Golden Desert Debate Tournament at UNLV 2020

2020 — Las Vegas, NV/US

Robbie Allison Paradigm

6 rounds

Rob Allison

Park City HS '18

USC '22 – BA political economy, minor international policy n management

put me on the email chain:

updated feb 2020

everything below applies to ld and policy

experience - tldr

3-4 years high school policy, sophomore policy debater @ USC

2018 – assistant coach at park city high school

2019/20 – judging for marlborough

I value detailed, impactful, and thought through extensions/applications/comparisons of relevant evidence and arguments over anything else when deciding rounds and close clashes. If you want to win something, spend time on it. If you want to beat something, spend time on it.

I don’t have preconditions for what type of argument you should read. I believe judges that refuse to hear/vote on arguments based on certain ideological predispositions are, frankly, weak and dogmatic. The role of the judge is to evaluate the arguments in front of them as objectively as possible. Exposure to things that challenge our worldview and make us uncomfortable is where debate derives its educational, competitive, and interpersonal value. Do what you do best. Specific tech preferences are below. This doesn't mean that I will always vote for your performance aff but it also means I will not always vote for t-fw or traditional policy approaches.

I mostly read policy arguments but end up spending a lot of time researching k lit and debating these arguments, and I have a good grasp on them but keep in mind I may not know all of your author names or niche theoretical references and terminology.

tech over truth (to a reasonable point – an arg like warming good is my brink)

speed is fine. stop going full speed through theory blocks and k overviews. Thanks


I use the following scale:

Below 27 – you did something unsavory that I would probably mention during the rfd – severity determines scale.

27-27.9 – within this range, you likely behaved in a perceptually bad way, spoke unclearly, or had a below-average speaking/cx performance

28-28.7 – average speaking performance: clear, organized, small errors/quirks but no big deal.

28.8 – 29.5 – above average speaking performance. Varies relative to other team’s skill but exceeds regardless in speaking style, flourish, and organization

29.6 – 30 – exceptional performance. Impressive speaker.

general things

If it's in the 2nr/2ar and wasn't in the previous speech, I won't evaluate it - if you're going to extend a piece offense for 3 mins in your rebuttal that's been relatively small the entire round, it's in your best interest to make the location of the ev for the argument apparent or remind me where its been extended etc. - this may seem standard/obvious to many - but ya'll would be surprised.

This is especially true for kritiks. If you have a theory of power, a link, an alt, etc. that's been unaddressed but wins you the round, you still need to explain what it is and why it matters in rebuttals - tagline extensions will never work for me

Please avoid overviews longer than 1 minute

Condo is good (usually)

k things

If you read a plan, impact framing and impact/scenario analysis is important to me.

If you don't read a plan, that's fine - Be ready to explain your alt clearly, and why its strategy or mechanism substantively engages whatever you are critiquing. Against T-FW, beat the TVA and tell me why your model is better for debate.

If you read T-FW, fairness is an impact but you should explain a (carded) TVA

Death is bad

‘fiat Is illusory’ and generic state links aren’t enough to win a kritik in front of me – apply your links specifically to the aff and you will have a much easier time

Also, identity arguments are good when deployed in a manner that provides a strategy or solution (alternative) to alleviate impacts for yourself and others like you. When they are deployed for/about you alone and against your opponents positionality, I will be very easily persuaded by the other team’s indict of your method, epistemology, and discourse.

Floating PIKs are cool if the 1ar doesn't have theory. Floating piks and ‘alt solves the aff’ are two different things. The theory is also two different things. One is theoretically questionable and the other is a root cause argument.

I love the perm debate on kritiks – if the k is a speech act, so is the aff

policy neg things

Counterplans need solvency advocates unless aff doesn't call u out - I really enjoy techy/cheater counterplan debates - obvi if you drop / lose theory ill still vote u down but this shouldn't discourage u from going for them

Case turns are underappreciated

Politics debates are the best or the worst - I value recent ev a lot more here. These debates are when uniqueness, specifically link uniqueness, is very important. Your predictive models for political outcomes need to be detailed and well warranted – I believe impact defense and well-thought out aff analytics are usually enough to beat an obscure, weakly carded politics disad. When packaged well, intrinsic arguments have an unrecognized truth and strategic benefit.

Bad evidence really is bad and having good cards is important - I will often break ties with evidence - whoever's argument more consistently aligns with the ev usually has more truth behind their overall thesis - and the quality of that ev matters. This being said, warranted extensions and applications of your evidence need to be made throughout the round.

I default to 'no judge kick' unless the neg advocates for it, but if the cp is conditional ill judge kick it

LD things

I make decisions off of evidence comparisons often here because there's so little time for developed clash in round. This is to say good analytics are good, but good evidence is better.

Please signpost...

for the love of god dontspreadfullspeedthroughyourdamnanalyticsandtheoryblocks its bad for you unless you know your'e crystal clear and trust me you aren't saving that much time.

Topicality in LD is odd in LD (my opinion). If you're going for T in front of me, make sure you can connect your interpretation to the aff (in either direction) and tell me why your interp is good for debate or why theirs is bad (or both). Topicality impacts in LD are odd bc your topic only lasts 2 months lol

Please include some decision framing in your rebuttal

A few things I stole from Ben that I also explain how I evaluate this debate:

1. I don't think RVIs are real args

2. I don’t think Nebel T is a real arg

3. I think asking your opponent what cards you read/didn't read counts as cross-ex or prep. you should be able to flow.

4. Framing contentions don't substitute for impact explanations, and you can ditch your pre-scripted 2AC case overview

5. Theory needs to be more developed - pick and choose your arguments that you make better, because if the only word I can flow is "condo" then I won't vote for it, even if dropped.

If you have more specific questions or accommodations feel free to ask

Joseph Barquin Paradigm

6 rounds

I have had a total of less than 6 rounds on the hs cx topic this year. Dont assume I know what you're reading.


LAMDL 2017 to present (cx)

Northwood HS 2017 to 2018 (cx)

Southwestern College 2014 to 2019 (cx)

San Marino HS 2018 to present (cx/ld)

Mission Vista HS 2019 to present (cx/ld/pf/parli/whatever else)

I do have a hearing problem in my right ear. If I've never heard you b4 or it's the first round of the day. PLEASE go about 80% of your normal spread for about 20 seconds so I can get acclimated to your voice. If you don't, I'm going to miss a good chunk of your first minute or so.

Email chain:

I've been a part of the greater college debate community since I started debating in 2k5/2k6. I took a few years off after I left debate but came back in 2014. Back then I preferred policy v policy debate but I rarely get to watch those rounds these days. I'll vote on almost anything at this point if it's impacted correctly and you don't look like a flying douchebag.

Performances and K Affs: I view performance debate a little differently than some other critics. I’m a believer that if you’re to be doing a performance, your entire round needs to be real to the performance of your first constructive. If you deviate from the message of the performance and don’t actually embody it, I can be convinced pretty quickly to vote against you for lack of embodiment. I find myself less sympathetic to affirmative teams that don’t remind me why the aff is a good idea in relation to whatever off cases the neg team reads. If you just read generic k aff blocks to t/fw/k or the k, it is a travesty that needs to be fixed. You read/performed a 1ac, please use it.

Topicality: I have a decent threshold for topicality. I prefer the interpretations debate but a conceded we meet or reasonability argument is just as good a place to pull the trigger. Even if the aff interp sounds very topical, if the standards associated with it in the 2ar are found to be severely lacking compared to the model of debate the neg interp adheres to, I’ll 80% likely vote neg. One of my favorite parts of T is the definitions debate. A well articulated reason for why the context or quals of their definition is problematic compared to yours can pretty much undercut the entire standards/impx debate. Control the Uniqueness question on T and it can go very far for you.

Framework/ROB: Defend the model of debate you feel should be advocated. If that means advocating ericson against every K aff so be it. As for the impacts debate, I'm more in the line that fairness is an internal link to an impact. But I'm also open to viewing as an impact if you win that it should be in front of me. *shrug* debate it out. My vote skew for t/fw is around a 60/40 for the neg whatever that means. If you're aff and the neg concedes a we meet, extend that thing on the top of flow so I don't have to evaluate the rest of the t/fw flow. I'm lazy. The easier my decision is, the better. Well articulated CI with correct applications of the aff connected to an impact and disads to the neg interp is great. TVA? should solve enough of the aff to justify some neg ground so it can have a stasis point. I generally think parts of the aff that aren't solved can be utilized as neg ground. But at the same time if the TVA doesn't resolve portions of the aff that are key to resolving major conflict points indicated by the 1ac, I'm less likely to be persuaded by a tva.

ROB and ROJ > everything. It helps me filter how I as a judge should view the round and what my ballot is suppose to symbolize. Even if you're winning a flow, if it doesn't meet the ROJ/ROB that is won at the end, I'm 100 likely not going to include it in the evaluation of why you win a round. Do I feel that they're cheaty? yep. Do I care? nope. Debate it out.

Kritiks: Please please contextualize your links. There's nothing more aggravating when the neg extends links without explaining to me how the aff specifically links to the K or how the links acts as disads to the perm. Alts need to resolve something. If it doesn't or I have no idea what your alt does, i'm going to err aff. This is a communicative activity and your job is to communicate to me and the other debater(s) that your alt and its solvency can actually do something. Perms are great. Creative perms that aren't abusive are also great. Some people are convince if you run a K aff you don't get to access a perm, I'm on the other side of this debate. Methods aren't run in parallel. Movements that believe in different things create solidarity with one another for goals. But again, debate it out and impact it out.

CP: lean neg on conditionality but i've voted for multiple contradictory worlds bad when a neg has run 6-7 off and 3 of the counterplans/K's link to each other. Love pics. Love well explained net benefits to the CP. Love the solvency debates associated with the cp debate as well. I’ll also vote for a cp without a DA if the CP solves better than the aff. But you don’t really want to be in that rabbit hole unless you’ve done an amazing solvency debate on the aff vs the cp. Pivots around the cp/da debate can be very advantageous. You'll need to spend a little time on the overview though as to what this pivot means though. Should the offense associated with the pivot come into play? or the pivot one that makes no sense and should be disregarded?

DA: The more specific the link the better. The better the impact analysis the better. Have fun with this. I’m persuaded by really creative disads that have interesting impact calc vs the aff. If the da o/w and turns case, all the better lol. If the debate comes down to cp/da vs plan, paint me a world of what the different worlds look like. A world of the aff trying to resolve it's impacts and triggering the disad scenario vs what the cp does that prevents the da from occuring is one that makes the decision easier and can help the impact debate SOOOO much/

Case debate: very necessary in almost all forms of policy debate. Use it to your advantage. Impact out your turns. Tell me what it means to the rest of the flows that you’re going for. Aff – utilize the story telling potential that your aff is designed around. There are so many rounds that amazing solvency or advantages don’t get explained well because debaters get bogged down on the line by line and don’t see the bigger picture.

For LD debaters:

I encountered something at voices. I hit my physical threshold on being able to fully flow a round. Enunciate your claims and slow down a bit so I can actually flow it. When half the constructive is literally just analytics and you're 300+ wpm... that's lit unflowable and I'm not going to the docs to resolve that. If you lose because it's not on my flow? Shrug. Don't care.

FW: You all need to slow down here. I'm not familiar enough with your specific event to just flow it effortlessly.

No RVI's

Jasmine Stidham "You have the power to stop Nebel t in this activity" Mission accepted.

no nebel. the 1ar just needs to be nebel is bad vote aff. and we are done.

I prefer a substantive debate with 3-4 off to something like 13 off. I'll flow you regardless but I reserve the right roast you.

Paradoxes aren't super persuasive in front of me.

Tricks are meh. They're hard to flow for me so you'd actually have to slow down to read your trick and then is it really a trick at that point?

Theory is good if it isn't a blippy mess. Just saying a team is "condo" and they should lose without an interp, and why condo is problematic will not get you a ballot. Sorry not sorry.

HWL UPDATE: Weird af cps justifily severance perms. threshold will be very low. You'll know when you've entered that from my reaction.

Lastly, please be nice to each other. LD is such a short event that to there's really no point to get toxic from 2 cx's

Michael Berry Paradigm

6 rounds

I wanna be on the email chain:

My general view on debate:

I currently debate in college policy for Southwestern College. I believe that debate is an educational game. We have rules in place that ensure debate is a fair game and it’s important that you adhere to them. I also believe that debate should be fun and I will be more receptive to lighthearted rounds. However, I believe that the debate space will always overwrite my own personal beliefs on debate and it is not my place to inject my personal bias into a decision.

***For LD: I will evaluate critical plans or performances. Love them and think the LD community needs to support non-normative styles of debate.***

TL;DR: (for you who forgot to look at this before the round)

I will listen to and evaluate any arguments. I understand most of the lit but would still like clear explanations for the sake of fairness to the other team. Tell me where to flow something and I will flow it there. Tell me what you're winning on. Remind me what they dropped and why it matters. Build up your offense throughout the round and fire away in the 2ar/nr. If you explain the in and out of round impacts well then you’re in a really good spot.


a. Args

K AFF/Performance: Love innovative methods and performances. Explain the 1AC well and don’t exclude anyone from the round by obfuscating your argument.

Policy AFF: Protect your solvency like it’s your baby. If you lose the solvency debate then there’s no reason to vote AFF. If you garner in-round solvency you should be articulating that from the 1AC.

K Neg: You need to know your authors and explain what they're saying in the context of the debate round. I won't vote for a K if I don't know what it does. Love clearly fleshed out link stories. I think K’s need specific links to the AFF, generic links hurt your access to impacts. (If your link is that AFF uses the state and your impact is ongoing ontological death you need to explain how the AFF specifically triggers or makes the impact worse. I’m not going to buy that passing a bill reinforces structural violence without the proper framing and articulation.) Moreover, I love hearing how the links specifically function as DA’s to the perm. I will lean neg on the perm if they AFF cannot articulate how they can solve for the links. For AFF: You should explain to me what the permutations look like. Also, go for your strongest perms. If you tell me the AFF is a prereq but you go into the 2ar with 3 sequential perms, I’m not going to pay attention to the perms that aren’t relevant.

Theory: I think T is important but it normally doesn’t play out well in round. In round abuse is the most important standard to vote on. Conceded T args don’t become offense for the AFF. Neg should be able to call one out for cheating and then stop.

DA: Impacts are the most important part of winning or beating DA’s. DA should have good impact analysis, if it o/w case and isn’t handled properly then this is an easy voter.

CP: Condo is key neg ground. If neg is abusing their ground by running multiple contradictory worlds that all link to each other this becomes a voter. Ideally, the CP avoids a DA triggered by AFF.

Framework: I like critical AFF’s but f/w is important too. Framing is key here.

