King Round Robin

2018 — Houston, TX/US

Delilah Agho-Otoghile Paradigm

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Kyle Chong Paradigm

Berkeley 19, Coach at the Nueva School

I first evaluate the framework debate, then I vote based on who generates the most offense off of the winning framework. I also appreciate a good strategy, so debaters who do a good job telling a coherent ballot story will make me happy. Finally, and arguably most importantly, I refuse to clear up clash for any team. This is the responsibility of the debaters.

Nicholas Daily Paradigm

Recent UH Graduate pursuing law school.

I defer wholly to the Tabula Rasa paradigm. I have no qualms about voting on any form of argument (including T's, theory, K's, or even inherency), so long as...
1-You win the argument and,
2-You give me a proper contextualization of how winning this argument wins you the round.
E.g., "Inherency is a voter b/c of stock issues" won't get you my ballot.
On a personal note, I think that many of the major issues with debate is that many teams try to conform to well-worn blocks and articulations of different voters, particularly with stock issues or T/theory. I'd much prefer an interesting voter or standard than a very discursive and unexplained "education or fairness claim." Get creative with your standards and answers.

I don't evaluate whether or not an action made by aff or neg is abusive or not unless the other team brings it up. I don't believe it's my job as a judge to pre-decide what should or should not occur in a debate, I see each debate as an independent construction unto itself. Therefore if you make an abuse claim, structure it and impact it. The only exception is if the 2AR reads new arguments, (because the neg can't stand up and call aff out). If this happens, I won't evaluate any of the new arguments, I will dock speaks, but it won't be an automatic loss on it's own. If this team wins on the substance of the non-new arguments then they win the debate round.

Don't extend arguments as a singular entity ("extend the D/A"). The only exceptions would be dropped inherency, if all solvency is dropped one author/date (single reason you solve) is all I would need. On Adv's I expect analysis on the impact claim even if it is dropped. If you don't extend a piece of evidence until two speeches later (was read in 1nc, not extended in 2nc/1nr but brought up again in 2nr)

Specific Arguments:
First, I've always been more comfortable evaluating straight policy arguments because a good half of my debate experience excluded kritiks. This said, I am familiar with the most common K's (cap, neo-lib, security, colonialism, nietzsche, biopower, gendered/discourse, ableism etc.). The more obscure the K, the more work that you should do explaining it because I am certainly not as familiar as you will be with the literature. (Give me a good overview in the 2NC).

Second, I was a T/theory hack in high school so I will pull the trigger on T/theory. My expectations are listed below,
1-If you go for fairness you either have to have an AMAZING potential abuse shell, or a good source of in-round abuse. A major issue for teams going for T is that they don't set up the abuse story in the 1NC. If you're going for ASPEC, read politics/agent solvency takeouts. T and theory are arguments that should be part of the strategic whole of the negative argumentation, not another floating source of offense.
2-Slow down on T-standards, full speed on T and I'll miss a few.
3-If you go for T I want it to be 1 off in the 2NR, same goes for theory. You should only reference your other arguments in order to generate abuse stories for a fairness voter or to contextualize the lost education. Going for T and another argument undercuts the legitimacy of your T argument and usually results in under-coverage of standards/voters. Irregardless, I will evaluate all arguments you extend (if you do T + other voters in the 2NR), I don't believe it's a good strategic decision though.

I always evaluate the round in terms of offense/defense (unless a conceded framing issue says otherwise), so extending impacts into the final rebuttals is crucial to winning my ballot. If you're going fully on a stock issue, please frame this within this paradigm.

On a final note, I have never judged a performance debate or even seen one. Again, this does not make me unwilling to vote on it, but explaining it in terms of voters may be an uphill battle. So if you are going to perform, please contextualize it.

Speaks, usually between 26.5-30.

25 if you're offensive.

If anything here is unclear ask me before the round. I don't want there to be any ambiguity in my paradigm and if you don't understand some part of this paradigm, I'll do a rewrite here on the wiki as well.

Paulina Ezquerra Paradigm

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Joanna Fernandez Paradigm

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Max Hardt Paradigm

PF in 2020:


I am an assistant coach at The Potomac School, and previously was the Director of Forensics at Des Moines Roosevelt. If you have any questions about Public Forum, Extemp, Congress, or Interp events, come chat! Otherwise you can feel free to email me at: for any questions about events, the activity, or rounds I've judged.

I'm a flow judge that wants to be told how to feel. Ultimately, Public Forum is supposed to be persuasive--an 'winning' flow is not inherently persuasive. My speaker points are generally reflective of how easy I think you make my decisions.

