Isidore Newman School Invitational

2017 — New Orleans, LA/US

Kyler Buckner Paradigm

cabot '18

george mason '22

put me on the email chain:

i don't care what you do, just have fun. i was a 2A/1N in hs and pretty much exclusively read K affs (except one round my sophomore year). on the neg we extended a DA once my entire senior year. now i'm a 2N/1A doing pretty much the same thing. that being said, i'm not ideologically disposed to one "side" of debate; it really comes down to individual execution. with that in mind, here are some things you should know if i'm judging you:

1) cx is important. use it.

2) k's need specific, contextualized links to the aff.

3) "no perms in a methods debate" is not an argument.

4) "vote neg on presumption b/c you can't test whether the aff is true or not" is an argument but a terrible one.

5) alts usually suck - point that out.

6) contingency/timeframe/sequencing arguments are persuasive vs k's - ie (even if neolib holistically is bad, we have a specific scenario that our aff can solve - even if they win the root cause, the alt takes too long)

7) contextualization in fw debates (on both sides) is important - for the aff, you should explain why the neg's interp links to offense derived from your aff and conversely the neg should explain why the c/i uniquely explodes limits/is harmful.

8) know what the strat is vs each k based on your aff - if you're reading a hard right aff why would you ever go for the perm unless explicitly dropped?

9) for k's to beat policy affs they either have to a) win the FW debate and go for reps/ontology/epist links b) win structural indicts to the aff and control the RC debate c) win structural indicts to the aff and control impact framing. ideally, you win more than one, but that's the bare minimum in my eyes. however, i'm open to being proved wrong.

10) go for presumption vs. all k affs - they will likely win the impact debate, but if you win they can't solve it puts you in a much better spot.

11) if there's is an argument about disabilities in debate that is very obviously not just a rhetoric k and the team responding to it treats it as such use it to bolster your link claims. it seems very paternalistic and reductionist to assume that the depth and nuance of disability studies can be subsumed to "saying dirty words is bad."

pls do not:

1) be racist/sexist/ableist/classist/transphobic, etc.

2) be excessively rude. there's a line, don't cross it.

3) be unnecessarily verbose. abstraction divorced from reality is not just lazy theory, it's useless.

4) call me judge

5) call debate "the debate space"

Timothy Dahms Paradigm

email: - feel free to ask questions or whatever



I did 3 years of debate for Fayetteville High School in Arkansas. I have had a reasonable amount of exposure to the national circuit and I certainly preferred that style when I competed. I will try my best to stick to the flow as much as possible. However, it would be a disservice not to disclose my personal biases and preferences. Importantly, I have not seen a round of debate in at least two years, and teams should bear that in mind. This is not to say there are arguments you should stay away from, it just means that keeping the flow clean, having a coherent strategy, and being decisive about dropping/going for arguments (e.g., don't read an argument strictly as a time suck, don't weakly extend something you've already decided you won't go for) will go a long way. I will always prefer fewer cards that have multiple warrants to a deluge of cards that are all claims. I will always prefer fewer arguments with better clash and a more thorough line-by-line to reading a ton of arguments and just going for what's undercovered.

A specific pet peeve that is like my one hard and fast rule:

I really don't want to hear new arguments in the 2NC unless it responds to something unique to the 2AC. You can read new off-case if there's a link in the 2AC that wasn't in the 1AC. You can read case hits on new 2AC case evidence or add-ons. What I don't want is for you to read all off-case in the 1NC and save case hits on the 1AC for the 2NC. Feel free to ask me more specifically what I'll accept in-round.


I did spread debate in high school and I fully support it. However, like I said before, I haven't been around debate for a few years and I will probably be a little rusty both with listening and flowing. I'm definitely not saying you have to break out your lay judge 1AC but you should be ready to make strategic decisions if I need you to slow down. I will have you start at full speed but bear in mind that if you're really fast or unclear I will need you to slow down.

K's and K affs:

I ran them a lot when I debated and I have at least a passing familiarity with most of the literature bases. It is important that you demonstrate a strong grasp on the literature base behind the K and explain how it functions in the context of the round, the 1AC, debate as an activity, etc. Your alt shouldn't be an afterthought (there's nothing wrong with just reading a kritikal disad) and I should have a clear idea of how my ballot fulfills it. It is very important that K debaters construct a coherent narrative of the argument that serves as a frame for the line-by-line. Permutations are frequently thrown out there as generic answers. Give me a clear picture of what the world of the perm looks like specific to the particular alt.


