Golden Desert Debate Tournament at UNLV

2017 — NV/US

Christian Bato Paradigm

6 rounds



4-time NDT Qualifier

Second year judging college debate


I believe that there is a great value to flow-centric, line-by-line debating. Though I don't claim to have the best flow in the country, I believe many debates can be simplified and made clearer by emphasizing the basics of lining arguments up and answering them accordingly. Not only will teams have a better chance to win my ballot by attempting some semblance of organization, but I believe the overall clash of argumentation that would result from this focus could yield more in depth scholarship and understanding of the topic being discussed.

Debaters should clearly flag pieces of evidence they want evaluated after the debate. Failure to do so will more than likely result in me evaluating the round sans calling for cards.


I believe that debate is an educational and competitive activity. It is my job to adjudicate and render a decision based solely on the arguments presented in the debate. That being said, I believe it is the burden of the debaters to effectively and clearly deploy their arguments if they feel they are critical to the outcome of the round. I will always do my best to match your level of effort from the other side of the podium (or tabletote), but if I can’t understand your argument, or you for that matter, any disagreements we may have about the decision after the round will be largely attributed to 'a failure to communicate’.


Framework/Performance—I believe that framework sets the parameters for the debate round. Debate is an educational activity and it is important to understand what purpose the debate round serves in order to maximize learning. I also believe that the resolution matters and that there are unique benefits to learning and debating about timely issues, but if you can sufficiently explain why there is a more productive and educational reason to view the round you will find yourself in better shape. For me, the central question in these debates relies mainly on scholarship and knowledge production. If you can win that your view of debate is ultimately beneficial in that way, I will default to that explanation.

Ks—I am not well versed in this literature, so I would prefer not to hear any "high theory" stuff. I believe that if you are able to clearly establish a link to the aff/plan mechanism you will be in a pretty good position. Alternatives should also provide a specific option or worldview that I can advocate as opposed to simply rejecting the aff. 

CPs—I’m not really a fan of process (condition or consult) CPs. I believe that competition is generated from the plan, not necessarily ‘immediacy’ or ‘certainty’. 

A)    Conditionality is fine if you’re reading 2 advocacies, anything beyond that gets a little iffy.

B)    Other CP theory arguments will generally not be a reason to reject the team.

DAs—The most important issue here is that your disad makes sense. If there are logical holes in your story, the affirmative doesn’t need to have a card to point them out. Comparative impact calculus goes a long way.

Case—My favorite kinds of debate generally involve case defense and a disadvantage/case turns. When extending case arguments, be sure to explain the warrants of your evidence and compare them to that of your opponent. The winner of these debates generally isn’t the team that reads more cards, but the one who can explain and apply the cards they read best.  

I’m happy to answer any other specific questions you may have.

Have fun. Be respectful. Compete.








Mike Bausch Paradigm

6 rounds

Mike Bausch

Director of Debate, Kent Denver

Please include me in email chains; my email is

Do what you do best and I will try to leave my predispositions at the door. I have voted for and against every kind of argument. How you debate matters more than what you debate.

I care most about your ability to successfully communicate and defend your arguments by flowing, doing line-by-line, speaking clearly, and thoroughly explaining your arguments throughout the debate. I do not follow along with the speech document and will tell you clear if I can’t understand you. The best tip I can give you is to go for less arguments as the debate develops and explain those arguments more.

Argument resolution is the most important part of debating. Making choices, explaining what issues are most important, identifying what to do with drops, answering “so what” questions, making “even if” statements, and comparing arguments (links, impacts, solvency, etc) are all examples of the kinds of judge instruction that winning rebuttals should focus on.

I value the research skills that debate fosters. I think a lot of teams get away with reading poor evidence. Please make evidence comparison (data, warrants, source, or recency) a significant part of the debate. Evidence that is highlighted in complete and coherent sentences is much more persuasive than evidence that is not.

The affirmative should present an advocacy that they can defend as topical. I prefer debates to be about topic related policy and critical literature and I think there is value to orienting our research around the resolution for both educational and competitive reasons.

The negative should clash with the affirmative. I am more persuaded by strategies that compete with ideas or positions the affirmative has actually committed to. I think many generic negative strategies, like process counterplans and “fiat not real” style critiques, are not automatically competitive.

Ian Beier Paradigm

2 rounds

I think debate is a game with educational benefits. I will listen to anything, but there are obviously some arguments that are more persuasive than others. i think this is most of what you're looking for:

1. arguments - For me to vote on an argument it must have a claim, warrant, and impact. A claim is an assertion of truth or opinion. A warrant is an analytical connection between data/grounds/evidence and your claim. An impact is the implication of that claim for how I should evaluate the debate. debate is competitive and adversarial, not cooperative. My bias is that debate strategies should be evidence-centric and, at a minimum, rooted in an academic discipline. My bias is that I do not want to consider anything prior to the reading of the 1AC when making my decision.

3. framework - arguments need to be impacted out beyond the word 'fairness' or 'education'. affirmatives do not need to read a plan to win in front of me. however, there should be some connection to the topic. fairness is a terminal impact.

4. critiques - they should have links to the plan or have a coherent story in the context of the advantages. i am less inclined to vote neg for broad criticisms that arent contextualized to the affirmative. a link of omission is not a link. similarly, affirmatives lose debates a lot just because their 2ac is similarly generic and they have no defense of the actual assumptions of the affirmative.

5. counterplans - should likely have solvency advocates but its not a dealbreaker. slow down when explaining tricks in the 2nc.

6. theory - more teams should go for theory more often. negatives should be able to do whatever they want, but affirmatives need to be able to go for theory to keep them honest.

7. topicality - its an evidentiary issue that many people impact poorly. limits, not ground, is the controlling internal link for most T-related impacts. saying 'we lose the [insert argument]' isnt really an impact without an explanation of why that argument is good. good debates make comparative claims between aff/neg opportunities to win relative to fairness.

8. clipping - i sometimes read along with speeches if i think that you are clipping. i will prompt you if i think you are clipping and if i think you are still clipping i will vote against you even if the other team doesnt issue an ethics challenge.

9. 2nr/2ar - there are lots of moving parts in debate. if you disagree with how i approach debate or think about debate differently, you should start your speech with judge instruction that provides an order of operations or helps construct that ballot. teams too often speak in absolute certainties and then forward.

unapologetically stolen from brendan bankey's judge philosophy as an addendum because there is no reason to rewrite it:

---"Perm do the counterplan" and "perm do the alt" are claims that are often unaccompanied by warrants. I will not vote for these statements unless the aff explains why they are theoretically legitimate BEFORE the 2AR. I am most likely to vote for these arguments when the aff has 1) a clear model of counterplan/alternative competition AND 2) an explanation for where the

I would prefer that debaters engage arguments instead of finesse their way out of links. This is especially awful when it takes place in clash debates. If you assert your opponent's offense does not apply when it does I will lower your speaker points.

In that vein, it is my bias that if an affirmative team chooses not to say "USFG Should" in the 1AC that they are doing it for competitive reasons. It is, definitionally, self-serving. Self-serving does not mean the aff should lose [or that its bad necessarily], just that they should be more realistic about the function of their 1AC in a competitive activity. If the aff does not say "USFG Should" they are deliberately shifting the point of stasis to other issues that they believe should take priority. It is reciprocal, therefore, for the negative to use any portion of the 1AC as it's jumping off point.

I think that limits, not ground, is the controlling internal link for most T-related impacts. Ground is an expression of the division of affirmative and negative strategies on any given topic. It is rarely an independent impact to T. I hate cross-examination questions about ground. I do not fault teams for being unhelpful to opponents that pose questions in cross-examination using the language of ground. People commonly ask questions about ground to demonstrate to the judge that the aff has not really thought out how their approach to the resolution fosters developed debates. A better, more precise question to ask would be: "What are the win conditions for the negative within your model of competition?"

old judge philosophy wiki that i will leave as a historical artifact:

Me – I debated for both Cate Palczweski and Jacob Thompson. I was the ADoD at UNLV from 2010-2013. I was at Damien High School from 2013-2015. I was at KU from 2015-2018. I am now at College Prep.

Cross-ex is rarely damning on any question. Stop saying that. if the person you are speaking over in cross-ex is your own partner who is also trying to answer the question, you may have a problem. a hilarious problem.

for the love of god can we stop having these moments in cross ex where we say "obviously debate doesnt leave this room when we say the government should do something" in a condescending tone. you sound ridiculous. no one thinks that. literally no one. this is like... the royalty of a straw-person argument.

I like solvency advocates that say what your plan says, impact comparisons, people that are having fun, and milkshakes. I flow. I vote on dropped arguments that I dont believe.

I increasingly find myself protecting negative teams because the 2AR explanation seems too new. So for all of you shady 2ARs out there, you need to hide your newness better. Or, you know, communicate with your partner so that they can help set up your argument(s).

Debate is a world of enthymemes where there is a lot of presumption on the part of community in relation to the meaning of the text that you choose to speak. It would be a mistake to not fully explain an argument because you think I "get it." Sometimes that may be the case, but that is by no means a universal truth. Play your game, but make sure I understand what game we are playing at the conclusion of the debate. E.g. If you thought an evidence comparison should have gone differently than my RFD, it is probably your fault. Debate is a communicative activity, so identifying how I should evaluate your evidence / their evidence is... important.

I think debate is a game. This probably makes me evaluate debate differently. I will listen to anything I guess. If you think an argument is stupid, I would assume that you can easily defeat said argument. These are my thoughts, but keep in mind I will not just insert these things into the debate. That is your job. I have front loaded the philosophy with the things that you are most likely here to read. Without further ado:

Clipping - in many respects I think that prompts for clarity are interventionist. However, clipping is rampant, particularly during the 1AC. if I think that you are clipping, I will say clear. If it becomes a problem, I will prompt you with something to the effect of "read all of the highlighting." If I think that you are still clipping after this prompt, I will vote against you.

Buzzwords – stop it. If you cannot explain the argument, then that dog wont hunt. Also, I would really appreciate it if people would stop saying 'sure' prior to answering questions.

Critiques – An Aff will probably lose if they read generic answers and: don’t apply them to the criticism and don’t apply them to the affirmative. The more topic specific the K the better. The negative needs to win either that you 1) solve the aff 2) outweigh the aff [in those weird method v method debates] 3) have a framework or theory that makes the aff irrelevant. I dig the impact turn (imperialism good, Fox News) but also understand that these are probably more links to the critique. I find that lots of high end theory does not make sense when it is reduced to a blurb in the debate. method v method might be a top 5 worse argument in debate next to aspec.

"non-plan affs" – That word probably bastardizes your argument but I don't have a great alternate label that people can find in a quick search through judge philosophies. These are my predispositions. If you can address them, I'm all yours (but even if you don't, you should not worry. It seems to impact the debate less and less because you are answering generic blocks with specific arguments about your method.):
First, "role of the ballot" is over-used and rarely explained as a concept. Please do not assume that you will win just because you said it. Second, my understanding of the "policy debate good" literature means if I don't understand by your last speech, I will vote on a coherent framework argument. This is becoming less and less true because people are so afraid to say limits that they just say "you killed my decision-making" and decide thats sufficient for an impact. Third, these types of arguments typically mean the other team is forced to defend the community practices and not their own. At times I think this is a straw person argument, but I have become increasingly aware that this is not as artificial as I used to think. Fourth, teams tend to hilariously mishandle form arguments and generally lack a coherent strategy on the neg when answering these affs. Most of the time, every argument is a different way to say "you gotta have a plan." Even if the arguments sound distinct in the 1NC, they usually aren't by the 2NR. Rather than focusing on what you have prewritten, you should exploit these problems in the neg strategy. I end up voting for critical teams quite a bit because of this strategic problem even though i firmly believe in the pedagogical value of affirmatives being germane to the resolution.

Framework - "a discussion of the topic rather than a topical discussion" is not a good counter-interpretation. the limits disad is real.

Topicality – T is not genocidal unless the argument is dropped. I evaluate it like a disad so you should impact out arguments beyond words like "fairness" or "education". topicality is an evidentiary issue

Theory – You should go for theory because teams dont know how to answer it. The more counterplans there are, the more sympathetic I become to theory. that being said, its hard to be negative and the neg can do whatever they want. My threshold for theory other than conditionality is somewhat high as a reason to reject the team.

Disads - do people even read judge philosophies for this anymore? Don't bury me in cards. You may not like the outcome. Explanation of 1 really good card is better than 5 bad cards. The politics disad is a thing and so are other disads. i cut a lot of politics updates.

Counterplans - should have solvency advocates and should exploit generic link chains in aff advantages. The idea that a counterplan needs a card specific to the aff is not a deal breaker. Affs should probably read CP texts... they often times fiat out of your solvency deficits. what happened to 2nc counterplans?

Case Debate - These should be a thing. Ideally, there should be more than just generic impact defense. Otherwise, you will probably lose to specificity. People should impact turn.... everything.

Jerrell Berrios Paradigm

4 rounds

I did policy debate at UNLV for four years. I'm in my last semester of law school at UNLV. While I read everything except pomo in my career, I ended my career focusing on traditional policy arguments. I am open to all types of arguments. I'm a bit pursuaded by t/fw, but ultimately i think it comes down the debating done in the round.

K's - I think the only thing worth mentioning is that I have a high threshold for the explanation of the alt (how it solves, what it does, etc). I believe that the best k's are the ones that genuinely interact with the aff. Debate is a game of clash. I think the threshold for alt solvency has dropped far too much in the past couple of years.

Negative strategy – I believe in preserving maximum strategic and theoretical flexibility for negative teams. I don’t believe contradictions are a bad thing early in the debate, as long as the negative block and the 2nr is consistent. Edit: I think k perf con often justifies perm do the alt, especially when the framing on the k is a question of epistemology / scholarship

CPs—The text of the CP (and all perms) should be written out, and I hold them to as high a standard as I do the affirmative plan. I do not think that a negative team should be afraid to CP in the 2NC (it is a constructive, aff gets a CX, and the risk of a straight turn in the 1AR should check any abuse). These 2NC counter plans could be used to make external impact turns or uniqueness takeouts go away.

T- I'm going to steal this from Matt Gomez because I agree with him:
IMPACT YOUR STANDARDS. Education, ground, and fairness are internal links. Decision-making, Advocacy, and research skills are impacts.
Affirmative team: Counter standards and tell me what affs they'd eliminate from the topic and why those affs are good.
Negative Team: What affs do they allow, why are they bad, what affs do you allow, why does that resolve their impacts.

DA's - DA's are awesome.

LD -- I really enjoy an in-depth value/vc debate. If you tell me to evaluate the debate a certain way and have offensive reasons for why that's good; i'll do it. I think it's strategic in framing out offense.

I feel like the best type of debaters to these things consistently:
a) Consistently compare evidence—“our evidence on X argument is better than theirs for the following reasons.” These reasons may include, but are not limited to qualifications, recency, history is on our side, more complete/better warrants, etc.
b) Saying things like, “even if you don’t believe that we are winning argument X, we still win the debate, because…”
c) Consistently engage in effective impact comparison
d) Remember that defensive arguments are still important
e) Be deep on offensive arguments. A few well developed arguments in the block are typically better than 7 or 8 shallowly developed arguments.
f) Are unafraid to make logical arguments forcefully, without necessarily using “cards” as evidence.

Sara Beth Brooks Paradigm

2 rounds

Officially retired. Feel free to contact me with research questions but I'm no longer actively involved in the activity.


. - yes I want the email chain

I debated policy for 5 years in college and qualified twice to the NDT for UNLV. I coached policy for College Prep (Oakland) for 3 years, and policy for Wake Forest for a year.

I also have several years of high school public forum experience and occasionally judge and coach those debates, but I am not actively coaching the 2018-2019 topics.

A little more about me: white, crip[pled], queer, femme, she/her or they/them pronouns.

Three Important Things

a. If you need to communicate an access issue to me before the debate, please send me an email before the round. This is a private way for you to give me information that you do not want to share with the entire room (for example, if nonverbal communication isn't accessible to you).

b. I have an auditory processing disorder. I can flow fast, technical debate but please do not sacrifice clarity for speed. If I have to call clear repeatedly, I will just stop flowing. If music is a part of your arguments please turn the volume down a bit so that I can hear you (I understand that music/audio are important and vital to certain argumentation; you do not have to turn it off -- just adjust the volume in front of me).

c. I will listen to almost anything, with a couple of caveats; I am not interested in hearing arguments like racism good or rape good, etc, or in hearing arguments or jokes about suicide. Also if appropriating culture or literature that doesn't belong to you is the strat, please don't pref me.

Everything Else

Debate is a communicative activity. Pick an argument and defend it, and answer the other team's arguments. Be persuasive. Make claims, back them up with warrants, and please compare impacts. Make jokes. Speaker points will go up. Cards are good, contextual analysis using cards is better, comparative claims contextualized to the evidence in the round is best. I don't read much evidence so don't count on me to read the 16 cards you shadow extend in the rebuttal; it is your job to tell me why a few of them tip the debate in your direction.

As a competitor I read everything from elections to Baudrillard, but had the most competitive success with structural criticisms about ableism and disability. I valued fast, technical debate and I appreciate and understand those debates. I also did performance debate for a year and have read a lot of critical race theory, critical disability studies/crip studies, gender/queer theory, and colonialism literature. Yes I will vote on in-round rhetoric arguments, so do not use racist/cissexist/ableist/homophobic/transphobic language. I will be very persuaded by a well-constructed argument about it from the other side.

I like all different styles of debate, so read arguments you are comfortable with and I will do my best to evaluate the debate in front of me. Speaker points are almost always between 28 and 29, adjusted for division; above or below indicates a unique round. Please remember that I am an imperfect being in the service of the imperfect god of debate, but I do promise to be attentive, work hard to understand your arguments, and try to give an RFD focused on education and how to improve for the future. One last thing: I give long RFDs, #sorrynotsorry.

Scott Brown Paradigm

2 rounds

Scott Brown (he/him/his)

Current: Debate (LD&PF) Coach @ Honor Academy in Cerritos, CA.

I have coached debate for over a decade. My background is in Policy Debate, but I'm also very experienced in LD & PF.


I'm currently flowing on paper. I don’t want to be on your email chain. I don't follow along in the speech doc. I flow card warrants.

You must give your opponent a copy of your evidence before your speech begins (if using a laptop) or as it happens (if using paper).

I will proactively judge intervene to end a debate if any form of clipping/bad ethics occurs.

As a judge, and as students, being able to organize a debate is important. Successful line by line refutation is necessary.

I don't have a "debater poker face". I nod along if I get what you're doing, laugh at jokes, smile, give perplexing looks if I don't get what you're saying, etc.

I'm a sucker for smart analytical arguments

I often read very little to no evidence after the debate and often make my decision very quickly. I will provide verbal comments after the debate and disclose my decision.

Truth > Tech

Zero Risk very frequently occurs


Speed/"Spreading" is fine as long as you are "clear" (clear means that you audibly articulate the difference between each and every syllable of each and every word). If you do not clearly say every syllable of every word while spreading, you cannot get above a 27.

If executed properly, I'm great for 'conditionality' bad and most "theory" arguments. I'm really bad for the NEG if the AFF properly executes theoretical arguments against positions such as Consult & Process CPs.

Not arguments (I will not vote for them even if dropped): RVIs, "New Affs Bad", "Nebel T", most "Disclosure Theory" arguments

Evidence from a debate coach, former debater, or debate website doesn't count ("Nebel T", Ryan James' LinkedIn Page, Edebate posts from Nooch, etc)

I don't "Judge Kick"

I dislike judging "framework" debates

In a utopia, my ideal panel would be Daryl Burch, Steve Pointer, and Chris Randall. And I would go for T.


If your evidence isn't read in "cards" and is just a bunch of paraphrasing with the author's name, you will receive the lowest speaker points the tournament deems acceptable (and *likely* lose the debate).

Please don't shake my hand.

Rashid Campbell Paradigm

1 rounds

My Judging philopsophy is simple. I debated for the University of Oklahoma and became the First African-American Top Speaker of the National Debate Tournament in 2014. I understand every style of debate. I debated about Whiteness and could be classified as a performance debater. I vote for teams who explain clearly how thier plan/kritik works. More so the teams I usually vote for win because of their explanation of their impacts and the ways that those impacts are effectected by the other team. I prefer debater to explain thier arguments in full. I will not flow the rest of an argument that is not explained or in other words I will not do the debating for the debater. I like real world debates that talk about realistic impacts and not just Extinction and Nuclear War. I will Vote for T or any other argument if it is explained in a way that I believe is persuasive. All in all any debater can win in front of me they just need to clearly explain thier argument.  

Kevin Carrera Paradigm

6 rounds

I debate in high school for 2 years and college for I think 4 now. I've been a 2N for a minute now, maybe like forever tbh, so I probably lean neg. I judged hella rounds between 2010 and 2013 but that was before tabroom so you can't see them. I promise though. But yeah idc what you do. Make arguments and win them. In high school I went for delay and elections, overpop bad/your impacts are good and case defense or dng so if that tells you anything. College has been much more policy oriented but I'll still go for the K every now and then.



T is a thing if you make it one. Theory is a thing if you make it one. Framework is a thing if you make it one. I will say this about theory though, I'm usually down with just rejecting the arg rather than the team. Tell me why I gotta reject the team cuz I won't just assume I should. That's probably more relevant to CP and Perm theory than like Condo or T. 



Neg- win the arg, sound good, solve your links, extend an impact

Aff- win the aff, sound better, disprove links, perm, prove no impact, 



Neg- solve the aff. if you don't solve an adv, turn it, have defense on it or tell me why net benefit outweighs. Tell me why solvency defecits don't lead to an impact, why net benefit outweighs or how your impacts turn their ability to solve for the solvency deficit.

Aff- perms, theory, doesn't solve the aff or advs, tell me why your internal links are more important and why the cp can't access them, cp links to politics/net benefit, solvency deficits should have an impact or reason why they matter, your impacts should either turn the net benefit faster than it turns yours and outweigh



Neg- win a link, impacts turn case faster than case turns impacts, impacts outweigh, impacts mean case can't solve

Aff- zero risk of the DA is a thing but you gotta prove it, don't double turn yourself, case turns DA faster than DA turns case, impacts outweigh



Neg- zero risk of solvency is a thing but you gotta prove it, alt causes are cool especially if you have a cp to solve them, answer the internal links, inherency is rarely a reason to vote but if like the plan is up for a vote in congress like next week i might be convinced to vote on it (probably more of a theoretical debate than anything) 

Aff- win case, win your internal links and why they're more important than the alt causes, explain how you solve


K affs-

Neg- their theory is bad/wrong, your K/FW solves impacts, role of the ballot/judge

Aff- your theory good/right, perm is your best friend, role of the ballot/judge, Ks of T or DAs is always cool


Impacts(on either side)-

impact defense is always needed, zero risk of impact a thing but you gotta prove it, explain how solving your impact is able to mitigate the escalation of their impact, your impacts turn theirs first, impact turn debates are fun i'm bad at them but they're always cool to watch explain why your impact comes first and turns the internal links to their external scenarios


Speaker points-

everyone starts at a 27.5 and goes up or down from there. don't try to make me laugh unless its like something hella funny. i'll probably laugh more if you're not trying to be funny 



Evidence comparison is an art form so do it and i'll be impressed. Make your evidence sound good. Sell it to me 


Yeah be nice, have fun. This activity is more about yall than it is about me. Be chill, play music, do whatever helps you win debates and puts you in a good mindset


Darrian Carroll Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Roger Copenhaver Paradigm

4 rounds



2017-2018 Season


This year will be my 12th year in the activity. I debated for 3 years in high school at Puyallup High School (2006-2009) and 4 in college at Idaho State University (2009-2013).  

I have not been involved in college policy debate since the 2015 NDT. I am currently working with The University of Washington on a part-time basis. Gonzaga will be my first tournament, and I am a little bit behind on topic research as a result. This just means I may need a little time to catch up on key topic discussions and acronyms. As a judge, I think it is important to work hard to make the best possible decision in every debate I judge.



How I decide debates: I evaluate debates holistically, however I also try my best to keep a good flow of the debate, and use the flow for the basis for my decision. What does this mean for you? The best way to win my ballot is to frame the debate around central questions for the debate. I think both tech and truth is important, so winning larger thesis level claims , and then executing technically on the line-by-line are equally important.


Framework: While I used to have a higher threshold for framework, this is no longer the case. I think framework is an important tool for negative teams to use vs. non-topical/non traditional/non-fiat based affirmatives. If you have read this type of affirmative and don't have a good defense of it, you should lose. Reading an AFF just because it is important in the abstract is not a good enough reason to not talk about the topic. On the flip side, if you are going for framework, you should still be responsible for engaging the content of the affirmative. Also, having tangible impacts to your framework arguments is necessary to win these debates.


Counterplans: What is theoretically legitimate is open for debate. I try to enter the debate without any biases for what debaters should be allowed to talk about. With that being said, I probably still think that counterplans should have solvency advocates, compete in some capacity, and provide and opportunity cost to the affirmative. I think judge kick is stupid. I will do it if I am told to, but I am persuaded that 2N’s should have to think strategically and should be held accountable to their 2NR choice. AFF’s should exploit the difference between the CP and the AFF.


Disadvantages: I prefer to hear DA's that are specific to the AFF or that are a central to the topic. I think DA's paired with large case debates can be some of the most fascinating debates to watch. Controlling spin and having great evidence are two key factors to winning these debates in front of me.


K/Performance Debate: Controlling meta level questions for the debate is necessary. This is the type of debate that I have the most experience with. I rather see a debate where people are willing to defend something specific and generate offensive arguments from it rather then saying they are everything and nothing. You should be able to justify what you do. AFF’s should get permutations regardless of the type of debate that is happening (although like everything, I am open to hearing arguments on the other side. It just may require additional work to win this argument in front of me). Debate is a competition and negative teams have the burden of meeting some standard for competition. I don’t think the alt has to solve the AFF. I think the alt needs to at least resolve a substantial amount of the link to the AFF. I am less well read when it comes to high theory, especially psychoanalysis, so explanation is critical for me in these debates.


Other miscellaneous things:

  • Flowing and good line by line debate is a lost art. You will be greatly rewarded if you do good line by line debate.
  • Bad embedded clash is almost impossible to follow and I probably won't get arguments where they should be. 
  • Most of the time I keep a pretty good flow and I have typically found that my flow reflects the quality of the debate in terms of efficiency and debate technique. 
  • Framework vs. framing – to me, framework is what should be allowed in the debate, and framing is what impacts should come first. I think these two things often times become conflated. To me, unless otherwise stated, the role of the ballot, judge, etc.. are all just impact framing issues.
  • Aff framework vs. the K is silly and neither team is going to generate traction in front of me spending substantial time here.
  • I am a strong believer in high evidence quality. Research is one of the most important parts of debate. This is tricky for me because I don’t read a lot of evidence, however I do think that high evidence quality should be rewarded. If I happen to read some of your evidence or you are really trying to get evidence in my hand, you should make sure it is good.
  • Debate is fun. I hope that you debate because you love this activity. I also like judging debates when debaters are intelligent, witty, funny, and engaged. I have zero tolerance for people that destroy the pedagogical values of this activity or that make this activity an unsafe, violent, or unpleasant space for other participants.  

Cade Cottrell Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated September 2018:

Yes I know my philosophy is unbearably long. I keep adding things without removing others, the same reason I was always top heavy when I debated. But I tried to keep it organized so hopefully you can find what you need, ask me questions if not.

For the few college tournaments I judge, understand that my philosophy is geared towards being of use to high school students since that is the vast, vast majority of my judging/coaching. Just use that as a filter when reading.

Seriously, I don't care what you read as long as you do it well. I coached Jeff Horn back when he read Nietzsche on both sides, and debated with him when he went for procedural fairness in most 2NR's. I really don't care if you argue that all K debaters should be banned from debate or argue that anyone who has ever read a plan is innately racist and should be kicked out of the community. If you win it, I'm happy to vote for it.

***Two Minutes Before A Debate Version***

I debated in high school for a school you've never heard of called Lone Peak, and in college for UNLV. I coached Foothill High School and now coach Green Valley High School. I have debated at the NDT, I have read, debated and judged arguments from all over the spectrum and on both sides. I genuinely don't have a big bias for either side of the ideological spectrum. I seem to judge a fairly even mix of K vs K, Clash of Civs, and policy debates. I can keep up with any speed as long as its clear, I will inform you if you are not, although don't tread that line because I may miss arguments before I speak up. If you remain unclear I just won't flow it.

Sometimes I look or act cranky. I love debate and I love judging, so don't take it too seriously.

My biases/presumptions (but can of course be persuaded otherwise):

- Tech over Truth, but Logic over Cards

- Quality and Quantity are both useful. Quality increasingly so as the debate progresses.

- Condo is generally good

- Generic responses to the K are worse than generic K's

- Politics and States are generally theoretically legitimate (and strategic)

- Smart, logical counterplans don't necessarily need solvency advocates, especially not in the 1NC

- #Team1%Risk

- 2NC's don't read new off case positions often enough

- I believe in aff flexibility (read: more inclusive interpretations of what's topical) more than almost anyone I know. That is demonstrated in almost every aff I've read or coached.

