Cal Invitational at Berkeley HS Tournament

2016 — CA/US

Jonathan Alston Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a head coach at Newark Science and have coached there for years. I teach LD during the summer at the Global Debate Symposium. I formerly taught LD at University of North Texas and I previously taught at Stanford's Summer Debate Institute.

I do believe that basic things are true, though. The Affirmative must present a problem with the way things are right now. Their advocacy must reasonably solve that problem. The advantages of doing the advocacy must outweigh the disadvantages of following the advocacy. You don't have to have a USFG plan, but you must advocate for something.

Be clear. Be very clear. If you are spreading politics or something that is easy to understand, then just be clear. I can understand very clear debaters at high speeds when what they are saying is easy to understand. Start off slower so I get used to your voice and I'll be fine.

Do not spread philosophy. If I have a hard time understanding it at conversational speeds I will not understand it at high speeds. (Don't spread Kant or Foucault.)

Slow down for analytics. If you are comparing or making analytical arguments that I need to understand, slow down for it.

I want to hear the warrants in the evidence. Be clear when reading evidence. I don't read cards after the round if I don't understand them during the round.

Make it make sense. I'll vote on it if it is reasonable. Please tell me how it functions and how I should evaluate it. The most important thing about theory for me is to make it make sense. I would like for the debates about the debate to be interesting. I am not into frivolous theory. If you like running frivolous theory, I am not the best judge for you.

Don't take it out of context. I do ask for cites. Cites should be readily available. Don't cut evidence in an unclear or sloppy manner. Cut evidence ethically. Do not take evidence out of context by cutting qualifiers like "might" or "maybe".

Speaker Points
30 I learned something from the experience. I really enjoyed the thoughtful debate. I was moved. I give out 30's. It's not an impossible standard. I just consider it an extremely high, but achievable, standard of excellence. I haven't given out at least two years.
29 Excellent
28 Solid
27 Okay

For policy Debate (And LD, because I judge them the same way).
Same as for LD. Make sense. Big picture is important. I can't understand spreading dense philosophy. Don't assume I am already familiar with what you are saying. Explain things to me. Starting in 2013 our LDers have been highly influenced by the growing similarity between policy and LD. We tested the similarity of the activities in 2014 - 2015 by having two of our LDers be the first two students in the history of the Tournament of Champions to qualify in policy and LD in the same year. They did this by only attending three policy tournaments (The Old Scranton Tournament and Emory) on the Oceans topic running Reparations and USFG funding of The Association of Black Scuba Divers.

We are also in the process of building our policy program. Our teams tend to debate the resolution with non-util impacts or engages in methods debates. Don't assume that I am familiar with the specifics of a lit base. Please break things down to me. I need to hear and understand warrants. Make it simple for me. The more simple the story, the more likely that I'll understand it.

I won't outright reject anything unless it is blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic.

Important: Don't curse in front of me. I don't like high school students cursing in front of me. Please don't do it. I may take off points because of it. If the curse is an essential part of the textual evidence, I am more lenient. But that would be the exception. Ultimately, I do not think that high school students are grown, and the language that is used should be consistent with my classroom standards.

Note: I generally don't enjoy debates that are more than three off in LD. However, do what you do well. Just going by what I've seen in the past.

Monica Amestoy Paradigm

6 rounds

My name is Monica Amestoy. I graduated in 2013 and debated for Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Canada, CA. I qualified for TOC my senior year, coached a few debaters who did very well at the TOC and have taught at VBI, NSD, PDI and BFI. Overview: I will do my best to evaluate the round the way you tell me to. I will try to be as objective as possible, but I think that it is impossible to be a completely "tab" judge. So instead of pretending that I will vote like a blank slate my paradigm is to let you know about some of my opinions on certain aspects of debate. Also I haven’t really edited the rest of this paradigm in a while so feel free to ask questions. Short version: I like policy style arguments, non topical argument, Ks and theory. Read whatever you feel you are best at and when in doubt weigh. I will straight up drop you if you make racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic arguments. Theory: I like good theory debates.
I personally think theory should be a matter of competing interpretations, but if you really think you can win reasonability and actually tell me what that means then go ahead.
My theory default is drop the debater but that can change.

I hesitate to tell you about my love for the K debate because I’m scared people will think that means they have to run their K in front of me. I obviously love the K but you should run what you think you will do your best with. That being said, I have found that I am more compelled by critical arguments so if you are responding to one of these types of positions or feel that you would perform better under a different paradigm of debate then I think you should probably address questions of what fairness is and for whom/what it means in the debate space.
CPs, Perms, Plans and DAs:
Go for it
Is condo good? Bad? Idk you should tell me these things in your speech
People need to slow down for their plan/cp texts. -Slow down for card names. I think judges lie way too much about how good they are at flowing. I'm just okay.
Things I will drop your speaks for (a lot):
1. Formatting your case in a way that makes it difficult for your opponent to read: multiple colors, fonts, highlighting or lack of spacing. (honestly win the round because your arguments or ballot story is better not because your opponent has a hard time reading your case)
2. Being really rude
3. Stealing prep
4. Lying
Just have fun and read what makes you happy.

Alexandra Berl Paradigm

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Mike Bietz Paradigm

1 rounds

Head Coach: Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles CA |

Use for sharing speech documents. No more email or flashdrive problems. The affirmative should have this ready to go before the round starts.

Jonah Feldman, coach at UC Berkeley, summed up a lot of what I have to say about how I evaluate arguments


I do not believe that a dropped argument is necessarily a true argument

I am primarily interested in voting on high quality arguments that are well explained, persuasively advanced, and supported with qualified evidence and insightful examples. I am not interested in voting on low quality arguments that are insufficiently explained, poorly evidenced, and don't make sense. Whether or not the argument was dropped is a secondary concern...

How should this effect the way I debate?

1) Choose more, especially in rebuttals. Instead of extending a lot of different answers to an advantage or offcase argument, pick your spots and lock in.

2) If the other team has dropped an argument, don't take it for granted that it's a done deal. Make sure it's a complete argument and that you've fully explained important components and implications of winning that argument.

His full paradigm:

More stuff:

I never thought I'd have to say this, but you have to read aloud what you want me to consider in the round. Paraphrasing doesn't count as "evidence."

The affirmative probably should be topical.

I think that I'm one of the few circuit LD judges who votes affirmative more than I vote negative. I prefer an affirmative that provides a problem and then a solution/alternative to the problem. Negatives must engage. Being independently right isn't enough.

I would probably consider myself a policy-maker with an extremely left bent. Answering oppression with extinction usually doesn't add up for me. I'll take immediate, known harms over long term, speculative, multi-link impacts 90 out of 100 times. This isn't paradigmatic so much as it is negatives failing to engage the affirmative.

Given my propensity to vote affirmative and give the affirmative a lot of leeway in defining the scope of the problem/solution, and requiring the negative to engage, I'd suggest you take out the 3 minutes of theory pre-empts and add more substance.

Topicality is probably not an RVI, ever. Same with Ks. Today I saw someone contend that if he puts defense on a Kritik to make debate a safe space, the judge should vote for him because he'll feel attacked.

Cut your presumption spikes. It's bad for debate to instruct judges not to look for winning arguments. It also encourages debaters to make rounds unclear or irreconcilable if they are behind on actual issues.

Where an argument can be made "substantively" or without theory, just make it without theory. For example, you opponent not having solvency isn't a theory violation. it just means they can't solve. Running theory flips the coin again. So it's both annoying and bad strategy. Other examples might include: Plan flaws, no solvency advocate, and so on. Theory IS the great equalizer in that it gives someone who is otherwise losing an argument a chance to win.

Cross-x cannot be transferred to prep time.

Some annoyances:

- Not letting your opponents answer a question. More specifically, male debaters who have been socialized to think its ok to interrupt females who have been socialized not to put up a fight. If you ask the question, give them a chance to answer.

- Ignoring or belittling the oppression or marginalization of people in favor of smug libertarian arguments will definitely not end up well for you.

- People who don't disclose or they password protect or require their opponents to delete speech documents. I'm not sure why what you read is private or a secret if you've read it out loud. The whole system of "connected" kids and coaches who know each other using backchannel methods to obtain intelligence is one of the most exclusionary aspects of debate. This *is* what happens when people don't disclose. I'll assume if you don't disclose you prefer the exclusionary system.

Some considerations for you:

- if you’re reading such old white male cards that you have to edit for gendered language, maybe consider finding someone who doesn’t use gendered language... and if you notice that ONLY white men are defending it, maybe consider changing your argument.

- if you find yourself having to pre-empt race or gender arguments in your case, maybe you shouldn't run the arguments.

Adam Bistagne Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated for CPS 2018: This update is to mostly reflect how I've been judging rounds lately.

I debated for four years for Loyola high. I broke at multiple tournaments and had a 4-3 record at the TOC.

I am more familiar with policy arguments, philosophy, and theory, and am less familiar with kritiques. However, I am not really a fan of how most philosophy and theory debates are done today, and thus my familiarity does not always correspond to what arguments I vote on.

Specifically, I think that moral philosophy positions that involves tricks are doing a disservice to the literature. Further, theory debates are often frivolous, although what I may consider frivolous may be different than what others consider frivolous. Some examples of what I consider frivolous theory are the following: font-size theory, must spec status in speech theory, some spec shells, etc. My litmus test for frivolous theory might be the following: does the theory shell isolate an issue of fairness that has actual educational implications on the debate round?

Kritiques usually have good explanations attached to them, so I've voted on them in the past and will probably continue to vote on them in the future.

I evaluate the round via an offense/defense paradigm. Thus, I will vote for the debater who provides comparatively more offense back to the framework that has been won in the round, lest there are other issues (theory or kritiques) that precede this evaluation. Beyond this, I will try to evaluate the round in the most objective way possible. However, as all judges do, I have certain basic preferences that it would help to conform to.

First, when there is a clash on an issue or position, I tend to default to the more thorough and comprehensive explanation that makes sense to me. While technical drops are important, I don't think they automatically preclude good analysis. Strong weighing matters more to me than a dropped blippy argument on the flow.

Granted, this threshold only exists when there is clash on a position (and maybe sometimes across positions). If a position is totally conceded, or mostly conceded except for a couple of weaker arguments, my threshold for explanation and extensions becomes much lower (if totally conceded, it approaches zero).

Second, I flow CX, both because of theoretical implications of answers, and because I think your position is only as well warranted as your CX answers indicate. If I don't think there's a warrant after a particularly devastating CX on a position, you're going to have an uphill battle to convince me of the argument. (This is true only if the other debater brings up the flaws they pointed out in CX during a speech. CX by itself is not a rebuttal and thus cannot be the sole basis for my decision).

Third, I heavily favor debater's original analysis and arguments in later rebuttals (2NR and 2AR) as opposed to cards. While cards are good at setting up a position in constructive speeches, I heavily prefer debate styles that can go beyond cards with good explanations.

Theory defaults:
I default competing interpretations. I default no-RVI's. Topicality is a voter. All other issues must be justified by the debater.

Random Notes:

I like numbered responses to arguments, and clear distinction between line-by-line analysis and overviews.

I will only vote on arguments that I have flowed. During rebuttals, I mostly flow from what you're saying, rather than from the speech doc, so adjust accordingly.

While debate is a game, it is an educational game that brings lots of enjoyment to many of our lives. Please treat other debaters and it with respect.

Sarah Botsch-McGuinn Paradigm

2 rounds

Sarah Botsch-McGuinn


Director of Speech and Debate-Cooper City HS (2018-present)

Director of Speech and Debate-American Heritage Boca-Delray (2017-2018)

Director of Forensics-Notre Dame San Jose (2009-2017)
Head Debate Coach-Notre Dame San Jose (2008-2009)

I’ve been a debate coach for the past 11 years, and Director of Forensics for 9 at NDSJ, one year as Director at American Heritage and now at Cooper City HS. I primarily coached Parliamentary Debate from 2008-2017, including circuit Parli debate. To that end, I’ve judged in many local California invitationals (Cal, SCU, Stanford, SCU2, MLK, NPDI, 6x4, etc), including adjudicating many elimination rounds (including late elimination rounds). I was myself a college debater and did LD in high school (Parli was not introduced until after I was out of high school). I've judged finals for the TOC for the California Cup (Parli Debate's TOC) five times over the last few years. I've coached all forms of debate (though LD, PF and Parli most extensively) and have adjudicated late elim rounds in all forms of debate. I've been involved in National Circuit LD pretty extensively over the last 2 years.

First and foremost, I only ever judge what is presented to me in rounds. I do not extend arguments for you and I do not bring in my own bias. I am a flow judge, and I will flow the entire debate, no matter the speed, though I do appreciate being able to clearly understand all your points. I consider myself to be a gamemaker in my general philosophy, so I see debate as game. That doesn't mean that there aren't real world impacts off debate (and I tend to be convinced by 'this will impact outside the round' type of arguments).

While I do appreciate fresh approaches to resolution analysis, I’m not an “anything goes” judge. I believe there should be an element of fair ground in debate-debates without clash, debates with extra topicality, etc will almost certainly see me voting against whoever tries to do so if the other side even makes an attempt at arguing it (that said, if you can’t adequately defend your right to a fair debate, I’m not going to do it for you. Don’t let a team walk all over you!). Basically, I love theoretical arguments, and feel free to run them, just make sure they have a proper shell. *Note: when I see clear abuse in round I have a very low threshold for voting on theory. Keep that in mind-if you try to skew your opponent out of the round, I WILL vote you down if they bring it up. Many have tried, you will fail.*

I also want to emphasize that I'm an educator first and foremost. I believe in the educational value of debate and it's ability to create critical thinkers.

Since quality of argument wins for me 100% of the time, I’m not afraid of the low point win. I don’t expect this to enter into the rounds much at an elite tournament where everyone is at the highest level of speaking style, but just as an emphasis that I will absolutely not vote for a team just because they SOUND better. I tend to stick to 26-29+ point range on a 30 scale, with average/low speakers getting 26s, decent speakers getting 27s, good 28s, excellent 29s, and 30 being reserved for best I’ve seen all day. I will punish rudeness/lying in speaks though, so if you’re rude or lie a lot, expect to see a 25 or less. Additionally, shouting louder doesn’t make your point any better, I can usually hear just fine.

If I gave you less than 24, you probably really made me angry or stood on a desk and waved your arms or something. If you are racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, ableist etc I will punish you in speaks. You have been warned.

I don’t subscribe to the belief that spreading makes debate more exclusive therefore should be preferred, but that doesn’t mean you’ll lose because you talk fast. There is an incredible distinction between speaking quickly to cover points and circuit style spreading, and trust me, I can handle either and have NO problem with the former. I will call 'clear' once if you are going too fast, and put down my pen if I can't follow. It's only happened a couple times, so you must be REALLY fast for me to give up.


I find double clutch breathing in Parli annoying, but I won't punish your speaks for it. You'll just make me cry a lot inside :(

Not that I like it in LD/Policy but it doesn't bother me nearly as much.

A prioris:
Please explain why your argument is a-priori before I will consent to consider it as such. Generally I am only willing to entertain framework arguments as a-priori, but who knows, I've been surprised before.

Theory is great, as I mentioned above, run theory all day long with me, though I am going to need to see rule violations and make sure you have a well structured shell. I should not see theory arguments after the 1AR in LD or after the MG speech in Parli. I also don't want to see theory arguments given a ten second speed/cursory explanation, when it's clear you're just trying to suck up time. My threshold is high for RVIs, but if you can show how your opponent is just sucking time, I'm open to this. Also open to condo-bad arguments on CPs/Ks, though that doesn't mean you'll automatically win on this.

Small note for LD: Disclosure theory: I'm unlikely to vote on this if your opponent isn't reading something very strange. I think education and disclosure is good but that doesn't mean I think someone should automatically lose for not. Keep this in mind.

Most other theory I evaluate in round. I don't tend to go for blippy theory arguments though!

Critical arguments:
I love the K, give me the K, again, just be structured. I don't need the whole history of the philosopher, but I haven't read everything ever, so please be very clear and give me a decent background to the argument before you start throwing impacts off it. Also, here's where I mention that impacts are VITAL to me, and I want to see terminal impacts.

Please note: I absolutely loathe the Batman K. It makes me actively angry. If you go for it, after reading this line, I will give your opponents double 30s and put my pen down and ignore you the rest of the round. Please and thank you.

In general I default to competing interp. If for some reason we have gotten to the point of terribad debate, I presume Neg (Aff has burden to prove the resolution/affirm. Failure to do so is Neg win. God please don't make me do this :( )

I like very clear weighing in rebuttals. Give me voting issues and compare worlds, tell me why I should prefer or how you outweigh, etc. Please. I go into how I evaluate particular impacts below.

I like clear voting issues! Just because I’m flowing doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you crystallizing and honing in on your main points of offense.

I prefer voter speeches follow a: Main points of offense-->impact calc--->world comp model. If you just do impact calc I'll be happy with it, but I like looking on my voter sheet for what you feel you're winning on. It helps me more quickly organize my ideas.

I put a lot of emphasis on impacts in my decisions. The team with bigger/more terminal, etc impacts generally walks away with my vote, so go to town. This goes doubly true for framework or critical arguments. Why is this destroying debate as we know it? Why is this ___ and that's horrible? Translation: I tend to weigh magnitude heaviest in round, but if you can prove pretty big probable impacts over very low probability extinction impacts I'll likely go that direction.

You should be able to articulate how your contentions support your position/value/whatever. That should go without saying, but you would be very surprised. I don't vote on blips, even if we all know what you're saying is true. So please warrant your claims and have a clear link story. This goes doubly true for critical positions or theory.

Christy Briggs Paradigm

4 rounds

I am a Two Diamond Coach with 10 years of coaching experience.

I approach most rounds with a tabula rasa mind set. However, I tend to favor traditional approaches to arguments. I want to see debates about the topics, not debates about the rules of debate.

When it comes to LD, the value and value criteria matter & contentions should support/prove the weight of your v/vc. Impact analysis is crucial.

In PF, I want to see a round that evaluates various entry points to the topic & values the things that makes PF unique from the other debate events. I prefer not to see PF turned into a watered down version of policy.

For BQ, I prefer rounds that include evidence based claims and assertions. Definitions debates are great, but make sure you explain WHY your definition should be accepted and preferred.

Generally, I like those who respect the confines of the given resolutions while also thinking outside the box.

If you have other questions, please ask before the round starts.

Katya Brooun Paradigm

6 rounds

Hi, I’m Katya! I debated for three years with Torrey Pines High School/ Del Mar Independent. I debated on the national circuit for two of those years.

I don’t really have strong preferences when it comes to debate, so please just do what you do best, and have a good time while you’re at it. I’ll evaluate the round however you tell me to evaluate the round. If you don’t tell me how to evaluate the round then I hope you like surprises!


Is fine. I will yell clear and slow as many times as needed but be careful because your arguments might get lost in my yelling.

Theory debates

Have the potential to be interesting and then I will be happy, but even if they are not interesting I will still listen to your arguments because I have to watch the round anyway.

Philosophical frameworks

Are really interesting and I happen to have relied heavily on them as a debater.

Critical arguments

Are also really interesting but I have minimal knowledge of the literature so do lots of explaining.


Are things I collect in my spare time. If you believe in them maybe you can make me believe in them too at least for however long it takes me to make my decision.


Are good, I think.

Offensive arguments

Are bad, definitely. I think being a good debater also means being a good person. 

(Not to be confused with having offense, which is probably good.)


Will be boosted if you are funny, respectful, efficient, and make smart arguments.





Alex Carter Paradigm

2 rounds

I am an LD debater from the distant past (2009-2012). I did 4 years of high school debate and coached Palo Alto for 4 years as well.

I'm not up to date with all the fashionable arguments and I'm a little rusty in terms of flowing speed, so go easy on me and explain your args. Other than that, I don't have strong preferences. I'm happy to go along with whatever the debaters tell me to do. If I had to pick a favorite style, I'd pick framework debate with strong warrants and good explanation of how fw interacts with the arguments in the round.

Jerry Chen Paradigm

6 rounds

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Jakob Christensen Paradigm

4 rounds

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Matt Conrad Paradigm

4 rounds

Since the judge philosophies wiki has been taken down, here's a temporary statement until I find my original Word file.

I'm a USC debate alum and have coached national circuit LD and policy at both La Reina High School and Polytechnic School in Southern California. Thus far, I've had kids in TOC policy finals and octos for Poly while we've had several nationally ranked kids at La Reina.

My basic philosophy in debate is to only intervene as minimally as possible. I do my best to keep an accurate flow and am happy to discuss rounds AFTER I upload my decision, so we don't make the tournament run late. That said, my background outside of speech and debate is in show business where you actually have to get things done. Thus, in a debate context, I want to know what it is that I'm voting for. If we're talking about solvency or some form of oppression, what does that mean in terms of dollars and lives.

Beyond that, I'm open to voting for whatever you run. The round belongs to you.

And politically, I'm a moderate/Bill Clinton Democrat.

Please include me on the email chain:

Salim Damerdji Paradigm

6 rounds

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Jon Denzler Paradigm

6 rounds

I have 10+ years of policy debate experience as a competitor, coach, and judge.  My own view of debate have changed as I started as a CP/Da debater and am now very appreicate of innovative affirmatives and negatives.  Without being too cheesy debate is about education and critical thinking meaning that the debate space is a safe space. I believe that the debate space is a space where change can occur, and think that debaters have an obligation to push the social justice agenda.  I don't define what this is, but allow you to work on your own engagement on the issues that matter to you.   

Having spent time in other formats as a coach and judge I tend to prefer "manner" more than other judges, not necessarily in the speech but how you present yourself in round.  This means that I'm not judging you on if you wore a tie or not, but rather how did you engage with your opposition. Presentation of an argument affects how I engage with it. 

AFF - I am open to "K affs" but may be a bit more skeptical at first with a case I have not heard yet.  Not saying don't run it but don't assume I am where you are on this topic.  On this I am more familair with class issues as opposed to race/gender  so be willing to give me a framework or treat me as you would a high school freshman on your team.

NEG - anything goes 

I am open to any arguments as long as they were well represented within the speeches, or are clear enough to make it onto the flow.  Other than that there is little to say, and I consider myself a "tabula rasa" judge, but if no other weighting criterion is offered by either team I defalt to a policy making framework. 

 Only other notes:

Ts must prove in round abuse.  Out of round is not enough of a voter.

Ks need to be explained outside the cards and in the own debaters voice.  I.e a surface level knowledge will not be enought to persaude me.  I dont do work for debaters and will decide based on the flow.

Speed - fine with speed, will yell "clear" if I can't understand.  Does not happen often but be warned. 





Fred Ditzian Paradigm

4 rounds

Stanford 2017 Update
A lot of people regard me as a speaker fairy however, over the years I have become a saltier person as I get older and less tolerant of current debate practices you will all see the speaker points I award will definitely reflect this fact and therefore if you are looking for a speaker fairy I am not your guy. If you have any problems with this . In all seriousness I have not judged that much this year so I am kind of rusty at flowing so please adapt if you want to win or get good speaks.

My judge philosophy is pretty simple I will vote on ANY argument so long as it is articulated well and is warranted. So long as that it is done there is no reason for me to just drop an argument I don't like.

