Yale Invitational

2015 — CT/US

Luis Aguirre Paradigm

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Bea Almeida Paradigm

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Carlos Astacio Paradigm

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Joslyn Barnett Paradigm

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Philip Bauchan Paradigm

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Stefan Bauschard Paradigm



The first "fossil fuel" reduction topic I debated was in 1990. I've coached 5 or 6 high school and college policy topics since then. I've probably cut 20,000 cards on this topic and issues related to it in my lifetime.

I'm old. I was at the first tournament that consult NATO was read. I was also at the first tournament that a kritik was read. Roger Solt told me about the first time someone tried to read a politics DA in the 1970s. I read the Reagan DA when I debated.

I've judged many great debates between the best debaters in all formats at all levels. I judged a novice policy team that reread their 1AC in the 2AC. I've judged elementary school kids debating about the merits of school uniforms and Coke vs. Pepsi.

The rest is covered below, especially under the Policy part in the next section.


If you make your evidence hard for the other team to access when they request it, I'l assume it is crappy. If you have good evidence, you should be proud of it. If you debate in PF and you have your evidence readily available to show the other team and you aren't lying about what it says, I'll give you at least a 29.0. If you lie about your evidence, make it hard for the other team to look at it, and you are dishonest about your evidence you cannot get more than a 28.0.

1. I think you should present strong evidence to support your arguments. I think you should directly quote evidence and have it readily available upon demand. If I ask you to see your evidence after the debate and you hand me an entire article and say, "It basically says it in these 4 pages," I'll just hand it back.

2. You need to extend arguments in Summary and FF for me to vote on them.

3. I flow.

4. You can talk as fast as you want.

5. Debater math...c'mon.

6. Weigh, compare, etc.

7. I have two kids, but that doesn't mean you have to treat me like I'm an idiot.

8. I read an awful lot about the topics and I generally read a lot.

9. If I say I'm going to judge at a tournament I show up and judge at it. I've never ghosted any debaters.

10. If you start screaming at each other in crossfire then I'll just tune out.

Policy philosophy that is applicable where relevant.

1. I don’t have any real substantive argument preferences. I do my best to let those play out in the debate as they do. Unless topicality, a theory issue, or a kritik is involved, I attempt to determine the desirability of the plan relative to the status quo or a specific alternative. I think most arguments that are presented in debates are pretty interesting.

2. Debate topics and arguments tend to repeat throughout history, so I'm familiar with most topic arguments.

3. I think the affirmative should present an advocacy that is reasonably topical. I strongly believe that non-topical affirmative debate has really hurt at least the volume of debate participation, at least at the high school level. Since I think debate is good, I wish people would debate a reasonable interpretation of the topic. "Reasonability" of any interpretation is certainly up to debate, but not advocating for the resolution in some reasonable way is going to be hard, even with me trying to listen more. That said, I'll still do my best to be fair if the situation arises, so negative teams should engage the debate.

4. Link v. Uniqueness. I don’t think that uniqueness is ever absolute and that the direction of the link *usually* has a lot bigger role to play in the debate that most people give it credit for. Certainly proposals can make things worse or better, and that increment, be it large or small, always deserves some calculus in the assessment.

5. Offense v. Defense. Offense helps, and it is USUALLY impossible to reduce the risk of an argument to zero. However, unlike many others, I do not think it is impossible.

6. Back to topicality. I’m old. I thing things have gone way too far in terms of “competing interpretations.” I think that in order for “competing interpretations” to be relevant that both sides need to have a reasonable interpretation that is grounded in a definition/contextual card. Basically, I think most Affs are topical unless they are unreasonable.

7. Theory. I think theory blocks have somewhat ruined theory debates. People can’t win theory debates because the debates are dry, stale, old and not very interesting. If you want to win a specific theory debate explain why the particular argument practice at hand significantly undermines your ability to win the debate and then convince me that I should vote against the other team for having engaged in that practice. Both of those are possible, whereas reading your great “conditionality bad” file is not.

8. Voting issues. I think if you do a good job explaining why a theory argument other than topicality is a voting issue that you can win that it is. HOWEVER, I will IGNORE the random “independent voting issue” consequence.

9. Reading along. I usually read along the speech documents. While I realize this is controversial, I'm not sure why it is desirable to know less about what is going on in the debate than the debaters do during the debate. I also closely look at evidence that is being discussed in the CX. That said, I can more about how debaters use the evidence and won't independently evaluate its strengths unless I'm forced to choose between two arguments and offered little guidance.

10. I'm old and prefer, "flow, line by line" debate.

11. I think the 1NR is a rebuttal and should not be full of new arguments.

12. I prefer less aggressive communication styles and that debaters just focus on the arguments. I realize that these styles my persuade others, I'm just simply not persuaded by them.

Mia Berman Paradigm

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Varun Bhave Paradigm


Aracelis Biel Paradigm

LD Debate Judge Paradigm. (Sometimes I judge PF, too.)

Updated for Jan/Feb 2013!


1. TYPES OF ARGS: I will listen to and consider any type of argument, no matter how unorthodox or unusual, so long as it:

a. Respects the format of LD (time limited one-on-one debate related to the bi-monthly topic.)
b. Is not intentionally rude, offensive, or without any easily recognizable redeeming educational/social value*.

If, however, the argument you make is:

a. Trivial, without rigor, or poorly thought through, and dealt with as such by your opponent;
b. Neither topical or LD-theoretical*;
c. Never justified via warrant/impact/link*...

I am not likely to vote off of it.

*Narratives may fit these categories. Please do not ever read a case that describes graphic crime in front of me. Medical stuff is totally fine. (Review: Domestic violence narrative? bad. Describing MDRTB? fine.)

I like very observant, insightful cases and refutation that presents not just an advocacy, but a carefully constructed world-view. I believe values/standards analysis are important, but I leave it up to the debaters to decide how they wish to handle them. I believe there must be something to which you link and impact back to, however, so that I can sign my ballot one way or the other. I will frequently comment on the quality of arguments made, both in-case and in-round, but I will only vote off material which is actively "in play" in the round. So:

2.STRAT: Establish your position/advocacy. Link. Impact. Weigh extensively. Tell me why I should vote for you. If you do not tell me what to do with a given point "x", I will not vote off it unless there is literally nothing else for me to vote off of. Do not assume that I will auto extend drops, or that I will impact/link/weigh cross applications for you. It's your job to tell me why you win. If something is important to my ballot, please tell me so, and spend time on it.

3. I have never-not-once-ever decided a round on PRESUMPTION, even though I came close once.There's always something better to vote on, even if it's skills. I do try to advance the better debater. 99.6% of the time that's also the winning debater.

4. SPEED is absolutely fine so long as you enunciate card author names. If you're unclear, I will pipe up and tell you so. I use "CLEAR!" as an all-purpose shout of existential angst, though, so it could mean you're stumbling, gasping, too high pitched, or mumbling. If I call clear, you should probably err on the side of repeating a sentence, as I don't/can't shout and flow at the same time. If I tell you you're too high pitched or squeaky, please don't take offense. I took two semesters of graduate speech pathology classes at Columbia. I am as equally annoyed by high pitched female voices as I am annoyed by high pitched male voices. Speaking too loudly at too high a pitch, especially if you're dehydrated, can permanently damage your vocal cords.

5. REGARDING THEORY: I gut check, but I have voted off theory a few times this year, and I am becoming more sympathetic towards well-structured theory. I think our community is slowly settling into a reasonable use of theory following two or three years of really cruddy shells and confusing rounds. The following represents my views on mediocre or bad theory:
98% of the time when people run theory, I find that there is no actual abuse. I dislike people who run theory counter-interps when they easily could have run an "I meet." To me, this constitutes THEORY BAITING. Baiting theory is an ocelot thing to do. Please just win on substance if you can meet the interp! I am sympathetic to "I meet." I am not very sympathetic to ground arguments, unless you explain to me why the only ground left to you is really, really ridiculous. I do think NIBS are for pens, not cases, but I will entertain multiple burdens that equally constrain both debaters. I will gut-check, but if you ask me to gut-check, I will also call cases and read everything super carefully. I am also a super cranky person when I have to read cases before signing a ballot, so invoke my own personal opinion at your own risk. I will accept and evaluate both "drop the debater/RVI" and "drop the argument" debates, but I prefer "drop the argument" and will default to that if you either don't give me a voter or forget to extend it. All that having been said, if you feel you HAVE to run theory against someone or something, go ahead and do it.

On the other hand, I love a good T debate and will happy listen to you guys bat definitions back and forth. Bad T debate is highly discouraged. If you don't know the difference, look up the structure of T shells online.

6. Other thoughts: I might be embroidering ("sewing") during your prep or cx. Ignore this. Busy hands = quiet mind. Try it sometime.

Please don't say, "Aracelis, I've read your paradigm, and you don't like to hear X," during a round. It creeps me out, it probably creeps your opponent out, and it's just... well, creepy.If you want to talk about my paradigm, do it before the round.

I love topic lit. I read large amounts of topic lit to help my team. If you lie about topic lit, I will know, and I'll be unhappy, even if it won't effect my vote. On the other hand, a deep command of topic lit is always impressive, so demonstrating technical mastery + deep understanding is the ideal way to earn yourself higher speaks.

