Middle School TOC hosted by UK

2018 — KY/US

Austin Alvord Paradigm

5 rounds

If I'm in the judge pool or I am about to judge your debate and forgot to post my updated paradigm, email me and I'll upload it.

My complete philosophy/paradigm/preferences for policy debate is over 3,600 words long, but the bottom line is I'm a techy policy guy that likes A) real policy solutions, B) details about the solution you choose to advocate, and C) a substantive nuanced discussion of the real world costs, benefits, and trade-offs of the same.

Email chain: austinj.alvord@gmail.com –always

Bored? Well there's an answer to that too. https://play2048.co/

Sofiya Andreyeva Paradigm

2 rounds

Updated February 23rd, 2018

Hi! Congratulations on finding it all the way here. I'm glad you probably care at least a tiny bit about winning, but you're most likely going to have to do more than just the bare minimum of getting by to win in front of me.

I'm a former NYU debater and former president of the NYU policy team. My experience in policy debate has been 4 years of college debate, 3 years of which were open, and I'm coming up on 2 years of coaching now across college, high school, and currently middle school. I currently work for Success Academy Midtown West in New York City and I coach their middle school debate program full time.

As a debater, I did just about every form and style of debate (everything from 6 min of politics DAs in the block to performance args with narratives and/or poetry), but I honestly do not have a particular preference for arguments anywhere on the spectrum. As a judge, I view my role primarily as an evaluator of the arguments presented before me in the round. If you decide for whatever reason (consciously or unconsciously) that it's not in your best interest to frame the round for me, I'll default first to the flows and if you've messed those up too much, then my secondary default is to vote for the side that has done the best debating overall by some fun arbitrary standard I'll invent for you and if neither side did a particularly great job debating according to that standard, I'll vote for the side that bored me the least.

T: Yup, it’s a voting issue, and it's an a priori one so just go ahead and answer it however you want, but at least answer it. Counter-interps are probably definitely a good idea if you’re aff, but you can convince me otherwise if that's not the path you want to take in answering it. I'll gladly entertain any T arguments, but I expect a full warranted out standards and impact debate coming off the violation. Small tricky affs are small and tricky, so if T is your generic go to, take the time to explain how they untopical and why that has significance for the round don't just cry that they're unfair for 5 minutes because all that will do is just make me very sad and I'll be wishing that we were having a different debate than the one we're having.

Disads: Turns case arguments are great - do them. Note, I'm generally pretty generous with allowing links on DAs to affs until they're contested. Neg, be tight on your internal link story. If your explanation of the DA doesn't make sense to me, I'm not going to pull the trigger on it if the aff is winning a reasonable part of their case. Also, if it’s a particularly bad DA, aff’s don’t need evidence to answer it just their common sense.

Kritiks: I like these. I like these a lot. They're pretty neat and let you do a lot of fun tricks. However, to go for these, I think you need a clear explanation of how the K functions, and you still need to do impact calculus. There has to be at least one clear link articulated consistently from the block to the 2nr. If you don’t understand the K, I probably won’t understand your articulation of it either.

Framework: Specificity is important for the negative. Point out exactly how we should frame the debate, why that’s a good idea, and any in round abuse. Don’t neglect the line by line in these debates. Role of the ballot args are nice when they meet the following criteria: they're consistent, make sense, and are carried through the round.

Counterplans: These need to have a well-articulated net benefit. Other than that, anything goes.

I will typically not judge kick the CP or the K alt. Just do the basic work of kicking out of these if you're not going for one, never assume I'll do work for you that favors you.

Debate is supposed to be both fun and educational. Enjoy your round, and try to make it fun for everyone in the room.

I really enjoy clever jokes and entertaining CXs.

Dan Bannister Paradigm

5 rounds

highland park (MN) '16
university of kentucky '20

put me on the email chain: danbann55 at gmail


--short version: bad for Ks, high threshold for T vs policy affs, author quals matter a LOT, best debates are DA vs case, condo is fine, you can't insert re-highlighting, "framing" contentions are not answers to DAs, i will never vote for death good

--i’m finding I care a lot more about truth over tech when an argument isn’t based in evidence or is facially stupid. tech is still almost always over truth - but don’t expect me to care about your “dropped” half sentence analytic that contravenes basic knowledge about the world/debate

--won't vote for any argument that promotes sedition

--both high school and college have this stupid thing where both sides read a million cards about revisionism at each other. this sucks. states aren't yes/no revisionist, revisionism is a strategy that actors within states sometimes use, and the only reason it would ever matter is in the context of a more specific link argument to explicate the scope of a state's revisionism in a given context. so instead of reading 6 "yes china is revisionist" cards, just read more links - it will be infinitely more useful.

--we all need be much more aware of the sharp decline in participation in college debate. at the 2012 wake tournament, there were teams from 71 schools participating in the open division. at the 2018 one, there were only 50 programs represented. it was even worse at GSU this year. that's 20 programs that decided they didn't want to have a policy debate team anymore. where will debate be in 10 years?


--i'd rather play in traffic than vote for "t: pearson". by the way, please stop referring to args by author names, it is like nails on a chalkboard


it will be nearly impossible to get me to vote against framework with a fairness impact. fairness is an impact -- saying otherwise is akin to saying eating food is just an internal link to not being hungry, which is just an internal link to not being dead... etc. absent a course correction, college debate is highly unsustainable given current trends. the activity would be in a much better place if everyone read a plan.

neg Ks need to have links to the plan OR invest heavily in framework arguments that make me think differently -- BUT, I will say that in an evenly debated round, I haven't heard a persuasive reason why i should disregard the plan yet.

not going to evaluate arguments about stuff that happened outside the round/in other debates.

I don't care that fiat isn't real.

POLICY STUFF: I'm way less ideological about policy things, but here's most of the things I think are worth mentioning.

--something i keep seeing 2acs say: "process CPs are a voting issue", "CPs that could result in the aff are a voting issue". neither of these are arguments. every CP is a process CP -- what's a CP that doesn't involve a process? and every CP except "ban the plan" COULD result in the aff. i wish neg teams would point this out more. you can make theory-based objections to CPs, aff teams, but you have to have a real interpretation.

--other CP theory: debating controls everything. BUT, in an evenly debated round (which almost never happens), here's the way i lean. pics out of topic words in the plan are great especially when functionally competitive, "ctrl+f the 1ac" word pics are ridiculously bad, states CP is fine, international counterplans bad, CPs that compete off "resolved" and "should" bad, consult probably bad, offsets CP probably good, lopez CP probably very bad

--conditionality almost definitely good but i'm starting to change my mind -- lots of CPs, amending stuff in the block, kicking planks, fiating out of straight turns... all of that makes me think condo can be bad, BUT, it has to be really egregious because it's really obvious when people go for conditionality just because they're losing substance, and that is stupid.

--I'm not very good for neg teams going for T against a policy aff (although I understand it’s sometimes necessary). we have so few debates about the topic these days, why waste them on having a T debate? again, if the aff really is ridiculous, I get it, but c'mon...

--1ar doesn't get new args without explicit justification of those args. If the block reads a new impact, you obvi get new answers, but you can't just read new arguments about the content of the 1nc without a reason why that's okay.

--framing contentions are silly when they're used to avoid answering DAs -- but neg teams need to devote some time to telling me why this is the case

--"insert this re-highlighting" is not a thing, you need to read it in the speech/in CX

--judgekick is default if the neg says their CP is conditional. however, aff teams are welcome to make judgekick bad arguments, I just am not going to stick them with the CP unless you say something.

--you'll get good points for debating the case -- it's an underdeveloped skill that seems to have sorta fallen by the wayside.

Risha Bhattacharjee Paradigm

5 rounds

Yes put me on the email chain: Risha[dot]X[dot]Bhattacharjee[at]gmail[dot]com and I prefer this to pocketbox although you do you. I'd appreciate it if after the last corresponding rebuttal each side puts together a doc of all relevant cards and sends it to me even before I ask but no worries if you forget.

Philosophy last updated December 2016 (goal is to include trends I've noticed in my judging and also new opinions I've noticed myself start developing as I judge a lot, although some of these opinions haven't necessarily played out in my judging yet).

General Things 

TLDR: I don't really care what you do. I am most familiar with "policy" arguments and do research in high school and college more on the "policy"-side of things, but I judge a lot of different types of arguments, so my familiarity with those is growing quickly.

My own background: I debated at Coppell High School in Dallas for 4 years and then the University of Texas for 5 years, and am now coaching at Georgia State University and Wayzata High School. This will be my third year of judging college debate and eighth year judging high school debate. I typically judge a LOT of debate rounds every year. I was a 1A/2N for most of college, and most of my 2NRs were counterplan/politics or framework.  I did debate for UT/in D3, so I had my fair share of “K-debates". I found myself personally going a bit more “left” (with a particular interest in arguments about gender) in my last year of debate, but that was more in terms of opinion and not actually argumentative choices, and I still ended my career going for mostly "policy" arguments. I have generally viewed debate as a game, but can understand why others do not see it that way, and am open to alternate views of the activity. 

Top-level: You should do what you do best, and I'll reciprocate by trying my best to approach the debate with an open mind. I really don't care what kind/type of arguments you choose to make. I find that teams have much more success when their judge adaptation involves accounting for specific things a judge might think about a certain argument, instead of just choosing to make a different argument altogether. Do what you do best. The only caveat is you should not say things like "racism/sexism good". 

I think that racism and sexism (and other forms of exclusion) are problems in the debate community, but am uncertain as to what I think is the best way to combat forms of exclusion. I do think that debaters are required by the nature of the activity to contest arguments that their opponents make, and that there is value in that contestation. That being said, I think certain things are uncontestable - like I said above, impact turning a form of exclusion is not going to fly. I also dislike it when people try to dispute claims about debate as an activity being racist, sexist, ableist, etc. At this point, I honestly think it's violent to say a certain form of exclusion does not exist in debate, esp to people whose identity forces them to face that exclusion on a daily basis. That is different than, for example, contesting the claim that requiring a topical plan furthers those forms of exclusion.

I’ll ask to be included in any email chains, but I will not open the speech docs in most situations until the debate is over, because imo reading along lessens the impact that good communication would otherwise have on my decision. 

I generally don’t think it counts as prep when someone is saving a speech doc to a jump drive, etc. 

Pet peeves: “Always already” and “debate space” - i.e. redundancy. 

Card Clipping: Like I said above, I won’t open speech docs before/during a speech. So it’s impossible for me to follow along as a debater is reading. That’s just something to keep in mind if you want to call out another team for clipping cards. So, make sure there’s video if you want to make an accusation. I do think that card-clipping is absolutely unacceptable, and if an accusation is made, I will immediately stop the debate to resolve the dispute. If an individual is determined to have clipped cards, they will receive zero speaker points and the team will get an automatic loss. If it is determined that card-clipping did not occur, then I will assign speaker points based on what has happened in the debate so far, and assign the loss to the team who made the accusation. Purposefully being unclear just to get through a card faster is not much different from clipping cards. Since I obviously cannot decide intent, if you are unclear/it is hard to tell if you read a certain part of a card, I will err on the side of you did not.

