1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy

2018 — Atlanta, GA/US

Saya Abney Paradigm

I used to debate for Riverwood HS as 1/2 of Riverwood AD.

I believe that debate is an educational activity; we're all a part of the same community, so be respectful towards others.

I will vote on anything and am well versed in most argument/debate styles, so do what you want and as a judge, I will try to provide constructive feedback to help you improve it.

If you say something extremely offensive in round (racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.) I will drop your speaks like a hot potato. People who give detailed analysis and comparison of warrants, internal links, and impacts will always get the best speaks.

Please put me on email chains and email me any questions you have - my email is sayadebate@gmail.com

if you're going to be talking about me, my pronouns are they/them

Zach Adam Paradigm

Zachary Adam--Chattahoochee 2019

About me--I am a second year studying Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, currently, at the University of Georgia. Debated four years @ Chattahoochee and currently debate at UGA. If you can capture my interest with arguments about healthcare & medicine, then props to you.

email: zach24adam@gmail.com

Put me on chief ^

Top-Level Things:

-Formatting: Formatting is everything - from the email chain to the speech docs - messy speech docs are nasty. I don't want to see a blob of cards

The subject of the email chain: AFF Team v NEG Team - Round X - [Name] Tournament

Will I deduct points if you don't do this? No, but please

Name of docs -- 1NC.docx is disgusting --- 1NC - Round X - X Tournament is a good model so I'm not downloading a million "1NC.docx" every tournament.

-What is debate?-- debate is a game - take that how you want to. Be nice, respectful, and genuine in rounds and outside of rounds to keep the activity inclusive and joyful.

-Why pref me specifically? 1) I think that the most enjoyable debates are ones where there are specific strategies prepped by both teams. 2) I love reading evidence-- if you have really good evidence, I reward speaks and just enjoy those. At the end of the debate, bombard me with piles of cards. 3) Evidence quality is really important--altho I like many cards, making sure those cards are good is important. 4) I LOVE superior knowledge on topics--the best of the best have read about the topics, know their history, etc. Debate isn't just who can cut the most cards.

Specific Things:

-tech>truth, but if the other team makes a dumb arg (i.e. the element carbon does not weigh 12.001 amu) then the other team should be able to be like this is a stupid arg obviously it is, google check. An argument is a claim and a warrant which means anything left on my flow that has those two things I will consider. Only 20% of politics DA's are true, but it's up to the debaters to use spin and storytelling for me to buy which comes down to tech, and which is why I love the politics DA.

-Framework: I'd prefer for the AFF to read a topical plan. If you choose not to, then you do you as long as it has some methodology related to the topic, but separating my ideology from clash debates is difficult when the debate is very close, I'll try my best to adjudicate the debate based off the flow. I'm not convinced by AFF's that are simply the topic is bad, I am more convinced by AFFs that say debating about the topic is bad

-Disads: The best disads are those that are specific to the aff. Now, that doesn't mean generics are bad--but at least make them coherent. Having disads specific to the aff's mechanism and is nuanced shows in-depth research and preparation for tournaments. The disad debates I enjoy most are where the 1NR just does 5 minutes of it and reads lots of cards and I mean LOTS of cards, good cards.

-Counterplans: I evaluate the counterplan first in the debate. I ask does the counterplan solve the aff-- and operate under any framing that the neg or aff provides. Don't just say 'reject sufficiency framing'-- instead explain why it's bad, especially if you run a 'soft-left' aff. Here are specifics: Advantage counterplans--they are awesome with the net-benefit being some impact turn. Both should be developed throughout the debate especially in the block with lots of cards. Judge kick, yes unless told otherwise by the 1AR

- Impact Turns: dope

- Internal Link Turns: also dope


Conditionality --- great, unlimited is preferable unless dropped.

PICS-- they're good but not great depending upon the level of cheatiness. If it's a PIC out of some really really small aspect of the 1AC like a word then I lean aff in those debates about theory.

Process CP's--the net benefits are the shadiest part, find a good process counterplan with good evidence and a stable net benefit that is actually coherent, then go ahead.

2NC CPs - yes PLEASE!.

UQ CPs - yes PLEASE!.

Delay CPs - meh.

Analytical CPs - if the 1AC ev suggests a CP that solves the entire AFF, go for it or if it's super straight-forward. It's probably the 2AC's job to expose a CP without a solvency card, but not to whine about it with bad theory arguments. If the CP were to do something that reasonably should have evidence, just know that I will have a higher threshold for NEG solvency. Just know I'll want a card doc afterwards and that they have a whole 1AC.

Multiplank CPs - 90% good theoritically. The more planks the better, the AFF should have evidence about why their internal links are key.

-Topicality: When going for topicality / answering topicality, both teams should establish what AFFs they would allow under their interpretation / what affs the other team's interpretation would justify. For example, if you are NEG, I want to know what egregious AFFs that their counter interpretation will allow. Also, interpretation debate is a lost art. Bring it back - why is your interp evidence better? Do court cases matter? Do dictionary definitions matter more? What about recency? If so, what has changed since? Most judges, when it comes to topicality, 'defer to reasonability'. I don't automatically default one way or another and only evaluate the way the debate has happened. Therefore, you would have to persuade me whether or not reasonability is good or not because in today's debate, reasonability is just an argument, under-utilized, and put at the bottom of the flow most of the times. I need to see clash when it comes to their arguments. Neg shouldn't say: causes a race to the top and the aff shouldn't just say: causes a race to the bottom. No--instead, look at their warrants on why that's true and debate it out thoroughly. Also, you should explain why your standards make their standards worse or impact turn their standards (overlimiting good). These debates are really good when it comes to impact analysis and are normally the best T debates.

-Kritiks: I don't want to see generic cards, nor hear generic arguments on both. If you are aff, cut cards specific to your aff against kritiks. If you are neg, make sure you have specific links. The idea that links must be predicated off of the plan text makes a lot of sense, however, I can very well be convinced otherwise in those debates. For example, don't read evidence that says 'any CJR is bad' -- no read a card that is like '[aff's mech] is bad'. The idea you can read the same 1NC against every aff with a K is bad for research and tailoring specific strategies to each aff would be better.

Spreading is good unless a team has a physiological reason why they can't spread which should be prefaced.

80s speaker points ..............X........point fairy, -10 speaker points for wearing an Alabama or Auburn merchandise

alabama, auburn, south carolina, oklahoma............................X.georgia

Go dawgs, sic' em, WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF

Kevin Bancroft Paradigm

All post-structuralists are liberals.

Prep stops when I receive the email or have the usb in my hand.

The only thing I care about is clarity and clipping. If you skip a highlighted/underlined word I cannot vote for you.

If I am judging your round.

Then your traditional decision making calculus on how clear to be which looks something like: "Judges wait for the other team to call out clipping, but the other team is disincentivized from doing so by loss of speaker points and rep. This paradigm means I should push the envelope as much as possible in terms of clarity, because at worst I just lose a few speaker points" should be fully discarded.

Instead your decision making calculus should be: "This judge is not afraid to drop for clipping, pays close attention to it, and never waits for the other team to make the accusation. I cannot push the envelope on clarity, because I will auto lose the round and get my speaker points nuked if I skip a single word"

My intention is to be transparent in order to allow you a proper risk vs. reward analysis on clarity decisions in round.

Kiyan Banuri Paradigm

Kiyan Banuri

-- West High School '19 (Salt Lake City)

-- Tufts University '23 (Freshman, currently not debating)

-- I will do my absolute best in objectively evaluating arguments and remaining attentive during debates.

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

Top Level:

- I have some basic topic knowledge but not nearly as much as you all. Keep that in mind if you really want to go for T in front of me.

- I believe that if you lose to a "bad argument" then you're a "bad debater"; defend everything you say.

- Only complete arguments with a claim, warrant, and impact will be evaluated.

- Pretty non-ideological, I've run all types of arguments. Do what you do best.

- Wikis good

- Card quality > spin (but spin is important)

- Physically mark cards during your speech, and send the marked document after.

- I will not evaluate personal beef that occurred outside the round.

- Disclosure is good

- Substance > theory

- Tech > truth (95% of the time)


- In high school, I attended the TOC twice, going 4-3 both times but receiving a speaker award my senior year. I am okay with all forms of debate, but my research in high school gravitated toward the critical side.

- I have not judged this topic at a natcir tournament yet, and the research I have helped with has largely been critical.

- Studying IR and economics in college which means I am up-to-date with current events and IR/econ theories.

Topicality - I don't have much topic knowledge -- take that as you will. Be clear & concise. Impact and caselist comparison are a necessity. Aff predictability is good.

K affs - My jam. I ran K affs since Sophomore year in high school. However, I only appreciate creative ones with a few caveats:

- Framework arguments that are premised on arguments by analogy make me sad. For example, arguments like "pleading for predictability is impossible because the disabled body is unpredictable" is not convincing in the slightest bit. Be more creative than that.

- I like affs that relate to the topic, and unless you are great at defending it, framework/T seems much more convincing.

- I have literally no predisposition to perms being legitimate or not.

- Against T: arguing that T/Framework is violent policing is not convincing to me.


- I am pretty comfortable with these debates, I've been in too many of them.

- Fairness has always made more sense to me than skills impacts.

- Do not throw blocks at the aff's arguments; if they are more nuanced than "state bad" then you shouldn't read just your "state good" block.

Counterplans - I like neg fiat. I'll judge kick the CP if said so in the 2NR explicitly.

Disads - risk of a link is silly, but not if you are crushing the CP flow. Judge instruction is really important with regards to evaluating evidence, the link/uniqueness debate, etc.

Kritik - Definitely a common weapon in my arsenal. Despite my knowledge and familiarity, a couple of things to keep in mind:

- links to: the action of the plan > knowledge production > actor > fiat.

- Root cause is not reverse casual.

- Links should have an impact and there should be an explanation of how the alt solves the links.

- Keep the flow neat, I don't want to flow straight down.


- Speed is not words per minute, its the amount of arguments delivered effectively per minute.

- I like bold decisions (if executed well).

- Do not try to negotiate speaks.

- I will yell clear once, so be flowable.

Lane Bearden Paradigm

Short-pre-round version: Former Director of Debate and Policy/CX debate coach at Calhoun High School (Georgia). Former NDT debater, college assistant coach. After my re-entry into the activity in 2002, I worked to learn the K, and my paradigm is still evolving. So far, I have been willing to listen to anything. I tend to reward debaters with clash and explanation, and teams that are clever and willing to take risks. I am taking another break from debate starting Fall 2019 and will not be as familiar with the topic or trendy arguments, so please slow down and explain.

Longer, working on prefs, version: Lived the debate life in high school (Southern California) and then college (Univ of Redlands). Started at the bottom but thanks to a great college coach (Southworth), some outstanding partners, and a supportive community, I had some success as a senior (won Kentucky RR, Wake, a few others, and a top 5 bid to NDT). Taught summers at Golden West, Wake, Georgetown, and Emory workshops. I researched for several debate handbooks (something we used to do), and assisted at high schools including Calhoun, Damien, GBN and Holt HS (Alabama). After leaving U of R in 1980, I assistant coached some outstanding high school teams, Samford University, and Calhoun. Co-authored the debate theory article with my friend Dr. Walter Ulrich, "Bad Theory as a Voting Issue" in 1982. Went to law school at Bama after that, and put debate away completely until my children were of age to start debating in Georgia's middle school league in 2002. That led to coaching the high school team, and since 2005 I have been the director of debate at Calhoun (small public school in rural Georgia with great debate and speech history - about an hour north of Atlanta). Was fortunate to bring in Ed Williams to head coach for a couple of years, and have also had some outstanding assistants (Jadon Marianetti, Jim Schultz, Kristen Lowe, Natalie Bennie, Judy Butler, and '16-17 Lenny Brahin, also sister Lynn [former NDT debater for Louisville, also now an attorney].)

Clarity: I may throw in the occasional warning of "clear" to debaters, but after two or three "clears", I will put down my pen and look annoyed until I can comprehend the argument. If you think from visual clues that I am not getting the argument, I probably am not.

I coached for many years on the national and regional (Georgia) circuit. I have a team of very dedicated and intense policy debaters. I have historically written a lot of our arguments, but the team and assistants are doing most all of that this year. Just point this out so you understand that just because my team runs an argument doesn't mean that I like it, or that I completely understand it. Coaching is a purely volunteer position, and my two part-time/full-time jobs are as the Judge of the Gordon County Juvenile (child abuse and neglect, deliquency cases) and as a private attorney representing plainitiffs in personal injury and victim's rights cases. I am usually accompanied at tournaments by my spouse, Carol, who is sort of team Mom, travel agent and organizer of all things.

Likes/dislikes: I judge debate because I love debate and the community and the education it provides. I try to be extremely objective, and believe I have the reputation of voting for teams because I think they won, never because of rep or outside (or inside the round) influences. In fact, I tend to react badly if I believe a team or coach is trying to exert undue influence. Post-round I will give my critique, and will answer respectful and honest questions from the debaters. I expect a team I drop (and their coaches) to be unhappy, but no matter what, please be nice to your opponents, your partner, your coaches, and your judge.

My email: Beardenlaw@aol.com.

Eliana Bender Paradigm

niles west '19


John Block Paradigm

Not Submitted

Breana Brill Paradigm

**Yes, I'd like to be on the email chain: breanabrill23@gmail.com

Background: Policy Debater for 4 years at Niles West HS and 3.5 years at Michigan State.

This is my second tournament judging the high school topic this year. Since I'm not well-versed on the topic, don't use random abbreviations without telling me what they are first or vocab specific to the topic that people who haven't done much research wouldn't know. Just be sure to explain things clearly.

I've been a traditional debater for most of my debate career. I like policy arguments and that's what I'm most comfortable with. Although I lean policy, I'm open to kritiks/kritikal arguments and I have voted for them in the past. Just be sure to always clearly explain your ~complex~ arguments because I don't have a huge kritikal background. Kritiks I'm most familiar (and have ran in the past) with are: Security, Cap, Neolib, Stiegler, Viscocity, arguments along that nature. Kritiks like D&G, Baudrillard, etc. I'm not super familiar with so if that's your thing, just be sure to have clear explanations in your speeches.

With all that being said, I don't want you to manipulate your strategies to fit what you think I would like. I want you to run arguments you feel you are best at and that you like running. Debate's a game after all, so run what strategies you think you will be most successful with. All I ask is for you to be clear (speaking and argument wise), extend impacted arguments, have warranted claims, and be nice to your opponents (and partner).

If you would like to know anything else feel free to ask me before the round.

Kyler Buckner Paradigm

cabot '18

george mason '22

put me on the email chain: kybb2000@gmail.com

i don't care what you do, just have fun. i was a 2A/1N in hs and pretty much exclusively read K affs (except literally one round my sophomore year). on the neg we extended a DA once my entire senior year. now i'm a 2N/1A doing pretty much the same thing. that being said, i'm not ideologically disposed to one "side" of debate; it really comes down to individual execution. if you're wondering if you can read something in front me, the answer is probably yes with obvious caveats for any argument that is overtly problematic.

specificity, argumentative innovation, relevant examples, in-round presence, good cards, and quality cx's are all things that i appreciate and will be rewarded with speaker points.

don't be a dick and please don't call me judge!

Daryl Burch Paradigm

Daryl Burch

currently the director of high school debate for the baltimore urban debate league (2007-present), also assist and aid in the development of argumentation for Towson University.

formerly coached at the University of Louisville, duPont Manual High School (3X TOC qualifiers; Octofinalist team 2002) have taught summer institutes at the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Emory, Iowa, Catholic University, and Towson University as a lab leader.

I debated three years in high school on the kentucky and national circuit and debated five years at the University of Louisville.

I gave that little tidbit to say that I have been around debate for a while and have debated and coached at the most competitive levels with ample success. I pride myself in being committed to the activity and feel that everyone should have a voice and choice in their argument selection so I am pretty much open to everything that is in good taste as long as YOU are committed and passionate about the argument. The worst thing you can do in the back of the room is assume that you know what I want to hear and switch up your argument selection and style for me and give a substandard debate. Debate you and do it well and you will be find.

True things to know about me:
Did not flow debates while coaching at the University of Louisville for two years but am flowing again

Was a HUGE Topicality HACK in college and still feel that i am up on the argument. I consider this more than a time suck but a legitimate issue in the activity to discuss the merit of the debate at hand and future debates. I have come to evolve my thoughts on topicality as seeing a difference between a discussion of the topic and a topical discussion (the later representing traditional views of debate- division of ground, limits, predictability etc.) A discussion of the topic can be metaphorical, can be interpretive through performance or narratives and while a topical discussion needs a plan text, a discussion of the topic does not. Both I think can be defended and can be persuasive if debated out well. Again stick to what you do best. Critiquing topicality is legitimate to me if a reverse voting issue is truly an ISSUE and not just stated with unwarranted little As through little Gs. i.e. framework best arguments about reduction of language choices or criticism of language limitations in academic discussion can become ISSUES, voting issues in fact. The negative's charge that the Affirmative is not topical can easily be developed into an argument of exclusion begat from predictable limitations that should be rejected in debate.

It is difficult to label me traditional or non traditional but safer to assume that i can go either way and am partial to traditional performative debate which is the permutation of both genres. Teams that run cases with well developed advantages backed by a few quality pieces of evidence are just as powerful as teams that speak from their social location and incorporate aesthetics such as poetry and music. in other words if you just want to read cards, read them poetically and know your argument not just debate simply line by line to win cheap shots on the flow. "They dropped our simon evidence" is not enough of an argument for me to win a debate in front of me. If i am reading your evidence at the end of the debate that is not necessairly a good thing for you. I should know what a good piece of evidence is because you have articulated how good it was to me (relied on it, repeated it, used it to answer all the other arguments, related to it, revealed the author to me) this is a good strategic ploy for me in the back of the room.

Technique is all about you. I must understand what you are saying and that is it. I have judged at some of the highest levels in debate (late elims at the NDT and CEDA) and feel pretty confident in keeping up if you are clear.

Not a big fan of Malthus and Racism Good so run them at your own risk. Malthus is a legitimate theory but not to say that we should allow systematic targeted genocide of Black people because it limits the global population. I think i would be more persuaded by the argument that that is not a NATURAL death check but an IMMORAL act of genocide and is argumentatively irresponsible within the context of competitive debate. Also i am not inclined to believe you that Nietzsche would say that we should target Black people and exterminate them because death is good. Could be wrong but even if i am, that is not a persuasive argument to run with me in the back of the room. In case you didn't know, I AM A BLACK PERSON.

Bottom line, I can stomach almost any argument as long as you are willing to defend the argument in a passionate but respectful way. I believe that debate is inherently and unavoidable SUBJECTIVE so i will not pretend to judge the round OBJECTIVELY but i will promise to be as honest and consistent as possible in my ajudication. Any questions you have specifically I am more than happy to answer.

Open Cross X, weird use of prep time (before cross x, as a prolonging of cross x) all that stuff that formal judges don't like, i am probably ok with.


Liliana Burgess Paradigm


I’m a senior debater at Emory who previously debated for four years at Woodward Academy. I have not researched or judged extensively on the arms control topic, so please adjust explanations and acronyms accordingly.

Please include me on email chains: lilyjade16@gmail.com


I primarily debate policy arguments but am familiar with critical ones. I will listen to the arguments you present and try my best to fairly adjudicate them. I will not intervene if possible.

In general, I vote for the teams that 1. specifically contextualize their arguments to the round at hand and 2. explain the meta-level implications of arguments, interactions, and concessions.

Debate is about comparisons, not arguments in a vacuum.

Cross-ex is important—I will listen and flow. So is evidence quality—many teams introduce cards that are not worth the time spent reading them.

Be logical and make rational arguments using common sense.

I will absolutely not vote on death good/similar arguments that should not be included or advocated in an educational space because they are harmful to the students reading and debating them.

Planless Debates

Generally, I believe that affirmatives should defend topical action.

For a no-plan aff to be successful, they must articulate why their aff being read in debate and winning a ballot is necessary and why it could not fit under the confines of the resolution. Comparative impact assessment and realistic caselists/describing what the world of the counter-interp looks like is important for both teams. For the negative, I find limits and fairness most persuasive. TVAs are helpful but not necessary.

A reason why an aspect of the topic or the world is bad is not a reason why the topic or topical debating is bad.


I won’t judge kick a CP unless explicitly instructed to do so. My threshold for the aff to win no judge kick is very low.

Conditionality bad is a winnable argument and reason to reject the negative if the debate contains warranted offense, impacts, and specific examples. Generally teams don’t develop this argument which sometimes makes it strategic aff offense.

Most other theory arguments are reasons to reject the argument, not the team absent warranted explanation. CP theory is viable if contextualized and comparative. If a CP text contains the whole plan, it is more than likely cheating.


Specific case lists and examples, contextualization to the round and the topic, and discussion of community precedent is important. Please do impact calc. Please compare interpretations. This is one area where you should consider my relative inexperience on this topic


Be as specific as possible. Contextualize the link with examples from the 1AC and the affirmative speeches/CX. Comparison and impacts on the framework debate is important. Alts are almost always poorly explained and not well thought-out. Exploit that if you’re aff and think about it if you’re neg.

Michael Cerny Paradigm

Please put me on the email chain: mbenjc@gmail.com

**Please send me an email if you have any questions.

I debated for Highland Park High School (Class of 2017) in Dallas, TX and I currently debate at Emory University (Class of 2020) in Atlanta, GA.

I am tech over truth, but I place value on high evidence quality. I will often read relevant evidence at the end of the debate, so comparing evidence in the rebuttals is a great way to boost your speaks and win my ballot.

I have not judged many debates on this topic, and I am therefore a bad judge for topicality. I don't know the relevant acronyms or what the topic consensus is. This does not make me more or less likely to consider an Aff topical or not-topical, but this should be a warning that the 2NR/2AR should be prepared to break things down in simpler terms.

I love CP and DA strategies. I think politics DAs are fine. I judge kick the CP if it links to the net benefit unless the Aff says otherwise.

I am not a good judge for Ks beyond the Cap K and Security K, and I don't have a deep knowledge of other sets of literature. Break it down for me. Most claims should have evidence (i.e., if you want to make an ontology argument). I really don't care if fiat is real or not. There is no such thing as a roll of the ballot or judge beyond deciding who did the better debating.

Non-topical Affs are often interesting but should be related to the topic. Fairness is probably an impact. I will never vote on unfairness being good.

Conditionality is good, but I can be persuaded otherwise.

If you think an argument is new, call the other team on it.

I will not evaluate arguments that center on issues outside of the debate round. In extreme cases, I will end the debate and inform your coaches and tab.

Please note that in some cases I am also a Mandatory Reporter.

Gershom Chan Paradigm

Email: gershom000@gmail.com

Prep stops when email is sent.

Be clear!

You do you.

Clipping = loss & zero.

Marielle Cornes Paradigm

I am a third year policy debater at Mountain Brook. I usually am the 1A/2N. I am a very flow centered judge so line-by-line and dropped arguments are very important to me. I am a more policy centered debater who usually runs a plan text so I am more suited to judge a policy round. This does not mean I will not vote for a K if that team does the better debating. I am definitely tech over truth but I will not vote for arguments that are racist/sexist/etc. Other than that I am open to any argument but if you are going to go K make sure to make it clear.

Few important points:

Add me to the email chain: mhc1721@gmail.com

Prep for me ends when you tell me it does, I do not count flashing or emailing as prep just please do not take a ridiculously long time. Do not steal prep, I am the type of judge who will call you out on it.

Again I judge on the flow so PLEASE do not rely on the speech doc. It kills me when people answer arguments that were on the speech doc but the other team did not read.

Please be polite in round, if you are rude to me, your opponent, or your partner I will be docking speaker points.


Case Debate:

As the 2N, I usually take case and I know how important case debate is. On aff, do not ignore your case. It is you offense and what I will be voting for you on so make it clear. On the neg I love to see specific answers to the aff instead of generic impact defense. I also love a team who reads impact turns on case especially if they then use them as net benefits to a counterplan.


I love a good counterplan. An advantage counterplan or a PIC are great if you know how to run them. I am fine voting for a generic counterplan like states but if you do this please do good net benefit debate or the debate will be boring. I am more likely to air neg on condo but this does not mean I will not vote on the fact that reading lots of conditional counterplans is abusive. On the aff, when making a counterplan I enjoy seeing solvency takeouts but please explain them and why they are very important in that debate.


Love them, I am a good judge to pref if you want to read tons of DAs and make for a very difficult 2AC. I enjoy tricky DAs with case specific links but I will vote for almost any DA. To win a DA in front of me you NEED good impact calc. I want to hear from the neg why it outweighs and turns the aff and I want the aff to explain why they outweigh and turn the neg. Also please debate the link on both sides. Neg - the link debate is where you can easily lose; Aff - the link is usually the most sketchy part so take advantage of that.


I run T a fair amount and agree that a clearly non-topical aff is probably abusive. This being said you still need to win all the techy parts of a T debate for me to vote for you. I also love to see a good reasonability debate. If the neg just ignores it I will most likely go aff on reasonability.


I am good to vote on a K but I do not have lots of experience with them so PLEASE make the link and the alt clear. I am not very familiar with the literature of very out there Ks like Baudrillard so please explain it.

K Affs and FW:

When I hit K Affs I usually go for framework so this is prob the negs best option in front of me. I like to see a good warranted out debate that discusses fairness and education. THis does not mean always go for framework though. If you are losing that debate go for a K or something.


I love a good theory debate just make voters clear. If there is clearly no abuse in my mind I will not vote for it though. For example, I believe fiat is a thing and both the aff and neg have it and I believe the neg can read one conditional advocacy without it being abusive.

For LD

I do not have much experience debating ld but we do have a strong team at my school so I have some familiarity. Make framework, theory, and other unique ld arguments very clear please.

Pretty much I will vote for the team that did the better debating. We are all here because we enjoy debate so lets not make it miserable. Just have a good, fun debate.

Eli Couture Paradigm

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

Manav Daftari Paradigm

I am a 2A at Westminster and this is my fifth year of debate.

Short Pre-Round Paradigm

- add me to the email chain b4 the db8 please -- daftari.manav@gmail.com

- Do you what you do best. Go for any argument you want to. I will vote on any argument that you win. Do NOT let this judge paradigm influence your arguments in the debate.

- I prefer debates to be about the topic.

- if you plan on going for the kritik make sure you explain the alt and most important parts of the K to me

- I love tricky and complex neg strategies to test the affirmatives internal links. Specific CPs are the most fun to see debated out. This doesn't mean I won't vote for a generic strategy.

- Be yourself-- I love jokes, especially good ones. Any jokes about people I know (especially harrison hall, Arjun Mohan, Chris Eckert, and Alex Greene) that are funny might influence speaks. But be respectful.

