Glenbrooks Speech and Debate Tournament

2018 — Northbrook and Glenview, IL/US

Camille Acosta Paradigm

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Audrey Addison Paradigm

Hi debaters,

I have three years of judging experience and have been very active in the speech and debate circuit this year. If I am judging you in public forum, please don't speak very quickly- I won't get everything you say if you spread. I am a flow judge and use it when making decisions in PF. Please don't speak over your opponents in crossfire in a rude or unreasonable way. When asking a question, please give your opponent an opportunity to answer.

During the debate, you should make your main arguments clear, and make it clear what you want me to vote off of. Weigh in summary and final focus, and if you want something to be a voting issue, put it in both summary and final focus. I am a fan of clear and smart frameworks.

Thank you and good luck! Enjoy the tournament.

Michele Aklan Paradigm

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Hector Alvero Paradigm

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Rita Anderson Paradigm

1. Don't speak so fast, I can't understand you. Pacing matters. You can say amazing things at 140mph, but if we can't keep up, it's moot.

2. I'm a PA coach- I like evidence. The best future we can all hope for is based on RESEARCH. Quality, carefully vetted, sometimes multiply-found, clear RESEARCH. (Note that "obscure" and "biased" were not adjectives I used.

3. Be kind. A good rule to follow in debate...and life. And not "fakey speech/debate kind."

"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity." George Orwell.

Finally- If, perchance, you carry this skill you have outside of this high school world of debate, use it for good. Our world is in the mess we are in because people can't agree. Or even agree to disagree. YOU can change that. Debate every round like it is the most important topic you have ever debated, and maybe, some day, you will do great things.

Oh- And stay off debate threads on Reddit, Instagram, Twitter, etc. They are mean, unnecessary and will not change anything. (Except perhaps how people view YOU)

Joni Anker Paradigm

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Dan Ball Paradigm

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Andrew Barrett Paradigm

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Marco Bazan Paradigm

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Brady Beckman Paradigm

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Emily Benavides Paradigm

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Matt Bender Paradigm

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Lauren Bond Paradigm

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Sandhya Boyapalle Paradigm

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Andrew Brady Paradigm

I've got a "no paradigm" paradigm.

I want you to determine and demonstrate what you think should be relevant in my decision. I'm flexible.

Spread if you want to spread. Run K's (or T's, or Q's, or any other letters) if you want to run them. Speak in Latin for all I care. But don't think that doing or not doing any one thing will itself determine the outcome of the round.

Well, the Latin might.

Take what your opponent gives you. Adapt to their strategies. Engage with them, instead of stubbornly plowing ahead with whatever you've got in your pocket. I don't care how brilliant your case may be.

We're here to debate, not pontificate.

Ayanna Brown Paradigm

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Pamela Brown Paradigm

For the duration of the LD debate round, I expect both competitors to respect and uphold the rules and regulations established by the WDCA.  Should any competitor fail to comply with rules and regulations, the results will be an automatic loss for the round, and/or disqualification.  Respectful consideration should be taking during cross-examination and prep.  Each competitor has the right to allow or decline sharing of case evidence; however, should any of the competitors refuse to answer their opponents questions, the result will be an automatic deduction in positional speaker marks.


The most important strategy to remember; voters in the rebuttal is a vote for all mankind!  Although standard impacts and observations may be compelling in the 1A, the affirmative must provide a value and criterion to insure strong voting and education within the round.  Failure to extend or address any established framework throughout the rebuttal is a high-risk voter for both the affirming and negating competitor.  Should either competitor provide a “burden”, supplement to the framework, I suggest they account for the extra baggage before exiting the rebuttal.  Competitors are allowed to share (encompass) the same value or criterion. The wash reverts to weighted impacts in the RFD.


It would be a shame not to end all arguments in extinction.  With that being said, uniqueness/ links/ warrants to impacts are the cherries on top of the RFD.  Impacts should have clear relevance to the value and criterion.  An Impact turn makes me want to do a happy dance; favorably considered within the RFD.  All negative competitors beware!  Refusing to address the affirmative in any way, even by part of establishing a progressive counter, IS LAME!!  “Best for education” arguments are a time suck, and the RFD will likely flow affirmative.


