Keith Green - Biola University

Saved Philosophy:

I strongly prefer K debate.

Be warned: if you run a K with Marxism, Biopolitcs, Orientalism/ Po Co you will have to go deeper then a shell. 


History: i have coached with Biola for two years, and I competed in Parli debate for two years with Biola University. I also did speech with them for one semester. I also competed for 4 years in STOA and NCFCA Voting: I vote on what you tell to me, provided you’ve put in the work on it. Eg, if you run a really horrid T, that is missing most of its parts, saying “a priori ” doesn’t mean you win. 

On Procedurals: if you’ve lost ground, prove it to me. Otherwise, I default to competing interpretations. I will usually not vote on vagueness and unpopular procedurals except if they are really, really, necessary. 


On K’s: I LOVE K’s. PLEASE RUN EXPERIMENTAL K’S IF YOU HAVE THEM. The way to make me happy is to have a unique K, with a CITED LIT BASE, a INTERESTING ALT and run by teams who understand the K they are running.   


On Alts: I understand that reject alts are really common and do fit the average criticism, BUT if you run an alt that is more than just reject, it greatly increases your chances of me picking you up. (provided you can defend it)hint: non-violence can be very effective. I like project K’s, I really dislike. 

THEORY and LIT bases: I have read extensively from Foucault, Butler, Spivak, Saide, West, Saussure, Derrida, Althusser, Marx, bell hooks, Nietzsche, Barthes, Bhabha, Beauvoir, Edelman, Segwick, Wilderson, Sexton,  Baudrillard, Jameson, Zizek Fannon, Fiere, Chomsky and Bell, and Ghandi. 


I am familiar/have read the following schools of theory: Femm, Queer, Po-Co, Marxist, Critical Race Theory, anti-blackness and afro-pessimisnm, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, reader response, intersectionality, and Eco-Fem. I do not like Deep Eco, and I do not enjoy psychoanalytic. I DO NOT LIKE ANTHRO K’s. Other kinds of lit bases I am not as well versed in which means you may have to a run a specific thesis block. I enjoy personal narratives as advocacy provided you make it clear how to weigh them IN ROUND. Same goes with performance debate. 


On Speed: gotta go fast! I can follow nearly all CLEAR speed. If you mumble I will not flow it.

 On Trichot: I will never vote for you on a fact res. The first person to say the word fact loses. Period. Same for value. Just run policy or I will be mad. Impacts: I like them to be clear, well warranted and realistic. Running nuclear war as an impact is bad, and any good team can beat that. I will vote on critical impacts if you actually terminalize them. Saying their imperialist is not an impact. You need to explain to me the pre/post fiat impacts. 

I love GOOD WARRANTED impact scenarios. Just saying “econ improves therefor JOBS” is a good way to lose. Do impact calculus EVEN FOR YOUR CRITICAL IMPACTS. Warrants: have them for important aspects of your advocacy. Preferably for everything. Calling out NO WARRANT is not an argument, it is at the very least, poor defense.. Points of Order: you should call them. I will try to protect as much as I can, for new arguments, but I will miss some. Don’t abuse POO though. CP: I agree with Sean Hansen: “I think PICs are a good strategy decision, while delays and 50 states tend to be lazy strategies unless specifically justified. I think topical CPs are not only theoretically legitimate, but also probably the only way to allow NEG reciprocal access to the round (though I’ve picked up AFFs who have argued otherwise). I am also open to conditional CPs, and even multiple conditional positions, but allow AFF theory responses equal weight. My openness to CPs generates a corresponding openness to good perm debates, although I tend towards the perspective that legitimate perms use all of AFF text and some or all of CP text (unless severance is somehow justified, which can certainly be done, but is a hard theory battle to win). Perms should have a net benefit, and should usually be run with solvency deficits / turns to the alt.” Speech: I start at 30spks, and go down. If you get lower than 26 you pissed me off. Interpreting my non- verbal’s : 1. If I knock that I means I like your argument. 2. If I laugh, that’s means something funny has occurred. If you can’t figure out what it is, its probably you. 3. If I stop flowing, that’s bad. Give me things to flow. 4. If I stare at your team during rebuttals I’m listening to a new argument, and wondering if you are going to call it. 5. If I shrug that means I’m not impressed but I can buy it. 6. Nodding quickly means I agree with what you are sating. Speaking of things that piss me off: 1. Any kind of racist, sexist, homophobic, transist, bi, ablest, imperialist, classist, ethnocentrism, exceptioanlism, patriarchal, and jingoist statements as well as generally being unaware of one’s privilege will KILL your speaker points, and may cost you the round. 2. Repeating arguments. 3. Interrupting speeches. 4. Not taking ANY questions. (taking at least one won’t hurt you) 5. Lying about what the other team has or has not done. 6. Being rude. (don’t tell me their DA is crap, I’ll know) 7. Looking at your competition, unless it’s a diag/expo round. 

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.
UPDATED:2017 History: I competed in Parli debate for two years with Biola University. I also did speech with them for one semester. I also competed for 4 years in STOA and NCFCA Voting: I vote on what you tell to me, provided you’ve put in the work on it. Eg, if you run a really horrid T, that is missing most of its parts, saying “a priori ” doesn’t mean you win. On Procedurals: if you’ve lost ground, prove it to me. Otherwise, I default to competing interpretations. I will usually not vote on vagueness and unpopular procedurals except if they are really, really, necessary. On K’s: I LOVE K’s. PLEASE RUN EXPERMINTAL K’S IF YOU HAVE THEM. The way to make me happy is to have a unqiune K, with a CITED LIT BASE, a INTERESTING ALT (reject alts I am not a fan of, but I have voted on them), and run by teams who understand the K they are running. On Alts: I understand that reject alts are really common and do fit the average criticism, BUT if you run an alt that is more than just reject, it greatly increases your chances of me picking you up. (provided you can defend it)hint: non-violence can be very effective. I THEORY and LIT bases: I have read extensively from Foucault, Butler, Spivak, Saide, West, Saussure, Derrida, Althusser, Marx, bell hooks, Nietzsche, Barthes, Bhabha, Beauvoir, Chomsky and Bell, and Ghandi, Baudrillard, Sedgwick, Endeleman, gottimer, I am familiar/have read the following schools of theory: Femm, Queer, Po-Co, Marxist, Critical Race Theory, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, reader response, intersectionality, and Eco-Fem, anti-blackness. I do not like Deep Eco, and I do not enjoy psychoanalytic. I DO NOT LIKE ANTHRO K’s. Other kinds of lit bases I am not as well versed in which means you may have to a run a specific thesis block. I enjoy personal narratives as advocacy provided you make it clear how to weigh them IN ROUND. Same goes with performance debate. On Speed: gotta go fast! I can follow nearly all CLEAR speed. If you mumble I will not flow it. On Trichot: I will never vote for you on a fact res. The first person to say the word fact loses. Period. Same for value. Just run policy or I will be mad. Impacts: I like them to be clear, well warranted and realistic. Running nuclear war as an impact is bad, and any good team can beat that. I will only vote on critical impacts if you actually terminalize them. Saying their imperialist is not an impact. You need to explain to me the pre/post fiat impacts. I love GOOD WARRANTED impact scenarios. Just saying “econ improves therefor JOBS” is a good way to lose. Do impact calculus EVEN FOR YOUR CRITICAL IMPACTS. Warrants: have them for important aspects of your advocacy. Preferably for everything. Calling out NO WARRANT is not an argument, it is at the very least, poor defense.. Points of Order: you should call them. I will try to protect as much as I can, for new arguments, but I will miss some. Don’t abuse POO though. CP: I agree with Sean Hansen: “I think PICs are a good strategy decision, while delays and 50 states tend to be lazy strategies unless specifically justified. I think topical CPs are not only theoretically legitimate, but also probably the only way to allow NEG reciprocal access to the round (though I’ve picked up AFFs who have argued otherwise). I am also open to conditional CPs, and even multiple conditional positions, but allow AFF theory responses equal weight. My openness to CPs generates a corresponding openness to good perm debates, although I tend towards the perspective that legitimate perms use all of AFF text and some or all of CP text (unless severance is somehow justified, which can certainly be done, but is a hard theory battle to win). Perms should have a net benefit, and should usually be run with solvency deficits / turns to the alt.” Speech: I start at 30spks, and go down. If you get lower than 26 you pissed me off. Interpreting my non- verbal’s : 1. If I knock that I means I like your argument. 2. If I laugh, that’s means something funny has occurred. If you can’t figure out what it is, its probably you. 3. If I stop flowing, that’s bad. Give me things to flow. 4. If I stare at your team during rebuttals I’m listening to a new argument, and wondering if you are going to call it. 5. If I shrug that means I’m not impressed but I can buy it. 6. Nodding quickly means I agree with what you are sating. Speaking of things that piss me off: 1. Any kind of racist, sexist, homophobic, transist, bi, ablest, imperialist, classist, ethnocentrism, exceptioanlism, patriarchal, and jingoist statements as well as generally being unaware of one’s privilege will KILL your speaker points, and may cost you the round. 2. Repeating arguments. 3. Interrupting speeches. 4. Not taking ANY questions. (taking at least one won’t hurt you) 5. Lying about what the other team has or has not done. 6. Being rude. (don’t tell me their DA is crap, I’ll know) 7. Looking at your competition, unless it’s a diag/expo round.

Amy Arellano - Boise State University

Saved Philosophy:

Overall I feel that debate is a game, other than the obvious rules of the game (time limits, speaker order, resolution) I feel the debaters set the tone for the debate. I am a critical judge that acts as a policy maker, I will judge the round based on the grounds the affirmative provides. Give me voters, do not make me decide what is important, it may cost you the round. Also give me structure, if you do not number your arguments separately than I am ok with your opponent collapsing your six arguments into one. Remember to signpost, it is important. Debaters should remember that I am not voting for good positions; I am voting for good arguments. A superior position is nothing if it does not take advantage of the superior arguments that make it a superior position. To win my ballot, out-impact your opponent. There are two kinds of impacts. First, there are the impacts that exist in the make-believe world we debate about (nuclear war, republican backlash, tyranny) and there are the impacts that tell me how these impacts should affect my ballot (nuclear war is bad, so you should vote for the team that doesn’t cause it; that’s us!). It is a lack of weighing impacts that usually forces judge intervention. If you do the work for me, I won’t have to do it on my own. I do not like to intervene as a judge; this means that it is your responsibility to give me everything I need to vote for you so that I am not forced to fill in gaps or assumptions. If you want me to vote on topicality, tell me why I should vote on topicality. If you tell me that your position has more advantages, tell me why this means you should win. If this isn’t done, I will resort to whatever decision criteria is advocated in the debate or impose one of my own if no such criteria is offered. I have no problem voting on topicality or on critical arguments, but they must be structured. If the negative if forcing either of these positions the Affirmative must explain why the affirmative stance does not bite topicality or the critical argument, because it doesn’t is not sufficient argumentation. If the negative fails to structure the topicality or critical argument, as the affirmative point that out and move on, I will not vote on the issue if it is not structured. The Flow: A dropped argument means nothing if you don’t tell me why it matters. Weigh it for me. I won’t vote for you just because the other team dropped arguments. Also, two or three well developed strong arguments are better than ten undeveloped arguments. Debate as a Forum of Communication: Being rude is not acceptable; play nice or I will dock your speaker points. When speed comes into conflict with clarity, I always prefer clarity. 

