Parli TOC

2017 — CA/US

Basil Abushama Paradigm

Background & Experience: 

4 years of hs parli (circuit and lay, 2x toc champ), some HS policy (circuit), some college NPDA 


General Philosophy:

I am okay with listening to any argument any you should choose to run, provided that you lay out the argument clearly and tells me why it wins you the ballot.

I view high school debate as both a competitive activity for the sake of competition and an arena for students to enrich their education by becoming better thinkers and learning more about the world. As such, I will remove myself from the round as much as humanly possible, and base my decision on my best objective evaluation of the arguments made. I flow very carefully. I will not get in your way, so do what you want argumentatively and you can expect me to evaluate it. 

My debate style is pretty diverse — I have a good footing in running and hitting normative topical positions, kritiks, theory, and anything in between. My default layering of the round is that theory comes before the kritik and the kritik comes before case, but, in round, tell me what arguments you want to come first (regardless of if it is the same as my default) as I will not do that work for you. 

Weighing is very important to me, so do a good amount of work analyzing the impacts throughout the round, and especially at the end, in the rebuttals. Tell me what impacts matter the most, why they matter the most, and why they win you the round, regardless of the position you’re banking your strategy on.  



I'm chill with spreading. I will get down your arguments on my flow and will reward higher speaker points to spreading that is exceptionally clear, easy to follow, and/or engaging to listen to. Pointers: 

(1) Slow down for taglines, texts, when you switch to a different sheet of paper or argument, and other important parts of your position as you deem fit. 

(2) Try not to slur or be repetitive. Spreading is only strategic if you can do it efficiently and clearly.

(3) Be considerate to your opponents. If they are not familiar with spreading, then try to be inclusive of them. Give them texts, answer their POIs, and try to be accommodating of their requests if they have any. It really sucks to get spread out of a round -- doesn't mean you should not spread, just means you should try to be a good sport about it. 



Go for it. I dig it. I ran kritiks quite a bit, and enjoy watching a good kritikal round. I am familiar with most of the authors that debaters commonly cite, like Marx, Nietzsche, Agamben, Foucault, Baudrillard, Wilderson, and the rest of the gang. I’m also chill with performances. If you can surprise me with a kritik that isn’t so common, I’ll be happy and give you props, but explain it well. Regardless of whether or not I know the literature, I will not do work for you filling in arguments, explanations or warrants. Pointers: 

(1) Links. Please, run links that interact very specifically with the affirmative position. A few safe generic links are okay, but don’t bank entirely on them. If you can’t come up with any specific links, that means one of two things: one, you aren’t familiar enough with your kritik, or, two, the kritik doesn’t apply well. Both are not good positions to be in. 

(2) Alt & Alt-Solvency. Explain what your alternative does and how it solves for the impacts you outlined in the rest of your K. 

(3) I think framing on the K is pretty important, so don’t skate over that part and assume I’ll just give you reasons why the K comes first. Tell me through what lens I should evaluate the round and why. Again, I will not do work for you on the K. 



I ran K-Affs a few times and have hit them plenty of times. I’m okay with them. Just make sure justify them well, as you should with any kritikal position. 



I also dig theory. I ran theory quite a bit, from your standard shells to some more out-there shells. Although I view theory as a way to check against real abuse, I’ll listen to and vote for any shell if you win the flow. Pointers: 

(1) I default to competing interpretations. 

(2) Be very clear and specific with your interpretations. I will take interpretations literally, meaning, if the other team manages to find a lawyer-esque way to meet your interpretation and its logically valid, I will not give much credence to a backtrack along the lines of “well, you know what we meant.” 

(3) Ground is the most important standard to me, as it is kind of an umbrella for all fairness-related standards. However, you should still weigh your standards if you want to win the theory debate. 

(4) I will not do work for you on the evaluation of the theory. If you want theory to come first, tell me that and tell me why. 

(5) I have a lower threshold to voting on RVI's than most judges, but still have a pretty high threshold. You'd have to do a lot of pretty compelling work on the RVI to use it to get the ballot.


Straight Up Case Debate:

I very much enjoy a well-informed and thought out, normative, topical debate. Well constructed, intrinsic advantages and disadvantages, impact framing from the get-go, and smart strategies increase your chances of getting my ballot. Brink scenarios are almost always more compelling than linear advantages/disadvantages, and try to get your arguments to go in the right direction from uniqueness to links to impacts. 

I’m okay with CPs that change implementation methods, conditionality, dispositionality, and PICs. 



Even flow debate, at its core, is a persuasive activity. Treat it as such. Don’t completely brush off presentation — a confident portrayal of an argument makes it much more appealing to a judge.  

I am okay with tag-teaming, just don’t go overboard about it. 


Other Key Points: 

(1) I like gutsy strategic moves. However, don’t just make a gutsy move for the sake of making a gutsy move, because while I will be amused and pleased, I will not vote for you if it doesn’t win you the round. 

(2) Add some personality, and be yourself. You’re real people speaking to real people — rounds that feel like that are more engaging to watch and partake in, in my opinion.

(3) If you kick something, kick it properly by extending defense. I won’t shadow kick for you if the other team calls you out on the shadow kick.

(4) Be good people. It'd be nice to see the debate community try to spread some love. 

Fatima Al Amir Paradigm

I debated parli for 2.5 years at Irvine Valley and had intermittent experience in BP and IPDA during that time. 

As of this semester I coach Campolindo HS's parli team and am a member of UC Berkeley's parli team, although my schedule rarely allows me to compete for Cal. 

I have judged policy, parli, ld, public forum, congress, BP, and a plethora of IE's, and privately tutored speech students.


I will not protect against new arguments in the rebuttals unless it is clear--after a few pts of order--that the speaker is trying to be sneaky. I expect that if your opponent asks for a text of the plan/cp/alt/perm(s), it will be provided. I can flow speed to a reasonable extent, but will dock speaks/not be able to evaluate your arguments if you are so fast that you're unclear. Please answer at least one question per speech if asked. Tag-teaming is fine.

Case debate:

AFF--Please make warranted and impacted arguments. I don't like voting on any remotely slippery scenarios and very much enjoy interrogative link debate. I am not keen on intrinsic permutations, otherwise perms are fine as tests of competition. I am also fine with unconventional affs so long as I am given a clear way to evaluate your performance and the other team is given a clear way to engage the aff/compete for the ballot. I will not vote on an RVI.

NEG--I believe theory precedes all other arguments in the round and will vote on it with a proven violation. I do not need articualated abuse to vote on theory. I am fine with DAs and CPs (including PICs). I do not like politics DAs because the links are usually awful. 


Please always debate policy. 


I am fine with k affs and neg k's. I am not a k debater myself but will vote on one. However, I have a very high threshold for buying the efficacy of the alternative, and I view k debates as a comparison between the alternative and the plan. Please try to include specific links

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have before the round! Best of luck! 

Sheelah Bearfoot Paradigm

Just as a heads up, I also have a paradigm on Wikijudges that is geared more towards HS LD. At this point, good HS parli is getting closer to college NPDA, so this paradigm is now applicable for both.

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

Last thing - lots of teams have been running Indigenous something or other in front of me. I guess they inherently assume this is good judge adaptation. It frequently is not. If you are planning on doing this, please scroll down to the bottom and read my opinions on this instead of telling me how to think about my own identity.
(Also, I like a lot of different things. I'm super nerdy. Please don't feel constrained in the breadth of arguments you can run in front of me; there's more to me than my race. *cries single tear*)

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

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

Disads: I want a clear link/internal link story. This is often lacking in politics disads, which are interesting when done well and awful when they’re like “voting for this bill drains the president’s political capital”. Be specific and intrinsic. Impact calc is important and reminding me why I should be weighing all this under your framework. I’m not tied to Probability >Magnitude or Manitude>Probability – you convince me which one I should prioritize. Timeframe can be a good tie-breaker for this.
I’m not a big fan of relying on sweeping assumptions that some people try to mistakenly call “common sense”. Justify your positions, even if you think they’re obvious; remember what I said about hating Eurocentrism? Guess what, I don’t think US hedge is good, I think a lot of things about food aid are profoundly screwed up, and that MAD is stupid AF and has done way more harm than good, just to name a few things. This does not mean I won’t vote on something that I disagree with – I have many times, I am a tab flow judge and hate judge intervention. It just means that you need to provide reasons for why something is good or bad, don’t just assume it is inherently or you'll lose speaks.
Theory: If you run it, please make sure it's warranted. I have voted on it and will if it isn't responded to, but it’s not exactly my favorite type of debate. Clarify what you mean by “reasonability” and why you are being more reasonable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Sarah Botsch-McGuinn Paradigm

Sarah Botsch-McGuinn

Director of Speech and Debate-Cooper City HS (2018-present)

Director of Speech and Debate-American Heritage Boca-Delray (2017-2018)

Director of Forensics-Notre Dame San Jose (2009-2017)
Head Debate Coach-Notre Dame San Jose (2008-2009)

I’ve been a debate coach for the past 11 years, and Director of Forensics for 9 at NDSJ, one year as Director at American Heritage and now at Cooper City HS. I primarily coached Parliamentary Debate from 2008-2017, including circuit Parli debate. To that end, I’ve judged in many local California invitationals (Cal, SCU, Stanford, SCU2, MLK, NPDI, 6x4, etc), including adjudicating many elimination rounds (including late elimination rounds). I was myself a college debater and did LD in high school (Parli was not introduced until after I was out of high school). I've judged finals for the TOC for the California Cup (Parli Debate's TOC) five times over the last few years. I've coached all forms of debate (though LD, PF and Parli most extensively) and have adjudicated late elim rounds in all forms of debate. I've been involved in National Circuit LD pretty extensively over the last 2 years.

First and foremost, I only ever judge what is presented to me in rounds. I do not extend arguments for you and I do not bring in my own bias. I am a flow judge, and I will flow the entire debate, no matter the speed, though I do appreciate being able to clearly understand all your points. I consider myself to be a gamemaker in my general philosophy, so I see debate as game. That doesn't mean that there aren't real world impacts off debate (and I tend to be convinced by 'this will impact outside the round' type of arguments).

While I do appreciate fresh approaches to resolution analysis, I’m not an “anything goes” judge. I believe there should be an element of fair ground in debate-debates without clash, debates with extra topicality, etc will almost certainly see me voting against whoever tries to do so if the other side even makes an attempt at arguing it (that said, if you can’t adequately defend your right to a fair debate, I’m not going to do it for you. Don’t let a team walk all over you!). Basically, I love theoretical arguments, and feel free to run them, just make sure they have a proper shell. *Note: when I see clear abuse in round I have a very low threshold for voting on theory. Keep that in mind-if you try to skew your opponent out of the round, I WILL vote you down if they bring it up. Many have tried, you will fail.*

I also want to emphasize that I'm an educator first and foremost. I believe in the educational value of debate and it's ability to create critical thinkers.

Since quality of argument wins for me 100% of the time, I’m not afraid of the low point win. I don’t expect this to enter into the rounds much at an elite tournament where everyone is at the highest level of speaking style, but just as an emphasis that I will absolutely not vote for a team just because they SOUND better. I tend to stick to 26-29+ point range on a 30 scale, with average/low speakers getting 26s, decent speakers getting 27s, good 28s, excellent 29s, and 30 being reserved for best I’ve seen all day. I will punish rudeness/lying in speaks though, so if you’re rude or lie a lot, expect to see a 25 or less. Additionally, shouting louder doesn’t make your point any better, I can usually hear just fine.

If I gave you less than 24, you probably really made me angry or stood on a desk and waved your arms or something. If you are racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, ableist etc I will punish you in speaks. You have been warned.

I don’t subscribe to the belief that spreading makes debate more exclusive therefore should be preferred, but that doesn’t mean you’ll lose because you talk fast. There is an incredible distinction between speaking quickly to cover points and circuit style spreading, and trust me, I can handle either and have NO problem with the former. I will call 'clear' once if you are going too fast, and put down my pen if I can't follow. It's only happened a couple times, so you must be REALLY fast for me to give up.


I find double clutch breathing in Parli annoying, but I won't punish your speaks for it. You'll just make me cry a lot inside :(

Not that I like it in LD/Policy but it doesn't bother me nearly as much.

A prioris:
Please explain why your argument is a-priori before I will consent to consider it as such. Generally I am only willing to entertain framework arguments as a-priori, but who knows, I've been surprised before.

Theory is great, as I mentioned above, run theory all day long with me, though I am going to need to see rule violations and make sure you have a well structured shell. I should not see theory arguments after the 1AR in LD or after the MG speech in Parli. I also don't want to see theory arguments given a ten second speed/cursory explanation, when it's clear you're just trying to suck up time. My threshold is high for RVIs, but if you can show how your opponent is just sucking time, I'm open to this. Also open to condo-bad arguments on CPs/Ks, though that doesn't mean you'll automatically win on this.

Small note for LD: Disclosure theory: I'm unlikely to vote on this if your opponent isn't reading something very strange. I think education and disclosure is good but that doesn't mean I think someone should automatically lose for not. Keep this in mind.

Most other theory I evaluate in round. I don't tend to go for blippy theory arguments though!