In a nutshell…  voter gooooood!  Debating the affirmative gooooood!  Become the cherry.  Be the cherry.

Anna Bullock Paradigm

In congress, I reward students who can read the round and fill the gaps. Do we need another affirmative speech on this legislation or would your speech be better spent refuting, summarizing and weighing existing points? I value smart debaters who use their time to benefit the debate, not just themselves. I would rather hear from you once at your best than twice for the sake of speaking twice. Quality over quantity ALWAYS.

Murphy Cavanaugh Paradigm

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Victor Cervantes Paradigm

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Becky Chabot Paradigm

Racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic, etc. comments and/or arguments and/or behavior are not tolerated. If you choose to ignore this warning, you will lose the round and receive 0 speaker points. Don't do it. The debate/speech space must be open and safe for all.

My judging philosophy:
This activity is about students, first and foremost. That means I am not the most important person in the round. I focus on which team is making the better argument for their position. I provide written feedback and while I will give an oral RFD at the conclusion of a round (when allowed), I like to provide feedback in writing so that it is of the most use for the student and their coaches. Whether it's in speech or debate, I believe in telling students what they did well and then offering some opportunities for improved performance in the future.

I have eight years combined speech and debate coaching and judging experience. I have judged every format of debate and every speech category. At present, I am coaching Congress and circuit LD, but prior to that, I coached policy debate. I primarily coach interp categories in speech, but I have experience coaching all categories and regularly judge speech on both the local and circuits.

General note for both speech and debate: how you behave in a round matters. I expect you to be cordial and collegial to your opponents. If you are not, your speaker points will reflect it.

Here’s the TL;DR version:
Clash is necessary. I love Ks and critical argumentation (but know your theory because I’ll know if you don’t). Give me the ballot in your rebuttals

In a round, I'm paying close attention to whether arguments are complete and if they're well supported by the cards used. It's not just about cramming as much as will fit into an X-minute speech; it's about making sure that your evidence says what you're saying it does and using information to make your argument stronger. I'm looking for claims, warrants, and impacts.

I'm not a strict flow judge, but I am tracking all the arguments. If questions are raised in rounds that are a priori to the resolution, I'm paying special attention to how they're run and responded to; T and K are voters that, for me, always take precedence over case.

Clash is important! Rounds where the sides talk past each other and don’t engage with the arguments of the other side are not good rounds

Tell me why you should get the ballot in your rebuttals. Make your case for why you win the round. But please do not tell me that I have an ethical obligation to vote a certain way, unless you're giving me the ethical paradigm from which you want me to vote. Otherwise, the phrase "you have an ethical obligation to vote for us" means nothing. Ethics and morals are not the same thing, so please don't conflate them. Morals are an appeal to shared values, while an ethic is simply a way of being in the world. Knowing how to make these arguments successfully will make you better debaters.

While I was an old school policy debater, my doctoral studies have been in continental philosophy, cultural theory, and social ethics. Bring on your critical arguments! I love critical argumentation in both LD and Policy when it's done well. I expect students to understand the theory that underlies their critical arguments, as that is the only way to successfully defend arguments of that kind. Again, know the theory and the methodology of the argument you're making; if you don't, it will hurt you in the round. My decisions in many rounds come down to a priori questions to the resolution, especially Ks.

Speed, in and of itself, is not a problem; speed without clarity is. If I can't understand you, I will say “Clear” once. Slow down and enunciate. If I still cannot understand you, it's an issue that will impact speaker points. Please slow on your tags and citations.

Each speech should have proper argumentation (claim, warrant, impact(s)). IMPACT OUT YOUR EVIDENCE!!! You should know why the evidence you’re reading or the statistic you’re citing matter! Road map your speeches. Signpost during them. If you are not the first speaker on either side of a bill, make it clear that you're following what's come before you. Acknowledge your fellow representatives when you're building on their point or when you're refuting it. CLASH IS IMPORTANT! I rank POs, with the exception being if the chamber is poorly run. Precedency and recency matter. I track the number of questions you ask in addition to scoring your speeches. The person who gets my top rank is the person who performed best in the round. I'm looking for cordiality and collegiality, strength and uniqueness of arguments, and excellent in-round engagement with the thoughts and arguments of others. Generally speaking, I judge 50/50 content/performance; both what you say and how you say it matter

While I am first and foremost an interp coach and judge, I’ve coached and judged every NSDA category and am comfortable with them all. There are a couple big things that I’m looking for when I judge a speech round.