In my experience as both a judge and debater, normative questions about the competing visions of debate tend to be considered prior to questions of fairness. This isn't a rule by any means, but it's hard to vote for you based on being denied ground the other team has provided compelling reasons you shouldn't have. You need to offer a strong defense of policy debate as an educational and political methodology. 


Never a reverse voting issue. Put in the time if you want to win on it.


Not much to say here. If you're reading ptx you gotta sell me on the political capital narrative. Slow down on CP text/perm text. Not a fan of process CPs. Agent CPs are fine. I don't want to hear condo theory if the neg only has one conditional world + the squo. 


Sell me on it. Don't just read theory blocks at me and move on. Again, I don't want to hear condo theory if the neg has only one conditional world + the squo.


Mackenzie Ellis Paradigm

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Micah Everson Paradigm

I didn't compete in Policy, but I've been coaching debate for 7 years with a fair amount of focus on Policy the last 5 years. The state I coach in is fairly limited in terms of competition, however.


I'm willing to listen to anything and willing to vote on anything, but I have very little experience with critical stuff or anything non-traditional, so I'll listen, I'll be interested, and I'll try to follow, but it may be harder to get my vote that way.


I don't like to be confused - give me clear voting issues. If I am confused, I'll probably default to impacts / policy-maker.


Speed is okay, but speed with ridiculous breathing is obnoxious. Speed without any change in delivery for tag lines is hard to follow and hard to flow.

Chris Flowers Paradigm

* Little Rock Central coaching staff

* Previously @ Cabot (2014 - 2018)

I've been around long enough now to fairly evaluating the myriad of strategies you may choose to engage the topic.

To that end, you should do what you do best. I will flow, read evidence, pay attention during cx and determine the winner of each debate based on the strength of the arguments delivered in the round.

Where my thoughts are on certain issues:

T: I have a proclivity for reasonable interpretations of the topic if: a. the aff is educationally valuable and/or can demonstrate viable neg ground. I think aff should have some idea of what good ground would be for the neg, but the burden is ultimately on the team claiming abuse. These are standards whose value are unique to each round and contingent on the arguments made in favor and against them.

T/Framework debates: I prefer the educational value of a position over procedural fairness, but 9.7 times out of ten the more technically proficient team wins these debates. Neg teams against affs's without plans need to win some defense against the aff impacts and make your interp matter with clearly articulated impacts. I think the value of debate extends beyond being just a game, but also believe there are some things that need to be predictable in order to foster clash and dialectic education. Read:win fairness is prereq to education.

K: affs get to weigh their impacts, but also are responsible for the discourse, epistemology, ontology and any other underlying issues and your post fiat impacts probably on face aren't as important. Go in on the framework debate as a starting point to beating the K. Alt solvency is also an area of weakness AFF's should exploit. Conversely, I will vote for a k of the aff as a bad idea even if you don't win any alt solvency. Again, it really depends on the debate.

Coverage Issues/New Args in the Rebuttal/Spin: I think the 1ar should be responsive to arguments already made in the debate and new constructive arguments are largely prohibited. The standard for me is based on refutation. Cross-applications and offensive responses that are new are okay if they are directly refuting an argument that has already been made. I am willing to entertain creative cross-applications. If you can finesse and spin your way into some new arguments I am willing to listen and evaluate their merit in the debate. Conversely, neg teams should be aware of this and should red flag any potential issues they think may arise. All things being equal, if i think an argument in the 1ar is brand new and the 2ac had an opportunity to respond to it, I won't evaluate it. The 2AR also has the same limited leeway. I am fine with spins and creative cross applications, as well as, elaboration as a form of 2ar work. You should also feel free to spin as much as you think you can get away with. If the debate is clear or a team is just largely unresponsive to a line of argument I'm not going to do a close of the evidence. When a debate is close or there is specific indicts against evidence, then I will read it, but you should presume that I will buy your spin if you're doing it well.

Theory: Either theory is there to protect a team or the game of debate or its there to try and win a technical concession or force a time misallocation elsewhere. I don't have any strongly held opinions about really any theoretical arguments and really are looking to decide these debates as easily as possible. This means that if you've won a technical concession and it has an impact I will probably vote for you. Additionally, egregious forms of perf con (cap k with the spending disad) are inherently problematic for education in debate and 2ac strategy. These starts should be avoided.