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Jared Bressler - Colorado State University - Pueblo

Saved Philosophy:

New much shorter judging philosophy
I judge the round by the arguments made in round through the flow, I am not capable of judging another way (I'm not claiming to be perfect, but I always use the flow). Being autistic means that the flow is the only way that I can see the round. If you think that makes me a bad person you should strike me.  I hold PMR responses to MO responses to MG theory to a high standard. While I judge rounds in the flow there are some things that will kill your speaker points if you read them in front of me (I have given people one speaker point before)
Saying I should not use the flow (this is an attack on me as an autistic person)
Most critical ableism literature (Again these arguments make me feel attacked as an autistic person)
Any framework that says that X identity or form of oppression should come over all others
Being racist, sexist, ableist,homophobic, trabsphobic ect.
Being a jerk to your opponents

One other request, I get audioly over stimulated, so if your speech act involves yelling please keep in mind that causes me physical pain.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Julian Plaza - Colorado State University - Pueblo

Saved Philosophy:

Julian Plaza - The Colorado College

Question 1 : Background of the critic (including formats coached/competed in, # of rounds judged, etc)

I debated CX Policy debate for three years in Colorado 2002-05. I debated NPDA Parli for Colorado College for three years and was in outrounds at NPDA Nationals and the NPTE both years I attended each tournament. I have held the position of Director of Forensics and Debate at Colorado College since 2011. I have been competing, judging, and coaching competitive debate since 2003.


General: Debate is a game of competing advocacies and frameworks. One wins this game, in my book, if one gives clearly articulated reasons and examples as to why their framework is good/legitimate, and why voting in that framework necessitates a vote for the advocacy defended by either side in the debate. This game is won primarily through the record of arguments extended and made, the flow. I only take into consideration arguments extended throughout the round. For example, if a team drops uniqueness and the other team argues against it and does not extend their argument throughout the round, I will consider it a non-issue. Similarly, I don't give grace periods at the end of speeches, once the clock stops my pen drops. Speech times in parliamentary debate seem to be the only concrete rules for debate, and I treat them as such.


  1. Speaker points: I regret to admit that I don't know any clear criterion by which allocate speaker points. That aside, I typically give speaker points above 26, unless something offends me. Don't be racist, don't be sexist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. I give higher speaker points to debaters who make quality arguments (ex: a concise and clear claim with well warranted and analyzed empirics to back it up completed with a link to a voter or an impact). Arguments that simply make a claim and assert its connection to a well known historical event will NOT win a debater high speaker points.

  2. The K: As a philosophy major, I tend to enjoy critical debate, despite how often it bankrupts the ideas of geniuses. However, a successful kritik will have several key components. First, it will have an explanation of how the kritik views the world and the kritik itself. Second, the kritik must obviously link to the advocacy of the opposite team (ex: I will not listen to a Heidegger critique of technology on the internet). Third, it will have an efficacious alternative. I strongly oppose kritiks that don't have a prayer of solving the problems they isolate. I am strongly persuaded by oppositional arguments which take the format of procedural violations. I will vote for kritiks, but think that the format of parliamentary debate does not lend itself to quality critical positions. Unfortunately, cards are much better at acclimating critics to discourses that are unfamiliar to their particular discipline or lacuna of research. 

  3. Performance: I'll be honest, I understand performance debate very little. If a team is to attempt to win my ballot with a performance argument, they will need to explain it well. That being said, I did have the privilege of watching a hip-hop vs. punk debate that was awesome. Link your theory arguments and framework arguments to the aesthetic turn in literary and social theory and they will make more sense to me, because I read Michael J. Shapiro more than whomever you reference.
  4. Topicality: I believe that topicality is a game of competing interpretations. I think abuse is an impact of bad interpretations, which means simply claiming that another team is unfair will NOT win my ballot. To vote on topicality I require a simple calculus: 1) Tell me why your interpretation is good for the debate round by using your standards as a measure; 2) Explain the warrants of your standards and why they are the best criterion to measure the aptitude of a given interpretation; 3) Explain why the interpretation and standards prove your interpretation is best, and why this justifies a vote for you position.

  5. Counter Plans: As far as counter plan debate goes, I welcome any and every kind of counter plan. If a specific type of counter plan is abusive, it is up to the other team to establish what it is that is unfair and why it warrants removing that argument from the round. I typically like the condition of the counter plan to be read following the text. Again, if a condition is not immediately established, it is up to the other team to conjure up arguments why it's not cool to be remiss about the condition of the counter plan. If I am to vote on a permutation, it must be competitive (textual competition is debatable), it must have a text, it must solve, and it must have unique reasons as to why it outweighs the case. I think that all permutations are run as tests.

  6. Flow sharing: Obviously, don't start hijacking flows in-round, but I am a fan of teamwork. If you want to share flows, do it (within reason).

  7. Argument scaling: In the absence of clearly won arguments, I evaluate based on the position of the argument along the trajectory of fiat. So, generally, kritiks and topicality/ procedural arguments will come first, because they claim pre-fiat status. These arguments are gates into the substance of the debate, and must be overcome in order for me to vote anywhere else on the flow. After, I will evaluate the plan vs. counter plan and disad debate. In this realm, I default to net-benefits in judging the terminal impacts of each position. I cannot stress the importance of scenarios. If there is not a specific scenario for your impact to occur in your imagination, then it's highly unlikely that your impact will hold up against a well warranted specific example/ narrative. I didn't know where to put my thoughts on conditional advocacies anywhere else but here, because I think the conditionality of advocacies absolutely effects the way I scale arguments. As a caveat, I think strategically running multiple conditional advocacies in Parli puts one at a strategic disadvantage because of the number of new argument opportunities that this can generate for the PMR. Regardless of my personal views on the strat, I will always do my best to shield debaters from my own bias. If the strategy can be executed in a way that necessitates a vote for one or none of the conditional advocacies, I will. One last aspect, I think that runing pre-fiat and fiat-ed conditional advocacies together requires exceptional organization. So if you're planning on attempting this strategy and I'm in the back please, please, please be very organized and sign-post flawlessly. 

8- Impact Analysis: First, I can't stand dehumanization impacts. If something really is "dehumanizing," there are probably examples of it. Things like structural inequity create real problems, and I would rather hear about that. I have sat through too many rounds where some one simply asserts dehumanization and continues to repeat it, as if each time they do the image of famine babies becomes more real in my mind (it doesn't). Thus, absent a scenario, it is extremely unlikely that I will vote up a dehumanization impact. I will be honest that the lead up to the impact is as important as the impact itself to me. I like warrants and I like them specific. By the time a debater is done with the internal links, everyone in the room should have a good idea of what the impact is going to be. In the end, I will vote how the teams tell me to and will do as little work as possible to come to conclusions about the round. 





Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Kathryn Starkey - Colorado State University - Pueblo

Saved Philosophy:

Judging Philosophy: Kathryn Starkey


Section 1: General Information

I debated at the University of Wyoming from 2006-2011. I coached at Texas Tech University for the three years following UW. Now, I am the Director of forensics at CSU Pueblo in my 3rd year.  As a debater, I tended to read policy-oriented arguments with the occasional cap-bad or constructivism K thrown into the mix. Debate is a game; be strategic. This is one of the most incredible educational activities out there. Treat it as such.


Section 2: Specific Inquiries


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

So far my range tends to fall in the 26-30 category. Things to help your speaker points: strategy, intelligence, and wit. Adjustments will occur when debaters are inappropriate in round. Please be civil! I know that debates can become intense, but your speaker points will also be a reflection of your ability to treat your opponents with respect.


1. 2. How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be “contradictory” with other negative positions? 

I have voted k’s for them since I have stopped competing, but a word of caution: I am probably not as well versed in the literature as you. This being said, if you run a K in front of me, make sure to thoroughly explain your argument. Several unwarranted tags coupled with name-dropping authors isn’t going to be as persuasive as a thorough explanation of the thesis of the K. The alternative must be able to solve the mpx of the K, which make both the alt text and the solvency contention pretty important in my book. I’m not a fan of using the K to exclude the aff. It makes the discussion solely about the K, which I think takes away from the merit of parli. Despite this, it’s your debate.

The aff can run critical arguments, but there is a way to do so and be topical at the same time. The resolution exists for a reason. Please be topical. I’m very persuaded by framework arguments.

As for contradictory arguments, it probably depends on your ability to defend conditionality as a beneficial thing in parli. I’m down with conditional arguments, but demonstrating why you are not abusive to the other team can be difficult at times and is your burden to fulfill. This also probably means you need to have a coherent strategy going into the block to deter possible abuse if you are going to run critical arguments that contradict other facets of the negative strategy.


1. 3. Performance based arguments…

Not a fan….. I’ll vote for whatever you tell me to vote for in a round, but I’m not going to enjoy listening to a performance if read in front of me. I’d like to enjoy what I listen to.


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

For the aff, you should probably be topical. Aside from this, I love T debates as long as they aren’t the generic, stock T debate that gets rehashed every round. Nuanced and educational ways to interpret the resolution tend to spur interesting debates, at least in my opinion. I’d prefer to have in-round abuse, but it’s not necessary. Without a specific weighing mechanism, I’ll default to competing interpretations.

To vote on T, it clearly needs an interp, standards and a voter. In a paradigm of competing interpretations, there must be a net-benefit to one interpretation that the other fails to capture. I don’t see T as a win-all for the Aff. I don’t think I’d vote for an RVI on T.


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

With a substantial net-benefit, PICS are great. I welcome the theoretical level of the counterplan debate as well. That being said, it would be difficult to persuade me that arguments like PICS bad or PICS good are more than a way for me to view the round. I.e. Voting for the arg: PICS are bad, which means they lose. If a solid abuse story is established, I can probably be persuaded otherwise.

I also think the neg should state the status of the counterplan in the LOC. It forces the theory debate to begin later in the debate, making it difficult to evaluate the end of a debate in which the PMR goes for that theory. Why hide your status? If you’re going to read a counterplan, be ready to defend it.

Counterplans need to be functionally competitive, or there seems to be no point in running one. It must have a NB that the aff cannot solve. As for textual competition, I’m impartial. It probably helps to prove the competition of your counterplan, but it doesn’t seem as necessary to me, though I can be persuaded otherwise. Perms are tests of competition; they are not advocacies. If a counterplan is non-competitive, then it goes away, leaving the rest of the debate.


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

Impartial. It’s probably in your best interest to make sure you flowed an argument as the other team stated it, but it’s up to you. Sharing texts is probably a good idea as well. I also don’t care if you ask the other team something during a speech (this isn’t a POI – it’s the other communication that occurs) as long as I can still hear who’s speaking. It seems to be a trend that’s picking up. Doesn’t bother me.


1. 7. 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?)?

As a disclaimer: this is your job, not mine. Please do this for me. Procedurals come first, then usually other theoretical objections, impacts. It all still depends what kinds of arguments are in the round.


1. 8. How do you weight 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 would honestly prefer to NEVER have to do this, so please don’t make me have to do so! A thought, though: Extinction>dehume


Other Random thoughts J



Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Austin Thoma - Colorado State University - Pueblo

Saved Philosophy:

Quick summary: Most often, I judge critical affirmatives against framework-centric negatives. I must have a decently even record in deciding these debates, as I keep being placed in them in policy debate’s mutual preference system. My second most judged rounds are critical affirmatives against critical negatives. I will quite rarely judge policy affirmatives against policy negatives.

In terms of arguments, my primary coaching and competitive experience was with critical-oriented things. I am likely to be familiar with whatever literature base you choose to draw on. However, I take straight-up debate seriously, and will work to evaluate your disadvantages and counterplans on their merits.

I am primarily a policy debate coach / judge. I have been coaching at the college level for three years. I have judged one Parli tournament before, so I am a bit familiar with the format. However, particular rules or norms may go over my head.

Debated for Concordia College. Coaching now for Wyoming. Previously coached for Cornell. Judged and coached high school in the past.

Specific argument/stylistic preferences:

I will definitely be able to keep up with your speed. 

I have a relatively low threshold on theory arguments when dropped. I like judging theory debates, but need some development of an argument beyond “they dropped it” to vote.

