Judge Philosophies

Alisson Ramos - El Camino

Summary: I was an El Co debater. Basically theory is okay with me but Kritiks do not expect me to be an expert so outline the role of the ballot and the framework clearly to make my job easier. Make sure to tell me the extensions if you do not say so then it disappears later on. Case debates have fun with it. Please ask me for any clarifications before the round starts. I will say clear if I cannot understand what you are saying. Pretty much just be clear in what you are arguing, signpost, and collapse. 


Theory: I have been a bit out of the debate game so if possible make it easy for me to follow. Please do not rely on me to know the theory right away so if you can outline what it is you’re running it will make it easier for me to judge. I am okay with Kritiks but if it can be a topical round I would prefer that. If you do run a Kritik make sure to outline it clearly on either side why you are running it and impact your framework. I only ran one Kritik when I did NPDA debate so that should give you an idea as to my exposure to that theory but other theories are fair game to me so long as you justify it. For topicalitys please outline the violation and the standards clearly with concise taglines. 


Speed: I am alright with speed but I will tell you to slow down if I think you are going too fast. Also I will say clear if you are losing annunciation. 


Case debate: Impacts are important to me. Please outline your structure and sign post! For disadvantages links are important to me as well. If you have any questions feel free to ask me but I think at this point we all have an understanding of it. 


Counterplans: Teams must justify why I should vote on their counterplan and the competitiveness of it. If you collapse to one make sure to mention that and if you decide to run theory based on CPs or perms I am open to it if it makes sense.

Alyson Escalante - El Camino

My views about debate have changed fairly radically since the end of the 2019/2020 season. I will give a detailed explanation of these changes here, but if you want a TLDR dos and don'ts list, I’ll put that at the end of my philosophy as well.

Accessibility note: I suffer from carpal tunnel. This means that on a good day, flowing high speed rounds involves minor but mostly not distracting discomfort. On a bad day, this means flowing high speed rounds is exceptionally painful to the point that the pain absolutely acts as a distraction from the round and significantly slows my flowing speed. If I am having a bad day, I will let you know before the round and I seriously and sincerely ask that you consider accessibility concerns and slow down in that round or if you are cleared by me. I will not vote on arguments I could not get on my flow as a result of debater disregard for accessibility.

Overview: My position for years has been that NPDA debate should be a technical exercise in which the content of an argument is largely insignificant. I have generally been of the opinion that the role of a judge is to bracket out their own views and preferences and to vote based on the technical execution of a strategy regardless of the pedagogical or ethical validity of said strategy. I no longer believe this, and I am adapting my judging paradigm accordingly.

I believe that NPDA debate is a unique format that has many benefits which cannot be derived from other forms of debate, and I believe the preservation of NPDA as an event should be a central goal for all participants in the activity. NPDA provides scholarship opportunities, travel opportunities, and intensive pedagogical development that many students might not otherwise have access to. Debate is not just a hobby we participate in on the weekends, it is a gateway into academia, politics, and a longstanding community.

My concern is that I believe the proliferation of certain pedagogically vacuous trends within NPDA constitute an existential threat to the continued existence of the event, and I feel personally that being a responsible judge with a commitment to the activity and community means no longer facilitating the spread of these trends. My philosophy has changed in order to account for this shifting understanding of what it means to be a good judge.

Theory: Theory has become my main site of concern in terms of proliferation of vacuous strategies. I vote on theory a lot, based on my judging record, and that will probably not change, but there are certain theoretical arguments I am fundamentally opposed to and will not vote on.

  1. I will not vote on specification arguments which demands specification for anything other than funding, enforcement, and actor.

  2. I will not vote on theory positions with a violation derived from the formal behavior of competitors in the round (as opposed to violations derived from the argument choice of competitors). What I mean by this is theory such as “The affirmative must read their plan within X amount of time” or “The negative must take at least X questions during flex” or “The affirmative must pass us a copy of their plan text”

  1. I will not vote on disclosure theory or any theory with a violation which occurs outside of round.

  2. You should not include more than 2 new theory sheets (defined as independent interpretations and violations) in any constructive speech.

Theory should indeed be about establishing ideal debate norms through a competing interpretations framework as opposed to being about correcting in round abuse, but there is a limit to the scope of what we can consider legitimate norm setting. I will still be evaluating theory under that paradigm, but parli has clearly passed this threshold to the point that particularly inane instances of theoretical debate has become particularly harmful to the pedagogical value of the activity.


I believe that critical debate is highly valuable and when well executed can offer some of the most interesting rounds in debate. My stance here remains largely unchanged. This is the type of debate I have judged the most of, and it is the literature base I am most familiar with.

It is, however, important to me that your criticism makes sense. I won't vote on a criticism that I fundamentally cannot understand, and even if you win the formal and technical components of a criticism, if I cannot explain in non-technical terms to the other team why your criticism wins, I’m not going to be comfortable voting for this. Basically this means that your criticism should have a core thesis summarizing the central components of your argument. This also means that your links should be contextualized to the other team in such a way that it is clear how their rhetoric, ontology, epistemology, etc in particular reproduces the impacts that you isolate.

Non-Topical Affirmatives:

I think that it is best for the affirmative to be topical unless the topic is flawed to such a degree that the affirmative is at a thorough disadvantage. That said, I am not so strongly committed to this that I am unwilling to vote for non-topical affirmatives. If you want to read non-topical affirmatives in front of me, you should have a clear reason why you ought to be exempted from upholding the topic.

Counterplans/Advocacy Status:

There are no forms of counterplans that I have an a priori opposition to beyond delay counterplans (which you should not read in front of any judge). I believe that conditionality is important for the negative flexibility and encourages more dynamic negative strategies. That said, I do not believe that an unlimited amount of conditional advocacies is a tenable norm for debate. As such, teams should not read more than two conditional advocacies in front of me. To make this concrete, you may read 2 counterplans/alternatives as a part of your LOC, but I believe the MO should always still have the option to kick both and defend the status quo.

Tech VS Truth:

I previously held that only the technical dimensions of debate mattered, and I was fairly antagonistic towards arguments in round that truth ought to be weighed over and against technical debate. I no longer hold this position to be true.

Technical debate can be utilized as a way of beating down teams in a manner which reproduces various forms of social violence and marginalization. For example, I have seen and voted for utterly vacuous critiques that were read as a means of dodging a grounded discussion of anti-black violence in debate purely on the basis that these criticisms won on small technical concessions and extensions despite offering no read pedagogical value to the debate round.

I’m not going to be auto-dropping all arguments I see as vacuous, because that would be utterly subjective and unpredictable in a way that is not fair to competitors, but I am significantly more open to tech vs truth arguments that claim that the use of technical debate can be an instance of violence in round, and I am much more willing to consider claims that flow centric debate ought to be de-emphasized, either in a specific round or as a broader norm.

Summation: I think this has hit on the major changes to my judging philosophy and the bright lines that I have drawn and am willing to enforce. I know these bright lines will make me a worse judge in the eyes of many competitors, but I also believe many competitors have a short sighted view regarding the future of NPDA and that some level of paternalism from those of us who are committed to ensuring the future survival of this activity is necessary.

TLDR Dos and Dont’s

  1. Don’t read spec besides A, F, or E spec

  2. Don’t read disclosure or out of round abuse theory

  3. Don’t read theory about the conduct of debaters as opposed to their arguments

  4. Don’t read more that two conditional advocacies in the LOC

  5. Don’t read more than two theory sheets in any constructive speech

  6. Do make arguments about why truth ought to be weighed over tech if technical debate is

    being used as a form of violence

  7. Do slow down if I ask, it's a disability thing. I will not vote on arguments I could not

    get on my flow as a result of debater disregard for accessibility.

  8. Do include a clear thesis in your criticisms and make your links contextual

Angelica Grigsby - MCCC S&D

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 donâ??t 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!

Ayden Loeffler - El Camino

T - If I were able to pick and choose how every debate would go that I judged or competed in, it would just be layers and layers of theory on top of each other. On a base level I believe that theory is a question of rules that are malleable, completely made up and debatable. This means that I am willing to listen to and vote on a lot of generally agreed upon "bad theory" that is debated well. SPEED - Speed is a tool just like written notes and a timer in debate that allow us to more efficiently discuss topics whether that be on a scale of breadth or depth. Efficiency requires a bunch of elements such as: both teams being able to respond to all or group most of the arguments in a meaningful way and being able to hear and write the arguments effectively. CRITICISMS - My interest in criticisms has waned over the years. It could just be a difference in debate meta between when I competed and now but I find many of the critical arguments run in front of me to be either constructed or read in a way that I have difficulty understanding. Collapse - Please collapse.

Baker Weilert - Whitman

I re-wrote this paradigm because I realized that my previous one was rather generic, and people likely assume I donâ??t know anything because I debated in Arkansas. Take what you will from the comments below, and donâ??t hesitate to ask for clarification.




