Cal Invitational at Berkeley HS Tournament

2016 — CA/US

Katherine Acosta Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated all four years in high school. I graduated four years ago and have been volunteering as a judge for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League for about three years. 


I allow tag team cross examination. Debaters should keep track of their speeches and prep time. If flashing evidence takes longer than a minute it will be taken out of their prep time. I'm ok with spreading as long its clear and tags are emphasized. If a team runs K, in order for me to vote on it, it has to be thoroughly explained. I'm open to analytical arguments but you should have evidence to support your clam. I personally like Topicality when it's done properly. I also like when debaters give an impact cal during their rebuttals and use debate terminology throughout the debate round. 

Irvin Alvarado Paradigm

6 rounds



I debated for two years in high school and three in college and have been coaching/judging high school (and some college) debate on and off for three years. I started debating in high school for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League where I learned how to debate and argue “traditionally” or “straight up”. I finished my high school debate career in the Octas of the NAUDL Championship Tournament. Once graduating high school, I began my college debate career debating for CSU, Fullerton where I transitioned into more “critical” modes of debate, mainly focusing on criticisms based on sex/gender, race, as well as performance based arguments. I also debated for Weber State University in Ogden, UT where my research and argumentation interests gravitated towards both high theory post-modern critical analysis as well as stand-point location race and whiteness arguments. I ended my career at Fresno State University where I focused largely on critique largely based on radical queer theory (particularly queer negativity – odds are you’ve probably heard about me if you’ve heard about that one college debater reading the AIDS Good AFF).


While it is no secret the debate community is more polarized now than it has ever been, don’t for one second let my debate careers argumentative evolution trick you into thinking that I am some critical debate hack who you can file away in your “check in” folder – doing so is a disservice to you as a debater and to me as a critic; I don’t think one style of debate is better than the other. You won’t get my ballot just because you read a K in front of me if you debate poorly. Put simply:

·         If you’re a project/performance/k debater – I’m with you.

·         If you’re a traditional/roleplaying/policy debater – I’m with you.

I’ll enjoy a good politix/xo debate as much as a one-off K debate any day.

What I’m trying to say is that you shouldn’t feel obligated to change or Taylor your strategy because of me. I loathe the way judges and coaches who’s days as debaters have long since been over continue to try and make the activity continue to revolve around them; debate shouldn’t be about me and what I like but about the current debaters themselves; read what you want, argue how you want – I’ll do my best to judge you to the best of my ability.



Traditional AFF’s: Run em. Love big economy/hege impacts. Have solid link/internal link chains and come decked out with overviews for each speech that extend/explain your case.

Critical AFF’S: Love em. One thing I will say, though, is I usually prefer a critical affirmative which has at least some relation to the resolution, meaning: if you’re going to run a critical AFF (whatever variation of), try not to just get up and read something completely random. Instead, read critical affirmatives that criticize the topic, have specific topic links, as well as solid reasons which merit justifying a critical affirmative.


Framework: I’m a little iffy about framework debates. On one hand, I like clash of civ showdowns, on the other, I dislike how dry and boring they can be. If you’re going to go for a framework debate, try not to rely on overused framework backfiles.


Disadvantages: Run em. Make sure you have a central overview for each speech and can keep up with the line-by-line. I have a special place in my heart for good politics debates or debates where the DA in question accompanies a good CP.

Counterplans: CP’s are pretty great. I’m down with Agent Cps, Timeframe CPs, Advantage CPs, but love a good word PIC or solvency PIC. As a competitor, I made learning how to debate PIC’s and Text/Funct comp theory a part of my overall staple as a debater.

Kritiks: Make sure you have clear links/impacts and an alt for your K. Overviews can’t hurt you, either. Something I’ve noticed about high school debaters running the K is that they often have a hard time in big k debates like cap k debates where the 2AC pummels the k flow with perms and impact turns. My advice is as follows: if they K is going to be the argument you’re going for in the 2NR (if you’re a one off K team), split the block strategically. That is, the 2N reads an overview and handles the link/impact debate while the 1NR handles the alt/perm debate. My coach always said “the 2NC is the beat down and the 1NR is the kill shot” so make it count and make sure that coming out of the block, you’re winning most of the offense on the flow. (Note: Please see Paragraph 2 of Final Thoughts for specific K information).

Theory: It breaks my heart with the first c-x of the 1N isn’t what the status of 1n off cases are. If you’re gonna debate theory, debate it well. Keep up with the line by line, impact out the theory flow. I tend to err neg on conditionality but should the neg drop theory, don’t be afraid to go all in – I’ll def sign the ballot your way.


I transitioned to paperless debate while debating at Fullerton after being paper for all of my career. While it was hard to transition to at first, I found that I quickly fell in love with the financial benefits and the efficiency in evidence production/sharing/transportation both at and on the way to tournaments. However, I have found that as a judge, I get extremely annoyed with bad paperless debate, and as a result I’ve established a few paperless guidelines:

If you need to flash, then you need prep: Prep time does not stop when you’re ready to start flashing evidence, it stops when the other team has the flash drive in their hands.

Don’t be a jerk, format your evidence with Verbatim: Compatibility issues are annoying for all involved. If you’re paperless, you should be using verbatim anyway.

Paperless/Paperless debates: in the event of a paperless team debating a paper team, I defer the responsibility of having a viewing computer to the paper team. If the other team carries around tubs full of tangible paper evidence for you to hold and see, the least you could do is make sure they can see the evidence you use against them.

Failure to adhere to the above paperless debate guidelines will result in the docking of your speaker points beginning from a tenth and increasing after the failure of adhering to the first warning. Nobody wants to sit and waste time they could possibly be judging an amazing and engaging debate round staring at a debater struggle to open a file you didn’t save in the correct format.


I disperse speaker points based on a normative scale and try to shy away from low point wins. The most I can tell you regarding speaker points goes as follows:

Policy teams debating the line by line: The highest speaker points go to the winning team. If you are going too fast or I don’t catch an argument/don’t speak clearly, the burden is not on me to figure it out but rather for you to make sure I am following the debate. I don’t have my laptop open and am online during your speeches for a reason – take advantage of that. I refuse to do work for you. Speaker points will be dispersed anywhere between the scale of 27-28.5. On rare occasions I have been known to give a 29-29.4 but nothing higher than that. Don’t expect higher than that for me.

Critical/Pefromance teams: I’m all about the performance and the critical debate but that does not mean I will inflate your speaker points. Don’t think that just because you rapped a bit or spoke from a personal experience that you deserve the highest speaks – at best I might give you a higher ranking (see “Note” section above).


It seems as though ethics challenges are becoming more prevalent now both in the high school and college debate circles. I’m generally not a fan of them and have been taught to debate cheaters and beat them. However, if you feel like the team you are debating has an unfair advantage (such as in round discussions with coaches over an online medium, card clipping, etc) feel free to voice them. The round will stop and I will proceed to go to tab and proceed from whatever directions they give me from there.

Note: Be sure you are making a legitimate ethics claim, there is nothing more annoying than a debater who makes an ethics claim for something silly like “they gave us the cards in the doc out of order” – the purpose of the document is so that you can see the cards. Keeping a proper flow resolves most of the offense of that argument.


Unlike other judges, i'm comfortable with admitting my limitations and embracing my shortcoming. That being said, i should probably mention that while i don't often run into this problem, i have judged rounds where i had a very hard time flowing arguments being delivered at a very high speed. This by no means is me telling you you can't spread; instead, spread but be conscious that if you are going TOO fast, i might not catch some of what your saying (a clear sign of this is when you jump from one flow to another and it takes me a little while to finish writing the argument on the current flow before jumping onto the new flow).

Another thing i should include is that while i love the K and could probably be considered a "critical debater" based on my time at Fullerton, i'm not as well versed on all of the rez-to-rez debate philosophers (aside from Nietzsche, Foucault, Heidegger, Spanos, Said) but that doesn't mean i won't be able to judge them. If you think i'm struggling with your argument, include an overview with a clear summarization of the argument and do extra detailed link and impact work on the line by line.

All in all, Debate and debate well. Have clear and accessible overviews for your central positions. Respect your opponents and their property, make eye contact with me and not your opponents. Impact out your claims, extend your evidence properly (claim/warrant), and give me reasons why you deserve the ballot. At the end we’re all here to have fun and win, let’s make sure its enjoyable for everyone involved.


 Last Updated: 7/12/15 

Van Anh Paradigm

6 rounds

*disclaimer: some of this has been "borrowed" from other judges' philosophies as to not reinvent the wheel*



I competed in policy debate in high school with the Southern California Urban Debate League. During that time, my skill-set and argumentation repertoire tended to lean towards more traditional forms of policy debate.  I have a masters in Education and taught English at Crenshaw High School and coached their debate team for 6 years.  I am currently a public defender/trial attorney for the Orange County Public Defender's Office.  I have judged many high school rounds at all different levels since 2002 and very few college debate rounds.  I have been judging very rarely in the last couple of years however. 

General Philosophy

Don’t feel like you’re obligated to change your strategy because of me. Debate shouldn’t be about the judges and people who have since been done with the activity, but about the current debaters; I enjoy a good politix/xo debate just as much as a one off k debate any day.  However, I do feel that the round should at least be remotely connected to the topic in one way or another and I feel that debaters should be free to think of how they can connect what they want to talk about to the topic.  


  • Traditional AFF’s: Run em. Love big economy/hege impacts. Have solid link/internal link chains and come decked out with overviews for each speech that extend/explain your case.
  • Critical AFF’S: Love em. One thing I will say, though, is I usually prefer a critical affirmative which has at least some relation to the resolution, meaning: if you’re going to run a critical AFF (whatever variation of), try not to just get up and read something completely random. Instead, read critical affirmatives that criticize the topic, have specific topic links, as well as solid reasons which merit justifying a critical affirmative.  Be creative - you don't need a plan - just some connections, even tangential ones, engages the topic and makes the rounds more interesting.  
  • Framework: I’m a little iffy about framework debates. This is mostly because it usually becomes a bunch of blocks read back and forth without much explanation.  If you really want to engage a framework debate please make sure to explain it in depth to me and really explore the merits behind how you think the debate should be framed.  
  • Disadvantages: Run em. Make sure you have a central overview for each speech and can keep up with the line-by-line. I have a special place in my heart for good politics debates or debates where the DA in question accompanies a good CP.
  • Counterplans: CP’s are pretty great. I’m down with Agent Cps, Timeframe CPs, Advantage CPs, but love a good word PIC or solvency PIC. 
  • Kritiks: Make sure you have clear links/impacts and an alt for your K. Overviews can’t hurt you, either. Something I’ve noticed about high school debaters running the K is that they often have a hard time in big k debates like cap k debates where the 2AC pummels the k flow with perms and impact turns. My advice is as follows: if they K is going to be the argument you’re going for in the 2NR (if you’re a one off K team), split the block strategically. That is, the 2N reads an overview and handles the link/impact debate while the 1NR handles the alt/perm debate. (Note: Please see Paragraph 2 of Final Thoughts for specific K information).
  • Theory: If you’re gonna debate theory, debate it well. Again, try not to just read opposite blocks without making connections.  Keep up with the line by line, impact out the theory flow. I tend to err neg on theory but should the neg drop theory, don’t be afraid to go all in – I’ll def sign the ballot your way.


Paperless debate did not exist when I was a debater although I appreciate the efficiency it provides. However, I have found that as a judge, I get extremely annoyed with bad paperless debate, and as a result I’ve established a few paperless guidelines:

If you need to flash, then you need prep: Prep time does not stop when you’re ready to start flashing evidence, it stops when the other team has the flash drive in their hands.

Paperless/Paperless debates: in the event of a paperless team debating a paper team, I defer the responsibility of having a viewing computer to the paperless team. If the other team carries around tubs full of tangible paper evidence for you to hold and see, the least you could do is make sure they can see the evidence you use against them.

Failure to adhere to the above paperless debate guidelines will result in the docking of your speaker points beginning from a tenth and increasing after the failure of adhering to the first warning. Nobody wants to sit and waste time they could possibly be judging an amazing and engaging debate round staring at a debater struggle to open a file you didn’t save in the correct format.


I'm comfortable with admitting my limitations and embracing my shortcoming. That being said, I should probably mention that while i don't often run into this problem, I have judged rounds where I had a very hard time flowing arguments being delivered at a very high speed. This by no means is me telling you you can't spread; instead, spread but be CLEAR and conscious that if you are going TOO fast, I might not catch some of what your saying (a clear sign of this is when you jump from one flow to another and it takes me a little while to finish writing the argument on the current flow before jumping onto the new flow).  

Another thing I should include is that while I love hearing interesting K's, I'm not as well versed on all of the rez-to-rez debate philosophers (aside from the usual suspects like Nietzsche, Foucault, Heidegger) but that doesn't mean I won't be able to judge them. Just be aware that since I started working and going to law school I do not have the privilege of siting around reading philosophy and delving into the trendiest K authors.  If you think I'm struggling with your argument, include an overview with a clear summation of the argument and do extra detailed link and impact work on the line by line.  I promise you I am trying my best to understand your arguments and I am not dumb but you will need to put in the work if your argument is especially complicated.  To me, the quality and value of an argument is not increased based on how few people understand what it means.  

In conclusion: explain, connect, and extend.  Tell me the story of the round by connecting your arguments together.  Be competitive, be powerful, be passionate.  

Trisha Bhattacharyya Paradigm

3 rounds

Feel free to ask questions if this doesn't answer them for you! 


I debated for Little Rock Central for 4 years, and was a 2A for 3 of those years. (2011-2015)

I'm a student at UC Berkeley pursuing degrees in engineering and computer science


Debate Philosophy:

My job as the judge is to decide who wins based on the information given to me, which means that it is in your best interest to explain your arguments thoroughly and tell me why you should win. In other words, do my work for me because that way, the round has a greater chance of going favorably for you.

I'm okay with any type of argument as long as it is debated smartly and strategically, and you know what you're talking about. I don't have much experience on this topic, so that should motivate you to warrant out each argument even more than you usually do. I started out with a strong policy foundation in high school, so they are a bit more comfortable for me. Additionally, I haven't read that much critical literature recently, so don't make any assumptions when running one. However, don't take that as a sign to avoid kritiks completely because I have encountered a fair share, enjoy them, and learn a lot from them every time. Debate has been moving towards a more critical debate style recently and I'm pretty on board with that. In the end, my decision will come down to what's on my flow paper regardless of what type of argument you run, and I do my best to make as little assumptions about your arguments as possible.

