Cal Invitational at Berkeley HS Tournament

2016 — CA/US

Molly Acker Paradigm

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Julian Advani Paradigm

6 rounds

PF: I did PF for the last year and a half in high school. I am okay with any argument as long as you warrant it. I won't do any work for you so be clean with your extensions and weigh for me. 


LD: I did LD for the first 2 and a half years in high school. I am okay with any argument as long as you sufficiently warrant it. I won't down you for running any argument, I try to be as Tab as I can. If it comes down to it I evaluate framework over contention level debate. That being said just because you win framework doesn't mean you automatically win the round. 


Speed: Don't spread. 

Privthi Akella Paradigm

6 rounds

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Kia Aliakbar Paradigm

4 rounds

Experience: 4 years of PubFo and Parli at the circuit level

Speaker Points: I'm an old-school debater. I grew up debating at the dinner table so I'm going to be looking keenly for how well you listen to your opponent, actually understand what they say and how they think, and how well you articulate and explain yourself to them. This means you should be on your A-game during cross-examination. I also like to see your speaking style. I did a lot of OO and Impromptu so I'm pretty critical of this as well. I'm going to determine a winner based on what you say, not how you say it. But how you say it will go a long way towards determining how influential what you say is to winning.

Speed- I've been out of circuit debate for a while so proceed at a reasonable speed. No spreading please.

Ks are fine but don't stretch it. Only use it if it's necessary. I'm here to listen to something substantive about a real-world issue. Theory shells are fine but make sure it's well-structured and concise, especially if it's abstract reasoning. Sell all Ks and T-shells directly to me.

Topicality- Only do this if it's necessary. Debate over topicality shouldn't run past the first cross-examination, otherwise the debate becomes pointless. Don't try to win on topicality because I want to be able to weigh contentions on a common framework.

Impact Calculus- This is where you're going to make your money. All contentions should have a well-supported and well-defined impact. All impacts should be related directly to the value criterion, then value, and then the resolution such that the last thing you say should literally end with "...which is why we affirm/negate the resolution...(insert resolution)." Disads and extensions are good. I think it's important to the identity of a debate to exchange perspectives on the same idea. In the end I will be the ultimate judge of which impacts are valid and which impacts weigh more.

Respect- I spent all four years of my high school debate career actively working against the notion that your opponents are your enemies. Yes, you are debating against them but they're across the table from you because they share the same love for debate as you do. Appreciate the fact that they are there and treat them with respect, otherwise, I might just give you a loss. Watch your demeanor, be nice, and mean it.

Flow- I flow debates. If you're talking and I'm not writing it means that you didn't come across clearly in your last point and I'm trying to figure it out or that I'm waiting for you to say something substantive. Sometimes I will look up at you if I think you're making an important point. Don't waste your time and energy worrying over what I'm thinking because it could be the exact opposite. Make sure you address all of your opponent's points on the flow. Internal links are huge. If you don't link your points and support those links with evidence I won't buy it. Signpost everything. If you didn't explain something properly the first time i'll give you one more opportunity to clarify and validate your point. I look at the flow holistically so don't lose it over small things but if they add up it's going to make a difference, especially in a close round.

Shaun Ansel Paradigm

3 rounds

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Nicole Arnold Paradigm

5 rounds

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Gokulkrishna Asokan Paradigm

6 rounds

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Savon Ayodeji Paradigm

4 rounds

Affiliation: Capitol Debate (High school) and Liberty University (College)
Experience: I debated for 3 years for Eleanor Roosevelt high school pretty competitively. I've been in outrounds of most tournaments Wake, GDS, Capitol, Scranton, Lexington, and GMU.

Some general things you should know about me before I judge your debate:

1) The three years i debated in high school i ran all types of arguments from A-spec and politics to a 1 off Kritik. I am now on the more critical side in college debate and read race based arguments. that being said i am not ideologically opposed to any argument you read. I will happily judge a policy throw-down and i have no problem voting on framework. You do you and i'll be fine with it.

2) I love a well-executed impact turn debate . If you can give me this your speaks will show my joy

3) Frame the ballot for me in the 2NR/2AR. Don't just extend a bunch of cards and highlight concessions, but be explicit about why a particular argument or collection of arguments wins you the debate. 

4) Evidence quality may become important in close debates but is a secondary concern to persuasion within the debate. This is not to say that I won't read your evidence after the debate because i probably will, but I won't evaluate warrants that are in your cards or make judgments about evidence quality unless they were fleshed out adequately in the constructives/rebuttals.


- You should assume that I am not up on the literature you have read. You should not expect me to know every acronym or all the latest developments in your DA scenario, nor should you assume that I understand all of the jargon in your K. Err on the side of ,at least, briefly explaining a concept before jumping into the intricacies of your argument.


- Defense can win debates and I have no problem pulling the trigger on presumption. I can be compelled that there is 0% risk of solvency to an affirmative case, or that there is no internal link within a DA. "There's a 1% chance that we're good for the world" is not a sufficient justification unless you provide a reason for why the opposing team's defensive argument is false or simply mitigates your claim (rather than taking it out terminally).


- I have a tendency to be somewhat expressive. If I find something stupid happening within a debate, I will likely face-palm, and/or shake my head; if I didn't understand you, I will give you a quizzical look. You should look up occasionally and take hints from the visual cues that I am sending. I won't make verbal interjections within a debate unless you're being unclear in which case i will say clear twice


- There is a fine line between being assertive and being rude. Don't cross it. If you don't know the difference, just watch for how I react


Some specific concerns:


Topicality-- I default to competing interpretations . To make these debates even close to enjoyable for me this requires an explicit list of what specific cases your interpretation permits and why this is beneficial for the activity. As for "Kritiks of T": I tend not to view these as RVIs, but instead as counter-standards that privilege an alternate debate curriculum that is more important than traditional conceptions. Negatives that plan on defending T against these criticisms should not only maintain that the 1AC does not meet what they view as fair and educational debate, but also need to go into a more specific discussion that impacts why their vision of a fair and educational debate is good and why the negative's alternate curriculum is worse in comparison.


Theory-- pretty similar to T debates but the one difference is that I will default to "reject the argument, not the team" unless given a reason otherwise. I have been known to go for cheapshots, but these require fulfilling a high standard of execution (a fully warranted and impacted explanation of your cheapshot, and closing the doors on any cross-applications the aff can make from other flows). Stylistically speaking, slowing down in these debates will help me put more ink on your side of the flow--otherwise I may miss a part of your argument that you find important. Additionally, a well-thought out interpretation and 3 warranted arguments regarding why a particular practice in debate is bad is significantly stronger than a blippy, generic re-hashing of a 10-point block.


Straight-up Strategies-- My favorite strategies often involve more than one or more of the following: an advantage counterplan, topic specific DA(s), and a solid amount of time allocated to case turns/defense. I am obviously open to hear and evaluate more generic arguments like politics, dip cap, delay counterplans, and process counterplans if that is your thing, and you should obviously go for what you are winning.


K and Performance Strategies-- I enjoy philosophy and have spent a significant chunk of my free time reading/understanding K and performance arguments. My familiarity with this style of debating makes it a double-edged sword. I will be very impressed if you command significant knowledge about the theory at hand and are able to apply them to the case through examples from popular culture or empirical/historical situations. On the other hand, if you fail to explain basic theoretical ideas within the scope of the K or fail to engage particular points of contention presented by the affirmative, I will be thoroughly unimpressed. Similarly, when opposing a K or performance, I am much more interested in arguments (analytics and cards) that not only substantively engage the K but thoroughly defend why your theorization of politics and interaction with the social should be preferred, rather than a generic 50 point survey of claims that are made by positivist thinkers. This is not to say that generic "greatest hits" style arguments have no value, but they certainly need to be backed up with a defense of the conceptual framing of your 1AC (eg, if the negative wins that the kritik turns the case or a no v2l claim, I'm not sure what "predictions good" or "cede the political" does for the affirmative). In terms of a theory/framework debate, I am much less likely to be persuaded by generic "wrong forum" claims but will be more likely to be compelled by arguments pointing to abusive sections of the specific K that is being run (eg, the nature of the alt).


It's also important to defend your impacts thoroughly. My favorite straight up affirmatives to read when I debated had big hegemony advantages. My favorite K authors to read are Wilderson (Afro-Pessimism) and other forms of Black liberation startegies. As a result, I am unlikely be swayed or guilted into voting for you if the only argument you make is a moralizing reference to people suffering/dying. This is NOT to say that I won't vote for you if you choose a strategy that relies on these impacts. However if these impacts are challenged either through impact turns or comparisons, I will not hack for you; I require an adequate refutation of why their impact calculation or understanding of suffering/death is false/incomplete and reasons for why I should prefer your framing. In other words, if the opposing team says "hegemony good and outweighs your K" or alternatively, reads a "suffering/death good" style kritik and your only comeback is "you link to our arguments and people are oppressed" without much other refutation, you will lose. When your moral high ground is challenged, own up to it and refute their assumptions/explanations.


Regardless of what you think I know about K literature, you should err on the side of explanation-- I will not vote for a haphazard collection of buzzwords that are not adequately explained.


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


< 25: You really got on my nerves and you deserve an equally obnoxious number on the 0-25 part of the scale
25: You showed up but didn't really make an argument past the 1AC/1NC, and didn't ever acknowledge the fact that there were opponents making arguments in your speech
26: You showed up and made some claims (mostly without warrants) that occasionally clashed with your opponents
27: You made a variety of claims in the debate (some backed up with warrants) but had a variety of severe strategic mishaps and/or failed to impact your claims
28: You made a variety of claims in the debate (most of them backed up with warrants), but you were occasionally playing with fire and had questionable strategic maneuvers
28.5: You are solid. Your claims are backed up with warrants and you have a strategic vision that you are attempting to accomplish.
29: I feel like you will be in the late elims of the tournament that I am judging at
29.5: I feel like you are one of the top few debaters I've judged that year.
30: I feel that you are the best debater I've seen that year.

Shannen Bazzi Paradigm

5 rounds

I don't have a very intricate paradigm, but to help guide you, I have made a list of things I don't like and things I do like.  


Things I DON'T like 

  • Spreading (you can talk briskly, but don't try to spread heavy-breathing style)
  • Squirelly arguments (aka arguments that use sketchy evidence and have tenuous links to the resolution)
  • Misconstruing evidence
  • Off-Time road maps

Things I DO like 

  • Cases that are 3 contentions or LESS (greater than 3 contentions usually means they're underdeveloped)
  • Signposting
  • APPROPRIATE amounts of sassiness in CX (be polite, but be assertive)
  • numbered responses in rebuttal 
  • Turns
  • Topic selection in the form of extension work in the Summary
  • WEIGHING AND BIG PICTURE ANALYSIS IN THE FINAL FOCUS (I don't like line-by-line FFs, that's not the goal of the speech and it makes it very hard to judge the round) 



Patrick Berger Paradigm

4 rounds

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Aishu Bharathidasan Paradigm

5 rounds

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Bhatt Paradigm

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Brian Bloss Paradigm

4 rounds

Director of Debate at Coppell High School.

4 years of debate high school - (policy)

4 years of debate college (parliamentary debate and NFA LD)

I am well versed in policy debate and consider my default paradigm to be that of a policymaker. I took third in the country in LD in college and was an All-American Parliamentary Debater. I can handle speed just please slow down a bit and enunciate your tag lines and author name for me. Please weigh impacts and explain why you are winning. I hate feeling like an interventionist when that happens.

Scroll to the bottom for LD and PF judging.


Policy Paradigm

I have a masters degree in international relations with a concentration in national security studies. I enjoy impacts that focus on these and politics. I have also worked in the political world including as a member of a presidential campaign's debate team. All of this is to say that if it comes down to competing claims of what the evidence says at the end of the round and you ask me to look at it I will read everything even the ununderlined parts of the card to determine what the author's intent is. That is the only way I know how to ejudicate completing claims of a high school student about what evidence says.


I am not a fan of performance debate/project affs. I am fine with kritikal affs provided that they are topical and have actual solvency. 

Kritiks are fine as long as you have a viable textual alternative and alternative solvency. Yes there is a difference. If you tell me the ballot is a tool I will agree that it is a tool to demonstrate I met my judging obligation but that is about it.


I prefer weighing of arguments rather than just throwing out whatever you can in the hope that it will stick. If you run Topicality explain to me what ground you have actually lost instead of just saying "T's a voter".

Ultimately just give me impacts. I would prefer direct clash on substance rather than getting stuck in the minutae of a theory debate unless we are trying to make comparative worlds of plan versus the world of the kritik.


I prefer impacts akin to policy here. My only caveat to that is make sure that you follow the rules regarding specific plans and counterplans. Alternative advocacies are fine as long as you can justify why it is not a counterplan.

On that point, familiarize yourself with policy theory about what a counterplan structurally must have in order to be viable.


1) Makes sure there is clash with the value and criteria and that your framework functions together with your case.

2) I am more than fine with plans in LD as well as kritiks. You should make sure though that you read my policy paradigm as to what has to be part of the kritik in order for me to evaluate.

3) I am fine with speed but if I can't understand I will say clear once. If you choose not to adapt at that point speaker points come off because you didn't adapt.


Stephen Brooks Paradigm

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Andrew Chadwell Paradigm

6 rounds

Andrew Chadwell,

Assistant Coach, Gig Harbor HS, Gig Harbor WA

Coached PF: 9 years

Competed in PF: 1 year

Competed in British Parliamentary: 2 years

Competed at the 2012 World Universities Debating Championship in Manila.

