Judge Philosophies

Adam Navarro - Palomar


Adam Kaminsky - COC


Alex Glanzman - KCKCC

My email is glanzman94@gmail.com
Please include me in the email chain


4 years college debate for KCKCC (NDT/CEDA, NPDA, and NFA)

NFA-LD champion (2016)

NPTE Top 8 (2016)

NPDA Quarterfinalist (2016)

CEDA Double Octo-Finalist (2014)

3-5 years coaching high school policy

I disliked when debating going onto someoneâ??s paradigm and it was just a mountain of text. So Iâ??m gonna try to be quick and simple

1. Above all else---play to your strengths. I may be viewed as a K hack, but I reward debaters who debate in a way strongest for them, not strongest for me. Iâ??ve been around long enough to be able to evaluate all kinds of argumentation. I adapt to you, not the other way around.

2. Warranting and explanation are key. Evidence isnâ??t written in context to the particular round happening. Itâ??s your job to contextualize it to respond to argumentation. Means I prefer teams who do more than tagline extensions and use their 1AC/1NC shells effectively. Analytical depth is necessary in front of me

3. For virtual debate, going slower during analytics/tags is an absolute must. Lots of reasons why. But mostly itâ??s to ensure that your arguments are translated onto my flow correctly. I can handle top speed, but the disconnect with virtual debate makes it more of a challenge. This is doubly true with theory debates.

4. I tend to err on tech over truth, but capital T truth will always be persuasive no matter what. Judges should be neutral and adapt to your strategies, which means that even if an argument isnâ??t true/is spun in a way that isnâ??t trueâ?¦itâ??s your field.

5. Framing is a big deal to me---things like extinction first, ontology first, etc. helps me filter importance of arguments and tends to help teams more often than not in front of me. Usually people just use framing to just get access to impacts; take it further. Framing is how I evaluate comparisons of arguments and how to come to a decision.

6. I do have some biases. I put heavier solvency burdens on policy affs, for instance. Presumption is usually a legitimate argument in front of me compared to other judges, I believe. So â??defensiveâ? claims can go a little farther. I also tend to be persuaded more by pessimistic claims than optimistic claims in K debate.

7. I pay attention to rhetoric---so check yourself. Check your evidence. Rhetoric PICs and voters are absolutely a viable strategy in front of me. You can win theory against it. Or stuff like â??apologies solveâ?/â?discourse doesnâ??t shape the realâ? etc. Iâ??m just saying

Now onto stuff people like to ask:

1. Can I run a K aff? Absolutely.

2. Do I have to have a plan? Absolutely not

3. What about performance? Go for it. Every speech act is a performance so I donâ??t see why I canâ??t evaluate things like re-narrativizing spaces/poetry/music/story. I did some performance debate in CEDA so I do have a conceptual idea of how to engage and evaluate

4. Will you vote on framework? Yes. So far Iâ??ve voted for it more than against it. I think framework debaters need to be focusing more on how TVAâ??s and their interp solve back the aff instead of just simply going for â??state goodâ? though. Portable skills, institutional influence, switch side are all persuasive net-bens to me

5. Will you vote on T? Yes. Itâ??s how I won NFA. I do find value in the topic. On the whole, competing interps is my default. I can be persuaded reasonability is a good check. I also think for K affs an interp that says â??disengage the topicâ? or â??the topic is violentâ? is sufficient enough to count as a counter-interp to me.

6. What about the K? Most of my experience comes from K debate. Itâ??s my wheelhouse and I have been exposed to a lot of lit over the years so this is the debate I am most comfortable with and can provide the best feedback for. Thatâ??s double edged though---because I have a lot of experience with it, it probably means I have a higher threshold for argumentation unconsciously.

7. How about impact turns? Go for â??em. I love a good de-dev and wipeout debate. Not the biggest fan of Malthus. Absolutely wonâ??t listen to impact turns labeled â??patriarchy goodâ?, â??anti-blackness goodâ?, etc.

8. How about counterplans? This is my weakest area of debate exposure. Iâ??d advise you not to run process CPs because they kinda go over my head. I love PICs though. And I understand simpler CPs like consult, states, xo, etc. But honestly most CP debate has just become a debate over opportunity cost with the net-bensâ?¦so I always use the net-benefit to evaluate whether a CP is even worth it.

9. Will you vote on theory? Yes. Since I tend to go more for tech over truth blippy theory arguments can become round winners if dropped/explained properly.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask.

Happy debating.

Alexander Joseph Taylor (9) - PRPJudge


Alexis Arredondo - PCC

I did mostly interp when I competed but am somewhat familiar with debate. �???�??�?� So consider me a layperson for all forms of debate and adjust accordingly.

Alexis Litzky - CCSF

I have spent many years coaching/judging/directing at San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, and now City College of San Francisco. Notice a theme?

My threshold for argumentation is relatively low: I coach and will vote on any argument that is well supported and persuasively presented. Excellent warrants and evidence will take you farther than empty tagline and generalized debating. I like topic specific education, but I also like new interpretations of education and the topic. I love this activity because in many debates I have witnessed I learned something new about the topic and about the debaters involved.

What does this really mean for debaters? 

1 - I try to let the debaters control the interpretation and framework of the debate. Try to be clear and focused about what you think the criteria or role of the ballot is/should be, and what that means for me. This is the first question I resolve whenever Iâm making a decision.

2 - You should run and go for arguments that you think are germane to the topic and politically salient for you, not what you think I want to hear. I have literally voted for every "type" or "genre" of argument, and I wish you would spend less time trying to overly adapt to my judging preferences. I take judging seriously, and you should know that I approach every debate with the same sense of importance whether it is a first-time Novice or a 2-year long competition with your favorite rival. I try to provide as much intellectual and professional integrity as one can, and I hope you do the same. 

This also means that there is no specific bright line that you need to pass on theory for me to vote for it, or any kind of specific component of an argument that will help you win. There are some normative standards that always affect judges, like you need to have some sort of impact to win the debate. But I canât in good faith say that impacts are always more important that links, but link debates can be incredibly salient if the neg is making a good solvency press. 

3 - I love the flow. Not in an overly fetishistic sort of way, but I definitely take the practice the seriously. My students think itâs weird, and maybe it is. But I love the satisfaction of tracking arguments throughout the debate. This does not mean that if you drop an argument itâs over for you, but you do have to tell me why you decided to spent 6 minutes on framework rather than answering another major argument the opponent is going for. Itâs also the primary tool that will help me resolve many debates. Unless, of course, you tell me why it shouldnât matter. In which case, I will probably still flow (because Iâm me) but please donât take that as an affront to you.

Some thoughts on style:

My background in CEDA/NDT debate means that Iâm fine with speed, but there is a limit to how much I actually think thatâs required. People who are trying to sound fast but actually arenât fast will not be rewarded. People who are clear, fast, and engaging with the arguments and the other team will be rewarded. People who actually use the flow and respond to specific arguments will be rewarded. Youâre also more likely to win the debate. I particularly appreciate it when debaters highlight arguments they think will become particularly key or relevant to the debate.

Other than that, I have some general love for: 

  • New ways of understanding the same old business.

  • Critical interrogation.

  • Thought experiments.

  • Surprises.

  • Debates that inspire and challenge my sense of political engagement.

  • Hannah Arendt.

  • Jokes, smiles, and sassy attitudes. These will get you infinitely farther than rude, brutish, and hurtful debates. You have the rest of your life to be as serious as you want, use this unique space and time to enjoy yourself and learn about the topic and each other.

Enjoy yourself, and remember to have fun! Itâs the weekend and we like to be here!


Alix Lopez - Mt. SAC

Debates should be accessible and educational. For me, that means

  • clear labels for your arguments, compelling and credible evidence/examples, and language that's easy to follow.
  • no spreading. I have an incredibly hard time following speed, and I want to make sure I am judging you on your argumentation and public speaking. Which can only happen if I can follow you!
  • you are courteous to your opponent.
  • you make it clear why I should vote for you.

Excited to see you all debate!

Allison Bowman - Moorpark

For parli: I try to just look at arguments made in the round. Both sides should weigh their impacts and explain why they should win. I expect everyone to be respectful to their opponents. I love counterplan debate. I am not the biggest fan of Ks. If you do choose to run a K spend extra time on alt. solvency. I have no problem with speed or jargon.

For IPDA: I view IPDA separately from parli and try to leave my parli knowledge at the door. I don't think debate jargon or speech belong in IPDA. Delivery and persuasion matter. I view IPDA as a combination of debate and extemp.

Amanda Pettigrew - MVCC

I have been teaching public speaking for over ten years and involved in speech and debate for over 20 years. Debate is persuasion in action allowing students to use the basic principles of argumentation to sway the audience's point of view.

IPDA: This form of debate should sound more like stimulating conversation, allowing someone with no debate experience to evaluate the effectiveness of each student's message. So, avoid debate terminology, jargon, etc., however DO properly cite your sources, there must be evidence to support your point of view.

Ultimately I will judge using Aristotle's means of persuasion; logos, ethos and pathos. My judging criteria in order of importance; LOGIC (evidence & reasoning), ORGANIZATION, CONNECTION with AUDIENCE and DELIVERY.

Please ask for clarification on anything at the start of the round, thank you and good luck!

Amy Hileman - NOVA


Andrew Morgan - DVC

First and foremost, my specialty is in individual events, and that is most of my background when it comes to forensics. That being said, I enjoy watching, coaching, and judging debate events. When it comes to speed, I can’t keep up with the fastest, so I expect debaters to adapt to my capabilities as a judge. That means if I slow you, please slow down. I will drop you if you do not slow down when I slow you. I think organization in debate events is really important. Clear signposting throughout the round is a must for me. All things considered, I do my best to keep up on the flow, and I do my best to weigh the debate there.

Andy Orr - Southern Idaho

As a communication instructor, I believe the purpose of this activity is to prepare students to critically think and engage others in a meaningful way. Ergo, students should deliver arguments clearly with emphasis on effective communication. I am convinced that a few well-developed arguments can prove to be more persuasive than a larger quantity of arguments. Furthermore, students should address arguments individually rather than grouping with the rebuttals providing summary voters to address the important issues advanced in constructive speeches.

On Policy & Fact Debate:

For organization, sign post your tag lines, and give your citation at the end of the card. That way we know you have finished quoting material.

Avoid oral prompting or interrupting your partner as much as possible. I consider it to be rude and disrespectful toward your partner. Additionally, part of this activity is learning to work as a team and depending on another person for your success. This is an essential skill in life and you would never use verbal prompting in a business meeting, sales pitch, or political speech. Therefore, it really has no place in an activity designed to create in students those skills.

On Value Debate:

Value debate is by definition, a meta analysis of a topic. The first level of that debate is the overarching value. Students should present and defend a value that has been carefully chosen to have a non-absurd and debatable counter value e.g. capitalism vs. socialism and not freedom vs slavery (forces the opponent to be morally repugnant).

Wonderful debates can occur on by debating value level, but they rarely will win the debate because people (smarter than us) have discussed philosophers, implications, etc. and we still have no concrete answers.

Criteria are the next level of the meta debate. Again we could have a wonderful discussion on the merits of act utilitarianism vs. the categorical imperative, but it would not settle the issue, nor would it persuade the judge on either side of the resolution (although you can win a round by default if your opponent is not able to effectively articulate their value or criterion). Criterions are most useful if treated separately as a test of your contentions rather than a policy-type mechanism for achieving a value.

Your contentions are the real heart of the debate and should be the main focus. Claim, warrant, and conclusion are essential to every argument and can be contested on each or every one of those tenants. The key in value debate is to provide context after giving your argument as to how it affects the criterion and proves your case & value.

On Debate Theory

I have no preference in terms of philosophical, theoretical, or empirical arguments as long as they contain the three parts to make them an argument. Be sure that each part is present: claim, grounds, and warrant. Use this strategy: a. I say.....(claim) b. because......(grounds & warrant) c. and this means.....(impact)

I would find it difficult to vote for a kritik in general, and it would be extremely unlikely in a value round. First, there is already so much to cover in a limited amount of time; I dont think one can do the kritik justice (in other words, I am not often convinced of their educational/rhetorical value because we simply do not have enough time to reach that goal). That being said, if there is an in-round instance prompting a performative kritik, I think there can be a direct link made to education and the ballot being used as a tool.

Second, these arguments by their nature avoid the proposed topic. Thus, they skew preparation time when run by the affirmative and are seemingly a method of last resort when put forward by the negative. Moreover, in a value debate, a kritik provides no ground (or morally reprehensible ground) on which to make a counter case. Thus, the only way to rebuttal is to argue against the philosophical grounding (which leads to a muddled debate at best) or the alternatives which makes it a de-facto policy debate (and is contrary to the purpose of value debate).

The only stock issue that is a default voter is inherency. If the status quo is already addressing the problem, then there is no reason to prefer the plan. Harms and significance are at best mitigations. If you win those arguments, there still is no reason not to do the plan. Solvency and advantages must be turned to become voters. You'll need to prove the plan causes the opposite effect. However if you mitigate either of these, you'll need to pair it with a disadvantage or counter plan to give me a reason not to try the plan.

Each off case position must have a good structure and be complete in its construction (I wont fill in the blanks for you). Additionally any off case argument needs a clear under-view when it is presented (not just in the rebuttals) indicating how it fits into the round, and how I should consider it in my vote.

I prefer debate theory responses to be the first counter/refutation against an argument. In essence, they are a reverse voting issue, and do not easily fit into a line-by-line. Take a few moments and tell me the theory story, then (just in case I don't buy it) get into actually refuting the argument.

