Isidore Newman School Invitational

2017 — New Orleans, LA/US

Clement Agho-Otoghile Paradigm

Forensics is a speaking competition in which the art of rhetoric is utilized - speaking effectively to persuade or influence [the judge].

I take Socrates's remarks in Plato's Apology as the basis of my judging: "...when I do not know, neither do I think I know...I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know when I do not know" (Ap. 21d-e).

My paradigm of any round is derived from: CLARITY!!!

All things said in the round need to be clear! Whatever it is you want me to comprehend, vote on, and so forth, needs to be clearly articulated, while one is speaking. This stipulation should not be interpreted as: I am ignorant about debate - I am simply placing the burden on the debater to debate; it is his or her responsibility to explain all the arguments presented. Furthermore, any argument has the same criteria; therefore, clash, at the substantive level, is a must!

First and foremost, I follow each debate league's constitution, per the tournament.

Secondly, general information, for all debate forms, is as follows:

1) Speed: As long as I can understand you well enough to flow the round, since I vote per the flow!, then you can speak as slow or fast as you deem necessary. I do not yell clear, for we are not in practice round, and that's judge interference. Also, unless there is "clear abuse," I do not call for cards, for then I am debating. One does not have to spread - especially in PF.

2) Case: I am a tab judge; I will vote the way in which you explain to me to do so; thus I do not have a preference, or any predispositions, to the arguments you run. It should be noted that in a PF round, non-traditional/abstract arguments should be expressed in terms of why they are being used, and how it relates to the round.

Set a metric in the round, then tell me why you/y'all have won your metric, while your opponent(s) has lost their metric and/or you/y'all have absorbed their metric.

The job of any debater is to persuade the judge, by way of logical reasoning, to vote in his or her favor, while maintaining one's position, and discrediting his or her opponent's position. So long as the round is such, I say good luck to all!

Ask any other clarification questions before the round!

Blake Andrews Paradigm email with questions or for email chain purposes.

update for St. Marks - 1. I've only judged a handful of rounds on the current topic/ I'm not familiar with the literature. 2. Please slow down on tags and analytics. 3. Please extend warrants for arguments.

-I have a second email attached to tabroom that also includes more of my judging record.

Update Nov 2018- I have noticed more hostility in the debate community and would strongly prefer debaters be civil towards one another. I don't want this statement to discourage individual's from making jokes or having fun in round, but I don't tolerate overly confrontational behavior, hostile behavior, racism, sexism, and discrimination in round. I reserve the right to decrease speaks and in the most extreme cases drop a debater for creating a hostile environment.

Some general information

-I enjoy judging high quality K/ Performance debaters and am reading more critical literature in my free time.

- I am normally somewhat familiar with each topic.

- I am probably not the best judge for hardcore T and theory debates(that doesn't mean I won't evaluate these arguments, but I would prefer the debate be focused elsewhere if possible).

-I am ambivalent about disclosure theory, but will vote on it and have voted on it in the past if won in round.

If you have any questions before the round starts please don't hesitate to ask. I will try my best to articulate my decision at the end of each round and highlight a few things each debater can improve upon.

Short version: Speed is fine and go for whatever type of argument you want( i.e. I don't care if you go for traditional policy arguments versus a K... just debate well)

I took this from M. Overing's paradigm and I think it sums up what I want debaters to do in a round pretty well.
"If you want my ballot, this is really a simple concept. Tell me 1) what argument you won; 2) why you won it; and 3) why that means you win the round. Repeat."

Side note ignore any grammar problems I’m writing this quickly.

About Me:
B.A. University of Texas at Austin 2015
prior:George Washington University ( where I briefly competed in college CX and went to some local and regional tournaments)
Parish Episcopal (competed in LD and extemp every now and then. Go to my LD section for more about my high school debate career)

Paperless stuff- I don’t count time for flashing evidence, but will severely dock speaks if someone is stealing prep time. When someone else is flashing nobody should be taking prep.

LD- When I debated I was in out rounds at TFA state, Churchill, Stanford, Colleyville, and Alta (for LD). I will attempt to keep this as short as possible. Speed is fine and policy arguments are also fine. I mostly ran util and semi critical positions in high school, but I'm fine with whatever type of argument you want to go for( Ie go for the CP/DA if you want to or the K... I'm cool with either strat). Some things I like, but don't often seen in LD include---> debaters conceding to arguments, but still explaining why they win the round, weighing offense( i.e. scope, magnitude, probability etc), and K's with really specific links to the aff. I will increase speaks for debaters who conceded to arguments, weigh well, or run K's with specific and clear links to the aff ( rather than generic backfile link cards)

Policy – Ive judge a handful of rounds on the 2016-2017 high school topic, but I don't judge often( I primarily judge LD) . If you have questions before the round and want to know anything specific I will do my best to articulate how I view debate and give you any insights into my paradigm. Aff should probably be topical, but its possible to win that T doesn’t matter. . I haven't read a ton of critical literature, but I'm familiar with most of the authors K debaters use regularly. Specific DA’s and counterplans are great. Kritiks that link to the aff are great. Link of omission K’s are not. Word pics, and other random stuff is fine. I'm a big picture kind of guy. Please explain what the role of the ballot is and you should be in good shape. Also, I will definitely want to be on the email chain so hook me up!

Perry Beard Paradigm

I do not like speed.  I will not yell "clear".  I will not call for cards.  I will not look at your case and do not want to be on the email chain.  I'm old school.  If I can't flow it, you didn't say it, and I don't flow speed very well at all.  Don't complain, either strike me or adapt.

I like substantive and topical debate.  I am more inclined to vote for cases that have balance.  I do not find cases that are 5 1/2 minutes of framework and 30 seconds of topical content very compelling.  Likewise, I don't want debaters to jump into the AC with advantages without setting up some sort of framework. 

Theory:  Only run this if there is clear abuse.  By clear abuse, I mean the opposing debater has defined "protected speech" as "speech that requires armed guards".


Anthony Berryhill Paradigm

Anthony Berryhill Judge Paradigm (NEW FOR 2019-2020 so read):

E-mail for case sharing, etc.:

Current Experience:

  • Assistant LD Coach for Isidore Newman (my alma mater); Currently Managing Director for Victory Briefs
  • Stanford BA Political Science 2004; Previous PhD Candidate (MA/MPhil) at Yale in Contemporary Political Theory (2004-2011)
  • Important for Sept-Oct: I am an admissions counselor who is paid by 2 consultancies to guide students through the admissions process and have done this work freelance for the last 19 years. Assume I am a well informed audience who will discount obvious lies and give greater weight to arguments that are accurate in the literature and actual practice of college admissions.

Past Experience:

  • Debated at Newman 2000-2004 in LD, Extemp, Congress; Former Coach (and team starter) for: Harker (last involved 2006), MSJ (last involved 2001)
  • Conflict: Isidore Newman

Table of contents of paradigm:

  • My preferences/what I usually vote for
  • Behavioral Requirements I will hold you accountable to/arguments I am actively biased against (or reserve the right not to vote for even if dropped)
  • Speaker point paradigm

My philosophy:

I am a judge that debated in the South with conservative expectations for in round behavior but very open re: how you handle applied philosophy (w/ the qualifiers below). You should feel comfortable with a range of argumentation about the topic. I've taught the Traditional, K and standard circuit labs at VBI over the years.

