California Invitational Berkeley Debate
2023 — Berkeley, CA/US
JV Policy Paradigm ListAll Paradigms: Show Hide
My paradigm is extremely simple. Carpe Diem, a clean slate. This means that I judge each, and every round with only the information that is provided in given round. I was a Varsity Policy Debater for four years with qualifications to Nationals a couple of times. I understand all arguments, and flow everything provided in the round. Critical arguments are great, theory should only be used in certain circumstances, and if you can frame that it is the correct circumstances you will get my ballot. I consider the stock issues of policy debate to hold major weight throughout the debate as well.
Pronouns: she/her ♀️
Please also include: firstname.lastname@example.org
[if the room is empty and I'm not there yet, please feel free to go on inside and wait for me there ... I don't care what the wbfl/state rules say]
I debated policy debate for 3 years in high school 2008-2011 and have judged for 10+ years now. I always disclose. If I forget to, please remind me (I think this is where you learn the most).
I REALLY like to see impact calculus - "Even if..." statements are excellent! Remember: magitude⚠️, timeframe⏳️, probability ⚖️. I only ever give high speaker points to those that remember to do this. This should also help you remember to extend your impacts, and compare them with your opponent's as reasons for a judge to prefer your side.
- However, I don't like when both sides keep extending arguments/cards that say opposite things without also giving reasons to prefer one over the other. Tell me how the arguments interact, how they're talking about something different, etc.
- Be sure to extend arguments (especially your T voters) even if they're uncontested - because that gives me material for the reason for decision. If it's going to be in your last speech, it better be in the speech before it (tech > truth). Otherwise, I give weight to the debater that points it out and runs theory to block it from coming up again or applying.
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Prep and CX: I do not count emailing /flashdriving as prep time unless it takes ~2+ minutes. Tag-team cross-ex is ok as long as both teams agree to it and you're not talking over your partner. Please keep track of your speech and prep time.
Full disclosure: Beyond the basic K's like Cap, Security, Biopow, Fem, etc., I'm not familiar with unique K's, and especially where FrameWork tends to be a mess, you might need a little more explanation on K solvency for me or I might get lost.
I often read along to the 1AC and 1NC to catch card-clipping, even checking the marked copies.
Hi! I’m Nathaniel Ashley (he/him)
Please put me on the email chain :) email@example.com
I have about 4 years of policy debate experience with the Bay Area Urban Debate League
Run what you’re most comfortable with - I’m open to vote on anything as long as it’s proven in round why I should be voting on it (which of course comes with a bit of bias which is outlined down there)
However, this does mean that you need to stay organized while debating, disorganization will make it a lot harder for me to judge your round
ALSO disclaimer: I have a full-on hearing loss in my left ear and I’m slightly deaf in my good ear - my hearing is fine and I’m fine with spreading, but disorganization/unclear speaking will make it a lot harder for me to get everything you say down on the flow
Here’s some things I usually look for in rounds:
Outline your voters - tell me everything I need to know to vote for you in a round - why you get the vote, why the other team doesn’t, etc. Write the ballot for me in the round as much as you possibly can :)
This means develop your arguments - explicitly explain why all your arguments are better than the other side’s proposal
Don’t make me connect all the dots post round
Fully formed arguments are a big one - With vague alts/advocacies/plans, if I don’t know what I’m voting for, it’s a lot harder to vote on it (be specific!!!)
Jargon - It’s great but know how to explain what you actually mean, don't make debate words the full explanation of your argument
Impact calc is GREAT, why do you outweigh and why is it necessary that I vote for you?
Also, this should be a given, but be kind to one another
Don’t be unnecessarily rude
NO homophobia, racism, sexism, ableism, or just generally being discriminatory, since that’s a pretty good way to get me to potentially write a ballot against you or at least lower your speaker points as much as I can possibly justify, especially if the other team calls you out (know I will definitely call you out in RFDs post round, regardless of whether or not your opponents do)
My specific feelings on arguments:
These are great, I love them, I understand a majority, but don’t assume I, or your opponents, will fully understand yours. Make sure it’s well explained and if your alt is incredibly vague, changes, or is not extended throughout the round, I’ll just be sad.
For K Affs, I don’t have a lot of experience so while I’ll definitely vote for you if it’s done well, make sure to explain well why I should be voting for you and why the discussion that your aff brings up is so important/how it potentially influences a change
T and Framework:
Good Fwk/T arguments are great. However, bad/unreasonable T and FWK usage/abuse is bad for debate - don’t do that. Please put the whole T shell in the email chain if you can. Also, please give me impacts to your theory, fwk, and T blocks. Theory is cool and all but I won't vote on it if there's not a reason for me to.
CPs are fun, tell me why the inevitable perm doesn’t work, and why your CP solves better than the Aff and is competitive. I’m open to Condo but more than like 8 off is pushing it
Condo note: Be sure to make it absolutely clear what you’re going for, what you're kicking, and signpost as clearly as possible since disorganized condo rounds can become messes and frankly just be extremely difficult to evaluate as a result
Specific links. Line by line which highlights those specific links. Explanation of why they lead to your impact. Extension of all this through the round. Impact calc.
Lastly, have a good time debating :) Thanks to my coaches for HEAVILY inspiring this paradigm (lmao, there was definitely no plagiarism here), and good luck in all your rounds!!!
Name: Eric Beane
Affiliation: Langham Creek High School
*Current for the 2023-24 Season*
Yes, I WILL vote for backfile checks, death good, wipeout, etc.
Policy Debate Paradigm
It has been a minute since I have judged. I debated for the University of Houston from 2012-2016. I've coached at Katy-Taylor HS from 2011 - 2016 and since 2018 I have been the Director of Debate at Langham Creek High School. I mostly went for the K. I judge a lot of clash of the civs & strange debates. Have fun
Critical Affirmatives – I think your aff should be related to the topic; we have one for a reason and I think there is value in doing research and debating on the terms that were set by the topic committee. Your aff doesn’t need to fiat the passage of a plan or have a text, but it must generally affirm the resolution. I think having a text that you will defend helps you out plenty. Framework is definitely a viable strategy in front of me.
Disadvantages – DA + CP or case in the 2NR is not what I went for or coached primarily in my years of competition. Specific turns case analysis that is contextualized to the affirmative (not blanket, heg solves for war, vote neg analysis) will always be rewarded with high speaker points. Comparative analysis between time frame, magnitude and probability makes my decisions all the easier. I love to judge a good debate regardless of the argument.
Counterplans – I think that PICs can be an interesting avenue for debate, especially if they have a nuanced or critical net benefit. PICs bad etc. are not reasons to reject the team but just to reject the argument. I also generally err neg on these questions, but it isn’t impossible to win that argument in front of me. Condo debates are fair game – you’ll need to invest a substantial portion of the 1AR and 2AR on this question though.
Kritiks - I enjoy a good K debate. When I competed in college I mostly debated critical disability studies and its intersections. I've also read variations of Nietzsche, Psychoanalysis and Marxism throughout my debate career.
"Method Debate" - Many debates are unnecessarily complicated because of this phrase. If you are reading an argument that necessitates a change in how a permutation works (or doesn't), then naturally you should set up and explain a new model of competition. Likewise, the affirmative ought to defend their model of competition.
Vagueness - Strangely enough, we begin the debate with two very different positions, but as the debate goes on the explanation of these positions change, and it all becomes oddly amorphous - whether it be the aff or neg. I feel like "Vagueness" arguments can be tactfully deployed and make a lot of sense in those debates (in the absence of it).
We all need to be able to understand what the alternative is, what it does in relation to the affirmative and how does it resolve the link+impact you have read. I have no shame in not voting for something that I can't explain back to you.
Case Debate – I think that even when reading a 1-off K strategy, case debate can and should be perused. I think this is probably the most undervalued aspect of debate. I can be persuaded to vote on 0% risk of the aff or specific advantages. Likewise, I can be convinced there is 0 risk of a DA being triggered.
Topicality - I'm down to listen to a good T debate. Having a topical version of the aff with an explanation behind it goes a long way in painting the broader picture of debate that you want to create with your interpretation. Likewise being able to produce a reasonable case list is also a great addition to your strategy that I value. You MUST slow down when you are addressing the standards, as I will have a hard time keeping up with your top speed on this portion of the debate. In the block or the 2NR, it will be best if you have a clear overview, easily explaining the violation and why your interp resolves the impacts you have outlined in your standards.
New Affs are good. That's just it. One of the few predispositions I will bring into the debate.
"Strange" Arguments / Backfile Checks - I love it when debate becomes fun. Sometimes we need a break from the monotony of nuclear armageddon. The so-called classics like wipeout, the pic, etc. I think are a viable strategy. I've read guerrilla communication arguments in the past and think it provides some intrigue in policy debate. I also think it is asinine for judges or coaches to get on a moral high horse about "Death Good" arguments and refuse to vote for them. Debate is a game and if you can't beat the other side, regardless of what they are arguing, you should lose.