Theory is just like any argument make sure to warrant it meaning an actual abuse story, warranting your interpretation, reasons why the standards are important, and why I vote on theory -why fairness, education, ect.. is important-

Kritikal Arugmentation
refer to the top

I will call up evidence if I need to

Warrant Threshold

So sometimes people run really poorly warranted arguments and sometimes people also run really bad no warranted arguments please don't do these things it makes me sad if forced to I will have to do argument comparison myself if two arguments contradict but that won't do well for your speakers points. Granted different arguments require different level of warrants so all of this is rather subjective when I refer to my threshold on warrant analysis how you ought to compare these claims if if you don't do this then I will have to intervene which is bad.

Skep Triggers

People seem running this argument incorrectly -in my opinion- as some form of a hidden a priori at the risk of sounding very punny I will just let you know that one does not simply trigger skep if you want me to vote on skep the reasons why a meta-ethic provided in case will lead to skepticism if proven false -or some similar form of argumentation- need to be articulated and compared against alternative frameworks still standing in the round.

Getting the 30 -update since Harvard 2012-

Since many talented debaters can end up being screwed speaker point inflation and I have found myself judging at tournaments where cake is easily accessible I am going to sadly put an end to my previous paradigm of giving the 30 for chocolate cake or coffee instead I will simply award speakers points based off of strategic thinking and decision making if I find that your strategic choices were perfect than I can see no reason to not give you perfect speaks.

Edit Yale on speaks

I kind of have this reputation of being a speaker fairy -someone who just gives out high speaks willy nilly- but that was 2011 and before Fred a much nicer guy who seriously did not pay much mind to speaker inflation and didn't seem to adjust his speaks to prospective tournaments. Well I am afraid that I -2012 Fred- f@#%ing killed that guy here is a funny video to help you through the loss ok that being said I am not a complete asshole I just don't give out 28-30s so please just debate well. Also I have been noticing that people tend to lie about their arguments in their last speech like as if I am not paying attention or something, this makes me want to dock your speaks now granted you might say "But 2012 Fred that seems kind of relevant and your perception of the round isn't perfect" I might say in return "If it was that blatant then you had it coming but I will let you explain yourself because well I don't like accusing people of things like that" either way I swear I am not a complete tool and generally don't give bad speaks unless the round was horrible if you ask me "Fred was I really that bad?" I will probably say "Oh hellz yeah" either way you can ask me. Now if you want specific ways to get good speaks from me I would suggest you pick good strategies and make good arguments and also I have noticed that when people make decisions easy for me and telling me specifically how to evaluate the round -and do this well obviously- I seem to give pretty good speaks just putting that out there. Also DON'T BE RUDE!!

I have noticed that other judges have included this and to be honest I thought they were pretty good to add to this

1. As most college students I am generally pretty tired please try and keep me awake

2. In the absence of any reason to prefer either debater -including presumption or permissibility- I will be forced to intervene for the most intuitive argument but I would rather not be forced to do this though

Edit since Yale 13'

Sometimes judges like myself don't understand arguments and ideally don't vote on them however I am sympathetic to how people want to try arguments that may take a little more explaining so if I don't understand an argument I will make it clear that I am in a state confusion by flipping over my ballot -since apparently I am not good at controlling my face- to give you the opportunity to go "oh shit Fred's confused I should take time explain an argument better". In fact if you need any sort of indication of anything or feedback just ask.


In order to get a 30 in front of me you must have swag END OF STORY. If you ask me what swag is then you clearly don't have swag and will never be able to understand the true meaning of swag so it would be pointless for me to explain it to you. Thus if you ask me, you will bring great shame upon your family.

edit from Harvard 13'
I am currently watching House of Cards but have only watched up to episode 3 if you begin talking about this show and mention anything past this episode that spoils it for me I will dock your speaks and then harm you physically think I am joking? Try me
edit from Emory 13'

Often times debate rounds are won or loss earlier than many debaters might think if I make it obvious that I have already made my decision please stop if you misjudged whether that actually happened I will make that also obvious also I don't worry I don't dock speaks for you failing to do this I just would like to spend less time judging is that so wrong?

MUY IMPORTANTE: I become an incredibly crappy judge -no seriously- when I am tired and you'll know I am tired because I will complain about it constantly if you want me to judge well I suggest you get me some caffiene to prevent me from being stupid -no seriously- or at least check if I have caffiene otherwise I am not going to make much sense. If you see me on the brink of falling asleep please yell at me and throw things at me do whatever it takes because I deserve it.
I can follow speed so long as you are speaking clearly -which I will let you know if you are not by yelling clear- however if I can't understand it I can't vote on it

Any specific questions can be asked before the round or you can email me at:

David Dosch Paradigm

5 rounds

I debated for four years at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, California. I qualified to the TOC my junior and senior years, attaining a career total of 8 bids. I am the Co-Director of the The Debate Intensive. I am a conflict for any competitors on this list:

Speed is fine. I don't care if you sit or stand, feel free to lay down if that’s how you're most comfortable. I come into the round with very few rigid preconceptions about what arguments should be read. Nearly all of the defaults outlined below can be changed by explicit arguments to the contrary. I will not blatantly intervene against any position (save for those which are morally repugnant).

As a competitor I ran primarily policy style arguments, so I feel very comfortable evaluating these types of debates. Robust evidence comparison is a tool that I feel is very underutilized. Identifying power-tagged evidence and pointing out intuitive logical gaps in an advantage can be just as effective as reading a hefty carded prep-out. I would say that I am fine with more conditionality than most judges. Feel free to read condo bad theory, just know that it’s a slight uphill battle.

The bulk of the K debate should not be centered around arbitrary assertions about the "role of the ballot." I absolutely loathe the state of K debate in contemporary LD. I will reward competitors who can make it through the round without using the phrase ROB or relying on the contrived pre/post-fiat metaphor, with extra speaker points. Rather than relying on Trifonas 03 as your ace in the hole, you should make arguments which actually explain why your criticism is a prior question to the hypothetical consequences of the 1AC. Many kritiks suffer from links which are overly generic and alternatives which are horribly convoluted. Remedy this by pulling specific lines from the Affirmative and by being able to provide an intelligible explanation of your alternative in CX. I'll vote on your silly K tricks (floating PIK, VTL > Extinction, Alt solves the case) just be prepared to defend them theoretically.

Performance/K Affs
I gave this topic a separate heading because it presents unique challenges that may raise more nuanced questions. I am fine with performances and non-topical positions; often they introduce very interesting discussions and literature bases into the round which might otherwise be over looked. I would prefer that your position be at least in the direction of the topic, but that’s no mandate. Please defend something tangible. By tangible I do not mean realistic (feel free to burn it down, just please do tell us what that means!), rather I ask that you defend a consistent position so your opponent can formulate a coherent strategy. I will vote on T. I think topical version of the Aff arguments are pretty close to being silver bullets, so be sure you are winning impact turns to topicality or some other offensive reason why the topical version of your position is bad.

I default to viewing theory as an issue of competing interpretations. To me this means that you need offense on theory to either beat it back, or, assuming you've justified it, gain access to an RVI. Offense on the theory flow can come in the form of turns to your opponent's standards or a counter interpretation with standards of its own. I do not believe that competing interpretations necessitates an explicit counter-interp. If you want to justify an alternate understanding of competing interpretations, go for it, just explain the effect it has on the theory debate. To me reasonability means that winning sufficient defense on your opponent's abuse story is enough to beat back theory. Again, if your understanding of reasonability differs from the above explanation, warrant it and impact it. I default to drop the debater and no RVIs. As mentioned above, you must have offense in order to access an RVI. I will not vote on the RVI + I meet double whammy or any similarly preposterous shenanigans.

I'll touch on the issue of "spikes" here because it fits more neatly under the theory heading than any other. I strongly dislike spike-heavy strategies that rely on deception and trickery to snag a few easy ballots. Please slow down for short spikes. Though not mandatory, it would be greatly appreciated if you numbered your spikes. If your 1AR is four minutes of extending 1AC blips, expect very poor speaks. I am extremely receptive to the argument that spikes needn't be answered until they are extended. I will not tolerate CX evasiveness about the implication of spikes. Answer your opponent's questions honestly or face the wrath of the loss 25.

Ethical Frameworks
I default to a paradigm of epistemic modesty where I assign offense credence to the extent that the framework it links back to is won. I do not view frameworks as being entirely preclusive impact filters. I find framework heavy strategies that concede the entirety of the opposing contention to be unpersuasive. I find framework heavy strategies to be more effective when coupled with case turns/case defense. If you are going to read a generic NC against a plan, please read a link specific to the plan just as you would for a DA or a Kritik.

Be comparative with warrants for your framework. Don't just insist that your framework justifications "come first", instead address the differences between your frameworks at the warrant level. I enjoy good framework clash and appreciate the strategic value of contesting framework.


My range is 25-30. An average performance will earn a 27. Good disclosure practices will earn you extra speaks (like a .5 boost or something).

Nathan DuPont Paradigm

6 rounds


Rosemary Endick Paradigm

6 rounds

Quick Summary - Run whatever you want, be clear. It's your round, take advantage of it! Flow judge, give me articulated arguments. Kritiks are appreciated, warrants are awesome and taglines are not enough. The squo is more scarier now than ever - tell me whatever I can do to make debate a welcome space for you.

Background -

NPDA Debate - 3 years - Enough tournaments and practice to be very familiar with pretty much anything you can throw at me in the debate space.

Judging for 3 1/2 years - judged parli, policy and LD a lot (and I.E.s but whateverrr)

Approach to Judging -

-I am pretty tabula rasa, within reason. I default to reasonability inmost debates unless there is framework that asks me to change my perspective.

-I like high-probability, systemic impacts first and foremost. Give me real warrants and evidence and ANALYSIS I can weigh and you'll find my ballot favorable. I will vote on any framing though.

-I am a flow judge. I always walk the path of least intervention and won't extend or make arguments for you. Give me voters to refer to and it'll make my life easier. I'm really serious about this.

-I love anything kritikal, but it isn't necessary. I like topical and non-topical affs, but be careful with ID tix and other super generic non-topical advocacies. I like straight-up policy cases with advantages and DA's and the like. I like contentions with good framework articulated. Essentially, you can do anything if you do it well and make it easy for me to follow.

-I need articulated impacts, and arguments in general. Taglines are not enough. Explain to me the directionality and extent of your impacts.

-I don't like arguments dropped in member speeches to be suddenly voters in rebuttals AKA shadow extensions but people need to point of order it for me to not evaluate it.

-Let me know if there's anything I can do to make the debate space more inclusive for you. If you have any needs or preferences, I'm happy to help.

Argument Prefs -

Framework - I will evaluate the round as you want me to as long as you win framework. I do default to net benes/util, but am totally open to other ways of viewing the round.

Spec -I think spec arguments are rough to win, but I'm open to them. Give me solid standards and proven ground loss and I might pick you up on it.

Topicality - I don't like time-suck T's, and I think that a lot of T arguments don't actually really impact the debate except to inhibit clash. I have a medium threshold for T. You need articulated ground loss usually. However, if you drop it, or any a-priori arguments, you're going to lose the debate. Just be careful.

CPs - Always a great idea. I think CP's are super underused and really effective. I like PIC debates and if you run a CP, you just need to be careful about mutual exclusivity. I don't have a problem with condo CPs.

RVI's - I will vote on them, but only for a good reason i.e. rhetoric in the procedural/DA/whatever, timesuck arguments that are fully fleshed out, etc. Just like all other arguments, if it's blippy I probably won't vote on it and your time is probably better spent elsewhere.

Perms - Always go for the perm. I think the Opp has to really win the perm doesn't function to have a good shot in the round because it is often one of the easiest places to vote.

Kritiks - I like K's! I don't have a ton of background knowledge on some kritiks but have run a lot of Nietzsche, some D&G, Baud, Wilderson, but not enough of any lit other than Nietzsche that I feel confident with, so you need to explain it to me thoroughly. Any form, whether it's performance, rhetoric or otherwise, I am totally cool with. Be careful of overly-generic links.

Performance Prefs -

-I personally can handle speed as long as it's clear, but if your opponents clear or slow you, I expect you accommodate them. Additionally, attempting to spread opponents out of the round will destroy your speaks.

-I couldn't care less if you sit or stand - it's your space, make yourself comfortable

-Partner communication is fine, verbally or through notes, as long as you aren't puppeting. I will only flow what the designated speaker says.

-I don't have an issue with sass or playfulness, but don't be mean to your opponents or partner. There's a fine-line between the two and if you have trouble walking it, I'd be nice to be safe.

-Use your time as you wish, but try not to be too repetitive.

-I don't think you need to yell or be overly angry to try to project confidence. At the same time, you do you.

-If you are being sexist, racist or generally a jerk, your speaks will absolutely reflect that. You don't need to tread on eggshells, but don't be a misogynist, racist person.

Mia Epner Paradigm

Not Submitted

Brooke Erickson Paradigm

6 rounds

Last updated 7-15-20

Policy Paradigm (LD at bottom)

Former co-head coach at Homestead High School in Mequon, Wisconsin

--Yes, I want to be on the email chain.

--Overall, I am not the brightest bulb in the tanning bed, and I vote for the team that quite literally makes the most sense to me. I am not afraid to take the easy way out if I am given warranted reasons why I should. The harder you make it for me, the more work you make me do, the less likely you are to get my ballot, and I think that makes sense and is fair.

--Your speaks will increase if you don't spend at ton of time at the beginning of cross ex asking what cards were and weren't read :) (I like flowing!)

--Maybe I am just old and grumpy but, do not wear your headphones in round, at any time, once the debate starts. Not in one ear only, not because "you'e just the 1N", not because you are the 2A and don't want to listen to the 1AC. I think it's rude, pompous, and just plain obnoxious. No debater in the world is too important to listen to a full debate. It is so disrespectful to the other team, the judge, and everyone who took time to be at that debate. Ugh. I hate it so much. Headphones on during a debate are an auto 27 or lower. That's all :)

Quick version

Generally good for:

--DA-case debates

--Cheater counterplan debates

--Politics/elections debates

Not as good for:

--K debates

--Any type of death good argument (I think death is bad, and we should try to avoid it)


--Any strategy that is largely based off of debate being inherently bad/irredeemable

Longer version


--I, for the most part, love this activity, and respect anyone who takes the time and effort to participate. This activity is rigorous, and good for you for even being here. I welcome questions before and after the round. I realize some people won't agree with my decision, and I welcome questions as to how I came to my conclusion. However, what I don't welcome, is blatant disrespect because you disagree with my decision. Slamming your things, muttering rude things under your breath, or screaming at me, won't make me email tab begging to change my ballot. In fact, it will make me really not like you.

--I flow on paper, so I need pen time. I understand and follow the debate better this way, but that also means I am not writing everything down verbatim, so if you have arguments you think are important, sit on them.

--I am very expressive. I have tried to have a better poker face, but I simply cannot do it. You should be able to tell if I am unhappy or not.

--Don't be racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. You will lose immediately and receive the lowest speaker points I am allowed to give u

--Prep ends when you’re done prepping and begin flashing/emailing (I can tell if you’re flashing/emailing or prepping, if I see you prepping off prep time, I’ll start your speech time)

--If you clip and it's recorded, you lose. It needs to be recorded.

--I will not evaluate things that happened outside of the debate.

Topic Thoughts

--In terms of criminal justice as it has been prepared in the context of the topic, I do not know much, I didn't work at a camp or anything and I am not coaching this year. But, I am currently a criminal prosecutor in Wisconsin, so I am fairly familiar with the criminal justice system. This does NOT mean:

--I won't listen to your defund, abolition, etc. arguments.

--I won't vote for your defund, abolition, etc. arguments.

--I will get upset over any criticism of cops, prosecutors, the system in general.

--I will go into the debate having any more predispositions than the loose ones listed below.

I think my career merely provides me help in understanding the lingo and process, but it in no way will effect how I will evaluate the debate. Generally, I do not think judge's careers are relevant when it comes to evaluating debates, but I felt the need to put this out here as reassurance that it will not change my plan and duty to objectively and fairly evaluate a debate.

K debate

--The role of the judge is to decide who did the best debating. The role of the ballot is to tell Tabroom who won.

--Fiat isn't real and that's fine.

--This is my area of less familiarity. Although I have fairly frequently found myself in the back of clash of civ debates, I am less familiar with critical arguments. IR K's such as cap, security, gender, etc. I do not have a problem understanding. I have a harder time understanding high theory, philosophy debates. Pleeease do not assume I have read your author. Do not let this dissuade you from reading your bread and butter K arguments in front of me, just know I need more explanation. I think in good debates this can even just be done in a cross ex.

--I need a reason why the aff is bad. I often find myself voting on the perm because I do not know why the aff is specifically bad for causes more bad things to happen. I am not saying this can't be done, it definitely can be done, and should be.

--I am not here to change how you debate, but it would be disingenuous for me to say my experiences in debate have not affected how I am used to and comfortable evaluating debates. That being said, I tend to think speech times are good, and an hour and a half of discussion is not as good. If we are going to throw speech times out the window, I need to know what the structure is for the remainder of the debate. I.e. when we are done, how I should evaluate arguments in this new format, etc. If there is no structure, I need to know why not having a structure for the debate is good. I do my very best to not intervene, and if the debate devolves into a discussion, the only time I will intervene is to say when time is up for the round. It would be GREAT if that was done for me by one of the teams. I try to talk in debate rounds *literally* as little as possible but I also do not want to make the tournament run behind.

--I have evaluated many framework debates, but I think I am about even voting for and against it. That being said, I think predictable limits are my point of most persuasion. But do what u do.

K affs

--I need to know what the aff does. I just do.

--I do not necessarily need you to defend hypothetical USfg action, but I really appreciate topic relevance.


Anything is legitimate until you prove to me that it’s not. If you drop these things, you lose*: Conditionality, ASPEC. Flow! Don't just follow the speech doc! Ask what reasons are to reject the team in cx!

*I think sometimes cross applications are sufficient. Or aff outweighs arguments for critical affs. It literally just depends how the debate shakes out, but I would just try to answer them explicitly the first time.

I think fairness can be an internal link or an impact depending on how you spin it. Tell me how you want me to view and evaluate fairness.


I have recently realized that I take a little more than the average person to vote on T. I default to competing interpretations unless told otherwise. T isn’t an RVI. Slow down on T debates plz.

For me to vote on topicality, I need: a topical version of the aff (doesn't need to solve the aff, it just needs to show an alternate, topical version of the discussion), a list of topical aff's under your interpretation, a list of what you were deprived of in the debate because of the aff's untopicality OR a reason why I should vote on potential abuse.


I’m a big fan. Counterplans should be competitive and have a solvency advocate, in my perfect world. But hey, I am becoming more and more okay with counterplans that do not have a solvency advocate for some reason.

The more specific, the better. Sufficiency arguments are persuasive to me. I need to know HOW the counterplan solves every portion of the aff, don’t just assert that it does. Process, conditions, delay, consult, advantage etc. I’m fine with; like I said, anything is legitimate unless proved otherwise. I really like smart pics/word pics.

My mantra has always been, if you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin'. Cheating counterplans can get the job done and if there is no theoretical objection to reject the argument, you may be in trouble. That being said, compelling reasons why that specific cheating counterplan is bad can sometimes convince me to reject the argument. Again, it's ~debatable~

*The only counterplan I think is silly and likely won't vote for is a PIC out of the ballot. Never got it, never will, likely will always think it's silly.

Aff: Solvency deficits need to be impacted. But WHY is the federal government key? Also, I would really like if permutations were more than just "Do both" at the end of the debate, but if the neg never presses you on what this means, I will likely give the aff a lot of leeway throughout the debate on what that means/how it functions. This is important--negative teams are deciding what the permutation is and how it functions for the aff and it is just destroying the aff. Tell me what your perm means and how it functions, if you let the neg do it for you I can bet it won't turn out well for you.

I am hearing a lot of "perm shields the link to the net benefit so it solves". WHY. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY. HOW. WHY AND HOW. I am begging you to give me some sort of permutation explanation.

That being said, “Protect the 2nr” is a persuasive phrase to me in situations that call for it. I will kick the counterplan for the negative, if it's conditional, unless I am given a reason not to by the aff.


A disadvantage has: uniqueness, a link, an internal link, and an impact. 2 card disads make me sad and I am immediately skeptical of them.

Disad-case debates are my favorite. What I was told as a novice still applies today: tell me the story of your disad. How does the link/internal link chain work to achieve the impact, etc. Disad overviews are important (cards in overviews are cool too); turns case arguments are basically necessary to my ballot. Tell me how your impact relates to the aff.


Engage the case! Do case debate!

LD Paradigm

I debated at two LD tournaments in high school: Nat quals and NFL (now NSDA?) nationals my junior year. I coached LD for 3 years before coming to Homestead. I have coached/judged very traditional, value-criterion LD debate, and I have also coached/judged progressive LD debate. I am truly fine with either. For more progressive LD debate, my policy paradigm applies. A couple caveats:

--T or theory is not an RVI. I realize the time skew in LD debate. T or theory is not an RVI. I will vote on theory, just not silly ones.

--Shorter speeches than in policy, so I think a bunch of short off-case positions are less preferable than less, more in-depth off-case positions. But do what u need to do.

--Tricks? nah

--Meta-theory? nah

--Cutting evidence from debate blogs? nah

--In-depth, educational debates about the topic? Yeah!!!

Have fun!! :)

Sean Fee Paradigm

6 rounds

Travis Fife Paradigm

4 rounds

I coach for Harvard Westlake in Los Angeles, judge very regularly, and have competed/coached a diversity of circuits in California and Texas. You should feel comfortable debating whatever style best suits you.

Hard and Fast Rules:

Flashing counts as prep if you are assembling the document. If everything is in one doc and you are just saving then that is not prep.

You must either flash or email your opponent your docs.

Evasiveness of any kind before round is highly frowned upon. My expectation is that debaters are honest with one another in all their dealings.

In general, I really enjoy judging debate. If you have a well thought out and interesting take on the topic/debate, I will be happy. If you use strategies that reflect a shallow understanding of the arguments you're running that avoid clash i will be less happy.

Toc 18:

Here are 8 things i'd like for you to know:

1.I keep a good flow. I will hold you to what you say. I do not mind justifying my decisions after the debate by reading back to you what i have on my flow.

2. I will read your evidence and compare it to your explanation in round. Putting powerful spin on your ev is good and highly encouraged. Falsely representing what your evidence says is not. Similarly, having good ev but explaining it poorly will also hurt you.

3. I like philosophical debates. I majored in philosophy. I read ethics, philosophy of mind, political theory in my free time. But i have found that i do not like "phil debaters" because debaters who identify as such seem much more inclined to try to obscure clash and rely on spikes/tricks. If you debate philosophy straight up and have read primary source material to enhance your explanations, I might be the best judge for you. If you intend to read a million analytics and use trickery, i would be a terrible judge for you.

4. On K's, I start from the perspective of "why are the aff and alt different?" This means i focus my decision on 1. links application to the aff and how they turn case or gut aff solvency. 2. does the alt solve the k or the case?

i tend to think the AFF gets to "weigh" the case in the sense that the plan is some what relevant. I think framework arguments best indict how i evaluate the plan and impact calc more broadly. I think the aff commonly drops a lot of 1NC f/w arguments, but negs rarely capitalize on these drops in persuasive ways.

