UCO Joe C Jackson

2015 — OK/US

Benton Bajorek Paradigm

6 rounds

If I am judging you, then I want your docs. Please set up an email chain and include me (bentonbajorek@gmail.com) or use speechdrop. AFF should have their 1AC ready to send at the start of the round. I will not keep up with time and I expect debaters to keep each other accountable for speech and prep time. I keep my flows, so any questions can be emailed to me.

COVID Online Debate

Issues with clarity and diction compound when listening to debates with headphones. I'm fine with spreading, but please slow down if you are saying something that isn't in your speech doc-- particularly theory and analytics. If they are in the doc you send me, I'll be good to go. Otherwise, I might miss them. I'm more than happy to vote for things like condo in the 2AR, but I likely won't feel comfortable doing it if I couldn't flow all the nuance because were spreading in the 2AC and didn't include your condo block in the speech doc.


This is my sixth season coaching and judging college policy and my second year coaching on the high school policy circuit. As an undergrad, I competed for four years at Arkansas State University primarily in American Parli on the National Circuit. I also debated in Lincoln-Douglas, IPDA, and Team IPDA.


I view debate as a medium of persuasion and judge accordingly. All too often, I feel debaters focus more on beating their opponent instead of trying to convince the judge on an advocacy position. I believe this model is narrow-minded and the most effective way to win my ballot is to use a combination of ethos, pathos, and logos.

I greatly appreciate if tag lines, plan and CP texts, K alts, theory blocks, and perms could be slowed down so I can get a chance to write them on my flow. If a debater becomes inarticulate, I will yell CLEAR and cross my arms if the speech continues in that manner. If I cannot hear you, then I cannot understand your arguments. If I cannot understand your arguments, then I cannot vote for you.

I will vote on any argument. I consider myself a tab judge and vote based on what arguments are made, not what arguments are stated. Just because you extend an author does not mean you have extended an argument. I have certain preferences and thresholds for arguments that I will do my best to articulate below, but clearly articulated warrants and analysis will make me vote against my predispositions.

2NRs/2ARs that have clear voters and impact calculus are preferred.

If you want to make a role of the ballot argument, I need you to articulate what that means and specifically state how I should view particular arguments under that lens. If you just assert that my job is to vote under a specific framework but fail to clearly articulate what that means, then I will default to my personal standpoint of voting for the team that did the better job debating.

I do not tolerate poor sportsmanship. Every debater puts too much time, effort, and energy to arrive at a round and be belittled by their opponent(s). I love a competitive round where teams don’t back down and are assertive, but keep a level of decorum and respect. Ad hominem attacks and condescending behavior will not be tolerated and I will significantly lower your speaker points.


References to the Clippers = 0.2 speaker points

References to the NBA in general = 0.1 speaker point


I view debate as a game with rules that can change from round to round. The rules for debate should foster fairness and/or educational gain. I do not particularly favor one over the other.

Teams should slow down and clearly articulate standards for why I should favor their arguments on framework/T/role of the ballot/condo/etc. I really dislike teams that read directly from their blocks and fail to clash with their opponents’ standards and it makes my job difficult if there is not a direct response to specific arguments. In other words, teams that directly respond to their opponents’ arguments on ground loss will fare better than teams that just assert an argument on ground and make me do the work for them.

I am rarely persuaded by potential abuse arguments. I am strongly persuaded by in-round abuse arguments.


Topicality must have an interpretation, violation, standard, and voters. I really enjoy listening to T and I appreciate a good standard debate with specific and competitive reasons why your interpretation is better/superior to your opponent.

Voters are often overlooked but are the most important part of a topicality. NEG needs to stress why I should vote on this issue. Refer back to my theory section for this one. I have never voted on a topicality that did not have some sort of education, fairness, and/or jurisdiction voter.

Reverse voting issues are not persuasive. I view topicality as a test of the affirmative case and NEG has the right to make this argument. Do not waste your time trying to convince me otherwise. However, I will say that trying to bury the AFF by running 10+ topicality arguments that are not relevant to the round will make me think poorly of you and I will happily vote for a time-suck argument.


Disadvantages need to have a clear uniqueness, link, internal link, and impact scenario. DA’s are arguments that I feel everyone knows how to run, but there are some specific things that I prefer to see.

I want advantage and disadvantage debates to come down to impact calculus. Measure out magnitude, timeframe, probability, etc. If your impact is more meaningful, then tell me why and compare it to other impacts in the round. Pull these arguments out in the 2AR/2NR.

I do not have an opinion on intrinsic perms, but I believe these arguments can be extremely abusive and AFFs choosing to run this will need to lay out some sort of explanation for me to consider it.

Counter Plans

A counterplan must be mutually exclusive with the AFF. If you want to run a plan-plus, consult, push back 3 months CP, etc., then you will need to convince me why your modification of the AFF’s plan is severance, mutually exclusive, and/or has a competitive net benefit.


I ran K’s frequently when I competed and I am very familiar with them. However, when you run a K, do not assume that I know the literature. Do not stick to your cards and be prepared to break down what you are trying to argue with your position. I will not vote for a K if I have no idea what your alt does.

As for specifics, I believe K’s need to win framework or alt solvency for me to vote on them. This goes back to needing to know what the alt does. Understanding how your method is key or has the potential to work in the real world is important for me to vote on it.

I am rarely persuaded by links of omission. AFFs that read 1 card or make a smart analytical argument here are very likely to refute the link.

I prefer specific over generic links. Really prove the AFF team violated the ideas you are critiquing.

Performance in Debate/K AFF’s

I believe that AFFs that do not have a plan are untopical and should lose. I also believe that AFFs that run a plan text, but only garner impacts from their performance are extratopical and should lose.

That being said, I have voted for many K AFFs because they won on Framework and/or T. I do not have to be an auto-strike for you, but a framework block on how I should evaluate your position is necessary for you to win. If you fail to demonstrate and justify a framework for why the round should be seen through your performance then it is difficult for me to understand what my ballot should be doing. This allows me to hold you to a standard and have the other team either challenge you on that idea, or compete against you on it. Don’t be a moving target and state this clearly in your 1AC.

I think K AFFs that talk about the educational benefits of their position or justify the need of their AFF within the debate space to counter hegemonic practices are strong arguments that have potential to convince me to vote for you.

Final note: Any team that uses music in their performance can use it, but it needs to be turned down substantially during speeches and CX. I have trouble focusing with loud music/distractions and this is intended to create access for myself in the debate space and not to silence your performance.

Dominique Baker Paradigm

6 rounds

What I thnk about debate really doesnt matter. My Job is to decide who did the better debating, how you choose to debate is up to you. Debate what feels right to you and Im with it. 

Emily Bosch Paradigm

2 rounds

**Quick Greenhill update: If you read any disads about RBG's passing, I will not like you, enjoy the debate, and it's likely I will give you really bad points. Enter at your own risk.**
Updated – 2019


Yes I want to be on the email chain --> bosch.e2010@gmail.com

I FLOW ON PAPER. I judge debates much more effectively / think harder about the debate / give better comments when I flow on paper. This is the only thing that I wish debaters would more effectively adapt to – give me a little pen time when you transition from card to card / arg to arg and please consider that I have to flip sheets between arguments.

I believe judges should adapt to the debaters, not the other way around. I will do my absolute best to objectively and fairly judge your debate, regardless of the arguments you choose to read. I would much prefer that you read the arguments you’re interested in / are better at debating than attempting to adapt to what you interpret as my preferences based upon what I have written here.

I find myself to be a much more “technical” judge than I once thought, and by that I mean I tend to pay a lot of attention to the way arguments evolve as the debate progresses. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy the 2NR / 2AR spin game, but that those “spins” need to be traceable to previous speeches. In addition, I have and will vote on technical concessions SO LONG AS there is an IMPACT to that concession – debaters concede irrelevant arguments all the time, as it turns out.

I evaluate debates in segments – I think each flow has compartmentalized “mini-debates” that take place within them that I evaluate piece by piece (for example, on a critique, the “link debate” “perm debate” “alt debate”etc etc, on a disad the “uniqueness debate” “link debate” “impact debate” “impact turn debate” etc etc etc). If you label these segments clearly and follow these segments throughout the debate, I will be a great judge for you and your speaker points will reflect your organization / flow tech.

WITH THAT SAID!! I do enjoy non-traditional flow and speaking styles, so do not be afraid to pref me if you debate with a different style – I judge these debates a lot and have no problem following / figuring out what needs to be evaluated.

I’m a very expressive judge. You will know if I am feeling your argument if you pay attention to my non-verbal communication. I believe debate is a communication activity and you, as debaters, should know how I’m vibing with your arguments throughout the debate.

Note about speed: Speed is fine, but please make your card / argument transitions clear with vocal inflection. If I miss an argument, 97% of the time it’s because I didn’t hear you say “and” and I thought you were still reading evidence. Your speaker points will reflect it if you SLOW DOWN on tags and don’t just read them like another piece of evidence. IMHO, debate is still a persuasive activity, and being persuasive gets you bonus points. I will always be fan of a slower, persuasive rebuttal.

I don’t think you will have an issue reading almost any argument in front of me, but since folks seem to just read philosophies to find out how people feel about K debate and framework, I guess I’ll say some stuff.

Affirmatives: I think affirmatives should, AT THE VERY LEAST, be in the direction of the topic (but being topical is so much better). I think the best K affs have a resolutional component and have literature that is inherent to the topic. I can and have been persuaded otherwise, this is just my baseline.

Affirmatives should have a solvency method - I don't particularly care if that's an instrumental affirmation of US(fg) action or not (see FW discussion below), but you've gotta have a method that you have solvency for - I really don't like affs that state a lot of problems and argue that the revelation of those problems somehow does anything - that's not negatable. This is along the same lines of "advocacy" statements that don't take an "action" (I use the word action very carefully - I think a lot of things are actions). Statements are quite difficult to negate.


I think topicality debates need to be SLOWER than other arguments - you want me to write down more, you need to give me more time to flow. In general, I DESPISE T debates that are read entirely off blocks and read at the speed of cards. I don't think this is helpful, I don't think this creates depth, I don't think this is good for education, and I'm probably flowing like 2 words / argument tbh.

I am significantly more persuaded by topicality arguments (ie: the affirmative needs to defend international space cooperation bc that’s key to limits) than framework arguments (ie: debate is a game, the affirmative needs to defend instrumental USFG action bc them’s the rules and and it's unfair and they are cheater cheater pants).

I think negative limits arguments have the capacity to be quite persuasive if teams go for the correct internal links based upon the aff / 2ac strategy. One of the biggest mistakes I see (primarily) 2Ns make is going for the wrong limits scenario. Just like any argument, some links are stronger than others, and you don't need every link to win in the 2NR, so pick the best ones that you think tell the most compelling limits story based upon the particular affirmative. Don't forget to contextualize limits arguments to the COUNTER-INTERPRETATION not (only) the aff itself.

Topical versions of the affirmative are important, but you have to actually explain WHY they are topical versions of the aff (ie how they meet your interpretation, even better if they also meet the counter interp) and how they address the affirmative team’s offense. Ev for TVAs is preferred. I don't think you need to have a TVA to win the debate.

Things that are not persuasive to me:

“People quit”
“Small schools XYZ”

I’ll default to competing interpretations unless you tell me otherwise. Reasonability – how do I decide what is reasonable and by what metric do I use?


To make a link argument, YOU HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THE AFF. The aff has to have DONE SOMETHING that you have linked to an argument. I don’t think links of omission are links. If the 2NR is explicitly going for a link of omission, you’re going to have a hard time.

I don’t think criticisms always need an alternative (critique IS a VERB, after all). Make sure you explain how the "alternative" interacts with affirmative solvency / how they are different / how the alt accesses the aff (beyond just a generic root cause explanation).

I'm a sucker for K tricks - affs: don't get bamboozled.

Aff fw v ks: Often is an argument made in the 2AC that is just repeated over and over and not advanced in any meaningful way. If you think framework is important for how I evaluate the K debate, you need to do better than that.

“Role of the ballot”:

I have significant problems with ROBs. I think "role of the ballot" is an empty and meaningless phrase. The "role of the ballot" is to let tabroom know who won and lost the debate. I don't think my ballot does anything for activism / changing the structures of debate / anything at all. I tend to think most ROB claims boil down to "ROB: Vote for me" which is silly af.

Now, this is different than telling me how to evaluate the debate, how I should filter impacts, how I should prioritize arguments, or in general, how I should make my decision. You can and must do that to win the debate.

Perm stuff:
Permutations are tests of competition, and that is all. That means if you read severance / intrinsicness - those are reasons to reject the perm, not the team (unless the negative team gives me a compelling reason for why the team should be rejected, tbh, haven't heard one yet.).

There is a lot of discussion about why competition standards for advocacies / methods should change when a K aff is read – eh, I’m unconvinced this is true. My default position is that your method should compete, which means, it has to withstand the permutation test. I could, perhaps, be persuaded that the affirmative shouldn't get a perm if the negative is willing to commit the time and energy to explaining why competition standards should change, how they should change, what debate looks like with those competition standards, how it applies in that particular debate, etc. Sound like a lot? Yeah, it kinda is... just beat the permutation with disads and solid link explanations.

You can be certain that I absolutely will not reject a perm on an assertion of "no perms in critical debates" or "no plan, no perm."

Case debate:
is highly under-appreciated. Oftentimes 2ACs just assume the neg doesn’t know anything about the aff and entirely mishandle case arguments. Punish. Them.
I have and will vote on case turns if they outweigh the aff or if the aff has such diminished solvency that they outweigh the aff.

Theory: most theory debates are garbage. Prove me wrong. If there is one conditional K or CP, don’t waste your time. If the alt isn’t actually vague, make a different argument.

Tess Botkin Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated @ University of Central Oklahoma 3 years

I judged frequently in the 2015-2016 season, and at this tournament last year.  I haven't judged on this topic yet, but I do have a fair amount of knowledge on healthcare and have been working to catch up on the literature (My grandmother has worked in heathcare admitting and billing for 45 years and my mother for 20).  If you are a very fast paced team and you read your analyticals at the same speed as your cards you should probably slow down a tad on your analyticals anyway regardless of who is in the back of the room.

While I debated I was mostly a middle of the road K debater I read typically topical affs with kritikal advantages, and most of the time only went for one or two off on the negative with a case debate.  That being said I do have a background that means I am very familiar with DA/CP/T type strategies and would be happy to hear them, I just was not very good at executing them as a debater.  Also be forewarned I have not done research on this topic, and am not actively doing so now. That being said I do have some general thoughts:


Big picture


Do what you best, it is much better for me to see you doing what you are good at than what you think I will want to hear, just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean I won’t vote for it, other than obviously derogatory arguments/language.  Really your strategies should be well thought out, cohesive, and specific.  My only proclivity is that I am a believer that conditionality is good but that your arguments should not directly contradict, especially if one of your arguments is discourse based.  It makes no sense to me that I would vote for you on a certain type of discourse being bad when you yourself have engaged in that discourse.  Now obviously the other team does have to impact this argument, but it is something I feel as though you should know. *When the timer goes off I stop flowing, you don't get to make three additional arguments while the timer is going off*




These are fine, where I feel many DA’s are weakest are at the internal link level.  Obviously DA impacts are exaggerated but so are almost any impacts you will hear in a debate round.  These arguments are best when they are told to me like a story, I need to know why what the aff specifically does cause your scenario.  I also feel that often the link is not as specific as the negative leads us to believe, but if that isn’t pointed out or exploited in cross x then it becomes irrelevant.  Don’t just grant someone a link, actually contest it because if it doesn’t link it doesn’t matter.  Also kritiks of DA impacts are fine I utilized them often but just because you have a K of a DA doesn’t mean you can ignore the rest of the scenario, you do actually  have to contest the link/internal link of the DA as well.



I like a smart CP with a built in net benefit or even just a generic counterplan.  I think both have their uses.    The counterplan does actually have to have some sort of a net benefit whether that is a k or a DA doesn’t matter to me it just has to be there.  My only real problem comes with some word PIC’s if it is a generic word pic like “the” or “resolve” or “usfg” you do need to actually explain to me a reason why in this specific instance or on this specific topic it is bad.  I have a really hard time with the probability level on the impact for these types of arguments.  Not to say that all word pics are bad, i.e. those out of sexist, ableist, racist, or other derogatory language.  This can also be used for word pics out of a word that just doesn’t make sense in an area of U.S. code etc.




T is fine with me, just keep in mind I haven’t read the literature and won’t know the arguments there, so you may have to explain to me your interpretation and ground loss a little more than to some other people.  I do in general think teams should be topical, or at least related to the topic, but if you are not even talking about the topic I’m going to have a hard time with voting for you, it’s not to say it’s not possible but it’s an uphill battle.




Framework is fine I have ran a policy fw, and I’ve also kritiked them, so really I just think it is about who argues it the best.  I think that the negative should at least have ground, if you don’t want to defend usfg action fine, but you cannot just state a non-falsifiable truth, because that is not a debatable argument.  There has to be something the negative can say that is not a morally repugnant argument.




K’s are fine this is probably what I am most familiar with and debated the majority of the time.  You need to actually explain to me what your alternative does and why that matters/solves your impact.  I think a lot of the time the alternative is just given to K teams when it should be contested.  This is particularly true in the case of Reject alts.  Why does rejecting the aff magically stop extinction? I have no idea so you might want to explain that to me.  I am open to all k’s but I will say I do not have a background in high theory.  I am open to Baudrillard, D and G, etc but I do not get it when I try to read it so you will definitely have to explain it to me.  If I do not understand the argument I will probably have a harder time voting for it, so you must explain it to me.


Performance Arguments


I think these arguments are very valuable to debate and am open to watching them, keep in mind the rest of my philosophy as I am open to voting on FW or T so you may very well end up having this debate with me in the back of the room.  However I am not biased to vote either way on FW I just think it is a debate worth having.  I will flow even if you don’t read cards as I think that analyticals can be just as valuable as evidence when used correctly.  I do ask that for flowing purposes you roadmap clearly and isolate which responses are to which argument, because I do sometimes have difficulty finding where certain arguments are after the debate is over, and this will be helpful for both me and you when I am evaluating the debate and in the post round if you ask me about x argument that was made.



Eli Brennan Paradigm

3 rounds

elibrennan@gmail.com YES, I'd like to be on the email chain (or i guess we may just use Zoom to transfer speech docs).

Evidence: I am happy, very happy, to prefer the team with the better evidence on key questions, you just need to explain why your evidence is superior: be clear about which evidence you want me to read, why I will find it superior, and why that matters for the overall strategic situation of the debate.I haven't been reading much evidence at all after debates because the approach to extending the evidence lacks substantive warranting. In those situations, I prefer to just compare warrants provided by the debaters- to see who did the better _debating_. All that said, I really do like that policy debate can create stable strategic advantages for better research and better interpretation of that research.

Framework: I'm sympathetic to Framework arguments mostly in situations where the Aff. is apparently trying to avoid substantive clash. Many debaters who specialize in, or rely on, framework arguments fail to convince me that they could not have anticipated, or developed answers to, the Affirmative's arguments. Developing substantive responses to widely different kinds of arguments seems like something we should each be good at. I often sense that debaters are just not interested in literature they claim to have been unable to anticipate. All that said, if you have a solid set of answers to the questions our community brings to the topic, and your opponent makes it unreasonably difficult/impossible to engage in those debates, please by all means go for framework. Winning the quality of education component is usually the key to that ballot for me.

K Debate: I like policy debate and critical debate. Do what you do best, and I'll follow. Adapting your blocks to the specifics of the Aff is the easiest way to improve your chances. For the Aff to weigh their advantages against a K, defending the knowledge claims is more reliable than theory arguments (for my ballot). A lot of teams are letting alternatives off the hook, which creates a tough debate for the Aff. Putting both offensive and defensive pressure on the Alternative is a more robust strategy, in my view, than a framework argument giving theoretical reasons I should ignore evidence against the Aff perspective.

Theory: A lot of theory debates are messy because debaters overly rely on their blocks. It gets blippy and lacks the kind of comparisons that make ballots reliable. I do understand, and am sympathetic to, theory positions that are necessary to keep the rest of the debate under control for your side. You often end up needing to go "all in" if the substantive debate gets out of control. Just be sure to debate "access" to the terminal impact of education in a clear and comparative way. I'm probably more sympathetic to process counterplans and solvency advocate arguments than most of my colleagues, in that I like these debates to be resolved with the best research, rather than the best spin.

Global advice: Think actively during the whole debate, find a way to create and enjoy moments of excellence, and respect your opponents (or at least the people they could be). Make whatever arguments you feel/think best. Take the time to explain your argument most comprehensively at the places you are most vulnerable- always contextualizing one step further than your opponent (they say 'purple', you say 'sun-drenched lavender').

Most of my decisions result from setting the 2nr against the 2ar, controlling for new args (esp. new 2ar args), checking evidence, defaulting to meta-arguments (comparisons) from debaters, and then imposing (i hate it as much as you do) meta-arguments where necessary.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have before, during, or after the debate.

*Sidequests: +.2 Speaker points on offer for the sickest burn on opposing authors.

Brett Bricker Paradigm

3 rounds

Associate Director of Debate @ KU

Last Updated: Pre-GSU 2016

Quick pre-round notes:

I would prefer speech docs while I judge. Please email them to bricker312@gmail.com.