- I think all affs should defend USfg action.

- I will award each person will +.1 speaker points if they show me your flows before the decision is delivered and they are neat and have been used in the debate.

Long Version:

General Notes:

- Seriously, Do what you want!! Debate is an activity that should be fun for you and everyone else. Don't let this influence you in any way.

- Be respectful. I don't like disrespectful people. I think everyone should be treated equally and debate should be a place where everyone has respect.

- I have found myself nearly obsessed with specific, substantive engagement between the two teams — and increasingly frustrated when one team sidesteps opportunities for well-evidenced clash between arguments in favor of generic, all-purpose positions or supposed trump cards that set aside the majority of the debate. The team at fault — given its responsibility to respond — is often the negative, and on some topics I vote aff at a dizzying clip. -- Seth Gannon



- I think I defer to reasonability. If the aff's interpretation of the topic is reasonable for the topic and doesn't make it impossible to be negative, then I think there is no abuse and no reason to vote negative.

- I do love a good T debate though. Please have an adequate case list for the topic for the affirmative.


- I am down for topic specific Kritiks. But not the best for 1-off K strategies.

- I think the permutation is the most important part to win for the negative. Random disads to the permutation are NOT reasons I will disregard the permutation.

- You have to win links to the permutation and not links to the aff where the permutation changes the way the aff works or is conceptualized.

- I think the aff gets to weigh it against the K, but can be convinced otherwise.

- The two most important parts of the K debate for me is the alternative and the link debate. Please explain these two parts very clearly.

- Aff-- I love the argument "links must be predicated on the plan text." If this can be executed correctly, I will probably vote on it, and maybe bump speaks.


- Love them. Specific and complex CPs are great. Make sure to explain them.

- I am not great on counterplan competition questions. So if you think the CP is competitive, explain why.

- If you are aff, go for the best impacted out solvency deficit to the CP and don't try to spread yourself too thin. One amazing solvency deficit > a couple decent solvency deficits


- Love them. Explain the link.


- I don't have any pre-dispositions with theory questions. Prove in round abuse.

- I really do feel conditionality is not that bad UNLESS it is above 3 condo.

Have Fun.

Dorothy Darden Paradigm

please add me to the email chain - dorothyvdarden@gmail.com

I graduated from Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart and debated for 4 years.

I will vote on pretty much anything as long as you explain it and tell me why I should vote on it.

I read along with the speech doc during each speech and if you are caught repeatedly and intentionally clipping you will lose and your speaker point lowered.

Non-T affirmatives

I believe all affirmatives should defend the United States Federal Government reduce restrictions on immigration, you are welcome to defend how you define that individual terms.

I will more than likely vote in line with a standard definition of those terms (plan text!)

I do believe that reading an affirmative that is explicitly a K aff is cheating.


They need solvency advocates that align with the CP text and the planks of the CP. Be clear about the net benefit in cross ex.


I am a big fan of the politics DA, have a link that is legitimate and you can explain it. The impacts need to be fully explained and compared to the affirmatives impacts.


The links need to be clear. If you run a K make sure it has an alternative that you can clearly explain and it is not just "alternative is to reject the aff", that is not an alternative. Tell me what the role of the ballot is, why should I vote for the plan or for the alternative?


It is a test of competing interpretations and I will vote on it if you prove the interpretation is predictable and the best for education, limits, etc.


Conditionality is good for debate but can be abusive, explain why it is bad in the specific round for it to matter. If the other team drops your theory argument and you can impact it out then capitalize on it!

Julian Daszkal Paradigm


Pine Crest '19

General Things

- Slow down; you're not as clear as you think while spreading.

- I will read evidence at the end of the round/during prep if something is confusing. Try not to be confusing.

- Next to no topic knowledge. Don't plan on speeding through your T blocks. Explain acronyms.

- Conditionality is good, but teams are terrible at defending it. Don't be afraid to capitalize when the neg drops the ball on the flow.

- Quality > quantity.

No Plan Affs/Framework

My partner and I read a no plan identity aff and also exclusively went for framework against no plan affs. What this means is I don't really care what you read, just do it well. On the aff, advocate something, be able to answer why the ballot matters to your advocacy, and clearly explain the impacts to your interpretation of debate or the impact turns to their interpretation. For the neg, pick your impacts and defend them. Have good counter examples to the other team's examples and be able to explain why the ballot is important to your interpretation.


If it's theoretically questionable, win it on the flow. The best process counterplans are ones that have quality evidence to prove theory.


Debate it like a disad and counterplan. Do specific link analysis and do impact calc. Aff usually should get to weigh their impacts against the K, but I can perhaps be persuaded against it. I am not well versed in high theory lit. Never tell me to take out another flow just for the overview.


Nothing new, do impact calc and line by line. Strong overviews that contextualize impacts and turns case analyses are extremely important.


No topic knowledge so slow down. While I think that a more limited topic has the ability to facilitate more in-depth research and more prepared opponents, I also tend to lean towards reasonability more often than not.

Katie Duval Paradigm

Emory University '18

Pace Academy '14

I debated for 4 years in highschool and 1 year in college. I have not done any research on this topic and so the burden is on you to fully explain your arguments. However, I will say I am a scientist and tend to not give "warming isn't real" or similarly themes arguments any weight. I tend to best understand debates when they are about the implementation of a topical plan. If your style of argumentation does not include this, I might be less familiar with it and therefore you should explain everything as much as possible. I will do my best to understand and evaluate your argument fairly. 


Do not: Clip cards, lie, use something out of context, or do anything else unethical. These will result in loss of speaker points or loss of rounds.

Questions: mangofrog7@gmail.com



Maria Felix-Padilla Paradigm

Carrollton '18

University of Pennsylvania '22

18mfelixpadilla@gmail.com -put me on the email chain

Evidence quality matters. I expect the other team to call out bad evidence, but I will probably not decide the debate on a piece of evidence if I am truly appalled at how awful it is.

The affirmative must defend an instance of topical action by the USFG. Allowing the affirmative team to not advocate the resolution creates bad debates. I disagree that debate is bad and I do not understand why I should vote for a team that deliberately came to participate in an activity they claim is bad.

Everything that follows below is way less important than this: I try to evaluate every argument fairly rather than injecting my own opinions.


Soft left affs make the most sense

Framing contentions are good but the outcome of framing debates depends on teams actually answering the claims made in the evidence as opposed to just restating their own arguments


Topicality is not a reverse voting issue

I tend to think limited topics make for better topics

I default to competing interpretations and I am very rarely persuaded by reasonability unless a particularly compelling case is made

Make sure to implicate the link in terms of the terminal impact (i.e. why is lack of education important and what does it mean for debate?)


Counterplans need to be functionally and textually competitive

Solvency deficits should be impacted in terms of the aff’s advantages

If the perm is three words up until the 2ar I won't vote on it

Condo, advantage CPs, aff-specific PICs- usually good

Process/delay/consult CPs, 50 state fiat, international fiat, agent CPs- ehh

Word PICs, floating PIKs- usually bad


I’m not persuaded by politics theory arguments

Good politics disads are great, bad politics disads are awful; my least favorite disads are contrived politics disads with bad evidence that only serve the purpose of trying to confuse the aff team


The aff gets to weigh their aff and the neg gets a pragmatic alternative; it’s very hard for me to vote on a framework that holds the affirmative to a perfect standard (in terms of epistemology, representations, etc)

To get me to vote on a kritik: aff specific links are important and feasibility is too

I will not vote on something that no one in the round can explain except you, and I will also not vote on death good/high theory/anything that relies on you confusing the other team

Fiat double bind does not make sense, and fiat is good

I’m not persuaded by arguments that rely on spillover.

Floating PIKs are bad


The USFG is all the aff needs to specify

Fairness is an impact

Mollie Fiero Paradigm

College Prep ‘14
Emory ‘18

Woodward 2018 Note: Really excited to judge the budding minds of debate's future! Please make sure that you speak clearly (even if you sacrifice some speed). You really need evidence about your counterplan in relation to the aff. Its super boring listening to a generic CP/DA with no nuance or specific link/solvency analysis.

I do want to be on the email chains: mollie.fiero@gmail.com

Very few rounds on the Education topic - watch your acronyms/assumed topic knowledge, this is ESPECIALLY TRUE in T debates when its difficult to assess what is "core ground"

Re: Trump -- Durable fiat does not include things your solvency cards say but aren't in your plan text. Understand the executive branch and its power. CX should lay out what is within the scope of the plan and what is up for Trump/his cabinet to decide. I do NOT want to vote on a Trump good politics DA. Don't make me.

1. Be smart, engaging, and nice. Debate in a way that makes you and your coaches proud. Respect your opponents and your partner. Be aware of the gendered and racial implications of the way you speak to/interact with your opponents and partner. Trust that I know what I'm doing, and I'll give you the same courtesy.

2. Flex is good
No insurmountable policy or K bias. I went for T and read a no plan aff at my last tournament. Its good to be a games player, but if one side has an affective argument, or reasons why their argument implicates debate itself those are usually things the other side must at least acknowledge. That being said I am highly literate in 'conservative' policy debate (7+ years of big DA and case debates under my belt) and think those debates are super fun.

AFFS WITHOUT PLANS: You need to have a good explanation (in cx) of - why is this being presented in debate? what is the role of the judge? the negative?

3. Explanation wins debates
Whether it’s the link turn to politics, the K alt, or counterplan solvency, the team with better depth and argument analysis usually wins.

4. Evidence isn’t the end-all be-all
Indicts are great and so is comparison, what I really mean is that true analytics are slayer.

5. I take my task very seriously and will work hard to make the right decision. Even after 4 years of judging high school I'm still learning about myself as a judge, but I am determined to continue to work hard because I respect your time and effort in debates. You and your coaches should be conscious of the way you interact with all judges, but especially (younger) women, queer, and POC judges in post-round interactions.

Finally -- have fun and talk to me if you're interested in Emory debate! innocent cool

Oliver Flint Paradigm

Debated 4 years at Milton High School (2A/1N)

3rd year debater at Georgia State University (2N/1A)

Add me to the email chain: my email is t.oliver.flint@gmail.com

For pre-round reading: Do what you want; I've been looking over my judging history, and it seems like I'm mostly middle of the road, with a slightly left bent. The rest of this paradigm is an attempt to organize my thoughts about debate that I've done mostly for my own benefit.

Basic Summary: The following are my pre-existing beliefs about debate. However, I evaluate each debate based on how the debaters frame/explain arguments, so this is not reflective of how I will make every decision.

1. Debate is a game. Consequently, I tend to think that fairness is more important than education etc. However, in order to really weigh the importance of fairness, you have to prove the value of the game, so it's useful to think of fairness as more of an internal link than an impact.

2. I believe that I should evaluate logical opportunity costs to the aff. This means that I'm more likely to be persuaded that neg advocacies that don't use the topic actor don't necessarily disprove the aff (see the section on Agent CPs).

3. I don't like offense/defense. I would much rather vote for a 2AR that clearly explains why a contrived DA doesn't make sense than a 2AR that goes for an equally contrived link/impact turn. I am willing to vote on 0% risk of the case or a DA, but it will require work on your part to explain it to me.

Specific Arguments:


I like DA/case debates, especially when the neg is investing time and analysis on specific case defense arguments. I read politics throughout high school, so I'll be familiar with it, but I think that it's probably not the best option in most cases. I would rather hear a more case-specific DA that clashes more with the aff.


I generally really like counterplans, but my opinions vary with different types of CPs, so I'll just give my opinions on the different types:

-- Agent CPs: I think the majority of the debate community probably disagrees with me on this, but I tend to think the Agent CPs don't disprove the aff because they don't prove a logical opportunity cost to the topic actor (the USFG). This is not to say that you couldn't win Agent CPs good in front of me, but you will have to prove an interpretation of my role as the judge as someone who has the power to decide between the USFG taking an action and some other actor (States, Other countries, etc).

-- Advantage CPs: I really like these counterplans because I think that they're good at testing contrived aff internal links. I'd say the A+ strategy would be to find advantage CPs in 1AC evidence because it makes for a more compelling CP solvency story.

-- PICs: I love a good PIC debate*. However, the most common way neg teams botch these debates is by either 1.) not properly clarifying exactly what the aff defends in 1AC cross-x, or 2.) not properly writing their CP texts. You can win different theoretical interpretations of what competition means, but it would be best if you could write your CP text so that it is both textually and functionally competitive.

PICs are also a good way to leverage smaller topic DAs, which I like.

*You're unlikely to win that a Word PIC is competitive in front of me.

-- Process CPs: I think that CPs that compete based off of the certainty or immediacy of the plan are generally sketchy but not unwinnable in front of me - I'm more likely to believe that the CP is justified if you have solvency advocate evidence in the context of the aff.


I'll vote on it if it's well explained and impacted out. The only thing I'll add here is that I tend to think that 1-2 conditional advocacies are defensible, but beyond that I'm more likely to go aff on condo bad.


Kritiks should disprove the affirmative. I think that kritiks tend to fail at this for two reasons: they either don't have an internal link from the aff to their impacts, or they don't present a logical opportunity cost to the aff.

- Internal links: In my experience, the link story of most Ks goes something like plan = capitalism, and then capitalism -> extinction, but it doesn't make the direct connection between the aff and the impacts to the K. I think this vulnerability opens up the K to stronger perm arguments because the aff can more easily prove that the plan is good even if the rest of the squo is bad.

- Opportunity costs: you can refer to my thoughts on agent CPs here because the same basic logic applies. If the plan advocates an action by the USFG, and the neg advocates a grassroots movement against capitalism, I'm unlikely to think the alt disproves the affirmative/is a logically relevant consideration.

This is where framework debates come in. I think that framework can be used to prove competition for alts that do something about epistemology/ontology/etc because it proves why the alt's approach is distinct in a way that's important enough for me to consider competitive. However, you're unlikely to win on just FW arguments: the 2NR that just says "epistemology first" and then "the aff's epistemology is capitalist/imperialist/etc." doesn't strike me as a compelling neg ballot because the epistemology arguments are really just defensive indicts to the aff.

- Side note: I tend to think that the neg should have to prove that the alt solves the impacts to the K. This is an important part of the debate that the aff should press on.

Thoughts on specific Ks -

-- Topic Ks - these are my favorite Ks, and most likely the ones that will clash best with the affirmative. However, they're also the Ks that I'm least likely to be familiar with, so they might require extra explanation.

-- Standard Ks (Security K/Cap K/Fem IR/etc.) - I'll be most familiar with these Ks, but they're often very generic and need to be explained in the context of the aff.

-- Identity Ks (Race/Gender/Sexuality/Disability/etc) - Links should be clearly explained and specific to the aff. I'm not very persuaded by links of omission or link arguments that are tied solely to state-based advocacy.

-- Language Ks - if the other team uses slurs, is outwardly rude towards someone's identity, or otherwise tries to invalidate someone's identity, I'm 100% willing to vote on these arguments. However, I think that some language Ks are more persuasive than others, so I would only suggest going for this argument if the language is particularly egregious.

-- Postmodernism - I'm not a huge fan of these Ks; I find that they're usually unecessarily esoteric and incoherent until the 2NR. However, I'm always willing to be proven wrong, so if you want to read them in front of me you can.

Topicality (vs traditional affs)

I like topicality debates. That being said, I think that your T argument becomes exponentially more persuasive when you can develop a topical caselist or, better yet, a topical version of the aff. The reverse is also true: if the neg can't provide a vision of what their interpretation looks like, I'm more likely to be persuaded by aff characterizations of the neg interp being overlimiting.

I default to reasonability. This means that, absent an alternative framing for the T debate, I'll vote aff if the affirmative is able to win sufficient defense to the negative's interpretation, even in the absence of substantial affirmative offense.

Topicality (vs non-traditional affs)

As I said above, I believe that debate is a game. Therefore, I'll probably find arguments about procedural fairness more persuasive than arguments about changing real-world policy etc. However, the neg also have to prove the value of the game, so that requires the neg to make some claims to educational/skill-based benefits to debate.

Because I think that debate is a game, I also tend to think that rules/limits are good; this means I'd be more persuaded by an aff counterinterpretation that sets a different limit on the topic than an aff argument that we shouldn't have any limits to begin with.

I'm not inclined to think that topicality is a form of violence, but that's mostly because I don't think it's ever been adequately explained to me. I could see myself voting on this argument, but it would require a lot of explanation on the part of the aff.

K vs K aff debates

I'll admit that I have almost no experience with these kind of debates. The depth of my knowledge on this subject does not extend past the phrase "no perms in a method debate", which is a statement I don't understand. In a debate like this, both sides will have to do a lot of explanation of how the aff/alt/perm function and how they relate to each other.

Eric Forslund Paradigm

email: eforslund@gmail.com

Copied and Pasted from my judge philosophy wiki page.

Recent Bio:

13 years judging and coaching high school debate. First at Damien High School and most recently at Greenhill. Generally only judge a handful of college rounds a year.

Zero rounds on the current college topic in 2018.

Coached at the University of Wyoming 2004-2005.

I have decided to incentivize reading strategies that involve talking about the specifics of the affirmative case. Too many high school teams find a terrible agent or process cp and use politics as a crutch. Too many high school teams pull out their old, generic, k's and read them regardless of the aff. As an incentive to get away from this practice I will give any 2N that goes for a case-only strategy an extra point. If this means someone who would have earned a 29 ends up with a 30, then so be it. I would rather encourage a proliferation of higher speaker points, then a proliferation of bad, generic arguments. If you have to ask what a case strategy involves, then you probably aren't going to read one. I'm not talking about reading some case defense and going for a disad, or a counterplan that solves most of the aff. I'm talking about making a majority of the debate a case debate -- and that case debate continuing into the 2NR.

You'll notice "specificity good" throughout my philosophy. I will give higher points to those teams that engage in more specific strategies, then those that go for more generic ones. This doesnt mean that I hate the k -- on the contrary, I wouldn't mind hearing a debate on a k, but it needs to be ABOUT THE AFF. The genero security k doesnt apply to the South Korean Prostitutes aff, the Cap k doesnt apply to the South Korea Off-Shore Balancing aff - and you arent likely to convince me otherwise. But if you have an argument ABOUT the affirmative --especially a specific k that has yet to be read, then you will be rewarded if I am judging you.

I have judged high-level college and high school debates for the last 14 years. That should answer a few questions that you are thinking about asking: yes, speed is fine, no, lack of clarity is not. Yes, reading the k is ok, no, reading a bunch of junk that doesn't apply to the topic, and failing to explain why it does is not.

The single most important piece of information I can give you about me as a judge is that I cut a lot of cards -- you should ALWAYS appeal to my interest in the literature and to protect the integrity of that literature. Specific is ALWAYS better than generic, and smart strategies that are well researched should ALWAYS win out over generic, lazy arguments. Even if you dont win debates where you execute specifics, you will be rewarded.

Although my tendencies in general are much more to the right than the rest of the community, I have voted on the k many times since I started judging, and am generally willing to listen to whatever argument the debaters want to make. Having said that, there are a few caveats:

1. I don't read a lot of critical literature; so using a lot of terms or references that only someone who reads a lot of critical literature would understand isn’t going to get you very far. If I don’t understand your arguments, chances are pretty good you aren’t going to win the debate, no matter how persuasive you sound. This goes for the aff too explain your argument, don’t assume I know what you are talking about.

2. You are much better off reading critical arguments on the negative then on the affirmative. I tend to believe that the affirmative has to defend a position that is at least somewhat predictable, and relates to the topic in a way that makes sense. If they don’t, I am very sympathetic to topicality and framework-type arguments. This doesn’t mean you can’t win a debate with a non-traditional affirmative in front of me, but it does mean that it is going to be much harder, and that you are going to have to take topicality and framework arguments seriously. To me, predictability and fairness are more important than stretching the boundaries of debate, and the topic. If your affirmative defends a predictable interpretation of the topic, you are welcome to read any critical arguments you want to defend that interpretation, with the above stipulations.

3. I would much rather watch a disad/counterplan/case debate than some other alternative.

In general, I love a good politics debate - but - specific counterplans and case arguments are THE BEST strategies. I like to hear new innovative disads, but I have read enough of the literature on this year’s topic that I would be able to follow any deep debate on any of the big generic disads as well.

As far as theory goes, I probably defer negative a bit more in theory debates than affirmative. That probably has to do with the fact that I like very well thought-out negative strategies that utilize PICS and specific disads and case arguments. As such, I would much rather see an affirmative team impact turn the net benefits to a counterplan then to go for theory (although I realize this is not always possible). I really believe that the boundaries of the topic are formed in T debates at the beginning of the year, therefore I am much less willing to vote on a topicality argument against one of the mainstream affirmatives later on in the year than I am at the first few tournaments. I’m not going to outline all of the affs that I think are mainstream, but chances are pretty good if there are more than a few teams across the country reading the affirmative, I’m probably going to err aff in a close T debate.

One last thing, if you really want to get high points in front of me, a deep warming debate is the way to go. I would be willing to wager that I have dug further into the warming literature than just about anybody in the country, and I love to hear warming debates. I realize by this point most teams have very specific strategies to most of the affirmatives on the topic, but if you are wondering what advantage to read, or whether or not to delve into the warming debate on the negative, it would be very rewarding to do so in front of me -- at the very least you will get some feedback that will help you in future debates.

Ok, I lied, one more thing. Ultimately I believe that debate is a game. I believe that debaters should have fun while debating. I realize that certain debates get heated, however do your best not to be mean to your partner, and to the other team. There are very few things I hate more than judging a debate where the teams are jerks to each other. Finally, although I understand the strategic value to impact turning the alternative to kritiks and disads (and would encourage it in most instances), there are a few arguments I am unwilling to listen to those include: sexism good, racism good, genocide good, and rape good. If you are considering reading one of those arguments, don’t. You are just going to piss me off.

Robin Forsyth Paradigm

I debated for Georgetown Day School

Slack > tech > truth

I'm not going to buy racism, sexism, ableism or anything of that character is good

Do what you do best, I really do enjoy all kinds of debates.

that being said go for presumption

Arguments have a claim, warrants, data and or historical examples to back those warrants and an implication all of which must be extended.

Saying "they dropped x" does not prove x true, and if you do not explain why x is the case, you have also dropped it

"insert rehighlighting" is not a thing, you have speech time

Impact calculus wins debates.

Slow down on analytics, if it isn't on my flow i'm not going to evaluate it. This applies doubly to theory debates and standards in general.

I like stories, tell me a story about what happens how and why not just that it will happen.

Analytics, including those which use your personal knowledge of the world, carry just as much weight as a card absent debate over an authors qualifications, the unique characteristics of their data set or some other such comparison. Simply saying we have a card and they don’t will not only make me dislike you, it won’t get my ballot.

I flow cross-ex and often find it to be the most important series of speeches in rounds I judge, act accordingly.

Put me on the email chain: robinforsyth@gmail.com


I have been on both sides of this debate and feel that I'm fairly impartial. I tend to think fairness is an internal link not stand alone impact but can be convinced otherwise. If you are the negative try and use case answers to mitigate the ability of the aff to weigh their offense against FW, if you are aff do your best to do the opposite. I think the role of the judge/ballot/debate is under utilized in these debates.

Arms sales is an interesting topic for definitions, everyone, policy and otherwise, should utilize the implications of these definitions for enacting policy, organizing or conceptualizing arms policy. Arms control is also a place where teams which avoid portions of the resolution should be able to tell me in historical context why those portions of the resolution are wrong, and why your aff is at the core of where we need to be looking when we think of arms sales. This is all to say generic arguments from your backfiles will bore me and are unlikely to win my ballot when you all have a lot to talk about.

One more note on fairness: as a k debater this was my favorite impact to see the negative read because it is very very easy to beat absent a skills/education/reflexivity argument or something along those lines.


I did not attend a camp this year, so my one word of advice here is be careful with the acronyms and don’t assume I know what the common T args are. That said I like topicality and in-depth discussion of not only the implications of an interpretation for debate but for policy makers should they adopt these definitions


I don't mind generic link evidence if you have in-depth contextualization backed by strong historical examples, especially if you are going for politics.


I tend to agree with the aff on theory against uniform 50 state fiat and anything more than 2 conditional counter-plans, otherwise I'm pretty good for the negative on theory pertaining to the counter-plan. Otherwise I enjoy a good advantage counter-plan, PIC, or any other counter-plan.


These are the arguments I have gone for the most. I am most familiar with Derrida, Bataille, Baudrillard and orthodox Marxism but am pretty comfortable with the other common literature bases. Again, historical examples and case specific analysis is far more important than just having evidence that mentions terms used by the affirmative. Please do line by line, you can save a lot of time by just explaining your thesis in relation to particular affirmative arguments rather than recontextualizing a 3 minute overview. That being said, I do not practice what i preach and will listen if you opt for a lecture instead of a speech.

make a presumption argument

I am not a good judge for you if you think you can talk about capitalism without mentioning its settler colonial and anti-black contradictions, these are central and the primary nexus of capitalist oppression.


These are my favorite debates, if done well and not just blocked out debate jargon. If you be creative and think on your feet you will be able to easily win on theory in front of me as i think most teams are woefully insufficient in their responses to most theory arguments.

k affs:


no, really, go for presumption. both sides.

Case Debate:

I think the affirmative rarely capitalizes on the lack of in-depth case debating that is common in 2nr. If you anticipate this and use cross-ex to beat back against shoddy negative arguments on case then a 2ar which spends a lot of time on impact calculus and the case will be a good choice against most negative strategies.

I really enjoy plan flaws, particularly for use against affirmative framing arguments pertaining to policy-making or scenario-planning.

It is far more easy to persuade me that I should vote negative on presumption than it is in front of most (perhaps nearly all) judges, particularly if the affirmative is not explaining their solvency mechanism in the final rebuttals. This means you should extend your aff, even if you think they didn’t go to the case page.

You will get better speaker points if you:

go for presumption

know well and care about the subject you are talking about

are funny

use cross-ex well

give me a history lesson

read and make arguments based on authors qualifications

"How can we achieve Slack when the opportunists offer up Slackless plan after Slackless plan?"

Colton Gilbert Paradigm


I competed in policy for three years in high school at Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School; I did an additional year at the University of Kentucky. I am now on the coaching staff at Little Rock Central High School. I have a bachelor's and a master's in Communication Studies and a master's in Secondary Education. I said that not to sound pompous but so that you will understand that my lack of exposure to an argument will not preclude me from evaluating it; I know how to analyze argumentation. I have represented Arkansas at the Debate Topic Selection for the past few years (I authored the Middle East paper in 2018 and the Criminal Justice paper in 2019) and that has altered how I view both the topic process and debates, in a good way. I think this makes me a more informed, balanced judge.