My presumption is neg - aff should propose a change from the status quo. Aff should be in the direction of the topic. This is a fairly ambigious concept, but I feel like you'll know it when it happens. 

Rhetoric choices matter - and come before evaluation of plan action.

Aff severance of PM rhetoric / assumptions is illegitimate.

Condo is good for debate. 

LOR condo is illegitimate.

Fiat is good for debate.

Performative argumentation is good for debate. 

Fairness is of at least as much importance as education in the context of debate – this seems especially true in Parli, where “topic education” seems to be an incredibly weak impact. 

Narratives - personal or otherwise - need to be applied to broader, more generalized arguments to make sense in the context of the round. 

Politics DAs are pretty silly – I have a relatively high threshold for explanation of the internal links. 

Debate rounds are not particularly good forums for starting social change.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Alyssa Sambor - Colorado State University - Pueblo

Saved Philosophy:

This is a short overview, feel free to ask me for follow up specifics:

I believe in evaluating rounds based on the arguments made by competitors, which is much easier to do when debaters make explicit impact comparisons. Those comparisons are even more compelling when they have strong support in the form of examples. I have been out of debate for over a year but coached at Texas Tech for two years prior to that and competed during my undergrad at Northern Arizona University as well. As a result of my debate absence, I may need a little more pen time. Beyond the need for a bit of warm up time, feel free to go as fast as you like. I debated a lot of kritiks and that is the area of argument I am most familiar with. My preference is for kritiks that are more rooted in material oppressions/social hierarchies than some of the more esoteric work done under the umbrella of critical theory but I will listen to just about anything. That being said, if impact turns to patriarchy bad is your A strat, I should probably not be at the top of your pref sheet. Minus monumental argumentative struggles for positions like those, I often vote for arguments that don’t align with my worldview, and generally the most strategic thing to do in front of me is the thing you are best at. I like theory debates that are well developed and warranted and enjoy smart counterplan strategies too. Clever PICs can be pretty awesome, theory arguments tailored to why PICs are bad in the context of particular resolutions are equally welcome. Few things bother me more than people who talk over their partners during their speeches but other than that you all win and lose as teams so feel free to communicate or pass papers.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Matt Gayetsky - Colorado State University - Pueblo

Saved Philosophy:

Eunoia is the shortest word in the English language which has all five vowels. Aristotle discusses this concept, εὔνοια, in the Nicomachean Ethics where he observes: “By extending the scope of the word, then, one might describe goodwill as latent friendship, which becomes friendship as intimacy develops over time. It does not, however, become friendship for utility or pleasure, since goodwill does not arise for these reasons. For the recipient of a benefit does what is just in returning goodwill for what he has received, but someone who wishes for another's well-being in the hope of some advantage through him seems to have goodwill not to the other person, but rather to himself. In the same way, a person is not a friend to another if he looks after him with some reward in mind. Generally speaking, however, goodwill develops because of some virtue and excellence, when one person appears noble or courageous or some such thing to another, as we suggested happens in the case of competitors at the games.” (Book IX, Ch 5.)

On Case debates:

Ainsoph, this upright one, with that noughty besighed him zeroine. To see in his horrorscup he is mehrkurios than saltz of sulphur. Terror of the noonstruck by day cryptogam of each nightly bridable. But, to speak broken heaventalk, is he? Who is he? Whose is he? Why is he? Howmuch is he? Which is he? When is he? Where is he? How is he? And what the decans is there about him anyway, the decemt man? Easy, calm your haste! Approach to lead our passage!      

This bridge is upper.


On Disads/Counterplans:

Writing is inhibiting. Sighing, I sit, scribbling in ink this pidgin script. I sing with nihilistic witticism, disciplining signs with trifling gimmicks- impish hijinks which highlight stick sigils. Isn’t it glib? Isn’t it chic? I fit childish insights within rigid limits, writing shtick which might instill priggish misgivings in critics blind with hindsight. I dismiss nitpicking criticism which flirts with philistinism. I bitch; I kibitz – griping whilst criticizing dimwits, snipping whilst indicating nitwits, dismissing simplistic thinking, in which philippic wit is still illicit.

On K/Performance:

The past is a grotesque animal
And in its eyes you see
How completely wrong you can be
The sun is out, it melts the snow that fell yesterday
Makes you wonder why it bothered
I fell in love with the first cute girl that I met
Who could appreciate George Bataille
Standing at a Swedish festival
Discussing 'Story of the Eye'
It's so embarrassing to need someone like I do you
How can I explain I need you here and not here too
I'm flunking out, I'm flunking out
I'm gone, I'm just gone
But at least I author my own disaster
Performance breakdown and I don't want to hear it
I'm just not available
Things could be different but they're not
The mousy girl screams, 'Violence, violence'
She gets hysterical 'cause they're both so mean
And it's my favorite scene
But the cruelty's so predictable
Makes you sad on the stage
Though our love project has so much potential
But it's like we weren't made for this world
Though I wouldn't really want to meet someone who was
Do I have to scream in your face?
I've been dodging lamps and vegetables
Throw it all in my face, I don't care
Let's just have some fun, let's tear this shit apart
Let's tear the fucking house apart
Let's tear our fucking bodies apart
Let's just have some fun
Somehow you've red-rovered the gestapo circling my heart
And nothing can defeat you, no death, no ugly world
You've lived so brightly, you've altered everything
I find myself searching for old selves
While speeding forward through the plate glass of maturing cells
I've played the unraveler, the parhelion
But even Apocalypse is fleeting, there's no death, no ugly world
Sometimes I wonder if you're mythologizing me like I do you
We want our film to be beautiful, not realistic
Perceive me in the radiance of terror dreams
You can betray me, you can
Teach me something wonderful
Crown my head, crowd my head with your lilting effects
Project your fears on to me, I need to view them
See there's nothing to them
I promise you there's nothing to them
I'm so touched by your goodness
You make me feel so criminal
How do you keep it together?
I'm all, all unraveled
But you know, no matter where we are
We're always touching by underground wires
I've explored you with the detachment of an analyst
But most nights we've raided the same kingdoms
And none of our secrets are physical
None of our secrets are physical now

On Theory:


Conditionality is good, but blackness isn’t conditional.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Andy Larson - Colorado State University - Pueblo

Saved Philosophy:

Experience: I competed in policy debate for 6.5 years including high school, and NPDA debate for 2.5 years at the end of college.  I was the policy debate coach at Whitman College in 2014-2015, and have not judged any debate rounds since 2015. I was known mostly for reading politics DAs and big stick affs.  I love impact calc, impact defense, humor, and technical debates.

As for preferences, I think it will be most instructive to list my preferred neg strategies (these also tend to be strategies that I am most qualified to judge):

1) DA + Case

2) Adv CP + DA + Case

3) Process CP + DA

4) Ks with links to the plan + Case

5) "New Debate" style arguments

6) Backfile Ks that are not germane or are only tangentially germane

Non-traditional debate: I think you should have a topical advocacy even if it is not a “plan” in the traditional sense and I would prefer advantages about the topic when you're aff. Your personal relationship to the topic is not very helpful in my adjudication of debate rounds (I would love to discuss this with you in contexts that don’t require me to vote for or against you.)  This is not because I dislike non-traditional arguments, or that I dislike teams that read them, it is simply a reflection of one overriding fact: I find these arguments to be incommenserable, or if not entirely unweighable, at least very difficult for me to sort out.  Any guidance that you can give me in the round for effectively weighing arguments (how advocacies compete, solvency mechanisms, impacts etc) in these debates would be appreciated.  I will judge these kinds of debates as fairly as I can. However, know that I am a risk in non-traditional debates.

Kritiks: Buzzwords do not help me, especially if your preferred philosopher has made up this word (this includes words not used in their dictionary sense, and words that are an amalgamation of several other words).  If your 2NC is usually a 3 minute overview of the K and your 1NRs only responsibility is reading a perm block, we’re gonna have a problem.  Instead, I would prefer that you debate the K like a DA, doing good line by line.  I will NOT turn a 2NR or 2AR that does not refute the other team’s major offense directly, into a slayer impact turn for you in the post round. 

CP Theory: I lean neg on most CP theory questions with the major exception of competition.  I think that CPs should be both textually and functionally competitive.  Conditionality should be limited to 2 or maybe 3 advocacies (any combo of Ks and CPs, although generally 2 Ks doesn't make much sense to me).  I will judge kick counterplans assuming that you tell me the SQ is a logical option.  You can paint me as the opposite of the SIU/Concordia school, conditional CPs are both strategic and legitimate.  Perms are never advocacies, perm do the aff isn’t an argument.  Delay is almost always cheating, consult is almost always cheating, conditions are usually cheating, states is lazy, and also probably cheating.

T: I usually lean toward reasonability when evaluating T; this has become less true for me every year I have remained in the activity.  My knowledge of the topic being limited, extra explanation of T arguments would be much appreciated.  I think that “precision” arguments are dumb in parli with no evidence, I’m much more compelled by discussions of ground, limits, etc.

Other Things: Personal attacks are not cool, in any context (this will be enforced with substantial deductions of speaker points).  I like jokes and points of connection, they are important for high speaks.  My pen hand may be a bit slow due to my hiatus from debate, I'll do my best but clarity will get you much farther than speed (although I don’t mind speed).


Questions? email me at


Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Danny Iberri-Shea - Colorado State University - Pueblo

Saved Philosophy:

Danny Iberri-Shea -  Judge Philosophy - 2017 NPTE National Debate Tournament

MA - Rhetoric

BS - Speech Communication
Minor - Philosophy 


Years Competed: 8
Events: CX/Policy, NPDA, NFA-LD, NFL/NSDA LD, SPAR, Congress.

Debate Camps/Institutes Attended: Berkeley (policy), the Claremont Colleges (policy), and the World Debate Institute (formerly NDI) for policy debate, and Willamette University for NPDA debate.

Years Coaching or Directing: 13 years
College Debate Record: 10 Regional Tournament Wins, 5th and 9th NPTE year-long ranking 2001 and 2002, 2nd seed (8-0) 2002 NPDA Nationals, and 2nd Place NPTE winner (2002).  Attended the 1st NPTE ever in Washington in 2001 (top 32 teams).  

Teaching and Directing and/or Coaching Assignments: Northern Arizona University (2004-2009), the United States Air Force Academy (2009-2011), Colorado State University - Pueblo (2012-2014), San Diego State University (2014-2016), and Pine Creek High School of Colorado Springs (2016-Current).

International Debate Training: 2004 IDEA Youth Forum in Tallin, Estonia (coached the World Champion Karl Popper debate team at the KP World Championship Tournament - Team "USA WEST," 2007 IDEA Citizen Journalism and Debate Institute in Duino, Italy, sanctioned by the United World College of the Adriatic, and the 2007 IDEA Youth Forum in Trest, Czech Republic, where I coached the Karl Popper "Mixed Nations Team" to take 2nd place at the Mixed Nations World Championship Tournament for Karl Popper Debate.

NPTE Teams Qualified to Date: 10


Approach to Debate:
In my debate career, I have been exposed to a wide range of argumentation theory and I believe that I have been most heavily influenced by the late Dr. Alfred "Tuna" Snider's notion of "games theory."  While debate in any format boasts such qualities as oration, education, and "real world" discussions, the most important quality inherent to academic debates - especially in CEDA and NPDA - is the strategic decision-making, the framing of the round (e.g., burdens, interpretations, observations, justifications, criterion, and/or purpose) and which team bests controls the agenda of the round.  Generic arguments are fine so long as links are specific (both CEDA and NPDA are still arguing classic positions like capitalism, paternalism, race/whiteness, deep ecology, statism, etc., with large success, in part, because they make a living, making such positions "stick" to affirmative cases.  On the other side, many of these tried and true generics get slapped back into "yesterday," by affirmative cases that are laden with critical armor.

