Washburn Rural Debate Invitational

2019 — Topeka, KS/US

Brenda Alvarez Paradigm

4 rounds

Please add me to the email chain: Brenda.aurora13@gmail.com

I debated for Washburn Rural for four years between 2014 and 2018. I debated for the University of Kansas last year, but am not debating this year so I can focus on my nursing degree. Generally speaking, I am not picky about arguments and speed. Do what you want and I’ll do my best to keep up.

T: I believe that topicality is a question of competing interpretations. I like to see good explanations of each team’s offense on the flow, how their offense interacts with the other team, and why their interpretation creates a better model for debate.

Disads: I’m a big fan, especially when you have a specific link. I think impact calculus and turns case arguments are important. I always enjoy listening to a good agenda or election disad.

CPs: Delay counterplans are cheating. I’m willing to judge kick a counterplan unless the affirmative gives me a reason not to. I prefer specific solvency advocates.

Ks: I didn’t read a lot of Ks in high school. I am most familiar with neolib and cap, but I am willing to listen to pretty much anything as long at it is explained well. I will NOT listen to death/extinction good kritiks. These arguments can be triggering for me and for other people that may be competing in or watching your round. When it comes to links, I like when they are specific to the affirmative and describe how the aff increasing/makes worse whatever it is that the neg is critiquing. If you’re going for your alt, you need to prove that it solves, as well as clearly explain to me what a world of the alternative looks like. The framing debate should be more than a block reading competition, especially if the neg isn’t going to go for the alt. The neg’s interpretation should be meaningful and not just “whoever best challenges (whatever the K is critiquing)”

Theory: I believe theory is usually only a reason to reject an argument, not a team, especially considering most theory debates are block reading contests where no one really explains or understands the argument. That being said, I might be willing to vote on condo if you really explain your interpretation and impact the argument out.

Some other things to note: I enjoy a good case debate. Please be kind and respectful to one another. If you are horribly rude and disrespectful I’ll probably vote against you

Zac Angleton Paradigm

6 rounds

derby debate coach. debated at campus for 4 years and 1 year in college.

LD: value criterion debate is the most important, each debate should say something along the lines i achieve my V/C as well as access my opponents value better. if the V/C debate goes unaddressed by both sides i default to who spoke prettier. your case should support your V/C case debate is import in disproving your opponent cant access V/C. that being said if the V/C debate is close/even i will then look evaluate the case.

PFD: very traditional this isn't policy, dis ads plan text ks are a quick way to lose my ballot. i prefer a slightly above conversations speed level.

T-aff should be topical, if neg runs T i feel like it should be all in T or no T in 2nr at all. neg needs to impact t out and weigh it also just saying they arn't topical they lose is not okay explain why topically is bad what is the tool we use to weigh it and what happens when we don't use this tool.

K- im good with most ks however don't assume i know the lit of them. explain it well. the alt is the most important thing on the k, if i dont understand how the alt solves or the alt doesn't make sense i probably wont vote on it.

CP- im good with most cp's i don't like topical CPS but on this topic those are hard to come by. so i am willing to listen to topical CPS,

as far as theory goes I'm good with you making them args but most of the time reject the arg not the team is sufficient.

condo- is really the only thing that i would vote on if there is actual abuse. not just bad time management.

disads- i like more true scenarios, good with most disads as long as your bases are covered. parts of the disad that i value the most in order


i think the link debates is one of the most important parts of the dis-ad debate.

case- case is important, one important thing to not is that on solvency try or die doesn't makes sense to me if this is the only argument you have on Solvency. you either win the solvency flow or you don't its not try or die, im old school in the sense of stock issues if you lose one (specifically solve ) you typically would lose the round.

framework- if no no FW is read i default to impact calc, however i framework is fine, just because you win FW doesn't mean you win the round it means i weigh the round though that lens, yes it does help your odds of winning but doesn't insure it.

last notes- i find my self looking down when people are speaking its not out of disinterest its because it helps me focus better on what your saying and not on an annoying tick you may or may not have.

Zach Atkins Paradigm

6 rounds

I'll send you a SpeechDrop link.


Rounds judged on 2020-21 topic: 1
- Washburn Rural

Debated at Lansing High School in KS for 4 years
Debated 1 year at KU
Senior at University of Kansas
Assistant Coach for Lansing High School for ~3 years


I’m a few years removed from debating now, so I'm not as fast at flowing as I used to be. You can read fast on cards, but I’d recommend you go at a moderate pace for tags/cites and theory arguments. Moreover, it would be advisable for you to explain your framing for the round a bit more than you normally would; odds are, you don’t want me trying to unravel the round for you, especially since I’m not particularly familiar with the literature on this topic.

If I feel that a team is intentionally personally attacking the other team (e.g. sexism, racism, repeatedly shouting at the other team, generally making the space feel unwelcome or unsafe for anyone else, etc.), I will drastically dock your speaker points on the first offense. If such behavior continues, I will vote you down. If you choose to continue to the point where the other team is visibly uncomfortable and/or upset, you will lose the round, get 0 speaker points, and I will find your coach. I would hope that no one reading this would act in such a fashion, but I want to be upfront about how seriously I take this issue.

If you’re going too fast or you’re unclear, I’ll say “clear”.

Don’t be too rude, I’m not afraid to dock speaker points. I get that sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Generally tech over truth.

Read what you’re good at and explain why you should win. If you do that better than the other team, you’ll win the round.



Extend your entire internal link story, not just your impacts. Explain the specifics of your solvency mechanism -- there are so many different ones on this topic, and I don't want to misinterpret your aff.


Are pretty dang terrible on this topic. Give me lots of impact calc and turns case. Since most of the DAs on this topic have the same or similar impacts as the aff, explain why I should prefer one internal link chain over the other. I don’t just only want to hear about the impacts in the 2NR - that leads to messy debates that are very difficult to adjudicate.


Read whatever CPs you want. I don’t care if they are completely cheating, if the aff doesn’t make a theory arg, I’m not gonna intervene. That being said, I have a pretty low threshold to reject the arg on “that CP is cheating”. Especially on this topic, I tend to err against process counter plans.

If you're gonna make a judge kick arg, make it in the block or in CX if the aff asks. Aff teams - ask this in CX of the 1NC.


You need to prove a link to the aff or their reps/epistemology. Explain what your alt does and give a clear framing as to how I should evaluate the K vs the aff. I'll vote on floating PICs, but make it clear that you're running one.

K Affs

Justify why you don’t have to defend the topic or a plan text. I probably err toward framework. I’m not your ideal judge if you don’t read a plan. I'm a lot more likely to vote for affs with arguments about exclusion to weigh against framework than things like Baudrillard.


I’ll vote on in round and/or potential abuse. I'm pretty persuaded by predictable limits args on this topic since it seems like there are no real limits on the topic. Give TVAs and caselists. Go slower on T - my flowing is a little rusty.


I’m probably not gonna vote on theory unless you're weighing it against T. In that case, explain how your theory args interact with the impacts of T, otherwise I'll end up having to make potentially arbitrary decisions when writing a ballot. I will reject an alt/CP/perm etc. based on theory if you're winning it and evaluate the round as such.

Ask specific questions pre-round or email me at zachatkins21@gmail.com

Zach Baker Paradigm

6 rounds

I am currently a graduate assistant coach for the Kansas State policy debate team. I debated in high school and for Weber State in the NDT/CEDA circuit. Argumentatively, my focuses have been on philosophy and critical theory, so it is likely that I will have at least a respectable amount of background in whatever literature base you are pulling from. That said, I don't do work for you. I do not consider an argument completed until it has been articulated in a speech.

Yes, I want to be on the email chain. zacharypbaker@gmail.com

I evaluate debates by looking for central questions or tensions to be resolved. My eyes are drawn to ink. The heavy implication is that strategic focus is in your interest. A necessary debate skill is being able to tell what matters and what doesn't, and to make arguments about these classifications.

The 1NR is a rebuttal and cannot make new arguments except in response to 2AC arguments. That said, the affirmative must point out that an argument is new for me to disregard it in this manner, barring extreme cases.

My views on debate as an activity are better said by Calum Matheson (https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?judge_person_id=6330).

"Either defend it, or don’t say it. Defend everything.

The appeal of debate for me is in chicanery and sophistry. Arguments are refined by endless friction, like gems in a tumbler…or at least, turds with a good coat of polish. It is a mistake to limit out a class of arguments because they’re “stupid,” “offensive,” or “something no one will ever say”—if they’re bad, then beat them, don’t complain about them. Nothing is too dumb to appear in public discourse. Evil things get said. They flourish when no one engages them; they metastasize when they are labeled taboo and off-limits. That only adds to their appeal. If something is so vile that it would not survive exposure to the light, then be the one to bring it there. Victory in debate rewards good argument. If you can’t beat some argument, then you don’t deserve to win—doubly so if the argument is “bad”—because you’re not a good advocate of your cause if you cannot respond to your opponents. It’s as simple as that. Nearly every supposed benefit of debate is easy to replicate, but this environment of ruthless inquiry is not, and neither is the crucible of high-level competition.

Does that mean I might vote on “warming good because it solves ice age” against a critical aff about object oriented ontology and the Anthropocene? No. It means I will especially do that. Where there’s a link, there’s a way.

Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. I don’t care what kind of argument you make. All kinds of debate can be done well or done poorly. If you can explain why it’s important, then do it. If you cannot, then I cordially request that you do not. One caveat for the college topic: I am more interested in the policy aspects and science of this topic than I usually am, and my favorite debates are likely to be about that. The argument that we should learn about these things is more compelling to me than it normally would be, although that hardly means I’ll ignore the counterarguments. See above.

You have to communicate arguments clearly. The baseline requirement of this activity is that you communicate with the person you’re trying to persuade—that is, after all, how you persuade them. My hearing is not very good, but I will compensate for that without you needing to do anything. I will not yell “clear.” I will not read your stupid card that you slobbered through. I will simply ignore you without feeling, much less remorse.

I am not an unusually emotional person, and as a result, pathetic appeals are not particularly effective for me. I tend to disassociate when people get very emotional. It’s especially obnoxious when debaters scream at each other or generally perform overaggressively. This isn’t a matter of respectability—it’s just boring and tedious to watch a bunch of people I usually don’t know get live about something I don’t usually care about. Saying that you’re upset about something is fine, of course, but you can’t beat an argument by reporting on your brain chemistry. Concentrating on readjusting the dopamine levels of your enemies through losses.

Here are some ways that I think about debate. None of them are immutable; I have changed my mind before and intend to do so frequently in future. I’ll ignore all of these things if you’ve made and won an argument to the contrary in a specific debate. I’m writing this because people make decisions within sets of unquestioned normative parameters all the time (e.g. “human life good” even if no one explicitly says that), so here are some of mine:

--“Any risk” is just objectively wrong. A small enough signal is overwhelmed by noise, which means not only that we can’t establish its magnitude with precision, but if sufficiently small, we can’t establish its sign either. Similarly, “this is 100% true” is almost never the case, even with conceded causal arguments, because the full weight of most things is radically overclaimed. “X will cause Y” almost invariably (there are exceptions) means “X is highly likely to cause Y” because even in well-established relationships r seldom equals 1. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should—I mean that because it will make you a better (policy) debater.

--Uniqueness does not determine the direction of the link. Deep reflection suggests that the, uh, link determines the direction of the link. If X thing prevents Y thing, the occurrence of Y does not make this relationship less likely to be true. In most situations, there should be some residual link turn, because uniqueness tends to be a projection of future likelihood which, although possibly almost certain, is very, very rarely actually certain. If X prevents Y, and Y is almost certainly not happening now, that doesn’t mean that X might cause Y. It means that X would prevent Y if Y was not in fact going to occur, which is possible, although unlikely. “Y happening now” doesn’t change the issue of whether X would cause Y. Those probabilities are calculated separately. Yes, “Y happening now so anything you do might change the outcome” is possible, but it relies on the same sloppy thinking as “any risk.”

--Fairness is usually an internal link, not an impact. Fairness is important to preserve a kind of debate, which needs an impact, or maintain the quality of competition, which needs an impact, etc. If debate was perfectly fair in an argumentative sense (not in an acceptance-of-difference sense), it wouldn’t necessarily be a good model for the world. If we need to learn to debate to overcome warming deniers (or whatever), wouldn’t those skills only be sharpened by unequal odds? Maybe, maybe not, but make an impact argument anyway.

--“The identity of this author is X so this argument is bad” doesn’t typically compel me. It’s not that I don’t think it matters, but rather that people usually don’t make a complete argument. If their identity influenced this argument and so it’s bad, make that link claim specific about what they said. That’s probably more helpful to you anyway.

--“Critical” or identity-based debate has evolved beyond the point where the theoretical language of policy debate still analogizes easily to it. What I mean is that concepts like “permutation,” “opportunity cost,” “intrinsicness,” “net benefit,” “mutual exclusivity,” and so on, most of which are the products of game-theoretical modeling or RAT economic thought, don’t track very well. That’s perhaps good—make the argument you want to make and explain (if necessary) why that’s okay. We should be innovating here, trying to figure out what works in a newer style of debate assessment, not fixating on false analogies. For example, I don’t think “permutations” make sense in debates without plans, but that doesn’t mean that an argument about why two strategies are complementary is necessarily bad.

--Points don't really make any sense to me anymore, but I've gone back to assigning them based on how well a particular speaker fulfills their position's role; i.e., 1Ns get points for being "good 1Ns," so I've been giving them somewhat higher points relative to other debaters that the average (I think). Speaker points are still arbitrary and best used as an expression of praise or disdain, so that's what I'm doing."

[End quotation]

A couple of things to add:

My conceptual framework for a kritik is that it is a non-unique disad with a non-instrumental counterplan. If I should think differently, tell me so.

I really like it when debaters pull specific lines out of evidence in speeches. I tend to mentally track link extension by looking for vocabulary and terms of art to be repeated and applied.

Overview or don't overview, I don't actually care.

If you are making arguments you don't understand, I can probably tell. Do yourself a favor and stick to arguments you can be an effective advocate for and which you find fulfilling, instead of trying to satisfy what you assume I want you to argue. Debate is ultimately for you, not for me.

Shane Billig Paradigm

4 rounds

I'm a fairly adaptable judge; 10+ years of debate experience as a competitor/coach. I default to policymaker framework and I am very familiar with CP/DA theory and am generally okay with any generic arguments, but I'd prefer to have the links analyzed to be as specific as possible. In general analysis and comparison of cards and warrants is the best way to convince me that your evidence is superior, and I find that many 2AC/2NC rely too much on reading more blocks rather than providing unique in round analysis.

I have and will vote on kritiks, and there are many times I think the K is the smartest choice in the round, however the more specific your kritiks get, the less familiar I am with the authors and literature. There are some key exceptions and generally any form of IR kritik or kritik of the general "structure" of society I will understand (Fem IR/Cap/Militarism for example). You must explain the kritik, the role of the ballot, and specifically explain the link and how the alternative functions. Explain the kritik in your own words, don't just read a block at me.

On topicality I default to reasonability, but this doesn't mean that I won't vote on topicality, especially if you give me reasons why I should prefer competing interpretations. In slow/quick rounds I am generally able to get citations on my flow, but in fast rounds you won't be able to extend just by author/year. Talk about the card, its tag, and its role in the round (this is just good extension advice in general). With all arguments if I don't understand your point, it doesn't make it onto my flow because you weren't clear, it got flowed onto the wrong sheet, etc then you didn't say it and I won't evaluate it. This happens most often on theory/T/K where I don't understand the violation or alternative or some other aspect of the argument--and the easiest solution to this problem is again to slow down for a second and use your own words to explain the argument.

If the round is going to have more than 5+ minutes of T/Theory I think everyone is better off if you go at 90% of your speed on those arguments. I am not as fast as you think I am, and while it's rare that I'm sped out of rounds, it does happen, and when it does 90% of the time it's me missing theory analysis because you're blazing through a pre-written block like its a politics card. I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have, and I do my best to adapt my judging style to the round I am in. One thing that I feel many teams do is over-adapt, and it often hurts them. Debate the way you want to debate, and I will evaluate it however you tell me to. I'd much rather judge really good debates over K literature I'm not familiar with prior to the round than bad or bland CP/DA debate.

Chris Biswell Paradigm

6 rounds

debated @ esu for 4 1/2

assistant coach @ Newton for 3

assistant coach @ smw current for 3

chrisbiswell (at) gmail dot com

fyi - A recent injury has made it so I can not grasp a pen for any serious length if time. Not that anyone could read my handwriting anyway, but you'll likely notice ballots being less filled out with a recommendation to email me for more in depth comments. If the tournament is okay with a frd in round, the ballot may just be outright blank, but feel free to still email for a follow up. *this does not impact actual flowing, only written ballots*

You don't lose until I sign the ballot - if you know you are way too behind then it's time to shoot for the moon; condo, dispo turns, try and sell a new link turn, whatever. I appreciate not giving up and being risky on a mid round strat change if executed well and justified.

Affs - it's all fine, role of judge/ballot is appreciated if you do not fiat USFG action. if it's clear the neg has no idea what is going on then I would appreciate you not just reading your blocks and instead helping them a long a bit.

Case args - big fan of modular impact turns and terminal pre/post fiat presumption arguments. A slick add-on in the 2ac to the CP/K is usually as effective as a impact turn pivot in the block.

Impact framing - not to be confused with framework - tbh this usually at best is a call for the neg to extend warrants, which they are gonna do anyway. I generally think this page is a waste of time and relying on it exclusively is usually not going to win me over.

T/framework - competing interps, case lists help with resolving offense. you can be center of the topic and still lose on t if you mishandle the tech.

DA - they can be a little shaky if the on case or cp trades off with the aff well.

CP - cheating ones usually have good reasons why they are bad, making the X cp bad arg on the aff is usually enough. I'm a sucker for good, clever pics tho. I'll buy sufficenecy framing most of the time, especially on an aff biased topic where there is poor neg ground.

K - alts are overrated but if you do have one I appreciate it being explained as a process rather than an event. I tend to be sympathetic to proximate > root cause arguments absent something to mitigate the proximate cause.

For speaks I try and stick to the tournament standard at the time but if thats not avalible then i go with the below.

30 - superior tech, argument deployment, rhetoric. no way to improve your performance in this debate. I feel like you could easily be in semi finals, if not win the entire thing.

29 - missing one of the above. small improvements could be made. A solid octs and above projection.

28 - average. you tried, and it was apparent. lots of room for improvement. I could see you making it to partials/doubles but you'll have a tough time past that.

27 - questionable effort, multiple mistakes. I'd see you going maybe 4-4 at best.

26 and below - you said/did something very problematic.

Brian Box Paradigm

3 rounds

I am the debate coach at Blue Valley North. I previously coached at the University of Kansas. I was a policy debater at Wichita State University (2012) and Campus High School. I have taught camp at Kansas or Michigan every year since I graduated and typically judge 50-80 policy rounds per year, plus some pfd/ld/speech.

email chain: brianbox4 @ gmail

The affirmative team must demonstrate that their inherent proposal, which is an example of the resolution, can solve the significant harms they have identified, or challenge the desirability of doing so, to win the debate. The negative team must win that the affirmative has not met their burden in at least one of these areas to win the debate.

I care far more about your ability to send an email, speak clearly and refute arguments than the aff you read. I am a "policy judge" in the strictest sense, but that has far more to do with my experience in debate than any desire to hold the line for a certain style of argument. I am too old, too tired and consider the stakes of a given high school debate too low to fight any kind of ideological battle. I do not care what kind of arguments you read. My most obvious and influential bias is that I am a neg judge.

Competing interpretations should guide your topicality debating. The aff needs an offensive justification for their vision of the topic. I find the arguments for why the aff should be topical to be better than the arguments against it. If you are reading an aff that is not topical, you are more likely to win my ballot on arguments about why your model of debate is good than you are on random impact turns to T.

Evidence matters a lot. I read lots of evidence and it heavily factors into my decision. Cross-ex is important and the best ones focus on the evidence. Author qualifications, histories, intentions, purpose, funding, etc. matter. Application of author indicts/epistemic arguments about evidence mean more to me than many judges. I find myself more than willing to ignore or discount poorly supported arguments.

Either get good or get good at going for theory. Judge kick is the logical extension of conditionality. I am far more likely to be convinced by a qualitative interpretation than a quantitative one. Have yet to hear a good reason why 4 conditional is worse than 3 is worse than 2. I am more likely to vote aff on an objection to the competition of a counterplan than I am an argument about limiting the scope of negative fiat. Obviously the two are not entirely separable. This is not me saying "don't go for theory," this is me saying that your theory argument needs to be more than simply describing what happened in the debate.

I cannot emphasize enough how much clarity matters to me. If you have dramatic tone changes between tag and card, where you can barely be heard when reading the text of evidence, you will get lower points from me and you should stop doing that. If I can't understand the argument, it doesn't count. There is no difference between being incoherent and clipping.

Lose the computer. Probably the single biggest thing that will cause your points to go up or down in front of me is the amount of time you spend reading into your computer screen at a rate that is impossible for me to flow vs. the amount of time you spend using your flow to identify and respond to arguments.

The link usually matters the most. I typically care more about the link than other parts of the argument. Framework or alternative solvency do not reduce the salience of the link. Evidence is important here. When in competition, you should spend more time answering the link than reading impact defense.

Brandon Boyce Paradigm

2 rounds

Currently a debate coach at Cal State Long Beach. I debated for KU for a bit in college and at Emporia High in high school. I am pretty comfortable with most types of debate and will listen to almost anything in rounds.

Include me in Flashing and emails. Also email me for questions after the round if you have any.


Speed- Any speed is fine. I debated mostly fast rounds but am willing to judge lay rounds as well. Do not go fast to accommodate for me if you can not pull it off. It will reflect poorly on your speaks. I will say clear twice for any 1 speech and if you do not fix the issue I will not attempt to flow what I can not understand.

Disads- I believe that a DA needs to have some external impact to the plan and should interact with the aff's advantages. I find DA's to be the easiest way to win a debate. Generic links are fine as long as you can relate them to the aff through analysis. Turns case arguments are very promising for the negative team.

Counterplans- They have to be competitive. Advantage CP's are fine but unless you are winning an impact turn to the rest of the aff it's hard to win. Negative teams have to prove why the perm doesn't work contextualized to the aff and counterplan. I also need some time of net benefit to pull the trigger. As a competitor I won with CP theory a lot and have voted for it many times.

Kritiks- I'm fine if you read them but I'd like you to explain them. I am a fan of security, neolib, and biopower. I am almost 100% not voting for a Baudrillard K unless it is conceded by the aff. I also am unconvinced by death good arguments. Link debate needs to be good on the K flow. I'm a fan of permutation arguments on the K flow and will probably lean aff on that side of the debate. I will vote on linear DA's. Alt Solvency needs to be proved to me, I as a judge will not take a "leap of faith" for the alternative. I find rejection alternatives awful and there is almost no chance I vote for it.

Theory-I love theory debate. As a competitor, I went for theory several times and am extremely willing to vote for it. Perm theory is compelling, perf con is a voting issue, and so is most CP theory. I am not likely to vote on condo, but it is possible. It's an uphill battle for anything less than 3 condo advocacies but after 3 it starts to become viable. Dropped theory is a pretty big deal so if you concede a theoretical reason to the reject the team then the debate is probably over. If you go for theory in 2A/2N you need to have explained impacts on the debate world.

T/FW- I mostly believe affs should attempt to be topical and should probably read a plantext. It is the neg's job to prove a violation not the affirmatives to prove they are topical. Tell me how to frame the T flow and I will listen to you. Standards debate is really underrated and needs to be a focal point of the debate if you're going for T. Voting issues are also important to me, I find debate is a competitive and educational activity and love to see people read external impacts to education.

Speaker Points: Generally, these are subjective...but I base them on a mix of strategy and style.

25: Please be more considerate with your words. You were offensive during round and I will not tolerate that because debate is about learning and it becomes very hard to learn if someone is not putting thought into their words (ie. please stop being racist, sexist, homophobic, etc).

26-26.9: Below average. Most likely there were strategic errors in round. Arguments were probably missing sections and did not have a ton of structure.

27-27.9: Average. General structure is down, but most likely the arguments were not flushed out and were loosely constructed with hard to follow logic.

28-28.5: Above Average. All the parts of debate are there and the manipulation of the arguments is there but unpolished. The basics are done well.

28.5-28.9: Superior. Very clear and very well done debate. However, most likely some strategic errors were made.

29-29.9: Excellent. Wow, you can debate really well. Good strategy and good analysis.

30: You were godly.

Clever arguments are the best arguments. I enjoy jokes so make me laugh please. Be respectful to the other team. Have a good debate!

John Burris Paradigm

4 rounds

***I would like to be in on the e-mail chain -- john.burris@usd497.org

I debated for four years at Field Kindley High School (Coffeyville, KS). I chose not to debate in college, and was hired as an Assistant Coach at Lawrence Free State High School (Lawrence, KS) for the 2019-20 school year.

You are welcome to present your arguments in whatever framework/paradigm you prefer, and I'll evaluate the round accordingly. Otherwise, I default to being a policymaker. Do what you feel you're best at, be confident, and have fun.

