Gonzaga University HS Tournament Conway Classic

2016 — WA/US

Annie AX Marple Paradigm

6 rounds

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Ola Adewale Paradigm

2 rounds

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MacLean Andrews Paradigm

3 rounds

MacLean Andrews—Gonzaga Prep

I debated policy in high school and NPDA/NPTE parli at Point Loma. I then coached NPDA/NPTE at PLNU. I am now the Director of Forensics at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, WA. I mostly coach and judge high school CX and LD now. I see debate as an academic game and that’s how I will judge the round. Please feel free to ask me any questions before the round or email me if you have questions while filling out pref sheets (first initial last name at gprep.com)

1.Speaker points

  1. 28-29.9 usually.

2.Critical Arguments

  1. I think there are critical implications to every speech act. Affirmative cases, topicalities, procedurals, kritiks, and performances can all be critically analyzed if the teams take the debate there. I am more than willing to listen to any type/kind of arguments but nothing will make me cringe more than a bad K debate. In the end it is up to the debaters in the round to tell me what framework I am to use to evaluate the round.


  1. I tend to see T through a competing interpretations framework unless told so otherwise. I used to say that I have a fairly high threshold for T but I am finding myself voting for it more and more. If it is the best strategy you have to win the round go for it.


  1. I am willing to listen to all theory arguments as long as a team can give me a reason to vote on the position. Theory positions should have a framework/interp, arguments for your position, and voters/impacts. Simply stating fairness or education as voting issues usually isn’t enough to win. Impact out why fairness or education or (insert voter) is important.

5.Weighing Arguments

  1. I will default to Net Bens…but if you want to use an alternative weighing mechanism please explain and provide justification for it.
  2. I appreciate it when weighing is done in the speeches. The last thing you want is for me to have to weigh your arguments for you.

7.Random Thoughts

  1. Speed is great if clear.
  2. The round is for the debaters, do what you have to do to win. I will try to adapt to you instead of you adapting to me.
  3. Impact calc wins debates
  4. Debate should be fun.

Nick Anthony Paradigm

6 rounds

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Bryan Baker Paradigm

6 rounds

I'm a pretty lax tab judge. I did policy for three years in high school, and I am currently a Parli debater at the University of North Dakota (GO SIOUX), so I've been around the block and I'll hear out any argument. Though when I say that, you had better warrant those damn arguments, or I'm gonna pull out my hair. And your gonna lose speaks, or worse, the round. Kritiks are fine, don't assume I know all the literature, and don't assume that I have any ideological biases towards any of the literature. You're gonna have to do the legwork on impacting and weighing all the non-quantifiable impacts, if you do you will probably win me over.  I do have a soft spot in my heart for T args, and most framework for that matter, just make sure you can showcase abuse, or I'm probably not gonna be persuaded to vote for you. If you can make me care about or enjoy the round, you're gonna get higher speaks, so defintely plan on referencing Fetty Wap at least three times ;^)

Sam Basler Paradigm

6 rounds

Sam Basler (Policy Coach @ Iowa City High/Iowa City West High)

West Des Moines Valley class of ‘15
Gonzaga class of '19 (2x NDT Qualifier)

Coached at Valley - 3 years

I'm currently getting my masters in Sports and Recreation Management from the University of Iowa

2N Then a 2A then a 2N
Last Updated: 9/22/2019

This is a living breathing document

Tl;dr – You do you, and I will vote for the team that wins.

As I judge I have come to realize I agree with my father (David Basler) more and more ... some of this is stolen from his paradigm.

The Basics:
Speed is ok.
T, theory and Ks ok
Be kind to your opponents, your partner and the judge.
I will not be on Facebook during c/x.

I do not follow along with the email chain ... keep that in mind when reading important texts and theory

When you are done with prep you should be ready to speak. Too much stopping prep, thinking about args, and then starting prep again is occurring.

Cites are getting sketchier and sketchier and I don't like it.

Example of a bad cite:


Spanos 11 (www.kdebate.com/spanos.html)

Example of a good cite:


Astley 87 (Rick, Singer/Songwriter, "Never Gonna Give You Up", Whenever You Need Somebody, 1987, RCA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ, Accessed 9/22/19)

About Me:

I think this section is necessary because no judge is truly “tabula rasa” Basically everything on here is my personal views on debate and the way I look at it. This is your activity and you make the rules … so you should have the debate you want to have.

I debated for West Des Moines Valley for 5 Years and then I debated at Gonzaga for four years. I have probably seen or heard whatever you could possibly imagine debated at least once.

Specific Arguments:
The Criticism (Don’t worry I put it first so you didn’t have to scroll all the way to the bottom)

Go for it! Good K debate is something that can be really enjoyable to watch and they can be really strategic if done right. You get credit for the arguments you make no more no less. Interpreting f/w debates on the K flow gets kind of tricky because a lot of times it becomes a wash with neither team really making it an offensive reason to vote for them (which is a real shame because chances are if you win framework you will win the debate). Use f/w to … I don’t know… frame the debate! If the 1AC didn’t defend their reps and you think I should vote them down tell me why I should. A well done f/w debate can totally shift the outcome of the K flow. That being said I have a high threshold for excluding all K’s from debate, as I personally believe the 1AC should be able to defend their reps/method. A K has three parts that in order for the neg to win all need to be in the 2NR -- some Ks dont need alts to win -- . (You may have the most kickass link card to heg but that’s irrelevant in a world where you don’t win an impact.)

Perms - the aff gets them (test of competition).

4 min O/V’s are not necessary and !!!! sealed I won’t flow them sealed !!!! … JUST DO IT ON THE LINE BY LINE. (Seriously ... don't test me)

Reading dense philosophical texts at 350 words per minute is not helpful to comprehension. As I try not to intervene as a judge, I am not going to give you the benefit of everything I know about a particular philosopher, theory argument or a particular policy option. You need to explain your arguments.


Topicality debates can be great … if you don’t just read your pre-written blocks. I feel like 90% of topicality debates happen at top speed with the judge arbitrarily deciding whether or not the aff is topical. Read less 2 word definitions and standards and expand your arguments, and you will be surprised at the results.


Condo good/bad at high speed is also not fun for the judge. However, when I do vote on theory, in round abuse is usually why.

Personal opinions:

Condo – one or two is probably fine but I can be convinced otherwise ... the more you read the more abusive it gets

Dispo – probably condo

Severance/Intrinsic Perms – win why its good or bad

Process CP’s – Ehh ... the more specific the better and more legit

PIC’s/PIK’s – YES PLEASE … if and only if they are specific to the aff

Neg Fiat - why do we all just assume the neg gets fiat?

CPs should probably have a solvency advocate


I will vote for aff’s that don’t read plan texts …. I will also vote against them on framework. I view framework debates pretty much identically with how I view T debates.

When it comes to framework, I will listen to arguments in support of any position, but if neither team wins the framework debate I will default to the question on the ballot- "I believe the better debating was done by ..." Framework against K affs is usually just a topicality argument (or what I call "topiKality"). I will vote against a K aff if you win offensive reasons as to why the aff is bad.

If I need a “new sheet for the overview” – chances are I will be angry and you will see your speaks go down … seriously do it on the line by line.

K Aff’s

You should probably talk about the topic … but how you do that Music? Poetry? Anther method? I’m all ears!

Sure. It is your community. I like the idea that you get to write the rules. Dance, sing or drum like there is nobody watching. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItZyaOlrb7E


The more aff specific the better. Two words really shape the DA flow … IMPACT CALCULUS. If you win the aff is worse that the status quo I will vote negative. Truth > Tech (for the most part) Spin > evidence. Turns case/da analysis should be your best friend.


Pretty self-explanatory ... they need a net benefit. Make sure they are competitive. I won't kick them for you unless you tell me specifically to do that.

See note in theory about solvency advocates.

Case Debate

YES PLEASE! – Case debate is the most underutilized/underappreciated silver bullet in debate. A good case debate is far more valuable than any other argument in debate. I’d rather you read more cards on case than read 7 off.

Heg good. Heg bad. Hackers read your email, so they know how you really feel, but I am cool with whatever.


Clarity> Speed

Funny> dry

Charisma> monotonous reading

Jokes/Puns can really help speaker points (but please make sure they are good)

Good cross-ex can improve speaker points and even end debates.

Bad cross-ex can put me to sleep.

Two of the best tips for anyone who debates:

1) Don’t double breathe

2) Slow down to go faster

Q: Can I use the bathroom? Can I get a drink?

A: Yes




Other things I have stolen from my Dad -

If you are clear, I will be able to flow you. However, though speaking quickly has become a community norm in policy debate, debate is still fundamentally about the quality of your advocacy and communication. I think it is my job as a judge to say who was winning on my flow when time expired. I don't want your speech document and if your delivery is unclear that means I will won't have your argument on my flow. This also means I will rarely call for cards unless there is a disagreement over what the card says or I don't know how else to decide the debate.

"I wanna go fast."- Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, 2006

I do not require a team to use prep time to flash their speech to the other team. Don't steal prep time while the other team is flashing you their arguments. Also, if you still need to re-order all of your papers when you get up to the podium, you are still prepping.

Even though I believe the sarcastic slow-clap to be an underutilized method of cross-ex, I expect you to be respectful and courteous to your opponents, your partner and to the judge. I can assure you that the best advocates out in the real world (whether they are trial attorneys, lobbyists, politicians, activists, writers, Comedy Central talk show hosts, etc.) understand the difference between vigorous disagreement in a debate forum and mutual respect and even admiration outside of that forum. I believe in a debate round we should all strive to disagree agreeably, and as soon as the round is over the disagreement should end.

"Gretchen, I'm sorry I laughed at you that time you got diarrhea at Barnes & Nobles." - Karen Smith, Mean Girls, 2004

If something is totally counter-intuitive and empirically false, telling me that (you have to speak the words) is probably enough to defeat an argument. However, I also like it when people take counter-intuitive positions and explain why they are true, even if our first instinct is to reject them. But yeah...try not to drop shtuff.

I have nothing but respect for young people who choose to use their free time developing their critical thinking skills and engaging in an academic exercise like debate. It will serve you well in life, whatever you choose to do, and this is why I place such a high value on the activity. I promise you I will do my best to be fair, constructive, encouraging and engaged.

Jenna Bauer Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated at Gonzaga, Currently Judging for Gonzaga

I did primarily CP/DA/Case debate in college and that's what I'm familiar with.  I'm helping out with research at Gonzaga this year so I'm fairly familiar with the climate college topic.  This is what I think that I think about debate, but I intend to continue updating as I judge more and learn more about what I think. 

Affs: I like plans that defend the hypothetical implementation of the plan and are topical.  You can read your other affs in front of me but I'm more inclined to think that reading a topical plan is important and good for debate.  At the very least you should have a stasis point that is in the direction of the topic and then tell me why that's important. 

Ks: I'm most familiar with gender based Ks, I do not know much about this area in general and I will not understand you if you throw out a bunch of buzzwords.  If you want to read a K, I like a clearly articulated and specific alternative that does something and explains to me why that thing is important.  I am inclined to believe things can always get worse.  If you are set on going for your K, make sure your explanation is on point and your links are specific to the aff. 

DAs: I like them, I'm willing to assign 0 risk of a DA, especially if the link is really bad. I do a lot of elections/politics work.  I will still vote for you if I know your DA is a lie and the other team doesn't call you on it, but I won't be happy about it. 

CPs: I have always been a 2N - I lean a little negative on CP theory, but you should point out when you think they’re cheating and can definitely win if you debate the theory well.

***Added after recieving an email for clarification on my thoughts on Topicality - response below****


Short version: Affs that Intend to be T, I can be persuaded either way, but most likely lean a little neg. I dislike affs that never intended to be T and am likely to be persuaded by framework.  

This topic in my opinion has the potential to be really large or really small depending on the 'acceptable standards' that the community sets on affs that are intending to be topical so your questions are important to me and I hope to answer them well.

Framing for how I think about T - I have always been a 2N and tend to be slightly neg leaning on most things. However, T was never really my A strategy except against teams that were blatantly non-topical so my bias might not be as apparent in this area. 

Topicality for affs that intend to be T - I would say at the beginning of the year I'm more willing to listen to all affs and hear what they think a reasonable interpretation of the topic should be, but I think limits are important especially on this topic.  I can definitely be persuaded either way. While I think aff creativity is important, the research burden for the neg is also a major concern for me.   

Topicality for affs that don't intend to be T - I don't like when teams do not have plans.  No plan at all is probably a non-starter for me because it doesn't meet the requirements I list below in the stasis point section.   

- Distinction between Framework and Topicality: When I debated I made a distinction between Framework and Topicality.  A lot of people don't think there's a distinction, obviously. I think the distinction is based on the explanation of the link to the argument and the impact. Framework, for me seemed to be about what kind of educational paradigms are endorsed, whereas T was more about the effects on the topic and debatability for the neg.  These are in many ways artificial distinctions, and both T and framework are often deployed as encompassing both these arguments because different teams have different conceptions of what framework means.  Because of this, I'm fine with whatever teams want to call it - Framework or T - and however you explain it is how I will judge.  If you would like to separate T and framework and read them both that's also fine with me both can persuade me.  

- Stasis point: When reading/debating a non-topical aff the most important thing to me is that there is a stable controversy that isn't one sided that both teams are prepared to debate.  If the negative wins that these conditions do not exist I am very likely to pull the trigger on T/Framework.  In order to meet all the requirements above, I think it's necessary to be at the very least in the direction of the topic so the neg can debate the aff.  I value in-depth debate of the affirmative and give a lot of weight to "topical" versions of the aff in these debates.   

*****End email*****

In general, you should be kind to everyone in the round. I really really don’t like rudeness. Especially when it is directed at your partner.  





Breean Beggs Paradigm

3 rounds

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Brenton Bennett Paradigm

6 rounds


1: This is copied and pasted from Micheal Antonucci's paradigm but is still 95% accurate for how I will judge debates

2: Judging philosophies lie. This document is probably inaccurate in some parts, because judges’ self-perception can never perfectly correspond with their actual behavior.

3: This document outlines some things I think about debate, but it isn’t a rulebook (except for the part conveniently labeled RULEBOOK.)

4: For the most part, debaters should determine the curriculum.


I value this activity as a means to develop wide and interdisciplinary student expertise about public policy through communicative interaction.*

Most of my judging preferences can be derived by parsing this statement.

--“Student expertise” –

I care about which team actually knows their business better. I want to vote for the smartest people in the room, although I often don’t.

Debate produces undergraduates who can meaningfully interact with policy analysts, critical race theorists, academics, dedicated community activists, lawyers, etc. about their specialized fields. I’m proud of my participation in that enterprise, and that pride determines my commitment to your activity.

There’s an implied converse. I only care about your coaches’ expertise insofar as you’ve successfully internalized it. I care about your cards, but I view them as a means to an end. I care about your work ethic, but evidence quality isn’t automatically the best barometer of that ethic. If one team displays superior command of their materials and synthesizes that command with a deeper and more general expertise, I’m loath to vote against them because their cards aren’t quite as strongly conclusive.

Of course, cards still matter. If you’re going for politics and your uniqueness cards are comparatively worse, I’m not going to vote for you because you said some smart historical stuff about the Carter administration.

If, however, you seem incapable of or uninterested in explaining your arguments in the cross-examination, or if you rely entirely upon card lists and tag recycling in last rebuttals, I might not be your guy. Cards support arguments, but they don’t make arguments.

People make arguments to other people.

--“Wide and interdisciplinary” -

Debate can’t rival the depth or intensity of entirely specialized programs. If you want to learn as much as possible about the law, for instance, you should go to law school. Some of you will.

Debate’s better than mock trial, though, because it draws on a wider range of disciplines and creates the conditions for some interactions between them.

This obviously matters most for debates between students with differing bodies of knowledge.

It’s tough to win my ballot in those debates if you’re vehemently on the side of exclusion – in either direction. It’s much more compelling if you couch your arguments in terms of prioritization.

It’s tough to persuade me that philosophy questions should be excluded entirely based on fairness concerns. It’s much easier to persuade me that topicality is a precondition to commensurability. That’s especially true if your vision of the topic still creates some real room for interdisciplinary discussions.

I also find wholesale exclusion of a particular affirmative’s truth claims tough to swallow. If an affirmative ballot endorses a policy that prevents an imminent extinction, I find it hard to dismiss the impact as wholly irrelevant. Your negative criticism needs to meaningfully interact with the affirmative’s truth claims. Presuming no dropped arguments, my decisions in these rounds will tend to revolve around the relative merits of different methodologies far more often than they’ll revolve around arbitrarily a priori claims.

Alternatives aren’t counterplans.

--“about public policy” –

‘Public policy’ is potentially a very expansive term, as is ‘about.’

--“Interaction” –

Clash is good. Clash can be embedded or technical or much more loosely associative, but you need to assemble the puzzle instead of simply throwing pieces at me and expecting me to assemble them in some implied 3AR/3NR. I’m not wedded to a linear flowing model, but I do think it helps to promote clash.

--“Communicative” -

I’ve previously shied away from vocally managing incomprehensibility. I’m going to give signals now, though. I’m raising my bar, so I owe you all some clarity in my expectations.

I find debaters hard to understand when they slur, run all their words together or speak robotically. Intonation guides comprehension. When you read that crucial scripted overview like it’s a card, I’m getting very little down.

If I say “clear,” you’re slurring or mumbling or something. If I say “I don’t understand,” though, I’m telegraphing more gestalt incomprehension. You might want to slow down, but you probably just want to speak more like the “humans” you may have read about.

There’s more to communication than comprehensibility, but you get the basic idea.

You can parse the other phrases in that sentence if you’d like.



The negative can win without a politics disad. I don’t feel obligated to assign some risk to a disad if the aff successfully finds a very compelling logical hole. Some weekends, politics disads just aren’t that good. Some weekends, they’re great.

Thus, if your primary point of offense is a solid politics disad with a ton of cards, I’m probably pretty good for you. If your primary point of offense is a politics disad that derives its value from the absence of counterevidence (eg, terribly overunique, long-shot potential agenda item, long temporal gaps between link and internal link), I might not be your guy, because the aff might dramatically reduce risk even without much evidence.


Over-highlighted evidence can be pretty silly. It’s reached the point of implicit footnoting. I prefer the K teams that just overtly footnote stuff – it achieves the same effect without brutalizing the language. Even better, though, is reading evidence that completes arguments instead of alluding to arguments through disconnected violent noun phrases.

If your card:

- Doesn’t form complete sentences
- Only forms sentences through Phrase Legos
- Otherwise makes me think of “word salad”

I will probably discount it entirely.

That is true even if I’m very familiar with a fuller version of your card.

If your highlighting abbreviates words in new and exciting ways (representations -> reps, nuclear -> nuc), I will mock your “nuc rep…s” in my head, but I’ll let it go.

I might read around highlighting to determine context, but this generally can only hurt you.


I had too much stuff on this before. I’m pretty agnostic.

I will say that I want you all to determine these debates by making arguments. Brief allusions to argument don’t constitute arguments. Yes, I can decipher Newspeak along the lines of “errneg, affsidebias, firstlastspeechinfiprep.” I don’t think that quite rises to the level of argument, though. I really prefer sentences to phrases. Hyper-efficient theory debate increasingly seems like a cry for intervention.


Debate has some rules, like speech and decision times. I have some minimal rules too. I’m comfortable with that. They’re procedural efforts to stop abuses, not substantive restrictions on your curriculum.

1. Be honest about what evidence you’ve read and what arguments you’ve made.

You’re obliged to provide your opponents with a complete, accurate and legible record of evidence that you read.

If you misrepresent what you’ve read, you may lose.

Put more simply, I will pull the trigger on cross-reading and clipping.

If you’re going to call someone out, though, it really helps to have a record. I must be certain. Instant replay is good here.

2. Don’t filibuster cross-examination.

Cross-examination is potentially very meaningful. Cross-examination is not very meaningful when one side won’t stop speaking.

The cross-examiner controls the cross-examination. If I interrupt you and say “it’s her/his cross-x” – don’t freak out. Just shush and let them ask you their questions. Maybe it’s a long-winded question or they’re cutting you off. Get over it. You get a cross-x too.

If one side insists on providing genuinely non sequitur responses, I won’t intervene, but I’ll probably look even more dyspeptic than I usually do.

3. Paperless business

a. Your obligations as a paperless team.

You’re still obliged to provide your opponents with a complete, accurate and legible record of evidence that you read. You must have a viewing computer, as your opponents may not have laptops.

If there are several technically feasible viewing options, your opponent can select their preferred viewing option. This is important.

