National Speech and Debate Tournament

2018 — Fort Lauderdale, FL/US

Chris Agee Paradigm

8 rounds

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Anshika Agrawal Paradigm

8 rounds

I competed in PF, so while I’m okay with some speed I still need you to speak clearly. At the end of the debate I expect you to do all the work for me. You should weigh the arguments you think are the most important and tell me why that’s a reason I should vote for you. Extend arguments throughout all your speeches - if it’s dropped in one speech it shouldn’t be brought up as a reason for me to vote for you in later speeches.

Nathan Amberg Paradigm

8 rounds

I am the head Speech and Congress coach at Dickinson High School, ND.

I have a background in English, Speech, and Theatre Education.


Delivery and presentation are musts for me: eye contact, conversational tone, posture, and not reading off computer or notepad.

I will flow your argument, but I will not make the links for you unless they are incredibly obvious.

Be brave and have fun in the session; this is a social activity. I want to see students willing to get up for authorship. If no one is willing to speak or run for PO that's your cue to be a leader.

Even the second aff/ first neg can, and often should, have elements of refutation in there. For the first 2/3-3/4 of speeches, I expect to see clash, but also new arguments being brought in. This is an activity that requires not only research, but also depth of research. Don't get up there and say that the aff or neg has already brought up a point, but not explored it enough, unless you can back it up with new analysis or additional research. The last few speeches should wrap up the debate, especially if debate has been limited and you know that you are one of the last speeches.

Don't play games and try and make the PO look bad unless they have actually made a mistake. Decorum is at the heart of congressional debate and must be respected. Do not be rude or belittling to your competition; you may be the best speaker in the room, but you will lose favor quickly by not respecting your competition and the activity.

Speech number is irrelevant; however, you had better have a good reason for not speaking on each piece of legislation. Quality of speeches, quality of questions, and quality of overall interaction in the chamber is what will get you the ballot from me.

Jayson Anderson Paradigm

8 rounds

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Zach Atkins Paradigm

8 rounds

I'll send you a SpeechDrop link.


Rounds judged on 2020-21 topic: 1
- Washburn Rural

Debated at Lansing High School in KS for 4 years
Debated 1 year at KU
Senior at University of Kansas
Assistant Coach for Lansing High School for ~3 years


I’m a few years removed from debating now, so I'm not as fast at flowing as I used to be. You can read fast on cards, but I’d recommend you go at a moderate pace for tags/cites and theory arguments. Moreover, it would be advisable for you to explain your framing for the round a bit more than you normally would; odds are, you don’t want me trying to unravel the round for you, especially since I’m not particularly familiar with the literature on this topic.

If I feel that a team is intentionally personally attacking the other team (e.g. sexism, racism, repeatedly shouting at the other team, generally making the space feel unwelcome or unsafe for anyone else, etc.), I will drastically dock your speaker points on the first offense. If such behavior continues, I will vote you down. If you choose to continue to the point where the other team is visibly uncomfortable and/or upset, you will lose the round, get 0 speaker points, and I will find your coach. I would hope that no one reading this would act in such a fashion, but I want to be upfront about how seriously I take this issue.

If you’re going too fast or you’re unclear, I’ll say “clear”.

Don’t be too rude, I’m not afraid to dock speaker points. I get that sometimes it’s unavoidable.

Generally tech over truth.

Read what you’re good at and explain why you should win. If you do that better than the other team, you’ll win the round.



Extend your entire internal link story, not just your impacts. Explain the specifics of your solvency mechanism -- there are so many different ones on this topic, and I don't want to misinterpret your aff.


Are pretty dang terrible on this topic. Give me lots of impact calc and turns case. Since most of the DAs on this topic have the same or similar impacts as the aff, explain why I should prefer one internal link chain over the other. I don’t just only want to hear about the impacts in the 2NR - that leads to messy debates that are very difficult to adjudicate.


Read whatever CPs you want. I don’t care if they are completely cheating, if the aff doesn’t make a theory arg, I’m not gonna intervene. That being said, I have a pretty low threshold to reject the arg on “that CP is cheating”. Especially on this topic, I tend to err against process counter plans.

If you're gonna make a judge kick arg, make it in the block or in CX if the aff asks. Aff teams - ask this in CX of the 1NC.


You need to prove a link to the aff or their reps/epistemology. Explain what your alt does and give a clear framing as to how I should evaluate the K vs the aff. I'll vote on floating PICs, but make it clear that you're running one.

K Affs

Justify why you don’t have to defend the topic or a plan text. I probably err toward framework. I’m not your ideal judge if you don’t read a plan. I'm a lot more likely to vote for affs with arguments about exclusion to weigh against framework than things like Baudrillard.


I’ll vote on in round and/or potential abuse. I'm pretty persuaded by predictable limits args on this topic since it seems like there are no real limits on the topic. Give TVAs and caselists. Go slower on T - my flowing is a little rusty.


I’m probably not gonna vote on theory unless you're weighing it against T. In that case, explain how your theory args interact with the impacts of T, otherwise I'll end up having to make potentially arbitrary decisions when writing a ballot. I will reject an alt/CP/perm etc. based on theory if you're winning it and evaluate the round as such.

Ask specific questions pre-round or email me at

Matthew Baer Paradigm

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Alex Bales Paradigm

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Heather Beach Paradigm

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Jeremy Beckman Paradigm

8 rounds

I am a WSD judge, stick to the WSD format. Don't turn this into a policy or LD debate. Also, I really look for clash on the issue. Ask them hard POI's, clash on the issues you see as important, don't just reiterate your case. I love debate, so let's clash respectfully on the issue.

Megan Blackburn Paradigm

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Leyza Blanco Paradigm

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Brandon Box-Higdem Paradigm

8 rounds

I am a fairly new judge to debate.

I expect RESPECTFUL debate...the minute you get an edge to you and become aggressive toward the other team...I shut off and will cast my vote for the other team. It is SO IMPORTANT that we have a respectful exchange of ideas and debate those accordingly. I do expect there to be a clash of ideas...just not a clash of personality. Questioning is important.

I enjoy strong connection to your material and expect you to provide strong reasoning and support for the points you are bringing to the table. If you have to spell it out for me, please do so. Be meticulous in how you explain things for me so that I can follow what you are saying. ORGANIZATION to your delivery is the key.

Speed: I am NOT a fan of spreading so do NOT do it.

I prefer a slower debate, I think it allows for a more involved, persuasive and all-around better style of speaking and debating. It is your burden to make sure that your speech is clear and understandable and the faster you want to speak, the more clearly you must speak. If I miss an argument, then you didn't make it.

I LOVE terrific cross-examination!!!

For all debate- I will pick a winner based on who best communicates the most logical arguments. When judging communication, I take into account speaking pace, clarity of delivery, and organization.

Jane Boyd Paradigm

8 rounds

Jane Boyd School: Grapevine HS -Retired Number of years coaching CX: 32 LD: 2 Number of years coaching speech and debate: 32 WSD judging - 10 years.

World School Debate

This has become my favorite event. WSD is not American debate - meaning, following the norms of WSD is crucial. Having models and counter models is fine, but those are simply examples. We don't worry about solvency. If you follow the expected norms for WSD then we will be fine.


What many think is progressive debate was done originally in 98-99 by Grapevine Debaters. We just did it better. Good debate is good debate. Keep in mind that trying to be cutting edge does NOT make for good debate by itself. While I appreciate innovation - I hate tricks for the sake of tricks. Keep that in mind.


Standards, criteria, framework, and/or burdens serve as the same thing - these are mechanisms on how to determine who wins the debate. If a value is used it needs to be defended throughout the case and not simply an afterthought. The framework of the debate should not be longer than the rest of the case. Unless it is absolutely necessary to make the framework clear, cut to the chase and tell me what is acceptable and not acceptable, but don't spend 2 1/2 minutes on something that should take just a few sentences to make clear. I want to hear substantive debate on the topic, not excessive framework or theory. Note the word excessive. I am not stupid and usually get it much quicker than you think. In the debate resolve the issue of standard and link it to the substantive issues of the round then move on.

Evidence and Basic Argumentation:

The evidence adds credibility to the arguments of the case however I don't want to just hear you cite sources without argumentation and analysis of how it applies to the clash in the debate. I don't like arguments that are meant to confuse and say absolutely nothing of substantive value. I am fine with philosophy but expect that you are able to explain and understand the philosophies that you are applying to your case or arguments. A Kritik is nothing new in LD. Traditional LD by nature is prefiat, but I recognize the change that has occurred. I accept plans, DAs, counterplans and theory (when there is a violation - not as the standard strategy.) Theory, plans, and counterplans must be run correctly - so make sure you know how to do it before you run it in front of me.

Flow and Voters:

I think that the AR has a very difficult job and can often save time by grouping and cross-applying arguments, please make sure you are clearly showing me on the flow where you are applying your arguments. I won't cross apply an argument to the flow if you don't tell me to. I try not to intervene in the debate and only judge based upon what you are telling me and where you are telling me to apply it. Please give voters; however don't give 5 or 6. You should be able to narrow the debate down to the critical areas. If an argument is dropped, then make sure to explain the importance or relevance of that argument don't just give me the "it was dropped so I win argument." I may not buy that it is an important argument; you have to tell me why it is important in this debate.


I can flow very well. Speed isn't a problem, it is usually clarity that is the problem. Unless words are clear I won't flow the debate. If I am not writing then you probably need to adapt. Speed for the sake of speed is not a good idea.


I have been around long enough to have seen the genesis of Kritik arguments. I have seen them go from bad to worse, to good in policy. I think that K arguments are in the worse state in LD now. Kritiking is absolutely acceptable IF it applies to the resolution and specifically the case being run in the round. I have the same expectation here as in policy the "K" MUST have a specific link. "K" arguments MUST link directly to what is happening in THIS round with THIS resolution. I am NOT a fan of a generic Kritik that questions if we exist or not and has nothing to do with the resolution or debate at hand. Kritiks must give an alternative other than "think about it." Most LD is asking me to take an action with a plan or an objective - a K needs to do the same thing. That being said, I will listen to the arguments but I have a very high threshold for the bearer to meet before I will vote on a "K" in LD.


I have a very high threshold of acceptance of theory in LD. There must be a clear abuse story. Also, coming from a policy background - it is essential to run the argument correctly. For example having a violation, interpretation, standards, and voting issues on a Topicality violation is important. Also knowing the difference in topicality and extra-topical. or knowing what non-unique really means is important. Theory for the sake of a time suck is silly and won't lead me voting on it at the end. I want to hear substantive debate on the topic not just generic framework or theory. RVI's: Not a fan. Congratulations you are topical or met a minimum of your burden I guess? It's not a reason for me to vote though unless you have a compelling reason why.

Jennifer Bracken Paradigm

I try to take the round as a whole when judging.

You should clearly address your opponent's arguments and not simply throw out a source that says your opponent is wrong. Make sure you link the evidence to the point you are addressing.

No argument is perfect so if you are clearly losing a point admit it and move on. Don't spend the whole round trying to defend a losing argument. Concentrate on strengthening your other points. I respect competitors who know their strengths and can admit their weaknesses.

I can mostly keep up with faster delivery, however if you decide to spread just know I likely will not keep up and you risk me missing points in your arguments. If I don't have an argument on my flow I cannot weigh it when deciding a winner.

The real key to winning is making clear, logical, arguments that are supported by legitimate evidence.

Gail Burkel Paradigm

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Cecilia Caputo Paradigm

8 rounds

I did public forum for three years and policy for one. I don't really vote on topicality. You can run whatever as long as it's relevant or well explained in the round. When or if you spread please enunciate the taglines.

Jesus Caro Paradigm

8 rounds

Jesus Caro
Lincoln Douglas Coach - Oxford Academy; previous policy debate coaching experience
Experience: 4 years college LD/Parli

Backround: I debated for two years at Cerritos College and later transferred to CSU-Long Beach to compete in parliamentary debate. My academic background is in Finance and Accounting. I am familiar with most contemporary arguments in debate and have read books and news article before. I think that there is no such thing as tabula rasa but I also try not to insert myself, too much, in the debate round.
How Do I View Debate?
Fundamentally, I see debate as a rhetorical game that rewards the deployment of strategic skillsets within the round. This means that you should do whatever it is you are good at. I tend to believe that the affirmative will present a question and attempt to resolve that question using whatever tools they have. The negative will stand up and try to do the same, using different strategies and techniques. Whatever it is you do, you should be trying to write my ballot for me.

How Do I Decide Debate Rounds?
From my experience judging debate rounds I’ve come to the conclusion that most rounds either conclude in one of two scenarios. Either teams will compare their arguments versus their opponents or they won’t.
“Even If” Statements: I think the most important rebutalist tool is the “Even If” statements. Even If statements allows for the narrowing of the debate because it allows for certain parts of the debate to be conceded and ignored. They focus the debate to only the arguments that are important.
Risk Assesments: In assessing risk I think a team should win their link before they begin their risk assesment. Uniqueness usually controls the direction on the link, however, if this is all you are going for you in the rebuttals, then your probably behind everywhere else and your link argument was “ they pass plan”. For example, a politics disad requires a nuanced explanation of how the specific policy triggers the link. Otherwise the risk of a link is not intrinsic to the affirmative and tenous at best. In this situation I find that good link and impact defense are enough to mitigate any substantive effect of the disad, if argued in round.
When there is no Comparison: Intuitively I think I evaluate timeframe first, the sequence of the impacts, then the probability of your impacts happening, and finally I look to magnitude to quantify the gravity of the impact. This usually means that one of the teams will dislike the decision because I barely understand what timeframe, probablitiy or magnitude mean.
When there is Comparison: In rounds where one team is making all the comparisons using “even-if” statements, that team will usually win the round. However, in exceptional rounds where both teams are making comparative statements I will examine what questions have been established as relevant Then I will try to determine which team most accurately answers those questions.
Things That Can Be True.
Regarding speed of delivery I usually believe that I can catch most of what is being said in the debate round. However, as there is no “pen time” be aware that pausing between the #5 on the Uniquness and the #1 on the Link, helps keep my flow organized.
There are some arguments that will take some extra work to get me to vote on, usually RVI’s and Speed Bad.
Framework should never be considered a voting issue. Most of the time these arguments are simply impact calc. Essentially, any argument that describes a process of prioritization between two competing impacts/scenarios is a framework argument.
“Dropped” arguments, if answered elsewhere, are not dropped.
I think that you should have a resolutional basis for your affirmative. If you are the affirmative and have some rational basis for your interpretation of the debate (Policy/Kritik/Value/Fact/Whatever), all you have to do is answer the procedural effectively.
I appreciate strategic issue selection; you do NOT need to go for every argument in the round. Both teams should be collapsing to the FEW arguments that WILL win the round.
The best advice I ever received from a coach was this, “if you lose to a bad argument/team, it is because you did not do a good enough job explaining to the judge why the argument was nonsense or unimportant”.
Specific Arguments
Theory/Topicality/Procedurals: Since all of these questions are questions regarding rules, within the debate round, I will adhere to the following when evaluating them:
Unless otherwise indicated I default to seeing these as issues questions of competing interpretations, this means in-round abuse is not necessary. I also think that reasonability can be defined as having a counterinterpretation that solves the impact of the original interpretation, fairness or education.
Counterplans: Generally, I think that counterplans are one the most strategic tools the negative has to leverage any access to affirmative impacts. This is especially important when government actions seems almost necessary like “ The USFG Should send money to six children in a rural community”, what’s the disad to that aff? I think you should begin defending your CP in the LOC to fend off new theory arguments in the PMR. I usually let teams resolve questions of counterplan theory in-round. I do, however, have a predispotion towards fairness and tend to evaluate these questions through that lens.
Critiques: I am farily familiar with the kritik and understand the fundamental basis of its operation. However, this does not mean that I know the authors that you may be referencing or the terms you may be using.
Framework: I find most kritik frameworks to be spectres of illusions by assuming that there is a substantial difference between the impacts of the affirmative and the impacts of the affirmative. The function of the framework should be to clarify the role of the judge within the round and the role of the participants. Any framework that does not discuss these two concerns leaves me wanting for NB.
Alternative/Solvency: I find the most vulnerable part of a criticism is the function of the alternative, which, stems from the function of the framework. Largely teams will read framework claiming rhetoric comes first, with an alternative that to reject. The logical response is for the affirmative to say reject and affirm the plan, the permuation. In these situations the affirmative will almost always come ahead. However, a framework that delineates the requirements for a win always ensures that the alternative is the only viable option, giving the neg a better answer to the perm. Solvency, I find, in most criticisms are rather shallow because kritik teams are not quite sure how this part works. Much like a counterplan or PMC, the purpose of the alternative is to show that the alternative works. You should have warrants and examples to prove that a vote for the alternative can solve. It is not necessary to show that you create in-round change, insofar as it’s not the purpose of the framework.
Permutations: A legitimate permutation is all of the plan and all or parts of the counterplan. Permutations should not be advocacies. This can be dissuaded by the debaters in round.
Please feel free to ask me if you have any specific questions.

Lindsay Carter Paradigm

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Tammy Carter Paradigm

8 rounds

I have been judging individual events for 26 years. Over this expanse of time, I have coached individual events at both the middle school and high school level. We have recently added debate to our high school’s program. I have coached world debate for two years and judged it at the national tournament two years.

When judging individual and duo interp events, I look for believability and connection to the story first. Next when evaluating these events, I also look for versatility in the performance. If you are doing a DI or an HI, I should be able to see the rising and falling of emotions. If your piece has multiple characters, you should have clean and crisp focal points and easily discernible voices. Duo partners should respond naturally to the actions of each other.

When judging public addresses, such as OO, INFO, and Extemp, I look for a clearly defined outline for where your speech is going. I look for credible sources that support the thesis and purpose of your speech. Eye contact should be natural and used throughout your speech. Movement across the floor should also be natural and be motivated by the points in your speech. With Extemp, answer the question you were given with relevant points.

When I judge debate events, most importantly I am looking for how well you supported your side of the argument. I want you to share points that build your case while also putting holes in that of your opponent. I will also be looking for confident speakers who use eye contact with their opponents as well as the judge. Speakers should also use the time allotted wisely and efficiently. Points need to be made but should not be lost with excessive spreading.

Ethan Case Paradigm

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Pamela Childress Paradigm

8 rounds

I am a debate coach in Georgia. I also competed in LD and Policy out west. Take that for whatever you think it means.

  • LD - Value/Value Criterion (Framework, Standard, etc,) - this is what separates us from the animals (or at least the policy debaters). It is the unique feature of LD Debate. Have a good value and criterion and link your arguments back to it. I am open to all arguments but present them well, know them, and, above all, Clash - this is a debate not a tea party.
  • PF - I side on the traditional side of PF. Don't throw a lot of jargon at me or simply read cards... this isn't Policy Jr., compete in PF for the debate animal it is. Remember debate, especially PF, is meant to persuade - use all the tools in your rhetorical toolbox: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos.
  • Speed - I like speed but not spreading. Speak as fast as is necessary but keep it intelligible. There aren't a lot of jobs for speed readers after high school (auctioneers and pharmaceutical disclaimer commercials) so make sure you are using speed for a purpose. If you spread - it better be clear, I will not yell clear or slow down or quit mumbling, I will just stop listening. If the only way I can understand your case is to read it, you have already lost. If I have to read your case then what do I need you in the room for? Email it to me and I can judge the round at home in my jammies - if you are PRESENTING and ARGUING and PERSUADING then I need to understand the words coming out of your mouth!
  • Know your case, like you actually did the research and wrote the case and researched the arguments from the other side. If you present it, I expect you to know it from every angle - I want you to know the research behind the statistic and the whole article, not just the blurb on the card.
  • Casing - Love traditional but I am game for kritiks, counterplans, theory - but perform them well, KNOW them, I won't do the links for you. I am a student of Toulmin - claim-evidence-warrant/impacts. I don't make the links and don't just throw evidence cards at me with no analysis. It is really hard for you to win with an AFF K with me - it better be stellar. I am not a big fan of Theory shells that are not actually linked in to the topic - if you are going to run Afro-Pes or Feminism you better have STRONG links to the topic at hand, if the links aren't there... Also don't just throw debate terms out, use them for a purpose and if you don't need them, don't use them.
  • I like clash. Argue the cases presented, mix it up, have some fun, but remember that debate is civil discourse - don't take it personal, being the loudest speaker won't win the round, being rude to your opponent won't win you the round.
  • Debating is a performance in the art of persuasion and your job is to convince me, your judge (not your opponent!!) - use the art of persuasion to win the round: eye contact, vocal variations, appropriate gestures, and know your case well enough that you don't have to read every single word hunched over a computer screen. Keep your logical fallacies for your next round. Rhetoric is an art.
  • Technology Woes - I will not stop the clock because your laptop just died or you can't find your case - not my problem, fix it or don't but we are going to move on.
  • Ethics - Debate is a great game when everyone plays by the rules. Play by the rules - don't give me a reason to doubt your veracity.
  • Win is decided by the flow (remember if you don't LINK it, I don't either), who made the most successful arguments and Speaker Points are awarded to the best speaker - I end up with a couple low point wins. I am fairly generous on speaker points. I disclose winner but not speaker points.
  • Enjoy yourself. Debate is the best sport in the world - win or lose - learn something from each round, don't gloat, don't disparage other teams, judges, or coaches, and don't try to convince me after the round is over. Leave it in the round and realize you may have just made a friend that you will compete against and talk to for the rest of your life. Don't be so caught up in winning that you forget to have some fun - in the round, between rounds, on the bus, and in practice.
  • Immediate losers for me - be disparaging to the other team or make racist, homophobic, sexist arguments or comments. Essentially, be kind.
  • Questions? - if you have a question ask me.

Dan Christie Paradigm

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Travis Clement Paradigm

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Courtney Coffman Paradigm

8 rounds

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

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

Email Chain: Please add me to the email chain:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris Colvin Paradigm

8 rounds


Daniel Commander Paradigm

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1.Your background in debate (did you debate in high school or college? If so, where, when, and what events?)

I have taught communication/rhetoric for 6 years. I have coached debate for two.

2. How many years have you been judging? How many rounds do you typically judge each year?

I have been judging for 2 years. I normally judge 5 tournaments a year.

3. Do you have any argument preferences or speaking style preferences that debaters should be aware of?

I do not like spreading. I prefer straightforward arguments, but I do not mind more meta-arguments.

4. When the debate is over, what process do you use to pick a winner (use of evidence, direct clash, speaking style, impact calculations, layers of the debate, etc.)?

I assess the arguments laid out, consider evidence, speaking style, impact, and presentation.

Other thoughts:

-Don't be rude. I do not respond well to aggressive CX

-Signpost. I will be flowing and without clear signposting, I will have a difficult time doing so without those signposts.

-I like to see congenial debaters who are respectful of their opponents.

-Generally, arguments that devolve into debating the worth of a single piece of evidence or contention drawn out across multiple speeches do not interest me. Of course, this is not true if the evidence or contention is integral to the overall argument.

-I like seeing passion and emotion. I dislike dull recitals of speeches with a monotone voice. However, I equally dislike zealous, over-the-top speaking.

-Eye contact is important. I understand looking down to remind yourself of your points and structure, but do not like it when speakers stare at a piece of paper the whole time.

Jeri Connors Willard Paradigm

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Thomas Cornell Paradigm

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Wesley Cornett Paradigm

8 rounds



I am a pretty traditional LD judge. I want a focus on the moral obligations and the value/criterion framing. Make sure that your framing connects to the contention level. Any questions, feel free to ask.


Warrants: Whichever arguments are being read, whether evidence-based or analytical, the ability to clearly explain your warrants instead of just asserting stuff is what gets you ahead on my ballot and in speaker points. This should be obvious, but it doesn't always play out that way.

Aff burden: Defend the resolution. My bias is towards a policy plan, but if you can provide a clear and compelling framework for another way to support the resolution, you can certainly do so. If you do want to get creative, however, you will have to do work explaining your framing and why/how I should evaluate the round.

DA's & CP's: Core negative positions. Case specific links are preferable, but I'll vote on generic links if the neg explains how it applies to the aff and the aff doesn't give a good reason why the link is either untrue across the board, or there is something unique about their position that disproves the link.

It's going to take some work to show me that conditionality is abusive, but I'm willing to listen to the argument. As is true across the board, abuse claims are strongest if they are specific to what happened within the round in question.

T: I'll vote on T, but it's not my preference to do so. I try to strike a balance between competing interpretations and reasonability (i.e. it is good to explore multiple definitions and why some may be better than others, but if in the absence of the debate clearly demonstrating that one definition is preferable and the aff meets their own interp, I'm going to lean aff on T).

K: Don't trust that I will automatically know your literature. In addition, just because a literature base exist to claim something, I will need clear analysis from the neg as to why I should buy that literature base. Framework is generally going to be important for me. Is the K presenting an alternative policy action to be evaluated like a CP? Is it proposing an individual action on my part? Something else? Let me know. Framework debates will vary depending on the answers to those questions, but affirmatives have options to contest the viability of the alt, either based on the specific action being suggested or on the way debate rounds function and whether I should buy that accepting or rejecting ideas on my ballot has any real world impact (e.g. does policymaking or the k have more educational value/skill development; if neither have out of round impact, is there benefit to game playing or not?). I am more likely to buy an alt if it actually gives me a different policy or mindset to adopt instead of just telling me to reject a mindset.

