Washburn Rural Debate Invitational

2019 — Topeka, KS/US

Barb Anderson Paradigm

Barb Anderson is an Assistant Debate and Forensics coach at Blue Valley Northwest High School. Ms. Anderson stresses communication, logic, and credible evidence over speed. Eye contact and persuasion are preferable to resolving issues. Please adapt accordingly.

Zac Angleton Paradigm

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. if i feel like the alt doesn't make sense or solve you probably explain or you wont win.

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.

Art Delgado Paradigm




# of years debated in HS


# of years debated in College 4 What College/University University of Central Missouri


Currently a (check all that apply)  X Head HS Coach


____College Coach    X College Debater


____Debate Fan who regularly judges HS debate


# of rounds on this year’s HS Topic 12


What paradigm best describes your approach to debate?


_____Policy Maker   X Stock Issues _____Tabula Rasa


_____Games Player _____Hypothesis Tester _____Other (Explain)


What do you think the Aff burdens should be?


 The Affirmative has the burden of proof to support the resolution


What do you think the Neg burdens should be?


 The Negative has presumption, but they should argue both on and off case.


How I feel about delivery (slow vs. fast)?


 This is a communication event.


How I feel about generic Disads, Counter Plans, Kritiks?


 I will listen to DA, CP, and K. However, I am not interested in perfomance debate--please adapt.


How I feel about case debates?


 the Affirmative MUST win case.


Other Comments/Suggestions:


Gabe Esquivel Paradigm

Gabe Esquivel 7/5/18

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

University of Kansas 2021

Email chain: gaboesquivel@gmail.com

About me:

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

Argument preferences:

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

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

I lean neg on framework/T against planless affirmatives because I like fairness. Cheating CPs are okay unless you lose theory. I think condo is either all good or all bad. I've think presumption is an offensive argument because change is risky and knowledge is imperfect so feel free to say "presumption outweighs the risk that the aff does anything". Competing interpretations are more persuasive to me than reasonability.

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

How I decide debates:

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

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

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

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

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

**Pronounced (Kay-pen)

Andrew Halverson Paradigm

Name: Andrew Halverson
School: Wichita East High School (Wichita, KS), Assistant Coach
Experience: 20+ years. As a competitor, 4 years in high school and 3 years in college @ Fort Hays and Wichita State.

[BELOW IS UPDATED FOR DCI AND STATE - My original philosophy is after the update.]

I'm going to be that person that vent a bunch of my pet peeves regarding how the logistics of the debate go and how I adjudicate debates. Here's goes a quick list (I intended this to be a quick list, but now it's decent sized list of what grinds my gears):

1. If possible, I want to be on the email chain (halverson.andrew [at] gmail.com). If not, I want your speech docs flashed to me before you speak. 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 - these national qualifier 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.

2. Don't make the roadmap harder than it needs to be. PLEASE DO HAVE A ROADMAP! If you were giving a 1nc roadmap, it should sound something like, "There will be 4 off and then case in the order of Advantage 1, Advantage 2, and Solvency." DON'T SAY: "It'll be 4 off and case." WTAF?! Where do I flow these arguments on case? Find a place to put your arguments. Keep to it.

3. This jumping around on the flow thing is ridiculous. I have judged more debates than I can count this year where a debater says: "On Solvency, the AFF is key to...wait, back onto Topicality. Reasonability should be the lens to evaluate T because...oh, back on the other T." THIS DRIVES ME BONKERS!! Be clean on your flows. If I can't figure out where you and what's you're doing it will costs you lots of speaker points and, most likely, a victory.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Read below about this but 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.

7. Stop stealing prep time. In terms of flashing, prep stops when the save is complete and the flash drive leaves your computer. At this point, 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 on the panel - 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.

8. 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.

9. 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. I'm willing to listen to theory arguments on the matter, 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 theory argument or have their speaks tanked by me.


I never know how to completely do these things – because I tend to think there’s no way this judging philosophy can 100% accurately describe how I evaluate a debate, but here goes.

Stylistically, 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.

What kind of argument and general preferences do I have regarding academic debate? 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. Hope all of this settles a few things about argument selection with me as a critic.

A caveat to the above – I have recently developed a disdain towards Consult CPs and most “cheating” CPs. If it’s a part of your core strategy, you shouldn’t be dissuaded from running these styles of argument. However, I tend to be sympathetic towards the AFF on theory and substantive arguments vs. this style of argument. As the NEG, you had better REALLY win this argument to win my ballot.

Debate theory is something that is continually evolving. As a young debater, you learn and execute the basics. Then other theoretical concepts come into play as you grow in debate. In the end, debate theory can be either really complicated or really interesting. Lots of people like to stay away from theory goo—I used to be one of them. Over time, I changed my viewpoint on the matter. One of my dislikes as a critic is tagline debating—especially when it comes to theory. Repeating your tags over and over again aren’t going to convey your point any further unless you get deeper into the claims/warrants being argued. Anyway, thoroughly explaining your theory argument is a very good idea with me. Like other debate arguments, I want to theoretically know what your interpretation of whatever aspect of debate theory includes or exclude—what the world looks like under your viewpoint.

