CEDA East Regionals at WCSU

2015 — CT/US

Tobi Abubakare Paradigm

Varsity debater for University of Rochester and yes, I would like to be on the email chain:oabubaka@u.rochester.edu

Borrowed from the Glass man himself: "If you are a debater with accessibility (or other) concerns please feel free to reach out to me ahead of the round and I will work with you to make the space as hospitable as possible."

Honestly, just do what you want in front of me and just explain your arguments. I will vote on how you want me to vote (since how I see the debate may not be the same way you think you are articulating). 

Also, if you can, I prefer debaters to slow down when in front of me. I am not the best judge for you if you decide to spread as fast as Harvard MS or Northwestern MV (although Arjun is very clear). 

If you read high theory, do not pref me unless you are willing to explain your argument. My area of study is in natural sciences, so I am not hitting up the latest post-modern/structuralist/etc. papers. 


Ben Allen Paradigm

3 rounds

Debate is what you make it, so first and foremost ALWAYS DO YOU!!!!!


With that said most of my decisions are made off of what is said in the last 2 speeches, IMpact comparrison is really really important.


I view the debate in terms of offense and defense. Offense wins games, defense wins championships! ( except in debate)


I hate most theory args (unless its super creative), I hate high theory,by high theory I mean all those white dudes who were clearly high when they were writing their sh***, If you read that stuff make it as real world as possible! I hate debaters who just read into a computer screen and never look at the judge, stuff like that causes you to lose speaker points.


Speaker point Scale=27-30, if i give you below a 27 you did smthing really rea

Shree Awsare Paradigm

Last Updated-- Aug 2017. 

Current School Affiliations:  NoBro (2016-), JMU (2011-).

Previous School Affiliations:  Broad Run High School (2014-2016), Thomas Jefferson High School (2012-2014), Columbia University (2007-2011), Fordham University (2011), Monta Vista High School (2003-2007)

Topic Familiarity:  Low for college, above average for high school.  I have done ZERO research on health care and have little to no idea what the common affirmative or negative arguments are.  I also have 0 knowledge of basic economics so a serious depth of explanation will be needed (treat me like a 5 year old in dense economics debates or I will 100% lose what you are saying at top speed).  For HS, I worked at the Dartmouth Debate Institute, the Digital Debate Camp, and cut some files for high school, and regularly judge, so I have done a decent amount of research about Education Policy.  

Quick Version:  Coached a wide variety of teams, am open to different styles of debate.  Tend to be preffed for clash debates or K v K debates.  You will be more successful if you stick to your strengths--over-adaptation of 1ACs and neg strats don't have a great track record with me, it's better to defend the wall or what you are confident in instead of running from debate.  

The existence of speech time limits, the assumption that you will not interrupt an opponent's speech intentionally, and the fact that I (and not you) will be signing a ballot that decides a winner and loser is non-negotiable. The debate should not devolve into an hour long "discussion"-- I don't want to watch a Public Forum style grand crossfire (trust me, I already watch plenty of those).  If any of those things come into question, you can expect the team to challenge those things first to get a L and some interesting speaker points at the end of the debate.  If you disagree, strike me.

General Outlook on Debate

- Do what you're good at.  My job as a coach is to be flexible and encourage the diverse argumentative interests of my students, and I find my judging to be informed by a similar perspective.  As a result, I don't have huge distaste towards particular genres of arguments (like PICs, T, Politics DAs, Ks, etc).  I am not a blank canvas, but the idiosyncrasies I display as a judge will have more to do with how you execute your position rather than argument choice.

- Tech > Truth, but with limits.  Arguments like "counterinterp: only our case is topical," OSPEC, word PICs, wipeout, and the lizard people are not doing your speaker points any favors, but I am firmly on the boat that if you can't beat a bad argument, you don't deserve to win.  However, there is a distinction between bad and offensive (eg: "racism good"), which I will not tolerate.

Additionally, a complete argument requires a claim, warrant, and impact... a series of claims without support is not sufficient for a ballot.

- In-Round Persuasion is essential. Ev quality becomes important in close debates but is a secondary concern to explanation and ev comparison by debaters.  A well-warranted and well-impacted analytic can beat a poorly warranted series of carded claims. 