I am a little old school in some ways.  For instance, I don't believe that K's require alternatives, but do believe that alternatives help to persuade judges/audiences by offering a means of escaping the systemic "hell" that they portray will occur if the affirmative case is implemented.

I DO think framework arguments are good, but much like the dominant contemporary standard in college CEDA debate, spending 2 minutes on why the "K comes first" seems a little antiquated.  I am much more concerned with links and impacts, although understanding why a perspective ought to be given preferential weight is important.  But if a team needs 120 seconds to buffer their actual content, it might seem that the argument doesn't really speak for itself, and thus I may buy the justification I should "look somewhere first," while rejecting the idea that the content I am hearing is a good one (by however both sides define "good").  Finally, cases and positions don't interpret themselves, it takes you all - the humans - to do the interpretation and pushing of advocacy.  That being said, behind every story are values, beliefs, attitudes, perspectives, etc.  So in my mind, it is silly to separate out affirmative or topical narratives, from negative "kritiks."  The second an affirmative labels a harm to solve for, they, via a grand enthememe, also project what they care about, what is worth fighting for, and why that issue is of paramount concern.  What does this mean for debaters?  It means that just because you say something is "case" or a "kritik," doesn't make the position any different so long as the motivations and techniques are similar.  Given the overwhelmingly postmodern influence on debate in general, I cannot imagine too many affirmative cases that do not, in some way, reflect a strong postmodern/deconstructionist flavor in their constructions. 

 So... AFF - Don't get pulled off your game by offcase so much, that by the end of the debate, your original narrative is all but forgotten because you were too busy defending why you aren't as bad as the neg says you are.  That is called a defensive posture.  Animals like sharks respond to defensive signals (e.g., a crippled fish swimming in erratic patterns), and tend to prey on the signal sender.  Conversely, the world free-diving champion, a woman from Mexico, claims to actively swim towards sharks, reinforcing her dominance as THE top predator in the region.  Don't be the fish, my friend.  You may not always experience sharks, but when you do, prefer offense! 

 Conversely...NEG - It is highly doubtful that any affirmative case can claim all of your harms and alternative solvency as a result of only the solvency and limited advantages of case.  Find the shortcomings and exploit the deficit with all of those "juicy," long-term, systemic impacts.

For AFF/GOVT Positions, advantages are good, but given the fact that a topic was given to you, I am most concerned with solvency, as I believe that next to Topicality, Solvency is the most important stock issue (if I am to consider stock issues).  Not solving, but having great advantages is problematic, so make sure you solve.  Please give a criterion, or weighing mechanism/burden for the round, and try to make good on achieving that burden by the end of the round.  Defend your burden against any and all competing burden claims in the round.  Consider cases that offer both pragmatic and normative significance (a.k.a., critical armor such as moral imperatives, decision-rules, etc.).  Be aware of negative teams arguing what their GTA Coaches have fed them, and break the borg!  For instance, if a negative team blips out some postmodern catchphrase that seems too complicated, cutting-edge, and sophisticated to even understand - such as "experiential erasure of the paternalistic structuralism as applied to fourth wave ecofeminist thought" - please be prepared to question WTF this means!  If you swallow such k alternatives uncritically, they way your opponent may have, if just "fed" this position, then perhaps you deserve your fate.  Also be aware of alternatives that are so painfully simplistic, that they literally describe nothing at all.  If an alternative comes out in the last minute or so, it clearly cannot be very developed and nuanced in such a way, as to completely solve for the harms identified in either the case, or the offcase K.  Without explanation of a catchy postmodern, feminist, or race-linked philosophical "soundbite," I will not assume I know what you mean, and fill in the blanks.  If I say "deep ecology is our alternative," I am going to put some time into establishing the efficacy, moral superiority, workability, and most importantly, a clear interpretation of what the term means, where it came from, and how it best grapples with the issues in the debate round.  Savvy? 

NEG/OPP Cases - You are not bound to a burden of proof as far as the topic goes, but you do have a burden of rejoinder, so clash with the aff. case at least a little, rather than only going offcase.  Show me how and where your disadvantages and kritiks actually apply to the affirmative case, and where (if attacking language, method, or philosophy).  I don't believe that negative teams must maintain a stable and consistent advocacy, but if they do chose to hypo-test the flaws of the topic, I do expect reasonable collapsing and/or kicking out of arguments by the end of the debate, in order to make sense of an initially contradictory world.  Counterplans are fine.  Topical C/Ps are fine if they can be justified, but the debate over the legitimacy of topical counterplans, and PICs in general is certainly up for debate, especially if the negative strategy appears to be an anti-intellectual theft of 90% of the affirmative case.  I like clash a lot, and sometimes feel that sitting back and waiting for the PIC to come to mind, is really just a means of avoiding having to take bigger risks, to actually role play and defend or reject topics, and to really clash.  Most folks don't travel hundreds or thousands of miles to have to beat themselves in a debate round, so try to offer significant clash against the topic and/or the affirmative's interpretation, even if "playing the game" you want to.

Both Sides: Debate is a game, and is what you make it to be.  Topicality is as important as kritiks, and again, depending on how it is argued, topicality is a kritik in itself.  Don't pander to expectations about what a judge like me "wants to see."  For instance, I dig environmental rhetoric a lot, but if major ideas or authors are grossly misrepresented or weakly defended, I may be less inclined to vote for that position, exactly because it is something I care a lot about, and know a lot about.  Argue what you know you can sell - and win!  Speed is not an issue unless completely unclear, so open your mouths and enunciate.  After recently having coached CEDA at SDSU, I am well aware that speed is not necessary to trap an opponent, although it is often assumed to be true.  In many ways, NPDA gets to spread itself very thin with cascading walls of unsubstantiated blips, in a way that (despite normal analytical responses to accompany actual cards and well-established textual ideas) CEDA does not allow for, and as such, I am not always sure how to weigh arguments that never really had much weight in the round.  Be strategic, creative, and show your brilliance by out-thinking your opponent, out-capturing their "agenda" (if worth capturing), and being your brilliant self.  Have fun, and welcome to the 2017 NPTE National Tournament!

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Jeremy Weaver - Colorado State University - Pueblo

Saved Philosophy:

I am a former collegiate debater (University of Wyoming & North Dakota State University), having competed for 3 years in Policy with a semester of Parli debate as well. In addition to competing, I have coached (University of Wyoming & CSU-Pueblo) and judged (4 years) both policy and parli debaters. In my years of competing I read both straight-up policy strategies and more critical strategies on both sides of the debate. I’m open to hearing Topicality and Theory arguments, Counter Plans, K’s, and Disads on the Neg. I’m open to hearing critical affirmatives, policy affirmatives, and even more value-based affirmatives. 

My decisions will be greatly influenced by excellent calculations and comparisons of key issues going on within the debate (voters/voting issues). It is your job to make these connections at the end of the round and not rely on simple extensions of arguments or counters to your opponent’s arguments. I value depth and breadth in the statements you are making. Go beyond Tagline Debate, engage your warrants and demonstrate that you have a strong understanding of what the argument is. Demonstrate the clash between the opposing sides and address why/how your side is coming out ahead on that point or how your defense stands up against their attacks. 

You need to be placing weight on your arguments. I shouldn’t have to work on making comparisons. If I have to make comparisons because you failed to make any connections, then the result becomes much closer. Let’s avoid this mess and do the work to convince me on what’s going on in round. 

I’m going to ultimately vote on what is clashing (hopefully there will be clash), who is winning that clash, and who is making the stronger, deeper arguments in support of those reasons why you are winning the clash. Overviews help to organize why or how a team is winning. They let you outline the course of the speech, which paints a clearer picture for the critic. 

Topicality is great. Be topical or be prepared to defend why you are or why not being topical is good. Opps, discuss the impacts connected to topicality. 

Debate Theory builds a better debater. The more you know, the better you understand how debate works and how you can become a stronger competitor. This depth of debate appeals to me, but is not a requirement within a round. K debates are great for evaluating the spirit and letter of the issues we are covering. Make sure that you understand the argument your authors are making and how the Alt works. If your coach told you to run a K and you don’t understand it, do not run the K. 

Case debate is a lost art. Don’t go off the beaten path too far and forget about what it is you are debating. The case args are crucial and need to be addressed. Counter Plans should be treated like the case debate. The kind of competition CPs bring to the table are true representations of what policy/issue debate really is. Net-benefits, solvency and competitiveness are key voting points for me. 

Speaker Points:

I award the best speaker in the round (winner or loser) with the highest points. The best speaker is someone who demonstrates a strong understanding of the components within the round, how those components interact, and can express themselves in a clear and confident manner.


Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Ben Berry - Colorado State University - Pueblo

Saved Philosophy:

About me: I’ve been out of the game of debate for a few years. I competed in high school for 4 years and then in college policy for 5. I finished my last season in May of 2015 with the legalization topic and then went to go get a job. This means that for me you might have to slow down a little, but I’ll know what you’re talking about.


Overall, I would frame myself as a tabula rasa judge. While I do agree that for some debate is just a game and for others it might be much more important than that, but I will default to evaluating based on policy if not instructed to do otherwise. During my time debating my focus ranged from: an actual plan/policy/DA/CP, impact turns like nuclear malthus/dedev/prolif good, k’s like Deleuze, the Cap K, and affs that functioned without a plan. That being said if your hope is to have an intense Baudrillard, Zezik, or Lacan debate I’m probably not your judge.

For both theory, topicality and other reasons to reject the team- There must be either proven abuse, OR a good argument how this would impact future rounds by having that set as a precedence. Just saying they aren’t T and not impacting it will be the fastest way for me to hack out on reasonability. The only argument that doesn’t really work for me is an RVI on T.

A good debate focuses on depth, not breath. I will always reward nuance over spreading the other people out.

Any other questions feel free to ask! 

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Joseph Evans - El Camino College

Saved Philosophy:

~~About me: I have been involved in forensics for 10 years. I debated HS LD for 2 years, and then 4 years of college parli debate at UCLA. I coached at CSULB while in graduate school, and I am now currently the assistant coach at El Camino College. I view debate as a game of intellect, and therefore 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.
The way I evaluate the round: I tend to fall back to evaluating the round through the eyes of a policy maker. Unless I am told otherwise, I tend to fall back on Net Benefits. This means that I will evaluate the arguments based on how clear the impacts are weighed for me (probability, timeframe, and magnitude). I will however evaluate the round based on how you construct your framework. If (for example) you tell me to ignore the framework of Net Benefits for an ethics based framework... I will do so. On the flip side, I will also listen to arguments against framework from the Neg. You win the framework if you provide me clear warranted arguments for your position, and weigh out why your framework is best.
Speed: I am usually a fast debater and thus I believe that speed is a viable way of presenting as much evidence as possible within the time alloted. I can flow just about anything and I'm confident that you can not out flow me from the round. That being said, I value the use of speed combined with clarity. If you are just mumbling your way through your speech, I won't be able to flow you. While I won't drop you for the act of being unclear... I will not be able to get everything on the flow (which I am confident is probably just as bad).
Counter Plans: I will listen to any CP that is presented as long as it is warranted. In terms of CP theory arguments... I understand most theory and have been known to vote on it. All I ask is for the theory argument to be justified and warranted out (this also goes for perm theory on the aff).
Topicality: I have a medium threshold for T. I will evaluate the position the same as others. I will look at the T the way the debaters in the round tell me. I don’t have any preference in regards reasonability vs. competing interps. You run T the way your see fit based on the round.  Additionally, I have an extremely high threshold for "RVIs". If the neg decides to kick out of the position, I usually don't hold it against them. I will vote on T if the Aff makes a strategic mistake (it is an easy place for me to vote).
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 many of the theories that most critical arguments are based in. Therefore if you run them i will listen to and vote on them as long as they are well justified. I will not vote on blips as kritical arguments.
Framework: I will listen to any alt framework that is presented ( narrative, performance, kritical Etc.) If you decide to run a different framework that falls outside the norm of debate... you MUST justify the framework.
Evidence: Have it (warranted arguments for parli)!
Rudeness: don't be rude!


Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Duncan Stewart - Lewis & Clark College

Saved Philosophy:


I participated in parliamentary debate at The University of Utah for 4 years. I currently coach for Lewis & Clark College.


My preference is that you do what type of argumentation you like to do, and/or what is most strategic given the topic. I will not use my ballot as an attempt to discipline the activity in the direction I think it should go. If you win the argument on the flow I will vote for it-every time. That being said, I judge debate via a line-by-line flow. If you have an alternate way you’d like me to evaluate the round, solid! I will consider the debate in any manner you’d like me to. Just be clear about what that method is. I will use only your explanations of arguments to make my decision. Meaning even if an argument is ‘dropped’ it’s difficult for me to vote for it absent warrants.


I don’t hold any standardized positions on theory arguments. Debaters should get access to their arguments without an offensive theoretical objection explaining why that should not be the case. Have that debate. Please repeat your interpretations twice.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Links come before risk calculation. Impact calculus will win you these debates. Unless specifically told otherwise, I will compare arguments via timeframe magnitude and probability. Defense makes both of our jobs easier, but only when accompanied by offense.

Counter plans

Evaluating the round becomes easier if the LOC reads theoretical justifications for their counter plan. This prevents new theory answers I have to consider in the PMR.


To be especially compelling these should be operationalized as if I have no familiarity with your literature. You should be specific about what you are criticizing. For example, if you are a questioning of methodology you should say so in the LOC. Your criticism is easier to evaluate when the critique of the aff happens on the thesis/links level, not in the framework. On the topic of critical affs, go for it!

Other general statements

Speed is good, but not at the cost of excluding someone.

Call points of order, though I will do my best to protect against new arguments.

I think taking questions produces better debate. You should take one in each in constructive.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Tom Schally - Lewis & Clark College

Saved Philosophy:

I've always believed having someone else write your judging philosophy yields better insights and nobody knows me better than James Stevenson, so I present to you: Tom Schally, ​written ​ by James Stevenson: “First, the highlights. Tom’s generally interested in all types of arguments – policy, K, whatever. He’s got a very technical mind and a clean flow, but tends to vote for arguments which demonstrate superior nuance and contextual specificity. Explanation is a big deal to Tom, and he won’t necessarily consider an argument dropped if it’s blippy and undeveloped. He understands debate as both a game that is fun (sometimes even when it stretches what is ‘true’) and as an educational endeavor that should probably teach us something valuable. He also considers the communicative aspect to be a central component of debate, so rhetorical skill, drawing connections in CX and late rebuttals, and humor/self-awareness will take you far. Clash and argumentative comparison, as with most judges, are key. I’m not sure the stuff I below will actually be helpful, but here’s the bottom line. Tom’s a smart person with a lot of debate experience and know-how who takes judging very seriously. He doesn’t decide debates lightly, and will take his time to give a clear, sound explanation and good feedback. --- As a background, Tom just started a job at a political communications firm or something, and studied public policy and administration in grad school. He has like seven years of experience coaching college debate, mostly in NPTE/NPDA parliamentary, but has been at least partially involved in policy for the last few. He did a year of college policy at Macalester before transferring to Western Kentucky University, where he was ridiculously successful in parli and NFA-LD. I hesitate to mention this because CEDA/NDT folks can be super elitist about their style of debate, but debate is debate, and Tom’s good at it. He can also speak much faster than I ever could, so as long as you retain clarity, speed is probably not an issue. In his personal life, Tom is probably a pragmatist more than anything else, but in a very broad sense. What he sees as the ‘pragmatic’ move is largely context-dependent, particularly in debate – I think he likes to see teams draw direct linkages between where we are, what we should do, and why we should do it, especially in a reflexive and self-aware manner. This is, once again, largely a function of good explanation and strategic/argumentative nuance, rather than ideological location – he picks between “trying or dying” or “reflecting/resisting” based on who better outlines the relevance of their method, the validity of their knowledge claims, and the implications of their arguments. He’s pretty knowledgeable about public policy subjects, and also is pretty well-read on K stuff like Marxism, postcolonialism, and critical IR, but is fairly detached from what the debate argument flavor of the month is, so don’t assume he’s familiar your specific jargon or ideology. In “policy” debates, Tom is willing and able to defer to traditional debate risk analysis tools like “try or die” or “uniqueness outweighs the link,” but I think he gives more credibility to good defense (even if it’s uncarded) than other judges do. Card quality matters to him, and he’ll definitely read evidence after a round and consider it significant if its quality is put into question during the debate. In particular, evidentiary specificity is probably a big deal on aff and CP solvency debates. Additionally, he prefers counterplans that compete with the substance of the plan over those premised off “normal means” or process. Tom will vote on T. As with other kinds of debates, I think he values comparison of offense over an enumeration of many possible lines of offense. Keep in mind, Tom does some topic research but isn’t stalking the caselist 24/7, so throwaway references to particular schools or affs might not make sense to him. As for theory, he’ll probably reject the argument instead of the team without some substantial work. Conditionality could be a voting issue, but not necessarily. As with T, comparison and argumentative interaction are paramount. Tom likes the K and other nontraditional argument styles, and this has been more and more of what he’s coached over the last few years. That said, he still expects clarity and rigor on the basics – what the ballot does, how decisions should be made, what kinds of stuff should be prioritized, and so on. If you are defending alternate styles of argument competition or analysis, this kind of explanation would be especially important. Buzzwords and mystification will not impress him. I think that on framework/clash of civs debates, smart and well-placed defense (on either side) would go a long way. Clever references to Twin Peaks would probably make him laugh."

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Joe Gantt - Lewis & Clark College

Saved Philosophy:

If you drew me as a judge, you’re probably thinking “Gantt doesn’t judge, he tabs tournaments. I have no idea how he sees a debate.”

That is a fair statement. In fact, it has been a while since I have consistently been in the judge pool, so I should give you some insight into my philosophy. However, you should know that since I have not judged consistently in the past few years, I can easily be convinced otherwise on some of the following statements, i.e., make the theory argument in the round even if the below seems to indicate I may not agree with your perspective. I am always listening as to why I should evaluate the debate differently and I will vote on that if properly persuaded.

I try to avoid intervention in general, but beware, we are all interventionists.

Topicality: Yup, yup, run it. I will vote on it. In my pre-tab judging life, I was known as a T hack. I probably have a lower threshold here than most. I’ll default to competing interpretations and T as a voter unless convinced otherwise.

Theory: I will reject the team, not the argument, if a theory position is won that asks me to make that determination. I am also open to listening why I should not do so.

CPs: Love them. I think a well-crafted PIC may be my favorite argument in debate. If Neg runs a “Cheater CP” (delay/consult), I will still vote for the CP- it is the job of the Aff to show me why that CP is not legitimate. One theory position that is a hard win for me is text comp- I generally believe that if a CP has achieved functional competitiveness, I will vote there.

You need case specific solvency to win here.

I see CPs as opportunity costs to plan, so I default to conditionality as OK because there can be multiple opportunity costs to plan. Once again, win the condo bad argument and I’ll vote there. I have some qualms about that because that condo can be abused and hurt fairness (see perms), but from the pure theoretical side I have no problem with it.

Ks: I love Ks. I do find, though, that as Ks have increased in popularity, they have decreased in their explanatory nature. Do not expect me to know the argument, it’s your job to explain (and if you do not, you should expect me to give Aff a lot of leeway in explaining your argument when answering it).

Permutations: “Going for the perm” –ugh. Most of the time, no. Perms are not advocacies, they are tests of competition. At the very least, you need to explain to me why the permutation can be advocacy when making the argument, because if you don’t, I am going to default back to tests of competition- which means that if I buy the perm, I’m back to evaluating plan vs. SQuo. I am more likely to allow the perm as advocacy if Neg runs multiple conditional advocacies.

Especially on K perms, I need to explicitly know how the permutation functions. Without such an explanation, I am much more likely to accept Neg’s explanation and reject the perm.

Impact Calc: Teams underuse probability. If you’re able to utilize risk analysis well, you have a better chance of winning my ballot.

In the rebuttals, in general, if you’re not weighing, you’re losing.

Offense/Defense: Yes, terminal defense exists. It is rare. I do want a combination of offense and defense. You will probably not find a judge that values good defense more than me, but it is helpful to use that to leverage your offense, not as a winning strategy alone.

Speed: I have no problem with speed. BUT- GIVE ME PEN TIME! Remember I haven’t been consistently judging for a while. If you’re going too fast/not clear enough for me to catch arguments, that’s on you, not on me.

Civility: I like fun debates. A little bit of clowning done with a smile is a great thing. When it becomes mean/rude, expect your speaker points to take a gigantic hit.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Nick Budak - Lewis & Clark College

Saved Philosophy:

I competed in Parli for four years at Whitman (RIP). I currently work at L&C. My degree is in Asian Studies, with some Politics experience. I am receptive to and can be expected to know critiques like Orientalism and those that deal with IR theory, plus a grab bag of things that the average MG would have learned to answer. Be nice, especially to your partner. People who interrupt others are difficult for me to watch. Humor is a lost art and may yet be the salvation of our awful little community. Theory Theory serves an important role as in-round immune system of the community - it allows us to excise toxic elements (and playtest new and exciting ones). There are no theory arguments I will outright ignore, though I may visibly react if you unironically read spec (Carlton). Counterplans are important and useful, including conditional ones. However, I side with Zach “Harvard Law” Tschida: despite my opinion that condo is theoretically justified, one ought not deploy it so as to detract from thoughtful debate. If you keep a conditional advocacy in the block, I will evaluate it and not the status quo. I adhere to the community norm of looking down upon delay/consult CPs. If you’re reading one, it should be because it has special relevance to the topic and because you can answer theory on it. Textual/functional competition and the legitimacy of a given permutation are issues that should be decided in the round. If you can relate your competition theory back to the topic in a specific way, more speaks for you. All theory questions are weighed on competing interpretations; reasonability is a pipe dream. Kritiks As Zizek says, “Nowadays, you can do anything that you want—anal, oral, fisting—but you need to be wearing gloves, condoms, protection.” Words to live by.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Brent Nicholson - McKendree University

Saved Philosophy:

Big Picture

Debate is, first and foremost, a rhetorical and social game. That doesn't mean it isn't important or that it doesn't affect the “real world.” All that means is that it's a construct with a set of rules that allows us to do a structured activity where one team wins and the other loses. My favorite thing to see in a debate round is people who are passionate (or appear to be passionate) about their advocacy (or lack thereof—let the squo work for you). Basically, if you play hard and engage the debate to the best of your ability I'm going to appreciate you for that.

            I'm not sure I've ever seen a form or style of debate that isn't valuable in some way. Most of the problems I have with debate activities and styles of debate stem from the way people handle them. That blame almost always falls on coaches, not competitors. I think that value and fact debate could be and sometimes are good styles of debate. I feel the same way about “performative” and “non-traditional” arguments. I've seen excellent debates from all camps and I'm really okay with and interested in almost anything at this point.

            However, I really like it when prep matters. I like that we have a resolution that both teams get and they talk about that. When one team talks about anything that is not the resolution (or the aff), it can have a negative effect on the round. I hate debates that prioritize the element of surprise as opposed to quality argument as a means of winning. I know it's easy and I was guilty of it too, but at some point, it says a lot about you as a competitor if you're willing to publicly own your strategies and just be better than the competition.


