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. I�¢??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, I�¢??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 don�¢??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 don�¢??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.

Amanda Ozaki-Laughon -- Concordia University Irvine


I am the Director of Forensics at Concordia University Irvine. I competed both nationally and locally at PSCFA and NPTE/NPDA tournaments during my 4 years of competition, and this is my 4th year coaching and judging.�??� 

I tend to prefer policy debate, and am sympathetic to trichotomy arguments that say policymaking includes the educational facets of value and fact debate. Value and fact debates are often lacking in the very basic structure of claim+data+warrant, and rarely use terminalized impacts. These shortcomings are much easier to logically rectify if policymaking is used. "should" is not necessary to test whether or not the resolution is true.�??� 

Theory comes first in debate, since it is a debate about the rules. I default to competing interpretations and am unlikely to vote for your counter interpretation if it has no counter standards for that reason. MOs should choose whether to go for topicality or the substance debate and collapse to one OR the other, not both. Likewise, PMRs should choose whether to collapse to MG theory arguments OR the substance debate, not both.�??� 

Kritiks should explain why they turn the AFF and have terminalized impacts. The framework should be utilized as offense to frame out the method of the AFF, and prioritize the impacts of the K. The Alt should explain why they solve for the AFF, and avoid the disadvantages of the link story. I prefer critiques that do not make essentialized claims without warrants about how the AFF's method in particular needs to be rejected. I prefer critical affirmatives be topical in their advocacy statement or policy option.�??� 

Disadvantages should explain why they turn the AFF and have terminalized impacts. Uniqueness claims should be descriptive of the status quo, with a predictive claim about what direction the status quo is heading. Politics disadvantages should have well-warranted link stories that explain why the plan uniquely causes losers/win, winners to lose, etc.�??� 

Counterplans should solve for at least one of the advantages of the AFF. Plan-inclusive counterplans are core negative ground, though perhaps less so on resolutions with 1 topical affirmative (resolutions that require the AFF to pass a bill, for example). I usually default to counterplans competing based on net benefits, and thus permutation arguments need to explain why the perm shields the link to the disadvantage(s).�??� 

Andrea Brown -- Saint Mary's College

This philosophy is for for any tournament that has strikes or prefs. I will go back to my other philosophy for other tournaments. Unless something goes really wrong (check out the speed section and the will vote you down for section), I will keep all speaker points in the 28-30 range and norm it at 29. I rewrote my whole philosophy so there's no tldr right now.

Important: If you want me to prioratize truth over tech, please say this in the first speech. I will listen to arguments against truth over tech, but I will analyze them through a truth framework.

What sucks:

I'll vote on whatever but I think there's a lot of sucky Ks out there. I tired of any cap K that thinks raising/changing consciousness is enough.  I'm not here for Lacan or Lacan derived arguments (looking at you Edelman and Wilderson) unless your alt/advocacy pulls from outside that lit. Also, I think Hegel is terrible. If your ableism K doesn't address race, it's not very good. If you run nihilism or pessimism in front of me, I might vote for you but I'm going to hate it. Same with wipe-out.

What's cool:

People or theory that I'm a little familiar with and like: Eve Tuck, Tiffany Lethabo King, Spinoza, Gilles Deleuze (although I'm finding Jodi Byrd's argument persuasive, so maybe not focus on the rhizomatic/lines of flights parts but there's still a lot of cool Deleuze left.) Christina Sharpe, some of Sylvia Winters, some community-written disability theory (spoon theory is a good example of this). There's more but that's probably enough for you to get sense of the direction I go in. Note: just because I say I a little familiar and like them doesn't mean I know your relationship to the above folks so don't take shortcuts and assume I'll understand or follow.

There's a lot of really good K arguments out there that I'm less familiar but would love to learn more about so run whatever you want. Even if it's not my cup of tea, I'll vote for it.

Straight up:

I'm cool with straight up but please frame it within antiblackness and/or colonization and/or capitalism or some other structuring event. Tell me the story of how investor confidence is connected to legacies/continuations of extracting resources or pushing out labor or whatever. If you're going to run it, own what you're advocating for and move on. If you're if ideologically opposed to the structure/event framing, that's cool, I've got issues with it too, just frame your arguments within the context of a larger history. If you don't, I won't vote you down necessarily, but you'll be at the low end of my speaker point range (28/28.1).

Speed and decision making:

I'm fine with speed and speed Ks. I will tank your speaks below the 28 threshold if you don't slow down for a team that calls slow. In the MO/LOR/PMR you need go at least two steps slower than your top speed and pick the arguments that matter. Stop extending everything. I start my round analysis with the team that has the conceptually clearer rebuttal, see if I think they've won the arguments they claim they have, and then go through the other team's rebuttal. If you don't funnel your arguments through the role of the ballot, I might do that for you, and I've voted teams down for losing under their own role of the ballot.

Random stuff:

I don't need proven abuse to vote on theory but in a close framework debate, I tend to lean towards justice over fairness. I'm usually a flow judge (offense over defense warrants over none) but if that's a bad way of evaluating your arguments, I'm happy to switch to something else just walk me through what you want me to do. I will keep flowing because if I don't, I will forget your arguments/performance/whatever. I've never voted for presumption and if you go for presumption, you're probably already losing. If you tell me to gut check my arguments, I will and my gut will tell me I'm hungry. If you tell me to use my intuition, I will but I will not confine my intuition to one argument so be prepared for those consequences. I fundamentally don't believe contradictions are a thing for the K perm so if you're neg, you need DA(s) to the perm not reasons why it won't work. I'm working on protecting in the rebuttals but only for very big things, if you think it's small but key, call the point of order. Frankly, I would prefer if you didn't trust me and just called it. At the end of a debate day, I am usually exhausted so my capacity to put my decision into words goes way down. If that's you, I'm sorry and you can catch me later and ask me to explain better if you want.

Will vote you down over:

I saw something in lila lavender's philosophy and really liked it so I'm adding a version of it. I reserve the right to vote you down for being overtly oppressive. This means if you say racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, Islamophobic, etc stuff, I reserve the right to vote you down. If you do any of those things directly to your competition, I definitely reserve the right to vote you down. However, there's a chance if a competitor does this in a way that outsiders might not realize is violent, nonverbally, or during crosstalk, I won't catch/process it happening during the round so if this is happening in-round, I prefer you pointing that out.

