Golden Desert Debate Tournament at UNLV 2020

2020 — Las Vegas, NV/US

Alex Brown Paradigm

3 rounds

Niles West HS '16, Michigan State University '19

Put me on the email chain:

Cliff Notes:

1. The most important things in a debate are that everyone feels comfortable, has fun, and learns something (in that approximate order). I don’t want to see debaters acting malicious, rude, or offensive to one another.

2. My knowledge of the HS topic is moderate (I judge frequently but mostly do novice file production and didn’t work at a camp)

3. Random predispositions: Presumption goes neg if the neg goes for the status quo, aff if going for a CP/K. I’ll kick a CP for you in the 2NR only if you explicitly tell me to. Tag-team CX is okay, tag-team speeches are not. If you can't present an accurate marked copy of a card upon request I will discount the card.

4. My knowledge of the college topic is slim to none. Please explain topic concepts.

Further thoughts...


I would prefer it if the affirmative defended a plan text. If I'm judging a planless debate, please try to make the debate organized vis a vis your points of offense.


Kritiks should disprove the desirability of voting aff and ideally prove the aff is worse than the status quo.

Lack of clash, specificity, line by line, or over-reliance on underdeveloped arguments all make me very sad. Please don't have your entire strategy revolve around praying the aff drops one of the seventeen tricks you put in the 2NCs overview - I give a lot of aff credence in these debates and it’ll make me frustrated.

I require a pretty high threshold of explanation for high-theory kritiks. I am very unlikely to vote on suffering being good. I highly doubt I'll ever vote on death being good.


I think these are good. I like it when teams go in-depth defending their points of offense much more than when teams read and extend tons of CPs and DAs in the hope their opponents will drop one.


Generally good for T, generally bad for spec arguments. Please explain any topic-relevant concepts clearly, as I know little about the topic mechanism.


Gut thoughts: Conditionality, uniform state fiat, germane PICs are all probably good. Process CPs, non-germane PICs, multi-actor fiat, are all probably bad. My gut should not and will not determine the debate.


Please don't engage in conduct that leads to an ethics challenge being necessary. If you propose one, the round will be staked on it, and you must have evidence.


Have fun! If I judged you and you have any questions about the round, feel free to email me, I will respond to you as soon as possible!

Colin Coppock Paradigm

5 rounds

I have 5 years of debate experience. I did two years of policy and two years of public forum, and I now do British parliamentary at the University of Laverne. If you make me laugh or smile, I'll be more willing to give you better speaks, but don't fish for votes, make it natural.

I'm good with speed

If you're debating policy try to have some original thoughts, I think the activity becomes boring when all you do is read other people's stuff.

If you have any questions, my email is:

Gabriel Esquivel Yglesias Paradigm

6 rounds

Gabe Esquivel 7/5/18

Debated 4 years at Kapaun** Mount Carmel in Wichita, Kansas

University of Kansas 2021

Email chain:

About me:

I am a stereotypical policy 2A. I’m alright at flowing but may miss tricks/theory args if you don’t make them especially clear. I’m a 6/10 for speed. Maybe a 7 if I'm very awake. I mostly go for DAs in the 1NR. I read security and cap a couple times, but I never got familiar with anything other K from the neg side. I really like presumption and T. I have a very hard time with K's and internal link questions now a days. By this I mean that specificity almost always increases the probability of an argument which is how I've started to evaluate most link questions.

Argument preferences:

I can always be persuaded the other way on these arguments, and I always hope you can teach me something. All of this is to show where I'm at in terms of how I think debate works.

I lean aff on framework vs a neg K because I think the aff should get fiat and hypothetical implementation for fairness. I don’t really understand K’s without alts yet, but I'm eager to learn from a good team how they work. I've become more sympathetic toward education based arguments on framework so I think this might be changing.

I lean neg on framework/T against planless affirmatives because I like fairness. Cheating CPs are okay unless you lose theory, I probably sympathize with 2A's though.

I think condo is either all good or all bad. I think presumption is an offensive argument because change is risky and knowledge is imperfect so feel free to say "presumption outweighs the risk that the aff does anything". Competing interpretations are more persuasive to me than reasonability.