Procedurals/Theory: I am a big fan T/Specs/Theory type arguments, but rarely see teams collapsing to these positions (which I think is a necessary strategic decision to win these types of arguments in front of me). As for types of specs Iâ??m less/more sympathetic to: I donâ??t find over-spec or under-spec particularly compelling arguments, although I am willing to listen/vote on them. I do really like topicality (as long as you arenâ??t running 5 of them and simply just cross-applying the standards and voters without new articulation of how those standards/voters function in conjunction with your different interpretations). I also think that conditionality is a great/true argument, but only in particular scenarios. I am far more sympathetic to conditionality arguments if there are multiple advocacies that cause the affirmative to double-turn themselves (meaning donâ??t run condo just to run condo, run it because you think there is actually a strategic advantage being leveraged by the other team). I prefer articulated abuse, although I will vote on potential abuse, and I default competing interpretations unless otherwise told.

Kritik: I am fine with critical debate on either side of the resolution, although I prefer the K Aff to be rooted in the substance of the resolutions, that being said, I will listen to any justification as to why you should have access to non-topical versions of the affirmative. The framework should be informed by your methodology (meaning your framework should not just function as a way of excluding other positions, but actually inform how to evaluate your advocacy), your links contextualized to your indictments (some generics are fine, but it should include a breakdown of how the other teams position/mindset perpetuates the system), and an alternative that can actually resolve the harms of the K (meaning there needs to be very clear solvency that articulates how the alternative solves/functions in the real world). I donâ??t think rejection alts get us anywhere in the debate space, unless it is rejection on word choice/language (in which case I think those grievances are better articulated in the form of a procedural) or you clearly explain what that rejection looks like (in which case you should probably just use that explanation as your alternative in the first place). Permutation of the K alternative is perfectly fine, but I think on critical debates I need substantially more work on how the perm functions (especially in a world where the links havenâ??t been resolved). I am rather familiar with most of the K literature bases, but still think it is important for debaters to do the work of explaining the method/functionality of the K, and not rely on my previous knowledge of the literature base.

Disadvantages: I like a good DA/CP strategy, with a couple of caveats. The first is that the disadvantage needs to have specific links to the affirmative (generics just donâ??t do it for me), I am far more likely to vote on a unique disadvantage with smaller impacts, than a generic disadvantage with high magnitude impacts (although I will obviously weigh high magnitude impacts if you are winning probability). I have a rather high threshold for politics disadvantages, but if you can tell me which senator/representative will vote for which policy and why, I am far more likely to buy into the scenario (specifics are your friend on ptix).

Counter-Plans: I am fine with almost all types of counterplans (+1, pics, timeframe, etc.) but think they often need to be accompanied by theory arguments justifying their strategic legitimacy. I also think that mutual exclusivity competitiveness should always be preferred over simply having a net benefit/disadvantage that makes the position functionally competitive. I am fine with all types of permutations with justification (again often needs to be accompanied by theory). My threshold on perms are sometimes low, but I think that is because they are often under-covered, so knowing that you should be spending a great deal of time answering/going for the permutation if you want to win/not lose there.

General Notes:

1. Status of arguments: It is your responsibility to ask, and for the other team to answer (donâ??t give them the run-around, and if you arenâ??t sure just say dispo).

2. ALL â??Text/ROB/Thesisâ? should be read twice, and made available for the other team.

3. The order you give at the beginning of your speech is actually important. I flow exclusively on paper, so switching between sheets/having them in the correct order helps me follow along. I completely understand that you have to switch up the flow mid speech sometimes, but you need to clearly signpost where you are (especially if you deviate from the order given).

4. Speed: You can go as fast as you want in front of me, that being said, Iâ??m not sure if going fast for the sake of going fast is always the best strategic choice, as your word count probably isnâ??t much higher even if you think you sound faster.

5. I will listen to literally any argument (heady, aliens, personal narrative of a farmer from Wisconsin), doesnâ??t really matter to me, but please donâ??t put me in a situation in which I have to evaluate/endorse advocacies of mass death of people (like genocide good). Also, as far as identity politics go (this maybe should have gone in the K section) I think that debate is a great platform to talk about your own person experiences, but I think itâ??s important to note that oppression is often intersectional and is articulated/experienced in different ways. I think forced disclosure of experience/identity in order to interact with your position can be potentially harmful to others, and â??trigger warningsâ? only work if you give people time to exit the room.

6. DO NOT BE MEAN, I will tank speaks. Totally fine to being witty, and slightly confrontational, but avoid personal attacks, I would much rather listen to you actually debate. Overall I believe debate is a creative space, so feel free to run literally anything you want.


4 years policy debate in Kansas, 4 years parliamentary debate at Louisiana Tech University, and Arkansas State University. 2 years Assistant Debate Coach at Arkansas State University. Currently Assistant Director of Debate at Whitman College.

Benjamin Lange - CUI

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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.

Blake Harris - CU Boulder

I enjoy any kind of debate that competitors will throw at me, and I tend to flow the round based on whatever mechanism/framework that the affirmative gives, unless it is contested. I do not care what theory or case you put down, as long as it is well defended and argued. That means that I will try my best to set aside my personal beliefs for the judgement of the round. The one thing that could possibly interfere with my judgement in a negative way is if you do not base your case on the truth. If you lie and I catch it, I will think very poorly of you and I will judge accordingly. If you lie and your opponent catches you, I will disregard whatever it is you are trying to argue at the moment, for it may not be truthful. This does NOT mean that you should not or cannot use fun logic or wonky frameworks in round, but that you should not state as a premise something that is measurably false. To compensate for the skill of competitors, I will consider non-valid arguments which are based on true premises, of which the premises are based entirely off of the truth even if they may be flawed in another way, to be an attempt at truth seeking and will not consider them to be lying, unless it is outright flawed logic with the intent to deceive. I have been in debate for quite a while, so I can usually tell which is the case. so do not try this. 

Clash is an important part of my judgement on rounds, so you should be aware that I will flow the round with the mechanism or framework that wins out. The only exception I can imagine is if one opponent proves that a theory that the other is using is false. So if the affirmative is using a framework which is proven false, I will regard the case of the affirmative looking to see if any arguments still stand and if none remain, the case will be given to the negation. 

I also do not mind if the debate turns into a debate about small details, such as the definitions of the words in the resolution. I am getting a minor in philosophy, and from my education I have learned that these definitions can be extremely important in deciding an answer to a question. So plan accordingly.

Brandan Whearty - Palomar


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 LO�?�¢?�?�¦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 can�?�¢??t 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 don�?�¢??t 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! Don�?�¢??t 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 don�?�¢??t 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. Don�?�¢??t 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.�?� 

Christian Geddes - El Camino

I liked k debate as a debater but prefer policy as a judge; that being said, do your thing. I debated for a small school in both instances. Debate does not exist in a vacuum. I consider both the theoretical and material implications of the round. I believe that accessibility is critical in the debate space and this also influences many of my positions. In particular, you will be punished or rewarded based on behavior in round. For example, if your opponent(s) clearly communicate an inability to understand speed and you decide to spread, you are actively making the space inaccessible and will be punished by speaker points and, depending on the extent of your transgression, with the ballot.


Speaker point scale generally goes 26.5-30 unless you do something particularly scummy.

DA/CP: I love counterplans and disads. I am also an absolute sucker for a pic with a unique/small net benefit. I’m open to pretty much any type of cp (adv, pic, agent, timeframe) but be prepared to defend them.

K: I loved debating the k and enjoy watching a good k debate (especially structural critique). However, in watching debate I find more and more that there is an expectation that I am intimately familiar with your author of choice. Give me your hightheory4dummies o/v if you’re going to read an abstract criticism. This is for me and your opponents. I also HATE the franken-K. Also, make sure you have a clear alt & alt solvency.


Case debate: I would love to see more of it. I love case turns and am particularly fond of impact turns and solvency debate.


Weighing: Do it for me. I do not want to resolve every sheet based on my flows and piecemeal a ballot. Doing so requires me to intervene far more than I would like. I will vote for linear impacts, structural impacts, or terminal impacts.

Theory: overview - I will only vote on theory if there is A. an impact B. contextualized reason it should be rejected especially if there is not in-round “abuse”. RVIs are a waste of your time. Theory shells should be specific to the context of the round.

-Will not vote on disclosure/wiki theory because A. I don’t have any proof of if someone disclosed or not B. There is 100% a better intuitive argument to make 

- Will absolutely vote on spec arguments (love aspec + an agent cp + agent specific da)

-Inclined to reject the arg and not the team

-Default to competing interps

-Topicality/FW are great but so are critiques of them.


Performance: Debate does not exist in a vacuum. I will vote on performance if I know what my role is and what my ballot’s role is.

Dallas Phillips - DVC

Parli Philosophy:

I debated for the University of the Pacific. NPTE attendance: 4. #2 in the nation two years in a row.

I've been out of debate for almost 3 years now so I'm not as great as flowing as I used to be. Be clear.

I love theory but apparently people are forgetting to put voters on them so don't make that mistake please and thank you.

I need impact calc in the rebuttals: Why should I prioritize your arguments? Probability, magnitude, timeframe
Humor is great, be funny. Jokes are good. Just not offensive ones, that's not okay at all.