General case: Most important part of the round. Framing and storytelling is key here and can win you the round if you handle it well. If AFF is losing key parts of their case, explain the post-fiat world of the AFF without the parts of the case they lost. (i.e. If AFF is losing on impact probability explain why this means the AFF isn’t necessary.)

b. Debate

Speed: Please be inclusive of all members of the debate community. If you are attempting to outspread the other team despite pre-round disclosure of a disability or preference this becomes an a priori issue for me. Otherwise, go as fast as you want. Go slightly slower on analytics so I can catch them.

Civility: Toxic rounds are never fun for debaters or the judge. I like to see passion but if you’re a male being clearly aggressive and condescending towards a female this is problematic. Please disclose all gender pronoun preferences before a round either in person or on tab.

Organization: Please try to be organized. Disorganization can lose you a round if it’s a very close round and you didn’t specify where to flow an arg.

Authors: I won’t vote down a team for running Baudrillard because you think he’s a colonialist. However, problematic authors become issues if they’re clearly offensive and run with the intent to exclude others from the round.

Anthony Berryhill Paradigm

2 rounds

Anthony Berryhill Judge Paradigm (NEW as of JAN 29, 2020 - PLEASE READ):

E-mail for case sharing, etc.:

Current Experience:

  • Assistant LD Coach for Isidore Newman (my alma mater); Currently Managing Director for Victory Briefs
  • Stanford BA Political Science 2004; Previous PhD Candidate (MA/MPhil) at Yale in Contemporary Political Theory, dissertation on intersectionality (2004-2011)
  • Owner of Ivy League Hacker: College admissions, interviewing and public speaking firm - reach out to me if interested!

Past Experience:

  • Debated at Newman 2000-2004 in LD, Extemp, Congress; Former Coach (and team starter) for: Harker (last involved 2006), MSJ (last involved 2001)
  • Conflict: Isidore Newman

Table of contents of paradigm:

  • My preferences/what I usually vote for
  • Behavioral Requirements I will hold you accountable to/arguments I am actively biased against (or may drop on face)
  • New speaker point paradigm as of January 2020

My philosophy:

I debated in New Orleans. I am very open re: how you handle applied philosophy (w/ the qualifiers below). You should feel comfortable with a range of argumentation about the topic. I've taught the Traditional, K and standard circuit labs at VBI over the years.

But debate is a formal, professional space where students perform their advocacies regarding the resolution. Debate is not a space for questioning or attacking someone's personal identity. It is not like college where you can curse, debate "who's black enough (or whatever identity)" or otherwise act like untamed idiots. In high school, debate rounds are extensions of the classroom. As a judge and educator I am willing to use my ballot to hold that safe space.

Finally, I have a NO HACKING policy. Anyone can win any round in front of me if they earn it. The decision you get will be indicative of my interpretation of your performance. I do not hack for reputation, debate style, politics, camp affiliation, argument content or whatever activist memes or trends of the day. If you want the W 30, debate like it and I'll give it to you!

I prefer:

  1. Arguments which are easy to understand (for me AND your opponent), well evidenced (through logic, cards and/or examples) and linked to standards. Assume that I will vote on whoever proves that "States ought to eliminate their nuclear arsenals." Nontopical cases will be considered but will have higher burdens to justify their positions as legitimate.
  2. Signposting! Simply refering to the general theme of an argument "i.e. on their argument about deterrence" and dumping responses is NOT ENOUGH. Go card by card, analytic by analytic in order when putting answers. If you don't tell me what answers what, you are dropping arguments, even if you think your 3-4 off cases answer the AC. Embedded clash is not clash. Sorry to sound scary, but this is a major pet peeve that costs debaters a lot of ballots--and bids.
  3. TRUTH AND TECH MATTER EQUALLY. IMO judges who say TECH>TRUTH are dumb and failing their duties as educators. Arguments which are deliberately false, inconsistent with the literature, etc. will face a bias against them.
  4. As an extension: "Tricks debate" isn't debate. Deliberate attempts to hide arguments, mislead your opponent, be unethical, lie, play with disclosure practices, etc. to screw your opponent will be received very poorly. If you need tricks and lying to win, either "git' good" (as the gamers say) or prefer a different judge.

BEHAVIORAL REQUIREMENTS- I will heavily penalize debaters who misbehave, including giving a loss (regardless of what happens in round):

1. Keep your loud music to yourself (headphones, please!). The recent trend of blasting music through bluetooth speakers before a round is unprofessional esp. if such music is uses inappropriate language. If I'm judging I will tell you to turn it off or if I'm frisky, I will blast my KPOP BTS songs loud enough to drown you out. "I want to listen to my jamz as I prep" is for your personal time, not a debate tournament. If I'm on a panel, I'll be THAT GUY and tell you to shut it off, so prepare accordingly.

2. Slow way down on the speed: I hate unclear, no voice variation, as-fast-as-possible monotone on the circuit. Delivery COUNTS in my decision making. Excellent delivery will be rewarded with a higher probability of winning and speaker points. Monotone delivery will put me to sleep. Be sure to speak loudly so we can all hear you.

NOTE: I will flow your cases from speech docs, but when you are reading things not on the doc, or are reading tag lines/author names/theory/analytics SLOW DOWN or I won't have time to flow them.

This does not mean you must read your lay AC-it means your case is too long for 6 minutes. I've judged nearly every semi/final round of every national tournament/championship. Solid public speaking isn't only for lay judges.

PROTIP: if you do read your 'lay AC' don't make it obvious in the email thread---if you do I'll make fun of you for being dull and elitist (and take off a speaker point for the insult).

3. Act appropriately or lose. Behavior and language must be appropriate for a high school educational setting. Rule: If you can't say it in front of your parents, on YouTube, or on a PhD comprehensive exam, don't say it in front of me. This is high school, not anything-goes college policy debate. I am happy to give automatic losses for: swearing, use of language/explicit material of a racial/sexual nature (even in performances), use of the N word in any form or derivative (even by African American speakers), etc. I am not beyond contacting principals and and other relevant bodies. Please just debate! I'm the nicest guy, but will turn mean if you are acting in such a manner.

4. Electronic disclosure- don't waste time and don't play games with disclosure. Disclosure is the norm for better or for worse so just do it with no "strateegery: I am willing to drop debaters on disclosure theory if I think attempted cheating/shenanigans are in place. That includes debaters who run disclosure theory as a time suck, don't do it!

5. Theory arguments must be relevant and reasonable. Theory is a call for intervention, so I have the right to intervene. I have no bias against RVIs and am happy to vote on them. I am not interested in the parts of a theory shell, I'll vote on the big ideas, not theory blips or 1 liners. At minimum, I need a rule, violation, a story to why the argument matters and an impact paradigm. I'm not likely to listen to debates about fairness v education v strat skew, blah blah. In sum: if you want me to vote on theory, tell me a clear, substantive abuse story that's well evidence/explained.

WARNING: DO NOT RUN THEORY AS A TIME SUCK IN FRONT OF ME, especially as the 1NC. If you do this I may deduct speaker points and will look for reasons to drop you. It is unethical use theory as a way to waste the 1AR's time. If you run T or theory, you damn well better believe it, b/c if you lose on it or get turned, I'm willing to drop you even if there isn't an RVI (and I've done this many times in 2019-2020).

Arguments I won't vote for:

    • Skepticism - stay home if you think someone can prove morality, justice, etc. exists within 45 minutes
    • Arguments I evaluate are below the belt or racist/sexist/homophobic arguments. Bullying, microaggressions, intimidation, etc. will be punished.
    • Arguments contingent on your opponent's identity/assumptions of that identity (as is done by some afropessimist debaters). Your opponent's identity is none of your damn business, i.e. if you ask your opponent what race they are in CX, you are asking for a Loss 20.
    • WARNING: I do not share the cliched assumptions from college policy debate on identity politics (i.e. non-black debaters can't run afropessimism, aren't allowed to make answers to it, can't make psychoanalytic claims in round, or thinking that calling something "anti-black" means it is). Make arguments with evidence, clear definitions, methods or explanations for burdens on your opponent. Essentialism is stupid and racist, no matter who does it. I am intersectional and will judge accordingly.
    • Refusing to answer questions about your position in CX: If you are running a K or high theory (ick), you are required to explain it so that everyone can understand it. I've seen debaters say "What the (bleep) are you talking about" as a response in CX. If you do this, I'll look for ways to drop you. Clear and accessible debate is good debate. If you can't or won't offer an easy to understand definition of your interpretation of debate, your performance, etc. I will assume you are a jerk and incompetent and will condemn your performance accordingly. Just debate straight up please.
    • Misusing evidence - I reserve the right to check your evidence and tags, even better if your opponent calls this out.
    • Arguments about misgendering/use of gendered pronouns. Parents and principals reasonably expect that college level discussions of sexual identity and such will not be had. I will not penalize underage children who don't have the power to be exposed to modern discourse on this issue. Age appropriateness matters over identity politics (as much as I've been pilloried in circuit LD for advocating for inclusion before the circuit "got woke.")

Speaker Point Paradigm--adapted given to how the circuit has given points which is where a 29.2 is needed to clear as a 4-2. Thus my scale has been adjusted:

30 – The performance does one or more things exceptionally well and I see your performance as role model worthy. Think “A+”

29.5-29.9 – Top notch performance, few if any critiques. Think “A” level.”

29-29.4 - Solid performance with few errors, if any. Think "A-."

28.5-29 - Average/circuit level performance. Think "B+"

28-28.5: Needs improvement to meet standards. Think: B- to C

28 or below: Reserved for inappropriate behavior or catastrophic errors that marred performance substantially

Brett Boelkens Paradigm

6 rounds

Brett Boelkens


Varsity Policy Debater — UNLV (2019-Present)

Varsity Policy / LD Debater — NWCTA (2017-2019)


-Put me on the email chain (

-I won't intervene unless someone says obviously hateful terms or are intentionally excluding someone

-tech > truth

-I'm more likely to vote on T then most policy judges - theory is what I have a higher threshold for

-Don't run a DA or 2AC add-on's on case - put them on a different flow. Same for long K overviews

-I don't like K's and don't know much about them. I wouldn't suggest running them in front of me. I won't not vote on them, BUT don't be displeased if I misunderstand it. TVA's and SSD with fairness and education impacts makes it hard to win non-topical K-AFF's.

-I'll boost speaks if you show me post round that you disclosed + posted cites and round reports beforehand

-If you are forced to use Google Docs, please send out a downloaded copy on the email chain.

-I'm chill and don't care if you wanna step out or need a second to load a doc or email

-I enjoy creative positions as long as they aren't dumb

-Try to organize the debate if it gets messy / make efforts to ensure it doesn't be that way - I'll dock speaks if you intentionally obfuscate the flow. Same if you rely on implicit clash instead of doing a line by line

-Provide trigger warnings if you intend on speaking about sensitive subjects

-Don't call me judge or sir

-If you have any questions about my paradigm / RFD, please email me or just ask in person.


-Signpost when you go from an overview to the line by line if you have a long overview

-Have relevant U/Q evidence in the 1NC shell

-Utilize DA turns case and link turns case arguments more


-Prefer to have functional and textual competition

-I think CP's with case turns as a net benefit or internal net benefit are neat

-Intrinsic and severance perms are more acceptable if the CP isn't as theoretically legitimate


-Wouldn't suggest running them in front of me

-Perm do the plan and the alternative in every other instance works out paired with a double bind are neat

-Perm do the CP solves 99% of word PIKs unless the word is in the plan text

-Alternatives almost never solve the case or honestly solve the implications of the K - point this out

-Don't obfuscate and intentionally make the debate confusing to get an edge on your opponent - try to heavily explain everything how everything works in the block

-Tell me before the 2NC / 1NR if I need another page for the K overview


-I default to competing interpretations as reasonability culminates in a bright line of what is reasonable

-Functional limits isn't convincing if the plan is able to spike out of DA's

-Slow down on theory and T

-I will not vote off an RVI

CX Specific Notes

-Fill-In decks solvency for 90% of cases but isn't a solid DA with the Turkey F-35 / India BMD thumper

-Circumvention makes no sense - durable fiat solves

-Defense industrial base DA and the NPT Credibility DA are trash

-Assurances DA is dope and underutilized

-QPQ and Offset CP's are probably some of the better CP's

LD Specific Notes

-I don't care if it's a lay debate or not, setup an email chain.

-I know a lot about the topic even though I do CX - don't over explain stuff

-If you're second flight, I'm down if you come in a watch first flight. Otherwise, please be there when first flight ends, and know who your opponent is in case I don't know where they are.

-Asteroids PIC and No ICBM's are probably the best CP's on the topic - I like the ban treaty aff

Wesley Carter Paradigm

4 rounds


Nuclear topic update: I'm familiar with the lit.

Background: I debated LD and policy. Currently coaching.

Paradigm: I don't have any strong preferences regarding style; I'll vote on any K, theory, or stock case if you're winning the flow. I think K's are fun to watch.

- Stock: I love a good policy debate. Weigh your impacts. Tech>truth.

- Critiques: Interesting K's will always have a special place in my heart. I'm happy to vote on any K you want to read although I might not be an expert on the lit base.

- T/Theory/Framework: My threshold is pretty reasonable; I will pull the trigger if you can prove in-round abuse or if you're clearly winning the flow. The more organized your speeches the easier it will be for me to tell if these conditions have been met.

Other Thoughts:

(If you're curious)

Speaker Point Scale:

_29-30: Excellent

_28-29: Pretty good

_27-28: Hmmm

_25-27: Needs work

- I default to the assumption that debate is a game and fairness is a voter. I can be convinced otherwise, but I think both sides should have a potential path to the ballot.

- I believe that disclosure is good for debate.

- Prep time should stop running when you are ready to speak (speech doc is uploaded, flash-drive has left your computer, email is sent, etc.) I'll trust the debaters to time each other.

- Flex prep is great.

- Far-fetched link chains do not always let you weigh high-magnitude impacts. If your internal links are flawed to the point of being meaningless the impact scenario is no longer offense for you.

- I'm a sucker for a good overview.

- The Speed K is a great argument whose time has not yet come. I'm down to vote for it if you do it well.

Daniel Chavez-Yenter Paradigm

6 rounds

I never participated in Debate. Please make sure you speak at a reasonable pace. I do research in public health, minority issues, and statistics. I have judged debate previous in various categories; congress, public forum, Lincoln-Douglas, so I do understand most structures of debate.

When I make decisions, this is the order in which I prioritize;

1) Who provided the highest quality of evidence. Do you use independent/neutral sources (i.e. peer review research, national organizations, think-tanks, etc) throughout the entire debate? I weigh these types of sources higher than Huffington Post or Fox News.

2) Who had the most logical arguments. For example, if you have a claim that seems really illogical but has evidence I will weigh that less highly than a very logical claim that has good reasoning behind it.