- Terminal Defense/presumption can decide debates. I can be compelled that there is 0% risk of solvency to an affirmative case, or that there is no internal link to a DA, or that a K aff doesn't meet its role of the ballot and should lose on presumption. "There's a 1% chance that we're good for the world" is not a sufficient justification unless you provide a reason for why the opposing team's defensive argument is false or simply mitigates your claim rather than taking it out terminally.

- I will strongly resist "judge-kicking" a CP or a K alt. The neg can explicitly make a framing argument justifying this practice, but there is a strong likelihood that if the aff answers it to a barely adequate capacity, I won't be compelled to "judge-kick" a world the neg has chosen to defend as an option in the 2NR.

Specific Arguments

Topicality. I enjoy these debates.  You should provide a robust, comparative perspective of your vision of how the topic and/or debates should function. This requires an explicit list of what specific cases and/or practices your interpretation permits/disallows and impacting why this is beneficial for the activity.  I default to competing interpretations absent a different way of adjudication. 

T vs Critical Affs.  I judge these a lot.  Several thoughts:
(1)  I prefer affs that have SOME relationship to the topic, but that relationship is debatable.
(2)  Nuance Good.  Outlandish claims like "T is the logic of genocide," or on the other hand, "all teams will quit because K teams are off topic" are unpersuasive.  Smart teams will make impact arguments that are specific to the limits that are being set--either to defend the benefits of narrowing deliberation over a topic or to point out the myopia of such a curriculum.
(3)  For teams defending the wall:  Procedural Fairness/Competitive Equity impacts are more persuasive to me than "decisionmaking key to end existential threats like global warming."  Competitive Equity can be a terminal impact rather than just an internal link, but it needs to be framed and warranted as such.
(4)  Uniqueness arguments matter.  Inevitability and access claims (and their relationship to the T version of the aff) seem to be where I begin decisions, so take care to develop or debunk them.
(5)  Novice Specific--Not a fan of planless affs in the novice division, given that your opponents are likely beginners that are still struggling to navigate the basics of debate.  It won't affect W/L, but know that my displeasure will reflect significantly in your speaker points (as in, 26-27 land).  If you think you've mastered the fundamentals of debate enough to transgress its norms, do yourself and your opponents a favor and challenge yourself in a more advanced division.  K Affs with plans, on the other hand, I have no issue with.  

Theory. I feel that I am more likely than other judges to pull the trigger on theory if the aff does a good job on it. Similar to T debates, the best theory debates requires a robust interp and an explicit list of specific practices (that happened in this particular debate or otherwise) that your interpretation permits or disallows and why this is beneficial for the activity. I will default to "reject the arg, not the team" unless given a reason otherwise. I've voted on cheapshots, but these require fulfilling a minimal standard of execution (a fully warranted and impacted explanation of your cheapshot, and closing the doors on any cross-applications the aff can make from other flows). Stylistically speaking, slowing down in these debates will help me put more ink on your side of the flow--otherwise I may miss a standard that you find important. Additionally, a specific interpretation and 3 warranted arguments regarding why a practice in debate is bad is significantly stronger than a blippy, generic re-hashing of a 10-point block.

Straight-up Strategies. My favorite straight-up strategies involve PICs (real ones... not Word PICs) or Advantage CPs (that compete either through a topic DA or impact turn of 1 advantage).  Politics, artificially competitive CPs, etc are fine (I understand their utility, especially on a topic that's so sad for DAs like education), and you should obviously go for what you are good at and winning instead of making assumptions about whether or not I would like/dislike a strategy.

Judge Instruction is vital.  Does UQ frame the link debate, or do the links frame a close UQ debate and why?  Does the DA turns the case or the other way around, and why?  None of these questions should be left up to me.

K and Non-Traditional Strategies.  As a coach, I've worked with a large variety of teams vs K arguments--some defended a big heg advantage, others go for structural violence affs with a plan, and some religiously refuse to read plans.  As a judge, I understand the utility of K arguments in the strategic arsenal but I don't enjoy them so much that I hack for them without a basic standard of explanation and refutation. 

For teams reading the K:  I will be impressed if you command significant knowledge about the theory at hand and are able to apply them to the case through examples from popular culture or empirical/historical situations. On the other hand, if you fail to explain basic theoretical ideas within the scope of the K or fail to engage particular points of contention presented by the affirmative, I will be unimpressed.   I often find that K teams have a tendency to over-cover the link and perm debate, to the detriment of hashing out comparative impact claims and explaining how the alt functions to resolve said impacts.