Items that are Specific to the 2018 TOC tournament are placed at the end of this-I would still encourage you all to read the whole Paradigm and not just the TOC items.

Hello all,

Note: I debated in PF at a time when things were a bit different-Final focus was 1 minute long, you could not ask to see your opponents evidence and not everything needed a card in order to be true. This might explain some things before you read the rest of this.

Arguments have a claim, a warrant, and a link to the ballot (impact). This is interpreted by my understanding of your explanation of the argument. If I don’t understand the argument/how it functions, I won’t vote on it.

Main items:

1. Clear arguments-I should be able to understand you.

2. What are the impacts?-Impact calc is very important.

3. Give me voters in Final Focus.

4. Abusive Case/Framework/Conduct: Alright so if you are running some sort of FW or case that gives your opponent a super narrow bit of ground to stand on and I feel that they have no ground to make any sort of case then I will consider it in my decisions.

That being said if your framework leaves your opponents with enough ground to work with and they don’t understand it that's their loss.

Conduct in the round should be professional-We are here to debate not get into shouting matches. Or insult the opposing team's intelligence.

Framework/Res Analysis/Observation’s: Totally fine with as long as they are not super abusive. I like weighing mechanisms for rounds.

Evidence Debates/Handover: I have a very large dislike of how some teams seem to think that PF should just be a mini-CX where if you don’t have a card even if the argument is pure logic, they say it cannot be considered. If the logic and the link works I am good with it.

I don't want to see evidence/definition wars unless you can clearly prove that your evidence supplements your opponents. Also, evidence handover counts toward your prep time-not outside of it. You wanna see someone's evidence that comes out of your prep.

Speaker Points: I was asked this several times last year so I figured I would add this piece. How to get 30 speaker points from me. First of all I would say that clarity is a big helper in this, alongside that I will also say that asking good lines of questioning in crossfire can help you get better speaker points from me. I do tend to grade harder on the rebuttal and final focus speeches since those were what I was primarily doing when I competed. The other thing that can be really helpful is analogies. Good analogies can win you a round. If they are actually good.

Things that help you win my ballot:

Unique arguments (That actually link to the resolution)

Be clever.

Be polite.

Be Civil

Make it an awesome round. Down to the wire back and forth. Keep me on the edge of my seat.

Things that hurt you:

Being abusive-either in case or in speaking. Aggressive CF and arguments are okay with me, but keep it in check.

Disregarding All of the above points.

Not being attired professionally. (Unless extenuating circumstances exist)

Ignoring my point about evidence debate.

Insulting an opponent-personally.

TOC Specific Items

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:

The speed of Delivery: Medium Speed-and clarity tends to win out more then the number of items that you claim should exist on my flow.

The format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?)

I generally would go for either-But Line by line will help my flow be clear and easier to understand at the end of the round. Big picture I tend to believe has more of an impact on the summary and the final focus.

Role of the Final Focus

Put this up at the top: But here it is again: I want to see Voters in the final focus. Unless your opponent pulled some sort of crazy stunt that absolutely needs to be addressed, the final focus is a self-promotion speech on why you won the round.

Extension of Arguments into later speeches

If an argument has not been responded to then you can just extend it. If it has been refuted in some way shape or form you need to address that counter before I will flow it across.


Unless this is explained extremely well I cannot vote on T. Frankly don't risk it.


Not for PF.


With the lack of knowledge that I have in regards to how Kritiks should be run, Please do not run them in front of me. This will likely make vote for your opponent.


You should be flowing in the round-Even if you know that you have the round in the bag. Always flow.

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally?

Equal. A debator who can combine good arguments with style is going to generally win out over one or the other.

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

Definetly in the summery. If you have time in the rebuttal you can...

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech?

No. If you can start to do that great-but that might push you past the medium speed threshold.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus?

If they are new-no. However, if they are extensions of prior arguments then that will be determined on a round by round basis.

If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here.

Please read the whole paradigm. Also remember that I am human (I think) and I can make mistakes.

Ruby Chen Paradigm

3 rounds

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Jane Cheng Paradigm

3 rounds

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Aileen Crowl Paradigm

2 rounds

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Anthony Cummins Paradigm

5 rounds

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Michael Curry Paradigm

2 rounds

About me: I am a father, Language Arts / History Teacher, and Speech and Debate coach. I have been a member of our community as a competitor, judge, and coach since 1990. I believe that this activity is the most important thing young people can do while in school. Trends an styles come and go, but one immovable truth guides my participation in this activity: I care for you, am proud of you, and look forward to you taking control of our country and making it better than when you found it.

About LD: I see my role in the round as a non-intervening arbiter tasked with the job of determining what world, aff or neg, we would be better off living in. I have judged V/C rounds, policy rounds, theory rounds, framework rounds. And while I have not attended a camp, or have a grasp of the current jargon in circuit debate, I find myself able to render decisions consistent with my peers even though I might not be able to vocalize my rationale the way camp debaters expect. I know who won, I just don't have the catchy phrases or lingo to explain how. You can not spread if you don't include me in the email chain. And even then, during rebuttals, I really do need clear signposting and pen time at the critical moments when you need me to hear your analysis. I am a smart guy, but as a father and teacher, I don't have the time to be hyper-versed in the literature. But if you take a small chunk of time, explain your theory, I'll get it. Ultimately, the email chain and the pen time will allow me to have a clean flow. And I (and you) want that clean flow for me to render a decision we can all be happy with.

So what are we looking at to secure my ballot. I'm a rubber meets the road kind of guy. I look for impacts. I expect engagement. I typically don't pull the trigger on T. I find most T arguments un-compelling if even my uneducated self knows about issues the Aff is bringing up. And in a world of disclosure, I am guessing most people know what's going on. This isn't to say I don't vote on T, but my bar is high. I'm open to pre-fiat arguments. I'm fine with considering RVIs. I'm fine with CX during prep if both competitors are ok with it. I don't mind audience members, but I will clear the room if I find the audience being disrespectful, or trying to cheat a glance at my ballot.

My RFDs in round are short, focus on the major voting issues, and are not open to cross examination by students or their coaches. I will write my more detailed thoughts out on the e-ballots prior to the end of the tournament.

Finally, I'm not going to be hurt by how you pref me. I'm going to do my best to do right in the round. One will agree with me. One won't. That's the nature of the game. But the sun will rise on the morn regardless of how you pref, or how I vote.

Prafulla Deuskar Paradigm

6 rounds

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Brent Dysart Paradigm

6 rounds

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Tracy Fang Paradigm

3 rounds

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Matthew Freeman Paradigm

5 rounds

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Ben Gardner-Gill Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated April 18, 2020, re:COVID.


Most recently, varsity Parli coach at The Nueva School, CA.

Former coach at Menlo School, CA and Mountain View-Los Altos, CA. While in school, I was a TOC-level PF debater; I typically debated as part of Los Altos GV.

Short Form Paradigm: I flow and vote off the flow. I am tabula rasa and non-interventionist. I care about evidence and weighing. When I vote, I look to the last speeches first, so you need to extend both your warrants and impacts to those speeches. If you can't tell me why you deserve to win, you don't deserve to win.

COVID-19 Notice: This is a really weird time, and a really weird way, to be doing debate. Accordingly, for any round conducted virtually:

-I will be very forgiving with technical and related issues. Please speak up or message me in chat if you have literally any problems. Debate is an educational activity first and foremost and that needs to be preserved.

-This pandemic affects all of us in some way, and some of us very personally. Please conduct yourselves with the appropriate respect.

-I will not be assessing speaker points in any round conducted virtually. Speakers on the winning team will receive 30s (or 30 and 29.9 if necessary) and the losing team will receive 29.9s (or 29.8 and 29.7, if necessary).


Disclose: to inform the debaters who won the round.

Dropping: to vote against

Fiat power: the government's ability to declare that their plan will pass through appropriate channels into law, and be executed by the appropriate authorities. Fiat power does not absolve the government of the potential downsides of this process.

Flow: my notes of the round. I capture the essence of, or paraphrase, all content.

Framework: an argument about how the judge should assess the various content in the round. A common example is a net benefits or cost-benefit analysis framework, which adheres to the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

K: short for "Kritik," a category of arguments which seek "to redirect the focus of debate to whether or not to reject ideas which support or uphold undesirable ideology, language, institutions, or world views" (Bennett).

Line-by-line: a way of organizing rebuttal and later speeches that addresses arguments and evidence in the order they were originally stated, rather than grouping them together in a condensed format, thematically or otherwise.

Non-interventionist: I do not insert myself in the decision of the round; I judge based on who provided the better arguments as recorded on my flow.

Plan: an organized description of the government's proposal for addressing the resolution. It must include a description of the timeframe, funding, and actor.

RFD: Reason for decision. This is provided in written form on the ballot, and frequently verbally immediately after the round as well.

Signposting: when a debater indicates which argument they are addressing, before addressing it.

Spread: a very fast style of speaking, frequently eclipsing 300 words per minute.

T: short for theory, which are a category of arguments about how the rules of the debate and how it is conducted, rather than arguments about the content of the resolution. "Friv" T, short for frivolous, is that which is only tangentially related, if at all.

Tabula rasa: lit. "Blank slate," meaning I come into the round without bias (as much as possible).

Tag teaming: a parli debate practice when in the middle of partner X's speech, they confer with partner Y, either in a hushed tone or with an audible statement by partner Y that is then repeated by partner X. Statements are not flowed unless they are said aloud by the partner whose designated speech it is. [My own opinion of this practice is quite negative. Please do not tag team if I am your judge.]

General Paradigm

1. I flow and vote off the flow.

Speed is fine, but if I can't understand you I can't give you credit for the argument. If you spread, I won't drop you automatically, I just won't be able to understand you and so I'll probably end up dropping you. I'll only say "Slow" a few times to try to tell you to slow down.

Signposting is key. I will write everything down, but if you're disorganized, my flow will be too, and that makes my job a lot harder.

I like to give oral RFDs and disclose if possible, but if I need extra time in order to examine my flow, that takes precedence over giving you a decision in the room. I will tell you you're not getting an oral RFD as soon as I realize I'll need the extra time.

2. I am tabula rasa and non-interventionist. I will not complete the argument for you.

I am open to anything as long as it's within the rules of the event. For example, if you're running a plan in PF I'm perfectly open to that, just don't call it a plan (hint: use "advocacy"), and remember the neg doesn't have fiat power in PF.

3. Don't play around with evidence.

If you're acting strange or dodging basic questions, I will likely call for the evidence (more so in PF than Parli).

I will look at any evidence you call for me to look at if you do so within the round (all events included).

Empirics are king, but they are not the be-all end-all. Smart analytics can beat dumb cards, as Cayman Giordano says.

PF: Within the round you should cite, at minimum, author and date.

4. Weigh your arguments and tell me why you're winning the round. Explain why your voters are preferable. If you have a short-circuit voter that I should look at first, you need to tell me that clearly AND warrant why I should be considering it first.

5. Be civil, especially in crossfire. If you're questioning whether you should be sassy or not, don't be. I will detract speaks for rude behavior; this is an educational activity.

6. Off time road maps are fine if they're useful and brief, otherwise your speaker points will take a hit. Don't make your case in the road map. I do particularly like road maps before the Opp block and PMR speeches in Parli, but they're not necessary per se.

It is fine to ask if everyone's ready before you start speaking. It is fine to not ask as well.


1. I like to see high level warrant debate that doesn't get bogged down in "we have bigger numbers" impact debate. Talk about why your side makes more sense and why you have better proof than the other side does.

2. The second rebuttal should ideally address some of the content of the first rebuttal, even if it's only to weigh against it. If you've got a perfect 4 minute long attack on your opponent's case, that's fine, just be aware of the challenges you're going to face later in the round for doing that.

3. If you're going to go line-by-line in summary, tell me off time that you're going to be doing that. I don't care either way, but I prefer to be prepared for that.

4. Framework is not a voter. It is a way to evaluate voters.

5. Give me voters in final focus.

I will not extend arguments for you from the summary: if you want me to vote on it, you must say it in the final focus.

The second speaking team's final focus should address points, most preferably voters, from the first final focus. Extend your warrants and impacts.

6. I don't flow crossfire, but I do pay attention. Crossfire is first for clarifying questions, second for offensive/attacking questions, and third for defensive questions. It is not a time for ranting. It is not a time for restating your case. Having one debater drone on and on reflects poorly on both teams.

7. Speaker Points: Each speech is worth about 4 points and each crossfire one, roughly. Two speeches + two crossfires = 10 points (on the 20-30 scale). A 30 is reserved for practical perfection, and after my decade plus in debate, I can count on one hand the number of speeches I've seen that have deserved a 30. If you get below a 25, you've done something wrong, not just spoken poorly.


I am tabula rasa and will vote on anything. That said, coming from a PF background, I prefer case debate. I also like evidence - most tournaments these days have internet prep; you should use it.

I will vote on all sorts of T, but you need to be crystal clear in your explanation. This criterion includes stock components like education and fairness, and is especially true for non-stock. I like listening to bizarre and friv T for entertainment value, but the flow is a sheet of notes incapable of being entertained, and I vote off the flow.

I don't have a background in Ks, but I'll vote on them.