Benjamin Lange -- Concordia University Irvine

TL;DR: Do what you want, but I have a high threshold for theoretical defenses in favor of rejecting the topic (although I'm very in favor of creative ways to endorse the topic), and I tend to hold proximal impact framing/proximal solvency mechanisms to a pretty high standard as well. 

While I'm open to arguments about debate being a "training ground" for personal advocacy and political change, I view debate itself as a game. This means that I view arguments very impersonally, and I care more for the strategic aspect of the game than the emotional or truth-based appeals. Those things are obviously still important, but that just means I will very likely vote for arguments that are "winning" even if I don't necessarily like them (just because of how I understand the utility of debate). For impact weighing, I probably default to magnitude>probability>timeframe unless told otherwise, so do in-depth impact comparison that includes weighing of the different metrics. I tend to hold proximal impact framing and solvency mechanisms to a pretty high standard, and while I'm down to vote on proximity you should just keep in mind that I think of all of these arguments as pieces to a game, so I'm not more persuaded by proximal impacts than magnitude-based impacts absent a clear reason.

I'm fine if you want to reject the topic on the Aff, but I'll be very sympathetic to the Neg's theoretical objection to that. You can win the theory debate, but I'll have a pretty high threshold for your theory answers so just be aware of that. Impact turning theory out of the aff is fine as well, but I've found that if the Neg team wins that you shouldn't get to leverage the Aff against theory if truth-testing the aff is impossible, I'll usually evaluate the theory prior to the PMCs reasons that fairness and education are bad or impossible to access. I'm pretty indifferent about conditionality also, but will vote on theory saying it shouldn't be allowed if you win that sheet.

Also on theory, this has only mattered a couple of times, but if I'm not given a paradigm by either team I have a tendency to default to reasonability instead of competing interpretations. This is largely because (absent being told otherwise/as a default) I tend to evaluate theory as a check against abuse (i.e., should I penalize a team for doing something unfair), rather than evaluating it as the endorsement of the "ideal model" of debate, which tends to make a difference regarding how I evaluate the impact framing on the theory, but this has only ever mattered when neither team makes any of the arguments that would give me a cohesive story on theory and I'm left pretty much evaluating a non-functional/unclear interp with no voters.

I love policy debate, but I was also super into reading Ks and I dig janky stuff from obscure philosophical sources. In my opinion, I'm able to understand and follow pretty much whatever you want to throw at your opponent. On the flip-side though, that also means that you probably won't get very far with super ambiguous solvency. You need to have some kind of solvency that is (at the very least) a clearly explained mechanism that is preferably drawn from the literature that the K is based on. As a Neg, I think your best bet is to read a diverse strategy, but if you have a baller K that you want to go all in on then go for it.

Finally, and I've realized that this is probably a very important thing to make clear, I am willing to vote on terminal defense if you are able to explain what it means for the round. That means that if you win the "we meet" on theory, then the rest of the sheet is irrelevant - even under a paradigm of competing interpretations, their rule is irrelevant if you followed it.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me in person! Good luck :)

Casandra Malcolm -- Mercer University


Generally, I tend to vote up a few good arguments over a lot of mediocre ones, so try to focus on the points you think are good rather than spreading 50 arguments to try and trick the other team into dropping something.

In terms of K debates, I love them, I ran performance Ks for 4 years, but I have seen a lot of bad ones. I still require clear impacts and solvency mechanisms; I try not to just vote for things that sound true or sound impressive. Also, while I've read theory, I may not have read your theory specifically, so try to explain your theoretical basis well. If I don't get why you're doing something, it's gonna be hard to vote you up.

In a traditional policy debate round, I like to see very clear impacts, solvency mechanisms and weighing at the end of the round. I've always said "The less I have to think the better off you'll be". Make things clear, and tell me why you should win. I hate having to do your job for you after the round has ended.

Theory arguments, especially T, are obviously something I'll vote for if they're argued well, but I think are generally easy to win on if the other team is good, especially the generic ones. If your T is "they didn't give a policy plan text" with no other explanation I can't imagine voting it up if the other team is at all competent. If you're a pure theory team that tries to win on technicalities, I'm probably not the judge for you, although I've seen some very interesting T's in my time.

I try to be as "tabula rasa" as possible, but there are certain things I would be hard pressed to vote for. If you're trying to convince me "genocide good actually" or something like that, it's probably not going to work. I can't see myself voting up oppression good arguments because you had a witty framework. if you're trying to be edgy to catch people off guard, I'm probably not the judge for you.


I don't like spreading but I can generally understand it as long as your annunciation is good. Again, I'm more likely to vote up a team that can defend three good arguments than a team that tries not to have to defend 50 arguments, so spreading will likely hurt you anyway. I will certainly remove speaker points for those who cannot condense their points to a reasonable speed.

In partner interactions, I don't mind you talking, but if I hear the team not currently speaking over the team that is I will count that against you in speaker points. You can speak to your partner during their speech, but try not to speak over them--I only flow what the person speaking says. I prefer paper passing but I understand that can be hard to do in a stressful round. Don't get excessive with partner speak and I'm all good.

If you have any other questions my email is ccapy1297@gmail.com " and I'll totally answer them. If you'd rather ask before the round starts, that's cool too as long as it's not excessive.

Chris Miles -- Saint Mary's College

�?????�????�???�??�?� �?????�????�???�??�?� 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 DIDN�????�???�??�?�¢??T READ: You do you. If you bring me chai I will give block 30�????�???�??�?�¢??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 it�????�???�??�?�¢??s your thing then do it. I don�????�???�??�?�¢??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 cp�????�???�??�?�¢??s are nice.

Perms�?????�????�???�??�?� are test of competition. I think external net-benefits to permutations are the worst, don�????�???�??�?�¢??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.

Aff�????�???�??�?�¢??s�?????�????�???�??�?� have one. don�????�???�??�?�¢??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.

Fiker Tesfaye -- Texas Tech University

Please, I beg, read the things I write here.

I'm Fiker (pronounced like snicker). She/her/hers. I debated a bit in high school which is mostly unimportant, and then did four years (2015-2019) at Texas Tech University. I (and my partner) won the NRR and I won all 3 national top speaker awards in 2019. Now I judge and coach for TTU. So it goes.

I generally think debate is a game, but a useful and important one. It may not be "fiat" but it does influence the real world by how we exist inside of it. Let's not forget we're human beings. Read what you want, I certainly did. Speed isn't usually an issue but if we're blazing, let me know so I can use paper and not my laptop.