- I'll vote for "rocks are people" if you win it (warrant still needed). Terrible arguments are easily torn apart, but that's the other team's duty, not mine.


A Few Notes You Should Know:

Speaker Points: Firstly, I try to compare my speaker points yearly to make sure I'm about average with the community, even though I hate the inflation spiral, so I'm not a point fairy or a stickler. I have had a dilemma with speaker points, and have recently changed my view. I think most judges view speaker points as a combination of style and substance, with one being more valuable than the other depending on the judge. I have found this frustrating as both a debater and coach trying to figure what caused a judge to give out the speaks they did. So I've decided to give out speaker points based solely on style rather than substance. I feel whichever team wins the substance of the debate will get my ballot so you are already rewarded, so I am going to give out speaker points based on the Ethos, Pathos, and Logos of a debater. Logos implies you are still extending good, smart arguments, but it just means that I won't tank speaks based off of technical drops (like floating pics, or a perm, etc) as some judges do, and I won't reward a team's speaker points for going for those arguments if I feel they are worse "speakers", the ballot is reward enough. Functionally it means that I probably give more low-point wins than some judges (about one a tournament), but at least you know why when looking at cume sheets after tournaments.

Debate is a rhetorical activity. This means if you want me to flow an argument, it must be intelligible, and warranted. I will not vote on an argument I do not have on my flow in a previous speech. I am a pretty good flow (80th percentile?) so don't be too scared but it means that if you are planning on going for your floating pic, a specific standard/trick on theory, a permutation that wasn't answered right in the block, etc. then you should make sure I have that argument written down and that you have explained it previously with sufficient nuance. I might feel bad that I didn't realize you were making a floating pic in the block, but only briefly, and you'll feel worse because ultimately it is my responsibility to judge based off of what is on my flow, so make those things clear. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.

I don't look at speech docs during debates except in rare instances. I read much less evidence after debates than most judges, often none at all. If you want me to read evidence, please say so, but also please tell me what I'm looking for. I prefer not to read evidence, so when I do after a round it means one of three things: 1. The debate is exceedingly close and has one or two issues upon which I am trying to determine the truth (rare). 2. You asked me to read the evidence because "its on fire" (somewhat common and potentially a fire hazard). 3. The debate was bad enough that I am trying to figure out what just happened.

Prep time: I generally let teams handle their own prep, I just ask that A. You stop time once the flash drive is out of your computer B. Don't be stealing prep (this goes for either team), this is especially prevalent now since people can be constantly pulling up evidence and typing out things, if you're blatantly doing this, it may affect your speaker points, waiting for the speech to start before continuing to type is not that difficult.


Neg: I am very much in favor of depth over breadth. Generally that doesn't affect how I feel about large 1NC's but it means I find myself thinking "I wish they had consolidated more in the block" quite often, and almost never the opposite. If you don't consolidate much, you might be upset with the leeway I give to 1AR/2AR explanations. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate. Pick your best arguments and go to battle.

DA's: I love in-depth disad debates.Teams that beat up on other teams with large topic disads usually have one of two things: A. A large number of pre-written blocks B. A better understanding of the topic than their opponents. If you have both, or the latter, I'll quite enjoy the debate. If you only have the former, then you can still get the ballot but not as much respect (or speaker points). Small disads very specific to the aff are awesome. Small disads that are small in order to be unpredictable are not. I am of the "1% risk" discipline assuming that means the disad is closely debated. I am not of that discipline if your disad is just silly and you are trying to win it is 1% true, know the difference.

CP's: I have a soft spot for tricky counterplans. That doesn't mean I think process/cheating counterplans are legitimate, that just means I'll leave my bias at the door more than most judges if you get into a theory debate. That said, theory is won or lost through explanation, not through having the largest blocks. Generally I think counterplans should be functionally and textually competitive, that doesn't mean you can't win of yours isn't, it just means if it is then you probably have some theoretical high ground. I also think if you have a specific solvency advocate for the counterplan (meaning a piece of evidence that advocates doing the counterplan, not just evidence that says the counterplan "is a thing" [I'm looking at you, Consult CP people]) you should utilize that both as a solvency argument and as a theoretical justification for the counterplan. I am neutral on the judge kick question. If you want me to judge kick, say so in the 2NR/2NC, and if you don't then say so in the 1AR/2AR, that's an argument to be had. However, if no one makes an argument either way, my default is if the 2NR is DA, CP, Case, then I think there is an implicit assumption in that strategy that the squo is an option. If the 2NR is only CP & DA, I think the implicit assumption is aff vs. CP. Advantage counterplans are vastly underutilized. Logical counterplans probably don't need solvency advocates. Many Trump impacts can be counterplaned out of with "executive restraint", yet not enough people seem to do that.

T: I think the way reasonability is construed is sad and a disservice to the argument. I perceive competing interpretations as a question of whose interpretation sets the best standard for all future debate, and reasonability as a question of whether the aff harmed the negative's fairness/education in this specific round. Under that interpretation (Caveat: This assumes you are explaining reasonability in that fashion, usually people do not). I tend to lean towards reasonability since I think T should be a check against aff's that try to skirt around the topic, rather than as a catch-all. T is to help guarantee the neg has predictable ground. I've voted neg a few times when the aff has won their interp is technically accurate but the neg has won their interp is better for fairness/limits/ground, but that's mostly because I think that technical accuracy/framer's intent is an internal link, rather than an impact, do the additional work.

Theory: This is a discussion of what debate should look like, which is one of the most simple questions to ask ourselves, yet people get very mixed up and confused on theory since we are trained to be robots. I LOVE theory debates where the debaters understand debate well enough to just make arguments and use clash, and HATE debates where the debaters read blocks as fast as possible and assume people can flow that in any meaningful fashion (very few can, I certainly can't. Remember, I don't have the speech doc open). I generally lean negative on theory questions like condo (to a certain extent) and CP theory args, but I think cp's should be textually, and more importantly, functionally competitive, see above.

Framework/T against Non-Traditional Aff's: I have read and gone for both the Procedural Fairness/T version of this argument and the State Action Good/Framework version of this argument many times. I am more than willing to vote for either, and I also am fine with teams that read both and then choose one for the 2NR. However, I personally am of the belief that fairness is not an impact in and of itself but is an internal link to other impacts. If you go for Fairness as your sole impact you may win, but adequate aff answers to it will be more persuasive in front of me. Fairness as the only impact assumes an individual debate is ultimately meaningless, which while winnable, is the equivalent of having a 2NR against a policy aff that is solely case defense, and again I'm by default #1%RiskClub. "Deliberation/dialogue/nuanced discussion/role switching is key to ____________" sorts of arguments are usually better in front of me. As far as defending US action, go for it. My personal belief is that the US government is redeemable and reformable but I am also more than open to voting on the idea that it is not, and these arguments are usually going straight into the teeth of the aff's offense so use with caution. TVA's are almost essential for a succesful 2NR unless the aff is clearly anti-topical and you go for a nuanced switch side argument. TVA's are also most persuasive when explained as a plan text and what a 1AC looks like, not just a nebulous few word explanation like "government reform" or "T-Visas to solve patriarchy". I like the idea of an interp with multiple net benefits and often prefer a 1NC split onto 3-4 sheets in order to separate specific T/FW arguments. If you do this, each should have a clear link (which is your interp), an internal link and impact. Lastly, I think neg teams often let affs get away with pre-requisite arguments way too much, usually affs can't coherently explain why reading their philosophy at the top of the 1AC and then ending with a plan of action doesn't fulfill the mandates of their pre-requisite.

K's: These are the best and worst debates. The bad ones tend to be insufferable and the good ones tend to be some of the most engaging and thought provoking. Sadly, most debaters convince themselves they fall into the latter when they are the former so please take a good, long look in the mirror before deciding which you fall under. I have a broad knowledge of K authors, but not an in depth one on many, so if you want to go for the K you better be doing that work for me, I won't vote for anything that I don't totally understand BEFORE reading evidence, because I think that is a key threshold any negative should meet (see above), so a complex critical argument can be to your advantage or disadvantage depending on how well you explain it. I also think the framing args for the K need to be impacted and utilized, that in my opinion is the easiest way to get my ballot (unless you turn case or win a floating pic). In other words, if you can run the K well, do it, if not, don't (at least not in the 2NR).

Edit: I think it usually helps to know what the judge knows about your critique, so this list below may help be a guide:

I feel very comfortable with, know the literature, and can give good feedback on: Nietzsche, Wilderson, Moten (& Harney), Security, Neolib, Historical Materialism, Colonialism (both Decoloniality and Postcolonialism), Fem IR, Deleuze and Guattari (at least relative to most).

I have both debated and read these arguments, but still have gaps in my knowledge and may not know all the jargon: Hillman, Schmitt, Edelman, Zizek cap args, Agamben, Warren, Ableism, Kristeva, Heidegger, Orientalism, Virillio, Lacan, Anthro

ELI5: Baudrillard, postmodern feminism arguments, Killjoy, Bataille, Bifo, Zizek psychoanalysis, Object Oriented Ontology, Spanos, Buddhism, Taoism, probably anything that isn't on these lists but ask first.



Non-Traditional Affirmatives: I'm fine with these. They don't excite me any more or less than a topical aff. I think the key to these aff's is always framing. Both because negatives often go for framework but also because it is often your best tool against their counter-advocacy/K. I often am more persuaded by Framework/T when the aff is antitopical, rather than in the direction of the resolution, but I've voted to the contrary of that frequently enough. This won't affect the decision but I'll enjoy the aff more if it is very specific (read: relevant/jermaine/essential) to the topic, or very personal to yourself, it annoys me when people read non-traditional aff's just to be shady. Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.

Answering K's: It is exceedingly rare that the neg can't win a link to their K. That doesn't mean you shouldn't question the link by any means, permutations are good ways to limit the strength of neg offense, but it means that impact turning the K is almost always a better strategy than going for a link turn and permutation for 5 minutes in the 2AR. I think this is a large reason why aff's increasingly have moved further right or further left, because being stuck in the middle is often a recipe for disaster. That said, being able to have a specific link turn or impact turn to the K that is also a net benefit to the permutation while fending against the most offensive portions of negative link arguments are some of the best 2AR's.

I'm more than willing than most to vote aff if case outweighs a dropped disad so you better make sure to defend the walls, that's where a lot of high school debates go wrong.

Bad aff teams wait til the 2AR to decide what their best arguments are against a position. Good aff teams have the round vision to make strategic choices in the 1AR and exploit them in the 2AR. Great aff teams have the vision to create a comprehensive strategy going into the 2AC. That doesn't mean don't give yourself lots of options, it just means you should know what arguments are ideally in the 2AR beforehand and you should adapt your 2AC based off of the 1NC as a whole. Analytical arguments in a 2AC are vastly underused.

Last Notes:

I prefer quality over quantity of arguments. If you only need a minute in the 2NR/2AR then just use a minute, cover up any outs, and finish, I believe in the mercy rule in that sense, rambling or being braggadocios won't help your speaker points. I've tried to keep up with community inflation of speaker points, and I think they're right near average. I will vote against teams that clip and give the culprit 0 speaker points, however I believe in the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt", so be certain before levying accusations and make sure to have a recording.

I'll give you +.1 speaker points if you can tell me what phrase appears the most in my philosophy. Both because it shows you care, you want to adapt to your judge, and maybe because I'm a tad narcissistic.

Things I like:
- A+ Quality Evidence (If you have such a card, and you explain why its better than the 3+ cards the other team read, I accept that more willingly than other judges)

- Brave (strategic) 1AR/2AR decisions

- Politics disads that turn each advantage

- If you are behind, I'd much rather you cheat/lie/steal (maybe not steal, and cheat within reason) than give up. If you ain't cheatin' you ain't tryin'.

- Neg blocks that only take 1-2 flows and just decimate teams.

- Controlling the "spin" of arguments (I'll give a lot of leeway)

- Red Bull/Monster/M&M's (Bringing me any of these will make me happy, me being happy = higher speaker points)

Things I don't like:
- Not knowing how to flash evidence in a timely manner!

- Debaters that act like they are of superior intelligence compared to their partner/opponents

- Reading arguments with little value other than trying to blindside teams (timecube, most word pics, etc.) Being shady RARELY pays off in debate.

- Being unclear

- Horses (Stop acting like they're so goddamn majestic, they're disgusting)

- Toasted Coconut

Doug Dennis Paradigm

2 rounds

Not Submitted

Kyle Eriksen Paradigm

6 rounds

Kyle Eriksen

Green Valley, UNLV.

I haven't been actively involved in debate since the 2016-2017 season. Since then I've been in the acoustics and sound design game.

When I debated I read arguments from all corners of the truth-verse, viewed debate as a game, and tried to be as flexible as possible with argument choice.

The best performances I saw in debate combined an authentic sense of self with a fully realized strategy and worldview. Beyond that, quality evidence delivered with some degree of conviction, sensible assemblages, creative decision making, and great storytelling all make a difference.

I enjoy fast debates steeped in the minutiae as much as high-concept, high-theory, high-whatever discussions. Say what you think is the most competitive, responsive, and strategic. Trust your instincts, get off your blocks, and go for your best seasoned and sauce'd up arguments.

I'm not invested in what debate should be or is - it's your activity, treat it as such!

Nathan Fleming Paradigm

3 rounds

I debate at Berkeley. Go Bears!

I will totally talk during your debate. I haven't judged on this topic since camp, so I might ask yall to clarify acronyms since those are big this year, or just skip bad arguments I'm not interested in (cough, new affs bad theory, cough cough).

Ks & Framework: I like clash. I think debate is special because of the depth of debate it allows. That means if your K aff is only for you, I'm not. If your K aff defends topic DAs and has a cool spin on the topic though, I'm your guy. I don't believe that heg good isn't offense, and people should feel comfortable going for impact turns against the K in front of me, because it's cleaner than T a lot of the time. Fairness is an impact, but it's way worse than skills.

Theory: rarely debated well, but gorgeous when perfected. With that in mind, I have some biases here:

Aff Biases: Ifiat.

Neg Biases: Condo. I'm a bad judge for going for Condo. Consider this the strongest opinion in this paradigm.

Nobody who understands debate dislikes hearing a debate about the case or go for a DA. They don't get their own section. Do it.

A few closing comments: unsorted

-I'm kind of an ev hack. I try not to read cards unless instructed, but if you read great ev, you should be loud and clear about telling me to read it, and if it's as good as you say, then speaker points may be in order.

-Sometimes recutting the other team's card to answer their argument is better than reading one of your own. If you want me to read their card on your terms, include highlighting in another color so we're on the same page on what part you think goes the other way.

-Creative strategies are great, and I love a new DA as much as the next person. With that in mind, politics rules, and sometimes if it ain't broke don't fix it.

-Arguments I won't vote for

-X other debater is individually a bad person for something that didn't happen in the debate

-saying violence to other people in the debate is a good idea

-speech times are bad or anything that literally breaks the debate

-new affs bad

Lincoln Douglas

I judge this now, but I'm still getting used to it, so go easy on me. So far, my policy debate knowledge has carried me through most of these debates just fine, but as far as I can tell these are the things worth knowing about how I judge these debates.

-Theory doesn't become a good argument because speech times are messed up. Dispo is still a joke. Neg flex is still important. That doesn't mean counter plans automatically compete off certainty/immediacy, and it doesn't mean topicality doesn't matter. It does mean that hail-marry 2AR on 15 seconds of condo isn't gonna cut it tho.

-Judge instruction feels more important than ever for the aff in these debates because the speech times are wonky.

-I generally feel confident w/ critical literature, but not all of the stuff in Policy is in LD and visa-versa. So if you're talking about like, Kant, or some other funny LD stuff, go slow and gimme some time.

-This activity seems to have been more-or-less cannibalized by bad theory arguments and T cards written by coaches. I will be difficult to persuade on those issues.

Jacob Fontana Paradigm

3 rounds

Homewood Flossmoor High School 2011-2015

Pomona College 2015-2019 (not debating)


Meta Level

The more work you do, the happier you will be with my decision. By this I don’t just mean that I reward smart strategies, research, etc. (I do), but rather that the better you explain and unpack an argument and tell me how to evaluate it, the less likely my own biases and preferences will affect the decision. With this in mind, there are a couple takeaways


-          Framing is important. At a certain point, this seems redundant to say (obviously impact calc is important), but all too often debaters fail to “tie up” the debate in a way that is easy to evaluate. What impacts matter? What arguments should I look to first? How should I think about making decisions? Leaving these calls up to my gut may not work out well for you. Do not assume that I will put together the pieces of your argument in the way that is most favorable to you, or the way that you they should be viewed. Your best bet is to do this for me. As a general rule of thumb, your likelihood of picking up my ballot is directly proportional to the number of “even if” statements you make.


-          truth and tech are both important and the divisions between them are far more arbitrary and vacuous than it is usually given credit for. That being said, it is up to you to give me a metric for evaluating what claims are true. What types of evidence should I look to? Should I view that evidence through a certain lens? How should I treat dropped/under covered arguments? Obviously I have some personal proclivities that may be harder to overcome than others


o   I will always tend to evaluate dropped arguments far less than extended arguments. This does not mean that dropped arguments are automatically “true” or that truth claims made earlier in the debate are suddenly gone (that may well require more work on my part), but it does mean that I am less likely to give these arguments weight.


o   Although they can be important parts of a speech, I am not inclined to give as much weight to solipsistic narratives as evidence. This is not a hard or fast preference, and some smart framing arguments about the way I should evaluate narratives will go a long way, but do not assume I will immediately evaluate a narrative as evidence in its own right sans an evidenced claim that I should evaluate them this way.


o   Make smart analytic arguments, these can often be better than reading yet another terrible uniqueness card on the politics disad. The more I see you thinking for yourself and making creative and smart arguments in a debate, the better speaks you will get.


I appreciate creative and innovative strategies, maybe more than others. If you want to bust out that weird impact turn or super cheating counterplan or sweet ass new K, you should do that. You will always be better at doing what you do best. Please don’t feel deterred from reading a strategy in front of me because the community has generally frowned on it (spark, death good, etc.), I’m down to hear things outside of the norm. That being said, I included a few notes about how I feel/debated like in high school, you can take these preferences however you want, they are subject to change within a round.

As a caveat, Debate should be a space where everyone feels welcome. Please do not read racist/sexist/anti-queer/ableist/ or otherwise offensive arguments in front of me.


Please add me on the email chain:



I debated both sides of this extensively in high school. I will not “penalize” you for reading framework; I think it is a smart and strategic argument. Similarly, do not assume that because you read framework you have my ballot, I am very middle of the road on these issues. You should treat this as any other K/CP strategy you have read. Too often teams miss nuance in these debates and read a bunch of state good/bad evidence while neglecting the smaller moving pieces, I tend to think those are important, and the more you address the internal link level of the debate, the better off you will be.



Affirmatives should find ways to leverage offense against the negatives interpretation. Playing some light defense and reading some reasonability blacks is not going to win you my ballot. I generally tend to default to competing interpretations. Furthermore, teams need to treat this debate more like disad, you should do impact calc, read impact, link, or internal link turns, explain why your interp solves a portion of their offense, etc. I greatly enjoy smart T debates and will reward you handsomely in speaker points if you execute it well.



Absolute defense (or defense to the point where I should cease to evaluate the disad outside of the noise of status quo) is a thing and far too few debaters go for. 90 percent of disads are absolute garbage and you shouldn’t be afraid to point that out. More broadly, Offense defense tends to be a heavily neg biased model of debate and contributes to a lot (in my eyes) to the denigration of the activity towards the most reality-divorced hyperbolic impact claims, and I will not default to it. Obviously this is subject to change in a given round, but you should be conscious of the weight I tend to give to defensive arguments. In general, I think link controls the direction of uniqueness, but I can easily be persuaded otherwise


Please, if you have it, read something different than politics. I don’t hate the politics disad, but it is an often overused strategy and I will reward your innovation with speaker points



Any argument is legitimate until it is not, don’t hesitate to read your cheating counterplans in front of me, but be ready to defend them. Theory debates are good and valuable, but I do not want to listen to you read your blocks at 400 words a minute. Slow down, make smart arguments, and go for what you’re ahead on. Less is often more in these situations. I actually very much enjoy good theory debates and find them quite interesting. You should treat these like any other type of debate, you should do impact calc, flesh out internal links, etc.



I have a reasonable familiarity with most mainstream critiques and greatly enjoy these debates. In high school, I would most often read the security or the cap K, but this should not be interpreted as an exclusionary list. You do you and I’ll likely jive with it. I will reward innovation, reading a tailored critique is far more interesting to me than rereading the same Spanos block your team has had for the last 8 years. The one caveat here is that my familiarity with certain “high theory” authors (Bataille, Deleuze, etc.) is rather passing. I am more than certainly open to hearing these arguments and don’t have any prejudices against them (I debated on the same team as Carter Levinson for 3 years), but this does mean that you may need to take extra time to unpack arguments and contextualize them in terms of the debate.



Topic Notes

I have not worked on the China Topic, for you this means you probably want to slow down on, and possibly explain, acronyms the first couple times.


Ethics violations

Ethic violations are deliberate, not accidental. Missing a few words or accidentally skipping a line isn’t a big deal, but repeatedly doing that or doing it in a way that is clearly intentional is. If you believe that someone has committed an ethics violation, please start recording the round, I also reserve the right to do this. If I think you are clipping, I may start a recording of my own, I will also try read along in the speech docs whenever possible. If I do determine you’ve committed a violation, you will lose the debate and receive 0 speaks, I will also speak to your coaches. Clipping is a serious offense and I will treat it with the attention it deserves.



Dylan Frederick Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated Policy for 4 years at Juan Diego, Graduated 2014

Judged at about 10 tournaments last year, for a total of about 60 rounds. Judged about that many rounds in years prior. Judged close to 40 rounds this year for any questions, and for adding me to the email chain.

Updated for Stanford

I have some stats on my decision history at the bottom if that interests you.

I'm fine with any argument you present so long as it indeed is an argument (read: provide warrants). I'm not here to try to do the work for you. I'm a sucker for good framing arguments, generally the less thinking I have to do at the end of the debate the happier you will be.

The key to earning my ballot in 99% of debates is clearly explaining offense. I often start evaluating the debate based on impact calc arguments and go from there. The more in depth the better, the more comparison the better. This tends to influence how many speaks I give you, so if you're looking for good points, do a good job here.

I will try to write out my decision so everyone has a guide that explains how I came to the conclusions I did. I've voted for all kinds of stuff, all that matters is that you're doing the better debating.

Short Opinions:

K affs - go for it. Voted about equally for Kaffs vs FW.

K's - bit picky, but I generally love good link/impact stories, strategic alts, and good alternative explanations. affs should challenge alt efficacy and win a convincing impact turn or link turn/takeout

T - Love a good T violation. Weighing standards and potential caselists helps a lot

CP's - Neg can pretty much do anything if they can justify it. Affs should be more comfortable calling out illegitimate, 'cheating' stuff. Solvency deficits need an impact or I wont care.

DA's - hard on this topic, especially against soft left affs. Do your best and I'll try to be sympathetic. I place more emphasis on fleshed out impact calc/turns case args and convincing link stories.

Theory - If you're gonna read it convince me you actually can go for it. Nothings more annoying than seeing 6 theory shells in the 2AC and 0 in the 1AR.

In depth shit:

T - I like T, but I can't catch all the analytics when you go the same speed as the rest of the debate. If you want full consideration of all arguments on T and theory, slow it down just a little bit please. Presentation of a clear view of the topic is very important to win the ballot regardless of whether you are aff or neg. Explain what the topic looks like under each interpretation and impact out the difference between interpretations as much as possible. I try to treat interpretations kind of like plans and CP's, so its helpful to phrase arguments here similarly (i.e interp doesn't solve this standard, prefer that standard because x).

DAs - I find I put a lot of emphasis on weighing the strength of the link and its direction at the end of the debate, and if that is hard to determine for sure, I move toward who has better impact framing. Not always the case, but tends to be true more often than not. DA turns case and case turns DA analysis should always be first and be as in depth as possible to ensure a ballot in your favor. I also appreciate specific research or smart spin when evaluating UQ and I/L debate questions.

CP's - Kind of like cheating cp's, they're a guilty pleasure. Obviously in general the more specific your cp is to the aff the better. I'd prefer if teams tried to focus on solvency claims, going in depth on why solvency deficits matter (doesn't resolve this i/l to this impact, ect) or, for negative teams, why the aff's i/l claim isn't as specific as they say it is and why your counterplan is good enough. Framing arguments really help that kind of debate take shape in your favor.

K's - kind of picky about these, but if you have a solid link explanation anywhere, I think you'll be ok, but you need a clear vision for the world of the alternative, as well as some impact calc. I am not well read on a lot of stuff unfortunately, I'll try to do my best to understand what you got for me. I'm generally fine with the basics like security, cap, feminism, and antiblackness. Post modernism arguments are generally towards the bottom on my favorites list (I have said in the past you can win against psychoanalysis with "this is not actual science" and a couple other basic arguments), but nothing is set in stone. If you are confident enough in your ability to explain an argument, I'll vote for you.

K affs - Fine with these, I like to see new perspectives on the topic. I'm probably not the best for K vs K debates honestly, I still find myself having trouble piecing everything together with K vs Framework sometimes. I think this is because these debates tend to get disorganized quickly, keep it as organized as possible if you want a reasonable decision. Some of the more high concept affs I've seen have had trouble articulating an impact to me in the past. If you are aff, please don't forget to give me an impact to the aff. You'd be surprised how often this is an issue.

Theory - haven't thought about this as much as I probably should have, but I generally think neg's can get away with a lot of condo options, though I think I can be swayed either way. Other types of theory, if you're gonna go for them, need to be clear on why reject the argument not the team shouldn't be my first and only thought at the end of the debate. Once that barrier is overcome, I will attempt to evaluate theory like any other argument, weighing offense/defense and what vision of debate I am endorsing with my ballot. I'm generally pretty sympathetic to aff teams who would otherwise be in a good position if abusive cheating CPs like uniform 50 state fiat and parole with 10 planks didn't exist. In both condo and other procedural theory args, addressing defensive arguments are more important than normal, do your best to address everything and resolve potential contradictions to your theory violation.

Speaks - I'm all over the place with these, but I try to reward good organization, clear speaking, smart CX questions and answers, and an overall good understanding of your arguments. The one thing to mention is when you're not answering your own CX questions, or not asking questions yourself, I'm almost never going to give you better speaks even if you give better speeches. But, if I think you're speaking OVER your partner or not letting them explain themselves and be egregious about it, I will give you less speaker points than your partner. This isn't a huge issue, but all I'm asking is you prove your competency during cx, and trust your partner can do the same.

Hope this all helps, above all, try to have fun and enjoy yourselves, and I'll do my best to provide you with the best decision I can. Good luck all!

Decision History:

Some fun stats (Immigration topic):

Policy aff vs Case


Policy aff vs CP/Case


Policy aff vs CP/DA


Policy aff vs DA/case


Policy aff vs K


Soft left aff vs procedural


Soft left aff vs CP/DA


Soft left aff vs DA/case


Soft left aff vs K/DA


Soft left aff vs K


Soft left aff vs T


K aff vs DA(heg good DA)


K aff vs FW


K aff vs K


Aff ballots vs Neg ballots(total):


Outrounds only :

Policy aff vs Case


Policy aff vs CP/Case


Policy aff vs CP/DA

3-0 (sat on panel 1-0)

Soft left aff vs procedural


Soft left aff vs T


Soft left aff vs K

0-3 (sat on panel 0-1)

K aff vs FW




I'll try to update these stats as each tournament progresses. Feel free to ask questions about any of these if you're looking to dive a little deeper on this stuff, either before round or through my email at the top.

Erik Furreboe Paradigm

6 rounds


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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



Anthony Gerrettie Paradigm

3 rounds

Anthony Gerrettie
Northern Arizona University, '05 B.S. in Public Relations and Speech Communication
University of Arizona, '08 Post Bacc in Secondary Education, English

Former Head Coach, Salpointe Speech and Debate (2009 - 2018)

Policy Debate Judging Philosophy
I'm doing my best to run a blank slate, but you need to know that I am an English Teacher (that means I love analysis), I'm a former High School Debate Coach (I'm familiar with the literature), and I keep up with what's going on in the world.

I will however leave as much of that as I can at the door and I'll listen to your arguments.

General Info for both sides.
What gets down on my flow is tag lines and author names. I'll listen to the actual article but tag lines is what I believe is important. If I need to evaluate it, I'll ask for it.

Prep time has been a disaster in paperless policy. Flash evidence efficiently or if it gets abusive or if your partner is prepping while you're flashing, I'm running the clock.

While I used to judge policy exclusively, I've only judged policy when needed for the past three years. I'VE SEEN A TOTAL OF 6 POLICY ROUNDS IN THE LAST THREE YEARS.

