Heart of Texas Invitational

2017 — Dallas, TX/US

Clement Agho Otoghile Paradigm

6 rounds

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

3 rounds

blakeandrews55@gmail.com 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!

Shomik Ati Paradigm

3 rounds

Not Submitted

Alex Baez Paradigm

3 rounds

Updated for Grapevine 2019 :

Add me to the Email chain - alexbaez18@gmail.com

4 Years of Policy at the Law Magnet - in my 4th Year at UTD.

I've judged a decent amount of rounds a year since I've been out of high school, mostly Dallas Circuit and TFA Tournaments, also TOC Tournaments in Dallas.

Being persuasive and telling a story matters, that means your arguments s`hould connect and create a ballot story for me at the end of the round. Being persuasive includes a lot of things, spreading is an art, and if I can't understand you I will clear you/flow what I can.

Clash of Civ Debates: I have been in these debates a lot, I've judged these debates a lot, my voting record is probably 50/50 if I had to put a number to it. It really doesn't matter to me what the aff is, get ready for the framework debate, I guess.

Tech over Truth Usually... Mostly...

Ks: Explain them, don't assume I know what you're talking about, I don't sit around and read random K lit, just not a huge part of my life anymore.

RFDs - I try and keep them educational, I want to be able to teach you something after the round and help everyone improve, not just tell y'all who won. I know, it's annoying to some of y'all.


I just started judging LD rounds recently but I enjoy them a lot, the framework debate is my favorite but still some kids fail to explain this well.

Not as familiar with Kant, DNG, Tricks. But you do you, I'll flow your stuff and attempt to piece things together as the round goes.

All the Extra stuff

I Debated for the Law Magnet from 2012-2016, didn’t debate as much my senior year.

I now Debate for UTD.

I have been coached by some smart-ass people that has shaped the way I view debate as an activity including Kris Wright, Dustin Darby, Hunter McCullough, Scott Herndon, Phil Samuels, Matt Munday, Jacob Loehr and Anthony Ogbuli. If my Judge Philosophy leaves any questions, just contact me and I’ll be more than happy to answer any concerns.

How I View Debate:

I think debate is a pedagogical space that allows for there to be deliberate discussion of what is going on in the world. I think debate is a game simply because there is a winner and a loser and you answer what the other team has stated to win the debate, it’s an educational game that allows contestation to push us to become better researchers, public speakers and self-affirming people. I think there are structural problems with debate like coaching staffs and resources, but that doesn’t mean I vote for you because you’re from a smaller school. Smaller School Arguments are usually not persuasive to me.

How I evaluate debates:

Offense/Defense Paradigm – gotta have offense, or give me a reason to vote on presumption and what presumption means in the debate and why it flips in your favor.

Framing Issues – make these clear in the 2nr and 2ar, give me a lens in which I should evaluate the debate that is reasonable and warranted – if not I will default to a logical policymaker that wants to save as many lives as possible regardless of race, sex, gender, etc., keeping people alive for them to decide their personal ethics is the way I frame a debate unless told otherwise.

Impact Calc – If there is no impact Calc you will probably tell from my decision how annoyed I am and frustrating the decision was, if the debate was close, if you blew the team out the water I probably won’t be as annoyed but your speaker points will surely show your lack of debate skills in terms of impact Calc. Impact calculus is important for your judge’s decision making process, it’s literally you telling me what impacts are relevant and why your impacts outweigh… please do impact calculus, if you don’t do any impact calculus I will not stand any post rounding, simple as that.

If Death good or high theory is your thing, I wont say I’m not the judge for you, but it’s already an uphill battle, less for high theory Ks if you can explain it, it’s just that I am not well read in the literature and I wouldn’t want to put you in the situation to where you expect me to understand what you’re talking about throughout the whole debate, ya feel?

K Affs:

I read K affs throughout high school debating for the Law Magnet, they’re my favorite 1AC’s and 2AR’s to watch writ large but can also be painful to watch. You should probably defend something? Like I don’t care if it’s an affirmation of self through the rez, if it’s a negation of the rez, a plan, an advocacy statement, give the neg something to work with because if not I am a lot more inclined to find Topicality arguments about stasis points, clash and contestation more persuasive.

If your 1AC has music, that’s fine, but make sure your music isn’t on during your opponents’ speeches, unless it’s in conjunction with your argument, in that case please keep it down to where I can at least hear the other team, I will only ask once, after that I will give the other team more leverage than they probably deserve on “dropped” arguments, it’s your fault I couldn’t hear.

If your music or spits or poems lose their purpose after the 1AC then rethink about your aff, rethink about your strategy, Music and poems and all that sound nice, but if they have no use throughout the debate I don’t understand why they were necessary?

Ks :

60% of my 2nrs were probably the K, fair to say I like the K.

Specific Links are Dis ads to perm do both, any other perm requires a much more thorough explanation of how the links are Dis ads to the perm and not Dis ads to the aff.

Link explanation is essential in order for me to understand what specifically about the aff was problematic, the more explanation and the more specific the better.

Alts must resolve the Links and impacts, alts that don’t resolve any of the aff means the aff gets to leverage their aff against the K assuming they have won that they should be able to leverage their affirmative, which I find logically persuasive considering it would be strategically impossible to be aff in a world where the neg wins that the aff can’t leverage their impacts, the aff is forced to go for the perm every debate in that world and I don’t think that is great model of debate.

Ontology, Epistemology, Genealogy, Etc., Explain why this comes first, explain why this counts as a framing issue, warrant this out and if you don’t win this framing then I will default to a policymaker that wants to save everyone in this world if possible, do the work I will not do it for you.

Floating PIKS are Cheating unless you’re neg, if you’re neg more power to you, I love that shit, if you’re aff… point it out and make it a theoretical objection.

Ks : High theory like Baudrillard, Nietzsche, DNG, etc. Put someone else through that misery please, if I am the chosen one for these debates then cool, just understand I am not deep in your lit and will require far more explanation from your part.


TOPICALITY! T is a lost form and people don’t go for it as often as they should, If an aff is not topical and you have given me an interp, with a violation and offensive reasons to prefer your interp, then you need to hold the 2AC to a high threshold considering it is a gateway issue, the aff on T has to prove they are topical, if you have a reason they don’t meet your interp and give me an offensive reason to prefer your interp, go for that shit in front of me, because more than likely the 2a is reading shitty blocks and daring you to go for it, do It, extra speaks for having T in the 2NR and winning the debate. I will reward good T debates.

T vs K affs : Fairness against identity teams makes no sense and is borderline fucked up, there’s other things to say, Saying the aff’s incorporation of personal identity is not fair is not persuasive, innovate please. Read it though, I go for T vs non-topical affs all the time, Topical Version of the Aff is key in these debates sometimes, you might still win without a TVA, but TVA’s help when you’re neg.


The other 35% ish of my 2nrs were a CP and DA. I love a good adv cp and impact turn debate. I love Process Counterplans even though they’re cheating, steal that aff!

State’s, XO, Court’s - yes and no, probably solves all the aff, not creative, but gets the job done.

Multi Plank Cp – Cheating If you can kick all and any of the planks, probably solves all the aff and avoids the Solvency deficits though so use the cheating to your advantage.

2NC CPs – eh, okay, if the aff is new, then okay I see you, if the aff is not new, GO FOR THEORY IF YOU ARE AFF!

Dis Ads:

Politics is the Dis Ad I have the most experience going for because it was probably the net benefit I went for in most 2NRs.

Politics is silly though, the Dis ad never makes any sense but what are you gonna do, the 2AR needs to point out the Dis ad story is probably not tied together. If you are neg, and the aff doesn’t make a link turn, this should be a framing issue if you are going for Ptix as a Net benefit to an aff.

Dis ads probably turn the case – explain this, have cards if you can, this is persuasive and sometimes can win you the debate absent an external impact.


Perf Con, and Condo are reasons to reject the team.

Other theoretical objections can be reasons to reject the team if I am persuaded.

All the spots I have said “cheating” in this paradigm are reasons the aff should make a theoretical objection.

If there’s three conditional advocacies or more in the 1nc, condo should probably be in the 1AR.

If you’re going for Theory, 100% of the 2AR.

Speaker Points:

If you are unclear I will say clear once and then speaks plummet after that.

The 2ar should wax poetically, k aff or not, 2ars should have some kind of flow to them that are easy to follow.

Re-reading ev back to your opponents and explaining how it flows your way will help your speaks a lot.

T in 2nr also gets you good speaks if you win, Theory in the 2Ar gets you good speaks.

Debby Carpenter Paradigm

3 rounds

First time judge. Very very VERY lay. 

Chris Castillo Paradigm

6 rounds

I am the LD coach at Strake Jesuit in Houston, Tx. I've been involved in debate since the year 2000. I judge a lot. Mostly on the national/toc circuit but also locally. Feel free to ask questions before the round. Add me to email chains. Jchriscastillo at gmail dot com.

I don't have a preference for how you debate or which arguments you choose to read. Be clear, both in delivery and argument function/interaction, weigh and develop a ballot story.

Theory: I default to competing interps, no rvi's and drop the debater on shells read against advocacies/entire positions and drop the argument against all other types. I'm ok with using theory as a strategic tool but the sillier the shell the lower the threshold I have for responsiveness. Please weigh and slow down for interps and short analytic arguments. D

Non-T affs: These are fine just have a clear ballot story.

Delivery: You can go as fast as you want but be clear and slow down for advocacy texts, interps, taglines and author names. Don't blitz through 1 sentence analytics and expect me to get everything down. I will say "clear" and "slow".

Speaks: Speaks are a reflection of your strategy, argument quality, efficiency, how well you use cx, and clarity.

Prep: 1. I prefer that you don't use cx as prep time. 2. It is ok to ask questions during cx. 3. Compiling a document counts as prep time. 4. Please write down how much time you have left.

Things not to do: 1. Don't make arguments that are racist/sexist/homophobic (this is a good general life rule too). 2. I won't vote on arguments I don't understand or arguments that are blatantly false. 3. Don't be mean to less experienced debaters. 4. Don't steal prep. 5. Don't manipulate evidence or clip.

Abbey Chapman Paradigm

3 rounds

I coach @ Harker. Please start an email chain before the round - aacchapman@g.ucla.edu

here are some thoughts i have:

0) if the 2nr is split that is rarely a great sign for speaker points

1) i do not think debates where the affirmative does not clarify until the 1ar whether they operate under comparative worlds or truth testing are productive - i will assume a comparative worlds paradigm unless the 1ac justifies otherwise - the 1ar cannot shift to truth-testing without an indication of that interpretive claim in the 1ac.

2) toss me on the email chain: aacchapman@g.ucla.edu

3) i am not going to vote on an impeachment impact unless you tell me how we get from a 51-49 gop senate to 67 senators voting to remove trump from office - absent that warrant, i will not grant you "impeachment proceedings remove trump from office."

4) miscellaneous, but i do not understand why the aff doesnt get perms in a method debate - never seen a compelling warrant - default assumption on my part is that the aff does and its an uphill battle to convince me otherwise

5) the phrase "evidence ethics" means something - if someone says it and their opponent clarifies "is this an evidence ethics challenge," i understand this to mean that the debate ends - whoever has made the accusation wins if i believe the evidence ethics violation is correct, they lose if i believe the accused did not commit an evidence ethics violation - i will not independently end the round if the accused does not ask for this - if they do, i am happy to - words matter and evidence ethics matters

6) slow down on theory - will say slow twice, after that it is on you if i cannot flow it - i will miss your arguments and feel very comfortable disregarding them regardless of whats in the doc.

7) please dont read false politics disads in front of me i will be angry i keep up with politics i will know if you are lying

8) i am not particularly compelled by the insistence that the negative or affirmative answer t/k first in cx or theory arguments deriving from it

9) i will not vote for a kritik i do not understand

10) i have a good ear for when clipping is occurring - if i suspect it is, i will follow along in the speech doc - if i determine i am correct, the person clipping will lose. to be very clear, this does not necessitate the opponent making a clipping accusation - i feel very comfortable making this adjudication on my own.

11) one notable contradiction in my thinking - i am very receptive to semantics bad claims on t (not into nebel t) but also pretty receptive to text of the interp/text of the rotb/plan flaw args - i generally think that when issues arise in those 3 things, they are a result of students not giving much thought to them which is a shame bc all 3 are pretty important in my view - well crafted interps, as well as cxes that isolate plan flaws/interp issues will be rewarded (this doesnt mean i like /bad/ plan flaw args.............)

12) if you suspect that i may need to look at interps/counter interps you read, those should be flashed before the speech [likely applies to perms as well]- i will not look at interps that are written down at the end of the round and will just evaluate the t debate based on what i have written on my flow.

13) given how clear it is to me that no one could flow theory as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow at top speed

just do you i guess, specifics for each event are down below


this used to be an extensive set of rules please just flash well i have no patience for inefficient flashing
its not prep but if it takes more than 30 seconds it will make me angry

Practices Trigger Warnings

Debaters reading positions about suicide, depression/specific mental health, sexual violence, or any similarly traumatic issue, the onus is on them to ask those in the room permission to read the position. Spectators may leave, but judges and opponents do not have that option, meaning there is an expectation that if one of them objects to the triggering subject, that the debater will not read that position. If a debater does not adjust their strategy after being asked to, they will start the round with a 25. If you do not ask before round, but someone is triggered, speaks will similarly be docked. If there is no trigger warning but no one is triggered, the round can continue as normal.

The question for what necessitates a trigger warning is difficult to objectively delineate - if you have a reasonable suspicion someone could be negatively impacted by your position, ask before you read it - explicit narratives are probably a good starting point here. Trigger warnings are contentious in debate but I've seen students negatively impacted in rounds because they were not present and have engaged in conversations with other coaches that lead me to conclude something along these lines is necessary. At the very least, debate is (or should be) a 'safe space', and I believe this is a necessary first step towards achieving that goal. Feel free to discuss this before the round if you are worried it will become an issue in round.

This (admittedly strangely) probably means I'm not the judge for "must read a trigger warning" shells - they often make debate rounds uncomfortable and i have seen them leveraged in ways that make debate spaces unsafe - if no one was triggered, don't spend your time on that shell.


This article is very good at articulating my views on the importance of trigger warnings
It is not up for debate that if someone was triggered on account of your failure to adequately make use of trigger warnings, you'll be punished through speaks and/or the ballot


  • Clarity is important, and I’ll prompt you if need be. Slow down for tags and emphasize authors.
  • debaters blazing through a doc of analytics without pausing can only hurt them, so you should slow down on theory dumps - it's on you if i miss one of your theory blips and i'm not going to call for theory analytics except for the exact text of interps - will shout slow on theory and you should heed that advice
  • Additionally, nothing is more impressive than a slow, efficient debater winning the line-by-line against a fast opponent.
  • slow down at the very least on the tags, especially when reading dense philosophical positions
  • I'll say clear twice - speaks will be deducted after this
  • pay attention to non-verbal cues from me


  • clarity is important for high speaks but more important than how you sound is making strategic decisions in the 2AR/NR;
  • don't go for 6 arguments if one is sufficient to win the round, don't waste time addressing all 4 levels of the debate if you're clearly winning the top 2, don't read unnecessary theory, etc.
  • give a strategic and efficient 1AR,
  • don't go top speed through the 2NR if you don't have to, a slow mastery of the line-by-line is just as if not more impressive than extending every argument on the flow.
  • If any of this is not clear enough for you, feel free to ask before rounds and I'll tell you how my speaks have been distributed at that specific tournament.


  • a weird paradigmatic issue that shift from judge to judge - i think i'm a bit more lenient on extensions for the affirmative but there's little leniency on the 2nr - you should be clearly impacting every extension you make when you make it especially if you want me to vote on it
  • i don't think you have to extend the plan text explicitly if there is an implicit discussion of the advocacy during things like the extension of solvency, but it certainly will not hurt you
  • on the question of theory - similar to how you're expected to extend standards and voters, i do think its important to extend interpretations here, especially in a competing interps debates - i dont know that itll necessarily lose you the round if you dont, but ill be willing to listen to a 2ar story about how your standards arent explicitly impacted back to an interp - keep that in mind
  • dont re-read your ac or nc taglines for extensions - bad practice and rarely does this include an explanation of the warrants.



go for it, do it well
have a framework
perms are good, you should have explicit perm texts and you have them written down before the speech starts

will not grant you the perm if i am uncertain about the perm text bc the articulation between 1ar and 2ar was different
(perm texts should be more than "perm do both")


if you’re going to read a k make sure you can explain it, your explanation will always be the most important thing. K’s should have an explicit alternative, though what form that takes is up to the debater reading the criticism.
[The best form of kritik also has a topic-specific link, the more specific the better, please don’t read generic kritiks for the hell of it].
you should substantively engage kritiks when answering them, reading a lot of non-responsive arguments and hoping one of them gets dropped is a bad strategy
ask questions if anything is unclear
i really dont understand baudrillard in debate rounds i have tried and i just cant wrap my head around it feel free to try to be the one to change that but it is... an uphill battle


do w/e, i am here for it if you justify it

Skep/permissibility/all your tricky args

i'm not the judge for it


i will presume negative if they defend the status quo - if they read a cp or a kritik, then presumption shifts to the affirmative
speech times do not change this


  • I default to theory as a question of competing interpretations though I can be persuaded otherwise as long as you clearly warrant/impact out your arguments (this probably means im down with the RVI on c.i. but im very skeptical of the rvi on reasonability (i.e. I assume counter-interps are offensive unless you justify why they're not) )
  • I'm more than happy to listen to 6 minutes of theory in the 2nr, just do it well
  • Make sure your counter-interps are competitive/that your interps actually exclude the position you're reading them against - low threshold for semantic i meet's on poorly worded interpretations
  • Not the judge for Nebel T
  • i will likely be easily compelled by a "debaters should not bracket evidence" argument - i have grown sympathetic to this argument as abuses become increasingly egregious
  • not sure how i feel about 2ar theory but wont rule it out on face

I don’t think there is an implicit role of the ballot in the debate space, which means all debaters must be ready to justify whatever they assume the RotB is, as well as why they presume that certain arguments (theory for example) should always be evaluated as the top layer of the debate.

Any questions at all, ask before round, and above all, do what you’re most comfortable with, don’t just read something because you think I’ll enjoy it

Sarah Cleveland Paradigm

3 rounds

Theory/T: 0

DA: 1

Plans/Cp: 1/2

K - 0

Stock: 1

Framework: 3 


I am a coach for Dulles Highschool


3 years judging at local and regional tournaments


General: Im a traditional judge. I like to evaluate stock level issues of the topic. Just make very clear weighing arguments and argument interaction. Please do not read any off position cases that are adapted from policy debate.


Speed: Please don’t spread. Moderate speed is okay, but I will not tell you clear. If i miss an argument, that is on you. So be conscious  about your speed.




PF: I prefer to judge this style of debate. What was said above basically applies here. I will vote on offense with the best impact weighing.



LD: I will vote on the offense to the winning framework. Generic frameworks i will understand (ex: Util/Structural Violence. Remember, STOCK. So no progressive arguments like K’s. Plans/CP and DA i am ok with. General above applies here as well

Courtney Coffman Paradigm

3 rounds

General Update: I haven't judged a lot of circuit LD rounds this year. I've been judging a lot of World Schools Debate. Please don't go your top speed and please slow down on tags & author names.

Background: I'm the Director of Debate at Northland Christian School in Houston, TX. I graduated in 2008 after debating for three years on the national and local circuits (TOC, NFL/NSDA, TFA). I was a "traditional" debater whenever I competed (stock and policy arguments, etc). I have taught at Global Debate Symposium, Mean Green Workshops and Pinnacle.

Email Chain: Please add me to the email chain: court715@gmail.com.

Judging Philosophy: I prefer a comparative worlds debate. When making my decisions, I rely heavily on good extensions and weighing. If you aren't telling me how arguments interact with each other, I have to decide how they do. If an argument is really important to you, make sure you're making solid extensions that link back to some standard in the round. I love counterplans, disads, plans, etc. I believe there needs to be some sort of standard in the round. Kritiks are fine, but I am not well-versed in dense K literature; please make sure you are explaining the links so it is easy for me to follow. I will not vote on a position that I don't understand, and I will not spend 30 minutes after the round re-reading your cards if you aren't explaining the information in round.

Theory/T: I think running theory is fine (and encouraged) if there is clear abuse. I will not be persuaded by silly theory arguments. If you are wanting a line by line theory debate, I'm probably not the best judge for you :)

Speaker Points: I give out speaker points based on a couple of things: clarity (both in speed and pronunciation), word economy, strategy and attitude. In saying attitude, I simply mean don't be rude. I think there's a fine line between being perceptually dominating in the round and being rude for the sake of being rude; so please, be polite to each other because that will make me happy. Being perceptually dominant is okay, but be respectful. If you give an overview in a round that is really fast with a lot of layers, I will want to give you better speaks. I will gauge my points based on what kind of tournament I'm at...getting a 30 at a Houston local is pretty easy, getting a 30 at a circuit tournament is much more difficult. If I think you should break, you'll get good speaks. Cussing in round will result in dropping your speaks.

Speed: I'd prefer a more moderate/slower debate that talks about substance than a round that is crazy fast/not about the topic. I can keep up with a moderate speed; slow down on tag lines/author names. I'll put my pen down if you're going too fast. If I can't flow it, I won't vote on it. Also, if you are going fast, an overview/big picture discussion before you go line by line in rebuttals is appreciated. You can consider me a 7 out of 10 on the speed scale. I will say "clear" "slow" "louder", etc a few times throughout the round. If you don't change anything I will stop saying it.

Miscellaneous: I think permissibility and skep. arguments are defense and don't prefer to see them in a round. I default to comparative worlds.

Other things...
1. Don't try to win on tricks...I will severely dock speaker points and just be generally sad when making a decision (aka don't mislabel arguments, give your opponent things out of order, or try to steal speech/prep time, etc). I am not going to vote on an extension of a one sentence "argument" that wasn't clear in the first speech that is extended to mean something very different.
2. Please don't run morally repugnant positions in front of me.
3. Have fun!

Abby Deely Paradigm

6 rounds

Ultra traditional judge. No spreading, no theory, no Ks. 

Matt Delateur Paradigm

4 rounds

Matt DeLateur
Bellarmine College Prep '12
UC Berkeley '16
Conflicts: Bellarmine College Preparatory, Palo Alto High School, Bay Area Urban Debate League

UPDATE 10/14/2017: In terms of circuit debate, I am a broken man. LD has left all sense of reason behind and now exists in an abject of state of meaningless noise. I started competing and coaching LD debate because normative ethical philosophy deserves rigorous intellectual engagement. But, though I understand there are other ways to debate, their execution in LD debate makes me want to do anything else but listen. Please, for the future, strike me if you want to read policy back-files and stupid link-chain disads or if you think debating the k without reading a framework is somehow responsive. Also, theory-hacks, please strike me. If you know how to spell philosophy and can articulate why LD is different than policy, I'm your judge. Otherwise, I reluctantly will be physically present in your round but may be more than a little emotionally and spiritually disturbed. Your humble servant, Matt DeLateur.

I debated LD for 4 years in high school and currently coach LD for Bellarmine College Preparatory. I'm open to all argumentation; speed is not an issue. The ultimate guideline behind my decision-making is that I will minimize intervention on the flow as much as possible.

Style Preferences:

Delivery: Speed is not a problem. Clarity is underrated--pauses before and after author names and during theory or analytics are good.

Speaks: Technical skill, strategy, delivery, clarity, and creativity all contribute to speaker points. My speaker points are probably higher than average.

In my view, speaker points are my way to act as an educator without being coercive with the ballot. That means if you run a topic specific plan, counter-plan, cogent D/As, innovative arguments, debate stock arguments in a positional and interesting way (or even-uninterestingly), topic specific or non-topic specific Ks, etc., you need not worry about your argumentative choices influencing your speaker points. If you choose to run any of the following things: hidden a-prioris, generic potential abuse theory shells (this is an arbitrary bright-line--use your gut--if you're running the shell simply to be strategic rather than because there is abuse, you and I probably know it), new 1AR advocacies, or anything else which I feel comfortable saying would significantly diminish the educational potential of the debate round, I reserve the right to influence the shape of the debate community using speaks.

If this seems unfair/mean to you or if any of the things I listed above that I don't like compose crucial parts of your strategy, please strike me. Otherwise, I like to think that if we agree on the above discussion of what creates an educational activity, we'll get along just fine.

LD Argumentative Preferences:

Framework: Most LD rounds and every LD resolution breaks down to competing value frameworks. As such, the easiest way to access my ballot is to either a) be very interactive and clash directly with the internal warrants of your opponent's differing system for evaluating what is important in the round, then establish yourself as the sole person with offense to the standard or b) concede the framework but uphold your burden to be comparative through really good weighing. Weighing and offense are key. I will evaluate truth-testing if it is argued for, but I default comparative worlds.
Edit 11/5/13: Recent framework debates are narrowing towards two frameworks that are meant to preclude "all other standards" for a bunch of varying reasons. Those reasons may be completely sound and valid. However, a poor debater will simply extend the number 3 or number 4 reason the standard comes first. A skilled debater will rather extend the number 3 or number 4 reason the standard comes first, but also compare the competing claims to priority that the other debater has made for their preclusive standard. I find debaters making this analysis is very productive insofar as it minimizes my intervention. Choosing between two standards that claim to "come first" without any comparison proves relatively difficult for a judge to remain neutral.

A-prioris: I don't necessarily find these arguments inherently bad in themselves. For me to vote on them, you need to 1) Win Truth-testing, or impact the implication of the a-priori to a comparative world 2) Win the a-priori. However, for me not to tank your speaks, you need to 1) clearly impact any a-prioris in your constructive speech, meaning that argument must be labeled as an independent reason to vote for you 2) Be absolutely clear and cogent if questioned about the implication/function of these arguments in cross-examination. Failure to do either of the above conditions will not cause me to vote against you, but I will exercise my subjective control over speaks as I see fit. If you meet the above two, I have absolutely no problem voting on these arguments.

