debate happens to establish specific burdens or about the importance of any particular level of the debate. In other words, feel free to run your "educators have an a priori obligation to endorse critical pedagogy" argument and I will be willing to rearrange the order I evaluate things in (assuming you actually win said argument ofc).**

-The role of the ballot, the role of the judge, and the burdens of each side are up for debate in front of me (and I actually enjoy hearing these debates). I believe LD is unique in that these roles are not always clearly prescribed or implied through the wording of the resolution and/or the rules. I tend to believe that these are a priori considerations (though that is up for debate as well) and thus are my first consideration when evaluating the round.

-Absent an ROTB/ROJ debate I look first to the value/crit/standard, so you should either A) clearly delineate a bright-line and reason to prefer your framework over your opponent's (not just the obnoxious 'mine comes first' debate please) or B) clearly show how your case/impacts/advocacy achieves your opponent's framework better (or both if you want to make me really happy….)

-After framework (or in the absence of a clear way to evaluate the FW) I look to impacts. Clear impact analysis and weighing will always get preference over blippy extensions.

Other Specifics
-Counter-plans: If an advocacy statement is not made in the AC or clearly agreed upon in c-x, and the neg runs a CP then I will allow the aff a little leeway to define their plan in the 1AR/CX. My threshold for CP's tends to vary somewhat by topic but is overall fairly high as they (sort of by definition) require a specific plan which is often not present in an aff LD case. Note: the recent choice by the NSDA to pick more policy-style topic has softened my stance significantly to the validity of the CP. I think that many of the recent topics borderline necessitate CPs in order to ensure the neg's access to a fair debate.

-Speed: I'm cool with both speed as well as with speaking slowly and persuasively. You won't go too fast for me.

- Small pet peeve: speed≠clear. "Speed" is for how fast you are going. I have only ever said this once in my 10 years of judging. Clear is for mumbling. I use this frequently. If I shout "clear" please make sure you are articulating and projecting. If I have to shout it more than once, I am docking speaker points.

One caveat on speed: I have noticed a trend in nat circuit LD towards bad spreading. This generally takes the form of maintaining the same speed for 6 minutes while not providing any clear verbal breaks between ideas/cards and a complete lack of paralanguage. Actually pay attention to how the good policy debaters spread, you'll notice that almost (no one's perfect) none of those prior descriptors apply. Going fast does not excuse you from being an effective communicator. The best debaters are incredibly fast while still being persuasive.

-For more argument specifics please see my policy paradigm. The only major differences are that I do think RVI's are mostly legit in LD because of time limits and I have a significantly higher threshold for CP's on a topic without clearly prescribed actors/actions.


The main thing you should know is that I have rarely judged PF (and only competed in it once) prior to the last 2 years, so there is a reasonable chance that I am not super familiar with specific trends or nuances of any given circuit. That said, over the last year I judged PF at Dowling, Blake, and the TOC as well as several locals, so I am getting better (or at least I am getting more experienced).

Generally speaking, I see PF as a more topic centric policy round where the resolution acts as the plan text. This, of course, depends on the topic, but this view seems to be generally accurate.

I can handle pretty much any speed since policy is my main event. However, I tend to feel that PF is supposed to involve at least some element of spin and persuasion due to the short speech length and lack of proper cards. Also, if you're going fast, your analysis better be more in-depth as a result. Final word of caution of speed is that PFers often suck at proper speed reading. There's a reason that good policy debaters vary pitch, cadence, volume, and speed throughout their speech.

Other specifics:

The team that speaks first does not need to extend their own case in their first rebuttal since nothing has been said against it yet. In fact, I prefer they don't as it decreases clash and takes the only advantage they have from speaking first.

I tend to prefer the final focus to be less focused on line-by-line and more focused on framing, impact weighing, and round story.

All evidence used in the round should be accessible for both sides. Failure to provide evidence in a timely manner when requested will result in either reduced speaker points or an auto loss (depending on the severity of the offense).

On that note, I will call for evidence and I appreciate it when teams help me know what to call for. I know that paraphrasing is the norm at this point but I do not love it as it leads to a lot of teams that excessively spin or outright lie about evidence. Tell me to call for it if it's junk evidence and I'll do so.

I hate bullying in crossfire. I dock speaker points for people that act like jerks.

Robey Holland Paradigm

7 rounds

I am the head coach at Plano West. I was previously the coach at LC Anderson. I was a 4-year debater in high school, 3-years LD and 1-year CX. My students have competed in elimination rounds at several national tournaments, including Glenbrooks, Greenhill, Berkeley, Harvard, Emory, St. Marks, etc. I’ve also had debaters win NSDA Nationals and the Texas State Championship (both TFA and UIL.)

Email chain:

PF Paradigm

· You can debate quickly if that’s your thing, I can keep up. Please stop short of spreading, I’ll flow your arguments but tank your speaks. If something doesn’t make it onto my flow because of delivery issues or unclear signposting that’s on you.

· Do the things you do best. In exchange, I’ll make a concerted effort to adapt to the debaters in front of me. However, my inclinations on speeches are as follows:

o Rebuttal- Do whatever is strategic for the round you’re in. Spend all 4 minutes on case, or split your time between sheets, I’m content either way. If 2nd rebuttal does rebuild then 1st summary should not flow across ink.

o Summary- I prefer that both teams make some extension of turns or terminal defense in this speech. I believe this helps funnel the debate and force strategic decisions heading into final focus. If the If 1st summary extends case defense and 2nd summary collapses to a different piece of offense on their flow, then it’s fair for 1st final focus to leverage their rebuttal A2’s that weren’t extended in summary.

o Final Focus- Do whatever you feel is strategic in the context of the debate you’re having. While I’m pretty tech through the first 3 sets of speeches, I do enjoy big picture final focuses as they often make for cleaner voting rationale on my end.

· Weighing, comparative analysis, and contextualization are important. If neither team does the work here I’ll do my own assessment, and one of the teams will be frustrated by my conclusions. Lessen my intervention by doing the work for me. Also, it’s never too early to start weighing. If zero weighing is done by the 2nd team until final focus I won’t consider the impact calc, as the 1st team should have the opportunity to engage with opposing comparative analysis.

· I’m naturally credulous about the place of theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD/CX, I default reasonability over competing interps and am inclined to award the RVI if a team chooses to pursue it. Don’t be surprised if I make theory a wash and vote on substance. Good post fiat substance debates are my favorite part of this event, and while I acknowledge that there is a necessity for teams to be able to pursue the uplayer to check abusive positions, I am opposed to this event being overtaken by theory hacks and tricks debate.

· I’m happy to evaluate framework in the debate. I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default Cost-Benefit Analysis.

· Don’t flow across ink, I’ll likely know that you did. Clash and argument engagement is a great way to get ahead on my flow.

· Prioritize clear sign posting, especially in rebuttal and summary. I’ve judged too many rounds this season between competent teams in which the flow was irresolvably muddied by card dumps without a clear reference as to where these responses should be flowed. This makes my job more difficult, often results in claims of dropped arguments by debaters on both sides due to lack of clarity and risks the potential of me not evaluating an argument that ends up being critical because I didn’t know where to flow it/ didn’t flow it/ placed it somewhere on the flow you didn’t intend for me to.

· After the round I am happy to disclose, walk teams through my voting rationale, and answer any questions that any debaters in the round may have. Pedagogically speaking I think disclosure is critical to a debater’s education as it provides valuable insight on the process used to make decisions and provides an opportunity for debaters to understand how they could have better persuaded an impartial judge of the validity of their position. These learning opportunities require dialogue between debaters and judges. On a more pragmatic level, I think disclosure is good to increase the transparency and accountability of judge’s decisions. My expectation of debaters and coaches is that you stay civil and constructive when asking questions after the round. I’m sure there will be teams that will be frustrated or disagree with how I see the round, but I have never dropped a team out of malice. I hope that the teams I judge will utilize our back and forth dialogue as the educational opportunity I believe it’s intended to be. If a team (or their coaches) become hostile or use the disclosure period as an opportunity to be intellectually domineering it will not elicit the reaction you’re likely seeking, but it will conclude our conversation. My final thought on disclosure is that as debaters you should avoid 3ARing/post-rounding any judge that discloses, as this behavior has a chilling effect on disclosure, encouraging judges who aren’t as secure in their decisions to stop disclosing altogether to avoid confrontation.

· Please feel free to ask any clarifying questions you may have before we begin the round, or email me after the round if you have additional questions.

LD/CX Paradigm

Big picture:

· You should do what you do best and in return I will make an earnest effort to adapt to you and render the best decision I can at the end of the debate. In this paradigm I'll provide ample analysis of my predispositions towards particular arguments and preferences for debate rounds. Despite that, reading your preferred arguments in the way that you prefer to read them will likely result in a better outcome than abandoning what you do well in an effort to meet a paradigm.

· You may speak as fast as you’d like, but I’d prefer that you give me additional pen time on tags/authors/dates. If I can’t flow you it’s a clarity issue, and I’ll say clear once before I stop flowing you.

· I like policy arguments. It’s probably what I understand best because it’s what I spent the bulk of my time reading as a competitor. I also like the K. I have a degree in philosophy and feel comfortable in these rounds.

· I have a high threshold on theory. I’m not saying don’t read it if it’s necessary, but I am suggesting is that you always layer the debate to give yourself a case option to win. I tend to make theory a wash unless you are persuasive on the issue, and your opponent mishandles the issue.

· Spreading through blocks of analytics with no pauses is not the most strategic way to win rounds in front of me. In terms of theory dumps you should be giving me some pen time. I'm not going to call for analytics except for the wording of interps-- so if I miss out on some of your theory blips that's on you.

· I’m voting on substantive offense at the end of the debate unless you convince me to vote off of something else.

· You should strive to do an exceptional job of weighing in the round. This makes your ballot story far more persuasive, increasing the likelihood that you'll pick up and get high speaks.

· Disclosure is good for debate rounds. I’m not holding debaters accountable for being on the wiki, particularly if the debater is not from a circuit team, but I think that, at minimum, disclosing before the round is important for educational debates. If you don’t disclose before the round and your opponent calls you on it your speaks will suffer. If you're breaking a new strat in the round I won't hold you to that standard.


· Speaker points start at a 28 and go up or down from their depending on what happens in the round including quality of argumentation, how well you signpost, quality of extensions, and the respect you give to your opponent. I also consider how well the performance of the debater measures up to their specific style of debate. For example, a stock debater will be held to the standard of how well they're doing stock debate, a policy debater/policy debate, etc.

· I would estimate that my average speaker point is something like a 28.7, with the winner of the debate earning somewhere in the 29 range and the loser earning somewhere in the 28 range.

Trigger Warnings:

Debaters that elect to read positions about traumatic issues should provide trigger warnings before the round begins. I understand that there is an inherent difficulty in determining a bright line for when an argument would necessitate a trigger warning, if you believe it is reasonably possible that another debater or audience member could be triggered by your performance in the round then you should provide the warning. Err on the side of caution if you feel like this may be an issue. I believe these warnings are a necessary step to ensure that our community is a positive space for all people involved in it.

The penalty for not providing a trigger warning is straightforward: if the trigger warning is not given before the round and someone is triggered by the content of your position then you will receive 25 speaker points for the debate. If you do provide a trigger warning and your opponent discloses that they are likely to be triggered and you do nothing to adjust your strategy for the round you will receive 25 speaker points. I would prefer not to hear theory arguments with interps of always reading trigger warnings, nor do I believe that trigger warnings should be commodified by either debater. Penalties will not be assessed based on the potential of triggering. At the risk of redundancy, penalties will be assessed if and only if triggering occurs in round, and the penalty for knowingly triggering another debater is docked speaks.

If for any reason you feel like this might cause an issue in the debate let’s discuss it before the round, otherwise the preceding analysis is binding.


· I enjoy a good framework debate, and don’t care if you want to read a traditional V/C, ROB, or burdens.

· You should do a good job of explaining your framework. It's well worth your time spent making sure I understand the position than me being lost the entire round and having to make decisions based on a limited understanding of your fw.


· I’m more down for a topicality debate than a theory debate, but you should run your own race. I default competing interps over reasonability but can be convinced otherwise if you do the work on the reasonability flow. If you’re going for T you should be technically sound on the standards and voters debate.

· You should read theory if you really want to and if you believe you have a strong theory story, just don’t be surprised if I end up voting somewhere else on the flow.

· It's important enough to reiterate: Spreading through blocks of analytics with no pauses is not the most strategic way to win rounds in front of me. In terms of theory dumps you should be giving me some pen time. I'm not going to call for analytics except for the wording of interps-- so if I miss out on some of your theory blips that's on you. Also, if you do not heed that advice there's a 100% chance I will miss some of your theory blips.


· I’m a fan of the K. Be sure to clearly articulate what the alt looks like and be ready to do some good work on the link story; I’m not very convinced by generic links.

· Don’t assume my familiarity with your literature base.

· For the neg good Kritiks are the ones in which the premise of the Kritik functions as an indict to the truth value of the Aff. If the K only gains relevance via relying on framework I am less persuaded by the argument; good K debates engage the Aff, not sidestep it.


· If you give good justifications and explanations of your performance I'm happy to hear it.


· These are good neg strats to read in front of me.

· Both the aff and neg should be technical in their engagement with the component parts of these arguments.

· Neg, you should make sure that your shells have all the right parts, IE don’t read a DA with no uniqueness evidence in front of me.

· Aff should engage with more than one part of these arguments if possible and be sure to signpost where I should be flowing your answers to these off case positions.

· I think I evaluate these arguments in a pretty similar fashion as most people. Perhaps the only caveat is that I don't necessarily think the Aff is required to win uniqueness in order for a link turn to function as offense. If uniqueness shields the link it probably overwhelms the link as well.

· I think perm debates are important for the Aff (on the CP of course, I WILL laugh if you perm a DA.) I am apt to vote on the perm debate, but only if you are technical in your engagement with the perm I.E. just saying "perm do both" isn't going to cut it.


· I'm not very familiar with it, and I'm probably not the judge you want to pref.

Feel free to ask me questions after the round if you have them, provided you’re respectful about it. If you attempt to 3AR me or become rude the conversation will end at that point.

Joe Hu Paradigm

5 rounds

About Me

I'm a lay judge and the parent of a debater.

I generally can handle a good rate of speech but cannot follow you if you speak too fast.


I may or may not disclose right away.

I’m fine with people watching the round.

Please keep track of speech and prep time yourself.

Signpost and road-map help.

Off-time road maps are fine but please keep them short.

I will follow your points and sub-points (as much as I can) and keep track of whether they are refuted, and the effectiveness of their rebuttals.

Bad/nasty behaviors and hateful comments will not be tolerated.

What I vote for:

• Ability to reason and convince

• Ability to articulate

• Clarity and consistency of speeches

• Soundness in logic

• Weighing in rebuttal

• Credibility/quality of sources/evidences

• Good extension and linking (of your arguments) from summary to final focus

• Team cohesion and manner

I'll try my best to judge fairly. Good luck and have fun.

Tim Huth Paradigm

4 rounds

Greetings everyone at Catholic National qualifiers! My paradigm used to be much longer, but it was accidentally deleted...

Quick facts:

- I'm the director at Bronx Science. My email is

- I judge all the time.

- I'm receptive to everything.

-Speed: You do you -- I flow on my computer, but I believe you should allow your partner to slow you if necessary since this is more traditional LD.

This is Catholic Nationals, so it's a lay tournament, but have fun and run what you feel gives you the best chance at picking up ballots!

Robert Kalinowski Paradigm

4 rounds


Truth > tech.

I'm a lay judge, and my students wrote this paradigm for me. Give me big picture, comparative analysis, and weighing, and you'll probably walk away with the ballot! I may/may not be flowing, but i'm still new to the event and debate in general so please go slow.

Things I like:

Comparative analysis, big picture speeches ( even rebuttal honestly ) and good narratives.

I understand that this is TOC, and if you don't want to have a lay round, for your own sake please strike me. Congratulations on getting this far in the season!

Hanuman Kanaparthi Paradigm

7 rounds

I am a parent judge that has a decent amount of experience in judging PF. That being said, I prefer that all debaters speak slowly and clearly. At the end of the day, I will vote for the team that is best able to support and defend their arguments with logic and reason. I am also not comfortable with evaluating technical arguments

Gia Karpouzis Paradigm

3 rounds

PF & Parli coach for Nueva

- Use your agency to make this safe space and non-hostile to all debaters & judges

- non-interventionist until the point where something aggressively problematic is said (read: problematic: articulating sexist, racist, ableist, classist, queerphobic, anything that is oppressive or entrenches/legitimates structural violence in-round)

- tech over truth

- please time yourselves and your opponent: I don't like numbers and I certainly don't like keeping track of them when y'all use them for prep, if you ask me how much time you have left I most probably won't know

- if you finish your speech and have extra time at the end, please do not take that time to "go over my own case again" - I recommend weighing if you want to finish your speech time, or alternatively, just end your speech early


- I guess I expect debaters to ask POI's, but I won't punish you for not asking them in your speaker scores

- I give speaker scores based on function, not form (I don't care how fluid you are, I care what it is that you're saying). I think speakers are arbitrary and probably problematic. Tell me to give everyone a 30 and assuming tab allows, I'll do it. That being said, I will never factor in appearance into your speaker points or the ballot. I’m not in the business of policing what debaters wear.

- I do my best to protect the flow, but articulate points of order anyway

- recently I've heard rounds that include two minutes of an "overview/framework" explaining why tech debate/using "technical terms" in debate is bad - I find this irritating, so it would probably be in your best interest to not run that, although it's not an automatic loss for you, it simply irks me

- feel free to ask questions within "protected time" - it's the debater's prerogative whether or not they accept the POI, but I don't mind debaters asking and answering questions within

- I like uniqueness, I like link chains, I like impact scenarios! These things make for substantive, educational debates!


- I don't call for cards unless you tell me to; telling me "the ev is sketchy" or "i encourage you to call for the card" isn't telling me to call for the card. tell me "call for the card" - picking and choosing cards based on what I believe is credible or not is sus and seems interventionist

- I don't flow cross fire but it works well to serve how much you know the topic. regardless, if you want anything from crossfire on my flow, reference it in-speech.

- I give speaker scores based on function, not form (I don't care how fluid you are, I care what it is that you're saying). I think speaker points are arbitrary and probably problematic. Tell me to give everyone a 30 and assuming tab allows, I'll do it. That being said, I will never factor in appearance into your speaker points or the ballot. I’m not in the business of policing what debaters wear.

- if you want me to evaluate anything in your final focus make sure it's also in your summary, save for of course frontlines by second-speaking teams - continuity is key

- in terms of rebuttal I guess I expect the second speaking team to frontline, but of course this is your debate round and I'm not in charge of any decisions you make

- hello greetings defense is sticky

- please please please please please WEIGH: tell me why the args you win actually matter in terms of scope, prob, mag, strength of link, clarity of impact, yadda yadda

Other than that please ask me questions as you will, I should vote off of whatever you tell me to vote off of given I understand it. If I don't understand it, I'll probably unknowingly furrow my eyebrows as I'm flowing. Blippy extensions may not be enough for me - at the end of the day if you win the round because of x, explain x consistently and cleanly so there's not a chance for me to miss it.

email me at with any questions or comments or if you feel otherwise uncomfortable asking in person

Alexa Kathol Paradigm

7 rounds

TOC PF Paradigm

Name: Alexa Kathol

School Affiliation: Liberty University

Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 3

Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: 2

Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 0

Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 3

Speed of Delivery: Any is fine as long as you're clear.

Format of Summary Speeches: I like line by line and big picture

Role of the Final Focus: convince me to vote for you

You should extend Arguments into later speeches

For Topicality, Plans, and Kritiks see below

Flowing: I will flow all your speeches matching up answered args

I think Argumentation is important as this is a debate activity but I also appreciate good persuasion. I think both are essential for a winning ballot.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? YES

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? In your 1st speech, I understand that you have a prewritten script, but it will gain you extra points to refute some of the main points mentioned in your opponent's first speech. However, I will not penalize you for NOT doing so and you can each refute each other's each side's 2nd speech.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? No, if these points have been touched on throughout the round I will evaluate it, but if it's totally out of left field, I won't vote on it since the other side won't get a chance to refute it.




- Debated policy 4 years in HS for BVSW

- Debated policy 1 year for Liberty University

- Debated PFD 2 years in HS

Things I like


- I want to be included on the email chain. Be clear and slow down (especially on tags). If I can’t catch what you’re saying, it won’t get flowed. If I don’t catch the tag, I try to make up a tag based on the warrants of the card you’re reading. But, if I can’t understand what you’re saying in the card it won’t get flowed either

- Explanation is key, especially throughout rebuttals. I am super unfamiliar with this topic and tend to not vote on things that don’t make sense to me.

- Be organized, especially on the flow. Easier flowing gives you an easier win.

- Tell me why I should vote for you. If you leave doors open, both you and I will end up frustrated.


- I prefer plan texts, but college debate has made me appreciate non-traditional affs. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert by any means on the lit, but I have a general knowledge. That being said, it’s important to me that things are clearly articulated



- When I’m aff I hate cheating CP’s, when I’m neg, I love them lol. Feel free to run CPs. Just make sure they’re well explained. And try not to be too abusive. But, if the aff doesn’t call you out on your abuse, then more power to ya

- I tend to lean more aff on stupid process or consult CPs, but I appreciate a good PIC


- Even though in the real world PTX disads make less than no sense, I was (and still am) a huge policy hack. Again, explanation is key. Topic DA’s are also encouraged. Disads, in general, are good. Make sure you have a solid link though. I am persuaded by aff’s no link and link turn args

- Impact calc is awesome! I also love turns case/solves case args too. They’re usually dropped by the aff and make it an easy way to vote neg


- I’m most familiar with policy leaning K’s like cap or biopower. But I have (unfortunately) had my runs in’s with just about every K you can imagine. The hardest part to win is the alt. I have never heard a good/meaningful/logical explanation of an alt. I am super persuaded by affs that say vague alts bad. I’ve lost to psychoanalysis and the death K before, so I feel sympathetic towards aff’s answers. That being said though, I usually lean tech over truth, so a dropped argument is a true argument for the most part. You don’t have to be dissuaded from going for a K, just realize I have a high threshold for voting on it.

- On FW, I think that aff should be weighed against the K, so the alt needs to have a clear competitive advantage over the aff.


- I love a good T debate. A lot of teams run it as a time suck, which to me is just a wasted sheet of paper. If an aff is blatantly topical, or if it’s the heart of the topic, there needs to be a good explanation and specific examples why the aff is particularly abusive.

Sean Keckley Paradigm

7 rounds

TOC Paradigm

Sean Keckley

Did policy at George Mason

Years judging PF: 2

Years competing in PF: 2

Speed opinions - I can keep up with your speed, but it's PF so no spreading. If you're going too fast your opponent can read over your shoulder as you speak.

Summaries - Pair down to key points of offense and defense, impact calc, clear internal link explanation

Final focus - Should reflect the summary, but contextualized to opponents summaries and grand cross

Extending args - extending key args into the summary is necessary for it to make it in the final focus, otherwise it won't be weighed

T - be it, it's PF

Plans - no plans in PF, CPs are sketchy and I'm inclined to vote on args that say it harms debatability

Ks - willing to vote on them in PF, but you're gonna have to do a lot of work to justify it (which is hard given the structure of PF)

Flowing - i'll flow, so there's that


Offense doesn't have to be extended in the rebuttal but does have to be in the summary

Second speaking teams have the same burden as first speaking in rebuttals

I'll vote for args raised in cx if they make it into speeches

Normal Paradigm

Did PF in high school, do policy at George Mason now. My email is, add me if there's an email chain. If you have any questions don't hesitate to email me.


- You do you. If it's argued well, I'm willing to vote on it. That being said, I'll list my thoughts on certain arguments below.

- Don't be a dick

- Slow down on tags

- Don't sacrifice clarity for speed. If I can't understand you it isn't on my flow and won't get voted on

- Tech over truth

- Claims with no warrants aren't arguments

- I don't take prep for emailing/flashing, but don't steal it

- Confidence is good

- Good analytics beat bad cards

Ks - I'm not familiar with most K philosophies. However, if you can explain what it is, how the aff links, and what the alt is I'm fine with it. Because I don't know your lit (especially for high theory teams), tone down the jargon and be clear.

Case/DAs - I like em. Can be convinced there's no risk. Have a clear story and do impact calc. A lot of these debates come down to DA outweighs case, so be sure to explain how. Politics DAs are a thing.

Theory - Impact it out. Tell me what the abuse was, why they should be voted down, and have a thorough explanation of how this debate was worse/less educational/unfair because of it.

CPs - Things get sketchy after 2 condo worlds. If that's what you're running, make sure you've got a good reason. Explain why they can't perm. Have a clear net benefit. I won't judge kick a CP. I judge PICs on an individual basis. State CPs are a thing.

T - Default to competing interps. Explain the world of the your interp vs the world of theirs, tell me why yours is good and theirs is bad. If your aff has little relevance to the topic, you better be ready to defend it. I don't know the current high school topic or what the consensus on reasonability is, so probably not the best judge for T.

K affs - I tend to think that affs should relate to the resolution, but I can be convinced otherwise. Tell me what you're doing and why it's better than talking about the topic, and I'm willing to vote on it.


Be organized in your speeches and do line by line. Confidence is good. If you're funny I'll bump your speaks. I default to util, so unless you give me an alternative ROB then that's how I'm evaluating the round

Important speaker point information

Give me proof that you called Ben Biggs big daddy biggs in round and you will get a 30

Draw me a good picture of James Harden and you probably get a 30

Chelsea King Paradigm

7 rounds

5 years judging PF—4 times at TOC (gold and silver divisions), 3 times at Nationals

I coach only Public Forum.

I am a high school English teacher full time. I also tutor middle school students in debate and speech as well as teach at a University in the evenings on top of coaching for my school.

Speed is fine with me.

I prefer big picture summaries

Role of the Final Focus: Crystallize the round (cliché, I know), but if it does not follow through on the flow I won’t weigh it.

Extension of Arguments into later speeches: I want to see everything on the flow. I look specifically at the summary and the final focus to see what you want me to really focus on in my decision.

Topicality/Plans/Kritiks: Make me engaged and interested in how you approach the round. I am not a stickler for or against anything at all. I want to see solid debates with clear argumentation and exceptional evidence.

Flowing/note-taking: I flow on the computer in an excel spreadsheet. I have my own shorthand and do not flow during crossfire because I would rather see the ammunition come up in speeches.

I value arguments. Style is irrelevant to me as long as I can understand your speaking—be snarky, be rude, whatever. Just get your point across.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? I think that the argument should be clearly flowed across. However, that does not mean I would not consider a major missing element from the constructive if it was crucial to the round.

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? No, I do not require this. It can be effective at times, but not required.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? Sure. If it is clear and well grounded.

Weighing: I want you to weigh for me if the resolution and your case are really asking for it (usually you would know if you need to.) If you don't weigh and tell me what you ultimately want me to vote for and why by the final focus.... then I will just choose based on the flow.

Crossfire: I'm listening to what you are saying, but I don't write anything down for the most part, unless I am checking my flow against what you are saying and editing. If you want me to flow it, it better come up again in the speeches.

Framework: Sure. Do it. But if you both have one, you better make sure you decide which one to use and why and convince me of that.

Off time roadmaps: Don't care.

My only expectation is good clear debate. I do not like the argument that Public Forum is only for “lay” people off the street. I think it has much more potential to be an intellectual and engaging technical challenge. I am not a big fan of weighing lives because it really seems to be about the pathos/narrative and not the actual argumentation. Not that I don’t care about lives or whatever, it just is generally not an effective argument and most times there are more interesting ways to approach a topic than that.

Bob Kingery Paradigm

7 rounds

I have judged a couple dozen PF rounds and a handful of LD and speech rounds too. I am not a flow judge. I take good notes and enjoy a respectful and passionate round. I do not favor speed in speaking and if you lose me you will not likely win the round.

Ruby Klein Paradigm

4 rounds

College Prep '17

Wake Forest '21

Please put me on the email chain:

Worked at Wake camp this summer, but it would still behoove you to explain acronyms, topic examples, etc.

Tech & execution determine what arguments are true, presuming there's a warrant and implication.

I vote on dropped arguments that I don't believe and flow debates carefully. I've found that I care about evidence quality more than I expected I would, so I'll look at important cards pretty closely.

I like nexus questions, impact calculus, clear solvency mechanisms, and people who look like they're enjoying themselves.

Inserting rehighlighted evidence without reading it is fine if it's to prove their thing is out of context or if it was read in CX. Otherwise, read it.

Be respectful, please, whether that be toward your opponents, partner, coaches.


I believe affs should be germane to the resolution and that clash is the best impact. Fairness/topic education arguments are also fine if you explain your stuff and give examples. That doesn't sound super difficult though.

The best aff strategy in front of me includes an evidence-based counter-interpretation and explicit role for the negative. Defending DAs is a good place to start, although it's certainly not a catch-all. In other words, make sure you're responding carefully to neg offense.

Internal link defense seems underutilized and valuable for both sides.


I think conditionality's good if it's not totally egregious (3+ is cutting it, especially if you're aggressively amending & adding stuff).

A creative perm debate is likely better and less life-denying, but I understand that theory is necessary to beat process CPs that steal the aff and cheat.

I'll judge kick if the neg says something about it. Can be persuaded by the aff saying it's bad, but when evenly debated, I lean neg.


Not really familiar with high theory, so take that for what you will. Or just like, explain and contextualize your arguments.

Detailed and specific link debating is the best way to get my ballot + points. A successful negative strategy likely includes defense against the case.

Fiat bad or not real arguments aren't persuasive to me.


Turning the case is way more likely with cards. And, I really enjoy + care about turns case arguments.


Slow down if your thing is tricky and/or quasi-competitive.

International, consult, conditions CPs are likely bad, but a specific advocate about the topic/aff goes a long way.

Love well-researched pics.


A decent amount of evidence with an intent to define considerably improves your offense.

Caselists on both sides are good. I tend to care most about predictability.

Reasonability is most persuasive to me when articulated as an aff predictability argument.

Devesh Kodnani Paradigm

2 rounds

I debated for four years on the national circuit.

My paradigm breaks down quite simply:

1. Engage arguments constructively. Clash is so important but increasingly teams don't know what that means. When I'm given an argument and a response that just make the polar opposite claims, it becomes impossible to evaluate if both teams don't do extra analysis, so do the extra analysis. Warrants are infinitely more important than card-stacks – good logic beats bad evidence every time.

2. Weigh on the link and impact level. Don't just give me prewritten reasons your impact is large (i.e., "scope and severity"), but instead tell me why your link into the impact is explicitly stronger than any other links/turns your opponents go for, and why your impact is more significant than theirs. Direct comparison of impacts/links will take you far – one good, common sense weighing mechanism adapted to the content of the round is better than four weak pre-typed ones.

3. Be consistent. Not only between summary and final focus (first summary defense is optional but strongly encouraged if important), but also with a story throughout the round. If you read arguments that explicitly contradict each other for strategic value, I might not drop you, but you'll have a hard time establishing credibility (or high speaks). Instead, defend a cohesive worldview throughout the round – and pull that story through (extending both warrants and impacts at minimum).

The easiest way to win my ballot is to follow these three rules. Pick an issue and defend against responses constructively with more than just a re-assertion of your argument. Weigh the link against other links and the impact against other impacts. Use this issue to tell a clear story that leaves me confident when I vote.

With regards to pretty much everything else, I am non-interventionist. I won't tell you how fast to speak, or force you to answer turns in second rebuttal, or ban specific types of arguments, but exercise good judgement. If you do something that a majority of reasonable people would find unfair, abusive, rude, or prejudicial to members of any minority community, I will do something about it. Your speaks will certainly be impacted and the threshold at which I will cast a ballot for your opponent will fall. In elims, that threshold will fall faster because I can't tank your speaks. Don't risk it, and when in doubt, ask.

And on that note, ask me if you have any other questions.

**Optional Section**

If any individual in the round would prefer these rules not be applied, let me know at the start and I'll waive them for the round, no questions asked.

1. Effective use of Kanye West and/or Frank Ocean lyrics will be rewarded with a bump in speaker points ranging from 0.1 to 1.0 points.

2. I will be enforcing the #WORLDSTAR section of Hebron Daniel's paradigm:

Have fun, and best of luck! Seriously. Have fun. Otherwise it's not worth it.

Jacob Koshak Paradigm

4 rounds




Tricks/Theory as Time Suck







Speaks Avg:




Nicole Kroepel Paradigm

2 rounds

About me:

I have been coaching and judging PF for ten years. I judge on local circuit tournaments and have also judged national circuit tournaments, including the ToC. I am familiar with the topic, but that does not mean that you should not explain your arguments. As a coach I am very aware of all the nuances of Public Forum debate.

Round specifics:

I can flow speed, but I prefer not to. I do not want you to use it as a way to exclude your opponents. In the end, Debate is about intelligible conversation, if you are going too fast, it can get in the way of clarity of expression, which upsets me. I will stop flowing if you are speaking too fast, so please pay attention to that.

I do not flow cross-fire, but I do pay attention to it. However, if you make an excellent point in cross-fire, you will have to bring that information up in a subsequent speech. Also, DO NOT be rude, I will reduce your speaker points for it. It is inappropriate for teams to make their opponent's feel inferior or humiliate them in the round.

If you are speaking second, please address your opponent's responses to your case, especially turns. It does not have to be an even split, but make sure it is something that you do.

I expect that summary and final focus are cohesive to each other. First summary needs extend defense. Second summary needs to address responses on your case, especially in areas you are going to collapse on, and it should also respond to turns. I do expect that you collapse and not go for everything on the flow in summary. I WILL NOT vote on an issue if it is not brought up in summary. Please weigh in your final two speeches and clash your arguments to those provided by your opponent.

As I expect the summary and final focus to be consistent, that also means that the story/narrative coming from your partnership also be consistent. I may not give you a loss because of it, but it is harder to establish ethos. Defend a consistent worldview using your warrants and impacts.

Make it easy for me to fill out my ballot. Tell me where I should be voting and why. Be sure to be clear and sign-post throughout.

I expect that extensions are clean and not just done through ink. In order for you to cleanly extend, you need to respond to responses, and develop your warrant(s). You cannot win an impact withtout warranting. In rebuttal, please make sure you are explaining implications of responses, not just card dumping. Explain how those responses interact with your opponents' case and what their place in the round means. DO NOT just extend card names in subsequent speeches.

The flow rules in my round for the most part, unless the weighing is non-existent. I will not call for evidence unless it is a huge deal, because I view it as interventionist. I am tech over truth, so I go based on the round and what is true in the scope of the debate.

For February specifically:

This topic needs weighing; you will have to weigh your argument against that of your opponent. There are people at the heart of both sides, so that should always be part of your calculus in the back half of the round. Interact with your opponents' case as much as possible. This topic is economic in nature, so make sure you understand the economics you are running or using to respond. Poorly done ecconomics contentions/responses can be blippy and hard to follow. If you are going to engage in the policitcal climate/policies/elections in the United States, these arguments need to be warranted and explained and must be logical and realistic.