Do what you want have fun I'm here to type the things you sa

David Worth - RIce

David Worth – Rice

D.O.F., Rice University

Parli Judging Philosophy

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

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

I prefer debates that are related to the topic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Vasquez - CUI

My name is David Vasquez, I competed with Concordia University Irvine for four years in Parliamentary Debate, and I finished my fourth year ranked #1 on NPTE rankings. My paradigm is fairly straight-forward, I have two rules I abide by no matter what, so please caution yourself to not make these mistakes which should be easy to avoid.

1. Racial slurs are an auto-drop, no exceptions.

2. Slow and clear for your opponents should they ask. This online format is new and difficulties are still being processed and worked through. If a competitor asks you to slow or clear, please do so for their sake. This is not an auto drop argument, but if I notice no attempt to change in your speed/clarity, I am more sympathetic to vote for procedurals, regardless of how well you can theoretically debate your way out of the theory. Damage done is damage that cannot be reversed, so please, be considerate.

In terms of everything else, I am game for any argument you throw my way, though I do air towards arguments I believe to be true (Condo is bad, for example). You should validate and warrant your arguments in a substantive manner. If I have competed against you/we know each other however, please do not expect me to give you any ground whatsoever on arguments I am familiar with/have argued myself. Your warrants are not floating around in my head, they should and must be on my flow after you've told me where/what they are and how I should evaluate them.

If you have more specific questions, feel free to ask me; if not, read the arguments you wish to read, and I will evaluate the round based on who wins the flow.

Denise Sprimont - El Camino

History: My partner and I finished first in the nation overall on NPTE year long rankings 2019-2020. I am now studying the Middle East at the University of Chicago.

Arguments I like: True arguments.

Arguments I don't like: Ridiculous ones (if you have to ask in prep, "Will Denise buy this?" Don't run it).

Auto-drop: I will autodrop you if you use a racial slur.

Edward Minasyan - RioRunners

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 are�??�?� lots of things I believe about debate and the world in general, but�??�?� I try not�??�?� to 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 in any way, 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 "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.�??�?� 

Because I try to base my decision based solely on arguments�??�?� that are made�??�?� in 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!!!

Grant Tovmasian - RioRunners

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

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

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

I want to hear fun, constructive and polite debates. 

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


Ingrid Becker - CUI

Hello, my name is Ingrid Becker and I am an alumnus of Concordia University, Irvine. I was a member and co-captain of Concordia’s Speech and Debate program and I majored in elementary education. While in speech, I competed in informative speaking, after dinner speaking, dramatic interpretation, prose interpretation, programmed oral interpretation, and duo interpretation. As an educator, my judging philosophy aligns closely with my personal teaching philosophy. I judge based on the clarity, sensibility, logical reasoning, and overall presentation of a performance/debate. Points made during the presentation must matter and have some sort of connection to the overall argument, whether to support or disapprove of ideas, concepts, or events. I also look for structure within the argument, I should be able to identify a thesis/stance, the main points of the argument (and their supporting research or details), and a concluding statement that affirms the debater’s position.

Stemming from my experience in competitive speech, other factors besides the speaking portion are also of importance and something I may consider (though not as important compared to the actual content and presentation). These include strong and effective eye contact, strong and confident body language, adherence to established debate rules (including time limits!), and respect towards competitors. While the nature of debate is to, well, debate, I do expect competitors to respect each other and refrain from unrelated and degrading comments. I also expect debaters to be clearly prepared and to showcase their research and knowledge through their own arguments and rebuttals to their opponents, I am not impressed by individuals who have clearly not prepared or researched in advance. Finally, when judging, I believe debaters must be able to think on their feet, change their style and direction of speech if needed, and restructure their arguments based on their opponents. When judging, I am looking for someone who is respectful of debate policies and rules, ready to draw from various parts of knowledge and has the ability to reformulate thoughts and arguments into structured debates.

Jackson De Vight - CUI

Background: I have been debating for 10 years. I started in high school with LD, policy, and parli, and did parli in SoCal for 4 years. I’m now a graduate coach at TTU.



- PLEASE READ: I am hard of hearing and have wrist issues so please emphasize clarity and word economy over speed. I'll get to argument preferences later, but TBH just understand that I prefer depth and organization way more than speed. If you're one of the faster teams, go about 2/3s your full speed for maximum comprehension. I will clear and speed-check you, but if I drop my pen, that's the final signal that you've lost me. I vote on my flow so don’t lose my flowing.


- Read all plan texts, counterplan texts, advocacy texts, alternative text, and interp/role of the ballot arguments slowly, twice, and clearly.


- I don’t time speeches myself.


- I may want a copy of all texts, interps, and ROBs beyond specifically what I flow, so be prepared.


- Topical debates are by far my preferred mode.


- I generally dislike Condo, mostly because it's generally deployed pretty poorly. You can use it, but I'm pretty sympathetic to Condo Bad when warranted well.


- Ideologically I’m fairly open to most arguments but do realize that my social location and political perspective are probably irrevocably intertwined in the way I evaluate rounds. Like, I’m pretty moderate, so warranted arguments about the wonders of the free market or the necessity of social purging aren’t likely to do well in front of me if your opponent knows what they’re doing.


- For the K:


TL; DR: unless it’s a pretty well-structured criticism that links well and specifically, I’m probably just not the judge you want in the back of the room. Ultimately, I'm compelled to vote for well-warranted, smart arguments regardless of the form they take. Because of my experience/background, I'm less compelled out-of-hand by approaches that do not seek to engage the core of the topic (and that goes for aff and neg), but see previous sentence for how you should to debate in front of me. I want to hear your best arguments, and I'll vote on what's won.


Assume I don’t read your lit base. Most of my issues following those arguments have to do with the use of phrases I’m not familiar with. If you have me in the back of the room, consider simplifying the terminology and I should be fine. However, I am not the best critic for your arguments. I think about public policy frequently. This is less true for critical arguments. Also, if you go one off and 5 minutes of case and the one off is a disad, you’ll probably have my heart forever.


I very much believe that debate is a game that you are trying to win. Utilizing debate rounds as personal platform ventures into a realm I am deeply uncomfortable assessing. You are free to engage in debate in a manner you see fit, but realize that I likely do not possess the capacity to properly assess the role of personal history as part of a critical debate. You will do much better here if you have a solidly built framework and well articulate ROB.


* I cordially dislike almost every affirmative criticism that does not uphold the burden of the affirmative in relation to the resolution.


** For criticisms that utilize personal experience, please avoid using arguments about mental health issues or sexual violence.


*** Performance-oriented criticisms will need to do serious work to justify a performance as something I should vote on.


**** When I ran critical arguments, they were mostly economic, ablism, or ecological in nature.


Arguments: Overall, you’re going to get a lot more mileage from me by going for fewer, more well-articulated, and more warrant-heavy argumentation. As indicated above, speed is not your friend when I’m in the back of the room so just go for depth over breadth.


Counterplans: I prefer that you provide a copy for the other team. Make sure you have a written text. I like advantage counterplans, PICs, and actor counterplans. Consult less so, but I’m open to it. For the affirmative: I’m open to PICs bad but don’t default that way. Well utilized CP strats are beautiful.


Permutations: Permutations are tests of competition, not advocacies. Multiple perms aren’t unfair, but they’re a little silly unless you explicate why you want more than one. I will not reject a permutation outright unless you give me a reason of why it shouldn’t be evaluated. HAVE A PERM TEXT


Theory: All theory positions should have an interpretation, a violation, standards, and voting issues. Please read your interpretations more than once. I am pretty willing to vote on well warranted theory arguments.


Topicality: My threshold for T is maybe lower than some. If you win your interpretation, violation, and your standards outweigh I will vote for you.


Speaker Points: Be smart and concise and your speaker points will range between 26-30. Utilization of racist, sexist, etc. rhetoric will sink your points pretty quick, as will parroting to your partner. Like, win the round, but don’t parrot if you can help it.


Voting/Rebuttals/POO: Have clear voting issues either through distinct voters, two world analysis, or some other format. YOU MUST DO IMPACT CALCULUS IF YOU WANT IT CONSIDERED. Call POOs if you hear them. I try to protect, but you should call them all the same.

Feel free to ask questions. I can give you my professional email if you’d like it. Debate is great.

John Gooch - UTD

I see myself as open to most any argument, although I tend to prefer case arguments, disadvantages, counterplans, and kritiks (the â??Kâ?) over topicality arguments. (At one time, I thought of myself as fitting the â??policymakerâ? paradigm when I was judging high school C-X.) I do tend to give GOV teams leeway on topicality, but that doesnâ??t mean they should drop it! I also donâ??t like seeing GOV case vanish from the round in favor of only a theoretical debate. I donâ??t like seeing drops on the flow, but I expect debaters, themselves, to extend dropped arguments. Simply put, I wonâ??t intervene. In general, I expect good clash as well as thorough and exacting refutation in all speeches. Speakers of rebuttal speeches, for example, should tell me a good story; in other words, they should tell me exactly why they win the round and why.

