Judge Philosophies

Andrea Cervantes -- Hired Folks


Angela Ohland -- Butte Community College


Ashley Gabriel -- Hired Folks


Blake Longfellow -- Diablo Valley College

Chris Rendon -- Hired Folks


Chris Zepeda -- Hired Folks


Chris Moss -- Hired Folks


Deborah Sturt -- Hired Folks


Douglas Mungin -- Solano Community College

I risk sounding hella basic by stating that I am only interested in "good" arguments but I am. For me, debate is the engagement with world making. We all realize our words at 9am in the morning on an empty college campus does not really change national and international discourse, but in this particular round and room it does. We take these conversations with us in how we engage in the world. So debate comes down to these stories we tell and argue. So all speeches need to focus on the impact and larger stories of the round. I am cool with Topicality but you need to tell me how this really impacts the round, the same for Ks and other theoretical arguments. If you are the gov/aff your case needs to be tight. You have prep time, do not make me do the the work for you. For both teams: Don't drop anything, treat each with respect, roadmap, be nice to your partner, time yourself, drink water, smile and have fun. We are all nerds talking really fast in an empty classroom on a Saturday and Sunday. Chill out.

Emily Rustad -- Hired Folks


Hetty Yelland -- Hired Folks


Janene Whitesell -- Solano Community College

I've been teaching COMM classes at Solano College for 30 years. During that time, I have taught Argumentation and Debate at least 23 of those years. So here's what you need to know:

1. I am a flow judge. I use a reasonable person's paradigm when judging. However, it is up to the opposing team to identify counter-intuitive arguments.

2. As a general rule, I don't like T arguments. I feel that they become a "whining" strategy for the Negative. If you decide to use T as a strategy, make sure that it's a real issue and not just a shell.

3. I also don't like K arguments, for much of the same reason. Most topics are debatable and a reasonable person should be able to take either side.

4. I prefer that the Negative clash with the Affirmative case. I feel that is one of the two main burdens of the Negative. (Along with supporting the Status Quo) Since many Negs run counter-plans these days, I will entertain that as a strategy. Though it always feels like you are shooting yourself in the foot. Go ahead and shoot.

5. I expect both teams to stand when they are speaking. Your power comes from that posture.

6. I also expect that team members won't prompt their partner while the partner is speaking. You have to trust your partner. And if they screw up, it's your job to fix it. I have been known to drop teams that prompt in spite of my request that they don't. Listen to me. I'm the judge. And it's my rules during the round.

7. As a flow judge, I can keep up with speed. But if the opposing team can't keep up, I would expect that you would slow it down. Spreading doesn't really add that much more content. Just bad breathing.

8. Identify voting issues when we get down to the last two speeches. But then, that's just good practice, no?

9. Any humor would be appreciated as would any reference to Zombies, Star Trek, and Video Games.

Jennifer Moorhouse -- Hired Folks


Joy Cowden -- Hired Folks


Kim Yee -- San Jose State University


Mark Shilstone -- Hired Folks


Michael McCarthy -- Hired Folks


Molly Wilson -- Hired Folks


Rebecca Fields -- Hired Folks


Reed Ramsey -- Diablo Valley College

Ryan Guy -- Modesto Junior College

UPDATED: 4/23/2020

Ryan Guy� cool

Modesto Junior College

Video Recording:� I always have a webcam 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).


  • I was a parli 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 argumentation, debate, public speaking, and a variety of other COMM studies courses

The Basics:

  • In NFA-LD Post AFFs you have run on the case list or I get grumpy (https://nfald.paperlessdebate.com/)

  • UseÃ????Ã? speechdrop.netÃ????Ã? 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 edv. arguments. (I'm fine with faster evidence reading if I have a copy or you share it digitally)

  • Im 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

  • Tell me why you win.

General Approach to Judging:

I really enjoy good clash in the round. I want you to directly tear into 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 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. Clever 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.

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.

I will also mention that Im not a fan of this memorizing evidence / cards thing in parli. If you dont understand a critical / philosophical standpoint enough to explain it in your own words, then you might not want to run it in front of me.

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 Im 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 parli 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 good 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 web based debate does not work.�  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.

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.


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 2019. Get your stuff on it:� https://nfald.paperlessdebate.com/� If your opponent is anti-case list you should 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.


Speaker Points:�???� Other than a couple off the wall occurrences my range tends to fall in the 26-30 range. 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.


I'm a NPDA and NFA-LD judge for the most part. Even in IPDA I prefer that you signpost your arguments and follow a logical structure for advantages, disadvantages, contentions, etc. If it is a policy resolution you should probably fiat a plan action and argue why implementing it would be net-beneficial.

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.

Ryan Guy The Second -- Hired Folks


Shannan Troxel-Andreas -- Butte Community College


Spencer Coile -- Illinois State University

Taure Shimp -- Modesto Junior College

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. 

Tina Lim -- San Jose State University


Travis William -- Hired Folks