Critical arguments:
I love the K, give me the K, again, just be structured. I don't need the whole history of the philosopher, but I haven't read everything ever, so please be very clear and give me a decent background to the argument before you start throwing impacts off it. Also, here's where I mention that impacts are VITAL to me, and I want to see terminal impacts.

Please note: I absolutely loathe the Batman K. It makes me actively angry. If you go for it, after reading this line, I will give your opponents double 30s and put my pen down and ignore you the rest of the round. Please and thank you.

In general I default to competing interp. If for some reason we have gotten to the point of terribad debate, I presume Neg (Aff has burden to prove the resolution/affirm. Failure to do so is Neg win. God please don't make me do this :( )

I like very clear weighing in rebuttals. Give me voting issues and compare worlds, tell me why I should prefer or how you outweigh, etc. Please. I go into how I evaluate particular impacts below.

I like clear voting issues! Just because I’m flowing doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate you crystallizing and honing in on your main points of offense.

I prefer voter speeches follow a: Main points of offense-->impact calc--->world comp model. If you just do impact calc I'll be happy with it, but I like looking on my voter sheet for what you feel you're winning on. It helps me more quickly organize my ideas.

I put a lot of emphasis on impacts in my decisions. The team with bigger/more terminal, etc impacts generally walks away with my vote, so go to town. This goes doubly true for framework or critical arguments. Why is this destroying debate as we know it? Why is this ___ and that's horrible? Translation: I tend to weigh magnitude heaviest in round, but if you can prove pretty big probable impacts over very low probability extinction impacts I'll likely go that direction.

You should be able to articulate how your contentions support your position/value/whatever. That should go without saying, but you would be very surprised. I don't vote on blips, even if we all know what you're saying is true. So please warrant your claims and have a clear link story. This goes doubly true for critical positions or theory.

David Chamberlain Paradigm

David Chamberlain
English Teacher and Director of Forensics - Claremont High School, CA
20 years coaching forensics. I usually judge Parliamentary debate at tournaments.

In Parli debate I don't like being bogged down in meta debating. Nor do I appreciate frivolous claims of abuse. I always hope for a clean, fun and spirited debate. I trust in the framer's intent and believe the debaters should too! Logic, wit and style are rewarded.

In PF debate I certainly do not appreciate speed and believe debaters must choose positions carefully being thoughtful of the time constraints of the event. This is the peoples' debate and should be presented as such.

In LD debate I prefer a more traditional debate round with a Value + Value Criterion/Standard that center around philosophical discussions of competing moral imperatives. I understand the trend now is for LD Debaters to advocate plans. I don't know if this is good for the activity. There's already a debate format that exclusively deals with plan debate. LD is not one-person policy debate.

I can flow speed debate, but prefer that debate be an oratorical activity.

I enjoy Theory debates. I don't know that I always understand them. I do count on the debaters being able to clearly understand and articulate any theory arguments to me so that I can be comfortable with my vote. I prefer rounds to be centered on substance, but there is a place for theory. I usually default to reasonability, and don't prefer the competing interpretations model. It takes something egregious for me to vote on T.

I usually start at a 27.0 and work my way up or down from there. Usually you have to be rude or unprepared to dip below the 27.0.

I don't think it makes sense to operate a counterplan unless the Aff has presented a plan. If the Aff does go with a Plan debate, then a Counterplan is probably a good strategy. If not, then I don't understand how you can counter a plan that doesn't exist. If this is the debate you want to have, try Policy debate.

Critical Arguments:
The biggest problem with these is that often debaters don't understand their own message / criticism / literature. I feel they are arguments to be run almost exclusively on the Negative, must have a clear link, and a stable alternative that is more substantial than "do nothing", "vote neg", or "examine our ontology/epistemology".

Politics / DAs:
I really enjoy Political discussions, but again, LD is probably the wrong format of debate for the "political implications" of the "plan" that result in impacts to the "status quo" to be discussed.

Kaitlin Coltin Paradigm

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Mariel Cruz Paradigm

Mariel Cruz - Updated 10/2/2018

Schools I've coached/judged for: Santa Clara Univerisity, Cal Lutheran University, Gunn High School, Polytechnic School, Saratoga High School, and Notre Dame High School

I judge mostly Parliamentary debate, but occasionally PF and LD. I used to judge policy pretty regularly when I was a policy debater in college. I judge all events pretty similarly, but I do have a few specific notes about Parli debate listed below.

Background: I was a policy debater for Santa Clara University for 5 years. I also helped run/coach the SCU parliamentary team, so I know a lot about both styles of debate. I've been coaching and judging on the high school and college circuit since 2012, so I have seen a lot of rounds. I teach/coach pretty much every event, including LD and PF, but I have primarily coached parli the last few years.

Policy topic: I haven’t done much research on either the college or high school policy topic, so be sure to explain everything pretty clearly.

Speed: I’m good with speed, but be clear. I don't love speed, but I tolerate it. As I've started coaching events that don't utilize speed, I've come to appreciate rounds that are a bit slower. I used to judge and debate in fast rounds in policy, but fast rounds in parli and the other debate events are very different, so fast debaters should be careful, especially when running theory and reading plan/cp texts. If you’re running theory, try to slow down a bit so I can flow everything really well. Or give me a copy of your alt text/Cp text. Also, be sure to sign-post, especially if you're going fast, otherwise it gets too hard to flow. I actually think parli (and all events other than policy) is better when it's not super fast. Without the evidence and length of speeches of policy, speed is not always useful or productive for other debate formats.

K: I like all types of arguments, disads, kritiks, theory, whatever you like. I like Ks but I’m not an avid reader of literature, so you’ll have to make clear explanations, especially when it comes to the alt. Even though the politics DA was my favorite, I did run quite a few Ks when I was a debater. However, I don't work with Ks as much as I used to (I coach many students who debate at local tournaments only where Ks are not as common), so I'm not super familiar with every K, but I've seen enough Ks that I have probably seen something similar to what you're running. Just make sure everything is explained well enough. If you run a K I haven't seen before, I'll compare it to something I have seen. I am not a huge fan of Ks like Nietzche, and I'm skeptical of alternatives that only reject the aff. I don't like voting for Ks that have shakey alt solvency or unclear frameworks or roles of the ballot.

Framework and Theory: I tend to think that the aff should defend a plan and the resolution and affirm something (since they are called the affirmative team), but if you think otherwise, be sure to explain why you it’s necessary not to. I’ll side with you if necessary. I usually side with reasonability for T, and condo good, but there are many exceptions to this (especially for parli - see below). I'll vote on theory and T if I have to. However, I'm very skeptical of theory arguments that seem frivolous and unhelpful (ie Funding spec, aspec, etc)

Parli specific: Since the structure for parli is a little different, I don't have as a high of a threshold for theory and T as I do when I judge policy, which means I am more likely to vote on theory and T in parli rounds than in policy rounds. This doesn't mean I'll vote on it every time, but I think these types of arguments are a little more important in parli, especially for topics that are kinda vague and open to interpretation. I also think Condo is more abusive in parli than other events, so I'm more sympathetic to Condo bad args in parli than in other events I judge.

Policy/LD prep: I’m fine with paperless debate. I was a paperless debater for a while myself. I don’t time exchanging flashdrives, but don’t abuse that time. Please be courteous and as timely as possible.

General debate stuff: I was a bigger fan of CPs and disads, but my debate partner loved theory and Ks, so I'm familiar with pretty much everything. I like looking at the big picture as much as the line by line. Frankly, I think the big picture is more important, so things like impact analysis and comparative analysis are important.

Marty De Paradigm

Assistant Debate coach at Grapevine HS, TX
Coaching since 2010 - primarily LD, Congress, Public Forum
Competed in LD as a high school student

Speed: You can speak at the pace that you prefer, but I will yell clear if you're going too fast.

Evidence: Full citations, with a clear explanation of your evidence. Please signpost.

Flex prep: I don't like it.

Theory: Not my favorite, but I have voted on it and at times it was quite relevant to the round.

Philosophy: If it is really esoteric, make sure you explain the importance of it. Personally, I like hearing Philosophy in LD rounds.

Crystallization: The last speech should be purely crystallization (no line by line). Make sure you're weighing and tell me why you won the round.

Value: I weigh value and criterion clash HEAVILY in the debate round.

Michael Dittmer Paradigm

Hello! My name is Michael Dittmer and I have 4 years of HS LD experience and 2 years of NPDA experience in college. I am currently an LD and Parli coach for Evergreen Valley High School.

A couple notes on my paradigm:

1. I debated for Cal parli and understand tech arguments and am fine with speed. However, I was not the fastest nor most technically advanced debater on the college NPDA circuit, so please accord a little slowing down and explanation in case you're running a complicated position or are telling me how to evaluate certain args, especially in rebuttals. I'm a few years out so if you need to explain to me what functional vs. text comp, competing interps vs. reasonability, etc. please do since I always appreciate the clarity.

2. Generally, the most important thing is having clear, supported, and impacted arguments. I will default to a policy making/net benefits paradigm but am totally fine being told how to evaluate otherwise (e.g. K's, ROB, etc.).

3. I otherwise don't have a whole lot of preferences regarding certain paradigmatic issues, eg related to evaluating theory, K's, etc. Regarding theory I will default to competing interpretations unless told otherwise. I'm open to reasonability but probably will err on little more on comparing interps. Theory/procedural needs to be justified as a priori in order to be treated as such. Most importantly, please slow down and clearly read interpretations and violations-both for the sake of me and also in fairness to your opponents.

4. I understand RVIs and metatheory are becoming more a thing these days, but I generally have a pretty high bar for voting for RVIs or arguments that criticize the act of running theory (e.g. in the 1AR) unless abuse is strongly demonstrated.

Feel free to ask questions before round if you see something not listed here. Good luck!

Keith Eddins Paradigm

After retiring from the U.S. Foreign Service, I returned to high school debate as a (volunteer) coach and frequent judge in 2013. When not coaching and/or judging debate, I teach international affairs and public policy at the University of Oregon.

CX Paradigm: My judging approach has evolved significantly over the past five-plus years. While I still consider myself more of a truth-over-tech/policymaking-paradigm judge, I don't believe -- as some would suggest -- that policymaker automatically equates with a simple util approach. Far from it. Essentially, I view the two teams as playing the role of competing actors within the government, each trying to convince me to endorse their policy option. But I remain open to whichever framework one of the teams can convince me should or best applies.

And while I have an inherent bias toward the realistic (particular as it involves global security issues such as nuclear weapons, NATO and Russia, and the nature and distribution of power and influence within the international state system), I'm fully open to Kritiks. That said, although I know my Marx/Engels/Lenin pretty well, if you want to run French post-modernist arguments -- or anything of that sort -- you'll need to explain it to me in terms I can understand and appreciate. And that may mean slowing down enough to make yourself more comprehensible and persuasive. I would also advise you against running any sort of performance AFF...I'll judge it if you run it, but it's hard for me to evaluate. For better or worse, I still view the resolution as the starting point of any policy debate, and I still believe that an AFF case needs some version -- however abbreviated -- of a case and a plan. And case matters. A significant percentage of the AFF ballots I write end up noting that NEG essentially conceded case...that shouldn’t be the norm. (And, yes, on the other side of that I still very much believe that presumption lies with the NEG...and that going for it is a legit approach that can win a debate.) Unless something is truly and grossly abusive, I am not particularly keen on RVIs or similar arguments for a behavior as opposed to a policy issue on the flow.

As for T, I am more than open to T arguments and will vote NEG on T if the AFF can't make a coherent topicality defense. But be aware that I have a very inclusive topicality threshold (to put it in 2014-15 oceans topic terms, if a case involved salt water I was ready to accept it as reasonable... provided the AFF made that argument).

I'm good with aggressive spreading, but recommend you slow down enough to allow me to hear and flow your tag lines and organizational structure; sign-posting may seem old-fashioned, but if you want me to flow your argument in the correct spot, intelligible sign-posting remains an important element in the process. Pet peeve addressed to 1NCs: LABEL YOUR ARGUMENTS, please. 'Next' is not a label. Off-case, tell me whether you're reading T, a DISAD, a CP, a K, or something else. Similarly, ‘case’ is not a label. Tell me where you want your argument flowed. It may seem 100% clear to you, but it may not be as clear to me (particularly if there's no email chain and I don't have your speech). If there is an email chain, I want to be part of it:

Tag-team CX is fine, but recognize that if the debater who is the designated questioner or respondent is overwhelmed by their partner, both team members will likely receive reduced speaker points.

LD and Parli Paradigm: I'm pretty much tabula rasa in both these formats, happy to judge the debate as it's presented and debated. I will always be a flow judge (who values line-by-line clash as much as possible). But I'm generally more 'progressive' in judging LD and Parli than I am in judging Policy. Go figure. In both LD and Parli, I very much appreciate theory/framework arguments. I also think both LD and Parli debates benefit from explicit plans/advocacies, which thus opens up the NEG option of CPs/counter-advocacies. Ditto K debate in LD and Parli...go for it, provided you know what you're doing (and can present the K clearly and coherently). Basically, the more LD and Parli resemble Policy, the better.

PF Paradigm: Follow the rules, of course, but I'm comfortable with pushing the limits (in terms of advocacies and counter-advocacies and such)...that said, I'm open to the other team pushing back. I will evaluate the debate off my flow, so line-by-line clash and full coverage of the key issues are important. That means spreading is fine with don't have much time in PF, so use what you have to the fullest. Ditto theory (to the extent it exists in PF). Again, PF is kinda/sorta Policy Lite, and I'll generally prefer a more Policy-like approach.