Speaker points: I treat 27.5 as my average, scoring roughly on a flattened bell curve. Typically, the highest speaks I give on a regular basis at an invitational/flow tournament is a 29.2. The highest level tournaments may see a 29.5. I have yet to see a parli speaker deserving of a 30. Tag teaming is absurd and I'll deduct your speaks if you do it.

Brandon Garrett Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated 4 years of policy in High school for Bellarmine and 1 in college for UT Dallas. I coach Policy and LD currently at Presentation High School. I have been there for 7 years. If quals matter I was in CEDA octas as a frosh in college. for the email chain.

Despite being mostly a T/K debater in high school, my team in Dallas was a very straight-up oriented team and as a result I am familiar with and accepting of those types of arguments as well. I read plenty of counterplans and disads in college and high school. I have had and judged tons of politics debate and states counterplan debates and soft vs hard power debates. I don't dislike these debates on face, I just dislike when they lack substance in the sense that theres no analysis happening. I am pretty okayish at flowing so prolly can get you at near top speed but will yell clearer from time to time. As with anything, if you cannot clearly articulate your argument or position, I will not vote for it.

That being said, I definitely havent judged these debates much lately bc most people think I am a K hack, but I actually find them easier to adjudicate and enjoy them a lot when they are good. In a policy v policy style round, I think I am generally a pretty good judge for these debates despite preferring to judge the more left debates.

T/K affs/Fwk
I am relatively familiar with most critical literature but thinks like schlag and heidegger and baudrillard need a lot of link work analysis and alt explanation as do other dense kritiks. this type of explanation will help you in the long run anyways.

I have been told I don't get preffed because my paradigm may be a bit strongly worded. I definitely feel very strongly about use of framework as a way to silence teams with a legitimate gripe against institutional and systemic injustice that is relevant both to this activity and students autonomy. I think there are certain schools that are obviously uninterested in engaging with the substance of these types of arguments because it doesn't benefit their hegemonic structure that is self reinforcing or because it puts coaches outside their comfort zone. I think these arguments are intrinsic goods to the future of the activity and I would tend to think the trend of the community voting patterns and explosion of identity and performance arguments corroborate this direction and opinion.

I am highly inclined to believe that T-USFG is very problematic against certain types of Ks or performance affs. Debate isnt just a game, but certainly has gamelike attributes. I think entirely gamelike views on debate ensure hegemony of opinions.
True procedural fairness doesn't really exist because of structural issues, judge bias, and humans being humans and not robots. Education in some form is inevitable - its just a question of how open you are to learning something and what you are contributing.

This activity matters, what we say in it matters, and if you feel like you have no answer to a K or performance argument then go through the following thought process real quick:
1) Am I more concerned with winning than understanding the arguments of my opponent (if you answered yes you prolly wont win my ballot)
2) Do I want to win and engage the substance of my opponents arguments (If you answered yes then you can proceed)
3) Do I have anything to actually engage with the probably true argument that people of color and women and other disadvantaged people are set up to fail and the institutions of the state and debate have failed them? (If the answer is no you can still potentially win this debate: contribute to the discourse or attack thiers/create your own methodology, and tell me why you think that should enable you to win my ballot. That or cut more cards and prep better answers)

Most people who read these arguments do it to discuss real issues that really matter to them and to our community. The norm of the community to try and avoid these conversations with theory spikes or T arguments that are unspecific and poorly developed is depressing and most definitely not a strategy i support.

To clarify: I think its fine to read Policymaking good / framing against a security K or cap K - but when the debate is about an individuals autonomy and recognition in the debate space (for example - a survival strategy for a PoC) that neccesitates an entirely different discussion.

I think T-usfg/fwk (its pretty much the same thing dont lie) is a competing interpretations debate and there is pretty much no convincing me otherwise. If you cant explain what your version of debate looks like then why should you win? I love a good fiat/framing debate and can vote either way on it.

I tend to favor the team that does more analysis and explanation of warrants. If you are extending your tag and cite but not explaining the warrants of your evidence your opponents will probably win. I also dont typically look for the easiest way out. You all put a lot into this activity and I want to make sure I consider every avenue.

I definitely think that extending a dropped argument is pretty impactful - many judges will tell you just because its dropped doesn't mean its true, but until your opponents make a reasonable refutation, I will evaluate dropped arguments with a high degree of weight. I will NOT, however, give you huge impacts for dropped arguments that are extended in a blippy manner.

I feel like the biggest thing I am lacking in most rounds is impact comparison across layers. I often find myself doing unnecessary intervention because no one tells me how their impacts interact with their opponents. If you want me to vote for you make the path to the ballot really clear, and I will follow your line of thinking. When there are a bunch of open ended questions at the end of the round and doors that are not closed there is always going to be a gap of understanding between my decision and your interpretation of the round. It is definitely your responsibility to minimize that gap as much as possible.

Theory and T
In terms of theory I don't really like to pull the trigger on reject the team unless there is proof of in round abuse. I could vote on a reject the team argument but they would have to be setting a pretty uniquely bad standard for debate. I think things like "must read a trigger warning" or "condo bad" definitely fall within this description. I have a very low tolerance for frivolous theory and am definitely not your judge if you like that style or tricks. There are winnable theory arguments in front of me but stuff like 'new affs bad' or 'plans bad' that dont make realistic sense arent gonna fly. Lookin at you LD community.

I will take away speaks if you tell me to judge kick things. Do your job as a debater.

Speaks are about ethos, pathos, and logos. If you are lacking in presence or your arguments dont make logical sense it will be hard to get perfect speaks. The best technical debater in the world is probably only a 29.5 without ethos.

I don't really give 30s and a bunch of 29s and 29.5 is really for an amazing debater. 30 for me is perfect. That being said, I also don't really give 26 or 26.5 unless you are doing really poorly. If you got a 26.9 or lower you were probably very offensive towards me or your opponents. 27 range is you messed up some fundamentals like dropped an important argument, made a contradiction that was obvious, were uneducated on your own positions, etc.

PF specific:

I favor evidence far more heavily than other judges in this event. I am SO TIRED of kids not giving dates or cites to your evidence. There are NSDA evidence rules for a reason. I am gonna start docking a speaker point for each member of each team that doesn't properly cite your evidence. If I wanted to I could not evaluate any cards you dont read author and date for because of these rules.

You force me to intervene when you read 1 liner pieces of evidence. Just stop misrepresenting and paraphrasing cards and we will get along.

Arguments in Final Focus need to be in the summary or second rebuttal. I prefer if you are second rebuttal you respond to the first rebuttal but wont hold it against you. Its just the correct strategic choice.
Extending cards by name will help you win my ballot. Weighing is huge and matters a bunch. I think you should probably use cross ex for clarification and understanding rather than making arguments. Im not flowing cross-ex.

Jake Gore Paradigm

6 rounds

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Gavin Green Paradigm

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Andrew Ground Paradigm

6 rounds

I do not believe that posting paradigms is good for debate. That said:

1) I have extensive experience in judging all debate events.

2) As this is not policy and you are limited in time, use speed wisely. If it is effective I will flow with you. Be sure, however, that you make a judicious decision. 

3) Evidence is important, but argumentation is more important. Evidence wars tend to be a waste of good clash and argument time.

I allow each team to ask one additional, specific paradigm question before the round for all to hear.


I do not time road maps. I do not time prep since I cannot determine conclusively what you are doing on your computers at any given time; you can police each other.

As a rule I use speech time to flow rather than to write comments. Anything important will be in the RFD.

Anil Gupta Paradigm

3 rounds

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Yun-Sik Han Paradigm

3 rounds

parent judge. speak VERY slowly. make me convincingly understand why your impacts matter more. (weigh)

Dipra Handa Paradigm

3 rounds

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Sahil Hansalia Paradigm

3 rounds

Debated VPF for 4 years (but haven't been involved in debate since 2015). Will vote off the flow but don't spread or get too fancy- If I can't follow/understand odds are you will lose. I'm only writing this because I was told to, if you want more detailed paradigm ask before round.

Rene Hong Paradigm

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Mamatha Induvadan Paradigm

3 rounds

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Meeran Ismail Paradigm

4 rounds

I’m fine with speed for the most part, but if you start spreading, I’ll simply stop flowing (and it’ll be obvious). Run whatever you want, as long as it’s not sexist, homophobic, racist, transphobic, or in any other way that would be offensive and oppressive. (I love sass and attitude, but there’s a limit). I don’t care too much about crossfire, just as long as you aren’t a racist/homophobic/transphobic/sexist dick (sassiness and attitude again welcome here, just none of the offensiveness).

I probably don’t know that much about the topic, so please don’t assume that I know about the topic and do a solid job in constructives of explaining.

I will weigh any frameworks presented, but winning a framework doesn’t win you the round. If you can’t win under your own framework, you shouldn’t have proposed that framework.

I don’t care about your meta-study conducted over 200 different countries if you don’t warrant your arguments. For you to gain any access the impacts of your evidence, please give me warrants and reasons as to why your cards matter and give you access to your impacts.

I will weigh the summary perhaps more heavily than any other speech in the round. You’re job here is to NARROW THE ROUND. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COVER ALL OF YOUR ARGUMENTS IN A TWO MINUTE SPEECH. If you try, you will fail, guaranteed. Narrow the round to 2-3 issues that you can give proper emphasis on, and you will be much better off. Additionally, summary is where extensions are most vital. If you don’t extend something in summary, don’t bother mentioning it in the final focus.

And what, may you ask, is an extension? DON’T EXTEND INK. If you tell me to extend Miller 2015, yet you don’t tell me what the card says, or why it matters, I really don’t care. When extending arguments, tell me what argument you’re extending, why Miller 2015 trumps the other team’s refutation, the warrants of Miller 2015, and why the impact of Miller 2015 helps you win the round. The same logic extends to drops as well. If they dropped the CATO Institute card, please tell me why that matters. Otherwise, it doesn’t.

For final foci (and summaries to a lesser extent), please weigh. You’ve heard this a million times, you’ve probably said the word “weigh” multiple times, but weighing isn’t simply saying “X Argument outweighs.” Please tell me what arguments outweigh, why they outweigh (magnitude, probability, time frame, prevents opponents from gaining any links to their impacts, etc.), and spend a good amount (most) of your time doing this, as opposed to going down the line by line and occasionally saying “this outweighs."

As far as calling for evidence is concerned, I will call for cards in the following situations:

1. The content of the card is in dispute.

2. The card sounds like some bullshit.

Please have a legitimate card (citation + text in context) or the article/study itself. Prep time won't start while teams are looking for cards to give to opponents, so don't try wasting the other team's prep by calling for a billion cards. If you call for a card, once the other team hands you the evidence, it comes off of your prep time.

Sticky defense: sure, but good teams should be able to anticipate what defense they extend in summary.

Tyler Jacobson Paradigm

4 rounds

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Lawrence Jacobson Paradigm

6 rounds

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Anjali Jain Paradigm

4 rounds

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Li-Fu Jeng Paradigm

3 rounds

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Aji Joseph Paradigm

3 rounds

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Liya Khan Paradigm

6 rounds

I competed in Public Forum in high school for four years and coached for two year for Colleyville Heritage High School. I'm currently a fourth year at the University of Chicago and a concurrent Master's student in IR.

I'm open to any argument but have a few preferences with argumentation:

Framework: Super important! I think framework is incredibly useful in contextualizing all arguments in the round. Linking your arguments through your framework and then proving why I should buy the framework is the clearest path to my ballot. But also make sure to engage in a framework debate, not simply read different frameworks against each other. Weighing arguments under your framework = critical to my ballot.

Summary/Final Focus: Make sure to set up arguments in Summary that will be weighed in Final. Extend offense from turns or disadvantages made in rebuttal, and don't simply tell me 'extend' things for you, do the weighing to convince me of the argument. Collapsing is key here, and your approach to Summary can't be to go for everything in the round-if you go explicitly line by line you lose a lot of valuable time that can be spent weighing.

Impact framing: You need to frame and weigh impacts in the last speeches for it to count as a voter. Simply repeating an impact from your constructive is not enough to win it; you need to weigh it against other impacts in the round and frame why we should be prioritizing those impacts first.

Defense: Answer it! I will weigh extended defense that goes unresponded to if your opponents do the work in weighing it. If you simply repeat your arguments without interacting with your opponent's responses, I'll be hesitant to buy it.

Evidence: I wil call for evidence that either 1) I know it is being misrepresented or miscut, 2) your opponents advocate is being misrepresented, or 3)sound exceptionally sketchy. Even if I think a piece of evidence might be untrue or unconvincing, I put the onus on the opposing team to call for the card and for me to evaluate it if they think it is critical to my decision in the round.

Speed: Don't debate at the speed where you have to do that weird breathing thing with your voice. I really dislike that sound.

Keep the debate space inclusive and accessible to all. I'm highly sensitive to racist, sexist, or misogynistic behavior, actions, or speech, and will intervene in exceptionally egregious circumstances.

Yongsoo Kim Paradigm

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Jennifer Kindred Paradigm

6 rounds

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Kevin Klyman Paradigm

2 rounds


I have judged high school parli before but sparingly. I do not understand how the event is conventionally judged or interpreted. I compete for Berkeley's APDA team and I did Public Forum debate in high school. I am competent at flowing although I cannot flow policy speed or the speed of the fastest circuit LD; if you ask me to do so I will say "clear" if you go too quickly, but without prompting I will remain silent.