Include me on all email chains, please cgilbert1906@gmail.com


I find that many teams are rude and obnoxious in round and don’t see the need to treat their opponents with dignity. I find this mode of thinking offensive and disrespectful to the activity as a whole

I consider myself an open slate person but that doesn’t mean that you can pull the most obscure argument from your backfiles and run it in front of me. Debate is an intellectual game. Because of this I find it offensive when debaters run arguments just to be running them, do not run your arguments if you don’t think they can win you the round!

I don’t mind speed and consider myself an exceptional flower. That being said, I think that it helps us judges when debaters slow down on important things like plan/CP texts, perms, theory arguments, and anything else that will require me to get what you said verbatim.

Saying anything remotely racist, ableist, transphobic, etc will get you an auto loss in front of me. If that means you need to strike me then do us both a favor and strike me.

Short Version

My previous paradigm had a thorough explanation of how I evaluate most arguments. For the sake of prefs and pre round prep I have decided to amend it. When I debated I was mostly a T/CP/DA debater. That being said, I am open to just about any form of argumentation you want to make. If it is a high theory argument don’t take for granted that I understand most of the terminology your author’s use.

I will prioritize my ballot around what the 2NR/2AR highlights as the key issues in the debate. I try to start with the last two speeches and work my way back through the debate evaluating the arguments that the debaters are making. I don’t have to personally agree with an argument to vote for it.


I see framework as slightly different from T so I evaluate it differently as well. Too often debaters read a lot of blocks and don’t do enough engaging in these kinds of debates. The “Role of the Ballot” needs to be explicit and there needs to be a discussion of how your ROB is accessible by both teams. If you want to skirt the issue of accessibility then you need to articulate why the impact(s) of the aff outweigh whatever arguments the neg is going for.

These debates, for me, generally come down to an issue of fairness. K affs should be able to articulate what the role of the negative is under their model. If the aff is in the direction of the topic, I tend to give them some leeway in responding to a lot of the neg claims. Central to convincing me to vote for a non-resolutionally based affirmative is their ability to describe to me what the role of the negative would be under their model of debate. The aff should spend time on impact turning framework while simultaneously using their aff to short circuit some of the impact claims advanced by the neg.

Parting Thoughts

Don’t manipulate what you are best at to fit into my paradigm of viewing debate. Do what you do best and I will do what I do best in evaluating the debate.

Alan Goldfarb Paradigm

Alan Goldfarb

Debated at Georgetown Day

Debating for USC ('23)

I qualified to the ToC in policy if that's something you care about

Put me on the email chain: alangoldfarb19@gmail.com

Last updated for Berkeley 2020: Ethics violations are only to accuse a team of the following: clipping, reading evidence that has been fabricated, or reading evidence that has been modified. Falsifiability standards can be debated and thus are a theoretical violation, not an ethics violation.

I owe my debate career to jon sharp


Read whatever you want. Do good debating and I'll vote for you. I know paradigms are long so ask me questions before the round if you want.

Try not to assume I know what your acronyms mean.

I like presumption.

Top Level

Tech>truth. I am willing to vote for most arguments provided they have warrants. Judge adaptation is overrated. You should go for what you are good at or what you want to go for.

Line by line wins debates but ethos gets speaker points. Because of this I expect to give low point wins with more frequency than most. If it isn't on my flow it didn't happen so slow down a bit during essential parts of the debate (such as topicality in the 1NC).

Time your own speeches and prep. Don't steal prep. Try not to call me judge.

Can I go for this argument in front of you?

Probably. All arguments can be deployed well, and all arguments can be deployed poorly. I've spent a decent part of my debate career focusing on kritikal arguments, but that doesn't mean I am unwilling to hear a politics DA. If that's your thing, explain your internal link chains and do impact calculus. Internal link comparison is often more persuasive than impact comparison. DA turns case arguments are awesome. Judge kick can maybe be a thing if the 2NR tells me it is.

I'm most familiar with specific veins of high theory (mostly Baudrillard and psychoanalysis) and the cap k. That doesn't mean you shouldn't explain your buzzwords to me because I will try to avoid drawing on outside knowledge to adjudicate debates. You should contextualize your links to the aff, otherwise i will likely be convinced that the permutation is a viable option. While k debates have the potential to be very interesting, debates in which you are unable to explain what the alternative does or how it relates to the aff will probably not result in me voting for you. In my opinion, usually not enough time is spent on the alternative and how it solves the k.

Topicality can be a persuasive argument. I default to in-round abuse but am easily be persuaded otherwise. If you give a good, warranted 2NR on t or theory, I will likely vote for you, not because I love topicality, but because affirmative teams have been getting worse at answering it. Perfcon+condo is persuasive to me.

I think case debate is the most underrated portion of any debate. Zero risk is a thing. If I don't think the aff solves I'll vote on presumption. Impact turns are fun arguments.

T/FW vs k-affs

If you want to read a planless aff, go for it. If your strat against planless affs is 1-off topicality, you do you. I don't really care about the t/framework distinction and default to fairness as an internal link, not an impact, although I can easily be convinced otherwise. Contextualization will win these debates, which is why a 2AR that spits all their offense at me without explanation probably won't earn my ballot. Likewise, a 2NR that just repeats that debate is a game will also probably not earn my ballot. Do impact calculus and discuss aff solvency in these debates. TVAs are persuasive arguments which are an impact filter if I am not told otherwise.


Cross-x is a 3 minute speech which I flow. You should use it to explain complicated parts of your arguments. Don't yell.

Zero risk is a thing.

Evidence comparison wins debates. I might call for cards but only if they are explained in the round.

Presumption can flip aff.

Big picture framing is important: Try to tell me a story.

Embedded clash is cool.

There are some arguments I won't vote on: racism/sexism good or arguments centered around things that happened outside of the debate.

Post-rounding is fine, we all lose debates we don't think we should have, but don't be super aggressive.

Don't try to conform to much to me. I'll conform to you.

Joshua Gonzalez Paradigm

Joshua Gonzalez

Yes, add me to emails. gonza310 at gmail

New for 2018-2019:

High School Debates:

0. I will, at my own discretion, treat evidence that is highlighted such that the remaining words still follow basic grammatical rules as necessarily superior to evidence that is not. If I have to read and/or search unhighlighted parts of the evidence to make sense of the parts that you *did* read, then *your* version of that evidence isn't very good, even if the full, un0highlighted card is quite good...


Rando stuff that I've added:

1. I will not automatically judge-kick conditional CPs. 2NR must signal to me to do it, in which case (absent a compelling aff response) I'm happy to do it, but I don't remember to do it every single time unless signaled, and it isn't fair for me to do it inconsistently.

The majority of what I've written below is of a positive/empirical nature, rather than normative/ideal. I obviously have opinions about debate, arguments, etc., but who doesn't? Every time a debate happens, the activity changes a little bit, as do my thoughts and opinions about it. If anything, what is below describes how I have voted in the past more than I how I intend to vote in the future.

That being said, there are a number of practices that have developed various degrees of normative force over time in our activity. Arguers who seek to overturn norms (not universally, obvi) are necessarily dealing with a task of overcoming presumption. I don't think that this is a particularly high bar (certainly not high enough that it should discourage you from trying); I just think it's the best explanation for my past voting behavior.

Speaker Points: who even knows anymore. I'll assign some.

Newest Complaint: 2NC/1NR - please don't group disparate parts of a flow and call it "the link debate" or "the uniqueness debate." While there are def. parts of flows that deserve grouping, this is a technique that is over-used and isn't very smart. There's a good chance you'll drop something the other team said.

Paperless addendum: Mark your cards during your speech. Save the speech doc from which you spoke, with marks. Be prepared to send it out after the speech if the other team requests that you do so. Regardless, I will expect to receive a post-round doc of all relevant cards WITH MARKS CLEARLY NOTED. If I don't, I will not consider the cards as part of my decision. If this document includes evidence that was not read in full (all portions that are highlighted) but is not marked as such, I will definitely blow up your speaker points and will may just vote for the other team on the spot. If you discover, after sending the document to me, that it is missing a mark, don't hesitate to correct it. Honesty and transparency are what we're aiming for here.

Clipping: Auto-loss, auto zero points for the debater. This is obvious.

SWEAR LESS: I didn't care about this nearly as much when I was younger, but as I've become older, I've increasingly become of the belief that all of you kids need to stay off my lawn. Let's try and cut down on the swearing during actual debate speeches, it's just not particularly becoming and it gets us in trouble with the higher ups. I'm sure there's any number of things you can say about this, but honestly, I probably disagree and this is one of those spots where I assign the speaker points and you'll just have to adapt. If this is a non-negotiable item for you, I take no offense to you moving me down the pref sheet, as is your perogative.

T/Framework/Etc. - I have rarely made the decision that topicality was not a voter. In all but the most extreme instances, I have typically decided that the affirmative should have to try and read a topical plan. I phrase this as an empirical statement rather than a normantive one, but I think it would be unfair of me to not let you know that I've been more likely than not to side with the negative when they make an argument to that effect. Here's the big catch: what the words that are configured into this “plan” (and the resolution) mean are significantly open to debate (or how they are best understood/interpreted) but it's plainly obvious what the directions of most topics are and what one would do to have some fidelity to that. I am inclined to think that people who claim that it is actually impossible to make arguments about social justice in the context of most any recent debate are, well, incorrect and really aren't trying very hard.

Theory – I don’t seem to vote on this much, but I’m probably just waiting to meet the right theory debater. I have an intuition that the multiplicity of worlds advanced in 1NCs these days are probably unfair, I just haven’t heard a team that has really made a good set of arguments as to why. Be careful with the words “logical policy maker”: logical policy makers might consider lots of different counterplans, but they probably think the politics disad is really, really stupid, too. I don’t have too much of a dog in the fight with regard to intrinsicness, etc. – I coach a lot of teams to go for politics, but I do also think that debate is probably worse off for it at the end of the day. I find most totalizing theories of CP competition pretty self-serving and stupid, particularly “textual competition.” I have not heard a compelling reason why it makes sense as a standard, rather than just something that conveniently excludes a number of undesirable counterplans. If those CPs are bad, there is likely plenty of good reasons to reject them on their own and we don’t need a counterintuitive competition standard to prevent them from being run.

ASPEC – this is my least favorite debate argument. New rule: 2ACs don’t have to spend any more time answering it than the 1NC spent reading it. If the block makes a big deal, I’m inclined to allow a TON of new 1AR argument—and you can still probably say “cross ex checks” and get out of Dodge. This is one of the only things I am actually willing to impose by judge fiat.

Consultation CPs – these are my second least favorite debate arguments. Any generic strategy that creates an incentive for the aff to read plans that would be vetoed by any relevant international actor is probably a bad argument. I still vote on them, just don’t expect great speaks, even if you think you gave the best speech of your life, which, by virtue of making it about a consultation CP, you have not.

Critiques – I used to be the guy that K teams struck. Now I seem to be a middle-of-the-road sort of fellow. Maybe even K-leaning. This is not because I think critiques are totally awesome and the past/present/future of debate. I actually think many, if not most of them are surprisingly shallow and silly, but most teams seem incapable of acquitting themselves as anything less than even more shallow and dumb. My research interests go vastly farther into the critical than do my debate interests, so there’s a good chance I know what you’re talking about. Don’t be afraid to make arguments that have some theoretical depth, but in so doing, do not fail to make them relevant to the question of the debate (theorizing biopower is totally fascinating, but you need to make it into a reason to not do the plan).

Decorum/Attitude/Behavior – ethos matters in a persuasive setting. Become comfortable with the fact that debate judges (this one in particular) are not logical robots. We are big, jiggly masses of flesh. This means that you should make some attempt at being likeable in debate rounds. I rarely find myself voting for teams that I do not like and yet I feel as if I make decisions on the basis of relatively objective criteria. This does not make much sense unless one understands that how judges feel about you effects (affect?) how they understand and evaluate every other facet of the debate. I have spent more than 20 years of my life in this activity and rarely regretted it (until recently). I still love almost every person I've met through debate, but I am having an increasingly hard time coming to grips with how many of us are behaving (myself included, from time to time). Make it the sort of place that other people want to be and not only will judges reward you, but you will likely reap an enormous number of other intangible benefits as well. Only one team wins the tournament – everybody else should have a pretty good reason that they came. Year after year, I find that the only good reason (and the best reason that I could imagine) is “everybody else.”

Alex Greene Paradigm

Alex Greene


20 March 2018

Judging Philosophy

I view debate as an academic competition where one plays to win. Most importantly, I do not have any predispositions of arguments except for structural K's and K-affs. That being said, if you read either of those arguments, then I am probably not the best judge for you.

I think that 90% of life is presentation. So, make it good.

50 state fiat is a reason to reject the states counterplan in MOST, BUT NOT ALL instances.

Sam Grimsley Paradigm

Who Am I?

Greenhill 2018

Trinity 2022

email: sgrimsley99@gmail.com



theory = sad face

plan required

make complete arguments

everything below is mostly a list about my preferences in debate that I think are noteworthy or diverge from community norms


I like t debates.

I view these debates in terms of offense/defense. Reasonability will be a hard sell

Winning internal links to predictability or precision is much more important than limits in a vacuum.

I'm more likely to err towards smaller topics than protecting "aff innovation"

plan text in a vacuum is a bad standard


Winning turns case only matters if you win a reasonable risk of the DA.

Politics is great

DA non intrinsic/fiat solves the link/bottom of the docket aren't arguments that I'll ever care about


very neg biased on all counterplan theory.

If the aff makes a theory argument by shotgunning standards without a warrant or coherent argument in 10 seconds or a similar practice, the negative is completely justified by responding by pointing out the incomplete argument and shotgunning standards without warrant in return

Positional competition is good

Counterplans should be functionally and textually competitive

The aff should probably be certain and immediate

I will kick the counterplan for the negative always



read a plan


The aff gets to weigh the case

I'm familiar with cap and security, beyond that, you'll need a lot of explanation

If your overview is longer than 45 seconds I will stop flowing after 45 seconds until you start doing line by line

Other/Random Thoughts

Always a risk --> hard to convince me no risk

You can insert evidence you've re-highlighted

"for your da's, but not your cp's" is a silly standard

tech>truth --> impossible to convince me otherwise as long as the original argument was "complete"

Impact turns done well are a route to high speaks

I have a relatively high standard for the 1ar and don't have any problem writing off incomplete 1ar arguments

If you say the words "new affs bad" or "cooperative learning framework" you will lose speaker points and probably lose if it the 2nr option

Framing contentions make me sad

Jeremy Hammond Paradigm


I have judged a lot of debates. I view myself as a reasonable judge. I have judged every type of debate and find myself capable in any instance. I hate when people cry wolf with the word "conceded."

David Heidt Paradigm

David Heidt

Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart

NDT 2019 notes:

I have no rounds on the topic and have not done topic research, so please keep that in mind.

Some education topic specific thoughts:

1. I'm ambivalent about the states counterplan. I could easily see myself voting against it on theory, but I think there's a debate to be had and I could also easily see myself voting for it as well. I'm a lot more likely to vote against it the further it gets away from topic literature or a respectable solvency advocate, and a lot less likely to vote against it if the evidence defending it is of high quality.

2. I think critiques are decent on this topic largely because I see critiques as competing strategies for social change, and I think there's pretty good education-topic literature that supports criticism from this perspective and *defends alternatives*. If you can't go for a critique without making it a critique of fiat or saying the word Baudrillard, then I'm unlikely to be the judge for you. But if you research critiques of education policy and defend an alternative method, then I'm very likely to be receptive. My view of critiques depends heavily upon evidence quality, and there were several that were turned out at camps this year that I think were pretty good. How specific is your argument to education reform? If it's about the topic and you have an alternative, you're probably good to go. If it's about cybernetics, you're probably not.

3. While I would like to see a good federalism DA, I have yet to hear one that I did not start at 0% risk and I don't think the 2ac even requires evidence to answer it. It seems pretty bad on this topic, despite being one of the core objections to federal education policy. I don't think this DA is even runnable in the 1nc; at least not the versions I've heard.

4. I like the education topic quite a bit - I think the federal education reform literature is outstanding and I think affirmative teams should defend it. I'm aff-leaning towards my view of the topic as a whole - the literature is pretty heavily aff-biased and the quality of negative generics is much lower than in previous years. But that has two pretty important implications.

First, I'm pretty unsympathetic to aff claims along the lines of "this topic is terrible for the aff; we need an expansive topicality interpretation to be creative". Broad topics are the enemy of education. Broad topics mean the neg goes for garbage like consult. That's not what I want my students to get from debate.

Second, if you're reading an aff without solvency evidence or with internal links that you just made up by mistagging evidence - I'm probably going to think that you haven't met your burden of proof and I'm likely discount it entirely. I think that the risk of both advantages and disadvantages can be - and frequently is - zero. I don't think the judging philosophy that says there's always a small risk of something is very well thought out. Presumably, it would mean that if I carded my own judging philosophy, and flagrantly mistagged the cards to represent an education tradeoff DA, someone subscribing to the 'any risk' view would assign the DA some risk and vote neg on it if it was read as a net benefit to a CP that solved the whole case. While this example might seem absurd, it's not more absurd than some of the aff advantages that were broken at Greenhill this year. It's not more absurd than some politics DAs. Mistagged cards from this very paragraph would probably be of higher quality and represent the source material more accurately than some of the things that people have called advantages and disadvantages over the years.

I don't know why judges assume there's a risk of anything - the whole point of the burden of proof is that it's a BURDEN and the judge needs to be convinced that you're right - we don't just give you the benefit of the doubt. If the standard is merely "they presented some words verbally so there's a risk because the neg didn't have offense", then we've all really failed at our jobs. If you're going to win a risk of an advantage or disadvantage, the minimal burden is (1) it has to make sense, and (2) it must be supported with evidence reflects expertise, data or logic, and does not misrepresent the author.


Generally I try to evaluate arguments fairly and based upon the debaters' explanations of arguments, rather than injecting my own opinions. What follows are my opinions regarding several bad practices currently in debate, but just agreeing with me isn't sufficient to win a debate - you actually have to win the arguments relative to what your opponents said. There are some things I'll intervene about - death good, behavior meant to intimidate or harass your opponents, or any other practice that I think is negative for a high school student classroom setting - but just use some common sense.

Thoughts about critical affs and critiques:

Good debates require two prepared teams. Allowing the affirmative team to not advocate the resolution creates bad debates. There's a disconnect in a frighteningly large number of judging philosophies I've read where judges say their favorite debates are when the negative has a specific strategy against an affirmative, and yet they don't think the affirmative has to defend a plan. This does not seem very well thought out, and the consequence is that the quality of debates in the last few years has declined greatly as judges increasingly reward teams for not engaging the topic.

Fairness is the most important impact. Other judging philosophies that say it's just an internal link are poorly reasoned. In a competitive activity involving two teams, assuring fairness is one of the primary roles of the judge. The fundamental expectation is that judges evaluate the debate fairly; asking them to ignore fairness in that evaluation eliminates the condition that makes debate possible. If every debate came down to whoever the judge liked better, there would be no value to participating in this activity. The ballot doesn't do much other than create a win or a loss, but it can definitely remedy the harms of a fairness violation. The vast majority of other impacts in debate are by definition less important because they never depend upon the ballot to remedy the harm.

Fairness is also an internal link - but it's an internal link to establishing every other impact. Saying fairness is an internal link to other values is like saying nuclear war is an internal link to death impacts. A loss of fairness implies a significant, negative impact on the activity and judges that require a more formal elaboration of the impact are being pedantic.

Arguments along the lines of 'but policy debate is valueless' are a complete nonstarter in a voluntary activity, especially given the existence of multiple alternative forms of speech and debate. Policy debate is valuable to some people, even if you don't personally share those values. If your expectation is that you need a platform to talk about whatever personally matters to you rather than the assigned topic, I encourage you to try out a more effective form of speech activity, such as original oratory. Debate is probably not the right activity for you if the condition of your participation is that you need to avoid debating a prepared opponent.

The phrase "fiat double-bind" demonstrates a complete ignorance about the meaning of fiat, which, unfortunately, appears to be shared by some judges. Fiat is merely the statement that the government should do something, not that they would. The affirmative burden of proof in a debate is solely to demonstrate the government should take a topical action at a particular time. That the government would not actually take that action is not relevant to any judge's decision.

Framework arguments typically made by the negative for critiques are clash-avoidance devices, and therefore are counterproductive to education. There is no merit whatsoever in arguing that the affirmative does not get to weigh their plan. Critiques of representations can be relevant, but only in relation to evaluating the desirability of a policy action. Representations cannot be separated from the plan - the plan is also a part of the affirmative's representations. For example, the argument that apocalyptic representations of insecurity are used to justify militaristic solutions is asinine, given the plan includes a representation of a non-militaristic solution. The plan determines the context of representations included to justify it.

Thoughts about topicality:

Limited topics make for better topics. Enormous topics mean that it's much harder to be prepared, and that creates lower quality debates. The best debates are those that involve extensive topic research and preparation from both sides. Large topics undermine preparation and discourage cultivating expertise. Aff creativity and topic innovation are just appeals to avoid genuine debate.

Thoughts about evidence:

Evidence quality matters. A lot of evidence read by teams this year is underlined in such a way that it's out of context, and a lot of evidence is either badly mistagged or very unqualified. On the one hand, I want the other team to say this when it's true. On the other hand, if I'm genuinely shocked at how bad your evidence is, I will probably discount it.

Cameron Henderson Paradigm


Previous debater at UGA and debated in HS at a small school in GA. 
If you have any other questions, email me at camhen.debate@gmail.com - I would like to be on the email chain. 

- I won't read evidence "inserted into the debate." Debate's a communication activity and it justifies highlighting large parts of other people's ev which you couldn't read in a speech because of time constraints. I also don't know why it isn't the same as inserting a 20 min 1AC into the debate. Just read their re-highlighted ev or make broad indicts about the context of the ev. I think this practice is unethical. 

TLDR : Plans or GTFO

Prep Time ends when the jump drive leaves your computer.

I am very much so tech > truth.

Please Don't:
Be Rude or aggressive towards me, your opponent or your partner
Perform or imitate a sex act of any kind

Talk about suicide

Get naked

Please Do:
Read a plan
Defend a course of action
Defend your consequences
Have a competitive methodology

Case Debate

I like specific case debate. Shows you put in the hard work it takes to research and defeat the aff. I will reward hard work if there is solid Internal link debating. I think case specific disads are also pretty good if well thought out and executed. I like impact turn debates. Cleanly executed ones will usually result in a neg ballot -- messy debates, however, will not.


I enjoy T debates, but please give me comparing visions of the topic (case lists are important). I default to competing interpretations but can be convinced otherwise; please put some effort into your reasonability arguments. You are fighting an uphill battle if you're trying to go for T must be a QPQ. 


Slow down. If you want me to vote on it, you have to give me time to actually write down your arguments. I have a pretty high threshold for condo with 2 or fewer condo options. More than 2 conditional advocacies is probably abusive. 


The link is really important to me. 

I love good politics debate. The 1NR should do solid evidence comparison.


Links should be specific and well explained (there's a trend here). Don't get lost in buzzwords - make actual arguments. The aff should probably get to weigh their aff, but if they shouldn't, explain to me why. 

Too many times I see debaters forget about case – it’s still there. 
If you’re aff against the K, don’t forget your aff.  I dislike rejection alts- realistically your aff is a DA to the alt, impact it.

Death is bad. Suffering is bad. 


They're cool. The more germane to the aff/topic they are, the more I will like them. 

Process CP’s are probably bad. I think you need a solvency advocate (with rare exceptions). 

K affs

are fine- you have to have a plan. You should defend that plan. Affs who don't will prob lose to framework. A lot....

NonTraditional Teams
If not defending a plan is your thing, I'm not your judge. I think topical plans are good. I think the aff needs to read a topical plan and defend the action of that topical plan. I also think if you've made the good faith effort to engage, then you should be rewarded. These arguments make more sense on the negative but I am not compelled by arguments that claim: "you didn't talk about it, so you should lose."

Sumaya Hussaini Paradigm

Blue Valley Southwest '18

University of Southern California '22

I did policy debate at BVSW for four years and am currently on the USC Policy Debate Team

Email: sumayahussaini13@gmail.com

Top Level:

-Please be nice to each other! Inappropriate behavior will result in low speaker points

-I don't know much about the current high school topic so try to explain things well and refrain from relying on acronyms specific to the resolution

-Debate should be fun and a forum that allows for free expression of thoughts and ideas. I’d prefer you read the arguments you are comfortable with/ interested in and I’ll try evaluating the debate as objectively as possible

-I weigh tech over truth and a dropped argument is generally a true one, but I’ll only evaluate an argument extension if it includes a claim and warrant


-I think conditionality is good

-Unless dropped, theory is almost always a reason to reject the argument, not the team


-I generally enjoy T debates, but since I'm not familiar with the topic, going for complex T violations without proper explanation might not be the move

-If you give a long case lists of affs their interp justifies, I most likely won't know what they are so explain why an interpretation that allows for those cases would be a bad model for debate

-I default to competing interpretations but can be be persuaded by reasonability if you explain why your interpretation provides a sufficient check on the topic

-T isn't a reverse voting issue

-Standards need to be impacted out

-Describe your impacts in terms of what debate would look like for the aff and neg

-Limits and precision are the most persuasive impacts

Framework/K Affs:

-I think affs should defend a topical federal government action or at least be in the direction of the topic. Some predictable stasis point is necessary for debate to be productive. That being said, I will do my best to objectively judge the debate regardless of the arguments you read

-I'm fine with fairness impacts

-2ac answer saying “framework is exclusionary” is not persuasive, I’d rather hear arguments about why structural fairness outweighs/precedes procedural fairness


-Legitimate counterplans must be competitive

-Delay, process, consult counterplans, and word PICs are unpersuasive to me and I lean aff. I can be persuaded to vote negative if there is specific solvency or a technically efficient push for competition

-I like advantage counterplans with specific solvency/ recutting of bad 1ac ev

-I’m willing to judge-kick a counterplan if explicitly told to do so


-I have a solid understanding of the neolib/security literature, but beyond that, I’m probably not the best judge for you in terms of familiarity with the literature so refrain from relying heavily on buzzwords

-The negative must do specific aff analysis on the link level and explain the alternative

-The aff should get to weigh the case

-I’m heavily persuaded by the permutation


-Impact calculus plays an important factor in my decision calculus and should be forefronted in all the rebuttals

-Turns case args are good, but only make sense if the neg is winning a risk of the DA

-The 1ar needs to answer the block’s turns case arguments

Ben Jablonski Paradigm

MBA '18

Emory '22


In Short

Fairness is an impact and affs should have plans

I do not like T against affs with plans

Higher threshold for voting / rejecting a cp on theory

The long paragraphs below are my general leanings when judging a debate -- all of this goes out the window with uneven debating

Top Level Stuff

1. Send a doc after the round with the relevant cards. If you find yourself speaking for 20 consecutive seconds in any speech from the 1ac to the 1ar without a card, something has gone wrong.