Kritiks: I'm well versed in critical literature and by the end of my time in high school I was primarily a critical debater. Feel free to run anything you want. Be sure to understand your case though--nothing is worse than someone completely bastardizing an argument because they a) didn't cut it b) didn't understand it

Theory: I find theory uninteresting. That being said, it isn't my role to tell you how you spend your weekends. I will listen to any theory argument. I default competing interpretations. My thinking on RVIs has changed a touch, I tend to think that if the debater who initiates theory chooses to make theory drop the debater, theory should be an RVI. If theory is drop the argument, theory is not an RVI. If you make this argument, I will be very receptive to it.

Being blatantly offensive (rape good, racism good, patriarchy good) will earn 0 speaker points and a loss. Debate should be an inclusive and safe environment.

Abby Dennis Paradigm

1 rounds

In terms of my background, I debated public forum all throughout high school, and made the switch to policy last year when I entered my first year at Trinity University. When I make my decision, the substance of the evidence is most important to me. Style and presentation also matters; I will dock speaker points for excessive aggressiveness and rudeness or for an inefficient use of the allotted time. The winning team, however, will always be the team that proves to me that their benefits outweigh the other team's costs vice versa, so I consider good quality, concrete evidence and impact calculus to be very important. 

David Dosch Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated for four years at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles, California. I qualified to the TOC my junior and senior years, attaining a career total of 8 bids. I am the Co-Director of the The Debate Intensive. I am a conflict for any competitors on this list: https://www.debateintensive.org/faculty/

Speed is fine. I don't care if you sit or stand, feel free to lay down if that’s how you're most comfortable. I come into the round with very few rigid preconceptions about what arguments should be read. Nearly all of the defaults outlined below can be changed by explicit arguments to the contrary. I will not blatantly intervene against any position (save for those which are morally repugnant).

As a competitor I ran primarily policy style arguments, so I feel very comfortable evaluating these types of debates. Robust evidence comparison is a tool that I feel is very underutilized. Identifying power-tagged evidence and pointing out intuitive logical gaps in an advantage can be just as effective as reading a hefty carded prep-out. I would say that I am fine with more conditionality than most judges. Feel free to read condo bad theory, just know that it’s a slight uphill battle.

The bulk of the K debate should not be centered around arbitrary assertions about the "role of the ballot." I absolutely loathe the state of K debate in contemporary LD. I will reward competitors who can make it through the round without using the phrase ROB or relying on the contrived pre/post-fiat metaphor, with extra speaker points. Rather than relying on Trifonas 03 as your ace in the hole, you should make arguments which actually explain why your criticism is a prior question to the hypothetical consequences of the 1AC. Many kritiks suffer from links which are overly generic and alternatives which are horribly convoluted. Remedy this by pulling specific lines from the Affirmative and by being able to provide an intelligible explanation of your alternative in CX. I'll vote on your silly K tricks (floating PIK, VTL > Extinction, Alt solves the case) just be prepared to defend them theoretically.

Performance/K Affs
I gave this topic a separate heading because it presents unique challenges that may raise more nuanced questions. I am fine with performances and non-topical positions; often they introduce very interesting discussions and literature bases into the round which might otherwise be over looked. I would prefer that your position be at least in the direction of the topic, but that’s no mandate. Please defend something tangible. By tangible I do not mean realistic (feel free to burn it down, just please do tell us what that means!), rather I ask that you defend a consistent position so your opponent can formulate a coherent strategy. I will vote on T. I think topical version of the Aff arguments are pretty close to being silver bullets, so be sure you are winning impact turns to topicality or some other offensive reason why the topical version of your position is bad.

I default to viewing theory as an issue of competing interpretations. To me this means that you need offense on theory to either beat it back, or, assuming you've justified it, gain access to an RVI. Offense on the theory flow can come in the form of turns to your opponent's standards or a counter interpretation with standards of its own. I do not believe that competing interpretations necessitates an explicit counter-interp. If you want to justify an alternate understanding of competing interpretations, go for it, just explain the effect it has on the theory debate. To me reasonability means that winning sufficient defense on your opponent's abuse story is enough to beat back theory. Again, if your understanding of reasonability differs from the above explanation, warrant it and impact it. I default to drop the debater and no RVIs. As mentioned above, you must have offense in order to access an RVI. I will not vote on the RVI + I meet double whammy or any similarly preposterous shenanigans.

I'll touch on the issue of "spikes" here because it fits more neatly under the theory heading than any other. I strongly dislike spike-heavy strategies that rely on deception and trickery to snag a few easy ballots. Please slow down for short spikes. Though not mandatory, it would be greatly appreciated if you numbered your spikes. If your 1AR is four minutes of extending 1AC blips, expect very poor speaks. I am extremely receptive to the argument that spikes needn't be answered until they are extended. I will not tolerate CX evasiveness about the implication of spikes. Answer your opponent's questions honestly or face the wrath of the loss 25.

Ethical Frameworks
I default to a paradigm of epistemic modesty where I assign offense credence to the extent that the framework it links back to is won. I do not view frameworks as being entirely preclusive impact filters. I find framework heavy strategies that concede the entirety of the opposing contention to be unpersuasive. I find framework heavy strategies to be more effective when coupled with case turns/case defense. If you are going to read a generic NC against a plan, please read a link specific to the plan just as you would for a DA or a Kritik.

Be comparative with warrants for your framework. Don't just insist that your framework justifications "come first", instead address the differences between your frameworks at the warrant level. I enjoy good framework clash and appreciate the strategic value of contesting framework.


My range is 25-30. An average performance will earn a 27. Good disclosure practices will earn you extra speaks (like a .5 boost or something).

Bennett Eckert Paradigm

4 rounds

Updated for ETOC 2020.

Greenhill 2016

Northwestern 2020

In the fall, I'll be a PhD student in philosophy at MIT.

I coach Greenhill. I am conflicted from ETHS and Harrison.

Email: greenhilldocs.ld@gmail.com

Things to know

[1] I do not flow author names.

[2] I will not vote for exceptionally bad theory arguments. Exceptionally bad arguments include but are not limited to: "neg may only make 2 arguments," "must spec CP status in speech," "must read an explicit standard text," "must contest the aff framework," and "must spec what you meant when you said 'competing interps.'" By contrast, arguments that are fair game are CP theory, plans good/bad, some spec args, AFC good/bad, etc. Good theory debates are awesome and fun to judge and strategic theory is fine, but theory debates about arguments this bad are honestly just not worth my time.

[3] I value explanation a lot. I vote aff in a lot of debates in which the neg goes for a ton of arguments, each of which could be a winning 2NR but end up getting very under-explained. I have also voted for a lot of debaters whose evidence is not amazing but who give very good explanations/spin for that evidence.

[4] I am unlikely to be convinced that something categorically outweighs something else (e.g. .01% risk of extinction outweighs, fairness outweighs everything no matter what, etc.). Your weighing arguments should be contextual/comparative.

[5] I really enjoy good T, policy-style, theory, and K v. policy aff debates. I think that most "phil" positions are bad philosophy and bad for debate. I like philosophy, but "phil" in LD is not that. I think that many "phil" positions just straight up do not have a warrant and if I do not think that an argument has a warrant, I will not vote for it.

[6] I have voted for T/framework against K affs more often than I have voted against it. When I vote neg in T/FW debates, I normally vote on skills-type impacts and topic education impacts, and I almost never vote on "fairness is an intrinsic good." When I vote aff in these debates, I normally think that the aff has done something to mitigate the neg's impact (e.g. a counter-interpretation that solves, link/impact defense) and won a good-size piece of offense for their counter-interpretation. I think the aff in these debates needs to have a counter-interpretation and should prove that that counter-interpretation is better than the neg interpretation.

[7] I don't really understand most "high theory" arguments (Baudrillard, Bataille, Deleuze, etc.). The bar for explanation is pretty high.

[8] I am very unlikely to vote on a "risk of offense" argument on theory. The debater initiating theory has to generate a real/substantial advantage to their interpretation that I could describe without using the term "risk of offense".

[9] “Reasonability” means to me that the person answering theory need only meet a “reasonable” interpretation, rather than the optimal interpretation. “Reasonability” does not mean to me: “evaluate just whether our particular aff should be allowed,” “only demonstrated/in-round/whatever-you-call-it abuse matters,” or “we may ‘reasonably meet their interpretation.’”

I think that reasonability is most persuasive against theory arguments with a very small impact. The best arguments for reasonability argue that requiring debaters’ practices to meet a certain (reasonable) standard, rather than requiring them to meet the optimal standard, produces the best debates. Generic “competing interps is bad” arguments are not great args for reasonability.

[10] Please slow down on theory arguments, especially if you don't put them on their own pages.

[11] I'm not interested in listening to call-outs of or jabs at other schools, debaters, coaches, etc. E.g. I don't want to hear "[School X] always does this!" or "Of course [Debater Y] is going for [Argument A]!"

[12] You cannot "insert highlighting" or a list of what the aff defends. If either the warrant in a card is given by a chart/table or you want to insert a very long list, then you should at least describe what the chart/table says or identify the source of the list, what it's a list of, and that you'll defend it (respectively).

[13] I quickly get lost in debates that use the word "fiat" a lot. I don't think that the terms "pre-fiat" and "post-fiat" are very illuminating; it's not clear to me what they mean in most contexts or what the significance of supposed distinction between "pre-" and "post-fiat" is supposed to be. I also think that using the word "fiat" as a verb is obfuscatory in a lot of contexts; it's not clear to me that "fiatting" an action is anything over and above just saying that someone should do it. Relatedly, I don't think that "truth-testing" means the aff doesn't have to defend fiat or implementation. (This is largely because I don't know what "truth-testing" does to sidestep the justification for fiat, which comes from the word "ought" in the resolution.)

[14] Framework on both sides in K debates is often under-developed. K 2NR's that include a robust framework argument and explanation of how that includes the neg impacts and excludes weighing the case make it much easier to vote neg. Similarly, 2AR's on the K that include robust "exclusive plan focus good" or "let us weigh the case + case outweighs" arguments make it much easier to vote aff. When neither side clearly labels and develops a framework argument, I find it very difficult to piece these debates together/determine what each side thinks I should be evaluating in the debate.

[15] What is up with this sending cards in the body of the email thing? It is fine in principle to send cards in the body of the email. But if your opponent asks you to send them in a document instead, then you need to take your prep time to compile and send a speech doc (or if you are out of prep time, you should start your speech time to compile + send the doc).

Things About Cheating

[1] I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. If I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence.

I think that a piece of evidence is miscut if:

  • it starts and/or ends in the middle of a sentence or paragraph.

  • text is missing from the middle of the card (replacing that text with an ellipsis does not make it okay),

  • the next paragraph or another part of the article explicitly contradicts the argument/claim made in the card,

  • the card is highlighted in a way that modifies or does not accurately represent the author’s claim [Be careful with brackets - I don’t think they always mean a card is miscut, but I’ve seen that they very often do. I think that brackets, more often than not, are bad - if a bracket changes the strength of a claim made by the author, or in some other way changes the *meaning* of the evidence, it is miscut] [also, I think that highlighting only part of a word is the same as bracketing - if you highlight only part of a word, then the word you read is not what the author wrote],

  • the cite lists the wrong author or article title (I hope to decide 0 debates this year on citations - I’ll only decide debates on them without challenges in the most egregious cases).

If I decide a debate on evidence ethics, I will let the debate finish as normal. If the debate is a prelim, I will decide speaks based on the content of the debate and subtract two speaker points from the debater that I vote against. If the debate is an elim, I will submit my ballot and won’t say anything about my decision until the debate is announced.

If both sides read miscut evidence, I will vote against the debater who read miscut evidence first. (I really don’t love this as a way to evaluate these debates, but the only comparable scenario that I can think of is clipping, and that’s how I would resolve those debates.)

I do not plan to go out of my way looking for miscut evidence or checking to see whether every card is cut correctly. If I do notice that something is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads it regardless of whether a challenge is made.

Please do not hesitate to ask questions about this before the debate.

[2] If a debater says that a piece of evidence is miscut in round and their opponent clarifies that they are making an "evidence ethics challenge" (and the former person confirms that they want to make a challenge), the debate ends. I will read all of the relevant stuff and then make a decision. Whoever is correct on the evidence ethics challenge wins the debate. The loser will get the lowest speaks I can give.

In lieu of an evidence ethics challenge, I am also ok with asking your opponent to just strike the cards from the doc/cross them off the flow in cx and have the rest of the debate but calling a challenge if they refuse to do so (this is noble but not required). You could also make arguments about why misquoting is bad, but I'm compelled by a response that basically says "call an ethics challenge or don't make the argument; we'll stake the debate on it." Indeed, I think that if you make an evidence ethics argument, you should be willing to stake the debate on it. If you don't stake the round on it, you'll still win (if they committed the evidence ethics violation), but your speaks will be worse than they otherwise would have been.

[3] Clipping is cheating! I read along with most cards, and if I notice that someone is clipping, I'll vote against them and give them the lowest speaks that I can give. I will not stop the debate unless a challenge is made, but if I notice clipping, I will vote on it regardless of whether a challenge is made. For clipping challenges, I'll follow the same procedure that I follow with evidence ethics (above). A similar procedure that might be helpful to look at is written out more formulaically in the NDCA guidelines: <https://static.squarespace.com/static/53416a18e4b0aa2aaadf85e4/t/53665f81e4b03af4b79e088f/1399218049326/clipping.pdf>. (The NDCA guidelines say that clipping has to be at least 5 words, but that seems to me like too many. Skipping ~3 words is definitely clipping, and skipping fewer (i.e. 1-2) is also bad and potentially a VI!)

Things I Won't Vote On

A prioris

Oppression good (if you concede that your position entails that oppression is good, then your position is that oppression is good)

Moral skepticism


Awful theory args


I will give speaks based on how well I think you should do at the tournament. I also give higher speaks to reward strategies and arguments that I think are good/enjoyable to listen to/generally fun.
Here's a rough scale of how I'll give speaks:

30 = you should win everything. I've given one 30 and one 29.9. I would have given a 30 to the person to whom I gave a 29.9 if they had put topicality in the 1NC.

29.5-29.9 = you should be in late elims

29-29.5 = you should clear

28.5-29 = you should be on the bubble

27.5-28.5 = average

26.5-27.5 = you made some important strategic errors/lacked a clear strategy

<26.5 = I found something about this debate very annoying

Average speaks by tournament this year (note that some of the lower numbers here are slightly misleading because they include 25's for clipping and low speaks for evidence ethics):

Greenhill: 28.60

St. Mark's: 28.36

Apple Valley: 27.85

Glenbrooks: 27.87

Emory: 28.86

Stanford: 28.57


Just disclose, ok? If you don't meet some minimum threshold for disclosure (the Greenhill tournament disclosure policy requires what I consider the minimum acceptable disclosure) and your opponent reads disclosure theory, then you're going to lose.

The aff must tell the neg what aff they're going to read unless it's a new aff.

At the Greenhill RR/tournament I am going to adjudicate disputes about the disclosure policy exclusively on the basis of who I think is correct. Both debaters can say their piece/explain the situation but I will not decide these disputes "on the flow." To be clear, I'll still evaluate arguments like "must disclose full text/open source/etc." like other normal theory arguments. But I will decide disputes about the disclosure policy such as those about: lying about what the aff said, whether someone didn't disclose tags/cites/whatever, whether someone waited too long to disclose, etc. based on what I think about the disclosure policy. I will not listen to debates about whether the disclosure policy matters/how it's worded/whether your school doesn't have a wiki (you should have foreseen this problem)/how bad the wifi is/etc. If you have questions about how I interpret the disclosure policy, feel free to ask me whenever.

The wiki goes down every year during the Greenhill tournament. When it does, both debaters should make an effort to contact each other to disclose.

People that have influenced my views on debate

Eli Smith

Rodrigo Paramo

Aaron Timmons

Marshall Thompson

Chris Theis

Jake Nebel

Katya Ehresman Paradigm

6 rounds

TLDR: I am pretty tab and will vote on anything so long as its not morally repugnant and you tell me why it matters.

I would like to be on the email chain; Katyaaehresman@gmail.com . please time yourselves, flashing isnt prep unless its egregious. Let me know what pronouns you use & pls abide be your opponents pronouns.

Extensions of an aff arent 'overviews to the 1ar'.. they are just on case.. you prob want me to extend them n the flow not in a clump... idk why this is a trend

on this - i tend to haave a higher threshold for extensions, you need a warrant and impact for me to vote on it.

If things get uncomfortable, you need to leave because of mental health/personal safety reasons etc. just message me or knock on the table & give me some look and you will be allowed to go get water/we can stop the round/whatever is best in that situation. Debate should be safe & accessible in order to get these ~portable skillz~ all the kids are talking about.

Short version: Give me some sort of framework to weigh offense under or tell me why the impacts that you are winning are the top layer and I will be happy. I try to do as little work for you as possible so if you didn’t do big picture analysis or weighing the I’ll have to cipher through flows to make a more arbitrary decision and then we are all sadbois. You can read anything you want, though I am probably better at evaluating K/Larp debates and worse at evaluating dense Phil/friv theory debates ~~~ do with that what you will. I care about how you treat one another in round so if you are being obnoxious or problematic in anyway to your opponent, I will start dropping your speaks and if its irredeemable then I won’t vote for you. *shrug emoji* If you are worried about your behavior then… err on the side of being nice?????

Long Version:

I think paradigms are supposed to be more like what sorts of strategies I like to see on each type of flow to help you W30 in front of me so these are things that make me very happy:


  • Great, love them
  • Pls win some sort of link or a reason why me voting for you matters & WARRANT it - I will probably call you on just regurgitating tags if that’s all you do for extensions.. do work please
  • Performance is fine, the resolution isn’t always necessary as a stasis point if you tell me why - but I don’t have a default on this.
  • PIKs are fine, be clear on what exactly you (my ballot) is solving for
    • Subsequently I can be persuaded by PIKs bad, again just warrant it and do top level weighing

K affs:

  • Again, love these! Read a wide spectrum of them myself.
  • Apply strategy/framing issues from the K section here too
  • Win why either talking about the topic is bad, your approach to talking about the topic is better, why your method or approach is good etc. and importantly what happens when I sign aff on the ballot.
  • Don’t shy away from your off in the 1AR - a big pet peeve of mine is when debaters invest a lot of work into a solid K aff that has warrants about why your pedagogy or performance comes first and then you kick it and go for theory or barely extend it and the round comes down to the neg flows… don’t be like this


  • This is great, I love this - go for whatever you feel like/want, make the round your own - again just warrant why its important and importantly what my role in endorsing your performance is/why the round is important for this medium.


  • Great, some of my favorite debates are really good topical, substantive larpy rounds
  • Give me clear impact calculus/ an internal link story
  • I don’t think there are really many paradigm issues surrounding DAs normally… ask me whatever


  • Great and super strategic
  • CP/Pic theory also viable - I don’t really have a default on pics good/bad but am probably persuaded that its good to test the policy of the aff from different angles
  • Analytic, actor, delay etc. Cps are fine - just warrant solvency & competitiveness and give me some sort of net benefit to your world
  • This is true with DAs too but try to give me some comparative worlds weighing, again - tell me where & why to vote


  • Have a low threshold for frivolous theory, would prefer people to just have substantive debate but I am very receptive to engagement and in round abuse preventing topical clash
  • Just warrant an abuse story
  • Go slow on interps


  • very open to this
  • If you’re hitting a k aff then try to weigh offense from the shell under the k fw - do interactions or clear layering, these debates get v messy v quick


  • Slow down a bit on long analytic dumps
  • Err towards over-explaining phil warrants


  • Go as fast as you want but emphasize clarity
  • I give speaks based off of strategy not speaking quality but strategy requires me to flow it and so clarity is somewhat necessary for that
  • I will tank your speaks if you are rude, aggressive, say something morally repugnant, demeaning to your opponent etc. so pls don’t do this

Evan Engel Paradigm

6 rounds

Email Chain: evanaengel@gmail.com

I debated LD for 3 years for Harvard-Westlake School (2014-17) - 13 career bids, Dukes and Bailey 17', won some tournaments/broke at the TOC. I loved debate because of the variety. I could be a fan of any argument you want to read, provided it 1) is explained in a way I can understand and 2) has an explicit reason why that means you should win. I like when debaters appreciate the space they've been given and use it to do what they like. This means engage in the resolution and your speaking time however you want whether that means dense ethical philosophy, debate theory, or critical debate. Just do what you find meaningful even if that just means doing what gives you the best chance to win. My biggest preference in terms of what you run is that you make good arguments, which you understand and execute well. I hated judges that say "I won't vote on X because I disagree with/don't like it" so I try not to be one, but I reserve the right to hold debaters to a reasonable standard of quality argumentation.


You must share your speech docs with your opponent. Flashing, emailing, pocketbox, whatever method of sharing you prefer as long as it's more effective than looking over your shoulder.

I think disclosure is very good for debate - this is not to say you cannot beat disclosure theory in front of me - it just means you will have a very hard time.

Prep ends when the flash drive leaves the computer/the email is sent


I like good K debate a lot. An NR containing a well explained, and well impacted K that doesn't forget about the case is a good thing. An NR containing a K you've never read the lit for is hair pullingly frustrating. Ask yourself if you can explain your position without the use of buzzwords, if the answer is no, you risk being in the latter category.

I'm not generally a huge fan of the 4 minute K overview followed by line by line constituted primarily by "that was in the overview". Take time to clearly explain and implicate the links/impacts/framing arguments and contextualize them to the aff.

Non-T/Performance Affs

I believe people should be able to do whatever they want with their affirmative, and I will by no means auto vote you down for not being topical. That said, T/Framework was my favorite argument in high school, and I will be hard pressed to vote aff absent a robust defense against it - whether that comes in the form of impact turns, a counter-interp, or something else is up to you. I find myself voting aff during these debates more often than not for two reasons - 1. The NR on framework is more whining about how hard the aff was to prep than it is clear impact comparison 2. The NR doesn't engage the 1ar arguments properly - the 2nr should both deal with the warrant AND implication of these arguments because too often I have on my flow "this doesn't make any sense" without an explanation of why or why that matters.


I think these can be some of the best debates around. I would love you if you did good evidence comparison and comparison of links to the impact rather than doing superficial weighing of impacts. I've read DA's, CP's, and Plans (basically every aff round), so I like to think I know most of the lingo and the function. The straight turn and impact turn are both deeply underutilized arguments in LD. I'm sick of judging 1ARs that are 80% defense against the DA.

I'm not a fan of plans bad theory arguments. I think you should either read a T shell or a more nuanced reason why their type of plan text is bad.


Your interp needs evidence, standards and voting issues. A good T debate is one of my favorite debates and should involve a deep comparison of the world of debate each interp justifies, not just competing 6-points of the limits standard. Textuality as a voter just barely meets the standard for coherent argument, i'll vote on it, but it will be defeated easily in front of me. RVIs on T are not a thing.


I'm not a fan of frivolous theory, i'll vote on it, but there is a low bar to answering it. If you're struggling to figure out whether a certain shell is too frivolous for me to give the benefit of the doubt, don't read it. I am extremely persuaded by infinite regress/arbitrariness arguments against the vast majority of spec shells.

Ethical Philosophy/Framework

I am far and away the least versed in this part of LD. I'm not unwilling to vote on anything you choose to read, just understand that if it's more complicated than the simple end of ripstein or util, you will need to explain it to me like I'm a distracted 5 year old. You should know that I generally speaking am a firm believer that comparative worlds is the best interpretation for debate, as a result, I will likely not love your burdens aff/whatever postdating related trend is popular.


I will vote for these arguments if I absolutely have to, but I greatly dislike them. Chances are if you're winning in front of me on a blippy theory spike or an apriori it's because the rest of the debate was literally impossible to evaluate and you will not be happy with your speaks because of it.

Travis Fife Paradigm

3 rounds

I coach for Harvard Westlake in Los Angeles, judge very regularly, and have competed/coached a diversity of circuits in California and Texas. You should feel comfortable debating whatever style best suits you.

Hard and Fast Rules:

Flashing counts as prep if you are assembling the document. If everything is in one doc and you are just saving then that is not prep.

You must either flash or email your opponent your docs.

Evasiveness of any kind before round is highly frowned upon. My expectation is that debaters are honest with one another in all their dealings.

In general, I really enjoy judging debate. If you have a well thought out and interesting take on the topic/debate, I will be happy. If you use strategies that reflect a shallow understanding of the arguments you're running that avoid clash i will be less happy.

Toc 18:

Here are 8 things i'd like for you to know:

1.I keep a good flow. I will hold you to what you say. I do not mind justifying my decisions after the debate by reading back to you what i have on my flow.

2. I will read your evidence and compare it to your explanation in round. Putting powerful spin on your ev is good and highly encouraged. Falsely representing what your evidence says is not. Similarly, having good ev but explaining it poorly will also hurt you.

3. I like philosophical debates. I majored in philosophy. I read ethics, philosophy of mind, political theory in my free time. But i have found that i do not like "phil debaters" because debaters who identify as such seem much more inclined to try to obscure clash and rely on spikes/tricks. If you debate philosophy straight up and have read primary source material to enhance your explanations, I might be the best judge for you. If you intend to read a million analytics and use trickery, i would be a terrible judge for you.

4. On K's, I start from the perspective of "why are the aff and alt different?" This means i focus my decision on 1. links application to the aff and how they turn case or gut aff solvency. 2. does the alt solve the k or the case?

i tend to think the AFF gets to "weigh" the case in the sense that the plan is some what relevant. I think framework arguments best indict how i evaluate the plan and impact calc more broadly. I think the aff commonly drops a lot of 1NC f/w arguments, but negs rarely capitalize on these drops in persuasive ways.

5. I research the topic a lot. I like debates about the topic grounded in a robust academic/theoretical/philosophical/critical perspective.

6. I think debate is both a game and contains an important educational aspect. I do not lean either way of "must defend the topic" but i tend to believe the topic has a role to be played in the community and shouldn't be totally ignored. How that belief plays out in a given round is much more hard to say. I think my record is about 50/50 on non-T AFF's vs topicality.