Steve Kroepel Paradigm

2 rounds

Name: Steve Kroepel

School Affiliation: Belvidere North High School

Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 8

What is your current occupation? Data Analyst

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:

Speed of Delivery - brisk conversational - no faster

Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?) Big picture

Extension of Arguments into later speeches - If you want me to vote on it, yes

Flowing/note-taking - I am a flow judge as long as the round takes place at a reasonable pace and I am able to keep up, if you go faster than I can flow, and something does not end up on my flow, I will not vote on it

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? As far as the W or L is concerned, 100% argumentation. If you can't articulate your warrant, don't expect to win on it.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Yes

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? Yes, if the round is happening at a reasonable pace, if one team sounds like an auctioneer so the other team is not able to get to all of their arguments, debating at a reasonable pace, I will not be as firm on this.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? No.

Iain Lampert Paradigm

I realized my old paradigm had a bunch of outdated stuff. This is an update. As of January 2020, I've squirreled in 15-20% of outrounds.

Everybody in the round should be able to watch back a recording of the round and be able to understand what was going on. In other words, don't intentionally run arguments that your opponents won't understand. Debate as a whole may be never able to reconcile issues of access and elitism, but you as an individual debater can try not to actively perpetuate it.

I've watched just about every national debate final round in the NSDA's vault and a fair number of TOC outrounds in CX, LD, and PF. I understand PF pretty well.

Cross-examination should be used to clarify your narrative of the round and clean up any misconceptions about each other's arguments. A hyper-confrontational cross-ex is a waste of time and I'll tune it out.

If you're going to spread anything, I need to be on the email chain. I will assume that the sounds coming from your mouth symbolize the words in that document.

If you're talking fast but not spread-level, slow down for the stuff you really want me to flow. Emphasize it. Sometimes you're reading some card details and all that matters is a sentence or so. If you're leaving out some details, it's up to your opponent to make it clear and show why it matters.

If given the choice between something fast and something slow, I like something slow, but only if it's structured and still follows the basic tenets of debate (references to framework, uniqueness-link-impact, etc.). Some folks have confused 'slow' for 'speak pretty instead of having warrants.'

Make things really obvious. I don't know the material as well as you. You're really likely to lose my ballot when you thought you were winning if you assume that I know as much about the source material as you.

Be careful of powertagging. I called for a couple of crucial cards every round at TOC. Just about every card I called for was powertagged. When I didn't give that misrepresented evidence the weight the debaters hoped for, it often was determinative of my final decision.

When it comes to case debate, I'm biased towards voting for marginal net benefits and against high-magnitude, low-probability arguments. If explaining the link story to my non-debate colleagues would likely raise some eyebrows--if it doesn't pass the 'smell test'--you might not want to run it in front of me. That doesn't mean kick ALL nuke war impacts...just make a rock-solid link story so I'm at least convinced of its MODERATE probability.

I'm somewhat familiar with Kritiks that deal with antiblackness, feminism, capitalism, queer theory, biopower, and securitization. If a Kritik doesn't persuade me of its solvency, I have a very hard time voting for it.

I'm not a completely blank-slate judge. If something is glaringly incorrect, it's not like I'll ignore the argument entirely, but I'll probably do some subconscious work to diminish its weight in the round. I am more likely to intervene in a theory-level debate than a case-level debate. I wouldn't call myself tech over truth. At the same time, I don't know if a capital-T 'truth' is out there and I don't expect that my internal understanding of what's 'true' is the same as yours, so I can't confidently say I'm 'truth over tech.' Both matter.

Tell me where I should be flowing at all times. If you don't tell me, I mess up. I like subpoints but I've found that a lot of mid-level debaters will start out referencing subpoints and then just, saying the back half of the round.

Don't tell me to cross-reference different points without doing your own work and telling me how the arguments interact.

Defense is normally sticky. Offense normally needs to be extended. I am unlikely to vote on an argument if it wasn't in the last set of speeches in the round, but never say never. If things are confusing enough, who knows what I'll do? I'm a loose cannon with an axe to grind and nothing to lose.

I believe in the "affirmative burden of proof" in LD and Parli. The AFF gets the privilege of having the last word, so they had better prove the resolution true by the end of the round. If debaters argue to a draw, then I tend to "default NEG." This is not true in PF.

For a while, my speaker points were just based on rhetorical presence and fluency. Now, I find it difficult to disregard your strategic choices when calculating speaker points. I think that I'm still more sensitive to rudeness and disproportionate indignation than some other judges on the circuit.

Nathan Leal Paradigm

2 rounds

Competition Experience:

Competed in Public Forum for 4 years at James Logan High School. I also competed in Lincoln Douglas in college for 1 year.

Coaching Experience:

I have been coaching for about 6 years now at varying institutions in both Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas. I predominately focus on Lincoln Douglas.


Public Forum

I am strongly against bringing spreading into the realm of public forum. I am fine with moderate speed. I will misflow tag-lines and citations if they are rushed, and I prefer a more understandable debate. If you want my ballot, you will be better served talking clearly; too much speed will hurt your speaker points.

I do not take notes during crossfire and only pay attention selectively. Bring up important cross points in the next speech.

First summary needs to extend defense.Please be sure to extend whatever voters here if you plan on extending them in final focus. Any unextended voters in summery are not guaranteed to be evaluated in final focus. Also, I am not going to do work for you. Please make sure that if you are dropping any arguments or making extensions that you tell here where and when its going to happen.

I usually won't keep track of your speech and prep time. It is your job to keep your opponents accountable.

Truth > Tech. I want quantifiable, weighable, terminal, impacts. Please make my life easier and don't read cards without warrants and don't ready hypothetical impact scenarios with no concrete warranting behind the impacts.

Theory and K's have also been rumored to be circling higher end competitions. As a LD coach I understand the merit of such arguments. I believe that PF is the wrong forum to discuss such issues and bring up such arguments; however, I may vote on kritiks, as long as I understand them and especially their solvency mechanism and mutual exclusivity. I am not comfortable judging on the basis of your identity or anyone else’s.

Tianliang Lee Paradigm

7 rounds

Hi, this is Tianliang’s son.

My dad is your standard lay judge. Don’t assume he knows a lot about the topic.

English is also not his first language, so I recommend you speak slowly and explain things clearly - he really likes listening to politicians talk and audiobooks as well. He isn’t too politically knowledgeable but he knows a lot of stuff about famous people because he listens to so many audiobooks. If you try to act knowledgeable and hnderstanding of the topic, he will be inclined to vote for you.

Most of all, he likes respectful and nice debaters. Do this, and it will help your speaker points a lot.

Xinping Lu Paradigm

4 rounds

I am a parent judge with one and half years of experience in judging Public Forum. Never competed Public Forum or any other Forensic activities, but I am a biomedical scientist and do research, analysis, and interpret scientific data on a daily basis.

Since English is not my first language, I prefer clear and not too fast speech, so I can catch up the words and meaning of your talk.

I use following criteria when I judge a round:

Were the arguments intelligent? Your response to the arguments

The discrediting to the opposition’s response

The debaters back up their assertions with logical thinking and evidence when needed

Fair in interpretation of the resolution and one another’s statements?

Who is advancing the most significant arguments in the round?

I don’t weight much on the speed of speech, believe less words with sound arguments are much better than too much words which have to be delivered with fast speech.

Don’t have preference on the format of Summary Speeches, and evaluate argument over style.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, their arguments have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches. If a team is second speaking, I prefer that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech.

Don’t vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus.

Josiah Macumber Paradigm

7 rounds

Debated for Liberty University

Current: Affiliate Coach for JMU. Interlake High School.

Yes email chain:

TLDR: Do not feel the need to adapt to my preferences I will do my best to judge fairly. Be persuasive and tell me why arguments are important. Dropped arguments are true arguments, but you need to still explain them and why they matter.

Speaking Preferences:

Slow down on analytics people can only write/type so fast, so slow down if you want me to flow it all. Same applies for theory arguments.

I do not have a concrete method for assigning speaker points. That being said things that help are: clarity, volume (not a big fan of barely being able to hear someone), cross ex (good questions/good answers), and strategic decisions.

K: Have a specific link to plan action/reps/epistemology makes it a lot easier to win instead of generic state links- those are cool and all, but at least contextualize it. Many times bad link debating is done so that the link explanation could have been read against any affirmative on any topic. Those are bad ways of explaining a link and it should be articulated in context of the round that is being had. That can take a variety of forms such as reading through the other team's evidence and pulling quotes that prove your link argument or the logic of the link. It could also take the form of using the answers that other teams provide in cross ex. Each link should have it's own unique impact and it would behoove you to explain how the link turns the case.

Framing for these debates is essential and direction is key for what to prioritize. It's nice to win the alternative, but I don't think it's necessary. IF you are not going for the alternative make it clear otherwise I will evaluate the perm and whether the alt can overcome the instances of the links.

CP: A good CP and DA combo is a solid option for the 2NR. I also enjoy well thought out PIC's. CP's don't necessarily need evidence, but it is preferred (solvency advocate theory is probably a good arg against this).

Maybe it's just me, but after a team spreads through the planks and card for a CP I am still somewhat unsure what it does. Explanation is important in terms of explaining how it solves and why it is different from the affirmative.

DA: Explain it well and it's interaction with the case. You need to do the analysis of why it outweighs the case or turns it. Do comparative evidence analysis and provide reasons why their evidence is not as warranted or does not really answer the DA and tell me why your evidence is better. That does not mean "our ev post dates by 3 days so it's better", but rather "our evidence analyzes long term trends through X method that provides a predictive claim, and their's is an opinion article".

T: Not really a big T expert, so explanation is key.

Generally I believe that over limiting is better than under limiting due to in depth research providing better education. Provide a coherent view of what the topic would look like without the limit that you set on it versus what the affirmative justifies when you are impacting out the T debate. That could include a case list that they justify that explodes research burdens or specific ground loss. You do not have to win in round abuse. Just impact it out well and you should be good.

Analyze the other teams evidence and make smart args against it. I think that is specifically true in the context of things like T subs (some ev makes claims of what substantial is not, but does not set a standard for what is substantial).

Framework: Strategic and I vote on it. However, I think that there are a few different ways to do it that are less offensive / more strategic. Top level winning that debate is a game probably means that fairness is an impact, but that work needs to be done. If education is the impact you are going for there must be good reasons why policy education is desirable or better than critical education. I think it is less strategic to make arguments like "our education spills over and we can one day do _____ to change the system"... that relies on a notion of spill over from policy education. If that is true, why then does that spillover not apply to the affirmative and their method/epistemology?

Theory: Dropped theory arguments are pretty easy to vote on, so don't drop them. Provide a reason why the abuse outweighs any other possible impact and make it a big deal. Just don't blaze through it and expect to win even if it was dropped.

-Policy AFF's: Tell a coherent story and do good impact calculus. Often times teams forget to do that and it's a super important part of the last rebuttals. If you are reading a hard right AFF I find it is better to just stick with it and go for util/death outweighs. I really do think it's more strategic against the criticism to go hard right.

-K AFF's: I think there is a great value to critical affirmatives. Just be prepared for the framework debate and explain why your model of debate is better or have disads to their model. I find it very helpful when critical affirmative provide examples and have in depth historical knowledge about their theory. In addition, providing examples of things the aff could do or would do helps to materialize some of the theory that can make it easier to grasp especially if it is not a literature base I am familiar with.

I typically find that most teams are not ready to defend the entirety of their aff, so if you are negative against a K aff I think that a well developed PIK argument and some case arguments are rather strategic.

There is no single way to my ballot and there are often a variety of strategies that can work in the debate. Be smart and strategic... I often find that the debates I enjoy the most are guided by bold choices from the debaters.

Be nice to other debaters. That doesn't mean you can't be witty or funny just be respectful of others. I think debate is a great activity to make new friends and to enjoy yourself. There is no need to take yourself and other people too seriously, creating a fun environment to debate in makes debates 100% more enjoyable. Jokes are also appreciated. On second thought... maybe don't.

Kaden Marchetti Paradigm

7 rounds

Who am I:

Public Forum Coach from Highland High School.

5 Years of Debate mainly in public forum. I have some Parli and other debate types under my belt.

I am used to national circuit public forum. I am a champion in collegiate public forum at PKD Nationals

I am very familiar with the topic. You can throw whatever at me.

I will do my best to come into the debate with no preconceived notions of what public forum is supposed to look like.

Public Forum

Here's the best way to earn my ballet:

1) Win the flow. I will almost entirely vote off the flow at the end of the debate. If it's not in the FF I won't evaluate it at the end of the day.

2) Impact out what you win on the flow. I don't care if your opponents clean concede an argument that you extend through every speech if you don't tell me why I should care.

3) Clash with your opponent. Just because you put 5 attacks on an argument doesn't mean it has been dealt with if your attacks have no direct clash with the argument. If you are making an outway argument, tell me and I can evaluate it as such!

4) Please.. PLEASE extend your arguments from summary to final focus. Public forum is a partner event for a reason. i don't want two different stories from your side of the debate. Give me an argument, extend it through all your speeches and that's how you gain offense from it at the end of the day.


Y'all this isn't policy. It's public forum where you have potentially 4 minutes to detail a K, link your opponents to it, and impacted it out. This doesn't mean I won't evaluate and potentially vote on a K, rather I would caution against running a K just to say you ran a K in public forum. I have seen them before.


I can keep up with pretty much whatever you throw at me. Signposting is critical but in the rare case I have trouble I will drop my pen and say clear to give you a notice.


I will drop you if you run one of these. This is public forum.

Speaker Points

Speaker points will be given with a couple points of consideration:

1) Logic. Anyone can yell cards 100mph at the top of their lungs. Speaker points will be higher for individuals who actually use logic to back up their evidence. Honestly you should be using logic anyways.

2) Signposting and clarity: Organization and well-built arguments are key in PF and.. ya know.. life.

3) Coding jokes. I am a computer scientist and will probably lose it (.5 SP bump for adaptation)

Calling for evidence

I will only call for evidence that is contended throughout the round, with that being said if you want me to call for evidence, tell me to call for it and what is wrong with it so I don't have to throw my own judgement in.

Any other questions ask me in round!

Lincoln Douglas:

I have judged quite a bit of Lincoln Douglas in Idaho; however, I am primarily a national circuit Public Forum Coach. I have will no problem following your on-case argumentation. K's, while I have introductory knowledge about, are not my speciality and please adjust accordingly.

I have no problem with counter plans in LD and I will come into the round with an open mind of how LD is supposed to look.

4 Tips for me:

1. Win the flow by extending your arguments and collapsing on key voters.

2. I could care less if you win the value/c debate unless you tell me why it ties to your impacts in a unique scope that your opponent does not.

3. Coding jokes get a .5 SP bump for adaption. (I am a computer scientist and believe adaptation is important to public speaking. But you won't be penalized for this haha)

4. Have fun!

If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Rachel Mauchline Paradigm

7 rounds

Rachel Mauchline

Director of Debate Cabot

Conflicts- Bentonville West


Put me on the email chain @

speed is good

tech over truth

flex prep

open cross


I'm commonly a judge that flips between judging cx, ld, and pf. There are specific sections of this paradigm for policy and progressive ld arguments. I've also got a general PF section. Ask questions if you have any comments or concerns.

I typically get preferred for more policy-oriented debate. I gravitated to more plan focused affirmatives and t/cp/da debate. I would consider myself overall to be a more technically driven and line by line organized debater. My ideal round would be a policy affirmative with a plan text and three-seven off. Take that as you wish though.

Public Forum

you do you. make the debate whatever you want it to be. I've got experience judging rounds on multiple levels from local levels all the way to the finals of the toc. I like rebuttals to have clear line by line with numbered responses. second speaker should frontline in rebuttal. summary needs to extend terminal defense and offense OR really anything that you want in final focus. final focus should have substantial weighing and a clear way for me to write my ballot.


I enjoy a well articulated t debate. In fact, a good t debate is my favorite type of debate to judge. Both sides need to have a clear interpretation. Make sure it’s clearly impacted out. Be clear to how you want me to evaluate and consider arguments like the tva, switch side debate, procedural fairness, limits, etc.


This was my fav strat in high school. I’m a big fan of case-specific disadvantages but also absolutely love judging politics debates- be sure to have up to date uniqueness evidence in these debates though. It’s critical that the disad have some form of weighing by either the affirmative or negative in the context of the affirmative. Counterplans need to be functionally or textually competitive and also should have a net benefit. Slow down for CP texts and permutations- y’all be racing thru six technical perms in 10 seconds. Affirmative teams need to utilize the permutation more in order to test the competition of the counterplan. I don’t have any bias against any specific type of counterplans like consult or delay, but also I’m just waiting for that theory debate to happen.


I believe that case debate is under-covered in many debates by both teams. I love watching a case debate with turns and defense instead of the aff being untouched for the entire debate until last ditch move by the 2AR. The affirmative needs to continue to weigh the aff against the negative strat. Don't assume the 1AC will be carried across for you throughout the round. You need to be doing that work on the o/v and the line by line. It confuses me when the negative strat is a CP and then there are no arguments on the case; that guarantees aff 100% chance of solvency which makes the negative take the path of most resistance to prove the CP solves best.


I’m not as familiar with this form of argumentation or literature, but I’ll vote for the k. From my observations, I think teams end up just reading their prewritten blocks instead of directly engaging with the k specific to the affirmative. Be sure you understand what you are reading and not just reading a backfile or an argument that you don’t understand. The negative needs to be sure to explain what the alt actually is and more importantly how the alt engages with the affirmative. Similar to disads, the neg block/nr should expand on the link level of the debate and then condense down to the link they are winning in the 2NR for policy. I am seeing more and more teams, taking the strategy of kicking the alt and cross-applying the links as disads on the case flow. It's important to be aware though that for some kritiks that simply kicking the alt eliminates the uniqueness level of the link debate since they are simply implications from the status quo. That’s a cool strategy, which is also why affirmative teams need to be sure to not just focus on the alternative vs. the aff but also respond to all parts of the K. I think most aff teams that read a plan should have clear framework against the K in order to weigh this aff against the alt. Like I’ve said I judge more K rounds than I expected, but if you are reading a specific authors that isn’t super well known in the community, but sure to do a little more work in the o/v.


I’ll vote for whatever theory; I don’t usually intervene much in theory debates but I do think it’s important to flesh out clear impacts instead of reading short blips in order to get a ballot. Saying “pics bad” and then moving on without any articulation of in round/post fiat impacts isn’t going to give you much leverage on the impact level. You can c/a a lot of the analysis above on T to this section. It’s important that you have a clear interp/counter interp- that you meet- on a theory debate.

Lizzie McCord Paradigm

7 rounds

Hi! I did PF at Hunter College High School (NY) until 2017, and now I'm an assistant coach for Saint Mary's Hall (TX). Honestly just make the round fun and entertaining please I beg of you.

A quick note: This is my tenth year in the debate space. I’ve experienced a lot of debate rounds, and have probably had more bad than good experiences. Let’s make this a good one! Come into the round ready to learn and be supportive to everyone in the round, including your opponents. Have fun and be kind to everyone in the room. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make the round a more safe and fun experience for you (feel free to fb message me in advance of the round!). Please give a meaningful (i.e. people can actually opt-out if they are worried about being triggered) trigger warning if you’re reading arguments on sensitive topics (for me personally esp with regards to addiction, abuse, or sexual violence). Contact your opponents and me before the round or give people a chance at the beginning of the round to text you to ask that you not read certain arguments you warn us about, and actually read a different case if someone asks! Happy to walk people through best practices for trigger warning if there's confusion. Given the fact that I'm specifying this, I will 100% vote off trigger warning theory if the abuse is clear, and will auto-drop you if you don't trigger warn an argument I can't judge bc it is a trigger for me. I’m excited for the next hour we’ll spend together! :)


· Weigh

· Warrant and extend warrants not just card names

· Frontline offense in second rebuttal, extend defense the speech after it's frontlined, offense needs to be in summary + ff for me to vote off it

· You can go fast, but don’t spread

· Read any kind of arguments except disclosure

· Believe in role of the ballot arguments if you read them

Cale McCrary Paradigm

4 rounds

I care most about the round being safe, so let me know if you need any accommodations beforehand.

Debate how you're comfortable. I’m tab, so feel free to read anything non-exclusionary, including progressive arguments.

I don't care what 2nd rebuttal does, only that defense is extended the speech after it's frontlined. Dropped defense will stick, even if unextended. Speed is totally fine provided your opponents are cool with it, you're clear, and, if you're going policy wpm, you send a doc to

Chad Meadows Paradigm

4 rounds

LD Update 10/31

1 - For the foreseeable future, I plan to flow on paper. I think it makes me a more engaged and better critic of argument. I can become too distracted on my computer, and in the last couple of tournaments I've been disappointed in my ability to track argument interactions and provide quality feedback on argument construction.

2 - I will limit the number of times that I reference the speech docs during the round. During CX when evidence is referenced, I will read along with the debaters. I might check the doc while you're speaking to check for cross-reading, or to remedy confusion that I think is my fault, but I'm not going to fix your inability to communicate by reading the doc. By all means go fast, but be clear and git gud at the line-by-line.

*public forum paradigm notes at the bottom.

Big Picture

Debate should reward hard work. Your strategies and in round execution should reflect intensive research and thought about the topic/your opponents arguments.

Truth over Tech - but you have to be prepared to debate. I have strong preferences against nonsense, but you must be skilled enough to meet a minimum threshold for responsiveness.

Things to not do

Read topicality without a definition.

Read procedurals without implications for topicality.

Read a bunch of old debate articles/textbooks without links topic specific evidence.

Make a bunch of underdeveloped defensive arguments and appeal to presumption.

Make a bunch of shallow offensive arguments and appeal to “try or die”.

Appeal to the rules as a primary strategy.

Argue that an argument type should be excluded from NFA-LD.

Rely on an RVI as a response to Topicality. I don’t even flow it.

Pretend that a stock issues paradigm is a reliably valuable approach to evaluate policy controversies.

Be an unreasonable awful person as you debate.

Trot out an obscenely outdated back-file that you are not prepared to defend or persuasively argue. I get that back-files are helpful, but preparation has to be more than Copy/Paste.

Things to do

Read about the topic. Anything about TOPIC. Gender/Security Rhetoric/Leadership/Drug Policy/Eco-Feminism / Post-Colonial Studies ….IT DOESN’T MATTER. Just read about the topic, or you missed the point. Nearly all question of argument preference could be filtered through the lens of topic relevance.

Demonstrate competency when selecting the arguments you advance in the debate. This includes collapsing in the 1NR.

Demonstrate a reasonable amount of preparation to discuss a diverse set of issues relevant to the resolution and in round performance.


Debate should be a referendum on the quality and quantity of research done first, and then a matter of execution later. I will reward debaters who do excellent and thorough research over debaters who have “slick tricks” to win debates. I think evidence is VERY important, its quality and qualifications should be debated. I will usually prefer excellent evidence to spin. When comparing a good card which was not well explained/had no spin vs. no card or a bad card with excellent spin I will typically prefer the good card. I will call for cards after the debate. I will generally only call for evidence which is referenced in the final two rebuttals. Refer to evidence by last name and date after it has been cited in the first instance. If you do not READILY share citations and evidence with your opponent in the round - I WILL be cranky, probably vote against you, or at the very least give you TERRIBLE speaker points.


If speaking at a more rapid rate is used to advance more scholarship in the round, I encourage debaters to speak quickly. If speaking quickly devolves into assaulting the round with a barrage of bad arguments in the hope that your opponent will not clash with them all, my ballot and speaker points will not encourage this practice. I keep an excellent and detailed flow. However, winning for me is more about establishing a coherent and researched explanation of the world rather than extending a specific argument. An argument is not “true” because it is extended on one sheet of paper if it is logically answered by evidence on another sheet of paper or later on the line by line. You can check your rhetorical bullying at the door. Posturing, repeating yourself (even loudly), insulting your opponents, or insisting that I will "ALWAYS vote here" are probably a waste of your time.

Argument Selection

Any argument that advances argument on the desirability of the resolution through valid decision making is persuasive. The source of argumentation should be left up to the debaters. I am very unlikely to be persuaded that the source of evidence justifies its exclusion. In particular I am unconvinced the methodology, epistemology, ontology, and other indicts pertaining to the foundation of the affirmative are unjustified avenues of research to explore in debate. Above all else, the content of your argument should not be used to duck clash.

Strong Argument Preferences:

1 - Topicality is a voter and not a reverse voter. "Proving abuse" is irrelevant, well explained standards are not.

2 – The affirmative does not have to specify more than is required to affirm the resolution. I encourage Affirmatives to dismiss specs/vagueness and other procedurals without implications for the topicality of the affirmative with absolute disregard.

3 – Conditionality is logical, restraints on logical decision making are only justified in extreme circumstances.

4 – There is nothing implied in the plan. Consult, process, and other counterplans which include the entirety of the plan text are not competitive.

5 – I will decide if the counterplan is competitive by evaluating if the permutation is better than the counterplan alone or if the plan is better than counterplan. Ideological, philosophical, and redudancy standards for competiton are not persuasive and not useful for making decisions.

6 – I mediate my preferences for arguably silly counterplans like agent, international, and PICS/PECS primarily based upon the quality of the counterplan solvency evidence.

7 – Direction/Strength of link evidence is more important than “controlling uniqueness” This is PARTICULARLY true when BOTH sides have compelling and recent uniqueness evidence. Uniqueness is a strong factor in the relative probability of the direction of the link, if you don't have uniqueness evidence you are behind.

8 - I do not have a "threshold" on topicality. A vote for T is just as internally valid as a vote for a DA. I prefer topicality arguments with topic specific interpretation and violation evidence. I will CLOSELY evaluate your explanation on the link and impact of your standards.

9 - I am very unlikely to make a decision primarily based upon defensive arguments.

Public forum

1 - First summary does not have to extend defense if it is not frontlined. If it is frontlined then you must extend it.

2 - 2nd rebuttal will get a major bonus in terms of speaker points and argument evaluation if they collapse and also frontline the argument you collapse to.

3 - Read real cards. Please please please read cards.

Elizabeth Meerson Paradigm

2 rounds

Debate doesn’t matter. Human rights atrocities happen no matter how I vote. We can only change what happens in a round, not in US foreign/domestic policy.

Coach for La Salle Pasadena. Coaching for 6 years @ local, circuit, TOC/NSDA Nats level.

Speed is fine (because debate doesn’t matter), but if it's not great, I'll let you know and say 'clear'. Don't spread--it's not a way to pick up my ballot (again, debate doesn’t matter). Threshold: 270 words, give or take.

New Summary/Prep rules: Spend 2 minutes on summary, then that third minute on weighing. Final focus--start with that weighing that your 1st speaker ended on, then do the extensions. Summary=collapse. Spend that newly acquired 3d minute of summary providing a comparative impact calc or link weighing or whatever, but explaining how you outweigh. Don't use summary as a 2nd/additional rebuttal, if you can help it. If you want me to consider your arguments in Final Focus, I need to have heard them extended through the Summary. Final focus should be mostly comparative weighing. I will vote for the team that recognizes their own arg in its relevance to their opponents'.

I have a soft spot for Kritiks (because debate is problematic), so you can try it out, but if your Kritik ends up doing more harm than good (taking advantage of a Kritik to pick up a ballot without truly interacting with the literature of the Kritik or understanding each party's participation in oppressive systems, etc. will annoy me), I'll not consider it and possibly intervene against you.

If I don't get something on the flow, it's because you didn't emphasize it enough. I'll weigh what's on my flow, and that's the best I can do.

Re: postrounding--I don't find it educational. In fact, as a woman in debate who has her decisions and presence questioned at nearly every intersection in this activity, I find that getting postrounded by debaters just makes the space hostile and exhausting. So if you find yourself disguising your anger at losing the round as "just asking questions about the flow/round to get better," or worse, trying to embarrass and discredit your judge or your opponents, I'll tank your speaks after the round is over. If you have questions (rather than a desire to regain some power that you lost in dropping the round), come see me outside the round and we can talk.

When in doubt, ask. Or strike me. Either works.

Amisha Mehta Paradigm

2 rounds

I am a lawyer, Co-Director of the Westfield Debate Team and Co-Chair of the NYCUDL Board.

I have judged PF for the last 2 years, over 75 rounds.

I will judge based on a combination of the flow, general logic and common sense.

Speed-don't do it. If I can't understand you, I can't give you credit for it.

If you want me to vote on an issue please include it in both summary and final focus.

Write my RFD for me in final focus.

Only call for evidence if there is a real need (context, integrity).

In general, be nice. I believe in debate access for all so I will cut your speaks if you create an environment where other people don't want to participate in the activity.

Good luck and have fun!

Ron Melendi Paradigm

7 rounds


I consider myself to be a "flay" judge. I take comprehensive notes and try my best to vote purely off the argumentation presented in round.

A few things:

1. Speak at a reasonable pace. If you go way too fast and are unintelligible, your speaks will hurt.

2. I will call evidence if you ask me to, or if the evidence just sounds BS. Be careful.

3. If you call me the "Sheriff" I will give you +1 speaker points.

Belen Mella Paradigm

7 rounds

Public Forum coach for Horace Mann, competed for Miami Beach, senior in college.

I am writing this paradigm against my will because I don't think there should be paradigms in public forum debate! If you follow the rules and convince me, you will win the round. That said:

- Speed is fine, but if I look like I'm struggling to keep up or understand, slow down.

- I'm bad at getting down author names. Extend the institution name if possible (e.g. NY Times, not Smith).

- If you want me to vote on something, it should be in summary. That said, you don't need too much terminal defense in summary (but I would like to see some acknowledgment of your opponent's case).

- I prefer line by line, but obviously connect ideas, generate clash, address framework, etc.

- Second speaking team doesn't have to cover front lines in rebuttal, but it's nice if you do.

- Repeat crossfire points in speeches if you want them to be considered.

- WARRANT YOUR ARGUMENTS! Absolutely the most important thing. A good life skill too. Why does what you're saying make sense?

- Flesh things out for me! I don't want to intervene with my own thoughts/ideas, so if there's anything you want in my brain (even if its obvious, or even if you just want to express some healthy skepticism on a claim) say it out loud!

- Be funny but not mean :)

Sherry Meng Paradigm

2 rounds

I assign seats based on who is AFF and who is NEG, so flip before you unpack.


General things:

- I like to describe myself as a flay judge, but I try my best not to intervene. Sometimes I hear ridiculous arguments (usually "scientific" arguments), and I will tell you while I disclose why they are bad. That said, I will always evaluate the round based on what is said in the round, and my own opinions/knowledge won't make an impact on the decision.

- Be clear on your link chain; during the summary and final focus, you need to explain the logical reason behind your argument.

- Speed threshold: if you go above 200 words per minute I'll start missing details on my flow

- Evidence: I only call evidence if asked; it's up to you to tell me when evidence is bad.

- Jargon: Public Forum is meant to be judged by anyone off the street, so don't use jargon.

- Progressive Argumentation: Don't read it. Topicality is essential. The side deviates from topicality first loses.

- Weighing: if you don't weigh, I'll weigh for you and pick what I like.

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


I understand progressive arguments are the norm. However, I am a firm believer that we debate a topic for a reason. No one should walk in the round without looking at the topic and just win off a K that is not directly related to the topic. Education value is maximized when people actually research and debate the topic. All tools are at your disposal as long as its on topic per NSDA website for the tournament.

Noah Mengisteab Paradigm

4 rounds


Duchesne Academy (2017-Present)

Private Coach for Interlake (2018-present)

Marist '16// Rice University '20


Pronouns: he/him/his

Important for 2019-2020 Season:

Evidence - I HIGHLY recommend reading card text or at least referring to an accurately cut card in the constructive and rebuttal, not just hyperlinks. These are properly cut cards (Thank you Christian Vasquez for the link). If you don't cut cards then you might want to consider striking me.

There a few reasons why I'm going to be more strict about using cut cards. Cut cards promote better research and debate ethics. I understand trying to fit as many sources as possible into speeches, but lying about what your evidence says ruins the ethos of the round and cheats everyone of the educational and competitive components of this activity. And I'm tired of calling for evidence that contradicts the warrant read in round.

Disclosure -Disclosure can happen in two ways - either through the wiki or by emailing your opponents and myself prior to the round. While I won't penalize for nondisclosure, you will get +0.3 speaker points for disclosing or sending me case & speech docs and +0.5 for doing both. Misdisclosure is an auto-loss and lowest speaker points allowed.

Accommodations - I'm 100% fine with any accommodations debaters might need. Just communicate what you need before the round. Opponents will also receive the same benefits. If you are an opposing team that disagrees with reasonable accommodations, get over it and just debate.


My views on Public Forum evolved the past season based on observations of rounds and conversations I've had with debaters/coaches. Below are some general things I expect to see when I judge your round as well as my thoughts on progressive debate.

General Thoughts:

1.) I look at the round through an offense/defense paradigm - you have to adequately defend your offense and place defense on your opponents. To me, just having defense is not enough unless you warrant why your terminal defense should be preferred over any offense from the opposing team.

On my flow, offense requires a link/warrant, an impact, and frontlining. Miss one and it will be harder for me to flow your offense.

2.) Speeches must build off of each other. It’s not enough to just read some offense or defense in one speech and only extend it at the very end in the Final Focus. Rebuttals need to be line-by-line with 2nd rebuttals frontlining major turns for at least 30-60 seconds. Any offense or defense you want me to look at on my flow needs to be cleanly extended, especially in the Summary and the Final Focus.

3a.) The Summary and Final Focus MUST MIRROR EACH OTHER! Any OVs, observations, offense, and defense you want me to look at needs to be in BOTH SPEECHES! The burden to extend defense in the summary rests on both teams. I don't care about the 1st speaking team disadvantage in summary because there are other advantages in the round.

3b.) Defense and Offense Structure - Defense on "their case" doesn’t mean you extend every arg from the rebuttal, but extending the most important ones with good analysis (like turns). Offense is super simple - any offense you want me to consider at the end of the round must be in summary. Refer above for the requirements of a proper extension. Please also DO WARRANTED & COMPARATIVE WEIGHING! I have no problem dropping you because you didn’t do a good job extending or weighing in the round. Also, most teams are really bad at line by line. Save yourself and do VOTERS!!!

4.) Evidence – You can expect that I have done quite a bit of research on the topic and will understand most topic args. For the most part, I don’t interfere with the debate and will flow and vote on any arg presented (basically tech over truth). The only times I will interfere (and most likely vote you down) would be when the args/examples presented are blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, anything ridiculous like "extinction/terrorism good," or when I know a piece of evidence being read is completely misrepresented. I will call for evidence if debaters ask me to or if I find it important in my decision. Cards should be properly cut (refer to the message at the top). And evidence exchange needs to be quick - I will give you 1 min to find evidence. If you go over it, I will start deducting prep time. We need to keep rounds on time. And when a team is finding evidence, no one should be prepping.

Also, it's up to the debaters in the round to call each other out and issue a formal evidence ethics challenge if I don't call for a card.

5.) Disclosure - Refer to the disclosure message above. You should disclose at national circuit tournaments/championships.

6.) Decisions - No matter the tournament (unless explicitly told not to like NSDAs), I will always give a decision and detailed RFD a few minutes after the round. I am constantly thinking about who is winning along with an RFD in my mind and on my flow after each speech. If for some reason you don’t want me to disclose who won, let me know. I'm also willing to answer more questions outside the round and email my flows for you to see how I evaluated the round.