I appreciate it when people tell me at the top of their last rebuttals what an RFD for them would look like.

I will not yell clear if I cannot understand you (I think that's just as interventionist as a judge yelling "smarter" and I do not share the same views as Dallas Perkins on that subject). So don't assume I'll let you know if I can't understand you....although the lack of typing should probably tip you off.

On a somewhat similar note, if I look confused, it is probably tech related or possibly just how my face usually looks. I rarely (knowingly) react physically when unconvinced by an argument. 

Asking a team what cards were or were not read in a speech doc is either cross-x time or prep time, unless their speech doc is egregiously terribad (a standard to be somewhat arbitrarily determined by me).

(Please note that this next thing is really not a big deal, I'm just letting you know in case it helps, but I don't expect any one to adapt in any way to this). -I don't really try to line things up from speech-to-speech while flowing. This is really just how things play out because of the kinds of debate I tend to judge. On that note, in almost any possible situation, no matter what you say, I will almost certainly just flow a speech on a specific argument straight down. Just to be clear, I will obviously still separate off case positions and 1ac pages onto separate pages. But if you're like "I'm going to start with the perm and then this thing and then blah" or whatever else, I'll probably ignore you. You can still say it for the purpose of the other team or your partner or out of spite etc., but just know that I will keep flowing straight down because roadmaps seem to be more like New Year's resolutions than actual truth. 

Links are not case arguments. Neither are random framework args. In a K or framework debate, please please please save us all the trouble and just read the links on the same page as the actual arg. I like case arguments but I like being honest about not having specific case args even more. I recognize that there are ways to interact with the aff that do not involve a case debate in the traditional sense. That's fine. What's less fine and substantially more annoying is arbitrarily splitting the K debate (or FW debate) onto two different flows which inevitably become combined in the last rebuttals and create more work for all us.

It is rarely successful in front of me for your only answer to a fully-developed arg by the other team to be that they don't have a card to back it up. By all means point this out if true, but also please substantively answer what is now a fully developed analytic (i.e. still an argument).

Lastly, please be respectful to your partner and your opponents. I don’t like excessively rude people and my speaker points will reflect that. I do enjoy snark if it's intelligent and furthers an argument and isn't just aimed solely at making fun of your opponent. It annoys me when people speak during their opponents' speeches in a way that is loud and/or makes it difficult to hear the speaker (or seems like it would bother the speaker), and is perhaps the only time I audibly intervene during a round (to shush the offender(s)). 

"Policy" vs "Policy"


-High school: I do a TON of high school topic research (along with already having done a ton because of last year's college topic) so generally speaking I know what's up. In the past I've judged a lot of clash and left-left debates in high school, but this year I've found myself judging quite a bit more of policy debates as well. 

-College: I don't judge many policy debates in college, although this year I've judged a few relatively speaking. I've done a fair bit of research on the topic and almost all of it is more "policy" oriented research. I would like to judge some more "policy" debates but whatevs not my job (or desire) to dictate what people say in front of me, and I certainly do not have anything against debate arguments that do not involve both teams agreeing from the get-go that the discussion should be oriented around the results of USFG-enacted restrictions on ghg emissions. 

Topicality: I love a good T debate. Don’t really care what the topicality argument is. If the interpretation is something "silly," then the aff should be able to beat it without help via me giving the interp less weight. That being said, I often think that good explanations of reasonability are often persuasive. The aff will probably lose if they don’t read a counter-interpretation. I also am generally not convinced by most precedence arguments, or arguments about an aff being read all year means that it’s topical. Frankly, I couldn’t care less what the rest of the community thinks about whether or not an aff is topical. Obviously if a precedence arg is conceded I'll evaluate it, but just know that the aff won't have to do much to beat it.
(High school specific: this topic is obviously terribly huge and also lacking good definitions for neg interps - perhaps a useful thing to note about me is that I think of T "definitions" as another standard for a T interp, albeit a rather important one, but I don't think having a definition exactly backing up your interpretation is as absolutely necessary as many seem to think. Sometimes I think the bigger problem with the more obvious or better (in some ways) interps for 'engagement' is their tendency to run into brightline problems).

Theory: I generally default to reject the argument not the team for most theory arguments other than conditionality bad, and have noticed in my judging that it is difficult to convince me otherwise.

Gut-check, I probably think that conditionality is good, 50-state fiat is bad, and international fiat is bad. But I also almost exclusively went for the states counterplan on the energy topic and the Turkey CP on the democracy assistance topic, so I can definitely be convinced by the other side. Trump probably also makes the states counterplan a more important/necessary discussion on the college topic now. Conditionality bad is probably harder to win in front of me, but I'm sure it's doable. Something that is important for me in counterplan competition debates is the question of literature/solvency advocates. The more evidence the neg has about their counterplan in comparison to the aff, the better off they are for the theory debate. That being said, counterplans that result in the aff are probably not competitive. 

Disads: I went for them a lot (especially politics) and enjoy these debates (topic disads>politics obviously). Comparative impact calculus and turns case arguments are always ideal. 

The risk of a disad can sometimes be so low that it should effectively be rendered zero for the purpose of making decisions. The existence of a counterplan in the debate obviously affects this calculus. 

Counterplans: I like them. I like counterplans that are cut from aff articles. I like smart, specific PICs, depending on competition issues and how much evidence there is in context of the aff. See theory blurb above for more details, but would like to reiterate as said above that counterplans that result in the aff are probably not competitive. 

If the 2NR doesn’t say anything, I will not revert to the status quo.

Case debates: Obviously always appreciated. I think that zero risk of an aff can very much be a thing, and something that neg teams are often too hesistant to go for. Sometimes affs just doesn't make sense and/or are lying about what their evidence says. Don't be afraid to call them out. I'm not a huge fan of giving affs leeway just because certain things irl (like Trump's win) make it harder to solve while being topical. A good example for college folks is I also disliked judges giving affs an extra benefit of the doubt on the democracy assistance topic because the affs were all terribad and clearly didn't do anything (as may be fairly obvious, I was a 2N on this topic lol).

Criticisms versus Any Kinds of Args:

Criticisms: I explained my general proclivities above, but, things that are important for winning kritiks in front of me include: reducing the risk of the aff (how you go about doing this is up to you), having a clear explanation of what the alt is, and contextualizing link arguments in terms of the aff. Against race args especially, people seem to love going for some version of "only a risk we're better than the squo" and so it is useful for me as a judge if the contextualized link arguments include either an opportunity cost argument or a reason why that's a bad burden to have to meet (i.e. maybe presumption should stop flipping aff in these instances for whatever reason).

I think that role of the ballot claims are almost always not a real argument. They’re self-serving, arbitrary, and just a fancy way of saying that a certain impact should come first. The only role of the ballot imo is just to vote for the better debating. 

Performance: Most of my general stuff above also address my thoughts on this. Like I said, you do you. I did go for framework a lot in college, and at the beginning, it was because I really "believed" it. At the end of my career, and now, I see a lot of benefits in having a topic, but I also see a lot of reasons for why the way the topic is constructed and the way that debates occur, can be problematic. But just to be clear – when I debated, I viewed debate as a game. But I respect the fact that this isn’t how everyone approaches debate, and can be convinced that as a judge, I should also not view debate as a game. 

"Policy" Affs vs K's

As much as it saddens me to admit, I think (slash hope) we are all aware that I unfortunately do not have the power to actually enact federal government policy if I sign the ballot aff (as cool as that would be). So generally speaking, in front of me, neg teams should stop pointing this out like it's a big deal and if they do, affs should stop being jetti-mind tricked by it. 

I have never found an argument more silly (this is slight hyperbole but it makes me cranky) than the blanket statement that "discourse (or reps or whatever) doesn't shape reality", both because that just seems patently untrue (at least as a blanket claim) and also incredibly ironic to say in a communication activity of all things. There are much more nuanced ways of making a similar argument, i.e. perhaps keep in mind that on the aff you don't have to win that discourse/reps/whatever NEVER affect policymaking.

On a similar note to the above, I find almost all framework debates useless. Aff framework arguments on a theoretical level (we get to weigh our aff bc fairness or education etc) are meh to me - even if you win these arguments, that doesn't resolve the substantive arguments the neg will (hopefully) be making about why their links shape the way the aff's policy happens, which in turn affects the aff's ability to get to the impact they so dearly want to weigh, etc. Also everytime I hear "moots 8/9 minutes of the 1AC" I think "so what?". Seems like if the neg wins a link and an impact and those things moot your 1AC, then you should have picked a better 8/9 minutes of things to say. Much more useful than a theoretical fw debate is answering those link arguments on a substantive level and explaining why your offense still applies even if you don't get to weigh your impacts. Also I will probably never decide the neg doesn't "get" their K unless its a warranted argument made and somehow fully conceded by the other team in all the speeches or something. Tbh I appreciate it when affs don't ever try to forward the argument that the neg shouldn't get their k.
On a similar note, I think aff's often should get access to more of their offense than they realize even if the neg wins their "framework", and are often tricked into thinking otherwise. 

Judge choice is not an argument. Even when technically conceded by the neg team, there are usually 82930281390 other things said by them in the debate that implicitly answer it, and it's a safe bet that I'll do the "work" (is it even work?) for them.

K's vs K Affs

Dear gawd "method debates" are not a thing. Neg teams say "no perms because it's a method debate!" and all I hear is "maybe if we just arbitrarily call what is clearly still a K alt something different, we can jetti-mind trick Risha into thinking we no longer have to actually answer arguments and can, without any real justification, win that affs don't get perms anymore."  This doesn't mean I am just unconvinced by the arg that certain affs should not get permutations - I certainly think there are persuasive, debateable reasons for why affs that choose not to fall under the bounds of the resolution should not - so it just means that "it's a method debate" is not something I consider to be a justification for the claim that affs don't get perms. 

Framework Debates vs K Affs 

I judge a lot of these, so this is the longest section of my philosophy.

Imo non-fairness impacts are better than fairness impacts against affs that talk about various types of oppression in relation to the debaters' own identities - I think it usually hurts to allow these affs to read their impact turns to fairness and thus focus the debate on what was basically the core aff arg to begin with (and thus also likely their best offense). I do find fairness a much better impact against more high theory-ish affs (or ones that talk about oppression but less in relation to debate/personal identity) than the more social justice-y ones but I don't really have many thoughts on fairness as compared to other impacts against the more high theory-ish affs. 

Sort of related to my last point - I don't get this whole procedural vs structural fairness distinction people keep trying to make. Or rather, I get it, but imo it seems like a distinction without a difference, at least how I've heard it explained. Like sure there are different types of fairness and one maybe slightly more controllable than the other but the terminal impact to both (people quit, fun, other args for why ruining the activity matters) seems to be the same so esp when debating an aff talking about a type of oppression esp in relation to debate, the attempt to make a distinction seems not useful and also kind of the point of the impact turns/inevitability arguments the aff usually makes. 