7. I like CX. You can't use it as prep.

8. I don't think i've voted in an RVI in like over 2 years. I would consider myself a hard press.

Akhil Gandra Paradigm

6 rounds

I'll listen to anything but am generally not a great judge. Especially bad with philosophy and kritiks. 

Good luck and don't be late for rounds. 

Ursula Gruber Paradigm

6 rounds


If you seem like you are having fun and maintaining civility, I will listen to pretty much any argument that isn't intentionally obnoxious or repugnant (death good, racial equity bad, etc.). I prefer lines of argument that don't rely on nuclear war or extinction, but if your case is strong, go for it.

Clash and analysis are key. Use your case to analyze and refute your opponent's arguments. Don't just toss out cards; explain WHY and HOW. If your logic/reasoning is sound, you don't need to extend every card to win. I prefer strategic condensing over shallow line by line rebuttal.

I thoroughly enjoy critical debate. I think it fits super well with the intent of LD. Logic must be sound and you MUST use the conceptual framework of your K as the basis for your argumentation (i.e. don't read "We can't draw conceptual lines between people," and then respond to case with phrases like "those people")

Make sure you weigh your impacts for me. I may have a different perspective so if you don't make the weighing explicit, you are leaving it up to my interpretation. This includes ROBs, etc.

I expect timers and flashing to work without much delay. Having issues more than once in a round will lose speaks.

My speaks start at 28 for circuit tournaments. I'll dock a varsity debater more often for nonsense or rudeness than a JV debater. Making me laugh is a good way to bump up your points. Enunciation is also a bonus.

CX is important and ought to be used for more than just clarification questions. Don't be rude or talk over each other, especially if you are up against a less experienced debater. I will dock points for badgering novices.


I don't mind speed, as long as you are clear. I will only call "clear" twice in a varsity round. Taglines, authors, and card interp should be noticeably slower. It is up to the speaker to communicate their arguments and be aware of the audience's attention level.


I evaluate the full participation of the chamber, from docket maneuvers to quality and variety of questions. Successful legislators are those who drive the debate, present new/unique arguments, extend/refute/deepen previous arguments, choose sources carefully, and use parliamentary procedure appropriately. Debate on the merits/flaws of the specific legislation is given more weight than general issue arguments. Delivery style can enhance the persuasiveness of your analysis, but will not make up for canned speeches, poor supporting materials, or rehashed arguments.

POs are an essential part of the chamber. They set the mood, pace, and attitude of the chamber. It is a risk, and that is taken to account when I score. POs with a good pace and no major errors are very likely to be ranked.

Note on authorships/first pros: The price for establishing recency is that your speech must provide some background for the debate and at least one reason why this legislation in particular is/is not the answer.


The purpose of evidence in all forms of debate is to support your arguments with expert testimony, not to BE your arguments. I will only ask for cards if something sounds exceptionally wonky. Have some understanding of the bias of your sources (Are they all from conservative think tanks?, etc.). It is generally up to your opponent(s) to point out blatantly wrong evidence, but I will dock for egregious offenses.

Miguel Harvey Paradigm

6 rounds

I am a parent, and I am a judge. That makes me a parent judge. I have cranky dad energy. If you don't like parent judges, auto-strike.

TLDR: If you or your coach are a person who post-rounds after losses, please know in advance that I am an extreme lay judge and strike/block me forever. I don't default one way or another on most arguments. Don't be argumentatively or personally abusive. Don't insult my (admittedly limited) intelligence. I will intervene against bigotry and disregard for others' physical and mental wellness. Tricks and excessive preempts/triggers piss me off. For email chain migharvey@gmail.com

LARP/1-off (setcol, cap, ap, etc)/tfw: 1

topicality/1nc non-friv theory/softleft: 1/2

most K/high theory/performance: 2

pomo/semio: 2-3

phil/heavy fw: 3

friv theory: 4

tricks: strike

Long version:

Generally, I don't think it's my job to tell debaters what to do; rather, it's the job of the debaters to tell me why to vote a certain way.

Debaters shouldn't lie or act like jerks. While I get that debate is ostensibly a competitive activity and can get very intense, this is supposed to be educational, good-spirited, and fun. Personal abuse, harassment, or competitive dishonesty of any kind is strictly unacceptable. I don't like to intervene, but blatantly oppressive/bigoted speech or behavior will make me consider voting against a debater whether or not the issue is raised by their opponent. If a debater asks you to respect and use preferred pronouns/names, I will expect you to do so. If your argument contains graphic depictions of racial, sexual, or otherwise marginalizing violence, and there's even a slight question as to whether it might be a trigger, please notify your opponent. Blatant evidence ethics violations such as clipping are an auto-voter. I consider bullying nontechnical debaters a violation of the "shouldn't act like jerks" maxim. Stop yelling at each other.

Our community and the individual people in it are deeply important to me. Please do your part to make debate safe and welcoming for competitors, judges, coaches, family members, and friends. I am moody and can be a total jerk sometimes, and I'm not so completely naive to think everything is fluffy bunnies and we'll all be best friends forever after every round, but I really do believe this activity can be a place where we lift each other up, learn from our experiences, and become better people. If you're reading this, I care about you. I hope your participation in debate reflects both self-care and care for others.

(cw: self-harm)

Mental and emotional well-being are at a crisis point in society, and particularly within our activity. We have all lost friends and colleagues to burnout, breakdown, and at worst, self-harm. If you are debating in front of me, and contribute to societal stigmas surrounding mental health or belittle/bully your opponent in any way that is related to their emotional state or personal struggles with mental wellness, you will lose with minimum speaks. I can't make that any more clear. If you are presenting arguments related to suicide, depression, or self-harm, you must give a content warning for my sake and for your opponent's. I am not flexible on this.


Speaks: You're probably not going to get a 30. I tend to start at 28 and work my way up or down. If you get a 26 or below, you likely did something bigoted/abusive. I usually range between 27.5 and the low 29s. I'm a little more generous in PF and at locals. I will dock you hard if you make the space unsafe, particularly for women, gender/sexual minorities, disabled or differently abled debaters, and debaters of color.

Speed: Fine, though I love and prioritize clarity. If you are not clear, I will say "clear" once. I like speed to be consistent between reading and extemping, but whatever you do you. If you won't flash or email docs, maybe slow down for tags for my sake and for your opponent's sake.

Kritik: Fine. I have a basic understanding of most of the literature. Explain why I should vote. Your arguments need to be coherent and well-reasoned.

Theory/T: Fine, including 1AR theory. Just like with any other winning argument, I tend to look for some sort of offense in order to vote on either side. I don't default to drop the debater or argument. My abuse threshold on friv shells is much higher. An exception to me voting on friv theory is that I will not ever vote for a shell that polices debaters' appearance, including their clothes, footwear, hair, presentation, or anything else you can think of (unless their appearance is itself violent). I'll have a fairly high threshold on a strict "you don't meet" T argument against an extremely common aff. One more thing - all voters and standards should be warranted. I get annoyed by "T is a voter because fairness and education" without a reason why those two things make T a voter. I don't care if it's obvious.

Frameworks: Fine with traditional (stock or V/C), policy-oriented, phil, critical frameworks, performance, narratives. While I don't think you have to have your own framework per se, I find it pretty curious when a debater reads one and then just abandons it in favor of traditional util weighing. I hate framing that is abusive for abuse's sake, like "the aff/neg must win every round." An example of this is the boneheaded a priori that says "Resolved" means the resolution has already been affirmed. I'm the worst person to pref if you are a tricks debater.

LARP: Great. Plans, counterplans, PICs, PIKs, disads, solvency dumps, whatever. Argue it well and it's fine. I don't think making something a floating PIK necessarily gets rid of competition problems; it has to be reasoned well. I'm skeptical of severance perms and will have to be convinced. For UIL/traditional policy debaters - please read the entirety of the aff in the 1AC and please divide labor in the block. To the extent that anyone prefs me, and you shouldn't pref me under any circumstances, I don't understand why more LARPers don't pref me.

Condo: Fine, although I don't think all conceded offense on kicked arguments just goes away because the argument is conditional (especially stuff like oppression/discourse-related offense). Be really, really careful before you kick a K, especially if it is identity-related - I think reps matter. I am more likely to entertain condo bad if there are multiple conditional advocacies.

Flashing/Email/Disclosure: I will vote for disclosure theory, but have a higher threshold for punishing or making an example of novices or non-circuit debaters who don't know or use the wiki. Lying during disclosure will get you dropped with 25 speaks. If you're super experienced, please consider not being shitty about disclosure to novice or small-school debaters who simply don't know any better. Educate them so that they'll be in a position to teach good practices in future rounds. My personal perspective on disclosure is informed by my background as a lawyer - I liken disclosure to the discovery process, and think debate is a lot better when we are informed. One caveat to prior disclosure is that I do conform to "breaking new" norms, though I listen to theory about it. For sharing, I prefer email. Please include me on email chains.

Sitting/Standing: Whatever. I have my own debaters stand if they can because it helps with volume and clarity. But do your thing, it won't affect speaks. Maybe look at me every once in a while, your call.

Flex prep: Fine. More clarity is good.

Performative issues: I am skeptical of white debaters running afropessimism or similar arguments, particularly against debaters of color, but will not tell someone they can't. That said, if you're a white person debating critical race issues against a person of color, or a man advocating feminism against a woman, or a cis/het person talking queer issues, etc., be sensitive, empathetic, and mindful. Also, I tend to notice performative contradiction and will vote on it if asked to. For example, running a language K and using the language you're critiquing (outside of argument setup/tags) is a really bad idea.

I do NOT default to util in the case of competing frameworks.

I tend to think plan flaw arguments are silly, especially if they're punctuation or capitalization-related. I have a very high threshold to vote on plan flaw. It has to be *actually* confusing or abusive, not fake confusing.

I don't vote against a "traditional" value debater because they're "less progressive" or "less cool" or whatever. Every person in our community has value. PUN INTENDED!

Warrant all arguments in both constructives and rebuttals. An extended argument means nothing to me if it isn't explained.

Some of this is LD-specific, because that's the pool to which I'll generally be assigned. Policy debaters, most of what is above applies to my policy paradigm. Critical/plan-less affs are fine. That said, just like in LD I like a good T debate and I will happily vote for TFW if it's well-argued and won. One minor thing is different from my LD paradigm: I conform a little bit more to policy norms in terms of granting RVIs less often in policy rounds, but that's about it. Obviously, framework debate is not usually as important in policy, but I'm totally down with it if that's how you debate. I guess a lot of policy debaters still default to util, so be careful if the other side isn't doing that but I guess it's fine if everyone does it. Excessive prompting/feeding during speeches may affect speaks, and I get that it's a thing sometimes, but I don't believe it's particularly educational and I expect whomever is giving the speech to articulate the argument. I am not flowing the words of the feeder, just the speaker.

PF: If you're actually reading this, congratulations! Speed is fine. Framework is great (actually, to the extent that any weighing mechanism counts as framework, I desire and enthusiastically encourage it). Nontraditional PF arguments (theory, spec advocacies) are fine. I will listen to disclosure theory, though I am less likely to buy it if the offending case is straightforward/common. Offense is important. I'm surprised and impressed when PF debaters cut actual evidence rather than summarizing it, especially offense and uniqueness evidence. If you try to read a policy/critical argument you don't understand, I will flame you in the oral, so be ready for that. For god's sake, do weighing.

All that said, I love that the format is sometimes still accessible to actual regular people. I believe PF debaters should be adaptable, like all-weather shrubbery.

More PF specifics:

Anything above regarding performative issues applies to PF, so please read carefully. I am primarily an LD judge on the Texas and national circuits. Take from that what you will, and assume I am fine with either a more progressive or traditional style of PF debate. "It's not allowed in PF" is not a warranted argument. Line by line debate is important, and as it's what I am used to, I am not likely to vote on new arguments (or arguments that weren't gone for in Summary) made in Final Focus. Weighing offense is important. Framing should be established in constructive or at the very latest on the top of rebuttal. Don't call something terminal without a warrant. Don't call link defense a turn. If you want me to use something from crossfire in my RFD, it needs to be in subsequent speeches. I have an extremely LOW tolerance for miscut or mischaracterized evidence. Evidence ethics arguments have a very low threshold - if you're shady and there's a shell or implication I am very inclined to vote on it. If you're running theory, don't run it wrong or I'll make it really obvious how little I care for your debating.

Please ask questions if I can clarify anything, and don't be afraid to engage and ask questions after the debate. That doesn't mean I want to be post-rounded or harangued about my decision, but I'm happy to discuss stuff in a rational and collegial way. If you get aggressive after the round, expect the same from me and expect me to disengage with little to no warning. My wellness isn't worth your ego trip. I encourage pre-round questions. I might suggest you look over my paradigm, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask questions.

Finally, I find Cheetos really annoying in classrooms, especially when people are using keyboards. It's the dust. Don't test my Cheeto tolerance. I'm not joking, anything that has the dust sets me off. Cheetos, Takis, all that stuff. I get that it's delicious, but keep it the hell out of the academy.

Nadia Hussein Paradigm

6 rounds

About Me:

I have debated for three years at Georgia State and did a mixture of debate in high school. Now I’m a graduate coach at Wake Forest

I want to be on the email chain; use gsupanther84@gmail.com


Slow down when reading your tag and author, or I won't be able to catch it.

If GSU debate has taught me anything, it's to be extremely open minded to a variety of arguments. If you want to run death good, afropessimism, deterrence das, no period plan flaw, K affs, traditional affs, feminist killjoy etc, go for it. Just be sure to explain why you should win with this argument. ROB will be who debated the best unless I'm given another ROB with reason to perfer it. I'm against judge fill in but will vote down oppressive/offensive language/arguments especially if the other team points it out.


Do whatever you're best at, stay topical (or be ready to explain why topicality doesn't matter), be organized, and extend your case and why it outweighs throughout. I tend to err aff on framework if they have and defend a plan text, but you have to lock in if you decide to do that, otherwise I'll be persuaded to neg's abuse claims.


I love a good k with a clear link and impact. Your alts have to be clearly explained. I'll buy links of omission but the neg has to defend why the aff can't simply perm. Negs really have to take time in the block to explain why the aff can't perm and why it's net better to do the alt alone. Affs have to explain why they can perm and why the perm is net better than aff alone or why the alt can't solve the case. Don't drop theory args, or I will have to vote the other way.


I’m good with das but there has to be work done on how it links to the aff, or I will agree with the aff on no link args. If you have a solid Nonunique arg and extend it and I will vote on that. Solid impact calc will seal the deal for me, but if the aff successfully turns the DA or explains why the case outweighs the DA, I will vote on that as well. Long story short the more clash on the DA the better.


Love a creative CP, but it needs to solve/have a net benefit (DA or a K) along with stealing aff ground; otherwise I will agree with aff's perm and theory args. Aff needs to clearly explain why CP can't solve case, beat the net benefit, and articulate why the perm is best. Don't drop theory or you lose my ballot.


I will vote neg on a T arg if you convince me the violation is clear, the aff's counter interpretation is unreasonable, and the impact is big. I will vote aff if they convince me that their aff is reasonable, counter interpretation is better or equal to the negs, and a benefit to their definition, but aff can chuck topicality and still win if they articulate why being topical doesn't matter or is worse for debate. If the aff locks in and says they're T however, they cannot shift or it's an auto win for the neg.


I lean aff in most cases unless the neg provides me with a clear violation, story, and impact. 2acs have to clearly explain why the aff is fair and/or better. Tech is important when arguing FW but explanation is key when you arguing framework. Truth always better than tech.


cross ex is binding, answer the questions honestly, don't ask why the aff should win during 1ac cross ex or generic questions like that.

Yash Kamath Paradigm

6 rounds

ykamath [at] usc [dot] edu
can't judge: Wichita East, Loyola

Any questions please ask don't assume

Wichita East '15
USC '19
4 years HS policy, currently coaching Loyola policy

Important things:
1. Flashing is not prep.
2. Cross-x will be flowed. You will be held to what you say in cross-x.
3. Clipping cards, reading ahead in speech docs, falsifying evidence, all auto-losses.
4. Please disclose.
5. Stand/sit/dance/jog I don't care. Just look at me when you are speaking.
6. Arguments need warrants. No warrants = not an argument.
7. Please add me to the email chain, pocket box, hand me the flash drive, etc.

I will try my best not to intervene in a debate. Execute whatever strategy you are best at, and do it well. I will listen and evaluate almost every argument tabula rasa.
Here are my argument preferences:
Neg- Case list, impacts to your standards, and topical version of the aff are all very persuasive.
Aff- Reasonability is not as a persuasive as a robust defense of your great counter-interpretation and disads to their interp.

Neg- Explain the alt well. The link and impact story is usually what the neg is superb at, but if you don't explain the alt well, what the hell am I voting for? 2NC/1NR tricks are great if executed properly.
Aff- Impact turns, disads to the alt, and permutations are persuasive.

Neg- Happy with most, not a fan of process cps or generic word pics, but I will still vote for them if executed properly.
Aff- Solvency deficit, and defense to the net benefit (whatever page it is on), are very persuasive.

Neg- Turns case, and impact framing are very persuasive.
Aff- You must have offense on this page. With hard technical debating, I do believe in a possible 0 % risk of the disad.

Neg- Case turns, and case specific defense are very persuasive. A ton of generic impact defense not so much.
Aff- Your answers to case args should be fantastic, no excuses for a poor performance on something for which you have had unlimited prep.

Mostly lean neg, again interp and counter-interps are key.
2 condo is fine, 3 is still okay, 4 and my threshold for an aff theory arg will be very low.

K affs-
Aff- This is fine. Please explain what voting aff means, what you have to win for me to vote aff. 
Neg- Answer the case. T (content guidelines) not framework (performance guidelines), impact turns, and criticisms are very persuasive.

High speaker points:
1. Great strategic moves. Technical strength will serve you well.
2. Humor. Only if you are funny.
3. Great case debate.
4. Number/letter arguments.
5. Great evidence.

Low speaker points:
1. Not clear. Can't stand this. Hurts me, your partner, the other team, and the quality of the debate at the whole.
2. Really stupid arguments. If you have to ask if it meets the really stupid threshold then don't read it.

Don't be rude or obnoxious. In debate and in life.

Aimun Khan Paradigm

3 rounds

Yes I want to be on the email chain: khan.aimun@gmail.com. In an effort to reward clarity, I will no longer look at docs until after the round.

Tldr: I don't care what you read. I like: 1) Good argument resolution that makes me not have to think, 2) Seeing smart strategic decisions, 3) Learning something because an argument I didn't understand before was explained well. I type fast but my flow gets messy when I'm not told where to flow things.

This paradigm and this paradigm shamelessly copied my old paradigm and I more or less agree with both of them.

I graduated in 2016, debated in Texas and on the national circuit, and qualled to TOC my senior year. As a judge, my goal is to get out of the way of the debaters and let them do their thing. Since graduating I've become pretty familiar with different styles of debate, and I don't really care what you read as long as you read it well. Policy, K, phil, theory, tricks are all the same to me as long as I understand the argument resolution. I enjoy watching debaters make smart/strategic decisions much more than I care about the particular arguments being read.

I'm willing to vote on anything I understand by the end of the round if it's won (and warranted). If an argument is bad, the other debater should be able to point it out. My only exception to that rule is I will not evaluate actively problematic arguments e.g. racism good.

Things that get you good speaks (and make it more likely that I make the decision you want me to):

1) Spell it out for me. Some amount of implicit clash is inevitable, but the more I'm left to resolve on my own, the lower your speaks will be. If I'm left to resolve two arguments, I will look for the path of least intervention. Good collapses get good speaks. Tell me what to care about and what not to care about.

2) Make yourself easy to flow. Slow down on important things that you want to emphasize. It's really hard to get warrants down in blipstorms.

3) Explaining complex theories in a way that is understandable to a non-debater or someone with no background in the literature base you're reading will get you high speaks. If I learn something from the round because you explained an argument I didn’t understand well, your speaks will be great.

In short, the easier you make it to evaluate the round the better your speaks will be.

Other things that affect your speaks:

1) Err on the side of slightly over-explaining warrants and interactions between args.

2) If you're reading stuff on case, I'd appreciate if you tell me where to flow your arguments. Good line-by-lining of the 1AC/1NC, as opposed to card dumps, is a lost art. Good warrant-to-warrant comparison and smart analytic responses make rounds enjoyable, and I express that enjoyment in the form of speaker points.

3) If you're debating a novice and you knowingly spread them out of the round, the highest your speaks will be is a 28.5 and I won’t feel bad about going even lower. By contrast, if you're debating a novice and you slow down and explain things simply to them (in other words, if you make the round accessible), your speaks will be high. Just use your best judgment here and don’t be mean.

4) In theory or K rounds, tell me what your model of debate looks like and how that frames the way I evaluate things.

5) I'd prefer you be straight up about what you're reading. If someone asks where the a prioris are in the aff, say where the a prioris are in the aff.

6) Big pre-written overviews are generally not incredible at argument resolution, and fully doc'd out speeches can make it hard to know where to flow things. If you’re reading off a doc for most of the 2NR and it makes my life harder, your speaks will reflect that.

Matthew Koshak Paradigm

6 rounds

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.

Jacob Koshak Paradigm

6 rounds




Tricks/Theory as Time Suck







Speaks Avg:




Rebecca Kuang Paradigm

4 rounds

debated for four years (3 in LD, 1 in policy) and now i coach Greenhill!

the good
- i like it when debaters talk about the tournament topic, however creatively interpreted
- i like policy args a lot, this is a safe go-to strat for me
- i think k debates are my favorite debates to judge so if you have them in your toolbox you should pull them out.
- re k vs T/framework: i love me a good critical aff. but! I also love me a good non-generic framework shell. I'd prefer a critical aff that could be construed as topical (you can tell me what that means though!).
- FYI you don't win just because you said "X thing is rly bad". give me some way to grapple with it. doesn't have to be state action.
- i think T debates are a lot of fun

the bad
- i won't vote on arguments that imply nothing or everything is morally permissible.
- i'm bad for a dense analytic philosophy debate. haven't read the lit, can't really keep up, sorry. 
- that being said I'd prefer if you went for something that you're good at explaining even if it's not my favorite argument, as opposed to reading what you think is my favorite argument and explaining it badly
- i really really don't like theory for the sake of having theory in the speech doc. i don't have a clear standard for what counts as "frivolous" but jobes, use common sense. if you see me pulling a face and shaking my head (i'm really expressive!) you should just say "nvm" and skip to the next thing in ur doc because odds are I will just go "la la la" and pretend i never flowed the argument

misc/speaker stuff
- i'm probably tired and distracted when i'm judging you, so be interesting and emphasize the things you want me to pay attention to.
- if ur debating someone who is obviously less experienced than you are, please don't be mean. slow down and make the debate as fun and educational for them as possible. we've all been there before, and I'll raise your speaks for it.
- sass is great and fun to watch, unnecessary rudeness/pettiness are annoying .
- racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise offensive comments = L0
- plez disclose ("but i'll be kicked off the team if i disclose" i do not believe u. strike me.)

Jordyn Kuehn Paradigm

2 rounds

*If you make any morally reprehensible claims in the round, I reserve the right to drop you. If you are spreading hateful rhetoric, you should be removed from the tournament.*

I've been coaching speech, debate, and interp for seven years and I'm currently the head speech and debate coach at Southlake Carroll in North Texas.

Public Forum: Speed is fine, but don't spread. If you're unclear in PF because of speed, I probably won't tell you because you shouldn't reach that point in PF. Don't be overly aggressive, rude, or shout. Lack of clarity or respect will lead to a serious drop in your speaks.

You should provide me with a clear weighing mechanism and justification for using it. If I have to do this work for you, you don't get to complain about my decisions. Remember that public forum is meant to be understood by anyone off the street so don't expect me to be impressed by sloppy attempts at policy tactics.

Second speaking teams don't have to defend their case in rebuttal, though it doesn't hurt to. Just because something was said in cross doesn't mean that I'm going to flow it, though I will be paying attention to it. Please don't waste cross. This is my biggest pet peeve. Give clear voters in the final focus and do your best to go straight down the flow. If you jump around the flow and I miss something, that's on you.

Aoyu Li Paradigm

6 rounds

Affiliation: Westwood High School

Topicality isn't something I'd usually vote for. A win on topicality isn't usually an interesting debate.

I like disads since they tend to steer the debate to better 

Counter plans are fine, I think they make for pretty interesting debates 

I don't like K's.

For neg, your links shouldn't just be generic links, try and explain why they specifically link to what the aff has said. 

for aff, your case probably has huge impacts, I like hearing case defense to give access to those impacts. 


Derek Liles Paradigm

6 rounds

Hi! I'm Derek Liles, the Executive Director of Dallas Urban Debate. I look forward to judging you.

Things I used to be: Debate Coach at Law Magnet (2016-19), Director of Programs at Dallas Urban Debate (2012-2016), Debater at UTSA (2007-2012), Debater at Dallas Jesuit (2003-2007).

Please add me to the email chain: dzliles@gmail.com.


Reactive, mostly grouchy updates for Spring 2018:

1) Clash: Paperless prep is great, but...I feel like in-round clash and judge adaptation is subpar these days. Learn. To. Flow. On that note, you are under no obligation to send analytic arguments when I am judging.

2) Prep time: I think that any time that is not speech time is prep time (barring things like the time it takes your speech to travel through magic tubes and arrive in the other teams' computer). However, I can't be bothered to enforce a prep policy except in the worst cases, so I'll stick to using speaker points to incentivize best practice. Bonus points to people who run a tight ship when it comes to prep time use. Minus points for those who dilly dally. Generally speaking, prep stealing occurs when you use time from some cosmic bank of prep time beyond your allotted 8 minutes. Specific scenarios that irk me: (a) "pre cx" where you ask what evidence was read - that's CX time (b) adding ev mid speech and sending it without taking prep (c) organizing flows/blocks after prep has ceased...more may be added later.