2. Framing contentions -- I am not a good judge for framing contentions that just say util bad, consequences bad, predictions bad, nuclear war isn't bad; the neg should go for a DA and case

CPs and theory

States, international, multiplank, multiactor, pics, CPs without solvency advocates are good

Process CPs are good when grounded in topic literature. I do not have a predisposition on theory here.

Condo -- Aff teams seem too scared to extend it. A lot of times it truly is the most strategic option.

Advantage counterplans are underutilized - I feel people either stop fiat-ing a dozen planks too early, or they forget about all of the planks except for one or two

I'm apprehensive about kicking the CP for the neg


The flow is important. 7 minute overviews will never be a good idea. You've probably answered their args somewhere along the way, but it sucks

FW should be a small investment of time -- I will weigh the aff in most situations

Planless affs

I think the aff should defend the hypothetical implementation of a topical plan. Most affs in these debates have little to no offense. I think fairness is the best impact, and other neg impacts link to aff offense that I don't think links to fairness. In these debates, the impact turns rarely make sense to me. You must have a reason that the process of debating the topic is bad not just a reason that the topic itself is bad.


Not a big fan - I'd prefer just about any other debate

Reasonability -- i think this could / should be the first minute or two of the 2ar, explain how reasonability turns all of their limits, ground or predictability arguments. I find substance crowd out to be true. I think it outweighs the minimal difference between the two interpretations.


I will not vote on arguments about things that happened outside of the round.

I am not a fan of spreading bad arguments.

Ryan James Paradigm

Ryan James

Email: ryanjames0116@gmail.com - add me to the email chain

Emory University '21

Debated 4 years at McDonogh ('17)

Top Level:

Do you, I will equally evaluate any argument (unless clearly, intentionally, and/or inherently unethical) as long are you are willing to defend the argument in a passionate and respectful way. I will try to be as objective as possible. My history in non-traditional/performative debate does not mean that I "default" to these arguments or will prefer them over any other sort of argument - if you win the debate, you win the debate. I am still familiar with traditional forms of debate, but heir to the side of more explanation for topic DA contextualization. I love seeing smart/new/strategic arguments. The best way to get a ballot in front of me is for the 2NR/2AR to attempt to best stitch together all of the previous moving parts of the debate together and paint a story for how voting your way would look like. This may include a role of the ballot/debate/judge but not necessary.

K/Performance/Non-traditional Affs & T/Framework:

- I am flexible with alternative ways of viewing the topic. What I have read/believe is true however does not necessarily matter in these debates though because (like I said above) if you win you win. An aff that's not T can still win against T/FW and a T aff can lose on T/FW. It all depends on the debate and what your arguments are.

- I will not prescribe to you how you should read your args - as long as you believe you are making smart/well-explained/strategic argument, do you and I'll evaluate it.

- FW: Actually talk about the aff/what they do specifically instead of broad "no-plan bad". You can still win these debates but usually not at high-level competition. (T you won't have to worry about this as much)


- Familiar with race-based Ks (STILL give me the story of the K esp. in the context of the aff, not everyone reads the same Ks the same way).

- High-theory Ks will need to do explanation that isn't full of jargon even if it makes sense to you


- DA: Solid link contextualization and impact work (assuming you are winning the basic stuff i.e. uq, i/l chains, etc.) and you'll be good.

- CP: Open to them all, no matter how small/picky or big if you win the flow you win the CP

Speaker Points:

- I evaluate based on what I have seen at your level of debate.

- Generally 28.5 - 29.5 but you will be below or above if you need to learn/practice a lot more and practice or did exceptionally well and made very smart arguments that stitched the debate together, respectively.


- Open, cool with using prep to prolong CX

- Of course reference if necessary in speech


- Speed isn't everything - slower + clear > faster + hear every 5th word; I will also listen and usually flow the parts of the evidence you read/have highlighted

- Clipping: You and partner get L + 0 speaks, W + 30s for opponents, taken up with tab

- Saving the doc, emailing, flashing, that whole process is not prep

Jaime Jaramillo Paradigm

Josh Jeong Paradigm

My name is Josh Jeong but I go by JJ.

I did policy debate for four years at Hooch in Johns Creek, GA.

I'm now a freshman at Wake Forest.

You do you and add me to the email chain. joshuajeong1018@gmail.com

Shunta Jordan Paradigm

**Updated pre-GSU 2019**

Yes I would like to be on the email chain: jordanshun@gmail.com

I will listen to all arguments, but a couple of caveats:

-This doesn't mean I will understand every element of your argument.

-I have grown extremely irritated with clash debates…take that as you please.

-I am a firm believer that you must read some evidence in debate. If you differ, you might want to move me down the pref sheet.

I have been a long-term fan of the great Shannon Sharpe. Now that he is the co-host of Undisputed, he often serves up Hot Dubs and Hot Ls daily. Please see ways below in which you or your team might earn one of these Dubs or Ls:

To Earn a Hot L:

1. You stumble, fumble or go silent on a fundamental series of CX questions related to your Aff, primary Neg position or issues germane to the topic.

2. You are blatantly racist, homophobic, sexist or are in any other way discriminatory in the debate space.

3. You decide that theory, skepticism or RVIs are more important than substance (specifically for LD).

4. You clip or cross-read.

To Earn a Hot W:

1. Debate well!

2. Be nice!

3. Don’t do any of the things in the Hot L section!

Note to all: In high school debate, there is no world where the Negative needs to read more than 5 off case arguments. SO if you say 6+, I'm only flowing 5 and you get to choose which you want me to flow.
In college debate, I might allow 6 off case arguments :/

Good luck to all!

K. Karas Paradigm

I was a policy debater in high school (Glenbrook North) and college (Georgetown) in the 1980s, which means I debated in an era where debaters didn't get to pick judges who they knew agreed with their arguments before the round started.

I have been on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues for the last decade and I have been actively coaching and judging these past four seasons.

I'm a strict tabula rasa judge. Yes, I have my own viewpoints, but I leave them in the hallway and I have voted for and against every type of argument. I'm fine with well-articulated speed. Take CX and the obligation to be polite seriously, because not doing so will affect your points, but please make sure to have fun. Also, please include me on the email chain and include analytics.

Ali Khambati Paradigm

2N @Greenhill, Junior

2A @Greenhill, Senior

debated as 2N for 3 yrs and 2A for 1 yr

***If you have any questions that the philosophy doesnt answer dont be afraid to ask me before the round


High Theory = No, You can read Identity style K-Affs in front of me, but I will warn you that I am pretty predisposed to thinking teams should defend a plan.


I can be convinced to vote on almost anything in regards to Topicality in terms of reasonability/competing interpretations, and which impacts matter most. Impact Comparison is super important. Strength of Counter-Interp ev also matters a lot.


I have gone for process CP's in a majority of my 2NR's. The more topic specific the CP is, the happier I will be. Be creative w/ CP's and don't be constrained by not having a solvency advocate for smart CP's that test the mechanism of the Aff. I usually lean neg on theory, but this year I have become more middle-leaning on theory questions.

I can be convinced that Counterplans do not have to be both functionally and textually competitive, however, I think all counterplans should be functionally competitive. This means Word PICs are probably not the best 2NR in front of me.

50 State Fiat is probably good considering how bad the education topic is for the negative, but by no means is 50 State Fiat Bad an unwinnable argument in front of me.


I like DA's. I have extended politics a lot. PTX Theory = wrong, and I don't like hearing 1ARs on intrinsicness. I am in the camp of Uniqueness controls the link, but can be convinced the other way. For the Aff, most DA's have pretty terrible internal links, so a DA can be heavily mitigated with just smart analytics.


I like the K and I like watching good debates on the K, but if you don't know how to explain the K without using buzzwords pls dont go for it. Also, dont go for high theory - i will not be happy. Education Topic = Yes K

Other Stuff

also - don't be scared to be funny - If you do it wrong however, it looks stupid. If you are not a funny person, don't try to be funny. I appreciate jokes about Aden Barton, Ben Jablonski, the Greenhill team, James Steiner, and Nate Glancy.

Impact Turns are pretty sweet, and undervalued on a topic with such bad neg ground.

Kevin Kuswa Paradigm

Updated 2019. Coaching at Berkeley Prep in Tampa. Nothing massive has changed except I give slightly higher points across the board to match inflation. Keep in mind, I am still pleased to hear qualification debates and deep examples win rounds. I know you all work hard so I will too. Any argument preference or style is fine with me: good debate is good debate. Email: kevindkuswa at gmail dot com.

Updated 2017. Currently coaching for Berkeley Prep in Tampa. Been judging a lot on the China topic, enjoying it. Could emphasize just about everything in the comments below, but wanted to especially highlight my thirst for good evidence qualification debates...

_____________________________ (previous paradigm)

Summary: Quality over quantity, be specific, use examples, debate about evidence.

I think debate is an incredibly special and valuable activity despite being deeply flawed and even dangerous in some ways. If you are interested in more conversations about debate or a certain decision (you could also use this to add me to an email chain for the round if there is one), contact me at kevindkuswa at gmail dot com. It is a privilege to be judging you—I know it takes a lot of time, effort, and commitment to participate in debate. At a minimum you are here and devoting your weekend to the activity—you add in travel time, research, practice and all the other aspects of preparation and you really are expressing some dedication.

So, the first issue is filling out your preference sheets. I’m usually more preferred by the kritikal or non-traditional crowd, but I would encourage other teams to think about giving me a try. I work hard to be as fair as possible in every debate, I strive to vote on well-explained arguments as articulated in the round, and my ballots have been quite balanced in close rounds on indicative ideological issues. I’m not affiliated with a particular debate team right now and may be able to judge at the NDT, so give me a try early on and then go from there.

The second issue is at the tournament—you have me as a judge and are looking for some suggestions that might help in the round. In addition to a list of things I’m about to give you, it’s good that you are taking the time to read this statement. We are about to spend over an hour talking to and with each other—you might as well try to get some insight from a document that has been written for this purpose.

1. Have some energy, care about the debate. This goes without saying for most, but enthusiasm is contagious and we’ve all put in some work to get to the debate. Most of you will probably speak as fast as you possibly can and spend a majority of your time reading things from a computer screen (which is fine—that can be done efficiently and even beautifully), but it is also possible to make equally or more compelling arguments in other ways in a five or ten minute speech (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQVq5mugw_Y).

2. Examples win debates. Well-developed examples are necessary to make the abstract concrete, they show an understanding of the issues in the round, and they tend to control our understandings of how particular changes will play out. Good examples take many forms and might include all sorts of elements (paraphrasing, citing, narrating, quantifying, conditioning, countering, embedding, extending, etc.), but the best examples are easily applicable, supported by references and other experiences, and used to frame specific portions of the debate. I’m not sure this will be very helpful because it’s so broad, but at the very least you should be able to answer the question, “What are your examples?” For example, refer to Carville’s commencement speech to Tulane graduates in 2008…he offers the example of Abe Lincoln to make the point that “failure is the oxygen of success” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMiSKPpyvMk.

3. Argument comparison wins debate. Get in there and compare evidence—debate the non-highlighted portion of cards (or the cryptic nature of their highlighting). Debate the warrants and compare them in terms of application, rationale, depth, etc. The trinity of impact, plausibility, and verge analysis doesn’t hurt, especially if those variables are weighed against one another. It’s nice to hear good explanations that follow phrases like “Even if…,” “On balance…,” or “In the context of…” I know that evidence comparison is being done at an extremely high level, but I also fear that one of the effects of paperless debate might be a tilt toward competing speech documents that feature less direct evidence comparison. Prove me wrong.

4. Debates about the relative validity of sources win rounds. Where is the evidence on both sides coming from and why are those sources better or worse? Qualification debates can make a big difference, especially because these arguments are surprisingly rare. It’s also shocking that more evidence is not used to indict other sources and effectively remove an entire card (or even argument) from consideration. The more good qualification arguments you can make, the better. Until this kind of argument is more common, I am thirsty enough for source comparisons (in many ways, this is what debate is about—evidence comparison), that I’ll add a few decimal points when it happens. I do not know exactly where my points are relative to other judges, but I would say I am along a spectrum where 27.4 is pretty good but not far from average, 27.7 is good and really contributing to the debate, 28 is very good and above average, 28.5 is outstanding and belongs in elims, and 29.1 or above is excellent for that division—could contend for one of the best speeches at the tournament.

5. All debates can still be won in 2AR. For all the speakers, that’s a corollary of the “Be gritty” mantra. Persevere, take risks and defend your choices

(https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit). The ballot is not based on record at previous tournaments, gpa, school ranking, or number of coaches.

6. Do not be afraid to go for a little more than usual in the 2NR—it might even help you avoid being repetitive. It is certainly possible to be too greedy, leaving a bloated strategy that can’t stand up to a good 2AR, but I usually think this speech leaves too much on the table.

7. Beginning in the 1AR, brand new arguments should only be in reference to new arguments in the previous speech. Admittedly this is a fuzzy line and it is up to the teams to point out brand new arguments as well as the implications. The reason I’ve decided to include a point on this is because in some cases a 2AR has been so new that I have had to serve as the filter. That is rare and involves more than just a new example or a new paraphrasing (and more than a new response to a new argument in the 2NR).

8. Very good arguments can be made without evidence being introduced in card form, but I do like good cards that are as specific and warranted as possible. Use the evidence you do introduce and do as much direct quoting of key words and phrases to enhance your evidence comparison and the validity of your argument overall.

9. CX matters. This probably deserves its own philosophy, but it is worth repeating that CX is a very important time for exposing flaws in arguments, for setting yourself up for the rebuttals, for going over strengths and weaknesses in arguments, and for generating direct clash. I do not have numbers for this or a clear definition of what it means to “win CX,” but I get the sense that the team that “wins” the four questioning periods often wins the debate.

10. I lean toward “reciprocity” arguments over “punish them because…” arguments. This is a very loose observation and there are many exceptions, but my sympathies connect more to arguments about how certain theoretical moves made by your opponent open up more avenues for you (remember to spell out what those avenues look like and how they benefit you). If there are places to make arguments about how you have been disadvantaged or harmed by your opponent’s positions (and there certainly are), those discussions are most compelling when contextualized, linked to larger issues in the debate, and fully justified.

Overall, enjoy yourself—remember to learn things when you can and that competition is usually better as a means than as an ends.

And, finally, the third big issue is post-round. Usually I will not call for many cards—it will help your cause to point out which cards are most significant in the rebuttals (and explain why). I will try to provide a few suggestions for future rounds if there is enough time. Feel free to ask questions as well. In terms of a long-term request, I have two favors to ask. First, give back to the activity when you can. Judging high school debates and helping local programs is the way the community sustains itself and grows—every little bit helps. Whether you realize it or not, you are a very qualified judge for all the debate events at high school tournaments. Second, consider going into teaching. If you enjoy debate at all, then bringing some of the skills of advocacy, the passion of thinking hard about issues, or the ability to apply strategy to argumentation, might make teaching a great calling for you and for your future students (https://www.ted.com/talks/christopher_emdin_teach_teachers_how_to_create_magic note: debaters are definitely part of academia, but represent a group than can engage in Emdin’s terms). There are lots of good paths to pursue, but teaching is one where debaters excel and often find fulfilling. Best of luck along the ways.

Madison Landis Paradigm

I'm open to pretty much any arguments as long as they are well-explained and contextualized to the round. Tag team CX is fine but don't overpower the person who is supposed to be answering questions. I don't really have a K/policy preference. I've read some K affs so I'm down with that too, but I definitely have more experience with policy arguments. As for spreading, be clear because if I can't understand you I just won't flow. 

Jack Lassiter Paradigm

Baylor Debate GA/Berkeley Prep Assistant Coach - 2017-2019


I have an appreciation for framework debates, especially when the internal link work is thorough and done on the top of your kritik/topicality violation before it is applied to pivotal questions on the flow that you resolve through comparative arguments. On framework, I personally gravitate towards arguments concerning the strategic, critical, or pedagogical utility of the activity - I am readily persuaded to vote for an interpretation of the activity's purpose, role, or import in almost any direction [any position I encounter that I find untenable and/or unwinnable will be promptly included in the updates below]

The Kritik

I have almost no rigid expectations with regard to the K. I spent a great deal of my time competing reading Security, Queer Theory, and Psychoanalysis arguments. The bodies of literature that I am most familiar with in terms of critical thought are rhetorical theory (emphasizing materialism) and semiotics. I have studied and debated the work of Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze, to that extent I would say I have an operative understanding and relative familiarity with a number of concepts that both thinkers are concerned with.


I think that by virtue of evaluating a topicality flow I almost have to view interpretations in terms of competition. I can't really explain reasonability to myself in any persuasive way, if that changes there will surely be an update about it - this is also not to say nobody could convince me to vote for reasonability, only that I will not default in that direction without prompt.


Theory debates can be great - I reward strategic decisions that embed an explanation of the argument's contingent and applied importance to the activity when going for a theory argument on a counterplan.

I believe that permutations often prompt crucial methodological and theoretical reflection in debate - structurally competitive arguments are usually generative of the most sound strategic and methodological prescriptions.


Judging for Damien Debate - Berkeley 2016

In judging I am necessarily making comparisons. Making this process easier by developing or controlling the structure of comparisons and distinctions on my flow is the best advice I could give to anyone trying to make me vote for an argument.

I don't feel like it is really possible to fully prevent myself from intervening in a decision if neither team is resolving questions about how I should be evaluating or weighing arguments. I believe this can be decisively important in the following contexts: The impact level of framework debates, The impact level of any debate really, The method debate in a K v K round, The link debate... The list goes on. But, identifying particular points of clash and then seeing how they are resolved is almost always my approach to determining how I will vote, so doing that work explicitly in the round will almost always benefit you.

If you have any questions about my experience, argumentative preferences, or RFD's feel free to ask me at any time in person or via email.

I may on occasion request pieces of evidence, if thats the case it can be sent to my email: Jack.Lassiter4@gmail.com

Joshua Leffler Paradigm

Josh Leffler

Greenhill School (TX)


Updated before Newman Smith 2019

Some Brief, Important Things:

- Above all, have fun and don't worry! I know that novice year can be stressful/difficult, but I think you'll end up enjoying yourself. For my part, I'll do everything I can to make sure you have a great time and learn a lot.

- I will consider and vote on any argument, unless it endorses ideologies that are racist, sexist, or otherwise offensive.

- Flow, and make sure you explicitly and directly answer your opponents' arguments.

- Please put me on the email chain (my email is above). Flashing and emailing aren't prep (unless it's excessive).

- My paradigm used to include my thoughts on a whole host of specific arguments. I took that out because I didn't think it was useful to the debaters I judge, but if you do have questions about my thoughts on any particular argument, please ask and I'll be happy to answer them.

- Most importantly, enjoy yourselves and be respectful of everyone else in the room. As part of that, please ask me any questions you have before or after the round. I enjoy debate, I love judging debates, and I hope you have a good time as well.

Rashard Leonard Paradigm

rashard.leonard@gmail.com for email chains


4 years of policy debate in college, first two years mainly focused on policy, last two years leaning more K-heavy

Debate is an educational game. As the judge, I am responsible for evaluating the arguments of this game as you present them to me. This activity is centered around you, the debaters. Do you, run the arguments that you usually run and I will judge them accordingly.

Aff: Open to judging all types of affs, policy and K. Aff should be topical (affirming a change within the topic, not necessarily USFG). Be sure that you make clear to me why the aff is important and why your plan will give the best results. If you kick an advantage explain to me why.

DA: I like them. I think they’re the easiest way to win debates, especially if it turns the case. Make sure you have a clear link to the aff and I clear impact that will be triggered by the plan.

CP: I love a good CP-DA combo and it can be devastating if properly used. PICs are welcome as well but they need to have a clear difference between the aff.

Condo: I think condo is good but too much can be abusive. 3 conditional worlds is my absolute limit anything more better have some kickass Condo good blocks.

Theory: Please don’t make me vote on theory. Theory args are fine within the debate space but I’d rather not have my decision based on a generic theory arg that you read in the block. However, if it does come down to that please frame the how I should evaluate the debate and why the other their methods are harmful.

T: Always a voting issue. Block needs do good impact work on why the plan is bad for debate. T has real world impacts so use that to your advantage. Neg also needs to give a Topical Version of the Aff.

FW: I generally lean aff on most framework debates. You will not win if your main arg is “the aff makes debate too hard”. As long as the aff affirms a change in the direction of the topic then I think it’s good debate. Good FW teams should show me how their approach to the topic makes debate impossible, that will get me on your side and willing to vote for you.

K: Run it, but don’t half ass it. In the block you should be able to point to evidence they read in the 1AC/2AC to prove a clear link and show that they use the same methodology that will trigger all of your impacts. Don’t rely on all the big words that your cards use. Instead paint a clear picture of how your K operates and what the alt does to make a better world. Real world examples of the alt will help you.

Misc: Please be respectful to all debaters within the space. We sacrifice our weekends, while barely getting any sleep, to come and compete. Don’t be rude or mean.

Have fun, jokes are welcome in-round. Well executed jokes get a bump in speaks.

I’d rather not hear profanity but if you use do it should be impactful.

Speed is fine as long as you’re clear. If I am unable to understand you I will yell “CLEAR” during your speech.

CX is binding and I will flow it.


Any other questions please feel free to ask me.

Dan Lingel Paradigm

Dan Lingel Jesuit College Prep—Dallas

danlingel@gmail.com and jcpdebate@gmail.com for email chain purposes--please include both

Updated for 2019-2020 topic
26 years of high school coaching
I will easily judge at 20+ tournaments this year

****read here first*****
I still really love to judge and I enjoy judging quick clear confident comparative passionate advocates that use qualified and structured argument and evidence to prove their arguments. I expect you to respect the game and the people that are playing it in every moment we are interacting.

***I believe that framing/labeling arguments and paper flowing is crucial to success in debate and maybe life so I will start your speaker points absurdly high and work my way up if you acknowledge and represent these elements: label your arguments (even use numbers and structure) and can demonstrate that you flowed the entire debate and that you used your flow to give your speeches and in particular demonstrate that you used your flow to actually clash with the other teams arguments directly.

Some things that influence my decision making process

1. Debate is first and foremost a persuasive activity that asks both teams to advocate something. Defend an advocacy/method and defend it with evidence and compare your advocacy/method to the advocacy of the other team. I understand that there are many ways to advocate and support your advocacy so be sure that you can defend your choices. I do prefer that the topic is an access point for your advocacy.

2. The negative should always have the option of defending the status quo (in other words, I assume the existence of some conditionality) unless argued otherwise.

3. The net benefits to a counterplan must be a reason to reject the affirmative advocacy (plan, both the plan and counterplan together, and/or the perm) not just be an advantage to the counterplan.

4. I enjoy a good link narrative since it is a critical component of all arguments in the arsenal—everything starts with the link. Call me old fashion but I think the negative should mention the specifics of the affirmative plan in their link narratives. A good link narrative is a combination of evidence, analytical arguments, and narrative.

5. Be sure to assess the uniqueness of offensive arguments using the arguments in the debate and the status quo. This is an area that is often left for judge intervention and I will.

6. I am not the biggest fan of topicality debates unless the interpretation is grounded by clear evidence and provides a version of the topic that will produce the best debates—those interpretations definitely exist this year. Generally speaking, I can be persuaded by potential for abuse arguments on topicality as they relate to other standards because I think in round abuse can be manufactured by a strategic negative team.

7. I believe that the links to the plan, the impact narratives, the interaction between the alternative and the affirmative harm, and/or the role of the ballot should be discussed more in most kritik debates. The more case and topic specific your kritik the more I enjoy the debate.

8. There has been a proliferation of theory arguments and decision rules, which has diluted the value of each. The impact to theory is rarely debating beyond trite phrases and catch words. My default is to reject the argument not the team on theory issues unless it is argued otherwise.

9. I know that some of you may not prefer me because I still use a realistic speaker point scale. I think that is a poor choice especially because it is easy to get me to give very high points. Here is the method to my madness on this so do not be deterred just adapt. I award speaker points based on the following: strategic and argumentative decision-making, the challenge presented by the context of the debate, technical proficiency, persuasive personal and argumentative style, your use of the cross examination periods, and the overall enjoyment level of your speeches and the debate. If you devalue the nature of the game or its players or choose not to engage in either asking or answering questions, your speaker points will be impacted. If you turn me into a mere information processor then your points will be impacted. If you choose artificially created efficiency claims instead of making complete and persuasive arguments that relate to an actual victory path then your points will be impacted.

10. I believe in the value of debate as the greatest pedagogical tool on the planet. Reaching the highest levels of debate requires mastery of arguments from many disciplines including communication, argumentation, politics, philosophy, economics, and sociology to name a just a few. The organizational, research, persuasion and critical thinking skills are sought by every would-be admission counselor and employer. Throw in the competitive part and you have one wicked game. I have spent over twenty five years playing it at every level and from every angle and I try to make myself a better player everyday and through every interaction I have. I think that you can learn from everyone in the activity how to play the debate game better. The world needs debate and advocates/policymakers more now than at any other point in history. I believe that the debates that we have now can and will influence real people and institutions now and in the future—empirically it has happened. I believe that this passion influences how I coach and judge debates.

Note about paperless debating--I prefer an email chain with me included whenever possible. I feel that each team should have accurate and equal access to the evidence that is read in the debate. I have noticed several things that worry me in paperless debates. People have stopped flowing and paying attention to the flow and line-by-line which is really impacting my decision making; people are exchanging more evidence than is actually being read without concern for the other team, people are underhighlighting their evidence and "making cards" out of large amounts of text, and the amount of preptime taken exchanging the information is becoming excessive. For me, prep time is running until the flash drive is given to the other team and then it stops and becomes judge time. I reserve the right to request a copy of all things exchanged as verification. If three cards or less are being read in the speech then I prefer that the exchange in evidence occur after the speech. I don't understand why people exchange paperless speeches that do not contain evidence.

Steve Lowe Paradigm

debater @ Northwestern

-please put me on the chain


-please send a doc with the ev you want me to read after the round

-my main goal is non-intervention in form and content.

-I will provide clarification abt an argument if asked during your own speech or anyone’s prep time, e.g. I will answer “did you flow conditionality bad?”

-i encourage you to challenge my decisions if you disagree. I'd rather hash it out and have someone's opinion change than mutual disagreement. I don't take it personally and I won't judge any future debate based on what has happened in a previous one.