Angelica Grigsby - Maricopa

Debate is about persuading your judge. Having said that, please talk to me, not at me. For all types of debate, let's have some clash? Call points of order in the rebuttal, I will not protect you. If you need to communicate with your partner please do it in a way that is minimally disruptive (I know this will look different in a remote setting but the concept still applies), I will only flow what comes out of their mouth during their speech. I am willing to listen to all types of arguments please just be sure that they are warranted and fully explained. Structure is vital to a clear case. Please, please, please tell me why you win the round in the rebuttal, you donât want to leave it up to me. PS-all road maps are in time.

   This event is not Parli lite. The best way I have heard it explained is that it is dueling extemp speeches. There should be clash, clear arguments, and clear reasons to vote for you.

I prefer a conversational rate and a speaker who engages with their audience rather than just reading their cards. I have only judged 2-3 rounds of LD all year, if you run the round like I know the topic as well as you, you may lose my ballot.

Remember to have fun!

Bart Aikman - COC

Above all else, I look for a concise argument that has a clear, logical flow. Strong implementation of the principles of critical analysis (claim, support, impact, etc.) is also essential. Do not make unfounded logical leaps in your argument, utilize your sources, and be kind and generous to each other as competitors. Best of luck!

Bill Lucio - Harper College


To me, a good debater can adapt to any style of debate and is aware of the differing styles each form of debate utilizes. For instance, I believe debate jargon has value in rounds of Parli and LD, as those are specific styles of debate that include a unique type of rhetoric and vernacular in which all speakers have learned and been coached on. On the flip side, it is my belief that a more common style of debate, like IPDA, should focus on the bare bones structure of argumentation.

IPDA should be accessible to anyone, anywhere, regardless of their experience. In face, public is in the name. The second speakers start using debate jargon in IPDA, they have already lost me as a judge. I think that one of the reasons why debate is dying, is because its getting too niche focused IPDA is an amazing gateway event that should welcome newer, first-time debaters into the family, and bringing in styles reserved for other forms of debate can be hard on beginners.

I value humanity and humility. I much prefer speakers refer to each other by their names, rather than, my opponent. I dont like aggressive questioning, passive aggressiveness, and boastful or cocky presentations. I dont appreciate speakers telling me how I will vote give me all the tools I need to make an informed decision, but dont tell me what I am going to do or not do. Remember that there is a fine line between enthusiasm and volume. Remember that there is a difference between passion and pace. Make sure you find that happy medium of ethos, pathos, and logos, as speakers who priorities one heavily over the other two will not be rewarded.

At the end of the day, I value debaters who treat the round like three friends having a conversation over coffee. Lets remain friends by the end of this thing, yea?


Regarding individual events, speakers should engage in appropriate delivery strategies when performing Platform events, such as proper pronunciation and clarity of words, a wide range of vocal variety, and natural use of gestures. While the overall delivery of a speech weighs heavily in my decision, I also tend to prioritize organization and flow, as well as creativity in topic choice. I'm a firm believer in creative content, but also respect solid and identifiable transitions. Do not go overtime.
In other individual events, such as Interp, I expect the speaker to fully embody their characters. Take risks, think outside of the box, and use your body and movement in ways that aren't necessarily obvious or overdone. While the argument articulated in an introduction does play a major role in my overall decision, I value a performance that takes me out of this world and puts me into a new one, so really become your character and "own" the world in which they live in. Do not go overtime.
Lastly, regarding Limited Prep events, I really respect a good, clean delivery, that utilizes all the tools of basic public speaking (organization, variety of examples/sources, confidence in speaking voice, engagement with the audience, etc.). I do not want to hear a "canned" speech, challenge yourself! If I feel like I have heard your speech before, or that the interpretation of your quotation is too much of a stretch, I will most likely reward the other speakers who placed a more creative emphasis on their speech. Students competing in LP events should be constantly reading the news and searching for examples, so i want to see some interesting things I haven't seen before. Do not go overtime, ESPECIALLY if I am giving you time signals throughout the entire speech.

Blake Longfellow - DVC

I am primarily an IE coach and very much approach forensics (including debate) as a communication/persuasive activity. I approach debate with the mindset that all stories are arguments and all arguments are stories. With that said, the story which is the most internally cohesive (narrative probability) and that lines up across the debate (narrative fidelity) is likely to win my ballot.

Here is a list of things Paul Villa thinks you should know about debating in front of me:

- Truth over tech: Blake isn't flowing the debate like this is the national circuit, he is going to take minimal notes, you aren't going to win by pointing out some drop on the flow or technical analysis of the round.

- Don't spread. Like, at all. However fast you are thinking will be fine I'd go slower than that.

- Reading theory is a non-starter, if the other team isn't topical just tell Blake they aren't topical and explain why that means they should lose the debate without getting all technical.

- Blake would probably vote on a K, especially a performance one, assuming it made sense to him in the round.

- Less is more, the more simple the path to the ballot for you the more likely Blake is to vote for you.

Bob Becker - NWC

  As a critic, I believe my task is to weigh the issues presented in the round. I don't enjoy intervening, and try not to do so. To prevent my intervention, debaters need to use rebuttals to provide a clear explanation of the issues. Otherwise, if left on my own, I will pick the issues I think are important. All of that said, I am not an information processor. I am a human being and so are you. If you want me to consider an issue in the round, make sure you emphasize it and explain its importance.

When weighing issues, I always look to jurisdictional issues first. I will give the affirmative some leeway on topicality, but if they can't explain why their case is topical, they will lose. Although some arguments are more easily defeated than others, I am willing to listen to most positions. In reality I probably have a somewhat high threshold for topicality, but if you want to win, you need to spend some time on it and not give the aff any way out of it. In-round abuse is not necessary, but if that argument is made against you, then you need to explain why topicality is important (jurisdiction, aff always wins, etc.) I don’t require competing interpretations.

I am fine with critical arguments, but you need to explain how they impact the round. I have found few students can explain how I should evaluate real-world impacts in a debate world, or how I should evaluate and compare real world and debate world impacts. I’m fine with critical affs, but you better have some good justification for it. “We don’t like the resolution” doesn’t cut it with me. If your critical arguments conflict with your disad, you better have some “contradictory arguments good” answers.

Performance based argument need to be sufficiently explained as to how they prove the resolution true or false. Or, I need to know how to evaluate it. If you don’t tell me, I will evaluate it as I would an interp round.

As with everything else, it depends on how the impacts are explained to me. If one team says “one million deaths” and the other says “dehume,” but doesn’t explain why dehume is worse than deaths, I’ll vote for death. If the other team says dehume is worse because it can be repeated and becomes a living death, etc., then I’ll vote for dehume. I think I’m telling you that abstract impacts need to be made concrete, but more importantly, explain what the issue is and why I should consider it to be important.

I don't mind speed, but sometimes I physically can't flow that fast. I will tell you if I can't understand you. Remember, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure I understand what you are saying. Above all, be professional. This activity is fun. That’s why I’m here, and I hope that is the reason you are here as well.

Bonnie Gabel - McHenry

Don't be technical, be structured, and ask questions that challenge. I expect the debate to have civil discourse but passionate convictions can be present. Using jargon will count against you, using language creatively (analogies/metaphors) will count in your favor.

Bradd Howard (9) - PRPJudge


Brandan Whearty - Palomar

Brandan Whearty

Palomar College

Short Version: You Talk, I'll Listen

Long Version: I tend to view debate as a negotiation between the government and opposition over what will happen during the 45 minutes of engagement. This means that whatever parameters both teams agree on are ok. I will listen to fast technical debate, slow rhetorical debate, and alternate forms such as performance with equal interest. I will listen to Topicality, C/Kritiks, Vagueness, Value Objections, Resolutionality, etc. Remember that just because its a procedural issue it doesnt mean tags will suffice. Asking me to drop a team on procedural violation requires a warrant or two, and I'm happy to listen to procedural level offense from the Affirmative as well.

YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT I HAVE REPETITIVE STRESS INJURIES TO MY HANDS AND SOME DIFFICULTY HEARING, WHICH MEANS A TOP-LEVEL TEAM CAN SPEAK FASTER THAN I CAN FLOW. I CAN KEEP UP WITH 70%-75% OF TOP SPEED, PROVIDED THAT THE SPEAKER'S ARTICULATION IS EXCELLENT (SO I CAN CHEAT A LITTLE BY READING LIPS) AND THAT THE SPEAKER'S STRUCTURE IS PERFECT. IF NEITHER OF THOSE CONDITIONS ARE TRUE, YOU MAY NEED TO SLOW DOWN MORE SO I CAN UNDERSTAND YOU. Later in the tournament, I may need you to slow down even more as my hands fail. If you're losing me, you'll know immediately and loudly. Also, please avoid strategies that require me to fill sheets of paper with arguments that we all know will be discarded in the next speech. If there are more than 10-13 pages per debate, the burning in my hands starts to drown out your arguments.

Though I consider myself a flow critic, I am becoming increasingly frustrated by laundry lists of taglines filling in for substantial, warranted analysis. I think that the words, because and for example are important, and you should probably use them a lot.

Please call important points of order in both rebuttals, in order to save me from guessing which arguments you want me to intervene and discard. If both teams want me to intervene and throw out arguments I see as new, mention it in the round and I will defer to your collective judgment. Abusing Points of Order will destroy your speaker points and compromise your tournament seeding.

I collect ACTUAL TURNS. People use the word turn a lot in parliamentary debate. This confuses me, because it is usually followed by an argument like, They dont solve enough, other bad things will still happen, or is not. If you make an actual turn, I will probably pound happily on the table to let you know.

I appreciate lighthearted jabs, and heckling is fine as long as it is funny rather than rude. If you have ever wanted to run an extreme or bizarre advocacy, I may be your best chance to pick up on it. Enjoy yourselves,be nice, and speaks will be high.

A few more preferences that may help you win my ballot:

* Explain your perms and provide a clear text for each one. Otherwise, you may accidentally win the argument that your side should lose.

* It is way easier for me to vote for your procedural with demonstrated abuse in round. Potential abuse is almost impossible for me to evaluate without wondering about potential answers and potential turns.

* I am getting bored with delay/politics strategies. If you're going to run them in front of me, engage my interest with an amazing demonstration of this strategy's power and legitimacy. If you have a choice between delay/politics and a kritik debate, please choose the latter.

* Please make sure I understand what you're saying. If you want me to cast my ballot because "...durable fiat is instantaneous," you should probably make sure I know what you mean. I can *guess* at what you mean, but that's no good for either of us.

Brandon Wood - COD

Did you persuade me with complete arguments? Did you make this seem like a general audience could follow and enjoy? Did you treat your opponent with respect? Did you speak passionately and compellingly? Did you not talk about the value of education? If you answer yes to all of these then you have mastered my criteria.

It is highly, highly appreciated if opponents greet each other by first or last names and I will only mark refutation on my flow if a specific name is attached to it during the constructive. I don't want to be told what I have to do. I'm not being shown a stack of cut research that makes me have to vote for someone. Whether it's parli or IPDA you should avoid words like, "you must", "you should strike this", "you have to vote for our side because we did this/they didn't do this", or "here is why we won". Every time I deduct 3 speaker points and will likely not be paying attention for 30 seconds of your speech because I will be writing what I've already written here and therefore will not be flowing. Don't meet competitor hostility with hostility unless you want to assure a hostile ballot.

Arguing that something is or is not"educational" is ultimately a weird form of hyperbole that has infected debate. Experiencing something that is unfair, like circular arguments or bad definitions, is educational. This activity makes it so it is real hard to not engage in an educational experience. While I won't buy the education-has-been-removed-from-this-debate-round argument, I absolutely will accept issues regarding abusive definitions, incomplete argumentation, etc.

FAQ: Speed? = me not flowing. Jargon? = Toome it creates assumed enthymemes and sloppy debate (usually). Technical elements? = will accept them as needed (in Parli). Partner communication during constructives? = Really dislike it now that prep time exists because it just decimates your percieved credibility in my eyes (with no evidence in hand your ethos is the contract to accepting information at face value). Role of the juge? = Parli- Tabula Rasa , except when it comes to trichotomy. Lingusitically, resolutions come with burdens that most often are objectively implied ("should" is policy for example) as policy, value, or fact. I flow the entirety of the constructives and dropped arguments are a big deal. IPDA - I am a general audience member and enter each round with my complete knowledge as a human. I approach the resolution with an open mind and a desire to be persuaded but factual errors, fallacious argumentation, and hostile debate styles. I don't flow. I take notes that summarize the debates progress.

Brian Bohr - COD


Brianna Broady - PCC

1.What is the most important criteria you consider when evaluating a debate?

  • As a judge of primarily individual events, it is important that debaters are clear with their arguments. I am not opposed to any specific arguments as long as you provide clear evidence and warrants to justify your stances.

2. What are your expectations for proper decorum from the debaters?

  • Be respectful to each other and have fun in your round. Be sure to communicate with each other. Clearly respond to each otherÃ?¢??s arguments and engage in clash.

3. What strategies/positions/arguments are you predisposed to listen to and consider when you vote?

  •  I would say that I am open to any argument as long as it is well thought out and clearly structured. It is also crucial that arguments are fairly easy to follow along.

4. How do you evaluate speed, jargon, and technical elements?

  • I prefer speed to be at a conversational pace and for jargon and technical elements to remain at a minimum or clearly defined.

Brittany Hubble - El Camino


Do what you want and make the debate space fun and educational. Don't be petty. Don't lie. Don't abuse flex time.  