2ARs for K affs against framework rarely have success in front of me if a counter-interp is not extended. I find that solely going for impact turns often devolves into having to defend basically that all clash is bad, and in an activity that (presumably, until proven otherwise really) seems to depend on clash in some form, that usually ends up a difficult position to defend. (This applies less to affs that are an impact turn to debate good from the get go, by which I mean the more high theory-ish affs that say the whole thing is bad, and not other affs that usually critique specific parts of it.)

I've found that people are often bad at explaining why debate is good and useful against high theory affs, esp the ones that explicitly say debate (the whole thing and not just like certain specific aspects) is bad/useless. I spend a great deal of my time doing things related to this activity, and I'd like to think it's not completely a waste, so it shouldn't be hard to convince me that debate has some value, yet I have found myself voting for the argument that it does not in the past. Negs need to make sure they tell me what that value(s) of debate is/could be, etc. when pushed by the aff. Or even just pointing out that while isolating certain values of debate is difficult, the fact that we all clearly spend some time doing the activity means something, etc. 

Truth testing has not been an argument with much success in front of me. By truth testing, I mean what people generally seem to say in front of me, which is some version of: if the aff is unpredictable and the neg wins they could not (or should not) have prepared for it, then since it could not be tested I should assume everything the aff says about the aff is false. Generally speaking when a team spends minutes of each speech explaining an aff and the explanation makes sense to me, I'm not just going to decide that the neg perhaps not having answers means all the plausible/convincing things the aff said are wholesale not true. To me this argument is really no different than saying new affs should also be presumed untrue if the neg isn't ready for one and thus the aff couldn't be tested, and that I think is generally considered to be a not-great arg by most people. I find truth-testing more persuasive when the impact is some version of the argument that it's key to searching for the best method to resist things, like the aff's impact(s). 

In a similar vein to my last point, a counter-interp for affs in these debates should be clearly explained - this means telling me what it is supposed to solve vs not, so this includes making sure it's clear why it doesn't link to your own offense. On a basic level, counter-interp explanations should include a description of the role of the neg in debates and (in most situations) also how you still allow for clash. Neg teams should point out when affs fail to do so, or do so unconvincingly (i.e. explain why the counter-interp doesn't actually solve any of your impacts and/or why it links to their offense). 

It makes zero sense to me when neg teams try to have squirrely interps to try and get out of aff offense when those interps involve basically saying the aff is beholden to meeting certain parts of the resolution but not others (seems to be kind of arbitrary and unpredictable and a great justification for the aff choosing to pick a different part of the resolution to not meet).

Affs should clearly explain the internal link between the neg's intepretation and their impact turns. Notice I said interpretation, and not just explain why *framework* causes the impact turns, i.e. be specific to the neg's interpretation instead of making generalizing claims about framework debates.

There have been many times the aff almost completely concedes the neg's topical version of the aff and it doesn't help the neg in any way. This is not to say that I hate topical versions of the aff lol, and PLEASE affs do not take this to mean you can just not answer them bc I'm sure that now that this is my philosophy, I will vote on a conceded tva the very next time I judge framework, but negs should try to understand the point of the aff a little more. Basically, if your tva and explanation of it against all affs that discuss race issues is the exact same, then it's probably not a great tva, at least for me.

I rarely find it convincing when neg teams try to go for the Lundberg card as a reason for why the aff's interp causes extinction or why the neg's interp solves it, due to having never heard a plausible causal internal link chain between a framework interp and extinction. I'm honestly pretty convinced that I will never hear one. This is like my version of all the philosophies that say something along the lines of "stop saying framework is genocide". Which btw is true but not something I've found necessary to include in my philosophy although I guess I kind of have now. 

Richard Brakeman Paradigm

2 rounds

Tabula Rasa

Atticus Glen Paradigm

5 rounds

*add me to the email chain: aglendebate@gmail.com

high school: montgomery bell academy – coach: mamaroneck

*updated for pennsbury*

my arguments in high school were very flex

i am unlikely to be persuaded by:

affs without plans

personal callouts

arguments about identity

“don’t weigh the case”

framework no ks hoohoo

i am likely to be persuaded by:

procedural fairness (don’t even waste your time with other framework impacts in front of me)

no plan, no perm

i dislike:

“conjunctive fallacy” without contesting the substance of the disad


process counterplans

anything approaching death good

plan-inclusive alts

framework impacts that aren’t procedural fairness

k's of “the academy”

arguments that debate has any connection to the real world whatsoever

new pages for overviews

i like:

k affs with plans

very specific k links, especially to the consequences of the plan

alts that function like counterplans (e.g. specific movements)

util bad

k vs k debates

ks of disads

growth good


line by line


judge kick BUT i won't judge kick the counterplan unless the 2nr tells me to

reasonability / substance crowd-out

brownie points:

jokes (!)

references to my friends

if you open source and tell me before i submit my rfd, i'll give you +.3 speaks

point deductions:

clipping obviously

being mean to a team you're better than

if you ask me for a 30 i will give you a 26

Miles Gray Paradigm

5 rounds

Debater: UC Berkeley; Coach: The Harker School; Lab Leader: Georgetown/DDI
milesgray365@gmail.com (email chain and compiled docs please)

General Philosophy: Ideal debates clearly resolve whether the benefits of a topical change to the status quo outweigh its costs. “Ideal” means I recognize (and will judge fairly to the best of my ability) some debates will fall outside of this, whether they are about topicality or counterplan competition. “Clearly resolve” means debaters have made evaluating the debate easy, with impact calculus, judge instruction, and evidence comparison. “Topical change” means affirmatives should read plans that are examples of the resolution. Hopefully the rest is self-explanatory.

As great of a game as debate is, I do not believe it is perfect, and thus all debates require some amount of judge intervention to resolve areas where perhaps a more established rule would serve better. Here is a crude outline of were I fall on some controversial issues, ranked roughly by how frequently they come up:
Judge kick: I will kick the counterplan. Extraordinarily hard to convince me not to. Requires negative to drop an argument twice.
Dropped argument with bad card: Point out the bad evidence instead of dropping the argument.
New 1AR arguments: I am more amenable than most. Large changes to explanation and strategic importance of arguments in the block (often developed from shallowly explained 1NC positions) often warrant new factual and predictive claims by the 1AR.
Competing interpretations vs. reasonability: The latter, for both topicality and theory arguments. I believe rules should be predictable, and come at the expense of substantive debating only when absolutely necessary. I am skeptical of indicts of negative conditionality as well as of defenses of CPs that compete off of "should."
Presumption: Very, very, very hesitant. If your victory relies on presumption, expect me to go to decision time trying to find even a shred of offense for the other team.
CX of 1AC determines CP competition: This is the default, but easily persuaded the other way.
Is unfairness good if neg wins a link: No.
Structural violence outweighs extinction because otherwise extinction would outweigh structural violence: Circular. Hard to persuade me less people dying is worse than more people dying.

I will do my best to calibrate speaker points to the pool and current averages. Clear, organized speaking and argument resolution matter far more to me than blazing fast card reading. I appreciate good evidence and will read a lot of it if decision time permits.

For Lincoln Douglas:
- All of the above applies. My general philosophy remains: debates over topical changes to the status quo are good, and should be sacrificed for theoretical disputes only when absolutely necessary.
- Please read theory arguments (topicality exempted) at conversational speed. I will be incredibly hesitant to vote for theory arguments read quickly.
- I am still getting my bearings with when new arguments/evidence should be allowed in which speeches. When in doubt, justify the things you are doing. If the NR is going to dump a bunch of new evidence, explain why that is a development that should have been predictable for the aff.
- Re: Durable fiat on the nukes topic. I lean aff on "aff can fiat no nukes anywhere, forever." I lean neg on "neg can fiat an end to all war." For what it's worth, I'm increasingly convinced this topic is about whether we should nuke asteroids.

Genevieve Hackman Paradigm

1 rounds

University of Kentucky ‘20

add me to the email chain: genevieveelise1028 at gmail dot com

Policy Things

Disad and case is awesome, more case analysis that is smart will be rewarded in points. I think smart and specific counterplans are cool. Process counterplans usually are annoying and bad but that relies on the AFF being able to explain the reasons that is true. The more specific and in grounded in the literature your CP is, the less likely I am to care about theory.

I think a limited topic is good and care immensely about the comparison of one version of the topic to another when it comes to T. If you cannot explain coherently what the difference between the two topics are, I am much less likely to care about your very abstract appeals to the notion of limits or ground.

The K

I judge K's as I would any other argument - I think they need to have a clearly explained link, internal link, impact, and alternative. I default to being a policymaker unless I am convinced I should do something else. Being more specific about the topic is far better than some random backfile check about Baudrillard. You should explain your arguments, saying words that vaguely refer to a concept does not constitute defending it as an argument.

Planless Affs

I have found myself voting both ways in framework debates, but am usually persuaded by the benefits of clash, procedural fairness, etc. However, I think I find myself voting aff most often when the aff has a well articulated impact turn to the resolution that beats the topical version of the aff. I generally find that if you defend that the direction of the resolution is a good idea, having a very concrete defense of why defending the resolution itself is bad is going to be the crucial focal point of the debate. Clash is a terminal impact.

Things I believe that you can convince me I am wrong about with enough debating:

conditionality is good

judge kick is good

the politics disad is a barren wasteland

fiat is good


death is bad (I will consider this a reason to vote you down and give you a 0)

Misc Quirks/Things that could impact points:

I will take you asking the team for a doc that only has cards they read after the speech as a sign that you cannot flow and will assign points accordingly. There are egregious examples of documents in which this is acceptable, but that is rare.

Be efficient about your time: don't waste time between ending prep and giving a speech

Time your own speech and prep

My facial expressions are likely unrelated to the things you are saying. The only emotion you should assume I have is tired.

Evidence ethics (out of context? straw-person? lied about quals? cut in middle of paragraph?) should be debated out like any other theory argument. Claiming you said words you did not say is an L.

Being racist, sexist, violent, etc. in a way that is immediately and obviously hazardous to someone in the debate = L and 0. My role as educator > my role as any form of disciplinarian, so I will err on the side of letting stuff play out - i.e. if someone used gendered language and that gets brought up I will probably let the round happen and correct any ignorance after the fact. This ends when it begins to threaten the safety of round participants. Where that line is is entirely up to me.

Delaney Hellman Paradigm

2 rounds

Coach for SA Harlem North Central. Approach to policy debate is stock issues and policymaker. Don't mind spreading but prefer e-disclosure for rapid readers. Prefer a few well-developed arguments rather than many shallow arguments. Prefer resolution of substantive issues over communication. I will vote on Topicality if Aff fails to properly respond. CPs and generic DAs acceptable. Debate theory arguments acceptable. Don't love conditional neg positions but will vote if done correctly. K's are acceptable but want links to stock issues to still prevail, don't want case to go completely ignored by the Neg. I have not found a performative compelling enough to vote on. Will ALMOST ALWAYS vote against problematic language; 100% of the time when opposition team makes it a voting issues.