3) Stop asking me if I disclose speaker points. More than half of you don't even disclose your 1NCs. I will subtract speaker points if you ask me and my ballot hasn't already been submitted.

4) Stop throwing all of your arguments at the wall and hoping I work it out for you. Thoughtfully select a strategic end game and present me with a definitive victory path - don't leave it up to me to find it amongst the weeds. Scott Deatherage, late director of Northwestern Debate, says it best:

"CHOOSE. Choose...The first most essential lesson of effective rebutting is choice making. No matter the speech; be it the 1NR or the 2AR or any point in between...Young debaters, so anxious, every argument they think to be important, especially in rebuttals...instead it is the best arguments and the strongest points that make the effective rebutalist the winning champion in the debate...You...must in the end decide on an effective strategy for the judge. Choose for them what is the best avenue to prove conclusively that the coherent set or complete package of arguments you present as a totality in the last speech constitutes a way, a road, an avenue by which they achieve the effective end of concluding for the [aff/neg]."


General info about me and my feelings about debate:

Some overarching ideas will shape my answer to just about any question you could have about my predispositions: I've been around debate a long time and have judged/coached/debated from just about every angle. I debated at the national level in college (elims at CEDA/NDT). I have a background in policy argument from high school, but shifted very aggressively towards kritikal literature in college...that is to say, I'm receptive and fairly knowledgeable about most approaches to the topic at hand.

I think debate is best when teams effectively clash with each other, so I like when teams prioritize depth over breadth in their strategies and take time to flow/directly engage each others' ideas. I think preparation makes for good debate, so I default to the belief that teams should engage in some form of disclosure (it helped me prep at my small college team, I'm biased). I believe the value of debate comes mostly from the form of analysis it teaches you to make - less so the content of what you are advocating (barring some extreme circumstances). Make your argument as best you can and I will be happy to judge you. I'm not here to tell you what arguments to read.

I tend to be unmotivated to vote on theory - debate should be hard and focused on substantive issues. It's easy to convince me to reject the argument, not the team - so in front of me, you will be better off using theory to close doors on key components of your opponents' strategies. If you plan to go for theory, develop your objection early, rather than starting with a 10 second blip. Theory seems like even more of a cheap shot when it becomes a serious issue only in the last speech.

Bad arguments: Some arguments - impact turns that have "jumped the shark," ASPEC, contrived scenarios, etc. - are just bad (at least I think so). I feel like we all know when it's a bad argument, and if you don't, my reactions will probably make it clear how I feel. I'm likely to intervene or allow a lot of flexibility for your opponents to add arguments in rebuttals against them. "It's not new if it's true!"

Speaker points: I generally range between 28-29.5. Some things (not described in update section) that affect my calculus:

  • Act like you want to be here - after judging several rounds, nothing is more refreshing than watching someone who is passionate, engaged, friendly, etc. I also appreciate humor, and unlike some people, respect the beauty of punny wordplay.
  • I think debate is a communication activity - lack of clarity in terms of speaking style or strategic endpoint will impact your speaker points and my ability to give your argument the consideration it's due. Concerning speed, start at 80% so I can warm up to your voice and ease into full tilt over 30 seconds.
  • I prefer strategic depth over breadth. See rant at top - but in more detail: if starting with several sheets of paper, I'd prefer you resolutely condense the debate to a handful of core issues by the end. Less moving parts = less for me to resolve after the round = less likely I'll have to resolve it for you = more likely you control my perception of what happened in the debate. This also means you need to actively close doors in the last speeches, and I reward debaters who find unique ways to cross-apply concessions to their advantage.
  • AFF side bias/musings of a slighted 2N - I think 2ARs get away with murder when it comes to resuscitating advantages that were completely absent or barely in the 2AC & 1AR. I will have no hesitation to entirely dismiss or assign overwhelmingly low risk to advantages that re-appear/weren't fully developed until the 2AR.
  • I am very open to the idea that there is zero risk of an argument/averse to the ".01% risk of extinction = extinction" form of impact calculus - sometimes, it only takes a smart analytic/CX question about an internal link to get me to reject a preposterous terminal impact. If I'm smirking while flowing, it means you're doing well and can probably expect me to back you up in the post-round.
  • Bad evidence - old man moment: there are so many terrible cards in debate. Speaker points to anyone who publicly shames bad ev & the people that read it.

Small soapbox moment: I try to be attentive to the ways in which normative structures of gender, sexuality, race (and so on) affect student participation in this activity. Debate should be fun, respectful and accessible. Our activity shouldn't lose voices out of a stubborn commitment to remaining aloof of these dynamics, so don't participate in those systems in round and we're good.

I look forward to judging you!
Questions? Email me: dzliles@gmail.com

Cassandra Lizardi Paradigm

6 rounds

1 year policy debate experience

2 years LD experience

I was a local debater. I coach middle school policy debate. I like framework and ks and policy arguments. I'm not good at evaluating theory arguments. YES. I will listen to and evaluate them but maybe thats risky of you. So just make argument interactions clear and we'll have a good time! :)

Jacob Lugo Paradigm

6 rounds

Debated for Winston Churchill High School for three years. Currently, I debate for the University of Texas at Austin. Worked at VBI for three summers now and at Baylor for one.

Email: jacoblugo101@gmail.com

Please have the email chain ready as soon as both opponents meet before the round.

I'm pretty open to whatever you want to do.

Emmiee Malyugina Paradigm

4 rounds

For Email Chain: emmiee@berkeley.edu

LD Paradigm:

Background: Did some high school policy, some LD at Harker -- now doing policy @ Berkeley. I've done both Policy and K debate in both. For LD -- I don't have a whole lot of experience with tricks/phil/theory, but I do have a base level understanding. I got a few bids & taught at a few camps after graduating.

Arguments To Read/Not Read: I personally read LARP and K stuff (identity and pomo), but I'm not ideologically opposed to any other style. However, my understanding of Phil positions and tricks arguments are lower so you'll probably have to do more explaining. The only arguments I won't vote for are those that are blatantly abhorrent, unethically read (i.e.: clipped, misdisclosed, etc), or that lack a claim/impact/warrant.

Other Potentially Relevant Things: I tend to lean more towards how people explain/execute arguments and less towards what the original evidence says unless the other debater makes are argument about it or both teams are equally unclear because if you can't explain your evidence, I'm not going to do the work for you. Also, I presume NEG unless told otherwise and assume impacts are filtered by magnitude*probability if no one makes any framing arguments.

Drew Marshall Paradigm

6 rounds


Tell me how you want me to evaluate the round. Tell me why you win the round if I choose to evaluate the round that way. In the case that you do not specify how I should view the round, I have a few paradigms to which I default.

-I will evaluate the round based on a criteria of net benefits; being time frame, probability, and magnitude of impacts.
-I will evaluate T and Theory debate based on competing interpretations; meaning that if you win your theory argument on the flow, you're coming out on top of that particular debate
-I will not prioritize traditional theory shells above framework claims, or vise versa, unless told to do so.
-I will consider permutations tests of competition.

I'm ready to drop all of these defaults the moment that you engage in a debate as to why I should. Overall, what enjoy the most is good argumentation. Whatever style of debate you feel like you are best at, go for it. Yes, even stock issues. Just be ready to defend reasons as to why that debate should be evaluated that way


  • I enjoy 2AC answers to T that give unique reasons as to why the aff's counter interpretation should be preferred.


  • To win my ballot with a K, you are best off winning the following: link, impact, competition of the alt, and solvency of the alt. Even if you are winning all of those things and your solvency requires a framework that is different from net benefits, you should be winning the framework debate to pick up my ballot.

Speaker Point Preferences.

  • Cut down in the neg block (2n for LD). This makes it easier to evaluate the round, and is generally just better debate.
  • Keep my flow clean. Most of the time this means sign posting more than you probably feel is necessary.
  • Be respectful.

Randall Martinez Paradigm

6 rounds

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. 

Cameron McConway Paradigm

6 rounds

*Updated 12/14/19*

I did LD for three years at Cy-Fair HS outside of Houston, Texas, qualifying to the TOC and NSDA nationals, and finishing in semifinals at TFA state. I work for McNeil HS in Austin while attending the University of Texas, and I teach at NSD and TDC.

Conflicts: McNeil HS, Cy-Fair HS, Lovejoy KC, Pembroke Pines MC


I'd rather evaluate your style of debate than have you do things you're not comfortable with because you think it's what I want. My paradigm is here so you get an idea of how you want to pref me and how to debate in front of me, not to dissuade you from any particular type of debate.

Feel free to ask me questions at cameronmcconway@gmail.com.

If I am judging you at 8 am or late after a long day of rounds, please make an extra effort to be clear and organized. I'm tired and I want to make sure I can evaluate the debate as best as possible, so this is in your best interest!

The trend of taking forever to send speech docs (and then wait for everyone to download them) is extremely annoying. I haven't figured out the best way to check this, so for now I'm asking that you come to round with the aff ready to send, and have docs ready to send as soon as prep ends before the NC. If you think you might have wifi trouble or problems with your email, a flash drive would speed this process up.


I will vote on most arguments as long as they aren't morally objectionable or blatantly false. I will do my best to be tab, but I think there is a level of plausibility necessary for me to vote on an argument (for instance, I won't vote on an obviously false I-meet). It will be difficult to convince me to vote on a super blippy apriori or an argument that turned into a voting issue after being one line in the original speech.

I'd like to be on the email chain in case I need to look at a card, but I will flow you not the speech doc.


I'm fine with speed, just slow down on tags/author names and interps/advocacy texts. I will yell clear/slow/louder but I will give up if there is no change.


I am comfortable evaluating theory under whichever paradigm you prefer, so long as you justify it. I have found that I enjoy a good theory debate where there is a lot of weighing and internal links.

I am not a fan of disclosure debates, especially when the violation is unverifiable or the wiki was down. That said, there is a difference between a debate about disclosure vs a debate over open source or round reports, and I would much prefer the former.


I read both high theory and identity politics. I feel comfortable evaluating most K debates but I strongly prefer debaters err on the side of overexplaining/not relying on jargon rather than assuming that I am familiar with the literature they are reading. These debates tend to either be excellent or my least favorite.

I enjoy K affs, but I do think if you are nontopical you need to a) win that being nontopical is legitimate b) have an evaluative mechanism and c) have offense under that mechanism. I am happy to listen to unique/innovative K affs regardless of their topicality, though I am also happy to listen to T debates against them. I think these can be interesting debates.

Recent observation: I find positions that rely on premises like "performative contradictions good" or "debate itself bad" to be unpersuasive. Not positions that criticize the current iteration of competitive debate (I am fine with that), but rather I think there is inherent value to the act of debating. This doesn't mean I won't vote on high theory authors like Baudrillard, because I will and I have, but I do think your interpretation of these authors should be compatible with your performance.


I think that high level LARP debates tend to be more difficult to evaluate because a lot of debaters do not do sufficient weighing or impact calc. I enjoy well done LARP debates, just please do good weighing.


I enjoy framework debate more the longer I judge. Slow down a bit on long analytic dumps and err towards overexplaining the dense philosophical warrants, because these things are difficult to flow at your top speed.


I start around a 28.5 and go up or down depending on in-round strategy and skill relative to the tournament. Speaks tend to be over-inflated and relatively arbitrary, so I try to give speaks with influencing who clears in mind. I like speaks as a way to reward well-executed or particularly clever strategies.

Eric Melin Paradigm

2 rounds

Email chains are good. Include me ericmelin76@gmail.com

**This PF Part used to be at the bottom of the paradigm but for TOC 2020 I have moved it up**

PF specific:

1. You must email/flash/give a copy of your cases (and evidence in later speeches) to your opponents prior to the beginning of your speech. Asking to see cards outside of prep time is a bad practice. We should either be in speech time, prep time or moving from prep time to speech time. The amount of time being wasted and prep being stolen is ridiculous. This is not negotiable and if you refuse I will dock whatever speaker points I feel is appropriate.

2. You may not read paraphrased evidence and expect me to evaluate it. I will not give any weight to unwarranted arguments like paraphrased claims. None.

3. I will listen to disclosure arguments and theory arguments about bad evidentiary practices.

Coach stuff:

Debate Coach @ Coppell 9th Grade Center and Coppell High School (2018- )

Mean Green Comet Debate Institute -Director of LD (2019 - )

Previously coached teams: Grapevine and Colleyville (2017-2018), Law Magnet (2015-2017), Hockaday (2009-2014), Southlake Carroll (2006-2009), Colleyville and Grapevine (2005-2006).

I debated for Grapevine High School, graduating in 1997. I judged debate for a few years after that before taking some time off for grad school. In have been a classroom teacher and debate coach since 2007. I was an LDer in high school but competed in policy at some tournaments junior and senior year. I also debated for UT Austin for one year. While most of my time coaching has been spent focusing on LD, I began coaching policy debate regularly in 2015 when I worked at Law Magnet. I coached the policy kids at Grapevine last year and now (2018-2019)coach policy at Coppell and Coppell 9.

I think debate operates in a unique place in the high school experience, where it serves as a crucible for the development of advocacy skills and critical engagement that is not replicated anywhere else. I love this activity and want each successive generation to be able to enjoy it. As such, be good to one another! Take care of our space and leave it better than the way you found it. Come back and give back if debate has given you a space to develop yourself.

Paradigm stuff:

1. Please forward a well-developed ballot story.

2. Tell me what you want me to vote on.

3. Compare evidence - this doesn’t happen enough and it’s usually what close debates depend on to resolve.

4. K aff’s - I default to believing that K aff's should still be affirmative arguments. I think switch-side debate is good and develops a portable skill that other activities do not. K aff's should forward counter-interpretations as needed. I am willing to vote on framework. That being said I am unimpressed with teams that run framework but never go for T in other debates.

5. Counterplans - when they are case-specific they are great less specific is obviously less good. I am not thrilled by the 50 states cp or consult cp’s generally. PiCs are fine. The aff should have to defend their plan.

6. I prefer line-by-line debate more than long overviews. Too many rebuttals I’ve seen recently spend a ton of time explaining arguments in overviews that should just be done on the flow. Numbering arguments and following the order of your opponents is preferable or at least be explicit when re-grouping the flow.

7. I cannot flow a string of unending analytics with no time to type even if its in perfect outline form in your speech doc. This means slow down on theory arguments, 2ac blocks of text that you have read a lot of times but I am hearing for the first time, etc. I will not vote on what I don't catch.

8. I will be following along with the evidence read in the debate on my computer. I will not be on Facebook or otherwise doing things that would take my attention away from the debate. I wish more judges would commit to paying attention to every debate.


LD specific (also see notes above)

Theory is over-used in LD. You will always have links of omission to generate violations. I have a high threshold for frivolous theory.

RVI's can be justified but not on topicality. That said ditching substance and going for 4 minutes of RVI in the 1ar is not the A-strat in most rounds in front of me.


Kamil Merchant Paradigm

6 rounds

I graduated from law school from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2016 and previously completed a degree in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego.
I debated LD at New Trier Township HS and went to the 2006-07 ToC. I coached Torrey Pines students until 2012, and worked with Evanston for a year after.

The short story is that I want you to explain by the end of the round how I evaluate the round (i.e. explain what mechanism I use to weigh arguments, why your arguments meet that/why your opponents don't and the basic order in which I evaluate arguments); theory is fine, speed is fine; Ks are fine; I will yell clear and call for evidence after the round if need be. I don't need very long extensions in the 1AR or 2AR. But if you want me to vote on the offense you need to make very clear what the argument is doing for you in the round. So please weigh and tell me why I should want to endorse your world over your opponent's world.

Theory: I evaluate theory based on competing interpretations. I don't give more weight to cards on theory than I do to smart analytics. I want to hear a comparison of internal warrants and weighing between standards/interpretations.

Frameworks: I'm open to whatever framework you want to read as long as you can explain how I use it to evaluate offense. Just make it sure it is coherent for the resolution and the agent in the resolution.

MicroPol: I've voted for it and I've voted against it. I tend to prefer narrative arguments where the impact is to either affirm or negate the resolution. But I have heard very good positions that just look to issues of race in debate at large. At the end of the day I treat it like any other argument: tell me how I should evaluate the round and why you win under that evaluation. If that means your ballot story doesn't look to the resolution, then justify it and win that position. I honestly think the best round of debate I've seen was the Northwestern v. Emporia final round of NDT.

Speaker Points:I reward coherence and clarity above all else. The way to get a 30 is for your last rebuttal to say exactly what my RFD on the ballot says. That means you explain how each argument interacts and why the way everything falls means I vote for you. This approach especially rewards good comparison of evidence and internal warrants.

As an aside, I firmly believe debaters should disclose positions, but don't feel that I have the jurisdiction to vote on disclosure theory bc it's conduct that occurred outside of the debate round. I can be persuaded to vote for disclosure theory, but I really dislike it and feel like it's a cop-out. I'd much rather hear an argument about why you should receive benefit of the doubt on resolving arguments in your favor bc you disclosed and your opponent didn't.

Anything else, feel free to ask me prior to the round!

Isaiah Mitchell Paradigm

6 rounds

I'm pretty tabula rasa, but I will look for faulty logic. Just persuade me reasonably. If the argument is sequacious, it'll be safe. I won't call your evidence into question; that's up to your opponent. 

Keep in mind that you should call out an opponent's faulty logic as well, even though I'll also note it. If I see something unreasonable that goes unnoticed, that can count against you a bit.

Marilyn Myrick Paradigm

6 rounds

I am the coach at Lake Travis High School in Austin, Texas.


I'm fine with speed and any argument style. I'll say clear or slow if needed, start off slower at the beginning of your speech so I can get used to your speed and voice. You probably won't be too fast for me but gauge your speed - I make pretty evident facial expressions if I am lost. I ran a lot of CRT during my high school career, favoring Afropess, so I am comfortable with a lot of critical theory but far left lit like Deleuze or Virilio will need more explanations. Really do whatever in front of me, I'm pretty tab - you can do 1off k or 8 off policy making args as long as you impact and provide a clear framing.

Speaker Points:
My scale is 25-30. I have given few 25s and 30s this year and average about 28.5/29. Here is a rough outline of my scale;
25 - you said something racist, sexist, homophobic etc., were rude or demeaning to your opponent and/or make the debate space unsafe
26-27 - You tried. You dropped some pretty big things on the flow, had inconsistent speed/clarity, didn't impact things out on my flow etc.
27.5-28.5 - you were clear but behind on the top layers of the flow but had decent delivery
28.5-29.5 - you probably deserve to break and you are average/above average. This is the most common speaks I give so don't be surprised if this is what you get.
30 - literal mic drop. You will probably win the tournament if you get a 30. Props.

This is fine. Do it if theres abuse. I'm prob not the most receptive to frivolous theory.

I used to have a sticker that said "Topicality is a Timesuck" but my paradigm on this front has probably changed. Especially on this topic I think Topicality is a pretty good litmus test at weighing arguments and offense but I don't think I would hedge my bets entirely on T with me as a judge. I think policy ignores a lot of standards comparison/clash that it probably needed to have an in-depth T debate leaving me mostly disappointed a lot of the time. T probably isn't enough to win you a debate round on neg so if you are going all in on T you probably aren't winning unless your opponent drastically mishandles it. Overall not a huge fan.

Do it, I'm receptive. A strategically ran CP/PIC is probably a good strat in front of me as long as you weigh under a given policy fw. They're good if you run them well.

Im fine with it - I am more receptive to specific links/internal links and won't just sign a ballot if you have a big stick impact. On this note, I am probably decently persuaded by a 2AC that does a lot of impact defense. However, defense isn't enough to win on the flow here.

Probably my favorite style of argumentation. My kids run a lot of fem and critical/performance stuff so I am familiar with the way kritiks exist & their debate application. Make sure you articulate the alt well and the impact story following the links. I am fine with K affs as long as you emphasize the framing and why my ballot is important.

Do it. I am very receptive to this style and write/work with a lot of this on my team. Impact the ballot story well and you will do better in my eyes. Performance is cool and I am a big fan. (Don't forget to extend the performance and embody it all the way through...people don't do this enough and it makes me sad.)
Have fun, make good choices. Framework is the most important thing to me so impact things under it and you'll do great in my eyes. Debate is supposed to be enjoyable and educational so make it that way.


Pretty much the same as above but I do think the neg in LD seems to warrant an advocacy, especially in Value/Criterion debates or in truth testing the resolution. I default to an offense-defense paradigm a lot here because of a lack of framework weighing. FW is a pretty easy way to get my ballot in LD, I would suggest leveraging this on other arguments as well.

Javier Navarrete Paradigm

6 rounds

I debated for Columbus (FL) in LD from 2013-2017, qualifying for the TOC my senior year. I'm a policy debater now at the University of Houston.


I'm paradigmatically open and familiar with most types of argumentation, but at times I've found it difficult to keep up with blippy theory debates. While I've gotten much better at this, given the current online infrastructure, I wouldn't put it past me or possible technical glitches that this could be a problem.

You can cross-reference Tyler Gamble's paradigm for any other paradigmatic questions you might be left with.

I would like to be on email chains. My email is navarretecjavier@gmail.com

Michael O'Krent Paradigm

6 rounds

Affiliations/Judging conflicts: Harvard-Westlake, Marlborough
I debated for four years at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, qualifying to TOC thrice. I now coach for Marlborough.
If you have questions, email me at mdokrent@gmail.com

Short version:
I like hearing well-developed, supported, smart arguments. This can include philosophy, t or theory, Ks, plans, CPs, DAs, etc. Form doesn't matter a huge amount to me. Just steer clear of my landmines and make good arguments: your speaks and win record will show it.

Flashing/emailing is on prep time.

Traditional Policy stuff: yes
Theory: yes if there’s real abuse.
Philosophy (almost all sorts): yes
K: yes
Shenanigans: no
Performance: yes

Do I say clear? Yes.
How many times? Until you get clear or it becomes clear that you're ignoring me.

Mandatory scary stuff:

Landmines: The following things are not ok in debate. I WILL INSTANTLY DROP YOU FOR:
-Religious/theistic arguments *I don't think very many (if any) other judges hold this prohibition, so I want to emphasize that I do hold it, and I will hold you to it.*
-moral skepticism (unless the topic specifically mandates it, like the Nov-Dec 2011. I'll specifically note it at the top of my paradigm if one of these comes up.)
-presumption (if you tell me I should ignore substance to vote on presumption. I might presume if there is legitimately no offense but I will do everything in my power not to.)
-any argument that is “triggered” in a later speech. If you defend it, you must say so in your first speech
-biting the bullet on something atrocious like genocide, rape, mass murder, etc. (That is, openly acknowledging that your framework would not condemn something like this. Simply arguing that your opponent’s framework can’t condemn genocide will not be a reason to drop them.)
-an a priori (these are arguments that say that the resolution is true or false for linguistic/semantic reasons and don't link to a framework. Despite debaters' best efforts to hide them, a prioris are pretty easily visible.)
-blatantly lying in cx
In general, be honest. I won’t instantly drop you for anything not on this list, but if you pull tricks or are generally sketchy I will be pissed. My stance on this is pretty similar to Chris Theis’.

The following arguments I will not listen to, but will not drop you for the sole reason that you ran one of them (you can still win elsewhere on the flow). I will not vote on:
-any argument that is not normative, like ought implies can or ought means logical consequence.
-theory arguments against an interp in the AC are counterinterpretations/defense only

Things I dislike but will vote on if you win them by a wide margin (either they're conceded or you crush):
-Competing interps requires a counterinterpretation.
-Affirmative “ethics” choice (When the aff gets to pick the standard/value criterion – distinct from AFC as run in policy, which I am ok with)
-Meta-theory comes before “regular” theory. OK to run a “meta-theory” shell and weigh impacts, but I don’t believe that meta-theory exists differently than theory. One sentence in a theory voter will not convince me otherwise.
-Anything that would have me take an actual action other than judging. (It takes a really good reason to make me not be lazy. I might vote for the position and ignore the action anyway.)

And a bunch of theory shells fall into this category too. If you run one of these shells, I will be skeptical and probably find the most stock responses persuasive. I'll vote on it, but you'll have to do lots of work and win it by a lot:
-Must run/not run framework
-Must run/not run plan/counterplan (inc. plans bad)
-Must run/not run kritik (noticing a theme?)
-Must run/not run DAs, etc.
-Can't have both pre- and post-fiat impacts
-Can't make link/impact turns (yes, people actually run this shell)
-Negatively worded interps bad ("Must have positively worded interp" for the formalists)
-Neg must defend the converse

Geetha Panchapakesan Paradigm

4 rounds

I’m a parent judge. I probably won’t be able to keep up with spreading, so go slow please. Try to avoid T and theory as I won’t be able to evaluate it properly. Ks are probably a no-go as well but I can evaluate if necessary/if you elaborate and make the story very clear. Try to keep the round as clean as possible and write the ballot for me. Don’t be rude in round and just make sure that you are extending your arguments.

Rodrigo Paramo Paradigm

6 rounds

i debated ld and policy in high school, i coach ld @ greenhill.

toss me on the email chain: greenhilldocs.ld@gmail.com

[current/past affiliations: woodlands ('14-'15), dulles ('15-'16), edgemont ('16-'18), westwood ('14-'18), greenhill ('18-now)]

I am most comfortable evaluating critical and policy debates, but find myself thoroughly enjoying 6 minutes of topicality or framework [like, T-framework against k affs, not kant] if it is delivered at a speed i can flow. I will make it clear if you are going too fast - i am very expressive so if i am lost you should be able to tell. I am a bad judge for tricks debates, and am not a great judge for denser "phil" debates - i do not coach or think about analytic philosophy outside of tournaments, so I need these debates to happen at a much slower pace in order for me to process and understand all the moving parts - notably, this is also true for whoever is answering these positions.

