Ivy Street Round Robin

2017 — Atlanta, GA/US

David Almonte Paradigm

3 rounds


I debated in PF for Poly Prep in Brooklyn NY. I was pretty good.


The second rebuttal should respond to all offense on the flow. I prefer second speaking teams also respond to terminal defense/overviews, but defense won't count as dropped until after summary.

Turns not extended into summary become defense, unless your opponent extends through it. In that case, it's offense again.

I don't flow author names. Refer to the arguments.

I default neg on BOP positive statement resolutions.


For second speaker teams; if your overview could easily have been a contention, I already hate it. When flowing on my laptop, I will literally not have a place to flow it - nor will I make one. Second rebuttal case turns should either a) respond within the framework debate or b) signpost to relevant links in case.

First speaking teams; go nuts.

Advocacies, Plans and Fiat Power In PF.

"I grant teams the weakest fiat you can imagine" - Caspar Arbeeny. Inherency is always better than fiat. Conditional advocacies are bad. "We kick out" never removes a turn, but speech time to de-link yourself from a turn can.

If you have any qualms, questions or concerns about my preferences, please do not hesitate to inform me. There is no penalty for trying to change the way I view debate.

Julia Bittencourt Paradigm

3 rounds


Stating something that contradicts what your opponents have said isn't debating; it's disagreeing. I look for the path of least resistance when I'm deciding a round.

If you misrepresent evidence I will drop you.

I'm not going to time you. If I catch you pausing your clock in the middle of the speech to get more time, I will stop flowing and dock your speaks :)


Debated in PF during all four years of HS for Bronx Science, Policy for a year at Emory.

Judged PF, LD, and Policy since like 2013.

Marievic Bulosan Paradigm

4 rounds

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David Childree Paradigm

2 rounds

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Faheem Fazili Paradigm

2 rounds

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Ben Gross Paradigm

2 rounds

Public Forum Paradigm

***Updated for 2019 BFHS Tournament

About me: I am a member of Emory's Barkley Forum Debate Team, on which I formally competed for two years. I did Public Forum all four years at my high school in Maryland, serving as my team's captain as a sophomore. I have judged both Public Forum and Policy Debate, including two BFHS tournaments (I didn't judge last year's because I was studying abroad in Rome).

Judging Notes

1) Weigh your arguments versus those of your opponent, especially in the final focus. Judging PF both locally and nationally there is nothing that makes me more frustrated than when teams don't give me a reason why to prefer their arguments versus those of their opponents.

2) Extending arguments is more than giving an author name and publication date. You must explain the links and warrants of the card!

3) Saying your opponent dropped one of your arguments is not enough. You must tell me why whichever arguments they dropped are important and why that means I should vote for you.

4) Don't lie about evidence. This is especially true in PF given that because of time constraints teams often only cite 1 or 2 lines from a piece of evidence--and these lines are often totally out of the card's larger context.

5) Explain your impacts! Don't tell me that "_______ impact" will happen if I don't vote pro/con without explaining to me what that impact is and why it is so devastating.

Notes on Speaker Points:

1) For PF, I consider both quality and presentation of the arguments--doing well on both of these fronts will give you good speaks.

2) Being rude and not letting your opponents ask questions in crossfires is going to lower your speaks.

3) I will give high scores when warranted, but I almost never give 30's, because I have rarely seen a "perfect" performance.

Additional Notes:

1) You are welcome to go fast--but know that I don't think PF is meant for spreading a million miles an hour-that's for policy debate

2) Not a fan of teams reading a counterplan or K in PF

3) Crossfire answers are binding and I will flow it

4) Feel free to ask me any questions you would like after my RFD.

Policy Paradigm

Please include me on the email chain at ben.gross247@gmail.com


I will vote on T. If you are a team reading a planless aff, you better be able to tell me why you cannot meet the constraints of the topic to read a plan.


My favorite type of negative argument, make sure you clearly explain the uniqueness, link, and impact. There can be 0% risk of a DA, but it is extremely rare in my book. Also, I thoroughly enjoy DA's turn case arguments.


When I debate I mostly run policy arguments, but that doesn't mean I won't vote on the kritik. If you are running a kritik, you better understand it and be able to explain its premise. Give me a clear link, impact and alternative--preferably one that is more than simply to reject the other team.


I enjoy listening to well-written CP's. That being said, please keep the number of planks of your CP's to less than what I can count on both hands, and be sure to have a clear net-benefit attached. I do not like process cp's.


I will vote on theory. I will vote on conditionality bad, but I'm less inclined to do so if the negative team is reading only a few conditional advocacies. You also will have to spend more than 10 seconds on it in the 2AC and in 1AR if you are going for it in the 2AR. I think most other arguments like 50-state fiat bad are a reason to reject the argument, not the team.

Case Debate

I enjoy good case debates, and debating the level of solvency of the affirmative. I will vote on presumption, but it is a rare occurence.


If you want to view the round in a certain way, tell me how I should view it and why. I enjoy good framework debates.

Impact Calculus

Giving impact calc is key. Tell me why you outweigh on likelihood, timeframe, and magnitude.

Above all else, have fun, learn, and feel free to ask me any questions you might have.

Gavin Guzman Paradigm

4 rounds

I am currently a first year student at Emory. I have done four years of public forum and have attended several tournaments for both Policy and Congress. I have no issues with speed and am comfortable with most speaking styles.


I see debate as a game and feel that any effective argument can be presented within a debate round. I will vote for the team that performs better at the "game" and am not afraid of giving low point wins. In most cases, if it falls under the resolution, I will listen to any argument.


In Public Forum, I am probably the most strict when it comes to the resolution. I do not believe that teams should be running specific plans, and instead should have cases that are applicable to the entirety of the resolution. I will not immediately vote down a team for violating the resolution, only if it is thoroughly pointed out in round by the opponents. 