I think "status quo is always an option" certainly means judge kick and "conditionality" leaves room for debate. Please start early if you plan on judge kick.

How I decide debates:

I'll always do my best to determine the debate and I'll try to understand your argument to the full extent possible.

I tend to start with the impacts to see which ones matter most. Turns case arguments help me prioritize impacts. Then I evaluate the risk of link arguments in terms of probabiltiy, magnitude, and timeframe. When there is no comparison by teams I think of link arguments as equal in what is most intuitive/persuasive and see if there is any mutual concession or a floating argument that increases risk. .

I try to keep tech over truth but will use truthiness if I need to resolve arguments that are left unresolved or have no direct clash as I mentioned above. I tend to read cards if I get to this point and I grant more weight to spin.

Explicitly answering tricks like serial policy failure, floating piks, cp turns into the aff, and link turns case will help me not intervene as much. If I can't explain your link, internal link, or impact arguments to the other team in an rfd I probably won't vote for it. I like to leave things like judge kick or "insert re-highlighting into debate" to the debaters, but if it comes down to it I will judge kick for you except in some circumstances (see above).

To be honest, I’m young and have not judged very much so my thoughts on lots of these things are still malleable. Being persuasive and “striking chords” will be helpful. I’ll try to show when that happens or when I’m confused with facial expressions. I really like it when powerpoints are used in cx.

**Pronounced (Kay-pen)

Robin Forsyth Paradigm

4 rounds

I debated for Georgetown Day School

Slack > tech > truth

I'm not going to buy racism, sexism, ableism or anything of that character is good

Do what you do best, I really do enjoy all kinds of debates.

that being said go for presumption

Arguments have a claim, warrants, data and or historical examples to back those warrants and an implication all of which must be extended.

Saying "they dropped x" does not prove x true, and if you do not explain why x is the case, you have also dropped it

"insert rehighlighting" is not a thing, you have speech time

Impact calculus wins debates.

Slow down on analytics, if it isn't on my flow i'm not going to evaluate it. This applies doubly to theory debates and standards in general.

I like stories, tell me a story about what happens how and why not just that it will happen.

Analytics, including those which use your personal knowledge of the world, carry just as much weight as a card absent debate over an authors qualifications, the unique characteristics of their data set or some other such comparison. Simply saying we have a card and they don’t will not only make me dislike you, it won’t get my ballot.

I flow cross-ex and often find it to be the most important series of speeches in rounds I judge, act accordingly.

Put me on the email chain:


I have been on both sides of this debate and feel that I'm fairly impartial. I tend to think fairness is an internal link not stand alone impact but can be convinced otherwise. If you are the negative try and use case answers to mitigate the ability of the aff to weigh their offense against FW, if you are aff do your best to do the opposite. I think the role of the judge/ballot/debate is under utilized in these debates.

Arms sales is an interesting topic for definitions, everyone, policy and otherwise, should utilize the implications of these definitions for enacting policy, organizing or conceptualizing arms policy. Arms control is also a place where teams which avoid portions of the resolution should be able to tell me in historical context why those portions of the resolution are wrong, and why your aff is at the core of where we need to be looking when we think of arms sales. This is all to say generic arguments from your backfiles will bore me and are unlikely to win my ballot when you all have a lot to talk about.

One more note on fairness: as a k debater this was my favorite impact to see the negative read because it is very very easy to beat absent a skills/education/reflexivity argument or something along those lines.


I did not attend a camp this year, so my one word of advice here is be careful with the acronyms and don’t assume I know what the common T args are. That said I like topicality and in-depth discussion of not only the implications of an interpretation for debate but for policy makers should they adopt these definitions


I don't mind generic link evidence if you have in-depth contextualization backed by strong historical examples, especially if you are going for politics.


I tend to agree with the aff on theory against uniform 50 state fiat and anything more than 2 conditional counter-plans, otherwise I'm pretty good for the negative on theory pertaining to the counter-plan. Otherwise I enjoy a good advantage counter-plan, PIC, or any other counter-plan.