Impact Framing: I find arguments that say "any chance of the link means you vote" to be rather weak. First, I find that debaters tend to describe the probability of their scenarios in terms that are not only not realistic, but have no objective basis whatsoever. It often feels like arbitrarily pulling a statistical percentage out of a hat. This isn't just about debaters overstating the odds of big impacts like extinction happening. The same problem exists (in either the aff or the k) in claiming that you have 100% solvency for racism or sexual violence. This probably puts me more in a probability first camp, less because I won't look at big impacts than because I want clear warranted reasons that your impact will happen before I look at anything else.

Voters: Assume that I will take you seriously about what you go for at the end of the round. What you go for in the 2NC will be what I focus my decision on, even if I thought you were ahead elsewhere. Importantly, even if you extend a card in the 2NC, but don't give me any analysis of why that is something I should be voting on, it probably won't be part of my decisions. Don't expect me to do the work of framing your voters for you.

Argument Interaction: Give me clear direction as to the way that your arguments interact with one another. If you are running arguments that contradict one another, give me explanation of why doing so makes sense. If you are running T and saying that the aff gives you no DA ground, how does that interact with any DAs you are running? Are you going to just simultaneous ask me to believe that your links are trash when I am looking at the T flow and awesome when I'm looking at the DA flow? Running both of these arguments together can be strategic in a number of directions, but I'm going to need you to clarify that by the end of the round rather than just leaving it unresolved.

Speed: I'm not the fastest at flowing, so give me clear tag lines. If the tournament allows it, I appreciate being on the email chain/receiving the flash of the speech.

Jake Cosio Paradigm

8 rounds

School Affiliation: Coach at Lovejoy High School

Debate Experience: Coaching and judging LD and CX since 2013, PF since 2016

On CX and LD:

Speed - I don’t mind speed. Please clearly signal that you are transitioning from cards to tags. Slow down for your tags (especially if they are super long) and cites. If you could number or in some way signal me on analytics to help me get my flow to match yours it would be much appreciated. In summation, the more explicit you are with organization the better I will be able to flow. Additionally, I will say “clear” if your words are slurred or say “slow down” if you are simply outpacing my ability to flow accurately.

Theory - I like theory when it is necessary, but dislike the use of blippy theory. If you have any theory (or any other format of arg) that says using specific words is bad, just tell everyone before the round what is preferable. If they bait it after that then I’m all ears, but will have a really high threshold on this otherwise (as in you will have to prove to me why it wasn’t important enough to disclose before the round but is important enough for me to vote on). On other issues, I’m really looking for good internal links to your voting issues. Absent debate, I tend to prefer single actor CP’s to multi-actor and dispositionality to condo.

Topicality - I default to competing interpretations. In round abuse is preferable, but I will listen to potential abuse if well developed and defined. Make sure to clearly link and establish your impact(s) to your standards. I am generally not inclined to vote on T as an RVI.

Kritiks - Being completely honest, I am not the best at evaluating K debate. I prefer strategies going for a mix of DA/CP/T/Case and am much more comfortable evaluating these. I would say you're running the K at your own risk. If you are a K debater, that’s fine, but please take the time to explain your K to me without assuming that I have read your authors and/or have intimate knowledge of their content. To be clear, speak in plain English when explaining everything (even your tags).

Speaks - I generally reward organization, clarity, and efficiency. In essence, the easier you make it for me to flow (without boring me to death) the better your speaks will be. On the other hand, I penalize rudeness and unprofessionalism. I expect a fairly high level of decorum (stand while speaking, don’t use offensive/vulgar language, etc.).

On CX specifically:

To categorize myself neatly in some distinct category isn’t fair for anyone, but the closest approximation that I can make is to place me on the policy maker side of tab with a few caveats (as outlined above).

In cross-examination I have a preference for the speakers traditionally assigned to a certain cross-x to be the people that are active during this time. If your partner is answering a significant portion of the questions asked of you, you will be penalized in speaker points. One or two questions isn’t a big deal to me, but 50+ percent of them would see a small penalty.

On LD specifically:

Keep in mind that I am not necessarily expecting (or even wanting) you to run policy args. A good framework with well established advantages of affirming/negating is a completely acceptable strategy to me.

On PF:

Speed - a fast conversational seems best suited to PF for me. I will probably penalize speaks for anything excessively fast.

Format of Summary Speeches - I would prefer a line by line, but if grouping is necessary for efficiency I am ok with it.

Role of the Final Focus - Weighing and voters

Topicality - Run it if it is necessary, but I am most likely just going to default to reasonability and gut check it before anything else on the flow.

Plans - I think all offense should be linked directly to the resolution, but you can characterize how the resolution would be implemented. In the instance of Con speaking first, I will not allow the Pro to no link all of the Con offense simply because they present a plan.

Kritiks - I'm really bad at them. Probably not a good idea (see above).

Flowing/note-taking - I will judge based on my flow.

Argument vs style - my ballot will be based on the arguments. Style will not weigh in much to my decision (as long as style does not interfere with my ability to understand you).

A few questions you may want answers to:

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? Yes, it should be extended.

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? It is not required, but is not discouraged either.

Do I vote for arguments that are first raised in the grand crossfire or final focus? No

Anything else:

Feel free to ask me questions before the round if you can be reasonably specific.

Mariel Cruz Paradigm

8 rounds

Mariel Cruz - Updated 10/2/2018

Schools I've coached/judged for: Santa Clara Univerisity, Cal Lutheran University, Gunn High School, Polytechnic School, Saratoga High School, and Notre Dame High School

I judge mostly Parliamentary debate, but occasionally PF and LD. I used to judge policy pretty regularly when I was a policy debater in college. I judge all events pretty similarly, but I do have a few specific notes about Parli debate listed below.

Background: I was a policy debater for Santa Clara University for 5 years. I also helped run/coach the SCU parliamentary team, so I know a lot about both styles of debate. I've been coaching and judging on the high school and college circuit since 2012, so I have seen a lot of rounds. I teach/coach pretty much every event, including LD and PF, but I have primarily coached parli the last few years.

Policy topic: I haven’t done much research on either the college or high school policy topic, so be sure to explain everything pretty clearly.

Speed: I’m good with speed, but be clear. I don't love speed, but I tolerate it. As I've started coaching events that don't utilize speed, I've come to appreciate rounds that are a bit slower. I used to judge and debate in fast rounds in policy, but fast rounds in parli and the other debate events are very different, so fast debaters should be careful, especially when running theory and reading plan/cp texts. If you’re running theory, try to slow down a bit so I can flow everything really well. Or give me a copy of your alt text/Cp text. Also, be sure to sign-post, especially if you're going fast, otherwise it gets too hard to flow. I actually think parli (and all events other than policy) is better when it's not super fast. Without the evidence and length of speeches of policy, speed is not always useful or productive for other debate formats.

K: I like all types of arguments, disads, kritiks, theory, whatever you like. I like Ks but I’m not an avid reader of literature, so you’ll have to make clear explanations, especially when it comes to the alt. Even though the politics DA was my favorite, I did run quite a few Ks when I was a debater. However, I don't work with Ks as much as I used to (I coach many students who debate at local tournaments only where Ks are not as common), so I'm not super familiar with every K, but I've seen enough Ks that I have probably seen something similar to what you're running. Just make sure everything is explained well enough. If you run a K I haven't seen before, I'll compare it to something I have seen. I am not a huge fan of Ks like Nietzche, and I'm skeptical of alternatives that only reject the aff. I don't like voting for Ks that have shakey alt solvency or unclear frameworks or roles of the ballot.

Framework and Theory: I tend to think that the aff should defend a plan and the resolution and affirm something (since they are called the affirmative team), but if you think otherwise, be sure to explain why you it’s necessary not to. I’ll side with you if necessary. I usually side with reasonability for T, and condo good, but there are many exceptions to this (especially for parli - see below). I'll vote on theory and T if I have to. However, I'm very skeptical of theory arguments that seem frivolous and unhelpful (ie Funding spec, aspec, etc)

Parli specific: Since the structure for parli is a little different, I don't have as a high of a threshold for theory and T as I do when I judge policy, which means I am more likely to vote on theory and T in parli rounds than in policy rounds. This doesn't mean I'll vote on it every time, but I think these types of arguments are a little more important in parli, especially for topics that are kinda vague and open to interpretation. I also think Condo is more abusive in parli than other events, so I'm more sympathetic to Condo bad args in parli than in other events I judge.

Policy/LD prep: I’m fine with paperless debate. I was a paperless debater for a while myself. I don’t time exchanging flashdrives, but don’t abuse that time. Please be courteous and as timely as possible.

General debate stuff: I was a bigger fan of CPs and disads, but my debate partner loved theory and Ks, so I'm familiar with pretty much everything. I like looking at the big picture as much as the line by line. Frankly, I think the big picture is more important, so things like impact analysis and comparative analysis are important.

Luke Cumbee Paradigm

8 rounds

Quick things

If you have any specific questions--feel free to ask

Prep stops when you stop prepping, but please send the doc within reason -- include me in the email chain -

Tag team CX is acceptable, but it doesn't score you any points

In your last speech—go for arguments and never go for everything

Clash matters -- do not run away from your opponent's arguments

Aff should defend the topic. Neg should have links to the aff

CJR topic: Going for the status quo on the neg is a bold move

This is supposed to be an academic space. Don't swear. Don't make a mockery out of the activity. Don't exclude your opponents from this awesome activity. Don't be rude. Student safety comes first. I have voted down teams for crossing the line.

Alternatively, no need to be fake nice--I'm all about the competition. Being aggressive is fine--calling your opponent's argument "dumb" is not.

Gender norms related to debate are bad. As an example, everyone should feel welcome to be aggressive during their speeches with me as a judge. If you don't want to be--that's cool--you do you.

Debate can be stressful--if you find yourself in an important debate with me as a judge, it might be a good idea to watch the following video. I may be stressed as well and watching it during prep time:


16th year in debate. Currently the Director of Debate at Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls South Dakota. Debated 4 years in high school doing traditional LD. Since then I have coached policy debate. I have a fair amount of experience in both circuit and traditional circles.

Theory (+Topicality)

Higher threashold for theory than many--it generally requires a legitimate claim based on questionable actions by the other side. I’ve voted on it before, but it has to be developed and it has to dive deep into the standards. I generally default to competing interpretations unless convinced otherwise. Have offense against their interpretation and use the standards to prove substance to your theoretical objection. If you go for theory in any sense of the word, tell me whether it’s a reason to reject the team or argument and provide offense for that.

Also: 10 second theory shells deserve 10 second responses. Even if they are conceded--I would still probably default to reject the arg. If you want me to make your theory argument enough weight to make me ignore everything else in the debate and vote for you, then give it the time it deserves.

On conditionality: 1 is fine--2 is probably fine--3 is debateable--4 probably not fine


Link story is usually the largest uphill battle, so you should probably have more than one link
Specific links are good links
Disad turns case is important
Risk of uniqueness is a thing
Link turns need uniqueness to be offense


Not sure what else to say--CP's are strategic and should be used often. Ones that are specific to the aff are especially fun.


Although everything is up for debate... I do have a strong belief in affirmatives defending the topic/advocating for topical action. If negative is required to address the affirmative... then affirmative is required to address the topic. That does not mean you have to run a plan text. That does not mean you can not run kritikal impacts. It does mean doing more than saying some of the words in the topic.

I have a higher threshold for K links on the negative than most. As an affirmative, you should challenge these directly.

K jargon is only persuasive to well read judges on the literature. I am reasonably well read on some K lit, but you should assume I am not.

Kritiks on the neg should fundamentally argue the affirmative is bad.

CJR topic update: lots of legitimate K ground on both sides. I am not "anti-K." Instead, I am "pro-clash." In past years, I have found many debates missing clash because of affs running away from the topic and neg links being barely related to the aff.


TLDR: If your version of debate doesn't promote clash, you're going to have a tough time winning my ballot. Beyond that, it's about the learning.

I very much dislike judging clash of civs rounds. If you feel that is the best debating you can do on the neg, then go for it, but it almost certainly won't be my favorite debate of all time. I've voted for and against framework/T arguments against K affs. If you have another strategy that you feel is viable, that would be great.

Recently I judged 7 consecutive clash of civs debates at a single tournament. There is nothing like hearing 14 hours of promises that the education is right around the corner, when clearly it is not. The only good links I saw all tournament were analytics. As an educator, I don't want to experience that again--but I also understand the desire to run strategies that win ballots.

Tiffany Dacheux Paradigm

8 rounds

Forensics Team coach for Dallastown since 2014

Speed and Decorum:

Send me your case. My email is I cannot overemphasize the necessity of doing this – it will help keep me focused, and generally just make me happier. (Please…and thank you!) If its an organized case, that’s just even better!

Spreading…I can follow it when I have the speech DOC, at least a skeletal outline (preferably written), or clear signposts which are different in emphasis/tone. Real talk time: this is key if you will be spreading in rebuttal.

I really do not care if you sit, stand, or perform yoga poses while you speak. I vaguely care that you remain in the room, and do not want you to touch me/your opponent but other than that pick your own position.

I don't time the debate or prep time, therefore you should. If need me to time, please tell me. Flex prep is fine if all debaters in the round agree.

I’d rather not touch…well…ANYONE, so can we NOT shake hands?


Arguments that are obviously racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, Anti-Semitic, etc. are not OK. (Read: you will lose if you run them.)

I do not like theory. I find it unnecessarily complicated and usually designed to make debate inaccessible (especially to those who are likely already crowded out of this forum in some other way). Please don't run it unless there you see literally NO OTHER WAY to respond to your opponent's arguments. Even then, I may not evaluate it the way you want or expect. If you planning to run dense or tricky theory, you should find a different judge.

You have an absolute obligation to articulate your arguments. Even if I’m familiar with the literature or whatever that you might be referencing I *try* to avoid filling in any gaps.

Signposting = GOOD! Flipping back and forth from AFF flow to NEG flow then back to AFF Flow to NEG Flow....BAD.... VERY, VERY, VERY BAD!

Tricks = no. Thanks.

Above all, strive to make sense. I do not prefer any “style” of debate or any particular kind of argument over another. Similarly, there isn’t much that is “off limits” (other than that which is listed above…pay attention to that). Regardless of what you run, if your case relies on me to connect the dots for you or if it is a literal mess of crappily cut and equally crappily organized evidence sans warrants, you probably be sad at the end of the round.

Katherine Dannemiller Paradigm

8 rounds

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Matthew Davis Paradigm

8 rounds

Name: Matt Davis
Affiliation: St. Croix Prep, Stillwater, MN

Years Coaching: eight Years Judging: twenty
School Strikes: St. Croix Prep

Rounds Judged this year (Fall 2020): none yet (Duke Invite is my first tourney of the season).

I debated for St. Francis High School, in Minnesota, from 1989 to 1993, during which time I debated two years of CX and two years of LD. I also debated four years in CEDA debate, debating for various schools. I have been the Director of Speech and Debate at St. Croix Prep in Stillwater, Minnesota since 2013, and I coach LD, CX, PF, WSD, and all speech categories. I also teach ninth grade English/Ancient Literature at St. Croix Prep.

Overall Philosophy:
I believe that competitive debate is an educational space that should allow students to explore the relationships of different arguments and/or philosophical ideas. I also believe that competitive debate is an exercise in effective rhetoric (ethos, pathos, logos). With all this in mind, I love debates that involve teams that know their position in the debate and are passionate about their arguments. If one team in a debate shows that they care more about their arguments than another team, this definitely can have an impact on how I evaluate the round. I typically evaluate each team’s use of evidence, reasoning, and passion to further their arguments and clash with their opponent’s arguments, hence my previous mention of the role of the effective use of ethos, pathos, and logos.

First of all, evidence is only one part of a debate. Debaters should remember that there are other aspects of debate as well, such as claims and warrants. If you are simply extending an author’s name in order to extend an argument, you still need to extend the claim and warrant, or I am not voting on it. I will look at evidence after the round if the evidence becomes a controversial issue in the debate, or if one team is leaning heavily on a piece of evidence for their win. With this in mind, don’t misrepresent your evidence or make it sound “bigger” than it really is, as this can become an embarrassing moment when someone asks me to read the card and I see that it is hot garbage. One last area that I think is important to note is the citation debate. I don’t think that enough debaters go after their opponents’ sources, and that probably stems from other critical (k) positions. However, if it is clear that the source is biased or should clearly not be considered a reliable source, I would encourage debaters to make this an issue. Also, I am not a big fan of reading more evidence in the rebuttals. Sure, there may be a necessary card or two that can be effective in the first rebuttal for each team, but I would suggest using what you already have read in constructed speeches to respond (this is especially the case in LD). I often find that a 1AR that can use the evidence from the two affirmative constructive speeches should have done enough to "find a way out" of the negative block (if it wasn't in the AC speeches, then its probably too late in CX debate).

Short Version: Be clear and slow(er) on your tags and author names; you can go faster on your evidence. I prefer passion and intensity to speed. Most of my debaters are traditional LD debaters, so I'm not a big fan of circuit speed. Will I flow it if you are slowing for tags and authors? Sure. Will I like it, probably not s'much. In this regard, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE SIGNPOST. If you just go on-case and dump a bunch of stuff on the flow, I won't do your work for you, so signpost.

Long Version: Many of today’s debaters (at least circuit debaters) are not doing much that is different than what has been done in the speed category over the last twenty years. However, I do have some preferences in this regard. When you are speaking at 250+ wpm, I have difficulty distinguishing what you want me to flow versus extraneous evidence text or extemporized explanations, which invariably leads to miscommunications later on in the extension debate. One request that I have to resolve this issue is that debaters speak more articulate and “slower” in their presentation of their signposting, their claims, and their citations. This really shouldn't slow down the overall presentation of the speech by much, but it should make the presentation of those “flow-able” points more intentional. Additionally, I will not shout "clear" or "slower" if you aren't articulating your signposts, tags, and cites. I will probably just have a pained look on my face. After that, I'll just stop flowing. If you see this, you are probably in trouble, so make a conscious effort to accommodate my speed preference for the signposts, tags, and author last name at the very least. An optimal speed is probably around 250-300 on average for me if you at least slow down for these three areas.

As previously mentioned, evidence is only one aspect of rhetoric, and the best debaters know how to balance ethos (evidence), pathos (passion/emotion), and logos (logic/reasoning). Additionally, I feel that the most persuasive debaters are those that can do the line-by-line debating but also move the debate to the bigger picture as well.

While I believe, as previously stated, that competitive debate is an educational space that should allow students to explore the relationships between different arguments and/or philosophical ideas, I do feel that there should be some topical awareness in a debate. With that in mind, I would suggest that any critical affirmative arguments should be accompanied with a thoughtful explanation of why I should entertain a debate that is not related to the topic as worded in the resolution, or explain why their critical affirmative should be considered in the context of the resolution; otherwise, I feel like this is a tough area for me to validate. I would say that my favorite debates are debates that are actually directly tied to the topic and manage to address the underlying issues inherent in the topic through a strong philosophical or political debate (I do enjoy critical affs that are actually topical). However, this doesn't mean that I am partial to these arguments. I will entertain any argument, as long as the debater provides solid and supported rationale for its use in the round and its connection to the topic or the opponent’s arguments.


I really enjoy a great cross examination, especially because it allows debaters to really show their skills when it comes to the interactive part of debate. I think that cross examination is a place that really allows the most prepared debaters to shine. Because of this, I usually determine how I am going to assign speaker points based on a debater's performance in cross-ex. So, please don't ask if you can use the rest of CX as prep. That will always be a big "No."

I am okay with tag-team cross-examination in policy debate to a degree, but I hate it when one debater is clearly the puppet and their partner is the puppet master. This becomes obvious if one debater has no clue how to answer questions posed about what they just read in the speech. That being said, I would encourage you to use tag-team cross-ex as an emergency cord, not as something that should be used frequently.

The Ballot:
Just because a debater says that an argument is a voting issue does not make it so. To make an argument into a voting issue, a debater needs to provide warrant for its impact as a voting issue. Each debater should be able to provide decision calculus that makes my job very easy for me (which, ironically, if done well by both sides, may make my job even harder). I am someone who typically votes with their flow, which makes a debater’s speed adaptability and articulation key components in my ability to make a decision in their favor. Additionally, as previously mentioned, I will take a debater’s persuasive style and passion for their arguments into account. I would say that these areas help make my decisions when the debate is very close. Lastly, as far as the “role of the ballot” is concerned, I will leave that up to the debaters to decide. If there is no “role of the ballot” argument made in the debate, I will do my best to intuit this role from your arguments and voting issues.

Policy Notes:
As has been mentioned previously, I am accepting of most arguments, as long as the debaters are able to explain the rationale behind running such an argument and the impact that the argument has on the debate. I love direct clash, since I believe that this shows a team’s level of preparedness, especially in policy debate, but I also love good critical discussions as well. Overall, I would say that the biggest issue for me is speed. Please, please, please, at the very least, make your signposting, claims, and cites audibly clear and slower than the rest of your speech. I believe this also offers you the opportunity to add emphasis to these points as well, and in so doing show the passion you have for your arguments.

LD Notes:
Everything in Lincoln-Douglas debate should come back to the framework debate (value/criteria). However, if a debater decides to run a policy affirmative (or counterplans, disadvantages, and kritiks on the negative), then I will decide the debate accordingly. However, just because you have a plan doesn't mean that the framework debate is automatically a Utilitarianism debate. If the opposing side reads a value and criteria and makes the debate about how we are to evaluate arguments (value/criteria), then you need to be ready for this debate, since (as previously stated) this is my predisposition in LD debate. A debater could win all of their contention level arguments and still lose a debate if they cannot prove that their method for evaluating the arguments should be preferred over their opponent's method. I think that some of the best LD debaters are those that can attack criteria with supporting evidence, or they can prove how they can perm their opponent’s criteria. Ultimately, I will vote on the voting issues presented in the debate (or impact calculus if the debate becomes a Util debate), but I will consider the criteria debate first and last when making any decision. That being said, I will entertain "nontraditional" affirmatives and negative positions in a debate (Topicality, Kritiks, Theory, etc), but you need to explain its relevance to the topic and/or arguments that have already been presented in the debate.

Public Forum Notes:

Overview: A developed story of how the arguments engage with one another is one thing that must happen in the last speech or two. This can best be accomplished through a worlds comparison. If you are planning on just spreading your opponent out of the round, please be warned that this will not work in front of me. While I can handle speed, I do not like speed in this format of debate, since the speech times are so short. Making two or three well-developed arguments in support of your side and then about the same number against your opponent's side should be enough for you to develop a solid story for your side.

Impact Framing: if you aren't going to make terminal impact claims (which probably isn't happening a ton), then you need to do some kind of impact calculus or impact framing, even if this just means weighing impacts against one another through a cost-benefit analysis.

Crossfire: This should not be a shouting match. Be respectful and cordial. I shouldn't hear people rudely cutting others off, but at the same time I shouldn't hear people rambling on and on (although this can happen if questions are framed incorrectly). Well thought out questions and concise and supported answers (between seemingly nice people) are a recipe for an excellent crossfire.

How I vote: I want debaters to tell me why I should vote for their position over their opponent's position. If you just barf a bunch of arguments onto the flow and don't explain how I should evaluate them against what your opponents have said, then I probably won't be too keen on buying in to your "story." I'm not a fan of judge intervention, so don't leave me too much room to make my own decision.

World Schools Debate


I follow the WSD judging model fairly closely. Be the team that has its finger on the pulse of the debate and knows where the debate is going and how the arguments are evolving. Be nice, don't be rude, and remember that you have to persuade me that your arguments are important for proving your side.


Solid arguments should be supported with empirics and/or logical reasoning. Well developed arguments will usually have examples or logical warrants that explain the reasoning behind the argument. In this context, WSD is much less about use of cited evidence and more about which side has a more convincing story. Accordingly, I don't really give much weight to cited evidence, unless it is needed to challenge a statistic or quantifiable claim. Even to this extent, WSD should never come down to a numbers game (IMHO), so I really don't want teams "going there." Along these lines, a dropped argument isn't necessarily going to lose you the round, but I will listen to reasons why dropping an entire substantive argument or layer of analysis should affect my decision. Remember, a WSD debate is like a funnel, where many arguments begin to get consolidated to fewer, more developed arguments that have evolved throughout the debate, and positions/ stories should be very clear by the end of the debate.


Delivery is what I consider to be how I am assigning "style" points. I'm not going to add or subtract points if a team has or doesn't have matching outfits...of course. I evaluate vocal variance (pitch, rate, volume, etc), nonverbal communication (hand gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, etc), and how you behave when you are and are not speaking. Again, be nice, don't be rude. Additionally, slow down. WSD is intentional, rhetorically based, and - dare I say - performative at times. This means that you should aim to "sound" persuasive as well. Furthermore, there is also a little bit about style that I will discuss under my POI discussion below.


