Cal Invitational at Berkeley HS Tournament

2016 — CA/US

Zaki Alattar Paradigm

Debated at UC Berkeley for 1 year.
Debated at Katy Taylor for 4 years.

Coached for College Preparatory, BAUDL, and NYUDL.

My opinion on this is not fully formed. I'm inclined as a 2A to believe that these debates are shallow and detract from substance, but recently, I've felt its necessity as a strategic option for the negative. It's also very easy for me to get lost in these debates. So here's my fair warning, going for T may have unpredictable consequences both in and against your favor.

Framework vs. Kritikal Affirmatives
I tend to lean affirmative on these debates. However, particularly on this topic, I think that holding the affirmative to a plan text is not unreasonable, but I also believe that if your only responses to an affirmative would be the politics disad and an agent counterplan, then you are doing it wrong.


Kim Ambrocio Paradigm

Flow judge. Please weigh. Spread OK. No K's. 

Akshay Amin Paradigm

4 rounds


I work as a Program Manager; I work with 8 to 10 teams across the globe. All team members think differently and they are all right. Relationship and communication, regardless of the culture, are the keys to be successful in the type of work I participate.

Approach to judging

I believe a debate is the process of clarifying my own belief, but it may come across as I am imposing my belief upon another person. When I judge, I get so busy comparing the arguments of both debaters and completely consumed by listening so my own beliefs do not get a chance to influence me. I compare two arguments like a math equation, but do not forget to add emotions because that is also part of the equation.  I do use standard Lincoln-Douglas flowchart and depend on that heavily. 

Presentation preferences


All debaters, I have seen in my career as a judge, are amazingly respectful, professional, neutral, constructive, and disciplined and that is why I like to participate. Clearly understanding the content is important to me your opponent and speaking style should reflect this.

Christina Arias Paradigm

2 rounds

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Lucas Bailey Paradigm

6 rounds

I competed in Lincoln-Douglas for three years in high school, and Public Forum for one. I've been coaching and judging LD and PF since then.

Lincoln-Douglas Paradigm


I prefer a slower debate, I think it allows for a more involved, persuasive and all-around better style of speaking and debating. It is your burden to make sure that your speech is clear and understandable and the faster you want to speak, the more clearly you must speak. If I miss an argument, then you didn't make it.

Flex Prep

No. There is designated CX time for a reason. You can ask for evidence during prep, but not clarification.


Role of the Ballot: A role of the ballot argument will only influence how I vote on pre-fiat, not post-fiat argumentation. It is not, therefore, a replacement for a framework, unless your entire case is pre-fiat, in which case see "pre-fiat kritiks". I default to a "better debater" standard. Be sure to provide evidence for how the ballot will create change.

Theory: Please reserve theory for genuinely abusive arguments or positions which leave one side no ground. I am willing to vote on RVIs if they are made, but I will not vote on theory unless it is specifically impacted to "Vote against my opponent for this violation". I will always use a reasonability standard. Running theory is asking me as the judge in intervene in the round, and I will only do so if I deem it appropriate.

Pre-fiat Kritiks: I am very slow to pull the trigger on most pre-fiat Ks. I generally consider them attempts to exclude the aff from the round or else shut down discourse by focusing the debate on issues of identity or discourse rather than ideas, especially because most pre-fiat Ks are performative but not performed. Ensure you have a role of the ballot which warrants why my vote will have any impact on the world. I do like alts to be a little more fleshed out than "reject the resolution", and have a low threshold for voting for no solvency arguments against undeveloped alts.

Post-fiat Kritiks: Run anything you want. I do like alts to be a little more fleshed out than "reject the resolution", and have a low threshold for voting for no solvency arguments against undeveloped alts.

Topicality: Fine. Just make sure you specify what the impact of topicality on the round is.

Politics Disadvantages: Please don't. If you absolutely must, you need to prove A: The resolution will occur now. B: The affirmative must defend a specific implementation of the topic. C:The affirmative must defend a specific actor for the topic. Without those three interps, I will not vote on a politics DA.

Narratives: Fine, as long as you preface with a framework which explains why and how narratives impact the round.

Conditionality: I'm permissive but skeptical of conditional argumentation. A conditional argument cannot be kicked if there are turns on it, and I will not vote on contradictory arguments, even if they are conditional. So don't run a cap K and an econ disad. You can't kick out of discourse impacts. Performance is important here.

Word PICs: I don't like word PICs. I'll vote on them if they aren't effectively responded to, but I don't like them. I believe that they drastically decrease clash and cut affirmative ground by taking away unique affirmative offense.

Presumption - I do not presume neg. I'm willing to vote on presumption if the aff or neg gives me arguments for why aff or neg should be presumed, but neither side has presumption inherently. Both aff and neg need offense - in the absence of offense, I revert to possibility of offense.

Pessimistic Ks - Generally not a fan. I find it difficult to understand why they should motivate me to vote for one side over another, even if the argument is true.

Speaker Points

Since I've gotten some questions about this..

I judge on a 5 point scale, from 25-30.

25 is a terrible round, with massive flaws in speeches, huge amounts of time left unused, blatantly offensive things said or other glaring rhetorical issues.

26 is a bad round. The debater had consistent issues with clarity, time management, or fluency which make understanding or believing the case more difficult.

27.5 is average. Speaker made no large, consistent mistakes, but nevertheless had persistent smaller errors in fluency, clarity or other areas of rhetoric.

28.5 is above average. Speaker made very few mistakes, which largely weren't consistent or repeated. Speaker was compelling, used rhetorical devices well

30 is perfect. No breaks in fluency, no issues with clarity regardless of speed, very strong use of rhetorical devices and strategies.

Argumentation does not impact how I give speaker points. You could have an innovative, well-developed case with strong evidence that is totally unresponded to, but still get a 26 if your speaking is bad.

While I do not take points off for speed, I do take points off for a lack of fluency or clarity, which speed often creates.

Judging style

If there are any aspects of the debate I look to before all others, they would be framework and impact analysis. Not doing one or the other or both makes it much harder for me to vote for you, either because I don't know how to evaluate the impacts in the round or because I don't know how to compare them.

Public Forum Paradigm


I default to an "on balance" metric for evaluating and comparing impacts. I will not consider unwarranted frameworks, especially if they are simply one or two lines asserting the framework without even attempting to justify it.


I will evaluate topicality arguments, though only with the impact "ignore the argument", never "drop the team".


Yes, I understand theory. No, I don't want to hear theory in a PF round. No, I will not vote on a theory argument.


No. Neither the pro nor the con has fiat.


No. Kritiks only function under a truth-testing interpretation of the con burden, I only use comparative worlds in Public Forum.

Burden Interpretations

The pro and the con have an equal and opposite burden of proof. Because of limited time and largely non-technical nature of Public Forum, I consider myself more empowered to intervene against arguments I perceive as unfair or contrary to the rules or spirit of Public Forum debate than I might be while judging LD or Policy.

Sheelah Bearfoot Paradigm

FOR PFers ON THIS UBI TOPIC - So apparently a lot of really effing awful domestic violence based cases are floating around. The actual F*#K.
Warning in advance - please don't run any domestic violence args in front of me. Just really, it's best for everyone's blood pressure if nobody runs any overly simplistic, victim-shaming, abuser-apologist garbage in front of me. IF you have a case using domestic violence args and want my opinion on them in a situation where it WON'T most likely cost you a round, I'd be willing to take a look at your case and tell you what's wrong with it.

Short version: I’m a flow judge down with most K’s, spreading, CPs (condo or uncondo) narratives, performance, and projects. If you bite into your own K, you're screwed. For the love of coffee, SIGNPOST. Don’t run bad science. I love IR and current events. I hate Eurocentric perspectives. Theory debate is meh at the best of times when it’s done well and downright painful when it’s done poorly or unnecessarily. I really don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other on RVI’s. Topicality: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . Weigh impacts. I will listen to whatever you have to say as long as it is well supported, do not just assume certain things are good or bad. Case debate is fun. Framework debate is interesting, whoever wins framework controls how I will view the round and usually gets my ballot. I’m incredibly non-interventionist (unless someone’s winning the “the judge should be a critical intellectual” arg, then be prepared for what intellect you have unleashed.) and rarely vote on presumption, unless something egregious happens in round. Don’t be a jackass.

Last thing - lots of teams have been running Indigenous something or other in front of me. I guess they inherently assume this is good judge adaptation. It frequently is not. If you are planning on doing this, please scroll down to the bottom and read my opinions on this instead of telling me how to think about my own identity.