These are the arguments I have gone for the most. I am most familiar with Derrida, Bataille, Baudrillard and orthodox Marxism but am pretty comfortable with the other common literature bases. Again, historical examples and case specific analysis is far more important than just having evidence that mentions terms used by the affirmative. Please do line by line, you can save a lot of time by just explaining your thesis in relation to particular affirmative arguments rather than recontextualizing a 3 minute overview. That being said, I do not practice what i preach and will listen if you opt for a lecture instead of a speech.

make a presumption argument

I am not a good judge for you if you think you can talk about capitalism without mentioning its settler colonial and anti-black contradictions, these are central and the primary nexus of capitalist oppression.


These are my favorite debates, if done well and not just blocked out debate jargon. If you be creative and think on your feet you will be able to easily win on theory in front of me as i think most teams are woefully insufficient in their responses to most theory arguments.

k affs:


no, really, go for presumption. both sides.

Case Debate:

I think the affirmative rarely capitalizes on the lack of in-depth case debating that is common in 2nr. If you anticipate this and use cross-ex to beat back against shoddy negative arguments on case then a 2ar which spends a lot of time on impact calculus and the case will be a good choice against most negative strategies.

I really enjoy plan flaws, particularly for use against affirmative framing arguments pertaining to policy-making or scenario-planning.

It is far more easy to persuade me that I should vote negative on presumption than it is in front of most (perhaps nearly all) judges, particularly if the affirmative is not explaining their solvency mechanism in the final rebuttals. This means you should extend your aff, even if you think they didn’t go to the case page.

You will get better speaker points if you:

go for presumption

know well and care about the subject you are talking about

are funny

use cross-ex well

give me a history lesson

read and make arguments based on authors qualifications

"How can we achieve Slack when the opportunists offer up Slackless plan after Slackless plan?"

Jackson Hoffmann Paradigm

6 rounds


i debated at kapaun for four years in high school

currently a third year debater at kansas - rock chalk

please add me to chain -

please update your wikis. it won't affect my decision, but i will be really annoyed if you don't keep your wiki updated

tldr: do your thing and i'll listen. i will evaluate the arguments made in a debate as impartially as i can. good for policy v policy debates. not bad for clash debates. god help all of us involved if i’m judging a k v k debate

i have included my argumentative biases below. if you have questions that this paradigm doesn't answer, feel free to ask

i will not vote on an argument that i cannot coherently explain or that has been argued inconsistently. you have been warned.

absent clear judge instruction, impact calculus, evidence comparison, etc. (those three things are very important to me) you should not be surprised by some degree of judge intervention. in those instances where my intervention seems necessary, my decision will most likely be guided by evidence quality on the debate's most relevant issues. to avoid frustrating decisions that involve my intervention, write my ballot for me so i only have to minimally sort through the debate

i generally think affs should read a topical plan and am neg-biased in t debates vs affs that do not defend a topical plan. however, my voting record in those debates is pretty even. fairness is definitely an impact

k: it will be difficult to convince me that i should not allow the aff to weigh the consequences of their plan. it will be difficult to convince me that extinction does not outweigh other impacts absent a clear, substantial mitigation of the risk of the aff's impact. it will be difficult to convince me that debate is not at least a game, although it is not difficult to convince me that debate is also other things / has other important purposes. finally, it will be difficult to convince me that my ballot will have an impact on anything outside of the round i am judging

theory: i've become pretty impartial about it because i've started to enjoy theory debates much more, but it's nearly always a reason to reject the argument rather than the team

da: they're cool. big fan of politics. pls read good ev, bonus if you read lots of good ev

cp: they're cool. big fan of cleverly worded perms. big fan of consulting nato as a meme but not as a cp. by default, i will judge kick the cp if the aff does not make an argument about it

clipping = auto-loss. the other team does not have to call you out on it. if i recognize it, i will let the round finish but you will automatically lose with lowest speaks i am allowed to give

one last thing - an excerpt from Yao Yao Chen's paradigm that i think is really important:

"I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck. I strive to judge in the most open-minded, fair, and diligent way I can, and I aim to be as thorough and transparent as possible in my decisions. If you worked hard on debate, you deserve judging that matches the effort you put into this activity. Anything short of that is anti-educational and a disappointment."

Robert Holmes Paradigm

3 rounds

Flow and respond to what the other team says.

I don't have the speech doc open so do things that make it easier for me to flow. Position yourself so I can hear you. Don't speak into your laptop or stand on the opposite side of the room. Don't read typed-out things like they are the text of a card. Slow down and change the intonation of your voice when you're speaking.