Thoughts I have

0) Miscellaneous New Thoughts I Have Had Recently:

  • i think the word "unsafe" means something and get uncomfortable when it is deployed cavalierly - it is a meaningful accusation to suggest that an opponent has made a space unsafe (vs uncomfortable), and i think students/coaches/judges should be mindful of that distinction
  • i find the insistence on labeling non-independent voters as independent voters exhausting and off-putting
  • there is no chance you get me to exclude/disregard a speech from the debate- i will evaluate every portion of the debate after the 2ar, with relevant content from the 2ar taken into consideration.

1) Evidence Ethics: In previous years, I have seen a lot of miscut evidence. I think that evidence ethics matters regardless of whether an argument/ethics challenge is raised in the debate. If I notice that a piece of evidence is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads the miscut evidence.

I think that a piece of evidence is miscut if:

  • it starts and/or ends in the middle of a sentence or paragraph.
  • text is missing from the middle of the card (replacing that text with an ellipsis does not make it okay),
  • the next paragraph or another part of the article explicitly contradicts the argument/claim made in the card,
  • the card is highlighted in a way that modifies or does not accurately represent the author’s claim - i think students & coaches both are far too comfortable highlighting only parts of words/sentences in a way that drastically changes the meaning of a card, and i think this is bad. [Be careful with brackets - I don’t think they always mean a card is miscut, but I’ve seen that they very often do. I think that brackets, more often than not, are bad - if a bracket changes the strength of a claim made by the author, or in some other way changes the *meaning* of the evidence, it is miscut],
  • if a cite lists the wrong author, article title, etc. (I hope to decide 0 debates this year on citations - I’ll only decide debates on them without challenges in the most egregious cases).
  • if a card does not have a citation at all and the debater is asked for it, but cannot provide it, i think this means you do not get that argument. i do not think it would be super hard to convince me that this is a voting issue, but i will not presume that.

If I decide a debate on evidence ethics, I will let the debate finish as normal. If the debate is a prelim, I will decide speaks based on the content of the debate and subtract two speaker points from the debater that I vote against. If the debate is an elim, I will submit my ballot and won’t say anything about my decision until the debate is announced.

If both sides read miscut evidence, I will vote against the debater who read miscut evidence first. (I really don’t love this as a way to evaluate these debates, but the only comparable scenario that I can think of is clipping, and that’s how I would resolve those debates.)

I do not plan to go out of my way looking for miscut evidence or checking to see whether every card is cut correctly. If I do notice that something is miscut, I will vote against the debater who reads it regardless of whether a challenge is made.

Please do not hesitate to ask questions about this before the debate.

Evidence Ethics Procedures: the phrase "evidence ethics" means something - if someone says it and their opponent clarifies "is this an evidence ethics challenge," i understand this to mean that the debate ends - whoever has made the accusation wins if i believe the evidence ethics violation is correct, they lose if i believe the accused did not commit an evidence ethics violation - i will not independently end the round if the accused does not ask for this - if they do, i am happy to - words matter and evidence ethics matters - see the relevant section on bennett eckert's paradigm for more of my thoughts on this question. i also believe that debaters should think carefully before accusing their opponents of academic dishonesty, plagiarism, etc. - heavy claims.

2) Clipping: i have a good ear for when clipping is occurring - if i suspect it is, i will follow along in the speech doc - if i determine i am correct, the person clipping will lose. to be very clear, this does not necessitate the opponent making a clipping accusation - i feel very comfortable making this adjudication on my own.

3) Online Debate: Slow down.

4) Comparative Worlds/Truth-Testing:

  • i will default to a comparative worlds paradigm unless the 1ac/nc justifies otherwise - later speeches cannot shift to truth-testing without an indication of that interpretive claim in the constructives.

5) Politics Disads:

  • i follow domestic politics prettttty closely. this means i will be thrilled to reward smart analytics made on politics scenarios and will be impressed if you know your stuff. that said, this means my bs meter is pretty high on some ptx scenarios - for instance, i am not going to vote on an impeachment impact unless you tell me how we get from a 53-47 gop senate to a successful vote to remove trump from office - absent that warrant, i will not grant you "impeachment proceedings remove trump from office" [of course, the opposing side must be able to explain why a 53-47 gop senate is unlikely to cast that votes
  • i think we are quickly approaching the time when i will see elections disads - if you read one, make sure your evidence is *recent,* *high-quality,* and that you understand the playing field well so you can make intelligent analytic arguments - this election will be the thing i think about most between now and november - i will thoroughly love a good politics debate

6) miscellaneous thoughts on Theory/topicality:

  • slow down on it - will say slow twice. after that, i will miss your arguments and that will be the RFD. this is similarly true for perm texts etc - dont super care what the doc said if i didnt flow the text near verbatim in the 1ar. if i say "slow" i have almost certainly already missed an argument - do with that what you will.
  • im pretty receptive to text of the interp/text of the rotb/plan flaw args - i generally think that when issues arise in those 3 things, they are a result of students not giving much thought to them which is a shame bc all 3 are pretty important in my view - well crafted interps, as well as cxes that isolate plan flaws/interp issues will be rewarded (this does not mean i like /bad/ plan flaw args). i am also fairly willing to check in on semantic i meets against frivolous theory.
  • you should always flash or have written down interp/counter-interp texts readily available for both your opponents and your judges
  • i will likely be easily compelled by a "debaters should not bracket evidence" argument *if* you can execute it well - i have grown sympathetic to this argument as abuses become increasingly egregious
  • theory and topicality are different and i think this implicates what the 1ar is expected to do to respond to each. it also implicates what topicality vs theory interpretations (and counter interpretations) are expected to include
  • my reluctance to vote on bad theory arguments is not because they are bad but because i sincerely dont understand the abuse story on many many shells. some examples: spec status; spec standard; rotb spec; cant concede the aff framework; must concede the aff framework. i am not interested in judging these debates and do not think the feedback i give in these debates is that helpful for anyone involved. good theory debates can be great, but i will feel comfortable saying "i did not understand the abuse story so i did not vote on this shell" (this also applies to framework v k affs)
  • "in the interest of disclosing my own bias, i think the best debates happen when both teams are able to reasonably predict what arguments will be read (with the exception of new affs + unbroken neg positions). i am unsympathetic to arguments about disclosure that do not contest this point. even if you cannot post broken positions on the wiki for whatever reason, it is my belief that you should be willing to provide them, in good faith, to your opponent upon request in some way." - anna (weird to quote a former student on here!)
  • Nebel: in the past i have made clear that the nebel argument did not make a lot of sense to me. in many ways, i am still receptive to the "pragmatics first" school of thought. however, nebel 19 (the second one) is compelling. i intuitively believe that a world where debate has plans is a better one, but jake has convinced me that our topic wordings do not often justify that world. i will obviously still judge these debates based only on what happens in the round, but i am newly receptive to the nebel argument (this is primarily true for the semantic claims. given that, please slow down on it if you read it - portions of the grammar stuff still confuses me at the speed of a debate round, so please slow down)

7) miscellaneous thoughts on T-Framework

  • i spent... a lot of time last summer thinking about framework against k affs - im into it if done well - im not as into the procedural fairness version of it - get creative.
  • i do not think i have ever been convinced by the claim that judges have a jurisdictional constraint to only vote for topical affs - i do not foresee that changing [really, *any* jurisdictional constraint is unlikely to be compelling to me bc it is a claim that just kind of is incapable of a particularly good warrant]
  • I think the best framework shells will be written to pre-empt semantic I meets, and will do more than just define three words in the resolution - they will provide a model for what topical affs must defend, they will have standards level offense that has explanatory power for why debate has rules, what the role of the ballot is, etc. - I suppose in short, the claim behind a good framework shell is stronger than just “the resolution determines the division of aff and neg ground.”
  • your shell should define a word in the resolution besides just "Resolved:"
  • pretty close to 50/50 voting record in clash debates

8) miscellaneous thoughts on permutations:

  • i do not understand why the aff would not get perms in a method debate - i have never seen a compelling warrant and can't really think of one - thus, the default assumption on my part is that the aff does get perms and it is a fairly uphill battle to convince me otherwise
  • i will not grant you the perm if i am uncertain about the perm text bc the articulation between 1ar and 2ar was different
  • perm texts should be more than "perm do both" - *especially* in the 2ar
  • you should always flash or have written down perm texts readily available for both your opponents and the judges

9) miscellaneous thoughts on the Kritik

  • i am so deeply deeply unreceptive to and uninterested in this trend of explaining new identity categories with the same form and language of antiblackness literature. if you do not have a psychoanalytic warrant, dont claim you do! if you do not have evidence identifying a structural antagonism, i do not know why you are using that language! sigh.
  • kritiks i have spent a lot of time thinking about: deleuzean scholarship, queer theory (a lot of authors fall under this second category), borderlands
  • kritiks I judge a lot: afropessimism, settler colonialism
  • kritiks I don't really get: baudrillard [i am far far more receptive to baudrillard on the negative than on the affirmative, but i think it is a kinda uphill battle against identity affs in front of me]
  • i think that the best k affs will have a defense of why *debating the aff* is good - not just why *the aff* as an object is good - why is the process of reading it in an environment where the neg must respond to it good? (in other words, the affirmative should answer the question of why it is good to read non-t affs on the aff, not just in debate)
  • i really enjoy a good performance debate
    • i think that people often attempt to go for performative offense when all they have done is read cards that are formatted in a normative way, at a conventional speed, and where later speeches revert to a hyper technical style of debate - i am *very, very* skeptical of the level of offense that these performances access - to get access to a "we change debate" claim, you should... do something I haven't seen before. a performance debate should not be indistinguishable from a policy debate, and these days almost all of the ones i judge are. that is a real shame.
  • my threshold for "debate bad" is fairly high - my presumption is that there is a lot of value in debate, and that is why I have stuck around for so long.

10) miscellaneous thoughts (strategy):

  • Evidence quality is directly correlated to the amount of credibility I will grant an argument - if the card is underhighlighted, the claim is likely underwarranted. The 1ac/nc should have evidence of high quality, and the 1ar/2nr/2ar should have explanation of that evidence of a similarly high quality
  • if the 2nr is split that is rarely a great sign for speaker points - it also is liable to implicate your ability to win the debate - any 2nr with 2 shells is deeply deeply perplexing to me and a shell + a cp/da is even harder for me to understand!!!
  • i will not vote for a position i do not understand - this includes poorly explained kritiks, sloppy link scenarios on a disad, dense ncs that i probably wont get, and theory shells whose abuse story i can not adequately explain back to the debaters
  • I'll say clear/slow twice - speaks will be deducted after that
    • given how clear it is to me that no one could flow a debate round as it is delivered, i am cool w debaters tossing out a "slow" at their opponents if they can't flow them at top speed
  • clarity is important for high speaks but more important than how you sound is making strategic decisions in the 2AR/NR collapse in the 2nr/2ar
  • if any of your 1nc positions are too short to sustain a 6 minute 2nr on it i think that likely means the 1nc arg is underdeveloped. that issue should be resolved pre round, not by relying on 2nr cards/new args - i think this is particularly true of very short topicality arguments - a sentence or two of standards will likely not be enough to beat a 1ar thats just like "hold the line"
  • I love a robust debate on the case line by line - I do not love a case debate that is just three disads read on the case page, or that dumps generic case turns on the page with no signposting / interacting with cards from the ac - this is particularly true when you read all the generic turns and then do the line by line.

11) miscellaneous thoughts (rules of debate):

  • i can't think of any instances where a debate round would be better if it includes personal invectives against specific debaters/institutions/etc - i can think of many when it is worse for it.
  • on flashing: i think if you send a doc with a lot of analytics that you do not get through, you cannot just refuse to tell your opponent what analytics you did/did not read
  • i mark cards at the timer and stop flowing at the timer.
  • flex prep means asking questions during prep time - in no world does unused CX time become prep time
  • speech times dont change presumption how wild (and neither do other random theoretical warrants - i will presume negative if the negative defends the status quo, and affirmative if the negative does something to flip presumption (read: defends more change from the status quo)) - people should deploy presumption more against affirmatives that do not defend anything!
  • i generally do not believe you can merely "insert" a list of what the aff defends - I think this is functionally equivalent to not reading it.
  • my average speaks so far this year:
    • grapevine: 28.32
    • greenhill rr: 28.63
    • greenhill: 28.43
    • marks: 28.72
    • apple valley:28.3
    • glenbrooks + glenbrooks rr: 28.71
    • ut: 28.18
    • blake: 28.9
    • first semester average: 28.52
    • churchill: 28.38
    • emory: 28.75
    • colleyville: 28.23
    • stanford: 28.65
    • cal: 28.58
    • tfa state: 28.45
    • isidore rr: 28.45
    • e-toc: 28.48
    • second semester average: 28.50

11) on trigger warnings:

The onus is on debaters planning to read positions about potentially triggering issues to ask those in the room for permission to read the position. Spectators may leave, but judges and opponents do not have that option, meaning there is an expectation that if one of them objects to the triggering position, the position will not be read. If a debater does not adjust their strategy after being asked to, they will start the round with a 25. If you do not ask before round, but someone is triggered, speaks will similarly be docked. If there is no trigger warning but no one is triggered, the round will continue as normal.

The question for what necessitates a trigger warning is difficult to objectively delineate - if you have a reasonable suspicion someone could be negatively impacted by your position, ask before you read it - explicit narratives are probably a good starting point here. Trigger warnings are contentious in debate but I've seen students negatively impacted in rounds because they were not present and have engaged in conversations with other coaches that lead me to conclude something along these lines is necessary.

This (admittedly strangely) probably means I'm not the judge for "must read a trigger warning" shells.


This article is very good at articulating my views on the importance of trigger warnings
It is not up for debate that if someone was triggered on account of your failure to adequately make use of trigger warnings, you'll be punished through speaks and/or the ballot

Scott Phillips Paradigm

3 rounds

Scott Phillips- for email chains please use iblamebricker@gmail in policy, and ldemailchain@gmail.com for LD
Coach@ Harvard Westlake/Dartmouth

2018 Updates

My general philosophy is tech/line by line focused- I try to intervene as little as possible in terms of rejecting arguments/interpreting evidence. As long as an argument has a claim/warrant I can explain to your opponent in the RFD I will vote for it. If only one side tries to resolve an issue I will defer to that argument even if it seems illogical/wrong to me- i.e. if you drop "warming outweighs-timeframe" and have no competing impact calc its GG even though that arg is terrible. 90% of the time I'm being postrounded it is because a debater wanted me to intervene in some way on their behalf either because that's the trend/what some people do or because they personally thought an argument was bad.

Old Stuff
Rounds Judged on the topic- a lot
My Ideal affirmative- 2 well constructed advantages
My Ideal 1NC- 5 off and case

Cliffs Notes-Top 10 Things you should know

1. I vote on arguments commonly considered "bad" frequently because a team mishandles them, it is my belief belief that most bad arguments can be defeated by making a thumbs down motion, so if you fail to meet that minimum threshold I will be qualmless voting against you. The overarching principle of my judging is "least intervention"-Much like Harrison Ford in Ender's Game under no circumstances will I help you with bad arguments, I believe in self help.

2. I vote on kritiks a lot because the team answering them reads a lot of bad generic answers instead of making analytic arguments based on the specific arguments they have made in that debate. To clarify this sentence - what I mean is an analytic based on your 1AC- ie "tradable permits empirically don't cause commodification and extinction since we already have them for SO2". In general I think most debaters have no idea what they are saying when reading a K and that affirmatives SHOULD win about 80-90% of the debates in which the negative goes for one.

3. No plan affs- 100% of the time when I vote against you on framework its because the other team won theory was a trump card over issues like education/K impacts and you didn't advance theory offense for your interpretation. I end up voting for no plan args frequently because the neg collapses/has no idea what to do.

4. Theory needs to come back with a vengeance

A. Entirely plan inclusive counterplans- I have never heard a theory argument to defend them that passes the minimum threshold explained above. That being said, winning a solvency deficit against them is basically impossible.

B. More than 2 conditional counterplans is just you being a chazzer

C. K frameworks/roles of the ballot that stack the deck absurdly are worse than entirely plan inclusive counterplans

D. Reject argument not team produces terrible debates with very bad strategies. Voting on theory doesn't fix this, but it improves it substantially.

5. I believe you have a choice
A. Clearly articulate your ground/say as much in CX
B. Because your position is vague you are susceptible to a reduced credibility modifier that taints many of your arguments. Plan vagueness affects plan solvency, alternative vagueness affects.... etc.

6. IMO there are, in fact, risks of things. Debaters should be aware of this and make arguments about how I should resolve risk. The plan may be popular with 5 people and unpopular with 6, should I place more emphasis on the number of people or maybe are those 5 more important? Very few link cards establish such a clear threshold that you can say with certainty (when contested) yes definite link. (this point is largely irrelevant now as the tides of history have turned and no risk people have been successfully marginalized)

7. I will always defer to debater argument resolution if one side does it and the other doesn't-no matter how bad or illogical I think the argument is. This is to me, the most important part of debate.

8. I try really hard to flow well. Teams who willfully ignore line by line/structure - I will not do work for you to figure things out if the other team does line by line barring some argument why I should.

9. I often call for lots of evidence after a debate, most of the time this is just out of curiosity. When making my decision evidence is only a factor when it is a point of contest or someone has made an argument for why it should be a part of the decision. I am not a judge who reads every card from both sides and makes a decision based on the evidence.

10. Evidence quality in debate is in terminal decline. If you have good evidence and you make an issue of it in the debate (talk about quals, or recency for uniqueness) you will most likely crush.

Making a decision:
Everything is debatable but speech times: The role of the ballot, whether evidence or analytic arguments are more important, is it acceptable for the other team to read off their computers, who gets presumption and why etc. If neither team makes an argument on the issue, the following are my defaults:

1. Evidence and analytic arguments are treated equally- I will look at the total sum of explanation offered for an argument, from any form. So if a well explained analytical will beat a poorly written piece of evidence. If one teams reads qualifications and the other doesn't, the team who read quals will receive a slight bump in the level of quality I assess to their explanation (assuming all other factors are equal). Treating them as equal until told otherwise is my way of encouraging debate.

2. Presumption, in the case of a tie or too close to call resolution of an argument, goes to the team advocating the least change. I would use presumption in the instance where each team had an advocacy and an offensive argument, and each team dropped a terminal defense argument to their own offense such that the net risk in either direction of presented offense was exactly zero. In that instance the "hidden disad" of change makes sense as a decision making tool. In no other circumstance I can think of would I use presumption unless explicitly instructed by the debaters.

3. If an argument is unresolveable (or tough to resolve) I will use a "needs" test- the burden of explanation will be assessed to the team who NEEDS the argument to win. So for example
-on a CP permutation, if the neg would win the debate without the permutation, then the aff needs it to win- so the burden of explanation is on them
-for CP solvency, if the neg would lose if the CP did not solve the case, then the neg needs to win solvency- so the burden of explanation is on them

4. Concession= truth. If you drop epistemology comes first/is a side constraint, then it is. You can drop that framing issue and still win as long as you beat the link (that your epistemology is flawed), but you will not be allowed new answers to the impact. I use a reasonable person standard- if I was unaware that the 1NC presented a epistemology first argument (based on what was said in the 1NC, not my prior knowledge of the negative team), then if the aff says "they didn't say this, therefore our answers aren't new" I would allow it. But remember, everything is debatable. If the 2NR comes back and asserts it was clearly stated when they said XYZ, the aff has to disprove that.

5. The threshold for how good a response to an argument has to be is directly related to the quality of the initial argument. Saying "RANT" is sufficient to beat a lot of voting issues. If the other team answers RANT in their 2NC sever perms are a VI block, and thats all you say, you will be in trouble. Similarly, many counterplans (consult, recommendation, delay, lopez) are easily defeated by theory arguments but almost impossible to beat on substance. A well rounded debater should avoid trying to ice skate uphill.

6. I spend a lot of time on debate. Other than eating and playing video games, basically all of my time is spent cutting cards, coaching, writing and reading about debate. A lot of judges say "I'm not a very good flow". I'm a very good flow, I may even go as far as to say probably one of the best. All that being said, it is very possible that you could say a string of words, or utter a quote from an article I have written that fully conveys your argument to me, but would leave a less experienced/judge with a life with no idea what you were saying/what your argument was. I try to temper this fact by using a "reasonable person" standard for what makes a complete argument. I feel this is essential because otherwise any student who was in my lab, had emailed me a question, or had just read a lot of the 3NR would have an absurdly unfair advantage vs a similarly skilled student. So if I made a joke in lab about saying "purple monkey dishwasher" and that meaning "we do the whole plan minus the reps", so you say that in a debate and expect me to vote on it, I won't. Unless you are debating someone else from the lab who had equal access to that information. Similarly, even if I flowed an argument/got the jist of what you were saying, but feel that the other team is being reasonable when they say your argument was poorly explained/did not constitute an argument I will be open to that and you need to respond.

Speaker points:

1. I like fast debate. That being said, some people give fast debate a bad name. You can be fast only after you are clear and efficient. I should be able to understand every word you say, not just the tags. If you are stammering (or displaying other verbal missteps) excessively you are going faster than you are capable of going imo.

2. Points are determined by how well you perform your function, which depends on what speeches you give. A 1AC should be perfectly smooth because you can practice it as much as you want. A 2NC assembled on the fly vs a new case can be excused a few missteps on the other hand. I think auto giving the 1N low points because they could be replaced by a robot in most debates is a bit unfair- a blazing fast 1NC and devastating 1NR can be game changing. That being said, rarely do people perform up to that level.

3. Points are assessed relative to the field in which you are competing. The same speech can be a 29 at a local, but a 27.5 at St Marks.


What is your threshold for T?
The threshold is established by the other teams answers- if they make good defensive arguments and argue reasonability well than my threshold will be high. If they don't it will be very low.

What are you favorite kinds of debate?
Ones in which there are clash, since that is not really a thing anymore its usually impact turn debates- heg bad, de-dev, CO2 ag and warming good- loved to go for these when I debated and love to see them debated now. CO2 ag is the upper limit of stupid I think is acceptable.

Did you run kritiks when you debated?
Not as much as Bricker would want you to believe. My senior year in HS and my senior year in college I went for K's about 30% of the time, in the other years of my debate less than 5%.

Did you ever read a critical aff?
By today's standards no- I always had a plan, though sometimes the advantages were not nuke war.

You bash the politics disad a lot, will you still vote for it?
Yes, almost always because the affirmative never does anything of the things that highlight the problem with politics.

Are you OK with speed?
Yes, if anything I dislike slow debate. However this is a double edged sword- if you do fast debate terribly I will punish you for it.

Is Fem IR beatable?

What race do you play in SC2?
Usually random, but if I pick -zerg.

If you were in Game of Thrones, which house would you belong to?

Random Gripes

A note on jumping:

I want to see good debates. I'm not interested in charging you 10 seconds of prep to jump your speeches. If, however, you show total technical incompetence at jumping/severely delay the round your speaks will suffer. A good jump is like a good road map- its not hard, so get it over with quickly.

Standards for sharing should be reciprocal, and as such are established by the team willing to do the least. If Team A doesnt jump speeches as a policy that is fine by me, but then Team B is under no obligation to let Team A see any of their evidence. If Team A doesn't jump analytics, Team B doesn't have to etc.

A note on quality:

I generally believe that there are certain "norms" in debate- don't steal prep time, don't clip cards etc. These norms are not rules, and as such as a judge I don't think its my job to enforce them. In fact, I think it SHOULD be the burden of a good team to be on top of is the other team stealing prep, are they clipping cards etc. Encouraging students to take responsibility for this is the best model imo. However, there are debates where there is a huge mismatch in terms of the quality of the teams involved. I no longer think it reasonable to expect novices entered in their first varsity tournament to check to see if the Baker Award winning team they are debating is stealing prep. I also don't really care to argue with you about whether or not you are stealing prep. So my solution is that for all things that could be considered a violation of good sportsmanship I will severely jack your points if it is a debate where I subjectively decide the other team should not be responsible for checking you.SO

-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx in the finals of the TOC vs another excellent team I would expect the other team to catch you
-If I think you are clipping cards/stealing prep/misquoting evidence/lying in cx during a preset vs a vastly inferior team I will severely dock your speaker points

Demarcus Powell Paradigm

6 rounds

Feel free to email me with any questions about my paradigm. powelld@greenhill.org

Only send speech docs to for Dallas tournaments powelld@greenhill.org.For national circuit tournament please send speech docs to greenhilldocs.ld@gmail.com

ASK FOR POLICY PARADIGM - The paradigm below is designed mostly for LD. Some things change for me when evaluating the different events/styles of debate. Also when you ask please have specific questions. Saying "What's your paradigm?", will most likely result in me laughing at you and/or saying ask me a question.

About Me: I graduated from Crowley High School in 2013, where I debated LD for three years mostly on the TFA/TOC circuit. I ran everything from super stock traditional cases to plans/counterplans to skepticism, so you probably can't go wrong with whatever you want to run.I debated at The University of Texas at Dallas, in college policy debate for 3 years .Running any sort of Morally repugnant argument can hurt you, if you're not sure if your argument will qualify ask me before we begin and I'll let you know.

Speed: I can flow moderately fast speeds (7-8 on a scale of 10), but obviously I'll catch more and understand more if you're clear while spreading. I'll say "clear"/"slow" twice before I stop attempting to flow. If I stop typing and look up, or I'm looking confused, please slow down!! Also just because I can flow speed does not mean I like hearing plan texts and interpretations at full speed, these things should be at conversational speed.

Cross Examination: While in front of me cx is binding anything you say pertaining to intricacies in your case do matter. I don't care about flex prep but I will say that the same rules of regular cx do apply and if you do so your opponent will have the chance to do so. Also be civil to one another, I don't want to hear about your high school drama during cx if this happens you will lose speaker points.

Prep Time: I would prefer that we don't waste prep time or steal it. If you're using technology (i.e. a laptop, tablet, or anything else) I will expect you to use it almost perfectly. These things are not indicative of my decision on the round rather they are pet peeves of mine that I hate to see happen in the round. I hate to see rounds delayed because debaters don't know how to use the tools they have correctly.UPDATE. You need to flow. The excessive asking for new speech docs to be sent has gotten out of hand. If there are only minor changes or one or two marked cards those are things you should catch while flowing. I can understand if there are major changes (3 or more cards being marked or removed) or new cards being read but outside of this you will get no sympathy from me. If you are smart and actually read this just start exempting things. I don't look at the speech doc I flow. If you opponent doesn't catch it so be it. If this happens in rounds I am judging it will impact your speaker points. If you would like a new doc and the changes are not excessive per my definition you are free to use your own prep time, this will not effect your speaker points.