Deciding debates: My decision is a holistic look at the 'voting issues' in a round as delivered by the 2nr and 2ar. I start by looking at the framework debate, first seeking out the easy way to vote. This would be any uncontested framing issue that i can articulate in an RFD. If there are no technical outs I am looking for teams to spend time extending warrants from their evidence and analysis in a comparative manner. I then pick the framework of the team that has best done this. From there, I am prioritizing the higher probability impact story, so link specificity, evidence specificity and articulation is key. Impact stories which require a lot of internal link work need to either rely on technical errors made by their opponent or have great evidence that fits the logical conclusions that are written in your tag lines. I find a lot of times this doesn't happen. Additionally, higher magnitude/heg good type arguments need to either win by opponent error or winning link turns to their opponents impacts. Evidence specificity is good and should be a selling point for final rebuttals in close debates. Beyond that and the real truth behind the matter is I evaluate the debate that happens in front of me based on the arguments presented in the round. I can be persuaded to vote for nearly any type of position so long as you have done the work you need to do.

Gus Fowler Paradigm

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Julian Gagnon Paradigm please add me to email chains

from planet debate-

this is difficult for me b/c i'm not sure i have A judging philosophy but I do have many different ideas about and for debate...some inconsistent. that being said i don't want what i think about debate to totally dictate what debaters decide to do in rounds.

topicality- generally don't like it. I find no abuse args to be really persuasive. Since I like critical arguments so much I think you can usually find ground in any debate. i don't like the competing interpretations framework very much. i find the "that limits out any aff" arg to be persuasive. but i will vote on that framework and topicality if left unchallenged. in a good topicality debate on competeing interp vs an ok no abuse arg i'll USUALLY vote aff.

cp- like em. with a critical nb even better. i think i'm a fair judge for these debates. aff theory args generally not persuasive unless unchallenged. very similar to topicality in this regards.

das- great. a lot of people are now struggling with the we control the uniqueness = a risk vs. we got d/risk of turn. i don't think the aff has to have offense to win a da but i do find in a lot of debates that with only defense it hurts the aff a bunch. especially when the neg has a cp. but i tend to weight the da first in terms of probability and then magnitude.

critical args- love em. these are the debates i find the most interesting. i'm willing to listen to virtually any way the neg wants to present them. method. alternative. text no text. don't care. case turn. obviously it's the neg's burden to provide some way to evaluate their "framework" but in terms of theory i think they are all pretty much legit. args are args and it's the other teams responsibility to answer them.

others- i like to see people be nice to each other in debate rounds. some people may say i intervene sometimes. it's true but let me provide context. if you go for you mis-spelled (jk) a word in your plan and you should lose and your winning the arg but the other team says this is stupid...we'll i'm persuaded. you just wasted a bunch of peoples time. another thing. DON'T RUN MALTHUS IN FRONT OF ME- DOESN'T MATTER IF IT RIGHTS OR NOT. i won't flow it. i think that while debate is a game we still have a responsibility to "speak truth to power". discourse is very important. definately co-constitutes with reality. this may be why i'm starting/have been hating the politics debate for the last year and a half. but hey, like i said before, i'm full of inconsistancies b/c sometimes you just don't have another arg in the box to go for. i'm sympathetic to this. especially in high school debate. i still research it for the hs topic and coach my kids to go for it.

from debateresults...

Debate is a game- i have a lot of ideas about how the game should be played but in the absence of teams making those arguments i won't default to them. i think debate should make the rules of the game and provide a framework for how i should evaulte the debate. i'm not a big fan of some malthus in particular...but also theory arguments in general. these debates generally happen faster then my mind and pen can handle. ive judged a lot although i haven't much this year on the china topic. some people may think i have a bias towards critical arguments, and while this is true to some degree (i generally find them more intersting than other debates), it also means i have higher standards when it comes to these debates. yeah imagine that, me with high standards.

James Garner Paradigm

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Anthony Joseph Paradigm

email me at / for questions

- put me on the chain

- be ready to give the 1ac if im late, no excuses

- im starting to want to count prep till you are ready to speak, too many people stealing prep.