1) Performance: Can I hear you? Do your movements make sense? Are you comfortable with the material? Do you wait for the judge before beginning? Does entire performance fit with the material? How well do you perform or present your piece? Are you off book? Do you speak with confidence and authority?

2) Category specific things: For interp generally, I pay close attention to transitions, pops, and character work. Are they clean? Are they distinct physically and vocally? Getting those to a point where they’re clean is a huge hurdle, but one that

In humor, do the jokes land? Are they told well? Does the performance include pauses after jokes that elicit a laugh? Do you know what your laugh lines are? Is the piece funny?

In POI, I’m looking for a cohesive piece that has a storyline throughout it. Do the piece selections fit with each other? Is each piece identifiable? In other words, can I tell when you’re popping between pieces? Does the theme carry through? Have the cuttings been done well?

In Info, OO, and other student-written categories, does the text make sense? How well written is the piece? Does it succeed in being interesting and engaging? In an OO round, is the speech an OO or is it an informative? And in an info round, is it an informative speech or is it an OO?

For extemp, I want to see both an understanding of the prompt and an understanding of the arguments advanced. Are arguments complete or are they missing a piece? Does the argument have ground?

3) Category requirements: do the piece and its performance adhere to the NSDA rules or the operative rules for a tournament? If you’re not sure what they are, you can find that information on the NSDA website.

4) Respect and collegiality: do you treat everyone with respect? Are you on your phone or engaged in watching your peers? Put simply: don’t be a jerk. No one likes a jerk.

Make my ranking decisions hard for me. The best rounds are the ones where I have a hard time figuring out how to rank you.

Aaron Coffey Paradigm

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Mojeri Coker Paradigm

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Jacki Collins Paradigm

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Jordan Connell Paradigm

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Mandy Cook Paradigm

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Jodi Craiglow Paradigm

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Benjamin Cruz Paradigm

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Aubrey Davidson Paradigm

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Steven Davis Paradigm

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Jayyy Dawkins Paradigm


Competed and speaking and interpretation events for 7 years. Judged PF and LD since 2014.


I believe that arguments should be able to be understood by judges of all levels of experience. Although I typically flow rounds, my vote almost always goes to the team that walks me through the round with them, highlighting dropped points, and clearly stating why I should vote for them.

Joele Denis Paradigm

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Danielle Douge Paradigm

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Doug Dubrowski Paradigm

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Billy Elles Paradigm

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Carolyn Evans Paradigm

I am open to all types of arguments, but if you run a problematic argument, I won't evaluate it.

My least favorite thing is when people are rude during cross. There's no reason for it, so if you are rude, I will drop your speaks.

Tell me how to vote. I prefer voting on impacts, but if you tell me where you've won the round on the flow, I'll vote there.

Wendy Faerber Paradigm

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Maria Ferreira Wagner Paradigm

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Amy French Paradigm

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Robert French Paradigm

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Hailey Frye Paradigm

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Ely Garcia Paradigm

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Casey Golden Paradigm

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Anna Good Paradigm

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Nathan Goodrich Paradigm

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Amy Gower Paradigm

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Evan Gower Paradigm

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April Grabner Paradigm

I come from a speech background so you will not impress me with debate lingo, in fact you might lose me. If you lose me, you most likely will not win. That goes for spreading too, chill. Whoever takes me along with them in their argument will impress me more than a complicated argument.

Don't ask me to disclose. You can see the ballot afterward.

Jerakah Greene Paradigm

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Bryan Grosso Paradigm

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Kate Hamm Paradigm

Judge Philosophy

Name: Kate Hamm

School Affiliation: Ransom Everglades

Number of Years Judging Public Forum: 10+

Number of Years Competing in Public Forum: X

Number of Years Judging Other Forensic Activities: 34

Number of Years Competing in Other Forensic Activities: X

If you are a coach, what events do you coach? All events

What is your current occupation? I am a high school teacher and head coach.