Speed: I've judged policy on and off for nine years so I'm decent with speed. I'll let you know if you need to slow it down, but if you're not clear, I'm not going to get it. If I can't hear it because you do not articulate, it didn't happen. Part of being a debater and winning is communication. GIVE ME THE TAG LINE SLOWLY AND THEN RAMP BACK UP.

Topicality: Very rarely do I vote that a plan is untopical. When I do, it's only because an alternative definition for something was provided and proved to be more effective that was not clashed by the affirmative and it was extended by the negative team calling the plan untopical. I SEE TOPICALITY AS A TIME SKEW THAT THE NEG WILL KICK OUT OF IN A LATER SPEECH. GO FOR T IF THEY DROP IT AND THEN MAKE IT YOUR MAIN VOTER ISSUE.

K: Kritik's are good but only with proper analysis. Here's where you need to use your voice, speed and volume to annunciate what in the K card makes that K good. I'll need more than a tag line if it's going to be evaluated seriously. You can't make critical claims without analyzing and I need to hear that analysis, but when you use K's, you really put yourself more in the hands of a judge than simply winning on other arguments would. They will have to philosophically side with your K.

CP's: I see CP's as a strong argument. Telling me you can do their plan better is a great way to win a debate. That being said, your counterplan needs to address all aspects of the preious plan. It's not a true counter plan unless it covers everything. Counter the counter plan by addressing all arguments, or perm it. A line by line argument on the flow will help with this.

DA's : Important for debate and clash. The best debates have clash and every debater has a ton of DA's, be sure you pull out the right ones.

My Ballot
My vote comes from the flow. It's which arguments were won by the affirmative team against which arguments were won by the negative team, and the impacts that come with them. Impacts always outweigh. If the affirmative team wins 4 arguments and the impact is the economy, and the negative team wins 1 argument and solves for extinction, the negative wins. It's about impacts with me, and logical impacts. Please understand that no matter what, one side will be very happy with me and one side will be very upset with me. That's the nature of this sport/activity. My decision will be made and it will be explained, but it will not be questioned any way other than for clarity.

L/D Judging Philosophy

I'm doing my best to run a blank slate, but you need to know that I am an English Teacher (that means I love analysis), I'm a former High School Debate Coach (I'm familiar with the literature), and I keep up with what's going on in the world.

I will however leave as much of that as I can at the door and I'll listen to your arguments.

General Info for both sides.
What gets down on my flow is tag lines and author names. I'll listen to the actual article but tag lines is what I believe is important. If I need to evaluate it, I'll ask for it.

Value/Criterion Debate
One of the best ways to win my ballot, especially on the criterion. Explain to me why your criterion outweighs if you have a different one than your opponent. If you have the same criterion then explain to me why your contentions will do that better than your opponent. With the evolution of L/D debate, the framework is becoming less of an important argument. If you go traditional, win ont he framework, if you go progressive, you can win on an Off Care argument or turns of your opponents case.

I'll listen to anything. If it's outrageous, then I expect your opponent to call you on it, and then I'll side with who makes the clearer and most logical argument.

Address every argument your opponent makes. Obviously this can be difficult because you are low on time. If you don't address it, and they extend it, they win that argument. If you don't address it and they don't extrend it, I'll think and decide if I buy it. Essentially, the rebuttals are your chance to tell me how to think about something. When you don't I start thinking. We may not agree but if you don't tell me how to think then what else can I do.

Voting Issues
Summariing the round before your time is up on your last speech is excellent. Why should i vote for you? What impacts do you have? What will happen if I vote for your opponent? These are all valuable questions to help win my ballot.

Progressive LD Debate

LD is becoming more and more like policy. I enjoy progressive debate but only if you are aware of the literature. Too many students are running progressive arguments and don't understand them. If you're going to be progressive understand the literature and spend a minute or two in your final speech explaining why you were progressive and why you've won. Overexplain.

My Ballot
My vote comes from the flow. It's which arguments were won by the affirmative team against which arguments were won by the negative team, and the impacts that come with them. Impacts always outweigh. If the affirmative team wins 4 arguments and the impact is the economy, and the negative team wins 1 argument and solves for extinction, the negative wins. It's about impacts with me, and logical impacts. Please understand that no matter what, one side will be very happy with me and one side will be very upset with me. That's the nature of this sport/activity. My decision will be made and it will be explained, but it will not be questioned any way other than for clarity.

Any questions?

Public Forum Judging Philosophy

I've spent the majority of recent rounds judging L/D and PF.

Contention Level

-The first speech should build your case. Observations and Framework should come first.


-Rebut down the flow. Attack everything in order as it's given.


-Figure out where you're ahead and make that your speech. The summary should contain voter issues

Final Focus

-Tell me why you've won this ballot. You can only have access to arguments that the summary beings up. If the summary didn't mention it, you can't bring it back up.

Prep Time

-If you call for a card that's fine and great. Once you get that card in your possession, prep time starts. Your prep time will be used to read the card.

Stephen Goldberg Paradigm

6 rounds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Malcolm Gordon Paradigm

2 rounds

A quick guide to getting good speaker points:

-get to the point, and be clear about it
-"extinction" or "nuclear war" is not a tag
-a well explained, logical, argument trumps an unexplained argument merely extended by it's "card name"
-Ks must pass the make sense test
-cross x is a speech-i figure it in as a substantial factor in speaker points

Here is an explanation of how I evaluate debates at a meta-level:

While I think there is value in the offense/defense framework for evaluation, for me to vote on offense there has to be substantive risk. Second, quality trumps quantity. 30 bad uniqueness cards that barely make a claim can not overcome the power of 1 well warranted, logical argument that is consistently applied to the onslaught of evidence. In short:

Where X is a good, warranted argument and Y is an illogical argument, and X, A, and Y are all positive integers:

X > A(Y)

Also, "extinction" is not a tag line. I don't even like tag lines like "causes nuclear war." I need complete sentences, with claims and warrants.

Where does the evidence come from? there are not enough debaters talking about the quality of research their opponents are quoting.

Get to the point. On any given controversy in debate, there are relatively few arguments at play. Get to the core issues quickly. Point out the central logical/argumentative problems with a given position. I am much more compelled by a speaker’s ability to take the 2-3 core problems with their opponent’s position and use those fallacies to answer all of the other team’s advances. It shows you have a grip on the central issue and you understand how that issue is inescapable regardless of your opponent’s answer

Calling for cards: I will do this, but I don’t like to read every card in the debate. If you opponent is making well explained arguments you should be very wary of just saying “extend our smith evidence”.


Arbitrary interpretations are one of the worst trends in debate right now. If your interpretation of debate theory is wholly arbitrary and made up it doesn’t seem very useful for me to uphold it as some new norm and reject the other team.

Conditionality is good, it would take a very decisive aff victory with a very tangible impact (in policy debate). Whatever your arbitrary counterinterpretation is that limits the neg to X number of conditional positions…..sorry, I wasn’t born yesterday. If conditionality is good it’s good.

While I'm fine with conditionality, I am persuaded by other theoretical objections (multi actor fiat, uniform fiat without a solvency advocate, etc). I also think that a theory argument that combines objections (conditional multi actor CPs) could be a reason to reject the team.

My personal belief is that the negative can only fiat the agent of the resolution, and that competition based off the ‘certainty’ of the plan (consult/conditions) is not productive. This does NOT mean I have a low threshold in voting aff on agent/actor cps bad, but it does make my threshold lower than most. To win these theory debates on the aff, see above point about cutting to the core 2-3 issues.

On topicality-you need tangible impacts. You’re asking me to drop a team because they made debate too unfair for you. “limits good” is not an impact. “They unlimit the topic by justifying x types of affs that we cannot hope to prepare for” is an impact. There must be a very coherent connection between neg interpretation, violations, and standards in the 2nr.

Counterplans: I spoke above about my theoretical beliefs on counterplans. I think counterplans should be textually and functionally competitive. I am sometimes persuaded that purely functional competition (normal means/process counterplans) should probably not be evaluated. If you’re aff and theory-savvy, don’t be afraid to go for theoretical reasons the process cp goes away.

Floating Pics/Word PICs- I’m great for the aff on these. I believe that every position has theoretical reasons behind it related to education and competitive equity. The aff counterinterpretation of “you can run your K/word K as a K without the CP part” generally solves every pedagogical benefit of those positions-this means the aff just needs to win that competitively these positions are bad for the aff, and it outweighs any ‘educational benefit’ to word/floating pics. I'm persuaded by those arguments, making it an uphill battle for the neg if the aff can explain tangible impacts to the competitive disadvantage the PIC puts them in.


The story must matchup. I will vote on such non-offensive arguments like: your uq and link evidence don’t assume the same group of politicians, you have no internal link, passage of that bill is inevitable, Trump has no PC etc. Of course I don’t vote on these in isolation-once again, refer back to my meta-approach to debate-you need to explain why that core defensive argument trumps everything else the neg is saying.


I’m generally not compelled by framework against a Neg K-I think all Ks have a gateway/framing issue that is much easier and more logical for the aff to attack. For example, if the neg reads an epistemology K you are much more likely to win reading a card that says “consequences outweigh epistemology” or “epistemology focus bad” than you are to win that the other team is cheating because of their K. Focus on answering the gateway issue so that you can leverage your aff against the K and get the decision calculus of the debate back in your favor. Subsequently for the neg the issue of ‘framing’ is also very important.

In the 2ac, don’t make a bunch of perms you have no hope of winning unless they are conceded. Perm do the alt is not a perm. Make 1 or 2 permutations and EXPLAIN IN THE 2AC how the permutation overcomes neg links/risks of the impact.

Ks are a great example of the “there are only 2-3 arguments” theory I subscribe to. If you’re debating a 1 off team, it’s much better for me if you don’t read 40 cards in the 2ac with as many different caveats as possible. Instead, read a good number of argument but take the time to explain them. What part of the K do they refute? How do these arguments change the calculus of the round? When you do this I put much more pressure on the neg block to get in depth with their explanations, which I find usually helps the aff.

K affs:

T > Framework. Given that most impact turns to T come from pedagogical reasons, you need to prove that your interpretation provides space for the ‘good education’ the aff thinks is key to stop genocide/war/racism/turkeys. Topical version of your aff is compelling, as well as giving other examples of topical action that prove the aff could have accepted the parameters of the resolution and gained the same educational benefits. Then it’s just a matter of proving that competitively the K aff hurts the neg. Also, prove how your competitive equity impacts implicate their education impacts.

Case debate:

These are great. Impact defense is kinda meh unless it's real specific. Solvency and internal link answers are where it's at. Make alt causes great again!


It’s all about probability-magnitude is ok but only when you’re discussing it in terms of “our impact causes yours”. Extinction outweighs is trite because by the end of the debate all impacts are extinction or nuclear wars that easily result in another impact in the debate that has been claimed as extinction (nuke war hurts the environment, aff said that causes extinction). Probability is key. Establishing risk is where it’s at. A higher risk trumps a higher magnitude in most instances.

Cross Examination: it’s a speech, I grade it like a speech. Be funny if you can. Base the cross x on core issues in the debate, and base it on quality of evidence and establishing risk/threshold for various arguments.

Robbins Gray Paradigm

2 rounds

Not Submitted

Crystal Hall Paradigm

The time has come for my yearly overhaul of my paradigm

Weber State University- 5 1/2 years included attending the NDT and breaking at CEDA
Alta High School- 3 years

Judging and helping at West High- 5 years
Current Judging for Weber State

"I know in your heart of hearts you hate [policy arguments] but you also vote for that stuff all the time."
-Mike Bausch

The more I judge, the more I find that the way that I debated and the way that I judge are fairly different. I love kritik debate and I find it to be some of the most educational debates and research that I have found personally with inserting and forefronting real life impacts and experiences into debate especially for me as a disabled transgender woman. I also find that "kritik" or "performance" or "nontraditional" teams or what have you are bad at answering policy arguments from framework to simple extinction outweighs. It's incredibly frustrating but despite my reluctance, leads me to voting a fair amount for policy arguments. Let me make this clear though, I'm not a great judge for your super technical line by line on a politics disad though I won't be opposed to voting on that for you if you win.

One of the main reasons I present this with a caveat is because I have a **sensory processing disorder.** If you want to spread through and get as many arguments out no matter what, I will be unable to keep up with you and I will tell you to slow down. It is in your best interest to do so. The more time I struggle to hear the less I'm hearing and writing down. Furthermore if you refuse to slow down, **I will stop writing down arguments and start removing speaker points.** I'll tell you to slow down 3 times and then I will stop flowing. Further speeches will have 1 warning before that happens. Whatever speed I lower you to, go one lever below that to account for speeding up in the speech later. Trust me, you don't need that last argument more than you want me to understand the debate. 1 card I do understand is way better than 10 cards I don't. I almost never read cards unless necessary or if I'm looking for feedback so reliance on cards won't get you that far. If you want me to read a piece of evidence, it needs to be on an important part of the debate that can't be resolved otherwise and needs to be impacted out.

I'm a truth over tech judge one good/"true" argument can beat ten terrible cards. However, that doesn't mean you can't get me to vote on tech, you just have to impact it out more. If there is a strategic messup by your opponents and you explain why that should grant you and argument eg if they concede a permutation and you go for it even if it doesn't make sense outside of debate, if you explain it, I'm willing to grant it to you. You need to explain your shit. Cards and dropped arguments aren't inherently true and round ending. You have to tell me why all your shit matters for me to weigh it. I find teams are especially light on their impact level of the debate and on the solvency of their arguments so I would make sure to have emphasis there.

Postmodernism, psychoanalysis and the like aren't my cup of tea. I often spend these debates trying to wrap my mind around the terminology rather than the argument in question which can be a detriment to the debaters in round, just how my mind processes new information. I won't straight tell you I won't vote on it but I also find these arguments struggle to have applicability that can be explained in the "real world."

I believe there can be zero risk of impacts. I don't believe in assigning .1% risk of impacts to extinction. Either way the impacts go you need to tell me why that is the case.

I also don't believe that you just saying so means that you solve 100% of the aff with your counterplan. You need to explain in depth why that is the case

I default that the ballot does have meaning and that debate isn't just a game. I can be persuaded otherwise but I feel you need to explain why the community and activism that happens in debate is more of a side effect instead of debate actually having meaning

I think nontopical affs are often really cool and bring extra insight into the topic. For framework teams, i can be persuaded that these teams are cheating if it's impacted out and the education is bad but there is often a lack of legalistic warrants or topic specific education warrants to these arguments which needs to be present. I generally think it is better for the aff to be resolutional eg if it's an immigration topic, talk something about immigration but I won't penalize you for not doing so.

If you run a nontopical aff, you need a disad to the topical version of the aff on framework. I can't stress this enough. Many of my decisions have been made because the TVA solves the aff meaning the offense goes away or the aff forget to extend offense or impact out that disad. This is THE point that I find myself voting on over and over again on framework/t

I do find the evidential debate on disads and counterplans especially to have unique education and debate benefits that don't exist elsewhere and look forward to how debaters utilize them

I think theory debates are really useless. Everyone runs condo and severance perms and it's more of a flow check. I have a high threshold for a theory argument and there better be a damn good reason why you are turning the debate into a theory debate. I also find debaters being exceptionally bad at impacting out theory and explaining the standards. For these reasons I don't see myself voting on theory in the near future. Exceptions to the rule are 50 State fiat, world government fiat and other ridiculous multiactor counterplans and possibly utopian fiat on absurd kritiks.

I think "performative" arguments are really important to the activity and bring pathos that the event often badly lacks. Because of this, I often find myself giving better speaker points to performative teams. I don't think it is cheating or undebateable for someone to bring in their or other experiences and I look forward to these debates. That being said, I can often be persuaded to vote on framework because performative teams often struggle with what to do with their performance once they have performed.

Jeremy Hammond Paradigm

5 rounds

I have judged a lot of debates. I view myself as a reasonable judge. I have judged every type of debate and find myself capable in any instance. I hate when people cry wolf with the word "conceded."

Avery Hansen Paradigm

6 rounds


Overview: Run what you want. I will vote on something if you tell me why - that being said there are certain arguments, or ways to run arguments that tend to be more persuasive. If you don't give me a Framework to vote on I tend to default to Policymaker. I tend to believe the neg gets at least 1 conditional advocacy. Run what you're good at. 

Aff: In debate I didn't encounter many non-resoutional K aff's. That doesn't mean you shouldn't run them IF you think you can win, go for it. One thing I don't like is a kritical aff that doesn't have any form of even attempted solvency.  Neg try and engage with the aff in someway. 

DA: Run whatever you want. Meh. Impact Calculus. I tend to love a well run Ptix. Ptix is good.

Theory: I like theory, but I don't like it when it's the only thing in the debate. I feel that if you're going to run Framework or some Condo bad on the Aff you should also argue other things. NEG if you don't like their K Aff Answer their K and then Read a FW and T. If you run 5 T's I think its probably a lot more abusive than what they are doing. I'll vote on it if you can impact it out and tell me why it matters. Just because they tried to hold you to a standard doesn't mean I should drop them. BTW I tend to think the Neg gets 1 conditional world. I think forcing dispo/uncondo is illogical. I like logic. You get the Aff and perms, they get the Squo and another condo world.

T: T is T. Although I don't like T substantially but other than that T is good. Aff answering T by saying its on Open Evidence isn't a real answer. I default to competing interps unless you tell me otherwise.

K: This is the section you probably care about. I ran K's. I understand most authors but if you run some obscure K make sure you explain its interactions (I shouldn't need to tell you to do this). Regardless of what you run, tell me what your Alt and the ROTB are. Aff, I like perms. I don't like FW excluding K's from debate. That's illogical (see above).  .

CP: I tend to think most CP's are okay. Please don't tell me to delay the plan... unless you have to. I will lose sleep voting on it. Sleep is good.


Brock Hanson Paradigm

4 rounds

Brock Hanson

Precious Assistant coach, Rowland Hall St. Marks — five years

Debating Experience

High school - Three years, Nationally

Policy Debate

Role as judge in debate — I attempt to enter debates with as little preconcieved notion about my role as possible. I am open to being told how to evaluate rounds, be it an educator, policymaker, etc. Absent any instruction throughout the round, I will most likely default to a role as a policymaker.

Purpose of philosophy — I see this philosophy as a tool to be used by debaters to help modify or fine-tune specific parts of their strategies in round. I don’t think that this philosophy should be a major reason to change a 1AC/1NC, but more used to understand how to make the round as pleasant as possible.

Evaluative practices and views on debate round logistics

Prep time — Prep ends when the flash drive leaves the computer/when the speech-email has been sent. I expect debaters to keep track of their own prep time, but I will usually keep prep as well to help settle disagreements

Evidence — I would like to be included in any email chain used for the round using the email address below. I will read un-underlined portions of evidence for context, but am very apprehensive to let them influence my decision, unless their importance is identified in round.

Speaker point range — 27.0 - 30. Speaker points below a 27 indicate behavior that negatively affected the round to the point of being offensive/oppressive.

How to increase speaker points — Coherence, enthusiasm, kindness, and the ability to display an intimate knowledge of your arguments/evidence. Cross-ex is an easy way to earn speaker points in front of me - I enjoy enthusiastic and detailed cross-ex and see it as a way to show familiarity with arguments.

How to lose speaker points — Being excessively hostile, aggressive, overpowering, or disengaged.

Clarity — I will say ‘Clear’ mid-speech if I’m unable to understand you. I will warn you twice before I begin subtracting speaker points and stop flowing - I will attempt to make it obvious that I’ve stopped flowing in a non-verbal manner (setting down my pen, etc.) but will not verbally warn you.

Argumentative predispositions and preferences

Affirmatives - I don’t think affirmatives should be inherently punished for not reading a plan text, as long as they justify why they do it. I am probably more interested in ‘non-traditional’ affirmatives than a big-stick Heg aff.

Counter-Plans — Speeding through a 20-second, catch-all, 7 plank, agent counter-plan text will not be received well in front of me. However, super-specific counter-plans (say, cut from 1AC solvency evidence) are a good way to encourage debates that result in high speaker points.

Disadvantages — Specific, well articulated DA debate is very appealing to me, but super-generics like spending are a bit boring absent an aff to justify them as the primary strategy.

Framework — Engagement > Exclusion. The topic can be a stasis point for discussion, but individuals may relate to it in very different ways. (See Role as judge in debate)

Kritiks — Easily my 'comfort-zone' for debates, both for the affirmative and negative. Creativity in this area is very appealing to me, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that whoever reads the best poetry automatically wins. Be smart and articulate about your arguments, and make it seem like you care about what you're talking about. The 'K’s are cheating and so they should lose' -esque arguments aren’t especially compelling, but if you can intelligently explain why the hippy-anarchists sitting across from you should go back to their coffee shops and beat-poetry, I'll vote on it. Performance as a method of supporting arguments is welcomed and enjoyable insofar as it is grounded in arguments.

Theory — I think specific, contextualized Theory arguments are much more persuasive than generic, broad-sweeping theory claims. Spending 5 minutes on Theory in a rebuttal does not grant you an instant ballot, inversely,15 seconds of blippy violations it at the end of the debate makes it difficult to pull the trigger absent blatant concessions. I’m more comfortable and better versed in regards to theory arguments than with topicality. I am very persuaded by arguments against performative contradiction. I understand the strategic utility of having multiple lines of offence in a 1NC, but would prefer to evaluate 1NC’s holistically as a constant thought.

Topicality — Topicality is perhaps where I’m least experienced from an argument standpoint, and thus don’t particularly enjoy topicality debates, I do, however understand its utility against blatantly abusive affirmative. In-round abuse is more persuasive than potential abuse.

Feel free to ask before round or email me if you have any questions

Brock Hanson

John Hines Paradigm

2 rounds

John Hines
College Prep Policy Debate Coach
20+ Years Judging/Coaching


Line by line debate is actually a thing. Its a skill not a referendum on you as a person or what I think about your arguments. Its a method of clash that allows judges to decide rounds with minimum intervention on their part. If your approach to debating line-by-line includes extensive overviews, "cloud clash," and requests for me to pull out new sheets of paper I am probably not a very good judge for you. I will do my best to evaluate the round in front of me, but if you chose to abandon the line by line please know that you have asked me to insert my subjective views of debate in to the round and you are not likely to be happy with the outcome.

Standard philosophy begins here:
Rather than list off a series of personal beliefs about arguments, an explanation of how I decide debates seems more productive. Three keys to debating well in front of me:

1. Make Arguments. I tend to decide debates within 20 minutes of the end of the round. I will call for VERY few cards after the debate as I prefer to make my decision based upon what you argued in the last rebuttals rather than what I think about the quality of your cards. I will not re-read every card read in the debate. I will not read portions of evidence not read in the round by debaters. I will not read cards handed to me that were not extended in the last two rebuttals. I will resolve arguments consisting of disputes over interpretation of warrants in evidence by reading those cards. I will make sure arguments extended in the last two rebuttals can be traced back across the flow to the point they originated. I will make sure cards handed to me were extended properly during the debate before reading them. I will keep a careful flow of the debate and will do my best to vote based upon warranted arguments extended throughout the debate. Your job is to speak clearly and coherently and to dispute the warrants within your opponents’ arguments with analysis and evidence.

2. Make Choices. Most debates come down to a couple of key issues which need to be resolved by me; awareness of these nexus issues and ability to clarify how they should be resolved is the key to your success. Does the perm on the CP avoid the links to the net-benefits? Does the solvency deficit to the counter-plan outweigh the net-benefits? Who controls the question of uniqueness (both at the link and impact level)? Can the alternative to the criticism function simultaneously with the plan? I prefer to intervene as little as humanly possible. Your ability to accurately frame the nexus issues of the debate for me will reduce the need for me to resolve these questions for you and make me a much happier judge.

3. Don’t be a Jerk. As Ed Lee of Emory says in his most recent Judge Philosophy--"Respect is non-negotiable for me". I work VERY HARD as a judge. I flow on paper, I generally keep my computer closed the entire debate and I try to pay very close attention to everything you say. I spend time constructing my post-round discussion to be clear, concise and educational. I do not take kindly to debaters or coaches who wish to interrupt and argue with me before I've reached the conclusion of my RFD. I promise to give you plenty of time to ask productive follow-up questions. Lately I've become even more concerned with in-round comity. Rudeness and snide remarks during cross-ex, insulting the intelligence and good will of the other team and other derisive and insulting behavior towards opponents will not be tolerated. To once again quote Ed - "If you are engaging your opponent in a way that you would not if you were in front of one of your professors [teachers] or the president of your university [principal/head of school] then you should not do it in front of me." I love seeing passionate engagement with argument, but quickly become physically uncomfortable when passion turns into hostility. If you are confused as to where this line resides watch my will be very obvious.

Finally, on the question of "What kinds of arguments do you prefer" I'll answer by agreeing with Jarrod Atchison on the importance of FLEXIBILITY as a debater. To quote his ballot from a recent NDT final round "Debater flex is the past, present, and the future":

Jarrod ATCHISON, Director of Debate and Assistant Professor of Speech and Drama at Trinity University (Incoming DOF at Wake Forrest), 2008
[Judge Ballot from the Final Round of the 2008 National Debate Tournament, Available Online at, Accessed 03-16-2010]

7. Debater Flex is the wave of the future: I would have loved to have been a part of the Dartmouth coaching staff and squad when they were brainstorming a negative strategy for this debate. Although they had an extremely limited amount of time, they had two fantastic debaters in Josh and Kade that could execute a wide range of arguments leaving no option unavailable. In this debate, they had two case specific counterplans, a well developed kritik, two topicality arguments, etc…This debate reminded me that debaters who self identify as “policy” or “kritik” are missing out on a wide range of ways to win. Forget the labels, just think of everything as an argument. Some arguments require more understanding than others, but they are just arguments. If you want to be able to take on a new high tech aff with less than 45 minutes of prep before the final round of the NDT, the last thing that you want to tell your coach/partner is “I can’t argue __.” Debater flex is the past, present, and the future and I hope that students will see Josh and Kade’s 1NC as an example of how important it is to be versatile.

Matthew Jallits Paradigm

6 rounds

Matthew Jallits

Debated 3 years @ Puyallup High School (08-11),

Debated 4 years @ University of Nevada Las Vegas (11-15)

Coached 2 years @ University of Nevada Las Vegas (15-17).

CEDA 2019 Update:

CEDA will be the first full college tournament I will have judged at this year, meaning I will have minimal knowledge about the topic.

I'm down for any form of argumentation as long as there's a reason to vote for it. Direct refutation of arguments is best over implied argumentation. This means I prefer technical, flow-centric line by line debate. I don't think every argument needs a card, but it certainly helps.

Other things:

-I flow on paper

-I don't have my laptop open and will not read any cards until after the debate (if the warrants of a card are in question). I want to be focused on what is being said in the speeches.

-I don't want to preside over accusations about what has or hasn't happened outside of the round I'm currently judging.

-If there's an email chain, I'll be on it: mmjallits[at]gmail[dot]com

Leo Kim Paradigm

6 rounds

Coach at Chaminade & La Reina in LA.

Please put me on the email chain:

**Berkeley Update**

Debate is non-negotiably good.

Death is non-negotiably bad.

Please do not pref me if you disagree.

**Relevant Update for Immigration Topic**

This will very likely be my last year of involvement in Debate. To everyone I have judged, and everyone I will judge, thank you.

This being said, I have recently come to some ideological conclusions that will certainly be relevant to how certain teams fill out their pref sheet.

  • Topicality is a dying art. It's a frustrating process to learn how to execute it, but for teams that can do a T debate the right way, I will be incredibly impressed and reward your speaks accordingly.
  • The critique is a frustrating argument to listen to, on both sides. As a result, if your critique debate that leaves me frustrated for the entire hour and a half, you might get a win, but I can almost guarantee I'll be your lowest speaks in prelims.
  • Soft left affirmatives are quite boring.
  • I will not vote for "[x disad] is racist" unless it is 5 minutes of your 2AR.
  • I really dislike the new meta of affirmatives with both a extinction and structural violence impact. No, it does not make a difference against the counterplan.
  • I will not honor requests for extra speaker points. If you ask, your max points will be 27.1, unless I think you deserve extra.
  • Prefs are not racist or sexist.
  • The negative's maximum speaker points will be 28.5 if the 1NC skips an offcase position in the doc, the cap is the same for the aff if the 2AC answers a position that is skipped.
  • *Addendum: For my position on the K this year: (not really but also kinda)

**General Thoughts**

I'm a good judge for you if:

  • You want a judge who will attempt to understand the debate to the best of their ability, and attempt to adjudicate fairly.
  • You read an affirmative.
  • You negate the affirmative.
  • You like fast, technical debate.
  • You display a ton of personality in your debates.
  • Your argumentative tendencies lean right.
  • You have a superior defense of a critique of the affirmative.
  • You are great at the topicality debate.
  • You read well researched disadvantage or counterplan strategies.
  • You have a superior defense of impact turns.