For example, if your opponents would prefer that you transfer the speeches to their computers via flash drives, you must do so. If you are afraid that they will backtrace everything when they do this, don’t use paperless.

If they want to know what cards you actually read, as opposed to the cards you hoped to read, you have to tell them.

b. Don’t read ahead. This isn’t a “protect your hand” situation. We don’t have the tech together to protect our hands just yet (soon, soon). That’s cheating – real, you-lose kind of cheating.

c. Paperless prep

Prep stops when you save the speech. There is “dead time” to transfer the speech to your opponent’s medium of choice.

I’m not going to time “dead time.” If it lasts more than two minutes, though, I will glare and make increasingly snarky comments as you fumble.

d. Giving me cards

If you're swapping speeches via the Internet - I want in on that, in real time. When we're all doing this via personal area networks in the near future, I might start reading the cards as you speak. I'm not quite ready to go there yet, though.

I will, however, read cards *during* the debate if:

i. some card becomes a thing during the cross-ex and I feel sad and excluded
ii. I wonder if you're clipping

After the round, if you can just consolidate everything read into one document and hand it over via flash drive, I'd appreciate it, so I don't have to stay on a jump drive carousel. I hate using your crappy viewing computer. I'm not going to steal your datas, I promise."

Renee Cebula Paradigm

2 rounds

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Camden Clark Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated for four years in high school.

I'm pretty much tabula rasa but there are a few trends/arguments I'm not particularly fond of.

I don't know much about this topic and I haven't judged that many debates on it. Please explain acronyms or anything idiosyncratic to this topic.

If you have any specific questions on anything, please send me an email: camdenclark2012 [at] gmail During tournaments I'll try to keep checking this to respond and am more than happy to answer.

More expanded:


TL;DR: Default aff on T, Framework is fine to run in front of me.

I tend to default to aff on topicality claims on reasonability. I don't like time-suck topicality arguments. That being said, on this topic, I have heard some very interesting T arguments that seemed valid. Use your discretion.

I really like hearing framework on K [affs], I think it's a very interesting debate. I'm tabula rasa on framework--I have no preference for either the offense or defense (I say this because I hear a lot of judges don't like hearing framework; you're fine to run it in front of me.




I enjoy kritiks, feel free to run them in front of me. Like all other arguments, it will be very apparent if you don't know what you are talking about. If your K has somewhat obscure literature, please do a good explanation of what the literature says and how it relates to the debate or I will have a tough time evaluating the arguments.

Same goes with K/identity affs. You should have a good reason to not run a plan text and explain that well.

One other thing: if you have a long overview tell me in the roadmap so I can flow it on a different piece of paper.



TL;DR: I don't like these one-off answers to politics/DAs

Fiat solves the link is not a compelling answer to politics unless explained very well.

Intrinsicness arguments are compelling if explained but 2 seconds in the 2AC will not get my vote. This is especially true if the 1AR stands up and says "THEY DROPPED THE INTRINSICNESS ARGUMENT, WE WIN. MOVING ON..."



TL;DR I will have a hard time being convinced that condo is always bad, consult/process counterplans are probably abusive.

Running one conditional CP and one conditional K is probably not abusive and you'll have an uphill battle convincing me otherwise. If there are a significant number of conditional arguments I could be convinced that is abusive.

Consult and obscure process counterplans are probably abusive. You better have really convincing arguments otherwise on this issue if you want to run these types of arguments. Perm do the counterplan is rarely severance on these types of arguments--you'll have to explain this well.



Other in-round stuff

Don't lie, it's obvious.

I don't take prep for flashing nor do I care about tag-team in CX.

I don't care how you dress.

Don't be a jerk. You are all really smart students and you should act professional!


Thanks and good luck!

Hailey Clawson Paradigm

6 rounds

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Abby Connolly Paradigm

6 rounds

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Scott Dai Paradigm

6 rounds

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Ian Dalton Paradigm

3 rounds

Updated on 09/24/15

The only thing you really need to know:

I believe debate is an academic event and as a judge my role in the academy is to evaluate and facilitate the academic trajectory of the debaters. I don't think that my notions of what debate should or shouldn't be should ever limit the academic path of the debaters. I debated for 4 years in high school and in college. I currently am in my 5th year of coaching. In the six years that i have debated so far i have run everything from politics to Ks of secularism and some performance stuff. It doesn't really matter what you run in front of me i will evaluate it how you want me to. i have seen a lot of different styles of debate. that being said i am a K debater. i have gone for the K on both sides of the res for about 3 years now. The most important thing you can do is to write the ballot for me in the last speeches.


If you want to know more specific things read on.


T/Specs/Procedurals. I like really good T debates. You probably need to read cards in it and to tell me what the affs are included in your case list. I am not a fan of over-limiting the topic but the surveillance topic has a potential to be GIANT. I think that T and procedural should have some sort of in round abuse or reason why you are disadvantaged. I like T to be debated like DA's as well. In a world where you don't give me a way to evaluate topicality I will default to compete interps but can be easily sold on reasonability. These should also have impacts and you should tell me why the loss of X is important in the big picture. I want external impacts to these arguments not just they over limit or they destroy education. tell me why this matters for debate or for your project. I am very comfortable voting on Ks of T.


Framework: .I really enjoy these debates. Though the old state is good line can be a bit boring. I tend to reward creative positions with high points. In the clash of civ I default to K's as a whole being acceptable in debate though as I coach more it is becoming easier to win my ballot with framework. It is really hard to get me to throw an entire category of argument out, so this is my default to resolve sloppy framework debates: In framework debates if the aff/neg team wins their K bad framework and there are no voting issues about the legitimacy of the K I will evaluate case against that of the K and if the K team wins why framework is bad or a K framework is better i will evaluate the K first. I also think its dumb to grant K teams their framework and really hard to come back from when you are framed out of the round. they should have to defend why Ks are better.

I think a framework of evaluation is present in every debate, and I think that it is precisely what has been missing from the kritik for years. I find “real” impacts the most important aspect of the framework debate—“we should evaluate debates like this because…” of the education the framework provides and the impact of that type of education.


Counter plans: I am cool with them. i like a really good and specific CP but i find in most debates i am rather disappointed in that requirement. I actually love process CPs. i think PICs are awesome and probably fair to the aff but that's a debate to be had.


Dis-Ads: Read them, just give me a way to compare the impacts against case or vice versa. impact calc is very important in these debates and i want them because i don't really want to compare three different extinction scenarios after the 2ar. that's your job in the debate to tell me why your extinction scenario is better than the other teams. I think that 0 risk can exist in these debates but i prefer an offensive strategy when answering these from the aff.


Kritiks: I LOVE them. that being said don't run Ks if you cant defend them and don't know them. I know what most authors say at least on a basic level but you still need to explain your argument to me. i am not a fan of giant overviews unless they are in the 2ar and 2nr. on the alt i am not a huge fan of just reject the aff i like something a bit more substantive and specific. if your alt is just reject i want to know why that rejection matters and what it means in the context of the debate and the K itself. i am a huge fan of impact Ks. I am also a big fan of specific links especially in a close perm debate. I think the perm is a really important tool here and even multiple perms but don't go over board. I hate bad kritik debates more than I hate bad straight-up debates, and bad non-traditional debates are the worst of them all (in other words, for kritik debaters and non-traditional debaters, there is no excuse).


Experimental/deferral arguments: i am cool with these. i think they have a great strategic value that few teams use to their full potential. know how to use these well, if you have a metaphor in the 1ac or 1nc make sure it is pulled through to later speeches.


ID politics and Performance: Do your thing. This has been a growing interest in my academic path lately and i am much more familar with these then i have been in the past. Make sure you explain the purpose and goal of your project in regards to the meaning of my ballot and how it relates to the debate/community.


Theory: I think that most theory debates are rather shallow and underdeveloped. If you want it to be a viable option there needs to be some time to get the tags and warrants down. i think there should be in round abuse and even then i am not moved by petty fairness claims. i think they are rather dumb sometimes. You don't need gigantic shells with me, especially when you first introduce the argument. If you don't specifically address the other team's responses, you probably won't win my ballot. If you end up going for it, and it was straight dropped you don't need to spend all your time on it but it needs to fleshed out and the previous speeches need to have enough in them to justify 2ar/2nr extrapolations. i usually will vote on it if it is dropped. it seems that the only way to evaluate whether a standard is reasonable or whether a definition provides appropriate limits is to assess how the definition/standard combination effect the fair division of ground... and offense/defense seems a good way to figure that out. that means on theory and T i will default to offense/defense when evaluating it. All this being said, I find myself more willing to vote on theory than not.


Misc. I think terminal D is cool and i will vote on it but I think that offense is better. i like to have something to place my hat on at the end of the round and offense is the best way to do that


Speaker points: i will go from a 27.5 to a 30.

The bottom line is do what you do to win and i will judge it to the best of my abilities. Have fun don't make the debate unbearable for me or the other team. i like GOOD jokes in speeches.

Emma Daszkiewicz Paradigm

6 rounds

NOTE: Gonzaga will be the first tournament I judge on the 2015-2016 topic, so I’m sorry I won’t know all the ins and outs, so just make things clear.

I debated for Ingraham High School for four years competing locally and nationally, and I read all types of arguments, so I’m cool with whatever you want to read in front of me, as long as it makes sense.

I’m basically a tabs judge. I believe that the debate belongs to the debaters, so run whatever you want. As long as you’re running an argument well I’ll vote for it. In the end the only flows I’ll look at are those in the 2NR/2AR, so if you want to pull something across from another flow you aren’t going for, tell me.

A few small things to note:

-Be big picture, tell me a story, especially in the final speeches, I want the link and impact story to be clear, if you can do that I’ll be very happy

-An argument consists of a claim, impact, and warrant, if you don’t have that then it will be much harder for me to vote for you.

-If you run a K please have a clear and specific link. I want to here as early as possible what exactly their aff does that is problematic.

-I hate calling for cards. The debate is for the debaters, tell me what the evidence says and how that effects the realm, don’t ask me to call for it. If it is absolutely necessary I will, but I’d prefer not to.

-I hate judge intervention so please be clear about what the argument is and why it means you should win. Make sure you do impact calc so I know where to vote, that’s important to me. Without impact calc I basically can’t evaluate the round so do it.

Specific Things:

-K's: Totally down with them, read them and debated them pleanty, just make sure you have a clear and specific link, otherwise I'm likely to give the perm more weight. 

-DA's: Make the link chain clear and believable, but I'm cool with whatever here, as long as it has a link story, the more coherent the better. 

-Topicality: totally willing to vote for it, but that being said I will vote for an anti-topical or untopical aff if you give me a good reason.

-Framework: I’ll vote for it, you just need to tell me why it’s important in the round.

-Theory: can be a legit argument, or it can be BS. I don’t want to see some generic block, I want to know what they did in the round specifically that is a problem/hurt you. Please prove in round abuse. Conditionality if a thing, there has to be some huge in round abuse for me to vote on this, and I mean huge.

Speakers Points:

-Be nice to your partner and the other team, I don’t care if you are way better ahead of everyone, be nice or I’ll dock you.

-BE CLEAR!!! Please, please, please, I get that you want to go fast, and that’s great, but no matter what if you are not clear you will lose points. I’ll call clear so if you hear that please listen. Also being clear will help me here your arguments so I vote for you.

-Be smart, if you are arguing well and making good points then you get extra points.

-Sounding like you care will get you more points, please just don’t speak in a monotone all speech.

-Have fun, make jokes, be a little sassy. I like to see debaters who bring their personality into the round, it makes it more interesting for me and easier for you to get speaks.

Paul Davis Paradigm

2 rounds

Not Submitted

James Elias Paradigm

6 rounds

Gonzaga University - 4 years NDT/CEDA Debate

Updated Fall 2017

Note about me, I'm a 5th year senior at Gonzaga - Decided not to debate this year and focus instead on classes/finding a job in the real world to use my 'portable skills.'

Please add me to the email chain: james.elias95@gmail.com

TL;DR - I doubt many people read/adapt to judge philosophies anymore. Maybe this will help, maybe not. I'll do my best to judge whatever debate goes down.

Argument wise, I'll listen to pretty much anything. I've participated in debates going for arguments from Crip Poetry to Deleuze to Process CPs with the Politics DA. I'd like to think as a result I have a diversity of debate experiences, but I probably suffer from being a jack of all trades and master of none i.e. I never spent enough time doing any one style of debate to perfect it.

Must Knows.

1. Speech times exist and should be adhered to.

2. We come to a debate round to debate, nothing else. Debate means an argument was had between the 2 teams. What the form or content of that argument looks like can be debated

3. I will dock speaker points for blatantly racist, gendered, ableist, and other forms of discriminatory language.

4. Physical violence is not acceptable in debate. Consent exists, should always be respected, and should always be applied, especially in the case of physical contact. Also, don't trivialize consent as a bad metaphor for some debate argument. I'm pretty sure a perm isn't a violation of your right to consent, it's an argument questioning the mutual exclusivity of 2 competing theories/actions.

5. If the content of the round is triggering, let me know, we can take pause the round and figure out how best to move forward. Also a medical emergency is clearly warrants stopping the round.

6. Sometimes a computer crashes or freezes, let me know what's going on/what the issue is. I'll give you a couple minutes to solve the question or come up with an alternative way to debate [like using a partner or coaches laptop].

7. Prep stops when you're done preparing the speech. Please be efficient about flashing/emailing, I don't want to change my mind about this.

Debate preferences. [All debatable, just actions that I think may debate better or worse.]

1. I'm not a huge fan of theory debates. Mainly this is because they're generally super shallow. It's usually the same basic team blocks spread as quickly as possible against each other with minimal engagement. Want to go for condo bad in the 2ar in front of me? Be able to explain to me the specific fairness and/or educational risks of too many conditional options and not just 'it forced the 2ac to forgo its best offense, depth over breadth.' Actually explain what that means, what offense did you miss, how could the debate have changed, etc.?

2. I generally default to competing interpretations for topicality debates. Reasonability is inherently arbitrary and I dislike intervening as a judge, but if you win I should be arbitrary and include your aff, so be it.

3. Yes presumption exists. Yes '100% no link' exists. Yes '100% non-unique' exists. Yes 'literally no impact' exists. Are those high burdens? Sure, but they can be met.

4. Yes affs can be not inherent. Unlike some other judges I've talked to/debated in front of, I don't believe that requires you winning a disad, CP, or any other off-case position. That's absurd. If it's not inherent it shouldn't be debated/is neg ground.

5. Case and a DA is a reasonable 2NR strategy. It requires impact calculus which you should be doing anyways.

6. Warrant comparisons are underrated in debate. 1 well warranted, well explained, well applied card will ALWAYS be better than 10 blippy cards applied/compared poorly. 1 card meeting those criteria is also probably better than 10 also well warranted, but poorly explained cards. You need to debate, debate is more than asserting an argument that clashes on face value, it's justifying the argument and clashing with the underlying principles your opponent asserts. This also means you should be able to explain the theories your kritikal arguments are based upon. Just asserting your author isn't from a school of thought isn't sufficient, explain those differences. Why don't generic indicts of psychoanalysis apply to your specific post-Lacanian author? I don't know, that's for y'all to decide.

7. I try to avoid calling for cards. Debate is communication, if you didn't tell me the warrants of your cards, that's your fault. Unfortunately sometimes neither team explains their argument thoroughly which forces me to read cards. Refer to the point above this about warrant comparisons.

What's debate? Ultimately I think debate is about communication. This means a couple of things for you as debaters absent specific args.

1. You're not always going to agree with my decisions. Judging is human. Sometimes I'll make connections you don't about the round and vice-versa. Make connections you think are important explicit and clear if you to ensure I consider them.

2. I do my best to judge the arguments on my flow. If it isn't on my flow, it hasn't been said.

3. I try to protect to the 2NR. Being a 2N is hard. Brand new 2AR arguments are a failure to communicate what you thought was important in the debate. I understand sometimes a 2A has to try to cheat and say a bunch of new things, but I do my best to not make decisions on a bunch of new 2AR arguments. If I can't draw a line from the 1AR to the 2AR for the basis of a 2AR argument, I will seriously consider if it is justified for me to still vote on it. Beyond that, I avoid intervention in debate as much as humanly possible.

Personal biases. [Again, all debatable, I just have opinions that might influence how appealing your argument is to me and I'm sorry if that results in me voting against you. Tabula Rasa doesn't exist.]

1. The more I help people prep for tournaments the more I realize that prep is becoming impossible. A tournament of 100 teams with 75 different affirmatives plus all their neg args would be barely possible to prep given a whole season, much less tournament to tournament innovations and variations in the field of competitors. What does this mean for me?

A. Maybe the topic is good and should be the focus of the debate. I can [and have] been persuaded otherwise.

B. I understand you won't have a card on every issue. That's an unfair standard to hold you to. I like well-though out analytics, especially ones that attempt to exploit logical inconsistencies in the opponent's arguments.

2. I'm not a fan of this turn to pessimism in debate. I understand it, it's strategic. I read my share of pessimist arguments in debate. I also understand that some people truly believe that there is literally nothing that can change society. I am not one of those people, I think society, politics, and civil society can change. The world isn't intrinsically evil; the world can become better because we can make it better. As someone who gave up my balance of debate and activism in my transition from high school to college, I think debate is a forum where we can determine what we can do to make it better. Yes, sometimes activism has adverse consequences and civil society is oppressive; however sometimes activism succeeds and the world gets better for some people and I tend to think that is a more productive discussion than competing claims about who is more pessimistic about the world. If there really is nothing, literally nothing, that can be done to change the world, even a little bit, why do we even go through a topic selection process or participate in this activity?

3. Ad homs aren't arguments, they're usually just offensive or meant to provoke the other team.

4. I probably default to tech over truth. Put a different way, I will try to evaluate the debate based on the ideas presented instead of my personal conceptions about the world. Do I think warming is bad? Yes. Will I still vote on some Idso cards? Yes, if the argument is well debated and won on the flow.

Joe Engel Paradigm

6 rounds

Debate Background: 4 years of debate in high school, one in college, and assistant coach at Gonzaga Prep High School. Updated for 2015 Conway.

Generally, I'll default to a policymaking framework with a mainstream view of offense defense unless told otherwise. I might be a bit more willing than others to think there is zero risk of an advantage/disadvantage.

K’s- Personally, my debate style slants towards the "policy" end of things, but I will do my best to give all critical arguments a fair shake. I'll do the same for framework, however, so don't discount it. Additionally, while I'm fine with listening to the merits of whatever debate style you choose to embrace, answering all of the other teams arguments still needs to be done, and preferably you make it somewhat clear to me when you are doing so. The failure to do this introduces an amount of subjectivity into the decision beyond what I think should be present- the way judges evaluate debates should be relatively homogeneous. Don't feel like you suddenly have to break down the debate into the line-by-line, though- casual verbal indicators should be fine.
My familiarity with your argument can be dodgy at times- some areas I know a decent bit about, others not so much. Assuming ignorance might be best.
I generally prefer critical affirmatives to be germane to the topic in some form.

T- I learned debate in an area where T was a rather big deal, and it is underutilized as a strategy. If going for T, what will be most persuasive for me is providing a full view of what the topic will look like under your definition- preferably including a list of common cases that would be included/excluded.
I'll default to competing interpretations, but can be persuaded by a strong reasonability argument.
Standards like "framer's intent" or "intent to define" don't really mean a lot to me unless linked to Fairness/Education.


- A counterplan w/ 3 planks that can be individually severed are three conditional counterplans the affirmative can answer them as such. I don't have any pre-set cut off for what number of conditional arguments is okay- I think it varies round to round.
- The solvency deficit needs to be "qualified" not so much "quantified"- Pegging percent of the aff the neg solves is impossible, and instead the solvency deficit should be described as specific advantages or solvency mechanisms the negative doesn't access. The impacts to those things then need to be weighed against the net benefit.
- Friendly reminder to not speed through your theory blocks
- Unless you put voters on them, theory is a reason to reject the argument. In order to reject the team (beyond conditionality bad), an articulation of how what the other team did changed your strategy in the round is required, unless you win the line by line on the theory very handily.
I want to be on the e-mail chain if there is one, but for time reasons don't bother flashing me cards. Tag team is fine, I disclose, tournament-specified amount of prep, and flashing isn't prep, but I will be watching to make sure you aren't stealing. I'll time prep but speeches/cx are on you. 

Alexander Erwig Paradigm

3 rounds

I've been involved in competitive forensics for nearly nine years now. I did national circuit LD in high school and then parli with a tournament or two of policy for the University of Oregon from 2012-2015. I've coached high school policy for nearly five years. 