-if never mentioned judge kick is okay

-i will reject the argument and not the team unless the aff explicitly argues their non-conditionality thing is a voting issue

-i lean towards competing interps over reasonability

-i lean limits over precision

-perms aren't advocacies but perm do the counterplan does demonstrate that the aff could be implemented in such a way that there is no net benefit

-perm double bind seems to make a lot of sense absent the neg winning framework, but if the neg wins framework it seems they can win by convincingly criticizing the aff

-i try not to be visually reactive. i don't want to effect the decisions you all make

Mona Mahadevan Paradigm

@New Haven UDL Parliamentary debaters: Please ignore this paradigm.

I was a policy debater at Woodward Academy for four years, and I'm a first-year parliamentary debater at Yale. This paradigm is for policy debate with an LD and Parli note at the bottom.

I’d like to be on the email chain: monapm19@gmail.com

General —

I care most about respect for your opponents and your partner. Don’t hide ASPEC, delete analytics, be mean in CX, destroy classrooms, or troll. Please be kind. Disclose (unless the 1AC is new).

Good for “aff must have a solvency advocate” or “neg only gets 5-off” theory.


A clear vision of your interpretation and specific case lists are crucial. Semantic distinctions are irrelevant. I generally lean aff because I find “substance crowd-out” persuasive, but T-Substantial is a (substantial) exception.

DA’s —

There is often no relevant risk of a DA: “always a risk” is silly because the burden of proof is a burden. I consequently find “turns case” as an answer to well-deployed framing contentions unpersuasive absent a high risk of the DA.

CP’s —

My assessment of competition and theory rests on relative specificity of aff and neg solvency advocates but also what makes the most educational debate.

F/W —

I lean neg. However, “we meet” arguments based on creative, evidenced readings of the resolution; limited counter-interps that impact turn state-centric education; and, more generally, a defense of a model that generates substantial, fair neg ground are all potentially persuasive.

Fairness is the most persuasive negative impact.

K’s —

I’ll listen to anything. Both teams should aim for specificity and clear explanation. Include impacts to each link.

I really, really like the dialectical materialism/Marx K.

LD Note —

Explain how the affirmative/resolution/alt solves your impacts and wins within your ethical framework.

Role of the ballots should be grounded in the burden of rejoinder. The negative must prove that the affirmative/resolution produces a harm, not just that it maintains one.

Parli Note

I reward Gov teams that choose controversial positions. I'm impressed by debaters that exhibit intellectual humility, not by those that "sound good" or feign scholarly authority.

Rachel Mauchline Paradigm

Rachel Mauchline

Director of Debate Cabot

Conflicts- Bentonville West


Put me on the email chain @ rachelmauchline@gmail.com

speed is good

tech over truth

flex prep

open cross

I judge a mix of debate styles throughout the season.


I typically get preferred for more policy-oriented debate. I gravitated to more plan focused affirmatives and t/cp/da debate. I would consider myself overall to be a more technically driven and line by line organized debater. My ideal round would be a policy affirmative with a plan text and three-seven off. Take that as you wish though.

Public Forum

weighing.... weighing.... weighing.

I like rebuttals to have clear line by line with numbered responses. 2nd rebuttal should frontline responses in rebuttal. Summary should extend terminal defense and offense OR really anything that you want in final focus. Final focus should have substantial weighing and a clear way for me to write my ballot. It's important to have legitimate evidence... don't paraphrase evidence and completely skew the evidence.

Lincoln Douglas

I've judged a variety of traditional and progressive debates. I don't have a huge preference and am willing to judge whatever. In regards to progressive debates, I prefer more policy-oriented debates but am willing to judge kritikal arguments as long as the link story is explained well and the alternative is clear. In regards to traditional debates, it's important to clearly articulate framework.


I enjoy a well articulated t debate. In fact, a good t debate is my favorite type of debate to judge. Both sides need to have a clear interpretation. Make sure it’s clearly impacted out. Be clear to how you want me to evaluate and consider arguments like the tva, switch side debate, procedural fairness, limits, etc.


This was my fav strat in high school. I’m a big fan of case-specific disadvantages but also absolutely love judging politics debates- be sure to have up to date uniqueness evidence in these debates though. It’s critical that the disad have some form of weighing by either the affirmative or negative in the context of the affirmative. Counterplans need to be functionally or textually competitive and also should have a net benefit. Slow down for CP texts and permutations- y’all be racing thru six technical perms in 10 seconds. Affirmative teams need to utilize the permutation more in order to test the competition of the counterplan. I don’t have any bias against any specific type of counterplans like consult or delay, but also I’m just waiting for that theory debate to happen.


I believe that case debate is under-covered in many debates by both teams. I love watching a case debate with turns and defense instead of the aff being untouched for the entire debate until last ditch move by the 2AR. The affirmative needs to continue to weigh the aff against the negative strat. Don't assume the 1AC will be carried across for you throughout the round. You need to be doing that work on the o/v and the line by line. It confuses me when the negative strat is a CP and then there are no arguments on the case; that guarantees aff 100% chance of solvency which makes the negative take the path of most resistance to prove the CP solves best.


I’m not as familiar with this form of argumentation or literature, but I’ll vote for the k. From my observations, I think teams end up just reading their prewritten blocks instead of directly engaging with the k specific to the affirmative. Be sure you understand what you are reading and not just reading a backfile or an argument that you don’t understand. The negative needs to be sure to explain what the alt actually is and more importantly how the alt engages with the affirmative. Similar to disads, the neg block/nr should expand on the link level of the debate and then condense down to the link they are winning in the 2NR for policy. I am seeing more and more teams, taking the strategy of kicking the alt and cross-applying the links as disads on the case flow. It's important to be aware though that for some kritiks that simply kicking the alt eliminates the uniqueness level of the link debate since they are simply implications from the status quo. That’s a cool strategy, which is also why affirmative teams need to be sure to not just focus on the alternative vs. the aff but also respond to all parts of the K. I think most aff teams that read a plan should have clear framework against the K in order to weigh this aff against the alt. Like I’ve said I judge more K rounds than I expected, but if you are reading a specific authors that isn’t super well known in the community, but sure to do a little more work in the o/v.


I’ll vote for whatever theory; I don’t usually intervene much in theory debates but I do think it’s important to flesh out clear impacts instead of reading short blips in order to get a ballot. Saying “pics bad” and then moving on without any articulation of in round/post fiat impacts isn’t going to give you much leverage on the impact level. You can c/a a lot of the analysis above on T to this section. It’s important that you have a clear interp/counter interp- that you meet- on a theory debate.

Tracy McFarland Paradigm

Tracy McFarland

Jesuit College Prep

Updated for GDI workshop tournament - I do not think T -substantial makes sense versus the death penalty - it's, you know...death...seems substantial to me. Substantial also modifies criminal justice reform - not the enact biz - no reason why sheer numbers is the way to measure CJR particularly when CJR like MM would impact some unknown future number of defendants, for example.

Updated 9/27/19

Please use jcpdebate@gmail.com for speech docs. I do want to be in the email chain.
However, I don't check that email a lot while not at tournaments - so if you need to reach me not at a tournament, feel free to email me at tmcfarland@jesuitcp.org

Evidence stuff:

Jesuit is not open source - and if you think our cards are good, you should enjoy the experience of reading the good research. While I know that there are many people who disagree with me, I think that reading other people's cards disincentivizes hard work and cultivates unethical academic practices. And, for the record, there's no small school arg here - in fact large schools benefit more from this model (where you read other people's cards without recutting them) because they have more access to more open source docs in debates. I will disregard Jesuit evidence read by another team whether that's an argument made or not. Doesn't mean I will auto-vote against you but not going to vote on cards we cut that you use.

I DO NOT mean that you can't take cites and recut the evidence - in fact getting cites from someone and recutting the evidence is good. BUT, if for example School A debate School B in round 4, then School A uses ev read by B against another B team, that's unethical. TEAM'S SPEECH DOCUMENTS ARE NOT OPEN EVIDENCE FILES. Know the difference. If there is a Jesuit cite you can't access because of a lack of access to resources, please email me and I will provide a full text of the article or book - I pinky swear.


This topic seems T-complicated. Substantially may not be your best bet - especially if it's an arbitrary % that doesn't have a baseline comparison. Topicality is about competing interpretations for me, unless you tell me otherwise. Negatives should explain what allowing the affirmative in the topic would allow— ie what other affirmatives would be allowed and what specific ground or arguments you have lost out on. Affirmatives should, in addition to making counter-interpretations, explain why those counter-interpretations are good for the topic.

Case lists are underutilized in these debates – both about what they exclude and realistically justify on both sides of the topic. Topical version of the aff is an important but not a must have – especially if you are partially trying to say that they are SOOOO bad I shouldn’t want them to be a part of the topic.


Counter plans are good -- but I think that Affs underutilize solvency advocate based arguments. If you are going to have a CP with a ton of different elements, neg should be able to support that with solvency evidence that supports the whole CP not just the elments. If you are neg, you should still do these mutliplank cps if you like but the aff can win a solvency deficit if you don’t have someone to advocate all of it together. Asserting a not accurate way the government works to make a claim about neg CP also should be contested by the aff - and so should dates of the evidence being used to justify the CP. Specific counterplans that reflect you did some work in research the aff = good for the neg. Process counterplans less good b/c they usually show that you didn’t do the research on the aff. Also, I don't know why climate offsets is a CP - it's more like a plan, opposite of the plan debate????


Also enjoy a good disad debate—used to include politics. But alas, Trump has ruined many things for me - including this. I am more persuaded by the args that center on congressional internal links - that are not dependent on pretending like Trump is consistent with pol cap theory in poli sci. 2020 is a thing - but I find myself not really thinking that the link + internal make sense. I do think it is possible to win zero risk of the politics DA. I do think that affs should make a bigger deal about how that zero risk of the DA means that any risk of a solvency deficit on the CP means should vote Aff. But alas, you probably won't, then I will have to default to my engrained any risk of the DA if the CP solves mostly wins a debate. I also am very persuaded the base DA gives into racist logic - and probably should be a reason to vote aff. But alas, you probably won't make that argument with warrants.

For other DAs, much like my previous discussion of topicality and the kritik, explain the link specific to the affirmative – you can and should have multiple link args in the block that help build your story about why the aff triggers the DA. Assess how the impact of the DA relates to the case impact. Overviews should be specific to the aff not a reiteration of magnitude probability and time frame - as this results in awkward comparisons especially on this topic. Offense is a good thing but defensive versus a disad may be enough to win. In other words, any risk of a DA does not mean you win on the Negative (unless perhaps it’s a CP net benefit)—there is room for Affirmatives to make uniqueness, no link, and impact arguments that erode the DA so significantly the Negative doesn’t win much a risk versus the Aff. Good case debates with solvency or impact turns make for appealing and compelling debates. Negatives can win on case turns alone if the impacts are developed in the block.


Contrary to what some of you might think, I really do enjoy a good kritik debate. The difficulty I have with kritiks really lies with Negatives who do not, again, believe that specificity is our friend. I am not of the “if link, then lose” camp: the Negative should, through evidence and link narratives, explain how more ‘generic’ evidence and the K applies to the Aff. For example, explain why the aff’s use of the state is bad; don’t just assert they are the state therefore they must be bad. The other place to be sure to spend some time is explaining the role of the ballot and/or the role of the alternative. Addressing how the alternative solves or address in a better way the harms of the aff (ie by getting to the root of the harms, etc) is a good thing. Affirmatives in some debates I have watched this year concede too much of the link—utilize the strategic nature of your aff versus the kritik link to argue both turns and no link arguments. This will arguably force Negatives to explain how your aff links beyond the fact you use the state. Likewise on this topic it helps Affs with the perm debate. I think that topic specific K much better than your hodgepodge throw some authors together ks. Also not a huge fan of death is inevitable so we should give up now or alternatives that incorporate “suicide” as an alternative. Both sides when initiating framework arguments need to think through what they are getting out of the framework arguments – don’t just blindly go for it if you could get by with simply meeting and conceding their framework, thereby doing their thing better than they do it.

Performance/non-instrumental use of the rez

While I am compelled by arguments about the need to redress exclusion in the debate community, Negatives should challenge, and the Aff should defend, the importance of the ballot in redressing those exclusions. If the neg can explain why the same education and same exploration of privilege can occur without the ballot, I am very persuaded by those arguments. However, in these debates I have judged, I have almost always voted for the team advocating non-instrumental use of the topic because this often goes unchallenged. I think that if you are aff and running an advocacy statement, you should have some reason why that is better than a plan on the ready -- assuming the neg challenges this. Even if the reason is that the plan ties you to the state and that is a problem, you need to be able to explain why you cant accomplish your business with a plan. In these debates it seems that negatives often forget that even if they are only going for framework, they will still need to have a reason why the aff ROB or method is bad. Otherwise, the aff will make some arguments (as they should) that their method is offense against traditional understandings of debate/T/framework. I do think that the performance should be tied to the resolution when you are aff.

Theory – Aff/Neg

If there is a legit reason why what the other team has done has eroded your ability to win by creating a not reciprocal or not level playing field, then initiate the arguments. I understand the strategic value creating a time trade off might get you. However, you should think about whether or not you have some compelling args before going for the arg all out or in the 2nr/2ar. Multiple contradictory framework type args are an underutilized arg when there are k alts and cps in the debate---especially if any or all are conditional. Be concrete about what they are doing and what the justify in order to make “impact” arguments.

New aff theory - I don't have anything else in my philosophy like this (that just say no to an argument) but "new aff disclosure theory" arguments are silly to me. Aff Innovation = good, and incentivizing innovation by giving a strategic leg up to affs by getting to break a new aff = good. I've got more warrants if you want to chat about it - I know some of you feel very strongly about this - but it doesn't make sense to me. You should not probably spend the time to read your shell even if its supershort. Affs should say "competitive innovation = good". And that'd probably be enough.

Certainly, new affs mean that the neg get to make a bunch of args - and that I probably am more sympathetic on issues like no solv advocate, multiple cp, condo, etc - but yeah, no, new affs = good not bad.

Stylistic Issues (Speed, Quantity)

Clarity is important and so are warranted arguments and cards – say what you would like but be clear about it. If you have many argument but you have highlighted down the evidence to 3-5 words, you have also not made a warranted argument. Also, “extinction” is not a tag. Some highlighting practices have become so egregious that I think you're actually highlighting a different argument than the author is actually making.

Speaker Point Scale

Decent debate = 28 + ; more than decent gets more points. You can gain more points by having proper line by line, clash, good evidence with warrants, good impact comparison. You can lose points by not doing those aforementioned things AND if you are snarky, condescending, etc.

Additional Comments:

Productive cross-examinations add to speaker points and help to set up arguments---needlessly answering or asking your partners cx questions subtract from speaker points. Did I mention flowing is a good thing?

The line by line is important as is the evidence you read, explain and reference by name in the debate. Line by line is the only way to clash and avoid “two ships passing in the night” debates. Line by line isn't answer the previous speech in order - it's about grounding the debate in the 2ac on off case, 1nc on case.

I do tend to read evidence on important issues – so the quality of your evidence does matter as does how much you actually read of it. I am persuaded by teams that call out other teams based on their evidence quality, author quals, lack of highlighting (meaning they read little of the evidence). You should flow – you can’t do anything else I’ve outlined without flowing – and like, actually flow, not copy the speech doc..

T.A. McKinney Paradigm

I was a policy debater in the 1990s (debated for MBA in high school; University of Kentucky in college). I got back into the activity three years ago. I am a policy-oriented judge. I am fine with speed but you do need to be comprehensible. I won't re-read cards that weren't comprehensible when read in the debate. I am not including a long discussion in this paradigm of "this is my opinion on the following 8 issues" because that shouldn't be relevant to your debate ... with one exception- I am skeptical of non-topical /non-advocacy Affs so a good framework presentation will usually get my ballot in that situation.

Arjun Mohan Paradigm

Third year debater at Westminster:

Email Chain(nothing else) -- arjunbmohan@gmail.com


- Do want you want. I will vote on almost any argument that you win. Don't let my pre-round preferences deter your arguments.

- I enjoy debates about the intricacies of the topic.

- I will vote on an argument only if I can explain it to the other team during the RFD.

- Debate arguments rarely make sense. I am most compelled by debaters who read fewer cards and find the logical holes in their opponents’ arguments.

- Slow down. (t+theory especially)

- States Theory is a viable option for the aff dependent on the debating, as well as the cp text.

- Clipping results in auto-loss + 0 speaker points

- For T/Theory debates, clearly explain your vision of the topic vs. theirs.

- I am a technical debater, I like watching technical debaters, so use your flow. Tech over truth.



- Explain the link vs. Permutation

- Explain the alternative

- Contextualize as much as possible to the aff


- Defend your aff

- Explain the perm when it applies

- Defeat the theory of the critique and give me an explanation of why their theories are inapplicable to your aff.

Speaker Points:

- Don't talk over your opponents and don't be too aggressive or rude. While keeping this in mind, you should control the flow of the round and be assertive during cx and speeches.

- Don’t stare into your computer -- I reward debaters who preform, not mindlessly read into their computers

- Make Jokes

- CX – use it to your advantage to prove your arguments, not clarify your opponents. You will be rewarded.

Jack Moore Paradigm

Jack Moore

Updated: 7/18/20

Affiliation: 4 years at Jesuit Dallas, currently at Trinity University

Email: mojack221.goo@gmail.com

Top Level Stuffs:

- At the end of the day, I don’t really care what kind of argument you run so long as it’s well warranted, and you clash with the other teams’ arguments.

- Flowing, line by line, and organization is really important. I would prefer that you number arguments (at least case args in the 1NC and off case args in the 2AC) If you are consistently messing up the line by line, I will assume you don’t respect the flow and you get lower points.

- Me being able to comprehend and flow you is also really important. I write a lot when I flow so please give me pen time, especially on topicality, theory, or any argument that has a lot of compressed analytics. This doesn’t mean don’t go fast, I regularly judge and enjoy high speed technical debating.

- Respect your opponents. This means be nice to each other. It also means send analytics, especially in an online format where connectivity issues may prevent others from hearing everything you say.

- Evidence quality > quantity. Part of this includes highlighting full sentences/making your cards comprehensible. If I look at cards, I only look at the highlighting and will discount incomprehensible highlighting.

- Inserting Evidence: If it’s part of the text that the other team put into the debate, I’m fine with it because that, to me, just seems like an analytical argument about their evidence. If the highlighting is from a different part of the article, you must read it out loud. If you find this confusing, your presumption should be to read the card.

- Tech over Truth.


- It's underutilized - specific internal link and solvency arguments go a long way in front of me. Strategically, a good case press in the block and 2nr makes all substantive arguments better

- The aff should use the case more. 1AC ev usually has a lot of answers to neg args that people just forget about.


- CJR specific – you are wrong if you believe the USFG abolishing the criminal justice system isn’t topical. Don’t waste our time by going for T. If the abolish aff doesn’t have a plan/USFG actor, that’s a different story and I’ll be more willing to vote on T/Framework

- I evaluate Topicality like a CP and DA. You must do impact calc and have offense and defense to the other team’s stuff.

- I care about predictable limits, topic education, precision, ground more than I care about jurisdiction, grammar

- T substantial is more persuasive to me than I think it is for the rest of the community.


- CJR Specific: I’m sorry neg teams that most DAs on this topic are really bad. If you win the bad DA, I’ll still vote for you so don’t be discouraged. However, I think this is a great opportunity to engage in some critical arguments because this seems like a bad topic to stick to the hard-core policy style of debate. One way to make me less skeptical of your DA is to recognize that not every DA is going to end in extinction or great power war.

- Links are also important – put specific ones in the 1NC if you have them

- I will vote on defense against a DA if it’s just that bad – same with advantages

- Politics/Elections: despite my previous thoughts on these arguments, I think it might be one of the only real DAs on the topic and I’ll be less willing to outright reject it than I have in the past. Prioritizing high quality evidence and explanation of arguments will be an easier way to get my ballot than reading 30+ cards in the block (That means highlighting actual sentences)


- CP should have a solvency advocate - what that constitutes one is debatable.

- I think the Net benefit should be a DA to the plan and not just an advantage to the CP

- CP that compete off certainty and immediacy with artificial net benefits are a hard sell. However, I understand these strats often become necessary for the neg. If you're going for one of these CPs, prioritize winning the competition debate and give me a lot of judge instruction on how to evaluate different definitions or competition standards.

- 2NC CPs are legit for dealing with Add ons and Solvency Stuff the 2AC reclarifies. They are less legit for amending the CP text because you messed up and dealing with strategy things like the aff straight turned a DA that you didn't want to go for.


- I don't think I lean aff or neg because I haven't participated in or judged a lot of debates that came down to theory. If you articulate an impact to why what they’ve done is bad and provide an interpretation of what debate should look like instead, you’ll be good.

Conditionality is debatable – probably more good than bad, but I’m not sure. If you’re aff and crushing the conditionality is evil debate, just go for it. Interpretations based on number of advocacies don’t make sense to me because the aff always says one less than the number the neg did and the neg says we get what they did. I would be more easily convinced of dispositionality as an interpretation.

- Slow down!!! I need pen time.

- New affs bad is a silly argument and I won't vote on it - don't waste my time or your time. Negs get more leeway against new affs in terms of theory and ev specificity.

- My default is to reject the argument for all things except conditionality, but I could be convinced to reject the team for other things as well.


- The majority of my 2NRs my senior year were on the K and I think it's one of the more strategic types of arguments in debate.

- Links should be specific to the aff and more in-dpeth than the state is bad or debate is bad. If I could look at your speech in isolation and not know what aff you’re debating, you won’t be in a good spot. Gut check – if you could read the same link extension in every debate, we’re going to have a problem.

- I'm most familiar with a good amount of critical literature but err on the side of explanation. Explain your argument simply and without buzzwords.

- I think these debates should be slightly slower so I can understand and flow your theory that usually relies on bigger words that I don’t always have abbreviations or symbols for.

- Most of the time, I think of alts like framework and think that alts that prioritize rejecting the aff or critiquing assumptions/representations/discourse/etc are better than alts that call for revolutions or specific courses of action. There are just too many feasibility questions that the neg opens themselves up to by defending material action. This means I basically think the burden of the alt is usually never to solve the aff or the links, but simply provide a critique of the problems the K identifies in the 1AC

- I'm beginning to have a strong bias against alternatives. Given Ks don't rely on fiat, there are too many definition and feasibility questions that negs open themselves up to. I'm much better for alts that are really FW like the process of critique or rethinking things than I am for revolution. This means that aff teams should correctly make fun of the alt if it advocates anything beyond the scope of debate

- Framework - the aff probably gets the aff and the neg gets the K but that's up to debate. Framework comes down to what impacts I should prioritize, so make sure you’re winning an impact before investing so much time in framework. Both teams must tell me what to do with framework.

- Overviews aren’t necessary and shouldn't be longer than 45 seconds to explain something important that can’t be done on the line by line.

- Winning some theory of how the world operates doesn't mean anything unless you apply it to the aff. I don't care if somethings ontological if you don't have a link to the aff.

K affs:

- Go for it. They should have some connection to the topic and some statement of advocacy. If you can read your aff on every topic without changing cards or tags, I’ll enjoy the debate less. If you can’t find an aspect of critical literature that talks about criminal justice, that’s on you.

Framework/T USFG:

- Like T, impact calc is extremely important. These debate through competing come down to who has the better vision of debate/the topic. Describe in great detail what those visions look like and how a debate would go down or how the season goes down.

- While I will vote on procedural fairness, I prefer arguments about substantive engagement and clash. I think clash based impacts still have the benefit of focusing on the competitiveness of the activity, but also have better inroads to educations claims the aff usually makes. If you do say procedural fairness, you should only say procedural fairness.

- Topical versions are less important to me. I find them super defensive and often create trouble for the neg (because they’re not actually topical or because if the neg can prepare for the TVA, they usually could prepare for the original aff). If you do read TVA, don't treat it like a CP. Explain the types of debates that would go down (what would aff’s look like, what would negs say, how would debates evolve over the season) and why those debate access the education or telos of the aff

- Overviews aren’t necessary and shouldn't be longer than 45 seconds to explain something important that can’t be done on the line by line.

Manny Navarrete Paradigm

Updated: January 2020

Grady '18

Emory '22

Coaching affiliations: AUDL Debate Ambassadors (Grady, Decatur, Drew Charter, etc.), 2018-

Varsity policy rounds judged on this topic: 12 (2 elims) (read: not super familiar with it but have a working grasp of the Saudi Arabia and Taiwan affirmatives and am almost entirely unexposed to judging affs without plans on this topic)

Add me to the chain - mnav453@gmail.com

Feel free to email if you have questions about anything I've written here or if you thought of a question after post-round feedback

I have one of the worst poker faces --- you will know what I think about the round and whatever argument is being discussed in the moment.

People who have influenced how I think about debate: Erik Mathis, Nick Lepp, Brian Klarman

Scroll to the end for non-policy

BFHS 2020 LD UPDATE: Scroll down if you want to read my general thoughts, but the short if it is that I have zero experience in LD aside from judging some rounds during the last BFHS, and as such if you have me judging your debate you need to approach things like a "traditional" policy debate i.e. the affirmative should affirm the topic and negative should negate it. I'm also not huge on theory debates, so make of that what you will.


Below 28.3: You're clipping and/or you're REALLY bad - either way, please go back to basics

28.4-28.7: Bad

28.7-29.1: Average/Good

29.2-29.6: Great

29.7-29.9: Top Speaker

30: Best speaker I've ever seen (have not given one of these yet)


At the end of the debate, I will sign a ballot that indicates who I thought won and who I thought lost the debate.

2 teams of 2 debaters each, with each debater giveing 1 constructive and 1 rebuttal, within speech and prep times.

I will only flow the first debater who speaks in a given speech. Prompting will not be flowed until the person actually giving the speech says the argument(s).

"Insert this rehighlighting" is a no go. Debate is a communication activity and you need to treat it as such.

Arguments I will never vote on: death / self harm good; pref sheets args; out-of-round incidents

An accusation of an ethics violation i.e. clipping will result in the immediate stop of the round. The accusing team will need video / audio evidence of this accusation.


I try to only evaluate decisions my flow says were debated out throughout the round - if I can't trace an aff argument back to the 1AC/2AC for example, then I will try not to vote on it unless there is some extenuating circumstance (like the 1AR impact turning a new impact to a DA) to excuse it. This means that you should probably go slightly slower on arguments you want to make sure I flow in good detail. I suggest doing this for theory debates especially.

The first 30 seconds of the 2NR and 2AR should attempt to write my RFD for me - even something as straightforward as "vote negative because the risk of a link on the DA outweighs the risk of the aff's advantages" or "vote affirmative because they dropped condo in the 2NR" goes a long way towards clarifying where you the think the debate is at and how you want me to evaluate what you think you're winning and how that interacts with what you think you're losing.