I competed in debate for El Camino College for 2 years from 2013-2015 and I have been coaching parli for El Camino since. While I attended many CC tournaments, I also competed at several 4-year tournaments including NPDA and NPTE. My partner and I ran all types of arguments in debate (policy, critical affs, kritiks, etc.), but typically leaned towards policy debate. However, you are welcome to debate any way you like, but you should be prepared to justify your strategy if it is called into question. I tend to favor the strategy that is the smartest, most warranted and best for winning that round. 


You should have them! I believe it is your job to tell me which impacts should carry the most weight in the round and why. I have no problem voting on a nuclear war or economic collapse scenario as long as you have a clear warranted story to explain how you get there. I am also not opposed to you asking me to prefer systemic impacts. It is really up to you, but I will usually default to net benefits and evaluate the impacts using timeframe, probability and magnitude unless I am told otherwise. I really really like impact calc and think it is a necessary component to winning a debate. 

Case Debate:

I really enjoy the case debate and I really dislike debates where the aff is never discussed. You should engage with the aff no matter what you are running on the neg. Case turns and offense on case are awesome. I am not opposed to voting on 8 minutes of case out of the in fact this is a great strategy for refuting both policy and critical affs when done well. 


Love them. Case specific disads with nuanced internal link stories are great. Please make sure they are not linear, as I will have a low threshold for voting on the aff outweighing on probability. 


Another excellent negative strategy. There should be a net benefit to the CP, competitiveness and it should solve the aff. Topical counterplans are fine. PICs are fine but I am also open to hearing why PICs or other types of counterplans are bad. Again, you just need to justify your strategy and win why it is a good idea. 


I am not a fan of multiple conditional advocacies but you can read them if you want. In general, I prefer unconditional advocacies and have no problem voting on condo bad. However, if you win the condo debate I will still vote for you and wont punish you for it. 


I think there are a lot of rounds where the K is the best and sometimes only good negative strategy. However, I prefer case/topic specific links and arguments other than they used the state.¢? I am not saying this cant be a link, but you should probably have more compelling ones. I also really like well-warranted solvency that is specific to your method/alternative. You should be well versed in the lit supporting your arguments. I dont like people blurting out tags and then having no idea how to explain them. I think you should call people out on this and use it as offense against them. You should also not assume that I have read the lit on your K and know all of the terms you are using. You are not doing yourself any good by confusing both your opponents and me. Most of this applies to the K on the aff as well. I prefer critical affs that defend the topic or use the topic as a springboard for discussion. I will vote on affs that do not depend the topic, but I will also entertain arguments that say you should. 

Identity Arguments:

With the increase in identity arguments being proposed in debate, there is something you should know. While I understand their purpose and ability to be an avenue for individuals to promote advocacy, I find them difficult to evaluate and I am probably not the judge for you. Past experiences debating them have produced triggering memories and force me to include a bias when deciding rounds. I have been in a round where debate became an unsafe space and I would hate to have to adjudicate a round that would recreate that for another individual. 


I think theory is a great tool for both the aff and neg to secure ground in the debate and explain why certain arguments should be excluded from a debate. Your argument should have impacts! Dont just say it is bad for education or fairness then move on. You should also have counterinterps, reasons to prefer, offense, etc. against theory to win. 


Speed is fine but please be clear. I dont see how it is beneficial for making arguments that only your partner can hear and understand. I also believe the round should be accessible and you should respect a clear. There is nothing impressive about being a bully and spreading someone out of a round after they have repeatedly asked you to slow down. You should probably be able to win without it. Otherwise, I should have no problem flowing you and think speed should be used as a tool to make a lot of good arguments. 

Defending the Topic:

Whether or not you choose to defend the topic is up to you. I think you should provide substantial justifications for why you should be required to defend the topic. I will not drop a team for choosing not defend the topics, as I feel the debate space is yours to decide how to manage. However, I believe there are valid arguments to be made why defending the topic is important and how abandoning the topic can be bad. I find it best when negative teams engage with the affirmative in addition to justifying why they should defend the topic. I have both voted for and against teams on framework as well. You really just need to win the argument. 

Speaker Points:

If you can do the above well, you will probably receive good speaker points from me. I tend to believe speaker points are arbitrary and tend to awards speaker points on the higher side. That being said, I reserve the right to punish teams for egregious behavior by deducting speaks.


Be organized and sign post. Dont assume you want me to apply arguments in specific places without being told to. I have pretty apparent nonverbals and you can usually tell if I think your argument is bad. You should probably use that to your advantage and move on. Read plan texts, advocacies, interpretations, counterinterps, role of the ballots, etc. twice and give a copy to your opponents if they want one. I prefer policy debate over value debate and think you can discuss the same arguments in a policy round more effectively. Overall, I think you should have fun with the debate and make it fun for everyone. I am open to answering questions to clarify anything or regarding specifics that may relate to your round. 

As flex time has been introduced, I am not particularly receptive to you asking for a copy of every interp, plan, ROB, etc. during speeches. This also means that you don't get to wait to start your flex until you get copies of whatever you want a copy of. Your flex starts immediately after the previous speech. I also don't think it is a particularly strong theoretical argument to claim that you should be handed these texts during the speech. This is parli not policy and you should be flowing these things. That is not to say I will not vote on theory that claims you should be granted these luxuries, but I believe making case arguments are a much better use of your time. 

I also don't really believe in RVIs especially on theory. 

Bryan Malinis - SD Mesa

What is your experience with speech and debate?

  • I have coached and judged 2-year and 4-year speech and debate since 2011. I coach all events: oral interpretation, platform, limited preparation, NPDA, and IPDA.

What does your ideal debate round look like?

  • An ideal debate round is one in which debaters perform with professionalism and respect. I do not condone distasteful or disparaging remarks made against opponents, nor insulting nonverbal behavior. Such behavior tarnishes your own credibility as a persuasive speaker. Avoid ad hominem attacks. Insults will result in me dropping you or your team. Above all, make me happy to be in your presence. Have a good time and I will, too!
  • For IPDA, treat me as a lay judge. IPDA is not supposed to be filled with jargon. Please do not treat this event like a Parli or LD round.

Is there anything you would like the debaters in your round to know about your judging preferences?

  • I am stock issues all the way! I welcome topicality arguments as long as they are well-articulated by the opposition. Topicality arguments must be perfectly structured. You must cover all your bases with the topicality. I am not a fan of Kritiks.
  • Your delivery skills are unequivocally tied to my perception of your credibility and competence as a speaker. I pay close attention to your speech rate (breathe like a human), volume, pitch, gestures, posture, eye contact, etc. Since nonverbal communication comprises up to 90% of what we communicate, you must be mindful of all the aforementioned elements during your speaking time. I am comfortable with jargon and technical elements, though I am partial to a more straightforward, narrative debate style.
  • Be sure to stay organized! You must label all your arguments with taglines and signposts in order for me to flow the debate effectively. I have dropped teams in the past due to their lack of a CLEAR structure. Do not simply tell me that legalizing marijuana leads to dying children. Provide links, internal links, and impacts. Do not assume that I will make the argument/connection for you in my head. I only flow what is explicitly stated in the round. Most important, give me clear voters.

Charli Aster - Casper College


Dan Moss (6) - PRPJudge


Dana Trunnell - Prairie State

In competitive debate, I am looking for well-argued and evidenced constructive cases that are strongly upheld through fallacy-free argumentation in rebuttal. The presentation of the top of the case should clearly identify a weighing mechanism for the round, which need not be value-based, especially when a policy or fact resolution is selected.

In each debate, clash should be evident. The AFF/Government should not run cases that prevent the NEG/Opposition from developing its case. Any unfair top-of-the-case definitions or abusive development of constructive cases by the AFF/Government will be frowned upon.

Other factors that are important to my decision:

1. As this is a communication activity, delivery (especially in IPDA), should be extemporaneous, conversational, and communicative. In rounds where I am judging, speed, especially for the sake of "spreading," will not be valued.

2. Being able to talk about controversial topics in a civil and productive manner is a skill that will be upheld in my rounds. Please be courteous to your opponent(s). Any rude behavior or comments are negative points for me.

3. I am okay with counter plans and topicality arguments if good justification can be made for using them. I am more likely to value counter plans in a policy debate.

4. I'd like to think that I am an intelligent coach/judge who writes thoughtful critiques that consider the myriad skills a good debater possesses. When proposing voters, it's okay to ask me to consider argumentation or lack thereof in my decision, but please do not tell me what I can or cannot uphold.

5. The educational pursuit of an eager debater is important to me and, in such cases, I will go out of my way to ensure I am contributing my part to a debater's success. I value debates where all debaters in the round seem passionate about becoming better at argumentation and conversation. In other words, each debater should want to be in the room where it happens, so to speak.

Danny Cantrell - Mt. SAC

Debate should be presented in such a way that a lay audience can understand the arguments and learn something from the debate. In general, debaters should have strong public speaking, critical thinking, and argumentation. Don't rely on me to fill in the holes of arguments or assume we all know a certain theory or argument -- it is your burden to prove your arguments.

Daren Carpenter - TJC

What is the most important criteria you consider when evaluating a debate?

In IPDA, I am looking for logical argumentation, public speaking skills, source support and courtesy. This should be a â??real worldâ? discussion on an important issue. My background is as an Interp/Speaking coach.  However, I have judged IPDA for over four years.

What are your expectations for proper decorum from the debaters?

Courtesy is extremely important. Of course, students should point out flaws in their competitor's argument. However, the attitude should be "I think my way is better" not "you are wrong, stupid or deliberately misleading us." Also, I expect excellent public speaking skills.  I will be looking for proper posture, fillers and eye contact.  As the Phi Rho Pi IPDA rules state, â??extemporaneous delivery is required.â?  The Phi Rho Pi ballot also asks for judges to rate students on source support. So, I will be listening for sources (just like in Extemp).

What strategies/positions/arguments are you predisposed to listen to and consider when you vote?

I will listen to any logical argument. Do not waste time pointing out an infraction that would lead to a technical win in parliamentary debate.  Instead, use your time refuting the logic your competitorâ??s argument.  Please do not keep telling me that I should vote for you.  Instead, use this valuable time to support your argument. Students will be keeping up with their own time.

How do you evaluate speed, jargon, and technical elements?

All parliamentary and LD debate jargon should be completely avoided. To be clear, if you use speed, I will simply put my pen down and those comments will be disregarded. Your speed should be the same as we were speaking in the elevator about the weather. Debate jargon and spreading comments will not benefit you and should be avoided. I will not be flowing the debate. Instead, I will be listening and evaluating your argument logically. 

Das Nugent-Odasso - SD Mesa

Das Nugent 

Debate Judging Philosophy


(1) What is your experience with speech and debate? 

I have competed in all styles of IE’s and have taught and judged NPDA for well over a decade. IPDA is a form of debate that does not sound like or use any kind of debate lingo. It is for the everyday man. It is absolutely NOT Parli or LD; please do not treat it as such. 


(2) What does your ideal debate round look like? 

The debate should be ethical, and there should be a good on-case clash. If you run anything outside of the debate topic, you should know how to persuade me.


(3) Is there anything you would like the debaters in your round to know about your judging preferences?

Some of my best friends are debaters, and they tell their teams to watch my face - apparently, I am expressive. I think debate jargon is overrated. I think that the speed of speech (in every type of debate) should be the rate of a platform speech. I take into consideration Ethical /Logical violations as voting issues. Finally, be clear as to why your team wins the debate. 

David Nadolski - OCC

First of all, I am not a fan of speed. I feel it kills the spirit of debate, has no real world practical purpose, and only exists as a form of gamesmanship. I don't like it.

First of all, I am not a fan of speed. I feel it kills the spirit of debate, has no real world practical purpose, and only exists as a form of gamesmanship. I don't like it.

Also, topicality. I don't love topicality rounds but if it is warranted go all in on it. If it is whining and excessive, you're probably not going to get my ballot. I believe in clash. I believe in being polite and practicing your ability to disagree agreeably.

I expect all competitors to keep track of their own time even though I will be mostly keeping track as well. I just like to be on the same page.

I expect all competitors to keep track of their own time even though I will be mostly keeping track as well. I just like to be on the same page.

Finally, I am absolutely not a fan of critiques. I feel like they are lazy and self absorbed. Thank feel like it goes against clash and the general spirit of debate. So if you run one, expect to not get my ballot but you never know. You'll just have to be really really making a compelling argument.

David Sonnenberg - OCC


Dewi Hokett - Palomar

Doug Hall - Casper College


Fallon Harper - PRPJudge


Floyd McConnell - SJC

I am an old school judge.Ã?  I am looking for authentic communication skills.Ã?  These include the following:

1.Ã?  No spreading-- I want to hear clear and normal speaking speeds.Ã?  I know we get anxious at times, keep it to where the average person can understand you.Ã?  It gives me a headache, I don't want to listen to it.Ã?  I will say "clear" once. That is your signal to slow down after that, I am no longer following your arguments.Ã?  Ã? 

2.Ã?  Please polite to your opponent.Ã?  Rudeness will not be acceptable.Ã? Ã? 

3.Ã?  I realize we are in "Space," however please make sure you are wearing something you would wear to a job interview.Ã?  Most of us only have to be dressed from the waist up.Ã?  At least make that effort, even if it is from your place of residence.Ã? Ã? 

4.Ã?  Argumentation:Ã?  I am open to all arguments, as long as they are organized.Ã?  I love a great debate, stay organized, on point and signpost.Ã?  Please don't me work hard for your ballot.Ã? Ã? 

5.Ã?  I prefer if you are on camera when you are not speaking.Ã?  Ã? Let's not be looking down at phones... etc..Ã?  It is really obvious.Ã? Ã? 

For policy I love the stock issues.  As for Kritiks,  No.  This communicates to me you have no arguments.   I have only seen/ heard 2 great K arguments in 25 years.   