The affirmative should read and defend a topical example of the resolution and the negative should negate the affirmative's example.

I reward teams that demonstrate a robust knowledge of the topic and literature concerning the topic.

More info:

1. The word "interpretation" matters more to me than some. You must counterdefine words, or you will likely lose. You must meet your theory interpretation, or you will likely lose.
2. The words "voting issue" matter more to me than some. I am not searching for cheap shots, nor do I especially enjoy theory debates. However, I feel that I would be intervening if I applied "reject the argument not the team" to arguments that debaters did not explicitly apply the impact takeout to. That said, proliferation of empty voting issues will not only hurt your speaker points, but can be grouped and pretty easily disposed of by opponents.
3. "Turns the case" matters more to me than some. Is it offense? Does the link to the advantage/fiat outweigh or prevent turning the case? Does it mean the aff doesn't solve? Questions that should be answered by the 1ar.

I believe that debaters work hard, and I will work hard for them. The more debaters can show they have worked hard: good case debates, specific strategies, etc. the more likely it is I will reward debaters with speaker points and higher effort. In the same vain, debaters who make clear that they don’t work outside of debates won’t receive high speaker points.

Argument issues:

Topicality – It is a voting issue and not a reverse voting issue. I have not yet been persuaded by arguments in favor of reasonability; however, the reason for this usually lies with the fact that affirmatives fail to question the conventional wisdom that limits are good.

Kritiks – It will be difficult to convince me that I should completely disregard my conceptions of rationality, pragmatism and my aversion to unnecessary death. As a general rule, I think of Kritiks like a counterplan with net-benefits. The more aff specific the better.

Counterplans – I am up in the air about textual vs. functional competition – they both have their time and place, and are probably not universal rules. The cross-ex answer “for your DAs but not your counterplans” has always made negative sense to me. I understand that there are MANDATES of the plan and EFFECTS of the plan; I find this distinction more understandable than the usual c-x answer.

Rundown of general thoughts about counterplans:

Conditionality – it's feeling like a little bit much at the moment
PICs – Good, especially if they PIC out of a part of the plan
Consult/Condition – Up in the air and context specific. Solvency advocates, aff stances, etc. can change my feelings.
Delay – Aff leaning, but might be more competitive based on the structure of the affirmative, or a cross-ex answer. For example, if the affirmative has an advantage that takes the position the advantage can only be solved if it happens before "X" date, then the counterplan to do it after that date seems competitive.
Word PICs – Aff leaning
Alternate non-USFG actors – Aff leaning

Demeanor issues:

Be respectful of your opponent, partner and judge. All types of discrimination are prohibited. Don’t clip cards, don’t cut cards out of context, etc. Don't misclose.

Finally, our community relies on host tournaments with classroom space - don't steal, defame or destroy it.

Any questions, ask.

Shae Bunas Paradigm

3 rounds

Shae Bunas
Debated @ Oklahoma for 4 years.

Currently an Assistant Coach @ UCO.

Big Picture

In general, I don't have much of a preference for what people read in front of me. Despite having debated critiques throughout college I enjoy CP/DA/T debates and hope teams will be willing to read those arguments if they are more prepared to do so. Whatever strategy you choose, the more specific the strategy the better.

Specific arguments

Topicality: Generic T arguments don't get very far in front of me unless they are based in the literature and the negative can prove that the loss of core (generic) ground outweighs the affs education claims (e.g., why is the politics da/other generic da more important than the aff's particular education). If the aff doesn't read any offense they will very likely lose the debate.

Framework: Absent a T component it's not a reason to reject the aff. I have yet to hear a good reason why policy education is the only predictable education.

Disads: 'DA turns the case' is pretty important. I could be persuaded of 'no risk of the da' but it's unlikely. 

CPs: Well-researched PICs are enjoyable and I encourage you to read them. I tend to lean negative on theory but aff on questions of competition. Textual/functional competition is up for debate.

Critiques: In my experience, alternatives are under-debated. The aff needs offense against the alt and the neg needs a specific explanation of how the alt solves the case. Impact framing is important: don't stop at 'utilitarianism is key' or 'ethics first'. Tell me why you should still win even if you lose the impact framing debate (e.g., 'even if the neg wins that ethics comes first you will still vote aff because....'). Absent specific link analysis the permutation is pretty compelling. When deciding between reading the K you always go for and are comfortable with versus reading the K's you know that I read you should default to the K's that you are comfortable with. Don't read a huge-ass overview in the block, put it on the line-by-line.

Theory: Reading blippy blocks is a non-starter as are cheap shots. Just like every other issue in debate it needs to be well-developed before I will consider it. Conditionality is probably ok as long as the neg isn't reading contradictory positions.

Evidence: I prefer a handful of quality cards that are debated well over a stack of shitty cards that are read as fast as possible. As such, I'm persuaded by smart analytical arguments that point out the contrived nature of the case advantage/da/cp/k/whatever. You won't convince me that a card cut from a blog should be rejected if it has a warrant in it. I evaluate arguments, not qualifications with T debates being the exception to the rule: literature-based definitions hold more water than the definition given by merriam-webster or some other dictionary.

Paperless: Clock stops when the jumping team pulls the flash drive out of their computer.

Ashley Denney Paradigm

3 rounds




Please include me on email chains - ashley.denney612@gmail.com

Be efficient about email chains. Get them set-up before the start time on the pairing. Multiple problems with email chains may lead to decreased speaker points.


Currently coaching at UTSA, previously at K-State.

Very minor note: I hate being called by my last name. "Ash" or "Ashley" is fine. You won't lose speaker points for it or anything, I'd just rather be referred to by my first name.


Big picture:

Frame the debate for me at the top of the 2nr/2ar. Tell me what to vote on and why that's more important than whatever the other team wants me to vote on.   *Tell me how to weigh impacts. If no one tells me what to prioritize and someone has an oppression/violence in debate impact, I will generally default to weighing that argument first.*

Talk in paragraphs not blips. Give me pen (okay typing) time instead of speeding your way through large blocks of analysis. Slow down on tags. Very little frustrates me more than not being able to tell when you've gone from one card to another.

Stay organized. Giving arguments names is nice. You don't have to be perfect on the line by line, but telling me when you're moving from the link to the alt debate or the ___ "disad" (or whatever) is nice.

Slow down. I'd rather hear you make applications and talk about argument interaction than rattle through another three cards that say the same thing. I get that sometimes you need extra evidence and if there are different warrrants, it makes sense, but think carefully about those decisions. To take advantage of your analysis, I need to be able to flow it so you can't rattle off at the same speed you would a card.


Some specifics:

Framework - I am becoming less and less persuaded by ground and fairness claims against critical affs. Framework is much more persuasive to me as a methodological/educational issue rather than a rules/theory issue.


Kritiks - this is what I'm most familiar with. Have clear links and impacts, tell me what the alt is and what I should be doing as a judge. I generally start with the link and impact debate and then work from there. I've noticed I care a little less about the alternative than other judges, by which I mean even if I'm not totally convinced about alt solvency, I might still think that the K outweighs the aff. I'm more familiar with identity-based literature than with "high theory" literature, not necessarily a big deal, but an fyi. It's not that I won't vote on high theory or that I haven't been exposed to it at all, it's just a general note to avoid relying on buzzwords (which really is a good idea in general).

Performance - Tell me how to evaluate your argument and why I should evaluate it that way.

Theory - slow down on your theory debates. This is hard to win in front of me, so you need to spend real time on theory to win it. Reject the argument not the team is often more persuasive.  General proclivities: severance perms are bad (although probably not a reason to lose), conditionality is good within reason (although critical conditionality arguments are a differnet question), word pics are cool, but might be cheating. You probably won't win that Ks are cheating in front of me.

 Case debates: love them. Sneaky case turns, impact defense, mini-Ks are all great.

Policy arguments - generally lean probability over magnitude. I don't have a lot of predilections here because I don't judge a lot of these debates, but I'm capable of following and willing to vote on policy arguments.



Shree Deshpande Paradigm

3 rounds

Hi I’m Shree. If you decide to have an email chain please put me on it: shreedeshpande799@gmail.com.


In high school and college my favorite judges were always folks who were amenable to most arguments, more than happy to give feedback after round, and had an overall chill vibe to themselves. I try to judge the same way. I carry few, if any, biases regarding what debate is or how debaters should debate outside of speech times and the parameters set by the tournament. You do you.

What is doing you? All I ask is for you to: gradually build up your speaking speed to a level that’s clear for me and comfortable for you; respect me, your partner, and your opponents; debate how you want to debate not how you think I want you to debate; R E L A X.

Don’t be a bigot or a douche; be late to your round; clip cards or cheat.

Judging Philosophy proper:

Most debates I judge are decided on execution. A team may have forgotten to answer or extend a particular argument and their opponents capitalize on it.

Fewer debates I judge are determined on more technical issues such as link direction, impact framing, and evidence quality.

Sometimes I judge debates where there is very little clash or explanation.

You want to avoid this last scenario. You want to avoid it at all costs. You may not like or agree with the outcome.

Topicality is about competing interpretations. Provide compelling reasons why your vision of the topic is better than your opponents’ and at least defense to their reasons. Assume I am not super familiar with topic-specific acronyms or abbreviations.

Framework debates often boil down to fairness. Procedural fairness is an impact and “fairness for whom?” functions more as an impact framing argument than an impact turn. To get my ballot if you are aff, win the impact turn outweighs and leverage your method against the TVA.

Theory I’m agnostic on most things. Blippy theory arguments are the worst. Hearing theory walls read between teams is the worst.

Counterplans I don’t have a specific threshold for how many conditional arguments are cheating. If you win it, you win it. New 2NC counterplans justify new 1AR arguments. I’ll kick the counterplan for you in the 2NR if you tell me how you still win despite me kicking it.

DA 0% risk is a thing.

Kritiks Saying “it’s a methods debate” does not automatically mean your alternative is competitive and will get you one (1) eye roll from me.

Philip DiPiazza Paradigm

3 rounds

Updated - Fall 2020

Number of years judging: 12

For the email chain: philipdipiazza@gmail.com

I want to be on the email chain, but I am not going to “read-along” during constructives. I may reference particular cards during cross-ex if they are being discussed, and I will probably read cards that are important or being contested in the final rebuttals. But it’s the job of the debaters to explain, contextualize, and impact the warrants in any piece of evidence. I will always try to frame my decision based on the explanations on the flow (or lack thereof).

Like every judge I look for smart, well-reasoned arguments. I’ll admit a certain proclivity for critical argumentation, but it isn’t an exclusive preference (I think there’s something valuable to be said about “policy as performance”). Most of what I have to say can be applied to whatever approach debaters choose to take in the round. Do what you’re good at, and I will do my best to render a careful, well thought-out decision.

I view every speech in the debate as a rhetorical artifact. Teams can generate clash over questions of an argument’s substance, its theoretical legitimacy, or its intrinsic philosophical or ideological commitments.

I think spin control is extremely important in debate rounds and compelling explanations will certainly be rewarded. And while quantity and quality are also not exclusive I would definitely prefer less cards and more story in any given debate as the round progresses. I also like seeing the major issues in the debate compartmentalized and key arguments flagged.

As for the standard array of arguments, there's nothing I can really say that you shouldn't already know. I like strong internal link stories and nuanced impact comparisons. I really don't care for "risk of link means you vote Aff/Neg" arguments on sketchy positions; if I don't get it I'm not voting for it. My standard for competition is that it’s the Negative’s job to prove why rejecting the Aff is necessary which means more than just presenting an alternative or methodology that solves better – I think this is the best way to preserve clash in these kinds of debates. Please be sure to explain your position and its relation to the other arguments in the round.

KRITIK LINKS ARE STILL IMPORTANT. Don’t assume you’ll always have one, and don’t over-rely on extending a “theory of power” at the top of the flow. Both of these are and should be mutually reinforcing. This is especially important for the way I evaluate permutations. Theories of power should also be explained deliberately and with an intent to persuade.

I think the topic is important and I appreciate teams that find new and creative approaches to the resolution, but that doesn’t mean you have to read a plan text or defend the USFG. Framework is debatable (my judging record on this question is probably 50/50). A lot of this depends on the skills of the debaters in the room. This should not come as a surprise, but the people who are better at debating tend to win my framework ballot. Take your arguments to the next level, and you'll be in a much stronger position.

Two other things that are worth noting: 1) I flow on paper…probably doesn’t mean anything, but it might mean something to you. 2) I think there is a difference between intensity and jackassery. Please be mindful of this.

Scott Elliott Paradigm

3 rounds

Scott Elliott, Ph.D. J.D.

Asst Director of Forensics, KCKCC

Years Judging: 30+

Judging Philosophy:

What you need to know 10 minutes before your round starts:

I will most definitely vote on topicality. Win the interpretation and violation, and I will vote negative. You are either topical or you are not. If you are not, you lose. See below for more detail.

That argument you always wanted to run, but were afraid to run it….this may be your day to throw the Hail Mary. I prefer impact turns and arguments that most judges dislike.

Affirmatives still have to win basic stock issues. I prefer counterplans and disads. But I also believe that the affirmative has a burden to defend the ontological, epistemological, pedagogical and ethical assumptions of the affirmative arguments they have chosen.

I have probably written, cut cards for and against, and coached teams about, the “cutting edge” argument you are thinking of running. I have also voted for it and against it depending upon how that argument is deployed in the round.

I am not intimidated nor persuaded by team reputation, verbal abuse, physical assaults or threats. If you won, I am willing to take the heat and I do not care about the community’s reaction. I have friends outside the debate community and I have my dogs. I don’t need to be your buddy and I certainly do not care about my social standing within this so-called “community.”

Engage in overly abusive discourse in the round, threats, intimidation, or actual assaults of an opponent, another judge, or audience members and you will not only lose the round, but you can pretty much write off my ballot for the rest of your career. These organizations won’t do much about it, but I will I do what I can to stop the downward spiral of this activity.

More Information:

Why such a hard ass about topicality?

Argumentation theory 101 says that in order to engage in argumentation, people need to be able first agree on the subject to be debated and to agree that they could be wrong. Academic debate is a voluntary activity in which a community of educators and students gather to engage in competitive argumentation. The community chooses the subject to be debated. There are various organizations and formats to choose from. If you don’t like what was chosen, find another organization, or go to a local bar and pick a fight with someone.

I feel like I have an obligation to this activity that transcends the students in the actual round. When CEDA first merged with NDT, there were over 300 programs in CEDA. Now I estimate there are less than 50 active programs. CEDA used to have as many as 300 teams debate at Nationals. Now we are lucky to get 100. The 2016 NDT could barely find 68 varsity teams that could meet the criteria for entry. Why? Unlike some people, I do not believe it has to do with the research burdens of debate. I think it comes down to the fact that we as judges have allowed policy debate to become a shitshow. It really has become worse than I have ever seen in 36 years. Audience members have been assaulted. Judges have been intimidated and physical confrontations have occurred. The organizations don’t do anything substantial to stop it. Frankly, such behavior would never be tolerated in other organizations. The atmosphere in CEDA/NDT has become so toxic that few people want to play the game anymore. If it continues, both organizations will cease to be viable. Worse, these bad practices are spilling over into the other organizations as refugees from CEDA become settler-colonialists in Parliamentary debate and NFA-LD debate. The excesses of CEDA are spreading like a cancer in high school debate, LD, and Parli. I find it shameful.

I really, honestly, believe that Topicality is one major check on these abusive practices for a lot of reasons. If you are negative, and the Affirmative is not topical, do not get sucked into the rabbit hole of their 2AC “impact turns to T” blocks. Your smartest move would be to ignore those arguments and stick me to my judging philosophy. Some smart teams are already doing it to the chagrin of 2ACs. If your AFF is not topical, do not place me on your pref sheets. Here are some of the big reasons that I believe trump your personal identity, ontology, epistemology, social warrior activism, and pedagogy:

1. Limits have to exist to prevent the affirmative from strategically choosing negative’s ground. The function of an affirmative “case” is to critique the status quo. Imagine a world in which we allow the first team to speak the unlimited and unchecked ability to choose not only their own ground, but also the negative’s ground. (Hint, it exists in D3 and it sucks.) The burden of rejoinder requires the negative to answer in some fashion the affirmative. When the affirmative gets to choose all the terms of debate, what they will and will not defend, only an idiot would choose to give their opponent fair ground to debate.

2. Cherry picking. Twenty years ago, I drunkenly joked that if I were allowed to argue anything I wanted, I would run “Rape Bad” and “Slavery Bad” every round. Well it is not a joke anymore. The function of an agreed resolution is to provide negative teams with predictable, stable, and DEFENDABLE ground for a debate. Teams strategically choose to create arguments to win debates. No check literally allows the affirmative to pick the best argumentative ground and avoid any negative ground for debate. I find, ‘competing methodologies” and “the case list gives you notice” debates to be unpersuasive. Disclosure does not create ground. The impact is that people literally quit debate, never join debate, or programs flat out leave the organization that tolerates this bullshit and they join organizations that enforce topicality by rule.

3. The topic is not about you. And the topic should NOT be about you. A lot of the rhetorical violence, threats, hurt feelings, intimidation, and out and out physical violence stems from people arguing about their personal identity. Contrary to your blocks, it really isn’t all about you. And, frankly, if you are using debate as a method of affirming yourself, your culture, your identity, etc., you need to have an intervention. Debate is a horrible and pathological place for you to place your sense of self. Just say no. If people would debate the topic, they would probably not get so personally involved in an argument that they literally hurt other people. What the hell is wrong with you people? You really think threatening some undergrad, hitting some elderly person, assaulting a judge accomplishes anything positive? Maybe topicality should be a voting issue if it means that people not take this activity---and themselves--so seriously.

4. Not everybody is a privileged as you, or your program, or your coaching staff. Not everyone is as stupidly obsessed with winning a tournament, or justifying your own existence through debate as you are. More importantly, some people want to engage in academic policy debate and have another life. They want to go for a walk or run. They want to be able to go out on a date. They want to see their family. They want to pet their dogs. They want to make “A’s” in biochem so they can become doctors that actually save lives. A stable topic, as badly written as this horrible one is, gives these students an opportunity to balance debate with a healthy life. This outweighs all of your tears, your self-affirmation through my ballot (kinda sick that you require that type of external validation from some white dude pressing a button on a computer), or your ontology. I wish to god a debater would just say, “You are not topical; here is the violation; it’s a voter because I should not have to research this shit and to do so would mean I don’t get to spend time with my friends; vote for friendship.” I will gladly vote for your friendship impacts over social death, and every other impact I have ever seen used to justify why affirmatives get to cheat.

Other Stuff:

Aff. Win a topical plan, or defend the entire resolution. I will still vote negative on presumption. Prove your basic elements first. Inherency, (uniqueness for an advantage over the status quo) is still a voter. Solvency is still a voter. Win an advantage that outweighs the disadvantages by the end of the debate. Be prepared to defend your ontological, epistemological, ethical, and pedagogical assumptions. In other words, I will definitely vote for a “Kritik.” Impact framing is an issue for me. Feel free to use the critical portions to shift standard assumption about how I should weigh impacts. Example: if you win that individual species survival is more important than the lives of individuals within a specific species, I will have no problem voting for a team that saves the snail darter at the expense of a few billion humans starving to death or a regional nuclear war. It is up to the debaters to argue how impacts are evaluated…human util, deep ecology util, deonotological, etc. are open to debate. Regarding Kritik alternatives—most of them are horribly vague, do not solve for anything, and are virtually worthless. But, people never argue against them. Read disads to their alt. Permutations are good ideas to test competition. The idea that you cannot perm methodologies is a joke---you know and I know it. Test whether the arguments are really mutually exclusive---i.e. a real reason to reject the affirmative. Point out double turns and performative contradictions…then impact them out.

I prefer explanations how disads outweigh or turn case. If you can impact turn, that is fine with me. If you can internal link turn a position, that’s fine too.

My personal tastes in debate. I am open to a lot of arguments my colleagues have already written off. I prefer to test almost all assumptions. Please deny warming occurs. Fine with me. Run Ice Age. Please run Malthus (I actually believe a lot of these arguments in my personal life). Please read Rights Malthus (I really am an unapologetic eco-fascist in my personal life). Please read nihilism. Please read human extinction good, wipeout, etc. Read E-prime, I do not care. Read veganism, I do not care. Please impact out advantages, disads or Kritiks by explaining how it will impact my dogs. I really, truly do not care for the majority of people in this activity nor do I care for the vast majority of humanity. But I do care about my dogs.

Memorable examples of ways teams have unexpectedly picked up my ballot:
1) Voted for Baylor one time because Emory misspelled their plan text;
2) Voted for Emporia once because their plan wiped-out the universe, destroying all life (you had to be there);
3) Voted numerous times on anthro kritiks, De-Dev, Cap K's, anarchy, malthus, space, aliens A-Life, etc.;
4) voted for a counter-performance because it made me feel more emotional than the 1AC narrative;
5) voted for porn good turns;
6) voted for genocide reduces overpopulation turns;
7) did not vote, but the team won, because they took my ballot filled it out, gave themselves the win and double 30's;
8) voted once on a triple turn--link turned, impact turned, and turned back the impact turn (had to be there);
9) voted on inherency;
10) voted on foul language in a round--both ways--foul language bad and "yeah, we said F***, but that's good" turns;
11) voted for veganism K while eating a cheeseburger.