Theory: I don't mind theory debates - I think theory can be used as part of a strategy rather than just as a mechanism for checking abuse. However, this leniency comes with a caveat; I have a very low threshold for RVI's (i.e. they're easier to justify) and I-meet arguments, so starting theory and then throwing it away will be harder provided your opponent makes the RVI/I-meet arguments (if they don't, no problem). While reading your shell, please slow down for the interpretation and use numbering/lettering to distinguish between parts of the shell!

Also theory debates tend to get very messy very quickly, so I prefer that each interpretation be on a different flow. This is how I will flow them unless told to the otherwise. I am not in the business of doing work for the debaters so if you want to cross apply something say it. I wont just assume that because you answered in one place that the answer will cross applied in all necessary places, THAT IS YOUR JOB.

  • Meta-Theory: I think meta-thoery can be very effective in checking back abuses caused by the theory debate. With that being said though the role of the ballot should be very clear and well explained, what that means is just that I will try my hardest not to interject my thoughts into the round so long as you tell me exactly how your arguments function. Although I try not to intervene I will still use my brain in round and think about arguments especially ones like Meta-Theory. I believe there are different styles of theory debates that I may not be aware of or have previously used in the past, this does not mean I will reject them I would just like you to explain to me how these arguments function.

Speaks: I start at a 27 and go up (usually) or down depending on your strategy, clarity, selection of issues, signposting, etc. I very rarely will give a 30 in a round, however receiving a 30 from me is possible but only if 1) your reading, signposting, and roadmaps are perfect 2) if the arguments coming out of your case are fully developed and explained clearly 3) if your rebuttals are perfectly organized and use all of your time wisely 4) you do not run arguments that I believe take away from any of these 3 factors. I normally don't have a problem with "morally questionable" arguments because I think there's a difference between the advocacies debaters have or justify in-round and the ones they actually support. However, this will change if one debater wins that such positions should be rejected (micropol, etc). Lastly, I do not care if you sit or stand while you speak, if your speech is affected by your choice I will not be lenient if you struggle to stand and debate at the same time. UPDATE. If you spend a large chunk of time in your 1AC reading and under-view or spikes just know I do not like this and your speaks may be impacted. This is not a model of debate I want to endorse.

General Preferences: I need a framework for evaluating the round but it doesn't have to be a traditional value-criterion setup. You're not required to read an opposing framework (as the neg) as long as your offense links somewhere. I have no problem with severing out of cases (I think it should be done in the 1AR though). NIBs/pre standards are both fine, but both should be clearly labeled or I might not catch it. If you're going to run a laundry list of spikes please number them. My tolerance of just about any argument (e.g. extinction, NIBS, AFC) can be changed through theory.

Kritiks and Micropol: Although I do not run these arguments very often, I do know what good K debate looks like. That being said I often see Kritiks butchered in LD so run them with caution. Both should have an explicit role of the ballot argument (or link to the resolution). For K's that are using postmodern authors or confusing cards, go more slowly than you normally would if you want me to understand it and vote on it.

Extensions and Signposting: Extensions should be clear, and should include the warrant of the card (you don't have to reread that part of the card, just refresh it). I not a fan of "shadow extending," or extending arguments by just talking about them in round - please say "extend"!! Signposting is vital - I'll probably just stare at you with a weird look if I'm lost.

Some of the information above may relate to paper flowing, I've now gone paperless, but many of the same things still apply. If I stop typing for long stretches then I am probably a bit lost as to where you are on the flow.

Margaret Purcell Paradigm

6 rounds

Hi! My name is Margaret Purcell (she/her) and I attend the University of Oklahoma. I did debate on the local and national circuit for 4 years at Northland Christian School in Houston, Texas. I've also taught at GDS for a couple of summers. Please add me to the email chain before the round: margapurcell@gmail.com

General Philosophy:
I prefer a clear and substantive debate that is centered around the topic. Please weigh, make solid extensions (claim, warrant, impact), and tell me how arguments interact in the round. I am not that well versed in a lot of critical literature (Deleuze, Afropess, Bataille, etc), but if it is explained well enough in the round I will feel pretty comfortable voting on it. All this takes is explaining the link/impact story and being comparative with the world of the alt versus the world of the affirmative (or if its a critical aff just being clear about what you're doing). Framing is also super important on this note -- if I don't understand the framing/how arguments function in rounds, I will not vote on them. Every round should have some framework/standard/role of the ballot that it links back to, so make sure everything you go for links back. I love any kind of policy argument, so reading those is a safe bet around me. I'm a pretty expressive judge; if I look confused it's because I am confused. You'll be able to read me pretty well, so just pay attention & you should be good to go. My senior year I became a fan of soft-left affs (cap, colonialism, militarism, etc)! I think that they can be really fun and is something that I really like to see.

Speaker Points:
Be clear, make good arguments, and/or be strategic and you'll get good speaks. Be incomprehensible, read annoying positions filled with spikes and tricks, and/or be rude and you'll get bad speaks! Simple. I'll yell clear a lot, but if you still stay unclear I'll just stop flowing. I love it when people are perceptually dominant in round, but please don't use that as an excuse to be rude to the other debater! You can be loud, but please for the love of all things sacred, DO NOT yell for everything. If you're really passionate about something then you can be loud for it, but just not everything. Giving good, effective overviews is also a good way to see your speaks go up! Also, I appreciate it when people stand instead of sitting :)
TLDR: be nice, don't be stupid, don't read tricks, and be strategic!

I honestly really like theory debates and I think that they can be used to check back bad positions etc. But I also really hate bad theory debate! If you are running theory for the sake of running theory and it is a BS shell, I'm going to get annoyed (which will lower your speaks :) ). If there are multiple shells, weigh between them and tell me which is the most important in later speeches. Try to quantify the abuse in some way -- this makes t/theory args more compelling for me and more likely to vote for you if I think that the shell is somewhat frivolous.

Policy Arguments:
I'm super comfortable with any of these types of arguments & love it when people read these. Also, I love politics and am really excited for these in the 2019/20 season.

Honestly, I'm a couple of years out of debate now, so I'm not as great at listening to super fast debaters. That being said, I can still understand a lot, but maybe don't go top top speed in front of me. For the most part, as long as you are clear, I'll be able to flow you! (HINT: do this for every judge). I don't think that you have to go fast to win, but regardless of your speed be clear and you'll be fine in front of me. I'll yell slow/clear/loud as many times as I need to, but if you don't listen to me then I'll stop saying it and your speaks will suffer lol

Random extras:
- I like it when people are funny or sassy! (keep in mind: being sassy doesn't mean rude...)
- Don't read things that you don't understand, if you don't understand it I'll know. I love it when debaters know every single thing about their position.
- If you're debating someone that is not on your level (i.e. a senior debating a freshman) don't belittle them or poke fun at them for being less experienced! You were there once too, so take it down a notch.
- I'm not a fan to tricks or a lot of spikes, I'll listen to them, but not gonna lie I don't like them and am not the judge for that debate.
- PLEASE don't make the debate round unsafe for anyone inside of it!! (don't be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc). Try to be inclusive of everyone within the debate space and leave the debate community better than you found it.
- Don't make morally repugnant arguments!!! Including but not limited to: racism good, rape good, genocide good, etc.)

I'll close with a Hannah Montana quote: "Life's what you make it, so let's make it rock!"
Debate is what you make it, so make it rock and read positions that you really care about.

If you have any questions please let me know!

Karen Qi Paradigm

4 rounds

Not Submitted

Claudia Ribera Paradigm

6 rounds

Katy Taylor '17

Texas '21

Add me to the email chain: claudiaribera24@gmail.com

Cal/NDT/TOC 2020 conflict update: Coppell DR and Rutgers-Newark AH

I have 0 rounds on the space topic.

Previous Conflicts: Houston EP, Alief Kerr EG, Guyer CM, Woodlands MR, Cy-Fair TW and Katy Taylor.

Background: I am currently a junior at Texas and I have been coaching high school CX and LD for the past three years. I was coached by Elijah Smith (Emporia SW) in high school and he taught me everything I know about debate. In the past, I've had my fair share of reading and/or coaching teams going for policy arguments and/or critical arguments. I debated nationally in high school and have coached kids in both events to deep elims of tournaments, round robins, and accumulate bids to the TOC.

Overall thoughts: I believe it's important to be consistent on explicit labeling, generating offense, and extending some sort of impact framing because this is what ultimately frames my ballot. Debate is place for you to do you so don’t choose your strategy based on what I read during my career because I prefer you to debate what you enjoy reading. I will make my decisions on what was presented to me in a debate and what was on my flow. I am unlikely to decide debates based on my personal feelings about content/style of argument than the quality of execution and in-round performance. It is up to the debaters to present and endorse whichever model of debate they want to invest in i.e. the USFG, grassroots movement, etc. Have fun and best of luck!

Some people who I agree with and/or have been heavily influenced by in debate: Dr. Shanara Reid-Brinkley, Daryl Burch, Amber Kelsie, Devane Murphy, Taylor Brough, Ignacio Evans, Greg Zoda, Jon Sharp, Michael Harrington, and Chris Randall.


Case is incredibly underutilized and should be an essential part to every negative strategy. You need to have some sort of mechanism that generates offense/defense for you.

Policy vs. Policy

While I've had experience reading policy arguments during my high school career, I don't really judge these debates as often as I would like during the year. This means prioritize the line by line, generate offense/defense, have comparative impact analysis, and be very clear in the 2NR/2AR on what my ballot should evaluate and prioritize first on the impact level debate.

Policy affs vs. K

I am most familiar with these types of debates. With that being said, I think the affirmative needs to prioritize framing i.e. the consequences of the plan under a util framework. There needs to be contestations between the aff framing versus the K's power of theory in order to disprove it, not desirable, or incoherent and why your impacts under the plan come first. Point of the flaws of the kritiks alternative and make solvency deficits. Aff teams need to answer the link arguments, read link defense, make perms and provide reasons/examples of why the plan is preferable/resolve material conditions. Use cross-x to clarify jargon and get the other team to make concessions about their criticism.


CP(s) need to have a clear plan text and have an external net benefit, otherwise I'm inclined to believe there is no reason why the cp would be better than the affirmative. There needs to be clear textual/function competition with the Aff or else the permutation becomes an easy way for me to vote. Same with most arguments, the more specific the better. The 2NR should generally be the counterplan with a DA/Case argument to supplement the net benefit. The 1AR + 2AR needs to have some offense against the counterplan because a purely defensive strategy makes it very hard to beat the counterplan. I enjoy an advantage counterplan/impact turn strategy when it’s applicable. I don't care for condo bad/good debate unless 3 or more cps are conditional.


Please have good evidence and read specific DAs. If you have good internal link and turns case analysis, your speaker points will be higher. For the aff, I think evidence comparison/callouts coupled with tricky strategies like impact turns or internal link turns helps you win these debates.


I don't really have a threshold on these arguments, but lean towards competing interps over reasonability unless told otherwise.


Comparative analysis between pieces of interpretation evidence wins and loses these debates – as you can probably tell, I err towards competing interpretations in these debates, but I can be convinced that reasonability is a better metric for interpretations, not for an aff. Having well-explained internal links to your limits/ground offense in the 2NR/2AR makes these debates much easier to decide, as opposed to a floating claims without warranted analysis. A caselist is required. I will not vote on for an RVI on T.


I like framework debates a lot more when they're developed in the 1NC/block, as opposed to being super blippy in constructives and then the entire 2NR. I lean more to competing interps than reasonability and believe that the neg should make sure to fully flesh out the link and internal link to your impact and actually make offensive arguments against fairness/education voters. Make strategic TVAs. Aff teams need to answer TVA well, not just say it "won't solve". Framework is about the model of debate the aff justifies, it’s not an argument why K affs are bad or the aff team are cheaters. If you’re going for framework as a way to exclude entire critical lit bases/structural inequalities/content areas from debate then we are not going to get along. I am persuaded by standards like limits or clash over fairness being an intrinsic good/better impact.

K affs

There are couple things you need to do to win: you need to explain the method of your aff, the nuanced framing of the aff, and the impacts that you claim to solve. You should have some sort of an advocacy statement or a role of the ballot for me to evaluate your impacts because this indicates how it links into your fw of the aff. If you’re going to read high theory affs, explain because all I hear is buzzwords that these authors use. Don’t assume I am an expert in this type of literature because I am not and I just have a basic understanding of it. If you don’t do any of these things, I have the right to vote neg on presumption.

K vs. K

I am always interested with these debates, but sometimes there are some missing components on both sides that make the debate harder to be resolved. I think presumption is underutilized by the neg and I think permutations are allowed in a methods debate. However, it is up to the teams in front of me to do this. There needs to be an explanation how your theory of power operates, why it can preclude your opponent’s, and how your method or approach is preferable and how you “resolve” X issues. Your rebuttals should include impact comparison, framing, link defense/offense, permutation(s), and solvency deficits.

K affs vs. T-Framework

You need a counter interp or counter model of debate and what debate looks like under this model, and then go for your impact turns or disads as net benefits to this. Going for only the net benefits/offense without explaining what your interpretation of what debate should look like will be difficult. The 2AC strategy of saying as many ‘disads’ to framework as possible without explaining or warranting any of them out is likely not going to be successful. Leveraging your aff as an impact turn to framework is always good. The more effectively voting aff can resolve the impact turn the easier it will be to get my ballot.

K vs. Policy affs

I went for the K in the almost every 2NR my senior year. I have been exposed to many different types of scholarship, but I am most familiar with structural criticisms (afropessimism and set col), psychoanalysis, capitalism, and anti-humanism kritiks. This form of debate is what I am most comfortable evaluating. However, it is important to note I have a reasonable threshold for each debater's explanation of whatever theory they present within the round, extensions of links, and impact framing. I need to understand what you are saying in order for me to vote for your criticism. You should have specific links to affirmatives because without it you will probably lose to "these are links to the squo" unless the other team doesn't answer it well. Link debate is a place where you can make strategic turns case/impact analysis. Make sure you have good impact comparison and weighing mechanisms and always have an external impact. The alt debate seems to be one of the most overlooked parts of the K and is usually never explained well enough. This means always explain the alt thoroughly and how it interacts with the aff. This is important time that the 2NR needs to dedicate time allocation for if you go for the alternative. If you choose not to go for the alternative and go for presumption, make sure you are actually winning an impact framing claim.

Speaker points

In order for you to get good speaks, I must understand what you are saying so clarity is key! I will yell clear three times before I stop flowing. You should make sure you have good word economy in your speeches, are extending fully fleshed out arguments in your speeches (e.g. claim, warrant, impact), and using your cross-x time effectively.

Edward Sayre Paradigm

3 rounds

I am a parent judge with limited experience on the national circuit. I did CX in high school and college in the 90s. I have experience with policy style argumentation, so that is probably your best route. I will evaluate all arguments but will have a hard time understanding you if you use an excessive amount of buzzwords without explaining your arguments. For a broader explanation of the abuse of buzzwords, read this article. I usually have trouble hearing people at their top speeds. If you go a bit slower, it will help a lot. You should be clear.

John Scoggin Paradigm

6 rounds

I would like to be on the email chain, my email is jpscoggin at gmail.com

I am the coach of Loyola High School in Los Angeles. I also own and operate Premier Debate along with Bob Overing. I coach Nevin Gera. I prefer a nuanced util debate to anything else.


In general, I am not a fan of frivolous theory or non-topical Ks.

High speaker points are awarded for exceptional creativity and margin of victory.

I am fine with speed as long as it is comprehensible.


If you are not comfortable disclosing to your opponent at the flip or after pairings are released it is likely in your best interest to strike me. If the tournament has a rule about when that should occur I will defer to that, if not 10 minutes after the pairing is released seems reasonable to me.

Compiling is prep. Prep ends when the email is sent or the flash drive is removed from your computer.

Arun Sharma Paradigm

3 rounds


People I'm coaching @ the 2017-2018 ToC: TAMS MX, Katy Taylor AW, Klein Oak AG, Dulles MK, Cypress Woods CJ. Please do your conflicts accordingly.

If you don't want to see a bunch of GIF's here's a few quick things

1: Do whatever you want to do. Be in your zone. I don't care what your style is- the one thing I want is honesty. EX: I don't care if you have 200 skep triggers, but if your opponent asks do you have any skep triggers just say yes. That'll also make me more likely to vote on what you want me to vote on.

2: Evidence ethics claims are incredibly serious- seeing debaters tack them onto things like brackets, same font, etc is a problem. Don't bring up an evidence ethics challenge unless you are for sure SOME notion of evidence ethics has happened- I will not auto down these positions anymore- but I will be close to 100% okay with the RVI. NOTE: This means if you read something like brackets theory but only with a FAIRNESS voter then my normal default applies- I only get super ANGERY if there's an evidence ethics claim attached to it.

3: First 3 Last 3 Disclosure with contact information and summary of analytics is my favorite style of disclosing- as long as you're good at sending articles to people if they need them, you'll most likely never lose the disclosure debate in front of me- NOTE This means if you're a full text or open source person- look elsewhere. I won't outright ignore these arguments but I won't want to vote on them.

4: Saying the aff gets to weigh case makes no sense if it's a method debate- I don't care if it's most fair- this argument would conflate layers and make adjudication insanely messy. I won't ignore it- I'll just be confused

5: Ethical modesty is bad- I don't know what it means and I think it would involve judge intervention.

6: Don't presume I know what your fancy cool word is- err on the side of over explanation as opposed to under.

7: Embedded clash is very important to me and I use it in a lot of rounds- this means if i think logically an argument on one part of the flow would interact with another argument somewhere else- I will compare the two if it helps me make my decision.

Omer Siddiqui Paradigm

3 rounds

I was more of a traditional PF debater, so I'm not as well-versed or receptive to progressive arguments, so avoid abusive arguments and complicated theory. That being said, I'm fine with most arguments as long as you provide clear and reliable evidence, explanations, and impacts. Just remember this is PF, not LD or CX. I will vote strictly on the flow, so be sure to signpost and make your arguments/extensions very clear. Provide me with a weighing mechanism and some parameters as to how I should evaluate the round. If you impact your arguments but don't tell me how to evaluate them or why they matter more than your opponents arguments, it's hard to make a cohesive case for your side. Line-by-line attacks are super helpful and encouraged. As for speaking, a little speed is fine, but absolutely no spreading. Annunciation and clarity are really important, as it's hard to evaluate your side if I can't understand what you're saying.

John Sims Paradigm

6 rounds

Yes, I want to be on the email chain. jmsimsrox@gmail.com

Tl;dr I'm fine with really any argument you want to read as long as it links to and is weighed in relation to some evaluative mechanism. I am pretty convinced that T/theory should always be an issue of reasonability (I obviously think that some debates are better when there is a clear counter-interp that offense is linked back to); if you trust me to compare and weigh offense on substantive issues in the debate, I can't figure out why you wouldn't also trust me to make the same judgments on T/theory debates (unless you're just making frivolous/bad T/theory args). I enjoy any debate that you think you can execute well (yeah this applies to your K/counter-plan/non-T aff; I'll listen to it). I base speaker points on whether or not I think that you are making strategic choices that might lead to me voting for you (extending unnecessary args instead of prioritizing things that contribute to your ballot story, dropping critical arguments that either are necessary for your position or that majorly help your opponent, failing to weigh arguments in relation to each other/the standard would be some general examples of things that would cause you to lose speaker points if I am judging). Beyond those issues, I think that debate should function as a safe space for anyone involved; any effort to undermine the safety (or perceived safety) of others in the activity will upset me greatly and result in anything from a pretty severe loss of speaker points to losing the round depending on the severity of the harm done. So, be nice (or at least respectful) and do you!

Breann Smith Paradigm

3 rounds

Date Last Reviewed: 7/25/18
Name: Breann Smith [she/they]
Schools: LCS ’16, Austin College ‘20
Conflicts: Guyer High School

Debate Background: I did 4 years of LD at LCS in Argyle, TX. I competed on the local, state, and national circuits, and was competitive at each level. Notable achievements include qualifying to the TOC my senior year by reaching semis at Isidore Newman and winning Holy Cross, qualifying to NSDA Nationals in LD both junior and senior years, and accumulating 85 career TFA state points. I am currently an LD assistant coach for Guyer HS and compete in mock trial at Austin College.

Disclaimer: You can change any of the following preferences in round. You just have to tell me how you want me to evaluate the round, and give me a warrant as to why it should be that way.

Paradigm Proper:
At the end of the round, this is my thought process:

First I evaluate who won the framework debate. I don’t vote here, but it does determine what offense I can look to in the round. I don’t care if you win Turn #5 to their contention level if it doesn’t have an impact back to the winning framework. From there I look at voters/crystallization to see who is winning the “best” issues in the round, i.e. who links to the winning framework and why the way they link matters more. (“Best”=however you decide to weigh. In the absence of weighing I default util in the sense that I vote for the biggest impact under the winning framework.)

Specific Issues

Important Misc. Stuff

  • Please provide a trigger warning if you plan on dealing with sensitive topics. I do have two triggers that I would rather not have to deal with in round unprepared.
  • Email chains>flashing>Viewing laptop>Passing Pages
  • Speed is fine (plz be clear)
  • I will say "clear" and "loud" as many times as it takes, although I will get irritated after two times
  • Flex prep is okay if both parties are cool with it
  • I don’t count compiling docs or flashing/emailing as prep until it gets ridiculous (honestly it shouldn’t take over :20)
  • Your opponent needs to have access to anything you read if they ask
  • You can be perceptually dominant, but don’t be an asshole. UPDATE: I thought I was okay with this, but I'm a pretty chill person so it kinda irks me when people have no chill. That being said, you can still go for your perceptually dominant strat if that's your thing though.
  • Please don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, anthropocentric, etc. That's the kind of stuff that will get you dropped.
  • Just something I've noticed, you should ALWAYS ask the status of the offs if you're affirming and the neg runs multiple offs. I don't know why people don't seem to do that anymore.

Flowing: I flow on paper (most of the time), and can catch quite a lot, but here are some preferences that would make everyone’s life easier:

  • Slow down a bit for tags and especially author names (I suck at getting author names)
  • Slow down for or repeat plan/counterplan texts and theory/T interpretations
  • If you plan on reading T or theory, please tell me so I can flow that part on my computer. It’s easier for me to get theory down typing for some reason.

Extensions: I have a pretty low threshold on what counts as an extension, especially for the 1 and 2ARs. For me to consider something “Extended” at the end of the round, it needs to:
1) Be extended in every rebuttal with the word “extend” in there somewhere
2) Have a claim and a warrant

Signposting: Keep in mind that I suck at getting author names unless you slow down for them, so if you say “off Smith 3” I’ll probably be confused until you explain what the arg is. It is significantly easier for me if you say “off contention one”/ “Off turn #2”/ “Off <insert tag here>”. (Seriously though, this was a problem at a couple of the tournaments I've been to).

Speed/Speaker Points
I will mainly use three scales for speaker points [I do use tenths of a point].For novices I will generally use the "persuaders" scale.
1) For “Persuaders”
30 – You persuaded me with your points wonderfully, had excellent presentation skills, and used one or two vocal fillers.
29 – You were pretty persuasive, had great presentation skills, and had four or five vocal fillers.
28 – You were persuasive for the most part, but could use a bit of work, presentation skills were a bit messy, and used a few too many vocal fillers.
27 – You weren’t very persuasive, had decent presentation skills, and you wasted minutes of your speeches with fillers.
26 or below – I wasn’t persuaded at all, you were all over the place with no rhyme or reason, and I had to start tallying your vocal fillers.

2) For “Spreaders”
30 – You were very clear, I knew exactly were you were on the flow, and you gave great line by line as well as overview analysis of the round
29 – You were pretty clear, I knew where you were the majority of the time, and you gave great line by line OR overview style analysis of the round
28 – You were mostly clear, I could *kind of* tell where you were, and you gave good line by line or overview analysis of the round
27 – You weren’t clear most of the time, you skipped around the flow a lot, and you didn’t really give good analysis of the round
26 or below – I couldn’t understand what you were saying, I had no idea where you were on the flow, and you gave little to no analysis of the round.

3) For Anyone at a bid tournament [Adjusted based on the pool]
30 – I expect you to win the tournament or be in finals
29.5 – You should be in late out rounds
29 – You should break
28.5 – You could be on the bubble
28 – You could have a winning record
27.5 – You’ll probably break even
27 – You’ll probably have a losing record
26 – It was a rough time

I really don’t care what you do in terms of framework; you just have to have one that you can weigh back to. I am familiar with meta-ethics, dense philosophy, kritikal framing, and util. I know how burden structures work, but I never ran any myself.

Different Styles/ Types of Debate
I’m indifferent to whatever style of case you want to run, whether it’s traditional, kritikal, performance, policy style, or tricky. You do you. I’d rather see you excel in a great tricks debate than see you have a shitty kritik debate because that’s what you think I like more.

However, there is a catch: I really don’t like affs that aren’t topical. Nine times out of ten there will be a topical version of your aff, you’re just deliberately choosing to avoid it. That being said, I won't vote you down if you run an untopical case, but I certainly won’t be very happy.


So I initially didn't think I was going to add a section on perms, but I think it could prove helpful

  • If you just say "Perm: Do both," then explain why the CP/Alt isn't mutually exclusive, then that is a test of competition. If you win the perm, the CP/Alt isn't competitive and I have to look elsewhere on the flow.
  • If you say "Perm: Do both" then explain why it isnt' mutially exclusive and then have net benefits to that perm, it becomes an advocacy I can vote on because then I have reasons why actively doing the perm would be a good thing.