Speed: Slow down a little for anything procedural, and plan/counterplan text in particular. Otherwise, I'm fine with speed. If I am not flowing, that is a bad sign.

Disadvantages: Generics are fine but you're going to have to do the work on impact calculus later in the game (magnitude/timeframe/probability).

Counterplans: Fine. I don't lean either way on theory, with the exception that on Aff., I tend to default to permutations should include the entire Aff. plan and all or part of the counterplan. I'm willing to listen to reasons otherwise.

Theory: I try to evaluate on a technical level and reward/penalize soundness and unforced errors accordingly. If the debate is just reading frontlines and blocks I have a very hard time tuning in.

Kritiks: There needs to be a clear link to the case and the alternative must be well-explained. If the debate becomes kritik vs. kritik then please make your points of competition clear.

CX: I flow questions and answers. 18.75% of any complete debate round will be spent in CX. I think that's non-trivial. Each speaker and team stands to gain/lose by how well or poorly a CX goes. Be civil to the other team and your teammate.

Other: If you are performing outside of the realm of the above, please identify the role of the ballot. I will not vote on disclosure theory. Tech over truth, though there is definitely a floor/ceiling to that.

Personal other: The two people that have influenced my debate thinking the most are Darrel Harbaugh (retired FKHS coach and NSDA Hall-of-Famer) and Ross Smith (the late coach of Wake Forest University's debate team, where I chose to attend camp), if that helps illuminate where I'm from. I have competed and judged in elim rounds at NSDA Nationals.

Addendum for KCS tournament (1/10 - 1/11/2020): Do whatever you're most comfortable doing.

If it's not covered above, ask.

Good luck,


Azja Butler Paradigm

6 rounds

Lansing High School – 2018

University of Kansas – 2022

Assistant Coach for Lansing High School

Paradigm Last Updated – Fall 2019; 09/23

Email – azjabutler@gmail.com – Put me on the email chain :)

I was a policy debater in Kansas all four years of high school. I am currently debating at the University of Kansas, and attended the Jayhawk Debate Institute for three summers while debating in high school.

First & Foremost -

Do whatever you can to win the debate. I, obviously, have my opinions about certain arguments, but am competent enough to follow and adjudicate whatever. Spread, don’t spread, I have to listen to you regardless and am aware of spreading as a debate practice. Just know that I am comfortable “clearing” you if I can’t understand you. Please, check your privilege and be aware of how you can affect this space for someone else. Disclosure is good and should be reciprocated. Clipping/cutting cards out of context is academic malpractice and won't end well for you. Lastly, if you lose the debate and are unhappy with my decision, more than likely that is your fault for not sitting more on a certain argument or not explaining something better to me. I will do my best to make my decision clear and concise so that loss won't happen again:)

General Debate Things -

I think the AFF should respond to the resolution in some way. That can be you critiquing it, reading a plan, not reading a plan ... I don't really care how, but you should warrant out why the way you're choosing to/not to engage the resolution is good. I love framework and topicality. K's are not cheating. I will vote on theory if impacted out well. I'm pretty indifferent towards PIKS/PICS - you could persuade me either way. Same for questions of conditionality. The less the AFF can be leveraged against the counter-plan to more cheating it probably is, but that's a debate to be had I suppose.


I am familiar with these arguments and spend a lot of time working through performative strategies. I am always down for something new, so bring it! Judge instruction and strong defense of the performance is key. I think an explanation of your performance's relationship to debate is useful and would probably be good for you. At the end of the debate I shouldn't be left feeling that the performative aspects of the strategy were useless. If debating a performative AFF/NEG in front of me do your best to engage it and DO NOT PANIC (otherwise you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage).


I spend a lot of time thinking about this argument and really appreciate a good clash debate. This might be a hot take, but I think fairness is more of an internal link to education and other framework impacts. However, I think that if you win that debate is in fact a game and nothing less ... then, I could vote on fairness as an impact that must be preserved for the game's sake. Both teams need a solid defense of their model. At the end of the debate I should be able to explain the model I voted for to the other team and why I thought it was better for debate. While I don't think it's impossible to win my ballot saying debate is bad, you will need a robust defense of your physical presence in this space for this to be offense for you. Other than these thoughts you all should be able to let loose.


I am the most comfortable here. I am more knowledgeable of things like neoliberalism and anti-blackness because those arguments are closer to what I run personally. However, that doesn't mean I am incapable of evaluating K's of security, bio-power, settler colonialism, queer theory and other K's of identity. I am not as well versed in post-modern theory (i.e. baudrillard, dng, or nietzche). If I don't understand the argument I have a hard time believing I'd be able to evaluate it to your standards, which means reading it is at your own risk and will require a THICC uphill battle of an explanation to get my ballot. I am of the opinion that, while some of the beauty of K debate is the complexity of the theory, the simpler the explanation the better. At the end of the debate I should understand why the AFF/Resolution is uniquely problematic so explain your links. I think voting for the K should resolve the link(s) you've presented. If you kick the alternative and go for the linear DA that should be apparent and justified. For the AFF: Strategic framing of your permutation and your AFF is a good idea. Explain why you get to weigh your impacts against the K. You did read 8min of offense, so use it. Solvency deficits/ DA's to the alternative are really persuasive and are underrated in my opinion. Vague ALTs being good or bad is definitely a debate to be had. If you read a K AFF - go for it - I feel like all of my above opinions still apply.


I've worked most with politics, but don't cut a lot of these arguments. I will read the ev and depend heavily on impact framing to make decisions about how the DA should be evaluated. I think all parts of the DA are important and are required to win my ballot. Winning the uniqueness of the DA and its impacts are important when I am weighing the risks between the AFF and the NEG. Clear link and internal link explanation is a must and has the capacity to shape the uniqueness debate for sure. At the end of the debate ... ok fine this impact happens... why does it matter more than the AFF? Why should it be prevented first? These are questions I think need to be answered to win my ballot. If the DA is dropped then winning it becomes a lot easier, but doesn't necessarily mean an auto win.


My experience with counterplans is more in the realm of PICS and 'performative' counterplans than anything else. I think this means I probably am more receptive to counterplan theory, but these arguments MUST be impacted out in terms of why they are a bad practice for debate. I think the permutation and "counterplan links to the netben" arguments are probably the most persuasive to me when answering counterplans. I think the counterplan text should do something and probably gets fiat. However, I think a theory argument could be leveraged and persuade me otherwise. I probably default to sufficiency framing. I think the biggest thing here for me is I want to know what the counterplan would actually do and why it subsumes the AFF’s offense/resolves the AFF impacts. All of that being said... this is the area I work the least on so your debating of it must be FIRE.

Matt Coleman Paradigm

3 rounds

Updated for the Legalization Topic 9/11/14

I do want on the e-mail chain: mmcoleman10@gmail.com

Debate Experience: Wichita State graduate 2009. We read a middle of the road straight up affirmative and won more debates on arguments like imperialsim good than should have been possible. However, on the negative roughly half of my 2NRs were a K (with the other half being some combination of T, politics/case etc.) so I believe firmly in argumentative flexibility and am comfortable voting for or against almost all arguments.

Judging Experience: 5-8 tournaments each year since graduating.

Most importantly: I do not work with a team currently so I have not done any topic research, my only involvement is judging a handful of tournaments each year. It would be in your best interest to not assume I have the intricacies of your PIC or T argument down and take some time explaining the basis of your arguments. If the first time I figure out what your CP does or what your violation is on T is after you give me the text after the debate, my motivation to vote for you is going to be pretty low. I am currently a practicing attorney so I may have some insight on the topic from that perspective, but I'll try to minimize what impact that has on my decisions outside of possibly some suggestions after the debate on how to make it more accurately reflect how the legal process works.

Ways to kill your speaker points/irritate me

1. Cheating - I mean this substantively not argumentatively. This can include stealing prep time, clipping cards, lying about disclosure etc. If people are jumping cards or waiting to get the flash drive and you are furiously typing away on your computer it's pretty obvious you are stealing prep and I will call you out on it.

2. Being unecessarily uptight/angry about everything. There's no need to treat every round like it's the finals of the NDT, try having some fun once in awhile I promise your points from me and others will go up as a result. I take debate seriously and enjoying being a part of debate, but you can be very competitive and still generally pleasant to be around at the same time. I have no problem if people want to make fun of an argument, but it's one thing to attack the quality of an argument and another entirely to attack the person reading those arguments.

3. Not letting the other person talk in cross-x. It irritates me greatly when one person answers and asks every single question on one team.

4. A lack of line-by-line debate. If your only reference to the previous speeches is some vague reference to "the link debate" you are going to be irritated with my decision. I'm only willing to put in the same amount of work that you are. This is not to say that I can't be persuaded to have a more holistic view of the debate, but if I can't tell what arguments you are answering I am certainly going to be sympathetic if the other team can't either. Also people over use the phrase "dropped/conceded" to the point that I'm not sure they mean anything anymore, I'm paying attention to the debate if something is conceded then certainly call the other team out, if they spent 2 minutes answering it skip the part of your block that says "they've conceded: . It just makes me feel that you aren't putting the same work that I am in paying attention to what is occurring in the debate.

5. If your speech/cx answers sound like a biblography. Having evidence and citations is important, but if all you can do is list a laundry list of citations without any explanation or application and then expect me to wade through it all in the end, well we're probably not going to get along. I do not tend to read many cards after a debate if any. I pretty quickly figure out where the important arguments (debaters that identify and highlight important arguments themselves and resolve those debates for me are going to be very far ahead) and then I will turn to arguments and evidentiary issues that are contested.

Ways to impress me

1. Having strategic vision among the different arguments in the debate. Nothing is better than having a debater realize that an answer on one sheet of paper is a double turn with a team's answer on another and be able to capitalize on it, bold moves like that are often rewarded with good points and wins if done correctly.

2. Using your cross-x well. Few people use this time well, but for me it's some of the most valuable speech time and it can make a big difference in the outcome of debates if used effectively.

3. Having a working knowledge of history. It's amazing to me how many arguments are just patently untrue that could be disproven with even a basic understanding of history, I think those are good arguments and often more powerful than the 10 word overhighlighted uniqueness card you were going to read instead.


I enjoy a well crafted and strategic T argument. My biggest problem with these debates is the over emphasis on the limits/reasonability debate occuring in the abstract, usually at the expense of spending enough time talking about the particulars of the aff/neg interps their support in the literature, and how the particular interp interacts with the limits/reasonability debate. T cards rival politics uniqueness cards as the worst ones read in debate, and more time should be spent by both teams in pointing this out.

I think this topic provides an interesting opportunity for discussion with the absence of the federal government in the topic as far as what the Aff can and should be allowed to defend. I'm curious how both Affs and Negs will choose to adapt to this change.

Topicality - K Affs

I think you have to have a defense of the resolution, the manner in which that is done is up to the particular debate. Unfortunately I've been forced to vote on T = genocide more times than I'd like to admit, but Neg's refuse to answer it, no matter how terrible of an argument it is (and they don't get much worse). Critical Affs are likely to do the best in front of me the stronger their tie is to the resolution. The argument there is "no topical version of our aff" has always seemed to me to be a reason to vote Neg, not Aff. Stop making that argument, doing so is just an indication you haven't read or don't care what I put in here and it will be reflected in your points.

I don't ususally get more than one or two opportunities per year to judge debates centered around issues of race/sex/identity but try to be as open as I can to these types of debates when they do occur. I still would prefer these arguments have at least some tie to the resolution as I think this particular topic does allow for good discussion of a lot of these issues. I have generally found myself voting Aff in these types of debates, as the Negative either usually ignores the substance of the Aff argument or fails to explain adequately why both procedurally and substantively the way the Aff has chosen to approach the topic is bad. Debates about alternate ways in which these issues might be approached in terms of what Negatives should get to say against them compared to what the Aff should be forced to defend seem most relevant to me, and one that I find interesting to think about and will try hard to make an informed decision about.


I like this style of debate a lot. However, one thing I don't like is that I find myself increasingly voting on made up CPs that for some unknown reason link slightly less to politics, simply because Aff teams refuse to challenge this claim. To sum up, don't be afraid to make smart analytical arguments against all arguments in the debate it can only help you. I am among those that do believe in no risk either of an aff advantage or neg disad, but offense is always nice to have.

Affs also seem to give up too easily on theory arguments against certain process CPs (condition/consult etc.) and on the issue of the limits of conditionality (it does exist somewhere, but I can be persuaded that the number of neg CPs allowed can be high/low depending on the debate). In general though I do tend to lean neg on most theory issues and if you want to win those arguments in front of me 1) slow down and be comprehnsible 2) talk about how the particulars of the neg strategy affected you. For example conditionality might be good, but if it is a conditional international agent cp mixed with 2 or 3 other conditional arguments a more coherent discussion about how the strategy of the 1nc in general unduly harmed the Aff might be more effective than 3 or 4 separate theory arguments.


I judge these debates a lot, particularly the clash of civilization debates (the result of judging exclusively in D3). Negative teams would do well to make their argument as particularized to the Aff as possible and explain their impact, and by impact I mean more than a vague use of the word "ethics" or "ontology" in terms of the Aff and how it would implicate the aff advantages. If you give a 2NC on a K and haven't discussed the Aff specifically you have put yourself in a bad position in the debate, apply your arguments to the Aff, or I'm going to be very hesitant to want to vote for you.

Additionally while I vote for it pretty often exploring the critical literature that isn't "the Cap K" would be pleasantly appreciated. I can only judge Gabe's old cap backfiles so many times before I get bored with it, and I'd say 3/4 of the debates I judge it seems to pop up. Be creative. Affs would be smart not to concede big picture issues like "no truth claims to the aff" or "ontology first." I vote for the K a lot and a large percentage of those debates are because people concede big picture issues. Also keep in mind that if you like impact turning the K I may be the judge for you.

Carolyn Cook Paradigm

4 rounds

I certainly have arguments that I enjoy and am more comfortable evaluating than others, but I also find that I much prefer seeing you do what you do best in rounds. I also dislike when debaters are mean. This activity is awesome--I believe that it pushes us and makes us better thinkers and people--and debaters cheapen that opportunity when we choose not to respect one another. Please just be kind humans.

I am most comfortable functioning as a policy maker. If you don't think the aff should get to weigh their 1AC against the criticism, you have to tell me why--same if you think that we should abandon the topic as the aff. Understand that I have less experience evaluating critiques, so unorganized debates that are heavily reliant on jargon that I am unfamiliar with and expect me to evaluate literature that I have little experience with and you do little work on become frustrating.

You should clearly articulate the arguments you want to forward in the debate--I value persuasion as an important part of this activity.

Please be organized--doing so allows me to focus on the quality of argumentation in the round. Debates are so much more fun to watch when you have a strategic approach that you execute with care. Talk about your evidence. Warranted and strategic analysis that demonstrates your understanding of your own arguments and their interactions with your opponent's make debates better.

I default competing interpretations on Topicality and think T debates should include case lists and topical version of the aff. I think that weighing impacts is important. I also just enjoy good case debate. I tend to find consult and and condition CPs to be cheating...but you still have to answer them. You should always answer conditionality.

I really prefer that you are as explicit about HOW you would like for me to evaluate the debate and WHY this approach is best.

Please speak clearly... if you are incomprehensible my flow will not be great and the quality of my evaluation of the round will likely decrease.

I debated in high school in Kansas from 1999-2003. I coached high school debate throughout college but did not debate in college. I was the director of debate at Lansing High School where I coached and taught from 2009-2018. I am now in the second year of directing debate at Shawnee Mission South.

My email is carolyncook@smsd.org and I think it would be awesome for you all to start the email chain before I get to the debate so that we don't have to waste time doing it once I arrive:)

Mallory Copeland Paradigm

4 rounds

Debated for 4 years at Shawnee Heights High School in Kansas (Military Presence- Economic Engagement), coached for 4 years in Kansas, and currently coach for Lincoln High School in Portland.

Put me on the email chain mallory.copeland23@gmail.com

*Everyone should be respectful. If y'all are rude/racist/homophobic/ableist/sexist etc. I consider that a reason to vote against you.* this will be your only warning. You can be nice and still win debates.

*If y'all aren't reading a content warning and describe trauma/violence/in general issues that need a content warning, I will vote you down*

Overall: Tabula rasa, default policymaker. I prefer you go at a moderate speed and slow for tags, especially as we are doing virtual debates. I'm not super familiar with all of the topic literature yet, and haven't been able to watch any practice rounds or judge camp debates, take that into account. I'm probably not your ideal K or counterplan theory judge. I understand the basics of Ks and some of ideologies, but I tend to get lost in the theory debate. If you slow down and explain it more that would help win my ballot. On T- I default to competing interpretations. If you’re not rejecting the topic, you should be topical.

When it comes to CJR and issues that relate to racism/incarceration/sexual assault, I'm truth over tech. There is no reason why we should perpetuate lies to win a debate.

Framework vs non-traditional affs: If you think the aff should be topical, tell me why your model of debate is better than theirs. I prefer external impacts, but will still evaluate fairness as an impact if you go for it.

Specific Arguments

Aff: Need to have a method through which you solve your impacts, if you’re topical, that means you’re using the USfg and have a plan. If you’re reading a K, I want a clear articulation of how your advocacy is adopted/changes the debate space/matters in terms of impacts.

Case Debate: You don’t need carded evidence to point out solvency deficits of the aff. Analytics are generally smarter and more true than the arguments that take you 20 seconds to read the card.

Clarity>Speed: I’ll say clear once, but after that I’ll probably just stop flowing. I don’t think it’s my job or my prerogative to flow the speech off of the speech doc, so don’t assume you can go as fast as you want just because I’m on the email chain. SLOW on theory/T/analytics. Embedded clash in the overview is nice, but don’t put all your answers to the line by line there.

Cross-x: I flow cross-ex, and I think you should have a strategy for cross ex that helps you set up or further your arguments. If there is truly a part of the aff that is confusing, go ahead and ask for clarification, but your CX shouldn’t give the other team an opportunity to re-explain entire arguments.

Topicality: Describe to me what type of debate your interp justifies, and what type of debate theirs justifies. Whose interpretation of the resolution is better? Impact T out, for example limits in a vacuum don’t mean anything, I want you to explain how limits are key to your education and fairness. I could be persuaded to vote on reasonability, but for the most part think that competing interps is the best paradigm.

Disadvantages: Link controls the direction of the disad. Specificity over generics.

Counterplans: Presumption flips aff if the 2NR goes for the CP. I would judge kick the CP even if not explicitly told by the 2NR, unless the 2AR tells me a super cool reason why judge kick is bad that I haven't heard yet.

Kritiks: Run what you want, articulate what the alt is and how it solves for the impacts you’re claiming. Not enough teams explain HOW the alt works, which I think is devastating when compared to an aff’s clear mechanisms for solving their harms. A conceded root cause explanation or a PIK (“alt solves the aff”) would be a way to win my ballot if explained well. The floating PIK needs to be clearly made early on for me to evaluate it. I’m most familiar with fem, anthro, and neolib, but would listen to other K’s.

Theory: I rarely, if ever vote on theory. Mostly because most teams don’t spend more than 1 minute on it in the final speeches. If the aff thinks the neg reading 7 off was abusive, then the 2AR should be case + condo bad. Dedication to explaining and going for the argument validates it as a reason to consider it. If you spend 30 seconds on extending a dropped ASPEC argument, I’m definitely not voting on it.

Spencer Culver Paradigm

4 rounds

NDT debater @ University of Wyoming – 2013-2018. 2x NDT qualifier.

yes email chain - spencerculver1@gmail.com

Make strong arguments, compare them with other arguments and assess their relative importance in the debate.

Debate how you’d like.

Make complete arguments.

Links are highly important to me, but good impact calculus wins debates.

Top level considerations:

- The winner of a debate is usually the team who has the strongest arguments (duh…). I am more interested in listening to a debate with strongly supported arguments and specific clash than any particular type/category of content in a debate (i.e. I prefer hearing a good debate over hearing one particular style or approach to debate).

- Identifying the important questions / winning the key arguments in a debate is under-done imo. Erring on the side of winning one, two, or three arguments and explaining why those win you the debate is far better than trying to win most of the arguments without explaining how they interact or weighing their importance. Good debaters make choices.

- Not a fan of the offense/defense paradigm. Willing to vote on ‘no risk of a link, impact, etc.’

- “The affirmative has the Burden of Proof to overcome presumption. The team advancing an individual argument has the burden of proof to advance a complete argument. If the significance of that distinction is unclear to you, ask and I can happily explain.” stolen from Travis Cram

- Keys to good speaks: organization/line-by-line proficiency, demonstrating deep knowledge on something relevant to the debate, excelling at cross-ex, humor.

Specific thoughts:

T / Framework: I like T debates. I think that there are ways to affirm the topic that don’t necessitate a traditional plan being read. I’d prefer an affirmative that has content connected with the topic, the more specific the better. I have no presuppositions against either. I spent more time going for T against critical affirmatives than defending critical affirmatives than T, but I think I’m pretty close to the middle on the issue. I tend to prefer clear interpretations with an outlined idea of how debates on the topic would go over vague ‘reasonable’ ones.

DAs: I like ‘em. Link and internal link specificity matters most to me. Warrant and evidence comparison is next in the line of importance. Impact calc wins debates though.

CPs: Having these things is best: a clear-solvency advocate and a world that doesn’t result in the entire aff. Competition is important. Specificity here is important. If it’s a highly nuanced CP, take some time in the 2NC overview to give me some bearings and explain the context.

Critiques: Link and internal link specificity matters to me here, too. Example-driven argument and comparison are very valuable. If the subject matter of the debate is complex, do what you can to make the content more concrete and clear for me.

Case debates: underloved, in my opinion. I like really in-depth case debates. It makes winning on the neg far easier.

Other notes: I have a lot of facial expressions. Paying attention to that could be advantageous. Being courteous is valuable. I don't like prep stealing.

Kenny Delph Paradigm

4 rounds

————— NSDA UPDATE —————

My name is Kenny, I’ve been in policy debate for about 6 years now. I debated 3 years at LRCH on the Latin America, Ocean, and Surveillance topics. Currently debating at the University of Kansas and the 2019 CEDA Nationals finalist.

In summary I view debate in a very general way: any arguments you make should have a claim - warrant - impact and i flow what debaters tell me to/what you tell me are the most important arguments. Any arguments that meet any of the -isms (sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia ) will be met with speaker points that reflect so don’t be an asshole.

My experience in debate is mostly Kritikal debate, but since I’ve lived in Kansas I’ve been exposed to a lot of lay and traditional arguments. In general you should read arguments that you are comfortable with and i'll judge them. Yes I love a good Baudrillard K aff as much as I love CP/DA debates.


Truth over tech/Tech over truth? - Depends, i view myself evaluating truth before tech concessions but that isn’t always the case. I think technical concession are important for evaluating impact debates, so utilize both these to your advantage.

Framework on the Neg? - I’ll evaluate any negative arguments about the meta of debate. If you win your model of debate is good and the aff in question doesn’t access it then generally I’m pretty neutral on Framework arguments. Same for K’s with framing questions, the way you want me to evaluate a prior question should be framed as such.

10 off? I’d prefer if you didn’t but again, if its utilized in a way that’s strategic then go off.

Theory arguments? I believe theory arguments are heavily under utilized in high school debates. I evaluate conditionality and presumption debates as much as I evaluate K vs Framework.


Debated for 3 years at Little Rock Central High in AR

Debater at KU

they/them/theirs pronouns

email is delphdebate@gmail.com

Currently debating at the University of Kansas. I 've been in many CEDA-NDT Elim rounds. This is my third year judging HS debate, I debated on Latin America, Oceans, and Surveillance on the TOC circuit.

"If you can't dazzle me with excellence, baffle me with bullshit."


I consider myself to be pretty flex when it comes to arguments that teams want to read. I debate more critical but you should read whatever arguments that you are comfortable with. Any racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc will be met wth speaker points that reflect, so don't be an asshole.

"Truth over tech?" depends, most debates if you are winning a structuring claims about things i tend to lean more truth over tech, but tech concession of impact/link turns etc. i also find persuasive


I have a certain threshold for certain arguments that I will vote on in theory debates, I think condo is a definite aff/neg ballot if it gets dropped in the neg block or rebuttals. I tend to vote neg on presumption, in those debates I think a lot of the perm debate and solvency portions of both sides are important to those rounds. CP contextual theory, perm text theory, textual severance, etc etc im all game for theory. i think theory debates get underutilized a lot


I think this portion of the debate is always underutilized and a lot of affirmatives get away with weighing impacts of badly constructed advantages with bad internal links to their impacts - impact turns are cool yo.

K aff

I read them, I think that you should read whatever you read on the aff. I will vote for them, but I at least think they should be in the direction of the topic and a reason why the topical version doesn't solve.


If performance is your thing - go ahead go for it.

FW on the neg

I will vote on a neg FW but I think that there are certain arguments that I'm gonna have a harder time pulling the trigger on, i.e. fairness. I don't think fairness is something I would absolutely vote on but of course that all depends on the round. I also think the neg should be doing a lot of work why the state/usfg is worth it, why the aff isnt good for a model of debate, or why the judge should care. Generic args on framework aren't gonna cut it for me tbh, i need a concise way of why i should view the debate through the neg and why the aff doesnt solve etc etc.


