Lexington Winter Invitational

2017 — MA/US

James Bathurst Paradigm

I am brand new to Public Forum. I look forward to learning the activity. That said, I spent thirteen seasons as a policy debate coach (1 year at Paul Robeson High School, 6 at Benjamin Banneker and 6 at Brooklyn Technical High School). In addition to coaching, I served as the Tournament Director for the NYCUDL, the Vice President for Policy Debate for the BQCFL, part of tab staff for NYSFLs, NYSDCAs, the New York City Invitational, and the Westchester Invitational, and in the residence halls for DDI.

What this means for PF debaters is that I am very flow-centric and expect good sign posts. If you give me a road map, I expect you to follow it. While I understand that you will not read evidence in-round, I do expect you to clearly cite your evidence and will listen to (and reward) good analysis of evidence throughout the round.

What this means for policy debaters is that I typically spend more time running tournaments than judging in them. My flowing skills are not what they used to be. You need to SLOW DOWN for your tags and authors or else they will not make my flow. You should also SLOW DOWN for the actual claims on any theory or analytic arguments (Treat them like cards!). My flow is sacred to me, if you want me to vote for you, your flow should look like mine. Lay it out for me like I am a three year-old.

As for arguments, I consider myself a stock-issues judge. Those are what I coach my novices, and I still feel they are the best arguments in policy debate. That said, I have voted on all types of arguments and performance styles in debate. If you want me to vote on something that is not a stock issue, you better explain it to me like I am a three year-old. Even if you want me to vote on a stock issue, you should explain it to me like I am a three year-old.

I do not typically ask for (or want to) examine evidence after the round. It is your job to explain it to me. There is no need to add me to an email chain. That said, if there is some contention about what a piece of evidence actually says, you should make a point of that in your speeches.

As for paperless debate in general, I like my rounds to start on time and end on time. If your technical issues are hindering that, I will start running prep.

Joseph Fitch Paradigm

I debated in NPDA parliamentary for 4 years in college. I have been judging for the Boston Debate League for over a year now.


On performance, I award speaker points equally weighed on verbal and non-verbal presentation, and cross examinaition question quality and strategy. The exception to ths is speed--speed is fine.


On positions, I have thick calluses for theory and procedural arguments, both surrounding the role of the ballot and why they are voting issues.


Weigh impacts (probability, scope, magnitude, time-frame, etc.) in-round and be as articulate with every argument as is reasonable given the time allotted. My job as the objective arbiter is easy when each point is argued to conclusion.

Britain Fraser Paradigm

email: britanifraser@gmail.com

Acorn Community High School '16
CSU '20

Background- 4 years HS Policy Debate. Consider myself a "K"/performance debater.

T- I'm down for T. Need specifics of abuse that catalyzed said T

C/P- Explain net benefit, that actually functions.

D/A- I'm down for them only if there is good impact calc (obviously)

K- Run'em, I'm down for majority of them, just need to see alt solvency. If you plan to kick the alt then refer back to D/A section.

"Performance"- All for it. I would like to know the significance of said performance and why it is apart of your route to the ballot.

Not a fan of theory, period.

As you can see I'm generally down for anything (except theory) as long as its clear and functional. Do the best you can do.

Tina Gao Paradigm

I am a 4th-year policy debater at Lexington High School. 


General Outlook:

---Tech over truth, but every dropped argument has to have a claim, warrant, and impact. Otherwise, that dropped argument won't mean much to me. 

---I will read evidence after the round if you spend a lot of time on that evidence or explain why that argument is really important. Otherwise, I won't take into account evidence as heavily, but I do feel comfortable reading evid after the round.

---I prefer clarity over speed, but speed is fine.


Argument Preference:

---Policy arguments and Kritiks both fine in front of me on the aff and neg. I know the topic well in terms of policy arguments, and I'm also familiar with popular Ks like Cap and Security, and I know the generic arguments about identity Ks such as Wilderson and Tuck and Yang, but if you're comfortable reading other kritiks, go for it, but you also have to explain it. 

---On Framework, going for fairness or education or limits is all fine; I don't have a preference to what impacts you go for, but there should be impact calculus (like why fairness outweighs limits, etc.)

---On Topicality, I default to competing interpretations unless you tell me otherwise. I don't have strong stances on Topicality.

---Don't like theory debates, unless there's actual abuse like Consult CPs. On Conditionality, 4 conditional advocacies become a problem, but 3 is fine, although I can be persuaded otherwise.



Bryce Griffin Paradigm

Honestly you do you. I'm just here to judge the round - I don't care what the aff is , or neg strat.

I’m an expressionate judge. So you should know based off my expressions that either does or doesn’t make sense ... I try to control it but sometimes it’s an unconscious reaction

I judge off my flows

My email is: brookemodestita@gmail.com

i am a sophomore at WVU

If this matters, I am the M in West Virginia BM, We won Binghamton, Rutgers, Quarters of UNLV (I got first place speaker) just recently won JMU and qualed to the NDT second year in a row. This might matter based off how you pref me I don't know.

Policy Teams: I'd pref me mid -- listening to a policy aff v 10 off really not fun lol, I have judged policy v policy rounds on a panel and I did not sit lol so i do know what I'm doing, and i've voted on fw go for the impacts you want to and do impact calc tell me why you win and why their offense doesnt matter and my ballot is easy.. same goes to k aff's on fw ... fairness and education are impacts that still need to be flushed out and explained in relationship to offense on aff side and aff can impact turn this but again has to be flushed out and explained for me to vote in either side of the arg

*you can ask me how i view certain args before the round and pref me however you want if you think i should be higher or lower then do so this is just my opinion*

K Teams: I'd pref me high to high - I am good with super high theory i read dark deleuze, and super materiality stuff I have read materiality fw against high theory as well. I read a performance aff and know the lit really well.

*you can ask me how i view certain args before the round and pref me however you want if you think i should be higher or lower then do so this is just my opinion*

Manu Gunnala Paradigm

Email: manasvigunnala @ gmail.com - yes, please add me to the email chain.


TL;DR - Do what you like, and do it well.

**Novice specific: This year is all about learning and experimenting. Don't worry too much about impressing me, just flow well and try to answer arguments in a line-by-line fashion. If you have any questions about what any of these terms mean, feel free to ask!

General thoughts: my partner and I have defended both a K aff and a big-stick policy aff, and gone for everything from framework to a consult CP, so I’d say I’m pretty middle-of-the-road in terms of debate ideology. I'm arguably more knowledgeable about K's, but I'll listen to just about anything. I value analysis over tagline extensions - an argument is only an argument if it has a claim, warrant, and impact. I will not vote on a dropped argument if you don’t explain it. I think a well-warranted analytic can beat a blippy explanation of a card. 

Procedural stuff: be a good person, don’t steal prep, don’t clip cards, you know the drill. I don’t take prep for flashing, unless you’re taking a ridiculous amount of time. I will yell clear twice during your speech before I start docking speaker points. 

I have a terrible poker face, use that to your advantage. +0.1 speaks if you successfully make a joke about Kevin Lu :)


K Affs

I enjoy listening to K affs. I read a K aff for the majority of my debate career, but that being said, I expect you to understand and be able to explain your affirmative and your method clearly. Do not rely on K jargon and blocks your coach wrote for you; contextualize your arguments to what’s been said in the round. I love it when debaters are able to give concrete empirical/real-life examples of abstract theoretical concepts, and will boost your speaks if you consistently do this.

K vs. K debates - the aff should probably get a permutation, but I’ll have a higher threshold for permutation solvency/explanation. The neg needs to have a link to the aff besides a link of omission.



