Monty Python Invitational

2020 — Norman, OK/US

Elizabeth Boomer Paradigm

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Stephen Ellis Paradigm

*Since I wrote the following in Feb. 2017, I have become the Interim Director of Debate at the University of Oklahoma. I still haven't judged much in a very long time; I have been working with OU debaters on arguments and strategies so I know a bit more than I did when I wrote this. The rest of it is still accurate.*

I debated at KU from 1983 to 1987. I was pretty good - 1st Round At-Large Bid to the 1987 NDT. I coached at KU from 1987 to 1989. I judged the final round of the NDT in 1988.

I judged very little from 1990 until the mid-2000s. (During that time I was getting a PhD in Philosophy and starting a career in the OU Department of Philosophy. I specialize in philosophy of social science, esp. philosophy of economics.) In the last decade I have judged something like 10 college rounds - mostly at the beginning of that period - and 40-60 high school rounds.

As a judge I see myself as an evaluator of arguments. My experience is mostly with arguments where the affirmative offers a topical plan and reasons why it would be good policy to adopt it and the negative advocates an alternative proposal, the reasons for which are supposed to demonstrate that the affirmative plan should not be adopted.

I am more than happy to evaluate arguments that take a different form, even arguments about which arguments I should be evaluating (or philosophical theories or non-discursive expressions of positions, etc.). *I now know more about what non-policy debates are likely to involve. The following is still true, however.* If you want to go in such a direction, however, you should probably be clear about what you think I should be doing - for prudential reasons. I might need a little more explanation in this regard than some other judges … I am intrigued by non-policy-oriented debate, but I am less familiar with it. *Better than "intrigued" now - I quite like it. It seems like a natural sort of self-reflection on the activity. I'm still up for a good policy debate, of course.*

Robert Janda Paradigm

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Isaac Kabrick Paradigm

I was an LD debater from 2012 to 2015, PF 2015 to 2016. Rule number 1 is to be respectful to everyone.

LD: I ran LD as a traditionalist of sorts. That said, I need to see both sides engage the resolution and incorporate framework. Impact, impact, impact: tell me how your arguments matter, and why that leads to you winning the round. Voters are an essential part of a good last speech. Tell me explicitly why I should vote for you; do not leave it up to me.

PF: My role as a PF judge as that of the American juror (so sayeth the NSDA Manual). With that in mind, I see my role as that of someone with little formal debate experience. Make arguments that make sense to a lay judge. This does not mean dumb things down, but it might mean I see some things as intrinsically good. Take your time to spell out your impacts and how they differ from your opponents. Keep your evidence available and ready for your opponents, be kind to one another in crossfire, and remember to stay on point.

CX: I didn't do it as a student, but I've taken a liking to it as a judge. I can handle speed, just make sure to signpost clearly. Impacts will be weighed based on what you tell me in the round. No inherent pref for on-case vs off-case unless you frame one for me. I have a decent grasp on the concepts of T, K, DA and the rest, but maybe not by their names. That doesn't mean don't run it - if it's a good argument it will be weighed as such - but it does mean you might want to take a second to tell me why it matters in more casual terms. Basically, impact. Be respectful of everyones time in the round and we shouldn't have a problem. I'll only disclose if everyone on each team wants me to.

Speaker Points: In all categories these are awarded or deducted based on (in order):

1) Respect for your opponent(s), respect for your judge(s) and respect for your partner(s). This includes things like using appropriate pronouns, using prep time properly and honestly, and generally ensuring the debate space is an inclusive one. The fastest way to lose speaker points from me is to be rude.

2) Quality of diction and presentation, with special consideration to the speeches that follow the case presentation

3) Quality of speech structure (making effective use of your time in your speeches)

4) Verbal prompting, while sometimes helpful, is discouraged by the NSDA manual. I'll subtract speaker points starting with the second instance of prompting.

I reserve the right to deduct or award speaker points for incidental things that may come up in the round, and I'll try to provide feedback on the ballot in these cases.

Jake Marsh Paradigm

I am unfamiliar with any specific literature that pertains to K's, performances, etc. That doesn't mean don't run them, just don't assume I know what you're talking about offhand without an explanation. I will not do work for you.  


I did policy debate for 3 years and Lincoln Douglas for 1 year in high school. I have coached policy debate at the high school level for 4 years. 