With regard to spreading, I find that I donâ??t keep up with rapid delivery like I did when I was competing, which is now more years ago than I like to admit. I am not â??anti-speed,â? but if I signal a debater to slow down, then he/she/they should do so. Bad argumentation is bad argumentation; it doesnâ??t matter how fast or how slow the debater if they are making â??junkâ?? arguments (e.g., DAs or Ks with weak links). I have seen the fastest team in the round lose to debaters who spoke more slowly. I also believe an exciting and stimulating round can take place between debaters with slower delivery. Over the years, I have witnessed several such debates in NPDA, IPDA, and LD as well as in the college and high school policy formats.

Last, I expect debaters to behave in a civil manner toward one another. I just donâ??t see any call for rudeness or incivility. I think now, more than ever, we need to engage in civil discourse. Bad behavior in the round (or outside the round) just doesnâ??t bode well with me at all. Competitors participate in tournaments to learn and to become better debaters. And this activity should be enjoyable. Itâ??s supposed to be fun, and I think sometimes we forget that.

Joseph Evans - El Camino

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Joseph Laughon - CUI

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

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

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

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

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

-House keeping

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

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

>I'm not a point fairy.

Josh Vannoy - GCU

Joshua Vannoy - Grand Canyon University


Experience: 4 years of NPDA Debate at Concordia University Irvine. 4 years of coaching at GCU, one as ADOD and three as DOD. I competed at the NPTE and NPDA all four years of college. Kevin Calderwood, Bear Saulet, and Amanda Ozaki-Laughon have all been large influences in my debate career.



Debate is a game. There are arguments I personally will lean towards, but ultimately you should make the argument you want to make. 

- One question should be answered during each constructive. (Flex can make this semi-optional)

- Partner to partner communication is cool, but if you (the speaker) don't say the words I won't flow it. 

- Be friendly



Theory ran properly can win my ballot. I would avoid V/A/E/F specs/specs in general, unless the abuse is really clear. All interps should be read slowly twice, or I won't be able to flow it. I do not need articulated abuse. Competing interps is my go unless you have something else. I most likely will not vote for you must disclose arguments.



If your PMC lacks warrants/impacts the ballot should be pretty easy for the Neg. If the entire PMC is dropped, it should be a pretty easy ballot for the Aff. I will not do work for any impacts, if you just say "poverty" without terminalizing the impact, I will not terminalize it for you.



So I personally enjoyed performative debate, it was fresh and interesting. If you decide to have a performance argument/framework you need a justification and a true performance. If you say performance is key in the FW and then do not "perform" anywhere else then there may be an issue. I will need performance specific Solvency/Impacts if you take this route. In your performance never do harm to yourself or another competitor.


The K:

All K's should have a FW, Thesis, Links, Impacts and an Alt with Solvency arguments. If one of these pieces is missing it is going to be difficult for me to evaluate the criticism. Sometimes people skip the thesis, that is ok so long as you describe the thesis somewhere else in the K (Earlier the better). The closer your K is to the topic the easier it is for me to vote for it. Reject alts are ok, but I find ivory tower arguments to be very compelling in these debates. I ran Mark/Symbolism the most but am open to any other type of K. I probably have not read your author so please be very clear on what the Thesis of your argument is; name-dropping means nothing to me unless you explain the idea.


Non-topical Affirmatives:

After four years of seeing many non-topical debates as a judge, I have become more open to hearing them without much justification needed to reject the topic. With that being said I am still compelled and convinced by FW if ran effectively on the negative.


CP Theory:

Is condo bad? Probably? Having debated under Kevin Calderwood for three years this one of the arguments that stuck with me. If a condo bad shell is run properly and executed well I will probably vote for it. Although I am open to a conditional advocacy (that means one) if you can justify it in responding to condo bad arguments (Multiple conflicting advocacies make it really easy for the aff to win the condo debate).


Never run delay.


50/States/Consult/Courts need a DA/Net Ben/Justification for doing so.


Pics are awesome if done well (Does not mean PICS bad is also not a good argument), and please read all CP texts (Just like All Alt/Plan texts) slowly twice. If you do not provide a written copy for me and I do not hear it well enough to write it down then what I wrote will be what I work with.



I am not a fan of the multiple perm trend, 1-2 perms should be enough, I am open to Neg multi perm theory arguments when teams run 3-8 perms. If your perm does not solve links to the DA's/Offense it would probably be better to just respond to those arguments instead of making a perm, considering a perm is just a test of competition.


Speaker Points:

I have found that I have a pretty routine pattern of speaker points; I generally give out 26 -29.5 depending on how well the debaters perform. With the 26-27 range being debates that usually are more learning experiences for the debaters, while the 28-29 range is usually for the debaters who do not have as much technical work and have very competitive performances. Jokes and making debate fun is always a safe way to get higher speaks in general. I also have found that the more hyper-masculine an individuals performance is, especially directed towards the other team, the lower my speaker points go for that individual.

Joy De Guzman - El Camino

TLDR: I will vote on anything, but you may need to walk me through some theory arguments more thoroughly if you are making them. I don’t have a preference for case/theory/k debates so run what you want but will need some hand holding for the more in-depth theory arguments, don’t assume I know what you are talking about.  

Background: I debated all four years of hs in Policy, NFA-LD, and Parli and debated for El Co (2012-2014) for two years in Parli and NFA-LD. 

Case Debate: You need to have impacts; I know global warming is bad but you need to lay out the impacts of global warming and why I should be voting on it. Tell me where things go, if you shoot out an argument but don’t tell me what you are responding too, I am not going to do that work for you. I default to net-benefits and appreciate a good impact calculus. You should tell me how to prioritize the round and why your impacts matter most. Write the ballot for me instead of me having to weigh it all by my own bias.

Speed: I have been out of debate for awhile, I think speed should be fine, but I will clear you if needed. The round should be accessible for everyone and opponents should respect a clear. Give a roadmap at the top and clearly sign post along the way especially if you are going fast.

Judith Teruya - CUI


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

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

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

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

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

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

Keith Corely - Hired


            I just want to say up top that I am very sorry that you got me as your judge. I have not done anything remotely debate oriented in 2.5 years (This is Amanda, Keith is definitely underselling himself). A little about me, I debated parli for a year in high school back in 2010, debated for Moorpark College for two years back in 2011-2013 and then debated at Concordia University Irvine from 2013-2016. I then was the assistant debate coach at William Jewell College from 2016-2018 before I went to law school here in D.C.


            Back when I debated and judged, I was labelled a theory hack. I am very open to the theory debate AS LONG AS the debaters do a good job in the rebuttals of weighing the standards against each other. I promise you, you don’t want me to weigh them for you, I weigh things much differently than many others. Just a heads up, my coach at Moorpark and Concordia both were a bit old school, and as such I have wholeheartedly adopted the minority position that condo is bad (although as mentioned above, you still need to win the theory).


            I will say up front, I much, much, much prefer policy and theory debates to the K debate. That being said, most of my last year debating was done debating the K, usually positions like queer politics, anti-blackness, and Camus. While coaching, I wrote several K’s for my students that involved performing. Suffice to say, I’ll listen to you to say, but please keep in mind the following:

·       Make your K topical or have it link. If you fail to do this you better present a damn good reason why not.

·       Just to repeat, the links are incredibly important to me. Despite being paid for this, I spend the rest of the time in the legal profession. If I wanted to listen to some under-informed windbag opine about how smart they are I would just go to work.

·       If you are running some sort of ID K, your links need to be even stronger. These K’s tend to lead to teams attacking one another. I have seen that be appropriate only a handful of times. Put plainly, if you want to pick up a ballot by calling the other team white supremacists, you better be able to show how they are actually akin to the people who attacked the Capital.


            I place oversized importance on the rebuttals. You need to actually explain to me not just how you one, but a theory of the story that was just told in the debate. Explain how the arguments interact with each other and how they are weighted. If you have any other questions please ask.

Kelly Hutchison - UOP

Read what ever you want, I am willing to listen to any argument, critical or topical affs. I like framework arguments, but make sure that they have impacts and flush them out. I wont do extra work for you, that means you need to make extensions. Please make sure that you have evidence to back up your claims, and then give analysis. Debates without evidence are boring and not as educational.

Kyle Bligen - Whitman

Ingredients Nutrition

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter.
  2. When butter is melted, add cream cheese.
  3. When the cream cheese is softened, add heavy cream.
  4. Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  5. Simmer for 15-20 minutes over low heat, stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan.
  7. Serve over hot fettucine noodles.

Lauran Schaefer - Whitman

Please begin by explaining what you think is the relevant information about your approach to judging that will best assist the debaters you are judge debate in front of you. Please be specific and clear.

Do what you do best.

Couple of side notes:

I likely have a higher threshold on theory debates than some judges, but that also doesn�?�¢??t mean you should shy away from it. I will certainly vote on abuse. If you just really like going for theory, I will also vote on a position that doesn�?�¢??t necessarily have proven abuse, but proves some sort of standard that would set a precedent that you argue is bad. Just remember, it will be harder to get my ballot on theory for theory�?�¢??s sake.