Kayvan Khoobehi Paradigm

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Darin Maier Paradigm

Caveat: All this is how I think I judge debates. People who have had me in the back of the room may disagree with elements of this.

The SparkNotes Version:

1) The AFF's advocacy should endorse the resolution -- if you do that, I'll give you some room on method.

2) I default policymaker but will consider other approaches if well-articulated and explained in terms of why that approach is appropriate for this round.

3) I want in on any file sharing, but I'm only going to flow what you intelligibly articulate in the round. If it's not on my flow, you didn't say it, and I won't go to the speech doc to bail you out.

4) I lean truth over tech, reasonability over competing interpretations, substance over procedure, and usually find reciprocity to be a good starting point for evaluating theory, but I think these are all defaults and can be overcome.

5) I have no moral qualms with saying "I didn't vote for you because I didn't understand your argument." Making a cohesive argument out of your mass of cards is your job, not mine.

6) Don't be rude, don't falsify evidence, don't clip cards, and don't do other shady things. If you're doing "ins and outs", you'd be well-advised to notify everyone before the round begins (I have voted against a team who didn't because 2NR ran a theory objection). If it's shady enough, I may sign the ballot against you without the other team telling me to.

The “Actual Text” Version – but still trying to be somewhat succinct.

· The resolution – Full Disclosure: I serve on the NFHS Policy Topic Wording Committee and have attended the Topic Selection Meeting since 2011. Advocate for or against the resolution, and I’ll give you some leeway on exactly how you’re doing that (e.g. using your personal narrative as a DREAMer for immigration reform is a valid strategy, saying I should vote for you because you didn’t get Cocoa Puffs as a kid is not, and if you insist on doing the latter, you’d probably prefer striking me over taking that L).

· If you’re running electronic file sharing, I want to be in on the fun, but my flow will only reflect what you say in the round. Speed is generally okay but be clear – the third time I have to yell “clear”, I stop flowing. If it’s not on my flow, you didn’t say it and if it’s because you were unclear, I’m not going to the speech doc to bail you out. I’m about the content of what you say, but you have to say it in a way that is intelligible.

· Substance > procedure is the default, but if your opponent is being particularly egregious or shady and you explain why I have to use the ballot to take a stand, I’ll consider it, and I have voted on both theory and topicality.

· Your job is to make me understand the argument and why it matters in this debate so that if I vote against the other team, I can explain to them why they lost. Complicated arguments require thorough explanations. “Read our evidence, it’s on fire” is lazy debate, not a thorough explanation. While I am literate enough to understand kritiks like capitalism, feminism, intersectionality, anti-blackness and the like, if your kritik is based on some French dude whose name ends in four consecutive vowels who says a failure to adopt their method kills all value to life, you’d better have a good story.

· I try to decide the debate in the least interventionist way possible, unless some bad behavior is taking place. I’ll read cards if I must, but only those I need. If you ask me to read evidence, you’re giving me a tacit invitation to intervene.

· Whether it’s performance versus counter-performance, a policy AFF that claims the right to weigh itself against a K, a well-structured and developed T debate, or an old school AFF versus case arguments and a DA, good debate is good debate. If you’re giving me defensible reasons why the resolution should be endorsed or rejected, I’m pretty likely to be down with that.

· Because I judge on a few different circuits, I don't list a point scale, but try to adapt to whatever the particular tournament I am at is using.

· Things that will cost you speaker points or the round:

a. Rudeness – it will definitely hurt your speaks, enough rudeness makes me either actively look for a way to give you the L or just decide that you’re getting the L because I like to make rude people mad at me.

b. Gratuitous profanity – if a “damn” or “hell” slips out during a frantic 1AR or you’re including a curse word that is essential to the context of evidence you’re reading, that’s okay. Six f-bombs in a 40 second span is something else.

c. Racist/homophobic/sexist language or behavior

d. Falsifying evidence – if I’m pretty sure it’s been done, I will act on this one unilaterally

e. Clipping cards – if I’m pretty sure it’s being done intentionally, I will act on this one unilaterally.

Calen Martin Paradigm

Debated for 4 years in highschool for Caddo - Am now debating at the University of Kentucky 


Argument preference - I am open to hear whatever strategy/arguments you think can best be executed to win the debate.  I think that flex is important and dont particularly prefer hearing one sort of strategy over the other.  That being said, I primarily went for critques in highschool but am now tranistioning to a heavier policy focus.  Feel free to read either in front of me.  Ill vote for Heg good just as quickly as ill vote for the death K.  Win the flow and the substance of the debate and ill give you my ballot.  