Have a great tournament!!!

Francesca Bishop - El Camino

My background: I competed in CEDA for 3 years; I have coached parli for about 20 and NFA-LD for 10.

I had my years of debating; it is now your turn.There arelots of things I believe about debate and the world in general, butI try notto bring them into the round.Thus, if you tell me something, I write it down and assume it true unless it is refuted. That means that you can lose a round if you drop one little argument, though it's unlikely unless your opponents blow it up, but if you drop a lynchpin argument, or a framework argument (where I look first) it could be bad. Although I try to be tabula rasa, there are a couple of exceptions: One is if you tell me to use my ballot as a tool, or ask me to vote on real world impacts, I see this as a demand for intervention based on what I actually believe, therefore I may not vote on arguments that have been "won." A second exception is if you tell me something that I know to be untrue--so please don't guess or make stuff up or lie. In LD, I will read evidence, including that which the debaters don't read and will not give the ballot to debaters who misrepresent authors.

Because I try to base my decision based solely on argumentsthat are madein the round,I don't assume anything. Therefore, you need to tell me why something matters. For example, don't expect me to assume climate change is happening or that it's bad, or for that matter, that nuclear war is bad.Likewise, you don't have to run only conventionally believed positions. Arguments are just that--arguments. I don't assume you believe them or if they are "true."In general, know that I don't believe that debate is a search for the truth; I believe it is a game. As when you play all games, you should have fun!!!

Harry Bodell - Highland

Experience/Background: I competed for four years in Individual Events (Primarily LP and PA with an ill-fated foray or two into interp) and Parliamentary Debate, and I competed in IPDA toward the end of my college career as it was starting to catch on in Illinois. I have since coached IE, Parli and IPDA for six years between North Central College, Northern Illinois University and Highland Community College. I have also judged Lincoln-Douglas and can get through a round, but probably won't be able to handle speed as well as more seasoned LD judges and coaches.

General Individual Events Philosophy:In general, I want you to have fun and commit to your performance in any IE -- you only get so many chances in life to perform for a "captive" audience! As long as you have fun and use your 7-10 minutes effectively, you have a shot on my ballot. That said, my general preferences (which evolve and should not be taken as gospel) by event category are:

  • Interp: In Prose, I'm looking for engaging storytelling with emotional levels, narrative flow, clear cutting, etc.; In DI, I'm looking for thoughtful character development (vocal and non-verbal characterization, emotional depth) and establishment of space/scene; In Poetry, I'm looking for powerful use of physical movement and vocal rhythm to enhance the power of the language; In POI, I am looking for a strong and thoughtful argument explored through a unique combination of perspectives of stylistic difference (and clarity in blocking, characterization, cutting, etc.); In DUO, I care most about chemistry and (depending on the lit) blocking/use of space.
  • Public Address:In general, I value the content of speeches over the delivery of speeches, but both are naturally important (in other words, in a tie-breaker I will default to the content/messaging). Don't sacrifice in-the-moment connectiveness for the sake of "polish". Really communicate with the audience as opposed to "at" the audience. A few event-specific notes: I'm not crazy about hand-out's in PER/STE -- feel free to use them, but they won't impact my rank; In CA, I really value the crafting of a RQ that leaves room for generalizable rhetorical conclusions and analyses that illuminate how an artifact communicates rather than whether an artifact "checks boxes A, B and C"; In STE, don't be afraid to dive into a comedic persona -- try not to sound the same tonally as you would in an Info round :)
  • Limited Prep: In both LP events, I generally value analysis above all else. A well-delivered Extemp that doesn't dig far beyond the surface will not rank as highly as a "shaky" speech with really interesting/in-depth analysis. I will always prefer the impromptu speaker who makes me think about something in a new light over the speaker who takes a very common approach to an interpretation (not every prompt is about success, growth, etc.). That isn't to say that delivery isn't important -- it is, and confidence/willingness to engage/entertain in an LP event is often the difference in a tough round.

General Debate Philosophy: While I do not believe it is realistic for any judge to be truly tabula rasa (a "blank slate" as a judge), I do my best to filter my own beliefs out of debate rounds. I try to focus only on what is on the flow to the best of my ability. That said, the flow isn't the end-all-be-all in a debate. I won't give more weight to a dropped-but-inconsequential argument than I would to a strong-yet-well-refuted argument, for example. Likewise, I'm not going to give an argument that is just blatantly untrue the same weight as a well-researched/supported argument just because it is on the flow.

In general, I judge primarily on quality of argumentation and clear impacts. I will always refer to impacts to Weighing Mechanism (even in IPDA) and general impact calculus unless told to judge otherwise. If you want me to weigh the round in a particular way, tell me that and justify it to me. Always hold my hand through your impacts and explain clearly why any given argument should win you the round. Don't trust me to make connections for you.

Speed/Jargon: While I can follow speed, I don't love speed -- I think that speed-and-spread tactics are detrimental to the accessibility and growth of the activity. That won't factor into my decision if you do speed, but don't assume that I'll keep up with everything. Your first priority should be to have a good debate, not to win the debate, and a good debate requires clear communication between debaters. If your opponent is going too quickly for you to follow the debate, don't be afraid to yell "clear". If your opponent yells "clear", you should try to slow down and risk a dock on speaker points if you refuse to adapt.

As for jargon, I'm familiar with pretty much any debate terminology you may use and can probably follow along just fine (that goes for both Parli and IPDA -- see below).

Differences Between Parli and IPDA:While I recognize that IPDA emphasizes delivery as a tie-breaking factor (or, in some cases, a primary deciding factor), I frankly don't care how "well" you speak in debate as long as you make good arguments and I can follow them clearly (no need for extra flowery language, emotional delivery, introduction/conclusion, etc.). I vote on line-by-line argumentation in either style. I generally reject the "de-debatification" of IPDA. In my mind, debate is NOT just discussion. Therefore in many ways I essentially judge IPDA as a sort of "mini-Parli" -- I'm perfectly fine with procedural arguments (topicalities need to be run in IPDA sometimes!) and prefer to see prima facie issues established in an affirmative policy case. Don't limit the tools in your toolbox.

That said, please be respectful of different debating paradigms and styles. There is no one "right" approach to either Parli or IPDA. If you run into a clash of styles (ex: one debater believes you should use plan texts in policy IPDA rounds while the other debater believes that IPDA places less emphasis on resolution "types" and that a policy round should simply focus on clashing contentions), simply justify the value of your approach and its logical application toward enhancing the debate.

Cross-Talk in Parli:Flex time allows you to collaborate with your partner between speeches for a reason. Please don't talk to your partner or obnoxiously wave notes -- let your partner do the debating when they are the one speaking. Even novice debaters need to be able to learn to get through a speech without mid-speech guidance. As such, I will not flow any arguments that are directly provided vocally or via note by a partner who does not have the floor.

Questions and Cross-Ex:First of all, please be polite when asking questions. There's no need to get personal or confrontational. At the same time, please don't try to use questions to "suck time" from your opponent. More debating is better than less debating.

In Parli, please don't arbitrarily limit the number of questions that your opponent can ask ("I'll allow your first of two questions"). Simply adapt as necessary. If you honestly don't have time for a fourth question, politely say that and move on. (That said, you should generally have time for three questions if you manage time effectively). In Parli Flex Time, I prefer that questions asked focus on clarification ("can you repeat your tag for contention 1b?") rather than argumentative cross-examinatio questions so as to protect the right of debaters to ask questions during constructive speeches (I'm not okay with debaters saying "ask that during flex time" when a question was legally allowed to be asked during the speech).

In IPDA, I encourage debaters to use all cross-examination time and keep questions challenging-yet-polite.

Kritiks:While I understand the value in some K arguments, I generally find most K's to be pre-constructed distractions from the actual debate at hand. In other words, I'm probably not the judge to use a K with unless you have a really good justification for doing so and can articulate that justification clearly. While I recognize the need for pre-debate argumentation (topicality, etc.) in most cases, I generally want to listen to a debate about the actual topic at hand.

Roadmaps:Always on time. If you try to roadmap off time, I'll just start my timer and stop flowing once you hit your time limit.

Precision of Language: I flow and judge based on what you say, not what I think you meant to say. Be clear and accurate with language. If you say something that inadvertently supports your opponent, that's how I'll flow it!

Decorum Notes: First of all, be friendly -- let's have fun and avoid getting too heated over an educational activity. I appreciate thank you's at the start of speeches and don't consider them wastes of time. Along those lines, I value the depersonalization of argumentation. In other words, I prefer that you do not refer to opponents by name but rather by speaker position (AFF, NEG, PM, LO, etc.). While that may seem to some to strip debaters of their individual identities, I find that it actually keeps the debate focused on arguments and keeps us out of ad hominem territory (not to mention you would never see one lawyer refer to another lawyer by name in a courtroom trial -- they'd refer to "the defense" and "the prosecution", etc.). Likewise, whenever possible, please direct eye contact at the judge rather than your opponent.

Debate Pet Peeve!: Few things in debate bother me more than "You will vote X" language ("Judge, you will be voting AFF"; "Judge, you'll be voting on this point"). That just isn't a good practice inside or outside of debate (when would you ever tell a teacher/employer/etc. "you will do ____"?). It's just as easy to say, "Judge, youshould vote X". While it won't ever impact my decision, this may impact speaker points.

Jacqueline Yu - PCC

Keep the debate clean and well structured. Provide a road map and be clear with the order of contentions, sub-points, evidence, etc. I want to be able to flow the debate with ease! 

I'm open to all arguments - the more clash the better. If an opponent drops an argument - do not let that be the sole reason for the judge to vote, still rationale the point made. 

For partner communication in parli, be careful of puppeteering. 

Please do not spread. Breathe! 

But most of all - 1) don't be rude 2) respect and be kind to those in the round (and in general, everyone), and 3) have fun! Bring that passion!

Jamie Whittington-Studer - Moorpark

I don't really like giving a philosophy because I think your education in this activity should not be limited/influenced by my preferences. I will adapt to the round and evaluate it based on the parameters set by the debaters. I'm not going to do any work for you----tell me where you want your arguments applied, weigh your impacts, stress where/why you are winning, etc. I value clash & accessibility in debate. Without accessibility, there can be no clash. I have no problems with speed or jargon, but please be courteous with your opponent (I probably won't clear you, but if your opponent does, you need to slow down.) Off-time roadmaps & a clear structure promote accessibility and make everyone's life easier. Just have fun & respect your opponent.

Jay Arntson - PCC

  1. This judging philosophy only pertains to parliamentary debate. I perceive my role as adapting myself to the sort of round the debaters would like to have more so than debaters adapting to me. I will pretty much entertain any argument a debater wishes to advance. I typically see debate as a game rather than a requirement to relec the so-called real world.

  2. I don't mind debaters being assertive but needs to be balanced with empathy and compassion. I believe language has power and ebaters should own the implications of their rhetoric.

  3. The argument I vote for will only be the one the debaters in the round assert an not one of my own. My RFD will always be specific to an argument the debaters made in the round. I am fine with debaters kicking arguments. In-round abuse is easier to vote for than potential abuse. I am willing to vote on any procedural or kritik/project. I am comfortable with debate theory.

  4. I will adapt to whatever speed the debaters choose to have. Please adjust to debaters with disability concerns. I am familiar with flowing speed and understanding technical jargon. I have judged debate for 10+ years in a variety of formats (policy, parliamentary, Lincoln-Douglas, IPDA, etc.). I graduated from UC Berkeley as a double major in Philosophy and Rhetoric. My Masters is in Communication Studies from Cal State Long Beach. I have been a debate coach for 12 years.

Jeannie Hunt - NWC

I want to be able to judge the round with very little intervention on my part. That means a couple of things. You need to establish a framework that I can follow to evaluate the round. I dont care what that framework is, but I want one policymaking, critical, big picture, etc. That framework is what I will follow, so please dont set the round up as a stock round, and then ask me to look at the big picture at the end. More importantly, give me something to look at in the end. I would love to hear some impact analysis, some reasons to prefer, and something tangible for me to vote on. Absent that, I have to intervene.

There are no specific arguments that I prefer over another. I will vote on pretty much anything, and I am game for pretty much anything. I do expect that you will not subject yourself to performative contradictions. If you run a k, you should be willing to live in the round with the same k standards you are asking us to think about. However, it is the job of the opposing team to point that out This is true of any theory-based argument you choose to run. I am old, which means that I think the 1AC is important. If you are not going to address it after the 1AC, let me know so I dont have to spend time flowing it.

Critical rounds invite the judge to be a part of the debate, and they bring with them a set of ethics and morals that are subjective. I love critical debate, but competitors need to be aware that the debate ceases to be completely objective when the judge is invited into the discussion with a K. Make sure the framework is very specific so I dont have to abandon objectivity all together.

Finally, make your own arguments. If you are speaking for, or allowing your partner to speak for you, I am not flowing it. It should be your argument, not a regurgitation of what your partner said three seconds ago. Prompting someone with a statement like, go to the DA is fine. Making an argument that is then repeated is not.

Delivery styles are much less important to me than the quality of the argument, but that doesnt mean you should have no style. You should be clear, structured, and polite to everyone in the round (including your partner if it is a team). You can at least take your hat off and make some eye contact. Having a bad attitude is as bad as having a bad argument. Speed is not a problem if it is clear. PLEASE do not abuse flex time or add 20 minutes to an LD round through evidence exchange. This will make me grouchy and your points will suffer. You don't get to say flex will start when the other team has accomplished something or complied with a request - flex starts when the previous speech is over. Prep time doesn't stop only to take another 2 minutes to process evidence. Time limits exist for a reason.