(Also, I like a lot of different things. I'm super nerdy. Please don't feel constrained in the breadth of arguments you can run in front of me; there's more to me than my race. *cries single tear*)

^you’ll probably be fine with just that, the rest is provided for kicks and giggles.
Launching the Logorrhoea

Use your head! Analysis: I want to see critical engagement with the literature. Don’t just say that something is true or desirable because some author said so. Explain what you are arguing in your own words, tell me why it matters and why it is important to be heard in this round. Blippy arguments aren’t going to have much punch. When you extend, restate the analysis; I dislike extending points for the sake of just having stuff on the flow, tell me why it’s important in the round.

Disads: I want a clear link/internal link story. This is often lacking in politics disads, which are interesting when done well and awful when they’re like “voting for this bill drains the president’s political capital”. Be specific and intrinsic. Impact calc is important as is reminding me why I should be weighing all this under your framework. I’m not tied to Probability >Magnitude or Manitude>Probability – you convince me which one I should prioritize. Timeframe can be a good tie-breaker for this.

Theory: If you run it, please make sure it's warranted. I have voted on it and will if it isn't responded to, but it’s not exactly my favorite type of debate. Clarify what you mean by “reasonability” and why you are being more reasonable.

Non-topical Affs: Go for it. Extra-topical plans: If you’re all debating the resolution straight up, being extra-T isn’t very fair.

Let's be clear on the need for speed: I can handle pretty fast spread, just make sure to enunciate. I will yell clear if needed, but after 2 or 3 "clears" you will start losing speaks if you don’t listen. Please don’t spread out teams that can’t spread; it’s mean and I will be mean back to you on the ballot.

Speak up! I award speaker points for content, strategy, and structure more than talking pretty.Let's all play nice. Watch your rhetoric; anything racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, abelist, or transphobic will nuke your speaks. My speaks are generally higher than 26. 27-27.5 is average-proficient, 28 is awesome, 29 is " I really wanted to give you 30, but there was (blank) tiny issue". 29.5-30 means the round was pure beauty in motion.

RVI's: Ok, for whatever reason, this is like cilantro for most people in the debate community; they either think they're the best, most clever thing ever or that they're a horrible abomination. I really, seriously, don't have a strong opinion either way, I think it is very much a case by case situation.

K's: Feel more than free to be creative and unique, just make sure it makes sense. What I mean is that you should thoroughly understand what you are running, stay consistent with your framework, be able to handle the obvious questions it will incur. Back it up with analysis and justify why this is significant. It is always really obvious when somebody is running a case that was just handed to them by a coach or more senior competitor. I’m decently familiar with critical literature/arguments regarding Anthropocentrism, Ecofem, Indigeneity/Settler Colonialism, and Racial Positionality. I know little bits and pieces of other areas (like Disability Politics or Queer Theory – and a bunch of random stuff written by Marxist doctors on healthcare and neoliberalism; I had a weird summer.) and am more than happy to listen to whatever you want to run, I just might not be terribly familiar with the lit so make sure to clearly explain the thesis. Please feel free to ask me before the round if you want a clarification on my knowledge base. Furthermore, if you are critiquing somebody's rhetoric within the round and tell me that the role of the judge is to be a critical intellectual, don't bite into that rhetoric. It will end badly for you.
There are a few specific K's that I have more strict criteria for.
Nietzsche: Please for the love of all that is good in the world, don't run a Nietzsche K in front of me unless you have actually read some Nietzsche. All the bastardized embrace suffering stuff I hear all the time is not Nietzsche.
Give Back the Land/Decolonization: This can either be done really well or really poorly. A lot of the time, running this is pretty much just commodifying the suffering and exploitation and genocide of hundreds of Peoples for the ballot in a round. Please don't be one of those teams or I will drop you. Read “Decolonization is not a Metaphor” if you disagree with this and then think about what I said again. If you are running this case without any cards from Native authors, that is a serious paternalistic problem. It's also hard when the "plans" proposed don't leave room for biracial Native Americans, especially considering we have the highest "out-marriage" rates of any ethnicity. I don't wanna hear any "Noble Savage" type garbage. If you argue that we need to increase indigenous knowledge production and all the stuff happening to Natives is really bad and oppressive and stuff, but you don't have a goddamn plan for tangibly reducing harm to people like me, stop talking. Things like rates of substance abuse, suicide, domestic violence, poverty,and cultural erasure have affected my life and my family and friends. THIS IS NOT A GAME TO ME. These are not arguments for your academic curiosity. These are real things that affect real people. I do not have the luxury to play with these concepts in academic abstraction, and I won't tolerate you doing so. If you want to argue in-round solutions, they better actually be solutions. None of this "we need to imagine a different government" BS. We have been imagining for a long time.This If you are running this case to help rhetorically overthrow colonialist power structures and are actually representing Native voices, then you belong on the other half of the equation are running this case for the right reasons.

Speed K's: Just have solid reasons for why your opponent spreading is abelist or exclusionary. If you have a disability that makes spreading either impossible for you to perform yourself or listen to/flow, if you have asked your opponent not to spread before the round, and your opponent still spreads, then yes absolutely run a speed K.

Quick thing on poetry- a lot of arguments I’ve heard against poetry being used in round are really classist and racist. I do not believe that poetry is only a tool of the elite and educated or that marginalized individuals who use it are traitor pawns of the ivory tower. Arguments that essentially boil down to “poetry is exclusionary because it’s bourgeoisie” are not going to work for me. Arguments that say poetry only embodies White ideals of beauty and that PoC poetry will inevitably be co-opted are viscerally offensive to me.
I won't drop you in the round if you run this, but I will drop the argument.

Narratives: Hell. Yes. I strongly believe narrative debate has an important role in asserting the voices of marginalized groups in academia. These are experiences and perspectives that the overwhelmingly wealthy white able cis/het male institutions of academia have isolated. Other authors publishing nuanced work on these topics can be rare, which is part of where narrartives come in to fill that gap. Narratives are NOT whining- narrative debate is a way for the debater to become a producer of knowledge. Talking about structural violence with first person language does not make these topics any less academic; somebody else does not need to study you for your problems to be worthy of being heard and debated.
That being said, if you are running a narrative – do NOT make sweeping assumptions about your opponents or judges, particularly in regards to things that nobody should have to feel forced to disclose about themselves to a room full of strangers, like mental health status, gender identity, sexual orientation, or a history of experiencing abuse/domestic violence. Your job is to attack power structures, and I have no tolerance for teams who invalidate their opponents' identities and their rights to display them how/when they choose to.

Please don't let the round turn into the Oppression Olympics. Don't let your args against narratives devolve into "actually, I am more oppressed than you because X " - narratives are to highlight structural violence, it's not personal. It is not about you, the debater running a narrative is an empiric to a larger argument that highlights particular systems of power. We shouldn't have to pretend like these systems don't apply to us in some way when we run cases, and at the end of the day, nobody is attacking YOU, they are indicting particular systems of power. Engage with the power structures in the round.

Each round is different, so these are just guidelines and if you have a question that this didn't answer, feel free to ask.
Good luck, have fun!

Rishi Bhuptani Paradigm

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Barbara Bryan Paradigm

6 rounds

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Kyle Bystrom Paradigm

3 rounds

Hi everyboday! I'll be judging CPS this weekend, and it'll be great to re-visit the debate community! I haven't made any real updates since I judged JV at Berkeley this February, but nothing has changed in particular. Since I'm judging varsity this time, I would like to point out that some of you are probably much more advanced debaters than I was (I only did a few circuit tournaments and never broke to elims). The point I want to make is that my job as a judge is to do everything I can to make a logical decision based on the conventions of debate, and your job as a debater is to respect my judgment and understand that it is final and well-intentioned if imperfect. Long story short, if you're consistently getting winning records, I might not keep up well with your style, so don't pref me high; if you're still developing skills as a circuit debater, I'm probably a fine judge for you. See below for details, and best of luck!

General Debate Experience/Philosophy: I did LD for four years and was never particularly good at it, but I have experience with both circuit and lay styles and consider myself fairly competent at evaluating flows. Expect the round to be judged primarily in the style of a circuit round (i.e. by the flow, little intervention), except for a couple things.

1) I've listened to speed, but I'm terrible at understanding it, and while I feel bad about that, if you speak at 400 wpm and I don't understand you, I'm not going to call your cards to read them because that's unfair to your opponent and defeats the purpose of delivering speeches. This also means that I will not read along with cases from my computer. I'll do my best to understand, and say "Clear" if you aren't, but if I don't understand, it's not on my flow.

2) If you want to make a super semantic a priori win or something of the sort, I'll of course be willing to vote on it, but I have pretty high standards for those arguments, and while I try to be unbiased, I might tend to accept weak responses to a hasty, sneakily hidden a priori argument at the top of your AC or something of the sort.

Concessions: I'm not totally sure whether this is the debate norm or not, but I don't believe you can put an a priori in your AC without explaining the impact thoroughly, extend it in the 1AR and say your opponent conceded the a priori and therefore can only respond to the weighing you do in the 1AR rather than the a priori itself. If something has no clear impact, it is not a full argument. E.g. if you have a definition that makes you win a priori but don't mention that it's an a priori win until the 1AR, your opponent should be able to respond to the definition itself in the NR. That might be quirky, but it's probably my only significantly unusual debate paradigm and it makes sense.