7. Speaks: I don't hand out 30s often. Don't be offended. My typical range is 27.5-29.5. I will go lower for bad behavior. Solid rounds usually earn a 28 or 28.5 tie. Someone who is obviously better can expect a 29. At 29.5 and 30, you're showing me superior time allocation, amazing strategic organization, deep knowledge of the topic, and the sort of transcendent explanation of Truth that causes me to feel like your speech has contributed something to society. You should shoot for that goal, but not be disappointed if you fall short. Annoying, pathological, or just plain old weird vocal/inhalation habits will get you docked speaks unless I can detect that whatever you're doing is wholly involuntary (lisping, r/l/w issues, spasmodic dysphonia, post-infectious laryngitis...) I have a pretty good ear for the difference between voluntary/weird stuff you picked up at camp.


Please don't be an ocelot. The word "Ocelot" also has limited assonance with a word that describes mean people. In the literal sense, an Ocelot is a small predatory cat. In the metaphorical sense, an Ocelot is what you shouldn't be. Win without being small, predatory, and catty.
And, have fun and make friends. :D

I am currently the Director of Debate at Collegiate School, where I have now coached for three years. Evidently I'm doing something right, because the people at Big Lex awarded me the Michael Bacon Coaching Award this year (2013) Previously, I coached for half a season at Brooklyn Technical High School. I have also previously judged for Bronx High School of Science (but who hasn't?) and as an independently hired judge at various round-robins and tournaments. I taught at a camp for three summers: '04, '05, and '06, and I debated on Long Island/locally in the Northeast for three years: '00-01 to '02-'03. 

Michael Bogaty Paradigm

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Clara Collier Paradigm

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Jon Conyers Paradigm

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Henry Curtis Paradigm

--This is my first major edit to my paradigm in, like, two years, so ask me questions before the round if there's anything here that doesn't make sense or I forgot.--

I debated four years of policy and one year of LD in high school from 2003 to 2008. I've been coaching LD since I graduated and I've been with Lexington for the past 5ish years. I'm also working on a PhD in philosophy (this doesn't mean what you think it means, see below).

General info/Speaker points stuff

--Email chains are cool, include me on them: hcurtis@albany.edu

--Run whatever you want to run as long as it isn't actively offensive. If you want a K debate, have a K debate. If you're looking for a values or stock debate, that's cool too. The space is yours, do what you want with it. There's stuff that I'm probably less good at judging than other people, but I won't drop you for running a specific type of argument unless, again, it's actively offensive.

--I'm 100% team tech over truth. A dropped argument is a true argument. That being said (and this applies generally as well), the dumber an argument is, the lower my threshold for a response is. So, while most arguments require actual, thought out responses, if you respond to "must concede after the AC" by just saying "no I don't", that'll count. So, don't drop stuff, but don't waste time on really bad arguments. If an argument is given without a warrant, it doesn't need as developed of a response.

--On that subject, warrants are cool too. I hate vague extensions, they bother me and that'll reflect in your speaker points. If you're extending a card, a theory shell, anything really, give me the warrant behind the card. What does the [evidence/shell/value/whatever] say, why is it right, and what does that have to do with my ballot? Better extensions and better storytelling mean better speaker points. Blippy extensions with no explanation require less to respond to because, as above, blippy extensions are bad arguments.

--I'm not the best at flowing. This matters less in a world of speech docs, but for stuff like detailed underviews (like cramming drop the debater, RVI, reasonability, and random evaluate theory after the 1AR spike into the same subpoint) or longer theory shells, slow down. No, seriously, slow down. I won't get all of the details, and then when you're posting me after the round about how I could have missed underview A, subpoint 3, as extended with random other thing on a totally different flow as defense somewhere else, I'll just say I didn't get it on the flow and we'll both be mad.

--I don't like doing work for debaters. Embedded clash is a nicer way of saying judge intervention. Don't make me do it. Offense weighing and comparison is probably the most important thing for me (and key to good speaker points). Don't just say why your stuff is good, say why your stuff is better/more important to my ballot than their stuff.

--Last thing for speaker points, the most important factor for me is strategy. If you make strategic arguments and there isn't anywhere where I think you should have done something different, then you'll get very high speaker points. Strategy is number one for me, but that gets weighed against not being a jerk in round, being funny, and being a good speaker. If you do everything perfectly but you're not a clear speaker, then you won't get a 30, but you'll still get above a 29.5. I'll say clear or slow if I need to, but if I say it a couple of times, then you should know what'll happen to your speaks. If I say clear, don't do that thing where you're clear for a couple of seconds and then just go back to how you were speaking before. Also, general rule of thumb, be loud. I don't hear stuff very well, so the louder you are the better. Don't scream at me, but you get the point.


--At least 80% of my neg ballots when I debated policy were on T. Love me a good T debate.

--General stuff: I default to competing interpretations, no RVI, drop the debater unless told otherwise. Also, general pet peeve, if you're going to tell me drop the argument and it isn't blatantly clear what argument I'm dropping, then tell me what argument I'd be dropping.

--RVIs need a little bit of work for me. You need to convince me why you get RVIs in the first place (RVIs are much more convincing against multiple shells or 7 off strats) and then actively identify what constitutes an RVI and why.

--1AR theory is fine-ish, but when a round turns into shell versus shell, it usually breaks down into incomprehensible nonsense and then I get sad and then I trash your speaker points. If it gets to this point, what makes me happy is offense comparison. This is usually easier if we're weighing between fairness and education voters, but if it's fairness v. fairness, then be super specific about why your opponent is being worse for fairness than you are. Compare offense, don't just extend yours. Alternatively, go meta and tell me why aff or neg theory comes first. Either way, don't ignore the other side of the flow, because then I have to do weighing for you and nobody likes that.

--I'll vote for disclosure shells, but the dumb argument vs. strength of response weighing from before applies here. If there's straight up nothing on the wiki and they're from a school where you'd expect something to be there, then fine. But if it's a small school non-circuit debater and/or your interp is "must disclose all speech docs, past 2NR strategies, and what they've had for lunch the past five days", then a lesser response is required.

--Generally speaking, if there's an obvious win on substance and a more difficult win on T or theory and you go for T or theory, I consider that a less than strategic move and it'll reflect in your speaker points.

DA/Counterplan/LARPy Stuff

--I was a policy debater after all, so I'm pretty comfortable with this kind of debate.

--Impact calc is your best friend. Good impact calc means good speaker points and typically is a tiebreaker if I want to avoid intervening. If I have a better understanding of why your impacts matter more than your opponent's, then you're probably going to win.

--This is a general thing, but I'll highlight it here and elsewhere, but extensions should include storytelling for me. Don't just extend the cards from the disad, explain the warrants and tell me how they link together into the story of the disad. Better extensions, better speaker points.


--So remember how I said that me being a philosophy PhD doesn't mean what you think it means? I study bioethics and general normative theory and have had any knowledge/appreciation of continental philosophy beaten out of me over the last 5 years. So, I'm actually not the best at evaluating super dense Ks, high theory, that sort of stuff. That being said, you can totally run it if that's your thing. However, you're going to ahve to take extra time for storytelling. What's going on in the K, what does the aff/res do that is bad, why should I care, and what do you do to make it better/different? So, don't avoid running Ks if that's your A-strat. Do what you do best. Just be good at it and we're fine. If you've grabbed a K from a teammate that you haven't seen before and don't know how to properly extend and explain, it probably won't go well and you should consider doing something else (this applies generally).

--Framework v. framework debates are almost as bad as theory v. theory debates in terms of incomprehensibility. So, do active weighing work. Why does your framework matter more? If your framework precludes, why? If they say their framework precludes, why doesn't it. If both frameworks preclude each other and I have no in-round way to determine whose actually does, we're all going to be upset.

--Role of the ballot/role of the judge is probably the single most important layer of the flow. I mean, you have the power to tell me what my ballot does. Use it to your advantage. If you win that the only thing I should care about is whatever the role of the ballot says I should care about, that's kind of a big deal. Use it to your advantage. On the other side of the flow, you really should spend time here if you're responding to a K.

--Totally fine with performances, but, and this also applies generally, weighing pre versus post fiat offense and why the performance itself matters is pretty important. This is another area where the role of the ballot is your best friend.

--Like I said, I'm usually pretty good about ethics frameworks since that's kind of what I do for a living. That being said, debate phil is 99% of the time waaaaaaayyyyyyyy different from academic phil. This is especially the case for K authors like Foucault, but also for Kant, Mill, Rawls, etc. So, you'll have a little more leeway with explaining evidence for something like a Kant framework, but you still need to do actual extensions and explanations.

Other miscellaneous stuff

--Again, if this is your thing, this is your thing so do it, but I'm generally not a fan of tricks. Most tricks arguments fall into the camp of bad arguments I describe above where a response of "nuh-uh" is sufficient. Again, if this is what you do, then do it, just be super clear about where stuff is located, both when you're reading it and when you're responding to stuff in c/x. Nothing is more infuriating than shifty c/x responses. Saying stuff like "lol I don't know what an a priori is" when it's pretty clear you do is an easy way to get your speaks docked. Don't be that person.