As far as speed, try to enunciate when you say something you really really think I need to write down. Otherwise, I should be able to keep up with you. I won't tell you when you aren't being clear, so that's your burden to make sure that what you're saying is as accessible to me as possible. 

For counterplans, pleeeeeaaaaase make sure it has an external net benefit. Otherwise, it becomes an uphill battle for you as the negative to prove that it competes with the aff. 

Theory debates are pretty great too, they are definitely quite fascinating if done correctly.

Don't steal prep time. I hate that. I don't count flashing evidence as prep time as long as you don't take forever. 


Julie Boettner Paradigm

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Jesus Caro Paradigm

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Diana Castillo Paradigm

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Sophia Chan Paradigm

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Allie Chase Paradigm

6 rounds

please add me to the email chain:


Competing interpretations are easier to evaluate than reasonability. You will have to explain to me how we determine what is "reasonable" if you are going for reasonability.

It's really important that I can understand and flow the 2AC.


Affirmatives should be about the topic. I will be fairly sympathetic to T-USFG arguments if I do not know what the aff means re: the topic after the 1AC. I would feel much better if your specific critique was clear from the very beginning.

I think teams are meming a bit on both sides of this debate. Phrases like "third and fourth level testing" and "rev v rev debates are better" are kind of meaningless absent robust explanation. Fairness is an impact that I will vote on. Like any other impact, it needs to be explained and compared to the other team's impact. I have also voted on arguments about ethics, education, and pedagogy. I will try my best to decide who wins an impact and which impact matters more based on the debate that happens.

I do not think the neg has to win a TVA to win topicality; it can be helpful if it happens to make a lot of sense but I don't think the negative is under any obligation to provide a way to solve the aff.


1. Links of omission are not links. Links of “commission” will take a lot of explaining.

2. Debating the case matters unless there is a compelling framework argument for why I should not evaluate the case.

3. If you are reading a critique that pulls from a variety of literature bases, make sure I understand how they all tie to together. I am persuaded by aff arguments about how it's very difficult to answer the foundation of 3+ different bodies of critical literature because they often have different ontological, epistemological, psychoanalytic, etc assumptions.

4. Aff v. K: I have noticed affirmative teams saying "it's bad to die twice" on k's and I have no idea what that means. Aff framework arguments tend to be a statement that is said in the 2AC and repeated in the 1AR and 2AR - if you want fw to influence how I vote, you need to do more than this. Explain how it implicates how I assess the link and/or alternative solvency.

DA’s - I would love to see you go for a disad and case in the 2NR. I get stressed when an aff's primary/only answer to a DA is impact framing.

CP's - If the CP is some random thing with evidence from the 80s vs. an aff that does a very specific thing and you don't have newer, better cards you plan to read in the block, I will be easily persuaded by solvency deficits.

I don't prefer to read and re-read overly complicated counter-plans especially when they are read with low quality and under-highlighted evidence, so while it might solve portions of the aff, I might also not give you much leeway. This is especially important for high school debates. There seems to be some groupthink that just decides certain counterplans solve certain aff's and there's no getting around it. I strongly disagree with this approach to debate and will think through the arguments on both sides of the debate because that is what debate is about.

Some people think it is auto-true that politics disads and certain cp's are terrible for debate. I don't agree with that. This matters for framework debates as well. A plan-less aff saying "their model results in politics DA's which is obviously the worst" will not persuade absent a warrant for that claim.

Love a good case debate. It's super under-utilized. It always shocks me how little some 2A's know about their aff and I think it's really impressive when a 2N knows more about the aff evidence than the aff does.

Theory – A lot of the time I don't flow it in the constructives both because people read it too fast and because some of these arguments are bad. If there is one conditional counterplan, don't waste your time; if the alt isn't vague, don't waste your time. The floating pik has gone rogue though so no judgement if you're throwing that in 2AC's.

Please don't be nasty to each other; don't be surprised if I interrupt you if you are.

Clevenger Clevenger Paradigm

6 rounds

Clint "C.J." Clevenger
School: The Barstow School
Years Judging: 10+
Rounds on Topic: ~5
Last Updated 11/2/15

Important Update: For those who don't know, I have stopped officially coaching, which means that I have stopped cutting cards and keeping a detailed account of the topic. I will be in attendance at a few tournaments this year, so my knowledge of the topic is not non-existent, but for those of you who have had me previously as a judge and were accustomed to me being deeply on top of the topic, consider this fair warning. That being said, I am actually pretty excited to judge without that intense background of knowledge.

General: I enjoy watching very technical debates with good strategies. This guide is to get you to a point to win the debate with the best speaker points possible. Arguments need to pass the common sense test (i.e. the use of logic)…There are 3 parts of an argument Claim, Warrant, and Data, your arguments need to use all 3, otherwise they cease to be arguments. It helps to point out missing items of these if you are the opposing team. FLOW! FLOW! FLOW! FLOW! My flow is a written account of the debate and how I make my decision. You should be flowing the debate and use the line by line to answer arguments that the other team is making.

Clarity: SLOW DOWN!!! You are not as clear as you think you are! I don’t call for many cards (read almost zero) unless I need them to clarify and argument or compare the warrants that were discussed by teams. I don’t think it is my job to read your evidence to determine what it says. I do think it is YOUR job as a debater to communicate both with me and the other team what that evidence says and means. Speech docs are not an alternative to your spoken word. I expect to be able to understand every word that you say. The text of the evidence that you read is the most important thing you read in debate because it is what gives you the warrants to win debates in front of me. I think debaters would be well advised to slow down to 85% of their top speed, because you are not as clear as you think you are. Important notes: I will call clear if I can’t understand you twice. After that I will give non-verbal signals like putting my pen down and staring at you. You should take this as a clue that I have quit flowing your arguments and they at that point cease to be arguments in my mind in the round. Your speaker points will suffer if I am yelling clear. Debaters should feel free to make arguments during thier speech about the clarity of an argument that the other team made, I will give non-verbals if I agree or not. This is a good way to show me two things: 1. that you are listening to the speech and not just reading the speech doc and 2. that you are probably flowing. Both of which are likely to help your speaker points.

Clipping: I wish there was a world that there did not have to be a section like this in my philosophy, but there is. I have stolen most of this from Gabe Murillo, but I agree 100% with him so here it is:
Too many students are clipping cards, its disrespectful to opponets and to the community. In an effort to deter students from clipping I will take a very ahrdline stance in my future juding. In additions to my normal clarity procedure I will begin implementing a standard policy on checking debater for clipping cards.
1. I will record every debate that I judge.
2. If a team decides to raise a clipping challenge against their opponets I will immediately strop the debate. I will review the tape (if one is available) and speech documents and decide the debate on the clipping in question. Without tape I will look at the speech doc as read and look for the marked section of cards to confirm that the highlighting for first and last matches up with my first and last on my flow. If you have not marked your cards in the speech doc then you have clipped because after the speech you won't have a clue where you stopped on every card. In the past I have given teams a chance to mark thier cards after thier speech (using thier preptime) but this continues to be a problem so I am no longer going to allow that.
3. If there are ANY clarity problems in speeching or if I have ANY cause to question the speaker I will as a default call for the necessary speech docs to decide if my suspicsions are correct. If there is I will vote agains the team that clipped, if there is no clipping I will continue with my decision. To be very celar I do not feel that I need a debater to initiate a clipping challenge, as an educator I feel I have a responsibility to monitor agains cheating.
4. If a student is caught clipping their team will lose and the student who clipped will reveive zero speaker points. I will also talk to the coaches of the team that cheated to explain the procedure that I went through, and if asked, provide evidence of when their student cheated.
There is no gray area with clipping - if I cannot tell CLEARLY and DIFINITIVELY that you read a part of the card my presumption is that you did not. Feel free to contact me with any quesitons.
Update: I have been told that I vote very quickly. Most of the time I already know what the nexus issues in the debate are that I have to resolve for me to make a decision, once I have identified these, decisions come quickly. If you want to win, I would recommend you start to identify them as well. Often times I do not call for cards. This is because I am not going to sort through your evidence to find the warrants in it to support your arguments. You should be doing this work not me. If you are not doing it, that is probably a reason that you will lose the debate. This is a spoken activity; I listen to all of the speech, not just the tags. I do this because I want to list to what your evidence actually says (you know the warrants you are supposedly reading that you have not highlighted out of them). I expect clarity through the entire speech, if you are not able to perform this, then you are wasting your breath. I flow warrants of evidence and I also flow the Cross-X.

Cliff Notes:
- I Read/cut a lot of cards usually judge 60+ rounds a year.
- Ideal 2NRs include the following things in them (I have not ranked them but find all of these items to be perfectly acceptable and "ideal"): Politics/Econ, Any form of CP (excluding the cheating versions, ie. Delay, veto cheato, I am up in the air about consult CPs. )Impact Turns, T, Kirtik/Critique
- Cheap Shots: Can be voters if they are flat conceded. Flowing and the line-by-line are important, pay attention.
- K Framework: weighing the impact of the case makes sense to me, often times if the aff gets to weigh case (which most of the time I think they do) then makes it hard for the negative to win.
- Topicality: Competing interpretations makes a lot of sense to me. You need to have more than defense to win a T debate. Offense and being able to describe the world of what the topic looks like under your interpretation.
Open For Debate: All
-Uniqueness and link arguments don't determine the other. Defense can be an absolute takeout but is probably not always recommended and is much more difficult to win.
-I like humor, I like aggressiveness, I don't like meanness or jackassery. These areas are a fine line, if you can't walk them don't try.

Topicality: Competing interpretations really make sense to me. Reasonability seems pretty circular. I am a judge will to vote on T. The biggest problem that I see in T debates is the lack of internal link and impact work in the standards debate. Painting a picture for me of what the topic looks like under your interpretation (usually large or small) and WHY that interpretation is best for debate is the simplest that I can break it down. Too often teams just say, here is our interp and we/they are in/out of it. That is not enough, because the inclusion/exclusion of one case does not make a topic. It is all of the other things that your interp allows/excludes that make the topic, it is really just happenstance that it excludes/includes the affirmative.

Kirtiks: I am getting there. I have read some lit now, I am coming along slowly. Still think I am not the best judge for the K, but there is not an ideological predisposition for voting against it. Read more below on the "performance" debate section about teams that want to pref me who go for the K. I think the same things apply here as well. Sometimes I get lost, once I am lost, like most people I tend to seek ground in debates that I am familiar with, this probably means aff arguments like No V2L without Life and case outweighs or permutation arguments. 

Performance/Non-Resolution Engaging AFFs: In my ideal world I think the Affirmative should defend some form of engagement of the resolution. My predisposition does not require the defending of a "plan" but does incline me to believe that the AFF should certainly engage the idea that there should be an increase in Economic Engagement. Now, saying that I think the AFF should engage the resolution does not mean they have to, nor do I have a predesignated will to vote against teams that choose not to. I will and have listened to debates about the state of debate and other things. The difference in my comfort has to do with a level of understanding of arguments. I will be honest. The more often I am preffed into these debates and watch them I think the better understanding I will have for the arguments, allowing me to develop a better skill set as a judge. If you are a team chooses to debate in this style, I understand the perceived risk in prefing me, I will definitely say I am not a perfect judge for this style of debate right now, but to be clear - this is a statement of a willingness to learn and expand upon my capabilities as a judge. So on that note - I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to both broaden and sharpen my skills.

Theory: Still have yet to hear a good reason that makes sense for conditionality, especially when used in conjunction with contradictory arguments. I spend a lot of time coaching and thinking about theory. I actually don’t mind theory debates. I give 2ARs and 1ARs a little more leeway in going for theory, but the argument still needs to be there for the 2AR from the 1AR. I want to hear a warrant for your argument not 7 points of blip. I think 3 good warranted arguments are better than 7 sentences about 7 different things. That being said, plenty of people run conditional arguments in front of me, and it still takes the right arguments from the AFF to win conditionality debates. That being said I think I voted AFF on condo bad when the AFF went for it in the 2AR (does not need to be the whole speech, but you need to invest some time to get it done) probably around 80% of the time. Most of the other theory questions you have about CPs will be answered below.

Counter-Plans: I think most CPs are legit. You should have some form of solvency advocate for your CP. Evidence about the link to the net-benefit is not a solvency advocate. In these instances lit checks abuse for the most part. Be willing to spend time talking about the impact. So be willing to do an impact comparison that "if I reject the argument not the team, then they d/n have a cp to solve case, which was conceded by the 2NR and it outweighs their net-benefit without a CP" This will get you a very long way. NEG read the inverse if you think you are schooling them on the rest of the debate and this is their only way out, a little preempt will go a long way to better speaks. Consult CPs/Condition CPs/PICs are a different monster. AFFs too often fail to debate or understand the normal means, that can get them out of a lot of the consult debates. PICs out of words are probably not the best strat in front of me. There are a TON of CPs on this topic, and there is zero reason why we should not debate them. International fiat is a risky endeavor. I can be sold either way.

Rebuttals (specifically 2NR/2AR): This is where you should be comparing impacts for me and explaining how I should vote. A good impact comparison does more than just magnitude, timeframe, and whatever.. it actually compares your impact risk in relation to their impact risk. Reality is you are not winning all of your arguments. You will start to lose fewer debates once you can realize what arguments that you are and are not losing. This is the speech that you have to think like a judge. The tag line in the rebuttals is not an argument, you need to be drawing distinctions between the text of your authors and theirs and giving me reasons why your evidence or analysis answers their arguments and theirs does not answer yours and what that means to me in how I should evaluate those claims. Seem like a lot to do? Really helps if you are setting this up in the block and 1AR. Just remember that if I have to do work for you, you might not like the outcome…..

Paperless Stuff: This really only applies to how I stop prep time for those teams debating paperless. Your prep time stops when the speech is saved on the jump drive. If you are the person giving the speech, you do not need to go and open up the speech on the other teams computer. Your partner can or better yet the other team. If the speeches are clearly labeled on the drive then there should not be an issue. Once you hand the drive over to the other team, you can give the order and debate. End of Story...

Speaker Points: Some have asked me about how I assign speaker points. So the things I think about when I am assigning speaker points are (in no particular order), clarity, delivery, style, strategy, success, how bad you made my flow look (I flow unlike you. My flow is how I decide the debate, the more painful you make my life the more pain I inflict on your speaker points. Line-by-line argumentation is good, and is a dying art. Note: this is about the umpteenth reference in my judging philosophy to might be important!