Things to keep in mind: I like to do as little work as possible when it comes to making decisions on the flow. Impact calculus is essential. however many warrants you have, double it. Don't be terrible. Don't be bigots. Condo is good, but don't test the limits. I don't really get presumption. Thought experiments aren't real. Jokes are fun. 9/10 the MG theory is not worth it.

Affs: Read them. K affs are fine (I'm a big fan) just make sure the things you say make sense and do something. Read case against them. Be clear.

DA/CP: Also read these. They need to be complete and fleshed out. Warrants are your best friend. CPs should come with written texts, imo. I would say I have a slightly higher than average threshold for CP theory.

Theory: I like this and my threshold is pretty equal if run well, but I needneedneed good structure. Interpretations are key, please slow down and repeat them. Now, I don't need several sheets of theory, MG theory, overly high-level theory, and certainly not MO and later theory. Keep it at home. Have voters. Defend them.

Ks: I love them, but I don't vote on nothing. Framework needs to be strong or it needs to not bog down the real parts of the argument. Links need to link..... please......Alt needs to make sense, repeat them twice for me, and if they're long, I'd like to be told in flex or given a copy. Even if I know your literature, I am not debating. Please do that work for me in round. Identity arguments are fine, do as you please just don't be offensive or overly satirical about real violence.

Have a debate. Live your life. Yee, and dare I say it, haw.

Its Black History Month. Adjust preferences accordingly.

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.)

Jaz Buckley -- Mercer University


Jonathan Veal -- Point Loma Nazarene University

Hello friends,

I have been coaching college parli since 2016 and competed in the activity previously.

Case debate/Policy: I really enjoy case debate. I am particularly persuaded by positions that interact with the uniqueness of the topic. DAâ??s that are bottom heavy or generic can work but are vulnerable to MG non-unique and link arguments.

Theory: I default to competing interpretations. I tend to hold MG theory to a relatively high threshold due to lack of backside rebuttals, but see it as a check against particularly abusive neg strategies. I will go either way on condo depending on the argumentation in the round, but I tend to vote aff on delay/consult theory and when the neg reads multiple advocacies.

Critical Debate: Love it. Aff Kâ??s need to either interact with the topic or present strong reasons for not doing so. I really like to see topic oriented-debate if possible. Accessibility is key, so I will not fill in the blanks on K authors even if I am familiar with them. Explain your Thesis/Solvency in a way that can be understood by the other team. Links of omission/generic links tend to be iffy for me. Show clear links.

Speed: I will listen to speed procedurals if the other team does not respond to clears and the team reading the position is clearly losing access to participating in the round. Speed is both strategic and lacks a bright line, but that is not an excuse to push people out of debate. 

Feel free to ask me any questions before the round.

Some side notes

- Be cool to your opponents. Seriously, I consider this important enough to influence my decision in extreme instances.

- Provide a plan/CP/interp/perm text if asked. Perms with clear texts are preferred.

- Read trigger warnings if you are in doubt.

Joseph Evans -- El Camino College

  About me:I have been involved in forensics for over 13 years including 7 years of coaching. I have debated in High School, College and I am now currently a full-time professor and Director of Debate at El Camino College. I view debate as a game of argument and impact prioritization. Thus, I believe that any method of debate is viable when used as a strategic ploy to win. I will try to list my views on the major themes within debate. Please feel free to ask me for clarification before the round!.   

Framework/Role of the Ballot:  I will evaluate and weigh the round through any framework that the Aff or Neg presents to me. I have no predisposition towards one specific FW because all frameworks can either be strategic or not depending on how itâ??s debated. In terms of evaluating competing FWs, I will only make my decision on how each are warranted and impacted out in round and will never insert my own beliefs. In terms of the ROB, I will weigh the ROB through the FW presented and if itâ??s not contested, this will frame how I evaluate the rest of the round.  If no one tells me how to frame the round, I tend to fall back to evaluating the round through the lens of utilitarianism (net benefits). When impacting out why you win a policy debate, please frame your impacts through lenses like timeframe, magnitude, probability, reversibility. 

TLDR: Framework is important! You win the framework if you provide me clear warranted arguments for your position, and impact out why your framework is best.        

Theory: I will evaluate theoretical positions the same as others. The interpretation will frame how I evaluate the position. You must have a clear description of how the debate round should have been constructed. Additionally, I will evaluate the interp/counter-interp debate based on the standards/impacts presented.  I donâ??t have any preference in regards reasonability vs. competing interps you must justify why I should frame theory through either. If a teams decides to kick out of the position, I usually don't hold it against them (unless there is conceded offense). 

Counter Plans/Alts/Perms: I view counterplans or alternatives as a test of competition against the affirmativeâ??s advocacy. I believe that counterplans/alts can compete based on impact prioritization, functional competition, or (sigh) textual competitiveness. I have no predisposition towards one type of competition. Teams must justify why I should vote on the competitiveness or lack of in the CP or Alt debate. In terms of the perm debate, perms also tests of the competitiveness of the counter advocacy. In order to win the perm debate you need to justify and impact out why it outweighs the CP or alt. I am also open to theoretical reasons why the CP/ALT or Perm should be rejected in the round. 

Speed: Go as fast as you want but please be clear! I have judged NPTE/NPDA finals and/or semi-finals the last 3 of 4 years so I will be able to keep up. However, if you are unclear, I will give you non-verbals or yell â??clearâ?. My priority is getting everything you say on my flow so sacrificing clarity for speed is not advisable. Additionally, I have voted on speed arguments a few times when teams use speed as a bullying or ableist technique. So be conscious of how you use speed within the round. If you can beat a team without going fast, itâ??s a win-win for both teams. You get the W and the other team has an educational/ teaching moment.  

Kritical Arguments: I believe that any augment that is present is a viable way to win. Kritical arguments fall into that category. I am well versed in most critical arguments, but I am not by any means an expert on critical theory. Therefore, if you are running something new or obscure, donâ??t assume I understand the literature.  Regardless of the K, I will listen how your frame, impact and weight the FW and Alt/Alt solvency. Additionally, 

Joseph Laughon -- Concordia University Irvine

Debated for five years, 2 for Moorpark College and 3 for CUI. I did ok. I am now the assistant director of debate at Concordia University.