I've been exposed to and deployed pretty much every type of strategy, so my preference is that you go with the types of arguments that you are most comfortable with/think are most strategic rather than trying to cater to me. That said, I am predisposed on certain issues and will try my best to lay those out for you.

UPDATE October '16: My threshold for explanation on any argument has gone up significantly after the rounds that I have judged this past year. I am far more inclined to reward a team that understands their authors and can distill them into concise theses than one that simply relies on overly pomo-generated tag lines. My biggest frustration with most critical debates I have judged is that many teams assume that I will draw certain connections for you or that I will perfectly understand every nuance of every tag line and how it applies to your strategy without any further explanation. One of the most telling signs of a skilled debater in any forum is the ability to synthesize and explain complex positions in any field of study to someone who has never encountered that argument before. Doing this well in your debates will boost your speaker points and your competitive success. 

Critical Debate: I'm a big fan of the K, whether that be on Aff or Neg. Topic specific links tend to be more effective than more general approaches. I've read a fair amount of K lit, but the burden is on you to make sure that you clearly explain whichever theorist you're using. Simply restating the contents of a card isn't the same thing as understanding what the evidence says and actually explaining it. To give you a model of the critical arguments I deployed throughout my debate career, I ran Marx most often, and also occasionally dabbled in culture jamming, security, Deleuze and Orientalism. Read whichever argument you want, and explain it well, we'll be golden. 

On the flipside, I'm very receptive to framework and T as a response to critical Affs. If you are side-stepping the topic entirely, you should have a well-thought out defense of why there can be no topical version of the Aff that discusses your issues in the context of the topic. 

Straight-Up Debate: I honestly probably prefer evaluating a high level straight up debate to a critical debate. That's not to say that I feel more comfortable evaluating one or the other, I just tend to think that nuanced policy debates are more educational and more interesting to judge. Most of the time I find that the internal link stories on disads are quite contrived and neglected. The more realistic your internal link scenario, the more success you'll have with your disad. Regarding counterplans I think most of these theoretical issues are up to you in the debate, I tend to think PICs and functional competition are legit but am also receptive to theory arguments to the contrary. 

Misc: You won't be too fast for me, as long as you're clear. That said, I appreciate variation in speaking pace (slowing down on tags/authors, emphasizing certain arguments). That doesn't mean slow down, it just means break out of the monotone drone that quite often becomes the norm. I don't care if you stand/sit/tag-team/etc. I tend to be pretty expressive in round, because I feel that you should know what I think of your arguments during the debate versus only knowing what I think during the RFD when you can no longer make strategic changes. 

Most importantly, debate to your strengths. I'll be happy adjudicating any debate in which both teams are deploying their best strategies and making smart arguments. 

Matt Filpi Paradigm

6 rounds

Matt Filpi
Gonzaga Debate 2013-2017

***Disclaimer updated for Jesuit 2020***

I am now out of debate. I have not judged a debate in 2+ years. I am a 3rd year law student at the University of Oregon School of Law. I also have not judged a debate on this topic. If you have an ultra specific strategy that you would like to go for, I am absolutely okay with that - however, you may need to do some more explaining of a specific argument in front of me than you might in front of a judge that has be involved in topic research since the summer. Thank you!

Macro Issues

Speaking: Please remember that debate, at it's core, is a communicative activity. It’s important to remember that speed isn’t measured in words read per minute, it’s measured in ideas successfully communicated per minute.

Speaker points: They are influenced by a number of things. These include: clarity, ability to communicate effectively, cross examination, your strategy, level of preparation, and execution among other things.

Evidence: I appreciate evidence comparison. The highlighted portion of your cards should make complete arguments, not just claims. If you mark a card during your speech, you need to be able to tell me and the other team where you marked it.

Micro Issues

Framework/What the aff should do: The aff should be related the topic in some way. I will be persuaded by topicality arguments against affs that completely ignore the topic. If you feel that being forced to defend institutions is bad/violent in some way, I am totally open to affs without a plan text (although I would still prefer if your aff is tangentially related to the topic). For the negative in these debates, you should be making framework arguments about the method used in the 1AC; not simply going for theoretical framework arguments.

Topicality (in policy debates): I evaluate topicality based on the arguments made in the debate. This means that I will not decide a T debate based off of what I think is topical/not topical. If you win the argument, you will win the debate, regardless of my opinion of what should/should not be topical.

Kritiks/Identity Arguments: There needs to be clash. I have seen far too many of these rounds that seem like two ships passing in the night. DISCLAIMER: I have a high threshold for explanation of alternatives. If you are going to go for the kritik, please extend your alternative explicitly, and explain to me how it resolves the links that you have identified. If you do not and you still wish to win the debate, you need to give me a reason why criticizing the aff is sufficient without an alternative.

Counterplans: I tend to think counterplans need to be both textually and functionally competitive. That is not to say that I will automatically disregard them, however, I will be persuaded by theory arguments pointing out why functional and textual competition are good and important.

Disads: I prefer the status quo over most neg strategies. In my opinion, it creates the most clash between the aff and the neg and makes for the best debates. If you choose to take this route, make sure that you have sufficient defense to the affs impacts, and do comparative impact analysis to make my job easy in evaluating whether or not the DA outweighs the case.

If you have any specific questions before the round starts feel free to ask me. If you have any questions about things that happened in your round after the tournament also feel free to email me - mfilpi2@gmail.com

Glen Frappier Paradigm

2 rounds

Glen Frappier

Gonzaga University

Years Judging College: 24

Updated for 19-20 season.

Rounds Judged on Space Topic: ZERO. FREE STRIKE!

If there is an email chain going around with the speech docs please include me. gfrappier@gmail.com.

I appreciate smart, quick and clear debate. If you’re unclear I will let you know once or twice but after that it’s on you.

I prefer argument characterized by depth and substance and generally despise when a laundry list of unwarranted claims is passed off as good argument. The best debates seem to be those where the debaters are doing a lot of comparison of the arguments and evidence. I always thought Ross Smith's lecture on "Extending An Argument" did an excellent job of capturing the essence of the depth I appreciate. If you haven't seen it, you really should google it.

Speaker Points. I find I award speaker points based on the 3 broad categories or content, organization, and delivery. A smart, quick, articulate debater who reads good evidence, makes well reasoned arguments, and effectively manages the flow can expect good points. Flashes of brilliance and displays of exceptional debating are always rewarded. Poor debating, bad evidence, being mean, poor decision-making will all hurt your points.

Evidence. This is the lifeblood of a persuasive argument. We all interpret evidence differently so if yours is open to multiple interpretation tell me what your reading of it is and why thats the preferable interpretation. It should be qualified. Evidence from experts in a field with a lifetime of experience thinking, researching, writing and publishing on topic is more persuasive than a blogger with no credentials, or an undergrad working on their degree.

The affirmative should advocate for a topical example of the resolution. I’m open to different interpretations of how plans/advocacy should function, but I tend to believe that a community agreed upon controversy/topic serves as a valuable point of stasis.

Cross Examination is binding. I do my best to pay attention and flow CX. Great CXs payoff in points (and sometimes wins).

Counterplans. There are those I find more of a stretch than others theoretically, but generally tend to err neg on most theory questions.

Critiques. Sure, why not. If you have a link to the aff and an impact then it sounds like you have an argument and i'll listen to it. Still, i don't read much philosophy and probably will not be familiar with the literature you're relying on for your argument. In those cases its in your interest to slow down and explain.

Bryan Gaston Paradigm

3 rounds

Bryan Gaston
Director of Debate
Heritage Hall School
1800 Northwest 122nd St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73120-9598

I view judging as a responsibility and one I take very seriously. I have decided to try and give you as much information about my tendencies to assist with MPJ and adaptation.

**Note on virtual debating: SLOW DOWN a little, no matter what people want to believe speed does not transition AS WELL virtually as it does for in-person debating. So you should go a little slower than you would in person if you consider yourself a pretty fast debater according to national circuit standards.**

Quick Version:

1. Debate is a competitive game.

2. I will vote on Framework and T-Aff's should be topical. But, you can still beat framework with good offense or a good counter-interpretation. CJR topic note--I think there are some important T debates to be sorted out on this topic.

3. DA's and Aff advantages can have zero risk. CJR topic note--DAs are sparse on this topic.

4. Neg conditionality is mostly good.

5. Counterplans and PICs --good (better to have a solvency advocate than not) CJR topic note--There are many good CPs on this topic.

6. K's that link to the Aff plan/advocacy/advantages/reps and have an alternative that is explained and solves are good. CJR topic note: There are LOTS of good Ks on this topic.

7. I will not decide the round over something X team did in another round, at some other tournament, or a team's judge prefs.

8. Email Chain access please: bgaston@heritagehall.com

9. The debate should be a fun and competitive activity, be kind to each other and try your best.

My Golden Rule: When you have the option to choose a more specific strategy vs a more generic strategy, always choose the more specific strategy.

Pro-tip: FLOW---don't stop flowing just because you have a speech doc.

"Clipping" in debate: Clipping in the debate is a serious issue and one of the things I will be doing to deter clipping in my rounds is requesting a copy of all speech docs before the debaters start speaking and while flowing I read along to check from time to time.

Long Version...

Affirmatives: I still at my heart of hearts prefer and Aff with a plan that's justifiably topical. But, I think it's not very hard for teams to win that if the Aff is germane to the topic that's good enough. I'm pretty sympathetic to the Neg if the Aff has very little to or nothing to do with the topic. If there is a topical version of the Aff I tend to think that takes away most of the Aff's offense in many of these T/FW debates vs no plan Affs--unless the Aff can explain why there is no topical version and they still need to speak about "X" on the Aff or why their offense on T still applies.

Disadvantages: I like them. I prefer specific link stories (or case-specific DA’s) to generic links, as I believe all judges do. But, if all you have is generic links go ahead and run them, I will evaluate them. The burden is on the Aff team to point out those weak link stories. I think Aff’s should have offense against DA’s it's just a smarter 2AC strategy, but if a DA clearly has zero link or zero chance of uniqueness you can win zero risk. I tend to think politics DA's are core negative ground--so it is hard for me to be convinced I should reject the politics DA because debating about it is bad for debate. My take: I often think the internal link chains of DA's are not challenged enough by the Aff, many Aff teams just spot the Neg the internal links---It's one of the worst effects of the prevalence of offense/defense paradigm judging over the past years...and it's normally one of the weaker parts of the DA.

Counterplans: I like them. I generally think most types of counterplans are legitimate as long as the Neg wins that they are competitive. I am also fine with multiple counterplans. On counterplan theory, I lean pretty hard that conditionality and PICs are ok. You can win theory debates over the issue of how far negatives can take conditionality (battle over the interps is key). Counterplans that are functionally and textually competitive are always your safest bet but, I am frequently persuaded that counterplans which are functionally competitive or textually competitive are legitimate. My Take: I do however think that the negative should have a solvency advocate or some basis in the literature for the counterplan. If you want to run a CP to solve terrorism to you need at least some evidence supporting your mechanism. My default is that I reject the CP not the team on Aff CP theory wins.

Case debates: I like it. Negative teams typically under-utilize this. I believe well planned impacted case debate is essential to a great negative strategy. Takeouts and turn can go a long way in a round.

Critiques: I like them. In the past, I have voted for various types of critiques. I think they should have an alternative or they are just non-unique impacts. I think there should be a discussion of how the alternative interacts with the Aff advantages and solvency. Impact framing is important in these debates. The links the Aff are very important---the more specific the better. Some K lit bases I'm decently familiar with: Capitalism, Security, Anti-blackness, Natives, Reps (various types), Fem IR, Anthro, Nietzsche, and Queer theory. Some K lit bases I don't know very much about: Baudrillard, Bataille, Deleuze.

Big impact turn debates: I like them. Want to throw down in a big Hegemony Good/Bad debate, Dedev vs Growth Good, method vs method, it's all good.

Topicality/FW: I tend to think competing interpretations are good unless told otherwise...see the Aff section above for more related to T.

Theory: Theory sets up the rules for the debate game. I tend to evaluate theory debates in an offensive/defense paradigm, paying particular attention to each teams theory impacts and impact defense. The interpretation debate is very important to evaluating theory for me. For a team to drop the round on theory you must impact this debate well and have clear answers to the other sides defense.

Impact framing-- it's pretty important, especially in a round where you have a soft-left Aff with a big framing page vs a typical neg util based framing strat.

Things not to do: Don't run T is an RVI, don't hide evidence from the other team to sabotage their prep, don't lie about your source qualifications, don't text or talk to coaches to get "in round coaching" after the round has started, please stay and listen to RFD's, and don't deliberately spy on the other teams pre-round coaching. I am a high school teacher and coach, who is responsible for high school kids. Please, don't read things overtly sexual if you have a performance aff--since there are minors in the room I think that is inappropriate.

CX: This is the only time you have “face time” with the judge. Please look at the judge not at each other. Your speaker points will be rewarded for a great CX and lowered for a bad one. Be smart in CX, assertive, but not rude.

Speaker Point Scale updated: Speed is fine, and clarity is important. If you are not clear I will yell out “Clear.” Average national circuit debate starts at 28.4, Good is 28.5-28.9 (many national circuit rounds end up in this range), Excellent 29-29.9, Perfect 30 (I have given 3 in 16 years judging) they all went on to win the NDT at some point. I will punish your points if you are excessively rude to your opponents or partner during a round.

Paperless Debating (most of this is old and not necessary anymore):
1. You need to provide a readable copy of all evidence used in your speech (in one speech doc---like 2AC Round 6, do not open up 7 files on your computer and tell the other team you are reading different things from all of them).
2. You should let the other team view your speeches on their own laptops if they choose.
3. You should have a viewing computer for teams that use paper (or you must let them use one of your computers if they ask).
4. Give me a digital copy of the speech also. Why? See "clipping" below...
5. DO NOT give your opponents speech docs with all the tags and/or cites missing. This is not acceptable. You may leave out analytics (not tags) if you choose.
6. I will stop prep while you save your doc.

Have fun debating!

Stephen Goldberg Paradigm

3 rounds

I am a coach at Nevada Union, C.K. McClatchy and West Campus high schools. My general philosophy is run whatever you want, do it as fast as you want, just be clear. I will vote on just about anything except racist, sexist, homophobic etc arguments. I see my job as a judge as evaluating the evidence in the round and deciding the debate based on what is said without my intervention to the greatest degree possible.

That said, I do have a few notions about how I evaluate arguments:

Topicality -- I vote on it. I do not have any "threshold" for topicality -- either the aff is topical or it is not. That said, for me in evaluating topicality, the key is the interpretation. The first level of analysis is whether the aff meets the neg interpretation. If the aff meets the neg interpretation, then the aff is topical. I have judged far too many debates where the negative argues that their interpretation is better for education, ground etc, but does not address why the aff meets the negative interpretation and then is angry when I vote affirmative. For me if the aff meets the neg interpretation that is the end of the topicality debate.

If the aff does not meet, then I need to decide which interpretation is better. The arguments about standards should relate 1) which standards are more important to evaluate and 2) why either the negative or affirmative interpretation is better in terms of those standards (for example, not just why ground is a better standard but why the affirmative or negative interpretation is better for ground). Based on that, I can evaluate which standards to use, and which interpretation is better in terms of those standards. I admit the fact that I am a lawyer who has done several cases about statutory interpretation influences me here. I see the resolution as a statement that can have many meanings, and the goal of a topicality debate is to determine what meaning is best and whether the affirmative meets that meaning.

That said, I will reject topicality on generic affirmative arguments such as no ground loss if they are not answered. However, I see reasonability as a way of evaluating the interpretation (aff says their interpretation is reasonable, so I should defer to that) as opposed to a general statement without grounding in an interpretation (aff is reasonably to--pical so don't vote on T).

I will listen to critiques of the notion of topicality and I will evaluate those with no particular bias either way.

Theory -- Its fine but please slow down if you are giving several rapid fire theory arguments that are not much more than tags. My default is the impact to a theory argument is to reject the argument and not the team. If you want me to put the round on it, I will but I need more than "voter" when the argument is presented. I need clearly articulated reasons why the other team should lose because of the argument.

Disadvantages and counterplans are fine. Although people may not believe it, I am just as happy judging a good counterplan and disad debate as I am judging a K debate. I have no particular views about either of those types of arguments. I note however that I think defensive arguments can win positions. If the aff wins there is no link to the disad, I will not vote on it. If the neg wins a risk of a link, that risk needs to be evaluated against the risk of any impacts the aff wins. Case debates are good too.

Ks: I like them and I think they can be good arguments. I like specific links and am less pursuaded by very generic links such as "the state is always X." Unless told otherwise, I see alternatives to K's as possible other worlds that avoid the criticism and not as worlds that the negative is advocating. With that in mind, I see K's differently than counterplans or disads, and I do not think trying to argue Kritiks as counterplans (floating PIC arguments for example) works very well, and I find critical debates that devolve into counterplan or disad jargon to be confusing and difficult to judge, and they miss the point of how the argument is a philosophical challenge to the affirmative in some way. Framework arguments on Ks are fine too, although I do not generally find persuasive debate theory arguments that Kritiks are bad (although I will vote on those if they are dropped). However, higher level debates about whether policy analysis or critical analysis is a better way to approach the world are fine and I will evaluate those arguments.

Non-traditional affs: I am open to them but will also evaluate arguments that they are illegitimate. I think this is a debate to have (although I prefer juding substantive debates in these types of rounds). I tend to think that affs should say the topic is true in some way (not necessarily a plan of action) but I have and will vote otherwise depending on how it is debated. I do remain flow-centric in these debates unless there are arguments otherwise in the debate.

Wendy Gordon Paradigm

4 rounds

I have been judging debate for the last 10 years. I like straight up policy debate - I consider myself a "policy maker" type judge. I do NOT understand kritiks and do not recommend you run them. I do vote on topicality if there is actual abuse in the round, and I do not mind if it is run strategically by the negative. I do not mind speed through the warrants of your cards, however slow down on your tag lines because I do flow your debate and judge off of my flows. My philosophy is that constructive speeches and cross examinations are for the teams to share evidence. Rebuttal speeches are for you to make sure I understood what arguments have come through and win your side the round. Make sure you impact calc out the round for me in your final rebuttal speeches and give me voters. Most of the time I followed the round, however make sure I did not miss something you find an important voting point. I do not time flashing as long as it is reasonable - do not stall during flashing in order for your partner to prep.

Luke Gordon Paradigm

5 rounds

I have done policy debate for 4 years in high school and coached policy debate for the last 5-6 years. I am fine with speed just make sure you are clear and I like when teams go *slightly* (doesnt have to be much) slower on the tags so I can make sure I get everything down on the flow.

Argument preference honestly none but I am always a sucker for a good fw debate since I was the 2n in high school. I have seen things in round where people were pirates and stole the ballot to having discussion that would put the floor of the senate to shame. I guess in honesty I tend to lean more policy maker. Not by preference since I ran K's in high school but usually teams can't articulate what my ballot actually does in the round or why my ballot is important.

I am not as well versed in philosophy as I should be. So don't assume I know what the terminology is BUT I am willing to learn and love learning new philosophy.

Anti-blackness: This is a kritik that I just simply do not understand. I would highly recommend not running it. I am sorry I have tried multiple times watching rounds where this is run and every time I walk out more confused than when I went into the round.

T is fine but potential abuse is hard for me to vote on. I usually see T as a gateway issue and thus need something that I am opening the gates or closing the gates on basically.

Generic Link DA's: Honestly in the 1NC is fine because I know teams have strats and I get that but I really like a good specific link story to come out in the block or be able to explain it to me.

Impacts: Obviously I am all about impact calc at the end for policy debates and roll of the ballot arguments in K debates.

Usage of Evidence (because they ask for it on the site for some reason: uhhh yea evidence is key... Point out warrants in your card I love it when teams do warrant analysis and not just tag analysis! That is how you seperate good debaters from excellent debaters!

Email Chain: lukegordon57@gmail.com

PF: Honestly I have very little experience with PF so I follow the flow extend arguments and refute theirs.... Impact calc wins... I am sorry I do not know what else I can give you to help you since I am unsure what PF looks for.

Lisa Griffin Paradigm

1 rounds

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Colin Griffith Paradigm

4 rounds

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Ericka Griffith Paradigm

6 rounds

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Kelli Hennessey Paradigm

6 rounds

I will listen to anything you want to try and sell me on. The weirder you go, the stronger your link chains need to be. Tell me exactly where to flow things when we get into the weeds so that I can find them when you want me to. Don't run a ton of stuff you plan to kick later, it just wastes everyone's time. I would rather listen to the things you actually find relevant to your case. I will listen to T arguments, but there need to be super clear criteria for why the team does not meet your T definitions. Impacts, impacts, impacts! I need to know why the things you say are going to happen matter. Re specifics on speeches: Give your own. I won 't flow anything that is verbally given by your partner or anything the non-speaking partner says to the judge. There is a reason speeches are split, and they should stay that way. I'm fine with speed, but if you are really unclear, I probably won't tell you, I will just not get everything you want me to get. Only spread if you are able to do so with clarity. AMA else in round.