Conditionality - two is pretty safe, anymore and im more sympathetic.  This doesnt mean that you cant read more than two in front of me, but if you do and the AFF extends condo be ready to have that debate.  


CPs/DAs - I like them, especially when they are case specific and deal with the AFFs mechanism.  Im more sympathetic to AFF theory vs Word pics, consults, and mores generic process cps.  If your go-to counterplan is more generic, thats fine, just be ready to answer theoretical objections.  


Ks - your links need to be specific to the AFF.  Even generic link cards can be bolstered by some quick analytic application to what the plan actually does.  If you dont explain to me why the plan links, its hard to win a turns case argument.  Additionally,  I need reasons as to why the alt would be able to resolve at least some of the link arguments.  


T - I judged a few debates at camp over the summer so I have a rough idea of constitutes the topic.  T requires concise explanation.  I think that limits (for policy affs) is likely to be the largest impact.  


I wont call for cards that you have not properly explained in the debate.  You need to be clear.  Debate is about effective communication and persuasion.  Delivery is important.  If you want high speaks in front of me, CX is the place to earn them.  

Elise Matton Paradigm

Elise Matton, Assistant Debate Coach at Albuquerque Academy and current Master's student (History, Education) at UNM.

Email chain:


I have been active in one form or another with the debate community since 2005.

Competitively, I debated from 8th grade through my senior year for Albuquerque Academy (2010) and dabbled in PF and impromptu. In college, I was a founding member of the Tulane University Debate Team and competed from 2011-2014, staying on to coach and judge until 2016. We competed in IPDA and NPDA parliamentary debate.

I was a debate team assistant for Isidore Newman under Greg Malis and Alma Nicholson (2012-2016 off and on). I judged both the Louisiana local circuit and the national circuit. I was also heavily involved with helping to run and coach for a middle school circuit in New Orleans called the Crescent City Debate League from 2011-2016.

Basically, I'm a big debate nerd. This means I have experience in a wide range of debate events, styles and circuits and feel fairly comfortable adjusting to whatever style you might compete in- I consider them all useful and valid although my *home* is policy debate.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Background

I’m currently an assistant coach for Albuquerque Academy, which is also where I competed from 2005-2010 in policy debate. In college I co-founded the team at Tulane University and competed in both NPDA and IPDA, and worked part time for Isidore Newman primarily in policy as well. If it means anything to your strat, I’m also working on my MA studying history and critical pedagogy. When I was competing I stayed mostly local circuit in New Mexico, and debated mostly stock issues BUT I really enjoy and love judging debates I myself never got to have or never had in-depth- aka I’ve judged a lot of K debates, performance debates, high level theory debates, etc etc since retiring as a competitor, and really enjoy them for the most part. Just because I did things one way in high school does not mean I have a specific affinity for it- I’m really open to most arguments, but don’t assume I have extensive background in whatever you’re reading- your clarity of explaining the argument is key.

Role as a Judge

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

Kasi McCartney Paradigm

Debated for Caddo Magnet HS 1999-2004

Director of Debate Bossier Schools 2009 -2017

Current Debate Coach at Caddo Magnet HS

LHSSL Executive Council Member


Personal Philosophy

Overall, I am essentially a policy maker. I feel that the goal of the debate is to find the best policy option. I do not consider myself an activist or that my role is to balance forces within the debate community. I will vote for non-policy strategies if they can present a clean structure for their impacts. I know its out of style, but I prefer the affirmative to have a plantext.

Identity Politics - You should probably not pref me. You MUST have a link to the aff or specific in round actions for me to vote on this. I understand and sympathize with the issues in round, but this is not my preferred argument at all. It will take a lot of convincing to get me to vote on a strategy that is outside the resolutional bounds. I ultimately believe that traditional forms of debate have value.

Theory – I think theory is definitely a voting issue, but there needs to be some form of in round abuse for me to truly buy that it is a reason alone to reject one team or the other. I do not think that simply kicking a CP in block is a time skew that is truly worth voting against a neg team unless there are other circumstances. I do love tricky CP's (consult CP's, clever agent CP's, process CP's etc.) and it would be hard for me to believe that on this topic they're really that unpredictable.