Timekeeping: In all forms of debate I expect competitors to keep their own time (including prep). Also, debaters should keep track of their opponent’s time (including prep). I will make an exception for novices at their first few tournaments, but otherwise time yourselves, please.

Rosemary Endick Paradigm

Quick Summary - Run whatever you want, be clear. It's your round, take advantage of it! Flow judge, give me articulated arguments. Kritiks are appreciated, warrants are awesome and taglines are not enough. The squo is more scarier now than ever - tell me whatever I can do to make debate a welcome space for you.

Background -

NPDA Debate - 3 years - Enough tournaments and practice to be very familiar with pretty much anything you can throw at me in the debate space.

Judging for 3 1/2 years - judged parli, policy and LD a lot (and I.E.s but whateverrr)

Approach to Judging -

-I am pretty tabula rasa, within reason. I default to reasonability inmost debates unless there is framework that asks me to change my perspective.

-I like high-probability, systemic impacts first and foremost. Give me real warrants and evidence and ANALYSIS I can weigh and you'll find my ballot favorable. I will vote on any framing though.

-I am a flow judge. I always walk the path of least intervention and won't extend or make arguments for you. Give me voters to refer to and it'll make my life easier. I'm really serious about this.

-I love anything kritikal, but it isn't necessary. I like topical and non-topical affs, but be careful with ID tix and other super generic non-topical advocacies. I like straight-up policy cases with advantages and DA's and the like. I like contentions with good framework articulated. Essentially, you can do anything if you do it well and make it easy for me to follow.

-I need articulated impacts, and arguments in general. Taglines are not enough. Explain to me the directionality and extent of your impacts.

-I don't like arguments dropped in member speeches to be suddenly voters in rebuttals AKA shadow extensions but people need to point of order it for me to not evaluate it.

-Let me know if there's anything I can do to make the debate space more inclusive for you. If you have any needs or preferences, I'm happy to help.

Argument Prefs -

Framework - I will evaluate the round as you want me to as long as you win framework. I do default to net benes/util, but am totally open to other ways of viewing the round.

Spec -I think spec arguments are rough to win, but I'm open to them. Give me solid standards and proven ground loss and I might pick you up on it.

Topicality - I don't like time-suck T's, and I think that a lot of T arguments don't actually really impact the debate except to inhibit clash. I have a medium threshold for T. You need articulated ground loss usually. However, if you drop it, or any a-priori arguments, you're going to lose the debate. Just be careful.

CPs - Always a great idea. I think CP's are super underused and really effective. I like PIC debates and if you run a CP, you just need to be careful about mutual exclusivity. I don't have a problem with condo CPs.

RVI's - I will vote on them, but only for a good reason i.e. rhetoric in the procedural/DA/whatever, timesuck arguments that are fully fleshed out, etc. Just like all other arguments, if it's blippy I probably won't vote on it and your time is probably better spent elsewhere.

Perms - Always go for the perm. I think the Opp has to really win the perm doesn't function to have a good shot in the round because it is often one of the easiest places to vote.

Kritiks - I like K's! I don't have a ton of background knowledge on some kritiks but have run a lot of Nietzsche, some D&G, Baud, Wilderson, but not enough of any lit other than Nietzsche that I feel confident with, so you need to explain it to me thoroughly. Any form, whether it's performance, rhetoric or otherwise, I am totally cool with. Be careful of overly-generic links.

Performance Prefs -

-I personally can handle speed as long as it's clear, but if your opponents clear or slow you, I expect you accommodate them. Additionally, attempting to spread opponents out of the round will destroy your speaks.

-I couldn't care less if you sit or stand - it's your space, make yourself comfortable

-Partner communication is fine, verbally or through notes, as long as you aren't puppeting. I will only flow what the designated speaker says.

-I don't have an issue with sass or playfulness, but don't be mean to your opponents or partner. There's a fine-line between the two and if you have trouble walking it, I'd be nice to be safe.

-Use your time as you wish, but try not to be too repetitive.

-I don't think you need to yell or be overly angry to try to project confidence. At the same time, you do you.

-If you are being sexist, racist or generally a jerk, your speaks will absolutely reflect that. You don't need to tread on eggshells, but don't be a misogynist, racist person.

Alex Frogner Paradigm

You don't need to use your time to thank me, and you really don't need to shake my hand. Both of these concepts feel gross, personally.

I debated parli in high school, but not since, and heavy use of theory will likely get lost on me, just because I was never that sophisticated. I am open to some artful experimental/off-topic stuff, but actual trolling is a pathetic waste of everyone's time.

I am not a "blank slate" judge and will struggle to accept what I know to be blatant falsehoods.

I can have trouble understanding very rapid speech. If you've lost me, I will put down my pen and look right at you or yell ‘clear’.

Humor and wit and personal style are great ways to earn speaker points! Invective toward the other side, etc. is the fastest way to bleed them. Ditto any sort of hostility to oppressed groups in your case.

Final pet peeves: if you're going to talk extensively about funding, know how appropriation works. If you're going to cite the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, get it right.

Finally, please have fun, because I'm having fun when y'all are.

Bhrigu Gollabinnie Paradigm


- 3rd year Economics Major and Computer Science Minor at UC Berkeley. 

- Did debate all four years in high school, having done Parliamentary for the last three.

How I judge:

- I will flow the round in its entirety and to the best of my ability. My flow is only as good as your presentation, so pay attention to ordering and weighting of arguments

- Big fan of a topical, strategic, mutually exclusive counter-plan.

- I will ultimately vote on offense with net benefits as the default value criterion. I appreciate a good defensive argument, but the offense matter more.

- If an argument is made that is shaky, faulty, or plain wrong, it WILL FLOW THROUGH unless contested by the opposition. I do not like when this happens.

- Each argument should be made at the first presented opportunity to do so, solely out of fairness.

- Aff should have a specific plan text/thesis for the round to have solid base to start on. Any topicality arguments that oppose these are welcome.

- Careful with interpretation arguments. I vote based on reason and rationality, so competing interpretations are less important than straightforwardness.

- Don't spend too much time on theory or calling abuse and make sure to still touch case. I appreciate a good theory argument, but if it is overdone/ no real abuse is done, I am more likely to buy reverse voting issues or anything arguing against the theory shell.

- If you are clearly using a kritik or theory shell as a means to "play dirty" I will be able to tell and will make my decision to drop you at that moment. However, a well formulated and applicable kritik is more than welcome, as long as you make the philosophy behind it extremely clear.

- I like debates that are debated based on the logic and reasoning of arguments, with emphasis on weighing the impacts of your arguments to net benefits.

- Final speech should have clear impact analysis and clear reasoning as to why you have won. Any lines or connections I have to draw for myself across the flow shows me that you haven't kept track of your own arguments. I still will flow through winning arguments, but will keep in mind that I did it myself. 

Other notes:

- Please no crazy spreading speed. Remember, my flow is only as good as your presentation,  so anything I can't understand doesn't get voted on. 

- If you do speak too fast, I will simply make a "halting gesture" or give a verbal cue. If I have to do it multiple times, speaker points will be deducted.

- Please be respectful and cordial of your opponents. Don't talk too loud on the side when they are presenting, don't laugh or make faces at things you don't like.

- When asking POI's don't vault out of your seat. If you are not being called on for an uncomfortable period of time, sit down. You should not waste precious flowing time.

- When answering POI's no need to take it right away, or at all. A simple "No, not at this time, sorry," will suffice.

- No need for all the "blanket of thanks" pre speech formalities. Let's get down to business.



***Feel free to ask me any questions regarding specifics about my paradigm or anything not covered on this page.

James Gooler-Rogers Paradigm

TL;DR: flow judge, idgaf, don't shake hands

I like specific questions, but won't waste your time with specifics here. Hmu before round.


8 years competing: 3 lay HS parli, 5 NPDA/NPTE.

5 years coaching HS circuit parli, 2 years asst coaching NPDA, now head debate coach at Evergreen Valley.

Academically, I'm an IR major with primary interests in Marxist political economy, energy policy, and security studies.

On speaking style:

Talk as fast as needed. "Slow" means slow down; "clear" means enunciate. It will be obvious if idk where you are on the flow.

Spreading then ceding time, ad hom attacks, and unnecessary aggression = I nuke your speaks.

If you exclude others, they can argue that you should lose for it.

I reserve the right to drop you if you're an asshole.

On general argumentation:

I assume death is bad, but idk.

The aff should probably be topical.

Analyzed evidence > evidence > reasoning > claims. Unanswered claims flow through; yes, I accept shadow extensions -- fight me.

Most impact calculus is probability, timeframe, and magnitude. Know which works best for your case.

On Theory:

Any theory works if you back up your interp.

I find most theory debates to be tiresome, but will not intervene on that basis.

I default to reasonability.

On Kritiks:

Any K is fine as long as the alt outweighs the perm. (Impact turns are cool too)

I <3 cap bad; I <3 nuking speaks if you're just pandering.

For carded debate:

Slow and emphasize the author, date, and tag; Without clear tagging, later speeches are hell.

I only call for cards if the other team says you're lying/powertagging.

my email is

Trevor Greenan Paradigm


I came from a high school parli background, but most of my relevant experience is from the last 3 years with the Parli at Berkeley NPDA team. I competed on-and-off for 3 years, and now exclusively coach/run the program. As a debater I was probably most comfortable with the kritikal debate, but I’ve had a good amount of exposure to most everything in my time coaching the team. A lot of my understanding of debate has come from working with the Cal Parli team, so I tend to err more flow-centric in my round evaluations; that being said, I really appreciate innovative/novel arguments, and did a good amount of performance-based debating as a competitor. I’m generally open to just about any argument, as long as there’s good clash.

General Issues

  • I try to keep my evaluation of the round as flow-centric as possible. This means that I’ll try to limit my involvement in the round as much as possible, and I’ll pick up the worse argument if it’s won on the flow. That being said, I recognize that there’s a certain degree of intervention that’s inevitable in at least some portion of rounds, and in those cases my aim is to be able to find the least interventionist justification within the round for my decision. For me, this means prioritizing (roughly in this order): conceded arguments, arguments with warranted/substantive analysis, arguments with in-round weighing/framing, arguments with implicit clash/framing, and, worst case, the arguments I can better understand the interactions of.

  • In-round framing and explanation of arguments are pretty important for me. While I will vote for blippier/less developed arguments if they’re won, I definitely have a higher threshold for winning arguments if I feel that they weren’t sufficiently understandable in first reading, and will be more open to new-ish responses in rebuttals as necessary. Also worth noting, I tend to have a lower threshold for accepting framing arguments in the PMR.

  • The LOR’s a tricky speech. For complicated rounds, I enjoy it as a way to break down the layers of the debate and explain any win conditions for the negative. I don’t need arguments to be made in the LOR to vote on them, however, so I generally think preemption of the PMR is a safer bet. I prefer to not flow it on one sheet, but if you strongly prefer that format I’d rather have you do that than throw off your speech for the sake of adapting.

  • I have no preferences on conditionality. Perfectly fine with however many conditional advocacies, but also more than happy to vote on condo bad if it’s read well.

  • Please read advocacy/interp texts slowly/twice. Written texts are always nice.

  • I will do my best to protect against new arguments in the rebuttals, but it’s always better to call the POO just to be safe.

  • I’m open to alternate/less-flow-centric methods of evaluating the round, but I have a very hard time understanding what these alternate methods can be. So, please just try to be as clear as possible if you ask me to evaluate the round in some distinct way.

  • I evaluate shadow-extensions as new arguments. What this means for me is that any arguments that a team wants to win on/leverage in either the PMR or LOR must be extended in the MG/MO to be considered. I'll grant offense to and vote on positions that are blanket extended ("extend the impacts, the advantage is conceded", etc.), but if you want to cross-apply or otherwise leverage a specific argument against other arguments in the round, I do need an explicit extension of that argument.


  • I think the framework debate is often one of the most undeveloped parts of the K debate, and love seeing interesting/well-developed/tricksy frameworks. That being said, absent substantial argumentation either way, I’ll usually defer to each side being able to leverage their advocacy/offence against the other.

  • I have a pretty high threshold for voting on presumption. I find it difficult to buy that either side has actually won terminal defense, absent a good amount of work in the round. That being said, I default to presumption flowing negative.

  • Prior question arguments in framework are fine/good, just make sure that there’s sufficient explanation of these arguments and application to the rest of the round. I’m not very likely to vote on a dropped prior question/independent voter argument if there isn’t interaction done with the rest of the arguments in the round.


  • I generally feel very comfortable evaluating the theory debate, and am more than happy to vote on procedurals/topicality/framework/etc. I’m perfectly fine with frivolous theory. Please just make sure to provide a clear/stable interp text.

  • I default to competing interpretations and drop the team on theory, absent other arguments. Competing interpretations for me means that I evaluate the theory layer through a risk of offense model, and I will evaluate potential abuse. I don’t think this necessarily means the other team needs to provide a counter-interpretation, although I think it definitely makes adjudication easier to provide one.