5. I research the topic a lot. I like debates about the topic grounded in a robust academic/theoretical/philosophical/critical perspective.

6. I think debate is both a game and contains an important educational aspect. I do not lean either way of "must defend the topic" but i tend to believe the topic has a role to be played in the community and shouldn't be totally ignored. How that belief plays out in a given round is much more hard to say. I think my record is about 50/50 on non-T AFF's vs topicality.

7. I like CX. You can't use it as prep.

8. I don't think i've voted in an RVI in like over 2 years. I would consider myself a hard press.

Akhil Gandra Paradigm

3 rounds

I'll listen to anything but am generally not a great judge. Especially bad with philosophy and kritiks. 

Good luck and don't be late for rounds. 

Jaymee Go Paradigm

3 rounds

My debate background is in policy, but at this point, I have experience judging PF and LD as well. Feel free to to do whatever you want and make any arguments you can clearly explain and effectively justify. I am open to anything and enjoy thoughtful and creative approaches to debate as long as you are not being rude or offensive. If you're being a jerk, I will dock speaks.

If I am judging your round, make sure you do the following:

-Keep track of time: I will not be timing any of your speeches or prep, so time yourselves and your opponents-I'd prefer avoiding situations where no one knows how much prep time is left or how long a person has been speaking. Also, please respect when the timer goes off-If your time runs out during prep, I expect you to begin your speech promptly, and begin any of your remaining speeches right away. If your time runs out during your speech, please stop speaking.

-Share evidence quickly: I won't count getting your speech doc over to your opponent as prep time, but please be prepared to do so immediately once you end prep (the document should already be saved at this point). I'm pretty understanding with technical difficulties you may encounter, but you should be able to resolve these quickly and I will get annoyed if you take too long to share evidence. Please include me on any evidence email chains as well.

-Assume I don't know about the resolution: This is super important because I am not consistently judging the same type of debate throughout the year and I have very likely not done any research on the topic. If I'm judging you in PF or LD, be aware that it's the first round at a tournament on a new topic, it's possible that l think it's still the previous topic. This means that you should be as thorough as possible in explaining things and if you're going to be using acronyms to refer to agencies, departments, organizations, laws, policies, etc. in your speeches, you should tell me what it is at least once. If it's unclear, I either won't know what you are talking about, or have to spend time during your speeches to google it.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask me before your round. No need to shake my hand.

Mylan Gray Paradigm

6 rounds

I have a higher threshold for T and independent voters, if you go for it, you can win it, I won't pull the trigger as easy as I would on a solvency card. It is more interventionist than not for me.

I debated one year at Stanford, and have debated policy and LD since high school on both the national circuit and local level. I’m Black and if that makes you reluctant to pref me, check yourself. Run whatever you want, however you want to run it. My job is to fairly facilitate the round that will allow both debaters to do their best. My ear might be a little untrained for unclear or incredibly fast spreading (i.e. varsity college spread level), but otherwise I should be good. I will let you know if it’s too fast. Just noticeably slow down on tags. Slow down on authors. Emphasize key warrants. If you speed through key analytical args, all of them aren't likely to make the flow.

I love K’s, BUT do not run them because I like them. Run your own game in your own lane. Avoid being problematic about theorizing what is best for marginalized communities if you are not from them. Your speaks can get docked for explicitly discriminatory and offensive positions. I'm not as much of a fan of T, but I do enjoy it if it is creative and well flushed out. I'm down for a good theory debate too. Again, if it is flushed out. Nothing is beyond me voting on if it is well warranted and impacted out. I will not vote on a floating PIC, UNLESS you spend time on it. A one line argument at the end of your speech will not give you the ballot. Don't berate me about it in the RFD. YOU GOTTA PUT WERK IN FOR THE BALLOT. I will note it though and give some weight.
Weigh everything, tell me how I should evaluate the round. I don’t have a default framework. However, if you give me none, I will simply evaluate both sides equally on each contesting level. I know I’ve said I love a lot of stuff, but I REALLY love performance args. That being said, if it is terrible, it is terrible and I will pull the trigger on T if they won it. I also like PETTINESS and HUMOR. I’m human. I like to see people put in work. If you don’t make it a boring round, you’ll see some speaker points. (*DJ Khaled voice*) I promise you. Keep me awake and entertained with substantive arguments and I will keep you happy with them awards.

All this being said, I am here to help you have the debate you want to have. Do you.

Gavin Greene Paradigm

Not Submitted

Michael Harris Paradigm

6 rounds


GEORGETOWN UPDATES: I'm having difficulty following along with some of these online debates due to audio quality. Please, please follow these recommendations: (a) slow down on tags and pause between tag and card body (b) anything you're reading off a doc, whether analytics or cards, please include in the email chain (c) if you're extempting something in the middle of reading from a doc or changing the order of what you're reading, please say so during the speech. If you follow those guidelines, I should be good.

I did circuit LD for four years in high school and npda parli for four in college. I’ve been coaching pretty actively ever since 2013. I am currently the debate coach at Lynbrook in San Jose, where we do LD, PF, Parli, and Policy. I rotate between judging different events.

I’m not a fan of debaters reading cards for their entire speech with no analysis of their own. I think that’s very unstrategic – you are inviting judge intervention by not explaining to me at your earliest opportunity why your evidence is better than your opponent’s (This criticism mostly applies to LD in which there are fewer speeches).

I try not to think too hard about whether the claims advanced by both sides are actually true ‘in the real world.’ This is to avoid 'judge intervention' and because it's hard for a claim made in the condensed period of time in which a debate happens to fully mirror a state of affairs in the real world. Instead I tend to see debate as a logic game (based on the arguments being won, which other incompatible arguments get excluded from my flow?) This is simply my default way of looking at debate and you could explain to me in the round why this is a bad or flawed way of interpreting it.

I default that the aff should defend the topic unless they win a proactive reason that they don't have to.

I think good line by line in the debate is essential for me to fairly evaluate it. Don’t drop arguments. I understand that this is very hard to do a lot of the time. If you can’t respond to each individual argument due to time constraints, you should group arguments or at least weigh.

I'm fine with most styles of debate. In LD, my favorite rounds to watch are 'phil' rounds (rounds about the ethical framework, or the value criterion). I'm also fine with K, policy, and theory, however --

-if you’re reading a K, you should still engage the line by line in rebuttals

-in policy debates, I might get confused if there's too much evidence and not enough layering/overview/explanation

-if the abuse in your theory shell is tiny, please explain to me why that's still sufficient to vote for you (hardly anyone does this)

DISCLAIMER: There are a lot of really unclear and blippy debaters out there. In instances where I miss an argument or don't understand the basic claim being made due to unfamiliarity with terminology/the literature, I do not stress out about it -- I simply do not consider the argument in question. (How could I consider it if I wasn't sure what was being said?) The burden is on you as the presenter to make sure I'm keeping up.

Mark A. Hernandez Sr. Paradigm

6 rounds


Y'all know me, still the same O.G. but I been low-key

Hated on by most these niggas with no cheese, no deals and no G's

No wheels and no keys, no boats, no snowmobiles, and no skis

Mad at me cause I can finally afford to provide my family with groceries

Got a crib with a studio and it's all full of tracks to add to the wall

Full of plaques, hanging up in the office in back of my house like trophies

Did y'all think I'mma let my dough freeze, ho please

You better bow down on both knees, who you think taught you to smoke trees

Who you think brought you the oldies

Eazy-E's, Ice Cubes, and D.O.C's

The Snoop D-O-double-G's

And the group that said motherfuck the police

Gave you a tape full of dope beats

To bump when you stroll through in your hood

And when your album sales wasn't doing too good

Who's the Doctor they told you to go see

Y'all better listen up closely, all you niggas that said that I turned pop

Or The Firm flopped, y'all are the reason that Dre ain't been getting no sleep

So fuck y'all, all of y'all, if y'all don't like me, blow me

Y'all are gonna keep fucking around with me and turn me back to the old me

Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say

But nothing comes out when they move their lips

Just a bunch of gibberish

And motherfuckers act like they forgot about Dre

Line by line:

Retired from the debate wold but I love the activity and come back to judge from time to time. I also still privately coach a few select debaters to keep a foot in the water. Experienced former debater. Previous coach for CK McClatchy, Rosemont, and Davis Senior. I am the former long time Executive Director and founder of the Sacramento Urban Debate League (SUDL). I've judge a ton of rounds on all levels of policy debate and feel in-depth and informative verbal RFD's are key to debate education.

I will adapt to you rather than you to me. It's not my place as a judge to exclude or marginalize any sort of argument or framework. On the neg, I will vote for K/K + case, T, CP + DA, DA + case, FW/FW + case, performance, theory.... whatever. I personally prefer hearing a good K or theory debate, not that I'm more inclined to vote on those genres of argumentation. I am down for the K, performance, or topical aff. Anything goes with me.

I'm big on organization. Hit the line by line hard. Don't just give me 3 min overviews or read a bunch of cards off the line, then expect me to conveniently find the best place on the flow for you. Do the work for me. I flow on paper OG style, so don't drop arguments. I don't flow off speech docs (neither should you), but put me on the email chain so I can read cards along with you and refer back to them. I can handle any level of speed, but please be clear and loud if possible.

I will work hard to make the debate accessible and a safe place for you and your arguments. If you have access needs during a debate, wish to inform me of your preferred gender pronoun, or if there is anything you wish to communicate privately, please let me know or send me an email.

My judging philosophy is very short for a reason. Its your debate, not mine. Do you. Just stay organized and tell me where and why to vote. Write my ballot in your 2NR/2AR.

Kaelyn Holguin Paradigm

4 rounds

My name is Kaelyn and I did LD for 3 years in high school and have been judging and coaching for past 7 years. 


I will look at the round based first by the framework (value and criterion) that is set by the affirmative. The affirmative should be using this value and criterion as a way to prove that the resolution is true and support this with evidence. The negative must then either provide a counter framework to prove why the resolution is not true, or prove why the resolution is not true under the affirmative's framework. If the affirmative cannot prove the resolution to be true or the negative provides more persuasive evidence against the resolution then I will negate. I am open to other ways to weigh the round if both debaters agree on this during the round.


Other aspects to keep in mind:


I am basically going to be deciding who wins the round by looking at the key framework in the round (whichever is established as the most supported framework in the round) and looking at my flow to see which side has the most arguments on the flow that support that framework. 


I am in general looking to see the big picture at the end of the debate, I do not want to decide the round based on details of definitions or small semantics. I prefer have bigger impacts linked back to the framework. 

Delivery: I am fine with speed but like tags and important information to be read slower. I will say clear if I can't understand the speed. 


I do understand progressive debate arguments like topicality, theory, DAs, Ks.

I am open to vote for them if I feel it is warranted within the round. I do not like to see progressive arguments for no reason or to just be confusing. If it is going to be run I want it to be well explained and it is your job to tell me how this is going to function in the round and why I should vote for it. Similar to avoiding nitpicky issues, I expect to see a justification for theory to be run.


Overall, I am looking for clarity, politeness, and a debater to show me exactly how they win the round.

Katie Hughes Paradigm

5 rounds

Hey my name is Kat and I debated for IHHS for 4 years till my graduation in 2014.

I qualified to both NSDA nationals and the ToC, so I'm comfortable with speed or lack thereof.

I was mostly a traditional util debater and was not terribly fond of Ks, but will obviously listen to anything except flat ontology.

Kesha references in your speeches yield higher speaks, as does overall polite behavior and smart, clever strategy.

Theory, T, Plans, are all good. I've been out of the community for a year or so, so I'm not super aware of current trends - just something to be aware of.

I also competed often and to varying success in congress, extemp, and other I.E.'s and have judged pretty much every event in existence at this point.

Anne-Marie Hwang Paradigm

6 rounds

The Hockaday School '15 / Stanford University '19

I debated on both the national and local circuit.


Be as fast as you want, but please be clear. If you are not clear and I say "clear" 5+ times, you're getting 25 speaks. If you're being blatantly rude to your opponent, you're getting 25 speaks, and I have a decently low bar for rudeness.

Make the round pleasant for everyone, and you will get 28+ speaks.


Love it -- the weirder the better. Just don't try and use framework to confuse your opponent. I default util.


Love creative theory shells. Slow down for the interpretation/counter-interpretation and violation(s).


Please remember to weigh.


A relevant K can be very impressive, but please make sure you can explain it.


They're great if they're nicely fleshed out. If you win off of a 2-second blip, I will dock your speaks. If you're blippy, I will give your opponent more leeway to respond (I will be receptive to the classic "if you didn't get it on your flow, cross it off").

Richard Idriss Paradigm

5 rounds

If you are time-pressed, reading the bold will give you a general idea of my judging philosophy, and reading the unbolded text around what is bolded should give you the full picture. **For Alta** Please scroll below to the Policy section and find the post-Meadows update.

Conflicts: Juan Diego CHS, El Cerrito, The Davidson Academy of Nevada, Cal Berkeley, Southwestern College

I debated for four years in high school for Juan Diego in Utah (2008-2012) - two years in LD and two in Policy, and for a year and a half in college Policy for Cal Berkeley (2012, 2014). In my time in HS I qualified for the TOC, advanced to late outrounds at various majors, attended the greenhill round robin, and earned top speaker at the Cal tournament. As a college debater I took second at the Cal college tournament and was a quarterfinalist at the UK freshman breakout.

I'm currently a high school Policy Debate coach for The Davidson Academy of Reno, Nevada, and a college Policy Debate coach for Southwestern College. I also do work online teaching speech and debate to students in China with Global Academic Commons.

I have a background studying a fair amount of different strands of academic literature that debaters would probably label as "K arguments." My major in college was Ethnic Studies (or as my mom always called it, "pre-unemployment") so interdisciplinary epistemological criticisms make me smile. Don't take this to mean your speeches can be intensely jargon heavy and inaccessible - debate is a communicative activity not an academic conference where participants present research papers. ** Extra speaker points if you are so well versed in whatever theory you are arguing that it comes across in your speeches and cross-x answers, and you seek to inform rather than obfuscate with your responses (this means for you security/threat construction/cap/[insert other structural logic] folks, start coming up with examples of failed foreign policies whose justifications rely on whatever logic you are critiquing - know some history). **

Some thoughts POST-BERKELEY 2019: I am tired of seeing students no-show to tournaments just because they can't clear. If you are already out of the tournament (0-3 or worse) when I am judging you, I will be increasingly generous with speaker points the further down the bracket you all are (barring hateful speech or lack of effort of course). I think you deserve recognition for showing up in spite of not being able to clear, which is an act of respect for both the tournaments you attend, as well as your opponents.

Long story short:

Debate is debate - my position as a judge isn't to tell debaters what arguments they can and can't make, but to decide, given the arguments presented to me by the debaters in-round, who has done the better debating. This means I look to write reasons for decision that have the least amount of intervention on my part to interpret arguments as possible so be sure to warrant and impact your extensions.

If there is some blatantly obvious gut-check, round over concession (i.e. negative block never answers conditionality bad and they actually read an advocacy that is conditional, someone concedes a T shell - like imagine you're debating a novice or someone fresh out of JV and they drop something absolutely crucial) please err toward using less of your speech time. I watched an elim-level varsity team at Stanford crush a pretty new JV team and there was actually no reason for the aff team to use anything beyond a minute of prep throughout the debate - nearly every flow was conceded. Yet the 2AR took the remaining 9:45 of prep the aff team had left..... I will reward your speaker points if you choose not to use all of your prep or speech time in instances like this.

A note on in-round language Ks like ableism, "you guys", etc.: I think apologizing can be a legitimate answer to a lot of these arguments but it needs to not be coupled with an immediate defense of the language used. If you choose to make a meaningful apology it should probably be done conversationally, not at full speed, because it should pose a material consequence on your speech if you don't think it should cost you the ballot. Otherwise, debate it. Sometimes engaging with problematic discourse is good - look at movements to reclaim the word queer by LGBTQ communities, or the history of the N word's modification and use by black Americans. All I'm asking is that you pick a lane and stick with it.

Short story long:

While I may have some proclivities about how arguments should be read, which I will try to be as earnest about as possible below, I as much as possible judge based solely off of what arguments have been made by the debaters themselves. I think it is possible to have a debate in-round about whether that's all I should base my decision on - if you want to make an epistemology argument justify it and be responsive.

I will flow the debate line-by-line unless arguments are made for me to do otherwise, or a request made before a more performative speech. This means if I'm listening to a performance aff and haven't been told not to flow line-by-line, I will write down what I think are the implied arguments of different parts of your speech.

Good debaters make arguments, great debaters explain why those arguments matter. This means an absolute shit spread of arguments isn't always the best way to go. Consolidate your arguments as the debate moves on and try your best to "write my ballot for me" with your overviews of arguments in the debate. The less explanation there is on a given issue in a round, the more it feels like I'm forced to intervene in order to make my decision.

Don't ask me to disclose speaker points.

An aside on post-rounding: Don't. Barring a hard-line tournament policy preventing me from doing so, I will withhold submitting the ballot until after I've announced my decision and given a brief RFD. Beyond the bad optics of unsporting conduct, I am diagnosed with general anxiety disorder as well as PTSD and will, in this instance, use speaker points as a deterrent to debaters or coaches aggravating my mental health condition. Feel free to ask questions, just act like you're speaking to another human being and not berating a computer with a software glitch. The next debater that doesn't heed this warning will get a 25. The next coach who doesn't heed this warning will cause their students in the debate round to receive a maximum of 25 speaker points, possibly less depending on how much of the round the coach actually watched. I won't tell you this is happening either, you can figure it out on your cume sheet. I will simply pack up my things and then leave, offering to provide the other team feedback in a safer area. Take your attitude to Peewee Football where it belongs.

If you've gotten this far into reading my philosophy I want to reward your attempts to understand and adapt to your critics. Tell me that my cat Moe is the most adorable cat this side of the galaxy and I'll give you .4 extra speaker points the first time I judge you.


Folks, when I debated I read big-stick policy affs with heg and econ impacts, soft-left critical affs, personal narratives, bizarre postmodern kritiks, process cps w/ politics, word PICs, functional PICs, and probably some other nonsense too. I have a tremendous amount of respect for debaters who can be flexible, particularly as the activity has seemed to become more polarized. Read whatever arguments you want to read. Just be clear and impact them back to the debate.

Ok, there is one thing - terrorism impacts. Not only are most of these authors anti-Arab and/or Islamophobic racists, or just xenophobes period, but I just personally have always found these arguments comically bad. You can read these still if you really want and truly have nothing else, or you think you have a persuasive scenario, but if I have to actually vote for it as an impact scenario it's probably going to be a low point win. In seven years of judging I've not once voted on a terrorism impact in any debate event, but I have had to dock speaker points for the hateful garbage that comes out of some people's mouths while defending them.

Yeah, and framework. If you are aff answering a K, I'm probably going to be unpersuaded by the argument that Ks are cheating. I do think it is reasonable for the aff to argue that they get to weigh their 1AC (expect negative push back with sequencing arguments of course). If you are neg vs. a K aff there's definitely a spectrum of what 1ACs framework is a more persuasive argument to me on. Affs should probably still have to relate to the topic - what "relating to the topic" means is something up for debate if the question is raised. 1ACs should have some sort of advocacy statement, whether it needs to be a USfg backed plan or something broader is up for debate... Beyond those two qualifiers, everything is fair game.


I'm becoming increasingly irritated by the butchered articulations of Afropessimism positions (mainly)
by white debaters. I'm going to start tanking the speaker points of debaters who read arguments like Afropessimism or settler colonialism alongside ideologically inconsistent negative strategies. Defenses of conditionality do not absolve debaters of the inconsistencies between the worldviews that they forward within debate rounds. I voted down a fairly talented team at Meadows who never grappled with how their reading of a contradicting no root cause argument on-case was spun as proof that the negative's endorsement of Wilderson's ideology was only as a fungible means to an end of winning debate rounds, turning alt solvency. If a central component of your argument is that black bodies are rendered fungible for the benefit of others within civil society what the hell does it say that you'd read this argument alongside framework (which I've seen done repeatedly) or alongside case arguments which assert the logic of otherization lacks a root cause? If you are debating a team who makes a sweeping ontological or epistemic critique like one of these alongside milquetoast policy positions or other contradictory arguments please call it out. Not only will you likely have a very easy decision in your favor but I will reward your speaker points heavily. A CAVEAT: I think these arguments are less strong when applied to critiques like the Security K which don't call for an entire rewriting of the foundations of society and can be spun as a test of the affirmative's worldview for political decisionmaking. Basically, if your criticism would call for a fundamental restructuring of human relations or total opposition to engagement through any status quo mechanism, be it institutional or interpersonal, you ought to commit to your worldview because to do otherwise likely reifies your arguments about the way movements aren't addressed within status quo politics and are footnoted, ignored, or perverted for the benefit of the ruling class.

"T isn't genocide" is both a strawman and incomplete argument. When I hear those words in a debate round my mental image is of the speaker plugging their ears and screaming "LA LA LA LA." Further, a critique of T is not an RVI, and your generic "T is not an RVI" block is more than likely to be insufficient to answer an actual criticism of topicality. If debate is a game does that change the scope or context of any silencing/exclusion that may occur? Do games function without limits? Maybe think about these questions when formulating your response.

I want to be a part of the email chain for the round, ask me for my email before the debate.

Do not remove card taglines or plan/counterplan texts from your speech documents.

I do not open speech documents during the debate. My flow will be based entirely off of what I can understand being said/argued by both teams during their speech time (no 30 second grace period shit, my pen/typing stops when the timer goes off).

I may look at a few cards after the round is over, especially if the evidence in question is heavily contested or cited by one or both teams. In general, the more cards I need to personally read to decide the debate, the more I feel like I'm being forced to intervene.

Don't steal prep time holy hell people. Time used to delete analytics from your speech document is prep time. If an attempt to send the file out within 10 seconds of the words "stop prep" being said is not clearly made, the speaking team's prep time restarts. Take your hands off of your keyboards during dead time before speeches, unless you are pulling up the current speech document. Anything else is prep. Obviously I can't track the milliseconds of your prep time, so I'll dock your speaker points instead if it becomes a consistent issue.

If you speed through your theory blocks, T argument, or an important overview like a card I'm gonna absorb less of it. I'll still be able to write down your arguments, but (particularly for theory, T, and FW debates) I might miss a quick analytic, organize it differently from what you intended, or just think about it less. I'm gonna emphasize this further - your judges do not hear every word you say, stop taking for granted that you have your blocks prewritten in front of you and SLOW DOWN (especially if you're the type of debater to take your analytic blocks out of your speech doc - be willing to accept the negative externalities that result).

"Judge kick" with advocacies: The negative is obligated to tell me if I should view the status quo as a secondary option going into the 2NR/2AR. Any interpretation of this issue, absent debaters explicitly clarifying it themselves in-round, requires an amount of judge intervention to resolve. In those instances, I conclude that the path of least intervention is to assume that the negative is solely defending the world they've explicitly presented to me in the final speech.


Don't waste time over-explaining your value if the debate isn't going to come down to it. Often times the value-criterion is where the real debate for how I should evaluate arguments in the round occurs.