I would prefer that weighing begin in the rebuttal speeches, but am fine with it being presented in summary. If no weighing is done by either side, I am left with having to do it myself and making a decision off of that. I would also prefer that by the final two speeches, both sides reduce the debate to a few key arguments, rather than debating everything that was initially presented within the round.


Speaker points will determined by the quality of arguments, speaking style, and overall composure within the round. I have no key to a 30, but a joke every now and then never hurts.

Cameron Henderson Paradigm

4 rounds


Previous debater at UGA and debated in HS at a small school in GA. 
If you have any other questions, email me at camhen.debate@gmail.com - I would like to be on the email chain. 

- I won't read evidence "inserted into the debate." Debate's a communication activity and it justifies highlighting large parts of other people's ev which you couldn't read in a speech because of time constraints. I also don't know why it isn't the same as inserting a 20 min 1AC into the debate. Just read their re-highlighted ev or make broad indicts about the context of the ev. I think this practice is unethical. 

TLDR : Plans or GTFO

Prep Time ends when the jump drive leaves your computer.

I am very much so tech > truth.

Please Don't:
Be Rude or aggressive towards me, your opponent or your partner
Perform or imitate a sex act of any kind

Talk about suicide

Get naked

Please Do:
Read a plan
Defend a course of action
Defend your consequences
Have a competitive methodology

Case Debate

I like specific case debate. Shows you put in the hard work it takes to research and defeat the aff. I will reward hard work if there is solid Internal link debating. I think case specific disads are also pretty good if well thought out and executed. I like impact turn debates. Cleanly executed ones will usually result in a neg ballot -- messy debates, however, will not.


I enjoy T debates, but please give me comparing visions of the topic (case lists are important). I default to competing interpretations but can be convinced otherwise; please put some effort into your reasonability arguments. You are fighting an uphill battle if you're trying to go for T must be a QPQ. 


Slow down. If you want me to vote on it, you have to give me time to actually write down your arguments. I have a pretty high threshold for condo with 2 or fewer condo options. More than 2 conditional advocacies is probably abusive. 


The link is really important to me. 

I love good politics debate. The 1NR should do solid evidence comparison.


Links should be specific and well explained (there's a trend here). Don't get lost in buzzwords - make actual arguments. The aff should probably get to weigh their aff, but if they shouldn't, explain to me why. 

Too many times I see debaters forget about case – it’s still there. 
If you’re aff against the K, don’t forget your aff.  I dislike rejection alts- realistically your aff is a DA to the alt, impact it.

Death is bad. Suffering is bad. 


They're cool. The more germane to the aff/topic they are, the more I will like them. 

Process CP’s are probably bad. I think you need a solvency advocate (with rare exceptions). 

K affs

are fine- you have to have a plan. You should defend that plan. Affs who don't will prob lose to framework. A lot....

NonTraditional Teams
If not defending a plan is your thing, I'm not your judge. I think topical plans are good. I think the aff needs to read a topical plan and defend the action of that topical plan. I also think if you've made the good faith effort to engage, then you should be rewarded. These arguments make more sense on the negative but I am not compelled by arguments that claim: "you didn't talk about it, so you should lose."

Lyndsey Hinckley Paradigm

4 rounds

Updated for 2018 Cold & Flu Season: I do not shake hands with debaters after I've judged you. Just a heads up to save us both that awkward exchange at the end of the round. :)

Experience/Background: I coach at Columbus HS, primarily Public Forum. I did not debate in high school or college, but I have been coaching and judging PF since 2014, both locally (Georgia) and on the national circuit, including TOC and NSDA Nationals. Many of my students have qualified to TOC (2016-present) and NSDA Nats (2015-present) in Public Forum, and I teach at summer debate institutes--in short, even though I didn't debate personally, I know what's going on and I'm very aware of national circuit norms and trends, as well as the cornerstones of more traditional circuits.

Judging Preferences:

If you have specific questions about me as a judge, please feel free to ask them. Some general guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions are below:

1. Speed: I don't have a problem with speed for the most part. On a 1-10 scale, I can handle an 8, though you should not consider that a green light to take off at top speed. My tolerance for speed does drop when a) it is late in the day/tournament or b) I have judged more than 5ish rounds that day. I will always value the quality of your arguments over the quantity of words you may be able to squeeze into a four or two minute speech. Similarly, I understand debate jargon just fine, but if your goal in over-using debate-speak is to confuse your less-experienced opponents or muddy up a round, I'm probably not going to respond well to that.

2. Flowing: I do flow. Usually on my laptop. If I am flowing on paper, something is very wrong and you should drop your speed to around a 6, or I will miss a lot of what you're saying. I probably won't look at you much during the debate, but I am listening and flowing, and I am aware when you're attempting to make connections with me as a judge - so carry on with what you're doing.

3. Signposting and Roadmaps: Signposting is good. Please do it. It makes my job easier. Off-time roadmaps aren't really needed or helpful, at least if you're just going "their case, our case." If you're doing something complicated with overviews and observations, then roadmaps are fine and appreciated.

4. Consistency of Arguments/Making Decisions: Anything you expect me to vote on should be in summary and final focus. Defense is not "sticky." Please weigh. I can deal with a line-by-line summary, but prefer voters.

5. Prep (in-round and pre-round): Please pre-flow before you enter the round. Monitor your own prep time. If you and your opponents want to time each other to keep yourselves honest, go for it. Do not steal prep time - if you have called for a card and your opponents are looking for it, you should not be writing/prepping unless you are also running your prep time. On that note, have your evidence ready. It should not take you longer than 20-30 seconds to pull up a piece of evidence when asked. If you delay the round by taking forever to find a card, your speaker points will probably reflect it.