Seaghan Herron Paradigm

6 rounds

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Britney Jacobs Paradigm

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Erik Johannes Paradigm

6 rounds

I have been judging speech and debate for 1.5 years as a community judge. I have judged more than 50 rounds of various forms of debate. In each case, I strive to flow the round and make a decision based on the arguments in the round.  

Here are my preferences:

  1. Speak at a normal rate of delivery. If you spread, I will not be able to flow your arguments.
  2. Policy oriented affirmatives and negative strategies are best. Kritikal arguments and debate theory, except topicality, are most often too poorly explained and developed for me to understand them and be able to vote on them.
  3. Weighing arguments in rebuttals is important for me. Line-by-line argumentation in the 2NR and 2AR is usually at the expense of evaluating the arguments more generally.

Lately I have been exposed to K affs which I don't quite grok. If you want to run some thing like that make sure you let me know how it relates to the resolution. 

Tony Johnson Paradigm

1 rounds

Tony Johnson

I debated at Centennial H.S. in Boise, Idaho (2002-2006) and in college for the University of Wyoming and Idaho State University (2006-2011).
I have coached for Ashland H.S. (2008-2011), San Diego State University (2011-2012) and Southwestern (CA) College (2011-2013).
Currently the Co-Director of Forensics at Juan Diego Catholic High School.
7th year judging H.S. debates.

Short version 
Debate is a game. The rules are debatable, so I encourage you to establish a way for me to score your round. That means you should tell me how to evaluate, prioritize, and compartmentalize certain issues in the debate. 

To the extent it is possible, I will try to keep my predispositions away from your debate. I consider myself to be a clinician of argument tasked with evaluating the debate by listening to what you say and how you say it. I pay close attention to my to my flow unless asked to evaluate in some other form or fashion. If I call for cards I will rely on your spin and explanation from the round over my reading of the evidence in the post round. 

In general, I weigh competing claims and try to privilege warranted explanation and impact comparison. Logical reasoning is rewarded, especially when pointing out logical gaps in your opponents scenarios. 

Long(er) Version 
I credit several people for training me as a debater, coach and judge. I think it is instructive to call on them to give you an idea about how I judge debates: 

My hero in debate is Dr. Sarah Partlow-Lefevre, the Director of Forensics at Idaho State University. She taught me much of what I know about debate. She also sees the judges position as an evaluator of argument. In this world explanation and spin are key. 
"I seek to evaluate the quality of explanation of an argument in the debate. The debater's job is to communicate an argument to the judge. This means that arguments that are key parts of your strategy should be explained. I do not consider a list of jargon (for policy or critcal debates) clear explanation. Evidence is important to the way that I decide debates . . . but, it is not paramount. The debaters' arguments and explanations are much more important. Arguments about the spin on evidence or the quality of the evidence are always helpful in my judging process and are usually necessary to make me read much the evidence after the debate." 

My former debate partner, Mike Bausch and I learned debate together. His 'debate mind' is probably the most similar to mine in terms of training. He profoundly writes that any strategy can be powerful, provided that it is persuasively argued: 
"Debate is a game and strategy influences everything we do. Technique and truth are both aspects of strategy. Good, persuasive debating can make any strategy powerful.... 
teams that win in front of me provide me with judge instruction. Please write my ballot for me. What does this argument mean if you win it? What should I do with it in relation to other things in the debate? What does it mean if your opponents win some of their arguments?" 

Sam Allen and I have been dear friends since we both started debate in 2002. I love what he writes about CX. I firmly believe that debates are won and lost (most often) in cross examination. I also enjoy and will reward teams for treating it like a speech. Have questions prepared and execute strategically. This is the only time the competitors dialogue with one another directly and I love it. Sam writes, "Cross-x: I think this is the best part of debate. Arguments clarified in cross-x should be consistently held throughout debate. Speaker points." 

Economic engagement is a phrase with many different meanings. I'm interested in how your interpretation creates a fair division of ground and promotes education about economic engagement toward the topic countries. It will be up to you to forward framing arguments here too. Reasonability vs. competing interpretations? Depth vs. Breath? Etc. 

Textual competition is probably a good standard. Although I am not as ideologically tied to that as others (read: Hardy trained folks) are. I tend to err negative on most other counterplan theory questions. Although multiple conditional worlds is an argument that affirmative teams must forward to protect themselves sometimes. If there is an egregious example of in-round abuse that the affirmative packages and explains well, I will check in everytime. Again, most of this depends on your execution. 

The best critiques engage the affirmative and either turn the case or frame out affirmative impacts. What does debate do? How does voting negative resolve the link? Alternative explanation and/or ballot framing is paramount here. In high school debates explanation tends to lack sophistication. I will reward you if you demonstrate that you have read the material beforehand and can set up the argument in cross-examination. 

Misc Notes 
Specificity is key. I am compelled to vote for contextual examples, in-depth refutation and historical examples. I reward specific strategies and research with higher speaker points. 
Quality over quantity. I appreciate the teams that can overwhelm the line by line with original insights or analysis that comes from a few (longer) cards. This applies to any quadrant of the ideological spectrum, from politics uniqueness to critique links 
I will work very hard as a critic. My biggest pet-peeve when I debated were judges that didn't respect the time and effort that went into preparing for debates. I will be excited to judge you and provide (hopefully insightful) feedback. 
Paperless transition of evidence will NOT be timed. 
Alternative use time if all debaters want. 
Cutting cards during the debate is okay. 
Receiving coaching is not. Or clipping cards. Or stealing an obnoxious amount of prep. 
Be Nice.

Dillon Johnson Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated at Coeur d’Alene High school for 3 years and Gonzaga University for 4 years.

I haven’t been heavily involved in debate for a few years as I was working abroad.

Essentially, do whatever you want and I’ll do my best. I try my absolute hardest to pay 100% attention while a debate is happening. This means that I try to make eye contact, listen attentively, and catch all of the arguments the best I can. This also means, however, that I flow on paper. As such, please give me some pen time especially if you have a really important argument you want to get across. **This is 10x more true for theory arguments/T debates - you must slow down.

Also, I really hate interrupting a debate. I don’t yell clear, please just…be clear?

Updates as of Kentucky

1. Line by line is important to me - I understand we're on a time crunch, but I have to know what you're answering. Numbers are great, use them consistently.

2. I like research - I love this aspect of the activity a lot. That said, I think that the way a lot of teams highlight cards is odd. I'm naturally more skeptical of a piece of evidence if you've made 1 sentence from 15 lines of text by highlighting a few words. I also really don't like the size 2 font on cards.

3. Compare your cards! I think every debate I've watched in recent memory could have been improved if no one said "their card is really bad". I'm more persuaded if you first tell me what makes your evidence so persuasive and why the opponent's evidence can't meet that threshold.

4. That said, CX needs to extend beyond just evidence. Asking "where in you card does it say 'x'" for 3 minutes isn't persuasive to me.

5. There are lots of arguments about how Russia/China think and whatnot - I need to know both a) why your theory is correct and b) why that matters and how it impacts the DA/case debate.

I don’t like obnoxious people. I have a pretty good sense of humor and I know when being funny crosses a line. I’m also not persuaded when debaters tell others to do harm to themselves or others. It won’t necessarily cost you the debate (unless I’m instructed otherwise) but I will tell you now; it’s a waste of breath that will probably lose you speaker points. I also do not enjoy debates where debaters don't defend the things they have said/read. If you read Irigaray, you have to defend Irigaray. If you try to weasel out of it, I'm either going to think you a) are unprepared/don't understand your evidence b) are a weasel c) are an unprepared weasel.

I lean neg, but everything is open to debate. This was never my favorite kind of debate and it is definitely not my strength. I don’t consider most things reasons to reject the team unless you tell me and give a good reason. I tend to lean negative on conditionality. As for judge kick,

Love it. Read it, but be honest with yourself. You and I know both know that T – Sub isn’t the best argument ever, but I’ve won on it and voted on it, so here we are. An important note: I find it easier to vote for/against T when I know what exactly a debate round looks like on average. What are the affs? Are they winnable? What are the DAs? Are they winnable?

Love them. If you’re going to have a super long, complicated text, please read it slowly. I try to write it down the best I can. If you have a lot of planks, you should probably have solvency cards for all the planks.

Love these too.

Go for them if they’re your thing. I was a philosophy student, but the K lit most kids read was never my jam. I like a specific link story and I would like to know how the alt solves or why, if it doesn’t, I still shouldn’t vote aff. Something that often confuses me about K debates is that I don’t know what to do with the things I am told, so please impact things clearly and let me know what to do with the information you provide.
I’m not a big fan of the dead-on-the-inside stuff as it all sounds like gobbledygook to me, but if it’s your thing and you want to shine, shine on, friend. I’ll do my best.

K Affs
The more about the topic they are, the happier I am. That said, I don’t hate things that have nothing to do with the topic. Just explain the aff well and try to be as clear as possible. I will say, if all of your cards have paragraph-long tags, it will be harder for me to flow.

Please don’t hesitate to ask me questions before/after the debate. I really love debate and want everyone to do well and get better.

Lauren Johnson Paradigm

6 rounds


I debated for Gonzaga University 2014-2018

I was the Graduate Assistant Coach at the University of Wyoming 2018-2020

I currently am an assistant coach at Western Washington University.

Kritiks- I enjoy critical debates. Feel free to run them on both sides. I am well versed in feminist/queer and gender theory, although I am also familiar with other critical literature bases. The link debate is the most important part of a critique for me. Really good impact analysis does not matter if there is no link to the 1AC. I also think that performative links are valid arguments and can be used as reasons for why the permutation does not solve. I generally think the aff should get perms although can be persuaded otherwise in an instance where the aff is not about the resolution.

Role of the Ballot - I think the role of the ballot is to vote for who wins their arguments and does the better debating. If you have an argument otherwise, I will be more persuaded/default to a functionality/interpretation of how my vote works if both teams get a chance of receiving that vote. I do not find a "Role of the Ballot" claim that is to "vote for us" to be persuasive. I think it's dishonest and transparently one-sided to interpret the role of a ballot through one team's participation.

Aff framework versus the K- Your interpretation should probably say you should get to weigh your impacts vs. the K. I prefer debates about the substance of the arguments over debates that end up being exclusively about aff framework, if your framework argument ends up mooting the substance of both the aff and the K (aff solvency and alt solvency) then it becomes a messy debate that I will not enjoy adjudicating.

Performative/Non-Traditional Debates - I think the aff should be about something pertaining to the topic and recommend something be done that is different than the status quo (does NOT have to be a plan or involve the United States Federal Government). If the aff chooses to not do this, they'll have to win why the topical version of the aff can't solve for the performance/discussion that the aff began and win an impact turn to framework. In terms of impact analysis. You should be able to explain what reasonable neg ground exists versus your aff that is within the realm of topic-related research. That said, I'll still vote for an aff that is not about the topic if they win their impact turns to framework/accessibility questions. (Much of the reasoning/rhetoric in this section has been lifted from Erica Duff’s paradigm because I largely agree with how she articulated her views on this subject)

Framework versus Performative/Non-Traditional Affs- I think that the negative either has to win that there is a ‘topical’ version of the aff that can solve for the substance and performance/discussion of the affirmative, or that their interpretation of debate can allow for better access to the solvency mechanism/ address the impacts of the affirmative. I say ‘topical’ because I am generally unpersuaded that the aff must defend the “hypothetical enactment of the plan by the USFG”, I think that the negative has to prove that the affirmative either justify an interpretation of the topic that makes it impossible to be prepared to debate this particular aff, or that the affirmative is not grounded in a methodology that changes something in the status quo or the lives/experiences of the debaters in the round. I think that the best deliberative model of debate is one in which the affirmative presents a strategy that can generate effective deliberation on a topic because it is something that is contestable and allows for a debate to occur regarding the desirability and effectiveness of two competing strategies/methods to address the affirmatives impacts/concerns.

Topicality- I have never been a particularly good T debater. So if the debate becomes a large T debate, please slow down so I can get the nuances and particularities of the arguments and debate. Limits and predictability are not impacts they are internal links. Discussing how limits and predictability effect debate/ research/ neg prep and what that means in terms of education etc. (This also goes for framework)

Theory- I will usually never vote for theory as a reason to reject the team unless it's a Conditionality debate. Generally, I think reasonable conditionality (example: 1 Kritik and 1 CP) is a good thing but conditionality bad arguments can be used strategically. I generally err neg on theory arguments that are not conditionality, but I am open to persuasion by either side of the debate.

Counterplans- I have less familiarity with the intricacies of counterplan theory than most people, so keep that in mind if you choose to make the CP your main strategy. I generally will vote on a counterplan if you win that you solve the aff, which means you don’t particularly need to win a big risk of your offense to win.

Disads- You need a good disad turns case argument or a case take out to be a round winning strategy. Most of the time I will filter my decision for case versus the disad debates through impact calculus.

Maddie Langr Paradigm

2 rounds

I'm currently working in D.C. and not officially involved with any program, but will be coming to tournaments on occasion. I've been involved in debate for a while, I coached at Wake Forest while I got my masters, debated at Wake for four years, and debated for four years at West High School. Additionally, I coached Juan Diego for three years during my senior year and grad school.  I've done a bit of everything, my first six years in debate were largely more policy oriented with the occasional security K. I mixed things up my junior and senior of college and decided to focus on arguments related to gender/feminism.

*UMW note - this will be my first time judging on this topic, so don't assume I already have a background in the arguments you're reading. 

Small notes:

*A good CX will help your speaker points - I flow CX. Including arguments from CX into your speeches will be rewarded.

*Tech is very important, but does not mean that I will gut check on a ridicuous argument that lacks explanation/truth

*Affs should be pertinent to the resolution (more on this below)

*I only read evidence I think is central to my decision and do not follow along speech docs during the debate. If you are not explaining your arguments, I will not go to your evidence to collect warrants, that's on you. 



CP Theory - The only CP theory argument that I think is a reason to reject the team is condo. I tend to think conditionality (within reason) is good. 

Disads - Impact calc always! Don't make me figure out how your disad impacts interact with the aff or you'll probably lose. 

T -  I hate when teams breeze through T arguments like they're reading a card, I probably won't catch everything so slow dow or use intonation changes so I can flow your standards. Make sure to impact T - "limits" is not an impact - explain the implications for why the limits the other team has set are bad etc. Both teams should explain what affs their interpretation allows for and why the debates those affirmatives facilitate are better. 


I tend to judge a lot of clash debates, so here are some thoughts on that:

Aff framework vs. the k - probably will never vote on "you don't get a k when you're neg". Much more persuaded by interps that say you should get to weigh your aff vs. the K.

I think the role of the ballot is to vote for who does the better debating. If you say the role of the ballot is something else, you still have to win that is the best role of the ballot so I would vote for you because you're winning your arguments...  I feel like this would inevitably happen on the impact part of the debate (X is important and I should vote for it becuase it does Y). Most of the time alternative ROBs are arbitrary/just what the alt says is importnat. 

I generally think the aff should get perms. The one exception is in the instance that the aff is not about the resolution because they can talk about whatever they want and always win the perm because the neg will never have specific links to the aff since they're not predictable. 

Framework - I think presumption and framework are good arguments against some of the affs that seem to do minimal things to change the status quo, especially when the aff appears to have nothing to do with the topic. Impact framework when you're neg, predictability, deliberation and limits are all internal links. You need to explain why those things are important for the practice of debate and the skills we access within  debate. If you're neg against a non-traditional aff I don't find fairness and predictability arguments to be persuasive. You need to be making arguments about why politics is a better method/lens to solve issues the affirmative outlines. You should also be making arguments about why the skills and tools policy education provides is most important. If you win a T version of the aff could solve, I'll probably vote for you. 

Performative/Non-Traditional  - I think the aff should be about something pertaining to the topic and recommend something be done that is different than the status quo (doesn't have to be a plan).  If the aff chooses to not do this, they'll have to win why the topical version of the aff can't solve for the performance/discussion that the aff began and win an impact turn to framework. In terms of impact analysis. You should be able to explain what reasonable neg ground exists versus your aff that is within the realm of topic-reltaed research. The neg should probably get to read the deterrence disad and the aff should probably defend that military presence should not exist in a topic area (doesn't mean you have to read a plan to withdraw presence). That said, I'll still vote for an aff that is not about the topic if they win their impact turns to framework/accessibility questions.  

**New note -- I think affs without a plan are a lot better off in front of me if they have a counter-interp or a we meet argumnet on framework. The move to impact turn framework without an explanation for what you vision of debate looks like has not been successful in front of me absent a counter-interp that explains how you can access the neg's framework impacts and create an educational model of debate that allows the neg to have ground. 



29.2 and above - I think you should get a speaker award

28.8 and above - I think you should clear 

28.4-28.7 - I think you're a 4-4 level debater

28 - 28.3 - Understand your arguments, but still have some technical learning to do

27.6-27.9 - lacking technical skills/knoweldge of your arguments

27.5 or below - you have done something offensive


Joseph LeDuc Paradigm

6 rounds

Short Answer: Debate is for the debaters and I mean that. Do what you want and I will do my best to evaluate the debate. I competed in policy debate for 8 years (2007-2015) and have coached many different teams at the high school and college level. I am well accustomed to the vocabulary, concepts, and debate application of a wide variety of schools of thought. I have judged very few rounds on this topic and I do not coach any HS teams so don't expect me to know a lot of the nuances or conversations about this topic. Debaters who explain those nuances and communicate those distinctions effectively will be rewarded.

Long Answer:

Debate isn't one dimensional. I believe that people do debate for a plurality of reasons including but not limited to educational enrichment, competitive ambitions, activist commitments, useless expenditure, policy training, artistic expression, or the game itself. I believe that debaters, coaches, and community members ususally have a complicated relationship with debate, especially debating at this particular historical moment. Debaters who can execute positions that articulate not only the importance of the content they are presenting but also the manner in which they are presenting their content are ahead of the curve in my book. I invest a lot in questions not only of what we should advocate or what we learn but also what type of people debate is training us to be.

I tend to be expressive when I judge so debaters who are attuned to my reactions during the round will get a lot of valuable information and feedback about how I think the debate is going.

Clarity is a huge issue for me. I think that many debaters could benefit from slowing down in order to say more. I value depth in argument over a large volume of technical arguments or cards. I find myself reading less and less evidence as I judge more so if you want me to stack up the ev at the end of a debate, you're going to have to do the comparison in your speeches.

When it comes to issues of framework/topicality, I am much more persuaded by substantively answering the aff through a competing methodology or starting-point instead of as an issue of fairness or contestability. This means I don't find procedural fairness to be a persuasive impact in and of itself. I will not be persuaded by the argument that it is impossible to debate against the affirmative or characterizing the essence of an affirmative to the argument "X is bad." I am much more persuaded by theoretical arguments on framework that are internal links to substantive framework impacts. This doesn't mean that I won't listen to framework/T but you are much better off going for a competitive criticism to the aff.

For the left, although I am familiar with many of the concepts and traditions routinely executed in debate, I tend to have a higher threshold for explanation. Using buzzwords as replacement for indepth link analysis or the way the alternative is tailored to the aff will not be a winner. This threshold for explanation also applies to more traditional debates. Being able to assess and compare impacts is essential not only late in the debate but early on if you want to establish a framing for me to view the rest of the debate.

I'm not the judge for your trolling or gotcha backfile checks (nuclear malthus, wipeout etc.).

Mark Little Paradigm

6 rounds

Email chain: little.pdx@gmail.com


Current: OES (Oregon Episcopal School) 7 years


- Cornell assistant coach

- UW debater

- Interlake debater (long time ago)


1. Open to any argument.

2. Debate is a game. You get to set the rules, except for speech times, speech order, and prep time.

3. Tech > truth. I am deeply suspicious of truth claims in debate. I endeavor to be flow centric in my judging.

4. Don't steal prep.

5. Debate is a scholarly activity. Sharp use of excellent ev is compelling to me.

6. If I seem grumpy, it just means I'm engaged and interested.

Comments on specific lines of argument:


The general rule is that T is great, subject to the exceptions below in the "Substantive arguments" section. Innovative interps or well carded args on T are refreshing.

Theory other than T

I vote for and against theory args.

- Condo / dispo: make no assumptions about the number of neg positions a team gets. Default to dispo (its ok to kick). Need justification for condo (its ok to contradict). Willing to change these defaults.