Quick Points

-Deploy the strategy that will best help you win, even if I don't enjoy it, your chances are better with whatever you feel comfortable with.

-Jokes and personalities are nice. They make me like listening to and judging you. Debate isn't a robot activity, be yourself and see what happens.
-Condo is good

-Ks are fine, they're better with specific references to the aff.
-Theory is wildly underutilized. I have a high threshold for voting on MG theory.

-Performance debate is awesome – but it should still have some grounding in the topic. Framework to answer performative arguments isn't the best strat, but it is a strat.
-Give your opponents the benefit of the doubt. Their arguments are likely better than you think they are.
-Please, answer each others' arguments. If neither team engages with the substance of the other team's strategy, I will be an unhappy camper.


Aff Teams

I wholeheartedly believe that the affirmative team should defend the fiated implementation of a topical plan text if it improves their chances of winning the debate. In other words, do whatever you think benefits you most in the PMC. Please, stake out your ground and be defend it. The affirmative should be cohesive, but diverse enough to allow a wide range of answers in the MG. I love affs with hidden tricks and arguments that appear useless until extended. Read two advantage to policy affs or be prepared to answer counterplans with some good offense. I'm fine with almost every aff strategy I have seen that has been related, in some way, to the topic. If you read a fiated plan text and claim other impacts based on the performative aspect of the aff, your aff is likely conditional. I don't think that is good for neg ground and you should likely avoid doing this in front of me.


Neg Teams

I think wide LOCs featuring multiple unique strategies are in the best interest of the negative team. Unless you say otherwise, I’ll assume any negative advocacy is conditional. With that said, I prefer deep, case focused debate when possible – regardless of the type of aff it is. My favorite debates to participate in and watch have always been about the case and its intricacies. I don’t expect you to answer case exclusively, but you should have some meaningful answers and some of them should be offense. Defense does not win debates, but it does mitigate the risk of impacts and give you a better chance to win the round. A diverse LOC will make for better debates and increase your chances of winning.


None of this has changed since I started judging, except that I've recently switched back to flowing on paper. So, if you've had me as a judge before, you shouldn't really need this info. It's really only for the people who are having me judge them for the first time.  

            I flow on paper because I feel like it gives me an idea of what the competitors can flow and keeps me engaged in the debate. One significant difference that has led me to make different decisions than other judges I have been on panels with is that I think the distinction between “pages” in a debate is totally arbitrary. I am open to the idea that arguments implicitly interact with each other. The extent of that interaction is something I will still evaluate if that interaction happens in the LOR/PMR. I won't, however, exclude heg arguments from solving another war scenario (for example), simply because the MG doesn't explicitly cross-apply them.

            In terms of my actually flowing, I start at the top left and flow arguments straight down, separated by dashes and lines. It has never failed me. That does mean I don't number arguments, but if you extend your #6, I can go back and find that after the round. However, a good extension would also explain that argument and why it matters, making the number irrelevant. I flow answers the same way, starting next to the most recent speech and straight down. Even if you say you will answer links, then impacts, then uniqueness. I will flow it all straight down.

            I flow criticisms on one page in the order the argument is read. I flow every answer to a criticism in a straight line starting at the top of the page. I don't jump from Alt to Links to Impacts if that's what the MG or MO does. If you want me to flow theory objections separately (this goes for counterplan answers too), you should make that very clear. My instinct is to flow theory on the page it answers like I flow everything else.



Impact Calculus

I always vote on numbers-based magnitude claims absent impact calculus by debaters. This seems to me to be the only way I can make a decision that is not biased by my own thoughts about timeframe or probability, because it is based entirely on a quantitative claim as opposed to qualitative ones. I would prefer debates that are about probable impacts, especially ones that will happen quickly as a result of the plan. However, I understand the strategic importance of high magnitude impacts and would encourage you to deploy a mixture of impacts in your strategies.

            Debaters tend to believe that I prefer magnitude claims for some personal reason. In reality, I think probability and timeframe (in that order) are the most important forms of impact calc. My problems largely come when debaters fail to discuss in comparative detail the probability or timeframes of the impacts in the debate. Impact calculus should always be comparative, but going for probability or timeframe forces you to do more comparison.



I view all theory as a matter of competing interpretations. I don't need “proven abuse” to vote on theory. I don't need counter-interps in all instances. If the aff team says conditionality is bad, I see no reason the neg team should have to read a counter-interp to impact turn that argument. Condo good and defense is likely sufficient. That is not true in all instances, if you don't have robust answers to theory, a counter-interp can do well to solve some or all of your opponents offense.

            I will vote for theory before I vote for substantive issues. On that note, I have a lot of concerns about the way that non-topical critical aff teams answer theory. I have trouble imagining a round where I would allow the aff to say the PMC (by itself) outweighs theory. If the theory argument objects to the reading of the PMC, then the neg winning theory seems to me to preclude the PMC from being evaluated. Obviously, this is up for debate and I think dealing with these concerns in a round would probably yield a great theory debate. That does not preclude the aff team from reading other critiques of T, I just think it means the aff itself may not a DA to T on face.

            The likelihood that I will vote for generic spec arguments is negligible. You'd be better off to just use cross-ex or points of information to get a link than to waste your time on that. And, if your link is tenuous enough that you need to read spec to protect it, you may want to reconsider that link argument in prep.



I have a few specific thoughts on topicality that are unique from the rest of my thoughts on theory. Topicality is, to me, a question of what the debate should be about, whereas other theory is typically a question of how the debate should be done. I have no issue with teams reading topicality as part of an LOC that answers a critical/non-policy aff, but I do think that the aff has some ability to interpret the topic. As long as the aff has a defense of how their argument is about and/or in the same direction as the topic, then I am unlikely to vote on T against those affs.

            A topicality interpretation should allow some aff ground. If there is not a topical aff and the MG points that out, I'm unlikely to vote neg on T. I don't think reasonability is a good weighing mechanism for parli debates. It seems absurd that I should be concerned about the outcomes of future debates with this topic when there will be none or very few and far between.
            At topic area tournaments, I am far more likely to vote on topicality. That does not mean that you can't be untopical, it just means you need good answers. I am also open to sketchier T interps if they make sense. For instance, if you say that the aff must be effectually topical, I may vote for this argument. Keep in mind, however, that these arguments run the risk of your opponent answering them well and you gaining nothing and looking silly.


Speaker Points

I will give you speaker points for strategies and arguments I like. I will take away speaker points for strategies and arguments I don't like. If you do well, even if I don't like your strategy, you'll get better than average points (about 27.7). Use the Quick Points to get an idea what I like. LO points will be weighted in favor of the LOR, PM points in favor of the PMR. If you don't collapse in the block or PMR, that will not go well for your points.

            If you want to argue with my decision, go ahead. If you're wrong and you keep pushing, I'm going to tank your speaker points. If you're right, I'm going to feel really bad and think about what I've done. You can decide if that's worth it to you.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Zach Schneider - McKendree University

Saved Philosophy:

Hi! I’m Zach. I debated for 5 years of NPDA/NPTE parli (4 at Cedarville University and 1 at SIU) and this is my third year coaching/judging. I aim to remove my argumentative preferences from the debate as much as possible and allow you to advance whatever strategy you think is best. I’m involved in debate because I love the activity and I want to judge you regardless of what style you prefer. With that said, I wouldn't be in debate if I didn't have opinions, so hopefully this philosophy helps you figure out if mine align with yours.

2017-18 Addendum

Quick Hits





Other theory

The K

Identity based/performance/not-about-the-topic positions

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Joe Blasdel - McKendree University

Saved Philosophy:

Joe Blasdel

McKendree University

Section 1: General Information

1. I competed in parliamentary debate and individual events from 1996 to 2000 for McKendree University.  After a three year hiatus studying political science at Syracuse University, I returned to coach at McKendree (NPDA, LD, and IEs) and have been doing so for the last eleven years.

2. In a typical policy debate, I tend to evaluate arguments in a comparative advantage framework (rather than stock issues).  I am unlikely to vote on inherency or purely defensive arguments.

3. On trichotomy, I tend to think the government has the right to run what type of case they want as long as they can defend the topicality of their choice.  While I don’t see a lot of good fact/value debate, I am open to people choosing to do so.  I’m also okay with people turning fact or value resolutions into policy debates. For me, these sorts of arguments are always better handled as questions of topicality.

4. If there are new arguments in rebuttals, I will discount them, even if no point of order is raised.  The rules permit you to raise POOs, but you should use them with discretion.  If you’re calling multiple POOs, I will probably not be pleased.

5. I do not think the rules permit splitting the block.  Any responses in the LOR to MG arguments that were dropped by the MO will be considered new.  Additionally, it is rare that I will vote on MO arguments that are not extended in the LOR.

6. I’m not a fan of making warrantless assertions in the LOC/MG and then explaining/warranting them in the MO/PMR.  I tend to give the PMR a good deal of latitude in answering these ‘new’ arguments and tend to protect the opposition from these ‘new’ PMR arguments.

7. I think people should take questions – at least one and preferably two per speech.  If you don’t take questions, I will reduce your speaker points and may be inclined to vote on a procedural if one is run.

8. There is no prep time in parliamentary debate.  You can get your papers in order, but you cannot strategize with your partner after the previous speech has ended.  If you steal prep, I will start your speech time.

Section 2: Specific Inquiries

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

Typically, my range of speaker points is 25-30, with an average of 27.5.

2. How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be “contradictory” with other negative positions?

I’m open to Ks but I tend to vote against them more than I vote for them.  I look at Ks as a sort of ideological counterplan.  As a result, it’s important to me that you have a clear, competitive, and solvent alternative.  I think critical affirmatives are fine so long as they are topical.  If they are not topical, I will likely be voting on topicality. As for whether Ks can contradict other arguments in the round, it depends on the context/nature of the K.

3. Performance based arguments…

Same as above.  I’d be hesitant to run them with me as your critic.

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

Having a specific abuse story is important to winning topicality, but not always necessary.  A specific abuse story does not necessarily mean linking out of a position that’s run – it means identifying a particular argument that the affirmative excludes AND why that argument should be negative ground.  I view topicality through a competing interpretations framework – I’m not sure what a reasonable interpretation is. On topicality, I have an ‘average’ threshold.  I don’t vote on RVIs.

On spec, I have a ‘high’ threshold.  Unless there is in-round ground abuse, I’m probably not going to vote on spec.  I would only run spec arguments in front of me if you’re using it as link insurance for another position and the affirmative refuses to answer your questions.

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

All things being equal, I have tended to err negative in most CP theory debates (except for delay), but am growing more frustrated with tiny PICs and other arguably abusive CPs – so this trend may change.  I think CPs should be functionally competitive (though I’ve voted on ‘must be textually competitive’ on a couple of occasions). Unless specified otherwise, I understand counterplans to be conditional. I don’t have a particularly strong position on the legitimacy of conditionality. I think advantage CPs are smart and underutilized.

6. 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?)?

All things being equal, I evaluate procedural issues first. After that, I evaluate everything through a comparative advantage framework.

7. How do you weight 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 tend to prefer concrete impacts over abstract impacts absent a reason to do otherwise.  If there are competing stories comparing impacts (and there probably should be), I accept the more warranted story. I also have a tendency to focus more heavily on probability than magnitude.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Jason Edgar - Missouri Western State University

Saved Philosophy:

Background: Professor of Argumentation and Critical Decision Making at Missouri Western State University. For 20 years I have competed, coached, and judged Cross Examination Debate, Public Forum, NFA Lincoln Douglas, Traditional Parliamentary Debate and NPTE circuit Parliamentary Debate. This year I have judged about 30 rounds of intercollegiate debate.