If I don't understand something, I will not vote on it even if it is conceded.

Corss-x starts right after the constructive speech ends.

Starting and stopping prep each time you need to use more prep time will cost at least 15 sec.

Very simply, if you have trigger warnings because the topics are more taboo then I am not the judge for you. If you can't explain it to your school administration or parents without them raising concerns then don't run it in front of me. Time and place are important.

Things I will not vote on:

Arguments that suggest students should engage in risky behavior.

Death is good.

Fear of death is bad

Aff's that don't defend the resolution.

Aff's that link to debate in general instead of the resolution.

Judge pref disclosure

Vote for a team because they are part of a marginalized group.



Settler Colonialism



ontological argument

epistemological arguments.

In fact, it would be better if you just didn't run a K.


Condo CP's

Topical CP's

Consult CP's

conditions CP's

This list will be ongoing. I will update it to let you know.

So what is left you might ask:

Case debate



CP's that are not listed above.

Other things you might want to know:

1. Da's can have a zero-risk.

2. Aff adv's can have zero risk

3. Solvency can have zero risk

4. Substantial will be important in these types of debates.

5. The neg will get a healthy dose of presumption.

I really would like to listen to a debate about the resolution.

Bentley Jimmerson Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Andrew Little Paradigm

6 rounds

My name is Andrew, I judge Novice Policy/LD



I mostly debate policy over K arguments, so if you're reading a K aff make sure to deliberate. I judge novice teams. If one team makes a big mistake that I catch, I won't vote on it unless their opponent points it out. I'll make sure to let you know after the debate. Please add me to email chains using my email above.


Again, I prefer policy arguments, but I won't vote policy over the K. As long as the team presenting the K is clear enough for both their opponents and me it should be fine. It can be tricky for novices to respond to the K, so I'll give a bit of wiggle room for minor mistakes.


I like topicality. However for me to vote neg on T the neg needs to win all parts of it, considering winning T means winning the entire debate.


Should be fine as long as you make your links clear, and use impact calculus to make it clear why I should vote for you.


The longer you take to respond to a question, the lower your speaker points get. Also, avoiding questions will lose you speaker points. Keep in mind, though, that I don't evaluate speaks based on Cross-x as much as I evaluate speaks. I won't take prep for flashing or sending email, but if you take too long or your computer magically breaks I'll deduct speaks. Make sure that if you aren't taking prep time your partner isn't prepping for their speech.

Chris Paredes Paradigm

1 rounds


(Updated for Emory; see bottom of paradigm for LD)

E-Mail Chain: Add me ( I do not distribute docs to third party requests unless a team has failed to update their wiki.

Experience: I consider myself fluent in debate, but my debate philosophy is reflective of the fact that I debated in the 00s and may not align with current "meta" trends of the community. I debated four years of policy for Damien ('05), did not debate in college (Amherst '09), coached HS briefly after college, judged sporadically during law school (Emory 13L) for the Atlanta Urban Debate League. I have been coaching for Damien since 2017.

Debate: I view debate as a game where the "rules" of the game are mostly made up in round by the debaters. With a very few exceptions (the length of speeches, the order of the speeches, which side the teams are on, clipping, etc.) I think everything is fair game for the teams to establish during the round. I am open to voting for almost any argument or style so long as I have an idea of how it functions within the round and it is appropriately impacted. Persuading me to favor your view/interpretation of debate is accomplished by convincing me that it is the method that promotes better debate (either more fair or more pedagogical) comparative to your opponent's method. CX is binding and I flow it.

Evidence and Argumentative Weight: Tech trumps truth, but it is easier to debate well by using true arguments and good cards. In-speech analysis goes a long way with me; I am much more likely to side with the team that explains a warrant vs. the one that extends by tagline and/or author only. I will read cards as necessary, including explicit prompting, however when I start reading evidence I do so critically and will evaluate warrants for myself. Arguments are only as good as their warrants -- if a card does not have the necessary warrants underlined/highlighted then I will treat them as analytics. This means that you are much better off with a few good well-highlighted cards than multiple bad under-highlighted cards. Well explained analytics can beat bad/under-highlighted cards.