Joshua Kendrick Paradigm

1 rounds

Policy Debate- I am a very flexible judge. I am willing to listen to anything as long as it is impacted well. I am open to K affs, but if it is not explained well enough I will vote you down. I would rather not call for cards, but I will if I have to. Another thing, I really want to hear impacts. I do not like debates that are like two ships passing by in the night. It turns into who I think did better, but as debaters you should write the ballot out for me. Please try to keep email chains and or flashing time to a decent time. If it takes too long I will start taking prep away unless, there are tech issues. Clipping cards is not okay with me, if I catch you clipping card I will vote you down. If you steal prep I will take away a lot of speaker points. Please be clear if you are spreading!

LD- My experience is mainly in policy debate. I don't mind how fast that you read, but make sure that you are reading loud and clearly. I also evaluate things based on the flow pretty much. Make sure things are extended and analyzed well. Also, make sure there is clash in the round! I cannot stand under views -_- There is no reason to have one because you spend so much time in it and never go back to it in the round. That analysis can be done somewhere else like in one of your other contentions or adding a whole new contention. Impact analysis is something that is very important to me! You should be writing my ballot for me and much as possible!

Christian Kline Paradigm

5 rounds

Tabula rasa

Tyler Leli Paradigm

2 rounds

Add me to your e-mail chain at tyler.leli@saschools.org

Tips: Make sure that you are speaking loud and clear. I am not going to chase you down to understand what you are saying, so make both of our lives easier by following this direction.

I do not prefer to vote on topicality, but I will do so if the aff can not clearly state how they are on topic.

Stephani Lopez Paradigm

1 rounds

Phoenix Military Academy 16

University of Kentucky 20

Top level

I measure a debate based off of how well you interact with one another. Clash is important and if you’re not engaging you’re opponent you’re not debating. The more evidence comparison the better.

You should do your best to frame the debate round for me. Tell me how I should sign my ballot.

I don’t take time for flashing, and yes, put me on the email chain: stephanimarlopez@gmail.com


They’re fine.

Except consult and process CPs. These counterplans are infinitely regressive to the point where you can just say "Consult my neighbor then do the plan." If you want to go for one of these CPs you have to have pretty great cards saying why your specific process is detrimental to the success or failure of the aff. I will vote on it but very rarely.


The weirder they get the more explanation you’re going to have to give. I am accustomed to the more mainstream identity and anti-state Ks such as: Eco-fem, Neolib, Anthro, and Wilderson.

I will not kick an alt and use it as a DA toward the case. If you want to win on a K you have to win why the alternative is a better option than the aff.

I will most likely always grant you a link, but you have to properly contextualize it the aff.

Clash is important, and I’m docking your speaks if half of the 2NC is an overview.

K Affs

Aff Ks are cool. You need to show me how your aff interacts with the neg as well.

If it follows the rez: cool

If it doesn't defend anything: cool

If it does defend things: cool

If it doesn’t follow the rez: You need explain why your model of debate is a better than the resolution. In other words, why should I evaluate your form of the debate? You also need a reason as to why it can’t be done under the resolution.


Usually not convincing


You have to go all in for me to vote on it, but keep in mind 17 DA’s are as shitty as 3 CPs/Ks


Clipping will be dealt with accordingly

Any hurtful comments referring to (but not limited to) gender, sexuality, or race is not going to be tolerated.

My name is Stephani not judge.

My pronouns are she/her.

Puns are highly encouraged. Here's my favorite: Why did the bicycle fall over? Because it was too tired! Hah Also Ill boost your speaker points if you reference My Hero Academia as I am currently obsessed with it.

If you have any questions or want more feedback about a round shoot me an email!

Stacey Martin-Johnson Paradigm

2 rounds

I am a former High School and College Policy Debater.


Clean, and organized flow, and a well thought out strategy/Aff's.

I'm fine with all off case arguments. However, I am not going to do the work for you. It is your job to articulate arguments, what I should do with them, and the overall implications/risk/impact analysis.

Alando McIntyre Paradigm

2 rounds

Not Submitted

Theo Noparstak Paradigm

5 rounds

Niles West High School '14
University of Kentucky '18

Coach at Northwestern University

Put me on the chain theonoparstak22@gmail.com

I don't consider personal biases when judging policy or k debates. Debates hinge on link, impact, and solvency questions that have to be argued whether its plan/cp, perm/alt, fw/advocacy.

I decide debates by re-organizing my flow around the issues prioritized in the 2nr and 2ar, going back to chart the progression of the argument, then resolving that mini-debate. Tell me what I should care about in the final speeches.

I'll read evidence during and after the debate. Evidence quality influences my perception of the argument's strength. Bad evidence means there's a lower bar for answering the argument and vice versa.

Have an appropriate level of respect for opponents and arguments.

JP Phillips Paradigm

3 rounds

My background is in progressive politics and nonprofit work. #tugatmyheartstrings

Former debate coach, current history teacher. Familiar in policy, congressional, and parli. Have also judged PF and LD.

As a judge, I’m looking forward to hearing your arguments, not watching theatrics. Debate decorum is important to me; meaning: stand up when you speak, speak loud and clear, spread if you must but enunciate, and most importantly be respectful to all persons in the room. I am fine with open cross-x so long as all debaters agree to it.

I enjoy CP's and DisAds for a Neg.

T: I don't usually make my decision on this unless there is very little else to decide upon. But pull it out if you want, I DEF have decided rounds solely on T before. But if you are using T AND a CP AND DisAds, that's nonsense bc you have lost no ground. Always debate strategically AND wisely.

Kritiks: Make sure it links or I won't vote for it. Know your lit. Bc if it is evident that you don't know it, I can't vote for you.

Watch me. If I am not flowing, it is probably because:

1) I have decided that particular issue is a non-voter

2) I can't follow you

3) I have already made up my mind because of an egregious error

Good luck, debaters!

Jonass Placitis Paradigm

5 rounds

Assistant Debate Coach - Niles North

Former Niles West and MSU debater
Late elims of multiple National Circuit tournaments + TOC - Senior Year

Paradigm Update re: Kritiks - 11/28/16

I feel it necessary to be a bit more specific with regards to kritik debates.  I have absolutely no issues with kritiks in general - I think they're an absolute necessity for a comprehensive analysis of any policy/topic.  However, I do take issue with how kritiks are deployed these days.  In a lot of debates I see a striking lack of specific link analysis, along with an absence of turns case arguments based on those links.  You should ask yourself this question before any speech which includes extending a kritik: Could I give this speech against any aff, or is my speech/links/overview specific to the aff at hand (and its particular impacts and advantages)?  I'm not sure what happened over the past 2 or 3 years, but people need to get back into tailoring their kriticisms to the specific aff being debated.  Ask yourself this as well: why not be more specific?  Specificity is the best way to take your kritik debating to the next level.

^ You won't be penalized in any way for not doing this - just a thought. ^

Paradigm Proper

I'm very open-minded when it comes to debate, by which I mean that I will listen to any argument and evaluate it as long as it is explained and impacted throughout the round. Do not take this statement as an indication that I don't know anything about debate - I just don't see the value in specifying how I perceive each component of each type of argument. 

That being said, I do have some specific argumentative preferences and thoughts on the current direction of policy debate. I truly believe in the importance of stasis in debate rounds, and while I would never mandate that any team has to read a straight-up USFG policy aff with a plan text I do believe in the importance of being somewhat connected to the topic. When I say connected to the topic I don't mean, to provide a broad and somewhat extreme example, "we said the word 'China' or 'engagement' during our 1AC" but rather a concerted and concise effort at increasing relevant education for the topic with whatever distinct mechanism you choose. Once you decide to go down that road (i.e. advocacy statement etc.) I think the discussion should then revolve around whether or not the mechanism of the aff sheds new light on the typical USFG approach and its impact on the government and whether or not the education that the aff brings to the table is relevant and can be negated based on this relevance. I find the approach of acting as if we can just completely sidestep the government and its bad practices very problematic - the government is here to stay and it unquestionably plays a large role in shaping society and oppression, and thus you can feel free to not advocate a policy action through the USFG but you'd better justify that approach. 

*This is not to say that you should feel uncomfortable reading these kinds of arguments in front of me*

On the Framework side of the debate: I don't understand the disdain that now exists for Framework as an argument.  The only explanation I have is that people are just bad at running Framework.  If run correctly, I think Framework debate creates some of the most fruitful and beneficial debates possible for this activity.  Framework is properly argued as a critique of Methodology, not some sort of abstract Topicality argument.  Any Framework extension should devote a large amount of time to a Topical version of the Aff, and your impacts and turns case analysis should be based around the aff's deviation from said topical version of the aff.  

Tyler Prochazka Paradigm

5 rounds

Email: tynews2001@gmail.com

I participated in four years of policy debate in high school and I debated four years at Western Kentucky University.

I am open to anything and I try to be as tab as possible. Just use warrants in your argumentation, even if it is theory. If an argument has absolutely no warrant and is just a claim, there is a chance I still won't vote on it even if it is 100% conceded. That is to say, if you just say conditionality is bad because of fairness and education, that is a series of claims without warrants, and thus is unpersuasive even if the other team doesn't address it. However, if a poorly warranted claim goes conceded, then I will not necessarily adjudicate the strength of the warrant as it is the other team's obligation to defeat this warrant, and as such I will take the warrant as true unless it is unintelligible or utterly absurd. I will default as a policymaker if you don't put me in a competing paradigm.

When adjudicating competing claims, it is my hope that debaters will engage in evidence comparison. However, if two contradictory claims are made, and no one weighs the strength of the internal warrants of the evidence, then I will likely call for the evidence to adjudicate which claim is more strongly warranted (assuming the argument may be part of my reason for decision). Same goes with topicality. I am 50/50 in voting for topicality, and I default competing interpretations.

If you are running critical/performance arguments, please be familiar with the argument and able to intellectually defend it. My personal preference when I debate is usually policy-oriented discussions and my personal bias is that switch-side policy debate is good, but I don't let this inform my decision in the round. At the same time, I think that non-traditional forms of debate are an important component of the community and have an important message to broadcast, and as such, I have voted for performance affs in the past.

The following is a preference and not a requirement. It is common for me to judge teams running non-traditional forms of arguments and personally be unfamiliar with the literature base. Thus, it is probably in your interest to ask if I'm familiar with a non-traditional argument prior to the round unless you plan to explain it extensively in the round. An argument is inherently less persuasive when the messenger also does not fully understand it, and the debate is probably less educational for everyone involved as a result. In general, I think you should be familiar with any argument you read before you deploy it in-round, but I've found this is more frequently an issue when high school debaters deploy the critical literature base. If I don't think you are familiar with your argument, I won't hold it against you in my RFD (although it will inform my speaker points), but it will probably influence whether you are able to effectively deploy the argument on the flow, where I will vote.

Finally, you should tell me explicitly how the RFD should be written if you win so I can understand your vision of the round. If you do not have ballot directing language, I will use my own judgment to write the RFD, so it is in your interest to write the RFD for me.

Robbie Quinn Paradigm

5 rounds

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.

Matthew Reichle Paradigm

5 rounds

email for email chain: empireofme@gmail.com

high school 4 years cx/ld debate at laredo, tx united
college: 3 years policy at the university of texas at san antonio
coaching: 2 years coaching policy at the university of texas at san antonio, coached nine years as director of debate for reagan high school in san antonio, tx. 1.5 years as the director of speech and debate at San Marcos High School, currently the director of speech and debate at James Madison High School in San Antonio.

former writer/ researcher for wisecrack: this does not help you.