I am open to all kinds of arguments; to me, an argument is a claim and a warrant (i.e. a reason why the claim is true). I default to an offense-defense paradigm, so if you want me to evaluate the round in a way other than that tell me to do so and warrant why I should do so. If the round is evaluated under an offense-defense paradigm it is of paramount importance that you weigh your arguments and warrant why they are more significant than your opponents' impacts, otherwise I will be deciding without a good justification for either side. I am unfamiliar with Ks in parli but I am open to them (if you explain them well) and I am predisposed to enjoy arguments that deploy an unconventional strategy.

I am not in favor of violent argumentation. I will not vote for racist, sexist, homophobic, or other oppressive arguments, and I might intervene against teams making them. Examples include "women like it rough," "there are no racist laws since the Civil Rights Act," "illegal immigrants do not deserve constitutional protections" and the like. A surefire way to ensure that I vote against a team making an oppressive argument is to say: "As a judge you have an ethical obligation to vote against arguments like these because they exact violence on people that you are supposed to protect in this space." Usually I'll try to do that work on my own, but a reminder never hurts.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask.


TLDR: I am a flow judge who will try to give helpful feedback.

How I Make My Decision

I will vote largely based on the final two speeches. I prefer to only vote on arguments whose warrant and impact are in both the summary and the final focus. However, there are two exceptions to this rule. First, both teams may extend defensive responses from the rebuttal to the final focus, however, I greatly prefer them to be in the summary and I am more likely to feel that they are new if they are extended from second rebuttal to second final focus. Second, the first final focus can make some new responses to new arguments made in the second summary but be reasonable about it.

Weigh as much as possible. I flow weighing arguments, and you can and should reference them as cleanly extended weighing analysis if your opponents do not respond to weighing in rebuttal or summary. Try to beyond using weighing buzz words such as magnitude/probability/timeframe and instead really tell me why the resolution is still true or false even if your opponents win all of their arguments.


I try and fail to come into each round as a blank slate, meaning that I try to disregard my biases.

I am in favor of unconventional argumentation. As a debater I frequently made arguments about nuclear war and extinction. I am happy to vote for big (albeit unrealistic) impacts as long as there is a solid link chain. I will vote for any type of argument, including critiques, performances, plans, theory, etc. However, my experience with evaluating these kinds of arguments is limited, so they must be articulated and weighed clearly.

I am probably comfortable with most speeds that will be reached in a Public Forum round, but if you are going too fast I will try to let you know. However, if you go slower I am on balance more likely to vote for you. Jargon is good as it usually helps me understand what kind of argument are making, but please try to sound like a human rather than a jargon machine. If it stops being helpful my expression will let you know.

I am not in favor of violent argumentation. I will not vote for racist, sexist, homophobic, or other oppressive arguments, and I might intervene against teams making them. Examples include "women like it rough," "there are no racist laws since the Civil Rights Act," "illegal immigrants do not deserve constitutional protections" and the like. A surefire way to ensure that I vote against a team making an oppressive argument is to say: "As a judge you have an ethical obligation to vote against arguments like these because they exact violence on people that you are supposed to protect in this space." Usually I'll try to do that work on my own, but a reminder never hurts.


Evidence ethics in Public Forum are awful. If your opponents are lying about evidence tell me, and they will lose because of it.

During the round evidence should be exchanged quickly and often. Evidence will be exchanged off of prep time, but the team reading the evidence will need to take prep to do so unless they read it during a speech or crossfire. If a team does not have a piece of evidence available I will disregard it. I will call for evidence after the round in four scenarios.

First, if during the round a debater tells me to look at specific evidence I will ask to see it. If the evidence is misrepresented I will reevaluate the argument that the evidence relates to as though it had never been read, which likely means that I will no longer be comfortable voting on that argument.

Second, if you cite a piece of evidence that I have read and it is blatantly misrepresented I'll want to see it to see who has the correct interpretation. For example, if a debater reports the wrong date for an event for which I know the correct date, provided that the date matters for the argument and the argument is made a voting issue, I'll need to see the source. In this case, do not be tempted to falsify the date on the evidence, I will google it to make sure that what you gives me matches the actual evidence.

Third, I'll call for a piece of evidence if it's obviously false. For instance, I might want to read evidence that states that during the round global nuclear war broke out and everyone outside of the room is dead.

Fourth, if there is a "tie" I will ask for evidence from both teams. (This occurs when neither team weighs any of their arguments, extends clean offense, or has an obviously bigger impact.) If either team has misrepresented evidence pertaining to their key arguments I will vote against them. If each team has a similar quality of evidence I will intervene in the best way I can.

Although this is thorough it does not mean that I often call for evidence; on the contrary, I set strict guidelines so that I do not call for evidence when it is unreasonable to do so, reducing the probability that I intervene. 

Speaker Points

I will reward debaters for clarity, kindness, humor, tech skill, strategy, teamwork, persuasion, topic knowledge, and genius. Here is my scale: 30 - You were amazing, I will remember your performance long after the round, you should teach other students how to do debate right. 29 - You were great, I was impressed by your performance, but not overwhelmed. 28 - You were good, but there is room for improvement. 27- There is a lot of room for improvement. 26 - You were not so good. 25 and below - You said something offensive.  

My Background

I competed in Public Forum for Evanston Township High School, mainly on the national circuit, and I graduated in 2015.

If you have any additional questions feel free to ask. If you have an issue with my decision also please feel free to communicate with me about that after the round.

Daniel Kong Paradigm

3 rounds

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Maya Kundassery Paradigm

6 rounds

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James Kyle Paradigm

6 rounds

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Miranda Le Paradigm

3 rounds

Public Forum Paradigm

Defense needs to be in summary. If it's not in summary, I'm less likely to consider it in final focus.

Time allocation is also super important. There needs to be a balance between explaining the link chain of your arguments and terminalizing impacts.

Don't be offensive.

Mike Lee Paradigm

6 rounds

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Yoon Lee Paradigm

3 rounds

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Andy Leija Paradigm

1 rounds

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Jessica Liu Paradigm

5 rounds

I'm hella lay. Well, I've judged a bit before and have picked up on some the nuances of PF, but please, clarity is so important to me. 

Rick Magana Paradigm

2 rounds

Public Forum

The easiest way to get me to vote for you in Pofo is to tell me how your arguments and evidence interact with your opponent's. Two teams running multiple cards and positions with no clash or specification as to how they interact with one another invites me to intervene in the ballot and I don't want to do that.


I am open to listening to anything. If you want to do a position that is really out there, go for it. Just make sure your position is well warranted and logically sound as I won't make the link story for you.

Greg Malley Paradigm

3 rounds

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Sergio Martinez Paradigm

6 rounds

See record below.

Anurag Maunder Paradigm

6 rounds

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Kenny McClarez Paradigm

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Douglas Miller Paradigm

2 rounds

Currently a law student + Assistant Coach for Washburn Rural (KS)

Formerly Assistant Coach at Lake Highland (FL), and Head Coach of Fairmont Prep (CA), Ransom Everglades (FL) & Pembroke Hill (MO)

Coached for 15 years – Have coached all events. Have coached both national circuit policy & PF.

Scroll down for Policy Paradigm

Public Forum Paradigm

Short Version

  1. If you want me to evaluate anything in the final focus you MUST extend it in the summary.
  2. Absent any other framing arguments, I will default to an utilitarian offense/defense paradigm.
  3. Narrow the 2nd half of the round down to one key contention-level impact story and 1-2 key answers on your opponents’ case.
  4. No new cards in 2nd Summary. No new cards in 1st Summary unless directly in response to new 2nd Rebuttal arguments.
  5. Make sure you evidence really says what you say it does.
  6. 2nd Rebuttal should rebuild + extend any portions of case they want to go for in FF.
  7. For NSDA Nats, don't go too fast. I don't trust the tech to convey a pace of delivery that I normally would have no problem with in an effective fashion.

Long Version

1. Summary extension

If you want me to evaluate anything in the final focus you MUST extend it in the summary. Yes, that includes defense & turns from the rebuttal. In fact, that especially includes defense & turns from the rebuttal. If you want to go for it in the FF, make sure your partner knows to extend it. Even if it is the best argument I’ve ever heard, failure to at least mention it in the summary will result in me giving the argument zero weight in my decision. Basically, too many 2nd speakers just ignore their partner’s summary speech. Attempting to extend things that were clearly dropped in the Summary will result in a lowering of speaker points for the 2nd speaker. This is # 1 on my list for a reason. It plays a major factor in more than half of my decisions. Ignore this advice at your own peril.

1A. 2nd Rebuttal Rebuild

Everything I just said about Summary also goes for 2nd Rebuttal. Anything you want me to evaluate at any later point in the round needs to be mentioned/extended in 2nd Rebuttal. That includes extending / rebuilding the portions of your case you want me to weigh at the end, even those that were not addressed by your opponents in the first Rebuttal. For example: 1st Rebuttal just answers your links on C1. You not only need to rebuild whatever C1 links you want me to evaluate at the end of the round, but you also need to explicitly extend your impacts you are claiming those links link to in at least a minimum of detail. Just saying" extend my impacts" will be unlikely to cut it. At least try to reference both the argument and the card you want me to extend. And, yes, I know this means you won't be able to cover as much in 2nd Rebuttal. Make choices. That's what this event is all about.

2. Offense defense

Absent any other framing arguments, I will default to an utilitarian offense/defense paradigm. Just going for defensive response to the the opposing case in FF won’t be persuasive in front of me. Additionally, I am open to non-traditional framing arguments (e.g. rights, ontology, etc), but you will need to have some pretty clear warrants as to why I should disregard a traditional net offensive advantage for the other team when making my decision.

3. Narrow the final focus

It would be in your best interest to narrow the 2nd half of the round down to one key contention-level impact story and 1-2 key turns on your opponents’ case, and then spend most of your time doing impact comparisons on those issues. Going for all 3 contentions and every turn you read in rebuttal is a great way to lose my ballot. If you just extend everything, you leave it up to me to evaluate the relative important of each of your arguments. This opens the door for judge intervention, and you may not like how I evaluate those impacts. I would much rather you do that thought process for me. I routinely find myself voting for the team that goes all in on EFFECTIVE impact framing on the issue or two they are winning over the team that tries to extend all of their offensive arguments (even if they are winning most of them) at the expense of doing effective impact framing. Strategic choices matter. Not making any choices is a choice in itself, and is usually a bad one.

4. No new cards in Summary, unless they are in direct response to a new argument brought up in the immediately prior speech.

1st Summary: If you need to read cards to answer arguments first introduced in opponents case, those needed to be read in 1st Rebuttal, not 1st Summary. Only if 2nd Rebuttal introduces new arguments—for example a new impact turn on your case—will I evaluate new cards in the 1st Sum, and only to specifically answer that new 2nd Rebuttal turn. Just please flag that your are reading a new card, and ID exactly what new 2nd Rebuttal argument you are using it to answer.

2nd Summary: Very rarely, 2nd summary will need to address something that was brought up new in 1st summary. For example, as mentioned above, 2nd Rebuttal puts offense on case. 1st Summary might choose to address that 2nd Rebuttal offense with a new carded link turn. Only in a case like that will I evaluate new evidence introduced into 2nd Summary. If you need to take this route, as above in 1st Summary, please flag exactly what argument you say was new in the 1st Summary you are attempting to answer before reading the new card.

In either case, unless the prior speech opened the door for you, I will treat any new cards in Summary just like extending things straight into FF & ignoring the summary—I won’t evaluate them and your speaker points will take a hit. However, new cross-applications of cards previously introduced into the round ARE still OK at this point.

4A. No new cross-applications or big-picture weighing in Final Focus.

Put the pieces together before GCF. This includes weighing analysis. The additional time allotted to teams in Summary makes it easier to make these connections and big-picture comparisons earlier in the round. Basically, the other team should at least have the opportunity to ask you about it in a CF of some type. You don't have to do the most complete job of cross-applying or weighing before FF, but I should at least be able to trace its seed back to some earlier point in the round.

5. Theory

I will, and am often eager to, vote on debate theory arguments. That being said, debaters in PF rarely, if ever, know how to debate theory well enough to justify voting on it.

I believe that there are several highly abusive forms of advocacy that have appeared recently that are very bad for PF, and just bad debate in general. I welcome a discussion of those practices in round, and believe that the best way to stamp them out is for teams to make those abuses voting issues in rounds. I won’t vote on these issues unless the objections are raised and effectively argued in-round (e.g. impacted, extended in all the necessary speeches, etc). but I have strong leanings that make me VERY receptive to several theory arguments.

Fiat – Until the “no plans” rule is changed, PF is essentially a whole-resolution debate, no matter how much teams would like for it to be policy. Thus, if teams want to read a specific subset(s) of the resolution, they need to provide some warrants as to why their specific subset(s) of the resolution is the MOST LIKELY form the resolution would take if it were adopted. Trying to specify and only defend a hyper-specific example(s) of the resolution that are unlikely to occur without your fiat is ridiculously abusive without reading a plan text, and makes you a moving target – especially when you clarify your position later in the round to spike out of answers. Plan texts are necessary to fiat something that is unlikely to happen in order to create a stable advocacy. Basically, in my mind, “no plans” = “no fiat.”