6. Overviews in second rebuttal: In general, I think a short observation or weighing mechanism is probably more okay than a full-fledged contention that you're trying to sneak in as an "overview". Tread lightly.

7. Frontlines: Second speaking team should answer turns and frontline in rebuttal. I don't need a 2-2 split, but I do think you need to address the speech that preceded yours. This is a newer development in my judging philosophy, so if I've judged you before...this may be a change from the past.

8. Theory: I am a really bad judge to attempt to run theory in front of. I would much rather you just debate the resolution. If you really feel it's necessary to call out some sort of theory issue, do it quickly...but don't make it the sole thing you want me to vote on, please, or spend a ton of time on it.

9. Crossfire: I do not flow crossfire. If it comes up in cross and you expect it to serve a role in my decision-making process, I expect you to bring it up in a later speech.

10. Speaker points: I basically never give 30s, so you should not expect them from me. If you ask what it takes to get a 30 from me, you'll be lucky to get a 29. I do appreciate wit.

Nadia Hussein Paradigm

2 rounds

About Me:

I have debated for three years at Georgia State and did a mixture of debate in high school. Now I’m a graduate coach at Wake Forest

I want to be on the email chain; use gsupanther84@gmail.com


Slow down when reading your tag and author, or I won't be able to catch it.

If GSU debate has taught me anything, it's to be extremely open minded to a variety of arguments. If you want to run death good, afropessimism, deterrence das, no period plan flaw, K affs, traditional affs, feminist killjoy etc, go for it. Just be sure to explain why you should win with this argument. ROB will be who debated the best unless I'm given another ROB with reason to perfer it. I'm against judge fill in but will vote down oppressive/offensive language/arguments especially if the other team points it out.


Do whatever you're best at, stay topical (or be ready to explain why topicality doesn't matter), be organized, and extend your case and why it outweighs throughout. I tend to err aff on framework if they have and defend a plan text, but you have to lock in if you decide to do that, otherwise I'll be persuaded to neg's abuse claims.


I love a good k with a clear link and impact. Your alts have to be clearly explained. I'll buy links of omission but the neg has to defend why the aff can't simply perm. Negs really have to take time in the block to explain why the aff can't perm and why it's net better to do the alt alone. Affs have to explain why they can perm and why the perm is net better than aff alone or why the alt can't solve the case. Don't drop theory args, or I will have to vote the other way.


I’m good with das but there has to be work done on how it links to the aff, or I will agree with the aff on no link args. If you have a solid Nonunique arg and extend it and I will vote on that. Solid impact calc will seal the deal for me, but if the aff successfully turns the DA or explains why the case outweighs the DA, I will vote on that as well. Long story short the more clash on the DA the better.


Love a creative CP, but it needs to solve/have a net benefit (DA or a K) along with stealing aff ground; otherwise I will agree with aff's perm and theory args. Aff needs to clearly explain why CP can't solve case, beat the net benefit, and articulate why the perm is best. Don't drop theory or you lose my ballot.


I will vote neg on a T arg if you convince me the violation is clear, the aff's counter interpretation is unreasonable, and the impact is big. I will vote aff if they convince me that their aff is reasonable, counter interpretation is better or equal to the negs, and a benefit to their definition, but aff can chuck topicality and still win if they articulate why being topical doesn't matter or is worse for debate. If the aff locks in and says they're T however, they cannot shift or it's an auto win for the neg.


I lean aff in most cases unless the neg provides me with a clear violation, story, and impact. 2acs have to clearly explain why the aff is fair and/or better. Tech is important when arguing FW but explanation is key when you arguing framework. Truth always better than tech.


cross ex is binding, answer the questions honestly, don't ask why the aff should win during 1ac cross ex or generic questions like that.

David Huston Paradigm

4 rounds

The paradigm below is pretty old, but many of the things still hold. I judge a lot more PF than LD & policy debate anymore. For those of you looking for a PF paradigm, if you go with a lot of the stuff below, you'll be on the right track. I view PF as old time case debate in policy debate. It's about evidence and demonstrating why your argument is smarter and better than your opponent's. It's all about the final focus for me and how you access the arguments you have been making in the debate.

NONTRADITIONAL ARGUMENTS: It's probably dealt with below, but you need to demonstrate why your project, poem, rap, music, etc. links to and is relevant to the topic. Theory for theory's sake is not appealing to me. In short, the resolution is there for a reason. Use it. It's better for education, you learn more, and finding relevancy for your particular project within a resolutional framework is a good thing.

THEORY: I consider myself to be a policy maker. The affirmative is making a proposal for change; the negative must demonstrate why the outcome of that adoption may be detrimental or disadvantageous. Counterplans are best when nontopical and competitive. Nontopical means that they are outside of the realm of the affirmative’s interpretation of the resolution (i.e. courts counterplans in response to congressional action are legitimate interpretations of n/t action). Competitive means there must be a net-benefit to the counterplan. Merely avoiding a disadvantage that the affirmative “gets” could be enough but that assumes of course that you also win the disadvantage. I’m not hip deep sometimes in the theory debate and get frustrated when teams choose to get bogged down in that quagmire. If you’re going to run the counterplan conditionally, then defend why it’s OK with some substance. If the affirmative wishes to claim abuse, prove it. What stopped you from adequately defending the case because the counterplan was “kicked” in the block or the 2NR? Don’t whine; defend the position. That being said, I'm not tied to the policy making framework. As you will see below, I will consider most arguments. Not a real big fan of performance, but if you think it's your best strategy, go for it.