--In that regard, unless you legitimately don't know what the person is asking about, don't say "I don't know what that means". If you've been to camp or the TOC or on the circuit at all, I assume you at least have some understanding of what terms like pre-fiat or spike mean. That's being shifty and wasting c/x time and it's annoying.

--Flex prep is fine. To a lesser extent, so it using c/x time as prep if you want. It isn't a good look, but c/x time is your time to ask questions and use it strategically. Asking questions is generally better than not. Also, both c/x and flex prep are binding.

That's all I can think of for now, I'll try to be better about updating this more regularly. Again, if something here isn't clear or if you want to know more, find me at the tournament and ask or ask me before the round starts.

Isis Davis-Marks Paradigm

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Danny DeBois Paradigm

Harvard '18; Harrison '14

I debated for Harrison on the national circuit. I used to coach and judge pretty frequently, but have become pretty inactive since 2016.

I have a high threshold for clarity, and I will drop you if I have to keep calling clear--I will not let you just re-explain things in later speeches. Be careful with new literature and debate strategies--I am happy and interested to hear them, but I am likely unfamiliar with them and will be hearing them for the first time when you read them. That means you need to be slower, not just what you think is clear.

I care much less about the types of arguments you run and much more about the way you run them--be clear, crystallize well, and clash with your opponent. I will vote on anything that has a claim, warrant, and impact, so long as it is not morally repugnant. That being said, I will be much happier with and give higher speaks to debaters who debate the topic and/or show creative, independent thinking. Perceptual dominance, making an attempt at being persuasive, and being kind and respectful will also be good for your speaks.

Ask me about any other specifics before the round.

A Delsignore Paradigm

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Ed Digges Paradigm

I am the judge/coach/parent for the Stone Ridge team and have been judging for over 7 years on the local and national level.  

I am very traditional.  Presentation and sign posting are very important.  Strike me if you feel the need to speak slightly faster than normal conversation, run a K, or multiple T shells.  If I don't understand you, you didn't say it.  I prefer quality over quantity and I believe that policy debate DOES NOT belong in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Let me repeat: If I didn't understand you, you didn't say it!

--> It is also very important that you sign post on your opponent's case, I want you to summarize what you are going to say and where on the flow you are going to say it before you say it. 

If you want to win a round with me the most important part is crystallization.  Just a summary at the end of your speech saying what you arguments are, why they stand, and why you win is enough for me.


Tom Erlanger Paradigm

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Adegoke Fakorede Paradigm

I have debaed in Lincoln-Douglas Debate for 4 years in Science park high school. I recently graduated and I am now on the Rutgers Newark debate team. I've qualified to the TOC in both Lincoln-Douglas and Policy debate my senior Year. 

I am ok with speed. I love k's and critical arguments when they are ran corretly. 

Theory is fine with me as well as topicality but I need a realy good analysis on the violation and impacts back to standards. 

Im really ok with any argument that isnt racist, sexist, or offensive in anyway. 

I give high speaks if you are clear and really good in the big pictuee debate. I like a good story.  


Rahul Gosain Paradigm

I debated for 4 years for Scarsdale High School. I qualified to TOC twice, reaching octofinals my senior year (2015).

Debate is your activity not mine so I’ll try to avoid injecting my personal biases into my evaluation of arguments. If you’re ahead, even by just a little bit, on the side if an issue I’m not inclined towards, I’ll vote for you. This means that I’m not committed to a particular set of "noninterventionist" norms; I’ll attempt to use the paradigmatic preferences that debaters assume in the round.

The preferences below are for situations in which debaters' assumptions are unclear or there are no arguments resolving a clear disagreement. They are (unless specifically noted) entirely up for debate. In general, I hope to evaluate rounds similarly to Tom Evnen or Mark Gorthey. Here are some basics:

  • I default to truth testing.
  • Theory and topicality are questions of competing interps, but by that I only mean that defense isn't sufficient to win a theory debate. If you have a different understanding, explain how your warrants for the paradigm justify the conclusion you want them to, preferably in the first speech you read it.
  • Theory is drop the argument, topicality is drop the debater.
  • I have an extremely low threshold for extensions of conceded arguments, but I would like some mention of the argument in every speech. The exception is conceded paradigm issues (drop the debater, competing interps, aff gets perms in method debates, etc).
  • No new 2AR RVIs. This is a hard requirement. I don’t see a way to evaluate these debates in a wholly noninterventionist way, so I’d prefer to minimize the direct ballot implications of new 2AR arguments.

I assign speaks mainly based on strategy and argument quality.

  • I'll say slow, clear, or loud as much as necessary – if you're making an effort to adapt, I won't lower speaks, and I will be especially conscious about not penalizing debaters with speech impediments. However, if I don't hear an argument because of a lack of clarity, I won't vote on it.
  • I won’t hesitate to lower speaks for rude post-round behavior like exaggerated expressions of confusion or loudly dropping objects. I believe that post-round discussion is valuable so this deliberately doesn’t apply to questions from the debaters or others who watched the round.

Reilly Hartigan Paradigm

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Samantha Hom Paradigm

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Jason Hu Paradigm

General notes:

I believe that debate should be an educational activity. Using speed and jargon to exclude your opponent (and frankly your judge) is contrary to this purpose.

How (and not just what) you argue is important. Make eye contact! Don't play with your pen! Don't sigh when your opponent is arguing! Don't make distracting hand gestures when you speak! Yes content is important, but even the best, most technical judges are (at the very least) subconciously influenced by your style. I've done debate long enough to know that most debaters are too concerned with the flow to believe this, but at the end of the day this is important.

Read your judge. If I look bored, I am. If I look confused, I am. If I am not writing anything down you have either begun to beat a dead horse or are speaking to fast. Adjust accordingly. Your judge is way more important than your opponent.

Evidence is important, but it is not the end all be all.

I am open to any argument so long as it is well argued, warranted, and supported. 


PF Specific Paradigm:

I did Public Forum throughout my four years of high school.

Speed: Absolutely no spreading! Speed is OKAY as long as you are signposting clearly and not sacrificing ennuncaition and fluency. If in doubt, go slower. Do not go fast for the purpose of excluding your opponent from the debate. 

Framework: This is important to me. Not only have framework but also support it. Why am I looking to your framework? I use the framework to see which impacts actually matter in the round. A team can win all but one argument and lose if that's what the framework says! 

Evidence: Organize your evidence. If you take over 30 seconds to look for evidence, you are taking to long. Do not just extend card names. Remind me what the card says and why it matters in the round. You should use statistics to support a claim (and explain why the statistic does just that)--don't just through precentages at me! And finally, don't over rely on your evidence. Analysis matters 


LD Specific Paradigm:

I did Public Forum throughout my four years of high school. My only exposure to varsity LD has been the few national tournaments that I've judged at this year. In terms of speaking, I prefer a conversational speed (think a public forum round) or maybe a little faster. I should be able to understand you and write down your arguments with relative ease. Consider me a qualified traditional judge. I am willing to listen to nonconventional arguments (Ks, Theory, etc.) as long as they're clearly explained.

Do not just extend card names. Remind me what the card says and why it matters in the round. Remember that a statistic alone is not an argument. Statistics should be use to further a claim that you are making. Explain to me why your statistics further your claim. Finally, a card is not true just because it is a card. Be able to logically defend your card.

I value logical explanations and weighing more than technical jargon and techniques. If your strategy involves using techniques that purposefully exclude your opponent, I am not your judge. You will not get high speaks. I find debate to be a relatively elitist activity, and I think that the main goal of this activity should really focus on being inclusive and educational. Engage your opponent on whatever level of debate is comfortable for both of you.

Most of all, have fun! Debate is an activity meant for education and enjoyment.

Haitian Hu Paradigm

Affiliated School: duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky


I have judged the LD varsity division frequently since 2012. I was a judge at 2013 & 2015 NSDA Nationals and 2014 CNFL Nationals.

Overall, I prefer more traditional arguments but can handle progressive elements such as speed when you maintain a strict clarity. Weighing, collapsing down the the important issues in the 2AR/2NR, and generally refraining from a messy debate will both help me decide the clear winner and help you as a debater. In terms of speaker points, I will award you extra speaks if you are humorous or entertaining; in general, be polite to your opponent (rudeness of any form is strongly discouraged) and ---especially because debate is a speaking event--- present your arguments well to earn more speaks.

If you ever have further questions, feel free to talk to me either before or after a round.

I prefer for you to speak relatively slowly when possible, but I can understand spreading if you're clear. If I am unable to understand your arguments, then I will not be able to vote on them; when appropriate, I will yell "clear".

I am not the world's greatest at flowing. However, I may ask for your case after the round.

I will buy theory only if there is actual abuse, and I will know when your case is really abusive. I believe that running superfluous theory is abusive on its own, so please, run theory only when appropriate and keep the theory debate clear (I'm not fond of evaluating messy theory debates). I do not believe that there is an implicit interpretation if a case is abusive; in general, I am not prone to voting for extremely abusive cases.

I am not a philosophy major, which means that if you want to run a complicated framework, you must explain to me the meaning of your framework in rhetoric that a non-philosophy major can understand. As long as I understand the arguments, I can vote for you.

In general, make true arguments that are well-warranted and logical. I prefer if you keep your contention-level arguments actually relevant to the topic, since I believe that the topic was chosen so that you can debate about the topic, not something else.