Extinction probably won�?�¢??t happen, so you need to have really good link stories if that�?�¢??s your style. Probability > Magnitude.

Speaker points (what is your typical speaker point range or average speaker points given.

According to Rob Layne, I�?�¢??m a point fairy. Basically, the way it shakes down is I give the top speaker in the round a 30/29 and then rank everyone. Don�?�¢??t be an insufferable and rude human, I will dock your points.

How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be �?�¢??contradictory�?�¢?�?� with other negative positions?

I�?�¢??m sure I�?�¢??ve been called a �?�¢??K-hack�?�¢?�?� at some point, but this is false. While I ran a lot of critical arguments, they weren�?�¢??t particularly good. With that being said, I�?�¢??d prefer a straight up debate, but am by no means to opposed to good critical arguments. My advice for critical arguments.

1) Name dropping/jargon are not substitutes for an argument. Example- �?�¢??That creates a simulacrum.�?�¢?�?� That�?�¢??s a tagline. Tell me how / why.

2) Rejection doesn�?�¢??t solve. I�?�¢??ve been rejecting patriarchy for years, but that doesn�?�¢??t mean sexist people in debate stopped saying I vote with my emotions, that I just don�?�¢??t get their arguments, or I�?�¢??m not very smart. It also hasn�?�¢??t stopped them from interrupting me, or leaving during my RFDs but staying for men�?�¢??s. Point being--Tell us how to reject. Do we burn the system down by creating chaos? What alternative system can we use? Are there organizations that seek to dismantle the same system you�?�¢??re critiquing? How does this function within realism? Do you give people a language with which to discuss a system? Is there a counterplan text that could solve your K?

4) Explain your solvency, and tell us what the world looks like in the post alternative world.

5) Your framework should do more than attempt to exclude your opponents from the round. It should also tell me how to evaluate your position.

Affirmatives can run critical arguments, but I think they need a clear framework with an interpretation and standards. Couch your argument in the topic someway, even if that means you explain why the topic is rooted in an ism, and justify why that is aff ground and not neg. No, the topic is not just a springboard for you to talk about whatever you want. The cool thing about debate is you get to develop an argument/justification for doing/saying what you want, so do that. Additionally, don�?�¢??t exclude your opponents from going for a policy with your framework. If you�?�¢??re really frustrated with the ism that is occurring in the topic, your goal should not be to prevent the neg from participating. As far as �?�¢??projects�?�¢?�?� (I hesitate to call them that because of the negative connotations), I�?�¢??m down, but again, please tell me why the topic shouldn�?�¢??t be discussed. If your argument is that debate is ableist, sexist, racist, etc, if possible, explain why the topic is also rooted in that ism and then use that to discuss the debate space. That way your opponents may have some more ground.

Performance based arguments�?�¢?�?�¦

I�?�¢??m fine with them, but I need to know how to evaluate them.

Topicality. What do you require to vote on topicality? Is in-round abuse necessary? Do you require competing interpretations?

Again, higher threshold. I prefer proven abuse. Competing interpretations is probably your best bet.

Counterplans -- PICs good or bad? Should opp identify the status of the counterplan? Perms -- textual competition ok? functional competition?

PICs are a good strategy. The opp should identify the status IF they are asked to, otherwise it�?�¢??s fair game. Perms should be functional in my ideal debate world. If you�?�¢??re going to go textual comp you�?�¢??ll probably want to run more theory than you would with functional telling me why I should prefer it. I love CP theory so read it.

Is it acceptable for teams to share their flowed arguments with each other during the round (not just their plans)

I think as a courtesy, you should always give a copy of any plan text or counterplan text, especially if asked. I don�?�¢??t care if teams want to share anything other than that.

In the absence of debaters' clearly won arguments to the contrary, what is the order of evaluation that you will use in coming to a decision (e.g. do procedural issues like topicality precede kritiks which in turn precede cost-benefit analysis of advantages/disadvantages, or do you use some other ordering?)?

Procedurals. Framework, if necessary. Then the substance. I default to the impact debate.

How do you weigh arguments when they are not explicitly weighed by the debaters or when weighting claims are diametrically opposed? How do you compare abstract impacts (i.e. "dehumanization") against concrete impacts (i.e. "one million deaths")?

I look to probability, first. Then magnitude. Finally, timeframe. If you want me to vote on huge impacts that are incredibly unrealistic, you should warrant exactly how these impacts will occur. Not some x country is pissed, the US gets involved, boom, big explosion because some random action causes a war in which rational actors would absolutely have to use nuclear weapons and it would cause a dust cloud that covers the sun. Although I did this, it�?�¢??s because I had no idea if what I was saying was actually true.

Other Things

Have fun, make me laugh, be nice. Care about what you do, your words matter. Feel free to pander to me with Tom Hanks references.

Li-Ren Chang - El Camino

�?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?�  �?� Important stuff:

I believe an argument consists of a claim, data, and a warrant. If an argument is important and is a deciding factor to the round but doesn�?�¢??t have any evidence to support it then I will not vote for it. If the round comes down to two competing arguments that are equally unsubstantiated I will default to the one I think is true.�?� 

I think that if there is a vocalized concern for rude, inappropriate, violent, or unacceptable behavior that occurred within the round and/or at the tournament then I will consult tabroom or the tournament staff to see how I should continue the round. I believe that IVI�?�¢??s or similar reason to reject the team is not a sufficient jurisdictional tool to reform problematic behavior. If you believe that call outs or personalized arguments are necessary to the way that you feel most comfortable in the debate then I ask a few things of you: These debate tend to get really heated and have more of an impact on me than the flow of the debate, and therefore I tend to have really shaky and inconsistent decisions, so recognize that before round. I also am a big wimp and cry a lot so if this happens the chances I give a decision I am confident in is probably very low.

Here are some defaults, predispositions, and random info about how I judge:
- I default to competing interpretations
- I protect against new arguments
- I think a we meet is terminal defense against theory
- I have never voted for a theory position that said all texts and/or interps need to be given (before/after/during) whatever. Teams should be expected to read the interpretation twice and slowly.
- I will vote on rvi�?�¢??s, nibs, disclosure, point of order theory, no neg fiat, afc, and other �?�¢??frivolous�?�¢?�?� theory with the caveat that the team should have a reasonable capacity/expectation to meet the theory position before it is read.
- I rarely call speed or clear unless it is persistent (is a problem for more than an argument). I will not call clear or speed if the arguments are blippy or a chain of claims.
- I think perms can only be a test of competition
- Root cause claims should be contextualized to the 1AC
- Alternative solvency shouldn�?�¢??t assume a reverse causal relationship to root cause claims
- I have and will not hesitate to vote on terminal defense.
- I will fact check in round if there are two contesting arguments that are unresolved and is a deciding argument in the round
- Defense is not just impact calculus. Conceded/terminal defense means there is 0% probability of an impact
- Fiat is durable and immediate
- The negative gets access to one conditional advocacy or the status quo
- With one exception, to this day I don�?�¢??t know what a proximal impact is or why fairness and education within the debate round is not one.
- I default to procedural fairness preceding all other theoretical impacts in the round.
- Judge intervention is inevitable to at least some degree. I will do my due diligence in being cognizant of implicit biases and attempt to minimize its influence in the round.
- To me, what is traditionally seen as a fact or value resolution is closer to a metaphor than whatever a contention is.

Hello, my name is Li-Ren, aka Fletcher�?�¢??s partner. I debated for Long Beach in npda from 2013-2016. I have coached for high school ld since 2013 and am now coaching for El Camino College. I have read a wide range of arguments and strategies ranging from heg and econ every round on the aff and politics, counterplan, and a criticism every round on the neg to rejecting the topic every round and reading a new k every neg.�?� 
My top 5 favorite arguments/strategies that I read are: A topical aff with two advantages predicated on the resolution, a PIC with net benefit with a short criticism and at least one theory sheet, one off criticism, one off T and case, funny strategies.�?� 
If you want to get a better idea of what arguments I am more familiar with just look for the long beach parli files that were shared to everyone on the npda/npte facebook group a while ago. If you read these files in front of me word for word without citing the author I will drop your for reasons of plagiarism and academic dishonesty.
Assuming you�?�¢??ve read the above then you should have a pretty good idea of how to best adapt to me. Insert obligatory debate is a game, keep it nice, have a good time.

Max Groznik - Oregon

When in doubt, read the argument you believe in the most. Or a children's story.

Quick Thoughts:

Convince me that more than the links are contextual to the round. 

Teams that engage directly with thesis level questions and the warrant level substance of arguments are likely to be rewarded more than strategic choices more dependent on debating around the other team (Yes Iâ??ll still vote on spec, but now may not be the time to be reading McTaggart).

Generally, I donâ??t think thereâ??s a meaningful distinction between most types of arguments. I donâ??t care what you read, and I care even less what you call it. Iâ??ll sit in the back of the room and cheerfully flow your speech regardless of its content. Iâ??ll try to keep as tight a flow as possible, but what I do with that is up to you. If you want to avoid decisions that feel rife with intervention contextualize how warrants interact and tell me the order in which I should prioritize and evaluate them while making my decision. Absent this, weâ??ll probably all be a little annoyed and confused.