I think that strategy usually means to me that students are cognizant of the way the debate is developing, and they are willing to be a part in how the debate develops. Having your finger on the pulse of the debate is important. Additionally, I also evaluate strategic choices for your third substantive arguments, how those shed new light on your position, and how they affect the way the debate develops. This can be really cool, so take advantage of this unique aspect of WSD!

Also, I really appreciate when the 3rd and 4th speakers create unique organizational strategies that are unique from on another (principle/practical, essential questions, stakeholders, worlds comparison, etc). This allows me to effectively evaluate the side that is winning the big picture debate, which is how WSD really should be evaluated (IMHO).

I tend to evaluate clash as strategy points, but I know that this can be interwoven in content as well. However, I really want teams to talk about their arguments in the context of what is being said by their opponents. This really helps your arguments to evolve throughout the debate. Lowest ground/highest ground debates are an awesome way to do this, since it shows your judge that you are aware of the possible implications that your opponents' arguments could potentially have on the judge's decision.

Points of Information:

I like debaters to be courteous and intentional in how they pose POI's. POI moments are also a good place for me to determine strategy for those posing POI's and style for your ability to engage with the POI. Make good choices for when you pose POI's, since posing lame POI's and/or POI's that are ill-intentioned. Be thoughtful, be intentional, and try to use the POI's to your advantage in other speeches as well. This can be very effective!

Overall: Once again, be nice, be professional, and have fun!

Jonni Davis Paradigm

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Derek Davis Paradigm

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Amartya De Paradigm

8 rounds

Assistant Debate coach at Grapevine HS, TX
Coaching since 2010 - primarily LD, Congress, Public Forum
Competed in LD as a high school student

Speed: You can speak at the pace that you prefer, but I will yell clear if you're going too fast.

Evidence: Full citations, with a clear explanation of your evidence. Please signpost.

Flex prep: I don't like it.

Theory: Not my favorite, but I have voted on it and at times it was quite relevant to the round.

Philosophy: If it is really esoteric, make sure you explain the importance of it. Personally, I like hearing Philosophy in LD rounds.

Crystallization: The last speech should be purely crystallization (no line by line). Make sure you're weighing and tell me why you won the round.

Value: I weigh value and criterion clash HEAVILY in the debate round.

Joshua Denk Paradigm

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Chloe Dennis Paradigm

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Eric DiMichele Paradigm

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Maribel Diaz Paradigm

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Dan Dunn Paradigm

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Caitlin Easter Paradigm

8 rounds

I have been coaching speech and debate for four years, focusing primarily on speech events. However, please do not assume that means I can't follow your complicated and technical debate styles as I have been judging for years and I use more complicated arguments daily at my job (I'm an attorney).

I am a logic-driven thinker and want well-thought-out arguments without any gaps in your links. GIVE ME VOTERS IN YOUR REBUTTAL SPEECHES! Please give me clash above anything. Know which debate event you're in; don't be arrogant in LD or too reserved in CX.

What Makes Me Smile
Turns and Perms are two of my favorite techniques and impress me greatly. I love humor when you can give it to me, but don't sacrifice logic for jokes. One of my favorite debate rounds ended up running a Kanye 2020 position in a debate on executive orders and it thrilled me to no end.

If I can't flow it because you're going to fast, I will drop my pen or cross my arms.

K's and T's
I do not like Kritiks. I will listen to them and weigh them against other arguments on the flow, but overall am not a big fan. If you run a K, please make it 100% logical. I find most T's to be annoying and whiney. Please do not run a T unless you know you can do it really well.

FlashTime and Off-Time Roadmaps
I don't count flash time as prep time, unless it becomes ridiculous. Fine with them but don't give me too much detail or I'll start your time.

Sharon Ellsworth-Nielson Paradigm

I look for a clear, understandable LD debate with strong clash of values and criterion.  

Don't spew; I can't judge your arguments if I can't understand them.  

How to win the round: give a clear roadmap; cite your evidence clearly so that I can note it; constantly show how your points and evidence tie back to your value and criterion, attack your opponent's case but be polite, professional, and fair to your opponent; get your opponent to admit that your value is primary; employ logos/ethos/pathos in appealing to me; point out your points that flow through and those dropped by your opponent.

How to lose the round: bring in Ks and counter plans and jargon that you simply recite and can't explain in your own simple, powerful words; be rude and/or abusive to your opponent; spew so quickly that I stop taking notes; ignore me as the judge and just look at your laptop; drop points; tell me what I should think or do instead of persuading me; admit that your opponent's value trumps yours.  

Sharon Ellsworth-Nielson

Sean Elsik Paradigm

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Jasmine Estrada Paradigm

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Micah Everson Paradigm

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If you're reading this for Public Forum: I'm a member of the public. Also, I teach Latin, so I'm familiar with the word "forum." I don't really think that you should be looking at paradigms for PF, and I kind of object to the idea that they'd be required for PF judges. I've coached PF for the last decade, although I wouldn't say I'm a specialist in it or anything like that. I dabbled in it when I was in high school. I'd prefer that you approach me like you would approach any other moderately-informed member of the public. I'm not looking for you to adapt to me in PF.

If you're reading this for Policy: I didn't compete in Policy, but I've been coaching debate for 10 years with a fair amount of focus on Policy at least 8 of those years. The circuit I coach in is fairly limited in terms of competition, however (like 5-10 teams at most tournaments). I'm willing to listen to anything and willing to vote on anything, but I have very little experience with critical stuff or anything non-traditional, so I'll listen, I'll be interested, and I'll try to follow, but it may be harder to get my vote with a kritik or anything else outside the realm of typical stock issues.

I don't like to be confused - give me clear voting issues. If I am confused, I'll probably default to impacts / policy-maker. Speed is okay, and I'll try to follow, but speed with ridiculous breathing is obnoxious. Speed without any change in delivery for tag lines is hard to follow and hard to flow.

Kim Falco Paradigm

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Rebecca Fenton Paradigm

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John Ferris Paradigm

8 rounds

I competed in college parliamentary debate, and have 3 years coaching public forum debate in Beijing and Taipei. Under my tenure in Beijing, we won the NSDA China National Championship two years in a row.

I am a flow judge. I expect debaters to provide evidence for their arguments and responses, but if they do not, it is the responsibility of their opponents to highlight a lack of warrants.

I do not flow crossfire, so any significant information gained in crossfire should be brought up in later speeches.

I am focused on content over style, but do believe there is a necessity to communicate major issues clearly and convincingly when the debate is coming to a close.

I am okay with spreading, as long as the debaters are speaking clearly.

Kimberly Fradelis Paradigm

8 rounds

Director of Forensics at Bentley School, Lafayette
High school and college experience (speech events, policy, and CEDA)
St. Mary’s School in Medford, OR and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles

I flow the round, but I promise there is a high probability that I will get lost if you go too fast or jump around with your arguments. You’ll benefit from signposting and staying organized. I prefer fleshed out arguments and not blips. Don’t assume I know theory. If something is a voting issue, explain it to me. Always tell me "why".

I’ve spent many years coaching speech events and I appreciate quality public speaking skills, along with respect towards your teammate and opponents. Show up in pajamas or chew gum and I’m going to have a tough time paying attention to your arguments.

By the end of the round, you need to tell me why I should be voting for you over your opponent. What are the voting issues and how do your impacts outweigh your opponent's impacts.

Kris Freitas Paradigm

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Jan Friedman-Pizzo Paradigm

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Paul Gaba Paradigm

8 rounds

    • I've been coaching in southeast Florida since 2000, and have had national qualifiers in Policy Debate, Lincoln Douglas Debate, Public Forum Debate, and World Schools Debate. Some have even advanced beyond prelims!

(1) Picture ... if you will ... your 93-year-old great-grandfather. In order for him to understand the words coming out of your mouth, you must speak clearly. Very clearly. I'm not 93, or your great-grandfather (or, at least, to the best of my knowledge I'm not - and if I am, why am I judging you? You're my great-grandchild! Conflict of interest!), but I weigh clarity highly. If I cannot understand you, and stop flowing (whether via old-school "putting the pen down" or new-school "no longer pounding away on my laptop keyboard"), you are probably losing the round. Badly.

(1a) My iPad tends to merge words together when I try to flow using electronic ballots. Which means I sometimes miss arguments while trying to fix the hot mess typos. Or when I look back on the round to review, there’s chunks missing. Clarity in your presentation will go a long way toward me remembering what you said and why it was important. “Speed kills” isn’t just about how you drive on the roadways. Speaking of which ...

(1b) Debate is an educational communications activity. It's about persuasion; competitors ought to hone and practice the skills that will be effective in the real world; I expect no less in a debate round. Spewing out random crap just because you think a 72nd argument will win you the round won't cut it. The ONLY spreading that matters is cream cheese on a toasted onion bagel. (Mmmmm, toasted onion bagel ... with cream cheese ... and lox ...)

But I digress.

(2) In Policy Debate, "End of the world" nuke war-type arguments don't sway me. (Actually, this holds true in all other debate events, too!) We've somehow managed to survive the Cold War, Krushchev's shoe-banging incident, and that immature Canadian singer who makes me want to puke (and whose name I refuse to print or say).

(2a) I rarely call for cards. Like, I’ve done it maybe twice in 15+ years? Don’t expect to be the third.

(3) I prefer substance over style.

(3a) I also prefer you treat you opponent and the judge (and, in a paired event, your partner) like they are human beings. DO NOT GO DONALD TRUMP IN A ROUND - YOU WILL LOSE POINTS, AND PROBABLY LOSE THE ROUND ... BADLY.

(4) In Lincoln Douglas Debate, I'm really old school - it's a philosophical debate, not a forum to jam statistics and facts down my throat. Notice that "OLD SCHOOL" has the initials "LD" embedded in the name. Live it; learn it; know it.

(5) I am not a "point fairy" (earning a 30 from me is damn next to impossible) but am not overly harsh ... unless you do something reallllllllly stupid or insulting, in which case, fear my wrath! Also, I will deduct an entire point if I don't believe you are flowing the majority of the time you should be OR if you pack-up your belongings and don't take notes/look at your flow during my RFD/critique. (BTW, I rarely disclose, but I will offer analysis of things that occurred during the round.)

(6) Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia rocks my dirty socks. So do Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (RIP, Tom!), Monty Python, the Detroit Red Wings, and Mountain Dew. Sadly, I'm not supposed to have Ben & Jerry's or Mountain Dew anymore (damn you, Type 2 diabetes!), but such is life. Then again, we've survived that previously-referenced Canadian singer ... so far ...

Daniel Garrison Paradigm

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Harry Gaston Paradigm

8 rounds

My own debate background was Policy/CX and LD, but I have judged across all formats for the last several years, and recently mostly Congress. Content is king, but I expect to see the ability to persuade even in policy debates. Providing context and walking me through your logical arguments are crucial. And I give strong consideration to your performance in the cx/crossfire/questioning; your ability to ask and field questions in an assertive but civil manner is a critical aspect of the debate. CIVILITY MATTERS. Treat your opponent(s) with exactly the same respect that you would give me when speaking after the round.

Andrew Gegios Paradigm

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Kristi Goemmer Paradigm

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Marissa Gurtler Paradigm

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I am a traditional LD judge with experience. As the competitor, you must explain to me why you win. While I will vote on arguments if that is what you convince me to vote on, I prefer that you strongly support your value/criterion and impact. You are able to win under your opponent's value/criterion. I am not a strong proponent of progressive LD, so if you are going to run theory or a K, you must be prepared to strongly defend its use. I will not automatically vote down the the use of theory or a K.

Moderate speed - if I can't understand you, I am not flowing or following your arguments.

Public Forum

I have experience judging PF, but I have never competed in PF. As the competitor, you must explain to me why you win - convince me. Impact your arguments clearly. Also, I am not economist.

Moderate speed - if I can't understand you, I am not flowing or following your arguments.

Claire Haflich Paradigm


Former Policy Debater, Shawnee Mission East

Former University of Kansas Mock Trial Competitor

Former Policy and Mock Trial Coach, Shawnee Mission East

Former Policy and Mock Trial Coach, Blue Valley Northwest

Former Policy, LD, PF and Mock Trial Coach, Olathe North

Former Policy, LD, and PF Coach, Louisburg

Current Policy, LD, and PF Coach, Piper


Style Preferences:

I have no speed preferences, debate to the style you are best at. I have heard only a few people too fast for me to understand, but if you choose to spread and you are unclear I will stop flowing.

A few tips to prevent this from happening:

Slowing down on tags, dates, authors, important lines in evidence and important analysis. Higher speed is more appropriate for cards and less so for analysis and theory. If you speed through your 8 one-line points on condo I probably won't get them all (this also happens a lot on perm theory). If it's super important it's worth slowing down. It is you and your partner's responsibility to make sure I am following what's happening. If you're stumbling, slow down and then speed back up when you're back on track instead of trying to push through, which just makes everything messy.

Open CX, flashing, off-time roadmaps (this is much prefered for me to flow) are all fine if both teams are ok with it.

There is a line you can cross of disrespect. What you say and how you say it matters. Although I do not consider this a voting issue unless the other teams argues that it should be, it's harder for me to vote for you if I think you're a jerk. Wit is great, rudeness is not.

Argumentation Preferences for Policy:

I'm fine with any and all forms of argumentation. Just justify why I should vote on it. Be the better debaters in the round and you will win. I vote on what I hear in the round and what is persuasive. Substance is much more important than style.

I generally default policy maker and will need offense to vote, however, if you argue framework and win it I am happy to change the roll of the ballot. Please do not leave it up to me what impacts are most important, if you don't weigh the round for me it is at your own peril.

K debate is fine, but do not assume I have read the philosopher/theorist you are using in depth. It's your responsibility to explain the theory to me. I am much more persuaded by alts that solve the K or have real world impacts.

CP debate is fine, topical CPs are a very very hard sell for me, but if the other team doesn't tell me it's abusive and should be rejected or does not effectively answer Topical CPs good theory I will still vote for it. Generally advocating for the CP is severance and abusive (although I'm open to being persuaded otherwise), but again I need to hear the argument and be told it's a voting issue to vote on it.

I generally view T as an abuse check. If there's no in-round abuse I will rarely vote on it. However if it's answered poorly I'll vote on the better augmentation.

Realistic impacts are more effective. I don't mind long chain link stories to get there as long as they are well explained.

New in the 2 is only abusive if teams are spreading

I've tried to cover everything here, but if there is something else you would like to know or need clarification please ask before the round.


Please don't lose focus of the round being about a position on a moral issue. While policy and realistic results of a moral position are important for showing the impact of the value, this is not a policy round. Please choose a value and criterion that you can explain and that work well with your contentions.

The line by line argumentation is important, but don't get so caught up in it that you lose sight of your overriding position. One dropped point won't lose you the round if you access the value the best.

I don't need you to win the value to win the round, but you do need to access the winning value best to win the round.

Please please please engage with the other team's arguments. Don't just say it didn't make sense or didn't apply or that your previous card answers it. Explain why what they say is incorrect. Substance is much more important than style.


You need to have a warrant that supports your claims effectively. Pretty talking will not be enough to win my ballot. The team that best utilizes empirical examples, logic, and (most effectively) evidence to support their claims is typically the winner. At the same time, reading a bunch of cards and providing no analysis will also not serve you well. I'm not a huge fan of emotional personal examples, because they cannot be verified they feel manipulative so I would avoid them.

In my experience sometimes PF rounds get a little snarky. There is a line, and like I said above your demeanor is not a determining factor unless the other team argues that it should be and justifies why you should lose the round over it. But because I am a person, it's hard for me to vote for you if you're a jerk. Wit is appreciated, rudeness is not.

Chasity Hance Paradigm

8 rounds

I prefer for the affirmative to have a dependable topical plan of action. I understand the choice to read a non-plan based affirmative, however I can be easily swayed by theory/topicality debates in such a situation.

I am not a fan of unnecessary topicality debates, with that being said if the affirmative is not topical then it is smart to prove such. If you are going for topicality you need to actually go for it, not just throw it in the 2NR on hopes that I will vote on it.

Being Negative
I am pretty okay with just about any strategy. If a debater is going for a kritikal position, they need to be ready to explain the literature. You should be more well read on the literature than I am, and ready to discuss how they operate. I prefer a thought out strategy compared to a bunch of positions, when most of them are not viable 2NR choices.

Pet Peeves
Don't be rude and hateful to one another. Whether this be in prep time, in speech, and especially during cross examination. Being rude is not the appropriate way to show that you win the round, in all reality it makes you look like you are losing.

If you are paperless, you need to be providing evidence (whether through email, flashdrive, etc) in a timely and efficient manner. If you are taking forever to do such, you probably need to take more prep time. You should be providing organized speech docs. As the receiver of doc you should still be flowing not just reading ahead.

Derek Hanson Paradigm

8 rounds

I competed in Policy from 2006 to 2010 and in British Parliamentary at the college level from 2010 to 2014. I've been judging since then, and am now running the debate program at Glacier Peak High School.


I'm a Stock Issues judge, and when Stock Issues are fulfilled, I default to Policymaker. I tend to have a low tolerance for frivolous Topicality arguments, but am willing to consider most based on the quality of the link and argumentation presented. My belief is that we're here to debate a policy option, not discuss external advocacy. I have absolutely no tolerance for performance affs. If you run one, and your opponent so much as utters a basic T shell and consistently extends it through the round, you stand very little chance of winning.

I have a dislike of most kritiks. In my view many Kritiks, while useful in theory, often allow debaters to become lazy and shirk their research obligations while running the same strategy year after year. In other cases they're based on hopelessly distorted pseudo-intellectual crap that regresses the educational value of the debate. They can, however, have their legitimate uses and it would be wise for the neg, if they choose to run one with me, to provide a clear weighing mechanism as to why I should prefer the K over the policy issue we're here to debate.

I hate performance affs with a fiery passion. They're a cheap gimmick with no redeeming value beyond a few chuckles, and negate any educational value for the round. I cannot emphasize enough how much I despise these things. Even in the unlikely event that you win, you will receive 20 speaker points.

I'm able to understand speed, but prefer clear articulation.

I highly value clash and a weighing mechanism in the round, and strongly encourage analysis on arguments made. I work to avoid judge intervention in all cases, unless there is clear abuse of the debate format. Don't just give me arguments and expect me to do the math; demonstrate how they show that you win the round.


I am a firm believer in traditional LD debate. "Progressive" styles are a bastardization of this format. You want to pull that stuff, go back to Policy. Value-criterion debate is the name of the game, along with philosophical analysis of a topic, not how a plan might be implemented.

I am not a fan of Kritiks, but can understand that in some cases they can have legitimate uses. You're going to have to do some serious work if you want to try and get me to prefer the K, but it's certainly possible.

LD doesn't have plans. Stop trying to run them. Same with CP's.

No speed. A conversational speaking rate is more than adequate if you've done your homework and refined your case.

Performance affs will result in swift and appalling reprisals in your speaker points, even in the unlikely event that you win the round. A low-point win is virtually inevitable in that case.

Adaptation to your audience is one of the most basic and essential factors in debate, and public speaking in general. Failure to do so is your own fault.


I strongly prefer traditional public forum debate. No plans, no funny business from other forms of debate. I have a violent dislike for spreading in this format.


Traditional Worlds adjudication. Do not spread.

Erin Harbaugh-Clark Paradigm

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Jana Harry Paradigm

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Darrell Harvey Paradigm

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Miguel Harvey Paradigm

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Current affiliation: head debate coach at LC Anderson in Austin, TX.

brand new late Sept. 2020: I am currently sorting out a previously-unknown personal relationship/orientation surrounding ability, societal structures as they relate to disability and neurodivergence, and my own place in the world in light of a life-altering change in my self-perception, identification, and relation to others. It is currently somewhat difficult and potentially upsetting for me personally to hear positions advocating unipolar pessimism, hopelessness, or the radical rejection of potential futures or social engagement/productivity by the disabled or differently abled subject. This is a new addition so I don't necessarily expect you to read it if you're currently debating at Greenhill, and I will never punish debaters for pursuing arguments that explore their own agency and relation to societal structures. Just be mindful that it's very hard for me to hear right now.

Summer/Fall 2020 update: if you don't identify as Black, please respect the wishes of many of your peers in the community and don't read afropessimism in front of me. This is not a pronouncement that I agree or disagree with any particular person's position on whether this practice should be allowed. But the bottom line is, if people in our community who we value and respect articulate to us that they are hurt by this practice, it's on us not to do it or encourage it. This doesn't mean you can't argue against the theory or read other positions that deal with antiblackness or structural racism. I am specifically willing to listen to Wynter, racial capitalism, Afro-futurism, and racially-oriented semiotic arguments that are philosophically, structurally, and most importantly methodologically distinct from Wilderson, Warren, and Sexton et al. Note: I will have a *very* high threshold for dropping a debater as retroactive punishment for reading afropessimism in the past. This is an evolving norm without a broad community consensus, and we are all learning as we go. The exception is if you were called out on it before or made verifiable pronouncements indicating you stopping the practice but continued to do it afterward. If that's the case, sorry bud, you kind of brought it on yourself.

TLDR: If you or your coach are a person who post-rounds after losses, please know in advance that I am an extreme lay judge and strike/block me forever. This includes post-rounding in email after rounds. Please, it is psychologically and behaviorally triggering for me. I'll take the blame that I can't handle it, just please don't. I'm fine with you thinking my decision was incorrect; it probably was. I am what a lot of people would call a "flex judge." I don't default one way or another on most arguments. Don't be argumentatively or personally abusive. Debate is a game, but winning is not the only objective. Line by line debate is important. No new case extensions in the 2AR. Don't insult my (admittedly limited) intelligence. I will intervene against bigotry and disregard for others' physical and mental wellness. Tricks and excessive preempts/triggers make me so very unhappy. I don't disclose speaks, I think it has the potential to feed toxic attitudes. I promise I'm trying my best to be nice. I love Star Wars. I don't hack. Pronouns he/him/his. For email chain

Quick guide to prefs (updated Sept. 2020):

LARP/tfw/topicality: 1+

1-off ap, setcol, cap/1nc non-friv theory: 1

deleuze/softleft/non-pess black studies: 1/2

kant without tricks: 2

most k/idpol/high theory: 2-3

performance/pomo/semio: 3

non-kant phil/heavy fw: 4

friv theory/skep/trump good: 4/strike

tricks/abusive strats: strike no matter what

Long version:

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

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

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

(cw: self-harm)

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


Speaks: You're probably not going to get a 30. I tend to start at 28 and work my way up or down. If you get a 26 or below, you likely did something bigoted/abusive. I usually range between 27.5 and the mid 29s. I'm a little more generous in PF and at locals. I will dock you hard if you make the space unsafe, particularly for women, gender/sexual minorities, disabled or differently abled debaters, religious minorities, and debaters of color. I'm not afraid to give good speaks if you're good, but yeah 29.8 is usually as high as I'll go

Speed: Any rate of delivery is fine, though I love and prioritize clarity. If you are not clear, I will say "clear" once. I generally consider fast debate more entertaining. If you won't flash or email docs, maybe slow down on tags and analytics for my sake and for your opponent's sake. For online debates, the more arguments that are in the doc the better.

Kritik: Fine. I have a basic understanding of most of the literature. Explain very clearly why I should vote and why your opponent should lose. For me, "strength of link" is not an argument applicable to most kritik rounds - I ask whether there is a risk of link (on both sides). Your arguments need to be coherent and well-reasoned. "Don't weigh the case" is not a warranted argument by itself - I tend to believe in methodological pluralism and need to be convinced that the K method should be prioritized. A link is *not* enough for a ballot. Just because I like watching policy-oriented rounds doesn't mean I don't understand the kritik or will hack against them. If you link to your own criticism, you are very unlikely to win. I believe the K is more convincing with both an alternative and a ballot implication (like most, I find the distinction between ROB and ROJ somewhat confusing).

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

Frameworks: Fine with traditional (stock or V/C), policy-oriented, phil, critical frameworks, performance, narratives but see my pref guide above for what I personally prefer. While I don't think you have to have your own framework per se, I find it pretty curious when a debater reads one and then just abandons it in favor of traditional util weighing absent a distinct strategic reason to do so. I hate framing that is abusive for abuse's sake, like "the aff/neg must win every round." Examples of this are a prioris that say "Resolved" means the resolution has already been affirmed or "evaluate the round after the 1AC." I'm the worst person to pref if you are a tricks debater. I think TJF debates are interesting, but I seldom meet frameworks that *can't* be theoretically justified. Not sure if there's a bright line other than "you need to read the justifications in your constructive," and I'm not sure how good that argument is. I don't enjoy permissibility triggers, but I understand them and will vote on them.

LARP: Great. Plans, counterplans, PICs, PIKs, disads, solvency dumps, whatever. Argue it well and it's fine. I don't think making something a floating PIK necessarily gets rid of competition problems; it has to be reasoned well. I'm very skeptical of severance perms and will have to be convinced - my threshold for voting on severance bad is very low. Impact turns are underutilized, but don't think that means I want you to be bigoted or fascist. Cap/heg good are fine. I'm very skeptical of warming good. Any position that argues death or war is good will need to be argued really well. For UIL/traditional policy debaters - please read the entirety of the aff in the 1AC and please divide labor in the block. To the extent that anyone prefs me, and no one should ever pref me under any circumstances, I don't understand why more LARPers don't pref me really highly apart from the fact that I've coached good K debaters. I am most comfortable and conversant with policy arguments.