Approach of the Critic to Decision Making:  When I competed in high school and college, Comparative Advantage was the most prevalent criterion. Thus, I understand and enjoy those types of rounds the most (ex. Ads, Disads, CPs). Having said that, I am open to critical arguments on both the Aff and Neg side as long as there is a clear framework and impacts. I don't really buy role of the ballot arguments unless you say the role is to circle a winner and award speaker points. Topicality is a voting issue and I'll listen if there is clear abuse in round.   

Relevant Importance of Presentation/Communication Skills: I'd prefer that you make cogent arguments as opposed to a speaking race, but other than that I am fine with speed and you won't lose me. If you aren't comfortable with speed but you attempt it anyways, or you cannot stop buffering, it typically irritates me. Debate isn't a race, it's a search for truth. 

Relevant Importance of On-Case Argumentation to the Critic in Decision Making: In order to make an effective argument and for me to make a critical decision at the tournament, a case will need to have (at least) inherency, significance(harms), and solvency. Prima Facie is a voting issue. So if the negative can prove that the current system can solve the problem, or proves that the harms are insignificant, or the plan cannot solve, then I can definitely see myself voting neg. If Aff can defend those stock issues without causing massive impacts, then they win. 

Preferences on Procedural Arguments, Counterplans, and Kritiks: As mentioned above Topicality is a voting issue but should only be ran if there is clear abuse in round. When people asks for my "threshold" I usually just tell them that it depends on the round. I love counterplans because it allows the negative to not have to support current system (Trump). As for Kritiks, they are the only arguments that I didn't myself run or run into when I was a competitor, so don't expect a thoughtful disclosure if you go all in on the K. That being said, "non-uniqueness doesn't stop the pain" and I'll definitely listen as long as you provide clarity.  

Preferences on Points of Order: I don't think there is much of a community issue with an overabundance of Point of Orders, so feel free to use them if there is a clearly a new argument or abuse in round. 

Closing Thoughts: I'd like you to do whatever you want in the round. Sure, I have my preferences, but I want the debaters to feel most comfortable. I do love my career, so running arguments that view debate in a negative light, I probably won't vote for. In round, it would be in your best interest to not be rude. JE



Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.
Background: Professor of Argumentation and Critical Decision Making at Missouri Western State University. For 20 years I have competed, coached, and judged Cross Examination Debate, Public Forum, NFA Lincoln Douglas, Traditional Parliamentary Debate and NPTE circuit Parliamentary Debate. This year I have judged about 30 rounds of intercollegiate debate. Approach of the Critic to Decision Making: When I competed in high school and college, Comparative Advantage was the most prevalent criterion. Thus, I understand and enjoy those types of rounds the most (ex. Ads, Disads, CPs). Having said that, I am open to critical arguments on both the Aff and Neg side as long as there is a clear framework and impacts. I don't really buy role of the ballot arguments unless you say the role is to circle a winner and award speaker points. Topicality is a voting issue and I'll listen if there is clear abuse in round. Relevant Importance of Presentation/Communication Skills: I'd prefer that you make congent and smart arguments as opposed to a speaking race, but other than that I am fine with speed and you won't lose me. If you aren't comfortable with speed but you attempt it anyways, or you cannot stop buffering, it typically irritates me. Debate isn't a race, it's a search for truth. Relevant Importance of On-Case Argumentation to the Critic in Decision Making: In order to make an effective argument and for me to make a critical decision at the tournament, a case will need to have (at least) inherency, significance(harms), and solvency. Prima Facie is a voting issue. So if the negative can prove that the current system can solve the problem, or proves that the harms are insignificant, or the plan cannot solve, then I can definitely see myself voting neg. If Aff can defend those stock issues without causing massive impacts, then they win. Preferences on Procedural Arguments, Counterplans, and Kritiks: As mentioned above Topicality is a voting issue but should only be ran if there is clear abuse in round. When people asks for my "threshold" I usually just tell them that it depends on the round. I love counterplans because it allows the negative to not have to support current system (Trump). As for Kritiks, they are the only arguments that I didn't myself run or run into when I was a competitor, so don't expect a thoughtful disclosure if you go all in on the K. That being said, "non-uniqueness doesn't stop the pain" and I'll definitely listen as long as you provide clarity. Preferences on Points of Order: I don't think there is much of a community issue with an overabundance of Point of Orders, so feel free to use them if there is clearly a new argument or abuse in round. Closing Thoughts: I'd like you to do whatever you want in the round. Sure, I have my preferences, but I want the debaters to feel most comfortable. I do love my career, so running arguments that view debate in a negative light, I probably won't vote for. In round, it would be in your best interest to not be rude. JE

Kevin Yanofsky - Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley

Saved Philosophy:


I debated npda/npte parli for UC Berkeley from 2011 to 2015, where I graduated with a degree in computer science.  I also debated three years of circuit LD in high school.  Overall, I largely view debate as a game, and think that you should do what you think gives you the best chance to win it.



- I am fine with whatever level of speed you wish to debate at, but be sure to make sure the rest of the debaters in the room are as well.

- I will listen to any type of argument you like, as long as you are able to justify it.  However, I’ll go into further detail in later sections as to my tendencies that might deviate from the average parli judge.

- I evaluate the round based on my flow.  As of now I'm not sure what to do about arguments telling me this is bad.  Perhaps the best case for you if you tell me this method of evaluation is problematic is that I will be slightly less picky about my flow, but don't count on it.

- My overall knowledge of the world is limited mostly to news headlines and debate experience.  If you are reading an intricate scenario, just explain it carefully and you should be fine.

- My personally experience of debate was split fairly evenly between policy and critical.

- I do have a moderate preference that the affirmative defend the resolution (perhaps if you want to be critical, find a topical way to do so without fiat).  That being said, good argumentation can certainly override this preference, and while I might like a good framework debate, I will not give credence to a bad one.


Case Debate / Disads:

- For both the aff and neg, the more specific your links are to the plan the better.

- Be sure to fully terminalize your impacts, I might feel uncomfortable doing that work for you.  If the terminalized form of your opponent’s impacts are not obvious, I find pointing this out to be a strong way to outweigh them.



- I have little bias for or against condo, debate to your style here.

- If you want to run other “cheater” counterplans, I find that topic specific reasons those counterplans should be relevant are persuasive responses to theory.



- A personal favorite of mine, at least early in my career.  I will appreciate nuanced and well thought out theory debate, but don’t think that I’ll give you credence on a bad shell or make internal links for you.

- I default to competing interpretations, and absent a clear definition of some alternative, I find it very difficult to evaluate theory under reasonability.

- Competing interpretations means you need to either win a we-meet or superior offense to a counter interpretation.

- I personally find fairness claims more compelling than education, but any arguments about the order of these two made it round will instantly override that.

- By default I will assume any 4 point shell is reject the team, and any paragraph theory (often seen as responses to cheater perms) is reject the arg, absent the team reading the shell specifying the opposite.

- RVIs will be a very uphill battle, if you really want to go here please read unique, maybe round specific arguments.



- I read and collapsed to Ks in the majority of my neg rounds.  I believe I would be comfortable evaluating most Ks that could come up in parli.

- Specific warrants and examples from the real world, as opposed to making the same assertion that your author claims, will generally help put you further ahead both when reading and answering a K.

- A pet peeve of mine is when every alt solvency argument is just a perm pre-empt (you'd be suprised how often I've seen this).  Please also warrant why your alt solves your K.

- I might be slightly less inclined to wave away the framework of a K than the average parli judge, especially if there are more specific arguments being made than the standard stuff where everyone’s impacts seem to end up getting compared on the same level.  That being said, if all you plan to do is read the super generic K framework arguments, I’m perfectly fine if you just cut it out from the beginning and go for root cause.  Side note, if you do this, be wary of timeframe on extinction impacts.

- I read a lot of pomo as a debater, so if you want to bite the bullet and make people to justify why intuitive things are real/bad, go ahead and do so.



- As I said earlier, I prefer that teams find a way to defend the topic.

- I find topic specific critical affirmatives or smart critical advantages to be very strategic.

- If you are answering framework, saying that the shell is a re-link to the K is not independently a logical takeout of the theory.  Often these debates devolve and become a circular mess of each position denying that the other should exist.  Find a way to make your approach to this problem more nuanced than your opponents'.


last updated: 1/3/2016

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Jake Glendenning - Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley

Saved Philosophy:

Saved Philosophy:


Hey. I’m Jake. I debated four and a half years of NPDA/NPTE style debate. 2.5 at Irvine Valley College and 2 at UC Berkeley. As a general principle, you’re best off debating in the way you’re most accustomed or will have the most fun. I was a part of this activity because it was fun and I enjoyed it, and encourage others to do the same. I will insert myself into your round as little as possible.


Quick Hits


- I almost always defended the resolution as a debater, though not necessarily fiat. This means that I am not intimately familiar with arguments justifying the rejection of the resolution, so if that is a strategy you’re going for, you should probably err on the side of caution and explain your arguments in depth.

- As a debater I debated about half critical and half policy. I’m a fan of a good, nuanced politics disadvantage, as well as a well-researched, well-warranted K. I find post-modernism, post-structuralism, and existential type positions to be the most philosophically interesting when run well. I’m relatively familiar with Baudrillard, Foucault, Nietzsche, Deleuze (and his work with Guattari to a lesser extent), Hardt+Negri, and Butler. I find more sociologically-based K literature (race, gender, colonialism, ability) persuasive, but not as much fun to explore on a philosophical level. I think Agamben’s philosophy is garbage, though understand its strategic utility in debate. I feel similarly about a lot of marxist authors, though I also enjoy some very much.

- I default to my flow. I adhere to it whenever possible, and don’t intuitively know how to evaluate arguments that ask me to do otherwise, so please be very clear if you are going to go this direction with the debate.

- My degree is in Political Science and I did most of my research in Comparative Politics and International Economics, for whatever that’s worth. I’m also a bit of a current events hack.

- On speed, if you don’t know the other team’s comfortability with speed, ask. I liked debating fast, but that doesn’t mean everyone does and I don’t much care for the use of speed to beat less experienced teams.

-I value creativity quite a bit. If I haven’t seen it before and it makes me think a lot, it’s likely to get higher speaker points than the same consult counterplan I’ve run and seen 100 times.




-Disads are great. I like nuanced, well researched disads. Politics, relations, whatever. Have specific links to the plan and all that.

-When you kick them, please extend actual arguments, and not just “the defense”


Case debate


-It’s great!

-For my flow’s sake, please let me know if you have a separate sheet of case defense/case turns. I usually referred to this as a “dump” as a debater.




-Counterplans are also awesome.

-I have no real disposition for or against condo (and think I may be the only person Kevin Calderwood has coached with that in their philosophy), but found that I won more going unconditional as a debater. I probably had a bit more fun going condo though, so you do you. Just win the arguments.

-I really don’t have any dispositions against “cheater” counterplans, but found them very easy to beat as a debater. Feel free to run delay, veto cheto, conditions, consult, whatever, but theoretically justify it, and be prepared to not get very high speaker points.  




- I default to competing interpretations, but am fine evaluating theoretical questions through different frameworks if the arguments are made.

- RVIs are an uphill battle in front of me. This is probably the issue where I have the hardest time staying objective. You’re going to have to really sell it if you want me to vote on an RVI, and even then you’re taking a risk.


Other Theory


- I’ve always enjoyed that the rules of debate are debateable. I think if you can demonstrate how ground loss took place, it’s going to be easier to win.

- I have seen beautiful, nuanced, specific uses of spec arguments and shamefully bad, vague, and slapdash ones. The former will get you higher speaks.

- On disclosure theory, I ran this argument quite a bit, and am fine voting on it. My interpretation was usually “If the affirmative chooses not to defend the resolution using fiat, they should notify the negative with no less than 10 minutes left in prep-time if the negative asked them to before prep” and I never ran into any of the contrived hypotheticals that opponents of disclosure theory bring up every time the issue recirculates on facebook or net-bens.