3) In terms of making counterarguments, while I would like you to address as many of your opponent's points, I care more about responding to the most important arguments well. For example, instead of answering 10 of your opponent's arguments poorly, I would prefer that you pick the 5 most important points and answer them well.

Maanik Chotalla Paradigm

4 rounds


Now that that friendly introduction is over:


I'll disclose speaks if you ask.

Background: I debated LD for four years for Brophy College Preparatory in Arizona. Graduated in 2016. Current LD coach for Brophy College Preparatory.

Crash Course version:
-Go for whatever you want, I like all forms of argumentation
-Have fun, debate is an evolving activity and I'm all for hearing creative well-warranted arguments
-The round belongs to the debaters, do what you want within reason
-Tech > truth, extend your warrants, do impact analysis, weigh
-I default to competing interps but will go for reasonability if you tell me to
-For Ks please be prepared to explain your obscure lit to me, don't assume I'll know it because I promise you I won't. It will benefit you if you give an overview simplifying the K.
-If you run a theory shell that's fine but I don't really like it when a shell is read as a strictly strategic decision, it feels dirty. I'll probably still vote for you if you win the shell unless it's against a novice or someone who clearly had no idea how to respond to it.
-Default to epistemic confidence
-Good with speed
-Don't like tricks
-Don't be rude, the key to this activity is accessibility so please don't be rude to any debaters who are still learning the norms. This activity is supposed to be enjoyable for everyone

For the LARP/Policy Debater:
-You don't necessarily have to read a framework if you read a plan but if your opponent reads a framework I'm more likely to default to it unless you do a good job with the framework debate in the 1AR.
-If you run a framework it can be either philosophically or theoretically justified, I like hearing philosophy framing but that is just a personal preference
-Utilize your underview, I'm guessing you're reading it for a reason so don't waste your time not extending it.
-Running multiple counterplans is okay, prefer that you provide solvency
-Make sure your counterplan does not link yourself back into your DA, please

For the K Debater:
-Please label each section of your K (link/framing/impact/alt) it makes it more clear to me how the argument is supposed to function
-If you aren't running a typically organized K then please just explain the argument properly as to how I should evaluate it
-If your ROTB is pre-fiat you still need to respond to post-fiat framing to completely win framework debate
-Feel free to ask more questions before the round

For the traditional debater/everyone else
-Crash course version should cover everything. I have more below for the people who really want to read it but you can always ask more questions beforehand

More details:

1. General

I like debates which are good. Debaters who are witty, personable, and I daresay good speakers usually score higher on speaker points with me. I'll vote on any argument (So long as it isn't blatantly offensive or reprehensible in some way). I'm a big believer that the round should belong to the debaters, so do with the debate space what you wish.

I like framework debate a lot. This is what I did as a debater and I believe that it makes the round very streamlined. I always like hearing new and cool philosophies and seeing how they apply, so run whatever you want but please be prepared to explain them properly.

Please slow down on impacts and pause between tags and authors!! Yeah, I know everyone has the case right in front of them nowadays but I still want you slowing down and pausing between your authors and tags. Finally, for both of our sakes, please IMPACT to a weighing mechanism. I have seen too many rounds lacking impact analysis and weighing. It's possible it will lead to a decision you don't like if you don't impact well. I don't particularly care what weighing mechanism you impact to so long as you warrant to me that it's the more important one.

2. Theory/T

Run whatever shells you would like but nothing frivolous, please. I wouldn't recommend reading theory as strictly a strategic play in front of me but I will still evaluate it and vote on it if you prove there is actual abuse in round. I default to competing interps but will go with whatever you tell me. In general, I think you should layer theory as the most important issue in the round if you read it, otherwise what was the point in reading it?

Shells I will likely not vote on:
-Dress Code theory
-Font size theory
-This list will grow with time

3. Tricks

I don't like them. Don't run them. They make for bad debate.

4. Ks

I myself was never a K debater but I've now found myself really enjoying hearing them as an argument. I'd appreciate if you could label your K or section it off. I wasn't a K debater so I don't automatically know when the framing begins or when the impacts are etc. The biggest problem I usually see with Ks is that I don't understand the framing of the argument or how to use it as a weighing mechanism, so please help me so I can understand your argument as best as I can. I have dropped Ks because I just didn't understand the argument, err on the side of me not knowing if it is a complex/unconventional K.

5. Miscellaneous

I don't time flashing/making docs during the round but I expect it to take no longer than 30 seconds. Try to have a speech doc ready to go before each round. I'm good with flex prep. I don't care if you sit or stand. I'll hop on your email chain. Don't be rude, that should go without saying. Lastly, and I mean this seriously, please have fun with it. I really prefer voting for debaters who look like they're having a good time debating.

If you have any questions feel free to ask before the round or contact me via email

Leah Clark-Villanueva Paradigm

4 rounds

Yes, please add me to the email chain.

Program Manager at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League (LAMDL). Former CSUF policy debater.

I frequently judge for Harvard-Westlake in high school LD, and CSUN for college policy.

PLEASE BE PROMPT TO YOUR ROUND. Don't make the tournament late because you're still prepping after start time. AFF - set up an email chain once you know who your opponent is.

Speaker Points (HS Policy/LD)

27.0 = base speaker points/below average

27.5 = average novice level debate

28 = average varsity debate

29+ = excellent varsity debate

Speaker Points (College Policy)

28.0 = base speaker points/novice level

28.5= average open debate

28.6- 29.1 = above average open debate

29.2+ = excellent open debate

*I will adjust speaker points that align with community norms.

[Short Version]

Judge/Debate Biases

These are common debate beliefs I come into the round with. If your arguments don't align with them, I will still listen to it but in order to win the ballot you must provide warrants and impacts as to why I should prefer your framework/arguments over my implicit debate bias listed below:

*I listen to and flow your arguments and evidence. I don't read cards unless: 1. I suspect you are clipping, 2. you call on me to read warrants in a specific card., or 3. I think your tagline is supercharged vs what your evidence says. It's up to *you* to explain your cards to me, it's not my job to read them because you are unclear in your analysis, weighing, reading, or identifying which arguments matter. Debate is a persuasive competition, not Judge Has The Doc Therefore They Can Read My Evidence and Vote on an Argument (my blocks) Explained/Answered for 5 Seconds In My Last Speech competition.

-AFFs should present a plan in the direction of the resolution, I will vote on risk on solvency outweighs CP/K alts

-AFFs should solve or try to solve something

-(More specific to LD) Narrow down the debate to the *most* important arguments I should weigh. The AFF doesn't have enough time to go line by line on everything and the most common reason why I vote down AFF teams in LD is because they attempt to answer every NEG answer (poorly) without framing the round and crystalizing which arguments I should vote for. The NEG can always outspread you - tell me why your AFF still matters despite multiple offs the NEG read.

-K AFFs that do not present a plan text must: 1. Be resolutional - 1ac should generally mention or talk about the topic even if you're not defending it, 2. Prove the 1AC/AFF is a prereq to policy, why does the AFF come before policy, why does policy fail without the aff? 3. Provide sufficient defense to TVAs - if NEG proves the AFF (or solvency for AFF's harms) can happen with a plan text, I am very persuaded by TVAs. K teams must have a strong defense to this.

-Link to the squo/"Truth Claims" as an impact is not enough. These are generic and I am less persuaded by generic truth claims arguments without sufficient impacts, explanation of author literature & arguments, and defense to policy edu good arguments. I can agree with your analysis and root cause to squo impacts, but if it does not answer policy solvency questions or if idk how the AFF solves its own impacts (or what it aims to solve), I can easily vote for policy alternatives good args.

-Critique of the resolution > Critique of the squo

-NEG K alts do not have to solve the entirety of the AFF, but must prove a disadvantage or explain why a rejection of the AFF is better than the alt, or the squo solves.

-If AFF gets a perm, the NEG gets condo

-Debate is a game, if it is a survival strategy I need more warrants and impacts other than "the aff/alt is a survival strategy" with no explanation of how you are winning in-round impacts

-Framing is important, the team that gives me the best guide on how/why I should vote for X typically wins the round. What's the ROB, ROJ, the purpose of this round, impact calc, how should I evaluate the debate?

-Edu is the most important impact in each round, when the debate is messy or close I tend to evaluate the round in terms of 1. who did the better debating, 2. who best explained arguments and impacts and made me more clearly understand the debate, 3. who understood their evidence/case the most.

-I have never heard or voted on a convincing RVI - I find condo bad arguments to be more persuasive.

-If I have to read the warrants/impacts in your cards, you haven't done a good job of explaining your arguments. Don't expect me to follow the doc and read your cards. I will do so to clarify something I must have missed or misheard, but I should not be reading cards because you are unclear and do not explain your evidence.

-Dropped arguments are not always necessarily true - I will vote on dropped arguments if it was impacted out and explained why it's a voter, but not if the only warrant is "they conceded _____it so it's a voter"

-I flow arguments, not authors. It will be helpful to clarify which authors are important by summarizing/impacting their arguments instead of name dropping them without context or explanation.

[Long Version]

POLICY (scroll down for LD)

K Teams - If you're high theory, explain like you're low theory. If I don't know what the function of your alt/advocacy is or what it does, I'll vote for the team that makes the most sense or I understand more. Your Aff/K is a journey, guide me through it. Do the work for me throughout the debate and it makes it easier for me to cast a ballot for you. Explain how your alt/advocacy solves. Real world comparisons/spillovers are important, but why you why is the debate space necessarily key to you performing your K? What's the ROB, what's the ROJ? How should I evaluate the debate?

Policy Teams - Impact out your T/FW. Evidence is good but I need more impact calc and real-world and in-round comparisons about why your aff or neg case is key. Your education, fairness, ground, etc. and how you outweigh. Do the work for me. T/FW args should be specific to the AFF. What and how did the AFF violate the rules and why should I default or vote on the rules/args you presented?

EXTEND ARGUMENTS, NOT JUST AUTHORS. I flow args and sometimes authors. If you say "Extend this Yi evidence..." and move on without at least summarizing what the Yi evidence is, I might miss it. Again, do the work for me so it's easier for me to vote for you.

Overviews should tell a story about your case. I'm very big-picture, and will vote on pragmatic solutions as well as theoretical ones.

Quality over quantity is always better; don't run 6 offs and read a few cards on each and expect strong arguments. If I miss something because you're unclear, that's on you. I listen to your speech more than I read cards, unless you tell me to highlight a specific author.

Debate however you want, but if your arguments and CX is bigoted then you will get lower speaks.

I don't lean towards K debates vs Traditional debates more. Debate how you want, but do the work and make clear distinctions on voters, impact, solvency, links, etc.

I did traditional debate in high school but moved to K debates in college. I have a better lit background on K affs and arguments but will vote on CPs, DAs, and T if it applies and the work is done. Case extensions, clash, impact scenarios, WHY your educational value is better than the other team, etc. are all important things to discuss during round.

If you don't have a warrant for your arguments, I'm not counting it. Given that, you don't need a piece of evidence for every claim, but you have to explain your logical reasoning for WHY I should agree with your claim.

Extend arguments. If you bring it up in the 1A/N but it never gets mentioned anywhere else but your 2AR/NR, it's dropped.

Condo is fine. My default is if the AFF gets a perm, the NEG gets conditionality. Convince me otherwise by impacting out why multiple worlds is bad, uneducational, etc. Be ready to answer performative contradiction arguments.

Paperless: I stop time after the flash gets taken out of your laptop or you indicate that you're just sending the email. I'm pretty lenient with this as I understand how frustrating computer problems may be, but if I sense a team is abusing this and not using prep, then I start time again.

Read my face. I don't have a poker face. If I look confused you probably said something that didn't make sense. If I'm nodding, keep going. I either agree with the arg you're making and/or think your response is fire. If I look neutral/look up look down or if I'm not typing anything, I'm processing your speech and info and thinking about what it means. Use this as clues as to where you want to allocate your time and focus on certain arguments in the rebuttals.

Sometimes I flow cx, other times I just listen. I take notes for any potential links the neg can garner from the AFF's answer. I also write down any arguments I'll be looking out for in the remaining speeches and want to hear. USE THIS TIME TO BETTER EXPLAIN YOUR PLAN/ALT/ADVOCACY IF YOU'RE ASKED ABOUT IT, ESPECIALLY IF IT'S HIGH THEORY AND NEEDS TO BE REARTICULATED.

CX should be utilized more than just clarification. This is your time to engage with your opponent and frame the debate/your performance in your favor.


Pretty basic and straightforward. I need specific reasons why the perm won't work. Call out illegitimate perms and why those arguments are abusive to the NEG. Links and net benefits should be extended throughout the round. Call out severance/intrinsic perms.


T is fine. I need reasons why an untopical aff is uneducational *in* the round and why you definition is more beneficial. Provide competing interps or I will default to the one that was extended and impacted.

IMPACT OUT EDUCATION ARGUMENTS - and provide TVAs. I give this argument more weight than other standards - I'm an educator and view debate as a game. If you believe debate is a survival strategy, provide reasons why I should view it as a survival strat and why I should vote on that argument.

There's a difference between being topical and being resolutional. Policy team = topical plan, K teams = resolutional i.e. critiquing the resolution (K AFF) but still talking about the general area of the resolution. These are separate arguments so please answer/differentiate them accordingly.

Make it clear how the AFF is abusive, how it's unfair, etc. Don't run generic T arguments unless you can develop the impacts more clearly and effectively. If it's a strategic time suck then you do you.

Other standards like reasonability, ground, fairness, etc. come second to education since I believe that to be the most important goal in debate - to educate one another. If something about the other team hindered you from getting more education in a round i.e. not disclosing, not being topical, etc. then impact those other arguments as well and why they're voting issues.


Framework is an important tool to evaluate debates. Why is your FW better I enjoy FW debates more than T, but these can work cohesively to beat K AFFs. What I look for in T/FW agrs to beat K AFFs: Why is the resolution important to debate, why the FW of the AFF is wrong or doesn't analyze ___, even if AFF wins root cause their method doesn't solve for _____, pragmatic/material solutions vs theoretical ones.


K AFFs: I believe teams tend to pref me bc of my K background, but I find myself voting down teams that have generic "Links to the status squo" type AFFs without a specific reason why *the topic* needs to be critiqued first. K AFFs need to talk specifically about the resolution and make prereq to policy arguments, otherwise I will be easily swayed by T/FW arguments especially TVAs. Analyzing/winning root cause does not automatically mean your method solves your impacts. Focus on method/topic specific solvency rather than *just* critiquing the squo/state/civil society/modernity.

K NEG: I enjoy K debates when you know your case and not a filler K that you decided to run. Know your alt. Why do you solve better? Why are you mutually exclusive? Why are you a prerequisite to the plan/advocacy? Why doesn't the Perm solve?