  • I have a hard time evaluating reasonability without a brightline. I don’t know how I should interpret what makes an argument reasonable or not absent a specific explanation of what that should mean without being interventionist, and so absent a brightline I’ll usually just end up evaluating through competing interpretations regardless.

  • I have a very high threshold on RVIs. If extremely well-developed and extremely mishandled by the other team I could imagine myself voting on one, but I would hope to never have to.


  • Uniqueness determines the direction of the link (absent explanation otherwise), so please make sure you’re reading uniqueness in the right direction.

  • I have a pretty high threshold for terminal defense, and will more often than not assume there’s at least some risk of offense, so don’t rely on just reading defensive arguments.

  • Perfectly fine with generic advantages/disads, and I’m generally a fan of the politics DA. That being said, the more you can contextualize your argument to the round the greater weight that I will give it. Specific and substantial case debates are great.

  • I default to fiat being durable.


  • Please give me specific texts.

  • Fine with cheater CPs, but also more than happy to vote on CP theory.

  • I default that perms are tests of competition and not advocacies.

  • I generally won’t buy textual competition absent arguments in the round telling me why I should.


  • I really enjoy the K debate, and this was probably where I had the most fun as a debater. I have a pretty good understanding of most foundational critical literature, and I have a decent understanding of postmodern theory (particularly Foucauldian/Deleuzian/Derridean). That being said, please make the thesis-level of your criticism as clear as possible; I will do my best to not just vote for an argument I understand absent explanation in-round, and there’s definitely a good amount of literature I won’t know of.

  • I’m perfectly happy to vote on kritikal affirmatives, but I will also gladly vote on framework. On that note, I’m also happy to vote on impact turns to fairness/education, but will probably default to evaluating the fairness level first absent other argumentation.

  • Same with CPs, I default to perms being a test of competition and not an advocacy. I’m also fine with severance perms, but am also open to theoretical arguments against them; just make them in-round, and be sure to provide a clear voter/impact.

  • I default to evaluating the link debate via strength of link, but please do the comparative analysis for me. Open to other evaluative methods, just be clear in-round.

  • I have a decent understanding of performance theory and am happy to vote on performance arguments, but I need a good explanation of how I should evaluate performative elements of the round in comparison to other arguments on the flow.

  • Regarding identity/narrative based arguments, I think they can be very important in debate, and they’ve been very significant/valuable to people on the Cal Parli team who have run them in the past. That being said, I also understand that they can be difficult and oftentimes triggering for people in-round, and I have a very hard time resolving this. I’ll usually defer to viewing debate as a competitive activity and will do my best to evaluate these arguments within the context of the framing arguments made in the round, so please just do your best to make the evaluative method for the round as clear as possible.

Julie Herman Paradigm

General notes/TL;DR

1. Be good to each other (but you don't need to shake my hand or use speech time to thank me--I'm here because I want to be).

2. It's your round, you can do what you want to, but that doesn't mean there won't be consequences.

3. I will never, ever answer any variations on the question, "Do you have any preferences we should know about?" right before round, because I want the tournament to run on time, so be specific with what you want to know if something is missing here. This paradigm is written primarily for parli, so I am judging you in something different and something in here doesn't make sense, feel free to clarify.

Contact/Email chains:


I'm currently DOF for the MVLA school district. I debated parli (with some impromptu speaking on the side) for four years in high school and four years of college for Santa Clara University, with miscellaneous coaching of all debate events for several middle/high schools and institutes. In my real life, I am a PhD student at UC Santa Cruz studying evolution and ecology.

Approach to judging

-I believe it's almost impossible to be a true "blank slate" judge. I will never add arguments to the flow for you or throw out arguments that go unanswered that I don’t like, but I do have a low tolerance for buying into blatant falsehoods.

-I am emphatically NOT a games/tricks/whatever-we're-calling-it-these-days judge. I believe debate is an educational activity that takes place in a communal context, not a game that can be completely separated from sociocultural influences. Students who have public speaking abilities have unique responsibilities that constrain how they should and should not argue. I will not hesitate to penalize speaker points for rhetoric that upholds racist, sexist, etc ideologies.

Speaker point ranges

I will do my best to follow point floors and ceilings issued by each tournament. 30s are reserved for a speech that is literally the best one I have seen to date. I will strongly advocate to tab to allow me to go below the tournament point floor in cases of overt racism/sexism/etc, physical aggression, or extremely disrespectful address toward anyone in the round.

Argument preferences

Evaluation order/methods: These are my defaults. If I am presented with a different framework for assessment by either team, I will use that framework instead. In cases of a “tie” or total wash, I vote neg unless there is a CP flowed through, in which case I vote aff. I vote on prefiat before postfiat, with the order being K theory/framework issues, pre-fiat K implications, other theory (T, etc), post-fiat. I default to net benefits both prefiat and postfiat.

Counterplans: Do whatever you want, in general. I consider a permutation the affirmative takes as their advocacy as severance out of the 1AC, which is fine, if you're going to defend severance. If you want to have a solid plan debate in LD or PF, far be it from me to stop you. Plan/CP debate is just a method of framing, and if we all agree to do it that way and understand the implications, it's fine.

Impacts: Have them. Terminalize them. You need some pretty good links to get to nuke war, but if you can, go for it. Don’t trivialize dehumanization. That’s not cool. I encourage discussion of systemic impacts even if they are "linear."

Kritiks: I am open to most Ks. As a scientist, I know methods are super important, so articulate yours! I’m fine with aff Ks but happier if they are res-specific. Ks that require cards and/or involve spreading your opponent out of the round in order to get through the K properly are rough in parli. If you want to read them in front of me, you shouldn’t just drop names of cards, as I am not conversant at a high level with most K literature (but I'm still waiting for a solid PhilSci K). Please don’t use your K to troll. Please do signpost your K. On framework, I err toward evaluating prefiat arguments first but am willing to weigh discursive implications of postfiat arguments against them. If you are facing a K in front of me, you need to put in a good-faith effort to engage with it—it will almost never be enough to only argue framework, unless you’ve been spread out. Ks that weaponize identities against each other are rough for you and also for me--don't feel compelled to out yourself to get my vote. We'll all go home feeling terrible. Finally, I am pretty sure it's only possible for me to performatively embrace/reject something once, so if your alt is straight "vote to reject/embrace X," you're going to need some arguments about what repeatedly embracing/rejecting does for me.

Theory/Topicality: You need to format your theory shells in a manner that gives me a way to vote on them (ie, they possess some kind of pre- or post-fiat impact). I will listen to any kind of theory argument, but I am not going to be thrilled if you turn the entire round into a technicality as a tool to defeat a less technically skilled opponent. I err neg on theory (or rather, I err toward voting to maintain fairness/education) in general and default to competing interpretations. I will vote on RVIs but usually only on critical turns on theory or cases of clear time skew.

Trichotomy: I prefer policy rounds since policy is the format parli has the best framework for, but don’t try to twist the wording of a well-written fact or value topic to make it policy. Please do not intentionally make rounds vaguer or more metaphorical unless you have a strong reason to do so (ie, a K).

"New" Arguments: Anything that could count as a block/position/contention, in addition to evidence (examples, analytics, analogies, cites) not previously articulated will be considered "new" if they come out in the last speech for either side UNLESS they are made in response to a clear line of clash that has continued throughout the round. The only exception to this rule is for the 2N in LD. I will generally protect against new arguments to the best of my ability. Voters, crystallization, impact calculus and framing are fine.

Presentation preferences

Formatting: I will follow any method of formatting as long as it is signposted, but I am most conversant with advantage/disadvantage format. Please include impact calculus in the final speeches, as that is the cleanest way for me to make a decision. We'll all be sad if I have to intervene to decide.

Tag-teaming: It's fine but I won’t flow anything your partner says during your speech. If it happens repeatedly, especially in a way that interrupts the flow of the speech, it may impact the speaker points of the current speaker.

Questions/CX: I will stop flowing, but CX is binding. Please don't use CX to steal prep. I hate prep theft more than any other technical foible. It makes the tournament late, and it's cheating. Don't make me start your timer for you. I stop time for Points of Order in parli, and you must take them unless tournament rules explicitly forbid them. Don't let them take more than 30 seconds total.

Respectfulness: This is where your responsibility as debaters comes in—you possess the incredible privilege of an educated, persuasive voice. Do not use it for evil. Don’t trivialize rape or violence against oppressed groups. Use words to describe groups of people that you wouldn’t be afraid to use in front of those people. I will be very open to voting issues specifically about speech in the round if your opponent is overtly offensive or hostile toward an oppressed group. I will also penalize speakers points, regardless of articulated responses.

Speed: If your opponent has a high level of difficulty with your speed and makes the impacted argument that you are excluding them, I will be open to voting on that. If I cannot follow your speed, I will stop writing and put my pen down (or stop typing) and stare at you really awkwardly.

Style: Humor and charisma will win you speaker points but not the round. Personal attacks will lose you points (and the round if your opponent makes a compelling argument on the subject). Intentional trolling is disrespectful to both your opponents’ time and mine and will be treated similarly to personal attacks. There is a difference between experimental and/or performative arguments and trolling. For example, I have witnessed two rounds in which teams talked about football rather than the assigned topic. In one, the speech was meant to comment on the absurdity of parliamentary procedure and top-down control of debate. In the other, it was a cover for lack of knowledge on the topic. I trust you to discern the difference.

Miscellaneous: If your opponent asks for a written text of your plan/CP/K thesis/interp, you are expected to provide it.

Roy Herman Paradigm

From the origin of my debate career, I have been a parent judge. Therefore, I really like it when you stand up straight, look me in the eye, and pay attention to the other speakers and your partner. If you think those things don't matter, you may be surprised in the future. I absolutely believe that debate, and especially Parliamentary Debate, is a fantastic endeavor. I will honor that and I will expect you to as well.

My experience spans about 13 years as I squired my two youths to as many tournaments as we all could attend and judged many rounds. Those two are coaches now and I have remained active because I believe in what the community is doing. So show me what you, and they, have gotten from this activity, such as:

· Critical thinking about the arguments you propose from great use of prep time

· The ability to cogently rebut your opponents case

· Eloquent communication of those arguments

· Tactical elements of argumentation

Speed: It’s fine if you can continue to enunciate appropriately so your opponents and I can hear your arguments. If a case is made but we don't hear it, then it doesn’t exist. If this judge doesn’t hear it it's a sure bet the case does not exist.

Pet peeve: Most plans cost money. It will be beneficial if you have a relatively good idea of how much is needed and where you intend to get it.

Tactics: K’s, Perms and Theory arguments are clever when done well and lose when done badly. Plan Inclusive Counterplans almost always work against you. If an opponent makes an argument that is unfair, you still have to call them out for it. Otherwise, like unchallenged contentions, it will flow through.

There has been quite a bit of change in the debate community and improvement in tournament activity. You should be proud of your participation. Everyone is in the room because they respect the activity of debate. We can demonstrate that and show our respect for each other. I will listen intently and try to deliver a lucid decision. Sometimes RFD’s delivered quickly can sound abrupt. Please don’t be offended. You are great competitors and often significant academic achievers. Getting better requires understanding why votes go against you, not how wonderful you are. I want to walk away better for hearing your arguments. Good luck and thanks for the opportunity.

Steven Herman Paradigm


I debated parli for four years in high school for both Livermore High School and Mountain View Los Altos. For two of these years I was active on the NorCal high school circuit. I am continuing debate with Santa Clara University. I am a Computer Science and Engineering student, so you had better be good talking about tech.

Approach to judging

I am not a tabula rasa judge, but I am not going to do work for you or throw out arguments I do not like. Simply I am more likely to buy certain arguments and less likely to buy others.

I come to debate seeing some of the split in the community as a competitor. I believe that debate is both a game and an educational activity. Debate does not occur in a vacuum, and as public speakers or future policy makers, debaters have a responsibility to not use rhetoric upholding racist, sexist, etc ideologies. I will average speaker points based on the tournament average, but will save 30s for exceptional speeches.

Argument preferences

Counterplans: Counterplans are great, but the neg should explain how it competes coming out of the 1NC. Permutations are legitimate, but they are a test of the advocacy, if the aff advocates for the perm, I view that as severance. Kicking CPs is fine as are multiple CPs or advocacies, although I am open to the theory arguments against them as well.

Evaluation order/methods: Framework and arguments may change my evaluation order, but this is the default.. In a tie, I vote neg unless the neg has a CP or other advocacy flowed through at the end of the round,, in which case I vote aff. I vote on prefiat before postfiat, and  default to net benefits for both..

Impacts: Have impacts and terminalize them. Don’t worry about getting to nuke war unless you have a good linkstory. Dehumanization is important, and discussion of systemic impacts is encouraged. I also like the environment and technology, so impacts based around that may earn you higher speaker points.

Kritiks: I am happy to listen to most Ks, aff or neg. Ks requiring spreading your opponents out of the round are difficult for me to accept and I am more likely to vote on speed theory than many judges in the circuit. If your opponents call slow or clear, slow and/or clear, do not just ignore it. If you are going run a K, make sure you clearly explain how it functions and the literature. I am not conversant at a high level in most literature, and even if I am, it will make the round clearer and more educational for everyone involved. Signpost your K and keep it clear and organized. Also be prepared to give your opponents a copy of the alt text if they ask. I tend to evaluate prefiat arguments first on framework, but I am willing to weigh discursive implications of the postfiat arguments/case against them. I do expect that those facing a K will put in good effort to engage with the K, even if they are looking for me to vote other places on the flow, so argue more than just framework or theory (unless you’re being spread out, in which case that is more acceptable). I am also more willing to weigh generic arguments against the K, but make sure to explain how they interact with this K in particular.