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

Speed of Delivery: Debate may be crisply delivered, but I am not a fan of the ‘spread’ in PF. If you need to spread – switch events. Can I flow the spread? Sure, I just don’t want to in PF. If the round comes down to two well matched teams, the team that has better, more persuasive arguments will beat the spread every time.

Format of Summary Speeches (line by line? big picture?) Summary speech should begin the narrowing process of the debate. The debate should be narrowed into the key arguments. I don’t want to hear a line by line of 16 minutes of argumentation spewed into a 2 minute speech!!!

Role of the Final Focus: The role of the final focus it to weigh the impacts of the arguments that were narrowed in the debate and persuade me as to why one side won and the other side did not.

Extension of Arguments into later speeches: If the refutation (rebuttal speech) does not attack an argument presented in their opponent’s case, their summary may not try to do so. If the summary speaker leaves an argument out of the debate, their partner may not bring it up in the final focus. If arguments from the Constructive case are not extended by the summary, nor mentioned in the debate after the constructive case, please DO NOT try to impact them in the Final Focus.

Topicality: Really? This is an issue in PF only if a team tries an abusive definition. I do not want to hear a theory debate.

Plans : Some resolutions are policies…

Kritiks: Oh Hell No. Not in PF.

Flowing/note-taking: I flow… a lot.

Do you value argument over style? Style over argument? Argument and style equally?

I generally judge on the arguments and score points on style… therefore, I do give low point wins.

If a team plans to win the debate on an argument, in your opinion does that argument have to be extended in the rebuttal or summary speeches? The rebuttal speech in PF should refute the opponent’s arguments; they may rebut their own, if time. But that is not mandatory for me. It is mandatory, however, that the summary speaker narrow the debate to the arguments that stay in the debate. The final focus may not extend a case argument if their own summary speaker dropped it.

If a team is second speaking, do you require that the team cover the opponents’ case as well as answers to its opponents’ rebuttal in the rebuttal speech? See above.

Do you vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? Absolutely NOT!

If you have anything else you'd like to add to better inform students of your expectations and/or experience, please do so here.

I love debate… I reward (with speaker points) students who elevate debate into a fine art. I do not reward (with points) those who make it into a short form policy event or a two person LD circuit circus. If two teams are giving me a spew fest of spread crap, the team who wins the flow will win the debate, but neither team will win high speaker points!

First and foremost this activity is one of communication. If you aren’t communicating… find a different activity.

Andrea Hauser Paradigm

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Travis Hazelett Paradigm

I debated at Bettendorf for 4 years in Public Forum Debate. The things I look for in a round are clashing of warrants and impact weighing. In other words, I don't like card dumping, I want the debaters to interact with each others arguments and explain through logic/reasoning why their warrant is more sufficient. With impact weighing, I strongly stress that teams do an impact analysis and explain why their impacts should be weighed more, this will greatly help me decide the round and not try to weigh impacts on my own.

I give speaker points based on a combination of speaking style, strategy, and how well you debate. My average is around the 27/28 range, with very good speakers receiving a 29/30 score, and poor speakers receiving a 25/26 score. I will almost never give below a 25 unless a competitor does not attempt a speech.

Here's a couple pet peeves I have for you to keep in mind. I hate competitors talking extremely fast in PF debate. I don't mind if you talk quickly, but if it is so fast that I can't keep up with what you're saying, you are going too fast. A good rule of thumb is don't talk like LD circuit debaters. This is not the point of PF debate; you should try to be convincing and use persuasion skills to help win a round, not just have 10 warrants and then extend the one your opponent didn't have time to respond to. I also HATE card dumping. If you just say extend [card name here] and move on, that is not sufficient enough, you have to explain what the card says and weigh its impact. If you card dump, I will not without explaining the warrant AND impact, I will not weigh it in the round.

I also prefer the Summary and Final Focus to be a similar format. I will say I look at the summary very closely because it is where you should collapse on a few main arguments. I also would really urge teams to make sure that if they bring up an argument in the Final Focus, they should also make that argument in the summary.

I do generally disclose unless the round is extremely close and I need more time to go over my flow and come up with a decision. I also do like giving general comments and explaining why I voted for what team in the round.