The "number of contentions won" (actual phrase uttered by a debater I judged) is irrelevant in my decision calculus. I need to know why the arguments won matter underneath one, or both, frameworks presented in the round.

Don't run shitty theory arguments, run ones you have a legitimate chance of winning. I think the time skew for the 1AR in LD has always been particularly egregious, and too many debaters rely on extraneous theory violations tripping up the 1AR to win their rounds. I don't want to vote for these arguments. I will if you convincingly win them, but your speaker points will likely not be that high.

"Plans aren't allowed in LD debate" is not a complete argument. It is an interpretation for a theoretical violation which I expect debaters to justify with arguments for why that's a better world of LD debate.

Also, criterion shouldn't essentially be a plan or idea on how to attain your value. I'm not sure when this idea became common among more local debaters, but your criterion is supposed to be an evaluative lens for me to judge the arguments presented to me in the round and their impact.

Sierra Inglet Paradigm

6 rounds

this is the first tournament i've judged in 2 years

i was a K debater in policy and LD and ran nontopical affs all the time so if you've got something "weird" you wanna run i'd love to see it

currently expecting to just hear about nuke war nonstop for two days so i'd love for that to not happen

Jordan Innerarity Paradigm

4 rounds

For my general paradigm, I consider myself tab. There are no arguments I do and don’t like. I will judge the arguments presented in the round and I don’t want to impose my own beliefs or arguments into the round. You have to tell my why the arguments made in the round matter. If you fail to give me a way in which to evaluate the round, I will default to a policy maker. Being a policy maker, I am looking for the negative team to run disadvantages, counter plans, kritiks, and anything else. As a policy maker, I am looking for you to terminalize your impacts. Why specifically is nuclear war bad? Does it kill millions of people? Just saying dehumanization or nuclear war is bad isn’t an impact. I will gladly listen to counter plans, theory arguments and Kritiks. My only advice on the k is to tell me what the role of the ballot is. Why is my ballot key to your alt?


I will vote on T when there is proven abuse. I need to see in-round abuse for me to pull the trigger. I think T is a legitimate tool for a negative team, but I strongly urge the team that goes all in for T to make sure they can prove in-round abuse. If the aff is just failing to make arguments on the T, I will vote for it, but my preference is for in-round abuse to be occurring.

I am not a fan of LD 1AC spikes. I honestly don't think that the Aff gets to remove ground from the negative. I don't think these arguments are legitimate. Let the neg make claims and then argue against them. I will tell you now, that I WILL NOT vote on them. I see them as a waste of time for you to run and they are highly abusive. I also rarely vote on RVIs. If you plan on trying to run spikes in the 1AC, I am not the judge for you. I will give the Neg a lot of access to simple arguments to knock down your spikes.


I think it is important that you are an ethical and nice person in the debate. It is ok for the round to get heated, but I don't see the need to be rude to your opponent. This will result in a hit to your speaker points.

I don't have a problem with speed, but make sure that you are clearly telling me your tags. Slow down on the tag if you can. Be clear in your transitions. I like next or and to let me know you are moving from the end of a card to another tagline. The same thing applies to your plan text or alt. Slow down for the plan text/alt or repeat it for me.

Rory Jacobson Paradigm

6 rounds

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Arman Jaffer Paradigm

2017 Parli Update: lol I did Parli at Cal. Policy, K's, performances, speed, etc it's all good.



I debated circuit LD for Mountain View High School, graduating in 2013. I am conflicted with Mountain View and Los Altos High School.

The following is a pretty concise, hastily put-together version of my paradigm, so if you have any questions at all, I encourage you to ask me questions prior to your round.

First and foremost, please debate how you are comfortable debating. A good debate is a good debate, whether it’s theory, larp or on the standards level. I do not aim to impose my debate views on you.

Speed is fine, but I was never the best flower, so PLEASE slow down on tag lines and card names. Reading tags at conversational speed will make me love you. I will yell “clear” or “slow” if needed.

I default to truth-testing, but will evaluate the debate with what ever paradigm is won. I don’t mind a deviation from the value criteria model of evaluating arguments, but I need some sort of link to the ballot (whether it be an a priori, K, theory or something else.)

For theory, I default to competing interpretations. If you run reasonability, please give me a threshold on what is reasonable. I will vote on frivolous theory and understand its strategic value, but if you can win without it, I'd prefer if you did so.

In general, I am open to most kinds of arguments, so long as they have a claim, warrant and impact. I debated the standards a lot in high school, so if you want to run metaethics/epistemology/ontology/etc arguments, I'm probably a good judge for that.

I try to gage speaker points on how much each debater contributed to creating a debate that I actually want to watch. If I'm cringing because you don't understand your case or are making key drops, you probably won't get high speaks. Taking risks and making clever responses will get you high speaker points. Also being nice kind of works too.

Akhil Jalan Paradigm

3 rounds


PV Peninsula Lincoln Douglas 2011-2015

Conflicts: PV Peninsula HS

Assistant Coach (2015-16 Season): PV Peninsula
Private Coach (2015-16 Season): Felix Tan
Instructor at VBI, 2015
Instructor at LADI, 2016

I debated LD for 4 years at PV Peninsula High School, qualifying to the TOC my sophomore, junior, and senior years.

I rarely judge these days (maybe 2-3 times a year) and am no longer actively involved in coaching or research. Don't assume I know what the common acronyms or jargon mean for the topic.

In general, read well-warranted and researched arguments, don't cheat, don't go for frivolous theory, and you should be fine. I am too lazy to check if a person has disclosed, but I will still enforce my rule of not giving above a 27 in speaker points if you point out that your opponent failed to do so.

In a sort of “big picture” manner, this is a set of defaults that I will have – if you make arguments to the contrary, then I’ll use those defaults instead.

1 – Epistemic modesty: arguments are assigned lower or higher credence values, not “won.” Instead of deciding which arguments “come first,” I’ll use your weighing arguments to assign greater or lesser credence to each source of offense. Ethical frameworks and role of the ballot arguments are also weighing.

2 – I have a strong conviction that debate is a comparison of two advocacies of some sort. This can be a plan and counterplan, two philosophical principles, two speech acts, or a theory interpretation and counter-interpretation, but for me to understand how arguments function I need to have an understanding of what both debaters defend. It seems logically impossible to evaluate a debate in which there is no comparison of something. This is rarely an issue, but it most often comes up in exceptionally strange K debates in which a debater might play music for the entire 1AC or something.

3 – The job of the aff is to prove the resolution or a subset of the resolution (a plan) to be good, and the neg’s job is to prove another policy option (or status quo) to be better. If it's topical for the affirmative to defend the status quo, I think the neg would have to offer a counterplan that's inherent, although I haven't thought about this much and am puzzled about how it might play out.

4 – Theory/T precludes substance (including the K) since it sets the rules for a fair/educational debate and a skewed round can’t be accurately evaluated.

5 – Offense does not have to link to a comprehensive normative framework to matter, but such arguments can be used to weigh impacts. If neither debater offers me an ethical framework, I’ll default to util.

Speaker Points
26 - You're a relatively bad novice.
27 - You're a relatively good novice/bad Varsity debater. You will definitely not clear.
28 - You will probably clear and get to early out-rounds.
29 - You'll definitely clear, and get to late out-rounds.
29.5 - You are the best debater of the year and will probably win the tournament.
30 - You are the best debater of all time and will probably win TOC this year.

Disclosure Rule: If you have not been disclosing for at least the duration of the tournament, your speaks will be evaluated normally but will be capped at a 27. I reserve the right to go lower. If you don't want your speaks to get tanked, please show me your disclosure page before/after the round to avoid the chance that I can't find it.

Andrew Jenkins Paradigm

6 rounds


I did 4 years of high school policy, one year of CEDA, and 3 years of parliamentary debate at CSU Long Beach. I also coached policy and parliamentary debate at a high school program in Orange County. 

Framing the debate

The way that I evaluate the debate round is entirely contingent upon the framework that is established by the teams in the debate. Walking into the round, I think it’s fair to assume that the affirmative is going to advocate some kind of simulated policy option and the negative is going to either defend the status quo or read a competitive policy option. However, I’m open to any alternative epistemological, ontological, or deontological framework that provides a different lens for evaluating the debate round.


Unless told otherwise, I will evaluate procedural and theoretical arguments through a lens of competing interpretations. However, the impact debate in topicality rounds is really important to me. It’s not sufficient to just extend an interpretation and mutter the words, “fairness and education.” Some discussion of what specific ground you lost and why that ground is particularly important would be useful in winning my ballot. This doesn’t mean reading entire arguments that prove the abuse; but rather, reference them and explain where the abuse could have happened. In terms of theory, I’m usually compelled to reject the argument and not the team. So if you want me to reject the team for reading a severance permutation, as opposed to just rejecting the perm, you need to make sophisticated impact arguments.


I think kritiks are perfectly legitimate arguments that question the representations of the affirmative. This doesn’t mean I’m opposed to framework arguments that exclude the evaluation of the alternative. I just think you need other options and a damn good theoretical justification for wholesale rejecting their argument. Furthermore, I think substantive claims about which impacts should be prioritized are much more persuasive than blipped out theory arguments. Also, if you plan to go for a permutation in the 2AR, you should probably be extending specific net-benefits to the perm.


Although I read the Kritik for pretty much the entirety of my own debate career, I love a good CP/DA debate. I’ll be honest; I would prefer a case specific CP or PIC to a generic Executive Order CP any day. But read what you want and I’ll vote for you if you win the argument.

Speaker Points

My scale for speaker points is 26-30. If you get below a 26, it’s probably because you were an ass-hole. I think that speaker points should be about a lot more than just aesthetics and eloquence. I like to reward good arguments and innovative strategies with speaker points.

I will not accept the use of any hateful (sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.) discourse in the debate round, and if the other team fails to give me a reason to vote against you because of it, I will gladly take it out on your speaker points.

In conclusion, debate what you want to debate, and what you are good at. Don’t make assumptions about me based on arguments that I’ve read in my own debate career. We all do this activity for a variety of unique and different reasons. Don’t change that for me.


Victor Jih Paradigm

1 rounds

I am the head coach at Brentwood School.

I have coached traditional and circuit LD for over 20 years and am comfortable judging most rounds—having judged at many Circuit tournaments, elim rounds, and even TOC finals. That said, I am NOT one of the coaches who is super familiar with ALL of the arguments that are currently in vogue. What does that mean? You make assumptions about my understanding at your own risk. I won’t fill in steps for you, because I happen to know what argument you’re trying to make. And I don’t have “preconceived” notions of how certain arguments are “generally” evaluated by circuit judges nowadays. What you’ll get is a fresh/independent/flow-based look by an impartial judge on those arguments. I don’t have the benefit of knowing how those debates are SUPPOSED to come out.

I can handle spread, but NOT if you’re incomprehensible...and most of you are NOT understandable. If you want to include me on an email chain that helps.

In terms of decisions, I try to make my decisions based on the flow, but will reward debaters for being smart and will generally NOT like to vote on undeveloped blips.

Elisse Johnson Paradigm

6 rounds

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Tom Kadie Paradigm

6 rounds

I did two years of circuit LD at Miramonte High School and graduated in 2015. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2019 after doing four years of NPDA parliamentary debate.

I have no desire to impose my own views upon the debate round. In deciding the round, I will strive to be as objective as possible. Some people have noted that objectivity can be difficult, but this has never seemed like a reason that judges shouldn't strive to be objective. I, overwhelmingly, prefer that you debate in the style that you are most comfortable with and believe that you are best at. I would prefer a good K or util debate to a bad theory or framework debate anyday. That's the short version--here are some specifics if you're interested.

May 28th 2020 NFA-LD Update:

I'm new to NFA-LD LD so feel free to ask me questions. Most of the paradigm below applies, but here's some specific thoughts that could apply to NFA-LD.

1. Cards v. Spin: I tend to err that spin and analysis trump evidence quality in the abstract. Intuitively, a card is only as good as its extension. However, I will listen to framing arguments that indicate judges should prioritize debate's value as a research activity and prefer cards to spin.

GGI 2019 Parli-Specific Update:

While I will generally vote for any strategy, I would like to discuss my thoughts on some common debates. These thoughts constitute views about argument interaction that should not make a difference in most debates.

  • K affs versus T: Assuming the best arguments are made, I err affirmative 60-40 in these debates (The best arguments are rarely made.) However, I tend to believe that impact turns constitute a suboptimal route to beating topicality. I differ from some judges because I believe that neg impact framing on T (procedural fairness first, debate as a question of process, not product) tends to beat aff impact framing. However, I err aff on the legitimacy of K affs because I'm skeptical of the neg's link to that framing. Does T uniquely ensure procedural fairness? Thus, to win my ballot, teams reading K affs must take care to respond to the neg's specific impact framing. They cannot merely read parallel arguments.
  • Conditionality: I lean strongly that the negative gets 1 conditional advocacy. 2 is up for debate and three is pushing it. Objections to conditionality should be framed around the type of negative advocacies and the amount of aff flex. For example, perhaps 2 conditional advantage counterplans is permissible, but not 2 conditional PICs.

Past Paradigm:


  • Absent weighing on any particular layer, I default to weighing based on strength of link.
  • I probably won't cover everything so feel free to ask me questions.
  • Taken from Ben Koh because this makes sense: "If I sit and you are the winner (that is, the other 2 judges voted for you), and would like to ask me extensive questions, I will ask that you let the other RFDs be given and then let the opponent leave before asking me more questions. I'm fine answering questions, but just to be fair the other people in the room should be allowed to leave."

Delivery and speaks:

  • Fine with speed.
  • I'm not the greatest at flowing, so try to be clear about where an argument was made.
  • High speaks for good strategic choices and innovative arguments. I will say clear as much as necessary and I won't penalize speaks for clarity.


  • I default to being epistemically conservative, but will accept arguments for epistemic modesty if they are advanced and won.
  • I am willing to support any framework given that it is won on the flow.
  • I'm willing to vote for permissibility or presumption triggers. However, there must be some implicit or explicit defense of a truth-testing paradigm. The argument must also be clear the first time that it is read. If the argument is advanced for the first time in the 1AR and I think that it is new, I will allow new 2NR responses.
  • Many framework debates are difficult to adjudicate because debaters fail to weigh between different metastandards on the framework debate. For example, if util meets actor-specificity better, but Kantianism is derived from a superior metaethic, is the actor-specificity argument or the metaethic more important?

Theory and T:

  • I default to no RVI, drop the argument on most theory and drop the debater on T, competing interpretations, and fairness and education not being voters. Most of these defaults rarely matter because debaters make arguments.
  • I don't think that competing interps means anything besides a risk of offense model for the adjudication of theory. That means, for example, that debaters need to justify why their opponent must have an explicit counter-interpretation in the first speech.
  • I, paradigmatically, won't vote on 2AR theory.
  • I'm willing to vote on metatheory. I probably err slightly in favor of the metatheory bad arguments such as infinite regress.
  • I'm willing to vote on disclosure theory.
  • Fine with frivolous theory.


  • I default to believing in durable fiat.
  • Debaters should work on pointing out missing internal links in most extinction scenarios.
  • I default that perms are tests of competition and not advocacies.
  • I probably err aff on issues of counter-plan competition.
  • Err towards the view that uniqueness controls the direction of the link. However, I'm willing to accept arguments about why the link is more important.
  • I will evaluate 1ar add-ons and 2nr counter-plans against these add-ons. This is irrelevant in most debates.


  • There are many different kinds of kritikal argumentation so feel free to ask questions in round.
  • I'm unsure whether I should default to role of the ballot arguments coming before ethical frameworks. I personally believe that ethical arguments engage important assumptions made by many ROB arguments. However, community consensus is that ROB's come first so I will usually stick with that assumption if no argument is made either way.
  • I default to fairness impacts coming before theory, but I'm willing to evaluate arguments to the contrary.
  • I don't have strong objections to non-topical positions. However, I believe debaters should probably engage in practices like disclosure that improve the theoretical legitimacy of their practices.
  • Willing to vote on Kritikal RVI's/impact turns to theory.
  • I'm willing to listen to arguments that there shouldn't be perms in method debates. However, I find these arguments not very persuasive.

Note for HS Parli:

Everything above applies. Except for the stuff about prep time. The only parli specific issue is that I will listen to theory arguments that it is permissible to split the block. Feel free to ask me any questions

Rugved Karhade Paradigm

6 rounds

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Timothy Kassouni Paradigm

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Steve Knell Paradigm

2 rounds

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Maryrose Kohan Paradigm

6 rounds


Please do not be annoying: I am used to judging policy where debaters do not ask if everyone in the room is ready, but merely look around to see if everyone LOOKS ready. If I am still typing or writing, I am not ready!

As far as I am concerned, the only road map in a PF round, is "Pro/Con" or "Con/Pro". Please do not use the term "brief off time road map." Or ask if I time them!

Dates matter and NSDA rules say you should at a minimum read the year of the card; please follow these rules or I will not flow your cards.

I will vote off the flow if I can which means you need to sign post and keep the same names and structures for arguments as they were coming out of case. In other words, do not rename arguments later in the round because you think they sound cute or persuasive. If I cannot figure out where to flow the argument, I am not listening to what you are saying, but rather trying to figure out where it goes.

Make sure whatever you carry into Final Focus, is also part of Summary. All of the sudden extending arguments that have not been part of the debate is not a winning strategy.

Weigh the round, explain why your arguments outweigh your opponents'.

Dropped arguments only matter if you tell me why they matter!

I stop listening to Cross-Fire if it is loud and the debaters talk over each other.

Asking to see your opponents' evidence is really annoying unless you are going to do something in terms of argumentation with what you are examining. I hate short, blippy cards and reading one right after another is actually really hard to flow. If the card is kept in context in case, much of the exchanging of evidence and thus laptops in round could be eliminated.


Head Coach George Washington High School 10 Years. High School policy debater in a time before computers and when case debates were good.

Experience judging on this topic: none. But I've coached and done research on it.

If this paradigm isn't completely clear, please ask questions before the round! I'd rather you be informed than to be inconvienenced by a misunderstanding about anything said here.

Most Importantly: I haven't judged circuit policy in a long time, but that doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing.

If you want to have a good round in front of me, there's a couple things you should do/not do.

1. PLEASE take it easy on speed. Given that I haven't judged at this level in a while, I'm a little out of practice flowing. This means that if you want me to understand what you're saying, you need to slow down. Obviously, this means you should far and away strive for clarity over speed. Your arguments don't matter if I don't understand what you're saying. This is a communicative activity.

2. If you are reading positions that are silly/don't make sense, expect to be disapointed with the decision that I make. Overly absurd Kritikal positions, and politics disads that seem to not have any internal links are definitly a no-go in front of me. I'm open to Kritikal positions, and I think they're interesting, but things like Death-Good aren't up my alley. Read a position that you know well in front of me and I'll enjoy it.

3. I'm comfortable evalutating Framework debates. I think affs should be at least tangentially related to the resolution. I'm not fond of just "Anti-USFG" affs. In addition, don't assume that I know all of the arguments that you're trying to make. On either side, the arguments should be explained clearly and concisely.

4. I will call for cards. So if your evidence is bad, don't read it.

5. A dropped argument only matters if you tell me why.

LD Paradigm

Although I come from a state that does primarily traditional value-criterion debate, I am an experienced policy coach (see the paradigm above). I can evaluate policy style arguments and am very open to them. I am much more persuaded by arguments that are related to the resolution and can be linked back to it as opposed to Kritikal arguments that do not link. I am, however, excited by some the resolution specific Kritiks and would love to hear them! I am familiar with a number of the off case positions being read on this resolution (Fossil Fuels subsidies) but not all of them, please do not make assumptions and take time to give brief explanations.

I may not be able to easily follow or be familiar of all theory arguments. Slow down and explain them.

Dropped arguments only matter if you tell me why. You do not automatically win just because an argument is dropped.

As far as speed goes, I can keep up with it if it is clear and well articulated and has the purpose of covering more arguments. But I am not a fan of going fast just to go fast.

Elliot Kovnick Paradigm

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Kevin Krotz Paradigm

4 rounds

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Jackson Lallas Paradigm

5 rounds

I will vote on almost anything. I like theory. I flow CX.

Erik Legried Paradigm

2 rounds

*Updated on 4/21/18 while migrating to Tabroom. I'm revising this because my former paradigm was dated, not because of any significant changes to my judging philosophy.*

Background: I coach LD for the Brentwood School in Los Angeles. I competed in LD for Robbinsdale Cooper HS and Blake HS, both in Minnesota, from 2006-10. I studied philosophy, economics, and entrepreneurship at Northwestern University, graduating in 2014. I have judged several hundred circuit LD rounds, and plenty traditional rounds too.

Overall: I am a 'least-intervention' judge, and try my best to vote on the arguments in the round. Barring certain complicated extremes (i.e. offensive language, physical coercion), I vote for the best reason articulated to me during the debate. This involves establishing a framework (or whatever you want to call it - a mechanism for evaluation) for my decision, and winning offense to it.

Some implications/nuance to 'least-intervention' - a) I won't evaluate/vote on what I perceive to be new arguments in the 2NR or 2AR, b) I won't vote on arguments that I don't understand when they're introduced, c) I won't vote on arguments that I don't hear, and d) I won't vote on arguments you don't make (i.e. if your evidence answers something and you don't point it out)

Spreading: I think speed is overall bad for debate, but I will not penalize you for my belief. You should debate at whatever speed you want, granted I can understand it. If it's just me judging you, I will say clear / slow up to three times per speech. After three I will stop trying. The first two 'clears' are free, but after the third one I will reduce your speaker points by 2 for a maximum of 28. On a panel I will say 'clear' once, maybe twice, depending how the other judges seem to be keeping up.

Speaker points: holistic measure of good debating. I'm looking for good arguments, strategy, and speaking. I average around a 28.5. A 29.3+ suggests I imagine you in elimination rounds of whichever tournament we're at. I'm averaging a 30 once every four years at my current rate.

Loose ends:

- As of the 4/21/18 update, I do not need extensions to be 'full', i.e. claim / warrant / impact, especially in the 1AR, but I do expect you to articulate what arguments you are advancing in the debate. For conceded arguments, a concise extension of the implications is sufficient.

- If I think there is literally no offense for either side, I presume aff.

- I default to a comparative world paradigm.

- I default to drop the argument, competing interpretations, no RVI, fairness/education are voters.

- I will call evidence situationally - on the one hand it is crucial to resolving some debates, on the other hand I think it can advantage unclear debaters who get the benefit of judges carefully reviewing their evidence. I will do my best to balance these interests.

Feel free to contact me at

Tyler Leigh Paradigm

6 rounds

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Chloe Lovik Paradigm

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Greg Malis Paradigm

4 rounds

I teach math and serve as chair of the math dept at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. I retired from coaching at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. I coached Policy and LD (as well as most every speech event) for over 25 years on the local and national circuit.

In the fall semester of 2018-19, I have not judged any rounds on any topic. You will need to explain topic specific abbreviations, acronyms, etc. a little more than you would normally. You will also need to go slower than normal, especially for the first 30 sec of each speech so I can adjust to you.

Email chain:

My philosophy is in three sections. Section 1 applies to both policy and LD. Section 2 is policy-specific. Section 3 is LD-specific.