"Progressive" PF:

Plans/CPs/DAs - I've always been okay with “specific” plans, “pseudo” CPs, and DAs because I used them during my debate career. Just make sure you "fit" them within PF and the resolution. Debaters who complain about the rules of PF debate when it comes to plans and CPs – get over it and debate.

Kritics - I'm okay with the generic K's people try to run (i.e. Feminism, Capitalism, Securitization, etc.) but I am not familiar with high theory (i.e. Baudrillard, Bataille, Nietzsche).

Theory - Theory is the highest layer of debate. I am okay with just a paragraph or a full shell. For me to extend your theory argument, you need to read it as soon as the abuse occurs. For disclosure/misdisclosure, you need to read it in the constructive since it's essentially abuse before the round. Additionally, theory needs to be extended throughout the debate. Otherwise, it becomes disingenuous and your speaker points will suffer. Evidence of abuse is also needed for theory (especially disclosure related shells). Extending theory your opponents drop is a TKO (auto-win and +0.5 speaks). These theory preferences (except reading disclosure) applies to any tournament round I judge.


1.) Preflow before the round*** otherwise -0.3 speaker points.

2.) Crossfires - It's usually not important to my ballot and I don't flow them. I think it’s more for y'all to clarify your args to each other. If something significant is said in cross-fire, then bring up immediately in the next speech to make it binding. Also, be nice to each other.

3.) Speed - I am okay if you go fast (6-7/10), so long as you are clear. I reserve the right to ask for a speech doc if you went to fast.

[I used to say "micro" spreading but bc of the war against jargon by Jeff Miller & Lyndsey Oliver, I took it out...]

4.) Speaker points - For me, speaker points take into account analysis and persuasiveness. However, debate is an educational activity that requires good use of evidence, so I lean more towards analysis. Scale from 27-30 with everyone starting at a 27. If you get below a 25, you did something unethical in the round. Typically, speaks I give tournaments range from 27-29. Don't expect a 30 just because you won the round.


Yes, add me to your email chain:

I didn't do LD in HS, but I've judged some LD rounds the past two years and coach it in a traditional circuit. My paradigm for LD is similar to PF in that I will still look at the round on an offense/defense paradigm. I'll flow any argument you want to present to me (Ks, CPs, DAs, Theory, etc.). Speed is the same as PF. Don't spread. If you have specific questions, ask me before the round. At national circuit tournaments, LD should always disclose positions on the wiki.

Questions? Ask before the round

Jeremy Metz Paradigm

2 rounds

Flow judge who appreciates civility, especially in cross, which should be used for asking and answering questions, not speech making. Generally, a question may be followed by a follow-up, after which it is the turn of the other side. Starting the first constructives with key definitional and framework arguments is a good idea, as is providing, in FF, your view on how the impacts should be weighed. Try to terminalize your impacts in terms of values, including human life, equity, the environment, etc. Debaters should keep their own time only, and provide their account of how much prep time remains after each instance in which they take some and reconcile it with me if I have a discrepancy. Evidence should be represented with scrupulous accuracy, and the source should be fully identified, including the credentials of the writer, the date, and the publication. If I call for a card and observe that the evidence is old and you didn't give a date, I'll be concerned. Likewise, if you use evidence in a way that's misleading, I won't be pleased, e.g. if you use it to make a general claim when it's talking about a specific instance that bears little relation to the contention it's being used to support. Evidentiary challenges should be presented to me immediately after the final speech. Stylistically, debaters should speak clearly and audibly, while avoiding shouting. Speed will always be an issue, and debaters are urged to pace themselves mindfully of their opponents and judge(s).

Policy Update

Please see the above, as applicable, especially as regards civility. I prefer that issues of framework, topicality, definition, and interpretation be dealt with up front. Creativity is fine, but it must be firmly grounded in the reasonable. New arguments should not be presented in the rebuttal speeches, although there's always a judgment call when they're coming in as blocks. Clash is good; clash nullification is problematic. Plans should be substantive and intended to further policy objectives, not trivial and intended simply to confound the opposition.

Jeffrey Miller Paradigm

2 rounds

Jeffrey Miller
Director of Speech & Debate at Marist School in Atlanta, GA (2011-present)
Director of Debate/Asst Director of Debate, Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, GA (2006-2011)

Thoughts about the new PF rules:

1) 3 minute summaries don't change anything in the grand scheme of things. I still believe that a) teams should respond to the first rebuttal in the second rebuttal, b) everything in final focus needs to be in summary and c) there should be weighing throughout the round. What 3 minute summaries do effect is that they raise my standard for what is acceptable as an extension. Merely re-stating your claims is no longer enough to count as an extension - you have an extra minute - make actual arguments in the summary speeches.

2) The new paraphrasing rules indicate that you must have cut cards. Don't read that as you must read cards, but read it as I believe the new rules indicate that that for the protection of the debater you must have cut the card. I will not evaluate evidence that is not cut. I will not wait for you to cut a card in the post round if I need a piece of evidence. If I see you exchange evidence throughout the debate that is not cut, I will dock your speaker points.

Guide to Prefs Based Your Research Habits

If you cut cards & read cards in case & rebuttal -- I am probably a top 10 judge in your prefs. This is my ideal version of debate - I will flow the warrants of your cards and not just the taglines.

If you cut cards, read cards in case & paraphrase in rebuttal -- C'mon, its not that hard - just read cards in rebuttal. Believe me, the time you think are "wasting" by reading cards is worth it. But besides that, I'm probably a pretty good judge for you.

If you cut cards, but paraphrase throughout the debate -- I'm not your worst judge by far. I have a higher standard of holding arguments to their original context than others, but I won't vote you down just because you paraphrase. If this describes you, it is truly silly to strike me over someone who's never judged a debate before.

If you do not cut cards and you paraphrase -- strike me. please.

3) "Progressive" Argumentation, lol. I don't think there is enough time in a PF speech to warrant clearly most kritiks - that doesn't mean I won't vote for them, but it does mean that you're starting from a disadvantage because I don't think you can fully articulate why they should be voted on. For theory, there needs to be actual abuse and it needs to be used sparingly. Disclosure Theory is dumb, but sometimes necessary - I think misdisclosure is way worse than not disclosing. Paraphrasing Theory is also kind of dumb based on my previous statement of there needs to be actual abuse. If a team is paraphrasing a card poorly, you don't need theory to beat them - just beat their argument and call them out. Every other theory arg I've judged honestly doesn't have its place in the debate. Theory is not a way to win rounds, its a way to check bad behaviors.

**The Rest**

Debate is hard. I expect every debater to work hard before, during and after each tournament. Working hard means cutting cards and doing research on the topic. I expect debaters to not search for shortcuts to make this easier - doing your own research and cutting your own cards will pay dividends in all of your debates. In debates I judge you, you should expect I work hard to evaluate the debate and make the best decision possible. That's my guarantee to you.

Since Public Forum is a research based activity, I expect debates to be more about evidence usage and execution than persuasive speaking. If I expect debates to be about evidence usage, the prerequisite to this is having evidence and using it. I expect all five participants in the round (myself and the four debaters) to be well read on the topic and flow the debate. You should expect me to give you constructive feedback on the ballot as well as in round after the debate.

In debates, speeches build off of each other. It would be weird if we engaged in a communication activity where we ignored what the other person did right before our speech - that's why the second rebuttal must respond to the first rebuttal and so forth. Consistency is vital in debate therefore this expectation continues into the second half. Arguments that you extend in the final focus must be in the summary.

How do I define good evidence ethics?

Every card you read within a debate should be cited (by author, not institution) and be available (almost immediately) within context for your opponent to read. Within context does not mean full text, but the full paragraph of the cited line. (Asking for the full text of the study is dumb/waste 96% of the time, because you have 3 minutes of prep and I'm sorry you don't have enough time to read the full text. I understand sometimes you want to read the conclusion, but you still can't do that within the time limits of this event for more than 1 card usually.)

Teams who cannot quickly exchange evidence should not pref me - please strike me.

Don't lie or blatantly misrepresent about your evidence, I will drop you whether or not the argument is made in the round. I define lying or blatantly misrepresenting evidence as excluding key phrases that are in the text of the document that contradict your point, using portions of evidence to make arguments the authors do not intend, etc. Indicts are not lies or misrepresentations, they're arguments. Cards that are poorly cut/don't make a good argument are just not persuasive. Don't ruin the game, it's really fun when done correctly.

Come to the debate prepared and you won't have a problem.

What is my speaker point scale?

Speaker points are earned for the arguments you make in the debate. Every debater in every round starts at a 28.0. I will move up/down on a scale with steps of 0.1 and not 0.5. You're probably not going to get a 30 from me as that means you were truly perfect. Making smart, strategic arguments is going to maximize your points from me.

Ryan Monagle Paradigm

6 rounds


Ryan Monagle Ridge High School PF coach

In general the clearest ballot story tends to win the round.

Speed: I'm fine with most speed, easiest way for me to comprehend your speaking style is by starting off at conversational pace through the first card so I can familiarize myself with your cadence. After that feel free to take off. Just a note on speed and spreading, I'm 100% 0kay with speed and enjoy it in really competitive rounds, however the speed needs to be justified by a greater depth in your argumentation and not just the need to card dump 100 blippy cards. If there is ever an issue of clarity I will say clear once, afterwards I will awkwardly stare at you if there is no change and then I will stop flowing.

Rebuttal: MAKE SURE YOU SIGNPOST, If I lose you on the flow and miss responses that is on you. I'm fine with line by line responses though most of the time they tend to be absolutely unnecessary. I would rather you group responses. Card dumping will lead me to deducting speaker points. Trust me you don't need 6-7 cards to respond to a single warrant.

Summary: Don't try to go for literally everything in the round. By the time Summary comes around the debate should have narrowed down to a few pieces of offense. Any offense you want to go for in final focus has to be in summary. Whether or not you go for defense in 1st summary is up to those debating in round, sometimes it isn't 100% necessary for you to go for it, sometimes you need to so it to survive the round. You should make that evaluation as the round moves along.

Final Focus: Weigh in final, if neither teams weighs in round then I have to do it at the end of the round and you may not like how that turns out. Weighing should be comparative and should tell me why your offense should be valued over your opponents.

Crossfire: I don't flow crossfire, typically I spend time writing the ballot and reviewing the flow. However, I still pay attention to most occurrences in crossfire. If you go for a concession be explicit and I'll consider it, but you need to extend it in later speeches. Also if you happen to concede something and then immediately go back on it in the next speech I am going to deduct speaks.

Speaker Points: My evaluation for speaker points revolves around presentation and strategy/tactics in the round that I'm judging. Feel free to try to make me laugh if you can I'll give you big props and you'll get a bump up in speaker points.

Please, I beg debaters to take advantage of the mechanisms that exist to challenge evidence ethics in round, I would gladly evaluate a protest in round and drop debaters for evidence violations. I think the practice of lying about/misrepresenting evidence is something a lot coaches and competitors want to see change, but no one takes advantage of the system that currently exists to combat these behaviors in round.

For NCFL: Judges can read evidence if the validity of the source is in question you have to explicitly tell the judge to call for the card in question.

Eva Motolinia Paradigm

2 rounds

TL;DR clean extensions, weighed impacts, and warrant comparison are the easiest way to win my ballot.

I debated for 6 years in PF.

My judging style is very tech but persuasion is still important. I prefer a team that goes deeper on key issues (in the 2nd half of the debate) rather than going for all offense on the flow. There can/ should be a lot on the flow in the 1st half of the debate but not narrowing it down in summ and FF is extremely unstrategic and trades off with time to weigh your arguments and compare warrants.

Use evidence, quote evidence, and we won't have a problem. I think paraphrasing is only acceptable for a handful of cases (i.e. a statistic).

I don't require it but I do think that 2nd rebuttal should rebuild. Now with the 3 min summary, I think a rebuild in rebuttal is crucial. I am very reluctant to accept a lot of new evidence in the 2nd summary because it pushes the debate back too much. (Note: I still accept a warrant clarification or deepening of a warrant/ analysis because that is separate from brand new evidence.)

Defense needs to be in first summary. With 3 minutes, summaries don't have an excuse anymore to be mediocre. Bottom Line: If it is not in summary then it cannot be in final focus. If it is not in final focus then I will not vote on it.

In order to win, you gotta weigh. The earlier you start the weighing, the better. I don't like new mechanisms in 2nd FF (1st FF is still a bit sketch. I am fine with timeframe, magnitude, probability new in the 1st FF but prereque should probably come sooner). The 2nd speaking summary has a big advantage so I don't accept that there is no time to weigh. It is fine if the summary speaker introduces quick weighing and the final focus elaborates on it in final focus (especially for 1st summary). If both teams are weighing, tell me which is the preferable weighing mechanism. Same for framework. Competing frameworks with no warrant for why to prefer either one becomes useless and I will pick the framework that is either cleanly extended or that I like better.

I vote on warrants and CLEAN extensions. A proper extension in the 2nd half of the round is the card name, the content of the card and the implication of the card. Anything short of this is a blippy extension, meaning I give it less weight during my evaluation of the flow. Name of the card is the least important part of the extension for me so don't get too caught up on that, it will just help me find the card on the flow.

I vote on the path of least resistance, if possible. That means that I am more inclined to vote on a dropped turn than messy case offense. But turns need to be implicated, I won't vote on a turn with no impact. Additionally, a link without an impact is useless. So is an impact without a link. Even if your opponent drops something, you still have to do a full extension (it can be quicker still but I don't accept blippy extensions).

You can speak fast, but I would like a warning. If you plan on going REALLY fast, any participant in the room can say "slow" or "clear" because speed is fine but fairness is more important. Also, the faster you speak, the less I will get on the flow. Don't sacrifice persuasion, clarity, or argumentation for speed otherwise, it will be counterproductive for the debate and (possibly) your speaker points.

Also, be nice to each other (but a little sass never hurt anyone). Still, be cognizant of how much leeway you have with sass based on power dynamics (based on identity) and the trajectory of the round/ tone of the room. Sass does not mean bullying.

If the tournament allows, I like to disclose and have a discussion about the round after I submit my ballot. Ask me any questions before or after the round.

Rajini Moudgalya Paradigm

4 rounds

Hello debate enthusiasts,

Iam a parent judge who enjoys watching public forum debate. For the benefit of the community, I would like to use this passion and turn it into service as a debate judge.

Regarding speaking preferences, clarity is very mportant to me. I dislike spreading and prefer a more moderate pace.

Also, I value thoughtful and insightful debates with emphasis on impacts and command over topic literature.

In my book of judging, logic is as important as evidence.

Wishing good luck to all the competitors at the tournament!

Joanna Mrsich Paradigm

7 rounds


Assistant Coach for Fairmont Preparatory Academy


Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from the University of La Verne '18

Debate Experience:

University of La Verne 2014 Performance Scholarship Recipient for Speech & Debate

Competitive collegiate British Parliamentary style debater 2014 - 2018

Attended over 25 tournaments nationally & internationally: The Oxford IV 2017, WUDC Mexico 2018, CMUDE Chile 2018, USUDC Anchorage 2015, USUDC Atlanta 2016, USUDC Stanford 2018, Pan-AmericanUDC Atlanta 2018, etc.

Titles: 2017 U.S. National Debate Championship Winner (BP Debate), Spanish World's Debate Championship 2018 Finalist (CMUDE Chile 2018)

Coaching Experience:

Bonita High School, Fairmont Preparatory Academy, University of La Verne (Spanish BP)


PF Paradigm 2018-2019 Season:


"Prep time for the requesting team will not start until evidence has been handed over to the debater requesting said cards. Teams may prep during this evidence request time, this should encourage teams to have their evidence ready and available to present immediately. Judges should discourage teams from attempting to “game the system” if evidence requests become overly burdensome or create excessive delays in the debate." - TOC rules. [KNOW THE RULES KIDDOS]

EXPLAIN UNIQUENESS. If you can't explain/link out to why something actually changes on the AFF, it's going to put you at a huge disadvantage.

CARDS. CARDS. CARDS. I know this topic isn't the crowd favorite, but this is TOC, you *especially* need to have evidence for what you run. Don't make assertions or say "it just logically makes sense" when someone asks where your evidence is in round. Have a card or you don't get access to your impact.

  • I'm a flow judge at heart. I do not like spreading, if you spread: it won't win you any favor in the round and it is better for you to slow down and explain your contentions at a normal pace. Don't read theory.
  • If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary; everything said in final focus should have at least been mentioned in summary. Please know the difference between a team dropping a point/not engaging with a contention and a team whose response you simply did not like. Disliking a team's response to your case does not equate dropping or not refuting it.
  • I don't flow crossfire but I DO listen and it can factor into my decision sometimes. However: anything super important coming out of crossfire that you want me to flow should be in one of your speeches.
  • Productive crossfire: if you spend 3 minutes talking over one another/constantly interrupting/being unnecessarily rude, etc: it's a waste of time for you and will make me annoyed. I lower speaker points for this.
  • I enjoy off time roadmaps so I know where you are at on the flow.
  • What I want to see: flushed out link chains & arguments that have realistic impacts. I vote for teams that are closest to the truth. Truth > Tech in most circumstances. Exaggerations and half-truths will be factored into my decisions; I defer to the teams with the most realistic and honest impact when there is tie.
  • Properly complete/extend your links in summary and final focus
  • Weighing mechanisms :) Explain why I should defer to your side: cost benefit analysis, scope, magnitude, probability, etc. I am in huge favor of clearly explained impacts. Pre-empt this in summary, be sure to do this in final focus.
  • Comparatively weigh the round. Engage with the other side and their impacts and explain why I still should defer to your side.
  • What I do not want to see: 1) abuse or misuse your evidence: I will pull cards if I need to. 2) spreading 3) Unproductive crossfire: allow the other side to speak, be respectful, only interrupt if absolutely necessary. Speaker points will reflect how you treat others in round. 4) Theory. In my opinion, this should only be run if the other side is truly being abusive and you HAVE to thoroughly explain it. 5) Disrespectful Post-Rounding: If you have a question, cool. I am happy to explain my thinking calculus. But do not interrupt me while I am giving an RFD or tell me I'm wrong. You're allowed to disagree, but do so respectfully. :)

ALSO: I have a very serious face when I judge, it is not that I hate you or what you are saying: it is just my face :) If y'all have any questions about anything, feel free to ask before the round!

Lastly: I know it's TOC and y'all have a lot on the line, but don't forget to breathe & enjoy the ride. I know it's corny and cliché, but don't forget to have fun.

Megan Munce Paradigm

2 rounds

4 years debating mostly in PF

--------------------------------------preflow before you get to the room-------------------------------------

I likely know significantly less than you do about this topic, if you don't explain things I won't understand them and you probably won't win.

  • If you need any accommodations to be able to access the round, such as keeping it below a certain wpm, let me know before the round and directly in front of your opponents
  • Speed threshold maxes out at 300wpm

  • I can understand theory and am willing to vote on theory, but I have a particularly hard time voting for disclosure theory

  • I won't evaluate unrelated DAs/new contentions/new impacts past case. Additionally, if your argument is one thing and constructive and suddenly becomes something new (adds an impact, changes an impact) in the final focus I'm not evaluating it.

  • No defense in first summary or rebuild in second rebuttal required.

  • I'll call for any piece of evidence you tell me to in a speech if it'll make an impact on my decision even if you don't say why. However, if you explain why it's misconstrued or otherwise bad I'll be more likely to see the problem.

  • I don't vote for impacts that aren't terminalized.

It should go without saying that if you say something offensive that passes the threshold of an innocent mistake your speaks are getting dropped, and if you get called out on it and continue to do it you’re getting the lowest speaks possible from me.

My email is if you have any questions before or after the round!

Ashley Murphy Paradigm

6 rounds

Head coach at Unionville High School. I mostly judge policy but spend a significant amount of time in PF and some in LD.


· Make it easy for me to see why you won and you'll probably win.

With More Words:

If you want the ballot, make clear, compelling and warranted arguments for why you should win. If you don’t provide any framework, I will assume util = trutil. If there is an alternate framework I should be using, explain it, warrant it, contextualize it, extend it.

Generally Tech>Truth but I also appreciate rounds where I don’t hate myself for voting for you. That being said, debate is an educational activity and rounds should be inclusive. Will vote down arguments that aren't.

I am open to pretty much anything you want to read but, in the interest of full disclosure, I think tricks debate sets a bad norm for debate.

General Stuff:

Most of this is standard but I'll say it anyways: Don’t extend through ink and pretend they "didn't respond". Don't oversimplify responses and, in the back half of the debate, make sure your extensions are responsive to the arguments made, not just rereading your cards. If they say something in cross that it is important enough for me to evaluate, make sure you say it in a speech. Line by line is important but being able to step back and explain the narrative/ doing comparative analysis makes it easier to vote for you.

Weighing is important and the earlier you set it up, the better. Terminalize your impacts and spend your time on analysis, not card dumping. Also, for the love of all that is good and holy, give a roadmap before you start/sign post as you are going. I will be happier; you will be happier; the world will be a better place.

Speed is fine but clarity is essential. Even if I have a speech doc, you'd do best to slow down on tags and analytics. Your speaks will be a reflection of your strategic choices, overall decorum and how clean your speeches are.

For PF: I don't require 1st summary to extend defense, but link/impact extensions should be in summary for me to evaluate them in final focus.

Evidence (PF):

Having evidence ethics is a thing. As a general rule, I prefer that your cards have both authors and dates. Paraphrasing makes me sad. Rounds where you need to spend more than 30 seconds pulling up a card make me more sad. I think that judges calling for cards at the end of the round leads to judge intervention. This is a test of your rhetoric skills, not my reading ability. However, if there is a piece of evidence that is being contested that you want me to read and you ask me to in a speech, I will. Just be sure to contextualize what that piece of evidence means to the round.

Why yes, I would like to be added to the email chain: (Side note: As Gen Zers, I have faith in you to successfully hit "reply all" when continuing an email chain. Don't let me down.)

A Final Note:

This is a debate round not a divorce court and your tone should match accordingly. If we are going to spend as many hours as we do at a tournament, we might as well not make it miserable.

John Nahas Paradigm

2 rounds

TLDR: Tech > Truth

********* This is in my paradigm but ill add it again because I dont want you to lose on some goofy technicality.... you need to fully extend your arguments. You cant just frontline and move on. After frontlining you have to extend your argument. *********


come to the round already preflowed & coinflip done unless you have a paradigm question

Pretty standard, here are some general things to do:

1. if its in final focus its in summary

2. frontline offense in second rebuttal. I won't make you but it's advantageous because of the next thing.

3. 1st speaking team, if the 2nd speaking team doesnt frontline defense/turns, please listen to me on this... defense can go straight to final focus. If a turn is dropped by them, and its not in summary, you can still extend it into ff as defense (if it's truly a turn its prolly terminal defense). As such, assuming 2nd speaking doesnt FL, 1st summary should be almost purely offense. If they do FL, then you gotta have the defense in first summary.

4. Extend the entirety of an argument. Have the whole story in there, don't assume parts of the argument even if they drop it. If they drop it, you can be quicker on the extensions that are predicated on concessions, but still do them (re-tell the warrants). Although itll prolly help, i wont force you to extend author names as long as you properly signpost and extend your arguments in totality.

5. There are two ways i can comfortably vote for you: you either nuke them on the flow, meaning you just win the arguments indisputably and weighing isnt needed, or you properly weigh. You'll likely have a better time in the latter category. Weighing is not spamming random buzzwords. Weighing is not "OuR EcOn aRg OuTwEiGhS tHEiR LiVeS aRg On ScOpE." Please don't be lazy and do actual comparative analysis, and please even justify why i should prefer your weighing over theirs. I'm also inclined to reward good internal link debate. With that (and the following is bolded for a reason) PLEASE DO NOT USE "WEIGHING" AS AN EXCUSE TO READ NEW LINK TURNS. Idk what happened to the circuit but this got increasingly prevalent last year, and is even more prevalent, from what i can tell, this year. Thanks.

6. Speed: Please send a speech doc if its either, A: above 350 wpm (cards) or B: above 275 wpm and a lot of paraphrasing and blippy analytics. I'll probably be fine without a speech doc, but it wont help you when i get distracted for 0.2 seconds and miss your 12 rOuNd WiNnInG TuRnS.

7. DAs in second rebuttal: Here's the deal. Most of yall accidentally do this anyways cause people dont read proper "link turns" or "impact turns". That's fine. If the 'DA' is a big turn that truly applies to their argument, dope. If your rebuttal is "iTs GoNnA sTaRt wiTh An OvErViEw.... COnTeNtIOn tHrEe Is..." then please abstain. I already said im cool with speed, read your 12 contentions in the first constructive.

8. Theory: yuh. I default to RVI unless told otherwise. If reading theory, structure it properly. If responding to theory/youre reading my paradigm rn and worried some tech lord is gonna go 89 off on you, not to fret, just treat theory like any arg (logically) and you should be good ... this isnt an excuse to undercover it though. Also if youre concerned i (again) default to RVI .... keep this in mind ig.

9. Ks. I prefer util debate. That said, Ive read basic K stuff so if you wanna read a K and that's your topic strat, I wont change that or penalize you for it. Just please be really clear and explicit and explain stuff well. I just say I prefer util cause im less likely to make a bad decision/have to intervene for yall.

10. Speaks are subjective. if you read pure cards ill definitely give a bump

11. CX: i dont listen. That said concessions in cross, obviously, can be leveraged.

*Feel free to post-round me if you disagree with the decision*


Adam Nelson Paradigm

5 rounds

I am currently a K-12 administrator at Taipei American School in Taiwan. Previously, I was the school's Director of Forensics. Before that, I coached at The Harker School in California, Catalina Foothills High School in Arizona, and Rocky River High School in Ohio. I have also worked for the NSDA. This is my 20th year being involved in the activity.

I used to judge well over 100 rounds on the circuit each year, but have not judged actively since first moving to Taiwan in 2010.

Ultimately, I will default to evaluating the round based on some kind of cost-benefit analysis, but am open to using other decision rules if those arguments win the day in a particular round.

I'm a big fan comparative analysis, and expect debaters to invest significant time comparing the relative quality of competing warrants and impacts.

I also expect debaters to do the work of telling me how I should evaluate, and resolve, the interaction of competing arguments.

I haven't heard one in a while, but expect that I would still greatly enjoy a well-executed theory debate.

I reserve the right to ignore or punish offensive or ethically repulsive arguments or behavior. This includes, but is not limited to, homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, and radical moral skepticism.

Feel free to ask any specific follow-up questions you might have before the round.

Deserea Niemann Paradigm

4 rounds

I am the Head Coach at Lakeville North High School and Lakeville South High School in Minnesota. My debaters include multiple state champions as well as TOC and Nationals Qualifiers.

I am also a history teacher so know your evidence. This also means the value of education in debate is important to me.

I encourage you to speak at whatever speed allows you to clearly present your case. I do not mind speaking quickly, but spreading is not necessary. I will tell you to clear if you are speaking too quickly. One sure way to lose my vote is to disregard my request to slow down. I vote heavily on your ability to verbalize the links between your evidence and the resolution. If I cannot hear/understand what you are saying because you are speaking too quickly, I cannot vote for you.

Claim. Warrant. Impact. I expect you to not only explain the links, but also impact your argument. I am impressed by debaters who can explain why I should care about a few key pieces of important evidence rather than doing a card dump.

If you plan to run off case that's fine just make sure that you articulate and sign post it well. Don't use narratives or identity arguments unless you actually care about/identify with the issue.

Be respectful of your opponent and your judge. Please take the time to learn your opponent's preferred pronouns. I expect you to take your RFD graciously-the debate is over after the 2AR not after the disclosure.

Jeffrey Niemiec Paradigm

2 rounds

Former college policy debater and speech competitor. Been coaching speech and debate for the last 12 years.

A fan of clean, structured, easy to follow debates. I'm big on pre-speech road maps and internal signposting. Staying on track and explaining to me where you're going indicates to me that you are in control of the round and your performance within it. Debates that get muddled aren't fun for anyone, so keep it clear where you are cross applying and clashing.

I won't time anything in round. Keep tabs on each other.

I do prefer you extend thru summary if you have time so I know what you're going for.

Definitions only help us stay on the same page so when they are helpful, they are appreciated. Totally down with an overview.

Also fine with jargon. Competed in policy so speed shouldn't be an issue. I prefer it to be a little slower as this is PF, but if I can't understand you it's almost certainly an issue with articulation, not speed.

Impact weighing should be a primary part of your final focus. If I don't know what you impact out to then what are we even doing here and why does it matter? I do my best to leave my biases at the door, but that also means I will not intervene for you. Don't sprinkle a trail of bread crumbs and lead me down a path without actually ending up somewhere. Don't imply impacts or warrants, state them directly. You shouldn't make me work to follow you, it should be easy.

Speaker points for me are a function of your ability to logically break down and explain your points in a clear and concise manner. In my opinion it's not about how pretty you speak, that's what IE's are for (a stumble here or there means nothing to me in debate). Be clear, articulate, logical, and explain where you are going and you'll get high speaks from me. Be warned though: in 12 years of judging debate I have given out less than 10 perfect 30's. To me, 30 means perfection, as in you could not have done anything better whatsoever.

Framework is cool with me. Makes it easier to weigh the round.

Truth over tech.

Any other questions feel free to ask me before the round starts.

Joe O'Neil Paradigm

3 rounds

I'm a former high school LD-er who did extemporaneous speaking on the side. I now teach at a university and spend far too much time correcting work that is poorly thought out or communicated. I have been judging LD and PF for three years now and have prior judging experience in college.


Lincoln-Douglas debate is a public speaking event (per NSDA) in which a value proposition is debated. The focus in LD is on a deliberative style of argument that identifies and argues for or against the fundamental implications of the resolution in terms that are clearly germane to both the meaning and scope of that resolution. Debaters must distinguish between values that are clearly in conflict or at least contrast ("clash") with each other and persuade the judge that certain values take precedence over others. It is not a debate on empirical realities, outcomes, "impacts," plans, or policies. Arguments for the necessity or desirability of a particular position in order to achieve a desired outcome or advocacy for a particular, concrete stance on current events belong to other genres of debate. Evidence cited should be relevant to the value position taken. Citation of evidence does not make up for lack of development, context, argument, or persuasion. As a public performance, LD does not call for rapid-fire delivery (spreading). Arguments have to be articulate and intelligible as they are read (as implied in NSDA evidence rules). This implies the following:

--Do not spread. I'm not allergic, but this is a Policy habit that gets masked as progressive LD. The bottom line: I will not give you credit for parts of your case I cannot understand as it is read. You should be able to do the work in the time allotted.

--Do not offer your case to your opponent to read as you speak. (It happens.) This is a speaking event. As implied in NSDA rules, only what you say is part of your case.

--Do not attempt to overwhelm me or your opponent with a mountain of evidence. Your opponent's job is not to disprove your empirical evidence (impossible to do without specific research; this is not PF or policy debate) but to question the values you claim it supports. That should be the basis of the debate.

--Value debate does not require "impacts." Plans and counterplans are definitely not required, so getting into an argument about somebody's plan or lack of CP only wastes my time and yours and demonstrates that you don't have a grasp of LD fundamentals (or have at least temporarily lost sight of them). Time you spend on plans and impacts is time you are not spending answering your opponent's case based on a value proposition, criteria, and argument.


I do not have strong personal paradigms. If you follow the letter and the spirit of the NSDA rules (no plans or counterplans, no prescribed burdens, etc.), my personal preferences should be unimportant. High school debaters need to demonstrate that they have done some research and understand their own case as well as the broader situation and context of the resolution. Keep in mind that you are talking to an adult with decades of experience and judgment of current affairs. I will definitely not impose my own worldview, but you need to have some context and a rich supply of information for your case, not just some facts you downloaded and can't contextualize. Sources should be verifiable and reputable. I will give credence to an established or known source over an obscure, highly partisan, or less reputable or verifiable one (e.g., advocacy websites, blogs).

I teach at a university. If I make comments about the substance of your case (the topic itself) on your ballot beyond what is offered in the round, it is in a teaching mode. Of course, only what actually comes out in the debate between the two teams is a valid reason for decision.

As the name indicates, Public Forum debate is also a public speaking event. Say it in plain English. Don't spew alphabet soup. I can only judge what I can understand and follow, so be sure to control tone, volume, and velocity.

I judge PF based not on technical terms but on how comprehensible and sound your arguments about the resolution are. You must obviously follow and rebut your opponents' arguments, but, in my experience, a point-for-point approach can lead to a futile clash of card versus card. You need to make a claim, provide warrants, and be sure to contextualize it: Why is it relevant? What is the link to the impact? Having a card that contradicts your opponents' card is not the same as successfully rebutting your opponents' argument. You must explain why your argument should take precedence. The more of a grasp you have on the whole issue, the more convincing you'll be. Factoids won't win it. A good story about why your position makes more sense will.

Yes, I pay attention to flow and dropped arguments, but it's your job to listen to and talk to the other team. Don't introduce new material late in the game. Addressing the terms of the resolution is perfectly acceptable. Kritiks should be focused and reasonable. Talk about the resolution or the implied terms of the debate, but don't blow up the debate by going so meta that direct clash is no longer possible. Any debate is conventionally framed by the terms of the resolution and the context of the encounter and has to respect decision criteria on those terms.

Michael Obuchi Paradigm

4 rounds

UC Berkeley 2018

East Kentwood Highschool 2016

PF TOC 2019:

Threshold for theory is high, I'll vote on it if the abuse is egregious. Default to competing interps, no RVI, drop the arg (unless justified otherwise)

Speed is fine

I will call for evidence after the round has ended either when I have to intervene on evidence (which I hate doing by the way) or when there's a significant dispute throughout the round / asked explicitly in a speech to do so. If there is legitimate abuse of evidence, you're getting dropped and losing speaker points regardless of how hard you won. Don't make me do this.

Short Version:

I like:

warrants, line by line, effort, humor, examples, historicity, praxis, you telling me how to vote and why

I don't like:

Rudeness or over hostility

I do not have:

reservations about voting for any argument

the ability to adjudicate any disputes about what goes on outside of the debate

I don't want:

you to change anything about what you do just because you think it will appeal to my tastes. You do you

I will hold the line on:

speech times, evidence quality, clipping and cheating of any kind

As far as arguments go

Topicality- I'm for it. Compare how your interp affects aff/neg ground vs theirs. Compelling impact stories are awesome

DA's- I'm a sucker for flushed out turns case analysis and impact comparison

Case debating- please do

Counterplans- "Why debate the aff when you can steal it"- Miles Gray. I draw great inspiration from this line of thinking

K- near and dear to my heart. As such, I hold a high threshold for compelling link/impact analysis and will be displeased at shallow explanation of theory. I appreciate an Alt that is contextualized to the aff grounded in examples/history. If you're going to make a big fw push (which I highly recommend), develop robust arguments about how we should understand/utilize debate and how I should relate to your arguments

FW- Love these debates. I prefer external impacts to debate is a game but will vote on procedural fairness if you win its the only thing I can/should be concerned about. As with disads, sucker for compelling turns case analysis. Fw is not genocide unless this argument is dropped.

Theory-No strong feelings either way

Lyndsey Oliver Paradigm

4 rounds

Updated for 2018 Cold & Flu Season: I do not shake hands with debaters after I've judged you. Just a heads up to save us both that awkward exchange at the end of the round. :)

Experience/Background: I coach at Columbus HS, primarily Public Forum. I did not debate in high school or college, but I have been coaching and judging PF since 2014, both locally (Georgia) and on the national circuit, including TOC and NSDA Nationals. Many of my students have qualified to TOC (2016-present) and NSDA Nats (2015-present) in Public Forum, and I teach at summer debate institutes--in short, even though I didn't debate personally, I know what's going on and I'm very aware of national circuit norms and trends, as well as the cornerstones of more traditional circuits.