Also stealing something from Julie Herman in how I deal with K alts to encourage more variety and better Ks:

I am trying something new here. I am pretty sure it's only possible for me to performatively embrace/reject something once, so if your alt is straight "vote to reject/embrace X," you're going to need some arguments about what repeatedly embracing/rejecting does for me.

Theory/Topicality: If you want me to vote for theory, you need to make sure to give it impacts/voters. If you want it to do something else in the round, explain how it should function in the round. I will listen to any kind of theory argument, but please don’t use theory just to beat a less technically skilled debater. Theory has a place both as a strategy and to maintain fairness, but don’t overuse it. I err towards voting to maintain fairness and education, and default to competing interpretations on theory. I will vote on RVIs but not commonly, so make sure you have good reasons for it (ie critical turns or clear times skew).

Presentation preferences

Formatting: I can follow any formatting, but I prefer advantage/disadvantage for policy rounds. I can follow best if you signpost and have a clear structure. Impact calculus and an overview in the final round make my job the easiest.

Tag-teaming: I am fine with tag-teaming, though I will only flow what the current speaker says. If it takes over, it may impact speaker points.

Questions: Points of information are good. Use them strategically to either get the opponents onto another topic or clarify the case or debate. Points of Order stop time, with the side calling the point of order gettting to make their case, then the side defending getting to respond. There shouldn’t be back and forth in this time. I will make a ruling and then time will start again.

Respectfulness:Be respectful. Rhetoric is important and I am very open to voting on issues about speech in round if one side is hostile/offensive towards and oppressed group. I will buy rhetoric turns and rhetoric can undermine your case, so be respectful of all groups. I will penalize speaker points for hostile or offensive speech acts regardless of your opponent's’ responses.

Speed: I can follow moderate speeds, but may penalize speaker points if your speed interferes with comprehension. Be respectful of your opponent. If they have a high level of difficulty following your speed and make an impacted argument about it in round, I am open to voting on it. You can decrease the chance of me doing this by slowing/clearing if they yell SLOW or CLEAR. If you repeatedly ignore these requests, I will punish your speaker points. I will call slow or clear if I cannot understand you, but will do this a maximum of 3 times, after that I will just put my pen down and stop flowing if you’re going too fast.

Style: Being smart, witty, or funny will earn you speaker points, but will not win you the round. Personal attacks are a great way to lose points.

Other: I expect you to provide a written copy of a plan/CP/K thesis/K alt/Interpretation to the opponent if asked, you may want to write it out ahead of time. Any team should be able to call “text” during your speech and you should get them a copy by their speech, but preferably asap. Please read these parts or your speech twice and slow down a little if you are going at any sort of speed.


If you have any questions about my paradigm, feel free to ask before the round.

Jay Jung Paradigm

My name is Jessica Jung. Experience wise, I did NPDA Parli for four years in college for UC Berkeley and have coached for successful high school parli programs in the Bay as well as some Parli camps during summers.

I am generally most comfortable with technical debate and have no problems with voting on any arguments, including case, kritiks, procedurals, etc.

Case debate is something that I enjoy doing with a few caveats: you must terminalize your impacts in order for me to weigh them, otherwise judging becomes tricky in a world where I have to intervene by doing impact weighing myself. Impact calculus and weighing is something that I hope both teams can do. Additionally, blipping out link turns or case arguments don't generally work in your favor in front of me if they are not clear, explained sufficiently or have to be massively backfilled by future speakers.

I believe that most critical arguments should be well explained and have clear links, preferably not links of omission and relevant to the topic at hand. Reading K's out of the AFF and rejecting the resolution in front of me is fine as long as you defend and justify your choice and reasons for rejecting the resolution. That being said, a majority of my debate experience in college is grounded within critical debate so I believe that I can follow along with most critical arguments you read in front of me.

On theory, I will generally default to competing interpretations unless told otherwise. I'm comfortable voting on Framework or theory in response to a non-topical AFF especially if done well and executed properly. If running procedural arguments, make sure you have all the functional components such as an interp, violation, standards and voters. Absent these components, I will find it very difficult to both weigh and listen to these arguments - unless they are phrased as an independent voting issue with offense attached. Additionally, in the absence of a counter-interpretation or we meet argument, most responses to theory would not be sufficient for me to "gut-check" the shell away so make sure you respond to theory properly as it is generally an a-priori position.

The AFF must sufficiently extend arguments from the PMC in the MG if the AFF wants to go for this position in the PMR. PMRs can be fast, wide, and tricky but I would usually recommend collapsing to a few key AFF routes to the ballot and sitting on these arguments for my ballot.

The NEG must sufficiently extend any case arguments made in the LOC in the MO in order for those to be considerations for the PMR/the round.

Meta-theory is fine, so are arguments like Condo Bad, PICs bad etc.

- I will protect against new arguments but still am fine with you calling Points of Order.
- Slow and clear for your opponents if asked.
- I will not grant shadow extensions.
- Conceded arguments from the 1AC and 1NC need to be extended in rebuttal in the MG and MO speeches to be read in the LOR or PMR.
- Do not disrespect your opponents, misgender them, abuse them or be problematic in front of me.
- In a worst case scenario in which the debate is extremely muddled, or there is no offense read/left in the round, I will go down a checklist of evaluative methods first based on sequencing questions/layers of the debate and then onto link differentials, warrant/evidence differentials, presumption, etc.

Tom Kadie Paradigm

I did two years of circuit LD at Miramonte High School and graduated in 2015. I now attend UC Berkeley. I will be working at VBI and NSD this summer.

I have no desire to impose my own views upon the debate round. In deciding the round, I will strive to be as objective as possible. Some people have noted that objectivity can be difficult, but this has never seemed like a reason that judges shouldn't strive to be objective. I, overwhelmingly, prefer that you debate in the style that you are most comfortable with and believe that you are best at. I would prefer a good K or util debate to a bad theory or framework debate anyday. That's the short version--here are some specifics if you're interested.


  • Absent weighing on any particular layer, I default to weighing based on strength of link.
  • I probably won't cover everything so feel free to ask me questions.
  • Taken from Ben Koh because this makes sense: "If I sit and you are the winner (that is, the other 2 judges voted for you), and would like to ask me extensive questions, I will ask that you let the other RFDs be given and then let the opponent leave before asking me more questions. I'm fine answering questions, but just to be fair the other people in the room should be allowed to leave."
  • I've decided to have a rule where if you agree to use prep for flashing, you get 2 extra minutes of prep.

Delivery and speaks:

  • Fine with speed.
  • I'm not the greatest at flowing, so try to be clear about where an argument was made.
  • High speaks for good strategic choices and innovative arguments. I will say clear as much as necessary and I won't penalize speaks for clarity.


  • I default to being epistemically conservative, but will accept arguments for epistemic modesty if they are advanced and won.
  • I am willing to support any framework given that it is won on the flow.
  • I'm willing to vote for permissibility or presumption triggers. However, there must be some implicit or explicit defense of a truth-testing paradigm. The argument must also be clear the first time that it is read. If the argument is advanced for the first time in the 1AR and I think that it is new, I will allow new 2NR responses.
  • Many framework debates are difficult to adjudicate because debaters fail to weigh between different metastandards on the framework debate. For example, if util meets actor-specificity better, but Kantianism is derived from a superior metaethic, is the actor-specificity argument or the metaethic more important?

Theory and T:

  • I default to no RVI, drop the argument on most theory and drop the debater on T, competing interpretations, and fairness and education not being voters. Most of these defaults rarely matter because debaters make arguments.
  • I don't think that competing interps means anything besides a risk of offense model for the adjudication of theory. That means, for example, that debaters need to justify why their opponent must have an explicit counter-interpretation in the first speech.
  • I, paradigmatically, won't vote on 2AR theory.
  • I'm willing to vote on metatheory. I probably err slightly in favor of the metatheory bad arguments such as infinite regress.
  • I'm willing to vote on disclosure theory.
  • Fine with frivolous theory.


  • I default to believing in durable fiat.
  • Debaters should work on pointing out missing internal links in most extinction scenarios.
  • I default that perms are tests of competition and not advocacies.
  • I probably err aff on issues of counter-plan competition.
  • Err towards the view that uniqueness controls the direction of the link. However, I'm willing to accept arguments about why the link is more important.
  • I will evaluate 1ar add-ons and 2nr counter-plans against these add-ons. This is irrelevant in most debates.


  • There are many different kinds of kritikal argumentation so feel free to ask questions in round.
  • I'm unsure whether I should default to role of the ballot arguments coming before ethical frameworks. I personally believe that ethical arguments engage important assumptions made by many ROB arguments. However, community consensus is that ROB's come first so I will usually stick with that assumption if no argument is made either way.
  • I default to fairness impacts coming before theory, but I'm willing to evaluate arguments to the contrary.
  • I don't have strong objections to non-topical positions. However, I believe debaters should probably engage in practices like disclosure that improve the theoretical legitimacy of their practices.
  • Willing to vote on Kritikal RVI's/impact turns to theory.
  • I'm willing to listen to arguments that there shouldn't be perms in method debates. However, I find these arguments not very persuasive.

Note for HS Parli:

Everything above applies. Except for the stuff about prep time. The only parli specific issue is that I will listen to theory arguments that it is permissible to split the block. Feel free to ask me any questions

Rugved Karhade Paradigm

Parli TOC 2016

Rugved Karhade Paradigm

Not Submitted

Jing Liao Paradigm

I've been judging parliamentary debate f

Thomas Liao Paradigm

changelog at bottom


debated 4 years of HS parli for Campolindo, then 2 years of NPDA parli for Cal.


** i have starred things in this paradigm that actually matter. only 11 things in this paradigm actually matter. (ctrl-F)

** this is my hs parli paradigm.

** i am content agnostic – debate whatever you want. my paradigm is mostly concerned about warrants, extensions, and argument interactions

** most of this paradigm does not really matter, because they are defaults that are easily changed. i start off as an offense / defense judge but am amenable to whatever paradigm you want me to adopt.

out of the 2018 NPDI judging pool, i consider myself to be most similar to (from really similar to pretty similar): Ming Qian, Trevor Greenan, Henry Tolchard, Brian Yang, and Tom Kadie. this isn't to say that i would make the exact same decisions as any of them, but that i view debate more similarly compared to them than i do compared to other judges. the biggest difference is that i have noticeably higher thresholds for warrants and arguments (see WARRANTS and ARGUMENTS) and perform more logical work like entailment and interactions (see the INTERACTIONS section).


** i have a relatively high and very strong threshold for requiring warrants. generally, all claims should have warrants - empirics, analytics, or testimonies qualify, and are considered stronger to weaker in that order. this is a deeply rooted paradigmatic view which can be adjusted, but only through truly persuasive arguments

** uncontested claims are possibly true (nonzero). however, pointing out that an argument has no warrant is sufficient for terminal defense on that claim if you read a competing claim, because both claims would have equal strength of link based on the warrant which means i can't evaluate them. terminal defense just needs to establish zero comparative risk, not absolute risk

i'm not a tab judge. it's impossible for me to not use knowledge from outside the round - all rounds assume a common basis of knowledge e.g. that people stay dead once they die (vs reincarnation). here are two independently sufficient brightlines - if you contest something about the world which i have assumed, i will drop that assumption - skep triggers are the best example of this ("knowledge is impossible"); i will also not rely on outside knowledge if the other team flags the lack of explanation and reads at least a counter-claim - e.g. "you haven't explained why nuclear war causes extinction, global fallout is only temporary"


** iff your argument is warranted such that i can explain why your argument is true and / or has the implication you says it does, i am willing to vote for it. if your argument doesn't make sense to me i won't vote for it. here are two examples: (1) if you didn't read a solvency mechanism on your advantage, it's irrelevant whether your uniqueness and impacts flow through because you functionally don't have a solvency mechanism. (2) even if you extend an argument that is cold conceded, i won't vote for it if i don't understand it. to be clear, there is a difference between my not understanding an argument because it lacks a logical step versus not understanding something because i lack some knowledge (about the world, about your literature, etc). in the latter case, i will default to what you say as being true. in the former, i will not.

** i try to protect against new arguments - but you should call as many POOs as you want; i won't penalize on points.

i would like you to pass me a written copy of your advocacy / interp text if it's more complex than the resolution


** i don't think argument interaction has to be explicitly flagged if it's clear that there is a contestation about truths. for example, if your thesis is "the sky does not exist", i would consider that to refute "the sky is blue". i'll make logical interactions for you. anywhere in this paradigm i talk about counter-claims, this applies. this is the other side of having a smell-test.