- Framework / T USFG: sure, but you will be more successful if you also engage substantively with the aff even if you don't ultimately go for those args in the 2NR.

- ASPEC, OSPEC, etc: if they are meaningful arguments, no problem voting for them.

- Novel or resurrected theory: explain it, win it, and the ballot is yours.


Straight forward. A couple of pet peeves:

- "Perm do both" is not an argument. Perms need an explanation of how they function and why they disprove competition.

- "Perms are severance and VI" is not an argument. As a default, perms are a test of competition and not an advocacy, barring an actual shift by the aff.


Mild preference for Ks grounded in the topic or with meaningful links to the aff. Links of omission are usually not persuasive.

Kevin Mahoney Paradigm

Not Submitted

Logan McRoberts Paradigm

6 rounds

E-mail: loganmcroberts@gmail.com

I debated at Lake City High School and Gonzaga University.

Topicality - I have a pretty high threshold for voting on T compared to most judges. Most T debates are muddled, incomprehensible or spread through to the point where important details aren't/can't be flowed.

DA/CPs - Generic DA/Counterplan strats are effective but boring as hell even if they can be round-winners. Overviews on DAs shouldn't be explicative - they should be comparative analysis that doesn't fit well answering 2AC arguments.

CP Theory - I think that counterplans should be functionally and textually competitive. Anything else is probably plan plus. Competing off of certainty is obnoxious. Conditionality is fine and there's a large threshold for me voting Aff on it. Judge kick is an entirely different discussion and I probably consider is illegitimate.

Kritiks - Ks should be competitive with the aff as well (floating PIKs are absurd). Cool metaphors and punch-lines are creative and sometimes funny but they're not arguments. You shouldn't assume I'll know what you're talking about but I would say I'm familiar enough with most lit bases to follow. Affs reading FW against Ks isn't convincing alone - just beat Ks on substance since most (policy) affs are impact turns to it anyways, so utilize it. As per fiat being illusory - this argument is silly in relation to how it gets utilized. I think a critic can imagine any of the possible worlds presented to them by either team and weigh them inside their head which means saying fiat is illusory doesn't mean that aff goes away. Whether we should use consequential, epistemological, or ontological questions as justifications for which world the critic has imagined is better than the other is what the debate is about.

T and Framework - Genuinely, I think debate is a space that for some, is a game, and for others is something more (even if I can't understand either of them). T is not genocide. Some groups are purposefully excluded from certain spaces and those are important topics and discussions, but that doesn't mean it's a reason, on its own to win a ballot. Topicality isn't the same as "institutions potentially good" (i.e. T versus Framework). Framework framed as institutions are good/salvageable is a distinct argument.

K affs vs. K debate - these debates are the most difficult to judge mainly because I don't think there's much competition. Arguments like, "the permutation is the link" make literally no sense. Links of omission probably aren't links of commission (even if I think it's catchy). Being able to solve the aff and still establish competition in these debates is pretty difficult.

Paul Montreuil Paradigm

6 rounds

3 Years debating at Idaho State 1 Year at UNI 4 Years judging college debate
13 Years judging high school debate
My favorite debaters (in no particular order)- Michael Klinger, Jessica Yeats, Stephen Weil, Sunil Pai and Kade Olsen My favorite judges (in no particular order)- Steve Pointer, Mike Hester, Adam Symonds and Aimi Hamraie
My favorite strategy for pretty much any argument is impact turning. You should probably do what you do best though.
I’m very strict about clarity and the highlighting of evidence. If you have an off case arg or advantage that takes less than a minute to read you should probably save it for another critic.
Topicality- Explanations of aff and neg ground under your interpretation goes a long way. I’m persuaded more than most by reasonability arguments.
DA’s- Defense is underrated. Please highlight enough of your ev to make an actual argument. Remember what I said about impact turning.
CP’s- I lean affirmative on most theory questions.
K’s- The key to winning these debates, regardless of side, is to talk about the aff. Don’t assume I’ve read the same literature you have so keep the jargon to a minimum. In most K debates I’ve seen there isn’t enough discussion of the alternative for my liking.
Framework- I’m one of the sick few that enjoy these arguments. A clear framework for evaluating impacts is a necessity for any argument. Whether you’re down with traditional or non-traditional frameworks you should make these arguments in front of me.
I’m not sure I can be offended and I respect boldness. I’m confused by the widespread belief that people somehow have a right to not be offended.
Oh and paperless teams- don't give the other team a document with cards you aren't going to read. If you realize you have to skip some cards to cover tell them exactly how many cards you are skipping then take prep (your own) to delete them from their document before the next cx starts.
Good luck to all. Any questions please ask. I promise to work hard and I respect you for participating in this intense competition.

Josh Munro Paradigm

6 rounds

Montana is a traditional debate style. Therefore, your speed and K's will likely not be effective with me. I prefer real arguments on the topic to theories and games. I generally default to stock issues and policy making so keeping things grounded in real world is key. The topic is given for a reason and I want to hear arguments and plans about the topic.

Decorum matters. Do not treat the debate space as a place to act unprofessionally and attack your opponents just because they say something you don't like. If you claim debate is abusive and then proceed to degrade and abuse your opponents you will lose. I won't vote for K's on words, pronouns, etc.

I will listen to your style and do my best to adapt and be open minded but things that are far off topic, too rooted in just philosophy with no real world impacts will likely not work. If you cannot explain your arguments or your K in your own words dont run it. Speed is only effective so long as you are clear and understandable. If I cant understand the argument it doesnt get flowed. I dont have the evidence in front of me so spread at your own risk.

Overall, clash is key. Respond to your opponents arguments. Debate the arguments and stay grounded in reality. You can claim all the terminal impacts you want but logic and analysis are likely to shoot those links down with empiric/uniqueness alone.

Andrew Myers Paradigm

6 rounds

Andrew Myers a.k.a. "Big" or "Big Mead"

Current Assistant Director of Debate for Gonzaga University and Former Assistant Head Coach at Mead HS.

BA- Phil/Poli-Sci GU '12, MA- Phil SUNY Buffalo '14

4 Years Debating for Mead HS, 3 Years for Gonzaga. 5 Years Assistant Coach Mead HS, 5 Years ADOD at GU.

Email: andrewrossmyers@gmail.com

Final NDT Update – Minnesota NDT 19 (3-19-19)

To paraphrase Ryan Wash, this shit here is like a novel – it’s long and a lot to read. Fair, so I stole the “philosophy for the Twitter generation” idea from Adam Symonds for those that don't want to read it all:

TLDR: I have voted for and against Framework, Antiblackness, ESR + Flex, Nuclear Deterrence, Storytelling, and the State. Boo untopical policy Affs and abusive ESR CPs. Hater's Guide: Strict about highlighting, thinks Logic is real, votes for caring about people, Education > Fairness, thinks Debate isn’t just a game, hates agenda politics disads, votes for identity arguments.

My Decision Making Process:

My Vote means I think Team A wins and Team B loses. The final rebuttals most likely to win my ballot are clear on why my vote should declare their Team the winner, but the final rebuttal isn’t the only thing I will consider.

The Process of deciding which Team wins

1. General Impression – What is my first intuition about which team won the debate and why?

2. Check the Record – Did I miss something? Did I undervalue an Argument? Is there a critical concession?

3. Casting a Vote –

A. What are the “voting” issues?

B. Which, if any, arguments were decisively won or lost?

C. How do those arguments relate to the voting issues raised?

4. Determination and Decision – How will I explain the decision? Why Do I accept one of Team A’s or Team B’s voting issues over the other, i.e. Why not vote the opposite way?

This, quite simply, is how I make a decision. For why I make my decision, the rest of my judging philosophy is committed to continued debates where the voting issues are familiar. Debate is more exciting when the ground is unfamiliar, but that doesn’t mean classic debates are not interesting. Note that what constitutes a “classic” debate has more to do with intensity than ideology.

I cannot express anymore so clearly than this: Debate should not be a violent exercise, but it should be competitive, performative, and reasoned activity.

Arguments I will not likely ever vote for


A. Make debate a violent activity


B. Refuse Competition, Performance, or Reasoning.

(See below: Ethos, Pathos, Logos)

Examples of Arguments I will likely not like voting for:

1. No K’s ever judge, philosophy is too hard! If making sure when we act we do the right thing is hard for you, I have no sympathy.

2. Debate is Bad because it’s competitive! If your argument is right that winning is bad, why should you win? Clearly debate can take the competitive spirit too far and into the realm of toxicity (see: Either, A.). That violence forgets that part of playing a game is that you play with others.

3. The Circular Logic of Intrinsicness – There is a difference between what I think is intrinsic to the activity, a.k.a. what is to be done while judging, and the assertion of something being intrinsically good. The remnants of theory debates recirculating invoke too fondly paramount truths that are evidently not so self-evident.

4. The Argument as You experienced it/know it – My role here is to consider how we experience you making that argument in relation to others.

Finally, Debating about a Topic is language gaming. There are various language games we play, but we do so competitively at the intersection of thought and performance.

The 2018-2019 CEDA-NDT Topic headache:

I’ll evaluate the debate in front of me. I don’t think this resolution makes sense, and worse, is the bad kind of language game. I miss resolutions that were a statement, not a matrix.

If y’all are intent on having an ESR/Flex debate, that’s fine. Aff’s should be able to answer those core generics, some CPs are more abusive than others. I just don’t find that debate interesting.

I don’t get why Framework teams read not-topical Affs and not-topical TVAs, but especially on this topic (where the floodgates are clearly open). Aim Higher! K teams should not be afraid to read T in front of me against policy Affs. Policy Negs should be ready to defend the topic if your Framework argument is that the topic is good.

No Exec Authority to First Use Nuclear Strike =/= No First Use

Affs should specify the restriction(s)

I don’t think the Act of students debating simultaneously does anything about Trump in the moment. I do think I have seen debating by students on this topic that could effectuate change out of the round. I don’t know if this means anything in regards to presidential power.

I’m really not cool with War Criminals or Fascists.

NDT 16 Judge Philosophy Update 3-25-16

This will by my second year judging and coaching at the NDT for Gonzaga, and I feel compelled to comment on my continually developing disposition(s) as a judge.

I’ve had 52 rounds on this topic, varying in all styles.

I implore you to read what I’ve written here. I take this part of my job seriously and want to demonstrate how my thinking (philosophy) changes and stays the same.

If you don’t read it, ask Michigan KM how that went.

I prefer my role as a judge to be a primarily nonverbal communicative partner – including me in the round, making eye contact (when appropriate), reacting to how I am understanding you, is not merely a narcissistic request: it’s a recognition of a preference for active learning and teaching, for all of us.

I have previously written here that I prefer to be an educator, but frankly that won’t be the case for certain content or experiences. I can, however, offer some academic advice on the structure of your arguments, rhetoric and speaking style. Thus, being an educator is a preference based on comfort, but my comfort isn’t my preference with exception to the following uncomfortable (enough to vote you down) scenarios:

  • Making jokes about rape, or responding to issues of sexual violence with jokes. It’s not funny to me. You know who you are.
  • Sex, Gender, Orientation, Race or Ability discrimination
  • Being willfully ignorant about Race. Racial naiveté isn’t always a reason to lose a round, but being unwilling to admit fault, mistake or responsibility for certain behaviors is not, at the very least, a persuasive way to get my ballot.

As a quick aside on education, the question of what a university should be for often causes me consternation. After all, for someone who valued education as an excuse not to go home, my growing pessimism in the academy (whether from the expected bitterness of graduate school or from the contemporary conversations of the occupy and black lives matter generation) makes me receptive to some cynical positions. I’ve seen some pretty indefensible things condoned in the University. That said…I still believe this activity can be good for students and as such my responsibility is primarily to them. The second I don’t believe that, I won’t be here. Without students we coaches don’t have a job. See Below: Commitment to Educational Debate.

And so I return to my reason for posting: I felt compelled because of my position to comment on some topics pervading the debate community right now:

- If I’m on a panel and someone wants to replace me, I won’t be offended as long as I can cover the rounds I am obliged to so my students can debate.

- If there is a recording, I don’t really want to be on it… So I understand the concern with being recorded against your will. I know states differ on their local laws and the NDT Committee has put forth polices on it. If both teams have to be on video, then I will also have to be on video for the space to be fair(er). I think there are interesting privacy arguments in support of extending protections against being recorded in debates, but I also think accountability is important. In the end I just want to judge the debate.

- I think speech times have to be rigid. I am fine with flex prep, and am honestly lax about prep in general, but at some point fairness and timeliness is a concern.

- I once judged a debate where a Bifo team hit a Buddhist team and they deconstructed the round, reconstructed it, and gave final speeches after dialogue. It was different but not uncomfortable, on time, mutually agreed upon, and productive.

- The only things I will say about civility concerns: a) Before the debate starts I don’t expect much other than if I’m asked I’ll answer questions. b) When the timer starts for the 1AC it’s all performance – that’s a necessary space to express some seriously challenging thoughts c)When the timer stops I prefer some quiet to make a decision, but I often will go smoke or put my headphones in anyway d) At no point should you physically harass anyone. Consent for me applies equally well to unwanted intentional physical touching e) Other issues are probably not my fight and I don’t poke around in them unless beckoned to – either by the ballot or as a community member and academic employee.

As a child Hip Hop made me read books,

And Hip Hop made me wanna be a crook

And Hip Hop gave me the way and something to say

And all I took in return is a second look

- Slug, Party for the Fight to Write

An Admission of Hubris –

“I probably have read the primary sources your authors are talking about.”

Turns out I don’t know much about many contemporary primary source debate authors, even if many of them I do (Given my previous disclosures of my education, expected authors would include stuff like Foucault and Fanon, but exclude stuff like Berlant and Bifo). Either way, you could plausibly predict what I’ve read merely given the MA and BAs in Political Science and Philosophy from a Jesuit Liberal Arts School. Ah how the tables have turned!

To Finish, another nod to Z-Lowe..

Ten Things I Like and Dislike

1. Terrible highlighting -

Honestly a lot of the “evidence” students are reading into the round has become unrecognizable by academic standards of clarity and integrity. Examples of things that irk me: sentence fragments, highlighting parts of a word as a word (i.e., deforestation becomes “defo,” proliferation becomes “prolif,” nuclear weapons becomes "nucs" ). A good way to understand my expectation: highlight your evidence as if you were quoting your sources in an academic paper. Anything else is the privileging debate norms over educational standards of scholarship.

2. Reading a Pile ‘O’ Cards -

In almost every entry here I bring this up. I still will read a bunch of evidence after the round given certain circumstances, but it’s my least favorite thing to do. Given the complexity of debate and the relative short times to make decisions, I don’t want to spend my time adjucating reading evidence I should have heard as part of your “speech.” Making a decision after re-reading read evidence in a debate distances judges from the performance of the speech and increases the likelihood of interpretive hubris. I don’t think either of those things are desirable characteristics of a decision. My novel idea for debate would be for judges to hear evidence read, the first time its read. I also think this is possibly a reason why I often find affective modes of communication persuasive – what they lack in depth they make up in clarity. I don’t think debate is a research competition.

A minor quip on the subject of speech documents: sending a speech doc for your opponents and judges that is 100 pages is both annoying and unrealistic. It makes it hard for everyone and borders on obfuscation. For my philosophy on obfuscation, See: Baudrillard.

3. Affs That Do Things –

I was more often a 2A than a 2N throughout my career. I loved the challenge of changing the status quo. Debate is one of the few spaces you can advocate things we would otherwise be shutdown for: ideas being politically unlikely, socially difficult or subject to academic inertia. If you aff decides to do nothing, I am very likely to buy presumption/pessimism arguments in response. If your aff does something, I am more likely to filter the debate through that proposed change. On a somewhat related note, my proclivity for opacity arguments is almost always as a neg strategy. I do think there are instances in which an opacity Aff makes sense, but given my biases here, it may be best to explain opacity as somehow a strategy to change the SQ, instead of merely retreat from it.

4. Violence, Nebulas… not Stirred

Too many debates I’ve seen have debaters using violence as an ultimate impact, without explaining intricacies or giving frameworks for understanding what violence means. How am I supposed to adjudicate different claims of violence against each other? Or what about violence against some tangible traditional impact (War, Environment, Disease)? Ethics can’t function if everything is axiologically leveled to “violence,” and thus questions of what I should vote for is very likely to be arbitrary in the minds of participants, even if inevitable given the level of analysis in the debate.

5. Demarcating Points of Contestation

Similar to my respect for taking on the challenge of the SQ, I reward debaters who clearly demarcate points of contestation in the round and focus on those matters of debate. Too often debaters run away from arguments rather than engage them. In the college policy debate community this can be discouraging, because we are supposedly a model for deliberation and dialogue. Those latter realities only exist if you’re willing to admit where the debate is, admit that you may not necessarily be right, but debate out the issues.

6. Lost Art of the Case Debate

I am by no means a stock issues judge, but I do think that every argument, every aff should be responsible for these questions. A lot of the time case debate devolves into alt causes and impact defense. While those are good arguments to have, especially in the 2nr, not debating the case is almost always an important forgone opportunity. This is particularly true for K affs – put up a fit and you will be in a much better position than simply ignoring the case. Because of my expectations of an affirmative, I can be persuaded to not vote for an aff based on solvency alone.

7. Joshua Greene on Deontology and Util –

I feel it’s important to disclose this bias, and I have to a few teams. Here’s the thing, when you spend a year on a masters thesis and one of the opponents of your thesis becomes a large focus of effort, time and intellectual investment…it’s nearly impossible to remove that bias. Joshua Greene’s arguments in favor of a moral realist/essentialist account of utilitarianism and deontology invariably raises my blood pressure and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Read a different defense of utilitarianism in front of me – I’m not persuaded FMRI’s prove how people think morally.

8. Flex Time –

I think there is enough to be gained in cross-examination, the most lively and engaging part of debate, that using prep time to ask and answer questions has almost no downside for me. That said, I think the other team has the right to not consent to questions of content (instead of clarification questions: theory, technical or flow) after the normal 3-minute cx period has expired.

9. Conflating Topicality and Framework –

The more persuasive arguments for me center on the content/object of the resolution (military presence) rather than on implementation/actor questions. For one, I think a resolution without “federal government” makes traditional Topicality arguments that turn into framework arguments very duplicitous. Framework should be the debate about what that Aff and Neg should have to do to meet a good interpretation of debate. If an aff makes an ethical statement that US Military Presence is bad, you have the grounds to say its good. You don’t need USFG action to do that. An Aff that doesn’t engage in the question of military presence, or some interpretation of that, isn’t being topical and I can find it a reason to vote Neg. I have voted on different conflations of Framework and T, but I increasingly find it important to delineate the two.

10. Being Big

I am still working on my pronoun usage and am myself unclear about my thoughts on many issues of identity, but I do think my persona in debate, while always authentic, is somewhat reserved. I am not particularly motivated to be extroverted in an activity that often reminds me how stuck up academics can be, and how they think that just because of my appearance they can crack jokes I find distasteful. As a result, I want to be known by who I am when I’m in the debate community. Calling me Andrew is a sign you haven’t given me the courtesy of reading this. Big is always the best way to refer to me.

2015-16 (Military Presence) Preseason Update:

I still endorse my philosophy as written below. Just a few quick updates as we begin this year:

- I am probably not the best judge for Baudrillard debates. Sue me. (Or Forget Baudrillard)

- I still like watching CPs and DAs, much to the dismay and/or shock of my fellow judges and coaches.

- I have a fairly low threshold for what is reasonably topical, but I prefer a reasonability argument on T to make an interpretation of the topic and give me a claim as to why the Aff (and other Affs) could engage the topic under that interpretation.

- Teams that escape jargonism, fashionable witticisms, and oversimplified argument explanation will do well in front of me. I like creative and unique debaters (which can be accomplished in any style - it's usually a matter of dedication, effort and presentation).

- Please explain Acronyms early in the year. Not everyone is going to get what your particular subdivision affirmative is on first hearing it.

- If you didn't read my judging philosophy before round, expect no pity for ignoring my preferences and/or committing offenses I find particularly blameworthy.

- If you can't debate technically, debate thuroughly. I am just flowing in excel columns anyway.

- Random but non-negligble pet peeve: students who start lists and never finish them (e.g., Debater says "There are Three Impacts to the K" then explains only two impacts).

- I value Cross-Examination like a speech. You can win and lose a round in one of those 3 min segments.

- Finally, I proscribe to this ridiculous notion that Debate is a Communicative Activity where Debaters try and Persuade me to Vote for them. See below for what persuades me and what doesn't.