One last point: All of you need to flow the round. The speech document they flash over to you is not the debater's actual speech. Look. Listen. You may be surprised what the other team is actually saying.

Juan Garcia-Lugo Paradigm

Juan Garcia-Lugo

UT-San Antonio



Yes, I want to be on the email chain. I don't follow along with speech documents, but I will usually read most of the cards (I'm curious!).

If an argument is complete, I will evaluate it. While my judging and coaching experience heavily leans towards the critical side of debate, I prefer you read something that you are passionate about and are prepared to debate. Tech and Truth both matter. A conceded argument is a true argument but the significance of that argument is still up for debate. There are many ways to do debate, and when two different styles are present, framing arguments are important for establishing argument priorities. I default to the framing arguments presented and won by the debaters. Otherwise, look below for some of the ways I think about arguments.


I understand most K theory through the use of examples, please provide and debate them. I find presumption strategies against K aff's unpersuasive if the affirmative can articulate and defend a form of action. I find them more persuasive against K aff's that are describing a theory of power. K's that don't defend an alternative are fine, but often necessitate strong framework arguments or decisively won offense against the affirmative.


I'm usually concerned with "what makes debate a valuable activity?". The idea of a fair game for its own sake is less persuasive to me than the idea of a fair game being necessary for producing valuable education. Quality evidence on framework goes a very long way for me. I don't like evidence that comes from debate textbooks and manuals, but will vote on them.


Have an interpretation and defend it. I prefer that interpretation not be arbitrary (we get 2 conditional arguments v 3 conditional arguments). When it comes to offense, less is more. Winning 2 big arguments for why process counterplans are good is better than your 8th argument about "best policy option". This is also the only part of debate I strongly stress slowing down on. The impact to most theory arguments is to reject the argument not the team (conditionality is exceptional).

Brian Gonzaba Paradigm

6 rounds


So i vote aff about twice as much as i vote negative... it's not for any particular bias i have toward the resolutional question but more so how much i desire a well articulated link argument...

i think the negative has to win a reason why the aff is BAD or WORSE in order to win my ballot... they don't do x is not a link, and in my mind when you rest your hat on that argument the aff has enough room in the debate to say "at least we did something else that's still good"

Your alt/cp does nothing for me without a link... even if the 2ac drops it.. i dont care unless there is articulatable reason i can tell the aff that they make the world worse. If it is dropped i still need to understand what i am voting for... i will 100 percent not assume any impact or link that is not explained or understood by me on the flow and from a previous speech.

I have voted on no aff solvency many times but it involved shutting a lot of doors on the aff's flexibility and winning that solving x was key to every advantage the aff can claim.

I like plan flaws, i like pics... i love being negative and a lot of the teams I coach win about equal to or more neg rounds... i just think the negative has to assume predictable pivot points the aff can take via winning an advantage or an external net benefit.

i just want to make it clear that I believe cops are a blight on this earth and are easily the biggest threat to existence on the planet... I don't back the blue, and if you do don't pref me... I will never vote on cops good ever... it doesn't take a badge to be a cop... don't be a cop... I live my life on the motto don't be a cop and take my role as an enemy of the police system seriously... don't try me... ACAB ALWAYS... I do active work in my community to fight the police at any opportunity I get, I dream of a world where PIGS are no longer in power, the feds have disappeared and America as we know it ceases to exist.

After Grapevine 2020 i've decided to change the way I do speaker points... My base will now be a 28 (previously 27.5) I realized i've been doing a disservice to people who are really good speakers.

Not gonna lie... kind of a wild card situation. I just don't really have a consistent way that I evaluate any given debate whatever happens just kind of happens.

One year I got to judge finals of CEDA, that was really cool! I sat though...

For some reason I found myself in a lot of 7 off type debates last year, I think it's an archaic model of debate, but none the less I am capable of making a sound decision.

I evaluate the debate based on the flow

I very seldom read evidence unless there is a dispute about the meaning of evidence in the round, or it is an absolute tie breaker situation


I evaluate Offense before Defense

I don't believe in topicality, i'll vote for it (I'm Lying) and my teams might run it on occasion, but I don't believe in the idea that we should limit knowledge production to a certain side of the library... that is colonialist and almost exclusively manifests itself in eurocentric ways against non instrumental affirmatives.

frankly i just don't care what topic the aff talks about, i just care that the aff does something that changes the way things are... with that being said I am a lot more negative oriented when it comes to theory debates... I don't think the aff should get to tell the negative what to do... none of this is universal... but I just find myself lost in most technical theory debates I guess. lol sometimes I wonder how I ever got to where i was in this activity.

Fairness is not an Impact

TVAs are just floating PICS and i find the permutation very persuasive

Heg is bad always

So is state action

I vote against my personal beliefs a lot

I think it's a shame

Truth > Tech



Malcolm Gordon Paradigm

1 rounds

A quick guide to getting good speaker points:

-get to the point, and be clear about it
-"extinction" or "nuclear war" is not a tag
-a well explained, logical, argument trumps an unexplained argument merely extended by it's "card name"
-Ks must pass the make sense test
-cross x is a speech-i figure it in as a substantial factor in speaker points

Here is an explanation of how I evaluate debates at a meta-level:

While I think there is value in the offense/defense framework for evaluation, for me to vote on offense there has to be substantive risk. Second, quality trumps quantity. 30 bad uniqueness cards that barely make a claim can not overcome the power of 1 well warranted, logical argument that is consistently applied to the onslaught of evidence. In short:

Where X is a good, warranted argument and Y is an illogical argument, and X, A, and Y are all positive integers:

X > A(Y)

Also, "extinction" is not a tag line. I don't even like tag lines like "causes nuclear war." I need complete sentences, with claims and warrants.

Where does the evidence come from? there are not enough debaters talking about the quality of research their opponents are quoting.

Get to the point. On any given controversy in debate, there are relatively few arguments at play. Get to the core issues quickly. Point out the central logical/argumentative problems with a given position. I am much more compelled by a speaker’s ability to take the 2-3 core problems with their opponent’s position and use those fallacies to answer all of the other team’s advances. It shows you have a grip on the central issue and you understand how that issue is inescapable regardless of your opponent’s answer

Calling for cards: I will do this, but I don’t like to read every card in the debate. If you opponent is making well explained arguments you should be very wary of just saying “extend our smith evidence”.


Arbitrary interpretations are one of the worst trends in debate right now. If your interpretation of debate theory is wholly arbitrary and made up it doesn’t seem very useful for me to uphold it as some new norm and reject the other team.

Conditionality is good, it would take a very decisive aff victory with a very tangible impact (in policy debate). Whatever your arbitrary counterinterpretation is that limits the neg to X number of conditional positions…..sorry, I wasn’t born yesterday. If conditionality is good it’s good.

While I'm fine with conditionality, I am persuaded by other theoretical objections (multi actor fiat, uniform fiat without a solvency advocate, etc). I also think that a theory argument that combines objections (conditional multi actor CPs) could be a reason to reject the team.

My personal belief is that the negative can only fiat the agent of the resolution, and that competition based off the ‘certainty’ of the plan (consult/conditions) is not productive. This does NOT mean I have a low threshold in voting aff on agent/actor cps bad, but it does make my threshold lower than most. To win these theory debates on the aff, see above point about cutting to the core 2-3 issues.

On topicality-you need tangible impacts. You’re asking me to drop a team because they made debate too unfair for you. “limits good” is not an impact. “They unlimit the topic by justifying x types of affs that we cannot hope to prepare for” is an impact. There must be a very coherent connection between neg interpretation, violations, and standards in the 2nr.

Counterplans: I spoke above about my theoretical beliefs on counterplans. I think counterplans should be textually and functionally competitive. I am sometimes persuaded that purely functional competition (normal means/process counterplans) should probably not be evaluated. If you’re aff and theory-savvy, don’t be afraid to go for theoretical reasons the process cp goes away.

Floating Pics/Word PICs- I’m great for the aff on these. I believe that every position has theoretical reasons behind it related to education and competitive equity. The aff counterinterpretation of “you can run your K/word K as a K without the CP part” generally solves every pedagogical benefit of those positions-this means the aff just needs to win that competitively these positions are bad for the aff, and it outweighs any ‘educational benefit’ to word/floating pics. I'm persuaded by those arguments, making it an uphill battle for the neg if the aff can explain tangible impacts to the competitive disadvantage the PIC puts them in.


The story must matchup. I will vote on such non-offensive arguments like: your uq and link evidence don’t assume the same group of politicians, you have no internal link, passage of that bill is inevitable, Trump has no PC etc. Of course I don’t vote on these in isolation-once again, refer back to my meta-approach to debate-you need to explain why that core defensive argument trumps everything else the neg is saying.


I’m generally not compelled by framework against a Neg K-I think all Ks have a gateway/framing issue that is much easier and more logical for the aff to attack. For example, if the neg reads an epistemology K you are much more likely to win reading a card that says “consequences outweigh epistemology” or “epistemology focus bad” than you are to win that the other team is cheating because of their K. Focus on answering the gateway issue so that you can leverage your aff against the K and get the decision calculus of the debate back in your favor. Subsequently for the neg the issue of ‘framing’ is also very important.

In the 2ac, don’t make a bunch of perms you have no hope of winning unless they are conceded. Perm do the alt is not a perm. Make 1 or 2 permutations and EXPLAIN IN THE 2AC how the permutation overcomes neg links/risks of the impact.

Ks are a great example of the “there are only 2-3 arguments” theory I subscribe to. If you’re debating a 1 off team, it’s much better for me if you don’t read 40 cards in the 2ac with as many different caveats as possible. Instead, read a good number of argument but take the time to explain them. What part of the K do they refute? How do these arguments change the calculus of the round? When you do this I put much more pressure on the neg block to get in depth with their explanations, which I find usually helps the aff.

K affs:

T > Framework. Given that most impact turns to T come from pedagogical reasons, you need to prove that your interpretation provides space for the ‘good education’ the aff thinks is key to stop genocide/war/racism/turkeys. Topical version of your aff is compelling, as well as giving other examples of topical action that prove the aff could have accepted the parameters of the resolution and gained the same educational benefits. Then it’s just a matter of proving that competitively the K aff hurts the neg. Also, prove how your competitive equity impacts implicate their education impacts.

Case debate:

These are great. Impact defense is kinda meh unless it's real specific. Solvency and internal link answers are where it's at. Make alt causes great again!


It’s all about probability-magnitude is ok but only when you’re discussing it in terms of “our impact causes yours”. Extinction outweighs is trite because by the end of the debate all impacts are extinction or nuclear wars that easily result in another impact in the debate that has been claimed as extinction (nuke war hurts the environment, aff said that causes extinction). Probability is key. Establishing risk is where it’s at. A higher risk trumps a higher magnitude in most instances.

Cross Examination: it’s a speech, I grade it like a speech. Be funny if you can. Base the cross x on core issues in the debate, and base it on quality of evidence and establishing risk/threshold for various arguments.

Elizabeth Hopp Paradigm

3 rounds

I come from a traditional policymaking background.


I understand and vote for critical and performative arguments.


I value debate as an educational activity.


I do think flashing should count as prep time.


I do not tend to call for cards after the round unless the two teams disagree explicitly about what the evidence says and I am unclear myself.

Matea Ivanovic Paradigm

6 rounds

I've been in debate for 10 years. I am fine with almost anything, but I have more experience with K debate than not.

Fairness is an internal link not an impact.

Sometimes there is zero risk of a link

I like to hear things well explained!!!

I don't like to read your cards for you throughout the debate but I like to be on the email chain matea.debate@gmail.com

Jacob Justice Paradigm

2 rounds

PhD, Communication Studies, The University of Kansas.

Coach and judge for KU since 2014.

Debated at Wayne State University and Dexter High School.

Put me on the email chain, please. jakejustice65 at gmail.

*October 2020 Update*

This past Spring I finished up my PhD at the University of Kansas. I am now a public speaking instructor at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. I will be judging sporadically for Kansas during the 2020-2021 season.

What does this mean?

Don't assume I have high familiarity with the nitty-gritty of the current topic. I coached/judged on the high school military presence topic (2010-2011) and coached/judged extensively on the college military presence topic (2015-2016), so I am familiar with the broad strokes of the current college topic, but the latest and spiciest arguments and acronyms might be unfamiliar to me.

The Wayne State tournament will also be my first time judging an online tournament; although I did judge many online debates at the 2020 Jayhawk Debate Institute and have taught online many times as well. I just wanted to provide a fair warning that you can't rule out a "boomer technology moment" with me in the back of the room as I learn the ropes of this strange new world of online debating.

With these updates out of the way, I think everything below applies.

I always do my best to judge the debate in front of me without letting my own biases creep in. But I (or any other judge) would be lying if I told you I don't have certain preferences: these preferences are spelled out pretty well below.

One additional comment: I find that the most difficult rounds to resolve often involve debates that are occurring on two different registers. A 1AC with massive extinction impacts versus K links about knowledge production or ontology. Or a 1AC about anti-blackness or psychic violence versus a T argument about fairness/education. When debaters' impacts operate on such different levels, it can be difficult to resolve the debate without debaters explicitly telling me what types of impacts to prioritize.

*Previous Philosophy*

First things first:

1) Do what you're best at. As a judge, I should adapt to you and not the other way around.

2) Arguments should have a claim, warrant, and implication. Any argument that contains a claim, data (this doesn't mean carded), warrant and implication is fair game for my ballot.

3) A dropped argument is almost always a true argument. The most common exception is if the original argument did not include the requirements in #2, in which case I might give the team that dropped the arg some leeway in hedging against an entirely new warrant or implication. Tech creates "truth". What is "truth" is contingent on arguments made (and won). I often find myself voting for arguments that I disagree with or find silly when one side executes better.

4) This is a communication activity, so clarity is important to me. I like being able to hear the text of evidence as it is being read. Enunciate! Don't talk into your laptop or read like a robot.

General Notes:

Context always matters. Controlling the contextual framing almost always requires hard pre-round work, and usually wins the round. I value teams that demonstrate robust knowledge of their arguments and the topic.

Clash matters a lot to me. I'm not a good judge for teams whose strategy is built around avoiding a debate. This is true regardless of which side of the K/policy spectrum any given argument falls on.

Impact comparisons are critical, no matter what flavor of debate you engage in. Does negative flexibility outweigh 2AC strategy skew? Are the 1AC’s methodological assumptions a prior question to its pragmatic implications? Does a long term warming impact outweigh a quick nuclear war scenario? In a close round, the team that provides the clearest and most well-explained answer to questions like those usually wins my ballot.

In general, it is better to a develop a small number of arguments in an in-depth manner than to develop a large number of arguments in a shallow manner, although there are certainly exceptions to this rule. Selective rebuttals are typically the most effective. That being said, I recognize the strategic benefit of the 1AR pursuing a handful of lines of argument to give the 2AR flexibility to pick-and-choose.

After judging a year of college debates, I think my biggest pet peeve is vagueness -- be that a vague plan, vague CP, or vague alt. Being clear and detailed is helpful to me as a judge.


See: my previous thoughts about clash.

Teams should defend an example of the resolution. I don't think being topical is an unreasonable expectation when the resolution does not force you to take a conservative or repugnant action (i.e., when legalizing pot or closing military bases is topical). I think fairness is an impact and will vote on it if articulated and debated well.

When answering T with a "K Aff," I think it is important for the AFF team to advance a limiting counter-interpretation of some kind. I am more likely to be persuaded by "we don't make the topic unworkably large" than "destroying debate good."

It is important for affirmatives to demonstrate that their advocacy is germane to the controversy of the resolution and contestable. Affirmatives should explain what type of ground they make available to the negative, and not just by referring to random author names. In other words, it's much more helpful when the affirmative frames the ground debate in terms of: "our affirmative relies on *X* assumption, which *Y* literature base writes evidence refuting" rather than just saying "you can read Baudrillard, Bataille, etc."

Teams should articulate a clear vision of what debate would look like under their interpretation. Ideally, teams should present a clear answer to questions like: "what is the purpose of debate?" Is it a game? A site for activism? Somewhere in between?

I don't think reading topicality is a means to evade clash with the substance of an affirmative -- in many instances it calls core assumptions of the affirmative into question.

Interacting with your opponents' argument is critical. It's important to isolate a clear impact to your argument and explain how it accesses/turns your opponents. Often times I find these debates to be irreconcilable because the arguments advanced by either side have disparate premises. It can be helpful to not conflate procedural justifications for topicality with normative ones, though the internal links to these things often become messy.

I am disinclined to view debate as a role-playing exercise.


I will definitely vote on it, and I have done so often. I am not a good judge for "should = past tense of shall", "reduce =/= eliminate" and other contrived interpretations negatives read against obviously topical affs. For instance, it will be difficult to convince me that an affirmative which removes the Cuban embargo is untopical, absent a massive technical error. That being said I am willing to vote on T, given that an interpretation, violation, standards, and voters are well articulated. Affirmatives should always make and extend a counter-interpretation.

Theory –

It will be tough to persuade me that two conditional advocacies is egregious and unmanageable for the 2AC. Beyond two conditional advocacies is pushing your luck if you are the negative team, especially with multiple "kickable" planks involved.

Basically every other theoretical objection is a reason to reject the argument, not the team.

I haven't formed a solid opinion on "judge kicking" CPs, but since the aff has the burden of proof in most theory debates, I think I am comfortable putting the burden on the aff to prove why the 2NR can't simultaneously go for a CP and the SQ.

-Consult/Condition/Delay CPs – I tend to consider these types of CPs uncompetitive, and am thus receptive to perm arguments. That being said, there is a big difference in my mind between “Consult Japan on the plan” and well-evidenced CP’s that are comparative between doing the plan unconditionally, and using the plan as leverage. The latter brand of condition CP’s are few and far between.


Given my disposition to view things within a cost-benefit paradigm, I am likely to frame the critique as a disad / counterplan. This basic calculus will be different based upon the framework arguments advanced by the negative regarding ontology, epistemology, method, etc.

When indicting an affirmative's knowledge production or epistemology is imperative that you reference quotes or phrases from the 1AC which you think are flawed. It is also imperative that affirmatives defend the truth value of their 1AC's claims from these types of epistemological attacks.

I feel most comfortable in K rounds that involve a lot of interaction with the plan, the advantages, or explicit 1AC claims. There should be a coherent link, impact, and alternative. Don't assume I know what you are talking about.

Affs are best answering the K at the alt and impact level as the neg will almost certainly win a link. Articulating why the alt doesn't solve the case and why the case outweighs the K impacts is usually the best strategy. I am also a fan of the impact turn.

K links should ideally establish that the 1AC/plan is undesirable, not merely that it doesn't account for every foreseeable harm. I.E. links that say: "the plan makes racism worse" are more persuasive than "the plan does not address other instances of racism."

David Keller Paradigm

3 rounds

When I was a participant I ran policy at the beginning of my career.  By the end I deployed critical argumentation with much greater frequency than traditional policy.  I do not have a preference for a single or idealized type of debate. I will not guess. If I miss an argument and it is not on my flow I will not vote on it.  If you want your arguments to make it to my flow I advise giving me clear breaks between tags, authors, and evidence.  Some things change some things stay the same.  Speed is fine, blips are not.  If you want it on my flow, pen time is required.  Impact analysis, or telling me how and why to vote is how you will get my ballot.


Here is how I will evaluate rounds.  My background in critical debates is from an orientation of Foucault and power relations.


There are a few rules.  Do not say “out of context” unless you are making an ethics challenge.  Prep time ends when you give the flash drive or send an email to the opposing team. Do not clip cards.


I would prefer participants not be assholes, though everything is debatable and situational.

Updated 11-12-15

Brian Kersch Paradigm

6 rounds

Evidence collection: Due to some people being shady about the differences in their speech docs vs. what they give their opponents I will only allow speech docs that are sent to the opponent to be sent to me for review after the debate. If there is a universal email chain, I shall download from that, if we're jumping speech docs I will *ask your opponent for what they received*

Simply put, I don't expect anyone to jump analytics, theory, etc. Just tags and cards, but some people have been deleting tags that they themselves have. If you're going to read a tag your opponent should hvae access to it. If they do not, then I, as a judge, will also not have access to it.

I think analysis outweighs evidence. I am not afraid to be "that person" on a panel who didn't call for the 20 cards the 2nr extended by cite and vote aff on the better explanation of "winners-win." Evidence supports argumentation, not the other way around. 

Kritik Paradigm:

I am becoming exceedingly frustrated by debate's incessant fascination with internal links. I do not need an extinction card, a war card, a people dying card, etc. to "prove" that racism is bad to me. Racism is an impact and the incessant question of "so what" is frustrating to me. Same applies to sexism, ableism, etc.

To quote Calum Matheson "If I need to read a card that says genocide is bad then I quit debate"

I tend towards systemic impacts, the problem I have with how they're debated presently is a question of solvency. 9 times out of 10 the neg's impact is on an ethos level less persuasive to me, but the story of aff solvency is so much more concrete to me that I'll vote aff in the vast majority of those debates. Reading a systemic impact alone is not likely to persuade me, the veracity of solvency claims are, regardless of what impact you're reading. Make a persuasive internal link chain, make a persuasive causality claim, make a persuasive solvency claim, etc.