My partner and I have gone for framework numerous times, and I’m willing to vote on it. Both teams should do impact calculus and explain to me how I should be framing the round. I think debate is a game, but it has the potential to be more than just a game, given its unique pedagogical benefits. Make of that what you will.

For the neg:  I’m a better judge for softer, “T-USfg” type framework shells - I think they’re less susceptible to the impact turn and probably less exclusionary. I think advocacy skills and decision-making are terrible impacts, and I’m not the judge for you if 2nr is going to be 5 minutes of Lundberg 10. However, I think truth testing, debatability/fairness, and clash are winnable impacts on their own. If you have a solvency advocate for your TVA, I will give it a lot more weight. Please actually engage with the aff’s impact turns and disads on the flow, instead of just reading the same blocks you read every round.

For the aff: Explain to me why your vision of debate is a better pedagogical model, whether it be because it’s less exclusive or fosters better/less violent education. I particularly like arguments about how debate can shape the way we view and interact with the outside world.  I prefer aff-specific impact turns, but I’m willing to vote on Grimm and Kappeler and all the rest if you can contextualize them to your form of debate. Please point out the logical flaws in the neg’s internal links, because they’re usually pretty terrible. I won’t be happy if you make silly counter-interpretations (only our aff is topical, res + our aff, etc.)




Most of what I said above for K affs applies here. Please have specific links to the aff. This does not necessarily have to be a card - you can pull lines from their evidence, reference their rhetoric in round, recontextualize their arguments as links, etc. I’m far more impressed by specific analysis of the aff than I am by a rereading of a 10-point carded link wall. I’m not as familiar with high theory as I am with race and setcol lit, so I’ll need more explanation from you with these arguments. I'm not a fan of giant K overviews, just do the explanation on the line-by-line. I think the K needs an alt, otherwise it’s a non-unique disad and the aff will almost certainly outweigh. The aff should probably get to weigh the 1ac, but I can be convinced otherwise.


Aff-specific counterplans will make me happy. I don’t particularly like generic CPs, but given the size of this year’s topic, I’m open to the states CP. I think advantage counterplans are a largely underutilized strategy. Most policy affs have terrible internal links, and you should take advantage of that fact. I’m okay with process counterplans, but I’d much rather you read a topic-specific consult CP than your delay CP backfile. 



Do impact calc! The more specific the link analysis, the more weight I’ll give the disad. Aff teams should exploit holes in disad internal link chains, I think this can take out large chunks of the neg’s offense even without specific evidence. I enjoy warranted and nuanced turns case debating.


Case Debate 

A necessity. Please don't drop case, even if you're debating a K aff. 


Topicality / Theory

Have a clear interpretation and well-articulated internal links to your impacts. Explain what your vision of debate is - have a list of specific practices your interpretation encourages and why they’re good. These debates tend to get messy, so please slow down and keep your speeches as organized as possible.

T - I typically default to competing interpretations, but I’m willing to vote on reasonability.

Theory - I don’t like it, but I’ll vote on it. If you want theory to be a viable option, you need to do actual analysis instead of spreading through your 1ar condo extension and calling it a day. Two condo is fine, three or more is probably abusive. I'm neutral on 50 states fiat. 



Katya Irving Paradigm

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Chris Jun Paradigm

Lexington High School Class of 2018

Dartmouth College Class of 2022

Add me to the email chain: cjun357@gmail.com


You should not change your strategy too drastically based on what you think I would like but instead do what you do best and do it well.

I am not too familiar with this year's high school topic so what you may assume to be common knowledge may be something I don't know. So if there's an abbreviation make sure to say what it stands for, ect,...

If you have any questions that I may not have addressed feel free to ask before the round.

KAffs V T

If you are aff you need to have a good explanation on a couple of questions in order to get my ballot. If debate is not a game what is it and why? Why is an aff ballot important? What would debates look like under you counter-model of debate?

If you're going for an impact turn strategy then I need more than just a bunch of theory related to the aff. I need that work to be contextualized to debate as an activity and why it matters.

If you're neg, I prefer procedural impacts (ie fairness, ect) more than portable skill args. However, you need to do the work of warranting out why, for example, fairness matters, why it's an important impact ect,...Don't assume that I automatically default to fairness being intrinsically valuable because I can be persuaded otherwise.

For both aff and neg, please do impact calc. Too often teams just extend their impact without doing any comparative work. Make sure that you're also contextualizing your offense to new spins being made by your opponents. Otherwise it will be very hard to win.


I believe that the FW debate is one of the most important components of these debates that often get forgotten about. I look to the framework debate to "frame" how I evaluate the other arguments on the flow and what impacts I should or should not be prioritizing.

If you are aff, I really enjoy hard presses against the alt, or an impact turn strategy against ks like the cap k (obviously do not go for an impact turn strategy against Afropessimism). If you are going to make a perm make sure that it's contextualized and explain what the world of the permutation would look like. Just saying perm do the aff and [insert alt text here] will be very unpersuasive.

For the neg, I need specific links to the aff or the representations within the 1ac (tho I prefer the first). Only going for generic links will make it very hard to get my ballot. I think it's very persuasive when you can pull lines from their evidence or have recuts that demonstrate your link arguments.

Side note: I am the least familiar with high theory arguments. However, that doesn't mean I'm against it. Just make sure that you do a more thorough job of explaining your arguments and defenses of your theory.


Make sure to explain your impacts in depth and to do impact calculus. Your arguments shouldn't be just quick blips that you are shot gunning.

I think topicality should be a question of limits.

I find competing interpretations to be more persuasive but I can be persuaded otherwise.

I am not as familiar with this year's high school topic so if you are planning on going for T or you are answering T make sure that you clearly explain how debates under you interp differs from that of your opponent. (ie case lists, ect,...)


I'm open to any type of CP as long as you win that it's theoretically legit.

I really like well researched PICS.

Make sure that you explain why the CP doesn't link to the Net Benefit

Make sure to kick it if you're not going to go for it.

Chloe Lee Paradigm

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Catherine Lee Paradigm

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Yuki Lin Paradigm

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Kevin Lu Paradigm

Lexington High School Class of 2018

I did 4 years of policy debate in high school.

Put me on the email chain: klu609@gmail.com



I will vote on any argument as long as it is defended well

I appreciate good case debate

I am not well versed in the immigration topic, so you'll probably need to do a little more explaining on topic specific things (especially T)

Top speed is not always useful if you're not clear or efficient

Don't clip and don't steal prep.

Don't be rude of disrespectful to your opponents, partner, or me

Thoughts about LD:

I don't really understand Kant, and most other things that don't exist in policy that do in LD. Take that as you will. If you do try to go for something that I don't really know about please EXPLAIN it more than you would to most other judges. I tend to not vote on theory unless your opponent is actually abusive or it's just dropped (i.e. I will probably not vote on random theory arguments you throw in the NC to waste time).


KAffs/Framework - This is what everyone reads paradigms for so I'm putting this first. I read a K aff my junior year but also frequently went for framework so I've been on both sides of the debate. I really enjoy listening to a good clash of civs debate especially when impact calc is done on both sides. I think K affs can be strategic if deployed correctly. I prefer K affs that have some link to the topic, the stronger the better. I also prefer affirmatives that actually defend something. This can involve in round and/or out of round solvency but must be explained to the degree I think that the aff is a good idea.