Because I dont want to intervene, I dont appreciate points of order. You are asking me to evaluate the worth of an argument, which skews the round in at least a small way. Additionally, I think I flow pretty well, and I know I shouldnt vote on new arguments. I wont. If you feel particularly abused in the round, and need to make a point of some sort, you can, but as a strategy to annoy the other team, or me, it is ill-advised.

Jedi Curva - Mt. SAC

Debate should be presented in such a way that a lay audience can understand the arguments and learn something from the debate. In general, debaters should have strong public speaking, critical thinking, and argumentation. Don't rely on me to fill in the holes of arguments or assume we all know a certain theory or argument -- it is your burden to prove your arguments.

Jeff Toney - Dark Horse

I feel like an OG debate judge, even though several others have been around longer than me. However, I think it is only fair that I acknowledge that I have been a squirrel in several round in the past 5 years. In other words, your rep means as much to me as a Stark in Game of Thrones. With that being said here are my positions.

Counterplan - I do not have a silly disposition on them. However, that doesn't mean I will not vote for good condo bad theory.

Theory - I hate potential abuse - I got pulled over 21 times in one year and received two fix-it tix so... If you are going to run theory I need to know the specific ground lost. Tell me what positions you couldn't run, or what links you cannot logically gain access to because of whatever the other team is doing.

Weighing - I tend to prefer bigger magnitudes over smaller more probable impacts. If you are going to go small then framing probably should accompany your position. In addition, weigh through your framing!

In general, I look for the most straightforward way out of the debate. When I was a new judge, I used to do the most, looking at every sheet 3 or 4 times only to come up with the same decision I had 20 minutes prior. Now, I let yall point me in the right direction. If you want me to vote for you, walk me down the path. I put a lot of weight on rebuttals. So, during your impact framing keep that in mind.

Jeff Przybylo - Harper College

Public debate should be accessible by any member of the public. To observe or adjudicate, audience members do not need to possess any special knowledge or experience in debate. IPDA is designed to be observed by the public.

In all forms of debate, eloquence in delivery is important.

I believe debaters should speak to each other with respect, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude towards the exercise of debating IDEAS.

Debate is an exercise in presenting and supporting ideas. It is not a war.

Debates should be focused on the positive exchange of ideas. I find debates about debate utterly boring.

For individual events, I value creativity.  Go ahead and break the "rules." As long as what you are doing serves the literature/topic I value what you are doing. I believe that public performance is art. Let your creativity flow!

Public address events should be well organized, well researched, creative, and eloquently delivered.

Interp events are creative performances.   I do not believe that there necessarily needs to be a stated "argument." I believe that performances that portray strong characters and evoke an emotional response have great value. I value an emotional journey and entertainment over the presentation of some sort of overtly stated "argument." As I stated above, public performance is a form of art. What you make me FEEL and what I learn about the human condition is much more important to me and following through on a contrived "argument" stated in your introduction.     Be artistic.

In the limited preparation events, I value eloquent delivery, supported claims, and an organized message. The format or approach is less important to me. As long as what you are doing is clear and makes sense, I promise to have an open mind.

Jen Abouzeid - Southern Idaho


Jennifer Gutierrez (4) - PRPJudge


Jennifer Hidalgo (1) - PRPJudge


Jenny Billman - SIC

I competed in LD and parli debate. I have coached LD, parli, and IPDA. I believe it's important to use time wisely and be respectful. I'll listen to debates on anything else. 

Jim Dobson - LPC


Joan Andrews - TJC

What is the most important criteria you consider when evaluating a debate?

In IPDA, I am looking for logical argumentation, public speaking skills, source support and courtesy. This should be a â??real worldâ? discussion on an important issue. My background is as an Interp/Speaking coach.  However, I have judged IPDA for over four years.

What are your expectations for proper decorum from the debaters?

Courtesy is extremely important. Of course, students should point out flaws in their competitor's argument. However, the attitude should be "I think my way is better" not "you are wrong, stupid or deliberately misleading us." Also, I expect excellent public speaking skills.  I will be looking for proper posture, fillers and eye contact.  As the Phi Rho Pi IPDA rules state, â??extemporaneous delivery is required.â?  The Phi Rho Pi ballot also asks for judges to rate students on source support. So, I will be listening for sources (just like in Extemp).

What strategies/positions/arguments are you predisposed to listen to and consider when you vote?

I will listen to any logical argument. Do not waste time pointing out an infraction that would lead to a technical win in parliamentary debate.  Instead, use your time refuting the logic your competitorâ??s argument.  Please do not keep telling me that I should vote for you.  Instead, use this valuable time to support your argument. Students will be keeping up with their own time.

How do you evaluate speed, jargon, and technical elements?

All parliamentary and LD debate jargon should be completely avoided. To be clear, if you use speed, I will simply put my pen down and those comments will be disregarded. Your speed should be the same as we were speaking in the elevator about the weather. Debate jargon and spreading comments will not benefit you and should be avoided. I will not be flowing the debate. Instead, I will be listening and evaluating your argument logically. 

John Nash - MVCC

I typically do not judge NFA-LD or Parli, how I do teach debate so I know the terminology. Please do not spread any information. I shoul dbe able to flow the round easily. I would like a new audience member to clearly understand your flow, too. I prefer you do not debate word semantics.

IPDA: Just make sure this is not single person parli. Make sure you are not running a pre prepped case. Make sure you are not using any debate lingo. This should be like two people sitting at a table over a family holiday discussing different sides of an issue. I typically judge on ethos, pathos and logos.

John Corum - SIC

I am an experienced policy debater. I am typically standard issues as a judge, but I will let you frame and shape the round for me. Procedurals (especially topicality) will need proven in-round abuse. It is very important to me that both debaters are respectful to each other for the entirety of the round. Have fun and be kind and I will love you.

Jolinda Ramsey (6) - PRPJudge


Joshua Green - Prairie State


Justin Blacklock - SAC

As a judge, I feel it extremely important to clearly advocate for what you believe in. Forensics, as an activity, is really about advocacy and speaking to the issues that concern you most.

In Interp, I prefer characters that are authentic, arguments/themes that are well thought out, and performances that have been clearly fine-tuned to represent those characters and messages clearly.

In Platform/Public Speaking, I look for organization, research, and a clear sense of the speakers voice in the writing. Of course, I am concerned with cleanliness of delivery and performance style, but again, I want speeches (from INFO to PERS to CA/RC to ADS/STE) to clearly stand behind a message that the speaker is advocating for.

In all forms of debate, I prefer clarity and organization over speed and strategy (just for strategy sake). Arguments should remain on case as much as possible, and competitors should respect the boundaries of the debate platform rather than bending the rules to meet them. In short, my debate philosophy is quality of arguments over quantity.

Have a great Phi Rho Pi and support all speakers interp, speeches and arguments!

Kacy Stevens - COD

I will listen to every argument a debater presents. However, as much as I try, I do find it difficult to divorce myself from my knowledge of fallacious argumentation. Thus, I tend to focus on logical links and how they tie back to the weighing mechanism of the round. If there are links to nuclear war or other hyperbolicscenariosthatare easily broken, I am unlikely to vote on such unrealistic impacts, especially if they have been delinked.

IPDA should be dramatically different than parli. When a debater turns an IPDA round into a parli round, I am likely to vote for the OTHER debater in the round. Delivery, organization, and ethos matter significantly more in IPDA than in parli.

I highly value courteous and respectful debate in both parli and IPDA. I believe strongly in the idea that one of the major distinctions between debate argumentation and "verbal fighting" is the high degree of respect debaters show each other in and out of rounds. Ethos has its place in debate and respect to others does impact ethos. I strongly believe in the distinction between fact, value, and policy resolutions. The burdens for each are vastly different and require teams to focus the debate in drastically different ways. I hold true to the idea that setting up a case using the correct resolutional type is a burden of the government team.

In voting, I equally weigh prima facia issues and the weighing mechanism of the round. I expect debaters to impact their arguments directly to the weighing mechanism established in the round. IMPACT, IMPACT, IMPACT

Speed sometimes occurs, but should not be relied upon. I will make it clear when the speed becomes so quick that I can no longer flow the debate by simply putting my pen down. It should be a clear nonverbal indicator to every debater that I am no longer flowing the debate because of speed, and therefore will not vote on the arguments that are not on my flow. However, I will pick back up my pen and continue flowing when the speaking rate becomes reasonable enough to flow.I also believe that speed impacts credibility. While debate relies heavily upon logos, ethos and pathos should not be ignored. Beyond speed, I also highly encourage debaters to use strong organization including, taglines, roman numerals, capital letters, etc. Labeling and numbering arguments is one of the easiest ways to ensure that both teams and the judge(s) are on the same page. Jargon alone does not make an argument; a debater's explanation of the jargon makes an argument. Jargon alone will never be voted on by me. I expect debaters to explain why the jargon is significant to the round and how it should impact my voting. Technicalities can matter but only if the debater(s) impact out why the technical elements have a bearing on the round itself. Procedural arguments are a part of debate for a reason but should not be relied upon solely to win rounds. If procedurals are present, debaters should feel free to run them and IMPACT them, but not force them to work.

Kevyn Sutter - Highland

I look for the following in IE: clear, concise speech, believable and natural speaking pattern, and a variety of emotion. In IPDA, I look for logical arguments delivered in respectful and courteous manners.

Kim Perigo - SD Mesa


Kirt Shinemann (3) - PRPJudge


Kouamy Davis Brown (7) - PRPJudge


Krishna Desai (4) - PRPJudge


Krista Appelquist - MVCC

I am mainly an Individual Events coach but I have coached and judged parliamentary and IPDA debate in the past. I teach an argumentation course. As a debate judge, these are my values, in order of importance: CLASH, LOGIC, ORGANIZATION, and DELIVERY. I prefer the debate not get bogged down in procedural issues but if you need to call something out that's fine, let me note it, and try to run a good debate regardless.

Kyle Duffy - COC


Lauren Morgan - COD

The most important criteria for me is good argumentation/persuasion that employs a balance of ethos, logos, pathos appeals with reasoning. Often in debate, I find speakers do not provide sufficient reasoning to support their point. Be sure that you employ solid reasoning. In parli, use of the weighing mechanism is also paramount; if it is the criteria by which you are asking me to judge the debate, then I expect you to use it to show me why your position best fulfills the criteria by which you've asked me to judge the debate.

I expect all debaters to be competent communicators and use decorum. There is no need to devolve into ad hominem attacks, especially when thinly veiled. Both verbal and nonverbal communication matter.

I believe in trichotomy, so not every debate is a policy debate and sheer amount of evidence (cut cards) is not sufficient for me to vote for you. I am not opposed to T arguments, but if it appears you are running it as a matter or protocol or to turn the debate into the one you would like to have rather than the one you've been provided, that will not be in your favor. How you communicate is as important as what you say.

I am not a fan of speed/spread nor overuse of technical elements. Create clash on the topic you've been provided, and debate it.

Liz Fritz (4) - PRPJudge


Lucy Giusto - Contra Costa

M'Liss Hindman - TJC

Madison Edwards (6) - PRPJudge


Marcos Santos - PCC

For individual events, I look for how well rounded the performance is with regards to content and delivery. If it�????�???�??�?�¢??s close, I usually give the advantage to the most engaging speaker. For debate, I simply give the advantage to the more persuasive and logical arguments that are presented in a clear and digestible manner.�????�???�??�?� 

Margaret Bilos - Harper College

I believe an IPDA debate should be a structured discussion between two people who may disagree about a topic but are respectful, thoughtful, friendly, and conversational.�  It should be viewed more as a well-reasoned, well-delivered philosophical disagreement that anyone can judge rather than a highly specialized format.�  I would rather hear you disagree over the arguments and claims rather than hear you debate about debate.� � 

I like to imagine that we all went out to dinner and cracked open a fortune cookie.�  One of you agreed and the other disagreed and you talked and argued, bringing up examples and points.�  After fifteen minutes or so, I said one of you won and we all enjoyed dessert.

In public address, I am looking for connection to audience, an interesting topic, solid delivery, convincing research, and credible support.� 

For interpretation events, I am hoping to be drawn into the story, the drama, and the character that you are creating.�  The best performers might not teach us a lesson, but they can sweep us up into a beautiful moment.�  I am less concerned with rigid rules and conventions if what you're doing makes sense and adds something to the piece and character.� � 

In limited preparation events, I am looking for a speech with good structure, interesting arguments, and eloquent delivery.�  If you are thoughtful and clean, I am hoping to learn something new or see it in a new way.

Overall, be creative, be friendly, be conversational, be expressive, be in the moment!� � I'm looking for creativity, passion, energy and for you to put me at ease.�  My favorite speakers, in all events, makes the audience feel like a valued part of the conversation.� � If you are having a good time- we will have a good time!

Matt Contreras - OCC

Matt Reynolds - Southern Idaho


Matthew Maddex - CF


Matthew Shoop - PCC

I'm basically a lay judge when it comes to debate.�????????�???????�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�  I've seen a lot of IPDA and very much enjoy the event but I'm not versed in much of the terminology of debate.�????????�???????�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�  My decisions come down to the strength of arguments.�????????�???????�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�  Please signpost whenever you can to help me follow your arguments.�????????�???????�??????�?????�????�???�??�?�  Other than that just be clear!�????????�???????�??????�?????�????�???�??�?� 

McCade Smith Fletcher (6) - PRPJudge


Michael Starzynski - El Camino

tabula rasa, no spreading, roadmaps and signposts please!

Michael McHan - Grossmont

I'll try to keep this as brief and simple as possible.