I would strongly prefer you to be organized and debate the line-by-line-- 1+ minute overviews frustrate me.

For teams debating against the K:  I am more interested in arguments (analytics and cards) that substantively engage the K while having a robust defense of the case. The K's "greatest hits" are useful but at some point, you are going to have to answer their "K turns the case" and other tricks they may have by using your aff.  I do not necessarily need carded evidence to overcome their characterizations, smart analytics are often enough to respond to contrived link or case turn arguments.  I think the cleanest path for substantive victory vs the K is to weigh an advantage that outweighs and can't be solved by the alternative, and then win that their "impact filter" arguments (serial policy failure, RC, "your ev can't be trusted," UQ claims, etc) are fallacious in the context of the advantage you've isolated.  Debaters on the policy end of the spectrum that I've judged tend to say I evaluate K debates like a "checklist."

Perms in K on K Debates:  Absent a debate unfolding, my weak default is that if a K aff presents a clear method/solvency mech, the neg's K argument should present an opportunity cost to the method, rhetoric, and/or intellectual justification for the aff and should have link arguments aside from "omission."  I can be compelled that the most extreme version of "no plan no perm" isn't great (testing the commensurability of different methods have value for activism and other venues, no perms incentivizes negs to run towards silly plan plus advocacies to one-up the other team instead of having productive clash).  If the aff does not have a clear outlining of method/doesn't parametricize, then I am persuaded substantially more by "no plan no perm." Again, these are weak defaults that can be overturned during the debate by whoever did the better debating.


Largely subjective, but I will generally stick to what's outlined below in the open division. Things that may influence speaker points include (but are not limited to): clarity, stealing prep, being excessively mean, humor, the strength of your CX

< 25: You really got on my nerves and you deserve an equally obnoxious number on the 0-25 part of the scale

25: You showed up but didn't really make an argument past the 1AC/1NC, and didn't ever acknowledge the fact that there were opponents making arguments in your speech

26: You showed up and made some claims (mostly without warrants) that seldom clashed with your opponents

27: You made a variety of claims in the debate (some backed up with warrants) but had a variety of severe strategic mishaps and/or failed to impact your claims

28: You made a variety of claims in the debate (most of them backed up with warrants), but you were occasionally playing with fire and had questionable strategic maneuvers

28.5: You are solid. Your claims are backed up with warrants and you have a strategic vision that you are attempting to accomplish.

29+: You've done everything needed for a 28.5, but you sounded really, really good while you were doing it. This probably includes: you had excellent ethos/pathos, you were incredibly clear, you had great cross-xes, you were hilarious, and/or your strategic vision was executed nearly flawlessly.

30: Life changed. 

HS Public Forum Philosophy

Shamelessly stolen and modified from Brian Manuel:

This is my first year really becoming involved in Public Forum Debate, although I've judged a few PF elim and bid rounds in the last 2-3 years. I have a lot of strong opinions as far as the activity goes. However, my strongest opinion centers on the way that evidence is used, mis-cited, paraphrased, and taken out of context during debates.  I'd strongly prefer that evidence be directly quoted from the original text or not presented at all. I feel that those are the only two presentable forms of argumentation in debate. If paraphrasing is presented in a debate, my displeasure will be expressed in your speaker points. I will always defer to the team who presented evidence directly quoted from the original citation. I also believe that a debater who references no evidence at all, but rather just makes up arguments based on the knowledge they've gained from reading, is more acceptable than paraphrasing.

Paraphrasing to me is a shortcut for those debaters who are too lazy to directly quote a piece of text because they feel it is either too long or too cumbersome to include in their case. To me this is laziness and will not be rewarded.

Beyond that the debate is open for the debaters to interpret. I'd like if debaters focused on internal links, weighing impacts, and instructing me on how to write my ballot during the summary and final focus.  The line by line is important and I will not appreciate you going rogue.  Too many debaters allow the judge to make up their mind and intervene with their own personal inclinations without giving them any guidance on how to evaluate competing issues. Work hard and I'll reward you. Be lazy and it won't work out for you.