Proving root cause (Cap, Set Col, Antiblackness, Ableism, Patriarchy, etc.) does not mean you win the round. Prove HOW the AFF specifically makes these impacts worse than the squo. If you do not make these arguments, I am more inclined to vote for the AFF if they make a "the K is non-unique and a link to the squo, not the AFF" argument.



Traditional vs. Policy-oriented/K teams

Policy LD - Paradigm about policy debate applies here. LD is difficult to be thorough in your K/CP/Plan text explanations. Impact calc + card analysis > overspreading your opponent. If you read a bunch of cards with no explanation or impact calc during your last speech, do not rely on me cross-applying or analyzing arguments if you didn't do that work during the debate. Have blocks ready to answer procedural arguments. Just because I allow CPs/Ks/Plan texts in LD does not mean I will vote for it.

Traditional LD teams - I am open to voting for teams who do not have a clearly labeled FW (i.e. "My value is X, my value criterion is X"). I am also open to voting for teams who have a plan text/advocacy statement/CP. If a team has these components, it doesn't mean I will automatically vote for them, but be prepared to make arguments as to WHY policy-oriented style of LD debate is unfair, uneducational, take away ground, etc. If the other team's performance clashes with your view of how LD debate should be, make that an argument. Do not assume that I will default to how LD traditionally should be unless you can impact out why I should vote on procedurals.

Traditional LD vs. Traditional LD

I like clash. I've voted for V and VC that have apriori arguments and have been extended throughout the round. I'm not super techy so I focus more on the argument than definitions. Contentions should be consistent with your value and value criteria and you should show why your opponent is inconsistent or why your V and VC is better.

David Dosch Paradigm

4 rounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sean Fahey Paradigm

5 rounds

Benjamin Franklin High School

Tulane University

Current Conflicts: The Brentwood School, Cypress Falls RK

Email: (please put me on email chains and feel free to email me questions)

I debated for 4 years at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, LA. I competed at the TOC twice and got to finals of the CFL National Tournament my senior year. I've taught at the Victory Briefs Institute and The Debate Intensive.


I read all styles of arguments at some point in time, but mostly read critical theory and continue to study it today. That said, I’m open to all styles of argumentation and speed (I shout clear as needed). I like in-depth debates that emphasize critical and comparative handling of evidence/nuanced arguments. Reading a card is not really an argument to me, rebuttals need to have a clear, full extension of arguments presented in your evidence. Small lenience in evaluating extensions that are just the tagline and author. This should also flag that I’m not a huge fan of blippy styles of argumentation, while debate is a competitive activity, I’d rather evaluate a somewhat scholastic engagement of ideas.

I decide based on the flow, but everyone says that and it kinda means nothing. That said, i don’t allow hateful/oppressive discourse and I punish it with my ballot decision and RFD.

I usually flow CX. I like well-used CX time.

Please show down for plan texts, CP texts, theory interpretations, perm texts, or anything that has precise value in its wording.

Little blurb on disclosure+debating politely:

I think open source disclosure is a very good thing and I find most attempts to avoid this norm as unpersuasive. That said, I have voted against disclosure theory many times on impact turns to fairness or transparency, given those arguments are won on the flow, of course. I think reading disclosure theory against debaters clearly out of the national circuit loop is pretty unkind and often voids engagement, so please don’t. That said, I think reading disclosure theory against novices/early varsity members of large programs on the wiki is acceptable because their coaches should tell them to do so/do so for them (especially if the rest of the team discloses) and sometimes these debates are the only way for people to learn.

In the same vein as my policy on disclosure theory, please do not spread out debaters who clearly can not spread. You can still win this way if you're really that much of a try-hard, but I will decimate your speaks because you're being an asshole. Be considerate and inclusive.

Little blurb on theoretical presumptions:

In the past I have said what I default to in terms of paradigms for theory and framework, but I’ve come to view this norm as assiduous and incentivizes lazy debating. You should have to justify everything necessary for you to win and if there’s any confusion, my RFD and the section below should clarify.

Things ppl actually care about:

  • 50-50 on Framework v Non-T affs and not necessarily because of my personal opinions on the matter.
  • Fairness and education are voters in no particular order; I think strength of link is especially relevant in the determination of which of these matters more in a given round.
  • That said, I think epistemic modesty, as it is generally used, is pretty nonsensical. Don’t really understand weighing a deontic violation against a risk of an impact.
  • I think K affs should do something or place some theoretical weight in the act of affirmation. Pessimism based affs with no clear solvency mechanism (or definition of what solvency is in the eyes of the affirmative position) generally seem to be negative presumption arguments in my mind. Feel free to change my mind on this point. I’ve seen exceptions to this.
  • Please explain your permutations by illustrating a clear picture of the world it supposes.
  • Weigh impacts and strength of internal links. PLEASE. Don’t presume that I think extinction is worse than genocide, war, etc. and give me some way to do risk analysis.
  • Asinine theory follows the pornography rule for me, you know it when you see - my threshold on answering these args is substantively very low.
  • Have fun, take it easy, and make some jokes or something - debate can be fun…i think…maybe…i hope.

Courtney Hamilton Paradigm

2 rounds

This is my third year judging, mix of PF and policy. Would prefer you keep it simple. Please no kritikal Affs or super out-there postmodern kritiks. Please keep topicality reasonable.

Please don't spread. If I can't understand what you're saying, I can't judge you.

Please include on email chain (

Adriana Henriquez Mora Paradigm

4 rounds

-Be Organized

-Don’t Spread

-Impacts are super important for me

-Love a good clash

-I don’t flow cross ex but the way you handle yourself during cx does play a factor in my judging.

Desiree Jones Paradigm

6 rounds

I have work for the government for the past 16 years. I feel that clear arguments with supporting evidence and connections are important to good debates and cases. Be Organized, Don’t Spread and Impacts are super important for me

Shreyas Kiran Paradigm

4 rounds

- Competed in Varsity PF for 4 years at Dougherty Valley and like 1 tournament in policy

- I have minimal experience with any type of argument not traditionally run in PF (Ks, theory, etc.). I've probably debated a total of 3 rounds involving these args but I am open to anything as long as you can explain it well. I'll try my best to understand it

- For PF, you can use my partners paradigm:


please explain your arguments, i dont have experience on the policy topic and i keep hearing these acronyms and idk what they mean

Raul Larsen Paradigm

2 rounds

Email chains are a tangible improvement to debate. RLarsen at desidancenetwork dot org. You can read my entire paradigm for bolded passages, as you would a card. Pronouns are he/him/”Judge”. Flow paper is always appreciated and often needed; Affirmative should have speech doc ready to be emailed by round start time. Flight 2 should enter the room at Flight 2 start time.



(Long Version is for procrastinating non-debate work)




(Pre-round Prep/Deadline Preffing):

Debate is a group of people engaging in performances. The nature of those debate performances (including my role as a judge) is settled by the competitors in the round with arguments. My default as a policy judge is to believe that those performances regard policymaking and that plans (/counterplans/alts/advocacies) create worlds with real impacts I should calculate via fiat as the plan is executed. As an LD judge, I think the round is about pursuing philosophical reasons to affirm or negate the resolution, and impacting through the lens of the criterial structure. Any successful movement away from the default paradigm typically entails explaining why I, the judge, should interpret your speech time differently. Most people succeed in shifting my defaults, and would consider me a “tabula rasa” judge. Nearly all of my LD rounds look like solo Policy these days. I’m expressive while judging, and you should take advantage of that, and look for cues.

Clash happens through the lens of the ballot. The nature of how the ballot is to be considered is the framework flow, and that means that arguments like Kritiks might engage with T/Theory in some rounds and not others. This means I will vote for your take on burning down civil society in one round and vote you down on T in the next. More at the top of the long version below.

Strategy Notes:

Negatives are currently going for too much in the 2NR, while dropping case. Affirmatives are currently spending too much time extending case while dropping world of the perm articulations.

Perms: I give the benefit of the doubt to the intuitive status of the permutation. I’m happy to vote against my intuition, but you need to lead me there (more below).

Tricks: If you go for this, impact the tricks out, as you would a dropped card. Slow down for the key line(s) in rebuttal speeches. Eye contact makes this strategy sustainable. Yes, Tricks rounds have '19-'20 ballots from me. No, it should not be your first move.

Topical Version of the Aff (TVA): Gotta read them, gotta answer them. Most of the rounds I vote for T are from a dropped interp or dropped TVA

Independent Voters: explain to me why the voter stands apart from the flow and comes first. Debaters are not consistently executing this successfully in front of me, so consider my threshold higher than average

No Risk: I do vote on no risk of the aff/plan doesn't solve. Terminal defense is still a thing

If you expect me to evaluate charts/graphics in your speech doc, give me time during the speech to read any graphics. It will otherwise only be a tie-breaker in evidence analysis

Uplayering: layers of debate often interact with each other; that they exist in separate worlds is not very compelling. Sequencing why I should analyze argument implications before others is the best way to win the layers debate.

Season Notes:

While I recognize there's no obligation to share your analytics, the practice serves a good pedagogical benefit for those who process information in different ways. I will begin awarding +.3 speaker points for those speeches including all/nearly all analytics in the speech doc AND that are organized in a coherent manner.

Updated 2/12 Average Speaker Points '19 - '20 Season: 28.770

185 rounds judged for the season ('19-'20) going into Berkeley/Harvard, mixed LD and Policy




(good luck, get snacks)



I recognize that this is no longer a viable read between rounds. Because I continue to receive positive feedback for its detail, it will be kept up, but I do not have any expectation that you will memorize this for my rounds. Bold text is likely worth its time, though.

Long Version (Procrastinating Other Work/Season Preffing):

Role of the Ballot:

Framework debaters: if you think the debate space should be predictable and fair, you should articulate what education/fairness/pick-your-voter means to the activity and why the ballot of this particular round matters.

K debaters: if you think rhetoric and its shaping matters more than the policy impacts of the 1AC, you should articulate your world of the alt/advocacy/pick-your-impact in a way that allows me to sign the ballot for you.

Performance debaters: if you think the debate space is for social movements/resistance/pick-your-story, you should explain why your performance relates to the ballot and is something I should vote for. Ideal performance cases explain topic links or provide reasons they actively choose not to be topical.

Everybody else: you get the idea. Clash happens through the lens of the ballot. The nature of how the ballot is to be considered is the framework flow, and that means that arguments like Kritiks might engage with T/Theory in some rounds and not others. This means I will vote for your take on burning down civil society in one round and vote you down on T in the next.

The world is unfair. Fairness is still probably a good thing. We get education from winning, and from losing. Some topics are poorly written and ground issues might not be the fault of your opponent. For debaters pursuing excellence, traditional voters aren’t the end of the conversation. Argument context can be everything. Tech speak, fairness is an internal link more than it is an impact.

“Two ships passing in the night” is something we hear in approximately 143% of RFDs, and it’s almost always the most efficient way to sad faces, frustration, and post rounding. RESOLVE this by finding points of clash, demonstrating that your claims engage with the claims of your opponent in a way that is beneficial for you. Clash shows that you are aware that your opponent has ground, and your following that with an explanation of why that ground couldn’t possibly earn my ballot is very persuasive. A round without clash is a round left to the judge, and you don’t want to leave any argument, big or small, up to the discretion of the judge.

The preventable argument issue that most often shows up on my ballot is how the permutation functions. I give the benefit of the doubt to the intuitive status of the permutation. For example, I think it’s very easy to imagine a world where two separate policy actions are taken. I think it’s very hard to imagine a world in which Civil Society is ended and the 1AC still solves its harms through implementation. The former gets preference for the permutation making sense. The latter gets preference for exclusivity making sense. I’m happy to vote against my intuition, but you need to lead me there.

I flow on paper, because as a wise teacher (Paul Johnson) once (/often) told me: “Paper doesn’t crash.” This means I will NOT:

Flow your overview verbatim

Flow your underview verbatim

Flow your tags verbatim


Follow the speech doc for author name spelling

Have no issues jumping around sheets as long as you signpost as you go
Still always appreciate another run through the order (if you don’t have the order, or you change it up, that’s O.K. Again, just sign post clearly)

Write in multiple colors (for individual speakers and notes)

Typically respond to body language/speech patterns and give you cues to what should be happening more or what should be happening less (furrowed brow + no writing usually means bad news bears. No writing, in general, means bad news bears)

I will keep the speech doc open on my computer, because it seems like a good idea to live the round as closely to the competitors’ experience as possible. However, it is YOUR job as a debater to COMMUNICATE to me the most important parts of your speech. 9 times out of 10 this means:

SLOW DOWN to emphasize big picture ideas that you use to contextualize multiple parts of the round. Let me know that you know it’s important. That level of awareness is persuasive.

TELL A STORY of the debate round. Are you winning? (the answer is almost always “yes”) Why are you winning? What are your winning arguments? Why do they demolish your opponent’s arguments into a thousand pieces of rubble that couldn’t win a ballot if you were unable to deliver any additional arguments?

WEIGH IMPACTS. Time frame/magnitude/probability. These are all great words that win debate rounds. There are other great words that also win rounds.
PRIORITIZE (TRIAGE) arguments. You don’t need to win all the arguments to win the debate. If you go for all the arguments, you will often lose a debate you could have won.

I’m still hearing this debated occasionally, but cross ex is binding. I flow it/take notes.

Flex Prep is alive and well in my rounds. You have an opportunity to ask further questions, but not a clear obligation to answer them. I also think it’s pretty fair that prep time can be used to just… prep.

If you ask me to call for evidence, you probably didn’t do a sufficient job presenting your cards during the round.

Rhetorical questions seem very clever as they’re conceived, but are rarely persuasive. Your opponent will not provide a damning answer, and your time would have been better spent working to make positive claims.

I tend to like policy arguments and performance more than philosophy-heavy kritiks because Ks often lose their grounding to the real world (and, it follows, the ballot). Policy arguments are claiming the real world is happening in the speeches of the round, and performance debate has had to justify its own existence for as long as it has existed, which makes it more practiced at role of the ballot. If you love your K and you think it’s the winning move, go for it! Just make sure to still find clash. Related: “reject” alts almost always feel like they’re missing something. Almost like a team without a quarterback, a musical without leads, a stage without performers.

Good links >>> more links

Good evidence >>>>> more evidence

Many definition interpretations are bad. Good definitions win [T] rounds.

Many framework card interpretations are bad. Every debater is better off reading the cards in the entirety at some point during their infinite prep, in order to better understand author intent.

My threshold for accepting politics disads as persuasive feels higher than the community average. I think it’s because probability is underrated in most politics disads.

Anything I believe is open to negotiation within the context of debate, but general truths have a much lower standard of proof (i.e. Debater 1 says “we are currently in Mexico.” Debater 2 counters “Pero estamos en Estados Unidos.” I consider the truth contest over at this point). The more specialized the knowledge, the higher the standard of proof.