Multiple conditional advocacies – Improbable fiated advocacies are bad enough, but when teams read multiple such advocacies and then decide “we’re not going for that one” when the opposing team puts offense on it is the zenith of in-round abuse. Teams debating in front of me should continue to go for their unanswered offensive turns against these “kicked” arguments – I will weigh them in the round, and am somewhat inclined to view such practices as a voter if substantial abuse is demonstrated by the offended team. If you start out with a 3-pronged fiated advocacy, then you darn well better end with it. Severance is bad. If teams are going to choose to kick out of part of their advocacy mid-round, they need to effectively answer any offense on the "to-be-kicked" parts first.

6. Arguments in Crossfire

If you want me to evaluate an argument or card, it needs to be in a speech. Just mentioning it in CF is not sufficient. You can refer to what was said in CF in the next speech, and that will be far more efficient, but it doesn’t exist in my mind until I hear it in a speech.

7. Evidence availability

If you read any evidence, have the card available to hand over. Immediately (within reason, of course). Constructives should have their cards ready to hand over, in order, (probably even in the same document) because you know someone is going to ask for them. And having a bunch of PDF’s that you have to Command-F is not having your cards available. That is just lazy debating. Cut a card like a real debater. If you don’t know what that means, look it up. If you are reading this deep into a judge paradigm, it means you’re a big kid now. Act like it. As far as time is concerned, taking 10 minutes to find a card is inexcusable. At some point, I will just say you can’t find it, and and tell you to move on. This is becoming enough of a problem that I’m considering starting a running clock for “evidence hunting time.” I’m not there yet, but this practice really annoys me (and ALL judges), and needs to be stopped. If you can’t find the card you read in a reasonable amount of time, “Just drop it off the flow,” is not a sufficient recourse. In my mind, that is tantamount to evidence fabrication. If it happens once, I will be annoyed and chastise you after the round, but I’ll likely grudgingly give you the benefit of the doubt. If it happens multiple times, I am likely to be persuaded should the opposing team make such offenses a well-warranted and properly extended theory voting issue in the round.

8. Evidence Quality

I will, on occasion, ask to see key pieces of evidence at the end of the round as I make my decision. If I do ask for cards, and the text of the evidence you provide me doesn't match up with the argument you make in-round (e.g. egregious power-tagging, taking out of context, etc - basically, more than what I perceive to be an honest mistake), I reserve the right to penalize the team providing the evidence, even if the opposing team does not bring up the quality of the card in question as an issue in the round. Best case for the offending party: I will simply not evaluate the evidence in question and decide the round as though that card has been redacted from the debate, leaving the argument with the same functional weight as an unsupported analytic. Worst case: If I see multiple offenses in the round, see a particularly egregious offense, or have seen and commented on the team committing the same kind of offense in previous rounds I've judged, I may choose to drop the team solely on evidence quality. This is the one and only form of judge intervention I will engage in, as I have increasingly seen far too many teams get by functionally fabricating evidence and getting away with it because there is simply not enough time for opponents to question each and every card. Someone needs to serve as a check on such practices, and I believe judges should have a hand in that service. Rest assured, I will not decide a round in such fashion often, or without serious cause. I understand the serious ramifications of judges deciding rounds arbitrarily. If I do have a serious enough issue with your evidence to warrant some sort of intervention (which, again, is still very rare for me), I will be very clear in my RFD what the issue was, and how it factored into my decision, so that students can learn to not make the same mistakes again.

9. Evidence citations

You should probably read the citations according to whatever the NSDA says, but I’m not likely to vote on any irregularities (e.g. no date of access) unless the abuses are proven to be especially egregious and substantive in the round.

10. Speaker points

My reference point for “average” is 27.5. That’s where most everyone starts. My default is to evaluate on a scale with steps of 0.1, as opposed to steps of 0.5. Below a 25 means you did something offensive. A true 30.0 in HS debate (on a 0.1 scale) doesn’t exist. It is literally perfect. I can only think of 3 times I have ever given out a 29.6 or higher, and each of them were because of this next thing. My points are almost exclusively based on what you say, not how you say it. I strongly value making good, strategic choices, and those few exceptional scores I’ve given were all because of knowing what was important and going for it / impact framing it, and dumping the unnecessary stuff in the last half of the round.

11. "What's your methodology?"

Asking “What’s the methodology of your study” is a huge pet peeve of mine. Nails on a chalkboard bad. It’s a lazy way of saying, “I don’t really have an answer to this, so I’m just going to ask a bunch of questions about it and hope that clouds the debate enough to make it go away.” Questions about a card / study without evidence/warrants supporting the opposite aren’t arguments against it. They are just tricks debaters who got out-researched use to cover up that they got out-researched. In short, they are defensive only, and are only offensive if there are warrants / evidence as to why the opposite conclusion is true.

12. Ask for additional thoughts on the topic

Even if you’ve read this whole thing, still ask me beforehand. I will probably have some specific thoughts relating to the topic at hand that may be useful.

13. Speed

Note for NSDA Nationals 2020 - See # 7 in the Short Version

Notice how I didn't say anything about that above, even though it's the first questions like half of kids ask? Yeah, that's intentional. If you can't figure out the answer to that question from the numerous comments above, then you really are beyond help. But basically, yes, I can handle your blazing speed, you debate god, you. But it would still probably be a good idea to slow it down a little, Speed Racer. Quality > quantity.

Policy Paradigm

I debated for 4 years in high school (super old-school, talk-pretty policy), didn't debate in college, and have coached at the HS level for 15+ years. I am currently a law student + Assistant Coach at Washburn Rural in KS, and previously was head coach at Fairmont Prep in Anaheim, CA, Ransom Everglades School, in FL, and The Pembroke Hill School in MO.


Generally, do what you do, as long as you do it well, and I'll be happy. I prefer big-picture impact framing where you do the comparative work for me. In general, I will tend to default to such analysis, because I want you to do the thinking in the round, not me. My better teams in the past read a great deal of ontology-based Ks (cap, Heidegger, etc), and they often make some level of sense to me, but I'm far from steeped in the literature. I'm happy to evaluate most of the normal disads & cps, but the three general classes of arguments that I usually find less persuasive are identity-based strategies that eschew the topic, politics disads, and to a lesser degree, performance-based arguments. But if any of those are your thing, I would in general prefer you do your thing well than try and do something else that you just aren't comfortable with. I'll go with the quality argument, even if it isn't my personal favorite. I'm not a fan of over-reliance on embedded clash, especially in overviews. I'd rather you put it on the line-by-line. I'm more likely to get it down on my flow and know how to apply it that way, and that's the type of debating I'll reward with higher speaks. Please be sure to be clear on your tags, cites, and theory/analytic blocks. Hard numbering/”And’s” are appreciated, and if you need to, go a little slower on those tags, cites, and theory/analytic blocks to be sure they are clear, distinct, and I get them. Again, effort to do so will be rewarded with higher speaks.


I generally think affs should have to defend the topic, and actually have some sort of plan text / identifiable statement of advocacy. There are very few "rules" of debate, thus allowing tons of leeway for debaters to choose arguments. But debating the topic is usually a pretty good idea in my mind, as most issues, even those relating to the practices and nature of our activity, can usually still be discussed in the context of the topic. I rather strongly default to competing interpretations. I like to see T debates come down to specific abuse stories, how expanding or contracting limits functionally impacts competitive equity, and exactly what types of ground/args are lost/gained by competing interps (case lists are good for this in front of me). I usually buy the most important impact to T as fairness. T is an a priori issue for me, and K-ing T is a less than ideal strategy with me as your judge.


If you are going to go for it, go for it. I am unlikely to vote either way on theory via a blippy cheap-shot, unless the entire argument was conceeded. But sometimes, for example, condo bad is the right strategic move for the 2AR, If it's done well, I won't hesitate to decide a round on it. Not a fan of multiple conditional worlds. With the notable exception of usually giving epistemology / ontology-based affs some flexibility on framework needing to come before particulars of implementation, I will vote Neg on reasonable SPEC arguments against policy affs. Affs should be able to articulate what their plan does, and how it works. For that reason, I also give Neg a fair amount of theoretical ground when it comes to process CPs against those affs. Severance is generally bad in my mind. Intrinsicness, less so.


Personally, I think a lot of the standard CPs are, in any type of real world sense, ridiculous. The 50 states have never worked together in the way envisioned by the CP. A constitutional convention to increase funding for whatever is laughable. An XO to create a major policy change is just silly. All that being said, these are all legit arguments in the debate world, and I evaluate and vote on them all the time. I guess I just wish Affs were smart enough to realize how dumb and unlikely these args actually are, and would make more legit arguments based on pointing that out. However, I do like PICs, and enjoy a well thought out and deployed advantage CP.


Most topic-related disads are fine with me. Pretty standard on that. Just be sure to not leave gaping holes / assumptions in your link chains, and I'm OK. However, I generally don't like the politics disad. I would much rather hear a good senator specific politics scenario instead of the standard “President needs pol cap, plan’s unpopular” stuff, but even then, I'm not a fan. I'll still vote for it if that's what is winning the round, but I may not enjoy doing so. Just as a hint, it would be very easy to convince me that fiat solves for most politics link stories (and, yes, I understand this places me in the minority of judges), and I don't see nearly as much quality ground lost from the intrinsic perm against politics as most. Elections disads, though, don't have those same fiat-related issues, and are totally OK by me.


I don’t read the lit much, but in spite of that, I really kind of like most of the more "traditional" ontological Ks (cap, security, Heidegger, etc). To me, Ks are about the idea behind the argument, as opposed to pure technical proficiency & card dumping. Thus, the big picture explanation of why the K is "true," even if that is at the expense of reading a few more cards, would be valuable. Bringing through case in the 2NR to directly mitigate some of the Aff advantages is probably pretty smart. I think Negs set an artificially high burden for themselves when they completely drop case and only go for the K in the 2NR, as this means that they have to win 100% access to their “Alt solves the case” or framework args in order for the K to outweigh some super-sketchy and ridiculous, but functionally conceded, extinction scenario from the 1AC. K's based in a framework strategy tend to be more compelling in front of me than K's that rely on the alt to actually solve something (because, let's be honest here - they rarely do). Identity-related arguments are usually not the most compelling in front of me, and I tend to buy strategic attacks against them from the left as more persuasive than attacks from the right.


I understand that some teams are unbalanced in terms of skill/experience, and that's just the way it goes sometimes. I've coached many teams like that. But I do like to see if both debaters actually know what they are talking about. Thus, your speaks will probably go down if your partner is answering all of your cross-ex questions for you. It won’t impact my decision (I just want to know the answers), but it will impact speaks. Same goes for oral prompting. That being said, I am inclined to give a moderate boost to the person doing the heavy lifting in those cases, as long as they do it respectfully.

Mishra Paradigm

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Megan Mitrovich Paradigm

6 rounds

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Patrick Mwamba Paradigm

This is just a basic overall paradigm, feel free to ask me more specific questions during a round.

I have experience competing in college for the last few years in Parli and LD and I.E's. I've judged for the last few years high school policy, LD, PF, Congress, some I.E's and Parli.

I'd like to consider myself a flow judge meaning that I will examine every argument and evaluate the debate based on what is on the flow.

That being said I usuallly follow the rules of each syle of events whenever I'm judging unless I'm told otherwise in the debate as for examples why rules are bad.

In terms of speed/spreading I'm ok with it since I can keep up with it. That being said I care more about accessibility into the round, meaning if you're going too fast for your opponents and they try clearing you or telling you to slow down, it is probably a giid ifea to try and adjust your speed in those situations.

I'm open to any type of arguments. My only prefetence is that arguments are impacted out in the round. I'm a lazy person by nature and likes to do the minimum amount of work, meaning I prefer when teams tell me exactly where and what to vote for on my flow. Don't assume I know which arguments you are going for at the end of the debate. I also tend to protect against new arguments in the final speeches. Additionally treat me as someone who has no sense of direction and needs to be given clear instructions to any destinations that you need me to go.

And finally don't be jerks to your opponents.

So bottom line is do whatever you'd like to do, have fun and throw in a joke or 2, even make references to anime, european football or anything for that matter.

Liam Myers Paradigm

6 rounds

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Srinivas Nachuri Paradigm

3 rounds

Here's my background:

Occupation: CS and engineering

School Affiliation: Dougherty Valley

Judging Experience: I have judged public forum for 4 years.

Speaker points: 27.5 is an average debater. I award 29s and up for very good speakers.

I evaluate rounds based on the clarity of the argument and your extension throughout the debate. I won't vote on arguments that don't make logical sense or are simply untrue. You need to explain your arguments in simple words in the summary and final focus so I can follow the clash of the debate and accurately understand the debate.

I do flow debates to an extent although it might not be like a coach or debater. However I will be taking notes throughout the debate to see what has been extended by the end.

Other things - ranked from 1-5 on how important they are for me:

Clothing/Appearance: 1

Use of Evidence: 5

Real World Impacts: 5

Cross examination: 3

Debate skill over truthful arguments: 4

Wesley Nild Paradigm

2 rounds

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Elyse O'Neill Paradigm

6 rounds

I competed in Speech and Debate for four years. Most of my experience is in Parliamentary debate, but I have competed in Policy as well.


I can handle speed, but am not a fan of spreading as a tactic. To me, trying to win simply because your opponent cannot address all of your points means that you do not think that your arguments could hold up if they were actually debated, so proceed with caution.


Impacts are very important to me. If you do not tell me why I should care about a point, then I will assume that it is not particularly important. If you impact out your contentions, then you will capture my interest more, meaning you will have a better chance at convincing me.