In regards to what you can and can't run, anything is fair game. Just be sure to explain your arguments (preferably in an overview for K's and non-standard affs) and the significance of that argument in the round so I won't vote you down based on lack of understanding. 

I won't look at cards unless there's a specific conflict on evidence that is pointed out in speech, or if there are competing evidence for comparison. 


In round voting issues (IE: Sexism, racism, ablieism, etc.) have to be proven and reasonable. 

Joshua Morgan Paradigm

8 rounds

I have experience either competing or judging every event, so I am okay with anything being run in round (if you can argue it well).

Speed is fine. If you mumble through your speech, don't be surprised if I don't flow half of it.

Daniel Ortega Paradigm

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Michael Patterson Paradigm

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Randon Rieger Paradigm

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Petra VanCourt Paradigm

This will be my 8th year of experience with CX and LD. I never competed in PF, but have coached it for about 3 years. I tend to default to policymaking. I'm not a fan of vulgarity in-round. Please time yourself, I'm bad at time signals. Open cx is okay, so long as you aren't talking over your partner. If you bring spectators, they need to be respectful of all competitors and judges.

Speed is fine, I prefer slow on plan/advocacy statements and tags/authors, pls & ty. Use an indicator when switching between tags and arguments. Clarity is key to getting on the flow. I will say clear once, and if I can't decipher you after that your arguments aren't making it on my flow.

Policy - My background is in stock issues policy debate. I will listen to just about anything you can and want to run. I appreciate creativity in debate, just tell me where to vote and why. I am cool with K and theory and am well-versed in topicality and straight policy. I have a pretty high threshold of in-round abuse. Not a fan of plan+ alternatives.

Cross: it's probably binding. often underutilized. make it strategic - analyze the links, perms, make your opponents prove their solvency. If you are being shifty and don't know what you're talking about, your opponent doesn't know what you're talking about, then I definitely don't know what you're talking about. For the love of all things sacred, dont be a jerk.

Counterplans: Have a net benefit. Tell me why it's competitive. You should probably have a really good solvency advocate. Full disclosure: I have never voted for a PIC.

Disads: I love me some case-specific DA's. Do the impact analysis. Aff too.

Kritiks: I have a technical understanding of K's but am not familiar with all theory/philosophy. I'm not a philosophy hack; I won't do the work for you. It's critical that you understand what your advocacy is. If you don't know/understand, I don't want to vote for it. PLEASE don't read a K because you think I want to hear one. I would much rather hear a good, in-depth debate about what you're good at.

Topicality: Good. Great. I am pretty knowledgeable about T. I typically default to competing interpretations. It's not an RVI. Just like anything, read it only if you understand which violation you're reading and if there is clear abuse. You need standards for me to consider it pre-fiat as opposed to just another argument on the flow. I have a higher threshold for FXT and XT because of how policy typically operates in the real world, but if you feel there is clear in-round abuse, knock yourself out.

Theory: Most of the theory debates I see are bad. That makes me sad - I like theory. I will listen to some well-thought-out theory any day of the week. I'll vote on in-round discourse as reasons to reject a team for being racist/sexist, etc. Don't be racist/sexist, etc. Not a fan of framework debates because I see very few that are good. I tend to vote for world v world and real-world impacts anyway.

Misc: Don't be mean. Don't cheat. I'll call you on stealing prep. If you do it after I call you on it I have no issue auto-dropping you. I don't want to have to read the evidence - you should be explaining it. Please don't call me by my name first if you do not know me. It's mildly disrespectful. You'll probably get it wrong, and that's awkward for the both of us. Post-rounding won't change my ballot but will guarantee you'll get the lowest speaks possible. I don't weigh wipeout, I think it's insensitive to real issues affecting real people that we can work to solve. If you run it, you better have a damn good warrant and damn good framework shell to run with it.

LD - I did old-school LD in high school. I look for lots of work on the framework debate and framework/case interaction. If you're about progressive debate, that's cool too - but incorporate framework. I don't want to see a policy DA or policy K read with zero interaction with the resolution or with the aff. Again, don't run a K because you think that's what I want to hear (re: policy). Theory is cool, and welcomed, here too.

TLDR; Impact it out. In-round, out-of-round, and on the flow. For everything. Don't steal prep. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me before the round! my email for chains and questions (please don't send me weird things) is

Most importantly, have fun, and be kind to one another! Happy debating :) -P