I am not extremely familiar with K's, and from my understanding of them, I do not recommend that you run a K in front of me. However, if you do wish to run a K, you must explain it to me well; if I don't understand it, I won't vote on it. Especially if your K can be run on any topics, I won't vote on it.

I will buy disads as long as you have a clear, logical link chain.

As long as you run them well, plans are fine.

I hope that you both can have fun while you debate; good luck!

Hwang Paradigm

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Sam James Paradigm

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Amos Jeng Paradigm

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Tequan Jenkins Paradigm

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Kevin Kim Paradigm

  • I really like to see a lot of clash. If there is no clash on an argument, I will assume it to be dropped.
  • Be respectful. Being rude will make you lose speaker points, and if excessive, I will vote on it. There is a lot of pressure on debaters, but that is no excuse to be rude. As an educational activity, if you detract from the education by being rude to your opponent, I may vote against you.
  • I will not make any assumptions for you, so be very clear in your arguments and warrants so I interpret your argument the same way you do. Although I will flow most things, I will not weigh your arguments for you. If something is important, tell me.
  • I also enjoy people telling me the big picture. Tell me where you won and what I should vote off of. This lets me know your interpretation of the round and clarifies how you weigh your arguments.
  • Sign-posting and roadmaps are appreciated.
  • I don't really like speed. I realized at some point through this tournament that I'm rusty to the point where anything above a slow spread, especially when you get into more complex arguments, will be harder for me to keep up with. 
  • I do not vote on theory for the most part. It has to be really compelling. 
  • I will disclose, but will not disclose speaks. I will answer questions on RFD, but if you get argumentative, I will dock speaks. Do not try to convince me after I make my RFD. 

Steve Knell Paradigm

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Benjamin Koh Paradigm

I am on the planning committee for the Texas Debate Collective and the director for NSD Philadelphia I'm a MA candidate in American Studies where I'm working on the intersection between Asian-American and Disability Studies. I coach Loyola JC, Bronx Science YW, and Bergen County EL.


  1. The round belongs to its debaters, not the judge, so it's the job of the debaters to tell me who won, not the other way around. I do my best to evaluate rounds in terms of least intervention, which means I search first for weighing as a means to scale what the key issues are, then examine the arguments thereof. The biases and defaults in this paradigm are meant to help you, not to restrict what you want to do.
  2. If you use the word "retarded" as an equivalence to the word "stupid" or "bad" without acknowledgement (that is, an apology upon saying it), I will drop you

Evidence Ethics/ Clipping Cards/ etc.

  1. Evidence ethics is an argument to be made in the debate round. I will not stop the round because of an accusation of people miscutting or misusing evidence, for there is a fair academic debate to be had.
  2. Card clipping: I will review recordings if available. To accuse someone of clipping cards will cause the round to stop. I'll decide using whatever material I have to figure out if somebody has clipped. If I decide a debater was clipping, I will give that person a L20. If the person accusing is wrong, for I have decided that clipping did not occur, I will give the accuser a L20. I have never judged an accusation of card clipping. I'm not as good at flowing as other judges are, and will invariably give somebody the benefit of the doubt that they did not clip cards.


  1. I evaluate speaker points on strategy, arg quality, time allocation, and if you are respectful and nice. When did nice become equated with weakness? I am not impressed by overt-aggression or ad hominen styles of debate. Micro versions of this include "You should've listened in lab more!" or "I have no idea what you're thinking!" Come on. If it's nasty to say to somebody outside of debate it absolutely is in the debate round. Kindness should matter more.
  2. What I do not factor in, however, is literal speaking clarity, efficiency, etc.
  3. I don't consider the number of times I say clear or slow into speaker points
  4. I will not evaluate arguments about "not calling blocks" or what not. Similarly, you can't just tell me to give you a 30.
  5. I won't give you higher speaks if you end your speech early- nor will I sign the ballot before the end of the 2AR. I don't know why judges do this. This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.
  6. I don't find stand up 2ARs or 2NRs perceptually dominant at all

Post- Round

  1. I think post-round discussion is valuable. However, if debater A has just lost the round, and in A’s questioning of the judge, opponent B decides to comment and enter into this conversation, I will drop opponent B’s speaker points and get angry in the process
  2. If I sit and you are the winner (that is, the other 2 judges voted for you), and would like to ask me extensive questions, I will ask that you let the other RFDs be given and then let the opponent leave before asking me more questions. I'm fine answering questions, but just to be fair the other people in the room should be allowed to leave.

Phoebe Kuo Paradigm

I am the head coach at The Bronx High School of Science. Competed in LD in Arizona 2009-2011, in CX at Cornell 2011-2014. BA in economics and government.

Conflicts: Bronx Science, Success Academy, Westlake EE, Collegiate School

The short: I want to see you being the best version of yourself in whatever form of debate you're inclined to. I have a few defaults but will generally evaluate the round however debaters would like me to. I don’t inflate speaks. Please be kind. Send me speech docs, because my kids want them. kuo.phb@gmail.com


  • strategic issue selection, i.e., don't go for everything in your last speech
  • organization
  • clash
  • extend the whole argument: claim, warrant, impact, implication.
  • thorough evidence comparison
  • clear and thoughtful impact calc
  • 30s are for people I think are a model of what debate should and can be. It's not enough to be good at debate; be good for debate.
  • Circuit debaters should be nice to transitioning debaters from JV and more traditional programs. That does not mean don't do your best or compromise your round; however, it does mean actually giving answers in CX, making efforts to accommodate for tech, and maybe considering 3 off instead of 4 off.
  • FLOW. +up to 0.5 speaks for a good flow. If you tell me you have a good flow and show me at the end of the round before I submit my decision, you will be eligible for some game-y speaker points.


  • steal prep.
  • play in CX. answer the question.
  • have excessively long underviews. Read a better aff.
  • read excessively long overviews. If you have a 1min+ long overview, I would prefer you read it at the bottom of the ac after you have done line-by-line. I promise I will get more of it if you do that.
  • tag things as independent voters; just weigh. Do the work to resolve arguments so that I don't have to. Calling something independent doesn't make it independent from the rest of the reps/performances/args in the round.
  • be a coward. Engage. Have the debate.


  • these debates are best when debaters have a lot of content/topic knowledge and can make the connection to their theory of power. It seems sophomoric to critique something you have a limited understanding of. A lot of your authors have likely spent a lot of time writing historical analyses and it would be remiss to be ignorant of that.
  • high threshold for explanations
  • spend more time explaining the internal link between the speech act or the performance and the impact
  • Really sympathetic to voting neg on presumption if the aff doesn't clearly articulate how the aff is a move from the status quo.
  • please don't read model minority type args

Policy style arguments (LARP)

  • love a well-researched position. Do it if it's your thing.
  • 90% of time you just gotta do the weighing/impact calc.

T v. stock/larp

  • read it
  • competing interps
  • no RVIs on T. Why would I?

T/FW v. K affs

  • these debate becomes better as methods debates implicating the relationship amongst form, content, and norms
  • sometimes these get messy. I need more explanation of the implication of the arguments and how to sequence my evaluation.
  • Go slow and collapse early


  • Because I default competing interpretations, I treat these as CP/DA debates unless otherwise argued in round. To win my ballot, my RFD should be able to explain the abuse story, the structural implications for the activity (and its significance), and why your interpretation is the best norm to resolve those impacts. If you are not clearly explaining this, then I don't know why I would vote for the shell.
  • I won't vote off:
    • "new affs bad"
    • "need an explicit text" interps
    • disclosure against novices and traditional debaters
  • I am sympathetic to a "gut-check" on frivolous theory
  • Good interps to run:
    • condo bad;
    • abusive perms bad (severance perms, intrinsic perms, etc);
    • abusive CPs bad (delay CPs, etc);
    • abusive fiat bad (object fiat, multiactor fiat, etc).
  • If I'm being honest, I don't enjoy flowing more than 20 sec worth of spikes/theory pre-empts at the bottom of the AC; just read a better aff
  • I don't have many defaults about 1ar theory, but generally think it's a poor strategic decision

Carolyn Lau Paradigm

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Charlotte Lawrence Paradigm

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Steven Leal Paradigm

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Matthew Leland Paradigm

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Erwin Li Paradigm

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Danny Li Paradigm

I debated for Hunter College High School from 2010-2014 on the national circuit (focused in the Northeast) and attended the TOC my senior year. I am currently a student at Columbia University. 


I will try to judge based on what debaters do in round, rather than on my own opinions. But, I do have some preferences that will affect your speaks and, inevitably to some degree, my evaluation.

I won’t disregard impacts based on an arbitrarily narrow standard, such as a “minimizing war” standard that is just justified through util. Also, you can’t drop spikes and then respond in the next speech, but you can respond to the way the spike interacts with your case. This also goes for theory interps in the AC. Lastly, I will not default to presuming for one side in particular – if there is no presumption argument in the round and I find myself with a truly irresolvable round, I will vote for whoever I feel did a better job, as this seems less arbitrary to me than automatically presuming aff or neg.