Section 1: Policy and LD

Speed. Go fast or slow. I don't really care. However, keep in mind that I think debaters have a tendency to go faster than they are physically capable of going. I won't read cards after the round to compensate for your lack of clarity, nor will I say "clearer" during your speech. In fact, I will only read cards after the round if there is actual debate on what a specific card may mean. Then, I may read THAT card to assess which debater is correct. Bottom line...I judge a lot of debates on the national circuit, so speed will not be an issue.

Theory. Theory should not be run for the sake of theory. I overhead another coach at a tournament tell his debaters to "always run theory." This viewpoint sickens me. If there is abuse, argue it. Be prepared to explain WHY your ground is being violated. What reasonable arguments can't be run because of what your opponent did? For example, an aff position that denies you disad or CP ground is only abusive if you are entitled to disad or CP ground. It becomes your burden to explain why you are so entitled. Theory should never be Plan A to win a round unless your opponent's interpretation, framework, or contention-level arguments really do leave you no alternative. I think reasonable people can determine whether the theory position has real merit or is just BS. If I think it's BS, I will give the alleged offender a lot of leeway.

Role of the Ballot. My ballot usually means nothing more than who won the game we were playing while all sitting in the same room. I don't believe I am sending a message to the debate community when I vote, nor do I believe that you are sending a message to the debate community when you speak, when you win, or when you lose. I don't believe that my ballot is a teaching tool even if there's an audience outside of the two debaters. I don't believe my ballot is endorsing a particular philosophy or possible action by some agent implied or explicitly stated in the resolution. Perhaps my ballot is endorsing your strategy if you win my ballot, so I am sending a message to you and your coach by voting for you, but that is about it. If you can persuade me otherwise, you are invited to try. However, if your language or conduct is found to be offensive, I will gladly use my ballot to send a message to you, your coach, and your teammates with a loss and/or fewer speaker points than desired.

Section 2: Policy only (although there are probably things in the LD section below that may interest you)

In general, I require that Affs read a plan and be topical. Performance-based strategies by either side are extremely difficult for me to evaluate largely because I don't know how to "weigh" one's performance over another's (although I have judged enough speech/interp, but I won't use those standards to pick a winner in a debate round). My approach to what constitutes an argument is traditional and conservative because that is how I was trained and that is how I have approached debate for the last 30 years.

I think K's need a solid link and a clear, viable, and competitive alt.

I best understand a negative strategy if consisting of counterplans, disads, case args.

Section 3: LD only (if you are an LDer who likes "policy" arguments in LD, you should read the above section}

Kritiks. In the end, whatever position you take still needs to resolve a conflict inherent (or explicitly stated) within the resolution. Aff's MUST affirm the resolution. Neg's MUST negate it. If your advocacy (personal or fiated action by some agent) does not actually advocate one side of the resolution over the other (as written by the framers), then you'll probably lose. I think debaters use phrases like "pre-fiat implications" all too often without explaining what it means or why it should be on such a level. Labeling a critical position as pre-fiat does not make it pre-fiat.

Topicality. I really do love a good T debate. I just don't hear many of them in LD. A debater will only win a T debate if (1) you read a definition and/or articulate an interpretation of specific words/phrases in the resolution being violated and (2) explain why your interp is better than your opponent's in terms of providing a fair limit - not too broad nor too narrow. I have a strong policy background (former policy debater and long-time policy debate coach). My view of T debates is the same for both.

Presumption. I don't presume aff or neg inherently. I presume the status quo. In some resolutions, it's clear as to who is advocating for change. In that case, I default to holding whoever advocates change in the status quo as having some burden of proof. If neither (or both) is advocating change, then presumption becomes debatable. However, I will work very hard to vote on something other than presumption since it seems like a copout. No debate is truly tied at the end of the game.

Plans vs Whole Res. I leave this up to the debaters to defend or challenge. I am more persuaded by your perspective if it has a resolutional basis. For example, the Sept/Oct 2016 topic has a plural agent, "countries" (which is rare for LD topics). Thus, identifying a single country to do the plan may be more of a topicality argument than a "theory" argument. In resolutions when the agent is more nebulous (e.g., "a just society"), then we're back to a question as what provides for a better debate.

Kristen Malkovich Paradigm

4 rounds

In terms of standard judging paradigms, I consider myself a policy maker judge. Clearly explain how your plan solves and my vote is yours. That being said, if you decide to run a kritik, please understand it in its entirety. If you don’t understand your kritik, don’t run it; it wastes everyone’s time. Although I don’t prefer to hear topicality debates, I understand that there are times when you encounter an affirmative case where you have no answers. If you can prove that they are truly not affirming the resolution, I will vote on topicality. Use your rebuttals wisely. Don’t repeat arguments from your constructives; take them one step further and tell me why you deserve my vote. Make smart arguments, be logical and don’t bullshit.

Randall Martinez Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated LD - 1997 - 2001 

Coached High School LD & Policy 2001 - 2010, 2015 - present

Assistant coach Policy & British Parliamentary debate at University of Miami 2010 - 2017

General Overview - Updated 12/2017

I believe debate is the best game there is and rules on how to play that game are certainly negotiable. As a judge, I prefer debates where clash is encouraged and not avoided by the utilization of cheap tricks and skewing ground. While I am certainly more comfortable adjudicating a Util round in which the aff proposes a plan and neg runs policy type arguments (CP's/K's/DA's/T), I welcome being challenged by critical positions and have even come around to be more open to performance style debating in general. With that being said, I believe the best type of critical positions and performances actually adapt to the topic at hand and do not try to tangentially relate an individuals agenda into a resolution that doesn't fit. I believe the aff has the obligation to setup ground for a fair debate and would prefer the neg engage rather than avoid the debate by digging deep into their Dropbox of wonders.  


Policy Args in LD (CP's/K's/DA's) 

I love these. I think the neg has an obligation to test the feasibility of the Aff. With that being said, it's the neg's job to do some work tailoring their strategy to the Aff presented in the round. This means CP's need to have clear net benefits, K's need direct links and not garbage link of omissions, and Disads need to have updated and recent evidence as well as clear links to the Aff. Kritik alternatives need to mean something. Usually associate the alt with the Role of the Ballot and we should be in good shape.  


The Aff has a responsibility to defend it is Topical. Not sure who the idiot that came up with the argument "Aff gets an RVI if the Neg runs Topicality" is, but I hope they're ashamed of themselves for ever introducing such an awful argument into LD. I understand there is a Timeskew in LD, but a well prepared "We meet" or counter-interp should be in your arsenal as an Aff debater. With that being said, my tolerance for multiple T shells in the NC is low. You are certainly welcome to kick T in the NR, but if you're skewing the debate with multiple T shells you're not really engaging the Aff and this would certainly supercharge any in-round abuse arguments about losing education (Beware the Condo).  

Spikes & Underviews

What gives you the right to rewrite debate rules and norms with 3 second blips? I think Spikes are arbitrary, they are never well explained or reasoned, and if you're resorting to them then you're strategy is abusive and not very educational. Does this mean it's an automatic loss if you run this, no. But I'm not sure it's the best strategy to win my ballot.  


The language we use has power. There are certainly some words that we need to wipeout of the debate space, especially those that could trigger individuals, or perpetuate some sort of systematic violence within reinforcing some sort of normative behavior. I actively use my ballot to fight racism, sexism, classism, ableism, chauvinism, and any other ism you may feel I should fight against. However, if a word is prescribed by the resolution, I don't fault a debater for using language demanded by the NSDA. Feel free to blame the NSDA for bad word choice, not the debater using it.  


Theory certainly has a place in the debate space. Some theory is better than others. I have strong feelings about conditionality and vote on it often if there is observable in-round abuse. Potential abuse is another story. I reward debaters for engaging the debate at hand, not gaming it. RVI's for the most part are total garbage in my mind. If the neg is abusive, usually you could blame it on condo arguments or poor time allocation strategy. 

Last word of advice, I really think the Role of the Ballot needs to be negotiated in round. If by the end, both of the debaters cannot find a middle ground on what the purpose of my ballot is, I feel the debate is incomplete. Be civil, treat each other with respect and enjoy yourself. You're engaging in one of the best activities that exists and we're all lucky to be here doing this incredible event. 

Shawn Matson Paradigm

6 rounds


Haven't gotten around to building my new paradigm yet as my old judge philosophy got lost in Al Gore's internet.

For now, a few things:

--Truth over tech.

--I am a debate coach. I am also a professional educator. I care about education, not just the game of debate.

--I flow. I have been in grad school recently and not judging much so I may be a bit rusty.

--Signpost the flow religiously.

--Framework is just another argument. You don't just auto win the round because they dropped framework arguments.

--I do not hear well. Be loud and clear as much as you can.

--Feel free to ask my any questions before the round other than, "Do you have any preferences?" Specific questions are better!

Nick Montecalvo Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a fifth year debate teacher and coach for the nationally ranked Cypress Bay High School debate team. I am a lover of the written and spoken word who fell hard for forensics. I received my BA in English from Florida Atlantic University, and have judged local and national debate tournaments including out-rounds at Harvard, The Glenbrooks, Emory, The Tradition, Bronx, Sunvite and The Cal Invitational (Mostly LD, but also scores of speech and other debate event rounds).

General Paradigm
I am open to whatever kind of position you would like to run, but clarity and weighing is essential in fleshing-out arguments and my decision-making process. That being said, I do appreciate when debaters explain complex theory arguments. I grasp and enjoy K debate. I also do not retain details of all the obscure literature I've heard about. Just because it is a commonly used concept in competitive debate, don't assume that I understand how it interacts with your position. Explain stuff!!!

I can follow most speeds.
I flow. Please slow down on authors and tags.

Speaker Points
I think that speaker points are unnecessarily arbitrary; I also know that giving every debater in a round 30s skews results. As such, I use speaker points as a rank. If you are the best debater in the round, you will get 29 points(30 will be reserved for a truly stunning performance), second best, 28.5 points, etc. I will only give you below a 26 in a round if I am offended about an argument or action in the round.


Policy Debate: I have only judged a handful of national policy tournaments. I understand the structure and basic principles, but much of the jargon is foreign to me, and explanation may be necessary to obtain my ballot.


Naemah Morris Paradigm

6 rounds

Here are the things that matter:

I did not debate as a student.

I have judged and coached PF and LD for 8 years.

I don’t lean towards any style of debate, just convince me why I should vote for you and you can win.

My favorite philosophy is Utilitarianism... just sayin’

Rohit Mukherjee Paradigm

4 rounds

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Srinidhi Muppalla Paradigm

I don't have any strong argumentative preferences. I don't think a dropped argument is true if I don't understand what the argument is.


LD: I've never debated or coached this format. It doesn't make any sense to me. I don't care about most of the theory arguments introduced. 

Nikhil Nag Paradigm

6 rounds

Nikhil Nag

University of Pennsylvania ‘15

Conflicts: Mountain View

Last Updated: 4/13/2020

TOC Updates:

1. I should be fine with your rate of delivery. That said, if I'm judging you in one of the first two rounds of the tournament, please at least start your speech slowly just to be safe. For full disclosure, my primary involvement with debate has come through the Bay Area UDL for the last several years. I promise I'm still a smart, thinking person that cleared at TOC twice during my debating career.

2. I hear role of the ballot arguments are in vogue these days. I'm happy to evaluate these, as I am to evaluate any genuine attempt at substantive debate, but do require that they generate some form of a decision calculus (explained below).

3. I'm impressed by smart, analytic arguments that suggest that you're a human being instead of a card-reading automaton. I do not default to assuming that cards are better arguments than analytic arguments (unless you're making an empirical claim, etc.).

4. The entirety of the paradigm below still holds, though I'm likely going to a bit more generous with speaker points given the expected caliber of competition.

The Background

I debated at Mountain View High School for four years, and graduated in 2012. I was primarily competitive on the national circuit.

The Ballot

Absent argumentation, I assume the affirmative has the burden to prove the resolution true, and the negative must prove the negation of the resolution. I assume that "prove" requires an offensive argument. All arguments must link to some form of a decision calculus to have any bearing on how I vote. Extensions need a claim, a warrant, and an impact. I believe in terminal defense (it’s absurd to think that people should give credence to a claim for the sole reason that someone uttered it), but in order for me to grant a debater terminal defense on an argument, that debater must tell me why the defense is terminal in nature. I will strive to objectively evaluate the round and (with certain caveats) defer to issues as decided in the debate. Given that I will be flowing on a laptop, rate of delivery will not be an issue. However, if a debater is unclear to the degree that I cannot understand what is being said, I will not consider the arguments that debater made while speaking incomprehensibly in my decision. I will only vote for arguments that I understand as justifying the ballot. I do not have any preconceived “thresholds” for any arguments (this includes framework arguments, theory, etc.). The following outlines my specific defaults, preferences, and ideological stances on certain issues (the colloquial nature of text below explains the shift to second person pronouns/verb forms).


I’m very comfortable evaluating debates on the utilitarian level and often enjoy “LARP” debates. Contrary to popular belief, I actually really like developed plan vs. counterplan debates with lots of excellent evidence and evidence comparison, but that doesn’t mean that I’ll give debaters reading utilitarian frameworks some sort of advantage on the framework debate. I will assume that counterplans are dispositional unless additional clarification is given. I also like judging critical arguments, or arguments derived from continental philosophy, and often think that they make debates more exciting. That being said, critical impacts must link to a justified framework.

The Obligatory Evidence Ethics Section

Although I had wished that this wouldn't be an issue, the fact that I’ve judged numerous rounds that have featured egregious misrepresentation of evidence has prompted me to add my thoughts about unethical evidence practices. Unethical evidence practices include but are not limited to: severely mistagging evidence, blatantly citing a source incorrectly (e.g., reading a definition of one word as the definition of another word), and fabricating evidence. If I discover that any unethical evidence practices were utilized during the round, the offending party will lose the round with 1 speaker point. This is not meant to be a personal attack on anyone in particular, but rather to be a warning to anyone who decides it’s a good idea to read miscut evidence in front of me. If I think something’s fishy, I will not hesitate to call for evidence. Finally, evidence without at least a minimal citation (author name, article title, date) will not be considered in my decision.

The Theory and Topicality

I view theory as a necessary and desirable practice in debate. I default to viewing theory and topicality as issues of competing interpretations, but am open to adopting reasonability if clear parameters are given as to what counts as a “reasonable” interpretation. I will only vote on theory or topicality arguments that are in 4-point shell form (interpretation, violation, standards, voter). This means paragraph theory is “no bueno” (unless it’s extended as a four-part shell in the 1AR). As far as voters go, I find myself firmly in the camp that believes that fairness and education are important. That being said, I’m surprised to find myself persuaded by new, innovative voters such as critical thinking, advocacy skills, and deep learning. While the RVI is not my favorite argument, I will evaluate it like any other argument if it is made. Please do not claim that you can win by “turning theory” or reading an “offensive counter-interpretation” with an unwarranted plank (there are conceivable offensive counter-interpretations that are adequately warranted but I’ve rarely seen debaters construct such counter-interpretations) – you need an RVI if you’d like me to vote off of responses to a shell. I am also willing to vote on theory that indicts practices that occurred outside of the round I’m judging, such as disclosure theory, coin flip theory, spectator theory, and the like.

The Random Idiosyncrasies

  • “Analysis” is defined by Merriam Webster's Dictionary as "a careful study of something to learn about its parts, what they do, and how they are related to each other". So, before you go about ranting about how your “Jenkins analysis” is “on fire” or how the “1AR’s analysis on X question” is “fantastic", make sure you’re using the word correctly. If you’re not, you’ll probably lose speaker points and credibility.
  • What’s the difference between a warrant and an internal warrant? If you don’t know (I certainly don’t), just extend your “warrant” and spare yourself some embarrassment.
  • I don’t do “implicit counter-interpretations” – if a competing interpretations paradigm is won and you don’t have a counter-interpretation (that you proceed to win)/make "I meet" arguments (that you proceed to win), you lose.
  • I almost never call for analytic arguments. So, make sure to clearly articulate what your analytic arguments (especially T/theory interpretations). If it’s your fault that I didn’t get an argument down, I’m perfectly comfortable telling you that in my RFD.
  • Telling me “it's in your paradigm, so you should vote this way” is a good strategy in front of me, assuming you are correct.
  • If you have stapled your case and refuse to tear out the staples when your opponent asks you to pass pages, you will lose 2 speaker points.
  • I don't like when people blur the pre-fiat/post-fiat distinction. Examples of this practice include but aren’t limited to arguments that claim that skepticism takes out theory, arguments that claim that your opponent’s skeptical argument means that you can sign the ballot because there are no moral rules, and arguments that say your opponent as a human being endorses obviously bad things as a consequence of arguments they’re running.
  • I’m very easy to read. If you look up, you’ll be able to know if I despise or agree with an argument you’re making. Adapting to my nonverbal reactions is often a good idea.
  • I reserve the right to apply a subjective “gut check". I will not agonize over a messy round just to artificially make up a flow-based decision (although I’ve been able to do so in all but one of the many rounds I've judged).

The Speaker Points

Given how low my speaker point totals have been in the past, I’ve decided to “curve up” speaker points so debaters I judge aren’t placed at a disadvantage. As such, the average round will now receive a 28.5. The lower end of my speaker point distribution will probably move up (significantly), so you don’t need to worry about getting a 23 unless you’re truly atrocious. Speaker points are awarded based on how much I enjoy your performance. This means that speaker points are not lifetime achievement awards. You can, however, get better speaker points by ending your speech early if you know you have already won the round (for example, you don’t need to use all 6 minutes of your NR if your opponent drops theory – I will give you some sort of visual cue to stop talking), showing swagger/personality instead of being a monotone robot, and making the round engaging by introducing an unusually interesting or counterintuitive argument. Debaters who have fun and make the round enjoyable for all parties in the room are often pleasantly surprised by their marks.

The Conclusion

If any of the preceding makes you think that I have altogether lost my marbles, I encourage you to give me the old strikerooo; of course, rage, angry sobbing, and barely-concealed disdain are all available alternatives, but I must say that I would much prefer the more dignified anonymity of your strike.

Todd Newkirk Paradigm

2 rounds

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Alexander Nhan Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated for three years on the high school policy debate circuit. broke to NFL and NCFL and broke into quarter finals at NCFL. Now a coach at Hunter High School in West Valley City, Utah.

I understand both LD and Policy Debate stylistics and I am fine with both traditional and progressive debate.


Overall philosophy:

I am fine with mostly anything you run as long as you justify each of your arguments well enough with warrants although there are a few nitpicky things that I prefer when it comes to debating, especially in the last few rebuttals. I have to add though that I enjoy listening and judging critical arguments more than traditional arguments but that doesn't mean that I would base my vote on it. When it comes down to it no matter how you debate I will vote on who debated better.

For me judge intervention should be prevented at all costs, this means that within the last rebuttals you should lay down to me where am I voting and why I am voting on it.

First off, slow down on taglines and authors, not extensively slow but just a quick brisk pace on the taglines will do just fine, other then that, go as fast as you'd like.
Secondly, if you're going to run a theory argument where I have to reject the opposing team, prove to me some type of abuse scenario, preferably in-round abuse, or else I will be hesitant to vote for it lest the other team does not answer it or drops it.
Thirdly, vague alts justify vague perms. As a judge who enjoys kritikal debating, it would be awesome if you could delineate to me how your advocacy specifically solves for the harms that you are trying to criticize. Advocacies, solvency, and methodologies are a necessity when it comes to kritiks of any type, justify each of these within your kritik and I will be a happy camper.
Fourth, when it comes to impact calculus don't just read a bunch of premade blocks make sure you have competing impact calculus with the opposing team. Apparently in the debate space people feel that just reading a bunch of cards and blocks will save them and do the work for them. Although premade blocks are awesome don't solely rely on them, I want actual debating and critical thinking, not just some kid reading off of their computer excessively in the 2NR.
Tag team is fine, but be warned that speaker points not only reflect the speeches but also reflect who does most of the work in CX as well. So think wisely before answering or asking all the questions while your partner remains silent.
Prep ends when you tell me it does unless it takes an excessive amount of time to "flash" your speech over to your opponents then I will be forced to end prep when the flash leaves your computer.

When it comes to Post-Fiat v. Pre-Fiat I tend to do whatever the debaters tell me via their framework or preferences based off of whether one arg encompasses/entrenches the opposing teams impacts, etc. I don't really err towards one side but generally if it comes down to the debate if I have to decide whether I should vote on something because it's a prerequisite to solvency of the impact(Pre-Fiat) compared to whether I actually solve for the impacts given to me in a post-fiat world (Post-Fiat) I have to err towards post-fiat because, in my sense, even if the K is a prerequisite to the impacts of the 1AC (or whatever instance you give to me) any risk of solvency for the impacts of the aff outweigh some type of solvency deficit given to me by the prereq args on the neg. of course these claims I give are debateable and if you prove to me that pre-fiat should be weighed over post-fiat in the round then I will definitely weigh it especially if thats what the round comes down to. But if you're going to have a post-fiat/pre-fiat debate make sure to emphasize the theoretical reasons why I should prefer either. 



Run args that you feel powerful about, pathos is an awesome tool use it to your advantage


some (and by some I mean that some words I despise and other words I'm just like meh) forms of bad language - I HATE THE WORD RETARDED

I don't mind saying "guys" i feel like it's colloquialized to the extent that it includes the female body but even if, you can still run G-Lang and if you prove to me enough how this bad language is inherently bad then I will vote on it.

Don't Post-Round me I will dock your speaks!

Specific stuff

Topicality: I am not a huge fan of topicality especially generic ones because the majority of the time these generic topicalities are only ran for time skew which is totally fine but if you plan on going for topicality in the 2NR then I want you to articulate specifically 1. how they are untopical 2. why is this bad for the debate or debate in general. I am huge on standard debates if you run a topicality argument make sure to specify to me as the judge why these standards are important for debate or for you as a team and how the other team delegimitizes these standards. This doesn't mean that I won't vote for Topicality it just means I have a high threshold on it. However, if you're going to go for T in the 2NR make sure to spend 5 whole minutes on T not to split it because obviously if T is an apriori concern to me then it should be the only argument in your 2NR decision.

As the AFF I'm not big on RVIs unless you can prove that the other team is abusive through their topicality. Competing interpretations and counter standards are your best friends.


Counterplans: I don't really have much to say on this part. Just make sure to specify what the counterplan solves for specifically, how it solves, and how it doesn't trigger the net benefit.

On the aff, articulation of permutation solvency and net benefits to the permutations are a must if you plan on permutating the CP. I don't want some random perm being read without articulation of what the permutation is actually doing and how it solves.


Disadvantages: like the Counterplan section I really have little to say on this part. Most of the time disadvantages come down to impact calculus debates. whether doing the aff advocacy is good or not so this is where my competitive impact calculus statements come in. Articulate how the impacts of doing the plan are more disadvantageous than beneficial and vice versa for the aff


Criticisms: I really enjoy critical debates I think they're entertaining and really bring out the more personal aspects of debate. I thoroughly enjoy identity and biopolitics kritiks. one thing that I would emphasize for kritik is alternative solvency and the mechanism for which you use to solve the harms for which you are trying to criticize. I enjoy good role of the ballot and framework debates and why me as a judge signing a piece of paper is so crucial (or not crucial depending on if you are aff or neg) to your solvency/args.