�??�?� I am a fairly straight up critic. A few points though; �??�?� 

- The K �??�?�  Despite my reputation while competing as being one of the most boring white men alive, I do not discourage it and towards the end, Will and I ran it fairly often. I am familiar with most generic kritiks (cap, whiteness, militarism, Virilio, borders, coercion, the gift, etc...) and have no problem voting on it. However my threshhold for defense on the k is likely lower than most judges, though not extremely so. You can't win on defense as much as I might sympathize with your struggle to do so. For me the vast majority of frameworks are poorly written and debates exclusively about poorly written frameworks are fairly boring. Debates on the alt solvency/alt offense/perm solvency/perm NBs are far more interesting and will help you win more often. That being said I've become more of a fan of well done framework debate. �??�?�  Please be relevant. I don't mind a generic cap k for some godawful debate about the minutiae of financial regulation or something. But try to make it slightly connected to the topic beyond, "You reify the state by using the USFG as an actor. Next off, 8 minutes of state bad." Also understand I do not spend even 1/25th the time you have spent reading the literature for your K (unless its cap or coercion). Be gentle with it. Name dropping a bunch of authors/authoresses isn't going to be persuasive because I will not have read them as deeply as you have. �??�?�  On a side note I see debate largely as a game we do largely for fun with the side benefits of being smarter/well rounded. I do not see it primarily as a catalyst for revolutionary social change or really any kind of "community. I'll vote on whatever wins you the game but please don't assume I am "down" because unless it's the restoration of monarchy, then odds are no. �??�?�  -Theory �??�?�  Hated as a competitor, like it a lot as a judge. Down with T but your counter interp probably needs to actually respond to the interp. Counter interps like "We must only be held to the resolution" isn't counter to anything much less their interp. �??�?�  �??�?�  �??�?�  �??�?� 

-DAs. �??�?�  Obviously I'm a fan. I'm a huge fan of good uniqueness debates. Bad uniqueness debates (oh here's 5 reasons why the econ is up, naw dawg here's 6 reasons why its down. 6> 5 duh.) make me sad. Personally how I decide on this will go a long way in how I decide the direction of the DA and its likelihood since it is a debate on what world the plan takes part in to begin with.�??�?�  �??�?�  Major points: Internal link/impact defense. Does not happen enough. Please do that. The amount of times good team just spot the other side the notion that a nuclear bomb will cause extinction is so high it's absurd. �??�?� 

- Counter plans/perm debate.
�??�?�  Competition is good. Personally I prefer NB competition as I think its the most educational. Mutual exclusivity is usually just a form of NB competition though I am open to arguments as to why it is not. Do better than the same 3 generic perm blocks. How many times must we hear "Butler says..." in the perm debate? �??�?�  Impact Calc: �??�?�  If no one tells me how to judge straight up impact debates then I revert to magnitude and probability. So if you just tell me your impact is bigger and they tell me that theirs is more probable, I will probably revert to the bigger magnitude impact (especially if its extinction vs. some one feels bad about themselves). Give me reasons why prob > mag or vice versa. I do enjoy good defense debate on the probability level. Time frame isn't brought up enough. �??�?�  I'm also a big fan of the "Big mag impacts bad v. Big mag impacts good" debate. But if it doesn't happen, unfortunately I'm a hack for the mag x prob (extinction x .000001 still pretty big risk) impact calc. �??�?�  Not totally against "key to value to life" args if they are decent internal links into what gives human life value. But baseless claims of, "And now there's no value to life!" claims are pretty easily beaten in front of me. �??�?� 

-House keeping �??�?� 

>Speed: Don't care one way or another. I will clear you if I can't understand. I can hang, though slightly less than when I was competing since my ego isn't in the round anymore. If your advocacy is long as hell please repeat it.

>POOs: Call them. I can't guarantee me catching them cheating every time. So unless you want me letting it slide and someone throws a fit, call it. But if you're some senior team on the national circuit pummeling some freshman babies from a CC and you really feel the need to POO this poor child's PMR, you should feel bad.

>I'm not a point fairy.

Judith Teruya -- Concordia University Irvine


Competed in parli for 4 years at Concordia University Irvine. My BA is in Sociology and I am currently earning my Master's in Public Policy.

Debate is a game and participants have the creative choice in how they choose to engage in that game. I prefer topical debates that ideally involve a discussion of policy making, however I understand debaters desire to use more creative approaches to engaging with the topic. I will protect against new arguments in the rebuttal but it is the prerogative of the debaters to call points of order anyway to hold teams and critics accountable for new arguments. Please utilize impact calculus to explain how the ballot is warranted for your side.

Theory comes first in debate, since it is a debate about the rules. I default to competing interpretations and am unlikely to vote for your counter interpretation if it has no counter standards for that reason. MOs should choose whether to go for theory or the substance debate and collapse to one OR the other, not both. Likewise, PMRs should choose whether to collapse to MG theory arguments OR the substance debate, not both.

Kritiks should explain why they turn the aff and have terminalized impacts. The framework should be utilized as offense to frame out the method of the AFF, and prioritize the impacts of the K. The Alt should explain why they solve for the aff, and avoid the disadvantages of the link story. I prefer critiques that do not make essentialized claims without warrants about how the aff's method in particular needs to be rejected. I prefer advocacies be read unconditionally and I am very compelled by arguments about why conditionality is bad for parliamentary debate. The aff is entitled to a permutation in all instances so please do not read no perms theory in front of me.

If you are going to read a kritical aff, I would prefer be topical or at least be germane to the topic and if you are going to reject the resolution entirely I would like a robust defense of why that is justified. If you are utilizing performance in your argument please have a clear advocacy statement, whatever that might be.

Counterplans should solve for at least one of the advantages of the aff. I usually default to counterplans competing based on net benefits, and thus permutation arguments need to explain why the perm shields the link to the disadvantage(s). I will NOT vote on delay and CP theory is cool.

Julia Taylor -- Concordia University Irvine

I have no formal background in debate, but I have a basic understanding of contemporary parliamentary norms as well as how to assess a round under a standard net benefits framework.

I ask that you slow your overall speed for me so that I can keep up. You donâ??t need to go at a conversational speed, but you should probably not go anywhere near your top speed.


My background is largely in critical theory and I would probably feel best assessing rounds that are centered around critical discussions, although if your authors are particularly obscure, I would appreciate an explanation of their central thesis at some point in your shell.