Things to Remember…

0. The Debate Space: R E L A X. Have some fun. Breathe a little. Sit where you want, talk in the direction you want, live your BEST lives in my rounds. I'm not here to tell you what that looks like!

1. Framework: Cost/benefit unless otherwise determined.

2. Extensions: Links and impacts NEED to be in summary to be evaluated in final focus. Please don't just extend through ink--make an attempt to tell me why your arguments are comparatively more important than whatever they're saying.

3. Evidence: If you're bad at paraphrasing and do it anyway, that's a reasonable voter. See section on theory. Tell me what your evidence says and then explain its role in the round. I also prefer authors AND dates. I will not call for evidence unless suggested to in round.

4. Cross: If it's not in a speech it's not on my flow. HOWEVER: I want to pay attention to cross. Give me something to pay attention to. Just because I'm not flowing cross doesn't make it irrelevant--it's up to you to do something with the time.

5. Narrative: Narrow the 2nd half of the round down with how your case presents a cohesive story and 1-2 key answers on your opponents’ case. I like comparative analysis.

6. Theory: If an abuse happens, theory shells are an effective check. I think my role as an educator is to listen to the arguments as presented and make an evaluation based on what is argued.

Disclosure is good for debate. I think paraphrasing is good for public forum, but my opinion doesn't determine how I evaluate the paraphrasing shell. This is just to suggest that no one should feel intimidated by a paraphrasing shell in a round I am judging--make substantive responses in the line-by-line and it's ultimately just another argument I evaluate tabula rasa.

7. Critical positions: I'll evaluate Ks, but if you are speaking for someone else I need a good reason not to cap your speaks at 28.5.

8. Tech >< Truth: Make the arguments you want to make. If they aren't supported with SOME evidence my threshold for evaluating answers to them is, however, low.

9. Sign Post/Road Maps: Please.

**Do NOT give me blippy/underdeveloped extensions/arguments. I don’t know authors of evidence so go beyond that when talking about your evidence/arguments in round. I am not a calculator. Your win is still determined by your ability to persuade me on the importance of the arguments you are winning not just the sheer number of arguments you are winning. This is a communication event so do that with some humor and panache.**

Miranda Le Paradigm

Public Forum Paradigm

Defense needs to be in summary. If it's not in summary, I'm less likely to consider it in final focus.

Time allocation is also super important. There needs to be a balance between explaining the link chain of your arguments and terminalizing impacts.

Don't be offensive.

Les Phillips Paradigm


I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. I have judged parli less than other formats, but my parli judging includes several NPDA tournaments, including two NPDA national tournaments. Speed is fine, as are all sorts of theoretical, Kritikal, and playfully counterintuitive arguments. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. I do not default to competing interpretations, though if you win that standard I will go there. The texts of advocacies are binding; slow down for these, as necessary. Ask me questions!


I have judged all kinds of debate for decades, beginning with a long career as a circuit policy and LD coach. Speed is fine. I judge on the flow. Dropped arguments carry full weight. At various times I have voted (admittedly, in policy) for smoking tobacco good, Ayn Rand Is Our Savior, Scientology Good, dancing and drumming trumps topicality, and Reagan-leads-to-Communism-and-Communism-is-good. (I disliked all of these positions.)

I do not demand that the second speaking rebuttal or any summary speech do anything in particular. If an argument is in final focus, it should be in summary. I am very stingy regarding new responses in final focus. Saying something for the first time in grand cross does not legitimize its presence in final focus.

NSDA standards demand dates out loud on all evidence. That is a good standard; you must do that. I also expect debaters to be able to state/defend the qualifications of every single piece of evidence they use. Though it is not the explicit NSDA standard, I believe that quals should be read out loud. I will bristle and/or throw my pen if I hear "according to Princeton." Evidence standards in PF are improving, but they are still not good. You will not get good points if you do not meet these standards.

Please please terminalize impacts. Do this especially when you are talking about The Economy. "Helps The Economy" is not an impact. "Helps The Economy" is to impacts as "according to Princeton" is to cites. Economic growth is not intrinsically good; it depends on where the growth goes and who is helped. Sometimes economic growth is very bad. "Increases tensions" is not a terminal impact; what happens after the tensions increase?