***note: please don't call me Matt or Matthew, it is jarring and distracts me. If you must refer to me by name please call me reichle [rike-lee].

(updated sections are marked with a *)

I proclaim, that I am making a concerted effort to be "in the round" at all times from here on out (I suppose this is my jerry maguire manifesto/ mission statement moment) . I understand the amount of time that everyone puts in this activity and I am going to make a serious effort to concentrate as hard as possible on each debate round that I am lucky enough to judge. I am going to approach each round with the same enthusiasm, vigor, and responsibility that I afford members of a writing group--and as such I am going to treat the post round discussion with the same level of respect.

Ultimately debate is about the debaters, not about the ways in which I can inject my spirit back into the debate format. That being said there are a few things that you might want to know about me.

I debated for four years in the mid-to-late nineties in high school and three years at UTSA. I have debated ‘policy’ debates in several different formats. Because I ended my career on the ‘left’ of the debate spectrum is in no way an automatic endorsement for all out wackiness devoid of any content. That is not saying that I don’t enjoy the ‘critical’ turn in debate—quite the opposite, I like nothing better than a debate that effectively joins form in content.

*I prefer explanation and examples in debates, these make sense to me.

*strategy is also something that I reward. I would like to know that you have either thought about your particular strategy in terms of winning the debate round--and I don't mind knowing that you accident-ed your way into a perfect 2nr/ar choice. Either way: the story of the round is important to me and I would like to know how the individual parts of a round fit together (how you understand them). I think this is part of effective communication and it's just helpful for me in case I am missing something. Illumination brought to me (by you) seems to be the crux of getting a decision that is favorable (to you) with me in the back of the room.

*I flow. I may not flow like you, but I keep a flow because my memory isn’t the best and because at some point I was trained to… it just kind of helps me. But I flow in a way that helps me arrange my thoughts and helps me to keep what is said in the debate limited to what is actually spoken by the debaters. I flow the entire round (including as much of the the text of the evidence as I can get) unless I know a piece of evidence that you are reading. That being said… If I can’t understand you (because of lack of clarity) I can’t flow you. also, some differentiation between tag, card, and the next piece of evidence would be great.

Topicality—I don't know why teams don't go for topicality more... it is a viable strategy (when done well in most rounds). In high school I went for T in the 2NR every round. In college I went for T (seriously) no times in the 2NR. While I give Aff’s lenience on reasonability—there is something hot about a block that just rolls with topicality.

*Counterplans/ disads. Sure. Why not. Win net benefits. Answer the perm. Make it competitive. Win your framework (if an alternate framework for evaluation is proposed by the aff). more and more i find the quality of the evidence read for most cp and da's to be shaky at best--not that there isn't great evidence on political capital and the role of popularity in certain aspects of the political economy as it pertains to pending legislation... i just find more and more that this evidence is either written by some rand-o with a blog or is great evidence that is under-hi-lighted. please read good evidence, not evidence that can be written by one of my children on the cartoon network forums section.

Performance/ The K/ the Crazy/Whatever you want to call it: Do what you have to do get your point across. If you need me to do something (see the way I flow) let me know—I will comply willingly. Just warrant your argument somehow. As before, this is in no way a full on endorsement of ridiculousness for the sake of ridiculousness. Win your framework/ impacts and you should have no problem. Please help me out with the role of the ballot. Please.

*theory: I need to flow. I can not flow a theory debate where the shell is read at the speed of a piece of evidence--tag line speed at the fastest for theory, please. Also if you have no differentiation between tag speed and card speed (good for you) but people are only pretending to flow what you are saying.

*paperless issues: prep time is up when the speaker's jump drive is out of their computer/ when you are ready to email your cards (not continue to write blocks as you 'send' your email). Completely understandable if you send the other team a few more cards than you are going to read but please do not jump the other team an entire file or seventy cards in random order. Learn to send evidence to a speech document.

It becomes harder every year for me to think of a way to encapsulate how I view debate in a way that somehow gives a useful suggestion to debaters. It seems that each philosophy follows a formula--assure everyone that you were a good debater up to and including past experience, make sure they know that you are either open or receptive to all types of argumentation while still harboring resentment to anything progressive and different from what is deemed acceptable by personal debate standards, which is then followed by a list of ways the judge hopes everyone debates.

While the formula will apply to some extent I would like to say that i am in every way honest when I say this: do what you do best and read the arguments that you prefer in the style that you prefer in front of me. Do this and I say unto you that it will do less harm than running around in circles in round for the sake of a paradigm. Be the debater that you are, not who you think I want you to be.

That being said; this is who I assume you should be: kind. Be kind to your opponent and avoid shadiness and we’ll have no problems. There is probably a list that defines shadiness but it follows the same rule as inappropriateness: if you have to ask if something is shady--it is.

have fun. have a nice year.

Jacinda Rivas Paradigm

1 rounds

Jacinda Rivas

Whitney Young ‘15

University of Kentucky ‘19

Currently working as a paralegal at a civil rights law firm and coaching Whitney Young

Top Level

Add me to the email chain- Jacindarivas@gmail.com

I will reward smart teams that can effectively and efficiently communicate their arguments to me. Engaging with your opponent, having a well-thought out strategy, and demonstrating that you’re doing consistent, hard work is what this activity is about.

I'm pretty expressive when I'm judging so I would look up every once in a while to know how I feel about particular arguments.

Clash debates

First things first- Everyone is always so angry and doesn’t want to be in these debates. No one ENJOYS clash debates. Please be nicer. Substance wise, I really do believe that affs should have a tie to the topic and should be in the direction of the topic. I am not the judge for an aff that has a couple cards that say a theory and then pretend to say something about the topic. I also believe that debate is an inherently good activity so indicting the entirety of the activity we participate in is not great for me. I think this matters a lot for the way some teams answer framework so be cognizant of this. The only thing that my ballot decides is the winner.


Links should be causal, specific and about the plan. They NEED to be contextualized to what the aff actually did. I have too often judged debates where a team presents a theory of the world but have not explained what the aff has done to implicate that. Explanation is key. That applies to all Ks cause if you are just spitting jargon at me and the other team, you aren’t gonna have a good time. I am not persuaded by arguments that the aff just doesn’t get fiat

I didn't think I had to add this to my paradigm but recent events means I do. In order for me to vote for you, you have to speak.


I default to judge kick unless expressly informed not to

I am a little nicer for the aff in terms of CP theory questions- I just think that some counterplans are egregious but that might be the 2a in me. I think this can be dealt with a lot more easily if you have a substantive competition push from the neg.

Conditionality is good.


There can be zero risk of a DA

Politics DA is dead and we should all let it die

Framing Pages

I don’t like them. Read impacts. Spend more time developing the actual advantage instead of preempting the random disad that the 1nc might read.

Random Policy Things

You can insert a re-highlighting of a card- you shouldn’t have to waste time re-reading a card if they suck at research

Impact turn debates are some of my favorite

Ethics violations (ex. Clipping, a card being cut in the middle of the paragraph, etc.) should just have the debate staked on it. It is a bad form of education and should be rejected. No point in drawing it out.

Further questions- email me at jacindarivas@gmail.com

Maria Sanchez Paradigm

1 rounds

Debate Experience:
Northside College Prep 12-16
University of Kentucky 16-Present

I like being on e-mail chains! mariaesan98@gmail.com

I will always reward smart teams that can effectively and efficiently communicate their arguments to me. Engaging with your opponent, having a well-thought out strategy, and demonstrating that you’re doing consistent, hard work is what this activity is about. Please be respectful to both your partner and your opponents and give it your best!


I like them a lot. There is such a thing as zero risk of a disad and there can be no link. Do impact calculus, have a clear link to the affirmative. Quality evidence is appreciated, though it's not the only thing! Being able to communicate what your ev says and why your ev matters is key!


Conditionality is good.

Critical Strategies:

I am okay for critical strategies. However, I didn’t debate these so make sure to explain your authors to me. Affirmatives that do little engagement with the critique alternative are likely to lose. Critiques that do little engagement with the affirmative itself are likely to lose. Explain your links in the context of the AFF and your AFF in the context of the alternative. The perm is not always the best strategy and that is okay.

I am willing to vote either way on framework. I should be able to tell that you know and understand what the affirmative is if you are reading it. Framework is best when it engages with the methodology of the AFF and questions the state’s role in activism. I like topic education arguments.

Terrell Taylor Paradigm

5 rounds

Terrell Taylor

Debated at Mary Washington from 2007-2011

add me to doc chains: terrell taylor at gmail dot com. No punctuation, no space, no frills.

Debate is an intellectual activity where two positions are weighed against each other. A part of this is making clear what your position is (plan, cp, alt, advocacy, status quo etc.) and how it measures up against the other team’s position. Arguments consist of a claim (the point you want to make), warrant (a reason to believe it), and an impact (reason why it matters/way it functions within the debate). Evidence is useful when trying to provide warrants, but is ultimately not necessary for me to evaluate an argument. Debates get competitive and heated, but staying polite and friendly and remembering that the name of the game is fun at the end of the day makes for a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Disads/Case and Advantages

These arguments should be stressed in terms of a coherent story of what the world looks like in terms of the status quo, affirmative plan or alternative option. These positions should be attacked from a variety points including the link and internal link chain, impact and uniqueness level. When it comes to link turning, my default thought is that uniqueness determines the direction; if you have an alternative understanding that is particular to a scenario, be sure to explain why it is that the direction of the link should be emphasized or what have you. Impacts should be compared not only in terms of timeframe, probability and magnitude, but in terms of how these issues interact in a world where both impact scenarios take places (the popular "even if.." phrase comes to mind here). Also, keep in mind that I have not kept up with the trends in disads and such within the topic, so explaining specifics, acronyms and otherwise is useful for me. I prefer hearing case specific scenarios as opposed to generic politics and similar positions. This does not mean I will not vote for it or will dock your speaker points, just a preference.

Counterplans and Counterplan Theory

Counterplans should be functionally competitive; textual competition doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me (see later section on theory). I think that perms can be advocated, but am more than willing to hear reasons why they shouldn’t be and why that is a bad way to frame debates. When it comes to agent counterplans, I tend to think that topic specific education should trump generic presidential powers or judicial independence debates. Consult and condition cps just make the logician inside my head painfully confused (not sure why a reason to talk to X country is also a reason why the plan is bad). International fiat is suspect to me, and I tend to think that limiting the discussion to US policy (including its international relevance) is a good thing.

All of this being said, I am open to voting for any of the above arguments. These are merely my general theoretical leanings, and I will certainly flow, listen to, and evaluate arguments from the other side.


I haven’t seen many debates on this topic, so if a debate comes down to T, don’t be surprised if you see me googling to find the resolution to check the words. In general I think Topicality is important for two reasons. One is the general reason that most people think it’s good, being that we need to be prepared/have set limits and parameters for debate. The second is that I think each year presents an opportunity to gain in depth education on an issue, even if it's not a policy perspective of that issue. I feel that competing interpretations is generally the default for T, but I am open to defenses of reasonability and in fact, think that there are cases where this is the best means of evaluation. Standards should be impacted in terms of education and fairness, and the debate should come down to the best internal links between the standards and these terminal values. If you are the type to critique T, your critique needs to come down to these terms (education and fairness). RVIs don’t make sense to me. If you want to take the challenge of trying to make one make sense, be my guest, but it’s an uphill battle.