Read them is HS, still read them in college. Pretty versed in most of the lit but you shouldn't use a lot of buzzwords in front of me. I think you should say why the aff is uniquely bad and how the alternative can resolve its impacts and the squo. Why perms don't solve, links are disads, etc etc. I find alternative debates to be the most shallow, I think even if you are winning reason the links are disads you still need a reason the alt isn't the squo. Role of the ballot arguments are self-serving but it makes is a lot easier to evaluate them when they are dropped or not contested by the aff. Aff teams: FW on Ks is underutilized, I think you should make arguments about why you should get to weigh your impacts vs the K.

Any other questions just ask before the round

Toma Dimitriu Paradigm

6 rounds

debated in high school in Kansas from 2013 to 2017. been involved judging speech and debate since then including CX debate at the NSDA tournament in 2019 and state championship/nsda quals in kansas. .

for the good of your peers provide content warnings for speeches and avoid language/behavior that threatens or harms others.

email for email chain, questions, etc. : dimitriutoma@gmail.com

stuff about Affirmatives: i'm mostly interested whether you can defend your advocacy: from prototypical topic aff to no-plan criticism. i understand the plan-text (or thesis, or whatever) as a statement of fact, e.g. if you say "the usfg should stop exporting arms," you should prove this is the case, including defending the methods you may specify. i disfavor relying on the negative being unable to understand exactly what your aff is, so i'm generally sympathetic to theory arguments regarding vagueness, intrinsicness, and severance. not clarifying what the aff defends by the end of the cx of the 1ac is an error of the affirmative.

stuff about Negatives: the neg either should prove the aff's advocacy is bad or provide a different advocacy. i will default to evaluate a single, consistent negative advocacy as presented in the 2nr, meaning i understand the negative is defending either the status quo, a counter plan, an alt to a K, or one other .


Topicality: i don't assume topicallity is important in every round, so i'm interested in being told why i should vote one way or another on T. if i'm left asking "what's the impact to T?" at the end of the debate, i'm probably going to vote on something else in the round.

Disadvantages: a disadvantage is usually not sufficient to win a debate alone. a DA deployed in a strategy including case turns and case defense is much more potent. i don't care if the link is generic or specific in terms of how many topic affs they hit, but the link evidence should be explicit about how whatever the aff is arguing for will cause something to happen.

the K, Kritik, Critique, Criticism, etc. : i like Ks, but i will never be as well-read as i'd like to be (so i might not have read any of your authors or i might have read all of them). a K that turns case doesn't need an alt. --- aff take note: i'm picky about permutations, so perms need to be persuasive (explain why the thesis of the K does/should not apply to the aff) if the affirmative advocacy is ostensibly opposed to the thesis of the criticism. if you lose the K, a perm will probably not save you (unless the neg doesn't answer). if you read a K, reading framework is a good idea.

Counter Plans: i often vote against counterplans because i find they are not exclusive/competitive with the aff (my threshold on the perm against CPs is lower because the aff is usually not antithetical to the CP). "the perm links to the net benefit" is not usually sufficient to establish competition. i don't have anything against CPs as a strategy choice or any specific type or subcategory of CP otherwise.

Sean Duff Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated 4 years at Dowling HS in Des Moines, Iowa (09-12, Energy, Poverty, Military, Space)
Debated at KU (13-15, Energy, War Powers, Legalization)
Previously Coached: Ast. Coach Shawnee Mission Northwest, Lansing High School.
Currently Coaching: Ast. Coach Washburn Rural High School

Top Level
Do whatever you need to win rounds. I have arguments that I like / don't like, but I'd rather see you do whatever you do best, than do what I like badly. Have fun. I love this activity, and I hope that everyone in it does as well. Don't be unnecessarily rude, I get that some rudeness happens, but you don't want me to not like you. Last top level note. If you lose my ballot, it's your fault as a debater for not convincing me that you won. Both teams walk into the room with an equal chance to win, and if you disagree with my decision, it's because you didn't do enough to take the debate out of my hands.

Carrot and Stick
Carrot - every correctly identified dropped argument will be rewarded with .1 speaks (max .5 boost)
Stick - every incorrectly identified dropped argument will be punished with -.2 speaks (no max, do not do this)

DAs - please. Impact calc/ turns case stuff obviously great, and I've seen plenty of debates (read *bad debates) where that analysis is dropped by the 1ar. Make sure to answer these args if you're aff.

Impact turns - love these debates. I'll even go so far as to reward these debates with an extra .2 speaker points. By impact turns I mean heg bag to answer heg good, not wipeout. Wipeout will not be rewarded. It will make me sad.

CPs - I ran a lot of the CPs that get a bad rep like consult. I see these as strategically beneficial. I also see them as unfair. The aff will not beat a consult/ condition CP without a perm and/or theory. That's not to say that by extending those the aff autowins, but it's likely the only way to win. I lean neg on most questions of CP competition and legitimacy, but that doesn't mean you can't win things like aff doesn't need to be immediate and unconditional, or that something like international actors are illegit.

Theory - Almost always a reason to reject the arg, not the team. Obviously conditionality is the exception to that rule.

T - Default competing interps. Will vote on potential abuse. Topical version of the aff is good and case lists are must haves. "X" o.w. T args are silly to me.

Ks - dropping k tricks will lose you the debate. I'm fine with Ks, do what you want to. Make sure that what you're running is relevant for that round. If you only run security every round, if you hit a structural violence aff, your security K will not compel me. Make sure to challenge the alternative on the aff. Make sure to have a defense of your epistemology/ontology/reps or that these things aren't important, losing this will usually result in you losing the round.

K affs - a fiat'd aff with critical advantages is obviously fine. A plan text you don't defend: less fine, but still viable. Forget the topic affs are a hard sell in front of me. It can happen, but odds are you're going to want someone else higher up on your sheet. I believe debate is good, not perfect, but getting better. I don't think the debate round is the best place to resolve the issues in the community.

Speaker points.
I don't really have a set system. Obviously the carrot and stick above apply. It's mostly based on how well you did technically, with modifications for style and presentation. If you do something that upsets me (you're unnecessarily rude, offensive, do something shady), your points will reflect that.

Tyler Durwood Paradigm

2 rounds

Email: tyler.durwood@gmail.com.

TLDR: I'm okay for everything, but don't assume I know your lit.

Important Note: I have done 0 research on this topic. While I will do my best to keep up with everything being said, keep in mind that I will have a tough time understanding any topic specific terms expressed during the debate.

References: Refer to Shaunak Lokre for the best rep of my paradigm.

Quals: Debated 4 years at Barstow HS. As a debater, I mainly read policy arguments and occasionally went for the K. While I am 100% down for everything, you shouldn't assume I know your lit so proceed with caution.

CP: All competition debate really depends on the round. I do think a well researched solvency advocate should be rewarded. AFF ground is also a thing that matters to me so I am willing to just vote on "this CP is abusive".

T: Tech over Truth. Don't be scared to go for this. However, I view these debates similar to condo. In condo debates, the NEG does not need to win that condo is good, just that condo is not bad. In T debates, the AFF does not need to win the topic is better with their AFF. Thus, I hold a higher threshold for the NEG's offense and emphasize defensive claims for writing my ballot. While high quality T ev matters in regard to the predictable limits question, precision by itself is not very persuasive to me. For the AFF, political salience seems like a silly standard to me. Asserting reasonability does not lower the risk of limits offense. It needs to be applied and impacted out in specific sections of the flow. Overlimiting is the best and only standard IMO.

DA: Fiat is immediate. I can buy 0% risk.

Case: I can buy 0% risk. While it's difficult to answer case in the 2NR, if you are going for a CP and K, I still highly recommend you go to this page and at least extend some defense. If you don't go to these pages, set up framing issues for why even if I you don't go to this page why you still win.

K: I'm open to and down for everything but you should assume I know nothing about your literature base. You must explain terms that you utilize because these terms have different contexts, meanings, and significance depending on the literature. Giving tons of examples really helps in high-theory/post-modern debates.

FW: I am 50/50 here. For the NEG, any type of FW is fine (Skills/Dogma/Fairness/Etc). If I vote NEG, usually the TVA is the major component in the decision. For the AFF, I think it's not necessary to have any relation to the topic and you don't need to have a model of debate, but I find it easier to vote AFF when you forward defensive claims to the NEG's limits offense with impact turns and not just impact turns by themselves. Examples of these arguments could be "no impact to fairness", "you have ground", or a unique counter-interpretation (for example, neg defends the topic and the aff criticizes it). If implementing defense to answer FW is not your style, impact calc needs to be the focus of the 2AR.

MISC: I hold an extremely high threshold for new args in the 2ar/2nr. I will naturally judge kick alt/CP unless told not to. I also have a pretty high threshold for a perf-con. For example, "you read FW which forces us to be productive under the topic which contradicts cap" is not a perf-con. Condo = T. Saying "you don't have evidence" is not an answer.

Ethan Eitutis Paradigm

6 rounds

email chain: ethan.eitutis@gmail.com

Info on myself:

I debated for 4 years in high school (graduated 2017) where I debated at state and nationals. This is my third year as an assistant coach for Annie Goodson at Blue Valley West.


IMPORTANT: Read as fast as you want, but slow down on tags, cites, and blocks so I can get them on the flow. Your analytical arguments need to be this slow as well, and if you're firing standards on T at me at the same speed as when you read a card I am not going to get them all. Just because you can read your pre-written blocks about limits and grounds at 8,000 wpm doesn't mean I can flow them that fast.

I think a lot of debaters get caught up in making sure they have a card to answer every single argument, and that isn't always necessary. Using your brain and making smart analytical arguments that are as warranted out as possible needs to happen more in debate.

You should be looking big picture at the debate and having some vision.

If you are mean/represent why people quit debate the ballot will reflect that, especially if the other team makes it an issue in the round.


Topicality- I think I default to competing interpretations. If you are going for T you need to have impacted out reasons why your interp is better. Don't read something from dictionary dot com if you are trying to define terms relating to arms sales. Like I said above, slow down on those short arguments on T that I need to get on my flow. Affs should read a plan text.

Case, Disadvantages, and Counterplans- I think case debate is very important to winning debates and good case debate shows that you are very knowledgeable about the topic. I wish more negative teams would debate case with more than just a couple defensive arguments and a bad case turn. Affs should have evidence that actually says what the tag says it does and has warrants. Not enough affirmative teams do impact calc early enough. Please don't read trash disadvantages (most of which can be answered by like two analytical arguments from the aff). The aff should ask some hard questions of the negative's disad link chain just like the neg should ask hard question of the aff's. Counterplans are fine, do whatever.

Is Joe Biden really going to save us from global warming?

The K- I am not a K expert, so I probably won't understand as many of the big abstract words as you want me to. I am generally willing to listen to K's as I have learned more about them in the past couple years. I think some 1ac's might need to answer hard questions about why they chose to make small incremental changes to the system.

Have fun losing with garbage speaks and points if you read death good.

Any other questions just ask.

Timothy Ellis Paradigm

Tim Ellis
Head Coach - Washburn Rural High School, Topeka, KS
Debated at Manhattan High School
Updated 7/29/19
Email chain - ellistim@usd437.net

First thing is first, if anything in this paradigm isn't clear enough, feel free to ask me before the round, I'd be more than happy to clarify.

Tl;dr - I judge quite a bit, about 100 rounds last year, and am generally pretty familiar with the topic from coaching and working at camps. As a competitor I gravitated toward plan oriented affs and CP/DA strategies on the neg and have coached teams who debate similarly, but I am open to you debating however you would like to. I have literature deficiencies in some areas that make me less knowledgeable of certain strategies. I am also a teacher who believes in debate as an educational activity, so I am generally open to listening to you debate in whatever fashion you're the most comfortable.

If you would like to know more specifics, they are below.

Topicality: I feel like topicality is usually a question of competing interpretations, but just like anything else in debate, you can persuade me otherwise. I tend to think that debaters are not great at explaining the offense that they have on T flows, and particularly, how offensive arguments interact with one another. I have seen a lot of 2ARs recently where the aff doesn't extend a terminal impact to their counter interp. I pretty much always vote neg in these situations. All too often the neg will go for a limits DA and the aff will say precision, but no one will discuss which one has more value in creating a stable model for debate. Reasonability alone is not an argument that makes sense to me, absent an offensive argument. Good is good enough is nonsense - if you are close to beating a DA, I'm still going to vote neg. If you want to utilize a reasonability argument more persuasively, I would suggest that you frame it almost like sufficiency on the counterplan and have an offensive reason that inclusion of the aff is good. As far as spec debates, I usually find them quite dull. I am growing weary of affs that obviously defend a certain agent with their solvency advocate and advantages but will not defend that agent when debating an agent counterplan. Stop this and defend your arguments please.

Framework: I find that framework debates to me are usually an issue of fairness. I find myself generally not super persuaded by the value of topic education vs the value of whatever educational outlet the affirmative has chosen to discuss is. The aff usually has better evidence about the importance of their particular educational outlet anyway, especially given the fact that they know what it is and can adequately prepare for it. Fairness is a bit more contestable from the negative perspective, in my opinion. Central to convincing me to vote for a non-resolutionally based affirmative is their ability to describe to me what the role of the negative would be under their model of debate. K affs can gain a lot of leeway with me by being in the direction of the resolution and defending at least some links in the realm of topic literature. I am not a very good judge for affs that have no resolutional basis. Regardless, I also think that the aff has a better chance by focusing most of their time on impact turning framework and then using the directionality of the aff toward the topic in order to win some defense against the negs framework claims.

Theory: Most theory debates are people reading blocks back and forth and are totally useless. I usually default to rejecting the argument and not the team. Conditionality is a potential exception to that rule, but it has been a long time since I saw a team ready to debate condo very well.

Kritiks: I am not as familiar with the literature base for this style of argumentation. That doesn't mean I don't vote on the K, it simply means that you need a little more explanation for your argument than you otherwise might. I think that good K teams are able to contextualize their argument with the world of the affirmative. Recently I've judged a bunch of K debates where the links all seem to be descriptions of the status quo, but the affirmative is not very good at winning that the aff is in the direction of the alt. If the neg is going to try and go for just framework and a link/ethics argument, I think it is important that they focus a substantial amount of time on the framework debate, and try and have an interpretation of framework that is not completely arbitrary and should try and win that there is a unique link to the aff. If you are able to win framework and a unique link then you're probably good without an alt. If you are going to go for an alternative, it is probably important that you explain to me how the alternative functions and how the alt resolves the links to the K and probably portions of the affirmative, otherwise you will be susceptible to losing on the aff outweighs. Be descriptive of how the alt functions. I have also found myself recently voting for the aff in the vast majority of debates where the 2NR does not have a thorough contestation of the affirmative. You don't explicitly have to go to the case pages, but you should definitely be calling into question the truth of the 1ACs internal link chains or the efficacy of it to solve the problems that it seeks to solve.

Disads/Counterplans/Case: These are the types of debate I am most familiar with. I think the case debate is under utilized, and that the education topic may have been the worst thing in recent memory at teaching people to debate the case. I wish that more teams would focus on the internal links to the aff advantages instead of just reading impact defense and hoping that a DA outweighs. I think delay counterplans are cheating. Conditions and consult counterplans I can easily be convinced are cheating, but having a solvency advocate helps.

Things I like: Rebuttals that paint a clear picture of what an aff/neg ballot means. Evidence comparison. Debaters who don't read off their computer for the whole debate. Debaters who are funny/having fun. Warranted arguments/smart analytics. Well thought out strategies.

Things I dislike: Bluetooth speakers, must define all terms, running arguments you don't really understand, death good, topicality = genocide, general rudeness, stealing prep time, and clipping cards. If you enjoy doing these things, you probably don't want me to judge you.

Disclaimer: I love the activity of debate, and think that it is a place where all types of debate styles/debaters should be welcome. If you are excessively rude to the other team (laughing during speeches, being disrespectful in cross-x, etc) I will let you know. If the behavior continues, there is a strong chance that I will vote against you on principle.

Gabe Esquivel Paradigm

5 rounds

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

University of Kansas 2021

Email chain: gaboesquivel@gmail.com

About me:

Senior debater at KU

I am a stereotypical policy 2A. Go slower for online debate otherwise I'll miss the nuance in your arguments. I clear twice before I stop flowing.

I work hard to listen and read your evidence. I am honest about what I don't understand. I am patient with novices.

I really like presumption and T. Presumption means a lot to me.

I don't go for K's but I really like debating them vs my policy aff.

I lean aff for condo.

I lean toward plan affs.

I prioritize impacts on DAs, then links, then uniqueness. I don't know why, its just the way I realize I do it.

Status quo is always an option=judge kick

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)

Chris Flowers Paradigm

6 rounds

Paradigm update eNSDA


Chris Flowers

Little Rock Central

You can call me by my first or last name. I use he/him pronouns.

Email - chrispaulflowers@gmail.com


I flow, pay attention to cx and would like to be on the email chain to read your evidence if necessary.

I want you to keep up with your own prep (unless you’re new at this).

I evaluate dropped arguments like won arguments, but expect you to extend the warrants to the claim and impact the argument out as necessary.

Debaters ought to determine the procedural limits and educational value of each topic by defending their interpretations in the round (See preferences section for more on this).

Affirmative teams should advocate for some departure from the status quo in the context of the topic. The more connected to the topic you are, the less likely I am to evaluate fairness impacts on framework/t.

If I have to read evidence for decision purposes I will evaluate the quality of said evidence even without explicit indicts of the evidence from your opponent. If you are way ahead on technical stuff or even spin, evidence quality matters less.

Debaters should not do any of the following:

Clip cards

Steal prep

Outright disregard basic, logistical and procedural things that keep the tournament running on time, i.e. showing up super late, speaking over the time allotted to their side etc.

Disregard reasonable personal request of their opponents. If you don’t wish to comply with opponent requests, you ought to have a good reason why.

Misgender folks

Say or do racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic or ableist things.

Read identity arguments that you don't identify as.

Defaults when you forget to make warrants to your arguments

Education > Fairness

Shapes Subjectivities > Just a game

Breadth = Depth ---> both are important please make warrants here

Neg getting the status quo plus conditional advocacies is fair and incentivizes good aff research.

K’s don’t need to win an alt to win.

Perf Con is a reason to vote AFF, RVI’s are probably not.

Voting for theory when there’s substantial or egregious abuse > voting for theory because it was undercovered

reasonable disclosure practices = should be followed.

Analytic > Low quality evidence

Heg = bad.

Cap = bad.

Grumpy things

We don’t need to shake hands.

Calling framework T doesn’t make it not framework. What are you trying to hide!?

Case debate is underutilized.

Analytics are underutilized .

My tolerance for rudeness, sassiness etc. goes up the better you are at debate.

Your speaks go up when you are nice to opponents you are way better than.

Y’all are kids. I’m 35. You can call me by my first or last name, but I’m not here for unnecessary dramatics.

Your coaches and judges give up a lot to be here on the weekends. It’s because deep down they care about you and the activity. It has made a marked difference in their lives and they want you to get the same thing out of it that they did. Make this experience enjoyable and educational for yourself and others. If it’s not fun, maybe consider quiz bowl or model UN.

I'd pref these teams at 1:




PV VG (ride or die)



NoBro MR

Lane Tech CG

Determining Speaks

I evaluate a speech similar to how I would grade a paper.

30 = 100%

I think the 30 is too exalted. But, I do want to be blown away before I hand one out. Do the following for your best chances:

Execute a clear and cohesive argument strategy.

Delivery is dynamic, clear and organized.

Performance between speeches is exemplary (cross-x questions and answers, non-verbal during opponents speeches and a generally likable ethos).

Rebuttal speeches are rich with a combination of argumentation and persuasion (warrants are extended, comparisons are made, round vision is demonstrated through clear strategy but also responsive analytics).

and 29.9 = 99% and so on down the line.

The best way to get a 29 and up from me is focus on the following:

Be yourself, don’t be flippant.

Pre-written speeches should be clear, dynamic and within time.

Rebuttals are a smooth combination of argument extensions, comparisons and in-round analytics.

Strategy is cohesive and cool.

You signpost well and organized. The fewer times I have to move my arguments from the flow the better.

Novices should expect there speaks to be relatively lower. Since speaks are largely arbitrary the most fair way for me to assign speaks is to stick to the criteria above.

Argumentative Preferences

*If I haven't mentioned it here, I don't have any strong thoughts on the matter and am most likely to be a pretty blank slate. Especially on theory. *

t/framework vs. k aff

Planless aff’s are a thing and neg teams are best to attempt to engage case as earnestly as possible. This is especially true if the aff has been around for awhile and/or is steeped in literature that is readily accessible through camp files or previous years topics (read: basically everything).

Affs should be related to the topic. The less contextualized to the affirmative your aff is the more likely I am to vote on fairness/procedural issues. On face, I think education is way more important than fairness. But I will begrudgingly vote for you if you’ve out warranted the other team on this issue.

T vs affs w a plan text that uses the usfg

I default to reasonability because I think it incentivizes innovative research by the aff that expands the limits of the topic in a good way. (all about that education). I also don’t think it creates much more judge intervention that is already inevitable and comparable to evaluating competing interps. But, I will vote for competing interps if you’ve got good stuff to say that will establish a clear brightline as to what makes a definition better.


Neg definitely gets to be conditional. Limited conditionality is the most comfortable theory interp for me, but unlimited conditionality is fine too, unless you cross over the line into perf con.

Perf Con.

I am 1/1 voting on perf con that was in the 2ar.

The threshold for me on perf con is two fold. Either one of these violations happening is enough for me to vote for PC 2AR

a. Arguments made on one flow could be extended to other parts of the flow once the original argument is dropped.

b. Positons are grossly ideologically contradictory. IE, the econ da plus cap.

Counter Plans

If you have a solvency advocate, its legit.

Most PIC’s I’ve heard seem theoretically legit because demonstrable abuse hasn’t been proven. But if you have a clear, thesis story on CP abuse I will vote there. It’s happened before. But violations have to be clear.


I think most politics arguments are false and most econ arguments are false. However, I can detach myself from those beliefs and vote for your disad, even if it's terrible. Please be reading updated uniqueness arguments and be paying attention to what’s happening in the squo. Make your turns case analysis efficient and terminal.


Neg walks in with presumption. If both teams show up and neither team speaks I’d vote neg on a low point win. Neg teams should still make presumption analysis and not just rely on my assumption to vote their. Explain to me the inefficiencies of the aff to resolve the harms in the status quo.

Debate Philosophy

Debate is transformative. It is foremost an educational activity. As a classroom teacher, as well as an active coach and judge I approach nearly everything I do with that element of education in mind. I do think there should be some parameters to the game, but I also believe that part of the beauty of the game is that those parameters are generally underlimiting. I think this isn’t always the best for creativity, but that it definitely encourages students to do in-depth research on a broad range of topics.

Debate is challenging. I like arguments that are hard to beat, but not impossible. As a coach debate allows me to set personal challenges, some that I have accomplished others I may never achieve. There’s beauty in the struggle. As a coach, I want to be down in the trenches as much as possible, cutting cards, maximizing pre-round prep. and doing anything I can to win, even if it means being the waterboy before rounds. As a judge, I hope the debaters I judge will feel the same way. I don’t care how much experience you have, how good or bad at debate you are, I want you to be in it to win it. I also want you to not be afraid to fail.

Debate is exhausting. On my squad, I share responsibilities with two other phenomenal coaches. We all drive to and from tournaments, work tirelessly on hearing redos, facilitating practices, cutting evidence and overall trying to put all of our debaters in the best possible position to win debates. All of this can be excruciating and exhausting. If debaters on my team or at tournaments don’t’ share in this sense of sacrifice or the recognition that we are all a part of something a little bigger, there’s no payoff for me. Don’t be those kids. Being away from home and family so frequently during the school year CAN be a worthy sacrifice, if the students I coach and judge demonstrate excellence or a desire for excellence in competitive and interpersonal ways. Your coaches, myself included, do this for a reason. Most of us really want nothing but the best for you. Winning is important, but not everything. Have a good attitude and embrace the game.

Christopher Fry Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated at Blue Valley Southwest High School for 4 years and am currently debating at KU


I am heavily persuaded by arguments about why the affirmative should read a topical plan. One of the main reasons for this is that I am persuaded by a lot of framing arguments which nullify aff offense (TVOA, argument testing, etc). The best way to deal with these things is to more directly impact turn common impacts like procedural fairness. Affirmative teams would also be well served to offer a competing interpretation of debate, designed to mitigate the negative impacts.

Fairness is the most persuasive impact to framework.


I'm not great for the K. In most instances this is because I believe the alternative solves the links to the aff or can't solve it's own impacts. This can be resolved by narrowing the scope of the K or strengthening the link explanation (too often negative teams do not explain the links in the context of the permutation). The simpler solution to this is a robust framework press.


I really enjoy good T debates. Fairness is the best (and maybe the only) impact. Education is very easily turned by fairness. Evidence quality is important, but only in so far as it improves the predictability/reduces the arbitrariness of the interpretation. 