Stanley Baxter Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a College, Highschool, and Middle school debate judge. History includes three years high school competition experience (LD Debate) and over two years experience judging. My philosophy is simple: Debate the best way you can, give adequate analysis and deliver with persuasiveness. Voting usually involves Framework, 

My preferences are standing for speeches, cross-ex, rebuttals. Unorthodox arguments are fine. 

Kevin Bell Paradigm

3 rounds

Hello CEDA!  The first five paragraphs are important, you can probably skim the rest.

You're all beautiful people, but you're also faster than me, so do me a favor and slow down through taglines and author cites.  I wouldn't have abused formatting like that if I didn't mean it, because seriously though, I have no idea what half of you are saying in about one in five debates I watch until I call 'clear.'  Also I'll do that, so don't be all upset when it happens.  I competed in NPDA, but after a year in the CEDA pool I'm pretty much on-board with y'all's(?) game.

I am in my final year of law school, and I focus in environmental law and administrative procedure, I wear sport coats while judging, I was raised in west Texas, and have a love affair with fiat. This combination makes me essentially the dreaded White Male Heterosexual Cisgendered (etc.) Gaze.  Sadly this can't be helped.  This isn't to say I won't vote for your performance argument, and I've begun at least one RFD this year with "I desperately wanted to vote on T/FWK, but," so I try to be onboard with pretty much whatever.  I will say that I try as hard as I can to write a neutral ballot, but I definitely have an academic bias against Affs that necessarily require the Neg to defend the indefensible.  That is to say: arguments which are so fundamentally tied to the identities of the debaters that the only response is to either come up with a more radically individual argument which is personal to the Negation debaters or attack the identity politics of the Aff, the latter of which is essentially prettied up ad hominem attacks.

If that's what you do, on both sides, there's one other thing that I think is probably important.  While I try as hard as I can to fairly evaluate rounds, I'm probably farther behind on the radical multicultural literature than most debaters are.  I'm not trying to discount evidence, but I think its super important that everybody explain and re-explain exactly how it is that your evidence functions, and how your affirmative fulfills the promise of your evidence if its performative.  I caught some deserved criticism earlier this year after watching a round between two of the better performance teams in the country on less than a full night's sleep, and trying to put across the impression that I was super hot-shit and knew what everyone was talking about and didn't need more explanation than anyone else.  Realistically, my background just isn't sufficiently aligned with most of the performative literature to make that representation in good faith, so I'm asking you here to grant me a small amount of leeway and clean up the debate as much as possible.  

If this makes me sound like a complete idiot, I'm sorry you cannot adapt your argumentative style for those who do not think like you, and I wish you the best in building your social movement.  I'm probably not the right judge to have in the back of your round.

Also if you're just mean to your opponent it's likely that I'll end up being subconsciously biased against you, which is a real thing, because (most) judges aren't robots.  Don't do that.  And definitely don't make your CX a petty re-hash of some previous round you were in against the same opponent, or I'll just completely check out.

Arguments: I'm perplexed that framework isn't run more often. Do so, please, but do it correctly.  That means answering the pre-empts which are built into the 1AC, having a stable interpretation and violation, and giving me impacts to fairness, education, or whatever.

My favorite thing in the world is a Plan/CP debate with competing disads and advocacies, and after a couple dozen rounds this has only happened once. D: At least the theory debates have been fun so far.

I'm not going to intervene unless you leave me no other options because there's absolutely no clash and nobody has a clearly articulated message about the role of the ballot. Else, I default to net benefits. If you want me to vote on theory, I had better hear a more convincing explanation than "voter for fairness and education onto the disad"




You're going to be doing a lot better on my flow if in the rebuttals you can count on me knowing exactly which Yancy card to extend out of the 6 in your 1AC, and I'll tend to prefer arguments which I have flowed clearly. This means a couple of things:


First: slow down through taglines, and precede them with a LOUD, CLEAR, and OVERENUNCIATED verbal cue at the end of the previous card like "next" or "and" or "new card" or in an ideal world, numbers(!) for cards 1, 2, 3, etc. as you read them in your shells. After the shell it matters less because things tend to get messy anyway. Anyone who claims to flow perfectly from the back of the room at the same pace as debaters with the text in front of them is probably overselling their ability to take dictation.