Philip Coleman Paradigm

6 rounds

Affiliation: Clackamas High School

Constraints: None

Competitive experience: 2 years of NPDA (college parli), 1 year of CEDA (college policy)

Coaching/Judging experience: 6 years of NPDA coaching with 45-60 rounds judged per year, 2 years coaching high school policy

I’m into philosophy. It was my major for my decade-long undergrad, so that won’t change anytime soon.

I'm also a former law student focused on immigration, employment, and labor.

Although I have run topical affirmatives with a plan in the past, I have generally moved towards the critical as I have continued (From a Heg and Econ National Security Courts aff to Lovecraft performance and high theory).

In CEDA, I have gone for the Cap K with a Historical Materialism alt in every one of my 2NRs. This does not mean that I will automatically pick you up if you run it, but I will be familiar with most of the arguments and authors involved in that debate.

I have come to grips with the fact that I am not very good at evaluating Framework. This does NOT mean you shouldn't run it in front of me or go for it. I think Framework is a valuable debate to be had in most rounds and I encourage people to look at varying forms of this argument in debate. You should be aware, however, that I am not going to be able to fully appreciate the nuances of Framework arguments. It's really not you, it's me.

I hold a high regard for creativity in debate, both in strategy and style. In my mind, creativity is the reason debate is such a fantastic activity. I particularly like arguments that are novel, strange, or Weird.

I am also pretty expressive in round. If you notice me nodding my head or or making a face that suggests "Hey, that sounds reasonable" then that probably means I'm thinking that. If I look up in disgust or confusion, then that means I am probably experiencing one of those things.

All that being said, I am open to most any position or style so long as you can articulate why your arguments are preferable.

Also, feel free to find me outside of rounds and ask me about a round (please bring your flow or be specific about what went on in the round, I can only remember so much on demand) or about general arguments and strategies or whatever.

Clarity: I flow all speeches in the debate and I stick to that flow when making my decision. I will call clear if I can’t understand you. If you are still not understandable to me after I call clear twice, I will stop flowing what I cannot understand.

Clipping: If there is a challenge relating to clipping cards, it must be brought with video evidence. If a team has been shown to be clipping cards in my round; that team will receive a loss and the clipper will receive 0 speaker points for that round.


Arjun Dave Paradigm

3 rounds

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Doug Dennis Paradigm

3 rounds

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Andrew Dong Paradigm

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Alisha Eastep Paradigm

6 rounds

6 years debate experience plus a few years coaching, will accept both on-topic and off-topic arguments, traditional or K. Whatever works for you, but be convincing. If you spread, slow down for tags and authors. If you aren't clear I won't flow and that is where I make my decision. Be respectful to your opponents, obey the time limits, prove your case, and tell me what the in-round voting issues are. If you choose to tag team I still expect equal effort from both partners.

Kelly Eisenbrand Paradigm

What you need to know:

1.) I'm Kelly.  College debater, late to the debate game.  Parli sucks; I do it anyway.  

2.) If you're funny and/or irreverent, I want to vote for you.  I won't without good reason to.  

3.) Tech>Truth

4.) Process Counterplans are gross. I'll hear you out but ew.

5.) Theory=debating about debate.  Give me something more substantive than education/fairness please. Impact debate is best debate.

6.) Ignore me though; I'll listen to anything, and I'd rather you tell me both how to vote and what to vote on.  

7.) Slow your theory down. Way down. 

8.) Don't be a jerk. 

9.) Flex prep is obviously fine.  Keep each other honest by timing opponents' prep.  

10.) I am pretty easy with speaker points.  I don't really give out 30's (means there's no room to improve, and there always is).  If you're a jerk, I'll drop your speaks a lot.  If you jump around the flow and are messy, don't explain things, make my job annoying, I'll drop your speaks a little.  But I'm generally pretty generous.


Plan text debate?  Yeah.  Of course.  The more specific, the better though. And yes, all planks are up for debate.

Krit Affs? Yes. Love.  You will have a legit hard time convincing me they have no place in debate. Familiar with most of the lit.  Go nuts.

Disads?  Yeah, of course. Linear, nonlinear, politics, yep. 

Counterplans? Covered.  Yes, (though conditionality is a thing I like to see, please have this debate if Neg has at least one conditional world) PICs are fine.  

P.S. Cross applying your overview to the line-by-line in rebuttal speeches is annoying.  And I hate underviews, I don't know why people do this; don't be this person; save a tree.


A word on LD and PoFo though (I get stuck judging these a lot)


FOR LD: Capitalizing on the time differential on the neg by running excessive theory is gross.  I won't drop you for running theory mainly.  But I kind of wish you wouldn't, and my sympathy will go Aff because I think it's really unfair to capitlize on something your opponent literally can't do anything about.

RVI's aren't a thing. Spreading is not inherently abusive.  

FOR PoFo: PoFo=net benefits debate.  I honestly don't think there's enough time for a real framework debate in this format, and it's kind of a waste of time.  

Mimbo Fan Paradigm

3 rounds

I will vote for anything that is well explained and weighed against the other side’s arguments.

Presentation matters a lot for me and will have a major impact on your speaks.

Arguments I like and understand better: impact turns, case defense, counterplans, disadvantages

Arguments that will take more work to win: kritiks, theory, topicality. I have a higher threshold for understanding a kritik, so make sure it’s contextualized to the affirmative and well-explained. For theory and topicality, PLEASE PLEASE slow down.

If I don’t hear it or write it down, I’m not voting for it. So make sure to be very clear when speaking and slow down on tags and important analytical arguments. I am not a particularly fast flower and I’m not very fond of speed overall.


Lastly, be courteous and nice during the round, and make sure to have fun. 

Erik Furreboe Paradigm

6 rounds


I have been a policy debater for 3 years at Arizona State University. I am currently the head debate coach at BASIS Chandler. In college I have generally ran more non-traditional affs such as Lovecraft.


I am a very flow oriented judge. I give equal preference to policy style debate as well as Kritical debate. As long as there is plenty of clash and no signs of legitimate abuse I am fine with a Kritical aff. I won't vote for you just because you have large quantity arguments, however well developed and well analyzed arguments generally hold more weight with me. I am comfortable with high speed debate, but please be clear.


I have a high threshold level to win a Framework debate. Be sure not to just be repetitive but also expand and further analyze FW arguments in rebuttal. As long as you can show clear abuse, which I usually am very critical of, then I will be sympathetic in a FW debate. However, as a K debater I generally believe the more breadth of information the better in debate, so I am sympathetic to K affs that increase in-round education.

I have a high standard for winning a T debate, not only must you not be topical but must win args for why non-T args are abusive, which is difficult. I will weigh args for why topic education is good for debate.


Pretty straight forward, make sure there is plenty of case offense for the Neg and sufficient Aff responses. Aff needs to spend sufficient amount of time on case args in every speech as well as short overviews on case, don't just extend args but expand.


Ensure there are relevant and specific links to the aff as I hold link args to high standards. Ensure plenty of impact comparison. Net benefits to CP must be substantially better then aff. I am ok with all types of CPs, just make sure you defend the style of CP you want to run. Perm debate is very important, but there must be adequate explanation of the function of the perm in order to win the perm debate, simply saying perm is not sufficient.


I am comfortable with a wide range of kritical debate. Again, specific links are necessary, weak links or links of omission aren't very compelling args. Again, explain the function of the perm and why/how the aff is allowed to perm the K. Explain the alt world and the methodology you use to get there. I am comfortable with ontological debate, but args must be well developed and explained for me to understand. I am comfortable with weighing all Kritical impacts, so good impact comparison is a must.


I don't usually ask for cards so I need you to let me know if clipping occurs in round. Debate will stop immediately to assess clipping, and if there is substantial evidence, those caught clipping will automatically loose the debate and you will be reported to tournament staff.



Julian Gagnon Paradigm

6 rounds please add me to email chains

from planet debate-

this is difficult for me b/c i'm not sure i have A judging philosophy but I do have many different ideas about and for debate...some inconsistent. that being said i don't want what i think about debate to totally dictate what debaters decide to do in rounds.

topicality- generally don't like it. I find no abuse args to be really persuasive. Since I like critical arguments so much I think you can usually find ground in any debate. i don't like the competing interpretations framework very much. i find the "that limits out any aff" arg to be persuasive. but i will vote on that framework and topicality if left unchallenged. in a good topicality debate on competeing interp vs an ok no abuse arg i'll USUALLY vote aff.

cp- like em. with a critical nb even better. i think i'm a fair judge for these debates. aff theory args generally not persuasive unless unchallenged. very similar to topicality in this regards.

das- great. a lot of people are now struggling with the we control the uniqueness = a risk vs. we got d/risk of turn. i don't think the aff has to have offense to win a da but i do find in a lot of debates that with only defense it hurts the aff a bunch. especially when the neg has a cp. but i tend to weight the da first in terms of probability and then magnitude.

critical args- love em. these are the debates i find the most interesting. i'm willing to listen to virtually any way the neg wants to present them. method. alternative. text no text. don't care. case turn. obviously it's the neg's burden to provide some way to evaluate their "framework" but in terms of theory i think they are all pretty much legit. args are args and it's the other teams responsibility to answer them.

others- i like to see people be nice to each other in debate rounds. some people may say i intervene sometimes. it's true but let me provide context. if you go for you mis-spelled (jk) a word in your plan and you should lose and your winning the arg but the other team says this is stupid...we'll i'm persuaded. you just wasted a bunch of peoples time. another thing. DON'T RUN MALTHUS IN FRONT OF ME- DOESN'T MATTER IF IT RIGHTS OR NOT. i won't flow it. i think that while debate is a game we still have a responsibility to "speak truth to power". discourse is very important. definately co-constitutes with reality. this may be why i'm starting/have been hating the politics debate for the last year and a half. but hey, like i said before, i'm full of inconsistancies b/c sometimes you just don't have another arg in the box to go for. i'm sympathetic to this. especially in high school debate. i still research it for the hs topic and coach my kids to go for it.

from debateresults...

Debate is a game- i have a lot of ideas about how the game should be played but in the absence of teams making those arguments i won't default to them. i think debate should make the rules of the game and provide a framework for how i should evaulte the debate. i'm not a big fan of some malthus in particular...but also theory arguments in general. these debates generally happen faster then my mind and pen can handle. ive judged a lot although i haven't much this year on the china topic. some people may think i have a bias towards critical arguments, and while this is true to some degree (i generally find them more intersting than other debates), it also means i have higher standards when it comes to these debates. yeah imagine that, me with high standards.

Jennifer Georgevich Paradigm

3 rounds

I competed in parliamentary debate (with a little bit of LD) for two years in college and have recently judged at a few high school policy tournaments. For you, the debater, this means that I will comprehend your jargon and follow your debate logic, but am probably unfamiliar with your favorite philosopher or new-fangled kritical/performance tactics. Despite this, I'm willing and excited to consider any argument you choose to throw down.

Your chances of winning improve when I know where to write what on my flow, and why it matters. The more I have to think for myself, the riskier your situation becomes. 

Most well-articulated speed has been fine. I'll clear you if there's an issue.

Kristina Getty Paradigm

6 rounds

Background: Debated LD in Colorado during high school; coach since graduation also in Colorado, increasingly judged a lot of CX; MA in International Studies (Governance, Human Rights, and Civil Society)

Apparently I haven't updated this in a while...since that last update I've come to believe that paradigms are even more useless. I write it. You read it. We probably both ignore it.

That said, my debaters called me out and said I seem anti-CX here. Truth is, I think really good CX debate is better than anything else, and I've come to really appreciate CX. The problem is that it is rare to see a good round of CX. There's never clash. People read arguments they don't understand. People ignore evidence at a whim. There's a tension between just reading a bunch of cards and wanting the judge to do the work of analysis and then complaining about judges not understanding arguments. And more. And it's not unique to CX.

So, long-story short: I try to be pretty tab in CX -- because I wasn't a competitor I have very few preconceived ideas of what I want to see in a round. Take some extra time and explain any CX theory to me.

Speed: I have no preference and a pretty high threshold for an LD judge from backwards Colorado. I try to keep a rigorous flow so if you get too fast I will clearly stop typing or writing. If you also don't slow down a bit on taglines, arguments and cards probably won't get flowed where you want them.

Arguments: I tend to be more interested in philosophical debates and "traditional" LD (for CX this means I probably enjoy a good K debate, but I also appreciate a clear policy framework), but I will listen to, and flow anything. Start with a clear framework, provide clash, and make it clear for me where I vote. I have a pretty solid background in political theory and an interest in German philosophy broadly (Kant to Habermas).

What else:

  • Please impact your extensions. I won't simply flow through a card author.
  • Give me voters! Probably with some weighing and clash...
  • I dislike it when individuals run arguments that they don't understand: 1) quality over quantity; 2) don't waste my time
  • I think the best debate rounds are those in which the debaters agree what is being debated and don't try to play games--don't try to confuse your opponent, don't try to tell me you addressed something when you didn't, etc. Just be clear and engage with the issues of the round.

Please feel free to ask me any questions before the round.

Cayman Giordano Paradigm

5 rounds


Email if you have questions. If the questions are about a specific flow, please mention the round/flight/tournament.

N-TOCvid-19 Update (Judging on Zoom)

Given the new evidence rules on evidence exchange this year, everyone needs to be on the Email chain. I'll still read evidence sparingly unless asked to, but it's important that everyone is on the chain to verify what evidence gets sent when (and that it was sent to all participants instead of accidentally choosing 'reply' vs 'reply all'.) Because these rules and norms are new to everyone, I'm inclined by default to drop the card and not the team if one side can't fully/correctly comply with an evidence request.

I probably won't be looking at Zoom very much during speeches. My ballot/comments, timer, flow, and any relevant evidence are already competing for screen space.

Since we'll be beta-testing the new coin flip functionality, if/when something goes wrong, I'm fine with holding the round as if everything is normal and straightening out the ballot with tab after the fact. Since flips are time-sensitive and inflexible, if you have any questions for me that may influence how you flip, I'll try to get into the Zoom room early with time to spare. If you're in Zoom and don't see me there, Email me. Normally, I try to avoid answering questions about specific hypotheticals where one team can hear me and the other can't, but I'll make an exception under this ruleset if one team needs to know before their coin flip timer expires and then I'll make an effort to fill the other team in as similarly as I can before the round starts. Also before the round starts, I'll verbally confirm who won the flip and which choice each side made, both because this is a new system and in case it becomes relevant to mid-round arguments.