Technical parts of the flow (T & Theory come to mind) can be really fast. I mentioned above that I’m writing by hand. You are always better off with -50% the number of arguments with +50% presentation and explanation to the remaining claims. Yes, I have your speech doc. No, I’m not doing your job for you. Communicate the arguments to me.

Debaters are made better by knowing how arguments evolve. There’s a reason a permutation is a “test of competition” (see: plan plus). Knowing the roots and growth of arguments will make you better at clash will make you better at debate will make you better at winning real, actual ballots.

My default is always to give an RFD, and to start that RFD with my decision. This will typically be followed by the winning argument(s). Ideally, the RFD should look suspiciously like the final rebuttal speech of the winning team.

I apologize for this paradigm becoming unreasonable in length.



Advice I give frequently enough to consume space on this infinitely long page that is now my paradigm:

Ships passing in the night/Clash wins rounds (see above)

Thanksgiving standard: if you can't explain why this argument is important to your Grandma during Thanksgiving dinner conversation, you probably need to keep reading the literature until you can contextualize to the real world. There's also a really good chance it won't win you the round.

At least try to live the advocacy you endorse. If you think coalition-building is the move, you shouldn’t be exclusionary without clear justification, and possibly not even then. The debate space is better for inclusion efforts.

It’s always to your advantage to use cross ex/prep to understand opposing arguments. Don’t realize after a rebuttal speech that your strategy was based on an incomplete understanding of your opponent(s) and their case.

It’s almost always worth your time to take a small amount of prep to sit back, breathe, and consider how you’re going to explain this round to your coach, debate-knowledgeable legal guardian, or friend-who-doesn’t-like-debate-but-supports-you-in-your-endeavors-because-they’re-a-good-friend. It’s an exercise that will tell you what’s important and help clear the clutter of speed, terminology, and tech.

This is also a good test for seeing if you can explain all the arguments using small words. I think the fanciest words I use in this paradigm are “verbatim” and “temporal proximity”. If you can’t explain your arguments in a simple, efficient manner, you need to keep reading.

It’s also almost always worth your time to take a moment, a sip of water, and a breath to collect yourself before a speech. Do this without excess and every judge you compete in front of will appreciate the generated composure and confidence in your ensuing speech.

Don’t start that speech with a million words a minute. Build to it. Double plus ungood habit if you forgot to check that everyone was ready for you to begin speaking.

I have never, not even once, in a decade+ of debate, heard a judge complain that author names were spoken too slowly.

Don’t take 5 minutes to flash a speech or to sort together a speech doc after you’re “done” prepping.

Your speech and prep time is yours to do with as you wish. Play music, talk loudly, play spades.

Opponent prep time is theirs to do with as they wish. That means you don’t get to play music intrusively (read: use headphones), talk intrusively, play spades intrusively, you get where this is going. This is one of the areas I think speaker points is very much at judge discretion.

If it’s not a speech and it’s not cross ex and neither team is running prep, you should not be prepping. Stealing prep is another area that I think leaves speaker points very much to judge discretion.

Don’t set sound alarms to the time you keep for your opponent’s speeches. Nobody ever, ever wants to hear the timer of the opponent go off before the speaker’s. I will keep time in 99% of debates, and if you’re wrong and cutting into their speech time, you’re losing speaker points.

I’m friendly.

I’m almost always down to give notes between rounds/after tournaments/via email on your performance in debate. Temporal proximity works in your favor (read: my memory has never been A1).

There are few things I love in this good life more than hearing a constructive speech that takes a new interpretation of an old idea and expands how I see the world. Writing your own arguments makes the time you invest in debate more worthwhile.

Spend some time teaching debate to others. Most things worth learning are worth teaching, and the act of teaching will give you an excellent perspective to arguments that have staying power in the community.

Lincoln-Douglas Debaters: A priori arguments can win rounds, but I’d rather see a debate where you win on substance than on a single line that your opponent dropped/misunderstood. If you’re going for a dropped analytic, impact it out in the 2R, as you would any other dropped card.

I feel like the rounds that end up being primarily the criterial debate typically indicate that the debaters could have done more to apply their arguments to the lens of their opponent’s criterion.



This space is for you. We don’t hold debate tournaments so that judges can sign ballots. You don’t spend hours/years preparing arguments and developing this skill because you just really want Tab Staffers to have something to do on the weekends. Mountains of money aren’t shifted so that we can enjoy the sweet, sweet pizza at the lunch hour. We’re here so that you can debate. Performance is about communicated intent, and debate is no exception. You can take anything out of that experience, but articulating your purpose walking into the round, even if only to yourself, will make you more persuasive.

Closing note: I typically think dialogue is the best way to educate, and that my role (at a bare minimum) is to educate the competitors following the round, through the lens of my decision and its reasoning. I will typically write a short Tabroom ballot and give as extensive a verbal RFD as scheduling permits/the students have asked all the questions they desire. The short version of this paradigm caused me physical pain, so that should indicate my willingness to engage in decision-making/pedagogical practices.

4 years high school LD/Extemp/PF

3 years college policy/parli/public

Coaching/teaching debate since 2009-ish

Writing Arguments by Allegory since 2013

Joel Lemuel Paradigm

4 rounds

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

Coaching/Judging History

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

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

Reece Likeke Paradigm

2 rounds

Boring Background Stuff - I debated at UNLV for four years. My career highlights include breaking at the NDT twice once as a pure k debater who read planless settler colonialism affs and various critiques on the neg; the other while reading hard right affs and cps, das, ks, topicality, and presumption on the negative. The people who have influenced the way I think about debate the most are Roman Kezios, Tyler Snelling, Darrion, Matt Gomez, Nick Lepp, Nate Wong, and Chris Thiele. I am probably most qualified to judge k v k and clash of civs debates because most of my research as a debater and as a coach has been focused on those things. I'd prefer not to judge pure policy v policy debates, but I will be a capable critic If I do end up judging them. During my final year of college debate, I had to adapt and learn this style of debate. My senior year of college debate involved reading sanctions and treaties affs against various policy strategies. So rest assured my flowing skills are sharp enough to keep up with the recent trend of nine off strategies. That said, here are my thoughts on positions that will be most relevant to the debates I expect to judge.

K vs K Debates and Clash of Civs---

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

Side Note: Presumption is a very under utilized argument in these debates, especially when the aff tries to defend as little as possible in order to avoid links. Neg teams, what is the relationship between the aff's method/tactic/theoretical approach and resolving an impact or resisting some sort of violence? Is there a reason I should believe that this relationship is minimal?

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

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

Framework Debates for the neg- Framework debates get very stale after a while (mostly because I judge these debates a lot), but every now and then something interesting can happen. I feel like there is a way for either side to get my ballot in these rounds. Teams that go for fairness need to win some kind of argument about debate being a game or they need to neutralize the aff s offense through a tva or switch sides debate argument. Classic defenses of debate as a place for democratic deliberation are fine too, but you need to be ready to interact with the aff s impact turns to how society works. I expect you clash with the aff s offense.

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

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

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

Policy v Policy Debates ---

Topicality - I default to competing interpretations, but I can be persuaded that reasonability is the lens through which I should view competing interpretations especially in situations where definitions are arbitrary and clearly contrived to exclude the affirmative. Impact framing still matters in these debates. Seriously, don't expect me to fill in the gaps for you. You need to tell me what I should prioritize and why when I'm choosing how to interpret the words in the resolution. For example, why is a predictable limit better than a smaller but arbitrary limit? Why are contextual definitions with an intent to define and exclude good? Why does overlimiting outweigh underlimiting or vice versa? Ideally one team will explain these things for me so I can vote as non interventionist of a way as possible. Remember that T is about envisioning what debates about the topic look like under each team's respective interp.

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

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

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

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

Pet Peeves

1. Reading analytics like they are cards. If I don't get it on my flow, you don't get it in the debate. Enough said ...

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

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

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

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

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

2. Clarity over speed

3. Tech over truth

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

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

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

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

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

9. Make eye contact with me at key moments.

10. Close doors in the final speech!

Here are some things I m firmly against

1. Physically assaulting or touching the debater

2. Grabbing the other team's computers or flows

3. Grabbing my computer or flow

Final Note

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

Lena Mizrahi Paradigm

6 rounds


Immaculate Heart 2019, UC Berkeley 2023


Good debating can overturn any preference I explain below. I'll vote for who wins the debate.

I don’t care if an argument was “conceded” or is a “voting issue”. Explain why that matters.

Strong impact calculus wins debates.

Evidence (and author) quality is significant and should be debated.

CX is a speech



Aff debaters: Know your position well. It’s impressive and helps you win debates. One framing card doesn’t absolve you from answering disads.

1NC: Always do case debate. Smart analytics are persuasive.

Conditionality is good. More than 3 is pushing it. “Cheaty” counterplans are smart and should be included in more 1NCs. I’ll vote on CP theory though. Will judge kick if you tell me to!


Links must be tailored to the aff. A good kritik with disagrees with and disproves the affirmative. Ideally, your 1NC should include a link wall.

K Affs:

Affirming: Explain your model of debate (which affs would your counter-interp allow etc.) 1NC should include a counter-interp that answers fairness + generates offense that explains why your aff is good despite predictability.

Negating: I typically read one-off framework. I think it’s a smart strategy. TVA’s are great. They typically resolve significant portions of affirmative offense. Fairness is an internal link, maybe not an impact. That doesn't mean, however, that procedural fairness doesn't matter.


I believe that framework serves as impact calculus, not a preclusive impact filter. However, I can be persuaded otherwise. Answer the case.

Joshua Padilla Paradigm

6 rounds

University of Nevada, Las Vegas. | 2nd year Civil Engineer

2nd-year Policy debater. I also did two years of Lincoln Douglas in High School and a few events of Congress, both for Advanced Technologies Academy.

Please put me on the email chain:

*VERY strongly prefer email over anything else*


Debate is a game.

I will not incorporate any outside knowledge that I know about to judge the Debate. I am a blank slate for every round.

I will evaluate any argument that comes up in the round if it is done well.


Always make sure you make sufficient arguments in the 2AC that will help you in the 1AR. I will not allow any new arguments after the 2AC unless it is in response to new NEG arguments in the NEG Block. Make sure you do a great job on the 1AR to make the 2NR's life difficult. Always extend the warrants of your cards. Saying "Extend Johnson 16" (Shadow Extending) is not enough. I am always open to critical affs if they have a relationship to the topic. It becomes very difficult to vote aff without showing any relationship to the topic. Permutations should be made clear and explained how it functions.


Make sure you are splitting the block well. I do not want to hear the same arguments made by the 2NC in the 1NR. I am open to critical teams if they are explained and have specific links to the aff. If you do not extend your alt, I will most likely not vote for the neg.

Other notes:

Do not steal prep time.

Be nice to your fellow debaters.

I will flow.

Christopher Perez Paradigm

6 rounds


Downtown Magnets '18

USC '22

I will be able to adjudicate any type of round, as I've run all from an Ocean Energy aff/politics to a Lacan aff/anti-blackness; I know you've done the work to refine whatever argument you want to read, so I will respect that - just tell me what to do with my pen. Admittedly, I’m no longer debating. I’m still confident in my ability to make a coherent decision, but probably won’t know the topic literature. Ask me anything here before the round or if I can do anything to make the round/tournament better for you:😊.

TLDR: Debate whatever arg you want, don't be mean, put me on the email chain

LD Update: Everything below applies - a few comments specific to the format

1. Do I vote for RVIS? Yes and no? Yes, as in I'm open to voting for any argument. No, as in I've never voted for the argument because

a. teams don't give me reasons why I should vote for it.

b. The only justification is that "they dropped it!"; just because they don't specifically answer the RVI doesn't mean that the rest of the speech is probably a response already

c. given the nature of the argument, its probably difficult to win. Though I'd be conducive to hear a "drop the debater because they're ableist; here's why" - though that's probably theory

d. (UPDATE) Voted a team down because the other team clearly pointed out ways the other team made fun of black female scholarship and told me why that mattered.

2. Since AC's are short in time teams often have terrible internal link chains. Negs should point this out

3. I don't think I'll vote on a completely new AR argument (unless maybe hinted before or actually super abusive?).

General comments about me:

  • Put me on the email chain
  • I often close my eyes, put my head down, etc. Many people think that this is because I'm sleeping; nah, that's just my preference to avoid having my facial expressions influence the round. If that's something you're not comfortable with, just let me know
  • I dislike the phrase "is anyone not ready". In the wise words of Richie Garner, "it is a linguistic abomination (see:"
  • Please don’t read at a million wpm at the top of your rebuttals/theory args - its not very fun to flow in this situation.
  • I guess I like the K? But please - read whatever argument you want to. I do my best to not let my biases affect my decision in relation to being more or less receptive to certain arguments. Rather, the only extent to which I let my kritikal background affect my process of adjudication is that I can provide more comments/feedback post-decision with kritikal arguments because of my background, rather than with arguments involving specific legal/political intricacies. In summation, the burden is on you - k or policy - to lead me through the ballot, but I'm more productive in discussions of k's after the round. Trust me, I probably won't be able to answer your super-specific resolutional question.
  • I read mainly psycho, anti-blackness, Marx, and ableism in college debate.

Everything else is alphabetical:

CP: The following statement is probably my default lens for judging any argument: if the counterplan is your go-to I’m all for it. I expect the CP to solve the case or at least a portion of it, and is competitive to the plan. I’ve read a lot of abusive counterplans in the past like Consultation/Agent CP’s/PICs and don’t mind them. Obviously if the aff can effectively debate theories against these CP’s that’d be great.

DA: Contextualize the link. If the link’s warrants are in the context of the travel ban and the aff is entirely different and the aff points this out, I’ll probably err aff (unless the negative can effectively articulate that the aff is similar to what the link story says). I don’t find politics arguments too interesting, but if that’s your go-to let’s do it.

K-affs: I’ve run these affirmatives before. I’ll vote on your advocacy if you can explain to me why your model is valuable. I'll flow your performance or anything you do in your speech (make sure to extend them). Although I like critical arguments, be careful about tangential relationships to the topic because it makes me more sympathetic of TVA's, as I think that k-affs should still probably be topical. It doesn't need to include a hypothetical implementation of a policy, but you should still somehow reduce restrictions on immigration/affirm the resolution. Be creative with the definitions and explain why I should value your definition of immigration vs a legal one. Just criticizing and discussing the resolution will probably make you lose vs T a lot. If you don't affirm the resolution I'm still down for that, but be ready to impact turn everything and defend your model of debate.

- PS: If you know you’re hitting a school with historically less resources and you’re running some high theory Baudrillard aff, come on. Obviously I won’t vote you down based on your argument choice, but endorse an accessible reputation for debate. You can try to flash your blocks/analytics/full 1AC, don’t sidestep in CX, or maybe run a more intellectually accessible aff. If not, I can’t stop you but it’d be a really nice gesture - might help your speaks.