2015 NDT Update:

I decided to post an update to my judging philosophy for the upcoming NDT (2015). Hopefully this is with enough time (a couple of weeks) for everyone to review it.

By far the most important thing: While I've judged 40-45 rounds on this topic, I have done so primary here out west. I don't think that disqualifies any of the debates I've watched - there were some terrific debates I had the privilege to judge this year. Still, full disclosure: I am more familiar with some teams than others, in the sense I've judged them debate before. Then again, with mutual pref judging, this seems like an inevitable outcome - you will always have seen certain parts of the debate community, hardly ever the whole field.

I decided to update what I've written so far for my judging philosophy primarily because I know the preceding to be compelling case for further disclosure of how I adjudicate debates. I stand by much of what I've already written. To expand, I decided to give a "Top Ten Things I Like and Don't like" (primarily an influence of reading Zach Lowe/Simmons Inc... also playing liberally with "Like" and "Don't Like," substitute "find persuasive" and "don't find persuasive" if you wish) in debate rounds.

Top Ten Things I Don't Like (In no particular Order):

1. Clipping

My First round back in debate came down to a clipping call out. Where I come from this is a "no-brainer" ethics question, but I do feel strongly that some rules in debate are necessary. One of those is you must read what you submit as evidence in speeches, particularly when in the form of cards. You will lose if you clip in front of me, but I need video/audio evidence and speech docs to determine this. Please, for everyone involved, do a better job of digitally "marking" your cards - don't leave things to chance.

Because I view clipping this way, it's important to note that while I'm not willing to vote for a team that clipped evidence, not all infractions are alike. I will not always simultaneously reduce speaker points to zero, or some other tanking number, and vote a team down. I believe mistakes can be made, but I also believe people can be malevolent.

Just don't do it, slow down and you'll probably sound better anyway.

2. Automization

I mean this somewhat sarcastically, but nothing about you reading into a computer screen is persuasive to me. I will always believe in the value of files, evidence and research, but those are neither absolute ideals nor the only means to win a debate round. Arguments, for instance, are not something I'm willing to vote on because it was written somewhere - explanation of evidence is key. I feel the prevalence of paperless debating is a evil necessity, primarily because debaters lose something of their ability to speak otherwise. Look up at me occasionally?

3. Avoidance

Call this my inverse justification for Clash being a thing I like. Debaters who avoid issues in debate/debate rounds are usually being: (1)selfish, (2)cowardly, (3)strategic or (4) unknowing/naive/unwilling. Only two of those states become problematic for a debate round, for two produce clash and argumentation, and the other two make the debate messy and needlessly complicated. Don't avoid a point of contestation with me, but also don't feel like I have a preferred set of points from which all arguments should begin.

4. Reading Evidence After the Round

I still dislike this practice, and I wrote about it previously below. However, I should make something clear: I really, really dislike debates where reading a pile of cards is the way to come to a decision. This, I understand, can be the natural outcomes of both good and bad debates. However, I want to stand by my statement:

"I will check evidence for accuracy/truth in representation if another team claims it doesn't support its intended use (i.e. your card that says the sky is purple actually claims the sky is blue). If an argument wasn't clear to me, and you were supposed to win a round on it, you probably should have made it clearer than a mumbled 15 seconds."

I have read multiple pieces of evidence in the post-round this year. I will admit that evil necessity paperless debate has this charm, and having the evidence in an email chain seems like not only good academics, but also a modicum of professionalism. I can't say I haven't been more compelled to read because I can get entire speech docs. This is a particularly helpful part of adjudicating that I won't ignore. However, if I can't get what you want me to get out of evidence in the post round (particularly if it's under-highlighted, which happens too frequently and is frankly discouraging) you will likely have dissuaded me more than had I not, and that matters for close NDT Debates.

The easy way to avoid all of this is to read evidence clearly, and draw the necessary warrants out of it. I think it's lazy to collapse an evidenced argument into a Authors last name (excluding titling a flow). Yes, technically there could be a "line" there, but is a bad practice of rhetoric and I find it unpersuasive. I also am always willing to check on factuality rather than persuasion. If you provide reasons why the other team's evidence is misread/doesn't support their argument, I value that style of argumentation equally as much as I dislike having to interpret evidence for/against speeches. I do not have a problem reading evidence, especially at the NDT, on the basis of these arguments. Ultimately, I am not going to read every piece of evidence submitted for review like that was all you did in the debate round - submitting evidence for review. I have other portions of the debate to think about.

5. Victim Blaming

I have no desire to vote for any argument that implies this ethos. This is both an ethos and a logos question. For example, Psychoanalysis K's can run dangerously close to blaming rape victims. I am not cool with that frame of mind and will flush your expensive euro-trash with a L.

6. Rude Partners

This is the sneaky dark-horse for my ideal in debate: the best debate occurs when partners work together, not individually.

Crazy right? Those who chose 2 person CX debate at some point chose to work with others. I reward debaters who embrace that aspect more than the sound of their own voice. A smart team is almost always two individuals working hard for each other, rather than two smart debaters working for themselves.

Don't be destructive to each other. Agonistic partnerships can be very successful, but they can also hurt your chances at winning. By far the best indictment of your argument, in any round, comes from your partner. Don't belittle, unnecessarily interrupt, or look upset/uninterested during your partner's speech. I ultimately give my ballot to a team, not an individual.

There is also a way to be kind/authentic in criticizing the arguments of your opponents (if you need a primer, see Dennett's "How to compose a successful critical commentary" in Intuition Pumps. I am by no means a fan of Dennett, but that process is one every debater should think about). Make sure, as much as one can, to do this as a team.

7. Tagless Taglines

A bit of 4 and 2 in this one, but I am also old school in how evidence is tagged. I am fine with short tags for evidence that requires no explanation. "Extinction," however, is neither a claim nor statement of fact. In fact, many cards read and tagged in such a manner frequently have little to make me believe the argument is even that strong. On the opposite end of the spectrum are K teams who read 3-4 paragraphs and don't introduce the evidence, or make it clear what part of their argument is supported by some fragment of analysis. Taglines in K debates I have a higher threshold on, but those issues irk me as much as badly tagged evidence that is then read unclearly anyway. Make claims, support them with evidence (or as I told many of my students in the past: evidence is a tool, not an argument).

8. Speaker Point Inflation

Mostly because I couldn't avoid it and my judging philosophy no longer represents my scale well. For the NDT:

26 and Below - You were punishably rude.

26.5. Incomplete, your speech ended with large gaps, whole flows dropped, no persuasiveness

27. Poor, you made a crucial error, were completely disorganized or had gaps in your speeches

27.5 Below Average, you provided no momentum for the ballot

28 - Average, you proved you should be here

28.5 - Above Average, you have the power to win some more ballots here

29.0 - Excellent, you should break at the NDT.

29.5 - Elite, you will be debating on Monday.

30 - Asymptotic, per my experience, these are so infrequent you can't predict them happening.

9. Debaters who don't Check Themselves

It's important to know when you're crossing a line from competitive to exclusionary, confident to obtuse. It's also important to act in a manner that produces a meaningful debate experience (whatever that may be). If that becomes impossible because you're not willing to discuss things like privilege, it seems you've failed at a basic test of self-skepticism that makes arguing possible. When debaters know they can lose on things like "Your evidence doesn't say Econ declines" and don't agree with decisions made through that framing, that to me is on par with refusing to answer the claim that "Your experience should be recognized as privileged in this analysis" and losing because they weren't open to how experience can be interepreted. We can't have debates if we don't purport to have some level of skepticism, arguing would cease to function educationally. That said, these are questions that implicate arguments, and almost completely arguments, rather than individual debaters.

10. Coaches that Degrade, not Support, their Students

I can deal with coaches making fun of each other, but how you treat the students in debate tells me more about you than how you treat the your fellow coaches. I am very intolerant of this in all forms - the students are paying to do this, not us. Treating any student in a defamatory or rude manner, that's a major turn off and I would prefer we don't speak.

Top Ten Things I Like (In no particular Order):

1. Analytic Arguments

I don't know if this a function of my experience with speech and debate growing up, but debaters who can't make arguments without evidence almost certainly are at a disadvantage in front of me. I will not simply dismiss a logical argument because you have a piece of evidence that argues, rather than proves/demonstrates, the opposite. Analytic arguments quality check the cohesiveness of the debate, bring issues to light in the block often foregone, and demonstrate a level of understanding and willingness to argue. Analytic arguments in debate almost always function on an a-posteriori basis and rarely a-prior unless that "K-Word" comes back into play. You should be able to argue, for instance, about connections between evidence, without needing another piece of evidence. This demonstrates a higher level of skill in debate that I reward. I do this not only selfishly as a lover of argumentative analysis, but also as someone who knows this skill can be, and often is, rewarded by graduate school, job opportunities and other sectors of life.

2. Proof by Example(s)

Though I like analytic arguments, and find a-priori claims persuasive, most often the fruitful discussions in debate occur when teams give concrete examples to explain, (sometimes seemingly) abstract concepts, connections or arguments. This process of concretion demonstrates to me a level of sophistication and understanding, and also a tangible hook to hang my hat on during post-round decisions. Obviously metaphors, poems, scripted-performances, etc. could all be examples of proof by example, not just history. Consider my preference here to be a testing question:

Basic Argument Necessities:

1. Do you have a Claim?

2. How is that Claim supported?

3. Proof by example: how does your argument operrationalize in different parts of the debate? How might it explain other questions in the debate?

4. Impact in/for the Round

3. Confidence/Willingness to Make Mistakes

I believe the qualities we associate with great debaters usually include fearlessness, confidence, complete attention, etc. These can manifest in different ways, and those ways in different people. The confidence that impresses me is the willingness to try, and be willing to fail to win a debate round. I think sometimes debaters are too worried about losing to focus on winning. As long as that focus doesn't result in other harmful mannerisms, attitudes and actions, I reward debaters for trying to win the round with with a cool confidence.

4. Round Awareness

Somewhat piggybacking of of 3, Debaters who are aware of details during a debate round can always make more strategic persuasive connections. There is a difference, for instance, in debating in the out rounds of the NDT and the Prelims. The way you construct your speech should be wary of that. The composition(s) of the people in the round is not ignorable, the audience included. There is also an awareness of how arguments function, when to stop belaboring, and when to reword and reclarify those arguments. These skills develop with time, but they should be easier to excersise with me because I am a fairly expressive judge. I am no Dallas, alas, but I do nod my head, smile, frown, laugh...you know, those things that make most of us feel human. I find this to be the most honest practice. Mostly, however, I am just very bad at Poker...so I will not try to be a stone-faced judge.

Debaters should also be aware of time. I don't reward teams with more than completing a sentence when the timer ends. I don't reward desperate shadow extensions in the last few seconds. I do reward speeches that end on or before time, or speeches that properly allocate time. I do reward good use of prep and CX time. Speaking time is the most valuable aspect of debate you can somewhat control, and everyone has the same access to the same time. Utilizing time well is a very good indicator of in round awareness.

5. Commitment to Educational Debate

This is an academic community (it includes mostly people employed and/or enrolled in the academy) that should primarily be focused on the Students. As such, students who understand where the pedagogical value of their arguments lie have a greater chance of winning in front of me. This is partly a question of logos (what have you learned, how did you learn it, what are we to learn?) and commitment your fellow students. Granted: not all students are alike, nor do they have the same experience. These two facts should be treated as advantageous: because you all are not alike and share different experiences, a commitment to learning together is probably the best possible praxis for debate. How does the debate round, per your framework or role of the ballot, promote learning? If learning is not all that important to you, that's fine. But understand I value this part of debate more than fairness or love of the game. I refuse to believe that debate doesn't help students - if that's your explicit goal I will likely be dissuaded. If you don't think debate is important, don't be in debate.

6. Humor

Judging very stressful debates can build up a lot of pressure. Humor is a great release valve. That being said, it's not in everyone's repertoire. Do what makes you comfortable, self-depreciation is almost always humbling but also potentially lighthearted.

7. Clash

Debate can be frustrating when neither team argues about the other teams arguments. The worst debates to judge, for me, have been ones where the Aff only talks about aff evidence, the Neg about the neg evidence. I think this is primarily a function of three practices:

A. Horizontal proliferation of arguments. I am persuaded by claims about 4-5 conditional options as weighing heavily against in depth clash from the 2AC. Part of me believes that this is inevitable in a competitive activity, part of me believes that it is also a defensible tactic. That said, if a team is "pushing pieces" but not arguing well, I do value theoretical objections on the basis of what positons move away from clash and what positions move toward it.

B. Fear of Impact Turning arguments. Too many times arguments become needlessly unwound without a point of disagreement. Your solvency/framework/kritik cards may poke many a whole, but the best evidence takes a stance in the opposite direction. Do I believe all impact turns are the same, ethically speaking? No: see Victim Blaming, above. That being said, in front of me, you can "Impact Turn" a methodology as much as you can a value claim. Why teams don't do this more often is strategically puzzling. They said Science was Bad? Maybe there are arguments that Science can be Good, or Useful? "Impact Turn" strategies make an obvious point of contestation that makes creative clash possible. However, Impact turning is merely a sufficient but not necessary means achieve that clash.

C. Debaters hate being wrong. Probably for good reason - most have been trained not to argue wrong things. Still, without trying out different arguments that produce a response from your opponent, debate kind of becomes oratory research reports, rather than engaging discussion.

8. ROTB's that Both Teams can Access

I do not find a "Role of the Ballot" claim that is to "vote for us" to be persuasive. I think its dishonest and transparently one sided to interpret the role of a ballot through one team's participation. Strictly speaking I think the role of my ballot is always to vote for the team that did the best debating, but if you have an argument otherwise, I would be more persuaded by a functionality/interpretation of how my vote works if both teams get a chance of receiving that vote. Otherwise its a meaningless piece of debate jargon substituting comfortable rhetoric for good impact framing.

9. Balance of Pathos, Ethos, Logos

Old-School Comm in this sense. Good public speaking requires a balancing all three. Excelling in one or more is ideal, but an above average accounting for each aspect is more valuable than any one on its own.


You could be completely correct on a knowledge question, but did not impact that access to truth, nor argue for it with any passion. That is less persuasive than someone who may have lost a few questions of truth, but can still access impacts and passionately argue for them.

You could be full of passion, emotion and making an ethical case without an explanation of how your argument functions or why it should be believed (reasoning, logos).

Put another way:

If you are right on a question, that means you can win that part of the debate (Logos). You do not win for being right in places.

If you are passionate on a question, that means you can string together good arguments persuasively. Without arguments, you won't be persuasive, just passionate.

If you win an ethics question, that means you can frame the debate and win it. You could be right that violence is bad, but not provide a means to resolve it, analyze it or persuade me that its a reason to vote for you.

10. Round Framing in Final Rebuttals

Almost universally, this is what separates elite from above average debaters. Many of the Coachs and People Who Teach Labs I've talked to aree this is one of, if not the most important skill thats difficult to polish. The difficulty of the 1AR/2NR/2AR notwithstanding, the best speeches, and thus the easiest to vote for, frame how to make a decision regarding particular arguments and strategies as a whole. Not doing this puts it in my hands, which is not a bad thing per say, but it's always more strategic to tie together your arguments and show how they win the round. Old-school Voting Issues are important to me. What is most important, what could you do without? Even/if statements in the last rebuttals are supremely helpful.

Fall 2014 Judging Philosophy**

First, I should mention: I left College Debate before my senior year at Gonzaga. This did not play well with many in the community, after all I was abandoning an activity I had previously spent so much time on.

After graduating from Gonzaga, I enrolled SUNY at Buffalo's PhD in Philosophy program. I recently received my Masters and left UB to pursue other things in life.

I mention these things only to say, if I appear bitter, I really am not. But I do believe there are more important things than debate, and all of what I have been reading - on various media and social media platforms - about debate rings true about academia as a whole.

All of that said, I still think debate is an important activity, especially for students. As a judge, I have always preferred to act as an educator. This can include simply listening and giving the reflections of an average citizen - any debate is still ultimately a two-way street of communication for me. Thus, the primary importance of debate, for me, is that it is a speech activity emphasizing persuasion skills. I have no stylistic preferences, but I have been out of the game for about 3 years so I might be a bit rusty with speed, and might need some expanding of abbreviations, jargon and/or acronyms. Clarity and rhythm are crucial either way, and I'll announce "clear" several times before giving up flowing. Frankly, speed reading ultimately trades off with clarity, and I'd rather hear your argument than guess. Because I know I'm rusty I figured I should be clear with that warning - I'm not going to flow theory real well at 400wpm, let alone cards.

The other ultimate difference between myself and my peers: I detest reading a pile of evidence after a round. With few exceptions, most debates come down to a decision about a few issues. If this were quarters at the NDT, I would definitely join this practice insofar as my due diligence for the activity is concerned. If you think a piece of evidence is important, remember that I heard you read it once, and you have multiple opportunities to explain why the evidence is crucial. The obvious caveat to all of this is that I will check evidence for accuracy/truth in representation if another team claims it doesn't support its intended use (i.e. your card that says the sky is purple actually claims the sky is blue). If an argument wasn't clear to me, and you were supposed to win a round on it, you probably should have made it clearer than a mumbled 15 seconds.

I suppose in many ways my academic traits mirror that of my debate tastes. I tend to be a generalist - arguments of many shapes and varieties can peak my interest. In terms of my degree, my AOS is in metaphysics, and my AOCs are in Ethics, Ancient Philosophy and Continental/Social Philosophy. That being said, I spent the last few years being too weird for both the analytic and continental schools of philosophy - I find Baudrillard and Dennett equally intolerable. I probably have read the primary sources your authors are talking about. Just because you think repeating "Dasein" or some other term over and over is going to get a win, the reality of things often disagrees. Be clear and concise and don't rely on jargon to win your criticisms, make them apparent with evidence comparisons and concise link work. I love a good kritik debate, but despise a bad one. I debated all kinds of arguments in my career, and found many of those debates enjoyable for different reasons. I am comfortable with most anything, but don't tolerate any physical or mental abuse, discrimination or hate. Those are the easiest paths to make my ballot simple.

I'll accept any framework if it's argued for well. Performance, Identity etc. are all important elements in thinking about arguments. As I said, I like debate rounds that are aware of the activity as a communicative one. When I make expressions during your speeches, they usually are done intentionally. It's nice to be talked to as more than a transcriber.

If you have questions about typical jargon stuff, ask before the round. Frankly you should be able to convince me of something regardless of my biases - though I admit that my worst bias is openness to arguments. So I'm probably not going to reject a team for reading a K. Sorry.

Other housecleaning: I'm always a fan of being included in the debate if I'm judging, thus if you are paperless and are emailing, include me (andrewrossmyers [at] gmail [dot] com). I'll time prep as finished when the email is sent or flash drive is ejected. My main mentors, though I have had many, were Steve Pointer and Izak Dunn.

Speaker Points - My speaker points for an "average" debater is a 27.5. If I ever give someone a 30, it's probably going to be the last time I do.


Crafty-ness and Tactics

Persuasion and Interpersonal Speaking

Clarity, Calmness, Confidence

Effective and Engaging CX's




Unintelligibility/Marble Mouths


Unbearable/boring CX's

Tunnel Vision


Why you gott be so rude? Don't you know they're humans too? Actually, being a little bit rude is what makes the activity fun, but there's a difference between joking/confidence/pressure and being distracting/harmful/obtuse. Please respect the thin line.

** Weber Update: I will vote teams down for clipping. This includes skipping words. I will only do so with video evidence in combination with the speech doc. I don't think this is always malicious, so my reduced speaker points will vary with the severity of the offense. (For instance, if you skip entire lines, I will give you a zero).

Mark Ornelas Paradigm

6 rounds

HS: Damien HS '12

BA: Gonzaga University '16

MSc: University of Edinburgh ‘17

Ph.D: University of Cincinnati

Years of Judging: 9

UPDATED: 10/31/2020

I debated back between 2008-2016 in both high school and college at Damien and Gonzaga respectively. I am a Ph.D student in Philosophy and Cognitive Science, so when I say that I evaluate arguments, I mean it. Debate is about communication of arguments, meaning it’s about the arguments you articulate that I can understand.

You can do anything you want in a debate, but remember that I have to be able to recognize it as an argument for or against something. This means that, you should have some claim and some way to defend that claim. In terms of literature bases, I am familiar with both old school policy and K debate, as well as the more contemporary versions of each.