For those competing virtually:

  • All competitors cameras should be on. If you have bandwidth concerns please let me know before the round starts. Audio should be muted when not speaking.
  • Do not spread. If you are gasping for air in between words you are speaking too fast. 
  • Do not hesitate to ask your opponents to slow down their delivery if you are having a hard time following. 
  • Demonstrate decorum. I appreciate it when competitors are respectful to each other. 

For Parliamentary Debate:

  • Structure, structure, structure.
  • The PMC speech should contain a clear and fair resolutional analysis. Be very clear when providing the voting criterion (V/C) and articulating how the judge should weigh the round. *Remember, if the Gov. team fails to offer a V/C then the Opp. has the right to do so for them. 
  • Please make sure you are signposting and clearly labeling your arguments. 
  • Not a fan of Ks. 
  • Okay with Ts, but not when levied as a strategy to take up time. 
  • Both sides should have clear, numbered voters in their final speeches. Don't just summarize existing arguments but TELL me why you should get my vote.
  • Ultimately, I like to hear a clean debate, with ample clash, and arguments properly linked and warranted. 

For IPDA Debate:

Since IPDA was created for a lay audience it is important that debaters keep their cases as simple and clear as possible. 

  • Very important to speak with a clear and calm pace. 
  • Signposting and labeling your arguments is a necessity. 
  • Please do not get too fancy with the voting criterion. 
  • Avoid technical debate jargon.
  • Offer numbered voters (reasons why you won the debate) in final speeches.
  • Be kind and respectful to each other.
  • Smile and have fun! 

If you have questions about something that was not mentioned in my judging philosophy please do not hesitate to ask me before the round begins! 

Michael Leach - COC


Michael Williams - PCC

I have participated and judged debate for awhile so I am okay with any style or strategy that the debaters use. As long it follows the rules of the debate format and is properly structured and articulated.

Monica Flores-Garcia - PCC

I'm an IE judge/coach! I'm open to any style and strategy as long as students stick to the following:

  • No Spreading:Speed won't add clarity to your arguments or make them more persuasive. Please avoid speaking too quickly. I want to be able to catch every word you say.
  • Parli and LD Jargon: Avoid using this kind of jargon especially when you're competing in IPDA. Your speeches should be accessible to any/all judges watching in terms of clarity. (If I'm seeing you in parli then its totally fine!)
  • Be Respectful: Attack your opponent's contentions, not them. Please avoid fighting/arguing with your partner. Be nice to everyone in the round!

Please do the following:

  • Cameras On: Please turn on your camera! You miss out on several communication tools (eye contact, hand gestures, facial expressions) when we can't see you!
  • Stay Organized: Good conversational speed, transition phrases, signal words, roadmaps etc. will alllow me to follow you better and more easily.
  • Use Sources: Utilize sources to build your case! Analyze and explain why they support your claims along with why we need to know this information. Don't assume I know how you'd like me to interpret this evidence and move forward without connecting the citation back to your argument.

Natalie Kellner - LPC

I am an Individual Event judge. I value clarity of structure, specificity of examples & illustrations, preciseness of voting criteria, and (above all else) a delivery that enables ease of understanding for the listener. Avoid "debate speak" at all costs....I will not understand you, and if I do not understand you then you can not win the ballot. Civility is also of key importance. I will look at an IPDA debate as if it were an interactive Persuasive Speaking round: be clear, be organized, be understandable, be engaging. I can't be any more clear than that I think.

Nathan Carter - NOVA


Neal Stewart - Moorpark

I evaluate IPDA, like any other event, on a combination of content and delivery. Debaters should treat opponents, judges, and audience members with respect. Feel free to make any argument you feel can be persuasively explained to a lay audience. Speed, jargon, and technical elements should be appropriate to a lay audience.

Neal Heatherly (4) - PRPJudge


Nick Matthews - Cerritos

Hello! I am the Director of Forensics at Cerritos College. I competed in policy debate for four years in high school, and I did two years of NFA-LD and four years of NPDA at UCLA. I have been coaching in PSCFA since 2013. Here are some things you will want to know when I am judging you:

  1. I am deaf! Literally, not figuratively. This means you must speak at a conversational speed in front of me. Any rate of speed that is faster than the dialogue of "The West Wing" will probably result in me understanding maybe 20% of what you are saying, which is not conducive to your chances of winning.

  2. My default evaluation method in policy rounds is to compare a topical plan to the world of the status quo or a competitive counterplan or alternative. As a competitor, I specialized in straight-up strategies: disads, counterplans, procedurals, and case. These are also the debates I am most competent at judging. Don't let me stop you from arguing what you are most comfortable with, but my understanding of straight-up debate is a heckuva lot stronger than my understanding of K debate.

  3. I reward big-picture narratives, intuitive arguments, comparative impact calculus, and strategic decision-making. In your rebuttal speech, you should tell me a story explaining why you have won the debate.

  4. I rarely vote for arguments I don't understand.

  5. I am biased against arguments that rely on faulty factual premises. I may vote for such arguments from time to time, but even minimal responses will likely defeat them.

  6. My biggest pet peeve is when you whine instead of making an argument:
    - Whining: Their implementation is vague and they don't explain it! They don't solve! (Waaah!)
    - Argument: I have three reasons why their shoddy implementation of the plan undermines solvency. First, ...

  7. The affirmative team should read a plan or an advocacy/thesis statement with a clearly defined text. The text should be written down for the opponent if requested.

  8. I don't care if you stand or sit or if you prompt your partner a few times; just don't parrot half their speech to them. You do not need to call points of order in prelims, and please do not do so excessively.

Noelle Anderson - Moorpark

I judge IPDA based on the arguments made in the round and how each debater adapts while listening to their opponent. Additionally, I take into account delivery and camaraderie. Please avoid debate jargon or talking so fast that the audience cannot follow along. 

Paul Cummins - SIC

Paul Villa - DVC

Updated for NPDA 2022:

Top 8 things to keep in mind if I am judging you.

  1. I have chronic wrist conditions on both sides, you are fine to spread but if something gets lost as a result of excessive speed I am not going to pretend I have it written down.

  2. I find it hard to imagine a world where the negative deploys a well-developed Topicality/Framework shell with a clear violation or the affirmative deploys a well-developed condo shell and I dont vote for it.

  3. My threshold for response to vacuous/bad arguments is exceedingly low.

  4. I generally default to reasonability on theory by default, I think that the offense-defense paradigm breaks down on a lot of theory positions (IE, there is probably always some marginal benefit to further specification but I dont really see why that means the aff should lose). Condo is a notable exception since I dont really understand how someone can be reasonably unconditional.

  5. I am more predisposed to defense than most judges and absolutely believe it can be terminal.

  6. I wont vote on any kritik that I dont understand the solvency mechanism of or feel I couldnt otherwise explain as part of my RFD. This applies to all advocacies but kritiks tend to be where this comes up most frequently. I dont dislike the K, I read the K in at least 50% of my neg rounds as a competitor, my students read the K all the time, plenty of debaters have won on Ks in front of me, I just need you to actually explain your argument as opposed to obfuscating.

  7. I dislike the trend of backfilling or massively recontextualizing positions. Chances are, if your argument feels largely new I am going to give the rebuttals a lot of leeway in their ability to answer.

  8. Almost without exception, the team that does the best world resolving arguments and winning thesis level claims will win my ballot, I don't find debates particularly difficult to resolve but if you don't do that work for me I am almost certainly going to default to making the simplest decision possible.

Background: I am the director of debate at Diablo Valley College, I competed in LD and NPDA at the University of the Pacific for 3 years and then was an assistant coach for the team during grad school. I can hang, I just hate sophistry and vacuous debate.

Raffaela Baker - Saddleback


Raman Deol - Dark Horse

I will listen to any argument. Everything is debatable. Show me clear terminalized impacts.

Rebecca Gonzalez - Cerritos

My name is Rebecca Gonzalez. I am an adjunct instructor at Cerritos College and also serve as a part-time coach for the Forensics team. I primarily focus on coaching oral interpretation of literature events including prose, poetry, and dramatic interpretation. I, personally, have a background in oral interpretation, as I have been in competitive theatre and speech events since elementary school. In terms of debate, while I am exposed to it as a part-time Forensics coach and have judged a few rounds, I certainly would not consider myself as being particularly experienced, especially when it comes to specific event formalities, rules, and jargon. I view debate as a communication event and would prefer for competitors to be mindful of delivery, especially in terms of speed.

Ricky Lopez (4) - PRPJudge


Rizamae Enriquez (4) - PRPJudge


Robert Hawkins - DVC

Roger Willis-Raymondo - Mt. SAC

n /a

Rolland Petrello - Moorpark

As a debater, I competed in both NDT and CEDA, however, I left those forms of debate as a coach when I felt that they lacked any semblance of 'real-world' argumentation. I believe stock issues are labeled that way for a reason and I will weigh arguments around those issues heavily (even inherency on policy topics). I do not consider myself a 'games-theory' judge, nor do I consider myself purely 'Tabula Rasa'. I do not abandon my knowledge or common sense when I come into a debate round. This does not mean, however, that I am an 'interventionist.' I will only impose my thoughts/feelings into the round in the event that I am absolutely sure that arguments are erroneous.

One of the topline philosophies I bring to this activity is that I am an educator first and foremost. This means that if your approach to the debate undermines the educational experience for anyone in the round, it will probably result in a lost ballot for you. Additionally, behavior that would not be tolerated in an inclusive classroom will not be tolerated in front of me in the debate space. As a Director of Forensics I am also deeply concerned with the future of this activity, which requires the support of administrators that do not have a background in forensics. If your behavior in rounds is such that it would turn lay decision makers against the activity, that is a more real world impact calculus to me than any disad or theory shell I've ever seen in a debate and will be treated as such.

If I were to describe my philosophy, it would be that of 'a critic of argument.' This is to say that if your opponent drops an argument it does not necessarily mean that you win the round:

  1. You have only won whatever persuasiveness the argument had to begin with. If it had a 'Persuasiveness Quotient' of 0% when it was issued then you have won an argument that is meaningless. If it was a good argument (a PQ of 80%) then the argument will have much more weight in the round.
  2. Not every argument is a 'voter' and simply labeling it as such does not make it so. In fact, there are few trends more annoying than labeling everything a 'voter.' If you want me to vote on it, you need to explain why, in the context of this round, it is.

My first preference has to do with speed. I used to believe that I could flow 'almost' anyone. I am realistic enough to know that this is simply no longer the case. I'm out of practice and in my experience most of the time people do not speak clearly when they spread anyway. Additionally, most of the time spread is unnecessary. Bottom line, if you went too fast for me to flow it - I won't consider it in the round.

My second preference has to do with specific arguments:

  • Topicality - I DO believe that topicality is a relevant issue in NFA LD, Parli, and IPDA. I am tired of seeing Government/Affirmative cases that have little or nothing to do with the topic.
  • Kritiks - Most of the kritiks I have seen are interesting theory with little 'real world' relevance. If you're going to run it, make it real world. I find it hard to believe that a single specific language choice will destroy humanity. Additionally, while I understand the way K's function, do not assume that I understand the specifics of whatever theoretical framework you are using. Make sure you explain it thoroughly.
  • Resolutions - I believe there are three types of resolutions: fact, value, and policy - don't try to twist one of them into something else. Just debate it straight up.

My third preference has to do with behavior.

  • Ad Hominems are never appropriate and the use of them will be reflected in the points awarded in the round.
  • Don't ask me to disclose. If I wish to, and have time without making the tournament run behind, I will.

My fourth preference is that while I view IPDA as debate, it should not be Parli LD. IPDA was created with an attention to delivery baked in. I will respect that on the ballot.

Finally, if you have specific questions, ask me before the round.

Roxanne Tuscany - Grossmont

Background: I am the Director of Forensics at Grossmont College, for the past 30 years. I have been judging and coaching Parli for at least 20 years, and coaching and judging IPDA for about 10 years, or since southern California started competing in this event. I am not an NFA/LD coach or judge.

Educational Activity: I believe that debate is an educational activity that teaches some very important skills from the areas of argumentation and public speaking. I want to hear clear, well structured, arguments. I want the speaker to label their points/sign posting throughout. I need a road map, throughout the speech, not just at the top of the speech. I want to hear arguments that have claims, with reasoning/evidence. I still believe that this is a speaking event, and using some clear structure to you debate is important to me.

Regional Differences: At a state or national tournament, I know that there are different terms/jargon that have developed from individual regions. Therefore, dont assume that everyone should know the same terms. If you use a term, quickly explain it, the first time you use it. I welcome an opposing team to ask the other team for explanations of their terms. I do not expect that team to respond with something like, everyone should know this term. If that is true, give us the definition. I see far too many debaters misusing and miscommunication about jargon.

Topicality/Spreading/Ks: Of course, I expect to occasionally hear a topicality argument, when warranted. I dont want to hear a kritik for the sake of using it, or because you have nothing else to offer. However, if warranted, I may be open to one.

I believe there is no place for spreading/speed in Parli or IPDA. Everyone who continues to encourage or allow spreading is encouraging poor communication skills, defeating the purpose of Parli/IPDA debate. It isnt about my ability to flow, it is about your ability to communicate logical, argumentation to any audience.

During rebuttals I am looking for very clear voters, to tell me why your team wins the debate.

IPDA specifically: I have watched the progression from CEDA to Parli and now IPDA. I would like judges to follow the guidelines for IPDA, which says that there should be lay judges for IPDA. This means that even though I am a Parli judge, I should listen without expecting to hear jargon. I do think a well structure speech is required to be successful.

Having said all that, I love judging Parli debates. I am excited to hear your well structured, lively, debates.