Extensions: An extension tells me what you're extending and why it's important. You don't need to read the whole contention again. Your summary of the warrant can even be slim or nonexistent UNLESS your opponent responded to part of your warrant, in which case you need to tell me why the warrant still stands/which part your opponent didn't respond too.

Plans: LD is a debate of values. It is NOT policy. You are welcome to run a plan, but it must either satisfy the entirety of the resolution (prove it generally true) or contain a good argument that it shouldn't have to.

Theory: Similar to a prioris and stuff. Definitely acceptable, but I tend to get a tad biased against stupid theory.

Kritiks: I don't have much experience with them and might not fully understand the structure, but I can and will still consider and evaluate them equally (unless, once again, they are super semantic or irrelevant to the topic, e.g. the word ___ isn't feminist enough so my opponent loses, in which case it better be very well argued and/or very poorly responded too).

Getting high speaks: Speak clearly, have well constructed arguments (strong philosophy is a plus, frivolous semantics are not but won't ding you if they're well written), sign post really really well, treat your opponent like the intelligent person he/she/ze/etc is, weigh your impacts, and provide a story for why you're winning. Some of these will obviously also help you win.

Courtney Coffman Paradigm

4 rounds

General Update: I haven't judged a lot of circuit LD rounds this year. I've been judging a lot of World Schools Debate. Please don't go your top speed and please slow down on tags & author names.

Background: I'm the Director of Debate at Northland Christian School in Houston, TX. I graduated in 2008 after debating for three years on the national and local circuits (TOC, NFL/NSDA, TFA). I was a "traditional" debater whenever I competed (stock and policy arguments, etc). I have taught at Global Debate Symposium, Mean Green Workshops and Pinnacle.

Email Chain: Please add me to the email chain:

Judging Philosophy: I prefer a comparative worlds debate. When making my decisions, I rely heavily on good extensions and weighing. If you aren't telling me how arguments interact with each other, I have to decide how they do. If an argument is really important to you, make sure you're making solid extensions that link back to some standard in the round. I love counterplans, disads, plans, etc. I believe there needs to be some sort of standard in the round. Kritiks are fine, but I am not well-versed in dense K literature; please make sure you are explaining the links so it is easy for me to follow. I will not vote on a position that I don't understand, and I will not spend 30 minutes after the round re-reading your cards if you aren't explaining the information in round.

Theory/T: I think running theory is fine (and encouraged) if there is clear abuse. I will not be persuaded by silly theory arguments. If you are wanting a line by line theory debate, I'm probably not the best judge for you :)

Speaker Points: I give out speaker points based on a couple of things: clarity (both in speed and pronunciation), word economy, strategy and attitude. In saying attitude, I simply mean don't be rude. I think there's a fine line between being perceptually dominating in the round and being rude for the sake of being rude; so please, be polite to each other because that will make me happy. Being perceptually dominant is okay, but be respectful. If you give an overview in a round that is really fast with a lot of layers, I will want to give you better speaks. I will gauge my points based on what kind of tournament I'm at...getting a 30 at a Houston local is pretty easy, getting a 30 at a circuit tournament is much more difficult. If I think you should break, you'll get good speaks. Cussing in round will result in dropping your speaks.

Speed: I'd prefer a more moderate/slower debate that talks about substance than a round that is crazy fast/not about the topic. I can keep up with a moderate speed; slow down on tag lines/author names. I'll put my pen down if you're going too fast. If I can't flow it, I won't vote on it. Also, if you are going fast, an overview/big picture discussion before you go line by line in rebuttals is appreciated. You can consider me a 7 out of 10 on the speed scale. I will say "clear" "slow" "louder", etc a few times throughout the round. If you don't change anything I will stop saying it.

Miscellaneous: I think permissibility and skep. arguments are defense and don't prefer to see them in a round. I default to comparative worlds.

Other things...
1. Don't try to win on tricks...I will severely dock speaker points and just be generally sad when making a decision (aka don't mislabel arguments, give your opponent things out of order, or try to steal speech/prep time, etc). I am not going to vote on an extension of a one sentence "argument" that wasn't clear in the first speech that is extended to mean something very different.
2. Please don't run morally repugnant positions in front of me.
3. Have fun!

Jimmy Finney Paradigm



I am familiar with high school debate regarding how it functions. However, I have never directly competed in debate. Despite this, I have judged Congress, Public Forum (PF), and Lincoln Douglas (LD) on the high school level a few times.

My expertise and experience lies in Individual Events (IE) in both the high school and college realm.

Your assessment will primarily focus on argumentation. I do my best to avoid intervening in decisions, as it should be focused on the argument, as opposed to whatever narrative appeals to me (which unfortunately happens with some judges).

If you are disrespectful to your competitor, your score will reflect this.


Please do not make general assumptions, arguments not substantiated with evidence or logical rationale, or emotionally based arguments. I am keen in identifying weasel words (e.g. "Studies show ...", "The vast majority ...", "It has been shown that ..."). Most importantly, do not make fallacious arguments (e.g. personal attacks (ad-hominem), appeal to authority, appeal to popularity, correlation without causation).

While this may seem very standard, I have seen competitors make the above mistakes.

Please make solid, substantiated, and logical arguments that clearly prove your point, as this is the most important criteria in the assessment.


The delivery of your content is somewhat important. You should present your arguments clearly, make proper eye contact, gesticulate in an enhancing manner (as opposed to distracting the judge), vocally deliver well, and have good posture.

However, your focus should be on your argumentation.


I understand that the culture of debate may incline you to speak faster to present more points. However, if you speak too fast (i.e. spread), I will most likely not be able to understand you or remember what you said. I highly advise against spreading.

Most Importantly

Most importantly, I hope that you gain knowledge from this experience and (of course) have fun!

Alex Gao Paradigm


Competitive background: 3 yrs HS Parli, qualified for Parli TOC before. 1 yr college Parli, 29th at NPTE.

Preferences: I will be as objective as possible in round, and prefer that you debate in the style that most suits you. I like a good K debate or util debate. I am open to voting on framework/theory arguments; just warrant them/debate them well. 

If there is no weighing on any time frame/probability/magnitude layer, I will default to strength of link. But you all should weigh to begin with. 

Delivery and speaks: I'm fine with most speed. I'm not the best with flowing, so please signpost/be clear about where arguments are. I will say clear when necessary. I will give high speaks for good strategy, innovative arguments, and well-placed puns. If the puns are obviously forced though, I may lower your speaks.

Ask me about anything else you want before the round!


Neeta Garimella Paradigm

3 rounds

Parent Judge with little debate experience in work-life :-)
I am a traditional judge ONLY and do not understand circuit argument and spreading.

I'm a Software architect with very deep and equally wide experience in cluster-based storage/file system technologies. If that does not make sense, think of the data consumption needs of supercomputers or backends of facebook, Yahoo and google that you use everyday. You can learn more about me as a professional at LinkedIn

I have two kids who have done debate in high school, younger one is still in sophomore. My judging experience time-wise is not as long, though it has been super rich in experience where I have judged LD, Congress, and Public Forum. In my short tenure, I have judged final rounds, been officially challenged on my decision and debaters challenging key evidences. The decision challenge (4th round) was an interesting experience in learning how hard it might be for some folks to lose and come up with biased reasoning why a judge was biased. I was thrilled to discover the debater I voted for ended up winning all six rounds and challenger went onto winning  5-1

The reason for that background is that I'm highly logical and strictly follow arguments flow  as run by the debaters. This means I will view  your evidences, arguments and refutations exactly as you present them (I will not read your data, unless there is an exception). So its important that you speak in a manner that is crisp, clear, comprehensible and respectful. Make it easy for me to compare and contrast your position against your opponent's. The better I understand, easier it gets for me to do my job. Do not leave a lot of post debate thinking to your judges. I must admit that sometimes it is very hard to vote and then I lean on finer elements like the "value criteria" I have chosen to go along, strength of the argument/rebuttals and most importantly quick-thinking/adaptation demonstrated.

The most important is that I personally view this as a learning opportunity and to that end I go extra mile to provide meaningful feedback to each debater regardless of my vote. Having lived long enough, I now know that I'm quite critical in constructive way. So you will get enough from me for ongoing improvement. Also, I try very hard to be aware of my sub-conscious biases and preferences and cast them away by second guessing and questioning my own line of reasoning to rest the case purely based on your very own presentation.  

So its your debate, your performance is the single most critical factor in the outcome, as I leave everything at the door except my pure intellect to process only what you present. 

Relax, enjoy the round and be in the moment and trust that your preparation will rescue you.