I suppose I default to competing interpretations in the sense that I will compare offense and defense on the theory debate to evaluate it, but I do not really have any strong feelings about this. If you are running reasonability, though, you need to have a standard for what it is to be reasonable, not just assert that I should gutcheck on theory.


1) Due to the proliferation of generic theory spikes in ACs such as "CX checks meets all theory interps" and "neg must quantify abuse", know that speaks will suffer if you rely on these to win the theory debate and do not do a good job of addressing the specific abuse story. Additionally, be sure that the spike explains exactly what happens if dropped (i.e. should I drop the shell, vote them down etc.) 
2) I will give the neg leeway on these spikes, meaning that if I'm not sure if their 3 responses really answer back your 1 sentence assertion, I'm going to ignore your spike. 


I don’t think I will be the best judge for a K debate. I am not familiar with the literature, and I often find them flawed. Additionally, I find that many K impacts do not link to a justified framework, and I will not vote for those arguments. Lastly, I find pre-fiat or micropolitical voters uncompelling.

Speaks and Stuff

If I think you should clear based on your performance in this round, you will get a 28.5 or higher. These are based on your strategy, argument quality, and technical skills as well as your actual speaking skills. In terms of in-round behavior, I would prefer that you have real cross ex (not just prep the whole time), but you can stand or sit to do this. Asking questions in prep time is of course fine. Try not to be mean to your opponent, and if you are way better than your opponent, please don’t beat them down – make it an educational and enjoyable experience for them. I do not mind if you sit during speeches. I am happy to call clear if I cannot understand you and I am willing to call for things after the round.

Good luck and feel free to ask me questions before or after the round!

Joseph Liba Paradigm

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Terrence Lonam Paradigm

I debated for four years on the national circuit in LD and then coached Lake Highland and several independent debaters from 2013-2017. I now judge sporadically.

Feel free to call me Terrence. If you have any questions, contact me at tlonam@gmail.com.

I think I'm in line with most general judge preferences, except that I won't vote on disclosure theory or evaluate disclosure as offense back to a counter-interp (i.e. having disclosed something won't be offense for your counter-interp). Also, I think I have a reasonably high threshold for extensions.

My default interpretation of the resolution is that it is a truth statement, and so any way that the aff or neg chooses to prove that truth or falsity is fair game. If you want me to evaluate the resolution a different way, that's fine too, this is just my default. I think I'm pretty center of the road argument-wise (i.e. if you want to read a pre-fiat performance aff, that sounds good, and if you want to go hard on tricks or phil, that's fine too). I think that debaters do their best when they do what they want to. Don't read a complicated philosophical AC in front of me if that's not what you want to do, I would much rather see you do a great job on util or the K if that's your thing.

Daniel Lutfy Paradigm

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Daiya Massac Paradigm

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Daisy Massey Paradigm

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Deena McNamara Paradigm

Deena R. McNamara, Esq.



I competed in LD and policy debate in high school. In college, I competed in LD and CEDA. College LD and CEDA (back in those days) were very similar to circuit LD. Debaters used T, theory and even Ks back in those dark ages of debate. We were the pioneers who established what LD has evolved into over the last couple of decades… You're welcome?!

I have been a litigation attorney for the last 22 years. I have judged LD on and off for the last 14 years. Both of my children competed in LD. Even though my kids graduated, I have stayed involved in my local community volunteering as a judge and coaching local debaters. I believe that debate is life changing for students of all backgrounds and abilities. Although I am not an educator in the traditional sense, I view my role as the judge not only to adjudicate your round fairly and to the best of my abilities, but to teach you something that you could do better next time to enhance your skills and arguments.

I have judged at high level competitions and in out-rounds at Harvard, Yale, Emory, Bronx, NFL/NSDA nationals, CFL nationals, Florida Blue Key, Crestian Tradition, Wake Forest and many others. This is my sixth year judging at Florida Blue Key. I always familiarize myself with the topic literature prior to each tournament. For this particular topic, I have already read about thirty articles. I pay attention to every detail in the round. I can flow our case as fast as you can say it… I will keep saying clear if you are not clear. I want to hear every word that you say as it matters in the round. You will never see me on FB or playing computer games in round. It makes me very angry to see that is common practice amongst the judges on the panels that I sit on. I take the round very seriously and I even flow CX. I care about your round and will do my absolute best to judge it as fairly as possible. (By the way, please don't text in a round that I am judging until you are waiting on the RFD- thanks.)

I try to be a tabula rasa judge; however, like everyone I do have certain dislikes and preferences.

FW Debate:

If you are going to engage in a FW debate then I expect you to present a value/value criterion framework with philosophical support for the position. I am especially familiar with Kant, Ripstein, Korsgaard, Rand, Aristotle, Locke, Rawls, Rousseau, Hobbes, Mill, Bentham, and probably a few others that I cannot think of off the top of my head. I expect detailed frameworks and contention level arguments that link to the framework. You cannot win on FW alone, unless it has offense sufficient to affirm or negate the resolution.


I like Ks when they are well-written and have an alt. I am familiar with Agamben, Butler, Baudrillard, D & G, Foucault, Hedva, Ahmed and some other random authors that I have come across since I started reading these books. Just ask me and I will let you know my level of familiarity with the arguments. If you decide to present a K, then provide me the link and alternative. It is insufficient to say, "reject Capitalism" and leave me hanging as to what happens after we reject it. On the ROTB/ROTJ args, you have to make them specific; don't just tell me that you win because you minimize oppression of minorities. Who? How? Also, please weigh your arguments against your opponent's FW or ROTB/ROTJ if they provided a different one. Don't tell me things like "they keep biting into my K" as some justification you expect to win on. Seriously- I need analysis of arguments, not just blippy responses that you think qualify as extensions or arguments against your opponent's args. If you make a blippy argument, then that is how I weigh the argument in the round- minimally. I know that your time is limited in round, especially in the 1ar, so I do take that into consideration.


I am fine with Plans and Counterplans. Please make sure that they are sufficiently developed. Please do not read generic DAs- make sure they are relevant and specific to the argument made by your opponent.

T, theory and misc.:

I am amenable to topicality arguments as they will probably be necessary to attack cases that fail to argue the resolution as stated. (I am not a huge fan of non-T affs unless they are predictable for the topic…or you can just be topical in some way.)

Don't just run a generic T arg because you expect that I will vote on it before your opponent's case. It has to be a legit violation. You have to try to clarify in CX and CX is binding. I am fine with theory ONLY to check abuse. I am not a fan of disclosure theory because it is harder for smaller programs/lone wolf debaters to be competitive when they are prepped out by larger programs. However, I do expect the Aff to email the entire Aff before reading the 1AC and the neg to email the NC that will be read prior to reading it, etc. I do expect debaters to flash cases and evidence in round or to provide hard copies. Also, T is different from theory. If you do not know the difference, then please do not argue with me after the round. I will explain the difference to you, but I won't engage in a lengthy debate with you on it. I get my fill of arguing in Court with pain in the a$$ attorneys. I expect you to address all of your opponent’s arguments and uphold your own in each of your speeches. No new arguments are allowed in rebuttals, but extensions and refutations of ongoing arguments are encouraged. Speaking quickly/spreading is acceptable if you slow down for the tag lines and key arguments; I will yell clear. However, your arguments need to make it onto my flow. I am a flow judge, but if I cannot understand you, then I cannot evaluate your arguments. You can flash me your case, but I do not want to rely on it. Communication is critical in the round. If I am reading your document, then I am not listening to you. I can read at home… I want to hear the arguments made in round.

LD as a sport:

LD is a sport. It requires hard work and endurance. You are an LDer because you choose to be. There is no other event like it in debate.

However, LD can also be toxic for some debaters who feel excluded, marginalized or bullied. Please make sure that you are courteous to your opponent. If you are debating a novice or an inexperienced varsity debater, please do not spread like you would in an out round. Try to adapt and win on the arguments. Just be kind to them so that they do not leave the event because they feel they cannot keep up. They may not have the private coaches that you do. It is tough on the circuit when you do not have the circuit experience because your school does not travel, or you do not have the funds to travel. Some debaters are in VLD, but do not have the experience that you do. If you are the better debater and have the better case, then you will win. We want to encourage all LDers because LD is truly the best event.

Please be considerate of triggers and of past experiences that your opponent may have suffered. It is not fun to judge a round where a competitor is crying or losing their cool because of something that is happening in round. No round is worth hurting someone else to win. Plus, if you act like a total d-bag and are so disrespectful that I am angry (which takes a lot to get me angry) then you will lose and be given low speaks.

Voters and what I like to vote on:

Please give me voters. It is helpful to me as the judge to see why you thought you won the round. If I think you are wrong, then I can tell you on the ballot and you will learn from it. If you are right and I agree with you, then I can use your voters in the RFD. I tend to vote on offense and who proves the truth or falsity of the resolution. I do not have a strong preference of aff or neg so do not expect me to default neg. However, the aff's burden of proof is a bit more difficult. Just be clear on why you affirm or negate. Finally, I do not necessarily strictly follow the "layers" of debate. So if you are curious as to what I will vote on first (in terms of theory, T, Ks, etc.), please ask me in the round. I always want debaters to be clear as to how I will evaluate the round.

Pet Peeves:

Please do not say "my opponent conceded the argument" when they really did not and please do not ask me if you can use the rest of your cx as prep. The answer is obviously “no.”