CPs are fun. I generally think that the negative doing non-plan action with the USfg is justified. Everything else is up for debate, but well developed aff arguments are dangerous on other questions.

I generally think conditionality is good. I think the best example of my hesitation with conditionality is multi-plank counter plans which combine later in the debate to become something else entirely.

If in cross x you say the status quo is always an option I will kick the counter plan if no further argumentation is made (you can also obviously just say conditional and clarify that judge kick is an option). If you say conditional and then tell me to kick in the 2NR and there is a 2AR press on the question I will be very uncomfortable and try to resolve the debate some other way. To resolve this, the 2AC should make an argument about judge kick.

Questions comments and concerns can be directed to 42fryguy@gmail.com

Don't send me comments

Colton Gilbert Paradigm

6 rounds


I competed in policy for three years in high school at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School; I did an additional year at the University of Kentucky. I am now on the coaching staff at Little Rock Central High School. I have a bachelor's and a master's in Communication Studies and a master's in Secondary Education. I said that not to sound pompous but so that you will understand that my lack of exposure to an argument will not preclude me from evaluating it; I know how to analyze argumentation. I have represented Arkansas at the Debate Topic Selection for the past few years (I authored the Middle East paper in 2018 and the Criminal Justice paper in 2019) and that has altered how I view both the topic process and debates, in a good way. I think this makes me a more informed, balanced judge.

Include me on all email chains, please cgilbert1906@gmail.com


I find that many teams are rude and obnoxious in round and don’t see the need to treat their opponents with dignity. I find this mode of thinking offensive and disrespectful to the activity as a whole

I consider myself an open slate person but that doesn’t mean that you can pull the most obscure argument from your backfiles and run it in front of me. Debate is an intellectual game. Because of this I find it offensive when debaters run arguments just to be running them, do not run your arguments if you don’t think they can win you the round!

I don’t mind speed and consider myself an exceptional flower. That being said, I think that it helps us judges when debaters slow down on important things like plan/CP texts, perms, theory arguments, and anything else that will require me to get what you said verbatim.

Saying anything remotely racist, ableist, transphobic, etc will get you an auto loss in front of me. If that means you need to strike me then do us both a favor and strike me.

Short Version

My previous paradigm had a thorough explanation of how I evaluate most arguments. For the sake of prefs and pre round prep I have decided to amend it. When I debated I was mostly a T/CP/DA debater. That being said, I am open to just about any form of argumentation you want to make. If it is a high theory argument don’t take for granted that I understand most of the terminology your author’s use.

I will prioritize my ballot around what the 2NR/2AR highlights as the key issues in the debate. I try to start with the last two speeches and work my way back through the debate evaluating the arguments that the debaters are making. I don’t have to personally agree with an argument to vote for it.


I see framework as slightly different from T so I evaluate it differently as well. Too often debaters read a lot of blocks and don’t do enough engaging in these kinds of debates. The “Role of the Ballot” needs to be explicit and there needs to be a discussion of how your ROB is accessible by both teams. If you want to skirt the issue of accessibility then you need to articulate why the impact(s) of the aff outweigh whatever arguments the neg is going for.

These debates, for me, generally come down to an issue of fairness. K affs should be able to articulate what the role of the negative is under their model. If the aff is in the direction of the topic, I tend to give them some leeway in responding to a lot of the neg claims. Central to convincing me to vote for a non-resolutionally based affirmative is their ability to describe to me what the role of the negative would be under their model of debate. The aff should spend time on impact turning framework while simultaneously using their aff to short circuit some of the impact claims advanced by the neg.

Parting Thoughts

Don’t manipulate what you are best at to fit into my paradigm of viewing debate. Do what you do best and I will do what I do best in evaluating the debate.

Annie Goodson Paradigm

3 rounds

I want to be added to the e-mail chain:Annie.goodson@gmail.com and aegoodson@bluevalleyk12.org

Note--I switched schools last year and had to make a new tabroom account. If you're inclined, you can look up my name and you'll find two of me and can view my full judging record there. Paradigms are the same :)

Top Level:

I'm the head coach at Blue Valley West. I tend to value tech over truth in most instances, but I 100% believe it's your job to extend and explain warrants of args, and tell me what to do with those args within the context of the debate round. I expect plans to provide a plan text. I won't evaluate anything that happens outside of the debate round. I very much believe debate is a game where nothing "real" ever happens, and as such, we need to treat it like a game and be nice to each other. I don't want to see teams being hateful during the round--that will result in speaks being dropped and, if it's bad enough, losing the round. Be mindful of who you are and how you affect the debate space for others--racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. will result in you losing the round, no questions asked.


I'm generally fine with speed but need you to slow down on authors/tags. It will help me better understand you if you slow down a few clicks in rebuttals. The more technical your argument, the slower I need you to go. I'll say "clear" once, and if I still can't follow I'll stop flowing. I won't evaluate anything that's not on the flow. Please signpost clearly and extend warrants, not just authors/dates. Good rebuttals need to explain to me how to fill out the ballot. I'm looking for strong overviews and arguments that tell a meaningful story. We often forget that debate, regardless of how fast we are speaking, is still a performative activity at its core. You need to tell a story in a compelling way--don't let speed get in the way of that. Going 9 off in the 1NC is almost always a bad call. I'd rather you just make a few good arguments then try to out-spread the other team with a lot of meh arguments. I think the trend of going a million-off in the 1NC is a bad trend in this activity.


I default to competing-interps-good, but I've voted on reasonability in the past. I enjoy T and am excited for the T debates I'll get to see this year.


I'm generally not super familiar with these args, but I've voted on them often and generally find them compelling. I'm not the best judge on these args because they're not my expertise--help me by explaining what your performance does, why it should happen in a debate round, and why it can't happen elsewhere, or is less effective/safe elsewhere.


These need to be specific and include solvency advocates, and they need to be competitive. I'll defer to just not evaluating a CP if I feel like it's not appropriately competitive with the aff plan, unless the aff completely drops it. I really dislike Delay and Consult PCs, but go for whatever if you feel like you can convince me. I won't automatically vote against any of the above, just know you'll have to really sell me on it.


This is the argument category with which I am least familiar, but I generally find them extremely compelling. One thing I like about this activity is that it gives kids a platform to discuss identity. Non-identity based theoretical arguments are typically harder for me to follow. Assume I'm unfamiliar with the specific texts you're reading. You'll likely need to spend some more time explaining it to me than you would have to in front of another judge. That said, I enjoy seeing them, so go for it.


Love these, even the generic ones. DAs need to tell a story--don't give me a weak link chain and make sure you're telling a cohesive story with the argument. I'll buy whatever impacts you want to throw out there.


I'll vote on this. Make sure you're explaining specifically what the framework does to the debate round. If I vote on your framework, what does that gain us? What does your framework do for the debaters? What does it make you better at/understand more? Compare yours to your opponents' and explain why you win.

General Cranky Stuff:

1. A ton of you aren't flowing, or you're just flowing off the speech doc, which makes me really irritated and guts half the education of this activity. You should be listening. Your cross-x questions shouldn't be "Did you read XYZ?" It's equally frustrating when kids stand up to give a speech and just start mindlessly reading from blocks. Debate is more than just taking turns reading. I want to hear analysis and critical thinking throughout the round, and I want you to explain to me what you're reading (overviews and underviews, plz). I'll follow along in speech docs, and I'll read stuff again when you tell me take a closer look at it, but I'm not a computer with the magic debate algorithm--you need to explain to me what you're reading and tell me why it matters.

2. 1NCs, just label your off-case args. It wastes time and causes confusion down the line when you don't.

3. The point of speed is to get in more args/analysis in the time allotted. If you're stammering a ton and having to constantly re-start your sentences, then trying to go fast gains you nothing.....just......slow down.

4. Finally, you HAVE to slow down during rebuttals for me--other judges can follow analytics read at blistering speed. I am not one of those judges.

**Disclosure is good and should happen always.

**Trigger warnings are good and should happen whenever needed BEFORE the round starts.

Anything else, just ask!

Nolan Goodwin Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated 4 years in High School

Assistant coached at various highschools since 2013

You can read whatever you want to read, if you have any questions that are argument specific please just ask me. 

Speed is 100% okay. If I can't understand you i'll just say clear. 

I guess if you have any other questions that you want to ask just let me know. 

Andrew Halverson Paradigm

3 rounds

Name: Andrew Halverson

School: Wichita East High School (Wichita, KS), Assistant Director of Speech & Debate

Experience: 20+ years. As a competitor, 4 years in high school and 3 years in college @ Fort Hays and Wichita State.

Changed as of 8/21/2020

This is the first time in a long time that I have engaged in rewriting my judging paradigm. I thought it was warranted – given that debates and performances will be all done virtually in the immediate future. My last iteration of one of these might have been too long, so I will attempt to be as brief as possible.

Some non-negotiables:

**I want to be on the email chain (halverson.andrew [at] gmail.com). Don’t send your speech doc after your speech. Do it before (unless there are extra cards read, etc.). There are a few reasons I would like this to happen: a) I'm checking as you are going along if you are clipping; b) since I am reading along, I'm making note of what is said in your evidence to see if it becomes an issue in the debate OR a part of my decision – most tournaments put a heavy premium on quick decisions, so having that to look at before just makes the trains run on-time and that makes the powers that be happy; c) because I'm checking your scholarship, it allows for me to make more specific comments about your evidence and how you are deploying it within a particular debate. If you refuse to email or flash before your speech for me, there will probably be consequences in terms of speaker points and anything else I determine to be relevant - since I'm the ultimate arbiter of my ballot in the debate which I'm judging.

**Send your analytics as much as possible. This platform for debate can sometimes be problematic with technical issues that can or can’t be controlled. I’ve judged some debate where the 2nc is in the middle of giving their speech and then their feed becomes frozen. Of course, we pause the debate until we can resolve the technical issues, but it’s helpful for everyone involved to have a doc to know where the debate stopped so we can pick up at that point once we resume.

**Don’t go super-duper, mega, ultra full speed (unless you are crystal bell clear). Slowing down a bit in this format is more beneficial to you and everyone else involved.

**For all of those Kansas traditional teams, yes to a off-time road map. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be.

**Be nice & have fun. If you don’t be nice, then you probably won’t like how I remedy if you aren’t nice. Racist and sexist language/behavior will not be tolerated. Debate is supposed to be a space where we get to get to test ideas in a safe environment.

**Stealing prep time. Don’t do it. After you send out the doc, you should have an idea of a speech order and be getting set to speak. Don't be super unorganized and take another 2-3 minutes to just stand up there getting stuff together. I don't mind taking a bit to get yourself together, but I find that debaters are abusing that now. When I judge by myself, I'm usually laid back about using the restroom, but I strongly suggest that you consider the other people in a paneled debate - not doing things like stopping prep and then going to the bathroom before you start to speak. I get emergencies, but this practice is really shady. Bottom-line: if you're stealing prep, I'll call you on it out loud and start the timer.

**Disclosure is something I can't stand when it's done wrong. If proper disclosure doesn't happen before a round, I'm way more likely to vote on a disclosure argument in this setting. If you have questions about my views on disclosure, please ask them before the debate occurs - so you know where you stand. Otherwise, I can easily vote on a disclosure argument. This whole “gotcha” thing with arguments that you have already read is so dumb.

**New in the 2nc is bad. What I mean by that is whole new DA's read - old school style - in the 2nc does not foster good debate OR only read off-case in the 1nc and then decide to read all new case arguments in the 2nc. I'm willing to listen to theory arguments on the matter (and have probably become way more AFF leaning on the theory justification of why new in the 2nc is bad), BUT they have to be impacted out. However, that's not the best answer to a NEG attempting this strategy. The best answer is for the 1ar to quickly straight turn whatever that argument is and then move on. Debaters that straight turn will be rewarded. Debaters that do new in the 2nc will either lose because of a theory argument or have their speaks tanked by me.

Now that’s out of the way, here are some insights on how I evaluate debates:

**What kind of argument and general preferences do I have? I will listen to everything and anything from either side of the debate. You can be a critical team or a straight-up team. It doesn’t matter to me. An argument is an argument. Answering arguments with good arguments is probably a good idea, if the competitive aspect of policy debate is important to you at all. If you need some examples: Wipeout? Sure, did it myself. Affirmatives without a plan? Did that too. Spark? You bet. Specific links are great, obviously. Of course, I prefer offense over defense too. I don’t believe that tabula rasa exists, but I do try to not have preconceived notions about arguments. Yet we all know this isn’t possible. If I ultimately have to do so, I will default to policymaker to make my decision easier for me

**Don't debate off a script. Yes, blocks are nice. I like when debaters have blocks. They make answering arguments easier. HOWEVER, if you just read off your script going for whatever argument, I'm not going to be happy. Typically, this style of debate involves some clash and large portions of just being unresponsive to the other team's claims. More than likely, you are reading some prepared oration at a million miles per hour and expect me to write down every word. Guess what? I can't. In fact, there is not a judge in the world that can accomplish that feat. So use blocks, but be responsive to what's going on in the debate.

**Blippy theory debates really irk me. To paraphrase Mike Harris: if you are going as fast as possible on a theory debate at the end of a page and then start the next page with more theory, I'm going to inevitably miss some of it. Whether I flow on paper or on my computer, it takes a second for me to switch pages and get to the place you want me to be on the flow. Slow down a little bit when you want to go for theory - especially if you think it can be a round-winner. I promise you it'll be worth it for you in the end.

**I’m a decent flow, but I wouldn’t go completely crazy. That being said, I’m one of those critics (and I was the same way as a debater) that will attempt to write down almost everything you say as long as you make a valiant attempt to be clear. Super long overviews that aren't flowable make no sense to me. In other words, make what you say translate into what you want me to write down. I will not say or yell if you aren’t clear. You probably can figure it out – from my non-verbals – if you aren’t clear and if I’m not getting it. I will not say/yell "clear" and the debate will most definitely be impacted adversely for you. If I don’t “get it,” it’s probably your job to articulate/explain it to me.

**I want to make this abundantly clear. I won't do work for you unless the debate is completely messed up and I have to do some things to clean up the debate and write a ballot. So, if you drop a Perm, but have answers elsewhere that would answer it, unless you have made that cross-application I won't apply that for you. The debater answering said Perm needs to make the cross-application/answer(s) on their own.

Contact me if you have any questions. Hope this finds you well and healthy - have a great season!!

Michael Harris Paradigm

3 rounds

Mike Harris
Wichita East High School -Director of Debate

Online norms - Be nice and have fun. Clean tech makes me happy. Fast is not always the best when it becomes unclear. I flow your speech, not your speech docs, especially after the 1AC/1NC.

2020-2021 Update : One of my undergraduate degrees is criminal justice. I'm well versed in both theory and procedures. I've hosted guest lectures this season with speakers on Police militarization and the Use of Force, Death Penalty, and "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness". I have a federal court judge scheduled to speak. My knowledge level is high, which means your arguments are going to have to be explained correctly to persuade me most effectively. Truth is important on this topic, especially when making claims to solve structural problems at a value level.

I have significant experience in the past 15 years judging many tournaments both in Kansas and around the nation. I am the Director of Debate at Wichita East in Wichita. I have multiple students currently competing in the NDT/CEDA, and Parli circuits in colleges across the country. We have had many national qualifiers in policy debate in recent years . I coached the 2nd and 3rd place teams at NCFL, had three teams in the top 30 at NSDA and coached the 7th place team and a top ten speaker, and had two teams qualified for the TOC. I have been exposed to many teams and styles from across the nation. Below is a brief explanation of some of my judging preferences. This is by no means a complete explanation, so feel free to ask specific question regarding my paradigm:

I'm a tabula rasa judge as much as that exists and you will need to address framing in this debate to win my ballot. DOn't care of it's K v K, clash of covs, or policy debates.

Speed - No preference as long as you are clear. I can keep up on the flow with any team although I do not believe that extreme speed is required to win. I prefer clarity and quality argumentation to speed. With that said, I most enjoy a quality high speed round that combines the above traits.

Kritik's - Literature is essential to quality kritik arguments. I do not have any problem with performance k's or kritikal aff's. I'm familiar with kritikal identity and postmodern lit. I am a glutton for solid evidence and I know that the literature exists. Be prepared to explain the literature clearly and succinctly. I have a philosophy degree although I am quite a few years removed from in-depth study of the literature.

CP's - If it solves the for the aff advantages and has a net benefit I'm good. I'm solid on theory. Not often do I reject a team on theory.

Topicality- My threshold for topicality is high. That said, I have voted on T in very significant out rounds when I don't feel it has been covered appropriately, and it is extended effectively. T must be impacted out and weighed to be a factor in my decision. I've judged a lot of debates for a long time, and seen debate go through a lot. Be specific and focus on t what would happen if this specific aff is allowed. I have interesting perspectives on the concept of fairness.

Disads - I am particularly interested in strong specific links and true internal link scenarios. I hate hearing internal links and impacts that are based on evidence from 2007. I am convinced at this level of debate evidence for disads should be updated every week to paint an accurate portrayal of the world. I will weigh a disad impact scenario without good specific links against case impacts in all cases, but the risk will probably be very low. I'm going to vote for whichever team (aff or neg) has the best and most true story.

Case - I love a good case debate. Above I mentioned I have a criminal justice and philosophy background, it is important to note my main degree area if study was political science (IR) and history.. I have found that specific and significant case turns by the negative can be very effective in undermining an aff case and being enough to win a round. Common sense analytics are important to accompany cards for both teams. Shadow extensions do little for me, I want warrant analysis with specific comparisons.

Theory and framework - Ask regarding specifics. Impact it out, ask for leeway, answer independent voters. I think this is an area of debate that is often under-covered and not understood by many advanced teams. I vote for kritikal affs and neg t/framework about evenly. I'll go either way. I don't like cheap theory (disclosure in round one of the first tournament of the year), but understand creative theory as part of the game.

All said, have fun and enjoy yourselves. Please signpost appropriately! I don't always catch the authors and sometimes it gets interesting in rebuttals when all I keep hearing is the "Brown 11' card" over and over. I can usually figure it out, but is annoying and a waste of time. I am very open-minded and will listen to anything, however teams need to explain both claims and their appropriate warrants. [mailto:devadvmike@gmail.com]

Michael Hauschildt Paradigm

5 rounds

GTA at Kansas State, go Wildcats. University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) 2020, go Roos. 2x ndt qualifier


Short version: I believe my paradigm should never make you shy or discourage you from reading any argument - debate is what debaters make it, and should not be subject to whoever got assigned to evaluate the round. Tell me topical counterplans are cheating, go for the fiat double bind, go for a-spec vs a K aff, just make sure you do it well. I much rather prefer watching 2 teams execute their best arguments rather than arguments I am most familiar with or ideologically agree with.

Not a ton of detailed background knowledge on the topic, clarify acronyms (yes I know what NATO is)

email: mdhauschildt @ gmail

The rest:

**A smart and/or true argument is always better than a bad card. Tagline extensions are nearly useless to me and warrants for cards should always come out before the 2N/AR**

Kritiks - I like to hear them executed well - just like any argument, if you cannot do it well I wouldn't recommend reading it. Make your impacts interact with the aff impacts and you will be much happier with my rfd (the inverse is true for affirmatives answering the kritik, impact specificity is still important). Not a huge fan of postmodernism (either as an argument or field of scholarship), if this is your strat feel free to go for it, I enjoy learning what debaters can teach me, but know that it would be in your best interest to spend more time explaining it.

I tend to believe the negative should be able to read a kritik, 2AC framework interpretations that exclude kritiks entirely feel wrong to me, but that does not mean you don't get fiat or the ability to weigh the 1AC impacts.

K v K specifically: in my experience this comes down to impact comparison - even in k v k rounds you I am still thinking about a 'framework' I use to evaluate offense ie in round education, activism training, competing performances etc and I encourage you to forward a reason why I should evaluate it a certain way. If one team has a larger, existential impact (cap teams going for climate change impacts, for example), I think it would be in your best interest to explain why your impact matters more

Topicality (and theory) - I like very nuanced and specific Topicality arguments - a unique interpretation and well argued standards is one of my favorite debates. A few caveats - I think that the education of the aff can overcome the importance of being topical (in many instances, that is very true) but I know the inverse can be true. I have varied understandings of the argument 'reasonability' so you should contextualize it.

an aspec theory shell less than like 20 words will reduce your speaks, as will RVI's

Framework (against K affs most likely) - most of the analysis above is true for framework as well. Between fairness and education, if both were argued exceptionally, I think education is better. In most debates, I have been more often persuaded by fairness. Please close loose ends so I dont have to. "Clash is the most unique educational aspect of debate" is something I tend to believe is true but what types of clash occur probably matters more. Fairness might be an independent impact, tell me why or why not.

DA - you do you, make sure the story is clear enough and that you leverage your impact and you'll be good. ptx is silly but honestly I'll hack for you if you did it well, I've noticed these debates are mostly spin which covers up for the abhorrent evidence quality

CP - most CP's are theoretically fine on face but I can always be convinced otherwise. Create competition as you may. My opinions are not very favorable to the negative, ie conditions, consult and international fiat are all probably illegit in my book but that just means you should be willing to have that debate, not that they are off-limits by any means. I read PIC's and UQ CP's quite a bit, I appreciate the creative ones. I find myself most confused when the neg reads a 5+ plank advantage CP, so be more thorough with solvency explanation if this is your strategy. No real opinion on the validity of CP's without advocates or evidence.

conditionality - again make it what you will but I do have a preference to non contradicting advocacies and discourse. I have a preference for not having 3+ condo in the 1NC but keep on keeping on. I'll probably groan if you say more than 6 off but dont take it personally.

K affs - Do it well and you'll be in just as fine of a position as you would have otherwise. Keep in mind the pitfalls many kritikal affs fall in - too long overviews and assuming they solve their impact. Not sure how I feel about perms in a method debate, you should tell me how you feel though.

Evidence quality - I think a lot of the evidence we read is absolutely terrible, I think power/mis-tagging cards is a form of academic dishonesty. I encourage everyone to take a second and actually read the cards being used in rounds. Good spin to me means explaining the implications of a card but still sticking to the warrants that the card has. I covered this above, but I truly think some teams are better off by just making smart arguments instead of lying about the cards they read - your opinion is also valuable!

misc/speaker point things

baseline 28.5, 28.9 - If you debated like this every round at a major tournament I would expect you to be in 2x octos, 29.2 - " " octas, 29.4 - quarters and so on. Smaller tournaments probably have a small bump, feel like thats inevitable from my experience.

I naturally look disgruntled and tired, if it looks like I am disinterested or upset in the round, that is likely just my face.

Dont steal prep

(on the varsity level) clipping cards = auto loss and 0 speaks for the one who clipped.

Willing (often eager) to call for T interps and plan/counterplan texts.

No you cannot link turn a DA in the 2ac then impact turn it in the 1AR unless the impact turn is to a new impact in the block

tend to think CP amendments or text changes should be in the 2NC, but yes the 2NC gets new off case or impact turns, its a constructive

If it matters my most familiar debates are marx v k-affs, security/cap or leftish counterplans/PICs vs policy affs - I was a 2N, read a plan text in 90% of my aff debates, both soft-left (anti-neolib), and big stick, have a soft spot for the 1AR but I really don't give them much leniency

not the judge you want to read nuclear war good impact turns in front of. prolif good, sure. spark/first strike good, it is in your best interest to wait for another round. same most all death/suffering good arguments

Also if you aren't having fun then I am probably not having fun, so have fun or else


Julia Henry Paradigm

5 rounds

Please add me to the email chain: J387h162@ku.edu

Pre-Northwestern things to note

I have judged quite a few practice debates, but haven’t done much topic research. Lean on the side of more explanation for intricate topicality/counterplan competition arguments.

Since this is my first year out, I don’t completely know about myself as a judge. I will make sure to post updates as the season progresses in hopes of keeping up with any changes and realizations.

Lastly, at times throughout the summer I have had a few connectivity issues. My internet has never gone out during a debate I have watched, but it has happened during class a few times. If this happens, I will make sure to write down the last thing you said and look at the timer to see when the last thing I heard was being said.


Impact weighing and comparisons are very important to how I decide these debates. If I think that both teams have some point of offense they are both winning, it makes it difficult to decide these debates if there isn’t any discussion of the other teams impact. If you solve their impacts, your impact turns them, or anything else related to that then please point that out. However, Iess is more when it comes to the number of impacts you are extending throughout the debate. One really well developed impact or impact turn is much better than three or four less well developed ones.

I also think it’s important for affirmative teams to have a clear tie or relationship with the topic. I find it harder to be persuaded to vote for affirmatives that I don’t think have a lot to do with the topic in some way. How you do this is up to you, but just make it clear to me.

In the past, I have voted on various impacts from and on framework. Personally I have been more of a fan of clash impacts than fairness, but I don’t think that should discourage you from going for whatever impact you feel most comfortable with.


More explanation needed if you go for reasonability. Most of the debates I have judged where the aff goes for reasonability are very surface level extensions from the one sentence you said in the 2AC.


Not much to say here. Read them and go for them when you can/want to. Where I start evaluating the debate for disad vs. case debates is very dependent on the disad and what arguments you are making a bigger deal about. If there is a lot of push back from the aff on the link and this is where you spend most of your time in the 2nr/2ar, I will probably start by evaluating the debate there. If impacts/their comparisons seem to be where a lot of time is spent, then I will start thinking about that first.