I prefer:

  1. Any argument that is well explained, clearly written, delivered, impacted to a standard (in any form), is topic relevant, has a strong link story, and is consistent with the literature. Assume that I will vote on whoever proves that "In the United States, colleges and universities ought not consider standardized tests in undergraduate admissions decisions." Assume I am strongly biased against non-topical, pre-fiat, micropolitics, etc. arguments if they aren't directed at proving or disproving the Sept-Oct topic you agreed to debate.
  2. Signposting is mandatory. If you are impossible to flow, you are impossible to vote for. The more specific your signposting the better.
  3. On-case argumentation: NCs must directly answer the AC. Affs should be aggressive with extensions and have a clear story with offensive arguments to a standard/decision rule. Negs who go 2-7 off, spread through bad policy files and assume that "embedded clash" is an excuse for failure to signpost and poor execution tend to do poorly when I judge. Dumping arguments on a contention or spreading off cases w/o appropriate line-by-line debating = dropping the AC. Arrows are good. Sloppiness and laziness in tech is bad.


Note: I reserve the right to vote against debaters, ignore arguments and deduct speaker points if any of the following is violated (even in elimination rounds):

  1. Slow way down on the speed: I cannot flow the popular style of unclear, fast monotone and poor delivery on the circuit. Specifically: I can flow NDT not circuit LD. This means: A. Stick to fast conversational and don't speed through tags and author names. B. Arguments which are explained in a confusing way may be ignored even if dropped. If you can't explain your argument clearly and simply, you can't get my ballot. If you can't explain what your opponent must do/establish to meet your burden/K, etc. I'll discount your position severely. Hint: I wouldn't run Baudrillard, Deleuze/Guattari, etc. in front of me or any argument that doesn't clearly specify clear, fair burdens for both sides.
  2. Professional Conduct is required: Behavior and language must be appropriate for a high school educational setting. The norms of college policy debate do not apply. Doing any of the following may trigger an automatic loss: SWEARING (why do some national circuit LDers think its cool to drop the F bomb- it's NOT), use of inappropriate language/explicit material of a racial or sexual nature (even in performances), post-round grilling of the judge, use of the N word or any of its derivatives (even by African American speakers), insulting/intimidating your opponent just to sound cool (in college policy), etc.
    Rule: If you can't say it in front of your parents, on YouTube, or on a PhD comprehensive exam, don't say it in front of me. This is high school, not college policy debate.
  3. Electronic disclosure- don't waste time: Don't steal prep and do not hold up the round. If your computer is messing up, or you can't use your e-mail quickly/efficiently, or you can't get your speech doc up and running, I will start your prep and/or speech time. You should have paper copies as backups.
  4. Theory arguments must be relevant and reasonable. Theory is a call for intervention, so I have the right to intervene. I have no bias against RVIs and am happy to vote on them. I will prefer and give much the most weight to paragraph theory. I am not interested in the parts of a theory shell, I'll vote on the big ideas, not theory blips that are often rehashes of F level writing in English class. i.e. I'm not voting on "People won't fund the activity if its unfair" or similar throwaway claims without evidence.
  5. Arguments I won't vote for:
    • Skepticism - stay home if you think someone can prove morality, justice, etc. exists within 45 minutes
    • Arguments I evaluate are below the belt or racist/sexist/homophobic arguments. Bullying, microaggressions, intimidation, etc. will not be tolerated.
    • Arguments focused on or targeting your opponent's identity/assumptions of that identity (as is done by some afropessimist strands). Your opponent's identity is none of your business.
    • Grossly powertagged cards - I reserve the right to check your evidence and tags, even better if your opponent calls this out.
    • Disclosure theory - I despise disclosure and how it has hurt the academic and debate quality of LD but will respect the norm. But disclosure politics aren't my concern.
    • Arguments about misgendering/use of gendered pronouns. Parents and principals have a reasonable expectations that college level discussions of sexual identity and such will not be discussed in high school. I will not penalize underage children who may not be allowed by their schools/parents to understand, discuss or be exposed such issues. No attempts to disrupt or hijack a round on this issue will be permitted. NOTE: As someone who has been socially punished many times by the debate community for advocating for marginalized groups on race, gender and sexuality of all types (before LD circuit debaters "got woke") --this rule is an enforcement of age appropriateness, not politics.
    • Trigger warnings are unnecessary and I do not require or listen to them. Debaters should default to appropriate behavior at all times.

Speaker Point Paradigm

30 – The performance does one or more things exceptionally well and/or you have given a near perfect performance. Think “A+”

29.5-29.9 – Top notch performance, few if any critiques. Think “A” level.” 29-29.4 – Above average performance “A-“

28-28.9 - Standard circuit level performance (B/B+) Under 28: Below par or includes deductions for inappropriate behavior

Charlotte Boles Paradigm

I debated public forum for four years in high school and currently coach public forum. I frequently judge PF and LD and am fine with speed so long as you are not spreading.

Pauline Buis Paradigm

Pauline Buis's JP: Coach, primarily judges PF and LD, does judge Congress and all Speech events as well

It is my responsibility to be FAIR--I have a irrefutable responsibility to evaluate the case based upon the debate itself, the evidence presented and the delivery.

  • Tabla rosa--I will be--I assure you that I will be that and that I have NO preconceived idea of who should win; there is no truth, no knowledge, apart to what is revealed in the debate round, but I will not be an idiot devoid of knowledge to make an educated evaluation. Don't go so deep into hypotheticals and theory that you go out on a limb and fall off. Arguments are expected to be relevant to the resolution.
  • Familiarity with topic being judged-- I will be
  • Speaking rate of delivery-spreading is abhorred, in order to be effective, you must be understood; debate is the art of rhetoric not an auction or pharmaceutical drug or other such disclaimer speech. I have observed that debaters who try to use speed sacrifice a great deal of understand-ability and persuasiveness. Typically, the amount of evidence added to the case is not worth that sacrifice. As a result, I dislike excessive speed, as I have difficulty flowing the argument, and it seems as though speed becomes more important than persuasion. I would rather see fewer contentions than hear a debater SPREAD to impart a multitudinous number of contentions and then assert a dropped contention on a competitor.
  • Delivery – The speech must be understandable, interesting, and persuasive. A debater should demonstrate effective oral communication skills including: effective reading, clear and understandable articulation and vocal variety, persuasive vocal argumentation, presence, and eye contact. The 1AC & 1NC in particular with regard to speaking and preparation should be well prepared and delivered.
  • Lincoln Douglas debate is a clash of values. The value represents a means to a world “as it should be”. Thus, the debater that upholds his or her value best will likely win the round. Just creating and extending a claim is not enough to win.
  • Public Forum debate is either policy, value or fact based. Know and approach the resolution accordingly. Otherwise my paradigm stands and applies.
  • Analysis – The debater will clearly present a logical argument and also effectively refute the opponent’s case. It is not sufficient to claim a card for a topic without a link and analysis of topic; in other words, warrants are better when supported with a card. Don't just present a warrant or card and say, "According to ...evidence or card...." Expand upon the warrants, find out what your evidence says; commit to never making a reference to a card without implicit or explicit explanation and analysis. Impacts are why one should care about your argument; they should connect to the broader picture. Do let me know WHY the contention and card are important and how it may interact with other considerations that might also be relevant. And we all know that correlation is not always causation.

  • Proof – There should be a sufficient quantity and quality of evidence to support the case. More evidence is not always better. The contentions should also link back to the value or resolution. See ANALYSIS above.

  • Number of issues covered in a debate--Well covered contentions with sub-points over a plethora of contentions not covered in any depth; more is not necessarily better.
  • Refutation/ Clash – essential in debate-The better debater will demonstrate the ability to critically analyze the opponent’s arguments and develop clear and logical responses with effective use of evidence and examples.
  • Ad hominim--no cheap shots--there are bounds of appropriateness and decorum in debate
  • Offense/defense vs reasonability and counterclaims--depends on the issue and resolution
  • Paper or Tech--whatever works best for you and what tournament ascribes. If you do use a laptop, please do not hide your face. Regardless whether paper or tech is utilized, do look up and breathe--relax and enjoy the debate.
  • The win is determined in your AR, NR and Cross-ex; after all, everyone comes in prepped for the case, but the real debate is won in the rebuttals and cross examination when the debater's preparations and abilities in the art of rhetoric dictate the outcome.
  • Speaker points--eye contact, use of hand gestures, body language and posture, rate, volume, tone, vocal inflections, passion and certainly decorum do matter, but it is your case, evidence and and application and analysis thereof that wins the ballot.