Comparing and contrast claims, whether with evidence or analytics, is extremely important for me. If you don’t do it, then you’ll leave me to kneejerk to my own proclivities. That means that I’ll probably end up concocting a story that makes sense to me—confusing you and probably leaving you a bit irritated. My advice is do the work for me so I don’t get into such a position. For the record, I do tend to lean liberal with both my debate and political proclivities.

Finally, I know you hear this a lot, but be nice and have fun. If you have any specific question about my philosophy (which you should because this certainly doesn’t explain everything), ask me questions either immediately before the debate or you can e-mail me at halverson.andrew [at] gmail dot com. Hope this clear a few things up. Happy Debating to all of you!!

And by the way, below is a semi-judge of how I give speaker points. I stole the bulk of this (actually all of it) from Lucia Scott, so I guess this means she’s gets a h/t in this portion of my judging philosophy. This is a guide for how I give speaks, but it is subject to contextual change with any given debate (which probably shouldn’t happen very often – if at all).

Speaker Points:

25 or below – You were so offensive I almost told you to shut up. You're lucky my RFD wasn't as long as they would give me telling you how terrible whatever you said was. This also includes instances where I think you probably aren’t ready for the level of debate that I was judging at the time.

25.5-26.5 – You didn't use all your speech time, and/or your partner gave most of your rebuttal. You probably repeated yourself a lot and your speech, most likely, was not compelling at all. You also might have just been absurdly rude.

27 – You failed to extend warrants, your speech was so disorganized it hurt, and/or your rebuttal was clearly scripted. You made some kind of damning strategic error. I had to say clear twice and you still weren't clear.

27.5 – This is where I start. Your speeches were pretty average with no glaring strategic errors. You were decently clear, but by no means should you quit speed drills.

28 – Your strategy or the way you deployed it impressed me in some way. You're pretty fast and pretty clear.

28.5 – You're fast and I understood almost everything you said. You're persuasive. Your strategy was efficient and effective.

29 – I understood everything you said. You obviously know your arguments well, maybe even cut the argument yourself. You were smart and aggressive without being rude at all. I
had fun watching you debate.

29.5 – Your speeches were so devastating the other team had no chance. I heard every single word of every single card. You didn't rely on cheap arguments. Everything you said could've been the 2NR/2AR. This was a super easy decision.

30 – You're not getting one of these UNLESS there are some amazing circumstances that permit it OR you have given one of the top 3 debate speeches that I have ever heard. Usually, this amount of point means that I think you could win the NDT right now.

Michael Harris Paradigm

Mike Harris
Wichita East High School -Director of Debate

(formerly Kapaun Mt. Carmel)

Congress Update for West Kansas NSDA Qualifier: prefers substantive clash and advancement of debate over key issues grounded in literature. I don't believe in the dueling oration model of Congress. NSDA national semifinalists the past three seasons.

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 Eastl in Wichita. I have multiple students currently competing in the NDT/CEDA circuit in colleges across the country. We have had many national qualifiers in policy debate in recent years and compete as much as Kansas will allow at national circuit tournaments. 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 last year. 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. 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 perm theory. Not often do I reject a team on theory. Is there such thing as cheating?

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.

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 philosophy degree, but it is important to note my main degree area if study was political science and IR. 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.

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]

Julia Henry Paradigm

Add me: JuTheWho@gmail.com

**LD 2019

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

Updated 2/18/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jackson Hoffmann Paradigm

*accidentally deleted the old one somehow, so it'll be really short until i get around to writing it all out again*

debated at kapaun in high school

currently a third year debater at kansas

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

please strike me if you read narratives of or otherwise graphic descriptions of sexual violence

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

death is non-negotiably bad

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

conditionality is good

Sohail Jouya Paradigm

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


If you use your phone as a timer and you use this as your ringer - NO POINTS, NO WINS! (That's like anti-ASMR)


- I appreciate adaptation to my preferences but don’t do anything that would make you uncomfortable. Never feel obligated to compete in a manner 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.

I’m personally quite annoyed at many judges who insert a “decorum” clause in their philosophy regarding the “need for civility.” These notions are quite loaded and make broad assumptions that ought to be unpacked and questioned, particularly if the deployment of this concern consistently villainizes certain subsets of debaters. I certainly believe debaters should show mutual concern for each other’s well being and ought to avoid condescension or physical/rhetorical violence – but I do not conflate this with respectability politics. Arguments are arguments and deserved to be listened/responded to regardless of mainstream notions of digestibility or the personal palate of an opposing team. In all honesty, some humour and shade have a place in rounds so long as they aren’t in bad faith. Please don’t misinterpret this as a call to be malicious for the sake of being cruel.