Condo: Fine, although I don't think 100% of conceded offense on kicked arguments just goes away because the argument is conditional (specifically stuff like theoretically unjustified argumentation or oppressive/discourse-related offense). Be really, really careful before you kick a K, especially if it is identity-related - I think reps matter. I am more likely to entertain condo bad if there are multiple conditional advocacies. More likely to vote on condo bad in LD than policy because of time/strat skew. One conditional advocacy is generally ok to me and I need a clear abuse story.

Flashing/Email/Disclosure: I will vote for disclosure theory, but have a higher threshold for punishing or making an example of novices or non-circuit debaters who don't know or use the wiki. Lying during disclosure will get you dropped with 25 speaks; I don't care if it's part of the method of your advocacy. If you're super experienced, please consider not being shitty about disclosure to novice or small-school debaters who simply don't know any better. Educate them so that they'll be in a position to teach good practices in future rounds. My personal perspective on disclosure is informed by my background as a lawyer - I liken disclosure to the discovery process, and think debate is a lot better when we are informed. I won't vote on disclosure theory against a queer debater for whom disclosure would potentially out them. One caveat to prior disclosure is that I do conform to "breaking new" norms, though I listen to theory about it. In my opinion, the best form of disclosure is open-source speech docs. For sharing, I prefer email. Please include me on email chains. Even if you don't typically share docs, please share me on speech docs - I can get lost trying to listen to even everyday conversation if I'm not able to follow along with written words.

Sitting/Standing: Whatever. I have my own debaters stand if they can because it helps with volume and clarity. But do your thing, it won't affect speaks. Maybe look at me every once in a while, your call. For online debate specifically I fully recognize and accept that most debaters are sitting and whatever.

Flex prep: Fine. More clarity is good.

Performative issues: If you're a white person debating critical race issues, or a man advocating feminism against a woman, or a cis/het person talking queer issues, etc., be sensitive, empathetic, and mindful. Also, I tend to notice performative contradiction and will vote on it if asked to. For example, running a language K and using the language you're critiquing (outside of argument setup/tags) is a really bad idea. "Perf con good" arguments had better make a metric ton of sense.

I do NOT default to util in the case of competing frameworks. If the framing debate is absolutely impossible to evaluate (rare, but it happens), I will try to figure out who won by weighing offense and defense under both mechanisms.

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

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

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

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

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

If I call for evidence and you give me a link to an article, I will auto-dock speaks and flame you in the RFD.

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

More PF specifics:

Anything above regarding performative issues applies to PF, so please read carefully. I am primarily an LD judge on the national circuit and at Austin-area locals. Take from that what you will, and assume I am fine with either a more progressive or traditional style of PF debate. "It's not allowed in PF" is not a warranted argument. Line by line debate is important, and as it's what I am used to, I am not likely to vote on new arguments (or arguments that weren't gone for in Summary) made in Final Focus. This means sticky defense justifications are probably a no-no. Weighing offense is important. Framing should be established in constructive or at the very latest on the top of rebuttal. Don't call something terminal without a warrant. Don't call link defense a turn. Don't say you are "turning an impact" if you're not. An impact turn argues that the impact itself is good. If you want me to use something from crossfire in my RFD, it needs to be in subsequent speeches. I am not flowing crossfire. I have an extremely LOW tolerance for miscut or mischaracterized evidence. Evidence ethics arguments have a very low threshold - if you're shady and there's a shell or implication I am very inclined to vote on it. If you're running theory, don't run it wrong or I'll make it really obvious how little I care for your debating.

Everyone: please ask questions if I can clarify anything. If you get aggressive after the round, expect the same from me and expect me to disengage with little to no warning. My wellness isn't worth your ego trip. I encourage pre-round questions. I might suggest you look over my paradigm, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't ask questions.

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

Robyn Haug Paradigm

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Ursela Hemman Paradigm

8 rounds

The TL;DR version of my paradigm: Much like in life, in debate, just because you can, doesn't always mean you should. I default to policy maker. Make my job easier, and I'm more likely to vote for you.

General judging stuff: No handshakes please, germs are icky. Introducing yourself is fine and appreciated though. My concentration face is apparently very close to my angry face so please don't freak out if I look mad, I'm hopefully just concentrating hard. I'm not huge on oral kritiks outside of world schools debate, so unless there's something I think is absolutely necessary to discuss, I'm probably not going to for the sake of keeping the tournament running fast.

Semi-retired assistant coach for Hutch, been doing this forever. I'm pretty out of the loop this year due to lots of factors, I've only watched a handful of rounds this season, so please don't expect me to know everything about everything on this topic, making assumptions is probably going to make me grumpy. Seriously. Rank me above a lay judge, but I'm not as hip and with it as I used to be.

Delivery stuff: Rate of speed preferred is Moderate. I don't need you to be so slow like you're talking to Grandma Ethel, but I really don't enjoy fast debates and don't have the energy for it. Rule of thumb: if you're gasping for air like a fish with asthma, you're going too fast. I need to be able to understand the words you're saying, and things like tags and cites are extremely important to make sure that they are clearly said. If I can't understand, I don't flow. I won't interrupt the round, but it will be painfully obvious if I'm not flowing. 1AR I have a little more sympathy towards rate of delivery, but it still needs to be understandable. Also, everyone needs to signpost arguments so I know where we're at on the flow, PLEASE.

When paneled with one or more lay judges, my paradigm should be treated like a lay judge. I believe in making debate accessible to all backgrounds and experience levels, and making less experienced judges feel intimidated or confused by the activity is bad for everyone, so when choosing your strategy, don't throw away the lay judge unless you're also throwing away my ballot.

Also! Roadmaps! I would like one, please, because I don't typically ask for a flash of your speech. Your roadmap should be a sentence, not a paragraph. "T, Federalism, Advantage 2" is a roadmap. "First, I'm going to start off attacking Topicality. Then, I will read a disadvantage on blahblahblah..." is a speech. I'll start the timer if your roadmap turns into a speech. Did I mention how I also love debaters who signpost?

Timing: PLEASE time your speeches. I'm usually running a timer or stopwatch but it may not always sound when you've hit the time limit so it would be super if you're responsible about that. Yes, you can use your phone as a timer if it's on airplane mode, if the tournament and your opponents are fine with it.


Affs: Affs should defend the resolution and be topical. Not a fan of performance/k affs. I'll listen but you're probably not getting my ballot. Please, for the love of the flying spaghetti monster, don't read me something you pulled directly from OpenEvidence with little to no modification, don't be that team.

On case/stock issues: I feel like too often, negative teams get too wrapped up in the off that the on case gets ignored and we're having generic boring arguments. I enjoy case debate, but there needs to be impacts in round by the negative, so don't expect me to vote neg because you focused on inherency and solvency the entire round with no case turns or any reason other than you attacked their stock issues and the table analogy.

T: I love good topicality arguments and some level of topicality theory. T ran for the sake of running T make me sad. If you understand topicality and have good interpretations that are more than fill in the blank on the shell, I will happily vote on topicality and will do so plenty of times this year.

DAs: The more specific the link, the better, but I also understand the nature of the topic means that there may not be specific links- so give me analysis to show why they apply. Meh on terminal impact scenarios.

Kritiks: Please don't, unless there is actual, legitimate in round abuse/impact that you can prove. Someone unapologetically using _____-ist language and you arguing why that's bad in the framework of the K and the real, actual impacts, and using understandable language is going to be more compelling than you reading "capitalism bad" without really understanding it. The amount of analysis and explanation that is given to me in rounds has never been enough for me to feel like I can understand your points. Generic link kritiks that implicate the topic or large areas and can be run in like, 99% of your rounds are not the kinds of arguments I am going to vote on. That being said, if your coach is okay with it and you want to concede the round to the other team to pursue your K position in your side's first speech and have a discussion about your position, I'm willing to sit and listen/participate in the discussion for a reasonable (45 minutes-1hr) amount of time.

Counterplans: CPs need to have a competitive purpose in round and have more to them than just a pointless timesuck. I'm okay with them, just expect me to be real grumpy if you're reading states CP with generic links you pulled off OpenEvidence. These days I'm neutral about condo/uncondo, but I'll listen to/vote on aff theory on conditionality if they run it. In general, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Generic spec arguments: ew.

Impacts: Everyone needs to emphasize them and everyone needs to have them. Without impacts, I have no reason to vote for you. Mehhhhh to terminal impact scenarios, rounds where I'm forced to vote based on body counts are lame. I see a lot a bad rounds where I have to default aff because the negative fails to have any substantial reason to not vote for plan. Also your rebuttals really really need impact calc.

Theory: I can enjoy a little bit of theory if it's well thought out and doesn't dominate the round.

And finally, don't be a jerk. It really upsets me and makes me try to find any reason to vote against you even if you're the best debater ever. There's no place for racism/sexism/ableism/all those other -isms in this activity.

Feel free to ask me specific questions if you have them, and good luck to all!

Daniel Hirsch Paradigm

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Danny Hisrch Paradigm

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Tony Hoffman Paradigm

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Carlye Holladay Paradigm

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Judy Huston Paradigm

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Anitha Irakam Paradigm

8 rounds

I look for an interesting introduction, 2 or 3 areas of analysis with sufficient evidence especially latest events. Must be able to refute other senators. Be polite, involved and maintain the decorum in the chamber. Need to have a good presentation with eye contact, vocal variety and fluency of speech. End with a good conclusion.

Ellen Ivens-Duran Paradigm

8 rounds

Here are the things that matter:

I did not debate as a student.

I have judged and coached PF and LD for 8 years.

I don’t lean towards any style of debate, just convince me why I should vote for you and you can win.

My favorite philosophy is Utilitarianism... just sayin’

Edgar Jackson Paradigm

8 rounds

Quick summary (TLDR): I am open to any framework you want to sell me, but be sure you explain to me why I should choose it. Otherwise, I default to stock issues. I am open to all styles of offense, but include specific case links as well as clear impacts/relevance. All things being equal, I will weigh arguments based on clarity and development. Give me reasons why your argumentation should be important to me as the judge.

Coaching history: CX, LD, Speech, Interp (Aubrey HS, 2011-present)

CX philosophy: I am a fairly conservative judge who is open to arguments unfamiliar to me. The debate belongs to you, and you should tell me which lens I should use to frame the round and evaluate argumentation. I prefer a resolution-based debate that hits checkpoints in structure, but I will listen to any debate that contains clear direction and warrants. Please do not rely on me to make assumptions for you or fill-in warrants you have not provided. I will weigh the round based on the evidence and analysis given to me.

I will vote on arguments you tell me are important. I default to reasonability over competing interpretations, but I am flexible on this. Extend arguments throughout the debate, and please engage the opposing side. Please be clear about conditionality of arguments, and, likewise, please be clear if you disagree with conditionality (not just conditionality bad). I am aware of most literature but by no means deep on it. However, I am a rational individual willing to listen to your application of any literature to the round.

LD philosophy: Framework is necessary for me, but I also see it as a launching point for good debate at the contention level. I will listen to a policy-oriented debate on both sides, but I expect both sides to engage each other regardless of the orientation of arguments. Again, I have a rudimentary knowledge base of literature, so be clear about the application of your lit to your arguments and to the round itself. My vote will usually revolve around impacts which have been carried throughout the round.

Speaker Points: I start on 27.5 and move on a sliding scale based on clarity, style, your ability to engage discussion, your ability to maintain composure, and your overall strategy. I will usually keep up with your speed, and I a would prefer to be included on the email chain if all parties agree to do so (

Eddina Jackson Paradigm

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Juliana Janatowski Paradigm

8 rounds

I'm a first year alumni, I did every debate event in my high school career so I have knowledge of everything. I'm a pretty laid back judge, however there are a few things I'm picky about: I'd rather not vote on Topicality, I don't mind Ks just make sure you explain it well enough, make sure you enunciate your tag lines please, and tag team for cross examination is fine by me but your partner shouldn't overpower your questioning. Other than that I'm excited to watch y'all debate, do your best and good luck!!

Nicole Jennison Paradigm

8 rounds

I am a former policy debater and current speech and debate coach. I coach policy, LD, and PF. I am a flow judge. I don't like speed or critiques.

Brandon Johnson Paradigm

8 rounds

I debated four years in high school and four additional years in college (NPDA). I have spent the last five years coaching debate and judging nearly every other weekend.

Policy/LD - I have significant experience judging both events and am comfortable with all speeds, strategies and arguments.

Parli - teams should debate the resolution unless there are significant problems with it. I believe parli should primarily be a limited prep event, I do not often vote for canned cases that teams just try to apply to every resolution. I am comfortable with policy, value & fact debates and believe that as long as they provide group and stay topical, the aff gets to set the parameters for the round. Speed is not a problem as long as you are communicating. K's are welcome on the Neg and I treat them as any other argument. But every K (no matter how much you like it) does not fit in every round.

Kate Jones-Rickman Paradigm

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Cadi Kadlecek Paradigm

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Loveleen Kang Paradigm

8 rounds

Hello Everyone
I am a parent of an LD debater who has been debating for some time, but I am familiar with some of the norms in the community. I can flow some speed, but please do not go your fastest in front of me (I would say that a brisk pace is acceptable). Also, I am fine with non-traditional arguments (Theory Interps, Kritiks, CPs, etc.) but please do not read anything very dense because I probably will not understand it. All in all, if you make logical arguments I will understand them but you have to explain them clearly. For speaks, my average is about a 28.5 and I will work my way up or down from there based on if I think you are above or below average.

Katie Kantrowitz Paradigm

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Kelley Kirkpatrick Paradigm

8 rounds

I am the head coach of the Mount Vernon High School Debate Team.

I like critical argumentation but don't enjoy hearing the Cap K round after round after round AND, if you choose to run an alt of "embrace poetry" or "reject all written text", you had better fully embrace it. I love a well-developed T battle but rarely hear one AND I don't like reasonability as a standard. I love it when debaters run unique arguments that they truly believe and offer really high speaker points for this (I'm not inclined to give high speaks though. Someone like Kai might get a 29 on a good day.) Coke Zero is my beverage of choice. I believe that everything is debatable and hope to someday here a perm on T. Speed hasn't been a problem (until third round Berkeley this year) but I don't tell you if I need you to be more clear-- I feel it's your job to adapt. If you don't see me typing, you probably want to slow down. I like sassy, aggressive debaters who enjoy what they do but dislike sullen, mean students who don't really care-- an unpleasant attitude will damage your speaker points. I am willing to answer any other questions you may have.

* I am a bit worries about judging online... please plan on slowing down to avoid any issues.

Sure! Add me to the email chain:

PSA--- My debater Ausha is my favorite fave : ) but I probably shouldn't given her my tabroom info

Zack Kopecki Paradigm

8 rounds

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Sarah Krabill Paradigm

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Kevin Krouse Paradigm

Email Chain:


I participated in debate for 4 years in High School (policy and LD for Olathe East) and 3 years in College (Parli for Washburn University). This is my third year assisting Olathe East debate.


I can keep up for the most part. I will say clear twice in a speech if I feel like I am missing arguments, after that I get what I get. I'd like have speech docs shared with me but ultimately I evaluate the debate from what is on my flow, not in the speech doc. I think times in which I most often miss nuance that become relevant later in the debate are when teams are blazing through topicality and theory blocks at tops speeds.

Argument preferences:

In high school, I preferred traditional policy style debate. In college, I preferred more kritical arguments. I studied philosophy but don't assume I know everything about your author or their argument. Something that annoys me in these debates is when teams so caught up in buzzwords that they forget to extend warrants. In terms of judging, I'd rather you debate arguments you enjoy and are comfortable with as opposed to adapting to my preferences. A good debate on my least favorite argument is far more preferable than a bad debate on my favorite argument. I'm open to however you'd like to debate, but you must tell me how to evaluate the round and justify it. I'm not super prone to voting on Ks that do nothing or simply reject the aff. Justify your methodology.

K affs- I don't think an affirmative needs to defend the resolution if they can justify their advocacy/methodology appropriately. However I think being in the direction of the resolution makes the debate considerably easier for you.

I'm of the opinion that one good card can be more effective if utilized and analyzed effectively than 10 bad/mediocre cards. At the same time, I think a mediocre card utilized strategically can be more useful than a good card under-analysed.

Any other questions, feel free to ask before the round.

Mike Kyle Paradigm

8 rounds

Ask me in round.

Laura LaChappelle Paradigm

8 rounds

After discovering forensics my senior year of high school, I competed all four years of college (1990-1994) in Individual Events and in Parliamentary Debate, competing in out rounds at national tournaments in Impromptu, Informative Speaking, Prose Interpretation, and Dramatic Interpretation. I have a B.S. Ed in Speech Communication from Northern Arizona University and completed extensive graduate hours in Speech Communication at Prescott College. In 2008, I founded the Speech & Debate program at Jackson High School, a rural-fringe, Title I school south of Atlanta, where I coach PF, LD, and IEs.

I am conservatively minded, and tend to be rather old-school when adjudicating debate, looking for both argumentation and communication skills. I don't think PF should be full of jargon, nor do I think spreading should exist in LD. I believe that LD at its core should still be value debate.

Jason Langston Paradigm

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Eric Larsen Paradigm

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Rose Larsen Paradigm

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Anna Lasseter Paradigm

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-No spreading 

-I don't appreciate aggression 

-Always signpost, but no cliches 

-I don't recognize arguments composed of lengthy and convoluted link chains 

-I only call for evidence if I have reason to believe it is being misconstrued 

-Do not ask me what it takes to get a 30. A 30 means you were perfect. I have only given a 30 three times throughout my years of judging.

-I really appreciate a clear framework 


At the end of the round, the winner of the debate is the team that sustains their arguments, meaning that, I expect anything you want me to vote on to be in summary and final focus. I think that frontlines should be made as early as rebuttal (if speaking second), but will be accepted in summary. Lastly, weighing is very important to me. Please begin to weigh in summary, but seal the deal in final focus. Even if you are only winning on one argument, but you extend it into summary and final focus and explain why the impacts of that argument are the most important in that round; you will receive my ballot.  

James Lewis Paradigm

8 rounds

James Lewis
Affiliation: University School
About Me: I did four years of Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1996-2000. I attended Kenyon College, where I competed in one APDA (parliamentary debate) tournament and was a bit more successful on the NPDA circuit. I did graduate work in American history. I currently teach history at my alma mater University School and coach Lincoln-Douglas debate. I like the philosophy that I know, but most of what I know about philosophy is largely from a historical angle. I'm really fascinated by constitutional law and currently have Supreme Court oral arguments downloaded on my ITunes account.

I am the co-founder/assistant director/Head LD instructor at Classic Debate Camp at Kenyon College in Ohio. We specialize in helping to prepare debaters to succeed on their local and state circuits and at the NSDA national tournament. None of our debaters go on to compete at TOC.

Judging Philosophy:
I like not having to make a decision on my own about who won the round. Both debaters should prioritize a) giving me a standard (call it a criterion/standard/argument meter, I don't care) which I can use to decide who won the round and b) applying that standard to the arguments they have made in the round. (I believe the kids call those "impacts")

I believe that ultimately the purpose of competitive debate is to communicate and persuade. I tend to favor debaters who more effectively communicate their ideas and do a better job of presenting a coherent rationale as to why I should uphold their positions. In the end, my vision of a good debater is one who can take their opponents’ strongest arguments, treat them fairly and still show why their position is the more valid position. I frown on (but I need to be told why I should vote down) gimmicky arguments.

Obviously the use of evidence is important in that it substantiates analysis, arguments and conclusions. But I place a very high premium on analysis and argumentation. I don’t consider whether your opponent attacks every single “card” (Honestly, I don't flow every card you mention in your case.) Use evidence as a tool AND don’t let it obscure your own reasoning. Debate is about students debating each other, not presenting expert testimony.

I prefer debaters who speak at a more deliberate pace, rather than trying to cram a bunch of ideas down my throat. (Plus, its often early and I almost never eat breakfast. Don't make me hate life more than I already am disposed to at 8 AM) With that said, I don’t hold it against debaters who tend towards a faster delivery and try my best to keep up on the flow and I daresay that I usually can do it pretty well. If I don’t hear an argument because you have sped through it, it won’t go on the flow. I won't feel bad about it either.

Finally, I think it's really important that you actually research, write cases about and debate the actual resolution. I don't have much interest in hearing debate about debate theory. I don't have much sympathy for debaters that try to morph the debate round into a discussion of your chosen mode of oppression that isn't relevant to the resolution. High school debate rounds are not going to solve social problems. Don't try to convince me that they will and that giving you a win has anything to do with solving the -ism of your choosing. You won't succeed.

Ryan Lovell Paradigm

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Patton Lowell Paradigm

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Gary Luke Paradigm

8 rounds

I focus on the particular Values being presented, applied and defended.  I expect all arguments to be responded to.  I'm interested in the clash of ideas on cross-ex and rebuttal.  Clear and effective communication is appreciated.

Jeanne Malone Paradigm

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Michael Marcus Paradigm

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Becca Marks Paradigm

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Updated for Emory 2020

If you have questions about anything here, just ask!


-I don't have a preference between early/mid/late round speeches - just give the best speech. I evaluate each speech for the role it needs to serve in the round. So, if you're sitting on a neg and we go to a 2-minute recess because you're insistent on doing a crystallization speech and no one else has a neg, I'll be annoyed. If you're able to show me multiple types of speeches throughout the session (especially if I'm the parli), that's great.

-Expectations for authorship/sponsorship/1st aff: problem/solution; identify a framework/burden/scope to evaluate debate; have a central narrative

-Expectations for mid-round speech: Refute; have a central narrative

-Expectations for late speech: Refute & boil the debate down to a main issue or 2; have a central narrative

-Have a clear, specific, and offensive thesis coming out of the introduction.

-Have clear warrants; if they stem from the legislation directly, even better. Particularly in mid/late speeches, weighing/clash is super important.

-No rehash.

-Neg speeches can't say the leg is bad because it doesn't do something unless that thing is mutually exclusive with the action of the legislation; if the leg is that we should all eat more bananas and your neg is no we should eat more apples, unless you can prove that we can't eat apples AND bananas the point doesn't work. I also don't love points about complacency - they generally feel stock to me. Both of these types of points (do x not y; complacency) feel like avoidance of engaging with the actual legislation - neg speeches must demonstrate the inherent harm(s) of passing.

-No stock intros/conclusions. I like an attention-grabbing intro of some kind and when the conclusion ties a bow with the opening.

-I don't have a preference for being in the simulation or avoiding it. If you start talking about your constituents and your office in D.C., I will likely roll my eyes. On the other hand, talking about your current high school Bio class doesn't work either.

-Stay involved throughout the entire session. If you give an A+ speech but ask zero questions, you'll get ranked below an A- speech and strong, well-spaced questions.

-I will rank you as the PO if you're a strong PO (fast & efficient, knowledgeable about RR, clear command of chamber). Being the PO is neither a guarantee of a rank nor of a drop for me - if you do an A job as the PO, it'll be ranked the same as if you did an A job as a speaker.


-I don't flow cross; if you want me to evaluate something out of CX, you need to mention it in a later speech.

-If you want me to evaluate something from FF, it also needs to appear in the summary.

-Make sure to identify moments of clash. Don't let the two ships just pass in the night; tell me where the boats crash and why yours stays afloat.

-Make sure to weigh arguments. Tell me what the key points of the debate are so that I don't have to determine them myself.

-I won't make a decision based on politeness, but being excessively rude/abrasive in cross annoys me and will negatively impact your speaker points.

-Unless there's true abuse in the round, I won't vote on theory.

Aaron Marshall Paradigm

8 rounds

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Alison McBee Paradigm

8 rounds

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Stephen McClanahan Paradigm

8 rounds

Debate through high school (2009-2013), primarily Lincoln Douglas

Coach of the Silverton High School team (2015-2019)


You can pick up cheap heat from dropped defense and impact out into oblivion - which, admittedly, can make the difference - but if I feel you're being abusive impacting out, I have no problem saying so on ballot.

Specificity is key. I want to see pin-point accuracy in the line-by-line; so much of debate skill is economy of ideas, and I want to see you use what matters. Tell me exactly in the card where you are at all times; just that little bit of extra time keeps us all - including yourself - on track for the offense you're generating. If you're being intentionally vague to cover, you should have considered dropping the point.

Personal Notes

Any case/k/etc that requires you to take my laptop to me is an easy win for your opponent. If you follow through with Baudrillard and take it without asking, I will listen, but the second I get my laptop I sign the ballot.

Meaghan McDowell Paradigm

8 rounds

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Bro. John McGrory Paradigm

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Brittanie McNeil Paradigm

8 rounds

Background info: Former Policy Debater (Ohio), History, Government and Econ Teacher (NC), American History Professor (NC) BA in History and Poli sci, MA in American History (emphasis on Women's history).

I'm pretty easy going and do not mind spreading so long as you are clearly speaking when doing it. Don't mumble. Feel free to ask more when you come into the room.