Ali Helland Paradigm

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Megan Helmick Paradigm

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Bret Hemmerlin Paradigm

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Craig Heyne Paradigm

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Emily Higdon Paradigm

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Daniel Hodges Paradigm

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Erica Hoffman Paradigm

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Richard Holmes Paradigm

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Ian Hopkins Paradigm

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Bob Ickes Paradigm

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Reena Iyer Paradigm

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Leslie Jacob Paradigm

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Helena Jancosek Paradigm

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Gay Janis Paradigm



















Michael Jennings Paradigm

PF Paradigm:

I have judged an accumulative of 60 rounds of PF on the National Circuit, including outrounds at the Grapevine and Longhorn Classics and the Heart of Texas Invitational.

The number one priority of Public Forum Debate is that it remains accessible at all times.

Debaters are expected to time themselves and their oppenents. If there is some discrepancy on time, your speaker points will be in jeopardy. Please be responsible.

Go at whatever speed you are comfortable as long as it is not spreading.

I will flow what is said during speech, but not crossfire. I expect you to extend arguments from crossfire if you want to use them.

You must provide your win conditions. I need a framework to interpret how the round will be judged. That also means that weighing needs to be considers as well.

Don't assume definitions especially in the resolutions.

I will look at evidence only in the case that both teams appear to have evidence that contradict each other.

Sheridan Johnson Paradigm

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Suchinder Kalyan Paradigm

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Ann Keen Paradigm

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Marlene Kloss Paradigm

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Maryrose Kohan Paradigm


Please do not be annoying: I am used to judging policy where debaters do not ask if everyone in the room is ready, but merely look around to see if everyone LOOKS ready. If I am still typing or writing, I am not ready!

As far as I am concerned, the only road map in a PF round, is "Pro/Con" or "Con/Pro". Please do not use the term "brief off time road map." Or ask if I time them!

Dates matter and NSDA rules say you should at a minimum read the year of the card; please follow these rules or I will not flow your cards.

I will vote off the flow if I can which means you need to sign post and keep the same names and structures for arguments as they were coming out of case. In other words, do not rename arguments later in the round because you think they sound cute or persuasive. If I cannot figure out where to flow the argument, I am not listening to what you are saying, but rather trying to figure out where it goes.

Make sure whatever you carry into Final Focus, is also part of Summary. All of the sudden extending arguments that have not been part of the debate is not a winning strategy.

Weigh the round, explain why your arguments outweigh your opponents'.

Dropped arguments only matter if you tell me why they matter!

I stop listening to Cross-Fire if it is loud and the debaters talk over each other.

Asking to see your opponents' evidence is really annoying unless you are going to do something in terms of argumentation with what you are examining. I hate short, blippy cards and reading one right after another is actually really hard to flow. If the card is kept in context in case, much of the exchanging of evidence and thus laptops in round could be eliminated.


Head Coach George Washington High School 10 Years. High School policy debater in a time before computers and when case debates were good.

Experience judging on this topic: none. But I've coached and done research on it.

If this paradigm isn't completely clear, please ask questions before the round! I'd rather you be informed than to be inconvienenced by a misunderstanding about anything said here.

Most Importantly: I haven't judged circuit policy in a long time, but that doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing.

If you want to have a good round in front of me, there's a couple things you should do/not do.

1. PLEASE take it easy on speed. Given that I haven't judged at this level in a while, I'm a little out of practice flowing. This means that if you want me to understand what you're saying, you need to slow down. Obviously, this means you should far and away strive for clarity over speed. Your arguments don't matter if I don't understand what you're saying. This is a communicative activity.

2. If you are reading positions that are silly/don't make sense, expect to be disapointed with the decision that I make. Overly absurd Kritikal positions, and politics disads that seem to not have any internal links are definitly a no-go in front of me. I'm open to Kritikal positions, and I think they're interesting, but things like Death-Good aren't up my alley. Read a position that you know well in front of me and I'll enjoy it.

3. I'm comfortable evalutating Framework debates. I think affs should be at least tangentially related to the resolution. I'm not fond of just "Anti-USFG" affs. In addition, don't assume that I know all of the arguments that you're trying to make. On either side, the arguments should be explained clearly and concisely.