- 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.

-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 will not “judge kick” for you, 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.

- Framing 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.

- 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.

Ryan McFarland Paradigm

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

**NCFL UPDATE** -- I'm realized I'm grumpy about a couple things;

1. 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.

2. Neg fiat - no, this isn't a rant about negatives not getting it. BUT, I do think we're letting the negative team fiat out of way too much while also having a lower threshold for competition. The infinite parole counterplan is basically the affirmative. Reading a new plank for every possible solvency deficit is annoying and makes me think you're scared of debate.

3. 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.

4. Stop being scared of going for theory against cheating arguments.

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.

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.

Debate. Stop reading from your computer. Flow the debate. Look at your flow during the debate. I've seen far too many rounds where the debaters don't even bring their flows with them to give speeches. I don't enjoy being shouted at as someone reads the same script they read every other round with no contextualization to the other team's arguments. Your ceiling is a 28.3.

Clipping is cheating no matter the intent.

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

Quan Nguyen Paradigm

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Michael Shelton Paradigm

Who Am I: I debated four years at Field Kindley High School in Coffeyville, KS, did not debate in college, and am currently an assistant coach at Lawrence Free State High School in Lawrence, KS.

General Approach: It's your job to win my ballot, not mine. I'm willing to vote on a lot of different things for a lot of different reasons, but that's not a decision I want to have to make and I won't do any of your work for you (i.e. tell me what I should be voting on and why). If you want me to evaluate the round differently than they do, then I expect you to win a reason why your framework or paradigm is the one 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 you win 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). Tell me where the work you're doing goes and what it's responding to, I won't do it for you.
  • Delivery - I care way more about clarity than speed; I have yet to hear anybody that I thought was clear enough and too fast. I'll say "clear" if you ask me to, but ultimately the burden is on you.
  • Cross Examination - Don't use cross-ex to make arguments, and don't badger each other incessantly. Make your point or get an answer, then move on.
  • Prep Time - I don't think prep should stop until the flash drive comes out of your computer, 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; I've voted for teams that haven't done the things below and against teams that have.)

  • 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 developed beyond each side establishing that they have a framework different from the other team.
  • 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.
  • 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 developed beyond each side reading a frontline.

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.
  • Impact calculus.
  • 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 where you choose what to win the round on. I don't want you to try to win it multiple times in multiple ways, I want you to win it once and in the best way possible.
  • I won't ask for evidence after the round if there's any way to avoid it.

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 nothing more than a collection of individual decisions. If you make the right decisions, you'll win more times than you'll lose.

I'll be happy to answer any questions

Curtis Shephard Paradigm

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.

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

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Kelly Thompson Paradigm

I debated for 3 years @ Washburn Rural
I debated for 4 years @ Emporia State ('08 graduate)
I am the Director of Debate at Lawrence Free State HS (2nd year at FS, 10th year as a head coach, 18th 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

Please also add: Lfsdebate@gmail.com

Some top level thoughts as we enter the Immigration 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. This is not a debatable question for me, I'm sorry to say. 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. I will not reject a team for reading new in the 2, but I will throw away the flows for those arguments.

2) This topic is pretty big and a think a lot of great T debates exist. I love T debates generally and I'm intrigued by the potential debates I'll get to see on this topic.

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 - fair warning. 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. These are not the same thing. Please be aware.

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 in a Word Doc that I'll email to your coaches after the round (OR, if I don't have your coaches' email, and the tournament is on Tabroom, I'll submit comments on that "ballot").

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

**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:

"Flash Time": please don't abuse flash time. I understand the need for it and am sympathetic (to a degree) of tech issues and slow computers - but typing during flash time or otherwise prepping is cheating, and your speaker points will reflect that.

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. It's important that impact (voters) debates have claims and warrants - but the more important part of a T debate is the standards. I do not think that in round abuse is necessary to win a T debate. 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 the neg only has one link argument and can't possibly read more in the block (eg - you link...probably) and assuming the 2AC can be defensive. A 2AC on a K should include offense, and a permutation is rarely offensive in my opinion.

Counterplans - PICs are good, word PICs tend to not be very compelling. 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...probably (And also multiple PICs). Other counterplans should be aff specific - I think generic CP's without specific solvency evidence (XO, States, Consult) are poor choices and while I'll vote where you win, I'm unlikely to reward your speaker points for reading the blocks you've been reading for years. I've often found myself believing that process CPs are plan plus or normal means in many cases - but can always be compelled otherwise.

Critical affs- I'm fine with K affs and deployed them often in my debate career. 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.

You should expect me to be fine with just about any other arguments - I think some arguments are good strategy that others find to be dumb. I have tended to think that backfile checks can be fun! You should consider a 1NC that allows multiple different 2NR options. You should consider being tricky with the way you run your aff and/or your neg strat.