Salihah Gray Paradigm

6 rounds

Affiliations: Granada Hills Charter HS

I debated at Granada for 3 years. Granada is probably as traditional as it gets, however, I am one of the few that is not. With that being said, everything I learned is from sources outside of school so I might not be able to follow the most outlandish arguments (this has yet to happen, and it’s likely that I’ll pick up on the newest of trends if its explained in round and warranted)

I currently attend USC and am majoring in politics, philosophy & law (that’s all one). Don’t assume that you can run dense philosophical framework without explanation and I’ll pick up on it. Do assume that this means I like philosophy.


In General: I will vote on almost any argument that is warranted. Before I wrote a paradigm, I used to say, “Whoever has the most offense under the winning framework wins” but then I realized that has too many nuances and exceptions, so use your discretion and stay tuned for the rest of the paradigm. (I thought I could sum it up, but no)


Speed: I’m fine with speed. Slow down for tags/ authors. If you want higher speaks slow down for important analyses, impact weighing, and things you find important to the ballot. I like when debaters slow down for 30 seconds or so at the end of their last speech to crystallize, but that’s just a stylistic preference. I will say clear twice, if you ignore it then I’ll start docking speaks.


Thinks I like (subject to change all the time):

Evidence weighing is my jam, and I feel like it’s an underused strategy, so utilize it.

Impact weighing is also my jam and it’s a big mistake if you don’t do it.

I like those rare unique arguments that view the resolution from a different perspective, but I also like when debaters run stock arguments but put a lot of research into it and have a deep comprehension of it

Philosophy/ethics: IF you can understand it and put it into your own words, then explain it in round. (seriously, don’t run anything you can’t understand)


Args that are generally considered tricky: I probably won’t give weight to triggers/ a prioris, but I’m flexible. You’re taking a risk though.

I’m not too fond of skep and you probably shouldn’t run it in front of me, but I am flexible on this if it is necessary.

I will give weight to CERTAIN spikes/blippy arguments, but I will not vote on them unless there is literally no offense in the round (please don’t do this to me). The way I evaluate if a spike gets weight in the round is really arbitrary (I try my hardest not to be, but I’m just being honest) so again, it’s a risk.

Theory: Frivious theory is probably one of my biggest pet peeves (especially if multiple theory shells are used as a neg time advantage). HI don’t default on competing interps/ reasonability. I do default to drop the argument and theory is not an RVI. However, my defaults don’t matter if you’re making these args in round. (You don’t have to win competing interps if you win I meets.

Policy stuff: I’m cool with it. Nothing else to see here.

Kritiks: I like Ks even though I’m not familiar with too much K lit. Even though I’m not too familiar with K lit, my threshold for Ks is rapidly increasing because the abundance of crappy Ks are increasing.

Extensions: make full extensions, not blippy one-liners

Comparative worlds/ truth testing: I default to comparative worlds, but again, my default doesn’t, matter if you make this argument in round.

 WARNINGS, things I dislike, things you will get dropped for: -I’ll probably be really sensitive to args based in race, racism, racial justice, or anything in that category (self-explanatory). I’m not saying don’t run it, because I like the arguments, I’m saying be mindful of how you’re refuting it, and don’t be insensitive/offensive.

-Don’t be the devil’s advocate and say things that we all know are morally reprehensible are good (that’s an automatic drop)

-Try not to say silence is consent. I know that’s not how you mean it, but the statement is inherently harmful.

-Don’t make a hostile environment (this is not in the sense of just being generally rude, and you will get dropped for it)

Speaks: I average around 27. The easier you make it for me to write the ballot, the more speaks you’ll get.

Things that will give you higher speaks:


 Evidence weighing

GOOD impact weighing

GREAT crystallization (threshold getting higher)

Honestly, just make it easy for me

Things that will lower your speaks:

Being rude


Stealing prep

Disorganization (unintentional)

Intentional disorganization to confuse your opponent will get you even lower speaks


  •      I will call for evidence if need be
  •      Email me at if you have questions about anything 


Michael Greenbury Paradigm

2020 update

Not much experience on this topic

Been away from the scene for the past semester. Don't worry, I can still listen to speed, but you might want to assume I'm not fully aware of all the topic details.

I like K debate. Prefer poststructuralism or whatever you call it - would probably be what I have the most experience in. Performance debate is cool. Policy debate is good too, just not what I did for the most part. Good plans with solid solvency mechanisms vs intriguing CP/DAs are always engaging to judge for me but politics debates are boring so if you come with generics you better do it right. I consider myself open minded but I do find myself unpersuaded by the same generics FW args that teams have been reading since 2015. Try explaining things in new ways, using new words and examples. I will reward that.

almost all ideas are fair game, except those which offend or harm other people. please use common sense in this regard or I'll dock speaks.

2019 update

very few rounds on the policy topic, please explain any acronyms or details that one might assume a judge with experience on the topic would understand

speed is fine

argument flexibility is fine and good

focus on explaining things; less is more

”debate does not necessarily take the form of a disagreement; it can yield a more complex disimplication or displacement”

i don’t vote on things not In the final speeches

2017 for Stanford

Very few (<20) rounds on the topic. Mostly policy, weirdly, but it's been three months. Please explain any terms (locations, documents, events, concepts, etc.) that may require more experience.

Aside: the term high theory now for me demonstrates the general implosion of meaning.

Out of competition since last season. Everything below still true, with the caveat that my appreciation for the the decorum and the ethos of debate has diminished. I think you can interpret that how you want. Creativity and clarity are awarded with speaker points.

Lastly the authors of flavor for the rhetoric department are Schmitt, Heidegger, and Hegel. Please do not read a critique of Bildung.

2016 Update

About two dozen total rounds on the 2015-2016 HS topic. Mostly on the non-topic but plenty of K affs with plans and a few policy debates.

I do and prefer K debate for the most part, but I am still interested in hearing policy arguments. I understand and like them, at times.

I vote on T/FW, but I think most teams would be helped by substantive and explicated impact calc vs the aff, articulating a strong T version solves arg, etc. You can't just extend T like you would in front of a judge who ideologically prefers your args.

If you're too fast I might ask you to slow down. You should do you. Within reason, try to offend me.

Most familiar in high theory arguments: afropessimist, feminist, queer theory, and Marxist-derivative literatures. I sort of major in critical theory at Berkeley so sometimes I just happen to know a lot about Ranciere or Edward Said depending on the semester.

Feel free to ask any other questions.

Eliza Haas Paradigm

4 rounds

The short version is that I am absolutely willing to consider and vote on any clear and convincing argument that happens in the round, I want you to weigh impacts and layer the round for me explicitly, and I like it when you're funny and interesting. See below for the long version, and if you have specific questions that I don't already cover below, feel free to ask them before the round. I love debate, and I’m happy to get to judge your round!

Yes, I want to be on the email chain: elizahaas7(at)gmail(dot)com


I vote on flow. I believe strongly that judges should be as non-interventionist as possible in their RFDs, so I will only flow arguments that you actually make in your debates; I won't intervene to draw connections or links for you or fill in an argument that I know from outside the round but that you don't cover or apply adequately. That’s for you to do as the debater--and on that note, if you want me to extend or turn something, tell me why I should, etc. This can be very brief, but it needs to be clear. I prefer depth over breadth. Super blippy arguments won't weigh heavily, as I want to see you develop, extend, and impact your arguments rather than just throw a bunch of crap at your opponent and hope something sticks. I love when you know your case and the topic lit well, since that often makes the difference. If you have the most amazing constructive in the world but then are unable to defend, explicate, and/or break it down well in CX and rebuttals, it will be pretty tough for you if your opponent capitalizes on your lack of knowledge/understanding even a little bit.


I’m pretty standard when it comes to types of argumentation. I've voted for just about every type of case; it's about what happens in round and I don’t think it’s my right as a judge to tell you how to debate. Any of the below defaults are easy to overcome if you run what you want to run, but run it well.

However, if you decide to let me default to my personal preferences, here they are. Feel free to ask me if there's something I don't cover or you're not sure how it would apply to a particular debate form, since they’re probably most targeted to circuit LD:

Have some balance between philosophy and policy (in LD) and between empirics and quality analytics (in every debate form). I like it when your arguments clash, not just your cards, so make sure to connect your cards to your theoretical arguments or the big picture in terms of the debate. I like to see debates about the actual topic (however you decide to interpret that topic in that round, and I do give a lot of leeway here) rather than generic theory debates that have only the most tenuous connections to the topic.

For theory or T debates, they should be clear, warranted, and hopefully interesting, otherwise I'm not a huge fan, although I get their strategic value. In my perfect world, theory debates would happen only when there is real abuse and/or when you can make interesting/unique theory arguments. Not at all a fan of bad, frivolous theory. No set position on RVIs; it depends on the round, but I do think they can be a good check on bad theory. All that being said, I have voted for theory... a lot, so don't be scared if it's your thing. It's just not usually my favorite thing.