** i don't think argument interaction has to be explicitly made if there is a logical dependency between different arguments. here is an example: if at the end of the round your affirmative is about building a railroad in the next decade, there is a conceded link that completed railroads increases perceptual credibility, and there is a conceded framing that perceptual links happen immediately, i will factor through how long your plan takes to build the railroad on top of your framing arguments that perceptual links happen earlier, the result being that your perceptual link still takes a decade to trigger rather than immediately


** under an offense / defense paradigm, the team with more net offense wins the round (least net defense does not lose you the round, because this could trigger presumption). an argument consists of three parts - a claim, a warrant, and an implication. a claim asserts a statement about the world, the warrant is a reason to believe the claim, and the implication increases the offense of another argument, or decreases it (defense). by default, both teams argue that they should win the round. a warrant is an argument - this recursive structure is necessary for parli, because there are no cards. the atomic unit of extensions is the argument. the implication is that if you don't read a warrant for the claim in a constructive, then extend the claim and backfill the warrant, i consider this a new argument. otherwise, strategic constructives would only read claims and backfill warrants for conceded ones. that doesn't mean MO block dumping is bad - i think this is one of the best strats in parli - but you can't backfill blocks on a non-argument.

generally, i am lenient towards rebuttal responses when it's the first opportunity they have to respond to an argument, like 2nc theory. however, if you had an opportunity to respond in an earlier speech, you've ceded the right to respond, e.g. not asking status in the until the 1AR and then reading condo bad. as for new warrants in rebuttals - i am very skeptical of these and will err negative on new 1AR warrants, since at least the 1AR can respond to 1NR warrants, but not vice versa.

the LOR doesn't have to extend the MO

DELIVERY - this section does not really matter

i will slow you if i need to but don't expect to have to (in parli)

it's better to make fewer mistakes and be generally solid than go for strategies you don't understand. it's fine to be slow but smart and efficient

instant 30s: if I think you read a cool argument

instant 30s: 1nc doesn't read any offs and dumps 8 minutes of warranted and impacted case answers

instant 30s: any well-done collapse i don't see coming

instant 30s: if you're clearly winning the round and you finish your speech and sit down

PRESUMPTION - this section does not really matter

after NPDI 2018, i have been reconsidering my views on presumption. currently, my stance is that presumption flows neg if they didn't read an advocacy. for now, in all other cases, i will flip a coin if teams don't make arguments about the direction of presumption.

paradigmatic presumption trigger: zero unique offense in the round

paradigmatic presumption trigger: in a vacuum, comparison of infinitely-large impacts (e.g. extinction vs extinction).

paradigmatic presumption trigger: both teams have failed NIBs that are won

paradigmatic presumption trigger: i have to google evidence to resolve a round

SEQUENCING - this section does not really matter

i try to find the simplest ballot story - that means i will sequence argument evaluation as i deem appropriate. i believe lengthy ballot stories are more likely to be wrong, so i err heavily towards simple decisions. in practice, this means ignoring as much of the flow as is justified.

if i can't reasonably arbitrate a meta-layer dispute (e.g. framework - policymaking or rhetoric 1st) i default to an epistemically modest position: i will factor the probability of the substance offense through the meta-layer. this assumes contestation: if there are two ships sailing in the night, instead, i will just pick whatever starting point is easiest.

"independent" voting issues need to have an a priori justification. in the same way that a K or theory shell needs to justify why ideology / epistemology / fairness / education is a prior question, so should an IVI. if you are going for an IVI in a rebuttal you must explain how it sequences with the rest of the flow, or I'll put it at the bottom of my evaluation order.

FRAMEWORK / THEORY - this section does not really matter

i don't have strong defaults. i default to treating theory as necessary but insufficient burdens by default but don't have dispositions against RVIs. that said, i have yet to vote for an RVI

please clarify what reasonability means

i have higher standards for 2ac / MG theory and will make more interactions for the neg and lean in their favor, especially with "MG theory bad" framing.

by default, i protect against 1ar / PMR theory. here is a good rule of thumb: the violation in the block had better be so flagrant that 1 standard is enough, e.g. lying about the status of a counterplan.

burdens arguments don't need voters

i prefer policy over value over fact if it ever comes down to trichot

when deciding the round i err heavily towards using the interp i have flowed, unless you pass me a text which is also made available to the other team or clarify explicitly

KRITIKS - i doubt this section will ever be relevant for a round i judge

i hesitate to claim familiarity with any literature bases because i didn't read any actual books for K debates and because lit bases are different depending on who you ask. i am, however, definitely not familiar with Étienne Balibar, Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire, Antoine Chrysostome Quatremère de Quincy and last but not least Jean-Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales...

i have found it easier to evaluate kritiks with impact framing contextualized to the entire round, in particular the other side's impacts, whether that's through a role of the ballot, prior question framing, root cause claims, or meta-ethics etc. however, the impact framing must be interacted sufficiently with the relevant impacts on the flow, or it often ends up being a clunker that doesn't help me evaluate the round.


I have been on the bottom of a 2-1 split two times out of the nine i have been on a panel. No judge likes to be sat, so I've reviewed my rounds below. In one case, I flowed from a slightly different MG response at least one judge, and substantially different permutation than at least one judge, but I believe my decision is correct even accounting for the flows. In the other case, I believe my decision was wrong.

😊NPDI 2018 Dubs: Menlo-Atherton/Nueva NB vs New Roads WW (sat 2-1 by Ming Qian and Marek Zielinski):

I voted neg on a plan flaw / burdens argument. Both teams agree that fiat is derived from the use of the word "should" in the resolution, but the plan text only includes "will". Thus, the affirmative doesn't get fiat, and must instead prove that the resolution is a factual certainty. Because this isn't met, I vote neg. I flowed two arguments in the MG differently from Ming, which may have affected how i would have counterfactually evaluated plan flaw.

However, I still believe the aff is losing on case. The CP solves ad #2 and the aff concedes that MAD (1) exists now and (2) breaks down with hypersonic missiles. Thus, the aff alone can't resolve ad #1 because Russia will inevitably first strike. I flowed a different permutation than Ming; whereas I have "perm: do both" he has "perm: do the aff then the neg". (The permutation text was never explicitly flagged). The first permutation is incoherent, whereas the second permutation still doesn't solve miscalc because there is a differential in the number of hypersonic missiles in the world, and the second permutation also fails to get the aff out of the MAD problem, so they still don't solve ad #1. Neither permutation resolves the linear risk of miscalc, but the counterplan has a link differential, so I would vote neg on a link differential to an extinction level impact.

TL;DR: I am very comfortable with my decision.

☹️NPDI 2018 Quarters: Irvington LC vs Evergreen DG (sat 2-1 by Tom Kadie and Dylan McIlvenna-Davis).

I flowed this round on paper.

I voted aff on case. This round was extremely convoluted, with an IVI, two theory shells, and a K. Tom and Dylan voted for the IVI. After a post-round discussion, Tom and I agree that the IVI should not have been a neg ballot, but we also both agree that one of the two theory shells was not answered correctly. Since the theory shell was a priori, case was irrelevant and the neg would have won on theory.

TL;DR: My decision was incorrect. I believe (with another judge on the panel) that the other two decisions, although voting for the correct team, incorrectly evaluated an IVI and a K.


01/11/19 - new section on kritiks, changed judge similarity order, downgraded importance of tab judging. removed background - i don't think it helps

01/04/19 - nothing important

11/07/18 - new position on IVIs

Mark Mabie Paradigm

TLDR; I debated parli in high school for 3 years and have been coaching PF, LD, and Parli for the last 4 years since then, close to a full time job. I try do be as tabula rasa as I can be. Refer to specifics below

Philosophy of Debate:

Debate is an activity to show off the intelligence, hard work, and creativity of students with the ultimate goal of promoting education, sportsmanship, and personal advocacy. Each side in the round must demonstrate why they are the better debater, and thus, why they should receive my vote. This entails all aspects of a debate including speaking ability, case rhetoric, in-and-out of round decorum, and of course the overall argumentation of each speaker. Also remember to have fun too.

I am practically a Tabula Rasa judge. “Tab” judges claim to begin the debate with no assumptions on what is proper to vote on. "Tab" judges expect teams to show why arguments should be voted on, instead of assuming a certain paradigm. Although I will default all theory to upholding education unless otherwise told

I will ALWAYS disclose even if the tournament tells me not to. It is my ethical duty as a debate instructor and judge to give you the best feedback I can after a round and increase your education. No one will stop me!

Judge preferences that must be met:

When reading a constructive case or rebutting on the flow, debaters must sign post every argument and every response. If you don’t tell me where to flow, I won’t write your argument. You also must have voter issues in your last speech. Make my job as a judge easier by telling me verbatim, why I should vote for you.

Depending on the burdens implied within the resolution, I will default neg if I have nothing to vote on. (presumption)

Kritiks. I believe a “K” is an important tool that debater’s should have within their power to use when it is deemed necessary. That being said, I would strongly suggest that you not throw a “K” in a round simply because you think it’s the best way to win the round. It should be used with meaning and genuinity to fight actually oppressive, misogynistic, dehumanizing, and explicitly exploitative arguments made by your opponents. If you run a generic “CAP BAD K” just because it’s the easy way out in the round, I’ll probably be very upset with you. When reading a "K" it will be more beneficial for you to slow down and explain its content rather than read faster to get more lines off. It's pretty crucial that I actually understand what I'm voting on if It's something you're telling me "I'm morally obligated to do." I would prefer to see a case debate but I consider myself tabula rasa so just because I might not like your K, there is an equal chance of me voting or not voting for it. I think it's important to disclose this bias, because no human is perfect and we do all have bias.

Most Ks I vote on do a really good job of explaining how their solvency actually changes things outside of the debate space. At the point where you can’t or don't explain how voting on the K makes a tangible difference in the world, there really isn't a difference between pre and post fiat impacts. I implore you to take note of this when running or defending against a K.

Theory is fine. It should have a proper shell and is read intelligibly. Even if no shell is present I may still vote on it. If I'm voting on T there must be proven abuse for me to go for it. Potential abuse is proven abuse if warranted and explained well.

Speed is fine. I am not great with spreading though. If your opponents say “slow down” in round and you do not comply, there is a good chance you will lose. If I can’t understand you I will raise my pen and not attempt to flow.

I will only agree to 30 speaker point theory if it’s warranted with a reason for norms of abuse that is applicable to the debater’s in the round. I will not extend it automatically to everyone just because you all agree to it.

Parli specifics:

I give almost no credence on whether or not your warrants or arguments are backed by “cited” evidence. Since this is parliamentary debate, I will most certainly will not be fact checking in or after round. Do not argue that your opponents do not have evidence, or any argument in this nature because it would be impossible for them to prove anything in this debate.

Due to the nature of parli, to me the judge has an implicit role in the engagement of truth testing in the debate round. Because each side’s warrants are not backed by a hard cited piece of evidence, the realism or actual truth in those arguments must be not only weighed and investigated by the debaters but also the judge. The goal however, is to reduce the amount of truth testing the judge must do on each side's arguments. The more terminalization, explanation, and warranting each side does, the less intervention the judge might need to do. For example if the negative says our argument is true because the moon is made of cheese and the affirmative says no it's made of space dust and it makes our argument right. I obviously will truth test this argument and not accept the warrant that the moon is made of cheese.

Tag teaming is ok but the person speaking must say the words them self if I am going to flow it. It also hurts speaker points.

Public Forum specifics:

I have no requirement for a 2-2 split. Take whatever rebuttal strategy you think will maximize your chance of winning. However note that offense generated from contentions in your case must be extended in second rebuttal or they are considered dropped. Same goes for first summary.

I will not accept any K in Public Forum. Theory may still be run in some circumstances. Critical impacts and meta weighing is fine.

Your offense must be extended through each speech in the debate round for me to vote on it in your final focus. If you forget to extend offense in second rebuttal or in summary, then I will also not allow it in final focus.

Having voter issues in final focus is one of the easiest ways you can win a round. Tell me verbatim why winning the arguments on the flow means you win the round. Relate it back to the standard.

Lincoln Douglass and Policy:

I am an experienced circuit parliamentary debate coach and am very tabula rasa so basically almost any argument you want to go for is fine. Please note the rest of my paradigm for specifics. If you are going to spread you must flash me everything going to be read. Email is

Jesse MacKinnon Paradigm

From the newest Superman/Batman trailer: "He has the power to wipe out the entire human race. If we believe there's even a 1% chance that he is our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty."

Huh, I didn't know that Batman was a Policy debater.

My experience:

Coaching Public Forum primarily for four years. Extensive experience with Parli. Limited experience with Policy and LD.

What I value in the debate round, in order:

1) Topicality. The team that can get me to vote on case will most often win my ballot.

2) Clash. The team that most directly addresses and refutes their opponents arguments will win my ballot.

3) Links. The team that can provide critical analysis of their evidence and cogently explain why it supports their case will win my ballot.

4) Flow. The team that can refute their opponents and effectively defend their case will win my ballot.

What about impacts?

Unless the resolution literally deals with NATO-Russian relations, I am entirely unconcerned with nuclear war. Some far-flung impact calculus is so intellectually lazy that it's insulting. Batman is a bad debater, and he should feel bad. Go Superman.

What about theory?

It does have a place in debate. However, I prefer that it be used sparingly.

K - In four years of judging, I have only voted on a Kritik a handful of times. I have no philosophical objection to them, but ultimately this is a difficult route to obtaining my ballot. If you run a K, particularly an Aff K, they absolutely must be Topical. For example, the last K I voted on was a Cap K, and the resolution dealt with the economy.