Theory: I don't really vote on theory arguments unless I actually get proven an abuse scenario I find them to be a bit whiny at times and aren't very beneficial to debate unless there are actual harms being presented from the other team.

Body Language: I make faces, a lot of them; use it to your advantage.

saying "it's lit" might or might not get you more speaker points. depending on the context

Alex Nussenzveig Paradigm

6 rounds

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Michael O'Krent Paradigm

6 rounds

Affiliations/Judging conflicts: Harvard-Westlake, Marlborough
I debated for four years at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, qualifying to TOC thrice. I now coach for Marlborough.
If you have questions, email me at

Short version:
I like hearing well-developed, supported, smart arguments. This can include philosophy, t or theory, Ks, plans, CPs, DAs, etc. Form doesn't matter a huge amount to me. Just steer clear of my landmines and make good arguments: your speaks and win record will show it.

Flashing/emailing is on prep time.

Traditional Policy stuff: yes
Theory: yes if there’s real abuse.
Philosophy (almost all sorts): yes
K: yes
Shenanigans: no
Performance: yes

Do I say clear? Yes.
How many times? Until you get clear or it becomes clear that you're ignoring me.

Mandatory scary stuff:

Landmines: The following things are not ok in debate. I WILL INSTANTLY DROP YOU FOR:
-Religious/theistic arguments *I don't think very many (if any) other judges hold this prohibition, so I want to emphasize that I do hold it, and I will hold you to it.*
-moral skepticism (unless the topic specifically mandates it, like the Nov-Dec 2011. I'll specifically note it at the top of my paradigm if one of these comes up.)
-presumption (if you tell me I should ignore substance to vote on presumption. I might presume if there is legitimately no offense but I will do everything in my power not to.)
-any argument that is “triggered” in a later speech. If you defend it, you must say so in your first speech
-biting the bullet on something atrocious like genocide, rape, mass murder, etc. (That is, openly acknowledging that your framework would not condemn something like this. Simply arguing that your opponent’s framework can’t condemn genocide will not be a reason to drop them.)
-an a priori (these are arguments that say that the resolution is true or false for linguistic/semantic reasons and don't link to a framework. Despite debaters' best efforts to hide them, a prioris are pretty easily visible.)
-blatantly lying in cx
In general, be honest. I won’t instantly drop you for anything not on this list, but if you pull tricks or are generally sketchy I will be pissed. My stance on this is pretty similar to Chris Theis’.

The following arguments I will not listen to, but will not drop you for the sole reason that you ran one of them (you can still win elsewhere on the flow). I will not vote on:
-any argument that is not normative, like ought implies can or ought means logical consequence.
-theory arguments against an interp in the AC are counterinterpretations/defense only

Things I dislike but will vote on if you win them by a wide margin (either they're conceded or you crush):
-Competing interps requires a counterinterpretation.
-Affirmative “ethics” choice (When the aff gets to pick the standard/value criterion – distinct from AFC as run in policy, which I am ok with)
-Meta-theory comes before “regular” theory. OK to run a “meta-theory” shell and weigh impacts, but I don’t believe that meta-theory exists differently than theory. One sentence in a theory voter will not convince me otherwise.
-Anything that would have me take an actual action other than judging. (It takes a really good reason to make me not be lazy. I might vote for the position and ignore the action anyway.)

And a bunch of theory shells fall into this category too. If you run one of these shells, I will be skeptical and probably find the most stock responses persuasive. I'll vote on it, but you'll have to do lots of work and win it by a lot:
-Must run/not run framework
-Must run/not run plan/counterplan (inc. plans bad)
-Must run/not run kritik (noticing a theme?)
-Must run/not run DAs, etc.
-Can't have both pre- and post-fiat impacts
-Can't make link/impact turns (yes, people actually run this shell)
-Negatively worded interps bad ("Must have positively worded interp" for the formalists)
-Neg must defend the converse

Michael Overing Paradigm

3 rounds

I am Head Coach at Loyola High School in Los Angeles. I have judged hundreds if not thousands of debate rounds. [updated: February 20, 2018].

So long as your arguments are not philosophically repugnant, I expect arguments, interpretations, frameworks and other positions that intentionally exclude your opponent's offense. Simple Ballot Strategy: Tell me 1) what argument you won; 2) why you won it; and 3) why that means you win the round. Repeat.

Parsimony, relevance and path of least resistance: I am a critic of argument. I am very liberal about what you do in a debate round, but conservative in how you do it. Assertions without warrants mean very little to me and invites me to supply meaning to positions if you do not articulate what you mean. I look at the flow and ask, "to vote aff, what does the aff have to win?" ... and ... "to vote neg, what does neg have to win?" from there, I look at each of the arguments, evidence, and how well each side has put the issues together in a bigger picture. Most times, the simpler explanation (that takes into account and explains away the opposition) is likely to carry the day. The longer the argument chain, the more effort it takes to evaluate it, the easier it is to vote against you.

Full Case Disclosure Should Be Mandatory: Hiding your case is an excuse for bad debating and if you can't win without a trick, maybe you should rethink your strategy. I may have (some, slight) sympathy for not disclosing before you break new, but very little.

RVIs and Reverse Voter Standards: Fewer better explained standards are better than 20 blips.

Theory, rightly, checks abuses. Articulate the violation, standard and remedy. Actual demonstrated inround abuse is far more persuasive than hypothetical abuse.

Cross-Ex: I flow CX. I don't mind additional questioning during prep. I see little to no benefit to arguing in CX. Please refer to CX responses in your speeches.

Rebuttals: Let's admit that all debaters make new responses in rebuttals. Let's admit that new arguments are permissible when they are extensions of prior positions or answer to args by the opposition.

Win/loss/Points Disclosures: If I don't volunteer the information, please ask me. All good judges disclose.

Judges should be accountable for their decisions. Ask questions. How else do you learn what I was thinking in the round? How can can you improve in front of me? That said, I will follow the tournament's rules regarding disclosure. Also know, that I will be arguing behind the scenes in favor of disclosure. I will do my level best to answer your questions in a clear and concise manner; I may not see the round you did and maybe we can both learn from an after-round discussion.

That's the best I can promise.

Bob Overing Paradigm

3 rounds

Daniel Park Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated policy and LD at Lynbrook for 4 years and also some NPDA parli at UCLA. The best thing in debate for me was to have a critic with an open mind and the ability to listen to anything. I'll try to be this critic and always make my rfd based on how you tell me to frame the round provided.

I'm a huge fan of good T debates but please signpost well and slow down from your top speed.

Have an interpretation and articulate voters early in the round. The more time you spend on theory in the constructives, the more comfortable I'll be pulling the trigger.

I often went for agent cp/ptx as the 2N and believe that counterplan+disad strategy is one of the best answers to most policy affs. If you're reading politics, make sure to win the uniqueness debate and have solid evidence.

Ask me about specific K lit before the round but I've read most of the popular authors used in debate. Please warrant your arguments and focus on articulating how the alternative functions in relation to the affirmative. The K should interact with the case at a substantive level by turning some of the internal links. Also, most K debates come down to the perm so win and use the framework debate to your advantage.

Ashan Peiris Paradigm

3 rounds

(Updated 10/14/15)
Asst LD Coach @ Loyola High School
Coached Loyola the past 10 years.
Judged numerous TOC level outrounds including the TOC and TOC outrounds as well.

I will give an extra minute of prep for flashing/emailing but it is included in prep.

It's important to know that I flow by hand. The arguments show up on my flow in proportion to the amount of understanding I have of them, which is directly proportional to the amount of time you spend making the argument.

At the end of the day my decision is almost entirely technical. I formulate my RFDs in almost an entirely technical manner. I vote for the side with more offense to the relevant framework.

Argument Evaluation
If there's more than one framework, layer the frameworks. If you're not the only one with offense to that framework THEN WEIGH THE OFFENSE. I absolutely abhor injecting my own beliefs into the debate round. Ideally, my RFD will just be me saying back to you only things that have been said in the round. I generally do as little embedded clash as possible because it involves what I believe to be intervention. Thus, you should take it upon yourself to do as much argument comparison as possible.

I highly recommends that you start with framework debate at the beginning of your rebuttals. It will make my decision easier. Also have solid overviews that evaluate the issues of the round. The overview should predict the answers to the questions I will have at the end of the round. For example, does Fairness come before the K? Does their turn link to your Deont framework? etc. Generally, the rebuttals should collapse. I'm not particularly fond of new offs in the rebuttals. The best 2ARs I've seen so far collapse to the positions the neg collapsed to and spend the 2AR weighing offense.

My least favorite part of judging debate rounds is T/Theory. There are two reasons. First, if you're spreading analytics its almost impossible to flow by hand. Please power tag your analytics (at least the important ones) with one or two words that I can write down. Second, no one evaluates or weighs standards level offense. Please tell me what to do with offense under each standard, for both sides. Please tell me which standard comes first and why. Then please tell me which voter comes first.

Please tell me how the ROB relates to all other frameworks. Is it pre-fiat and weighs against T? Or is it post fiat and precludes ethical frameworks. Lastly, tell me what offense links and doesn't link and how it weighs out. (Am I sounding like a broken record yet?).

Persuasive styles, strategy, solid and compelling overviews, dominant cross-ex's, ease of decision and less prep time use.

Thomas Phung Paradigm

6 rounds

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Sakthi Ponnuswamy Paradigm

6 rounds


Update: Please only use e-mail chains. No flashing! 

I am a sophomore at UC Berkeley and debated at Presentation High School for 4 years. Two of those years were on the circuit



-      RVIs are fine 



-     I don't understand them and have realized I can't judge them either. Don't run them in front of me. 



-       Go for it! I’ll understand it!




-      I don't understand complex framework - was a util debater and that's what I'm most comfortable evaluating. 

Devin Race Paradigm

2 rounds

I debated at TFA tournaments and at the TOC in high school, and coached national circuit debate for several years. I also have taught at NDF and TDC.

My goal in general is to adjudicate the round as the debaters tell me to. I am happy to see debates that revolve around issues of structural oppression, policy engagement with the topic, theory, K, strategic maneuvering, or whatever else floats your boat. I don't default to seeing the round as primarily about determining the truth of some statement or as a matter of positional advocacy, but happy to do whatever I'm instructed to do.

I don't reject by paradigm any arguments on theory--feel free to make arguments for why fairness is or isn't a voter, and to run or argue against disclosure theory. Same goes for structural oppression/K debates.

My standard approach to adjudicating is based on the flow using the typical technical rules (dropped arguments are accepted as true, and the debater who has offense back to the winning framework of evaluation wins, etc.). But also happy to hear reasons why I shouldn't use the typical approach.

Chris Randall Paradigm

6 rounds

Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.

Argument specifics

T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen. I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.

DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly

CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit

K- I am familiar with most of the k literature

CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at

In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).

First let me explain how to get a Hot L:

So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L


Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation is dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean

Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples

I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc

I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating

Simon Rhee Paradigm

6 rounds

Competed in College Parliamentary (2 years) and Coaching for 2 years.

I'll go through the more common paradign questions. Feel free to ask questions about judging philosophy before round if any.

TL;DR: Tabula Rasa, for the most part. Good with speed. Care about links > impacts. Clear voters needed. 


I'm fine with all speed. Fast, slow, in-between. Trust me, I can follow, and if I can't, I'll yell "Clear" in-round so you know. If you're going to spread, make sure that your diction is still clear. 


I find double-clutching annoying, but if you do it, okay. If you care about speaks, slow down taglines, Big Picture statements, and VOTERS. Also, you should be using up all your time. 

If phone goes off in round, you are rude to me or opponent(s), or you leave >1min on clock, expect low(er) speaks. Any of those in excess will probably = 0.

If you give a topical and/or funny joke that doesn't take up a lot of time (READ: NOT CASE), then you will probably get bonus speaks and a laugh. :)


If you can make it make sense and it wins on the flow, it wins.  I am a firm believer that the judge does not create the rules of the debate. Because of this, I tend to focus on the metaframing, detailed link articulations, impact calculation, and have a high threshold for 2AR/2NR warrant extensions. Often I will lower the priority of an argument if it is merely shadow extended in the last speech. The last thing you want is for me to interpret the debate or your evidence; interpret it for me.

I studied Rhetoric and Philosophy for my undergraduate, so I have a pretty decent grasp of most philosophies. Still don't assume I know anything. Explain it, link it, show me why it's important.

Run a K. Don't run a K. I'm good with whatever. If you run a K, at least understand your K. 

I will drop debater on T. I don't vote on RVI (VERY VERY rare). Seriously though, don't run the T if topical. Be clear in Interp and Vio. 

Judging Style/Preferences

LINKS. LINKS. LINKS. LINKS. I don't care if X leads to nuclear war and human extinction. You need clear and detailed link articulation. At the same time, it is the obligation of both teams to point out poor links. If not, I must assume X happens. I care more about links BEFORE impacts. 

I don't vote on RVIs. Provide clear offense in voters. I like theory debate, I like RW debate, I like all debate. Don't drop arguments, and if your opponents do, point it out. 


I don't want to do the work. Do the work for me. I will if I have to, but please don't make me. I.E. Weigh the debate out and give me clear voters. I flow, so don't worry if opponent says "they never responded to this, I win" when you clearly did respond. 


If there are any rules violations that you want to point out, I'll make a note of it, and we continue on the debate. We will deal with it after rd.

Connor Riano Paradigm

3 rounds

Updated 11/13/16

I debated for four years at Dougherty Valley High School, and competed in LD for three years. I mostly competed in circuit LD and earned a bid to the TOC in my senior year. I currently attend the University of Pittsburgh and am double-majoring in philosophy and communication.

You can do whatever and I’ll vote on what you tell me to vote on. That being said, I prefer to see kritiks and/or theory, as that was the majority of what I read in high school. I often enjoy a good straight-up policy aff, but if your strategy is going hard for a generic DA/CP you probably want someone else to judge you.

Go as fast as you want, but PLEASE be clear. I’m probably not going to yell clear at you. Just be clear. Pls.

Also, this should be obvious, but when you tell me the order before your speech I expect you to follow it. Additionally, if you’re about to deviate from the speech doc and extemp some arguments, TELL ME. I hate it when debaters jump from the speech doc to random arguments off the top of their head and back again without warning. Keep it organized and let me know where you are and where you’re going. Again, this is pretty basic but it seems like a lot of debaters are doing this now.

As a general perspective to all theory arguments (including topicality and framework), I tend to think of these debates as competing models for debate (this can also occasionally be a valuable way to frame kritik vs theory debates). A good overview comparing the use of one interpretation over the other as a way to evaluate debates is important. Tell me the story of the theory debate; how does theory shape the debate space and why is your advocacy the best way to interpret and perceive debate?

Go for it, whether or not there’s legitimate abuse. I think good theory debates are educational, and I really appreciate debaters who take the time to really flesh out their theory arguments. I generally prefer one or two well-constructed theory shells to a lot of short, blippy ones. That said, theory spikes in the AC are fine. One minute of offense and five minutes of theory spikes is a legit strategy, if that’s your thing.

I default to competing-interpretations, but I can be persuaded otherwise. I’m happy to vote on an RVI if you win RVIs good.

My one caveat to theory is that I don’t like it when debaters genuinely read a shell that’s like: “my opponent read such a complex argument, and because I don’t get it I should win.” I’ll still vote on this if you win it, but seriously, debate is about a clash of arguments. Reading a theory shell that avoids the point of debate itself will not make me happy.

When you’re going to read topicality (and I mean topicality in the sense that you are actually contesting what an operative word or phrase in the resolution means, not framework or a theory shell about the round itself), I find that the best T debates are about linguistics. That is, you should be debating why the word or phrase means something specific in the context of the topic. Language is a fascinating thing, and the way language is understood is what I feel T debates should be about. Evaluating T debates is a lot less interesting when I have to listen to you spread a bunch of blips. Technical skill is important, but I think it shouldn’t come at the expense of a serious and deep discussion about what the words of the resolution actually mean. Topicality challenges the meaning of words, so that should be your focus. In other words, I think your interpretation and justification for it should be as important as the rest of the T debate.

I love kritiks. Read any kritik you want. The most important thing is being able to intelligently and clearly explain the kritik and its implications (and substantively leverage it against what your opponent is reading, especially theory). It’s obvious when debaters are reading a k they understand, and I urge you to have at least a basic understanding of what you’re reading. If you can give detailed and educational answers to cx questions about your k, that’s a good sign. If you’re just repeating tags, that’s a bad sign. I find that kritikal debate is the most educational and interesting type of debate, and the best k rounds are ones that genuinely inspire thoughtfulness and challenge mindsets. Good explanations, articulations of the alternative, and overviews about the specific worldview that the kritik advocates are crucial.

Also (and this is more of a personal view than a paradigmatic stance), postmodern philosophers buried in your backfiles are not the only source of good kritikal literature out there. Read more. Cut your own cards. Honestly, even Plato is easily just as kritikal as any of the authors debaters are reading now. If you take the time to actually read and learn about authors outside of the usual k authors you could create some seriously valuable and educational positions, and I think that is what the activity of debate should be about. That’s just my opinion though.

I default to evaluating k before theory, but I can be persuaded otherwise. That being said, I think it is crucially important to really clash and evaluate the fairness first claims against the kritikal role of the ballot. It usually isn’t enough to spread a blip about not being able to evaluate the truth of the kritik without fairness. I find that most of the good kritikal debaters take time to explain and flesh out their role of the ballot and leverage the specifics of their position against the fairness claims on theory. If you want to win theory first, you must be doing work on this debate. Don’t just read a few cards with blippy explanations. Take some time to compare the implications and meanings of those cards against the worldview of the kritik.

Please don’t assume this means that I’m always going to vote for k before theory, or that as a theory debater you’ll have to do significantly more work than your kritikal opponent. I have voted for theory over a kritik plenty of times. I just want to see debaters who are committed to explaining the framing of the debate in a way that is substantial and meaningful.

Don’t steal prep. Flex prep is fine (honestly, why wouldn’t it be?). Compiling the speech doc and emailing/flashing does not count as prep. That being said, it shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds to compile and email.

Be respectful. Creativity and humor will earn you higher speaks. The average number of speaker points I gave last year was 28.48. I was a bit of a point fairy last year though, so I’ve tried to rein it in a little.

Please ask me questions before the round. If you’re confused about anything, I am happy to explain it. Specific questions are usually a lot easier for me to give good answers to and are a lot more helpful to you. Asking if I vote for X argument or how to get higher speaks is fine, but those things tend to be highly dependent on what actually happens in the specific round.

Please include me on your email chain for the round. I much prefer email chains to flashing. It’s much faster and a lot easier to include me.

Jeffrey Richards Paradigm

6 rounds


Background: I was a policy debater for Dimond High School in Anchorage, AK; in college, I debated in CEDA 4 years for Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, ID. I have coached policy, LD, and I.E.'s at Meridian High School in Boise, ID, Sammamish High School in Seattle, WA, and currently with Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, WA. I have had two textbooks on competitive debate published by National Textbook Company (now McGraw-Hill): Moving from Policy to Value Debate and Debating by Doing. I have coached LD competitors at the 2015 Tournament of Champions and at several NFL Nationals tournaments. I have judged many policy and LD high school debate rounds locally in WA and at national circuit tournaments.


Approach: I see competitive debate as a strategic activity where both sides attempt to exclude the other’s arguments and keep them from functioning. As such, I expect both debaters to argue the evaluative frameworks that apply in this particular round and how they function with regard to the positions that have been advanced.


My Ballot: The better you access my ballot, the more you keep me from intervening. You access my ballot best when you clearly and simply tell me (1) what argument you won, (2) why you won it, and (3) why that means you win the round. Don’t under-estimate the importance of #3: It would be a mistake to assume that all arguments are voters and that winning the argument means you win the round. You need to clearly provide the comparative analysis by which arguments should be weighed or you risk the round by leaving that analysis in my hands. I will not look to evaluate every nuance of the line-by-line; it is your responsibility to tell me which arguments are most relevant and significant to the decision.


Let’s use Theory RVIs as an example. Some judges disfavor these arguments, but in front of me, they are perfectly acceptable. However, the fact that you beat back a theory position from your opponent does not, in and of itself, provide you access to an RVI. To win an RVI posted against a theory position generally requires that you demonstrate that your opponent ran the argument in bad faith (e.g., only as a time suck, without intent to go for the argument), and that the argument caused actual harm in the round. When it comes to potential abuse, I tend to agree with the Supreme Court's view in FCC v. Pacifica: "Invalidating any rule on the basis of its hypothetical application to situations not before the Court is 'strong medicine' to be applied 'sparingly and only as a last resort.'" You certainly can argue for a different evaluative framework for the RVI, but you cannot assume that I already have one.


Think, before you start your rebuttal(s). Ask yourself, what do I have to win in order to win the round? Whatever the answer to that question is, that is where you start and end your speech.


Paradigm: The most important thing I can do in any debate round is to critique the arguments presented in the round. As such, I consider myself very liberal about what you do in a debate round, but conservative about how you do it. What that means for debaters is that you can run just about any argument you like, but you will need to be persuasive and thorough about how you do it. If you run theory, for example, you will need to understand the jurisdictional nature of theory arguments and either provide a compelling argument why the violation is so critical that dropping the debater is the only appropriate remedy or a convincing justification as to why theory should have a low threshold (competing interps). I try very hard not to inject myself into the debate, and I do my best to allow the speakers to develop what they think are the important issues.


Additional Items to Consider:


1. Speed is fine, but don’t chop off the ends of your words, or I will have trouble understanding you. Rapid speech is no excuse for failing to enunciate and emphasize arguments you want to be sure I get on my flow.


 2. Argue competing paradigms. This is true in every form of debate. I am not married to any single framework, but too often, the underlying assumptions of how I need to view the round to give your arguments more impact than those of your opponent go unstated, much less debated. Tell me WHY your argument matters most. It’s okay to shift my paradigm to better access your impacts; just tell me why I should do so and how.


 3. Presumption is a framework issue but is given short shrift almost every time I hear it argued. My default position is to be skeptical of any proposition until there is good and sufficient reason to accept it. That means presumption generally lies against the resolution until the affirmative presents a prima facie case to accept it. If you want to shift presumption so that it lies in a different position (with the prevailing attitude, in favor of fundamental human rights, etc.), then be sure to justify the shift in mindset and clearly explain whether that means we err on the side of the resolution being true or false.

Elisa Saavedra Paradigm

6 rounds

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Siddhanth Sabharwal Paradigm

6 rounds

Conflicts: Mission San Jose HS

I am a sophomore at UC Davis. I debated for 4 years for Mission San Jose High School. I competed in Varsity Policy for two years, and Varsity Lincoln-Douglas for two years. I competed at several circuit tournaments and am familiar with most arguments.