Kritiks: I’ve mainly been a kritik debater throughout my four years of debating. With that being said, don’t assume I’ll be hip with your postmodern theory and/or be more sympathetic of your psychoanalysis/antiblackness k. Just follow the same advice above and explain your k, tell me what to focus on, etc. Explain how the aff entrenches x and how that leads to a bad implication, how the link turns the aff or outweighs it, the productiveness of my ballot if I vote negative, how the alternative resolves something that outweighs the aff, and how the alt overcomes the UX of the link (although if worded correctly, I’ll vote for an alternative that is a leap of faith.) A good k debate to me will help your speaks! Also if there's a long OV or FW block let me know to put it on another flow.

T - USFG/FW: You shouldn't exclude their 1AC based on the premise that its "non-traditional"; you aren't reduced to just being able to say racism is good. Likewise, you shouldn’t read the same definition requiring the same USFG action. I say this not because I hate T (which is the contrary), but because your performance/substance probably won't be great with that strat. Be creative! My favorite FW debater is radical and explains why there is intrinsic value in having discussions rooted in the legal realm/reducing restrictions on immigration within the context of the aff’s impacts. If you can contextualize your education/fairness impacts against the 2AC and/or explain how you turn the aff, I’ll be loving your debate. I will be less sympathetic to generic FW blocks that just articulate fairness and education without reference to the aff.

Theory/Topicality: This is the area where I'm the least literate on, so please keep that in mind if your strategy involves a legitimate interest in theory. Just do meaningful comparison and tell me why I should be erring towards your model of debate over theirs. Obviously if theory is dropped by the opponents and that becomes what you go for, I’ll (probably?) vote for it. However, if the theory is otherwise read for just time skew and the other team sufficiently answers the argument I’ll generally disregard it. If you can articulate a substantive impact then it probably has a purpose and I’ll be more sympathetic – I’ll be less sympathetic to 20 second blippy blocks meant to outspread the 2AC. To be transparent, I haven’t judged many non-T theory debates. I’d be extremely interested if you can perform a well-articulated theory debate.

Otherwise, please have fun! This round is for you.

Kate Phillippo Paradigm

4 rounds

I prefer "conservative" cases (straightforward, followable arguments) and I am looking for a clear link-chain that is supported by quality evidence. Please state your arguments and conclusions very clearly.

I am a relatively new parent judge but am in a profession where I evaluate the quality of arguments every day. I am comfortable with both traditional and progressive arguments as long as they are clearly connected to evidence.

I insist upon professional and courteous decorum toward one's opponent(s) and all judges present.

I would like to be added to email chains, but I do not want to have to rely on written evidence or arguments to keep up your argument. If you speak too fast, I will say "clear."

Nina Potischman Paradigm

2 rounds

I debated LD for Hunter College High School for four years and currently attend Pomona. My email is -- put me on the email chain!

I’ll vote on anything as long as it is warranted. Although i debated a certain way, I would much rather see you do what you do best than try to adapt to what you think I want. I’ll try to evaluate the round in the way I think the debaters see it, so I’ll do my best to avoid defaulting either way on any particular issue. That said, here are my preferences:


  • Please please please do not be late :(
  • Full disclosure: if you send me your Aff, I'm probably just gonna back flow it later and zone out during the AC ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . So if you're exempting things in the aff (idrk why people do this...if ur opponent will have a hard time flowing, I will too) give me a heads up
  • Prep time ends when your flash drive leaves your computer or when you email your opponent
  • I have a high threshold for extensions if your arguments are contested or if you're doing any interaction between the arguments you're extending and your opponents. It’s not enough to say “extend the aff” or “extend advantage one” — you need to articulate some warrant so I know what specifically you’re extending. If you don’t explicitly extend offense in the last speech, I won’t vote for you.
  • I reserve the right to vote for arguments that I don’t understand/that are not warranted. Your opponent shouldn’t lose for dropping an incoherent sentence with no justification
  • I won’t vote for any responses to arguments that are new in later speeches, even if your opponent doesn’t point it out
  • I’ll vote you down if you say anything actively racist/sexist/homophobic etc.
  • I’ll time your speech — if you go over time (besides if you finish a sentence), I’ll discount your arguments even if your opponent doesn’t point it out
  • I think embedded clash is good — you can make arguments that say otherwise and I’ll evaluate them, but that’s my default


  • if paradigm issues are conceded, you don’t have to extend them
  • I strongly dislike offensive spikes, but I’ll vote on them if there’s a warrant and the argument is conceded
  • Slow down for interps/counterinterps
  • If someone reads theory in the 1a/1nc without an implication it’s enough to say “don’t vote on it — there’s no implication” and I won't — you can't then read voters in the next speech. However, if there's no voter and no one points that out and acts like theory is drop the debater, I'll vote on it


  • I prefer well justified syllogisms to super blippy fw preclusion arguments
  • Please weigh


  • This is probably the area of debate that I’m least familiar with, so please go slower if you’re reading something super dense (especially anything postmodern). If I have no idea what you’re talking about, I won’t vote for you.


Things that will get you high speaks

  • Innovative and interesting arguments that you’re clearly knowledgeable about
  • Good strategies
  • Using CX effectively
  • High argument quality
  • Generally being smart
  • Being funny (but please don’t try to be if you’re not)
  • Good overviews/crystallization
  • Good case debate — so many people just drop the Aff which doesn’t make sense to me

Things that will get you low speaks:

  • not disclosing
  • tricks
  • being shifty
  • lots of spikes/blippy arguments
  • super generic dumps (especially on K v theory debates)
  • clearly not understanding your own positions
  • being mean to a novice/someone clearly worse than you. You don’t have to debate down, just don’t be rude and go slower so that the round is educational for everyone
  • academic dishonesty
  • excessive inefficiency. (Also randomly rly irks me when people say "in the first place")

Hailey Robertson Paradigm

1 rounds

I did policy for 4 years at Washburn Rural High School (2013-17) in Kansas and I currently debate for the University of Southern California (2021).

Email for docs:

Email only if you're adding me to Zoom:


- I'm probably more "good" for technical DA/CP strategies than high theory K's, but my voting record shows I’ll vote for any style of argument. As a debater, I have always been a 2N which probably shapes how I think about debate to an extent. Throughout my career, I’ve read both policy + critical affs, and on the negative, most often go for politics, framework, Marx, topic DAs/CPs, etc.

- I will immediately vote against arguments that are moral blackmail (and tank your speaks for trying), regardless of how they are answered by your opponent. This applies to “vote for me or else I have to quit” and similar arguments. If you have a concern like this, talk to your opponent/coaches, but do not make me the arbiter of that decision. These debates really weigh on me as a judge and are bad for my (and maybe your opponent’s) mental health, so please don’t put me in this position, you’ve been warned. You will be angry when I immediately vote against you, and I will not care.

**More pet peeve/other things at bottom, but basically, don't be rude, don't cheat, and know that I am a mandatory reporter!

Critical Affs v FW:

These debates can be some of the most engaging or most boring, in my opinion. My biggest qualm is with teams - either side - that don't tailor their positions to answer the specifics of their opponent's argument. In cases that I vote negative, I find that it is often because aff teams don't generate offense beyond "USFG bad." That said, many neg FW arguments seem to be just repetitive cliches or unresponsive blocks that they stole from a college team (and thus can't articulate args beyond the block). I generally think affs should have some relation to the topic, but saying “JuDgE tHeY dIdN’t sAy UsFg” isn’t going to get the job done.

Policy Affs vs T:

T is always a voter and never a reverse voter. I default to competing interpretations, and generally think that I think that limits are the most persuasive standard for evaluating T. That said, I don’t think limits or ground are impacts on their own — it’s simply an internal link to education, fairness, etc.


I generally believe theory is a reason to reject the arg, not the team. Exception is condo/disclosure (maybe?) but that doesn’t mean I want to hear a theory debate. Does anyone? If you must, contextualize your violation to the round + give warranted analysis why something should/should not be theoretically allowed in debate. Please slow down in these debates and give me pen time. Tech over truth, but the args need to be warranted and impacted.


I like politics DAs, love case specific DAs, and Hate "The Spending DA."

I'm not a fan of politics theory args, or DA theory args generally. If the DA's so bad, beat it on substance.

I also will not assign zero (or 100%) risk to an advantage/DA unless there is an explicitly dropped argument.


CPs that are usually good:

- PICs

- Advantage

- Process (though some people have tested me recently lmao)

These CPs are more susceptible to theory but still generally enjoyed:

- International fiat

- States (especially those cheat-y multi plank ones)

- Consult/conditions

Not a fan:

- Word PICs

- Delay

** this is not a comprehensive list, just a few common ones

Not super technical in my knowledge of CP theory, mostly due to a lack of interest.


I believe that fiat and the ability of the aff to weigh their impacts are generally good. I have debated kritiks from both sides, but have not read as much of the literature (especially for high theory arguments), so I will need you to explain your argument very clearly to me. I would prefer if it was obvious to me what your argument is in the 1NC -- if you have a performative argument, it would help if you allocated time in the first speech to establish links, rather than just hoping I can deduce them from the thesis of your K. If you do not articulate your argument until the block, I will be sympathetic to new 1AR/2AR answers. Ultimately, I will not vote on something if I do not know what it means, so don't just read a K in hopes of confusing your opponents -- I will probably be really confused too.

I generally believe that links should be as specific to the aff as possible -- links to the status quo or links of omission are not links -- they're solvency deficits or FYI's about how messed up the world is and will likely lose to a perm. I enjoy block strategies that pick specific lines from evidence/look at author quals and use that to generate offense for the K.

Kritiks that claim death is good will probably never win my ballot, just a heads up. Before you read these type of arguments, you should also ask the other team for triggers. DBAD.

LD Stuff:

Because I judge this a bit now...

1. I don't think RVIs are real args.

2. Framing contentions don't substitute for impact explanations and vise versa. If you say that most DA link chains are highly improbable you have to prove that by contesting the links, not just repeating Nate Cohn's math at me.

3. More likely to vote on theory here than in policy (still would prefer not to), as long as it's not like about font size.

Pet Peeves:

- Asking your opponents for argument clarification and which cards they did/didn't read and pretending it’s not prep

- Asking questions outside of CX and expecting me to listen

- Reading your blocks monotone at 100% speed

- The phrases: “method debate” “logical policy maker could do both” “fiat solves the link”

- Not listening during the RFD

- Being mean, laughing during speeches, etc — I’ll drop your speaks significantly.

- Bad/miscut/misrepresented evidence.

- Not pointing out that someone’s evidence is bad.

I'm still working on developing my speaker point scale and will adjust by tournament/division, but generally:

29.4+ -- Top 5

29-29.3 -- Speaker Award

28.6-28.9 -- Good, hope you clear

28.0-28.5 -- Didn't do anything wrong

27s -- Dropping arguments, ending speeches early, etc.

Below that -- you did something offensive


I am a mandatory reporter because I am employed by a high school, so if your position includes disclosure of sexual harassment/violence, I am required by law to stop the round and report. If it is something that you feel unsafe about, I am more than happy to assist you in finding the resources necessary to remedy the problem, but I ask they do not become a central component in the debate. That's not to say your concerns are not welcome or invalid, but I'd rather pursue a solution rather than give you a ballot and move on with my day.

Brigitte Rodriguez Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated for Downtown Magnets for 4 years, currently at (but not actively debating for) USC

Add me to the email chain:

Short Version: Debate whatever argument you want, don't be mean (because then I'll be mean when giving out speaks), and have fun :)


  • If I'm not typing, you need to slow down or articulate your analytics/rebuttals better.
  • Don’t clip cards - If you mark the card, make sure to send the rest of the room the marked version. If your opponent calls for a marked card and I see you going to mark it, expect a dock in speaks.
  • I did policy debate, which means I'm not the most familiar with LD. As such, feel free to ask me if I do anything you might consider "typical" for an LD judge to do for you, because I might not.

CP: Should solve the case or at least a portion of it, and is competitive to the plan. I don't mind voting for Consultation/Agent CP’s/PICs, but I'm receptive to well-argued theory against these CPs.

DA: Contextualize the link. If the link’s warrants are not in the context of the aff and they point this out, I’ll probably err aff.

K-affs: I’ve run these affirmatives before (and they're definitely interesting + engaging to watch). I’ll vote on your advocacy if you can explain to me why your model is valuable. I'll flow your performance or anything you do in your speech (make sure to extend them! don't spend half of your speech on a performance you won't use for evidence later!). When answering FW, be creative with the definitions and explain why I should value your definition. Just criticizing and discussing the resolution isn't enough. If you don't affirm the resolution, be ready to defend your model of debate.

- PS: That being said, high theory Baudrillard affs? I'm probably not going to have any idea what you're talking about. You've been warned.

Kritiks: I love a well-run K - I think these are the most interesting debates to judge. That being said, I'm not sympathetic to badly-explained Ks that no one in the round (not even the team running it) understands. Explain your K. Tell me what to focus on. Explain how the aff entrenches x and how that leads to a bad implication, how the link turns the aff or outweighs it, the productiveness of my ballot if I vote negative, how the alternative resolves something that outweighs the aff. Also if there's a long OV or FW block let me know to put it on another flow.

T - USFG/FW: Be creative! Don't defer to your same definition of "traditional debate" and "USFG" if you don't have to (although I'll obviously vote for it if it's well-argued). Give me a definition that creates a model of debate where it is possible to solve for the aff’s impacts. If you can contextualize your education/fairness impacts against the 2AC and/or explain how you turn the aff, I’ll be loving your debate. Generic FW blocks that just articulate fairness and education without reference to the aff are honestly unconvincing.

Theory/Topicality: Convince me that your model of debate is better than theirs. Obviously, if theory is dropped by the opponents and you go for it, I’ll vote for it unless something goes horribly wrong. However, if the other team is answering your arguments, it comes down to competing methods of debate and you have to tell me why I should prefer your model. That means impacts, standards, the whole shebang.

Ben Rosenthal Paradigm

1 rounds


Put me on the chain. – if you ask you’ll just seem unprepared.

I coach at USC and the Marlborough School. I debated/coached for MBA in the past.

Your burden should be to make it make sense. You don't want me doing that for you.