TOPIC SPECIFIC ARGUMENTS: I’m not a big “T” hack. Part of the reason for that is that persons sometimes get hung up on the line by line of the argument rather than keeping the “big picture” in mind. Ripping through a violation in 15 seconds with “T is voting issue” tacked on at the bottom doesn’t seem to have much appeal from the beginning. I’m somewhat persuaded by not only what the plan text says but what the plan actually does. Plan text may be topical but if your evidence indicates harm area, solvency, etc. outside of the realm of the topic, I am sympathetic that the practice may be abusive to the negative.

KRITIKS/CRITIQUES: True confession time here—I was out of the activity when these arguments first came into vogue. I have, however, coached a number of teams who have run kritiks. I’d like to think that advocating a position actually means something. If the manner in which that position is presented is offensive for some reason, or has some implication that some of us aren’t grasping, then we have to examine the implications of that action. With that in mind, as I examine the kritik, I will most likely do so within the framework of the paradigm mentioned above. As a policymaker, I weigh the implications in and outside of the round, just like other arguments. If I accept the world of the kritik, what then? What happens to the affirmative harm and solvency areas? Why can’t I just “rethink” and still adopt the affirmative? Explain the kritik as well. Again, extending line by line responses does little for me unless you impact and weigh against other argumentation in the round. Why must I reject affirmative rhetoric, thoughts, actions, etc.? What is it going to do for me if I do so? If you are arguing framework, how does adopting the particular paradigm, mindset, value system, etc. affect the actions that we are going to choose to take? Yes, the kritik will have an impact on that and I think the team advocating it ought to be held accountable for those particular actions.

EVIDENCE: I like to understand evidence the first time that it is read. Reading evidence in a blinding montone blur will most likely get me to yell “clear” at you. Reading evidence after the round is a check for me. I have found in the latter stages of my career that I am a visual learner and need to see the words on the page as well as hear them. It helps for me to digest what was said. Of course, if I couldn’t understand the evidence to begin with, it’s fairly disappointing for me. I may not ask for it if that is the case. I also like teams that do evidence comparisons. What does your evidence take into account that the other teams evidence does not? Weigh and make that claim and I will read the evidence to see if you indeed have made a good point. SPEECH DOCUMENTS: Given how those documents are currently being used, I will most likely respectfully decline to be a part of any email exchange. However, I may ask for those same electronic documents at the end of the debate to check my flow against what you claim has been read in the round. Debate is an oral activity; let's get back to that.

STYLE: As stated above, if you are not clear, I will tell you so. If I have to tell you more than once, I will give much less weight to the argument than you wish me to do so. I have also found in recent years that I don't hear nearly as well as in the past. You may still go fast, but crank it down just a little bit so that this grumpy old man can still understand the argument. Tag-team CX is okay as long as one partner does not dominate the discussion. I will let you know when that becomes the case. Profanity and rude behavior will not be tolerated. If you wish me to disclose and discuss the argument, you may challenge respectfully and politely. Attempts at making me look ridiculous (which at times is not difficult) to demonstrate your superior intelligence does little to persuade me that I was wrong. My response may very well be “If I’m so stupid, why did you choose to argue things this way?” I do enjoy humor and will laugh at appropriate attempts at it. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. Make them specific. Just a question which starts with "Do you have a paradigm?" will most likely be answered with a "yes" with little or no explanation beyond that. You should get the picture from that.

Nathan Johnston Paradigm

4 rounds

Contact info:
nathan.johnston@mybga.org (Don't be shy. Any and all questions are welcome).

The Feels:
I'm somewhat ideologically opposed to judge prefs. As someone who values the educative value of our events, I think judge adaptation is important. To that end, I see judge paradigms as a good way for you to know how to adapt to any given judge in any given round. Thus, in theory, you would think that I am a fan of judge paradigms. My concern with them arises when we are no longer using them to allow students the opportunity to adapt to their judges, but rather they exist to exclude members from the potential audience that a competitor may have to perform in front of (granted I think there is real value in strikes and conflicts, but prefs certainly feed into the aforementioned problem). I'm not sure this little rant has anything to do with how you should pref/strike me, view my paradigm, etc. It kind of makes me not want to post anything here, but I feel like my obligation as a potential educator for anyone that wants to voice an argument in front of me outweighs my concerns with our MPJ system. I just think it is something important and a conversation we should be having. This is my way of helping the subject not be invisible.

The Paradigm Proper:
First, debate is meant to be a fun activity! With this being said, in round humor is definitely a plus! Debate rounds often tend to get real boring. I think you should do whatever you need to do to ride your own personal happiness train. So have a good time in our rounds. Ask questions. Whatever. I'm pretty easy going. That said, remember that riding your happiness train shouldn't limit someone else's ability to ride their's. As a result, my threshold for you being rude or offensive may be marginally lower than other peoples. Have fun, learn stuff, don't be a jerk though.

I do not walk into the room with a predetermined framework on how the round should be evaluated. The debaters in the room set the framework and I will judge the round as such. This is not my first rodeo in the activity. I've been around for over a decade. I am fine with speed, jargon, etc. I do not have any preferences as many judges say before the round but my ballots most times always reflect the arguments I'm most familiar with. I am familiar with both critical and policy types of arguments so regardless of whichever team you are I can always adapt efficiently.

General Stuffs:
1. Yes, open CX is fine (This applies to policy, of course.)
2. Prep stops when the drive leaves the computer or the email has been sent (this is specific to CX, for PF and LD just don't steal prep).
3. I don't really want to be flashed cases (too time consuming), but if there is an email chain I'd like to join.
4. I don't really pay attention during cross. That's your time to get clarification/concessions. If you want those things to matter then put them in speeches.
5. I'm not waiting for you to pre-flow. Do it before you get to the round (this also isn't an excuse to be late).