Framework debates: I usually find framework debates really interesting (whether they’re couched as role of the ballot arguments, standards, V/C debates, burdens, etc.), especially if they’re called for in that specific round. Obviously, if you spend a lot of time in a round on framework, be sure to tie it back to FW when you impact out important points in rebuttals. I dislike long strings of shaky link chains that end up in nuclear war, especially if those are your only impacts. If the only impact to your argument is extinction with some super sketchy links/impact cards, I have a hard time buying that link chain over a well-articulated and nicely put together link chain that ends in a smaller, but more believable and realistically significant impact.

Parli (and PF) specific framework note: unless teams argue for a different weighing mechanism, I will default to net bens/CBA as the weighing mechanism in Parli and PF, since that’s usually how debaters are weighing the round. Tie your impacts back to your framework.

Ks can be awesome or terrible depending on how they're run. I'm very open to critical affs and ks on neg, as a general rule, but there is a gulf between good and bad critical positions. I tend to absolutely love (love, love) ones that are well-explained and not super broad--if there isn't a clear link to the resolution and/or a specific position your opponent takes, I’ll have a harder time buying it. Run your Ks if you know them well and if they really apply to the round (interact with your opponent's case/the res), not just if you think they'll confuse your opponent. Please don't run your uber-generic Cap Ks with crappy or generic links/cards just because you can't think of something else to run. That makes me sad because it's a wasted opportunity. Alts should be clear; they matter. Of course for me, alts can be theoretical/discourse-based rather than policy-based or whatnot; they just need to be clear and compelling. When Ks are good, they're probably my favorite type of argument; when their links and/or alts are sketchy or nonexistant, I don't love them. Same basic comments apply for critical affs.

For funkier performance Ks/affs, narratives and the like, go for them if that's what you want to run. Just make sure 1) to tell me how they should work and be weighed in the round and 2) that your opponent has some way(s) to access your ROB. Ideally the 2nd part should be clear in the constructive, but you at least need to make it clear when they CX you about it. If not, I think that's a pretty obvious opportunity for your opponent to run theory on you.

I'm also totally good with judging a traditional LD/Parli/Policy round if that's what you're good at--I do a lot of that at my local tournaments. If so, I'll look at internal consistency of argumentation more than I would in a progressive debate (esp. on the Neg side).


I'm fine with speed; it's poor enunciation or very quiet spreading that is tough. I'll ask you to clear if I need to. If I say "clear," "loud," or “slow” more than twice, it won't affect my decision, but it will affect your speaks. Just be really, really clear; I've never actually had to say "slow," but "clear" and "loud" have reared their ugly heads more than once. If you’re going very quickly on something that’s easy for me to understand, just make sure you have strong articulation. If you can, slow down on tags, card tags, tricky philosophy, and important analytics--at the very least, hammer them hard with vocal emphasis. My perfect speed would probably be an 8 or 9 out of 10 if you’re very clear. That being said, it can only help you to slow down for something you really need me to understand--please slow or repeat plan/CP text, role of the ballot, theory interp, or anything else that is just crazy important to make sure I get your exact wording, especially if I don't have your case in front of me.

Don’t spread another debater out of the round. Please. If your opponent is new to the circuit, please try to make a round they can engage in.

I love humor, fire, and a pretty high level of sassiness in a debate, but don’t go out of your way to be an absolutely ridiculous ass. If you make me chuckle, you'll get at least an extra half speaker point.

I love CX (in LD and Policy)/CF (in PF) and good POIs (in Parli), so it bugs me when debaters use long-winded questions or answers as a tactic to waste time during CX or when they completely refuse to engage with questions or let their opponent answer any questions. On that note, I'm good with flex prep; keep CXing to your heart's desire--I'll start your prep time once the official CX period is over if you choose to keep it going. CX is binding, but you have to actually extend arguments or capitalize on errors/concessions from CX in later speeches for them to matter much.

If I'm judging you in Parli and you refuse to take POIs, I'll probably suspect that it means you can't defend your case against questions. Everyone has "a lot to get through," so you should probably take some POIs.

Weird quirk: I usually flow card tags rather than author names the first time I hear them, so try to give me the tag instead of or in addition to the cite (especially the first few times the card comes up in CX/rebuttal speeches or when it's early in the resolution and I might not have heard that author much). It's just a quirk with the way I listen in rounds--I tend to only write the author's name after a few times hearing it but flow the card tag the first time since the argument often matters more in my flow as a judge than the name itself does. (So it's easiest for me to follow if, when you bring it up in later speeches or CX, you say "the Blahblah 16 card about yadda yadda yadda" rather than just "the Blahblah 16 card.") I'll still be able to follow you, but I find it on my flow quicker if I get the basic card tag/contents.

Final Approach to RFD:

I try to judge the round as the debaters want me to judge it. In terms of layering, unless you tell me to layer the debate in another way, I'll go with standard defaults: theory and T come first (no set preference on which, so tell me how I should layer them), then Ks, then other offs, then case--but case does matter! Like anything else for me, layering defaults can be easily overcome if you argue for another order in-round. Weigh impacts and the round for me, ideally explicitly tied to the winning or agreed-upon framework--don't leave it up to me or your opponent to weigh it for you. I never, ever want to intervene, so make sure to weigh so that I don't have to. Give me some voters if you have time, but don’t give me twelve of them. See above for details or ask questions before the round if you have something specific that I haven't covered. Have fun and go hard!

Weigh impacts.

Weigh impacts.

Additional note if I'm judging you in PF or Parli:

- PF: Please don't spend half of crossfire asking "Do you have a card for x?" Uggh. This is a super bad trend/habit I've noticed. That question won't gain you any offense; try a more targeted form of questioning specific warrants. I vote on flow, so try to do the work to cover both sides of the flow, even though the PF times make that rough.

- Parli: Whether it’s Oregon- or California-style, you still need warrants for your claims; they'll just look a little different and less card-centric than they would in a prepared debate form. I'm not 100% tabula rasa in the sense that I won't weigh obviously untrue claims/warrants that you've pulled out of your butts if the other team responds to them at all. I think most judges are like that and not truly tab, but I think it's worth saying anyways. I'll try to remember to knock for protected time where that’s the rule, but you're ultimately in charge of timing that if it's open level. Bonus points if you run a good K that's not a cap K.

Albert Hsiung Paradigm

Not Submitted

Shanthi Iyer Paradigm

6 rounds


i am a lay judge, so I would prefer if you speak slowly and refrain from complex LD theory, critiques and counter plans. 

Corrine Jimenez Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Jeff Joseph Paradigm

6 rounds

Contact info:

I coach debate so I am comfortable with most debate styles. I coach LD and am more familiar with LD, but also did policy in college and assist in coaching it now. I am qualified to judge both events.

Debate is fun. I value wit and humor. Debate is educational. I value scissor-sharp logic. Debate is a chance for high school students to make radical arguments for change. Don't be afraid to be yourself and express your opinion in any method you choose.

I like well-developed, persuasive and interesting cases with strong internal links and warrants and interesting and novel approaches to the resolution.

I believe that debate is, at its core, a thought experience. As a debater, you get to approach each debate round as your debate round. You get to set the rules. You get to debate what you find educational and valuable. To me that is the greatest thing about debate. To that extent, I like creative arguments and the arguments do not have to be conventional. However, you have to persuade me that there is a reason to vote for you, and you have to be prepared to justify that what you are debating is fair and educational to your opponent. To that extent, your opponent also gets to set the rules and play the game the way he or she wants to as well. That means that I am open to theory/topicality arguments on either side in order to set the ground rules for the debate.

I value cross-examination. It shows how a debater thinks on his or her feet, how well he or she understands the resolution and case and how well he or she uses rhetoric and logic. Use it effectively. I want you to answer your opponent's questions and not blow off cross ex. I flow cross-ex and consider statements made in CX as binding.

I will vote on textual arguments, Ks, policy arguments, theory, narratives and performative debate as long as you present an overall persuasive case.

In terms of layering, Theory/Topicality is evaluated as the first layer in debate. I have to first determine that the game is being played fairly before I consider the substance of the arguments. To that extent, I am open to theory arguments. If you are going to make theory arguments, please set forth an interpretation, standards and voters. Don't just claim your opponent is being unfair. If you are are arguing against the theory argument, please provide a counterinterpretation or show me that no counterinterpretation is necessary because you meet the interpretation and do not violate. I am open to RVI arguments and will evaluate those arguments, but only if you prove the theory is frivolous, time suck or strat suck. So RVIs will be considered but you have to show me that the theory argument, itself, was abusive. I will not consider an RVI just because you blip it out. Neg does not get reciprocity on RVIs.