Case - I must say I have a hard time being persuaded that the negative has enough weight on their side to win with only case defense and a DA. What can I say, I'm a product of the late 90's. I much prefer to have a CP/K in there to give the flexibility, especially with a topic that allows for affirmatives to have heavy military impacts. Please be careful and make sure that if you takea case only route that you attack each advantage with offense and have a very very weighty DA on your side.

Kritiks- Not my bread and butter, although I do understand their strategic benefit, having come from an underfunded public school. It is my preference that K’s have a clear order and structure. I will vote on the K if you win that your impacts outweigh the impacts of the plan and that there is a true need for action, but I would not be the judge to introduce an extremely loose and unstructured argument to. I understand and buy into threat construction and realism claims, but in the end, I much prefer a well executed CP and politics debate to a poorly executed critical strategy. You will need to a have link specific to the plan. Links based off of the SQ will not be enough for me.

Framework - I default to the framework that the aff can weight the impacts of their plan versus the impacts of the neg.

Impacts – I believe that impact analysis is at the heart of a judging decision. You are an advocate for your arguments and as such you should provide insight and analysis as to why your specific impacts are the greatest in the round, how they should be evaluated by the judge and how they change the evaluation of the impacts to the other team’s case. Without this assessment I feel like you leave too much wiggle room for the judge to pick their personal preference of impact.

Speaker points- Speed can be an advantage in the round and should be encouraged, but always with the intent of being clear first. My ability to clear understand your arguments is crucial to getting them evaluated at the end of the round. The ability to provide analytics and analysis in the round will get you much further with me. As far as CX is concerned, I simply ask that the person who is supposed to be asking/answering the questions, gets the first shot at speaking. If they ask for help that’s perfectly fine, but don’t overwhelm your partner’s ability to conduct their own cx. Baseline speaks for e is 28.5 and you move up or down from there. I hardly ever give above a 29.5

Ed Moise Paradigm

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Neill Normand Paradigm

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David Ramachandran Paradigm

NOTE: This paradigm is meant for policy debate. If I am judging you in any other form of debate then what I have below does still apply but I am not all that familiar with the format or norms of argumentation for other forms of debate. If there is a specific way in which your form of debate should be framed and evaluated, it is your responsibility for making that known and then forwarding an argument about why it should be evaluated in that way.

About Me:

  • I competed in policy debate at Ruston High School for all four years of high school.
  • I am currently studying economics and political science at Tulane University
  • I prefer a good policy debate with an intensive case debate and relevant disadvantages over a critical debate. See the Kritik section if you are thinking about running one.

Big Picture:

  • Sportsmanship: Debate is a platform by which competitors mutually enter into an academic environment to pursue education. If you do not respect your competitors, your speaker points will reflect it. With that being said, I am open to debates about what the platform should look like.
  • Communication: It is the job of the debater to effectively convey their point. It is the debater's responsibility for making sure that the judge clearly understands their points. I do not enjoy yelling "Clear," but I will do it 3 times before I stop flowing entirely. Likewise, your speaker points will suffer for each time I have to intervene. Because debate is contingent upon good communication, I do not want to be added to the email chain or to be given evidence to follow along with as this defeats the purpose for actually speaking.
  • Prep: Flash time does count as prep time. Clearly say when you are starting and ending prep. I will penalize teams that appear to be doing prep after they have ended prep.
  • Speaker Points: Speaker points are contingent upon a variety of factors including: clarity, road-mapping, disrespectfulness, theft of prep time, effective participation in CX, a constructive speech, and a rebuttal, merits of your strategy, and presentation.
  • Flowing: I evaluate the debate entirely off of my flow. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are clear enough for me to flow you. If it is not on my flow, do not expect me to "fill in the blanks." If there is evidence in contention, I will call for it after the round to see what it actually says. It is in your best interests to accurately represent the author's argument.
  • Evidence: I reward teams who use quality evidence over a hot jumble of buzzwords. If a card is in question, I will call for it after the round. I give credit to an author's credentials and I think you should too. I should not have to read un-highlighted parts of your evidence to understand it. I have no tolerance for clipping, or jumping around parts of a card unannounced. If you mark a card, you better have it clearly marked on your document.
  • Decision Making: The way I judge the debate is entirely up to you. I will default to whatever I am told to do. Therefore, it is important to win framing arguments if you expect to win the round.