Close debates tend to come down to the evidence. In these cases, you should take care to think about your card doc before the round - Which pieces of evidence do you want me to read after the round? Where is your evidence better or weaker than theirs? How do you want to deal with those asymmetries? These are all things you should take into consideration when crafting your set of evidence to read in the debate.


"Tl:Dr- do you just dont violate the things i'll never vote on and do not pref me that'd be great." - Erik Mathis

"The best debaters isolate which argument they're winning and then spend the vast majority of their final rebuttals explaining how that influences the rest of the debate." - Zahir Shaikh

"Line-by-line involves directly referencing the other team's argument ("Off 2AC #3 - Winners Win, group"), then answering it. "Embedded" clash fails if you bury the clash part so deep I can't find the arg you are answering." - Adrienne Brovero

"I love good Topicality debates. To me, Topicality is like a disadvantage. You need to control the link debate and make it clear that your interpretation has an impact in the round and on debate as a whole, and/or debate as a game and an activity." - LaTonya Starks

"I kind of feel like "reasonability" and "competing interpretations" have become meaningless terms that, while everybody knows how they conceptualize it, there are wildly different understandings. In my mind, the negative should have to prove that the affirmative interpretation is bad, not simply that the negative has a superior interpretation." - Hunter McCullough

"Please, please, please debate the case. I don’t care if you are a K team or a policy team, the case is so important to debate. Most affs are terribly written and you could probably make most advantages have almost zero risk if you spent 15 minutes before round going through aff evidence. Zero risk exists." - Caitlin Walrath


This is how I think I judge, which may or may not be accurate

The rest of this---------------------------------------X-----What Happens in the Debate

Read all of the cards-------------------------X-------------------Flow only


Smart analytic------X--------------------------------------OK card

More ev-----------------------------------------X---Quality ev

Impact defense----------------------------------X----------Internal link defense

Fairness is an internal link------X--------------------------------------Fairness is an impact

"The state is bad so we shouldn't be topical"---------------------------------------X-----"the process of debating hypothetical state action results in violent skills/education/community norms/etc"

Reasonability-----------------------------X---------------Competing Interps

"There's always a risk"-------------------------------X-------------Terminal defense

"Framework - weigh the aff"----------------------------------X----------"our aff is a pedagogically good idea"

Floating PIKs good-----------------------------X---------------Floating PIKs bad

Condo good-X-------------------------------------------Condo bad

"1 condo solves"-------------------------------------------X-"Conditionality is the devil"

High theory---------------------------------------X-----any other critical argument

Solvency advocate required--------------X------------------------------Solvency advocate optional

Process CPs good------X--------------------------------------Process CPs bad

"We turn the case because we also result in their impact"---------------------------------------X-----"We turn the case because we make it impossible for them to solve their impact"


I put this at the bottom because I find topic knowledge does not make a good or bad judge, rather it determines the burden of explanation for certain arguments. Most judges know what to do with a politics DA and case debate but need some extra clarification on T violations and such.

Seems miles better than education or immigration...looking back, I am not a particularly big fan of one advantage and framing affs because the framing arguments tended to be on-face rejection of CP's and DA's when the aff would have been better off answering the specifics of those arguments. Maybe those were just better topics for discussion rather than debatable controversies but what I can do to change the past...


tl;dr I don't know much of the activity and thus you should approach like in a "policy-esque" way. Additionally, it would behoove you to do less theory work than you might be used to. Overall, my advice is to pref me only if you are comfortable with a standard policy debater judging; if not, then don't.

I have very little understanding of the nuances of the activity, i.e. what constitutes a well-constructed case for me might be different than what is generally considered to be such in the community. I'm also a policy debater by training and so I probably lean towards "progressive" trends than some (as in, I am fine with spreading). I also have ZERO knowledge of the topic and you should be prepared to break down its complexities for me. One other thing: I will probably use my policy speaker point scale from the beginning of this philosophy but I have no idea if that scale is typical of current numbers or not.


Dear Lord, PLEASE kick scenarios by the end of the debate --- my ideal debate has each side go for 1-2 impacts and most of the final focuses being spent on impact comparison (Mr. T, for example).

Most crossfires I have seen are filled with bad or leading question --- instead of asking "You failed to respond to our card about (insert issue here), so doesn't that mean we win" you should be asking questions like "why should the judge prefer your evidence over ours"

Pet peeves --- offenders will be docked speaks ---

don't say "we tell you about (insert issue here)" --- just say what you want to say about the issue

DO NOT END YOUR SPEECH WITH "FOR ALL THESE REASONS I STRONGLY URGE A (INSERT SIDE HERE) BALLOT" --- I know what side people are on and will intuitively understand what you say is a reason to vote for you...

Utkarsh Pandey Paradigm

Woodward Academy - C/O 2015

University of Alabama: Birmingham - C/O 2019

Add me to the email chain: krsh1pandey@gmail.com

***I'm coming into this season with no topic knowledge whatsoever. I can keep up with general arguments and the flow of speeches just fine; however, you may find it worth your while to take time to explain more specific/niche acronyms that pop up throughout the course of the debate.

Last Updated/Written prior to: The Fall 2018 Chattahoochee Cougar Classic

Background: Debate at Woodward Academy for 3 years. Was pretty much exclusively the 2N/1A. I'm 4 years out of the activity now so I'm not very familiar with many new community norms that have developed since my time debating.

Meta/Activity Preferences:

1) Prep time: I won't take prep for emailing speech docs in Varsity unless it becomes excessive (I will inform you before I start taking prep off if I decide things are taking too long). I do take prep time in JV/Novice in order to facilitate rounds running on time.

2) Tag team C-X: Fine if it happens once (maybe twice); if it happens too much, it will reflect in your speaker points and my general view of how much I think you know your arguments.

3) Be nice and respectful to everyone in round (me, the other team, your partner).

Critical/Performance/Non-traditional/No Plan Affs - I enjoy listening to anything that you as the affirmative feel comfortable presenting. I'm highly unlikely to vote for arguments that I find morally reprehensible. But if you are reading high theory or some other very obscure affirmative, you will have a higher burden of explanation if I'm not too well versed with the literature.

Theory - Smart theory debates are fun, but bad theory debates are some of my least favorite to watch (probably second only to a round involving ethics violations or a bad T debate). I usually lean neg when it comes to conditionality.

T - If you can do it well then go for it; I do tend to lean Aff on questions of topicality.

Feel free to ask for clarification or other specific questions before round if you have them! Bear in mind, these are just general thoughts/observations that I hold going into the round; they are not set-in-stone viewpoints.

Alanna Pearson Paradigm

I debated for 4 years at Woodward Academy, and I am currently a freshman at Georgetown University.

I’ve learned a lot from debate, therefore I value the activity and the many benefits it can provide. I recognize the hard work that competitors put into research and preparation; so I will take every debate I judge seriously, and I hope that the debaters in the round will do the same.

My promise: I will diligently evaluate the arguments presented in the round and provide constructive criticism with the goal of helping the debaters in the round learn and improve.

I want to be on the email chain: aqpearson@gmail.com.

The Basics:

Be respectful. There’s a line between being assertive and being mean.

Clarity over speed.

No clipping or cross reading — this is cheating. If you’re clear, you shouldn’t have to worry about this.

Stop trolling — proper disclosure and complete speech documents are a form of respect for your opponents. If you aren’t respectful, you won’t like your points.

I prefer well-developed arguments — Plans and counterplans should be linked to solvency advocates. Evidence should be appropriately highlighted. The 1NC should have less, more-developed off-case as opposed to more, less-developed offcase.

Smart arguments are great. Smart arguments backed up by high-quality cards are excellent.

I'll stop prep when you say you're done — if sending/flashing the doc starts to take longer than appropriate, I'll start it again.

For a boost in speaker points

· Demonstrate topic knowledge.

· Conduct strategic cross-examination

· Show me your (good) flow after the round.


I agree with Maggie Berthiaume that: “Affirmatives are certainly welcome to defend the resolution in interesting and creative ways, but that defense should be tied to a topical plan to ensure that both sides are prepared for the debate. Affirmatives do not need to “role play” or “pretend to be the USFG” to suggest that the USFG should change a policy.” [1]

Other Arguments:

Disadvantages: Be able to explain your internal links and remember to do impact calculus and turns case analysis.

Fiat — It's structural, attitudinal, and durable.

Critiques — Contextualize them to the affirmative with examples, hypotheticals, and specific links grounded in aff evidence, framing, or explanation). The negative has the burden to prove that the aff makes the world worse.

Topicality — I prefer debates over the substance of policy but am not against voting for topicality. Both teams should explain what debate would look like under their interpretation and why that model is better.

CPs — they should have an aff specific solvency advocate. If they don't, I find theory persuasive.

My views about debate have been heavily influenced by my coaches Maggie Berthiaume and Bill Batterman; so if you have additional questions, you should take a look at their linked paradigms below:

[1] https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?search_first=&search_last=berthiaume

[2] https://www.tabroom.com/index/paradigm.mhtml?search_first=&search_last=batterman

Gabriela Perez Paradigm

Gabriella (Gaby) Perez

Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart '18

University of Notre Dame '22


Debate has been incredibly valuable for me and I believe that it is unique in the education it offers, and I think that it is important to have debates that stem from the resolution and affs that defend a stable advocacy in order to have a meaningful discussion for both sides.

Topicality – I think competing interpretations are the most logical way to evaluate topicality, and think topicality should be framed as two counterplans with specific net benefits such as education and fairness.

Counterplans – You should have a solvency advocate for consult/condition counterplans. Delay CPs and Word PICs are probably susceptible to theory. I can be convinced either way. Case specific PICs are good.

Theory – Conditionality is good to an extent (2 conditional options is usually a good limit). Everything else is probably a reason to reject the argument, not the team.

Kritiks – I think that the aff should probably be able to weigh their aff and thus it’ll be difficult to convince me that a framework in which the aff is held to a perfect standard is fair.

Don Pierce Paradigm

ask me about my views on lemon seeds coolcoolcool

Debating @ mba

3 most important things:

1. Theory -- I will be fine if you want to go for theory but please slow down on theory debates especially if you don't send analytics in the speech doc

2. K -- you can read Ks in front of me but WARNING: I am a 2a and my partner is the one who has been running the ks and winning on them. that being said I have taken framework in my 1nr pretty consistently and have recognized that 2ac interpretations need to adapt to the k at hand. For example, don't go for an education impact against a security k that is saying your reps and education are bad. fairness in that scenario is a much better avenue.

3. K affs -- I am not going to be your best judge. I think fairness is an impact, and I generally think that plan texts are pretty necessary.

playfully make fun of any of my friends or my spelling.

please add me to the email chain or ask questions: don.pierce21@montgomerybell.edu

Lizzie Prete Paradigm

UIUC '18

Niles West '14

I coach for Niles West debate and have for the past 4 years.

I debated for three years for Niles West and one year at Michigan State University on the legalization topic – so the bulk of my debate experience has been very policy-oriented.

Yes, I would like to be on the email chain but I will not be flowing off the speech doc --- lizzieprete1@gmail.com

First and foremost: I try my absolute best not to allow my preconceived notions about certain types of arguments affect my decision making. I view debate primarily as an activity that develops critical thinking and advocacy skills, so do that in whatever way you think is best suited for your situation (granted that it is respectful and not offensive). I won’t tell you to run or not run any particular argument in front of me. That being said, I’ll briefly go through some smaller-scale preferences that I have pertaining to certain arguments.

Meta things:

1. Clarity - I would rather not have to work too hard to decipher what you are saying. I am bad at multitasking, and if I’m doing that I’ll probably miss an argument or two. Please enunciate tag lines especially. If I can’t decipher your answer to an argument, I will consider it dropped.

2. Be respectful – yes, debate is a competitive activity, but before anything else it is an academic thought exercise. I encourage assertiveness and confidence in round, but if you are rude, I will reduce your speaker points. Rudeness includes excessively cutting your opponent off or talking over them in cross-ex, excessively interrupting your partner's speech to prompt them, being unnecessarily snarky towards your opponents, etc. Please just be nice :)

3. Logic - a lot of times, debaters get wrapped up in the technicality of their debates. While tech is important, it shouldn’t come at the expense of doing things like explaining your arguments, pointing out logical flaws in your opponents’ arguments, and telling me how I should evaluate a particular flow in the context of the whole debate. I tend to reward teams that provide consistent, clear, and smart meta-level framing issues – it makes my job 100 times easier, and it minimizes the extent to which I have to intervene to decide the debate. I will not do work for you on an argument even if I am familiar with it – I judge off of my flow exclusively.

4. DO NOT assume that I am following along on the speech doc as you are giving a speech, because I am probably not.

Certain arguments:

T – I like a good T debate, if both teams compare their interpretations and evidence adequately. The impact level is the most important to me in T debates, and if you don’t do a good job comparing the standards/impacts being gone for in the round, do not be mad if I intervene and weigh them myself.

DAs – are essential to a good debate I think. If you don’t start your speeches with impact overviews, however, I will be less inclined to vote for you and more inclined to look at the aff’s impacts first.

Ks and Framework – I love kritiks, I went for them a lot in high school. They are good for debate *if they answer the affirmative*. Please engage the affirmative. This entails making specific link arguments as well as thorough turns case analysis. I am probably familiar with your literature, however, I will not weigh your buzzwords more than logical aff arguments against your K. If you want my ballot, you need to first and foremost TALK ABOUT THE AFF. If you don’t say a word about the aff in the debate I will probably not vote for you. Read specific links to the aff’s representations and impacts, not just to the topic in general. The link debate is crucial – and the aff should recognize if the neg is not doing an adequately specific job explaining their link story. Additionally, you need to make turns case arguments. I will not be compelled by a mere floating pik in the 2NR – that’s cheating. Give me analysis about why the aff reifies its own impacts. Absent this, I usually default to weighing the 1AC heavily against the K. Relating to framework, I have a high threshold for interpretations that limit out critiques entirely. I would rather see debaters interact with the substance of the criticism than talk shallowly about fairness and predictability (especially if it is a common argument). A lot of the times, framework debates are lazy. If you are going to read high theory in front of me (i.e. Baudrillard or Bataille) please be even more thorough. Your attempt to confuse your opponent so that they incorrectly answer your argument(s) will most likely just make me grumpy.

Lastly, K affs - I've been doing a lot of thinking about K affs lately, especially planless K affs. It seems that K affs are becoming farther and farther removed from the topic/resolution. I think that most planless K affs could be read on the neg, but that does not mean that they should not be read on the aff. This is good news if you are negative going for framework because switch side debate probably solves a lot of aff offense if there is a topical version of the aff. This is also good news for the aff because I can just as likely be persuaded that the reading of your aff in the debate space creates something unique (i.e., whatever you are solving for). However, my threshold for considering your aff as being relevant or engaging the topic/resolution is extremely high, as most teams do not even attempt to do this anymore. Plan texts are important, unless you have good offensive reasons why you don’t have to read one. Expecting the negative to predict every possible advocacy statement or hypothetical argument the aff can defend is a little ridiculous. A policy action, whether or not it's done by the federal government, should be a priority for the aff to defend. Please just do something that gives the negative a role in the debate. If you do not or cannot, I will be grumpy. SLOW DOWN on taglines if they are paragraphs; I think it kills your ethos to spread your tags, and more importantly, I probably will not flow them very well.

Robbie Quinn Paradigm

Robbie Quinn, coach at Montgomery Bell Academy, mucho judging on this topic, which is the one with ASPEC, Consult NATO, and the Death K.

I have no prejudices toward any argument type. I do have prejudices to people who don't have fun. You have to have fun. I'm a librarian, so at the very least you can have fun making fun of that.

I determine which way to evaluate any argument based on who most convinces me of the superiority of a certain way to evaluate it.

I like humor, stories, and creative uses of historical examples. Cross-ex is very important to me and I watch it closely. I think it sways my thinking on key issues. What judge won't admit to actively monitoring who seems to be winning? Cross-ex, to me, is a powerful barometer of that.

Things I've been telling debaters lately that make me feel like I am incredibly awesome but are really just things that everybody knows that I rephrased into something snappy and I'm taking credit for:

1. Don't unnecessarily cut people off in CX. The best CX questions are the ones they can't answer well even if they had all 3 minutes to speak.

2. Be a guardian of good debate. Yes, debate's a changing network of ideas and people, and winning a debate on bad arguments isn't a crime punishable by death. But I reward debaters who seek to win on good arguments. I love good debates. I don't like making "easy" decisions to vote on bad arguments, even though I often do.

3. The most sensible kritik alternatives to me are the ones that defend the idea of a critical-political resistance to the assumptions of the plan and how that idea works in real-world situations. Even if an alternative isn't as cleanly recognizable or linear as the passage and enforcement of a piece of legislation, that doesn't mean that it can't be something concrete. I watch so many bad kritik debates that are bad because both sides never give the alternative any sensible role in the debate. I will reward debaters that give up on gimmicky and irrelevant defenses and attacks of kritik alternatives.

Reasons why my judging might mimic the real world:

1. I might be consciously and unconsciously swayed against your arguments if you're a mean person. Humans are good judges of sincerity.

2. I appreciate style. Rhetorical style and the style of your presence. There's a big difference between going-through-the-motions and having presence in a debate.

3. I like endorsing and praising passionate debaters. Lots of people who articulate that "this debate and the discourse in it matter" don't really energize their discourse to make me feel that. On the other hand, lots of people who don't think that "this debate round matters" often sway my thinking because they speak with urgency. I love listening to debates. If you want to speak, I want to hear you.

Me and cards: I'm very particular about which cards I call for after the debate. If there's been evidence comparison/indicts by one side but not the other, that's usually reason for me not to ask for either side's evidence on that question since one team did not engage the evidence clash.

Dana Randall Paradigm

My name is Dana Randall (danarandall@gmail.com) and I am the Director of Debate at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. I have been an active member of the policy debate community since 1996.

As a competitor and coach of policy teams at regional and national levels I feel comfortable assessing debates that are quick and complex.

I have instructed novice, jv, and varsity teams who've enjoyed tremendous success. I credit that success to the fact that I've had the privilege of working with some of the brightest and most dedicated students in the activity. Witnessing their steadfast commitment inspires me to take my judging responsibilities very seriously. I will strive to keep a meticulous flow and render my decision based on what transpires in the debate round as opposed to my personal predispositions.

I will ask to be included on the speech thread. I do this to prevent teams from debating students that succumb to pressure of competition by representing that they have read words in a speech document which they have not audibly read. Debate is a very difficult activity without compelling students debating to also follow along with every word read by their opponent.

I believe that fairness is a terminal impact – that is why I flow both teams, listen to both teams, enforce reciprocal time limits, have teams affirm or negate the resolution based on the pairing provided by the tournament and I have no idea what an alternative metric for reaching a conclusion as to which team did the better debating.

Christopher Rascoe Paradigm

Westminster 19

Northwestern 23

Put me on the email chain: christopherrascoe@gmail.com

I don’t have a ton of topic knowledge so explain it like I’m 5.


I want to be post-rounded if you disagree. As long as it's within reason, I won't get offended and it makes us all a little better. I also want to get in on the fun.

Staunch tech over truth. An argument is a claim and a warrant. Additionally, it's up to you to explain the implication of an argument if dropped by the other team. I don't enjoy voting on cheap shots (ASPEC, New AFFs Bad) but I will. It's a way to keep people flowing and technically proficient, but for cheeky neg teams, it hurts your speaks especially if it's egregious.

Evidence. I will read cards when there is a substantive clash over the content between the two teams. I will not read cards if I believe the other team has not adequately responded to them. The evidence is irrelevant if you don't explain your argument, it cannot do the debating for you. That said, evidence is clearly important and to maximize its utility you should do the following: highlight the most important cards well, quote your evidence directly in late rebuttals, prodict author qualifications and dates and explain why it matters, and talk about statistics.

Offense/Defense. It is how I evaluate debates. For example, you shouldn't go for "perm do both" without solvency deficits because any risk the DA links to the perm means I vote neg. This isn't to say you can't get a DA to 0 risk, but the difference between "low risk" and "no risk" is large. "Low risk" is I think one team was largely ahead on a few key presses and the DA is contrived. "No risk" is that the DA is facially absurd or they dropped an argument, so don't gamble on winning that.

I will vote on anything. There comes a point where one team is just winning. I will vote for that team regardless of the content of their arguments but have a higher burden of proof for arguments that ask me to disregard the resolution or the material consequences of the AFF.

Be clear. I will yell "clear" a few times then give up and stop flowing. You're not too fast to be clear.

Reinsertion. I may be in the minority here but I think you can reinsert lines of evidence without rereading it if it's from the portion of the article that the other team has already read. In my opinion, it's just an indict of evidence with the added clarity that comes from referencing portions of their card. I feel as though that should be rewarded.

Expression. I'm expressive during the round, you will be able to tell if something doesn't make sense to me. I will nod if I agree with you.

New 1AR Args. Just justify them in the 1AR.


Top Level.

Technical wins overwhelm my bias on theory.

Cross-applications are the best way to recover from a botched response to a theory argument/concession.

How to win.

1. Comparing theory interpretations.

2. Making theory arguments specific to the round and the arguments in question. "Process CPs Bad" <<< "Conditional Consult CPs Bad"

3. Do impact calculus.

How to lose.

1. Extend only defense (it's amazing how many people do this)

2. Assume that because of my opinions that you don't have to answer an argument thoroughly.

3. For the AFF - try to go for a theory violation that was too small in the 1AR.

4. For the Neg - blow off a developed theory violation in the 2NR.

General Opinions.

Condo - neg leaning, I honestly don't care how many

Kicking Planks and Combining CPs - Neg leaning unless you do it out of the blue in the 2NR. Just telegraph to the other team that you are allowed to do that before the 2NC ends.

States CPs - neg leaning

2NC CPs - neg leaning except out of straight turned DAs, you should justify it in the 2NC

Solvency Advocate Theory - neg leaning, make it a solvency argument.

Functionally Competitive PICs - neg leaning

Textually Competitive PICs - heavily aff leaning

International CPs - 1 national government = on the fence; anything else = aff leaning

"Process CPs" - CPs that fiat the entire plan conditionally (consult, commissions, etc.) are probably unfair. CPs that fiat something which might result in the plan are fair. For instance, the ICJ CP that only fiats asking the ICJ for a ruling, then claims spill-up is much more theoretically legitimate than the ICJ CP which fiats U.S. abidance with the ruling. CPs that don't reduce restrictions on immigration (non-enforcement, pardons, waivers, and exemptions) are not process CPs, they're PICs and they're legitimate. For the aff, if you're going for theory against these types of CPs in the 2AR then more power to you, but it should be paired with competition arguments (most often perm do the CP) and it should be most of your 2AR.

Judge Kick - I'm assuming judge kick unless the aff tells me why I shouldn't.

Intrinsic Perms - the only thing that matters is whether or not a perm is functionally intrinsic. Functionally intrinsic perms can be justified for artificial net benefits but generally, this is not the strongest argument to go for.

Severance Perms - no.

Policy Arguments


Do impact calculus and turns case. Uniqueness matters for all levels of a DA. Immigration Bad DAs are neg ground. Most Politics DAs are trash but people are also bad at answering them.

Impact Turns.

Yes. If you do it right, it's a big bump in speaks. Just remember to do impact calculus, keep the debate clean/organized and read a lot of cards. It's probably my favorite kind of argument. I'm familiar with dedev, heg bad, prolif good, space col bad, democracy bad, spark, fast growth bad, trade bad, dollar heg bad, nato bad, and EU bad but also I'm totally happy with obscure impact turns, as long as it makes sense.


Love CP + DA debates. See the section on theory.

"Process CPs". I really like these debates when done well but when done poorly they're atrocious. In these debates, the Neg wins by being a technical monster in the 2NC/1NR and then just methodically closing doors in the 2NR. The Aff wins by keeping up and not being scared to go for perm do the CP and theory.


Please check the boxes of good CP debating. Reread or at least reference their internal link evidence, say sufficiency framing, say solvency deficits link to them, read 2NC CPs/Amendments when you know you're in trouble, use your brain when writing CP texts, be aggressive with neg fiat. Advantage CPs are underutilized. I'm sick of parole and politics but I also understand the need to go for it.


Impact out solvency deficits. Do impact calculus in the context of the CP. Read Add-Ons. Read DAs to CPs. Say it links to the net benefit. Competition and Theory > Competition > Theory Alone.


Generally, I dislike T debates and voting on T against an AFF with a plan text. That said, debate is a technical game and some T violations are persuasive. T is a voter, it's never a reverse voter.

How to debate it:

Case lists and impact comparison are both essential.

I think that predictability is a filter for the rest of the debate but it's your job to explain why that is. I think the phrase "debatability outweighs predictability" must be an inside joke that I missed. Evidence and evidence comparison are important. To that end, reasonability is more persuasive if the neg's interpretation is unpredictable.

K Arguments (Neg)

Neg K.

I'm familiar with basic K literature (security, neolib, set col, legalism, afropess, etc.) but you'll have to explain it. I don't like voting on K tricks but I will if it's impacted out by the neg and dropped by the aff. I'm bad for high theory unless they started it (see K v K). If I don't understand it, I'm not voting for it. If I only understand it from background knowledge outside of round, I'm not voting for it. If you chose to go for a complex argument, it's your job to do the heavy lifting.

I'm actually kind of into Buddhism personally so I would be really excited to see it executed well but, don't force it if you don't know what you're doing.

How to win: technical proficiency, labels, organization, specific link arguments that are based on the aff's consequences, turns case, clearly explained alternatives, making choices.

How to lose/be terrible: long overviews, lack of line by line, make clearly generic link arguments.

I'm willing to decide that I shouldn't weigh the AFF's consequences, but I don't think that framework should be your go-to 2NR strategy.

Aff v K.

I'm a big fan of the 2AR that is util, case outweighs, impact turns and alt presses.

Framework arguments that not only let you weigh the AFF but also establish a high bar for competition are strategic and persuasive.

Appeals to the specificity of your internal links and aff solvency are good.

Disprove their theory about the world.

Talk about link uniqueness and alt solvency.



Against T:

I am not a great judge for you, but I will try my best not to let them influence my decisions.

Impact turning their stuff is your best option. Debate bad isn't a good argument or one I agree with at all, but it is admittedly strategic.

If I don't understand your arguments, I don't expect the negative team to. I have a high bar for re-explanation, I have a low bar for new explanation in response to new spin.

Against Everything Else:

Explain what the AFF does clearly.

Do impact calculus.

Provide a clear framework for evaluating impacts, competition, and

Don't be cavalier with "no perms" theory.

Neg v K-Affs.