However fast y'all think you can go without sacrificing clarity is modified by your microphone and your opponents' speakers. I'll let you know if you're unclear to me; if your opponents are unclear to you, either clarify in cross or err on the side of asking for more evidence from the last speech.

If you're waiting for a card to start prep, please don't mute yourselves until prep starts. Prep starts when the requested cards (if any) arrive in the Email chain (or when debaters are obviously prepping) and stops when someone from the prepping team un-mutes and says to stop prep. If your opponents gave you the wrong card, I'll reset prep to where it was when you started, but if you just want to ask for more cards, please do so all at once rather than constantly trying to pause and un-pause prep.

Should you feel compelled to run a full theory argument, please make sure that the interpretation and standards take the current online format into account.

If y'all want to ask your opponents clarifying questions during your own prep time, you're welcome to do so, but it's up to them whether to answer.

Grand cross can get especially messy when feedback and dueling microphones are involved. Please be mindful of the technical issues that talking over each other can cause and interrupt sparingly.


  • Policy and LD since 1998
  • Parli and PF since 2002
  • WSDC and WUDC since 2009
  • Big Questions since it became a non-meme event*
  • Coach for Howard County, MD teams (Atholton, Centennial, Marriotts Ridge, Mt Hebron, Oakland Mills, River Hill, etc.) 2007-present
  • Capitol Debate camps & travel team from 2008-2013
  • James Logan Forensics Institute from 2012-2013
  • SNFI Public Forum 2010-2019

J-V, NCFLs, NJFL, Round Robins, etc.:

  • If I'm judging you in a format where you don't get prefs or strikes and judge assignments are random, it's more my job to adapt to you than your job to adapt to me. Issues with stylistic choices or execution are more likely to find their way into the ballot comments than into the speaker points.
  • Do what you do best; don't second-guess yourselves and do what you think I want to hear if it's not what you're good at.
  • Don't take your norms for granted. If you and your opponent have different ideas of what debate should be or how it should be evaluated, tell me why the way that you do it is superior, the same way you would with any other argument.
  • If you have a panel, do what you have to do to win the panel. If the easiest way to win is to pick up the two lay parent-judges sitting on either side of me and doodling on their ballots while trying to look attentive, so be it. I won't hold panel adaptation against teams. Making me feel engaged and useful is not why you're here.
  • Some leagues ban disclosure. Some leagues ban verbal feedback. Those rules are bad for education and bad for debate. If you have questions about your round, find me after the round and we'll talk about what happened.


  • I don't like calling for cards. If I do, it's either because of a factual/ethical dispute between teams about what the author actually says, because the round had a total absence of weighing outside of the quoted impact cards, or for educational reasons that aren't going to affect my RFD. How teams spin the cards matters, as does how well teams seem to know their cards.
  • I assume ignorance over malfeasance. If you think the other team is being unethical, be able to prove it. Otherwise, correct/educate them by going after the evidence or citation instead of the people.
  • Smart analytics beat un-smart cards every time.
  • If you haven't read the article or chapter or study that your evidence is quoting, you probably shouldn't be using that evidence yet. When I'm evaluating impacts, it does you no favors to add a second sub-level of probability where I have to wonder "But do they know that the evidence actually says that? If so, did they make X argument on purpose?"
  • Saying the word "Extend" is not extending evidence. You're extending arguments, not authors, which means there should be some explanation and some development. Repetition is not argumentation.
  • If you're using digital evidence, it's your responsibility to be able to show the other team. It is not your opponents' responsibility to own laptops or to bring you a flash drive. I'm fine with teams using Email to share evidence - with the notable caveat that if I catch you using internet access to do anything outside tournament rules, your coach and the tab room are both going to hear about it. "Can I Email this so I don't risk getting viruses on my USB?" is a reasonable question most of the time. "Can I get on Messenger so my assistant coaches can type up theory extensions for me?" is NOT an acceptable interpretation of that question.
  • Prep stops when you stop working with the evidence: either when the flash drive leaves the computer or when you send the Email and stop typing or when you stand up with the evidence in hand.


  • I care more about clarity than speed. If I can't understand you, I'll let you know.
  • If you can't understand your opponents, let them know in CX/CF/Prep. Deliberately maintaining an incomprehensible speed to stop your opponents from refuting arguments they can't comprehend is probably not a winning strategy especially in Parli and PF, where speech documents and wikis don't check.
  • Quality > quantity. "Spreading" isn't some arbitrary brightline of WPM; it's when you're talking faster than you can think. Doesn't matter which event. Don't get discouraged just because your opponents are faster than you.

Event-specific stuff:

  • CX:
    • Check the judge philosophies Wiki.
    • If your strategy relies on preffing only judges like me and then telling other teams they can't read their arguments in front of the judges that you've preffed, then please rethink your strategy.
    • I've coached and run a wide variety of arguments. One of the easiest ways to lose my ballot is to be dogmatic and assume that because I've coached it, I like it, or that I think it's intrinsically true. If you have guessed an argument that I actually enjoy running and/or believe in, that still doesn't mean you'll be held to a lower standard on it.
    • With the (hopefully obvious) exception of status theory, I'd prefer to be able to reject the argument instead of the team. You probably want to hedge your bets by telling me how the round changes if the argument is(n't) rejected.
    • Kick your own arguments; don't leave it up to me to decide what should or shouldn't be kicked unless you're actually ok with either option.
  • L-D:
    • The majority of L-D I've judged in recent years has been fairly traditional/local; it's probably the event I judge least at bid tournaments on the national circuit, so it's probably best to treat me as a recovering policy judge.
    • I try not to intervene on theory. If you're winning it, I'll vote for it, even if doing so makes me feel dirty, as long as it's warranted/impacted/developed like any other winnable argument. That said, my theory norms have been largely calibrated by the arguments' CX analogues., so if you think there's something L-D specific I should be aware of (no 2NC's role in disclosure, the absence of a second CX when determining whether answers are binding/whether clarifications are sufficient, the difference between neg block and NR in creating side bias, etc.) be explicit about it.
    • In-round discourse probably comes before theory, T/FW probably come before other theory.
    • I'm not convinced there's such a thing as a "pre-standard" argument. An argument might operate on a higher level of standards than anything else currently in the round, or on a mutually conceded standard, but it still needs to be fully developed.
  • PF:
    • I strongly prefer for the second-speaking team to adapt their definitions/burdens in their OS and their time allocation in 2RB to create clash. I won't auto-drop you for using the 2RB the same as you would have the 1RB, but you're not doing your partner's SM any favors.
    • Deliberate concessions early in the round can get you a long way. Just know and explain where and why they're strategic.
    • Cite authors when possible. The university your author went to / was published by / taught at / is not your author. The way to get around a dearth of source diversity is to find more sources, not to find as many different ways as possible to cite the same source.
    • Teams that start weighing in RB typically have an easier time getting my ballot than teams that just spit out a bunch of constructive arguments and wait for reductive speeches to weigh anything.
    • CF should be focused on asking actual questions, not repeating speeches or fitting in arguments you didn't have time for. "Do you agree", "Isn't it true that", "How would you respond to", and "Are you aware" are rarely ingredients of genuine questions. Good CFs will clarify and focus the round by finding where common ground exists and where clash matters.
    • SM cannot go line-by-line. There's literally not enough time. There are more and less technical ways of looking at the big picture, but you do need to look at the big picture.
    • GCF is a hard place to win the round but an easy place to lose the round. Make sure that you and your partner are presenting a unified front; make sure that you're investing time in places that deserve it, make sure that if you're trying to introduce something new-ish here that you tie it into what's already happened this round.
    • FF shouldn't be a notable departure from SM. Offense matters, especially if you're speaking first.
  • Parliamentary:
    • Naming arguments is not the same as making arguments. I can't easily vote on something that you haven't demonstrated intellectual ownership of.
    • My threshold for beating arguments is inversely proportional to the silliness of the argument.
    • "but [authority figure] says X" is not an argument. Especially in an event where you can't directly quote said person. I don't want to know whether Paul Krugman says the economy is recovering. I don't want to know whether Nietzsche says suffering is valuable. I want to know why they are right. Your warrants are your own responsibility.
    • Intelligently asking and taking POIs is a big factor in speaker points.
    • Most rounds come down to how well the PMR answers the Opp block. If the Opp block was much better done than the MG, there might be no PMR that could answer well enough, but that's rare. Parli seems to have much more potential for teams that are behind to come back than most other events.
    • I'm generally tech > truth. In Parli, however, depending on how common knowledge the topic is and whether internet prep is allowed, a little more truth can beat a lot more tech. Don't be afraid to stake the round on a question of fact if you're sure it's actually a question of fact.
      • I should not have to say this, but given the current state of HS Parli, if I am confident a team is lying and I already intend to drop them for it, I may double-check the relevant fact online just to make 100% sure. This is not me "accessing the internet on behalf of" the team I'm voting for; this is me going the extra mile for the team that I was already intending to vote against anyway. Suggesting that the losing team should be given a win because I gave them a second chance before I signed my ballot is asinine.
    • If you have a collection of 2 or 3 Ks that you read against every opponent, I don't think that aligns with the intention of the format, but I can certainly be convinced that fidelity to that intent is overrated. That said, you should make an extra effort to engage with your opponents and show how your criticism creates clash rather than sidesteps clash.
  • Limited-Prep
    • Extemp - Source diversity matters. I will look ev up online if it sounds sketchy. I do care that you give a direct answer to the actual question you drew, but not every question is written in a way that deserves a definite yes or no answer: if you don't, your speech should still contain elements of nuance and advocacy beyond "...well, yes and no" and should show me why all the simple answers would have been wrong.
    • Impromptu - I don't have a strong preference for one structure over another, but some prompts lend themselves more to certain structures. Not everything needs to be forced into a 3x1 or a 2x2 if it doesn't fit the procrustean bill. Recycled anecdotes and tropes are somewhat inevitable, but canned speeches defeat the purpose of the event.
  • Interp/Platforms/Congress
    • How did you end up with me as a judge? I'm so sorry. You're probably sorry too. Someone probably desperately needed a judge to stop the tournament from running grossly overtime, and all the other potential volunteers either ran faster or hid better than I did. We'll both make it through this somehow. It'll be a learning experience.

Stephen Goldberg Paradigm

1 rounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robbins Gray Paradigm

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Mylan Gray Paradigm

6 rounds

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

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

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

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

Sydney Griggs Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated three years at St. Vincent de Paul High School. I go to California Polytechnic State University, but I am not a part of the debate team.

Be Nice, Be Funny, Have Fun.

Overall: I was a 2A. For the most part I ran critical affirmatives but they weren’t Deluze and Guatarri. Don't know a lot about the resolution, so you can totally shape how I view the resolution. But, don’t leave me in the dust; you’re going to have to do some extra explaining. I am not a judge that will do any work for you. Explain every link, impact, interpretation, ect.

Speed: It’s cool with me, but keep in mind I haven’t debated in a while. I’m not a perfect flow either; so don’t go Ricky Bobby status on taglines. Be clear.

Kritiks: I was introduced to Kritiks early on in my debate career and I like them a lot. I’m not a “K hack”, but all my friends were. All my affirmatives were k-affs and my 1NCs were always kritik heavy. My 1NRs were not k-heavy. Don’t assume I’ve read of bunch of K literature. Explain you’re argument and explain your link. Don’t hide behind big words and power tags. Will vote on a K, but you must explain it clearly throughout the debate.

Framework: I don't believe fw should be the go-to strategy against K-Affs.By all means, include it in the 1NC to figure out ground and the boundaries of the aff. If the aff is abusive and you honestly think it should be excluded from the debate space, go for it. Paint the picture of a world of your Framework and which affirmatives should be included/ excluded.

Case: I think people completely undervalue the case debate. Spend more time on this, it'll help both sides in cross applications onto off-case arguments. Case clash is rad, Case Turns are also cool cool.

Disads/Counterplans: Run them, but be clear. They get super technical and so make sure you explain everything, don’t assume I know what’s going on in the world. Make sure they apply to the aff and you have good evidence. Don’t forget the perm. I'm open to all Counterplans and Disads.

Topicality: It’s my jim-jam. My favorite 1NR’s were 5 minutes of T. This can be helpful in policy and kritikal debates.. I default to counter interpretations so make sure your interpretation is damn good if you decide to go for it. More importantly, prove that the other team's interpretation is worse. What would the resolution look like under their interpretation compared to yours? Make sure to explain the impacts.

Theory: Read it when applicable, but don’t be crazy. I’m up for all theory arguments. If the argument is farfetched I’m probably not going to vote for it. But if someone is running a bunch of conditional advocacies, you should run condo. Edit you’re blocks for the round, otherwise my flow just becomes a cluster of irrelevant arguments.

That's all folks- email me if you have any questions:

Alec Guilford Paradigm

3 rounds

Background: Debated for James Logan High School for four years (1 in LD, 3 in Policy). 1N/2A Sophmore-Early Senior 2N/2A -Mid-Late Senior Year. Currently a student at CSUEB, studying IT Management and Computer Science (not debating).

Note for MLK Invitational: This is is my first time judging on this topic, avoid topic specific jargon/acronyms if possible.

General Philosophy: My general philosophy is run whatever you want, and I'll vote for it provided that it is argued well. With that being said, listed below is how I feel about specific things.

Rudeness towards me/your competitors/others and generally unaccepted language (racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.) will result in an immediate end to the debate round, my vote going for the opposing team, 25 speaker points awarded, and contact of your team's coach and tournament officials.

Note on evidence (please read): BEFORE you give your speech, I ask for a copy of your speech document. This serves three purposes 1) Being HALF DEAF (wear bilateral hearing aids), sometimes it can be difficult for me to hear you (large room, soft voice, etc.) so having your speech document allows me to follow along easier and if your arguments confuse me, it may be easier for me to figure out your argument 2) I do not have to ask for evidence at the end of the debate (this can be very time consuming if team's laptops shutdown or something) 3) Allegations of clipping cards can be double-checked by me as I will be following along. At the end of the debate ANY AND ALL documents given to me will be deleted off my computer (There will be NO sharing of your evidence/arguments/strategy by me to any other judge or competitor). ANY OBJECTIONS TO THIS NEED TO BE MADE CLEAR BEFORE THE ROUND BEGINS, AND WE WILL TRY TO FIND A SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE.