Framework: I imagine this is why you are here. You must win why your education outweighs or why fairness outweighs education OR some external terminal impact. Proving that the aff is unfair is not only obvious, but also completely irrelevant if you don't win a terminal impact to that fairness claim. Debatibility key to education, policy education good, topic education good, policy education key to democracy, ceding the political, etc. Otherwise I am inclined to think that unfair affs are better for debate if the education they provide by being unfair is more relevant than topical education. This is NOT a high threshold, and ought not to be hard to do. Simply put: Make sure I care about why the aff is unfair. Obviously degrees of unfairness are relevant. If the aff defends topical action just not the government you need to win a reason government focus/praxis is good. 

 Do note that I have a strong preference for affs that agree with the demand of the resolution even if they do not agree with the usage of the government/fiat. Affs that are the opposite of the topic are unlikely to gain any sympathy from me.


Functional Competition, not textual. Forcing better research about the aff plan can never be bad. PICs make sense against K affs.

Be creative. There are MANY ways to solve the aff with a States CP BESIDES just Lopezing or having the States do the mandates of the plan. Smarter CP texts that solve the aff without trying to have the States do the aff make me happy, more likely to vote for you, and at the very least raises my perception of your intelligence and thus your speaker points.

 I would greatly prefer (read: this probably influences speaker points) if CP texts were read at conversational speed. This takes up to 5 seconds extra of the 1nc for infinte more comprehension on my part. The tradeoff is well worth it.

More meta shit: The shift in emphasis in debate away from plans has made perm debates suuuuuper lazy. If a team does not defend a traditional policy action then traditional policy explanation of theories for permutations do not apply. Permutations by and large create lazy debating because teams fail to explain why affs and alts are competitive or not. Spend more time explaining why the alternative is commensurable with the affirmative than using the word "perm". I shall grant any explanation of why the alternative and the aff can be combined to be considered a "permutation" as far as verbiage goes. 

Secondly the phrase "method debates means the aff doesn't get a permutation" makes no. damn. sense. Academic articles literally dedicate entire sections to explaining how the method of their research coincides with other research methodologies. The idea that aff's without a plan text, or without a traditional praxis, means negatives do not have to compete under traditional models of competition CAN BE VERY PERSUASIVE to me. But the idea that they're different because it's a "methods debate" is beyond idiotic.



Justin Kirk Paradigm

3 rounds

Justin Kirk

Director of Debate at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

20 years judging experience @ about 40 rounds per year

"I believe I have an obligation to work as hard at judging as the debaters do preparing for the debates." – Scott Harris

General philosophy – Debate is primarily a communications based activity, and if you are not communicating well, your arguments are probably incoherent, and you are probably not going to win many debates in front of me. It is your responsibility to make quality arguments. An argument consists of a claim, a warrant, and an impact. Evidence supports argumentation, it does not supplant it. However, analytic arguments and comparative claims about argument quality are essential to contextualizing your evidence and applying it to the issues developed throughout the debate. Quality arguments beat bad evidence every time.

I flow every debate and expect teams to answer arguments made by the other team. You should also flow every debate. That does not mean start flowing after the speech documents run out. Cross-examinations that consist mostly of "what cards did you read" or "what cards did you skip" are not cross examinations and do you little to no good in terms of winning the debate. If you have questions about whether or not the other team made an argument or answered a particular argument, consult your flow, not the other team. The biggest drawback to paperless debate is that people debate off speech docs and not their flows, this leads to shoddy debating and an overall decline in the quality of argumentation and refutation.

Each team has a burden of refutation, and arguing the entire debate from macro-level arguments without specifically refuting the other side's arguments will put you at a severe disadvantage in the debate. Burden of proof falls upon the team making an argument. Unwarranted, unsupported assertions are a non-starter for me. It is your responsibility is to make whole arguments and refute the arguments made by the other side. Evaluating the debate that occurred is mine. The role of my ballot is to report to the tab room who I believe won the debate.

Online Debate - everyone is adjusting to the new world of online debate and has plenty of burdens. I will be lenient when judging if you are having technical difficulties and provide ample time. You should record all of your speeches on a backup device in case of permanent technical failures. Speechdrop is the norm for sharing files. If there are bandwidth problems, I will ask everyone to mute their mics and videos unless they are talking.

Paperless Debate – You should make every attempt to provide a copy of the speech documents to me and the other team before the speech. Disclosure is a norm in debate and you should endeavor to disclose any previously run arguments before the debate. Open source is not a norm, but is an absolutely preferable means of disclosure to cites only. The easiest way to resolve this is through an email thread for the debate, it saves time and the risk of viruses are decreased substantially through email. I suspect that paperless debate has also led to a substantial decrease in clarity and corresponding increases in cross-reading and clipping. I have zero tolerance for cheating in debate, and will have no qualms about voting against you, assigning zero speaker points, and speaking to your coaches about it. Clarity is a must. You will provide me speech documents to read during the debate so I may better understand the debate that is occurring in front of me. I will ask you to be clearer if you are not and if you continue to be unclear, I will stop flowing your arguments.

Topicality – Is good for debate, it helps to generate clash, prevents abusive affirmatives, and generally wins against affirmatives that have little to no instrumental relation to the topic. Topicality definitions should be precise, and the reasons to prefer your topicality violation should be clear and have direct relation to your interpretation. Topicality debates are about the scope of and competition generated by the resolution. I usually default to competing interpretations, as long as both sides have clear, contextual, and well warranted interpretations. If your interpretation is missing one of these three elements, go for another argument. Reasonability is a winnable argument in front of me as long as you offer specific and warranted reasons why your interpretation is reasonable vis-à-vis the negative. I vote on potential abuse and proven abuse.

Kritiks – Should be based in the resolution and be well researched with specific links to the affirmative. Reading generic links to the topic is insufficient to establish a link to the affirmative. Alternatives should be well explained and evidenced with specific warrants as to the question of link solvency. A majority of kritik debates that are lost by negative teams where they have failed to explain the link debate or alternative adequately. A majority of kritik debates that are lost by affirmative teams when I am judging are ones where the affirmative failed to sufficiently argue for a permutation argument or compare the impacts of the affirmative to the impacts of the criticism sufficiently. I firmly believe that the affirmative gets to weigh the advantages of the plan against the impacts of the criticism unless the link to the criticism directly stems from the framing of the Affirmative impacts. I also believe that the affirmative can usually win solvency deficits to the alternative based upon deficits in implementation and/or instrumentalization of the alternative. Arguments that these solvency deficits do not apply because of framework, or that the affirmative has no right to solving the affirmative, are non-starters for me.

Counterplans – Yes. The more strategic, the better. Should be textually and functionally competitive. Texts should be written out fully and provided to the other team before cross examination begins. The negative should have a solvency card or net benefit to generate competition. PICs, conditional, topical counterplans, international fiat, states counterplans are all acceptable forms of counterplans. NR counterplans are an effective means of answering new 1AR arguments and add-ons and are fair to the affirmative team if they are responses to new 1AR developments. I believe that counterplans are the most effective means of testing the affirmative's plan via competitive policy options and are an effective means of solving for large portions of the affirmative. Counterplans are usually a fair check against new affirmatives, non-intrinsic advantages, and affirmatives with bad or no solvency evidence. If you have a theoretical objection to the counterplan, make it compelling, have an interpretation, and win offense. Theoretical objections to the counterplan are fine, but I have a high threshold for these arguments unless there is a specific violation and interpretation that makes sense in the context of competitive demands in debate.

Disads – Yes and yes. A likely winning strategy in front of me usually involves going for a disadvantage to the affirmative and burying the case with quality arguments and evidence. Disadvantages should have specific links to the case and a coherent internal link story. It is your job to explain the causal chain of events that leads to the disadvantage. A disadvantage with no internal links is no disad.

Case Debate - Is a lost art. Most affirmatives are a hodgepodge of thrown together internal links and old impact evidence. Affirmatives are particularly bad at extending their affirmative and answering negative arguments. Especially new affirmatives. Negative teams should spend a substantial portion of the debate arguing why the affirmative case is problematic. Fewer and fewer teams invest any time in arguing the case, at the cost of a criticism or disadvantage that usually isn't worth reading in the first place. Time trade-offs are not nearly as valuable as quality indictments of the 1AC. Spend those three minutes answering the advantages and solvency and don't read that third criticism or fourth disadvantage, it usually doesn't help you anyway. Inidict the 1AC evidence, make comparative claims about their evidence and your evidence, challenge the specificity or quality of the internal links.

Evidence - Qualifications, context, and data matter. You should answer the evidence read in the debate because I will read evidence at the end. One of the largest problems with paperless debate is the persistence of reading cards to answer cards when a simple argument about the context or quality of the evidence will do. It takes less time to answer a piece of terrible evidence with an analytic argument than it does to read a card against it. It is useless to throw good cards after bad.

Speaker Points - Are a reflection of the quality of speaking, arguments, and strategic choice made by debaters in the debate – no more, no less.

One final note - I have heard and seen some despicable things in debate in the past few years. Having a platform to espouse your ideas does not give you the right to make fun of other debaters' limitations, tell them to die, blame them for other's deaths, threaten them with violence (explicitly or implicitly), or generally be a horrible person. Debate as an activity was designed to cultivate a community of burgeoning intellectuals whose purpose is the pedagogical development of college students through a competitive and repetitive engagement of complex ideas. If you think that something you are about to say might cross the line from argument into personal attack or derogatory statement do not say it. If you decide to cross that line, it is my interpretation of the event that matters and I will walk out of your debate and assign you an immediate loss.

Paul Leader Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

George Lee Paradigm

Do you. Do what you do and do it well. I've been apart of the debate community for 6 years and come to the conclusion that all debates are a series of competing dramatic performances that I could be perusauded on anyday, any performance. With that being said, if rap, poetry or storytelling is not your thing.. Dont do it just because your in front of me. I value clash and big picture focus, however #LineByLineMatters. 

"Power is the ability to define phenomena, and make it act in a desired manner. " - Huey P. Newton


“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could've, would've happened... or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the f*ck on.”  â€• Tupac Shakur



Chris Loghry Paradigm

5 rounds

Online judging note:

Make sure I am in the room and paying attention before you start. Ask me if I'm there otherwise I might not be.

Please slow down a bit, I already have a hard time hearing and the format exacerbates this.

Don't start prepping until everyone is in the virtual room. I will do my best to pause the debate for tech issues, but this lost time eats into decision time.

Clarity note:

I have tinnitus and hearing loss and both have gotten worse over the 2019-2020 season. What this means for you is that I have a hard time getting tags and transitions when everything is the same volume and tone, so please try to make those portions of the debate clear. I also have an extremely hard time hearing the speech when people talk over it, so please make an effort to speak quietly to your partner during the other team's speeches. If you're worried about this stuff, honestly, just slow down and you'll be fine.

"Straightforward" list part:

Here's the stuff I'm guessing you want to know about the most:

1. Please add both my emails to the chain: dontputmeontheemailchain@gmail.com & kurtfifelski@gmail.com

2. I do not generally follow along with speech docs, but have started doing it more to help me make faster decisions.

3. Yes, I will vote on framework. Yes, I will vote on impact turns to framework. Along these lines, Affs can have plans or not.

4. Nobody probably remembers this about me, but I love CP/DA debates. I'm generally open to most CPs too, except for conditions CPs. I really hate conditions CPs. I vote on them, but it's usually because no one knows what artificial competition is anymore. But, yes, please CPs. Veto cheato, con-con, national ref, consult, unilat, etc. But beware of...

5. Read more theory. Go for theory more. No one expects it. You win because of theory and sometimes you even win on theory.

6. Impact turns > Link turns

7. I think there's such thing as "no risk of a link."

8. I try really hard to vote on what happens in the debate, and not on what I know or think I know. I am generally very expressive, so you can often tell if I understand a thing or not. When in doubt, throw in an extra example.

Note about points: I'm trying to give more consistent points, I think speaker points are arbitrary and not actually a great way of determining breaks, so I have found myself at the upper end of points-givers in the past, however, I am currently trying to correct that. Unless I tell you in the post-round that you did something worth getting bad points for, my points aren't actually an attempt to punish you or send a message or anything like that.

Rambling Part:

I view my role in the debate not as arbiter of truth, but critic of argument, as such I attempt to divorce myself from relative "truth" values of arguments. Counter-intuitive arguments can be persuasive, if an argument is bad it should be relatively easy to answer. You should have fun and do things that are fun to do.

If you fail to speak more clearly after I yell "clear" I will most likely not evaluate the evidence read unclearly. I like it when debaters do the arguing instead of simply invoking a citation and assuming it fills in for argument.

I like it in big K/Performance/Whatever debates when there is a clear metric for evaluating competing truth claims (or some other way of comparing methods/strategies/etc). You will probably be much happier with my decision if you put in the time to explain why your method/strategy/etc is good/better and their method/strategy/etc is bad/worse.

I find that I tend to first figure out how big the disad is and then determine how much of the aff needs to be left to outweigh it. For counterplans I tend to first figure out how much of the aff the cp solves and then determine how much of the net benefit needs to be left to outweigh any solvency deficit.

I think I generally default negative on most theory questions, but I will definitely vote aff on theory (or because of theory). I think in many instances affs let the neg get away with WAY too much and need to correct this with a hearty theory debate. I'm finally willing to admit that conditionality is (mostly) good, but there are (perhaps, many) instances in which it is bad.

I really like impact turn debates. I really like a nice cp/da debate too. I hear a lot of high theory K debates and I don’t always hate them, but Baudrillard is dead. Remember that. I like theory debates that are slower so I can flow them, most teams just read off their computer like they’re reading a card. I love it when teams capitalize on mess-ups by their opponents.

To reemphasize: analytics read off your computer at the same speed you read evidence are simply a waste of time. This is especially true if you’re just reading directly into your screen. So SLOW DOWN on these parts of the debate.

Some tips:


A lot of times your evidence isn’t nearly as good as you say/think it is.

Do not assume I can anticipate every possible application of your argument.

Assume your opponents might be winning some of their arguments and make responses contingent on this assumption.

And, most importantly, have fun.

Megan Mapes Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated at KU for 5 years

Coached at UNI of 2 years

Currently a GTA at Georgia State but not working with the debate team right now.

If you have more specific questions, or need clarification please feel free to send me an email.


please add me to any email chain - meganmlmapes@gmail.com

I strongly believe that people with strong beliefs about can or cannot happen in a debate are kind of silly.

I believe that there is value in having discussions about the resolution. An example of the resolution should probably be the endpoint of any advocacy and debaters can creatively and critically engage the topic. I prefer debates where the affirmative defends a clear change from the status quo, but I'm open to what that means. When that does not happen I am more willing to vote negative on presumption.

I default to competing interpretations on questions of topicality.

Topicality will almost always come before theory arguments.

I default to offense/defense -

Tech > Truth


*Prep time/Paperless debate
- i find myself to be on the strict side of prep time questions. You have 30 seconds to get the other team your speech doc before prep starts again. If you're not using an email chain by now you'd better have a good excuse.

-- Smart strategic debaters who can make me laugh get good speaker points. Debaters who are offensive, rude, and neg teams that don't split the block do not.

--I'm willing to assign 0% risk to an argument if you are effective at establishing terminal defense. Obviously, offense always helps as most debaters are unlikely to effectively do this. This means you should probably adjust your impact calc in the 2ar if you're only going for defense to assess the possible risk of the disad. However, a dropped argument is a true argument in most cases for me (dropped evidence is considered based on the claims in the evidence and not necessarily your tag --- that means if you drop something, in a later speech you should be on top of the spin for that evidence in later speeches) so lack of offense doesn't mean ignore the defense because you'll think I always vote on a risk. Remember mistakes happen - if you drop an argument you always have the ability to make arguments as to why they only get the arg for what their evidence says in the case you drop a solvency argument or defense to an advantage. - the debate is never over.

--I am not likely to vote on a cheap shot but could be convinced otherwise if the argument is fleshed out. BUT I'm flow-centric and like tricky args. you should know the difference between a cheap shot and strategically hiding args.
--cross-x is either the best or the worst part of the debate. Teams do well when they use cross-x to set up arguments or question the evidence quality of the other team. This will be better for everyone if there is actually a point for your cross-x questions, and not just using cross-x as the 3 minutes of free prep that your partner gets.

*Clarity is very important to me. I will not flow cards that I cannot understand. I will not hesitate to drop teams for clipping cards even if the opposing team does not make the challegne. IF it is questionable I will not hesitate to tank your speaks.
speed is ok and I highly enjoy judging fast debates. However, err on the side of clarity ESPECIALLY on theory and topicality debates. They are already messy enough and going at your top speed will only hurt you if I can't flow all of the warrants to your arguments. But seriously - you should know when its right to slow down and just do it. - there is nothing more annoying than a post-round decision where debaters are asking about arguments that didn't get on my flow - there's probably a reason that happened and it's probably because YOU weren't strategic when it comes to your speed and clarity. I am a very technical judge and you will make me happy if you're also technical

Case - Extremely underutilized. Minimizing the case is a sweet way to win a high risk of the disad. Likewise, I think the aff teams should be leveraging alot more of the case against disads/Ks than what happens in most rounds. A "try or die for the aff" argument is quite persuasive. I think even if you are going for a CP, you should still extend case defense as a way to avoid a "try or die" framing by the aff.

Disads - Impact framing arguments are pretty important to win these arguments, and i think that alot of teams do a poor job of explaining how arguments interact with each other, and explaining meta-arguments that will frame how i assess the debate in terms of Uniqueness, link, etc. DA turns the case is a slayer, and I will be more than happy to vote on it. On a side note, i tend to do some politics research, and do infact find it intrinsic to the plan. Intrinsicness arguments are an uphill battle, unless dropped by the negative (which happens more than it should). I also think that alot of the politics cards that people read are atrocious, and think that 7 bad cards does not equal one good, well warranted card. This also isn't unique to the politics disad, alot of cards people are reading everywhere are atrocious, and smart teams will capitalize on it by pointing out how their evidence makes arguments that go the other way. I am not part of the "cult of uniqueness" by any means, but I think that uniqueness is an important component of the link debate.

CP's- They are a very intergral part of the negative strategy. I think that there is a time and a place for textual or functional competition, and I try to let the debaters convince me one way or the other. In general, here are my views on legitimacy of CPs. CP theory is a reason to reject the argument, not the team, unless the aff has a reason why it skewed their ability to debate other positions (I can only see this being true in a conditionality debate). The net benefits shoud probably be disads to the aff, and not just advantages to the CP (I can be persuaded that the condition net benefit is a disad to the aff).

Topicality- . This was my favorite argument as a debater, which can be both good and bad for me as a judge. It means both that I am more willing to reward tricky T arguments but also that my expectations for what makes for a good topicality debater are a bit higher. I also think topicality/theory is about impact calculus and weighing your impacts against your opponents (i.e. why aff ground o/w's neg ground). These debates can be messy so try to be as clear as possible and engaging as possible. I prefer contextual definitions. Abuse should be proven, i probably won't vote on potential abuse because I think you can get to the crux of this through a different impact. I think that the negative lets affirmatives get away with way too much in these debates by no providing a topical version of the affirmative, and explaining how the affirmative interpretation explodes the limits of the debate. Generic impact turns are not particulary persuasive. .

I think that the most important standard for me is that the affirmative has an advocacy statement that deploys a specific instance of their method. However, if you tell me to think otherwise, fine. I won't tell you how to debate and will listen to any argument with an attempt to judge objectively. Just give me a clear explanation of the importance of your argument applied to the round. Impact assessment is important.

Theory- I'm persuaded by reject the arg not the team with a majority of these small blippy arguments. Don't assume you win because the 1ar dropped multiple perms bad. If you'd like me to default to another setting, explain why it means they lose. I generally think conditionality and pics are ok but will vote on anything so eh- go for it

Kritiks- My knowledge of the literature is limited but growing. I will actually be more inclined to reward you if you take a new and innovative approach on a lot of these arguments. I find that I do better with structural criticism, which probably has a lot to do with the research I've done so far in my academic career. My main requirements are a detailed and applied explanation of the alternative to the specifics of the affirmative case OR a fleshed out and impacted justification for why the alternative doesn't have to DO something in a traditional sense. I think negatives make a huge mistake ignoring double bind arguments on the perm and it can be detrimental. I'm also probably a TERRIBLE judge for Reps K's/PiCs - You will have to do a lot of work to convince me that a team should use because they used nuclear war reps - I also think Reps args are served better as links to a better K. I generally think framework is only a reason to reject the alt not the team or a reason the aff gets to weigh their impacts.

Samuel Maurer Paradigm

4 rounds

Samuel Maurer
Director of Debate at WSU

Yes I want to be on the speech doc. samuel.maurer@gmail.com

I recently broke my flowing hand and its still a little stiff/sore so I'll probably be using the speech doc a lot more than I usually do and ample pen time is appreciated.

I’ll talk about some more specific proclivities that may be useful for your strike-sheet since, if you are reading this, you’re probably filling it out.

Speaker points/CX: I believe that debaters give 4 “speeches” in a debate: C, R, CX, and Being CXed. My speaker points are based on all 4. If you don’t answer/ask a CX question, your speaker points will suffer dramatically. If you’re an jerk or don’t answer simple questions or are simply obstructionist, speaker points suffer. Don’t neglect CX. I will diligently flow cross-examination but if you take prep to ask questions, I consider it to not be part of the debate. Don't be offended if I leave while you go into overtime.

Know when its better to slow down

-- if I’ve never judged you before, give me time at the beginning of a constructive to get used to your voice.