I am okay with K's, but they need to be well explained and well reasoned. If I feel that you are running a K to avoid the real argument, then I will likely vote you down. 


Be careful with topicality arguments. I understand that they are often necessary, but if they are not needed to improve debate, I will be a very unhappy judge, which we all know is not good for anyone. If you use them, you must prove that your definitions will improve fairness or education of debate. If you do not sufficiently prove this, I will disregard your definitions.

I like contention level arguments. If none of these are made, you have very little chance of winning my vote.


I try to disregard my own biases and knowledge when judging, so if you feel that something your opponent said was factually incorrect, call them out on it or I will regard it as true for the round (and correct them later).


Basically, I want you to have an educated debate about the topic (which I hope everybody wants to have). If you have any questions, feel free to ask me before the round starts.

Drew Oakes Paradigm

4 rounds

I love Parli and I love eveverything about Parli. I've been coaching for three years. I coach parli, along with the other debates (except LD). I competed in it all four years of HS. I've been competing in college parli fro two years.

That being said, however, I hate college parli. I personally think the way parli is debated in HS is how it should be. So I understand progressive parli but I don't really like it. So if you're going to do that: 1) you need to give me a better than good reason (and not the typical reasons) I should be listening to that style of debate. 2) if you'r opponents so much as say debating like that is abusive, I'm not going to consider the progressive part of the round, even if the other team completely mishandles the argument, its not fair to a team that doesn't understand progressive debate to have to try and debate it (although if you are that team you should still try to debate it, don't just drop it). 3) if both teams understand progressive parli, go for it.

If you're traditional parli debaters, sweet! There's nothing I'm not going to understand, I've been doing this for while.

I'm fine with speed, and me not writing doesn't mean you're going too fast, so don't get discouraged. I've never seen a HS Parli team that was too fast for me, but if you do go fast and I can't get it all (weird) or if you're unclear, I will yell clear.

I enjoy seeing debaters who are having fun with the debate but also still being professional and serious. I feel that having fun is the next level, so don't come in too serious, this is something you should enjoy, enjoy it. Good luck!

Tracy Palmer Paradigm

2 rounds

I am a parent judge, but I have been judging the National Circuit PF for five years and judged 600+ rounds (including TOC semifinals). I am scientist so if you are making science arguments please make sure you understand the science..

How to win my ballot

  • Speak clearly
  • Extend arguments- not cards
  • Focus the debate to what you are winning
  • Keep theory reserved for actual abuse
  • Keep Ks in policy
  • Keep aliens and zombies for bad movies and out of debate
  • Summary in line with final focus
  • Be polite
  • Have your evidence ready (you have 1 minute)

How to get good speaks

  • Make good arguments
  • Make good choices
  • Don't yell
  • Don't argue with me

Pet Peeves

  • Arguing with me after the round- I GIVE SPEAKS AFTER I GIVE MY RFD FOR THIS REASON

Justinmar Perez Paradigm

6 rounds

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Nicholas Petsas Paradigm

6 rounds


  • State Champion and 2-time entrant to the Tournament of Champions for Brophy College Preparatory in PF.
  • Graduated from U of A Honors College with a triple major in Economics, Political Science and Classics.
  • Coached and founded Salpointe PF Debate and ran the UA Model UN program in college.
  • Presently, I am a government healthcare consulting informatics associate for Mercer and I coach my high school alma mater in PF.

What I would want changed in the status quo:

  • I would like for teams to have the ability to give their opponants evidence effortlessly. PF is in a time crisis where debates go longer than they should.
  • Back in the day (which wasn't that long ago FYI) we used expandos and could easily hand over evidence. you could easily just put the full shpeal on your computer in a file so if they ask for the "methodology" you can hand them over the full file.
  • why we live in a world where we dont do this is beyond me but since this is just a wish please move on to the next portion which actually matters for your debate:

What I expect/prefer:

  • In an exchange of evidence no one is allowed to prep until evidence is recieved.
  • The second rebuttal must defend their case that they wish to extend. "New argument" to me, means something completely unrelated to the existing arguments on the flow. Continuing the debate, to me, is important and more constructive for learning rather than repeating the same thing you have said since the constructive. Interact specifically with your opponents arguments! To do that you will have to listen to them instead of reading straight from your block files.
  • As long as every word is articulated and easily understood, you can go as fast as you would like. If I stop flowing in constructive or rebuttal then you are doing something wrong. Spreading/going fast will result in lower speaker points but you can still win the round. I do value Speech theory and will evaluate even if it is brought up late in a round, but if you are bringing it up late in round, you must warrant why I should still evaluate an argument that would ordinarily violate the rules.
  • I do not flow CX. that is time for debaters to seek explanations from their opponants and seek out contradictions in their line of arguementation. If you give a speech the whole time then you are wasting your time and my time. Same goes for reading evidence etc. Anything that happens that is of any value in CX should be brought up in a speech, otherwise, it didn't happen (and very often nothing productive does happen).
  • I expect that there will be impact calculus done for me in the round. On a VERY BASIC level, for example, if one team's most important arguement comes down to economic impacts and their opponants most important arguement is going for an environmental impact then I would EXPECT reasons as to prefer one impact over the other. You do not want me to decide what is important.
  • I do not care if you are the "better team" if the worse team makes better arguements then they will win the round. Good teams can lose easy debates, I am not going to give it to you, you have to earn it. It is always best to leave no doubt.
  • If you speak pretty you will get more speaker points and that is literally it. In good debates I do not even get a chance to look up at the debaters.
  • Only give me an off-time roadmap if you are actually doing something out of the ordinary in terms of starting in a particular place on the flow or grouping arguements.
  • If you are the first rebuttal and you take time to "strengthen your case" at the end when your opponents havent attacked it yet then you are doing it wrong. Please sit down if you have nothing else to say.
  • I do not want to shake your hand after the round.

Patricia Pierry Paradigm

6 rounds

St. Francis HS '12

UC Berkeley '16


I debated for four years at St. Francis HS in public forum, as well as competing in oratory. I was a captain of the speech & debate team my senior year. I've judged public forum on the national circuit since 2012, and judged league (read: lay) policy during the 15-16 and 16-17 seasons. I've judged 2 rounds on the current policy topic. I have judged exactly 6 rounds of (slow / lay) LD throughout my judging career.




Topic Knowledge:

Minimal. I know what the People's Republic of China is, and have a basic understanding of what they are doing/what we are doing. Acronyms or jargon need to be explained further. I have judged two rounds on the China topic. 


Too Long; Didn't Read:

I don't understand spreading. However, I am a flow judge, and, provided you are speaking at an intelligible level, I will evaluate arguments as they appear on my flow. Since I am a former debater, you can speak faster than you would in front of a parent, but, please, do not spread. If you are speaking faster than I can understand, I will shout clear twice, and then give up. 


Flashing isn't prep unless I feel it's egregious. I'm fine with tag teaming cross-ex as long as the speaker who's not being cross-ex'ed doesn't completely take over.


Paneled rounds: I won't punish you for tailoring to other judges -- although I will still judge off the flow.


Evaluating Rounds:

I default to a stock issue paradigm: 

  • Topicality: If it's logical and you can show why it's unfair for them to read the aff, I will vote on T.
  • Harms: What are the problems in the status quo? Are they significant?
  • Inherency: Are steps being taken in the status quo to solve the harms?
  • Solvency: How does the plan specifically solve the harms?
  • Disadvantage: The disadvantage must outweigh the case. You can use jargon such as uniqueness, internal link, and link, if you explain them clearly.


However, I am comfortable judging the round in other lenses (tabula rasa, offense/defense, game theory) provided the debaters explain how I should evaluate arguments and what those arguments mean.


Please, please, please do impact calculus - explain how your arguments interact and why yours are more important. This is the best way to get my ballot and the best way to get high speaks. If you do not do impact calc, I will have to intervene and one of you will be unhappy with the way I did that.


Circuit Arguments:

Feel free to read arguments like counter-plans, kritiks, or theory - however, you need to explain to me how to evaluate them and how they interact with other arguments. I'm not versed in any literature (but down for counterplans), and again - the no-spreading rule applies. 


Speaker Points:

  • >29.5 --> Top three speaker
  • >29.0 --> High elimination rounds
  • >28.5 --> Clearing low
  • >28.0 --> Average
  • >27.0 --> Not quite ready for this division
  • <27.0 --> Blatantly offensive (sexism, racism, anti-queer etc)


Aggression is good, rudeness is not. Make me laugh, but don't if you're not funny. 


Public Forum 


Too Long; Didn't Read:

I am a flow judge and will evaluate arguments as they appear on my flow. You can speak faster than you would to a parent, but public forum has gotten faster since I graduated, so you should probably go slower than you are able. If you are speaking faster than I can understand, I will shout clear twice, and then give up. 


Paneled rounds: I won't punish you for tailoring to other judges -- although I will still judge off the flow.


Evaluating Rounds:

  • I'm pretty straightforward. I will evaluate framework first, and then look at your contentions and impacts to help me determine who won the round under the framework provided. 
  • I am looking for clash -- please weigh arguments for me. That means explaining how your arguments interact and why yours are more important. This is the best way to get my ballot and the best way to get high speaks. If you don't, I will have to intervene and one of you will be unhappy with the way I did that. 
  • Think of your final focus as writing my RFD for me (that is, impact calculus, weighing arguments) -- not as a fourth rebuttal. 
  • If the tournament allows it, I will call for any evidence I feel is necessary. Please do not turn the round into a back and forth about what the evidence says. 


Speaking Notes:

  • >29.5 --> Top three speaker 
  • 28.0 --> Average 
  • <27.0 --> Blatantly offensive (sexism, racism, anti-queer etc)

Adhere to my preferences and make the round easy to evaluate and your speaks can only go up. Aggression is good, rudeness is not. If you make me laugh, plus speaks. 




Too Long; Didn't Read:

I don't understand spreading. However, I am a flow judge, and, provided you are speaking at an intelligible level, I will evaluate arguments as they appear on my flow. Since I am a former debater, you can speak faster than you would in front of a parent, but, please, do not spread. If you are speaking faster than I can understand, I will shout clear twice, and then give up. 


Paneled rounds: I won't punish you for tailoring to other judges -- although I will still judge off the flow.


Evaluating Rounds:

  • I have very limited experience with LD.
  • I generally judge rounds by first deciding the value and value criterion debate, and then looking at which debater most met the provided value / value criterion.
  • Do not expect me to be familiar with literature or theory. However, I am comfortable with evaluating any arguments you want to run, as long as you explain how I should do so. 
  • Please, please, please do impact calculus - explain how your arguments interact and why yours are more important. This is the best way to get my ballot and the best way to get high speaks. If you do not do impact calc, I will have to intervene and one of you will be unhappy with the way I did that.


Speaking Notes:

  • >29.5 --> Top three speaker 
  • 28.0 --> Average 
  • <27.0 --> Blatantly offensive (sexism, racism, anti-queer etc)

Adhere to my preferences and make the round easy to evaluate and your speaks can only go up. Aggression is good, rudeness is not. If you make me laugh, plus speaks. 

Xiaojun Ping Paradigm

3 rounds

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Adam Pramono Paradigm

4 rounds

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Jake Riggs Paradigm

2 rounds


All Debate

Tech > truth

Please learn2framework (presumption is filter not layer unless specified)

as tab as I can possibly be

cool with: speed, k, t (boring), theory, performance, bribes

not cool with: you wasting my time to pre flow, in round abuse, equity violations, the USA

I don’t care what’s real outside the round, I’ll only vote on things said in round. Something is true until you tell me it isn’t true. Don’t be boring and also don’t be bad thank you

Public Forum


Do all of your weighing for me. I will not weigh anything on my own.

If its not in summary I wont evaluate it in final focus.

2nd rebuttal does not need to frontline/case defense, definitely still can though

Presumption is neg in any instance that demands intervention, risk of solvency arguments fair game for the aff.

signposting saves lives

Picky about extensions:

An extension is NOT reading an authors last name. An extension is NOT telling me your opponents drop something. Telling my hand what to do on a piece of paper does not equal you winning an argument- much less analyzing, crystallizing, or in any way convincing me to vote for you.

An extension is:

Extend Author 97 who our opponents fail to respond to

->What author 97 tells you is warrant/analysis

->What this means is we access Impact 1, which wins us the round because of X.


Revolutionary Vanguard

Only god, in her infinite wisdom, can forgive me now.

In memory of those radicalized:




tech > truth

tech tech tech tech tech tech tech









































***Updated Berkeley Day 2*****

Y'all have really pushed me to my limits ): and now I'm not even feeling entirely tab as a paradigm because no weighing is being done for me. I WILL GO NEG ON PRESUMPTION IF PRO DOESN'T DO ANY WORK. IM TIRED OF HAVING TO DO YOUR WEIGHING FOR YOU.

An extension is NOT reading an authors last name. An extension is NOT telling me your opponents drop something. Telling my hand what to do on a piece of paper does not equal you winning an argument- much less analyzing, crystallizing, or in any way convincing me to vote for you.

An extension is:

Extend Author 97 who our opponents fail to respond to

->What author 97 tells you is warrant/analysis

->What this means is we access Impact 1, which wins us the round because of X.

If you don't really get this by now you're probably gonna lose the round.

Like many judges I try my best to be tabula rasa, like all of them, however, I fail. I'm comfortable with just about any argument at any speed. I like good K debates and long walks on the beach. Tech comes before truth for me until I'm told otherwise.