Topicality: I generally like T-debates and often went for Topicality in 1NR/2NR throughout my debate career. Easiest way for me to vote NEG on T is through ground lost. Defaulting to reasonability isn't enough for me to rule out T. What is reasonable in your eyes may not be reasonable in mine. Please SLOW DOWN on the majority of your T arguments (fine to spread through card definitions)

D/A's: Love them. The link story matters the most to me. Proving/disproving the link should be your first priority. Politics D/A's are fine and I often went for politics. But, as indicated before I believe there needs to be a clear link established.

CP's: I do think counterplans should be both functionally and textually competitive, but I can be persuaded otherwise. I do tend to side with the AFF in terms of theory regarding PICS and consult CP's as I tend to find them abusive, but can always be persuaded to think otherwise.

Kritiks: I often went for the K in my 2NR's, so I do like hearing them. Before you run a Kritik though, please be familiar with the literature of your Kritik. Additionally, just because I often went for K's, does NOT mean I will always understand yours. You don't necessarily have to give an overview in your speeches, but at the very least i want to hear some sort of story (how the AFF links, the impact, and what the world of the alternative looks like). I think the alternative is one of the best ways to contest the Kritik, either showing that the alternative won't work or through perms (simply saying perm/extend the perm/they dropped our perm is not enough. You need to be able to explain what the perm is, why it works, what happens when doing the AFF plan and the alternative of the alt). With that being said, I don't think that the alternative is completely necessary for the K, and that it instead turns into a case turn (this does mean that you will have to put a lot more time into it though AKA an uphill battle). In terms of perm theory, I usually default to rejecting the perm, not the team. ON FRAMEWORK: I feel like the AFF should read non-exclusionary framework that defends your methodology (Util good, predictions good, realism good, etc.) PLEASE SLOW DOWN ON ALT TEXT AND FRAMEWORK INTERPRETATIONS.

K AFF's: Like Kritiks, please be familiar with the literature BEFORE you decide to read a critical affirmative in front of me. I will gladly vote for any critical affirmative, provided that it is argued well AND that you provide me with a story of what your affirmative is/does. Basically, if I don't understand it, I'm not going to vote for it. In terms of framework, I feel like the NEG shouldn't try to force the AFF into the idea that they must advocate federal government action, but rather that overall state action is good for X reason. On the AFF side, critique of the resolution is fine with me, but you need to be able to answer NEG framework.

Performance: I have never judged a performance AFF, but I am open to hearing them. You need to do a through job of explaining it, and why I should vote for it. You also need to be able to defend the framework aspect.

Theory: Condo is okay, provided you're not doing something extremely abusive like running eight off with five conditional counterplans. You need to show some sort of in round abuse in order for me to vote on theory. PLEASE SLOW DOWN ON THEORY BLOCKS!

Note on clarity: If you are unclear, you will be given TWO verbal warnings (Clearer, Louder, etc.) If you continue to be unclear I will deduct speaker points in .5 intervals.

Note on prep-time: Please keep track of your own prep time, prep ends when flashdrive leaves your computer. Once you are done with prep, clearly state STOP PREP, all writing/typing/etc. must CEASE until the speaker has begun. You will be given ONE warning before I deduct speaker points.

Speaker point breakdown:

Below 27.5: The speaker has demonstrated a lack of basic communication.

27.5-27.9: The speaker demonstrates basic debate competency and argumentation skills. Some areas need substantial improvement.

28.0-28.4: The speaker demonstrates basic argumentation skills and a good grasp on the issues of importance in the debate. Usually shows 1-2 moments of strong strategic insight or macro-level debate vision, but not consistently.

28.5-28.9: Very solid argumentative skills, grasps the important issues in the debate, demonstrates consistent strategic insight.

29-29.5: Remarkable argumentative skills, understands and synthesizes the key issues in the debate, outstanding use of cross-ex and/or humor.

29.6-29.9: The speaker stands out as exceptionally skilled in all of the above areas.

additional .1 denominations will be given/taken away depending on specific thing (breakdown of points will be given on ballot)

Good luck, have fun. If you have any questions/concerns, please ask me BEFORE the round starts.

Victoria Gurrola Paradigm

3 rounds

Include me on your email chain:


I competed in policy debate for Claremont High School from 2006-2010. I enjoyed running K's. I was a volunteer mentor coach and judge for the Bay Area Urban Debate League from 2011-2015. I have a masters in Public Policy from Mills College. I taught first grade for the last three years in Oakland Unified. I've only judged at a few tournaments over the last few years as teaching took up most of my time.

I am fine with speed. However, my ear is not as trained as it used to be. Please slow down for taglines and theory arguments. If I miss something because you were going to fast on a bullet point, it can hurt you. Argument quality over quantity is always better.

I am open to hearing all kinds of debate. Just as happy hearing a k debate as I am a cp/da debate. I do believe that the aff has an obligation to affirm the resolution. I don't think that K affs need to have a plan, but you need to have some connection to the topic. Tell me how the debate should be framed. If you're going to run a K I need to have a clear understanding of how it specifically links to the aff. I am less likely to vote for a generic K with a broad link.

PLEASE do not assume that I have read/am an expert on any of your K arguments. YOU have the obligation of explaining your arguments. If I don't understand your argument then I can't vote for it. I have no issue with voting you down on something that you didn't clearly explain to me. For K debates I've found myself much more compelled in debates where I am told the roll of the ballot/judge. I don't believe that debate exists in a vacuum.

Don't be rude or condescending to your partner, opponents, or me.

Patrick Haney Paradigm

6 rounds

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Chris Harris Paradigm

3 rounds

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Chad Hayden Paradigm

6 rounds

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Steven Helman Paradigm

6 rounds

     I start out as a Stock Issue Judge.  The Affirmative must maintain all of the stock issues to win the debate---Topicality , Significance Harms, Inherency Solvency.  If the Affirmative maintains  all of the Stock Issues I then become a comparative advantage judge.  I weigh the advantages of the Affirmative versus the disadvantages, kritiks and counterplans of the negative.   I won't intervene in a debate but I would be receptive of arguments  that 1.  the negative can only have one position in a debate and 2.   that the negative cannot kritik the status quo without offering a counterplan.


Jaime Holguin Paradigm

3 rounds

Expirience: 2 years of policy debate, 10 years of coaching policy debate.

email chain:

Delivery: I am fine with speed but Tags and analysis needs to be slower than warrants of carded evidence.

Flashing counted as prep until either email is sent or flash drive leaves computer.

CX Paradigm

Topicality: T wise I have a very high threshold. I will generally not vote down an Aff on potential abuse. The Aff does have to put effort into the T debate as a whole though. If you don't, I will vote on T because this is a position that an Aff should be ready to face every round. Stale voters like fairness and education are not compelling to me at all. I also hate when you run multiple T violations it proves you are trying to cheap shot win on T. If you believe someone is untopical more real if you just go in depth on one violation.

Framework: I need the debaters to be the ones who give me the reasons to accept or reject a FW. Debaters also need to explain to me how the FW instructs me to evaluate the round, otherwise I have to ask for the FW after round just to know how to evaluate the round which I don't like doing or I have to intervene with my own interpretation of FW. If it becomes a wash I just evaluate based on impact calc.

Kritiks; As far as Kritiks go, I also have a high threshold. I will not assume anything about Ks. You must do the work on the link and alt level. Don’t just tell me to reject the 1AC and that that somehow solves for the impacts of the K. I need to get how that exactly works coming from the neg. This does not mean I think the Kritikal debate is bad I just think that competitors are used to judges already knowing the literature and not requiring them to do any of the articulation of the Kritik in the round itself, which in turn leads to no one learning anything about the Kritik or the lit.

Counterplans: If you show how the CP is competitive and is a better policy option than the Aff, I will vote for it.

Theory: No matter what they theory argument is, I have a high threshold on it for being an independent reason to vote down a team. More often so long as argumentation for it is good, I will reject the arg not the team.

For both teams I will say this, a well thought out Impact Calc goes a long way to getting my ballot signed in your favor. Be clear and explain why your impacts outweigh. Don’t make me connect the dots for you. If you need clarification feel free to ask me before round.

LD Paradigm
I think LD should have a value and criterion and have reasons to vote one way or another upholding that value or criterion. I cannot stress this enough I HATE SEEING CX/POLICY debate arguments in LD debates I FIRMLY believe that no LDer can run a PLAN, DA, K, CP in LD because they don't know how it operates or if they do they most of the time have no link, solvency or they feel they don't have to have warrants for that. AVOID running those in front of me I will just be frustrated.

Sierra Inglet Paradigm

6 rounds

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

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

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

Erik Johannes Paradigm

6 rounds

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

Here are my preferences:

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

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

Jay Jung Paradigm

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Andi Kim Paradigm

6 rounds


I've competed in high school parliamentary debate for 3 years, high school policy debate for 3 years, and NPDA in college for UCLA for 3 years. I'm relatively okay with spreading, but I will yell "clear" or "slower" if I need to… mostly because I want to hear your arguments! I have a relatively low threshold on theory, but you need to prove to me that there is in-round abuse. Also, if you're going to go for this in the rebuttal speeches, I need you to give me more than just a restatement of voters that you gave in your constructive speeches. Tell me why it matters! Kritiks are fine as long as you really understand them yourself to run them, and I prefer specific links to link of omissions and generic links. Lastly, impact framing is very important to me in the last two rebuttal speeches. Be comparative with both of the teams' impact scenarios. For example, if you're going to go for an extinction impact tell me why magnitude outweighs others and if you're going to go for a systemic impact tell me why timeframe + probability outweighs magnitude. If it's an extinction v. extinction scenario, don't talk about the magnitude and move on to tell me why your scenario has higher probability/faster timeframe. 

Satveer Kler Paradigm

6 rounds

Roshan Krishnan Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a UC Berkeley first year student and a member of the Debate Society who did policy and LD in high school. As I went to a high school in Kuwait, I wasn’t part of any North American circuits. Nevertheless, I have won tournaments at the now defunct KSAA (Kuwait Schools Activities Association) and the ISAC (International Schools Activities Conference), which included American / International schools in the Middle East. I also did individual events such as extemporaneous speaking, impromptu speaking, and oratory speaking. As I was a senior member in the Forensics club at my high school, I have experience judging and providing feedback for the activities listed above.

Below are my thoughts about various aspects of Policy.

I would preferably not like to spend too much time on it in an average round. At the same time, I fully encourage neg to use topicality to their advantage. To persuade me, neg needs to either uncover a previously unseen nuance or produce evidence with regards to the wording of the resolution. I am tolerant of consult, agents, and any other part of the resolution if and ONLY if the debate is actually worthwhile.

I am reasonably well-versed in Philosophy and some social theory. I am quite ignorant in psychoanalysis and its derivatives, so walk me through your reasoning carefully. In case you want to bring up anything in Economics, lay it on me without any sugar-coating. I can follow most streams of economic thought with ease.

It's always a good idea to bring up disadvantages, however, I want the emphasis of your DA to be on the impact. Links will help you clinch a close debate so don't forget to have cohesive reasoning.

I encourage CPs and I sometimes appreciate a risky approach. Aff should be ready to adapt, especially during their CX. Neg should focus on showing why the CP is better. I must be completely convinced, or I err on the side of aff.

General Tips
Try to speak clearly. If you have that part covered, then you can speak as fast as you like. I can usually follow really fast speakers, but be aware of my body language. If I don't understand, then I will not be able to take notes, and you end up hurting your own chances.
Try to be courteous. Debate can get heated, and I can confidently say that from personal experience. I have a zero tolerance policy for any type of personal attack, verbal or otherwise, so don't be surprised if you lose after an outburst.
Try to be organized. I don't really care about your framework, but you need to have some sort of organization for your benefit. That said, judges do find a framework helpful as it lets them map out your argument.

tl;dr - I am willing to listen to any plan, as long as there is basic reasoning behind it. I can leave my opinions at the door, so your plan can be about anything. I don't care what your plan is, as long as I am able to follow it.

Joel Lee Paradigm

3 rounds

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Luz Lopez Paradigm

6 rounds 

Mark Mabie Paradigm

6 rounds

TLDR; I debated parli in high school for 3 years and have been coaching PF, LD, and Parli for the last 5 years since then - close to a full-time job. I try do be as tabula rasa as possible. Refer to specifics below

Philosophy of Debate:

Debate is an activity to show off the intelligence, hard work, and creativity of students with the ultimate goal of promoting education, sportsmanship, and personal advocacy. Each side in the round must demonstrate why they are the better debater, and thus, why they should receive my vote. This entails all aspects of debate including speaking ability, case rhetoric, in-and-out-of round decorum, and most importantly the overall argumentation of each speaker. Also, remember to have fun too.

I am practically a Tabula Rasa judge. “Tab” judges claim to begin the debate with no assumptions on what is proper to vote on. "Tab" judges expect teams to show why arguments should be voted on, instead of assuming a certain paradigm. Although I will default all theory to upholding education unless otherwise told

I will ALWAYS TRY to disclose even if the tournament tells me not to. It is my ethical duty as a debate instructor and judge to give you the best feedback I can after the round and increase your education.

Judge preferences that must be met:

When reading a constructive case or rebutting on the flow, debaters must signpost every argument and every response (Parli). If you don’t tell me where to flow, I won’t write your argument. You also must have voter issues in your last speech. Make my job as a judge easier by telling me verbatim, why I should vote for you.

Depending on the burdens implied within the resolution, I will default neg if I have nothing to vote on. (presumption)

Kritiks. I believe a “K” is an important tool that debater’s should have within their power to use when it is deemed necessary. That being said, I would strongly suggest that you not throw a “K” in a round simply because you think it’s the best way to win the round. It should be used with meaning and genuinity to fight actually oppressive, misogynistic, dehumanizing, and explicitly exploitative arguments made by your opponents. When reading a "K" it will be more beneficial for you to slow down and explain its content rather than read faster to get more lines off. It's pretty crucial that I actually understand what I'm voting on if It's something you're telling me "I'm morally obligated to do." I am open to hearing K's but it has been a year since I judged one so I would be a little rusty.