Debating case is very important. Having arguments that you think not only implicate the aff but also help your links are nice. Sometimes I feel like whenever a team goes for case arguments it feels detached from the rest of the debate on the K. IF you can make them connected somehow that would be good.

Have a reason for going for whatever framework arguments you are going for in the last speeches. This goes for the aff and the neg. So many times I have felt like people are just extending framework because their coaches told them to and not because they think there is reason why it is important for how the judge evaluates arguments at the end of the debate.

If you have a bunch of what seems to be conflicting theories in the cards you are going for and extending on the neg, please make it clear why what you are doing is okay. Alternatively, affirmative teams should be pointing out when they think the things the negative has said don’t make much sense.


Again, read them and go for them when you can/want to. I don’t think I have very many predispositions about certain counterplans at this point in time. I think this just means that if you think a certain counterplan automatically beats an affirmative, I would prefer it if you showed it in the arguments you are making and the evidence you are reading. A counterplan that seems to be very solvent when explained, but lacking in evidence or that just generally has under highlighted cards will be harder to win in front of me.

A really good solvency deficit that aligns with whatever advantage you are going for in the 2ar is more important to me than you going for a bunch of different arguments that are less well developed.

Jackson Hoffmann Paradigm

6 rounds


i debated at kapaun for four years in high school

currently a fourth year debater at kansas - rock chalk

please add me to chain - jackson.hoffmann77@gmail.com

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 and clash debates. not great but not bad for 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 an impact

k: 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. it will also 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 cp texts and cleverly worded perms. 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."

Hannah Johnson Paradigm

1 rounds

Hey y'all - I assume you're here to figure out how I evaluate debate - all of that information is included below.

Addendum for College LD:

I think most of this information will apply to LD - most of my experience with LD is from the Kansas High School circuit, which is traditional in comparison to the National College circuit, but hopefully my description of how I evaluate policy arguments will help! Also please feel free to ask questions!

A few things about me as a person:

First and foremost, I would appreciate a content warning for domestic violence and sexual assault. I am employed by a school, because of that I am a mandatory reporter. Please consider this when sharing your narratives, personal communications, etc. with me. If you have questions about mandatory reporting, I will happily answer them!

Second, here's my short bio, I'm in my sixth year of judging and coaching in Kansas (four years at Shawnee Heights High School since graduating in 2014 and in my second year at Topeka High School). I debated the space topic, transportation infrastructure topic, and Latin America topic. I divided my paradigm into several categories - an overview of my paradigm, a list of arguments and how I feel about them, and general framing concerns. Any questions? just ask

Third, I am fine with speed. However, I am telling you right now that I will be unable to flow top speed without a speech doc. Also, I will not do the work to flow top speed theory, overviews or general analysis - slow down when you want me to pay attention. I'll be fairly apparent when I stop flowing. If it is especially bad I will clear you. I want to be on the email chain - hannahjohnson93@gmail.com


I'm open/willing to hearing any type of argument (performance, critical, semi-critical, policy, etc.). If y'all don't provide me a framework for how to view the round or a Role of the Ballot that is clearly articulated and developed, then I will default into a policy maker mindset. If y'all are rude to each other, I will write about it on your ballot and most likely dock you speaks, ranks or even give you the L depending on the severity of your actions. I am easy to read as a judge so if you see me stop flowing or looking annoyed it probably means what you're doing is rude or doesn't make sense to me. I'm fine with speed, but clear tags and analysis are appreciated. I want you to be empowered to debate what you want to debate in front of me - this is your round, not mine.

How I evaluate Debaters and their actions:

I've developed a zero-tolerance policy if debaters are rude to any of the debaters in the round - expect a reduction in speaks or losing the round due to your behavior. You are accountable for the way you act so I don't feel like warnings are necessary. Additonally, I hold you accountable for the arguments you choose to read. Therefore, if your arguments are sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, or targeted towards any person or group in a negative-way, expect a reduction in speaks or losing the round. If you have questions about this, please ask me before the round starts - I want to make debate educational and inclusive.


I'm open/willing to listen to any type of affs. Non-T affs are fine IF they are rejecting the topic. If you are Non-T and upholding the use of the Fed Gov, you better have good T blocks written. Any aff needs to provide me with a clear method of how you solve and a way I should view the round.


When I wasn't taking politics in the 2NR, I was probably taking T. Every level of the T flow is important to me so you must extend and explain interp, standards and voters. Saying "we access fairness and education best" isn't going to win you the round. You need to tell me HOW you access fairness and education the best. I enjoy Topical Versions of the Aff, Case Lists and Core of the Topic args. If you can explain to me why your interp is better for fairness/education in this round and in debate in general, you'll have an easy time winning my ballot. Also, I probs default to competing interps.


Generics are fine, but I prefer them to have case-specific links (analytical or carded). When I was in high school, I ran politics disads and would often take them into the 2NR so I'm fairly confident in my ability to understand them.


I get it, Delay CP is the strategic CP on the topic - lots of people run it and it is core neg ground. I am fine with listening to any CP, but you have to be able to answer why PICs are bad, Delay CPs are bad, Condo is bad, etc. I will vote on any of these arguments depending on the level of abuse in round. Otherwise, when running a CP have a clear net ben. Also, I'm fine with CP funding planks. I don't buy 2NC CP amendments, but I'll only vote against them if the aff makes an arg - make sure your plan text read in the 1NC makes sense and isn't just "the 50 states (insert plan text here).


I'm not familiar with most K lit so you'll want to develop clear analysis about the K. I am most familiar with Neolib, Cap and Security, but my familiarity DOES NOT mean I will do the necessary analysis of cards for you. In the rounds I've watched so far this year, framework has been underutilized by teams. Read framework!!! Explain your alts - your alt solvency is important and I won't vote on a blippy extension of Zizek.


You need a clear interp of what the framework or Role of the Ballot should be. There needs to be clash on the framework about why the aff/neg team's framework is good/bad for debate and for education/fairness in the round.

Fringe Args:

I'm not the judge to talk about aliens/wipeout/goos/etc in front of, but if you still feel inclined to do so, impact out your illogical args logically.

Generic Framing:

I view debate as an educational activity. I want the best education and most fair experience for both teams. Use this framework when explaining your theory arguments. Otherwise, anything you do to directly harm a debater in round will be counted against you because it conflicts with the aim of using debate as an educational tool.

Sohail Jouya Paradigm

1 rounds

Current Director of Debate at Mill Valley (Kansas)

Formerly of:
Director of Debate at Andover Central (Kansas)
Director of Debate at University Academy and Lincoln Prep (DEBATE – Kansas City)
Coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College

Yes, email chain - sohailjouyaATgmailDOTcom


- I appreciate adaptation to my preferences but don’t do anything that would make you uncomfortable. Never feel obligated to compete in a manner that inhibits your ability to be effective. My promise to you will be that I will keep an open mind and assess whatever you chose. In short: do you.

- Truth > Tech. I recognize that debate is not merely a game, but rather a competition that models the world in which we live. This doesn’t mean I believe judges should intervene on the basis of "realistic impacts" or "reasonability" -- what it does mean is that embedded clash band the “nexus question” of the round is of more importance than blippy technical oversights between certain sheets of paper.
Don't fret: if the 1NC drops case on your Cthulu Aff, you'll probably be fine to weigh against whatever stuff they got...

- As a coach of a UDL school where many of my debaters make arguments centred on their identity, diversity is a genuine concern. It may play a factor in how I evaluate a round, particularly in debates regarding what’s “best” for the community/activity.

Do you and I’ll do my best to evaluate it but I’m not a tabula rasa and the dogma of debate has me to believe the following. I have put a lot of time and thought into this while attempting to be parsimonious - if you are serious about winning my ballot a careful read would prove to serve you well:


- All speech acts are performances, consequently debaters should defend their performances including the advocacy, evidence, arguments/positions, interpretations, and representations of said speech acts.

- One of the most annoying questions a judged can be asked: “Are you cool with speed?”
In short: yes. But smart and slow always beats fast and dumb.
I have absolutely no preference on rate of delivery, though I will say it might be smart to slow down a bit on really long tags, advocacy texts, your totally sweet theory/double-bind argument or on overviews that have really nuanced descriptions of the round. My belief is that speed is typically good for debate but please remember that spreading’s true measure is contingent on the number of arguments that are required to be answered by the other team not your WPM.

- Ethos: I used to never really think this mattered at all. To a large degree, it still doesn’t considering I’m unabashedly very flowcentric but I tend to give high speaker points to debaters who performatively express mastery knowledge of the subjects discussed, ability to exercise round vision, assertiveness, and that swank.

- Holistic Approaches: the 2AR/2NR should be largely concerned with two things:
1) provide framing of the round so I can make an evaluation of impacts and the like
2) descriptively instruct me on how to make my decision

Overviews have the potential for great explanatory power, use that time and tactic wisely.

While I put form first, I am of the maxim that “form follows function” – I contend that the reverse would merely produce an aesthetic, a poor formula for argument testing in an intellectually rigorous and competitive activity. In summation: you need to make an argument and defend it.


- The Affirmative ought to be responsive to the topic. This is a pinnacle of my paradigm that is quite broad and includes teams who seek to engage in resistance to the proximate structures that frame the topic. Conversely, this also implicates teams that prioritize social justice - debaters utilizing methodological strategies for best resistance ought to consider their relationship to the topic.
Policy-oriented teams may read that last sentence with glee and K folks may think this is strike-worthy…chill. I do not prescribe to the notion that to be topical is synonymous with being resolutional.

- The Negative’s ground is rooted in the performance of the Affirmative as well as anything based in the resolution. It’s that simple; engage the 1AC if at all possible.

- I view rounds in an offense/defense lens. Many colleagues are contesting the utility of this approach in certain kinds of debate and I’m ruminating about this (see: “Thoughts on Competition”) but I don’t believe this to be a “plan focus” theory and I default to the notion that my decisions require a forced choice between competing performances.

- I will vote on Framework. That means I will vote for the team running the position based on their interpretation, but it also means I’ll vote on offensive responses to the argument. Vindicating an alternative framework is a necessary skill and one that should be possessed by kritikal teams - justifying your form of knowledge production as beneficial in these settings matter.
Framework appeals effectively consist of a normative claim of how debate ought to function. The interpretation should be prescriptive; if you are not comfortable with what the world of debate would look like if your interpretation were universally applied, then you have a bad interpretation. The impact to your argument ought to be derived from your interpretation (yes, I’ve given RFDs where this needed to be said). Furthermore, Topical Version of the Affirmative must specifically explain how the impacts of the 1AC can be achieved, it might be in your best interest to provide a text or point to a few cases that achieve that end. This is especially true if you want to go for external impacts that the 1AC can’t access – but all of this is contingent on a cogent explanation as to why order precedes/is the internal link to justice.

- I am pretty comfortable judging Clash of Civilization debates.

- Framework is the job of the debaters. Epistemology first? Ontology? Sure, but why? Where does performance come into play – should I prioritize a performative disad above the “substance” of a position? Over all of the sheets of paper in the round? These are questions debaters must grapple with and preferably the earlier in the round the better.

- "Framework is how we frame our work" >>>>> "FrAmEwOrK mAkEs ThE gAmE wOrK"

-Presumption is always an option. In my estimation the 2NR may go for Counterplan OR a Kritik while also giving the judge the option of the status quo. Call it “hypo-testing” or whatever but I believe a rational decision-making paradigm doesn’t doom me to make a single decision between two advocacies, especially when the current status of things is preferable to both. I don't know if I really “judge kick” for you, instead, the 2NR should explain an “even if” route to victory via presumption to allow the 2AR to respond.
“But what about when presumption flips Affirmative?” This is a claim that probably needs to be established prior to the 2NR. While I say that, I've definitely voted in favour of plenty of 2ARs that haven't said that in the 1AR.

- Role of the Ballots ought to invariably allow the 1AC/1NC to be contestable and provide substantial ground to each team. Many teams will make their ROBs self-serving at best, or at worse, tautological. That's because there's a large contingency of teams that think the ROB is an advocacy statement. They are not.
If they fail to equally distribute ground, they are merely impact framing. A good ROB can effectively answer a lot of framework gripes regarding the Affirmative’s pronouncement of an unfalsifiable truth claim.

- Analytics that are logically consistent, well warranted and answer the heart of any argument are weighed in high-esteem. This is especially true if it’s responsive to any combinations of bad argument/evidence.

- My threshold for theory is not particularly high. It’s what you justify, not necessarily what you do. I typically default to competing interpretations, this can be complicated by a team that is able to articulate what reasonability means in the context of the round, otherwise I feel like its interventionist of me to decode what “reasonable” represents. The same is true to a lesser extent with the impacts as well. Rattling off “fairness and education” as loaded concepts that I should just know has a low threshold if the other team can explain the significance of a different voter or a standard that controls the internal link into your impact (also, if you do this: prepared to get impact turned).

I think theory should be strategic and I very much enjoy a good theory debate. Copious amounts of topicality and specification arguments is not strategic, it is desperate.

- I like conditionality probably more so than other judges. As a young’n I got away with a lot of, probably, abusive Negative strategies that relied on conditionality to the maximum (think “multiple worlds and presumption in the 2NR”) mostly because many teams were never particularly good at explaining why this was a problem. If you’re able to do so, great – just don’t expect me to do much of that work for you. I don’t find it particularly difficult for a 2AR to make an objection about how that is bad for debate, thus be warned 2NRs - it's a downhill effort for a 2AR.
Furthermore, I tend to believe the 1NC has the right to test the 1AC from multiple positions.
Thus, Framework along with Cap K or some other kritik is not a functional double turn. The 1NC doesn’t need to be ideologically consistent. However, I have been persuaded in several method debates that there is a performative disadvantage that can be levied against speech acts that are incongruent and self-defeating.

- Probability is the most crucial components of impact calculus with disadvantages. Tradeoffs ought to have a high risk of happening and that question often controls the direction of uniqueness while also accessing the severity of the impact (magnitude).

- Counterplan debates can often get tricky, particularly if they’re PICs. Maybe I’m too simplistic here, but I don’t understand why Affirmatives don’t sit on their solvency deficit claims more. Compartmentalizing why portions of the Affirmative are key can win rounds against CPs. I think this is especially true because I view the Counterplan’s ability to solve the Affirmative to be an opportunity cost with its competitiveness. Take advantage of this “double bind.”

- Case arguments are incredibly underutilized and the dirty little secret here is that I kind of like them. I’m not particularly sentimental for the “good ol’ days” where case debate was the only real option for Negatives (mostly because I was never alive in that era), but I have to admit that debates centred on case are kind of cute and make my chest feel all fuzzy with a nostalgia that I never experienced– kind of like when a frat boy wears a "Reagan/Bush '84" shirt...


I know enough to know that kritiks are not monolithic. I am partial to topic-grounded kritiks and in all reality I find them to be part of a typical decision-making calculus. I tend to be more of a constructivist than a rationalist. Few things frustrate me more than teams who utilize a kritik/answer a kritik in a homogenizing fashion. Not every K requires the ballot as a tool, not every K looks to have an external impact either in the debate community or the world writ larger, not every K criticizes in the same fashion. I suggest teams find out what they are and stick to it, I also think teams should listen and be specifically responsive to the argument they hear rather rely on a base notion of what the genre of argument implies. The best way to conceptualize these arguments is to think of “kritik” as a verb (to criticize) rather than a noun (a static demonstrative position).
It is no secret that I love many kritiks but deep in every K hack’s heart is revered space that admires teams that cut through the noise and simply wave a big stick and impact turn things, unabashedly defending conventional thought. If you do this well there’s a good chance you can win my ballot. If pure agonism is not your preferred tactic, that’s fine but make sure your post-modern offense onto kritiks can be easily extrapolated into a 1AR in a fashion that makes sense.
In many ways, I believe there’s more tension between Identity and Post-Modernism teams then there are with either of them and Policy debaters. That being said, I think the Eurotrash K positions ought to proceed with caution against arguments centred on Identity – it may not be smart to contend that they ought to embrace their suffering or claim that they are responsible for a polemical construction of identity that replicates the violence they experience (don’t victim blame).


There’s a lot of talk about what is or isn’t competition and what competition ought to look like in specific types of debate – thus far I am not of the belief that different methods of debate require a different rubric for evaluation. While much discussion as been given to “Competition by Comparison” I very much subscribe to Competing Methodologies. What I’ve learned in having these conversations is that this convention means different things to different people and can change in different settings in front of different arguments. For me, I try to keep it consistent and compatible with an offense/defense heuristic: competing methodologies requires an Affirmative focus where the Negative requires an independent reason to reject the Affirmative. In this sense, competition necessitates a link. This keeps artificial competition at bay via permutations, an affirmative right regardless of the presence of a plan text.

Permutations are merely tests of mutual exclusivity. They do not solve and they are not a shadowy third advocacy for me to evaluate. I naturally will view permutations more as a contestation of linkage – and thus, are terminal defense to a counterplan or kritik -- than a question of combining texts/advocacies into a solvency mechanism. If you characterize these as solvency mechanisms rather than a litmus test of exclusivity, you ought to anticipate offense to the permutation (and even theory objections to the permutation) to be weighed against your “net-benefits”. This is your warning to not be shocked if I'm extrapolating a much different theoretical understanding of a permutation if you go 5/6 minutes for it in the 2AR.
Even in method debates where a permutation contends both methods can work in tandem, there is no solvency – in these instances net-benefits function to shield you from links (the only true “net benefit” is the Affirmative). A possible exception to this scenario is “Perm do the Affirmative” where the 1AC subsumes the 1NC’s alternative; here there may be an offensive link turn to the K resulting in independent reasons to vote for the 1AC.

Will Katz Paradigm

Yes email chain-- College: willkatz54@gmail.com and debatedocs@googlegroups.com

High School: willkatz54@gmail.com

4 years debating and 6 years coaching at Washburn Rural High School (1 of those also with Carrollton), 4 years debating and 2 year coaching at KU

Compile a doc of all relevant cards and all relevant marks for me at the end of the debate.

I have been pretty involved in topic research for both the CJR topic and the alliances topic.

Online debate

Online CX is really hard. I have found myself annoyed by people who don't allow sufficient time for people to answer questions, and interruptions are way more annoying online. This doesn't mean you shouldn't be assertive, just don't be a jerk. 1-2 second pauses in cx>>>>>>>no pauses in online cx

Be respectful of everyone's time. In online debates, things will go wrong and take "tech time." That means you have to be more on top of your game than usual with regards to things like setting up the email chain, going to the bathroom, etc. If you minimize user errors, I'm less likely to be annoyed by the inevitable tech failures.

SLOW DOWN. Even the clearest debaters have moments of unclarity in online debate, slow down a little bit so that it's easier to recover from small lags in tech.

I have a 2-monitor setup, so if I look like I'm staring above my computer, I promise I'm paying attention

Argument non-specific things

Debate off your flow, don't just read scripts

I read a lot of evidence. I value evidence quality a lot, and that includes highlighting quality.

Argumentative narrative is very important to me. Packaging arguments effectively goes a long way with me.

I will not evaluate arguments about an individual's character or behavior that occurred outside of the debate.

I am not the best judge for run and gun strategies. I have a relatively high threshold for what counts as a complete argument, and am very receptive to teams that flippantly disregard incomplete arguments.

Policy arguments

On the alliances topic especially, I think that counterplans should be held to the same level of solvency advocate as the aff. If the aff is a super detailed proposal with a specific solvency advocate, I am likely to be more receptive to theory arguments about types of cp's than if the aff word-salads their plan to fit as many topic words as possible, without a card that really describes the aff in any meaningful capacity.

I am growing increasingly frustrated by the trend of reading an aff that is extremely specific to a certain actor/agent, but reading a vague plan to permute counterplans/make we meet arguments on t.

Turns case has been relevant in a lot of rfd's I've given

If I had my way, I would not judge very many process cp's. I understand their utility, but I find those debates boring and usually a means of avoiding clash.

Theory is a winnable 2ar. I think I am just as persuadable that the neg should get 0 conditional advocacies as I am that they should get infinite. To me, it is entirely up to the debaters, which these days makes me a good judge for a team going for theory.

"Conditional" means judge kick but I can definitely be convinced to stick the neg with the cp they went for without wholesale rejecting conditionality

Framework vs K affs

I am very good for the neg in these debates, I suspect much more than most other people who (semi)frequently judge these debates. I vote neg a lot because usually it is more clear to me how the negative team's model of debate produces a better season of debates. Aff's would be well served investing a lot of time into describing their model of debate as opposed to their own affirmative

Neg Kritik vs Policy aff

Framework is important. I very rarely vote neg if the neg doesn't win framework. It isn't impossible to win without winning framework/consequentialism, but as the neg it makes your job much harder

I usually determine that negs beat the aff's "plan focus good" framework. This isn't for ideological reasons (honestly quite the opposite) but the block usually has several offensive arguments, cards, defense to aff standards, and the 1ar usually just says "moots the aff that's unfair debate is a game" and moves on.

Negs that do impact calculus, change the framework of the debate, and actually challenge core assumptions of the aff are usually in a good spot

Please do impact comparison, don't just list your impacts in the overview.

Harun Khan Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated 4 years at Washburn Rural

Email: Harunage@gmail.com

I have not debated for a year now, so I will be a little rusty. I do not have any strong opinions on anything related to debate. I would ask you to go about 70% of your top speed as my ears are pretty bad. I did judge at a three or four TOC tournaments last year.

I enjoy judging all kinds of debate. You can read anything in front of me as long as you explain it well. This will be my first tournament this year in terms of judging so reading words instead of acronyms would be helpful!

I have no process of giving speaks, they are completely arbitrary but I am pretty generous I think.

My knowledge on debate theory stuff is like 4/10.

Favorite rounds to watch are clash debates probably.

Kevin Krouse Paradigm

3 rounds

Email Chain: Krousekevin1@gmail.com


I participated in debate for 4 years in High School (policy and LD for Olathe East) and 3 years in College (Parli for Washburn University). This is my third year assisting Olathe East debate.


I can keep up for the most part. I will say clear twice in a speech if I feel like I am missing arguments, after that I get what I get. I'd like have speech docs shared with me but ultimately I evaluate the debate from what is on my flow, not in the speech doc. I think times in which I most often miss nuance that become relevant later in the debate are when teams are blazing through topicality and theory blocks at tops speeds.

Argument preferences:

In high school, I preferred traditional policy style debate. In college, I preferred more kritical arguments. I studied philosophy but don't assume I know everything about your author or their argument. Something that annoys me in these debates is when teams so caught up in buzzwords that they forget to extend warrants. In terms of judging, I'd rather you debate arguments you enjoy and are comfortable with as opposed to adapting to my preferences. A good debate on my least favorite argument is far more preferable than a bad debate on my favorite argument. I'm open to however you'd like to debate, but you must tell me how to evaluate the round and justify it. I'm not super prone to voting on Ks that do nothing or simply reject the aff. Justify your methodology.

K affs- I don't think an affirmative needs to defend the resolution if they can justify their advocacy/methodology appropriately. However I think being in the direction of the resolution makes the debate considerably easier for you.

I'm of the opinion that one good card can be more effective if utilized and analyzed effectively than 10 bad/mediocre cards. At the same time, I think a mediocre card utilized strategically can be more useful than a good card under-analysed.

Any other questions, feel free to ask before the round.