After theory, I next evaluate ROTB, ROTJ and framework arguments. ROTB and ROTJ tells me that there is a role that I play that transcends the debate round. As such, I evaluate ROTB and ROTJ equally with other more traditional framework arguments. If you tell me what my role is, I will accept that as my role. That means the opponent has to come up with a counter ROTB, or show how he or she accesses your ROTB or how your ROTB is somehow bad or that your framework is superior. Same with arguments that you tell me are a priori, prior questions or decision rules. If you tell me there are, justify it, provide rationale. It is then up to your opponent to counter that. Your counter ROTB can be as simple as you should vote for the better debater, but don't just drop it because you assume that traditional framework (weighing case) comes first.

After framework, I will evaluate the contention level. Ks, narratives and performative arguments will be evaluated equally with other arguments but you have to provide the layering for me and tell me how to evaluate those arguments in the round.

Great weighing of arguments is your best route to high speaks. Don't just extend args. Please make sure it is clear to me how your arguments function in the round and how those arguments interact with the other side. I will evaluate all arguments that are not blatantly offensive. But it is up to you to tell my why those arguments are voters. The worst rounds are rounds where there is no weighing, or limited argument interaction. Please make the round clear to me. If an argument is dropped, don't just tell me it is dropped. Tell me why it matters. The more work you do telling me how arguments function in the round, the easier it will be to evaluate the round. I like extensions to be clearer than just a card name; you have to extend an argument, but I also value extensions that are highly efficient. Therefore, summarize your warrants and impacts in a clear and efficient way. Most importantly, please make sure you are very clear on how the argument functions in the round. And, don't go for everything. The best debaters are the ones who are able to succinctly crystalize the key issues in the round and collapse down to those key issues and tell me why they win the debate.

Kritiks: I love them and I love how they are progressing in debate. This includes narratives/performance arguments. Some of the best debates I have seen are good perfomative Kritiks. I will evaluate Ks equally with other positions. However, I have a few ground rules for Ks. First, if you are going to do a K, clearly explain your alt, ROTB and methodology and do not stray from it. It is a pet peeve when someone runs a K and then cannot justify it in CX or is snarky about answering questions about it in CX. If you are criticizing something, you have to be able to explain it under pressure. Second pet peeve: Your method/performance must go in the same direction as the K. If you are running Bifo (semiocapitalism) and then spread without giving your entire speech document to your opponent, I find that to be a performative contradiction. This will not end well for you. On a K explain whether you claim pre-fiat or post-fiat solvency and clearly how your discourse preempts other arguments in the round and weigh your discourse against your opponents framework. If you are doing a narrative or performative argument, you should be able to clearly articulate your methodology for your performance in the round. I know that I bring my own biases in the round, but I try my best to leave them at the door of the debate room and approach narratives and performative arguments with a blank slate. I appreciate hearing your voice in the round. If you are running fem rage or queer rage I want to hear it in the round. I want to hear your voice. That, to me, is the point of using the debate space for performance and narrative. So, I expect you to be able to clearly articulate your methodology and narrative and answer questions about how your opponent interacts with the methodology in the round. If you run a narrative but fumble over how that narrative and methodology works in the debate space, I find it less credible.

Policy arguments (Plans, CPs, DAs) are all evaluated. If you're running a DA, make sure the link debate and impacts are clear. Make sure you are doing good impact calculus on timeframe, magnitude, probability, reversability, etc. I will consider all impact scenarios. It is up to your opponent to tell me why those impact scenarios are outweighed.

Spikes, tricks and Other "Abusive" Arguments: I am not a fan of "tricks," spikes and blippy arguments and struggle to evaluate these strategies, so if your strategy is to go for underview blips and extensions of spikes and blips in your case that are barely on my flow to begin with, whether those arguments are philosophical or theoretical, I am going to have a lower threshold for responses. That means if your opponent has a halfway coherent response to them I am likely to drop the argument. I know that tricks are a new and sexy thing in debate. I just hate them.

Speed: I can flow speed. However, I like to be included in the email chain or pocketbox. Also if your analytics are not on the document, I will try my best to keep up, but don't blame me if you spread through them and I miss something. It is up to you to make the argument explicitly enough that I flow it and extend it. I like to review the evidence, so if you speed, I will follow along as I flow. Make sure the tags and card tags are are slightly slower and are clear. My issue is most often with enunciation, not actual speed, so please make sure you are enunciating as clearly as possible. No speed at the cost of understanding.

Points--(Note that these points have changed as of the ASU 2018 tournament)

30--You have a chance of winning this tournament and are one of the best debaters I have seen in a while.

29.0-29.5 - You are in the top 10% of the tournament and will definitely break.

28.5.-29.0 - You should break at this tournament.

28.0-28.5 - My default speaks. This is for a good and above average debater.

27.5-28.0 - You are average compared to other debaters in the tournament.

27.0-27.5 You are learning and have significant areas of improvement.

<27 This is the lowest I will go. You have done something unfair, offensive or unethical in the round.

Madeleine Karydes Paradigm

Bottom line, convince me! I never competed in debate - I'm a speech person first and foremost - but I love the passion and intellectual engagement this activity creates. A couple of points that will help me better evaluate you:

  • Please tagline and signpost! Make it easy for me to flow. Clearly state your contentions, subpoints, etc.
  • Don't spread - you can talk relatively quickly, just not top speed. (Feel free to time yourself in round.)
  • Links and impact are important, so try not to drop things on the flow (I won't fill them in for you); tie it up for me. That goes for everything; make your own case for what frameworks/evidence I should be weighing as most important and why.
  • On that note, it's your responsibility to explain what violations happen and why they do or do not impact the round.

Most of all, be kind to each other, be passionate, and have fun! Forensics is a constructive and positive space, and in the light of current events please remember to take care of yourselves and speak your truth. If you have any questions or concerns, ask me.

Kim Kim Paradigm

Please add me on your email chains:

The Harker School (San Jose, CA) | UC Berkeley ‘18 (Berkeley, CA) | Lexington HS ‘14 (Lexington, MA)

"My opponent has a history of clipping; how does my judge go about verifying and punishing it?"
"Does my judge vote for RVIs on T?"
"Does my judge know what semiocapitalism is?"
"Will my judge vote for fairness as an independent impact to Framework?"
"My opponent has a history of violating my emotional comfort. What can/should my judge do to ensure that I feel safe in this debate?
"I lost to my opponent in the past because they were so unclear but the past judge didn't care and I dropped an argument. Should my judge know that I have a hard time flowing this person?"
If you'd like to know my background knowledge regarding and/or willingness to vote for any argument without tipping your hand to your opponent, or have any concerns about the round re: safety/comfort, please send me an email or ask to speak to me privately. I'll happily answer any questions you have to the best of my abilities.

Debaters are expected to be sensitive to the judge's and opponents' feelings. Blatant displays of insensitivity to judges can manifest in different ways, from aggressive postrounding, to refusing to slow down in your speeches after your judges "clear" you, to continuing a problematic line of question during CX despite me giving you death glares. I plan to spare you the exact amount of sympathy that you give me and your opponent(s).

1 - Policy/LARP
1 - Security K, Cap/Neolib K
1.5 - Identity arguments (both aff and neg)
2/3 - Postmodern authors
Strike - Phil (for your sake)
Strike - Tricks/frivolous theory (for my sake)

Some thoughts re: strategy
I like aff-specific K analysis. I like aff-specific DAs. I like aff-specific CPs. I like T debates that engage with the aff.
On the flip side, I like affs that tackle most Ks, DAs and CPs head-on.

I really like good evidence. I really, really like evidence comparison that lets good evidence shine.

I care less about the content of the argument and more about its intent. Are you reading a 1-card shell because it's a winning argument, or is it a clear throwaway to make being aff difficult? Are you busting out a new K aff against a K team because it's what you're good at, or because you think that I think your standard aff is racist?

Here's a list of args that I'd like to see - it may give you a decent idea of my judging style:
vs most spec args: "no resolutional basis for this interp" + reasonability
vs 3+ advocacies in the NC: conditionality bad
vs PICs w/ terrible net benefits: PICs bad + permutation
vs floating PIKs: FPIKs bad + permutation
vs CPs that don't have solvency advocates: SA theory + smart solvency deficits
vs terrible DAs: smart analytics + rehighlightings of their ev
vs Ks where the only offense is "turns case": no external offense + try/die framing
vs Ks where absolutely none of the cards are related to the aff: plan focus FW + permutation
vs T-Framework: smart I/L turns and impact turns to their standards + rejections of their arguments, not the debater(s)

vs soft-left affs: Afropessimism
vs pomo affs: T-Framework
vs identity affs: Cap K
vs bad policy affs: A smart counterplan + smart analytics on case
vs good policy affs: Impact turns and/or highly case-specific offense

Other thoughts:
- Debate opened my eyes to the concept of privilege and the way it gets weaponized. I want to do what I can to make sure others have that chance.
- I've found that the difference between judges that are "good for the K" and judges who are not comes down to the amount of work they will do for debaters when key concepts are dropped. For example: "they've conceded X is true which shapes the way you view all their impacts" may be enough work for some judges but rarely for me. I need aff-specific analysis if you want me to weigh your offense against the aff.
- I don't assume the worst of debaters when it comes to slips in language. That said, please don't misgender people.
- When it comes to counterplan theory, I don't know if there's a better arg than "you should reward good research".
- Presumption is a non-starter in front of me. The likelihood of one side having zero risk of offense isn't low, but the likelihood of both sides having zero risk of offense is impossible.
- "Evidence ethics" is not a theory violation; it's an accusation of cheating. The round ends immediately, and I give the winner a W-30 and the loser the lowest speaks will let me give.