We all have some biases, so here is a few of the things that are generally true about me: I was both a 2N and a 2A, equally. I almost always default to evaluating if the Aff wins the case debate first. I think the negative can do anything that challenges the Aff as being a good idea. I think conditionality is good. I think alternatives and CP’s should be functionally and textually competitive. I am not white, and I do not have any white guilt. I think language and arguments are a tool to be used, and therefore have ascribed (i.e. not static) meaning. I think clash is good. I think fairness should be preserved. I think that debate is about argument and communication. I think that it is your burden to make something understandable to me. I think that there should be offense and defense in a debate. I will vote on any argument, so long as I have a reason to do so, and it is your burden to give me an argument to vote for.

I try to mitigate my bias whenever I can, and try to ask myself if I am making a judgement based on what was said in the debate. So I try to be as objective as possible, and find that I tend to have this, if you want to call it, a bias towards fairness.

Tim Pollard Paradigm

6 rounds


This is Tim Pollard.

Note for Tahoma LD debaters (2020):

Below you will find a paradigm that reflects what I've been doing in debate 5 years - infrequently judging policy debates. All the points translate pretty directly back to how I feel about LD. Though I should add that I do have a reasonable amount of familiarity with "LD-style" arguments, so don't worry that I won't like your Kant Aff. I would love to hear your Kant aff.

However, policy debate HAS spoiled me by not having to deal with some of the ... idiosyncrasies of LD debate. Three aimless rant sections identified with bold if you don't have time to read the corpus and need to check what's relevant to you.

First, I think Theory debates in LD generally sit somewhere between asinine and making the activity of debate actively worse. If yr ideal 1ar involves metatheory, I am likely not your judge. I also really don't want to judge any theory debate that would make "Reading util against a Kant aff and then going to case" an impermissible negative strategy (AFC / ACC sort of things). Arguments like theory-justified frameworks are pretty close to that as well, seems like cowards moves. That said THERE ARE DEFINITELY TIMES WHERE YOU CAN AND SHOULD READ THEORY AND THAT'S OK.

Second, at an in-person debate event, i would be unable to flow yr a-through-f enumerated warp-speed-delivered 5-word-each wall of spikes. I can't imagine this gets better over Zoom, so enunciate. Slow down a little, or i'm liable to miss the third reason why moral skepticism is true and I will not vote on it when it shows up in the rebuttal. This is also true in the theory debate. If yr strat is to make your opponent miss something in the cloud of chaff, I'm likely to miss it as well and won't feel bad about not voting on it.

Third, some of the notes on K debates below likely operate slightly differently in LD than in policy debate (or maybe they don't.. i have no idea what the metagame looks like these days). Short version: Yes I will vote for your critical argument. It is absolutely critical that you explain how it functions and under what understanding of the world and debate I should vote for it if that differs from "the resolution is true/false". I've probably forgotten most of the buzzwords so walk me through it.

Please feel free to ask me questions before the round if you want something made more clear or it's not in the doc - I don't spend a lot of time in-depth thinking about debate anymore so I'm sure it's imperfect. timapollard is my google email handle if you have q's. (Actually does this tournament even have prefs? You might just be stuck with me and I hope to provide better service than the average rando. Good luck.)

Top-level (Following material assumed policy debate but still applies generally):

The first thing I evaluate in debates are questions of uniqueness or differentiation. You will win if you prove why whatever you did in your speech is distinct and preferable from your opponents.

I usually think of debate as a game (in the strategic and competitive sense). That doesn’t mean that it lacks extrinsic value or is bound to specific sets of norms or forms of strategy. But does mean that things like speech time limits and my ability to sign a ballot deciding a winner are non-optional. Prep ends when you email the doc or otherwise transmit your speech to the opponent.

The ability for me to understand the structure of your argument is a prerequisite for me to evaluate it, so debaters have a positive burden to explain the function and operation of their argument. I am willing to vote on presumption if either I cannot describe to myself what an argument does or can be persuaded by either side wrt it's non-function.

Judging the round is based on the comparative quality of argument as presented. The most important thing is that your chosen form of argumentation displays knowledge of the issues and is compellingly defended. The more you sound well-researched and engaged in the issues, the better points I'm likely to give you.

I evaluate performance in CrossX compatibly to a speech.

I flow on paper and might ask you for some. I still want the doc, but pay attention because I don't want to (and probably won't) dredge up yr args from some speech doc if I couldn't catch them in the speech. I'm usually pretty good at saying if I can't flow you.

Assorted Specifics:

This is the first tournament I have judged on the arms sales topic. Assume my knowledge of the topic is imperfect - as mentioned, yr burden to make me get yr arg.

Plan is implemented and matters debates

I don't subscribe to the offence/defense paradigm and believe in the ability of sufficiently complete defense/lack-of-link to take out an impact.

Going for the permutation against a criticism in your big silly impacts aff generally just sounds weird and you are actually going for "case outweighs" anyway. Seriously just talk about how sweet your aff is. The permutation is a fundamentally defensive argument.

Go for T against policy affs more. Folks are getting away with WAY too much.

KvK debates

First, generating external impacts and/or differentiating your impact claim is critical. Often these debates get gummed up in both teams winning that they solve and the other team causes some amount of violence/oppression - with me left to muck through and pick an internal link story, tending to have people end up unhappy.

Second, explain how yr perm works in the context of the debate round - what does it mean for me to endorse/reject a permutation? The argument that affs don't get permutations in these situations (method v method debate) threatens to make sense but also has to work through my presumption that the negative must prove something the aff does/assumes/engages with is bad. Generally you should not expect to win just for having another good idea.

Clash debates

I am extremely unlikely to be persuaded by args that reduce to FW: Ks are bad. Stop whining and defend yr aff.

I generally think affirmatives should take an affirmative position wrt the topic area (this doesn't mean you need a plan or to defend the politics DA or whatever).

Debates where I vote for critical affirmatives against T usually hinge on the aff either successfully defending what distinguishes the affirmative from a negative arg against topical affs, or winning impact turns. You will benefit from putting a lot of defensive pressure on the neg's impacts - which tend to be poorly developed.

Both sides - don't fall into the trap of forgetting the 1AC. At the end of the day the 1AC happened and its ability to solve is likely strongly determinant of a lot of the rest of the debate.

T debaters: Stop going for the truth-testing 'assume all their args are false because we can't research them' stuff.

For people who want experience blurbs:

Competed: High school LD. Read tricks to doubles of the 2011 ToC. College Policy. 2N position. Flex args.

Coached: Gig Harbor (LD) 2012-16. University of Wasington (NDT/CEDA) 2015-16 Ingraham High School (Policy) 2015-16

Laurie Powers Paradigm

1 rounds

Not Submitted

Chad Rigsby Paradigm

3 rounds


I'm the current Saint George's Debate Coach and a former Assistant Debate Coach at Gonzaga University.  I've been judging on and off for 20 years.  

I believe that debate is a combination of strategic game and storytelling.  I consider the flow the game board and I pay attention to drops, but I expect that debaters will have a coherent story to explain their victory at the end of the round.  Although I am comfortable with most sorts of arguments, I would say that I'm primarily interested in strategic decisionmaking and in an explanation of why a team should win.

I don't have many set preferences about arguments.  I'm fine with critical/methodological arguments, though I do look closely at the Role of the Ballot in these situations; too often, these arguments devolve into discussion of methodologies that don't seem to really compete.  I am willing to listen to most theory arguments and don't have particularly strong preconceptions about them, though I do look for theoretical consistency.

I understand that debate often requires people to speak fast.  I'm fine with that.  I will tell you if you're not clear enough.

Good Luck & Have Fun!

Joe Robbins Paradigm

6 rounds

Did three years of policy debate for CHS, and some college PUFO in Ohio. Also did ADS, Edcom, IR, Panel, Extemp, and am familiar with the rules for the rest of them.

Policy Paradigm:

In general-

If you argue something well, I'm going to give it to you. My theory threshold is pretty high. I don't award speaker points based off of who is most polite. If your debate style is more, ah, confrontational, thats completely alright, as long as it doesn't look like bullying. If you are going to be condescending, please don't be wrong. Things like stealing prep or standing right next to someone while they are speaking to be intimidating is gross, and I will call you out on it with zero hesitation.



I was a 2ac, which means reasonability is a plausible argument for me. I will only drop a team on T if you put the time in. If you go for T, you will need to actually do standard comparison rather than just reading the shell. Also not a huge fan of fairness as a voter. Again, the standard debate will need to be good for me to drop somebody on it.


I'm cool with conditionality. Not a large chance I'm going to drop a team on it unless its an extreme case. That being said, please for the love of god don't drop condo because then I will have to vote somebody down on condo and that will make me an existentialy less happy person. As far as perm's go, I think they are a completely valid test of competitiveness. Multiple perms are ok, but please dont just rattle them off and be shady about it. I'm ashamed to say this but once I definitely read 6 timeframe perms and than made a huge deal about the neg dropping one of them, and the judge dropped me and called me a douchebag, and rightfully so. What I'm saying is, I will notice and call you out on it if you do something like that. Topical cps are fine, actor cps are gross but again, my theory threshold is usually high unless you can have a demonstratable in-round abuse story. 


Do your thing. Timeframe on terror impacts is BS. Heg is always a fun debate. I will make it rain speaker points on you if you run the Beef DA.


OK. So I was a k debater. I love k's. However, the two things I hate most in this world are the Oakland Raiders and poorly run critiques. I ran a lot of weird stuff, so I'm familiar with a lot of authors and most critiques, so I will know if you are misrepresenting your authors. I have run or cut: Baudrillard, Cap, Nietszche/Schmitt/Schop, PostCol, Fem, Statism, Security, Hillman (I love him as much as I secretly love war), Foucault, Agamben, Racism and have run some of these on the affirmative as well as the negative. Also am fine with performance, as long as the aff's framework argument clearly lays out a reasonable amount of ground for the negative. 


Framework is absolutely huge for me. First, I love Roland Bleiker on framework. Secondly, if your anti-k framework shell includes evidence from Ruth Shively or Richard Rorty, and the answering team points out that both of those individuals are so pro critique it is physically painful and any card tagged otherwise is taking them wildly out of context, I will probably break out in applause during the speech. Feel free to ask me about this in person.

Former K debaters often lean towards the K on FW, especially folks who have run K affs. I am not one of those people. I honestly like the framework debate more than the k debate. If your interperetation is that K's shouldnt be allowed in debate, that is of course going to be a hard sell; however, if you actually explain why your standards create a better debate space (education-wise or for other reasons) , than I have no problem throwing the k flow away. IF YOU READ NO OTHER PART OF MY PARADIGM READ THIS: as a K debater, your absolute first priority, before even becoming familiar with the k you're running, is to understand why you should be allowed to critique. If you don't want to put the time in on framework, you should stop being lazy, go cut those uniqeness updates your coach keeps getting on you about, and just run politics, a counterplan, and t every round like everybody else does.

IE Paradigm:

I was a debater first and a IE-er second, so my tastes are pretty unrefined. I like funny speeches or interesting ones. Nothing else I say here will be at all enlightening or helpful. 

Steve Rowe Paradigm

6 rounds

Last updated on 1/10/20/

For Public Forum, go to the bottom.

Please add me if you are starting an email chain: steve _at_ interlakedebate _dot_ org

CX / Policy Philosophy:


If you are a policy team, I am probably good for you. If you are a team that runs Ks on the neg or K/Soft left impacts on a policy aff, I am probably fine for you. If you run a K-aff, read below.

First and foremost, I judge based on the flow. I will do my best to determine the winner based on what has been said. This makes line-by-line refutation and dropped arguments important. I will do my best not to impose my opinions and values into the round. That being said, I am not strictly tabula rasa. See below for exceptions. By default, I will take a utilitarian approach.


I want to see clash. This means that negatives should not ignore the 1AC. Affirmatives need to respond to the negative positions as they are presented not just read a generic block that only sort-of applies. If you are merely extending your own cards and not responding to the other side’s arguments, your speaker points will be lower.

I am fine with speed, but you need to be clear. Remember that, as a judge, I often do not have a copy of the evidence on my computer. If I can't hear the words as you read the cards, you are going too fast for your ability. If I am going to judge on the flow, you want to make sure my flow matches what you said. This is especially important when it comes to theory. Reading your theory block at full speed guarantees that I won’t be able to flow it all. Slow down on theory.

Be nice. I will react negatively if you are arrogant or rude to your opponents. This applies to your partner as well. I do not want to see the debate personalized. Feel free to attack and characterize your opponents’ arguments as you like, but refrain from attacking your opponents themselves. Their arguments may be *-ist. Your opponents are not.

My pet peeve is flowing. Rather, teams that don’t flow. If you have to ask about whether your opponents read each card or if you respond to positions and arguments that they didn’t read, your speaks will be hit.

I enjoy the occasional theory debate, but it must be developed well. Everything you say needs a warrant. Develop your arguments if you want me to consider them. I am unlikely to decide an entire round based on an issue explained or extended in less than five seconds.

I am unlikely to find *-spec persuasive unless there is in-round abuse.


I will vote on topicality. I evaluate it as a technical argument, no more dominated by truth than any other type of argument. I find myself drawn to the definitional debate over other aspects of T. That means you should focus on standards, definitions, and the fallout from those. I’m more persuaded by limits than ground. I will be unlikely to vote for reasonability unless there is a standard to determine whether something is, or is not, reasonable. I am unlikely to be persuaded by arguments that tell me to ignore topicality.

Kritikal Affs

It is my belief that the resolution must play a critical role in scoping debate and allowing for clash. To that end, while I will vote for a critical aff, I expect it to be germane to the resolution. Affs which are anti-topical will lose if the negative carries a reasonable version of that argument through to the end.


This is my home turf. I want to see clash. Spotting the affirmative their advantages and trying to outweigh them with disads is not a good strategy. Contest the internal links and/or impacts. Run solvency takeouts. These make your off-case much more persuasive.


I am happy to vote on kritiks. You need to explain how I should be evaluating the k versus the case. Teams should feel free to challenge the a-priori status of the kritik. There needs to be some kind of benefit to the world of the alt. At the end of the day, I will be weighing it against the case. A K without an alt is just a non-unique, linear disad.

I expect that critical arguments will be supported by the evidence. This should go without saying, but I have seen teams give entire 2NCs that are not based on anything but their own opinion. Analogies and extrapolations are fine, but the basis for the analogy or the extrapolation should be in found in evidence.

Running a kritik is not an excuse for sloppy debate. I see too many kritik debaters that rest on truth over technical and ignore the structure of the debate. Direct refutation and line-by-line are still important even in the kritik debate.

I was primarily a policy debater in my day. I have judged many critical rounds and read some of the authors. My knowledge of them is reasonable, but if you run something outside of the common ones, explain it clearly.


I try not to impose my views on the debate, but that requires debaters do a good job in the last two rebuttals crystalizing the issues and telling the story of the round. "We win the entire flow" is not usually true and is not a good way to weigh the issues. Tell me why your winning of the disad overwhelms the advantage of case or why their rhetorical slight is more important than structural violence. Make sure there is a traceable lineage to your arguments. I am strict on new arguments from the 1NR onward. Tell me that it’s new and, if true, I’ll strike it. You must tell me though. If you don’t, it counts. I will do my best to protect the 2NR from new 2AR arguments.


If you watch me, I tend to emote my opinions.

Many have asked: Tag-team CX is fine. I only request that the person who is “supposed” to be cross-examining be part of the conversation.


I debated policy in high school and CEDA (policy) in college for a total of seven years, including four at Whitman College. I coached college policy for one year at the University of Puget Sound and have been coaching policy debate at Interlake High School since 2012.


Public Forum Judging Philosophy:


I don’t judge PF a lot so assume that I’m not deeply educated on the topic. That said, I read a lot of economics, politics, and philosophy so I am likely to be familiar with most arguments.

The best description of me is likely as a progressive, flow-oriented judge. I will be adjudicating the round based on who presents, and extends, the better arguments. I will try my best not to intervene. If you didn't say something, I won't make the argument for you. Sounding good making shallow arguments won’t earn you a win. In the end, I want to see clash. Don’t just tell me why you are right, you have to also tell me why they are wrong.

A few points that might matter to you:

1. Speed: Keep it easily comprehensible and you will be fine. In reality, I doubt you will exceed my threshold. If you do, I’ll yell clear.

2. Dropped arguments: There is no punishment for dropping your own arguments. Obviously, don’t drop something your opponent is turning.

3. I think definitions should be used strategically to define what interpretation of the resolution you will be defending.

4. I will reward clever debating. Show me how the arguments interact. Defend ground that avoids most of your opponent’s thrusts.

Dave Siker Paradigm

3 rounds

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Joe Skoog Paradigm

6 rounds


I debated at Brophy College Prep and then debated at Gonzaga University.

I now coach at Gonzaga and for Ferris High School, both of which are in Spokane, WA.

Everything under this are my defaults but obviously any argument that is contrary to any of these override my presuppositions. I'll try not to intervene to the best of my ability.

The Highlights:
Tech over truth
I'll call for ev, but only if it is a key part of the debate or I have been told to look at it. I put a lot of stock into the quality of evidence when deciding debates.
I default to reject the arg for everything except conditionality unless told otherwise.
Awesome strategic moves will be rewarded.
For the love of Przemek Karnowski, please don't cheat.
I'm not particularly expressive, but it doesn't mean I hate your argument, I'm just thinking to myself.
Keep your shoes on in the round.


Read warrants please. I will reward fantastic ev. Quality outweighs quantity. Use spin and compare your evidence to theirs.

Case/Impact Defense:
I do tend to default to less change and think that there is such thing as zero risk of the aff. Using very smart case defense arguments is awesome. Internal link defense and solvency arguments are, in my opinion, underused. That makes me sad. So please use them.

I'm a huge theory nerd so I'm down with being convinced something is competitive. HOWEVER, I do think that a lot of counterplans that are commonly run are not competitive. Granted, I ran Reg Neg and Consult Russia a lot, and I understand why they are necessary sometimes, but I will reward case specific counterplans with net benefits that justify the status quo. To be clear: Artificial net benefits be dumb, yo. Counterplans should have solvency advocates--preferably normative one--which will go a long way in defending the theoretical legitimacy of the advocacy.

Against big stick affs, don't read stupid PICs like "the" or "should" because then I will cry. And I am an ugly crier.

I won't kick a conditional CP in the 2NR unless I'm explicitly told to in the debate.

For politics, gotta have the goods evidence-wise.
Political capital key cards should say that political capital is key.
I think that an aff shooting apart the internal link chain of a stupid scenario is sufficient.
I would really like it if your DA was an actual opportunity cost to the plan.
Link controls direction of uniqueness.

I exclusively went for the K my senior year, so I know a lot of the literature. I've read a lot of Foucault and Baudrillard but I won't pretend I know all K authors equally. Please explain it in relation to the aff, not just in high theory terms.
I don't think I'm the federal government. I am a sleepy college student judging a debate. However, I can be persuaded differently by args made in the debate.
Getting to weigh the aff is distinct from a "role of the ballot" argument because Role of the ballot determines how/what I am voting on or evaluating.
I love highly technical K debate ie. LINE BY LINE and clash.
Well researched and case specific Ks will make me smile.

I really do enjoy theory debates if it is delivered at a rate consistent with the arguments. For example, if you are saying conditionality is bad in the 1AR don't speed through it because it is difficult to flow in its entirety. I will vote on unconditionality good, or 5 conditional CPs good. Debate is debate. If a theory violation is well impacted and explained, I will vote on it.

I default to competing interpretations unless told to evaluate it differently. I love when people read a lot of cards on tea, or have a hyper specific topicality argument. I evaluate it like a DA, so impacting things such as limits and ground is important.

Framework vs K affs:
I'm down to listen to really anything, and I was usually on the side of the team answering framework for most of my career. That being said, I really really enjoy framework debates. I think that "no Ks" isn't very convincing, but there should probably some agreed upon stasis point. This doesn't mean you need to defend the hypothetical implementation of plan in front of me, but if the other team wins that fiat is a good model of education, I will vote on it.

Tim Sonnen Paradigm

6 rounds

I end to be a tabula rasa judge, in that I go into the round with no bias. I like it when you explain your position and weigh it against your opponent. My views on arguments are listed below.



  • Kritiks- Totally okay. I ran them when I was in debate and they can lead to some of the most intricate and interesting debates. However, DO NOT assume that I have read the source material, to win with a kritik, the team MUST explain their kritik and what it means in the context of the round.

  • Framework- Framework debates go hand in hand with kritiks. I value framework as it tells me how exactly I should measure the arguments in the round and makes it a lot easier to judge a debate. 

  • Counter-plans- I enjoy counter advocacy. To win a counter-plan in front of me the neg should weigh it against the plan and show that it is better.

  • Disadvantages-The link story is vital and should be extended throughout the debate and explained in the 2NR. Make it make sense.

  • Topicality- I feel that T has become a null point in most the debates that I have judged. However, do not let that discourage you, if the aff is not topical, then by all means run T.