Dominik Lett Paradigm

4 rounds


tldr: read whatever you want but policy is my forte - feel free to email me if you have questions

put me on the email chain: d3lett@gmail.com

call me dom and use they/them pronouns

wichita state university: 2018-now

coach at maize high school


certain issues can and should supersede tech such as clipping cards or egregious ethics violations - however, most debates i judge don't involve those issues - i default to tech over truth - initially evaluating presented arguments at equal merit is the most consistent, impartial mechanism i've found to provide competitive equity - evidence matters a lot to me - i tend to think specificity and author qualification should act as a filter for claims/warrants

clash is crucial - how you prioritize arguments alters how i connect the dots to determine a decision - provide judge instruction and organization - the more you focus on explicitly characterizing the direction of the debate, the more my rfd will sound like your 2nr/2ar

i reward nuance and depth - more pages covered tends to mean less time developing substance/structure - narrowing the debate allows for greater engagement - impacting out warrants makes comparison for me much easier

insert graph joke here


i tend to think resolutional action is good but i can be convinced otherwise - capacity to debate matters to me - it's why clash is possible - limits and grounds are good - they provide the foundation for clash - portable skills/subject formation are important, but i'm not sure i understand why it's unique to debate - the interp is your model of debate - defend it - definitions are vital in helping me understand your model's mandates/effects

for the aff: explaining how your counterinterp uniquely generates offense (e.g. explaining why affs under your interp are important) and generates defense (e.g. quantifying affs under your interp) help me conceptualize weighing clash vs your model - i appreciate the "no perms and you get links to your disads" strategy - it seems to resolve a substantive portion of clash offense but becomes less convincing the more generic neg ground is eliminated

for the neg: explaining internal link turns are important - quantifying limits/grounds to demonstrate loss of clash is helpful - procedural fairness/switch side is often a compelling way to frame decision-making, but i'm not opposed to the mechanism education style fw if that's your expertise - the tva is a useful defensive resource but requires development and evidence


many of my preferences for fw apply here

reasonability makes little sense as an argument in and of itself - read it as a limits bad arg (argument diversity, topic development, research innovation, etc) - arguments for interp precision are often pretty compelling


i like detailed link/impact explanations - focus on evidence comparison will be rewarded


i like solvency advocates (someone who proposes a process of achieving an action to fix a problem) - read them - the more specific, the more legitimate and likely to solve


it's probably safe to assume i lack familiarity with the nuances of your chosen field of critical theory - do not read suffering/death good - specific link application (e.g. circumvention/internal link turns) and alt explanation will help guide my decision calculus - the aff should get to weigh the plan

-soft left affs-

the cohn card alone will likely never convince me disads should go away - it makes a lot of sense to me to go for critiques of da's/cp's - critical strategies (e.g. technocracy bad) and scenario planning indicts (e.g. tetlock and bernstein) are applicable - i have more experience with the latter


actually engaging in their theory block results in better args, lends credibility, and will be rewarded - most theory doesn't justify rejecting the team - whatever your proposed remedy is, providing a justification for it will be appreciated

condo is maybe good - i like the idea of reciprocity, but aff variety makes being neg tough - if you're aff, i find substance args more compelling than advocacy stuff - if you're neg, i find strategic flex args more compelling than critical thinking stuff

-other thoughts-

misc - don't worry about visual feedback - i'm always tired - i will clear you however many times i feel necessary - please try to increase volume/clarity in front of me as much as you can - feel free to alert me of any concerns about structural impediments you experience that could implicate how i evaluate the round so i can accommodate accordingly

cross-ex - i think anything goes in cross-ex as long as it's the 'asking team' - reading cards, taking prep, bathroom break, whatever - i think the 'responding team' is generally obligated to answer questions if asked - if you ignore and it's not reasonable, you will lose speaks

inserting arguments - generally fine as long as you explain thoroughly - graphs/diagrams/screenshots are cool - i'm far more skeptical of rehighlighted evidence

new arguments - they're almost always justified in response to new args - i grant more leeway to 2nc shenanigans than the 1nr - i think that 1ar's get the most leeway bc of structural time disadvantages and inevitable block creativity

Kathryn Lipka Paradigm

4 rounds

In General—

Put me on the email chain-- kathrynlipka16@gmail.com

I debated 4 years in high school, went to a handful of tournaments with KU, and am in my third year coaching (Lawrence Free State, Pembroke Hill).

I don’t think it is my job as a judge to call for evidence, kick CPs, decide how I should evaluate the debate, etc. It is your job to tell me these things. This means impact calculus plays a significant part in the way I evaluate the round—please do it. I default to moral obligation claims. Warranted extensions only or it isn’t an extension.

I don’t put up with rudeness, racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, or ableism-- these are worthy of losing a ballot and certainly a reason to dock your speaker points.

I expect debaters to do whatever they are best at and want to do in front of me-- debate is not an event for conformity.

My speaker point scale (taken from the KellyThompson):

29+ - you should receive a speaker award in this division at this tournament

28.5+ - you should be in elimination debates at this tournament, and probably win one or more of those rounds

28 - you are competing for a spot to clear but still making errors that may prevent you from doing so. Average for the division/tournament.

27.5 - you are slightly below average for the division/tournament and need to spend some time on the fundamentals. Hopefully, I've outlined in my notes what those are.

27 - you are in the wrong division or at the wrong tournament in my estimation.


If you’re going for T it should be the entire 2NR. If it is not, you’re not doing enough work. I evaluate education and fairness as impacts, so treat them as such. I am more persuaded by education. I am fine with creativity to make the aff topical, but at a certain point would rather you just reject the resolution than squeeze your way into a nonexistent “we meet” arg. I think rejecting the resolution is fine and switch side debate is typically not a winning argument. If you can prove that your education is best in the round I am willing to listen to what you have to say.


Fine, great, everyone should do them. If you don’t have a specific link you better be prepared to do a lot of work for me.


Generic bad. I think smart and well-developed PICs are a good way to control offense in a debate. Don’t assume doing theory and a perm is enough to get out of the CP. I default to sufficiency framing so I need clear reasons why the aff is more desirable. Blippy word PICs and delay CPs are annoying.


Most familiar with neolib/fem/anthro. You need to explain what the alternative does specifically—even if it is inaction. I like to hear “in the world of the alternative…”. I need to know why the aff is uniquely bad. Permutations are always valid, but often poorly executed and cause severance. Severance is probably bad. If I have to do a lot of work just to understand your jargon and what the K is I’m not the judge for you.


I have a higher threshold for voting on theory, it needs to be the center of the rebuttal if that is what you want. I almost always view theory as a reason to reject the argument not the team. Obviously I can be persuaded otherwise. Severance mostly bad. Condo mostly good. K’s are not cheating. PICs are good but also sometimes not. Slow down on theory.

Rachel Mauchline Paradigm

3 rounds

Rachel Mauchline

Director of Debate Cabot

Conflicts- Bentonville West


Put me on the email chain @ rachelmauchline@gmail.com

speed is good

tech over truth

flex prep

open cross

I judge a mix of debate styles throughout the season.


I typically get preferred for more policy-oriented debate. I gravitated to more plan focused affirmatives and t/cp/da debate. I would consider myself overall to be a more technically driven and line by line organized debater. My ideal round would be a policy affirmative with a plan text and three-seven off. Take that as you wish though.

Public Forum

weighing.... weighing.... weighing.

I like rebuttals to have clear line by line with numbered responses. 2nd rebuttal should frontline responses in rebuttal. Summary should extend terminal defense and offense OR really anything that you want in final focus. Final focus should have substantial weighing and a clear way for me to write my ballot. It's important to have legitimate evidence... don't paraphrase evidence and completely skew the evidence.

Lincoln Douglas

I've judged a variety of traditional and progressive debates. I don't have a huge preference and am willing to judge whatever. In regards to progressive debates, I prefer more policy-oriented debates but am willing to judge kritikal arguments as long as the link story is explained well and the alternative is clear. In regards to traditional debates, it's important to clearly articulate framework.


I enjoy a well articulated t debate. In fact, a good t debate is my favorite type of debate to judge. Both sides need to have a clear interpretation. Make sure it’s clearly impacted out. Be clear to how you want me to evaluate and consider arguments like the tva, switch side debate, procedural fairness, limits, etc.


This was my fav strat in high school. I’m a big fan of case-specific disadvantages but also absolutely love judging politics debates- be sure to have up to date uniqueness evidence in these debates though. It’s critical that the disad have some form of weighing by either the affirmative or negative in the context of the affirmative. Counterplans need to be functionally or textually competitive and also should have a net benefit. Slow down for CP texts and permutations- y’all be racing thru six technical perms in 10 seconds. Affirmative teams need to utilize the permutation more in order to test the competition of the counterplan. I don’t have any bias against any specific type of counterplans like consult or delay, but also I’m just waiting for that theory debate to happen.


I believe that case debate is under-covered in many debates by both teams. I love watching a case debate with turns and defense instead of the aff being untouched for the entire debate until last ditch move by the 2AR. The affirmative needs to continue to weigh the aff against the negative strat. Don't assume the 1AC will be carried across for you throughout the round. You need to be doing that work on the o/v and the line by line. It confuses me when the negative strat is a CP and then there are no arguments on the case; that guarantees aff 100% chance of solvency which makes the negative take the path of most resistance to prove the CP solves best.


I’m not as familiar with this form of argumentation or literature, but I’ll vote for the k. From my observations, I think teams end up just reading their prewritten blocks instead of directly engaging with the k specific to the affirmative. Be sure you understand what you are reading and not just reading a backfile or an argument that you don’t understand. The negative needs to be sure to explain what the alt actually is and more importantly how the alt engages with the affirmative. Similar to disads, the neg block/nr should expand on the link level of the debate and then condense down to the link they are winning in the 2NR for policy. I am seeing more and more teams, taking the strategy of kicking the alt and cross-applying the links as disads on the case flow. It's important to be aware though that for some kritiks that simply kicking the alt eliminates the uniqueness level of the link debate since they are simply implications from the status quo. That’s a cool strategy, which is also why affirmative teams need to be sure to not just focus on the alternative vs. the aff but also respond to all parts of the K. I think most aff teams that read a plan should have clear framework against the K in order to weigh this aff against the alt. Like I’ve said I judge more K rounds than I expected, but if you are reading a specific authors that isn’t super well known in the community, but sure to do a little more work in the o/v.


I’ll vote for whatever theory; I don’t usually intervene much in theory debates but I do think it’s important to flesh out clear impacts instead of reading short blips in order to get a ballot. Saying “pics bad” and then moving on without any articulation of in round/post fiat impacts isn’t going to give you much leverage on the impact level. You can c/a a lot of the analysis above on T to this section. It’s important that you have a clear interp/counter interp- that you meet- on a theory debate.

Ryan McFarland Paradigm

5 rounds

Ryan McFarland
Debated at KCKCC and Wichita State

Two years of coaching at Wichita State, 3 years at Hutchinson High School in Kansas, two years at Kapaun Mt. Carmel, now at Blue Valley Southwest.

email chain: remcfarland043@gmail.com

I have become increasingly frustrated at the recent debate trend where debaters just read pre-prepared blocks straight from their laptop at full speed with little contextualization to the arguments the other team is making. That frustration is magnified when the 2AR/2NR re-reads things from earlier speeches, at the same speed, while still not contextualizing those arguments to the other team. I appreciate debaters who debate from their flow and use their computers for reading evidence. Three things you should take away from this;

1. you could technically be winning a debate, but if I don't believe that you have clashed with the arguments presented by the other team, I will likely vote against you. Clash is not "they said perm, so insert generic perm 2NC block here". Clash is directly answering the nuances made by the other team.

2. I'm fairly expressive. I'm not going to say clear or tell you to slow down. If you think reading full speed in the 2NR/2AR is how you can convince me to vote for you, you're mistaken. If I'm not able to process the arguments you are making because you are reading full, card speed during a rebuttal, I'm not going to vote for you. I will either miss important things you want me to vote on, or I will spend my energy trying to make sure I can keep up with everything and not think about the arguments.

3. When I've given low speaker points in the last two years, it was because the things that I have mentioned above.

K v. FW - I'm pretty open to most arguments in the debate, but I will be up front and say that I believe the topic is good and important. This is not to say that I will never vote for a critical affirmative, but I am ideologically on the side of debating the topic is a good idea. With that said, I'm probably split pretty much down the middle on my voting record when it comes to K aff vs Framework. Most of the time when I have voted negative its because the affirmative does not adequately deal with the topical version of the aff. When I vote affirmative its because the negative spends most of its time establishing a link, but very little impact explanation and comparison. I do think that fairness is an impact, and don't find arguments about framework creating actual violence against people persuasive.

I don't find "debate bad" arguments persuasive. I've coached teams to say these things, but still don't find them valuable.

DA v. soft left aff - I don't think I've ever voted on the framing page takes out 100% of the disad. I've seen plenty of teams think that because they've read a framing page they don't need to engage the components of the DA and that will always be a losing strategy. Having specific critiques of disadvantages is more compelling to me. Likewise, negative teams reading a bunch of extinction first, util cards and generically extending them does little for me.

K's on the neg - I'm better for K arguments on the negative than K affirmatives. I might expect more link contextualization than some judges. I don't have a problem voting affirmative if I don't believe you have explained a link that makes sense with the aff.

An affirmative saying "duh" to "fiat isn't real" is sufficient, but you still need to defend your method of policy making.

Other things - I default to competing interpretations on topicality and other theoretical arguments. Conditionality is good but will vote on theory if it's well developed. Read disadvantages and counterplans. Case debate is underutilized and will increase your speaker points.

Judge kick - no idea why affirmatives just let negative teams get away with this. It forces the affirmative to give two different 2ARs. I'm not saying I'll just wholesale reject this, but affirmatives should get smarter.

I appreciate multi-plank counterplans that have some evidentiary support for all planks. I don't appreciate multi-plank counterplans that are used to fiat out of solvency deficits or offensive arguments.

More than 5 off case arguments - bad strategy. Makes me grumpy. Lowers your speaker points. Reading a bunch of bad arguments for the sake of reading more arguments is a bad debate trend.

Stop being scared of going for theory against cheating arguments.

Clipping is cheating no matter the intent.

I won't read or flow your inserted re-highlighting.

Michael McMahon Paradigm

6 rounds

Put me on the email chain: mjmcmahon3739@gmail.com

Nearly every paradigm I’ve read can be reduced to ‘good debate = good, bad debate = bad’. It should be obvious that things like impact calc, judge instruction, ev comparison, argumentative humility, etc. increase one’s chances of victory and makes judge’s lives easier. So do them!

Nothing in this paradigm is inflexible - any argument can be won in front of me, some are just harder.

I’m pretty sure I look disinterested or bored during debates, I’m not I swear. I love debate, I love debating, I love judging, and I will work as hard as possible to deliver a coherent decision.

I typically know who we won and lost moments after a debate ends, unless it’s extraordinarily close - most of my time is spent looking at my flows and typing everything out so I know I’m 100% correct.

Please hurry! I hate being part of a debate that makes a tournament run late.

Not a good judge for:

- postmodernism K’s

- queerness/identity arguments

- word PIKs

- K v K debates

- process, conditions, consult counterplans (it’s not that I don’t understand them... they’re just illegitimate)

A decent judge for:

- K’s generally

- non-T strategies versus K affs (making DA links and counterplan competition quite explicit helps)

- soft-left framing arguments (specificity matters, and I’ve yet to hear a critique of util that can be won without winning low probability first)

- politics DA (DA stories are getting worse by the day, you better be damn good at spin)

- agent counterplans (immigration topic made these incredibly boring)

Great judge for everything else, but especially:

- T versus policy/planless affirmatives

- impact turns

- advantage CP’s

- 8-minutes of case in the 2NC (!!! please do this !!!)

Miscellaneous thoughts about debate (in no particular order):

- 2NC counterplans out of 2AC straight turns are bad

- counterplans that compete off ‘immediacy’ and ‘certainty’ rely on arbitrary standards of competition

- precision versus debateability is an important distinction

- zero risk is certainly possible

- the link almost always matters most

- sufficiency framing is inevitable - I’ve yet to comprehend another way to evaluate counterplan solvency

- more than 6-7 off isn’t necessary - smaller debates are better

- new affs are good

- tech versus truth should never be understood absolutely, i find myself hesitating to vote on blatantly untrue arguments even if severely under covered. the solution is not putting yourself in this position!

- postmodernism K’s are not persuasive

- debate may structurally imperfect but it’s still incredibly valuable

- conditionality is good but dispositionality is slightly better (2ac’s should be rewarded for not making a perm, that’s risky and I love it)

- moderate speed in the rebuttals is optimal because they matter most and i flow on paper

Parker Mitchell Paradigm

6 rounds

Parker Mitchell Updated for: WaRu 2020


He/They/She are all fine.

Quick version

Plz don't shake my hand

Yes email chain, no flash chain

Equal chances on framework

Fairness is an impact but not the only impact.

Competing interps are best

There is NOT "always a risk"

I flow cx

Speed is good (except when accessibility/disability concerns)

Postround if you want

Online preface:

(Pre-tournament:) I have now judged about 10 online policy rounds. They mostly went well. I have had no issues flowing speed yet. You should make a note of the ability of your microphone and speed of your internet connection when you assess how fast you want to go. You might need to slow down slightly from your top speed or enunciate a bit more clearly.

Sidenote: testing a dual screen setup for online judging. This won't need any adaptations from you but it may sometimes look as if i'm looking past the camera or to the side during cx due to the way my screens are setup. I am still paying attention.


Debate is a game, I'm open to almost* any of strategy that will help you win that game. My ballot will probably decide whether the proposition of the affirmative is better than the proposition of the negative.

*exceptions: blatant/unapologetic racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism. I have only used this exception once because someone was defending George Zimmerman.


This topic is more aff leaning than i expected, a couple theories why that can help your strategy:

1) Many disads on this topic lack external impacts (containment/appeasement etc.) Affs are often set up to beat these strategies, so Negs need to be trickier. T is a better option than you think, as are tricky or "cheating" CPs. Create offense.

2) In K debates, the negative has shied away from being hardline on framework. Framework is harder when the negative is afraid of their best offense. Win an impact and worry less about trying to accommodate the aff. Again, create offense. Same for the aff: worry less about the middle and more about your offense.


4 years of debate for Shawnee Mission East high school in Kansas, 5 years for the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Currently assistant coach at Shawnee Mission East (5 years), occasionally assist for the Asian Debate League (ADL). Also worked with DKC and Turner HS.

Topic Experience (HS): 0 rounds on the CJR topic, I did not coach at a camp this year so I might be behind on specifics, acronyms and community norms on the topic.

Topic Experience (College): 0 rounds on the Alliance topic. I don't actively coach for a college team so I might be behind on specifics, acronyms and community norms on the topic.


T: Often an underrated strategic option. RVIs are bad, but I'm open to impact turns from K affs. Both sides should have an interp. I (almost always) evaluate under competing interpretations. I (almost never) consider precision separately from limits and ground debates, it strikes me closer to an impact framing argument than an impact or internal link in and of itself.

CPs: "Cheating" CPs are "fine", win theoretical justifications+substance and you will win, probably not going to reject the team.

Statuses: I lean that Condo is good, dispo/uncondo is bad. Status theory is winnable, you need an interp and remember to ask. (n-x) interps are unpersuasive.

DAs: I've sat against the negative in a couple close debates with DA/Case strategies. I have difficulty assigning "minute risk" on disads if defense is persuasive and/or conceded. Winning requires a clean 2nr or significant defense.

Ks: The neg can critique both plan and non-plan parts of the aff. The aff can weigh itself. Work out nuances. I think I have a pretty good, but not universal, grasp on most critical literature in debate.

K Affs: They can be good. Framework can also be a good strategy against them. I find framework debates to be extremely interesting, although they make my hand hurt afterwards. I usually take a lot of time deciding in both Framework debates and K aff vs K debates because they tend to have a lot of nuance and/or moving parts.


Flowing: One sheet in the 1nc will remain that way. Each individual sheet will be straight down, overviews not separate. Preferably don't give sub-orders before the speech ("I'm doing framework, interp first, then tva, limits da..." etc), they confuse me/are irrelevant because I am flowing straight down.

Speed: Speed is generally good. Maintain clarity. I may "clear" you a few times. I should hear the full body of the card, I want to listen to every word, you shouldn't be able to get away with slurring during the body.

CX: I flow cross-x. It's binding. Open > Closed. Won't pay attention to "flex prep." Try to ask all of your questions during CX because I can't hold the other side accountable during "flex prep."

Language: The use of racial/sexist/homophobic/transphobic slurs, in any way other than as used by individuals who are affected by those slurs, results in 0 speaks and a loss. Be mindful of problematic (non-slur) language. Mistakes happen, but so must sincere apologies.

Postrounding: you are welcome to.


Ethics: Ethics challenges stop the round immediately and require proof. If the accused party did violate a legitimate challenge they will receive the loss and 0 speaks, the reverse is true if the challenge is illegitimate. Clipping is definitively a violation. I will surrender to tournament regulations.

Disclosure: I will orally disclose provided the tournament allows it. Please disclose pre-debate. It's good.

Prep: Flashing is not prep.

Speaks: I use CDR's points rubric, adjusting for estimated pool skill.

APPENDICES (LD/PFD paradigm see top)


I have limited LD experience, I debated it for a couple of years in KS and went to NSDA nationals.

Traditional LD makes little sense to me. I really don't get Value/Criterion, they simply read as impact framing args to me, so you should probably treat them as such. I'm more attracted to LARP/Phil and the wild west of progressive LD than traditional LD as these are more familiar to me.

Speed, Ks, plans are fine, LD theory is intriguing but somewhat new to me. Please, roadmap and signpost I will flow.

Default to deciding whether the resolution is true or good unless presented with different ballot framing. Get creative: i find many LD topics are one sided and dull when played traditionally. T really can help out here.


I get a bit lost in this event. I will evaluate the debate technically using an offense defense paradigm unless persuaded otherwise. I will attempt to flow on two sheets (AC/NC). Your case should include offensive reasons to vote for your side, not just defense.

All debate events require clash or they are just oratory: That means whichever team goes second should explicitly answer the other team's case. The second round of speeches need to both extend arguments and answer opponents. Final speeches should include a brief overview with ballot instruction and also continue LBL work. Do not eschew clash for the sake of speaking pretty, that is a quick way to lose my ballot.

Cory Newman Paradigm

3 rounds

I've been involved in debate as either a competitor, a judge, or a coach for over a decade in both policy as well as Lincoln Douglas debate.

I default to a policy maker paradigm, and if all else is truly equal in the round then that's the side that I'll err on, but I have voted on kritikal arguments before and have no problem doing so again if those are the relevant issues in the round. However when I am making decision on kritikal arguments both framework as well as the role of the ballot are very important to me.

On topicality I err on the side of reasonability, but I've voted neg on topicality many times and you should certainly run topicality if you believe the affirmative isn't topical and you feel like that's the strategy you want to go for. If you do go for topicality, unless your opponent has straight up conceded most of the flow, the majority of the 2NR should probably be on topicality. With voters I have a preference for education.

Theory debates are great. Just be sure to legitimize the theory argument with a reasonable voter. Otherwise I have no reason to care about the theory no matter how well you argue it.

Counter-plans are great. Many of the teams I've worked with (including my own partnership) spend the majority of their rounds going for nothing except a single counter-plan and its net benefit, so I'm very familiar with that debate.

I can probably handle whatever speed you throw at me as long as you remain clear. I give two warnings for clarity before I stop telling you to be clear and just flow whatever I can understand.

If your partner prompts you at all during your speech, know that I will not flow a single word of what they say. If you want me to flow it and acknowledge that it was said in the round, then the person giving the speech has to physically say the words.

Unless a speech, CX, or prep timer is running, there should not be preparation going on for either team. During flashing/emailing time, neither team should be prepping. That includes writing on your flows, reading through evidence, and talking to your partner about any arguments in the round.

The bottom line for me in debate is - be reasonable. Conditional arguments are fine, just don't run a large number of them because that becomes unreasonable. Open cross-ex is fine, but if one partner is doing the vast majority of their team's participation in CX then that is no longer reasonable. Flashing evidence to your opponent off-time is fine, but it should be done in a reasonable time (and obviously flashing to your partner is prep time). When in doubt - just ask me.

Lexi Oatman Paradigm

4 rounds

BVSW '14

Put me on the email chain please: lexi.oatman16@gmail.com

I graduated with my master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology from KU in 2020. Because I now actually have a full time job etc. I won't be doing a lot (if any) of coaching and primarily will just be judging at tournaments here and there. Because of this, I probably will not be familiar with the CJR topic as much as I have been with other topics in the past so just keep that in mind

Experience--I debated for BVSW for 4 years in high school. I have spent the last 6 years coaching at Blue Valley Southwest, Lansing High School, Washburn Rural, and occasionally on the college circuit for KU. I've spent 3 summers (2017-2019) working at the Jayhawk Debate Institute.

General Stuff:

-unless otherwise argued, judge kick is okay

-I will only do evidence comparison if explicitly told to in the debate. Please don't just say you're inserting a card. Read your ev, call for me to read it at the end of the round if you think the round should be decided based on it etc.

-Dropped arg is a true arg as long as the warrant is extended

-I believe that affs should be in the direction of the topic

-disclosure is good

~More specific arguments~


-Whatever you decide to run, just apply it to the round you're in. I've been in too many debates recently where everyone is just throwing around buzz words but not applying it to the context of the round. This same point applies to the aff in the context of the perm debate (i.e. how does the perm function why is it a better option etc). I don't care what you read just contextualize it.

-I don't think that a link of omission is a link. My threshold is pretty high for this so if you do so feel compelled to go for this argument, just know you will need to dedicate a lot of time to it.

-I like to see a lot of work done on the alt debate in the block. I need to see clear arguments as to what the world of the alt looks like and why the alt solves better than the aff.


-I think fairness is more an internal link than it is an impact. (i.e. fairness is an internal link to topic education, clash, etc)

-In addition to framework there needs to be some sort of argument to indict the aff's methods. In rounds where this doesn't happen by the neg, I find the aff's argument to weigh the impacts more compelling. Read arguments as to why their theory is wrong.


-Competing interps over reasonability. Doesn't mean I don't vote on reasonability but I don't think enough teams do the work explaining what exactly would being reasonably topical look like in context to the roundor how voting on reasonability solves the impacts.

-Limits are universally good.

-You should slow down

-T-USFG is more persuasive to me than a framework arg.


-should be textually and functionally competitive with the aff

-I think the top of the 2NC/1NR should be explaining what the cp is or how it is different from the aff.

Lily Ottinger Paradigm

6 rounds

Email chain: lily.coaches.debate@gmail.com

Aaron Thomas Note: As of writing this I have judged 40 debates on the arms sales topic.