4. I will call for cards. So if your evidence is bad, don't read it.

5. A dropped argument only matters if you tell me why.

LD Paradigm

Although I come from a state that does primarily traditional value-criterion debate, I am an experienced policy coach (see the paradigm above). I can evaluate policy style arguments and am very open to them. I am much more persuaded by arguments that are related to the resolution and can be linked back to it as opposed to Kritikal arguments that do not link. I am, however, excited by some the resolution specific Kritiks and would love to hear them! I am familiar with a number of the off case positions being read on this resolution (Fossil Fuels subsidies) but not all of them, please do not make assumptions and take time to give brief explanations.

I may not be able to easily follow or be familiar of all theory arguments. Slow down and explain them.

Dropped arguments only matter if you tell me why. You do not automatically win just because an argument is dropped.

As far as speed goes, I can keep up with it if it is clear and well articulated and has the purpose of covering more arguments. But I am not a fan of going fast just to go fast.

Jenee Kowalski Paradigm

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Meg Krekeler Paradigm

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Andrew Langford Paradigm

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Gordon Malis Paradigm

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Dorri Mang Paradigm

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Jane Marino Paradigm

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Lori Matley Paradigm

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Bryan McCampbell Paradigm

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Kelly McCracken Paradigm

LD: I'm pretty traditional. I like values and criteria and evidence and clash. If you read a K or a bedtime narrative, I will stop flowing the round and take a nap. I have a speed threshold of "don't" and if you could please keep the jargon to a minimum, that would be great. Theory is cool, in theory, but it shouldn't be an entire framework. I like long walks on the beach, and a good tennis match. Also, don't shake my hand at the end of the round.

PF: more arguments than the other team. Go. Fight. Win.

Lindsay Miller Paradigm

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Ali Moore Paradigm

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Kiersten Naberhaus Paradigm

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Jamaque Newberry Paradigm

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Kenn O'Drobinak Paradigm

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Luke Ostrander Paradigm

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Taren Pfitzer Paradigm

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Ashley Poitras Paradigm

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Drake Pough Paradigm

Lay judge. I will keep a rough flow of arguments, so clear contention tags and explanation needs to be heard. Avoid spreading, I can keep up but if you don't make it digestible it will be missed.

Daniel Raborn Paradigm

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Ramesh Radhakrishnan Paradigm

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Daniel Redfield Paradigm

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Grace Reon Paradigm

I am a collegiate debater at Southern Methodist Univeristy currently in my eighth year of competitive debate. In high school, I did LD debate, and I currently participate in the IPDA league. I have debated and judged at both the state and national level.

For LD, I can handle and understand speed-especially if you flash/email your evidence, but I also really value presentation and speaking skills. I also really like value/value criterion clash. I tend not to like theory shells or topicality except in cases where it's really necessary. I just don't think they make for a compelling debate.

I think debate should be fun and I encourage debaters to try new and risky things when I'm judging. Have a CP you've always wanted to run? Want to make jokes in the round? Go for it. Honestly, you can run whatever you want as long as I can understand it, you can link it to the resolution, and it makes the debate more interesting. The main thing is to thoroughly explain CPs, kritiks, etc. so I can easily link them to the rest of the debate.

Dean Rhoads Paradigm

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Frank Rivera Paradigm

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Jaela Robinson Paradigm

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Linda Rohrbaugh Paradigm

PF: I am a lay judge but also a lawyer. Give me a ballot story in final focus. You can sit or stand while you present. Be respectful to me and your opponent.

Travis Rother Paradigm

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Devin Sarno Paradigm

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Eric Schaefer Paradigm

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Max Schingen Paradigm

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Anne Sheedlo Paradigm

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Cade Shelton Paradigm

Hello! I want to be as transparent as possible in what I will be basing my decision on: Speaking, argument clarity, and signposting are HUGE for me.

- I will be flowing your speech- if you don't tie back to your original points or extend your reasoning, I will notice.

- Evidence and logic are huge for me- it is easy to make a claim, the real work comes in supporting it. Link these to the impacts it has.

- Signposting- You need to do this to create synergy and flow in your speech and arguments. The organization of your thoughts is huge for me.