Accessibility - My goal as an educator and judge is to provide the largest and most accessible space of deliberation possible. If there are any access issues that I can assist with, please let me know (privately or in public - whatever you are comfortable with). I struggle with anxiety and understand if you need to take a "time out" or breather before or after a big speech.
Evidence - When you mark cards I usually also write down where they are marked on my flow –also, before CX starts, you need to show your opponents where you marked the cards you read. If you are starting an email chain - prep ends as soon as you open your email to send the document. I would like to be on your email chain too - firstname.lastname@example.org
High Speaks? - The best way to get high speaks in front of me is in-depth comparative analysis. Whether this be on a theory debate or a disad/case debate, in depth comparative analysis between author qualification, warrants and impact comparison will always be rewarded with higher speaker points. The more you contextualize your arguments, the better. If you are negative, don't take prep for the 1NR unless you're cleaning up a 2NC disaster. I'm impressed with stand-up 1ARs, but don't rock the boat if you can't swim. If you have read this far in my ramblings on debate then good on you - If you say "wowzas" in the debate I will reward you with +.1 speaker points.
Any other questions, please ask in person or email – email@example.com
Yes, I want to be on the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org. Label email chains with the tournament, round, and both teams. Send DOCS, not your excessively paraphrased case + 55 cards in the email chain.
I debated 3 years of PF at Coppell High School. I am now a Public Forum Coach at the Quarry Lane School.
Standing Conflicts: Coppell, Quarry Lane
If there are 5 things to take from my paradigm, here they are:
1. Read what you want. Don't change your year-long strategies for what I may or may not like - assuming the argument is not outright offensive, I will evaluate it. My paradigm gives my preferences on each argument, but you should debate the way you are most comfortable with.
2. Send speech docs. I mean this - Speaks are capped at a 27.5 for ANY tournament in a Varsity division if you are not at a minimum sending constructive with cards. If you paraphrase, send what you read and the cards. Send word docs or google docs, not 100 cards in 12 separate emails. +0.2 speaks for rebuttal docs as well.
3. Don't lie about evidence. I've seen enough shitty evidence this year to feel comfortable intervening on egregiously bad evidence ethics. I won't call for evidence unless the round feel impossible to decide or I have been told to call for evidence, but if it is heavily misconstrued, you will lose.
4. Be respectful. This should be a safe space to read the arguments you enjoy. If someone if offensive or violent in any way, the round will be stopped and you will lose.
5. Extend, warrant, weigh. Applicable to whatever event you're in - easiest way to win any argument is to do these 3 things better than the other team and you'll win my ballot.
Online Debate Update:
Establish a method for evidence exchange PRIOR to the start of the round, NOT before first crossfire. Cameras on at all times. Here's how I'll let you steal prep - if your opponents take more than 2 minutes to search for, compile, and send evidence, I'll stop caring if you steal prep in front of me. This should encourage both teams to send evidence quickly.
All arguments should be responded to in the next speech outside of 1st constructive. If is isn't, the argument is dropped. Theory, framing, ROBs are the exception to this as they have to be responded to in the next speech.
Every argument in final focus should be warranted, extended, and weighed in summary/FF to win you the round. Missing any one of these 3 components is likely to lose you the round. Frontlining in 2nd rebuttal is required. I don't get the whole "frontline offense but not defense" - collapse, frontline the argument, and move on. Defense isn't sticky - extend everything you want in the ballot in summary, including dropped defense.
Theory: I believe that disclosure is good and paraphrasing is bad. I will not hack for these arguments, but these are my personal beliefs that will influence my decision if there is absolutely no objective way for me to choose a winner. I will vote on paraphrasing good, but your speaks will get nuked. I think trigger warnings are bad. The use of them in PF have almost always been to allow a team to avoid interacting with important issues in round because they are afraid of losing, and the amount of censorship of those arguments I've seen because of trigger warnings has led me to this conclusion. I will vote on trigger warning theory if there is an objectively graphic description of something that is widely considered triggering, and there is no attempt to increase safety for the competitors by the team reading it, but other than that I do not see myself voting on this shell often.
I think RVI's are good in PF when teams kick theory. Otherwise, you should 100% read a counter-interp. Reasonability is too difficult to adjudicate in my experience, and I prefer an interp v CI debate.
K's/Non-Topical Positions: There are dozens of these, and I hardly know 3-4. However, as with any other argument, explain it well and prove why it means you should win. I expect there to be distinct ROBs I can evaluate/compare, and if you are reading a K you should delineate for me whether you are linking to the resolution (IMF is bad b/c it is a racist institution) OR your opponents link to the position (they securitized Russia). I think K's should give your opponent's a chance to win - I will NOT evaluate "they cannot link in" or "we win b/c we read the argument first".
I will boost speaks if you disclose (+0.1), read cut cards in rebuttal (+0.2), and do not take over 2 mins to compile and send evidence (+0.1).
Ask me in round for questions about my paradigm, and feel free to ask me questions after round as well.
Long, long, long ago; back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, I was a regional finalist in High School impromptu and parli.
Now I am merely a parent judge and no longer have a dinosaur to ride, so instead I judge IE and Parli (and now Policy).
SQUALS 2023: I am a lay judge and have been judging debate for four years (two years for policy). Please, please, please don’t spread. I’m not going to vote on anything completely absurd like squirrels not having proper scuba gear leads to extinction. I will try to be as tech > truth as I can be, but my biases in terms of truth will probably influence decisions even if I don’t intend that to be the case. I have expertise in 5 areas of science and engineering.
Please read an actual plan in 1ac. We are not here to debate about the value of debate or try to attach metaphysics to real and important earthly problems.
Topicality: I will understand topicality and vote on topicality if you can prove that their plan has made the debate significantly unfair.
Kritik: Don’t run these with me, they’ll confuse me and I’ll mark against you for them if I’m confused.
CP: Love counterplans, bonus points if they are unique and well explained.
DA: Please don’t read some generic link, make the link specific to the aff, and make sure to explain impact link chain clearly.
Case: Love case debate, if you can prove you know the aff better than the affirmative does and then prove its a bad idea I will be very impressed and give you good speaks.
Cross-X: I flow cross-x, don’t be overly aggressive or rude, it will reduce speaks. Strong cross-x which will increase speaks include: any question that highlights a missing link in the argument or an inconsistency in the argument.
+0.1 if you tell me what your favorite dinosaur is before you speech
In IE, I particularly look for
* good transitions
* cohesion (does it sound like a single talk instead of unrelated series of short monologs)
I strongly dislike when the enthusiasm to show emotion interferes with diction and severely treble shift voices.
* I have difficulties when people speak too fast. (Especially if it is faster than my pet dinosaurs used to run.)
* I am generally not persuaded by "theory" in Parli.
My highest commitment as a judge is making this activity accessible and inclusive. I am committed to developing novices and want to make varsity debate a welcoming environment for students who are moving from novice/JV to varsity.
I understand and appreciate critical and policy arguments and am fine with you arguing about whatever you wish to make the debate about. I see my role as an educator, however, and so will not allow anti-trans, antiblack, or bigoted language or attitudes that would deny the humanity of any participant in the activity. With those ground rules in place, I try to center my decisions on the arguments made in the debate and bracket my own predilections as much as I can. This is an aspiration but I also recognize and try to be reflective about the way my identity and history shapes my thought. It is important not to bracket these questions, even as I try to evaluate arguments fairly and not intervene to tip the scales.
With that said, here are my thoughts on procedural arguments.
Games have to be fair and simulate something we love about life, or be connected to life or they are not very fun. But what does it mean for a game to be fair? Is that the only value I should care about?
I love debate, so access to it is a terminal impact. It is an educational game (or it has been for me) so education is also a terminal impact. But it's a game. So fairness matters.
I don't think any of these three procedural impacts are more basic or fundamental than the other. I just abide in the tension and allow debaters to frame the impacts.
I believe debate is about open inquiry, and I want to allow debaters to test all kinds of claims. Admittedly, if you choose to examine philosophical questions, I will enjoy the discussion. Please note that explanation will serve you in debates centered around complicated concepts. Although I have a Ph.D. in philosophy, I would rather be treated as an informed layperson than a specialist.
- I debated for Niles West in high school and West Georgia in college.
- BA in Philosophy.
- Currently coaching at Niles West.
Top level things:
- If you engage in offensive acts (think racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.), you will lose automatically and will be awarded whatever the minimum speaker points offered at that particular tournament is.
- If you make it so that the tags in your document maps are not navigable by taking the "tag" format off of them, I will actively dock your speaker points.
- Quality of argument means a lot to me. I am willing to hold my nose and vote for bad arguments if they're better debated but my threshold for answering those bad arguments is pretty low.
- I’m extremely hesitant to vote on arguments about things that have happened outside of a debate or in previous debates. I can only be sure of what has happened in this particular debate and anything else is non-falsifiable.
- Absolutely no ties and the first team that asks for one will lose my ballot.
- Soliciting any outside assistance during a round will lose my ballot.
- Lack of clarity. Clarity > speed 100% of the time.
- The 1AC not being sent out by the time the debate is supposed to start.
- Email-sending related failures.
- Dead time.
- Stealing prep.
- Answering arguments in an order other than the one presented by the other team.
- Asserting things are dropped when they aren't.
- Asking the other team to send you a marked doc when they marked 1-3 cards.
- Marking almost every card in the doc.
- Disappearing after the round.
- Quoting my paradigm in your speeches.
- Sending PDFs instead of Word Docs.
- If you are caught clipping you will receive a loss and the lowest possible points.
- If you make an ethics challenge in a debate in front of me, you must stake the debate on it. If you make that challenge and are incorrect or cannot prove your claim, you will lose and be granted the lowest possible points. If you are proven to have committed an ethics violation, you will lose and be granted the lowest possible points.
- If you use sexually explicit language or engage in sexually explicit performances in high school debates, you should strike me.
- Yes, I’m fine with tag-team cx. But dominating your partner’s cx will result in lower points for both of you.
- Questions like "what cards did you read?" are cross-x questions, and I will run the timer accordingly.
- If you fail to ask the status of the off, I will be less inclined to vote for condo.
- If the 1NC responds that "every DA is a NB to every CP" when asked about net benefits in the 1NC even if it makes no sense, I think the 1AR gets a lot of leeway to explain a 2AC "links to the net benefit argument" on any CP as it relates to the DAs.
Inserting evidence or rehighlightings into the debate:
- I won't evaluate it unless you actually read the parts that you are inserting into the debate. If it's like a chart or a map or something like that, that's fine, I don't expect you to literally read that, but if you're rehighlighting some of the other team's evidence, you need to actually read the rehighlighting.
- I’m fine with plan or planless affirmatives. However, I believe all affirmatives should advocate for/defend something. What that something entails is up for debate, but I’m hesitant to vote for affirmatives that defend absolutely nothing.
- I default to competing interpretations unless told otherwise.
- The most important thing for me in T debates is an in-depth explanation of the types of affs your interp would include/exclude and the impact that the inclusion/exclusion would have on debate.
- 5 second ASPEC shells/the like have become nonstarters for me. If I reasonably think the other team could have missed the argument because I didn't think it was a clear argument, I think they probably get new answers. If you drop it twice, that's on you.
- For me counterplans are more about competition than theory. While I tend to lean more neg on questions of CP theory, I lean aff on a lot of questions of competition, especially in the cases of CPs that compete on the certainty of the plan, normal means cps, and agent cps.
- If you're reading a DA that isn't just a case turn, it should go on its own sheet. Failure to do so is super annoying because people end up extending/answering arguments on flows in different orders.
- The more specific the link the better. Even if your cards aren’t that specific, applying your evidence to the specifics of the affirmative through nuanced analysis is always preferable to a generic link extension.
- ‘You link you lose’ strategies are not my favorite. I’m willing to vote on them if the other team fails to respond properly, but I’m very sympathetic to aff arguments about it being a bad model for debate.
- I find many framework debates end up being two ships passing in the night. Line by line answers to the other team's framework standards goes a long way in helping win framework in front of me.
- Almost all theory arguments are reasons to reject the argument, condo is usually the only exception.
- Conditionality is often good. It can be not. I have found myself to be increasingly aff leaning on extreme conditionality (think many plank cps where all of the planks are conditional + 4-5 more conditional options).
- Tell me what my role is on the theory debate - am I determining in-round abuse or am I setting a precedent for the community?
- I find impacts about debatability, clash, and iterative testing to be very persuasive.
- I am not really persuaded by fairness impacts, but will vote on it if mishandled.
- I am not really persuaded by impacts about skills/the ability for debate to change the world if we read plans - I think these are not very strategic and easily impact turned by the aff.
- I am pretty sympathetic to negative presumption arguments because I often think the aff has not forwarded an explanation for what the aff does to resolve the impacts they've described.
- I don't think debate is role-playing.
- If the aff drops SSD or the TVA and the 2NR extends it, I will most likely vote neg.
Policy Debate Paradigm
3 years of high school CX debate
4 years college debate (One year CEDA, 3 years Parli – NPDA)
20 years high school debate coach
I tend to default to a policymaker paradigm, although I am open to other paradigms if they are clearly articulated and defended. I expect clear framework and voters on procedural and non-policy arguments (i.e. kritiks, and T). I also prefer impact framing for kritiks and DAs so that I know how you want me to weigh them against any other impacts in the round. If you want moral impacts to outweigh policy impacts, I expect clear voters and explanations of why they outweigh - I don't assume anything and don't believe in judge intervention on moral questions.
I am not opposed to K, in fact I like really good kritiks, but remember that in the absence of clear framework arguments and clear voters on K, I will weigh the policy impacts according to the time frame, probability, and magnitude of each impact and vote accordingly. I don't automatically vote for a K based on the "you link you lose" framework which has become popular the last few years on the circuit. You need to explain the role of my ballot in relation to the kritik and how it relates to the post-fiat policy impacts in the round (if there are any).
If you are clear about how the impacts and voters should be weighed in your rebuttals, you are significantly more likely to win my ballot. Good 2AR and 2NR speeches tell me the story of the round and why I should vote for you. If you have an overview or under view, your goal should be to clearly articulate what my RFD should be, which makes my job easier.
I am OK with speed - I am pretty used to it by now - but don’t mumble or slur your words together – articulate and efficient speed can be a good strategy; inarticulate spread fails to communicate your arguments. Remember, I'm usually not reading along with you as you spread and I need to be able to hear what you are saying.
Maria Cook (she/her)
I would like to be on the email chain please: email@example.com
I debated policy in high school for four years, ending with the water topic.
General Thoughts– I try to be as tab as possible. However, I think everyone inevitably comes in with some preconceived notions about debate. Please don’t feel like you have to adapt to my preferences--you should do whatever you do best. But if what you do best happens to be judge adaptation, here are some of my thoughts:
Framework – Please try to engage each other's interpretations and arguments instead of just extending your own. Look to my comments on topicality if you're interested in how I try to evaluate standards-based debate.
Case Debate– I think the case debate is really under-utilized -- case-specific strategies that integrate intelligent on-case arguments into the 1NC can be really compelling.
DA/CPs– The more specific the better, but I’ll vote on anything.
Critiques– I did mostly critical debate, but please don't assume that I'm familiar with your literature base -- I'll evaluate your arguments as if I'm hearing the literature for the first time. I think critiques are most persuasive when they interact explicitly with the 1AC/2AC, so I appreciate specific 2NC link analysis (doesn’t necessarily need to be carded) that points to arguments being made in the 1AC/2AC, and I like 2NC attempts to gain in roads to the case by suggesting the alternative is a necessary precondition to case solvency. I like critical affirmatives so long as you explain the significance of voting affirmative.
Topicality– My threshold for T is the same as any other type of argument, but like all other positions, there are central issues that the 2NR needs to resolve in order for me to vote on T. If neither team articulates a framework within which I can vote, then I’ll default to competing interpretations. Assuming I’m voting in a competing interpretations framework, I think of standards as external impacts to a vote for a given team’s interpretation. That means comparative impact calculus has a huge place in a 2NR that’s going for T. Explain to me what debate looks like if I vote for your interpretation and why that vision should be preferred to one that would allow for cases like the affirmative.
Theory – Please engage the other team's arguments -- don't just read blocks and talk past one another. If you expect to win on theory (independently), you should probably give me some kind of substantive reason why a given violation merits rejection of the team, and not just the argument.
Nontraditional Debate– As long as I’m provided with a standard for evaluation that I feel both teams can reasonably be expected to meet, you can do whatever you'd like.
In Round Decorum– Don’t be mean. Try to have fun.
Speed– As long as you’re clear, I’m fine with speed.
Speaker Points– 28.5 is average. I'll add points for things like clarity and efficiency, and I'll subtract points for particularly messy debating.
If you have any specific questions, please ask! Feel free to email me after round with questions :)
As a judge, I take pride in my role,
I'll evaluate with a discerning soul
But when it comes to pace, Please slow down your race
My ears need a break, or else it will take a toll
I do need your evidence, it's true
Send it all to me, yes, that includes you
I'll read it with care, And judge it fair and square
So please, send it promptly when you're through
Mid-round questions I cannot abide
Save them for prep, where they can reside
I'll be listening intently, To each word spoken gently
So speak clearly and slow, and let the debate decide
Best of Luck!!!
PS: email me your evidence at firstname.lastname@example.org
email - email@example.com
UC Berkeley '25 (political science + business administration)
TOC '20 '21
I haven't been active in debate for a min, so I'm not too familiar with the topic
Affs: defend something (esp non-plan affs)
T: cool, show me what your model of debate looks like and justify it
Counterplans: cheating counterplans that are justified r p cool, justify perms and theory
K: not really my wheelhouse but if you know the arg and can explain it go ahead
Disads: have specific link stories
LD: no tricks
Everything else: just explain it well and know the argument
people whose views on debate are most like mine
Chris Paredes, Donny Peters, Tim Lewis, Brendan Tremblay, Noah Bartholio, Joe Barragan
Minneapolis South/Occasional judging for Minnesota
My email is izakgm [at] gmail.com, add me to the email chain before the round, please and thank you.
Good debating overwhelms anything else on here. I've coached and judged teams of all styles. I will try my best to evaluate the round on your terms and not my own.
do whatever you gotta do for your internet quality. I'd like camera on but if you can't, you can't, and I won't hold it against you and you don't need to explain to me.
IN PERSON DEBATE IS BACK and its time to shed our eDebate norms like "not saying the words that are in the card text while we spread". I will most certainly let you know I'm not getting it. Teams that spread clearly: I see you, I hear you, I honor you, and I am here with you!
How I judge - big picture > minutia.
I appreciate explicit impact comparison, judge instruction, and when the 2nr/2ar starts in a place that helps me resolve the rest of the debate. I don't mean "they dropped my role of the ballot!!!!!!". If you say "extinction outweighs" but don't tell me what it outweighs, I'll just assume you mean its important since you haven't made a comparative claim.
I'm flow centered, but not a fan of cheap shots or punishing small mistakes. I'm not a perfect flow. In fact I am certainly one of the worst flowers on the circuit and yet I use my flow to decide the round. If you want me to evaluate your argument its on you to make sure I write it down. Late breaking and unforeseeable arguments may justify new responses. I do have 2n sympathyTM and will check the 2ar against arguments that weren't in the 1ar. 2nr line drawing or instruction remains helpful.
I think in terms of risks, including zero risk and presumption. Offense/defense works well a lot of the time, but I'm not a cultist. If internal links are missing and the other team points it out without reply, I'm not giving you 1% just for fun.
I think I used to be harder on the 1ar and 2nr. Now I give a bit more leeway if there was sufficient explanation earlier in the debate. I pay close attention to and often flow cross-x if its going somewhere.
I read less evidence than many judges at the end of the round. If your superior evidence quality is not explained, I might miss it. I will not reconstruct the round through the docs afterwards. I won't read along unless I suspect clipping. If you deliver the text of your evidence incomprehensibly fast I will not read the text of it later to figure out what you said. Again, the burden of communication is on you.
I love strategic concessions and rehighlightings. If you are right and you read it in the speech, I will prioritize your analysis. It makes sense to insert things like charts. If its "a stake the round on it" kind of issue, please do not insert a rehighlighting, I need you read it. If its just an FYI about a tertiary issue... go off I guess.
I'm expressive and might intervene vocally to move you off a stale cx direction or motion to move on if you are repeating yourself in the speech. It will be pretty obvious in person if I have stopped flowing because I don't understand what you are saying. My resting face is rather stern, don't take it personally. I'm probably still vibing with you.
FW v K aff - Yes, I will vote either way. It comes down to links and impacts like any other debate and the best teams in these rounds have offense and defense.
Neg teams: I'll be honest, if you say debate is a game more than twice my eyes start to glaze over. Fairness can be an impact but it usually feels like a small one. By this I mean if the aff wins any impact at all it will be more important to me than fairness. If that's your approach you'll need to be playing great defense (lots of ways to do this) or really filtering out aff offense somehow. I say this and yet I think fairness/clash is by far the most strategic version of this argument. Y'all think I didn't notice you just ctrl-f'd your fairness blocks with clash? Ignoring the questions posed by the aff or repeatedly mischaracterizing the aff's claims will likely result in an aff ballot.
Aff teams: I'm open to whatever approach you want to take. I'm personally more interested in strategies built around a counter interpretation even if its not an intuitive (or predictable) one, will vote for impact turns alone and in many cases that is more strategic. Just FYI, I do not know what the symbolic economy is, so if you are the first one to explain it to me then kudos. I think I just learned what a psychoanalytic drive is last month but I still might not understand it. If the TVA is something I'm thinking about during my decision time, even if you dropped it, then you've written or explained your aff poorly. If your model doesn't explain a role for negation, or your aff is so uncontroversial that it doesn't hold up to a basic inherency push, I can see myself voting neg easily.
Ks on the neg - Love these debates. Explanation is vital on both sides. Aff teams that explain their internal links and solvency have the most success against ks in front of me. Aff framework arguments that exclude kritiks entirely will be a tough sell. If the alt is cheating, you can point that out tho ;) I've yet to hear a persuasive explanation for judge choice - I will only vote on benefits of your plan that you explain. Neg teams do well with strong links that implicate the case. You don't always need an alt in the 2nr, but you might be better off defending an imperfect alt instead of just the squo, especially if the 2ar is on to you. Perms are a valuable tool but 90% of aff wins would be on case outweighs whether the perm was present or not.
Policy stuff - Yes. I like internal link and solvency presses. Impact defense can make sense, but "x doesn't cause extinction" might not get your there if the other team has a nuanced impact comparison. I have a loose attachment to the "link first" camp until you tell me otherwise. My time in Minnesota has left me with a love for impact turns, don't care how dumb it seems. If you can't beat stupid... I don't know what to tell you.
I struggled with Judge Kick for a while. I've come around. I still enjoy strategic and narrow 2nrs (i.e. not making me do this). If you explicitly (saying "squo is always an option" in 1nc cx counts) flag this as an option by the end of the block I'm game. I am open to affs that ask me to stick the 2nr to the cp.
Complicated Perm texts can be explained and inserted - they should be written out fully and sent for all to see. Counterplan texts that you don't want to read fully.... No thank you. Be more creative with how its written.
Things it might be helpful to know about me/carrots+sticks/hot takes inspired by OTT
- i understand why no one does this but if the aff team took a stance on something (like an actual explanation of how they solve not solely hedging against agent cps) and the neg fiats through a solvency deficit based in literature and the aff went for theory I might be more likely to vote aff than most. This obviously goes out the window if the aff says the phrase "for the purpose of counterplan competition" at any point in cx.
- some bonus speaker points (maybe .2?) if your neg strategy (policy or k) hinges on tech and not nato. Feels like there is room for das/impact turns in this area and I would like to see them.
- If your wiki is sparse your points are capped at 28.5 - its JV behavior, you get JV points.
- If you can't answer basic CX questions about a position you are asking for an L 27. If you think the round is over and you stop your rebuttal VERY early because you have already won (invoke a TKO correctly), the baseline for your points is 29.5.
- I'm lukewarm for plan text in a vacuum. "Only non-arbitrary" blah blah blzh both teams should just debate about what the aff does. I will require some extra convincing before the 2ar and will heavily protect the 2nr here.
- truly random defaults that have come up more than once in rounds that I want on the record: perms are tests of competition so I will jettison them if they would hurt the aff. you can implicitly answer a "ballot pic" by trying to win the round.
If you still have questions, please feel free to email or ask me before the round!
Old water topic thoughts archive
- Glad I didn't judge enough on this topic to have thoughts. We only heard extinction affs all year because of the bizcon da? Now that's what I call cowardice. Excited for NATO!
Old CJR thoughts archive
- learning about the criminal justice system is nice. If you teach me something about the topic (yes critical knowledge is part of the topic get over yourself) over the course of the debate, boost to your points. If your aff is about cyberattacks strike me, I simply don't care. If your aff is about cyberattacks and you debate the internal link level well enough to convince me that you were actually talking about criminal justice reform,
- i have some professional experience working on police reform. I live in Minneapolis and South high is blocks from where the 3rd precinct burned. My personal belief is ACAB. I feel familiar with many of the practical arguments for and against abolition, so I have a high threshold for link debating. aff teams, feel free to go for "abolition bad" instead of the perm...
- I'd love to be a judge that fully resolved framing first before substance. Unfortunately the quality of debating here is often such that I have to resolve some substance to figure out what to do.
Last Updated: November, 2023. Please put me on the chain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Niles West High School (2014-2018)
Trinity University (2018-2020)
Michigan State University (2020-2023)
Winston Churchill (2018-19)
Niles West High School (2020-2023)
Niles North HS (2023-now)
University of Wyoming (2023-now)
I debated for 9 years, all the way from Oceans to Personhood. I've been a 2n for longer than I've been a 2a, but at heart I am a 2a. I currently coach at Niles North High School in northwest Chicagoland and do remote coaching for the University of Wyoming. I went for policy-style arguments throughout my debate career and relied on debate to help realize/finance my college education. Debate's done a lot for me and I'd like to think I'm doing what I can for debate. If you already know me, say hi!! If you don't know me yet, don't mind the fact that I have a grumpy resting face! I'm not shy and would love to show you pictures of my dog.
I really want to ensure you all have a satisfying judging experience. I think this means it is my role as a judge to try my best to render a decision based on the arguments made in the debate. I care about debate's existence and success. I hope that is reflected in my feedback and my efforts as a judge.
High school debaters will do well in front of me if they keep the round organized and moving, show their motivation to improve/learn/win, and maintain a positive approach to the round despite the competitive nature of debate. They'll do even better if this is coupled with good, SPECIFIC arguments :)
College Debaters should consider me capable of judging whatever you need me to. I don't have any large predispositions and therefore I would consider myself quite impressionable if faced with good judge instruction and application of arguments at the end of the debate.
I have comparatively lower amounts of college topic knowledge - fair word of warning for acronyms
CLIPPING: I am soooooo done with people getting away with murder clipping everywhere. In that light, I will now start dropping non-novice teams that meet my minimum standard for clipping. Triggering any one of these conditions will result in an immediate loss after the speech, with minimum speaks to the individual who does it...
1. Speaker skips a paragraph of a card in a speech
2. Speaker skips a sentence that is 10 or more words in a speech
3. Speakers skips 3-5 words 5 times within a speech
4. Speaker systematically skips 1-2 words throughout a speech
Speaks: I will reward speaks mostly on the following criteria...
1. How did you impact your team's ability to win?
2. How did you impact my judging? Did something impress me?
3. Mastery of Material - "knowing what's going on" at the highest level
4. Mastery of Tech/Organization - did you cause/fix any unnecessary/avoidable decision time hurdles?
Clarity: I'm starting to care way way more about the clarity of argument communicated earlier for how I assess risk later in the debate. I really feel like rewarding good packaging of arguments, labeling, and organization that guides the judge through what you're saying AND why that matters. I will try and highly prioritize this analysis over reading every card and seeing who did the better research project. However, instructing me to read a portion of a card obviously constitutes a form of argument that I will take into account.
Conduct: The more we have good vibes in the round, the better the experience will be for everyone. Feel free to have competitive spirit, but don't let that turn you into an unlikeable person!! That's not a winning recipe. Also I am a fan of corny humor, often to a fault. I have given one 30 in my lifetime, and it was to someone who's joke made me uncontrollably laugh during the 2ar (they lost). Don't reach for a bad joke though that's never funny.
Online Debate: Before EVERY speech and EVERY CX, please confirm that everyone is here AND that the sound is clear! Feel free to do camera on or off, I understand everyone has their reasons. Please be understanding of the different complications of online debate and let's do everything we can to keep online accessible and effective. Oh and I HATE prep stealing and doing it while online doesn't excuse it.
I should understand a consistent explanation of the 1ac and its advantages throughout the debate. Changing this narrative or being dodgy/vague is easily subject to punishment by a good neg team. AFF teams should punish teams that are light on case using clear 2ac articulations of dropped arguments instead of being equally as vague. 2NRs on case should focus on identifying what AFF impacts your case defense is responding to.
I am starting to get really tired of bad highlighting here and teams that point this out can mitigate offense here.
They're cool, but oh my gosh do teams double, triple, quadruple turn themselves with these so often! I don't care about spamming DAs, but I wish more AFF teams would exploit contradictions in "neg flex". Neg teams can best win their DAs by getting impact framing out early and being clear about 1ar concessions to establish a high risk of your offense.
I am starting to get really tired of bad highlighting here and teams that point this out can mitigate offense here.
I think explaining your vision of the topic is one of the most underrated and underutilized ways to win a T debate. Please just explain to me why in your squad room you decided that T made sense? What's the "core thing" that the AFF did that is the controversy being debated?
Things that help a lot: TVA, case-list of good AFFs under your interpretation, case-list of bad AFFs under their interpretation, definition comparison, explanation of neg ground under your interpretation AND the other teams'.
I HATE bad theory arguments and don't want to vote on them, but I hate teams that don't flow slightly more so I will vote on that stuff (and if I miss one line ASPEC that's on you, debate's a communication activity!). Bad theory debating is a one way ticket to low speaks, but good theory debating can drastically alter how rounds go down.
I'm pretty good for theory all things considered. I went for states CP theory a lot on the education topic and am a 2a at heart, but as someone who was a 2n I understand the deep, deep love we share for condo. I feel like the best theory debaters are FLOWABLE while doing their theory debating, SPECIFIC in their impact articulation beyond just talking about clashing and doing some fair education, and INSTRUCTIVE to the judge on questions of impact comparison and justifying new arguments.
CPs are defense and should be explained in the context of what it is defending against (the 1ac's mandate, evidence, and how the advantages are explained). This is how I often think about deficits and how a CP implicates my ballot. Re-cutting the 1ac/AFF evidence is usually the gold standard for proving a CP sufficiently solves. I feel like fore-fronting how you explain a CP early and not deviating from that is the best way to ensure you don't bring in new explanations so I don't let the AFF get new answers. I lowkey hate process CPs but sometimes it must be done.
I'm better for the K than you think, but likely need more judge instruction about how to apply X argument. Better for evidence-heavy OR depth-focused debate. Any amount of generic evidence is best addressed through specific analysis.
"Exceeds expectations"/I've gone for: Cap, Security, Biopolitics/Agamben
"Meeting expectations"/I feel fine judging: Set Col, Anti-blackness (Nihilism, Pessimism, to name a few), Orientalism/Colonialism, Imperialism, Queer pessimism, Trans pessimism, Ableism
"Needs improvement"/err towards over-explaining: Psychoanalysis, Bataille, Heideggerian stuff, Baudrillard, Deleuze
I have not judged a KvK debate yet.
I almost exclusively went for t-usfg/framework in HS and college, but that doesn't make me care about dropping a policy team. Impact articulation matters for me but far too often I find teams blending concepts such as fairness and clash in incoherent ways. I don't care about the label, but rather the underling explanation and how it is being applied in the debate. If you have any other questions look at Josh Harrington's philosophy on K AFFs, that'll reflect roughly how I feel.
Nate's sliding scales about debate:
Tech/Truth----------------------------X-Facts are Facts & Dropped args are as true as the warrants conceded
Condo-------X----------------------Respect the Aff Peasant (have and will vote on it, clear args in the 1ar key)
Process CP/Normal Means Competition----------------------------X- 100 plank case-specific advantage CP
Super Big CP-----------------X------------Deep Case Debating
Simply saying "Sufficiency Framing"-----------------------------X-Explain why CP solves sufficiently
Zero Risk Framing----------X-------------------Any Risk Framing
Perm Double Bind--------------X---------------Haha Silly Policy Hacks
Deb8=Karl Rove----------------------------X-That was one dude
Salad K----------------------------X-Single K Thesis
Economic Growth----------------------------X-( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Email chain is always preferable to anything else barring tech issues
I don't like cards in the body of the email... but nobody seems to care... oh well...
I am fine with open cx. All people should be.
The Prep Rule: I will increase speaks from what I would have given by .2 for every minute of prep not used - speaks can be earned by specifically telling me the balance of prep your team had remaining before their last rebuttal.
Massive pet peeve: if you call a CP a "see-pee" I will think about it so much that it might disrupt my flowing and you might instantly lose (I am being sarcastic).
here's a photo collage about debate that I made in high school:
4th year on the Circuit
Add me to the email chain: email@example.com
Straight from Amrit Sharma's Paradigm:
Tech > Truth (You can win an argument saying that the 1 + 1 = 3 if your opponent does not respond to it, I believe doing anything otherwise is judge intervention)
I require speech docs to be sent before constructive and rebuttal speeches
Frontline all offense in second rebuttal and defense on the arg ur going for (by all means frontline everything I think its a good strat)
Summary should extend defense
When you are extending responses on your opponents case please interact with their frontlines otherwise you're just wasting time.
No new weighing in second FF, very minimal new weighing allowed in First FF
IMPACT CALCULUS: this is what wins you debates. If you clearly explain to me and give warrants as to why your impacts matter more than your opponents, you're much more likely to win if they don't. Some common mechanisms include Probability, Magnitude etc.
+1 if you read cut cards in case
Auto 30 if you read straight from cut cards in both rebuttal and case
Shells: Familiar with most (Paraphrasing, Disclosure, TW), I can't judge a full-fledged theory debate nearly as well as others so run at your own risk
Kritiques: Not familiar at all, but will try my best
If you have any questions feel free to email me.
Be respectful and have fun!
I debated high school debate in Virginia / Washington DC for Potomac Falls '03 to '07 and college for USF '07 to '11.
I am currently the policy debate coach for Oakland Technical High School.
add me to email chain please: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t be afraid to ask me questions before or after the round! I’m not one of those “read my paradigm and then don’t speak to me” judges and I am happy to answer any questions you might have. I am generally pretty open to vote on anything if you tell me to, I do my best to minimize judge intervention and base my decisions heavily on the flow. I err tech over truth. Do your best to stay organized. Your disorganization means I have to fight to stay organized rather than focusing entirely on your argumentation. I’m open to nontraditional arguments and K affs.
However, everyone has biases so here are mine.
For LD - I try to be as tab as I can but in order to do that you need to give me some kind of weighing mechanism to determine whose voting issues I prefer. If you both just list some voting issues with absolutely no clash it forces me to make arbitrary decisions and I hate that. Give me the mechanism / reason to prefer and you'll probably win if your opponent does not. So like, do I prefer for evidence quality or relevance? Probability? Give me something. I'm probably more open to prog arguments because I come from policy debate but if someone runs a Kritik and you do a decent job on kritiks bad in LD theory against it I'll vote on that.
General - I don't like vague plan texts. US should do FJG is vague. I'm fine with tag team / open cross-x unless you're going to use it to completely dominate your partners CX time. I'll dock speaks if you don't let your partner talk / interrupt them a bunch. Respect each other. I'm good with spreading but you need to enunciate words. If you mumble spread or stop speaking a human language I'll lower your speaks. Slow down a little on theory / T shells or at least signpost your standards. I will evaluate your evidence quality if it is challenged or competing evidence effects the decision. Don’t cheat, don’t do clipping, don’t be rude. Obviously don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc, in life in general but also definitely not in front of me. This is a competitive and adversarial activity but it should also be fun. Don’t try to make others miserable on purpose.
Topicality - Important for limits but I think T and FW abuse is bad for debate. Don't spread like 8 violations. Hiding stuff in the T shell is bad and I'll probably disregard it if Aff tells me to. Good T debates need voters/impacts, which a lot of people seem to have forgotten about.
Framework - I'll follow the framework I'm given but I prefer a framework that ensures equitable clash. Clash is the heart and soul of this activity.
Kritiks - I understand these can be complex topics but I think we can all recognize when the strat is to make it too confusing for the opponent to follow. I need to be able to understand your alt and what you’re trying to accomplish. You need to understand what you are advocating for. If you just keep repeating the words of your alt tag without contextualizing or explaining how you functionally access solvency, you don't understand your alt. I prefer to weigh the K impacts against the aff plan but I can be convinced otherwise. My threshold is high and it’s easier to access if you can prove in round abuse / issues. Also, I don't think links on K's always need to be hyper specific but I do not want links of omission. I like fiat debates.
K-Affs - Good K-Affs are amazing, but I almost never see them. I tend to err neg unless you have a specific advocacy for me to endorse. Vagueness seems to be most egregious with k affs. Don’t be vague about what you’re trying to do or what my vote does and you’ll have a much better chance with me. I like debate, which is why I am here, so if your whole argument is debate bad you'll have an uphill battle unless you have a specific positive change I can get behind. Just because I like debate doesn’t mean it can’t also be better. I can recognize it’s problematic elements too. Reject the topic ain't it. I need to know what my ballot will functionally do under your framework. If you can't articulate what your advocacy does I can't vote for it. I think fairness can be a terminal impact. Negs should try to engage the 1AC, not even trying is lazy.
CPs - I'll judge kick unless Aff tells me not to and why. Justify your perm, don’t just say it. I like perms, but you need to explain it not just yell the word perm at me 5 times in a row. I tend to be fine with Condo unless there’s clear abuse, but I do think spreading 8 off CPs is that. I think I start being open to condo bad around 3 or 4? But if you want me to vote on condo you better GO for it. 15 seconds is not enough. I like fiat theory arguments. You fiat all 50 state governments as separate entities?? Come on. Consult, condition or delay CP's without a really good and case specific warrant are lame and I lean aff on theory there. Advantage CPs rule.
DAs - I evaluate based on risk and impact calc. More than 3 cards in the block saying the same thing is too many. Quality over quantity.
I competed in Policy (among other events) from 2006 to 2010 and in British Parliamentary at the college level from 2010 to 2014. I've been judging since then, and have been running the debate programs at a number of schools since 2016. Please read the applicable paradigm categorized by format below:
I'm a Stock Issues judge! My belief is that we're here to debate a policy option, not discuss external advocacy.
Generally not in favor of the K. If a team chooses to run one with me, provide a clear weighing mechanism as to why I should prefer the K over the policy issue we're actually here to debate.
I do not look upon Performance cases favorably. If you want to pull that stunt and expect to win, go do Oratory.
I'm able to understand speed just fine, but prefer clear articulation. Pitching your voice up while continuing to read at the same speed is not spreading.
I highly value clash and a weighing mechanism in the round, and strongly encourage analysis on arguments made. I work to avoid judge intervention if at all possible, unless there is clear abuse of the debate format or both teams have failed to provide effective weighing mechanisms. Don't just give me arguments and expect me to do the math; prove to me that you've won the argument, and then demonstrate how that means you've won the round.
I have a deep hatred of disclosure theory. I expect teams that I judge to be able to respond and adapt to new arguments in-round instead of whining about how they didn't know the 1AC or 1NC ahead of time. If you want to run this, I have an exceedingly high threshold for proving abuse.
I am a firm believer in traditional LD debate. LD was designed around Value-Criterion debate of the philosophical implications of a resolution, and I'm very happy to see debates of this nature. If you want to run a Plan, CP, or any variation of that, I would like to suggest 3 options for you: Go do Policy, have your coach strike me, or hope for a different judge.
I am not a fan of Kritiks, but haven't been shy about voting for them in the past when they're well-impacted and developed with a competitive alt. 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. A K without an alternative is just whining.
No speed. A conversational speaking rate is more than adequate if you've done your homework and refined your case.
Performance/meme cases 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, and likely indicates that your opponent has somehow become incapacitated during the round and was unable to gurgle a response.
Adaptation to your audience is one of the most basic and essential factors in debate, and public speaking in general. Please keep that in mind when formulating your strategy for the round.
I strongly prefer traditional public forum debate. Do not treat this like Policy Lite. PF was intended to be accessible to the layperson, and I take that seriously. Go do Policy if you want to use jargon, run plans or kritiks, or spread.
In order to earn the ballot from me, focus on making clear, well-articulated arguments that have appropriate supporting evidence. Remember to tell me why I should prefer your evidence/points over your opponent's. Make sure your advocacy is continually supported through the round, and give me a good summary at the end to show why you've won.
Traditional Worlds adjudication; please remember which format you're competing in. Do not spread. I voted down a team in Triple Octafinals at Nationals last year for it.
Updated - 11/18/2023
Coached debate at HAIS (1), Crosby (3.5), Dulles (3.5), and Niles West (2.)
Debated policy for 4 years at Crosby (2004-2008), In College at UMKC (Fall 2009), and Houston (Spring 2009, 2012-2015)
- If you use sexually explicit language or engage in sexually explicit performances in high school debates, you should strike me.
- If you think the appropriate response to other people explaining how they need to be included in debate is to say "West is best" or "Violence towards people like you is good" please strike me.
- Purposeful or dismissive acts of misgendering will result in a full speaker point loss and if the other team makes it an argument the possible loss of a ballot.
- All permutations must have a text.
What is Debate?
I think that we need to understand we are a community of people responsible for the activity, We are responsible for teaching and guiding students to make decisions that are descriptive of the community they wish to compete within.
Framework is very normally in high school debate used as a way of excluding debaters. Framework doesn't have to be this but unfortunately in the vast majority of HS debates it is used this way. The framing is an exclusionary one and doesn't have the nuance to get out of most of the aff offense.
If you read framework this way then I'm not the judge for you, not because I would be upset with you but rather because I will likely be very sympathetic to aff arguments about exclusion. If you think your TVA is a silver bullet it's not, and your SSD arguments a lot of time are overhyped. I think I agree fundamentally that most of these debates devolve into meaningless hyperbole on both sides. The aff is always debatable and somewhat predictable the question is how does the expansion of predictable limits make it so that the debate is worse and how that change is bad. In this way limits are generally an internal link to clash or fairness and I really think that a clear weighing and impacting out of these is of the utmost importance. I am substantially more likely to vote for clash if it is used as an impact filter/impact than I am persuaded by fairness.
Framework is best when it's simply a disagreement about the meaning of the topic/roles and the negative impact and weighing is about the relative change in the way that debate functions. The expansion of limits and the recognition of the affs value is important. Questions about the roles of the sides and preparedness for those roles. About the ground that the negative has under each interp and why one interp is better than the other. To me, the most important question the negative can push forward is "why negate?" a lot of the affs answers to this question seem problematic. This is not a question of value in fact it seems to assume if the affirmative is right about their normative claims about the resolution why should anyone have to affirm it and if that's the case how do we determine what we are debating about? Why is the negation of negation good? This puts a higher burden, in my mind, for the affirmative to win the framework debate. Most affs have great reasons why they are good but they do not tend to have good reasons why they should be negated.
Critical affirmatives should have a solid defense of both their importance but also the importance of debating it. There should be a clear area of debate that the negative can and should engage in. That being said I really enjoy watching good Kritikal affirmatives deploy the various ways of relooking at debate structures and topics. I find affirmatives that are either very small but willing to engage with whatever strategy the negative chooses, or conversely, very large structural affirmatives that will engage on a theory level with everything to be the best. Be ready to answer the core questions negation should ask you. Why this aff? Why this round? Why negate this? Why this ballot? If you think you have good answers to those then I'm likely going to enjoy watching the debate.
Kritiks need to have a clear link-impact scenario with a way of resolving those claims. That could be the framework Interp, or the alternative in most debates.
Framework debates can be very important. I think interps that ask me to wish away the affirmative impacts are lackluster. I'm more interested in how we should be weighing things than an argument that says we should artificially bracket off the affirmatives 8 minute speech. You can definitely win we must prioritize ontology, epistemology, or Ethics, or we should bracket off certain types of considerations if they are bad, however, I'm not generally willing to bracket off the aff's ability to advocate for their should statement but rather if their impacts are important or not.
I am way more willing to vote for specific instances of link-impact scenarios than I am for an uncontextualized larger theory of power claim. Specificity will almost always be important to win my ballot. I am a bit pessimistic about what we can achieve in debate rounds but also believe the entrance of different scholarships into debate can and do have value. It however is up to the debaters to make those arguments in a compelling way.
Theoretical rejections of the team have an incredibly high burden in my mind. Theoretical rejections of the argument have a much lower burden. For me to vote for a team entirely on theory they must prove that the debate was borderline impossible. Contrarily to win reject them argument you only have to prove the debate would be better without the argument. To me using theory to force a condensing of the round is a sound strategy. Also, generally, if you're conceding that conditionality is good then you're highly unlikely to get me to vote down the team on another theory argument.
Disadvantages are the core of all aspects of debating. Make sure you extend all three components when going for a DA. This includes when going for Disadvantages from any perspective.
Calling into question the legitimacy of many different types of counter-plans should be a portion of your strategy. Too many affirmatives allow the negative to get away with a lot of abuse on the counter-plan that they shouldn't. CP must have a text, a clear solvency mechanism and a net benefit. Please make sure you extend each if you go for the argument.
I am okay with judging anything in round. I firmly believe that debates should be left up to the debaters and what they want to run. If you want to read policy or a new kritik; I am good with anything y'all as debaters want to run. Do not read anything that is homophobic, racist, ableist, or sexiest in round. Debate should be a safe place for everyone. A little bit about me I was a 1A/2N my senior year. I recently graduated from Sac State with a major in Communications and Women's Studies. I am currently applying to Law school and will be attending a law school in fall of 2024. I am currently a policy coach for the Sacramento Urban Debate League, coaching at CKM and a couple of new schools SUDL has recently signed up for.
Kritikal Affs: I love identity politics affirmatives. They are one of my favorite things to judge and hear at tournaments. I ran an intersectional k aff my senior year. If you run an identity politics affirmative then I am a great judge for you. For high theory k affs I am willing to listen to them I am just not as well adapted in that literature as identity politics. But on the negative, I did run biopower.
Policy Affirmative: Well duh.... I am good at judging a hard-core policy round or a soft-left affirmative. Once again whatever the debaters want to do I am good with judging anything.
Framework: I feel like the question for framework that debaters are asking here is if I am more of a tech or truth kind of judge. I would say its important for debaters to give me judge instruction on how they want to me to judge the round. If you want me to prefer tech or truth you need to tell me that, and also tell me WHY I should prefer tech or truth. The rest of the debate SSD, TVAs etc need to be flushed out and not 100% blipy. But that's pretty much how I feel like with every argument on every flow.
CP/DA: If you want to read 9 off you can.
Theory: I will be honest; I am not the best at evaluating theory arguments. I know what they are, and you can run them in front of me. But if you go for them, judge instruction is a must, and explaining to me how voting for this theory shell works for the debate space etc.
I like being told what to vote for and why. I am lazy to my core. If I have to look at a speech doc at the end of the round I will default to what happened in the round, not on the doc.
On a side note, go follow the Sacramento Urban Debate League on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Also, I want to be in the email chain. My email is email@example.com thanks!
2013-2017: Competed at Peninsula HS (CA)
I earned 21 bids to the TOC and was a finalist at the NDCA.
Yes I want to be on the email chain, add me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am willing to judge, listen to, and vote for anything. Just explain it well. I am not a fan of strategies which are heavily reliant on blippy arguments and frequently find myself holding the bar for answers to poor uneveloped arguments extremely low.
Speed should not be an issue, but be clear.
Aff — Strategies that impact turn the Negative’s offense in combination with solid defense and/or a counter-interp (good)
Neg — Fairness, debate is a game (good)
skills (less good)
Topicality + Theory: More debating should be done over what debates look like under your model of the topic, less blippy debating at the standards level. Caselists are good and underutilized. I think some Condo is good. I think the Aff should be less scared to extend theory arguments against counterplans that are the most cheaty.
Kritiks: I find the link debate to be the most important here. Most times I vote aff it’s because I don’t know why the plan/Aff is inconsistent with your criticism. Strategies that are dependent on multiple non sequitur link arguments are unlikely to work in front of me.
I think that evidence comparison is extremely important and tends to heavily reward teams who do it more/earlier in the debate.
Zia Meyers (she/her)
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com
I have only judged 1-2 rounds on this topic, so I am slightly familiar, please don't assume I know all acronyms, organizations, etc.
In-round decorum- Please be respectful of the other team. I know debate can get heated, and that is fine, but I will not tolerate personal attacks on the other team.
Speed- You need to be clear if you go fast, but any speed is fine by me!
Case Debate- I think that case debate can be very compelling when well done and incorporated into the 1NC strategy.
DA/CP- Anything you run is fine, I will vote on it as long as it has a clear link chain and is specific.
Critique- I am comfortable hearing and judging critical positions both on the aff and neg side. I am most familiar with sett col and cap, if there are others that you are reading I am very open to hearing them, please just explain the alternative and contextualize it closely to the aff. Operate under the assumption that I have not read any K literature you read.
Topicality- If you are reading/going for T, a lot of time needs to be spent on the standards debate and the impact level of the standards. Highlight what framework you would prefer me to vote under, and what that means for the round, the aff, the neg, etc.
Theory- These arguments need to be thoroughly developed throughout the round (or a given speech) and should not just be pre-written. It is key to give a reason to reject the team rather than just the argument if you expect to win on theory.
Feel free to ask any questions about my paradigm or anything else before/after round.
I am currently a sophomore at Emory university. I debated public forum at the quarry lane school for four years.
tech > truth
please add me to the email chain - firstname.lastname@example.org. Send speech docs before each speech !
I'm fine with speed, but make sure you're clear. Frontline in 2nd rebuttal. Any offense you're going for in final focus should be extended completely (uniqueness, links, impacts) in summary. Please collapse !
Start weighing as early as possible and definitely focus on comparative weighing (both link and impact level if possible), when I'm looking at the arguments, I'll start with the one with the strongest weighing.
Always be respectful towards your opponents. I won't evaluate arguments that are sexist, racist, homophobic, ableist, etc. Lastly, debate can be stressful but make sure to have fun :)
Regarding prog arguments, I have little to no experience with Ks (I’ve debated a K maybe once or twice). If you want to read a K, I think it’s super interesting but I probably won’t be able to evaluate it well and am not a great judge for that. I’ve debated theory, and have more experience with it than Ks, but I’m not extremely experienced with it either.
Good luck and feel free to email me before or after the round if you have any questions.
Julie Noh (she/her). I'm a parent judge. Please email me your evidence and include me on the email chain at email@example.com
My paradigm for debate focuses on:
Clear and concise communication from the debaters. I'm looking for logical reasoning and evidence-based arguments and quality debate. I expect debaters to use credible sources and avoid making sweeping generalizations or unsupported claims. If you spread, make sure you can be understood!
Respectful discourse. Engage with your opponents' arguments in a respectful and constructive manner, rather than simply dismissing or ignoring them. Debaters should ask questions and seek clarification when necessary, and respond to their opponents' questions in a clear and straightforward manner.
Time management and organization. This is both in terms of structuring arguments and delivering speeches within the allotted time. Debaters should be well-prepared and have a clear understanding of the key issues at stake, impacts, as well as a clear plan for how to address them effectively.
I leave you with this haiku:
Speak with conviction
Evidence and reasoning
Challenge with respect
I'm a parent judge and I like to listen to clear and concise proposals and rebuttals. I may not be familiar all the details of the policy judging will be purely based on details presented in the plan and counterplans. I look forward to being educated in policy details.
Speech is always about clarity and messaging. The ability to captivate the audience and present the topic well is a plus.
Please keep your delivery slow and clear, I'm a volunteer and new to judging. Competitors may keep track of their own time, however keep in mind that I have final say when it comes to time. In addition, when taking prep time please announce it so I can keep track, I want both teams to have a fair opportunity to present and prepare.
Good luck with the tournament. Enjoy and learn from the experience.
Be nice and respectful to each other.
Be confident when responding to your opponent's arguments.
Note: I have not judged, or watched any tournament before. So please provide context clearly.
Debated 4 years at Blue Valley West (Surveillance, China, Education, Immigration)
Add me to the email chain: seena.saiedian [at] gmail
I have some basic topic knowledge but don't expect me to be familiar with all your acronyms and jargon.
-- Impacts are overrated. Teams tend to focus too much time magnifying their impact/downplaying their opponents'. Most impacts are generally bad things but also probably won't happen at the magnitude that your impact ev says. Instead of getting caught up in basic impact v impact debates, your time is best spent on the internal link/solvency as I think these tend to be the weakest part of any aff/DA/etc. That doesn't mean don't do impact calc; just don't rely completely on it.
-- That being said, I do have a soft spot for presumption arguments so if you think you can win a 100% takeout, go for it.
-- Advantage CPs are good. Aff teams should identify (and clearly explain) multiple solvency deficits. These tend to involve some reason why the aff's internal link is uniquely important.
-- Card quality > quantity. I'd rather listen to a couple strong cards with nuanced discussion than 10 cards that say the same thing
-- Tech > truth but I will be much happier voting for you if you have truth on your side too
-- 3-4 good off case and solid case work > 9 meh off case and 1 card of impact D
-- The 2nr/2ar should frame the ballot and tell me how I should vote
-- If you want judge kick to be a thing, you have to say it
-- Ks that are super specific to the aff and contextualized to the topic are much better than generic Ks that can be re-read in any round on any topic. The more you deviate from aff specific links, the more likely I am to buy the perm.
-- Neg teams tend to overstate alt solvency -- affs should call them out on this
-- Please give me genuine DAs to the perm
-- Some K tricks are good (root cause, serial policy failure, etc). Others aren't (fiat is illusory). Regardless, not answering them properly can be an easy way to make me write an unhappy neg ballot.
-- I've never read a planless aff, but that doesn't mean I won't vote for one.
-- Affs need to prove why their model of debate is comparatively better at addressing X problem than a topical mechanism. This doesn't mean just saying "state bad --> policy fails --> plans are bad." You also need to explain why the type of discourse you produce is effective and valuable. I am pretty sympathetic to the argument that K affs force the neg to go for T or a generic K which defeats the purpose of reading the aff for productive discussion.
-- TVAs are very good. Especially if you read evidence on it, especially if that evidence contains an explicit advocacy for USFG action on the aff's impact.
-- If you go for T, you need to have an actual impact; simply saying "fairness!" won't cut it. Just like an advantage or DA, I need to know 1) how their model causes X impact 2) how your model is better 3) why it matters. This goes for both teams and also applies to any T debate, but I find it to be more of a problem in K rounds.
-- Unique and specific Ks or DAs can be better than T -- make sure to use them. Note the emphasis on "unique and specific." I don't want to sit through an hour of generic Baudrillard vs generic Cap but I don't mind a K specific to their method.
Things that make me happy (and can earn you higher speaks):
-- Open source
-- Good, in-depth clash
-- Successfully pulling off a risky strat
-- Debating off the flow as opposed to blazing through blocks
-- Aesthetically pleasing speech docs
-- (Good) jokes
-- Basketball references
-- Case specific args
Jared Shirts (he/him)
Email Chain - Put me on the email chain. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background - I did four years of policy at Gunn High School as a 1A/2N. I ran primarily policy strategies on both the aff and the neg during my time in high school. I reached TOC quarterfinals in 2022.
Lay Debate Tourneys - I love lay debate. If this is a CFL League tourney or NSDA, I'm happy to judge as a parent judge. If there is a lay judge on the panel, adapt to them, not to me.
General Thoughts - Judge instruction is everything. Don't over-adapt to anything below, my preferences will always be overcome by effective debating. Just debate your strengths, and I'll try not to let my predispositions shape my view of your arguments.
T - A case list is necessary. I default to competing interpretations. Don't assume I know the topic intricacies.
DA - Like them. Impact calculus is critical.
CP - Don't speed through analytic blocks on competition debates - explanation is critical. I'll judge kick if you tell me to.
Theory - Slow down on theory debating. I lean aff on international and multi-actor fiat. I lean neg on every other theory violation, and heavily neg when against new affs. Numerical interpretations for # of condo are arbitrary - condo is either good or bad.
Case - Love case strategies. DA Case 2NRs are severely underutilized, and strategies that rely on case pushes in the 2NR will be rewarded with speaks. Presumption exists, although it relies on either exceptional case debating or severe technical concessions.
K's - I have at least a basic understanding of most K literature. Historical examples and in-depth explanations are very valuable. Not a fan of giant overviews.
K Affs - Go for it. I typically went for FW against K affs. Fairness can be an impact if explained well, but it's a debate to be had.
Framing - I ran soft left affs most of high school, so I'm receptive to framing pages. Framing pages based on risk analysis and serial policy failure are significantly more persuasive to me than "structural violence first always" framing.
Speaks - Average debate will be around 28.6. Above 28.8 means I think you deserve to break, below 28 means there is something that needs to be improved upon.
Hi my names Ne’Jahra, please put me on the email chain and I flow the whole round. If you bring me food/drink and you might get an extra speaker point. I’ve been to nationals and I’m currently still debating. I AM NOT A LAY JUDGE!!! I flow the whole round and I wanna focus to give you good feedback. I will give you most of the feedback in round but I’ll still write some stuff on the rfd if I miss something. Put me on the chain!! I wanna see your evidence. I might let you know the winner of the round if it help me give better feed back. Do not say PROBLEMATIC SHIT I will vote you down. Example: black people aren’t oppressed or anything racist. Don’t bore me to sleep I am really excited about debate and if you bore me that’s a problem. Be creative I wanna see your arguments come to life. AND HAVE FUNN!!!
Be nice to each other.
Respond specifically to your opponents arguments, preferably numbering them to keep the flow organized.
Weigh arguments in final speeches.
Slow down for your opponents when asked.
Note: I have not judged, watched, or interacted with the topic at all this year. Please try to provide relevant background information and explain concepts clearly.
leland '22, berkeley '26, she/her
read mostly kritikal arguments in my junior & senior year on the national circuit, but often read policy strats at lay tournaments and nats.
yes, please put me on the email chain: email@example.com
email title format: tournament name [round #] - aff team vs neg team
- pretty much fine with anything as long as you explain it well, but be respectful - i will not tolerate any arguments predicated on any -ism / -phobia.
- tell me how to vote by framing the round: whether that's through impact calc, rob / roj, framing, etc, a winning 2nr / 2ar should be articulating clear ways that I can write my ballot.
- i typically won't vote on cheap theory shots as long as the opponent has an answer; the exception is if the other team flat out drops it or if in-round abuse is real.
- speed is fine, as long as you're clear & articulate.
- disads - the negative needs to have an articulate disad story. quality of evidence, recency, and link specificity to the aff are all examples of good metrics of comparison i evaluate in later speeches.
- impact calc is super important! tell me which impacts to prioritize, how to frame the round, etc with warrants!
- counterplans - the negative needs an internal / external net benefit that isn't just "we solve better"; other than that, you can run whatever. please note that i might not be super familiar with topic-specific cps.
- unfortunately, i'm not super familiar with competition theory and thus probably wouldn't be the best to adjudicate an in-depth debate about it.
- topicality - for the negative, case lists go a long way in proving that your interp is a viable model of debate. not a big fan of 2nrs that collapse down to t plus another off case position since that proves viable neg ground.
- framework - in addition to what's mentioned above about topicality, a big factor that determines my vote is an explanation of why education / fairness / clash / etc is your terminal impact and how it turns the other team's impact.
- tva's are a great defense to a k aff's exclusion da's, but i hold the negative to contextualize the tva to the 1ac's net benefits and literature.
- kritiks - i mainly went for one off in high school, and i'm most familiar with the theories of antiblackness, settler colonialism, cybernetics, and capitalism. i've read a bit of psychoanalysis and bataille, but am mostly unfamiliar with other high theory k's. if you can explain it well, go for it!
- link specificity to the aff is very important, and i'd prefer not to vote on a topic link unless the aff flat out concedes it. i think that smart analytical da's backed by empirics and contextualized to the aff is often more persuasive than card dumping generic topic links in the neg block. i also love re-highlights of aff evidence as links / link boosters.
- the negative's alt explanation is crucial, and the aff can persuade me heavily that the alt is not viable with smart cross ex questions & analytical pushes.
- k affs - i also mainly went for k affs in high school, so do your stuff!! some things i look for from the aff:
- why your advocacy is net beneficial
- the method of the 1ac & why the ballot is key
- the role of the judge and role of the ballot
- performance k affs are very cool; also make sure to extend a net benefit for the performance
other debate events:
please explain event-specific jargon or arguments. you can largely cross apply my judging philosophy for policy !