This is a basic overview, if you're lazy and not going to read the rest:

  • I haven't debated in 2 years, so while I can still flow pretty quickly, your absolute top speed will probably be too quick for me, especially if you have a high voice. Other than that speed is fine. If I can't understand you, I'll say clear twice, and then stop flowing
  • I'm a blank slate at the beginning, I come in with no prior opinions on the topic.
  • If you're aff I highly advise you to have some kind of advocacy, if you're running some weird performance aff, you should strike me. Neg gets the status quo at the beginning of the round.
  • I'll vote on anything, everything is fair game. However if your strat is to throw 10 off cases and drop whichever ones your opponent undercovers, you're less likely to get 30 speaks, unless they were all quality arguments (highly unlikely)
  • Speaker points depend on clarity, types of arguments you ran, and overall style of debate. If you're a snarky asshole, I'll still give you the W, but you're probably not getting a 30 out of me. I generally give pretty good speaks (28.5 - 29.5). To me a 30 is just a flawless round, that being said I have given 30 to a losing debater. I give high speaks to debaters who use humor well, and are strategic with prep time. Nothing more ballsy then the 2AR saying "no prep" and killing it.
  • If you're paperless, prep time stops when the flash drive leaves the computer. Otherwise, give opponents access to your evidence.
  • I pay attention to CX, but I don't flow it, and believe it is binding.
  • Please signpost before your speeches, so I can put my flow in order, if you're just going line by line, let me know where to flow it, so you can generate clash (don't expect me to fill in arguments for you).
  • Please spend 45 seconds in your final speech going over voting issues, and some impact calculus (magnitude, probability, time frame) should be done in every speech. Do some "even if" style of comparisons and try to generate clash.
  • I have only called for cards once, when a debater claimed that their opponent wrongly stated what was in the piece of evidence, other than that I don't call cards, if I don't understand your argument it's probably because you didn't explain it well.
  • Here is how I default to evaluating arguments: 1. Theory and Topicality, 2. Framework 3. Kritiks, Disadvantages, and Counterplans. That being said if you make an argument otherwise, I'll hear it and evaluate it.



NEG: I will vote on shitty theory regardless if its a clear voting issue, and you're running it for strategic purposes, I just think it takes away from the educational value of debate. Honestly, if your strat is to run a ton of BS theory because you know the aff won't be able to cover the theory and a bunch of blippy off cases, I'll vote for you if you're ahead, but its an asshole move. I absolutely hate it when teams think they should win the round because they can speak faster than there opponents. I'm going to need an interpretation, violating, standards, and voter. Just to be clear I'll vote off your BS theory if the aff doesn't respond to it, but don't expect a 30 from me. In my opinion, there should be some clear abuse (strat skew, ground skew, moving target etc.) I default to competing interpretations.

AFF: Aff can also run theory if there is abuse, although my threshold is just a bit higher, since the aff has the first and last speech. I've noticed in many rounds that the aff just gets intimidated when the Neg spews through a theory shell, and undercovers a lot of it. Respond to theory how you would respond to a T shell, go through the link story, and show how there is no abuse or how there is no harm even if you violate the standard. I don't think theory is an RVI for the aff. If no argument is made on the theory shell, I default to dropping the debater.


NEG: I love T, it was one of my favorite arguments when I debated, but I do believe Topicality needs have a clear abuse story. This isn't a very popular opinion nowadays, but as a debater I hated when judges would intervene and let their opinions into the round, so I default to competing interpretations, however, if you make a more convincing argument that T is about reasonability, I'll frame the T debate that way. That being said, I'm not a huge fan of "potential abuse is a voter" arguments, the neg should tell me what arguments they couldn't run because the aff's interpretation of the topic limited them from generating any ground. Topicality needs to have an interpretation, violation, standards, and a voter. Good topicality needs internal links to the impact.

AFF: If you can show me why your counter interp isn't limiting, or why the neg interp isn't the right way to look at a word or a phrase, it'll probably be enough for me. If you can also show me why the Neg isn't losing some ground with your advocacy, I'll also buy it.
If an Aff runs T on some CP the neg runs, I'll kill your speaks. T isn't an RVI, obviously, the aff shouldn't win just for being topical. I also default to dropping the debater on T.


NEG: When I was debating on the neg, and the aff was really fast and had a bunch of impacts coming out of there AC, I would run FW to negate some of those advantages. Neg should show why their education and ground is good, and why they should even get it. I reallylike seeing framework debates, I think they're a smart strategy and underused.

AFF: In LD, especially at the circuit level, I realize the standard value and value criterion way of debating is getting outdated, however that doesn't mean you shouldn't provide me with some way to frame the round in your first speech, if you don't do this the Neg can jump ahead on the flow really quickly, and it becomes harder to recover. I like to see good framework debates, you can read whatever philosophy you want, just go a bit slower on analytics. If you realize you're behind on FW and kick it, make sure you can generate offense under the neg FW.


NEG: I always interpreted K's as just non-unique DA's. I never ran that much of them in HS, mostly just the Cap K, but I understand them well, as people ran them on me almost every round. I'm decently versed in critical literature, but if you start throwing out buzz words and don't explain what they mean, it's going to be very hard for me to flow you. If you're going to be running a K, please go a tiny bit slower as you run through the guts of the card, so I can flow the important arguments. Additionally, if you're running a K, I'm going to need a link, impact, alternative. Your alternative should solve the problems in the aff, otherwise what's the point? Additionally, if you're running a dense K, with a lot of weird terms, and if the Aff asks you to explain something and you can't, it looks really poorly on you. Please don't double turn yourself, I've judged rounds where people run a fem K, and use "he" as there stock pronoun everywhere else in the round. That being said, if the aff doesn't call you out on it, neither will I.

AFF: Understand that a K is just a way to test the world you present in your aff advocacy, even if you don't understand a single word of what some obscure late 15th-century French guy is saying about something, don't be worried. Clarify your doubts in CX, and if you can show that the alt doesn't actually solve, or how there is no link to your aff, it'll be a good start.


NEG: I love hearing unique DA's, like I'll vote on a Politics DA, but they aren't exactly my favorite. Congress doesn't do much these days anyways, so I find a lot of Politics DA's to be non-unique. Do your research, and cut recent evidence. Be knowledgeable here. Specific links to the Aff, and then internal links to the impact are awesome, and I love when a debater clearly explains why the aff advocacy will cause something bad to happen. 

AFF: DA's are chains, if you take out the link to your plan, or some internal link to the impact it's good enough. If you can show something is non-unique and then do an impact calculus and show 0% chance of neg impact happening is also okay, you could also clearly show how your impacts outweigh.


NEG: You must have some other advocacy, and show how it competes with the aff. You MUST have some net benefit. Just like DA's a unique CP to an aff advocacy is devastating. I have voted on actor CP's in the past, but I find them to be pretty generic, and the net benefit is normally non-unique. I'll also vote on Word PICs but honestly if you can beat an Aff with a "The" PIC, you probably would've beaten them with anything else too.

AFF: The Perm is becoming an underused strategy, especially in LD debate. Use it, show me that the CP isn't mutually exclusive, and that's a good beginning strat. Otherwise take out the net benefit.

Feel free to ask me any more questions before the round, and good luck to everyone!

John Scoggin Paradigm

3 rounds

I would like to be on the email chain, my email is jpscoggin at

I am the coach of Loyola High School in Los Angeles. I also own and operate Premier Debate along with Bob Overing. I coach Nevin Gera. I prefer a nuanced util debate to anything else.


In general, I am not a fan of frivolous theory or non-topical Ks.

High speaker points are awarded for exceptional creativity and margin of victory.

I am fine with speed as long as it is comprehensible.


If you are not comfortable disclosing to your opponent at the flip or after pairings are released it is likely in your best interest to strike me. If the tournament has a rule about when that should occur I will defer to that, if not 10 minutes after the pairing is released seems reasonable to me.

Compiling is prep. Prep ends when the email is sent or the flash drive is removed from your computer.

Mimi Sergent-Leventhal Paradigm

Background: I debated at Edina High School in Minnesota and UC Berkeley. While debating, I won the Harvard Costume Contest twice, placed third once, and won the University of Minnesota Debate No Shave November contest while I was still in high school. So yes, I am qualified to judge your debate.

I'll work hard to evaluate the round based only on the arguments presented. Everything below should be considered a bias that can be overridden through good debating.

**update for Fullerton 2017: Before this tournament, I have judged zero debates on the college topic. 


Top level:
- Absolute defense is possible

- I will not default to calling cards - this is a response to a team challenging the quality of evidence or my inability to resolve an argument without looking at them

- status quo > aff > 2NR advocacy is a reason to vote aff

- I default to rejecting the argument on theory questions

- Arguments consist of a claim and a warrant (but clarity determines whether I evaluate them in the first place)

- I will not evaluate arguments that are new in the 2AR

- High school only: I really hate all the time wasting that happens in these debates - please take the time before the debate to set up the email chain, the podium, whatever. As part of this, I have a very strong preference for 8 minutes of prep rather than 10.


Misc. thoughts about different types of arguments: 

I'm consistently confused by what exactly teams mean by reasonability so if you're going for it please take time to explain. 

CPs that do the entirety of the aff/result in the entirety of the aff through changing the process (like recommendations CPs) are likely not competitive.

I'm not very compelled by role of the ballot claims when distinct from larger framework type arguments.

These are poorly constructed and I am very compelled by people pointing that out.  

Affs that don't defend the resolution:
I would have a difficult time voting for an affirmative that doesn't defend the resolution if framework were competently extended by the neg.

- The one exception to "my biases can be overridden" is being a jerk - please don't be mean!

Jamie Shen Paradigm

3 rounds

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Ariel Shin Paradigm

2019 Update: I only judge 1-2 tournaments a year so please bear that in mind.

I debated for four years for Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, CA from 2010 to 2014. I went to TOC my senior year.

Theory/T: Fine with me. I think theory/T is a great strategic tool but if you run it just to mess with your opponent and the round goes terribly I won't be very happy. I default to competing interps, drop the argument, and no RVI's absent those arguments being made.

Please be super clear on how you want me to evaluate things. Spend time weighing and explicitly stating how I should vote.

Kritiks: Also fine with kritiks. If its really complex, make sure you explain it. If I don't understand it, I won't vote off of it.

Policy Args: Also fine with me. Do a lot of impressive weighing, and get higher speaks.

Skep/Permissibility/Presumption: Not a big fan but if you win the argument, I will vote off of it.

Micropol: Not the greatest fan. Ask me about the specific position before the round.

Speed: I'm fine if you go fast but you're going to need to go a lot slower than your fastest because I haven't flowed since VBI 2016. I will say slower around 3-5 times before I give up.

If you have any questions, you can ask me before the round.

SunHee Simon Paradigm

6 rounds

Hey there!

I'd love to be on the email chain. My email is

CHANGES - please note for Stanford, Berkeley, and TOC 2020

1. Rebuttal speeches: Slow down on your analytics please. I do not have the doc. Even though I flow on computer, I am not a robot and I have long nails. Y'all are going 400 words a minute and there is no verification of what you say. Slow down. Slow down. Slow down. I won't feel bad if I missed it and drop you. You can spread but please be reasonable. Use numbering and pause. Name your analytical disads and pause between them. Do SOMETHING to show that you remember debate is still about communication. I will say slow/clear 2 times and start docking .2 each time I struggle if you don't listen after those warnings.

2. If you plan on reading a link that requires me to dig into what happens in your personal life with your opponent before we hit the timer, I won't do it. But let me clarify, if there are no screenshots, or said screenshot is from your texts/social media, I'm not interested. Root it in the literature and/or give me another link (I'm pretty flexible about this part because I get that debate can blur these lines). Separately, but related, if someone makes you legitimately feel unsafe and worried about your ability to participate, I am fine pausing the debate and bringing it to tabroom/coaches/etc. and advocating the best I can. But I will not evaluate the debate like nothing happened and it is just an argument. If you need further clarification, please let me know.


Credentials that people seem to care about: senior (BA + MA candidate) at Stanford, Director of LD at the Victory Briefs Institute, did LD, policy, and worlds schools debate in high school, won/got to late elims in all of those events, double qualled to TOC in LD and Policy. Did well my freshman year in college in CX but didn't pursue it much after that. Now I coach and judge a bunch.

LD + Policy

Literally read whatever you want. If I don't like what you've read, I'll dock your speaks but I won't really intervene in the debate. Don't be sexist, ableist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, or a classist jerk in the round. Don't make arguments that can translate to marginalized folks not mattering (this will cloud my judgement and make me upset). Otherwise have fun and enjoy the activity for the 45 or 90 mins we're spending together! More info on specific things below:

Stock/Traditional Arguments

Makes sense.


I get this.


I understand this.


I also understand this. But don't abuse the privilege. I am not a friv theory fan.


I understand this too.

I don't default to anything necessarily however I do know my experiences and understandings of debate were shaped by me coming from a low income school that specialized in traditional and critical debate. I've been around as a student and a coach (I think) long enough to know my defaults are subject to change and its the debaters' job to make it clear why theory comes first or case can be weighed against the K or RVIs are good or the K can be leveraged against theory. I learn so much from you all every time I judge. Teach me. Lead me to the ballot. This is a collaborative space so even if I have the power of the ballot, I still need you to tell me things. Otherwise, you might get a decision that was outside of your control and that's never fun.

I will be able to evaluate whatever debate you want to have. Your job is to make signing my ballot easy. This usually happens when you debate the style you are best at instead of reading K arguments in front of me because you heard I'm a K judge.

On that note, let it be known that if you're white and/or a non-black POC reading afropessimism or black nihilism, you won't get higher than a 28.5 from me. The more it sounds like you did this specifically for me and don't know the literature, the lower your speaks will go. If you win the argument, I will give you the round though so either a) go for it if this is something you actually care about and know you know it well or b) let it go and surprise me in other ways. If you have a problem with this, I'd love to hear your reasons why but it probably won't change my mind. I can also refer other authors you can read to the best of my ability if I'm up to it that day.

Last thing, please make sure I can understand you! I understand spreading but some of y'all think judges are robots. I don't look at speech docs during the round (and try not to after the round unless I really need to) so keep that in mind when you spread. Pay attention to see if I'm flowing. I'll make sure to say clear if I can't understand you. I'll appreciate it a lot if you keep this in mind and boost your speaks!


Honestly, the same things above apply. I never did PF so I'll do my best to adjudicate by flowing and coming to the best decision laid out for me by you, the debaters.


So excited to judge your round, learn from you, and help you learn through my decisions. Ask any questions before round if you need me to clarify something. I'm very honest if I didn't understand something so don't be taken aback by that in an RFD. Just do your best, defend things you have fun defending and enjoy smile

Akriti Singh Paradigm

6 rounds

Hi, I'm a first year Computer Science major at Cal and I did LD for 4 years at St. Francis High School. I did mostly lay debate and a little bit of circuit. I'm also not super familiar with the topic, so don't run anything thats too obscure or complicated. I won't vote for something I don't understand, so make sure you explain everything really really really well and provide enough evidence instead of having blippy arguments.

Speed is fine, but if you're running something thats really philosophical and/or confusing, please slow down. Thoroughness of arguments > quantity. If you run theory, make sure there is actual abuse going on in the round and it's not frivolous. (I tend to dislike theory as a whole just because it detracts from the actual substance of the debate, so don't be abusive. You'll lose speaks for that.) Please time yourselves and dont go too much over during your speeches.

Make sure you properly extend arguments that have been dropped (don't extend through ink) and explicity state what you're cross applying. If your opponent answered something, definitely don't claim that they dropped it (you'll lose speaks). Be sure to establish a standard so I know how to evaluate the arguments. Please do a lot of weighing + analysis on impacts, and crystallize in your last speech. Basically, write my ballot for me.


Have fun, and good luck! :)

Nancy Smith Paradigm

6 rounds

Nancy Smith is the parent of a Juan Diego LD Debater. She has extensive judging experience on the local level and loves evaluating talented, hard-working debaters. 

Focus on persuasiveness, impact comparison, and writing her ballot in the last speech and you will do just fine. 

Most importantly, have fun and be nice. 

Calen Smith Paradigm

6 rounds

Background: Competed on national and local circuit in high school. I qualified to the TOC and did fine at national tournaments. I coached national circuit debate for 3-ish years, out rounds and bids included. I haven't judged more than handful of rounds in the past few years.

Email for chain:

Warning: I haven't judged in a hot sec so it is on you to make sure I am understanding the debate content wise and speed wise.

Speaking: I used to do and coach national circuit debate so I am fine with speed however my tolerance is diminished so I will probably be better at judging medium paced rounds. I will tell you to slow down. If I tell you to slow down I have probably already missed arguments you are making.

Substance: Ill judge any round (K, Theory, Substance, etc) I am probably more adapt at judging framework debates, policy making debates, and 'reasonable' Kritiks. I can judge a theory debate but it won't be my favorite thing to judge.

John Spurlock Paradigm

hey all, i'm john spurlock. i debated for ckm for four years and currently debate for uc berkeley. when i used to do prefs, i was looking to answer four questions about the judge, so i'm just going to ask and answer those four questions as best i can.

1. is this person qualified/experienced enough to judge my debate?
well this is up to you, but i've been in policy debate for five years and had a lot of rounds at high levels of competition. i have some solid experience, and i've thought about debate a lot. i can't guarantee that i am qualified or experienced enough to judge your debate, but i can assure you that i feel qualified and experience enough to judge your debate (if that means anything lol).

2. is this person fine with the type(s) of argument(s) that i read in debates?
almost assuredly yes, i am convinced there is value in almost every form of debate and every type of argument. short of blatantly offensive argumentation, i am willing to consider almost every position that an aff or neg team might introduce. i've read framework, read no-plan affs, gone for politics, the k, etc. how you debate is so much more important than what you are debating about. i don't think there is any team that should not prefer me because of a certain type of argument that they make.

3. how does this person go about deciding debate rounds?
my process is slightly different for every debate that i judge, but i think there is an overall trend in my process based on the debates i've judged so far. i want to vote on arguments that are in the 2nr/2ar that i can easily trace back to previous neg/aff speeches. after the debate ends, i go through my flow and make a list of the key arguments from the 2nr and the 2ar in the debate. i put this on a separate sheet from my flow and try to assess (a) what i think the other team has said against this key claim, (b) whether it is new, (c) who wins this point, and (d) what impact this claim has on the debate. from here, i find myself able to render my decision.

4. what are the special things about this judge that i need to be aware of?
i'm probably like most judges in most ways, but i will include a few short facts here.
(a) i will probably flow on paper.
(b) i will almost assuredly not call for cards unless to settle a factual question. i will not call for cards in 98% of debates. i will not call for cards if you say "our evidence is good on this question." you need to explain to me why your evidence is good. you need to explain to me why their evidence is bad. i will not reward debaters who use cards as a substitute for argumentation.
(c) i need every speech that you give to be clear enough such that i can discern every word that you say. this includes the text of your cards. if i cannot understand you due to a prioritization of speed over clarity, you will suffer in speaker points and in terms of what arguments i count. this is related to point (b) in that the only way to prevent people from lying about the content of their cards is to be clear enough such that i can hear your cards.
(d) i place a high value on filtering and framing arguments in all styles of debates. your setting up a smart, strategic lens for how i evaluate the debate (and the impacts in the debate) can cause me to place a lesser weight on particular arguments even if you are not winning every single argument on the flow.

Neil Tagare Paradigm

4 rounds

Not Submitted

Danica Tanquilut Paradigm

6 rounds

Carlos Taylor Paradigm

6 rounds


Have the email chain setup. There is no reason you should be fumbling with an email chain 10 minutes past start time. It makes me seem late(big image guy) and leads to tab (understandably) sending runners to annoy me...and that annoys me. Put differently: Even if Im late, have the email chain set up and ready to send upon my arrival or speaks will decline by no LESS than 2 whole points...try me! {npiredebate at G mail}

TOC additions:

Paradigmatic additions: FWK/T and Ks are arguments that have been in debate for a while now...get over it and win the debate. If you expect a judge to stop the round after a debater reads a Shapiro or Patterson card...I'm not the judge for you and will probably laugh at you.


I go in to rounds as a blank slate, you should tell me how you want arguments treated/used("filter the debate through permutation etc.) This makes framing HUGE

I love a good T vs policy aff debate

I'm capitalist but think the Cap K is one of the most underrated and strategic positions.]

About me: Existentialist and Capitalist majoring in Finance, Intl Business and Arabic.

Don't be lay. Don't be boring. Don't be anti-semitic. Facts>Feelings. Tech>Truth (default).

"The infants in the graveyard smile widely without teeth, Carefully sewn in columns and rows, rotting little seeds...Raking tears from upturned eyes"

Viraj Thakur Paradigm

6 rounds

Bellarmine College Prep Class of 2015

UC Berkeley Class of 2019


Judging LD at the Cal Invitational 2016



I competed in IE and Public Forum (a little bit on the circuit, mostly local tournaments and CHSSA State) for 4 years in the CFL. However, I’ll be judging LD at this tournament, so, for all intents and purposes, consider me a lay judge. I have no experience debating or judging LD, and I don’t have knowledge on the topic.



Stay away from speed and jargon - if I don’t understand what you’re talking about, I can’t pick you up. I will flow, but debate is really about persuasion - you’ll get my vote with logical arguments that are well-developed, not blippy arguments that you throw all over the flow. Clarity is your friend. I’m open to voting on most arguments, as long as they’re reasonable (try to avoid huge/unrealistic impacts). I don’t recommend you make theory or the K a huge part of the debate. That being said, if you go for theory, please keep it as simple as possible: I’m not going to be able to follow a muddled theory debate. Basically: keep it slow, keep it simple, tell me how to evaluate and weigh your arguments, and present good evidence to back up your claims.

Respect your opponent! There’s a difference between being assertive and being rude - being aware of that distinction makes for a better debate. If you’re polite, go slow, and speak fluently, you’ll get high speaks from me. 

That’s pretty much all for me. If you have any more questions, feel free to hit me up on Facebook or ask me before the round. Good luck to everyone competing.

Aaron Timmons Paradigm

4 rounds

Aaron Timmons

Director of Debate – Greenhill School

Updated – April 2019

Please put me on the email chain –

New for the TOC 2019 – I am the Director of the Global Debate Symposium and for this summer I have hired Spencer Paul and Vishan Chaudhary from Harvard Westlake, and Ishan Bhatt from St. Andrews of the list of competitors that will be in the 2019 TOC competing in Lincoln Douglas.

Lincoln - Douglas Philosophy

I have coached debate, and been a classroom teacher, for a long time. I feel that when done well, with agreed upon “rules of engagement”, there is not a better activity to provide a training ground for young people. That said, at some point, most of the adults have left the building as it relates to national circuit Lincoln Douglas debate. I find many of the things that are now commonplace, are antithetical to the things that I love about debate. In fact, many of these practices are not educational, but also make the activity unsustainable in any meaningful way to sell to administrators, parents, new coaches, or even a new generation of debaters.

I have taken some time to reflect on how I judge debates, and have revised my paradigm. It would behoove you to read it if I have the potential to judge you. If you do not like what you read, strike me.