Again I come in tabla rosa, of course, but do know that I am informed as a coach of legislation presented for the sessions.

PO Judging criteria:

knowledge of parliamentary procedure

clear in explaining procedures and rulings

fair and consistent in order of recognition (recency) and rulings

control the chamber and delegates

efficient and effective in moving chamber business along--avoiding unnecessary verbiage

fosters a respectful, professional and collegial atmosphere


Originality--advances speech whether refutes or endorses arguments

Organization/Unity--cohesive, pointed contentions realizing often extemporaneous

Evidence and Logic--relevant & reliable, ability to observe, vested, expert, neutral sourced

Delivery--extemp vs read preferred; engage, respect audience, tone serious of purpose and deliberate, passionate and committed, poised

Questions/Open to questions--grasp of issues and ability to defend/endorse position


All the usuals are judged with an open mind and heart: characterization, vocalization, tech/blocking, environment, cut, intro--don't hesitate to present one that is out-of the box, transitions, timing, the theme and message itself, message...body language, articulation, inflection....

Additional Exclusive FYIs

OO roadmap is optional--respect alternative methods of organization--reliable citations, message, transitions

POI--big fan of this forum


AGD intriguing to start, roadmap essential here for both you and the judge for organization and flow fo speech, relevant and current information that is well cited, comes full circle to a viable conclusion that answers the question.

Respectfully submitted,

Pauline Buis, M. Ed.

English IV, AP Capstone, AICE Classical Studies, Critical Thinking 2, and, of course, our favorite Forensics: Speech and Debate

Speech and Debate in HS and college: LD and Congress, speech events: OO, Inf, Prose and Poetry, Oral Interp, Impromptu and Improv


Daniel Ciocca Paradigm

Please add me to the email chain

I am a debate coach with experience judging at national tournaments at the novice and varsity levels. I prefer arguments to be well structured, articulated clearly (please no spreading but I can understand a considerably faster than conversational pace) and supported by convincing evidence. Please just slow down on the tags so I can accurately flow. I don't mind listening to a unique or interesting argument but somehow you MUST link it back to the resolution if you are going to get my ballot.

Plans: All good, just make it relatable to the topic

Counter-plans: All good.

Theory: If there is significant violation or abuse in a round that warrants running theory, I will vote on it but generally not a fan of debating about debate.

Ks: Willing to listen to a good K as long there is a really strong and convincing link back. Not a fan of generic links or links of omission as an excuse to run the K you want to run.

DA: I'm fine with them, we are all good here

T: I think aff has an obligation to be somewhat topical and neg has the right to question whether aff is in fact being topical. That being said, while I generally will not vote on a straight RVI, running T for the sole purpose of creating a time suck for aff and then kicking it in the NR is not a strat that is going to sit well with me.

Conditional Arguments: Anything more than 2 conditional arguments is abusive and puts aff in an impossible situation in the 1AR. I will vote off “Condo bad” in these situations.

Feel free to ask me if clarification is needed

Stephanie Ciocca Paradigm

I am a parent judge with experience judging at local and national tournaments at the varsity levels. My daughter competes for West Broward FL in LD and this is her fourth year. My judging philosophy is simple. I believe that an ordinary citizen should be able to listen to the reasoned arguments of two debaters and come to a logical conclusion as to who's argument and evidence is more persuasive. I prefer arguments to be well structured, articulated clearly (please no spreading but I can handle a little faster then conversational) and supported by convincing evidence.

Plans- I'm ok with basic topical plan texts, but nothing non-topical
Counter-plans- I'm okay with cps.

Be careful when arguing a Perm, there needs to be a clear explanation as to whether the Aff and the Neg plans are or are not mutually exclusive.

Ks- willing to listen to a K as long as there is a clear link, not some generic link of omission.
DAs- I am perfectly fine with them just again be clear and concise

When debating please make sure to sign post and slow down on your tags. That way I can make sure to get as much of your argument on the flow.

Tricks - NO

Theory - only in the case of legitimate abuse.

Please ask questions if more clarification is needed😀

Richard Colling Paradigm

Not Submitted

Hanh Do Paradigm

I have been a coach and consultant for the past 24 years and done every debate format available stateside and internationally. I also have taught at UTNIF and also at Stanford. I think no matter what form of debate that you do, you must have a narrative that answers critical questions of who, what, when, where, why, how, and then what, and so what. Debaters do not need to be shy and need to be able to weigh and prioritize the issues of the day for me in what I ought to be evaluating. Tell me as a judge where I should flow things and how I ought to evaluate things. That's your job.

If you would like for me to look at a round through a policy lens, please justify to me why I ought to weigh that interpretation versus other alternatives. Conversely, if you want me to evaluate standards, those need to be clear in their reasoning why I ought to prioritize evaluation in that way.

In public forum, I need the summary to be a line by line comparison between both worlds where the stark differences exist and what issues need to be prioritized. Remember in the collapse, you cannot go for everything. Final focus needs to be a big pic concept for me. Feel free to use policy terms such as magnitude, scope, probability. I do evaluate evidence and expect you all to do the research accordingly but also understand how to analyze and synthesize it. Countering back with a card is not debating. The more complicated the link chain, the more probability you may lose your judge. Keep it tight and simple and very direct.

In LD, I still love my traditional Value and VC debate. I do really like a solid old school LD round. I am not big on K debate only because I think the K debate has changed so much that it becomes trendy and not a methodology that is truly educational and unique as it should be. Uniqueness is not the same as obscurity. Now, if you can provide a good solid link chain and evaluation method of the K, go for it. Don't assume my knowledge of the literature though because I don't have that amount of time in my life but I'm not above understanding a solidly good argument that is properly formatted. I think the quickest way to always get my vote is to write the ballot for me and also keep it simple. Trickery can make things messy. Messy debaters usually get Ls. So keep it simple, clean, solid debate with the basics of claim, warrant, impact, with some great cards and I'll be happy.

I don't think speed is ever necessary in any format so speak concisely, know how to master rhetoric, and be the master of persuasion that way. Please do not be rude to your opponent. Fight well and fight fair. First reason for me to down anyone is on burdens. Aff has burden of proof, neg has burden to clash unless it is WSD format where burdens exist on both sides to clash. If you have further questions, feel free to ask specifics.

I want you all to learn, grow, have fun, and fight fair. Best of luck and love one another through this activity!!

Samuel Georgecink Paradigm

I debated locally for 3 years and nationally for 2 (2014-2017), finishing my senior year at ToC and Nationals. Most recently I was an instructor at ENDI 2019. I can follow any speed you're used to. Please, weigh your arguments against your opponents arguments in summary/final focus. If you don't put weight on anything, I will choose how to evaluate the round regardless of how you feel about it. I will not vote off of anything new in final focus. I will not vote off of anything said in cx unless its extended in speeches. My absolute biggest pet peeve in round is laughing if you think you're beating your opponent. I may disagree, and in general it is incredibly rude.

D Henderson Paradigm



I was a policy debate in the 1800s. This means debate is about the flow although I am old so your speed should be at 80-90% of what you think is appropriate. I currently coach LD and PF, although I mostly have LDers. I tend to have more policy oriented views on issue given my history and given where I coach tends to push those formats more often than not. In terms of judging, I judge almost exclusively LD. Personally, I am probably 12 steps left of center. This means, I will listen to anything but argument from those place will have language that is more understood by me.