I'm a decent judge for you if:

  • You read a critical affirmative.
  • You mostly go for critical arguments.
  • You default to generic negative strategies.
  • You have a decent defense of your affirmative.

I'm not a great judge for you if:

  • You assume that I know anything about any mumbo-jumbo critique since I coached Chaminade AT.
  • You're bad at debating the critique.
  • You don't warrant your arguments.
  • You expect high speaker points every debate, unless you radically change my understanding of the debate.
  • You don't demonstrate a mastery of the arguments you've read.
  • You like satire.

I'm an AWFUL judge for you if:

  • You unapologetically defend sexist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, etc. arguments.
  • You ask your opponent to delete things from the speech doc. The highest speaker points you will receive are 28. I've only ever seen this problem in LD.
  • Your best strategy against a team is theory. Distinct from topicality. Also have only encountered this in LD.
  • You like racing through arguments as fast as humanely possible.
  • You speak unclearly.
  • Your strategy relies on making your opponents uncomfortable.
  • You're disrespectful to your opponents.

Here's a copy of my paradigm on Wikispaces - a lot more comprehensive and specific:

LD Prefs

I'm not a good judge for you if:

  • Your strategy relies on having someone who enjoys LD.

My old paradigm has more comprehensive thoughts; something I would like to address though is that I will straight up not vote for an affirmative whose plan text reads, "The United States federal government should [do the resolution] through the recommendation of [author]".

Kim Kim Paradigm

6 rounds

Please add me on your email chains:

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

If you'd like to know my background knowledge regarding and/or willingness to vote for any argument without tipping your hand to your opponent, or have any concerns about the round re: safety/comfort, please send me an email or ask to speak to me privately. I'll happily answer any questions you have to the best of my abilities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elliot Kovnick Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Mike Kurtenbach Paradigm

3 rounds

put me on the email chain:

coach @ Brophy College Prep.

experience: 10+ years

tldr: i have minimal predispositions - all of the following are my preferences, but good debating will always change my mind. i arbitrate debates purely based off the flow - i don’t read evidence unless 1) i was told to in reference to an argument or 2) the debate is incredibly close and evidence quality is the tiebreaker.

topicality: it’s okay. i think limits are the controlling standard. reasonability is probably a non-starter unless it’s dropped.

framework/k affs: let me start off by saying i would prefer if the affirmative defends something contestable. affirmative teams should not rely on “thesis-level claims” and should engage the line by line, mostly consisting of defense and impact turns. as long as the negative wins that debate in and of itself is good (which shouldn’t be hard), fairness is a legitimate impact. i think decision-making is silly. negative teams shouldn’t be afraid to go for presumption. same goes for performance affs. i don’t think a poem necessarily solves unless tied to tangible advocacy; convince me otherwise. *on the education topic, i’m especially persuaded by the tva*

kritik: it’s okay, but i’d prefer a more technical line-by-line execution by the neg over three minute long overviews that are repeated on every single argument. that being said, i think the ideal 2nc for most k’s should focus less on reading new evidence and more on contextualized analysis to the substance of 1ac. i think most k debates are lost due to lack of explanation or contextualization of the link or alternative. blippy extensions won’t do it for me, unless you can explain your advocacy in tangible terms. i will probably default to letting the aff weigh its impacts, unless you convince me otherwise. affirmatives, this is probably where you should invest the most time. losing 2ar’s either miss offense embedded on the link debate, lose the framework, or let them get away with absurd broad generalizations (or drop a pik). winning 2ar’s buckle down on case outweighs, mutual exclusivity, or well-analyzed impact turns.

da: love them. politics is my favorite argument. case-specific da’s are the best. aff don’t drop turns case. in the absence of a counterplan, impact calc/framing is incredibly important for my ballot and should be introduced earlier rather than later. in the presence of a counterplan, negs should weigh the da to the risk of a solvency deficit. specific internal links always beat general framing pre-empts.

cp: also love ‘em. pics are my second favorite argument. condo is probably good to an extent. decide what that extent is for me. i enjoy watching a well-executed process counterplan so long as you know how to defend it theoretically. unless told otherwise, i default to judge-kick.

case: please bring this back - it’s a lost art. highly encourage re-hilightings of their evidence, specific advantage frontlines, etc. i love impact turn debates. if an aff can’t defend why economic decline is bad, why should it win?

cross ex: i appreciate when you can answer every question straight-up in cross ex, instead of dodging them. cross-ex is a great time to build ethos. i think one of the greatest mistakes i see debaters make round after round is not carrying concessions in cross-ex into their speeches. cross-ex is binding.

Kevin Kuswa Paradigm

2 rounds

Updated 2019. Coaching at Berkeley Prep in Tampa. Nothing massive has changed except I give slightly higher points across the board to match inflation. Keep in mind, I am still pleased to hear qualification debates and deep examples win rounds. I know you all work hard so I will too. Any argument preference or style is fine with me: good debate is good debate. Email: kevindkuswa at gmail dot com.

Updated 2017. Currently coaching for Berkeley Prep in Tampa. Been judging a lot on the China topic, enjoying it. Could emphasize just about everything in the comments below, but wanted to especially highlight my thirst for good evidence qualification debates...

_____________________________ (previous paradigm)

Summary: Quality over quantity, be specific, use examples, debate about evidence.

I think debate is an incredibly special and valuable activity despite being deeply flawed and even dangerous in some ways. If you are interested in more conversations about debate or a certain decision (you could also use this to add me to an email chain for the round if there is one), contact me at kevindkuswa at gmail dot com. It is a privilege to be judging you—I know it takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment to participate in debate. At a minimum you are here and devoting your weekend to the activity—you add in travel time, research, practice and all the other aspects of preparation and you really are expressing some dedication.

So, the first issue is filling out your preference sheets. I’m usually more preferred by the kritikal or non-traditional crowd, but I would encourage other teams to think about giving me a try. I work hard to be as fair as possible in every debate, I strive to vote on well-explained arguments as articulated in the round, and my ballots have been quite balanced in close rounds on indicative ideological issues. I’m not affiliated with a particular debate team right now and may be able to judge at the NDT, so give me a try early on and then go from there.

The second issue is at the tournament—you have me as a judge and are looking for some suggestions that might help in the round. In addition to a list of things I’m about to give you, it’s good that you are taking the time to read this statement. We are about to spend over an hour talking to and with each other—you might as well try to get some insight from a document that has been written for this purpose.

1. Have some energy, care about the debate. This goes without saying for most, but enthusiasm is contagious and we’ve all put in some work to get to the debate. Most of you will probably speak as fast as you possibly can and spend a majority of your time reading things from a computer screen (which is fine—that can be done efficiently and even beautifully), but it is also possible to make equally or more compelling arguments in other ways in a five or ten minute speech (

2. Examples win debates. Well-developed examples are necessary to make the abstract concrete, they show an understanding of the issues in the round, and they tend to control our understandings of how particular changes will play out. Good examples take many forms and might include all sorts of elements (paraphrasing, citing, narrating, quantifying, conditioning, countering, embedding, extending, etc.), but the best examples are easily applicable, supported by references and other experiences, and used to frame specific portions of the debate. I’m not sure this will be very helpful because it’s so broad, but at the very least you should be able to answer the question, “What are your examples?” For example, refer to Carville’s commencement speech to Tulane graduates in 2008…he offers the example of Abe Lincoln to make the point that “failure is the oxygen of success”

3. Argument comparison wins debate. Get in there and compare evidence—debate the non-highlighted portion of cards (or the cryptic nature of their highlighting). Debate the warrants and compare them in terms of application, rationale, depth, etc. The trinity of impact, plausibility, and verge analysis doesn’t hurt, especially if those variables are weighed against one another. It’s nice to hear good explanations that follow phrases like “Even if…,” “On balance…,” or “In the context of…” I know that evidence comparison is being done at an extremely high level, but I also fear that one of the effects of paperless debate might be a tilt toward competing speech documents that feature less direct evidence comparison. Prove me wrong.

4. Debates about the relative validity of sources win rounds. Where is the evidence on both sides coming from and why are those sources better or worse? Qualification debates can make a big difference, especially because these arguments are surprisingly rare. It’s also shocking that more evidence is not used to indict other sources and effectively remove an entire card (or even argument) from consideration. The more good qualification arguments you can make, the better. Until this kind of argument is more common, I am thirsty enough for source comparisons (in many ways, this is what debate is about—evidence comparison), that I’ll add a few decimal points when it happens. I do not know exactly where my points are relative to other judges, but I would say I am along a spectrum where 27.4 is pretty good but not far from average, 27.7 is good and really contributing to the debate, 28 is very good and above average, 28.5 is outstanding and belongs in elims, and 29.1 or above is excellent for that division—could contend for one of the best speeches at the tournament.

5. All debates can still be won in 2AR. For all the speakers, that’s a corollary of the “Be gritty” mantra. Persevere, take risks and defend your choices

( The ballot is not based on record at previous tournaments, gpa, school ranking, or number of coaches.

6. Do not be afraid to go for a little more than usual in the 2NR—it might even help you avoid being repetitive. It is certainly possible to be too greedy, leaving a bloated strategy that can’t stand up to a good 2AR, but I usually think this speech leaves too much on the table.

7. Beginning in the 1AR, brand new arguments should only be in reference to new arguments in the previous speech. Admittedly this is a fuzzy line and it is up to the teams to point out brand new arguments as well as the implications. The reason I’ve decided to include a point on this is because in some cases a 2AR has been so new that I have had to serve as the filter. That is rare and involves more than just a new example or a new paraphrasing (and more than a new response to a new argument in the 2NR).

8. Very good arguments can be made without evidence being introduced in card form, but I do like good cards that are as specific and warranted as possible. Use the evidence you do introduce and do as much direct quoting of key words and phrases to enhance your evidence comparison and the validity of your argument overall.

9. CX matters. This probably deserves its own philosophy, but it is worth repeating that CX is a very important time for exposing flaws in arguments, for setting yourself up for the rebuttals, for going over strengths and weaknesses in arguments, and for generating direct clash. I do not have numbers for this or a clear definition of what it means to “win CX,” but I get the sense that the team that “wins” the four questioning periods often wins the debate.

10. I lean toward “reciprocity” arguments over “punish them because…” arguments. This is a very loose observation and there are many exceptions, but my sympathies connect more to arguments about how certain theoretical moves made by your opponent open up more avenues for you (remember to spell out what those avenues look like and how they benefit you). If there are places to make arguments about how you have been disadvantaged or harmed by your opponent’s positions (and there certainly are), those discussions are most compelling when contextualized, linked to larger issues in the debate, and fully justified.

Overall, enjoy yourself—remember to learn things when you can and that competition is usually better as a means than as an ends.

And, finally, the third big issue is post-round. Usually I will not call for many cards—it will help your cause to point out which cards are most significant in the rebuttals (and explain why). I will try to provide a few suggestions for future rounds if there is enough time. Feel free to ask questions as well. In terms of a long-term request, I have two favors to ask. First, give back to the activity when you can. Judging high school debates and helping local programs is the way the community sustains itself and grows—every little bit helps. Whether you realize it or not, you are a very qualified judge for all the debate events at high school tournaments. Second, consider going into teaching. If you enjoy debate at all, then bringing some of the skills of advocacy, the passion of thinking hard about issues, or the ability to apply strategy to argumentation, might make teaching a great calling for you and for your future students ( note: debaters are definitely part of academia, but represent a group than can engage in Emdin’s terms). There are lots of good paths to pursue, but teaching is one where debaters excel and often find fulfilling. Best of luck along the ways.

Aaron Langerman Paradigm

6 rounds

I tend to err towards teams that do substantial and intelligent impact calculus that starts early in the debate, whether that's impact calc on a politics disad, the k, theory, topicality, or framework. Comparative analysis is perhaps the single most important part of debate, and teams that do it well will be rewarded. I think one of the most fantastic things about debate is the research. The best debates are always those that center around good case-specific research, and I enjoy them the most.

FOR STATE & NATIONALS: If I am judging you in debate at the CHSSA State tournament or NSDA Nationals, please do not treat me as a purely circuit judge, especially if I'm on a panel with other judges who are clearly not circuit-oriented. I believe that those tournaments are excellent forums for a type of debate that prioritizes judge adaptation and a slower, more lay style of debate. So, do not feel you have to go fast to try to cater to me. At these tournaments, I'll hold you to much higher standards in terms of the evidence quality, the specificity of the link, and the logical coherence of your positions. I will love you if you successfully make fun of the contrived internal link scenarios, the squirelly/shady arguments, and blippy line-by-line analysis in your CXs and speeches.

How to get high speaker points:

My greatest frustrations with the vast majority of debate rounds are two-fold: 1) a lack of comparative engagement with the other team's arguments and 2) a lack of well-impacted analysis of why your arguments are reasons I should vote for you. Speech docs seem to exacerbate both of these problems, as teams rely on reading pre-written blocks. More and more, I feel a sense of impending existential dread as I realize that nothing meaningful in the debate round is going to happen until the 2NR and 2AR and that everything else is a game of seeing which issues get undercovered. Let me break down my two biggest frustrations:

1) comparative analysis - I understand that you have beautifully constructed blocks to certain arguments but often times, those blocks are not directly responsive to the other team's argument, and so I'm left with back-and-forth disputes with no clear framework of how to resolve them. The quickest way to get good speaker points with me is to listen critically to the warrants of the other team's arguments and give comparative analysis that explains why your warrants are superior.

2) impacting important arguments - Though debaters implicitly understand the importance of impact calc, they often think about it incorrectly. Meaningful impact calc isn't exclusively about magnitude, timeframe, and probability. That's rarely how rounds are resolved. That type of impact calc presupposes that you're ahead on the other parts of the flow. The best impact calc explains why the arguments that you're ahead on in the round are reasons to vote for you and why those arguments are more important than the other teams arguments. Often times, teams get frustrated that a dropped argument didn't warrant an immediate vote for their team. If a dropped argument is not adequately impacted and framed, and the other team has more compelling offense, then most rational judges will still not vote for you. I see this most often in framework debates against identity politics affirmatives. The framework debaters are often confused how they lost the round, despite being "ahead" on some line-by-line issues. However, in those debates, the identity politics team is often far ahead in terms of impacts and framing why those impacts outweigh any of the line-by-line framework arguments. So, to put it simply, explain why your arguments matter.

Finally, please go slower on theory than you would with other judges - I debated in high school and coach policy debate now, but I also direct a program that coaches students in speech (IE) and lay debate, so I don't watch 20+ fast rounds a year, like many judges on the circuit.

My experience: I debated in high school for Bellarmine College Prep (San Jose, CA) from 2007-2011 and went to Michigan 7-week during that time but did not debate in college -- so I was out of the circuit for a couple of years when identity politics K and planless affs became popular. Now, I'm a coach at Bellarmine. I don't judge much on the circuit now that I direct Bellarmine's S&D program. I would still recommend going a bit slower, especially on theory arguments, if you want to make sure that I'm able to flow everything. That also means that you should explain your warrants and arguments more than you might for other judges.

The more case-specific you are, the better. Far too many teams do not engage with case in a substantive way. Also, don't be afraid to make analytics – smart, true analytics hold a lot of sway with me, and it’s very strategic to have them in the 1NC and 2AC. If I see that you’re actually engaging the debate and critically thinking instead of just reading blocks and ignoring what the other team said I will be much more willing to give you higher speaks. That said:

Topicality – you must do a good job of explaining your interpretation and why it’s good for debate (or why allowing the aff to be included in the topic is bad for the topic), as well as the terminal impacts to your claims about predictability and fairness and education, etc. I generally err towards interpretations that are the best for the literature base of a topic -- for substantive, deep debates at the core of the resolution -- rather than arbitrary lines which found their entire argument on generic disad link distinctions. Good topicality debates should be grounded in excellent evidence (T- subs. w/o material qualifications is a good example of a violation that does not fulfill this criteria).

DA – I love strategies that are either CP/DA or even DA/case. As a 1N/2A, I took the DA a lot in the 1NR and loved doing 2ARs against the DA. Generic DAs are okay, but I’m going to like you a lot more if you’re reading a tight case-specific DA that has good, specific links and internal links.

CP – don't be abusive or shady, otherwise I'll have sympathy for the aff on theory args.

Case – I LOVE case and I think it’s totally viable to win a debate with a simple strategy like case-DA. Case is what these sorts of debate SHOULD be about. Don’t let the 2A get away with the entirety of case and you have to defend on a CP to win! Make them defend the plan. I could even be persuaded to vote on presumption.

K debates
I'm down with Ks. I'm familiar with much of the K lit - but don't assume I know what you're talking about. Take time to explain the core thesis of the K in the neg block (or 2ac) and especially the link story. Contrived and jargon-filled tags that lacks substance but just tries to sound smart / catch the other team off guard is a huge pet peeve of mine. For the aff, definitely poke fun of the link, as well as the alt - if the K cannot explain an articulate non-generic formulation of these parts of the debate, it'll be hard for me to vote for the kritik. I'm fairly knowledgeable with regards to the K literature base, particularly Foucault, Nietzsche, Bataille, Marx, critical IR, but that means I hold kritiks to a high standard of explanation. If you are reading some variation on Lacan, for instance, you'd better understand exactly what kind of argument you're making. There are many points in debate rounds when I feel an impending sense of existential dread but one of the more egregious of such moments occurs when teams completely and utterly bastardize a brilliant philosopher with a kritik and have no idea what they're saying.

Also, please do not read framework at the same pace that you would read a card. Especially when you are talking about the role of the ballot, slow down a little.

Identity debates
I'm open to debates on identity politics. Again, I didn't debate when these types of arguments were gaining currency but I'm open-minded about them. I do believe they force debaters to grapple with ideas that are ultimately good for the community to confront. The most important thing for FW debaters in these situations is to not just focus on the line-by-line. In these sorts of debates, the identity politics teams typically win through in-depth overviews that impact turn essentially everything on the line-by-line. You HAVE to respond to their top-level impact claims - it's hard to pull the trigger in this type of round on dropped argument on the line-by-line if you haven't been addressing the framing of the debate itself.

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

Jack Lassiter Paradigm

4 rounds

Baylor Debate GA/Berkeley Prep Assistant Coach - 2017-2019


I have an appreciation for framework debates, especially when the internal link work is thorough and done on the top of your kritik/topicality violation before it is applied to pivotal questions on the flow that you resolve through comparative arguments. On framework, I personally gravitate towards arguments concerning the strategic, critical, or pedagogical utility of the activity - I am readily persuaded to vote for an interpretation of the activity's purpose, role, or import in almost any direction [any position I encounter that I find untenable and/or unwinnable will be promptly included in the updates below]

The Kritik

I have almost no rigid expectations with regard to the K. I spent a great deal of my time competing reading Security, Queer Theory, and Psychoanalysis arguments. The bodies of literature that I am most familiar with in terms of critical thought are rhetorical theory (emphasizing materialism) and semiotics. I have studied and debated the work of Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze, to that extent I would say I have an operative understanding and relative familiarity with a number of concepts that both thinkers are concerned with.


I think that by virtue of evaluating a topicality flow I almost have to view interpretations in terms of competition. I can't really explain reasonability to myself in any persuasive way, if that changes there will surely be an update about it - this is also not to say nobody could convince me to vote for reasonability, only that I will not default in that direction without prompt.


Theory debates can be great - I reward strategic decisions that embed an explanation of the argument's contingent and applied importance to the activity when going for a theory argument on a counterplan.

I believe that permutations often prompt crucial methodological and theoretical reflection in debate - structurally competitive arguments are usually generative of the most sound strategic and methodological prescriptions.


Judging for Damien Debate - Berkeley 2016

In judging I am necessarily making comparisons. Making this process easier by developing or controlling the structure of comparisons and distinctions on my flow is the best advice I could give to anyone trying to make me vote for an argument.

I don't feel like it is really possible to fully prevent myself from intervening in a decision if neither team is resolving questions about how I should be evaluating or weighing arguments. I believe this can be decisively important in the following contexts: The impact level of framework debates, The impact level of any debate really, The method debate in a K v K round, The link debate... The list goes on. But, identifying particular points of clash and then seeing how they are resolved is almost always my approach to determining how I will vote, so doing that work explicitly in the round will almost always benefit you.

If you have any questions about my experience, argumentative preferences, or RFD's feel free to ask me at any time in person or via email.

I may on occasion request pieces of evidence, if thats the case it can be sent to my email:

Joel Lemuel Paradigm

6 rounds

If you are pressed for time jump to the takeaways/bolded parts of each topic/section.

Coaching/Judging History

I have been involved with competitive policy debate in some fashion for the last 15 years. I competed  through high school through college and I have coached middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students. I have experience judging in urban debate leagues as well as the national circuit.I'm currently the director of forensics at California State University - Northridge so I mostly judge intercollegiate debates. That means I am unlikely to know most of the acronyms, anecdotes, inside-baseball references about other levels of debate and you should probably explain them in MUCH more detail than you would for the average judge. 
Speaker Points
I used to think a 28 indicated a good speaker and a 27 indicated an average speaker. I am learning this may no longer be the case. The takeaway is…Rather than stick to some arbitrary standard for the sake of tradition I will adjust my scale to bring it in line with community norms. 
The Role of the Ballot/Purpose of the Activity/Non-Traditional Teams

The first thing I want to say isn’t actually a part of my philosophy on judging debates as much as it is an observation about debates I have watched and judged. I can’t count the number of rounds I have watched where a debater says something akin to, “Debate is fundamentally X,” or “the role of the ballot is X.” This is not a criticism. These debaters are astute and clearly understand that defining the nature and purpose of the activity is an extremely useful (often essential)tool for winning debates. That said, in truth, debate is both everything and nothing and the role of the ballot is multipleAsserting the "purpose of debate" or "the role of the ballot" is essentially a meaningless utterance in my opinion. Arguing in favor "a particular purpose of debate” or “a particular role of the ballot” in a given round requires reasons and support. Policy debate could be conceived as a training ground for concerned citizens to learn how to feel and think about particular policies that could be enacted by their government. Policy debate could also be conceived as a space students to voice their dissatisfaction with the actions or inactions of the governments that claim to represent them through various forms of performance. Excellent debaters understand policy debate is a cultural resource filled with potential and possibility. Rather than stubbornly clinging to dogmatic axioms, these debaters take a measured approach that recognizes the affordances and constraints contained within competing visions of "the purpose of debate" or the "role of the ballot” and debate the issue like they would any other. 
The problem is assessing the affordances and constraints of different visions requires a sober assessment of what it is we do here. Most debaters are content to assert, “the most educational model of debate is X,” or the “most competitive model of debate is Y.” Both of these approaches miss the boat because they willfully ignore other aspects of the activity. Debates should probably be educational. What we learn and why is (like everything else) up for debate, but it’s hard to argue we shouldn’t be learning something from the activity. Fairness in a vacuum is a coin-flip and that’s hardly worth our time. On the other hand, probably isn’t a purely educational enterprise. Debate isn’t school. If it were students wouldn’t be so excited about doing debate work that they ignore their school work. The competitive aspects of the activity are important and can’t be ignored or disregarded lightly. How fair things have to be and which arguments teams are entitled to make are up for debate, but I think we need to respect some constraints lest we confuse all discourse for argument. The phrase “debate is a game/the content is irrelevant” probably won’t get you very far, but that’s because games are silly and unimportant by definition. But there are lots of contests that are very important were fairness is paramount (e.g. elections, academic publishing, trials). Rather than assert the same banal lines from recycled framework blocks, excellent debaters will try to draw analogies between policy debate and other activities that matter and where fairness is non-negotiable. 
So the takeaway is … I generally think the topic exists for a reason and the aff has to tie their advocacy to the topic, although I am open to arguments to the contrary. I tend to think of things in terms of options and alternatives. So even if topicality is a necessarily flawed system that privileges some voices over others, I tend to ask myself what the alternative to reading topicality would be. Comparison of impacts, alternatives, options, is always preferable to blanket statements like “T = genocidal” or “non-traditional aff’s are impossible to research.”
Burden of Persuasion vs. Burden of Rejoinder
One of things that makes policy debate a fairly unique activity from a policy/legal perspective is our emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. If one competitor says something then the opponent needs to answer it, otherwise the judge treats the argument as gospel. Debaters might think their judges aren't as attentive to the flow as they would like, but ask any litigator if trial judges care in the least whether the other attorney answered their arguments effectively. Emphasizing the burden of rejoinder is a way of respecting the voice and arguments of the students who their valuable time competing in this activity. But like everything else in debate there are affordances as well as constraints in emphasizing the burden of rejoinder. Personally, I think our activity has placed so much emphasis on the burden of rejoinder that we have lost almost all emphasis on the burden of persuasion. I can’t count the number of rounds I have participated in (as a debater and as a judge) where the vast majority of the claims made in the debate were absolutely implausible. The average politics disad is so contrived that its laughable. Teams string together dozens of improbable internal link chains and treat them as if they were a cohesive whole. Truth be told, the probability of the average “big stick” advantage/disad is less than 1% and that’s just real talk. This practice is so ubiquitous because we place such a heavy emphasis on the burden of rejoinder. Fast teams read a disad that was never very probable to begin with and because the 2AC is not fast enough to poke holes in every layer of the disad the judge treats those internal links as conceded (and thus 100% probable). Somehow, through no work of their own the neg’s disad went from being a steaming pile of non-sense to a more or less perfectly reasonable description of reality. I don't think this norm serves our students very well. But it is so ingrained in the training of most debates and coaches (more so the coaches than the debaters actually) that it’s sustained by inertia. 
The takeaway is… that when i judge, I try (imperfectly to be sure) to balance my expectations that students meet both the burden of rejoinder and the burden of persuasion. Does this require judge intervention? Perhaps, to some degree, but isn't that what it means to “allow ones self to be persuaded?” To be clear, I do not think it is my job to be the sole arbiter of whether a claim was true or false, probable or unlikely, significant or insignificant. I do think about these things constantly though and i think it is both impossible and undesirable for me to ignore those thoughts in the moment of decision. It would behoove anyone I judge to take this into account and actively argue in favor of a particular balance between the burdens or rejoinder and persuasion in a particular round.
Importance of Evidence/Cards
I once heard a judge tell another competitor, “a card no matter how bad will always beat an analytic no matter how good.” For the sake of civility I will refrain from using this person’s name, but I could not disagree more with this statement. Arguments are claims backed by reasons with support. The nature of appropriate support will depend on the nature of the reason and on the nature of the claim. To the extent that cards are valuable as forms of support in debate it’s because they lend the authority and credibility of an expert to an argument. But there are some arguments were technical expertise is irrelevant. One example might be the field of morality and ethics. If a debater makes a claim about the morality of assisted suicide backed by sound reasoning there is no a priori reason to prefer a card from an ethicist who argues the contrary. People reason in many different ways and arguments that might seem formally or technically valid might be perfectly reasonable in other settings. I generally prefer debates with a good amount of cards because they tend to correlate with research and that is something I think is valuable in and of itself. But all too often teams uses cards as a crutch to supplement the lack of sound reasoning. 
The takeaway is … If you need to choose between fully explaining yourself and reading a card always choose the former.
KritiksI tend to think I am more friendly to critical arguments that most judges who debated around the same time I did but that might be wishful thinking on my part. My experience judging K teams suggests you are much more likely to convince me the AFF's methodology/epistemology is flawed by somehow relating your impacts to the logical consequence of the plan or aff method (e.g. "they solve their advantage, but it's actually a bad thing" or "they cant *really* solve their big impact + we *actually* solve a smaller impact" etc...) than you are by saying your impacts/framework is a-priori for some reason or another. I am very willing to listen to a-priori framework arguments (and vote on them more frequently than you might imagine) but the bolder the claim the more support you need. 
The takeaway is … I would say I am more friendly to critical arguments than some judges, but that also means I require a higher level of explanation and depth for those arguments. For instance, it is not sufficient to argue that the aff’s reps/epistemology/ontology/whatever is bad and these questions come first. You have to tell me in what way the aff’s methodology is flawed and how exactly would this result in flawed thinking/policy/ect. Unlike disads, individual links to kritiks have to have impacts to be meaningful. In general, I think people read too many cards when running kritiks at the expense of doing a lot textual and comparative work.
I have a relatively high threshold for theory arguments, but I am not one of those judges that thinks the neg teams gets to do whatever they want. You can win theory debates with me in the back, but it probably isn’t your best shot. As a general rule (though not universal) I think that if you didn’t have to do research for an argument, you don’t learn anything by running it. 
I have VERY high threshold for negative theory arguments that are not called topicality. It doesn’t mean I wont vote on these arguments if the aff teams makes huge errors, but a person going for one of these argument would look so silly that it would be hard to give them anything about a 27. 

Amy Lin Paradigm

6 rounds

policy Debate

Annie Marple Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Paul Montreuil Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Matt Munday Paradigm

6 rounds

Please add me to the email chain:

I am not the kind of judge who will read every card at the end of the debate. Claims that are highly contested, evidence that is flagged, or other important considerations will of course get my attention. Debaters should do the debating. Quality evidence is also important. If the opposing team's cards are garbage, it is your responsibility to let that be known. Before reading my preferences about certain arguments, keep in mind that it is in your best interest to do what you do best. My thoughts on arguments are general predispositions and not necessarily absolute.

T – Topicality is important. The affirmative should have a relationship to the topic. How one goes about defending the topic is somewhat open to interpretation. However, my predisposition still leans towards the thought that engaging the topic is a good and productive end. I tend to think implementation of the plan must be defended, but there is a debate to be had. I am most persuaded by topicality debates that focus on questions of limits. Competing interpretations typically makes more sense to me than reasonability.

Disads/Case Debate – Among my favorite debates to judge. Clash is built in and evidence comparison occurs naturally. Offense is important, but it seems like defense is often undervalued. I am willing to assign 0% risk to something if a sufficient defensive argument is made.

Counterplans – I lean neg on conditionality and PICs. Functional competition seems more relevant than textual competition. If the affirmative is asked about the specific agent of their plan, they should answer the question. Actual solvency advocates are important.

Kritiks – While I am not very deep on the literature base, I do think these are strategic arguments. I expect the negative to explain the impact of their argument beyond nebulous claims. It seems like the aff generally outweighs. However, good K debates usually control the key framing questions that make those concerns irrelevant. I tend to think of the alternative like a uniqueness counterplan. It benefits the aff to have clever perms as well as offense against the alt.

Theory – A quality theory argument should have a developed warrant/impact. “Reject the argument, not the team” resolves most theory arguments except for conditionality. It benefits both teams to slow down slightly when engaging in the theory debate. Making sure I am able to sufficiently flow the substance of these debates is important.

Speaker Points

Scale - Adjective - Description

29.6-30 - The Best - Everything you could ask for as a judge and more.

29-29.5 - Very, Very good - Did everything you could expect as a judge very, very well.

28.6-28.9 - Very Good - Did very well as a whole, couple moments of brilliance, but not brilliant throughout.

28.3-28.5 - Good - Better than average. Did most things well. Couple moments of brilliance combined with errors.

28-28.2 - OK - Basic skills, abilities, and expectations met. But, some errors along the way. Very little to separate themselves from others. Clearly prepared, just not clearly ahead of others.

27.5-27.9 - OK, but major errors - Tried hard, but lack some basic skills or didn’t pay close enough attention

27-27.4 - Needs Improvement – major errors/lacked effort - Major errors committed, effort questionable

Below 27 - Bad, and I intend for you to take it that way - Disrespected one’s opponent, the judge, or otherwise

Alma Nicholson Paradigm

3 rounds

I am a coach and teacher at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. I have been involved with debate on the local, regional, and national circuit as a competitor, judge, and coach for more years than I care to put in print.

Non-traditional Debate Warning: If you are looking for a judge that is into non-plan, non-topical K affs, poetry, or other interp affs, I am definitely not the best (or even second best) judge for you. I love a good POI, Oratory, and DI, but I love them in those event categories.

Speed: Once upon a time, I kept a fairly fast and thorough flow. I think that I still keep a good flow, but perhaps not as fast. I am older now (it happens to us all), and my hands hurt a bit more, so I find that I need a little time to warm up to the pace. Another issue concerning speed is that debaters, more often than not, think they are clearer than they actually are. Paperless debate has made this worse. I'll usually try give one "clearer" or "louder" warning per speaker, but after that, either you or your partner had better be paying attention to my facial expressions and whether I’m flowing. I have a terrible poker face, so it will be pretty obvious. If I don’t flow the argument or card text then that argument or card text it is not in the round and I am definitely not going to ask about it. I am inclined to be more impressed with a debater who is clear, efficient, and persuasive who speaks slightly slower than a debater who feels the need to show me their mad spreading skills. In terms of speed and T, theory, and k’s: SLOW DOWN - slow way down (see notes on kritiks). Please read my comments at the end of this page concerning the ever growing negative aspects of paperless debate.

The Role of the Affirmative: I expect the affirmative to advocate the resolution through TOPICAL PLAN action. Yes, the aff must have a plan and it must be clearly stated in the AC. If you want to run a critical aff stating that the resolution is racist, ablest, ageist, or anything else that suggests an unwillingness to affirm the resolution at hand, as written, then I am not going to be a good judge for you. I am possibly willing to listen to a critical aff that advocates the resolution. (Please see my notes on kritiks later). Performance/Project teams will probably find it a challenge to meet my view of the affirmative's role.

Topicality: It’s a voter. I like a good T debate that involves actual evidence and a description of why the aff does not meet the interpretation. The standards debate should include a viable limits argument. Why is the affirmative's interpretation of limits bad for debate? If you are going for ground, make sure you impact why it's a big deal to you in the round, and/or even for debate as a whole. Negative teams who plan to go for topicality should be prepared to go “all in." At best, you could weigh “T” and one other position. You’re unlikely to get much ground or be terribly persuasive if T is one of 3 or 4 positions in the 2NR (And really, why have four positions remaining in the 2NR?). Impact analysis on T is just as important as it is on any other position. Don’t bother to kritik T with me in the room. T is not racist. Do not run RVI’s on T. It is worth noting that a T debate needs to be a bit slower due to its needed explanation, but it does not need to be handled as slowly as a kritik.

Counterplans: Preferably, counterplans are non-topical, which creates a clearer division of ground. Counterplans also need to be clearly competitive. A CP that is basically just steals the plan is probably not competitive and is just stealing ground, but the idea of PICs can be debated in round. Conditional CP’s are probably a bad thing, but the debate as to why must be specific. A clear net benefit is better for competiveness. If going for the CP in the 2NR, the negative does not automatically get the assumption of the Status Quo as the alternative in place of the CP as a voting issue. This choice must be explained in the 2NR. The aff should definitely argue whether the neg can operate in multiple worlds, or must treat the CP as their new advocacy. Note: I find most severance perms abusive. When I have voted on such a perm, it has usually been because the neg mishandled the flow and allowed the aff to get away with it. The neg needs to note that it is the affirmative’s job to advocate their plan, in its entirety, through the 2AR. It is one thing for the Aff to kick an advantage, but it's an entirely different thing to sever part or all of the plan. Affirmatives should not argue that the "neg does not get any fiat." That's ridiculously limiting.

Disadvantages: I’m old school policy, so I like disads. Disads should have a comparable risk to the net benefits of the AC and/or serve as a net benefit to the CP. There should be a significant link debate (offense/defense) and a clear impact calculus. I hate it when teams wait until the 2NR/2AR to finally weigh the impacts. Reading more cards is not weighing an impact; it’s just reading more cards. An impact calculus requires clear analysis. I will put as much effort into weighing the disad risk as a decision calculus as you spend trying to persuade me that the argument is worth the vote.

Kritiks: Despite Newman having a new director that is well known for his love of the K, I have not grown to love kritiks. This is definitely true in terms of non-topical K affs and neg kritiks that probably have little to do with the actual plan. Some teams have become overly reliant upon them (running the same position every single year) and use them to avoid having to debate the topic or debate policies they don’t like. I find that most kritiks have ambiguous implications at best and the alternative (if there is one) is often not an alternative at all. I have found myself voting for some of these arguments, despite my not even understanding the position, because the other team failed to explain clearly why the argument has little bearing in the round or fails to point out the shortcomings of the alt. You should also be aware that I most likely have not read the critical literature you are referencing and citing. I have a rudimentary understanding of philosophy. I was not a philosophy major. I do not plan to go back to graduate school to study philosophy. If you plan to run any critical positions in my presence, you must do the following:

1) Slow Down. Really. Slow. Down. I mean conversational speed slow down

2) Explain your position clearly – no blippy tag lines or argument extensions

3) Have a specific link

4) Have a clear alternative – something more tangible than “being part of the ___ mindset," “avoiding the evils of capitalism,” or "do nothing." Huh??

Despite my personal disposition on the kritiks, the opposing team will still need to say more than “The K is bringing down policy and should go away.”

Performance/Project Debates: I’m still a cost-benefits analysis policy judge at heart. I have not changed my mind on the position that performance/project positions leave little ground for the opposing team. I have no idea how to weigh your performance against the other team’s position (performance or traditional) for the purposes of winning a debate.

Cross Ex: CX is important for fleshing out a strategy and provide clarification of arguments; I generally think that answers in cross ex are binding. I actually listen to cross ex, often take notes and even find it interesting. I also find it not that interesting on many occasions. Tag team CX is okay, but avoid taking it over. Not being able to handle your cross ex will result in lower speaker points. Taking over a partner’s CX will also result in lower speaks. CX starts when the speaker is finished. If you need 30 seconds to “set up” then that will come out of prep.

Role of the Ballot: My ballot determines who wins the round. That is all. If you win, you are (perhaps) one round closer to clearing. If you lose, you are (perhaps) one round closer to not clearing. My ballot does not send a message to the debate community; it is not a teaching tool; it is not an endorsement of a particular action or philosophy.

Theory: Save theory debates for when they really need needed and warranted. Too many debaters are running theory as their “go to” argument. Debating theory as a "default" argument every round cheapens the arguments and makes judges less likely to take them seriously. Do not run any theory arguments against Topicality (see above).


Paperless Debate: Speaking style has simply become worse with paperless debate. Card reading has become choppy, debaters have problems toggling back and forth on the computer, debaters are taking liberties with prep while flashing or emailing speech docs, and instead of flowing the arguments as they are being presented, debaters are back-flowing from flashed material that may or may not have actually made it into the speech. Some judges have resorted to reading the email chain. These are all poor debate practices. Teams are saving paper and tons of money when flying, but debates have become sloppy.

Prep Time: Your prep ends when you have finished loading the flash drive and hand it off to the opposing team. If an email chain is set up, your prep ends when you hit “send.” This means that you are standing up to speak. If you start conversing with your partner, I will continue to run prep and I will probably dock your speaks for stealing prep.

Flowing: Do it. Follow the flow, not the “flashed” cards. Do not mess up my flow!!

Label Arguments: “First off, A-uniqueness” is not a label for my flow. Label each off case – every single one of them. When you move to the case debate, be clear as to where you are and when you are moving on to another advantage, etc. This is also true for the 1A; the AC needs to be crystal clear.

Reading Cards Post Round: I rarely do so. To get me to read a card requires a specific request during your speech and an explanation as to why and what I am looking for exactly. If I am part of the email chain, this does not mean I am automatically going to read cards. If I call for a card without you requesting it or go to the email chain without direction then something was so unclear that I felt I had no choice. This presents an opportunity to intervene, which I do not like doing if I can avoid it.

Card Clipping: It’s cheating. Don’t do it. If an accusation is brought up in the round, I will take it seriously (even stop the round if necessary). If you bring it up as an accusation, you need to be darn certain you are correct. Be clear where you stop reading a card if you do not finish. "Stop card" is probably not clear enough.

As we say in New Orleans, “Be Nice or Leave”. It is fine to be competitive, but have fun. You are competitors in the round, but you should be friends outside of the round. Being a jerk in the round will not lead to friendships and it will definitely hurt your speaker points.

Christian Ogata Paradigm

4 rounds

Background info:
3 years of policy debate at Centennial High School (ID)
4 years of policy debate at UNLV

-Do whatever you are best at/most comfortable with, just make sure you can justify it and communicate it well enough for me to sign my ballot in your favor.
-Speed is cool. That being said, you should be fast but you should be clear. I would much rather have you go slower and develop your arguments
-Don't time flashing, but don't steal prep/waste time or I will
-I think debate is a great activity and should be an inclusive and fun. This means you should probably not (as well as outside of the debate space) advance racist, sexist, ableist, transphobic or morally repugnant arguments or language.

K-Affs and Framework:
-Do what you want. I do however think that you should advance an answer to the resolution. Whether that means you affirm it, affirm an action in the direction of the resolution or criticize it, have a justification for it. 
-In my first two years of college debate, I read anything from a critical identity aff about internment, a Bataille aff, and an aff about Asian Americans. This past year, I have read two policy affs and a settler colonialism aff and gone for Framework several times. Thus, it can be said that I can be persuaded by a substantive framework argument. I think you need to resolve what my ballot should do, what debate should be like, the discussions we should have and why your impact outweighs. 

-I am persuaded by Topical Versions of the Aff arguments if they are (a) actually topical and (b) provide the aff an ability to have the discussion they want while still defending this version of the aff. 

-Talk about what you want, just have a defense of it.

-Debate topicality like a disad i.e. explain your standards as internal links to terminal impacts
-I will default to competing interpretations but can be easily persuaded by a thoroughly explained reasonability argument.
-Tell me what the topic looks like in a world of your interpretation vs theirs. This includes listing affs that your interp allows or justifies. Don't be ridiculous with these, but explain why they are actually possible under the aff's interpretation. 

-Counterplans are cool and you should deploy them. I think they are especially important when debating affs with big impacts.
-I will not kick the counterplan for you unless you make a judge choice argument.

-Big fan. 

-Turns case arguments are persuasive in front of me. 

-You should still be reading a PC key card in the 1NC. I am unsure of why people seem to think otherwise. 

-You should be able to articulate the disad as an opportunity cost to the aff. 


-I will have an easier time understanding and evaluating topic specific kritiks than I will high-theory criticisms. 
-Your kritik needs to be a discussion of the aff. I think that often times teams don’t pull specific links or contextualize their argument to the aff which inevitably makes the debate more difficult to decide.
-I would much rather sit in the back of a debate in which you are communicating your arguments to me as opposed to reading your Nietzsche blocks you wrote this summer.
-There is too little discussion of the alternative in these debates and I think you should explain how it resolves at least a portion of the impacts you have isolated in the 1NC/Block/somewhere in the debate. 
-Cheating K tricks are fine and I understand why strategic, but don't just throw out buzzwords at me. Explain why "serial policy failure" is a thing or at least the implications of such argument. 
-Root cause cards are not link cards in my opinion

-Don’t forget you have an aff. Too often people get too caught up in the kritik that they forget that the aff is a thing. Use it to your advantage.

-You should not go for everything in the 2ar. Sit on well developed positions that will win you the debate.
-Don't just extend the perm text. Explain why your methods/positions are not mutually exclusive or how the permutation resolves anything.

-Have a defense of the things you've read in the 1AC. 

-I generally think that a logical limited number of conditional advocacies is okay. This does not preclude you from winning on conditionality in front of me however.
-I’m not willing to vote on a cheap shot, dropped theory argument that you don’t articulate and think you should win just because they didn’t answer.
-Like topicality, debate this like a disad with internal links to your impacts.

Questions, comments, concerns? Email me or feel free to talk to me before the debate. 

Donny Peters Paradigm

6 rounds

Donny Peters

Assistant Debate Coach

Damien High School

16 years coaching. Before Damien I have coached at; Cal State Fullerton, Santa Magarita High School, Fairmont HIgh School, Illinois State University, Ball State University, Wayne State University and West Virginia University.

I have been judging/coaching for 15 years, mostly college. After reading over paradigms for my entire adult life, I am not sure how helpful they really are. They seem to be mostly a chance to rant, a coping mechanism, a way to get debaters not to pref them and some who generually try but usually fail to explain how they judge debates. Regardless, my prferences are below, but feel free to ask me before the round if you have any questions.

Evidence: This is an evidence based activity. I put great effort to listening, reading and understanding your evidence. If you have poor evidence, under highlight or misrepresent your evidence (intentional or unintentional) it makes it difficult for me to evaluate your arguments. Those who have solid evidence, are able to explain their evidence in a persuasive matter tend to get higher speaker points, win more rounds etc.

Overall: Debate how you like (with some constraints below). I will work hard to make the best decision I am capable of. Make debates clear for me, put signfiicant effort in the final 2 rebuttals on the arguments you want me to evaluate and give me an approach to how I shold evaluate the round.

Nontraditional Affs : I tend to enjoy reading the literature base for most nontraditional affirmatives. I'm not completely sold on the pedagogcal value of these arguments at the high school level. I do believe that aff should have a stable stasis point in the direction of the resolution. The more persuasive affs tend to have a personal relationship with the arguments in the round and have an ability to apply their method and theory to personal experience.

Framework: I do appreciate the necessity of this argument. I am more persuaded by topical version arguments than the aff has no place in the debate. If there is no TVA then the aff need to win a strong justification for why their aff is necessary for the debate community. The affirmative cannot simply say that the TVA doesn't solve. Rather there can be no debate to be had with the TVA. Fairness in the abstract is an impact but not a persuasive one. The neg need to win specific reasons how the aff is unfair and and how that impacts the competitiveness and pedagogical value of debate. Agonism, decision making and education may be persuasive impacts if correctly done.

Counter plans: I attempt to be as impartial as I can concerning counterplan theory. I don’t exclude any CP’s on face. I do understand the necessity for affirmatives to go for theory on abusive counterplans or strategically when they do not have any other offense. Don’t hesitate to go for consult cp’s bad, process cps bad, condo, etc. For theory, in particular conditionality, the aff should provide an interpretation that protects the aff without overlimiting the neg.

DA's : who doesn't love a good DA? I do not automatically give the neg a risk of the DA. Not really sure there is much else to say.

Kritiks- Althoughout I enojy a good K debate, good K debates at the high school level are hard to come by. Make sure you know your argument and have specific applications to the affirmative.My academic interests involve studying Foucault Lacan, Derrida, Deleuze, , etc. So I am rather familiar with the literature. Just because I know the literature does not mean I am going to interpret your argumetn for you.

Overall, The key to get my ballot is to make sure its clear in the 2NR/2AR the arguments you want me to vote for and impact them out. That may seem simple, but many teams leave it up to the judge to determine how to prioritize and evaluate arguments.

Vivienne Pismarov Paradigm

6 rounds

I have not judged any rounds on the immigration topic - however, I am informed about the world so I get what's happening and that shouldn't prevent me from knowing what your aff is or anything. That being said, things that may seem obvious to you may not seem obvious to me, so explain yourselves and really flesh out topicality debates.

Experience: I debated for 4 years at Notre Dame in CA (2011-2015) and I currently debate at the University of San Francisco.

General Notes:

1. I am definitely very, very flow oriented. That being said, to have a full argument you need to make a claim, warrant, and impact. If those things aren't there, I'd rather not do the work for you and simply reward the team that did.

2. Other than that, you do you. I'm down to listen to anything you want to talk about if you can defend it well.

3. I'm super easy to read. If I'm making faces, it's probably because I am confused or can't understand what you're saying. If I'm nodding, that is generally a good thing.

4. Be good people. There's nothing I hate more than people being unnecessarily rude.

5. There is always a risk of something, but a low risk is almost no risk in my mind when compared to something with a high risk.

6. I'll always prioritize good explanation of things over bad cards. If you don't explain things well and I have to read your evidence and your evidence sucks, you're in a tough spot. That being said, I would rather not call for cards, but if you think that there is a card that I simply need to read, then say so in your speech.

7. Tasteful jokes/puns are always accepted. They can be about anything/anyone (ie Jacob Goldschlag) as long as its funny :)

Topicality: I love topicality debates because they're techy and force debaters to really explain what they are talking about in terms of impacts. That being said, 2nr's/2ar's really need to focus on the impact debate and explain to me why education is an impact or why I should prefer a limited topic over an unlimited one. Reasonability is debatable. I was a 2n in high school and I lean towards a more limited topic, but I'm very easily persuaded otherwise.

K Aff's: I am very convinced by most framework arguments on the negative side. I think that K aff's need to be closer to the resolution than not and I do not think that many of them are. However, this does not mean that I will not vote for a K aff; I just have had trouble understanding the proliferation of Baudrillard and Bataille affs, so if you are aff, you will definitely need to be doing a higher level of experience. I think Cap K's versus these aff's can be very persuasive, but I also think Framework makes a lot of sense if the aff isn't topical. That being said, do you and make smart args. I'm not the most literate in a lot of high-theory literature, so if you want to play that game in front of me, do it BUT explain your theories and I'll catch on quick.Framework: I think that "traditional" framework debates fall prey to a big exclusion DA from the aff. I think we should be able to talk about K affs and that they should be included in the topic - HOWEVER I believe that K aff's do need to prove that they are topical in some way. I lean more towards the neg in framework debates because I do think that many K aff's have little to do with the topic, but there have been so many times when K aff's actually engage the topic in a great way. That being said, on the aff be closer to the resolution and on the neg, explain how your interpretation and model of debate interacts with the aff. Most teams forget that the aff will always try to weigh their impacts against framework, which sucks because it is hard to resolve real world impacts versus theoretical arguments about fairness and education.

Theory: I will most likely lean neg on most theory questions unless a CP is simply very, very abusive, but even those can be defended sometimes :)

Disads: I love disads, specifically the politics DA. Prioritize impact work! Despite my love for DA's, most of them are dumb and you can easily convince me that they are dumb even using analytics and indicting the neg's evidence. However, I still love DA's and wish I got to go for them more in high school. Good politics debates make me happy.

Counterplans: Everything is debatable in terms of theory, so do you. If a CP is very abusive, hopefully the aff says so. If the aff concedes planks of your CP, you should make sure you say that. I think all CP's need a solvency advocate, otherwise it will be hard for the neg to win solvency and potentially theory.

Kritiks: I really like the K when the link debate is specific and I can articulate a SPECIFIC link and reasons why the aff is bad. Fair warning - I am not the most literate in high-theory arguments. This doesn't mean I won't listen to your Baudrillard K's, but it means that I have a very high threshold for SPECIFIC links and also simple explaination of the argument since I will most likely be confused until you explain yourself. The neolib k was my baby in high school and I think it answers everything. Security was Notre Dame's main thing when I was there so go for that too. Teams need to explain what I need to prioritize first, whether that is epistemology, reps, framework, or whatever, just make sure you say so! I don't like overviews and I am a big believe in putting your link and impact work where it makes sense on the line by line because it will always make sense somewhere.

Steve Pointer Paradigm

2 rounds

Updated Round 3 at St Mark's:

Please include undertheorized and warrantless blips about settler colonialism in my list of things I do not want to unpack for you. Needing to read whole articles to attempt to establish a connection that makes sense in my mind between the 6 words you said that constitute an "argument" seems like an unreasonable task. Please explain some stuff.

Put me on your email chains:

Note: If you ask me whether I want to be on the email chain, or for my email address, I will give your speaker points the same level of consideration and respect that you have given my judging philosophy.

Someone once described my judging philosophy very accurately as follows: "Pointer votes on 'The Stupid DA' - He really wants to vote against the team that is doing the dumbest stuff."

I haven't yet fully decided the most egregious way we've set ourselves up for failure with the arms sales topic. More thoughts forthcoming.

I've deleted most of the record of debates on the immigration topic from both my judging philosophy and (hopefully) my memory, but I'll leave this part of the rant up since I suspect it will be almost as true on this topic:

This topic has a terrible literature imbalance in favor of the aff in terms of disads. The fundamental problem is that while the aff gets to enjoy reading hypothetical and prescriptive claims about the world in their solvency contention, while the neg is limited to descriptive claims about the status quo in order to research link and uniqueness questions. Nobody would possibly write good link cards about things that would never happen outside the realm of fiat, so the neg is forced to rely on some spin to make their disads links seem like actual things. So I have a high degree of sympathy for negative teams that make link arguments based off of literature that interprets how particular actors would respond to hypothetical plans, provided they actually do the work to make that spin make sense. We've accepted doing this with worse evidence for the political capital DA for at least a decade, I'm not sure why we as a judging community are pretending like we don't want to do this during the Trump Administration.

A different rant - Debate is better when claims come from some form of evidence. This expanding trend of taking the K in the 2NC, not reading any cards (or 1-2 max) and asserting claims like "the state is always bad" and "humanism is always bad" is not really appealing to me. I don't start the debate with a predisposition to think those arguments are already decided, and I don't find your assertion persuasive. You need some evidence to back up those claims. That being said, I'm pretty open to alternative forms of evidence and will do my best to evaluate them, but there has to be something there.

I've been coaching debate for quite a while now, and I've coached teams that run just about everything. I've judged debates about most things as well, so the odds are that you won't be doing anything that I'm not somewhat familiar with. That being said, I find myself less willing than I used to be to unpack your buzzword-laden cryptic statements about continental philosophy or psychoanalytic concepts. If your strategy revolves around obfuscation or deferral, I am not the most sympathetic judge for you. If you are talking about Lacan, I have a higher burden of explanation than you are probably meeting. I also find rejection as an isolated concept to be a generally uncompelling alternative absent some development.

Debate is a game, but it is a game that needs to have some value. Therefore, any good debate practice should be both fair and educational, but the content of such education and the neutrality claims of procedural fairness become internal links, not terminal impacts, once contested. In other words, be able to defend the value of your model of debate, and you'll have a much better chance in front of me when the opponent offers a different model of debate.

Most of you would be better off slowing down, especially on tags and analytics and overviews. Seriously, most of you read them like they're cards, which just makes them unflowable. Typing time and mental processing time are real things that judges need. I know you are just flowing the speech doc, but please don't make me do that too. Be slow enough that you can be clear.

Now to the stuff you actually care about:

Can I read the K? Yes. But please have a better link than the state or civil society. The more germane you are to the topic, the better.

Can I read a K aff? Yes

Does that K aff have to be about the resolution? It should be. I've been persuaded that it doesn't matter in some debates, but I think a good minimal standard is that your aff should be about why arms sales are bad. Questions of process or implementation, or defending state action are generally up for debate.

Will you vote on framework/T against K affs? Yes. However, you probably need to make inroads against the aff's structural fairness claims about the world to have a shot. I am generally more persuaded by engagement/institutions arguments than fairness arguments, but have voted for both. I think the value of fairness in debate often begs a larger question about the value of the model of debate that particular claims to procedural fairness would preserve, and I'm open to hearing that debate.

Conditionality? It's good. Contradictory conditional advocacies, however, are probably not. Note that a K that links to the CP as well as the plan probably does not meet this threshold of being a contradiction in this sense. Your 3-4 counterplans in the 1NC are probably not complete arguments, and likely haven't made a solvency argument worth comparing to the case, so those might be better arguments than conditionality. Conditionality only allows you to jettison an advocacy statement and default to the status quo or another advocacy, not the series of truth claims made on a page.

Theory arguments? Be clear when you present them. Everything other than conditionality bad is probably a reason to reject the argument, not the team.

Judge kick? Not by default. If you make the argument and win it, sure I'll kick the CP for you. Otherwise, you made your choice and I won't default to giving you a second 2NR in my judging.

I like smart, strategic debate and quality evidence. I give pretty clear nonverbals when I can't understand you, either because of clarity or comprehension. I'm not above yelling clear if I have to. Policy teams, your highlighting is bad. K teams, your tags are unflowable.

Despite our best efforts to avoid it, sometimes clash accidentally occurs and a debate breaks out. Be prepared.

Devon Reese Paradigm

6 rounds


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have fun and be kind.

Alyssa Resar Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Hope Sauceda Paradigm

6 rounds

Hope Sauceda

Houston Urban Debate League

University of North Texas, Political Science & International Development,  2013 – 2016

University of Nevada Las Vegas, Communication Studies (present)



As a coach and former debater, I have real issues with judge philosophies. I largely think that they are not reflective of how a judge thinks about debate, what a judge knows about debate and/or how a judge actually adjudicates a debate.

So, all in all don’t take any judge philosophy as a binding document or the holy grail for winning/losing a round. Ok, side note over.

I have been debating since my sophomore year in high school (so, since the 10-11 military/police presence topic). I am by far no “expert” in debate, but I have had a lot of experience coaching and teaching debate. I have had the experience of debating “traditionally” affirming topical policy affirmatives, multiple disads/cp combos and the occasional addition of the k/critical disad (capitalism). In my later college career, I moved towards a variety critical arguments untopical aff’s, soft left/right aff’s and 1-off K’s (anti-blackness mostly) and 2-off (“the K” & T or “the K” & DA). So, I have had experience with a wide variety of argumentation and argumentation styles.  I don’t think my debate background should limit you from running the arguments you choose; I strongly believe that debate is what you make of it and you should feel comfortable running whatever arguments you want. But, everybody needs to win arguments and, more so, reasons why those arguments mean I should vote for you (like what the impact/meaning to those arguments).

Prep time: I will keep a timer and record of prep time, as should you. Make is LOUD and CLEAR when you are beginning and ending prep. 

Evidence Sharing: Ummmm, its 2016, we have Gmail. If there is an internet connection use an email chain. If you use a flash drive, make it quick. I will assume that when you end prep you are ONLY saving. But, if I feel as though otherwise, I will verbally let you know.

Speaking:  At the bare minimum, you should be clear above all! I can’t flow if I don’t know what you are saying (obvi). Speed is cool just don’t let it tradeoff with clarity. Your analytical/tag speed should not be the same as your card speed. Use ethos, pathos and logos!


The Tea:

Speaker points:  *there are levels to this * Excellent speaker points means you can demonstrate a combination of smart, logical, proficient arguments. Excellent speakers have mic skills (some jokes, swagg, confidence, pettiness, facial expressions and eloquence). Excellent debaters have vison and an understanding about argument interaction. Excellent debaters will make a real arguement (claim - warrent). Excellent speakers will efficient and clear when explaining and deploying arguments. Excellent speakers will be clear and not trade speed for clarity. Excellent speakers will utilize various techniques (pauses, inflection, eye contact and rhythm) to enhance their overall performance.