My strongest argument preference is novelty. Iâ??ll be ecstatic if you teach me something. Also jokes are neat. If you prioritize having fun, we will probably all have more fun. I think we'd like to have fun.

My second strongest argument preference is the Internal Link turn.

So is my third.

Pet Peeves and Idiosyncrasies:

Regarding presumption: I am not Buridan's Ass.

Debate fills different roles in different peoples lives: employment, education, competition, inward journeys, etc. Most importantly it is a platform from which you can demand to be taken seriously - respect that and engage in debate with grace.

The permutation is not offense. I will vote on offense if presented with the opportunity to.


"Max's brain is like a game of chutes and ladders" - Fiker Tesfaye

â??Hello, Max is a smart cookie who writes really fast and thinks pretty well. He will hear your words and think about them and maybe you'll win.â? - Eliana Taylor

â??The thing about a good recliner is that is has to both be firm enough for back support, but cushy enough for butt comfort. the ability to recline is a necessary component for any sustainable home living.â? - Cody Gustafson

â??Max's life goal is to eat every animal.â? - Alex Li

"Max Groznik is an absurd bird. And I think birds are neat. Also do not feed him bread." - Adeja Powell

â??Debate is like a clock, both teams make circular arguments. by the time the minute hand returns to where it started, everything was said, and none of it mattersâ? - Chris Miles

Specifics for formats that feature evidence:

-I believe that well researched argumentation is one of the largest benefits of carded debate, likewise I am extremely willing to call for cards at the end of a round; if you ask me to read a card I will read it. Don't power cut evidence, don't misrepresent evidence, don't clip cards.

-I really like advantage counter-plan/impact turn strategies

-I really like nuanced arguments that delve into mechanism debates and rigorous debates about methodology (both for determine validity of empiric data and underpinnings of ideological positions). I think this is something that is uniquely possible in carded debate and should be taken full advantage of.

Meghan Gleeson - CUI

I view debate as a game and I will reward the teams who play the game better based solely on the round and arguments that are made. To help clarify there are some other thoughts teams might want to know about my views on certain arguments. 

For Threshold things, speed is fine, I can keep up well or I will let you know. The verbal organization is important, free conscious speaking is a pet peeve of mine. Don't call people out in the league or competition, it earns you no points or respect.
For the K, you can run whatever K you like in front of me but I will still evaluate the parts of the K on their functionality within the round against other arguments. I think Affs can leverage their aff against a K if it so befits the situation based on the framework. I do think that the framing of a K can make it a prerequisite to other arguments in the round. It all depends on what the teams say, what the opposition argues, and who wins certain arguments in the end. The K also needs to be well warranted. I hold Ks to the same standard of a straight-up debate in that there needs to be a well-warranted analysis that makes voting for the K a viable and logical option. 
For Theory, run whatever you like. Please have good interps on both sides, otherwise, this becomes an easy win for one team in most cases. 
For Straight-up DA and ADV strategies, I respect a well-deployed one a lot and I prefer to watch a straight-up debate on both sides the most. Again, please be well warranted, explain the logical progression through the uniqueness, links, internals, and impacts. 
For Impacts specifically, if you don't run through any of the pillars of timeframe, probability, or magnitude I will not do the work for you. Tell me why you win, why the other side loses, and why that should control my vote in every type of debate (K, theory, or straight-up).
Lastly, if you are having fun then that makes the debate more enjoyable for me too. So have fun, argue what you want, and play the game.

Meredith Mountjoy - DVC

Michael Starzynski - El Camino

tabula rasa, no spreading, roadmaps and signposts please!

Michael Starzynski - CUI

tabula rasa, no spreading, roadmaps and signposts please!

Patricia Hughes - RioRunners

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

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

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

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


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

Paul Villa - DVC

Update 1/23/2021:

Parli: I have decided to live the rest of my life as a comms judge. I am not kidding. I don't believe in condo, as in I don't think it exists. If I don't understand your argument I am not voting for it, especially its solvency. I also am going to treat all advocacies as literal, so if your alt says "vote negative to ride the rainbow" I am going to assume you actually want me to evaluate whether someone riding a rainbow would resolve for the impacts. It doesn't. I can't take it anymore. Also, anything approaching fast is too fast. You can go slightly above conversational. Also, there is a reason that there is a topic each round, I implore you to try and figure out why. Play around and find out, word is bond.

LD: I like the rules. I don't really care how fast you go in LD, I am not flowing anyways unless it is analytics, slow down if the other debater asks.

Background: I am the director of debate at Diablo Valley College, I competed in LD and NPDA at 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.

Ryan Fobes - Parli at Berkeley

But first a little background on me - i debated national circuit NPDA debate and LD for 3 years. 2 at moorpark college, and a third at CSULB. I am genuinely comfortable with speed, and read a wide array of critical and more traditional policy framing type arguments. Generally speaking, there is no ~type~ of argument i wonâ??t vote on. There are some exceptions iâ??ll get into below. My last year competing was 2016, but Iâ??ve been around the activity judging and coaching/tutoring/file editing on and off since then. I will clear you if you are unclear or going too fast, and recommend you heed those requests, as i will not vote on arguments i did not flow. along the same lines, i will not vote for a position that i can not adequately explain in my own words to the competitors. As such, be clear, be explicit, and make sure to provide explanations and clarifications (especially for critical arguments that can become very technical).

All of that was meant to preface the rest of this paradigm - but i also want to mention specifically that i have not judged an online tournament, and deal with sensory issues that may or may not prove more difficult in terms of hearing/understanding thru the computer. As such, i stand by what i said before - i am generally fine with speed, in fact itâ??s never been a problem for me as a judge. however, I am probably not the judge you want to go top speed in front of. i will of course clear you, BUT i mention it for the sake of competitors who may have a faster and slower version of their aff, specifically because of the preparation nature of LD. Along the lines of online LD stuff, please make sure, if you are reading a performance of some kind, to make sure it doesnâ??t affect myself or competitorsâ?? ability to both see and hear the performance. I know file sharing is going to be an issue - but please do your best to be on top of that so you get the files to your opponent (and myself) as soon as possible to avoid delays/stealing prep/so on. Delays and disorganization will certainly affect your speaks. and within reason may also start your prep or speech time for excessive delays. Edit: There is tech time at this tournament, so hopefully none of the time issues will be a problem.

My academic background is in philosophy and political theory, and the majority of arguments i read were anti imperialist and anti capitalist arguments, both critical and otherwise. I mention that for 2 reasons. First, because i expect i will feel comfortable with any type of argument you want to read, and have likely some familiarity with a lot of the usual critiques that get read. I also read a lot of theory, and find myself voting for theory often. Second reason i bring up my background is to address potential bias, while i will not intervene under any circumstance and constrain my bias out of the round as much as possible, we all are subject to our biases, whether or not we want to admit it. I will regardless not vote on any argument whether or not i fundamentally agree with it unless i can explain it clearly in the RFD as i mentioned above. in LD specifically, i also tend to review the cards thoroughly, as this format lends to that. So please make sure you know what your cards actually say, and that your taglines do not tell a different story than the evidence. Also please note that evidence is not a replacement for warranted analysis and thorough explanation, so please make sure you have both strong evidence as well as a command of what the evidence is saying and what it does in the context of your position.

I do tend to think of debate as a game of strategy, and as such, i do not have anything against gamesy positions. However, there are limits to that. When i was a competitor i probably believed that tech over truth was always true - and read some pretty vacuous Ks and theory as a result. However as time has passed that has changed for me as it has for others, and my threshold for those arguments (especially theory, but also especially "troll" critiques). Long story short, I am not looking to see the Consult Ashtar CP. As such, I am open to arguments that explain why truth should come before technical command in a round, especially (or perhaps exclusively so) when tech is used as a strategy of abuse or exclusion. That being said, i still love the game and will be willing to see rounds that are extremely technical, gamesy, or bizarre in nature. My point of view is that those arguments should have a well explained reason and serve a greater purpose in the framework of the round, of debate as a whole, or within a given discourse. It should be used with a purpose other than excluding your opponents. I enjoy conditional advocacies on the neg, I enjoy critical affs, i enjoy interesting strategic choices, new framings, performance, and so on. One thing I would say is that I am not going to vote on a Non Topical aff (as in rejecting or negating the topic as the aff) unless the topic is so written that it calls into question a specific reason to do so. as such, please do be topical since this is LD and the topic is already known. Be topical in LD :)

Hereâ??s some arguments you should consider NOT reading in front of me:

-Hypotesting multiple counter plans/alts (i.e. more than 2 conditional advocacies) ESPECIALLY if they contradict. Wonâ??t intervene on this question but...... you will get very annoyed looks from me and feedback that reflects those feelings as a result LOL.

-Specification arguments that have a violation other than omitted or suspect Actor, Enforcement, or Funding.

-Delay Counterplans (i hope nobody reads these in general anymore... but.......)