T - If Neg decides to run Topicality, it must be so simple and obvious that even a parent judge could understand. In short, if you have decided to run a T before another debater has had the chance to open their mouth, you might as well concede the round now. That is abject dishonesty, and I will relish taking off and nuking your speaker points from orbit.

Other judging preferences:

I value the strength of reasoning and the clarity of argumentation in debate. If it hasn't been made abundantly clear at this point, I don't want to have a lengthy discussion about the nature of Debate unless that is what the resolution pertains to. I have discussions about the nature of Debate in the bar with the other coaches after the tournament is over.

Unfortunately over the course of the years, I have encountered teams which deliberately falsify important evidence in order to gain an unfair strategic advantage. I reserve the right to use the Internet to fact-check a round while it is in progress.

I am fine with speed, so long as the Debater is actually enunciating their words. Please do not use speed as a weapon in the round.

Please feel free to employ witty humor, biting sarcasm, and above all creativity in your round.

Sierra Maciorowski Paradigm

TL;DR: call the Point of Order, use impact calculus, make logical, warranted arguments and don't exclude people from the round. It's your round, so do with it what you will. I'll vote where you tell me to. I won't shake your hands but I love you still.

Updates for NPDI 2018:

1. The most important thing to take away from this paradigm is that I cannot, will not, absolutely refuse to vote on blips without meaning. Please, if you do nothing else, justify your arguments: every claim should have a warrant, and every argument should have an impact. The questions I've ended up asking myself (and the debaters) in nearly every round I've judged over the past ~4 years are: Why do I care about that? What is the implication of that? How do these arguments interact? Save us all some heartache and answer those questions yourself during prep time and before your rebuttal speeches.

2. Content warnings are good (link)

I did high school parli, NPDA, and NFA-LD. I now do APDA + BP at Stanford and coach parli at Mountain View-Los Altos. I've judged 100+ competitive rounds including TOC.

Most Important

  • Call the Point of Order.
  • Debate is a game but should be respectful and educational. This means I am not the judge you want for spreading a kritik or theory against someone unfamiliar with that.
  • Your rebuttals should be almost entirely weighing: impact analysis, warrant comparison, and strategic clarification of the round. Analyze how and why you win.
  • Adaptation to the round, the judge, and the specific arguments at hand is key to good debate. Don't run your stock cases when they don't apply.
  • Fine with Ks, theory, and any CPs, but open to arguments against those as well.
  • I default to probability in impact comparison and competing interpretations on theory. That means your link stories should be specific and I really like theory when it's good. But default weighing is silly on principle: risk calculus is probability x magnitude, so just do good analysis.
  • I don't give a damn if you say the specific jargon words mentioned here: just make logical arguments and I'll translate them. If you say theory should come before case because we need to determine the rules first, but forget the words "a priori", congrats, the flow will say "a priori".
  • Tagteaming and speed are fine, but should be respectful— if you puppet your partner without being asked, I will dock your speaks enough to make a difference for seeding. Please don't go fast if you don't have good word economy.
  • Blips without impacts won't win you the round— I value clear logical steps and reasoning as necessary elements of persuasion. Flow debaters tend to throw around tags without explanation, and I absolutely, 100% will not vote on a tagline or a claim without a justification. Never assume that your tagline means anything unless you explain it.
  • Be good to each other. Parliamentary debate is a community that should always expand, not push people out.
  • Presumption flows the direction of least change. If you don't have warrants or don't sufficiently compare impacts, I'll spend 5 minutes looking for the winner and, failing that, vote on presumption.


  • Theory relies on logic as much as any other argument: have clear standards and weigh them against your opponents'.
  • Your interpretation should be concise and well-phrased-- and well-adapted to the round at hand.
  • On any theory, tell me how and why to evaluate your argument under competing interpretations.
  • No need for articulated abuse-- if your opponents skew you out of your prep time, do what you can to make up new arguments in round, and go hard for theory.
  • Throwaway theory is fine, but I'll appreciate it more if it sounds serious.

Kritiks + Tech

  • General: Ks are fun when well-run, but I tend to drop them because people run them wrong. Don't run arguments you don't understand. Please.
  • Familiarity: Honestly? I spend a lot of my free time reading critical literature, but assume I don't know yours.
  • Exclusion: Don't exclude. Take the damn POIs. Don't be offensive.
  • Conditionality: collapsed debate is good debate. If it hurts your ability to participate in the round, run theory.
  • Speed: Don’t spread your opponents out of the round. Period. If your opponents ask you to clear or slow, please do so or risk substantial speaker point losses. I can handle your speed, but if you aren't coherent and organized, that's your problem.
  • Rejecting the res (ADDED 11/5/18): I tend to think the resolution is the "epicenter of predictability" or whatever the tag is these days. Generally better to affirm the resolution in a kritikal manner than to reject the resolution outright.
  • Flow: I’ll flow through what you tell me to flow through, and will vote on the flow to the best of my understanding of the round. Overviews and underviews are good. Be clear as to what I'm voting on.
  • "Identity"-related kritiks are fine, but please don't make arguments based on your own identity in round nor make assumptions about other people's identities— debate is an inherently weaponized and adversarial space, and it's difficult to bring personal identities into play without risking emotional harm.

Case Debate

  • Fine with severance or intrinsic perms if you can defend them. If you can't, you'll lose– that's how debate works.
  • I'll be as tabula rasa as possible, but if you say things that I know are untrue/misrepresentations, your speaks might reflect that. That being said, I'm aware that I have oddly specific depth of knowledge in certain fields, so if you for some reason mix up the steps of creating a gene drive I'll probably forgive you.
  • Your cases should tell a story— isolated uniqueness points do not a disadvantage make. Understand the thesis and narrative of any argument you read.


  • I will protect against new information to the best of my ability, but you should call the POO. If I'm on the edge as to whether something is new, I'll wait for the POO to avoid intervening.

Speaker Points (Updated 11/3/18)

I have fairly high standards for speaks— if you pref me low because of that, we're cool, I get it. #inflation

25-26: Offensive, disrespecting partner/other debaters, etc.
26-27: Just not quite a sufficient speech— missing a lot of the necessary components.
27-28: Some missing fundamentals (eg poorly chosen/structured arguments, unclear logic chains).
28-28.5: Average— not very strategic, but has the basics down. Around top half of the field.
28.5-29: Decent warranting, sufficient impact calculus, perhaps lacking strategy. Deserve to break.
29-29.5: Clearly warranted arguments, weighable impacts, good strategy, deserve to break to late elims.
29.5-30: Very good strategic choices + logical analysis, wrote my ballot for me, deserve a speaker award.
30: Basically flawless. You deserve to win the tournament, win top speaker, and win TOC (unlikely)

I don't care if you talk pretty, stutter, or have long terrified pauses in your speech: I vote on the arguments.

I really have no desire to shake your hands.

Feel free to email me with specific questions at or message me on Facebook.

Mat Marr Paradigm

Debate is the best game ever invented and we are all lucky to play it.

My name is Mat Marr and I am one of the Speech and Debate coaches for Ashland High School in Oregon.

I debated policy in high school for three years including nationals. I qualified for nationals all four years in Foreign Extemp. I switched to LD my senior year and qualified for Tournament of Champions after a strong season on the national circuit. In college my partner and I broke at Parli nationals as freshmen. (Summary, I was decent at debate 20 years ago, but not the best, and I have some experience with all the styles but from judging and coaching in recent years and I am enjoying how debate is evolving.)

I try to be a pure flow judge.

Make sure you tell me where to record your arguments and use numbering, so I can track them. Be clear and direct in your refutations to your opponents arguments.

I have no strong biases for or against certain arguments. That also means I do not assume impacts, such as topicality being a voter, unless argued in round.

Tell me why your arguments are superior in reasoning and/or evidence.

I am fine with speed within reason but think its tactical value is limited.

Most importantly remember what a privilege it is to be able to spend our time debating and treat each other with respect. Thus, please be polite, inclusive and friendly and make the most of the opportunity to debate the important issues in a safe and supportive environment.

Good skill and have fun.

Specific event notes:

California Parli- I will not protect against new arguments in rebuttal if you choose not to use your point of order. I will vote for any well-argued position but generally enjoy topic specific policy debates.

I am happy to discuss flows after rounds, find me and we can talk.

For email chains feel free to use my email :

If you want to see what Oregon debate is like join us Dec 14-16 at the Grizzly Invitational in Ashland.

Dallas Phillips Paradigm

I debate for the University of the Pacific. 

Enunciate. My hearing has gotten worse, so I would appreciate if you could try to be clear. Speed isn't a problem for me and I'll be able to flow you, but articulate your words.

I'm open to hearing many different kinds of arguments, and I've read most Ks in my debate career and am fine voting on them.

If you're going to read a performance, read framework articulating why that is necessary.

I'm fine with theory, I default to competing interpretations but will vote on what you tell me to.

I need impact calc in the rebuttals: Why should I prioritize your arguments? Probability, magnitude, timeframe
Humor is great, be funny. Jokes are good. Just not offensive ones, that's not okay at all.

Do what you want have fun I'm here to type the things you say.


Artem Raskin Paradigm

Parli Paradigm


Currently Washington HS head coach.

4 years of high school parli, 3 years of high school circuit LD, 3 years of NPDA, 1 year of British Parli, 6 years of debate coaching.

Approach to judging

- I am a flow judge. If you run arguments I don’t like, I will be more willing to buy answers which debunk them, but I won’t intervene against them myself. If I can’t vote for either side without intervening, I will go by the path of least intervention.

- I vote for a team that has more offense in the end of the round, defense almost never wins rounds.

- If an argument could have been run out of the first constructive, don't wait until your second constructive to run it – this creates a truncated discussion of an argument. I will be sympathetic to AR turns against new arguments coming out of the Neg Block. In short, each argument needs to be made on the first opportunity to make that argument.

- If there is new offense coming out of a second constructive which could not have been run out of the first constructive (for example, theory in the 2AC against an abusive 1NC), I will cross-apply and weigh 2NC arguments against AR responses myself in order to offset the Aff getting the last word.

- I am not a fan of splitting the Neg Block, but I don’t think 2NC and NR should be identical. The 1N doesn’t need to extend non-essential defense if the 2N already made the responses. I give NR some leeway on extensions: simply referencing an argument is fine, you don’t need to spend too much time extending 2N warrants. In general, 1N should briefly extend chief pieces of offense and crucial defense and spend most of the time on big picture argument comparison.

- If an argument is unclear the first time I hear it, I won’t vote on extensions which clear it up.

- I do not require a Point of Order to strike a down a new argument. In a lot of cases, however, an argument is borderline new, and in these cases, I will typically give the speaker the benefit of the doubt unless a POO is called.

- I prefer that argument extensions extend the warrant, not just the tagline.

- I will not vote on blips. The best, though not the only way to ensure your argument isn’t a blip is to structure it.

- If there is a factual dispute, I will resolve it using my own knowledge or, if necessary, Google.

Argument preferences

- I like positional cases. This means that the Aff should have a specific plantext or a thesis. I welcome specification theory on vague plans.

- I am not a fan of trichotomy.

- I enjoy listening to structured critical arguments with a clear and realistic alternative made by debaters who have read the philosophy behind them. "Reject" alternatives are mostly dumb. I prefer critical arguments to contain policy alternatives. Reading a K does not exempt you from the need to engage with your opponents' arguments. I don't like lazy generic links (e.g. "their actor is the government, so they're capitalist!") – adapt your K to the specific issues discussed in the round, don't just regurgitate arguments you dug up from policy backfiles. Reading a K also does not exempt you from the need to make quality warrants - just because some French philosopher agrees with you does not mean that you are right. I prefer critical arguments that do not hinge on the identity of the debater or of their opponent. Lastly, I have a strong aversion to unnecessary jargon and intentional obfuscation.

- I am open to arguments that theory should be a reverse voting issue. I default to reasonability over competing interps.

- I default to net benefits – specifically, the terminal impacts of death, dehumanization, and quality of life. I think more specific standards exclude relevant argumentation. Weighing should be done primarily on contention level. Critical and philosophical debates are an exception to this rule.

- Counterplans are very strategic. I don’t think the Neg should be able to fiat alternative actors, though I won’t go so far as to intervene against that. I prefer counterplans to be unconditional, and I default to assuming that they are unconditional unless you explicitly state some other status right after reading the counterplan text. The same goes for K alts and other negative advocacies.

Presentation preferences

- Moderate speed is fine if it is used to present more in-depth arguments, but using speed as a tool to exclude your opponents from the round is not okay. If you try doing that in front of me, you will lose. If you want to go fast, take a lot of clarification POIs. If your opponents are going too fast, yell "Clear!" If your opponents or judges yell "Clear!" you should repeat the sentence you said right before that, and then either start enunciating better or slow down.

- Slow down on advocacy texts (plans, counterplans, K alternatives, theory interps, et cetera). I prefer that you give your opponents a written copy of your advocacy text. Lack of a stable advocacy text is a recipe for a messy round.

- I will flow each argument (advantage, disad, framework, topicality, et cetera) on a different piece of paper. When signposting, indicate clearly when you are moving on to a new argument. Tell me in which order I should arrange my papers in a roadmap; roadmaps are not timed. Do not include any information in your off-time roadmap other than argument order.