  • Topicality:
    • I prefer the Aff actually have a plan or advocacy statement.
    • T is always a potential voter, but the negative must show an actual violation of the definition and prove in-round abuse for me to actually want to vote for it. With that being said, if the other team drops it entirely, of course I will vote on T.
    • The more specific the better.
  • Kritiks:
    • Must have an alternative
    • Alt must solve
    • Must win Framework debate if you expect to win the K
    • Must prove why thinking and acting are opportunity costs
    • Although I ran and debated against Kritiks a lot in high school, I am honestly not that big of a fan of them. Run them at your own risk: I hold Kritiks to a high threshold both on the link debate and the alt solvency debate. I am fair though, if your opponents do not prove why such a high threshold should be imposed and you are winning these debates along with the framework debate, you will win the K.
  • Performance:
    • Must have a purpose
    • Must prove why conventional policy debate doesn't work to represent your point and why I should value your point
    • If you break from the conventional platform of debate only to be funny, expect to lose. With that being said, I think performances can serve a vital role in advocacy if it is sincere
  • Counter Plans:
    • I love a good theory debate.
    • I also love coherent Neg strats meaning that DAs that link to the CP will hurt you.
    • Read CP text slowly and clearly enough for me to actually flow it
    • I seriously doubt your one terrible card below your generic CP text makes it all that much better than the 8 minute 1AC.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Please have current Uniqueness cards
    • Not every impact has to be nuclear war or extinction, but I will evaluate them as they are presented.
    • I love impact calc debates

Collin Smith Paradigm

Collin Smith

Put me on your email chain:

I graduated from Cabot High School in 2018 and now debate at Baylor. I’ve mostly always debated on the more critical side of things, so I am definitely more informed on those aspects of debate. When judging, however, I care less about the content of your arguments than I do your ability to concisely explain what your argument is, how it interacts with what the other team said, and what that means for the debate writ large.

I did work at a camp this summer on some topic specific policy arguments, and I work on some argument construction with Little Rock Central (it is mostly on the critical aspects of the topic), which means I do have a general understanding of the resolution, but if your arguments revolve around the very technical legal aspects of immigration policy or specific topicality violations, you should explain them a bit more than you may for a person with extensive prior knowledge of such.

Most important things for me:

1.) Judge instruction – I believe the best 2NRs and 2ARs tell the judge what the most important aspect of the debate is and why, then win that issue. These framing questions tend to implicate how I evaluate technical concessions, or at lease to what extent I should care about them with regards to broader framing questions.

2.) Specificity – your links should always more specific but so should aff responses. Specific evidence is always nice, but contextual application of generic cards is still appreciated. This applies to all parts of the debate; be it, your k links, alternative solvency deficits, counterplan solvency, etc.

Khristyan Trejo Paradigm


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



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

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

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

** OTHER **

Tag-team cross-ex is fine. Prep ends when the flash drive is out of the computer. You can refuse to answer substantive questions during prep time.If you think that clipping occurred, record the debate and wait until the speech is over. If there is substantive clipping according to the tape and the doc, then I will vote the team down and the clipper will receive a 0.

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

Rosie Valdez Paradigm

-Director of Debate at Little Rock Central High School
Yes, email chain and sure, questions:


Do what you do and do it well. I will vote for who wins. Over-adaptation is probably not a great idea with me in the back (I can smell your soft-left add-ons a mile away). Be clear, be concise, be economical. I coach primarily K teams, so it is immaterial to me whether or not you read a plan.


I care about quality of evidence. I would much rather hear you read a few well-warranted cards than a wave of under-highlighted evidence. Same goes for redundant evidence; if you need six cards that “prove” your claim with the same words interchanged in the tag, your claim is probably pretty weak. Evidence does not (alone) a (winning) argument make. I like to be on email chains.


Neg teams lose when they don’t demonstrate how their arguments interact with the 1AC. Winning that the affirmative is “flawed” or “problematic” does not guarantee a neg ballot. In my mind, there are two ways to win the k versus a policy aff: either win that the effects of the plan make the world significantly worse OR win framework and go for epistemology/ontology links. Know when framework is important and when it’s not. Give analysis as to how your links implicate the world of the aff. This is where case mitigation and offense on why voting affirmative is undesirable is helpful. These debates are significantly lacking in impact calculus. Also - the alt needs to solve the links, not the aff - but if it does, great! If you win framework, this burden is lessened. Don’t spread through link explanations. I am seeing more debates where teams kick the alt and go for the links as disads to the aff. This is fine, but be wary of this strategy when the alt is what provides uniqueness to the link debate.