- "hard debate is good debate"

-theory where the violation or abuse happens out of round (namely, disclosure)

-more than 2 NEW theory shells (i.e. more than 2 distinct freestanding interns) in any given constructive speech.

-any argument that is very obviously morally reprehensible (iâ??ll leave that up for you to decide, I donâ??t mean â??capitalism is goodâ? i mean like arguments in favor of or making a joke out of extinction, genocide, sexual assault, police violence, etc.) In short itâ??s not that deep at all just donâ??t be edgy lol.

Please have fun, be kind to your opponents, and have fun. Please do make jokes and be engaging. I love a good fun and spirited debate. Looking forward to it.

Ryan Corso-Gonzales - El Camino

Judging Paradigm

Ryan Corso Pronouns: He/Him/His


I competed on the competitive circuit in Parliamentary debate for 5 years, from 2014-2019. I began my competitive career at Moorpark Community College. I was a two-time state champion in California, and one-time National Champion at Phi Rho Pi. From there, I competed my last three years at Concordia University Irvine. I broke at the NPDA all three years at Concordia. My senior year, my partner Benji and I, took 6th at the NPDA and 4th at the NPTE national championships. I am now a student at the University of Louisville, I'm getting my masterâ??s in communication, my studies focus heavily on Marxism, Neoliberalism, The Public Sphere, and Networking.

I owe all my knowledge in debate and my success to my amazing coaches, mentors and teammates that helped me through my career most significantly Amanda Ozaki-Laughon, Joe Ozaki-Laughon, Benjamin Lange, Alyson Escalante, and Judith Teruya.

Debate Overview:

I like to think that I understand debate fairly well, and I consider myself a very flow centric judge. Debate is a game; you can run what you want and do what you want in front of me. I am open to almost all arguments, (No pro racist, homophobic, fascists args, etc) just be prepared to justify your actions, and tell me where to vote (This is what the rebuttals are for). I ran policy args, just as much as I ran kritiks, however, I probably read theory the most. I think people on the circuit would have referred to me as a K debater, yet I would not have.

Winning in front of me is simple, provide an ample framework, clear links and terminal impacts. Win the flow, and collapse to the argument you believe is the clearest and most compelling path to vote on. I love learning new things (Policy, Kritiks and even theory) so you can feel free to use me as a test for a new kritik or position, I'm not affiliated with any school atm, and I just want to experience debates where people talk about what they want to talk about.


I default to policy making good framework, if both teams accept this then great, however, this doesn't mean critical arguments don't operate within that framework. Policy debates should consist of advantages and disadvantages. I prefer the Uniqueness, Link, Internal Link, Impact structure, because I believe it provides the clearest format for debate. I am very familiar with other structures for policy debates as well. Value and Fact rounds do exist and provide unique educational and fairness aspects to them (this probably has to do with my CC background).


Theory is the most important aspect to debate in my view. A good theory consist of a clear interp, and an unique violation that explains the operative nature of that interp. Standards, are not tag lines, this is the substantial aspect of theory. There is a very good lecture on NPTE 14 (youtube) about how standards consist of Links, Internal links and Impacts. Fairness and Education are the only two competitive impacts that I have heard in regards to theory. Do not just read tag lines on in theory debates, I will not fill in arguments for you. Each round is specific and this should be clear in your reading or responding to theoretical positions.


You need a CLEAR link to the AFF, or the topic, for me to even consider voting for you! I will not do the work for you filing in your links. Make sure you have specific warrants and nuance in your links to explain how it uniquely works in this specific round. You do not get to win just because you read a Kritik, you need adequate links in order to win, and an alternative or advocacy that resolves the impacts identified. (This means I'm more then willing to not vote on a kritik that has adequate forms of terminal defense against it. If I believe there isn't an adequate explanation of a link I will not vote on the K.)

If you believe your kritik is complicated, please have a thesis portion! I am a firm believer in providing a thesis for kritiks. Almost all the kritiks I wrote had an in-depth thesis. I enjoy complicated kritiks, and at the end of my career I even began to utilize Kritiks without frameworks, so I understand how a well written kritik has the potential to operate in that manner.

Kritiks are a great method to layering the debate, it doesn't mean that all other impacts are invalid just that new framework arguments are needed to balance or relayer the debate. Please make sure your impacts are terminal and do impact comparison and make sequencing arguments in the rebuttals, even if you believe that you have out framed your opponents.

Here's a list of Kritiks that I read while I competed to give you an idea of what I'm familiar with. Off the top of my head Neoliberalism, Anarchy, Marx, Whiteness, Satire, Absurdism, Deleuze and Guattari, Fragility, Existentialism, Set Col, Feminism, Cyborg Fem, Ecocide, Nietzsche, Reps and Rhetoric. (This doesn't mean read these Ks in front of me, I am much more open to the idea of voting down a bad K shell, then I am picking up a bad K because it's relatable.)

Speaker Points:

I am not a fan of the speaker point system, I view it as a method to reward good arguments and strategies. An easy way to think about this is in regards to Ethos, Pathos and Logos. I value Ethos and Logos far greater than Pathos. While all are essential to argument making, I don't find pathos as compelling in the debate setting. I give speaker points based on the idea "Who ever did the best debating".

Fair warning:

* I will clear or slow you if I feel like I need to.

* I do NOT vote on RVI's, they are illegitimate arguments and I will dock speaker points if you read them in front of me!

* Substantial engagement, or whatever this theory arg was called, is NOT an impact! You will not pick up a ballot from me be reading this, it is an internal link to Fairness and Education. If you decide to collapse to a theory shell with this as your only impact, you can just assume you already lost the round.

* Solvency deficit is not a compelling theory position; this is defense at best. Attempting to turn a defensive argument into an offensive position is not how you win that argument. This falls into the category of relabeling arguments in manners that they do not function. I believe this is bad for debate and creates "improper" forms of education which only harms the event.

* DO NOT LIE in round, I feel that debate is first an educational event, I do feel that it's appropriate to fact check people in round if I believe they are lying, or just factually incorrect.

* DO NOT belittle or demean your opponents.

* I do not know how to judge unfalsifiable arguments. Therefore, I do not believe that debate is a space for you to impose or weaponize certain religions or religious, or other non-falsifiable content. For instance, I do not feel educated enough on these matters and or comfortable being put into a spot affirming or disaffirming your faith in a certain religion. I think it's also probably disingenuous to weaponize a religion that you do not believe in within the debate space.

*I have a VERY HIGH Threshold to vote on a "Call out Kritik"... I don't know what these kritiks are being labeled these days, but I do not feel that it is my job to determine in round who is or isn't a good person (especially at a national tournament). This doesn't mean I won't vote on kritiks that call out bad rhetoric or whatever that occurred in round, because I will. Being able to witness the link occur is a lot more of a viable link argument in my opinion then one team claiming things happened outside of the round, or in the past. If have no way to validate an argument I therefore won't feel comfortable voting on something. Please don't expect me to already "know" (I'm removed from the debate community for the most part), also please don't attempt to prove something occurred to me. Also, I feel very compelled by apologies as a method to resolve the kritik, for in most instances I've seen this run, I think? I know this is probably a controversial opinion and that's ok with me, if these kritiks are viable and important strategies to you as a debater I think you're better off striking me. Sorry...

Side note:

I am 2 years removed from debate, I do not watch debate rounds frequently and very rarely engage in conversations about debate. I'm sure not as strong at flowing or keeping up with speed as I used to be. Please keep that in mind when debating in front of me.

I will do my best to weigh the round in the manner I think is most fair in regard to how you present them. I will try my best to vote for the team I think won... I guess that's all I can do.

If you think my decision is wrong please feel free to talk to me about it. I won't hold grudges for people defending positions they had in rounds. Debate is a very passionate event, I was a very passionate debater, and I think that's a beautiful aspect about debate! That being said there is a difference between being a passionate debater and a jerk in round, I don't think you should belittle your opponents in debate, but you can question me. It is my job to vote for the team I think won, and I believe it is part of a judges job to defend and explain their decision in the instance that occurs.


Note to Seniors: Your success in debate does not in any way correlate with your worth as a person! Debate is a GAME! This should be a fun experience and I hope you make as many friends as possible in debate and cherish every moment with your teammates and opponents. Some of the most incredible people I have ever met have come into my life because of debate and I hope that applies to you. Please try to have fun, don't hold grudges and enjoy every moment. The real world is so different then the debate world and I hope your transition from the debate world is smooth and incredible! I've realized that so much of what I thought was important and damning in debate has very little value outside of that echo chamber. That's not always for the best, but it is the reality. Stay friendly, humble, and smart moving forward in life! I wish the Best of Luck to everyone who leaves this community!


Sam Jones - GCU

Bio: I am a recent graduate and debated 4 yrs of NPDA at Point Loma Nazarene University and I'm currently Assistant Director of Debate at Grand Canyon University

TL;DR: I strongly believe that I don't have any strong beliefs when it comes to debate rounds, I ran all types of arguments and faced all types of arguments. I see every round as an individual game and don't try to leverage my preferences into my decisions. Go for what you will. I won't complain.