Rohith Krishna Paradigm

6 rounds

I’m a student at UC Berkeley. I debated LD for Saratoga for four years both on the local and national circuits. 

Edit (1/17/16): 
If your opponent is going slow, please do not spread. Debate needs to be an inclusive and safe space.

Debate is your space to make arguments that you are passionate about, I will vote for literally anything you have prepared for the tournament. Being completely tabula rasa is impossible, so here are a few things you might want to know about my background in debate. 

Speed: I was never the best at flowing and I have been out of the activity for a while which means I have not heard someone talk really fast in a while. That being said, feel free to go fast- I will call clear or slow if necessary. Best solution is probably to start slow and gradually speed up. 

Theory/T: I default to competing interpretations and drop the debater. I also default that you need an RVI to win off theory (I’m not sure if offensively worded counterinterps are still a thing). I’m fine with paragraph theory in AC as long as I can actually understand what it means before the 1AR. If I didn’t flow a small spike from the AC I will reevaluate it as a new 1AR shell. 

Kritiks: If you are a k debater by all means go ahead and read your k. I am not too familiar with the literature, so some sort of summary after each card/somewhere to help me understand the premise of the arguments would help a lot. In terms of debate in general, all arguments should link to some sort of decisions calculus which tells me how to vote. 

Speaks: Speaks are based on your strategic choices and how nice/respectful you were in round.

Rheiana Laney Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Ke Long Paradigm

3 rounds

I am a mother of a debater, so I have no debate experience.  I have judged a few tournaments.  English is not my native language, so I will definitely understand you better if you speak slower, but if you must go faster, I will try my best to keep up--I understand you are under a time limit.  Please do not spread.  I do not understand theory or K's, so do not run those.  I do not flow cross-ex, but I will listen in.  You must repeat any points you make in cross-ex in speech, or I will not count it.  I do not find weighing or crystallization to be very helpful because I feel like I can make my own judgements, but you can go ahead and do it anyway.  If you say things that are untrue in crystallization (or anywhere, really), I will definitely mark you down for it.

Janet Markowitz Paradigm

3 rounds

I am a mom judge from Cypress Bay and this is my first time judging LD. I don't have many specific preferences, but due to my experience (or lack thereof), it's best to stay away from spreading, most kritiks, and incredibly picky theory arguments.

I don't know enough about technical debate to formulate opinions on every argumentative style, but I'll do my best to stay objective and to vote for the better debater.

Shivani Mathur Paradigm

6 rounds


I debated for Oakwood (not the one in LA) in California.
Short Version:
  • I don't judge often, so I'm not familiar with topic lit
  • It is in your best interest to not go your fastest
  • Theory is not my forte

Speed: I can handle spreading, but please don’t go full blitz at me. I will yell clear 3 times before I start dropping speaks. Also, if you’re spreading just to scare your opponent and refuse to explain your case, I’ll drop speaks.
Extensions: I have a high threshold for extensions, so please extend your arguments fully or I won’t consider them extended.
Theory: I’m not a giant fan of theory, but just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean I won’t vote for it. The way I see it, theory should be run as a check on abuse or somewhat obvious potential abuse. I'm pretty much in tune with the norm on how most people view theory.
That is:
-I default to competing interps unless told otherwise
-I default to drop the arg not the drop the debater
-I like to see specific interpretations/violations/whatnot. If you're extemping a theory shell, make it as clear as possible.
-I meet with some sort of reason is a perfectly reasonable response to a shell
That being said, if you're a theory debater, I'm not the judge for you.
Skep: why
Kritiks: I really enjoy kritiks! As long as your prove a clear link to resolution, I’ll be a happy judge.
Framework: I default to a utilitarian worldview if nobody tells me differently. I enjoy engaging framework debates and philosophical discussions. Judging util-deont deadlocks in which each debater is reading generic dumps is not my favorite thing. Make it exciting.
Intervention: I honestly prefer not to intervene. However, I will intervene if neither debater has done enough work to warrant a vote. Also, I won't blindly vote on an unwarranted argument (even if it goes conceded).
Speaks: I won’t give less than a 26 unless your argument was offensive or you were incredibly rude during the round. Most debaters will fall in the 27-29 range.

Lots of weighing is a great way to get my ballot. I believe in voting on the flow. That being said, please be organized as you debate. Few things frustrate me more than debaters who don't signpost or tell me where they're going.
Most importantly, have fun! Feel free to ask me any questions      

Greg Moore Paradigm

3 rounds

I'm a bit of an old-timer: my experience with LD judging was formed with the original Lincoln - Douglas debates, so I need logically formulated, fully explained, and conversationally paced analyses of your arguments.

Clare Mosko Paradigm

6 rounds

My Background: I am a freshman at UC Davis double majoring in biology and political science. I competed primarily on the LD circuit (national and local) but also did some parli, impromptu, and IX.) I triple qualified to state my senior year. I debated all 4 years at La Costa Canyon High School (2012-15) but also had to compete independently under Leucadia Independent. I now compete in NPDA (parli), and also Model UN at Davis. Feel free to clarify any questions before the round, or email me at

Evaluation of rounds: I will first evaluate wins the framework debate, then followed by who links their offense best back to the framework. 

Speed: Slow down for tags and authors. You can spread, and I can flow speed. However, I haven’t competed or judged that recently so I don’t entirely trust my own ability to flow speed perfectly. If you do speed, please do so proportionally to your clarity. I will yell clear and/or slow. This should not impact speaker points drastically if this happens a couple times considering I don’t trust my own ability to flow well. If this is excessive or a blatant issue, I will let you know. If this helps, I was always medium to fast (not necessarily the fastest) but always clear. 

Theory/T: Feel free to engage in theoretical debate. Please don’t be a jerk though. I do appreciate it if one does use theory strategically, they provide a reasonable abuse story. I prefer if you frame it like a shell (a, b, c, d…). I must explicitly hear a warrant for “drop the debater” if you want me to vote that way. I default to competing interpretations.

Policy Arguments: I understand these pretty well. When considering impacts, please try and have a clear link chain with warrants. 

Kritiks: I never explicitly ran K’s. That said, if you do run a K, I do not understand a lot of K lit. Of course, I’ve hit the basics. Please explain a K to me. Use cross-x wisely here. If I don’t understand the argument, I will likely buy your opponent’s refutation. That said, I will vote on a K if well executed. Also, when running a K, do not drop your opponent’s case. I will not cross apply your K arguments to your opponents framework. Try to engage your opponent's case. This is often where I would find a way to beat a K. I don’t like it when debaters get handed a K and read it because they think it’s a definite win. It’s not, and I expect debaters to be able to beat a poorly run K. 

Speaker points: Don’t make me yell clear/slow a lot, or be disrespectful in round. I believe word economy and fluidity also factor into getting high speaker points. Again, please slow down for tags and authors. If you don't, and I can't flow these well, this is your loss and your speaker points should reflect that. 

Things I dislike: most skep, performance cases, weird K’s, voting on presumption, lying in cross-x, anyone who cites CHSSA rules as a reason for me to drop the opponent.

Things I like: good weighing, clear extensions, strategic use of cross-x, a solid framework, sticking to an off-time road map. Try to not use some stock case you use at every tournament. I like relevant, topical debate.

That said, I love LD, and I look forward to being surrounded by it once again. I look forward to judging a good round! :) 

Shirin Moti Paradigm

4 rounds

I am currently a Freshman at UC Berkeley, majoring in Business Administration and Legal Studies. In high school, I was a part of my Speech and Debate team for three years. I participated in Expository Speaking and have done a bit of Parlimentary Debate as well. During my senior, I was Co-President of my team. Although this is my first time judging LD, I will be most convinced by whoever is most persuasive. Additionally, all arguments should be throughly supported by factual claims. Furthermore, speak slowly and clearly. It is really important for me to understand what is being said and what arguments are being said. I like to see how effectively students are able to communicate their thoughts and claims. Lastly, make sure your arguments are well structured and organized. Keep your framework clean, do not jump from one idea to the next. Transition from one point to the next smoothly and not abruptly. I know there is a small amount of time to prepare for your round, and I am not expecting seamless presentations, but I will award more points to those that put an effort into structuring their arguments and ideas well. 