Topic Familiarity: I've judged about 45 rounds on the topic so far. I do not teach at a camp so my exposure to the topic is limited to judging and neg research done during the year; do not assume I understand all acronyms or nuances of the topic you might have learned during camp lectures. I have less familiarity with international topics than I do with domestic topics from an educational/professional perspective, but I understand the IR arguments relevant to this topic.

Argument Selection: Run whatever you are most familiar and comfortable with. I believe it is better for debate that judges reward good debating over ideological preferences, and I try my best to hold myself to this standard. I am aware of my biases and strive to correct them and remain neutral. Almost all of my personal preferences can be overcome if you debate better than your opponents. Regardless of the style of debate you choose, your goal should be to debate in a way where you do the work for me. Your goal in your final rebuttal is 1) establish what criterion the debate should be evaluated under and 2) demonstrate to me why you win under those criterion.

Argument by argument breakdown below.


Debating T well is a question of engaging in responsive impact debate. You win my ballot if you are the team that best contextualizes how you provide the best internal links (ground, predictability, research burden, etc.) to terminal impacts (fairness and education). I appreciate a good T debate and I will reward teams with the ballot and with good speaker points for well thought-out interpretations (or counter-interps) with nuanced defenses.

I default to competing interpretations, but reasonability can be compelling to me if properly contextualized. I am generally receptive to arguments like "The aff interp only imposes a reasonable additional research burden of two more cases." I am generally not receptive to arguments like "They have case specific literature, proves we are reasonably predictable."

I believe that many resolutions are sufficiently aff-biased that preserving topicality as a viable negative strategy is important even against affs that are topical in a truth sense. I feel this topic is sufficiently large that T-Subs is one of the few filters available and I will pull the trigger on it.

Fx/Xtra Topicality: Don't be afraid to go for Fx/Xtra with me in the back, but you need to independently impact them or connect them as internal links to your original violation and standards.

Kritiks of Topicality / Topicality Silences Voices: I dislike this argument on principle because the resolution should be one of the bare minimum rules of debate that I think I should enforce on the round. I also think the impact to limiting the scope of debate is terminally non-unique (there are always more important and interesting problems in the world to discuss than can be done in a single round) so killing the neg's ability to check non-topical affs by kritiking topicality feels like a disingenuous way for the aff to re-orient the debate to their argumentative/topic preferences. However, as a rule, I punish incompetence over principle so I will vote on this if the negative mishandles it.

Framework / T-USFG

My ideological predispositions lean negative. In the truth sense, I believe most planless affs avoid the resolution for competitive advantages (there is nothing wrong with this given that debate is a game, it just isn't a stellar defense for why I should prefer the aff's model of debate). And as an educator, I do not believe there is pedagogical value to a model of debate where the aff gets to avoid debating the resolution. However, I strive for neutrality and I try my hardest to vote for whoever defended their model of debate better.

For an aff to beat framework arguments in front of me, they need to articulate and defend specific and compelling reasons why they cannot and do not embed their advocacy into a topical policy as well as why resolutional debate is a bad model for the activity. "The USFG/system sucks" is not a good reason for that -- I default to believing that you need to do more/better research vs. concluding that systems are bad. As the arbitrator in a competition, I default to treating procedural fairness as an impact; an aff team must make a positive case for why education outweighs or why I should prefer substantive fairness.

For the neg, you have the burden of proving either that fairness outweighs the aff's education or that resolutional debate has better access to education (or a better type of education). I believe the negative is on the truth side of both of those arguments, but contextualization and specificity is important in this debate. As someone who works in civil rights law, I generally believe in the potential for reform through laws and systems and that they ameliorate a great deal of harm for the must vulnerable. Therefore I give great weight to arguments for why plan-based debate is a better internal link to positive real world change out of debate compared to personal advocacy debate: debate provides valuable portable skills, advocacy for a case is excellent training for advocacy of actual real world policies, etc.


My default view on various theory (all of which can be overcome by better debating) are as follows:

- Debate is primarily a research and strategic activity therefore lit justifies almost everything.

- Condo is good but it should probably have limitations, especially regarding perf cons and skew

- PICs, Actor, and Process CPs are legitimate, but must prove competition.