- I prefer teams to take at least two POIs per constructive speech. On top of that, you should take clarification questions after reading an advocacy text, or you will open yourself up to various specification arguments.

- On parli decorum (pre-speech thank-you’s, shaking everyone’s hands after the round, wearing suits etc) – I am not a fan. I won’t prohibit it, I just think it’s pointless.

Rylan Schaeffer Paradigm

I'm unsure of what information is generally helpful to competitors, so I tried to infer the answer by reading other judges' paradigms. If there's anything I've overlooked, please feel free to ask before the round begins.




I competed in debate for four years in high school, but I haven't judged since 2011 (my goodness, I'm old). I haven't followed every issue in detail since then (hint: it might behoove you to include relevant background information, especially early in the round).


My old judging paradigm:

I competed for four years for Mountain View High School.


While judging on the circuit, I try to be as tab as possible. However, I do have minimal requirements if you want my ballot:


I will only vote for actual arguments. That means a claim, a warrant and an impact. If you can't explain in-round why your claim is true or why your claim matters, I will not bring the argument into my decision calculus.


I will only vote for offensive arguments. I believe the affirmative has the burden to prove the resolution true and the negative has the burden to prove the resolution false, and to do so requires offense. If neither debater extends offense, I will decide the round by flipping a coin.


I will only vote for arguments that are extended in a form intellectually consistent with their original formation. I'm fine with new cross applications, but I strongly frown on twisting arguments to draw new implications, especially in later speeches.



To minimize judging interference, it behooves you to provide a standard for me to decide the round. I would also recommend clearly structuring your cases, DAs, Ks, etc. The clearer you can make your argument, your authors and your evidence, the easier it will be for me to understand the argument. In general, I enjoy non-standard arguments (Ks, narratives, performance, discursive, a prioris, etc



I haven't thought about debate in the past half decade, so I don't know how true any of the above is anymore.

I default to competing interpretations because that's what I remember, but if you argue in favor of some alternative methodology, I'll happily evaluate that like any other argument.

I find that high school circuit debaters generally have very low word economy. If you want high speaks, talk efficiently. I'm fine with speed.

Lukas Schwab Paradigm


I'm Campolindo Debate's Varsity Coach. On the side, I’m a student at UC Berkeley, where I study Film and Computer Science.

I went to Lincoln High School in Portland, OR, where I did Parli for two years and Policy for two years. I attended the Oregon Debate Institute in 2012 and the Gonzaga Debate Institute in 2014. I dabble in Parli at Cal and coach for Campolindo HS.

When I debated, I typically read policy affirmatives of all sizes

Questions? lukas~at~berkeley~dot~edu.


  • I would consider myself a fairly standard flow judge.
  • I can handle speed. I will tell you in-round to clear/slow down as needed.
  • I will listen to most every argument and most every impact.
  • Walk me through my decisionmaking process. Linearly, how do I get to where I vote?
  • Be competitive, but be friendly.


Here are a lot of opinions/things I default to. All of these will be overridden by arguments made in round. That should make this list fairly useless.

Rituals, disclosure

  • Don’t thank anyone, dress up, or stand up on my behalf. Debate however you will debate best.
  • Off-time roadmaps are coolio.
  • Please don’t shake my hand.
  • Be friendly. Win your rounds, be strategically aggressive, posture… but at the end of the day, debate is a good place for mutual enthusiasm, support, and respect. If you make someone feel unwelcome, it’ll be reflected on my ballot.
  • I have yet to encounter a scenario in which I do not vote one way or the other.
  • If a tournament schedule allows it, I’m comfortable giving feedback after the round. I will probably not disclose my decision unless it’s specifically encouraged by the tournament organizers.

Aff disclosure

I think disclosure is pretty cool. I’m willing to vote neg on disclosure theory if the argument is made well (see: Theory).

General strategy

  • I never heard of “trichot” in Policy, but I want a debate with a concrete advocacy (political or kritikal) whenever possible.
  • No matter what, please read specific links.
  • I’m fine voting for a non-topical aff if you win the theoretical debate.
  • Use POIs strategically to throw off a speaker. If you’re a speaker, taking POIs is typically a good strategic call.
  • Very specific arguments are almost always good!
  • For speaker points, I prefer debaters who debate well to those who win. These two are not necessarily linked, but debating well is important for debate as a whole and I hope we all try to do it.


  • Go ahead, read the theory everyone tells you is annoying! I’m down with multiple topicality, spec shells, etc. Just do it well, please.
  • Potential offense on theory is not nearly as valuable as specifically articulated misuse of the debate. e.g. if neg reads conditional positions but doesn’t kick anything, why do I care that the arguments were conditional?
  • Conditionality
    • I tend to think conditionality is good.
    • Use conditionality to highlight the most important negative arguments; don’t use it to waste time.
    • Before kicking a conditional position, resolve offense and extend defense to mitigate it as much as possible.
  • Dispositionality: I don’t think this differs substantially from conditionality. I don’t think dispositionality’s disclosure answers “condo bad” arguments, so calling your arg dispo isn’t a get-out-of-theory-free card.


  • Absent an articulated framework, I default to evaluate the counterplan like a mutual exclusivity disadvantage.
  • Counterplans should be textually or functionally competitive. Net benefits are typically uncompelling.
  • If you compete via net benefits, those net benefits should be rock solid versus the perm.
  • Here are some counterplans I like:
    • Short delay
    • Word PICs
  • Here are some counterplans I don’t like:
    • Long delay
    • Consult
  • Permutations
    • Give me a perm text––”do the plan and all non-competitive parts” doesn’t count.
    • I’m friendly to theory that says multiple blippy permutations are bad.
    • Permutations are never, ever advocacies. Giving a rebuttal advocating the perm world as anything but a response to the CP is a bad habit and a good way to get dropped on theory.


  • Read specific links. My threshold is pretty high for generic state/cap links.
  • Avoid identity args that aren’t specific to your identity.
  • I hesitate to vote on performative contradiction. Exception: representations kritiks, discourse links, kritiks with pre-fiat implications.
  • I’m plenty open to “cap good,” “heg good,” “realism is real,” etc.
  • Framework
    • I want to feel comfortable with my vote, and a good discussion on framework achieves that. I will gladly ignore parts of the debate if there’s a sound theoretical reason to do so.
    • Reading a K? Read framework! Feel free to try to moot the aff by whatever method you like.
    • Answering a K? Read framework! Feel free to try to moot the K by whatever method you like.
  • Lit I love
    • Poststructuralism: biopower and its derivatives, Foucauldian sex/gender theory, Foucauldian ableism, Derrida…
    • Representations: security, terror talk, ableism…
    • Orientalism.
    • In general, epistemology kritiks are up my alley.
  • Lit I kind of know
    • Baudrillard
    • Afropessimism
    • Lacanian psychoanalysis
  • Lit I’m not super familiar with
    • Identity args
    • Nietsche
    • Schizoanalysis
    • Obscure/technical ontology args
    • Very happy to listen to/vote on all of the above, just give me a good explanation of terms of art as they come up so I don’t accidentally vote wrong. It’s on whoever reads the kritik to make sure I understand.

Personal topic interests

  • Tech and data
  • Naval warfare
  • Toxicology (esp. POPs)
  • Gas hydrates
  • Seismology
  • Lebanon
  • American/European anti-Arabism
  • Film

Violet Sinnarkar Paradigm

Evergreen Valley High School '16

UC Berkeley '20


NPDI/TOC Update: I wrote this paradigm for LD, but the general concept stands. I competed in parli sporadically throughout my junior and senior year, and qualified to TOC.



I will vote for whatever you present a compelling argument for. I default to an offense/defense paradigm, and ethical confidence on the framework level. I presume that all levels of the debate, e.g. theory, kritiks, contentions, etc. are equally important unless you argue otherwise. I flow cross-ex answers. To quote Christian Tarsney, my favorite debates are (1) philosophical debates focused on normative framework, (2) empirical debates with lots of weighing and evidence comparison, (3) just plain stock debates, (4) "critical" debates revolving around incoherent non-arguments from obscurantist pseudo-philosophers, and (5) theory debates, in that order.



Weigh everything. I have a high threshold for extensions (i.e. you must re-explain the claim, impact, and warrant). You must explain why you win an argument and why it's a voting issue even if your opponent drops it.



Theory must include all the elements of a structured shell. You don't have to say "A is the..., B is the..." but you must mention an interpretation, violation, standard, and voter sometime in order for me to vote on the argument. I default to dropping the argument and competing interpretations on the theory debate.  



Be creative! I will act as if I have no knowledge of the authors or literature you reference outside of what you have told me.



Feel free to ask any questions before or after the round. You can contact me at














Matt Swanson Paradigm

I have been doing this for ~18 years. I debated trad and not and now I coach the same. It is fair to say that I am more familiar and comfortable with traditional arguments but I do like kritiks. I just do not know as much about your literature base as you probably want me to, especially for the more complicated ones. To be honest, I do not understand some of the arguments my students run and I do not know why they win but i am glad that other coaches vote for them. In the end, I don't care what you do (fiat the USFG to do something, tell me a story/narrative, framework, etc.) just have fun and be yourselves. My debate career is over so I really don't care what you read but I have one exception: Don't read RVIs.

Unless directed otherwise, I will adhere to the flow as closely as possible. I will prioritize weighing arguments as the debaters instruct me or I will tend to default to these preferences: an unwarranted systemic impact over an unwarranted nuclear war impact and will probably default to ordering impact calculus as probability, magnitude, and time frame. I am not familiar with cards/authors and I am a little hard of hearing so I can't keep up with full speed and need you to speak up.

email chain: mjs17 at

Speak well and make good choices.

Jon Thorpe Paradigm

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Fletcher Wingfield Paradigm

I have been in college debate for several years now. I am mostly a flow judge, but I'm not the type to vote on a completely outlandish argument unless it is thouroughly explained. I’ve spent a lot of time in the history department, so I definitely prefer case debate. I really love a strong strategy; those who are careful about choosing their ground will find it fairly easy to get my ballot. I will vote on a K, but only if you make it clear that you understand the theories behind it and explain them thoroughly, not only to myself but also to your opononents. Respect is the key word here, I’m not a fan of abusive tactics that are designed to box opponents out of the debate. High speaks for entertaining presentation and interesting arguments. Whoever makes me laugh the most will probably get the 30; debate should be about having fun.

Brian Yang Paradigm

Go nuts

Abel Zambrano Paradigm

ABOUT ME: I debate in college.

If you need to know anything more about who I am feel free to email me at or message me on Facebook for questions both before/after rounds. Please set up an email chain and add me to it -- I won't flow off your speech doc but I might read through your evidence during cross-x or after the round.


GENERAL VIEWS - I believe debate is a game. There is no form of argument that I am not willing to vote on. With this being said, know your case, if you're running policy be familiar with the context and nuances of your plan action, if your running k, know your lit, there's nothing worse than a poorly run K though well run K's can be some of the most compelling arguments IMO. I am not a fan of running theory in response to K's as most times these debates get really repetitive, whiney and stale I prefer you counter K with K or weigh K against case, but if you're not comfortable enough executing these strategies I would prefer a well flushed out theory sheet with solid impacts as opposed to spending an entire speech watching someone stumble through unfamiliar framework. And finally, arguments made within the debate space always overwrite my beliefs on debate, If after you run an AFF K the 1NC tells me I should evaluate the round as a stock issues judge and you don't refute this, don't whine because I claimed to be a games judge in my paradigm but dropped you on T.

SPEED - Go as fast as you want ~vroom~vroom~. If I say slow, slow down. If I say Clear, enunciate better. But, if you're being pushed out of the round I will be receptive to a well run sheet/K.

IMPACT CALC - If no framing is applied I default to preferring probability over magnitude so if you are hoping to win off of nuclear war be sure to tell me why 1% risk of Nuke War outweighs 100% twinkie

PS: Tabula-Rasa is fake news

Kenny Zhang Paradigm


EVHS Parli: 2012-2014, Parli captain, ranked within the top 50 of POI for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, 2014 TOC Participant

Debate Society of Berkeley: 2014-2015

I am a tab judge who will default to net benefits and the flow. For me, a debate is never won until one team makes it very clear that they've won in the PMR or LOR. To make it clear that you've won, I need clear impact weighing and analysis done in the final speech of both teams. If that weighing is not done, I will have to look at my flow and do the work for you. For speed, I will yell 'Clear!' once if I think you're speaking too fast and then begin to dig into your speaks for every time I have to yell clear after that. I will vote on theory or kritiks only if they're run well and are structured, I will drop you if your kritik makes no sense and you are running it for the sake of catching a team off-guard. Any other questions about my paradigm or judging philosophy can be asked before the round.

robert xu Paradigm

I'm a former debater who currently attends Cal. In high school, I quartered at Parli TOC and won state in Parli in Oregon. 

What to expect if you get me as a judge:

I'm okay with a reasonable amount of delivery speed, but not too much.

I appreciate well thought out policy arguments and when people directly address each others' arguments and responses.

I am not the best judge for K rounds, especially K rounds with a lot of delivery speed.

I will work to minimize my personal biases meaning I will aim to fairly evaluate arguments even if I personally disagree with them.