I'm a good judge for T but you have to cover your bases. Teams too often believe that I'm taking things for granted because I agree with T. You have to do line by line, you have to impact out fairness and clash. Yes, it's an "intrinsic good" but you need a warrant to go with that. If you don't have an answer to "why is fairness an impact?", if you drop the top of the case where they're clearly just hiding DAs on Framework, etc. then I'm immediately sympathizing with the AFF. Arguments that increase your chance of winning are: clash turns case, TVA, ballot not key, debate not key, and switch side solves.

Engage the case as best you can but I understand if it's obscure. Don't worry about their "Not Our Wilderson" arguments, I'm not buying it.

You should read DAs against these AFFs. It will either expose them as amorphous/vacuous which makes T better or they give you a link and you just debate the DA.

Going for the K. I won't auto-vote on the perm if you go for the K v K AFFs but it's your burden to explain your theory of the world and links clearly. Additionally, I would advise you to develop a standard for competition.

If the Aff team is clearly trolling with randomly thrown together pomo nonsense. I give you free rein to be obnoxious as you want in the 1NC: 10+ off, logical fallacies, procedurals, whatever. They asked for it. You can totally just condense down to T in the 2NR, I don't care.

Other Stuff

New AFFs.

They are infinitely good. You don't have to disclose them. Just don't drop new affs bad.

Stuff that should go without saying.

Clip, you lose. Self-harm in the round, you lose. Do something offensive, you lose. To clarify, morally ambiguous authors or arguments do not qualify, but doing or saying something to harm someone else in the round obviously does. Saying any form "prejudice or oppression good" is unambiguously wrong and you should lose for that.

Speaker Points

You can get good speaker points by doing the following:

1. Have a single organized speech document.

2. Don't take out analytics (you cowards).

3. Use math or statistics.

4. Debate the case.

5. Make bold choices.

6. Jokes

7. Analogies (if they aren't contrived)

8. Use emphasis and look up from your computer.

I will tank your speaks (<27.0) if you:

1. Ask the other team not to spread, then spread.

2. Have abysmal disclosure/no wiki.

3. Start yelling/screaming or attacking other debaters personally.

4. You're a jerk to your partner.

Malachi Robinson Paradigm

Woodward 19’

Email chain: 19malrobinson@woodward.edu


Respect your opponents. Passion and enthusiastic argumentation do not require aggression or insult.

Strategies dependent on confusion or evasion are much less persuasive than those that engage with and defeat the other team’s arguments. That said, don't drop arguments. If you do early on, explain why those concessions don't matter

There is frequently zero risk of both advantages and disadvantages.

T: I am a pretty big fan of T on this topic, especially T substantial. If you want to win my ballot, paint a picture of what your vision of the topic is and what happens in debates on it, which matters much more to me than conceeded generic blips and buzzwords.

CPs: Almost all are legitimate if there is a solvency advocate as specific as the affirmative’s. Evidence-Based PICs are good. Conditionality is good absent contradictions. If the affirmative is new, i'm much more lenient when evaluating neg schenanigans

FW: I believe that the affirmative should defend a topical plan. The most important question for me in these debates is the role of the negative and neg ground. Therefore, some anti-topical affirmatives that don’t permute defenses of the resolution are potentially persuasive.

Ks: Well impacted case-specific link analysis always beats broad claims or tricks. Going for less is more. Defend an alternative unless you can either win the plan is worse than the status quo or actually does not solve, and I mean with case defense. I am most familiar with critiques of capitalism and settler colonialism, but also understand most other generic Ks decently, escpecially critiques of anti-blackness. I do not like high theory. If you read deleuze you will likely lose.

Ricardo Saenz Paradigm

Ricardo Saenz
Debated at Georgia Tech (Parli & Policy) for ~2 years
Debated at Alpharetta High School - 4 years

STEM background (studied Engineering in College)

Currently configure Leak Detection software for a Pipeline Company for a living.


last updated 1/2/2020

TLDR: Debate what you're good at and debate well. I'll do my best to vote for the team that did the better debating.

General notes for everyone:

1. I vote for the team that did the better debating. What the "better debating" means is up to the debaters. If no one defines what it means to win the round, I usually default to weighing offense and defense. I also tend to be quick to decide rounds. It's not you... it's me!

2. Debate what you're comfortable with and debate it well. I don't really have many biases anymore and will hear you out on practically anything. There are a few arguments that will make me unhappy and affect your speaker points, but if you win the sheet of paper, you win the debate.

3. Add me to the email chain and please add your coaches, too. I will reply all with my comments and flow to the thread so y'all can have my record for redos.

4. I will try to keep with community norms in terms of speaker points. Just make sure I can understand you. You've seen me flow on the live stream so that should give you a good idea of my capabilities and limitations in that department.

4. It's very important that I can understand everything in your speech as I don't tend to read cards as much as most judges. I also try to write down key warrants on my flows and decide the round based on that.

5. I have been out of the activity for a while now and don't know much about the topic. Please keep that in mind and adjust accordingly.

6. Get the little stuff right - if it's clear that you have the paperless stuff down (no delays emailing, using flash drives etc...) you're likely to get on my good side and earn higher speaker points.

6. Let's all try to be friends here.

Argument Specific:

Performative Method - I am less persuaded by arguments that the ballot means something. That being said, I think arguments that focus on the scholarship of afro-pessimism and black feminism can be very persuasive. I am not very well read in the literature but did pick up a bunch from watching Kansas BR a bajillion times last year. Just be clear about what my role as a judge is and what the ballot means.

Kritiks - I don't really get Baudrillard but I think that's the point. If you want me to vote on one of your tricks, debate it well and impact it. Don't assume your job is done after the 1AR forgets the floating PIK. I debated many topic Ks back in the day, but make you explain stuff and... debate well...

Disads - Love DA/Case debates. This was one of my favorite strategies. Not much to say here.

Politics/Elections - sure

CPs - Make sure it competes. If it doesn't make sure you're good at theory.

Conditionality - I'm closer to 50/50 on this than most. Counterinterpetations are silly and self serving in these debates. The debate should be about conditionality being good or bad if it comes down to this.

Questions? Just ask!

Abby Schirmer Paradigm

Pace Academy, Atlanta GA (2019-Present)
Marist, Atlanta, GA (2015-2019)
Stratford Academy, Macon GA (2008-2015)
Michigan State University (2004-2008)

Please use email chains. Please add me- abby.schirmer@gmail.com.

Short version- You need to read and defend a plan in front of me. I value clarity (in both a strategic and vocal sense) and strategy. A good strategic aff or neg strat will always win out over something haphazardly put together. Impact your arguments, impact them against your opponents arguments (This is just as true with a critical strategy as it is with a DA, CP, Case Strategy). I like to read evidence during the debate. I usually make decisions pretty quickly. Typically I can see the nexus question of the debate clearly by the 2nr/2ar and when (if) its resolved, its resolved. Don't take it personally.

Long Version:
Case Debate- I like specific case debate. Shows you put in the hard work it takes to research and defeat the aff. I will reward hard work if there is solid Internal link debating. I think case specific disads are also pretty good if well thought out and executed. I like impact turn debates. Cleanly executed ones will usually result in a neg ballot -- messy debates, however, will not.

Disads- Defense and offense should be present, especially in a link turn/impact turn debate. You will only win an impact turn debate if you first have defense against their original disad impacts. I'm willing to vote on defense (at least assign a relatively low probability to a DA in the presence of compelling aff defense). Defense wins championships. Impact calc is important. I think this is a debate that should start early (2ac) and shouldn't end until the debate is over. I don't think the U necessarily controls the direction of the link, but can be persuaded it does if told and explained why that true.

K's- Im better for the K now than i have been in years past. That being said, Im better for security/international relations/neolib based ks than i am for race, gender, psycho, baudrillard etc (that shit cray). I tend to find specific Ks (ie specific to the aff's mechanism/advantages etc) the most appealing. If you're going for a K-- 1) please don't expect me to know weird or specific ultra critical jargon... b/c i probably wont. 2) Cheat- I vote on K tricks all the time (aff don't make me do this). 3) Make the link debate as specific as possible and pull examples straight from the aff's evidence and the debate in general 4) I totally geek out for well explained historical examples that prove your link/impact args. I think getting to weigh the aff is a god given right. Role of the ballot should be a question that gets debated out. What does the ballot mean with in your framework. These debates should NOT be happening in the 2NR/2AR-- they should start as early as possible. I think debates about competing methods are fine. I think floating pics are also fine (unless told otherwise). I think epistemology debates are interesting. K debates need some discussion of an impact-- i do not know what it means to say..."the ZERO POINT OF THE Holocaust." I think having an external impact is also good - turning the case alone, or making their impacts inevitable isn't enough. There also needs to be some articulation of what the alternative does... voting neg doesn't mean that your links go away. I will vote on the perm if its articulated well and if its a reason why plan plus alt would overcome any of the link questions. Link defense needs to accompany these debates.

K affs are fine- you have to have a plan. You should defend that plan. Affs who don't will prob lose to framework. A alot.... and with that we come to:

NonTraditional Teams-
If not defending a plan is your thing, I'm not your judge. I think topical plans are good. I think the aff needs to read a topical plan and defend the action of that topical plan. I don't think using the USFG is racist, sexist, homophobic or ablest. I think affs who debate this way tend to leave zero ground for the negative to engage which defeats the entire point of the activity. I am persuaded by T/Framework in these scenarios. I also think if you've made the good faith effort to engage, then you should be rewarded. These arguments make a little more sense on the negative but I am not compelled by arguments that claim: "you didn't talk about it, so you should lose."

CPs- Defending the SQ is a bold strat. I will listen (and most likely vote) on CPs done in either the 1NC or the 2NC. Multiple conditional (or dispo/uncondish) CPs are also fine. Condo is probably good, but i can be persuaded otherwise. Consult away- its arbitrary to hate them in light of the fact that everything else is fine. I lean neg on CP theory. Aff's make sure you perm the CP (and all its planks). Im willing to judge kick the CP for you. If i determine that the CP is not competitive, or that its a worse option - the CP will go away and you'll be left with whatever is left (NBs or Solvency turns etc). This is only true if the AFF says nothing to the contrary. (ie. The aff has to tell me NOT to kick the CP - and win that issue in the debate). I WILL NOT VOTE ON NO NEG FIAT. That argument makes me mad. Of course the neg gets fiat. Don't be absurd.

T- I usually view it in an offense/defense type framework but I'm also compelled by reasonability. I think competing interpretations are good but do think that some aff's are reasonably topical. Impact your reasons why I should vote neg. K's of T are stupid. I think the aff has to run a topical aff, and K-ing that logic is ridiculous. T isn't racist. RVIs are never ever compelling.... ever.

Theory- I tend to lean neg on theory. Condo- Probably Good. More than two then the aff might have a case to make as to why its bad - i've voted aff on Condo, I've voted neg on condo. Its a debate to be had. Any other theory argument I think is categorically a reason to reject the argument and not the team. I can't figure out a reason why if the aff wins international fiat is bad that means the neg loses - i just think that means the CP goes away.

Remember!!! All of this is just a guide for how you chose your args in round. I will vote on most args if they are argued well and have some sort of an impact. Evidence comparison is also good in my book-- its not done enough and i think its one of the most valuable ways to create an ethos of control with in the debate. Perception is everything, especially if you control the spin of the debate. I will read evidence if i need to-- don't volunteer it and don't give me more than i ask for. I love fun debates, i like people who are nice, i like people who are funny... i will reward you with good points if you are both. Be nice to your partner and your opponents. No need to be a jerk for no reason

Ben Schultz Paradigm

-- You should speak more slowly. You will debate better. I will understand your argument better. Judges who understand your argument with more clarity than your opponent's argument are likely to side with you.

-- You can't clip cards. This too is non-negotiable. If I catch it, I'll happily ring you up and spend the next hour of my life reading Cracked. If you're accusing a team of it, you need to be able to present me with a quality recording to review. Burden of Proof lies with the accusing team, "beyond a reasonable doubt" is my standard for conviction.

-- If I can't understand your argument -- either due to your lack of clarity or your argument's lack of coherence, I will not vote for it. The latter is often the downfall of most negative critiques.

-- One conditional advocacy + the squo is almost always safe. Two + the squo is usually safe. Any more and you're playing with fire.

-- I like to reward debaters who work hard, and I will work hard not to miss anything if I'm judging your debate. But I'm also a human being who is almost always tired because I have spent the last 12 years coaching debate...so if you seem like you don't care about the debate at hand, I am unlikely to try harder than you did.

- Anything else? Just ask....

Jon Sharp Paradigm

jon sharp

Director of Debate @ GDS (the actual GDS, not the camp, not the affinity group, not the cultural phenomenon...well, maybe the cultural phenomenon...)

(Relevant) Background: Debated in HS (program doesn't exist any more) and college (Emory); coached at Emory, West GA, USC, New Trier, Kentucky, and GDS; taught around 75 labs (including, but not limited to the Kentucky Fellows, SNFI Swing Lab, Berkeley Mentors, Antilab, and the forthcoming Quantum Lab). This is what i do - i teach, coach, and judge debate(s). This is both good and bad for you.

This is Good for You: One could say that i have been around, as it were. If you want to do something that people do in debates, i got you. If you want to do something that people don't do in debates, i won't freak out.

This is Bad for You: This ain't my first rodeo. If you want to do something that people do in debates, i have seen it done better and worse. If you want to do something that people don't do in debates, i probably remember the last time that somebody did it in a debate.

Are You For Real? Yah, mostly...i just don't think judging philosophies are all that helpful - any judge that is doing their job is going to suspend disbelief to as great an extent as possible and receive the debate in as much good faith as they can muster...but almost nobody is upfront enough about what that extent looks like.

Well, that's not especially helpful right now. OK, you make a strong point, imaginary interlocutor. Here are a few things that may actually help:

1 - Flow the Debate - I flow the debate. On paper. To a fault. If you do not take this into account, no matter how or what you debate, things are going to go badly for you. Connecting arguments - what used to be called the line-by-line - is essential unless you want me to put the debate together myself out of a giant pile of micro-arguments. You Do Not Want This. "Embedded clash" is an adorable concept and even can be occasionally helpful WHEN YOU ARE MANAGING THE REST OF THE FLOW WITH PRECISION. There is no such thing as "cloud clash."

2 - Do What You are Going to Do - My job isn't to police your argument choices, per se; rather, it is to evaluate the debate. If debaters could only make arguments that i agreed with, there would not be much reason to have these rounds.

3 - If you are mean to your opponents, it is going to cause me to have sympathy/empathy for them. This is not an ideological position so much as an organic reaction on my part.

4 - "K teams," "identity teams," and non-traditional/performance teams pref me more than policy teams - Make of that what you will.

5 - Stop calling certain strategic choices "cheating" - This is one of the few things that just sends my blood pressure through the roof...i know you like to be edgy and i respect your desire to represent yourself as having no ethical commitments, but this is one of the worst developments in the way people talk and think about debate since the advent of paperlessness (which is essentially The Fall in my debate cosmology). Reading an AFF with no plan is not cheating; reading five conditional CPs in the 2NC is not cheating; consult NATO is not cheating. Clipping cards is cheating; fabricating evidence is cheating, consulting your coach in the middle of the debate is cheating. An accusation of an ethics violation (i.e., cheating) means that the debate stops and the team that is correct about the accusation wins the debate while the team that is wrong loses and gets zeroes. This is not negotiable. Ethics violations are not debate arguments, they do not take the form of an off-case or a new page and they are not comparable to anything else in the debate.

Also - just ask.

Rida Sheikh Paradigm

Not Submitted

Emily Silber Paradigm

Niles West 2017

Emory 2021

please put me on your email chain emsilber15@gmail.com

The Reason You're Probably Reading This

The thing you probably care most about is what I think about k affs vs t/framework so I'll start with that. I am a policy debater that consistently goes for t against k affs and therefore default to thinking the aff should read a topical plan. I think that there's a lot of validity to a couple framing arguments that the aff needs to deal with. These most notably include the idea that debate is a game, it's meaningful to try to achieve some level of procedural fairness, and that the aff should be tied to the topic. I'm less persuaded by skills and education arguments and think that framing usually favors the aff. For the neg-- using the arguments I listed will help you, but not guarantee that you win. Make sure you're actually explaining them and not just repeating buzzwords.


I know next to nothing about the topic and therefore have no strong opinions on T. I'm inclined to err aff on T when the violation seems contrived and the aff can convince me they're reasonable and err neg when the aff is tiny and ridiculous even when the neg might not have the perfect violation to encapsulate why the aff shouldn't be T. I lean tentatively aff on most theory and think the neg needs to do a better job actually answering the arguments than more teams do. The exception is no neg fiat. That's dumb and honestly that's all you need to say.

Kritiks on the Neg

I've gone for a few but definitely not my go-to. Things I've read that I'm familiar with: (from most to least) Fem IR, Security/Imperialism, Agamben, Neolib, and Fem Rage. Obviously I've debated against other arguments and have some basic understanding but you'll need to spend more time explaining. I think the aff should be able to weigh the case and the neg should have to prove the plan is worse than the status quo but can be convinced otherwise. Make sure the alt does something to solve the links/potentially the aff or don't make it an integral part of your 2nr strategy. I hate the fiat double bind.


IMO, the best strategies. Politics and midterms are dumb and can be easily beaten with simple logical arguments, but most aff teams don't take advantage of that. I default to the offense/defense paradigm. Process counterplans are probably bad and 50 state fiat is questionably ok. Advantage counterplans are amazing.

Case Debate

It's underrated. Do more than impact defense and please don't read the same cards from forever ago. Don't be afraid to have smart analytics be your primary case defense. Impact turns and link turns are exciting.

Some Things

- Be sassy, not mean. If you're unsure which category something falls in, just be nice.

- Don't steal prep.

- Death is probably bad.

- Don't ask or be afraid to go to the bathroom and get water. Obviously don't be excessive but live your life.

- Don't say my name, call me "judge," or anything else during the debate. Just feels weird.

Matthew Simcoe Paradigm

I graduated from alpharetta in 2014. I have more of a policy minded approach to framework but that doesn't mean I won't vote for the critique if I feel justified in doing so. The framework debate needs to be really fleshed out in these debates. This is more concerning the framework revolving around the impacts coming out of the debate. My preference for affirmations that use the U.S.F.G and other inclinations of my era of policy debate which concerned topics like military policy and space exploration. Well that's a basic overview of how I think about policy debate. Any specific questions should be addressed before the round.

Rohan Singh Paradigm

Currently a coach for Berkeley Prep

Debated at Berkeley Prep for 4 years (2012-2017)

Read whatever you are comfortable with, just make sure its warranted. If you're reading high theory just explain it a bit more since I'm not very familiar with it. 


Adam Smiley Paradigm

Coach at Alpharetta High School 2006-Present
Coach at Chattahoochee High School 1999-2005
Did not debate in High School or College.

E-mail: asmiley27@gmail.com

Updated 6/2/2020 to add a section on identity arguments.

General thoughts- I expect debaters to recognize debate as a civil, enjoyable, and educational activity. Anything that debaters do to take away from this in the round could be penalized with lower speaker points. I tend to prefer debates that more accurately take into account the types of considerations that would play into real policymakers' decision making. On all arguments, I prefer more specifics and less generics in terms of argument choice and link arguments.

The resolution has an educational purpose. I prefer debates that take this into account and find ways to interact with the topic in a reasonable way. Everything in this philosophy represents my observations and preferences, but I can be convinced otherwise in the round and will judge the arguments made in the round. I will vote on most arguments, but I am going to be very unlikely to vote on arguments that I consider morally repugnant (spark, wipeout, malthus, cancer good, etc). You should avoid these arguments in front of me.

Identity arguments- After some reflection, I realize that my traditional preferences have the effect of silencing important discussions and shielding myself from important discussions. The methods and messages of these rounds can provide important skills for questioning norms in society and helping all of us improve in how we interact with society and promote justice. For that reason, I am going to work hard to be far more open to these arguments and their educational benefits. There are two caveats to this that I want you to be aware of. First, I am not prima facie rejecting framework arguments. I will still be willing to vote on framework if I think the other side is winning that their model of debate is overall better. Second, I have not read the amount of literature on this topic that most of you have and I have not traditionally judged these rounds. This means that you should not assume that I know all of the terms of art used in this literature or the acronyms. Please understand that you will need to assist in my in-round education.

K- I have not traditionally been a big fan of kritiks. This does not mean that I will not vote for kritiks, and I have become much more receptive to them over the years. However, this does mean a couple of things for the debaters. First, I do not judge as many critical rounds as other judges. This means that I am less likely to be familiar with the literature, and the debaters need to do a little more work explaining the argument. Second, I may have a little higher threshold on certain arguments. I tend to think that teams do not do a good enough job of explaining how their alternatives solve their kritiks or answering the perms. Generally, I leave too many rounds feeling like neither team had a real discussion or understanding of how the alternative functions in the round or in the real world. I also tend towards a policy framework and allowing the aff to weigh their advantages against the K. However, I will look to the flow to determine these questions. Finally, I do feel that my post-round advice is less useful and educational in K rounds in comparison to other rounds.

T- I generally enjoy good T debates. Be sure to really impact your standards on the T debate. Also, do not confuse most limiting with fair limits. Finally, be sure to explain which standards you think I as the judge should default to and impact your standards.

Theory-I am willing to pull the trigger on theory arguments as a reason to reject the argument. However, outside of conditionality, I rarely vote on theory as a reason to reject the team. If you are going for a theory arg as a reason to reject the team, make sure that you are impacting the argument with reasons that I should reject the team. Too many debaters argue to reject the team without any impact beyond the argument being unfair. Instead, you need to win that it either changed the round in an unacceptable way or allowing it changes all future rounds/research in some unacceptable way. I will also tend to look at theory as a question of competing interpretations.I feel that too many teams only argue why their interpretation is good and fail to argue why the other team’s interpretation is bad.Also, be sure to impact your arguments. I tend towards thinking that topic specific education is often the most important impact in a theory debate.I am unlikely to do that work for you. Given my preference for topic specific education, I do have some bias against generic counterplans such as states and international actor counterplans that I do not think would be considered as options by real policymakers. Finally, I do think that the use of multiple, contradictory neg advocacies has gotten out of hand in a way that makes the round less educational. I generally believe that the neg should be able to run 1 conditional CP and 1 conditional K. I will also treat the CP and the K as operating on different levels in terms of competition. Beyond that, I think that extra conditional and contradictory advocacies put too much of a burden on the aff and limit a more educational discussion on the merits of the arguments.

Disads- I generally tend towards evaluating uniqueness as the most important part of the disad debate. If there are a number of links and link turns read on a disad debate, I will generally default towards the team that is controlling uniqueness. I also tend towards an offense defense paradigm when considering disads as net benefits to counterplans. I think that the politics disad is a very educational part of debate that is my favorite argument to both coach and judge. I will have a very high threshold for voting on politics theory. Finally, teams should make sure that they give impact analysis that accounts for the strong possibility that the risk of the disad has been mitigated and tells me how to evaluate that mitigation in the context of the impacts in round.

Counterplans-I enjoy a good counterplan debate. However, I tend to give the aff a little more leeway against artificially competitive counterplans, such as consult counterplans. I also feel that a number of aff teams need to do more work on impacting their solvency deficits against counterplans. While I think that many popular counterplans (especially states) are uniquely bad for debate, I have not seen teams willing to invest the time into theory to help defeat these counterplans.

Calling for cards- I prefer to read as few cards post round as possible.I think that it is up to the debaters to give clear analysis of why to prefer one card over another and to bring up the key warrants in their speeches.

Collin Smith Paradigm

Collin Smith -- collin.smith8941@gmail.com

Cabot High School ‘18

Baylor ‘22

I mostly did K things in high school and continue to do so in college. My research interests, however, are very broad, and I do not really care what form your arguments take. As a judge, I value specificity, evidence comparison, and in-depth explanation. I generally decide debates by identifying key points of offense and sifting through the evaluative mechanisms set up by either team to discern whose impact matters more, and how I should conceive of solvency.

Affs – do what you want, read a plan or not, talk about the topic or not – I don’t care. Aff’s with plans – don’t assume I know your acronyms (I judged at a camp, but I have not done a lot of topic research), and I do not think your impact or k framing contention helps. Affs without plans – be sure to explain your method early in the debate and use impact/solvency examples or have an explanation of why traditional notions of solvency don't apply.

Framework – I will vote for it, I will vote against it. I think neg teams win these debates when they win clash/debate-ability as an internal link turn to aff and some type of procedural impact, but I see the utility in switch-side or topic education arguments in some contexts. Neg’s also need to win a framework comes first/case doesn’t matter argument. I think the aff is set to win these debates when they win an impact they can solve, an impact turn to the neg’s interp, and apply that disad to the 2nr’s arguments. I do not think a counter-interpretation is necessary, though often it is quite useful.

Kritiks – here for it, do it well.

DA – I think uniqueness is more likely to overwhelm the link than for the link to determine the direction of the uniqueness.

Theory - It is hard for me to vote on condo bad without explicit examples of in-round abuse, but I can definitely be persuaded as to why other theory arguments are reasons for me to reject an argument or give the other team some type of flexibility.

Tech v Truth – If an argument is conceded, it is probably true but needs to be explained again in your next speech. I think the best 2NRs and 2ARs tell the judge what the most important aspect of the debate is and why, then win that issue. These framing questions tend to implicate how I evaluate technical concessions, or at lease to what extent I should care about them with regards to broader framing questions.

Arjun Srinivasan Paradigm

2nd Year @ Dartmouth College

Woodward Academy '18

Last Updated: 12-05-2019

Put me on email chain: arjuns.cello@gmail.com


Be nice, be clear, and make arguments supported by evidence.

My promise: I will try my best to judge each debate attentively and enthusiastically and provide each debater with constructive criticism.

Arms Sales Topic Notes

I judged many practice debates on the Arms Sales topic at DDI over the summer. Clear, detailed explanation and good evidence would go a long way in helping me understand your topic-specific arguments.

Topicality / Framework

I’d strongly prefer the affirmative read a topical plan. If not, they will likely struggle to persuade me that their choice was a good one.


The negative should probably read two or fewer conditional advocacies.

Misa Stekl Paradigm

PRONOUNS: they/them/theirs

mstekl@stanford.edu -- please put me on the email chain

PhD student @ Stanford, in Modern Thought and Literature

Emory '19 (did not debate; judged on the GA circuit for 4 years)

Bishop Guertin '15 (debated on the national circuit, went to the TOC, etc. etc.)

***UPDATE for Berkeley 2020: This will be my first tournament on the topic. Please do not assume any familiarity with the topic or especially with any topic-specific acronyms. You can spread, but clarity is paramount as always — clarity over speed any day, but today more than ever!***

My favorite judges in high school were jon sharp, Calum Matheson, and Jarrod Atchinson.