I am an educator first. This means that I am concerned about the what happens in the debate more than I do about what the debate claims to achieve. This does not lessen my focus on argumentation, rather it is to say that I am sensitive to the issues that concern the debaters as individuals before I am my concern about various claimed link stories. Be honest, fair and considerate to each other. This manifests itself in my judging when I pay particular attention to the division of prep time. Debater who try to steal prep or are simply not consider of opponents prep will irritate me quickly (read: very bad speaks). Also, debaters who attempt to spread out an opponent because they are a newer or lesser debater will quickly lead me to give them the lowest possible speak. Let me be clear, I do not have a probable with speed. I have a probably when debaters use it to exclude others. Foster an inclusive community. In general, treat your opponent in a considerate manner and if you do not my brain starts to find reasons to vote against you. I will never back-flow, this is a oral activity.

Speaker Points

This is a common question given I tend to be critical on points. Basically, If you deserve to break then you should be getting no less than a 28.5. Speaker points are about speaking up to the point that I can understand your spread/read. Beyond that there are mostly about argumentation. Argumentation includes strategy, crystallization, and structuring of speeches. If you have a creative strat you will do well. If you are reading generics you will do less well. If you tell a full story on the implication of your strat you will do well. If I have to read cards to figure out what you are advocating you will not. If you collapse well and convene the method and meaning of your approach you will do well. If you go for everything (neg) or a small trick you will not. Finally, if you ask specific questions about how I might feel about your strat you will do well. If you ask, "What's your paradigm?" because you did not take the time to look you will not. Previously, I had a no speaker point disclosure rule. I have changed. So ask, if you care to talk about why; not if you do not want to discuss the reasoning, but only want the number.

Lincoln Douglas


I truly like a good theory debate. I went for T often as a debater and typically ran quasi topical cases so that I could engage in theory debates. This being said, what you read should be related to the topic. If the words of the topic do not occur in what you read you are in an uphill battle, unless you have a true justification as to why. I am very persuaded that we should learn about certain topics outside of the debate topic, but that just means you should create a forum or propose a topic to the NSDA, or create a book club. Typical theory questions: Reasonability is defense, competing interps are offense. Some spec is generally encouraged to increase clash and more nuance, too much should be debated. Disclosure theory is not very persuasive too me, unless debate very well and should only be used when you are had an actual conversation with your opponent prior to the debate.


I was a policy debater, so disads and counterplans are perfectly acceptable and generally denote good strat (read: better speaks). This does not means a solid NC is not just as acceptable, but an NC that you read every debate for every case that does not offer real clash or nuance will make me want to take a nap. PIC are debatable, but I default to say they are acceptable. Utopian fiat is generally not without a clear method story. Politics disad seem mostly silly in LD without an explicit agent announcement by the AC. If you do not read a perm against a counterplan I will be very confused (read: bad speaks). If you do not read uniqueness then your link turns are just defense.


A kritik is a disad with a counterplan, typically to me. This means I should understand the link, the impact and the alternative as much as I would if you read a disad and counterplan. I vote against kritik most often because I have no idea what the alt does. This happens when the aff fails to engage and you think that you now just need to extend tags on the alt and assume that is enough. I need a clear picture of the link and the alt most importantly regardless of how much the aff has engaged or not. Gut check is a real thing. If your kritik is death good, skep, determinism you are working uphill. If you are reading "high theory" know that I have not read the literature, but I will do my best. In the 1890s, when I debated, I was really into Cap and Gender based positions. My debaters like Deleuze and Cap (probably my influence, if I possession such).


If you are trying to convince me that what you are doing matters and can change people in some way I really need to know how. If your claim is simply that this method is more approachable, well that is generally not true to me and given there is only audiences beyond me in elim.s you are really working up hill. If it is more approachable for you, then make that clear and then go for it. Access trump all! You are definitely behind if your argument is simply that you are the one to introduce this concept into the debate space. If your method somehow interrogates something, what does it interrogate? how does that change things for us and why is that meaningful? And most important you should be initiating this interrogation in round. Tell me that people outside the debate space should do this is not an interrogation. That is just a plan with a specific mechanism. Pre-fiat claims are fine, but again I need to understand the implication. Telling me that I read gender discrimination arguments and thus that is a pre-fiat voter is not only not persuasive it is not an argument at all. Please know that my debater have read narratives and this approach can be very effective, but when not developed well it is frustrating to me.

Philosophy/Framework Debate

This is by far my weakest area of knowledge. I have judged a disproportionate amount of Kant debates this year. What this has made me realize is that most people do it poorly and a few do it really well. Be the later. If you are into Rawl, so am I. If you are into truth testing, I am not. You'd be best serve to ask questions if this is your approach and then be clear and avoid cliche descriptors. Most importantly, if you are into phil debating do it well. Bad phil debates are painful to me (read: bad speaks). Finally, a traditional framework should have a value (something awesome) and a value criteria/standard (something to weigh or test the achievement of the value). Values do not have much function, whereas standards/criterion have a significant function and place. These should be far more than a single word or phrase.

Public Forum

This is not my area of strength; thus much of this taking or based on others.

Round Approach

A PF round is a funnel. Your case should be fulled with lots of source qualification when appropriate, nuance and development. Then most important arguments should be articulated in the summary and final focus. If you are "going down the flow" in the summary and final focus, it is going to frustrate me, because you are probably going too quickly for PUBLIC forum and neglecting to explain why I should prefer certain arguments over others. Even if you do decide to go fast, I will flow of course but do not expect the best speaks and then I will be doing most of the decision making about which arguments are most persuasive to me. Argument selection seems to be the important skill in PF in my view. You should work on this skill every round as selecting arguments and explain why one argument is more significant structurally or materially is the function of this format to me.


I am fine with paraphrasing, but debater who use authors wording will receive better speaks and the default on close arguments. If you are paraphrasing you should have the original paragraph(s) you are drawing the conclusion from. Having the full original article is useful, but debaters who are rude about debaters who do not have access to full articles just irritate me (read: bad speaks).

Speaker Burdens

The second-speaking team doesn't have to answer first-speaking team in rebuttal. However, if second-speaking team chooses not to, then defense from first-speaking team's rebuttal will not have to be extended in summary for me to evaluate it, but turns from first-speaking rebuttal will have to be extended. Overviews in the rebuttal are not require, but seem to be strategically smart and obviously acceptable. If zero weighing is done by the 2nd team until final focus I won’t consider the impact calc, as the 1st team should have the opportunity to engage with opposing comparative analysis.


I’m very resistant of theory debates in Public Forum. However, if you can prove in round abuse and you feel that going for a procedural position is your best path to the ballot I will flow it. Contrary to my paradigm for LD, I default to reasonability in PF.


I think the function of framework is to determine what sort of arguments take precedence when deciding the round. To be clear, a team won’t win the debate exclusively by winning framework, but they can pick up by winning framework and winning a piece of offense that has the best link to the established framework. Absent framework from either side, I default utilitarianism.

Finally Word for All

I am sure this is filled with error, as I am. I am sure this leaves more questions than answers, life has. I will do my best, as like you I care.

Courtney Hornsby Paradigm

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Jordan Innerarity Paradigm

For my general paradigm, I consider myself tab. There are no arguments I do and don’t like. I will judge the arguments presented in the round and I don’t want to impose my own beliefs or arguments into the round. You have to tell my why the arguments made in the round matter. If you fail to give me a way in which to evaluate the round, I will default to a policy maker. Being a policy maker, I am looking for the negative team to run disadvantages, counter plans, kritiks, and anything else. As a policy maker, I am looking for you to terminalize your impacts. Why specifically is nuclear war bad? Does it kill millions of people? Just saying dehumanization or nuclear war is bad isn’t an impact. I will gladly listen to counter plans, theory arguments and Kritiks. My only advice on the k is to tell me what the role of the ballot is. Why is my ballot key to your alt?