General Theory

As mentioned, I am not wedded to any particular frame or “rulebook” for debate. Part of the beauty of debate to me is that debaters get to be both the players and referee. As such, I enjoy theory and think that such discussions can be fruitful. The flipside to this is that most theory debates devolve into tagline debating, shallow and repetitive arguments, and a race to see who can spit their block the fastest. These debates are 1) hard to flow and 2) not really a test or display of your ability so much as a test of your team’s theory block writer. I reward argumentation that is clear, comprehensible and complete in terms of theory debates, and urge debaters to these opportunities seriously.

I’ve laid out most of my theoretical dispositions in the counterplan section. Conditionality to me is like siracha sauce: a little bit heats up the debate, too much ruins it. I don’t know why three or four counterplans or alternatives along with the status quo is key to negative flex or good debating (one is good, two is ok). Also, if you want to use a status other than conditional or unconditional, (like the imaginary “dispo”) you should be ready to explain what that means. Again, I think that it is okay to advocate permutations as positions in the debate.

In terms of alternate frameworks for the debate (i.e. anything other than policy making) I’m honest when I say I’m not extraordinarily experienced in these areas as I’d like to be. I’ve seen a decent few of these debates and think that they provide some nuance to an otherwise stale activity. That being said (and this is true for all theory positions) you should try and weigh the educational and competitive equity benefits of your position versus the other teams proposed framework the debate. I debated for a squad that saw framework as a strategic and straightforward approach to most alternative forms of debate, so those arguments make sense to me. On the other hand, especially when it comes to arguments concerning structural issues in society/debate, if argued well, and with relevance to the topic in some way, I am willing to listen and evaluate.

Critical arguments (Kritiks/K-affs)

Much of what I just said applies here as well. I had the most success/felt most comfortable debating with these types of arguments as a debater (I did, however, spend most of my career debating with “straight-up” affs and disads that claimed nuclear war advantages). I studied English and Philosophy in undergrad and am pursuing a MA in English with a focus on critical theory, so there’s a decent chance that my interests and background might lean more towards a topic oriented critique than a politics Da.

I will avoid following the trend of listing the genres of critiques and critical literature with which I am familiar with the belief that it shouldn't matter. Running critiques shouldn't be about maintaining a secret club of people who "get it" (which often in debates, is construed to be a club consisting of the critique friendly judge and the team running the argument, often excluding the other team for not being "savy"). In other words, Whether I've read a great deal of the authors in your critique or not, should not give you the green light to skimp on the explanation and analysis of the critique. These debates are often about making the connections between what the authors and literature are saying and the position of the other team, and hence put a great burden on the debater to elucidate those connections. A shared appreciation or research interest between a team and a judge does not absolve you of that burden, in my opinion.

I agree with many recent top tier collegiate debaters (Kevin Kallmyer, Gabe Murillo, etc.) that the difference between policy and critical arguments is overstated. An important piece of reading critical arguments with me in the back of the room is explaining what your arguments mean within the context of the aff/da. If you read a no value to life impact, what about the affs framing makes it so that the people involved see their lives differently; if the critiqued impact is a merely constructed threat, reveal to me the holes in the construction and explain how the construction came to be. Doing that level of analysis (with any argument, critical or policy) is crucial in terms of weighing and relating your arguments to the other teams, and engaging in a form of education that is actually worthwhile. This probably entails removing your hypergeneric topic link and replacing with analysis as to the links that are within the evidence (and therefore, the assumptions, rhetoric, methodology, so and so forth) of your opponents. In terms of vague alts and framework, I have mixed feelings. The utopian fiat involved in most alts is probably abusive, but there is something to be said for making the claim that these arguments are vital to thorough education. On the framework question, gateway issue is probably a poor way to go. I don’t understand why the fact that your K has an impact means that you get to suck up the entire debate on this one issue. Instead, a framing that opens the door to multiple ways of critiquing and evaluating arguments (both on the aff and the neg, or in other words, doesn’t hold the aff as a punching bag) is preferable.


I didn’t do a whole lot of handling with this genre of argument, but have debated semi-frequently and enjoy the critical aspects of these arguments. I think that there is a difference between the type of critical debater that reads a couple of disads along with a K and case args, and a team that reads a indictment of the topic or reads narratives for nine minutes. If you read a poem, sing, recite a story or anything of that nature, I will be more interested in observing your performance than trying to flow or dictate it on my flow (my reasoning for this is that, unlike a speech organized for the purpose of tracking argument development and responses, I don't think flowing a poem or song really generates an understanding of the performance). More importantly, framing should be a priority; give me a reason why I should look at the debate through a certain lens, and explain why given that framing you have done something either worth affirming your advocacy. I think that these types of debates, especially if related to the topic, can be fruitful and worthwhile. Performance affirmatives should try to find some in road to the topic. If your argument is pervasive and deep enough to talk about, I generally think it probably has a systemic implication for the resolution in some way, even if that doesn’t manifest as a topical plan or even agreeing with the resolution.

For teams going against performance strategies, Framework based arguments are options in front of me. A good way to frame this argument is in terms of what is the best method to produce debates that create the most useful form of education, as opposed to just reading it like a procedural argument. I do think it is important to engage the substantive portion of their arguments as well, (there are always multiple dimensions to arguments of these forms) even if it happens to be a critical objection to their performance or method. Many policy based strategies often want to avoid having to engage with the details involved, and in doing so often fail to rigorously challenge the arguments made in the debate.

Good luck, and have fun. I spent a great deal of my debate career stressing out and losing sleep, instead of experiencing the challenge and fun of the activity; Enjoy your time in the activity above everything else.

Chris Thiele Paradigm

1 rounds

2018 update: College policy debaters should look to who I judged at my last college judging spree (69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa) to get a feeling of who will and will not pref me. I also like Buntin's new judge philosophy (agree roughly 90%).

It's Fall 2015. I judge all types of debate, from policy-v-policy to non-policy-v-non-policy. I think what separates me as a judge is style, not substance.

I debated for Texas for 5 years (2003-2008), 4 years in Texas during high school (1999-2003). I was twice a top 20 speaker at the NDT. I've coached on and off for highschool and college teams during that time and since. I've ran or coached an extremely wide diversity of arguments. Some favorite memories include "china is evil and that outweighs the security k", to "human extinction is good", to "predictions must specify strong data", to "let's consult the chinese, china is awesome", to "housing discrimination based on race causes school segregation based on race", to "factory farms are biopolitical murder", to “free trade good performance”, to "let's reg. neg. the plan to make businesses confident", to “CO2 fertilization, SO2 Screw, or Ice Age DAs”, to "let the Makah whale", etc. Basically, I've been around.

After it was pointed out that I don't do a great job delineating debatable versus non-debatable preferences, I've decided to style-code bold all parts of my philosophy that are not up for debate. Everything else is merely a preference, and can be debated.

Style/Big Picture:

  • I strongly prefer to let the debaters do the debating, and I'll reward depth (the "author+claim + warrant + data+impact" model) over breadth (the "author+claim + impact" model) any day.

  • When evaluating probabilistic predictions, I start from the assumption everyone begins at 0%, and you persuade me to increase that number (w/ claims + warrants + data). Rarely do teams get me past 5%. A conceeded claim (or even claim + another claim disguised as the warrant) will not start at 100%, but remains at 0%.

  • Combining those first two essential stylistic criteria means, in practice, many times I discount entirely even conceded, well impacted claims because the debaters failed to provide a warrant and/or data to support their claim. It's analogous to failing a basic "laugh" test. I may not be perfect at this rubric yet, but I still think it's better than the alternative (e.g. rebuttals filled with 20+ uses of the word “conceded” and a stack of 60 cards).

  • I'll try to minimize the amount of evidence I read to only evidence that is either (A) up for dispute/interpretation between the teams or (B) required to render a decision (due to lack of clash amongst the debaters). In short: don't let the evidence do the debating for you.

  • Humor is also well rewarded, and it is hard (but not impossible) to offend me.

  • I'd also strongly prefer if teams would slow down 15-20% so that I can hear and understand every word you say (including cards read). While I won't explicitly punish you if you don't, it does go a mile to have me already understand the evidence while you're debating so I don't have to sort through it at the end (especially since I likely won't call for that card anyway).

  • Defense can win a debate (there is such as thing as a 100% no link), but offense helps more times than not.
  • I'm a big believer in open disclosure practices, and would vote on reasoned arguments about poor disclosure practices. In the perfect world, everything would be open-source (including highlighting and analytics, including 2NR/2AR blocks), and all teams would ultimately share one evidence set. You could cut new evidence, but once read, everyone would have it. We're nowhere near that world. Some performance teams think a few half-citations work when it makes up at best 45 seconds of a 9 minute speech. Some policy teams think offering cards without highlighting for only the first constructive works. I don't think either model works, and would be happy to vote to encourage more open disclosure practices. It's hard to be angry that the other side doesn't engage you when, pre-round, you didn't offer them anything to engage.

  • You (or your partner) must physically mark cards if you do not finish them. Orally saying "mark here" (and expecting your opponents or the judge to do it for you) doesn't count. After your speech (and before cross-ex), you should resend a marked copy to the other team. If pointed out by the other team, failure to do means you must mark prior to cross-ex. I will count it as prep time times two to deter sloppy debate.

  • By default, I will not “follow along” and read evidence during a debate. I find that it incentivizes unclear and shallow debates. However, I realize that some people are better visual than auditory learners and I would classify myself as strongly visual. If both teams would prefer and communicate to me that preference before the round, I will “follow along” and read evidence during the debate speeches, cross-exs, and maybe even prep.


  • I like competing interpretations, the more evidence the better, and clearly delineated and impacted/weighed standards on topicality.

  • Abuse makes it all the better, but is not required (doesn't unpredictability inherently abuse?).

  • Treat it like a disad, and go from there. In my opinion, topicality is a dying art, so I'll be sure to reward debaters that show talent.

  • For the aff – think offense/defense and weigh the standards you're winning against what you're losing rather than say "at least we're reasonable". You'll sound way better.


  • The exception to the above is the "framework debate". I find it to be an uphill battle for the neg in these debates (usually because that's the only thing the aff has blocked out for 5 minutes, and they debate it 3 out of 4 aff rounds).

  • If you want to win framework in front of me, spent time delineating your interpretation of debate in a way that doesn't make it seem arbitrary. For example "they're not policy debate" begs the question what exactly policy debate is. I'm not Justice Steward, and this isn't pornography. I don't know when I've seen it. I'm old school in that I conceptualize framework along “predictability”; "topic education", “policymaking education”, and “aff education” (topical version, switch sides, etc) lines.

  • “We're in the direction of the topic” or “we discuss the topic rather than a topical discussion” is a pretty laughable counter-interpretation.