Interpretation of the Round:
My default interpretation of the round is within the lens of an policymaker, evaluating the affirmative plan versus the status quo or a competitive policy option. If there is an alternative framework, or a clash of two different frameworks I will evaluate the round based upon the winning framework. Each team should focus upon the warrants as to why their framework is favorable for the round; otherwise ‘winning the flow’ becomes difficult to assess. I believe that the affirmative should defend a stable advocacy whether or not they have an advocacy text and if they should be held accountable for not having one is up for debate. If there is a theoretical objection in the round I will evaluate as per a offense/defense paradigm. I will adapt to whatever is presented in the round as long as it is defended and explained (as long as it doesn't become offensive). My default method of risk calculus is always based upon an offense-defense paradigm, strictly on the flow and what was argued. I will not make extrapolations by myself, and will only assess what’s given to me. That being said, judge intervention is inevitable- however I will not allow for biases to intervene in my judgement All in all, there are other frameworks, and it is up to the debaters in the room to determine which framework I should prefer.

I love k debate. I'm familiar with the literature. I only ask that if it is something a bit out of the mainstream (though my version of mainstream includes a whole lot of stuff, so ask in round if you aren't sure if you're in it) or being used for its non-traditional purposes that you slow down on the taglines. I expect really good link analysis.

I'm cool with K affs, too. In fact, I enjoy them a lot. Though I do think that they should at least be in the direction of the topic.

Blippy theory arguments are not convincing, and a team must win explicitly that the other team should be rejected instead of their argument. I generally believe that conditionality can be easily defended. PICs and PIKs are in most part competitive. I need genuine in round abuse to pull the trigger on theory.

Impact Calculus:
This is an essential tool to win. Hands down. Comparative analysis FTW The rebuttals should primarily focus on this, because it is the selling point of the debate. Also, for debaters favoring a “probability” style of debate, I believe that probability serves as an internal link to assessing the magnitude of a given impact.

Disad/Status-quo/Case Strategies:
Politics Disads are fine as long as you know what you’re talking about. I have seen politics disads debated very well, and very poorly. The more specific impact calculus the better. The negative should prove how their impacts intersect or outweigh the impacts of the affirmative in any type of DA. Specific warranted analysis on the case turn debate is a must. Case Defense is also a very important strategy in neutralizing the impacts of the affirmative. If the negative wins good ‘defensive’ arguments against the Affirmative’s advantages, it puts their DA impacts to a higher standard of evaluation in comparison to the Aff’s advantages. The same applies for the affirmative using “defensive” arguments against the DA.

Counterplans should be competitive. They must be a better policy option than the affirmative. I may be a little AFF biased when it comes to evaluating the CP against the AFF. For a Counterplan to be a legitimate use of fiat it must have a solvency advocate or else it'll be considered as a use of utopian fiat. To win the cp you must justify its use of fiat especially if the counterplan has several planks and is international or is some random agent within the USFG. Regardless, I think that the Counterplan ultimately has one use: To disprove that the Affirmative plan is necessary to solve for the problems presented in the 1AC. This is where Advantage Counterplans that solve for the internal link to the Aff advantages are highly respectable. The Aff should be ready for this by having specific Add-ons that the Advantage CP can’t capture.

I like T a lot, but I'm not a big fan of multiple blippy shells just to do it. I've generally found 1 or 2 is best. I think reasonability is probably pretty solid, but I can be convinced otherwise in any given round..

Performance-ish stuffs:
Debate in my opinion is a very strategic and educational game. You play to be competitive and to win. Go Big or Go home. I believe that there is some truth about the educational aspect of both policy and critical types of arguments; but in round it is up to the debaters to sell the argument to me and prove why they should get my ballot. Especially on the aff, the affirmative team has to write my ballot for me in the 2AR, specifically they must explain what my ballot means especially in the context of their movement. Is my ballot a representation of an instance of coalition building? like what is it!? Bottom Line, debate what you're most comfortable with, slightly adjust to my paradigm and you should be fine.

LD Folks:
I don't mean to ignore you until the bottom. LD was my first love, and with the direction that LD has taken in the last decade or so, most of the above applies to you anyway. Just a couple extra bonus comments for you. 1) I think time skew is real. I think sometimes it sucks to be the aff. Which means I may be more receptive to theory arguments and AFC than many judges. I also think that it means you can justify an RVI a little easier to me. 2) If we are in a good ole value criterion debate, make sure that you're impacting everything through the framework really clearly for me.

PF Stuff:
Don't steal prep when asking for evidence (I wish we could just reach a point where you all would flash each other cases like other events). If you can't find a piece of evidence within a minute I'll have you start running your own prep to find evidence. This is pretty punitive but either PFers should start actually reading carded evidence instead of paraphrasing or you should have the cards accessible. This isn't this much of a problem in other events, it shouldn't be a problem in PF. 2nd Rebuttal: you probably should respond to offense or terminal defense put on your case by the first rebuttal. Yes, defense should be in first summary (especially now that you get an extra minute). You need to be doing some impact framing in summary and generally the majority of your final focus should be on impacts too. Give me an easy route to the ballot. If you just extend impacts/offense and don't put it into conversation with your opponent. I'm pretty progressive in other events, I'm not sure why that would stop in PF. So do whatever you want just make sure you're telling me to do with my ballot.

Crawford Leavoy Paradigm

4 rounds

Crawford Leavoy, Director of Speech & Debate at Durham Academy - Durham, NC

Email Chain: cleavoy@me.com

I am a former LD debater from Vestavia Hills HS. I coached LD all through college and have been coaching since graduation. I have coached programs at New Orleans Jesuit (LA) and Christ Episcopal School (LA). I am currently teaching and coaching at Durham Academy in Durham, NC. I have been judging since I graduated high school (2003).


- Speed is relatively fine. I'll say clear, and look at you like I'm very lost. Send me a doc, and I'll feel better about all of this.