Judging Preferences:

If you have specific questions about me as a judge, please feel free to ask them. Some general guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions are below:

1. Speed: I don't have a problem with speed for the most part. On a 1-10 scale, I can handle an 8, though you should not consider that a green light to take off at top speed. My tolerance for speed does drop when a) it is late in the day/tournament or b) I have judged more than 5ish rounds that day. I will always value the quality of your arguments over the quantity of words you may be able to squeeze into a four or two minute speech. Similarly, I understand debate jargon just fine, but if your goal in over-using debate-speak is to confuse your less-experienced opponents or muddy up a round, I'm probably not going to respond well to that.

2. Flowing: I do flow. Usually on my laptop. If I am flowing on paper, something is very wrong and you should drop your speed to around a 6, or I will miss a lot of what you're saying. I probably won't look at you much during the debate, but I am listening and flowing, and I am aware when you're attempting to make connections with me as a judge - so carry on with what you're doing.

3. Signposting and Roadmaps: Signposting is good. Please do it. It makes my job easier. Off-time roadmaps aren't really needed or helpful, at least if you're just going "their case, our case." If you're doing something complicated with overviews and observations, then roadmaps are fine and appreciated.

4. Consistency of Arguments/Making Decisions: Anything you expect me to vote on should be in summary and final focus. Defense is not "sticky." Please weigh. I can deal with a line-by-line summary, but prefer voters.

5. Prep (in-round and pre-round): Please pre-flow before you enter the round. Monitor your own prep time. If you and your opponents want to time each other to keep yourselves honest, go for it. Do not steal prep time - if you have called for a card and your opponents are looking for it, you should not be writing/prepping unless you are also running your prep time. On that note, have your evidence ready. It should not take you longer than 20-30 seconds to pull up a piece of evidence when asked. If you delay the round by taking forever to find a card, your speaker points will probably reflect it.

6. Overviews in second rebuttal: In general, I think a short observation or weighing mechanism is probably more okay than a full-fledged contention that you're trying to sneak in as an "overview". Tread lightly.

7. Frontlines: Second speaking team should answer turns and frontline in rebuttal. I don't need a 2-2 split, but I do think you need to address the speech that preceded yours. This is a newer development in my judging philosophy, so if I've judged you before...this may be a change from the past.

8. Theory: I am a really bad judge to attempt to run theory in front of. I would much rather you just debate the resolution. If you really feel it's necessary to call out some sort of theory issue, do it quickly...but don't make it the sole thing you want me to vote on, please, or spend a ton of time on it.

9. Crossfire: I do not flow crossfire. If it comes up in cross and you expect it to serve a role in my decision-making process, I expect you to bring it up in a later speech.

10. Speaker points: I basically never give 30s, so you should not expect them from me. If you ask what it takes to get a 30 from me, you'll be lucky to get a 29. I do appreciate wit.

Peter Paik Paradigm

4 rounds

Personal Background:

Since 2001, I have been the head coach of the speech and debate team of University School in Ohio. I have coached and judged virtually all high school speech and debate events over the years, but I’ve devoted the most time and energy to Public Forum debate and Lincoln-Douglas debate. I have experience at all levels: national, state, and local. If any of the points below are unclear or if you want my view on something else, feel free to ask me questions before the round begins.


PF Judging Preferences:

I am among the most traditional, perhaps old-fashioned PF judges you are likely to encounter. I believe that PF should remain true to its original purpose which was to be a debate event that is accessible to everyone, including the ordinary person off the street. So I am opposed to everything that substantively or symbolically makes PF a more exclusive and inaccessible event.

Here are 3 specific preferences related to PF:

1. SPEED (i.e., SELECTIVITY): The slower, the better. What most debaters consider to be slow is still much too fast for the ordinary lay person. Also, speed is often a crutch for debaters. I much prefer to hear fewer, well-chosen arguments developed fully and presented persuasively than many superficial points. One insightful rebuttal is better than three or four mediocre ones. In short, be selective. Go for quality over quantity. Use a scalpel, not a machine gun.

2. CROSSFIRES: Ask questions and give answers. Don't make speeches. Try not to interrupt, talk over, and steam-roll your opponent. Let your opponent speak. But certainly, if they are trying to steam-roll you, you can politely interject and make crossfire more balanced. Crossfire should go back and forth fairly evenly and totally civilly. I want to see engagement and thoughtfulness. Avoid anger and aggressiveness.

3. TECHNICALITY: While it has become a norm and a custom, there is NO RULE that what is spoken in the final focus has to be spoken first in summary. It makes sense that most effective teams will make the two speeches consistent with each other, and by bringing up a point as an important one in the summary speech you considerately identify it as something that your opponent should respond to in the remaining 7 minutes if the opponent is speaking second (summary, GCF, final focus) or 5 minutes if your opponent spoke first (GCF and final focus). So it is certainly a good general practice to "line up" the summary and the final focus.

However, again, it is NOT a rule that the final focus must only contain points that were made in summary. It is only a rule that the final focus cannot bring up new arguments. I interpret that to mean that the final focus can bring up any points that were previously introduced at any point in the round prior to the final focus. Further, I would likely also accept what may be a new defensive response/rebuttal to an opponent's offensive point. Just no completely brand new offense can be introduced.

My position on this issue is rooted in what I said above about making/keeping PF as accessible as possible: I don't think most lay people understand or care about the technical norm of having the summary and the final focus line up perfectly.

Additionally, that norm has had an unintended, pernicious effect, in my view, of reducing the quality of the second half of the debate: Now summary speakers simply try to cram in everything they can into summary because if they don't mention it, then their partners believe they can't bring it up in final focus. And final focus speakers more or less simply rehash what summary speakers say. What I would like to see is more thinking in the second half. I would like to see development of arguments. Debaters reaching a new level of insight. I want to hear something at a higher level of understanding than what I heard in the rebuttal speeches, not just more rebuttal. Please.

By the way, my PF team (DiMino and Rahmani) won the NSDA national championship in 2010.

LD Judging Preferences:

1. VALUE AND VALUE CRITERION: I think that the value and the value criterion are essential components of Lincoln-Douglas debate. They are what most distinguish LD from policy and public forum. If your advocacy is NOT explicitly directed toward upholding/promoting/achieving a fundamental value and your opponent does present a value and a case that shows how affirming/negating will fulfill that value, your opponent will win the round – because in my view your opponent is properly playing the game of LD debate while you are not. 

2. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY: I think that speed ruins the vast majority of debaters, both in terms of their ability to think at a high level and in terms of their effective public speaking, which are two things that are supposed to be developed by your participation in high school forensics and two things I very much hope to see in every debate round I judge. 

Most debaters cannot think as fast as they can talk, so going fast in an attempt to win by a numerical advantage in arguments or by “spreading” and causing your opponent to miss something, usually just leads to (a) poor strategic choices of what to focus on, (b) lots of superficial, insignificant, and ultimately unpersuasive points, and (c) inefficiency as debaters who speak too fast often end up stumbling, being less clear, and having to repeat themselves. 

I would encourage debaters to speak at a normal, conversational pace, which would force them to make strategic decisions about what’s really important in the round. I think it is better to present clearly a few, significant points than to race rapidly through many unsubstantial points. Try to win by the superior quality of your thinking, not by the greater quantity of your ideas. 

While I will do my best to “flow” everything that each debater presents, if you go too fast and as a result I miss something that you say, I don’t apologize for that. It’s your job as a debater not just to say stuff, but to speak in the manner necessary for your judge to receive and thoughtfully consider what you are saying. If your judge doesn’t actually take in something that you say, you might as well not have said it to begin with. 

Because I prioritize quality over quantity in evaluating the arguments that are presented, I am not overly concerned about “drops.” If a debater “drops” an argument, that doesn’t necessarily mean he/she loses. It depends on how significant the point is and on how well the opponent explains why the dropped point matters, i.e., how it reveals that his/her side is the superior one. 

As a round progresses, I really hope to hear deeper and clearer thinking, not just restating of your contentions. If you have to sacrifice covering every point on the flow in order to take an important issue to a higher level and present a truly insightful point, then so be it. That’s a sacrifice well worth making. On the other hand, if you sacrifice insightful thinking in order to cover the flow, that’s not a wise decision in my view. 

3. WARRANTS OVER EVIDENCE: If you read the above carefully, you probably realized that I usually give more weight to logical reasoning than to expert testimony or statistics. I’m more interested in seeing how well you think on your feet than seeing how good of a researcher you are. (I’ve been coaching long enough to know that people can find evidence to support virtually any position on any issue….) 

If you present a ton of evidence for a contention, but you don’t explain in your own words why the contention is true and how it links back to your value, I am not likely to be persuaded by it. On the other hand, if you present some brilliant, original analysis in support of a contention, but don’t present any expert testimony or statistical evidence for it, I will probably still find your contention compelling. 

4. KRITIKS: While I may appreciate their cleverness, I am very suspicious of kritik arguments. If there is something fundamentally flawed with the resolution such that it shouldn’t be debated at all, it seems to me that that criticism applies equally to both sides, the negative as well as the affirmative. So even if you convince me that the kritik is valid, you’re unlikely to convince me then that you should be given credit for winning the round. 

If you really believe the kritik argument, isn’t it hypocritical or self-contradictory for you to participate in the debate round? It seems to me that you can’t consistently present both a kritik and arguments on the substantive issues raised by the resolution, including rebuttals to your opponent’s case. If you go all in on the kritik, I’m likely to view that as complete avoidance of the issues. 

In short, running a kritik in front of me as your judge is a good way to forfeit the round to your opponent. 

5. JARGON: Please try to avoid using debate jargon as much as possible. 

6. PROFESSIONALISM: Please be polite and respectful as you debate your opponent. A moderate amount of passion and emphasis as you speak is good. However, a hostile, angry tone of voice is not good. Be confident and assertive, but not arrogant and aggressive. Your job is to attack your opponent’s ideas, not to attack your opponent on a personal level.

Chris Palmer Paradigm

I'm Chris Palmer. is mostly my fault. I'm largely out of the active coaching game because Tabroom maintenance and tabbing tournaments has largely taken over my life, but occasionally will judge, or stick myself on a pref sheet as a free strike so I can judge in an emergency.

My long history in the activity includes doing parliamentary debate and extemp in the dark ages, coaching and judging a lot of extemp, PF, LD and some policy and congress along the way. I've coached both champs and people who are lucky to win rounds, and respect both. I coached at Milton Academy, Newton South HS and Lexington HS in that order.

All: Racist, ableist, sexist, trans- or homophobic, or other directly exclusionary language and conduct is an auto-loss. Debate the debates, not the debater. I will apply my own standards/judgment to this because it's the only way I can enforce it.

Policy & LD: I'm not actively coaching but do regularly watch debates. I'm going to be OK with your speed but not topic specific jargon. Be slower for tags and author names, please, to help me flow. I'll say clear a couple times then just give up flowing and you won't like what happens. I have zero shame or compunction in saying "I didn't get it so I didn't vote for it." If I don't understand it until the 2N/2AR I'll consider it new in the 2.

LD: I started and did a lot of LD in the late 90s until the mid 2000s, then mostly stopped, then started again at Lex and coached them for about eight years. So I'm comfy with both older-school framework debates and the crazy LARP/policy arguments my kids mostly ran.

My threshold on theory tends to be high; the preponderance of dumb theory debates is part of why I stopped actively coaching LD. I wrote an article that people still card about how theory should be relegated to actual norm creation instead of tactical wins, after all -- though if you cite me in front of me as an attempt to flatter me instead of actually understanding the point, I will probably be cross.

The other part of why I stopped actively coaching LD is the sharp decline in civility and respect the event showcases now. I'm tired of people yelling each other about out of round issues and so on. I won't judge based on anything that I didn't see; disclosure theory, pre-round shenanigans, "he said last debate that he'd do X and he didn't" are all things I can't prove and won't vote on. I also will take a dim view towards post-rounding that crosses from questions into a 3AR/3NR and will adjust points to reflect that.

Don't tell me that the tabroom won't let me do that. I run I can do that.

Policy: I have less background in your activity than I do in LD. So I know the general outlines fine, as the events have converged, but I'm definitely going to need you to slow down just a titch especially if you're running the type of policy args that haven't crossed as much into LD, like T debates or specific theory/condo stuff. I'm very much not a fan of the politics debate and will have a very low threshold on no-link args, since I tend to believe politics almost never links anyway.

K: I am highly sympathetic to K debate and its aims, and will frequently vote for it if it makes sense in the round, but Ks get no more gimme wins from me than any other argument does. If it doesn't link or I don't get the impact or the alt sounds like we're supposed to stop all the world's troubles by singing campfire songs or some such nonsense you'll probably lose.

I have a couple concerns with the K and the one that is relevant to you as a debater is that I take a dim view to the type of K or identity debates that demand disclosure of identity from anyone in the room. I'm part of the LGBTQ spectrum, and when i was debating nobody knew that or could know that -- at some risk to myself. I therefore flinch reflexively if you seem to demand disclosure of anyone else in the room of their place on various identity spectrums, especially gender or sexuality. They have a right to keep private and a place in debate should not be the price of their privacy.

That said, if you put it on the flow, it becomes debatable. Don't try to run a K and then call no tag-backs if someone tries to answer your stuff with your stuff. If you put your own identity in the round your risk your identity being, y'know, debated. It's a risk, sure, but it's a risk you chose and when you choose an action, you choose the consequences of that action.

PF: I mostly enjoy PF rounds and coached it as my only debate event for about 4 years at Newton South. I don't sneer at it like a lot of coaches from the LD/Policyverse might. However, there are a few things I really dislike that proliferate in PF that I will call out, so you can avoid them.

1) Evidence shenanigans between speeches. I do not understand why you can't have your evidence ready for your opponent to read/review immediately. Your partner can create a doc while you speak, for crying out loud. If you fumble around with it and can't get your act together, you'll see your speaks dropping.

2) Evidence shenanigans during speeches. Look, PF speeches are short. I get it. But ultimately the decisions as to whether you're abusing evidence are mine to make and I will make them. It's all a I-know-it-when-I-see-it test at the end of the day, so don't fabricate, make up, or infer things your evidence doesn't say because I will read and check anything that sounds suspicious to me, or your opponents call out. This includes PF Math™: taking numbers out of your ev and combining them in ways the author did not. I read a lot of news so the likelihood I know when you're making it up is rather high.

3) Good God most crossfires, especially the free-for-all at the end, make me want to stab my ears out. Here's where I import prejudices from LD and policy more than anything: CX is about setting up arguments and confirming things, not trying to corner and AHA! your opponents or sneaking in a third contention. CX sets up arguments, it doesn't make them. So I don't flow CX the same way if you try to extend something out of CX that's not going to go well for you and if you are an obnoxious talking-show nitwit during it that's not going to go well for your points.

4) If you're playing the game of "Look How Circuit I Can Be Mr Policy/LD Judge!" and your opponent has zero idea of what's going on, that also will not go well for you. Debate is engagement, and treating your opponent such that they can't engage by design is pretty much an auto-loss in my book. But apart from that there's few bounds of what types of debates and arguments I will see and vote for, so long as they're coherent and developed.

Amit Pampati Paradigm

2 rounds

Did debate. Ask me in person for specific stuff

Lacrima Parau Paradigm

6 rounds


I am what you would call a lay judge.

I have judged 50+ rounds this year and do my best to flow the round and be convinced by your arguments, but if you go too fast and too tech I will have trouble keeping up.

Sarah Park Paradigm

4 rounds

four-year PF debater from Millburn, mother of Jimmy Chen, unicorn pundit

way to win the round: clearly win an argument, clearly tell me why it's more important than what your opponents are winning

fun facts: I don't hold first summary speakers to the same standard as the second in terms of defense, but generally speaking if you want it to be in the ballot, it should be in the summary; I won't call evidence unless it's clearly disputed in round, if your opponent is miscutting, lmk to call it; I like super clear signposting and when you do the work for me; Absent a weighting mechanism, I'll default to the easiest path to the ballot; pls don't run Ks i'll get confused and have to ask Max for help during crossfire

be nice to your opponents and I'll be nice in speaks!!

let's have a good time

Erik Perez Paradigm

7 rounds

Updated (02/01/2020)

I dressed up as an e-boy for halloween. that is the kind of energy i bring to the table. What kind do you bring to the table?

look at my judging history if you are confused

im an inkling main, im in law school, and i have two brain cells

i probably need paper. i can answer your questions about law school if you have any

check Christian Vasquez's paradigm from "the split" down if you want to "adapt" to me.

Nicholas Petsas Paradigm

4 rounds


  • State Champion and 2-time entrant to the Tournament of Champions for Brophy College Preparatory in PF.
  • Graduated from U of A Honors College with a triple major in Economics, Political Science and Classics.
  • Coached and founded Salpointe PF Debate and ran the UA Model UN program in college.
  • Presently, I am a government healthcare consulting informatics associate for Mercer and I coach my high school alma mater in PF.

What I would want changed in the status quo:

  • I would like for teams to have the ability to give their opponants evidence effortlessly. PF is in a time crisis where debates go longer than they should.
  • Back in the day (which wasn't that long ago FYI) we used expandos and could easily hand over evidence. you could easily just put the full shpeal on your computer in a file so if they ask for the "methodology" you can hand them over the full file.
  • why we live in a world where we dont do this is beyond me but since this is just a wish please move on to the next portion which actually matters for your debate:

What I expect/prefer:

  • In an exchange of evidence no one is allowed to prep until evidence is recieved.
  • The second rebuttal must defend their case that they wish to extend. "New argument" to me, means something completely unrelated to the existing arguments on the flow. Continuing the debate, to me, is important and more constructive for learning rather than repeating the same thing you have said since the constructive. Interact specifically with your opponents arguments! To do that you will have to listen to them instead of reading straight from your block files.
  • As long as every word is articulated and easily understood, you can go as fast as you would like. If I stop flowing in constructive or rebuttal then you are doing something wrong. Spreading/going fast will result in lower speaker points but you can still win the round. I do value Speech theory and will evaluate even if it is brought up late in a round, but if you are bringing it up late in round, you must warrant why I should still evaluate an argument that would ordinarily violate the rules.
  • I do not flow CX. that is time for debaters to seek explanations from their opponants and seek out contradictions in their line of arguementation. If you give a speech the whole time then you are wasting your time and my time. Same goes for reading evidence etc. Anything that happens that is of any value in CX should be brought up in a speech, otherwise, it didn't happen (and very often nothing productive does happen).
  • I expect that there will be impact calculus done for me in the round. On a VERY BASIC level, for example, if one team's most important arguement comes down to economic impacts and their opponants most important arguement is going for an environmental impact then I would EXPECT reasons as to prefer one impact over the other. You do not want me to decide what is important.
  • I do not care if you are the "better team" if the worse team makes better arguements then they will win the round. Good teams can lose easy debates, I am not going to give it to you, you have to earn it. It is always best to leave no doubt.
  • If you speak pretty you will get more speaker points and that is literally it. In good debates I do not even get a chance to look up at the debaters.
  • Only give me an off-time roadmap if you are actually doing something out of the ordinary in terms of starting in a particular place on the flow or grouping arguements.
  • If you are the first rebuttal and you take time to "strengthen your case" at the end when your opponents havent attacked it yet then you are doing it wrong. Please sit down if you have nothing else to say.
  • I do not want to shake your hand after the round.

Les Phillips Paradigm

4 rounds


I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. I have judged parli less than other formats, but my parli judging includes several NPDA tournaments, including two NPDA national tournaments. Speed is fine, as are all sorts of theoretical, Kritikal, and playfully counterintuitive arguments. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. I do not default to competing interpretations, though if you win that standard I will go there. The texts of advocacies are binding; slow down for these, as necessary. Ask me questions!


I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. Speed is fine. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. At various times I have voted (admittedly, in policy) for smoking tobacco good, Ayn Rand Is Our Savior, Scientology Good, dancing and drumming trumps topicality, and Reagan-leads-to-Communism-and-Communism-is-good. (I disliked all of these positions.)

I do not demand that the second speaking rebuttal or any summary speech do anything in particular. If an argument is in final focus, it should be in summary. I am very stingy regarding new responses in final focus. Saying something for the first time in grand cross does not legitimize its presence in final focus.

NSDA standards demand dates out loud on all evidence. That is a good standard; you must do that. I also expect debaters to be able to state/defend the qualifications of every single piece of evidence they use. Though it is not the explicit NSDA standard, I believe that quals should be read out loud. I will bristle and/or throw my pen if I hear "according to Princeton." Evidence standards in PF are improving, but they are still not good. You will not get good points if you do not meet these standards.

Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about The Economy. "Helps The Economy" is not an impact. "Helps The Economy" is to impacts as "according to Princeton" is to cites. Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase?


For years I coached and judged fast circuit LD, but I have not judged LD since 2013, and I have not coached on the current topic at all. Top speed, even if you're clear, may challenge me; lack of clarity will be very unfortunate. I try to be a blank slate (like all judges, I will fail to meet this goal entirely). I like the K, though I get frustrated when I don't know what the alternative is (REJECT is an OK alternative, if that's what you want to do). I have a very high bar for rejecting a dcebater rather than an argument, and I do not default to competing interpretations; I would like to hear a clear abuse story. I am generally permissive in re counterplan competitiveness and perm legitimacy. RVIs are OK if the abuse is clear, but if you would do just as well to simply tell me why the opponent's argument is garbage, that would be appreciated.

Bryce Piotrowski Paradigm

7 rounds

Last Updated 4/2/2020 for April/COVID-19


We’re online now. This means that I would greatly, greatly prefer if you start an email chain before the round, with all carded evidence that you read being sent in a speech doc. I have no preference if you send it before or after the speech. My email for speech docs is

For now, I’m not going to mandate this. I will follow tournament rules and procedures for evidence exchange, but I will bump your speaks.

I’ve judged a handful of rounds over Zoom already. I would advise that you go about 75-80% of your normal speed in front of me in online rounds. I’ve found that because audio cuts out despite our best efforts, I’m missing some nuance that I would catch normally (yet another reason to send a speech doc). In crossfire, I’d recommend that you and your opponents avoid cross-talk as much as possible – it becomes possible to understand.

Who Am I?

Public Forum Debate Coach at Lakeville North/Lakeville South in Lakeville, MN (2016 – present)

University of Minnesota NPDA (2016-2020)

PF @ James Madison Memorial HS (2014-2016)

I did two years of PF debate for James Madison Memorial High School in Madison, WI (grad. 2016) and had a bit of success on the national circuit my senior year. I am about to graduate from the University of Minnesota, where I did parliamentary debate/NPDA for all four years of college.

Conflicts: JMM, Lakeville North, Lakeville South, STMA AS


I view debate as a strategic academic game with arguments as the game’s pieces. I flow and will vote on anything so long as it is warranted, impacted, and weighed against other arguments in the round, and it is not offensive or exclusionary. I evaluate arguments through an offense/defense paradigm and will not vote on defense by default. Debaters must be respectful of everyone in the room, before, during, and (especially) after a round, during my decision.

Public Forum Paradigm:

I have been very involved in PF for the past 6 years. I encourage you to ask clarifying questions about my paradigm, should you have them.

· I flow very carefully and intently. The flow is the arbiter of my decision. I would prefer that your speaking practices reflect careful and thoughtful organization to make flowing easier for me, including signposting and clearly transitioning from one argument to the next. Pay no attention to my facial expressions or where I’m looking while I flow: I’m listening.

· I have yet to be in a PF debate where I was uncomfortable with speed. That said, I would prefer a round conducted at the pace of a quick conversation, because a) I think that is the differentiating factor of PF debate compared to other formats and b) I think that speed encourages PF debaters to make more arguments that are bad and underdeveloped, rather than fully developing good arguments. Speed is not a tool to exclude people from the round.

· On a related note to (b) above, I very highly value depth over breadth of argumentation. I most enjoy judging rounds where teams engage in a deep, nuanced analysis of the core topic literature. If you’re going for every argument that was in constructive in the last two speeches, I think you’re doing it wrong.

· I will not vote on arguments without a link, a warrant, and an impact, unless both sides fail to provide one argument that meets these three criteria (in which case, I will be sad).

· Second rebuttal must respond, in some way, to first rebuttal. I will consider turns that are not responded as dropped. The second summary may not make new responses to arguments made before first summary.

· Weighing is good but must be comparative. I think the most compelling weighing arguments are timeframe and magnitude. I don’t see a difference between probability and “strength of link” weighing. I think good prerequisite weighing arguments are underutilized in PF. I do not need buzzwords to consider an argument “weighed,” but telling me to vote on “clarity of impact” does nothing for me. Please weigh your arguments – in my opinion, too few summary speakers are taking advantage of the extra minute to compare arguments.

· Teams rarely take full advantage of crossfire. You should be highlighting arguments or setting up concessions for the next speech to use rather than going in circles to try to get the other team to full-on concede an argument. Crossfire will not decide a round but may help or hurt your speaker points. Don’t be rude.

· I think you should quote evidence directly when it is first presented, and you must cut cards. If you do neither of these things, and lie about evidence, I will happily vote on “this evidence is fake, vote them down” and give you the lowest speaker points I possibly can. Similarly, I will time evidence exchange: after a team identifies the card that they would like to see, the other team will get 1 minute to produce the evidence. If they don’t produce the evidence within that time, I will strike it from my flow and the round will continue as if it were never read. Long back and forth conversations about evidence during the time between speeches are unacceptable and I will shut them down.

Should you have any other questions either before or after a round, email me at

(Short) LD Paradigm:

I have not judged much LD at all. When relevant, my PF paradigm (above) applies. NPDA debate is basically extemporaneous policy, so you shouldn’t see “PF” and immediately reach for your lay aff. I feel comfortable evaluating most arguments.

Here are some specifics:

· I would like to be on the email chain: I’ll be flowing your speech as opposed to off the document. To that end, I probably can’t handle your fastest speed while either a) being comfortable in my decision or b) needing to read from the speech doc. While I’ve never timed my absolute cap, I would put a max at around 300 wpm. If you’re clearer, I’ll be able to understand you more. I’ll slow/clear you twice before I stop flowing.

· As stated above, I will vote on any argument – but keep in mind that I am currently unfamiliar with whatever’s hot in LD these days. So, I haven’t read lots of K lit, don’t have a deep understanding of most philosophy, etc. I will likely be most instantly comfortable in a LARP round or a traditional one, but that shouldn’t discourage you from doing you – it’s your space, and I love to learn about debate.

· I generally see role of the ballot arguments as impact framing rather than an absolute constraint on what my ballot does.

· I don’t mind hearing theory, even if it’s frivolous – but, obviously, worse shells have a lower threshold for being adequately answered. I default to competing interpretations, theory is a priori, and no RVIs. No RVIs is the only one of those that is very firm, but I will listen to meta-theory related to reading several under-developed shells. I would probably rather see fewer well-developed shells than many bad ones that the NR expands on.

· I’m probably not the best judge for tricks. Haven’t seen it, but I generally enjoy a deep, nuanced debate that tricks does not seem amenable to.

· I have no predispositions for or against K affs or framework: I think that what it means to be “topical” is almost always open to interpretation based on the round. In NPDA, however, I am largely unpersuaded by arguments like “there is no topical aff” or outright rejections of the resolution. I am likely better for K affs that engage the topic in a creative way than those that reject the topic outright. No matter what your advocacy is, I want a very clear solvency mechanism for whatever harms you outline.

· My NPDA partner was Noah Gallagher, and his paradigm is here. I agree with lots of his debate opinions.

Should you have any other questions either before or after a round (or for prefs), email me at

Lee Place Paradigm

6 rounds

I did 2 years of circuit debate pretty competitively.

I try to be flow, only two things kinda different about me:

1. Terminal defense exists to infinity. If you never frontline an argument your opponents defensive ink still exists on my flow. Them not extending responses is not an excuse. Extensions of terminal defense are never necessary, just appreciated. You will never win an argument if defense against it is dropped.

2. I care more about warrants than impacts. Weighing an impact is irrelevant at the point that you do not win the links into the impact. If there is clash at the warrant level make sure to weigh links and actually explain to me why your warrant should be preferred to that of your opponents.

I'll evaluate any claim backed up in evidence or logic, run crazy shit, it's fun

Natalie Polanco Paradigm

4 rounds

Image result for much serious very debate

Chris Powell Paradigm

5 rounds

I was a first speaker in Public Forum from 2014-2017 and competed Nebraska Circuit/Nat Circuit.

I expect the second team to defend in their Rebuttal.

Don't speed read.

Don't run counter plans for me.

Don't personally attack your opponents in hopes of gaining clout.

Please weigh the arguments in the round, especially in Summary/FF.

I highly recommend providing voters for me because my decision is 100% based off of whatever you give to me in the round.

Try to have fun.

Keshav Raghu Paradigm

2 rounds

About Me

I am currently a student at the University of Chicago. I competed in Congress for 4 years and Extemporaneous Speaking for 3 years at Dougherty Valley High School in California.


I vote off the flow, but I also appreciate strong speakers. Have good organization! Being articulate and concise with your points is a huge plus for me. Being able to break down complex points into easy to follow logical statements speaks volumes about your skill as debaters. I want arguments to be well warranted and link chains to be clearly explained. Your impacts can be amazing, but if your warranting is weak I'm not going to buy it. I am ok with a moderately fast pace, but PLEASE make sure that your speed does not impede your clarity. In the final speeches, I want you to write my ballot for me (clean weighing of arguments is greatly appreciated).

Bottom Line: Be respectful, Have fun, Good luck!

Kieran Raines Paradigm

4 rounds

I am a librarian and 2nd year PF judge. I believe a well-presented argument relies on speaking clearly and thoughtfully, rather than rushing to present every piece of information. State your contentions clearly and use this to create a reliable, well-structured argument.

Arun Ramakrishna Paradigm

2 rounds

I debated 4 years in policy and pf at Saratoga High School.

Most of this paradigm is stolen from my high school debate partner (love u ayush <3) so please feel free to ask questions before the round

*I won't vote for an argument that doesn't have a warrant

*If it's important it should be in every speech (including key defense)

*Speed is fine, but slow down for taglines and citations. Don't use it exclude other debaters. It's been some time since I've had to flow particularly fast debating, so please start slower and ramp up if you plan on going very fast. I'll shout clear if I need to

*I probably have a higher threshold for case extensions than other PF judges. I require a full extensions of links, warrants and impacts to vote on an argument

*DO NOT take advantage of or commodify the suffering of marginalized groups to win rounds !!!


-I'm fine with evaluating theory, but would definitely prefer to judge a substance debate

-Default to competing interps, no RVI, drop the arg (unless justified otherwise)


-I like kritikal arguments, but the worst rounds are those that contain badly run Ks, so please do not run a K if you are unsure about how to do so

-Ks don't necessarily need an alt

-Don't assume I know your literature and please explain thoroughly, especially if your K is not particularly common (ie cap, biopower, security etc.)

-Default to K comes before theory (unless justified otherwise)


-I prefer debaters read evidence straight from cards. Paraphrasing often leads to misconstruing

-I will only call for cards if told to, and I'll be unhappy if things don't line up

-Pls read authors and years

Aleisha Readye Paradigm

7 rounds

I may seem like I am not paying attention but I am listening. I am not very good at small talk so if you have a question just ask me.

To the point:

I am very much a progressive traditionalist when it comes to Public Forum.

What does that mean?

Yes, I believe that parents should be 100% comfortable judging public forum debate at all levels. It is your job as a debater to adapt and NOT the other way around.

Fast talking is fine. Don’t spread. Creative Arguments, I am listening. You are not actually topical, but you are in the direction of the topic, YES, I am still listening.

FRAMING IS THE BEST PART OF PUBLIC FORUM DEBATE. How your team frames the round should be strategic and work in your team’s advantage. A team should only concede framework if they actually believe that they can win the debate under the other team’s framework. Otherwise, defend your framework. If they call you out for “abusive framework” tell me why it’s not and why I should still be voting under it.

While it’s not mandatory, if you are speaking second you should address your opponent’s rebuttal. I don’t expect you to split your time in some specific way, but at the end of the day a speech did happen just moments before yours and you kind of need to engage with it. (Translated: Must respond to your opponent’s case and defend your own)

Rebuttals: cover their case in the context of yours. cross applications are going to be key to get me to sign the ballot in your favor.

I do not flow cross, but I am listening and PRAYING that all the cool things that take place during this time find a place in speeches. Otherwise all the sweating, panting, and exchanging of evidence was pointless.


If it isn't in Rebuttal, it can't be in Summary. If it isn't in Summary, you can't go for it in Final Focus.

Oh ya, I am bad at speaker points.

As it relates to LD -

Fast talking is acceptable but I cannot deal with spreading for extended periods of time, flow, and be objective. My mind drifts whenever people speak to me in the same cadence for extended periods of time.

Spreading: My brain can’t handle it which is why I generally avoid judging TOC Circuit Varsity LD debates. I do this because I agree that spreading is a skill and I understand that since you are on the circuit you would probably like to have opportunity to do so. However, if you get the wonderful privilege of having me judge you, I will expect you to do a few things to enhance my involvement in the round. I ask that you not practice spreading in front of me.

“I hear everything when in sensory overload. But it’s not as if I can hear what is being said; rather it is just many, many sounds, unfiltered and loud. It feels like sounds are coming at me from every direction. Lights from all directions also seem to glare in my eyes. Sensory overload is horrible.” — Laura Seil Ruszczyk

I evaluate framework first. I prefer debates that are topical. That said, I think on most of the resolutions for LD there are lots of topical discussions debaters can engage about race and identity matters.

If they say they are in the direction of topic and clearly articulate how they are, I would probably agree that they are probably pretty topical. However, I do think T is a real argument.

I prefer students use cx for question and answer exchanges not extra prep.

Will Reilley Paradigm

7 rounds

While I would technically be considered otherwise, I would appreciate it if you consider me a lay-judge. This means that I would highly appreciate it if you avoid spreading at all costs (I can only type so fast), make explicit links (I will evaluate based on what's on my flow), and attempt to be as pragmatic as possible. I rarely vote on the K, but I will entertain the idea if it is warranted and supported.

Robert Reilly Paradigm

4 rounds

My name Is Robert Reilly

I look for a clear and substantiated case supported with evidence. I believe that most debates are won in the strength of your arguments and your detailed and specific rebuttal against your opponents arguments.

I don't like uneccesary quantifications. I also don't like unwarranted agressiveness or rude behavior in round. Debaters should win and lose with class. Thank you.

Victor Rivas Umana Paradigm

7 rounds

OK here's the deal. I did policy debate for 4 years in high school and two semesters in college (once in 2007 and recently in 2016 in Policy Debate)

. Judged Tournaments up until probably 2008 and have not been judging since. I also judged Lincoln Douglas Debate a few times at some of the national tournaments throughout california but it was not a debate I did in high school. For me my philosophy is simple, just explain what you are talking about clearly. That means if youre going to spread, be clear. If you are going to spread in front of me right now, do not go too fast as I have not judged in awhile so I may have hard time catching certain ideas so please slow down on your tags and cites.