- Consult CPs and Floating PIKs are bad.

- A specific solvency advocate generally proves competitiveness and non-abuse while the lack of specific solvency evidence indicates either the likelihood of a solvency deficit or a lack of competition.

- The level of cheating/utopianism of a CP/alt justifies equivalent levels of cheating with perms.

- The aff is not entitled to all theoretical implementations of the plan just because they do not specify.

- Reject the arg not the team is overcome with instances of real abuse.

- Disclosure of previously run arguments is good; breaking new shouldn't require disclosure.

- ASPEC is checked by cross, but the neg can win by proving moving target or link spikes.

While I can be convinced to care about real world impacts attached to the ballot (i.e. setting precedents), I generally do not care about anything that has happened outside the room/round (and there is a good chance I might just not know any drama you want to refer to) unless it specifically rebuts an argument presented by one team.

I value nuance a lot more than many other judges because I think that debate's largest educational impact is training students in real world advocacy. I think the best iteration of debate is debate that teaches participants (including myself) something about the topic, including process minutiae. Consequently, I have much less aversion to voting on procedurals and theory than most judges. Learning process is important and the aff has a burden as advocates to defend a specific and coherent implementation strategy to their case. Consequently OSPEC is not a thing (unless a team is fiating something contradictory to their ev) and I will absolutely pull the trigger on vagueness, plan flaws, or spec arguments as long as there is a coherent story about why the aff is bad for debate and a good answer to why cross doesn't check.

That being said, I have rarely see theory deployed convincingly as most debaters have an inclination to use it as a time sink. If you're not putting in the time and work to make it a viable choice in your last speech, it probably isn't going to persuade me unless it was flat conceded. Also if you are spreading through 20 points of theory at full speed, the reality is that I'm never going to flow all of it.

A special note on condo, I come from a time where condo was much less accepted. Part of that is because of an implicit understanding that the negative's entitlement to multiple worlds doesn't include severance of discourse/rhetoric pursuant to that world. It's one thing to test the aff from multiple perspectives, it's another to say you can run your Fear of Death K with a reps link along with a Hege Impact to your Politics DA and still access alt solvency just because you kicked out the DA. This is especially hypocritical if you claim there's no external impact to the ballot besides a rejection of a mindset. (That's not to say I think this is an automatic winning argument, I simply find it most logical to assume the negative is responsible for their discourse as much as the Aff is unless explicitly explained otherwise.)


TL;DR: If you actually are legitimately interested in critical academic scholarship, have studied the literature seriously, and have a good contextualized argument for why that lens of that scholarship is relevant to the aff, then I am a good judge for you. If you want to be lazy and avoid doing specific case research so you can brute force ballots with links to the use of the state/fiat, then I am probably a bad judge for you.

I enjoy critical literature, however I tend to dislike critical rounds because the vast majority of teams are very bad at making critical arguments (or establishing why they are relevant to debate). The kritik is an academic argument, therefore having good familiarity with the literature is essential to debating the K well. It's poor form for you to argue the other team should be rejected when you yourself do not truly understand the internal logic of argument and the necessary warrants because someone else cut the file for you. I find that the K evidence (on both sides) are the most likely to be power-tagged and under-highlighted (which is saying something given the ever descending bar for politics).

All that aside, I would much rather hear a good K than a bad politics disad. I have a high level of academic familiarity with basic critical lit, but only debate-level familiarity with higher level theory (Deleuze, Baudrilliard, etc.) However, even if I understand the lit, the kritik must be presented in an comprehensible fashion in round. I avoid intervention and I will not make a K coherent for myself. Additionally, the quality of your literature does not matter if the kritik is functionally deficient as a call for the ballot. My undergrad thesis was on ethics so you are well served by a developed defense of your decision-making process and why it is good.

The neg should clash with the affirmative head-on. A link is insufficient to win the K in front of me; a good contextualized link only proves relevance to the round, it is not a reason to reject the aff. You must offer me a reason to prefer the alt under your model of debate. I do not have any biases or predispositions about what my ballot does or should do, but if you do not explain your alt and/or how my ballot interacts with the alt (or lack thereof) you will find that I have an extremely low threshold for treating the K as a non-unique disad. If the alt is some actual action which solves back for the implications of the kritik, in the fiat world or the real world, the solvency process of the alt must be explained. Alts like "Reject the aff" and "Vote neg" are fine as long as you actually give me a reason to do that besides just saying the aff links.