Most Ks I vote on do a really good job of explaining how their solvency actually changes things outside of the debate space. At the point where you can’t or don't explain how voting on the K makes a tangible difference in the world, there really isn't a difference between pre and post fiat impacts. I implore you to take note of this when running or defending against a K.

Theory is fine. It should have a proper shell and is read intelligibly. Even if no shell is present I may still vote on it.

Speed is generally fine. I am not great with spreading though. If your opponents say “slow down” in round and you do not comply, there is a good chance you will lose. If I can’t understand you I will raise my hands and not attempt to flow.

I will only agree to 30 speaker point theory if it’s warranted with a reason for norms of abuse that is applicable to the debater’s in the round. I will not extend it automatically to everyone just because you all agree to it.

Parli specifics:

I give almost no credence on whether or not your warrants or arguments are backed by “cited” evidence. Since this is parliamentary debate, I will most certainly will not be fact-checking in or after round. Do not argue that your opponents do not have evidence, or any argument in this nature because it would be impossible for them to prove anything in this debate.

Due to the nature of parli, to me the judge has an implicit role in the engagement of truth testing in the debate round. Because each side’s warrants are not backed by a hard cited piece of evidence, the realism or actual truth in those arguments must be not only weighed and investigated by the debaters but also the judge. The goal, however, is to reduce the amount of truth testing the judge must do on each side's arguments. The more terminalization, explanation, and warranting each side does, the less intervention the judge might need to do. For example if the negative says our argument is true because the moon is made of cheese and the affirmative says no it's made of space dust and it makes our argument right. I obviously will truth test this argument and not accept the warrant that the moon is made of cheese.

Tag teaming is ok but the person speaking must say the words themself if I am going to flow it. It also hurts speaker points.

Public Forum specifics:

I have no requirement for a 2-2 split. Take whatever rebuttal strategy you think will maximize your chance of winning. However note that offense generated from contentions in your case must be extended in second rebuttal or they are considered dropped. Same goes for first summary.

I will not accept any K in Public Forum. Theory may still be run. Critical impacts and meta weighing is fine. No pre-fiat impacts.

Your offense must be extended through each speech in the debate round for me to vote on it in your final focus. If you forget to extend offense in second rebuttal or in summary, then I will also not allow it in final focus. This means you must ALWAYS extend your own impact cards in second rebuttal and first summary if you want to go for them.

Having voter issues in final focus is one of the easiest ways you can win the round. Tell me verbatim why winning the arguments on the flow means you win the round. Relate it back to the standard.

Lincoln Douglass and Policy:

I am an experienced circuit parliamentary debate coach and am very tabula rasa so basically almost any argument you want to go for is fine. Please note the rest of my paradigm for specifics. If you are going to spread you must flash me everything going to be read.

Email is

Annie Marple Paradigm

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Alex Martel Paradigm

3 rounds

Hey I did speech and policy in high school. Started off with the straight-up style but got to college and saw the rest. I'm better suited for K-style feedback but go with your heart on w.e you want.

I'll evaluate every argument. The debate room can be a fun place so feel free to throw some humor into your speeches. Videos and dank memes are cool.
On an unrelated note, bringing granola bars or some snackage would be appreciated. I don't care much for soft drinks though. In other words please feed me nice food because in-round picnics make everyone's day. <--

What you care about:
Please don't make judges do the work for you on the flow. If you don't do the line-by-line or clearly address an argument, don't get upset if I reach an unfavorable conclusion. Reading me cards without providing sufficient analysis leaves the purpose a bit unclear.

Aff- reasonabilty probably has my vote but I can be persuaded to vote for creative and convincing non-topic-related cases.

Neg- Get some substance on the flow. T should not be a go-to-argument. I hate arguments dealing with "should", "USFG", etc and you should too. Impact out the violation. Simply stating that the team is non-topical and attaching some poorly explained standards will not fly or garner support. On K affs remember you can always go further left as an option.

Theory- Typically a pretty boring discussion but if it's creative I'll approve. If you notice yourself thinking "I wish I were reading something else" then it's a clear sign I wish you were too. Remember to slow down on those analytics though- hands cramp.

Being able to cite authors and point to specific cards = speaks. (same for neg)

Throw some case defense at the end of your 1nc after you do your off-case arguments. Aff has to answer them but you already know that. Reading through aff evidence and showing power tags or misuse is great.

Aff- if you can turn this in some way then you'll be fine. Point out flaws in the Link story when you can. Figuring out a solid internal link story might be a good idea.

Internal links will only help you. Let's avoid generic stuff.

You need to show that it's noncompetitive and you can perm or that their argument just sucks.

Show a net benefit and how you solve the impacts. Furthermore show how your cp is awesome.

Explain: how case doesn't link, perm, or alt doesn't solve or do anything. Weigh your impacts if appropriate. If the neg is misinterpreting an author and you sufficiently illustrate his/her message, then you'll be doing well in the round.

I like K's a lot. Hopefully will know what's up. Just explain your story clearly (seriously). Stunt on em.

Side note for everyone: In round actions are easy performative solvency to weigh btw

It's going to come down to how well you can explain the impact you are addressing with your performance and the solvency story under framework.

I suppose you can do framework or T if you have nothing else but try and interact because the aff team will be prepared. Or if you want to go down this route it's cool. Swayed by creativity though.

Michelle Morris Paradigm

3 rounds

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Iqraz Nanji Paradigm

6 rounds

Iqraz Nanji
School: The Barstow School

I debated for four years at Barstow and now am a fourth-year student at Columbia University. My partner and I made it to the TOC our senior year.

Nearing the end of my debate career, my negative strategies were heavily reliant on ontology critiques and our aff was full on hegemonic propaganda. That being said, I am willing to listen to anything in the spectrum (or outside of it). Here are some argument specifics:

The aff-- Do what you want as long as you can explain it. If you're not reading a run of the mill argument, I will hold you at a higher threshold mostly because I'm not all too aware of the intricacies of this topic.

Topicality -- if you think about it, T debates are--and should be--about limits. I would much rather have the debate be centered on offensive claims about debate pedagogy and how your interpretation accesses it best than the generic reasonability v. competing-interps battle. The debate will inevitably be about competing-interps... so you may need a more strategic lens to frame this argument. This may sound a bit neg biased but look at it through this lens: the limits argument makes your reasonability argument offensive -- use it for your benefit.

Theory -- In most cases I will lean towards rejecting the argument and not the team, though I can be persuaded otherwise. Don't read your generic blocks--be innovative with arguments.

Counter-plans -- CPs are precious resources! If you have a specific CP, it can and will get you far in the debate--mostly because aff teams don't know how to engage them. I've read and gone for a wide set range of PICs, Process CPs, and shoddy internal net benefits, so I am willing to vote on "tricks" as long as they are executed well with warrants and all. BUT don't base your strategy off of cheap shots, for quality of argumentation is preferred.

Disadvantages/Case Turns -- DAs are good. My DA background is heavily politics oriented. Case turns are available for practically any argument--an easy go to when you don't have much to say against the aff.

Critiques -- When it comes to critique literature, I am most familiar with ontology critiques. This includes: Heidegger, Environment/Neolib, Security, Irigaray, and OOO. You can definitely read any K you want... Given that K lit is always lacking somewhere, don't be scared to get innovative! Use K tricks (be upfront), mix-and-match relevant literature (be ethical), spin your arguments into more than they are (be smart). Feel free to be vague, but don't think that you can get away without specifics. Warrants matter and usually yield tactically better debates.

Framework (vs. K) -- Framework debates usually get bogged down in rejection discourse... I usually will not vote to reject critiques from debate. An infinitely better way to engage with this argument is accessing offense through the frame the critique uses. Tell me why your aff is ontologically, epistemologically, or pedagogically (etc.) better than the neg.

Framework (vs. K-aff) -- Teams that read unorthodox affs usually know how to debate their framework arguments better than others. This means that your arguments will have to specifically engage what they say. I'm not going to say much here else here so as to incentivize you to engage this in whatever manner you want.

CX -- Ask specific questions in CX and be a bit aggressive. (Be mean, but don't be an ass.)

I don't have a predisposition in the tech vs. truth debate. What I really enjoy in rounds is witnessing how teams strategize and make decisions in round. So don't go for your best argument; instead, go for the best argument for the situation you are in.

Debate is about taking risks: even if you don't have great evidence or aren'twinning the tech but you feel that you are on the right side of the issue, go for it.

I will call for evidence at the end of the round.

Flashing evidence will be off-prep.
Don't clip cards.

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

Chris Nelson Paradigm

6 rounds


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who you think brought you the oldies

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

The Snoop D-O-double-G's

And the group that said motherfuck the police

Gave you a tape full of dope beats

To bump when you stroll through in your hood

And when your album sales wasn't doing too good

Who's the Doctor they told you to go see

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

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

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

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

Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say

But nothing comes out when they move their lips

Just a bunch of gibberish

And motherfuckers act like they forgot about Dre

Line by line:

Experienced former debater. Current Coach for CK McClatchy and Davis Senior in addition to the Head Coach and Executive Director of the Sacramento Urban Debate League (SUDL). I judge a bunch of rounds every school year and feel in-depth and informative verbal RFD's are key to debate education.

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

I'm big on organization. Hit the line by line hard. Don't just give me 4 min overviews or read a bunch of cards off the line, then expect me to conveniently find the best place on the flow for you. Do the work for me. I flow on paper OG style, so don't drop arguments. I don't flow off speech docs (neither should you), but put me on the email chain so I can read cards along with you and refer back to them. I can handle any level of speed, but please be clear and loud if possible.

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

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

Richard Nguyen Paradigm

3 rounds

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Michael Nguyen Paradigm

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Alexander Nhan Paradigm

6 rounds

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

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


Overall philosophy:

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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

Specific stuff

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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

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

Venugopal Nugala Paradigm

3 rounds

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Elyse O'Neill Paradigm

5 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.

Anvita Patwardhan Paradigm

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Dallas Phillips Paradigm

6 rounds

I debate for the University of the Pacific. 

Enunciate. My hearing has gotten worse, so I would appreciate if you could try to be clear. Speed isn't a problem for me and I'll be able to flow you, but articulate your words.

I'm open to hearing many different kinds of arguments, and I've read most Ks in my debate career and am fine voting on them.

If you're going to read a performance, read framework articulating why that is necessary.

I'm fine with theory, I default to competing interpretations but will vote on what you tell me to.

I need impact calc in the rebuttals: Why should I prioritize your arguments? Probability, magnitude, timeframe
Humor is great, be funny. Jokes are good. Just not offensive ones, that's not okay at all.

Do what you want have fun I'm here to type the things you say.


Juan Carlos Ramos Paradigm

2 rounds

I'm Juan Carlos, a Senior at UC Berkeley, studying Iberian Languages and Political Science. My emphasis in Political Science is in the comparative and international relations field. My preferred regions of study are East Asia, the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. I've done research in Spain, Portugal and Mexico; and my current research projects pertain to industrial development in countries operating under ISI (40s-60s).  

I like to see CLASH in debates.

Any argument is fine as long as it pertains to the central idea of debate. If you are going to run theory, and like to debate “multiple scenarios” is best – narrow down the main arguments early in the debate. Speed is ok, but you need to explain your argument. I'm not going to vote on a one liner you spent 15 seconds on. 

Framework: Be sure to make an analysis on why the particular framework you’re advocating for is a better option for policy debate. Don’t run framework arguments simply to skew time and for the joy of running multiple off cases, I hardly ever buy that. 

Kritiks: I will vote on Kritiks. Please do impacts analysis, and provide some concrete explanation of the Alt.

On the Neg I expect there to be an impact calc on the “K”; while on the Aff I expect them to use their aff and produce a solid framework argument to defend policy-making. 

Counterplans/permutations/DAs: I expect a competing CP with breakdown done on the net benefit. I always expect a DA with a CP, which I expect doesn’t trigger the DA. I’ve never voted on a CP ran alone. If the Neg can prove that the Case worsens the status-quo (causing the DA) I like to see well-argued internal links. I’m not a big fan of general DAs, but a good discourse on a general DA is always good might change my mind.

Cons : 
Rude debaters (Show decorum) 
If going paperless, skewing time on flashing (make it quick)
Debaters not flowing (ALWAYS FLOW): Not flowing will negatively impact you your speaker points 

Sense of Humor

Devon Reese Paradigm

3 rounds


-I vote for things that I don't like, the debate is yours to make what you will. That does not mean I have no opinions.

-T: Substantial means many things; compare evidence and impact T like a DA.

-I have a hard time understanding teams that run Neolib/Cap with a Spending DA (?). This does not make a lot of sense to me and I can be persuaded to vote on the performative contradiction (distinct from condo).

-Things I am unlikely to vote for: Inherency, "speed kills", claims without warrants, poorly debated T violations, "multiple perms are bad".

Read a topical plan----------------------X--------------------say anything


Usually some risk---------x---------------------------------Zero Risk

Conditionality Good--------------------X----------------------Conditionality Bad

States CP Good------X------------------------------------States CP Bad

Process CPs------------------X------------------------Ew Process CPs

Competing off immediacy/certainty---------------x---------------------------No

Politics DAs are a thing-------------------x-----------------------Good Politics DAs are a thing

Reasonability-----------------------------------x-------Competing Interps

Limits-----------------x-------------------------Aff Ground

Read every card----------x--------------------------------Read no cards

Lots of evidence--------------------------------------x----Lots of good evidence

Judge Kick---------------------x---------------------Stuck with the CP

Reject the Team--------------X----------------------------Reject the Arg

CPs need cards--------------------------------------x----Smart CPs can be cardless

Competition is based off the plan----x--------------------------------------Neg gets to define the plan

Fiat solves circumvention---------------x---------------------------Trump's President

K alts need to do something-------------------------------X-----------but you're asking the wrong question

K links about the plan---------------X---------------------------K links about a broad worldview

Not my Baudrillard-----------------------------------------X yes your Baudrillard

I will try to keep in these range for speaker points:

29.3+ — the top speaker at the tournament.
29.1-29.2 — one of the five or ten best speakers at the tournament.
28.8-29.0 — one of the twenty best speakers at the tournament.
28.6-28.7 — a 75th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would barely clear on points.
28.4-28.5 — a 50th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would not clear on points.
28.0-28.3 — a 25th percentile speaker at the tournament.
27.7-27.9 — a 10th percentile speaker at the tournament.

Have fun and be kind.