Angelica Mercado Paradigm

8 rounds

I've debated/been involved with debate for about 10 years now. I debated for Fremont Senior High School in Fremont, NE for 4 years mostly Policy and Public Forum, but did compete in other events throughout the years. I eventually did some coaching for O Gorman High School in Sioux Falls, SD before transitioning to Washington High School also in Sioux Falls, where I am currently assistant debate coach.

For Policy, I was a Kritikal/performance debater, so I tend to favor K arguments/cases as a judge, but due to K's not being ran and accepted in the state of SD, I now tend to lean more Tabula Rasa. I more often than not, prefer the side of the debate that offers the most education in round. I usually do not vote for T's unless you can do some hefty convincing, or the Affirmative fails to address/attack it and the T is reasonable.

As for some general points: I am fond of 'role of the ballots' and impact calcs, and of course k arguments, however I do not oppose your traditional/policymaker cases/arguments. Tag-team cross x is fine with me as well as speed as long as you are clear. Give me some good clash and all is good.

Do not prep/steal prep time while you are "flashing cards/cases" it is very obvious and if it is frequent, I will dock you speaker points. I am also not fond of 'spreading' for no good reason other than to be a jerk. I prefer less arguments that are effective over general, redundant cards used as a scare tactic.

I will not take prep time for you to flash/share evidence but please do your best to do it without wasting too much time

I am a laid-back judge and am willing to listen to all arguments as long as they are respectful and well thought out. Remember to have fun!

Jesse Meyer Paradigm

8 rounds

Updated for Fall 2019.- Yes, include me on any email chain.

I am currently an assistant PF debate coach at Iowa City West HS. I am also under contract by the NSDA to produce topic analysis packets and advanced briefs for LD, PF, and Biq Questions. I am also an instructor with Global Academy Commons, an organization that has partnered with NSDA China to bring speech and debate education, public speaking, and topic prep to students in East Asia. In my free time, I play Magic: The Gathering and tab debate tournaments freelance. I am the recipient of the Donald Crabtree Service Award, 2 diamond coach (pending April 2020), and was the state of Iowa's Coach of the Year in 2015.

I say all of this not to impress people. I'm way too old to care about that. I say this to point out one thing: I've dedicated my life to speech and debate. Since I was 14, this activity was a place where I could go to find people that cared about the same things as me and who were like me. No matter how bad of a day I was having, I could go to practice and everything would be ok. This is what debate is to me, and this is what I have worked towards since I became a coach. So it upsets and angers me when I see people that try to win debate rounds by making the world a worst place for others. There is a difference between being competitive and being a jerk. I've had to sit with students who were in tears because they were mistreated because they were women, I've had people quit the team because they were harassed because of their religion, and I've had to ask competitors to not use racial slurs in round. And to be honest, I am tired of it. So if your All Star Tournament Champion strategy revolves around how unconformable you can make your opponent, strike me.

With that being stated, here is how I view arguments.

In LD, I prefer a value and criterion, even if you are going non traditional in your case structure. I don't care if you are traditional, progressive, critical, or performative. I've judges and coached all types and I've voted for all types too. What I care about more is the topic hook you use to get your arguments to the relationship of the topic. If I can't find a clear link, if one isn't established, or if you can't articulate one, I'm going to have a really hard time voting for you.

I weight impacts. This is a holdover from my old college policy days. Clearly extend impacts and weight them. I view the value and criterion as lens for which I prioritize types of impacts. Just winning a value isn't enough to wind the round if you don't have anything that impacts back to it.

If you run a CP, the aff should perm. Perms are tests of competition. Most will still link to the DA so the neg should make that arg. The more unique the CP, the better. CP's should solve at least some impacts of the aff.

If you run a K, throwing around buzz words like "discourse, praxis, holistic, traversing X, or anything specific to the K" without explaining what those mean in the round will lower your speaker points. To me, you are just reading what the cards you found in the policy backfile said. Also, finding unique links to more generic K's, like cap or biopower, will be beneficial in how I view the round. But also note that on some topics, the K you love just might not work. Don't try to force it. A good aff needs to perm. Perm's on K debates tend to solve their offense. I do not like links of omission.

Case debate- Love it.

Theory- Do not love it. When I was in my 20's, I didn't mind theory, but now, the thought of people speed reading or even normal reading theory shells at each other makes me fear for my 50 minutes in round. If theory is justified, I will vote on it but there is a big barrier to what I count as justified. I need to see clear in round abuse. In lue of that, the potential abuse story needs to be absolutely 100% on point. This means that a theory shell that is zipped through in 10 seconds will not be getting my vote. No questions asked. Do the work because I don't do the work for you. Oh, I will not vote on disclosure theory. Disclosing probably is good but I do not require it and unless the tournament does, I don't see a reason to punish the debaters for not doing this.

Reformative arguments- I coached kids on these arguments and I've voted for them too. The thing is that because I don't see them often I have the reputation of not liking them. This creates a negative feedback loop so I never see them and so on... I'll vote for them but you need to have a topic hook and some justification or solvency mech for your performance. I will also be 100% honest because I owe it to the debaters who do this style of debate and who have put in so much time to get it right, I'm probably a midrange judge on this. At large bid tournaments there are probably judges that are better versed in the lit base who can give you more beneficial pointers.

PF Debate

Unless told otherwise, I use the pilot rules as established by the NSDA.

I hold evidence to a high standard. I love paraphrasing but if called out, you better be able to justify what you said.

If I call for a card, don't hand me a pdf that is 40 pages long. I will not look for it. I want it found for me. If you expect me to find it, I will drop the card.

I am still getting on board with pf disclosure. I am not the biggest fan as of now. I can see the educational arguments for it but it also runs counter to the basis for the event. I do not require teams to share cases before round and arguments in round as to why not sharing put you at a disadvantage won't get you ground.

I appreciate unique frameworks.

This event is not policy. I don't drop teams for speed or reading card after card after card but I will dock speaker points.

I weight impacts. But with this stipulation; I am not a fan of extinction impacts in pf. I think it goes a bit too far to the policy side of things. Use your framework to tell me how to prioritize the impacts.

Treat others with respect. I will drop people for being intentionally horrible to your opponents in round. Remember, there is a way to be competitive without being a jerk.

Should also go without saying but be nice to your partner too. Treat them as an equal. They get the W the same as you.

Policy- Honestly, I kind of used the majority of what I wanted to say in the LD section since they are so similar nowadays.

T- Love it. Won most of my college neg rounds on it. Be very clear on the interp and standards. If you go for it, only go for it. Should be the only argument in the 2NR.

Todd Michael Paradigm

8 rounds

I am an experienced PF and Policy Judge, I can handle above average speed and enjoy respective clash.

Lynn Miller Paradigm

8 rounds

Lynn A. Miller
Derby High School
Derby, Kansas

Debate Experience:
4 Years High School (1980s)
3 Years College - CEDA and NDT (circa 1990s - old guy!)
Coaching: Current head coach of Derby High School and former head coach of Kapaun Mount Carmel High School.
Updated: August 17, 2016

I have been around for a long time and I have remained progressive in my coaching and views on debate. I am fine with theory and/or non-traditional debate strategies, but I will try to outline some predispositions.

I will vote on it and I think it is still an issue. I prefer CI but teams need to explain their interpretation and why it is better. I prefer to see some link that indicates a loss of strategic ground for the negative. I may be persuaded by potential abuse, but prefer some in-round loss of ground or strategic disadvantage.

I honestly think clash is very important. Teams who try to frame the debate in ways in which ground is extremely limited or non-existent for their opponent tend to lose my ballot when this is properly debated. I evaluate this on the flow based on what was presented in the round, not what I think about the position. I am not persuaded by FW that says Ks are bad/illegitimate - they are part of debate get over it!

Not particularly fond of conditions CP or plan + CP positions. Fairly open to anything else, but CP solves better is not a net benefit!

I have read some literature, coached some successful K teams, open to hearing whatever you like, but don't expect me to vote on (or catch) K buzz words and vote because you said something that sounds cool. K teams have a higher threshold for me in establishing a link and point of clash with opponents. Just because someone told you, "say this phrase and you will win" probably won't work with me. However, a solid K position with clear link/impact/relevance will get my ballot if well defended.

I tend to give some risk to even sketch link stories. That works for both aff and neg. Focus on timeframe and magnitude for me.

Again, I tend to give the aff some risk of solvency usually. I expect both teams to do solid impact calc and weigh everything in the round.

Bottom-line - I like debate which for me means clash. Not too concerned about what you are presenting, but I am concerned that a debate happens and I can make a decision based on how arguments are presented and who best explains why they should win. In the few instances where teams have been disappointed with my decision it usually revolves around what they "thought" they said in the round and what I "heard" in the round. I will not do work for you, so explanation trumps reading a ton of cards in most of my decisions. Any more questions, just ask me.  


Rob Moeny Paradigm

8 rounds

I love World Schools Debate and have been coaching the South Oregon teams since NSDA started hosting it at the National Tournament. I believe you should adapt to the style you are given, so please consider what the expectations of this activity are before you enter into the round. Beyond the generic expectations of WSD, here are the things I'm specifically looking for:

A collegial atmosphere: Debate is about more then the win-loss record. Respect your opponents and the activity.

A broader world view: WSD asks us to join the community of nations and debate in a less US-centric model. That said, this year's topics are very US based at times. I will consider that when weighing your ability to adapt to me expectations.

Logical, well-supported arguments: You do not need to overwhelm me with evidence, but I do expect to hear some. The Tag,Card/Tag,Card approach is not going to win my ballot. Be sure you explain your ideas and listen to each other's evidence.

Good luck, and let's have a great round.

Jennifer Morgan Paradigm

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Traci Mumm Paradigm

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Scott Murray Paradigm

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Katherine Muse Paradigm

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David Nagel Paradigm

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Erick Nguyen Paradigm

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Aly Nordwall Paradigm

8 rounds

I'm looking for well-structured arguments supported by evidence and layered with solid analysis. Stating your point is nice but it's meaningless unless you can back yourself up with examples and analysis. I also see clash as a vital component of this, or any, debate. If your opposing team has made an argument against your point then address that argument in your next speech. Ignoring your opponent's argument weakens your argument. Be sure you take time within your speeches to point out their logical flaws and strategic errors. Please remember this is World Schools, not US schools; bring up examples from other nations to better support your argument.

Natasha Nuerge Paradigm

8 rounds

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Zach Onstot Paradigm

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Amanda Parker Paradigm

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Vasavi Pasumarti Paradigm

8 rounds

Lay parent judge.

Gary Peters Paradigm

I enjoy clash! I expect debaters to be respectable; however, I love students who make my flow easy to follow. Although the standards: inherent and solvency, I often need the plan to be solid and well- thought out. Think outside the box. Explain all details. Think quickly. I am not a topicalit voting judge.

Tammie Peters Paradigm

8 rounds

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Erik Pielstick Paradigm

8 rounds

Erik Pielstick – Los Osos High School

(Former LD debater, long-time debate judge, Long-time high school debate coach)

Parliamentary Debate Paradigm

Parli is intended to be a limited preparation debate on topics of current events and/or common knowledge. Therefore I would view it as unfair for a team to present a case on either the Government or Opposition side which cannot be refuted by arguments drawn from common knowledge or arguments that one would have been expected to have done at least a minimal amount of research on during prep time if the topic is very specific.

The Government team has the responsibility of presenting a debatable case.

The opposition team needs to respond to the Government case. In most cases I would not accept kritik of the resolution as a response. DEBATE THE RESOLUTION THAT YOU WERE PRESENTED WITH!

Parli should not involve spreading because it is not a prepared event. You can speak quickly (180 - 220 wpm) but you should be clear. Speed should never be used as a strategy in the round. I will not tell you if you are going too fast. If I didn't understand an argument I can't vote on it. It doesn't matter if my inability to understand you is because you are going too fast or just making incoherent arguments at a leisurely pace. It is never my responsibility to tell you during the round that I can't understand your arguments.

Parli is not policy debate and it is not LD. Don't try to make it about reading evidence. I will vote based on the arguments presented in the round, and how effectively those arguments were upheld or refuted. Good refutation can be based on logic and reasoning. Out-think, out-argue, out-debate your opponent. So, yeah, I'm old-school. Deal with it!

Lincoln Douglas Debate Paradigm

I value cleverness, wit, and humor.

That said, your case can be unique and clever, but there is a fine line between clever and ridiculous, and between unique and abusive. I can’t say where that line is, but I know it when I see it.

Affirmative debater should establish a framework that makes sense. Most debaters go with the “value”/“value criterion” format, but it could probably be a cost-benefit debate, or some other standard for me to judge the debate. I want to see clash. The negative debater could establish the debate as a clash of competing values, a clash of criteria for the same value, or a clash over whether affirming or negating best upholds aff value with the neg offering no value of their own.

The affirmative wins by upholding the resolution. The negative wins by proving the resolution to be untrue in a general sense, or by attacking the affirmative's arguments point by point. I generally look to the value or framework first, then to contentions. Arguments must be warranted, but in LD good philosophy can provide a warrant. Respond to everything. I will accept sound logic and reasoning as a response.

I listen well and can keep up aurally with a fast delivery (200wpm), but I have trouble flowing when someone is spreading. If you want me to keep track of your arguments don’t spread. I won’t penalize excessive speed with my ballot unless it is used as a strategy in the round against someone who is not able to keep up. Debate is a communicative activity - both debaters need to be able to understand each other, and I need to be able to understand the debate. No, I will not tell you if you're going too fast. If I didn't understand an argument I can't vote on it. It doesn't matter if my inability to understand you is because you are going too fast or just making incoherent arguments at a leisurely pace. It is never my responsibility to tell you during the round that I can't understand your arguments. Ultimately, I’m old-school. I debated LD in the 80s and I prefer debaters who can win without spreading.

A good cross examination really impresses me. I tend to award high speaks to great cross examinations, cross examination responses may be part of my flow.

I generally don’t like theory arguments, but in rare cases I would vote for a well-reasoned theory or abuse argument. Fairness is a voting issue.

I generally dislike kritiks in LD. A committee of very smart people spent a lot of time and energy writing the resolution. You should debate the resolution.

Also, I HATE policy arguments in LD. LD was created as a value-based alternative to policy debate. The NSDA and CHSSA, still to this day, describe LD as a debate of values and/or questions of justice and morality. CHSSA actually went so far as to make it a violation of the rules to run a plan or counterplan in a CHSSA event. If someone wants to run a plan they should learn to get along better with others, find a partner, and do Policy Debate.

Finish with clear, concise voting issues. Talk me through the flow. Tell me why you win.

Finally, debate is intellectual/verbal combat. Go for the kill. Leave your opponent’s case a smoldering pile of rubble, but be NICE about it. I don’t want any rude, disrespectful behavior, or bad language. Keep me interested, I want to entertained.

Micheal Poe Paradigm

8 rounds

Mr. Poe is a high school Spanish teacher who has judged at basically every local Massachusetts tournament ever.

  • Does he flow (most crucial question): sometimes
  • Sitting versus standing in cross: he wanted me to include that he “has no preference”

  • Extending defense in first summary: not needed in either summary (as long as it’s been said before he says it’s “fair game”) (he also doesn’t know what this term means)

  • Going new in the two: just because he might not catch it doesn’t mean you should do it

  • Kicking out of turns: he probably finds it unpersuasive

  • Frontlining in second rebuttal y/n: he doesn’t care (asked about it, and he also doesn’t know what the word “frontline” means)

  • Weighing: the sooner the better (you can start in rebuttal)

  • Speed: he says “medium speed” but I think that means lay judge level

  • Extensions: you need to extend card context not just the author and implicate it in the context of the round

  • Types of argument: tech > truth

  • Progressive args: obviously not

  • Speaker points: historical precedent - he will drop you with 25s regardless of your argumentation if you are a) rude and/or b) yelling

    • Autodrop for running racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted arguments

  • Humor: good (direct quote: “so long as it adds something to the round”)

  • Disclosure after the round: no guaruntees

Dalton Powell Paradigm

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Matt Prevedel Paradigm

8 rounds

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Robert Prichard(S) Paradigm

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Ciara Pritschet Paradigm

8 rounds

1: In LD, the value and criterion is important, and should be relevant throughout the round

2: Speed is ineffective if I can't understand what is being said

3: Avoid an over-abundance of jargon.

Chryste Psik Paradigm

8 rounds

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Piper Ragland Paradigm

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Mallory Raugewitz Paradigm

8 rounds

I competed in policy debate for 3 years in high school and this is my 5th year coaching policy.

Language matters to me. I will dock your speaker points or even vote you down for racism, sexism, ableism, etc. regardless of the outcome of the round. I don't tolerate rudeness and am not impressed by competitors who attempt to humiliate others. Be kind.

Give me a content warning if you are going to read domestic/sexual violence content - if you don't, you risk disrupting my ability to focus on your arguments.

I am a tab ras judge but probably default to policymaker if I'm not given framework to evaluate the round. If you don't answer framework, you will probably lose. I'll evaluate the round the way you tell me to.

I will listen to pretty much anything you want, and can handle moderate to high speed. If you are worried about speed, slow your tags and things will probably be fine. Don't spread to push the other team out - that's bad for debate and it's also just rude.

I'm fine listening to the K or critical AFFs, but if you can't explain it I probably won't vote on it - I may or may not be familiar with your lit ahead of time. Assume I'm not, and give strong analysis. If you are running the K only as a "gotcha" I will not be impressed and probably won't vote on it. Don't co-opt others' narratives in order to win debates (if you're white, don't run anti-blackness, etc.).

I like theory args but I won't vote on theory based on strictly reading some blocks. Do the work.

I like specific links on disads and specific solvency on CPs but I will listen to generic args. Don't neglect the impact debate. It would take a lot (basically proven, in-round abuse) to get me to vote on condo bad.

T is my favorite argument of all time and I love love love a good T debate. I really hate voting on reasonability (but I have) and will default to competing interpretations. That said, I will listen to everything and make a careful decision, so do the work on the flow. The standards debate is especially key for me.

In general, I am not a fan of teams that try to bludgeon their opponents. If you are winning, I will know that. It is never necessary to treat others poorly to win.

Questions? Ask!

Peter Rehani Paradigm

8 rounds

Peter Rehani

UPDATED 11/15/19: Clarified evidence policy and paradigm comprehension reward.

UPDATED 5/25/19 for NCFL NATIONALS SPECIFICALLY: Regarding prep time, I will allow 10 seconds for teams to find cards under the requester’s prep time; after that, I will consider it an abuse of prep time and therefore it will not count.

PF TLDR: Heavily flow based judge. My biggest voters rely on extensions and clash in the round. Weigh and define the voters in the final focus. If you have a framework, I expect you to explain why you win under that framework (similarly, if your opponent's provide a framework, weigh under that too). Signpost. Signpost. Signpost.

Congress TLDR: I try to weigh speaking style equally for debate--for debate, I look for clash, extension, and clear reference back to previous speakers. Avoid rehash at all costs, else you will end up on the bottom of my ballot. Speak clearly and ensure that your speeches are clear and well structured.

I strongly encourage you to read this thoroughly. PLEASE ASK ME BEFORE THE ROUND IF SOMETHING IS UNCLEAR TO YOU. I will gladly answer any questions before the round (or after the round). I will try my absolute best to justify my decisions to you (debaters!) during PF disclosure, and if I'm not communicating in a way that you understand, it is YOUR responsibility speak up and let me know.

PF Paradigm:

  • If the tournament doesn't explicitly disallow plans and both teams agree before the round to allow plans, feel free to run a plan-based debate if the topic calls for it. I find it more educational.
  • In the case of an evidence question being called, I default to tournament rules; barring specific guidelines from the tournament (if tournaments require prep to be run), my policy is to begin prep as soon as the opposing team provides the exact location of the reference. All citations should include dates. Paraphrasing is a realistic way to get more evidence on the flow, but you shouldn't be using evidence as your argument -- they are there to supplement and support your arguments. Otherwise I default to not running prep for evidence exchange.
  • If it's not in the final focus, it's not a voter.
  • I appreciate effective crossfire, however I don't flow it unless you explicitly tell me to write something down, like a specific concession (hint: you should do this, explicitly say "write that down").
  • I am inclined to reward good communication with speaker points and a mind more receptive to your arguments.
  • Outside of the fact that the 2nd overall speech is allowed to just read case, I expect FULL case/off-case coverage in EVERY speech starting with the 2nd rebuttal (4th overall speech) -- i.e. extend everything that you want weighed. The 1st rebuttal (3rd overall speech) doesn't need to extend case -- they just need to refute the opposing case.
  • Exception to the above: Framework. If you're speaking second, don't wait until 15 minutes into the round to tell me your framework. You're obligated to make those arguments in case. I vastly prefer to see framework at the top of all speeches, as it provides structure and a lens to understand your arguments--if you wait 1:30 into summary to discuss framework, it's likely that I'll lose it on the flow.
  • For rebuttal, my general preference for the sake of sanity in organization is concise, top down, line by line responses. I feel that this is often the best way to ensure that you get through everything in the case. Rebuttal does not have to repeat everything, but should provide organized responses. Please signpost.
  • I am very likely not the judge you want if you're running a non-canonical strategy, like a "kritik". I am an engineer and I have a fairly rigid policymaker paradigm.
  • I don't flow anything called an "overview". Overviews are heuristic explanations to help me make sense of the round. Please don't expect to generate offense off of an overview.
  • I'm fine if you'd like to time yourselves with an alarm; however, for the sake of common courtesy, please turn this off if you plan to time your opponents.
  • I am inclined to give bonus speaker points if I see an effort to "read me" as a judge, even if you read me wrong. Cite my paradigm if you need to. Learning to figure out your audience is a crucial life skill. On a related note: if you use the secret word 'lobster' in your speech, I will give you and your partner a metaphorical 0.5 extra speaker points, since it means you read my philosophy thoroughly. This applies to LD too.
  • I generally prefer debates I'd be able to show to a school administrator and have them be impressed by the activity rather than offended or scared.
  • Please give me voter issues in the final focus. Weigh if at all possible. When I weigh for you, hell breaks loose. I cannot stress this enough.

Congress Paradigm:

  • I try to judge congressional debate through as balanced a lens as possible--this means I tend to value speaking quality equally to the quality of your debate abilities.
  • Typically, the biggest reason that I knock speakers down comes from non-original arguments/causing rehash in the debate. I feel that this decreases the quality of the debate and fundamentally mitigates the educational benefits of congressional debate.
  • Regarding roleplay of a true Congress, I think it adds a bit of humor to the debate and leads to more engaged speakers.
  • On the note of questioning, I prefer when students keep questions as concise as possible to avoid burying the speaker in a mountain of jargon.
  • Clash and extension (similar to my PF paradigm) are my biggest factors on the debate side--please please please introduce clash and cite the speaker that you are extending or clashing. It helps to follow the flow of the argument as you speak, and it demonstrates you're actually paying attention.
  • The later you speak in cycle, the more clash I expect to see and I judge on that metric. Similarly, I strongly dislike having 2 speeches on the same side, as it often leads to rehash. If you are speaking for the second time on the same bill, I look more closely for unique arguments and extended clash, and tend to judge these speeches slightly more harshly.
  • Extension of questioning time often leads to less speeches getting in, and ultimately means that less people get a chance to speak. For this reason, I'm typically opposed to having students extend their questioning periods.
  • For later cycle, I don't mind crystallization speeches but I do expect to see weighing and clear reference back to previous speakers.
  • As stated above, your evidence is not your argument--It serves to support your argument.
  • Speaking: gestures and clear movements add to structure and to the quality of your speech. Gesturing for the sake of gesturing, and non directed movements do not. I tend to prefer when speakers keep it simple with the style instead of over-complicating everything.
  • For authorships, sponsorships, and first negs, I tend to look at fluency breaks and time more critically, as these are speeches that should be well rehearsed ahead of time.
  • I view a logical argument that flows well to be on par with literal evidence from a perspective of supporting your arguments. This means that 1-you shouldn't be afraid to use logic in your speeches and 2-evidence debates will not hold up for me.

Bre Roberts Paradigm

8 rounds

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Mike Robinson Paradigm

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Christopher Rogers Paradigm

8 rounds

I'm not impressed by sophistry.


General Info

LD Paradigm

PF Paradigm

World Schools Paradigm

General Dislikes/Notes

Theory Issues

General Info

Started Judging: 2008

Started Coaching: 2010

Events Coached: LD, PF, Policy, Extemp, World Schools (WS go to bottom of paradigm for WS standards)

Delivery: I don't want emails, flash drives, or printed copies. This is a speaking event and I plan to judge your argument based on your delivery of your case and rebuttals. I can handle fast talking, but no longer try to keep up with spreading. There is no educational merit, and many downsides, to encouraging students to speak at vastly accelerated paces.

Cross (excluding World Schools): I expect debaters to be polite during cross, but do not consider interruptions to be impolite. I understand cross time is limited and if you have the information you want and wish to move on to another question I understand.

RFD - If the tournament allows it, I will be happy to give my decision and discuss as long as competitors want/tournament time allows. If the tournament doesn't allow it, I will not disclose. If you try to get me to disclose at a tournament that doesn't allow disclosure I will take points away from you.

LD Paradigm

Overview: LD is a moral debate that is meant to look at the underlying value of an issue. I favor a broad based approach that looks at the totality of the resolution vs. cases that over-focus on single examples or instances.

Values: I expect both debaters to have a value/standard/etc that clarifies the moral principle they are pushing for. Broadly speaking, I recognize values as automatic principles that don't need additional defense. If you tell me the most important moral issue is ensuring liberty/equality/artistic expression/self-actualization, I'll accept it as good. Having a sentence or two to explain the value/why you think it is important can be very helpful, but I don't need a long defense of the concept.

It is very hard, though not impossible, to disprove a value during a debate. Generally I expect to see the debate be about whether each side actually accomplishes the value they have outlined, not whether the value is morally good (the latter question becomes very hard for any person to judge without bringing their personal feelings into the debate).

Burden: Each side in LD has an equal burden. There is no Aff presumption that they get to set the terms, nor is there any Aff burden that they have to prove more than the Neg.

Flow: While I expect debaters to argue on the flow structure, it should not be as strict as policy or pf because you do not have as many opportunities to get to speak. I'm more looking to the upholding of the central principle (value) then whether debaters covered every contention.

Plans: I don't want to hear a plan and they usually don't make sense within the context of LD. That said, there are two very different types of plans that come up.

Broad explanations: Presume the motion: 'The US should end fossil fuel subsidies.' If the plan was that that US would end all payments to fossil fuel companies over the next five years, that would be fine. That's a common sense interpretation of what the motion is asking. I consider that more of an observation on the burdens of the resolution.

Narrow Plans: Taking the above motion, if the plan was 'the US will end payments to coal companies', to me that would be a bad plan. The Aff in this instance is trying to unfairly narrow the debate. The resolution's burden was end fossil fuel subsidies, not to end one type of fossil fuel subsidies. In such an example if the Neg said the Aff hadn't upheld the resolution, I'd almost certainly agree.

Both sides in a debate have an obligation to argue the entirety of the motion. Single, narrow examples on either side that don't relate to a broader principle are not enough to prove your side is correct.

PF Paradigm

PF is meant to be delivered to a general audience, not to people experienced with debate. Thus I will try to judge it as who I believe did better communicating to a general audience. Please try to keep debate jargon to a minimum.

Final Focus is meant to narrow down the debate and explain the most important issues. It should be between 1 and 3 points. A final focus should not try to explain every single contention.

World Schools Paradigm

Scoring - My ultimate decision will be based on the final score. Even if I feel like a certain team won, if the points say otherwise, I decide on the points. Unless I hear differently at judge instructions my scoring standard is -

68 - 70: A fine speech. This was either a performance that was neither particularly good nor bad, or had some really good moments mixed with some really bad moments.

64 - 67: A speech below standard. This range doesn't say that a speaker gave a bad speech, just that the speech was either underwhelming or had some problems.

71 - 75: A great speech. The speaker hit good points, spoke well, used their time well, etc.

Above a 75 is reserved for truly amazing speeches. On a level of I ran out of the room to tell other people how amazing it was.

Below 64 is reserved for a speech with serious mistakes. The most likely is a speech that is off topic/framework and thus suffers on the content and strategy score.

What I'm looking for in each area:

Content - Logic, analysis, explanation, and evidence. Good content should be backed up by logic and explanation, but also thoroughly explained for how it helps your side. Just reading an opinion, even of an expert, on an issue isn't enough; it needs to be explained and tied to the overall argument.

Style - This is scored just like an oratory. I look for things like eye contact, understandable speed, clarity, emphasis through tone/volume changes or pauses to call emphasis to key points, and emotion and interest. Humor and/or emotional intensity may gain points if appropriate for the motion.

Strategy - Was the speech well put together? Did the speaker bring the audience in with a hook? Was time well spent on the key issue, or where minor portions of the debate given too much attention? Did the speaker belabor arguments he/she had already won?

POIs - I expect a speaker to take between two and three POIs during his/her speech. These should be spread throughout the speech. If the first two are taken, and all others ignored, I will not count that as taking a good number of POIs.

If only one POI is taken I will give a slight penalty. If zero POIs are taken that will get a major penalty.

Taken excessive POIs will hurt the strategy score. The only exception to this is if the speaker is winning (improving their side) when taking POIs - in that case continuing to take POIs is acceptable.

POI Exceptions to the Above

If a team is not trying to ask their opponent POIs, or asking very infrequently, then obviously the requirement to take two to three disappears.

POIs should be no longer than 15 seconds. That is the absolute max amount of time I think you have a right to take from an opponent. The speaker has the right to cut the POI off at any point and answer/continue.

Barraging - I think it is reasonable to stand 12 to 15 times during an opponent's speech (this is for the entire opposing team). Even going up to 20 could be acceptable. More than that though and you are taking away from the opponent's right to give a speech.

POI method - If the speaker can see the opponents I would like POIs to be offered by standing (presuming everyone on the team is able to do so) until either called on or told to sit down (verbally or by hand motion, either is okay). If the speaker cannot see, or does not see, the person standing, a brief interjection, such as 'POI' is acceptable. I do not like POIs that begin to talk immediately as they stand and will likely penalize it.

I will take away/give up to 2 points per speaker based on quality of POIs. A bad POI is one that the opponent is able to use to strengthen their own case or just a waste of time. A good POI strengthens the case of the deliverer or points to a weakness in the opponent's argument.

Framework/Terms of Debate - The prop has the right to set the framework for the debate. I define framework as an explanation of what the motion means, what, if any, specific burdens exist, what, if any, things are trying to be achieved, and what, if any, mechanism is being used (if any of those are not being done, because they don't need to be, you don't need to tell me, I'll understand). This framework should be fair and reasonable.

Fair - Does it give both teams an equal chance to win. If you try to define the debate in a way that substantially benefits your team, even if all your definitions are correct/unchallenged, you will lose.

Reasonable - Was this framework something that a person would consider the motion to mean upon hearing it? This framework should be based more on a common understanding of the words, not strict dictionary definitions.

Example - If the motion was 'THBT the death penalty is a just punishment for heinous crimes' and the prop tried to argue that they only had to show a single example, that would be a bad framework. It's not fair to the opposition and no person who was asked that motion would think they were being asked about a single hypothetical instance. If the proposition defined it as 'only in cases of premeditated murder' or 'for war crimes or crimes against humanity', either of those would most likely be fair.

Challenging Framework - If you believe the framework is unfair/abusive/unreasonable, you may challenge it. If you want to make a slight adjustment/clarification/addition you may also do that, but here I am focusing on a challenge to the entire framework proposed.

Alternative - You must offer an alternative framework. This must conform to the above standards of fair and reasonable.

First Thing - The challenge to the framework must be the first thing in the speech. If the prop disagrees with the opposition framework, it must be the first thing in their speech (and so on until there is an agreement on framework or we're out of debate).

Debate under that Framework - You must debate under the framework proposed at the beginning of the speech. You may not debate under both frameworks. If you believe you can debate under the proposition framework then that is what you should have been doing.

I don''t like framework debate. If the proposition framework is fair and reasonable and the opposition challenges it, the opposition will probably lose. Likewise if the proposition proposes an unfair framework, they will likely lose.

Other Issues:

When a speaker finishes, the next speaker should promptly proceed to wherever speeches are being given. There is no prep time. You may organize your materials, but you should not be having a conversation with your teammates. Once you get to the speaking position please confirm that I am ready for you to begin.

Evidence: Teams have a right to check evidence during the debate, but the debate may not stop (you may also check after, but in such a case it is out of my hands and under NSDA rules). You are on a team of three, members not speaking can pass/receive the requested evidence. If you are going to present someone else's words/work you need to be accurate about what they are saying in the entire piece (unless you note in your speech why you are only referring to a portion of it).

General Dislikes

If a team falsifies their evidence I will always vote them down. I do not care about the level of impact it had on the debate or whether the mistake was done via maliciousness or negligence. I see falsification as creating a piece of evidence, changing the wording of the evidence to alter meaning, or cutting the evidence in a way to leave out arguments that might hurt your case.

I will also punish misinterpretations of the evidence, though the degree of penalty is determined by the level of misinterpretation. I see this as situations where the speaker makes substantial errors about the quality of the source or who paraphrases the evidence in a manner that is not accurate.

Things I commonly see that I dislike:

"My opponent did not attack X contention, therefore they must agree." This isn't true. If an opponent hasn't gotten to an argument in the time allowed for them to make their initial arguments, they can not offer any new evidence, but that doesn't mean they agree. The fact that they have their own case means they have principles that disagree with you and they can always argue why their side is more important. Also, many times people will claim their opponent hasn't attacked a certain contention when I have on my flow that they have.

"If I can prove just a 1% chance of this impact, I should win this debate." This is a profoundly silly line of argument.

"My evidence says I'm right" "Well, my evidence says I'm right", "What my opponent is forgetting is that my evidence says I'm right". I commonly see debates that just become a circle of the debaters going back to the evidence they read that backed their side and inherently presuming their evidence is superior to their opponents. During evidence clashes someone has to explain why their evidence is superior: more topical, better source, more logical, etc.

If you have an important piece of evidence, please explain the validity of the source if the name doesn't explain it. If I just hear 'According to Williams in 2017', I have no idea who Williams is. I'll evaluate whatever you say as if you'd delivered it without a source, because otherwise I'm just getting a random name.

"My evidence is more recent so you must prefer it." In certain cases recency is important, but it has to be explained why.


Theory issues are a check for fairness. Ideally, theory should never come up in a "good" debate, but they do need to exist.

I define theory as arguments that in some way deal with your opponent(s) having violated the structure of what a "good" debate should be. They are off topic, their delivery is inappropriate, they aren't providing their evidence, etc. Issues that don't have anything to do with the core resolution/motion, but based off how they are dealing with it.

To me, if you run theory you are basically accusing your opponents of cheating/being abusive. This is the most important issue in debate, but one that should only be run if you believe it to be true. If you run a theory argument that is itself abusive (ex: topicality against an obvious topical argument), I will hold it against you.

Angelique Ronald Paradigm

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Julie Roos Paradigm

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My PF/LD paradigm is at the bottom.

World Schools Debate Tournament Paradigm:

I am the head coach of Team Golden Desert. We have been at least 4-2 in prelims at all National tournaments, and been in outrounds of Dallas, SLC, Ft. Lauderdale, Dallas (the second one), and Online. We engage in all Webbernars/webinars to prepare for the National invitational. I have judged Semifinals the last two years.

I flow on a spreadsheet to keep track of both arguments and points throughout the round. I score at the end of every speech, although I do occasionally award or detract points based on POIs. My decision will be ready almost immediately upon the end of the round, though I may take a moment to gather what I wish to say to you about why the decision is that way.

I will penalize you for not adhering to a split. There should be new content in the second speech.

I will weigh your content on validity, reliability, and strength. Poor evidence will result in poor content scores, regardless of whether or not your opponents expose these flaws. Their choice not to expose them affects their scores too, but your speech is scored before they speak.

I expect the Proposition team to offer a Burden and lay the ground for the debate. I expect this ground to be based upon the general understanding of the debate. Squirrely ground is not OK. However, I expect the Opposition to reply to the Proposition's burden, even if they decide to persuade me that it was squirrely and attempt to re-establish the ground.

In motions that suggest a mechanism/model, I would like to hear one from the Proposition, but do not require it. If the Opposition has a counter-mechanism, they should offer it *only* if doing so makes the debate stronger, and still maintains clash, not to attempt to draw the Proposition into a corner. The Opposition should be prepared for the Proposition to adopt the proposed mechanism, if Proposition offered none, or to subsume the Opposition's mechanism if it is simply an addendum to what has been said.

If you choose to offer a counter-mechanism, it is your burden to prove that it will work. The Proposition does get access to a certain amount of fiat because they have to attempt to accomplish the motion. So, if the motion is "This House would break up Big Tech," and the Proposition tells me "We do not have to prove that governments would pass legislation breaking up Big Tech, we simply have to prove that it would be a good idea," I'm going to buy that argument. The current political climate may view breaking up Big Tech as anathema, but they didn't write the motion, so I have to cut them some slack. The Opposition, however, has no access to fiat on a counter-mechanism because they are introducing it into the debate. Therefore, if the Opposition says "We propose instead that we would put in place regulations like A, B, and C, and create a position to oversee Big Tech like X," that now becomes something that the Opposition has to prove they could potentially do. Many things that are argued as counter-mechanisms, though, can just be points of advocacy. In the case above, the Opposition could simply say, "Regulation is better than breaking up Big Tech, here's some examples" and they're making an argument, not a mechanism. Those regulations already exist in the status quo, and the Opposition is frequently just saying that we shouldn't make a specific change to the status quo. 99.99% of the time, making the argument is going to be better than trying to get fancy with a Counter-mechanism.

I expect your delivery to sound natural. There should not be a bunch of debate jargon, or a debate about how, theoretically, the ideal debate on this topic should happen. I do not expect to hear cards, or speed, and relying upon the words of others to carry your speech or exceeding natural delivery deliberately and consistently will be penalized.

I appreciate really strong POIs, and I do not expect them to always be questions.

I expect to hear great crystallization in the 3rd speech and reply. This means that arguments may end up being irrelevant to the end-game, and that's absolutely OK. Picking the important arguments is a really important skill and will be rewarded as such.

I don't like knocking. Please avoid it unless it's a truly amazing point.

I don't like requesting POIs in an obviously disruptive manner. I completely understand wanting to break the flow. However, being a jerk is being a jerk.

If you think a reasonable person could see what you are about to do as racist, sexist, ableist, jingoist, ethnocentrist, or in any other way prejudiced, Do Not Say It! Your score will drop precipitously. There is a difference between supporting your side and doing any of these things.

If you are talking over your opponent, ignoring your opponent, or being verbally or physically dismissive toward your opponent, there had better be an amazingly good reason for it. If you fail to engage with your opponent as an intellectual equal worthy of competing against you in the round, you are doing them and yourself an extraordinary disservice, and you are costing yourself copious amounts of speaker points.

Number of Years Coaching: 11 years, all forms of debate--I also debated in HS and coach the Golden Desert World Schools team
Canyon Springs HS Head Coach
Number of Years Judging: 13, primarily PF, LD, and WSD

LD/PF Philosophy:

I expect you to set up the framework by which I should be judging the round. If you fail to do this, even if you think your value argument was wildly compelling, I may decide it subsumes to something else. If you think your value argument is tantamount, tell me that. Crystallizing the round is extremely important.

The framework of your debate should not be about how unfair the structure of the debate is to your side. You chose to enter into debate. You knew the rules. If you'd like them to change, write an editorial for the Rostrum. (NB: You may include observations about how the debate should be weighed/viewed, as these are important to the round, but if you're not arguing for or against the resolution at some point, I am extremely unlikely to pick you up.)

I prefer that LD debate not be conducted at lightning speed. I don't even like my policy rounds conducted that way. Debate is supposed to be about clearly articulating arguments, and if I can't understand you, you aren't doing that. Having a lot of evidence is admirable, but it's not nearly as important as having compelling evidence with clear analysis. You don't win by picking and arranging cards. You win by explaining how these pieces of evidence create a compelling rationale. Cases without clear impact analysis and links will lose in front of me, even if they have 20 pages of citations.

LD/PF Paradigm:
If you don't extend your arguments, they will drop off my flow.

If you plan to run off-case or performative arguments, it is your burden to explain how they link to the debate on the resolution.

I expect you to time one another. Holding each other accountable is important.

I try not to call for evidence, but I expect you to be prepared to hand any evidence requested to myself or your opponents ASAP. If you are failing to provide evidence that should be easily available, I will definitely hold this against you, and I may start charging you prep time to find it.

Please don't ask me to "Drop the debater." I'll drop your opponent's arguments if you've proven that they're bad, but I'm not going to drop them. You don't mean to be making an ad hom attack, but you basically are. If you are, in fact, meaning to make an ad hominem attack because your opponent is being offensive, then that would be the only time I find this terminology appropriate.

If you are talking over your opponent, ignoring your opponent, or being verbally or physically dismissive toward your opponent, there had better be an amazingly good reason for it. If you fail to engage with your opponent as an intellectual equal worthy of competing against you in the round, you are doing them and yourself an extraordinary disservice, and you are costing yourself copious amounts of speaker points.

If you think a reasonable person could see what you are about to do as racist, sexist, ableist, jingoist, ethnocentrist, or in any other way prejudiced, Do Not Say It! Your score will drop precipitously. There is a difference between supporting your side and doing any of these things.

Tyler Ross Paradigm

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Michael Rutledge Paradigm

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I am a former CX competitor from the late 80s and early 90s from a small 3A district. To that end, my experience and preference falls within the traditional range and not progressive. While I can understand the nuances of it and appreciate its overall intent, it goes well outside of the traditional realm that I prefer. I want clear line by line, clash and impacts that are meaningful and arguments that are well fleshed out. I don't need theoretical situations and kritiks of the resolution. Debate what is given to you as the framers intended it to be debated. I would rather have one or two solid arguments that are carried through a round as opposed to superfluous argumentation that ends up being kicked out of anyway or that operates in a world that is far less meaningful than traditional argumentation.

When it comes to extemp, I am also a traditionalist and expect a speech that is well balanced and that answers the prompt a contestant has been given. (Attention Getter/Hook - Thesis - Points - Conclusion that wraps up). Source variety is as important to me as is the number of sources. Fluidity is the real key. Don't make the speech choppy and don't offer so much content that you are unable to go back and analyze what you've spoken about. This is particularly true when it comes to lots of stats and numbers; don't overload a speech with content on that level that there is no real understanding of how you have synthesized the information you've given. And if you are also a debater, please remember - this is a SPEAKING event, not a debate event.

For topics that err on the side of persuasive and controversial, I DO NOT have an issue with topics that you feel could be flash-points that you think bias will impact the outcome. As long as you can substantiate and articulate what you are talking about with credible information and good analysis, we'll be good and the ballot will be free of bias.

Courtni Samuel Paradigm

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Shane Sandau Paradigm

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SamuelR Segrist Paradigm

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For CONGRESSIONAL DEBATE: In addition to excellent delivery which is crystal-clear, strong, and well-paced, I am mostly interested in debaters who are able to demonstrate how they are paying attention to the threads of debate, both the affirmation & negation. I've judged at NSDA nationals, and while I am greatly impressed by the poise of debaters who have a passionately-memorized speech, it is always more impressive to me to see a debater respond to the arguments made by their fellow representatives in the chamber. I do expect a reasonable amount of professional decorum, but I am also okay with a sprinkling of humor and personality throughout your speeches.

For LD: When deciding on which debater did a better job debating a resolution, I seek to answer this question: Based on the evidence and arguments presented, which world would I prefer to live in? I expect clarity in explanations of evidence. If a debater rattles off three different theorists ("Look to my Svotsky, Ignateau, and Iglesias cards") but doesn't unpack what those ideas are, it's really difficult for me to weigh that in a round.

I am not a policy-style LD judge. Spreading usually doesn't do much for me because I can't flow it at all, and thus I can't weigh it. Have a solid framework and contentions which are related to your value criterion. Have a value. Respond to your opponents' case.

Brenda Sencer Paradigm

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Jennifer Shao Paradigm

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Cheri Shatto Paradigm

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I am a fairly traditional judge but will listen to most any argument as long as it applies to the Resolution.

Please listen to your opponents arguments and have your rebuttal address their arguments.

I can listen to speed to a certain extent, but would rather not to have to tell you to slow down if I cannot hear the argument I cannot judge the argument.

I have coached and judged debate for 19 years.

I will not disclose in round unless told by the tournament to do so.

Sarah Sherry Paradigm

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Coach since 1996 - started team at Clover Park High School (3 years) (Coach at Puyallup High School since 2000) 
Competed in high school and college - Policy, LD,  platforms, and interp.
Charter Board member of The Women's Debate Institute 

General - (scale of 1-10) 1=low, 10 high 
Speed - 6ish -7 ish, if you are ridiculously clear
Topicality - 3 - I have little regard for T, if you are going for it, it better be your only card on the table and the violation should be crystal clear and beyond egregious.
Kritical Arguments - depends - I'm very interested in language kritiques, but generally speaking I have little tolerance for po-mo philosophy - I think the vast majority of these authors are read by debaters only in the context of debate, without knowledge or consideration for their overall work. This makes for lopsided and, frankly, ridiculous debates with debaters arguing so far outside of the rational context or the philisopher, as to make it clear as mud and a laughable interpretation of the original work. It's not that I am a super expert in philosophy, but rather a lit teacher and feel like there's something that goes against my teaching practice to buy into a shallow or faulty interpretation (all of those dreary hours of teacher torture working on close reading practices - sigh). Outside of that, I'm interested on a 7ish level. 
Framework - 9 - I'm all in favor of depth v. breadth and to evaluate the framework of a round or the arguments, I believe, can create a really interesting level of comparison.   What drives me crazy is, what appears to be, the assumption that framework is a done-deal.  That there is only one way to view frammework, is faulty and counter-intuitive.  It is the job of both teams to advocate, not just their framework, but the logic behind their framework.
Theory - 8ish. While I'm generally fascinated, I can, very quickly be frustrated. I frequently feel that theory arguments are just "words on the page to debaters" - something that was bought on-line, a coach created for you, or one of the top teams at your school put together at camp. It quickly falls into the same category as po-mo K's for me.

Just a me thing - not sure what else to label this, but I think that I should mention this. I struggle a lot with the multiple world's advocacy. I think that the negative team has the obligation to put together a cohesive strategy. I've had this explained to me, multiple times, it's not that I don't get it - I just disagree with it. So, if at some point this becomes part of your advocacy, know that you have a little extra work to do with me. It's easiest for my teams to explain my general philosophy, by simply saying that I am a teacher and I am involved with this activity bc of its educational value, not simply as a game. So go ahead and lump perf con in with the whole multiple worlds advocacy

Ok, so my general paradigm is 1.) play nice. I hate when: debater are rude to their own partner, me, the other team. Yes, it is a competition - but there's nothing less compelling than someone whose bravado has pushed passed their ability (or pushed over their partner). Swagger is one thing, obnoxiousness is another. Be aware of your language (sexist, racist, or homophobic language will not be tolerated.  In my mind, this is not just as issue that will affect speaker points but potentially the round.) 2.) Debate is a flexible game; the rules are ever changing. The way that I debated is dramatically, different then the way that is debated today, versus the way that people will debate 20 years from now. I believe this requires me to be flexible in my paradigm/philosophy. However, I, also, believe that it is your game. I hate it when teams tell me over and over again what they believe that they are winning, but without any reference to their opponent’s positions or analysis as to why. Debate is more of a Venn diagram in my mind, than a "T-chart". 

I don't actually believe that anyone is "tabula rasa". I believe that when a judge says that, they are indicating that they will try to listen to any argument and judge it solely on the merits of the round. However, I believe that we all come to rounds with pre-conceived notions in our heads - thus we are never "tabula rasa". I will try my best to be a blank slate, but I believe that the above philosophy should shed light on my pre-conceived notions. It is your job as debaters, and not mine, to weigh out the round and leave me with a comparison and a framework for evaluation.

Jennifer Shumway Paradigm

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Megan Smith Paradigm

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I am the Director of Speech & Debate at Providence High School and coach both LD (mostly traditional) and PF.

I'm generally a flow judge, and look for the following in round:

Framework: I will evaluate the round under frameworks that are established early and consistently extended. If there are competing frameworks, tell me which I should prefer and why. In PF, if neither team provides a framework, I will default to cost-benefit/util analysis. In LD, contentions should be clearly warranted back to value; please weigh values unless they're clearly a wash.

Narrative: I'm looking for organized narratives -- each response after your constructive should attack specific analysis/warrants. In PF, by the second half of the round, you should narrow to the most key arguments & impacts in your case, & answers to your opponent's case. In LD, I'm looking for value debate first, then contention-level. Please clearly signpost/indicate which arguments & where you're responding so they don't get lost on my flow. I vote off the flow, so anything from CX needs clean extension in a speech.

Evidence: I prefer that you fully explain evidence & its role in the round; quality context/warranting beats quantity of cards any day. Please don't just extend taglines/card authors -- flesh out the narrative, and extend the "how" & "why" as well.

Tech: In LD: I tend to be more traditional, but can judge progressive LD -- I am willing to entertain theory, K's, progressive case structures, etc. Explanation/narrative is still key, since these are not regularly run on my regional circuit and I am likely not as well-read on the critical theory as you. In PF: I don't love the tech over truth approach... if you want to have a Policy round, compete in Policy. I'll vote off of theory, but only if there is a clearly an abuse and you don't have a clearer path to my ballot. If there's a clear time skew that puts a team at a disadvantage, I will vote on sticky defense, but I don't like to.

At the end of the day, this is a communication event, and I will evaluate the round holistically. It's your job as the debater in the round to persuade me that the arguments you're winning are important, not just that you're winning the "most" arguments. PLEASE WEIGH.

Angela Smith Paradigm

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Brock Sondrup Paradigm

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First, ignore my paradigm on the wiki. I posted that like 7 years ago and haven't edited it since. For some reason I can't get back in and edit.

Policy & LD -

I'm tab so no preferences. Just do what you do best.

Worlds -

I understand this is not a flow style of debate so I will do my best to ignore my tendency to vote that way, but it would be beneficial for you to remain organized. Focus on style and content is paramount, but strategy is still important.

Remember you are debating a motion not a resolution. The role of the house and the motion should both be part of the discussion.

Do your best and have fun.

Stan Standly Paradigm

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Chaz Stephens Paradigm

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My LD paradigm is super simple. I'm okay with all types of arguments as long you can prove a strong value/criterion link. I'm a traditional LD Judge, I won't knock progressive but I do ask that you are clear in your argumentation. I flow and I expect arguments to not be dropped and extended throughout the round. Besides that, I enjoy a fun round so don't be rude but don't be passive. Again I'm open to whatever just make sure that your arguments are clear, logical, and have a strong Value/Criterion Link.

PF is very similar, hit me with your creative arguments. I generally vote for winners based on which team can either give me the biggest impacts or who can give me a good amount of strong arguments.

Also if you are reading this, just an FYI please time yourselves so I don't have to interrupt you. Again I'm super laid back so just make sure that arguments are very clear and logical.

As you can tell by this paradigm that I'm somewhat lazy. So if you have any specific questions feel free to ask before the round AND do not be afraid to ask me what you can improve after the round or for advice.

If you try to post-round or debate me because of the results of the ballot, I will shut it down immediately but feel free to ask for critiques.

Matthew Stewart Paradigm

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HS Competitor at James Bowie High School in Arlington (LD, Congress - Both UIL focused), 2005-2007
Degree in Communication Studies from UNT, 2013 (Did college policy at a tournament, shame really, but gotta pay the bills ya know?)

Coaching History:

Byron Nelson High School (2018-Present)
Royse City High School (2013-2018)

(If you're gonna size me up on my qualifications before we start, we're not gonna have a good time. Why would you want to try and infer to me that I'm not qualified before we get started? That ain't it.)

Email chains are alright with me. My email for that would be

LD Philosophy:

The round really comes down to what you make of it. I prefer you debating at your best rather than trying to do something you think I will like best, but of course I'll specify some of my perspectives

There needs to be some genuine abuse in round for me to buy into a topicality argument. Frivolous T for the sake of having some time skew is not good. I'm gonna err truth over tech in that regard. In response to T counter interps are a good idea always, and I don't often vote on RVIs unless it's really ignored by the Neg.

Same as topicality. I think there can be some valid theory arguments in terms of things like PICs, multiple worlds, policy oriented, etc. but you need to make me understand why that has ruined the debate round. Debate should be educational, fair, and actually fun. People who ruin that by trying to game argument structure should probably need to answer why their approach doesn't ruin debate. I'm more inclined to accept an RVI on theory, but it's gotta be compelling.


I'm all for disclosure but I have a hard time voting people down for not doing so. Obviously if they have their own stipulations for disclosure and have run disclosure before and fail to do so, go for it. But i'd love for it to focus more on why disclosure is such an important part of the community, not just a "gotcha" type of argument.

If you don't have a framework, that's fine, but if your opponent provides framework, that's gonna become my standard for weighing impacts. Framework can be underappreciated a lot of the time. If you want to hit me with some dense framing, that's okay, but make sure you effectively use it to garner your offense. That's kinda the point.

Policy-styled arguments:
Go for it for sure. I genuinely enjoy those from a structured perspective and there's no reason why they can't be used in LD. Kritiks are good too! LD is supposed to focus on that kind of literature anyways. As with most Kritiks, be good with your analysis. It all gets pretty heady when you go all in on it and you'll want to be sure you're keeping me with you every step of the way. I'm not too inclined to enjoy "Reject aff, interrogate [blank]" alts because those are literally the bare minimum for an alt and I think those are easily perm-able. If we gotta burn the government down and start over, then I mean, that's what we gotta do.

Whatever you AND your opponent are okay with! Speed shouldn't be a barrier to debate. If you can win spreading, you should be able to win without it as well. That being said, I am completely open with whatever your preferred speed is, of course slow up for Taglines/Cites, give me a filler word ("and," "next," etc.) to let me know when you're moving to the next piece on the flow and be sure to give me some pen time on Theory/Topicality shells. I will not shout "clear" at you, you'll probably see it on my face anyways.

Performance Arguments:
All for it. Be sure you have some solid framing for why your performance is important and be ready to handle any Topicality/Theory that your opponent will run in response.

Round Conduct:
Don't be a butt. Debate should be an educational and enjoyable activity. CX is not an exercise in how rude you can be, don't be afraid to answer questions, you should have faith in your case and be willing to handle anything coming your way. Don't try too hard to dodge questions, I don't need you constantly asking for things rephrased or finding ways to feign confusion. Don't try to impact turn things like racism/sexism/nuke war, etc. That's just silly to try and explain to me how these terrible things are in fact good for us, bad strategy. Don't be afraid to be you in a round, debate is much more enjoyable to judge when you get your personality into it, you don't have to be a card spewing robot to win. If you don't agree with my decision after a round, you're entitled to that, but trying to argue with me about it will not get the ballot changed in your favor and depending on your post-round conduct it will further impact your speaker points. Don't be sketch about your evidence, don't abuse flash time, just be a decent human and enjoy yourself.

Flash Time:
Your prep ends when you tell me to cease prep. That means you need to have your files ready to send over when you end prep. If you "forget" or you just can't get it together, I'm starting prep again. Rounds take too long often because people are really slow about flashing. That's not okay.

Flex Prep:
Fine with me, but that should be established before we start so your opponent has equal opportunity to use it.

Speaker Points:
Gonna start at 27. I'm not gonna worry too much about what you're doing through the 1AC or 1NC unless you're cutting cards mid speech already. There's zero reason for that to be happening, so that won't fair too well. Most of my speaker point allocation is going to be based on your strategic decisions in the round and how well you engage with your opponent. There will be some adjustments based on your round conduct, and for sure if you've developed distracting physical ticks while spreading (stamping your feet, clapping, really really distracting hand movements) that will impact you as well because I'm gonna be super distracted by how silly you look. I'm only human.

Role of The Ballot:
Totally up to your interpretation. I'm gonna default to using my ballot as a means to "gatekeep." If I vote up certain arguments or strategies, that will inherently encourage you to keep using them, that's just a natural part of the process and I acknowledge it. In addition, my role as an educator will always take priority over that of a judge, so doing and saying awful things will probably cause you to lose my ballot. I try to consider myself a tab judge, but without any kind of explanation of how I'm voting, I'm gonna default to Policy Maker.

Miscellaneous Stuff
You can sit or stand when you're speaking. It doesn't bother me. Standing is probably better for your clarity and breathing tho.
Evidence comparison is awesome and doesn't happen enough. You wrote a case, use it to defend arguments against you
I tend to be super facial expressive in round while I'm processing what you're saying. So if you say something that confused me, I'll probably look at you weird. If you're really killing an argument or you said what I really wanted you to say, I'm probably gonna nod my head and be excited for you. Non-verbal communication is just as important in reading your judge as is making sure they understand your speech. Maybe people don't like the non-verbal aspect, but I mean, if I'm down with what you're saying, you'll see it, so pay attention to your judge.
If by some chance, you're debating a novice, and you know it, I know it, and the novice knows it, be gentle. There's no need to spread a first timer out of the room and scare them away from the activity forever. Know when you're winning. If you fold a kid in round for no reason other than to massage your debate ego, I'm gonna dock some speaker points (see "Don't be a butt" in the round conduct section)
Don't assume I've read all the same topic literature as you, it's never good to assume that.
Offense is great, Defense doesn't really give me a reason to vote for you.
Oh! I almost forgot. Good lord, road maps. They are not a secret bonus speech you get before you start. Just tell me the order to put my paper in and go.
A drop doesn't automatically mean you've won the argument. Do some extension and analysis of why that drop matters and smash your opponent with it, otherwise they're still in the game
The phrase "Cold Conceded" makes me want to puke
I'll ask for cards if I have a genuine question about what the card means and if I find it important to the round. If you're doing legit evidence comparison, this might happen. That being said, don't worry about asking me if I want to see them.
I'm not flowing CX, but I will be listening. It is binding. If you goof in CX because you don't know your case or advocacy, you need to be accountable for that.
Remember to advocate your story in the round. You're selling me on what's happening. Don't forget that!

Policy Philosophy:
I think most of my LD philosophy can be applied here since the difference between the two events is growing ever smaller. But do ask questions if you have them!

At the end of the day, I want the round to be what you're making of it. I don't intend to interfere and I want to see you doing the work for me, not the other way around.

Also, have fun! Make connections! Enjoy the fact that you're participating in an activity that almost literally no one understands outside of the community. It's pretty rad.

PF Philosophy [Included for 2k18 TOC]


I'm okay with whatever speed you're comfortable with in round. As with my philosophy with other debate formats, I would like for you to give me pen time for taglines/cites, and standards if you're doing a Theory/Topicality shell of any sort. I'd also prefer you give me an "AND" or "NEXT" between cards to give me some help separating on the flow.

I will NOT shout clear at you, but I'm pretty nonverbal so if I'm not with you, you'll see it.

Summary Speech

I feel like the summary speech is still something that needs a traditional line-by-line approach, but it's the beginning of your team's strategic choice to collapse down to a couple of arguments you really want to dunk on in the final focus. I won't be annoyed if you do a straight down the flow response, but I think you'll better serve yourself by focusing on your offense and answering back critical arguments

Final Focus

Should be a collapse down here to just a couple of arguments and why you've won them and why that gives you the ballot. You'll need to do the warrant analysis and justification to close off those arguments as clear wins at this point and then impact it out to getting my ballot

Extensions in speeches

You can do those pretty much the whole time, that would be great. Just like any other debate format, if you're going to continue to use an argument, you should extend the warrant. Don't just tell me to extend something on the flow, give me implications, hold my hand, ya know? If you're trying to pull a card back that you forgot about three speeches ago, that's a bit dicey, but if it generally wasn't responded to, I'll allow it.

Policy arguments in PF

Wild. If you can make it work, go for it. I'm not inherently against those things and assuming they're fully-formed arguments with warranted implications, I can definitely vote on it.

Prompting-ish Stuff

I'm not super against some things that could be construed as prompting, but definitely don't get to the point where I can't tell who is giving what speech because you're overdoing it. If you're looking at me to explain an argument for your partner, I'm definitely not going to flow that. Acknowledge who is supposed to be giving the speech.

Rebuttal Speech

Second speaking team should definitely answer their opponent's case and if time allows, go down the flow and respond to arguments against their own case the first speaking team has made in their rebuttal speech. I don't think it is required, but it's advantageous in terms of giving the first team more to cover in the summary.

Crossfire Stuff

I'd prefer you sit for grand cross, four people standing and staring at me and getting yelly at each other just kinda makes me uncomfortable. You can sit or stand if you want during the individual crossfires though. Arguments in crossfire aren't going to be flowed by me unless they are brought up as arguments in the later speeches. You can use those answers to set up your arguments though and that's definitely binding

Other Stuff

Just be chill. Debate the way that is most comfortable for you...hopefully that isn't a really yelly and rude style because I'd prefer you not. Respect each other, do your thing, and we'll all have a good time!

[Entry current as of the 10/25/18]

Bryce Strampe Paradigm

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James Striplin Paradigm

8 rounds

Background: I have been Advising and Judging Speech and Debate for about four years. In addition I Competed for three years. The events I competed in are Policy Debate and Lincoln Douglas debate; however, I am a Public Forum coach.

Preferences: I love clash and impact calc. If your strategy avoids direct impact from your opponents by design chances are the debate will become redundant.

When it comes to cross-ex/cross fire I don't flow, but I do listen, if something said in this space is relevant to the round mention in your speech or it will be lost.

Im Ok with Speed but clarity should take precedents, If you can Spread and still be eloquent go for it, if you resort to inaudible tongues the argument will be lost.

Most importantly courtesy, Your opponent and yourself have worked hard and deserve respect you can make sarcastic answers to a question without insulting the intelligence of your victim.

Disclosure is a noninclusive argument don't run it.

How I Run the round: I keep time for my own record I do not notify the competitors it is their job as well as their opponents to keep time, With one exception: cross EX/ Cross fire is a little more flexible. As long as the Question is clear and concise I will allow you opponent to answer it in a clear and concise manner even if time is over. This allows final thoughts to be heard. No more than 10 seconds.

Speech and Debate is a remarkable experience that desperately needs more members try to allow it to grow but still be educational and competitive.

Unless otherwise forbidden I Disclose.

Final Thoughts: Please ask for clarification if any of this confuses you or if you have further questions, I may have forgot a lot.

Andy Stubbs Paradigm

8 rounds

I'm going to vote for the team with the least mitigated link chain into the best weighed impact.

Progressive arguments and speed are fine (differentiate tags and author). I need to know which offense is prioritized and that's not work I can do; it needs to be done by the debaters. I'm receptive to arguments about debate norms and how the way we debate shapes the activity in a positive or negative way.

My three major things are: 1. Warranting is very important. I'm not going to give much weight to an unwarranted claim, especially if there's defense on it. That goes for arguments, frameworks, etc. 2. If it's not on the flow, it can't go on the ballot. I won't do the work extending or impacting your arguments for you. 3. It's not enough to win your argument. I need to know why you winning that argument matters in the bigger context of the round.

PF specific:

-Defense sticks for the first speaking team until it's frontlined; it needs to be extended in FF, though.

-You have to frontline offense in second rebuttal

-I rarely call for evidence; if you don't have the warrant in the summary/final focus, I'm not going to call for the card and do the work for you

-If we're going to run theory... make sure it's warranted and, more importantly, merited.

***Speaker points include delivery, strategic decisions, conduct in the round, etc.

*** If you're second flight and the tournament is already running behind and you walk into the room and haven't flipped and pre-flowed, I am going to be annoyed

Pronouns: he/him

Danielle Trainer-Smallwood Paradigm

8 rounds

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Mike Trevithick Paradigm

8 rounds

I am a judge who willingly judges PF, LD, and World Schools debate. I competed in Policy debate many years ago in both high school and college, finishing third in the nation in CEDA debate when that event was still popular. As a coach, I have moved away from Policy debate with it's emphasis on speed and evidence wars over well-reasoned arguments. This affects my view of other debate events as I am quite completely opposed to the infusion of policy debate techniques, such as critiques, into other forms of debate. I do recognize that Public Forum is often fast and evidence heavy and I have no concerns with either the speed or the amount evidence as long as it supports credible arguments. In LD, I am more of a tradionalist who expects value clash and strong case argumentation at a reasonable speed. I enjoy World Schools precisely because this style of debate also places a premium on organization, argumentation, and rhetoric.

As a critic, I am stricly Tabula Rasa when it comes to the arguments themselves; meaning I will only consider arguments the debaters make in round and will not interject my own philosophical or policy paradigms into a round. I am a flow judge who decides votes in favor of the debater(s) who do the best job on convincing me that their arguments should carry the round based on the relative strength of their evidence, reasoning, and argumentation. I NEVER award low point wins. If you didn't do the better job while debating, you will not win my ballot.

Two notes are worth mentioning on procedure. First, I only allow evidence requests during CX/Crossfire. Evidence requests made during prep time will be discouraged. Second, please remember to be polite and try not talk over one another during Crossfire. All speakers deserve a chance to be heard.

Laura Trieschmann Paradigm

8 rounds

Affiliation: St. Louis Urban Debate League/Metro Academic and Classical High School

This is my sixth year coaching debate. I've coached and judged at Urban Debate National Championships three times. I did not debate in high school or college.

I’m gonna quote my league programming director, the inimitable Shawn Briscoe, to kick the rest of this off: there are no rules in debate, only norms. And in all competitive events/spaces, the rules and norms change over time to better serve stakeholders. In Major League baseball, the pitcher’s mound used to be higher — then folks like Cardinal Bob Gibson kicked butt, and they lowered it 5 inches for better competition, to make the game fairer and better and funner. Same in debate!

I can use any paradigm to evaluate a round. My default is policymaker, but I can definitely be shifted. I can easily go K, etc., if the round needs it.

Arguments I prefer/like to hear:

1. Honestly, as long as it’s well articulated, I am open to it. If I can flow it, I will consider it.

2. I’m cool with any kind of DA as long as it makes sense/avoids ridiculous internal link chains. I’ve heard some sloppy DAs this year, and those were mostly politics DAs.

Arguments I don't like:

1. poorly understood/explained kritik or critical affs or performance; I can be persuaded to reject the resolution or aspects of the policy debate game (if you will), but I’ll need to hear good, well-articulated reasons to do so.

1A: On a related note, I also need good, respectful responses on these args to compel me to vote against them. For example, we can argue everything is performance, from what we wear and how we move to choosing to spread or incorporating spoken word poetry. I'm not gonna vote against a performance because someone tries to tell me it's "not real debate." In fact, that kind of argument is a good way to lose speaker points for being rude. And that links hard into cases critiquing debate, so it's a bad idea all-around.

2. I’m not a huge fan of PICs but I can be vote for one if there are compelling reasons. They just feel cheap. I don’t often hear competitive PICs. They tend to make the round confusing and bad.

3. multiple worlds -- it’s just confusing.

4. disclosure theory. It is based on faulty assumptions about debaters’ access, resources, and privilege. I will not vote on it, so would strongly discourage teams from trying it if they want my ballot.

Stylistic choices I like:

1. organization with clear roadmapping and signposting — I’ll judge based on what I’ve flowed, so please help me flow the round. Please be clear — using a numbering or lettering system is preferable to just saying "next."

2. Offer an RFD in your 2NR/2AR. You should basically be filling out my ballot for me in those speeches.

3. Tell me about the role of the ballot and judge in the round, especially in cases rejecting the resolution.

4. Flexible and inclusive definition of evidence – cards can be great, and so can a debater’s own analysis, personal experience, and impact calculus. Cards aren’t always the best evidence, and y’all definitely have expertise.

Stylistic choices I dislike:

1. CX --> do what works for you as long as no one’s getting rude. The point is supposed to be clarifying the round to help y’all perform better. Discourse can be a voter. I don’t flow CX.

2. sloppy spreading (if I can’t understand it, I can’t flow it and then can’t use it to make a decision. I’ll try to say “clear” as a cue to slow down/clean it up once; after that, I’ll stop flowing and it won’t count in the round)

3. personal attacks based on faulty assumptions (ex: calling a team sexist because they’re both males; assuming anything about a person/team’s identity/background/resources)

4. speeches --> do what works for you/serves your advocacy. I’m not picky about who speaks when for how long, etc.

Varsha Venkatesh Paradigm

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Spiros Vouthas Paradigm

8 rounds

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Scott Walker Paradigm

8 rounds

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Jodi West Paradigm

8 rounds

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Paul Wexler Paradigm

Debate Paradigm

Paul Wexler Coach since 1993, Judge since 1987 Debated CEDA,College Parli, HS LD and Policy, College and HS Speech
Current Affiliation: Needham High School Coach (speech and debate) I coach a little with Arlington HS (Massachusetts)
Previous Affiliations: Manchester-Essex Regional, Boston Latin School, San Antonio-LEE, College of Wooster (Ohio) (competitor) , University of Wisconsin (Madison)(coach): Debate and Speech for Irvine-University HS (CA) (competitor)

LD Paradigm is listed first, Policy, PF, Congress later.

LD Paradigm is here first, followed by Policy and then PF at the bottom (though much of LD applies to PF and nowadays even policy where appropriate)- Congress and Worlds is at VERY end.

For outrounds and flip rounds, please especially note section marked 'outrounds' at end

LD Debate

Shorter Version (in progress) (if you want to run some of these, see the labeled sections for most of them, following)

-Defaults to voting criterion.

-Theory-will not vote on fairness or disclosure. See below for note regarding Arlington HS specifically.

-Education theory OK but if frivolous RVIs encouraged.I will almost always vote on reasonability.

--Will not vote on generic skepticism. May vote on resolution-specific skepticism

-Blips in constructive speeches blown up large in 1NR or 2AR are weighed as blips in my decision calculus

-It is highly unlikely I shall vote on tricks or award higher speaker points for tricks-oriented debaters

-No 'kicking' out of arguments unless the opponent agrees with said kicking. "You broke the argument, you own it."

-Critical arguments are fine and held to same analytical standard as normative arguments

-Policy approaches (plans/CPs/DAs) are fine. They are held to same prima facie burdens as in actual CX rounds- That also means if you want me to be a policy-maker, your evidence better be recent. If you don't know what I mean by 'prima facie burdens as in actual CX rounds' you should opt for a different strategy.

-Narratives are fine and should provide a rhetorical model for me to use to evaluate approach.

As I believe debate is an ORAL communication activity (albeit one often with highly specialized vocabulary and speed) I (with courtesy) I do not wish to be added to any 'speech document ' for debates taking place in the flesh or virtually. I will be pleased to read speech documents for any written debate contests I may happen to judge.

Role of ballot - See labeled section below- Too nuanced to have a short version

To Access higher speaker points...

Be kind/professional towards those less experienced or skilled. i.e. , make their arguments sound better than they probably are, make your own arguments accessible to them, organize the disorganized ideas of opponents, etc. while avoiding being condescending.

If clearly outclassed, stay engaged and professional. Try to avoid being visibly frustrated. We have all been there! You will absolutely get this eventually. (Plus, you never know- you may make the 'golden ticket argument ' to winning the round without knowing it...)

If I think you have done either of these, it will always result in bonus speaker points.


-Engage with your opponent's ideas. Clash with them directly, prove them wrong, demonstrate they are actually reasons to vote for you, etc., or at least of lesser importance,

exhibit the ability to listen.(see below for how I evaluate this)

exhibit the ability to use CX effectively (CX during prep time does not do so) This DOES NOT mean 'stumping the chump' it DOES mean setting up arguments for you to use in later speeches.

To Access lower speaker points

1) Act like a rude, arrogant, condescending, ignoramus. (or just one of these)

In other words, making offensive arguments, 'ist' arguments or behaving like a jerk - If you have to ask, chances are you shouldn't. "if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, chances are it IS a duck." Being racist or sexist or homophobic means one loses regardless, but behaving like a jerk in a non-'ist' way still means you lose speaker points and if offensive enough I'll look for a reason to vote against you.

2)have your coach fight your battles for you- When your coach browbeats your opponents to disclose or flip- or keeps you from arriving to your round in a timely fashion, it subliminally promotes your role as one in which you let your coach do your advocacy and thinking for you.

3)Avoid engaging with your opponent's ideas. Avoiding engaging through reliance on definitions, tricks, etc., or other methods may win you my ballots, but will earn lower speaker points.

4)Act like someone uninterested in knowledge or intellectual hard work and is proud of that lack of interest. Running theory as a default strategy is a most excellent way of doing so, and in public at that.-- (But there are other ways).

Longer Version

1)The voting standard is the most important judging tool to me in the round. Whatever else you do or say, weighing how the different arguments impact COMPARATIVELY to the voting standard is paramount.

I strongly prefer debaters to focus on the resolution proper, as defined by the topic literature. I tend to be really, REALLY bored by debaters who spend the bulk of their time on framework issues and/or theory as opposed to topical debating.

By contrast, I am very much interested in how philosophical and ethical arguments are applied to contemporary challenges, as framed by the resolution.

You can certainly be creative, which shall be rewarded when on-topic. Indeed, having a good command of the topic literature is a good way to be both.

My speaker points to an extent reflect my level of interest.

2) I evaluate a debater's ENTIRE skill set when assigning speaker points, including the ability to listen. See below for how I assess that ability.

3)One can use alternative approaches to traditional ones in LD in front of me. I am receptive to narratives, plans, kritiks, the role of the ballot to fight structural oppression, etc. But these should be grounded in the specific topic literature- This includes describing why the specific resolution being debated undermines the fight against oppressive norms.

4) I am NOT receptive to generic 'debate is bad' arguments. Wrong forum.

5) Specifics of my view of policy, critical, performance, etc. cases are at the bottom if you wish to skip to that.


I will not vote on...

a)Fairness arguments, period. They will be treated as radio silence. - See famed debate judge Marvin the Paranoid Android's (which I find optimistic) paradigm on this in 'The Debate Judges Guide to the Galaxy.' by Douglas Adams.

"The first ten million (fairness arguments) were the worst. And the second ten million: they were the worst, too. The third ten million I didn’t enjoy at all. After that, their quality went into a bit of a decline.”

Fairness debating sounds like this to me.(

And complaints about having to affirm makes the arguer look and sound like this from 'Puddles Pity Party'

Instead, tell me why the perceived violation is a poor way to evaluate the truth of the resolution, not that it puts you in a poor position to win.

b) I will not vote on disclosure theory, it shall be treated as radio silence. I have assisted a little with Arlington High. Arlington High by team consensus does not permit its' members to disclose except at tournaments where it is specified as required to participate by tournament invitation. I find the idea that disclosure is needed to avoid 'surprises' or have. a quality debate to be unlikely.

c) I will vote on education theory. However, I am actively favorable to RVIs when run in response to 'cheap' , 'throw-away' , generic, or 'canned' education theory. Topic only focused, please.

d)Shells are not always necessary (or even usually). if an opponent's position is truly bollocks ten seconds explaining why is a better approach in front of me than a two or three minute theory shell

e) I am highly unlikely to vote on arguments that center on an extreme or very narrow framing of the resolution no matter how much framework you do- and 100% unlikely based on a half or full sentence blurb.-

'Extreme' in this context means marginally related to the literature (or a really small subset of it)


I believe that debaters indicate through analysis and time management what their key arguments are. Therefore, a one-sentence idea in case, if used as a major voting issue in rebuttals, will receive 'one sentence worth' of weight in my RFD. even if the idea was dropped cold. That's not no weight at all. But it ain't uranium either.

Simply extending drops and cards is insufficient, be sure to connect to the voting standard and explain the argument sufficiently. I do cut the Aff a little more leeway in this regard than the neg due to time limitations, but be careful.


1) On sharing cases and evidence,

Please note: The below does not apply to the reading of evidence cards, nor does it apply to people with applicable IEPs, 504s or are second language learners.

1) I believe that listening is an essential debate skill. In those cases where speed and jargon are used, they are still being used within a particular oral communication framework, even if it is one unique to debate. It makes no sense to me to speak our cases to one another (and the judge), while our opponent reads the text afterwards (even more so as the case is read) and then orally respond to what was written down (or for the judge to vote on what was written down). If that is the norm, we could just stay home and email each other our cases.

In the round, this functions as my awarding higher speaker points to good listeners. Asking for the text of entire cases demonstrates you are still developing the ability to listen and/or the ability to process what you heard. That's OK, this is an educational activity, but a still developing listener wouldn't earn higher speaker points for the same reason someone with developing refutation skills wouldn't earn higher speaking points. My advice is to work on the ability to process what you have heard rather than ask for cases or briefs.

As I believe that act of orally speaking should not be limited to being an anthropological vestige of some ancient debate ritual, I will courteously turn down offers to be added to any speech documents, except at contests designed for such a purpose.

Asking for individual cards by name to examine their rhetoric, context etc, is acceptable, as I don't expect most debaters to be able to write down cards verbatim. I expect those cards to be made available immediately. Any time spent 'jumping' the cards to an opponent beyond minimal is taken off the prep time of the debater that just read the case.

I will most likely only ask for cards at the round's end in the case of ethical challenges, etc, or if I failed to make note of a card's substance through some reason beyond a debater's control (My own sneezing fit for example, or the host school's band playing '76 Trombones on the Hit Parade' in the classroom next door during the 1AC)-

On Non Debater authored Cases

I believe two of the most valuable skills in debate, along with the ability to listen, are the ability to write and research (and do both efficiently).

I further believe the tendency of some in the debate community to encourage students to become a ventriloquist's dummy, reading cases authored by individuals post-HS, is antithetical to developing these skills. Most likely it is also against most schools' academic code of conduct. I reject the idea that students are 'too busy to write their own cases and do their own research'


I will drop debaters -with minimal speaker points- who run cases written by any individual not enrolled in high school.

In novice or JV rounds I will drop debaters who run cases written by a varsity teammate.

Further, if I suspect, given that debater's level of competence, that they are running a position they did not write ( I suspect they have little to no comprehension of what they are reading) I reserve the right to question them after the round about that position. If said person confirms my suspicion about their level of comprehension, they will be dropped by me with minimal speaker points.

THAT SAID my speaker points will reward debaters who are trying out new ideas which they don't completely understand yet- I think people should take risks, just don't let yourself be shortchanged of all that debate can be by letting some non-high school student - or more experienced teammate- write your ideas for you. Don't be Charlie McCarthy (or Mortimer Snerd for that matter)

Finally, I am not opposed to student-written team cases/briefs per sae. However, given the increasing number of cases written by non-students, and the difficulty I have in distinguishing those from student-written positions, I may eventually apply this stance to any case I hear for the second time (or more) at a tournament. That day has not yet arrived however.


I am open to persons who wish to argue policy positions as opposed to voting standard If that framework is won.

Do keep in mind that I believe the time structure of LD makes running such strategies a challenge. I find many policy link stories in LD debate, even in late outrounds at TOC-qual tournaments, to be JVish at best. Opponents, don't be afraid to say so.

Disadvantages should have clear linkage to the terminal impact, the shorter the better. When responding, it is highly advantageous to respond to the links. I tend to find the "if there is a .01% chance of extinction happening you have to vote for me" to be silly at best if there is any sort of probability weighing placed against it.

Policy-style debaters assume all burdens that actual policy debaters have, That means if solvency -(or at least some sort of comparative advantage, inherency, etc. is not prima facie shown for the resolution proper, that debater loses even if the opponent does not actually give a response while drooling on their own cardigan. (or yours, for that matter).

That means if you want me to be a policy-maker, your evidence should be super-recent. Otherwise, I may decide you don't meet your prima facie burdens, even for 'inherency' which virtually nobody votes on ever. Why? The same reason one shouldn't read a politics DA from October 2018.

Side note: If your OPPONENT does so, please be sure to all call them out on it in order to demonstrate CX or refutation skills. (I once heard someone ignore the fact a politics DA was being run the Saturday AFTER the election, it having taken place the Tuesday prior. I was sad.

I do have some sympathy for the hypothesis-testing paradigm where up-to-date evidence is not always as necessary- if you sell me on it. Running older evidence under such a framework may or may not be strategic, but it WOULD meet prima facie burdens.

If you don't know what I mean by 'prima facie burdens', or 'hypothesis-testing' you should opt for a different strategy. - Do learn what these terms mean if interested in LARPing, or answering LARPers.

I am also actively disinclined to allow the negative to 'kick out' out of counterplans, etc., in face of an Aff challenge, during the 1NR. Think 'Pottery Barn'- to paraphrase Colin Powell- "You broke the argument, you own it."


In addition to the 'story', be sure to include a rhetorical model I can use to evaluate the narrative in the course of the round. if you do so effectively, speaker points will be high. If not, low.

One can access the power of narrative arguments without being appropriative of other cultures. This is one such approach (granted from a documentary on Diane Nash)


I hold them to the same analytical standard as more normative or traditional arguments. That means quoting some opaque piece of writing is unlikely to score much emphasis with me, absent a complete drop by the opponent. And even if there is a complete drop, during the weighing stage I could easily be persuaded that the critical argument is of little worth in adjudicating the round. When debating critical theory, Don't be afraid to point out that "the emperor has no clothes."

In the round, this functions as debaters coherently planning what both they and their sources are being critical of, and doing so throughout the round.

Identifying if the 'problem' is due to a deliberate attempt to oppress or ignorant/incompetent policies/structures resulting in oppression likely add nuance to your argument, both in terms of introducing and responding to critical arguments. This is especially true if making a generic critical argument rather than one that is resolution-specific.

Critical arguments all take place in a context, with the authors reacting to some structure- be it one created and run by 'dead white men' or whomever. The authors most certainly were familiar with whom or what they were attacking. To earn the highest speaker points, you should demonstrate some level of that knowledge too. HOW you do so may vary, your speaker points will reflect how well you perform under the strategy you choose and carry out in the round

In any case, be sure to SLOW DOWN when reading critical arguments.


I believe that debate, and the type of people it attracts, provides uniquely superior opportunities to develop the skills required to fight oppression. I also believe that how I vote in some prelim at a tournament is unlikely to make much of a difference- or less so than if the debaters and judge spent their Saturday volunteering for a group fighting out-of-the-round oppression Or even singing, as they do in arguably the best scene from the best American movie ever.

I tend to take the arguments more seriously when made in out rounds with audiences. In fairness, people may see prelims as the place to learn how to make these arguments, which is to be commended. But it is not guaranteed that I take an experienced debater making such arguments in prelims as seriously, without a well-articulated reason to do so.

Also bear in mind that my perspective is that of a social studies teacher with a MA in Middle Eastern history and a liberal arts education who is at least tolerably familiar with the literature often referenced in these rounds. (If sometimes only in a 'book review' kind of way.) But I also default in my personal politics to feeling that a bird in hand is better than exposing the oppression of the bush.

if simply invited or encouraged to think about the implications of your position, or to take individual action to do so, that is a wild card that may lead to a vote in your favor- or may not. I feel obligated to use my personal knowledge in such rounds. YOU are encouraged to discuss the efficacy of rhetorical movements and strategies in such cases.


Honestly, I am more than a little uncomfortable with debaters from privileged backgrounds running race-based nihilist or pessimist arguments of which they have no historical part. Granted, this is partly because I believe that it is in the economic self-interest of entrenched powers to propagate nihilist views. If you choose to do so, you can win my ballot, but you will have to prove it won't result in some tangible benefit to people of privilege.


Offensive debaters, such as those who actively call for genocide will be dropped with minimal speaker points. The same is true for those who are blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.

I default to skepticism being in the same category when used as a response to 'X is morally bad' types of arguments.

By minimal speaker points, I mean 'one point' (.1 if the tournament allows tenths of a point) and my going to the physical tabroom to insist they manually override any minimum in place in the settings.

If an argument not intended to be racist or sexist or homophobic or pro-murder could be misused to justify the same, that would be debatable in the round- though be reasonable. "if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, chances are it IS a duck." Arguing over if general U.S. immigration is irredeemably racist is debatable in the round, arguing that an entire group of people should be excluded based on religion is racist on face, and arguing that it is morally permissible to tear gas children is a moral travesty in and of itself.

Outrounds/Flip Rounds Only

I believe debate offers a unique platform for debaters to work towards becoming self-sufficient learners, independent decision-makers, and autonomous advocates. I believe that side determination with a lead time for the purposes of receiving side specific coaching particular to a given round is detrimental to debaters developing said skills. Further, it competitively disadvantages both debaters who do choose to emphasize such skills or do not have access to such coaching to start with.

Barring specific tournament rules to the contrary, in elimination rounds this functions as

a) flip upon arrival to the round.

b)avoid leaving the room after the coin flip (i.e., please go to the restroom, etc. before arriving at the room and before the flip)

c) arrive in sufficient time to the round to flip and do all desired preparation WITHOUT LEAVING THE ROOM so that the round can start on time.

d)All restrictions on electronic communication commence when the coin is in the air

Doing all of this establishes perceptual dominance in my mind. All judges, even those who claim to be blank slates, subliminally take perceptual dominance into account on some level. -Hence their 'preferences'. For me, all other matters being equal, I am more likely to 'believe' the round story given by a debater who exhibits these skills than the one I feel is channeling their coach's voice.

Most importantly

Have fun! Learn! "If you have fun and are learning, the winning will take care of itself"

POLICY Paradigm-

In absence of a reason not to do so, I default to policy-maker (though I do have some sympathy for hypothesis-testing).

The above largely holds for my policy judging, though I am not as draconically anti-theory in policy as I am in LD because the time structure allows for bad theory to be exposed in a way not feasible in LD.


I've judged it and coached it since the creation.

I default to voting on the whole resolution. I vote for whichever side shows it is preponderantly more desirable That may include scope, impact, probability, etc.

Most of what I say under Lincoln-Douglas applies here, regarding substance as well as theory/and Ks. The differences OR key points are as follows.

1) I judge PF as an educated layperson- i.e. one who reads the paper but doesn't know the technicalities of debate lingo.

As such your 'extend this" and "pull that" confuse me for the purposes of the round - I will ignore debate lingo unless you explain the argument itself.

1b) This is true for LD, but is worth noting again. I shall ignore 'theory' arguments completely (in PF, I will also ignore 'education' theory arguments, as well as 'fairness'-- Frame those arguments in terms of substance if you opt to make them). Theory arguments such shall be treated as radio silence on my flow. I will default to thinking you are uninterested in doing the work necessary to understand the topic, and that you are publicly announcing you are proud of being ignorant. If someone's opponent is prima facie unfair or uneducational, say so without running a 'shell'.

I will evaluate K's solely when based on the topic literature.

Your rate of delivery should be appropriate to the types of arguments you are making.

2)Stand during the cross-fire times. This adds to your perceptual dominance.

3) Offer and justify some sort of standard I can use to weigh competing arguments.

4) On Evidence...

--a)Evidence should be fully explained with analysis. Evidence without analysis isn't persuasive to me. (the best evidence will have analysis as well, which is the gold standard- but you should add your own linking to the round itself and the resolution proper).

4b) In order to earn higher speaker points, I expect evidence use to adhere to the full context being used and accessible. This doesn't mean you can't paraphrase when appropriate, it does mean reciting a single sentence or two and/or taking excessive time when asked to produce the source means you are still developing your evidence usage ability. Of course, using evidence in context (be it a full card or proper paraphrasing-) is expected Note #6 below.

You will also want to make note of the 'earn higher speaker points' in the LD section above, it also applies in PF.

--Quantitative claims always require evidence, the more recent the better.

--Qualitative claims DO NOT always require evidence, that depends on the specific claim.

-5)-Be comparative when addressing competing claims. The best analytical evidence compares claims directly within itself.

-6)Produce requested evidence in an expeditious fashion- Failure to do so comes of YOUR prep time, and eventually next speech time. Since such failure demonstrates that organizational skills are still being developed, it also means lower speaker points are likely to be earned.

'Expeditious' means within ten seconds or so, unless the tournament invitation mandates a different period of time

-7)-Blips in constructive speeches blown up large in summary or final focus are weighed as blips in my decision calculus

8)No 'kicking' out of arguments unless the opponent agrees with said kicking. "You broke the argument, you own it."

9) I will most likely only ask for cards at the round's end in the case of ethical challenges, etc, or if I failed to make note of a card's substance through some reason beyond a debater's control (My own sneezing fit for example, or the host school's band playing '76 Trombones on the Hit Parade' in the classroom next door during a speech.

10) What I have to say elsewhere in this document about how to access higher speaker points and how to earn super low points by being offensive also applies to PF.

Most Importantly- as with any event " Have fun! "If you are learning and having fun, the winning shall take care of itself."


To Access better ranks

1) Engage with your opponent's ideas. Clash with them directly, prove them wrong, further develop ideas offered previously by speakers on the same side of legislation as yourself, demonstrate opposing ideas are actually reasons to vote for you, etc

2)Speech organization should reflect when during a topic debate said speech is delivered. Earlier pro speeches (especially authorships or sponsorships) should explain what problem exists and how the legislation solves for it. Later speeches should develop arguments for or against the legislation. The last speeches on legislation should summarize and recap, reflecting the ideas offered during the debate

3)Exhibit the ability to listen. This is evaluated through argument development and clash

4)Evidence usage. Using evidence that may be used be 'real' legislators is the gold standard. (government reports or scholarly think tanks or other policy works. Academic-ish sources (JSTOR, NYRbooks, etc) are next. Professional news sources are in the middle. News sources that rely on 'free' freelancers are below that. Ideological websites without scholarly fare are at the bottom. For example, Brookings or Manhattan Institute, yes! Outside the box can be fine. If a topic on the military is on the docket, ' ', yes. (though cite the author and credentials. in such cases)

4b) Souce usage corresponds to the type of argument being backed. 'Expert' evidence is more important with 'detailed' legislation than with more birds-eye changes to the law.

5)exhibit the ability to use CX effectively - This DOES NOT mean 'stumping the chump' it DOES mean setting up arguments for you or a colleague to expand upon a speech later. Asking a question where the speaker's answer is irrelevant to you- - or your colleagues'- ability to do so later is the gold standard.

6)PO's should be transparent, expeditious, accurate and fair in their handling of the chamber.

6b)At local tournaments, 'new PO's will not be penalized (or rewarded) for still developing the ability to be expeditious. That skill shall be evaluated as radio silence (neither for, nor against you)- Give it a try!

To Access worse ranks

1) Act like a rude, arrogant, condescending, ignoramus. (or just one of these)

In other words, making offensive arguments, 'ist' arguments or behaving like a jerk - If you have to ask, chances are you shouldn't. "if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, chances are it IS a duck." (Being racist or sexist or homophobic means one loses regardless, but behaving like a jerk in a non-'ist' way still means y I'll look for a reason to rank you at the very bottom of the chamber, behind the person who spent the entire session practicing their origami while engaged in silent self-hypnosis.

2)If among any speaker other than the author and first opposition, rehashing arguments that have already been made with no further development (no matter how well internally argued or supported with evidence your speech happens to be backed with)

3)Avoiding engaging with the ideas of others in the chamber- either in terms of clashing with them directly or expanding upon ideas already made

4)Evidence usage. Using evidence that may not be used be 'real' legislators is the gilded standard. Examples include blatantly ideological sources, websites that don't pay their contributors, etc. This is especially true if a technical subject is the focus of the debate.

4b)In general, using out of date evidence. The more immediate a problem the more recent evidence should be. Quoting Millard Fillmore on immigration reform should not more be done than quoting evidence from the Bush or even the Obama Administration. (That said, if arguing on the level of ideas, by all means, synthesize important past thinkers into your arguments)

5) Avoiding activity such as cross-examination

5b)'Stalling' when being CXed by asking clarification for simple questions

6)Act like someone uninterested in knowledge or intellectual hard work and is proud of that lack of interest

7)POs who show favoritism or repeatedly make errors.

What (may) make a rank or two of positive difference

Be kind/professional towards those less experienced or skilled. i.e. , make their arguments sound better than they probably are, make your own arguments accessible to them, organize the disorganized ideas of others, etc. while avoiding being condescending. Be inclusive during rules, etc. of those from new congress schools or are lone wolves.

If clearly outclassed, stay engaged, and professional. Try to avoid being visibly frustrated. We have all been there! You will absolutely get this eventually. (Plus, you never know- you may make the 'golden ticket argument ' to ranking high without knowing it...)

If I think you have done the above, it will improve your rank in chamber


First, Congrats on being here. Well earned. One piece of advice- Before starting your speaking in your rounds here in Dallas, take a moment while in front of the room to fix the memory in your mind. It is a memory well-worth keeping.

I have judged at the NSDA Worlds Invitational since 2015 with the exception of one year. I judged at the Harvard Worlds tournament one year and competed in Parli in college

While I am well-experienced in other forms of debate (and I bloviate about that quite a bit below) for this tournament I shall reward teams which

-Center case around a core thesis with supporting substantial arguments and examples. (The thesis may- and often will- evolve during the course of the round)

-Refutation -(especially in later speeches) integrates all arguments make by one's own side and by the opposition into a said thesis

--Weighs key voters. Definitions and other methods should be explicit

Effectively shared rhetorical 'vehicles' between speakers adds to your ethos and ideally logos.

---Blips in constructive speeches blown up large in later speeches are weighed as blips in my decision calculus

--Even succinct POIs can advance argumentation

-Avoid using counterintuitive arguments.(often popular in LD/PF/CX) If you think an argument could be perceived as counterintuitive when it is not, just walk me through that argumentation.

Debate lingo such as 'extend this" and "pull that" confuse me for the purposes of the round - I will ignore debate lingo unless you explain the argument itself.

--Use breadth as well as depth when it comes to case construction (that usually means international examples as well as US-centric, and may also mean examples from throughout the liberal arts- science, literature, history, etc.- When appropriate and unforced.

If a model is offered, I believe 'fiat' of the legislative (or whatever) action is a given so time spent debating otherwise shall be treated as radio silence. However, mindsets or utopia cannot be 'fiat-ed'.

To earn higher speaker points and make me WANT to vote for you-

-Engage with your opponent's ideas for higher speaker points. Avoiding engaging through reliance on definitions or other methods may win you my ballots, but will earn lower speaker points. (This DOES NOT mean going deep into a line by line, it does mean engaging with the claim and the warrant)

Be kind/professional towards those less experienced or skilled. i.e. , make their arguments sound better than they probably are, make your own arguments accessible to them, organize the disorganized ideas of opponents, etc. while avoiding being condescending.

If clearly outclassed, stay engaged and professional. Try to avoid being visibly frustrated. We have all been there! You will absolutely get this eventually. (plus, you never know- you may make the 'golden ticket argument ' to winning the round without knowing it...)

If I think you have done these, it will always result in bonus speaker points.

and needless to say, I'm sure Offensive debaters, such as those who actively call for genocide will be dropped with minimal speaker points. The same is true for those who are blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.

If an argument not intended to be racist or sexist or pro-murder could be misused to justify the same, that would be debatable in the round- though be reasonable. "if it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, chances are it IS a duck." Arguing over if general U.S. immigration is irredeemably racist is debatable in the round, arguing that an entire group of people should be excluded based on religion is racist on face, and arguing that it is morally acceptable (or even amoral) to tear gas children is a moral travesty in and of itself.

Again, congratulations on being here in Dallas! You have earned this, learn, have fun, make positive memories...

Trudy White Matthews Paradigm

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Ed Williams Paradigm

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I will listen to most arguments. I have problems with most theory arguments in LD. Topicality is like the death penalty so I proceed with care. I understand policy arguments and kritiks. I flow most of the time. If you have questions about what I think about your arguments you should ask.

I believe debaters should be civil to each other. I would prefer that high school students not use foul language in debates.

I am ok with performance debates. I do believe the teams should engage the topic. If a team chooses not to engage the topic, then I will give the other team leeway to deal with the lack of engagement.

Reverse voting issues do not make sense in most instances.

I am ok with counterplans and disadvantages.

I will vote for the team that makes the most sense at the end of the debate.

Jamie Wills Paradigm

8 rounds

Debate Paradigms

The winner in a Lincoln Douglas Debate round I judge is decided on argumentation. Did you systematically support your case and refute all aspects of your opponent's case? If both debaters can answer yes to this question, which is rare, - something always seems to be dropped or not enough attention given to a contention - then the round is decided on the quality of reasoning and evidence presented. Last in my consideration of a winner in a round is delivery. Primarily, the argument is the thing for me. Although, keep in mind, I am not a fan of extreme spreading in Lincoln Douglas debate. Additionally, if you are a Policy or Public Forum debater entering the LD world, be sure your case has a framework with a value and a criterion. LD is a values debate, philosophical in nature, so without this framework, your case is seriously flawed and you lose the round. Be sure to signpost, and in your final speech, express to me why/how you won the round (give voting issues).

I have never judged World Schools Debate, but I have taken the time to read up on it. Don't chase any squirrels, and keep my above prefs for LD in mind. If you do these things, you have a chance at a win with me.

Good luck!

Sharon Winn Paradigm

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Bryan Winn Paradigm

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Although I am typically a more conservative (i.e. Stock issues) judge I am open to all forms of debate argumwents . I vote predominantly on clash and impact. Stock issues are a must and that includes topicality.

If you make arguments they must be linkked to your opponents case. If the link iis weak, it is going to be harder to win your argument if your opponent points that out. Extend your arguments thruout rebutttals and that inludes the Affirmative case.

I am OK with K's as long as you provide a viable link to your opponents case. See previous comment regarding links.

I am ok with speed as long as I can understand you. dont yell at me and dont wisper eithe. I f I cant understand you I dont folw you. If I don't flow the argument, it never happened.

Louis Wood Paradigm

8 rounds

General Statements

Hi! I am Louis Wood, currently a rising junior at Bentley University. In High School, I participated in (mainly) Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas debate. I have competed at multiple different national circuit events including the Yale Invitational, Harvard Invitational, NCFL Grand Nationals, and NSDA Nationals. My positive experiences in the world of speech and debate, from debating success, to meeting and connecting with fellow members of the community, was very important to me during high school. For that reason I am super excited to be back and judging!

I am a strong believer in debate being used as a mechanism to become a more effective and persuasive speaker. For this reason I fiercely reject the idea of spreading and theory debates. If you do either or both of these things in a round that I am judging, you will be at a significant strategic disadvantage.

Furthermore, I am a strong believer in debate strengthening students' ability to perform significant academic research, being able to synthesize the research, and creating a cohesive and persuasive case based on the research done by the student. For this reason, I firmly reject coach or 3rd party written cases. If I suspect this is being done (by observing fundamental misunderstandings within your case, not providing adequate answers to CX questions or POI, constantly saying words/names incorrectly, etc...) you will be at a significant strategic disadvantage.

World Schools:

I judge the round based off of which team's content, style, and strategy is superior under the frame/burdens set during the round on both a pragmatic and principled level.

Content: Clear and prepared substantives and ability to give me a holistic review of the round in 3rd speech and reply.

Style: Being well prepared, speaking ability, time management, and accepting (generally) 2 POI's per speech.

Strategy: Clash in tandem with effective POI's, using (explicitly stated) both pragmatic and principled arguments.

If you have me as a judge, focus on the following things:

1.) Be respectful to all members in the room.

2.) Ensure that you focus on the frame/burdens in the round.

3.) Be reasonable, logical, and use (preferably) modern day examples to assist with the flow of your logic.

4.) Provide significant clash by using reason and intuition with (preferably) modern day examples to back up that reason and intuition.

5.) In the 3rd speech and reply, give me a holistic review of the round and why I should propose/oppose based on the frame/burdens given during the round on both a pragmatic and principled level.


Coming Soon!

Public Forum

Coming Soon!

Christine Woodhouse Paradigm

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Maureen Woods Paradigm

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