Ratnaji Nallamothu Paradigm

6 rounds

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Mary Nayar Paradigm

4 rounds

Parent of a Harvard-Westlake Debater. Judge frequently, mostly novice rounds. Comfortable with jargon and a brisk pace, but should not spread. Advise big picture debate, good weighing, clarity, and polite debate. Best of luck!

Richard Nguyen Paradigm

3 rounds

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Satyajit Pandey Paradigm

3 rounds

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Anvita Patwardhan Paradigm

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Andrew Perez Paradigm

6 rounds


I am a flow judge. I believe a student should respond to every argument, thus if a student drops arguments they would most likely drop my ballot. I also believe that link analysis is one of the most important parts of the debate, so the student that would be able to link best and turn their opponents links the best; that student would win my ballot. Lastly I’m a big fan of Impact calculus, thus explain to me your impact, paint me a picture, and tell me why your impacts outweigh your opponents.



Chris Pyle Paradigm

4 rounds

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Martin Reimer Paradigm

6 rounds

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Alexis Rocha Paradigm

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Isaac Ruiz Paradigm

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Shilpa Sawant Paradigm

3 rounds

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Martin Sigalow Paradigm

4 rounds

Email chain:

I'm out of debate and unwise to pref!

Conflicts: Lake Highland.

  1. No new arguments or arguments that are the exact opposites of a previously made argument.
  2. Severely mislabeling arguments is extremely bad.
  3. No arguments contingent on the identity of the other debater will be evaluated.
  4. I will not evaluate the debate at any point before its end.
  5. I default to offense-defense, competing interps, durable fiat, perms test competition, and that the aff defends implementation.

Atmakuri Sita Paradigm

2 rounds

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Allison Stamm-Kirk Paradigm

3 rounds

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Changjie Sun Paradigm

3 rounds

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Santhi Tallapaneni Paradigm

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Lee Thach Paradigm

3 rounds

Debated for CSU Fullerton. 4-time NDT Qualifier. CEDA Octafinalist.

B.A. in Philosophy; working on M.A. in Communication.

Coach Policy Debate for CSU Fullerton & University High School

Coach Lincoln Douglas & Public Forum for CL Education


1. Clarity > Loudness > Speed.

2. Framing > Impact > Solvency. Framing is a prior question. Don’t let me interpret the debate, interpret the debate for me.

3. Truth IS Tech. Warranting, comparative analysis, and clash structure the debate.

4. Offense vs Defense: Defense supports offense, though it's possible to win on pure defense.

5. Try or Die vs Neg on Presumption: I vote on case turns & solvency takeouts. AFF needs sufficient offense and defense for me to vote on Try or Die.

6. Theory: Inround abuse > potential abuse.

7. Debate is a simulation inside a bigger simulation.


TOPICALITY: As far as I am concerned, there is no resolution until the negative teams reads Topicality. The negative must win that their interpretation resolves their voters, while also proving abuse. The affirmative either has to win a no link we meet, a counterinterp followed up with a we meet, or just straight offense against the negative interpretation. I am more likely to vote on inround abuse over potential abuse. If you go for inround abuse, list out the lost potential for neg ground and why that resolves the voters. If you go for potential abuse, explain what precedents they set.

FRAMEWORK: When the negative runs framework, specify how you orient Fairness & Education. If your FW is about education, then explain why the affirmative is unable to access their own pedagogy, and why your framework resolves their pedagogy better and/or presents a better alternative pedagogy. If your FW is about fairness, explain why the affirmative method is unable to solve their own impacts absent a fair debate, and why your framework precedes Aff impacts and/or is an external impact.

DISADVANTAGES: Start with impact calculation by either outweighing and/or turning the case. Uniqueness sets up the timeframe, links set up probability, and the impact sets up the magnitude.

COUNTERPLANS: Specify how the CP solves the case, a DA, an independent net benefit, or just plain theory. Any net benefit to the CP can constitute as offense against the Permutation.

CASE: Case debate works best when there is comparative analysis of the evidence and a thorough dissection of the aff evidence.

KRITIKS: Framing is key since a Kritik is basically a Linear Disad with an Alt. When creating links, specify whether they are links to the Aff form and/or content. Links to the form should argue why inround discourse matters more than fiat education, and how the alternative provides a competing pedagogy. Links to the content should argue how the alternative provides the necessary material solutions to resolving the neg and aff impacts. If you’re a nihilist and Neg on Presumption is your game, then like, sure.



PLANS WITH EXTINCTION IMPACTS: Many affirmatives underappreciate their extinction impacts. If you successfully win your internal link story for your impact, then prioritize solvency so that you can weigh your impacts against any external impacts. Against other extinction level impacts, make sure to either win your probability and timeframe, or win sufficient amount of defense against the negs extinction level offense. Against structural violence impacts, explain why proximate cause is preferable over root cause, why extinction comes before value to life, and defend the epistemological, pedagogical, and ethical foundations of your affirmative. i might be an "extinction good" hack.

PLANS WITH STRUCTURAL IMPACTS: If you are facing extinction level disadvantages, then it is key that you win your value to life framing, probability/timeframe, and no link & impact defense to help substantiate why you outweigh. If you are facing a kritik, this will likely turn into a method debate about the ethics of engaging with dominant institutions, and why your method best pedagogically and materially effectuates social change.


As a 2A that ran K Affs, the main focus of my research was answering T/FW, and cutting answers to Ks. I have run Intersectionality, Postmodernism, Decolonization, & Afropessimism. Having fallen down that rabbit hole, I have become generally versed in (policy debate's version of) philosophy.

K AFF WITH A PLAN TEXT: Make sure to explain why the rhetoric of the plan is necessary to solve the impacts of the aff. Either the plan is fiated, leading a consequence that is philosophically consistent with the advantage, or the plan is only rhetorical, leading to an effective use of inround discourse (such as satire). The key question is, why was saying “United States Federal Government,” necessary, because it is likely that most kritikal teams will hone their energy into getting state links.

K BEING AFFS: Everything is bad. These affs incorporate structural analysis to diagnosis how oppression manifests metaphysically, materially, ideologically, and/or discursively. This includes Marxism, Settler Colonialism, & Afropessimism affs. Frame how the aff impact is a root cause to the negative impacts, generate offense against the alternative, and show how the perm necessitates the aff as a prior question.

K BECOMING AFF: Truth is bad. These affs include Postmodernism, Intersectionality, & Black Optimism. Adapt to turning the negative links into offense for the aff. Short story being, if you're just here to say truth is bad, then you're relying on your opponent to make truth claims before you can start generating offense.

Karl Walter Paradigm

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Cheryl Xu Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a new parent judge for varsity LD debate. Please email me your case before the round starts in case I miss something during the round. Also please do not spread.

Khaled Yamout Paradigm

6 rounds

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Mary Zhou Paradigm

6 rounds

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Taha Ziaee Paradigm


I'm a Junior at UC Berkeley who debated for 4 years at Dougherty Valley High School in Policy and competed at a couple of LD tournaments my senior year.

Coming from a policy background I always evaluate stuff on an offense defense paradigm which is why i dont understand the function of " AC's" and "NC's" on top of other offs. The best aff's to read in front of me are straight up aff's that defend a plan text with extinction impacts ( Heg, Econ, Etc.) or a K aff of any sort. 
I am cool with anything and everything and will vote on whatever you tell me to vote on. Having said that i would much rather prefer a K Aff vs K debate, or a straight aff vs CP/DA strat than theory.

I dont like skep. 

Speed is cool but you have to slow down on tags. Go as fast as you want on all the other stuff.

Theory- I dislike theory. I mean its cool if you read Framework and T, but like " Aff must have a card in the 1AC that specifies exactly how they prioritize environmental protection over resource extraction" or " Aff can't have both post fiat and pre-fiat impacts" thats just kinda lame in my opinion. I only have experience with Policy theory and it wasn't as indepth as LD theory so be vary of that when going for it in the 2AR/2NR. 

If you are a debater with 1 min of offense in the 1AC, and 5 min of theory, I will nuke your speaks. I dont understand why anyone would do that. 

Speaks- i give fairly high speaks assuming you're not disrespectful to other individuals. There's a fine line between confidence in CX and being rude.

With K's- I love them. If you read a k aff in front of me thats well made and sounds cool you'll definitely get very high speaks. A good PIK, or counter K on the neg would get you even higher speaks. Literature that i read alot in HS include Nietzsche, Heidegger, Virillio, and Lacan. I'm also cool with all the other generic ones like Bataille, Baudrillard, and DnG. Read whatever but have a very clear Overview in the next speech.

If you have any other questions just ask me before the round.