Especially in clash of civs debates, I find that a lot of k aff teams aren't as proficient on the nitty gritty of the line by line, and thus get punished because they don't answer the nuances of the negatives arguments and spend more time focusing on the warrants of their impact turn. While winning your offensive arguments are important, generic answers to specific negative arguments is never a winning strategy. Additionally, counterinterpretations that set limits on the topic and avoids negative offense are very cool.

On the negative, I find that fairness is often the most persuasive impact 90% of the time. Arguments like predictable limits and ground are also especially persuasive to me. That being said, I do also think skills arguments can be persuasive, especially if they are used to internal link turn affirmative solvency/skills claims. Do it on the negative and topical versions of the aff are also very important pieces of defense that I think should be in most debates. Impact calc is very important. I find that in many debates when framework teams lose to a k aff, it is because there is not enough comparative impact calc done by the negative. This includes telling me why a more limited topic is preferable, EVEN if it may limit out more affs/be slightly more exclusionary.

Ks - I think a good K debate can be fun. I ran some Ks in high school, but my knowledge is mostly limited to setcol, positive peace/security, afropessimism and neolib. Outside of that I probably understand K lit a lot less than you so there is a higher burden on you to explain why your arguments are true and how it interacts with the aff. Links should be well explained and contextualized to the affirmative, not just prewritten blocks that you read every round. Each link should also have a clear impact to it. I also believe that a K should have an alternative that solves the impacts of the K (and link arguments if you're going for a PIK), otherwise the K is just a non-unique DA.

T - I default competing interpretations unless persuaded otherwise. Otherwise do what you want on T.

DAs - I like a good DA debate. Aff specific DAs are probably better but I'm never opposed to a good generic DA which you can spin to link it to the aff. Rehighlighting evidence on both sides in a DA debate is awesome. Smart analytics are good too, especially when a DA is just logically silly. Turns case is very important from both teams, and so is answering them. I find a lot of the time, one team fails to do so and it makes it very hard to vote for them.

CPs - I'm open to anything on this front. I do prefer counterplans with a solvency advocates and well articulated netbenefits. I'll evaluate any CP as long as you can win it's theoretically legit. That being said, I do lean aff on international fiat, process cps, word pics, and 2NC cps, and negative on most other theory arguments against counterplans.

Condo - I think 3 condo is ok, 4 is pushing it but this is all up for debate.

Miscellaneous Things

>29.5 for using less than 30 seconds of prep total

+0.1 speaks for any GOOD jokes about Rajeev Raghavan, Matthew Tan, Chris Jun, Eric Deng, Michelle Li, or Pacy Yan

Davian McLeod Paradigm

I don’t have any expectations on what will happen in the round, so I tend to vote directly on the flow. Also, I recommend that you assume that I don't know anything about any of your case so explain it well or don't argue when I vote you down. I am fine with both policy and K's so it doesn't matter to me. I did debate for 6 years, varsity for three years.

Do you and you will be fine, as will I.

Don't go for Racism or Anti-blackness Good, FYI.

Email:davmac98@gmail.com. Do put me on the email chain and email me any questions, concerns o complaints.

Ravi Raghavan Paradigm

Ravi Raghavan

Lexington High School '17

MIT '21 (Currently debating for Harvard)

Last Updated: January 2018

Please put me on the email chain: ravi1998@gmail.com


Feel free to run whatever you want, as long as it’s appropriate for the debate. I would rather you debate what you’re good at and do it well, rather than adapting to what I want and giving me a poor debate. I like to think that I am pretty ideologically flexible, having defended big stick policy affs, more soft-left affs that advocated for USfg action to solve systemic harms, and planless affs, while my 2NR choices have ranged from T to the politics DA to antiblackness. This year at Lexington, I am coaching a wide range of teams, from a team that reads antiblackness arguments on the aff and the neg, to other teams who defend topical plans and go for DAs/CPs. I think debate is fundamentally a game where any argument can win, as long as you debate it better than your opponents do, so a lot of these thoughts below are just minor predispositions, and I will try to judge as objectively as possible.

Speed- It's fine but don't let it compromise your clarity. As one of my coaches put it, “there’s no point of saying more if the judge can’t understand what you’re saying.” I will say “clear” twice, and after that, if you are still unclear, I will stop flowing. You should see this and substantially decrease your pace in order to get back to an acceptable level of clarity.

Tech over truth, but within limits- I think the best debaters effectively combine these two things, arguing strategically and methodically, but also with rhetorical power. That being said, I will judge by the flow. A dropped argument is a true argument. This means it must have a claim, warrant, and implication. I do expect debaters to do line-by-line, which is a way to earn good speaker points from me. I am a 1A/2N, so I inevitably give leeway to the 1AR on certain things, especially when a position is functionally non-existent in the 1NC and then suddenly develops in the block. However, I also try to protect the 2NR, and can sense when the 2AR is BS-ing.

Evidence is great, but so are logical arguments- Not every argument requires evidentiary support. Illogical claims can be answered with sensible, uncarded arguments. That being said, evidence is awesome, and I place a high value on good evidence quality. I will read cards after the debate, because I think that too many teams get away with bad evidence. Evidence comparison within the round will filter how I read certain pieces of evidence after the round, which will most definitely help the teams that do it.

Inserting rehighlighting- I'd prefer you read the rehighlighting instead of inserting it. I will be lenient about this, in the sense that you don't have to rehighlight the whole card, but just the small portion that you think goes your way.

Aggressiveness is great, being rude is bad- I really like aggressive debaters. Debate is a competitive place, so a slight level of discomfort within the round can not only be strategic, but it can also foster better debating. However, there is a fine line between where this aggression can turn into being rude. If you are going out of your way to make someone's weekend terrible, just for the sake of being a jerk, then I will not be happy. Having said this, very few debaters cross this threshold from productive aggression to needless rudeness. Furthermore, this should go without saying, but any racist, sexist, homophobic, or other oppressive behavior based off an individual's identity will not be tolerated.

Impact stuff out- I will not do work for you. If you make me do work for you, I will not be happy, and speaker points will reflect it. Tell me why I should care about your impact over that of your opponents. Does it happen faster? Is it more probable? Does it affect more people? Impacting things out doesn’t just mean regurgitating how you get to nuclear war.

Paperless- I don’t take prep for flashing unless it’s taking a ridiculous amount of time. However, I would like to see a greater effort among all debaters in the round to lower the amount of "dead time."

I'm bad at keeping a perfectly straight face- Use this to your advantage. If I'm confused about an argument that you're making, I will likely show that. On the other hand, if I like an argument you're making, then you will be able to see that also. I figure that I should try to be less transparent but these reactions will sometimes be inevitable.

Strategy is cool- I appreciate and reward well-researched strategies. In addition, smart and/or bold decisions during the debate that demonstrate unique strategic vision are awesome.

Education Topic

I have done minimal research on the education topic coming into the year, so all of your acronyms and programs that your aff implicates will need to be explained. That being said, I am coaching for Lexington High School this year, so hopefully I can get on board with the jargon sooner rather than later. Err on the side of explanation if in doubt.

Ethics Violations

Card clipping- It seems like the number of card clipping incidents in debate is increasing, and this bothers me. Card clipping is failing to read sections of the card without marking audibly during the speech and on the speech doc (or on paper). It can be definitively determined whether a violation has taken place by recording the speech and playing it back with the speech doc. If an accusation of clipping occurs, I will stop the round, and ask the accusing team whether they would like to stake the round on this claim. If they say no, the round will continue. If they say yes, I will stop the round, and listen to the evidence provided by both teams to make my decision. If the accused team is found to have clipped, it results in an automatic loss, and 0 speaker points for the debater who is found guilty of clipping. If the accused team is found to have not clipped, the accusing team gets a loss and both debaters will receive 0 speaker points.

Stealing prep- Don’t do it. 8 minutes is more than enough anyways. If I catch you stealing prep, I will tell you to stop. After that, I will start to dock speaker points.


I default to reasonability over competing interpretations, but this is totally up to the debaters to tell me which way I should evaluate the T debate. It is imperative that lots of impacting happens within these rounds, and there are clear descriptions of each team’s vision of the topic. Tell me what debates under each interpretation would look like, and explain the implication to all of your internal links. Don’t just assert “limits” and “overlimiting” and expect me to randomly pick one of those. I also prefer limits and predictability arguments to ground arguments. This isn't to say that you should avoid making arguments about ground, but just that these arguments shouldn't be the sole justifications for your interp.


No problems here. I think most people, regardless of their current argumentative preferences started learning how to debate the DA/Case strategy at the beginning of their debate careers. I like the politics DA, because it incentivizes lots of research, and has lots of intricacies, but it sometimes is really crappy and there exist better DAs out there that I'd prefer you read instead of your "one size fits all" politics solution. I don’t like giant DA overviews, but I often think it’s fine to explain why your impact outweighs and turns the case in the overview. Both teams should make a lot of turns case arguments, and answer those of the other team. I do think if you are going for a DA/Case strat, impact calculus is essential, and I find that whichever team does more effective impact calc wins the round. Affs should exploit holes in the internal link chains of DAs.

Impact Turns

I love impact turns. I often find that strats which involve impact turns can be executed brilliantly. I prefer these debates to have meta-level framing rather than just being a giant card-war, but feel free to read a lot of evidence- That is usually what happens in these debates. Just don’t let that get in the way of necessary explanations.


I’m fine with them, and I think they are very strategic against some affs when you don’t have that many substantive answers to engage the actual case. CPs do need solvency advocates and should have a clearly articulated net benefit. I am probably an easier sell than most judges on the aff arg that the "CP links to the net benefit" unless the neg develops a complete argument about why the CP avoids the net benefit (cards on this really help). Advantage CPs are awesome, especially when they implicate the aff’s ability to solve for one of their advantages. PICs are sweet if they’re actually substantive (I dislike word PICs, but I’ll vote on them if I have to). Other theory concerns will be addressed below.


I really like a good K debate. I have significantly increased my tendency to go for K arguments and think that I am deep into the literature in certain areas. I’m most comfortable with race theory, but am also great for mainstream Ks like cap or security. I am becoming more familiar with more high theory kritiks. I still think they will take some more explanation than other Ks, but if that's your jam, go for it. Good technical debating on the K is one of the most satisfying things to watch. As I said above, I do not want to have to do work for you. Please, explain your argument- I don’t want you to be hiding behind blocks that your coach wrote for you and then not understand what you’re saying when asked to explain it. I expect link analysis to be contextualized to the 1AC, and a clear impact to the links.

I think the most important part of debating the K is the alternative. Sure, you can identify problems with the aff through the link and impact debate, but I need to know what the hell the alt does to resolve those. I was always happy when teams that went for a K against me kicked the alt in the 2NR, because that just meant that the debate was case advantages against a non-unique DA. If you go for a K, I expect the 2NR to also interact with the case, otherwise I will be very convinced by the inevitable 2AR “case outweighs” claim.

I think meta-level framing is important within these debates, but I also do expect you to do line-by-line. I’m ok with overviews, but I would much rather this explanation be on the line-by-line. In these debates, I always look to the framework debate first, because that tells me how I should evaluate the round. I don't care what framework you run, but I think the aff probably gets to weigh their impacts, unless you win that they don't get to.

Planless Affs

I’ll preface this by saying that I’d guess about 80% of my 2NRs against planless affs have been T-USfg. On the other hand, I have defended multiple planless affs, because there is definitely some strategic aspect to doing so. I also can enjoy listening to planless affs if they actually advocate to do something.

Topicality- I really enjoy listening to these debates. I think T is usually the most strategic argument against affs that don’t defend a plan, so I am a decent judge for the neg in these debates. With that said, however, I am also open to the ideas that the aff brings to the debate about why the resolution or the structure of debate is flawed, and often find that the 2NR fails to extend an external impact. Thus, while my personal belief is that the aff should defend topical government action, I still vote aff in some of these debates.

I was never a fan of the “soft left," institutions framework arguments because the internal links become a lot weaker and the aff can definitely access some of your impacts. I think arguments about defending a topical governmental policy for the sake of engaging a well-prepared opponent are a lot more convincing. Predictable limits arguments are the most convincing as internal links to clash and in-depth research. Procedural fairness is definitely an impact, and one that has consistently been persuasive to me, but you will still have to articulate a good set of internal links and an impact in a non-arbitrary way. I think procedural arguments about the balance of prep and clash are more effective impacts and often serve as internal links to whatever other skills-based impacts you want to go for (Lundberg, Steinberg and Freeley, etc). Arguments like the topical version of the aff and "do it on the neg" are essential chunks of defense and should be made to filter aff offense.

I think that aff teams need to do a better job when answering topicality. From my own personal experience, I have found that aff teams get too drawn up in the exclusionary nature of T, and they try to impact turn everything about it. Although impact turns are absolutely necessary, I think sometimes this detracts from exploiting some internal link issues. I have yet to hear a team contest the terrible internal link between clash and portable skills to stop extinction from climate change. I think that some top-level impact turns and overall impact comparisons are good when answering T, but they should be coupled with arguments that attack shoddy internal links, and prove that you also access some of the benefits of their interpretation. Your counterinterpretation should set at least some kind of limit on the topic. Final note: Please don’t try to go for “we meet” in front of me if your aff is blatantly not topical- Even if you do win that part of the debate, it will make me very sad voting for you, which probably translates to mediocre speaks.

Judge instruction is vital in topicality debates. In a lot of these debates, I am left with large pieces of offense and defense floating around from both sides with no metric for weighing them against each other. Tell me why I should prioritize competitive equity over the cruel optimism DA, or vice-versa. Weighing arguments can only benefit you, since lack of such comparison invites intervention on my part, which may yield a different result than the one you desire.

Other strats- I’m fine with teams who want to engage the aff through a counter-advocacy or a K of their own. I will leave it up to the debaters within the round to tell me why or why not the aff should get a permutation in these types of debates.

Case Debate

Please engage in a case debate regardless of the aff that is being run. It is impressive to me when you can beat the other team on not only your arguments but theirs also. Also, case debates probably create the greatest amount of direct clash within a round when done correctly, which is great. If you can get me to vote neg on presumption or a small bit of offense that outweighs a minimal risk of case, speaker points will generously reflect it. (The same can be said about an aff that reduces the risk of a DA to functionally nothing).


I default to rejecting the argument on theory for everything except conditionality, unless I am convinced otherwise. Although I do have predispositions, I can easily be persuaded by good technical debating. Here are my predispositions when it comes to theory:

Advantage CPs- Very neg leaning

Substantive PICs- Very neg leaning

Conditionality- Neg leaning (1-2 are definitely good, 3 is ok, 4+ is pushing it)

Agent CPs/International CPs- Aff leaning (It becomes a much different story when the neg has a good solvency advocate)

Process CPs- Aff leaning

50 State CPs- Slightly aff leaning (Uniform 50 state fiat is probably bad.)

Word PICs- Aff leaning

Object fiat- Very aff leaning

Multiplank CPs are fine. Aff teams should clarify whether the neg can add/kick planks otherwise I'm letting the neg do whatever they want.

Judge-Kick- Absent a 2NR argument for judge-kick, I will refrain from doing so.

Final Thoughts

I like when debaters connect with me on a personal level- Feel free to make jokes, whether they be about debaters I know, or funny things that happened in the round. I just ask you to make sure that these don't come at the expense of the other team. References to the Patriots, Celtics, or other sports teams/players are more than welcome.

Some of my favorite judges in high school were Kevin Hirn, Shree Awsare, Malcolm Gordon, Yao Yao Chen, and Michael McCabe. I generally agree with most of their thoughts about debate.

I encourage you to ask questions of, and even disagree with my RFD. I just ask that you give me at least some level of respect, and allow me to articulate how I evaluated certain arguments. I usually take more time than usual to make decisions, because I like to make sure that I evaluated the possible "ways out" for the losing team, and I like to provide a typed up RFD that the individual debaters can see on tabroom following a tournament.

If anything is unclear here, feel free to ask me before the round- I have to admit that I do like to rant about my thoughts on debate, so I will not be bothered at all if you have a question about my paradigm.

Rajeev Raghavan Paradigm

Lexington High School Class of 2018

UMass Amherst Class of 2022

I did 4 years of policy debate at Lexington High School attending the TOC twice


I will openly vote on ANY argument barring racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, etc. arguments.

I don't know a huge amount about the topic so don't expect me to know abbreviations.


Don't clip cards. If you don't know what that means then just keep this in mind. Read all the highlighted text of a card but if you want to move on, make sure you use a pencil to mark where you stopped and moved on to another card.

I won't call you out for stealing prep, I'll just dock your speaks.

Impact calc is really important. Don't make me do the work for you. A close debate will probably be decided by impact calc.

I listen to cross-ex. Use the time to either understand your opponent's arguments or make fun of them. If you're using the 3 minutes of cross-ex for the second reason, reference it in your speech. Sorry but I can't vote on something if you expose it in CX and then don't talk about it at all later.

I am a 1A/2N so I might give a teeny tiny bit of leeway to new spins of arguments in the 2AR. HOWEVER, I won't stand for new arguments. I hate losing to an aff when the 1AR is garbage and the 2AR is good, but all new. New spin is kinda sorta fine but new arguments are not.

Case debate is pretty good to have. It makes it so much easier to vote on any non-procedural argument if you are beating them on the case debate. It's also pretty cool to just think that they have been running this aff for the whole year and you have heard about it for a solid 8 minutes and you're still beating them.


Planless Affs/T-USFG:

I think I like these debates more than the rest of the community. I am exceedingly objective despite my preference for the K side in high school. I do believe that there are convincing arguments on both sides and can easily be persuaded to vote either way. I think that if two teams squared off with the exact same skill level and debated with exactly the same proficiency, I would vote negative 51% of the time.

If you're aff, have a decent counterinterpretation that solves limits to some extent. I will obviously vote on impact turns to their standards, but try to make them nuanced. Innovative answers to T are both more interesting to judge and harder to answer.

If you're neg, remember to look at big picture arguments and don't go for too many impacts in the 2NR. Make sure to do work on the link and internal link level, not just the impact level. I prefer procedural impacts like fairness, clash, etc more than portable skill impacts like state education, decision-making, etc because A) I think procedural impacts are easier to win at the link and internal link level if you're right that debate is a game and B) portable skills aren't really that intrinsic to debate, but I can be persuaded that they are.

It bothers me when teams say that fairness is not an impact. Yes, it is an internal link to education but it's also a pre-requisite question to having a debate in the first place. Saying "fairness is just an internal link", however, is distinct from saying "the impact to fairness is a bad game". I can be sold on the latter with some contextualization of your offense to the process of debate and how your counterinterp solves it.


Easily the field that I'm most comfortable with. I went for only policy arguments novice year and most years at camp but then went for the K a lot during my sophomore, junior, and senior year. I can understand almost any K even if it's some dead French dude who scaled the ivory tower higher than his peers. I'm most comfortable understanding race arguments (probably because I went for them a lot) but don't read them unless you really have read the literature and know what you're talking about.

For the neg, make sure to have links to the world or specific representations of the aff otherwise it's just spitting out some lines from a book without much relevance. Just because I read the K a lot doesn't mean I'm biased towards it. In fact, it probably means you need to know what you're talking about more to pull off complex arguments like K's and I can probably tell when you don't know what you're talking about.

Please skip the 2-minute overviews if you can.

For the aff, go after the alt because it usually doesn't solve anything. A 3 minute CX push on what the alt does would probably increase your speaks in front of me and make the debate easier for you because you can push them into a corner where they don't really have a prescribed pragmatic action.

Make sure to win the FW debate because that's obviously the most important which is sometimes glossed over by aff teams. The last thing you want to lose to is "fiat is illusory so the plan doesn't matter". I will reluctantly vote on that which will make you upset. That also helps you a lot with the alt debate because then you can just describe the alternative as a net worse option to adopt than the plan and that debate should be easy to win. Don't drop K tricks in the 1AR.

I have a slightly higher threshold for perms in these debates. Usually, the strategy is just to prove the neg doesn't have any link specificity or reasons why the aff is uniquely a bad idea which is why the perm is a good idea. That doesn't really explain to me what the world of the perm looks like or how the two projects are compatible. Why is promoting institutional action compatible with an alternative that rejects legalism? I think questions like this need to be touched upon in the 1AR and fleshed out in the 2AR for me to be convinced by the perm.

Impact Turns:

Yes please. These are usually awesome debates and are really fun to judge. If you go for one with an advantage CP, it'll be a great debate and I will be happy.


I think the biggest problem with these debates is a lack of impact explanation. If teams were to explain T impacts to the same extent that they explain FW/T-USfg impacts, it would be a lot better.

It's a voter and never an RVI unless the block and the 2NR cold drops it. All the neg has to say to answer that is "T is 1 stock issue, it's their burden of proof"

I think one of the better arguments that teams need to look into more is about predictability of each interp, that helps to control the internal link to a lot of offense.

I probably default to competing interpretations but obviously, I'll vote on reasonability if you have sufficient internal link defense between potential abuse and their limits arguments.

Potential abuse needs to be impacted out with caselists and warranted reasons why those set bad limits


My default is to be able to kick the counterplan for you if the CP is conditional.

Well researched counterplans are super cool. Be prepared to explain why the counterplan doesn't link to the net benefit. External net benefits are cooler than internal net benefits. I lean slightly neg on counterplan competition but am definitely movable on that (especially with cheat-y process counterplans and a good definition debate). Apart from that, I'm fine with just about any counterplan.


These are also cool. I like the politics disad. It gives the opportunity to show off how much you've researched and also proves to me that you like spending time on debate work. For the love of god, please don't make a "bottom of the docket" argument.

Try to have specific link evidence but don't throw a fit if you don't. Impact calc is a must-have otherwise I have to do the work for you which increases the chance that I will make your impact seem smaller than it really is.

I lean towards link controlling direction of uniqueness


I can't say I'm a huge fan of theory debates but I'll listen to them. The part that makes me not like them is when you read pre-written, 1-sentence-each, blippy blocks that are clearly meant to skew the other team's time. Don't be that team. If you're going to read theory, be firm about it. The teams that know how to go for theory don't have 65,000 blocks typed out for them, they actually know what their internal links/impacts are and how they're exacerbated by the other teams interp. For specific theory arguments, I'm slightly neg-leaning on most arguments except conditionality (I'm neutral on this). 1 or 2 conditional off is fine. 3 is pushing it. 4 is like...