Due to a lack of formal debate background, I am somewhat behind in my comprehension of theory debate. If you go for theory, donâ??t assume that I understand what your standards mean just based on a tag line, explain how your standard actually works as an internal link to your impacts.

Maya Szafraniec -- Saint Mary's College

I debated for 8 years.�?�  In college, I debated parli for Saint Mary's, my partner and I dropped in octos of NPDA last year. My partner and I mostly read critical arguments. So I'm cool with Ks, and a well-written K will make me happy. Make sure you can explain how you link and how your alt solves. I also know my way around a straight up debate, so read whatever draws you. Make sure your Aff is inherent, and have a clear, consistent story through uniqueness, links, and impact. I'm also down to hear your CP/DA and think condo is probably good. I would be equally happy to vote on a theory or framework argument as long as you tell me how it wins the debate. I can handle speed, just slow down for your alt/plan and interps and don't use it to exclude people, that will make me fussy.


Overall: Read offence. Use more warrants. Do impact calc, the more work you do for me explaining how you win the better your chances are of winning.�?�  Be nice to each other.�?� 


Following the guidance of Lila Lavendar and Andrea Brown, I also reserve the right to vote teams down for being overtly oppressive (saying something racist, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, ablist, Islamophobic, etc.), generally or directed to competitors.�?� 


Following the guidance of Chris Miles, bring me a Chai and you get block 30s

Patricia Hughes -- Rio Hondo Community College

When weighing a round, I look first at stock issues, then weigh the clash on the advantage vs disadvantage, using the judging criteria. I like clear analysis of the functionality of each position (plan/counter plan/advantage/disadvantage). Simply put, explain how your warrants lead to your impacts on the advantage/disadvantage. Also explain how your impacts happen, and what your impacts mean. Terminalize, but only use nuclear war or mass extinction if it is actually warranted. On plan/counter plan, explain each plank, how the plan functions (works), and how it is going to solve the issue at hand. Fiat is not clear analysis. Counter plans should have a clear explanation of mutual exclusivity. Permutations should have a new plan text with both plan and counter plan, with an explanation of how they work together. I also have a soft spot for clearly articulated significance arguments. Also, make sure to call out points of order.

� � � � � � � � � � �  When it comes to theory arguments, use them sparingly. Procedurals are useful tools when stock issues are not met by Aff. Call topicalities and trichotomies when the Aff is not upholding their prima facia burdens. Do not run procedurals as a time skew tactic, or as an argument used in every round. I take the rules of debate seriously. Abusing these arguments will not end well for you. When running a procedural, I am looking for clear articulation of the violation, standards, and impacted voters; as well as counter definitions. I do consider RVI arguments; however, they should include counter standards and voters.

I am not a fan of Kâ??s; however, this is your round. If you choose to run a K, make sure you are able to clearly explain the theory, the roll of the ballot/alt, and clearly define what ground the other team has within the round. If I find the K to be exclusionary of the other team, I will vote against it. There should also be a clear link to the K and the resolution. Also, make sure not to bite into your own K. I judge Kâ??s harshly due to their nature of calling precedence in a round. For Kâ??s that are completely off topic from the resolution, I will highly consider arguments of disclosure; however, you do still need to interact with the K to the best of your ability.� 

� � � � � � � � � � �  I have a moderate tolerance for speed; however, I am not a fan of it. I like clear and articulate arguments. I believe speed is a useless tool that is irrelevant to everyday life. Again, this is your round. Before the round begins, I will ask if both teams agree to spread. If there is not an agreement, I will drop the first team to spread. If there is an agreement, be forewarned, if I put my pen down, I can no longer understand your arguments. I pay close attention to calls of slow/clear/speed. If any of the above are called, and the teams it is called against does not slow or improve articulation, they will be dropped. � 

While I understand the beast of competition, there is no need to be rude. I will vote down a team if they are exceptionally rude or condescending. There is no need to belittle the other team; it does not prove your intelligence. Bullying is unacceptable and poor sportsmanlike.� 

Tom Kadie -- Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley


Trevor Greenan -- Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley


I came from a high school parli background, but most of my relevant experience is from the last 3 years with the Parli at Berkeley NPDA team. I competed on-and-off for 3 years, and now exclusively coach/run the program. As a debater I was probably most comfortable with the kritikal debate, but Iâ??ve had a good amount of exposure to most everything in my time coaching the team. A lot of my understanding of debate has come from working with the Cal Parli team, so I tend to err more flow-centric in my round evaluations; that being said, I really appreciate innovative/novel arguments, and did a good amount of performance-based debating as a competitor. Iâ??m generally open to just about any argument, as long as thereâ??s good clash.


General Issues

  • I try to keep my evaluation of the round as flow-centric as possible. This means that Iâ??ll try to limit my involvement in the round as much as possible, and Iâ??ll pick up the worse argument if itâ??s won on the flow. That being said, I recognize that thereâ??s a certain degree of intervention thatâ??s inevitable in at least some portion of rounds, and in those cases my aim is to be able to find the least interventionist justification within the round for my decision. For me, this means prioritizing (roughly in this order): conceded arguments, arguments with warranted/substantive analysis, arguments with in-round weighing/framing, arguments with implicit clash/framing, and, worst case, the arguments I can better understand the interactions of.

  • In-round framing and explanation of arguments are pretty important for me. While I will vote for blippier/less developed arguments if theyâ??re won, I definitely have a higher threshold for winning arguments if I feel that they werenâ??t sufficiently understandable in first reading, and will be more open to new-ish responses in rebuttals as necessary. Also worth noting, I tend to have a lower threshold for accepting framing arguments in the PMR.

  • The LORâ??s a tricky speech. For complicated rounds, I enjoy it as a way to break down the layers of the debate and explain any win conditions for the negative. I donâ??t need arguments to be made in the LOR to vote on them, however, so I generally think preemption of the PMR is a safer bet. I prefer to not flow it on one sheet, but if you strongly prefer that format Iâ??d rather have you do that than throw off your speech for the sake of adapting.

  • I have no preferences on conditionality. Perfectly fine with however many conditional advocacies, but also more than happy to vote on condo bad if itâ??s read well.

  • Please read advocacy/interp texts slowly/twice. Written texts are always nice.

  • I will do my best to protect against new arguments in the rebuttals, but itâ??s always better to call the POO just to be safe.