Speaker points at circuit tournaments:

When I award speaker points, I judge you based on quality of arguments you made in the round, your analysis and weighing as well as CX. CX is extremely important if you want to get top speaks. (At locals, I might inflate these a bit based on the competition.)

30- you are a top seed and have not dropped a round- you were perfect!

29.5- you are a top seed, have not dropped a round- you were almost perfect!

29- you are a top seed, maybe dropped a round- did an excellent job!

28.5- you are expected to break, dropped a round- did an excellent job!

28- you are expected to break, dropped a round or two- still did an excellent job!

27.5- you are probably 4-2 and did a good job.

27- you are probably 4-2 or 3-3 and just need to work on analysis, cx or other in round skills.

26- I am glad that you are at the tournament- keep working, go to camp and stay in this event because it is the best!

Ashley Murphy Paradigm

Head coach at Unionville High School. I mostly judge policy but spend a significant amount of time in PF and some in LD.

Congress (Updated for the 2020 TOC):

I mostly judge debate but have seen plenty of congress. I value clear warranting within each of your points-- don't just recite evidence, tell me why it is true. Keep rehashing to a minimum.


· Make it easy for me to see why you won and you'll probably win.

With More Words:

If you want the ballot, make clear, compelling and warranted arguments for why you should win. If you don’t provide any framework, I will assume util = trutil. If there is an alternate framework I should be using, explain it, warrant it, contextualize it, extend it.

Generally Tech>Truth but I also appreciate rounds where I don’t hate myself for voting for you. That being said, debate is an educational activity and rounds should be inclusive. Will vote down arguments that aren't.

I am open to pretty much anything you want to read but, in the interest of full disclosure, I think tricks debate sets a bad norm for debate.

General Stuff:

Most of this is standard but I'll say it anyways: Don’t extend through ink and pretend they "didn't respond". Don't oversimplify responses and, in the back half of the debate, make sure your extensions are responsive to the arguments made, not just rereading your cards. If they say something in cross that it is important enough for me to evaluate, make sure you say it in a speech. Line by line is important but being able to step back and explain the narrative/ doing comparative analysis makes it easier to vote for you.

Weighing is important and the earlier you set it up, the better. Terminalize your impacts and spend your time on analysis, not card dumping. Also, for the love of all that is good and holy, give a roadmap before you start/sign post as you are going. I will be happier; you will be happier; the world will be a better place.

Speed is fine but clarity is essential. Even if I have a speech doc, you'd do best to slow down on tags and analytics. Your speaks will be a reflection of your strategic choices, overall decorum and how clean your speeches are.

For PF: I don't require 1st summary to extend defense, but link/impact extensions should be in summary for me to evaluate them in final focus.

Evidence (PF):

Having evidence ethics is a thing. As a general rule, I prefer that your cards have both authors and dates. Paraphrasing makes me sad. Rounds where you need to spend more than 30 seconds pulling up a card make me more sad. I think that judges calling for cards at the end of the round leads to judge intervention. This is a test of your rhetoric skills, not my reading ability. However, if there is a piece of evidence that is being contested that you want me to read and you ask me to in a speech, I will. Just be sure to contextualize what that piece of evidence means to the round.

Why yes, I would like to be added to the email chain:

AMurphy@ucfsd.net (Side note: As Gen Zers, I have faith in you to successfully hit "reply all" when continuing an email chain. Don't let me down.)

A Final Note:

This is a debate round not a divorce court and your tone should match accordingly. If we are going to spend as many hours as we do at a tournament, we might as well not make it miserable.

Nicole Nave Paradigm

Nick D Nave

Baylor University

2017 Crowns United Boo!

enough said

Luke Newell Paradigm

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Tony Nguyen Paradigm

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Owen O'Donnell Paradigm

About Myself:  Father of a Princeton (NJ) High School Senior. I'm now in my fourth year judging Lincoln-Douglas, with a little experience as a Public Forum judge as well. Usually judge 5 to 8 tournaments a year.


Judging Philosophy:  A traditional parent judge looking for a straightforward debate on the issue--no ks, no theory, no debating the validity of the resolution itself. I want to see clash on opposing sides of the issue. Fewer contentions backed up by strong evidence is better than trying to overwhelm your opponent with items in the hope they drop one that you can extend across the flow. Signposting and voter issues always gratefully accepted. Keep speed conversational. Remember that I can't flow as fast as you can talk and if I have to ask you to slow down then I've already missed something.

Mathew Pregasen Paradigm

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Christian Quiroz Paradigm

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Deep Raj Paradigm

I am a parent judge who has been judging since 2014. I am your traditional parent judge who does some basic flowing. The easiest path to my ballot is through logical arguments and slow, articulate speaking. I know you don't want to see this, but I'm truth>tech. If your argument makes sense to me, I'll be happy to vote off of it. If your argument isn't well warranted and just doesn't make sense to me, don't expect for me to vote off of it. I know some basic debate jargon, but the less you use the better. Mutual respect in round is key, and if I see cheating in any way(such as using messaging platforms for help) I will automatically drop you.

Matthew Reale-Hatem Paradigm

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Yvonne Robbins Paradigm

Flow Judge - If it is not on my flow it does not exist in the round.

Speed is fine. Enjoy technically proficient debaters. Poor time allocation is a pet peeve of mine.

Will doc speakers for uncivil/ungracious opponents.

Coach (LD/PF)

Former LD/Policy/PF Debater

Andres Rosero Paradigm

Affiliations: Harrison High School, North Crowley High School

I debated LD at North Crowley for 4 years, primarily competing on the national circuit my last two years. I participated in vastly different levels of debate, from local lay debate to circuit debate. I graduated in 2015 and I am currently at NYU where I debate college policy.

Short: In high school I never really defined one type of argument that I liked, instead I tried out a wide variety of positions and that's what I found to be really rewarding. The debate round is most definitely yours, not mine, I'm only here to observe and make the best decision possible. (Shout out to T. Fife) That being said I think that whatever argument you go for, I need an articulation of how I evaluate it in the round. This means I need a basic articulation of the different layers of the debate round and how they interact or what mechanism I use to weigh between the layers.

Theory: I was never a theory debater, but oh how I admire those that pulled it off. I think that theory as a strategic tool has partly been a detriment to the community. That's not to say that I won't vote for it, I just don't believe nor endorse it to be a good model for debate. I love when theory is a response to actual abuse in the round, and I especially love seeing the innovative arguments debaters are making both to back theory and refute theory. On the RVI, I think that "in round" determines what the RVI means. I don't default any paradigmatic issue on theory, that is what the debate round is for.

Framework: I was always a big fan of framework debate and how cool it can be. I think that regardless of the structure, the framework needs to generate a weighing mechanism and then have offense that impacts back to that standard. If you go for framework, I need interaction with your opponent's argument. Saying you preclude or your framework is a prerequisite doesn't do much for me unless there is a warrant being contextualized. I was never a big fan of tricks, but you can do you!

Policy: The LARP/Policy style arguments can be so amazing if debaters just weighed (compared) between their evidence. If y'all have an all out util debate, I am going to be very impressed and probably very pleased. One thing, I find this debate can also be rather boring, so keep it lively for me. I debated some policy in highschool and I'm competing at a collegiate level as well, I understand the basic functions of all the arguments, however if you are going for a more nuanced policy position, I need an explanation of what it is you're doing.

Kritik: This was the argument I usually went for and I think it's a really inclusive/fun way to approach the round. Don't run a K in front of me unless that is what you are used to. Alternatives need to construct a world other than "reject the AC"... Last, if you're going to run a K, invest the most work on the link story, I like K's but I don't like recycled K's, make them topical and if you don't, explain to me why they don't need to be topical. Kritiks also need some sort of framework, whether it is a roll of the ballot, whether it is the 1AC fw, your impacts need to be impacting back to something, no?

Micropolitics/ROB/ROJ: I think there are good justifications for why the debate space is unique in an educational sense. If you are reading a ROB or ROJ argument, I need two components, what is the end goal of the activity? and what is unique about the round/judge that helps reach that aim? If you are reading a narrative, I ask that you receive consent from everyone in the room and label any trigger warnings if necessary. I think that micropolitical positions help us understand what counts as offense in the round, or more generally how I approach the evaluation of the round. If you read a ROB/ROJ but don't use it to constrain or filter impacts later in the round, I will be very sad and disappointed in you.

Speed/Speaks: Speed is fine, I ask that you start at slightly less than your fastest speed and build up. If you have charisma, dynamism, or any strong personality, I ask that you use it in your favor and bring that to the round. Also, I think that speaks are not only a measure of presentation but of strategy. If you make a hella strategic argument than you'll get rewarded with higher speaks. Speaker points also indicate your interaction with your opponent, I won't condone any racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, or oppressive arguments or interactions. If you're acting like an awful person, you'll get awful speaks. I will try to average 28 for speaker points, (hopefully) Also, if you're going to read a section of spikes, or an argument that is going to be pivotal for your strategy in the later speeches, I would slow down and be clear. If I don't flow it, I won't be able to vote on it. This is true for any type of advocacy text, (plan text, standards, theory/T interps)

In round ethics: I think we can all agree that the debate round is a place for education, or at the very least it is an academic activity. As such, I think it is very importatnt to adhere to academia standards. Any misrepresentation of evidence, (shadily cut cards, rewording of articles, etc.) will cause an automatic loss. Further, I think that debate requires a reciprocal sharing of evidence, if one of you flashes or shares case, the other has to do the same.