-- complex/tricky CP texts – please slow down during these. I’m not going to look at the speech doc and CX won’t always clear it up. Clearly emphasize the differences (supreme court, different language pic, etc.)

-- Judge instruction helps me -- big picture moments in rebuttals -- "if we win this, we win the debate", etc. Crucial moments of impacts/evidence comparison.

Evidence: Quality over Quantity – I know this is almost a cliché in judging philosophies but I don’t just mean lots of bad cards are worse than 1 good card. That is obvious. I also mean that you should consider focusing on fewer cards in front of me than you might otherwise.

-- Indexing – judging debates where last rebuttals (more often 2NR’s) mention every name of every card and say how it interacts with an argument concept (“McCoy means we turn the link”, “Smith is the impact to that”) is very frustrating for me. I thrive on the big picture. I don’t view your evidence as that or even an argument unto itself – I view your evidence as a tool. You have to explain how it works and why.

-- highlighting – I find myself increasingly choosing to ignore or assign very little weight to evidence because scant highlighting leaves a lot to the imagination. In front of me, it might be wise to select a few important cards in the debate that you would read a longer version of (crucial internal link card for elections, link to the PIC’s net benefits, alt cards, etc.).

-- I read evidence after debates to confirm its function in your speeches, not so that it can “make an argument” to me in some disembodied fashion 15 minutes after the round ends.

I prefer narrower, deeper debates: Not going to lie, when debates get horizontally big and stay that way through rebuttals, I’m less comfortable making a decision. I think this has to do with how I read evidence (above) in that often times debates that stay horizontally big require the judge to do a lot of inference into conclusions made in cards they read as opposed to speeches they evaluate. I’m okay with debates on several sheets of paper but just make sure you are identifying what you think are the strategic bottlenecks of the debate and how you are winning them. “they can’t win X if we win Y because the following impact comparison wasn’t answered…”

Links/UQ: I think debaters too often think of link direction in purely binary terms. In addition to winning links, debaters need to explicitly create mechanisms for evaluating link direction. don’t just put “this thing key” cards in my hands and expect me to ref an ev fight. Tell me why this internal controls the other or vice versa.

Framework: I’ve voted for either side of this debate plenty of times. If it’s a choice between an engaging strategy against a critical aff and T, the former is a preferable strategy in front of me. I will vote on impact turns to topicality even if the negative doesn’t go for it (provided, of course, the affirmative makes a valid argument for why I should). I find myself often frustrated in debates that lack concrete nouns and instead choose arguments/strategies where abstractions are posited in relationship to one another, concretizing through examples helps a lot. I think 'fairness' is an internal link that, when well-developed with method for debate that is academically engaging and balanced, can have a large impact on my decision. By itself, a fair game is just stable, could be good or bad. I think negs running framework are best when talking about dynamics of the debate, not just complaining about how much/many affs there are. I'm not one who believes in the "procedural fairness or education" dilemma, good framework execution involves both I think. TVA's and SSD's are defense/counterplan type arguments that I think both sides are wise to not just address but frame in my decision.

Theory: Seems dead. Seemingly fewer and fewer affirmatives even make a meaningful press on theoretical objections to the CP. I still appreciate theory on the aff and not just as an “independent voter” but rather a good way to strategically dictate the landscape of the debate. This by no means implies that I’m a hack for any affirmative theory argument. But it does mean aff’s that hear a 3 cp’s in the 1NC and don’t make more than a 10 second conditionality block and don’t mention that there were 3 counterplans are giving up on some production. I think it goes without saying that very blippy theory debates are terrible. Slowing down and being more thematic and explanatory is almost always a better approach the theory execution in front of me. In the end, I'm pretty old school and think theory needs to make a comeback (mostly so aff's can not give their cases away to disposable 15-plank hydras every debate) but it seems perfunctory in execution anymore.
Finally, please make sure to mark evidence as you read it.

Matthew Moore Paradigm

Matthew Moore

Judge Philosophy- Update Sept ‘16

 Important questions:

Will you vote on framework? Yes

Will you vote for an aff that is not topical against framework? Yes

I am about 50/50 in these debates because I leave it up to the debaters. The aff usually wins these debates when they have substantive impact turns to the framework impacts. The neg usually wins when a topical version can access most of the aff’s offense. For affs: T version of the aff does not solve is not very persuasive to me when the solvency argument is functionally it does not solve as well as the aff.

Neg goes for a K versus a policy aff:

At the ’16 Texas tournament, negs going for K’s versus policy affs were 3-0 in front of me. Why? The aff only said weigh the aff, it is true, and then had no substantive answer to the K beyond the aff impacts. You should have offense to the alt that is not just the aff.


      After hearing multiple rounds where the 2AR goes for conditionality bad and  not voting on it once, it is highly probable that affs will not win on condo bad in front of me. Not impossible, just highly improbable. This is especially true is the argument is less than five seconds in the 2AC, 30 seconds in the 1AR, and then six minutes in the 2AR. If you think the neg is cheating, tailor specific theory arguments to the situation (i.e. this conditional pic is uniquely bad). That will be more persuasive to me and garner you better points than "Condo is bad, strategy skew and time skew voter for fairness." I will not vote on perm theory. The aff shouldn’t lose for making a perm no matter how bad it is. The more a counterplan/alt cheats, the more lenient I am to theory arguments against it. Cheating is a relative term here, but affs that can demonstrate the cheating in concrete terms will win my sympathy. You should make the arguments.


·         The aff can win there is no link to the DA if they win their link turns. Uniqueness does not make the link magically only go in one direction. 

·         Paperless sharing of speech documents is not an excuse for being unclear. Presentation matters for points. 

·         For K Debaters- saying the aff results in violent interventions like NATO missions in Libya is not an impact. Last time I checked bombing Libya protected civilians from being massacred. At best you have an intervention internal link to something else, not a terminal impact. 

·         Point scale- I will try my best to follow the data Regnier posted in August ’16 for the purpose of points. 29 is the mark for teams that are performing at a level that should be represented in the outrounds (not barely clearing). I tend to adjust my scale at the tournament using the points I have given in previous rounds as a guide for future debates. I am going to try harder to distinguish points between debaters in the round, I feel I have been giving too many points at the .1 difference between all four debaters. Be professional and respectful to each other. Shut up during the other team’s speeches. I will be pretty honest with you after rounds about what I thought was rude/not professional and what was good. These things really do impact your points. 

Don’t read to much into subtle nonverbal cues from me. I have had multiple rounds where I ask a team why didn’t you go for X and they will respond with you looked like you did not like the argument. Judging can be a miserable and uncomfortable experience, usually that look of disgust on my face is the result of a weekend of bad food, lack of sleep, and being stuck in an uncomfortable chair for hours at a time hunched over. I will do my best to make any nonverbal communication that may matter obvious. If I am grimacing because I do not like your argument, that is up to the other team to call out.






William Mosley-Jensen Paradigm

2 rounds

Judge Philosophy – Will Mosley-Jensen

Edited 9-19-12


1.            Win an impact. (If you can’t do that, join the band)

2.            Compare that to the impact you think they win.

3.            Compare evidence in steps 1 & 2.

4.            If you are fast repeat steps 1-3. If not focus your efforts on steps 1-2 with a sprinkling of step 3.

5.            Have Fun! Clarity, Humor, and Civility all help your speaker points.

6.            Specificity > Generality



General Comments

When making a decision there are three factors that precede other considerations first, the status of direct counter-arguments, has an argument been dropped; second, the quality of evidence supporting an argument, is the evidence superior, average or inconclusive; and third, the correspondence of an argument to reality (or the relative “truth” of an argument).

It is important to note that none of these factors is fixed prior to any given debate, but rather that the debate itself determines them. I should also hope that it is clear that my ordering of these factors represents merely my fallback position if there is no re-ordering argued for in a debate. Some of the factors, such as evidence quality could, and should, be a part of the ways that debaters compare their arguments and establish the relative priority of their argument. If this is not done in a debate, then I will evaluate the debate utilizing the order that I have established.

Specificity is important in all debates. If you say that your disadvantage “turns the case” because Romney will destroy hegemony, then it is probably important to compare this warrant to the affirmative warrant for why they solve for US credibility abroad. The best debates are a comparison of warrants; the worst debates a battle of claims, with most debates falling somewhere in the middle.


Topicality debates-

Against Non-traditional (not topical and proud of it) teams

I find that I have a very strong bias that affirmatives should be topical. Most of the reasons that teams advance for why they do not need to fulfill this most central of affirmative burdens pre-suppose several problematic propositions. First, that there is some value that is external to the debate community that can be gained from not affirming the topic. Second, that participation in debate trades-off with other types of activism, rather than occupying a supplementary role. Third, that the value of debate is not intrinsically tied to the identification of a common topic of discussion. Finally and most heinously, that debate is sustainable without the minimum of fairness that is provided by having a shared topic. These assumptions seem to me to be easily answered by a team that is properly prepared.

Against traditional (ostensibly topical) teams

A well-executed topicality argument is one of the most enjoyable debates to judge or watch in my opinion. If it is thoroughly researched and considered by the negative, topicality can represent a strategic tool in a wide variety of debates.

That said, I think that the negative needs to clearly articulate the method of evaluating topicality, and avoid statements in other parts of the debate that question the assumption of the competing interpretations framework. It is not unusual to hear a negative argue that “hard debate is good debate” on conditionality and then extend a topicality argument that is based on some trivial loss of ground.  Affirmative teams should capitalize on such inconsistencies when arguing that their interpretation does not make debate impossible but improves it by creating strategic bottlenecks for the negative.

 Framework debates-


I find that these debates usually come down to what the role of the critic should be. Namely, should the role of the critic be that of an impartial observer that evaluates the relative advantages and disadvantages of government action versus the status quo or a competitive policy option or should the role of the critic be something else? I can be persuaded that this role includes things not traditionally associated with the assumption that I am an impartial observer, but it helps if you provide some specific articulation of the benefits of deviating from the accepted norm. I enjoy policy debates and am sympathetic to a well-argued defense of the educational and fairness benefits of this approach. I will say that most of the time if the affirmative defends a topical plan that is usually enough to facilitate a productive debate, and in that case it is generally wise to question the solvency of the affirmative. In other words, if the affirmative team has read a topical plan text and the crux of your negative framework argument is “they are not policy enough,” I am likely to vote affirmative.


I am pretty firmly rooted in a Western metaphysics of presence and the value of enlightenment rationality. I am also of the mind that adjudicating debates requires assumptions of rationality and so if you want me to adopt a different framework of evaluation it will require some pretty solid reasons on your part. That is not to say I do not enjoy critical debates, there are some fine criticisms that are firmly grounded in modernity. If you are going for a criticism in front of me, it is likely that I have at least a passing familiarity with the foundational literature of your argument (I got my B.A. in philosophy and my M.A in rhetoric) but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go out of your way to explain the specific application to the affirmative. Similarly if you are reading a critical affirmative you should be careful to explain the reasons that your affirmative renders parts, or all, of the negative’s strategy irrelevant. For example if you are arguing that epistemological considerations precede policy considerations you should explain the nature of that relationship.



In most circumstances when negatives read counterplans that are questionably competitive/legitimate (process, consult, conditioning) I find that aff teams are unwilling to engage in a protracted procedural debate and so become competitive/legitimate by default. Usually going for a permutation is a time intensive process, but can be rewarding if you spend the time to work through the competition theory that purportedly supports the negative’s counterplan. Advancing theory on a counterplan should always include controlling not only the specifics of the theory debate, but also the meta-questions. For example, a robust defense of competing interpretations is generally necessary for the affirmative to win that multiple conditional counterplans are a voting issue. Most affirmative teams tend to simply spot the negative that it is not a question of competing interpretations but rather a question of whether the counterplan makes debate impossible for the affirmative (which almost no counterplans, save fiating the object of the resolution, do).

Speaker Points

Although debate is a competitive activity that doesn’t mean that people can’t be civil with each other. Your comportment during a round can easily affect your speaker points as much as the quality of your arguments. Debate is a fun, rewarding activity and the people that I regard with the most respect are not only great debaters but great people as well.


Zachary Moss Paradigm

6 rounds

tl;dr: Don't be conditional, do impact calculus, compare arguments, read warrants, try to be nice

Questions left unanswered by this document should be addressed to zach.moss.db8@gmail.com

Current: Bishop O'Dowd HS

I think the most important thing for competitors to remember is that while debate is a competitive exercise it is supposed to be an educational activity and everyone involved should act with the same respect they desire from others in a classroom.

If you do not take a question in the first speech on your side and the other team requests a question I will give you 26 speaks or the equivalent.

Don't call points of order, I protect teams from new arguments in the rebuttals.

I don't vote on unwarranted claims, if you want me to vote for your arguments make sure to read warrants for them in the first speech you have the opportunity to do so.

With that said, I try to keep my judging paradigm as neutral as possible. I think the debaters should identify what they think the important issues of the resolution are and the affirmative will offer a way to address these issues while the negative will attempt to show why what the aff did was a bad idea. This means impact analysis and warrant comparison is critical in the rebuttals, your claims should be examined in comparison with the opposing teams, not merely in the vacuum of your own argumentation.

Impact calculus is the most important thing you can do once the card reading section of the debate is over. Explaining why your argument is true based on the warrants you have provided, comparing those arguments with what your opponents are saying and then explaining why your argument is more important than your opponents' is the simplest way to win my ballot.

Section 2: Specific Inquiries
Speaker points (what is your typical speaker point range or average speaker points given)?
My baseline is 28, if you show up and make arguments you'll get at least that many points. I save scores below that for debaters who are irresponsible with their rhetorical choices or treat their opponents poorly. Debaters can improve their speaker points through humor, strategic decision-making, rhetorical flourish, SSSGs, smart overviewing and impact calculus.

How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be “contradictory” with other negative positions?

I approach critically framed arguments in the same way I approach other arguments, is there a link, what is the impact, and how do the teams resolve the impact? Functionally all framework arguments do is provide impact calculus ahead of time, so as a result, your framework should have a role of the ballot explanation either in the 1NC or the block. Beyond that, my preference is for kritiks which interrogate the material conditions which surround the debaters/debate round/topic/etc. as opposed to kritiks which attempt to view the round from a purely theoretical stance since their link is usually of stronger substance, the alternative solvency is easier to explain and the impact framing applies at the in-round level. Ultimately though you should do what you know; I would like to believe I am pretty well read in the literature which debaters have been reading for kritiks, but as a result I'm less willing to do the work for debaters who blip over the important concepts they're describing in round. There are probably words you'll use in a way only the philosopher you're drawing from uses them, so it's a good idea to explain those concepts and how they interact in the round at some point.
Affirmative kritiks are still required to be resolutional, though the process by which they do that is up for debate. T & framework often intersect as a result, so both teams should be precise in any delineations or differences between those.

Negative arguments can be contradictory of one another but teams should be prepared to resolve the question of whether they should be contradictory on the conditionality flow. Also affirmative teams can and should link negative arguments to one another in order to generate offense.

Performance based arguments
Teams that want to have performance debates: Yes, please. Make some arguments on how I should evaluate your performance, why your performance is different from the other team's performance and how that performance resolves the impacts you identify.
Teams that don't want to have performance debates: Go for it? I think you have a lot of options for how to answer performance debates and while plenty of those are theoretical and frameworky arguments it behooves you to at least address the substance of their argument at some point either through a discussion of the other team's performance or an explanation of your own performance.


To vote on topicality I need an interpretation, a reason to prefer (standard/s) and a voting issue (impact). In round abuse can be leveraged as a reason why your standards are preferable to your opponents, but it is not a requirement. I don't think that time skew is a reverse voting issue but I'm open to hearing reasons why topicality is bad for debate or replicates things which link to the kritik you read on the aff/read in the 2AC. At the same time, I think that specific justifications for why topicality is necessary for the negative can be quite responsive on the question, these debates are usually resolved with impact calculus of the standards.
FX-T & X-T: For me these are most strategically leveraged as standards for a T interp on a specific word but there are situations where these arguments would have to be read on their own, I think in those situations it's very important to have a tight interpretation which doesn't give the aff a lot of lateral movement within your interpretation. These theory arguments are still a search for the best definition/interpretation so make sure you have all the pieces to justify that at the end of the debate.

Functional competition is necessary, textual competition is debatable, I don't really think text comp is relevant unless the negative attempts to pic out of something which isn't intrinsic to the text. If you don't want to lose text comp debates in front of me on the negative you should have normal means arguments prepared for the block to show how the CP is different from how the plan would normally be resolved. I think severence/intrinsic perm debates are only a reason to reject the perm, and are not automatically a neg leaning argument. Delay and study counterplans are pretty abusive, please don't read them in front of me if you can avoid it. If you have a good explanation for why consultation is not normal means then you can consider reading consult, but I err pretty strongly aff on consult is normal means. Conditions counterplans are on the border of being theoretically illegitimate as well, so a good normal means explanation is pretty much necessary.
Condo debates: On the continuum of judges I am probably closer to the conditionality bad pole than 99% of the rest of pool. If you're aff I think "contradictory condo bad" is a much better option than generic "condo bad". Basically if you can win that two (or more) neg advocacies are contradictory and extend it through your speeches I will vote aff.

In the absence of debaters' clearly won arguments to the contrary, what is the order of evaluation that you will use in coming to a decision (e.g. do procedural issues like topicality precede kritiks which in turn precede cost-benefit analysis of advantages/disadvantages, or do you use some other ordering)?
Given absolutely no impact calculus I will err towards the argument with the most warrants and details. For example if a team says T is a priori with no warrants or explanation for why that is true or why it is necessary an aff could still outweigh through the number of people it effects (T only effects the two people in the round, arguments about T spillover are the impact calc which is missing in the above explanation). What I'm really saying here is do impact calculus.

How do you weight arguments when they are not explicitly weighed by the debaters or when weighting claims are diametrically opposed? How do you compare abstract impacts (i.e. "dehumanization") against concrete impacts (i.e. "one million deaths")?
I err towards systemic impacts absent impact calculus by the debaters. But seriously, do your impact calculus. I don't care if you use the words probability, magnitude, timeframe and reversability, just make arguments as to why your impact is more important.

Cross-X: Please don't shout at each other if it can be avoided, I know that sometimes you have to push your opponents to actually answer the question you are asking but I think it can be done at a moderate volume. Other than that, do whatever you want in cross ex, I'll listen (since it's binding).

Matt Munday Paradigm

4 rounds

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

I am not the kind of judge who will read every card at the end of the debate. Claims that are highly contested, evidence that is flagged, or other important considerations will of course get my attention. Debaters should do the debating. Quality evidence is also important. If the opposing team's cards are garbage, it is your responsibility to let that be known. Before reading my preferences about certain arguments, keep in mind that it is in your best interest to do what you do best. My thoughts on arguments are general predispositions and not necessarily absolute.

T – Topicality is important. The affirmative should have a relationship to the topic. How one goes about defending the topic is somewhat open to interpretation. However, my predisposition still leans towards the thought that engaging the topic is a good and productive end. I tend to think implementation of the plan must be defended, but there is a debate to be had. I am most persuaded by topicality debates that focus on questions of limits. Competing interpretations typically makes more sense to me than reasonability.

Disads/Case Debate – Among my favorite debates to judge. Clash is built in and evidence comparison occurs naturally. Offense is important, but it seems like defense is often undervalued. I am willing to assign 0% risk to something if a sufficient defensive argument is made.

Counterplans – I lean neg on conditionality and PICs. Functional competition seems more relevant than textual competition. If the affirmative is asked about the specific agent of their plan, they should answer the question. Actual solvency advocates are important.

Kritiks – While I am not very deep on the literature base, I do think these are strategic arguments. I expect the negative to explain the impact of their argument beyond nebulous claims. It seems like the aff generally outweighs. However, good K debates usually control the key framing questions that make those concerns irrelevant. I tend to think of the alternative like a uniqueness counterplan. It benefits the aff to have clever perms as well as offense against the alt.

Theory – A quality theory argument should have a developed warrant/impact. “Reject the argument, not the team” resolves most theory arguments except for conditionality. It benefits both teams to slow down slightly when engaging in the theory debate. Making sure I am able to sufficiently flow the substance of these debates is important.

Speaker Points

Scale - Adjective - Description

29.6-30 - The Best - Everything you could ask for as a judge and more.

29-29.5 - Very, Very good - Did everything you could expect as a judge very, very well.

28.6-28.9 - Very Good - Did very well as a whole, couple moments of brilliance, but not brilliant throughout.

28.3-28.5 - Good - Better than average. Did most things well. Couple moments of brilliance combined with errors.

28-28.2 - OK - Basic skills, abilities, and expectations met. But, some errors along the way. Very little to separate themselves from others. Clearly prepared, just not clearly ahead of others.

27.5-27.9 - OK, but major errors - Tried hard, but lack some basic skills or didn’t pay close enough attention

27-27.4 - Needs Improvement – major errors/lacked effort - Major errors committed, effort questionable

Below 27 - Bad, and I intend for you to take it that way - Disrespected one’s opponent, the judge, or otherwise

Louie Petit Paradigm

1 rounds

Debate is a game.

My preference is debate centered around a plan focus style of debate. This is not say that other debate styles should or do not exist, but it is to say, I prefer policy debates, and I enjoy judging policy debate rounds. I will not rule out or prohibit other styles of debate, but I want to be clear, my preference is debates about the plan and competitive policy alternatives.