Thats like 2 or 3 years old^

In reality nowadays I'll probably beg you to spread or read something kritikal or perform or do anything (fun).

^Thats old too now

Tech > truth

Tech tech tech tech tech tech tech




Jackson Rigley Paradigm

4 rounds

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Victor Rivas Umana Paradigm

6 rounds

OK here's the deal. I did policy debate for 4 years in high school and two semesters in college (once in 2007 and recently in 2016 in Policy Debate)

. Judged Tournaments up until probably 2008 and have not been judging since. I also judged Lincoln Douglas Debate a few times at some of the national tournaments throughout california but it was not a debate I did in high school. For me my philosophy is simple, just explain what you are talking about clearly. That means if youre going to spread, be clear. If you are going to spread in front of me right now, do not go too fast as I have not judged in awhile so I may have hard time catching certain ideas so please slow down on your tags and cites.

Public Forum: please make sure Summary and final focus are consistent in messaging and voters. dropped voters in summary that are extended in final focus will probably not be evaluated. I can understand a bit of speed since I did policy but given this is public forum, I would rather you not spread. talking a bit fast is fine but not full on spreading.
Policy wise:
I am not fond of the K but I will vote for it if explained properly. If I feel it was not, do not expect me to vote for it I will default to a different voting paradigm, most likely policy maker.
-IF you expect me to vote on Theory or topicality please do a good job of explaining everything clearly and slowly. a lot of times theory and topicality debates get muddled and I just wont look at it in the end. EDIT as of 1/28: I am not too fond of Theory and Topicality debates as they happen now. Many of you go too fast and are unclear which means I don't get your analysis or blippy warrants under standards or voting issues. Please slow the eff down for theory and T if you want me to vote on it.

I will vote for whatever paradigm you tell me to vote for if you clearly explain the implications, your standards and framework.
-I know you guys spread now like Policy debaters but please slow down as I will have a hard time following everything since its been awhile.

I guess LD has become more like policy and the more like policy it sounds, the easier it is for me to follow. Except for the K and Theory, I am open for all other policy arguments. Theory and K debaters, look above ^^^^

UPDATE FOR LD at Golden Desert and Tournaments moving forward. I don't think many of you really want me as a judge for the current topic or any topic moving forward. My experience in LD as a coach is limited which means my topic knowledge is vague. That means if you are going to pref me as 1 or 2 or 3, I would recommend that you are able to break down your argumentation into the most basic vocabulary or understanding of the topic. If not, you will leave it up to me to interpret the information that you presented as I see fit (if you are warranting and contextualizing your points especially with Ks, we should be fine, if not, I won't call for the cards and I will go with what I understood). I try to go off of what you said and what is on your speech docs but ultimately if something is unclear, I will go with what makes the most sense to me. If you run policy arguments we should be fine (In the order of preference, policy making args including CPs, DAs, case turns and solvency take outs, Ks, Topicality/Theory <--these I don't like in LD or in Policy in general). Given this information please use this information to pref me. I would say DA/CP debaters should pref me 1 and 2. anyone else should pref me lower unless you have debated in front of me before and you feel I can handle your arguments. Again if its not CP/DA and case take outs you are preffing me higher at your own risk. Given many of you only have three more tournaments to get Bids (if that is your goal for GD, Stanford, Berkeley) then I would recommend you don't have me as your judge as I would not feel as qualified to judge LD as I would judging most policy rounds and Public forum rounds. Is this lame? kinda. But hey I am trying to be honest and not have someone hate me for a decision I made. if you have more questions before GD, please email me at

For all debaters:
clarity: anunciate and make sure you are not going too fast I cannot understand
explain your evidence: I HATE pulling cards at the end of a round. If I have to, do not expect high speaker points. I will go off what was said in the debate so if you do not explain your evidence well, I will not consider it in the debate.

Something I have thought about since it seems that in Public Forum and even in other debates power tagging evidence has become an issue, I am inclined to give lower speaker points for someone who gives me evidence they claimed says one thing and it doesn't. If it is in out rounds, I may be inclined to vote against you as well. This is especially true in PF where the art of power tagging has taken on a life of its own and its pretty bad. I think something needs to get done about this and thus I want to make it very clear if you are in clear violation of this and you present me with evidence that does not say what it does, I am going to sit there and think hard about how I want to evaluate it. I may give you the win but on low points. Or I may drop you if it is in outrounds. I have thought long and hard about this and I am still unsure how I want to approach this but given how bad the situation is beginning to get with students just dumping cards and banking on people not asking questions, I think something needs to be done.

anything else feel free to ask me during the round. thanks.

Mike Robinson Paradigm

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Jerome Robinson Paradigm

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Charles Schletzbaum Paradigm

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Co-Director: Milpitas High Speech and Debate



Myers Park, Charlotte N.C.
(85-88) 3 years Policy, LD and Congress. Double Ruby (back when it was harder to get) and TOC competitor in LD.

Summer 87: American U Institute. 2 weeks LD and congress under Dale Mccall and Harold Keller, and 2 more weeks in a mid level Policy lab.

St. Johns Xavierian, Shrewsbury, Mass
88~93 consultant, judge and chaperone

Summer 89 American U Coaches institute (Debate)

Milpitas High, Milpitas CA
09-present co-coach

(Important note, I have noticed I have been getting a little triggered when people completely misconstrue how some MTW programs work. Please make sure you know how they work before you make some sometimes uninformed assertions about them)

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" ****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.

If you put conditions on your opponent getting access to your evidence I will put conditions on counting it in my RFD. Evidence should be provided any time asked between speeches, or asked for during cx and provided between speeches. Failure to produce the card in context may result in having no access to that card on my flow/decision.

Part of what you should know about any of the events
Events Guide
13-14 NSDA tournament Operations manual

All events, It is a mark of the competitors skill to adapt to the judge, not demand that they should adapt to you. Do not get into a definitional fight without being armed with a definition..... TAG TEAM CX? *NOT A FAN* if you want to give me the impression your partner doesn't know what they are talking about, sure, go ahead, Diss your partner. Presentation skills: Stand in SPEECHES AND CX and in all events with only exception in PF grand.

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE"****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.


While I was not able to compete in public forum (It did not exist yet), the squad I coach does primarily POFO. Its unlikely that any resolution will call for a real plan as POFO tends to be propositions of fact instead of value or policy.
I am UNLIKELY to vote for a K, as I have seen a bizarre one once, and I don't even vote for K in policy. Moderate speed is fine, but to my knowledge, this format was meant to be more persuasive. USE EVIDENCE and make sure you have Tags and Cites. I want a neat flow (it will never happen, but I still want it)

I WANT FRAMEWORK or I will adjudicate the round, since you didn't. I FLOW LIKE POLICY with respect to DROPPED ARGUMENTS (if a speech goes by I will likely consider the arg dropped... this means YES I believe the 4th speaker in the round SHOULD cover both flows..)

Remember, Pofo was there to counteract speed in Circuit LD, and LD was created to counter speed, so fast is ok, but tier 3 policy spread is probably not.

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" READ IN ROUND ) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.

If you have one advocacy, and you claim solvency on one advocacy, and only if it is implemented, then yeah that is a plan. I will NOT weigh offense from the plan, this is a drop the argument issue for me. Keep the resolution as broad as possible. EXCEPTION, if the resolution is (rarely) EXPLICIT, or the definitions in the round imply the affirmative side is a course of action, then that is just the resolution. EXAMPLE
September 2012 - Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban
the aff is the resolution, not a plan and more latitude is obviously given.

If one describes several different ways for the resolution to be implemented, or to be countered, you are not committing to one advocacy, and are defending/attacking a broad swath of the resolution, and this I do NOT consider a plan.

ALL EVENTS EXCEPT PARLI NEED TO KNOW NSDA RULES OF EVIDENCE (or CHSSA RULES OF EVIDENCE) OR DO NOT EXPECT ME TO COUNT IT(NSDA MINIMUM IS "NAME" AND "DATE" ****READ IN ROUND****) Anything else is just rhetoric/logic and 99% of the time, rhetoric vs card mans card wins.


If your plan is super vague, you MIGHT not get to claim your advantages. Saying you "increase" by merely reading the text of the resolution is NOT A PLAN. Claiming what the plan says in cx is NOT reading a plan. Stop being sloppy.

I *TRY* to be Tabula Rasa (and fail a lot of the time especially on theory, Ks and RVI/fairness whines)
I trained when it was stock issues, mandatory funding plan spikes (My god, the amount of times I abused the grace commission in my funding plank), and who won the most nuclear wars in the round.

Presentation skills: Stand in SPEECHES AND CX and in all events with only exception in PF grand.

Please don't diss my event.
I ran
Glassification of toxic/nuclear wastes, and Chloramines on the H2O topic
Legalize pot on the Ag topic
CTBT on the Latin america topic.

In many years I have never voted neg on K (in CX), mainly because I have never seen an impact (even when it was run in POFO as an Aff).(Ironic given my LD background)

I will freely vote on T if it is run properly (but not always XT), and have no problem buying jurisdiction......
I HAVE finally gotten to judge Hypo-testing round (it was fun and hilarious).
One of my students heard from a friend in Texas that they are now doing skits and non topical/personal experiece affs, feel free, BUT DON'T EXPECT ME TO VOTE FOR IT.

I will vote on good perms both ways (see what I said above about XT)

SPREAD: I was a tier B- speed person in the south. I can flow A level spread *IF* you enunciate. slow down momentarily on CITES and TAGS and blow through the card (BUT I WILL RE TAG YOUR SUBPOINTS if your card does not match the tag!!!!!!)
If you have any slurred speech, have a high pitched voice, a deep southern or NY/Jersey drawl, or just are incapable of enunciating, and still insist on going too fast for your voice, I will quit flowing and make stuff up based on what I think I hear.

I do not ask for ev unless there is an evidentiary challenge, so if you claim the card said something and I tagged it differently because YOU slurred too much on the card or mis-tagged it, that's your fault, not mine.

LD (p.s. Sep/oct 2016 pronounce NEW-CLEE-ERR *sigh*)

I WILL JUDGE NSDA RULES!!!! I am NOT tabula rasa on some theory, or on plans. Plans are against the rules of the event I judge. LD was supposed to be a check on policy spread, and I backlash, if you have to gasp or your voice went up two octaves then see below... Topicality FX-T and XT are cool on both sides but most other theory boils down to WHAAAAAAHHHH I don't want to debate their AFF so I will try to bs some arguments. It didn't work for the racism k kids in policy in the movie resolved, and drop the debater because fairness is a voter won't work either in my round (for example)

-CIRCUIT LD REFER to policy prefs above in relation to non topical and performance affs

- I LOVE PHILOSOPHY so if you want to confuse your opponent who doesn't know the difference between Kant, Maslow and Rawls, dazzle away :-).
Clear VP and VC (or if you call it framework fine, but it is stupid to tell someone with a framework they don't have a VC and vice versa, its all semantics) are important but MORE IMPORTANT is WHY IS YOURS BETTER *OR* WHY DO YOU MEET THEIRS TOO and better (Permute)

IF YOU TRY TO Tier A policy spread, or solo policy debate, you have probably already lost UNLESS your opponent is a novice. Not because I can't follow you, but because THIS EVENT IS NOT THE PLACE FOR IT!!! However there are several people who can talk CLEARLY and FAST that can easily dominate LD, If you cannot be CLEAR and FAST play it safe and be CLEAR and SLOW.....

Sub-pointing is still a good idea, do not just do broad overviews. plans and counter-plans need not apply as LD is usually revolving around the word OUGHT!!!! Good luck claiming Implementation FIAT on a moral obligation. I might interrupt if you need to be louder, but its YOUR job to occasionally look at the judge to see signals to whether or not they are flowing, so I will be signalling that, by looking at you funny or closing my eyes, or in worst case leaning back in my chair and visibly ignoring you until you stop ignoring the judge and fix the problem. I will just be making up new tags for the cards I missed tags for by actually listening to the cards, and as the average debater mis-tags cards to say what they want them to, this is not advisable.

If you have one advocacy, and you claim solvency on one advocacy, and only if it is implemented, then yeah that is a plan. I will NOT weigh offense from the plan, this is a drop the argument issue for me. Keep the resolution as broad as possible.

EXCEPTION, if the resolution is (rarely) EXPLICIT, or the definitions in the round imply the affirmative side is a course of action, then that is just the resolution. EXAMPLE
September 2012 - Resolved: Congress should renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban
the aff is the resolution, not a plan and more latitude is obviously given.

If one describes several different ways for the resolution to be implemented, or to be countered, you are not committing to one advocacy, and are defending/attacking a broad swath of the resolution, and this I do NOT consider a plan.

I repeat, Speed = Bad in LD, and I will not entertain a counter-plan in LD If you want to argue Counterplans and Plans, get a partner and go to a policy tournament.

GOOD LUCK and dangit, MAKE *ME* HAVE FUN hahahahahah

Christina Seong Paradigm

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Sarah Sheets Paradigm

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I am a student at UC Berkeley majoring in political science. I did speech and debate for 4 years at Carlsbad High School. I come primarily from a public forum background, but competed in policy and LD for a year each. I would warn against (real) spreading unless you are very clear.