  • For the aff, "we agree with the neg's interp of framework but still get to weigh our case" borders on incomprehensible if the framework is the least bit not arbitrary.

Case Debate

  • Depth in explanation over breadth in coverage. One well explained warrant will do more damage to the 1AR than 5 cards that say the same claim.

  • Well-developed impact calculus must begin no later than the 1AR for the Aff and Negative Block for the Neg.

  • I enjoy large indepth case debates. I was 2A who wrote my own community unique affs usually with only 1 advantage and no external add-ons. These type of debates, if properly researched and executed, can be quite fun for all parties.


  • Intrinsic perms are silly. Normal means arguments are less so.

  • From an offense/defense paradigm, conceded uniqueness can control the direction of the link. Conceded links can control the direction of uniqueness. The in round application of "why" is important.

  • A story / spin is usually more important (and harder for the 1AR to deal with) than 5 cards that say the same thing.

Counterplan Competition:

  • I generally prefer functionally competitive counterplans with solvency advocates delineating the counterplan versus the plan (or close) (as opposed to the counterplan versus the topic), but a good case for textual competition can be made with a language K netbenefit.

  • Conditionality (1 CP, SQ, and 1 K) is a fact of life, and anything less is the negative feeling sorry for you (or themselves). However, I do not like 2NR conditionality (i.e., “judge kick”) ever. Make a decision.

  • Perms and theory always remain a test of competition (and not a voter) until proven otherwise by the negative by argument (see above), a near impossible standard for arguments that don't interfere substantially with other parts of the debate (e.g. conditionality).

  • Perm "do the aff" is not a perm. Debatable perms are "do both" and "do cp/alt"(and "do aff and part of the CP" for multi-plank CPs). Others are usually intrinsic.


  • I think of the critique as a (usually linear) disad and the alt as a cp.

  • Be sure to clearly impact your critique in the context of what it means/does to the aff case (does the alt solve it, does the critique turn it, make harms inevitable, does it disprove their solvency). Latch on to an external impact (be it "ethics", or biopower causes super-viruses), and weigh it against case.

  • Use your alternative to either "fiat uniqueness" or create a rubric by which I don't evaluate uniqueness, and to solve case in other ways.

  • I will say upfront the two types of critique routes I find least persuasive are simplistic versions of "economics", "science", and "militarism" bad (mostly because I have an econ degree and am part of an extensive military family). While good critiques exist out there of both, most of what debaters use are not that, so plan accordingly.

  • For the aff, figure out how to solve your case absent fiat (education about aff good?), and weigh it against the alternative, which you should reduce to as close as the status quo as possible. Make uniqueness indicts to control the direction of link, and question the timeframe/inevitability/plausability of their impacts.

  • Perms generally check clearly uncompetitive alternative jive, but don't work too well against "vote neg". A good link turn generally does way more than “perm solves the link”.

  • Aff Framework doesn't ever make the critique disappear, it just changes how I evaluate/weigh the alternative.

  • Role of the Ballot - I vote for the team that did the better debating. What is "better" is based on my stylistic criteria. End of story. Don't let "Role of the Ballot" be used as an excuse to avoid impact calculus.

Performance (the other critique):

  • Empirically, I do judge these debate and end up about 50-50 on them. I neither bandwagon around nor discount the validity of arguments critical of the pedagogy of debate. I'll let you make the case or defense (preferably with data). The team that usually wins my ballot is the team that made an effort to intelligently clash with the other team (whether it's aff or neg) and meet my stylistic criteria. To me, it's just another form of debate.

  • However, I do have some trouble in some of these debates in that I feel most of what is said is usually non-falsifiable, a little too personal for comfort, and devolves 2 out of 3 times into a chest-beating contest with competition limited to some archaic version of "plan-plan". I do recognize that this isn't always the case, but if you find yourselves banking on "the counterplan/critique doesn't solve" because "you did it first", or "it's not genuine", or "their skin is white"; you're already on the path to a loss.

  • If you are debating performance teams, the two main takeaways are that you'll probably lose framework unless you win topical version, and I hate judging "X" identity outweighs "Y" identity debates. I suggest, empirically, a critique of their identity politics coupled with some specific case cards is more likely to get my ballot than a strategy based around "Framework" and the "Rev". Not saying it's the only way, just offering some empirical observations of how I vote.

Anthony Trufanov Paradigm

5 rounds


Email chain

Add me: ant981228@gmail.com

College people, add: debatedocs@googlegroups.com

Please put useful info about the round in the subject of the email.


I will flow and vote on things you said. NEGs can say whatever but the less it says the plan is bad the more annoying it is. Conditionality and judge kick are good. Ks are good if there are DAs hiding inside them. AFFs should be T and are likely to lose if they aren't. If you say death good you lose.


Tech determines truth unless your argument is an affront to obvious reality or it's death good. If you tell me to embrace death because life is bad I will vote against you even if you do not go for the argument.

I will also do everything in my power to avoid indiscriminately killing people. If this sounds like your ALT, reconsider.

Otherwise, unless my role as a judge is changed, I will attempt to write the least interventionary ballot. This means:

1. What is conceded is absolutely true, but will only have the implications that you say it has. I will not assume stuff that is not obvious - for example, I will not cross apply arguments from one flow to another, will not assume impact D applies to impacts you didn't say it applies to, will not assume a CP solves something you didn't say it solves, etc.

2. I will intervene if I have to.

3. When something is thorny or annoying I have often found myself starting the decision by looking for ways to vote without resolving that thing. With proper framing and argument choice you can rig this process in your favor.

For whatever reason I have voted NEG slightly more than AFF.

The following are my inclinations - if you don't like them you can change them.

Misc Quirks

If you start prep, you take a minimum of 10 seconds. None of that start stop nonsense.

I am not really a small talk guy.

Please merge your speech docs before the speech if prepping separately is a thing you do.

High schoolers - if you think your wiki is good (has cites/open source for every card you have read OR detailed descriptions of arguments that are not card reliant) tell me after the debate and if I agree you each get +1 speaker point.


I like when the NEG says the opposite of the AFF. How much I enjoy your DA depends how much of the AFF it clashes with. But also, both high school and college seem like they are stuck with some slim pickings here, so if something stupid finds its way into a 2NR I get it.

However I still do not care where Rubio or Romney are spending PC or what the House science committee is focusing on but it's on the brink. The politics DA is a barren wasteland.

Relatedly, the more I think about intrinsicness the more it makes sense to me. I dunno what will happen if someone actually debates this out in front of me but I am curious to find out.

I care about the DA turning the case a lot.

"Framing pages" are dumb. Maybe they could be smart? I have yet to see a proof of concept for this that I care about.

Case offense is strategic and funny.


My default is judge kick. It is very hard to use theory to stop me from thinking about the status quo.

The AFF should be able to win a process CP doesn't compete if they are competent and don't drop things. Granting competition makes the theory debate more difficult because it enhances the narrative that the CP is a germane opportunity cost.

Good for the NEG on theory, especially condo. I care the most about clash as a theory impact. Nothing but condo is a voting issue.

Intrinsic perms can be ok depending on the counterplan.


Vagueness in all its forms probably not a VI but can implicate internal links and solvency.

Argue by analogy and comparison to other affs, especially in CX. I think this is one of the best way to find inconsistencies in neg interpretations which you can exploit to your advantage in rebuttals.

Cards matter - all else being equal, if you read more cards supporting/fleshing out your interpretation and demonstrating why the aff doesn't meet I will be more likely to vote for you. I am unlikely to care about a cardless T 2NC.

I am a pedant myself so I am more sympathetic to pedantic T arguments than most.

Ks/Planless Affs

OK for specific Ks on the NEG, bad for random backfile trash, bad for K AFFs, death good = L.

If your K is closer to a DA I am more likely to care about it. So - links should be specific, causal, and about the plan.

AFFs' path to victory is proving that the K does not do these things. Therefore, reductionism DA + perm is the most persuasive approach to answering most K arguments.

Same thing if there is no plan text - in a FW debate, the AFF wins by demonstrating that engaging in resolutional debate/being forced to do so intrinsically causes something bad, the NEG wins by demonstrating that the AFF's offense is not intrinsic to resolutional debate and theirs is.

The fad of spotting that the K AFF links to topic DAs to make it look more benign is not really getting it done for me. While it is very considerate of the AFF not to make link answers against DAs that demonstrably have nothing to do with the 1AC it is intellectually nonsensical and relying on AFFs' good faith in this area does not seem like a sustainable arrangement.

I am open to different understandings of what it means for things to compete if there is no plan.

If the AFF has negated the resolution and the NEG responds with a topical proposal, shouldn't the NEG be the one that gets perms? Isn't that already how we evaluate TVAs? Just a thought. Be creative.

The only effect of my ballot is to decide the winner.

Speaker points

Most of my points have been between 28.4 and 28.9. This seems to be below the 2019 curve so I am adjusting.

Wrong strategic choices, being stupid about substance, CXs annoying/pointless, arguments were bad, being needlessly mean, being a mumbler... = lower speaks. The opposite of that/being awesome = higher speaks.

Other arg stuff

Evidence ethics (out of context? straw-person? lied about quals? cut in middle of paragraph?) should be debated out like any other theory argument. Claiming you said words you did not say is an L.

Being racist, sexist, violent, etc. in a way that is immediately and obviously hazardous to someone in the debate = L and 0. My role as educator > my role as any form of disciplinarian, so I will err on the side of letting stuff play out - i.e. if someone used gendered language and that gets brought up I will probably let the round happen and correct any ignorance after the fact. This ends when it begins to threaten the safety of round participants. Where that line is is entirely up to me.

Jerry Wang Paradigm

3 rounds

Peninsula 17

USC 21

No, you don't have to have a plan.

Yes, kritiks are fine. But you better be able to explain your theory (especially high theory) well and do specific link work.


Jordan White Paradigm

2 rounds

I will evaluate any argument, except for any argument that is derogative, racist, sexist,

or ableist so with that being said it won’t be strategic for you to run

“Racism is good” in front of me. I have ran critical arguments and understand most of

them but please don’t assume that since I know it I will vote on, I ONLY VOTE ON

WHAT I FLOW. I feel if you go for any procedurals arguments such as( T, Framework,

Theory) I will need to hear some abusive story, and some VOTING ISSUE, and if you

run Topicality I need to hear a topical version of the aff and what I should I prefer such

as Competing interps or reasonability. Also, with traditional policy arguments I think

these debates are really evidence based and should also be articulated well. So I’m

generally an open judge just please articulate all arguments with a claim and warrant

and some weighing will be nice.

Aidan Williams Paradigm

5 rounds

I'm a 7th year debater at Walter Payton College Prep. I did 3 years of middle school debate, and I have continued that career into my high school life. While I have fallen down the dark path that is kritikal debate, I like to think of myself as fairly flex. I flatter myself in thinking that I can judge most rounds, whether the focus is policy or critical theory, but this is irrelevant, because I am a person who believes that all debaters should do what they do best. I will never vote for an argument that is not sufficiently explained or impacted- even though I have a wealth of topic knowledge, do not assume that I will do any work for you. It is your responsibility as debaters to explain your positions to me in an articulate and reasonable fashion. Here's the breakdown:


When it comes down to disads, my first step is to look for all the pieces. I will not vote on a disad that is lacking uniqueness, link, impact, or coherent internal link structure. I often find debaters over-zealous when it comes to impact calculus, but very weak in regards to internal link explanation. Impact calc has its place, but alone it will not win you the round.