Hall of Fame; This is a list of people I was very fond of in terms of their style of judging and just generally good people- Travis Fife, Michael Harris (CA), Bekah Boyer, Terrence Lonam, and Mark Gorthey

Any questions about how I evaluated a round, any help I can offer, or any concerns in general can be directed to my email at ar4341@nyu.edu or if you see me at a tournament, talk to me in person.

Kathy Ruppert Paradigm

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Aniruddho Sanyal Paradigm

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Carrie Schellenberger Paradigm

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Dan Shafir Paradigm

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Daniel Shatzkin Paradigm

Email: Daniel.shatzkin@gmail.com

Been around debate for 15+ years I'm fine with speed as long as you're clear. I can understand spreading at high speed unfortunately time is catching up to me and I can’t write/type as fast as I once could so I'll say clearer or slower a few times as needed in order to make sure I can actually flow what’s necessary.

Lincoln Douglas

Run what you want as long as it isn't frivolous theory, or an argument that is disrespectful. You should be topical, I default to reasonability but I'm willing to evaluate T and theory however you tell me to. K's should have specific links not just ones of omission. Potential abuse probably won't get my vote on a theory shell.


I haven't judged policy regularly in about 5-6 years so my knowledge on the current k lit and common off case positions is pretty low. Aff's should be about the topic even if they don't have explicit plan texts. If you can tell my how you're addressing the topic you're probably ok. I default to being a policy maker but I'll vote on pretty much everything as long as it's a reasonably topical aff or the neg arguments have explicit links and are logical and understandable. I tend to prefer classic case, da, cp strategies but I'm willing to vote for the K if it's well explained. Avoid frivolous theory and T arguments like OSPEC please.

Garrett Shum Paradigm

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Bob Shurtz Paradigm

PF Paradigm: I am an experienced PF judge on the national circuit. I judge primarily on impacts. You need to give a clear link story backed up with logic and evidence. Framework is important. Weighing is very important. It is better to acknowledge that your opponent may be winning a certain argument and explain how the impacts you are winning outweigh than it is to ignore that argument made by your opponent. Don't extend through ink. If your opponent attacks your argument you need to respond to that attack and not just repeat your original argument. I don't mind rapid conversational speed - especially while reading evidence, but no spreading. I will keep a good flow and judge primarily off the flow, but let's keep PF as an event where persuasive speaking style, logic, evidence, and refutation are all important. Also let's keep PF distinct from national circuit LD and national circuit policy - let's avoid kritiks, disads, plans, counterplans and theory arguments.

LD Paradigm: I am an experienced LD judge. I do prefer traditional style LD. I am, however, OK with plans and counter-plans and I am OK with theory arguments concerning analysis of burdens. I am not a fan of Kritiks. I will try to be open to evaluate arguments presented in the round, but I do prefer that the debate be largely about the resolution instead of largely centered on theory. I am OK with fast conversational speed and I am OK with evidence being read a little faster than fast conversational as long as tag lines and analysis are not faster than fast conversational. I do believe that V / VC are required, but I don't believe that the V / VC are voting issues in and of themselves. That is, even if you convince me that your V / VC is superior (more important, better linked to the resolution) than your opponent's V / VC that is not enough for me to vote for you. You still need to prove that your case better upholds your V / VC than your opponent's case does. To win, you may do one of three things: (1) Prove that your V / VC is superior to your opponent's AND that your case better upholds that V / VC than your opponent's case does, OR (2) Accept your opponent's V / VC and prove that your case better upholds their V/VC than their case does. OR (3) Win an "even-if" combination of (1) and (2).

CX Paradigm: I am an experienced LD and PF judge (nationally and locally). I have judged policy debate at a number of tournaments over the years - including the final round of the NSDA national tournament in 2015. However, I am more experienced in PF and LD than I am in policy. I can handle speed significantly faster than the final round of NSDA nationals, but not at super-fast speed. (Evidence can be read fast if you slow down for tag lines and for analysis.) Topicality arguments are fine. I am not a fan of kirtiks or critical affs.

Yuan Song Paradigm

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Lily Sun Paradigm

I debated LD on the national circuit for four years at Walt Whitman High School + graduated in 2015. I've been out of the game for a while so please keep that in mind. I'm currently coaching Montgomery Blair PZ and Montgomery Blair CZ.

My judging paradigm is pretty much in line with Emily Massey's paradigm:


Please weigh!

Christian Tarsney Paradigm

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Maryam Tazari Paradigm

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Jacob Thomas Paradigm

I judge a fair number of circuit tournaments but I'm not up on the latest literature (k or otherwise) and I'm certainly not the judge you want if you depend on hyper-technical debate.

With that being said, I'm fairly good with speed, but add me to the email chain.

I try to be tab - I'll analyze what you read to the best of my ability.

Here are some things you ought to know:

I tend not to vote off spikes or any type of paragraph theory.

I have no idea what "comes first" in a round. Make sure you offer weighing. Otherwise, it could be a coin flip.

While I will read all cards, I won't interpret them. It is up to you to tell me why your opponent misuses or super-charges a card.

I don't mind T/Theory, especially when warranted, but I'm not a huge fan of theory for offense. I will try to stay tab on it, but you should be aware of my predisposition. I tend to buy fairness arguments more than education arguments, which I find to be a wash.

I'm not a huge fan of mind-shift change alts, mostly because I tend not to understand them. You can run it, and I will engage with it, but I'm not that smart.

Since I'm not that smart, offer clear voters and weighing.

I don't care if you stand, sit, or do handstands. Actually, I might give you higher speaks if you can deliver a speech from the handstand position.

I really don't like people taking a long time getting a file together to email it. I'm reasonable about it, but you ought to be reasonable as well.

I will dock your speaks if you're a jerk. This has a low threshold - go out of your way to be nice.

I don't like people who shout over their opponents in CX. You should try to control the cross, but don't depend on volume to do it.

I don't have a set view on disclosure. I will evaluate the arguments you make, for and against.

I don't know if I have anything that I default to - take that for what it's worth.

my email: thomasj@newtown.k12.ct.us

Marshall Thompson Paradigm

Paradigm Updated 8/2/2018

Email: marshall@victorybriefs.com


I graduated from Walt Whitman high-school in 2011. I have been coaching debate fairly regularly since then and currently direct curriculum at VBI. My debaters have consistently gotten to late elims at major national tournaments including TOC.

In my non-debate life I am pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at Florida State University. My primary area of focus is in ethics and the nature of persons. I work in the analytic philosophical tradition with a focus on the work of Elizabeth Anscombe.


I am conflicted from Harrison HS, Hunter College and Cambridge Rindge Latin.

5-Min Before Round Paradigm (how i'm different from the average judge)

1. I am more interventionist than most circuit judges. I am willing to do work to not vote on extremely silly arguments. Arguments I have admitted to doing work to avoid voting on include:

- Drop the debater because they read dates after their card names, rather than numbering the cards with the same author name.

- Prefer aff offense on any given layer, extended as saying aff always win weighing.

- 'I meet' I did not read that argument, I extemped it.

- They forgot to say 'I meet' on theory, even though they did indeed extend a plan text.

That said, I am probably more willing than most judges to deviate from mere community convention when it comes to argumentation. For example, I am quite receptive to arguments that the affirmative should get intrinsicness perms and that philosophical frameworks frame theory offense.

2. I am worse at flowing than perhaps any other circuit judge. I'm extremely dyslexic/dysgraphic and my flows tend to be extremely poor even when typing them. However, I can follow the vast majority of rounds, even fairly technical rounds, pretty well in my head. So, you can still be technical however it will be important to spend more time in the 2ar and 2nr doing big picture analysis and comparison than it is for most circuit judges (and for most judges it is more important than students seem to realize).

3. You should win the round because you can beat your opponent's arguments, not because your opponent cannot make arguments. This means if you read super complex Ks against a novice your speaks will suffer a lot. In general, if you structure the debate in a way that you should have known your opponent could not engage you speaks will be capped at 26.

4. I hold positions to a higher standard of clarity and explanation than most judges. I not only need to understand your position when you first read it (and I have no problem admitting when I do not), but the explanation has to be good enough that I think it is reasonable for a reasonably well-informed high-school student to understand the argument. Thus, if you say 'Morality’s directives can only be categorically binding if they are constitutive of agency, as otherwise they are escapable' that is not an adequate explanation of the argument. The only reason I know what that means, is because I know the actual argument that it's a placeholder for. Similarly, if you say 'prefer competing interpretations because it prevents a race to the bottom and reasonability is arbitrary' I will not fill in for you the many missing internal links and extrapolation needed for that to mean something.

5. You can answer preemptive arguments after they are extended and applied. You don't need to answer them in the first speech. E.g. you can answer AC spikes in the 2nr, or NC spikes in the 2ar.

6. Preptime ends when you remove the flash drive from your computer, or when you hit send on the email. Compiling speech docs is on time.