Second: Repeat, at least once, anything that requires a stable text. This includes plan text, alt text, CP text, and T interpretations. Even though you schmucks all have copies of everythnig on your fancy laptops, I'm flowing by hand and want to be able to refer to my flow intelligibly later. If you have another means of ensuring that I get a copy, like handwriting it for me in prep and handing it to me or something, that's cool too.


Third: If your author has a name that's hard to pronounce or long or otherwise going to be a hassle for me to refer to in round when you ask me to "extend the [name] in [year] card" later on, please clarify which card that is and from which speech I should be extending it.


If I miss something else below, ask me in-round or before-round if you care.


Things I like:


Foucault and his progeny, Irony (the argument and the concept), Humor, specific plan texts, a friendly debate round, plan texts, or failing that, advocacy texts, Disads that are unique, specific link stories, advantages, clash, impact calculus, descriptions of how the worlds of plan/CP/Alt differ and in what ways, kritiks I've either heard of or which the team running them is willing to explain for me, overviews, surprise 2AC wipeout arguments, and really anything that makes my day more entertaining.


I also love this translation of Beaudrillard's 'Precession of Simulacra' from English into American: http://www.continentcontinent.cc/index.php/continent/article/viewArticle/91


You should read it, it's great.


Things I don't like:


Arguments run purely for the sake of sounding smarter than the other team; arguments designed to exclude debaters from competing due to some feature of their identity; bad -isms; anything generally in-line with the things I've just outlined; absolute nonsense asserted as true simply because an auhor of dubious repute published it in something you're willing to powertag.




This is my first year judging CEDA, I've been out of the debate community for the last two years because I've been in law school, which if you were wondering is quite the time-suck. The third year (3L), however, is kind of a waste of time, so I thought I would get back into debate. From 2008-2012 I debated in NPDA for Willamette, which is close enough to CEDA for me to know what I'm doing. If you know anybody from NPDA that you want to ask about my debating style back in the day, my partner was Kristen Stevens, who I think is still coaching at Western Washington. 


I'm currently a third-year student at NYU Law, specializing in Environmental Litigation, but also versed in campaign finance, administrative law, national security, and regulation of for-profit colleges, if for some god unbeknownst reason you want to cut a DA regarding them specifically to run in front of me.

Cole Bender Paradigm

3 rounds


Cole Bender

Debate Experience:

Assistant Debate Coach, Liberty University (2011-Present)

Years Judging: 2008-present

Former varsity debater at Liberty University



ADDITIONS FOR SPRING 2015 (This section supersedes any subsequent, older part of my philosophy.)


The cliff notes version is: I'd prefer you speak conversational speed, my default assumption is that you have to have a reasonable chance of solving in order to have "presumption" on your side (not just .1%), stop powertagging / overclaiming / making arguments that violate all rules of reasoning and logic, and follow the rules of the sanctioning bodies of the tournaments you attend (which includes but is not limited to having a topical plan at ADA tournaments and addressing the resolution at CEDA tournaments.


I have substantial modifications to my judging philosophy that will radically change how teams pref me.  I have listed the changes below.



1. I will continue to flow, but I would like to hear debates at a conversational pace.  I still believe in the existence of common sense and that most people have a sense of how fast “conversation pace” is, but in case you need more specific guidelines, the average conversation speed of speakers using the English language is 150-200wpm.  A person not trained in college debate should have no difficulty hearing and processing each individual word being said during your speech.  If you’re going too fast, I’ll ask you to slow down.  If both teams refuse and go fast, I’ll still prompt you to slow down, but I’ll flow the debate as normal.  If the neg intends to go slow, they need to inform the aff before the 1ac begins.  If the one team goes slow and the other team goes fast, I’ll default to the slower teams’ arguments and evaluate the debate largely in truth over tech terms.  Speaking too fast will impact speaker points because speaker points indicate the level of clarity, persuasiveness, and effectiveness of your communication, but it is not an automatic reason for me to vote against you.


2. I see the role of the judge as being a critic of argument.  My threshold for what constitutes “making an argument” was already fairly high relative to the average judge.  In addition to this, I think it’s the burden of the team making the argument to produce an argument that is minimally coherent, demonstrates some level of rational consistency, and avoids obvious logical fallacies.  The net effect of this is that the rational strength of the argument matters, even if the argument is dropped.  Tech still matters, but my calculus for argument is shifting some toward the direction of truth.  For example, your advantages in your policy affs are not deductive arguments that yield logical certainty.  Doing your plan is not the one and only policy that can stop the 3-4 guaranteed extinctions that will happen in the status quo.  Likewise, for non-policy arguments, ‘X’ philosophical system is not the root cause of all violence, nor is a given resistance strategy the one thing that will lead us to utopia.  Evidence quality, reasonable extrapolations from evidence, and warrants matter much more in front of me.  I’d vastly prefer if teams who intend to debate in front of me would re-structure their arguments to avoid overclaiming / powertagging / general disregard of rationality.  I’d also appreciate if you read the qualifications of your authors.  Teams that make reasonable, smart arguments will be rewarded with speaker points, and, if their tech is close to as good as their truth, they will be rewarded with ballots.


3. My default position is that I do not think 1% risk is high enough to keep / shift presumption in your favor.  You can argue otherwise, but absent an argument in the debate, this is my position.  For example, in a policy debate, the affirmative has an obligation to read a plan that has a reasonable chance of solving before they have proven the resolution true (my default assumption is that reasonable means 5-10%).   Similarly, if the neg reads a CP, then the risk of the net benefit has to be reasonable (5-10%) in order for presumption to shift in favor of the CP instead of the plan.  For non-policy debates, it’s increasingly unclear what presumption does mean or even what it should mean.  I tend to be easily convinced that the affirmative ought to at least defend that that something material be done to change the status quo.


4. I will be following the rules of the sanctioning bodies of any tournament I attend, and I will expect those who debate in front of me to do the same.  All the remaining tournaments I’m attending are either CEDA or ADA sanctioned tournaments.  You can see a tournament’s sanctioning on Tabroom.  The CEDA rules are available here (http://www.cedadebate.org/) if you log in, and the most recent copy of the ADA rules is located here (http://www.liberty.edu/academics/communications/debate/index.cfm?PID=22660).  I encourage all participants to familiarize themselves with the rules of the various tournaments they agree to attend.


A short summary of how this impacts non-topical affs:


For CEDA tournaments: the CEDA documents only indicate that the debate should be about the resolution.  The minimum affirmative burden is therefore to discuss the resolution in some capacity and to affirm something in relation to the resolution.  Obviously I can be convinced through a process of debate that the affirmative ought to do much more than this (standard topicality and framework is still a viable strategy).  But I cannot be convinced by arguments in the debate that the affirmative can do less than this.


For ADA tournaments: the ADA documents indicate among other things that the affirmative must present a topical plan of action and that topicality is a voting issue. (I’d encourage negative teams to look at the section on critiques as well.)


I will not intervene to make an arbitrary decision that the aff has not met these burdens.  The responsibility is still on the negative team to present an argument for their interpretation of the resolution and how the affirmative has not sufficiently addressed the resolution (CEDA) or fallen within it (ADA).


To be very clear, you can and should have a debate about what these rules mean and what their proper interpretation is.  But for the purposes of the ballot I won’t evaluate arguments that the rules should not be applied.




Addition for Decrim and Subsequent Topics:

I do not wish to see or hear any sexually explicit speech acts or performances, nor do I wish to see debaters in any state of undress.  To clarify, speech acts that discuss sex, sexuality, and corresponding topics are fine in front of me.  Speech acts or performances that simulate or vividly describe sex acts are not fine in front of me.  If that statement isn't clear, either ask, or, when in doubt, presume in favor of caution.  If you choose to speak or perform in such a way in front of me, I will ask you to stop and adopt a differnet strategy.  If you refuse to honor that request, I will excuse myself from the debate for at least the duration of that portion of your speech but possibly the debate as a whole.  If I have to leave the debate, I will attempt to get the tabroom to replace me.  If this is impossible and I am required to sign the ballot, then the situation will likely result in a ballot for the opposition.  This is a personal conviction about the types of acts I want to be exposed to as a judge and as a member of this community, and I ask that you respect it.  This is not intended as a statement about how debate should look in general.


As a judge, I will try to balance the importance of allowing debates that might make persons intellectually uncomfortable with also allowing debaters to protect themselves from emotionally damaging situations.  I believe that in some circumstances the competitors have the right to let everyone know if they are uncomfortable and they may take appropriate action to avoid witnessing/hearing things they find to be emotionally damaging.

Other Relevant Info: