Arizona State HDSHC Invitational

2018 — Tempe, AZ/US

Momen Abdelkarim Paradigm

6 rounds

I competed as an AZ policy debater (1A/2N).

I really don't like K's. If you really want to hear my opinion on them ask my before/after round. I will NOT vote you down if you run a K, but it'll be an uphill battle for you since I prefer policy arguments a lot more, so you'll have to do a really good job on that K to convince me. Still, I don't recommend running a K. If you're running theory please either explain it briefly in round or give me a quick crash course before the round in case I've forgotten it.

While I have been looking at some camp files, assume I have no prior knowledge on this year's resolution other than what I've been hearing in rounds as a judge and as an average citizen. You don't need to explain the resolution to me like a lay judge but I've only judged this resolution once this school year.

I will try to keep my Verbal RFD's as concise as possible. My handwriting isn't good so value verbal RFD over written RFD. If you'd like me to expand on my RFD you can ask me once the verbal RFD is over so others can get to their next round on time.


- I won't flow cross-ex but I do listen and take mental-note, it's one of my favorite parts of a round. Cross-ex factors heavily into speaker points for me and decently into the overall vote.

- I don't count flashing as prep, but if you take too long I'll warn you before I start counting it.

- I'm a bit rusty on listening to spreading but if you do the following then there shouldn't be any problems:

- Super clear (don't mumble or whisper)

- Flash me everything including analytics (if you don't flash the analytics to me then you run the risk of me not catching what you said).

- Go in the order of the speech doc, and if you skip parts of a card tell me where to mark them, or if you skip whole cards tell me which ones you skip.

- If your arguments are great but I can't flow them correctly due to your speaking, then you're wasting your time. Make it clear, straightforward, down the flow, and in a clean order I can read in the flashed files.

- Please use If you would use that, that'd be great. If not, email chain works. If not, USB works.

- Speaker points:

<27: no bueno, I had a lot of trouble understanding you.
27-27.9: mediocre, I had really had trouble understanding you.
28-28.9: good, I had a decent amount of trouble understanding you.
29-29.4: very good, I had a bit of trouble understanding you.
29.5-30: excellent, I had no trouble understanding you.

These aren't hard and fast ranges but this should give you an idea. Differs round-by-round.

Zaki Alattar Paradigm

6 rounds

First year debater at UC Berkeley.
Debated at Katy Taylor for 4 years.

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

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


Justin Baker Paradigm

6 rounds

Assistant Debate Coach Skyline High School UT (2011-present)

Update: 11/14/18

[justinbaker006 gmail com]

I evaluate debate argumentation before evidence. Unless you specifically tell me to look at x,y,z evidence first, it's unlikely that I will hinge the debate on the evidence. I prefer voting off of the flow, but will look to substantiate evidence comparisons through the evidence.

I heavily favor debates that actively encourage clash. I find this notoriously lacking in small circuit policy v k debates. For the kritik, I like concise overviews and additional link analysis.

I prefer contextualized theory debates, over flow heavy theory debates. Resolution and round specific analysis carries more weight on my flow than the number of your turns to topic education.

I try to follow a speaker point system with median 28 and deviation .5. In this system a 29.5-30 reflects top 2% of speakers on the national circuit.

Lauren Barney Paradigm

3 rounds

Background: I competed in LD for four years in high school and now compete for ASU policy (this is my second year on the team). I now am mainly a critical debater but will listen to anything (anti blackness/queer theory). Please don't abuse flashing/prep. Also when you extend arguments say the warrant and don't just repeat the tag. Please add me to the email:

I will probably not be super familiar with PF/CX topics as I coach LD.

If you say anything offensive/racist I will probably dock your speaker points if your opponent points it out. I will increase speaker points for smart arguments/strategic decisions on your part (like collapsing down in the last speech to arguments you're ahead on).

Theory/T: Clearly explain the abuse/why the interp is good. Slow down for interps, I want to make sure I catch it. Make sure to answer a TVA. Please don't run frivolous theory in front of me- these are my least favorite rounds to judge.

Ks: I am a critical debater and understand K debate well that being said articulate a clear link to the affirmative and what the voting issue is. I will vote for progressive affirmatives and think you might want to make an argument about how the K is a shift and reframes how I should view a "traditional" round. That being said don't assume that I am familiar with your specific literature base.

K Affs: Please try to limit the buzzwords you use and clearly explain your impacts materially. I think framework is incredibly important when Ks vs Framework or Ks vs Policy aff arguments happen. Think about the implications for debate that your interpretation has and explain it. You should be able to defend your model of debate.

Mike Bausch Paradigm

6 rounds

Mike Bausch

Director of Debate, Kent Denver

Do what you do best and I will try to leave my predispositions at the door. How you debate matters more than what you debate.

I will work hard to make the best decision possible and give you feedback to improve.

Please include me in email chains; my email is

1. The affirmative should defend a topical example of the resolution. Topicality helps to facilitate clash, fairness is a relevant impact, and governmental policy is a useful target for critical and policy research. There is room to use many critical theories to advocate for topical action and most critical theories can be part of a well-prepared negative.

2. The negative should actually clash with the affirmative. I think the affirmative gets to weigh their case against a critique. The negative must win their critique is superior to the affirmative (turns, outweighs, solves, disproves, etc). I think many process counterplans are not automatically competitive; you must prove your counterplan competes with something the affirmative has actually committed to.

3. 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, highlighting, source, or recency) a significant part of the debate.

4. Argument resolution is the most important part of debating. 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. Students should set themselves up to resolve arguments successfully by flowing, doing line-by-line, making choices, speaking clearly, and thoroughly explaining their arguments throughout the debate.

Ian Beier Paradigm

3 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. 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.

2. 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.

3. counterplans - should likely have solvency advocates but its not a dealbreaker. slow down when explaining tricks.

4. theory - more teams should go for theory more often. negatives should be able to do whatever they want, but many teams are bad at theory.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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 finish 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 a summary of my disposition as a judge:

***New Paradigm***

Square up. Friday night lights. Fight night. Any given Sunday. Start your engines and may the best debater win.

My bias is that 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.

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.


---"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 with some underlining to arbitrarily guide you to stuff. its all still true, but its not particularly organized. and i think leaving it up as a historical artifact is kind of funny:

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.

Shannon Blackham Paradigm

6 rounds

I am primarily a policymaker judge, with a stock issues influence. If you have no idea what this means, you need to ask your coach. Whether you know what it means or not, everyone needs to learn how to adapt to judges.

While I am an experienced policy debater, after my debate career, I experienced a traumatic brain injury. This makes some things harder, but in all reality, I think you should debate this way anyway. EXPLAIN your knowledge of every piece of evidence or analytic that you bring to the table. ARTICULATE/EMPHASIZE the taglines and analytics, because if I can't flow it, you don't get credit for it. What's more, part of my brain trauma was to the right hemisphere which impacts my understanding of most Kritiks, so it's safer not to run Ks in front of me, sorry! I thoroughly understand util.

I'm mean with speaker points. I feel that 30 speaks should be triumphant, not expected. HUGE bonus points if you can make me laugh, if you make fun of someone, if you reference Psych, quote Brian Regan, and if you keep speech times short. You absolutely should not feel like you need to ever fill up all of the speech time, say what you need to say; if it takes all 8/5 minutes, great, if not, perfect, sit down. Ask questions. If you don't know if something is allowed, try it anyway.

P.S. is my favorite way of sharing evidence.

Jessie Boon Paradigm

6 rounds


I'm a lay judge that's not too familiar with the format of debate itself but am familiar with most of the concepts being debated, including a solid understanding of politics and justice-oriented philosophy. I will try to evaluate debates as a policymaker, meaning that I view myself as a member of the USFG and will decide whether or not to enact a plan, counterplan, or remain with the status quo. Try your best to avoid debate-specific jargon and instead give me a big picture understanding of the affirmative and negative positions.

I have not debated before nor have I interacted with the activity before. I am a Justice Studies major at ASU with a minor in Sociology and am on the pre-law track, and as such should be somewhat familiar with the concepts at hand.

I start at a 28.5 and go up and down depending on performance. A 28.5 is an average debater, anything less than needs some work, and anything more is commendable.

Affirmative: As I said above, I evaluate affirmatives via a policymaker's framework, meaning I will vote affirmative if I think the affirmative plan is more desirable than the status quo or a competitive option from the negative.

DA's: All fine, just please be clear about the scenario you've constructed.

CP's: Fine as well. I evaluate CP's as a policymaker as well, so if the CP is preferable to the affirmative, I will vote for it. Try not to be jargon-y or rely too much on permutations and other debate-specific things.

K's: I would prefer no K's. If you read one, please explain it as thoroughly as possible, and please don't read any high-theory type things.

Topicality and Theory: I would also prefer you all to not read these arguments. Not very familiar with the structure and nuances of policy so I'll have a hard time evaluating them if you do.

Please feel free to ask me any other questions you have before the next round!

Michelle Borbon Paradigm

3 rounds

Harvard '19

MOST IMPORTANT: Please speak clearly. It's not my fault if I can't understand you. E-nun-ci-ate. I will most likely not follow along with your speech docs, so I mean it. If your opponents ask for accommodations, please do your best to oblige. Tell me how to vote: the team that most clearly frames the debate has a good chance of winning. Please be kind to your opponents.

I lean tech over truth. I will default to good evidence comparison in speeches, and will only call for cards to verify/confirm your analysis. I don't think that not extending terminal impact defense is as important if you have internal link defense or other well explained defense.

Framework You have to extend case defense or answer aff solvency to win this argument in front of me. I judge this like a DA/case debate, which means both the aff and neg team need to compare impact calculus and solvency mechanisms. I do not feel strongly about any set of framework impacts so long as they are well explained and not offensive. I do not think fairness is an inherently offensive impact, but I could be persuaded otherwise in a round. I find myself voting neg on framework a lot these days. The aff has to clearly explain their impact and/or offense against framework, why its bigger than the neg's offense, and why TVA/SSD cannot solve it.

Ks Buzzwords do not necessarily amount to a persuasive argument. There's a difference between effectively using the language of your authors and expecting buzzwords to do explanatory work for you, avoid the latter. Purposefully confusing the other team isn't an effective strategy if you don't eventually explain it clearly to me. Links and root cause arguments should be clearly articulated, delineated, and contextualized to the affirmative's evidence, language, or plan. Explain what your framework interpretation means for how I decide the debate. I really dislike negative blocks that completely disregard the 2AC order and don't do any line-by-line, unless that style is explicitly related to your arguments. I like when aff offense is about the plan text and aff advantages.

DAs The politics DA has been shit lately. Maybe you will come up with a smart version of it and I will like it, or maybe your opponent will be really bad at responding to your execution of the politics DA, but I will not just assume bad politics cards are better than they actually are just because the debate community really likes the politics DA. Many of the politics DAs this year can be defeated by smart analytics and evidence comparison. Intrinsicness/perm on politics doesn't do much for me.

Theory/T I don't have particularly strong feelings one way or the other about the abusiveness of the states cp, XO, courts CP. I think conditionality is probably good, if you go for conditionality bad in the 2AR and execute well I will understand and forgive you though. The executing team should do a good job explaining why I should reject the argument and not the team, and provide a clear counter interpretation. I am more than happy to vote for theory. I'm more aff leaning on Process/Consult CP theory, but this still requires good affirmative execution. Do impact calculus.

Scott Brown Paradigm

2 rounds

Scott Brown

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

Previous: Fullerton Union, McDonogh, Centennial, Capitol Debate, River Hill, Atholton, ADL, and others.

I have coached debate for over a decade. My background is in Policy Debate.


I'm currently flowing on paper. 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 often 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: 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.

Tanzil Chowdhury Paradigm

4 rounds


the tldr: i'm fine with pretty much anything, debate(d) a mix of k and policy in hs and college, won't do work for you, don't do anything explicitly racist/sexist/etc. or ill ruin your speaks/drop you. For Varsity, prep ends with the email is sent or the flash drive leaves the computer. For Novices, I won't count it as prep, but PLEASE learn how to use your computers so we don't run into nonsense. other than that, im an open book in the open-est sense. objectivity doesn't exist, so don't underestimate the power of making me want to vote for you using non-logos appeals. don't be boring if you don't have to be.


Background: i debated @ chandler high (go wolves) for four years and currently debate at arizona state (the university rated number #1 in innovation by the US News World Report, ahead of Stanford and MIT, forks up!). I've pretty much always been a 1A/2N, was a 2A/1N for a while, and now I have no clue what I am. Around 60% of the affs I read in high school were non-topical K affs (though never anything that was high theory), and the rest were a mix of middle-of-the-road and straight up policy affs. In high school I usually took T, DA's, CP's etc. in the 2NC and usually gave my partner the K, but that's the opposite of what I did in college as a 2N. Against K affs i was the guy that always went for Framework x Cap, and against policy affs i went like 7-off. Basically, just a lot of proof that im fine with everything. Currently (un)interested in Alain Badiou, nanomaterials (am I just writing this to convince myself that I enjoy my major? you decide), and why my daily commute is so goddamn alienating.

Speaker Points: I start at a 28.3 (3-3 quality if that helps) and I go up and down from there. I'll never go below a 27 unless you do something that's either breaking rules, being ridiculously mean, being an asshole to me (please don't post-round me, i'll tell on you).

DA's: Anything goes, not much to say here. Probably won't vote for a DA by itself (i did this once and it was a bad idea) unless you have some real good turns case arguments.

CP's: I read a PIC in high school that replaced "USFG" with "United States politicians, bureaucrats, and military personnel". I'm okay with anything.

K's: I like K's, as long as you can justify why you're reading it -- though I suppose that should be the case with every argument. Link explanation is TANTAMOUNT. If it's clear to me that your link is the same generic link you read against everything, and you dont do any contextual explanation work, I'm gonna have a hard time voting for you. My biggest pet peeve about K debates though (and about a few other judges in particular) is that I WILL NOT DROP THE ALT FOR YOU. If you get to the 2NR and you want to go for the K as a case turn, please explicitly kick out of the alt. If you do not, I weigh the round as Alt v. Aff, and if you do like 10 seconds of alt explanation at the bottom of the 2NR, well, you lose. The 2NR is all about decisions, so please make a decision with how you want the K to look at the end of the debate, and make that decision clear to me. My personal thoughts on the K are outlined well here by the Mustachio'd Menace himself. Do yourself a favor and read it.

T: T's cool. T in my mind is the same as any other argument just with different terminology, meaning that the violation is just a link and the standards are just impacts. Slow down on uncarded things/tags though, just so I can keep my flow clear.

Framework: "When I walked into my first debate practice, they didn't hand me a rule book" - LaToya Green. Debate does not inherently have any rules, so theoretical framework is just an argument trying to convince me as a judge to adopt a rule for the debate round. If you don't do a good job telling why debate should be constrained to whatever definition you want me to constrain it to, I will default to the interpretation that debate has no rules and the aff will stand. Know the difference between theoretical framework arguments and substantive ones (theoretical being things like fairness, decisionmaking, simulation good, policy education good and substantive being policy debate good for x movement of the aff, institutional engagement k2 solving aff etc), and clearly delineate them so your framework arguments as a whole are cohesive. All that being said, if the aff doesn't make sense to me, my threshold for voting on framework goes way down, but probably don't count on that as a way to win framework. Personally, I prefer the substantive framework args, especially if you do some tricky stuff with cross-apps to case or with TVA's/CP's. I'll listen to most anything, though. In most recent debates I've been in where framework has featured, it seems like most teams really think that "debate is a game" is enough explanation for why fairness is an intrinsic impact; it very clearly is not. Even if you win that debate is a game, you have not necessarily won that debate should be a game, and because framework is a question of what debates should look like, well, you lose. It could just be that poor quality of debating, but I can't remember the last time I voted for fairness as an intrinsic impact -- you can try to buck that trend, of course, but it's probably more strategic forget fairness and talk about other impacts to framework OR that fairness is the internal link to something else.

Theory: Generally cool with theory. Condo's fun. You can probably keep the same reading speed while going through your standards, but being clear with a short pause and/or a loud "AND" when switching to the next standard makes it much easier for me to flow, and thus less likely I'll miss your arguments. Becoming increasingly fond of wiki/disclosure theory (still not my favorite thing in the world), and I'll be quick to vote if there's some hijinx going on with how you disclose before the round to try and give yourself a competitive advantage. RVI's are a no-go for me, pal; I get them in LD, but in Policy you have more than enough time to actually answer stuff that there's really nothing you're losing that you couldn't fix by just being a bit more efficient. Sorry.

Other: debate is meaningless in the end, so please don't take it too seriously and get too competitive. the only bad experiences i had in debate were when people thought they were superior for whatever reason and let it show; don't be that person. it's a place to learn and have fun with some cool people, so i try to maintain that in every round that im judging. have a good time, this is a rewarding activity regardless of if you win or not. for my sake and yours, try your best to not make the round boring. while I try my best to judge rounds in the way debaters expect me to (whatever that may mean), i thoroughly believe that the way judges decide are fundamentally random (i.e. I could have sat in shit earlier in the day and that changes the way I decide since im mad that I sat in shit). If your strength is the technical/traditional way of debating, all power to you, but don't underestimate your opponent's willingness to be experimental. logical appeals aren't the only way to convince someone something is true, and if your opponent does a better job convincing me to judge based on how i feel rather than how i evaluate things "objectively", don't be upset that I go in that direction. Conversely, if you're that type of debater, feel free to do some weird shit as long as you think it'll work (don't make me cringe lol); it's a high-risk/high-reward move that I encourage you to try out if you want something fresh. I've gotten in the habit of flowing each speech straight down since nobody does particularly clear line-by-line anymore, but I'll match things up on the flow when I'm deciding (idk how this changes how you give speeches, but do with this info what you will). I also do not have a good poker face and make a lot of odd faces while judging, sorry if that freaks you out but i can't particularly control it; read the faces at your own peril. For speaker points bonuses you can do one of two things: 1) Make a *good*, contextual reference to bob dylan and/or young thug, 2) make a *good* joke about one or more of the following people: izak dunn's mustache, manav sevak, nikpreet singh, jinnie xie, alyssa hoover, elyse kats, or rohit rajan. I don't write much on my ballots (unless it is an important round that I force myself to evaluate for longer than may be necessary, or a round that actually does warrant a longer, written-out RFD) but I give very thorough commentary after the round and I want you to ask me questions and write down the things that I say, or else there's really not a point to me or you being there. I'm also always open to discuss anything (debate-related and otherwise) with you, find me on facebook or email me at

For the other debates:

Having had to coach one lad in LD for the past year, I've developed some thoughts on the activity that may be relevant to you, if for some reason you have to deal with the perils of having me as a judge. For what it's worth, if both of the debaters have agreed to run the round as the mutated, gross, slug-like abomination you all refer to as "progressive" (it really means anything but! words mean things!) debate, then effectively everything in the above section applies to you. Everything in the "Other" section likely applies to your regardless of how you debate. If not, the following is what you should keep in mind: LD's value lies precisely in its form, and while that form may shift (I certainly am not some sort of reactionary that believes you ought to lose if you don't tell me your Value, your Value Criterion, and remember to say "Thus I affirm/negate" at the end of your speeches), we ought to understand why that form existed in the first place, and how such forms color the way we debate things. What this means for you LDers is that you should not shy away from the central question of your event: ethics. It is upon the question of ethics LD (and all debate, really) lies, and to act as if you don't have an ethic (you most certainly do), or to obscure your ethic (which you all seem to have a great penchant for doing), is to shy away from any of the value of this activity. And this is precisely why the form of LD has existed as such (it's my view that what we call "the K", or at least its central questions, has existed in LD since LD's inception), with defenses of the whole resolution, with the Values and Value Criterions, with every case beginning with a Framework etc. I know you may feel that it is strategic to treat this as a one-person policy debate, and it very well may be in many cases, but that is just because you decided to make the switch before truly getting a grasp on why the activity has been as it is for so long. Tell me, what is the value of reading the K as an "off-case" position when the traditional case-structure already has the in-built mechanisms for making the criticisms you want to make? Of course this is rhetorical, and the answer I believe to be true is that it is cowardice. Stop being cowards. Take a stand upon your ethics (even if they are the conventionally boring ethics of our Kants and our Humes and our Benthams, that purely English phenomenon himself [speaker point bonus if you know who called Bentham a purely english phenomenon]) and tell me why I as a judge should stand upon the same grounds you have chosen to stand on. And I bet (after a year of teching unsuspecting folks down on this very question when they did not expect it) that you will find competitive success in doing so.

I really don't understand this activity. I don't think it's possible for me to have any sort of stable, objective, or predictable method of judging PF because I'm not really sure if PF debate exists (I suppose I'll decide to explain what I mean by this as I'm writing the rest of this section, or maybe it will just become evident, though it likely does not mean what you think it means). To be fair, I don't think I have that for any form of debate really, but it's especially erratic when dealing with your lot. I suppose you should just do what you do, but I really have a low, low, LOW tolerance for inane stupidity, which is what I've had to deal with in the PF rounds I have had the displeasure of judging thus far (except one, which was surprisingly very good for a novice debate). If Policy and LD suffer from an over-reliance on the logical appeal, PF has the opposite problem where the logical appeal is so rarely used (and I know you all believe yourselves to be making such appeals, you just aren't actually doing so) that the debate is just nothing-speak for whatever ridiculously short amount of time (the only redeemable aspect of this activity) you all are allotted to torture me with. So, all I ask is that you speak of something, and when you speak of something, you are referring to something that is not totally positioned in a fantasy dreamt up in the empty space of your brain in that moment. As such, do not say things like: "Islamic Terrorism kills millions of people every day", or "THAT IS YOUR BURDEN TO ANSWER" when it is clearly not, or [insert overtly racist comment about Black people here that you, for some reason or another, do not believe to be racist]. Instead, make significant reference to the authors that supposedly (I write supposedly because more often than not, there is absolutely no care for evidence in this activity) provide the warrants and data for your arguments, and by reference I mean that in the direct, verbatim sense, because in all likelihood they know far more than you do about whatever it is you're talking about this month, and they can say it in a much better way than you can. There is a reason the other forms of debate are so reliant on the "card" (pieces of evidence cut as needed), and it is because they realized a long, long time ago that having vague name-drops and out-of-context quotes plopped into a poorly-written 10th grade English paper does not a good debate make. All forms of communication require a mutual intelligibility, some level of stable ground upon which those doing the communicating can stand upon and hurl their signs, and hopefully that which those signs signify, at one another in the hope of arriving at some new sign, which hopefully also signifies something that was previously not signified. And this is why I believe PF does not exist as the other debate forms do: I do not believe you all have such a ground. You all speak but the words are not meant to transcend themselves, they are words for the sake of words, and in this sense maybe it is best to call PF a form of collaborative literature rather than debate. Anyways, this is not a problem that cannot be fixed, and really the fix is quite easy: develop a common point to stand on (reference to evidence), and then draw out the consequences of such references. If you treat your "debates" like this, you stand the chance of having actual debates (and the chance to win my ballot, which is likely what you care about the most as you finish reading this unnecessarily long section about an activity I will probably a judge a total of 2 more times in the rest of my life, and I don't really blame you for wanting the ballot).

Congress: In the words of Rolling Stone's Greil Marcus, reviewing Bob Dylan's 1969 album Self-Portrait, "what is this shit?"

Steve Clemmons Paradigm

6 rounds

Steve Clemmons

Debate Coach, Saratoga HS, proving that you can go home again.

Former Associate Director of Forensics University of Oregon, Santa Clara University, Debate Coach Saratoga High School

Years in the Activity: 20+ as a coach/director/competitor (Weber, LMU, Macalester, SCU and Oregon for college) (Skyline Oakland, Saratoga, Harker, Presentation, St. Vincent, New Trier, Hopkins, and my alma mater, JFK-Richmond R.I.P. for HS) (Weber State, San Francisco State as a competitor)

How to WIN THE DAY (to borrow from the UO motto)

1. TALK ABOUT THE TOPIC. The current debate topic gives you a lot of ground to talk about the topic and that is the types of debates that I prefer to listen to. If you are a team or individual that feels as though the topic is not relevant, then DO NOT PREF ME, or USE A STRIKE.

2. If you are attempting to have a “project” based debate (and who really knows what it means to have a project in today's debate world) then I should clearly understand the link to the topic and the relevance of your “project” to me. It can't always be about you. I think that many of the structural changes you are attempting to make do not belong in the academic ivory tower of debate. They belong in the streets. The people you are talking about most likely have never seen or heard a debate round and the speed in which some of this comes out, they would never be able to understand. I should know why it is important to have these discussions in debate rounds and why my ballot makes a difference. (As an aside, no one really cares about how I vote, outside the people in the round. You are going to have to convince me otherwise. This is my default setting.)

3.Appeals to my background have no effect on my decision. (Especially since you probably do not know me and the things that have happened in my life.) This point is important to know, because many of your K authors, I have not read, and have no desire to. (And don't believe) My life is focused on what I call the real world, as in the one where my bills have to be paid, my kid educated and the people that I love having food, shelter and clothing. So, your arguments about why debate is bad or evil, I am not feeling and may not flow. Debate is flawed, but it is usually because of the debaters. The activity feeds me and my family, so think about that before you speak ill about the activity, especially since you are actively choosing to be involved


They are independent of win/loss, although there is some correlation there. I will judge people on the way that they treat their partner, opponents and judge. Don' t think that because I have revealed the win, that your frustration with my decision will allow you to talk slick to me. First, I have no problem giving you under ten speaker points. Second, I will leave the room, leaving you talking to yourself and your partner. Third, your words will have repercussions, please believe.


One of my basic rules for debate is that all time comes from somewhere. The time limits are already spelled out in the invite, so I will stick to that. Think of it as a form of a social contract.

With understanding that time comes from somewhere, there is no invisible pool of prep time that we are to use for flashing evidence over to the other team. Things would be much simpler if you got the cards DURING CX/Crossfire. You should either have a viewing computer, have it printed out, or be willing to wait until the speech is over. and use questioning time to get it.

Evidence that you read in PF, you should have pulled up before the round. It should not take minutes to find evidence. If you are asking for it, it is coming out of your prep time. If it is longer than 20 seconds to find the evidence, it is coming out of the offending teams time.


This should be primarily between the person who just spoke and the person who is not preparing to speak. Everyone gets a turn to speak and ask/answer questions. You are highlighting a difference in ability when you attempt to answer the questions for your partner, and this will be reflected on your speaker points. Crossfire for PF should really be the one question, one answer format. If you ask a question, then you should fall back and answer one from your opponent, or at least ask if a follow up is acceptable. It is not my fault if your question is phrased poorly. Crossfire factors into my speaker points. So, if you are allowing them to railroad you, don't expect great points. If you are attempting to get a bunch of questions in without allowing the other side to ask, same thing, it will be reflected in your points.

Evidence in PF

My background is in policy debate and LD as a competitor. I like evidence and the strategy behind finding it and deploying it in the round. I wish PF would read cards. But, paraphrasing is a thing. Your paraphrase should be textual, meaning that you should be able to point to a paragraph of two in the article that makes your point. Handing someone the article is not good enough. If you can't point to where in the article your argument is being made, then all the other team has to do is point this out, and I will ignore it.

This is far from complete, but feel free to ask me about any questions you might have before the round.

Matt Conrad Paradigm

6 rounds

Since the judge philosophies wiki has been taken down, here's a temporary statement until I find my original Word file.

I'm a USC debate alum and have coached national circuit LD and policy at both La Reina High School and Polytechnic School in Southern California. Thus far, I've had kids in TOC policy finals and octos for Poly while we've had several nationally ranked kids at La Reina.

My basic philosophy in debate is to only intervene as minimally as possible. I do my best to keep an accurate flow and am happy to discuss rounds AFTER I upload my decision, so we don't make the tournament run late. That said, my background outside of speech and debate is in show business where you actually have to get things done. Thus, in a debate context, I want to know what it is that I'm voting for. If we're talking about solvency or some form of oppression, what does that mean in terms of dollars and lives.

Beyond that, I'm open to voting for whatever you run. The round belongs to you.

And politically, I'm a moderate/Bill Clinton Democrat.

Please include me on the email chain:

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

Alex Fan Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated for Hamilton High School. 2A for 3 years, 1A for 1 year

Housekeeping things:

-Include me on the email chain:

-I won’t disclose until the room is put back in order.


Please explain your acronyms as I haven't judged many rounds on this topic.
Quality > Quantity. It's your debate, debate what you want (also means read args that you're comfortable on).

Love K's of any kind.

T/FW is alright, just make sure to impact everything.

DA/CPs are chill if they're specific.

Be understandable, do clash for me, do the work for me, esp. in last two speeches.

I listen to CX (even if it looks like I don't) and it is binding.

Flashing isn't prep.

Debate well, don't be mean, don't be offensive, respect each other.

Speaker Points

20: you did something extremely offensive/disrespectful/hostile

27.5-28.4: mediocre; prob not breaking
28.5-28.9: good; maybe breaking 4-2
29-29.4: very good; prob breaking
29.5-30: excellent; top speaker quality

Specific Arguments

Affirmatives--Any style or way you want to present your affirmative is fine with me, just be sure you can justify it. Admittedly, I am not well versed with performance-based aff, so please explain to me what your performance means in and out of the round. Affirmatives should at least talk about the topic and anti-topical affs are definitely not legit.

*new thing. I find myself increasingly less enjoying big-stick policy affs, mainly because the debates tend to be just overly fast and blippy. If you ARE planning on running those kinds of affs, then i would highly suggest making good extrapolations of internal link chains and impact probability analysis.

Case-- I usually go by the offense/defense paradigm here even though it's probably not realistic. I just find it easier to evaluate debates this way sans a very robust analysis of impact defense in the 2nr. Try not to contradict here; however, if you can contextualize your arguments well to the affirmative a case debate is very impressive to see. Try to avoid making this debate "not my [insert some author]" and actually have a contextualized debate here. Line by line analysis as opposed to long generic overviews are preferred.

Counterplans--You must have a good analysis of how you resolve the net benefit of the CP if you're going for it. Neg must explain how they are competitive and should be preferred over the affirmative. Evidence should be good and actually say what you want it to say if you want me to vote for you. Theory is often insufficient unless entirely dropped. Also I default to reject the arg on CP theory, unless specifically spun to be reject the team.

Disads-- Most DA’s are chill. They probably all have very tenuous link chains that can be exploited. So exploit them. Impact comparison is also very important. Tell me why I should care. For ptx specifically, don’t speed through it. Intrinsicness is probably true, but you still have to argue the theoretical implications for me to evaluate it.

Kritik--This is where I spent most my debate career. I think K's are good as long as you can explain them well. If you are personally passionate about an argument, and it shows, your speaker points will likely be higher (this goes for affirmatives as well). I tend to think arguments about identity in debate are important, and play an important part in effecting the community. That being said most of my experience is with the "high theory" side of K's. Regardless of what kind of critical argument you read, I will NOT do the work for you. Tell me what your K is, why it matters, and why I should vote for you. If your only link in the 2NR is a state bad link, then you're prob not on the winning side. K's should not be a sketchy attempt to dodge clash, find a way to clash with your opponent and make the debate productive for everyone. I won't kick the alt for you. Most other K tricks, while cheap shots, are acceptable.

Also the question of perms is always an issue in a K vs. K debate. Someone please tell me what the perm means in the round or tell me why a method vs. method debate doesn't get a permutation.

T/FW--I treat framework debates like I would any topicality debate. Be sure to impact out anything you go for otherwise I'll probably prefer their impacts. Reverse voting issues are dumb, but I'll still vote for them if done well. If against a non-traditional affirmative try to provide an interpretation where they could still raise there issue, and not out right exclude them. It will be an uphill battle if you come in with the "non-traditional affirmative are wrong" mindset. Otherwise treat T/FW like a DA, I want to see how they link, what that does, why that's bad, and why I should care.

Theory--Theory is often not enough for me to vote for you unless there is a serious violation or the other team just dropped it. Give me examples of how they violate and how that is effecting you. I have a high threshold for these arguments; however, am more often convinced by the "drop the argument, not the team" plea for theory.
Also for Condo specifically, I will probably not vote on it unless there's some serious abuse and it's well extrapolated in the 2AR.

Other stuff

  • Flashing is not prep
  • please clash
  • jokes are cool
  • caring about your arguments is cool
  • don't be mean
  • don't exclude people
  • don't discriminate against people
  • have fun
  • be chill
  • If you can make a joke about your existential dread, Malhar Patel, Tanzil Chowdhury, Nikpreet Singh, or Quinn Zapata, then you’ll get an extra .5 speaker point.

Ryan Ferdowsian Paradigm

3 rounds

Conflicts: Desert Vista, Chandler Prep

Yes email chain:

I debated at Chandler Prep for 3 years and currently debate for ASU

LD-specific section at the bottom


- I don't care what types of arguments you read, as long as they're (a) well-explained and warranted and (b) well-impacted out (by which I broadly mean implication-work as to why winning your args wins you my ballot, not just straight impact-calc)

- Framing is key, especially in the last 2 rebuttals - you're not going to win everything, so tell me what's most important for my decision and deal with what the other team is saying is most important

- I default to an offense-defense paradigm unless told otherwise

- I won't judge kick unless 2nr says so. For both sides: don't let the 'judge kick good/bad' debate start in the 2nr/2ar, esp. if the status of the CP is clarified earlier. The neg should say 'status quo is always a logical option' or even something more explicit in the 2nc for 'judge kick good' not to be new in the 2nr; similarly, aff should say judge kick bad before the 2ar, even when not extending condo bad as such in the 1ar. If the first times I hear the words judge kick are in last two rebuttals, I'll be forced to actually evaluate all the new 2ar args, so don't let that happen neg

- I might not know as much as you about the intricate, technical aspects of the topic, so be clear and slow on topic-specific phrases/acronyms, especially with T


- 2acs are generally terrible on case, the block should point this out, exploit it, and protect itself from new 1ar stuff

- Good case debating by the neg (and aff) = good speaks

Topicality v policy affs:

- I default competing interps. I've personally never understood intuitively or theoretically how one would decide whether an aff is "reasonably" T or not, so if you're going for reasonability on the aff, make sure you are very clear on what that means/how judges would determine reasonability under that frame or I'll be persuaded by the neg saying reasonability is arbitrary

- I usually view the relative interpretations as 'advocacies' the provide uniqueness for/solve each side's offense and the standards on both sides as net benefits/advantages to that standard/disads to the other, like a CP+DA debate. (If you don't want me to view it that way you should tell me). This means that impact calc is super important, eg "aff ground outweighs limits", "precision outweighs", etc.


- I'd love to hear a super in-depth "condo bad" debate, if the aff goes for this and does it well I'll probably give pretty good speaks

(Personal opinion: condo is good; being neg is hard; but I can be easily persuaded otherwise.)

- Everything else: I default to rejecting the argument, not the team; if you want me to reject the team, explain why it's justified/what the (preferably in-round, not just potential) abuse is

- The CP+DA thing from the Topicality section above applies here too, which means interpretations matter a lot (a good example of this is that the aff going for "states CPs with uniformity are not allowed, non-uniform states CPs are allowed" would solve a lot of neg offense while also allowing you to go for unique offense to uniformity being uneducational, cheating, etc.)


- "DA turns case" is important and should be answered in the 1ar

- "DA solves case" is underutilized

-*Impact calc* - not just magnitude/probability/TF but also filtering arguments (e.g. 'heg solves everything'), filters for evidence-quality ('prefer our empirics over speculation'), etc.

- Again, I default offense-defense but I am ok with concluding that there is 0% risk of a DA. It's really important for the aff to be explicit when doing this (e.g. say something like "offense defense is bad for policymaking and decision-making")


- I'm probably much more open to theoretically cheating CPs than most judges, just win the theory debate (for this, confer above on Topicality).

- Really techy CPs should be explained in the 2nc/1nr to a certain dumbed-down level

Ks v Policy Affs:

- *FW matters a lot; the negative needs to set up a framing for the debate that shifts the question the ballot is answering away from whether the plan is better than the status quo/some competitive option, or at least provides a very specific set of criteria about how that question should be answered (e.g. ontological come first, reps first, etc.). Make sure to be clear about *what winning framework means for how I write my ballot*; i.e. does it mean I refuse to evaluate the consequences of the plan altogether? or just that the way in which I evaluate it changes? or something else?

- If you don't make FW args in the 2nc (at least implicitly), 2ac args like "Perm: double bind", "alt fails/is utopian", "state inevitable", or "extinction outweighs" become serious threats if extended well by the aff.

- The 2nc/2nr should explain your theory of how the world works and explain why I should think it's true relative to their policymaking stuff - isolating a specific section of the flow where you explain your theory (especially with high-theory kritiks), or just weaving it into the Line by Line, can go a long way

- Examples are always good for K debate, in all its different components

- Aff args I find true/persuasive: extinction outweighs, institutions matter, debate is a game, perm (if alt is explained as a CP instead of as a framework argument).

- *I honestly don't care if you're going to read a long 2nc overview, but please be honest about it before the speech so I can get a new sheet of paper (I'll probably flow on paper, not laptop); I try hard to maintain the Line by line would prefer you just be up-front about it.

FW versus K affs:

- I have read K affs against FW, but I have also read FW against K affs, so I'd like to think I'm not too ideological when it comes to these debates. My voting record in these debates is probably ~60/40 in favor of the neg on FW, usually due to a lack of well-warranted arguments as to why the neg's model is bad (instead of buzzwords) as well as a lack of answer to significant defensive claims like TVA/SSD.

- *Impact framing is paramount in these debates: the impacts the two teams are going for are often radically different -- e.g., how should I weigh a slight risk of unfairness against a risk of the neg's model of debate being a bit neoliberal/racist/X-ist? I'll probably end up voting for whoever does a better job answering these types of questions

- For the neg: TVA is important but Switch side is really underutilized as a defensive argument imo.

- Fairness can be an impact in and of itself if you explain why, although, all else being even, it's probably not the best 2nr impact in front of me since it begs the question of the value of the game it supports.

- Better neg impacts to FW for me: clash, dogmatism, truth-testing, even institutions good offense

- Limits and ground are (probably) just internal links, not impacts

- For the aff: *explain a clear vision of what your model of debate looks like under your interp*.

- I'm down for the extremist K strats that just impact turn every standard the neg goes for, but I'm also down for running more to the middle and explaining why your model is still topical/debatable 'enough' but with some significant net benefits over theirs. If you're doing the latter, your interp should be super well-explained in the context of their limits/predictability offense

K v K:

- These can be some of the best or some of the worst debates - worst when neither side gets beyond tagline extensions, best when each side speaks as if they were an actual scholar in whatever field they're deploying, doing comparative analysis of the other team's theories in relation to their own

- Impact calc and framing is crucial, esp. in rounds where both sides are discussing some identity-related oppression impacts. This doesn't mean saying certain lives or groups matter more than others, it's precisely to avoid that: you all should discuss your theories of the world in ways that don't put me in the position of having to 'pit' certain lives against one another, otherwise I'll have a rough time and so will you

- I'm down for not giving the aff a perm in these debates, BUT it's got to be explained much further than "no perms in a methods debate" - that's not a warranted argument. To win this, the neg should explain why perms in debates where no one advocates gov. action are uneducational, unfair, incoherent, bad for radical pedagogy, etc. and, ideally, also provide an alternate model for what the burden of rejoinder looks like if the neg doesn't have to win that the K is an opportunity cost to the aff.

- Cf. "K v Policy Aff" section above on long 2nc Overviews


1. Fair warning: I tend to vote neg... a lot, seemingly too much, usually on technical concessions in the 2ar (damn speech structures).

To deal with this if you're aff:

- make sure you win your case - I've noticed I have a tendency to vote neg on presumption when the NR makes some circumvention args that the 2AR just straight-up drops in the last speech.

- also, make sure you frame the debate for me such that, even if there are some tech-y drops, I'm more likely to vote for you

2. Full disclosure: I don't get LD theory, like, at all. I don't really get RVI's, I don't know how they function, and I'm convinced most LD'ers don't either, so generally, if theory is your thing, just be very clear on these three components of theory debates: (a) interps, (b) violations, and (c) standards. As long as that basic template is there in some form, I can do my best.

Random things:

- I probably won't read that many cards unless it's brought up in the debate or I'm stealing your cites

- Flashing isn't prep but be quick

- Clipping means you lose and will get bad speaks; I'll try to follow whatever the tournament procedure is for this

- Extra speaks to anyone who brings me some flavored iced coffee beverage/bothered to read this far down.

Good luck!

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.

Robbins Gray Paradigm

2 rounds

Not Submitted

Nate Graziano Paradigm

6 rounds

Policy Coach at Kent Denver School. HS Policy, NDT/CEDA, NPTE/NPDA Competitor.

> Please include me on email chains - <

TL;DR - I like judge instruction. I'll vote for or against K 1ACs based on Framework. Clash of Civilization debates are the majority of rounds I watch. I vote frequently on dropped technical arguments, and will think more favorably of you if you play to your outs. The ballot is yours, your speaker points are mine. Your speech overview should be my RFD. Tell me what is important, why you win that, and why winning it means you get the ballot.

Note to coaches and debaters - I give my RFDs in list order on how I end up deciding the round, in order of how I resolved them. Because of this, I also upload my RFD word for word with the online ballot. I keep a pretty good record of rounds I've judged, so if anyone has any questions about any decision I've made on Tabroom please feel free to reach out at my email above.

1. Tech > Truth

The game of debate is lost if I intervene and weigh what I know to be "True." The ability to spin positions and make answers that fit within your side of the debate depend on a critic being objective to the content. That being said, arguments that are based in truth are typically more persuasive in the long run.

I'm very vigilant about intervening and will not make "logical conclusions" on arguments if you don't do the work to make them so. If you believe that the negative has the right to a "judge kick" if you're losing the counterplan and instead vote on the status quo in the 2NR, you need to make that explicitly clear in your speech.

More and more I've made decisions on evidence quality and the spin behind it. I like to reward knowledgeable debaters for doing research and in the event of a disputable, clashing claim I tend to default to card quality and spin.

I follow along in the speech doc when evidence is being read and make my own marks on what evidence and highlighting was read in the round.

2. Theory/Topicality/Framework

Most rounds I judge involve Framework. While I do like these debates please ensure they're clashing and not primarily block reading. If there are multiple theoretical frameworks (ex. A RotB, A RotJ, FW Interp) please tell me how to sort through them and if they interact. I tend to default to policy-making and evaluating consequences unless instructed otherwise.

For theory violations - I usually need more than "they did this thing and it was bad; that's a voter" for me to sign my ballot, unless it was cold conceded. If you're going for it in the 2NR/2AR, I'd say a good rule of thumb for "adequate time spent" is around 2:00, but I would almost prefer it be the whole 5:00.

In the event that both teams have multiple theoretical arguments and refuse to clash with each other, I try to resolve as much of the framework as I can on both sides. (Example - "The judge should be an anti-ethical decision maker" and "the affirmative should have to defend a topical plan" are not inherently contradicting claims until proven otherwise.)

Winning framework is not the same as winning the debate. It's possible for one team to win framework and the other to win in it.

Procedural Fairness can be both an impact and an internal link. I believe it's important to make debate as accessible of a place as possible, which means fairness can be both a justification as well as a result of good debate practices.

3. Debate is Story Telling

I'm fond of good overviews - round vision, and understanding how to write a singular winning ballot at the end, is something I tend to reward. To some extent, telling any argument as a chain of events with a result is the same process that we use when telling stories. Being able to implicate your argument as a clash of stories can be helpful for everyone involved.

I do not want to feel like I have to intervene to make a good decision. I will not vote on an argument that was not said or implied by one of the debaters in round. I feel best about the rounds where the overview was similar to my RFD.

4. Critical Arguments

I am familiar with most critical literature. I also do a lot of topic specific research and love politics debates. Regardless of what it is, I prefer if arguments are specific, strategic, and well executed. Do not be afraid of pulling out your "off-the-wall" positions - I'll listen and vote on just about anything.

As a critic and someone who enjoys the activity, I would like to see your best strategy that you've prepared based on your opponent, rather than what you think I would like. Make the correct decision about what to read based on your opponent's weaknesses and your strengths.

Debate that includes narration, personal experience, or autobiographical accounts is fine. I've voted for it frequently in the past.

Don't hesitate to email me or ask my opinions on framework before the round if it's a concern of yours.

5. Speaker Points

I believe that the ballot is yours, but your speaker points are mine. If you won the arguments required to win the debate round, you will receive the ballot from me regardless of my personal opinion on execution or quality. Speaker points are a way for judges to reward good speaking and argumentation, and dissuade poor practice and technique. Here are some things that I tend to reward debaters for-

- Debate Sense. When you show you understand the central points in the debate. Phrases like "they completely dropped this page" only to respond to line by line for 3 minutes annoy me. If you're behind and think you're going to lose, your speaker points will be higher if you acknowledge what you're behind on and execute your "shot" at winning.

- Clarity and organization are appreciated. Numbered flows, references to authors or tags on cards, and word economy are valued highly. I also like it when you know the internals and warrants of your arguments/evidence.

- Judge instruction. I know it sounds redundant at this point, but you can quite literally just look at me and say "Nate, I know we're behind but you're about to vote on this link turn."

I will disclose speaker points after the round if you ask me. The highest speaker points I've ever given out is a 29.7. A 28.5 is my standard for a serviceable speech, while a 27.5 is the bare minimum needed to continue the debate. My average for this last season was around a 28.7-28.8.

Donovan Guiga Paradigm

Not Submitted

Logan Guthrie Paradigm

3 rounds

Logan Guthrie

Arizona State University

I competed in LD for Mountain View High School and now compete in policy debate at ASU

K vs. Policy Affs

- Framework is really important. The K doesn't make much strategic sense if it doesn't re-orient the way I view my ballot or the round itself. Explain why ontological or epistemological considerations come before policy-making

- I generally view the permutation as a test of competition which makes arguments like "moving target" an uphill battle. That being said, if you explain why the permutation is bordering performative advocacy, I am more prone to these arguments

- Alt's don't need to 'solve' the links of the criticism if you win framework. Just explain why the ballot is only a question of orientation, or a referendum on ethics, etc.

K vs. FW

- Both sides should spend a significant amount of time on impact framing. How do I weigh a slight risk of unfairness against the risk of FW reproducing fascism? The debater(s) that answer(s) that question best is probably going to win

- Aff's should provide a clear model of what debate looks like under their counter-interp

- TVA's with an explicit text are more persuasive to me than general assertions that the aff could have been topical

- Slow down for techy analytic dumps. If there are sub-points (a) through (g), and you want me to flow all of them, don't spread at the pace you would when reading cards

K vs. K

- As is the case in theory, comparative analysis is really important. Re-explaining their theory of the world or a particular structure through the lens of your own literature base is persuasive

- Be sure to emphasize the terminal impacts of the kritik(s).

Ex. Neoliberalism is an internal-link, not an impact


- I probably won't be familiar with all of the acronyms and mechanism debates within the topic, so techy CP's should be explained in the 2nc/1nr to a greater degree


- Unlike most, I don't really have any predispositions regarding theory interps. Go for condo bad, RVI's good, whatever. Win the standards and you have my ballot

- Theory debates can get really messy, especially with competing interps, so comparative analysis or weighing between standards is key. Theory debates shouldn't be decided by who read the most reasons to prefer their mode of debate. Quality > quantity


- Flashing isn't prep

- I usually only read cards if they are flagged

- Please clean up the room before you leave, it helps the tournament directors out a lot

Sam Haley-Hill Paradigm

3 rounds


I've been around a long time. I've seen a lot of conventional wisdom come and go. I don't always agree with the consensus of the moment. Be fast, be clear, read a K and/or a counterplan.

Speed? - Yes

Open CX? - Sure, but if you aren't involved somewhat, your speaker points suffer.

When does prep time stop? - When you cease to alter your speech doc and to talk about the debate with your partner.

Judge Disclosure - Unless the tournament has some terrible counter-educational policy preventing it (looking at you, NCFL).

Can I read (X argument)? Yes, if it's not hideously offensive.

T? - Reasonability (whew - really feels good to be honest there)

Will you vote on disclosure theory? - No. Disclosure is a good community norm which I support, but I do not think ballots can or should enforce this norm. The exception would be if you can prove that someone straight up lied to you.

Tech over truth? - Yes, but I think people often take this way too far.

Want to be on the email chain? - Yes, but know that I won't look at the docs until the debate is over.

Please send docs to:



Years Judging: 12
Years Debated: 4

I currently run the debate program at St. Francis H.S. in Mountain View, CA.

I debated for four years in high school for Nevada Union (1998-2002) during which time I made two TOC appearances. I did not debate for Berkeley during my time there, but I was an assistant coach for the College Preparatory School from 2002-2006. After that, I was off the circuit for a few years because I moved to Hong Kong for a year and then went to graduate school. 2010-2011 was my first year back. I worked for New Trier for a year after that and at Nevada Union from 2011-2012. After that I went back to CPS for three more years. This is my third year at Saint Francis. I have judged a lot for a long time.

Tech Over Truth - This is not dogma

I think that the phrase "tech over truth" is just as vacuous as its inverse, "truth over tech." I honestly have no idea what either of these slogans is trying to say, but I do know that people who repeat either of them incessantly tend to make decisions that I don't get.

"Tech" is just as subjective as "truth" because whether someone's embedded clash has answered something, whether an argument has a warrant, whether someone has explained something enough to have extended it, etc. are all judgement calls at some level anyhow.

I think that dropped arguments are conceded. I think that I should refrain from dismissing arguments that I don't agree with. I think that arguments which I think are bad should still win the debate if the debater advancing them has argued better than the opponent. I guess that's tech over truth?

At the same time, I am the kind of judge who thinks that one strong, well-developed argument can be more important than three weak, underdeveloped ones. I don't think that the concession of a less significant argument necessarily outweighs a more significant argument that is won despite contestation. Is that truth over tech? Is this whole tech vs. truth binary kind of pointless?

My bumper sticker slogan would be something like: "Analysis over blips."

Speaker Points - No, you can't have a 30.

It used to go without saying that I award speaker points solely based on how well I feel the debaters performed in each round. These days, it seems that I need to say that I will continue to do this regardless of what anyone else does and regardless of what debaters tell me to do during the debate.

I think that there's a performative/communicative aspect to this activity. Speak persuasively and your points will improve.

Try to be nice.

Judge Disclosure - I do it.

I'll disclose my decision and talk about the round with you in depth afterwards. I remember getting a lot out of post-round discussions when I was a debater, and I hope I can pass something along. If your analytics are in your speech docs for my later reference, I'll even give you my flows.

Speed - Go ahead, but be clear

I can flow any rate of delivery.

Lately, someone out there has been telling high school debaters to slow down and emphasize tags. Stop it, whoever you are. This advice implies that I don't care about the text of the card. In fact, I care about how you tagged the card far, far less than I care about what the text of the card actually says. When you slow down for the tag, but slosh unintelligably through the card, you are implying that I can't understand high speed and that the actual card text is a mere formality. If this is so, you may as well just paraphrase the card like a PF debater.

Believe it or not, I actually can understand your card at high speeds if you read it clearly. I'm actually flowing what the card says. Often as not, I won't flow your (often misleading) tag at all.

I'll yell "clear" at you if you're not being clear. I'll do this twice before putting my pen down and pointedly glaring at you.

Line By Line - Please and Thank You

I'll look at evidence, sure, but I will be grumpy if you make me sort out a huge rat's nest of implied and unexplained clash for you. I am a believer in directly responsive line-by-line debate. I think that explaining warrants is good, but comparing warrants is better.

Framework - Can't we all just get along?

I am one of the last folks out there who won't take a side. I vote neg on framework sometimes; I vote aff on framework sometimes. I think framework debates are kind of fundamental to the activity. I'm up for any kind of argument. I love a good K debate, but I'm equally pleased to adjudicate a game of competing policy options. Run what you love. In my heart, I probably don't care if there's a plan text, but I'll vote for theory arguments demanding one if the better debating is done on that side. Please don't read offensive/amoral arguments.

Conditionality - Yeah, sure, whatever

I think one or two conditional CP's and a K is just fine. You can win a debate on conditionality being more permissive than that or being bad altogether. I won't intervene.

T - I am different from the folks at Michigan

I think that winning complete or nearly complete defense on T is sufficient for the aff even in a world of competing interpretations. If the aff meets, they meet. I'm unlikely to give this RFD: "Even though you're winning a we meet, the neg interpretation is better, so any risk that you don't meet etc etc." Ever since someone told me back in 1999 that T should be evaluated like a DA, I have not agreed. It's a procedural issue, not a predictive claim about the consequences of implementing a policy. As such, I evaluate T procedurally. Whether or not the aff meets is a binary question, not a linear risk.

I think sometimes people think that "competing interpretations" means "the smallest interpretation should win." To me, smallest is not necessarily best. Sure, limits are a big deal, but there is such a thing as over-limiting. There are also other concerns that aren't limits per se, like education, ground, and predictability.

I can be persuaded otherwise in a debate, but I think we should evaluate T through the lens of reasonability.

Open Cross Ex - Yeah

Just make sure that you're involved somewhat or I'll hammer your speaks.

Disclosure theory

Stop it. People choose to disclose as a courtesy. It is not and should not be a requirement. I tell all my teams to disclose. I think you should disclose. If you choose not to, so be it.

If you make a disclosure theory argument, I will ignore you until you move on to something else.

I always find it sadly hilarious when big, brand-name programs tell me that disclosure is good for small schools. It most definitely is not. The more pre-round prep becomes possible, the more that coaching resources can be leveraged to influence debates. That's why the most well-resourced programs tend to be the most aggressive about disclosure theory.

Mark Hernandez Paradigm

6 rounds


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who you think brought you the oldies

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

The Snoop D-O-double-G's

And the group that said motherfuck the police

Gave you a tape full of dope beats

To bump when you stroll through in your hood

And when your album sales wasn't doing too good

Who's the Doctor they told you to go see

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

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

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

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

Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say

But nothing comes out when they move their lips

Just a bunch of gibberish

And motherfuckers act like they forgot about Dre

Line by line:

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

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

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

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

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

John Hines Paradigm

3 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.

Aniruddh Kannan Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated for BASIS Chandler for 4 years. Experience in all speaker roles, primarily 2A/1N.

I am generally open to all arguments, as long as they are substantiated.

K's are great on either side of the debate. K affs should reasonably engage the topic. You should also be able to explain why your aff matters and more importantly you need to show how your aff solves anything. I hold the same standard on the neg, and I expect the alternative to be explained well throughout the debate and especially in the 2NR. I want to see clash and arguments interacting rather than just reading blocks, so don't read anything that you don't think you cannot explain. I will not do any work for you, especially when it comes to high theory.

I have a fairly high standard for framework, and it is almost always going to be an uphill battle. To win a framework debate I need to see extensive impact work. I spent most of my debate career running kritikal arguments on both sides and I generally am open to any form of kritikal/nontraditional debate. Ultimately I think that debate is an intellectual space so prove to me that you add to its value in some way.

CP/DA/policy stuff is fine. With policy affs, I expect to see more than generic links. I hate disads with weak links/internal links, so I expect to see a lot of work there if you plan on going for it.

Theory will almost never be enough for me to vote on. 5 off in a policy round is almost never abusive. I am sympathetic to performative contradiction issues especially with multiple k's, but otherwise it is usually not enough to vote on.

CX matters, don't waste it.

Don't be offensive.

Flashing is not prep.

This is in no way an exhaustive paradigm, so ask me about any specifics before the round.

Kajol Kapadia Paradigm

Hi I’m Kajol Kapadia! I’m a current student at Arizona State University and I’m studying Exonomics with a minor in history. In high school I participated in Policy Debate and Public Forum Debate, at ASU I’m a member of the Forensics team and compete in Policy Debate.

In terms of debate, I’m fine with speed and most arguments (including Kritiks). However, I haven’t seen a theory argument that I’m particularly fond of yet, but if you’re good at theory, go for it.

I’m okay with both partners speaking in cross-ex. If your partner says something during your speech I’ll flow it if you repeat it.

Keep good flows, if you flow, I’ll flow. Make sure you answer all arguments.

Overall, just be polite to your competitors and have a good Debate.

Elyse Kats Paradigm

6 rounds

Blue Valley High School 2016- 4 years of policy, LD, and congress
Arizona State University 2020- Current policy debater 

Please ask me any questions about this to clear anything up. Feel free to email me with any questions you may have after the round. 

In general- 
1) I prefer fast, clear, and technical debates; if you drop an arg it flows the other way. But please, do not try to go faster than you are able to. You need to do more than shadow extend cards. 
2) Clarity is more important than speed. I'll say clear once or twice if I can't hear every word you're saying, but after that you'll just lose speaks if it's not clear.  

Policy argument types:

Kritiks—I am not particularly well read in terms of literature, but I am more than willing to consider whatever you read. I have experience only in college with the K, so just make sure you're explaining everything well and I will be willing to vote on it.  

Counterplans—Explain the solvency advocate and I'll consider any type. 

Disads—I value impact calc heavily so make sure you're doing the proper analysis there, comparison is key. In terms of generic DA's I have a pretty high threshold for the link, so make sure you prove it.

Theory—I will vote on thoery in certain cases; however, I am more willing to reject the argument instead of the team. I usually think condo is good, but I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. In terms of other theoretical arguments I don't have an inherent bias either way. You should always disclose, and I will vote on disclosure theory (if you prove the impact). 

Topicality—I will definitely vote on T. However, if you explain why you're reasonably topical well I will default to reasonability. I view T like other arguments, if there's no link (violation) or impact (voters) then I won't vote on it. 
Framework- I used to be a very policy-based debater, but I am definitely willing to consider alternative frameworks now. In general, just make sure your explain framework well and I will consider any type. On the aff I don't think you need a plan text/ state action, but the neg can convince me otherwise. 


- I consider the value/ criterion debate first, make sure you do enough analysis here and challenge it first. If that debate becomes a wash I will default to the solvency/ impacts on the contentions.

- I'm willing to consider critical positions/ cases

- Look to my policy paradigm for further elaboration

Leonardo 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]".

Michael Kurtenbach Paradigm

2 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.

Tyler Lyons Paradigm

6 rounds


Holden Martinson Paradigm

6 rounds

If you have any specific questions, please ask in round.

I don't disclose. I don't ask for evidence. I don't accept post-rounding. The round should be controlled by debaters, and anything that you feel is important to earning my ballot needs to be addressed in the round. Once completed, the round is out of sight and mind. Any critiques I have will go on the ballot. No one's opinion is worth an additional ten minutes of hearing themselves talk.

While I am flexible in terms of argumentation style, for PF and LD, I prefer traditional arguments. It's super easy to rest on jargon and to vomit a case. Brevity is becoming a lost skill in debate, and I like seeing it. If you think you can win on progressive arguments regardless, please present them.

In Policy and PF, I judge almost entirely on impact and framework. In LD, VC gets a little more weight, naturally. Voters are super helpful. Anything you drop is weighed against you.

Topicality is annoying, so please avoid running it. If you think you can swing Theory, do your darnedest. Kritiks are cool, too.

If you want to do speed, that's fine, but anything I can't understand can't go on my flow, and I'm not gonna correct you. You're in charge of your own performance.

FLASHING COMES OUT OF PREP, unless done before the 1AC. Also, if your preflow takes more than five minutes, I will dock speaks for each additional minute.

Clashing and some aggressiveness is fine, but if you're scoffing or snickering at any opponent, I'm going to be especially motivated to find reasons to drop you, obviously. Even if I like your argument or pick you up, I'm probably going to give you really low speaks. Respect the fact that your opponents also work hard to be in the same room as you.

When I call "time," nothing you say gets added to the flow. Simply stop speaking, because it's not going to be counted. No exceptions.

Most of all, if you have me as your judge, relax. It is debate. You're not defusing a bomb. You're not performing neurosurgery. You'll make it out of the round alive, and you'll probably go on to debate many other rounds. You want to do well, and a lot goes into that. You will be okay, regardless of how I vote.

Miscellaneous items that won't decide around, but could garner higher speaks

-Uses of the words, and various thereof, "flummoxed," "cantankerous," "trill," "inconceivable, "verisimilitude," and "betwixt"

-Quotes from television series Community, Steven Universe, Friday Night Lights, Arrested Development, and 30 Rock

-Knowing the difference between "asocial" and "antisocial"


Elise Matton Paradigm

6 rounds

Elise Matton, Assistant Debate Coach (CX, LD, and PF) at Albuquerque Academy since 2016

Email chain:



· Policy debater for Albuquerque Academy (2005-2010), mostly local circuit

· IPDA and NPDA parli debater for Tulane University (2011-2014), local and national circuit


· Isidore Newman (2012-2016), local and national circuit

· Tulane University (2014-2016), local and national circuit

· Crescent City Debate League (a New Orleans-based middle school debate league, 2011-2016)

Basically, I'm a big debate nerd. This means I have experience in a wide range of debate events, styles and circuits and feel fairly comfortable adjusting to whatever style you might compete in- national/local circuit styles are both fine, LARP/policymaking, K debate, traditional/stock LD, or PF are all fine. Read on, ask in round, or email me if there is anything in particular you would like clarification on. I consider them all useful events and styles, though because they emphasize different skill sets, I may approach judging them differently.


· Spread or don’t spread, I really don’t care either way. Speed is fine but I’ll probably like you a lot more if you spread in a way that doesn’t make you monotonal and boring to listen to. I do think there is a way to spread and still demonstrate strong speaking ability (varying volume, pacing, tone etc) and will probably reward you for it if you're doing both well. Go slower/clearer/or otherwise give vocal emphasis to key issues such as plan text or aff advocacy, CP texts, alts, ROB/ROJ, counter-interps, etc etc.

· I’m down for K positions, aff or neg, but you’ll probably want to read more about my background and preferences in the K section (see below) to figure out how best to access my ballot.

· Underviews/overviews are sadly under-utilized, and giving a super stellar one is a sure way to impress me and/or increase your likelihood of winning my ballot.

· Put me on the email chain ( but know I don't like reading documents while you're speaking (or ideally at all). I believe that your delivery and performance are important aspects of this activity and you have the burden of clearly articulating your points well enough that I shouldn't need to look at the docs at all.

· The most impressive debaters to me are ones who can handle intense high level technical debates, but who can make it accessible to a wide variety of audiences.

· Just because an argument is dropped doesn't necessarily mean I'll give you 100% weight on it if the warrants aren't there. Feel free to spend less time on it for obvious reasons if it was dropped, but don't feel bad when a bad hidden theory spike doesn't win you the round if you don't warrant it.

· The stoneface thing never really works for me and you’ll probably notice me either nodding occasionally or looking quizzically from time to time- if something sounds confusing or I’m not following you’ll be able to tell and can and should probably spend a few more seconds re-explaining that argument in another way. Note the nodding doesn't mean I necessarily agree with a point, just following it and think you're explaining it well. If you find this distracting please say so pre-round and I’ll make an effort not to do so.

· Post-rounding, aka arguing with the judge over an RFD at tournaments that allow disclosure, is unacceptable and disrespects the many generous adults and judges who make this activity possible. Although you are certainly more than welcome to ask a clarification question or for specific feedback about a speech or strategy, thinly-veiled questions that actually challenge or attempt to undermine the judge are clearly getting at VERY different things. Know the difference, and never engage in the latter. If you do, I will drop your speaks. I absolutely understand the frustration of losing a round you felt certain you wouldn't but ultimately 1) it's ONE round out of the many, many rounds you will engage in your debate career, keep this perspective in mind and 2) the best debaters I have ever met use those losses to fuel their drive to improve. If some response or extension was too muddled or poorly explained to make it into my decision calculus, I urge you to do a rebuttal re-do to make it clearer next time, and grow as a competitor in the process.

Role as a Judge

I see myself mostly as tab ras, though I of course have implicit bias like everyone else. What I mean by this is that I evaluate the arguments and debate as they are given to me, I don’t think you should have to cater completely to my preferences, and I attempt to do as little intervention as possible. I believe all types of judges are valid judges and that good debaters should be able to adapt to multiple audiences. Does this mean completely altering everything you do to adapt to a certain judge (K judge, anti-spreading judge, lay judge, etc etc)? No, but it does mean thinking concretely about how you can filter your strategy/argument/approach through a specific lens for that person.

HOW I MAKE MY RFD: At the end of the 2NR I usually mark the key areas I could see myself voting and then weigh that against what happens in the 2AR to make my decision. My favorite 2NR/2AR’s are ones that directly lay out and tell me the possible places in the round I could vote for them and how/why. 2NR/2AR’s that are essentially a list of possible RFDs for me are my favorite because not only do they make my work easier, but it clearly shows me how well you understood and interpreted the round.


I loved the T debate in high school, mostly because it has such a natural structure to it that provided great line-by-line debates when I was first learning how to do clean refutations. I see T and Theory as a needing to exist in debate as protective measures, but I also have a fairly high threshold. I don’t mind having it in a debate, but rounds where my RFD is predicated on it aren’t my favorite. Reasonability tends to ring true to me for the Aff on T, but don’t be afraid to force them to prove or meet that interpretation, especially if it is a stretch. For theory, I don’t have a problem with conditional arguments but do when a neg strat is almost entirely dependent on running an absurd amount of offcase arguments as a time skew that prevents any substantive discussion of arguments. This kind of strat also assumes I’ll vote on something simply because it was “flowed through”, when really I still have to examine the weight of that argument, which in almost all of these cases is insubstantial. At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to use theory- it’s there for a reason for when you need it, but the key word in that is the “need” part. If you’re going to run it, please spend time in the standards and voters debate so I can weigh it effectively.


I love a really good DA, especially with extensive impact comparisons. The cost/benefit aspect of the case/DA debate is particularly appealing to me. I don’t think generic DA’s are necessarily bad but good links and/or analytics are key. Be sure your impact scenario is fully developed with terminal impacts. Multiple impact scenarios are good. I'm not anti nuke war scenarios (it is 2018 after all), but there are tons more systemic level impacts too many debaters neglect.


I used to hate PICs but have seen a few really smart ones in the past few years that are making me challenge that notion. That being said I am not a fan of process CPs, but go for it if it’s key to your strat.


Love them, with some caveats. Overviews/underviews, or really clearly worded taglines are key here. If your tagline is more confusing than your lit, we’re both going to have a bad time. I did some K’s in high school (mostly very traditional cap/biopower) but was pretty abysmal with them. They weren’t as common in my circuit so I didn’t have a ton of exposure to them. However they’ve really grown on me and I’ve learned a lot while judging them- they’re probably my favorite kind of debate to watch these days. (hint: I truly believe in education as a voter, but this can work in aff’s favor when terrible K debates happen that take away from topic education as well). Being willing to adapt your K to those unfamiliar with it, whether opponents or judge, not only helps you in terms of potential to win the ballot, but also vastly increases likelihood for real world solvency (that is if your K is one that posits real world solvency- I'm down for more discussion-based rounds as theoretical educational exercises as well). I say this because the direction I’ve decided to take my graduate school coursework in is directly because of good K debaters who have been willing to go the extra step in truly explaining these positions, regardless of the fact I wasn’t a “K judge”. I think that concept is bogus and demonstrates some of the elitism still sadly present in our activity. If you love the K, run it- however you will need to remember that I myself wasn’t a K debater and am probably not as well versed in the topic/background/author. As neg you will need to spend specific time really explaining to me the alt/role of the ballot/answers to any commodification type arguments. I’m open to lots of aff answers here as well including framework arguments focused on policymaking good, state inevitable, perms, etc.

Flash time/emailing the doc out isn’t prep time (don’t take advantage of this though). Debaters should keep track of their own time, but I also tend to time as well in case of the rare timer failure. If we are evidence sharing, know that I still think you have the burden as debaters to clearly explain your arguments, (aka don’t assume that I'll constantly use the doc or default to it- what counts is still ultimately what comes out of you mouth).

I will yell “clear” if the spread is too incoherent for me to flow, or if I need you to slow down slightly but not if otherwise (aka don’t expect me to yell it to help speaker points). If I have to say it more than twice you should probably slow down significantly. My preference while spreading is to go significantly slower/louder/clearer on the tagline and author. Don’t spread out teams that are clearly much slower than you- you don’t have to go incredibly slowly, but you should adapt slightly to make the round educational for everyone. I think spreading is a debate skill you should employ at your discretion, bearing in mind what that means for your opponents and the judge in that round. Be smart about it, but also be inclusive for whoever else is in that round with you.

Please feel free to ask any further questions or clarifications before/after the round- my email is if you have any specific questions or need to run something by me. Last updated November, 2018.

Jake Morris Paradigm

Email: Yes, please put me on the e-mail chain

I am policy debater at Arizona State University and basically, if you are reading this, you are already more competent than I am at debating. Imagine if I was a toddler and you had to debate in front of a toddler. I am a toddler who does understand what debate is even though I have done this for 3 years. Just imagine it. That's how you have to win.

I have judged both LD and Policy before for Chandler High and DV.

-High School Policy: I will ask if you want me to disclose. If anyone says no, I won't

-I am fine with speed as long as you are clear on the important bits

-Make sure to clearly state reasons why you ought to win

-The Neg Block and the 2AR I believe are the two most vital parts of the debate. Make sure these parts are A1 (good)

I am not picky nor do I have that deep of preferences. I am not hard and I will typically give you the benefit of the doubt

Do good!

Michael Obuchi Paradigm

3 rounds

UC Berkeley 2018

East Kentwood Highschool 2016

PF TOC 2019:

Threshold for theory is high, I'll vote on it if the abuse is egregious. Default to competing interps, no RVI, drop the arg (unless justified otherwise)

Speed is fine

I will call for evidence after the round has ended either when I have to intervene on evidence (which I hate doing by the way) or when there's a significant dispute throughout the round / asked explicitly in a speech to do so. If there is legitimate abuse of evidence, you're getting dropped and losing speaker points regardless of how hard you won. Don't make me do this.

Short Version:

I like:

warrants, line by line, effort, humor, examples, historicity, praxis, you telling me how to vote and why

I don't like:

Rudeness or over hostility

I do not have:

reservations about voting for any argument

the ability to adjudicate any disputes about what goes on outside of the debate

I don't want:

you to change anything about what you do just because you think it will appeal to my tastes. You do you

I will hold the line on:

speech times, evidence quality, clipping and cheating of any kind

As far as arguments go

Topicality- I'm for it. Compare how your interp affects aff/neg ground vs theirs. Compelling impact stories are awesome

DA's- I'm a sucker for flushed out turns case analysis and impact comparison

Case debating- please do

Counterplans- "Why debate the aff when you can steal it"- Miles Gray. I draw great inspiration from this line of thinking

K- near and dear to my heart. As such, I hold a high threshold for compelling link/impact analysis and will be displeased at shallow explanation of theory. I appreciate an Alt that is contextualized to the aff grounded in examples/history. If you're going to make a big fw push (which I highly recommend), develop robust arguments about how we should understand/utilize debate and how I should relate to your arguments

FW- Love these debates. I prefer external impacts to debate is a game but will vote on procedural fairness if you win its the only thing I can/should be concerned about. As with disads, sucker for compelling turns case analysis. Fw is not genocide unless this argument is dropped.

Theory-No strong feelings either way

Martin Osborn Paradigm

2 rounds

My judging paradigm has evolved a great deal over time. These days, I have very few set opinions about args. I used to think I had a flawless flow and a magnet mind but now I can't follow each little detail and/or extremely nuanced or shrouded arguments with 101% accuracy like once upon a time. Still pretty good tho lol. And that said, I believe I've come to prioritize debaters' decisions more than ever and try harder than ever to base my decision on what debaters are trying to make happen in the round, and how well they do it, as opposed to how I logically add up what occurred. No judge can totally eliminate their process of sorting things out or their lived personal experience but I try to judge rounds as the debaters tell me to judge them, and with the tools they make available to me. I do think debate is about debaters, so I try to limit my overall judge agency to an extent. But sometimes my experience with traditional policy debate matters and favors a team. Sometimes my lived experience as a brown dude effects my encounter of an argument. These things happen and they are happening with all of your judges whether they admit it or you know it or not. I competed with "traditional policy arguments" (which, frankly, I am unsure still exist #old) but by now I have voted for and coached stupidly-traditional, traditional, mildly-traditional, non-traditional, and anti-traditional arguments in high-stakes rounds for a ton of programs in high school, college, internationally, in different eras, dimensions, all kinds of shit. If you think your reputation matters, don't pref me. If you or your coaches are used to attacking in the post-round, you're gonna play yourself because I'll either be 101% and crush you or I won't be and I'll mock you. Debate's a game but we are people so we should treat each other with respect. Self-control is one of the hallmarks of critical thinking and a disciplined intellect; if you cannot make peace with results in a subjective activity, you are simply not an elite debater, imho. Take it or leave it. Good luck to all debaters, seriously, it's a hell of a thing.

Shaloni Pinto Paradigm

1 rounds

I debated in LD for Brophy College Prep for four years. I coached Brophy LD for a year.

K- Most familiar with Foucault, D&G, Freire but, willing to listen to all. If you want to implement an alt, make sure the alt actually makes sense. Also, it'd be great if you could spend more time analytically explaining how the K works rather than reading cards to extend the offense off a K.

T- Default to competing interps.

Theory- Condo is fine. I default to competing interps.

Things that are annoying that I now just would rather not hear: Timecube or any argument of the ilk, although if you have a well-warranted as to why I should hear it, I will still listen

TLDR: I will listen to anything if it's well-warranted and it offers me a route to the ballot.

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.

Tim Pollard Paradigm

6 rounds


This is Tim Pollard.


The first thing I evaluate in debates are questions of uniqueness or differentiation. You will win if you prove why whatever you did in your speech is distinct and preferable from your opponents.

I usually think of debate as a game (in the strategic and competitive sense). That doesn’t mean that it lacks extrinsic value or is bound to specific sets of norms or forms of strategy. But does mean that things like speech time limits and my ability to sign a ballot deciding a winner are non-optional. Prep ends when you email the doc or otherwise transmit your speech to the opponent.

The ability for me to understand the structure of your argument is a prerequisite for me to evaluate it, so debaters have a positive burden to explain the function and operation of their argument. I am willing to vote on presumption if either I cannot describe to myself what an argument does or can be persuaded by either side wrt it's non-function.

Judging the round is based on the comparative quality of argument as presented. The most important thing is that your chosen form of argumentation displays knowledge of the issues and is compellingly defended. The more you sound well-researched and engaged in the issues, the better points I'm likely to give you.

I evaluate performance in CrossX compatibly to a speech.

I flow on paper and might ask you for some. I still want the doc, but pay attention because I don't want to (and probably won't) dredge up yr args from some speech doc if I couldn't catch them in the speech. I'm usually pretty good at saying if I can't flow you.

Assorted Specifics:

I haven't been doing much coaching this year so you should assume my knowledge of the topic is imperfect - as mentioned, yr burden to make me get yr arg.

Plan is implemented and matters debates

I don't subscribe to the offence/defense paradigm and believe in the ability of sufficiently complete defense/lack-of-link to take out an impact.

Going for the permutation against a criticism in your big silly impacts aff generally just sounds weird and you are actually going for "case outweighs" anyway. Seriously just talk about how sweet your aff is. The permutation is a fundamentally defensive argument.

Go for T against policy affs more. Folks are getting away with WAY too much.

KvK debates

First, generating external impacts and/or differentiating your impact claim is critical. Often these debates get gummed up in both teams winning that they solve and the other team causes some amount of violence/oppression - with me left to muck through and pick an internal link story, tending to have people end up unhappy.

Second, explain how yr perm works in the context of the debate round - what does it mean for me to endorse/reject a permutation? The argument that affs don't get permutations in these situations (method v method debate) threatens to make sense but also has to work through my presumption that the negative must prove something the aff does/assumes/engages with is bad. Generally you should not expect to win just for having another good idea.

Clash debates

I am extremely unlikely to be persuaded by args that reduce to FW: Ks are bad. Stop whining and defend yr aff.

I generally think affirmatives should take an affirmative position wrt the topic area (this doesn't mean you need a plan or to defend the politics DA or whatever).

Debates where I vote for critical affirmatives against T usually hinge on the aff either successfully defending what distinguishes the affirmative from a negative arg against topical affs, or winning impact turns. You will benefit from putting a lot of defensive pressure on the neg's impacts - which tend to be poorly developed.

Both sides - don't fall into the trap of forgetting the 1AC. At the end of the day the 1AC happened and its ability to solve is likely strongly determinant of a lot of the rest of the debate.

T debaters: Stop going for the truth-testing 'assume all their args are false because we can't research them' stuff.

For people who want experience blurbs:

Competed: High school LD. Read tricks to doubles of the 2011 ToC. College Policy. 2N position. Flex args.

Coached: Gig Harbor (LD) 2012-16. University of Wasington (NDT/CEDA) 2015-16 Ingraham High School (Policy) 2015-16

Isaac Quah Paradigm

6 rounds

My name is Isaac Quah, I did policy debate with Desert Vista High School for 4 years. I haven't been around much on this topic, so I am not familiar with common affs and arguments on the topic. I prefer to judge more policy rounds, but am perfectly comfortable judging more K rounds as well. I'm comfortable judging anything, so run whatever you feel your best arguments are, and I will evaluate the round the best I can.

Brenna Ram Paradigm

4 rounds

4 years of policy debate at St. Francis HS, fourth year policy debater at ASU. I coach for DV. I do not flow straight down. I will probably vote on your dirty tech tricks if you win that I should vote on them.

If someone wins that I should be a policymaker or look at offense/defense I'll evaluate the debate accordingly. I CAN be persuaded that there is zero risk of something. I'll vote for anything if you win that's what I should vote on.

I STRONGLY hold the line on new 1ar/2nr/2ar arguments; I will confidently default to not evaluating a new rebuttal argument.

Historical analysis and demonstrably deep/nuanced knowledge of your argument is very, very persuasive for me.

I'm much better for straight-up policy debates than you think I am.

k stuff I'm particularly familiar with: triple o, foucault, queer theory, postcoloniality & decoloniality, hillman, berlant, Nietzsche, lacan, fanon

I will buy your internal link turns to framework if that's the best way your aff interacts with the topic - you don't HAVE to impact turn framework if you don't want to.

This is a thing now I guess: if a question is asked in cx but there’s not enough time to answer, you can ask the cx-ing team if they’d like to use their own prep time to answer it. Do it fast. Then that’s it. I have gotten bored and am not listening anymore. Example: the 1A shouldn’t continue cxing the 1N during the entire span of 2AC prep, but the 1N CAN say "would you like to use your prep for me to answer the question" if the question was asked before the timer went off.

Don't say things are postmodern when they're not postmodern. pet peeve. "Postmodern" does not mean "confusing."

Also I hate when people say stuff like "no perm bc it's a method debate" or "fiat solves the link" or "perm shields the link to midterms" with no explanation. That's not an argument. I'm not writing it down.

The perm doesn't need a net benefit to win the debate because it's a test of competition. It doesn't even need a card explaining why it's possible (although having one doesn't hurt).

You can get my vote on "neg gets one unconditional option."

I only say "clear" twice (per person).

Colin Redman Paradigm

3 rounds


I debated policy 4 years in high school along with a brief stint with LD in my senior year, and I'm in my fourth year of college debate at ASU. For whatever reasons I've ended up judging LD more than policy, so I'm pretty comfortable with either event.

For Policy:

Sorry, but because I haven't been involved in highschool policy debate much this year, you shouldn't expect me to have as much specific knowledge background on the topic as you do. Basically, don't expect me to go into the round knowing topic specific acronyms, but I should catch on quickly enough. On some specific args:

K is fine on the aff or neg. I'll vote for substantive framework arguments, but I generally won't find procedurals very persuasive.

I'll evaluate theory like other arguments, and I'm willing to vote for theory if you've given me a reason to.

For LD:

I am OK with either traditional or progressive LD, although outside of solid abuse I tend to lean progressive in theory debates. Ks, speed, DAs and so on should all be fine.

Overall in any event I just want you to run what you want to run and are comfortable with.

Devon Reese Paradigm

6 rounds

High school and college policy debater. Coach now and lawyer by day. Also a Reno City Councilperson. I am a gay democrat with three children that debate. I have no axe to grind and am open minded about different styles of debate. I vote based on who did the best job of debating. My goal is to not have to intervene in the round.


-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.

Sarah Roberts Paradigm

3 rounds

Last update: Post-Damus

About me:

Debated as Denver Independent/Denverlake Independent in high school, 2x qualified to the TOC, senior at Berkeley but not debating.

I coach for Harker.

My email is – please put me on the email chain.

unsorted thoughts:

LARP>>good k debate>>>theory heavy debate>>bad k debate>>tricks and phil

I flow cx -- that means I get upset when you make the arg that "cx doesn't check because judges don't flow it", that doesn't mean you don't need to make the arguments you establish in your actual speech.

Postrounding is quite frustrating when your questions are clearly not about what you could do to improve but are instead veiled criticisms of me as a judge. I do my best to flow and evaluate arguments the way that I'm instructed to, but if you are going to spend twenty minutes telling me that I missed a sentence in your 2nr that wOuLd hAvE wOn yOu tHe dEbAtE I will just...leave.

I would much rather hear your teched out politics disad than some generic topic K with no link explanation.

explain what perm do both looks like (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

if you want/will need me to look at an interp/counterinterp/perm you read, those things should be flashed within the speech doc. i will hold you to what is written in the doc -- no shifty changing in cx!!

given how clear it is to me that no one can really flow a debate round as it is delivered based on prep time just becoming a spec review, you are fine to toss out a "slow" at your opponents if you can't flow/understand at their top speed. this is better than you asking 1000 clarification questions during your prep time

flex prep means asking questions during prep time - in no world does unused CX time become prep time - what?????

getting the round started before the start time + being efficient: +.2 speaks. why can't anyone start the email chain on time anymore :<


Speaks --

Here are my averages from the past tournaments (total average, at present, is a 28.53)

Damus: 28.11

Marks: 28.32

Presentation: 28.68

Greenhill: 28.58

Greenhill RR: 28.96

General --

Almost everything in the sections below applies to the way I evaluate debates, but here are some specific things that I hold true when judging these rounds. With some small exceptions, (I would like to think) I approach judging relatively similarly to Rodrigo Paramo (since he taught me LD).

1. if the 2nr is split, it will hurt your speaker points

2. i will evaluate judge kick arguments

3. please slow down on theory

4. bracketing is not good, disclosure definitely is. be reasonable here though -- if your opponent literally has never heard of the wiki and you immediately try to crush them on disclosure theory, i will be unhappy :<

5. i am not very persuaded by frivolous theory arguments and will hold responses to a lower level of depth than with well developed, pertinent theory args. if you have to ask me if a theory arg is frivolous before the round i think you probably know what the answer is.

7. RVIs -- especially on topicality -- are not persuasive to me

K affs –

Things you need to do when you’re reading these sorts of affs

- utilize 1ac ev through the whole debate and contextualize your answers to the theories in your aff

- explain exactly what the aff does/aims to do – are you working towards a paradigmatic shift in how we approach (X) policy or are you criticizing the structure of debate itself? What does voting aff do to resolve those issues?

- understand that teams sometimes just read framework because they don’t know how else to necessarily engage your aff.

- have good background knowledge... I'm so unenthused by people who pull out their ~fire~ baudrillard aff and then make args about creating meaning being good... like what? I will you to a high standard of background knowledge and contextualization/explanation.

I feel more qualified to judge high theory args than I do performances or args centered on individual identity.

FW vs K affs –

I’ve been leaning increasingly neg on framework vs K affs PRESUMING you’re not reading fairness impacts. I think arguments about the specific mobilization/utilization of skills gained uniquely from debate tend to be much more convincing. Things I’d like to see in these debates:

- examples of how movements outside of the political sphere have used political knowledge to further their cause

- reasons why knowing about the way legal systems work/interact is good

- a defense of fiat/hypothetical discussions of policies

Contextualized case arguments in these debates can often answer back for the “they didn’t engage us” claims.

Policy affs vs Ks –

Too many teams pivot to the left when they hear a K in the 1nc. Just defend what you did in the 1ac and explain why it’s good. Some things that I think are important to do in these debates:

- win framework/win fiat/win why hypothetical discussions of policies are good

- answer the long k overview from the 2nc

- be able to explain/give examples of what the permutation will look like (you definitely get a perm)

- actually debate the K rather than just reading author indicts!

Ks –

You need to have background knowledge of the lit and arguments, i will know if you just pulled a backfile out or haven't engaged with the lit in necessary ways! I only ever went one off in high school so I will expect a high level of articulation from you in regards to explaining your arguments and contextualizing them to the aff specifically. Some things I’d like to see in a K debate

- specific quotes being pulled from the 1AC on the 2nc link debate

- technical debating rather than reading a 6 min o/v and saying it answers all the aff arguments

- having a good, in-depth explanation of the theory of your argument/why and how it interacts with the aff in cx when asked about it

- bataille

Some authors I have read/continue to read in my free time/am knowledgeable about (bets are off for anyone not listed) ranked from most liked to “ehhhh”:

Irigaray, Bataille, Baudrillard, Spanos, Edelman, Lacan/Psychoanalysis, Berlant, Deleuze/Deleuze and Guattari

Disads –

I love seeing a well debated disad more than I love seeing a well debated critique. I think it is really important to have good evidence and good analysis in these debates.

I am less familiar with very specific political processes disads so I may need more explanation of those whether that occurs in a quick 2nc overview or in cx given the opportunity. Some things I’d like to see:

- good case engagement along with the disad. this means good impact calc as well as judge instruction

- clear explanation of the political scenario you're reading if it's a politics disad, clear analysis on the link chains if it's not a politics disad

- actual cards after the 1NC

Counterplans –

Truly a 2n at heart; I’ll grant you a lot of leniency in how shifty your counterplans can be. i think really specific counterplans are one of the greatest things to see in debate.

If you cut your cp evidence from 1ac evidence/authors you’ll get a boost in speaks!

I also think (specific, not generic word) piks/pics are pretty underutilized -- especially against K affs – I’d love to see more of these.

I don’t think explanation-less "perm do the counterplan" or "perm do the aff" are legit.

Theory –

Less qualified to judge these debates imo, but will still listen to them. Please slow down and don't spread through blocks -- I'll stop flowing if I can't understand it.

I have no tolerance for frivolous theory. If you are reading arguments related to what your opponents wear or what esoteric word needs to be in the 1ac, I will not enjoy the debate and will most likely not vote for you!

Topicality –

A good block/2NR contains a well thought out and developed interpretation of what the topic is/view of how the topic should be explained and debated in regards to specific arguments that can/cannot be justified vis a vis the topic wording.

I really like to see good lists in t debates (untopical affs made topical by the aff’s interp, clearly topical affs that are excluded by the neg’s interp, etc).

Case debate –

There needs to be more of it in every debate. Go for impact turns. I love dedev. Recutting aff cards.... amazing.

Ethics/Rhetoric –

I'm not into rhetoric violations. Please ensure that it is not just a singular slip of the tongue -- often times a mention in cx/the speech and a genuine apology from the team who said it suffices and provides more education overall.

If there is egregious/violent language, i will take it upon myself to appropriately intervene and adjudicate on a case-by-case basis.

I'm lenient on ethics violations. If an ethics violation is called, i will stop the round after getting evidence of the violation from the team that called it and make my decision based on the tournament invite, the ndca rules, and the round itself.

Adit Sakthi Paradigm

6 rounds for the email chain


Note: Please explain your acronyms.
Quality > Quantity. It's your debate, debate what you want. K's are fine. T/FW is alright, just make sure to impact everything especially in the 2nr and 2ar. I hate tag line extensions and wont give much weight to those args. Be understandable, do clash for me, do the work for me. I won't flow CX, but I listen to it and it is binding. Flashing isn't prep. Debate well, don't be mean, don't be offensive, respect each other.
I would also like a copy of the speech doc based on past issues with clipping and power tagging.

Speaker Points

27-28: mediocre
28-28.5: good
28.5-29.5: very good
29.5-30: excellent

Specific Arguments

Debated for Hamilton High School. 2A for first year, then double 2's for the last 2 years

Affirmatives--Any style or way you want to present your affirmative is fine with me, just be sure you can justify it. I ran a Heidegger K aff (now realizing that it's shit) in my last year, but as I said before please justify methodology throughout the round especially 2ar.

Case--Try not to contradict here; however, if you can contextualize your arguments well to the affirmative case debate, it is very impressive to see. Try to avoid making this debate "not my [insert some author]" and actually have a contextualized debate here. Line by line analysis as opposed to long generic overviews are preferred.

Counterplans--You must have a good analysis of how you resolve the net benefit of the CP if you're going for it. Neg must explain how they are competitive and should be preferred over the affirmative. Evidence should be good and actually say what you want it to say if you want me to vote for you.

Disads--Any kind of DA is chill, do good impact comparison. Tell me why I should care.

Kritik-- I think K's are good as long as you can explain them well. If you are personally passionate about an argument, and it shows your speaker points will likely be higher (this goes for affirmatives as well). My go to K against K affs was cap. Regardless of what kind of critical argument you read, I will NOT do the work for you. Tell me what your K is, why it matters, and why I should vote for you. K's should not be a sketchy attempt to dodge clash, find a way to clash with your opponent and make the debate productive for everyone. I won't kick the alt for you.

T/FW--I treat framework debates like I would any topicality debate. Be sure to impact out anything you go for otherwise I'll probably prefer their impacts. If against a non-traditional affirmative try to provide an interpretation where they could still raise there issue, and not out right exclude them. It will be an uphill battle if you come in with the "non-traditional affirmative are wrong" mindset. Otherwise treat T/FW like a DA, I want to see how they link, what that does, why that's bad, and why I should care. This being said, I would much rather prefer educational standards over fairness args.

Theory--I like thoery but you have to be able to prove some kind of abuse in round. I have a higher thershold for potential abuse. Give me examples of how they violate and how that is effecting you. Again I prefer educational impacts to fairness. When reading theory, you have to slow down. I take theory seriously and need to catch everything.

Joel Sannes Paradigm

6 rounds

I have been involved in competitive policy debate for almost four decades now (since the 1980's). I was a policy debater for four years in high school and four years in college at Arizona State University. It's ancient history now, but in college my partners and I made it to the NDT as sophomores and cleared to elim rounds as juniors. 

I'm a civil ligitation attorney now with lots of experience in some fairly good size cases that have gone to jury trials or bench trials. My professional experience has made me identify with the "Critic of Argument" paradigm. See Robert Rowland, Standards for Paradigm Evaluation, Journal of the American Forensic Ass'n, Vol. 18, Winter 1982 ("The ultimate goal of debate is to teach people how to argue effectively.").

I believe debate is best when it is allowed to evolve, and the students competing are the primary "evolvers." I don't have a rigid view of what arguments should or should not be made. I think the only "rules" are the times of the speeches, that each debater must give a constructive speech and rebuttal and each must participate meaningfully in being cross-examined and conducting a cross-examination. I used to think the other rule was that the affirmative must support the annual debate topic somehow, but even that rule is a general rule that might possibly be subject to an exception in a given round. I like big stick affs, tiny niche affs, disads, critiques, counterplans, topicality, theory, etc. and think in any given round they can be winning arguments. 

One thing I have noticed lately in my decisions is a tension between my desire to avoid all forms of judge intervention and my desire to base my ballot on the quality of evidence in a round. I'm having a hard time deciding what to do when the solvency evidence or the disad link evidence (as examples) do not say what the team says the evidence says and can't really be fairly interpreted to say it. I'm finding myself telling teams "I don't want to vote for this" because the evidence is not even close to supporting the argument. I'll give room for interpretation, but I can't guarantee I won't put myself into the round if the evidence on a point is not really there. I'm receptive to good C-X and evidence indicts that attack whether one team's evidence says what they say it says. 

I am an enthusiastic judge because I like judging. Before I judge any debates on the topic, I read heavily to become familiar with what issues I am likely to hear presented to me in a debate round. I start in the summer and read and research during the school year. Having access to the Open Evidence Project online is tremendously helpful for getting educated on the topic and I generally judge about 40 rounds a year on the topic in Arizona.

One of the great things about policy debate is the number of interesting, complex issues that are mashed up in a single debate round, and I love to see the 2AR and 2NR take what was mashed up and then at the end pull things out of the fray to make a coherent, persuasive case why they should win. Speed is a necessary part of this great process, so I like fast debates. I have been to a lot of punk shows, grunge shows, thrash shows, metal shows, rap shows, Etc. in my life where I stood too close to the speakers, so projection and clarity help me enjoy the debate more. Also, giving me a clear hint that a tagline is coming helps, by changing inflection, pausing very briefly, looking up, or giving numbers ("first, second, third," Etc.).

I don't like declaring a loser in the round, but that's what judges have to do. If I vote you down, I'll admit I may have been wrong, but debaters and coaches can be assured that I will give my best effort to process all the arguments, consider the evidence, and make a decision that I can justify and defend.

Amy Santos Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated for 3 years at Presentation High School in LD and policy and now coach for Premier Debate. I mostly ran Ks and policy args but you should read whatever you feel most comfortable with in front of me (except phil, I'm probably not the best for that)!

Ks: I really love K debate! However, if your K is really poorly explained/executed, I won't vote on it just because I like the lit. I also love K affs (I read a lot of fem performance stuff in high school) but make sure you are clearly articulating a reason to vote aff. I watch a lot of rounds where debaters will talk about how great their method is without explaining what it actually means to do their method, how they do it, and why it means I should vote for them, which is disappointing.

Policy: I also really like policy debate! I appreciate good evidence comparison, impact weighing, and overviews.

Framework/T: I love a good framework debate, but it's also in your best interest to engage the substance of the aff! In my opinion, it's best to be specific about why this particular aff is bad/unfair/anti-educational for this particular topic/round/etc and couple that with some good case turns.

Theory: I like theory debates but I wouldn't say they're my favorite, just because lots of them are frivolous and they can be messy. However, I am very sympathetic to disclosure theory and when there is clearly abuse going on in the round.

Phil: In general I think phil debates are confusing and boring so probably don't pref me if you're a theory/tricks debater sorry :(

The easiest way to win in front of me is to clearly explain your position and why you're winning. Collapsing to a few main arguments and explaining them well is always better than having too many blippy arguments that aren't impacted very well and no one understands.

I love it when debaters passionate about what they defend and read positions they care about. Please don't be blatantly sexist, racist, ableist, trans/homophobic, or other things like that.

Spreading is fine, just be clear!

Please put me on the email chain -

Panny Shan Paradigm

3 rounds

I was a policy debater at the Harker school from 2012- 2016 and I now coach for the Harker LD team.

In short, read what you want as long as you understand it and can defend it. I read mostly policy arguments in high school although I do have experience debating against kritical and performative arguments. This means I'm going to be a lot more familiar with more traditional arguments, so if you're going to be reading other stuff make sure you explain it well and weigh it against your opponents arguments. That being said, I enjoy watching debates with case specific das and cps, as I find those have the most clash and development of arguments.

Speaking: SLOW DOWN AND BE MORE CLEAR WHEN READING ANALYTICS, THEORY, AND TAGS. I have had a lot of experience with debaters just speeding through these because they assume I'm going to know what they're saying and be able to type lightening fast. I am a human however, and I cannot flow that fast, and if I cannot flow you, I am much less likely to give you your arguments later in the debate. An extra note about tags, make sure I can tell the difference between the tag of a card and the text. I do not enjoy having to look at the speech doc to figure out when you're reading a tag, and it will hurt your speaker points and I will be at higher risk of missing an argument.

Change to my previous paradigm: I have found that as I judge more LD, I am more likely to vote on arguments that I had previously thought I would not. Therefore, feel free to read any theoretical or performative arguments that you like. You must, however, have a good reason for reading your arguments and be able to defend your position well, as usually in these debates I have little intrinsic bias as to which side I prefer. That being said, I still do not understand arguments like skep, rvis, and traditionally more "ld" arguments very well. If you do decide to read these, you should be extremely clear and explain your arguments very well. Otherwise, you are better off not preffing me or reading different arguments.

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

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.

Kaylee Silber Paradigm

6 rounds

A bit about me: I am a college freshman at ASU and I compete in policy debate and I have been competing in policy debate for about 3 or 4 years in high school and was a part of the Sacramento Urban Debate League. I ran/run performance k affs and kritques. But don't let that discourage you.

I will vote for any argument as long as you articulate: a. how it functions in the debate b. analysis and more than mere shadow extensions and c. why I should vote for it.

Overall, I want y'all to have fun and enjoy yourselves in round. With that do not be offensive or excessively rude to one another or your partner.

Nikpreet Singh Paradigm

6 rounds

Quality > Quantity. Explain arguments. FW/T debates need proven abuse and a deep standards debate. Use theoretical and substantive framework properly. 2AR/2NR needs to clash, weigh arguments, and tell me what I should be evaluating on my ballot. CX is binding. Flashing isn't prep. Don't be offensive. Don't be an ass to anyone or your speaks will suffer. My face is usually pretty expressive during rounds. Other than that, have a good time, I'm fairly lenient.

Background Info
I debated for four years at Chandler HS, AZ (3 CX/1 LD). I was the 2A/1N. Read Nietzsche and Marx a lot. I enjoy debaters who use the debate space as a space for education, empowerment, and growth, but the better debater wins. I'm a pretty versatile judge.

Speaker Points
27.7 - 28.2 = Mediocre.
28.3 - 28.7 = Good.
28.8 - 29.5 = Very Good.
29.5 - 29.8 = Impressed.
Be aggressive, not mean. I'll give an extra speaker point if you (successfully) make fun of these people: Tanzil Chowdhury, Manav Sevak, or Rohit Rajan.

Need a good analysis of how the perm resolves the net benefit of the CP. Consult CP's are bad. Neg needs to explain the competitiveness of the CP well. Theory is usually insubstantial unless it's dropped. CP cards should be really good, and there needs to be comparative analysis from aff and neg. I enjoy PICs.
Impact scenario needs to be well explained. Any DA works for me, but there needs to be a lot of link/internal link work done to win it.
I'll get mad if you just read an OV and then a bunch of cards on case and move on. Use the cards from the 1AC on the line by line and articulate your thoughts and read new cards when necessary. If I'm not able to explain your argument by the end of the 2AR, then you didn't do a good job. My threshold for case negs is lower, but if you go for case they also need to be explained well in the block.
Kritiks/Non-Traditional Affs
This is what I spent most of debate doing. If you just vomit a bunch of buzz words without explanation I'm not going to like/understand the argument and I'm going to give the other team a lot of leeway in their rebuttals. If you're able to explain your aff powerfully and concisely, I'm down to listen to anything. I enjoy smart 2AR tricks. For the neg, the same explanation standards apply. Tell me what the alt looks like, and I won't kick it for you if you're going for it as a case turn in the 2NR.
I need to know why T/FW is a better model of debate than what the aff offers. I'm probably not going to vote on potential abuse. K affs should provide substantial DA's to the negs interpretation. Know the difference between substantive and theoretical framework (state engagement key vs. debate needs rules), and explain your standards accordingly. I default to competing interpretations.
Sure. In addition to utilizing it as a voting issue, I like teams that couple their theory with other arguments to justify/extrapolate key arguments to give them the edge on contested issues. I have a high threshold on using theory as a reason to vote aff/neg; give me a compelling reason (more than just a blip) why I should reject the team. In most cases, it's just a reason to reject an argument but if you do enough work on it, you may be able to convince me otherwise. Make sure you give some example of abuse, i.e. specific models of debate/in-round. I don't like disclosure theory.

You can catch ya boy @

Ryan Skolnick Paradigm

6 rounds

Debate is a game. Play to win. Run your theory shells, specs, whatever you need to. Be strategic.

Speed is fine.

If you're going to run a K, clarity becomes paramount, since I likely won't be as well read on the subject as you.

Love a good CP debate

Write my ballot for me. Make my job easy.

Tommy Snider Paradigm

6 rounds


Director of Debate at Casady School

Debate is a unique activity that allows for a plethora of arguments, styles, and worldviews (that would traditionally separated by academic discipline or specialization) to clash against one another. Simply put, I love debate for its diversity. I've noticed I have a weird reputation in different parts of the country. National tournaments outside of Texas people assume I'm a K hack because I debated for the University of Oklahoma in college. Yet in Oklahoma and Texas people consider me a framework hack. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

Put me on the e-mail chain: snidert [at] casady [dot] org


General - I’ve been influence by some of the best K coaches in the country and a common theme among them, which has been ingrained in my brain, has been:

“You are a debater, not a philosopher.”