Public Forum: please make sure Summary and final focus are consistent in messaging and voters. dropped voters in summary that are extended in final focus will probably not be evaluated. I can understand a bit of speed since I did policy but given this is public forum, I would rather you not spread. talking a bit fast is fine but not full on spreading.
Policy wise:
I am not fond of the K but I will vote for it if explained properly. If I feel it was not, do not expect me to vote for it I will default to a different voting paradigm, most likely policy maker.
-IF you expect me to vote on Theory or topicality please do a good job of explaining everything clearly and slowly. a lot of times theory and topicality debates get muddled and I just wont look at it in the end. EDIT as of 1/28: I am not too fond of Theory and Topicality debates as they happen now. Many of you go too fast and are unclear which means I don't get your analysis or blippy warrants under standards or voting issues. Please slow the eff down for theory and T if you want me to vote on it.

I will vote for whatever paradigm you tell me to vote for if you clearly explain the implications, your standards and framework.
-I know you guys spread now like Policy debaters but please slow down as I will have a hard time following everything since its been awhile.

I guess LD has become more like policy and the more like policy it sounds, the easier it is for me to follow. Except for the K and Theory, I am open for all other policy arguments. Theory and K debaters, look above ^^^^

UPDATE FOR LD at Golden Desert and Tournaments moving forward. I don't think many of you really want me as a judge for the current topic or any topic moving forward. My experience in LD as a coach is limited which means my topic knowledge is vague. That means if you are going to pref me as 1 or 2 or 3, I would recommend that you are able to break down your argumentation into the most basic vocabulary or understanding of the topic. If not, you will leave it up to me to interpret the information that you presented as I see fit (if you are warranting and contextualizing your points especially with Ks, we should be fine, if not, I won't call for the cards and I will go with what I understood). I try to go off of what you said and what is on your speech docs but ultimately if something is unclear, I will go with what makes the most sense to me. If you run policy arguments we should be fine (In the order of preference, policy making args including CPs, DAs, case turns and solvency take outs, Ks, Topicality/Theory <--these I don't like in LD or in Policy in general). Given this information please use this information to pref me. I would say DA/CP debaters should pref me 1 and 2. anyone else should pref me lower unless you have debated in front of me before and you feel I can handle your arguments. Again if its not CP/DA and case take outs you are preffing me higher at your own risk. Given many of you only have three more tournaments to get Bids (if that is your goal for GD, Stanford, Berkeley) then I would recommend you don't have me as your judge as I would not feel as qualified to judge LD as I would judging most policy rounds and Public forum rounds. Is this lame? kinda. But hey I am trying to be honest and not have someone hate me for a decision I made. if you have more questions before GD, please email me at

For all debaters:
clarity: anunciate and make sure you are not going too fast I cannot understand
explain your evidence: I HATE pulling cards at the end of a round. If I have to, do not expect high speaker points. I will go off what was said in the debate so if you do not explain your evidence well, I will not consider it in the debate.

Something I have thought about since it seems that in Public Forum and even in other debates power tagging evidence has become an issue, I am inclined to give lower speaker points for someone who gives me evidence they claimed says one thing and it doesn't. If it is in out rounds, I may be inclined to vote against you as well. This is especially true in PF where the art of power tagging has taken on a life of its own and its pretty bad. I think something needs to get done about this and thus I want to make it very clear if you are in clear violation of this and you present me with evidence that does not say what it does, I am going to sit there and think hard about how I want to evaluate it. I may give you the win but on low points. Or I may drop you if it is in outrounds. I have thought long and hard about this and I am still unsure how I want to approach this but given how bad the situation is beginning to get with students just dumping cards and banking on people not asking questions, I think something needs to be done.

anything else feel free to ask me during the round. thanks.

Alex Rivera Paradigm

5 rounds

Policy Debate

I like being as hands off as possible with framing. Mostly prioritize tech on the flow and give high weight to dropped arguments, but I like broader truth claims. Contextualization and deep analysis will win my ballot, don't just extend evidence through ink. When the case debate becomes card spam back and forth, I look for unpacking arguments, listed warrants, and intelligent applications (ie debating) to decide the debate.

I did policy debate for fours in high school in Kansas. Mostly ran critical arguments, but I love theory and traditional policy debate as well. In fact, I would say that I tend to find big impact clash to have a higher floor in terms of fun debates to watch. I am on my third year of college LD Policy debate at Western Kentucky University.

My area of study and passion is Marxism, but I am comfortable adjudicating most positions. I have the most experience on Deleuze, Baudrillard, Zizek (a little psychoanalysis), and Dean. Wilderson, Sexton, Puar, and some other popular authors are not my expertise, but I do understand the argument okay. Sometimes knowing the argument can make me hold you to a slightly higher standard, albeit unconsciously.

Speed: Yes. 7/10 on tags would be kind of you. I am going to be honest, my main issue is lack of pen time when flipping pages or moving onto the next card, which can put me behind. Without some extra "oomph" on warrants in cards, they won't really find their way onto my flow until the rebuttals. I will not backflow arguments. (Clarity is distinct. Clarity is important for Theory and Analytics.) Speaks are determined by doing smart things with the flow, good word economy, efficiency, etc. Speed is strategic, so do it, but there is something lost in terms of emotive delivery on particular readings - if that's the reaction you want me to have.

Kritiks: Yes. I like and read them a lot, which means I tend to catch when debaters fall for the policy tricks, like extinction sequences, etc. This just means you need to hold steady with root cause claims and weigh them against flashpoints, like error replication arguments on a security k. I tend to adjudicate the debate in terms of method. Policy making is also a method. If you feel as though my ballot has magical powers to instantly make the world a certain way, I will also pretend it does. With that being said, self serving ROB arguments are whack - I like to vote for whoever best justified a method.

K AFFs: Sure. Topicality indicates the adherence to a specific word in the topic, and resolutionality indicates your affirmative literature is in some way tied to the resolution. Violating topicality can be persuasive, but I do not think reading an AFF that has no reference to immigration is persuasive. For some reason I find myself voting slightly more often for the NEG on framework debates - fairness claims are persuasive to me.

Topicality: Yes (I don't like RVIs, and it doesn't take much for me to become skeptical of them.)

Impact Turns: Yes (Dedev, Spark, Ice Age is all good, but I will not vote for Imperialism/racism good args. Yes you can still try to o/w everything with your little Bostrom evidence, but just be tactful about it, not offensive.)

Case: It helps. I think case debate is a lost art that I have always found enjoyable and strategic. Hopefully you feel the same :D

CPs: Yes (Always make perms, but I'm not sure I can vote for ones, even if conceded, that functionally make no sense unless explained, ie perming an ADV CP that competes because of a DA)

Theory: Yes. Please no "Ks" are bad theory. You can read reasons why PIKs are bad, but "Ks bad" is just like "DAs bad". A good spec argument can be fun if it is actually decent. (Usually prefer some abuse, but not necessary)

Disclosure: Show me that your Wiki is good on AFF and NEG after the round and I'll give you one speaker point.


See most of policy above. I understand that LD is a more predominately theory oriented event, and thus I am more willing to vote for compelling renditions of more non-traditional theory arguments. However, there is a certain stopping point on this. I do not believe that Spec the Status w/ a ground impact is super compelling if your ground argument is that you couldn't read condo, which is just another theory argument. Please make the theory warranted and intrinsically related to real ground. I don't think a closed circuit of reference between theoretical positions is compelling.

T: Sure, you can win it. You can also lose it. I don't need proven abuse, just sell a vision of debate that I should abide by. I love kritikal affs to do the same thing, unless the whole point is to advocate for chaotic unpredictability, in which case I can also vote for that, just make that a compelling argument.

Substance: I tend to adjudicate the debate in terms of method. LARP is also a method. If you feel as though my ballot has magical powers to instantly make the world a certain way, I will also pretend it does. With that being said, self serving ROB arguments are whack - I like to vote for whoever best justified a method.

Blips: I don't like them. If it's super blippy and I don't understand the argument, I'll have difficulty voting for them even if they are conceded. I need to be able to read a ballot back to someone in the RFD and defend why I voted a certain way, which I can't do if I don't even understand why I voted a certain way.

Disclosure: Show me that your Wiki is good on AFF and NEG after the round and I'll boost you one speaker point.


There are a lot of things that irk me about PF in terms of evidence. I think that cards are always better than paraphrasing (although I understand that strategic incentives will push both sides to do so). Be kind about evidence, it is good for clashful debate and more interesting for the judge if you are.

Speaker points: I look for academic language, intelligent interactions and cross applications on the flow, clarity in speaking (different than speed, I am definitely a faster flow than you can speak), and general persuasiveness. Humor and control in crossfire, as long as it is not too mean, is definitely appreciated.

Weird arguments: I am probably a much better judge for voting on those arguments than most you will encounter. I love a GOOD theory and kritik debate. I love impact turns, even the nasty ones like spark. I am not super persuasded by whining about arguments (ie "I shouldn't have to defend the liberal hegemony theory of the PRO!"), but if you unpack that argument in strong theoretical foundations like fairness, equitable burden, etc. I am more than willing to vote on that. I do think alts in PF are probably kind of whack.

The most important thing: weigh for me please. It is quite likely that whoever has weighed the best will win the round. I need ballot directing language. Do not leave me with a web of unresolved internal link turns, defense, and a poverty vs GDP growth debate when the round is over. I do not like reading evidence too much, and odds are if you hand me a PDF I will be less than enthused to comb through it for the answers I need. I will always default to answers in the round, so if one team has spoon fed me a nice little econ impact and you just kind of threw things at a wall wondering what was gonna stick, you may be in a less than stellar place.

Mai Rubin Paradigm

2 rounds

Updated for January 2020.

Tabroom has the option to specify pronouns for a reason. If a debater specifies certain pronouns by which they identify in a live update, ensure you know them. I have ZERO tolerance for deliberate misgendering because it makes the round unsafe. If you object to this, strike me.

TL;DR: Tech>truth, first speaking summary doesn't have to extend defense unless it's frontlined by second speaking rebuttal, in which case you have to respond to frontlines if you wanna go for it in FF. Defense isn't terminal unless you tell me why.

Hello. I did PF for three years at Boca Raton High School ('17) and currently coach/judge circuit PF. I consider myself a relatively decent debater. I’ve been around the national circuit, so I’ve seen my fair share of debating.

I disclose, so if you have any questions about the round, be it the specifics of the flow or your performance as a speaker, feel free to ask me either during the disclosure or after the round if time permits on my part. If you have any questions about my paradigm or an RFD, feel free to ask before or after round.

As for the paradigm:

1. Debate is a game (unless you compellingly argue otherwise in-round), call me tech>truth. I'll vote on any warranted argument insofar as it isn't unambiguously, maliciously offensive. In the latter case, you'll get an L0-20. I think intervention assassinates pedagogy and fairness because the round is decided by factors outside the control of debaters. *NEW AND IMPORTANT*: To minimize intervention, I will presume the status quo in a scenario in a policy topic where: A. no one is accessing offense, or B. both teams are accessing offense without literally any analysis as to which args are more important. In short, I presume in pretty much any scenario where it is impossible for me to resolve the round without having to introduce any of my own analysis that wasn’t in it. DO NOT ABUSE THAT. I presume first on non-policy resolutions. On that note, I believe defense is NOT terminal unless you tell me it is and why. I presume defense is mitigatory by default. This ensures people don't lose the round on presumption because of one piece of mitigation that was dropped and lacked implication.

2. First speaking summary doesn't have to extend defense, unless that defense is covered in second rebuttal, in which case, it must be frontlined in first summary and extended if you intend to go for it in FF. Likewise, if you're second speaking and frontline in second rebuttal and your opponents drop the frontline in first summary, you can extend the frontline straight to final focus without mentioning it in summary. I do not require second rebuttal frontlining, but it is probably strategic to do. Beyond that, no new in the two. That includes new weighing in the 2FF. There are two exceptions. Those are if 1FF is answering new arguments from second summary and/or if 2FF is refuting those answers. Second, if you're making a theoretical argument about some abuse committed late in the round. If it's the latter, you better spend a VERY significant chunk of your FF on the argument and warranting why the level of abuse is big enough to outweigh the fairness skew of an arg that is new in the two.

3. The only new frameworks that I feel comfortable with being introduced after summary, absent some argument telling me otherwise, are voters and reasons to prefer/weighing frameworks. Clarity of link weighing is fake news 99% of the time, I am not fooled by new attempts to read defense in FF.

4. Cool w/ progressive arguments if done properly and am tangentially familiar with stock K lit. I notice a lot of judges try to ascribe specific purposes to these types of args, like only being for checking back abuse. I think this is intervention. YOU decide and argue in round what the role of a progressive arg is and how that affects the round's outcome. Also, tell me why your args/standards are voters, especially for theory/T. In terms of theory, I default to competing interps, no RVI, and drop the arg, open to otherwise if argued in round. Disclaimer: I have a college policy background, but a limited one, and I was also bad at it. If you're someone reading these types of args, I suggest dumbing them down by spending more time explaining/implicating them.

5. Good w/ speed but notify me if you're gonna outright spread so I can flow on laptop. Send speech docs if spreading or I will not be happy. Slow on tags/authors/analytics. I will clear you.

6. Issues in CX need to be mentioned in a speech for me to evaluate them.

7. If a link turn links to a different impact than the argument it's turning, that impact MUST be weighed for me to evaluate it because these types of arguments don't inherently prevent or hijack impacts, meaning it doesn't function as defense either. Treat it like an impact from case.

8. If a card is disputed throughout the round or has something in it that spikes/responds to another arg, please extend the card name in summary and FF for clarity and signposting.

9. Please warrant new cards/arguments in summary, don't just read a claim that only ever gets warranted in FF.

10. Please weigh because it makes the round clearer and easier for me to judge. Line-by-line is important, but weighing is absolutely necessary. Most teams I've judged haven't weighed, or done so poorly. Weighing doesn't just entail saying why your link/impact is big. Tell me why it's comparatively greater than everything else in the round. Arg interaction is key. Clarity of impact/link weighing is fake news 90% of the time just because people throw those buzzwords at me and just say “we outweigh because our arg is true.” Just saying you outweigh because you access an arg is not weighing. Strength of link is fine with very good COMPARATIVE warranting rather than being a poorly veiled attempt to read new defense in FF.

11. Absent being told otherwise, I default to evaluating the round on several levels. In descending order: framework, comparative weighing, weighing, offense access. I'm open to some theoretical alternative to evaluating the round if it's proposed to me, I.e. procedural args like theory coming first.

12. If you plan on conceding an arg for strategic purposes, I like that because it’s smart. That said, such can be abusive if used at a point where it is nigh impossible for the other team to respond. I do not wanna intervene on this issue, so: it is fair to make strategic concessions, but only in the speech immediately after those args are made. For example, if someone reads terminal link defense alongside a ton of link turns in first rebuttal, your concession should be in second rebuttal. I won’t take this into account by default. This only comes into play if you argue why it’s abusive. If this happens and you do not make an arg about it, I evaluate it normally. I am VERY receptive to theory arguments on this issue, even in the final focus if and ONLY IF the abuse in question happened right before it.

13. As an extension of the above, I don't enter the round with any preconceptions about certain args being abusive. There are no abusive args unless you: A. tell me why the arg is abusive (most people are blippy on this), and B. why that means I shouldn't evaluate them, preferably grounded by some standard like education or fairness (often entirely absent). Or you could read theory, which is fine by me.

14. I tend to evaluate evidence as arguments, unless some arg in round is made that I should eval them otherwise or there is REALLY excessive abuse. That means a few things:

A. Just as I only evaluate arguments as you present them to me, I only eval ev as you present it to me. This means that the claim you present from the ev is how I eval it, and if I call the card and see some other application of the ev that wasn't articulated in round, I'm not gonna consider it.

B. I prefer not to call for cards unless I am told to. In fact, I ABSOLUTELY HATE having to do evidence comparison myself. Please do it for me, it likely won't end well for you if it comes down to this. There are exceptions to this rule for cards I deem important enough to call, and I will admit that metric is somewhat arbitrary. I think, however, that most would agree that such arbitrariness is fine if it leads to accountability. If I call your ev due to an indict, and the specific parts of the ev in question are problematic, my default response is to just drop the ev to minimize intervention. This, of course, can change if your opponents make some argument as to why this should impact the outcome of the round. I also might just call cards for clarification.

C. The only occasion in which I drop a team with the lowest speaks tab will allow for misrepresenting ev is if it is REALLY terrible and malicious, and the abuse is obviously super extreme, i.e. fabricating ev, distortion, or obvious clipping. I haven't had to do this in a round I myself have judged yet, so my threshold for this is very high, don't be alarmed.

15. The Jan topic has taught me that there are some parts of economics that I do not understand. Explain economics to me in round like I'm five, for both our sakes.

16. I evaluate embedded clash to an extremely limited extent in the absence of analysis/implication in the round itself, and I only do this when it has to be done to resolve the round. My standard for evalling embedded clash is that if the analysis/extension you read is 100% there and just not signposted in its application or is on the wrong part of the flow, I eval it. By 100% there, I mean I could literally cut and paste that verbatim statement on to the arg it clashes with and have zero issue. If I can't literally just add the phrase "On this argument..." to the analysis/extension that's there, I won't eval embedded clash in the absence of analysis. PLEASE do the analysis properly, I hate evalling embedded clash and your speaks will suffer.

Speaker Points

To me, speaks aren't about presentation. I tend to give speaks based on one's strategic decisionmaking and argumentation in the context of a round. Cool strategic moves and good efficiency (especially in the backhalf) are the key to my heart. I’m not a fan of giving speaks based off stylistic performance, mostly because those tend to be informed by some pretty bad norms that disadvantage non-cis white male debaters. If your strategy is good, I don’t care how you speak, I will give you good speaks.

Here’s the breakdown:

30: You made the best possible strategic decisions and arguments in the context of the round.

29-29.5: You made smart strategic decisions and arguments. Only a few things you could have done better.

28-28.5: Solid argumentation and middle of the line strategic decisionmaking. What I give to the majority of decent rounds I judge.

27-27.5: Passable argumentation with several mistakes, and a noticeable absence of strategic decisionmaking. Round was way more unclear than it should be, and improvements are definitely needed.

26-26.5: Below average. Major mistakes or problems with the debate, definitely needs immediate improvement.

25-25.5: Very below average. Completely mishandled the round. Significant work needed on how the debate is handled.

<25: You probably said something quite offensive or tried to spread cards without sending a speech doc.

Gabe Rusk Paradigm

7 rounds

PF Paradigm 2019-2020 Season:

UNLV, Stanford, Cal RR, and Berkeley:

- Don't mix up Medicaid and Medicare. Here is an easy reminder: Aid the poor and care for the old.

- Don't mix up the Federal funds interest rate with the interest rates for bonds. When folks discuss the "Feds increasing the interest rates" it's referring to the Federal funds rate. That may effect bond yield rates later but not the same thing.

- There is a lot debate on the per capita spending in either world. As in, the amount of cash folks get access to in the Aff world is 12k but the amount of benefits is worth 21k or 31k etc. I need a good analysis here as to why your per capita average is the best in the round. I really don't appreciate the debates trying to be boiled down to our per capita average is larger than yours so we win. If you explain why your per capita analysis is correct I'm down but this arithmetic game is super reductive if not done right.

- If you are running arguments with TW or content warnings please make sure they have opt-out options for competitors for it truly to be a TW or content warning.

Big Things

  • What I want to see: I'm empathetic to major technical errors in my ballots. In a perfect world I vote for the team who does best on tech and secondarily on truth. I tend to resolve clash most easily when you give explicit reasons why either a) your evidence is comparatively better but more often when you tell me why b) your warranting is comparatively better. Obviously doing both compounds your chances at winning my ballot.
  • Weighing Unlike Things: I need to know how to weigh two comparatively unlike things. If you are weighing some economic impact against a non-economic impact like democracy how do I defer to one over the other? Scope, magnitude, probability etc. I strongly prefer impact debates on the probability/reasonability of impacts over their magnitude and scope. Obviously try to frame impacts using all available tools but it's less likely I will defer to nuclear war, try or die, etc on the risk of magnitude. Probability over magnitude debates unless I'm given well warranted, carded, and convincing framework analysis to prefer the latter.
  • Weighing Like Things: Please have warrants and engage comparatively between yourself and your opponent. Obviously methodological and evidentiary comparison is nice too as I mentioned earlier. I love crossfires or speech time where we discuss the warrants behind our cards and why that's another reason to prefer your arg over your opponent.
  • I'm comfortable if you want to take the debate down kritical and/or theoretical roads. Here be dragons. I will say though, over time I've become more tired of bad or unfleshed out theory debates in PF. I will be especially incredulous of your theory argument if I discover your application of theory is principally inconsistent. For example, you are running disclosure or paraphrasing theory against one team for violating but not another team who violated (assuming both judges would have equally been receptive.) There may be other extenuating circumstances that explain the discrepancy in application but they need to be addressed. Lastly, if you look back at the last 20 rounds or so I've judged with theory as the primary voter I've probably only voted for the team who introduced theory in the round 6 of 20 rounds. All variables being equal I would prefer topic specific rounds but in principle remain tabula rasa.

Little Things

  • What needs to be frontlined in second rebuttal? Turns. Not defense unless you have time.
  • If you want offense in the final focus then extend it through the summary.
  • Defense is not sticky between rebuttal and final focus. Aka if defense is not in summary you can't extend it in final focus. I've flipped on this recently. I've found the debate is hurt by the removal of the defense debate in summary and second final focus can extend whatever random defense it wants or whatever random frontlines to defense. This gives the second speaking teams a disproportionate advantage and makes the debate needlessly more messy.
  • Calling for cards. It should not take more than 1 minute to find case cards. Smh y'all.
  • If you spread that's fine. Just be prepared to adjust if I need to clear.
  • My favorite question in cx is: Why?
  • My favorite phrase in debate is: "Prefer our warrant" or "comparing our warrants you prefer ours because..."
  • Don't read "framework" at the top of case unless it's carded. Rarely is it warranted or carded. It's almost always asserted. If you have a card and have an independent warrant go for it. Otherwise don't waste our time in the speech when we know the debate will end with CBA. You can run overviews and weighing but that's different than framework as some approach it. Let's not miss the forest for the trees.
  • Don't read definitions if the judge is familiar with the topic. Waste of time.
  • I will pull cards on two conditions. First, if it becomes a key card in the round and the other team questions the validity of the cut, paraphrasing, or explanation of the card in the round. Second, if the other team never discusses the merits of their opponents card the only time I will ever intervene and call for that evidence is if a reasonable person would know it's facially a lie.
  • I understand the desire to ask for quantifications or quantitative brightlines. It can be helpful in some debates. However, if you ask for a specific quantification then the burden on you in turn is to provide quantifications for your argument as well. I can't tell you how many times I see teams ask others to quantify their impacts and little if none of their own meet that same standard.
  • If you run a percentage increase in an impact or effect you better have the original baseline or original percent if asked. Saying something increases by 845% is misleading without context. If my tea drinking increased by 200% per day and the original amount was 2 oz that isn't significant in context.
  • Offtime road maps fine
  • Pre-flowing in general should be done before the round. Especially if it's second flight. Like what are y'all doing outside the room lmao.
  • Germs are scary. I don't like to shake hands. It's not you! It's me!
  • To see my discussions and extended preferences please check out r/debate on reddit:

Gabe Rusk

Debate Experience: TOC Champion PF 2010, 4th at British Parli University National Championships 2014, Oxford Debate Union competitive debater 2015-2016 (won best floor speech), LGBTQIA+ Officer at Oxford Debate Union

Coaching Experience: 10+ years of coaching, instructor at 12+ debate camps, debate camp director, Senior Instructor and PF Curriculum Director at the Institute for Speech and Debate, Director of Debate at Fairmont 2018-Current, La Altamont Lane 2018 TOC, Capitol 2016-2018, GW 2010-2015. British Parli coach for universities including DU, Oxford, and others.

Education: Masters from Oxford University '16 - Law & Religion - Dissertation on the history of the First Amendment - Majored in Religion and Philosophy at DU '14. Other research areas of familiarity include Buddhism, comparative religion, free speech, art law, copyright law, & SCOTUS history.


Ahhhhh! You made it this far. If you want a free First Amendment sticker let me know! They are an exact copy of the one on my laptop.

Matt Salah Paradigm

7 rounds

However you want to debate in front of me is fine.

I won't require defense in first summary, unless second rebuttal frontlines.

Don't forget to have fun!

Varun Santhanam Paradigm

5 rounds

I graduated high school in 2012, and I debated both policy and public forum on the national circuit with College Prep in Oakland, CA. Been judging on and off since,

- I try not to ask for evidence after the round, but I will if i think it’s necesssry or if you ask me to. PF evidence standards are terrible and need to be improved, and if I read something that is obviously powertagged, I will not evaluate it.

- Speaking of evidence, make sure to explain the warrants in your ev when there is clash. “My card says 3%, yours says 2%” is not an argument. Neither is “but mine is newer!!!”.

- PF is getting more tech. I get that. I’m not mad at it. But if you speak fast for no reason and you sound like sh!t, your speaks will suffer. If you use debate words incorrectly, I’ll be mad.

- I give obvious clues about how I feel. If I’m frowning, I don’t like what you’re saying. If I’m not writing anything down that means I can’t understand you or I don’t care to notate what you are saying. There’s probably a reason for that. Don’t be surprised later on.

- Make sure you do some good crystallization & weighing in the final focus. Don’t go for everything and do some actual impact calc / comparison. I feel like a lot of PF debates these days have too many arguments in them for their own good. There just isn’t enough time in the speeches, and if I have to do weighing myself, you might find that I disagree with your unspoken impact calc. You’ll be a sad panda if that happens.

- don’t be a dbag. If you are, prefer humor over obvious personal attacks.

- I don’t have strict rules about new args in grand cross q or final snaq. They may or may not be evaluated, depending on how relevant to the debate I think they are or how obvious they are given previous args. 9/10 times they probably won’t. Explain why they should or shouldn’t be if you’re worried about that kind of thing.

- frontlining isn’t required. You should still probably do it.

- extending defense in the summary isn’t required. You should still probably do it.

- usually, the role of the ballot is pretty obvious, per the wording of the res. Most PF resolutions are worded to assume the adoption of some policy proposal by some actor. If you think it isn’t that way, debate it in round or ask about my (usually immutable) interp. If you’re reading critical args that require a different than obvious interpretation of the res / obvious role of ballot, I expect you to explain that in round.

- plz bring flow paper without lines and some extra pens. I forgot mine in the hotel room. V sorry. May or may not give you back your pen(s)

Sharan Sawlani Paradigm

2 rounds

I debated for Cypress Bay High School in Weston, Florida for 4 years, all of which in Public Forum (2013-2017). I'm currently a junior at the University of Central Florida.

a couple things:

- im sick please don’t shake my hand

- don't read a new contention in rebuttal. thats whack

- please don’t speak too fast. I can handle some speed but just know i only flow what I can understand

- First summary should extend defense if second rebuttal frontlined the argument. I think it is strategic for second rebuttal to respond to turns and overviews.

- My attention to crossfire will probably depend on the time of day and my current mood. Please use it strategically. I'll probably be on twitter.

- 3 min summary is cool and all but don't go for everything on the flow, condense the round and give me a narrative. Quality of voters> Quantity of voters.

- Ay panini, dont you be a meanie. (seriously, if you're excessively rude you will lose)

- Weigh, weigh, weigh, weigh, weigh. Which weigh? Dat weigh.

- Keep the round lighthearted. I think debaters are way too angry now and some humor would be appreciated. Jokes and puns are highly encouraged. Just don't make fun of your opponents, unless y'all are tight in which case use discretion.

- A clever Young Thug/Migos/Kanye/Big Mouth reference might just get you a 29 or higher (assuming ur not a bully). Likely 30 if you can convince me UCF will make the college football playoffs. Might not be strategic because im losing faith but if you can you should go for it.

- VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR BERKELEY 2020: In light of the recent death of icon, Kobe Bryant, teams may memorialize the lost legend by taking 24 seconds of silence during your prep time (No prepping will be allowed during this time, just grieving). Immediately before the next speech, if you throw a crumpled piece of paper while yelling "KOBE" and make it into the trash/recycling bin from where you're standing, auto 30. If you miss, 28.8 minimum.

- I will probably not vote off of theory unless there is a serious abuse. With that being said, I'll listen to progressive args as long as theyre explained well.

- Apparently this needs to be clarified now but regardless of speaking order, in the rare situation where there is no offense on either side at the end of the round I will presume neg.

If you have any other questions feel free to email me or ask me before the round provided your opponents are present as well. Hated my decision? send all complaints to and hold nothing back.

Chaitanya Sayani Paradigm

7 rounds

Chait Sayani

DVHS '17

Add me to the email chain:

LADI Website:

edit for CPS 2018: I’m currently recovering from eye surgery lol so I might be a little distracted by the pain and my vision during round. Going slower and collapsing more than usual would be much appreciated :’)


I did LD for Dougherty Valley High School for 4 years and policy for a bit as well. Like most judges, I will try to evaluate the round as objectively as possible and will not paradigmatically exclude any argument unless it is blatantly racist/homophobic/deliberately exclusionary in any manner. That said, like most judges, I definitely have preferences for certain strategies. To borrow from the late great Arjun Tambe, even if your strat contradicts my defaults, I will still vote on it if its well explained and impacted. Your strategy does effect the amount of work you will need to do to win the round in front of me, So while adaption isn't particularly necessary, it does go quiet a long way in terms of strategic viability. Below, i've listed my views and affinities for certain types of Arguments.

Straight Up/ Util Debate:

This is quiet possibly my favorite form of debate to watch and judge. Honestly, I don't think I evaluate these types of debates differently from anyone else, so if you wanna read these args in front of me, go ahead. However, all the regular technicalities still apply. I think Impact Calc is definitely important, and evidence comparison especially on the Uniqueness and Impact Debate make the evaluation of the round a lot easier. I also think Counterplans must be competitive (read: don't say the CP solves better so we compete through net benefits lol). I think you need to win Uniqueness to win a link turn, and I think that Perms have to win a net benefit. Also as a final note, I find it really hard to believe terminal defense claims. In the words of Scotty P "IMO, there are in fact, risks of things". Good Straight up debaters give me a consistent framework to resolve that risk and make my life easier. If you wanna have a good Util Debate, by all means, go ahead.


These were probably my favorite args to go for my sophomore, junior and senior years. I am comfortable evaluating most kritik authors, but with that said, I will hold you to a higher level of explanation that some others might. One of my main pet peeves in K debate (especially in LD) is reading a horrifically generic link and doing zero case contextualization in the 1NC and dumping some generic overview in the 2NR. My only requirement to reading the Kritik is to know what you're saying. Engage the Case, and leverage the thesis of the Kritik against various responses. Create a story behind the ballot, and persuade me to buy it. As long as you satisfy that litmus test, read whatever you want.

Edit: Some people told me this section was too vague, so in order to be a little more specific, here's a list of some kritiks i've been going for this year so far. Sep Oct: AfroPes, Fear of death, Meltdowns, Security. Nov Dec: Psycho, Agamben, Delueze, Nietzsche. Jan Feb: Baudrillard, Bataille, Delueze, Warren. Check my wiki if you have any more questions


Definitely not the best for theory debates, but I am relatively alright at evaluating them. Don't blip through 7 theory standards in the 1NC/1AR and expect me to magically vote on a horrifically and uncleanly extended standard in the 2NR/2AR. Here are some defaults I lean towards:

- Default Reasonability, NO RVI's, and Drop the Argument

- I lean neg on 1 Condo, but anything more than that makes me iffy

- I do think a lot of theory that's being read nowadays is kinda ridiculous, but I will definitely vote for it if you win it. Just remember I do think Reasonability is a pretty persuasive out on that flow however. To contextualize this, here are some interps I find frivolous that I plagiarized from Kris Kaya's paradigm: Must Spec Status in Speech, Must Read Policy Alt, Must Spec what Maximizing Expected Well Being Means, Extinction impacts bad, Must spec university, etc.

- I also don't think that winning one standard on theory magically makes all others irrelevant. I think because of my relatively low experience going for theory, Impact Calc and comparative analysis is especially key. Impact your args.

Side note on Non T K aff's: I am much more lenient towards direction of the topic aff's as opposed to straight up non topical aff's, but again, Ill evaluate both. Ironically, even though Dougherty's arguably most successful aff was non topical, I lean neg on FW vs K aff debates. If you're aff really is that baller, there's probably a TVA. However, the K debater in me does make me willing to adjudicate FW debates relatively objectively.

Phil/Framework Debates:

Much like theory, I am less experienced with Phil than I am with other types of my arguments, but will evaluate them regardless. I understand basic phil like Kant, Habermas, Rawls, but thats about it. If you do decide to go for this strat in front of me, please make sure to explain, impact, and compare warrants (Read: Tell me what the hell is going on and why I should vote for you).

Tricks: .

My understanding of a lot of tricks are limited so run them in front of me at your own discretion. I agree with Arjun when I say that I think Tricks are kinda bad for debate. Just engage please.

Misc/General Notes:

- Sending a speech isn't prep

- I will yell clear

- Tech > Truth

- I think Disclosure is a good thing

- You must be willing to Flash/Email/Pass pages. Give your opponent access to your arguments during the round

- I default Offense Defense

- Don't be mean

- Extensions require explaining a warrant. Not just saying Extend this.


I start at a 28 and go up or down based from there.

Abby Schirmer Paradigm

2 rounds

Pace Academy, Atlanta GA (2019-Present)
Marist, Atlanta, GA (2015-2019)
Stratford Academy, Macon GA (2008-2015)
Michigan State University (2004-2008)

Please use email chains. Please add me-

Short version- You need to read and defend a plan in front of me. I value clarity (in both a strategic and vocal sense) and strategy. A good strategic aff or neg strat will always win out over something haphazardly put together. Impact your arguments, impact them against your opponents arguments (This is just as true with a critical strategy as it is with a DA, CP, Case Strategy). I like to read evidence during the debate. I usually make decisions pretty quickly. Typically I can see the nexus question of the debate clearly by the 2nr/2ar and when (if) its resolved, its resolved. Don't take it personally.

Long Version:
Case Debate- I like specific case debate. Shows you put in the hard work it takes to research and defeat the aff. I will reward hard work if there is solid Internal link debating. I think case specific disads are also pretty good if well thought out and executed. I like impact turn debates. Cleanly executed ones will usually result in a neg ballot -- messy debates, however, will not.

Disads- Defense and offense should be present, especially in a link turn/impact turn debate. You will only win an impact turn debate if you first have defense against their original disad impacts. I'm willing to vote on defense (at least assign a relatively low probability to a DA in the presence of compelling aff defense). Defense wins championships. Impact calc is important. I think this is a debate that should start early (2ac) and shouldn't end until the debate is over. I don't think the U necessarily controls the direction of the link, but can be persuaded it does if told and explained why that true.

K's- Im better for the K now than i have been in years past. That being said, Im better for security/international relations/neolib based ks than i am for race, gender, psycho, baudrillard etc (that shit cray). I tend to find specific Ks (ie specific to the aff's mechanism/advantages etc) the most appealing. If you're going for a K-- 1) please don't expect me to know weird or specific ultra critical jargon... b/c i probably wont. 2) Cheat- I vote on K tricks all the time (aff don't make me do this). 3) Make the link debate as specific as possible and pull examples straight from the aff's evidence and the debate in general 4) I totally geek out for well explained historical examples that prove your link/impact args. I think getting to weigh the aff is a god given right. Role of the ballot should be a question that gets debated out. What does the ballot mean with in your framework. These debates should NOT be happening in the 2NR/2AR-- they should start as early as possible. I think debates about competing methods are fine. I think floating pics are also fine (unless told otherwise). I think epistemology debates are interesting. K debates need some discussion of an impact-- i do not know what it means to say..."the ZERO POINT OF THE Holocaust." I think having an external impact is also good - turning the case alone, or making their impacts inevitable isn't enough. There also needs to be some articulation of what the alternative does... voting neg doesn't mean that your links go away. I will vote on the perm if its articulated well and if its a reason why plan plus alt would overcome any of the link questions. Link defense needs to accompany these debates.

K affs are fine- you have to have a plan. You should defend that plan. Affs who don't will prob lose to framework. A alot.... and with that we come to:

NonTraditional Teams-
If not defending a plan is your thing, I'm not your judge. I think topical plans are good. I think the aff needs to read a topical plan and defend the action of that topical plan. I don't think using the USFG is racist, sexist, homophobic or ablest. I think affs who debate this way tend to leave zero ground for the negative to engage which defeats the entire point of the activity. I am persuaded by T/Framework in these scenarios. I also think if you've made the good faith effort to engage, then you should be rewarded. These arguments make a little more sense on the negative but I am not compelled by arguments that claim: "you didn't talk about it, so you should lose."

CPs- Defending the SQ is a bold strat. I will listen (and most likely vote) on CPs done in either the 1NC or the 2NC. Multiple conditional (or dispo/uncondish) CPs are also fine. Condo is probably good, but i can be persuaded otherwise. Consult away- its arbitrary to hate them in light of the fact that everything else is fine. I lean neg on CP theory. Aff's make sure you perm the CP (and all its planks). Im willing to judge kick the CP for you. If i determine that the CP is not competitive, or that its a worse option - the CP will go away and you'll be left with whatever is left (NBs or Solvency turns etc). This is only true if the AFF says nothing to the contrary. (ie. The aff has to tell me NOT to kick the CP - and win that issue in the debate). I WILL NOT VOTE ON NO NEG FIAT. That argument makes me mad. Of course the neg gets fiat. Don't be absurd.

T- I usually view it in an offense/defense type framework but I'm also compelled by reasonability. I think competing interpretations are good but do think that some aff's are reasonably topical. Impact your reasons why I should vote neg. K's of T are stupid. I think the aff has to run a topical aff, and K-ing that logic is ridiculous. T isn't racist. RVIs are never ever compelling.... ever.

Theory- I tend to lean neg on theory. Condo- Probably Good. More than two then the aff might have a case to make as to why its bad - i've voted aff on Condo, I've voted neg on condo. Its a debate to be had. Any other theory argument I think is categorically a reason to reject the argument and not the team. I can't figure out a reason why if the aff wins international fiat is bad that means the neg loses - i just think that means the CP goes away.

Remember!!! All of this is just a guide for how you chose your args in round. I will vote on most args if they are argued well and have some sort of an impact. Evidence comparison is also good in my book-- its not done enough and i think its one of the most valuable ways to create an ethos of control with in the debate. Perception is everything, especially if you control the spin of the debate. I will read evidence if i need to-- don't volunteer it and don't give me more than i ask for. I love fun debates, i like people who are nice, i like people who are funny... i will reward you with good points if you are both. Be nice to your partner and your opponents. No need to be a jerk for no reason

Charles Schletzbaum Paradigm

7 rounds

Co-Director: Milpitas High Speech and Debate


Myers Park, Charlotte N.C.
(85-88) 3 years Policy, LD and Congress. Double Ruby (back when it was harder to get) and TOC competitor in LD.

Summer 87: American U Institute. 2 weeks LD and congress under Dale Mccall and Harold Keller, and 2 more weeks in a mid level Policy lab.

St. Johns Xavierian, Shrewsbury, Mass
88~93 consultant, judge and chaperone

Summer 89 American U Coaches institute (Debate)

Milpitas High, Milpitas CA
09-present co-coach

(Important note, I have noticed I have been getting a little triggered when people completely misconstrue how some MTW programs work. Please make sure you know how they work before you make some sometimes uninformed assertions about them)

In all events: Assume if the resolution is true, then I'm voting aff. If it is not proven, then I'm voting neg, and unless told explicitly otherwise or the gymnastically twisted resolutions, tie goes against "taking an action" (presumption/perceived aff burden to prove the res).

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" ****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.

If you put conditions on your opponent getting access to your evidence I will put conditions on counting it in my RFD. Evidence should be provided any time asked between speeches, or asked for during cx and provided between speeches. Failure to produce the card in context may result in having no access to that card on my flow/decision.

Part of what you should know about any of the events
Events Guide
13-14 NSDA tournament Operations manual

All events, It is a mark of the competitors skill to adapt to the judge, not demand that they should adapt to you. Do not get into a definitional fight without being armed with a definition..... TAG TEAM CX? *NOT A FAN* if you want to give me the impression your partner doesn't know what they are talking about, sure, go ahead, Diss your partner. Presentation skills: Stand in SPEECHES AND CX and in all events with only exception in PF grand.

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE"****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.


While I was not able to compete in public forum (It did not exist yet), the squad I coach does primarily POFO. Its unlikely that any resolution will call for a real plan as POFO tends to be propositions of fact instead of value or policy.
I am UNLIKELY to vote for a K, as I have seen a bizarre one once, and I don't even vote for K in policy. Moderate speed is fine, but to my knowledge, this format was meant to be more persuasive. USE EVIDENCE and make sure you have Tags and Cites. I want a neat flow (it will never happen, but I still want it)

I WANT FRAMEWORK or I will adjudicate the round, since you didn't. I FLOW LIKE POLICY with respect to DROPPED ARGUMENTS (if a speech goes by I will likely consider the arg dropped... this means YES I believe the 4th speaker in the round SHOULD cover both flows..)

Remember, Pofo was there to counteract speed in Circuit LD, and LD was created to counter speed, so fast is ok, but tier 3 policy spread is probably not.

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" READ IN ROUND ) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.

If you have one advocacy, and you claim solvency on one advocacy, and only if it is implemented, then yeah that is a plan. I will NOT weigh offense from the plan, this is a drop the argument issue for me. Keep the resolution as broad as possible. EXCEPTION, if the resolution is (rarely) EXPLICIT, or the definitions in the round imply the affirmative side is a course of action, then that is just the resolution. EXAMPLE
September 2012 - Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban
the aff is the resolution, not a plan and more latitude is obviously given.

If one describes several different ways for the resolution to be implemented, or to be countered, you are not committing to one advocacy, and are defending/attacking a broad swath of the resolution, and this I do NOT consider a plan.

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" ****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.


If your plan is super vague, you MIGHT not get to claim your advantages. Saying you "increase" by merely reading the text of the resolution is NOT A PLAN. Claiming what the plan says in cx is NOT reading a plan. Stop being sloppy.

I *TRY* to be Tabula Rasa (and fail a lot of the time especially on theory, Ks and RVI/fairness whines)
I trained when it was stock issues, mandatory funding plan spikes (My god, the amount of times I abused the grace commission in my funding plank), and who won the most nuclear wars in the round.

Presentation skills: Stand in SPEECHES AND CX and in all events with only exception in PF grand.

Please don't diss my event.
I ran
Glassification of toxic/nuclear wastes, and Chloramines on the H2O topic
Legalize pot on the Ag topic
CTBT on the Latin america topic.

In many years I have never voted neg on K (in CX), mainly because I have never seen an impact (even when it was run in POFO as an Aff).(Ironic given my LD background)

I will freely vote on T if it is run properly (but not always XT), and have no problem buying jurisdiction......
I HAVE finally gotten to judge Hypo-testing round (it was fun and hilarious).
One of my students heard from a friend in Texas that they are now doing skits and non topical/personal experiece affs, feel free, BUT DON'T EXPECT ME TO VOTE FOR IT.

I will vote on good perms both ways (see what I said above about XT)

SPREAD: I was a tier B- speed person in the south. I can flow A level spread *IF* you enunciate. slow down momentarily on CITES and TAGS and blow through the card (BUT I WILL RE TAG YOUR SUBPOINTS if your card does not match the tag!!!!!!)
If you have any slurred speech, have a high pitched voice, a deep southern or NY/Jersey drawl, or just are incapable of enunciating, and still insist on going too fast for your voice, I will quit flowing and make stuff up based on what I think I hear.

I do not ask for ev unless there is an evidentiary challenge, so if you claim the card said something and I tagged it differently because YOU slurred too much on the card or mis-tagged it, that's your fault, not mine.

LD (p.s. Sep/oct 2016 pronounce NEW-CLEE-ERR *sigh*)

I WILL JUDGE NSDA RULES!!!! I am NOT tabula rasa on some theory, or on plans. Plans are against the rules of the event I judge. LD was supposed to be a check on policy spread, and I backlash, if you have to gasp or your voice went up two octaves then see below... Topicality FX-T and XT are cool on both sides but most other theory boils down to WHAAAAAAHHHH I don't want to debate their AFF so I will try to bs some arguments. It didn't work for the racism k kids in policy in the movie resolved, and drop the debater because fairness is a voter won't work either in my round (for example)

-CIRCUIT LD REFER to policy prefs above in relation to non topical and performance affs

- I LOVE PHILOSOPHY so if you want to confuse your opponent who doesn't know the difference between Kant, Maslow and Rawls, dazzle away :-).
Clear VP and VC (or if you call it framework fine, but it is stupid to tell someone with a framework they don't have a VC and vice versa, its all semantics) are important but MORE IMPORTANT is WHY IS YOURS BETTER *OR* WHY DO YOU MEET THEIRS TOO and better (Permute)

IF YOU TRY TO Tier A policy spread, or solo policy debate, you have probably already lost UNLESS your opponent is a novice. Not because I can't follow you, but because THIS EVENT IS NOT THE PLACE FOR IT!!! However there are several people who can talk CLEARLY and FAST that can easily dominate LD, If you cannot be CLEAR and FAST play it safe and be CLEAR and SLOW.....

Sub-pointing is still a good idea, do not just do broad overviews. plans and counter-plans need not apply as LD is usually revolving around the word OUGHT!!!! Good luck claiming Implementation FIAT on a moral obligation. I might interrupt if you need to be louder, but its YOUR job to occasionally look at the judge to see signals to whether or not they are flowing, so I will be signalling that, by looking at you funny or closing my eyes, or in worst case leaning back in my chair and visibly ignoring you until you stop ignoring the judge and fix the problem. I will just be making up new tags for the cards I missed tags for by actually listening to the cards, and as the average debater mis-tags cards to say what they want them to, this is not advisable.

If you have one advocacy, and you claim solvency on one advocacy, and only if it is implemented, then yeah that is a plan. I will NOT weigh offense from the plan, this is a drop the argument issue for me. Keep the resolution as broad as possible.

EXCEPTION, if the resolution is (rarely) EXPLICIT, or the definitions in the round imply the affirmative side is a course of action, then that is just the resolution. EXAMPLE
September 2012 - Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban
the aff is the resolution, not a plan and more latitude is obviously given.

If one describes several different ways for the resolution to be implemented, or to be countered, you are not committing to one advocacy, and are defending/attacking a broad swath of the resolution, and this I do NOT consider a plan.

I repeat, Speed = Bad in LD, and I will not entertain a counter-plan in LD If you want to argue Counterplans and Plans, get a partner and go to a policy tournament.

GOOD LUCK and dangit, MAKE *ME* HAVE FUN hahahahahah

Harrison Schlossberg Paradigm

2 rounds

I competed in public forum debate for 4 years at Poly Prep, coached Lake Mary Prep last year and I currently coach for Poly Prep.

Tech > Truth

Don't read blippy turns in rebuttal and then blow the argument up later in the round.

Do comparative weighing, and also tell me why your evidence is better if there is conflicting evidence.

If I call for evidence and it's miscut you'll get low speaks.

The two easiest ways to my ballot -> 1) clean, unresponded to offense from either case or rebuttal 2) offense with thorough, well developed warranting if there's a lot of ink on that argument.

Basically, I don't want to have to work through messy arguments that don't end up making much sense when I'm making my decision. To make my life even easier weigh the arguments you go for well, don't just throw out the words "scope," "magnitude," etc.

Aarron Schurevich Paradigm

4 rounds

Last updated 4/27/2019

A PF specific tl;dr for 2019 TOC: I haven't judged in a while, so I'm rusty on the flow; 2nd rebuttal MUST address both sides; PF is a speaking event, and your presentation style should be geared toward laypersons; and I HATE evidence paraphrasing to the extent that I will use speaks to punish the practice. Details on all of these items and more are in the full text below.

Important initial note: I haven't judged a ton the past couple of years. I've been spending more and more tournaments in tabrooms and less and less time at those tournaments adjudicating debates. As such, my flow skills are not as sharp as they have been in the past. Even more than usual, I am not the judge for blippy, super intricate, and/or card-dump debates. First and foremost, I don't like those debates, but more importantly, I'm not going to be good at evaluating them right now. If an argument matters, the debater needs to ensure I actually know it matters by spending time on explaining how it functions and why it is critical.

I am the head coach of the Millard North debate team in Omaha, NE and have been since 2012. For several years prior to joining Millard North, I was the Public Forum assistant coach for Fred Robertson at Millard West.

I will not vote on any case arguments addressing sexual violence or rape that were not preceded by a pre-round trigger warning. If, upon hearing this trigger warning, the opponent requests the argument not be made and that request is denied, I'll listen/be receptive to theory arguments about why I ought to vote a particular way based on the introduction of that issue. That doesn't mean I'll automatically pull the trigger on it one way or the other, but I will be exceptionally open to doing so if the argument claiming I should evaluate the mere fact that the sexual violence argument is made is won in the debate.

I have judged PF more often than anything else, and it's the source of the majority of my training and experience.

- If you do not intend to address both sides of the flow in the second rebuttal, you should strike me. Every team addresses both sides every weekend on my regional circuit, so I know it is a fair expectation AND that it can be done successfully. If you do not adapt to this expectation, you will be disappointed with the round's results, and I will not be kind with speaks.
- If you are rude and approach debate as a place to just flex and show off how much smarter you are than other people, you should strike me. In the past, I have used my ballot to forcefully discourage bad behavior, unnecessary rudeness, and disrespectful treatment of opponents. I have no problem doing so again.
- If you refuse to slow down and explain arguments as you might if you were speaking to any other non-debate human, you should strike me. Do not forget that I haven't been judging a ton lately, and if you do not take that into account and adapt for me, I will not sweat even for a second when I inevitably miss arguments on my flow.
- If you do not intend to read quoted evidence and instead paraphase your evidence, strike me. Paraphrasing of evidence is a cancer in PF.

I would be happy to see something unconventional (plan, kritik, etc.). If you want to go off the beaten path, I need you to be able to argumentatively justify your approach (Why is a plan good for PF? Why is your K important, especially in this event?) when you're inevitably pressed. The flip side of this is that I'll be at least receptive to theory arguments against these case strats if your opponents deem it necessary. For instance, if you run a specific plan, I'd listen to a theory argument about disclosure since disclosure has become a norm where plan debate exists otherwise.

I caution, however: by absolutely no means do I intend to indicate that I would like to see a case you're running that you're just running for the lulz. For the love of all that is holy, do not run a joke/meme case in front of me; you will be able to see the dissatisfaction in my immediate reaction and in the resultant mushroom cloud which will rise when I inevitably nuke your speaks.

If you intend to provide framework and/or definitions for the round, I still need to see warrants. Don't merely tell me how to view or evaluate the debate; explain why I ought to do so in your preferred manner. Also, if there are competing frameworks or definitions at play, I need to see work on weighing out why I ought to prefer one side's interpretation over the other's. If I don't have reasons/warrants on which to prefer, I'll make the choice for myself, and none of us in that round want me to have to do that given that judges doing work for themselves is the quickest way to get people all huffy about the decision. I won't intervene unless I'm left with no option but to do so in order to make a decision.

Also, more specifically on framework, if it matters and it's something that swings the debate one way or the other, you need to apply the framework to the argumentation in the debate.

Don't. That's not the event's intention, and the speaker points I award will be used to discourage speaking practices I find to be problematic. Beyond all that, I suck at dealing with speed, so even if I wanted to get it all, I wouldn't and I won't be bothered by the fact that I'll only get a percentage of what you say on my flow due to your choices.

Please, please, please, please, please... for your sake and for mine, do not paraphrase your evidence. I need to hear the words of your evidentiary sources, not just your reading of what those sources claim. Paraphrasing is a horrible practice that I will be discouraging via speaker points (1-2 speaker point reduction in what would have been otherwise awarded when quoted evidence is not read). All I'll need an opponent to do to answer your paraphrased evidence is tell me it's not a quote/that you paraphrased and I'll disregard it as if it were never on my flow at all. Additionally, I want to hear evidence dates (year of publication at a BARE MINIMUM) and sources (WITH CREDENTIALS OF THE AUTHOR) cited in all evidence. Without those things, I probably won't evaluate your claimed "evidence" as evidence, and you will likely be upset with how things go in the debate.

I steadfastly believe it is the second team's duty and obligation to address both sides of the flow in the second team's rebuttal. A second team that neglects to both attack the opposing case and rebuild against the prior rebuttal will have a very difficult time winning my ballot as whichever arguments go unaddressed are essentially conceded. A team that ignores this bit of adaptation should expect to see speaker points that reflect a performance that I see as half-complete.

The summaries should be treated as such - summarize the major arguments in the debate. I don't need line-by-line work in this speech. I expect debaters to start to narrow the focus of the round at this point.

FOCUS is key. I would prefer 2 big arguments over 10 blippy ones that span the length of the flow. If you intend to make an argument in the FF, it should have been well explained, supported with analysis and/or evidence, and extended from its origin point in the debate all the way through the FF.

If you're organizing your strikes with the goal of winning a speaker award, I'm probably not your favorite judge. My scale is essentially as follows:

  • 30 - Absolute perfection or otherwise deeply impressive (I have had multiple seasons when I was judging every weekend where I gave no 30's.)
  • 29 - Near perfect speaking/execution/argumentation/strategy (I will probably award between one and three 29's over the course of a tournament.)
  • 28 - Good on pretty much all fronts (28/28.5's are my most frequently awarded points.)
  • 27 - Average (I give 27's frequently.)
  • 26-25 - Below average in one or more ways (26-25 are probably on par with 29's in terms of my frequency of awarding them.)
  • 24 or fewer - Deeply problematic in one or more ways, likely offensive in nature/something warranting an apology to one or more people (I don't give 24 or fewer points very often, perhaps a small handful of them in a season.)

I'm a-ok with post-round questions regarding the decision. If that turns into aggressive post-rounding, I will provide the debater/team with one spoken warning on demeanor before docking no fewer than 5 speaker points if the decorum issues continue.

I used to judge LD fairly frequently, but in recent years, I have judged LD far more infrequently (perhaps an average of about 0-5 rounds a year for the past several years).

To be frank, I'm not good with flowing speed, though I have gotten much better since about 2013. I don't want a debater to speak to me like I'm a troglodyte, but I still struggle to some extent when tasked with keeping up with a quick speaker on the flow. I prefer a much more relaxed delivery than the hyper-active speed, but I will do everything I can to follow along and keep up. I will clear you if I'm not able to follow along, but if a debater doesn't adapt to my ability level, I'm not heartbroken over missing an argument or two on the flow. I'm an open book as far as non-verbal feedback goes, so you ought to know what I'm thinking and how I feel in any given moment.

I prefer a traditional value-criterion centered argumentative style as the rounds are much more difficult to evaluate fairly when I'm not given a clear means of preferring a side. I also prefer more resolutionally founded argumentation, but I won't reject non-topical positions without a reason to do so. While I'm largely inexperienced with many of the more technical aspects of national circuit LD, I am open to virtually anything.

If you run a theory argument, you should have a solid reason to make that argument. Abuses claimed need to be well-founded and explained. Blippy theory arguments will do nothing for me. I'm not necessarily outright opposed to theory being run, but the debater in question should know that I will need to have it explained essentially every step of the way. Don't treat me like I'm incapable of understanding a the position, but please present it to me as someone that has not heard the position before.

I would like to see a well-developed K position, but I expect the K to either be the only thing a debater runs or to be consistent with other positions the debater chooses to pursue. Please provide enough analytics to explain the position. My openness established, I have little experience with the K, so I might need a higher level of explanation than other judges who are open to the K.

I prefer developed case debate. A 67-off-case-positions style of LD isn't appealing to me. I can (and will) evaluate them if the round dictates so, but a debate wherein I see a litany of blippy arguments opposing a handful of well-developed ones, I'm siding with the well-developed positions the overwhelming majority of the time. One dropped argument does not a victory make if that dropped argument is in itself poorly developed. I'm open to anything that's well explained and well-justified, but it must certainly be both of those things if it's what you plan on going for in the end of the debate. I won't be ideologically opposed to the arguments you decide to run, but I likely won't be as familiar with the jargon and hyper-technical aspects of your arguments as other judges may be.

If you're pref'ing judges with the goal of winning a speaker award, I'm probably not your judge. I've never utilized the tenth points scale beyond using half points, so I don't use them. I have no idea what makes a 29.2 different than a 29.4; I understand that when seeking out speaker awards, it's a big difference, but because I can't for the life of me understand a practical difference in those two performances, I'm not one to put the tenth point speaks into play.

My scale is essentially as follows:

  • 30 - Absolute perfection or otherwise deeply impressive (I have had multiple seasons where I gave no 30's.)
  • 29 - Near perfect speaking/execution/argumentation/strategy (I will probably award between one and three 29's over the course of a tournament.)
  • 28 - Good on pretty much all fronts (28/28.5's are my most frequently awarded points.)
  • 27 - Average (I give 27's frequently.)
  • 26-25 - Below average in one or more ways (26-25 are probably on par with 29's in terms of my frequency of awarding them.)
  • 24 or fewer - Deeply problematic in one or more ways, likely offensive in nature/something warranting an apology to one or more people (I don't give 24 or fewer points very often, perhaps a small handful of them in a season.)

I'm a-ok with post-round questions regarding the decision. If that turns into aggressive post-rounding, I will provide the debater/team with one spoken warning on demeanor before docking no fewer than 5 speaker points if the decorum issues continue.

My advice on how to pref me:

  • Theory Debaters - 4 or Strike (I'm just not one to see most theory args are important or a reason to vote.)
  • K Debaters - 2 or 3 (There are judges that are much more experienced with the K that you'd probably pref higher than me.)
  • Traditional: 1 or 2
  • Tricks: 4 or Strike (In all likelihood, I'm not your judge. I'll listen to it if it's explained, but the tricks are so frequently blippy and unexplained that I have lots of trouble evaluating that style of debate.)

If you have any specific questions, ask them pre-round.

Mark Selden Paradigm

2 rounds

I am an ex debater and coach.

Send a speech doc if you plan to spread.

I don't require front lining in second rebuttal or extensions of terminal defense in first summary. However, if second rebuttal frontlines and first summary does not interact with said frontlines, than the argument is conceded in summary.

Ask me anything else

Ekta Shah Paradigm

4 rounds

Updated during Harvard Westlake 2019 because my previous paradigm was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.

TLDR because you could be reading a more interesting NYT article or somthng:

· I’m not a former debater.

· I’m not a current debater either, although I am often mistaken for one.

· I’ve been teaching high school English and coaching Speech and Debate at Quarry Lane for the past three years.

· Debate is a safe space. I won’t tolerate anyone that violates this. No exceptions.

· My former student Allen Abbott said it best: Debate is still problematic in many ways. If there is anything I can do to make the round more accessible, please let me know beforehand.

· Convince me why I should vote for you and you can win. It’s that simple.

· My email is Start an email chain.

· Extra kudos to those who wear Northwestern merch. Go Wildcats!

Christian Sheerer Paradigm

2 rounds


I debated for four years in Public Forum on the national circuit for Flanagan in South Florida. I'm currently a freshman at Duke University. This isn't fully comprehensive of my preferences as a judge, but definitely ask me any specifics before the round and everything in Hebron Daniel's paradigm applies, especially the World Star section.

Things I like:

- Consistency between the summary and the final focus. These two speeches should be very similar in that they re-iterate the same points that you think win the round for you.

- Weighing. You're probably not going to win every single argument in the round, so I want to give me tangible reasons as to why the argument you should win the round based on is more important than your opponents'. Beyond just regular magnitude, scope probability, I really like teams who get more creative with their weighing (ex: Strength of Link, Clarity of Impact, etc). Good weighing will usually win you my ballot and give you a speaker point boost.

- Frontlining in 2nd rebuttal. The 2nd rebuttal should answer all offense, including turns.

Things I don't like:

- Speed. I spoke relatively fast when I debated but hated it. I can generally flow speed but anything close to spreading shuts me off. You can usually get the same quantity of arguments out by just improving your word economy instead of picking up your speed.

- Theory. I definitely think theory and other types of critical arguments have a place in this activity, but only in certain, very limited circumstances (ie read theory when there is clear, substantial abuse in the round). You don't need to read full shells or anything for me, I'm totally fine with paragraph theory.

- Making absurd arguments. This event tests your ability to gain and disseminate knowledge and that needs to be done with integrity. If part of what makes debate an activity is discerning between misrepresentations and realities of the world and communicating them to the general public (in a forum), then I reserve the right to disregard silly arguments that blatantly misrepresent how the world works in my attempt to tell who has done the better debating. For example, impacting strictly to GDP growth as a good thing would be an argument I could not evaluate (ask me in person for why this absolutely makes no sense).

Going for TRUTH is not as incompatible with the TECH as you'd like to think. It's harmful to think they're unequivocally at odds.

Alina Shivji Paradigm

4 rounds

Do what you want and I'll flow it! If you want specifics though, keep reading:

-I’m good with any argument(s) and spreading including K, Topicality, Theory, etc. as long as your opponent knows how to engage. Don’t read progressive arguments or spread as a cop out. Just learn to debate better substance.

-Off-time Roadmaps don’t bother me. I can do without them if you effectively signpost. If you doubt your ability to do so, just give me a BRIEF roadmap (“aff—> neg” or “neg—>aff”)

-frontline offensive responses in second rebuttal

-when explaining and extending a turn, make sure you impact it out

-defense sticks for the first speaking team until it’s frontlined.

-I don’t care if you go big picture or line by line in the last two speeches, just make sure the narrative is clear and you COLLAPSE

-contextualize your extensions: 1) saying the author name isn’t enough. Tell me what the author says and its implication in the round. 2) don’t extend through ink. The round is a progression of arguments, so refrain from repeating yourself and keep up with the round. 3) an impact is not a link. If you're not extending and frontlining the link to the impact, I won't vote off of it.

-If there's no offense in the round warrant how I should presume, or I default neg

-if you paraphrase, you should be able to pinpoint the specific part you’re citing in the evidence. If not, read the actual evidence. It probably says it more eloquently anyway.

In summary, as a wise team once said, if you

Never Warrant

Never Weigh


Never Win

ALSO QUICK DISCLAIMER: IF YOU ARE ABUSIVE TO YOUR OPPONENTS OR MISCUT EVIDENCE, YOU'LL GET AN L IMMEDIATELY. In other words don’t be sketch. That said, I only call for cards when you tell me to.

Bob Shurtz Paradigm

7 rounds

PF Paradigm: I am an experienced PF judge on the national circuit. I judge primarily on impacts. You need to give a clear link story backed up with logic and evidence. Framework is important. Weighing is very important. It is better to acknowledge that your opponent may be winning a certain argument and explain how the impacts you are winning outweigh than it is to ignore that argument made by your opponent. Don't extend through ink. If your opponent attacks your argument you need to respond to that attack and not just repeat your original argument. I don't mind rapid conversational speed - especially while reading evidence, but no spreading. I will keep a good flow and judge primarily off the flow, but let's keep PF as an event where persuasive speaking style, logic, evidence, and refutation are all important. Also let's keep PF distinct from national circuit LD and national circuit policy - let's avoid kritiks, disads, plans, counterplans and theory arguments.

LD Paradigm: I am an experienced LD judge. I do prefer traditional style LD. I am, however, OK with plans and counter-plans and I am OK with theory arguments concerning analysis of burdens. I am not a fan of Kritiks. I will try to be open to evaluate arguments presented in the round, but I do prefer that the debate be largely about the resolution instead of largely centered on theory. I am OK with fast conversational speed and I am OK with evidence being read a little faster than fast conversational as long as tag lines and analysis are not faster than fast conversational. I do believe that V / VC are required, but I don't believe that the V / VC are voting issues in and of themselves. That is, even if you convince me that your V / VC is superior (more important, better linked to the resolution) than your opponent's V / VC that is not enough for me to vote for you. You still need to prove that your case better upholds your V / VC than your opponent's case does. To win, you may do one of three things: (1) Prove that your V / VC is superior to your opponent's AND that your case better upholds that V / VC than your opponent's case does, OR (2) Accept your opponent's V / VC and prove that your case better upholds their V/VC than their case does. OR (3) Win an "even-if" combination of (1) and (2).

CX Paradigm: I am an experienced LD and PF judge (nationally and locally). I have judged policy debate at a number of tournaments over the years - including the final round of the NSDA national tournament in 2015. However, I am more experienced in PF and LD than I am in policy. I can handle speed significantly faster than the final round of NSDA nationals, but not at super-fast speed. (Evidence can be read fast if you slow down for tag lines and for analysis.) Topicality arguments are fine. I am not a fan of kirtiks or critical affs.

Amanda Sloan Paradigm

7 rounds

I believe that speech and debate serves as a way to learn effective communication skills in addition to argumentation and research skills. If you are talking so fast that communication is lost then you have done the event a disservice. If I can’t hear it I can’t flow it. Just having more evidence doesn’t mean that you have won the round. Impact analysis is imperative to any case.

Being professional in the round will earn you higher speaking points. Yelling or being disrespectful will result in low speaks.

LD: I am okay with K's and counterplans.

Please make sure that all you have evidence you use in the round. If your opponent asks for it please provide it promptly. I will only ask to see it if there is an issue raised.

Asher Spector Paradigm

2 rounds

As a judge, I will adapt to you too. Do what you do best!

That said, I am a pretty standard PF tech judge, with a couple of specific preferences, outlined below:

(1) I will do my best to only vote off offense that is in both summary and final focus – if it’s in one but not the other, I probably won’t consider it in my decision. If you’re the first speaking team, defensive responses to your opponent’s case do not need to be in summary – I’ll still evaluate them if they’re in final focus. Turns that you want to win off of must be in 1st summary. If you’re the second speaking team, defensive responses need to be in both summary/final focus for me to evaluate them. If you have questions on this, please feel free to ask me!

(2) If I have the choice between voting for an impact that’s weighed as the biggest in the round but is muddled versus a less important but clean impact, I will resolve the muddled impact every time. I hope this encourages y’all to collapse, develop, and weigh arguments instead of going for like 4 different voters (unless you weigh all four of them :) ).

(3) I care very little about what your cards say. I care a lot more about the warranting behind them. I will never vote on the idea that something is just "empirically true," although empirics do help when you're doing warrant comparisons/maybe a probability weighing analysis.

(4) I rarely receptive to progressive arguments (Ks/theory) unless there's a real instance of abuse in the round. I strongly dislike disclosure theory. If you don't know what that means, don't worry about it.

- and don't forget to have fun!

Shane Stafford Paradigm

1 rounds

The Blake School (Minneapolis, MN) I am the director of debate where I teach communication and coach Public Forum and World Schools. I also coach the USA Development Team and Team USA in World Schools Debate.

Public Forum

Some aspects that are critical for me

1) Be nice and respectful. Try to not talk over people. Share time in crossfire periods. Words matter, think about what you say about other people. Attack their arguments and not the people you debate.

2) Arguments must be extended in each speech. This idea of "sticky defense" and not answering arguments in the second rebuttal doesn't understand how debate works. A debater can only make strategic choices about their speech if they base it on what was said in the speech previous to them.

3) Read evidence. I don't accept paraphrasing -- this is an oral activity. If you are quoting an authority, then quote the authority. A debater should not have to play "wack a mole" to find the evidence you are using poorly. Read a tag and then quote the card, that allows your opponent to figure out if you are accurately quoting the author or over-claiming the evidence.

4) Have your evidence ready. If an opponent asks for a piece of evidence you should be able to produce it in about 60 seconds. At two minutes or so, I'm going to just say the evidence doesn't count in the round because you can't produce it. If I say the card doesn't count then the card doesn't count in the round. If you say you can't produce the card then you risk losing. That is called fabrication to cite evidence and then not be able to produce it. If I ask for a card after the round and you can't produce it, again you risk losing the round. Good evidence practices are critical if this format is to rely on citing authorities.

5) I tend to be a policymaker. If there is no offense against trying a new policy then I suggest we try the new policy as it can't hurt to try. Offense is important for both sides.

6) Use voting issues format in summary and final focus. Learn that this allows a clear story and weighing. A voting issue format includes links, impacts, and weighing and provides clarity to just "our case/their case". You are still doing the voting issues on "their flow" or "our flow".

7) Lead with labels/arguments and NOT authors. Number your arguments. For example, 1) Turn UBI increases wage negotiation -- Jones in 2019 states "quote"

8) Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.

Enjoy the debate and learn from this activity, it is a great one.

James Stage Paradigm

7 rounds


Former Competitor: 2008 - 2011

Coach - 2011 - Present

Speed - Go for it, I am not the best with speed but if you go for it, it isn't going to lose you points. I won't say clear or give you any indication that I am missing things though so you are taking a slight risk.

Weighing - Do it. Seriously, If I am given any clear weighing analysis in the round I will go for it. My resume and background reads like a moderate Republican's fantasy. You probably don't want me making personal decisions about how I think we should craft policy or evaluate vague concepts.

Signposting - Clearly tell me where you are going in the round. If I get confused I get disinterested and if I get disinterested I get onto Netflix and watch West Wing with the subtitles on.

Off-time Roadmaps - Do them. If you say you are going to read an overview or a framework, tell me where to put it or I will put in in my computer's trash file and empty it after your speech.

Crossfire - I might look like I am not paying attention to your crossfires. That's because I am not. Thats for you to clarify the round and for me to add detailed comments to the ballot. If something interesting happens, let me know in a speech. If you are going to start hitting someone, let me know and I will get out a camera.

Extending Defense - Meh. You don't really have to do this in my opinion but obviously if your opponents go through ink you might want to remind me of that fact, especially if it is on something you really want me to care about.

Weighing Pt.2 - Please do this. I am begging you.


If I had a PF team that had the capacity to come this wouldn't be necessary but, for now, here we are. Doomed to dance this dance until my obligation of a minimum of three ballots are up and I have left your hopes and dreams broken at my feet.

Let's start this off on the right note. I know enough about LD and all of its components to be dangerous. In clearer terms, when you tell me what you are going to try to do I will conceptually understand what you are going for but I will lack the experience or wherewithal to implement your vision on my flow. See? Dangerous.

Don't take this to mean I don't care about the event or that I don't look forward to these rounds. Do take it to mean that if you are planning on taking any risks or doing anything tricky, that your opponent stands to benefit from my ignorance as much as you.

Speed (Preface): Good luck. Seriously, good luck. Speed is an excellent tool to put more arguments out there on the flow but maybe we want to make sure I understand the basic ones you are dropping first? Just a suggestion. And no, I won't do that "Clear" business. Adapt or die. This is forensic darwinism.

Technical Debate: Solid meh. You can. I won't drop you for it and I get that the adaptations I am asking for will mean that you need to adjust in ways that will force you to use it.

Defaults: Let's return to that dangerous thing. I don't really have any default preferences that I have developed over my lackluster experience judging. You can read my paradigm below for PF to see if you glean any information from that but otherwise, I am tabula rasa to a fault and will stick to what I am given in the round despite any personal beliefs or pre-existing knowledge.

Disclosure: Unless you are disclosing who wins the round before I need to judge it, it's not something I really care about. I buy why disclosure is a good thing and I also get how it can be abused given enough resources. If it becomes an issue I will evaluate it based on the arguments in the round and not the ones in my head.

I hope this helps although it undoubtedly will leave you in a state of fear akin to the people of Pompeii as the ash cloud descended on their once-idyllic town.

For email chains my email is

Jenny Strait Paradigm

3 rounds

Name: Jenny Strait

School Affiliation: Cinco Ranch High School

Number of Years Judging Public Forum: <1

Number of Years Competing in Public Forum:0

Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities:0

Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities:0

If you are a coach, what events do you coach? n/a

What is your current occupation? Campus Testing Coordinator

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:

Speed of Delivery – I would like to be able to follow and understand the argument.

Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?) I think I like a little of both. Again, I need to be able to follow the argument as a lay-judge.

Role of the Final Focus – Lay it out for me.

Extension of Arguments into later speeches - unknown

Topicality- unknown

Plans - unknown

Kritiks- unknown

Flowing/note-taking - unknown

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? - unknown

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? - unknown

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? - unknown

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? - unknown

If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here.

Andy Stubbs Paradigm

7 rounds

I'm going to vote for the team with the least mitigated link chain into the best weighed impact.

Progressive arguments and speed are fine (differentiate tags and author). I need to know which offense is prioritized and that's not work I can do; it needs to be done by the debaters. I'm receptive to arguments about debate norms and how the way we debate shapes the activity in a positive or negative way.

My three major things are: 1. Warranting is very important. I'm not going to give much weight to an unwarranted claim, especially if there's defense on it. That goes for arguments, frameworks, etc. 2. If it's not on the flow, it can't go on the ballot. I won't do the work extending or impacting your arguments for you. 3. It's not enough to win your argument. I need to know why you winning that argument matters in the bigger context of the round.

PF specific:

-Defense sticks for the first speaking team until it's frontlined; it needs to be extended in FF, though.

-You have to frontline offense in second rebuttal

-I rarely call for evidence; if you don't have the warrant in the summary/final focus, I'm not going to call for the card and do the work for you

-If we're going to run theory... make sure it's warranted and, more importantly, merited.

***Speaker points include delivery, strategic decisions, conduct in the round, etc.

*** If you're second flight and the tournament is already running behind and you walk into the room and haven't flipped and pre-flowed, I am going to be annoyed

Neil Suri Paradigm

7 rounds

ask before the round if you feel inclined to 

Alan Tannenwald Paradigm

5 rounds



SHORT VERSION: Flow-leaning "flay" judge. Go slow. No jargon. Signpost. Weigh (that means compare) and give me a weighing framework early in round. I need narrative and warrants - please extend them through every speech and into final focus. Summary and Final Focus should be voting issues with weighing framework overview at beginning. Rebuttal should be line-by-line.

Please let me know before the round if you require any accommodations but don’t take advantage of it either. I will try to avoid using pronouns unless competitors disclose preferred pronouns prior to the start of the round.


BIO: I coached PF, LD, Speech and Congressional Debate for Newton South High School in Massachusetts from 2011 until 2019, at which point I retired to devote more time to my family and law practice. I competed in Congressional Debate in high school and APDA parliamentary debate in college. My former students would describe me as being a flow-leaning "flay" judge. I've judged late elim rounds at most national tournaments, including the final round at NSDA Nationals in 2018.

SUMMARY SPEECHES: I do not want line-by-line summaries or summaries that are like mini-rebuttal speeches. Your summary should consist of voting issues with a brief framework overview at the beginning. First speaking teams do not need to "frontline" defense in summary; however, if one of your voting issues involves one of your defensive arguments/blocks, you need to extend that defense into your Summary speech.

SPEED: I really struggle with speed. I can flow slightly faster than a conversational speed but not much more than that. If you go too fast, I will miss things on my flow. Please adapt to my preferences in this area; if you are unable to do so, please strike me.

WEIGHING/FRAMEWORK/NARRATIVE: I want comparative weighing, framework and a cohesive narrative. Quantitative impacts mean nothing to me if I don't know how to weigh them and if you do not provide supporting warrants for them. Please extend the warrants and narrative into summary and final focus and don’t lose track of the resolution you are debating when you get to those speeches. Please try to clearly introduce your preferred weighing framework early in the round (top of case and/or top of rebuttal). If you do not provide a framework, I will use my own to evaluate the round (I default to utilitarianism). BUT don't make the round into a framework debate. The best way to win my ballot is to win on your framework and your opponent's framework.

I caution you against spending too much time debating about how to interpret the resolution unless your opponents are doing something super abusive. As a general rule, these types of arguments detract from your narrative.

OFF-TIME ROAD MAPS/ARGUING ABOUT EVIDENCE WHEN CALLING FOR CARDS: Please signpost during your speech instead of giving off-time roadmaps. Please don't argue about what evidence says when calling for cards.

JARGON: I really do not want to hear debate jargon in a PF round. I should not need a glossary or dictionary to judge PF. If you are going to use terms like "terminal defense," you need to explain to me what it means as you would a lay judge.

FINAL FOCUS: *Slow down* and give me voting issues and weighing analysis. Warrants, links and impacts should all be clearly extended. Please make sure all of your voting issues are in your final focus. If you don't extend something into Final Focus, I will assume that you don't want me to vote on it.

CROSSFIRE: I usually don't flow crossfire, as I try to use at as a time to evaluate how your arguments are interacting with each other. If something happens in crossfire that you want to be a voting issue, please mention it in summary (unless it comes up in grand crossfire) and final focus.

MISREPRESENTING EVIDENCE: Please don't misrepresent evidence. I will dock your speaker points if I call for evidence and discover that you are misrepresenting what it says and, if it's a voting issue, I will give you the loss. If I call for evidence, I am likely to want to see the original source material and NOT just the cut card. Over the years, I have seen many instances where card cuttings have misrepresented evidence and, as a result, I am predisposed to distrust them.

When reading evidence, I don't require exact quotes (especially in rebuttal, summary and FF) but I do expect accurate paraphrasing and for quotes not to be taken out of context. If your evidence doesn't support your contention without your drawing your own conclusions about what the evidence means, make sure you are clear that the conclusions you are drawing are your own conclusions and provide a warrant for those conclusions.

Here is an illustration of what I consider to be misrepresenting evidence:

Saying that your evidence says that, as a general rule, increasing funding for mental health care by 10% reduces homelessness by 5% when your evidence only says that increasing funding for mental health care by 10% reduced homelessness in Boston by 5%.

As a corollary to this, since I take allegations of misuse of evidence seriously, please don't make blippy rebuttals in which you falsely accuse your opponents of misrepresenting evidence as a defensive strategy.

THEORY: Theory argumentation really doesn't belong in PF. The only situation in which I will vote on theory is if a team is engaging in behavior or argumentation that is just intolerably abusive. To win a theory debate with me as your judge, you need to (a) clearly identify the abuse with specificity and (b) clearly explain how the abuse precludes a fair debate. To discourage people from running theory arguments, I will automatically dock 1 speaker point for each debater who runs a theory argument that becomes a voting issue and loses. I will not vote on disclosure theory (unless there is some misdisclosure that you can prove), speaker points theory or any other similar nonsense that is being imported from LD and Policy.

KRITIKS: I am ambivalent about Ks in PF because I don’t think the speech times and judging pools allow for them to be run and adjudicated properly. For me to be able to vote on a K, I need to feel that you are actually engaging with the literature and warranting analysis and not just making a cheap attempt at winning a round. HOWEVER, no one should be forced to lose a round simply because of the side of the resolution they were assigned to debate. if you are running a K that forces the other side to make oppressive arguments to win on the flow, I view that as counter to the spirit of public forum debate and exclusionary. Advocate for change - but do so in a way to allows for actual debate and keeps the round accessible to everyone.

BE RESPECTFUL: I REALLY hate it when debaters hold up their timers when their opponents are going overtime, roll their eyes, mock their opponents, and make ad hominem attacks against each other.

SPEAKER POINTS: 28 is my baseline for an average debater. I give out maybe 1-2 30's per tournament.



This was my event in high school so I have some strong opinions about it. Analysis and quality of evidence are key. But use of both shouldn't be at the expense of your delivery, which should be at a conversational pace and not involve yelling, screaming or speed-reading. To get my "1", you should aim to be the "refreshing voice of reason" in the chamber. In judging, I typically weigh analysis/evidence 66% vs. delivery 33%. I harshly penalize for rehash, especially if you try to extend one-sided debate in order to sneak an extra speech in. You are much better off giving fewer original speeches than multiple speeches that repeat other debaters' arguments. After a couple of cycles of debate, you should be clashing with and referring to other debaters' arguments. I don't like gimmicks or cheesy jokes unless they are especially clever and tasteful. During cross-ex, you should ask thought provoking questions that illustrate the flaws in your colleagues' arguments but you should not be virulently attacking them.



I almost never judge these events. However, if I am judging you in one of them, treat me as a lay judge and don't spread. LD'ers - I am looking for traditional LD, not post-2002 circuit-style LD. Note that I was a Philosophy Minor (almost a major) in college so I am fairly familiar with most famous Western philosophers and their writings, as well as some Eastern philosophy. My views on progressive argumentation in LD are similar to my views about in PF except that I may be more inclined to vote on a K in LD since the speech times allow for proper development of the arguments.

Oskar Tauring-Traxler Paradigm

4 rounds

Updated - 10/3/19

Background: I debated in high school at Minneapolis South and in college at the University of Minnesota '17. I've coached policy debate for 6 years, and am currently a varsity coach at Minneapolis South high school. I am also a scrub

If you have any questions about my paradigm/rfd/comments, feel free to email me at: & also use this to put me on email chains, please and thank you.

I tend to give a lot of non-verbals (facial expressions, nodding, etc...) - if you look at me while you're speaking, you will have a better chance of winning the round. In the past 3 years, the team I coach has defended a wide range of Policy and Critical arguments. I want to judge good debates, the specific content is less important to me. I will vote for and against framework. I will evaluate the arguments made in the debate and render a decision based on who I think won key arguments. I'm not a blank slate, I have predispositions/preferences/my own thoughts about debate - but I will make an effort to evaluate the round as objectively as possible.

I will enforce the tournament rules (speech times/prep/winner and loser, etc.), but the content of the round as well as how I evaluate the content is up to the debaters. One other thing that you should be aware of is that I will end a round, assign a loss, and give the lowest speaks possible to a team/debater if I think that you have done something offensive or that constitutes harassment. I haven't had to do this yet, so don't be the first.

xtra speaks for dog pics

Brianna Thomas Paradigm

3 rounds


Currently a coach for GMU, former debater at Liberty University, 7 years debating experience overall, been to the NDT twice, and have judged all the tingz. After doing both policy and performance debate, I have learned that the most important thing for me is to create a space for myself and the arguments I want to read. Even though I think this is an educational and competitive activity that pays the bills (#schmoney), I still think it should be fun! That being said, my hope is that you will run what you are passionate about! If that's the Econ DA, Anti-blackness K, Fem K, or USFG, then let's get it! DO YOU BOO! This also means that yes debate is a game, but its full of real people and real consequences so we should keep that in mind as we play.

Now I know some debaters still like to worry about what the person in the back of the room thinks so I'll break down some key points.


-Spreading is fine, but be clear and pace yourself as necessary cause if you don't, then it may not get on my flow

-Organization is key. Even if the other team is messy, it puts you in a better position to clear things up for the judge so line by line can help, but final focus should be a balance of line by line and big picture framing

-I'm a very expressive person so look at my face cause my visual cues might help you out (and I oop...)

-I'll listen to whatever style of argumentation you like and whatever makes you passionate as long as you got warrants.

-At the end of the debate, be sure to summarize why I should vote for you.


I love running the K and the moment I was able to get into critical literature in my debate career, I dived right in. That being said, two important conclusions: One, I understand the foundations of most literature bases so feel free to run them if that is the style of argumentation you prefer. Two, I have a larger threshold for the K because I expect you to explain the link story and the alternative with warrants so don't assume that just because I know the theory means you don't have to put in the work for the ballot. I would also warn against just running a K because you think I'm only a K debater. Again, DO YOU BOO! If your heart is in the K, go for it! If its not, don't force yourself.

I love performative links not personal attacks so if you are unsure what that line is, talk to your coaches or email me before you dive in. With performative links, just make sure to give a warranted analysis as to why I should vote on it and what the impact is.

K aff's:

I do prefer K aff's to be in the direction of the topic or make some attempt to include a discussion of the resolution, but if you are not, then at least give me a warranted explanation as to why you have chosen that route. For those that are in the topic of the resolution, have a clear impact and solvency story. Many times, debaters will get so caught up in the negative arguments that they lose sight of what is important...their aff! So make sure to keep a story line going throughout the entirety of the debate. I also think you need a clear reason why you are not topical if you get into fmwk debates in front of me.


It's a strategy that is read against K aff's, it's a strategy I have won against, a strategy I have lost to, a strategy I have voted on and against. My personal outlook - debate is a game but it has real impacts that can help or harm certain individuals. While it is a competitive strategy, I do not think it is an excuse to not engage the affirmative because most of the time, your lack of engagement is what the aff will use to link turn the performance of reading fmwk (hint hint to K debaters reading this). I like the impact of education a lot more the fairness because it has better spill over claims, but in any case, make sure you have a clear impact and story from your internal links and links. I find it most compelling when you prove in round abuse so be on the lookout and don't miss opportunities. I also don't think you need a role of the ballot because I think fmwk is a counter RoB, but you should probably indicate that. Don't be shifty with your interp, but I believe a capable 2N will be able to accurately counter the 2AC shift and reframe the debate through the same interp in the 1nc. Please have a TVA! No, it does not need to solve the entirety of the aff because that is neg ground, but it should be able to solve the main impacts they go for. Lastly, defend your model of debate and explain why it would be better for the debate community writ large. If you are only focusing on the one round, then explain why that is better.


I don't have a preference meaning I am open to all types of CPs. What I do ask is that you have a net benefit and explain how your CP solves the aff. It's also nice if your CP is competitive...


I'm down for some good old throw downs on the DA flow, but make sure you have a clear and warranted link story and awesome impact calc for ya girl.


I think theory is procedural just make sure you explain very clearly and slowly what the violation is and why that matters...if you are going to go for theory, I expect the 2n or 2a to spend a good amount of time on it which means not just 30 sec or 1 min.

Policy Affs vs K:

Engage the K! Too many times policy teams just write over the K with their fmwk thinking that is the only work they have to do but it's just like debating a DA or CP. Do the link work and the more specific answers you have to the alt, the better position you are in. Don't just say Perm DB or Perm aff then alt, but really explain what that means and looks like in the world of the aff. I think you do need fmwk to get to weigh your aff but that is all the fmwk will get you which means don't forget to extend your aff and the impact story. A really good way to engage the K is to prove how the plan not only outweighs but resolves the specific impacts.


I think cross-ex is a really good place to assert your arguments and point out key flaws in the other team's arguments. This means you should take advantage of the time to really prove to me why the entire speech they just gave don't matter. While I think cross-ex is binding, you still have to bring it into a speech to explain why that moment was so important and the impact of it.

Joseph Uhler Paradigm

7 rounds

I did not do debate in high school or college.

I have been coaching speech and debate for nearly 20 years. I focus on speech events and PF. I rarely judge LD (some years I have gone the entire year without judging LD), so if I am your judge in LD, please go slowly. I will attempt to evaluate every argument you provide in the round, but your ability to clearly explain the argument dictates whether or not it will actually impact my decision/be the argument that I vote off of in the round. When it comes to theory or other progressive arguments (basically arguments that may not directly link to the resolution) please do not assume that I understand completely how these arguments function in the round. You will need to explain to me why and how you are winning and why these arguments are important. When it comes to explanation, do not take anything for granted. Additionally, if you are speaking too quickly, I will simply put my pen down and say "clear."

In terms of PF, although I am not a fan of labels for judges ("tech," "lay," "flay") I would probably best be described as traditional. I really like it when debaters discuss the resolution and issues related to the resolution, rather than getting "lost in the sauce." What I mean by "lost in the sauce" is that sometimes debaters end up talking more about how the debate is going down rather than the actual issues at hand. Try your best to avoid debating debate and debate the resolution.

Argument selection is a skill. Based on the time restrictions in PF debate, you should focus on the most important arguments in the summary and final focus speeches. I believe that PF rounds function like a funnel. You should only be discussing a few arguments at the end of the round. If you are discussing a lot of arguments, you are probably speaking really quickly, and you are also probably sacrificing thoroughness of explanation. Go slowly and explain completely, please.

In cross, please be nice. Don't talk over one another. I will dock your speaks if you are rude or condescending. Also, every competitor needs to participate in grand cross. I will dock your speaks if one of the speakers does not participate.

If you have any questions, please let me know after I provide my RFD. I am here to help you learn.

Hayden Uihlein Paradigm

7 rounds

Director of Speech and Debate @ Edina High School in Minnesota. Been involved in debate since '06. Former and minor affiliations: Portage Northern HS, University of Minnesota, MDAW, SDI, DCUDL.

Am now a risk-management professional with a dated academic background in continental philosophy and an avid antique collector. Do with that whatever you want. Good risk analysis is fun... and so are complex thinkers. Have prepped set col more than almost anything this year.

Email chain me: hayden.edinadebate [at]

Sem 2 - 2019.

Organization is the most underrated aspect of debate. If you are disorganized, I refuse to do the work of creating good analysis for you. As I get older and grouchier, the amount of work I want to do for debaters has plummeted.

Harvard RR

Well this should be fun. I'm going to be a very flow heavy judge for PF. I still don't quite understand which speech is called which or how the terms have been adapted from CX over the last 20 years. If I say something that sounds out of lingo, it is. I just don't know the language of PF well. I do have 500+ total rounds judged... so... some of you may really prefer that. I've also judged the PF ToC more than once and late elims for PF here and there.

Regular CX Prelims

The vast majority of my effort in the debate round comes through my flow. I work very hard in this regard to sustain the best possible understanding of how the round went. Don't bank on me reading your evidence or following the chain without prompting me to read a card. I'll try to only read something if the round warrants. For HS debate, too often unnecessarily reading evidence colors the judge's decision when those warrants don't play a significant role in how you structure your speeches. Don't get me started on speech docs... though you should flash your analytics to your opponents. It makes a better debate. I'm in a happy place as a judge where I feel like "I gotta read this card before I make a decision."

It's the Harvard HS tournament, I'm going to flow your CXs and they matter. Please use them. If you're not going to make something out of CX, please just make the round go faster and concede your time.

Few teams at Harvard will know me well as a judge. I self-evaluate as a leans K clash judge

IDRC what you do. I'd prefer your debate style well, whatever that means to you.
IDC if it's a clash round.
IDC if it's traditional debate.
IDC if it's K v K.

Don't be racist, sexist or overly problematic. Cmon.

Win the flow, meaningfully evaluate competing claims. <--------------- if you take nothing else away from my paradigm, it's that I want to see you debate out the clash.

If you have specific stylistic questions, ask me.

Quick thoughts:

1) Non-uq on theory. Are you doing this enough? I think not!

2) Probability is underrated.

3) Debate the interpretation please.

4) I've got a higher threshold for how you do cross applications and extensions. Laziness here is not a virtue. How much work you put into cross apps and extensions is proportional to how it gets weighted.

Sanjim Uppal Paradigm

2 rounds

i love MVLA and basis so freaking much omg. also im sad literally every topic requires some econ knowledge and i am not good at econ so please explain econ things to me like i am 5 years old. i agree with everything here

i always disclose + give RFD. you can talk to me about the round later, message me on fb or email ( if you have questions. please come into the round w/ pre-flows done

i don't care what you wear in round. if you do anything blatantly rude, sexist, racist, abusive, etc., i'll drop you. don't be afraid to be aggressive if you're a girl!!

i won't vote for args that don't make sense, and my facial expressions will usually reflect that

"important" things

please do comparative analysis, meta/weighing + impact calc, signposting, properly extend things (not just card names), ideally frontline, defense is sticky (but good to have anyways if important). first summary needs defense if second rebuttal frontlined

I think of weighing in layers, beginning with probability. You need to have a certain amount of probability your impact happens before you access the other layers of weighing like magnitude, timeframe, etc (Zhu 2019).

the faster you speak, the worse my flow will be. i don't like rounds that are super tech

i am tech > truth but if you don’t extend warrants and link stories don’t expect me to do the work for you and evaluate the arg

i'm not well-versed with K/theory debate and don't know how to properly evaluate it, but (and i say this with great hesitation) i'm open to hearing it in a round -- just explain it super well. more importantly, you better have discussed this with your opponents and only choose to run theory if EVERYONE in the round is 100% comfortable with it. everyone seems to love this whole "omg listen to my BS warranting and pick me up because im """changing the debate space""" when in reality i just want a cheap win and/or 30 speaks and continue scaring teams for no reason because this type of argumentation is exactly what makes PF inaccessible!!!!!" but as u might be able to tell, i'm not a fan at ALL.

if u are a team of 2 dudes who are not-minorities in debate and are delusional enough to read 30 speaks theory and claim u will SOLVE discrimination..... lets just say u wont be getting anything near 30 speaks

i don’t pay attention during cx. in the rare case that i do, it has no impact on the outcome of the round

avg speaks are ~28, goes up if u are clean on the flow + make strategic decisions + lay appeal (its called speaker points for a reason ok), goes down if you're rude or ur speeches are messy. +2 speaks for GT dave's guava goddess kombucha or anything else healthy/vegan. -0.5 speaks for making me wait for u to preflow.


there are 2 instances where i will call for a card: if you tell me to (in a speech), or if it sounds too good to be true. if whatever cards i call for are powertagged/misconstrued, i drop the cards. if it's *heavily* misconstrued/blatantly made up and a deciding factor in the round, i drop the team + give lowest speaks possible.

if my own kids aren't following evidence standards, lmk immediately and i'll handle it

in conclusion

please ask any questions u have about my RFD/paradigm and i'll be happy to answer them. don't shake my hand bc i don't want to get sick


If you find yourself disguising your anger at losing the round as "just asking questions about the flow/round to get better," or worse, trying to embarrass and discredit your judge or your opponents, I'll tank your speaks and I'll be glad I didn't vote for the entitled team. but if you're genuinely curious about something, feel free to ask bc i am here to help

works cited

Brian Zhu, 08-05-2019, "," No Publication,

Jakob Urda Paradigm

2 rounds

Background: I competed for four years in high school for Stuyvesant. I have coached for four years for Poly Prep.

I am a flow judge. Offense should be extended in summary and the second rebuttal doesn't necessarily need to frontline what was said in first rebuttal (but in some cases, it definitely helps). Weighing in Summary and FF is key. I'll steal this line from my favorite judge, Thomas Mayes, "My ballot is like a piece of electricity, it takes the path of least resistance." I have a hard time voting on disclosure theory in PF. Have fun and be nice.

General: Debate rounds are about students so intervention should be minimized. I believe that my role in rounds is to be an educator, however, students should contextualize what that my obligation as a judge is. I default comparative worlds unless told otherwise. Slow down for interps and plan texts. Signpost please.

Christian Vasquez Paradigm

2 rounds

*Update before Milo Cup
If you start an email chain in round, I will start speaker points for you at 28 instead of 27. The doc isn't meant to be a crutch for you to be unclear while speaking but rather to cut down on the amount of wasted time that people spend looking for evidence and also for me to check that you're actually reading cards.

Strike me if you're not going to read cards. These are cards. If I have to ask for a card at the end of the round and what you show me isn't close to that, I'm just not considering it for the round. I'll just evaluate my flow as if it wasn't there.

Telling me that you've summarized this part and that part of a 40 page PDF is ridiculous. More than half the time the article isn't about the actual debate topic and you're just hoping no one calls you out for it. Paraphrasing in public forum is out of control and it's really become intellectually dishonest.

Here's even a link to Verbatim, a macro template that works with Microsoft Word so that card cutting is really easy.

I currently am one of the assistant coaches at The Blake School in Minneapolis

Public Forum

I competed primarily in Minnesota which means I have a couple of different opinions on how the round should function.

The Split

If you are the second speaking team, I expect that you will respond to the speech that happened before yours at some point in your rebuttal. Zero split between attacking their case and rebuilding your own doesn't constitute an automatic loss or clean extensions on their part, but I'm going to be a lot less accepting of brand new answers in the second summary when the first speaking team doesn't have any time to deal with them. I'll be a lot more forgiving of extensions by the first team as long as they point out the ridiculousness of the new answers. I don't require a perfect two minutes-two minutes, but something has to be done to make the debate fair. Otherwise, the second speaking team should just win day in and day out, unless they're making continuous strategic mistakes and dropping everything on the flow.

Summary and Final Focus

The summary and final focus are shorter for a reason. Line by line debate isn't going to be great, and I'd rather half a handful of voting issues to evaluate than throwing me everything and the kitchen sink to weigh. If you're just trying to extend everything, your analysis is probably dropping off because of it. I want to see a good debate and that means you need to be weighing in depth and not making blippy arguments. If you want something to be a voting issue in the final focus, it also needs to be in the summary.

Speaker points

My average is a 27 for the losing team and a 28 for the winning team. I think speaker point inflation is pretty ridiculous these days. A 30 to me means that there is nothing I can critique about your speech and it was perfect. Somethings that can help you with getting a higher score:

A) Voting issues, not just blind extensions. Talked about this a bit up above. I want to hear real weighing in the round, and that means actually applying some form of calculus to the arguments. I think categorizing arguments into broader issues allows you to do this. Feel free to prove me wrong though, and I mean that sincerely.

B) I like clever lines of questioning. In PF this is a little bit more difficult to do, since crossfire is double-sided but I think it can still be done. You're never going to get a good opponent to concede some major point by just blatantly asking if they're wrong. Rather, asking small questions that build up and setting a trap is not just strategic, but makes me impressed as a judge

C) Jokes. I like to laugh and smile, but lately a lot of rounds have done the opposite for me.

Things that will not help your points:

A) "Off Time Roadmaps." In CX and LD there's multiple flows. In PF there's one. If your roadmap is "Their case, our case" I'm just going to knock half a speaker point off every time you say it. If you're giving one, and I still would prefer you didn't, it needs to be a weird order on the flow that might be hard to follow. That's acceptable. Otherwise you should be signposting well enough that I can follow you along normally.

B)Rudeness. Cutting off your opponent repeatedly without letting them answer isn't helpful and I don't want to see it.

C) Sexist, racist, homophobic, or otherwise hateful language. I'll drop your points to whatever the tournament forces me to stop at. If it continues in round, it'll cost you the round too.


If you are reading cards in the round, I expect that you can produce them if your opponent asks for them. This means that if you're claiming Johnson 17 says this, you can pull up that card in a reasonable time. Reasonable to me is within a minute if it's in your constructive, and within two if it's in the rebuttals or summaries. Taking anything more than that means I'm just going to wipe it off my flow. You're wasting your time, your opponents' time, and my time by not being organized. I've been judging rounds and my teams have been competing in rounds where it's taken more than ten minutes total for people to produce evidence and it's ridiculous.

If I call for a card and it's very different from what you said it claims and how it actually reads, I'm dropping it immediately from my flow. I will be explicit about what cards I'm calling for and the authors. If I'm wrong, correct me immediately. But if you show me something different than what I asked for, it's too late to change my mind.

Theory/"Progressive" arguments


I think PF debate is finally opening up to the idea that practices and norms done by some teams are abusive and hurt the educational aspect of this activity for the sake of a win. I'm now open to a variety of theory arguments, but mostly just as a check back for this type of abuse that I think is happening in far too many rounds.

Some things I'd like in a theory debate:

1. An actual shell and a prompt for multiple flows. I know I said PF is only one flow and I don't really think off-time roadmaps are useful but if we're going to adopt ideas from other forms of debate we should stick to those norms.

2. Frivolous theory isn't acceptable. Theory is the introduction of norms and habits that you think would be good for the community to accept. Discussions on paraphrasing, disclosure and even speed are acceptable debates to have between teams. Theory to win a debate based on tricks because a team dropped the shell isn't a good norm.

3. Bias I have on theory:

Disclosure is good

Paraphrasing is a terrible practice and should honestly be banned from the activity

Speed without email chains for the opposing team is exclusionary


My background in LD was to read Deont FW on most topics and when it came to Policy we read plans on the aff and DAs/CPs on the neg. The closest we got to K debate was to read generic cap bad arguments and we weren't great. The K wasn't my favorite type of argument in high school and I had little experience with it besides losing to it. That being said, as I've read more and talked to more policy teams that read these positions I'm much more open to them than I once was.

I have a couple of things that shape my thoughts on Kritikal positions:

1. I don't understand post-modernism in debate. I understand the critiques of objectivist realities and attacks against structurist understandings on power and the state but I don't necessarily follow easily what I'm supposed to do with my ballot if the pomo team is winning. I'm an idiot and my inexperience with these arguments in a competitive environment means I need you to explain them slowly and deliberately to me.

2. I need an alternative. If the team running the kritik is just a description as to why what the other team is doing is bad, that doesn't mean I necessarily vote against them. An alternative is a sign to me as a judge that I can do something because I see it as the formation of offense off what is typically a non-unique disad. Reject alternatives I think are acceptable.

Lastly I'll say that I love war scenarios in general and debates centered around questions of hegemonic power distribution. For this reason foreign policy topics are the most interesting to me even if it's not my academic background.

Gigi Wade Paradigm

2 rounds

I did PF for four years at Evanston Township HS, and I'm currently a freshman at Columbia.

I'll flow, I can handle speed, and I'll listen to anything as long as it's not offensive/violent -- I will not vote for your argument if I perceive it to be either of these things.

I'm most likely to vote for you if 1) your argument was extended in its entirety (warrant and impact) through summary and final focus, and 2) you weigh. The best weighing is comparative, so merely repeating an impact from case, even if you're doing a great job explaining why that impact matters, isn't enough if it doesn't engage the other half of the debate.

Have fun & make jokes if you're funny :)

Lining Wan Paradigm

5 rounds

I am a parent. This is my fourth year judging debates, and third year judging public forum. Refer to my judging record to gauge my judging experience.

I know some debate jargon, but am still learning. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most experienced judge, I would rate myself as a 6. I prefer to watch a debate as a civil and intelligent professional exchange of opinions. Be courteous to everyone. Do not mis-interpret any evidences and have your cards ready in case I call them. (Mis-representing a piece of evidence is enough reason to lose a round. So be careful here. )

On speaking style, I prefer well organized and clearly articulated speeches.

Good luck and have fun!

P.S. I don't disclose in prelim rounds unless it is required by a tournament.

P.S. When judging, I base my decision on information presented to me in the round and how it is presented. Use your judgement when deciding how to engage me in conversations.

Yong Wang Paradigm

7 rounds

Hello. Son here. This is what you should know about my father.

He kinda flows. I've seen it, it isn't pretty - it's a bulleted list - but it works a little bit. He'll know your contention taglines and will flow rebuttal responses that he deems worthy. That's better than nothing? He relies mostly on his memory so good luck.

Limit speed to conversational level. His English is fine but he absolutely hates debaters who speak really fast because he can't understand them and thinks they're losers. Speak slow and with confidence, he likes people who present themselves well.

Debate jargon to a minimum. I guarantee that he has absolutely no idea what a non-unique is, or even what a delink is at that. Just say that they're wrong and provide evidence. No need for technical terms, it'll just r/wooosh.

On the topic of speaking, he's like really harsh with speaks. He routinely gives out 26.5s to people who he thinks didn't do well. But if you follow this paradigm, you can get a 27.5 maybe.

Be respectful. He loves it when you like destroy someone in cross but you can't be super rude doing it, or rude in any facet. It's a fine line I know.

Good luck.

Sam Warty Paradigm

4 rounds

My son competes in Public Forum debate and as a result I have judged for him a few times on the national and local stage. I prefer conversational paced debate as I have trouble following if it is any faster. I would appreciate it if all debaters could debate only the resolution, be polite to each other, explain their arguments well, and have consistent final speeches.

Jacob Weinstein Paradigm

7 rounds

I’m from Lincoln-Sudbury High School. I competed all four years of high school and have been judging for two years, exclusively in pf. I’m a college student at UMass Amherst, just having returned from a four month study abroad trip to Thailand (aka I have a tattoo).

I’m fine with fast speaking speeds but if you’re spreading I definitely won’t catch everything and will spend more time piecing together your argument than evaluating its impact.

I want to see both summary and final focus be similar in length (each around 2 minutes). In summary, please summarize the round. In FF, please provide me with a focus I should have at the end of the round. In addition, each speech should cover similar points of argumentation. I can’t vote off contention 1 in FF if it’s not in summary.

I try my best to flow but sometimes my pen runs out of ink. If this is the case, I will stop flowing for the rest of the round to make it fair for both teams. I call it equality inc.

No plans, kritiks or theories.

I go for argumentation over style.

2nd speaking team doesn’t have to cover its own case in rebuttal. I’ll flow it if you do but it’s not required.

No new arguments in grand cross and final focus.

As a member of the prestigious Lincoln-Sudbury SW team, I feel it’s my responsibility to give back to the community that allowed me to reach new heights. God Bless America, God Bless the NSDA, and God Bless the TOC. Good luck.

Jeff Welty Paradigm

4 rounds

I did extemp and policy debate in high school (College Prep CA) and policy debate in college (UC Berkeley). I am a lawyer, and my day job is as a professor of law and government at UNC Chapel Hill. I specialize in criminal law.

For more than 10 years, I have been coaching at Durham Academy in North Carolina. I’ve coached a little bit of everything but mostly public forum. We’ve been nationally competitive in PF during that time. For example, we have won Glenbrooks, Harvard, and NSDA nationals.

Although I did policy debate, I see PF as a distinct form of debate. Accordingly, I prefer a more conversational pace and less jargon. I'm open to different types of argument but arguments that are implausible, counterintuitive or theoretical are going to be harder rows to hoe. I prefer debates that are down the middle of the topic.

I flow but I care more about how your main arguments are constructed and supported than about whether some minor point or another is dropped. I’m not likely to vote for arguments that exist in case but then aren’t talked about again until final focus. Consistent with that approach, I don’t have a rule that you must “frontline” in second rebuttal or “extend terminal defense in summary” but I do think that you should spend time talking about and developing the issues that are most important to the round.

Evidence is important to me and I occasionally call for it after the round. However, the quality of it is much more important than the quantity. Blipping out 15 half-sentence cards in rebuttal isn’t appealing to me. I dislike the practice of paraphrasing evidence — in my experience, debaters rarely paraphrase accurately. Debaters should feel free to call for one another’s cards, but be judicious about that. Calling for multiple cards each round slows things down and if it feels like a tactic to throw your opponent off or to get free prep time, I will be irritated.

As the round progresses, I like to see some issue selection, strategy, prioritization, and weighing. Going for everything isn't usually a good idea.

Finally, I care about courtesy and fair play. This is a competitive activity but it is not life and death. It should be educational and fun and there is no reason to be anything but polite.

Grady Wiedeman Paradigm

2 rounds

Assistant Coach, Lincoln High School


I do not need to be on the email chain if it's an LD round, I would like to be on the email chain if it's a policy round. I have no preferences on standing/sitting.

Background: I debated for four years of policy debate (Norfolk, NE), debated NFA-LD for the University of Nebraska (2 years), and is currently the policy coach at Lincoln High (NE).

Affirmative: I like when the affirmative fits the resolution, but if you can convince me that the affirmative doesn't need to be topical then I will go with it. That being said, I voted for and coach kritikal affs, I have no problem with them.

Negative: Run what you feel comfortable with. Play to your strengths and that will be a better debate all around. I like a good theory debate, but don't go out of your way to provide one if you don't feel comfortable with it or if you can't explain it well.

Kritiks: The only particular I have is that the alternative needs to be explained well.

General: I try my best to vote based off of what I hear in round. I have particular opinions about debate, but I will do my best to judge based off what I hear in round rather than use those opinions. I prefer analysis over card dumping. The more contextualized analysis is usually the more compelling to me. In general, I like it when you're genuine with your arguments. I want you to like them and I want to be able to like them. You spent a lot of time cutting these positions, do them justice.

One thing I particularly don't like (and will have a hard time voting on) are quick and dirty theory shots to win the round. An example might be an observation that says you, by definition, win the round or something. If that's what you want me to vote on, a clean extension is not sufficient. You need to invest time into arguments that you want me to vote on, these observations/theory points included. I will not vote on a theory pot-shot that you put a combined 45 seconds into. I need analysis as to why you want me to vote on that thing.

Ryan Wiegert Paradigm

2 rounds

Ryan Wiegert- English Teacher/Debate Coach, Millard West

2 years judging PF, 1 year judging LD, 3 years judging Congress

Here is my overall paradigm, followed by changes for individual styles:

Speed of Delivery- I am strongly opposed to spreading and policy-style speed. While speaking at a clip is expected in a debate round, reading at “auctioneer” speeds occludes communication, games the system, and is frankly just irritating. I won't weigh anything I don't clearly hear.

Civility/Decorum- I absolutely expect politeness and civility in debate. You might still win the round, but I will be harsh on speaks.

Role of the judge/Meta- My role as a judge is to sign the ballot. That's all.

Kritiks- I usually just straight-up drop a k. I've made exceptions, but I would seriously recommend running an alternate case or using a strike on me.

---Specific Style Paradigms---


While Congress has more of a delivery component than other debate styles, it still needs to involve debate. I need evidence, I need clash. After the initial authorship/first negation and maybe the first aff/neg exchange, the delivery style should be primarily extemporaneous and needs to address prior speeches directly. I grade repetitive/reheat speeches pretty harshly, unless they are summary/crystallization speeches. I'm not a fan of beating a dead horse, so when it's time to move the question, move it.

Public Forum:

I definitely subscribe to the idea that PF is supposed to be lay-accessible, and I encourage debaters to treat me like a lay judge despite the fact that I'm a coach. I'm not a fan of trying to win on technicalities and shenanigans.

I drop kritiks, plans/counterplans/topicality and any changing to the wording of the resolution.

The team that speaks second needs to address both the first team's case and rebuttal. This makes up for the advantage of having the last word in the round.

Extending your arguments is critical, and you have to extend them. I'm not going to do it for you. By the same token, if your opponents drop an argument, you need to call that out.

I like my summaries line by line. The final focus needs to include voters.

I don't flow cross-examination. That exchange is for the debaters to help develop the speeches which follow.

I do not weigh new arguments introduced in grad cross or later.


I tend to prefer traditional cases to the weird stuff. You can still win with the weird stuff, but you need to make sure I understand it.

Policy Style Arguments: I will drop you if your opponent runs even a basic LD style argument. If you want to do Policy debate, there's a whole division of the tournament for just that.

Lincoln-Douglas is the style of debate where I will accept theory and philosophy. Debaters in LD are not required to provide implementation.

I do not flow cross-examination in LD. Those exchanges are for you in preparation for the rebuttals to follow.

The aff debater cannot use the 2AR to "make up" for dropped arguments in the 1AR. The neg debater cannot introduce new arguments in the NR.

Don't speed. I cannot stress this enough. I won't flow what I don't understand.

I will drop you if you change even a single word of the resolution. I've seen this on cases lately and I'm not here for it. If you want to change the nature of the argument, you need to do that in framework.

The way to get my ballot is to show me how your value and criterion would improve the status quo, even if your better world is hypothetical.

I'm not a fan of trying to win on technicalities.

Dropped arguments need to have actual weight in order for me to consider voting on them.

Chase Williams Paradigm

6 rounds

Background: Director of Speech & Debate at Taipei American School in Taipei, Taiwan. Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Institute for Speech and Debate. Formerly worked/coached at Hawken School, Charlotte Latin School, Delbarton School, The Harker School, Desert Vista High School, and a few others.

You can ask me specific questions if you have them...but my paradigm is pretty simple - answer these three questions in the round - and answer them better than your opponent, and you're going to win my ballot:

1. Where am I voting?

2. How can I vote for you there?

3. Why am I voting there and not somewhere else?

I'm not going to do work for you. Don't try to go for everything. Make sure you weigh. Both sides are going to be winning some sort of argument - you're going to need to tell me why what you're winning is more important and enough to win my ballot.

If you are racist, homophobic, nativist, sexist, or pretty much any version of "ist" in the round - I will drop you. There's no place for any of that in debate.

I won't vote for theory. Don't try it - it has no place in PF.

Jon Williamson Paradigm

4 rounds

Jon Williamson

B.A. Political Science, M.A. Political Science

Director of Forensics - Piper High School (Sunrise, FL)


HS Policy Debate 2001 - 2005

College Policy Debate 2005-2007

College NPDA Parli Debate 2009-2010

Coach since 2007: Policy and PF mainly with some parli, congress, LD and speech.

I've coached a state championship, national championship, and teams that have cleared to octos at TOC and NSDA nationals.

Basic Judging Paradigm Haiku:

I will judge the flow

Weigh your impacts at the end

Don't be mean at all

Public Forum: All arguments you want me to vote on in the final focus must have had a minimum of a word breathed on them in the summary speech.

Lincoln Douglas/Policy:

I attempt to be tabula rasa, but when no decision-rule calculus is provided, I default to policymaker. I tend to see the debate in an offense/defense paradigm.

I default to competing interpretations on Topicality, and reasonability on all other theory.

I am fine with speed, but clarity is key.

I particularly enjoy critical debate like Feminism, Foucault, and Security and impact turn debates like Spark & De-development. Not a fan of nihilism but I get the argument.

I tend to avoid reading evidence if it is not necessary. I would like to be on your email chain (my name so I can look at cards that you reference in cross-examination.

LD Note: I tend to view the value/value criterion debate as less important than substantive arguments. Impacting your arguments is incredibly important. Cheap shots / tricks are not the way to my ballot (because: reasonability). I also will not vote for an argument I don't understand based on your explanation. I will not read your case later to make up for a lack of clarity when you spread. If I can't flow it, it's like you never made that argument.

Nathan Witkin Paradigm

2 rounds

I did PF for four years.

I'm fine with:

speed, technical debate, etc. as long as you are clear enough to pull it off.

extending defense straight from rebuttal to final focus if you are speaking 1st (2nd summary must extend defense in summary if it is to be evaluated in ff).

theory and kritikal arguments of any kind (educational background in continental philosophy / critical theory so big plus if you read any in front of me)

I'm not fine with:

any sort of douchiness, sexism, racism, ableism, etc. I'll drop you immediately for any of this stuff.

intervening for any reason. Please weigh and fully extend warrants and impacts.

voting on terminal defense that is never extended out of rebuttal. Defense must be extended at some point to be evaluated. The caveat to this is if each team wins an argument or arguments, extends these arguments equally well/poorly, and neither does adequate weighing, I may use unextended defense to help me make my decision.

Mark Woodhead Paradigm

4 rounds

Pronouns: He/ Him. Will respect whatever your preferred pronouns are.

Role/ Experience: circuit policy/ coach @ Logan, parli debater @ UC Davis, currently head debate coach for Archbishop Mitty High School.

Evidence: Put me on the chain: However, I try to avoid reading speech docs for substantive issues- you have to make the arguments, interps, weighing clear to me in your verbalized speech. I will try to intervene/ "do work" for the debater as little as possible, so don't expect that I will buy all of the fire analysis of your card if you aren't extending or explaining any of it. Prep stops when you send out the doc. Don't burgle. Don't clip cards. Mark your docs if you end early.

Decorum: Be respectful of all in the round. Ad hominem attacks (about a person's immutable identity/ characteristics/ background) are never OK and will cost you speaker points at the very least. If you cross the line, expect the L and a talk with your coach. Attack arguments and their justifications, not the person.


  • "Open" to any argument. I would say that I default policymaker but am certainly open to critical arguments/ affirmatives. When attempting to change my default-paradigm, debaters must overcome my skepticism by clearly explaining the role of the ballot and demonstrating some level of competitive fairness in their framework. I want to know what I am voting for, not simply that the other side was thoroughly confused.
  • Speed is fine, but slow down on tags, blippy analytics, interps, and texts. Pause after cites. Introduce acronyms. I'll yell clear if necessary. Avoid other distracting behaviors like loud tapping, pen-dropping, super-double breadths. Non-speaking teams should limit their decibel level and overt facial indignation.
  • T, theory, Ks, etc. are fine. But, as with any argument, if you would like for me to vote for these, you need to give me a clear reason. I am not as well-versed in the some K Affs or high theory Ks, but am certainly open to evaluating them if you can make them make sense. I am more comfortable adjudicating T, CP, DA/ case debates, but I am open to voting for arguments of all types (Ks, K Affs, etc...). I will vote for non-conventional argument forms (songs, dance & poetry, etc...), but will be very acutely focused on education and fairness implications of these alternative styles. I will give you more leeway on unconventional arguments, on the aff, if they bear some relation to the topic. Topic education is valuable.
  • I leave my assessment of the round largely in the hands of the team that presents me with the best explanation of how to frame the major issues in the round, and why that favors their side. If that work is done thoughtfully and clearly, then my decision about which way the round should go becomes much easier. Oh yeah, it typically helps when you win the actual arguments too (warrants, evidence, links, impacts, & all that micro stuff).
  • On theory, I usually will only pull the trigger if I can see demonstrable abuse or unfairness. The "potential for abuse argument" alone doesn't usually cut it with me (unless it's cold-conceded). Show me what specific limitations their interp caused and why that's bad for debate. Condo bad may be a good time trade-off for the aff, but probably won't convince me without some demonstrable in-round fairness/ education loss.
  • I appreciate strategy, creativity and maybe a little humor. Speaks typically range from 26-29.5. I am not impressed by shouting, bullying or obstruction- these will cost you points!! Most importantly, have fun! If you have questions, you can ask me before the round.


Years Judging Public Forum: 6
Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 18
Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 6
If you are a coach, what events do you coach? Policy, PF, Parli, LD, Congress, Extemp, Impromptu
What is your current occupation? Debate Coach

Speed of Delivery: moderately fast, I would say full speed, but since people throw 8 "cards" up in 20 seconds in PF, you're better off at like 70% of full speed.

Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?): Line by line with some framing/ voters if it helps to clarify the round.

Role of the Final Focus: Establish voters, demonstrate offense, and weighing.

Extension of Arguments into later speeches: do it, please don't shadow extend everything, I won't do the work for you.

Topicality: cool
Plans: fine/ unless impossibly narrow
Kritiks: if it links, sure
Flowing/note-taking: Do it, I will.

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Arguments matter more. But, as a member of the human species, style and conviction impact the level to which I am persuaded. Still, I prefer a style that oriented to a calm and reasoned discussion of the real facts and issues, so I think they go hand in hand.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Typically, yes, especially in the summary. The rebuttal may not necessarily have to extend defensive elements of the case.

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? Opponents case only.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? Not unless something unique prompted the response for the first time in the immediately prior speech/ grand-cross.

If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here. Be civil, succinct, and provide plenty of examples (either common knowledge or your evidence).


(Please see my policy paradigm above as this is where I draw most of my experience and perspective from. The gist is that I default as a policymaker, but this can be upended if you convince me your framework/ ethical system is good or preferable)

Speed: Fine with me. Slow down on tags, blippy analytics, interps, and texts. Pause after cites. Avoid other distracting behaviors like loud tapping, pen-dropping, super-double breadths.

Prep: Prep stops when you send out the doc. Don't burgle.

Evidence: Don't clip cards, it's cheating and you will lose. Mark cards when you don't finish them. Evidence must be properly cut (whole paragraphs are a minimum/ no distortions of author's intent).

Cross: Speaking over or past your opponent goes nowhere fast. If you ask a question, allow them an answer. If you want to move on, kindly ask to move on, don't shout them down.

Plans: I love them since they impart a clearer sense of your advocacy and one concrete comparative world. Still, you will be held to that plan. Shifting advocacies, vagueness on key functions of the plan, inserting extra-topical provisions to deck case neg offense are likely to get you in trouble. Spec args and funding questions need to be reasonable. Aff can, and probably should, defend normal means in these instances, but clarify what that probably looks like.

Whole Res: This style of debate is fine, but it makes affs vulnerable to a large set of topical, but terrible, ideas. It is each debater's job to weigh for me the preponderance of the evidence. So, even if you prove one idea is the res could cause nuke war, I need to weigh that eventuality's probability versus the rest of the aff's probabilities of doing good. This is a daunting task given the limited speech times, so make your examples as clearly defined, relevant, and probable. I am often persuaded by the most salient example.

Theory: I am far more receptive to theory arguments that pertain to choices by the opponent. Attacking structural differences of the the aff/ neg in LD as a justification for some unfair strategy choice is not likely to persuade me and often ends us as a wash. Tell me what arguments their interp specifically limits and why that's bad in this round or for debate in general.

Other things: I do not favor whimsical theory arguments that avoid debating the topic or avoid normative questions of public policy in general. So, save your font size theory for another judge.

Scott Woods Paradigm

7 rounds

I am the Scott Woods who teaches and coaches at BASIS Scottsdale in Arizona. There are others. For instance, I am not the slam poet Scott Woods (although I enjoy his work), so if you try a slam poetry case because you think that your judge is a pretty famous slam poet, you will probably be disappointed by the ballot.

About me: I teach middle school English and high school speech and debate. I competed in interp and platform events in college. I'm a Scoutmaster, a Republican, and I go to church regularly. Many people who know me don't believe that I am as conservative as I think I am.

I want the debate round to be for the benefit of the debaters. I have been coaching and judging debate for several years, mostly in PF, but some LD. I also judge policy rounds occasionally. I've judged at the TOC twice and at NSDA Nationals twice. When I judge on a panel, my decision is often different from the majority, possibly because my judging skills are so refined and subtle, or maybe for other reasons that escape me.

I think of debate as an educational game that should be fun, challenging, and life changing for the good. I don't like sneaky approaches to debate, tricks, or unsportsmanlike behavior. I especially don't like anything that attempts to achieve an unfair advantage over an opponent. Among the behaviors I don't like to see are spreading, because it seeks to gain a time advantage by squeezing more content in the given time, forcing one's opponent either to spread or to be disadvantaged, because it makes debate into a ridiculous exercise (and I consider making good things appear ridiculous in order to achieve personal gain to be bad form), and because it is aesthetically unpleasant (and I consider intentional ugliness inflicted on others to be bad form). Also, if you spread I won't flow as much, won't understand as much, and won't believe you as much. If both teams spread, then I'll just have to guess at who won, which is very likely something that you don't want me to do. Please speak in a clear, persuasive voice at a reasonable public debate speed, and be sure to point out when the other side is spreading, show the harms, then show why they should lose on that. I'll probably buy it.

If your debate strategy includes using tactics that have the effect of giving you an unfair advantage over your opponent, your chances of winning will go down. Your arguments should give you the advantage, not your sneaky approach, your hidden claims, your abusive framework, or your tricky wording. Again, call out your opponent's sneakiness. This is especially fun and elegant in an LD round when your opponent values morality, justice, fairness, etc., and you call them out for violating standards of morality, justice, or fairness.

I prefer clear, well-reasoned arguments that are logically valid and well supported by warrants and evidence. I also value impacts. Show me magnitude and probability. I will evaluate these by taking on the stance of an intelligent person who is well educated, open minded, and not a fool. If you read a card but don't put it into the context of a clear argument, then I won't care about it. You have to use evidence to support your warranted arguments. Your cards are your evidence. I hear many LDers giving lengthy quotes of dense philosophy, without contextualizing the quoted speech. I would much prefer that you summarize the entire argument of the philosopher clearly, briefly, and accurately, rather than quoting some paragraph that seems to support your interpretation. I almost never buy appeals to authority. If you say that Philosopher X says Y, therefore Y is true, I will probably not believe you. Feel free to call your opponent on this.

Since I think that debate is a worthwhile activity that can positively shape the character of youth, I value having fun and being nice. I don't want to spend an hour or so with people who are being mean to each other. Let's have fun and enjoy the round.

I won't leave my knowledge, training, or prejudices at the door, mainly because I can't (if I were truly tabula rasa, I would be an infant or an imbecile). Instead, I'll try to be aware of them and limit the impact of my own opinions or knowledge on the debate. If you don't make the argument, I will try not to make it for you. You must do all the work in the debate. I will, however, apply my knowledge of effective argumentation and the "reasonable man" test to the arguments in the debate. If you give me a weighing method and a clear path to signing the ballot for you, your chances of winning the round go up. Please understand that I will fail to leave behind my biases, assumptions, prejudices, etc. This is a feature of being human. We can't control the processes of our thought very well, and we are largely unaware of what guides and controls our thinking. Your job as a debater is to make these biases, assumptions, and prejudices irrelevant against the overwhelming power of your arguments. Good luck.

Please understand that I will likely be judging you after having taught children all day or having traveled a long distance and slept poorly. I will probably not be at my best. This is true for many of your judges. You should consider taking this into account when you write your cases and make your arguments. After you lose a round that you think you should have won, don't complain about the stupid judge. Instead, consider what you could have done differently to compensate for that judge not being at his or her cognitive best. That's your responsibility. I don't want to think during a round. Thinking is hard. It's not my job. I often disappoint debaters when I am required to think. Your job is to pre-think the round for me, better than your opponent does. The team that does this best will win.

It's up to the round to decide on the framework. If your framework is abusive or unreasonable, I'll drop it and favor your opponent's analysis, especially if your opponent calls it out as such. I prefer realistic frameworks that generously look at the resolution as though the debate were really a public forum (even in LD) for discussing an important issue. I also prefer realistic arguments that are accessible to the public.

It bothers me when debaters don't know their case because someone else wrote it, they haven't researched the topic, or they are just using the cards that came with the briefs without trying to understand the bigger picture. This become a problem when debaters misinterpret cards or philosophers they don't understand. If your opponent calls you on your card and disputes what it means, then I will call for the card at the end of the debate and make my own judgment. I don't want to do this for a number of reasons, mainly because I don't want to do the work that you should be doing. That being said, I know a lot about many subjects, so if I think that you are misinterpreting a card, I may call for it, even if your opponent has not called you out on it. I don't like to do this, but I also don't like misinterpreted or false cards to affect a round, and I don't expect high school students to have comprehensive knowledge of the world. If I think that your card was misinterpreted, then I will drop the argument it supports.

Please do the work for me. Make it easy for me to decide who wins. Tell the story of the round. Be organized on the flow in your rebuttals.

If your opponent calls for a card, they may continue to prep while you search for it, without that time counting against their prep. This is the procedure at the TOC, which I particularly like because it doesn't add any time to the round, but encourages teams to provide their opponents with the cards they ask for in a timely manner. If you don't have the card, and the context surrounding it, then I will drop the argument that is supported by the card. If your card clearly says something other than what you say it does, I will very likely vote for the other side. Please don't misrepresent your evidence.

Regarding policy debate: Every round that I have judged in policy debate has come down to judge adaptation. Whoever adapts best to my limitations as a judge (see above) will likely win the round (or, if you prefer, my ballot). My recommendation is that policy debaters should have two cases: one that they normally run and another that they write for judge adaptation. Debaters should also practice adaptation whenever they can, making sure that their arguments are comprehensible (at a minimum) and convincing (this should be the target) to normal, educated people.

David Wornow Paradigm

2 rounds

Experience: Debated at College Prep (in Oakland) for 4 years in Public Forum; qualled to TOC.

For TOC: I have not done any research on this topic.

Tech judge

Unique args are good/have fun and do your thing

The crazier the arg the easier analytics will be at taking them out

You can do anything- sit while speaking, speaking quick, etc.

Don't require 2-2 split or any split

Please keep track of your prep time

Ask me before round for specific stuff.

Michael Wornow Paradigm

4 rounds

Did PuFo for 3 years and Policy for 1.

If you ask for a card, your prep time starts when you get that card from your opponents.

If you flow in Crayon or in markers on the whiteboard in the class room, automatic 30s.

No K’s.

I will call for cards.*

Extend card names AND warrants, i.e. don't just say "extend CNN 18", explain what the card says.

Don't drop arguments.

No spreading or thinking your spreading when you're just mumbling.

If your tagline is a well-known song lyric or rhymes, plus points. Also plus points for iambic pentameter**

I won't flow every question/answer of cross examination, so if your opponent admits something you need to bring it up in a speech to have it impact the round.

If your impact is lives then you need to cry, otherwise I assume you don't actually care.

I am not a parent, but on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most experienced judge, I would rate myself a strong 2.

You can do anything while delivering your speech -- sitting while speaking, standing while speaking, speaking quickly, quickly speaking, sitting while standing, standing while sitting, sitting quickly, quickly sitting, and standing while standing.

* If the total number of characters in the card is a prime number and every character is a different shade of red and every sentence is a different font, I will buy it.

** In order for this to count, you need to slap the table rhythmically while speaking so I know. Also mark the rhythm on the card itself.

Note: Some of this is obv a joke, but some of it isn't.

Max Wu Paradigm

7 rounds

I debated for Mission San Jose High School for 4 years, and was relatively active on the Public Forum circuit in my junior and senior year. I currently coach Lake Highland Prep.

I have included my preferences below. If you have questions that are not answered here, ask them before the round begins.

- I evaluate arguments on the flow.

- I am a tabula rasa judge; I will vote on almost any argument that is topical, properly warranted, and impacted. If an argument makes no sense to me, it's usually your fault and not mine. In the absence of an explicit framework, I default to util.

- I am fine with moderate speed. Although I personally spoke very quickly when I competed, I will misflow tag-lines and citations if they are rushed, and I prefer a more understandable debate. You also may run the risk of too much speed hurting your speaker points.

- If there is no offense in the round, I will presume first speaker by default, not con. This is because I believe PF puts the first speaking team at a considerable structural disadvantage. If both teams have failed to generate offense by the end of the round, the onus should fall on the team going second for not capitalizing on their advantage. This is my attempt to equalize the disparity between the first and second speaking team.

- I do not take notes during crossfire and only pay attention selectively. If something important comes up, mention it in your next speech.

- I will typically only vote on something if it is in both summary and final focus. If you read an impact card in your case and it is not in summary, I will not extend it for you, even if the other team does not address it. Of course, there are inevitably exceptions, e.g. defense in the first FF.

- No new evidence is permitted in second summary (it's fine in first summary). This is to encourage front-lining and to discourage reading new offense in second rebuttal. Additionally, new carded analysis in the second summary forces the final focus to make new responses and deviate away from its initial strategy. The only exception I will make is if you need to respond to evidence introduced in the first summary. New analytical responses are fine.

- First summary doesn't have to extend defense for it to be in final focus, but it is responsible for extending turns/any offense. This obviously does not apply if your defense is frontlined in second rebuttal. Second summary and both final focuses need to extend defense.

- I try to be visibly/audibly responsive, e.g. I will stop flowing and look up from my computer when I don't understand your argument and I'll probably nod if I like what you're saying. I will also say 'CLEAR' if you are not enunciating or going too fast and 'LOUDER' if you are speaking too quietly; don't be caught off guard.

- I will only ask to see evidence after the round in one of three scenarios. (1) I was told to call for a card in a speech (2) Both teams disagree over what the card says and it's never fully resolved (3) I'm curious and want to read it.

- I usually won't keep track of your speech and prep time. It is your job to keep your opponents accountable. If there is any particular reason you cannot keep time, please let me know and I will try to accommodate.

- I will evaluate theory arguments and Kritiks if they are well warranted enough. As a disclaimer, if something doesn't make sense to me, I may not feel comfortable voting on it. This means you will probably have to over-explain advanced and complex arguments.

- I evaluate the debate on an offense/defense paradigm. This does not mean you can wave away your opponent's defensive responses by saying "a risk of offense always outweighs defense," because terminal and mitigatory defense are not the same thing. Terminal defense points out flaws in the logic of an argument while mitigatory defense accepts an argument as a logical possibility and attacks its probability or magnitude. I personally dislike 'risk of offense' type arguments because I think they encourage lazy debating, but I will happily vote on them if they are well executed. You must answer responses that indict the validity of your link chain if you want to access offense from an argument.

- I reserve the right to drop you for offensive/insensitive language, depending on its severity.

- If you plan to make arguments about sensitive issues such as suicide, PTSD, or sexual assault, I would strongly advise issuing a trigger warning beforehand. If you don't know how to properly issue a content warning, ask me before the round. I believe debate should be a safe space, and while I don’t necessarily believe inclusivity should compromise discussion, the least we can all do is make sure everybody is prepared for the conversation.

- I expect all exchanges of evidence to take no longer than 2 minutes. If you delay the debate significantly while looking for a specific card, I may dock your speaker points for being disorganized and wasting time. If someone requests to see your evidence, you should hand it to them as soon as possible; don't say "I need my computer to prep."

- Wear whatever you want, I don't really care.

- Be nice to each other!

If you have concerns, reach me at

P.S. Keshav stole this

Peter Yu Paradigm

3 rounds

As a parent judge, I have far more admiration for, than expertise in, your craft.

I try to flow but am happy to be carried away by the grace of a thoughtful argument.

In my paradigm:

- clarity trumps speed;

- intelligence trumps arrogance; and

- realistic complexity trumps reductionism.

I believe that the notional precision of speaker scores, particularly at your level, is overwhelmed by the subjectivity of human judges and the lottery that is Tab.

Most importantly, my sincere congratulations for reaching TOC, and condolences if you draw me as a judge.

Thank you.

Sumedha Zachariah Paradigm

5 rounds

I am a parent judge, which means a few things:

1. Slow down, please! If you focus on the narratives of the arguments, you'll win the round.

2. If there's something important in the constructive or rebuttal, make sure it's talked about in the summary and final focus.

3. Voters are a great way to win the round in the 2nd half of the debate.

4. Be nice and not rude.

** If you clearly weigh your arguments against your opponent and stimulate a consistent narrative, you'll win the round. **

Joshua Zakharov Paradigm

7 rounds

Hey, I'm Josh, I'm a senior in college. I did a bunch of PF in high school, have coached it a bunch, and have done a reasonable amount of debate in college (APDA). PF being what it is, though, I'd prefer it if you addressed me in rounds treating me not as a debater or techily inclined coach, but as a generally informed person that you are trying to persuade.

I know people have a bunch of FAQs, so here are some things about how I judge rounds.

1) Do your best to write my ballot for me in your last couple of speeches. If you do not tell me how I should evaluate the round; you do not tell me how to weigh (please do this) your arguments; and you do not tell me how you win the round; I won't have a ton of sympathy if you disagree with my decision.

2) If you want me to evaluate something, please warrant it thoroughly (e.g. don't rely on the existence of a card or a tagline as a sufficient explanation for your argument).

3) Defense in summary is a choice for the debater (as a general rule, if it's important, you should bring it up in every speech, but this is a matter of personal preference for the debater); responding to 1st rebuttal in 2nd rebuttal is a choice for the debater as well.

4) Theory isn't really appealing to me, nor do I think it gels well with the structure/intention of PF, but if there is an instance of actual substantial abuse and the theory is not an excuse for not debating and I'm explicitly told how to evaluate it, I'll evaluate it.

5) I'll only call for cards if both sides are saying opposite things about the same piece of evidence and/or I'm explicitly told to call for the card.

6) I can flow any level of speed, but spreading will reflect poorly in speaks.

7) Please signpost. You really don't need give me off time road maps like "I'm going to respond to my opponents' arguments and return to my own," I can follow you if you tell me in the speech where you're going.

8) If you postround me, your speaks will decrease monotonically with the amount of time you spend postrounding me. You're welcome to ask questions about my decision (everybody makes mistakes sometimes, but I try to make relatively few), but if you are going to properly postround me I won't have a ton of patience for it.

For LD, which I have judged from time to time, all of the above applies (except 3 obviously, and theory is fine but again needs to be well applied, and you can speak quicker than you would in front of a parent but still don't spread please).

Thomas Zhang Paradigm

2 rounds

Ravioli, ravioli. Give me the formuoli.


"Last changed 12/16 10:56P EST" - Tabroom

If you have any questions or concerns about my paradigm, please direct them to Kate Selig.


Creds: Kelly Zheng!

Kelly Zheng Paradigm

4 rounds


I did PF and International Extemp for four years for Miramonte High School both on my local circuit and on the national circuit. If my paradigm doesn't cover something, please feel free to message me on Facebook or ask me before the round.

General Stuff:

- Signpost. Please. If I don't know where you are I'll have a really hard time following you.

- I'm not a fan of offensive overviews in second rebuttal because I find them to be abusive

- If you're speaking second, I think you should frontline first rebuttal. At the very least, you should respond to turns. I find making new responses to turns in second summary a little abusive

- Be nice to your opponents!!! I cannot stand people who are rude, cocky, obnoxious, etc. in round. I will tank your speaks if you are rude

- Preflow before the round (I will be really annoyed if you don't, especially if you're flight 2)

- I don't flow cross so if something really incredible happens make sure you tell me in the next speech.

- I don't care if you sit or stand. Do whatever you're the most comfortable with

- If you need accommodations, I am happy to accommodate you. If you don't feel comfortable asking in front of your opponents, feel free to message me before the round or come up to me privately.

Summary/ FF:

- Summary and FF should mirror each other

- Defense that is frontlined in second rebuttal needs to be in first summary now (it always should've been), but defense that is unresponded to doesn't need to be extended into first summary

- Make sure you extend both warrants and impacts

- If you don't adequately weigh, I will do my own weighing and things might get a little wonky if I do that. On that note, please, please, please weigh! Judging becomes so much harder when you don't.


Feel free to go pretty fast as long as you enunciate well. That being said, please speak at a pace at which your opponents can understand you. If your opponents obviously can't understand you (regardless of whether or not they yell clear) your speaks will likely take a hit. I'll yell clear if I really need to. But even if I don't, pick up on non-verbal cues that I can't follow you (not writing, looking confused, etc.).


I will call for evidence if: 1) you tell me to, 2) the evidence is key to my decision. If you have poor evidence ethics, depending on how bad they are, either your speaks will be hit or disqualification is possible.

Creative (?) Argumentation:

I did not do policy or LD in high school and I do not consider myself a technical debater in the slightest. I quite honestly do not really understand theory or Ks, but if some form of abuse occurs in round, explain your argument well and I will try to evaluate it the best I can. But PLEASE try to save theory/ K's for when it's absolutely necessary (hint: probably don't read disclosure theory). This does not mean I will not vote on theory or a K. These arguments just need to be run in a way that I can understand.


Overall, I'm here for a fun time and I hope you have a good time too!

Peter Zhu Paradigm

4 rounds

hi - i debated three years for Davis, and currently am a sophomore at Johns Hopkins

IMPORTANT: after round 7 at the toc, i now request that you read at moderate speed. i'm fine with understanding what you're saying (it's okay if you're reading full cut card), but i think pf kids often misconstrue this is being able to sacrifice the analytical argumentation in favor of extending literally everything. otherwise, you're gonna get mad at me post-round for not understanding your analysis/explanation and i'm not gonna know what to tell you

run any argument you want, just don't be a bad person (the only time i'll intervene is if i hear a bigoted argument). i'll pretty clearly understand most theory arguments but if you're running anything more complicated than that, you may have to slow down and explain it a little bit more

please email me a speech doc if you're gonna read a lot

i will vote for the team that generates the most offense of the winning framework

everything needs to be in summary with the exception of first summary defense (which is still encouraged if you have time and/or you think it's important)

when extending, always extend the evidence AND the argument. if you don't have time, extending the argument is more important than the piece of evidence.

collapse, weigh, and sign post please. you should begin weighing in summary if not earlier

i love clean line-by-line rebuttals- please dump as many responses as you can without sacrificing the warrant analysis. your speaks will significantly lower if you card dump w/o fleshed out warrants. i also prefer summary to be on the line by line

be aggressive in crossfire, your speaks will bump up the more soul-crushing you are. if you manage to make grand crossfire entertaining, i will raise your speaks. i do not flow crossfire

i will not call for evidence unless you tell me to call for it or unless the round hinges on it

i will not independently evaluate abuse, so run theory if you think something in the round is abusive

in the case of an absolute tie, i will presume to the first speaking team because of the time skew

flex prep is ok

have fun and don't take yourself too seriously!

feel free to shoot me an email at or ask before the round if you have any specific questions. don't be afraid to ask!

james chen Paradigm

2 rounds


I debated for 5 years so I can handle tech speed etc. Personally, I've never found paradigms very useful. My best advice would be to just debate the way you're most accustomed to and you'll probably be most likely to win by ballot anyway. But, if you want the specifics of my preferences, read below:

Things I like:

  1. logical analysis
    1. smart analytics + evidence always beat evidence. blipping a bunch of evidence is not very strategic / convincing.
  2. Front-lining in second rebuttal
    1. Given the new summary times, it would make 1st FF basically impossible if you waited until 2nd Summary to do all of your frontlines for 3 min. I can't force you to frontline in 2nd rebuttal but frontlines you wait longer to make will be given less weight, and I will have a lower bar for what counts as a good response in the 1FF
  3. Weighing
    1. You do don't need to rely on buzzwords like "probability" and "timeframe" just make sure to spend time directly comparing offense

Things I don’t like:

  1. New contentions read in 2nd rebuttal
    1. They’re abusive, given that summary is only 2 min. They’re also usually fairly bad arguments but only strategic because they’re tough to respond to so late. These are usually disguised as “offensive overviews” or “Disads”. I will be very hesitant to vote on these.
    2. This also means if you read a tiny turn in 2nd rebuttal and blow it up in 2nd FF I will be much less inclined to vote on it.
  2. Theory / K / progressive arguments
    1. I will evaluate them, but I have a low bar for what counts as a good response to these arguments. Also I never properly learned about these arguments so if the round devolves into a theory round I’ll (probably) make a bad decision.
  3. Over-competitiveness
    1. A kind of vague category which includes things like trying to reexplain arguments to me as you hand me evidence, being rude in CX, or stealing prep time while you call for cards.