  • 4 years of high school policy debate at Shawnee Mission Northwest (2013-2017, Latin America, Oceans, Surveillance, China)
  • Current policy debater at the University of Kansas (2017-present, Healthcare, Executive Authority, Space)


  • Preemptive apology for smiling in cross-x. It's just really weird to be stared at.
  • Do not make me judge death/suffering/extinction good arguments. Do not ask me to vote based on something that happened outside the debate.
  • I will give you a 29 if you show me that you’re smart. I might give you a 30 if I think you're the best debater at the tournament.


  • I've been on both sides. I'm more likely to vote aff on impact turns than most policy judges, but I do see a lot of value in the preservation of competition. Procedural fairness is sometimes an impact but affs are usually on the side of truth. Clash is a better impact than fairness imo.
  • TVAs don't have to solve the whole aff. TVAs with solvency advocates are lit.


  • Speaker point boost if your 2NC has a grammar argument.
  • If you're aff and going for reasonability, "race to the bottom" isn't super compelling. Make arguments about debatability instead, and explain in the context of the violation.
  • Case lists are good.
  • The presence of other negative positions is not defense to a ground argument. The aff being disclosed is not defense to a limits argument.

Counterplans- I like them

  • When people refer to counterplans by saying the letters "CP" out loud it makes me wish I were dead.
  • Counterplan theory is really cool and I like judging it.
  • As a human I think counterplans that advocate immediate, indefinite, non-plan action by the USFG is legit, but as a judge I'm chaotic neutral on all theory questions if there's an argument made about it.


  • Much like my comment about counterplans, please don't refer to these by saying the letters "DA."
  • I like politics disads a lot. This isn't ideological- I just think they're fun. Speaker point boost if you make arguments about the math behind polls


  • Explain how the alt solves the links and why the perm doesn't.
  • Affs should explain why "moots 1AC" is a bad model. Negs should explain why the links justify mooting the aff.
  • Case outweighs 2ARs are very persuasive. The neg can beat this with discrete impacts to specific links+impact framing.
  • Speaker point penalty if the 1AR drops fiat is illusory.


  • If there is no net benefit to a counterplan, presumption flips aff. This is a community standard. If you want the debate evaluated differently, make an argument about why.
  • I do not think permutations are cheating.
  • An argument is a claim and a warrant. If you say something that does not contain a warrant, I will not necessarily vote on it even if it's dropped (due to discrepancy between aff and neg speech times). In the interest of preventing judge intervention, please say things that have warrants.
  • Most neg theory arguments I've watched would go away instantly if affs said "counter interpretation: we have to be topical."
  • RVIs do not make sense. Topicality is never a reason to vote affirmative. The fact that a counterplan is conditional is never offense for the negative.

Alonso Pena Paradigm

3 rounds

I debated for four years at Kansas State University, and three years in highschool at Garden City High School. I try to be as neutral as possible, and I will make my decision predicated on the things that happen in the round. That being said I embody a lived experience, and that experience follows me in every decision in life, so I will not pretend that I can seperate myself from that. I will, however, try to evaluate the debate as fairly as I can.

I think that debate is a place where students have the capacity to use argumentative creativity, and so I am willing to listen to a wide variety of argumentative styles. I will repeat what has been said many many times before - do not try to change the way you debate to move closer to what you think I would like. Yes, I have a particular debate style, but that does not mean that I will privilege this style of debate. Do you to the best degree possible, and I will be happy.

Below are some of the particularities of my judging philosophy


Disadvantages are very important and underutilized in debate. I love a good specific disad debate. Generic disads are fine, but I expect specific links. You should explain why the disadvantage turns and outweighs the case, and you should compare impacts somehow. This means explain to me why your scenario that leads to world war 3 is more important than their scenario that leads to extinction via global warming. I need to know how I should evaluate these arguments. I'm also not going to lie - I am not the most caught up on domestic politics so you should be explaining the specifics of your politics disad if that is important. Do not expect me to do that work for you, because that would assume that I read your scenarios. Chances are, I have not.


I love seeing specific advantage counterplans deployed strategically. I am fine with agent counterplans, but I would prefer them to be competitive. If your mechanism is techy and deep in the literature then I expect some explaination. I am not a fan of process counterplans, but I will vote for them if they are deployed well. Word PICS are cool, but you should have some basic theoretical defense to why PICing out of discourse is legit.


I enjoy them. Please stay grounded and do not travel too far into the level of theory without explaination of praxis. What I mean by this is you might have an awesome idea, but I need you to explain it to me in a way that I can apply to my life. Do not assume I have read your literature base. Dense theoretical concepts should be unpackaged. Explain how the alt solves the links/impacts.


I need a concrete interpretation, violation, and impact in the 2NR if you want to win this position. I am totally fine voting for topicality, but I expect the 2NR to explain a consistent story. I find permutation on framework interesting, and if you can explain it well then I will feel comfortable voting on this argument. I know there are some judges in Kansas who are saying that they will not vote for untopical affirmatives. I find this display a gross interjection that ruins the creative freedom debate is supposed to provide to students. I will respond to this by refusing to take the opposite position. I will try my hardest to evaluate framework fairly, and students should not be afraid to read this argument in front of me. That being said, I do still have expectations for you to win this argument, and I have no ideological issues voting for untopical aff if they win the debate with things like contextualized impact turns or a counter-pedagogy.


I can most likely keep up with your speed. I'll shout clear three times, and afterward I will flow what I can and feel no kind of guilt about missing arguments that I cannot catch.

My Flow

I would like basic roadmaps. Please tell me where you are going. If this is not how you debate, that's coor too.


I'm cool with open cross-x, but I would prefer if the non-speaking partner does not answer all of the questions. It will hurt speaker points. Open cross-x is great, but it often turns into the second speaker continually silencing and belittling the first speaker. Let's please make sure this doesn't happen.

Serena Peter Paradigm

5 rounds

Debated for 4 years at Washburn Rural High School from 2013-2017.

I mainly competed in the DCI circuit here in Kansas with a couple of limited out of state experiences my senior year. I only got seriously involved in debate as a senior but debated at a relatively high level during that season. Since then I have pretty much only judged once a year at WaRu so it might take me a second to adjust to your speed. I would suggest slowing down a bit for tags and when you're extending your evidence in the block if you want me to catch your warrants.

Topicality: I evaluate this as a question of competing interpretations but I am not super familiar with topic definitions or resolutional limits since I don't coach or judge a ton. A hyper technical T argument is probably not your best argumentative choice since I don't know the literature that well.

CP/DA: This is probably the strategy that I am the most comfortable with, although process counterplans are an uphill battle in many situations. I will default to rejecting the argument and not the team.

Case: Underutilized part of the debate. Neg teams can easily win my ballot by thoroughly debating the case and also winning a risk of a disadvantage.

K: Not very familiar with the literature, especially on the topic since I do not coach. I am more familiar with your run of the mill kritiks than postmodernist nonsense. I will evaluate your kritik if you read it, but specific links would be helpful and I might not just recognize your K trick intrinsically, which means you will need to explain it if you want a chance at me voting for it. Probably not the 2NR I would suggest in front of me.

Please don't be rude to each other or otherwise make my time judging unenjoyable. I judge every year because I like it, not because I am being paid or otherwise obligated to do so, so please do your best to make me enjoy coming back and evaluating debates.

Shawn Rafferty Paradigm

6 rounds

Head Coach of Jenks High School, Oklahoma 4th year

Head Coach of Manhattan, Kansas 13 years

I think debate is a game, and tend to be more policy oriented. That said, I am not a fan of judge adaptation, I think you should run what you want, and I will do my best to follow.

Please slow down on tags and theory if you want them on my flow.

I will probably make a decision rather quickly. It doesn't mean that I am not paying attention or evaluating your arguments, I usually just don't need a long time to sort things out.

If you want to read something like Bataille or Baudrillard, etc. I might not be the best judge for you. I don't read the lit, and I think debate is ultimately good, so you might have more mileage from your pref somewhere else.

An ideal round for me would be a topical affirmative versus a counterplan with a net benefit. That said, I have voted for the K, and I have enjoyed critical affirmatives, win the framework debate.

Yes put me on the email chain shawnrafferty521@gmail.com

Now I will quote a much better judge about something that I would like you to think about when I judge you

Will Katz's Grumpy Man Rants

Don’t shrink the text of your cards to 2 pt font. 8 point font is plenty fine. If I ever judge someone who shrinks their text down that much, I’m going to shrink down the highlighted parts that much too and then just not read the card because its too small.

Death good just signals to me that I should kill your points and your chance of winning

If your argument is that debate is always bad, I'm likely to agree with you that your debating is always bad, and as such I'll likely vote for the other team.

If you think you can win with only offense and no defense, then you'll probably have a better time playing on the Cleveland Cavaliers than winning a debate in front of me.

If you sit down in cx, it makes it seem like you don't want me to listen attentively. Who am I to argue with you on that?

If you go top speed all the time, I'd recommend NASCAR over debate. In debate, there is definitely a time to go slow. Although even in NASCAR they don't start out at top speed

Ryan Reza Paradigm

3 rounds

Ryan Reza

Debated Policy @ Washburn Rural HS (2014-2018)

Lover of food and liberalism and Tim Ellis

Email: RyanReza12@gmail.com

Updated: 9/7/2019

What's up! First off, don't be rude in round! If you're outrageously rude in round it will be very hard to win my ballot. Be nice, and have fun. Debate is an activity where everyone should be enjoying their time, that is why it was created. Not for you to flaunt around your arrogance.


-Tech over truth, must have warranted arguments.

-Debate arguments that you are most comfortable with!

-I won't do your work for you

-Use CX to your benefit, I'm a big fan

-If you have non cringy puns in your intros I respect you more

-I don't know a lot about this topic yet, so explain acronyms you might use or specific theories etc. Else I won't know whats happening probs


Listen I'm a little out of the whole speed thing. I am going to assume you're faster than I was in HS, however, if you are clear I will be able to follow along. If you are not clear, I will say "clear". If you do not become clear after I have said it, I'll wait a couple seconds then stop flowing.


-Reject the arg, not the team for all instances besides maybe condo

--For Condo there should be some pretty heavy in round abuse, and you have to prove it to me. Don't just read blocks, use your head.


I'm a fan of topicality. But because I'm lazy and Tim worded it well enough here is an excerpt from his paradigm

Topicality is usually a question of competing interpretations, but just like anything else in debate, you can persuade me otherwise. I tend to think that debaters are not great at explaining the offense that they have on T flows, and particularly, how offensive arguments interact with one another. All too often the neg will go for a limits DA and the aff will say precision, but no one will discuss which one has more value in creating a stable model for debate. Reasonability is an uphill battle for me, but I find myself being more persuaded by it as neg teams get worse and worse at extending an impact to their T argument. As far as spec debates, I usually find them quite dull, and it will take a pretty egregious violation or a crush of a spec debate for me to vote against someone for not specifying agent, funding, etc.

Thank you for listening to Tim's ted talk


Ha I'm not too familiar with this aspect of debate. If you run an aff w/o a plan text that is perfectly fine. All you have to do is explain it to me and why your standard of debate is better for the activity and whatnot. If you just give me depth less arguments about how debate sucks now and the USFG is bad then it will not be an easy ballot to win. I will most likely lean negative in these types of debates, because fairness typically aligns towards the neg in these debates. But the negative team needs to do work if they want to win. Having offense on case and on top of that adding external impacts is important. Don't just throw together BS arguments at the end of the round, you'll need to do work to win.

Regardless, you do you. Explain your arguments, answer the other team's. You'll gain a ballot. Probably.


I am not to well versed in K literature, however, that does not mean I won't vote on it. Traditionally, if the team does a good job of explaining the world of the kritik and how the kritik is good, then they will be fine. If you read a K just to confuse your opponents, you will also confuse me.

-I think you should try and explain to me how the K looks in the debate, whether that is the post plan implications or whatever is happening in the round.

-Explain the alt well. That is probably important. Having good links to the aff is a plus, if it is a bunch of SQUO stuff it won't be very convincing.

-If the neg goes for FW be sure to explain the argument throughout the debate. And have a specific interpretation for me to vote on.


Big fan. Big fan. Big fan. I love me a good Disad.

-Try and have specific Links

-Politics DAs are pretty good. They might not make sense a lot of the time but you know

-Be sure to cover Case along with the DA. That is a pretty spicy combo in my eyes

-Have a nice internal link chain. I wanna know why doing the aff causes the world to explode into a ball of fiery doom

-Not too sure what else to say. Explain the world of the aff and how the DA trumps all Aff benefits


CPs are good. CP + DA is always good. I'm not super technical and informed on CP theory but:

-Delay CPs, probably bad

-Consult/Conditions CPs, def bad unless they have a specific solvency advocate

-Cut the other team's solvency advocate and make it into a CP. That is pretty spicy.

-Word PIC's are annoying

Speaker points (I'm still figuring this out so it could be different in the future and whatnot)

29.4+ -- Straight fire (One of the best I've seen)

29-29.3 -- Speaker Award at the tournament

28.6-28.9 -- Good, no complaints in terms of speaking ability (Above Average/Average - comments will determine)

28.0-28.5 -- Didn't do anything distinctly "wrong", critiques here and there about issues (A bit below average - you're getting there)

27s -- Dropping arguments, ending speeches early, etc. (Needs improvement - but hey you'll get there)

If you get anything below a 27 it means there was something that did not belong in the debate. Meaning rudeness, cheating, etc.

Idk other stuff that is probably important

Don't just say random debate words. Have warrants for every argument you make. BE CLEAR for analytical blocks. Have fun.

-1AR must be fire. It's a requirement

-Make jokes. If they are bad I will dock you speaker points (-.5 per joke), however, if they are good you will get additional points (+.5)

Reminder don't be awful in round.

Dustin Rimmey Paradigm

3 rounds

Put me on the email chain: dustinrimmey@gmail.com

I think you should have content warnings if your arguments may push this debate into uncomfortable territory.

Preface to the Arms Sales Topic

To be honest, this may be a weird year for me to judge as the author of the Topic Paper/Resolution. I'll do my best to check my preconceived notions of what is/not T etc. at the door. This will probably get better as the year goes on and I'm hearing folks who aren't my own kids debating.

Quick Background:

I debated for four years in High School (Lansing HS, KS) from 1998-2002, I debated for four years in college (Emporia State University, KS) from 2002-2006, Coached one year at Emporia State from 2006-2007, and from 2007 to present I have been a coach at Topeka High School (KS) where I have been the director of Speech and Debate since 2014. In terms of my argument preference while I was actively debating, I dabbled in a little bit of everything from straight up policy affirmatives, to affirmatives that advocated individual protests against the war in Iraq, to the US and China holding a press conference to out themselves as members of the illuminati. In terms of negative arguments, I read a lot of bad theory arguments (A/I spec anyone?), found ways to link every debate to space, read a lot of spark/wipeout and read criticisms of Language and Capitalism.

In terms of teams I have coached, most of my teams have been traditionally policy oriented, however over the last 2-3 years I have had some successful critical teams on both sides of the ball (like no plan texts, or slamming this activity....).

My Philosophy in Approaching Debate:

I understand we are living in a time of questioning whether debate is a game or an outreach of our own individual advocacies for change, and I don't know fully where I am at in terms of how I view how the debate space should be used. I guess as a high school educator for the past decade, my approach to debate has been to look for the pedagalogical benefit of what you say/do. If you can justify your method of debating as meaningful and educational, I will probably temporarially be on board until persuaded otherwise. That being said, the onus is on you to tell me how I should evaluate the round/what is the role of the ballot.

This is not me being fully naive and claiming to be a fully clean slate, if you do not tell me how to judge the round, more often than not I will default to an offense/defense paradigm.


I tend to default to competing interpretations, but am not too engrained in that belief system. To win a T debate in front of me, you should go for T like a disad. If you don't impact out your standards/voters, or you don't answer crucial defense (lit checks, PA not a voter, reasonability etc.) I'm probably not going to vote neg on T. Also, if you are going for T for less than all 5 minutes of the 2NR, I'm probably not voting for you (unless the aff really messes something up). I am more likely to vote on T earlier in the year than later, but if you win the sheet of paper, you tend to win.

I do think there is a burden on the negative to either provide a TVA, or justify why the aff should be in no shape-or-form topical whatsoever.

Hack-Theory Arguments

Look, I believe your plan text should not be terrible if you are aff. That means, acronyms, as-pers, excessive vagueness etc. are all reasons why you could/should lose a debate to a crafty negative team. I probably love and vote on these arguments more than I should.....but....I loved those arguments when I debated, and I can't kick my love for them.....I also am down to vote on just about any theory argument as a "reject the team" reason if the warrants are right. If you just read blocks at me and don't engage in a line-by-line of analysis....I'm probably not voting for you...

I am on the losing side of "condo is evil" so a single conditional world is probably OK in front of me, but I'm open to/have voted on multiple conditional worlds and/or multiple CPs bad. I'm not absolutely set in those latter worlds, but its a debate that needs hashed out.

I also think in a debate of multiple conditional worlds, its probably acceptable for the aff to advocate permutations as screens out of other arguments.

The K

Eh.......the more devoted and knowledgable to your literature base, the easier it is to pick up a ballot on the K. Even if you "beat" someone on the flow, but you can't explain anything coherently to me (especially how your alt functions), you may be fighting an uphill battle. I am not 100% compelled by links of omission, but if you win a reason why we should have discussed the neglected issue, I may be open to listen. The biggest mistake that critical debaters make, is to neglect the aff and just go for "fiat is an illusion" or "we solve the root cause" but....if you concede the aff and just go for some of your tek, you may not give me enough reason to not evaluate the aff...

Case Debates

I like them.....the more in depth they go, the better. The more you criticize evidence, the better...

Impact turns

Yes please......


Defend your theoretical base for the CP, and you'll be fine. I like clever PICs, process PICs, or really, just about any kind of counterplan. You should nail down why the CP solves the aff (the more warrants/evidence the better) and your net benefit, and defense to perms, and I will buy it. Aff, read disads to the CP, theory nit-picking (like the text, does the neg get fiat, etc.) make clear perms, and make sure you extend them properly, and you'll be ok. If you are not generating solvency deficits, danger Will Robinson.

I think delay is cheating, but its an acceptable form in front of me...but I will vote on delay bad if you don't cover your backside.


I think I'm too dumb to understand judge kicking, so its safe to say, its not a smart idea to go for it in front of me.


Be a jerk, be sexist/transphobic/racist/ableist etc, steal prep, prep during flash time, or dominate cx that's not yours (I get mad during really bad open CX). Don't clip, misrepresent what you read, just say "mark the card" (push your tilde key and actually mark it...) or anything else socially unacceptable....

If you have questions, ask, but if I know you read the paradigm, and you just want me to just explain what I typed out.....I'll be grumpier than I normally am.

Nico Rodriguez-Hanley Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated 4 years at Shawnee Mission East

Currently debate at KU


Add me to the email chain -

email: nicorhanley@gmail.com

Before I edited my paradigm (1/11/2020) I think it did a better job of explaining a lot of stuff that people dont really care about rather than the few things people check paradigms for, so I’m basically just listing off some takes I have about debate in descending order of what’s relevant

1. I think framework is a hard argument for me to gauge myself on - by that i mean if i was going for framework in front of myself i wouldn’t know a guaranteed way to get my ballot. Two things you should know are that a) I usually vote for K affs against fw, b) I almost 100% believe framework (neg) is a true argument when I try to rationalize how I think about debate. I think the big reason for this is because framework debates are much more technically demanding of 2ns to a degree that they often aren’t accustomed to, e.g. making difficult strategic decisions on what pieces of defense to go for (counterinterp doesnt solve, switch side, tva) how to frame case answers as defense to framework, and what pieces of offense to go for/how to frame offense in a way that outweighs impacts to the neg interp. One piece of advice that might help neg policy teams against a k aff when with me in the back of the room would be to do two things: think of why the counterinterp doesnt solve their offense (justifies a bad aff/set of affs) or you can think of reasons why they dont meet their interp - i feel comfortable voting on the traditional clash good tva switch side 2nr but there is a much higher chance of you winning in front of me if you’re right that their counterinterp is bad/they dont meet it. I’ll admit my threshold for this argument is maybe lower than it should be but until i learn enough about debate to know why this arg isn’t OP against K affs ill keep voting on it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

2. I’ll vote on anything but I won’t give speaks based solely on your ability to secure a dub. Obviously winning a theory argument that went conceded will win you the debate but depending on what that argument is, you may not get the best speaks for it. I think it’s important to encourage people to go for arguments that are good while also taking into account that debate is a competitive activity where people want to win and will do so however possible. How I determine the value behind particular strategies and if i think they’re good/bad for the activity is admittedly subjective, but if you flame me for it, take into account that I’ve been debating for longer than you have and my confidence in being correct will significantly overdetermine any complaints you may have. If you go for condo and give a fire speech I may even give you 29.5+ but if you make me vote on no neg fiat i probably wont give you above a 28.3. I also don’t think that I require a lot of time dedication to theory args in the last rebuttal, eg if the 2nr is 20 seconds of condo and the 2ar is at least 1 minute, i might still vote aff, which could give you the opportunity to win the rest of the debate even if i dont buy condo which will be more likely to increase speaks. This applies to other theory arguments that i would normally not give high speaks on (severence perms bad, t is an rvi, no neg fiat, advantage cps are cheating, vague alts bad)

3. If you go for death good please pref me so i can be the one to give you 0 speaks and a loss.

4. I tend to not like small affs or faux k affs. I don’t think they’re strategic against policy stuff or ks because impact framing against big das and cps is never contextual to the offense they read and you have to justify your reps against ks if they win framework anyway so you might as well at least have an impact that outweighs structural violence.

5. Policy vs K debates: I’ll just lay out what “arsenal” i think it’s best for the affirmative to have coming out of the 1ar - weighing the plan is good, the model of fiat is pedagogically valuable, 1ac impacts are real and cause harm (ideally, extinction), you should evaluate extinction before other impacts due to its irreversibility, perm do both, the thesis claims of the kritik are wrong/AT:ontology

6. Disads are great. Politics disads are even better. If I could change one thing about the things i hear in debates it would just be the allocation of time between framing arguments vs warranted analysis/cards. I think in rebuttals the actual descriptive claims you wanna go for need to be really EMPHASIZED. If I miss a piece of judge instruction in the 2nr that’s pretty low stakes but if i miss the warrant that you’re instructing me how to vote on, thats an issue.

7. CPs are kinda OP and sometimes cheating but also sometimes not. Advantage cps are valid af, process cps are ok, so are agent cps. Delay cp, courts cp, conditions cp, and multi-actor process cps are probably the most cheating, especially delay and conditions. If you’ve read this far into my paradigm I might as well say that for me to vote on theory pretty quickly, give some good examples of what kinds of cps they would justify and what they do for limits/fairness. Another thing is that most of the neg justifications to these counterplans don’t assume the way they massively abuse fiat. E.g. the authors who write lit that could theoretically check abuse for delay cps probably doesn’t assume that the only solvency deficit the aff would get would be timeframe T-(x number of days).

8. for aff teams who don't read a plantext and want to know how I feel about framework: I probably wont think that the model of debate you're likely going to forward would actually be better for the activity. That said, my win-rate for K teams against a framework 2nr is somewhere around 5-1 (not good data bc k teams usually have experience in more competitive pools but it's a stat worth considering). I think the more frustrated you make the aff at their inability to explain the utility of policy debates, the funnier, and I like giving speaks for that (plus it's a good way to preempt answers to their offense). I tend to think that the most exploitable part of k affs is the counterinterp paired with explaining why the ballot is necessary to fully realize the "impact" of the aff's critique of the topic/debate. A trend I've noticed with teams in highschool (and college) who don't read a plantext is a solid explanation of how the rest of debate operates in conjunction with the affirmative (as in not just the 1ac, but the actual iterative process of debating, plus the ballot). If you can explain to me why the affirmative is good, why debating it is good, how the negative ought to be expected to respond, and why the ballot is necessary for that, you’re in a good place to not lose

Other stuff:

1. Not everything that I or any judge tells you is necessarily good advice. I think improvement in debate is a unique and personal thing that requires a lot of self-reflection. No two people think about debate in the same way and that's part of why I like it. Implications of that: I understand that the strategy that maybe I would have chosen to execute in a debate round isn't a) the ultimate best or b) the one that fits the style of debate that you like to practice.

2. Debate is supposed to be fun. I'll never understand people who go into debates genuinely (or seemingly genuinely) upset at what they're doing. If you have fun, the round is more fun, judging is more fun, etc. Debates that are fun to watch are so much easier to deal out higher speaker points to.

3. Everything in my paradigm is true only to an extent - ****good arguments change my opinions all the time so if you think you're right about something go for it - I try to make an effort to check my biases toward particular arguments****

Try not to be problematic. Debate is a competitive space in which we all try to have fun / escape the chaos of reality, so don't bring toxic behavior into it.




0-26 - you did something really shitty in round

26-27.8 - below average

27.8-28.5 - average

28.5-29 - good/great

29-29.5 - exceptional

I won't give above a 29.5 unless I'm absolutely blown away by the performance of the debater. I'm doubtful that I'll be rewarding a 30 to anyone ever

Don’t clip 0 speaks and loss.