This Paradigm---X--------------------------------Paragraphs of me ranting


Consequences-X----------------------------------- No Consequences

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

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

Clarity-X--------------------------------------------Speed (? Shouldn’t t/o)

Always 1%----------------------------X----------0% Risk a Thing

2020 speaker points------------X-----------------2010 speaker points

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

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

Yellow Highlighting-X-------------------------------Anything Else (Blue is fine ig)

Insert rehighlighting-X----------------------------I read what you read

LD Specific

Nebel T-------------------------------------------X--Read a Plan

RVI-------------------------------------------------X-Make Real Args

Tricks/Phil----------------------------------------X--Real Args

Neg Bias------------------------------X-------------Get Over It

A couple other things that didn’t fit the model:

1. Asking what cards were/weren’t read counts as prep/cx time

2. I judge these rounds as if they are short policy round – the should/ought distinction matters very little to me

K vs Policy


Feelings----------------------------------X---------Dead inside

Truth Testing=Presumption----------------------X-Lmao Try Again

Flip Neg = No FW-----------------------------X----FW is a Strategy (not necessarily a good one)

Fairness is a thing-----------X-------------------Tautology

Vote to affirm me-----------------------------X--Vote to affirm my argument

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

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

Generally am gonna default to alt vs plan on the K - epistemology, reps, etc., are important but I don't understand what it means to view that in a vacuum

Generally I enjoy K vs a Policy Aff, but am less excited to judge a framework debate

Policy v Policy

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

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

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

Reasonibility---------------------------X-----------Competing interps

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

Circumvention--------------X----------------------Durable Fiat

Disclaimer about RFDs:

I don't like telling people they lose in close rounds, and my natural response to anxiety is to be very smile-y. If you see me smiling while deciding or explaining my rfd please don't assume it means I'm going to vote one way or another, or that I was really excited for voting the way I did.

Pet Peeves/Other Stuff

Please do not call me "judge" lmao

Don't put ASPEC or some other dumb theory blip as a standard on T and expect me to drop you a 29.5 when you win on it. I'll lean toward new 1AR args on this (esp if you didn't read ev or ask in cx) and your speaks won't look pretty. Don't makes args that only would be winnable if dropped.

Don't call the roll of the ballot and "are oh bee" or the Counterplan the "cee pee" - u arent edgy

Excessive use of "the debate space" oh my lord pls no – and other debate-isms “uniquely key” “fundamentally important”

cards that are tagged "extinction" and nothing else :(

If your partner says something during your speech, I would prefer you repeat it rather than just assuming I'll flow what they said. The exception is performative aspects of speeches.

Asking what cards were read before prep time if the other team didn't mark any cards. Obviously exceptions to this, but in general I don't think you should get extra prep because you didn't flow. You have a right to ask, but not outside of prep time.

Labeling their flows "their ___" i.e. "go to their t, next on their CP"

"combining speech docs" and saying its not prep is a lie

Melanie Shackleford Paradigm

6 rounds

October 2019 updated for Meadows

I debated LD at Meadows in Las Vegas, NV for 4 years and graduated in 2015. In 2015-2016 I coached LD and competed in college NPDA.

I'm not up to date with current trends in debate. This should not be an issue as long as you explain things well to me. Speaking (relatively) slowly and explaining your arguments well and persuasively >>>> spreading as many jargon words as you can.

I have no preference for any type of argument, but I am less familiar with analytical philosophy and postmodern authors.

I will yell clear or slow if I can't understand you, but if I still can't understand you after that I will dock speaker points.

Also, using too much prep time is a huge pet peeve of mine. The speech doc should be COMPLETE and SENT when you stop prep.

Murali Shankar Paradigm

2 rounds

I am a parent/'lay' judge. Please weigh your arguments and explain them. I would prefer if you spoke in fast conversational speed. I will flow all arguments. Please maintain respect throughout the round.

Tristan Shaughnessy Paradigm

6 rounds

I would like to think that I'll evaluate any argument presented to me in a round, and that I have no major dispositions against certain arguments that would make this claim not true. If an argument is conceded and adequately extended with some warrant I'll consider it in my decision. I also love seeing smart analytics against bad arguments. I think the best way to get my vote is by having a clear vision of where you want to spend your time, and telling me a coherent story as to why the arguments you are going for means you have won the round.

Policy Topic 2019-2020: I've done some research into arms sales, but I'll be the first to say that I am not super knowledgable on every country buying weapons from the US. I'm also not really familiar with AFFs that change the process of administering DCS/FMS. In short, some explanation of what the AFF does is always appreciated.

Case: I would highly advise you to contest the claims of the affirmative. Most AFFs are not well constructed and their impact scenarios are kind of just made up. So if you are deciding between adding a T shell, that you definitely know you won't go for, and having more arguments on case...go with the latter.

Counter-plans: Any CP is game, but that doesn't mean that every CP is fair game. Using CX to isolate how the AFF solves what it does and then comparing those mechanisms to the CP, and explaining how the CP does those things is always a great thing to do. You don't always need a CP to win a debate, there are a lot of good DAs on this topic.

Disadvantages: These are my favorite debates to judge. Please do impact calculus (I like watching it and it shows why what you are saying matters more than what your opponent is saying). Sprinkling in some turns case analysis before the terminal impact level is always a plus too. Prioritize going for DAs that actually link to the AFF, that is not to say don't read your Politics DAs, but with so many good DAs out there I'm sure there are better options.

Kritiks: I enjoy well thought out Ks that have specific links and reasons as to why the 1AC is a bad idea. As the links become more and more general I begin to give more leeway to the specificity of the AFF outweighing generic indicts of topic or whatever the K is problematizing. You would also being do yourself a great disservice if you don't answer the AFF. Going for the K doesn't mean that you don't have to do impact calculus.

K-AFFs are fine, but I think that framework is a powerful tool that is very persuasive if articulated well (I would say having different framework modules versus different types of K AFFs is a way to increase your chances). If you are reading a K-AFF thorough explanations of what voting AFF means, and why that is the case is how you can better your odds

Phil: Not the biggest fan of these debates, to be fair I haven't seen many, but they kind of just rub me the wrong way. You are better off reading a K, CP, DA, or frankly any other argument in your toolkit.

Speed: I am fine with spreading, but please prioritize clarity over speed. I'll call out clear and slow as I see fit. Using a more conversational speed during the rebuttals is an excellent way to create contrast, and emphasize the arguments you think you are going to win on.

Theory: I don't particularly enjoy judging these rounds mainly because I don't think I am the best qualified to do so and because they've always come off as kind of whiny in my opinion. This is not to say I won't evaluate theory and not to put it in the 2AC, but I would say if you are going to go for it have a very compelling reason as to why you are going for it (your opponent has conceded it/the CP or whatever they are reading is just actually abusive/there are no other possible ways of winning).

Topicality: I think T debates are fun to judge. I don't anticipate judging that many this topic, but if you think you have a good chance of winning your interpretation of the topic then go for it. What I don't like are just reading T shells for the sake of reading T shells...why not just use that time doing something that will actually help you in the 2NR.

*I don't think I am that emotive when judging, so if I look disengaged, I would like to take this time to tell you all that I am listening to what you have to say. I'll be timing, but that doesn't mean that you all shouldn't time each other as well.

Please add me to the email chain:

Thank you for opening my paradigm.

Amanda Sloan Paradigm

6 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. DON'T SPREAD!!!

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.

Kristian Thymianos Paradigm

4 rounds

Some background on my debate career, I did public forum debate in high school, and this is my second year doing policy at UNLV. As for speed, I can keep, but please be clear and emphasize things that you particularly want me to flow.

For LD Debaters, please scroll down to the bottom for more LD specific information.

Please include me in an email chain:

Policy vs. KritikGiven all that, I have a disposition towards policy arguments as that is what I am most familiar with. I can keep up with critical literature, just be a little wary throwing out the vocabulary willy-nilly. You can read a kritik, just be sure to explain it decently. At the end of the debate if I am not sure how the alt functions/solves the impacts of the kritik then I will probably default to voting affirmative. The same is true for critical affirmatives, if I am unsure how the aff resolves their impacts and the other team does a reasonably good job at extending topicality I am more inclined to vote negative. AGAIN don't let my preference scare you from running one, because I love to hear them, but as I said earlier you need to make sure you do a good job of explaining it to me.

*** I am especially not versed postmodernist critical theory, so I request a slightly higher threshold for explanation.***

***I am not very convinced by links of omission, It’s impossible for the aff team to represent the voice of every possible intersectionality without homogenizing or papering over the voices and identities of other groups. I’m sympathetic with affs answering links of omission through util, if explained well***

CPs— I am fine with counterplans, but prefer they have some sort of solvency advocate as well as a net benefit. The text of the CP (and all perms) should be written out, and I hold them to as high a standard as I do the affirmative plan.

***I want all CP texts and Perms texts sent out in the email chain***

Disadvantages- Needs to be as specific as possible to the aff and the link story should make sense. Make sure to explain how the aff links to the disad and how it triggers the impact.

***This should be noted after both CPs/DAs, I can vote on DA+Squo, but that is no where near as strong as a CP+DA. DA+Squo requires a lot more work and defense to purely outweigh the Aff.

FW/T: I'll vote on FW or T if I haven't made that clear. Fairness is an internal link to education (an impact) for me, but if you do a good job explaining it fairness could be an impact. Also “It’s on the wiki,” is not a sufficient answer to T.

Impact calculus: Impact calculus is important to me, I need to have a clear reason as to why you win the debate and why I should prefer your impacts over the other team. This applies to debates with a kritik in them, there is still a form of comparison that should be in the round between k vs. policy or k vs. k debates.

CX: In CX, keep it civil, BUT I do love a little sass in it. Just don't be absurdly rude to each other. It keeps the rounds interesting/fun.

Prep Time: Keep track of your own prep time and DO NOT STEAL Prep, even if I don't say anything in round, it will reflect in your speaker points.

Any references to My Hero Academia, Brooklyn 99, Game of Thrones, Trebuchetmemes, will all boost your speaker points (only if I catch them, they have to be clear). You may ask about any other possible fandoms and I will clarify if I am aware of them and if I will boost speaker points off of references to them. Also if you can pronounce my last name correctly within one try that is an automatic .1 boost to your speaker points.

Misc: Lastly, if you have any questions about decisions, my paradigm, or anything like that, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email with a question. Just say what you are emailing about and I'll try to respond.


Hello LD Debaters. If you could not tell already, LD is not my primary area of expertise but I am all the same excited to judge it. That being said I still have some framing issues for those rounds.

Value/Value Criterions: I will weigh my debates first on value and value criterion unless I am told otherwise. I do think that these should come first in LD debates and that your arguments should be contextualized to those frameworks that you are standing by for you to get the ballot.

Moral/Philisophical debates: In terms of the more moral/philosophical debates that happen in these progressive circuits, I do not have too much exposure to them. So the same explanations that I gave for kritiks up above apply here. Please be thorough in your explanations and how the round should be viewed/weighed and what I should be voting on. The more you leave up to me the worse it will be for you. Do not let my paradigm dissuade you from running these arguments, I am very open to hearing new scholarship but just be patient.

Spreading: I do understand that spreading is becoming more apparent on the national circuit for LD, however, I want that spreading to be clean. If you can't spread well, don't spread. I will place more value on the content and depth of your analyses and how those should be weighed above all else in the round than the quantity of arguments that are being made in the round. Lastly, if you haven't spread before, please do not feel pressured to spread. You do need to try your best to respond to all arguments made, but again, focus on the quality of arguments over anything else.

Lastly, if you haven't, go ahead and read my general paradigm up above because there are still some things that are important up above.

Adam Torson Paradigm

1 rounds

UPDATED: 9/12/2018

1998-2003: Competed at Fargo South HS (ND)

2003-2004: Assistant Debate Coach, Hopkins High School (MN)

2004-2010: Director of Debate, Hopkins High School (MN)

2010-2012: Assistant Debate Coach, Harvard-Westlake Upper School (CA)

2012-Present: Debate Program Head, Marlborough School (CA)


General Preferences and Decision Calculus

I like substantive and interesting debate. I like to see good strategic choices as long as they do not undermine the substantive component of the debate. I strongly dislike the intentional use of bad arguments to secure a strategic advantage; for example making an incomplete argument just to get it on the flow. I tend to be most impressed by debaters who adopt strategies that are positional, advancing a coherent advocacy rather than a scatter-shot of disconnected arguments, and those debaters are rewarded with higher speaker points.

I view debate resolutions as normative. I default to the assumption that the Affirmative has a burden to advocate a topical change in the status quo, and that the Negative has a burden to defend either the status quo or a competitive counter-plan or kritik alternative. I will vote for the debater with the greatest net risk of offense. Offense is a reason to adopt your advocacy; defense is a reason to doubt your opponent's argument. I virtually never vote on presumption or permissibility, because there is virtually always a risk of offense.

Moral Skepticism is not normative (it does not recommend a course of action), and so I will not vote for an entirely skeptical position. Morally skeptical arguments may be relevant in determining the relative weight or significance of an offensive argument compared to other offense in the debate.


I am skeptical of impact exclusion. Debaters have a high bar to prove that I should categorically disregard an impact which an ordinary decision-maker would regard as relevant. I think that normative ethics are more helpfully and authentically deployed as a mode of argument comparison rather than argument exclusion. I will default to the assumption of a wide framework and epistemic modesty. I do not require a debater to provide or prove a comprehensive moral theory to regard impacts as relevant, though such theories may be a powerful form of impact comparison.

Arguments that deny the wrongness of atrocities like rape, genocide, and slavery, or that deny the badness of suffering or oppression more generally, are a steeply uphill climb in front of me. If a moral theory says that something we all agree is bad is not bad, that is evidence against the plausibility of the theory, not evidence that the bad thing is in fact good.


I default to evaluating theory as a matter of competing interpretations.

I am skeptical of RVIs in general and on topicality in particular.

I will apply a higher threshold to random theory interpretations that do not reflect existing community norms and am particularly unlikely to drop the debater on them. Because your opponent could always have been marginally more fair and because debating irrelevant theory questions is not a good model of debate, I am likely to intervene against theoretical arguments which I deem to be frivolous.

Tricks and Triggers

Your goal should be to win by advancing substantive arguments that would decisively persuade a reasonable decision-maker, rather than on surprises or contrived manipulations of debate conventions. I am unlikely to vote on tricks, triggers, or other hidden arguments, and will apply a low threshold for answering them. You will score more highly and earn more sympathy the more your arguments resemble genuine academic work product.

Counterplan Status, Judge Kick, and Floating PIKs

The affirmative has the obligation to ask about the status of a counterplan or kritik alternative in cross-examination. If they do not, the advocacy may be conditional in the NR.

I default to the view that the Negative has to pick an advocacy to go for in the NR. If you do not explicitly kick a conditional counterplan or kritik alternative, then that is your advocacy. If you lose a permutation read against that advocacy, you lose the debate. I will not kick the advocacy for you and default to the status quo unless you win an argument for judge kick in the debate.

I default to the presumption that floating PIKs must be articulated as such in the NC. If it is not apparent that the kritik alternative allows you to also enact the affirmative advocacy, then I will regard this argument as a change of advocacy in the NR and disregard it as a new argument.


To the extent possible I will resolve the debate as though I were a reasonable decision-maker considering only the arguments advanced by the debaters in making my decision. On any issues not adequately resolved in this way, I will make reasonable assumptions about the relative persuasiveness of the arguments presented.