Lydia Scherr Paradigm

6 rounds

1.  My opinions on 'the K'

Aff: This is policy debate, and I prefer policy arguments. Please read a plan that is relevant to the topic. It's fine to be critical of the topic (and of patriarchy, capitalism, racism..ect), go ahead and include critiques in your plan or permutation of the plan, however verbally condemning the topic and throwing it to the wind is not grounds for a 'W' if I am your judge.

Neg: go ahead and read a Critical argument. Strategically it makes sense, you are making the 2A do more work, and hopefully what your saying actually applies to the Aff. Please don't ONLY read critical arguments, if you have so much to complain about, then you better propose some kind of counter plan that embodies your alternative interpretation. 

Ultimately: I'm going to vote based on who makes the best arguments, and covers all their bases (i.e. don't completely drop an argument or forget to respond). The above statements are brief guidelines for what kind of arguments I'd like to see in the round.

2. Cross Examination: use CX strategically, be respectful to your opponent, and humor (tastefully applied) is appreciated. Bickering is not ok, don't do it.

3. Spreading: Speak clearly, if you are bad at spreading (i.e. gasping for air, sputtering and mumbling), don't do it. It would behoove you to try, and a more tactful choice at that point would be to make Critical argument against the use of spreading in debate. 

My background:
If you feel this is relevant to how you frame your case in the round, I encourage you to find me on Linked In.

Sarah Sheets Paradigm

6 rounds

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.

Manveer Singh Paradigm

6 rounds

Experience: Did 4 years of Parli in high school, did 4 years in college Parli.

Overview : To be honest, I would prefer the debate to be about the topic, but its not a deal breaker for me.

I’am a flow judge, you tell me to cross apply, I will cross apply; you tell me to extend I will extend, BUT DON’T EXPECT ME TO DO IT FOR YOU, you have to tell me. Offense is more powerful to me than defense, but its still smart to protect your case regardless. IMPACTS are my thing, easiest way to win with me is to have lots of good impacts with clear and reasonable internal links. In the number and variety of the impacts, have at it. If you want to run the impacts like Nuclear War, Space Weapon Planetary Destruction, Anarchy, Dehumanization, Resource Wars etc . Go for it ! Just have the Internal Links to back it up. I only flow what is said by the speaker, during their speech, but feel free to have your partner answer a POI for you. I’m fine with the whole, your partner adding on to your speech, just make sure you restate what they say, so its on my flow. I’m fine with you folks asking any other questions not on this paradigm during round.

Etiquette/Behavior: Debate is a very rigorous, respectable, and educational activity. I have the upmost respect for all of you debaters, so you might see me a bit serious in round. I want all of you to be respectful to your opponents and do not make fun of them and give them the proper attention they deserve. Public speaking is not natural to most, so please, if you are going to talk to your partner while your opponent is speaking, WHISPER. I'm totally fine with you doing your speech standing up or sitting down at your desk, be comfortable. I don’t mind if you are not dressed in “tournament attire”, mainly to avoid the Elitism, Nudist, and/or any other wonky K, but I also know people who are great debaters that cannot afford to wear a nice suit, so there is that.

Flow: Be clear and to the point.

Topicality: I don’t mind voting on T, but I have a very high threshold on them. You need to show me clear and present abuse in round.

Procedural: No A spec, No E spec, for god sake no Funding Spec. Trichot gives me a literal headache, don't go for it in-front of me. All of things you think are procedural should be on solvency and/or the framework.

Every round should be a Policy, miss me with that value/fact debate.

Critcal Aff’s

  • I am a believer of the disclosure. If you run a critical AFF you should disclose your advocacy to the Neg before or right as prep starts. If not and you go for it, and the NEG runs any decently canned disclosure theory on you, you’re in deep water with me. But if you have answers to disclosure good, you can still win as long as they are thicc and warranted.

Kritiks: Meh, they exist. If you make the case compelling, I HAVE vote on it.

What I will do is vote down the K if you don’t follow these prerequisites.

The K must be accessible (in terms of understanding) to everyone in the round. If you see your competitors confused or you see me confused, you're losing your K before you even finished with it. E.g. ontological, existential, pedagogical, epistemology, any philosophical K’s must be read in a way in which everyone in the room can understand what is going on. You will not win the round by your opponents being dumbfounded on your K.

    • The K also must be organized as well. Do not miss a thing!

  • There MUST be a link for the K. You must clearly link into why the debates warrants the use of your K.

  • Your K must have impacts

    • Your K must have a roll of the JUDGE, role of the ballots are stupid, to be honest. Like its a piece of paper that decides who wins, tell me how my consciences act of selecting the team that wins; has an impact inside and outside of the round.

Adv’s/DAdv’s: Internal links and Impacts ! Please. Harms and links, are a given, you should already know this.

Counterplans: If squo can solve then focus on the DA’s and case turns. If that doesn’t work RUN THE COUNTERPLAN ! But be ready for the PERM. I don’t mind you running your case on status quo, just mind the fact that you as the opp will face “you are not doing anything to fix the problem” argument from the aff.

THE PERM: this is where some the best debates I’ve ever seen, wind down to. The perm is a very serious move that can be run by the aff. I have and will vote on the Perm. It comes down to who really owns it. If you are a good opp and preemptively make your plan mutually exclusive you should be fine, but the usually gov runs a permutation anyway.If the PERM fails, I will resort to which plan has more impacts and are solving for the most harms.

Speaker Points: I judge on clarity and presentation of argument. I really do not care about regalness or elegance. I usually don't give 29 or 30. If you get a 29 or 30 from me, that’s essentially me saying, “damn you're good, you deserve to win top speaker”.

Speed: I’m fine with it, if it gets too fast I will yell “CLEAR”, in which I want you to repeat the last thing you said and slow down a little afterwards. If you make me say it more than 3 times, i'm knocking off a speaker point for every time you do it again.

Anything else you want to ask, ask me before the debate begins or even after. I'm extremely approachable.

Bill Smelko Paradigm

6 rounds

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Josh Smith Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated 4 years at Bartow in Kansas City. My senior year me and my partner went to the TOC. Now I debate at Pepperdine University. 



Ill get to the point. I really have no preference as to what argument you read/perform. Just let me know why you win and make arguments. 

Greg Sobetski Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a policy debate coach at George Washington High School in Denver. 2015-16 is my thirteenth year in debate and my ninth year of experience as a judge. Outside of debate, I'm an economist for the Colorado General Assembly.

I am a tabula rasa judge. Everything else on this page is a summary of my tendencies, and I'm providing this information because I believe it may be of strategic use to you. That said, I believe that judges should modify their philosophy to the debate before them more so than debaters should modify their performance to fit cranky judges. You do you.

I like framework debates because they tell me what to value when voting. I perk up when you identify a clear role for the ballot or, barring that, a clear set of criteria I ought to prioritize. Clash on these issues is what I anticipate in the latter rebuttals.

I come from a relatively traditional circuit. For this reason, I am most comfortable evaluating debates about policy. Affirmatives advocating action by entities other than the USFG, or affirmatives with no plan whatsoever, are unfamiliar to me. I will vote for them, but I am sympathetic to defensive negative positions that question their efficacy. Performance in a debate has never inspired me to take action outside of the round. I do not view debate as an instrument of social change, though I will vote for a framework that posits it as such. Identity politics are not an academic interest of mine, so if you prefer to go that route, recognize that I may be less well versed in terminology than other judges.

I almost never pull cards after a round. I perceive debate as a clash between competing debate teams and not as a clash between their authors. Keep in mind that while you have your evidence (and your opponents' evidence) before you, I do not. I advise emphasizing whatever points you want me to take from your evidence. If these are not clearly communicated, I likely will not weigh them.

On a related note: I've been around policy for a long time, and I'm comfortable with speed. That said, if I can't understand the text of your evidence, I will flow the tag as an analytic. In varsity, I expect you to flow your opponents' theory shells, etc., competently - dropping these can put you in a poor strategic position.

Finally: please be kind to one another! Debate should be a fun activity for everyone. Being unkind will damage your speaker points and will incline me to vote against you.

If you have any questions, please ask. I'm happy to discuss anything prior to the round!

Natalie Stolarski Paradigm

6 rounds

I competed for 5 years in policy (two in college). I've been judging Policy since 2010. Right now I also coach HS LD. I am less familiar with PF and Policy topics nowadays since I don’t research or coach them, so if you use topic-specific jargon make sure to explain what it means.

I try my hardest to be tabula rasa but I'm also a person.

Major things that make me different from other judges:

1) I'm somewhat hard of hearing - try to talk way louder than you would.

2) Calling for evidence - I hate doing it. Tell me what their evidence says or doesn't say. You have their speech doc. I don't like reading and I don't like taking up RFD time to read stuff that should've been explained.

3) I don’t like spreading through warrants - I know that the debate community has made it the norm that judges read through speech docs as they’re being read. I’m very disappointed by this norm. That being said I guess I’ll follow along if I must but I do dock speaker points for clarity more so than most judges.

4) Try to be pleasant

5) Consistency - I really can't stand when two Neg arguments link to each other it drives me up the wall with frustration.

6) Framework/topicality (against affs with no plans): My threshold is somewhat high for "no k/non-traditional affs ever" but I can see myself being more open to softer interps such as the advocacy must advocate something in the direction of the topic, or tests of aff topicality based on how relevant or germane the aff is to the resolution. I'm persuaded by "fairness for whom" arguments if they are well explained. I'll be honest it's a huuuge uphill battle going for procedural fairness in front of me.

7) K's on the Neg and their Aff refutations:

Aff: Don't over-rely on framework, perms and theory. Read these arguments when they really make sense, not out of fear of engaging the substance of the K. Make sure that the K actually violates the rules you want to set up before spending time setting up those rules.

Neg: Don't be lazy! Read specific, offensive links with well-explained alts that are both paradigmatic and can be translated into action that helps people. You can advocate for specific solutions (that may or may not be state policies) as examples of a broader and more general alternative. Find a good balance between examples, explanations, and warrants/proof.

Adora Svitak Paradigm

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Khanh Truong Paradigm

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Wyllene Turner Paradigm

6 rounds

    My basic preference is for well explained and impacted arguments over techie line-by-line tricks. Basically, if you want me to vote on an argument, then the argument should be a substantial chunk of your speech and not a one liner on the flow. Slow it down and explain your arg. I'm not saying I won't listen to speed; I am saying in most debates fast doesn't equal better. Debate isn't Costco - More Cards/Arguments are Not Necessarily Desirable.


The Specifics: Topicality & Theory - I am ok with some T debate. Make sure the violation is clear and the substance of the debate is worthy of the time you are putting into it. Other theory is mostly a non-starter for me. I don't vote on the specs. If you are going for theory (not topicality), then you probably aren't winning this round.


Disads - The key to a good DA debate is impact calculus.


Counter-plans - Sure, why not? I'm a policy maker at heart.I err neg on all counter-plan theory. Basically, Counter-plan theory, for the most part, is a non-starter with me.


Kritiks - I'm not a fan of generic kritiks and rarely vote for a kritik without a plan specific link. If your idea of a good argument is Zizek, Nietzsche, or any generic K, then I'm not your judge. In terms of framework, I err negative. The K is part of debate - accept this and debate it. Use your aff against it.


Performance Aff's - I believe the aff should defend a clear USFG should policy. I am a policy maker.

Austin Uhler Paradigm

6 rounds

Law student, debated for 3 years when I was in high school, been judging for the last 2.5 years. 

This paradigm written by Ken Strange and lightly edited by me accurately describes my preferences and understanding of debate. 

While I'm pretty much willing to listen to anything, the following are my biases. As much as I try to set aside my preferences, I'm sure they influence my understanding what teams say, what the warrants are, and ultimately my assessment of issues.

. . . [A] topical plan. . . . is the [most] viable way for the negative to have a chance to prepare well. If defended well, there is some chance of my voting for an aff without a plan, and the odds are a little better if the affirmative at least talks about issues related to the topic.

On topicality, I prefer a standard slightly different from reasonability and competing interpretations. I think it should be negative burden to prove the affirmative interpretation is bad for debate, not just that the negative interpretation is marginally better. The best way to prove an interpretation bad for debate is limits – that the interpretation is so broad than the negative could never be thoroughly prepared to debate every possible case.

I do not think debate is role playing of federal actors. You're you and I'm me, and there is a debate about what we think the federal government should do. Fiat obviously doesn't assume anything really happens. Fiat is just ignoring the question of "will" and debating "should" in order to focus the debate on the merits of the idea/ policy.

I tend to be fairly liberal on counterplans, with competition being about the only requirement. PICs, agents, etc are fine. There does needs to be some limit on negative fiat for agents, but that can be debated out. Presumptively governmental actions are OK, and private actors are not.

K's and K affs with plans are fine with me. I am not that familiar with much of the literature. So, you should explain things thoroughly. Ultimately, these debates become matters of what makes sense to me.

Spin, explanation, and telling a good story are crucial to winning my ballot. Even more important is resolving arguments, and I am increasingly frustrated by debaters in rebuttals emphasizing their own arguments and never referencing opposing responses. 2NRs and 2ARs with lots of "they say…, but" references are more likely to win my ballot.

Please be clear. Start speeches at less than full speed.  Pause a little before and slow down some on the argument tags.  I hate it when I cannot tell that a card has ended and a new argument is being made.  Please do not get quiet when reading cards. I know this is hard for you to believe, but if you stop to breathe at punctuation marks, you will be faster and clearer than the awful double gasping that so many of you do.




And, for those of you still reading, this also is fully accurate description of my understanding of debate, this is copied from Stephen Weil's paradigm. I am much, much slower though:

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A few important general points before I talk about specific arguments:

1. One of, if not the, most important part of resolving the debate for me is impact calculus. Impact calculus is more than just “DA outweighs the case” at the top of the 2NC and 2NR. You can and should “impact” any and every important argument you go for in terms of how it wins you the debate/interacts with their arguments. This means “our link turn outweighs their link—a) blah blah b) blah blah” or “our uniqueness takeout is more important than the direction of the link” etc. If you compare evidence, weigh the importance of arguments and explain your evidence instead of simply extending it by author and cite, then there are fewer issues that are left totally in my hands when I am resolving the debate. These are the sorts of things that decide close debates and improve your speaker points. Impact calculus is essentially telling me how to evaluate the debate, and absent some comparison about the relative importance of competing arguments, some “intervention” is inevitable if I have to resolve the quality of uniqueness evidence or whatever is in question.