- Run whatever you want, but the burden is on you to explain how the argument works in the round. You still have to weigh and have a ballot story.

- Theory - proceed with caution; I have a high threshold, and gut-check a lot

- Spikes that try to become 2N or 2A extensions for triggering the ballot is a poor strategy in front of me

- I don't care where you sit, or if you sit or stand; I do care that you are respectful to me and your opponent.

- If you cannot explain it in a 45 minute round, how am I supposed to understand it enough to vote on it.

- My tolerance for just reading prep in a round that you didn't write, and you don't know how it works is really low. I get cranky easily and if it isn't shown with my ballot, it will be shown with my speaker points.


- I'll give comments after every round, and if the tournament allows it, I'll disclose the decision. I don't disclose points.

- My expectation is that you keep your items out prior to the critique, and you take notes. Debaters who pack up, and refuse to use critiques as a learning experience of something they can grow from risk their speaker points. I'm happy to change points after a round based on a students willingness to listen, or unwillingness to take constructive feedback.

Libby Mandarino Paradigm

3 rounds

Libby Mandarino

Marist 2008-2012 (HS Policy Debate)
Marist 2014-2017 (Coaching a variety of events HS/MS)

I competed in policy debate in high school for four years.

I currently work for a state advocacy group focusing on voting rights, abortion rights, and other progressive issues.

What I will be looking for in the round:

- Evidence: I expect you to read evidence. Arguments should have warrants.

-Consistency: I should be able to find the arguments you choose in the final focus throughout every speech of the debate. Second rebuttals need to defend their contentions and answer the first rebuttal's arguments. Summaries should extend and clarify those arguments that will be in the final focus if you want me to vote on them.

-Evaluation: I want you to interact with all the arguments and evidence in the round. In general, it's better for you as the debaters to tell the judge how to weigh arguments (yours against your opponents) rather than hoping they will evaluate it the way you want. Be explicit and it will be easier for me to vote for your team.

-Kritiks: I am open to kritiks in public forum but you should provide an alternative. Tell me what the role of the ballot is.

-Theory: I am open to it but it is not my favorite debate to listen to.

Laura McGregor Paradigm

2 rounds

Laura McGregor
Assistant Dean of Students at Marist School

Former biology and chemistry teacher.  I graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a BS in Biology and from Washington University in St. Louis with a MS in Biology.  

I prefer more conversational speed with consistent argumentation throughout the second half of the debate.  Make sure to provide clear clash in your arguments.  

Jeffrey Miller Paradigm

4 rounds

Jeffrey Miller
Director of Speech & Debate at Marist School in Atlanta, GA (2011-present)
Director of Debate/Asst Director of Debate, Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, GA (2006-2011)

Updated for 2020-2021 and Online Debate

Please add jmill126@gmail.com and maristpublicforum@gmail.com to the email chain. This should be started in the tech time.

Both teams should use it and send the constructives at a minimum. I am fine with constructives being sent after they are read in the debate. Please call the email chain something real like "Kentucky Round 1 - Marist VL vs Marist HN." If you read cards, you should send the cards in the order they are read. If you paraphrase, you should send your paraphrasing and the cards that you paraphrased in the order that you read.

some major bullet points adapting to me:

- i prefer you read cards. this doesn't mean i won't evaluate paraphrasing and it doesn't mean that i'll automatically drop you on paraphrasing bad theory it just means that better arguments are made by the experts you quote in your evidence than your interpretation of the experts. i wouldn't waste a strike on me if you paraphrase but still cut cards.
- speeches build off of each other. everything in the final focus should be in the summary. second rebuttal should respond to first rebuttal.
- made up jargon is bad. clarity of impact is not a thing.
- i prefer substantive debates to theory debates. i really am not a fan of theory. i have strong beliefs in how debate should be done, but i have stronger beliefs in learning about topics. read theory if you must, and I'll obviously evaluate it - but i do prefer a debate about the topic.
- i value hard work. Debate is hard. It's rewarding because its hard. The debate you have in front of me should a representation of your hard work you spent preparing for that debate.

Doug Miller Paradigm

4 rounds

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

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

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

Address for the email chain: miller.douglas.n@gmail.com

Scroll down for Policy Paradigm

Public Forum Paradigm

Short Version

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

Long Version

1. Summary extension

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

1A. 2nd Rebuttal Rebuild

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

2. Offense defense

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

3. Narrow the round

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Theory

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

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

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

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

6. Arguments in Crossfire

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

7. Evidence availability

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

8. Evidence Quality

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

9. Evidence citations

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

10. Speaker points

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

11. "What's your methodology?"

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

12. Ask for additional thoughts on the topic

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

13. Speed

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

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


Policy Paradigm


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Susan Mistretta Paradigm

3 rounds

I've been involved in debate since 2007 and have served as judge regularly for Marist School on the local circuit for the past eight years. I am the Registrar at Marist and used to be a Math Teacher.

In terms of the debate, I prefer debaters to speak slowly, make good arguments and be polite.

Abby Schirmer Paradigm

2 rounds

Pace Academy, Atlanta GA (2019-Present)
Marist, Atlanta, GA (2015-2019)
Stratford Academy, Macon GA (2008-2015)
Michigan State University (2004-2008)

Please use email chains. Please add me- abby.schirmer@gmail.com.

Short version- You need to read and defend a plan in front of me. I value clarity (in both a strategic and vocal sense) and strategy. A good strategic aff or neg strat will always win out over something haphazardly put together. Impact your arguments, impact them against your opponents arguments (This is just as true with a critical strategy as it is with a DA, CP, Case Strategy). I like to read evidence during the debate. I usually make decisions pretty quickly. Typically I can see the nexus question of the debate clearly by the 2nr/2ar and when (if) its resolved, its resolved. Don't take it personally.