The only theory shell I will never vote on is disclosure theory. I do think that you should disclose, and I did my entire senior year even though I was functionally a lone wolf, however I don’t think people should be voted down for not doing it if it’s not explicitly required by the tournament. I don’t care if you’re winning your shell and they completely drop it, I won’t vote on it. This doesn’t mean I’ll down you for running it; I’ll just grumpily look elsewhere on the flow.

There are two other theory shells that I have a very high violation threshold for to consider:

  • Brackets Theory: For me to vote on brackets theory, you have to show that they have significantly altered the meaning or intention of the card. I won’t vote on brackets theory if all they do is change for grammar or offensive language.
  • Wifi Theory: For me to vote on wifi theory, you have to prove that the opponent was actively using the Internet to communicate with outside persons or to cut evidence/look something up during round. I will not vote on wifi theory if they weren’t using it for anything, but they just forgot to turn it off.

Other Theory notes:

  • I'm actually a fan of well-executed meta theory. I think it's very strategic.
  • A shell needs to have a violation for me to evaluate it.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at c.bre.smith@gmail.com or message me on Facebook

Preston Stolte Paradigm

6 rounds

Affiliation: Winston Churchill HS
Years Judging: 10

if I have judged you in the past/if I judge you, feel free to fill out this form and I will post responses at the bottom.


TLDR version: no strong ideological debate dispositions, link/perm analysis is good, tech > truth, affs should probably be topical/in the direction of the topic but I'm less convinced of the need for instrumental defense of the USFG. Everything below is insight into how I view/adjudicate debates, its questionably useful and certainly malleable.

***prep time stops when the email is sent, too many teams steal prep while 'saving the doc'***

**if you debate for a school that floods the judge pool with parent judging at national tournaments, you can effectively ignore this paradigm and should expect me to judge you as a parent judge would. if you have to ask does this apply to you/your school, it probably does**

*If you are an LD debater, this should give you a good idea of how to debate in front of me. Feel free to ask more specific questions before the round.*

Long version

Do what you do well: I have no preference to any sort of specific types of arguments these days. Sure, some debates I may find more interesting than others, but honestly the most interesting rounds to judge are ones where teams are good at what they do and they strategically execute a well planned strategy.

This being said, if I am judging you in LD, here are a few things I've realized about myself that you should know: I find myself seeing most 'traditional/phil' strategies to be lacking in offense and largely ill explained; I think bad theory arguments are wildly unpersuasive and generally default to drop the arg; I think 'spikes' (especially when undisclosed) are not arguments and generally give the neg decent amount of leeway to make responses once they actually become warranted arguments.

-Truth v Tech: I find myself more frequently deciding close debates based on questions of truth/solid evidence rather than purely technical skills. This also bleeds into policy v policy debates, as I get older I find myself much more willing to vote on probability/link analysis than magnitude/timeframe; taking claims of "policy discussions good" seriously also means we need to give probability of impacts/solvency more weight.

-Evidence v Spin: Ultimately good evidence trumps good spin. I will accept a debater’s spin until it is contested by the opposing team. I often find this to be the biggest issue with with politics, internal link, and permutation evidence for kritiks.

-Speed vs Clarity: I don't flow off the speech document, I don't even open them until either after the debate or if a particular piece of evidence is called into question. If I don't hear it/can't figure out the argument from the text of your cards, it probably won't make it to my flow. If I say clear it is because I cannot hear/flow you and you probably want me to have your arguments, if you hear me say clear and your opponent doesnt get more clear, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't be able to ask me before CX what arguments I did/did not get on my flow because I don't see why you should have to answer arguments that I didn't even have flowed. this seems to be a problem that is especially true in LD.

-Permutation/Link Analysis: this is becoming an increasingly important issue that I am noticing with kritik debates. I find that permutations that lack any discussion of what the world of the permutation would mean to be incredibly unpersuasive and you will have trouble winning a permutation unless the negative just concedes the perm. Reading a slew of permutations with no explanation as the debate progresses leaves the door wide open for the negative to justify strategic cross applications and the grouping of permutations since said grouping will still probably contain more analysis than the 1AR/2AR.

Speaker points: average = 27.5, I generally adjust relative to the pool when considering how I rank speakers.
-Things that will earn you speaker points: being organized, confidence, well-placed humor, politeness, well executed strategies/arguments.
-Things that will lose you speaker points: arrogance, rudeness, humor at the expense of your opponent, stealing prep, pointless cross examination, running things you don’t understand/just reading blocks

Prep time stops when the email is sent

Survey Results:

If you had to give advice to a team who had this judge in the back of the room, what would you tell them?

--Do whatever you’re good at, he’ll be down for it.

--Read your normal arguments, but make sure you explain them correctly and are able to connect your arguments to the 2nr/2ar explanation.

--read what you feel comfortable explaining and is most strategic in your eyes

On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the least similar and 10 being the most similar, rate how you thought the round went down matched up to this judge's assessment of the round based on the RFD




What was the quality of this judge's RFD?




What was the quality of this judge's post-round comments?




What areas of scholarship do you feel this judge is familiar with?

--I feel like he has a wide base of knowledge over a broad range of literature, which helps a lot in both Policy v Policy debates and Policy v K debates.

--Topic specific literature of policy affs/DA's and mostly familiar with the literature in the round

--Policy and Kritik

What areas of scholarship do you feel this judge is unfamiliar with?

--Maybe the pomo bs people have are reading (baudrillard, bataille, etc.)

--This was only for a specific post-round question, but the judge wasn't 100% sure about ontology cards to read when aff vs settler colonialism.

--LD Moral Frameworks/LD Analytic Philosophy debates

Do you have any additional comments?

--Very thorough and helpful RFD!


--Make sure to be explicit in not allowing judge intervention, ie "dont kick this for them"

Christopher Stowe Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Carlos Taylor Paradigm

3 rounds


Have the email chain setup. There is no reason you should be fumbling with an email chain 10 minutes past start time. It makes me seem late(big image guy) and leads to tab (understandably) sending runners to annoy me...and that annoys me. Put differently: Even if Im late, have the email chain set up and ready to send upon my arrival or speaks will decline by no LESS than 2 whole points...try me! {npiredebate at G mail}

TOC additions:

Paradigmatic additions: FWK/T and Ks are arguments that have been in debate for a while now...get over it and win the debate. If you expect a judge to stop the round after a debater reads a Shapiro or Patterson card...I'm not the judge for you and will probably laugh at you.


I go in to rounds as a blank slate, you should tell me how you want arguments treated/used("filter the debate through permutation etc.) This makes framing HUGE

I love a good T vs policy aff debate

I'm capitalist but think the Cap K is one of the most underrated and strategic positions.]

About me: Existentialist and Capitalist majoring in Finance, Intl Business and Arabic.

Don't be lay. Don't be boring. Don't be anti-semitic. Facts>Feelings. Tech>Truth (default).

"The infants in the graveyard smile widely without teeth, Carefully sewn in columns and rows, rotting little seeds...Raking tears from upturned eyes"

Chris Theis Paradigm

3 rounds

THIS IS SUPER OLD. HAVE NOT UPDATED SINCE ~2012. Please ask if you have questions.

I'm meaning to update soon...

Affiliation: Apple Valley High School (MN)

Email: ctheis09@gmail.com

Relevant Arguments

I default to viewing the resolution as a normative question, not a question of truth. However, that does not mean that what truth is necessarily irrelevant to normative decision making. With a well-developed justification, I will vote on most truth testing arguments. I prefer that debaters have a clear and specific advocacy. Each side needs to defend a world in order to be able to generate uniqueness for offensive arguments. Thus, both debaters need to be able to articulate a world they are defending in a more coherent way than "not x."

I am also generally opposed to voting on defense. In most rounds, I find that the concept of defense being decisive just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. That means that I will be very reluctant to vote on presumption or permissibility arguments that rely on defense to function. It is probably a waste of your time to read presumption arguments in front of me at all. While I can come up with extreme hypothetical situations in which I might vote on presumption, it has never happened.


I am not opposed to theory debates, I used to enjoy them, but I think the sheer volume of awful theory debates I have judged over the past view years has made my threshold for taking them seriously much higher than it used to be. I will still be happy to vote for a good and well-developed argument.

The following are some of my default assumptions on theory:

I default to evaluating theory as an issue of "competing interpretations".

I default to "dropping the arguments" not "dropping the debater."

I default to not viewing theory as an RVI.

I default to evaluating Topicality before other theory arguments.

I default to thinking that the status of a counterplan or K alt is dispositional unless specified otherwise. That does not mean I presume that conditionality is illegitimate, just that if neither debater makes arguments about the status I will assume it is dispositional because I believe that best models the way most other arguments are treated, you must defend arguments that are turned.

I default to thinking that fairness and education are important and that whether debate is "good" or not matters. This is a bias that you will almost certainly not be able to overcome.

All of these assumptions can be changed by debaters (except probably the last one) who make good arguments against them in round. I prefer that any arguments about my default assumptions be explained in context of the specific arguments that are at issue in the theory debate and not just be about those assumptions generally. For example, do not argue "you need to drop the debater to discourage bad debate practices." Do argue, " "you need to drop the debater because X argument has Y effect which makes dropping them the best solution."

I think that theory debates are messy because debaters are even worse at weighing theory arguments than they are at weighing most other arguments. The reason for that is that while there is a framework debate that determines the relevance of post-fiat arguments, debaters put no effort into developing what it means to be fair or educational in a way that allows for effective weighing later in the round. If you want me to buy your theory argument spend time developing a concrete conception of what it means to be fair or educational in the context of debate and use it to filter and weigh impacts.

I dislike the strategy that involves including an argument that demands debaters run interps by their opponent. It is just an excuse to change your advocacy after the fact because you are not ready to defend it. As long as debaters establish clear links in CX that is enough for me.


I will use the framework that is justified by the debaters in the round. I do not view the value/criterion as necessary. In fact, I think in many cases the value/criterion model actually makes the debate more convoluted and can create irrational decisions. As a result, I am very open to alternative frameworks. As a general rule I do not enjoy rounds in which the majority of the time is spent on framework. Battling Util/Deont dumps are frustrating and boring to judge. I want to hear a debate ABOUT THE TOPIC. Framework should explain why topical arguments are important they should not become the entire debate unless you are looking for terrible speaks.


I think that credible arguments must be supported by evidence. In general, I will prefer arguments supported by evidence to analytic arguments. That is because in most cases I feel that experts writing on the topic are probably more qualified that a 17-year-old high school student. This is especially true of empirical arguments.


I assign speaks based on a combination of stagey and how much I enjoyed or was annoyed by the round. Debates that I enjoy involve debate about the topic, debaters who I can understand, debaters who are smart and engaging, debaters who are pleasant to each other.

30: Amazing. I think you are debating your positions better than anyone else at the tournament could. You could not only win this tournament but would have a chance to win any tournament in which you debated at the level you did in this round.
29: Fantastic. Very few people could do a better job at debating your position. You have a good shot at making it to late outrounds.
28: Good. You did what you had to do and did not have very many large mistakes. You should clear.
27: All right. You did an adequate job. You will be close to clearing but it could go either way.
26: Below Average. You should not clear.
25: Bad: You need major improvements in pretty much every aspect of debate. Your record should be below .500.
<25: Offensive or offensively bad.

Arguments that I will not vote for

An argument that has no normative implications, except in situations where the debater develops and wins an argument that changes my default assumptions.

A strategy that attempts to wash the debate on purpose in order to trigger permissibility/presumption.

A contingent framework/advocacy that is "triggered" in a later speech.

Arguments/Practices I will immediately drop you for

Any argument that concludes that every action is permissible

Any argument that creates a hostile environment for either myself, the other debater, or anyone who is watching the debate.

Any argument that explicitly argues that something that we all agree is awful (genocide, rape, etc) is actually a good thing. This could either be an advocacy or a framework THAT THE DEBATER AGREES says horrible things are ok. If the other debater wins an argument that your framework justifies something horrible, but it is contested, then it may count as a reason to not accept your framework, but I will not drop you for it.

Aaron Timmons Paradigm

4 rounds

Aaron Timmons

Director of Debate – Greenhill School

Updated – April 2019

Please put me on the email chain – timmonsa@greenhill.org

New for the TOC 2019 – I am the Director of the Global Debate Symposium and for this summer I have hired Spencer Paul and Vishan Chaudhary from Harvard Westlake, and Ishan Bhatt from St. Andrews of the list of competitors that will be in the 2019 TOC competing in Lincoln Douglas.

Lincoln - Douglas Philosophy

I have coached debate, and been a classroom teacher, for a long time. I feel that when done well, with agreed upon “rules of engagement”, there is not a better activity to provide a training ground for young people. That said, at some point, most of the adults have left the building as it relates to national circuit Lincoln Douglas debate. I find many of the things that are now commonplace, are antithetical to the things that I love about debate. In fact, many of these practices are not educational, but also make the activity unsustainable in any meaningful way to sell to administrators, parents, new coaches, or even a new generation of debaters.

I have taken some time to reflect on how I judge debates, and have revised my paradigm. It would behoove you to read it if I have the potential to judge you. If you do not like what you read, strike me.

Debate rounds, and subsequently debate tournaments, are extensions of the classroom. While we all learn from each other, my role is parallel to that of an instructor. I will evaluate your performance. At this stage in my career, I have no interest in being the “most preferred” judge in the pool. In fact, what I see is that many in the Lincoln Douglas community (as opposed to policy debate); make preferences more based on personal relationships, than the relative experience/paradigmatic perspective of the critic. I see my role as to set a fair, but stringent, set of expectations for the students I am judging. At times, this means advancing expectations that I feel are best for the students and, at times, the broader community as well. At this point, I am also not shy to share those thoughts and expectations. I see myself as a critic of argument if I had to pigeonhole myself with a paradigmatic label. Unlike many claim to be, I am not a blank slate. If I see behaviors or practices that create a bad, unfair, or hostile environment for the extension of the classroom that is the debate round, I will intervene. I WILL do my best to be an objective evaluator of your argument but the idea that my social location is not a relevant consideration of how I view/decode arguments is just not true (nor do I personally think it is true for anyone).

Below please find a few thoughts as to how I evaluate debates.

1. Speed is not a problem. In most of the Lincoln Douglas I judge, clarity IS a problem. I judge high level policy debates quite a bit and while they are quiet fast, I don’t see clarity as much of an issue with the top teams. Please understand that unstructured paragraphs that are slurred together does not allow the pen time necessary to write things down in the detail you think it might. I reserve the right to yell “clearer” once or twice. Style and substance are fundamentally inseparable.

2. I feel theory is debated far too much in Lincoln – Douglas, and is debated poorly. I am strongly opposed to that practice. My preference is NOT to hear a bad theory debate. I believe the negative does get some “flex”, that said it can’t be unlimited. The idea of reading a “counter shell” against a theory argument is one of the silliest practices I see in contemporary debate. Before the proliferation of theory in Lincoln Douglas I thought RVI’s were silly. They have a place in contemporary LD. I DO NOT think jettisoning the case and going all in on the RVI should be the A strategy in the 1ar. While I like competing interpretations, in the end, I feel even that view is filtered through my perspective of reason/what is reasonable/the best lens for debate. Some intervention is inevitable as we judge.

3. Evidence is important. In my opinion debates/comparisons about the qualifications of authors on competing issues (particularly empirical ones), in addition to a comparison of competing warrants in the evidence, is important. Do you this and not only will your points improve, I am likely to prefer your argument if the comparison is done well. All students should have full cites for materials.

4. I am not a “blank state”. I also feel my role as a judge is to serve a duel function of rendering a decision, in addition to serving a role as educator as well.

5. Words matter. Arguments that are racist, sexist, homophobic etc will not be tolerated.

6. I am not a fan of random; multiple sentence fragments that claim to “spike” out of all of the other teams arguments. At its foundation, debate should be about argument ENGAGEMENT, not evasion.

7. Answer questions in cross-examination. Cross-ex is binding. I do listen carefully to cross – ex.

8. Although I know you have figured it out, Lincoln Douglas does not have a 2AC in the same way that policy does. 1AR’s that advance lots of offense on many negative positions will be rewarded with high points.

9. Debating with a laptop is a choice, if you are reading from a computer I have three expectations that are nonnegotiable:

A) You must jump the documents read to the opposition in a timely manner (before your speech or at worse IMMEDIATELY after your speech) to allow them to prepare or set up an email chain.

B) If your opponent does not have a laptop you need to have a viewing computer OR surrender your computer to them to allow them to prepare. The oppositions need to prep outweighs your need to prep/preflow in that moment in time.

C) My expectation is that the documents that are shared are done in a format that is the same as read by the debater that initially read the material. In other words, I will not tolerate some of the shenanigan’s that seem to exist, including but not limited to, using a non standard word processing program, all caps, no formatting etc.

10. Many debaters have been instructed, or watched others run, “metaethics” with some success. My experience is that many debaters have a very superficial grasp of what this even means. Make sure to explain, and compare your position against the position of your opponent. A good rule of thumb is to assume you don’t win every argument and frame things in an even /if perspective.

11. I do not like skepticism as an argument. It would be in your best interest to not run it in front of me. While perhaps interesting in a philosophy class in college, training young advocates to feel that “morality doesn’t exist” etc. is educationally irresponsible.

12. I do not disclose speaker points. That seems silly to me.

13. Dropped arguments and the “auto-win” seems silly to me. Just because a debater drops a card doesn’t mean you win the debate. Weighing and embedded clash are a necessary component of debate. Good debaters extend their arguments. GREAT debaters do that in addition to explaining the nexus point of clash between their arguments and that of the opposition and WHY I should prefer their argument.

14. I feel it takes more than a sentence (or in many of the rounds I judge a sentence fragment), to make an argument. If the argument was not clear originally, I will allow the opponent to make new arguments.

15. Choose. No matter the speech or the argument.

Please ask me specific questions if you have one before the debate.

John Torbert Paradigm

3 rounds

First, a little about me. I have been judging public forum debate for about 10 years (does that seem possible). I am pretty straightforward in terms of what I look for in judging a pf round. Do you clearly state what your contentions are? Are the contentions directly related to the question that is being debated (this sounds elemental but I can remember a number of times that teams tried to bring up arguments with no direct link to the resolution.) I am judging public forum (not policy) so you don't have to try and impress me with how fast you can talk. As a matter of fact, excessive speed will work against you on my ballot.

Do you provide good blocks to your opponent's contentions or did you ignore or drop them? Do you make good use of the time you have available or do you leave time "sitting on the table." I do not do the elaborate flows that some judges do. My theory is that the more time you spend writing the less time you spend listening.

All contentions must be backed by evidence. You should always be able to produce your evidence for your opponent or me if it is requested in a reasonable amount of time. Inability to locate evidence will lower your chance of winning the round. Falsifying or misstating evidence will lose you the round.

I listen VERY closely to cross fire rounds. This is really the only unscripted part of the debate and I have seen many a close debate that was won - or lost - due to crossfire.

Finally, be professional in how you handle your round and treat your opponent. Facial expressions while your opponent is debating, rolling of the eyes, arrogance, being condescending etc. do not sit well with me.

Morgan Torbert Paradigm

6 rounds

Not Submitted

Adam Torson Paradigm

1 rounds

UPDATED: 9/12/2018

1998-2003: Competed at Fargo South HS (ND)

2003-2004: Assistant Debate Coach, Hopkins High School (MN)

2004-2010: Director of Debate, Hopkins High School (MN)

2010-2012: Assistant Debate Coach, Harvard-Westlake Upper School (CA)

2012-Present: Debate Program Head, Marlborough School (CA)

Email: adam.torson@gmail.com

General Preferences and Decision Calculus

I like substantive and interesting debate. I like to see good strategic choices as long as they do not undermine the substantive component of the debate. I strongly dislike the intentional use of bad arguments to secure a strategic advantage; for example making an incomplete argument just to get it on the flow. I tend to be most impressed by debaters who adopt strategies that are positional, advancing a coherent advocacy rather than a scatter-shot of disconnected arguments, and those debaters are rewarded with higher speaker points.

I view debate resolutions as normative. I default to the assumption that the Affirmative has a burden to advocate a topical change in the status quo, and that the Negative has a burden to defend either the status quo or a competitive counter-plan or kritik alternative. I will vote for the debater with the greatest net risk of offense. Offense is a reason to adopt your advocacy; defense is a reason to doubt your opponent's argument. I virtually never vote on presumption or permissibility, because there is virtually always a risk of offense.

Moral Skepticism is not normative (it does not recommend a course of action), and so I will not vote for an entirely skeptical position. Morally skeptical arguments may be relevant in determining the relative weight or significance of an offensive argument compared to other offense in the debate.


I am skeptical of impact exclusion. Debaters have a high bar to prove that I should categorically disregard an impact which an ordinary decision-maker would regard as relevant. I think that normative ethics are more helpfully and authentically deployed as a mode of argument comparison rather than argument exclusion. I will default to the assumption of a wide framework and epistemic modesty. I do not require a debater to provide or prove a comprehensive moral theory to regard impacts as relevant, though such theories may be a powerful form of impact comparison.

Arguments that deny the wrongness of atrocities like rape, genocide, and slavery, or that deny the badness of suffering or oppression more generally, are a steeply uphill climb in front of me. If a moral theory says that something we all agree is bad is not bad, that is evidence against the plausibility of the theory, not evidence that the bad thing is in fact good.


I default to evaluating theory as a matter of competing interpretations.

I am skeptical of RVIs in general and on topicality in particular.

I will apply a higher threshold to random theory interpretations that do not reflect existing community norms and am particularly unlikely to drop the debater on them. Because your opponent could always have been marginally more fair and because debating irrelevant theory questions is not a good model of debate, I am likely to intervene against theoretical arguments which I deem to be frivolous.

Tricks and Triggers

Your goal should be to win by advancing substantive arguments that would decisively persuade a reasonable decision-maker, rather than on surprises or contrived manipulations of debate conventions. I am unlikely to vote on tricks, triggers, or other hidden arguments, and will apply a low threshold for answering them. You will score more highly and earn more sympathy the more your arguments resemble genuine academic work product.

Counterplan Status, Judge Kick, and Floating PIKs

The affirmative has the obligation to ask about the status of a counterplan or kritik alternative in cross-examination. If they do not, the advocacy may be conditional in the NR.

I default to the view that the Negative has to pick an advocacy to go for in the NR. If you do not explicitly kick a conditional counterplan or kritik alternative, then that is your advocacy. If you lose a permutation read against that advocacy, you lose the debate. I will not kick the advocacy for you and default to the status quo unless you win an argument for judge kick in the debate.

I default to the presumption that floating PIKs must be articulated as such in the NC. If it is not apparent that the kritik alternative allows you to also enact the affirmative advocacy, then I will regard this argument as a change of advocacy in the NR and disregard it as a new argument.


To the extent possible I will resolve the debate as though I were a reasonable decision-maker considering only the arguments advanced by the debaters in making my decision. On any issues not adequately resolved in this way, I will make reasonable assumptions about the relative persuasiveness of the arguments presented.


The speed at which you choose to speak will not affect my evaluation of your arguments, save for if that speed impairs your clarity and I cannot understand the argument. I prefer debate at a faster than conversational pace, provided that it is used to develop arguments well and not as a tactic to prevent your opponent from engaging your arguments. There is some speed at which I have a hard time following arguments, but I don't know how to describe it, so I will say "clear," though I prefer not to because the threshold for adequate clarity is very difficult to identify in the middle of a speech and it is hard to apply a standard consistently. For reasons surpassing understanding, most debaters don't respond when I say clear, but I strongly recommend that you do so. Also, when I say clear it means that I didn't understand the last thing you said, so if you want that argument to be evaluated I suggest repeating it. A good benchmark is to feel like you are going at 90% of your top speed; I am likely a significantly better judge at that pace.


My threshold for sufficient extensions will vary based on the circumstances, e.g. if an argument has been conceded a somewhat shorter extension is generally appropriate.


It is primarily the responsibility of debaters to engage in meaningful evidence comparison and analysis and to red flag evidence ethics issues. However, I will review speech documents and evaluate detailed disputes about evidence raised in the debate. I prefer to be included on an email chain or pocket box that includes the speech documents. If I have a substantial suspicion of an ethics violation (i.e. you have badly misrepresented the author, edited the card so as to blatantly change it's meaning, etc.), I will evaluate the full text of the card (not just the portion that was read in the round) to determine whether it was cut in context, etc.

Speaker Points

I use speaker points to evaluate your performance in relation to the rest of the field in a given round. At tournaments which have a more difficult pool of debaters, the same performance which may be above average on most weekends may well be average at that tournament. I am strongly disinclined to give debaters a score that they specifically ask for in the debate round, because I utilize points to evaluate debaters in relation to the rest of the field who do not have a voice in the round. I elect not to disclose speaker points, save where cases is doing so is necessary to explain the RFD. My range is approximately as follows:

30: Your performance in the round is likely to beat any debater in the field.

29: Your performance is substantially better than average - likely to beat most debaters in the field and competitive with students in the top tier.

28: Your performance is above average - likely to beat the majority of debaters in the field but unlikely to beat debaters in the top tier.

27.5: Your performance is approximately average - you are likely to have an equal number of wins and losses at the end of the tournament.

26: Your performance is below average - you are likely to beat the bottom 25% of competitors but unlikely to beat the average debater.

25: Your performance is substantially below average - you are competitive among the bottom 25% but likely to lose to other competitors

Below 25: I tend to reserve scores below 25 for penalizing debaters as explained below.

Rude or Unethical Actions

I will severely penalize debaters who are rude, offensive, or otherwise disrespectful during a round. I will severely penalize debaters who distort, miscut, misrepresent, or otherwise utilize evidence unethically.

Card Clipping

A debater has clipped a card when she does not read portions of evidence that are highlighted or bolded in the speech document so as to indicate that they were read, and does not verbally mark the card during the speech. Clipping is an unethical practice because you have misrepresented which arguments you made to both your opponent and to me. If I determine that a debater has clipped cards, then that debater will lose.