As a corollary, I have found that these "framing arguments," while not substituting for effective line-by-line debating, are often more important to how I ultimately evaluate the debate. This has a few implications. First, an argument is not "dropped" just because there is no ink next to it - if that argument has been answered conceptually elsewhere, I will reward the other teams' explanation of their arguments/thesis rather than the technical skill of isolating which of your arguments they did not directly refute. Second, if an argument is "dropped," you only receive the weight of what that argument actually said. Two examples. If you say "conditionality is bad, it destroys 2ac strategy, overstretches the aff, thats a voting issue for fairness and education," I probably have "condo bad = vi" on my flow. If the other team fails to respond, the argument they have dropped does not amount to a complete argument, and I will be hesitant to vote on it unless the 1AR extrapolates further on these arguments, which in my mind would justify 2NR responses to the warrants for these claims (notably, the warrant for why conditionality should be a voting issue). "Cheap shot" theory arguments will almost never be a reason to reject the team, even if the other team forgot to answer your unwarranted assertion that severance perms should be a VI. The second example - if the negative reads an Indo/Pak war impact, and the aff reads a card tagged "zero chance of indo/pak war, and the 2NR extends the Indo/Pak impact without explicit reference to the affirmative's piece of evidence, they have not "conceded a zero chance of indo/pak war," although unless the 2NR impact calculus has responded (implicitly) to the warrant in this piece of evidence, they may be in trouble. That being said, if I call for your card and all it actually says is "India and Pakistan have a telephone to call in crises," then that is the only argument you get credit for, and it is unlikely to be helpful.

2. I will probably be able to figure out what you are saying. But, if I am straining to do so, I am both getting less down on my flow and having less time to actually process your argument and understand it. If I don’t understand an argument, I will be less able/willing to vote on it, so if something is especially important, slow down and emphasize. Monotone speeches are a recipe for lower points.

Now, some specifics. Keep in mind that these are my leanings and not absolute criteria for evaluating a debate.


A good topicality violation is one that is well and specifically impacted. When I say that a topicality violation should be well impacted, this means that the neg wins that the aff’s interpretation excludes some set of arguments which is essential, and not just convenient, for negative competitiveness or that they exclude a debate about some subject in the literature which is important to the topic. What is often missing in topicality debates is a well-developed debate about the importance of different “standards” relative to each other, i.e. does “the ground the neg loses” hurt them more than the limitation your interpretation puts on the aff.

What is the purpose of topicality? Is it supposed to determine which of two interpretations is better for debate in theory, or is it supposed to ensure that the negative and affirmative are on equal enough footing to have a debate? For me, this is the central question regarding whether I should defer to “reasonability” or “competing interpretations” and I could be persuaded either way.

OSPEC/Subsets/Etc – Ugh.
ASPEC – Maybe, but still an uphill battle. Ask in cross-x or it’s close to a non-starter for me.

The Kritik:

As a debater, I am flexible going for either kritiks or policy arguments, and hence you should feel free to run either in front of me. I have probably not read your specific K author (with a few limited exceptions), although I am certainly not clueless when it comes to the general K/philosophical literature that gets read in debates. Some specific observations:

1. To me, the alternative and framework crucial to any kritik debate. The affirmative should attack the alternative, not just in terms of its value, but also in terms of its efficacy. The negative’s alternative should not just be good, but also achievable. However, this debate centers on what it means for me to vote affirmative/negative (the framework). Am I voting for a world in which the alternative exists, or am I voting negative as an intellectual in the academy/whatever? I can be persuaded to vote negative on a “utopian” alternative if the negative frames the ballot in this way and the affirmative does not attack such a framing from either a theoretical or substantive perspective. These issues can also shape the way I view the permutation, impact calculus, etc - so it will behoove you to spend a reasonable amount of time (on both sides) discussing how I should evaluate the debate.

2. Most kritik debates devolve into a variety of small arguments varying from “cede the political” to “no value to life” to “turns the case.” Please (both teams) impact these arguments in relation to one another, and tell me why your arguments are a reason to ignore theirs/vote for you. What happens if the aff wins extinction inevitable now but the neg wins value to life? What happens if the neg wins a turns the case argument, but there is zero alternative solvency to provide uniqueness? This relates again to the "framing questions" that I discussed at the beginning - isolate the important ones, and discuss them in the 2NR/2AR, and you will almost certainly be far more satisfied with my decision.

Finally, kritiks on the affirmative. Please please please do not be vague in cross-x. My gut leaning is that critical advantages are OK, but that the affirmative should probably defend a topical plan. If people ask you specific questions about your “framework” or the implementation of your affirmative, answer them clearly. You should make it clear what arguments you think are “responsive” within your framework, and how different arguments should be evaluated relative to your aff. Most of the time, the answer to these questions will seem unfair. If you are negative, you should point this out and provide a counter-interpretation of how I should evaluate the debate. Chances are, I will be naturally inclined towards the negative's interpretation, but this doesn't mean the neg gets a free pass through these debates. I still expect the negative to defend, substantively and/or theoretically, why their version of policy-oriented debate and predictability are valuable. Impact calculus might be even more important here than in other contexts - if the aff interpretation is unpredictable for the negative to research, but the negative's interpretation dehumanizes minorities who try and participate, who wins? Not an easy question.

Counterplans / Theory:

1. The threshold for making any theory argument a voting issue is high. You cannot just say “voting issue—fairness and education” and expect to win, even if the other team drops it. This is especially true for “cheap shots.” My default is always to reject the argument and not the team, unless you develop a compelling argument for why I must reject the team.

2. Conditionality is probably fine, although especially with regard to 2+ CPs/Ks, I can be convinced that this practice is destructive. This would certainly not be an easy debate for the affirmative, but given how terrible most negative teams are at truly defending conditionality, a team that had thought the issue through very well could be in good shape.

3. Consult / Conditioning / Etc – I almost always think that these are unfair, but the negative is in a better place if they have a good solvency advocate to make their CP seem less contrived. A link to your net benefit is not a solvency advocate for doing the CP.

4. Other - my opinions are less clear about other issues, and I could be persuaded both ways, although I am probably more aff-leaning in general on these issues than most. PICs are almost certainly fine, especially if they are both textually and functionally competitive (wanky PICs that compete off "normal means" or Word PICs are both pushing it). Agent CPs are almost certainly fine if the aff specified their agent, and pretty questionable otherwise. International fiat is usually OK, although when fiating an agent of the resolution, the negative is bound to get into more trouble.

Overall – try to impact your theory arguments in terms of how it changes the quality and competitiveness of debate. Instead of using catch-phrases like “time skew,” “neg flex,” “breadth of education,” you should explain what sort of CPs their theory argument justifies and what it would be like to be aff in a world where those were OK. If they PIC out of a word in your plan and say its ok because “you get to chose the words in your plan,” you should respond by explaining that with this sort of standard, every time someone researches a new aff, they have to cut answers to “x” word PICs, where “x” is the number of words in your plan. This punishes affs for doing research, and creates a ridiculous burden for the 2A. That is more compelling to me than “skews aff ground” or something.

Keep in mind - these are my leanings, but they are by no means absolute decision rules. Most importantly - have fun, debate the arguments that you feel comfortable with, and I will reward you if you can explain/argue them well.



Taxiao Wang Paradigm

3 rounds

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Kyle Weber Paradigm

1 rounds

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James Wei Paradigm

3 rounds

I don’t have many preferences with regard to what kinds of arguments you read, but I do care a lot about how you present and defend your arguments. Do what you’re good at and I will do my best to evaluate the round.

I did four years of policy and PF at Bellarmine as the 2A. I graduated in 2012 and have been judging tournaments here and there throughout my college career.

I was mostly a lay debater in high school, meaning that over 75% of my rounds were done in front of parent judges. I firmly believe that presentation and persuasion are a huge part of the learning experience in debate, and I love rewarding debaters who make an effort to educate me about the issues at hand with ballots and speaker points. If both teams agree to a slow debate, it would make my judging experience much better.

That being said, I’m not at all averse to circuit policy. I’ve competed in circuit policy in the past and am familiar with jargon, spreading, etc. Please be aware that I've only seen a couple of rounds on this year's topic, so when in doubt, assume that I know nothing about the resolution.

General pointers to help you help me:

  • Clarity should always be your top priority. If I can’t understand the words coming out of your mouth or the logic behind the argument you’re trying to make, it’s not going on my flow. I’ll yell “clear” if I find that you’re speaking too quickly or stumbling excessively; after it happens twice, you’re on your own.
  • Don’t be afraid to make analytics! Thoughtful, logical analytics hold a lot of sway with me.
  • The more case-specific the better – show me that you’ve put in hard work in researching and preparing and you’ll be so much more credible in my eyes.
  • Prep time ends when your flash drive comes out of your computer and into the hands of your opponent. Most teams nowadays are paperless, but if your opponents don’t have a laptop on hand and you’re going paperless, it’s your job to supply them with one.

Now some specifics:

Case—In line with my lay debate background, I love a good case debate. In my opinion, it’s often the part of the debate that’s the most concrete. I’ve seen so many debates where everyone seemingly forgets about case after the 1NC and I feel sad every time it happens.

Disads—As I’ve mentioned before, the more case-specific the better. I see teams trying to sell me some generic link and I can’t remember the last time I bought it. Ground your argumentation in solid evidence and make sure you’re giving me some good impact framing and impact calculus.

CP—Case-specific PICs are great, generic CPs not so much but I’m definitely willing to listen (see the trend here?).

T—Slow down! Make your definitions and interpretations very clear. Debate T like you would a CP/DA, using strong links and impact framing/calculus. Fairness and education decent impacts to have, but extra brownie points if you tie in advocacy skills and decision-making.

Theory/FW—Same as with T: slow down, argue your links, and don’t forget to impact! I don’t really have any hard-set beliefs here, so it’ll be up to you to out-tech your opponent.

The K—Here’s where it may get a little rough for those of you who are big fans of kritikal arguments. Although I’m familiar with the structure of some run-of-the-mill Ks, I really only have a surface-level understanding. Therefore, if you chose to run a K or a K aff, you need to really take time to teach me about the K and define the context of any terminology that you may be throwing around. If you can’t explain your K to your parents or to a friend outside of debate, then chances are I’m going to have a tough time understanding too.


Rob West Paradigm

6 rounds

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Mya Whitaker Paradigm

3 rounds

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August Wissmath Paradigm

6 rounds

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Connor Woodruff Paradigm

6 rounds

Experience: I have 4 years of experience in high school policy debate at CK McClatchy (2009-2013), and a semester of policy at Arizona State University (2013). I have coached policy debate at Chandler Preparatory Academy (Spring 2014-Fall 2018) and was the head coach at BASIS Chandler (since Spring 2017-Fall 2019).

In general I try to remain as open as possible regarding what arguments I will evaluate, and am willing to listen to any argument provided that I am given a reason why it should affect my decision. Make sure to tell me how I should be evaluating arguments, how to characterize arguments, and how to weigh arguments. The more freedom I am given to make decisions in how to deal with those issues, the more likely I am to make decisions that hurt your position in the round.

Please ask me if there is anything more specific that you would like to know that is not included in this paradigm. I try to keep it short because I believe that the point of the debate round is to establish for me how I should be evaluating the round, and writing down my every opinion on debate theory doesn't seem productive for allowing you to debate the way you want when I try to avoid those opinions being the basis for my decisions.


phone: (916)704-4931

Kimberly Zavala Paradigm

3 rounds




Debated for three years in high school.

When I debated in high school, my speeches were always based on policy debate.

I have been a volunteer judge for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate tournaments for 2 ½ years.



In respect to prep time I expect debaters to keep track of their time, but as a precautionary measure I also keep track of both teams remaining time for their constructive speeches, rebuttals and prep before their speeches. When it comes to flashing files over to the opposing team, I tend not to count it as prep time unless the process takes longer than one minute.


On average the speaker points I give to debaters range from 26-29. A debater can earn extra speaker points if he or she is respectful throughout the round, if they manage to avoid dropping crucial arguments, and if they give an impact calculus during their rebuttal.


I personally like disads and counterplan arguments. If theory or kritiks are run then I expect debaters to know their arguments very well, and be able to explain it. I am not a big fan of Topicality, however this should not discourage debaters from running this off-case if they feel that it will help their arguments. 


As a judge my overall expectation over the round is that the debaters enjoy themselves and learn something new. 




Simon Zhang Paradigm

3 rounds

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mariah noah Paradigm

3 rounds

Experience: I competed for 4 years in high school parli, and 2 1/2 years in NPDA college parli. I have coached two high school parli teams and currently coach at Miramonte High School. I also coach policy debate for The Bay Area Urban Debate League.

Judging philosophy: I'm a fairly straight forward judge. I judge in the most tabula rasa way I can. I also tend to view debate as a game. I will judge based on impacts and will give low point wins if the "better" team does not win the debate. I do not have a particular bias or preference to any category of debate argument. I will listen to and enjoy procedurals as well as kritiks. That said, I put a high burden on the team running procedurals to run them correctly (that means tell me why to vote here!!!). Additionally if you want to run a Kritik, make sure you have done your homework and can run it well. My pet peeve is when high school debaters see that I'm a college judge and try to run crazy things without warranting them out. I'm all for crazy, but it needs to be well warranted. (For example, "Econ crash leads to resource wars leads to nuclear war!" Is not well warranted.) Rebuttals should not summarize the debate or engage in more line-by-line than is absolutely necessary. Rather they should pick the arguments you are winning and tell me why you are winning them and why that wins you the debate. Please please please collapse down to the 1 or 2 positions that are winning you the round. Going for everything is basically always the wrong rebuttal strategy. I'm fine with speed but I don't like it as a tool for exclusion so Id like both teams to consent to its use.

Important considerations: I believe words matter. I urge you to carefully consider your rhetoric to avoid problematic language. My biggest rhetorical pet peeve in debate is assuming all government officials are men. Using "congressmen" instead of "congress members" or "congress people" can frustrate me to the point of making it hard to pay as close attention to the debate as you would like. The other common debate phrase I find problematic is, "silence is consent." I think it is just as easy to say, "this argument is conceded" or simply, "they dropped this" without using rhetoric that can remind some people about violent language that may heave been used against them. Lastly, I couldn't care less about appearance. I weigh your arguments, not you're attire. So if you don't feel like changing into your heels or wearing your tie, that's 100% fine by me.

alan santos Paradigm

2 rounds