For years I coached and judged fast circuit LD, but I have not judged LD since 2013, and I have not coached on the current topic at all. Top speed, even if you're clear, may challenge me; lack of clarity will be very unfortunate. I try to be a blank slate (like all judges, I will fail to meet this goal entirely). I like the K, though I get frustrated when I don't know what the alternative is (REJECT is an OK alternative, if that's what you want to do). I have a very high bar for rejecting a dcebater rather than an argument, and I do not default to competing interpretations; I would like to hear a clear abuse story. I am generally permissive in re counterplan competitiveness and perm legitimacy. RVIs are OK if the abuse is clear, but if you would do just as well to simply tell me why the opponent's argument is garbage, that would be appreciated.

Katherine Polkinghorne Paradigm

I am a policy debater at the University of Houston. I did policy for two years and ld for two years in high school. I am able to evaluate any argument and will vote on any argument, but I am typically more excited by k/framing debates. Make sure to weigh impacts in the context of your framing. I have a high threshold for topicality. I vote off of what is on the flow, so make sure that you are carrying what you want me to take away from it into the 2nr/2ar. That's all I can think of right now, but feel free to ask any questions before the round!!

Cassidy RALSTON Paradigm

I competed for two years of high school and have been judging PF for 3 years. 

First and foremost, I expect a professional and respectful debate.

I will judge based upon flow, and ulitmately, who wins the argument. Many will ask "big picture or line by line" and I always answer with both - you need to convince me you're the winning team on big picture, but if I can't prove that you won on the flow then you didn't win. No tolerance policy towards running manipulative cases, Ks, no plans or counter plans (plans and counterplans are both against NSDA rules and will result in an automatic downvote).

Make sure that your summaries and final focuses address everything they need to - voters in final focus is important, new arguments in Final focus will not be flowed. 

I can handle speed if you're a clear speaker - as long as I can understand you, I'll flow. If you become intelligible, then I will simply put my pen down.

Victor Rivas Umana Paradigm

OK here's the deal. I did policy debate for 4 years in high school and two semesters in college (once in 2007 and recently in 2016 in Policy Debate)

. Judged Tournaments up until probably 2008 and have not been judging since. I also judged Lincoln Douglas Debate a few times at some of the national tournaments throughout california but it was not a debate I did in high school. For me my philosophy is simple, just explain what you are talking about clearly. That means if youre going to spread, be clear. If you are going to spread in front of me right now, do not go too fast as I have not judged in awhile so I may have hard time catching certain ideas so please slow down on your tags and cites.

Public Forum: please make sure Summary and final focus are consistent in messaging and voters. dropped voters in summary that are extended in final focus will probably not be evaluated. I can understand a bit of speed since I did policy but given this is public forum, I would rather you not spread. talking a bit fast is fine but not full on spreading.
Policy wise:
I am not fond of the K but I will vote for it if explained properly. If I feel it was not, do not expect me to vote for it I will default to a different voting paradigm, most likely policy maker.
-IF you expect me to vote on Theory or topicality please do a good job of explaining everything clearly and slowly. a lot of times theory and topicality debates get muddled and I just wont look at it in the end. EDIT as of 1/28: I am not too fond of Theory and Topicality debates as they happen now. Many of you go too fast and are unclear which means I don't get your analysis or blippy warrants under standards or voting issues. Please slow the eff down for theory and T if you want me to vote on it.

I will vote for whatever paradigm you tell me to vote for if you clearly explain the implications, your standards and framework.
-I know you guys spread now like Policy debaters but please slow down as I will have a hard time following everything since its been awhile.

I guess LD has become more like policy and the more like policy it sounds, the easier it is for me to follow. Except for the K and Theory, I am open for all other policy arguments. Theory and K debaters, look above ^^^^

UPDATE FOR LD at Golden Desert and Tournaments moving forward. I don't think many of you really want me as a judge for the current topic or any topic moving forward. My experience in LD as a coach is limited which means my topic knowledge is vague. That means if you are going to pref me as 1 or 2 or 3, I would recommend that you are able to break down your argumentation into the most basic vocabulary or understanding of the topic. If not, you will leave it up to me to interpret the information that you presented as I see fit (if you are warranting and contextualizing your points especially with Ks, we should be fine, if not, I won't call for the cards and I will go with what I understood). I try to go off of what you said and what is on your speech docs but ultimately if something is unclear, I will go with what makes the most sense to me. If you run policy arguments we should be fine (In the order of preference, policy making args including CPs, DAs, case turns and solvency take outs, Ks, Topicality/Theory <--these I don't like in LD or in Policy in general). Given this information please use this information to pref me. I would say DA/CP debaters should pref me 1 and 2. anyone else should pref me lower unless you have debated in front of me before and you feel I can handle your arguments. Again if its not CP/DA and case take outs you are preffing me higher at your own risk. Given many of you only have three more tournaments to get Bids (if that is your goal for GD, Stanford, Berkeley) then I would recommend you don't have me as your judge as I would not feel as qualified to judge LD as I would judging most policy rounds and Public forum rounds. Is this lame? kinda. But hey I am trying to be honest and not have someone hate me for a decision I made. if you have more questions before GD, please email me at