  • Iâ??m open to alternate/less-flow-centric methods of evaluating the round, but I have a very hard time understanding what these alternate methods can be. So, please just try to be as clear as possible if you ask me to evaluate the round in some distinct way.

  • I evaluate shadow-extensions as new arguments. What this means for me is that any arguments that a team wants to win on/leverage in either the PMR or LOR must be extended in the MG/MO to be considered. I'll grant offense to and vote on positions that are blanket extended ("extend the impacts, the advantage is conceded", etc.), but if you want to cross-apply or otherwise leverage a specific argument against other arguments in the round, I do need an explicit extension of that argument.



  • I think the framework debate is often one of the most undeveloped parts of the K debate, and love seeing interesting/well-developed/tricksy frameworks. That being said, absent substantial argumentation either way, Iâ??ll usually defer to each side being able to leverage their advocacy/offence against the other.

  • I have a pretty high threshold for voting on presumption. I find it difficult to buy that either side has actually won terminal defense, absent a good amount of work in the round. That being said, I default to presumption flowing negative.

  • Prior question arguments in framework are fine/good, just make sure that thereâ??s sufficient explanation of these arguments and application to the rest of the round. Iâ??m not very likely to vote on a dropped prior question/independent voter argument if there isnâ??t interaction done with the rest of the arguments in the round.



  • I generally feel very comfortable evaluating the theory debate, and am more than happy to vote on procedurals/topicality/framework/etc. Iâ??m perfectly fine with frivolous theory. Please just make sure to provide a clear/stable interp text.

  • I default to competing interpretations and drop the team on theory, absent other arguments. Competing interpretations for me means that I evaluate the theory layer through a risk of offense model, and I will evaluate potential abuse. I donâ??t think this necessarily means the other team needs to provide a counter-interpretation, although I think it definitely makes adjudication easier to provide one.

  • I have a hard time evaluating reasonability without a brightline. I donâ??t know how I should interpret what makes an argument reasonable or not absent a specific explanation of what that should mean without being interventionist, and so absent a brightline Iâ??ll usually just end up evaluating through competing interpretations regardless.

  • I have a very high threshold on RVIs. If extremely well-developed and extremely mishandled by the other team I could imagine myself voting on one, but I would hope to never have to.



  • Uniqueness determines the direction of the link (absent explanation otherwise), so please make sure youâ??re reading uniqueness in the right direction.

  • I have a pretty high threshold for terminal defense, and will more often than not assume thereâ??s at least some risk of offense, so donâ??t rely on just reading defensive arguments.

  • Perfectly fine with generic advantages/disads, and Iâ??m generally a fan of the politics DA. That being said, the more you can contextualize your argument to the round the greater weight that I will give it. Specific and substantial case debates are great.

  • I default to fiat being durable.



  • Please give me specific texts.

  • Fine with cheater CPs, but also more than happy to vote on CP theory.

  • I default that perms are tests of competition and not advocacies.

  • I generally wonâ??t buy textual competition absent arguments in the round telling me why I should.



  • I really enjoy the K debate, and this was probably where I had the most fun as a debater. I have a pretty good understanding of most foundational critical literature, and I have a decent understanding of postmodern theory (particularly Foucauldian/Deleuzian/Derridean). That being said, please make the thesis-level of your criticism as clear as possible; I will do my best to not just vote for an argument I understand absent explanation in-round, and thereâ??s definitely a good amount of literature I wonâ??t know of.

  • Iâ??m perfectly happy to vote on kritikal affirmatives, but I will also gladly vote on framework. On that note, Iâ??m also happy to vote on impact turns to fairness/education, but will probably default to evaluating the fairness level first absent other argumentation.

  • Same with CPs, I default to perms being a test of competition and not an advocacy. Iâ??m also fine with severance perms, but am also open to theoretical arguments against them; just make them in-round, and be sure to provide a clear voter/impact.

  • I default to evaluating the link debate via strength of link, but please do the comparative analysis for me. Open to other evaluative methods, just be clear in-round.

  • I have a decent understanding of performance theory and am happy to vote on performance arguments, but I need a good explanation of how I should evaluate performative elements of the round in comparison to other arguments on the flow.

  • Regarding identity/narrative based arguments, I think they can be very important in debate, and theyâ??ve been very significant/valuable to people on the Cal Parli team who have run them in the past. That being said, I also understand that they can be difficult and oftentimes triggering for people in-round, and I have a very hard time resolving this. Iâ??ll usually defer to viewing debate as a competitive activity and will do my best to evaluate these arguments within the context of the framing arguments made in the round, so please just do your best to make the evaluative method for the round as clear as possible.

Vasile Stanescu -- Mercer University

Many judges say they are "tableau rasa" (i.e. open to any way you want to debate); I am not sure if they are. I try to be. As long as it does not literally break the rules of the NPDA (or...the law?)--I'm open to it. You're in charge. I don't tell my debater how to debate --I'm certainly not going to tell you. Truly. Run whatever you want---however you want.

If you care: Here is what I tell my team when they have suggestions about what to run (note: you don't have to follow any of these): 1. Start with simple true statements of what you actually believe in 2. Don't argue for something you don't actually believe in. 3. Yes, debate is a game. However, how you play games matters. How you do everything...matters. 4. Debate is a special space. It is about the only space where you get to speak for eight minutes and people can't interrupt you and they have to listen to you. Don't waste it. 5. If you could use that time to tell people anything you would actually want them to know--do it. 6. Winning is never the most important thing. I've known lots and lots of people who have won in debate and lost at life. That isn't winning; that's losing. 7. Debate is only a means to an end.  7. The only "trophy" I ever care about is you: Your success--not in debate, but in life-- and the difference you make in the world and to others. 8. In essence, if it hadn't become almost too cliche to write, be the change you want to see in the world.

Even if you 100% ignore everything here: I won't penalize you in the round for it.

I'm never in charge of a debate round. You are.

Will Prier -- Concordia University Irvine

- I strongly prefer listening to disad/cp debates about the topic and believe switch sides debate is very good.� 
- I'll evaluate any argument as best I can, but do have reasonably strong preferences which are described below.
- The best debates are ones where the block collapses hard and the PMR collapses harder, and the LOR/PMR are mostly impact framing/story-telling/"even-if"ing/writing my ballot.