This should be your guiding principle when reading and answering a kritik in front of me. Debaters seem to rely more on jargon than actually doing the work of explaining and applying their argument. Unnecessarily complex kritiks won't get good speaker points (90% of the time you could have just read the cap k).

No overviews on a separate sheet of paper.

Neg - Kritiks, typically, come from literature bases that have robust explanatory power for the way the world/power/violence works, which I don't see many debaters take advantage of. Instead of using this theory as a way to control large parts of the debate, debaters start and stop at "X is the root cause."

I'm not persuaded much by self-serving counter interpretations on framework. There needs to be a very compelling reason to not let the affirmative weigh the plan. That said, most of the reasons why I shouldn't evaluate the plan are typically offense against it. For example while I don't find the FW interpretation "Debate should be about epistemological assumptions" very convincing, I will definitely vote on "the affirmative's plan relies on a flawed epistemology, which results in serial policy failure."

Stop reading Antonio 95.

Affs - The easiest way to beat a kritik is to defend your aff. Don't force yourself to play the neg's game if you don't know what you're talking about.


Condo seems to be getting a bit excessive, but no one goes for condo anymore so I'm sort of stuck with it.

See “tech vs truth” and “On Evidence.” If your Adv/DA isn't logically consistent then I probably won't vote for it. You should interrogate evidence quality and author qualifications (applies to advantages too).

On Evidence

Evidence quality and consistency is really important to me. Teams should point out when evidence is really bad (looking at you politics DA).

Tech vs Truth

I think of this as more of a continuum as opposed to a binary. I lean more towards truth than tech. For example, I have a higher threshold for arguments like “climate change not real” than “plan doesn’t solve climate change.” I traditionally evaluate the debate in offense/defense paradigm. There is a such thing as a 0% risk.

K affs/T-FW

I enter every debate with the assumption that the resolution is going to play a role in the round. What role it plays, however, is up for debate. I really enjoy “clash of civilizations” debates. I don’t have a preference between skills or fairness standards.

Common reasons I vote aff on FW:

The Neg goes for too many “standards”/"DAs"/whatever-youre-calling-them in the 2NR.

The Neg doesn’t even try to engage the aff’s 2AC to FW.

Stop reading Antonio 95. Yes the second time was intentional.

Common reasons I vote neg on FW:

The Aff doesn’t have an offensive reasons why the TVA is bad.

The Aff doesn’t even try to engage the neg’s standards on FW.


I only flow what I hear, I won't use the doc to correct my flow. If I don't catch an argument/tag because you're too unclear then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Guaranteed 30 if you’re paper debate team #PaperDebate

My facial reactions will probably tell you how I feel about your arg.

I won't flow the overview on a separate sheet of paper. Bad.

You should wear pants and a shirt while you debate.

Brock Spencer Paradigm

6 rounds

Brock Spencer –

Experience/Background - Current Assistant Coach @ Casady HS (OK) (3 Years), Judge Experience (5 years), Debated 1 year CEDA/NDT @ UCO , 4 years of National Circuit HS @ Tulsa-Union (Ok), Former Assistant Coach @ Tulsa-Union HS (Ok) (1 year)

TLDR – You do what you do best, and tell me what to do with my ballot as your judge. Write the RFD/ballot for me in the last speech. I’m down with voting for anything that has a well-warranted reason and impact behind it. Debate is fun, enjoy yourselves!

<LD is below>

-- POLICY --

Immigration Topic -


Policy AFFs --

Advantages are good....10 advantages are not.

I prefer few advantages w/ specific internal link chains that don't have 8 loosely tied together scenarios begging to lose to a security K. Update your IL UQ's - it goes a long way in front of me.

Utilize your AFF vs. off case args, too many policy affs lose because they start debating on the DA/K flow ignoring, and not using the AFF to it's potential.

K AFF’S –-

AFF’s I have read haven’t defended much so I’m definitely willing to vote for these.

The aff should still defend doing something, but this is a pretty low threshold.

Vs. K's go for perms and impact turns to Alts

Vs. FW go for DA's as impact turns.

Topicality/Theory –-

Theory is underutilized. I love creative Theory/T debates. Limits are love, limits are life!

I evaluate T similar to any DA flow from offense/defense point of view, and default competing interps, but can be swayed to vote for the aff being reasonable. I reward spec interps/violations vs. an aff.

Impact out your standards/counter standards, and make spec args as to things they did in the round that harmed ground, what they could have done based on their strat, or other potential abuse. RVIs are a non-starter, and I will evaluate "K's of T".

Framework –-

Neg - I'll vote on both soft FW Interps that are creative and hard line USFG FW. Either way limits/predictable ground are most useful standards to win my ballot. Limits are love, limits are life! Point out when aff is vague/a moving target as another link to these standards. Topical Version of the AFF is the easiest way to win my ballot on FW. Typically don't vote on democratic engagement/deliberation args, but not against them.

K AFFs - make sure to leverage your impacts vs. FW. If a negative drops the AFF Impacts I’m easily swayed by the argument that AFF impacts are Impact turns to the interpretation, and why education is bad to begin with.

CP –-
These should have a clear net benefit such as DA or internal net benefit. Better solvency isn’t sufficient. I often find myself voting on perms so these net benefits should be articulated as reasons why the perm doesn’t solve.

Also if you want me to kick it for you if you’re losing it that needs to be clear in the 2NR.

Cheating Cps - I tend to side w/ the aff on these so you'll want to allocate sufficient time to theory in the block if necessary.

DA –-

Specificity is lovely! I'll still vote for your generic topic DA, but apply it to the aff in the block.

Need clear impact calc from both the aff and the neg. - updated UQ/IL UQ will be rewarded w/ W's!!

K’s –

I’m most familiar with this type of debate throughout high school, and college. I hack for Security K's that are embedded in other K's - I find that most policy aff internal link chains are garbage, and you can make them defend things they don't want. The K’s I’m most familiar with are the greatest hits of dead European dudes (Nietzsche, Baudrillard, Heidegger, Deleuze), and being from Oklahoma I hear Settler Colonialism/Cap a lot.

Alts should have a clear articulation of why it solves the AFF and the links. I also find myself voting on perms b/c the neg doesn’t do a good job explaining the difference in the aff solvency and the K alt solvency world. To help beat perms the Links should be offensive – I typically won’t vote on a link of omission.

QUOTE THE 1AC EV evidence as link analysis.- You can read your "sick" Baudrillard 81 card, but in the block there should be an explanation of the link in the context of the 1AC ev and scenarios.

I’ll vote on roll of the ballot claims and framing issues as long as there are impacts and warrants attached to those and reasons why the other side doesn’t’ access them.

Speed -

Go for it! Please be somewhat clear.

-- LD --

Most of what I said above in policy applies to what LD is currently, but I'll add a few specific things unique to LD.

Value/Crit -

(Do people still have these in LD?)

Use your contentions as net benefits to your FW and DA's to theirs and explain why their FW cant access/solve your impacts. I often find myself just voting on impact calc based on which contention OW's the other.

Offense to their Value/Crit would be lovely.

K's/CP's/DA's in LD? -

Sure, why not. I'll evaluate these the same as any other argument (read above in policy for specifics)

Traditional Debaters - I'm willing to vote for FW args on why this isn't allowed in LD as long as you have well warranted impacts/theoretical args, but tend to think these are allowed and you should have answers if they apply to the case.

Contentions -

I love creative contentions in LD to justify what should or should not be debated, but open to voting for theory arguments as to why said contention is unfair etc.

Theory -

I typically err aff on theory in LD, but can be convinced otherwise.

Speed -

Go for it! Please be somewhat clear.

Random Info - I find myself voting for floating pics a lot in LD rounds, but it's most likely because one HS in OK is good at hiding these.

Mark Stiles Paradigm

6 rounds

Debate Judge Profile

Mark Stiles

2 years’ high school debate at Memorial High School, Houston, TX. 1972-74

BA in Economics, Northwestern Univ.

MBA in Finance, Univ. of Southern Calif.

Career in corporate and individual financial planning and accounting

My concerns as a judge are fundamental—how well can speakers persuade a total stranger of a position or proposal, using sequential logic, evidence and reasoning.

I appreciate the ability of a speaker to bring focus to a torrent of facts and ideas, identifying the most critical issues and further persuading on those.

I will take notes. I am unversed in today’s debate argot and idioms.

Sam Stoffer Paradigm

I debated quite a bit in High School and currently coach for Mountain View LD.  I major in Philosophy and debate policy and ethics collegiately.


1. Defaults competing interpretations.

2. Theory is cool.

3. Kritiks are cool.



How to get speaks:

Be a good speaker

Don't be a racist


Jack Stransky Paradigm

6 rounds

About Me 

"The Better Stransky"

I debated 4 years at Green Valley High School (NV) and am currently studying at Arizona State University.


·      I’m generally willing to vote on anything

·      Be comfortable with what you’re reading

·      Better to be clear than fast on the big picture

·      It’s ok to be aggressive, don’t be a jerk and don’t clip cards


·      Links are better than impacts. If you’re not explaining the link/internal link to the impact of your argument, then there’s little reason for me to evaluate the impact.

·      Explain the warrants to your claims. Don’t just extend the claim without any analysis on what the evidence actually says. That’s a poor way to debate and will not go on my flow

·      I can tell whether or not what you’re reading is what you’re most comfortable with. Read the arguments that you know best and not just because you think the other team won’t be able to answer it.

·      Don’t just reiterate your arguments and read new ones in the 2nd constructive, make sure you’re answering the line by line. It’s hard to evaluate a debate when there isn’t any clash.

·      I don’t care how fast you go as long as your clear and efficient. Good organization and how you present the argument will get you more speaker points.

Specific Arguments


·      K affs – I read and debated against K affs in high school so I am familiar with them. You don’t need a plan text to read a K aff. Make sure the aff is related to the resolution with an advocacy statement and not just a waste of my time.

·      Topicality - I will usually default to reasonability on the aff in terms of T. I will still evaluate topicality, but the negative interpretation needs to have an external impact as to why the aff’s interpretation is bad and why your interpretation solves. Don’t just say “we lose ground” or they “underlimit” the topic if you’re the negative, explain why that is bad.

·      Disads – I loved reading PTX in high school as well as core DA’s specific to the topic. Like I said before, explain the link and internal link in the argument and not just the impact. Sure you’re impact may outweigh, but if there isn’t any analysis on the internal link level, then I can easily vote for no risk of the impact.

·      Counterplans – I’ll evaluate all types of counterplans, just make sure as the negative to have a net benefit to the CP or it’ll make it harder for me to vote on. Don’t just say “we have 100% solvency” without explaining why. I like PIC’s as well, just make sure to be sharp on theory

·      Critiques – I have a pretty small lit base in terms of the K. That doesn’t mean I won’t evaluate the K, it just means that a lot of analysis needs to be included for me to understand what the argument is saying. Make sure to go in depth on the link and alternative. How does the aff specifically link the K and why is the alt more effective than the aff.

·      Framework – I like a good framework debate. In terms of competing interpretations, don’t just explain why your interpretation is better for debate, but explain why your opponents’ interpretation is bad. Also, don’t just give me a list of standards as to why your interp is best, isolate an external impact

·      Theory – I generally will default to reject the argument, except on conditionality. A couple of things when going for theory on the aff. 1) Don’t spread theory blocks. If you have 6 different reasons why I should reject the team, go through them slowly so I can catch all of them. Like T and Framework, isolate an external impact to why I should theoretically reject the team. 2) Conditionality – I will err neg on conditionality as long as they are being reasonable with the amount of conditional advocacies they read. Having more than two is definitely not going to do the neg many favors.


Speaking - It's very difficult to catch things on my flow if you're going as fast as possible. My main thing on speed is be clear on the taglines and on the authors. That way I can catch each individual piece of evidence. Be as clear as possible when you are spreading the evidence itself. I'll yell out clear 1 or 2 times, after that I stop flowing. 

Flashing Arguments - I had a very slow computer in high school, so I understand how it would take a long time to flash the other team your evidence. Be reasonable with it and let me know if you're computer is being slow

Prep - I will let the debaters handle their own prep time. Prep ends when the flash drive is out of the computer (unless computer is taking forever). I hate teams that steal prep time. I can tell when a team is prepping by the sounds of the typing on the computer or when someone is writing on a piece of paper. Be fair to each other during the debate.

Speaker Points - A good way to earn yourselves extra speaker points is by slipping in some jokes in your speech. The highest speaker points will go to the debater that makes the smart/brave decisions in the round. If you don't need the entire speech time to finish what you need to say, then end your speech early. Don't just repeat the same stuff over and over again to use up time. I won't give anyone under 27.0 unless they are rude/cheating. I average around 28-28.5 for debaters that did a good job and made some pretty decent arguments. 28.5-29 goes to debates that make very smart/bold decisions in the round that earn them the win. 29-29.5 will go to debaters who I think deserve a speaker award in the tournament or debaters who just dominated the debate round. Anything higher than 29.5 will go to who I think is the best speaker in the tournament. 

Things I like:

- Brave decisions in the 2AR/2NR
- Good jokes about Alex Stransky (Will earn you extra speaker points)
- The Politics DA (I especially like teams that decimate teams with it)
- 1-2 flows in the neg block that dig a hole for the aff
- Teams that have confidence in the decisions they make
- Arizona Sports teams (Jokes about any team could earn you bonus speaker points)

Things I don't like:

- Arguments that I have trouble understanding
- Rudeness during CX (Ask a question and get an answer, don't try to overwhelm the other team with a bunch of questions at one time)
- Debaters that take a long time to use a flash drive under normal circumstances (see above about flashing arguments)
- Debaters that clip cards/cheat



Zach Thiede Paradigm

6 rounds


-- It is important to me that you are clear when laying out the big picture at the end of the debate. Make sure that you are explaining what you are winning and how it relates and interacts to what the other team has said and why that means you should get the ballot.

-- I often vote on technical concessions, frame your truth arguments in context of what your opponents have said so I don't think you dropped it.

-- I rarely read evidence unless there is some sort of dispute around it or I have been directed to do so by the debaters. I think this is the most fair way of adjudicating a debate for it requires the least amount of intervention on my part and rewards clarity in the debate. This also allows me to avoid drawing on information of your arguments that I held prior to the debate.

-- If you say judge kick I will vote for the other team.

Rough point scale: 29.9-30 (perfect), 29.4-29.8 (some of the best debating I have seen all year), 28.9-29.3 (great), 28.4-28.8 (good), 27.9-28.3 (meh), below-27.8 (needs some serious work)

Arms Sales Topic:

-- Most of my research this year on the topic has been aff construction. This means that I may not be very well versed in your CP literature base, but I can catch on quick if you explain it well.

Alex Velto Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated for UNLV and Damien High School. Now I coach for McQueen High School. I participated in policy debate only, but, I have judged a few LD and Parli rounds.

Simply, debate is a very fun game that I used to play and enjoy watching. Do what you do best. I will vote for you if I think you win. And please be nice to your opponents.

As far as preconceived notions of debate go, here are a few of mine:

(1) I think the topic should be debated.

(2) I enjoy case debates and plan specific counterplans.

(3) Few things the neg does are voting issues.

(4) I enjoy T debates because a word's meaning is important.

(5) The neg has to win a unique reason the aff is bad to win the debate.

(6) I am a lawyer, so naturally I think think that law and the state can be used for good.

(7) I usually don't have speech docs open during the debate so your clarity is important to me.

Questions? Ask me before the round.

Here are some of my favorite judges. Their judicial philosophies can help you understand mine:

Dr. Ryan Galloway

Dr. Jacob Thompson

Hays Watson

Ryan Cheek

Omar Guervera

Teddy Albiniak

John Roberts

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Simon Cowell

Caleb Vinson Paradigm

6 rounds

if it's boring I vote down both teams. Jokes. 

I am equipped with no sense of humor. I was born with no sense of humor and never developed one. 

High thresholds on most things so either win most arguments or the most important arguments. Jokes. Tech before truth unless the tech is like... dumb. But anywho: I debate for ASU and I can defs deal with whatever you nice folks decide to run (: so make it fun for me and yourselves! 

Framework is for the elites. You know who you are. But I'll vote on it.


Vignesh Viswanath Paradigm

6 rounds

I competed in AZ policy (2A/1N)

I'm a pretty open judge, willing to listen to any kind of argument. I like K's, but I also like policy arguments, so go for whatever you are most comfortable with. Please make sure, however, to clearly impact out whatever you are going for.

I am familiar with a small to fair amount of k lit; however, assume that I have no prior knowledge of your critical argument when you explain it to me. I will not vote on an unclear k.


- I like crossex, so I will listen to it.

- I don't count flashing as prep, but don't take too long.

- I understand not flashing analytics over, but do not expect me to be able to accurately flow minutes of analytical arguments spread like cards

- spreading is fine, but don't be unclear. Also, I would like to have speech docs flashed to me as well.

- speaker points:

<27: not too good
27-27.9: mediocre
28-28.9: good
29-29.4: very good
29.5-30: excellent

Curtis Wardle Paradigm

6 rounds

Curtis Wardle


TLDR: debate however you would like in front of me. I'll evaluate whatever you give me to the best of my ability.

Tech beats truth in front of me every time. I don't care if the T was frivolous, I'll drop the most generic aff in the world if they lose the T flow.

Speed: 6. If you aren't clear, then it makes my job infinitely harder. If you spread through the standards on T, Theory, and other analytic arguments, I won't feel guilty if it doesn't make it onto the flow. I can only evaluate what I was able to flow.

K: cool

CP: Cool

DA: Cool

FW: Cool

T: Go for it

Performance: Go for it.

Over/underviews: Please

Non Topical affs

I am open to new uses of time, performance, and affs that are not topical. However, I feel it is the burden of the affirmative to provide solid framework telling me to evaluate the round differently than if I were a traditional policymaker.

Topicality I'll be honest here. As aff, I was frequently non topical and as neg I read T all of the time. I am okay with T hacks, and I won't punish an aff outright so long as they can provide ample reason why their aff would be preferrable to the topic. I will default to competing interps on T debates generally.

Spec args I actually thing it's pretty valuable. I would rather see a spec arg than an agent CP.

Nebel T: You can read it, but its a vertical battle to me. Whole res is stupid. I would much rather see infinite affs on the wiki than listen to an infinite amount of PICs. Don't tell me you couldn't read anything against the aff if you're compotent. Force them to defend generics, read a K, go for an abusive CP. I don't really care, but the notion that negs should get infinite access to DA and PIC ground because they aren't feeling like doing prep work doesn't fly for me. You didn't have 15 minutes before the round to prep out your opponent, you had infinite time to prep out conceivable positions.

Debate authors: this is my pet peeve. Debate people are great for advice at camp, they're not gods on the T flow. Cut it out. "Don't use me in round," Steve Knell, 2015


I diverge from most policy judges in that I actually enjoy theory. However I have some specifics.

1. If you make me vote for disclosure theory, I'll hate you

2. Condo is legit, severance is fine. Agent, process, and inherency cps are are legit theory violations.


I don't really feel like I should have to put a section in here for K's but, here we go. I was a K hack that read Queer Theory/Ableism all of senior year. I believe that the K is a valid argument, and provides great (if not real world value,) intellectual value. I am familiar with queer, fem, and ableism literature as well as biopower. If you choose to read other identity critiques or something that isn't a "generic K," I may call for evidence. I will evaluate arguments I am unfamiliar with to the best of my ability.


Most CPs are totally able to be permed. I require debaters explain how the permutation is functional first, and evaluate whether or not the perm harms the integrity of the kritik if that becomes relevant. I am happy to grant perms, but if you do not tell me how the perm would function, I will most likely conclude neg.


Honestly, disads are my least favorite arguments. If you want me to vote for it, you're best going for a CP/DA strategy.

Other things about me

  • Kanye, Migos, Uzi, and Yachty quotes will grant extra speaks
  • Drake references are minus points
  • Sass is welcome. Being an asshole is frowned upon.

Olivia Whiteley Paradigm

6 rounds

General Notes:

-Include me in email chains:

-Flashing isn't prep.

-I am persuaded by warranted anaylsis. The more reasons you provide why an argument is true, the more compelling I find an argument. Develop your ideas and choose arguments. Depth matters. Tech matters.

-I am a policy-oriented judge, but will vote on more kritikal arguments.

-LET YOUR PARTNER SPEAK. If you need to tag-team, it's chill. But speaking over your partner when they have clearly got it is RUDE. PLAY NICE.

Argument-Specific Preferences:

-Kritical Affirmatives/Framework: A well-run framework argument is compelling to me. I am willing to vote for a limits/fairness argument. If your fw argument does not have strategic value/you don't invest heavily in it, I am probably not going to pick you up. If you do not explain your kritik well, fail to connect it with the real world, or rely heavily on jargon, I am probably not going to pick you up. However, I am willing to vote for well-run kritikal affirmatives. The alt debate matters to me. Win it. 

-Topicality: I love nuanced T debates. If fleshed out, I am willing to vote on reasonability. Fairness is also legitimate. I lean truth over tech in these debates-but tech still matters.

-CPs: If enough work is done on the theory debate, Process CPs, Advantage CPs, and PICs can be legitimate. Work means engaging with the other side's arguments; repeating your shell in the rebuttals is not enough. 

-DAs: DA and case is a strat. Generics are fine. Politics is my jam. 

-Ks: I am more open to kritikal arguments now that I am not debating. Contextual link work and a clear, direct explanation of how your alt works may get you the ballot. Tech over truth. Make your rage/pathos strategic. I'm not down for "we're a K so as long as we win the general thesis of the argument, it doesn't matter if we drop stuff." Dropping stuff matters. 

Hannah Wilson Paradigm

4 rounds

Yes to the email chain:

This is just my best attempt to disclose biases and shortcomings I know I have- not a definitive framework for how I might write ballots.


-One year in PF from 2014-2015

-One year in HS policy from 2015-2016

-Two years in policy at Weber state from 2016-2018

-Currently debating at Concordia starting in 2019 (I did take a year off before this so I'm still getting back into the groove of it all)

-I was an assistant debate coach at Copper Hills for two years, and have now been an assistant speech and congress coach at the The Harker School for two years.


!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)


Only putting this here because I know you all think you need a paradigm (you don't). Honestly just do your thing and don't try to adapt to all of your judges.

My thoughts on the event: The best constructives include either preemptive responses and/or framing. Referencing another person is not clash- engage with what they said. I base my judgments off of who I would want to be my congressional representative. This doesn't mean I have to agree with what you're saying, but I don't want my representative to only care about some of the issues. If you are not engaged throughout the round, asking good questions, etc. you will not get my rank. Realize that you're in a room with 16 other people- make yourself memorable.


Don't assume I know a lot about you're topic. I'm not currently coaching PF so there I've had no reason to keep up with the changing topics.

Winning a framework doesn't matter if you don't prove why you meet it best. I can keep up with speed and flow, but hammering home a few great arguments will get you farther than spreading yourself too thin (esp w those 3? minute speeches). Impacts are the most important thing, but make your link chain make sense.


Morality is not a value. Traditional vs Progressive is irrelevant to me. Make good arguments, I'm flexible on style. Y'all LDers get sucked into weird theory arguments. I have a high threshold for most theory. Even if you're winning the theory debate, if you can't prove to me that the impact is substantial I won't vote on it. It will be hard to get me to vote on new affs bad and disclosure theory.


Read what you want and I'll do my best to evaluate it. Most of my experience is in K debate, but that doesn't mean I won't vote for a policy aff or on framework. It's just not what I'm most familiar with. If you're reading a policy aff tell me what your acronyms mean and be clear in explaining your solvency mechanism. Don't assume I'm familiar with the topic- as of lately I've been judging almost solely speech and Congress. I won't have background from a years worth of judging debates.

Theory- I generally have a high threshold for theory arguments. It will be hard to convince me new affs are bad, or that I should vote on disclosure theory. I might vote on condo, but I generally think multiple advocacies are good.

Framework- If you're going to read framework please be familiar with the evidence you're reading- if it's going to be all or most the ground you have at least own that. Contextualize the arguments to their aff. I prefer education impacts on framework to fairness impacts (generally think fairness is an internal link, but am open to being proved wrong) K's are fair game on the neg. If you're aff wanting to weigh your impacts you should defend your reps. Extinction outweighs is not a defense of reps- why is policy simulation good?

Ks- Explain it all as if I had never heard of it before. I'll evaluate the way you articulated it to me, not my previous knowledge of the argument. I don't have tons of background on high theory pomo stuff, so be really explicit here. Contextualize your links to the aff well. I won't vote on links to the squo- how does the aff make it worse or cause it? One important bias: I can be talked into viewing the links as independent disads without needing alt solvency, but in that world you need to win that the impacts of the link specifically outweigh the impacts of the aff. This is especially important for 1ars- invest in more offensive args on the k and not just no alt solvency.

Note: Be nicer to novices when you are debating them. Not that you should debate down, but don't be rude. We're all here to learn, and winning isn't a sign that you're better than anyone.

I understand the value of having a judge who gives great feedback, and I'll do my best to be that for you all.

Addie Wilson Paradigm

3 rounds

add me to the email chain pls:
i am very short and am often confused for a high school child. yes I am your judge.

Who I am:
Denver East/Denver Independent '17
UC Berkeley '21
I personally never cared about this kind of stuff as a debater, but in case you do—I debated three years of high school, made it to the TOC and broke at almost every national tournament I went to (almost entirely as an independent entry so small schools, I feel you).

tldr: if you're wondering if you can read *x* argument in front of me, the answer is yes. I am familiar with and have read K literature, the politics DA, performance, framework, counterplans, high theory, heg good affs, etc. don't tailor your argument to fit what you think I want to hear. do what you're good at and explain your arguments well and there won't be any problems.
in terms of speaking—despite spreading, I believe debate is still an exercise in persuasion and public speaking. look at me! make jokes! be charismatic! make fun of the other team's arguments/yourself/people I know!


K affs:
do what u want. ideally, your aff should be somehow related to the topic. however, if you are able to convince me that you deserve to win with an aff that is as untopical as some of the nonsense I read in high school, I'll still vote for you. but don't assume I'm familiar with the theory you're reading—trying to confuse the other team with big words that you never explain will not help you. I will hold you to a very high threshold when it comes to answering framework because this is an argument that you ABSOLUTELY need to have good answers to if you are choosing to read a K aff. On the immigration topic specifically, be sure you have excellent answers to topical version of the aff as I foresee these arguments being very persuasive. if you chose to advocate something (which you probably should), tell me what it is and why it matters. tell me what my ballot means. too often the actual aff gets lost in clash of civ debates and I hate when the 2AR is nothing but "framework bad".

while my arguments in high school rarely ever included framework, I answered it almost every aff round. this means that despite my personal history, I have a good understanding of and appreciation for FW debates. as a judge, my perspective on FW debaets has evolved consierably from when i was a debater. you are on the side of truth—use it. read specific interpretations and topical versions of the aff. tell me specifically what about the aff is unfair/abusive. HOW DOES THE AFFIRMATIVE ACCOUNT FOR THE FACT THAT DEBATE IS A COMPETITIVE ACTIVITY WITH A WINNER AND A LOSER. the one thing I hate about FW debates is when they have nothing to do with the aff itself. that being said, I love judging FW debates. a lot.

yes!!!! I like Ks. read them well. this includes going very in-depth with the link debate in the block (and actually answering the answers made to your links—not reading the link wall your senior wrote for you), articulating your alternative well, explaining the relationship between the squo/the world of the aff/the world of the alt, a strong link debate, and most importantly: clear, developed framework that tells me how I should evaluate the round and what my ballot means in terms of the K. oh and did I mention links? *side note* if you're reading a K your coach just threw at you moments before the round because you think I'm a K hack and I'll like it better than a policy arg, don't. I will be sad.

Language/Rhetoric Ks:
I decided to add this here after some thought, and my goal is not to offend anyone with this section. please be careful when reading language/rhetoric Ks in front of me (ex. "you guys"/ableist rhetoric). unless the K is either connected to the argument you are reading or genuinely comes from a place of passion and desire to improve debate, please don't read it. a simple call out during CX should suffice and is often a more effective way of changing this kind of speech. obviously I will deal with any egregiously offensive language. but if the team you are debating unintentionally lets slip a word that carries offensive connotations to a certain group—this should not be treated as an instant ballot for you. it is an opportunity to educate and should be handled as such. if you have questions feel free to ask me :)

Affs v. Ks:
pretty much the inverse of my stance on Ks. attack each and every link, point out flaws in the alternative, tell me why the aff is better than both the squo and the alt, and make good framing args. the key to winning against the K with a policy aff most often lies on the framework flow. for critical affs against the K- articulate and execute the permutation if you have one.

yep. compare and explain your definitions/interpretations and tell me why they're better. if you want me to vote on T, tell me why I should. attach your interpretation specifically to the topic and the necessity to exclude THIS aff in particular.

I love them!!! good CP debates that clash over solvency and perms are some of the most exciting. I don't have any particular stance on CP theory except for I think the neg should probably get to read them. the CP should be both textually and functionally competitive. I will listen to it and vote for it even if its not, but it should be. disads are great by themselves but are best when paired with a more offensive argument in the 2NR. specific links will get you far.

ugh. I have been in many of them myself so I do understand why it happens, but 2ARs on nothing but theory are the worst. that being said, if the neg is trying to read a CP that steals your aff, PLEASE call them out on it. I don't air a certain way on any theory arguments, however I believe they are almost never reasons to reject the team. the only thing important to me is that you contextualize all of the arguments you are making to what is happening in the round. I DESPISE people just spreading their theory blocks at each other with no actual analysis or clash.

I think evidence is a tool, not a weapon, and blanket extension of cards without talking about their contents doesn't make an argument. Use evidence to support arguments, not to make them. That said, unevidenced, but well reasoned arguments are good. I'm for it! I don't think only cards can be evidence; a good story, poem, allegory, song, dance, whatever, could be evidence too. Of course, cards can beat non-traditional evidence also.

Things I think are rules of debate:
tech > truth
you cannot clip cards
you must flash/show your evidence to your opponents
speech times
you cannot text or communicate otherwise with anyone who is not your partner during the round
you cannot steal prep
debater-directed sexist/racist/prejudiced speech or behavior is never acceptable

Things I do not think are rules of debate:
whether or not you are topical
using the internet to look up what the hell that weird K word means (is ok)
being nice to your opponents (tho you will lose speaker points)
being nice to me (tho I'll like you more if you are)
what you choose to do with your speech/prep time

Jennifer Zheng Paradigm

3 rounds

-Background: I'm currently a 4th year college student at Cal State Fullerton. I debated public forum in high school and competed in policy debate at Cal State Fullerton.

-Love love love any type of argument you run! It doesn't matter if it's straight up policy, K, CP, FW, etc. I especially love judging very interesting arguments, but that doesn't mean I won't vote for anything else. I treat them all equally. Just make sure there are links between your arguments and you clearly explain them to me. Do not just read cards and expect that to be sufficient, I want you to go further than that.

-Impact calculus is important to me. I want you to weigh the impacts and not just read them.

-Spreading is okay as long as you articulate and are clear.

-I don't permit card cutting. That is unfair and you will lose and get a 0 for your speaker points.

-Don't expect me to do the work for you because I won't.

-Have Fun!!!

-If you have any questions or comments about my RFD you can email at

ruby klein Paradigm

6 rounds

College Prep '17

Wake Forest '21

Please put me on the email chain:

Worked at Wake camp this summer, but it would still behoove you to explain acronyms, topic examples, etc.

Tech/execution determines what arguments are true, presuming there's a warrant and implication.

I vote on dropped arguments that I don't believe and flow debates carefully. I've also found that I care more about evidence quality than I expected I would, so I'll look at important cards pretty closely.

I like nexus questions, impact calculus, clear solvency mechanisms, and people who look like they're enjoying themselves.

Inserting rehighlighted evidence without reading it is fine if it's to prove their thing is out of context or if it was read in CX. Otherwise, read it.

Be respectful, please, whether that be towards your opponents, partner, coaches.


I believe affs should be germane to the resolution and that clash is the best impact. Fairness can be too if you explain your stuff and give examples. That doesn't sound super difficult though.

The best aff strategy in front of me includes a counter-interpretation and explicit role for the negative. Defending DAs is a good place to start, although it's certainly not a catch-all. In other words, make sure you're responding carefully to neg offense.

Internal link defense seems underutilized and valuable for both sides. Proper nouns (read: examples) matter.


I think conditionality's good if it's not totally egregious (3+ is cutting it, especially if you're aggressively amending & adding stuff).

A creative perm debate is likely better and less life-denying, but I understand that theory is necessary to beat process counterplans that steal the aff and cheat.

I'll judge kick if the neg says something about it. Can be persuaded by a 2AR saying it's bad.


Not really familiar with high theory, so take that for what you will. Or just like, explain and contextualize your arguments.

Detailed and specific link debating is the best way to get my ballot + points. A successful negative strategy likely includes defense against the case.

Fiat bad or not real arguments aren't persuasive to me.


Turning the case is way more likely with cards.


Slow down if your thing is tricky and/or quasi-competitive.

Process, consult, conditions CPs are likely bad, but a specific advocate about the topic/aff goes a long way.

Love well-researched pics.


A decent amount of evidence with an intent to define considerably improves your offense.

Caselists on both sides are good. I tend to care most about predictability.

Reasonability is most persuasive to me when articulated as an aff predictability argument.