For all debaters:
clarity: anunciate and make sure you are not going too fast I cannot understand
explain your evidence: I HATE pulling cards at the end of a round. If I have to, do not expect high speaker points. I will go off what was said in the debate so if you do not explain your evidence well, I will not consider it in the debate.

Something I have thought about since it seems that in Public Forum and even in other debates power tagging evidence has become an issue, I am inclined to give lower speaker points for someone who gives me evidence they claimed says one thing and it doesn't. If it is in out rounds, I may be inclined to vote against you as well. This is especially true in PF where the art of power tagging has taken on a life of its own and its pretty bad. I think something needs to get done about this and thus I want to make it very clear if you are in clear violation of this and you present me with evidence that does not say what it does, I am going to sit there and think hard about how I want to evaluate it. I may give you the win but on low points. Or I may drop you if it is in outrounds. I have thought long and hard about this and I am still unsure how I want to approach this but given how bad the situation is beginning to get with students just dumping cards and banking on people not asking questions, I think something needs to be done.

anything else feel free to ask me during the round. thanks.

Josh Schulster Paradigm

*Last updated 11/7/19*


Schools Attended: Boca '16, FSU '20

Teams Coaching/Coached: Capitol, Boca

Competitive History: 4 years of PF in high school, 2 years of JV policy and 2 years of NPDA and Civic Debate in college

Public Forum Paradigm:

TL;DR: You do you.


1) Tech > Truth. If you have strong warrants and links and can argue well, I'll vote off of anything. Dropped arguments are presumed true arguments. I'm open to anything as long as you do your job to construct the argument properly.

2) The first speaking team in the round needs to make sure that all offense that you want me to vote on must be in the summary and final focus. Defense in the rebuttal does not need to be extended, I will buy it as long as your opponents don't respond and it is extended in the final focus. The second speaking team needs to respond to turns in rebuttal and extend all offense and defense you want me to vote on in BOTH the summary and the final focus.

3) If you start weighing arguments in rebuttal or summary it will make your arguments a lot more convincing. Easiest way to my ballot is to warrant your weighing and tell me why your arguments are the most important and why they mean you win the round.

4) I don't vote on anything that wasn't brought up in final focus.


Frameworks need clear warrants and reasons to prefer. Make sure to contextualize how the framework functions with the rest of the arguments in the round.


I will listen to any theory arguments as long as a real abuse is present. Don't just use theory as a cheap way to win, give me strong warrants and label the shell clearly and it will be a voter if the violation is clear. Also, if you're going to ask me to reject the team you better give me a really good reason.

If you are running theory, such as disclosure theory, and you want it to be a voter, you need to bring it up for a fair amount of time.


I was primarily a K debater when I competed in policy in college, so I am familiar with how they function in round. However, I don't know all the different K lit out there so make sure you can clearly explain and contextualize.

Offense v. Defense:

I find myself voting for a risk of offense more often than I vote on defense. If you have really strong terminal impact defense or link defense, I can still be persuaded to vote neg on presumption.


I hate being in a position where I have to do work to vote for a team. Tell me why your argument is better/more important than your opponents and why that means I should vote for you. Strength of link and/or impact calc is encouraged and appreciated.

Evidence Standard:

I will only call for cards if it is necessary for me to resolve a point of clash or when a team tells me to.


- If I find you offensive/rude I will drop your speaks relative to the severity of the offense.

- I take everything into consideration when giving speaks.

- The easier you make my decision, the more likely you are to get high speaks.


- I'm fine with speed, but if you're going to spread send out speech docs.

- Keep your own time.

- I will disclose if the tournament allows me, and feel free to ask me any questions after my RFD.

- I only vote off of things brought up in speeches.

Bottom line: Debate is supposed to be fun! Run what you want just run it well.

If you have any questions email me at or ask me before the round.

David Slaughter Paradigm

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Gurjinder Toor Paradigm

Experience wise I have been judging for several years.