Well, for starters, they kick ass. I lean heavily neg on counterplan theory questions. Conditionally is generally good, but I think the format and speech times of parli and NFA-LD debate begs the "generally good" question.

If both teams are silent on the question, my presumption will be that counterplans identified as “conditional” mean that status quo is always an option for the judge to consider, even if the counterplan is extended by the 2nr. This presumption can easily be changed if debated by either side.

Counterplans which result in the affirmative, probably, not competitive. I’ve written many of these counterplans, and voted on many of these counterplans many times, so do not think they are off limits

The K

First, see above.

Second, if you are going for the K, please have well developed link args to the plan and an alternative that is competitive. Also, it is a very good idea to explain what the alternative does and how it interacts with the AFF.


All about which interp is best for debate.

Collin Roark Paradigm

3 rounds

Updated Pre-Emory 1/9/2020

Email chain please: croark@trinity.edu

Professor and Assistant Director of Debate at Trinity University, Coach at St. Mark's School of Texas

I view my role as judge to be an argument critic and educator above everything else. As part of that, you should be mindful that a healthy attitude towards competition and the pursuit of kindness and respect are important.

Biases are inevitable but I have been in the activity for +10 years and heard, voted, and coached on virtually every argument. I genuinely do as much as possible to suspend my preconceived beliefs and default to explanation/comparison.

Quality > quantity – 1NC’s with a high volume of bad arguments will have a hard ceiling on speaker points & I will generously allow new 1AR arguments.

Speed is the number of winnable arguments you can communicate to your judge. I will usually say “clear” twice before I stop flowing your speech. If you can't flow or comprehend your partner that's a problem. If you don't sign-post I am likely to give-up on flowing your speech.

I try to flow CX so please make reference. CX is about LISTENING and responding – let your opponent finish their answer/question, acknowledge it, and then move to the next point. Be polite if you have to interrupt.

Everyone should give two speeches. I’ll only flow the assigned person during speeches.

Framework --- I’ve voted on all kinds of different impact arguments. Debate has wide-ranging value to folks and I think you should be willing to defend why it’s important to you in any given situation. Defense can be very compelling: Neg teams should win an overarching theory of how their model absorbs/turns the 1ac’s offense with explanations of switch-side or TVA examples that interface well with the aff. The TVA should be a proof of concept, not a CP. Aff teams should win a counter-interp/alternative model of what debate looks like OR terminal offense to the neg’s model of debate. Above everything, you should think strategically and react instead of just reading some dusty, generic blocks.

Eric Robinson Paradigm

4 rounds

10 Things I Believe About Debate

1. Debate is a game. There's no hidden meaning here. It's literally a thing we do to learn and possibly have fun. If you think it's more than that, fair enough. I don't.

2. Affs should be topical. Negs should be able to explain why affs should be topical.

3. Both policy and critical arguments have a place in debate. Whatever happened to being well rounded? Really, read whatever you want, but your argument directly should link to the other team's position. Links of omission are a joke and are a guaranteed way to get made fun of at the bar after rounds.

4. Persuasion still matters. Reading evidence in debates is good (essential?), but the evidence is where the debate begins not where it should end. Applying evidence and explaining arguments (and impacting arguments) matters much more to me than blurting out that extra terrible one line UQ card. Nothing is a voting issue "because," winning arguments have impacts that are compared to the opposing team's impacts.

5. You have to answer arguments. Flowing is fundamental.

6. You have to have an argument worth answering. Sometimes I just decide your words didn't rise to the level of an argument. Claim + Warrant = Argument. Claim + Increased Volume + Repetition = Me watching YouTube during your rebuttals. "Why?" is still the most powerful and important question in debate.

7. Stop acting offended when the other team answers your argument. You came to a competition, not a therapy session. Your feelings are important, and so are you, but they will never be a reason I vote for you. Also, your yelling does not impress me and will result in lower speaker points.

9. Cross X is a privilege, not a right. I can't wrap my head around why people allow themselves to be yelled at for three minutes. Ask questions and allow the other team to answer, otherwise, I'd rather not even listen to the Cross X. If your strategy is to yell at the other team for three minutes or talk to them like you have no home training, I'm not the one for you.

10. Impact turning is still a thing.

Jason Russell Paradigm


School: Wichita State University
Years Judging: 20
College Rounds 2017: 40, High School Rounds: 50

Have the email chain set up starting around 5 mins before the debate. The prep time doesn't end until you've sent the email, not when you start compiling documents or attaching them. Part of preparing for paperless debate is having a time efficient method for document dissemination. That should start at home, in practices.

New new new content:

I strongly support policy debate. Most K affs that are just policy debate bad do not appeal to me much. If you believe that there ought to be some changes to policy debate, they ought to be specific, strongly supported, and feature a well articulated alternative model of debate. Absent any of these, you'll struggle to win. If your aff does not support the implementation of the topic as a policy, you'll almost assuredly lose. If your K on the neg fails to articulate an alternative or defend the SQ, you'll almost assuredly lose. I will vote for K's, but your window is much narrower than it would be with a friendlier audience. I will not lower my expectations nor will I apologize for it. 

I still think most Aff framework args are bad. The cheatingest thing about Ks is the alt so win that they need one and theirs is unfair. I'm pretty much always going to weigh the Aff impact but that doesn't mean an ethics arg won't precede it necessarily if well articulated and won. Aff framework is probably a waste of your time & potentially a liability. 

Method doesn't make anything compete and just saying that is adequate for me. This arg is nonsense. If the alt can't be desirably combined with the Aff, then it competes. And only then.

I strongly prefer to hear debates about the policies involved in the topic, although the approach to implementing and rebutting those policies may vary widely. 

Generally, most kritiks are mumbo-jumbo. The links are stale and weak, the alt is contrived and probably contradictory to many of the links, in addition to being wholly ineffective, and the analytic lens is generally far less insightful than they purport to be. If the K aff doesn't do anything, I will vote on presumption without hesitation. A great number of K's make psychologically untenable claims that can be defeated easily with limited to no evidence. Often, the team debating a K would be well served to read fewer generic K cards and make some strong arguments from the perspective of logic that suggest that the thing they're suggesting folks should just do isn't as easily done as they make it out to be (embracing insecurity, fugitivity, abandoning hope, etc).

Indignant complaints about how it's rude to disagree with people will not be accepted as arguments. 

The room a debate occurs in is shared by the opposing teams and the judge. Do not monopolize the room by loudly playing music, taking up all of the space with your materials and coaches, or generally behaving in such a way that both teams can't adequately prepare for a debate in a reasonable manner. I will give you points that are akin to clipping or other cheating practices if you do so. 

New content 2015-2016


Between UMKC and UNLV I decided to raise my points a bit. Nothing radical, but probably a .2 increase on the top end. I'm still giving points below the mean as often as ever, but my high end points will more accurately reflect trends for the top 20 speakers at a major. I do this reluctantly as I don't like point inflation, but I also don't want to disadvantage quality speakers that would like me to judge them by holding them to a different expectation than the rest of the pack. I find it very troubling how often 29.6 and above points are handed out. People should stop that. 

Don't ever ask me for speaker points. Those are mine and mine alone. I mean, I guess you can ask, but I won't do what you're asking me. I will give you the points you deserve. 

Decision-making and diversification are figuring highly into my points. So, good argument choices throughout -- recognition of your strengths, their weaknesses, time allocation, block division, 1AR elaboration, etc -- will be rewarded and bad choices will be deducted. Diversification can be horizontal or vertical. In other words, you can still be a one-off K team and have excellent points provided that your block is interrogating the case, developing a variety of well-explained link arguments, engaging in good epistemological attacks on the aff ev, and explaining your impacts. Lazy polemic will not be as highly evaluated as in-depth attacks involving clash throughout. In other words, "state bad" is not my jam unless it's some very well-developed, context-specific state bad arg. I can imagine one, but haven't seen one. 


A great many things are not T. I'd encourage you to go for it. I like evidence-based T debates. What should be considered military presence is highly debatable and many affs do not meet a reasonable interpretation of military presence. Even fewer are significant reductions in said military presence. 


The "aff didnt do enough" K isn't doing much for me. If this is your best option, I'd recommend T instead. Perms solve it and it's not offense. 

K debaters that can't debate the case enough to prove that the aff doesn't simply reduce military presence but somehow reinforces it or some other bad process in trying to do so are having a really hard time winning with me. You need links. "You touched the gov't" isn't getting the job done. If this is your best strat, I am not the judge for you. 

Negative state action undermines a lot of "we shouldn't have to debate as the gov't" args, absent more detailed elaboration by the aff team reading a non-topical or non-plan aff. I can personally entertain some reasons why this arg might still be true, but teams have yet to advance args that are not facile extensions of the standard "gov't bad" arg in explaining this for me. "Decrease military" and "gov't bad" are in the same direction on face. You'll need to do more to prove that they are not. 


Thumpers are a thing, UQ CP's aside. I can't even begin to understand people who don't believe they are. I'm not saying they're a universal problem for every politics DA, but there are times where they are a problem for a lot of popular politics DA's. 

New content 2014-2015

 1) K-related info


 I am not sure if I’ve voted aff against framework this year (could be once or twice I’m forgetting about). A lot of things can explain this (lop-sided matches, conceptual mistakes, drops, I’m dumb), but teams with non-topical affs should probably know this.


 I think most people’s framework args are soft and easy to beat if the aff actually interrogates them, but few do except saying “it’s anti-black” or “it links to Baudrillard/other French guy”. Do the work of K’ing something; your K is not a yellow card: “Penalty: anti-black!”. Develop content.


If you haven’t thought about the existential question “If the laws you are against are anti-black/otherwise rude, what should be done about them?”, you will have a hard time winning w me. As far as I know, getting rid of laws requires state action. If you are doing something else to get rid of or otherwise address those laws, I’m gonna need to hear some details. Unflinching paradigmatic analysis is a buzzword requiring further elaboration.


The strongest part of anti-K framework args is their “topical version of the aff/do it on the neg” cooptation args. The weakest part is the overall impact. If they win the cooptation args, they don’t need to win much of an impact, though. Food for thought.

Most K’s need an alt. If they don’t, be prepared to put some time into explaining why not.

Neg K’s are worse at permutations than ever. The “it’s a method” arg school of thought doesn’t make much sense to me without further elaboration. Some methods compete; others do not. You still need a link that’s not solved by including your alt (or some part of it) with the aff.


Aff’s typically lose K’s by not questioning a sweeping claim at the center of the K that takes out their case. A perm won’t help you much against that. Don’t fool around and forget to answer the central contention of the K. These claims are almost always an overreach; they’re not as absolute as they’re purported to be.


A lot of performances seem to be disconnected from the subsequent content. That’s not bad esoterically I guess, but it’s unstrategic because then the time you spend performing isn’t helping you win the debate.


I’m pretty much over role of the ballot. It’s just an impact framing arg. You still have to win that it’s a comparably preferable impact to whatever you’re debating.


K’s that go after the entire aff – their evidence, their harms, their plan, their solvency, their worldview – have a strong chance of winning even with a weak alt. They simply need to find a way to prove that an un-interrogated adoption of the plan would be worse than doing nothing or very little. That’s harder than just wishing away the SQ through magic, but debate is hard and that’s why it’s awesome.


K affs should defend changing the laws they criticize, but K the remainder of what the neg says is required to be complete legalization. Or read some cards on T. Or both. If your aff is nothing about the topic, or is anti-topical, you’ll want to be prepared to have a more comprehensive impact turn strategy for framework. This is a much tougher road.


 2) CX-related info


Answer questions in CX. Seriously. Don’t repeat the question at them. Don’t ignore them and do something else. I’m going to start docking points for wasting people’s CX time. Mark my word. I will intervene once and after that I’m just going to start making notations to knock off some points.


Don’t extend the CX unless you absolutely have to. Usually you’re doing it for something useless and wasting your prep time. Also, feel free to deny your opponents a CX extension. Just say “no” if they ask to take prep to ask another question. It’s your prep time too.


 3) Presentation info


I hate your pre-written overviews. No one can flow those. Your overview would be far better if tailored to the particular circumstances of the debate and delivered as if you were trying to reply to your opponents.


Prep time runs until your flashdrive leaves your computer or the email is sent. Start the chain/prepare the jump prior to the debate and deliver it a couple of minutes prior to the start of the debate. Feel free to tell people not to open it until it’s time and I’m sure that they won’t. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DEBATE STARTS TO BEGIN PUTTING THINGS ON YOUR DRIVE OR I WILL START YOUR PREP TIME WHEN THE ROUND IS SCHEDULED TO START. Also, don’t wait until the debate is scheduled to start to pee.


You should think about how the music you’re playing affects others’ ability to hear you. A lot of times, music playing during your speech if not accompanying some performative component is a distraction from or direct hindrance to understanding speech content.


Loud music before the debate is irritating. I’d be glad to lend you some headphones.


Don’t act offended because someone is debating you. That’s what they’re supposed to do. Disagreeing with you is not akin to disrespecting you. Quite the opposite, in fact.


 Consider how you’re tagging evidence. No one can flow your paragraph of mumbo-jumbo that precedes your French philosophy. Tags ought to communicate your interpretation of evidence to the judge, to demonstrate the way the evidence will be used. Tags are not story-time. If your tag is mega-long and uses a lot of high theory, plan to slow down so people can flow it.


 I will 100% discount evidence from weirdos. Astrologers talking about global warming or conspiracy theory websites will require deep defenses to stand up to someone merely asserting that they’re not qualified. Honestly, it’s probably not worth your time to defend them. A couple more pointed jokes will likely beat those too. The Internet has caused you all to cut some scandalously bad ev.


 4) DA-related info


 Politics UQ answers are so bad. Don’t expect me to interpret “Opposition exists” as “won’t pass” if the neg questions it. Everything in Washington has opposition. That doesn’t mean it won’t pass if they have evidence saying it will. You need to have some conclusive ev.


 I’m never voting on logical policymaker or a perm to a DA unless it’s dropped. Maybe not even then.


 Their new DA, whatever it is, probably has a terrible link.


 I would sacrifice a close family member to judge a good economic DA.


 5) CP-related info


 I still believe in limited counterplan competition. I believe counterplans should be textually and functionally competitive, not one or the other. I still rarely see this arg pursued against CP’s that clearly violate it.


 I’m defaulting to judge kick CP’s that are deemed non-competitive unless I’m told not to do so. That means if you’re aff, your answers to the net benefit cannot be all premised around the CP, but must also take into account the SQ.


 Nothing can flip presumption to the aff. Presumption is 100% neg. Change is scary.


 Don’t forget to review the basic plan vs. CP competition on a technical CP. This is probably your best perm answer (or perm arg if you’re aff). A lot of teams presume we know more about what the original plan was than we do.


 6) Case-related info


 Actually debating the case is good. Impact D is not actually debating the case. It’s a fair accompaniment to, but is not a substitute for, debating the harm and solvency. Solvency is where it’s at.


 Aff plans are too vague. Many would be circumvented as a result of the loopholes the wording of these plans allows. I love this stuff.


 7) Points


 My points are probably marginally higher than 2 years ago, but not substantially. I would guess I use a 28.5 as average now over a 28.3. 29’s are not common and you won’t get one unless you’re actually really good. I won’t give you one for being a senior, or for showing improvement or effort, or for being snarky and mean. I will give you one (or one plus some more) if you’re very good, technical, complete, display vision and clarity, handle the CX, perform the CX, and read and analyze evidence well. Excessive reading will not get the job done. Excessive slow rambling will not get the job done. Comprehensively replying to your opponents’ arguments is a must for a 29+. If you’re dropping key content, you’re a 28.9 at best. Organization is important. It doesn’t have to be line-by-line (although I have a slight preference for it, historically), but it had better have a logic that makes sense and flows well.


 I’m sure whatever is already in here is also fine and true. I dunno. I’m not re-reading it. END NEW CONTENT 2015


New addendums: I've adjusted my speaker point scale quite a bit in recent years. I think it's much higher than it used to be when people are good and maybe a little lower when people are bad. The additional variability allowed by the 1/10's system has given me more room to provide finer evaluations. 

I assert myself into the CX more than I used to. Blame Dallas. I always thought it was cool when he did that. I typically do this just to protect people from your rambling incoherent responses to questions. 

NEW, NEW Addendums:

Cheating of all kinds in debate is deserving of the deepest penalty we can level. I will vote against you and give you zero speaker points if you clip cards. I will not debate with you about clarity or unclarity. I will ask you directly what portions of a card were read and, if your response doesn't match the recorded evidence, I will level the punishment. I don't require the argument to be made in the debate. I will not necessarily be recording every debate, but I will record many. Any accusation of clipping will require recorded evidence to be prosecuted. 

I think most people already knew how I felt about this. I did want to clarify in case you're a cheater and want to stop preffing me bc you cheat. 

I like basically all styles of debate roughly equally. I think my points reveal a pretty well balanced rewarding of excellence on all sides of the ball. I think "topical version of the aff" and "knowledge is racially subjective" are just about equally difficult to beat. I think my points are often highest for "degree of difficulty" wins -- taking on tough issues eloquently and with style. A large component of my points are subjective -- I don't just give points to teams for "winning"; I also give points based on aesthetics. No rubric is going to alter that, at Wake or anywhere else. I think fast, technical debate can be pretty when combined with, say, humor, insight, intellect, and reason as much as I think performance style debate can be detail oriented when combined with penetrating analysis of the other teams arguments using the lens of their perspective on the world. These styles are, in my opinion, not fundamentally distinct, but different in emphasis. 

My points roughly lie in the norms of the Wake judging rubric (I may give slightly more 28.5's and slightly fewer 28.9's than they're suggesting, but, whatever). I wouldn't expect my points to either change much because of the rubric or vary much from it. I'm not going to pay real close attention to it as the numbers seem to indicate I'm basically on par at the moment. One thing to note: your best speech and THE best speech are two very different things. You might think you gave the best possible speech you could and I would still not rate that speech as a 29.9 or 30. It's not just possible, but entirely likely, that you are not capable of giving a perfect speech. That's ok. No one is perfect. 

Depth is almost always better than breadth, but I do expect people to answer arguments. I won't ever answer them for you. I don't care in what order you answer them or how clearly you signpost your answers or whatever (i.e. line-by-line as defined traditionally is not that crucial), but if you never answer an argument and expect me to intuit the answer for you, you're not likely to succeed. 

I judge a lot. I'm kinda grumpy, but it's not just you. I'll be expressive in debates, a lot of it will be negative; don't cry. I just don't like watching you be bad. Other parts where you're good I'll like a lot (hopefully).

Big picture issues: Debate is for the debaters. I won't tell you what to do and what not to do. I have voted for some terrible arguments. Almost every debate involves some argument I hate. I often vote for arguments I loathe. Don't spend your time trying to decide which arguments I like. You play to win the game. Where this contradicts with something I've said below, you do your thing.

Topicality: Is ok. You need an interp. It needs an impact. The aff needs a reason to prefer their interp, or to meet the negative's interp. I believe aff's deserve predictability as much as the negative does. More aff's should say that. T can be outweighed by substantive arguments against the interp, like that it causes biopower, the state, zphc, derrida, la-dee-da, etc. In the instance that the aff attempts to "outweigh T", the neg should further elaborate on the substantive impacts of their standards. They should also probably say T isn't like the holocaust.

Framework: Is ok. I believe any argument can be introduced and won in a debate, but I'm often convinced that the harm to doing so outweighs the benefits. These debates are often tied up in issues I've discussed in reference to T. See above. Aff's especially should IMPACT their framework arguments. If the K has a link, I'm probably not going to be persuaded that they're trying to play football with a baseball bat (wrong forum) and patently exclude their argument. I may however decide that the neg has lost their alt and that doing so means the margin of the link is outweighed by the affs advantages. However, it is also possible that the K just takes-out the aff solvency and harm claims and turns the case, in which case the neg would win. Many framework debates are, as a result, stupid.

Other theory: PICs, Dispo, Condi, ASPEC, CESPEC, alt text, multi actor, conditional CPs, international CPs, etc. are all ok. So are objections to them. They're like T to me: theoretical disads to the other team's conception of debate. Most of them, however, do not rise to the level of VI. Typically, I believe that they prove that the argument should not be considered, not that the team running the argument should lose. In most debates, these argument are asserted to be a VI and countered by an equally assertive response that they are not. In those instances, I agree, they aren't. Basically, explain the voter if you want to win on 'em. I won't punish your points for consulting because I'm not a douche.

DA's and CP's: If the CP solves 100% of the case, I typically believe that there is a risk of a link to the net benefit. I have been, on occassion, convinced otherwise, but these instances are few and far between. I do not think presumption flips aff in any instance. I can't imagine how it could. I'd need to hear an amazing argument in favor of doing so. Link turns need UQ. If the disad sounds too good to be true, it probably is. "Their evidence is from liars" could count as a zero risk argument for me if articulated well. I tend to believe that the SQ is always an option for the neg unless it is explicitly foregone in the CX or a speech. Plan-plus counterplans are abusive and many CP's are plan-plus. Textual competition is good and many CP's are not textually competitive. Again, these are predilections, not hard and fast rules. I've been persuaded against my beliefs in virtually every debate I've ever judged.

K's: Alt, alt alt. The aff usually loses because the neg lies about their alt and the aff almost always wins if they beat the alt. Realism is real is unhelpful. I rarely know why this argument links. See comments on framework above. The aff typically gets to weigh their impacts regardless of the fabricated nature of fiat. The instance that the aff loses the case because of the K is typically associated with some indict of a. the evidence b. the impact claim itself or c. the solvency. In those instances, winning that you get to weigh the aff is not helpful; you still have to defend it. Good link and impact illustration is always helpful. Why does the K access the aff harm? Why does the alt solve the case? I often leave K debates wondering these things and it'd be helpful to have these questions answered and asked by the debaters.

Performance: Is ok. I don't love it; I can't lie. A good topical performance used as evidence to support a policy conclusion can successfully defeat a lot of the substantive arguments against a case, but performance for performances sake, the non-topical, obfuscatory variety, does nothing to impress me. I'll vote on it. I'll consider the merits of the argument. I may even find parts of it witty and funny. But if you think I'm a member of your project because I worked at OU, you're probably wrong. P.S. don't run your bad version of the Churchill K or nihilism because you think it will get me on your side. It won't. Run what you're good at and do it well.

CX: Is good. I love a grilling CX. You should have an agenda and follow it. Ask a lot of questions. Set things up. Don't badger the witness and don't bore me. CX has a lot to do with the points I give. I will probably be on the Internet and reading and stuff during CX, but, trust me, I'm listening. It matters greatly that you do well here.

Speed and flowing: I judge a lot of debates. I've judged people way faster than you and I get it down when it is clear. I often ask for clarity and the debaters go right back to being incomprehensible. I'm not asking anymore. You'll be clear or you'll get bad points. Seperate your cards, cites, and tags with good vocal inflection or I won't understand you and I won't try anymore. You don't need to be as fast as most of you try to read. Many of you would be more efficient at 75-80% speed. Theory debates are notoriously too brief and too quick. I'll just ignore you if you do this. If you want to win a theory arg, slow down so I can flow it.

Evidence: I don't read a lot of evidence after debates. I don't usually need to. Asking me to read some evidence doesn't mean I will. I think evidence is a tool, not a weapon, and blanket extension of cards without talking about their contents doesn't make an argument. Use evidence to support arguments, not to make them. That said, unevidenced, but well reasoned arguments are good. I'm for it! I don't think only cards can be evidence; a good story, poem, allegory, song, dance, whatever, could be evidence too. Of course, cards can beat non-traditional evidence also.

Overviews: Honestly, I'm pretty tired of them. Most of them are a waste of your time. Typically they are some long unnecessary diatribe about components of the disad ignored by the aff that I already understand. If you have an overview, it ought to be functional and make an argument rather than just "explain the thesis" of the argument or preview why you are so awesome and the other team so dumb. Worthless overviews are a negative speaker point in my mind. More line-by-line, more cards, more content.

Prep time: Don't steal prep. Once the timer stops, everyone must stop filing, writing, typing, etc. until the speech begins. Don't cheat. That said, don't be annoying and take hours to give the order. When you stop the prep time, you'd better know where you're going.

Clipping/Cross-reading/Mis-marking: I hear that this is coming back. To prosecute cheating, the accusing team needs hard evidence. A time trial is not hard evidence. A recording of the speech must be presented. I will stop the debate, listen to the recording, and compare it to the evidence read. If cheating occurred, the offending debater and their partner will receive zero speaker points and a loss. I'd also encourage them to quit. I consider this offense to be more serious than fabricating evidence. It is an honor system that strikes at the very core of what we do here.

Sexist/Racist behavior: Is not ok. Under any circumstances. Ever. The line is often unclear, but don't do anything that could hurt someone else in debate. Diversity is the heart of the activity, it is only just now getting better, and we don't want to turn back the clock to the good ole bad ole days. I'd prefer evidence not use sexist language in their evidence too, but that's not the type of behavior I'm talking about here. I'm talking about debater-directed verbal or behavioral evidence of prejudice. I've never actually seen a debate where it happened, but if it did I'd want to do more than give the team a loss and zero points. I have anger management issues.

Humor: Is good. But if you aren't funny, don't press it. Be yourself. If you're just some debate machine, do that and do it well. Good natured humor can get you good points though. Oh, and making fun of me, my colleagues, my debaters, and my friends are all welcome. If you've got a good burn, bring it. Jokes about the quality of the other team's arguments can be persuasive evidence.

Courtney Schauer Paradigm

3 rounds

Competed: University of Minnesota
Coach (Present): Emporia State University; College Prep
Coached (Past): Augsburg College; Highland Park Senior High (MN)


Although my primary background is in policy, I am familiar with the procedures of public forum and spent a season of my high school career competing in the format. Below are my answers to the suggested PF philosophy questions provided by the TOC.

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round: Speed of Delivery: Speed is fine so long as clarify doesn't suffer.

Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?):Both effective line by line and big picture storytelling are important to my ballot.

Role of the Final Focus: Providing a rubric/judge instruction for my ballot

Topicality: Generally these debates are done poorly, it's important to have a comparative metric for evaluating interpretations and a robust discussion of the various impacts to the violation. I do not view topicality in a purely "jurisdictional" way - offense/defense is important.

Plans: Not needed but not automatically disallowed.

Kritiks: Sure although just like any argument, it must be explained, applied, and impacted thoroughly.

Flowing/note-taking: I will flow the entirety of the debate.

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? Quality and depth of argument is the primary thing I will evaluate, but style is not unimportant by any means.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Yes.


"I view my role in the debate not as arbiter of truth, but critic of argument, as such I attempt to divorce myself from relative "truth" values of arguments." - Chris Loghry

I like to see debaters deploying arguments that motivate and interest them.

I don’t call for many cards. This does not mean evidence quality does not matter, or that I don’t call cards often. What it does mean is: the debaters make the arguments, not the cards. I will not view them as placeholders for warranted explanation. Not every argument requires a card to answer.

Framing matters: provide me a macro-level filter through which to view the micro-components of the debate. The debates I find myself most frustrated with are the ones in which the 2NR and the 2AR have respectively delivered me 2NC #2 and 2AC #2 and left me to sort through the pieces. Rebuttalists that present a clear story while closing the right doors will be rewarded.

The more explicit you are with me in terms of my ballot, the better. This mostly goes for presumption and judge conditionality, but also for competing Frameworks/Role of the Ballots. If debaters are not explicit, there becomes no objective standard for me to use as a reference for when and where I infer these arguments.

Have a plan for Cross-X.

Things I like to see in cross-x: Asking precise, critical questions. Giving succinct, impactful answers. Writing down all concessions for utilization in the next speech.

Things I hate to see in cross-x: Ad-homs. Open-ended softballs. Questions that blatantly indicate a lack of flowing. Refusal to answer reasonable questions. Repetition of questions to avoid giving answers. Poorly-timed invocations of false ethos. 4-person shouting matches.

If you are reading critical literature, whether on the Affirmative or Negative, please explain and utilize your method. Make the links turn the case. Have a robust explanation of the alternative. Strive for internal, philosophical consistency. Your authors have particular theories of subjectivity, violence, etc., and I want to thear them; just remember that they all can and SHOULD be ACTIVELY applied broadly to frame many portions of the technical debate.

A speech doc is not a flow substitute.

Debate matters just as much to your opponents as it does to you, even if for different reasons. Be mindful of this and respect your competitors.

Nick J. Sciullo Paradigm

3 rounds

2018: I've gotten out of debate coaching as a full-time profession in order to focus on my research on the tenure-track. I'll still write and speak on debate in journals and conferences, respectively. I'll likely judge at some local high school tournaments in South Texas and may do some judging in the Texas area at both the high school and college levels. I very much enjoy debate and will still be a strong advocate for it. I'll just be doing less of it as a career. In 2018, I was fortunate enough to win the Forensic Educator of the Year for Southern States Communication Association and Coach of the Year from SE CEDA. I also won the John Cameron Turner Memorial Novice Critic of the Year Award from SE CEDA, which probably means more to me than any debate award I or my debaters have won. I will still be a good judge in race, cap, and high theory debates, but my reading on the topic won't be that great.

2016 Updates: I continue to think debating is good for education and that many different styles of debate have merits. I still prefer critical arguments to policy arguments, although much to my chagrin, I'm not the worst policy/policy debate judge. Judges are not neutral when they enter a room. We should stop pretending they are. I prefer certain arguments, I've read more critically certain books, I've written things I stand by, and I find some debates more interesting than others. I do not think debaters should have to agree with me or only read arguments I'd like to read, however. I was a 2N/1A most of my life so that's often how I think about debates. I never was to sure what that meant, but since it's in many people's philosophies. I judge a lot of debates in all divisions, although now I'm judging a lot of novice debates as a result of coaching novices. Novice debate is important to this activity, and we should be kind to our novice debaters. I recently returned from Barcelona studying decolonization and also spent significant time in Germany working broadly on communication tragedy. I don't care what pronouns you use to describe me. I use he/his/him. I appreciate people not using "guys" as a gender neutral pronoun and that you make a good faith effort to call people what they want to be called. It's also important to engage the substance of arguments you might not like, which probably means framework arguments are not always the best in front of me, although I have voted on them. I think Sean Ridley and Erik Mathis are good judges and good people, which may say something about me as a judge or a person. I'm currenty reading a lot of Lacan, which has always been the case, and thinking through some issues of leadership and social mvoements. Have fun!

2015 Updates: I continue to be a good judge if you run arguments that address issues of race, capitalism, and ideology. I recently completed my dissertation on George Jackson's Soledad Brother and I actively write about race and (rhetoric, law, capitalism, counter-terrorism and national security). I am starting a new policy team this year so that will likely reduce the critical literature I am personaly reading, although that ought not change my judging philosophy. I continue to think debaters should be nice, fair, and honest. I want everyone to come away from this activity invigorated, feeling as though they are better thinkers, students, scholars, and activists. Although I am clearly a critical style debate person, I am more than competent at judging traditional policy style arguments. Just don't expect me to call for and read your 10th uniqueness card with the same interest I'd put into a piece of Anthony Farley, Charles Mills, or Carlos Mariategui evidence. And yes, I did cut a piece of evidence and cite it as "Saint Alloysius, 400 A.D. or something" for my NDT-qualifying team of GSU NS. I'm a fan of the odd. Have fun, be smart, argue passionately!

The philosophy... more or less...

Explanation and analysis over random card reading. I’m open to hearing any arguments and not disinclined to vote on any argument. If your strategy is politics DAs and Counter Plan theory—read ‘em. If you love reading Deleuze, Foucault, and Derrida—read ‘em. I thought about writing my philosophy for every conceivable argument, but that would probably lead folks to think I had a strong preference for or against arguments which really is not the case. All critics come into rounds with experience in different areas just as debaters come into rounds with different majors. It’s your job to convince me, not my job to tell you what I want to be convinced on. I am ultimately a kritik-oriented debater and coach. I prefer to hear these rounds and am probably more qualified to judge these rounds. I love performance, memory politics, poststructuralism, identity politics, and feminism particularly.

Debate is subjective, but I try to come into each round with as open a mind as possible. That being said, I have a strong background in critical theory, critical race theory, feminism, and rhetorical theory, but that does not predispose me to vote for poorly constructed arguments that claim to engage those ideas.Because I’m more involved (reading and writing) in those areas, I probably am a better critic in those rounds.Again, not because I have a preference for those areas, but because that’s where a lot of my intellectual energy has gone over the years.BUT, I also worked the in DC Metro Area in government affairs, so I have an on-the-ground sense of how politics actually works.

Your ultimate goal should be to convince me why you win the round.That can come about using not only many different arguments, but also many paradigms. I value your performative consistency and gender neutral language.Debate is an open canvas upon which debaters can construct communities of action. The ballot can be a tool, but before you assume I’ll vote on something, you need to explain why your paradigm makes sense in the round. If you believe my ballot sends a message, explain why I should feel the same way. If you feel like we are policymakers, then explain why my position as critic upholds sound policy decision-making. Inspire me to take action with you.

I prefer not to call for cards after the round, but if you feel I must, then provide some darn good reasons. Explain why your evidence is better. What are the qualifications of your author? The warrants behind her or his arguments? The inconsistencies of the other team’s authors? I have a good flow, but I’m not perfect. It’s very important to me to flow things in the appropriate place and make sure that I can follow arguments from start to finish. I value debaters who are organized. I usually don’t flow CX, but if I hear something that sounds particularly relevant to the resolution of the round, I’ll jot it down.

Speed does not matter, but speed should not be a substitute for persuasion. Sometimes speed gets valued over persuasion, and that’s not helpful for anyone. It’s great that you read 7 internal links, but how do they matter to the round and why are they better than your opponent’s answers. Don't make speed a substitute for argument.

I've voted on T, DAs, CPs, Ks, Turns, Perf con, Condo, the various Specs. For theory, I am very concerned with education in the debate round. I find a lot of theory unpersuasive, but if you can explain why the other team hurts your, their, or my learning in this round, then you'll be in a good place.

Have fun, be humorous, don’t take yourself too seriously. This is a competative activity, but it's also a fun activity.

Other debate information…

Coaching Experience:

Director of Debate, University of Central Florida (17-18)

Director of Debate and Forensics, Illinois College (15-17)

Assistant Coach, Georgia State University (11-15)

Assistant Coach, United States Naval Academy (09-11);

Director of Debate, T.C. Williams HS [VA] (07-12),

Assistant Coach, West Virginia University (03-04)

Head Policy Debate Coach, Midlothian HS [VA] (00-03)

Debate Experience (all policy): Middle School, Tallwood High School [Virginia Beach, VA], University of Richmond


Grad. Cert., University of Central Florida (women's studies)

Ph.D., Georgia State University (communication, track: rhetoric and politics)

M.S. Troy University (international relations, concentration: national security affairs)

J.D., West Virginia University

B.A., University of Richmond (history, urban practice and policy, rhetoric and communication studies)

Tommy Snider Paradigm

4 rounds


Director of Debate at Casady School

Put me on the e-mail chain: snidert [at] casady [dot] org

On Evidence

Evidence quality and consistency is very important to me. I can easily be convinced to disregard a piece of evidence because it lacks quality, is insufficiently highlighted, or is not qualified.

Author qualifications are under debated and if a piece of evidence lacks a qualification then that should definitely be used in debate.

K Things General

One line should dictate how you approach reading the K in front of me:

“You are a debater, not a philosopher.”

This should be your guiding principle when reading and answering a kritik in front of me. Debaters seem to rely more on jargon than actually doing the work of explaining and applying their argument. Unnecessarily complex kritiks won't get good speaker points (90% of the time you could have just read the cap k).

I will not flow overviews on a separate sheet of paper.

If you plan on reading the K

I've got good news and bad news. I'll start with the bad news: You are very unlikely to convince me not the weigh/evaluate the aff. I'm not persuaded much by self-serving counter interpretations on framework.

That said, the good news is that I think people give the aff too much credit and most of the reasons why I shouldn't evaluate the plan are typically offense against it. For example while I don't find the FW interpretation "Debate should be about epistemological assumptions" very convincing, I will definitely vote on "the affirmative's plan relies on a flawed epistemology that ensures serial policy failure, which turns case."

If you're answering the K

While the above may seem like good news for the aff answering the K, I tend to hold the aff to a higher threshold than most in K debates. I don't think "you need a specific link to the plan" is responsive to a K of the aff's epistemology. Likewise, aff framework interps that exclude Ks entirely are pretty much a non-starter.

Theory Issues

Condo seems to be getting a bit excessive, but no one goes for condo anymore so I'm sort of stuck with it.

Tech vs Truth

I think of this as more of a continuum as opposed to a binary. I lean more towards tech than truth, but I'm not going to pretend that I evaluate all arguments with equal legitimacy. For example, I have a higher threshold for arguments like “climate change not real” than “plan doesn’t solve climate change.” I traditionally evaluate the debate in offense/defense paradigm, but there is a such thing as a 0% risk.

K affs/T-FW

I enter every debate with the assumption that the resolution is going to play a role in the round. What role it plays, however, is up for debate. I don’t have a preference between skills or fairness standards.

Common reasons I vote aff on FW:

The neg goes for too many “standards”/"DAs"/whatever-youre-calling-them in the 2NR.

The neg doesn’t even try to engage the aff’s 2AC to FW.

Common reasons I vote neg on FW:

The aff doesn’t have an offensive reasons why the TVA is bad.

The aff doesn’t even try to engage the neg’s standards on FW.


I only flow what I hear, I won't use the doc to correct my flow. If I don't catch an argument/tag because you're too unclear then *insert shrug emoji*. That said, with online debate I will flow what I hear and use the doc to correct my flow after the speech. Including your analytics in the speech document will make correcting my flows much easier.

Guaranteed 30 if you’re paper debate team #PaperDebate

My facial reactions will probably tell you how I feel about your arg.

Sarah Spring Paradigm

3 rounds

Edits - minor 11/13/14

Director of Speech & Debate - University of Houston

Previously coaching at (Iowa, Miami (Ohio), Wake Forest)


As of the 2014 Shirley - I have judged (according to Debateresults + tabroom):

475 - College Debates

I have voted AFF in 226 of those debates (47.5%)

I have voted NEG in 249 of those debates (52.4%)


First rule of judging - judging is subjective. 
Second rule of judging - get over it. 

Judge philosophies are in fact an attempt to compensate for this inevitably subjective activity. We try to minimize personal opinions, but in the end who you vote for is more than often related to how you feel and the style of the debaters as much as it is about any particular argument. You have to convince the judge (me) to vote for you. This is as subjective as really any other activity. 


T - A paradoxI am a bad judge for T. I love T debates. 

Competing interpretations doesn't make much sense to me because the aff can't win on T. Reasonability is largely good (I am not a good judge for trivial interpretations like "and/or means both") - see above re: subjectivity. Reasonability is also a good answer to most affirmative theory complaints.

Legal topics are ideal for T debates, given that the law is all about definition. I find these questions interesting, but in order to win on T with me as a judge, you typically need to have insightful argument and some decent evidence about the educational harm (and not just to negative ground) of the affirmative's interpretation. These arguments, of course, can take many forms, but be careful.

Avoid specification arguments. Please. While implementation might be 90% of whatever, ASPEC is still not a reason to reject the affirmative. 

I think T is an important check against non-topical affs, you have to read a plan and defend the federal government and your plan, reading the resolutions does not seem to be enough. Switch-side debate is a good thing. 

Framework/Non-plan Topicality arguments - 

Framework debates are not fun. I judge them a lot.I think that these debates have both gotten stale and also very detached from the actual arguments at hand. Both sides would do well to connect their arguments to the actual positions relevant to their debate. My previous statements about reasonability tend to apply in these questions as well. A small advantage to an very limiting interpretation is often not enough for me to justify a ballot. 

The best framework debates don't read the Shively card.

My suggestion is to try to have a good interpretation that takes the middle ground, this will make me much more sympathetic and open to listening to your arguments. A violation is often overlooked by both sides, but is often where the crux of the decision lies - don't neglect this (or the "we meet")

Theory – I think in general most aff theory arguments are reasons to reject the argument not the team. That means theory is rarely rarely a voting issue for me.

Conditionality - I think conditionality is a good and necessary thing. Dispositionality is not a thing. I am open to kicking CPs on my own (without the encouragement of the negative) - I do indeed possess that power.

PICS (or whatever) is not a reason to reject the team, only the position, in these cases if the CP goes away the aff would still win. 

International agent fiat, in some cases, may be a legitimate test of the necessity of USFG action.

50 State Fiat - eh?

Consultation/Condition - Not a fan.



Disads – Politics DAs are my favorite.

I won’t vote on 1% risk.

Magnitude and probability are far more important than timeframe.

"DA turns the case" by itself is not a full argument.

Also "DA turns the case" is often wrong, the DA impact must complicate the aff's ability to solve or access the internal link to the impact, not just be the same impact. The aff should point this out. 

Don't read a bunch of new impacts in the block unless you've got a real reason to do so. Most teams won't have a reason beyond, we didn't feel like answering their arguments.


Case debate. I think debate should be more in depth debating of the specifics of an aff, I will reward hard work and understanding on the topic, which is often demonstrated in good case debating. The more specific your strategy is, the better.

Reading impact defense to all of their impacts does not count as a case debate (maybe necessary, but certainly not sufficient).


There are rules for debating the case - http://goo.gl/FliJY The treaties topic was awesome because of case debates. 

CPs – Most are good. I really like a smart advantage CP. Consult CPs and Condition CPs are cheating. How much cheating? It depends. See above on theory. 


Ks - 

Critiques are often times strategic and I also think can be won very easily because the aff doesn’t attack the argument at its weaknesses. Weakness include, the alternative, the links to the aff (and not to the law, society, etc), other stuff. I often end up voting for Ks when the aff fails to contest these issues.

Framework arguments are usually underdeveloped on off-case Ks, this makes me not vote on these arguments.


Like any other argument, it has to be well explained. I also have an inherent distaste for generic backfile Ks (or consult CPs or Framework ....) that you have resurrected year after year because you were too lazy to do any work. I like debating new topics, don’t just cut one new Zizek book and consider your work done. 

As an academic, I think I know a bit about critical theory and so forth -as a rhetorician there are things I like by trade - critiques of rhetoric, language and discourse, well executed understandings of theory, that is to say criticism of actual instances of things that are objectionable. Things that I don't like (or understand very well) include vague psychoanalytic theory (ie Zizek) or rabbit-holes of very complicated post-structuralism - the event of the non-part or something. 