Links of omission are generally bad. Floating PIKs can be answered by just saying that floating PIKs are bad.

Affs should not be afraid of going for straight impact turns behind a robust framework press. I'm more willing than most judges to consider the merit in challenging kritik ideology head on rather than labeling your discourse as a link. I am also particularly receptive to arguments about pragmatism on the perm if you have empirical examples of progress through state reform.


I'm more prone than most judges to assess minimal ("zero") risk based on defense, especially true when bad evidence is pointed out as bad. I can be convinced by analysis that there is always a risk of a DA in spite of a lost argument, but in the absence of that analysis I do not really care about how strong your impact is if you straight up lost the link.


I think that research is a core part of debate as an activity, and good counterplan strategy goes hand-in-hand with that. The risk of the net benefit the neg must win is inversely proportional to how good the counterplan is. Generic PICs are more vulnerable to perms and solvency deficits so they carry a much higher threshhold burden on the net benefit. PICs with specific solvency advocates or highly specific net benefits are devastating and one of the ways that debate rewards research and how debate equalizes aff side bias. Agent and process counterplans are similarly better when the neg can present a nuanced argument for why one agent/process is better than the aff's for a specific plan.

Because I do not think a 1AC plan text that fails to specify gives the aff default access to all theoretical implementations of the plan, I am generally super unfriendly to Perm Do the CP. I think it is a bad sign if the aff refuses to debate the details of their own case. Meanwhile the neg has an equally high burden to defend the coherence of a counter-advocacy (or the model of debate implied by their negative strategy). I will reject a counterplan for a structural defect or because the aff has effectively convinced me that the neg is debating in a way that is not just strategic but also fundamentally unfair.

Superior solvency for aff impacts can be a sufficient net benefit for me to vote on the CP (either because of a conceded aff-only case take-out or turn, or because the CP solves better) so long as there's a reason to reject the perm.

I do not judge kick by default, but 2NRs can easily convince me to do it if condo has been established.

I'm a sucker for sufficiency framing and DA as a tie-breaker against structural violence impacts; the aff needs a solvency deficit or well-developed arguments about why sufficiency framing itself means that the neg cannot capture the ethic of the affirmative's framing (and why that is important in the round).


Speaker Points: I feel speaker points are arbitrary and the only way to fix this is standardization. Consequently I will try to follow any provided tournament scale very closely. In the event that there is no tournament scale I distribute speaks as if I was grading performances on a bell curve with 30 being the 99th percentile, 27.5 being as the median 50th percentile, and 25 being the 1st percentile. I'm aggressive at BOTH addition and subtraction from this baseline since bell curves are distributed around an average rather than lumping everyone at average. Theoretically this means that teams seeking high speaks to break will be scoring above average by definition. The scale is standardized -- that means the majority of debaters at a national circuit tournament will be above average by default since the pool of nationwide debaters include many debaters who debate strictly local or lay-style.

Bonus Speaker Points: Points are rewarded for entertaining, organized, strategic, and clever speeches. I listen closely to CX and include CX performance in my assessment. Well contextualized humor is the quickest way to get higher speaks in front of me, e.g. Thanos jokes on a Malthus flow. Good analysis is rewarded, including but not limited to: correctly extending warrants of your cards, indicting warrants of your opponents' cards, arguments about comparative weight of evidence, or deployment of impact framing. Good strategy and mastery of details is also rewarded. On the neg that means that your neg strategy demonstrates that you researched the plan thoroughly and have a specific CP or disad that demonstrates your understanding of why it is a bad idea or why it does not belong in policy debate (i.e. hyper-specific counterplans/disads or nuanced procedural objections to the plan text). On the aff that means demonstrating mastery of the details of your aff as an implemented policy (hyper-specific no links or link turns to politics or core topic generics).

Delivery: Your speed should be limited by clarity. You should be clear enough that I can flow without needing your speech doc. Additionally realize that even if I can hear and understand you, no one can flow a successive stream of quick analytics. Don't be afraid to lose time sign-posting the line-by-line; you will likely make it up in efficiency (besides your arguments won't mean much if I don't know where to flow them).