My judging style is that of tabula rasa judge. I vote purely off what is presented to me within the round. I expect coherent arguments that are explained well. I also tend to look at the big picture in round.


-Speed: I prefer clarity over speed. If I can't understand you or you aren't clear in any way I will not tell you "clear", it is up to you as the debater to be clear to begin with. If you ultimately decide to spread then slow down on taglines.

-Arguments: You can run anything you want in round however it needs to make sense and link back to the resolution. Additionally, don't assume that I know the authors of your case and what their literature or work says, you need to be able to explain your arguments well.

*I hate frivolous theory, if there is legitimate abuse within the round then prove/show it to me.


I would prefer the first half of the round be line-by-line as much as possible and the second half of the round can be either line-by-line or big picture. Appropriate sign-posting is expected throughout the round. Considering the nature of PF debate I don't expect any spreading within the round and for debaters to stay true to this although a fast speaking pace is 100% acceptable. Providing strong voters at the end is not necessary however can be helpful for weighing impacts.

Mike Wascher Paradigm

Name: Mike Wascher

School Affiliation: Lake Highland Prep

Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 10

Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: 0

Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 15

Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: 8

If you are a coach, what events do you coach? Public Forum, extemp

What is your current occupation? Debate coach

Please share your opinions or beliefs about how the following play into a debate round:

Speed of Delivery As long as it is clear, speed is not important

Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?) Turning point in the debate where the debater should take from the line by line the arguments they envision as being the decision points. Whether it is organized by the same order as the line by line or re-cast in voting issues makes no difference.

Role of the Final Focus Tell me what arguments you win, explain why those arguments, when compared to your opponents arguments, means you win the debate. The comparative work is crucial. If the debaters don’t do it the judge has to do it and that is a door debaters should never leave open.

Extension of Arguments into later speeches While I have no autocratic rule, I would imagine that something you plan to go for would be something that is extended throughout the debate. If argument X is a winner it just seems reasonable to me that it should be included in all speeches.

Topicality Sadly, this argument isn’t advanced much because the time it takes to present it is generally critical time lost on case arguments and the trade off is seldom worth. Having said that, I would vote on a T argument.

Plans Specific plans are, by rule, not allowed. Generic ideas about solving problems necessarily discusses policy options. The general idea of those options is the resolution when were have policy topics.

Kritiks If Public Forum is supposed to be debate about how current events are debated in the real world I find little room for theoretical ideas that are not considered by real world policy makers. If, however, the critical argument has specific links to the topic, (and history suggests that few I’ve heard do) it should not be rejected because it is critical.

Flowing/note-taking I flow the key parts of the argument and sometimes flow authors. I find myself noting dates when they seem to be old (and possible dated). I listen to cross fire and sometimes make notes when I heard something worthwhile.

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally? I value argument and I especially value warrants (which aren’t tag lines) that explain why your claims are persuasive.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? Not a hard and fast rule with me but I can’t imagine why a winner would be left out.

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? Also not a hard and fast rule with me but strategically it is probably important you get back to some of your case, unless you plan to win offense on turns on your opponents case.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? Never!

If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here. The three things I would like to hear more often in Public Forum debates are:

1) Comparative work. Explain why you win the debate not just win some arguments. You can win every argument you discuss but still not have a better story than your opponent. Take the time to explain why the arguments you win form a better story than your opponent’s offering.

2) Warrants. Claims are not persuasive. Why your claim is true, significant, harmful, etc., make for a persuasive argument. The best claim from the most qualified author is generally useless and it is sad when those “Best” authors write warrants and debaters fail to cut that evidence and read it.

3) Paraphrasing. I recognize that the PF world is at this point. I don’t like it. I believe there are ethical issues when one cites three different authors, for example, and none of the three are working on the same argument but rather writing one line that fits in and is found in a google search. I also find it problematic that some think they can summarize a master’s level work in six words. Paraphrasing opens the world to a lot of potential evil. I read a lot on our topics and do not be the person that is misrepresenting an author by a poor paraphrase. It’s as bad as clipping. Given the power to change the world I would mandate we go back to reading evidence but then again I can’t find enough people, maybe even one other person, willing to give me that power. So we will paraphrase but we will properly represent the evidence.

Maya Waterland Paradigm

If you can't get the same clarity going fast as you could going slow, don't go fast. I do not require second rebuttal to respond to first rebuttal, however I think responding to turns is in your best interest strategically. I do not think terminal defense needs to be extended in first summary.

Maggie Zollo Paradigm

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, I would love to be added to the email chain.