Don’t be a dick - that was in the overview.

Don’t be rude in cross ex - that includes one partner doing all of cross ex - defo not a fan of one partner thinking they're smarter than the other.

Madi Sawyer Paradigm

6 rounds

Basic practice preferences

Flashing should not take an eternity. Do not waste our time. Be honest with how you treat flashing with the other team and I. If you are shady, it's going on the ballot and I will be heavily annoyed. If you want an email chain - msawyer97@gmail.com

I will be flowing the round and that will be the largest decider in our round. I would much rather see a tech over truth debate where each team determines the functionality of arguments within the round rather than spend our time together in an inherency/uniqueness debate. Defend/debate all portions of an arguments and that will reflect well for you on the flow. I want to see ya'll interact with the arguments read - if you choose to discount an argument without just refutation, it'll be a yikes for all involved.

I will never vote on arguments which are discriminatory and encourage violence (racism good, ableism good, anti-queer literature, etc.) If you create spaces which encourage violence or are the source of abuse in the round in any way, you will lose this debate. I view my privilege in this round is to protect education and the safety of all debaters - in no way will I sit by and watch another team/debater be attacked for any identity they may possess. Debate space should be a space to act without fear of oppression - I will make sure that is reflected in my judgments and comments. I would rather see ethical debaters than those who read awful arguments in hopes of gaining a winning edge. Be a better person than you are a debater at all times.

I am fine with any speed you choose, but I will hold you accountable for creating a safe and accessible space for the debate to occur. If the practice is used as a way to push a debater/team out of the round, that's a problem. I will not directly intervene in this case, but if the team/debater chooses to critique your process or read in-round abuse theory, I will prefer it.

Argument breakdown

Framework: I will flow what you want from me to either change my evaluation of the round or use it as a critique of debater methods. This can be important at the end of the round if you make it to be. I will evaluate the round as your framework dictates if you give me the solid reasoning as why it should be preferred over default consequentialism. I want to see your ability to interact with the framework throughout the round, not just a one-time read at the end of an aff or at the start of a neg argument. If you are willing to read it, work with it during our time.

Author debates are tedious and boring. Do the work. Do the analysis. Disprove the argument written and presented rather than count on me to judge whether a piece of evidence should be included. Again, I want to see you engage with the evidence as read rather than dismiss it.

Topicality: I love it. A good T debate is my favorite debate to judge and was my favorite argument to run. By default, the aff needs to win the interpretation and work through the standards/voters. Don't discount the argument and make sure to prove T through thorough argumentation.

Counterplans: Always a fun time! As the neg, I feel this gives you automatic offense which can lead you away from the "the aff is still better than the SQ" debates. The thing that will irritate me quickest is the aff simply saying the perm to be argued rather than adding a simple line or two to analyze how that perm performs its abilities within the round and in the world of the aff. Do the work! In my opinion and practice, condo bad can help guard importance analysis space. Go for it! Other theory arguments are chill with me if you provide adequate analysis for how it negatively/positively shapes the round.

Criticisms/Performances: As a debater, I ran a few K arguments and have coached students through lit bases. There is a high chance I will be familiar with the base you are pulling from, but if I am not, I am sure I can understand the argument through the flashed evidence! Any K read should be an advocacy. This means that I want to see these arguments function as something you/the team truly believes and truly are a part of the community the literature bases itself within. Running literature from a community of which you are not a member runs the line of commodification which is bad for many reasons! I am willing to hear any K and will rely on the you to prove link and solvency clearly.


Debate is about education and learning how to interact with arguments on great topics. I want to see your work, your passions, and your way of debating. Make this activity fit you and your teammate, not the other way around! With as much as I value education, I want you to value and safeguard that education for all involved. This is why I will never vote up a team which places that in jeopardy for the round. As I tell my team: be better people than you are debaters. Never sacrifice parts of yourself for arguments that may seem competitive. Be a part of the reason this community is becoming safer for its members, not a reason people dread the activity.

Nick Schroeder Paradigm

2 rounds

Nick Schroeder

Assistant coach at Blue Valley North High School

Debated at Washburn Rural High School

Updated 8/24/18

Email chain: schroedernick12@gmail.com

Feel free to ask questions before the round if you need clarification or detail on anything.

I debated for 4 years in high and 1 year in college. I usually judge around 20-30 rounds on each topic and gain more familiar with topic literature as the year progresses. In high school I debated mostly an offense/defense policy style with disads, CPs, case turns, and T. That said, I think debate should be an open intellectual space and am open to at least considering most argumentative positions.

T: My default is to competing interpretations. I believe winning reasonability still requires a resolution of the standards debate to prove the interpretation reasonable. That said, it could be effective in cases that the neg interp is arbitrary or if the aff justifies some interpretive flexibility. I like T debates that have a nuanced discussion of the standards and do a good job of impacting out why a certain interpretation creates a fairer and more educational world to debate in. Emphasizing how each standard internal links to an impact is important. Tying arguments such as precision, grammar, and source credibility to the way those things impact case lists, the research process, and ground division is the most effective way to win my ballot.

Theory: I don’t like deciding debates on small technical concessions on theory but could be persuaded to do so if there is a particularly egregious lack of contestation. I’m usually persuaded by reject the argument not the team but will vote otherwise in cases such as condo where a team successfully argues that the larger debate has been skewed.

K: Not my favorite argument form but not something you should feel apprehensive reading in front of me either. A lot of the K rounds I’ve judged I voted aff because the negative went for framing, link, and impact arguments without advancing much of the alternative. While I understand how the aff’s perpetuation of an immoral system is a form of negative offense, I’m generally persuaded by affirmatives that point to the aff as a method to solve a material problem anyway given the inevitability of whatever structure the negative is critiquing without an alternative. I find that I generally have a high degree of skepticism in the alt’s ability to rupture the status quo, so that is a good place to start for affirmatives. In the same sense, I think it is important that the 2NR on the K doesn’t abandon contesting the truth of the 1AC’s internal links or impact scenarios. In most debates where the block focuses heavily on the K and abandons any ambition of beating back the case, I tend to vote that the aff outweighs. I should say I have limited exposure to critical literature but should follow pretty well regardless. I enjoy framework debates that aren’t arbitrary and self-serving. Also, a good cx on the K from either side is nice to see.


I am most familiar with these arguments. I am easily convinced that delay, conditions, and consult CPs are cheating without specific solvency advocates to justify them. Solvency advocates in general are important to have when running theoretically questionable CPs in front of me. I think internal link defense is underutilized, and really enjoy seeing a discussion of the affirmative/DA’s logic in CX and rebuttals. If you think something doesn’t make sense, I probably think it doesn’t either. I think responsible scholarship is important, and sometimes entire flows can be defeated with a good CX and a few strong analytics.

Have fun and be nice.

Michael Shelton Paradigm

4 rounds

Email chain: lfsdebate@gmail.com

Who Am I: I debated four years at Field Kindley High School in Coffeyville, KS, did not debate in college, and have been an assistant coach at Lawrence Free State High School in Lawrence, KS since 2013. I have a Master's degree in International Relations.

General Approach: Tell me what I should be voting on and why. If you want me to evaluate the round differently than they do, then you need to win a reason why your framework or paradigm is the one that I should use. If no one does that, then I'll default to a policymaker paradigm. I don't view offense and defense as an either/or proposition, but if you do then I prefer offense.

Standard Operating Procedure: (How I will evaluate the round unless one of the teams wins that I should do something different) The affirmative has a non-severable duty to advocate something resolutional, and that advocacy must be clear and stable. The goal of the negative is to prove that the affirmative's advocacy is undesirable, worse than a competitive alternative, or theoretically invalid. I default to evaluating all non-theory arguments on a single plane, am much more willing to reject an argument than a team, and will almost always treat dropped arguments as true.

Mechanics: (I'm not going to decide the round on these things by themselves, but they undeniably affect my ability to evaluate it)

  • Signposting - Please do this as much as possible. I'm not just talking about giving a roadmap at the start of each speech or which piece of paper you're talking about during the speech, but where on the line-by-line you are and what you're doing (i.e. if you read a turn, call it a turn).
  • Overviews - These are helpful for establishing your story on that argument, but generally tend to go on too long for me and seem to have become a substitute for specific line-by-line work, clash, and warrant extension. I view these other items as more productive/valuable ways to spend your time.
  • Delivery - I care way more about clarity than speed; I have yet to hear anybody who I thought was clear enough and too fast. I'll say "clear" if you ask me to, but ultimately the burden is on you. Slowing down and enunciating for tags and analytics makes it more likely that I'll get everything.
  • Cross Examination - Be polite. Make your point or get an answer, then move on. Don't use cross-ex to make arguments.
  • Prep Time - I don't think prep should stop until the flash drive comes out of your computer or the email is sent, but I won't take it upon myself to police prep as long as both teams are reasonable.

Argumentation: (I'll probably be fine with whatever you want to do, and you shouldn't feel the need to fundamentally change your strategy for me. These are preferences, not rules.)

  • CPs/DAs - I prefer specific solvency and link cards (I'm sure you do, too), but generics are fine provided you do the work.
  • Framework - I prefer that framework gets its own page on the flow, and that it gets substantive development beyond each side reading frontlines at each other/me.
  • Kritiks - I prefer that there is an alternative, and that it has a text. "Reject the Aff." isn't an alternative, it's what I do if I agree with the alternative. I don't get real excited about links of omission, so some narrative work will help you here.
  • Performance - I prefer that you identify the function of the ballot as clearly and as early as possible.
  • Procedurals - I prefer that they be structured and that you identify how the round was affected or altered by what the other team did or didn't do.
  • Theory - I prefer that theory gets its own page on the flow, and that it gets substantive development beyond each side reading frontlines at each other/me.
  • Topicality - I prefer that teams articulate how/why their interpretation is better for debate from a holistic perspective. TVAs and/or case lists are good. My least favorite way to start an RFD is, "So, I think the Aff. is topical, but also you're losing topicality."

Miscellaneous: (These things matter enough that I made a specific section for them, and will definitely be on my mind during the round.)

  • Anybody can read cards, good analysis and strategic decision-making are harder to do and frequently more valuable.
  • Individual pages on the flow do not exist in a vacuum, and what is happening on one almost certainly affects what is happening on another.
  • Comparative impact calculus. Again, comparative impact calculus.
  • You may not actually be winning every argument in the round; acknowledging this in your analysis and telling me why you win anyway is a good thing.
  • Winning an argument is not the same thing as winning the round on an argument. If you want to win the round on an argument you've won or are winning, take the time to win the round on it.
  • The 2NR and 2AR are for making choices, you only have to win the round once.
  • I will read along during speeches and will likely double back to look at cards again, but I don't like being asked to read evidence and decide for myself. If they're reading problematic evidence, yours is substantively better, etc., then do that work in the debate.

Zen: (Just my thoughts, they don't necessarily mean anything except that I thought them.)

  • Debate is a speaking game, where teams must construct logically sound, valid arguments to defend, while challenging the same effort from their opponents.
  • It's better to be more right than the other team than more clever.
  • A round is just a collection of individual decisions. If you make the right decisions more often than not, then you'll win more times than you lose.

I'll be happy to answer any questions.

Curtis Shephard Paradigm

2 rounds

Curtis Shephard

Email Chain - cns917@gmail.com

Experience: 4 years of college debate (Emporia State and Kansas State). Assistant coach at Manhattan High School, and Washburn Rural High School. Head coach at Maize for 12 years.

An ideal round - Teams are quick but make flowing easy on me, I’m old now. The Aff reads a topical plan text and the neg goes for a disad and a counterplan. I think I’ll be comfortable making a sound decision. Further you go from that, the less confident I’m gonna be.

Framework or K Aff: If I'm your judge in a clash debate, both teams are going to be unhappy. I'll try my best to evaluate both args as fairly as possible. Rounds that I have seen on the question put me at 50/50.

I think debate is a game, but, I am not a fan of judge adaptation, I think you should run what you want, and I will do my best to follow. I don't feel as though I am as 'tech' as I used to be. Big theory debates are going to be frustrating for me to work out, and I will be less confident in my decision.

I will probably make a decision rather quickly. It doesn't mean that I am not paying attention or evaluating your arguments, I usually just don't need a long time to sort things out. I'm probably going to give you a pretty short and sweet RFD.

I don't think I'm hard to read, if I think your argument is bad, you'll probably see that on my face.

Be nice to one another in the round. Being funny is good.

Will I listen to a K? Sure. I have voted here before.

"I am a K team - all I want to do is read the K, all of the K's, both sides, K-it-up, should I pref you?" Let's not get a head of ourselves

Disads and Counterplans? yes please

Do you need to shake my hand?" No thank you

Now, because it is the cool trendy thing to do, here are some rants I agree with:

Will Katz's Grumpy Man Rants

Don’t shrink the text of your cards to 2 pt font. 8 point font is plenty fine. If I ever judge someone who shrinks their text down that much, I’m going to shrink down the highlighted parts that much too and then just not read the card because its too small.

Death good just signals to me that I should kill your points and your chance of winning

If your argument is that debate is always bad, I'm likely to agree with you that your debating is always bad, and as such I'll likely vote for the other team.

If you think you can win with only offense and no defense, then you'll probably have a better time playing on the Cleveland Cavaliers than winning a debate in front of me.

If you sit down in cx, it makes it seem like you don't want me to listen attentively. Who am I to argue with you on that?

If you go top speed all the time, I'd recommend NASCAR over debate. In debate, there is definitely a time to go slow. Although even in NASCAR they don't start out at top speed

Jake Thomas Paradigm

6 rounds

KU debater 2017-present.

i think affs should be topical and am neg-biased in t debates vs affs with no plans, but my voting record in those debates is pretty even. i think neg arguments about competitive equity / fairness are most compelling, but i also think winning those impacts can be tricky if given enough scrutiny by the aff. i am very particular in framework/t debates, so it isn't an auto-win just because you said "the aff should be t" - if you poorly execute framework/t, my ballot will reflect it

thoughts on t generally - affs need more offense. frontlines almost always seem way too defensive, which makes it basically impossible to win without reasonability, and to be honest i am yet to hear a compelling reasonability argument

assume i don't know what your k is talking about because i probably don't

i will always default to an offense/defense framing of arguments unless i'm told otherwise, but honestly i'm not super sure what other coherent framing there is to evaluate arguments

conditionality is almost always good

Kelly Thompson Paradigm

5 rounds

I debated for 3 years @ Washburn Rural
I debated for 4 years @ Emporia State (NDT '08)
I am the Director of Debate at Lawrence Free State HS (3rd year at FS, 11th year as a head coach, 19th year in Policy Debate)

*Please add me to the email chain if one exists. I won't read along but I will read cards that have been contested during the round to make meta-decisions. kmikethompson@gmail.com and Lfsdebate@gmail.com


I will do my best to answer any questions that you have before the debate.

-I don't care how fast you talk, but I do care how clear you talk. I won't clear you but it will be obvious if I can't understand you because I won't be flowing and I communicate non-verbally probably more than most other judges.

-I don't care what arguments you read, but I do care whether you are making arguments, responding to opposition arguments, and engaging in impact calculus (your arg v their arg, not just your arg) throughout the debate.

-I don't care what aff you read, if you defend a plan, or if you debate on the margins of the topic, but I do care if you have offensive justifications for your decisions, and if you solve.

-If you're reading generic link arguments or CP solvency cards - it will matter a great deal how well you can contextual that generic evidence to the specific affirmative plan.

-I think teams should be willing to go for theory more.

Some top level thoughts as we enter the Arms Sales topic:

1) "New in the 2" is bad for debate. I always forget to tell people this at the beginning of the year, then I have to watch sloppy/shallow debates until I remember. If you read new arguments in the 2NC (or 1NR) as a "strategy", you are making the debate round worse. If the other team does not further an argument about it (WHAT! Neither team read my philosophy), I'll evaluate you arguments and not intervene despite my bias. But, if the other team makes an argument about it - I will disregard all new positions read in the negative block.

2) This topic is pretty big and I think T ground is pretty bad for the negative. But - there is strategic value to reading T arguments to ensure links to Disads and competition for CPs.

3) Prep Time: Prep stops when the document is saved to your jump drive or the email is sent. It does not stop when you're "ready" and "just flashing". If you stop prep, and then restart it, its evident you've stolen prep in the interim. I get irrationally irritated about this practice and your speaker points will reflect it. Flowing during "flash time" is stealing prep and cheating. Your speaks will be docked accordingly. Finally, putting flows in order is part of prep time. Saying the order is not.

4) I do not enjoy giving long-winded oral criticisms or RFDs. I will default to tournament protocol - but most of my comments will be on Tabroom. If you struggle to access those after the tournament - email me.

5) If you're flowing the speech doc and not the speech itself you deserve to be conned in to answering arguments that were never made in the debate, and to lose to analytic arguments (theory and otherwise) that were made while you were busy staring at your screen.

General thoughts about debate:

-People should assume their opponent's are winning some arguments in the last rebuttals. A decision to assume you're winning everything nearly guarantees that you are incorrect and minimizes the likelihood that you're doing relevant impact calculus. I really think "even-if" statements are valuable for final rebutalists.

-People should deploy extensive impact calculus regardless of the arguments furthered in their final rebuttal. It is incredibly difficult to evaluate education v. fairness absent work done by the debaters, and I'm not comfortable intervening in doing so. I've found myself leaning negative in debates where this fails to happen because the aff has failed to articulate an impact to voting aff (presumption).

-My speaker point scale has tended to be:

29+ - you should receive a speaker award in this division at this tournamnet

28.5+ - you should be in elimination debates at this tournament, and probably win one or more of those rounds

28 - you are competing for a spot to clear but still making errors that may prevent you from doing so. Average for the division/tournament.

27.5 - you are slightly below average for the division/tournament and need to spend some time on the fundamentals. Hopefully, I've outlined in my notes what those are.

27 - there were serious fundamental errors that need to be corrected.

**I've found that the best way to boost your speaks on my ballot is to demonstrate that you understand the nexus points of the debate and/or when the debate has resolved itself through your argumentative prowess. Often, this means strong/specific overviews, and can sometimes mean not utilizing all of your prep/speech time when the flow of the debate indicates it is impossible for your opposition to come back in the round. (EG - if the 1AR drops a topicality argument in its entirety, and you use 4 minutes of prep for the 2NR and give a 5 minute 2NR speech - you have not demonstrated mastery of the flow.

Standard things:

An argument requires a claim, a warrant, and an impact. Saying "extend my link" is not an argument and likely will not warrant evaluation from me.

Topicality- I really enjoy T debates, I think competing interpretations is probably true and find reasonability arguments to be uncompelling almost always. If you're not topical you should have an offensive reason that you're not. If you are topical then you should win why your vision of the resolution is superior to the negatives. I'm equally likely to vote on a critique of topicality as I am a T argument against a blatantly topical affirmative.

Critiques- I'm fascinated by K debates and the literature, but also am just not being as smart as a lot of other coaches/debate people. As such, the two biggest issues for the negative are assuming I know your K and assuming I understand your alt. The 2NC (or 1NR) should be primarily focused on explaining how the alternative functions and either how it solves the aff or how your framework disengages the aff impacts. K debaters tend to spend an extraordinary amount of time on their link arguments, but no time on explaining how the alternative resolves them. The two biggest issues for the affirmative are assuming a permutation is the only viable answer to the link and also assuming that the 2AC can be defensive.

Counterplans - PICs are good, word PICs are typically not. That does not mean I won't vote for them - I just don't like them and find "pic's bad" to make sense in a world of word pic's.Other counterplans should be aff specific - I think generic CP's without specific solvency evidence (XO, States, Consult) are poor choices I've often found myself believing that process CPs are plan plus or normal means in many cases.

Critical affs- I'm fine with K affs and deployed them often as a debater. I find it difficult to evaluate k affs with poorly developed "role of the ballot" args. I find "topical version of the aff" to be compelling regularly, because affs concede this argument. I have been more on the "defend topical action" side of the framework debate in the last two years or so. I'm not sure why, but poorly executed affirmative offense seems to be the primary cause.

Nick Wathke Paradigm

3 rounds

Speed: I can handle it. I'm pretty neutral about its use.

The K: Go for it if you're prepared to defend it. Live your dreams. Just be courteous to your opponents if they don't understand it.

Impacts: I don't bother weighing them until you tell me (why) I should. Your nuclear war impact might be worse than an increase in industrial carbon emissions, but I won't know or care until you tell me.

Theory: I evaluate theory before anything else, but I hold it to a high threshold as a voting issue, so if you're going for it, G O F O R I T.

Overall, I'll listen to about anything, and I will believe what you tell me to believe for the purposes of debate (within reason). I do my best to separate my own views outside from how I decide a ballot, but we all know that isn't entirely possible. So say smart things, be nice to each other, and we'll have a nice time.

Jamie Welch Paradigm

5 rounds

Yes I want to be on the chain: jamielwelch95@gmail.com

Since starting law school I haven't been as involved in debate. Even when I do research it is very light, so please don't assume I know the ins and outs of your arguments. I may not be familiar with certain acronyms and what nots that other people may be. All you should take from this is maybe a little more explanation is needed for me in comparison to a coach who is more involved with argument design.

Soft left affs: If your answer to disads is “but the framing page!” you will get very bad speaks and most likely lose. If you use your framing page and then also make specific arguments against the disad then you are in a better spot. Framing pages encourage lazy debating. Don’t be a lazy debater.

Theory – Conditionality is good. Lean neg on basically all theory because most amounts to rejecting the argument. I always believe in judge kick. I think it’s the affs job to tell me not to kick things and explain why.

Ks – Didn’t read a lot of Ks, but I think they are strategic arguments and necessary for the neg. I don't really care which K you read, it can be whatever you are comfortable with. If it has a well explained link and an impact then I will vote on it. I don’t think the alt has to solve anything. Winning links to the plan is best but if you win a link to other things the aff has done and it has an impact then I will vote on it.

FW/T – Fairness is an impact. Limits matter. That doesn’t mean because you don’t read a plan I won’t vote for you but rather what it means to be topical is up for debate. Without a solid interp of what “your model of debate” would look like I am less likely to vote on your impact turns. Give judge direction on how to evaluate your arguments versus things like topical version, switch side, procedural fairness, limits, etc.

David Williams Paradigm

3 rounds


Name David J. WIlliams
School; Newton HS Kansas
# of years debated in HS_0 What School NOPE
# of years debated in College_0 What College/UniversityNope
Currently a (check all that apply) xHead HS Coach _Asst. HS Coach
College Coach _College Debater
Debate Fan who regularly judges HS debate
# of rounds on this year’s HS Topic _10_
What paradigm best describes your approach to debate?
_xPolicy Maker _Stock Issues _Tabula Rasa
_Games Player _Hypothesis Tester ___Other (Explain)
What do you think the Aff burdens should be?
I think the aff should affirm the resolution and be topical and have the basic INH/PLAN/ADV/S structure.or something similar. I am willing to listen to any aff position but I am mainly a policy guy but a K aff is fine if you can explain it well enough. I won’t pretend to understand your position, aff or neg, so please prepare a presentation that balances a quicker than normal speech but not spewing and wheezing. Don’t speed through your 1ac and quit with 90 seconds to go.

What do you think the Neg burdens should be?
I think the neg may choose to debate the case or go with a generic position but I am going to vote on offense. I hate topicality and most theory arguments mainly because I hate flowing it. IF the aff is topical, even a little, then don’t run T. I wont flow it the way you want me to and I will default more to reasonability. If is reasonable then I wont vote against them on T. If the aff is not topical then run T. I will punish affirmatives who are non-topical. IF the aff is unreasonable then Neg will win even if I am terrible flowing the T.
How I feel about delivery (slow vs. fast)?
Slow tags/authors and quicker on card content. If I cannot understand you I will say clear. I prefer a slower style of debate that still uses the flow. My flow will be accurate(if you let me) with a slower round. Faster rounds will be my best guess. I would say slow down and be persuasive and signpost for me.
How I feel about generic Disads, Counter Plans, Kritiks?
Generics with good links are fine. I need to know the story of your arguments. If I cannot remember the story then I can’t voter for it.
How I feel about case debates?
I LOVE A GOOD CASE DEBATE…but I don’t require it.

Flashing is prep time. Flashing is not moving all your cards to a speech doc. THIS IS PREP TIME AND SPEECH PREP> IF you jump a speech to the other team please do so quickly. I believe the last step of every speech should be the flash. Once the flash drive is given to the other team..Prep starts for other team if the non speaking team wants to hold up speech to see if it is on jump drive. Prep is over for the non speaking team when they indicate they are ready. IF the speech did not make it or if the format is difficult to use. I will grant a grace period of 1 mintue to resolve the issue. Laptops are normal for me. I don’t want your face buried in your screen.

Tyler Woodcock Paradigm

4 rounds

Debated at the University of Kansas (3 years) | Assistant at Shawnee Mission South


I'm fine with speed. K affs are a legitimate strategy, but I do find myself having a bias for framework (i.e. should things break even - which hardly happens - I would probably vote for framework). K's are fine, but links to plan action are preferable (unless your framework convinces me otherwise). I strongly dislike it when you're being a jerk and your speaker points will reflect this if you are being one.