To determine that clipping has occurred, the accusation needs to be verified by my own sensory observations to a high degree of certainty, a recording that verifies the clipping, or the debaters admission that s/he has clipped. If you believe that your opponent has clipped, you should raise your concern immediately after the speech in which it was read, and I will proceed to investigate. False accusations of clipping is a serious ethical violation as well. *If you accuse your opponent of clipping and that accusation is disconfirmed by the evidence, you will lose the debate.* You should only make this accusation if you are willing to stake the round on it.


I am happy to answer any questions on preferences or paradigm before the round. After the round I am happy to answer respectfully posed questions to clarify my reason for decision or offer advice on how to improve (subject to the time constraints of the tournament). Within the limits of reason, you may press points you don't understand or with which you disagree (though I will of course not change the ballot after a decision has been made). I am sympathetic to the fact that debaters are emotionally invested in the outcomes of debate rounds, but this does not justify haranguing judges or otherwise being rude. For that reason, failure to maintain the same level of respectfulness after the round that is generally expected during the round will result in severe penalization of speaker points.

Joseph Uhler Paradigm

6 rounds

I did not do debate in high school or college.

I have been coaching speech and debate for nearly 20 years. I focus on speech events and PF. I rarely judge LD (some years I have gone the entire year without judging LD), so if I am your judge in LD, please go slowly. I will attempt to evaluate every argument you provide in the round, but your ability to clearly explain the argument dictates whether or not it will actually impact my decision/be the argument that I vote off of in the round. When it comes to theory or other progressive arguments (basically arguments that may not directly link to the resolution) please do not assume that I understand completely how these arguments function in the round. You will need to explain to me why and how you are winning and why these arguments are important. When it comes to explanation, do not take anything for granted. Additionally, if you are speaking too quickly, I will simply put my pen down and say "clear."

In terms of PF, although I am not a fan of labels for judges ("tech," "lay," "flay") I would probably best be described as traditional. I really like it when debaters discuss the resolution and issues related to the resolution, rather than getting "lost in the sauce." What I mean by "lost in the sauce" is that sometimes debaters end up talking more about how the debate is going down rather than the actual issues at hand. Try your best to avoid debating debate and debate the resolution.

Argument selection is a skill. Based on the time restrictions in PF debate, you should focus on the most important arguments in the summary and final focus speeches. I believe that PF rounds function like a funnel. You should only be discussing a few arguments at the end of the round. If you are discussing a lot of arguments, you are probably speaking really quickly, and you are also probably sacrificing thoroughness of explanation. Go slowly and explain completely, please.

In cross, please be nice. Don't talk over one another. I will dock your speaks if you are rude or condescending. Also, every competitor needs to participate in grand cross. I will dock your speaks if one of the speakers does not participate.

If you have any questions, please let me know after I provide my RFD. I am here to help you learn.

Aryn Walker Paradigm

3 rounds

Email: Aryn.mf.walker@gmail.com

In a nutshell: Run whatever you want to, but tell me how to evaluate it and make sure I can understand it. Generally, I'm psyched to see a team run just about anything that they're particularly good at running (with the exception of overtly prejudiced arguments Please make your arguments clear. You’re supposed to do the heavy lifting here – I should not have to decode what you’re saying. I’ll ignore name dropping, philosopher drive-bys, and argumentation shorthand. If someone reading your speech had to read a sentence twice to understand it, then it won’t be convincing when I hear it. Rebuttals are key for me. Don’t just shuffle around and regurgitate what’s been said in the constructives – provide analysis, re-argumentation, and clarity. And remember, we're not weighing whose evidence is better, rather whose arguments are better.

T- I default to competing interpretations unless otherwise specified. The only real standard on T is limits and I, therefore, will filter much of the 2ac offense as well as 2nc explanations of the violation through that lens. When going for this argument it would help to treat T very much like a disad and having clear articulations of the distinctions you make between the definitions you have read and framing arguments to tell me how to evaluate them. I think that T is underutilized and if done well is cool. When debating T having reasons to justify modest forms of unpredictability, why extra T is good etc as ways generate offense on the limits debate. Similarly, specific examples of ground lost and smart distinctions between good and bad ground will help section of this debate for me. Nuance is key.

Good Disad debates are good. I am of the opinion the politics disad are maybe suspect in the conjunction of link and internal link chains, that said framing arguements on this flow are important for me. Justifications for probability, magnitude, and time frame can really make or break alot of these close debates and I think spinning link and uniqueness questions is good.

I really like a good CP debate. These are fun arguments all counter-plans are theoretically suspect but that's on you to explain. Explain why the counterplan solves at least some or all of the aff, that is important. Slow down on the text of the counterplan so I can catch it. Have a clearly articulated net benefit. Theory alone is insufficient to beat the counterplan, I think it should be paired with some sort of solvency deficit.

The K—I have no problem with the K, if your framework is couched fairly. I do, however, think that they ought to be topic specific with a link explanation that assumes the action of the plan. Statism probably should not be a round winner for me, unless the other team screwed up fairly badly. On this topic, a sophisticated Marxism criticism would be a good choice. A good way to summarize my views of the kritik is that ideally it ought to function as an internal link turn to the affirmative. For example, an affirmative with 3 advantages which all terminalize in nuclear war would be easily susceptible to criticisms which indicate why the methodology deployed by the affirmative makes the international system more chaotic and unstable—because the implicit internal link turn is that the aff method makes nuclear war more likely. You should theoretically be able to beat the aff without cheap shot frameworks that prevent the aff from accessing the 1AC. This perspective should exclude most generic criticisms which don’t adequately deliberate the outcome of the affirmative, but encourages k’s to be as well researched as any other argument and to authentically respond to the aff. I feel the same way about critical affirmatives. Ideally, the aff would still defend the resolution, unless coupled with a good defense of why that perspective is bad. Good critical affirmatives defend the topic and use the veins of critical literature available to them from research on the topic to essentially control every internal link argument. Critical affirmatives should include at a bare minimum some sort of statement of advocacy coupled with a framework. Please don’t hold out on 100% of your framework evidence for the 2AC/1AR. Give me some concept of how your positions operate in terms of the role of the ballot early and often.

I really enjoy good theory debates. Bad theory debates are at the other end of the spectrum. I also really like non-conventional theory shells. Nuance, specificity, and clarity are key for any shell. When reading theory, make sure to slow down for your interp so I know exactly what the shell is. An RVI is fine if you justify it well.

Speed is fine.
- Try not to read at top speed if you're hitting a novice. You can still go fast, just make it bearable.
- I won’t vote off of things not on my flow. If I can’t flow you I will shout “clear” as many times as necessary for me to flow you. Be-aware though that if I'm calling clear, I am missing arguments that I won't vote on, no matter how clearly they are articulated in the next speech.
- Give me a sec when switching offs so i can find it on my computer.

Mike Weston Paradigm

6 rounds

Hey, I'm a parent.

You can read whatever you want, but don't be upset if I don't understand it. 

I will best understand policy making arguments and minimal speed.

If you want me to keep a good flow, give me paper. 

-Mike Weston

Jason Yang Paradigm

3 rounds

Jason Yang

Debated for Kinkaid for 3 years with Eric Emerson and Akhil Gandra as coaches, Katy Taylor for 1 year with Gay Hollis, Eric Beane, and Neel Yerneni as coaches.

I haven't judged for a while, so please do emphasize clarity/slowing down both in speaking style and generally framing the round so that someone not as familiar with all the new lingo/debate trends are will be able to understand.

As a debater I always liked the more detailed philosophies, so I’ve done that. However, if you do not have enough time, the sparknotes should be plenty of information.

Sparknotes (in order of importance):

  • Speed- please go 65% speed because I’m bad at flowing and am a few years out of the activity. Esp important for analytics
  • Advocacy texts and interpretations of any kind must be conversational speed.
  • tags should be read slowly (close to conversational speed)
  • There is such a thing as zero risk
  • if theory is your strategy please read the theory section
  • Please explain phil
  • I like policy arguments and K’s that I can understand
  • I will vote on disclosure theory but will not hack for it.
  • I probably will not vote on new 2AR theory, kritiks, etc. But I might.
  • Extensions only need to be as detailed as needed. For example, if you’re explaining why the case outweighs a DA, probably need more detail. But if the neg only contests Aff framework, you probably don’t have to explain the contention much.
  • Will not vote for morally reprehensible arguments regardless of circumstance.

Hard and Fast Rules

  • You must transport evidence you read to your opponent by some means (flash, email, pass pages) if they request it. Giving them your case during prep time or only let them read over the shoulder it does NOT count.
  • You get 30 seconds to transport the documents to your opponent. In total. Afterwards it comes out of either prep time or speech time. Ideally, the flashing time for the 1AC is zero. If you can’t press save as + drag to USB/email within this time, you need to practice it. If your flashing requires more than save as + drag, then you have not completed compiling the speech doc which means you need more prep time.
  • I won’t vote on args I didn’t catch or don’t understand by the end of the debate.
  • Speech times are set- 6-3-7-3-4-6-3
  • jasonyang19923@gmail.com for those who wish to add me to the speech doc chain.
  • I vote for one debater.

Terms and Definitions

I’ve lost some debates because I had a different definition of what a term meant than a judge. So I’ll put down what I think a certain term means. Of course, you can alter the definitions in the debate- just make sure I know what they are instead of throwing out the jargon. If you don’t define the term for me, I will default to this definition. This list is not exhaustive, but these are definitions that come to mind that have caused misunderstandings.

  • RVI: Reverse Voting Issue, if the responder to theory has net offense that links to a competitive counter interpretation, the responder of theory should win the debate. This necessitates that theory is drop the debater (or effectually drop the debater).
  • Permutation as Test of Competition: Negative advocacies test the opportunity cost of the aff, and permutations means the advocacy goes away and the negative now defends something else (either another advocacy or the status quo).
  • Permutation as Advocacy: If the affirmative proves the negative advocacy is not competitive (through a permutation), then the permutation becomes the new affirmative advocacy. This means that any internal net benefits to the counterplan (offense that the counterplan resolves) are now aff offense that can be weighed against other neg offense.
  • Conditional: The negative may “kick” (not advocate for) the advocacy under any circumstance.
  • Dispositional: The negative may “kick” the advocacy under a given condition.
  • Unconditional: The negative cannot “kick” the advocacy under any conditions. This will be their advocacy for the rest of the debate unless it is proven to be not competitive to the aff.
  • Truth Testing Paradigm: The affirmative’s burden is to prove that the resolution (or plan text) a true statement, while the negative tries to prove that the resolution (or aff plan text) a false statement.
  • Comparative Worlds Paradigm: The affirmative defends an advocacy, the negative defends an advocacy (advocacies). Whichever advocacy has more net offense wins. The affirmative advocacy should be an example of the resolution.
  • Severance: When the affirmative no longer advocates the plan specified at the beginning of the round.
  • Reasonability: Negative can win on theory with defense. I think Arjun Tambe’s conception of reasonability (that he got from Christian Tarsney) is pretty good: “presumably, if it would be bad to let someone get away with abuse, it would be about equally bad to punish them when they weren’t abusive, so if it’s less than 50 percent likely that they abused you, my default assumption is that theory is not a sufficient path to the ballot.” This definition is probably the most prone to change in the debate since there are so many different conceptions of reasonability.


  • Debate is comparative- this means both debaters should weigh in addition to winning individual arguments. This is true for every kind of debate- phil, theory, substantive, etc.
  • Debates are also won and lost on the top level framing- isolate the key issues and use the speech to explain why you’ve won them. Line by line is excellent at winning arguments in isolation, but that’s rarely sufficient to win the whole debate because you’re probably not winning every single arg.
  • Cx as prep isn’t a thing for me.
  • I will evaluate embedded clash when I recognize it, but you would be best served to make the connections explicit for those that are less obvious and/or crucial for winning the debate.

Policy Arguments

  • PLANS: Great. That said, I am not afraid of voting on “plans bad” or “Nebel/Generics T”.
  • Counterplans: Go for it. I have less experience with complicated process counterplans or whatever. Regardless, you should explain what it does and why it solves the case. A good 2nr overview is say “Here is the advantage, here is why the CP solves it”
  • Disadvantages: Sure. The affirmative would benefit a lot from proving why the internal links are bad with analytics, because they usually are. I think Disad+Case debates are the most interesting type of policy debates.
  • Lots of people are reading Da’s that are like 30s and none of the cards have warrants… Affirmatives should point this out
  • Turns case arguments are really awesome esp when specific to the plan
  • Solvency advocate theory doesn’t make much sense to me on its own, they just seem like solvency arguments. However, a solvency advocate can be a litmus test to determine whether or not a process counterplan or a PIC was predictable.


“K affs”

  • Pretty predisposed to vote on framework if your affirmative has nothing to do with the topic. You don’t necessarily have to defend USFG, but please talk about the resolution. Otherwise I have no predisposition as to whether your aff is an instrumental/100% defense of the resolution or not.
  • Creative approaches to the topic do count as talking about the resolution.
  • Against debaters that are establishing violations for policy framework please do not be evasive.


  • Contextualize the link to the aff- don’t just read the state link every single time and just reread the tag from your policy backfiles in the 2NR. I think the strongest links have good evidence and include quotes from the 1AC speech, CX, etc. that demonstrate the link.


  • I feel people underutilize impact turns. Obvi do not say stuff like racism good, but cap good, heg/militarism good, is great.


  • Negatives should do comparison- how do the DA’s to the perm outweigh the net benefits?
  • What does the alt look like, and how does it solve the links? That’ll make it a lot easier to vote for it. Even if your aff is just plain old rejection- questions like who rejects the aff, what distinguishes this from the status quo, etc. are all still relevant. If I have to ask myself what the alternative is or does at the end of the debate, you lost.


  • The presumption that kritiks are always “pre fiat” and therefore excludes the aff doesn’t make sense to me. This distinction should be explained not only generally, but also in the context of the affirmative.
  • Theory vs K is kind of a wack debate. To make it less so, you should try to make your warrants as specific as possible.
  • I am usually very confused when people kick the alt and claim that the K independently turns the aff. To my understanding, the alt generates uniqueness for the link/impact. If you do decide to pursue this strategy, explain to me why you don’t actually need an alt.

Ethical Framework

  • I’m not going to pretend to be the best judge for these kinds of debates. You can fix my lack of understanding by explaining the phil like I’m a child. This includes even common frameworks like Ripstein equal outer freedom, Rawls Veil, etc.
  • I will default to being “epistemically confident”, simply because that’s the norm at the time. This means that I will only use the winning framework to evaluate offense. I can be easily persuaded to use epistemic modesty.
  • Lots of frameworks are impact justified- point that out and explain why that’s bad.
  • I have no idea why RoB arguments should preclude a standard just because it has the words Role of the Ballot in front of it. This should be explained.
  • Reasons to prefer a framework should be weighed against eachother: for example, the affirmative FW is better for actor specificity, while the negative FW is better bc it links to a superior meta ethic. Which moral theory is more likely to be true?


I’ll vote on them (unhappily). Innovative spikes are a plus.


  • Defaults:
    • Competing Interpretations
    • Drop the Argument on Theory
    • No RVI
  • I don’t really care if your theory argument is shell format as a “new off” or just “x is a voting issue” tagged as an argument against the counterplan etc.
  • If your theory is clearly trying to abuse competing interpretations, the threshold for responses goes way down. For those that read this kind of theory, remember your opponent can win on zero risk of the interp under competing interpretations.
  • Theory debates need tons of weighing, and not just “ground outweighs predictability because we need ground before we can predict it”, but weighing that accounts for your strength of link to the standards. For example: perhaps lambos are worth more than a ford focus, but the same cannot be said for the driving wheel of a Lambo.
  • Competing Interpretations means offense defense paradigm. Other shenanagins like the answerer has to write down the CI, has to have a CI, should be justified.
  • If the answerer does not have a counter interpretation, I will assume that it means the opposite of the interpretation.
  • Unsure what drop the argument means on theory arguments concerned with advocacy like spec- it can mean drop solvency, drop the whole 1AC flow (so the aff can still win on link turns to the NC), re-evaluate the plan under the new interpretation, etc.
  • I think conditionality is good but that contradictions are bad.
  • Unsure what drop the argument means on theory arguments concerned with advocacy- it can mean drop solvency, drop the whole 1AC flow (so the aff can still win on link turns to the NC), re-evaluate the plan under the new interpretation, etc.
  • I am somewhat persuaded by the argument that goes something along the lines of “It would have been just as hard to give the 1AR if I replaced the CP with a DA or a few case turns. Condo bad devolves to multiple arguments bad.”


  • I think that topicality is more than just tech, it requires a vision of what the topic should look like through your interpretation.
  • It would be cool if your interp/counter interp was very specific to the topic for example, providing caselists, evidence when appropriate from the topic literature to quantify limits or ground arguments, etc.
  • Semantics vs pragmatics I do not really have a default here.
  • But debaters should make clear the implications of what it means if you win semantics vs pragmatics: does semantics first mean the affirmative must have a counter definition? Does it mean the definitions debate always comes first?
  • Drop the arg doesn’t make much sense here and should be specified- does this mean we drop the 1AC piece of paper? Does it mean we re-evaluate the interp? Can the aff read a new advocacy? Drop the debater?
  • Just like for theory, reasonability should have a brightline that is clearly explained.
  • Again, a caselist would be great.
  • Random pet peeve - try not to call theory topicality and vice versa.


  • 28.0 is average
  • Speaks will be awarded for good debating (strategy, technical ability, persuasiveness, good CX, etc). I do realize it’s kind of arbitrary, sorry about that.
  • Lower limit is a 27.0, less than that means you did something severely unsettling.


  • Not speaking incomprehensibly quickly
  • Good CX
  • Good overviews
  • Using less prep time (if more prep = better speech, that will probably result in better points than the time you save)
  • Using less speech time (same stipulation as above)
  • Unique arguments
  • Good disclosure practices (I will check wikis before or during the debate)
  • Fast speech doc transfers

Lawrence Zhou Paradigm

6 rounds

Last updated for NHSDLC Online Tournament

If your cases aren't uploaded before the debate begins, you will get 25 speaker points. This is a rule.

I want you to treat this like a public debate where the judge is not particularly attuned to the specifics of debate norms. Teams that present a compelling story that compares the world of the Pro to the world of the Con will win. See my full paradigm linked below for additional PF thoughts.

I am the Director of Publishing and Lincoln-Douglas Debate at the Victory Briefs Institute and Debate League Director of the National High School Debate League of China. I have been involved with debate since 2010, having won NSDA Nationals in LD in 2014 and clearing at CEDA in 2016 and 2018. I coach The Harker School in LD and ideologically align with the vast majority of their preferences.

Email for the chain: lwzhou10 at gmail.com (Yes, I want to be on the chain, if you don't put me on the chain, I just assume you haven't read the paradigm)

If it is right before the round, just look at the "Answers to Common Questions" section. If you are doing prefs before the tournament or have more time before the round, you should begin at the "Prefs Overview" section in my paradigm in full paradigm linked below.

Full Paradigm here.

Answers to Common Questions

Q: Should I shake your hand?
A: NO (esp. nowadays...)

Q: What's your paradigm?
A: ... the way I evaluate rounds? More specifically?

Q: Are you okay with speed?
A: If I wasn't, do you think anyone would hire me?

Q: What experience do you have as a judge?
A: Too much.

Q: Do you care if we stand/sit?
A: Nope, but it's better for you if you can stand.

Q: Preference of seating?
A: Nope.

Q: Will you yell clear/speed?
A: Yes, 2 times.

Q: Are you okay with theory?
A: I suppose.

Q: What do you default on theory?
A: Competing interps, drop the arg, RVIs fine, but need to be justified.

Q: How about policy arguments?
A: I suppose.

Q: What about kritiks?
A: I suppose.

Q: What about performance?
A: I suppose (see below)

Q: What if I read a blatantly non-topical aff?
A: Meh (see below)

Q: Are there any arguments you don't want me to make?
A: Yes, bad arguments. Again, I'll vote on them, but I'd rather not.

Q: Do you disclose speaks?
A: Not anymore.

Q: What does it take to get the 30?
A: You probably won't get one, but knock my socks off and you'll get close.

Q: Should I pref this guy?
A: Good question.

Maggie Zollo Paradigm

6 rounds

I currently coach LD, PF, and CX at A&M Consolidated, and did LD at Northland Christian in high school. If you're here for PF, skip to the third paragraph.

As a debater, I read a lot of plans, DAs, and CPs and so I like listening to them, but I'm cool with other off case positions, too. When it comes to Ks, I would really appreciate it if the position was clearly explained (especially in terms of ROB/ROJ and the layer of the debate it functions on) and cleanly extended throughout the round, since I may not be as familiar with some of the literature (especially if you're reading pomo type stuff). I won't vote on any argument that tries to justify unjustifiable things (the Holocaust, slavery, other forms of oppression). If you need clarification on what that means, feel free to ask. If you're reading a process CP I'll be more receptive to perms/theory against it.

I would prefer that you don't read frivolous theory in front of me, it bums me out. I know my definition of that is different than others, so feel free to ask for clarification before the round. I'm open to listening to T, but I'd honestly prefer to not have it become the only layer in the round/the only thing I have to vote off of. Same with RVIs. Also, I find myself voting for K's a lot more often in TvsK debates, so my threshold for "non-topical" affs is probably more forgiving than some. I default to reasonability if it's a situation of potential or frivolous theory but will go with competing interps if you justify it, which isn't hard to do, so please take the extra 15 or so seconds to do so if that's what you want to go with. Also, extend voters and drop the debater arguments please. Condo is fine when limited to one (or two in CX) positions, but feel free to take the time to explain otherwise in either direction. I think conditional K's can be kind of bad perceptually depending on what the pre-fiat impact is if there is one, or if there's a performative/different method-based aspect to it.

You'll get high speaker points if you speak clearly, extend arguments, and weigh, and you'll get low speaker points if you're rude and/or offensive to anyone in the room (I listen to CX, too, so be civil during that), especially if you're debating someone clearly out of their depth and you're obviously winning but you decide to go about it obnoxiously, or if you speak particularly unclearly. In more competitive rounds aka at bid tournaments, speaks will be more likely to be based off of strategy. If you go all in on T or theory when you don't need to, for example, there's a chance I'll dock speaks. You can read as fast as you want, please just be clear. I'll ask you to be clearer a few times, but eventually I'll just have to try my best with guessing if you don't listen, and that isn't good for anyone. Also, for PF, the 2nd speaking team should cover part of the case in the rebuttal speech, terminal defense is fine to extend, and line by line is alright up until the summary, arguably the final focus. Don't go for everything, have solid issue selection since y'all don't get the best time constraints.

Feel free to ask for clarification on any of these points before the round, or ask any more questions that you think could apply to the debate. Thanks for reading this!

My email is zollomargarita@gmail.com, I would love to be added to the email chain.

nicholas jennings Paradigm

3 rounds

Overall: This sounds simple but it can be difficult, at the end of the round my ballot should sound like the begining of the 2AR or the 2NR. I would like you to explicitly implicate your arguments and form for me the basic idea of why I should vote for you. The best debaters tend to do this at the begining of every 2NR and 2AR.

Disadvantages: I don't like DA's with uniqueness counter-plans, other than that almost any disadvantage is acceptable.

Counter-plans: the legitimacy of counter-plans should always be called into question. why would you just let a team steal most your offense? I normally don't buy X type of counter-plan is a voter, however, I am more likely to vote for it as a reason to disallow the counter-plan. The burden of proof in those situations is much different, to win it is a voter you have to argue that debate is fundamentally impossible to do when X type of counter-plan is introduced. (an example might be Consult Counter-plans don't test the means or necessity of plan action makes it impossible to garner offense without conceding a DA, makes any choice the aff makes a bad choice.) However with rejecting the argument as the standard, I'd be willing to ask the question "Does this Counter-plan make the debate more or less educational, more or less fair. If it makes debate less educational and less fair then that is a sufficient reason to reject the counter-plan.

Kritiks: Theory wise sees counter-plans. Floating PIKS theory needs a Link. Clear and precise (Link-Impact-AltSolves-Perm doesn't) analysis is the quickest way for me to the pull the trigger on the kritik. If you can explain that full chain and I buy your analysis you're in a good place on the kritik (assuming you're not losing framework/theory/impact weighing. )

Framework: I think it's generally accepted that Affs should read frameworks that let them weigh their impacts against any kritik, also I generally think the aff is right they should be able to defend the fiat of the 1AC i.e. their impact claims shouldn't be wished away. Note to aff teams just because you win framework does not mean that you have answered the various impact framing arguments in the round, I've heard several times "but on framework they conceded we get to weigh our impacts." my response is then "Sure, but you don't win that we have any Value to Life in that world/that these threats are constructed and not real/that/etc. I don't think this is controversial at all.

Role of the Ballot: so unlike some people I don't think you have to explicitly state "our Role of the ballot is" while helpful sometimes one could also say "this debate round should be about x" or the "Role of the Judge is X" all of these are competing claims on how I should approach my ballot how I should vote, what my ballot means etc.

Kritik AFFs: I prefer affs that defend a topical plan for a kritikal reason i.e. we shouldn't surveil African Americans, followed by claims about how surveillance of black bodies is bad. versus just standing up and saying "Black bodies are surveilled that's terrible you have some kind of ethical decision making to vote aff, here's Memimi." This is a prefrence and doesn't mean i stop listening when an alternative debate style is defended its just what i find is the best solution to winning in front of me on a kritikal affirmative.

Framework (NEG): Framework can be a viable option for teams debating affs without plan text etc, as long as you answer and deal with the larger education/Fairness claims the aff is inevitably going to lob your way. You could win debate would be awesome with just policy affs but if you concede that this is a form of white settlerism that dominates and erases Native Americans from existence you tend to lose rounds on framework.

Components: need a clear and precise interp that allows you to skirt the offense of the aff, need a clear and precise "topical version of the aff", need to win switch-side debating is in fact good, need to win it's possible for X or Y type of people to enter into the political, do political actions, embrace politics or some other variant of "X type of people can do policy debate", finally need to win an impact. Do those have a solid shot of winning my ballot.