For the most part, I do not intervene as a judge. The exception to this is in hypocrisy with critical arguments, which I will note and vote down for. It is also usually difficult for me to buy pre-fiat impacts. I will also vote you down if you are being blatantly rude and unnecessarily aggressive. Direct comparisons, very clear presentation and continued organization of the debate throughout the round are things that I like to see, and will make you favorable in my eyes as a judge.

If you have any questions about my political views/specific judging experiences/favorite color feel free to ask me before the round.

William Shi Paradigm

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John Sims Paradigm

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Yes, I want to be on the email chain.

Tl;dr I'm fine with really any argument you want to read as long as it links to and is weighed in relation to some evaluative mechanism. I am pretty convinced that T/theory should always be an issue of reasonability (I obviously think that some debates are better when there is a clear counter-interp that offense is linked back to); if you trust me to compare and weigh offense on substantive issues in the debate, I can't figure out why you wouldn't also trust me to make the same judgments on T/theory debates (unless you're just making frivolous/bad T/theory args). I enjoy any debate that you think you can execute well (yeah this applies to your K/counter-plan/non-T aff; I'll listen to it). I base speaker points on whether or not I think that you are making strategic choices that might lead to me voting for you (extending unnecessary args instead of prioritizing things that contribute to your ballot story, dropping critical arguments that either are necessary for your position or that majorly help your opponent, failing to weigh arguments in relation to each other/the standard would be some general examples of things that would cause you to lose speaker points if I am judging). Beyond those issues, I think that debate should function as a safe space for anyone involved; any effort to undermine the safety (or perceived safety) of others in the activity will upset me greatly and result in anything from a pretty severe loss of speaker points to losing the round depending on the severity of the harm done. So, be nice (or at least respectful) and do you!

Vivek Singhal Paradigm

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Grant Sinnott Paradigm

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Rhonda Smith Paradigm

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I coach at Plano West Senior High School in Texas: LD, Public Forum, Congressional Debate and extemp (and some policy debate).
I have been coaching since 1999.

I can handle speed, if you are clear; if you aren't being clear, I will let you know.

My highest priority is impacts in the round. Having said that, I expect clear warrants that substantiate the impacts.

I like big picture debate, but I will vote on specific arguments if they become a priority in the round.

I'm pretty straightforward. I want debaters to tell me HOW to adjudicate a round, and then tell me WHY, based on the arguments they are winning and the method of adjudication. The HOW part would be something like a standard, or burdens. The WHY part would include the warrants and impacts/link story for the arguments being extended. I am not at all particular about HOW you go about accomplishing those two tasks, but without covering those components, don't expect a W. I need a clear framework, so I like it when some time is spent laying the groundwork at the top of the case. If you don't give me a framework, I will formulate my own.
I'm not a big fan of theory, but if a true abuse exists, I will vote on it. Keep in mind that if your opponent has a unique argument for which you are not prepared, that means you are not prepared, not that abuse exists in the round. I do not expect case disclosure and will not consider arguments that it should exist.

I want to see clash from the negative.

I fundamentally believe that the resolution is a proposition of truth and that if a truth claim is made, the burden falls on the person proving it true. Having said that, I'm totally open to other articulated strategies.

Raj Soni Paradigm

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Tori Warenik Paradigm

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I’m your typical South Florida judge. That means:


-Weigh for me. If you don’t then I promise you won’t like my decision

-Everything in FF must be in summary. Yes, this includes terminal defense. 

-I like framework. 

-I believe in truth over tech. I’m probably going to vote off of the argument I think is more convincing and true.

-Don’t be an asshole. That doesn’t mean I don’t like some humor. Just don’t be mean. If you say anything sexist/racist/ablest, I’m probably going to tank your speaks and if it’s bad enough, I’ll drop you. 


Jesse Warme Paradigm

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Mike Wascher Paradigm

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Name: Mike Wascher

School Affiliation: Lake Highland Prep

Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 10

Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: 0

Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 15

Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 8

If you are a coach, what events do you coach? Public Forum, extemp

What is your current occupation? Debate coach

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:

Speed of Delivery As long as it is clear, speed is not important

Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?) Turning point in the debate where the debater should take from the line by line the arguments they envision as being the decision points. Whether it is organized by the same order as the line by line or re-cast in voting issues makes no difference.

Role of the Final Focus Tell me what arguments you win, explain why those arguments, when compared to your opponents arguments, means you win the debate. The comparative work is crucial. If the debaters don’t do it the judge has to do it and that is a door debaters should never leave open.

Extension of Arguments into later speeches While I have no autocratic rule, I would imagine that something you plan to go for would be something that is extended throughout the debate. If argument X is a winner it just seems reasonable to me that it should be included in all speeches.

Topicality Sadly, this argument isn’t advanced much because the time it takes to present it is generally critical time lost on case arguments and the trade off is seldom worth. Having said that, I would vote on a T argument.

Plans Specific plans are, by rule, not allowed. Generic ideas about solving problems necessarily discusses policy options. The general idea of those options is the resolution when were have policy topics.

Kritiks If Public Forum is supposed to be debate about how current events are debated in the real world I find little room for theoretical ideas that are not considered by real world policy makers. If, however, the critical argument has specific links to the topic, (and history suggests that few I’ve heard do) it should not be rejected because it is critical.

Flowing/note-taking I flow the key parts of the argument and sometimes flow authors. I find myself noting dates when they seem to be old (and possible dated). I listen to cross fire and sometimes make notes when I heard something worthwhile.

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? I value argument and I especially value warrants (which aren’t tag lines) that explain why your claims are persuasive.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Not a hard and fast rule with me but I can’t imagine why a winner would be left out.

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? Also not a hard and fast rule with me but strategically it is probably important you get back to some of your case, unless you plan to win offense on turns on your opponents case.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? Never!

If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here. The three things I would like to hear more often in Public Forum debates are:

1) Comparative work. Explain why you win the debate not just win some arguments. You can win every argument you discuss but still not have a better story than your opponent. Take the time to explain why the arguments you win form a better story than your opponent’s offering.

2) Warrants. Claims are not persuasive. Why your claim is true, significant, harmful, etc., make for a persuasive argument. The best claim from the most qualified author is generally useless and it is sad when those “Best” authors write warrants and debaters fail to cut that evidence and read it.

3) Paraphrasing. I recognize that the PF world is at this point. I don’t like it. I believe there are ethical issues when one cites three different authors, for example, and none of the three are working on the same argument but rather writing one line that fits in and is found in a google search. I also find it problematic that some think they can summarize a master’s level work in six words. Paraphrasing opens the world to a lot of potential evil. I read a lot on our topics and do not be the person that is misrepresenting an author by a poor paraphrase. It’s as bad as clipping. Given the power to change the world I would mandate we go back to reading evidence but then again I can’t find enough people, maybe even one other person, willing to give me that power. So we will paraphrase but we will properly represent the evidence.

Emma Wheeler Paradigm

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Yes, I look like a high school student. Sorry! I promise I have authority: I competed in speech events (mostly extemp and original oratory) in high school prior to competing for Fresno State's policy debate team the 2012-2013 season on the energy policy topic, where I won several speaker awards and ended up as debater of the year. I now coach speech and the policy team members of a high school team. My judging paradigm has been heavily shaped by both Arielle Kovacs and Kevin Kuswa, my judge idol and the best coach I've ever had, so look them up if you want some more info of what I'm like.

Here's the stuff you really care about: 

1) I'm up for pretty much anything (side effect of being a pretty standard policy debater on a highly kritikal team), but if you can't explain it and it's clear you don't understand your argument, chances are good that I will not vote for you. The general rule of thumb is that if you can explain your entire plan, k, etc. to a fifth grader and have them understand it and be able to tell their friends about it, all is well. If you can't, work on it! Just because I may understand the argument you are trying to make does not mean that I as your judge will fill in the blanks for you. If you give your judge that kind of power, you lose a lot of your authority in making those arguments. At the end of the day, I want to know that you really care about this activity. You're clearly dedicated; show it.

2) Prep stops when the flash drive/whatever is out of your computer and the other team has the necessary evidence. I time prep and I time speeches, and I expect you to all be keeping track of time as well. 

3) I flow on paper, but me not writing does not mean you are going too quickly - I may be making a point of feedback or trying to synthesize some arguments. Keep going. I can keep up with you no matter what; college policy is never, ever remotely slow so I'm used to it. I will call "clear," though, if I can't understand you (slurring, legitimately hyperventilating, etc.). If I call "clear" twice and you still don't fix it, I will probably stop trying and you will drop speaker points and you shouldn't count on my ability to understand what you're saying. 

4) From Kuswa: Examples win debates. Well-developed examples are necessary to make the abstract concrete, and they show an understanding of the issues in the round, and they tend to control our understandings of how particular changes will play out. Good examples take many forms and might include all sorts of elements, but the best examples are easily applicable, supported by references and other experiences, and used to frame specific portions of the debate. ALSO: Argument comparison wins debates. Debate the warrants and compare them in terms of application, rationale, depth, etc. The trinity of impact, plausibilty, and verge analysis doesn't hurt, especially if those variables are weighed against one another. Debates on the relative validity of sources win rounds.

5) CX matters. A lot. 

6) I don't want to see any new arguments from the 1AR on. None. I don't want to determine what's new in the 2AR and I think it's ridiculous to basically start a new debate an hour after it began in the first place. 

Basically, I want to know that you've had fun and that you really do care about this activity. Enjoy it. Care about the arguments you are making, explain them well, debate the evidence, and demonstrate your knowledge cultivated from months of debating this topic. Once again, I've been heavily influenced by Arielle Kovacs and Kevin Kuswa (especially Kevin!), and reading their judging paradigms will be tremendously helpful in expanding on mine. Thanks for taking the time to get to know your judge!

Fletcher Woolsey Paradigm

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Jarry Xiao Paradigm

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Jason Zhang Paradigm

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My paradigm is semi-long. If you don't want to read the entire thing, just read this one

Some things that are very important to me (tl;dr):

1. Quality > quantity (card dump bad unless actually interactive)

2. All arguments must be sufficiently warranted and must be interactive

3. All parts of any offense must be extended to access impacts (uniquess, link, internal link, etc//frontlining =/= implicit warrant extension)

4. Weighing is so important. However, I hate noncomparative weighing (we win on magnitude because 50 mil ppl die). If you do this type of weighing, you might as well just not weigh.

5. Pull up your evidence quickly if you don't want speaks to suffer.

6. Defense = sticky



Tech over truth, but treat me like I'm a lay judge. ***I don't like teams that just card dump on their opponents hoping to win the round on sheer quantity of arguments alone.***(emphasized after Plano West semis 2019)

^this is the most brainless form of debate. You're not a "good debater" if you just spread a blockfile without even thinking about what your arguments mean.

If you collapse on a good argument and warrant it well, I'm much more compelled to vote for you over a team that just spoke quickly.


I prefer line by line rebuttals at the very least. If you choose to go with an unconventional order, then please signpost! If I can't follow you, I'll be very sad.


Second rebuttal doesn't have to respond to defense, but definitely offense - this means turns. I think it's extremely abusive to not respond to a turn that was placed on you in first rebuttal until second summary. If you choose not to respond to turns in your rebuttal, it doesn't mean it's an instant downvote, but your chances of winning the round are slim :((. Defense in first summary sticks unless the other team unstuck it in second rebuttal.


Some kind of framing at some point in the round is definitely preferred because it'll help me decide what to evaluate better. If no explicit framework is agreed upon, I'll default to a cost-benefit analysis. Make sure you're linking whatever offense you go for back into your framework. I don't care if you forget to explicitly extend your framework, but if you don't explicitly link your offense back into your framework, then I'm not doing that work for you.


If no one has a question please just sit down and cut crossfire short. If you end it early, I'll give everyone .5 higher speaks. If something important comes up in crossfire, bring it up in a speech if you want it to have weight.

edit: ur not cool if ur team takes up the entire 3 minutes in crossfire talking. that's just abusive and foolish.


Please weigh your arguments in any way you choose. I'll try not to intervene but I'll be forced to if no one weighs and there's offense on both sides. You also have to weigh your weighing, i.e, tell me why your weighing mechanisms are better than your opponents.


I don't mind calling for evidence after the round if a team tells me to, or if I think you're lying about your evidence. If you can't produce a piece of evidence, then I'll drop the evidence from the round. You argument can still win if you warrant it well without the evidence though.

edit: Please have your evidence ready when your opponents call for it. It's absolutely absurd that anyone has to spend almost 15 cumulative minutes in a round pulling up evidence because "the wifi is spotty". If you aren't cutting your evidence, at least have the decency to download it before tournament. If you spend more than ~5 minutes trying to pull up one piece of evidence, your speaks will suffer considerably.


I prefer a big picture summary and voter final focus. If you choose to go line by line, you better collapse yell I won't vote on anything if it's not in both of these speeches. Parallelism is good! Also, offense isn't *implicitly* flowed over, so it's not enough to just frontline and then restate your impacts. Make sure you're extending internal warrants as well as frontlining if you want full access to impacts.


I can flow pretty well, but don't spread. If you speak at sanic levels I might miss the argument. If I'm just staring at you and not flowing, it probably means you're speaking at sanic levels.


Generally 28-30 unless you say something blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.

Progressive Debate

I'll evaluate them the same as any other normal argument, but if you go too far into the technicalities, you might lose me.

If you have any questions before the round, feel free to ask me! If you have any questions after the round, feel free to find me! Have fun!

Lei Zhao Paradigm

3 rounds

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Qi Zheng Paradigm

3 rounds

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