Ryan Guy - MJC

UPDATED: 11/13/5/2021

Ryan Guy

Modesto Junior College

Video Recording: I always have a webcam or DSLR with me. If you would like me to record your round and send it to you, check with your opponent(s) first, then ask me. I'll only do it if both teams want it, and default to uploading files as unlisted YouTube links and only sharing them with you on my ballot (I'll leave a short URL that will work once I am done uploading... typically 4n6URL.com/XXXX). This way no one ever has to bug me about getting video files.

Online Tournaments:I can screen capture the debate if you all want a copy of it, but like live recording I'll only do it if both folks ask me to.


  • I was a NPDA debater at Humboldt State in the mid 2000s
  • I've coached Parli, NFA-LD, IPDA and a little bit of BP, and CEDA since 2008.
  • I teach courses in argumentation, debate, public speaking, etc

The Basics:

  • In NFA-LD please post arguments you have run on the case list (https://nfald.paperlessdebate.com/)
  • Use speechdrop.net to share files in NFA-LD and Policy debate rounds
  • NOTE: If you are paper only you should have a copy for me and your opponent. Otherwise you will need to debate at a slower conversational pace so I can flow all your arguments. (I'm fine with faster evidence reading if I have a copy or you share it digitally).
  • I'm fine with the a little bit of speed in NFA-LD and Parli but keep it reasonable or I might miss something.
  • Procedurals / theory are fine but articulate the abuse
  • I prefer policy-making to K debate. You should probably not run most Ks in front of me.
  • I default to net-benefits criteria unless you tell me otherwise
  • Please tell me why you think you are winning in your last speech


In IPDA I prefer that you signpost your arguments and follow a logical structure for advantages, disadvantages, contentions, counter-contentions etc. If it is a policy resolution you should probably fiat a plan action and argue why implementing it would be net-beneficial. I think it is generally abusive for the affirmative to not FIAT a plan in the 1AC if it is a resolution of policy. Please note the official IPDA textbook states the following about resolutions of policy "With a policy resolution, the affirmative must specify a plan that they will advocate during the debate. The plan of action should consist of at least four elements: agent, mandates, enforcement, and funding." (pg 134) (2016). International Public Debate Association Textbook (1st edition). Kendall Hunt Publishing.)

You get 30 minutes prep, you should cite sources and provide me with evidence. Arguments supported with evidence and good logic are more likely to get my ballot. I will vote on procedural arguments and other debate theory if it is run well in IPDA, but you should try to explain it a bit more conversationally than you would in other forms of debate. Try to use a little less jargon here. I flow IPDA just like I would any other form of debate. Please respond to each other and try not to drop arguments. A debate without clash is boring.

At its heart IPDA is a form of debate meant to be understood by non-debate audiences and skilled debater audiences alike.Argumentation still exists under this framework, but certain strategies like critical affirmatives, spreading, and complicated theory positions are probably better situated in other forms of debate.

General Approach to Judging:

I really enjoy good clash in the round. I like it when debaters directly engage with each other's arguments (with politeness and respect). From there you need to make your case to me. What arguments stand and what am I really voting on. If at the end of the round I'm looking at a mess of untouched abandoned arguments I'm going to be disappointed.

Organization is very important to me. Please road-map (OFF TIME) and tell me where you are going. I can deal with you bouncing around if necessary but please let me know where we are headed and where we are at. Unique tag-lines help too. As a rule I do not time road maps.

I like to see humor and wit in rounds. This does not mean you can/should be nasty or mean to each other. Avoid personal attacks unless there is clearly a spirit of joking goodwill surrounding them. If someone gets nasty with you, stay classy and trust me to punish them for it with speaks.

If the tournament prefers that we not give oral critiques before the ballot has been turned in I won't. If that is not the case I will as long as we are running on schedule. I'm always happy to discuss the round at some other time during the tournament.

Kritiques: I'm probably not the judge you want to run most K's in front of. In most formats of debate I don't think you can unpack the lit and discussion to do it well. If you wish to run Kritical arguments I'll attempt to evaluate them as fairly as I would any other argument in the round.I have not read every author out there and you should not assume anyone in the round has. Make sure you thoroughly explain your argument. Educate us as you debate. You should probably go slower with these types of positions as they may be new to me, and I'm very unlikely to comprehend a fast kritik.

Weighing: Please tell me why you are winning. Point to the impact level of the debate. Tell me where to look on my flow. I like overviews and clear voters in the rebuttals. The ink on my flow (or pixels if I'm in a laptop mood) is your evidence. Why did you debate better in this round? Do some impact calculus and show me why you won.

Speed: Keep it reasonable. In limited prep formats (IPDA / NPDA) speed tends to be a mistake, but you can go a bit faster than conversational with me if you want. That being said; make sure you are clear, organized and are still making persuasive arguments. If you cant do that and go fast, slow down. If someone calls clear ...please do so. If someone asks you to slow down please do so. Badly done speed can lead to me missing something on the flow. I'm pretty good if I'm on my laptop, but it is your bad if I miss it because you were going faster than you were effectively able to.

Online Tournaments: Speed and online based debate are not a great ideas. I would slow down or everyone will miss stuff.

Speed in NFA-LD: I get that there is the speed is antithetical to nfa-ld debate line in the bylaws. I also know that almost everyone ignores it. If you are speaking at a rate a trained debater and judge can comprehend I think you meet the spirit of the rule. If speed becomes a problem in the round just call clear or "slow." That said if you use "clear" or "slow" to be abusive and then go fast and unclear I might punish you in speaks. I'll also listen and vote on theory in regards to speed, but I will NEVER stop a round for speed reasons in any form of debate. If you think the other team should lose for going fast you will have to make that argument.

Please Note: If you do not flash me the evidence or give me a printed copy, then you need to speak at a slow conversational rate, so I can confirm you are reading what is in the cards. If you want to read evidence a bit faster...send me you stuff. I'm happy to return it OR delete it at the end of the round, but I need it while you are debating.

Safety: I believe that debate is an important educational activity. I think it teaches folks to speak truth to power and trains folks to be good citizens and advocates for change. As a judge I never want to be a limiting factor on your speech. That said the classroom and state / federal laws put some requirements on us in terms of making sure that the educational space is safe. If I ever feel the physical well-being of the people in the round are being threatened, I am inclined to stop the round and bring it to the tournament director.

NFA-LD Specifc Things:

Files: I would like debaters to use www.speechdrop.net for file exchange. It is faster and eats up less prep. If for some reason that is not possible, I would like to be on the email chain: ryanguy@gmail.com. If there is not an email chain I would like the speech docs on a flashdrive before the speech. I tend to feel paper only debate hurts education and fairness in the round. I also worry it is ableist practice as some debaters struggle with text that can't be resized and searched. If you only use paper I would like a copy for the entire round so I may read along with you. If you can't provide a copy of your evidence digitally or on paper, you will need to slow down and speak at a slow conversational pace so I can flow everything you say.

Disclosure: I'm a fan of the caselist. I think it makes for good debate. If you are not breaking a brand new aff it better be up there. If it is not I am more likely to vote on "accessibility" and "predictably" standards in T. Here is the case-list as of 2021. Please post your stuff. https://nfald.paperlessdebate.com/ If your opponent is anti-case list you may wan't to run a wiki spec / disclosure theory against them. I think that teams who chose to not disclose their affirmatives are abusive to teams who do.

LD with no cards: It might not be a rule, but I think it is abusive and bad for LD debate. I might even vote on theory that articulates that.

Other Specifics:

Speaker Points:Other than a couple off the wall occurrences my range tends to fall in the 26-30 range (or 36-40 for IPDA). If you do the things in my General Approach to Judging section, your speaks will be higher.

Topicality:AFF, make an effort to be topical. I'm not super amused by squirrely cases. Ill vote on T in all its varieties. Just make sure you have all the components. I prefer articulated abuse, but will vote on potential abuse if you don't answer it well. I'm unlikely to vote on an RVI. In general I enjoy a good procedural debate but also love rounds were we get to talk about the issues. That said if you are going for a procedural argument...you should probably really go for it in the end or move on to your other arguments.

Sarah Metivier Schadt - McHenry

Be CLEAR and ORGANIZED. Don't just throw a jumble of arguments and facts at me and expect me to sort it out. Be systematic and intentional about how you lay out your case. Talk to me like a human being. Jargon is a big minus.

Sasan Kasravi - DVC

TL;DR: I won't punish you for not debating the way I like, but I can't "hang". Speed and Ks not recommended, but I won't vote you down unless your opponent gives me a decent reason to. Give me direct and clear reasons to vote for you. Have fun in the round.

I'm a community college Parliamentary Debate coach.

I protect the flow in rebuttals based on what I have on my flow. Feel free to call points of order if you'd really like to, though.

I do my best to vote the way the debaters tell me to and to be tabula rasa. With that having been said, I think everyone has biases and I want to tell you mine. I won't ignore any of your arguments out of not liking them, but my biases could lower the threshold for refutation on an argument I dislike.

What I like to see most in debates is good clash. To me, good clash means link refutations and impact comparisons.

I'm comfortable with theory and you can run whatever procedural you'd like. I prefer to vote on articulated abuse rather than potential abuse. While I'm happy to vote on procedurals if it's called for, I've never walked out of a round thinking, "Wow! What a great T!"

I don't like K's. I've voted on them before, I'll probably end up having to vote for a K again, but I'm not happy about it. Specifically, I have a hard time buying solvency on the alternatives of most K's I've heard.

I prefer that you don't spread, but I can keep up with decent speed. I'll tell you to slow if I need you to slow down.

Please be inclusive of your opponents and (if there are other judges in this round) the other judges on the panel.

It's important to me that this activity:

a) be a useful experience for competitors' lives outside of forensics

b) be enjoyable enough to be worth giving up weekends instead of sleeping in and watching cartoons.

Lastly, if I make jokes please pretend to think I'm funny. I don't have much else going for me.

Scarlett Miller (3) - PRPJudge


Scott Plambek - SD Mesa


Scott Elliott - KCKCC

Selene Aguirre - Cerritos

As an educator, the core of my teaching and judging philosophy is empowerment and inclusion. My experiences are primarily focused on platform speaking. However, Iâ??ve taught Argumentation and Debate for the past four years and have developed a few preferences when judging IPDA, Parli, and LD. 

As a debater, I expect you to speak with clarity, a bit faster than a conversation speaking rate (but avoid speeding if the speech will be affected), and loud enough for me to hear you. I prefer off-time roadmaps for clarity, appreciate signposts throughout speeches, and praise respectfulness and good sports[person]ship. Also, I am a tabula rasa judge (consider myself a clean slate). I will allow you to guide the round and not let my preconceived ideas cloud my judgment. Therefore, I look for clear and well-supported arguments, evidence, and analysis, and lastly, let me know how you weigh your impacts and why your voters are more critical than your opponent. I will defer to evaluating the debate through an offense/defense paradigm if thereâ??s no way to assess it another way. Lastly, have fun and enjoy your time! 

Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth. -Jesse Jackson

Shannan Troxel-Andreas - Butte

I'm primarily an IE judge/coach but have been a DOF for the last several years. 

I don't always like debate - help me to like it by:

-Using clear roadmapping

-Speaking clearly and persuasively (Especially in IPDA - it's an act of persuasion, an art)

- Be respectful of your opponent and judges

-I love to see Neg do more than essentially saying no to all of the Aff

- Show me on the flow how you've won - convince me

Shawn O'Rourke - Saddleback


Shelomi (4) _ - PRPJudge


Steve Robertson - Contra Costa

Steve Robertson

Contra Costa College, Director of Forensics

Years competed:1 yr LD (high school), 4.5 years NDT/CEDIA (college)

Years coaching: 20+ years (middle school, high school, college - LD, parli, NDT/CEDA, IPDA)


Philosophy - The round is for you to convince me why your side should win the debate.  try to be as non-interventionist as I can be.  I work off the flow, focusing on your claims, warrants, and evidence. Believability is also a factor. I find it very difficult to vote for arguments that I don't understand how they work or function.  So be sure to explain why things are the way they are.  Compare impacts, and explain why your impacts/argument outweigh or should be viewed as more important than theirs. The main point is that you need to justify your position to me: what is your argument, why is it legitimate, and why does that matter in light of the other side's arguments.  If you can adequately answer those three questions better than the other side, you should win the argument.

I punish non-responsiveness - meaning that if you drop or undercover arguments, they suddenly get much more weight in the round (especially if exploited by the other team). However, if you under-develop your arguments (such as blipping out theory pre-empts without justifying them), it doesn't take much to respond to these arguments. 

I also communicate through nonverbals.  If you see me nodding, then that means I understand your position (not necessarily agree with it, but I get what you're saying).  If you see me cocking my head to the side or scrunching up my face, it means I don't get what you're saying or I don't understand your argument or I don't see why it's relevant.  If you see that face, you should either give more explanation (until you see a head nod) or cut your losses and move onto another argument.  If you see my hands in the air, that means I don't know where you are on the flow. You should give me a signpost, because I'm currently not flowing you.

Here are some event-specific concerns:

Parli - Debate starts at the highest point of conflict.  I will listen to arguments of trichot/type of resolution, though if the tournament identifies it as a particular type of resolution this becomes a bit more difficult. 

I don't care about partner to partner communication. However, if it's done during the other team's speech, then mute yourselves from this 8x8 (e.g., chat privately, mute yourselves and talk in another venue, etc.). Don't disrupt the other speaker.

If you want to give your partner advice or arguments, that's fine as well.  There are 2 things to be aware of: First, I only listen to what the speaker says. So if you tell your partner something, it doesn't reach my flow until the current speaker says it.  Saying "yeah, what she said" will get onto my flow as "yeah, what she said" - not the actual argument.  Second, the more you parrot or puppet your partner, the lower your speaker points will become.  This is purely subjective on my part, so use at your own peril.