I debated for 2 years in high school and 4 years in college at Concordia University. I debated with Joe Laughon for the last 3 of those years. We defended the topic in 100% of our rounds, pretended to be policymakers in 95% of those rounds, and (speaking for myself here) had the most fun when we were in our comfort zone reading disads and debating the case. The last debate round I judged was in 2018. Since graduation I have very much checked out of the debate scene. I'm literally going to have to re-read the rules on flex time and stuff before this tournament. I'm going to be a slower flower - I listen to podcasts at 2x but don't take notes on them.

- Be nice and inclusive to each other. Judging hostile debates isn't fun.� 
- All advocacies (plan, cp, alt, whatever) should have a text that is read twice with a written copy provided to your opponent.
- Embrace nuance and clash on issues/warrants/impacts. Your speaks will be rewarded and we all might learn something.

-� If you scrolled to this section first, feel free to strike me or at least appreciate that I am not the best critic for you. My MG strat tended to be impact turns, framework, and perms. I know.
- I absolutely have not read your authors and I'm not familiar with what people are reading. If it wasn't in a camp file from before 2010 (and even then...) I'm unfamiliar.� 
- My bias is that I think the role of the ballot is to designate the winner of the game.� 
- All advocacies must be competitive and have a text.� 

Other observations
- I recognize most arguments in debate are wrong/untrue at some level and that we'll never fully unpack those things in-round.
- I think a lot of personal growth comes from overcoming adversity and doing hard things.
- T and theory get evaluated via competing interps and require standards/voters (do I need to say this?).
- I prefer advocacies to be unconditional in the glorious tradition of Kevin Calderwood, but will hear and vote for advocacies with any status you want.
- I am happy to listen to theory debates on status/PICs/consult/whatever. I like clever PICs and dislike consult/delay/etc.
- I really enjoy deep case debates, PMC pre-empts, and DA+CP+case LOCs.� 
- I try to be expressive. If I don't understand, I'll make an effort to show you on my face. If I can't understand you, I'll "clear" or "slow" you.� 
- Speaks range 26-30.

lila lavender -- Point Loma Nazarene University

UPDATE: shit has been really rough lately, so I am asking a few things of the competitors I'll be judging this weekend. A). Please dont read any detailed descriptions of male violence, theoretical (w warrants ofc) is fine. B). Dont read anything about suicide or self harm, nothing at all. C). When you start your speech start loud and 2/3rds of your max spread, after 30 secs or so you can ramp up to max.

I'll drop you for violating A) & B), and wont be too thrilled (but wont drop you ofc) if you dont adhere to C).

"To speak of desire in its multiplicities: the survival and breathing and possibility of transfeminine desire amid and beyond our social and material conditionsâ??of austerity, racism, xenophobia, transphobia and transmisogyny, ableism, whorephobia. How can we connect these conditions that undergird the negative affects of transfeminine life to ground a politicized understanding of our brokenness?"

-Nat Raha, "Transfeminine Brokenness, Radical Transfeminism"

Hey yall!!! I'm lila (pronouns she, her and they, them) and I debated for roughly 7 years!! I did LD for 4 years in high school, competing in the national circuit for both my junior and senior year, qualifying and debating at the TOC my senior year. I finished my competitive debate career after doing 3 years of NPDA Parli at Western Washington University. My freshman year I qualified and got 14th at NPTE nationals. My sophomore year my partner (Serena Fitzgerald) and I cleared to finals in 50% of the total tournaments we participated in, winning Lewis and Clark, Berkeley, and the Point Loma Round Robin; netting us 5th place overall in the country. We placed 8th at the NPTE nationals tournament. For the first half of my Junior year season I debated with Cameron Allen, getting 2nd at all 4 of the tournaments we attended. For the latter half of the year, Jessica Jung and I decided to hybrid together for the remainder of the year and our debate careers as an act of trans woman rage/joy. We won all 3 pre-nationals tournaments we attended and despite being barred from competing at the NPTE, got 3rd at the National Round Robin and won the NPDA nationals tournament. That said, I find myself caring less and less about the competitively technical parts of debate and more so about the survival and revolutionary potential the space has. Due to that fact, if you want to use our round as a place to disrupt the normativity of debate (in whatever way you see fit) I would absolutely love to help facilitate that and be a body present for such disruption!! :) currently associated with Impact Debate!!!!

Tldr:� Go as fast as you want, ill be able to flow it. Most people would probably label me as a K hack, so do what you will with that information. That being said though, I don't really care what you do, unless it is overtly oppressive, if you win whatever position you are reading I will vote for it. I have no inherent predilections to what debate should be, or how specific 'rules' of debate ought function (barring those that are violent). It's your job to tell me how to evaluate that, so please do it. Oh also I won't kick arguments for you, if you don't know how to collapse your a bad debater.

Note 1:� If you misgender me, your competitors, or anyone else within the space during the time at which i am judging and don't correct yourself or continue to do so I will auto drop you. This extends to any sort of transphobic and/or transmisogynistic violence; I am done with having to put up with that shit and ill use my temporary power as a judge to create an incentive for students to stop doing so. I say this not because transphobic violence is an exceptional form of violence among other despotic assemblages, cause I will surely auto drop you for being reactionarily violent in other ways, but rather because debate seems libidinally attached to transphobia in a way that is very specific, and given my subject location, very violent towards myself. In that sense, I find it important to highlight. This may seem harsh, and thats cause it is, it should be. If you have any complaints or are butthurt about this I refer to you Sara Ahmed "the transfeminist killjoy...is without doubt a violent figure: to point out harassment is to be viewed as the harasser; to point out oppression is to be viewed as oppressive. Part of the work of the killjoy is to keep pointing out violence. In making these points, killjoys are treated as people who originate violence. This is the hard work of killjoys. They are up against it! Transfeminist killjoys expose hammering as a system of violence directed against trans people, including from some of those who identify as radical feminists. Some of the hammering might seem on the surface quite mild because it appears as an instance: a joke here, a joke there. And jokiness allows a constant trivializing: as if by joking someone is suspending judgment on what is being said. She didnâ??t mean anything by it; lighten up. A killjoy knows from experience: when people keep making light of something, something heavy is going on. Something heavy is going on. Many of these instances might be justified as banter or humorous (the kind of violent humor that feminists should be familiar with because feminists are often at the receiving end). So much of this material makes trans women in particular the butt of a joke. Following Julia Serano, I would describe much of this material as trans misogyny: what is evoked is the figure of the hyper-feminine trans woman as a monstrous parody of an already monstrous femininity."