Of the numerous disad options every debater has, I tend to favor specific scenarios and links- don't expect me to vote on a disad that is not tailored to the aff read in that round beyond "U.S. education funding tanks the economy." This is the issue I take in regards to most politics disads- I don't buy that all education funding triggers the links to your midterms elections disad.


A kritik is like music to my ears when done well. Like a disad, I expect every part to be well warranted and explained: link(s), framework, alternative, impact, and internal links. If you're going to kick out of the alternative in the 2nr, you had better be doing an incredible job on the framework and link flows.

In terms of specific content, I tend to be selective in my preferences. While I am capable of adjudicating any kritik, I have preferences. Identity Ks, the Cap K, Security K, topic specific Ks like Pan and Vukovich- I enjoy all of these and am willing to judge them in context. However, with Ks such as Baudrillard, Bataille, D&G, and other postmodernist ideologues, my enjoyment ebbs and you might find me mildly irritated. This doesn't mean you can't read these Ks in front of me, it just means that you have to incorporate a robust explanation that might otherwise not be required.

In terms of links, I feel much the same as with disads- the more specific the link, the more likely I am to vote for the K. Links of omission are not links, and if you go for them in the 2nr, I will vote on the permutation. Same applies to "masking links" and other window dressed links of omission.


In general, my threshold for voting on topicality is fairly high. I think that there are numerous checks to ground loss in any debate- pre-round prep, wikis, core topic affs- if you want me to vote on topicality you have to provide me with an example of actual in-round abuse. Also required is a list of topical affs, specific responses to the counter-interpretation, and a reasonable interpretation. Squirrelly interpretations are just as bad as squirrelly affs.


I enjoy counterplans- I think that there are numerous political alternatives to most plans that resolve the advantages better than the aff itself. However, I also believe that counterplans should have solvency advocates, which is a necessary check to preventing "cheaty" counterplans such as consult counterplans and word pics. If you want to go for these, go ahead, but you have to be ready for counterplan theory.


Most of what I said about T applies to theory. You must prove in round abuse! My threshold for voting on theory is very high unless the abuse in question has caused irreparable damage to the debate. If your reason to reject on counterplan theory is that "x justifies permutation," I am more likely to vote for you than if your reason to reject is to disqualify the opposing team.

K affs:

On the side of the affirmative, much of my kritiks section applies to this, with one main addition- I believe that all k affs need a solvency advocate specific to the resolution. It is not enough to have resolution-grounded uniqueness- this way under limits the topic and makes stasis impossible. Being a slightly k-leaning debater, I give a little bit more weight to "conventionally discouraged" arguments such as the permutation on framework, but you have to do an exceptional explanation job if you want to go for them in the 2ar.

On the side of the negative, I think that there are numerous strategies that you can employ to win rounds. Framework is a given, but I also enjoy less conventional arguments such as the University K and word pics. Because of the cheaty nature of k affs, it is almost impossible for the affirmative to read counterplan theory, which gives the negative a massive (and often under-utilsed) advantage.

Post-rounding is a pet peeve: I love it when people ask me questions, but when it verges on harassment, that's where I draw the line.

Overall, what I look for in debates is for young, intelligent minds to do what they do best and push the envelope through complex and interpretive analysis of political issues- if you do this, you are on the road to success.

Andy Zhu Paradigm

5 rounds

4 years of policy debate at MBA in Nashville, TN; Class of 2016

Current Junior at Vanderbilt University studying Political Science and Medicine, Health and Society

keeping old paradigm at the bottom b/c why not

add andrew.zhu@vanderbilt.edu please

Here's what's important:

I will communicate with you with head nods, eye contact, etc if I like what you're doing or not so pay attention during round

Evidence quality - especially for DAs and terrible counterplans

- I will assign 0 risk of a DA etc if evidence is bad, but team HAS TO SAY IT

- if you compare evidence I will like you

Debate is a speaking activity

- look me in the eye

- Speak clearly

- don't you dare double breathe

- have good posture, don't slouch

- be nice to teammate and opponent or else...


- most of the time people have no idea what they're saying, if you do, you better explain it to me if you want to win

- focus on the links... please

- i'm not your judge for high theory because I hate it

k affs

- you probably can read a plan text and be topical....... do I need to say more? Topical version of aff is a winner for me if explained well


- i'll absolutely vote on condo bad - I went for the argument a lot senior year, that being said I expect you to know what you're saying

- Impact work is extremely important

- you NEED a counterinterpretation for any good theory argument, if you use it and explain how your c/I takes care of their offense or at least mitigates it, you've gone a long way

immigration topic

- I know nothing about this topic so be clear with acronyms, stuff

- my parents are immigrants and I was born in the usa

- I dated internationally and know how hard it is to come here


old stuff

1. Is there prep for flashing?????!?!?!?

No, no there is not. I debated during paperless. And if there are problems, I understand. Please just don't abuse the time or take too long, because the tournament has to keep going.

2. Tagteam cross ex??

Of course.

3. Do you have any prefs!?!?!?!

Uhm.... yes...

If you read this philosophy, you will be rewarded in front of me. If you do things I do not like, then you will lose points in front of me.

Topic Disclaimer:

I have been out of debate for 2 years, and I do not know anything about the Education topic. Please, explain what your acronyms mean and help me out with complex education law. The more you help me out the more speaks you get.

Judging Profile:

I will start your speaks at an average of 29.0. This is higher than most judges? Why? Because I think people should be rewarded for what I consider to be good debate. This also means that I will take points away more liberally.

What I like:

Being nice!

  • Did you know that helping your partner when they need it, being nice and greeting people around you, giving paper to your opponents when they don't have any (YOU WOULDN'T BELIEVE HOW MANY KIDS DO THIS) is not only nice in terms of etiquette but also goes a long way to being a good human being? Be one.

Good posture and speaking clarity

  • Debate is supposed to be persuasive. I want people to set good examples of what debate can look like. If you read any comments section of a debate video on youtube, policy debate looks like a joke. Don't make debate a joke.
  • How?
    • Stand up straight.
    • Make eye contact.
    • Speak up.
    • Work on your voice tone (avoid too nasally, whiny, too much bass, graty, too loud etc.). You should ideally be a pleasure to listen to argumentatively and aesthetically. If you have a voice problem, let me know before the round.

Thus, things that will lose you points:

Essentially, the opposite of a lot of the things I mentioned.

  • DOUBLE BREATHING - this is a plague, and I would like it to stop. You can get the same amount of air required if you single breathe. Please look up breathing tutorials on youtube to fix this. If you usually double breathe, and you tell me before the round that you will try to work on it but are not perfect, then you get a pass. Triple breathing is insta 28 or less.
  • The debate "hunch over with timer or mouse held between my two hands as I move it vigorously back and forth as I gasp for air."
  • Being a jerk. There's a difference between being assertive and being mean. I know; there were people on my team that crossed the line. You'll probably get a 26, and you can say goodbye to speaker awards.
    • If you are racist or sexist in any intentional way, I will make sure your coach knows and you know.


I have lots of experience with "normal" ks, capitalism, neolib, colonialism, etc.

When you get to high theory (Bathai, Deloser, etc.), the best way to win in front of me is to not read it! If you have to read it, then be self-aware enough that your stuff is bulls****. If you communicate this self-awareness to me then I will actually give you a shot.

I debated always a policy aff, but I definitely will vote on kritiks and critical arguments.

I really like alt explanation. What does the world of the alt look like? Do the aff's impacts get solved? Is it a movement or in round? Why does that matter? That's the most important part of the kritik for me.

This tells you how to beat the K too. Weigh your aff vs. the alt. Tell me what advantages you have that the alt can't possibly solve or solve fast enough for your timeframe. This is always the k's weakest part, but if it is strong it usually gives the neg a big advantage in my book.

The framework is important, and I have won my fair share of round on epistemology comes first or kappeler 95 meaning that alt doesn't even matter, but please please focus on the alt.

Also - more links! Specific links are ALWAYS good.

K affs:

Also, I like plans. Newsflash, no one outside of debate really cares about what goes on inside a debate. Realize that your "influence over the debate community" is a very small amount over an extremely small, insulated group of people. I am very persuaded by arguments saying that other forums are much more effective for spreading news about something. I've participated in a partial BLM march and the Womens' March. If you care, do something in real life. Debate is not real life. Debate can be your home, and that's great. But so can your local political party, if you want public speaking. So can your counselor's office, if you need someone to listen to. The only thing unique about debate is that you get to "win" something. Life isn't about winning; it's about doing good in the world. Do good the right way, and don't let anyone or yourself delude you into thinking that you couldn't do it better somewhere else.

- That said, if you are so woke and so persuasive that I cannot help but vote for you, then you probably get 30s and win.

- Otherwise, I WILL vote for K affs, I just want to let you know that smart framework debaters will probably win. If you can crush FW as the aff in front of me, then you deserve the win.


#1, slow down on theory and you will win more rounds. Slowing it down shows the judge that you're not afraid of the other team hearing your arguments and believe it or not also lets me write them down.

As a senior, I went for Condo bad 25-50% of my aff rounds. This means I am more likely to vote for condo if you do it well, but if you do it badly then you don't stand a chance.

In general, if you provide solid counter interpretation debate on condo, that's where your starting point should be. If you read a 3 second "condo is bad strat skew time skew impact is education" blurb in the 2AC, you will lose speaker points because you are wasting my time. Neg, if you are in front of me ,and they do this, and you say "THEIR CONDO BAD ARG SUCKS," that's insta 29.5. But if they do it right and you mess up, don't blame me when your speaks drop.

If you want to go for other theory arguments, I will be much more likely persuaded if you give a counter interpretation. IE, if you say 50-state fiat bad, then your c/i could be Neg gets only federal ground with regards to government action. That's not a perfect c/i, but if you can stand your ground, defend it, and the opponent doesn't give one, your point of reference will be the only place to debate from and you're more likely to win in front of me.

General tech:

Don't give me the "they didn't touch this in the X speech give them 0 arguments ever and for ever against this!" I will allow "new" args as long as they are in the spirit of what has already been said. Obviously, there is a limit, and don't abuse this or I won't consider an arg at all.

Death good and extinction good are nonstarters. Don't go there. That includes racism good, genocide good....

Saying "you guys" is not a reason to vote down a team. If they apologize, leave it alone.

Evidence! Some judges almost don't care to read your evidence at all. If one of your opponent's cards doesn't say something, or is contradictory, FLAG IT! Say - LOOK AT BROWN 15, IT CONTRADICTS...... I will vote down entire disads purely based off of evidence.** I lost too many debates on stupid links that literally say nothing and are just tagged to say something. That said, you have to call it out. I will still read ev, but I won't weigh it as high as if the debater points out a flaw.

Hadassah yisrael Paradigm

2 rounds

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