The speed at which you choose to speak will not affect my evaluation of your arguments, save for if that speed impairs your clarity and I cannot understand the argument. I prefer debate at a faster than conversational pace, provided that it is used to develop arguments well and not as a tactic to prevent your opponent from engaging your arguments. There is some speed at which I have a hard time following arguments, but I don't know how to describe it, so I will say "clear," though I prefer not to because the threshold for adequate clarity is very difficult to identify in the middle of a speech and it is hard to apply a standard consistently. For reasons surpassing understanding, most debaters don't respond when I say clear, but I strongly recommend that you do so. Also, when I say clear it means that I didn't understand the last thing you said, so if you want that argument to be evaluated I suggest repeating it. A good benchmark is to feel like you are going at 90% of your top speed; I am likely a significantly better judge at that pace.


My threshold for sufficient extensions will vary based on the circumstances, e.g. if an argument has been conceded a somewhat shorter extension is generally appropriate.


It is primarily the responsibility of debaters to engage in meaningful evidence comparison and analysis and to red flag evidence ethics issues. However, I will review speech documents and evaluate detailed disputes about evidence raised in the debate. I prefer to be included on an email chain or pocket box that includes the speech documents. If I have a substantial suspicion of an ethics violation (i.e. you have badly misrepresented the author, edited the card so as to blatantly change it's meaning, etc.), I will evaluate the full text of the card (not just the portion that was read in the round) to determine whether it was cut in context, etc.

Speaker Points

I use speaker points to evaluate your performance in relation to the rest of the field in a given round. At tournaments which have a more difficult pool of debaters, the same performance which may be above average on most weekends may well be average at that tournament. I am strongly disinclined to give debaters a score that they specifically ask for in the debate round, because I utilize points to evaluate debaters in relation to the rest of the field who do not have a voice in the round. I elect not to disclose speaker points, save where cases is doing so is necessary to explain the RFD. My range is approximately as follows:

30: Your performance in the round is likely to beat any debater in the field.

29: Your performance is substantially better than average - likely to beat most debaters in the field and competitive with students in the top tier.

28: Your performance is above average - likely to beat the majority of debaters in the field but unlikely to beat debaters in the top tier.

27.5: Your performance is approximately average - you are likely to have an equal number of wins and losses at the end of the tournament.

26: Your performance is below average - you are likely to beat the bottom 25% of competitors but unlikely to beat the average debater.

25: Your performance is substantially below average - you are competitive among the bottom 25% but likely to lose to other competitors

Below 25: I tend to reserve scores below 25 for penalizing debaters as explained below.

Rude or Unethical Actions

I will severely penalize debaters who are rude, offensive, or otherwise disrespectful during a round. I will severely penalize debaters who distort, miscut, misrepresent, or otherwise utilize evidence unethically.

Card Clipping

A debater has clipped a card when she does not read portions of evidence that are highlighted or bolded in the speech document so as to indicate that they were read, and does not verbally mark the card during the speech. Clipping is an unethical practice because you have misrepresented which arguments you made to both your opponent and to me. If I determine that a debater has clipped cards, then that debater will lose.

To determine that clipping has occurred, the accusation needs to be verified by my own sensory observations to a high degree of certainty, a recording that verifies the clipping, or the debaters admission that s/he has clipped. If you believe that your opponent has clipped, you should raise your concern immediately after the speech in which it was read, and I will proceed to investigate. False accusations of clipping is a serious ethical violation as well. *If you accuse your opponent of clipping and that accusation is disconfirmed by the evidence, you will lose the debate.* You should only make this accusation if you are willing to stake the round on it.


I am happy to answer any questions on preferences or paradigm before the round. After the round I am happy to answer respectfully posed questions to clarify my reason for decision or offer advice on how to improve (subject to the time constraints of the tournament). Within the limits of reason, you may press points you don't understand or with which you disagree (though I will of course not change the ballot after a decision has been made). I am sympathetic to the fact that debaters are emotionally invested in the outcomes of debate rounds, but this does not justify haranguing judges or otherwise being rude. For that reason, failure to maintain the same level of respectfulness after the round that is generally expected during the round will result in severe penalization of speaker points.

Kate Totz Paradigm

6 rounds


  • Please put me on the email chain - (the 0's are zeros)
  • Really big on structure and connecting the dots - lots of good rounds feel like a conspiracy murder board with all of the pins but no string attaching them (Megan Wu)

Experience and Outlook on Debate

  • Coach at Brentwood and Mirman; specialize in circuit LD, but coach LD, PF, and novice CX so good topic knowledge on most formats. Competed for Maple Grove Senior High in Minnesota for 3 years in PF and LD.

  • Debate is about advocacy and learning about how to make better advocacies, don’t be rude, don’t take away educational opportunities from others, and have the debate that you want to and we’ll have a good time.
    • Debate is a competition - there are expectations of fairness, norms setting, and strategy, but the things that we say in round and the arguments that we make have real world implications and we should probably be respectful of that.


  • Non-t affs are cool, but every part of the performance in the debate space needs to be purposeful and impacted out if you are going to go for one. Also, there need to have some sort of advocacy/alternative/plan that I can engage in order to garner offense.

  • K v. case and K v. T/theory is a debate that should be had in round - how I default on these issues depends on the nature of the K and honestly changes based on a lot of contextual things. PLEASE tell me where I should start evaluating and why.

  • I don’t think it’s possible to win a K without a clear ‘story’ of how the K functions somewhere in the round - this includes isolating specific links, how those links trigger the impact, what the alt is, and how the alt resolves the impacts of the K, etc. (aka - don't just read a k because I know a lot about k's, read a k because you know a lot about k's)


  • (LD only) I will vote on RVIs, but it tends to be extremely contextual to the round and rare. Meaning that I will probably only sign the ballot on an RVI if the shell is a) not frivolous and b) significantly impacts the way that we think about norms in the debate space.

  • The easiest way to get me to vote on topicality is to think of some sort of empirical way to weigh the impacts of the interp.

    • For example, if you’re gonna collapse to a limits standard, the easiest way to get me to want to vote on it is to give me an approximate number of how far the counter-interp would expand aff ground/how many new affs are possible.

  • I don't like frivolous theory but I will vote on it - if you read frivolous theory on someone who doesn't even know what a shell is, I will be VERY not happy (there are easier, more considerate ways for you to win the round, please use them).
  • If there's more than one shell on the flow and the sequence I evaluate them in matters, you need to tell me that in your speech time with warrants.


  • I coach PF, I have good topic knowledge
  • I will not do any work for you - if you want me to fully understand an argument, you need to allocate speech time to it.
  • I flow cross - try to not yell or speak over each other or interrupt each other if you want to get anything strategically meaningful out of them.
  • Offense-defense extension in summary is a personal strategy choice based on the end game you see by summary (ie, you do not need to line by line the flow in summary, but no completely new args in final focus.)
  • K's, T, and Theory are all fine strats in PF to me,
    • I do feel like the time structure makes it very difficult to run a K well and fully explain how the K interacts with other arguments on the flow. And the lack of traditional predictability in PF (no disclosure, no set first-speaking side, etc.) makes it harder to run T/Theory, but I'm down to vote on anything as long as you're winning it.
  • Any more questions, ask me before or after round.

Joseph Wang Paradigm

2 rounds

School Affiliation: Torrey Pines High School Experience: I am a parent judge and this is my third year judging PF.

In Round

I try to have average speaks be around 27.5-28. I will drop you if you are rude, racist, sexist, etc.


Please speak clearly at a moderate speed, and please don’t use too much jargon. You can also look at my face to see if I am confused or lost so that you can slow down or explain a little more. I won’t have as much knowledge about the topic like debaters will, so please explain everything well. I will be take notes but I will be trying to listen more to the arguments to understand them better.

Scott Wheeler Paradigm

1 rounds

1. Offense-defense, but can be persuaded by reasonability in theory debates. I don't believe in "zero risk" or "terminal defense" and don't vote on presumption (though technically i guess I do in debates where the aff goes for "perm do the CP" and wins that it isn't severance, but not in any other instance). 

2. I'll submit the ballot that is most persuasive to me, and will try to think through the story of each ballot before choosing (of course, in good debates, that's what the final rebuttals do). I won't simply point to an argument on my flow and say "I voted on this," nor will my RFD lead with technical advice in lieu of an actual decision. Substantive questions are resolved probabilistically--only theoretical questions (e.g. is the perm severance, does the aff meet the interp) are resolved "yes/no," and will be done so with some unease, forced upon me by the logic of debate. 

3. Dropped arguments are "true," but this just means the warrants for them are true. Their implication can still be contested. The exception to this is when an argument and its implication are explicitly conceded by the other team for strategic reasons (like when kicking out of a disad). Then both are "true."

1. Conditionality bad is an uphill battle. I think it's good, and will be more convinced by the negative's arguments. I also don't think the number of advocacies really matters. Unless it was completely dropped, the winning 2AR on condo in front of me is one that explains why the way the negative's arguments were run together limited the ability of the aff to have offense on any sheet of paper.

2. I think of myself as aff-leaning in a lot of counterplan theory debates, but usually find myself giving the neg the counterplan anyway, generally because the aff fails to make the true arguments of why it was bad.

1. I don't think I evaluate these differently than anyone else, really. Perhaps the one exception is that I don't believe that the affirmative needs to win uniqueness for a link turn to be offense. If uniqueness really shielded a link turn that much, it would also overwhelm the link. In general, I probably give more weight to the link and less weight to uniqueness.

2. On politics, I will probably ignore "intrinsicness" or "fiat solves the link" arguments, unless badly mishandled (like dropped through two speeches).


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

2. I think I'm less techincal than some judges in evaluating K debates. Something another judge might care about, like dropping "fiat is illusory," probably matters less to me (fiat is illusory specifically matters 0%). I also won't be as technical in evaluating theory on the perm as I would be in a counterplan debate (e.g. perm do both isn't severance just because the alt said "rejection" somewhere--the perm still includes the aff). The perm debate for me is really just the link turn debate. Generally, unless the aff impact turns the K, the link debate is everything.

3. Many of these debates seem to involve one team discussing a nuanced critique and the other side arguing "state bad" or "state good." Not surprisingly, I'm generally going to side with the team doing the former. 

Nontraditional affirmatives:

Versus T:
1. I usually vote neg in these debates, because the aff never has a defensible interp (to be honest, I think the current model might be what they want--these affs require a boogeyman to rail against). Some people seem to view these debates as a plan/counterplan debate where the 1AC is weighed against the "topical version of the aff." I don't subscribe to that view. The affirmative has to defend an interp. If I do vote aff, one of two things has happened. Most often, the aff successfully impact-turned the impacts the negative went for. The other time I vote aff is when the neg doesn't have an external impact--their offense is simply "we're the better version of the discussion you want to have." In those debates, "TVA doesn't solve" does become offense against their interp.

2. I've noticed that some judges tend to dismiss T impacts that I take seriously. I've seen this with not just fairness, which I think is the truest T impact, but others run less often (like "moral hazzard") that were in the 2NR and then not in the RFD at all. I think a lot of things can be impacts to T, so aff teams might want to spend more time on them. 

3. To be honest, I enjoy judging K affs with plans, and wish teams ran them more. With judges voting on nonsense like PIC out of fiat and Schlag, I can see why teams don't. And of course you also still have to answer politics/util and regular T (which you might not be used to debating), but I think those are pretty doable and you'd be in better shape in front of me if you are a team that is at all flexible.

Versus the K:
1. Affs are in much better shape here because, for me, it's not up for debate whether planless affs get to perm. They do. I have yet to hear a convincing argument as to why there is such a thing as a "methods debate" for which theories of debate competition no longer apply. If the negative has a better methodology or starting point, I will vote aff, provided the aff methodology or starting point is good. I wouldn't vote for a counterplan that solves warming better than the aff without a link to a disad, and I don't believe competition theory goes out the window because it's a performance aff. If the aff doesn't get a perm, there's no reason the neg would have to have a link.


Topicality versus plan affs:
1. I used to enjoy these debates. It seems like I'm voting on T less often than I used to, but I also feel like I'm seeing T debated well less often. I enjoy it when the 2NC takes T and it's well-developed and it feels like a solid option out of the block. What I enjoy less is when it isn't but the 2NR goes for it as a hail mary and the whole debate occurs in the last two speeches.

2. Teams overestimate the importance of "reasonability." Winning reasonability shifts the burden to the negative--it doesn't mean that any risk of defense on means the T sheet of paper is thrown away. It generally only changes who wins in a debate where the aff's counter-interp solves for most of the neg offense but doesn't have good offense against the neg's interp.

LD section:
1. I've been judging LD less, but I still have LD students, so my familarity with the topic will be greater than what is reflected in my judging history.

2. Everything in the policy section applies. This includes the part about substantive arguments being resolved probablistically, my dislike of relying on framework to preclude arguments, and not voting on defense or presumption. If this radically affects your ability to read the arguments you like to read, you know what to do.  

3. If I haven't judged you or your debaters in a while, I think I vote on theory less often than I did say three years ago (and I might have already been on that side of the spectrum by LD standards, but I'm not sure). I've still never voted on an RVI so that hasn't changed.

4. The 1AR can skip the part of the speech where they "extend offense" and just start with the actual 1AR.

Alex Zhao Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated for La Canada High School from 2013-2017.



Familiar with common kritiks like neolib, security, and biopower. Please thoroughly explain your links in the context of the aff.

I'm probably best at evaluating a counterplan/DA strategy, but obviously will listen to everything else to the best of my ability.

I err neg on condo, but don't default judge kick.

Know less about the topic than you do, so please over-explain acronyms and topic-specific jargon.



I default to epistemic modesty when evaluating philosophy/framework debate. "Winning framework" does not mean that I will only evaluate impacts under that framework; I will treat framework as a weighing mechanism, making certain impacts more or less important than others.

I default to debate as a comparison of advocacies - you have to win offense to your advocacy.

Explicit extensions of every card in the 1AC are not necessary. Debaters only have to explain their offense briefly if it's dropped.

Jacob smith Paradigm

4 rounds

Debated at OU for 4 years. (Top 5 team my senior year)

These are mostly rationalization's for past decisions that have been made, but useful for judging relative persuasion by different arguments.


Framework is a checklist in my eyes. The debate usually comes down to one of the FW Tricks, so i'll put them in my orders of preference

Iterative testing as an impact


Topic Education

anything else in the world

Iterative testing means no aff

LD Addendum

I was trained as a debater in policy debate, but have been coaching LD for the last few years. Not particularly persuaded by Frivolous theory but relatively confident in my ability to fairly evaluate the rest of LD. All of debate, K and Policy, is just a question of what epistemic questions i center as the basis of my decision, so make sure to politicize which questions you think i should be be asking.