In general, you should not change what you do because you have me in the back of the room. As a debater, I tended to be pretty flexible, alternating frequently between "critical" and "policy" positions. This is your space to argue, not mine, so I will vote for the arguments on the flow that yield the path of least intervention. Pure objectivity being impossible, I nonetheless do my best to keep my subjective argumentative preferences out of the picture. That said, I'm not quite a blank slate; for instance, I won't be persuaded by racism/sexism/etc. good, or by any unapologetically discriminatory positions or practices.

I’m pretty well versed in K lit – I study theory at a graduate level, so I should have some degree of familiarity with whatever you choose to read. I'm an especially good judge for any brand of poststructuralism, including those concerned with questions of identity. Obviously, this doesn't mean that you can rely on buzzwords to get out of explaining your argument; it does mean, too, that I'll know if you have no idea what you're talking about. You should have at least a working knowledge of the position you are asking me to vote for, which requires you to do at least some cursory background reading and thinking. Then, bring your knowledge of critical theory to bear on the particulars of the aff, balancing overarching framing questions with specific link and impact analysis.

I'm not convinced that the aff must defend governmental action. Which is only to say that I will not enter the room with any dogmatic biases against plan-less affirmatives. That said, I probably enjoy a good framework debate more than most, and find myself voting for framework as often as I vote against it. Still, I don't think it should be your only strategy against all K affs; I will be more persuaded if you at least make an effort to substantively engage the aff. Of course, particularly obscure affs or those lacking a consistent advocacy will tend to be harder to defend against framework than core, topic-specific K affs.

***UPDATE September 2018: As I've judged more debates, I've become increasingly wary of framework as a default negative strategy against K affs. In my experience, framework very often becomes a lazy cop-out, even an excuse to avoid debating the substance of the aff. I can still be convinced that this is not always the case, and I will continue to evaluate framework debates technically, but it is on framework debaters to prove the value of their strategy.***

I think I tend to prioritize evidence quality less than most judges. Not that good cards aren't important – they're the pillars of your argument – but they can't replace good analysis. Depending on your argumentative genre of choice, it may be better to establish your position through evidence-reading or through your own explanation in the constructives; but in most cases, I'd rather you invest more time in nuanced and specific applications of your argument than read another card. In the final rebuttals, you absolutely shouldn't rely on your cards to do the work for you – extensions should be much more substantive than simple author name-drops. If you can't explain your author's argument, as well as its implications for the debate, I won't explain it for you.

Clear! I'll take clarity over speed any day. You should be comprehensible enough that I can understand the text of your cards. I will not call for cards after the debate if I was unable to understand them when you read them; I only read evidence for the sake of refreshing my memory.

Chill out. While antagonism is inevitable in this competitive forum and may even enhance debates in limited doses, I maintain that debaters too often take aggression to unhealthy extremes. Outside of a small number of "critical" strategies that benefit performatively from hostility, there is no reason to deliberately be an asshole to the other team, or – especially – to your partner (!!seriously!! if I can hear you yelling at your partner during prep time, you're doing something wrong). Jokes can also help ease the tension.

Speaks – Points vary by tournament (i.e. I'll give higher points at Samford than at the NDCA). Generally speaking, I'm a bit of a point fairy. Methods for improving your speaks include innovative, specific strategies and clear logical organization. Humor is the icing on the cake.

30 – Among the best speakers I’ve ever heard: you should be top speaker and win the tournament. A+
29.5-29.9 – Outstanding: expect to be one of the top 5 speakers – you should be able to make it to late elims. A
29-29.4 – Very impressive: a noteworthy performance with quite little room for improvement; you deserve to be among the top 20 speakers. A-
28.6-28.9 – High average: you are in or near the top of your division; with any luck – and, more surely, with just a little more practice – you should be able to break. B/B+
28-28.5 – Average: you're doing well, but still need to iron out some remaining issues with your clarity of speech or of argument. B-
27.5-27.9 – Low average: you have potential, but displayed: a) notable problems with both speaking and argument development, or b) more serious problems in one of the two areas. C/C+
27-27.4 – Below average: your performance was passable, but suffered from critical issues of both style and content. C-
26.5-26.9 – Needs improvement: you spoke poorly, made major strategic mistakes, and likely dropped some important arguments. D
26-26.4 – Needs major improvement: you failed to answer a majority of your opponent’s arguments and made some manner of unforgivable mistake. D-
0-25 – You did something offensive. F

Clipping will result in an immediate loss and the lowest speaks allowed by the tournament. I will follow along with the speech doc and record the debate; if I catch you clipping, I will stop the round you even if your opponent doesn’t call you on it.

This is not, in fact, your CX.

*** Update March 2019: YES TKO PLEASE TKO! Far too many debates drag on painfully long after they (should) have technically ended. For this reason, I am following B. Manuel's paradigm and urging you to invoke "total knock-out" mode if the other team makes an utterly irredeemable mistake – e.g., double turn, dropped T or a K, etc. Of course, you must stake the round on this; if you can pull it off (i.e., if you can satisfactorily extend the dropped/devastating argument while covering all your bases, e.g., answering condo if going for a dropped K...), then you will win the round after your speech and receive 30s. If you are unsuccessful, you lose and get a hard cap of 27.5. ***

Jordana Sternberg Paradigm

Director of Debate at Westminster, former lawyer, college debater before that -- but slow it down a little if you want your arguments to make it to my flow, which is usually on paper.

I know VERY LITTLE about the arms sales topic, and I don't know the nuances of any T arguments. Don't assume, and explain well.

Put me on the email chain at wildcatstalkfast@gmail.com

Quick thoughts:

1) Make your speeches flowable. I can listen and flow as fast as you can speak but not if you are reading pre-written blocks at top speed with no breaks or changes in inflection. If you're going to read blocks, try to at least pretend you're not reading blocks by having breaks between arguments, emphasizing tags, slowing it down a little on analytics, etc. You are also a lot more likely to hold my attention to details and help me not miss stuff that way. I will reward your speaker points if you do a good job of this.

You would be shocked at how many "good" judges think the same thing about block-reading and the above advice, and how little some judges are flowing, or even catching, of what you think you said.

2) I disagree with approaches that make the personal identity of the debaters in the round relevant to the decision in the debate, especially for high-school-aged students, and I am also not a good judge for these debates because I often do not understand what the judge is being asked to vote for. This does not mean you can't read K arguments or arguments about race or identity, in fact there are many K arguments that I think are true and make a lot of sense, I just don't think a teacher should in the position of ratifying or rejecting the personal identity or experiences of a teenager.

3) "Death good" arguments can be a reason to reject the team.

4) There needs to be a fair stasis point in order to have good debates. Debate is good.

5) Theory: You are really taking your chances if you rely on a sketchy CP that requires winning a lot of theory, because I do not spend a lot of time outside of debate rounds thinking about theory. I can't tell you which way I will come down on a particular theory issue because it usually depends on what is said -- and what I flow -- in that particular round. This applies to T debates and other theory debates too.

6) If it is pretty close between the CP and the aff (or even if it isn't close), you need to give some really clear comparative explanations about why I should choose one over the other -- which you should do for any judge but make sure you do it when I'm judging.

7) I really dislike high theory and post-modernism in debate.

8) Reading cards to decide the debate: For many years I tried to judge without looking at the speech documents during the speeches, but I have recently concluded that is unrealistic because there is an entire additional level of the debate that is happening between the debaters in the speech documents. I don't think it should be that way, but I understand why it is happening. However, if the claims made about a card or set of cards are uncontested by the opponent, I am likely to assume when deciding the debate that the cards say what their reader claimed they say rather than reading both sides' cards or any of the cards.

9) I am not at all deep in the files and evidence especially for most neg arguments, so I am really judging the debate based on what you say and what your cards say as you present them in the round.

9) Links and impact calculus are really, really important, especially in the last rebuttals. However, I think lengthy pre-written overviews are not as good as 2NR/2AR (and prior) explanations based on what actually happened in the particular debate.

Eavan Thomas Paradigm

Not Submitted

Chris Tran Paradigm

Chris Tran

Jesuit Dallas '19


Last Updated 4/1/19


Speed is okay

Tech > Truth

Do line by line. Overviews are weak.

Highlight you cards properly.

Call me Chris


T is cool. Have all the stuff you need (tva, case list, impacts). Condo is a reason to reject the team, others are reject the arg. 2NC CPs are debatable


Impact turn 2NRs are awesome.

"Soft left affs" that don't contextualize their framing cards to the story of the DA/CP the neg goes for aren't persuasive.


Disads are cool.


CPs are cool. PICs are probably good, process CPs depend on the quality of solvency evidence. I will judge kick if the 2NR reminds me to, and I won't if the 2NR doesn't remind me. Its probably impossible to get me to not judge kick in the 2AR.


K’s are also cool. Explanation is important and examples are awesome. The further away you stray from cap/security/settler colonialism/Berlant/gender IR/Agamben, the more explanation I will need.

There's a lot of ways to beat the K that I think are all viable (case outweighs, perm + link defense, impact turn, framework, etc). Just be decisive.

K Affs

Full disclosure, I went for T in every 2NR against a K aff my senior year. That doesn't mean that I won't judge what happens in the debate.

Some stuff I stole from Ryan Gorman's paradigm that I agree with:

"I’m sympathetic to the need to have discussions in the debate space that don't necessary follow [topical] criteria. But I’m also sympathetic to the Neg’s need to, frankly, have something predictable to debate against. Debate isn't just a platform for advocacy, and it isn't just a game - it's a little bit of both combined to make something else entirely."

Rosie Valdez Paradigm

-Director of Debate at Little Rock Central High School
Yes, email chain and sure, questions: rosalia.n.valdez@gmail.com


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


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


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

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

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

K Affs vs. FW

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

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

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


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


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

Arkansas Circuit

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

Solomon Watson Paradigm

The question I ask my self the most in listening to debates is, "why do I care?" the team who answers this better almost always wins.

Can't stress this enough, I could not care less, about who you are or your args, I vote on my flow for who won the debate regardless of who won the debate.Just do what you do there will be no need to adapt your arguments in front of me. Done it all from K -affs, set col, consult, states and PTX, dedev, big stick policy affs -you do you

email chain- solomonsonofwat@gmail.com

-Grady 2018/Atlanta Urban Debate League

-University of Texas of Dallas 2022

-Assistant Coach for, Grady and the Atlanta Urban Debate League which includes, in addition to Grady, Decatur, Cross keys, Westlake, Rockdale, and Roswell.

I will vote on anything...

**but it has to be argument ie claim -warrant -impact I don't care if it is sketch but it does need these components .

Debate is a game, truth is irrelevant in terms of my evaluation of how competing arguments have been debated, and my deciding in who won the debate based on their strategic display, and argumentation- content is largely irrelevant, except as a vehicle to deliberate competing performances of argumentation and strategic thinking

if your a policy/flex team - can you win fwk/T....yes . I vote on the flow

is fairness a impact....yes.... if debated as such... teams have the ability to impact turn, or say other impacts out weigh. Is fairness a good impact, different question that is often more contextual than yes/no

if your a non traditional team- can you win that not being topical is good.... yes. I vote on the flow-

The difference between the K versus more "straight up" debate is overstated at the end of the day the way the arguments end up functioning is largely the same - the main substantive difference largely is what the world/debate should/does look like.

Competition- I vote on the LBL so I tend to think that resolves CP competition questions, however it is worth stating that I tend to think that CPs compete through NBs and that is how I evaluate competition.

I will only read cards if I am told to or if I have to... other wise I vote on explanation of cards/args- I will not reconstruct a debate through cards.

"insert rehighlighting" is not a thing= have to actually read it

0 risk of a DA or aff is possible

love cheap shots/easy wins.... I greatly appreciate people trying to make my life easier

Tech over truth...- I refuse to intervene as much as I possibly can to render a decision. tech = just the args on the flow they way they are presented.

Josh Weintraub Paradigm

UGA '21

Johns Creek HS '17

Email --> jhweintraub@gmail.com

I'll vote on whatever you want but I do not like the K, at all.

If you ain't reading a plan you ain't winnin the ballot.

Disclosure*: I am Jewish and have lived in Israel. please take this into consideration if you're going to read a K aff about Israel in front of me. "First team to trivialize or deny the Holocaust loses." - Becca Steiner

More Info available on request.

Phish references = +.1 speaker points

Robert Whitaker Paradigm


Currently assistant coaching Alpharetta. I debated throughout high school, then at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Central Oklahoma, and am now a member of West Georgia debate.

I’m comfortable with all speeds and styles, especially those regarding the k – I’m most familiar with poststructural + positional criticisms, though you should do whatever it is you do best – you can just as easily win with a plan, theory, framework, etc. If you want to test a sneaky new framework strategy, I'll happily adjudicate your chess match; if you're all about the Death K, well, I've done my fair share of that stuff too. Give me your best args and write my ballot. I privilege tech over truth and frequently vote for arguments that contravene my personal beliefs. I judge k affs frequently but this only thickens my belief that they need some relation to the resolution, even if only neg-neg. I thus also believe that the neg, in turn, needs to prove why either A) the aff links to harder to the k than squo does, or B) why that distinction doesn't matter - i.e. how I can vote without presumption and/or L/UQ or why presumption still goes neg, does not exist, sucks, whatever. I am not, personally, keen on the notion that presumption can flip aff, but am willing to entertain the argument and have voted on it when used to exploit a neg weakness.

I flow on paper, if you care. I'll yell clear twice and then stop flowing anything incomprehensible. If you begin a speech in unsettling fashion (e.g. giving an inaccurate roadmap or jumping the gun with 400+wpm), I'll act flustered and require a few effervescently dramatic seconds to get my affairs in order. If I'm otherwise not flowing or I'm on the wrong sheet, it's because either you've created a mental backlog of arguments that I'm flowing in retrospect or I'm repackaging your arguments to make them more palatable to my flow, or both.

Some things that frustrate me: excessive rudeness (toward opponents or judges), offensive strategies (ableism inevitable/good, for instance), and clipping (zeroes + L = bad time for you). I will not hesitate to drop clippers - I'm likely to notice audible cues, start recording + checking/highlighting in real time, review as thoroughly as possible, consult tab protocols, and serve sweet justice. Also, and I can’t believe I need to write this, please don’t engage in acts of self-harm to win my ballot (you know who you are). Instead, please demonstrate mastery of persuasion, word economy, and 2nr/2ar vision – teams that reverse-engineer strategies and execute them methodically speech-by-speech impress me the most – a searing cross-ex is, of course, welcome – entertaining and innovative teams will be rewarded with speaker points.

A few final notes: not a huge fan of process counterplans (though I’ll still vote for them as they feel largely inevitable/compensatory on this topic), conditionality is pretty good (as is neg fiat), and link uniqueness wins rounds.

Madison White Paradigm

Hello lil baby debaters !!!!

heres the gist of it... I did policy debate at Bentonville High School for 3yrs..

I will easily be able to follow your arguments and your speed... but if your spreading is UNCLEAR then it won't make it onto my flow.

-- ORGANIZATION IS KEY!!!! If you don't sign post I won't know where arguments go. I'm a flow judge and if I don't know where your argument goes then it will probably hinder how I evaluate the round at the end

-- if you want outstanding speaker points you have to work for it... just because you can spread isn't enough for me, you have to be able to show me that you can speak PERSUASIVELY!! Slow down, emphasize words, repetition, hand gestures, analogies, eye contact. I should be completely moved to tears/ action by your speech.

-- NEVER END A SPEECH BEFORE THE TIMER GOES OFF. you should always have something to say

-- don't ask if you can sit during your speech the answer is no


-- I will flow any argument but you better KNOW it and be able to explain it well. If you are going to read something that you just found a few hrs before... be careful

-- if it comes down to a specific card I will comb through it so this is a WARNING to make sure your card says EXACTLY what you are arguing .... I would rather you have incredibly strong analytics than mediocre evidence

-- if you have strong evidence/ can argue something crazy really well, then go for it. my outside biases/ opinions do not affect my view. You have good evidence that says Atlantis the lost city has been found then it's a valid argument that must be adequately addressed by your opponent. Argue that your team is actually pirates idc


-- rebuttals need impact calc.

-- I like rebuttals to consist of analysis of the round, less cards & more explaining WHY your team is winning

-- TOPICALITY IS A PRIORI (I don't care what the new fad is, but to me that is one of the most important things in the round) --> that also means, don't run dumb ones and make sure your technique is correct


-- NEG try not to bring up new arguments in the 2nc... it annoys me when rebuttals turn into the aff whining/ a debate over the rules of policy. If you DO bring up a new argument it better be the strongest thing you have, don't just waste time.

-- NEG I want to see a good use of the negblock... don't say the exact same thing for 13 mins

-- I WANT CLASH. Case debate is so often swept under the rug !!!! even if you don't have specific cards against their case I will flow analytics. Strong analytics !!!!!!! This holds true for all forms of debate.


-- don't be rude to your opponents during cross ex

-- don't run sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.. arguments. If I think that the round has become offensive I will stop you and force you to take YOUR prep time to re evaluate. Don't be insensitive.

-- if you flash files I will not count it as prep

-- have a phone or timer for your speech... I will not be your judge AND timekeeper. I can't multitask

-- open cross ex is fine in my book BUT if your partner is answering all the questions for you I will take that to mean that you don't understand what you just read

-- do NOT start off cross ex with 'how are you' or lame filler questions. Just end cross ex or ask for more details... but don't waste my time. CROSS EX SHOULD BE INTENTIONAL.


-- K affs are fun, go for it !!!

-- do not forget to extend your case in every speech.

--AFF if you are going to have framework in your plan I better hear it until the very end. Don't say read it in the 1ac and then not mention it again until rebuttals.. I will consider it dropped


FOR PF and LD...

-- I've judged enough rounds that I understand and can follow the arguments you make

-- I'm okay with K's being run in an LD round but no CPs; progressive or traditional whatever your preference is go for it

-- I know that PF and LD are supposed to focus more heavily on slow, well spoken, persuasive speeches, that being said, I am okay with speed but DO NOT SPREAD.

-- look you don't get a lot of time in these speeches, I get that, but I also need to see that you are adequately responding to every argument on the flow !!! (This is part of being organized)

-- impact calc is still relevant, I wanna hear some hella persuasive speaking in those summary speeches

-- also you CAN debate the weighing criteron... I expect you to extend. Don't just define your criteron, you better put it into the context of the resolution.

-- no 'open cx' in pf, don't ask. You have grand crossfire/ you should know your case well enough to answer questions on your own.


Big Questions

-- have fun... good luck... I better hear some enticing, impressive, creative, and logical arguments !!!! Claaaaaassssshhhhhh! Do your research.

- don't just repeat your case over and over...


-- if you decide to flash or have some sort of email chain during round I want to be included. whitemadisonj@gmail.com

-- I try not to disclose in round because I want you guys motivated and encouraged for your next round so PLEASE don't ask me who won

-- I expect you to come to the round having already read my paradigm... you may ask me questions about what I have said or anything I didn't specify but I will not repeat all of what I have typed

-- be unique and creative !!! Have fun with this !!!!! Can't wait to see how hard you have all worked !!

Whit Whitmore Paradigm

LD Specific Business:

I am primarily a policy coach with very little LD experience. Have a little patience with me when it comes to LD specific jargon or arguments. It would behoove you to do a little more explanation than you would give to a seasoned adjudicator in the back of the room. I will most likely judge LD rounds in the same way I judge policy rounds. Hopefully my policy philosophy below will give you some insight into how I view debate. I have little tolerance and a high threshold for voting on unwarranted theory arguments. I'm not likely to care that they dropped your 'g' subpoint, if it wasn't very good. RVI's aren't a thing, and I won't vote on them.

Policy Business:

add me to the email chain: whit211@gmail.com

You should debate line by line. I continue to grow frustrated with teams that do not flow. If I suspect you are not flowing (I visibly see you not doing it; you answer arguments that were not made in the previous speech but were in the speech doc; you answer arguments in speech doc order instead of speech order), you will receive no higher than a 28. This includes teams that like to "group" the 2ac into sections and just read blocks in the 2NC/1NR. Also, read cards. I don't want to hear a block with no cards.

Debate the round in a manner that you would like and defend it. I consistently vote for arguments that I don’t agree with and positions that I don’t necessarily think are good for debate. I have some pretty deeply held beliefs about debate, but I’m not so conceited that I think I have it all figured out. I still try to be as objective as possible in deciding rounds. All that being said, the following can be used to determine what I will most likely be persuaded by in close calls:

If I had my druthers, every 2nr would be a counterplan/disad or disad/case.

In the battle between truth and tech, I think I fall slightly on side of truth. That doesn’t mean that you can go around dropping arguments and then point out some fatal flaw in their logic in the 2AR. It does mean that some arguments are so poor as to necessitate only one response, and, as long as we are on the same page about what that argument is, it is ok if the explanation of that argument is shallow for most of the debate. True arguments aren’t always supported by evidence, but it certainly helps.

I think research is the most important aspect of debate. I make an effort to reward teams that work hard and do quality research on the topic, and arguments about preserving and improving topic specific education carry a lot of weight with me. However, it is not enough to read a wreck of good cards and tell me to read them. Teams that have actually worked hard tend to not only read quality evidence, but also execute and explain the arguments in the evidence well. I think there is an under-highlighting epidemic in debates, but I am willing to give debaters who know their evidence well enough to reference unhighlighted portions in the debate some leeway when comparing evidence after the round.

I think the affirmative should have a plan. I think the plan should be topical. I think topicality is a voting issue. I think teams that make a choice to not be topical are actively attempting to exclude the negative team from the debate (not the other way around). If you are not going to read a plan or be topical, you are more likely to persuade me that what you are doing is ‘ok’ if you at least attempt to relate to or talk about the topic. Being a close parallel (advocating something that would result in something similar to the resolution) is much better than being tangentially related or directly opposed to the resolution. I don’t think negative teams go for framework enough. Fairness is an impact, not a internal link. Procedural fairness is a thing and the only real impact to framework. If you go for "policy debate is key to skills and education," you are likely to lose. Winning that procedural fairness outweighs is not a given. You still need to defend against the other team's skills, education and exclusion argument.

I don’t think making a permutation is ever a reason to reject the affirmative. I don’t believe the affirmative should be allowed to sever any part of the plan, but I believe the affirmative is only responsible for the mandates of the plan. Other extraneous questions, like immediacy and certainty, can be assumed only in the absence of a counterplan that manipulates the answers to those questions. I think there are limited instances when intrinsicness perms can be justified. This usually happens when the perm is technically intrinsic, but is in the same spirit as an action the CP takes This obviously has implications for whether or not I feel some counterplans are ultimately competitive.

Because I think topic literature should drive debates (see above), I feel that both plans and counterplans should have solvency advocates. There is some gray area about what constitutes a solvency advocate, but I don’t think it is an arbitrary issue. Two cards about some obscure aspect of the plan that might not be the most desirable does not a pic make. Also, it doesn’t sit well with me when negative teams manipulate the unlimited power of negative fiat to get around literature based arguments against their counterplan (i.e. – there is a healthy debate about federal uniformity vs state innovation that you should engage if you are reading the states cp). Because I see this action as comparable to an affirmative intrinsicness answer, I am more likely to give the affirmative leeway on those arguments if the negative has a counterplan that fiats out of the best responses.

My personal belief is probably slightly affirmative on many theory questions, but I don’t think I have voted affirmative on a (non-dropped) theory argument in years. Most affirmatives are awful at debating theory. Conditionality is conditionality is conditionality. If you have won that conditionality is good, there is no need make some arbitrary interpretation that what you did in the 1NC is the upper limit of what should be allowed. On a related note, I think affirmatives that make interpretations like ‘one conditional cp is ok’ have not staked out a very strategic position in the debate and have instead ceded their best offense. Appeals to reciprocity make a lot sense to me. ‘Argument, not team’ makes sense for most theory arguments that are unrelated to the disposition of a counterplan or kritik, but I can be persuaded that time investment required for an affirmative team to win theory necessitates that it be a voting issue.

Critical teams that make arguments that are grounded in and specific to the topic are more successful in front of me than those that do not. It is even better if your arguments are highly specific to the affirmative in question. I enjoy it when you paint a picture for me with stories about why the plans harms wouldn’t actually happen or why the plan wouldn’t solve. I like to see critical teams make link arguments based on claims or evidence read by the affirmative. These link arguments don’t always have to be made with evidence. I think alternative solvency is usually the weakest aspect of the kritik. Affirmatives would be well served to spend cross-x and speech time addressing this issue. ‘Our authors have degrees/work at a think tank’ is not a response to an epistemological indict of your affirmative. Intelligent, well-articulated analytic arguments are often the most persuasive answers to a kritik.

Ed Williams Paradigm

Email: lemuel30034@gmail.com

I will listen to most arguments. I have problems with most theory arguments in LD. Topicality is like the death penalty so I proceed with care. I understand policy arguments and kritiks. I flow most of the time. If you have questions about what I think about your arguments you should ask.

I believe debaters should be civil to each other. I would prefer that high school students not use foul language in debates.

I am ok with performance debates. I do believe the teams should engage the topic. If a team chooses not to engage the topic, then I will give the other team leeway to deal with the lack of engagement.

Reverse voting issues do not make sense in most instances.

I am ok with counterplans and disadvantages.

I will vote for the team that makes the most sense at the end of the debate.

Austen Yorko Paradigm

*add me to the email chain: apyorko@gmail.com

High School: Wooster High School ~ College: Trinity University ~ Coach: MBA


-A "dropped" theory arg means nothing if the original arg was a 1-line, incomplete thought. If you extend it and give it the Cadillac treatment, I allow new answers.

-Fairness is an impact. Impact turns to T rarely make sense to me. They have to impact out why the process of debating the topic is bad. Not why the topic is bad.

-Kritiks are making me grumpy. How do I quantify the impacts in the context of relative alt solvency? Why are links offensive if they're not about the 1ac?

-Condo is just another argument. Win it or beat it.

-Probability framing is meaningless if you don't indict the disad.

-"Ethics" first is meaningless if I don't know what the ethic is or what it impacts.

-Everything should have an impact (k links, disad overviews, solvency arguments). If this isn't happening, you're wasting time.

-A negative ballot on presumption exists, but not on impact defense.

-If you go for T, read a lot of cards and describe the world under your interp.

-Process counter plans are good if they are grounded in the core topic literature. The neg should be reading ev on the theory debate.

Jared Zuckerman Paradigm

Contact Info- zuckerman.jared@gmail.com

Current School:
Assistant Coach, Glenbrook North

Past Schools:
Blue Valley Southwest, 10-18, Blue Valley West, 09-10, Blue Valley North, 03-09

The topic:
I believe that debating the topic is pedagogically valuable and find myself unqualified to render decisions that don't center around hypothetical government action.

Random Thoughts:
-Please include me on the email chain.
-Please respect my time.
-Please slow down.