Conversely, affs typically lose these debates when there is little press on what the alternative does and little analysis of perm functions. However, some teams focus on the alt too much and leave much to be desired on the link debate (especially important for soft-left affs). Not sure why teams reading HSI are making perms on the cap k. Defend your reps. Your framework shell should also include a robust defense of policymaking, not just procedural fairness. The 1AR should actually answer the block’s framework answers. More impact turning rather than defensive, no-link arguments.

Also, running to the middle will not save you. Some Ks are going to get a link no matter what, and tacking on a structural impact to your otherwise straight policy aff will likely only supercharge the link. So. Read the aff you'd read in front of anybody in front of me. You're probably better at that version anyway.

K Affs vs. FW

For affs: I’m good for these although I do think that oftentimes the method is very poorly explained. Neg teams should really press on this and even consider going for presumption. Side note: I absolutely do not think that critical affs should have to win that the ballot is key for their method. Against framework, I most frequently vote aff when the aff wins impact turns that outweigh the neg’s impacts and have a counter-interp that resolves the majority of their offense. I can still vote for you if you don’t have a counter-interp in the 2AR but only if the impact work is exceptional. I prefer affs that argue that the skills and methods produced under their model inculcate more ethical subjectivities than the negative’s. The best aff teams I’ve seen are good at contextualizing their arguments, framing, and justifying why their model and not their aff is uniquely good. I am most frequently preffed for K v K debates. Judge instruction is extremely important here as these debates can become muddled extremely quickly. I would rather evaluate those rounds based on whose method is most relevant to the debate rather than k tricks.

For neg teams: I like to see framework deployed as debate methodologies that are normatively good versus debate methodologies that are undesirable and should be rejected. Framework debates should center on the impact of certain methodologies on the debate space. “Your argument doesn’t belong in debate” is not the same thing as “your argument is hindered by forum” or “your argument makes it functionally impossible to be negative.” (fun fact: I read a lot of judges' paradigms/preferences..."debate is a game" does not = debate is a good game, and participation in that "game" does not = can't say the game is bad). I prefer more deliberation & skills-based framework arguments rather than procedural fairness, but I will vote on either as long as you have warrants and comparative impact analysis. If going for skills & research impacts, the internal link debate is most important. TVAs are great as defense against the aff’s impact turns. They do not have to solve the aff but should address its central controversy.

I feel similarly about theory debates in that they should focus on good/undesirable pedagogical practices. Arguments that explain the role of the ballot should not be self-serving and completely inaccessible by a particular team.


Topicality is a voting issue and never a reverse voting issue. T debates are won and lost on the standards level. If the affirmative wins that their interpretation solves the impact of topicality, then I see no reason to vote negative. Thorough T debates are about more than fairness. The idea that you have no game on an aff in this era is just not as persuasive as the idea that the aff’s interpretation negatively impacts future debates. For the immigration topic: I agree with the general consensus that topical affs must provide legal permanent residence.


No real issues here. Specific links to case obviously preferred to generic arguments. Give me good impact analysis. As a debater, counterplans weren’t really my jam. As a judge, I can’t say that I get to vote on CPs often because they are typically kicked or are not competitive enough to survive an affirmative team well-versed in permutations. A CP should be something to which I can give thoughtful consideration. Don’t blow through a really complicated (or long) CP text. Likewise, if the permutation(s) is intricate, slow down. Pretty sure you want me to get these arguments down as you read them, not as I reconstruct them in cross. I vote for theory as much as I don’t vote for theory. No real theoretical dispositions.

Arkansas Circuit

1. I’m not going to bump your speaks for thanking me and taking forever to start the round because you’re asking “opponent ready? judge ready? partner ready? observers ready?” for the first 20 minutes.
2. If you do not take notes during my RFD, I will leave.
3. Don’t clip. Why do debaters in Arkansas clip so much? Answer: Because I don’t judge very much in Arkansas.
4. Keep your own time.

James Xiang Paradigm

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