- Speak clearly, I need to be able to hear you... which also means speaking quickly enough to make your points, but slowly enough to process what you're saying. There is a strength and polish that comes in being concise with your words.

- Tell me why your arguments and side should win by weighing the impacts in the round; especially when reiterating your points vs. your opponent. Clear voting!

- I believe speech/debate should be fun competition; if you are being disrespectful, discriminatory, or otherwise out of pocket, not only will I say something, you will also lose the round.

Have fun!!

Robert Shepard Paradigm

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Johanna Sherman Paradigm

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Brigid Sherry Paradigm

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Yatesh Singh Paradigm

My students would like you to know that I'm a parent judge.

Rhonda Smith Paradigm

I coach at Plano West Senior High School in Texas: LD, Public Forum, Congressional Debate and extemp (and some policy debate).
I have been coaching since 1999.

I can handle speed, if you are clear; if you aren't being clear, I will let you know.

My highest priority is impacts in the round. Having said that, I expect clear warrants that substantiate the impacts.

I like big picture debate, but I will vote on specific arguments if they become a priority in the round.

I'm pretty straightforward. I want debaters to tell me HOW to adjudicate a round, and then tell me WHY, based on the arguments they are winning and the method of adjudication. The HOW part would be something like a standard, or burdens. The WHY part would include the warrants and impacts/link story for the arguments being extended. I am not at all particular about HOW you go about accomplishing those two tasks, but without covering those components, don't expect a W. I need a clear framework, so I like it when some time is spent laying the groundwork at the top of the case. If you don't give me a framework, I will formulate my own.
I'm not a big fan of theory, but if a true abuse exists, I will vote on it. Keep in mind that if your opponent has a unique argument for which you are not prepared, that means you are not prepared, not that abuse exists in the round. I do not expect case disclosure and will not consider arguments that it should exist.

I want to see clash from the negative.

I fundamentally believe that the resolution is a proposition of truth and that if a truth claim is made, the burden falls on the person proving it true. Having said that, I'm totally open to other articulated strategies.

Dani Soibelman Paradigm

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Ricinda Spatz Paradigm

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Carrie Spina Paradigm

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Missy Stertzbach Paradigm

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Tyler Stough Paradigm

PF - I am familiar with the structure of the debate. I do keep track of the arguments being presented. I am not an avid flower but do my best to keep up. My main way of voting on issues is to look at the facts/arguments presented in each case and weigh them to see who won the round. I am familiar with PF jargon but I do not put much weight into it.

Deirdre Sullivan Paradigm

I coach Extemp and Advocacy at Bellarmine and also have experience with Policy and Congressional debate.

If I am your judge in an Interp round: I'm sorry. I don't know much about the events and honestly, much of the way I judge simply has to do with whether I am interested in the story you are telling. I am not good at evaluating blocking and so forth. It does seem to me that having multiple characters adds a degree of difficulty, so that tends to go a long way with me.

For INFO/Expos: I really want to LEARN something from your speech. You might have kind of a run-of-the-mill topic with lovely VA's and dynamic delivery, but if the content is pretty bland and I am not learning anything, then I will rank you low. I tend not to get too snowed by nice VA's. Some kids come from more money than others and if a student has a really original idea with strong research behind it, I don't want to penalize them for not having the money or access to a program that can help them get great VA's. I will say, though, that you really should not have a speech of nothing but content. That is HARD to sit through for 10 minutes. Aim to inject some humor or levity where you can.

When it comes to things like Oratory and Advocacy, I like to see RESEARCH and EVIDENCE. Your OO or OA should not be like a DI or HI. I am interested in your reasoning and analysis. Please don't try to cover for lack of empirics and analytical rigor by resorting to excessive pathos.

The event with which I have the most experience is Extemp. I love Extemp. However, I deplore the manner in which final rounds of Extemp at Nats have devolved into stand-up comedy routines. I find that more and more students say very little, they just say it in a very entertaining way. Extemp is an event where you should have an argument, you should have evidence, you should rely upon a range of sources. Students should have a sophisticated argument based upon multiple sources (1 per, no) that are accurately cited. Don't say that the Washington Post had an article on something. Tell me WHEN it had the article. In addition, I am quite pleased to see students stretch beyond standard sources like the NYT, WSJ, Economist, etc. When you show me that you are relying upon sources beyond those aggregated for you by Extemp Genie or Prepd or a similar service, I think that reflects well upon you. Bear in mind: the topics you are speaking about are by and large serious. So students who are smarmy and pleased with themselves and their puns really rub me the wrong way.