I will vote on T when there is proven abuse. I need to see in-round abuse for me to pull the trigger. I think T is a legitimate tool for a negative team, but I strongly urge the team that goes all in for T to make sure they can prove in-round abuse. If the aff is just failing to make arguments on the T, I will vote for it, but my preference is for in-round abuse to be occurring.

I am not a fan of LD 1AC spikes. I honestly don't think that the Aff gets to remove ground from the negative. I don't think these arguments are legitimate. Let the neg make claims and then argue against them. I will tell you now, that I WILL NOT vote on them. I see them as a waste of time for you to run and they are highly abusive. I also rarely vote on RVIs. If you plan on trying to run spikes in the 1AC, I am not the judge for you. I will give the Neg a lot of access to simple arguments to knock down your spikes.


I think it is important that you are an ethical and nice person in the debate. It is ok for the round to get heated, but I don't see the need to be rude to your opponent. This will result in a hit to your speaker points.

I don't have a problem with speed, but make sure that you are clearly telling me your tags. Slow down on the tag if you can. Be clear in your transitions. I like next or and to let me know you are moving from the end of a card to another tagline. The same thing applies to your plan text or alt. Slow down for the plan text/alt or repeat it for me.

Jaime Jenkinson Paradigm

Jenkinson, Jaime L.:  Unaffiliated 

School Strikes:  Saint Francis High School, Eden Prairie High School, Champlin High School

LD Philosophy: 

I tend to vote on what the debaters crystalize as voters, which should be issues, and not values, isolated cards, etc. However, my default is to evaluate the round based on standards and their extensions.

Theory args should be supported by qualified/quantified proof.

I’m fine with speed that is clear and does not threaten depth of argumentation, as I prefer depth over spread- and only encourage it to the extent that it creates greater depth. I will not vote for arguments that I don’t/can’t understand, and I appreciate links back to the standard(s) to be very explicit and direct. I also will not vote on drops that have gone unimpacted, and expect that prestandards are warranted. I'm hesitant to say this, but competing frameworks tend to go aff in my mind.
I’ve been out of the game for a few years, so new jargon needs to be expressed in a way that I can follow. I cannot emphasize enough to BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR JARGON.

If you run an off-case, make the reasoning clear. And do not kick your entire case in front of me- it's aggravating and makes for bad debate.

Matthew Koshak Paradigm

I graduated from Christ Episcopal School in Covington, Louisiana in 2014. I qualified to the TOC my senior year and competed on the national circuit for about a year and a half.

Quick Paradigm
To win and get 30 speaks in front of me you need to do three things. First, provide me with a weighing mechanism of some sort. I have no preference as to the form that the mechanism takes, just make the mechanism clear. Second, you need to have some form of offense and that offense should be extended in round. My threshold for extensions is low. Lastly, I need you to do some comparative weighing between your offense and your opponent's offense. The offense can take any form you want it to. I am fine with all forms of argumentation although if you have specific questions you can look further down the paradigm.
Here are some things I don't like a whole lot:

  • Recycled frameworks (whether they're the same old policy making frameworks that everyone is using or some recycled K framework cut from articles and books you've never heard before)
  • Arguments read straight from backfiles you didn't cut
  • Debates with little to no comparative weighing
  • Not giving me voters at the end of your last speech
  • Debates with competitive framing that has no framing debate or in which the framing debate is really muddled.

Just always be clear in front of me. Whether you are reading some abstract theoretical framework or a policy-making AC, just be clear about all the different parts of your case and the way those parts interact with your opponent's case.

If you are clear I am fine. I will yell "clear" as many times as I need to before you are clear enough to understand and if it is something else that is causing me not to be able to understand you (i.e. if you are going too fast or if you are speaking too softly) I will say something like "slower" or "louder".

I have a pretty low threshold for extensions. I just want to know where it is on the flow, I want a short summation of the argument, and I want you to tell me why it matters in the round. If it is a contested piece of evidence, you may want to go more in depth and extend the warrant, but if it's flat out dropped, you shouldn't spend a ridiculous amount of time on the act of extending itself. Impacting out is the most important part of this process to me.

Just be super clear about the parts of your case. Slow down on texts and important tags. I enjoy judging these rounds when they are done well but I think the whole "race to extinction" can get really old when everyone uses the same impact cards that don't really have much of a warrant, so just cut well warranted impact cards (that probably don't have to impact to extinction) and you can avoid my biggest pet peeve of larping. Just be super super clear when you are impacting out and weighing between impacts since that should be the most important parts of debates like this.

K Debate
Don't rely on any knowledge you assume I have about what you're running. If you are running something critical, have an interesting and unique link story, a well-thought out framework, and a fleshed out alt (so don't just run a link of omission and some under-explained alt with a recycled framework). Please don't run something from backfiles you hadn't seen until ten minutes before this round or that you haven't actually cut anything in. You should be fluent enough in the literature so that you can explain it in your own words to me as the judge. If you are engaging in this type of debate, you are going to have to be doing some clear framing and you should be fleshing out the link(s) you are making. Also, I think critical affs (especially post-fiat critical affs) are really cool and should be run more often in debate and if you are running arguments like that, just be sure to do the framing work that that requires.

So, I never ran much theory as a debater. That being said, I harbor no ill-will towards theory. My threshold for answering theory goes down as the theory becomes more and more tedious and frivolous. I default competing interps. The easiest way to win a theory debate in front of me is to be really clear about the link story and to really crystalize the debate at the level of the standards. I tend to think fairness is an internal link to education but that it isn't a compelling voter independent of some link to education (however I can be persuaded otherwise). I am not the biggest fan of the strategy of running 3 or 4 shells to suck time but if you win one of the shells then I will vote for you.


  • I don't like it when a debater who is clearly better than their opponent beats them into submission. Be respectful, please. The entire point of this activity is education and no one is educated when they get needlessly destroyed. If you do this, it will reflect in your speaks.
  • I don't vote for morally reprehensible arguments. A lot of ambiguity is usually attached to that statement, but I will make it clear. If the argument you are making makes the debate space hostile for someone else, I will not vote for it. This doesn't mean I won't vote for skep, but I won't vote for "racism good", "sexism good", etc.
  • I have no preference when it comes to in round composure.
  • You should have something to give your opponent during round for them to read off of. I don't care if you flash the case, e-mail it, print it out, or write it by hand, there should be something for your opponent to look off of.
  • No eating or drinking in CX time. That's super rude and it wastes time and I don't like it. You can eat or drink at any other point in the round.
  • I'm fine with flex-prep and I will try to pay attention during it but I can't promise I will so you should probably try to get concessions during CX time.
  • I'm not a fan of blippy spikes and arguments. I can't flow them well and if I don't flow them they don't exist. You probably shouldn't run a strategy that relies heavily on these kinds of arguments.
  • I give speaks based on strategy. I start at a 28 and you move up or down depending on how you approached clash in the round and the strategies you go for.
  • Have fun and be substantive. I don't really care on what level the substance exists. Be courteous and don't make me feel uncomfortable with your treatment of each other and everything will be pretty good.

Claire Kueffner Paradigm

LD coach at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, LA. 

I debated for three years at Hopkins High School in Minnesota and graduated in 2014. I competed on both the national and my local circuit. I qualified to the TOC and NSDA Nationals my senior year (2014). I am currently a senior at Tulane University running the NPDA debate team there. Everything below is my paradigm for judging LD. Apparently I also involuntarily judge policy, PF and speech now though, so if that's what you're here looking for, just know I've seen rounds for all of these, but really only have a surface level understanding of these activities. If you want to make sure I'll understand something specific about one of these activities, ask me before the round.

General Preferences: I like interesting framework debates, theory/T debates, and good phil. I will literally vote for pretty much any argument as long as you win it. Any case structure is fine as long as it makes sense. Please do some weighing too (PLEASE), otherwise I’ll have to anger one of you by making the decision by myself. I like to see a clear ballot story, so make sure you provide me with that. Seriously, please write my RFD for me; I hate doing work.

Theory: I ran a lot of theory and really enjoy a good and interesting theory debate. That being said, I hate shitty theory debates. I default to competing interps and no RVI, but if you make arguments for reasonability or RVIs that’s fine and easy to get me to vote on as well. Offensively worded counterinteps don’t need RVIs as long as you win offense to the counterinterp. PLEASE ALWAYS WEIGH BETWEEN THEORY STANDARDS AND SHELLS - if you don't do this, it will lead to me intervening and making arbitrary decisions based on my own personal preferences and I'll be angry and you'll be angry and everyone will be angry so please just weigh. Also weigh between voters. Weigh between theory and t. Just weigh.

Kritiks: I disliked Ks as a debater, they have grown on slightly me since I have graduated and have started to read more critical literature. However, I am still probably not as well read in the lit as you probably want me to be. Capitalism or biopower? Go for it. If it's anything really nuanced, I would either advise a) you don't run it, because like I said, it will be more unclear to me than other args or b) slow down and really explain it. Give me big picture arguments when you're reading critical args to be sure I understand. If I don't understand it after your first speech, I won't vote on it. This means that no matter how clear you are in CX or your rebuttals, I still will not vote for you unless you make it really clear in your first speech. Full disclaimer: I have totally voted people down because I didn't understand their K and they explained it poorly and so I had no basis to vote for them. I'll do this to you too if you don't explain your arguments. Don't be mad if it happens; I totally warned you.

Speed: I’m fine with speed as long as it’s clear. I have no shame and I’ll yell clear as many times as I need to and won’t detract speaks unless you clearly don’t make any attempt to slow down. Keep in mind though, if I yell clear, I probably missed the last 3-5 seconds of what you just said. If it's important, go back and reread it or it will not be flowed.

Presumption: I’ll vote on presumption if it’s triggered or you make other arguments like ‘skep means presumption’ but I won’t really ever just vote on presumption because I don’t think there’s any offense. There’s probably always offense, or at least some way to justify a ballot for one debater. I default aff gets presumption.

Things I really don't like and will probably drop speaks/debaters for:
- Disclosure Theory/any theory with an out of round violation: I HAVE NO WAY TO VERIFY WHAT YOU POST/SAID TO EACH OTHER WITHOUT DOING SOMETHING OUTSIDE OF THE ROUND. I don't think judges have the jurisdiction to vote on this if both debaters make competing claims about whether or not something was disclosed. Be super wary running this in front of me, or better yet, don't read it at all. I will not go look at the wiki for you.
-Being belittling or rude to an opponent who is clearly not as experienced as you. If it's pretty clear you're going to get the ballot, make the round accessible and educational. 
- Racist/Sexist/Blatantly offensive arguments (these I might just drop you on face for)

If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask before round.

Danielle Mahan Paradigm

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Randall Martinez Paradigm

Debated LD - 1997 - 2001 

Coached High School LD & Policy 2001 - 2010, 2015 - present

Assistant coach Policy & British Parliamentary debate at University of Miami 2010 - 2017

General Overview - Updated 12/2017

I believe debate is the best game there is and rules on how to play that game are certainly negotiable. As a judge, I prefer debates where clash is encouraged and not avoided by the utilization of cheap tricks and skewing ground. While I am certainly more comfortable adjudicating a Util round in which the aff proposes a plan and neg runs policy type arguments (CP's/K's/DA's/T), I welcome being challenged by critical positions and have even come around to be more open to performance style debating in general. With that being said, I believe the best type of critical positions and performances actually adapt to the topic at hand and do not try to tangentially relate an individuals agenda into a resolution that doesn't fit. I believe the aff has the obligation to setup ground for a fair debate and would prefer the neg engage rather than avoid the debate by digging deep into their Dropbox of wonders.  


Policy Args in LD (CP's/K's/DA's) 

I love these. I think the neg has an obligation to test the feasibility of the Aff. With that being said, it's the neg's job to do some work tailoring their strategy to the Aff presented in the round. This means CP's need to have clear net benefits, K's need direct links and not garbage link of omissions, and Disads need to have updated and recent evidence as well as clear links to the Aff. Kritik alternatives need to mean something. Usually associate the alt with the Role of the Ballot and we should be in good shape.  


The Aff has a responsibility to defend it is Topical. Not sure who the idiot that came up with the argument "Aff gets an RVI if the Neg runs Topicality" is, but I hope they're ashamed of themselves for ever introducing such an awful argument into LD. I understand there is a Timeskew in LD, but a well prepared "We meet" or counter-interp should be in your arsenal as an Aff debater. With that being said, my tolerance for multiple T shells in the NC is low. You are certainly welcome to kick T in the NR, but if you're skewing the debate with multiple T shells you're not really engaging the Aff and this would certainly supercharge any in-round abuse arguments about losing education (Beware the Condo).  

Spikes & Underviews

What gives you the right to rewrite debate rules and norms with 3 second blips? I think Spikes are arbitrary, they are never well explained or reasoned, and if you're resorting to them then you're strategy is abusive and not very educational. Does this mean it's an automatic loss if you run this, no. But I'm not sure it's the best strategy to win my ballot.  


The language we use has power. There are certainly some words that we need to wipeout of the debate space, especially those that could trigger individuals, or perpetuate some sort of systematic violence within reinforcing some sort of normative behavior. I actively use my ballot to fight racism, sexism, classism, ableism, chauvinism, and any other ism you may feel I should fight against. However, if a word is prescribed by the resolution, I don't fault a debater for using language demanded by the NSDA. Feel free to blame the NSDA for bad word choice, not the debater using it.  


Theory certainly has a place in the debate space. Some theory is better than others. I have strong feelings about conditionality and vote on it often if there is observable in-round abuse. Potential abuse is another story. I reward debaters for engaging the debate at hand, not gaming it. RVI's for the most part are total garbage in my mind. If the neg is abusive, usually you could blame it on condo arguments or poor time allocation strategy. 

Last word of advice, I really think the Role of the Ballot needs to be negotiated in round. If by the end, both of the debaters cannot find a middle ground on what the purpose of my ballot is, I feel the debate is incomplete. Be civil, treat each other with respect and enjoy yourself. You're engaging in one of the best activities that exists and we're all lucky to be here doing this incredible event. 

Elise Matton Paradigm

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

Email chain:



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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Role as a Judge

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

Chassidy Menard Paradigm

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Stacie Pierce Paradigm

Parent judge with less than 20 rounds experience.  Prefer brisk conversational speeds

Chris Randall Paradigm

Debate for me first and foremost is an educational tool for the epistemological, social, and political growth of students. With that said, I believe to quote someone very close to me I believe that it is "educational malpractice" for adults and students connected to this activity to not read.

Argument specifics

T/ and framework are the same thing for me I will listen. I believe that affirmative teams should be at the very least tangentially connected to the topic and should be able to rigorously show that connection.

DA'S- Have a clear uniqueness story and flesh out the impact clearly

CP's- Must be clearly competitive with the aff and must have a clear solvency story, for the aff the permutation is your friend but you must be able to isolate a net-benefit

K- I am familiar with most of the k literature

CP'S, AND K'S- I am willing to listen and vote on all of these arguments feel free to run any of them do what you are good at

In the spirit of Shannon Sharpe on the sports show "Undisputed" and in the spirit of Director of Debate at both Stanford and Edgemont Brian Manuel theory of the TKO I want to say there are a few ways with me that can ensure that you get a hot dub (win), or a hot l (a loss).

First let me explain how to get a Hot L:

So first of all saying anything blatantly racist things ex. (none of these are exaggerations and have occurred in real life) "black people should go to jail, black death/racism has no impact, etc" anything like this will get you a HOT L


Next way to get a HOT L is if your argumentation is dies early in the debate like during the cx following your first speech ex. I judged an LD debate this year where following the 1nc the cx from the affirmative went as follows " AFF: you have read just two off NEG: YES AFF: OK onto your Disad your own evidence seems to indicate multiple other polices that should have triggered your impact so your disad seems to then have zero uniqueness do you agree with this assessment? Neg: yes Aff: OK onto your cp ALL of the procedures that the cp would put into place are happening in the squo so your cp is the squo NEG RESPONDS: YES In a case like this or something similar this would seem to be a HOT L I have isolated an extreme case in order to illustrate what I mean

Last way to the HOT L is if you have no knowledge of a key concept to your argument let me give a few examples

I judged a debate where a team read an aff about food stamps and you have no idea what an EBT card this can equal a HOT L, in a debate about the intersection between Islamaphobia and Anti-Blackness not knowing who Louis Farrakhan is, etc etc

I believe this gives a good clear idea of who I am as judge happy debating

Roshan Sadhwani Paradigm

Background: I debated at Holy Cross School for 4 years with 3 of those years being in LD.

General: I’m pretty much open to voting on whatever argument as long as you warrant it well and make it clear how it interacts with other arguments.

If you know you definitely won the round, you don’t need to use all of your speech time. Your speaks will be rewarded.

Your speed will probably not be an issue however your clarity will be. If you’re unclear, I will stop flowing.

Policy arguments: I’m a fan of policy arguments, and I’m best at evaluating these types of debates. CP’s and DA’s are cool with me.

K’s: I like well-thought-out K debates, and bad K debates make me shudder. I’m pretty good with mainstream k’s, but high theory k's need to be explained more. The more specific the links the better off you are, and you should be able to articulate the world of the alt.

T / Theory: I like topicality. In these debates, clear impact calc and standards comparison are especially important. I don’t want to hear theory just because of strategy; I’ll still vote on it, but don’t expect amazing speaks. Of course, if there’s real abuse, then go ahead and read theory to your heart’s content.

Framework: These debates can be quite interesting, but they are often muddled. PLEASE be comparative and weigh well in these debates.

Tricks: I will not intervene and vote against you if you utilize this style of debate, but I will not be happy voting on them. Avoid reading these types of arguments.

Speaks: Things that will help your speaks: Being funny, reading unique and interesting arguments, and just being strategic.

UPDATE for Holy Cross: It's been almost two years since I've judged a debate round. I haven't done any topic specific research either. With that in mind, please don't spread at full speed; I need to understand what you're saying to actually evaluate your arguments. In addition, explicit and detailed impact calculus and good explanations of evidence will really help me organize my thoughts.

Wendy Sayre Paradigm

For email chains:

I'm a parent judge, but debated CX and LD in high school and CEDA and British Parliamentary in college in TX. That was a million years ago. Now I judge mainly LD, with some PF and Policy thrown in occasionally.

I mainly operate as a tabula rasa judge. I’m open to most arguments, but need/want a clear explanation as to why I should vote on it. I’m sure there are exceptions to this if you try to push ethical boundaries with an argument.

Plans are fine.

I like a clear debate with lots of clash and clear summaries that explain how you think I should weigh things and how I should vote. Don’t leave it up to me to weigh everything. Give me overviews and voting issues.

I don’t like to have to ask to see cards because I think debaters need to put the arguments on the flow and give me enough info to make a decision. I will ask to see something if it’s not clear in the end and it might be a voting issue, though.

Some speed is OK, but I can’t flow the fastest spreaders. Slow down on tags. I’ll tell you (verbally) if I’m not getting everything and I’ll be annoyed if you are spreading for no good reason.

Flashing is fine, but do it quickly.

Open CX is fine.

I generally don’t care where you speak from, how you are dressed, or how informally you speak as long as it’s a good debate. But be a good human being. I don’t tolerate debaters who disrespect others.

Arun Sharma Paradigm <-- if you want a really thorough explanation.

I coach Dulles MK, TAMS MX, Katy Taylor AW, Cypress Woods CJ, and Klein Oak AG. These are the only students I'm conflicted with at the ToC. The only school I've ever officially worked with is Dulles. If you have other questions about my conflicts hmu.

For the sake of not making you click more links here's a basic synopsis of my judging style.

1: I like all styles of debates- tricks, k's, larp, fw, bunch of theory- do whatever makes you happy

2: I like people who are sassy and funny- there's a hard-line between bantering and being a jerk. Be the former and not the latter.

3: Given that this is the toc- and i want you to be in your element- I will evaluate all your stupid theory arguments like brackets, full text disclosure, open source, etc. But on evidence ethics issues- I err heavily towards the RVI- calling someone an academic cheater is a serious issue- you should be ready to defend your norm.

4: I do not like card dumps, or just reading off a doc 13 minutes- please look up and show me you can think.

5: Epistemic Modesty is incoherent- if you read it and just use it as a reason extinction comes first - I'll chuckle and then continue to be confused on how system actually works

6: Please don't make the round uncomfortable for me or your opponent.. Personal attacks, ad homs, etc are just no bueno. You're better than that.

7. I'll disclose speaks @ the ToC- don't be shocked if they're low. I'll try to average a 28- a 28.5 if i think you're outrounds level- and above that if i think you should really break. If you make me laugh, make a good anime or k-pop reference- your speaks will go up. NOTE: Please do not make cringey references- I'll visibly turn my head away from embarrassment.

Aisha Sheikh Paradigm

george ranch 17

boston university 21

I debated LD in high school for four years and am fine with listening/voting on pretty much anything. Please feel free to ask any clarifying questions before the round or you can also facebook message me.

put me on the email chain -

Again, read whatever you are comfortable with and speed is fine, but slow down on tags/authors/interps etc.

Short Cut:

1 - K/topicality

1 - Policy Args

4 - Framework (dense phil)

3 - Theory

2 - sketchy shit

* this is just a guideline of things i am personally comfortable but you do you. The most important thing for me, and the point of debate, is to weigh and impact/extend arguments/alts/etc. If you do this, make the round as clear as possible, and are engaging so i am not bored you'll probably end up winning*

- i tend to give high speaks especially to clear and concise debaters who make the round easy to judge. Also, if there is a clear skill gap, it provides the opportunity for the debater(s) to use it as a learning experience, not an opportunity for you to boost your ego. I will tank your speaks for problematic behavior/rhetoric and not providing trigger warnings.

Jharick Shields Paradigm

Hello! My name is Jharick Shields and I am the assistant debate coach at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Mississippi. I enjoy listening to/voting for functionally all forms of argumentation, provided that it is clearly explained, implicated, and weighed. Speed is fine, people usually have problems with clarity however. I will say clear twice and then you should watch for me to put my pen down. I am a huge fan of non-verbal cues, so you should watch for those as well. They can give you key insight into how well you’re doing. I am a fan of explanation and thoroughness. People should not expect me to “check in” for certain types of analysis, but should expect to get my ballot if they tell me why they won. Claim. Warrant. Impact. Easy as pie. I am not a fan of blippy analysis and the weight i give each argument will be based on how much work went into it. You shouldn’t expect me to understand words that you do not explain. The rule of thumb is that if you had to read multiple articles to understand it, you should not just throw it at me and then complain indignantly when I tell you I didn’t understand it. I like impact analysis and this part of the debate is important. I get that your impacts are important. Weigh long term v short term. Weigh probability and magnitude. Tell me what my ballot does and tell me why it goes to you. I am not a fan of under-explained theory arguments – theory and topicality are functionally the “death penalty” so just saying the words “the neg skewed my strategy because it’s hard to respond’ doesn’t constitute an adequate reason for me to drop the debater. However, don’t interpret this as “this judge won’t vote for theory, I can’t go for condo in this debate even if it’s the right option” as some have previously. Speaker points start at a 28. They can go up or down from there based on strategy, execution, clarity, and persuasiveness. I like games, so here’s an interesting one: for every correctly identified conceded argument, you get +.1 speaks and for every incorrectly identified conceded argument, you get -.2 speaks. I look forward to judging your debates!