Excellent – 29.1 – 29.5

Great – 28.8 – 29.1

Good – 28.5 – 28.8

Alright – 27 – 28.4

Bad – 0 – 26  (racism, misgendering, sexism, clipping…ect)

AFF –  My short tidbit for the aff.  It does not matter how you present your arguments but you should be held to solving for something (big or small). I think that resolutional or not there should be a purpose for why you presented a set of arguments and the meaning for said arguments. Aff’s should be clear in the CX of the 1AC – like I get it you’re not going to spill all the beans (why would you) but some spillage is necessary. I think in CX of the 1AC if they are asking specific questions about the aff you should respond accordingly. Too much vagueness and be perceived as a lack of knowing your case. I think that aff’s should utilize impacts and impact calculus as leverage against negative positions. Perms are your friend and solvency deficits are there to help you.

T/FW – now-a-days these seem to have blended into one. Be clear on your interpretations of words/definitions and models of debate. You need to explain what the consequences are a model/practice/definition in debate. I think you need an explanation about your views on “what debate should be/do” or “what definitions justify”. T/FW are about the larger educational frameworks that we should be engaging in. I think that the way we engage has large implications on education (on multiple levels).

*STAR THIS: I have not judged many rounds on this topic so, debating T/FW interps is a major key for scope 

Other notes on T/FW -The substantive portions of T/FW are better than the theoretical (i.e the K is cheating).

-On T, should probs talk about what the aff/neg research divide looks like under each interpretation.

-What aff’s exist/Don’t exist, what is competitive/viable, does something important get excluded?, educational benefits/disadvantages?

-Arguments such as limits and ground are internal links and not impacts.

-Largely think that competing interpretations and reasonability are equally subjective terms because they are both judge-decided

-On FW – perms are not a thing – I think these are just a combo of  a) we can co-exist/we don’t preclude b) sequencing args or c) reasons to prefer your interp/model


The K – Generally, you should not assume that I will unpack terms and concepts for you (Example: I will not “fill in” the meaning of unflinching paradigmatic analysis or historical materialistic analysis … you must explain it!). Don’t assume that buzz words are replacements for analysis and explanation (Example: uttering “cap is bad” or something was “anti-black” does not substitute for a contextual explanation of why that is true. For, the K link explanation is big for me. You should be explaining your links in the context of the aff/perm (always), and perms should always be explained in the context of the link scenarios. Don’t forget about your impacts and implications…that’s a major key. Alt solvency is preferable, minimally have an alt that can solve your links. Optimally, the alt would also solve some part of the aff too.  


K competition – so, I hear these terms/blubs such “competing methods” or “comparative methods” as they relate to perm/method evaluation. These terms mean very little without an explanation of WHAT the standards are and HOW the criteria function.


Perms – legitimate perms include all or some parts of the aff and some part of the alt/CP – I am not the one to go for “aff’s don’t get perms” you would be better off explaining why the perm does not function, why the perm is illegitimate and why there are disadvantages to the perm. The aff should do this as well (inversely – why the perm functions best, why its legitit and what the net benefits to the perm are + impacts)  


CP’s –First, I would prefer your counterplan to have a net benefits. I would prefer your counterplans to not link to the net benefit i.e most CP/politics debates (this combo is winnable no doubt) but, it grinds my gears. Second, I would like your CP’s to solve some part of the aff. CP’s kinda have too! Third, I prefer CP’s to be competitive. I am usually hesitant to vote on: Plan+ CP’s (assuming a legitimate perm), “Ban the Plan/Delay (esque) type CP’s. I have encountered super abstract CP’s (Wipeout & Anarchy) and they should be avoided. Other general comments: PIK’s are fine, multiple planks are fine, advantage CP’s are cool (note: specificity > generic toolbox), Intn’l/Agent CP’s are fine too.

DA’s – these are good like who doesn’t like a good DA + case combo. But, I am stickler for specific link explanation. With a generic piece of evidence, you can still contextualize your links to the aff. I think for disads impact calculus and a link story has gotten lost. I think these should be clear parts of the debate.


On politics, I don’t think this is a real disad! But, I still ran it, debated it and voted for it as such. I think there are lots of logical issues with politics disad that people don’t capitalize on they simply pull out there 5 – 9 card PTX block instead of making some of the “real world” arguments. For me politics is all about the uniqueness and the uniqueness of the link. Please try to read good evidence. If your cards are less than 10 words highlighted, we will probs have an issue. If you cards don’t have warrants you will probs be in a bad spot. 

Catherine Shackelford Paradigm

6 rounds

Please include me on the email chain:

Do what you do best. I’m comfortable with all arguments. Practice what you preach and debate how you would teach. Strive to make it the best debate possible. I reward self-awareness, clash, good research, humor, and bold decisions. I will not tolerate language or behaviors that create a hostile environment. Please include trigger warnings for sexual violence. Feel free to ask me any questions you have before the round.

Specific things:

Speed - I'm comfortable with speed but please recognize that if you're reading typed blocks that are not in the speech doc at the same speed you are reading cards, there's a chance I will miss something because I can't flow every word you're saying as fast as you can say them. Slow down just a bit for what you want me to write down or include your blocks in the doc. I will say "clear" if you are not clear.

Topicality- I enjoy good topicality debates. To me good topicality debates are going to compare impacts and discuss what interp of the topic is going to be better for the debate community and the goals that are pursued by debaters.The goals and purpose of debate is of course debatable and can help establish which impacts are more important than others so make sure you're doing that work for me.

Counterplans- I enjoy creative counterplans best but even your standard ones will be persuasive to me if there is a solid solvency advocate and net-benny.

Theory - In-round abuse will always be far more persuasive to me than merely potential abuse and tricksy interps. I expect more than just reading blocks.

K- I really enjoy a good critical debate. Please establish how your kritik interacts with the affirmative and/or the topic and what that means for evaluating the round in some sort of framework. Authors and buzzwords alone will not get you very far even if I am familiar with the literature. I expect contextual link work with a fully articulated impact and alternative. If your K does not have an alternative, I will weigh it as a DA (that's probably non-unique).

Performance - All debate is a performance and relies on effective communication. If you are communicating to me a warranted argument, I do not care how you are presenting it.

Khalid Sharif Paradigm

3 rounds

Experience: 9 years of policy debate

HS: Highland (SLC)

College: University of West Georgia- NDT 1st Round

Coach @ Juan Diego (UT)

Add me to the email chain

Please appropriately title emails

[Tournament/Round#/ Aff Team Code vs Neg Team Code]


Warrants > Tech > Truth

If you don't fluctuate tone and annunciate but read blocks at top speed, I am not the judge for you. You are doing yourself a disservice when you spread through blocks faster than I can flow.

I don’t care what style of debate you prefer. Instead, I’m interested in your ability to defend and advance the advocacies and arguments you find important and/or strategic. I will do my best to adapt to you unless your spreading is incomprehensible, then I won't even look at the speech doc. Some additional thoughts.

  1. Line-by-Line > Long generic overviews
  2. Clarity of thought is paramount. I often find myself voting for teams that can make complex arguments sound like common sense.
  3. Good evidence is secondary to what a debater does with it. I really appreciate evidence interrogation in speeches and cross-examination. I don't like reading cards after the debate, please put the important spin and quotations of the card "on the flow."
  4. If there is an “easy” way to vote that is executed and explained well, I’m very likely to take it.
  5. I’d prefer to judge the text of the round in front of me rather than what debaters/teams have done outside of that round.
  6. I appreciate technical execution and direct refutation over implied argumentation.
  7. Well explained meta-framing arguments usually control my ballot but aren’t a substitute for substantive impact comparison.
  8. Less is more. The earlier in a debate that teams collapse down to lower quantities of positions and/or arguments, the more of a chance I have to really latch onto what is going on and make a decent decision.
  9. Identifying what I have to resolve behooves you. Most debates are won or lost on a few primary debatable questions. If you are the first to identify and answer those questions thoroughly, you will likely be ahead in my mind.
  10. Minimizing downtime is important. Go to the bathroom and jump/email the 1AC before the round start time.
  11. If you are a very fast debater who lacks clarity, turn it down slightly otherwise I may miss important arguments. Flowing/info processing time is real, if you are speak at top speed with little vocal inflection, I may miss a whole lot.

Stephanie Shelton Paradigm

6 rounds

***If you have me judging on the 2/4/18 there is a large possibility that I will be watching the superbowl instead of flowing your round (Go Patriots!)***

Updated for Golden Desert Public Forum: I am a hardcore policy judge and have next to zero PF experience so pref at your own risk.

I am a coach over at East High School in UT and have been for the past couple years

***+0.5 speaks for any High School Musical References.***

Argument Preference:

I think framework is fairly pointless and will probably end up avoiding evaluating it at all costs, but you do you.

Your contention titles should be clear enough for me to understand your entire argument based on them alone.

I feel like Public Forum all to often ignores offense but this is a huge no-no with me, tell me why each contention individually wins you the round

Plan is ok but make sure to lay out solvency well, remember you don't get fiat here like you do in policy.

I love topicality, so try and work it in when y'all are neg


I only intervene in special situations (i.e. sexism, racism, republicanism, ect.) I will listen to every type of argument except politics because in this climate I think it is fairly pointless.

Will drop a team for suggesting the globe is round and always looking for like minded science allies. Really not a fan of ignorance in general and you can expect low speaks if your speeches come close to a presidential levels falsehoods.

Make sure to be aggressive during cross-ex, I hate hearing "Would you like the first question?", this is a competition take anything you can to get a leg up on your opponent.


Most of the time I give around a 26 but that can change, I have never given a 30 so try and be my first :)

Good Trump impressions +1.0

Bad Trump impressions -2.0

Abhinava Singh Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Ember Smith Paradigm

6 rounds

Green Valley HS (NV) ‘16

University of Nevada, Las Vegas ‘20


I would like to be in email chains please--


I believe debate is a game and competition. Generally, technical mistakes will significantly influence my decision.


Disads-I care a lot about framing in these debates. Recognize what you’re winning and what the other team is winning and make arguments accordingly. For example, if you’re behind on the link debate, make a link controls the direction of uniqueness arg. Impact calculus is important, as is comparing how your arguments interact. Case turns the DA and DA turns the case should be in each impact debate. Strength of link and internal link are important to determine the risk of the DA.  Evidence comparison is especially important in how I’ll compare your arguments.


Counterplans- I generally don’t think consult CPs, process CPs, or condition CPs are very competitive. Competition should be based on something in the plan. With that, I don’t believe all counterplans need a hyper-specific solvency advocate. 


Conditionality- I lean neg on conditionality. It would take an egregious mistake to convince me that neg doesn’t get one or two conditional advocacies. Four or more I lean aff.


Critiques- I think you need a specific link. If you aren’t able to contextualize your argument to the aff, it will be an uphill battle. I think most alts are silly, and would like affs to push how well the alt can actually resolve the large-scale problems they claim to solve. Aff teams are likely to lose my ballot by dropping epistemology args, turns case args, VTL outweighs extinction, etc. I’m easily persuaded by aff arguments about pragmatism.


T- Please impact your standards. I think education and ground are internal links that should be attached to impacts (like decision making or research skills). That being said, I do think fairness is an impact.


Topicality/ Framework- I think there’s a separation between how this type of argument can be deployed- 1. Topicality- why debating the resolution is good and 2. Framework- why engaging in institutional politics is better than the aff’s method. I enjoy both, but don’t think the aff should answer them the same way. I tend to err neg in critical affs v. framework debates. For critical aff teams, specific counter-interpretations and defense to internal link args will go a long way.



Daniel Stanfield Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated for 2018 CEDA/NDT

Dan Stanfield

2 Years at Los Rios Community College

1 Year at CSU Fullerton

1 Year at UNLV

2 Years Coaching at UWG

Currently Graduate Coach @ Baylor University

Coached for CKM on TI topic

Coached for Juan Diego on Surveillance

Current Coach for SLC West

Add me to your email chain

"I am a firm believer that debate is for debaters. I had my time to make others listen to whatever (and I do mean absolutely whatever) I wanted to say, and its my turn to listen to and evaluate your arguments, whatever they may be. While I'm sure I have my limitations make me adapt to you instead of the other way arouund" -- Lindsay VanLuvanee

I will attempt to limit the amount my predispositions will influence how I evaluate a debate round. Don't feel as if you need to change your strategy to debate in front of me, do what you do best, because the alternative is usually subpar debate. The final two rebuttals should write my ballot for me, teams that accurately break the round down and are reasonable about what they are and are not winning will usually be rewarded with increased speaker points.I enjoy a high level of specificity and nuance broad sweeping claims will get you nowhere. I place importance on how pieces of evidence get debated, as opposed to simply constructing debates based on the pieces of evidence that have been introduced. While I also place a premium on quality evidence (which, I would like to be able to hear during your speech), I believe that a smart analytic argument has the potential to gain equal traction to a solid piece of evidence. Quality always trumps quantity.

I find cross ex to be the most important part of debate its one of the few times I feel I get to connect with the individual debaters, while I don't flow it I pay very close attention to it, and what happens here will inform how I see large portions of the round.

Theory needs to be well executed. Debates in which theory blocks do the arguing almost always favor the neg.

I don’t like cheap shots.(This does not mean I won't vote on them, I'll just be cranky about it) I like arguments to be well developed. Most cheap shots are not reasons to reject the team and significant time would need to be spent in order to convince me otherwise. However, it is your burden to point out how irrelevant many theory arguments that are advanced in debates are, as a concession may force my hand.

Nearly all theory questions I end up siding in favor of the negative, I think conditionality is fine, any potentially abusive CP is checked by quality of evidence. 50 States Fiat is one arg where an affirmative could convince me this is a reason to reject the team it is likely to still be an uphill battle.

Judge Kick: I think this deserves its own section, when the 2nr goes for a CP I believe the debate is solely a question of plan versus the CP. While a 2nr can instruct me to to kick the cp for them if the 2r wins offense against the counterplan an affirmative can respond that I shouldn't kick the counterplan for the negative and I am likely to side with the affirmative. If the 2nr contains a counterplan I have a very strong predisposition that if the affirmative wins substantive solvency deficits to the counterplan or other offense against it that outweighs the net benefit than I should be voting aff. And that I then shouldn't decide to then evaluate the status quo (i..e the net-benefit) vs. the plan.

Separate from the framework section, I really enjoy evidentiary T debates that aren't clash of civ debates. I find these are some of the most nuanced debates about what the resolution means which is always compelling to me. I evaluate topicality like a DA offense v defense. For affirmatives here do not place all your eggs in the basket of reasonability, I think only reasonability is only a question of the interpretation and not the aff or plan itself. Any other interpretation of reasonability I don't think constitutes an actual argument.


First contrary to popular belief I do not hack for framework, however this year I have noticed myself voting for framework more often than I don't vote for framework. For me there are a few ways the framework debates break down in terms of impact, primarily between procedural and education based impacts. By procedural I mean those impact arguments that result from things such as limits, or grounds internal links to impacts like clash, fairness, debatability. The second form of framework are those arguments about decision making skills, topic education, deliberative democracy.

If you are negative reading framework I cannot stress how much I would rather see the version of framework that couches its arguments in terms of the procedural side, ie. limits , ground, etc. I believe this is the most strategic form of the argument. I believe debate is a game and impacts that make the game unable to be played by one side or the other constitute a reason to vote negative. Explanations of the impact that have been compelling to me is that I strongly believe there should be a negative path to victory, a negative that couches their impacts like this will have greatly increased my likelihood to vote for framework. For affirmatives debating this style of framework if you win a counter interpretation that provides a limit on the topic and can explain why that limit on the topic mitigates some portion of the negative offense regards to limits or debateability, then that is the best route for getting me to vote affirmative. I will also say YOU NEED OFFENSE, playing the middle ground will not get my ballot I need impact turns big disads to their interpretation of the topic with well explained impacts. If affirmative I do not need 5-10 barely explained disads to FWI need 1-4 well explained and warranted DA's to the negative interpretation.

Conversely it is much harder to win my ballot exclusively going for arguments about topic education, decision making skills, or deliberative democracy. I believe any affirmative that is even close to knowing what they are doing will be able to easily impact turn these arguments. This isn't to say you shouldn't read these arguments at all they can be excellent external impacts to your interpretation, but instead you should use these arguments as a supplement to the more game-playing/ procedural versions of the argument.

For negatives who have framework as their go to strat THE CASE STILL MATTERS , the reason for this is the case determines the weight I give to affirmative impact turns / disadvantages to framework. If the affirmative solves 100% of their aff then I gave 100% of the weight of their impact turns to framework, conversely if the aff solves maybe 1% of their aff then the strength of the disadvantages or impact turns will be drastically reduced.

Topical version of the aff: You don't have to have one to win but it can help. They also don't have to solve the entire aff instead they are a test to show that the content of the aff is not precluded by the resolutional prompt. For affirmatives the topical version of the aff doesn't solve our aff not very persuasive to me. However, an argument that the topical version of the aff is not in fact topical under the negative's interpretation of the topic is persuasive. Similarly an argument that the topical version of the aff in fact does not allow for the content of the aff to exist. Form based arguments from affirmatives are also compelling to me in response to topical versions of the aff, how the content may exist but the form of it would not be, can be an extremely persuasive argument against both the topical version, as well as also acting as offense against the negatives interpretation.

Beyond counter interpretations it can be incredibly helpful for an affirmative to have a counter model of what debate looks like, which can act as a filter for a variety of the negatives arguments as well as acting as a type of uniqueness for your own impact turns to a negatives interpretation of the topic.

Something I've told to a few debaters this year may help further contextualize what I've said here -- "If both affirmative and neg execute absolutely perfectly I probably lean slightly negative" -- however it should be noted that I have never seen this perfect execution take place.

The K:
I will do my best to limit my predispositions from giving explanation or advancing arguments for the other team. Specificity and spin are important for both sides of the debate. I don’t like generic explanations of meta theory with no tie to the affirmative. Similarly, I don’t like generic responses to critical theory outside of the context of the aff. Generic evidence does not force generic explanation.

Disability k's -- Due to how I spent my last two years in debate , this is obviously a body of literature that I am extremely familiar with however if you are not familiar with it trying to pick it up just because I am in the back of the room is a terrible decision, and one you will almost certainly regret. Secondarily I thought I should include my thoughts on the various ableist language arguments. Essentially most of the time I believe these arguments in and of themselves don't constitute a great argument unless its an especially violent piece of language this doesn't mean what you say doesn't matter what it does mean is that the negative needs to explain to me why the language warrants a negative ballot and not just punitive measures like maybe lower speaker points or not evaluating certain pieces of evidence. I'm happy to explain this further if there are questions.

Recent years I have found I have a tendency to enjoy arguments described as "high-theory" IF THEY ARE EXECUTED WELL. I have coached teams to read all variety or arguments from the cap k to baudrillard, so if the death K is your jam then you should go for it. A lot of my current academic work revolves around disability and psychoanalysis so take that as you will.

If you ask anyone at Baylor they will tell you (and are correct) in that I really enjoy hearing arguments about psychoanalysis I find this to be an incredibly interesting area of argumentation and always enjoy when the affirmative or negative has to do with these questions of psychoanalysis.

I love a good, well-researched, specific strategy. The more generic your strategy becomes, the greater the chance of me assigning an extremely low risk to these arguments. Sometimes there is simply no link. Absolute defense does exist.

The last thing I will say is that debates that I have fun in will be rewarded by higher speaker points. I have fun when I see well thought out and deployed strategy.. Make me laugh and you will be rewarded. Be nice.

Also, I adore good puns (well maybe bad ones even more) make some clever puns in your speeches and you will be rewarded with speaker points.

Change in 2014

excessive / intentional use of racial slurs, jokes in bad tase, misgendering, ableist slurs will result in much lower speaker points. Note: an ableist slur is the R word , or derogatorily referring to someone as a cripple. It is not saying the word stand in your plan text/advocacy statement.

Jada Stinnett Paradigm

6 rounds

Last Updated: 10/23/19 for Meadows

Conflicts: Palo Verde HS, Woodlands HS, University HS, UNLV

I would like to be on the email chain

Number of Rounds I judged this year (HSPD): 6

Number of Rounds I judged this year (CPD): 8

*Over all Ideas that I have about debate*

I like all styles of debate.

I believe that debate is a fun game we play.

Why we play the game is different for everyone.

I believe that everyone should have fun playing it.

This is especially true for novice debate. I think sometimes we forget we all had a first day.

What this means is that I will make it a priority to keep the spaces I'm involved in safe.

I will acknowledge the material implications of some bodies in certain spaces, so I will not police the debate space or conform to respectability politics of ANY tournament.

I will try my best to make this space accessible for you. Let me know what I can do (this can include an email before the round).

Technical debate is good debate.

A true argument can beat a bunch of silly arguments.

An Argument is a claim with a warrant. I will only flow claims with warrants.

I will not listen to impact turns of oppression. I will stop the round and leave. Your speaker points will reflect this.

Don't use slurs outside of your social location. I will stop the round and leave. Your speaker points will reflect this.

I don't want to judge a debate based off of what happened outside of the round. It becomes really awkward for everyone. And I can't adequately attest these truth claims. Just don't do it. Please.

I flow on paper- you will never be "too fast", you might be unclear.

I will try to adjust my positioning in the room- like moving closer, before I ask you to become clearer. So don't get worried if you see me moving my seat.

Spreading is a strategy used to create Layers to an argument in a small amount of time. If you are just fast without adding dimension to your argument then you are dong it wrong and should stop.

I am very expressive, you can tell if I like your argument or if you are winning an argument.

This is an experience for me just as much as it is for you so I like to feel involved in the space.

I understand adapting to judges, but from personal experience you can win in front of any critic doing what you do best.

I am open to adjusting my judging style/practice in nearly anyway that is asked of me.

I will not be offended if you ask me about my familiarity with topic specific acronyms/specific arguments. PLEASE DO SO. I want to know what you're talking about.

Other things:

AFF: You should be "topical", what that means is up for debate. Does that mean in the direction of the topic? Does that mean USFG action? IDK you tell me. But criticizing the "norms" of debate without relation to the topic is iffy for me and in my opinion a negative argument. If you have a justification for it go ahead because I will be evaluating the debate based off my flow anyway, but I am sympathetic to T/Framework Arguments. But don't be discouraged I have read/do read/coach teams to read "non-topical" affirmatives and understand the strategic choice behind doing so. That non-topical affirmative MUST do something.

Case Debate:

The status squo is always an option. Please don't forget the art of case debate. This goes beyond just impact defense. Don't be afraid for a good Impact Turn debate I'm all for a warming good, econ decline good, bio D loss good, ect debate.


I wholeheartedly believe that you can say the state can do a particular policy action, and that single instance is good for x amount of people, without defending the other terrible shit the state has done. Example, Welfare is probably a good thing. Yes there is problems with who gets it, but a world with out it is probably worse. I also believe that wiki disclosures is good defense against predictability claims. I also believe that some teams don't even make an attempt at engagement and some framework shells are written with the intent to never have k debates exist. That's probably a fucked up thing to defend. Don't let that be you. Nonetheless, T debates are dope. I default to competing interpretations unless told otherwise. It will never be a reverse voter. It will never be genocide. You have to have a TVA. Your standards need to be impacted out or else they are just internal links and idk what to do with that. I will not vote on potential abuse. I want to see the blood on the flow. Where did they make the game unfair for you. I think the more specific the evidence/examples the better.


Impact framing and comparisons are major key. I'm cool with Generics DA's as long as your links are baller, but the more unique the DA the better. I believe in a 1% risk of a link. I also believe in a 0% risk of an impact.


I'm all for a good counterplan. 2nc counterplans are cool. 2nc amendments are cool. For me to vote on a CP you need to be super good on the case debate and differentiating the perm. Be clear on the CP text so I can flow it and also establish competition and better evaluate the argument. The states counter plan is definitely a legitimate strategy and should be protected at all cost.


I'm most familiar with argumentation in critical race theory, gender and sexuality args and identity/performance based arguments but this doesn't mean I won't listen to what you have to say if those things aren't your jazz. Reading is Fundamental. I read a lot of debate related jazz so I will most likely know what you are talking about. I expect college debaters to also be well read. My patience increases with hs debaters learning about different arguments, none the less you should still be reading. I cannot stress this enough. Reading is imperative. My hs kids have taken a liking to old french dudes so I have tried by best as an educator to familiarize myself with that field of literature to be a better coach. I will give you that same respect as an adjudicator if I don't understand your criticism. I believe engagement and contextualizing your theory with your opponents arguments gets you a long way. Explain what the alt does. I think far too often this explanation is missing from the debate. I don't believe in just voting on links (I say this, but as I think about it you can go for links as disads to the case...idk convince me). You have to find a way to resolve those for me. Also "root cause" arguments are not links, they are just alt solvency evidence.

I don't believe in Fem IR criticisms or other white fem bullshit.


Don't read theory args as a time skew. The aff gets a perm unless you say why. Conditionality: The neg can do whatever they want as long as the positions don't contradict, and they make a decision in the 2nr. I will not judge kick for you. You need to make a decision. Not here for cheap shots. I really don't want to have to judge a theory debate but I understand abuse and am willing to vote on it. If you plan on going for a theory argument, a substantial amount of time needs to be spent on it in the rebuttal. SPEC arguments are the worst thing to happen to debate and I will buy anything the 2a says if its remotely responsive. SPEC arguments are also the shittiest thing to lose on and I will vote on it if asked in cross x to spec something reasonable and you are a dick about it. As said before, I don't like performative contradictions. This also just applies to the rounds that i'm in. I don't care that the person reading framework against you also reads a k aff. It's a game. they picked a strategy that's going to win them the game.


Is binding. Is a speech. I'll write notes during this time. Please Answer questions. Don't be sketchy, I'll know it. Don't be afraid to point out if your opponents are being sketchy.


Do not Fabricate evidence. It's inexcusable. Do not clip cards. its inexcusable.

Challenges of card clipping will result in stopping the debate if material evidence is provided that proves beyond a reasonable doubt in my mind that card clipping has occurred. the offending team will receive a loss and the offending speaker will receive 0 speaker points. however if i conclude that the speaker is not guilty of clipping cards the challenging team will receive a loss and both challenging speakers will receive 0 speaker points.

***clipping cards is not a slurring of words or clack of clarity***


I'm from the school of thought that everybody in the round should have access to all evidence read in the debate. Denial to share citations or disclose is a bitch move. Prepared debate is good debate. Don't get this confused with breaking new, that's all fine.

Prep/Speaking Times:

MY TIME IS THE RIGHT TIME AND THE ONLY TIME THAT MATTERS. I don't count flashing or emailing as prep. Flex prep is not a thing(you cannot use cross-x as prep or time to give another speech). Speak in your assigned time slots (interpret this vaguely. It just means 1 constructive and 1 rebuttal. idc the order) unless for some performative or ethical reason that you can't (For example, if both debaters speak during the 1AC cool. There was a reason for it. Probably performative. In the rebuttal to continue the performance? Cool. Have a debater take over the line by line? Not Cool. This is a clear shift in the competitive aspect and nature of the game. Unless for some reason a debater disappears/goes missing...why would this happen? shit idk, but unusual things happen all the time)

Clarification questions during prep is okay. But don't try to make "a point". If you happen to be a team on the receiving end of someone trying to tear down your argument during prep, please refuse to answer.


I'll hook everyone up with speaks #PointFairy

I understand the joy of speaker awards and I will do my best to help y'all out.

I evaluate speaks of by delivery>argument choice. the team with the better Argument choice will most likely win win the round.

You'll get a 30 if you are just baller, or make me laugh uncontrollably. (I enjoy witty jokes, and I'm a big sports fan if that helps you come up with material)

+0.2 if you make a joke about me

+0.3 for every KD joke

(I haven't made up my mind if I will put a cap on jokes or not, so be a comedian at the risk of knowing you might not be rewarded for all the jokes)

when making analytical arguments I would advise going for the easiest pen to paper phrasing

How I make my Decisions:

I use the burden of rejoinder frame to structure how I evaluate debates.

I hold a strict line with new arguments in the rebuttals so a majority of my time will be lining up arguments.

In clash debates the easiest framing for me is whats most educational and best for the community.

I dislike students who try to post round. This has only happened to me twice. None the less I will not tolerate it. I am also willing to admit that I am wrong. But that will not change my decision. If the understanding that I get form your argument happens in a post round and not in a debate, I cannot reward you for communicating your point late in the game. This is a communication activity and if something didn't reach my flow like how you intended there isn't much I can do but listen and process to the best of my ability. If you think I made the wrong decision that's fine and you are completely entitled to feel that way. It does not change the fact that you loss.

Mics/Things you might wanna know about me:

I am black, and Queer.

pronouns: they/them

I have a very personal relationship to the college topic

You all can call me Jada you don't have to say judge

I was a 2n

I'm a Dog Mom


I have a real pet peeve with what is considered violence in debate

I don’t fuck with people who lie about sexual assault

You can insert re highlighting- you don't have to reread the card

If you wanna talk about college debate I'm here(I debated for UNLV) or I can get you in touch with someone from a program you are interested in.

Quotes from People in The Community about me:

"Super smart and a great person all around" Allego Wang

"Incredibly intelligent + really good at explaining difficult concepts" Ali saffieddine

"Their ability to compartmentalize argumentation and overall communication skills are ones I've always aspired to have and continue to grow from simple conversations I have with them. Jada's ability to empathize with students and find the grammar to communicate in ways to accommodate students needs and comprehension skills is one of the many talented characteristics they have. They will really be personal to you and your needs, with flares of individual organic wisdom they've learned over the years. They will not just lecture you. They will help you on your path to education/understanding difficult literature bases by shining light at your strengths and guiding you to find solutions to your weaknesses. Legit, Jada is one of the most influential person I've been blessed to come across" Yumasie Hellebuick

"You're the 50 cent of this community" -Chris Randall

"Jada is the love of my life" - Caitlin Walrath

"I told ppl to pref u just cuz you’re not afraid to stare a k team down and say “yea I voted on nuke war outweighs” with a smile ¯\_(ツ)_/¯" -Ari Davidson

"Jada makes the best memes" JV Soccer Captain and my Teammate Dan Bannister

These are my jams at the moment do with that what you will:

Christina Tallungan Paradigm

3 rounds


Current Affiliation = Notre Dame HS (Sherman Oaks, CA)
Debates Judged on this topic: about 40 Rounds (UMich Debate Institute)
Prior Experience: Debated policy in HS at Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks, CA (1992-1995); Debated NDT/CEDA in college at USC (1995-1999); Assistant debate coach at Cal State Northridge 2003-2005; Assistant debate coach at Glenbrook South HS Spring of 2005; Director of Debate at Glenbrook North HS 2005-2009; Director of Debate at Notre Dame HS Fall of 2009-Present.

General Note

My defaults go into effect when left to my own devices. I will go against most of these defaults if a team technically persuades me to do so in any given debate.

Paperless Rules

If you start taking excessive time to flash your document, I will start instituting that "Prep time ends when the speaker's flash drive is removed from her/his computer."

Major Notes

Topic familiarity

I am familiar with the topic (4 weeks of teaching at Michigan at Classic and involved in argument coaching at Notre Dame).


Delivery rate should be governed by your clarity; WARRANTS in the evidence should be clear, not just the tagline.
Clarity is significantly assisted by organization - I flow as technically as possible and try to follow the 1NC structure on-case and 2AC structure off-case through the 1AR. 2NR and the 2AR should have some leeway to restructure the debate in important places to highlight their offense. However, line-by-line should be followed where re-structuring is not necessary.

Ideal 2AR Structure

Offense placed at the top (tell me how I should be framing the debate in the context of what you are winning), then move through the debate in a logical order.

2NR's Make Choices

Good 2NR strategies may be one of the following: (1) Functionally and/or textually competitive counterplan with an internal or external net benefit, (2) K with a good turns case/root cause arguments that are specific to each advantage, (3) Disadvantage with turns case arguments and any necessary case defense, (4) Topicality (make sure to cover any theory arguments that are offense for aff). My least favorite debates to resolve are large impact turn debates, not because I hate impact turns, but because I think that students lose sight of how to resolve and weigh the multiple impact scenarios that get interjected into the debate. Resolving these debates starts with a big picture impact comparison.

Evidence Quality/References

Reference evidence by warrant first and then add "That's [Author]." Warrant and author references are especially important on cards that you want me to read at the end of the debate. Also, evidence should reflect the arguments that you are making in the debate. I understand that resolving a debate requires spin, but that spin should be based in the facts presented in your evidence.

I have been getting copies of speech documents for many debates lately so I can read cards during prep time, etc. However, note that I will pay attention to what is said in the debate as much as possible - I would much rather resolve the debate on what the debaters say, not based on my assessment of the evidence.


Safer to go for offense, and then make an "even if" statement explaining offense as a 100% defensive takeout. I will vote on well-resolved defense against CP, DA's and case. This is especially true against process CP's (e.g., going for a well-resolved permutation doesn't require you to prove a net benefit to the permutation since these CP's are very difficult to get a solvency deficit to) and DA's with contrived internal link scenarios. Winning 100% defense does require clear evidence comparison to resolve.


I like a well-developed topicality debate. This should include cards to resolve important distinctions. Topical version of the aff and reasonable case lists are persuasive. Reasonability is persuasive when the affirmative has a TRUE "we meet" argument; it seems unnecessary to require the affirmative to have a counter-interpretation when they clearly meet the negative interpretation. Also, discussing standards with impacts as DA's to the counter-interpretation is very useful - definition is the uniqueness, violation is the link, standard is an internal link and education or fairness is the impact.


Word PIC's, process, consult, and condition CP's are all ok. I have voted on theory against these CP's in the past because the teams that argued they were illegit were more technically saavy and made good education arguments about the nature of these CP's. The argument that they destroy topic-specific education is persuasive if you can prove why that is true. Separately, the starting point for answers to the permutation are the distinction(s) between the CP and plan. The starting point for answers to a solvency deficit are the similarities between the warrants of the aff advantage internal links and the CP solvency cards. Counterplans do not have to be both functionally and textually competitive, but it is better if you can make an argument as to why it is both.


All parts of the DA are important, meaning neither uniqueness nor links are more important than each other (unless otherwise effectively argued). I will vote on conceded or very well-resolved defense against a DA.


Good K debate should have applied links to the affirmative's or negative's language, assumptions, or methodology. This should include specific references to an opponent's cards. The 2NC/1NR should make sure to address all affirmative impacts through defense and/or turns. I think that making 1-2 carded externally impacted K's in the 2NC/1NR is the business of a good 2NC/1NR on the K. Make sure to capitalize on any of these external impacts in the 2NR if they are dropped in the 1AR. A team can go for the case turn arguments absent the alternative. Affirmative protection against a team going for case turns absent the alternative is to make inevitability (non-unique) claims.

Aff Framework

Framework is applied in many ways now and the aff should think through why they are reading parts of their framework before reading it in the 2AC, i.e., is it an independent theoretical voting issue to reject the Alternative or the team based on fairness or education? or is it a defensive indite of focusing on language, representations, methodology, etc.?. Framework impacts should be framed explicitly in the 1AR and 2AR. I am partial to believing that representations and language inform the outcome of policymaking unless given well-warranted cards to respond to those claims (this assumes that negative is reading good cards to say rep's or language inform policymaking).

Neg Framework

Neg framework is particularly persuasive against an affirmative that has an advocacy statement they don't stick to or an aff that doesn't follow the resolution at all. It is difficult for 2N's to have a coherent strategy against these affirmatives and so I am sympathetic to a framework argument that includes a topicality argument and warranted reasons to reject the team for fairness or education. If a K aff has a topical plan, then I think that framework only makes sense as a defensive indite their methodology; however, I think that putting these cards on-case is more effective than putting them on a framework page. Framework is a somewhat necessary tool given the proliferation of affirmatives that are tangentially related to the topic or not topical at all. I can be persuaded that non-topical affs should not get permutations - a couple primary reasons: (1) reciprocity - if aff doesn't have to be topical, then CP's/K's shouldn't need to be competitive and (2) Lack of predictability makes competition impossible and neg needs to be able to test the methodology of the aff.


I prefer substance, but I do understand the need for theory given I am open to voting on Word PIC's, consult, and condition CP's. If going for theory make sure to impact arguments in an organized manner. There are only two voting issues/impacts: fairness and education. All other arguments are merely internal links to these impacts - please explain how and why you control the best internal links to either of these impacts. If necessary, also explain why fairness outweighs education or vice-versa. If there are a host of defensive arguments that neutralize the fairness or education lost, please highlight these as side constraints on the the violation, then move to your offense.

Classic Battle Defaults

These are attempts to resolve places where I felt like I had to make random decisions in the past and had wished I put something in my judge philosophy to give debaters a fair warning. So here is my fair warning on my defaults and what it takes to overcome those defaults:
(1) Theory v. Topcality - Topcality comes before theory unless the 1AR makes arguments explaining why theory is first and the 2NR doesn't adequately respond and then the 2AR extends and elaborates on why theory is first sufficiently enough to win those arguments.
(2) Do I evaluate the aff v. the squo when the 2NR went for a CP? - No unless EXPLICITLY framed as a possibility in the 2NR. If the 2NR decides to extend the CP as an advocacy (in other words, they are not just extending some part of the CP as a case takeout, etc.), then I evaluate the aff versus the CP. What does this mean? If the aff wins a permutation, then the CP is rejected and the negative loses. I will not use the perm debate as a gateway argument to evaluating the aff vs. the DA. If the 2NR is going for two separate advocacies, then the two separate framings should be EXPLICIT, e.g., possible 2NR framing, "If we win the CP, then you weigh the risk of the net benefit versus the risk of the solvency deficit and, if they win the permutation, you should then just reject the CP and weigh the risk of the DA separately versus the affirmative" (this scenario assumes that the negative declared the CP conditional).
(3) Are Floating PIK's legitimate? No unless the 1AR drops it. If the 1AR drops it, then it is open season on the affirmative. The 2NC/1NR must make the floating PIC explicit with one of the following phrases to give the 1AR a fair chance: "Alternative does not reject the plan," "Plan action doesn't necessitate . Also, 2NC/1NR must distinguish their floating PIK from the permutation; otherwise, affirmatives you should use any floating PIK analysis as a outright concession that the "permutation do both" or "permutation plan plus non-mutually exclusive parts" is TRUE.
(4) Will I vote on theory cheap shots? Yes, but I feel guilty voting for them. HOWEVER, I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR A REVERSE VOTING ISSUE EVEN IF IT WAS DROPPED.

Who is a Good Debater

Anna Dimitrijevic, Alex Pappas, Pablo Gannon, Stephanie Spies, Kathy Bowen, Edmund Zagorin, Matt Fisher, Dan Shalmon, Scott Phillips, Tristan Morales, Michael Klinger, Greta Stahl, George Kouros. There are many others - but this is a good list.


Your Opponents, Your Teammates, Your Coaches, Your Activity.

Extra Notes CP/Perm/Alt Texts

The texts of permutations, counterplans, and alternatives should be clear. I always go back and check the texts of these items if there is a question of a solvency deficit or competition. However, I do feel it is the burden of the opposing team to bring up such an argument for me to vote on it - i.e., unless it is a completely random round, the opposing team needs to make the argument that the text of the CP means there is a significant solvency deficit with the case, or the affirmative is overstating/misconstruing the solvency of a permutation because the text only dictates X, not Y, etc. I will decide that the aff does not get permutations in a debate where the affirmative is not topical.

Technical Focus

I try to follow the flow the best I can - I do double check if 2AR is making arguments that are tied to the 1AR arguments. I think that 2AR's get significant leeway to weigh and frame their impacts once the 2NR has chosen what to go for; however, this does not mean totally new arguments to case arguments, etc. that were presented before the 2NR.

Resolve Arguments

Frame claim in comparison to other team's response, extend important warrants, cite author for evidence, impact argument to ballot - all of these parts are necessary to resolve an argument fully. Since debate is a game of time management, this means going for fewer arguments with more thorough analysis is better than extending myriad of arguments with little analysis.

Disrespect Bad

Complete disrespect toward anyone who is nice; no one ever has enough “credibility” in this community to justify such actions. If there is a disrespectful dynamic in a debate, I ALWAYS applaud (give higher speaker points to) the first person to step down and realize they are being a jerk. Such growth and self-awareness should rewarded.

Fear to Engage Bad

Win or lose, you are ultimately competing to have the best debate possible. Act like it and do not be afraid to engage in the tough debates. You obviously should make strategic choices, but do not runaway from in-depth arguments because you think another team will be better than you on that argument. Work harder and beat them on the argument on which she/he is supposedly an expert. Taking chances to win debates good.

Fun Stuff

And, as Lord Dark Helmet says, “evil will always triumph over good because good is dumb.”


Rylee Taylor Paradigm

6 rounds

Updated 8/22/2019


I am a former coach and debater from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I am currently a Masters student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

3rd year judging college debate

6th year judging high school debate

N/A rounds on the college topic judged so far

8 rounds judged on the high school topic so far

Please include me on the email chain -

*strongly prefer email over pocketbox(or speech drop)

TLDR Version:
I am willing to evaluate any arguments that you make, as long as you explain and execute it well. There is no need to change your arguments to something you think I like or will vote on, just give me the best debate you can, using your best arguments, and you will be fine. I try very hard to keep my personal opinions out of my decision as much as possible. I am more of a tech > truth judge, because I think technical debate is good debate. If you aren't doing line by line debate, or keeping things organized in some other manner, my flows probably look a mess which isn't good for anyone, so please keep things clean.

Long Version:
I will attempt to be as neutral as possible and evaluate the arguments presented in the debate independent of my own opinions.

I think it is important to EXTEND WARRANTS inside your evidence. You should explain the importance/relevance/ implications of the evidence as well. Tagline extended claims without warrants are not complete arguments.

Smart analytical arguments beat terrible cards all day, every day. Please don't just card dump if you never plan to explain any of those arguments or worse yet, if you aren't sure what to say. I would prefer you take the time to logically think through the other teams arguments than just read a bunch of cards that don't make arguments.

Judge Instructions/Directions: This is super important, especially in the last rebuttals, tell me why I should vote for you in response to the other teams arguments about why I should vote for them. Tell me how I should begin evaluating the round by comparing your arguments to the other team's.

Theory: Slow down on theoretical arguments, or I won't be able to flow them. They should not be read at the same speed as a card. I am fine to adjudicate theory args but you need to be specific, tell me how many conditional advocacies is too many and what specific abuse that causes.

Affirmatives with a plan: If I don't understand what the aff does at the end of the round or how it accesses its impacts, I won't vote for it. Make sure you are contextualizing your arguments to the specific round and not just reading generic blocks.

Critical Affirmatives- I am open to critical affirmatives that either defend a relationship to the topic or make offense reasons as to why they don't have to. Be careful about trying to be tricky, it may confuse the other team (idk why you want that) but it could easily backfire and leave me lost as well.

Negative critical arguments: I am willing to vote on any argument as long as it is well explained and has specific links to the aff. Your Kritik should have an alt and impact that is explained by the negative, I am highly unlikely to vote negative if you do not extend the alt. I am not familiar with all critical arguments, but I have had experience with a wide variety; capitalism, ableism, queerness, and anti-blackness are the arguments I am most familiar with. My last year as a debater I primarily read Warren on the negative, so I am most familiar with afro pessimism arguments when it comes to my understanding of anti-blackness. Good alt explanation can resolve any lack of knowledge I have. I am not a fan of post modernist critiques so it is a slightly higher threshold for explanation. The affirmative should always permutate critical arguments, and explain how the permutation functions, as well as how it resolves any residual links to the kritik.

Other negative arguments
CPs— I am fine with counterplans, but prefer they have some sort of solvency advocate as well as a net benefit. The text of the CP (and all perms) should be written out, and distributed to the other team. Affirmative permutations need to be explained, if you go for it, I need to know why I should prefer the perm to the CP and how it gets out of any DA links.

Disadvantages- I really like a DA vs. Case debate, but you need to have a link to the aff. Make sure to explain how the aff links to the disad and then how it triggers the impact(have a clear link story).

Topicality- I feel that it is a very strategic argument to be made in debate. Needs to be well articulated with both sides submitting competing interpretations. T arguments should be extremely structured and organized to make it easier for me to see why this is a voting issue. If you don't have a TVA and a list of specific abuses caused by the affirmatives interpretation, you will have a hard time winning T in front of me.

Speaker Points- You should be clear and able to explain your arguments well. I enjoy jokes and clever analogies that are relevant to the round and arguments being made. I adjust my points based off the level of debate I am judging, so a 28.5 in Novice is not equal to a 28.5 in Open.

Few other things-

  1. Do not steal prep!!!! I do not take time for sending out the document, but when the team that took prep calls time, everyone else should pause until the speech is handed over and begins.
  2. Only one person should be speaking per speech, unless it is a performative necessity or an accessibility issue in which case that should be made clear during the debate.
  3. Flow! If you are not flowing I notice and it probably reflects in the quality of your speeches, in particular the line by line debate.
  4. My face is pretty expressive, if I look confused or annoyed (during a speech or CX) I probably am and you should be reflexive about that.
  5. Debate should be fun; it is a game so be nice and courteous to everyone involved.

If you would like something explained further, please feel free to ask me questions before the round or send me an email. If you have any questions about debating in college or about debate in general, feel free to contact me, I am more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Khristyan Trejo Paradigm

6 rounds


I debated in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League in high school, competed in Parliamentary (NPDA) for Tulane Univ and made it to quarters. I'm also the assistant debate coach for Isidore Newman School. I've been active in debate for 8 years.
You can't argue racism / homophobia / sexism / transphobia good arguments in front of me. Ever.



Debates can be as educational as you make it. Whether you're discussing an internal link scenario on a disadvantage or reading an affirmation of your identity as opposed to the resolution, you're deciding what you want to talk about in the debate space. I don't have any preferences regarding a certain argument you're reading, but I would like to clarify the way I frame debate rounds.

I love procedural arguments, but the debate needs to come down to why things like T or Theory outweigh the other framing issues going on in the debate. When it comes down to it, both teams need to explain what my role in the debate is, and how I should evaluate the arguments you're presenting.
I like disads, and creative counterplans are cool. As long as you're explaining the story of your scenarios, and the functionality of those scenarios in comparison with the other team, you should be good to go.

Please don't assume I know the topic, or the aff that you're reading just because you read it at more than two tournaments. Just make sure the arguments you're reading aren't read under the assumption I know which privileged and old philosopher your K is based on.

** OTHER **

Tag-team cross-ex is fine. #nostealingprep You can refuse to answer substantive questions during prep time.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me or ask in person before the round.

Teja Vepa Paradigm

6 rounds

Update for NSDA Nationals 2019:

Coming soon.

Update for Voices / LD Oct 2018:

I coach Policy debate at the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, CA. It has been a while since I have judged LD. I tend to do it once a or twice a year.

You do you: I've been involved in judging debate for over 10 years, so please just do whatever you would like to do with the round. I am familiar with the literature base of most postmodern K authors, but I have not recently studied classical /enlightenment philosophers.

It's okay to read Disads: I'm very happy to judge a debate involving a plan, DAs and counter-plans with no Ks involved as well. Just because I coach at a school that runs the K a lot doesn't mean that's the only type of argument I like / respect / am interested in.

Framework: I am open to "traditional" and "non-traditional" frameworks. Whether your want the round to be whole res, plan focused, or performative is fine with me. If there's a plan, I default to being a policymaker unless told otherwise.

Theory: I get it - you don't have a 2AC so sometimes it's all or nothing. I don't like resolving these debates. You won't like me resolving these debates. If you must go for theory, please make sure you are creating the right interpretation/violation. I find many LD debaters correctly identify that cheating has occurred, but are unable to identify in what way. I tend to lean education over fairness if they're not weighed by the debaters.

LD Things I don't Understand: If the Aff doesn't read a plan, and the Neg reads a CP, you may not be satisfied with how my decision comes out - I don't have a default understanding of this situation which I hear is possible in LD.

Other thoughts: Condo is probably a bad thing in LD.



Update for Jack Howe / Policy Sep 2018: (Sep 20, 2018 at 9:28 PM)

Update Pending

Please use the link below to access my paradigm. RIP Wikispaces.

Patrick Waldinger Paradigm

1 rounds

Patrick Waldinger 

Assistant Director of Debate at the University of Miami

Assistant Debate Coach at the Pine Crest School 

10+ years judging 


Yes, please put me on the speech doc: dinger AT gmail


Updated 9.2.14


Here are the two things you care about when you are looking to do the prefs so I’ll get right to them:


1. Conditionality: I think rampant conditionality is destroying the educational aspects of debate slowly but surely. You should not run more than one conditional argument in front of me.


Reading a K without an alternative and claiming it is a “gateway” issue doesn’t count. First, it likely contradicts with your CP, which is a reason that conditionality is both not educational and unfair. Second, there are no arbitrary “gateway” issues – there are the stock issues but methodology, for example, is not one of them the last time I read Steinberg’s book.


I also think there is a big difference between saying the CP is “conditional” versus “the status quo is always an option for the judge”. Conditional implies you can kick it at any time, however, if you choose not to kick it in the 2NR then that was your choice. You are stuck with that world. If the “status quo is always an option” for me, then the negative is saying that I, as the judge, have the option to kick the CP for them. You may think this is a mere semantic difference. That’s fine – but I DON’T. Say what you mean and mean what you say.


The notion that I (or any judge) can just kick the CP for the negative team seems absurd in the vein of extreme judge intervention. Can I make permutation arguments for the aff too? That being said, if the affirmative lets the negative have their cake and eat it too, then I’ll kick CPs left and right. However, it seems extremely silly to let the negative argue that the judge has the ability to kick the CP. In addition, if the negative never explicitly states that I can kick the CP in the 2NR then don’t be surprised when I do not kick it post-round (3NR?).


Finally, I want to note the sad irony when I read judge philosophies of some young coaches. Phrases similar to “conditionality is probably getting out of hand”, while true, show the sad state of affairs where the same people who benefited from the terrible practice of rampant conditionality are the same ones who realize how bad it is when they are on the other side.


2. Kritiks: In many respects going for a kritik is an uphill battle with me as the judge. I don’t read the literature and I’m not well versed in it. I view myself as a policymaker and thus I am interested in pragmatics. That being said, I think it is silly to dismiss entirely philosophical underpinnings of any policy.


Sometimes I really enjoy topic specific kritiks, for example, on the immigration topic I found the idea about whether or not the US should have any limits on migration a fascinating debate. However, kritiks that are not specific to the topic I will view with much more skepticism. In particular, kritiks that have no relation to pragmatic policymaking will have slim chance when I am judging (think Baudrillard).


If you are going for a K, you need to explain why the PLAN is bad. It’s good that you talk about the impact of your kritik but you need to explain why the plan’s assumptions justify that impact. Framing the debate is important and the frame that I am evaluating is surrounding the plan.


I am not a fan of kritiks that are based off of advantages rather than the plan, however, if you run them please don’t contradict yourself. If you say rhetoric is important and then use that same bad rhetoric, it will almost be impossible for you to win. If the 1AC is a speech act then the 1NC is one too.


I believe that the affirmative should defend a plan that is an example of the current high school or CEDA debate resolution. I believe that the affirmative should defend the consequences of their plan as if the United States or United States federal government were to actually enact your proposal.


The remainder:


“Truth over tech”? I mull this over a lot. This issue is probably the area that most judges grapple with, even if they seem confident on which side they take. I err of the side of "truth over tech" but that being said, debate is a game and how you perform matter for the outcome. While it is obviously true that in debate an argument that goes unanswered is considered “true”, that doesn’t mean there doesn’t have to be a logical reason behind the argument to begin with. That being said, I will be sensitive to new 2AR arguments as I think the argument, if logical, should have been in the debate earlier.



Topicality: Topicality is always a voting issue and never a reverse voting issue. I default to reasonability on topicality. It makes no sense to me that I should vote for the best interpretation, when the affirmative’s burden is only to be good. The affirmative would never lose if the negative said there is better solvency evidence the affirmative should have read. That being said, I understand that what “good’ means differs for people but that’s also true for what “better” is: both are subjective. I will vote on competing interpretations if the negative wins that is the best way to frame the debate (usually because the affirmative doesn’t defend reasonability).


The affirmative side has huge presumption on topicality if they can produce contextual evidence to prove their plan is topical. Specific examples of what cases would be/won’t be allowed under an interpretation are important.


People think “topical version of the aff” is the be all end all of topicality, however, it begs the question: is the aff topical? If the aff is topical then just saying “topical version of the aff” means nothing – you have presented A topical version of the aff in which the affirmative plan is also one.


Basically I look at the debate from the perspective of a policy debate coach from a medium sized school: is this something my team should be prepared to debate?


As a side note – often times the shell for topicality is read so quickly that it is very unclear exactly what your interpretation of the topic is. Given that, there are many times going into the block (and sometimes afterwards) that I don’t understand what argument you are making as to why the affirmative is not topical. It will be hard for me to embrace your argument if I don’t know what it is.


Counterplans: It is a lot easier to win that your counterplan is theoretically legitimate if you have a piece of evidence that is specific to the plan. And I mean SPECIFIC to the plan, not “NATO likes to talk about energy stuff” or the “50 states did this thing about energy one time”. Counterplans that include all of the plan are the most theoretically dubious. If your counterplan competes based on fiat, such as certainty or timeframe, that is also theoretically dubious. Agent counterplans and PICS (yes, I believe they are distinct) are in a grey area.  The bottom line: the counterplan should not be treated as some throw away argument – if you are going to read one then you should defend it.


Theory: I already talked a lot about it above but I wanted to mention that the only theoretical arguments that I believe are “voting issues” are conditionality and topicality. The rest are just reasons to reject the argument and/or allow the other side to advocate similar shenanigans. This is true even if the other side drops the argument in a speech.


Other stuff you may care about if you are still reading:


Aspec: If you don’t ask then cross-examination then I’ll assume that it wasn’t critical to your strategy. I understand “pre-round prep” and all but I’m not sure that’s enough of a reason to vote the affirmative down. If the affirmative fails to specify in cross-examination then you may have an argument. I'm not a huge fan of Agent CPs so if this is your reasong to vote against the aff, then you're probably barking up the wrong tree. 


**Addendum to ASPEC for "United States"**: I do think it is important for the aff to specify in cross-ex what "United States" means on the college topic. The nature of disads and solvency arguments (and potentially topicality) depend on what the aff means by "United States". I understand these are similiar arguments made by teams reading ASPEC on USFG but I feel that "United States" is so unique and can mean so many different things that a negative team should be able to know what the affirmative is advocating for. 


Evidence: I put a large emphasis on evidence quality. I read a lot of evidence at the end of the debate. I believe that you have to have evidence that actually says what you claim it says. Not just hint at it. Not just imply it. Not just infer it. You should just read good evidence. Also, you should default to reading more of the evidence in a debate. Not more evidence. More OF THE evidence. Don't give me a fortune cookie and expect me to give the full credit for the card's warrants. Bad, one sentence evidence is a symptom of rampant conditionality and antithetical to good policy making. 


Paperless: I only ask that you don’t take too much time and have integrity with the process, e.g., don’t steal prep, don’t give the other team egregious amounts of evidence you don’t intend to read, maintain your computers and jump drives so they are easy to use and don’t have viruses, etc.


Integrity: Read good arguments, make honest arguments, be nice and don’t cheat. Win because you are better and not because you resort to cheap tricks.


Civility: Be nice. Debate is supposed to be fun. You should be someone that people enjoy debating with and against – win or lose. Bad language is not necessary to convey an argument.

Hayden Warren Paradigm

1 rounds

haydenlw4 [at] gmail. com

Include me in the chain without asking me.

Judge philosophies are terrible to read because they all read the same and aren't true. I will try to make mine as useful as possible by being descriptive of how I think that I differ from the community standards.


I am the head coach at Bingham HS. I have been involved in high school debate for over a decade. But the fact I am a head coach means that I rarely am actually judging so my flow speed is below average and I will need adjustment at the beginning of rounds. This is true for national circuit debates only. I am still capable of flowing local circuit rounds. This also affects my topic knowledge. I will have some knowledge on the topic but I am thinking about it on a weekly basis not a daily basis.


I personally care a lot about politeness. I will start with warnings, then taking tenths of points off speaker points but if the lack of politeness becomes unbearable I will drop the offending team. I will not do any warnings while I am on a panel but I still very much care for politeness.

I try to be a very expressive when I judge. If I'm liking your arguments then I want my face to reflect that so you can adapt on the fly.


DA and case debates are some of my favorites to judge. I will look first at the link level before the impact level on these debates.


I am aff biased for cheater cps (consult, process, delay, etc). I try to not buy the negative analysis that "1% risk of a net benefit is a reason to vote neg" for those types of cps. Because of my thoughts on DA's it makes me more willing to vote on perms and defense.


I have less content knowledge of the k's that have become more popular recently. That would be afro-pess and settler colonialism. I will stick to the description of the K that happens in the round. I don't know how poems are arguments. This leads me to barely flow poems.


I like T more than most. I think that if you are good at T my threshold is quite low. But I have noticed myself not voting on T because I didn't think that negative did enough smart work. I enjoy TVA's, perms on T, explaining why the aff does not meet their C/I or are not reasonable. The T debate that I am most persuaded by is accurate descriptions of the flaws of the topic and why your interp helps solve the flaws of the topic.


If I were to construct rules for debate they would include: 2 conditional worlds, no floating piks, aff's/cp's must have a solvency advocate.