Carol Sylvester Paradigm

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Salvador Tinajero Paradigm

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Alexandria Tippings Paradigm

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John Torbert Paradigm

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

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

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

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

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

Allison Torf Paradigm

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Carl Trigilio Paradigm

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Michael Tristano Paradigm

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Alyssa Vaknin Paradigm

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Scott Voss Paradigm


I am a long time debate and speech coach at Apple Valley High School in Minnesota, going back to the early '90s.  I have coached both LD and PF and was there for the birth of Ted Turner (now PF Debate). I continue to stay involved in both. I have a PhD in Educational Research, which means that I have quite a bit of background and training in research and evidence.  I place a high value on credible evidence and the sources that produce it. 

Judging Theory:

I like debates with interesting and unique arguments.  But with that said, I also like to have clear links between the warrants, claims, and evidence.   I don't mind theory, and I don't mind speed, but I also want to be sure that I can follow your arguments.  Please slow down and emphasize outlines and tags.

My speaker point scale starts at 27.  Anything below that is poor execution of strategy. And anything below a 26 is an indicator of someone saying something pretty offensive. Debate hard, but be thoughtful and considerate of one another. 




Heidi Wacker Paradigm

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Shannon Wade Paradigm

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Melanie Walker Paradigm

8 rounds

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Zandrea Ware Paradigm

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Jodene Wartman Paradigm

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Bradley Wascher Paradigm

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John Weaver Paradigm

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Stephanie Weddell Paradigm

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Alex Weissman Paradigm

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Rachel West Paradigm

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Hananiah Wiggins Paradigm

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William Wildman Paradigm

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Hannah Wilson Paradigm

Yes to the email chain:

!If you're using a bunch of acronyms don't assume I know what you mean! Don't start your speeches top speed. Slow down a little when reading blocks if you want me to know what you're saying (especially on theory and framework args)

Congress: I really value rebuttals. Constructives can do well in front of me, but if you give more than one speech in a round and both are constructives I'll feel like that's because you don't know how to be off script. Remember you are in a room with a bunch of other students.. it's hard for your judges to remember all of you. Be an active participant in questioning and the house to help yourself stand out.

Elizabeth Woodrum Paradigm

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Melody Woodson Paradigm

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Maggie Woodward Paradigm

I have been coaching & judging for ten years, & though I’ve primarily been an Original Oratory/Informative Speaking coach, I believe that the Speech & Debate events are far more complementary than we acknowledge, & that they’re all working toward the same pedagogical goals. Because debate is constantly changing, I value versatility & a willingness to adapt.

In Congress rounds, I judge based on a competitor’s skill in the following areas: argumentation, ethicality, presentation, & participation.

Argumentation: Your line of reasoning should be clear & concise; in your speeches & your CX, you should answer the questions at hand. Don’t sacrifice clarity for extra content – there should be no confusion regarding why the bill / resolution results in what you’re saying. You can make links without evidence, but they must be logically or empirically sound.

Ethicality: Evidence is borrowed credibility; borrow honestly. A source should necessarily include its date & the publication in which it appeared, & should not be fabricated. No evidence is better than falsified evidence. Additionally, competitors should remember that although you may not be debating real legislation, the issues at hand are very real, as are the people they affect. An ethical debater does not exploit real world tragedy, death, or disaster in order to “win” rounds.

Presentation: Congressional Debate is the best blend of speech skills & debate ability; what you say is just as important as how you say it. The best speakers will maintain a balance of pathos, ethos, & logos in both their content & delivery style. Rhetoric is useful, but only if its delivery feels authentic & purposeful.

Participation: Tracking precedence & recency is a good way to participate – it helps keep the PO accountable, & demonstrates your knowledge of Parliamentary Procedure. Questioning is an integral part of Congress; I like thoughtful, incisive questioning that doesn’t become adversarial or malicious. Both your questions & your answers should be pertinent & succinct.

Jamaka Young Paradigm

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