Also, unless you are a peer of mine or graduated, please call me Mr. Shields. K, thx.

Christopher Vincent Paradigm

Christopher Vincent
Director of Speech & Debate
Isidore Newman School

Add me to the email chain:

Additional Conflicts: Dulles (NB & AW)- TX, Brown School (KY), Torrey Pines (CA)


Additional Conflicts: Holy Cross School (LA), Dulles (NB, & AW) (TX), Brown School (KY),
This is my 16th year in debate. I competed for 4 years in high school, 5 years at the University of Louisville, and was the graduate assistant for the University of Louisville debate team. I have been actively coaching high school LD and Policy for the past 8 years and was previously the Director at Brown and Fern Creek in KY, along with being the Director of Debate at LSU.

I view my role as a judge as an educator. While I believe that debaters should shape this activity, I do not believe that judges are or even can be neutral in this process. I will always try to embrace the teachable moment in debate. I debated for 5 years in what the community deemed "performance debate." If you put me in the back of the room you either know me, read this, or a combo of the two. Long story short: Do what you do, be who you are, and defend your actions in the debate.

I evaluate debates holistically, which means I prefer the debate to tell me a story and it requires more than just winning your argument is true. You MUST WIN WHY THAT ARGUMENT MATTERS. I will attempt to evaluate the debate as objectively as possible. I say "as possible" because I do not believe that judges can truly be objective. We are all humans, and we all think and formulate opinions and thoughts. Failure to do comparative analysis in debate will result in messiness, and inevitably some level of judge interventions (which you don't want).

Here are a few of my predispositions coming into the round:

I WILL NOT VOTE FOR ARGUMENTS THAT ARE RACIST, HOMOPHOBIC, SEXIST, OR ABLEIST IN NATURE!!! Depending on the nature of the offense, this may result in an automatic loss!!!

1) Speed- Slow down on the tag lines and the authors. I will yell clear ONE TIME. After that, I will put my pen down and stop flowing. So, please don't be mad at the end of the debate if I missed some arguments because you were unclear. I make lots of facial expressions, so you can use that as a guide for if I understand you.

2) Dropped Arguments- Dropped arguments are not enough for me to vote someone down. Don't expect me to automatically pull the trigger on a dropped argument without you doing the work necessary and giving me an in depth analysis of why that argument shuts down the entire debate. I evaluate debates holistically.

3) Theory- Theory is not a substantive response to critical positions and arguments. This is not to say that I won't vote for theory, but you must prove ACTUAL IN-ROUND ABUSE. One of the unique aspects of debate, is that it gives us a chance to explore different positions, and to be critically self-reflexive. Thus, my interpretation of the topic may not be the same as yours, and that is okay. Theory seems to limit the liberating and unique educational opportunity this activity provides us.

-I do not believe in neutral education, neutral conceptions of fairness, or even ground, or limits. If you run theory, be ready to defend it. Actual abuse is not because you don't understand the literature, know how to deal with the argument, or that you didn't have time to read it. You should probably read their literature and engage it. I will still stand by this position. If you are not reading the literature then you probably link to their criticism in the first place. Don't be scared, just engage.

4) Critical Arguments- Don't run them just because I am in the back of the room. While I am familiar with a wide range of literature, and while I have coached students with a wide range of literature, I will not be impressed just because you do it too. There are implications to the things we talk about in debate, and I believe that our social location inevitably shape the beliefs and ideologies we hold. If you do not believe that there is a place for performative/critical arguments in debate, and if you believe that social location and subsequent discussions have no place in this space, I am probably not the judge for you.

5) PAPERLESS DEBATE: Prep time ends when the flash drive leaves your computer.

TOC 2015 UPDATE: All ethics challenges will be decided through the infamous RuPaul Paradigm: "The Time Has Come for you to Lip Sync for your life."

Finally, make smart arguments and have fun. I promise I will do my best to evaluate the debate you give me.


I debated for 5 years at the University of Louisville and engaged exclusively in what the community deemed “performance debate.” I believe that debate is what you make it and you only get out of it what you want and what you put into it. I expect that if you put me in the back of the room you either know me, read this, or it’s a combination of the two. Be who you are and defend your actions in the round. The most important thing you should know about me is that I love debate and I believe that debate is a place where we should exchange ideas, beliefs, and differences. I view my role as a judge as an educator and while I believe that debaters shape the activity through the rounds, I don’t believe judges are neutral in this process. That means I will always attempt to embrace the teachable moment in the debate round when given the opportunity.

I promise I will flow the round but will probably not use the flow the same way you do. I believe that the debate should tell me a story and so I want to know how the arguments interact with one another and how they function. I will not examine arguments as isolated parts of a speech, but instead holistically.

I don’t believe affirmatives have to be topical. They can be, but they don’t have to be. You should just defend your actions.


PAPERLESS: Prep time ends when the jump drive leaves your computer and is in your opponent's hand.

Finally, make smart arguments, clash with your opponent, and defend what you say. I will do my best to evaluate the debate I am given. While I ideologically believe that identity shapes how we approach debate, and while I debated exclusively in one style, I was trained in traditional and nontraditional debate and so I will attempt to evaluate the debate I am given.

If you have any other questions just ask!!!

Chuck Walts Paradigm

Years in Debate: 20+
Types of Debate: Policy, CEDA/NDT, NPDA/NPTE, LD, PFD, Worlds


I like Worlds. Worlds is what debate should be. I am an active judge in the sense that I do not respond well to two particular things. First, trying to import the argumentative method of other formats. Second, telling me that the other team didn't do X or Y so should lose. Of course I want you to point out deficiencies in the other team's tactics or strategy, but you also need a reason why you win!

Other than that, I do my best to look at the argument development in the debate and who best answers the question of the motion.

This is under revision.

I have noticed that I don't endorse technique over truth as much as my colleagues. This doesn't mean that I don't care about the structure of the debate. It means that just because an argument is dropped you don't automatically win.

1) I guess I am either suffering from hearing loss or people have become too unclear to flow, but I cannot understand your max speed. You must slow down for me. You don't have to be normal speed, but blowing through your underview of spikes at 400wpm means that I won't have much flowed and won't really be inclined to vote on those arguments.

2) You need to differentiate tags, cites and cards. A pause works, so does "end card" or "My next argument is.." If I can't figure out whats the words of an author and what are your words you're gonna have a bad time.

3) I would prefer it if I didn't hear performance or micropolitical arguments. Its not that I don't enjoy those items in my non-debate life, but in debate they tend to introduce a level of personal investment that I don't care to engage in.

4) I'm fine with policy arguments, traditional LD or whatever you want to call what you do as long as you can explain it to me. I do not enjoy "tricky" debate or other techniques that are premised on "You didn't answer this blip theory argument that says you have to answer it, I win." Will I vote for you if you do that, maybe, but your points will be low. I would prefer you to engage in an actual debate instead of a game of mistakes. I've heard many judges say that they reward technical debate, and they has its merits to an extent, but I tend to vote for arguments that are explained and warranted over arguments that simply exist and are extended on the flow.

5) I am more than happy to discuss my decision if time allows after the debate. I haven't shared speaker points in the past. As a norm, my range is 27-30.

6) I will not vote on 1AC spikes or underviews; abuse must occur and THEN you can make your theory arguments. I will not vote on disclosure theory good/bad at all.