K affs vs T-USfg

My historical tendencies (when I was younger) is towards liking K affs. I still love to listen to a fun k aff 1ac that is very topic specific. But I wasn't very active in debate from 2014-2016. The k aff seems to have proliferated in that time. I have been leaning more towards the negatives fairness claims since I returned. I think that the best way to describe my preferences at the moment is that I am in the middle waiting to be convinced in the round. BUT my voting record is currently leaning towards framework.


Prep stops when the email is sent or when the flash drive comes out of the computer. I will give grace period because I understand computers are weird sometimes. But if it takes more than a minute to resolve then I will hate you.

Speaker point scale:

29.5+ — the top speaker at the tournament.

29.3-29.4 — one of the five or ten best speakers at the tournament.

29-29.2 — one of the twenty best speakers at the tournament.

28.8-28.9 — a 75th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would barely clear on points.

28.6-28.7 — a 50th percentile speaker at the tournament; with a winning record, would not clear on points.

28.2-28.5 — a 25th percentile speaker at the tournament.

27.9-28.1 — a 10th percentile speaker at the tournament.

To help with speaker point inflation I will give .1 speaker point bonuses for things that I want to reward. These rewards will only happen if you explicitly ask me about them immediately after the round and before my rfd.

Rewards for:

-Good flows.

-Good disclosure practices (great cites / full text).

-Making the debate round pleasant (humor or kindness).

-Utah Jazz and stand-up comedian (Kumail Nanjiani, Hannibal Burress, Eugene Mirman, Bo Burnham, and John Mulaney) references are appreciated.

Andre Washington Paradigm

4 rounds

Assume I want to be added to your email chain:

Andre Washington
Rowland Hall St. Marks
Assistant Coach

IMPORTANT CHANGES: After 5 years of judging a wide range of debate styles, I think I've come to the conclusion that I just can't connect with or enjoy the current iteration of HS high theory debate. Being able to act as an educator is an important reason for why I judge, and I don't think I can offer that in your Baudrilliard debates anymore.

This will be my sixth year with the program at Rowland Hall, and 10th year of debate overall.

I love debate and want students to love it as well.

Do what you want, and do it well. ---

Kritiks: Despite the revision above, you absolutely should still be reading the K in front of me. I am fine with the K. I like the K as it functions in a greater neg strategy (ie, I'd rather judge a 5 off round that includes a K than a 1 off K round). However, I went 1-off fem K in highschool for many rounds, so I am genuinely pretty accepting on this issue. Given that I don't spend a great deal of my time working through K literature, I think it's important that you explain these to me, but that's basically what a good K debater should expect to do anyway.

Disads: I cut politics every week. I love both sides of the politics debate and can benefit you as a judge on how to execute these debates well.

Counterplans: Counterplans of all shapes and sizes are a critical place to form a strategy and I enjoy these debates. Theory is to be argued and I can't think of any predisposition.

Topicality: I think that debaters who can execute "technical" args well are enjoyable enough to watch and judge, and I think I can probably benefit as a judge to any technical debater. I think that any violation, on face, has validity and there are no affs that are so "obviously" topical that they cannot be beaten on T.

Kritikal affs: I am not ideologically opposed to K affs at all and even enjoy these debates, although I primarily work on and with policy affs so I would say explanation is still key.

Framework: I find that good framework debaters know how to make the flow accessible to the judge. I think that there are a number of compelling claims and debates to be had on framework, and they can be just as strongly argued as anything else (including your kritik or kritikal aff).

Hannah Wilson Paradigm

5 rounds

Yes to the email chain:

!If you're using a bunch of acronyms don't assume I know what you mean! Don't start your speeches top speed. Slow down a little when reading blocks if you want me to know what you're saying (especially on theory and framework args)

Grant Zhang Paradigm

6 rounds

Grant Zhang

Affiliation: Ransom Everglades School 2016-2017

Green Valley 2015’
New York University Stern School of Business 2018’ (Finance, Mathematics)

My education has primarily been centered on finance and economics, so I tend to think of events and policies in terms of opportunity cost and risk weighted valuations. To me these elements are heavily present within debate, although they lack discrete quantitative values. I weigh conflicting positions by their opportunity cost and the risk and magnitude of those opportunity costs. For example, I am more likely to vote for a global financial crisis with no war is a larger impact than resource wars in Africa that have a slim probability of escalating to nuclear war.

Logic is incredibly important which rules out a lot of critiques and disadvantages. Weak arguments tend to maker larger logical leaps and overgeneralized statements.

Evidence is only needed if you are making a positive statement that requires some statistical or probabilistic research or expert opinion to make a well-reasoned argument. This does not include broad philosophical claims like value to life is more important than life, and I trust that you can make reasoned arguments to defend these claims on your own.

Things I care about:

Comparison and clash

Quality of evidence

Speaking clearly

Logical Consistency

Things I don't care about:

Who is more oppressed/privileged

Survival strategies

If suffering is worse than death

The purpose of life

Whether or not voting for you spills over

Whether or not this debate sends you to elims or the ToC

Cards that make the argument that extinction outweighs a critique (I really don't understand why you need cards to make this argument)

I would like to read all relevant cards that are referenced in the 2NR and the 2AR at the end of a debate. That being said, I would like to be in the e-mail chain at Evidence is heavily prevalent in a debate where either team has a chance at winning. For me the qualify of your evidence may effect your speaker points. If you can speak eloquently but your evidence is subpar, that hurts your credibility as a speaker.

The 1AR is generally the last speech that gets new arguments for me. The 2NR and the 2AR will be allowed to make new comparisons, and the 2NR may read evidence to answer new 1AR arguments. If an argument is dropped or mishandled, a clever 2NR or 2AR will make comparisons or applications of arguments they already have to make it a smaller issue.

Tech vs. Truth

Most of the time, I fall in the middle here. In a debate where one team is clearly annihilating the other team, I am more likely to side with the technical aspects of the debate. In a debate where I think one team is dominating on most of the flow but the other team still has a fighting chance, the quality of evidence becomes very important in my decision. I'm not a fan of one liners that maybe viewed as technical knockouts when dropped like unarticulated floating PIKs and topical versions.


Aff Stuff

I think you have a good aff if:
1. It is at the center of the topic with a large literature base
2. It has good warrants about why it’s specific solvency mechanism is the best way to address it’s impacts
3. It has a diverse amount of impacts that can be weighed against disadvantages. I think it’s smart to have a war impact, an environment impact, and another type of impact. (disease, terrorism, ethics) This gives you a lot of headway in debates that are big on impact calculus. The strategic utility of having an aff with multiple impacts is that certain impacts are more strategic to deploy against different types of disadvantages and critiques.
4. It has good USFG key warrants.
5. The aff has good solvency evidence specific to each advantage.
6. The internal links add up and there aren’t lapses in consistency from internal link to internal link. For example, I would dislike an advantage that would solve for terrorism in Eastern Europe, but your impact evidence is about Al Qaeda having nuclear capabilities and the ability to initiate a nuclear exchange.
7. It is able to tackle and beat disadvantages and critiques rather than being dodgy about the aff’s mechanisms. It will be difficult to win my ballot if your aff’s purpose is to no-link as much stuff as possible. I like a consistent and coherent position. Not something that changes once during the 2AC or the 1AR.

Soft left

I think these types of affs are poorly debated most of the time. You need to be doing high level impact calculus; otherwise, I will side with the disadvantage outweighing the aff.

I view the majority of debates as a risk analyst. I ask myself: If I adopt a policy, what is the expected return on that policy and what is the opportunity cost of the policy, is there a free lunch opportunity, and how should I evaluate that risk?

I tend to believe the idea of risk premiums in finance are relevant in debate; High magnitude impacts have very low probability, and many low magnitude impacts have a very high probability. The high magnitude compensates the lower probability of the impact. It is the job of the debater to shape my preferences; am I an elderly risk averse investor who doesn't want to take on much volatility, or am I a 25 year-old whose incentive is to "go to Vegas!"

Under this paradigm, it doesn't make sense for me to vote for a low magnitude impact over a high magnitude impact if the debaters present them to me with equal weights. I am getting a free lunch with the high magnitude impact. If I am presented the two scenarios with equal risk, I will always choose the higher magnitude scenario. Unless you somehow convince me to abandon my preferences of being a rational person (incredibly unlikely), I expect you to do impact calculus on the probability level, and you should shape my preferences. What is missing in these debates is an extrapolation on why large impacts have low probability. An assessment with impact defense and a push on alt causes would likely convince me to prefer the security of a high probability, low magnitude impact.

The idea that the education presented by your aff outweighing the impacts in the debate seem silly to me as well. I can't seem to find a reason why voting for you is necessary for additional education, and it seems more of a reason about why researching the genre of ideas that you have presented is more important, which is more suited to a topicality argument. Regardless of whether or not you are in an academic setting, policy setting, or any setting where research and ideas are rigorously scrutinized, the idea that you can present heavily flawed ideas and be praised for it because it is new is ridiculous.

If you aren’t going to defend instrumental action by the United States Federal Government
Read this if you don’t have a lot of time
I’ve worked a lot with these affs my senior year in high school. Just because I may have read some of these arguments does not mean I am the best judge for them. I read a Nietzsche aff at a few tournaments for the purpose of strategy, not because I like these arguments. In fact, if the strategy of your aff is to create reasons why predictability and switch-side debate is bad, I’m not a good judge for you. If you would think of any of the arguments you read as “troll,” then I am definitely a bad judge for you. In most instances, I believe critical affs should be heading in the direction of defending a topical plan that relates to the resolution. I am not persuaded by any arguments that are along the lines of "the federal government is violent," therefore we shouldn't attempt to engage it. Most of the time, affs that deal with large macro-level issues are much more persuasive when they are implemented by the government. A better response is to be making arguments that problematize current government responses related to the aff and problematizing the logic of using instrumental action, but this does not mean "federal government violent" so they don't solve; that still isn't persuasive. I also do not believe that topical versions need to win that they solve 100% of the aff; topical versions are a way to talk about your scholarship while also giving the negative a nexus to debate you on. Winning a topical version doesn't matter if they are winning impact turns to T (which I think 95% of them can easily be answered by saying they don't apply to debate).

I also need to know what the aff does by the end of the debate. In a lot of "french theory" debates, I often lose track of or never find out what the aff does. In those debates, I think the negative is well-positioned to go for a Topicality presumption combo.

I'm not a big fan of affs that are in the vein of altering the form of debate, examples are like the "we rupture debate," the "we make debate a safe space," or "vote for us because we represent marginalized knowledge" arguments if your aff sacrifices actions in the direction of the topic. I am easily persuaded by impact turns to these affs like research oriented debate is good and using debate to prepare students for the real world is good.

T and Framework are not the same thing. Framework is a limit on form while topicality is a limit on content.

Fairness is an impact, but the way that most teams go for it doesn't reflect it as an impact. I don't think you need to win a large Lundberg impact to win the debate. Debatability and research are excellent impacts to go for.

I'm not persuaded by no spillover arguments in the context of other people will still read non-topical affs.

Role of the ballot arguments are unpersuasive but competing models of debate and role of the judge arguments may be important in these debates.

Most reasons for not reading a plan are bad; I don't think you have to defend the USFG is violent and that most state links are going to be the status quo anyways.

I am likely to grant the negative disadvantages to your scholarship. If your aff is geneaology about why military presence is bad, I will still grant the negative a deterrence DA if you no link that because you don't actually reduce military presence for the sake of ground and direct clash with the scholarship that you presented. It is unacceptable to be dodgy against direct impact turns to your aff. Along with this, I won't buy your defense on T if you do something like this.

Affs should:

1. Affirm the topic. It is unpersuasive to me when your argument is that it is unethical to affirm the topic. Debate is a place where we see an exchange of ideas and open-mindedness towards new things. If your aff doesn’t mandate a plan, it must at least be in the direction of the resolution. If it is not, I will find it very difficult to grant you any internal link defense to their topicality arguments, and you will likely lose without defense.
2. You need defense against topicality/framework. I think predictability and limits are important and that the aff should provide for a substantive debate the negative can engage them on. Impact turns to limits and predictability are not persuasive to me. There needs to be ongoing dialogue in debate. I think debate is an important activity where an exchange of ideas needs to happen. In order for that to happen, there needs to predictability and limits for the negative. People often read cards in the context of educational institutions but not clash and dialogue focused activities like debate when they choose to impact turn predictability and limits. The logic of a lot of your "debate is bad" is often reliant on a metaphor, and none of your evidence is about debate. If you find a piece of evidence that says switch side debate causes genocide and the war on terror in explicit terms, I might buy the argument.
3. You need a reason why debate is key for your advocacy. If your excuse for reading an untopical aff is "we think messing around in debate is fun, and we should get to do whatever we want," then I will not like you. I am particularly fond of wrong forum arguments when articulated in an instance as such. There are many other places where you can mess around. I do think that debate has an element of contributing to self-awareness and developing skills.
4. Your aff should solve for its impact. Often times, I hear absurd methodologies that don’t have any policy relevance claim to solve for huge overarching extinction impacts and power structures. I don’t think methodologies like coalition building within debate are very reasonable or effective unless they transport that knowledge into politics. It’s more persuasive to me that we should strive to become policymakers than it is to say debaters should start protesting on the streets. I have a large qualm with affs that start their advocacy statements with [partner's name] and I. I don't understand how you and your partner can claim to solve such a huge impact. If your answer to this question is, "who cares? it's not like affs with a plan solve anything," you are starting off the debate in the wrong direction for me. I need a clear and logical reason as to why the methodology that you proposes does anything.
5. Policy relevance is a plus. I like practicality and concreteness. If your aff is more practical and logical, I will find it more persuasive.
6. Just like if you were to read a policy aff in front of me, give me a reason why your solvency mechanism is key. Give me a reason why it is preferred over the topical version. If your answer to topicality is the USFG is always racist, I will probably vote negative on the topical version. To beat the topical version, you need intuitive and thoughtful answers about why your methodology is key, not why an institution is bad. Give disadvantages to the topical version. I tend to view a lot of T-USFG/framework debates in offense defense.
7. Have a strong impact, multiple if possible. I think you need to weigh an impact that cannot be encapsulated by the negative’s interpretation. You need to do impact calculus about why your impact outweighs. Why is it worth sacrificing substantive clash in debate? Why are the skills we build from the Lundberg evidence not as important? If you are able to have some type of extinction impact, that is a big plus, just make sure your aff logically solves for it. Framing is the most important thing in many critical debates. You should make comparisons so that I can see what is and isn't relevant. However, if you aren't going to engage the other team, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Neg related stuff about these affs

You should push teams that read non-traditional affirmatives on the competition level. If competition is based around the explicit statement of the plan text, why do planless affs get permutations? Of course, there is the response that advocacy statements check, but there is the unique nature of the stability of a plan text that is important to consider when evaluating negative ground and competitive equity.


The Case

People tend to read a lot of impact defense because it is generic and applies to everything. I think the neg is at a disadvantage in many debates if the route they take is disadvantage and impact defense. If you are only pushing them on the impact level, and the aff is shooting holes in all parts of your DA, then it is easier for them to compare the 100% aff solvency that I will award them (because you didn’t pursue anything but impact defense) to a lower risk of a disadvantage. In an ideal debate, where the aff and neg are great at impact calculus, I’m probably voting aff because I think there is a higher risk that the aff solves for some impact than the risk imposed by the DA. That being said, there are many holes in an aff’s internal links that don’t require evidence to make it a problem for them. I rather hear your own intuitive thoughts about the aff's terrible internal links than your generic (and probably bad) impact defense. Push them on the solvency level as well; we often let affs get away with solving too much.


Don't start your speeches with "The disad outweighs and turns the case." I know you are going to make the arguments if you are a semi-competent debater. Most of the time when debaters start off their speech with this statement, I don't have a warrant as to why your impact outweighs the case; I rather have you make comparative arguments that describe how your impact escalates and what sets it apart from the affs impacts than you asserting that you outweigh the aff. Good debaters don't need to remind themselves to make these arguments; they just make them.

I think a good disadvantage has a specific link to the aff and is also more intrinsic to the aff than politics. Another way to impress me is to have your disadvantage also answer the internal link story of the aff. If the thesis of your disadvantage also covers why the aff doesn't solve for its internal links, I will certainly be impressed. I think aff link uniqueness arguments are very convincing and smart link uniqueness analytics can significantly lower the risk of generic disadvantages, which is all of the better a reason to research plan specific disadvantages.

If you want to win me over, good impact calculus will get you far. Give reasons why whatever impact filter you are going for is the most important and how that implicates the aff and how it implicates the other filters. A good 2NC/1NR on a DA will read cards on the impact level, and it will read cards on why the DA turns the advantages of the aff. When you read cards on the uniqueness, link, and internal link level, it’s more effective to have different warrants in each card. A wide variety of warrants on each level of the debate will give you more options and it will let you encapsulate on the 1AR’s mistakes. I like specificity. A link argument about the aff is better than 5 generic links that the aff might fall under. However, if it is a really small aff, you need to apply the aff to the generic links and give warrants as to why the aff may fall under some of those links.

Some more politics specific stuff

I think the quality of evidence that often surrounds politics DAs are terrible. To me, politics is a terrible strategy unless you have stellar link evidence, a really specific counterplan, or are completely crushing the case (most likely not just impact defense). I am tired of seeing one-lined cards within these debates because that seems like it has become the norm of acceptibility surrounding politics. I have gone for politics a lot; that doesn't mean it is the best strategy in front of me. A good aff team will do a good job crushing incoherent internal links as their main strategy. A good politics debate that is card intensive and clash heavy is one of my favorite debates to watch given good evidence. Specificity usually wins these debates, meaning unless you have good cards about the aff or a litany of links that the aff can apply to (but the aff drops some), I probably will vote aff given that their link defense is about the plan's mechanism.

Link determines the direction of uniqueness in most debates. The only times where I don't see this happening is when budget and debt ceiling roll around because there is actually a short timeframe where the vote can happen at any moment.

A reason as to why the politics disadvantage is good is not a reason to why it’s intrinsic. If the 2AC says the disadvantage is not intrinsic, I don’t see a reason why you would answer that with politics is good. I think public pressure and constituency obligation is a better answer to intrinsicness.

Winners win is much better the bigger your aff is. Another way to encapsulate on winners win is to apply it specifically to their politics DA and give reasons why your aff is different from the instances in which winners win theory is disproved.


The way that counterplans are assessed puzzle me because I find that process to be vastly oversimplified. I'm not convinced that counterplan solvency is a yes or no question. Solvency is a probability between 0 to 1, and impacts have a probability of 0 to 1. This also means sufficiency framing doesn't make sense to me. Negative teams should be framing their counterplan as the risk of a solvency deficit is less than or not as important as the risk of the net benefit and affirmative teams should make the argument that the risk of a solvency deficit is more than or outweighs the risk of the net benefit.

Your counterplan should be both functionally and textually competitive. By textually competitive, I don’t mean by redefining the word “should.” Normal means counterplans are always bad. I’m not a good judge for you if your strategy relies on the consult or the conditions counterplan. However, I can be convinced that these counterplans compete and are legitimate if you have a stellar solvency advocate about the aff. For the aff, to deal with the giant blocks of theory that they read at you, I would suggest giving me a filter to evaluate theory arguments. For example, the aff should say “evaluate the impacts to theory in the context of debate because any of their policymaking education arguments are subject to change because the process of policymaking is always changing and the education that we get now may not be applicable in twenty years.” I also really don't want to hear the block's 4 minute dump on theory when they choose to read word pics and the dirtiest process counterplans.

I think a solvency advocate is a good measure of whether not a questionable counterplan like the International Actor Counterplan and the States Counterplan should be allowed, but you will find that I tend to be rather lenient as to what I consider as a solvency advocate simply because I believe the Aff should be tested on why action by the USFG is key.
Process counterplans are rarely persuasive. You will need to have a pretty specific solvency advocate to make me consider it in terms of whether is theoretically legitimate as well as some way to make the counterplan competitive.

I will never be persuaded to vote for an artificially competitive counterplan unless it's against a team that doesn't defend a plan.


When I'm judging a critique, a lot of the time I find that I am pushed into a situation where the debate is very difficult to decide due to poor debating and bad evidence. These situations tend to involve a lot of judge intervention, and I end up heavily relying on my own preferences to evaluate the debate. Much of the time, technical concessions weigh more heavily than framing issues that end up being a wash.

In most of the debates where the 2NR is a critique, I have voted for the critique on presumption + risk that the alternative solves something. There are a lot of logical holes within how alternatives, impacts, and links interact with each other. Questions that I often ask myself are how does the plan lead to the large impacts that the critique has isolated? How is the plan so significant that it derails the alternative from resolving the harms of the critique? Why isn't the permutation able to overcome the residual links to the plan? With the way that contemporary critiques are structured, I find it difficult for me to resolve these questions for the negative in any logically coherent way.

The most successful critiques in front of me develop specific links to the plan and frame them as solvency takeouts to the plan. Alternatives avoid these solvency deficits, so they potentially solve better than the aff. On top of that, successful teams flip impact calculus to the framework level and convince me about why their specific orientation is better for an education model or better informs decision-making. Most macro-level impacts on critiques are absurd to me because most likely your impact evidence isn't unique to your link evidence about the affirmative; it's probably about why the system that you are critiquing is bad. Impacts about the way the affirmative approaches decision-making makes a whole lot more sense to me.

People go for reject alts incorrectly; the best reject alts frame themselves as we are not the aff, and the aff is bad. I think they can also be strategically coupled with presumption claims, framed like the aff doesn't solve and is error replication, the alt has a chance of solving and avoiding error replication. I think if you are not winning a link and turns case arguments, reject alternatives end up working against you because I often compare a world where we reject the aff to a world where the aff is done, and most the time I end up deciding that the aff is a good idea, given that the alternative is artificially competitive.

I think the permutation double bind argument and the permutation do the aff and the alt in all other instances is underutilized and makes a lot of sense against most critiques.

More teams should be going for utopian fiat bad.

The term role of the ballot is a way I filter impacts. This also means it’s a way of saying impact calculus. I don’t think a role of the ballot is dropped if a team is beating you on impact calculus, but they don’t specifically speak to the question of the role of the ballot. I need a reason why I should prefer the role of the ballot you are advancing. If I hear the words role of the ballot, and there isn't a substantiation of why that it is important, I will likely buy that the aff outweighs your critique.
You should do impact calculus. You should give me reasons why I should prefer root cause arguments.
Debate the case. The aff is probably telling a more coherent internal link story with higher levels of specificity. Unless you mitigate the case in some way, either through the way you frame link arguments or other solvency arguments, I will most likely vote aff on the coherence of internal links and the story of escalation that the aff presented to me.

Framework arguments that ask me to exclude an analysis of the results of the implementation of the plan are often successful in front of me because affs only extend a cursory extension of framework and choose not to provide me with a model of how I should assess impacts. That being said, I have never seen a good response to fairness from a negative team; they mostly give me reasons as to why other standards matter more, but do not grapple with this question. To me, fairness is the most underrated impact. Comparative reasons why I should prefer fairness would help me side with aff on the framework question.

Aff's should impact turn critiques more often. Most affs against critiques are built upon winning the permutation as debate has been shifting leftward, and I think critique teams are losing touch with answering impact turns because of this practice. Don't be afraid to make arguments like Western science and knowledge production, objective data driven statistics, neoliberalism, capitalism, colonialism, and masculine IR are good.


Teams should go for substance if they have a chance to win on substance. I side with competing interpretations. I think if the negative has an arbitrary interpretation then it should be easy for the aff to win that their interpretation is better. Reasonability is also viable if coupled with functional limits and precision arguments. I value precision the most as a standard for comparing interpretations. I think the quality of evidence is absolutely critical in topicality debates.

If the aff meets the interpretation, then they meet the interpretation. I do not believe in an offense/defense paradigm around the we meet; there is no such thing as 1% risk that the aff doesn't meet the interpretation. I heavily compare the evidence presented to me on the we meet debate in a textualist manner (think Scalia) and use the plan text as a standard for evaluating whether or not the plan meets the interpretation.

Topical versions could be a tie breaker in many debates, but if the aff wins that your interpretation is absolutely horrible, I don't think there is any net benefit to the topical version.

Conditionality and Neg flex is good to an extent. Beyond 3 conditional advocacies is pushing it. It also makes your counterinterpretation meaningless because your counterinterpretation in no way solves for the affs impacts when they get too large. I like arguments that are substantive and about the specific skills that conditionality allows us to build as well the skills we lose with conditionality. Fairness is usually an internal link to something bigger like people quitting or incentivizing research and education.

Every argument other than conditionality and performative contradictions is a reason to reject the argument.

I am heavily aff-leaning on consult counterplans that don't have intrinsic net benefits, delay counterplans, process counterplans, word PICs and offsets counterplans.

I am slightly aff-leaning on agent counterplans without solvency advocates for the aff they are debating, and heavily neg-leaning on agent counterplans that do have solvency advocates.

aaron kall Paradigm

1 rounds

Director of Debate at The University of Michigan

General Judging Paradigm- I think debate is an educational game. Someone once told me
that there are three types of judges: big truth, middle truth, and little truth judges. I would
definitely fall into the latter category. I don’t think a two hour debate round is a search for
the truth, but rather a time period for debaters to persuade judges with the help of
evidence and analytical arguments. I have many personal biases and preferences, but I try
to compartmentalize them and allow the debate to be decided by the debaters. I abhor
judge intervention, but do realize it becomes inevitable when debaters fail to adequately
resolve the debate. I am a very technical and flow-oriented judge. I will not evaluate
arguments that were in the 2AR and 2AC, but not the 1AR. This is also true for
arguments that were in the 2NR and 1NC, but not in the negative block.

Counterplans/Theory- I would consider myself liberal on theory, especially regarding
plan-inclusive counterplans. Usually, the negative block will make ten arguments
theoretically defending their counterplan and the 1AR will only answer eight of them- the
2NR will extend the two arguments that were dropped, etc. and that’s usually good
enough for me. I have often voted on conditionality because the Aff. was technically
superior. If you’re Aff. and going for theory, make sure to answer each and every
negative argument. I am troubled by the recent emergence of theory and procedural
debates focusing on offense and defense. I don’t necessarily think the negative has to win
an offensive reason why their counterplan is theoretically legitimate- they just have to
win that their counterplan is legitimate. For the Aff., I believe that permutations must
include all of the plan and all or part of the counterplan. I think the do the counterplan
permutation is silly and don’t think it’s justified because the negative is conditional, etc. I
do realize this permutation wins rounds because it’s short and Neg. teams sometimes fail
to answer it. On the issue of presumption, a counterplan must provide a reason to reject
the Aff. Finally, I think it’s illegitimate when the Aff. refuses to commit to their agent for
the explicit purpose of ducking counterplans, especially when they read solvency
evidence that advocates a particular agent. This strategy relies on defending the theory of
textual competition, which I think is a bad way of determining whether counterplans

Topicality- When I debated, I commonly ran Affirmatives that were on the fringe of what
was considered topical. This was probably the reason I was not a great topicality judge
for the negative my first few years of judging college debate. Beginning this year, I have
noticed myself voting negative on topicality with greater frequency. In the abstract, I
would prefer a more limited topic as opposed to one where hundreds of cases could be
considered topical. That being said, I think topicality often seems like a strategy of
desperation for the negative, so if it’s not, make sure the violation is well developed in
the negative block. I resolve topicality debates in a very technical manner. Often it
seems like the best Affirmative answers are not made until the 2AR, which is probably
too late for me to consider them.

Kritiks- If I got to choose my ideal debate to judge, it would probably involve a politics
or other disadvantage and a case or counterplan debate. But, I do realize that debaters get
to run whatever arguments they want and strategy plays a large role in argument
selection. I have probably voted for a kritik about a half of dozen times this year. I never
ran kritiks when I debated and I do not read any philosophy in my free time. Kritik
rhetoric often involves long words, so please reduce your rate of speed slightly so I can
understand what you are saying. Kritiks as net-benefits to counterplans or alternatives
that have little or no solvency deficit are especially difficult for Affirmatives to handle.
Evidence Reading- I read a lot of evidence, unless I think the debate was so clear that it’s
not necessary. I won’t look at the un-underlined parts of cards- only what was read into
the round. I am pretty liberal about evidence and arguments in the 1AR. If a one card
argument in the 1NC gets extended and ten more pieces of evidence are read by the
negative block, the 1AR obviously gets to read cards. I think the quality of evidence is
important and feel that evidence that can only be found on the web is usually not credible
because it is not permanent nor subject to peer review. I wish there would be more time
spent in debates on the competing quality of evidence.

Cheap Shots/Voting Issues- These are usually bad arguments, but receive attention
because they are commonly dropped. For me to vote on these arguments, they must be
clearly articulated and have a competent warrant behind them. Just because the phrase
voting issue was made in the 1AR, not answered by the 2NR, and extended by the 2AR
doesn’t make it so. There has to be an articulated link/reason it’s a voting issue for it to
be considered.

Pet Peeves- Inefficiency, being asked to flow overviews on separate pieces of paper, 2NRs that go for too much, etc.

Seasonal voting record: