Judge Philosophies

Adam Testerman -- Texas Tech University


Hi there!

My background as a competitor involved a couple years reading primarily policy strategies and a couple years reading primarily old-white-man criticisms (Baudrillard, Marx, Lacan, etc). As a coach, my teams have dipped their toes into nearly every kind of argument. I love it all, when it is done well. I can hate it all, when it ain't.

I feel comfortable judging any â??genreâ? of argument and have no real argument preference beyond the desire to see clash.

I coached for three years at Lewis & Clark College; this is my fourth year as Director of Forensics at TTU.

General Issues

Parliamentary debate is the most fun and the most educational when a variety of argumentative styles, people, knowledge bases, and strategies are given room to thrive. I feel lucky to have judged a vast array of different arguments in my judging career. One of my main goals as a judge is to allow teams to run the arguments they feel are most compelling in front of me. Iâ??ve picked up teams reading structural indictments of debate about as many times as Iâ??ve picked up teams reading policy affirmatives and defending incrementalism.

It is my goal to involve myself in the debate round as little as possible. I have no preference for any particular kind of argument and generally feel that almost every debate issue can be resolved in the round. I will vote for arguments with warrants. I will try my best to synthesize your arguments, but I also believe that to be a central skill of effective debaters.

Parli debates should be slower than policy debates. Your theoretical top speed is too fast for parli, in my opinion (we don't flash documents, and we don't have enough predictable CX time to clarify key issues). I don't think I've been unable to keep up with even the fastest parli debaters the past several years, however, when in doubt... slow down just a bit.

I will vote for arguments I think are stupid 10 out of 10 times if they are won in the round.

I rely on my flow to decide the round. I attempt to flow performances and I do my best to write down what youâ??re saying as close to verbatim as my fingers allow me. If there is an expectation that I not decide the round based on the way I understand argument interaction on my flow, that should be stated explicitly and it would be a good idea to tell me how I am intended to evaluate the debate round.

Emphasize explanation earlyâ?¦ donâ??t let your argument make sense for the first time in the LOR or PMR etc.

All constructive speeches should take a question if asked, and itâ??s strategic to ask questions (unless there is flex, then I'm agnostic on this question).

Theory interpretations and advocacy statements should be read slowly and read twice.

Points of Order should be called, but I will also do my best to protect new argumentsâ?¦ donâ??t be excessive with them though [Iâ??ll be vague about what that means, but be an adult]

RVIâ??s have never been good arguments, read them at your own risk.


I cut my teeth on procedural arguments in college, and I am still a huge fan. To vote on a procedural, I need an interpretation explaining how the debate should be evaluated, a violation detailing specifically why the other team does not fit within that interpretation, standards that explain why the interpretation is good, and a voter that outlines why I should vote on the argument. PLEASE read your interpretation/definition slowly and probably repeat it. It is good to have an interpretation that makes some sense.


DAs and Advs. require uniqueness arguments that explain why the situation the affirmative causes is not happening in the status quo. Defensive arguments are useful, but they often serve to make offensive arguments more impactful or serve as risk mitigation, as opposed to terminal takeouts.

I ran politics in a majority of my negative rounds and I coach my teams to read the position as well. So, I will totally vote on politics every time it is won. That being said, Iâ??m finding the position to be one my least favorite and least compelling these days. The obscene nature of congress make the position even more laughable than it was in the past [and itâ??s always been sketchy at best, without cards (and with?)]. Read the DA if youâ??re a politics team, but there are almost always better arguments out there.


Critique debates can be fun to watch, but only when the position is clear at the thesis level. If your shell argues that the K is a prior question or something like that, spend some meaningful time explaining why thatâ??s the case instead of â??shadowâ? extending an argument from the shell. I am familiar with a lot of the literature, but you should argue the position as if I am not. Critiques are totally dope, but only because they have the potential to advance compelling argumentsâ?¦ not because they are obtuse.

Framework debates (on the top of critique... i.e.: epistemology comes first) are a waste of time a vast majority of the time. I do not understand why teams spend any substantive amount of time on framework. The question of whether the affirmative methodology/epistemology/whatever vague term you want to use, is good or bad should be determined in the links and impacts of the criticism. I see almost no world where framework matters independent of the rest of the shell. Soâ?¦ the only K framework questions that tend to make sense to me are arguments about why it is a prior question. It makes sense that if the critique wins that the affirmative impacts are threat constructions that Iâ??m not going to weigh the affirmative impacts against the position. Thatâ??s not a framework debate though, thatâ??s a question determined by winning the thesis of the position.

Critical affirmatives can be cool, but they also put me in a weird position as a judge sometimes. If your affirmative is positioned to critique DAs, then I still want to see specific applications of those arguments to the DAs. I need to see how the DA demonstrates your argument to be true in some specific way. By that I mean, if the negative outright wins a DA, I would need to see why that would mean the affirmative shouldnâ??t lose early, often, and specifically. The same is true of any set/genre of negative positions.

Performance/Non-Topical Affirmatives/Alternative Approaches to Debate

I tend to not have super strong feelings in favor or in opposition to â??performanceâ? style arguments. Several of the teams I have coached have run non-traditional arguments and I have seen those be incredibly beneficial for the debaters and have a positive effect on education garnered from their rounds. I have also seen people really struggle with performance-style arguments on an interpersonal level, in both advocating their positions and responding to others doing so. I defer to the debaters to wade through the various issues related to alternative approaches to debate.

I will vote for framework as answer to these arguments if the other team â??winsâ? the position. However, I also think most non-topical affirmatives are written with 5 minutes of impact turns to framework. Affirmatives must explicitly extend those kinds of arguments to answer framework (don't assume I understand how that's happening just by you extending the affirmative) and teams going for framework should not assume the "a priori" nature of theory means I reject the aff out-of-hand.

I tend to think arguments about the collapse of debate due to alternative approaches to debate, are frequently poorly warranted. Which doesn't mean those warrants don't exist... I just need them to be made explicitly. Debate can look like many things, and still be interesting/educational/productive, in my mind. However, I also believe compelling arguments about "topical versions of the affirmative" can be very compelling. If there is a way to read your criticism as a nuanced way to affirm the resolution, you've probably landed close to my ideal version of critically framed affirmatives. Affirmatives seeking to indict structural conditions of debate can also be very compelling, too. I hope to put my personal desires for a particular model/instantiation of debate to the side in any particular round I'm judging.


In general, the CP/DA debate is probably what I feel most comfortable judging accurately and I think CPs that solve the affirmative are very strategic. There are probably enough arguments on both sides to justify different interpretations of how permutation or CP theory in general should go down, that I donâ??t have strong opinions about many CP related issues.

I tend to think objections to conditionality are rooted in some very valid arguments, however I find myself concluding conditionality is probably more good than bad in my mind. That only means the conditionality debate is totally fair game and I probably have voted conditionality bad as many times as I have voted it is good.

Cheater CPs are cool with me, so feel free to deploy delay, conditions, consult, whatever. I tend to think the theory arguments read in answer to those positions are more persuasive than the answers when argued perfectly, but that in no way makes me more predisposed to reject any kind of CP strategy.

Alyson Escalante -- Concordia University Irvine

Background: I competed in NPDA at El Camino College for two years and at the University of Oregon for two years. I was director of debate at Oregon for two years as well, and have consistently judged at least several national tournaments every year since then.

General: Do what you want, I will do my best to flow the round in detail and vote on the flow. I have my preferences but those are ultimately of little concern in the round. I list them here only so that you can know what unspoken biases frame my view of the round. I do my best to exclude these biases, but I think that no judge is a flow robot, so they are worth being up front about.

I truly love parliamentary debate and I promise to treat your round with the utmost seriousness. My hope is that competitors will likewise recognize the unique opportunities parliamentary debate opens up and enter the round with a mutual respect and openness towards all participating in it.

One important note: I really would appreciate it if competitors would not read arguments that discuss sexual assault in graphic detail. Reading SA impacts is fine but more narrative based approaches to the topic are not something I am comfortable judging. This is the only thing I really strongly ask you do not read.

Speaker Points: for me, speaker points are primarily a matter of rewarding technical skill and decision making rather than presentation style. I use speaker points primarily to reward strategic decision making. My point range is mostly between 26.5 and 29.5. Anything outside that range represents exceptionally good or exceptionally bad performance. Although I see speaker points as mostly a matter of rewarding technical excellence, I will probably give you higher speaks if you manage to make strategically sound decisions while not being an asshole to your opponents as well.

Theory: If neither team offers an alternative framework to weigh theory I will default to competing interpretations. This means that I view theory not as an issue strictly of what happened in this round but also as a norm setting framework that raises the question of most desirable practices in all future rounds. I place a high emphasis on competitive counter-interpretations, and teams should be sure their counter-interpretations are not subsumed by the other teams interpretation.

If teams want to propose as alternative framework for assessing theory, such as reasonability, they should provide a clear explanation for how I can evaluate the theory flow through their own framework. Don't just say "judge intervention is inevitable so intervene for us."

I enjoy theoretical debate and do not outright disregard most theory. I understand that reading theory for a time trade off is a part of sound debate strategy and it does not bother me. That said, I find theoretical arguments regarding when affirmative plans are read and when sheets of paper are handed to the other team to be asinine, arbitrary, and incredibly unenjoyable to judge. Iâ??ve voted on these arguments before, but always reluctantly.

My own views on theoretical issues are largely irrelevant since I try to bracket them out from the round, but for full transparency: I think conditionality is good, pics are good, actor counterplans are good, the affirmative should defend the topic, and the affirmative does not need to specify beyond normal means.

Non-topical Affirmatives: While I personally prefer and enjoy topical debate, most the rounds I judge feature non-topical affirmatives and I am comfortable assessing these affirmatives. Upon reviewing my voting record, Iâ??ve realized that I have a high tendency to vote on topicality in instances that the affirmative totally rejects the topic. This might be worth keeping in mind. I try to keep my personal biases out, but the actual numbers of my voting record indicate that I lean towards the negative when the affirmative rejects the topic. That said, affirmative teams that reject the topic are most likely to get my ballot if they have a strong and competitive counter-interpretation ready to go, and if they are able to frame fairness impacts out of the round.

Critical Debate: I studied continental philosophy in both undergrad and grad school. In terms of familiarity with literature, this is my strong point. That said, I still require critical oriented teams to explain thesis level claims of their criticism. My understanding of critical literature is strongest when the relevant literature relates to marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, theories of race. My understanding of post-structural theory is more limited. This is relevant because most Baudrillard and Deleuze critiques I have judged have assumed a higher level of familiarity with the literature than I actually had. I do not feel comfortable voting for a critique which I cannot explain back during an RFD, so if your criticism is particularly esoteric, I would appreciate thesis level explanation.

Disadvantage/Advantage Debate: This is honestly my favorite form of debate to judge. When it is well executed it can provide some of the most in depth clash of any type of debate. I personally enjoy disadvantages that many might consider somewhat generic such as politics, business confidence, or hegemony. As long as there is a solid link to the affirmative, the generic nature of these positions shouldn't be an issue. In terms of topical affirmative construction, I'm fine with pretty much anything. I've found myself voting on topical dedev, spark, and wipe-out many times, and I will evaluate these arguments as seriously as any other argument.

Counterplans/Alternatives/Perms: I believe that counterplans are opportunity costs to the affirmative. This means that they must either be functionally competitive or compete through net benefits via disadvantage links or some other form of independent offense. I must confess that I have never had a clear grip on what "textual competition" is so arguing net benefits differential or functional competition in front of me is your best bet.

In terms of alternatives, I have no particularly strong preferences here, but unless a criticism is coming from a specifically nihilistic or pessimistic perspective, I find that alternatives which propose some sort of positive program or outlook instead of merely rejecting the affirmative are most compelling.

I think that permutations are tests of competition. When the affirmative reads a permutation, the affirmative advocacy does not suddenly shift to the affirmative + the alternative/counterplan. Permutations are simply a way of testing whether or not the negative advocacy is an opportunity cost to the affirmative. As such, I find "perm shields the links" arguments to be fairly asinine, and I also find arguments that the permutation is the affirmative co-opting the negatives method to be equally asinine. Permutations do not mean the affirmative changes, they just test competition.

In general I do not feel like affirmatives by default need to read a perm text that includes the exact text of the plan or the alternative/counterplan. "Perm do both" or "perm: do the affirmative and all non-competitive parts of the alternative" are sufficient unless a clear theoretical argument is raised in the debate for why further textual specificity is needed.

On a more theoretical level, I need negative teams to tell me why intrinsic perms or severance perms are bad. You should not simply point out that a permutation is theoretically illegitimate, you should explain why by providing theoretical offense. You should also explicitly tell me if this offense means I reject the permutation or reject the affirmative.


In general I feel like terminal defense is underutilized in debate. I find that inevitability claims on the uniqueness level of a debate can reframe the offense in a round and are usually underutilized.

I am willing to vote on presumption if a compelling case is made for such a vote.

I think most framework debate ultimately focuses too much on excluding the other team. In an ideal debate round, I think teams should simply be winning access to their own impacts and then trying to outweigh their opponents. Framework is just framing, you donâ??t need to win every argument on the framework level of the debate to win the round, you just have to win impact access and then win on the impact level.

I find points of order somewhat annoying. I will be protecting from new arguments throughout rebuttals. If you really need to me to flag an argument feel free to call a point of order, but donâ??t be excessive.

NPDA rules do not provide an explicit framework for the resolution of a point of personal privilege. As such, I would prefer they not be called except in dire circumstances where the round absolutely must come to a stop.

Benjamin Lange -- Concordia University Irvine


Brent Nicholson -- McKendree University


Caitlin Smith -- University of Minnesota

Experience/General Stuff:

I debated 4 years of NPDA/NPTE parli in college for Wheaton (graduated May 2017) and 4 years of LD in high school. I coach parli and policy at the University of Minnesota and LD at Apple Valley High School. I care deeply about debate, about equity in it, access to it, and very much believe in the power it has to change lives. I believe that debate is simultaneously a game and the real world, so I refuse to check my status as a moral agent at the door. Iâ??m fine with speed and will clear you if you pass my threshold (which is unlikely). Please say all plans/CPâ??s/T-interps/alts/etc. slowly and twice and take at least one question in your speech (if flex time/CX isnâ??t happening). Please be respectful of your opponents and partner.

Overall Note:

I believe that the technical aspects of debate are tools we use to allow us to understand and engage with the substance of arguments more deeply. I therefore do not think that tech is a substitute for substantive engagement. I value more highly arguments that engage with the opposing positions substantively than ones that merely do so technically (while to do both is truly masterful debate).

AD/DA/CP Debate:

I never got deep into complicated economic or political AD/DA debate as a competitor, so I will be largely limited to my understanding of what you put out in a given round. If youâ??re clear, there shouldnâ??t be a problem, just donâ??t expect me to know what various terms or abbreviations mean off the bat or grant you internal warrants without clear explanations.


Please do it. This will make my job a lot easier, and also make it a lot more likely that I see the round the way that you would like me to. I will evaluate the round as you tell me to but, that said, I default to probability first and will have a substantially lower threshold than most parli judges to vote on systemic/materialized/highly probable impacts (given any arguments being made that I should prefer them). This does not mean I will not vote on nuclear, disaster, etc. scenarios, just that I will not accept prima facie an unwarranted claim that those impacts outweigh all other things if your opponents are making arguments to the contrary.


Win the debate on whatever layer you would like. My threshold to vote on theory is determined by the extent to which a clear impact on the shell is articulated and weighed. I also believe that standards should be contextualized to your opponentsâ?? position. I find great problems in reading generic reasons why policy is good against non-T affs because I very much believe that theory should be about bringing questions of how debate ought function into the conversation, rather than forcing certain ideas out. This doesnâ??t mean donâ??t read theory in those situations, but that, if youâ??re going to, I will hold you to a high standard.


I debated lots of Kâ??s in my time in parli and I love them. The biggest thing I need is clear alt texts and alt solvency. Tell me the (presumably very good) reasons your K matters in this round/against this case/whatever and give me a clear picture of what your alt is going to look like, and I will be happy. I really hate chicken-and-egg style root cause debates and would much prefer to hear substantive debate about the issues in the K. Please donâ??t assume I know your literature. I will vote on what is said in the round, not my prior knowledge of your particular author.


Debate is both a game and the real world. Bringing real world issues to the forefront within debate rounds is simultaneously extremely important and extremely difficult. It definitely creates change in our community and, as such, is something I take very seriously. I will attempt to evaluate every round as fairly as I can, while recognizing I do not check my status as a moral agent at the door. The one thing I like to be clear in these debates, therefore, is the role of the judge. I donâ??t mean that you have to include me in your movement, make me feel comfortable, or anything like that; I mean expecting me to evaluate what Iâ??m supposed to do at the end of a debate round, with many moral issues on the table and no framework to deal with them, has the potential to give me a major panic attack. I donâ??t say this because I anticipate any such problem, but simply because it is a very real concern for my mental health.

Speaker Points:

26-30, unless you do something very rude or exclusionary.

Chris Miles -- University of Minnesota

Mid-season change for NPDA/NPTE I am really annoyed by the amount of theory arguments that I have been judging. I will be massively increasing my threshold on these arguments and will generally default to reasonability for most arguments besides topicality. I will also probably cap your speaker points at like 27.

TOO LONG DIDNâ??T READ: You do you. If you bring me chai I will give block 30â??s. If you have questions then ask me.

I am a former debater for FOHS, KCKCC, and Missouri Western State University. I have been involved in HS policy, NPDA/NPTE, and CEDA/NDT for 10 years. I debated many styles. People never read these, but here is a tldr.

The K if itâ??s your thing then do it. I donâ??t care that much about FW in the LOC/1NC. Have overviews and link package. I hate R.O.B comes first claims. Explain things to me.

Theory Slow down for the interp. Proven abuse is better. Simple interps are good. Multiple violations bad. If reading multiple theory positions put them on different sheets. read standards and voters.

Topicality (see above) I prefer pseudo topical to not topical.

DA/ CP Read them. Good advantage cpâ??s are nice.

Perms are test of competition. I think external net-benefits to permutations are the worst, donâ??t do them. read 1 and explain it. I treat them like text, so I prefer you slow down and read them twice.

Offense vs. Defense Read both. Will vote on terminal defense.

Affâ??s have one. donâ??t say try or die 200 times. read internal link arguments. Be inherent. Be consistent.

Method/Performance I like knowing what the method is to a performance argument is and think that both are equally important and should be defended. I think that these arguments in general should have a method that is helpful for more than just the reader.

David Worth -- Rice University

David Worth – Rice

D.O.F., Rice University

Parli Judging Philosophy

Note: If you read nothing else in this, read the last paragraph.

I’ll judge based on given criteria/framework. I can think in more than one way. This means that the mechanisms for deciding the round are up for debate as far as I’m concerned. My decision is based mostly on how the debaters argue I should decide the round but I will intervene if the round demands it. There are many cases where this might be necessary: If asked to use my ballot politically for example, or if both sides fail to give me a clear mechanism for voting, or if I know something to factually incorrect (if someone is lying). In these cases, I try to stay out of the decision as much as I can but I don’t believe in the idea that any living person is really a blank slate or a sort of argument calculator.

I prefer debates that are related to the topic.

I will not vote for an argument that I don’t understand. If I can’t figure it out from what you’ve said in the round, I can’t vote on it.

I will admit that I am tired of debates that are mostly logic puzzles. I am tired of moving symbols around on paper. Alts and plan texts that are empty phrases don’t do it for me anymore. The novelty of postmodern critique that verges on--or actually takes the leap into--nihilism has worn off. I don’t think there’s much value anymore in affirming what we all know: That things can be deconstructed and that they contain contradictory concepts. It is time for us to move beyond this recognition into something else. Debate can be a game with meaning.

Warrants: I will not vote for assertions that don’t at least have some warrant behind them. You can’t say “algae blooms,” and assume I will fill in the internals and the subsequent impacts for you. You don’t get to just say that some counter-intuitive thing will happen. You need a reason that that lovely regionally based sustainable market will just magically appear after the conveniently bloodless collapse of capitalism. I’m not saying I won’t vote for that. I’m just saying you have to make an argument for why it would happen. NOTE: I need a good warrant for an "Independent Voting Issue" that isn't an implication of a longer argument, procedural, or somehow otherwise developed. Just throwing something in as a “voter” will not get the ballot. I reserve the right to gut-check these. If there is not warrant or if the warrant makes no sense to me, I won't vote on it.

Defense can win, too. That doesn’t mean that a weaker offensive argument with risk can’t outweigh defense, it simply means that just saying, “oh that’s just defense,” won’t make the argument go away for me. Debate is not football. There’s no presumption in the NFL, so that analogy is wrong.

You need to deal with all the line-by-line stuff but should not fail to frame things (do the big picture work) for me as well. It’s pretty rare that I vote on one response but it’s equally rare that I will vote on the most general level of the ideas. In a bind, I will vote for what’s easier to believe and/or more intuitive.

Speed is fine as long as you are clear. There are days when I need you to slow down a tad. I have battled carpal/cubital tunnel off and on for a few years and sometimes my hand just does not work quite as well. I’ll tell you if you need to clear up and/or slow down, but not more than a couple of times. After that, it’s on you.

Please slow down for the alt texts, plans, advocacies, etc., and give me a copy too. If I don’t have it, I can’t vote for it.

Strong Viewpoints: I haven’t yet found "the" issue that I can’t try to see all sides of.

Points of Order: Call them—but judiciously. I’ll probably know whether the argument is new and not calling them does not change their status as new. Also, if you’re clearly winning bigtime don’t call a ridiculous number of them. Just let the other team get out of the round with some dignity. If you don’t, your speaker points will suffer. It’ll be obvious when I think you are calling too many.

If the round is obviously lopsided and you are obliterating the other team then be nice. I will lower your speaker points if you aren’t respectful or if you simply pile it on for the heck of it. If it’s egregious enough, you might even lose the debate.

You don’t need to repeat yourself just to fill time. If you’re finished, then sit down and get us all to lunch, the end of the day, or the next round early.

Theory: I’m not going to weigh in on the great theoretical controversies of the day. Those are up to you to demonstrate in the round. T can be more than one thing depending on the round. I’m not going to tell you what to do. Debate is always in flux. Actually, I’ve learned or at least been encouraged to think differently about theory issues from debaters in rounds far more often than from anyone else. If I had pontificated about The Truth As I Knew It before those rounds, the debaters would have simply argued what I said I liked and I wouldn’t have learned, so it’s in my interest as well as yours for me not to hand you a sushi menu with the items I’d like to see checked off. PICS, Framework, Competing Interp, in-round abuse, etc. are all interpretable in the debate. I will say that I probably most naturally think in terms of competing interpretations, but, again, I can think in more than one way.

My “Debate Background:” I did CEDA/NDT in college. I coached policy for years, and also coached parli from the days of metaphor all the way into the NPTE/NPDA modern era. I have also coached NFA-LD.

Finally, I ask that you consider that everyone in the room has sacrificed something to be there. A lot of resources, time, and effort went in to bringing us all there. Be sure to show some respect for that. I am serious about this and it has come to occupy a significant portion of my thinking about debate these days. In fact, I think it’s time for the in-round bullying to stop. I see too many rounds where one team’s strategy is simply to intimidate the other team. I find it strange that an activity that talks so much about the violence of language often does so in such a needlessly aggressive and violent manner. In some rounds every interaction is barbed. Flex/CX is often just needlessly aggressive and sometimes even useless (when, for example, someone simply refuses to answer questions or just keeps purposely avoiding the question when it’s obvious that they understand the question, opting instead for aggression sometimes verging on ad hominem). I see too many other rounds where everyone is just awful to each other, including the judges afterward. You can be intense and competitive without this. We are now a smaller circuit. It’s strange that we would choose to spend so much time together yet be so horrible to each other.

Grant Tovmasian -- Rio Hondo Community College

The most important criteria for me is fairness. I will avoid interceding on any one's behalf up to a point.  Please remember that although I approach the round as impartial as I can, that does not negate the truth, I still am aware which country I live in and who is the president and killing puppies is wrong (also kicking them, and just violence in general, I frown upon)

I expect all debaters to remain cordial and professional throughout the round. The decorum is important so as not to isolate or offend any student. Debate albeit adversarial in nature should be based on arguments and not a personal attack and as such, each student should perceive this as a safe place to express ideas and arguments. I prefer good on case argumentation over near useless procedural that are simply run in order to avoid on case thorough analysis. As such I am a believer that presentation and sound argumentation is critical towards establishing one's position. DA vs Advantages. CP vs Plan are all sound strategies and I hope students will use them.Ã? Ã? If you are running a CP please make sure to explain its status, especially if you are to claim dispositional (EXPLAIN) If permutation can happen in the real world it can happen in a debate round. Please call Points of Order and 95% of the time I will respond with (point well taken, point not well taken) That aside, I am open to any line of argumentation as long as it is complete. Example: I will not do your work for you, no link no argument, no impact no argument, no warrant NO ARGUMENT PERIOD.

I firmly believe that speed kills, as such the first team that uses it as an offensive or defensive tactic will get a loss in that round. Critics, i.e. K are to be run only when one or the other side believes that it is more important than whatever else is happening and is directly connected to either the actions of the other team or resolution in it of itself. As such, they should be willing to commit to it wholeheartedly and most important at the top of everything. For example, if you truly believe that the other team is promoting cultural genocide, seriously do not speak to me about agricultural benefits or disadvantages of the plan first, because then I think you cheapen both the critique and your whole line of argumentation.

I want to hear fun, constructive and polite debates. 

Have fun and let the best team win. (I always prefer cordial and educational rounds with elements of quick wit and persuasive argumentation over Nuclear Holocaust, which I really do not care for, especially when it results because of US not buying used car parts from Uruguay.)

Kelly Hutchison -- University of the Pacific


Margaret Rockey -- Western Washington University

Background: Parli coach at WWU for one year. Competed in parli at Whitman for three years and one year independently (sco Sweets!). I have no idea if I am or if people perceive me as a K- or policy-oriented judge. I guess I read a lot of disads, topical K affs, disads, and always read, but never went for politics, but I strongly preferred being a double member because I gave no shits about what our strategy was and would defend whatever. So I have no strong preferences regarding argumentative content. 

Iâ??ve tried writing a philosophy four or five times this year, and every attempt has ended with one sentence rejecting the proposition of writing in a philosophy in the first place. The short version, and what you probably want to know, is that you can read whatever you want, and should give me a reason why you win and a reason why the other team loses. In the event that the reason you win is also the reason they lose, you should explain how it is so. What follows is not a syncretic philosophy but a disorganized and unenclosed series of thoughts on debate, some arbitrary biases and thresholds, and judging tendencies Iâ??ve noticed in myself. It may or may not be helpful.

Judging Generally

I find I feel much less certain about my decisions as a judge than I did about my predictions as a competitor and observer. Actually doing the work of making and justifying a decision almost always necessitates getting my hands dirty in some form or other. Most of my decisions require intervention to vote for any one team, either because certain core questions have not been resolved, or some resolved questions have not been contextualized to one another, or some combination of the two. Recognizing the frequent inevitability of dirty hands in decision-making, I try to stick to both a general principle and practice when judging. In principle, I try to have a justification for every decision I make. In practice, I find I try to limit my intervention to extrapolating from arguments made to resolve unanswered issues; if a certain team is winning a certain part of the flow; what does that mean for this part where no one is clearly ahead but where someone must be to decide the round? This is also means that an easy way to get ahead is doing that work for me--provide the summary and application of an argument in addition to making it. 


In general I think framework either tells me how to prioritize impacts or understand solvency, and in particular how to situate solvency in relation to debate as a practice. Most framework arguments I see in-round seem to be made out of a precautious fear of leaving the something crucial open on the line-by-line, but with little understanding of the argumentâ??s application to interpreting the rest of the round. At least, thatâ??s what I felt like when I extended framework arguments for awhile. I donâ??t understand the argument that fiat is illusory. The advocacy actually being implemented has never been a reason to vote aff, as far as I can tell. The purpose of fiat is to force a â??shouldâ? and not â??willâ? debate. Framework arguments that dictate and defend a certain standard for the negativeâ??s burden to argue that the advocacy â??should notâ? happen are ideal. Iâ??m open to arguments proposing a different understanding of solvency than what a policymaking framework supplies.

My only other observation about framework debates is that every interpretation seems to get slotted into some â??critical non fiat â??ologyâ? slot or â??policy fiat roleplayingâ? slot. This is a false binary but its frequent assumption means many non-competitive framework (and advocacies!) are set against each other as if theyâ??re competitive. Policymaking and roleplaying are not the same thing; epistemology and ontology being distinct doesnâ??t mean theyâ??re inherently competitive, for a couple examples.

 This is also the major flaw of most non-topical K v. K debates I seeâ??the advocacies are not competitive. They feel like I.E. speeches forced into the debate format when the content and structure of that content just donâ??t clashâ??I mean, itâ??s like the aff showing up and saying dogs are cool and the neg firing back that cats are cool. Itâ??s just not quite debate as weâ??re used to, and demands reconceptualizing competition. This is also why I donâ??t think â??no perms in a method debateâ? makes any sense but I agree with the object of that argument. The topic creates sidesâ??youâ??re either for or against it. In rounds where each team is just going to propose distinct ways of apprehending the world, whatever that looks like, I see no reason to award noncompetitiveness to either team. (Oh, this should not be used as a justification for negative counterperms. How counterperms being leveraged against perms represents anything less than the death of debate is a mystery to me) Iâ??m not saying donâ??t have nontopical KvK rounds, please do, just please also read offense against each otherâ??s arguments (cats are cool and dogs are bad). In those rounds, your reason to win is not the same reason the other team loses, which is the case for advocacies which are opportunity costs to each other. For the record, I think critical literature is arguably the most important education debate offers. I just think debate is structured for competition oriented around policy advocacies and the ways that kritikal arguments tend to engage each other challenge that structure in ways we have yet to explore in parli (at least, writ large).


Donâ??t have anything in particular to say about this other than that I have a high threshold for evaluating anything other than plan text in a vacuum in determining interp violations. Everything else seems a solvency question to me, but make the arguments you want to and can defend.

Independent Voters

Iâ??ve noticed that I have a pretty high threshold on independent voters. I voted for an independent voter once when the block went for it. Arguments about discursive issues serve an important purpose. But for arguments read flippantly or as a gotcha or, more often, that lack any substantive impact, I always feel a little guilty voting there and jettisoning the rest of the debate, like feeling bad for picking one spoon over another when youâ??re a kid. I think a lot of judges want the simple way to vote but I donâ??t, as far as I can tell. They donâ??t necessarily have to be complicated, but I like thorough ways to vote, which do often involve a lot of nuance or at least word dancing (I believe debate is fundamentally competitive bullshitting, which I do not mean derisively in the slightest).

Matt Parnell -- Texas Tech University


Section 1: General information

I debated four years of high school policy and then another five in parli at Washburn. I believe that offense will win you most debate rounds as long as itâ??s packaged well enough. As a debater, I read a lot of different positions but there is a soft spot in my heart for politics + counterplan debate. I can hang with most positions however if youâ??re reading something new, you might wanna go a bit slower so I can jive with what youâ??re reading. I will say that theory is my jam. I wonâ??t vote for silly theory (I mean I might if you win it) but I do love really good and deep theory debates. Overall, Iâ??ll vote on the framework that you present. Iâ??ll default to an offense vs. defense paradigm but if you want me to evaluate the round differently, you gotta let me know.

Identity/Performance/Critical Arguments: I view these arguments very similarly as I do Ks. Provide a clear advocacy, or at least some form of tangible action and tell me why that action is key to resolve your links. Provide a clear way for me to weight the debate through impacts. At the core, I believe your argument should have some sort of linkage to the topic. Iâ??m not asking you to be topical, but I am asking for at least a little time in the PM/LO dedicated to a discussion of the topic.

Flowing: I need like a second of pen time between positions. If you have any particular questions about my flow, just ask. Essentially I will vote based on what I have on my flow. Iâ??m a big fan of debaters who organize well.

Texts and Interps: Slow down when you read plan/cp/alt texts. I think texts are pretty important to the round and I want to ensure that I understand what the text of your arg is.

Procedurals/Theory/T: I love theory. That doesnâ??t mean I like really silly theory but a really intense and deep theory debate is fantastic. I need interps to be said slowly. I think that if you collapse to theory you need to be doing the work on the voter level. So many times, debaters blip out fairness and education and call it good however if you go for theory, give me actual, termialized impacts to those claims. I will vote on potential abuse but you need to tell me why I am doing so. It makes me happy to see debaters having an in depth theory debate. Generally, I think condo is bad however I am not rigid in that interpretation. I will vote on condo strats and condo good if youâ??ve won the flow.

DAs: Read them. The more specific the link story the better. I was a politics debater so I enjoy a good politics debate. I do have a high threshold when it comes to the uniqueness question of a politics disad so give actual details i.e. who is voting for what, vote counts, etc.

CPs: Also read them. I really like creative counterplans. If you read a counterplan, make sure you have a net benefit attached.



Ks: These are also fine. Please explain what the alternative does however. Iâ??m willing to pull the trigger on any K however I need an explanation of how the alternative resolves the links page. Also try not to slam a bunch of postmodern terms together and call it good. The alt advocates a particular action so please, tell me what that action is. Iâ??m at least baseline familiar with most lit bases however if youâ??re breaking something completely new, give a small thesis at the top of the shell.

Perms: Perms are fine and you should be making them. You donâ??t have to read the entire perm text for me. Just say Perm do X and here are the net benefits. Perms are a test of competition but if you want me to treat it as an advocacy, you better make that argument.

Speaker points: Iâ??ll start at 28 and go up or down. If you give a good speech with solid arguments, youâ??ll be rewarded. If I canâ??t understand you, you will be punished. Iâ??ll really only give less than a 26 for things such as hate speech, hyper aggression, etc.

This is your space so you do what you want. I will judge what you want me to judge. I only ask that you be considerate of the other people in the room.


Nadia Steck -- Lewis & Clark College

Nadia here, I am currently the Coach for Lewis and Clarkâ??s debate team I graduated from Concordia University Irvine where I debated for 2 years, before that I debated for Moorpark College for 3 years. Iâ??m gonna give you a TL:DR for the sake of prep time/pre-round strategizing, I want my personal opinions to come into play as little as possible in the debate round. I want the debate to be about what the debaters tell me it should be about, be it the topic or something totally unrelated. I am fairly familiar with theory, policy, and critical debate. I donâ??t have a strong preference for any one of the three, all I want you to do is not be lazy and expect me to backfill warrants from my personal knowledge of arguments for you. If you donâ??t say it, it doesnâ??t end up on my flow, and thus it doesnâ??t get evaluated. There arenâ??t really any arguments I wonâ??t listen to, and I will give the best feedback I have the ability to give after each round.

For out of round thinking or pre tournament pref sheets here are a few of the major things I think are important about my judging philosophy and history as a debater

â?¢I hate lazy debate; I spent a lot of time doing research and learning specific contextualized warrants for most of the arguments I read. It will benefit you and your speaks to be as specific as possible when it comes to your warrants.

â?¢I did read the K a lot during my time as a debater but that doesnâ??t mean I donâ??t also deeply enjoy a good topical debate

â?¢I did read arguments tethered to my identity occasionally; if you want to read these sorts of arguments I am sympathetic to them, but I believe you should be ready to answer the framework debate well.

â?¢As far as framework and theory arguments go, I am open to listening to any theory argument in round with the exception of Spec args, I honestly feel like a POI is enough of a check back for a spec arg. I have yet to meet a spec arg that was justified much beyond a time suck. If youâ??re In front of me, I give these arguments little credence so you should respond accordingly.

â?¢As far as the actual voting issue of theory, I by default assume they are all Apriori, as theory is a meta discussion about debate and therefore comes as a prior question to whatever K/CP/DA is being read. When it comes to evaluating the impacts of theory, please please please do not be lazy and just say that fairness and/or education is the voter without justification. These are nebulous terms that could mean a thousand things, if you want to make me really happy as a judge please read more specific voters with a solid justification for them. This way I have a more concrete idea of what you mean instead of me having to insert my own ideas about fairness or education into the debate space.

â?¢As far as policy debates go, I default net bens, and will tend to prefer probable impacts over big impacts. That being said, I am a sucker for a good nuke war or resource wars scenario. My favorite policy debates were always econ debates because of the technical nuance.

â?¢Go as fast as you want, just make sure if your opponent calls clear or slow you listen because if they read theory or a K because you didnâ??t slow down or speak more clearly I will most likely vote you down.

Paul Villa -- University of the Pacific

TLDR: I prefer you not reject the topic. Don't go top speed, I have carpal tunnel and value my wrists health over having your 9th warrant on my flow. I have a lower threshold for framework, condo, and T than most judges. I demand you attempt to be accommodating of the other team's needs. If you have any questions about my philosophy feel free to email me at paulyycat@gmail as I will always try to check my email during the lead up to rounds as well as my Facebook so feel free to add me.

I debated on the collegiate circuit starting in 2013. I have extensive experience in Parli and LD competing at the University of the Pacific and briefly competed in Policy at SFSU.

Things to know up front: I am going to be completely honest, I can hang but I don't want to. I spent years having to listen to people ignore the topic and run nonsense kritiks spread at me at the speed of light and in my old age have decided I am no longer interested in doing so whether that be on the aff or the neg. It is my belief that one of the most fundamental parts of debate is being given a topic and being arbitrarily assigned to affirm or negate that topic, I ran topicality or framework in 80% of neg rounds. That is not to say you can't spread at top speed in front of me but I am much more likely to have your arguments on the flow if you go 85% of your top speed. Can you reject the topic in front of me? Absolutely, but you do so at your own peril, I would much prefer you just read the res as an advocacy and then do your K thing. I don't think the negative reading framework or T is silencing your voice, I think it is just them saying you don't get to say what you said and still win the round. I don't flow shadow extensions and do my best to protect in the rebuttals. Also, I think conditional strategies are cheating and am easily persuaded to vote a team down for employing one. Honestly I am still not clear on why the negative team should get an advocacy at all. Other than that the best advice I can give you is be accommodating and have fun.

For K debaters ready to risk it all: I want to be clear. I don't hate kritiks. I ran kritiks in probably 50% of my neg rounds my senior year. I just think a lot of them don't make sense. I think a lot of them utilize literature I don't understand. I think more importantly that a lot them are deployed as fast as possible and with an assumption that I know what is going on. I don't. If you read a kritik on the negative in front of me and it links to the topic, has a clear and concise thesis, and has a solvency mechanism that makes sense to me and solves for both the Aff and/or kritik I will happily vote for you.

If I was going to make a checklist for winning the kritik in front of me it would be as follows.

1. Don't go top speed.

2. Have a thesis statement somewhere.

3. Actually link to the aff, I can't stress this enough. Saying they used the USFG or this seems capitalist is not going to win my ballot I need nuanced reasons why the aff is incompatible with the kritik, otherwise I am almost certainly going to vote on the perm.

4. Has to actually have a solvency mechanism that resolves the aff/kritik. To be clear, if your K doesn't solve the aff then I think the opportunity cost of the aff is a disad to K, so you need to win a net benefit that outweighs that.

5. Be able to explain why the aff is the point of no return, IE, why the K can solve every other instance of X but not this instance of the aff.

Bonus: 6. An author so I can look it up next time/know whether your specific version matters.

Here is a list of kritiks I used to run/understand/enjoyed.

1. Death Denialism (Ernest Becker)

2. Ableism/Disableism/Malady Discourse (Various, this includes being very in favor of teams reading speed kritiks if they really need the access)

3. Neoliberalism (from a psycho analytical framework, Lacan, etc.)

4. Hip-Hop (Going to be honest, I will judge you for having trash taste in hip-hop, bonus points for Wu-Tang)

Here is a list of kritiks you have essentially no shot of winning in front of me

1. Cap/Marx

2. Kritiks that use the word cybernetic

3. Kritiks that use the word liberalism with no explanation as to how that is different than neoliberalism

4. Identity Politics kritiks (I am very uncomfortable judging on the basis of you or anyone else's identity)

5. Pretty much anything D&G related.

How I reach my decision: I usually make my decision incredibly fast, especially if it is a prelim and not one of the national tournaments. My process for judging is very formulaic. I ask myself who is winning the debate at the end of every speech and make a note of it, if the negative is not decisively winning by the end of the block, they are probably not going to pick up my ballot. If at the end of the PMR I do not have a clear cut decision I then go back and work my way through the debate. I begin by identifying who has won the framing issues of the debate and use that as a lens to evaluate the rest of the round, particularly who has gained access to what impact and how that impact has been compared to competing impact claims.

Random things not mentioned above:

1. I expect people to answer at least one question in the debate if they are asked to do so. With that said you don't have to but just know that a) it will hurt your speaks and b) if they run a procedural on it I will be very persuaded.

2. You and your partner can communicate all you want but make sure it does not disturb the other team if they are speaking. Assume that you get 2 prompts on your partner, if it goes beyond that I will likely affect both of your speaks as nobody likes to see puppeting. If the speaking partner asks you for something that is a completely different story and you can do whatever.

3. I don't care if you sit or stand during your speech.

4. I am not here to debate you. If you ask for feedback or disclosure during the round (and the tournament permits that) then I will give you that feedback to the best of my ability. I am not going to argue with you about how I came to my decision and you trying to do so will either affect your speaker points or result in me talking to your coach.

5. I do everything possible to not do work for debaters. I look for the easy way out so whichever team makes my job easiest will usually win.

Sarah Dweik -- Texas Tech University

� � My background:� I debated for 4 years on the NPTE/NPDA circuit (2.5 years at the University of Missouri and 1.5 years at Washburn). I have helped coach policy, public forum, and parli debate, finished my undergraduate degree at Washburn, and am now pursuing my Master's degree at Texas Tech. Iâ??m currently judging for Texas Tech. Starting off at a student-run program has helped me learn debate from a variety of different people and from learning from watching rounds online. I have also largely been shaped by people like Doubledee, Ryan Kelly, and Calvin Coker.

Highlights:� I think that debate is a space where we can all engage with each other to different degrees. Personally for me, debate became a place where I could feel more comfortable to express myself and engage with others in-depth over a variety of topics that exist or arenâ??t discussed outside of this space. I am fine with whatever arguments you decide to read in front of me, but I cannot claim to fully understand every argument that is read in front of me. I do have an expansive knowledge regarding a lot of different K's, but that doesn't mean that I know everything that you will talk about in the round. I am here to learn just as much as you are. The round is yours and you should do what you are comfortable with, have fun, be respectful, and compete.

I prefer debates that engage the topic and, in an ideal situation, utilize fiat to do so, but I will definitely listen to arguments that interpret the topic differently or if you decide to reject it. I would prefer that you read advocacies unconditionally, but I will not vote you down without the other team winning the condo bad theory. Iâ??m most familiar with the following arguments: Politics, T, Hegemony, Feminism, Black Feminism, Queerness, Orientalism, and most other identity or state based criticisms. I will try and protect from new arguments in rebuttals, but please still call them out if you think they are new so I am not intervening as much. I will vote for who wins the round, regardless of my personal views, as long as you can clearly explain your offense and how to weigh the impacts of your strategy. And finally, impact calculus is the most important thing to me as a judge. I want the rebuttal speeches to help me craft my ballot through the lenses of timeframe, probability, and magnitude (not necessarily in that order). I enjoy rebuttals that reflect as much of the RFD as possible, so framing in the LOR and PMR is critical.

Identity/Performance/Critical Arguments:� I totally think that debate is a performance, but make the round for you. I judge these arguments similarly to other criticisms. Therefore, I need a clear advocacy; it does not need to be an alternative, but make your advocacy clear (whether it be a poem, metaphor, alt, etc.). I still think you need to have very strong solvency for your argument and I need some type of way to weigh the debate through impacts or a mechanism that you make clear to me. Iâ??m willing to listen to framework debates and many times would use framework as an answer to critical affirmatives. I do think that if you are rejecting the resolution then you need some sort of justification for doing so or some kind of explanation or link to the resolution because I think this fosters creativity and gives context within the round of why the debating the resolution, in this case, is bad.

Flowing:� I flow on my laptop because I can type a lot more quickly and clearly than I can write. This means that I would prefer if you just gave me enough time to switch tabs on my laptop when you switch sheets, and please flag when you're moving on so I can make sure your arguments go where you want them to be. If I think you are too quiet, unclear, or fast I will let you know immediately. I keep a good and fast flow as long as youâ??re clear.

Texts and Interpretations:� You can either provide me with a written copy of the text or slow down when you read the plan/cp/alt and repeat it. I think this is very important during theory debates and framework debates. I would like you to either repeat it twice and slowly to make sure that I have a copy of it or make sure that you give me a copy. If I don't get your text or interp, I will make sure I have the correct wording in my flow when the round ends.

Procedurals/Theory/T:� I enjoy a good T debate and I default to competing interpretations, but this does not mean that I wonâ??t listen to other frameworks for evaluating T. I think that all procedurals can have a role depending on the round. I am not a fan of RVIâ??s. I understand the utility of these arguments, but they likely arenâ??t going to win my ballot. I do not need real in round abuse, but an abuse story needs to exist even if it is potential abuse. I need procedurals to have clearly articulated interpretations, violations, standards, and voters not just blips in the LOC of, â??vote for us for fairness and educationâ?. I view topicality similarly to a disad in that I view standards as being the internal links to the voters (impacts). When it comes to theory concerning advocacies, I find multiple worlds bad theory to be quite compelling because I find that inherent contradictions in strategies for the sake of winning take away from the in round education. I am not a huge fan of multiple new theory sheets in the MG. I can see the utility of MG theory arguments, but reading them to simply shotgun the other team hyper-expands the debate into a jumbled mess. If you are going to read multiple theories, please collapse :D

Disads:� I enjoy topic specific disads. However, I also loved reading politics, so I understand the utility of reading politics on a variety of different topics. However, I have higher standards for voting on politics than most others because I ran the argument so often. I need specifics such as vote counts, those whipping the votes, sponsors of the bill, procedural information regarding passage, etc. All disads are great in my book and I will always love hearing them in round.

CPs:� I love counter-plans and I regret not reading them as much while I was a competitor. I am not prone to vote against any type of counter-plan. I prefer functional competition over textual competition because it is easier to weigh and more tangible to me, but if you want to go for textual competition, just show me how to weigh and vote on it.

Ks:� I enjoy criticisms and I believe that they can offer a very unique and creative form of education to the debate space. If your criticism is complicated, then I would like a thesis page or an explanation of what the alternative does. I really enjoy a good perm debate on the K and am not opposed listening to theory regarding the alternative/perms (floating PICs, severance, etc.). When reading a K, please give me a clear explanation of what the alternative does and what the post-alt world looks like. Just a bunch of fancy words pushed together doesn't mean that I understand what your K is doing. With the alt, there should also be a stable and clear solvency/alternative ground that allows the other team to have some space to argue against it.

Perms:� I really enjoy perm debates. As a PMR, trust me, I really love the perm debate. I think that the text of the perm is critical and must be clear in the debate. Slow down, read them twice, and/or give me a copy of the text. You donâ??t have to read the entire plan text in K debates and instead it is sufficient to say, â??do the plan and xâ?. My definition of a legitimate perm would be that they are all of the plan and all or parts of the CP/Alt. I think that perms are in between a test of competition and an advocacy (because youâ??re really achieving both, ya know).

Speaker Points:� I usually start at 28 and will go up or down depending on how everything goes. I do think speaker points are totally random, with no real scale for all of us to follow, but I will try my best to reward you on how well you do. I highly value the argumentation that is made to earn speaker points, although if I canâ??t understand your arguments, then we might have a problem. I do love quotes from RuPaul's Drag Race, after all "Facts are facts, America!"

Basically, I want you to come into a round and not think that I would keep you from reading what you want to read. I understand that I won't get every argument read in front of me, but I want to make sure that I am not preventing you from expressing yourself the ways that you want to in this space. This space for me is something extremely important, so I want to make sure that I can at least help it continue to be important for you.


Serena Fitzgerald -- Oregon


Steven Farias -- University of the Pacific


Updates: My threshold to vote on theory has decreased. Proven abuse is not a necessity on T, though it is preferred. Also, my thoughts on role of the ballot has changed under my section for K's.

TLDR Version: I am okay with whatever you choose to read in the debate, I care more about your justifications and what you as the debaters decide in round; however, theory I generally have a high threshold for voting on except CONDO Bad, in which case the threshold is lower. CPs/Alts are generally good ideas because I believe affirmatives usually solve harms in the world and permutations are not advocacies. Finally, pet peeve but I rule on points of order when I can. I generally think it is educational and important for the LOR/PMR strategy to know if I think an argument is new or not. I protect the block as well, but if you call a point of order I will always have an answer (not well taken/well taken/under consideration) so please do not just call it and then agree its automatically under consideration.

Section 1: General Information-

While I thoroughly enjoy in-depth critical and/or hegemony debates, ultimately, the arguments you want to make are the arguments I expect you to defend and WEIGH. I often find myself less compelled by nuclear war these days when the topic is about education, a singular SCOTUS decision, immigration, etc. BE RESOURCEFUL WITH YOUR IMPACTS- ethnic conflict, mass exodus, refugee camps, poverty, and many more things could all occur as a result of/in a world without the plan. I think debaters would be much better served trying to win my ballot with topically intuitive impact scenarios rather than racing to nuclear war, ESPECIALLY IF PROBABILITY MEANS ANYTHING BESIDES A DROPPED, BLIPPED INTERNAL LINKâ??which I think it does.

I do my best to keep up with the debate and flow every argument. However, I also will not stress if your 5 uniqueness blips donâ??t ALL get on my flow. I am unafraid to miss them and just say â??I didnâ??t get thatâ?. So please do your best to use words like â??becauseâ? followed by a strong logical basis for your claim and I will do my best to follow every argument. Also, if you stress your tag I will be able to follow your warrants more too.

Section 2: Specific Arguments

â??The Kâ?- I do not mind critical affirmatives but be prepared to defend topicality with more than just generic links back to the K. Moreover, I feel that this can even be avoided if the affirmative team simply frames the critical arguments they are going to make while still offering, at the very least, the resolution as a policy text for the opposition. On the negatiave, I think that Kâ??s without alternatives are just non-unique disads. I think that reject and embrace are not alternatives in and of themselves, I must reject or embrace something and then you must explain how that solves. NEW: In terms of ballot claims, I do not believe the ballot has any role other than to determine a winner and a loser. I would rather be provied a role that I should perform as the adjudicator and a method for performing that role. This should also jive with your framework arguments. Whoever wins a discussion of my role in the debate and how should perform that role will be ahead on Framework. For performance based arguments, please explain to me how to evaluate the performance and how I should vote and what voting for it means or I am likely to intervene in a way you are unhappy with. Also, please do not make myself or your competitors uncomfortable. If they ask you to stop your position because it emotionally disturbs them, please listen. I am not unabashed to vote against you if you do not. I believe you should be able to run your argument, but not at the expense of othersâ?? engagement with the activity. I will consider your narrative or performance actually read even if you stop or at the least shorten and synthesize it. Finally, I also consider all speech acts as performative so please justify this SPECIFIC performance.

Topicality/Theory- I believe T is about definitions and not interpretations, but not everybody feels the same way. This means that all topicality is competeing definitions and a question of abuse in my book. Not either or. As a result, while I have a hard time voting against an aff who was not abusive, if the negative has a better definition that would operate better in terms of ground or limits, then I will vote on T. To win, I also think you must either pick theory OR the case debate. If you go for both your topicality and your K/DA/CP I will probably not vote on either. Caveat- I think that negative teams should remember that a contextual definition IS A DEFINITION and I consider multiple, contradictory definitions from an affirmative abusive (so make Aff doesnâ??t meet its own interp arguments).

In terms of other theory, I evaluate theory based on interpretations and I think more specific and precise interpretations are better. Contextualized interpretations to parli are best. I also think theory is generally just a good strategic idea. However, I will only do what you tell me to do: i.e.- reject the argument v. reject the team. I also do not vote for theory immediately even if your position (read: multiple conditional advocacies, a conditional advocacy, usage of the f-word) is a position I generally agree with. You will have to go for the argument, answer the other teams responses, and outweigh their theoretical justifications by prioritizing the arguments. Yes, I have a lower threshold on conditionality than most other judges, but I do not reject you just because you are conditional. The other team must do the things above to win my ballot on theory.

Counterplans- CPâ??s are the best strategy, IMHO, for any neg team (or at least some alternative advocacy). It is the best way to force an affirmative to defend their case. PICs, Consult, Conditions, etc. whatever you want to run I am okay with. I do not think that â??We Bite Lessâ? is a compelling argument, just do not link to your own disad. In terms of perms, if you do not in the end prove that the Perm is preferential to the plan or cp, then I will simply view it as an argument not used. This means if you go for the perm in the PMR, it must be as a reason the CP should be rejected as an offensive voting position in the context of a disad that does not link to the CP. Finally, CP perms are not advocacies- it is merely to demonstrate the ability for both plans to happen at the same time, and then the government team should offer reasons the perm would resolve the disads or be better than the CP uniquely. K perms can be advocacies, particularly if the Alt. is a floating PIC, but it needs to be explained, with a text, how the permutation solves the residual links.

Evaluating rounds- I evaluate rounds as a PMR. That means to me that I first look to see if the affirmative has lost a position that should lose them the round (Tâ??s and Specs). Then I look for counter advocacies and weigh competing advocacies (Kâ??s and Alts or CPâ??s and Disads). Finally, I look to see if the affirmative has won their case and if the impacts of the case outweigh the off case. If you are really asking how I weigh after the explanation in the general information, then you more than likely have a specific impact calculus you want to know how I would consider. Feel free to ask me direct questions before the round or at any other time during the tournament. I do not mind clarifying. Also, if you want to email me, feel free (sfarias@pacific.edu). If you have any questions about this or anything I did not mention, feel free to ask me any time. Thanks.