All in all, just have fun. Try and keep me engaged. The only thing keeping me from laying in my bed while judging your round is the food from the judge's lounge as well as the possibility of judging the future TOC winner.

If you're funny, be funny. Don't try if you aren't though because it just doesn't look good lol.

Don't say really offensive stuff to your opponent, they probably didn't do anything to deserve it.

+0.3 speaks if you make a joke about Chris Jun, Ravi Raghavan, Matthew Tan, Dhruv Sudesh, North Broward MR, Rik Naga, or Kevin Lu. I wouldn't expect you to know much about them so just pretend they smell/dress/look bad and are bad at debate and roast accordingly.

If you have any questions, ask me before round because it's pretty fun to talk about my preferences and answer specific questions. If you want to ask before the tournament, email me at rajeev2000@gmail.com

Good luck!

Max Saltman Paradigm

Just be nice to each other. Besides that, do whatever you want. 

Lee Sharmat Paradigm

Tags slow

Overt Speed - not my favorite

If I request "clear" a couple of times - and you don't do it - I will put my pen down.  If you see that, it's a problem...for you.

Rebuttals - stop reading cards.  Talk to me.  Line by lines - yes!

Roadmaps and signposting makes me happy.

Multiple DA's annoy me.

Aditi Srinivasan Paradigm

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Sander Straus Paradigm

The Meadows School '15

Northeastern University '19

e-mail: pokerman1996@gmail.com ***PLEASE ADD ME TO YOUR EMAIL CHAIN***

*If you have any questions ask me before the round – it will not hurt your speaks in any way, it can only help*

About me – I debated for 4 years at The Meadows School in Las Vegas, NV -- I tended to be more policy than K during my debate career

How to win in front of me:
— explanation - usually, the team that explains their arguments (and how they interact with the other team's arguments) more will win

— you can convince me an argument is good in many ways —> cross ex, persuasion, good evidence, etc.

— explain net benefits to CPs and how the CP solves for some/all of the aff —> I won't do this for you via my flows

— make the link to Ks and DAs VERY clear – shady links need ever more analysis

— @AFFs – make sure you have offense on your advantages/solvency or you will lose 100% of the time

— @AFFs – make perms on CPs and Ks – tends to be a solid way to either garner offense or make the neg's positions non-competitive/not mutually exclusive

— go as fast as you want just be clear (slow down on tags) - if you're not/I can't understand you I will say "clear" (at that point slow down and enunciate better)

Specific arguments:
— DAs - please explain the link, people tend to read DAs with terrible link evidence and tend to not explain it. I'm not very convinced by "1% risk of a link means you vote neg" args – you should be explaining the link in that time. TURNS CASE IS IMPORTANT. If the 2ar is really really good on uniqueness, and just spends like 2-3 minutes doing amazing explanation, its almost impossible for me to be convinced by negative 'try or die' arguments.

— Politics - Trump's presidency makes this topic even more interesting. There is a lot of good ev. and literature out there given the political scene right now and it is a hot topic right now even with the archaic immigration laws that we currently have in the U.S. Nonetheless, PTX can easily be defeated by affirmative arguments about the illegitimacy of political capital or the low quality of negative evidence. Still, sometimes the negative wins by out-teching the aff.

— CPs - theory is really, really important because most counterplans are extremely theoretically illegitimate. In particular, the argument that 'counterplans that do/can result in the entirety of the plan are a voting issue' is very persuasive to me. Explain how the CP solves the aff and the specific net benefit to the CP. I WILL NOT DO THIS FOR YOU. *If you read Lopez, you better win theory.*

— T - T is good, especially on this topic where a lot of affs are K are shady on how they link to the resolution. Your explanation o/w evidence, but cards are important for definitional purposes. Why is your interp. of the topic better? Limits isn't really an argument, because there are an infinite amount of cases under any theoretical topic - i think of limits as the key internal link to ground, which is a much more important impact. Since teams rarely do impact comparison when going for topicality, if you do even a little bit you'll probably win. Reasonability isn't a real argument, don't waste your time.

—Ks - not the world's biggest fan of no alt Ks and ones with bad links, but am open to listening to them. I have been more policy than critical in my debate career; this means that I most likely will not pick up on K tricks that you might have used to win rounds in the past. Explanation is very important so I can understand your K. Usually, the team that talks about the aff more wins. FW can be a reason that I shouldn't even look at the case, but it depends on how it is argued. Role of the ballot arguments are usually really self-serving, and I'll sympathize with affirmatives that do a good job of pointing this out. Explain the impact to the K and how it o/w the aff's impact, and vice versa for the aff. Also, the Neg needs to explain what the world of the alternative looks like for me to be convinced that the alt is a good idea. ***I will NOT pick up on your K tricks because I am not a huge K debater; spend more time on the components of the K than on tricks***

— Theory - conditionality is good, dispo is better. That being said, it is still a good idea to read mutiple offcase positions as condo if you have more than one. Neg – provide a C/I and explain why that's the best way to frame debate. Aff - explain the in-round abuse and why your interp. is the best for debate. EXPLAIN TERMINAL IMPACTS TO CONDO AND WHY THAT HURTS DEBATE. I have been known to vote solely on 2ARs going for condo.

— Framework - YOU HAVE TO READ THIS AGAINST ALL K AFFS - I will vote on FW so treat this is a viable 2nr strat. In addition, I'm not really sure why teams are going for decision-making/education impacts on framework; fairness and predictability arguments are much more persuasive to me. K teams will ALWAYS have more game on the education front. @Neg: explain why your vision for the topic and debate is better, try to provide a topical version of the aff as an example, and talk about in-round abuse if you go for fairness/predictability (cross apply this to T as well).

— No plan aff's - again, not a huge fan. That being said, I'm still open to listening to them. The more the aff is about the topic, the less of a threat framework should be. Make sure you explain the world of the aff and what it looks like.

– There is nothing I love more than fun, challenging debates. BE FUNNY, but still be smart. I enjoy witty humor more than nonsense. Humor --> higher speaks (given you are still good at policy debate and aren't an extemp. debater in policy)

– The better your ethos the more speaker points you will receive; if you feel like you're winning the debate, then you probably are. That being said, your performance during speeches and cross-x will determine a lot of your speaks (in addition to solid args).

Eman Tahawi Paradigm

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Paulina Tarr Paradigm

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Miana Vega Paradigm

6 rounds

General Info:

Miana Vega

Proud Boriqua Educator and Artist

National Debate Coach at John D. Wells, MS. 50

Full-time Undergraduate Student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Full time Paraprofessional in Brooklyn, NYC

Debate Career:

ACORN Community High School 2012-16: Policy Debate

Coached Leon M. Goldstien from 2016-17

Judging Policy and Public Forum from 2015- Present

Judging LD from 2018- Present

For the majority of my debate career I was double 2s, and later became 2N, 1A.

Overall Rules and Expectations:

I do not count flashing as prep unless you take a century.

If you do not have a paper copy of your evidence then you must have a viewing laptop or must share evidence via email/flash, upon request.

I believe that judges are NOT supposed to intervene in round under any circumstances, unless in the case of an extreme emergency.

I shouldn't have to tell you be respectful or to not use hateful, racist, ablest, or homophobic language. And I won't, if I hear it, I will automatically give the ballot to the other team. ABSOLUTELY NOT TOLERATED.

Some may think petty debaters or debaters with attitudes are amusing or cute, I don't. Treat your competitors with respect or it will affect your speaker points.

Judge Philosophy:

I believe that it is my responsibility as the judge of the round to remove any pre-exsisting notions or opinions from my mind of whatever topic you chose to debate over, and act as an objective observer who decides whether or not the aff is a good idea. Unless told otherwise in the round, this is the perspective I default to.