Debate rounds, and subsequently debate tournaments, are extensions of the classroom. While we all learn from each other, my role is parallel to that of an instructor. I will evaluate your performance. At this stage in my career, I have no interest in being the “most preferred” judge in the pool. In fact, what I see is that many in the Lincoln Douglas community (as opposed to policy debate); make preferences more based on personal relationships, than the relative experience/paradigmatic perspective of the critic. I see my role as to set a fair, but stringent, set of expectations for the students I am judging. At times, this means advancing expectations that I feel are best for the students and, at times, the broader community as well. At this point, I am also not shy to share those thoughts and expectations. I see myself as a critic of argument if I had to pigeonhole myself with a paradigmatic label. Unlike many claim to be, I am not a blank slate. If I see behaviors or practices that create a bad, unfair, or hostile environment for the extension of the classroom that is the debate round, I will intervene. I WILL do my best to be an objective evaluator of your argument but the idea that my social location is not a relevant consideration of how I view/decode arguments is just not true (nor do I personally think it is true for anyone).

Below please find a few thoughts as to how I evaluate debates.

1. Speed is not a problem. In most of the Lincoln Douglas I judge, clarity IS a problem. I judge high level policy debates quite a bit and while they are quiet fast, I don’t see clarity as much of an issue with the top teams. Please understand that unstructured paragraphs that are slurred together does not allow the pen time necessary to write things down in the detail you think it might. I reserve the right to yell “clearer” once or twice. Style and substance are fundamentally inseparable.

2. I feel theory is debated far too much in Lincoln – Douglas, and is debated poorly. I am strongly opposed to that practice. My preference is NOT to hear a bad theory debate. I believe the negative does get some “flex”, that said it can’t be unlimited. The idea of reading a “counter shell” against a theory argument is one of the silliest practices I see in contemporary debate. Before the proliferation of theory in Lincoln Douglas I thought RVI’s were silly. They have a place in contemporary LD. I DO NOT think jettisoning the case and going all in on the RVI should be the A strategy in the 1ar. While I like competing interpretations, in the end, I feel even that view is filtered through my perspective of reason/what is reasonable/the best lens for debate. Some intervention is inevitable as we judge.

3. Evidence is important. In my opinion debates/comparisons about the qualifications of authors on competing issues (particularly empirical ones), in addition to a comparison of competing warrants in the evidence, is important. Do you this and not only will your points improve, I am likely to prefer your argument if the comparison is done well. All students should have full cites for materials.

4. I am not a “blank state”. I also feel my role as a judge is to serve a duel function of rendering a decision, in addition to serving a role as educator as well.

5. Words matter. Arguments that are racist, sexist, homophobic etc will not be tolerated.

6. I am not a fan of random; multiple sentence fragments that claim to “spike” out of all of the other teams arguments. At its foundation, debate should be about argument ENGAGEMENT, not evasion.

7. Answer questions in cross-examination. Cross-ex is binding. I do listen carefully to cross – ex.

8. Although I know you have figured it out, Lincoln Douglas does not have a 2AC in the same way that policy does. 1AR’s that advance lots of offense on many negative positions will be rewarded with high points.

9. Debating with a laptop is a choice, if you are reading from a computer I have three expectations that are nonnegotiable:

A) You must jump the documents read to the opposition in a timely manner (before your speech or at worse IMMEDIATELY after your speech) to allow them to prepare or set up an email chain.

B) If your opponent does not have a laptop you need to have a viewing computer OR surrender your computer to them to allow them to prepare. The oppositions need to prep outweighs your need to prep/preflow in that moment in time.

C) My expectation is that the documents that are shared are done in a format that is the same as read by the debater that initially read the material. In other words, I will not tolerate some of the shenanigan’s that seem to exist, including but not limited to, using a non standard word processing program, all caps, no formatting etc.

10. Many debaters have been instructed, or watched others run, “metaethics” with some success. My experience is that many debaters have a very superficial grasp of what this even means. Make sure to explain, and compare your position against the position of your opponent. A good rule of thumb is to assume you don’t win every argument and frame things in an even /if perspective.

11. I do not like skepticism as an argument. It would be in your best interest to not run it in front of me. While perhaps interesting in a philosophy class in college, training young advocates to feel that “morality doesn’t exist” etc. is educationally irresponsible.

12. I do not disclose speaker points. That seems silly to me.

13. Dropped arguments and the “auto-win” seems silly to me. Just because a debater drops a card doesn’t mean you win the debate. Weighing and embedded clash are a necessary component of debate. Good debaters extend their arguments. GREAT debaters do that in addition to explaining the nexus point of clash between their arguments and that of the opposition and WHY I should prefer their argument.

14. I feel it takes more than a sentence (or in many of the rounds I judge a sentence fragment), to make an argument. If the argument was not clear originally, I will allow the opponent to make new arguments.

15. Choose. No matter the speech or the argument.

Please ask me specific questions if you have one before the debate.

Adam Torson Paradigm

2 rounds

UPDATED: 9/12/2018

1998-2003: Competed at Fargo South HS (ND)

2003-2004: Assistant Debate Coach, Hopkins High School (MN)

2004-2010: Director of Debate, Hopkins High School (MN)

2010-2012: Assistant Debate Coach, Harvard-Westlake Upper School (CA)

2012-Present: Debate Program Head, Marlborough School (CA)


General Preferences and Decision Calculus

I like substantive and interesting debate. I like to see good strategic choices as long as they do not undermine the substantive component of the debate. I strongly dislike the intentional use of bad arguments to secure a strategic advantage; for example making an incomplete argument just to get it on the flow. I tend to be most impressed by debaters who adopt strategies that are positional, advancing a coherent advocacy rather than a scatter-shot of disconnected arguments, and those debaters are rewarded with higher speaker points.

I view debate resolutions as normative. I default to the assumption that the Affirmative has a burden to advocate a topical change in the status quo, and that the Negative has a burden to defend either the status quo or a competitive counter-plan or kritik alternative. I will vote for the debater with the greatest net risk of offense. Offense is a reason to adopt your advocacy; defense is a reason to doubt your opponent's argument. I virtually never vote on presumption or permissibility, because there is virtually always a risk of offense.

Moral Skepticism is not normative (it does not recommend a course of action), and so I will not vote for an entirely skeptical position. Morally skeptical arguments may be relevant in determining the relative weight or significance of an offensive argument compared to other offense in the debate.


I am skeptical of impact exclusion. Debaters have a high bar to prove that I should categorically disregard an impact which an ordinary decision-maker would regard as relevant. I think that normative ethics are more helpfully and authentically deployed as a mode of argument comparison rather than argument exclusion. I will default to the assumption of a wide framework and epistemic modesty. I do not require a debater to provide or prove a comprehensive moral theory to regard impacts as relevant, though such theories may be a powerful form of impact comparison.

Arguments that deny the wrongness of atrocities like rape, genocide, and slavery, or that deny the badness of suffering or oppression more generally, are a steeply uphill climb in front of me. If a moral theory says that something we all agree is bad is not bad, that is evidence against the plausibility of the theory, not evidence that the bad thing is in fact good.


I default to evaluating theory as a matter of competing interpretations.

I am skeptical of RVIs in general and on topicality in particular.

I will apply a higher threshold to random theory interpretations that do not reflect existing community norms and am particularly unlikely to drop the debater on them. Because your opponent could always have been marginally more fair and because debating irrelevant theory questions is not a good model of debate, I am likely to intervene against theoretical arguments which I deem to be frivolous.

Tricks and Triggers

Your goal should be to win by advancing substantive arguments that would decisively persuade a reasonable decision-maker, rather than on surprises or contrived manipulations of debate conventions. I am unlikely to vote on tricks, triggers, or other hidden arguments, and will apply a low threshold for answering them. You will score more highly and earn more sympathy the more your arguments resemble genuine academic work product.

Counterplan Status, Judge Kick, and Floating PIKs

The affirmative has the obligation to ask about the status of a counterplan or kritik alternative in cross-examination. If they do not, the advocacy may be conditional in the NR.

I default to the view that the Negative has to pick an advocacy to go for in the NR. If you do not explicitly kick a conditional counterplan or kritik alternative, then that is your advocacy. If you lose a permutation read against that advocacy, you lose the debate. I will not kick the advocacy for you and default to the status quo unless you win an argument for judge kick in the debate.

I default to the presumption that floating PIKs must be articulated as such in the NC. If it is not apparent that the kritik alternative allows you to also enact the affirmative advocacy, then I will regard this argument as a change of advocacy in the NR and disregard it as a new argument.


To the extent possible I will resolve the debate as though I were a reasonable decision-maker considering only the arguments advanced by the debaters in making my decision. On any issues not adequately resolved in this way, I will make reasonable assumptions about the relative persuasiveness of the arguments presented.


The speed at which you choose to speak will not affect my evaluation of your arguments, save for if that speed impairs your clarity and I cannot understand the argument. I prefer debate at a faster than conversational pace, provided that it is used to develop arguments well and not as a tactic to prevent your opponent from engaging your arguments. There is some speed at which I have a hard time following arguments, but I don't know how to describe it, so I will say "clear," though I prefer not to because the threshold for adequate clarity is very difficult to identify in the middle of a speech and it is hard to apply a standard consistently. For reasons surpassing understanding, most debaters don't respond when I say clear, but I strongly recommend that you do so. Also, when I say clear it means that I didn't understand the last thing you said, so if you want that argument to be evaluated I suggest repeating it. A good benchmark is to feel like you are going at 90% of your top speed; I am likely a significantly better judge at that pace.


My threshold for sufficient extensions will vary based on the circumstances, e.g. if an argument has been conceded a somewhat shorter extension is generally appropriate.


It is primarily the responsibility of debaters to engage in meaningful evidence comparison and analysis and to red flag evidence ethics issues. However, I will review speech documents and evaluate detailed disputes about evidence raised in the debate. I prefer to be included on an email chain or pocket box that includes the speech documents. If I have a substantial suspicion of an ethics violation (i.e. you have badly misrepresented the author, edited the card so as to blatantly change it's meaning, etc.), I will evaluate the full text of the card (not just the portion that was read in the round) to determine whether it was cut in context, etc.

Speaker Points

I use speaker points to evaluate your performance in relation to the rest of the field in a given round. At tournaments which have a more difficult pool of debaters, the same performance which may be above average on most weekends may well be average at that tournament. I am strongly disinclined to give debaters a score that they specifically ask for in the debate round, because I utilize points to evaluate debaters in relation to the rest of the field who do not have a voice in the round. I elect not to disclose speaker points, save where cases is doing so is necessary to explain the RFD. My range is approximately as follows:

30: Your performance in the round is likely to beat any debater in the field.

29: Your performance is substantially better than average - likely to beat most debaters in the field and competitive with students in the top tier.

28: Your performance is above average - likely to beat the majority of debaters in the field but unlikely to beat debaters in the top tier.

27.5: Your performance is approximately average - you are likely to have an equal number of wins and losses at the end of the tournament.

26: Your performance is below average - you are likely to beat the bottom 25% of competitors but unlikely to beat the average debater.

25: Your performance is substantially below average - you are competitive among the bottom 25% but likely to lose to other competitors

Below 25: I tend to reserve scores below 25 for penalizing debaters as explained below.

Rude or Unethical Actions

I will severely penalize debaters who are rude, offensive, or otherwise disrespectful during a round. I will severely penalize debaters who distort, miscut, misrepresent, or otherwise utilize evidence unethically.

Card Clipping

A debater has clipped a card when she does not read portions of evidence that are highlighted or bolded in the speech document so as to indicate that they were read, and does not verbally mark the card during the speech. Clipping is an unethical practice because you have misrepresented which arguments you made to both your opponent and to me. If I determine that a debater has clipped cards, then that debater will lose.

To determine that clipping has occurred, the accusation needs to be verified by my own sensory observations to a high degree of certainty, a recording that verifies the clipping, or the debaters admission that s/he has clipped. If you believe that your opponent has clipped, you should raise your concern immediately after the speech in which it was read, and I will proceed to investigate. False accusations of clipping is a serious ethical violation as well. *If you accuse your opponent of clipping and that accusation is disconfirmed by the evidence, you will lose the debate.* You should only make this accusation if you are willing to stake the round on it.


I am happy to answer any questions on preferences or paradigm before the round. After the round I am happy to answer respectfully posed questions to clarify my reason for decision or offer advice on how to improve (subject to the time constraints of the tournament). Within the limits of reason, you may press points you don't understand or with which you disagree (though I will of course not change the ballot after a decision has been made). I am sympathetic to the fact that debaters are emotionally invested in the outcomes of debate rounds, but this does not justify haranguing judges or otherwise being rude. For that reason, failure to maintain the same level of respectfulness after the round that is generally expected during the round will result in severe penalization of speaker points.

Renee Verdier Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Charles Walts Paradigm

6 rounds

Years in Debate: 20+
Types of Debate: Policy, CEDA/NDT, NPDA/NPTE, LD, PFD, Worlds


I like Worlds. Worlds is what debate should be. I am an active judge in the sense that I do not respond well to two particular things. First, trying to import the argumentative method of other formats. Second, telling me that the other team didn't do X or Y so should lose. Of course I want you to point out deficiencies in the other team's tactics or strategy, but you also need a reason why you win!

Other than that, I do my best to look at the argument development in the debate and who best answers the question of the motion.

This is under revision.

I have noticed that I don't endorse technique over truth as much as my colleagues. This doesn't mean that I don't care about the structure of the debate. It means that just because an argument is dropped you don't automatically win.

1) I guess I am either suffering from hearing loss or people have become too unclear to flow, but I cannot understand your max speed. You must slow down for me. You don't have to be normal speed, but blowing through your underview of spikes at 400wpm means that I won't have much flowed and won't really be inclined to vote on those arguments.

2) You need to differentiate tags, cites and cards. A pause works, so does "end card" or "My next argument is.." If I can't figure out whats the words of an author and what are your words you're gonna have a bad time.

3) I would prefer it if I didn't hear performance or micropolitical arguments. Its not that I don't enjoy those items in my non-debate life, but in debate they tend to introduce a level of personal investment that I don't care to engage in.

4) I'm fine with policy arguments, traditional LD or whatever you want to call what you do as long as you can explain it to me. I do not enjoy "tricky" debate or other techniques that are premised on "You didn't answer this blip theory argument that says you have to answer it, I win." Will I vote for you if you do that, maybe, but your points will be low. I would prefer you to engage in an actual debate instead of a game of mistakes. I've heard many judges say that they reward technical debate, and they has its merits to an extent, but I tend to vote for arguments that are explained and warranted over arguments that simply exist and are extended on the flow.

5) I am more than happy to discuss my decision if time allows after the debate. I haven't shared speaker points in the past. As a norm, my range is 27-30.

6) I will not vote on 1AC spikes or underviews; abuse must occur and THEN you can make your theory arguments. I will not vote on disclosure theory good/bad at all.

Scott. Wheeler Paradigm

1 rounds

1. Offense-defense, but can be persuaded by reasonability in theory debates. I don't believe in "zero risk" or "terminal defense" and don't vote on presumption (though technically i guess I do in debates where the aff goes for "perm do the CP" and wins that it isn't severance, but not in any other instance). 

2. I'll submit the ballot that is most persuasive to me, and will try to think through the story of each ballot before choosing (of course, in good debates, that's what the final rebuttals do). I won't simply point to an argument on my flow and say "I voted on this," nor will my RFD lead with technical advice in lieu of an actual decision. Substantive questions are resolved probabilistically--only theoretical questions (e.g. is the perm severance, does the aff meet the interp) are resolved "yes/no," and will be done so with some unease, forced upon me by the logic of debate. 

3. Dropped arguments are "true," but this just means the warrants for them are true. Their implication can still be contested. The exception to this is when an argument and its implication are explicitly conceded by the other team for strategic reasons (like when kicking out of a disad). Then both are "true."

1. Conditionality bad is an uphill battle. I think it's good, and will be more convinced by the negative's arguments. I also don't think the number of advocacies really matters. Unless it was completely dropped, the winning 2AR on condo in front of me is one that explains why the way the negative's arguments were run together limited the ability of the aff to have offense on any sheet of paper.

2. I think of myself as aff-leaning in a lot of counterplan theory debates, but usually find myself giving the neg the counterplan anyway, generally because the aff fails to make the true arguments of why it was bad.

1. I don't think I evaluate these differently than anyone else, really. Perhaps the one exception is that I don't believe that the affirmative needs to win uniqueness for a link turn to be offense. If uniqueness really shielded a link turn that much, it would also overwhelm the link. In general, I probably give more weight to the link and less weight to uniqueness.

2. On politics, I will probably ignore "intrinsicness" or "fiat solves the link" arguments, unless badly mishandled (like dropped through two speeches).


1. I like kritiks, provided two things are true: 1--there is a link. 2--the thesis of the K indicts the truth of the aff. If the K relies on framework to make the aff irrelevant, I start to like it a lot less (role of the ballot = roll of the eyes). I'm similarly annoyed by aff framework arguments against the K. The K itself answers any argument for why policymaking is all that matters (provided there's a link). I feel negative teams should explain why the affirmative advantages rest upon the assumptions they critique, and that the aff should defend those assumptions.

2. I think I'm less techincal than some judges in evaluating K debates. Something another judge might care about, like dropping "fiat is illusory," probably matters less to me (fiat is illusory specifically matters 0%). I also won't be as technical in evaluating theory on the perm as I would be in a counterplan debate (e.g. perm do both isn't severance just because the alt said "rejection" somewhere--the perm still includes the aff). The perm debate for me is really just the link turn debate. Generally, unless the aff impact turns the K, the link debate is everything.

3. Many of these debates seem to involve one team discussing a nuanced critique and the other side arguing "state bad" or "state good." Not surprisingly, I'm generally going to side with the team doing the former. 

Nontraditional affirmatives:

Versus T:
1. I usually vote neg in these debates, because the aff never has a defensible interp (to be honest, I think the current model might be what they want--these affs require a boogeyman to rail against). Some people seem to view these debates as a plan/counterplan debate where the 1AC is weighed against the "topical version of the aff." I don't subscribe to that view. The affirmative has to defend an interp. If I do vote aff, one of two things has happened. Most often, the aff successfully impact-turned the impacts the negative went for. The other time I vote aff is when the neg doesn't have an external impact--their offense is simply "we're the better version of the discussion you want to have." In those debates, "TVA doesn't solve" does become offense against their interp.

2. I've noticed that some judges tend to dismiss T impacts that I take seriously. I've seen this with not just fairness, which I think is the truest T impact, but others run less often (like "moral hazzard") that were in the 2NR and then not in the RFD at all. I think a lot of things can be impacts to T, so aff teams might want to spend more time on them. 

3. To be honest, I enjoy judging K affs with plans, and wish teams ran them more. With judges voting on nonsense like PIC out of fiat and Schlag, I can see why teams don't. And of course you also still have to answer politics/util and regular T (which you might not be used to debating), but I think those are pretty doable and you'd be in better shape in front of me if you are a team that is at all flexible.

Versus the K:
1. Affs are in much better shape here because, for me, it's not up for debate whether planless affs get to perm. They do. I have yet to hear a convincing argument as to why there is such a thing as a "methods debate" for which theories of debate competition no longer apply. If the negative has a better methodology or starting point, I will vote aff, provided the aff methodology or starting point is good. I wouldn't vote for a counterplan that solves warming better than the aff without a link to a disad, and I don't believe competition theory goes out the window because it's a performance aff. If the aff doesn't get a perm, there's no reason the neg would have to have a link.


Topicality versus plan affs:
1. I used to enjoy these debates. It seems like I'm voting on T less often than I used to, but I also feel like I'm seeing T debated well less often. I enjoy it when the 2NC takes T and it's well-developed and it feels like a solid option out of the block. What I enjoy less is when it isn't but the 2NR goes for it as a hail mary and the whole debate occurs in the last two speeches.

2. Teams overestimate the importance of "reasonability." Winning reasonability shifts the burden to the negative--it doesn't mean that any risk of defense on means the T sheet of paper is thrown away. It generally only changes who wins in a debate where the aff's counter-interp solves for most of the neg offense but doesn't have good offense against the neg's interp.

LD section:
1. I've been judging LD less, but I still have LD students, so my familarity with the topic will be greater than what is reflected in my judging history.

2. Everything in the policy section applies. This includes the part about substantive arguments being resolved probablistically, my dislike of relying on framework to preclude arguments, and not voting on defense or presumption. If this radically affects your ability to read the arguments you like to read, you know what to do.  

3. If I haven't judged you or your debaters in a while, I think I vote on theory less often than I did say three years ago (and I might have already been on that side of the spectrum by LD standards, but I'm not sure). I've still never voted on an RVI so that hasn't changed.

4. The 1AR can skip the part of the speech where they "extend offense" and just start with the actual 1AR.

Michael Wimsatt Paradigm

I take judge instruction very seriously.

Arbitrariness and follow-on are probably more important to me than other judges.

I like Kritik arguments even less than my reputation suggests.

I dislike run and gun strategies.

Successfully executing one/two off strategies will earn substantial speaker point boosts.

The wipeout/spark genre will not be considered. If you have to ask, you already have your answer.

Neel Yerneni Paradigm

6 rounds

Howdy, I debated at Katy Taylor for four years, and I currently coach at Harker.

The following is copied and pasted from:

I've decided that debaters can flash me constructives if they want. This will help with the previously mentioned card clipping problem and also help me flow since debaters refuse to make obvious when cards end by whispering author names.

General Stuff

-I default to evaluating rounds via a comparing worlds paradigm
-I do not base speaker points based on speaking ability but rather based on strategic decisions in rebuttals which means your constructive can go against everything I stand for but have good issue selection and you'll get high speaks
-I am not persuaded by the extension of spikes to take out whole positions unless the implications of those spikes are clearly articulated within the AC
-I give the 1AR leeway on extensions 
-I will presume if I have to but not because a debater told me to. In the absence of offense I presume to whichever side is less of a shift from the status quo.
-If you get through a round without flashing problems you get higher speaker points
-if you make the round shorter you will get higher speaker points
-logical fallacy arguments reduce your speaker points

-If your interp is a preposterous attempt to abuse competing interps my threshold for responses goes down
-RVIs are fine
-I meets or defense don’t get you an RVI in front of me
-Default competing interps and drop debater
-Philosophy args don’t disprove fairness or education as voters

-Obvi I prefer util but you can read whatever you want
-I usually don’t know what dense phil frameworks actually say but I rarely feel that impacts the decision because neither does anyone else
-since I view debate rounds from a comparing worlds paradigm it means that skepticism and permissibility are probably defensive arguments
-I'm very persuaded by life is a pre req args

Critical Arguments:
-Familiar with some but not a lot of lit
-I personally believe topicality should be a constraint on critical AFFs but can be persuaded otherwise in round
-If you debate against a K you are much more likely to win with clash not shenanigans

Ask me questions if I've missed something important to you.

Jian Zhao Paradigm

3 rounds

First of all, I'm a lay, parent judge in LD and PF.

I've judged LD at both bid and local tournaments in the past 3 years, so I'm familar with a lots of jargons, but definitely don't assume that I know everything.

Theory, kritics, disads and counterplans must be explained. I prefer substance and clash. Don't spread because I won't be able to flow you.

Alex Zhu Paradigm

2 rounds

Not Submitted

christine tsai Paradigm

6 rounds

Background: I debated policy back in high school, but it's been years since then so I would slow down (speed).

K's: OK but it needs to be VERY clearly explained.

T: if you're going for T or theory then voters need to be extended and your case of abuse/potential abuse needs to be articulated.

Flash time counts as prep (policy). Please don't shake my hand.