  • Stock Issues- Know them. Love them. A Policy affirmative must: Solve for something, show you avoid Harms, be Inherent, conform to the Topic, and be Significant. I value these on the same level as topicality, they are part of debate, but there are ways to avoid them (k-affs)

  • Theory- I have a high threshold. If you run theory it must be more than just you whining that they are cheating. EXPLAIN WHY IT MATTERS.



  • Value- What does your case uphold? I feel that this is naturally a part of LD and should probably be in the first speech of either side

  • Value Criterion-How do I determine if you are upholding your value? I feel that both sides should argue that their value criterion is the best, and/or that they uphold both value criterions better than their opposition.

  • Resolutional Analysis- This to me is the framing of the round, it tells me how to view the round and what each side must do to win, Since I tend to be a tab judge and like easy choices, I really like if at least one of the teams has a resolutional analysis. If both sides have one, please argue that yours is better and explain why.

  • Contentions- I have no bias. Point out why yours are better and why your opponent's are not.

  • Progressive LD- Even though this is not an argument, I feel that I should state my views on it. I have no bias. If you want to speed read and talk about kritiks, go for it (please read below for my policy on clarity). Even though I am not against it, that does not mean that I believe it is the way that LD should be debated, by this I mean that I could be persuaded by a 'progressive LD bad' theory argument. I will say that I do tend to have a high threshold for this type of argument though.

Public Forum


  • Resolutional AnalysisThis is how the round is supposed to be valued. Please see LD for more information.
  • Contention- Same as LD and Policy to some extent. This is how I can compare your advocacy to the advocacy of the other team. I like if you debate your opponent's contentions
  • Progressive- See LD. If you want to turn PF to policy be prepared to confront arguments against it. If you want to say that progressive is bad PLEASE explain why it matters in the scope of the debate.

Explain all arguments and why they matter in the debate space. Impact calc is one of my favorite things, tell my why doing what the opposing team says is bad. I like it when the neg has counter advocacy(for policy), but it is not required to win the ballot. Each team should spend their last speech explaining why they should win the round.

Speed is okay, but you must be clear. With this I must be able to at least understand your tags.

Please explain any lingo that you use. DO NOT assume that I know what your terms mean.

Tag team cross-x is okay.

I will take away speaker points if you are mean, and award them if you have sass.



Paige Spraker Paradigm

6 rounds

Update for 2020-2021 Season: I have been out of debate for a few years so I do not have as much familiarity with the resolution as you do, and it would be helpful if you were more thorough for this reason. My argument experience is still the same in terms of having more experience with policy arguments/plan-based debate, but as mentioned below, this is just a disclaimer about my background, rather than a preference for any type of argument. I will do my best to evaluate your arguments no matter the style, and I am happy to answer questions before the round if there is something specific you'd like to ask about. I've also noticed in the few rounds I have judged this year that I find framing the ballot even more useful for me as someone who has been out of the activity for a little bit, particularly in the final speeches- i.e. explaining what you think you are winning, why it matters, why your evidence is good and theirs is bad, etc.

- Debated for 4 years at Gonzaga University, current law student at Georgetown
- Assistant coach for Gonzaga University

- My experience is nearly exclusively in policy-based debate. That does not mean that I’m unwilling to listen to other styles of argumentation, it just means that I require an extra level of explanation if that's not your argument style.
- I do not want to reconstruct the debate and arbitrarily make a decision based on whose evidence is better- I think you should do that work in the debate, and I will do my part by working hard to listen and evaluate what you have to say.
- I think it is much more important to be clear than fast. I'm more likely to reward a 4-off strategy than a 9-off strategy.
- I think negative teams get a logical but not contradictory amount of conditional advocacies.

Being Aff
- I'm not persuaded that many things are reasons to reject a team, but I'm perfectly willing to make a cheating counterplan go away if you have a strongly developed theoretical objection
- I am a huge fan of case debate, and am strongly opposed to 2As that fly through case arguments
- The phrase “try or die” is not compelling to me, I prefer engaged impact comparison

Being Neg
- I am more persuaded by substantive reasons about why progress in the direction of the resolution is possible and desirable than I am by purely theoretical arguments, but a combination of both is worthwhile in establishing a link to your violation
- I'm typically confused about what it means for the aff to be a prerequisite to the resolution. I find offense related to the negative's interpretation far more persuasive than trying to find some balance between defending the resolution and not defending the resolution
- Topical versions of the aff don't have to be perfect to be worthwhile arguments

- I think topicality has become a non-starter for many judges as long as the aff is close enough; I don't feel that way and will not be disgruntled listening to a T debate if that's a part of your strategy against a particular aff
- I default to competing interpretations but can be persuaded by a thoroughly explained reasonability argument
- Evidence comparison is important to me; predictability is not the only litmus test for the desirability of a given definition
- I think there should be a solvency advocate that agrees with the counterplan text
- I am willing to evaluate the status quo if the 2NR establishes a judge choice argument- if the 2NR does not make this argument, I think the 2AR ought to make clear that the negative is stuck with the counterplan
- I will reward smart, case specific counterplans more than I will generic agent/process counterplans
- I think the following counterplans are more objectionable than others: consult counterplans, condition counterplans, and anything else that could be characterized as “plan plus.” This doesn't mean I don't want to listen to these counterplans, I was a 2N for my whole debating life so I'm comfortable with whatever you want to do. This is just a disclaimer that I tend to find these theory arguments more persuasive than other judges might.
- Impact comparison matters very much to me but not at the expense of the rest of the DA- if entire pieces of the DA are missing and I'm confused about something, I'm not likely to fill in the gaps for you
- I'm not a fan of a proliferation of 2AC arguments with no warrant or explanation, but I also think bad DAs deserve plenty of logical indicts and I think that defensive arguments can be enough to beat a bad argument
- Of my limited experience with critical argumentative strategies, I have the most familiarity with gender and critiques of capitalism
- The impact debate should focus on contextualizing your evidence to the aff’s advantages or mechanism
- I will be sympathetic to a conditionality argument if your kritik explicitly contradicts one or more of your other off-case positions
- I am not persuaded by arbitrary or self-serving "role of the ballot" arguments. I would prefer a clear explanation of how to compare your arguments against the affirmatives

I will evaluate the debate that you want to have to the best of my ability. If you have questions, feel free to ask before the round or email me: paigespraker@gmail.com.

Derek Tsang Paradigm

6 rounds

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Ben Weinhardt Paradigm

6 rounds

Hi, I am Ben

My Background

I debated for Dowling Catholic (2010-2014). Later I attended Gonzaga University, where I debated all four years (2014-2018).


I have experience with all arguments. I used to read Disads, ptx, policy affs, k affs, 1 off k strategies, pics, process counterplans, T violations, framework, etc. If I didn't read it, I most likely debated against it enough to somewhat understand the argument. I try to evaluate arguments without personal bias, resolving debates by choosing the team that has properly framed the terms of the debate and won on those terms. If you want me to be a policymaker, tell me. If you want me to be a critical intellectual, tell me. I also like creativity and analytic argumentation that demonstrates critical thinking.

other things

Please don't be loud, by all means be yourself, but please no yelling. Debate is an indoor activity, use your indoor voice.

Tom Woodhead Paradigm

6 rounds

Very experienced judge and coach for Saint Francis high school. I will consider pretty much any arguments that are not blatantly sexist, racist or crudely discriminatory (blatant is the key word here, much of this stuff is debatable and I will try not to punish you for my general feelings about your arguments).

It is important to me that debaters be respectful and polite to each other, this puts the spotlight on the arguments themselves and I am not a fan of extra drama.

I try hard to be fair and the following things help me do that:

- I rarely call cards. I like to focus the debate on the analysis given by the debaters (of course I will usually give more weight to analysis that is taken from qualified sources). I do not like to decide debates on random parts of a card that neither debater really focused on. I will call cards if I forget what they said, if there is a conflict about what they say and I can not remember, or if I am personally interested in the card.

- I try to judge on the flow in the sense that I evaluate the debate on the arguments presented, explained and extended into the rebuttals. I will occasionally do the work to weigh impacts or decide framing if the debaters are not doing that for me.

- I will not yell "clear", so mumble and slur at your own risk (I don't yell clear because I don't want a team to find that sweet spot where I can understand them but their opponents can not). I will also not evaluate arguments that I can not hear. I do not read speech documents during the debate rounds, sometimes I will look at them after the round (see calling cards stuff above).

Argument preferences:

I am cool with critiques on the aff and neg.

I am cool with framework (I like the debaters to work this out and I am pretty neutral on this question).

I like clarity (both in speech and arguments). I am not impressed by things that are "too complex" for me to understand but I will do my best to try to make sense of it. I am confident enough to not pretend I know your position and I will not fill in the blanks for you.

I am cool with policy arguments.

I have a wide breadth of knowledge but little depth on certain positions, don't assume I know your literature.


I give high speaks for clarity, efficiency, a pace that I can flow, respectfulness and occasionally speaking style.

I feel like the speaker point range I give is pretty close to average (I am not a reliable source of high speaks for everyone, but I will reward excellent debate with high speaks).

Contact info

mail all speech documents to: headofthewood@gmail.com

anything else (if you want me to read the e-mail or respond): thomaswoodhead@sfhs.com

Galen Wright Paradigm

6 rounds

Competed in high-school, mid/late-2000s.
Judge/coach since 2015.
Professional background in security studies. (ETA for arms topic: Specifically, this background is in arms tracking & identification, and technical analysis, especially as it relates to harm to civilians and other IHL violations.)

Default to policy-maker, balanced with games-player tendencies. This means I favor detailed debates about plan mechanisms (eg advantages/disads), but don't take the policy aspect too seriously (ie I enjoy quirky/tricky arguments for their own sake). This might be my starting position, but I have no problem changing how I view the round if alternative frameworks are presented.

I find evidence comparisons to be very persuasive, which includes unpacking warrants behind analytics.

I rarely flow overviews because - in my experience at least - teams tend to treat them as an excuse to read blocks instead of (for example) putting impacts in the impact debate, links in the link debate etc.

Flow management. Flow management. Flow management. Tell me whether you're on the link debate, the impact debate, etc. Tell me when you're moving from one flow to the next.

Topicality/Procedurals: I generally err towards not voting because they tend blippy. If you want me to vote on these arguments, the key requirement is a tangible description of what rounds look like in the real world vis-a-vis Standards. eg which cases are allowed, which are barred? why are the former examples more education/fair/predictable than the latter, etc.

Critiques: OK (whether plan or performance based), but burden is typically higher than policy arguments. Winning generally comes down to who can reduce the jargon to a simple narrative plus a clear articulation of what actually happens, who does it, and why it's important. If there are terms that are specific to the K that aren't in general use - eg "Spectre", "Ontological Death", etc - please tell me what they mean. Overall, this tends to mean that a K can be most easily lost or won on the alt debate (eg you prolly can't fiat a global post-capitalist world without telling me how that happens).

Tax team CX ok.
Speed OK (will yell 'clear' if necessary), but a) I'm atrocious at flowing authors, and b) if I can't clearly - hear/identify the warrants of a piece of evidence, I tend to give it less weight than cards whose warrants I can identify.

Josh Yake Paradigm

6 rounds

The debate round exists for the participants, not the judge. The affirmative or negative strategy should be based on what YOU like to run, what YOU feel is important, substantial, or an issue of prima facie concern. I can be persuaded to vote on any type of argument (topicality, critiques, counterplan and net benefits VS the plan, even justification arguments) as long as clear voting issues and/or impact analysis is provided.

One of the best ways to win my ballot is to use “because-even if-because” argumentation. Here’s what I like to see in the last rebuttals:

“The affirmative/negative wins the round because Even if the other team wins their arguments, we still win because

Furthermore, I need to see issue selection in the final rebuttals. Very rarely will you be winning every argument. Winning one vital argument soundly is better than winning small risks of numerous different impacts or disadvantages. The ability to concede arguments and “collapse down” into the key issues is often the difference when making my decision.

When clear impact analysis or voting issues are not delivered, I often find myself “reading into” your evidence to base my decision. This may help or hinder your case depending on the quality of your evidence. In other words, if your evidence does not say what you claim it does then I may have difficulty voting on the issue. When I cannot come to a clear decision in my mind and “on the flow”, I often look into your evidence for further assistance. At this point I often base my decisions on verbatim text from evidence read, not just taglines. I typically call for many pieces of evidence to read at the conclusion of the round. Please make sure you are clear with the authors for each piece of key evidence so I know what to reference in my decision.


Finally, I like to see creativity in the debate round. I will vote as a policy maker when put into that paradigm. I have no qualms doing so. Again, the round is yours, not mine. However, I can also be persuaded to vote on “outside the box” types of arguments and usually enjoy those debates immensely.

Elizabeth Young Paradigm

6 rounds

I have coached policy at Garfield High School since 2014. I have yet to encounter an argument I'm not OK with in a round; it's really about you and how well you explain your arguments and why they should win you the round. I think it's important to be responsive to the specific arguments in the round - don't just read your prewritten overview and assume it works for every debate. I enjoy both policy and critical arguments and have some background knowledge in theory, but don't assume I know your literature. In my opinion, it's your job to tell me how to vote in the round and why. If you leave it up to me, I tend to buy the argument that moral thinking is a prereq to policy making (but I can be convinced otherwise).

I am generally ok with most speed, but make sure I'm flowing if you're blazing through a bunch of analytics you don't want me to miss.

I don't know what "judge kicking" means - are you asking me to decide your strategy for you? I won't do that. Either go for the argument, or don't.

Jason Young Paradigm

6 rounds

Experience/Background: I debated policy for 4 years in high school (Centerville High School, OH), I did not debate in college. I started a policy team at Garfield High School, WA in 2014, and have been coaching them since then. I judge ~50 rounds a year split between the local Washington and national circuits. I am a white, cis-gendered, heterosexual male that was educated and socialized within a Western context, which has likely produced certain subtle biases in terms of my epistemological view of the world.

Bottom Line: As a debater I pursued a mix of policy and critical positions, so I'm familiar and comfortable with a wide range of arguments. Because of the openness of my paradigm I tend to judge more K debates than policy debates, so that is where I tend to get the most judging experience. My PhD work was also fairly heavy on critical theory, so I have a good grasp of that lit base. At the end of the day, though, I believe that a debate should be about the debaters, not about me. I will therefore do my best to decide the round based on arguments made by the debaters, rather than based on my own beliefs. Be clear about how you think I should be judging, and there shouldn't be any big surprises.

Biases: Unless I am convinced to do something different, I will generally do/believe the following:

-I will flow the round, and will give weight to arguments that are not answered by the opposing team.
-I will protect the negative team from new arguments in the 2AR. This means that if I cannot connect an argument in the 2AR back to the 1AR, then I will likely give that argument less, or no, weight.
-Completely new arguments should not be made in the rebuttals. I also think that it is difficult - although not impossible - for the negative to introduce completely new off-case positions in the 2NC and then develop them completely.
-I will vote for one team or the other.
-I personally believe that the open source movement in the debate community too often takes an unnuanced approach, without considering how the open sourcing of knowledge reproduces new forms of inequalities (often along neoliberal/service economy lines, wherein better resourced schools are better able to take advantage of the open knowledge economy). Therefore, I rarely find 'non-disclosure' theory arguments to be persuasive.
-Don't ask me to 'judge kick' things for you. Make a strategic decision for yourself.
-I will vote against you if I think you are clipping cards.

Speaking: Be clear! I like transition words between your arguments, and find that my ears pick up the word 'next' better than 'and'. Not a requirement by any means, but perhaps something you would want to know about me. Please slow down a tad in theory debates, I'll miss arguments if you pepper me with a ton of underwarranted standards. I have found that the online debate format tends negatively impact clarity, due to a range of technology issues - be sure to adjust your speaking practices to account for this format.

I learned to flow in the paper era, and I continue to flow on paper. As a result, my flow tends to be much more orderly if you do your line-by-line straight down the sheet of paper rather than when jumping around. Generally, I think that this straight-down organization will help your line-by-line coverage anyway. If you choose not to organize your speech in this way, I will still flow it. But, my flow is likelier to be messier than I (or you) would like.

Finally, please feel free to ask me questions before the round! I'm happy to answer specific questions about my paradigm.

Alex Zmyslo Paradigm

6 rounds


I debated for Juan Diego Catholic for 3 years in high school. I am a first year debater for Gonzaga University. I don't have a lot of experience on your topic.

I updated my https://judgephilosophies.wikispaces.com/Zmyslo%2C+Alex wiki more often than this, so please refer to it for the most recent version of my philosophy.


I think debate is a game. Read whatever you want in front of me. I do not think either sides of the policy debate spectrum is preferable to the other. If you want to read a policy aff, that's great. If you want to talk to me about death drive, cool. No matter what you read, the only thing that matters is you justify whatever it is you are doing. Since some reason no one wants to believe these last three sentences, refer to below for your specific questions.


SPEAK CLEARLY. I don't care how fast you go, just articulate.



have a solvency advocate. multiple planks are fine and often something I enjoy. however, if you are going to read a counterplan that does all of the aff but does a condition/process/etc, you need to give me a reason why in the specific context of the aff your Counterplan is justified.



I am quite fond of good disad debates. Explaining how your link can interact with the affs internal links will really get you a long ways with me. Even though I went for the K rather often, I love politics debates on both sides. The 2NR/2AR need to have good impact comparisons. Explaining why your impact turns theirs, or simply why the disad does/does not outweigh should be a meta level question that YOU spell out for me in the final rebuttals. Plain and simple, I don't want to intervene in debates.


Topicality (v. Policy affs)

Probably the argument I have the least experience on. That being said, I have no problem and would actually enjoy a topicality debate. The word "education" is not an impact. You need to explain why topicality is a procedural issue.



My favorite. I am a big fan of security debates. You can go many ways with the K, but I think you need to explain why/how your impacts outweigh the affirmatives traditional impacts. Other than that, I don't have too much to say. I like performative arguments.


K affs

You need to have an explainable and convincing method to resolve the impacts of the affirmative. To me, debate is a educational activity where we can form advocacies that are productive in the round. if you, in the 1ac, read an aff that says 'surveillance is bad because x', then when the negative team asks what you do about bad surveillance practices/if you defend a curtailling of them and your answer is "no, we just think surveillance is bad. vote aff" i will vote neg on presumption. yes, this is debate and we can't curtail policies or have our hands on the levers of power. those buzz phrases don't mean you just get to say something is bad and win the debate without attempting to resolve it.

High schoolers also love to read what we call "high theory" Ks, ESPECIALLY on the aff, and literally have no idea what they are talking about. As a neg team, you'll get some real good speaker points if you make it obvious that the aff is one of these teams.

Disclaimer: If your aff talks about a hypothetical method of resolving impacts, but doesn't actually perform them or goes as far as saying "we don't have to perform them cause our speech act was enough," I will vote negative when they perform the method of the 1ac. Some of the affs I see being read on this topic are cringe-worthy. 


K vs K affs

I will always appreciate it if you engage the affirmatives literature. That being said, I know how hard it is to have a specific link to every aff. I went for the cap k pretty frequently, and I am willing to listen to these sorts of debates. However, if you aren't going to explain why your K is exclusive with the affirmative, you aren't going to win. orthodox marxism isn't a bad criticism, you make it bad when the only link card you read is "cap caused this!" In a perfect world, I would like to see debates where both sides engage each others literature. 

I thinking competition theory isn't really useful in these debates. When you present a political strategy that revolves around a non-traditional stasis point the burden of the neg shifts from proving the aff is bad to proving a better strategy. Permutation do both doesn't mean anything to me in these debates. The permutation must be articulated as a way in which the affirmative can resolve the negatives criticism/is a possible starting point for their method. Not just as a reason their method isn't exclusive with yours.

Refer to what is said at bottom of K affs. In a debate in which the negative team chooses a better way to perform the 1ac and lists a disad to the 1ac's presentation/method, competition will be irrelevant to me.


Framework v K affs

I'm more than willing to vote on framework/topicality. I think that debate is a game, and things like limits/predictability can matter. Engaging the affirmatives method is a good thing. Why do procedural issues come before/prevent the affirmatives impacts? Having a strong topical version of the affirmative will get you a long way. You're probably not on my side of truth when engaging whether or not legalism/state is accessible/good. This means for me, you need to box out the affirmatives offense.


I believe there can be a real distinction between Framework and Topicality. This does not mean that either team gets to avoid the others offense, but there is a fundamental difference between asking for a stasis point and telling a team to defend the topic in a certain way. probably not relevant in a majority of debates, but both teams should pay attention to how the other is deploying their module of offense.