Note 2:� While it is true that I was quite a fast debater, this does not mean that if you are slower and/or more lay that I don't want to judge you. I think that lay debate can be just as good as hyper technical/fast debate, as long as it constantly works to break out of the violence it is necessarily predicated on, and in that sense, I would love to judge good lay debate. When I say do whatever you think will best help you win the round, that means do whatever you want, not just within the realms of going fast. Most importantly though, if you slow and/or clear your opponents (if they are going too fast or are being needlessly unclear) and they do not adapt to meet those demands, then I absolutely will tank their speaks and give you a lot of leeway in answering their arguments even if they are technically conceded. We as a debaters have an obligation to extend mutual aid to our comrades, and that means adapting our styles to make them accessible to anyone who we may debate!!

Parli Overview:

Obviously everything below applies to Parli as well, so please read it. If you ask my what my paradigm is in the round instead of reading it on tabroom I am going to be a little grumpy. That said, please do not hesitate to ask any specific questions or confusions about something in my paradigm because I am more then happy to help with that!!

Specific stuff:


Policy Affs:� Despite my love for the K, I think a strategic and well written policy aff make for some of the best debates possible. I have no preferences on how policy affs should be formatted but I think it is always a good idea, especially since having me as a judge means the neg will probs run a K, to have a framework on the top, or bottom, of the 1AC that justifies policymaking in some manner. Other then that, do whatever you want but please for all of our sakes make sure your ADV's have uniqueness, links, and impacts.

K Affs:� K Affs, 'performative' or not, are amazing. I put 'performative' in scare quotes not because I don't like those positions that have been signified as performances within debate, in fact quite the opposite, but rather to indicate that all of debate is a performance and to parse out radical mircopolitical revolutions within debate as exclusively 'performative' seems silly to me. That said, if you want to read these types of arguments in front of me, please please please do. Once again I do not really care about the content of K affs but I am most familiar with original and contemporary deleuzoguattarian lit, postmodernism writ large, antiblackness, colonalism and settler colonalism, trans and queer theory, anti-capitalism, and lesbian/trans feminism. I hate Lacanian psychoanalysis, and most psychoanalysis writ large, and think its fundamentally irredeemable. That being said, just because that is true does not mean I won't vote on it, it just wont make for a round that I am very happy to be judging in. Mentioning those areas of critical theory that I am most familiar with is not to say that those are the only ones I will listen to/vote for. Rather, I mention them because if you read them in front of me I will most likely know more about them then you do, and because of that, it heightens my threshold for shitty answers/bad runnings of them. That said, if these are positions that are your bread and butter and something that you are quite deep on then I am most likely the judge for you. If you are going to reject the res, which is totally cool with me, you should make sure to have justifications as to why the res is bad and why rejecting it on the affirmative is key. To give you an example of what K Aff's I tended to go for, Jessica and I most often went for Gender Death, Sex Workers, Juche, Medicalization, and Han.

Framework Affs (LD):� As a quick preface, if you are doing LD and reading this you can run whatever type of aff you want, I have merely labeled this under LD because its most relevant to LD. Framework affs are dope, I love them and used to run them all the time when I was debating in LD. I am pretty well versed in most of the frameworks that are common on the circuit and especially with, as much as I hate it, Kantianism and Deontology. What makes framework affs strategic is their ability to have a framework that when won, wins the debate for the aff. Due to that fact, if you are running a framework heavy aff then you should make sure you have a framework that is strategic in that vein, not just a framework that seems fun to run.

1NC's/Off cases:

Note:� Again, if you are in LD you can run whatever off positions are the most strategic, do whatever you think will best win you the round. That being said though, while I am cool with it and will be able to flow you, if you are hitting an opponent who does not want you to spread, don't be an ass. That does not preclude you from running K's or DA's or T, just don't spread them if you opponent does not want you to.

DA/CP:� DAs and CPs are great, but I have noticed this trend lately in which people label every piece of case specific offense as "Disads." This is slightly annoying because it greatly reduces and distorts the reasons that DAs are strategic. DAs need to have uniqueness, case specific links, and external impacts that the Aff cannot resolve; all other case offense are just case turns. Even if you have a CP that solves for your DA(s), make sure you have status quo uniqueness on the top of the DA that way you are not forced to go for the CP if you want to go for the DA. If you are running a counterplan make sure it has clearly defined sections of "text," "competitiveness," and "solvency." Also I think that conditionality is great, not that I wont vote on condo bad, so if you wanna read 5 contradictory condo offs I am very cool with that.

Ks:� I love Ks, they are what I ran most in highschool and what I ran most in college. If you want to see the types of Ks that I am most familiar with, and what that means for you, look to the K aff section of my paradigm. If you are in policy, during the 1NC make sure you have either labeled or unlabeled thesis, links, impacts, and alt sections. If you are going for the K in the block it is always a good idea to read a framework for the K in the 2NC. On the other hand, if you are in LD and reading a K in the 1NC you need to make sure to have a framework, thesis, links, impacts, and alt. Something that I have noticed in hs LD and Policy is that K alts never explains why the alt is key in resolving the K, but rather just describes what the alt is, so make sure your alt actually has descriptive solvency. In terms of the K's I went for most, Jessica and I often collapsed to Bataille, Barad, Semiocap, Maoism, and Trans Spatiality.

T/Theory:� I love good topicality and theory debates, they are some of the most technical types of debate and I love good technical debate. While theory and topicality are not exactly the same thing, they do share a similar structure of how they should be formatted. Both should have a clear interpretation, violation, standards and voters. While I know the general trend is to collapse the standards and voters into the same section, it would easier for me if you would make sure that those are two distinct sections wherein the standards explain why violating the interp is bad, and how losing that standard links into what ever voters you are going for. Then in the voters section terminalize why those voters are the biggest impact in the round. I have a pretty low threshold for frivolous theory in that I think if a theory position really is that bad, then you should not lose to it. I think most people would probably in fact label me as a debater who reads and goes for frivolous theory quite frequently, so if thats your jam, go for it. That said, if you use frivolous theory as a form of disrespect, i.e. reading 40 spec shells against a project, that is not going to fly for me. Read it when its strategic, not when its repugnant.

Final Note:� For both LD and Policy I would like to be on an email chain for all of the speech docs read in the round, email is "reiayanami454@gmail.com." If you have any other specific questions about my paradigm you can message me on facebook at "Chris Coles (lila lavender)" or email me.