Finally, parli has the Point of Order. I will not protect against new arguments or other rules violations (unless specified to do so in the tournament rules).  Use this if applicable.  Frivolous use of it, however, will desensitize me to it.

LD - You have the obligation to provide evidence in this debate.  Please do so.  Referencing evidence that has not been read in the debate will carry the same weight as an assertion for me.

For me, reading the source (publication title and/or authors' last names) and date is sufficient for citations, provided that all additional information is provided on the card's citation itself.  If you want to run an official rules violation on this in front of me, I will entertain it, but realize I am disinclined to vote evidence or a debater down in that information is available on the card. Doesn't mean you can't win it, just that it'll be an uphill battle.

Realize that while underlining and highlighting are acceptable ways of modifying evidence for a round, ellipses, unreadable font size, or gaps in text are unacceptable.

IPDA - IPDA is more of a communication event than a debate for me.  It is NOT treated the same as parli.  I do not flow, but take a very limited amount of notes.  Eloquence factors into the decision for me.  I think of this as a townhall meeting, closer to interactive persuasion than debate.  Avoid debate jargon, extensive line by line analysis, and other more traditional debate tactics.  This is about persuasion, not strict argumentation.  Think of debating in front of your grandmother, not a debate judge.


Bottom line - make good arguments, offer clash, give impact calculus/comparison, and be civil to one another.  Oh...and have fun!  :)

Steve Farias - Dark Horse

(March 2022) Quick Read (NPDA/NPTE):

Most debates I watch these days in parliamentary debate discuss structural and/or systemic violence both on the AFF and NEG. The second most common thing I see is theory of some sort. The best debates I see discuss these issues across the debate (i.e.- how does access to the debate implicate the way folks in the round acknowledge and interrogate structural and/or systemic violence). Debates that often end in frustration tend to silo arguments and retreat from counter-arguments in favor of concessions.

I think the AFF should defend a topical advocacy. This does not mean I believe the AFF MUST role play or defend the state structure of the status quo. I believe being creative in how we imagine what state structures can become can allow us to engage in what Native Hawaiian scholar Manulani Aluli Meyer refers to as the radical remembering of the future. Societies and nations have excisted without structures of oppression in the past which means that the current political and economic system is anything but natural and inevitable. I borrow here because I think there are excellent justifications (although many in debate may end up half-measures) for why the AFF can be topical AND critically interrogate current political and economic systems.

I think NEG advocacies in parli should be unconditional as the concept of testing the AFF and what it means to do so is altered by the structure of parli debate. Theory and advocacies are distinct. Theory is distinct from T. If the NEG provides an advocacy and maintains that advocacy through to the end of the debate, then they presumption flips to the AFF as the burden of proof has shifted. Kritik, performance, T, theory, framework, Disads/CP to non-topical AFFs, and Disads/CP to topical AFFs are all open to the NEG. However, I think that the opportunity to indict the AFF in the LOC is often overlooked and many NEG teams allow the AFF infinite offense by conceding case warrants and relying on implied clash.

I think that parli debate is a unique format and that format allows meaningful engagement. While these are things I think the AFF and NEG should do, the only thing you MUST DO is defend a world view at the end of the debate and if you want to win, you ought be comparative in your impact analysis. If you have any questions, I have a lot more below and also am happy to answer any questions at sfarias@pacific.edu.


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

Section 1: General Information-

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

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

Section 2: Specific Arguments

The K- I do not mind critical affirmatives but be prepared to defend topicality/framework with more than just generic links back to the K. Moreover, I feel that this can even be avoided if the affirmative team simply frames the critical arguments they are going to make while still offering, at the very least, the resolution as a policy text for the opposition. On the negatiave, I think that Ks without alternatives are just non-unique disads. I think that reject and embrace are not alternatives in and of themselves, I must reject or embrace something and then you must explain how that solves.

In terms of ballot claims, I do not believe the ballot has any role other than to determine a winner and a loser. I would rather be provided a role that I should perform as the adjudicator and a method for performing that role. This should also jive with your framework arguments. Whoever wins a discussion of my role in the debate and how I should perform that role will be ahead on Framework.

For performance based arguments, please explain to me how to evaluate the performance and how I should vote and what voting for it means or I am likely to intervene in a way you are unhappy with. Please also provide a space for your competitors to engage/advocate with you. If they ask you to stop your position because arguments/rhetoric have turned the space explicitly violent then all folks should take it as a moment to reorient their engagement. I am not unabashed to vote against you if you do not.

I believe you should be able to read your argument, but not at the expense of others engagement with the activity. I will consider your narrative or performance actually read even if you stop or at the least shorten and synthesize it. Finally, I also consider all speech acts as performative so please justify this SPECIFIC performance.

Topicality/Theory- I believe T is about definitions and not interpretations, but not everybody feels the same way. This means that all topicality is competing definitions and a question of what debate we should be having and why that debate is better or worse than the debate offered by the AFF. As a result, while I have a hard time voting against an AFF who is winning that the plan meets a definition that is good in some way (my understanding of reasonability), if the negative has a better definition that would operate better in terms of ground or limits, then I will vote on T.

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

Counter Advocacies- Best strategy, IMHO, for any neg team. It is the best way to force an affirmative to defend their case. ALTs, PICs, Consult, Conditions, etc. whatever you want to run I am okay with so long as you defend the solvency of your advocacy. Theory can even be a counter advocacy if you choose to articulate it as such. You should do your best to not link to your own advocacy as in my mind, it makes the impacts of your argument inevitable.

With regard to permutations, if you go for the perm in the PMR, it must be as a reason the ALT/CP alone is insufficient and should be rejected as an offensive voting position in the context of a disad that does not link to the CP. I do not believe that every link is a disad to the permutation, you must prove it as such in the context of the permutation. Finally, CP perms are not advocacies- it is merely to demonstrate the ability for both plans to happen at the same time, and then the government team should offer reasons the perm would resolve the disads or be better than the CP uniquely. K perms can be advocacies, particularly if the ALT is a floating PIC, but it needs to be explained, with a text, how the permutation solves the residual links in both instances as well.

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


Section 1 General Information

Experience: Rounds this year: >50 between LD and Parli. 8 years competitive experience (4 years high school, 4 years collegiate NPDA/NPTE and 2 years LD) 12 years coaching experience (2 Grad years NPDA/NPTE and LD at Pacific and 3 years NPDA/NPTE at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, 7 years A/DOF years NPDA/NPTE and LD at Pacific)

General Info: I am okay with whatever you choose to read in the debate because I care more about your justifications and what you as the debaters decide in round. I think the AFF should find a way to be topical, but if you are not I then I am sure you will be ready to defend why you choose not to be. I think the NEG is entitled to read whatever they like but should answer the AC and should collapse in the NR. Failing to do one or both of these things means I am much less likely to vote for your strategy because of the primacy of the AFF and/or an inability to develop depth of argument in the NR.

As an academic familiar with critical theory across a host of topics (race, gender, "the state", etc.) feel free to read whatever you like on the AFF or NEG but I expect you to explain its application, not merely rely on the word salad that some of this evidence can use. I understand what is in the salad but you should be describing it with nuance and not expecting me to do that for you. The same is true for standards on theory, permutation arguments, solvency differentials to the CP, or the link story of an advantage or disad. I am willing to vote on any theory position that pertains to the topic (T) or how debates should happen (all other theory). This includes Inherency, or any stock issue, or rules based contestation.

In terms of impacts, I often find myself less compelled by nuclear war, or other black swan events, and would appreciate if you were more resourceful with impacts on your advantage/disad. I think probability means more than just a blipped or conceded link. The link arguments must be compared with the arguments of your opponents.

Last--I do not think you need evidence for everything in the debate. Feel free to make intuitive arguments about the world and the way things operate. I do think its good if you have evidence for 80-90% of your arguments. I will also say that evidence on issues where it is usually lacking (like voters on theory or RVIs) will be weighted heavily if the only response back is "that's silly"

Section 2 Specific Inquiries

1. How do you adjudicate speed? What do you feel your responsibilities are regarding speed?

I can handle top speed and am not frustrated by debaters who choose to speak at a conversational rate. With that said, I believe the issue of speed is a rules based issue open for debate like any other rule of the event. If you cannot handle a debaters lack of clarity you will say clear (I will if I have to) and if you cannot handle a debaters excessive speed, I expect you to say speed. In general, I will wait for you to step in and say something before I do. Finally, I believe the rules are draconian and ridiculously panoptic, as you are supposedly allowed to report me to the tournament. If you want me to protect you, you should make that known through a position or rules violation debated effectively.

2. Are there any arguments you would prefer not to hear or any arguments that you dont find yourself voting for very often?

I will not tolerate homophobia, racism, sexism, transphobia, disablism, or any other form of social injustice. This means that arguments that blatantly legitimize offensive policies and positions should be avoided. I do not anticipate this being an issue and rarely (meaning only twice ever) has this been a direct problem for me as a judge. Still, I will do my best to ensure the round is as accessible as possible for every competitor. Please do the same. Anything else is up to you. I will vote on anything I simply expect it to be compared to the alternative world/framing of the aff or neg.

3. General Approach to Evaluating Rounds:

Evaluating rounds- I evaluate rounds sequentially against the Affirmative. This means I first look to see if the affirmative has lost a position that should lose them the round (Ts and Specs). Then I look for counter advocacies and weigh competing advocacies (Ks and Alts or CPs and Disads). Finally, I look to see if the affirmative has won their case and if the impacts of the case outweigh the off case. I do not assume I am a policy maker. Instead I will believe myself to be an intellectual who votes for the best worldview that is most likely achievable at the end of the debate.

4. Whether or not you believe topicality should be a voting issue

Yes, it is because the rules say so. I will listen to reasons to ignore the rules, but I think T and generally all theory arguments are voting issues.

5. Does the negative have to demonstrate ground loss in order for you to vote negative on topicality?

Generally yes, but I will vote on reasons the negative has a better definition for the resolution. To win that debate there should be a comparison of the debate being had and the debate that the competitors could be having.

6. Do you have a close understanding of NFA rules/Have you read the NFA rules in the last 6 months


7. How strictly you as a judge enforce NFA LD rules?

I only enforce them if a position is won that says I should enforce them. I will not arbitrarily enforce a rule without it being made an issue.

8. Does the negative need to win a disadvantage in order for you to vote negative?

No. I am more likely to vote if the negative wins offense. But terminal case defense that goes conceded or is more explanatory to the aff will win my ballot too.

9. What is your policy on dropped arguments?

You should do your best not to drop arguments. If you do, I will weigh them the way I am told to weigh them. So if it is a conceded blipped response with no warrant, I do not think that is an answer but instead a comparison of the quality of the argument. Also, new warrants after a blip I believe can and should be responded to.

10. Are you familiar with Kritiks (or critiques) and do you see them as a valid negative strategy in NFA-LD?

My background is in critical theory, so yes and yes they are valid negative strats.

Feel free to ask me direct questions before the round or at any other time during the tournament. I do not mind clarifying. Also, if you want to email me, feel free (sfarias@pacific.edu). If you have any questions about this or anything I did not mention, feel free to ask me any time. Thanks!

Taure Shimp - MJC

In IPDA, I hope to see clear contentions that include cited evidence and well-developed warrants. Debaters should utilize ethos/pathos/logos appeals throughout to demonstrate well-rounded speaking abilities. I expect IPDA debates to be accessible to lay audiences. This means maintaining a conversational rate of speech, avoiding unnecessary jargon, and presenting arguments that engage in a clear way with the resolution. Courtesy is of utmost importance. Always treat your opponent, audience members, and judges with respect.

Taylor Stickle - Saddleback


Thuy Pham - Mt. SAC

Debates should be accessible and educational. For me, that means

  • clear labels for your arguments, compelling and credible evidence/examples, and language that's easy to follow.
  • no spreading. I have an incredibly hard time following speed, and I want to make sure I am judging you on your argumentation and public speaking. Which can only happen if I can follow you!
  • you are courteous to your opponent.
  • you make it clear why I should vote for you.

Excited to see you all debate!

Tim Anderson - ECC

I am not a debate judge, and when I do judge debate, it is usually IPDA. Because IPDA is "public debate", someone with no debate experience should be able to take part and someone with no judging experience should be able to decide the winner.

I believe that the use of jargon and debate procedurals should be non-existent. While I have limited debate experience from my time competing and coaching, trying to win a round by trying to prove "my opponent didn't do blah blah so I win" won't win me over. I don't flow your arguments...if they are clear, I should be able to follow. Overall, I view IPDA as the kind of debate I would see in a classroom setting. As opposed to one side trying to prove why the other chose the wrong weighing mechanism, an incorrect definition, etc. just talk like two students in a classroom debate would. Think about it: if you were in a classroom debate and started all in on weighing mechanisms, defining everything, and downing your opponent, you'd be the jerk in class no one wants to work with. Also, don't tell me how I need to vote a round (i.e., "my opponent didn't do x, so you HAVE TO give the round to the affirmative"...No...I don't. The final choice is mine to make, so present your best cases and let me make the final ballot.

Also, I don't like thank you's at the beginning of rounds. They end up sounding sarcastic. And, don't refer to your opponent as "my opponent". They have a name that is part of their identity...call them that.

I take these same ideas with me when judging any form of debate.

Tom Gay - Tallahassee


Trent Webb - NCC


Wade Hescht - LSC-NH


William Murphy - MDC


Xavi Torres - PCC

I did mostly interp when I competed, but have been trained in debate jargon and coaching novices in the activity. For the most part, consider me a layperson for all forms of debate and adjust accordingly.