Minimal expectations are the following: If the negative does not provide any disads to voting aff then I will vote aff. If the aff does not prove that the aff is better than the status quo and has an actual solvency method, then I will vote negative. It is in your best interest (speaker points) to go far beyond these basic debate expectations. I'm generous with speaker points if you keep me engaged and make sure I understand you, they usually range from 27-29.5

I don't have any specific preference when it comes to argumentation and I will vote on virtually anything you want me to if explained well.

Anthony Wong Paradigm

Lexington '17

Emory '21

4 years on the national circuit, broke at most octas-bid tourneys senior year of high school.

I've judged 15 rounds on the immigration topic so far. That being said, immigration is still a pretty complex topic so please don't assume I'll know every single law or policy you're referencing, or minute distinctions right off the bat. I tend to read along to the 1AC and 1NC. I flow straight down on paper so please do good LBL

CPs: I evaluate CPs by starting with the perm. If there's no perm, I evaluate solvency deficits in relation to risk of net-benefits. I haven't thought much about CP theory so when evaluating "cheating" CPs although just based off of the theory arguments against cheating CPs I might be slightly aff leaning, but I don't think CP theory would be a reason to reject the team, but definitely willing to use it as leverage to get rid of certain parts of the CP because those parts might be abuse e.g. kicking uniformity planks on 50 states because they're abusive.

K: I'm familiar with most "policy" kritiks which would be security, neolib, anti-blackness, liberalism, etc. Senior year of high school my fall back option was always security, and all the other people on my team read neolib or anti-blackness. I only have trouble when you get into the realm of very dead and very french people like Baudrillard. In terms of evaluating Ks I start with framework to determine if the aff gets to weigh the aff (usually they do...). If there's a perm I'll then evaluate the perm, if there's no perm then I'll evaluate the impact calc of the aff vs the impacts of the K. This is where the dead french people usually run into trouble. I need the neg to do a good job of explaining specific manifestations of how the K turns/outweighs the case. Example: if you make a communication overload argument and tie it in relation to serial policy failure, I need a specific example of how the affs problematic participation in the symbolic exchange blah blah blah recreates violence beyond just communication overload is the root cause of violence. Contextualize it to the aff! The most persuasive links to me are when you can pull lines from the 1AC ev to demonstrate how they fall into whatever discourse your K authors would kritik.

DAs: In my opinion, they are potentially the worst 2NR option to go for without a CP to mitigate the case, just simply because affs are designed to mitigate the status quo. What I've noticed is that most of the time when the 2NR is DA and case the 2AR will stand up and grand stand about a specific warrant from the case that was dropped which would end up creating large discrepancies between the impact calc and quality of ev of affs vs DAs. In my opinion, if the 2NR is just DA vs case, the block needs to do a very good case debate and the 2NR typically needs to have good extension of all the case debating from the block. If there's a CP, I've found that most of the time it comes down to evaluating risk of the solvency deficit vs risk of the net benefit.

T: My biggest problem with T is that the aff never defines what reasonability is and the neg never bothers to explain what reasonability is either. I really enjoy these debates, when both teams are very clear about what they include AND what the exclude. This means providing specific examples of aff/neg ground under either interp WITHOUT speeding through the examples so quick that I can't write them down and explaining why including or excluding those specific affs vs others is important. The aff and the neg in the 2NR/2AR need to highlight what impact they're going for in their final rebuttal, impact it out, explain how their interp best leads to their impact, and explain why your impact/interp outweighs/turns that of the other team. In this way, I like to think of T debates as very structurally similar to CP+DA vs aff debates or in a very offense-defense paradigm.

Framework: To quote Viveth, "go for T not framework. Framework is a control of form (i.e. you cannot present alternative types of evidence, you cannot perform, etc.) Topicality is a modest limit on content(i.e. we should be discussing the topic)". I don't think the skills arguments are very persuasive just because the aff has so many in-roads into skills arguments. I do think that "topic education good" arg is very interesting. That being said, I do think that procedural fairness is the best impact there is. In high school I enjoyed reading other positions besides T vs K affs, but in college I've found myself transitioning more to T. I think the best way for affs to beat T is to make arguments which criticize key assumptions that T makes e.g. nothing happens after you vote aff or neg, the subjectivity of the participants in the debate is irrelevant, or that T is agnostic about the substance of the debate. To think of this in a more abstract form would be to consider a common argument that's made which is the form vs content argument. T likes to gain their offense off parts of the debate that are purely about the form of the debate. However, the aff best gains inroads by exploiting the parts of debate where form inevitably influences content e.g. our social location inevitably impacts how we approach the topic and engage in the form of debate. Also I find that the aff is in a very good spot if the 2AC at the top devotes some time to explaining the aff and key phrases, and its relation to the ballot. Don't assume I'll know what you're talking about. Fairness is an impact

Theory: Almost nothing is a voter besides condo. Although I'm willing to consider CP theory as a reason to reject certain planks. e.g. 50 state fiat could be a reason to reject a plank of the CP which fiats out of a logical solvency deficit. For condo, 2 is fine, 3 is meh. don't know what you're doing if you're reading more than 3. I evaluate theory very similarly to T except the main difference is that if the neg is reading more than 2 condo, I need them to impact out the key distinction on their interp about why having 3+ condo is better than 2 condo. If you build your offense around there I think you're in a good spot. But don't forget about impact calc. Pick one impact and go for it, don't go for multiple impacts, and explain how your interp best accesses the I/L to that impact, and why the other teams doesn't, etc etc. Fairness is an impact


If you have any questions, assume I will default to policy norms

I know close to nothing except that in LD debate there's plan style debating and there's also value style debating. As a policy debater, I'm more comfortable with plan style debate. Basically, it's easier for me to understand what it's saying if it's formatted similarly to policy. With that in mind, you should assume I know nothing about the topic so make sure if there are any acronyms or nuances of the topic don't assume I know any of it. I will evaluate a value style debate similar to the way I evaluate the kritik section above. I will first evaluate which value criterion I should prefer, and from there, evaluate the line by line. In terms of plan style debating, I'll just follow my policy criterion as described above. I'm really not in the mood for tricks with blippy theory args such as "CPs must be topical". If it's something substantive I'm fine with it (maybe, spreading bad, assuming you don't spread).

Random LD mannerisms which apparently are still in flux:

Making your opponent take prep time so that you can finish answering their question: okay.... or you could be a nice person and just answer it.

I don't like disclosing speaks

I don't like disclosing speaks

I don't like disclosing speaks

Kendra Wright Paradigm

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Allen Xu Paradigm

3rd Year Policy Debater at Lexington High School

Run whatever you want but be smart about it. I'll vote on anything done well. 

Tech > Truth


Corey Yarbrough Paradigm

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Sabrina Zhang Paradigm

Add me to the email chain - sabrinasabrinazhang@gmail.com


My past debate experience:

  • 4 years of policy debate at Lexington High School
  • My senior year I qualified for NDCA and the TOC national debate tournaments
  • Competed in 25+ tournaments, if you want more detail, ask me about it when I judge you
  • I am currently affiliated with Lexington High School in MA


Last topic debated: China topic 2016-17, I know nothing about education policy so please define acronyms during the 1AC and CX and describe lesser-known acts on education 

This was my wiki from last year if this would help you: https://hspolicy16.debatecoaches.org/Lexington/Gao-Zhang+Neg


I was a 2N and my favorite debate arguments were:

  • Case-specific turns (I will vote on a flushed-out case turn)
  • Well-researched DAs
  • A specific CP + a generic DA
  • Cap K
  • Commodification/Tuck & Yang


  • I am a very good judge for anything you may want to run and I evaluate everything - I have written out some things that I am more/less persuaded by below, but please do not let that deter you from running what you are comfortable with - if you debate it better than your opponent then I will vote for you!!