Long Version:
Case Debate- I like specific case debate. Shows you put in the hard work it takes to research and defeat the aff. I will reward hard work if there is solid Internal link debating. I think case specific disads are also pretty good if well thought out and executed. I like impact turn debates. Cleanly executed ones will usually result in a neg ballot -- messy debates, however, will not.

Disads- Defense and offense should be present, especially in a link turn/impact turn debate. You will only win an impact turn debate if you first have defense against their original disad impacts. I'm willing to vote on defense (at least assign a relatively low probability to a DA in the presence of compelling aff defense). Defense wins championships. Impact calc is important. I think this is a debate that should start early (2ac) and shouldn't end until the debate is over. I don't think the U necessarily controls the direction of the link, but can be persuaded it does if told and explained why that true.

K's- Im better for the K now than i have been in years past. That being said, Im better for security/international relations/neolib based ks than i am for race, gender, psycho, baudrillard etc (that shit cray). I tend to find specific Ks (ie specific to the aff's mechanism/advantages etc) the most appealing. If you're going for a K-- 1) please don't expect me to know weird or specific ultra critical jargon... b/c i probably wont. 2) Cheat- I vote on K tricks all the time (aff don't make me do this). 3) Make the link debate as specific as possible and pull examples straight from the aff's evidence and the debate in general 4) I totally geek out for well explained historical examples that prove your link/impact args. I think getting to weigh the aff is a god given right. Role of the ballot should be a question that gets debated out. What does the ballot mean with in your framework. These debates should NOT be happening in the 2NR/2AR-- they should start as early as possible. I think debates about competing methods are fine. I think floating pics are also fine (unless told otherwise). I think epistemology debates are interesting. K debates need some discussion of an impact-- i do not know what it means to say..."the ZERO POINT OF THE Holocaust." I think having an external impact is also good - turning the case alone, or making their impacts inevitable isn't enough. There also needs to be some articulation of what the alternative does... voting neg doesn't mean that your links go away. I will vote on the perm if its articulated well and if its a reason why plan plus alt would overcome any of the link questions. Link defense needs to accompany these debates.

K affs are fine- you have to have a plan. You should defend that plan. Affs who don't will prob lose to framework. A alot.... and with that we come to:

NonTraditional Teams-
If not defending a plan is your thing, I'm not your judge. I think topical plans are good. I think the aff needs to read a topical plan and defend the action of that topical plan. I don't think using the USFG is racist, sexist, homophobic or ablest. I think affs who debate this way tend to leave zero ground for the negative to engage which defeats the entire point of the activity. I am persuaded by T/Framework in these scenarios. I also think if you've made the good faith effort to engage, then you should be rewarded. These arguments make a little more sense on the negative but I am not compelled by arguments that claim: "you didn't talk about it, so you should lose."

CPs- Defending the SQ is a bold strat. I will listen (and most likely vote) on CPs done in either the 1NC or the 2NC. Multiple conditional (or dispo/uncondish) CPs are also fine. Condo is probably good, but i can be persuaded otherwise. Consult away- its arbitrary to hate them in light of the fact that everything else is fine. I lean neg on CP theory. Aff's make sure you perm the CP (and all its planks). Im willing to judge kick the CP for you. If i determine that the CP is not competitive, or that its a worse option - the CP will go away and you'll be left with whatever is left (NBs or Solvency turns etc). This is only true if the AFF says nothing to the contrary. (ie. The aff has to tell me NOT to kick the CP - and win that issue in the debate). I WILL NOT VOTE ON NO NEG FIAT. That argument makes me mad. Of course the neg gets fiat. Don't be absurd.

T- I usually view it in an offense/defense type framework but I'm also compelled by reasonability. I think competing interpretations are good but do think that some aff's are reasonably topical. Impact your reasons why I should vote neg. K's of T are stupid. I think the aff has to run a topical aff, and K-ing that logic is ridiculous. T isn't racist. RVIs are never ever compelling.... ever.

Theory- I tend to lean neg on theory. Condo- Probably Good. More than two then the aff might have a case to make as to why its bad - i've voted aff on Condo, I've voted neg on condo. Its a debate to be had. Any other theory argument I think is categorically a reason to reject the argument and not the team. I can't figure out a reason why if the aff wins international fiat is bad that means the neg loses - i just think that means the CP goes away.

Remember!!! All of this is just a guide for how you chose your args in round. I will vote on most args if they are argued well and have some sort of an impact. Evidence comparison is also good in my book-- its not done enough and i think its one of the most valuable ways to create an ethos of control with in the debate. Perception is everything, especially if you control the spin of the debate. I will read evidence if i need to-- don't volunteer it and don't give me more than i ask for. I love fun debates, i like people who are nice, i like people who are funny... i will reward you with good points if you are both. Be nice to your partner and your opponents. No need to be a jerk for no reason

Shane Stafford Paradigm

4 rounds

The Blake School (Minneapolis, MN) I am the director of debate where I teach communication and coach Public Forum and World Schools. I also coach the USA Development Team and Team USA in World Schools Debate.

Public Forum

Some aspects that are critical for me

1) Be nice and respectful. Try to not talk over people. Share time in crossfire periods. Words matter, think about what you say about other people. Attack their arguments and not the people you debate.

2) Arguments must be extended in each speech. This idea of "sticky defense" and not answering arguments in the second rebuttal doesn't understand how debate works. A debater can only make strategic choices about their speech if they base it on what was said in the speech previous to them.

3) Read evidence. I don't accept paraphrasing -- this is an oral activity. If you are quoting an authority, then quote the authority. A debater should not have to play "wack a mole" to find the evidence you are using poorly. Read a tag and then quote the card, that allows your opponent to figure out if you are accurately quoting the author or over-claiming the evidence.