Other things – I don’t like reading a lot of cards after the debate, although I know I will at times, I change my mind on this every couple of months. Right now, I'll probably skim a lot of cards and read some carefully.

I will also probably be open to getting emailed your evidence during the debate, but won't really want to look at it until the end of the debate. Maybe during CX or prep to figure out something I missed. Maybe. I do think it is incumbent on the teams in the debate to communicate to the judge verbally, not via email.

If I have to reconstruct the debate I might not see it like you think it happened. The final speeches MUST do this for me. 


I've taken to answering some questions in CX, particularly informative questions, especially if I think an answer might be confusing. How many perms? I'll answer. If you are just wrong about something, I might say something. 


I'm very emotive during debates, you should look up and see if I'm scowling or nodding, this can be a clue (to what? I don't know, but to something).


Underviews are the worst thing ever. 

I also think the 1NR should not be used to make new arguments. It is a rebuttal not a constructive.


Terms that have lost meaning to me - "Role of the Ballot," "the debate space" (more later)

Speaker Points – I think I give fairly good points, simply because I think most debaters deserve a chance at clearing if they have the wins.

My scale goes something like this;

26.5 and below – bad debating,

26.6 - 27 - Needs a lot of work,

27 -27.5 – average, but has a way to go,

27.5-28 - better than average, some things to work on,

28-28.5 – Good varsity debating.

28.6 - 29 - Very good - should be in contention for a speaker award.

29-29.5 – Excellent debating 

29.6 - 29.9 - Almost Gabe.

30 – Gabe

I will punish your speaker points for lack of clarity, rudeness, or inappropriate language (these issues could also result in a loss). 

I think clipping is bad, though I'm not sure what the threshold is to warrant a ballot. These questions stop the debate. If you are making an accusation of cheating, I will decide the debate on that question. You need to be fairly certain to make this kind of claim, so be ready to explain.


Daniel Stout Paradigm

3 rounds

Debate at Kansas State from Treaties (2001) – Courts (2006), Coached at Kansas State on Middle East (2007) & Agriculture (2008), Coached at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh for Weapons (2009) & Immigration (2010). I am now at Johnson County Community College.

I'd like to be on the e-mail chain- debatelearningdotcom@gmail.com (just copy and past that exact e-mail)

If I leave the room, please send the e-mail. It will signal I need to come back to the room. People should just not open the doc until I get back.

My litmus test for what I can vote for is solely based upon the ability to take what you said while debating and regurgitate it back to the other team as a reason why they lost.

I believe the most important part of debate is impacts. If left with no argumentation about impacts or how to evaluate them I will generally default to look for the biggest impact presented. I appreciate debate that engages in what the biggest impact means, and/or if probability and timeframe are more important. This does not simply mean “policy impacts”, it means any argument that has a link and impact. You could easily win that the language used in the round has an impact, and matters more than the impacts of plan passage. All framing questions concerning what comes first have impacts to them, and therefore need to be justified. The point is, whether you are running a Kritik, or are more policy based, there are impacts to the assumptions held, and the way you engage in politics (plan passage governmental politics, or personal politics). Those impacts need to be evaluated

I also prefer that teams explain their arguments so that a macro level of the argument is explained (Meaning a cohesive story about the uniqueness, link, or link and alternative are also necessary). This means piecing together arguments across flows and explaining how they interact with one another. My threshold for the possibility for me to vote on your argument is determined by whether or not I can explain why the other team lost.

Policy arguments are fine by me.

Quirks with Counterplans- I think consultation and conditions are more cheating, than not cheating, but up for debate. I think conditionality can get out of hand. When conditionality does get out of hand it should be capitalized by the affirmative as justification to do equally shady/cheating things and/or be a justification to vote against a team, again up for debate.

Kritiks- I enjoy Kritiks. Be aware of my threshold for being able to explain to the other team why they lost. This means it is always safer to assume I’ve never read your literature base and have no idea what you are talking about. The best way to ensure that I’m understanding your argument is to explain them with a situations that will exemplify your theory AND to apply those situations and theories to the affirmative.

Framework- I will evaluate framework in an offense defense paradigm. Solely impacting or impact turning framework will rarely win you the debate. You will need offense & defense to win framework debates in front of me. Its an issue that I believe should be debated out and the impact calculus on the framework debate should determine who I vote for. When aff I believe that framework is a non starter. Defending the assumptions of the affirmative is a much more persuasive argument. For the negative, a lot of the discussion will revovle around the topical version of the aff and/or why doing it on the neg is best and solves all the affirmatives offense. I don't generally feel as though framework should be THE option against critical teams.

Framework on the negative for me is also can have and act like a counter advocacy that the problems isolated by the affirmative can be helped by engaging the state. Topical version help prove how engaging the state can create better and meaningful changes in the world. There should also be historical and/or carded explanations as to why engaging the state can help with the problems of the 1ac.

One other caveat about framework. I do not believe that affirmatives must provide a counter interpretation. The affirmative has not forwarded a way to debate in the 1ac, therefore it is the burden of the negative to explain their version of debate and why it's good. This allows affs to just impact turn framework as presumption has flipped in this instance.

With that said, framework is the last pure debate. I very rarely see the better team not win. It's been too hashed out for many if any gotcha moments

Micheal Stroud Paradigm

6 rounds

debates take a long time, already. 92 minutes, optimistically. please, please dont make them last any longer than they absolutely must. if you, for any reason, must take a break or stop the clock, that's totally okay. but for the sake of us all getting off campus at a reasonable hour, and for our hosts who put together a schedule for a reason, lets all try to keep our debates to, like, 105 minutes.


"i don't want magic word invocation to stand in for final rebuttal work weighing and comparing potential outcomes. 'extinction' and 'nvtl' are not arguments.

Jacob Stutzman Paradigm

3 rounds

Background that might be relevant: I'm coming off of the better part of 20 years in parliamentary debate as a competitor, judge, and coach. In that time, parli has become substantively similar to policy, though some of the structural differences affect my preferences, and may affect your choices in front of me.

Above all, I want debaters to engage with the substance of the round in smart ways. That means looking for unscripted arguments and explanations about how the arguments interact in the round. I would rather you explain how the card you already read answers an argument or moves your position in the round forward than you just read another card in response. Find ways to use your opponents' arguments rather than just denying them outright. The smart answers will beat back more answers all day. In the same vein, assume that I am less versed in whatever literature you're reading from than you are, so you can both demonstrate (maybe even deepen) your understanding of it as you explain it.

My threshold for speed may also be somewhat lower than you're used to. I'll let you know if you exceed it, but taking proactive steps to avoid those problems is good. Don't bury your face in paper or hide it behind your laptop screen, nonverbally mark the line between the end of a card and the next tag, etc., etc.

Beyond those notes, debaters should shape the content of the round. You should do what you are best at and put forth the effort to show me why you win those things and why those things should be important in the round. You can out-tech another team, but I'd rather you make better arguments.

My default analysis focuses on links and alt solvency on the K, competition and solvency on CPs, standards on T, and probability on traditional impact analysis.

It should go without saying, but language which is explicitly exclusive of someone in the round, as well as threats or acts of violeance against anyone in the round (including yourself) may result in an decision and me walking out.

Richard Tews Paradigm

3 rounds

Updated Feb 2017

Yes, I want to be on the email chain, tewsie1@gmail.com.

If you are a team that has been judged by me in the past there aren’t many changes. This is mostly an update b/c I haven’t looked at this thing in like 7 years.

I don’t really have strong argumentative preferences. Do what you do best and I will give you my best attempt to understand what you are arguing. Complete arguments have a claim, warrant and impact (reason it matters in the debate). Incomplete arguments rarely make it into my decision.

I flow and I don’t really read speech doc until I need a specific piece of evidence at the end. I value line-by-line refutation and get irritated when arguments don’t line. Overview proliferation is annoying. Most of those args can just be made on the lbl. I also flow on paper so undeclared overviews destroy my flow.

Good impact analysis helps my decision. Spend a little time talking about timeframes and probabilities instead of just magnitude. Often times mag is a tie, so I need something to clarify the extinction v extinction debate, obviously.

I look mad all the time. I’m not actually mad. It has no bearing on how I feel about the debate or you as debaters.  If I am mad at you, you will know it.

Pet Peeves:

Links are links not Disads to XYZ. If you win a link that means the argument competes, it isn’t a DA to anything on its own.

Debaters should handle their own CXs. If they need help that is fine, but they should at least be given the chance to answer questions in their own CX.

You are 18-25 year olds, figure out how email works. Excessive time sending email will result in prep time restarting.

I find it kind of sad that debaters aren’t funny anymore. I reward humor with points. Obviously, you should consider audience and appropriateness but don’t take everything so seriously all the time.


I don’t really have anything substantive to say here. You can outweigh the aff with a good disad you don’t always have to have a counter-plan but you do have to win case defense. It also helps if you explain the warrants of the case defense in relation to the aff impact claims (instead of just reading cards and letting me sort it out). In DA outweighs the aff rounds, you must have internals between your DA and the case impacts OR some really good defense. You also need to spend a lot of time on internals and TF/Prob differentials.  


I pretty much adjudicate K debates like I do disads, did you prove a link and does the impact outweigh. Also typically in K rounds I will ask myself at the end of the round if I can explain in plain English why I voted on this argument (to the losing team). In other words if you can’t explain a K in simple English it becomes more difficult (not impossible) for me to vote for you. Alternatives don’t have to solve the aff if they solve the K and it outweighs the aff.

Self-serving roles of the ballot are annoying. My ballot typically indicates who did the better debating. Sometimes that better debating means that you convinced your opponents that the ballot means something different, but for real that ballot doesn’t change just b/c you said so. Go ahead and play the game but like all other arguments you are going to have to win this. A simple assertion of a new role is not enough. If you want to change the role of the ballot you are going to have to have a rationale for why your role is good for debate/the round/has some justification that goes beyond “you want to win the round”.


It is a voter. I usually evaluate on competing interps. I can be persuaded by reasonability however I think that these args are deployed weakly these days. Reasonability is a value claim and as such you need to assert the value (i.e. we are reasonable) and then explain how to evaluate reasonableness (how do I recognize if something is reasonable). The aim of this should be to take the onus off of my moral system of what is reasonable/fair to me and put it more on an objective system for recognizing reasonability in relation to community norms. It helps if you have a vision for debate and can defend it and don’t just treat T/FW as an analytic disad.



I often struggle with theory debates because people blaze through them with no regard for pen time. If you want to win theory debate you have to have a clear link and impact and explain why the impact should merit the ballot. I won’t read your blocks, if I can’t understand it from the speech and my flow then it doesn’t count. 

Keegan Tomik Paradigm

6 rounds

17 years of debate exp.

Former college debater/coach, NDT octofinals. Last 3 to 4 years coaching public forum in China.
I was a K debater in college 2007-2012, but I'm more likely to think topic relevance matters if its not plan passage. I've been all over the ideological spectrum debate wise I think.

Matthew Vega Paradigm

3 rounds

I rarely judge. I do actively coach.

Debate is a game and an educational activity. It ought to be fair, but there are other considerations as well.

CX - great place to earn speaker points. Its the time that you get to interact with the other team. Make it count.

I like quality evidence that is explained well much more than 30 cards with shallow explanation.

Theory: I tend to lean neg on theory, but can be persuaded. Most theory arguments are presumed to be a voiding of the argument about which the theory argument is run. Usually only conditionality/dispo are voters. I am not a fan of stupid theory/cheap shots. Perm do the alt is not an argument - it is a reason to vote for the alt.
I don't understand the trend to have arbitrary interpretations on theory, like conditionality. 2>3, 4>5, those seem really stupid. I can't imagine how that could solve any tangible impact. If conditionality is good, it is good.

Topicality: It should have an impact, and it should be coherent and well-explained. The interpretation should not be arbitrary. Ink does not a winning T argument make...

Impact calculus: I am not a big fan of the counterplan plus "any risk." Win a net benefit. There is "any risk" of just about everythiing. Sure, I use offense/defense, just like everyone (i suspect), but I believe that there exists a point when there is either a zero risk or a risk that is indistinguishable from randomness. In a similar vein, I tend to think that probability of the impact is weighted highly vs magnitude. Don't just read an extinction card and expect the round to be over. Not all extinctions are the same...

Lots of judges say they will listen to about everything. One time someone said they got a 3nr, then they actually stood up and gave one, and then the aff stood up and gave a 3ar. I was on a panel. I signed my ballot after the 2ar...so I won't listen to everything. (by the way, the two other judges waited until after the 3ar...be careful, its a jungle out there.)

Framework: Better on the neg than the aff.

Flowing: I try to do it.

Ben Voth Paradigm

3 rounds

I come from a traditional policymaking background.


I understand and vote for critical and performative arguments.


I value debate as an educational activity.


I do think flashing should count as prep time.


I do not tend to call for cards after the round unless the two teams disagree explicitly about what the evidence says and I am unclear myself.

Nick Watts Paradigm

"I believe I have an obligation to work as hard at judging as the debaters do preparing for the debates." - Scott Harris 

I will attempt to limit the amount my predispositions will influence how I evaluate a debate round. Basically, I would like to hear you read whatever argument that you feel you can deploy the best. I will do my best to evaluate it based on the framing that you have chosen. Remember, framing is always up to debate--tell me how to evaluate your arguments and you will prevent I enjoy specificity and nuance. I place importance on how pieces of evidence get debated, as opposed to simply constructing debates based on the pieces of evidence that have been introduce. While I also place a premium on quality evidence (which, I would like to be able to hear during your speech), I believe that a smart analytic argument has the potential to gain equal traction to a solid piece of evidence. Quality always trumps quantity.

I think that c-x is incredibly important. I keep track of it and think that most debaters misuse their time and often forget to utilize arguments made in c-x during their speech. A nuanced question asked of the 2nc may radically alter how a 1ar responds to a position—but it is up to you to prove that in the speech.

I am not a fan of any counterplan that does, at some point, the entirety of the aff. However, I have voted on them.
Theory needs to be well executed. Debates in which theory blocks do the arguing almost always favor the neg.
I don’t like cheap shots. I like arguments to be well developed. Most cheap shots are not reasons to reject the team and significant time would need to be spent in order to convince me otherwise. However, it is your burden to point out how irrelevant many theory arguments that are advanced in debates are, as a concession may force my hand.

I like T. I think that the aff should to be about the resolution. The aff’s relationship to that resolution is up for debate. Framework should be debated as a substantive issue.

The K:
These are the arguments I am most familiar with. I will do my best to limit my predispositions from giving explanation or advancing arguments for the other team. Specificity and spin are important for both sides of the debate. I don’t like generic explanations of meta theory with no tie to the affirmative. Similarly, I don’t like generic responses to critical theory outside of the context of the aff. Generic evidence does not force generic explanation.

I love a good, well-researched, specific strategy. The more generic your strategy becomes, the greater the chance of me assigning an extremely low risk to these arguments. Sometimes there is simply no link. I am generally not persuaded by “any risk” style arguments. The more specific your DA the better.

The last thing I will say is that debates that I have fun in will be rewarded by higher speaker points. I have fun when I see well thought out and deployed strategy.. Make me laugh and you will be rewarded. Be nice.

Mike "Shooter" Weitz Paradigm

2 rounds

Mike “Shooter” Weitz

***************************Updated 2014-15********************

A guy walks into the Buddha’s bar. Plopping on the stool, his dejected look was plain for all to see. “How can I help with what’s ailing you?” the Buddha asked, sliding the man a drink.

The man said, “I did everything I was supposed to, and nothing happened. I spend hours meditating under a tree every day, and I still haven’t reached enlightenment. I do my mantras, mandalas and sutras without forgetting a word. What am I doing wrong? I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I walk perfectly along the path.”

Giggling at the seriousness of the upset man, the Buddha exclaimed, “Well, there’s your problem right there! If your path is the trampled dirt of others’ footsteps, you’ve already lost your way.”

“But without that path, how will I know where I’m going?” the man asked earnestly.

“Exactly,” the Buddha smiled.

Not satisfied with the response, the man demanded, “If I don’t know where I am going, how will I know when I get there?”

“Exactly,” the Buddha quipped.

The man’s temper got the better of him, “That tells me nothing. Why don’t you just tell me what I need to know?”

“Exactly,” the Buddha chimed with glee.


“The Silent Flute”

I wish neither to posses,

Nor to be possessed.

I no longer covet paradise,

More important, I no longer fear hell.


The medicine for my suffering,

I had within me from the very beginning,

But I did not take it.

My ailment came from within myself,

But I did not observe it

Until this moment.


Now I see that I will never find the light

Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel,

Consuming myself.

-Bruce Lee


“Once More I Hold You In My Arms”

Once more I hold you in my arms;

And once more I lost myself in

A paradise of my own.


Right now you and I are in

A golden boat drifting freely on a sunny sea

Far, far away from the human world.

I am happy as the waves dancing around us.


Too much analysis kills spontaneity,

As too much light dazzles my eyes.

Too much truct astonishes me.

Despite all obstacles,

Love still exists between us.


It is useless to try and stir the dirt

Out of the muddy water,

As it will become murkier.

But leave it alone,

And if it should be cleared

It will become clear by itself.

-Bruce Lee


“Sharing a Mountain Hut with a Cloud”

A lonely hut on the mountain-peak towering above a thousand others;

One half is occupied by an old monk and the other by a cloud:

Last night it was stormy and the cloud was blown away;

After all a cloud could not equal the old man's quiet way.

-Kuei-tsung Chih-chih,


“Being as Is”

Food and clothes sustain

Body and life;

I advise you to learn

Being as is.

When it's time,

I move my hermitage and go,

And there's nothing

To be left behind.

-P'ang Yün


Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water.

The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken.

Although its light is wide and great,

The moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide.

The whole moon and the entire sky

Are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.




Look for Buddha outside your own mind,

and Buddha becomes the devil.




The wind traverses the vast sky,

clouds emerge from the mountains;

Feelings of enlightenment and things of the world

are of no concern at all.

-Keizan Jõkin


Where beauty is, then there is ugliness;

where right is, also there is wrong.

Knowledge and ignorance are interdependent;

delusion and enlightenment condition each other.

Since olden times it has been so.

How could it be otherwise now?

Wanting to get rid of one and grab the other

is merely realizing a scene of stupidity.

Even if you speak of the wonder of it all,

how do you deal with each thing changing?



“In science we have finally come back to the pre-Socratic philosopher Hercalitus, who said that everything is flow, flux, process. We in the West think of nothingness as a void, an emptiness, a nonexistence. In Eastern philosophy and modern physical science, nothingness—no-thingness—is a form of process, ever moving. In science we try to find the ultimate matter, but the more we split up matter, the more we find other matter. We find movement, and movement equals energy: movement, impact, energy, but no things.”

–Bruce Lee




To be honest, I am not sure what it means to have a ‘philosophy of judging.’ I can tell you what I do: I evaluate arguments in relation to other arguments. I like good argument more than I like bad arguments. I like good cards more than I like bad cards. But, other than that, I’m not sure what I am supposed to tell you. Am I, through some unknown process of self-evaluation, to disclose how I decide which arguments that I’m yet to hear, and how they will win out versus other arguments? Should I provide you a list of the arguments I like and dislike, the things I have pre-determined to be true, as avenues of persuasion to receive my ballot? Such a list doesn’t exist. However, i can tell you some things:

If it is about my personal philosophy, then I’m not sure how telling you that I am a Buddhist and like to study Eastern Philosophy explains my approach to judging debate rounds, except to say that i evaluate arguments as i understand them at their moment of utterance, i evaluate them by the interdependent relationship to other arguments in the round, and i do my best to remain present and attentive during the course of the round. I think that truth tends to be a little grey (and technically ungraspable by language and set, intellectual patterns of thinking). I very much believe in paradoxes, which means that sometimes even 'incompatable' truth claims can both be true and untrue. This can be frustrating for debaters sometimes, because it puts a higher argumentative standard on you to make sure that you not only make arguments, but make sure that your arguments answer your oppenents arguments. Finally, it's not a requirement, but i do tend to prefer the nice and humble debater, even while debating with a passion. I will also do my best to judge with humility; we are all human and all make mistakes. I definately will.

I like arguments to be clear. I don't like to have to do a bunch of extra work to read your cards after the round because I should be able to hear them when you read them if you're clear. I only like to call for cards if their meaning is contested, and arguments are made against them. This is usually a sign of a good debate, but i don't want to have to call for cards because i don't know what they say because you weren't clear the first time.

An argument is a claim and a warrant. Missing one makes an incomplete argument, especially in the warrant department. And just because you made a claim and a warrant, does not necessarily make them persuasive, which is why the more warrants the better, usually. Always answer the "why" question. Why is what you say true?

The same standard applies to evidence, if your evidence does not contain warrants, then it is a bunch of warrantless assertions, and, hence, a waste of your time. You don't have to read seven-page-long cards, but the more warrants the better. Highlight your cards down to one sentence at your own risk and peril.

You would be surprised how often teams will win portion of an argument, and lose because of their failure to properly 'impact' it in the debate round. This is a critical part of the debate that should not be skimped on just because it happens in the latter speeches. Again, answer the "why" question.

Finally, while I'm not quite ready to go "full Dallas," I do attempt to generally communicate my thoughts, feelings, how I'm receiving stuff, and might even pipe in a "that don't make sense." My point is that I'm a source for information that you should use.

As always, have fun!