  • I want to be added to the email chain but I will not be looking at cards unless I have to at the end of the debate - it is your job to explain cards throughout the debate, a good card will not save you if you didn't debate it well
  • I prefer technical debate - this means that if you have a sketchy I/L that wasn't answered I would vote on it, this DOES NOT mean that you can make arguments like "they dropped it, we win" - you have to flush out every argument even if it was dropped
  • Know your evidence - extend the best cards throughout speeches, know what they are saying - I dislike when teams are questioned about evidence and they don't know how to answer questions - it's just awkward so make sure you read your evidence before hand
  • I reward good research/preparation - this usually is granted through the speaks I give you - I think that debate is fundamentally a research/prep activity and debate is only fun and educational when both teams come into the debate prepared - Please have specific answers to arguments
  • I WILL ONLY SAY CLEAR ONCE - Please be clear after that!!! If you don't listen to me when I say clear, that is your problem. Your speaker points will be affected and you will potentially lose the ballot (depends on how much of your arguments I can actually flow)
  • Take advantage of CX time!!! It is not just a time for "extra prep" - this is the BEST time to poke holes in your opponents' arguments and establish flaws in them - I love good CXs
  • Make your speeches easy to flow - do line by line, sign post, be clear when you are moving on, etc
  • PLEASE DO IMPACT CALCULUS - I don’t care what argument you go for - tell me at the top of your speech what your impacts are and why they matter



  • I tend to give out points generously, so please give me a reason to give you higher points - I assign speaker points on these factors: making smart arguments, asking good questions and follow-up questions, being a likable person, speaking clearly
  • < 27.0 - you are rude and unlikable, please learn manners
  • 27.0-27.5 - you have a lot of potential in debate, but you are still learning the ropes and it is clear you are confused about arguments/debate - keep at it!
  • 27.5-28.0 - good debater but still shaky - you are missing some key arguments that you need in the round and you are making some mistakes, but I can tell that you are working on improving
  • 28.0-28.5 - good debater but you made a mistake(s) that was avoidable
  • 28.5-29 - great debater, but not doing anything exceptionally smart - I think you deserve to be in elims of the tournament
  • 29.0-29.5 - amazing debater, you are making the right arguments and are efficient in doing so - you have a ton of potential and I believe you should be in the top 10 speakers
  • 29.5-30.0 - you are making arguments that are too good not to vote for, you are the best debater and I think you deserve to win top speaker and all the tournaments from here on out



  • I really love T debates when they are done correctly - this means that both teams must have offense on why their counterinterpretation is better
  • Please have a caselist on the neg and please explain why each aff you choose is good for the topic whereas the aff team's is not - Caselists should be carefully thought out before the debate
  • If you are aff against topicality, have offense, do not just extend reasonability and pray I will vote for it
  • If you are neg in the above scenario, please go for T - don't shy away from topicality debates!!



  • I think that the link determines the direction of uniqueness - In that regard, please have a strong link to the aff (have a specific card)
  • Politics DAs - I love politics disadvantages, but make sure your evidence is recent - in these debates usually the most recent evidence is the best evidence - Establish a clear internal link chain in the 1NC and keep to the same story - Side note: I will not vote on politics theory even if it is the entirety of the 2AR
  • I think the best DA is an aff-specific DA - this is where I want you to show off your extensive preparation - if you have a DA based on the implementation of the plan with good evidentiary support, I would likely be persuaded by it
  • Aff teams - If you are going to go for a turn on a DA, you have to have evidence supporting your turn, make sure you have impact defense and link arguments when you answer a DA



  • I believe in sufficiency framing - this does not mean I vote neg on every counterplan, because I hold a very high threshhold for CP solvency - You have to spend a lot of time proving how your CP solves the impacts of the aff - on the aff side this means you have to prove why it doesn't solve/aff method is better
  • Not the biggest fan of generic CPs because more often than not they don't solve - Please have a solvency card on the neg specific to the aff
  • If you have multiple planks, it is my pet peeve when teams don't read a solvency advocate (s) that advocate for all of the planks
  • COUNTERPLAN THEORY - here are some things I am convinced by in terms of theory - One conditional advocacy is good, Conditional planks are bad, and object fiat is bad - In general, I can be convinced by any other theory argument - Please don't be afraid of going for theory in front of me



  • I think that it is extremely important to be able to test how the aff makes decisions - I would vote off of FW if it is impacted out
  • Links - I think that the link debate is the most important part of a K - Please make your links as specific as possible, and please make as many links as you can - it helps if your links are carded as well, but I will evaluate well-thought out analytical links as well - I do not like links of omission or generic "state bad" or "state is capitalist" links, I might vote on them but I think that is lazy debating
  • Alternative - Please do not kick out of your alternative - I've voted on teams who have done that before, but it is really risky and if you are going to spend the time to explain why you don't have to win the alternative, you have the time to extend it
  • Permutations - Don't have competing ideologies in the 1NC because then I am almost compelled to vote for the permutation do both, if you are aff, please extend a permutation but make sure you address links in order to go for the permutation as your main strategy
  • I will NOT evaluate an impact turn if you are making an argument like "racism good" or "imperialism good" - that would be a big no-no in my book and you will get zero speaker points and a stern lecture
  • If you want to read a high-theory K, please explain it in the context of the topic, please do not put together buzzwords that don't form full sentences, this is a huge pet-peeve of mine
  • If you are aff, make sure you have answers on all parts of the K and make sure you can justify your assumptions to make in your aff
  • I also dislike overviews that are more than 2 minutes long - I hate getting out a new sheet for an overview, this is not debate this is a rant and you are avoiding clash entirely by doing this



  • I really like hearing Kritikal affirmatives, and even though I debated mostly policy affs during my four years, I am open to listening to any affirmative you may have
  • Please relate to the topic in some way - Mention it briefly, it's not hard, explain why you couldn't defend changing education policy - I believe that this helps you against potential framework arguments
  • FRAMEWORK - I think fairness can be an impact on its own, but there is a high standard you have to prove that you just couldn't have debated and the debate should be over just because of the aff - It would be better if you use fairness as an internal link to other impacts - Have TVAs to make your argument better - Contextualize all your answers in the context of what the aff is
  • AT FRAMEWORK - Have a lot of DAs to their interpretation of debate - contextualize everything to your aff - Explain why whatever you're doing is good for debate/why debate is bad now - Have a counterinterpretation/counter ROB as well, they are good to have and extend even if your counterinterpretation isn't a strong argument


TLDR; Make smart arguments and be good people!





Sophia Zhang Paradigm

Not Submitted

Ruth Zheng Paradigm

Debated: Lexington High School 2013-2017, Harvard 2017—

Email Chain: ruthzheng15@gmail.com

Pretty much everything is permitted. That being said, if you do something abhorrent I will drop you. I'll evaluate the debate based on what was said in the round. If you want me to read evidence, please contest it within the debate. Framing is important. Tech \geq Truth. I won't vote for an argument if I don't understand it, though (re: grumpyface).

*Note on Framework v. Non-Topical Affs: I'm disinclined to think that fairness is a terminal impact, so persuading me otherwise will be an uphill battle (although not impossible). Limits or literally anything else is fine.