If you ask your coach if they know who I am I bet they'll say: "eh, he can flow"

I see debate as an educational activity first, but I also acknowledge and admire the game of it too. I like seeing well constructed strategies being executed effectively: complete PMC's, fleshed out shells, offensive arguments and COLLAPSING :)

Speed: Speed seems to be fine. Idk about online so depending on how fast you are maybe 80% is better in case you want me to get everything.

Theory/Framework: These are fine. I include this to say, I don't mind your aggressive strategy or K aff, but I'm more than willing to listen to the other side and you should be prepared to respond to framework or theory.

K's: K's are great. K's have a place in debate. I enjoy K's because I believe I can learn from them. It forces me to be more critical in my evaluations and it is of my opinion that people that resent that type of debate altogether are stuck in an ultimately noneducational way of thinking. That being said, I'm not afraid to vote on "this doesn't make any sense". Just because it's a game doesn't mean it shouldn't be accessible.

CP: Just do it right if you're gonna do it? idk

Straight up debate: I'll admit I have a sweet spot for straight up rounds, but it's more because I'm just a sucker for fundamentals in debate. Many "K" debaters end up completely forgetting how to run a regular plan without it being a soft-left aff and get shook at a little bit of solvency mitigation. Like I said, I just like good debate straight up or not.

Condo: I really don't see condo as an issue. I think generally it makes for a round with a higher competitive ceiling when this is treated as a given, but like I've said before, I won't forbid myself from voting for condo bad if its argued for well enough or the strategy really is being that abusive. I know some people have an ideologies, but I think that's more of a meme at this point.

Speaker points: I'm not a fan of speaker points so I plan on being a bit of a point fairy. I also don't mind answering questions at all, but you might see a knock if you try to post-round me

Advice: Don't argue like I do with my girlfriend because you won't win.

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.

Shayan Saadat - El Camino

Steven Farias - UOP


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

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

Section 1: General Information-

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

I do my best to keep up with the debate and flow every argument. However, I also will not stress if your 5 uniqueness blips 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

K debate- I do not mind critical affirmatives but be prepared to defend topicality with more than just generic links back to the K. Moreover, I feel that this can even be avoided if the affirmative team simply frames the critical arguments they are going to make while still offering, at the very least, the resolution as a policy text for the opposition. On the negatiave, I think that 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 provied a role that I should perform as the adjudicator and a method for performing that role. This should also jive with your framework arguments. Whoever wins a discussion of my role in the debate and how should perform that role will be ahead on Framework. For performance based arguments, please explain to me how to evaluate the performance and how I should vote and what voting for it means or I am likely to intervene in a way you are unhappy with. Also, please do not make myself or your competitors uncomfortable. If they ask you to stop your position because it emotionally disturbs them, please listen. I am not unabashed to vote against you if you do not. I believe you should be able to run your argument, but not at the expense of 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 competeing definitions and a question of abuse in my book. Not either or. As a result, while I have a hard time voting against an aff who was not abusive, if the negative has a better definition that would operate better in terms of ground or limits, then I will vote on T. To win, I also think you must either pick theory OR the case debate. If you go for both your topicality and your K/DA/CP I will probably not vote on either. Caveat- I think that negative teams should remember that a contextual definition IS A DEFINITION and I consider multiple, contradictory definitions from an affirmative abusive (so make Aff doesnt meet its own interp arguments).

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

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

Evaluating rounds- I evaluate rounds as a PMR. That means to me that I first look to see if the affirmative has lost a position that should lose them the round (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.


Tom Kadie - Parli at Berkeley

I did two years of circuit LD at Miramonte High School and graduated in 2015. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2019 after doing four years of NPDA parliamentary debate.

I have no desire to impose my own views upon the debate round. In deciding the round, I will strive to be as objective as possible. Some people have noted that objectivity can be difficult, but this has never seemed like a reason that judges shouldn't strive to be objective. I, overwhelmingly, prefer that you debate in the style that you are most comfortable with and believe that you are best at. I would prefer a good K or util debate to a bad theory or framework debate anyday. That's the short version--here are some specifics if you're interested.

May 28th 2020 NFA-LD Update:

I'm new to NFA-LD LD so feel free to ask me questions. Most of the paradigm below applies, but here's some specific thoughts that could apply to NFA-LD.

1. Cards v. Spin: I tend to err that spin and analysis trump evidence quality in the abstract. Intuitively, a card is only as good as its extension. However, I will listen to framing arguments that indicate judges should prioritize debate's value as a research activity and prefer cards to spin.

GGI 2019 Parli-Specific Update:

While I will generally vote for any strategy, I would like to discuss my thoughts on some common debates. These thoughts constitute views about argument interaction that should not make a difference in most debates.

  • K affs versus T: Assuming the best arguments are made, I err affirmative 60-40 in these debates (The best arguments are rarely made.) However, I tend to believe that impact turns constitute a suboptimal route to beating topicality. I differ from some judges because I believe that neg impact framing on T (procedural fairness first, debate as a question of process, not product) tends to beat aff impact framing. However, I err aff on the legitimacy of K affs because I'm skeptical of the neg's link to that framing. Does T uniquely ensure procedural fairness? Thus, to win my ballot, teams reading K affs must take care to respond to the neg's specific impact framing. They cannot merely read parallel arguments.
  • Conditionality: I lean strongly that the negative gets 1 conditional advocacy. 2 is up for debate and three is pushing it. Objections to conditionality should be framed around the type of negative advocacies and the amount of aff flex. For example, perhaps 2 conditional advantage counterplans is permissible, but not 2 conditional PICs.

Past Paradigm:


  • Absent weighing on any particular layer, I default to weighing based on strength of link.
  • I probably won't cover everything so feel free to ask me questions.
  • Taken from Ben Koh because this makes sense: "If I sit and you are the winner (that is, the other 2 judges voted for you), and would like to ask me extensive questions, I will ask that you let the other RFDs be given and then let the opponent leave before asking me more questions. I'm fine answering questions, but just to be fair the other people in the room should be allowed to leave."

Delivery and speaks:

  • Fine with speed.
  • I'm not the greatest at flowing, so try to be clear about where an argument was made.
  • High speaks for good strategic choices and innovative arguments. I will say clear as much as necessary and I won't penalize speaks for clarity.


  • I default to being epistemically conservative, but will accept arguments for epistemic modesty if they are advanced and won.
  • I am willing to support any framework given that it is won on the flow.
  • I'm willing to vote for permissibility or presumption triggers. However, there must be some implicit or explicit defense of a truth-testing paradigm. The argument must also be clear the first time that it is read. If the argument is advanced for the first time in the 1AR and I think that it is new, I will allow new 2NR responses.
  • Many framework debates are difficult to adjudicate because debaters fail to weigh between different metastandards on the framework debate. For example, if util meets actor-specificity better, but Kantianism is derived from a superior metaethic, is the actor-specificity argument or the metaethic more important?

Theory and T:

  • I default to no RVI, drop the argument on most theory and drop the debater on T, competing interpretations, and fairness and education not being voters. Most of these defaults rarely matter because debaters make arguments.
  • I don't think that competing interps means anything besides a risk of offense model for the adjudication of theory. That means, for example, that debaters need to justify why their opponent must have an explicit counter-interpretation in the first speech.
  • I, paradigmatically, won't vote on 2AR theory.
  • I'm willing to vote on metatheory. I probably err slightly in favor of the metatheory bad arguments such as infinite regress.
  • I'm willing to vote on disclosure theory.
  • Fine with frivolous theory.


  • I default to believing in durable fiat.
  • Debaters should work on pointing out missing internal links in most extinction scenarios.
  • I default that perms are tests of competition and not advocacies.
  • I probably err aff on issues of counter-plan competition.
  • Err towards the view that uniqueness controls the direction of the link. However, I'm willing to accept arguments about why the link is more important.
  • I will evaluate 1ar add-ons and 2nr counter-plans against these add-ons. This is irrelevant in most debates.


  • There are many different kinds of kritikal argumentation so feel free to ask questions in round.
  • I'm unsure whether I should default to role of the ballot arguments coming before ethical frameworks. I personally believe that ethical arguments engage important assumptions made by many ROB arguments. However, community consensus is that ROB's come first so I will usually stick with that assumption if no argument is made either way.
  • I default to fairness impacts coming before theory, but I'm willing to evaluate arguments to the contrary.
  • I don't have strong objections to non-topical positions. However, I believe debaters should probably engage in practices like disclosure that improve the theoretical legitimacy of their practices.
  • Willing to vote on Kritikal RVI's/impact turns to theory.
  • I'm willing to listen to arguments that there shouldn't be perms in method debates. However, I find these arguments not very persuasive.

Note for HS Parli:

Everything above applies. Except for the stuff about prep time. The only parli specific issue is that I will listen to theory arguments that it is permissible to split the block. Feel free to ask me any questions

Trevor Greenan - Parli at Berkeley


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


General Issues

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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



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

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

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

  • I default to fiat being durable.



  • Please give me specific texts.

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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