4) Have your evidence ready. If an opponent asks for a piece of evidence you should be able to produce it in about 60 seconds. At two minutes or so, I'm going to just say the evidence doesn't count in the round because you can't produce it. If I say the card doesn't count then the card doesn't count in the round. If you say you can't produce the card then you risk losing. That is called fabrication to cite evidence and then not be able to produce it. If I ask for a card after the round and you can't produce it, again you risk losing the round. Good evidence practices are critical if this format is to rely on citing authorities.

5) I tend to be a policymaker. If there is no offense against trying a new policy then I suggest we try the new policy as it can't hurt to try. Offense is important for both sides.

6) Use voting issues format in summary and final focus. Learn that this allows a clear story and weighing. A voting issue format includes links, impacts, and weighing and provides clarity to just "our case/their case". You are still doing the voting issues on "their flow" or "our flow".

7) Lead with labels/arguments and NOT authors. Number your arguments. For example, 1) Turn UBI increases wage negotiation -- Jones in 2019 states "quote"

8) Racist, xenophobic, sexist, classist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, and other oppressive discourses or examples have no place in debate.

Enjoy the debate and learn from this activity, it is a great one.

Sho Szczepaniuk Paradigm

3 rounds

Tech over truth.

Will Turk Paradigm

3 rounds

I competed in PF for all 4 years.

The round is in your hands; I will vote for any arg and any style, just convince me. I prefer to vote for the work you put on the flow, not necessarily the best args. I vote for the best debaters. That being said, I'm skeptical of teams using theory in PF.

Defense is sticky. Any evidence/arg in Final Focus must be in a previous speech (not just CX).

Use prep time whenever you're talking with your partner, writing on your flow, typing, or looking at evidence outside speeches.

Talking fast (when necessary) is fine, but I won't be able to flow full-on spreading.

Be nice and have fun :)

Jonathan Waters Paradigm

2 rounds

Educational Background:

Georgia State University (2004-2007) - English Major in Literary Studies; Speech Minor

Augusta University (2010-2011) - Masters in Arts in Teaching

Georgia State University (2015-2016) - Postbaccalaureate work in Philosophy

Revelant Career Experience:

English Teacher/Debate Coach (2011-2015) Grovetown High School

LD Debate Coach (2015-2018) Marist School

English Teacher/Debate Coach (2018-present) Northview High School

Public Forum

I expect PF to be PF. It should be lay debate. I'm not impressed by the use of debate jargon in rounds and jargon isn't sufficient for arguments. That being said, evidence matters. I expect responses to counterarguments that opponents make, not just leapfrogging them to reassert your initial claims. I don't flow crossfire, but that doesn't mean I'm not listening to it.


I haven't judge a lot of policy debates. I'm more comfortable with a little slower speed since I don't hear a lot of debates on the topic. I'm ok with most any time of argumentation, but I'm less likely to vote on theory arguments than K or Case arguments. Add me to your email chains.

Lincoln Douglas

I appreciate well warranted and strong arguments. Keep those fallacies out of my rounds.

If the negative fails to give me a warranted reason to weigh her value/value criterion above the one offered by the affirmative in the first negative speech, I will adopt the affirmative's FW. Likewise, if the negative offers a warranted reason that goes unaddressed in the AR1, I will adopt the negative FW.

I appreciate when debaters provide voters during the final speeches.

Debaters would probably describe me as leaning "traditional", but I am working to be more comfortable with progressive arguments. However, I'll vote, and have voted, on many types of arguments (Plans, Counterplans, Ks, Aff Ks, and theory if there is legitimate abuse). However, the more progressive the argument and the further away from the topic, the more in depth and slower your explanation needs to be. Don't make any assumptions about what I'm supposed to know.

Debates that don't do any weighing are hard to judge. Be clear about what you think should be on my ballot if you're winning the round.


If you feel it absolutely necessary to spread, I will do my best to keep up with the caveat that you are responsible for what I miss. I appreciate folks that value delivery. Take that as you will. If you're going to go fast, you can email me your case.


I try to disclose and answer questions if at all possible. At national circuit tournaments, I usually don't disclose flight A because of time. Feel free to shoot me an email after you leave the round, and I'll try to message you before Flight B is over with a disclosure. Feel free to follow up with any questions.

Cross Examination/Crossfire

I'm not a fan of "gotcha" debate. The goal in crossfire shouldn't get your opponent to agree to some tricky idea and then make that the reason that you are winning debates. Crossfire isn't binding. Debaters have the right to clean-up a misstatement made in crossfire/cross ex in their speeches.

Contact: jonwaters7@gmail.com

Drew Young Paradigm

3 rounds

I have coached and judged a lot over the last few years, and will adhere fairly strictly to the flow. The only time I should be doing any work for anyone is if the round necessitates it by a lack of weighing or critical comparison. In those instances, I may have to make decisions, so I would prefer to always avoid that. A few general rules:

1. Anything that needs to be on the ballot, needs to be in Final Focus.

2. The first speaking team should be predicting the offense in first summary that needs to be responded to, and putting defense on it then. This ALSO means that the second speaking team has to frontline in the rebuttal. Any arguments/defense that are not in the First Summary are dropped, and any arguments that are not frontlined in the second rebuttal are dropped.

3. Summary to Final Focus consistency is key, especially in terms of the relevance of arguments, if something is going to be a huge deal, it should be so in both speeches.

Speed is fine, I'll evaluate critical arguments if they have a solid link.

I evaluate theory if it's needed, but I'm semi-skeptical of how often that really is.

Feel free to ask for anything else you need to know.

You should also probably pre-flow before the start time of the round, that will help your speaks!