Organization: I believe good line-by-line is a fundamental of good debate that is becoming increasingly rare and is the number one way most debaters can improve. Proper sign-posted line by line is the bare minimum to get over a 28.5. I dislike long overviews that just get cross applied everywhere.

Cross-X, Prep, and Tech: Tag-team CX is fine but it's part of your speaker point rating to give and answer most of your own cross. I think that finishing the answer to a final question during prep is fine but prep cannot be used as a no-limit cross time extension. Simple clarification and non-substantive questions during prep is fine. I don't charge prep for tech time, but tech is limited to emailing docs or flashing. When you end prep, you should be ready to distribute.

Accommodations: Feel free to ask for accommodations before or during round or email me ahead of time.


As I understand it, the LD meta is approaching the era of policy that I actually debated in. Combined with the fact that the meta generally drifts down from policy, I am probably competent enough to listen to most anything you want to run. Given my policy background I have some preferences that will probably be harder for you to overcome with me in the back than with an actual LD judge. Notably, RVIs are a non-starter with me and I probably will not vote on arguments centered on plan-based debate is bad (LD drifted to policy plans for a reason).

Coming from policy I have a few thoughts about how time works in the LD format that might be atypical. I think time constraints in LD mean that I have to give the aff a lot more leeway than I would give in policy. I am also a lot more receptive to arguments about why condo is bad in LD than I would be in policy. On a more substantive level I think that the "outspread then kick" neg strategy is fundamentally weaker in LD than it is in policy. While the strategic goal of attaining a time trade-off is the same, the limitation on the number of speeches means that the neg must frontload more depth to the offcase earlier in order to develop the basic level of argumentative coherence necessary for something to be a reason to reject the aff. Therefore you're probably better off limiting the number of offcase regardless of condo theory.

Zoe Price Paradigm

6 rounds

Please add me on the email chain and feel free to contact me at

Pronouns: she/her

About me: I am in my third year of debate at Sonoma Academy under Lani Frazer and formerly Laila McClay. I ran mostly policy affs during my first two years, but on this topic I’ve pretty much only done K debate.

If you call me judge, I will be annoyed. Also- please do not shake my hand or I will spray you with a bottle of water like you are a cat. I've gotten sick at the last five consecutive tournaments this year.


Do what you do best. This isn’t about me. I’ll minimize judge intervention as much as possible.

Just explain and impact out your arguments and you’ll be fine. I don’t have a ton of argumentative preferences, but I’m probably not the best judge for super high theory args. That said, I’ll vote on pretty much anything as long as you tell me why I need to vote on it. Please be organized. Signposting is important.

Sass is fun, but try not to be overly mean. Debate is stressful enough as it is. Don’t be an asshole.

I think inclusivity in the debate space is super important. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to make the round more accessible for you.

If you make racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, classist, ableist etc. comments, I will nuke your speaks and contact your coach.

Speed: I’m fine with whatever speed you want to go at, just be clear. If I’m staring blankly at you, you’re not being clear enough.

Theory: Fine. I find theory debates pretty boring, but if you impact out what you’re saying and explain why it matters, I’m fine with it. If you want me to vote on it, do at least two minutes of work on it in the 2NR/2AR.

Topicality: Sure, I’ll vote on it. I don’t love Ks of T, but just explain it really well and I’ll be fine. Tell me why I should vote on it.

Ks: Hell yeah. Ks are cool. I’m not super familiar with a lot of high theory Ks, but that doesn’t mean I won’t understand them if you explain them. Pls know your lit and know how to explain it. One of my biggest pet peeves is when k teams try to confuse confuse the other team in cx by shouting out buzzwords and not actually saying anything.

Specifics: Framing is important! Contextualize your links. Links of omission=bad.

K affs: A lot of the above still applies. I’m more comfortable with advocacy statements, but I don’t need one. Just do whatever you want as long as you put in the work and explain what you want me to vote on.

DAs: “Throw em at me.”

CPs: Cool. Have a solvency advocate pls.

Prep: Don’t steal prep or I will be mad at you ): and dock your speaks. Emailing/flashing isn’t prep.