7. Some debaters are unclear when they spread. Others are just going too fast for the complexity of the arguments. If you are unclear I will say 'clear'. If you are going too fast for how complex your argument is I will either say 'slow' or 'AURGHBLUGGGGG' in a distraught tone.

8. [Update midway through apple valley] I have found that I functionally cap negative speaks at 28.5 if you go for more than two distinct levels of offense in the 2nr. I think collapsing is a non-negotiable component of good debating which speaker points are designed to reflect.

Broader Paradigmatic Considerations: Things I believe but will still do my best to decide on the flow

Theory/T Beliefs

A) The Aff should be topical.

B) Many LD resolutions are generics, and many 'plans' don't prove generics true.

C) There is no good argument for the RVI.

D) Theoretical advantages should not replace substantive argumentation. E.g. this FW is super educational should not be able to be a warrant for your ethical theory (note that many Role of the Ballots have this same problem).

E) Framework argument can, and should be, applied to theory debates. If util is false, than deterrence is probably not a good reason to drop the debater on theory.

F) Ad hoc interpretations are bad.

G) Most theory is not drop the debater. The sensible conclusion is normally drop the argument or something else.

H) Something being difficult to answer does not make it unfair. Similarly, proving a theoretical assumption of the aff is false, does not prove the aff did something unfair in making that theoretical claim.

K Beliefs

A)The Aff should be topical.

B) K arguments that talk about what the debater should have done I tend to think about as theory shells. Ks that talk about what the government should have done I tend to think about as a dis ad + a counterplan.

C) Reasons the affirmative ethical theory is bad, is normally not a reason the affirmative loses. Just a reason we should assess the resolution under a different ethical theory. Obviously this is not universal nor incontestable.

D) If your K can result in the action of the aff then you need to say so in the NC. The K solves the aff offense by resulting in the aff is new if made in the 2nr.

Policy Beliefs

A) Condo is fine in most situations as are intrisicness perms (though you cannot fiat into the future, only within the timeframe suggested by the resolution).

B) Uniqueness arguments are probabilistic, not absolute. For example, suppose a republican win in the house and senate will certainly lead to extinction, and a democratic win in either will certainly prevent that extinction. Now imagine two cases. First, the neg wins republican win is likely now (about 60%) and a link that increases the republican chance of winning (moving democrat chances down to 40%). Here the aff has increased the chance of extinction by 20%. However, suppose that the aff reads cards on uniqueness showing a republican win is actually more likely (so the chance of dem's win starts at 40%). Still if the link evidence is the same strength (and so move the dem's chances to 20%) the impact is still the same (affirming increases the chance of extinction by 20%).

Becca Traber Paradigm

My email is beccatraber (at) gmail (dot) com. I want to be on the email chain. I don't disclose speaks.

I debated on the national circuit for the Kinkaid School, graduated 2008. I've been coaching and teaching on the national circuit since. I am finishing my dissertation at Yale University in Political Theory and continuing to help coach Lake Highland Prep and Success when I can.

I try to be as tab as possible, but we all know, a truly tabula rasa judge is impossible. Just know that everything I'm about to say is simply a preference and not a rule; given a warranted argument, I will shift off of just about any position that I already have or that your opponent gave me. The following are thoughts on specific issues of interest to many debaters, in only the vaguest order.

Speed: I have no problem with spreading -- all I ask is that you are still clear enough to follow. What this means is that you need to have vocal variation and emphasis on important parts of your case, like card names and key arguments.

Threshold for Extensions: If I am able to understand the argument and the function of it in the context of the individual speech, it is extended. I do appreciate explicit citation of card names, for flowing purposes.

ROB/LD FW: I prefer an explicit ROB and/or standard defended as a framework for evaluating the round. I do not have a preference as to what the ROB is, as long as it capable of filtering offense. I am willing and able to judge tricks debate or k debate. When civilizations clash, I regularly vote in both directions.

Policy FW/T-Must-Be-Topical: I regularly vote both that affs must be topical and that they don't have to be. I regularly coach in both directions. I think the question is very interesting and honestly one of my favorite parts of debate--when done interestingly and with specific interaction with the content of the aff.

Disclosure: Is by now a pretty solid norm and I recognize that. I have voted many times on particular disclosure interps, but in my heart of hearts think the ways that most people handle disclosure competing interps tends to lead to regress.

CX: CX is really important to me, please use it. You have very little chance of fantastic speaker points without a really good cross-x. I would prefer if y'all don't use CX as prep, although I have no problems with questions being asked during prep time (Talk for at least three minutes: feel free to talk the rest of the time, too). If you are getting a concession you want to make absolutely sure that I write down, get eye-contact and repeat to me what you view the concession as.

Do not be unnecessarily mean. It is not very persuasive. It will drop your speaks. Be mindful of various power-dynamics at play in the room. Something I am particularly bothered by is the insistence that a marginalized debater does not understand their case, particularly when it is framed like: [male coach] wrote this for you, right [female debater]? Or isn't there a TVA, [Black debater], you could have used [white debater's] advocacy. Feel free to mention specific cases that are topical, best not to name drop. I can't think of an occasion when it is appropriate to explicitly challenge the authorship or understanding of a particular argument.

When debating someone significantly less experienced: your speaks will benefit from explaining your arguments as straightforwardly as you can. I won't penalize you for the first speeches, but in whatever speech happens after the differences in experience level becomes clear, you should treat them almost as a pedagogical exercise. Win the round, but do so in a way where you aren't only trying to tell me why you win the round, but you're trying to make sure your opponent also understands what is happening.

Theory: I'm willing to listen to either reasonability or competing interpretations. I don't assume either fairness or jurisdiction as axiomatic voting issues, so feel free to engage on that level of the theory debate. I do really enjoy a well-developed theory argument, just make sure you are holding to the same standards of warranting here that I demand anywhere. Internal links between the standards and the interpretation, and the standards and the voter, are both key. Make sure you have a robust interpretation that isn't simply the same thing as the violation, particularly if you are going under competing interpretations paradigm. I love a good counter interp that is more than defending the violation--those result in strategic and fun rounds.

"Don't Evaluate After The 1ar": Feel free to run these arguments if you want, but know that my threshold is extremely high for "evaluate debate after [speech that is not the 2ar]." It is very difficult to persuade me to meaningfully do this. A better way to make this argument would be to tell me what sort of responses I shouldn't permit and why. For instance, new paradigm issues bad, cross-apps bad, no embedded clash, no new reasons for [specific argument] -- all fine and plausible. I just don't know what it means to actually stop evaluating later speeches. Paradigmatically, speech times are speech times and it makes no sense to me why I should obviate some of your opponent's time for any in round reason. If you have a specific version of this argument you want to check with me, feel free to do so before round.

K&Phil Debate: Kritikal debate, phil/framework debate, and high theory debate are all my favorites. I don't see them as different as all that, on the whole, and enjoy judging them all. I am familiar with a wide variety of critical literature.

Accessibility note for performances: If you don't flash the exact text of your speech, please do not play any additional sounds underneath your speaking. If there is sound underneath your speaking, please flash the exact text of what you are reading. I do not want to undermine the performance you want to engage in and whichever option you prefer is fine for me. It is fine to have part of your speech be on paper with music underneath and then turn the music off when you go off paper. I struggle to understand what is being said over noise and I'm uncomfortable being unable to know what is being said with precision.

Presumption: I don't default any particular way. I am willing to listen to presumption arguments which would then make me default, given the particular way the round shakes down, but my normal response to a round where no one meets their burden is to lower my standards until one person does meet their burden. Now, I hate doing this and it makes me grumpy, so expect lower speaker points in a situation where nobody meets their burden and nobody makes an argument about why I should presume any which way. This just points to the need to clearly outline my role and the role of my ballot, and be precise as to how you are meeting it.

Alyssa Turk Paradigm

I was a public forum debater in high school and have coached PF debaters since then.

I am a flow judge. I can follow speed, but I would prefer you only use it when necessary.

I have a few things you should keep in mind:

I evaluate the rounds based on the framework provided by debaters.

When extending evidence, extend the warrant not just the author (because sometimes I don't write down the tag and just the warrant).

Everything in final focus must also be in summary speech.

I do not flow crossfires. If you make an argument in crossfire or your opponent concedes an argument in crossfire, you must say it in a speech in order for me to count it.

**Although I am a flow judge, I reserve the right to forfeit my flow (and vote like a lay judge) if competitors are offensive, bullying, or just unnecessarily rude.

Sweyn Venderbush Paradigm

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Nick Walsh Paradigm

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Alexis Williams Paradigm

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Zhang Paradigm

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Paul Zhou Paradigm

Can't Judge: Stuyvesant, Lexington

Background: I debated for 4 years at Lexington and competed almost exclusively on the national circuit.

I coached for Stuyvesant from 2014-2017 and also helped out some former students for TOC 2018. I haven't judged since that tournament and have 0 content knowledge about the topic.

I think part of what makes debate great is its incredible openness. Given that fact, I am fine with speed, theory, policy-style argumentation, dense framework arguments, kritiks, performance, tricks, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Debate is your game. Play it how you want to.

Feel free to message me with any questions at pzhou@wesleyan.edu

Some judges that influenced me: Sam Azbel