The K


- I very much enjoy the K debate. I have at least a shallow understanding of most K lit I’ve heard of. I find warrants very persuasive, especially in the K debate, and find that they can often help resolve difficult questions in K debates that devolve to claim v claim issues.

- I don’t think many teams actually explain how their alt solves their K a lot of the time. It’s more often than not just a bunch of perm preempts, and maybe a claim without a warrant. I’d appreciate it if you really articulated how your alt solves.

- I don’t think a K needs an alt in a “methods debate” or when the aff is a K, depending on what kind of specific framework the aff roles with.

- I think if there is an alt in a “methods debate” it makes intuitive sense that the aff maybe shouldn’t have a perm, so I’m generally receptive to that argument.

-On K affs, I value being creative within the confines of the resolution very much. A topical, non-fiat K aff would be preferable to rejection of the resolution. I also find it really cool when a team can come up with creative definitions of words in the resolution to make their performance or identity based positions topical.


Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Alice Lin - Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley

Saved Philosophy:

Background: I debated at UC Berkeley 2011-2015. I majored in economics and currently work for the USFG. As a competitor, I went critical about 3/4 of the time my senior year, with an emphasis on race/gender arguments, but I went almost exclusively straight-up before that.


Case/counterplan debate:


Nontopical affs:





Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Brandon West - Point Loma Nazarene University

Saved Philosophy:

Brandon West – Point Loma Nazarene University


I debated with Point Loma all four years of college in Parli and LD debate. I focused mainly on parli and was a national circuit debater.

TL;DR – I’m ok with whatever speed and strategy you have at your disposal and simply love a good debate. The only positions I’m slightly dispositioned against are identity politics K’s because I feel uncomfortable evaluating them typically. Overall, debate is a game, so play it. I’m most comfortable in a straight up econ debate, but please run whatever you do best.

Speed – Go as fast as you like. Please don’t be abusive if the other team is constantly calling clear. If there is blatant abuse, I am sympathetic to speed procedurals if impacted well. Debate should be accessible to both teams. Don’t use it as a tool of exclusion.

Procedurals – Love them. Don’t apologize for running a procedural, I think there is just as much education to be had in these debates as any other. Impact your procedural, I’m a fan of counter frameworks against kritikal positions.

Kritikal positions – Totally fine. I will say that I have a high threshold for solvency with kritiks. Please explain exactly why you solve the aff and/or your impacts. I’m not terribly well-read on a litany of literature. Don’t assume I’ve read your author. Please don’t assume I’m liberal/conservative and agree with X position. I really try to distance myself from my opinion and vote on the flow, so I absolutely LOVE impact turns to kritiks. I’ll tell you how I evaluate K’s. First, does the K solve the aff? If not, does the K advocacy solve the impacts of the K? If so, does the K’s impacts outweigh the case impacts? Last, is the offense against the alternative stronger than the offense against the case? Please, please, please, please leverage your case against the K instead of just abandoning your case out of fear.

As I said above I don’t typically enjoy identity politics debate, and I’ll explain in more detail now why. First, I feel that most of these positions, unless expertly done, end up attacking the opponents for their identity and recreating all of the violence they try to solve. Additionally, I have found extreme and tragic irony in the fact that most rounds I have watched where people have been sobbing, felt personally attacked, quit debate, and/or been legitimately a victim of rhetorical violence have been identity politics rounds meant to solve violence against X groups. I find non-identity based kritiks and policy rounds to cause this level of violence a much lower percentage of the time. This is not to say there is not subtle violence against certain groups in policy making, and I welcome you to point these out and propose ways to solve these issues. But often the leverage of identity creates severe ontological violence in-round. I hate seeing these rounds get ugly and I don’t enjoy judging them. Second, as a passing-white straight male I am rarely the group discussed in the position. This means that I typically find it difficult and uncomfortable for me to pass a ballot based on a debater’s identity while probably linking to all of their impacts both in terms of my identity and in terms of the act of voting for them in and of itself. This is not to say I will never vote for these positions, but I have a low threshold for arguments about why these positions are bad and a low threshold for calling the round if it gets rhetorically violent.

Advantages/Disadvantages – I love a straight up debate. Econ was my thing, so if you’re an econ debater I am the judge for you. I do typically lean towards probability over magnitude and find most nuke war scenarios silly, but run whatever scenario you’re comfortable with and I’ll evaluate it. You need to explain your link scenario and articulate the steps that lead all the way to your terminal impacts.

Counterplans – Love them. Not sure what else to say about this, I leave theory debates about CP’s up to the debaters.

Politics – Totally down. However, I don’t like really vague tix scenarios or scenarios where one single person magically has the magical ability to unilaterally control the entire bill’s passing or not. You don’t win tix because you know the name of one senator the other team didn’t know, or the other team dropped the hair color of a Congressperson in your links scenario. 

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Jonathan Veal - Point Loma Nazarene University

Saved Philosophy:



-- Take at least one question during constructive speeches.

-- I prefer unconditional arguments and I will listen to conditionality bad arguments.

-- Have a copy of the text for advocacies and perms and repeat them at least once.

-- I recommend your advocacy engage the topic in some fashion. If you do not, you need justification for why the issue you are discussing comes prior to the resolution and prove there is not a topical version of the aff.  

-- Avoid delay, time travel and any other artificially competitive counterplans.

-- Points of information check back against most spec arguments.

-- I enjoy seeing K arguments and policy based arguments alike. Just treat me as if I am not steeped in the lit of whatever argument you’re making. (I am probably not)  


I am a second year Graduate Student at SDSU studying communication and rhetoric. I was a competitor for four years in parliamentary debate on the national circuit at Concordia University. I spent a year coaching debate at the high school before rejoining the college circuit.


I should be fine with the speed your comfortable speaking at, but I value clarity first. I will be sympathetic to teams sitting across from an incredibly unclear or disorganized debater even if I am familiar with the argument. On theory I default to competing interpretations. Debate is a game but games are not fun or useful without clear limits. Competing interpretations allows me to determine those limits. With criticisms, please be clear on what the alternative does. Additionally be clear on the links of the K so I can evaluate a debate with clash. K’s without links will likely lose to the perm. For affirmative K’s use your advocacy to affirm the topic in some way or explain how your K is prior question to the resolution. Debate is inherently performative and I will not discriminate on the nature of that performance. If you have something unique to bring to the table I am willing to listen. If anything I am partial to critical arguments.  


Disadvantages are great. I want to see disads with strong uniqueness claims and reasonable impacts. Don’t say, “…the economy collapses and nuc war kills us all.” Explain your scenarios thoroughly. Also I have a high threshold on tix scenarios. Make sure there is a specific election or bill that is actually on the docket and explain it thoroughly. Counterplans are cool as long as they are competitive and the timeframe is now. I enjoy the perm debate. Also, perms are a test of competition and a bad perm is a reason to reject the argument, not the team. Have fun and ask any questions you may have.



Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Joey Donaghy - Point Loma Nazarene University

Saved Philosophy:

Section 1: General Information

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. Judges who write philosophies that are not clear will be asked to rewrite them. Judges who do not rewrite them may be fined or not allowed to judge/cover teams at the NPTE.

I debated for Coppell High School’s policy team for four years. I then debated for Texas Tech’s parli team. Go for the argument that you think gives you the best chance of winning the debate. Don’t sacrifice clarity for speed. You play to win the game. Have fun and enjoy your rounds. You don’t get to debate forever so enjoy every second of every speech as much as you can.


Section 2: Specific Inquiries  

Please describe your approach to the following.


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

I won’t give lower than a 26 unless you do something outlandish. 27-28 is good. 29-30 is outstanding.


2.       How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be “contradictory” with other negative positions?

How I approach any argument is determined by how the arguments are presented and responded to by the other team. Affirmative teams can run whatever argument they think gives them the best chance to win the debate. The debaters can decide whether or not it is okay for arguments to be contradictory.


3.       Performance based arguments…

are not my all-time favorite, but I will listen to them.


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

Your interpretation should be better than the other team’s. In round abuse is not always necessary. I do not know how to evaluate a topicality debate without competing interpretations. However, feel free to try to persuade me otherwise.


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

It depends on the specific PIC. For the most part, I think they are good. The opp should identify the status of the counterplan if the other team asks. Perms are fine. Typically, you are in the best spot when you are both textually and functionally competitive. For what it is worth, I do believe there is such a thing as ‘no risk of a link’.


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

I will leave that up to the teams to decide.


7.       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?)?

 The order in which I’ll evaluate the arguments is largely up to the debaters. After procedural issues, I will default to evaluating the case and then move on the other arguments.


8.       How do you weight 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")?

If you do not weigh your arguments, I will not do that work for you. How I compare impacts like dehumanization against things like “one million deaths “will depend on the way they are presented.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

David Worth - Rice University

Saved Philosophy:

David Worth, Ph.D.


D.O.F., Rice University


Judging Philosophy


My decision is based mostly on how the debaters argue I should decide the round; I try to avoid using my own decision-making philosophy as much as possible but will when 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 you are 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. 


Decision-making Approach: I’ll judge based on given criteria. 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. 


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 or procedural. 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. 


Offense/Defense: Defense can win, too. That doesn’t mean that a weaker offensive argument with risk can’t outweigh defense, it just 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.


Assessing Arguments: An argument’s weight depends on how strong it is.  I think line-by-line vs. "big picture" is an artificial divide anyway.  This can vary by round.  I would say 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.


Presentation: All good as long as you are clear. I’ll tell you if you are not, but not more than a couple of times. After that, I will try, but I make no guarantees.


Strong Viewpoints: As I’ve said before, I probably won t vote to kill everyone to save the planet/galaxy/universe. Otherwise I haven t found "the" issue yet that I can t try to see all sides of.


I vote on procedurals a bit less than other arguments but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t run them. I am getting kind of tired of purely strategic procedurals. However, even though they aren’t favorites they are sometimes necessary.


Points of Order: Call them, or don’t call them; 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 in your opponents’ rebuttal. Just let them get out of the round with some dignity (if you don’t, speaker points will suffer). It’ll be obvious when I think you are calling too many.


Other Items to Note:


If the round is obviously lopsided and you are obliterating the other team (e.g. if they are novices), then be nice. I will obliterate your speaker points if you aren’t nice or if you simply pile it on for the heck of it.


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.


I’m not going to weigh in on the great theoretical controversies of the game. Those are up to you to demonstrate in the round. T can be more than one thing depending on the round. Counterplans can function in more than one way. Critical debates can have many forms. I’m not going to tell you what to do. I am familiar with pretty much all of it, and have been around for a long time. I don’t pretend to think any of the issues are settled.  Actually, I’ve learned or at least been forced to think 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. These are all interpretable in the debate. I will say that I probably most naturally think in terms of competing interpretations on T, but, as I mention above, I can think in more than one way.


I will also say that I dislike the post/pre-fiat issue. I am kind of over it.  Find a way to compare the impacts/implications and the plan/alt, etc. for me. It really annoys me to have compare things after the round that I was told throughout the round were “not comparable.” If you don’t find a way, don’t get mad at me for comparing them however I choose to compare them.


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


Finally, 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 basic respect for that.


Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Adam Testerman - Texas Tech U

Saved Philosophy:


Hi there!  I have competed in debate and forensics for over 10 years.  I participated in parliamentary debate during college, with two years at Southern Illinois University and two years at Texas Tech University.  I feel comfortable judging any “genre” of argument and have no real argument preference beyond the desire to see clash.  I coached for three years at Lewis & Clark College; this is my second year as Director of Forensics at TTU. 


General Issues

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


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


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


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


Emphasize explanation early… don’t let your argument make sense for the first time in the LOR or PMR etc. 


All constructive speeches should take a question if asked, and it’s strategic to ask questions. 


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


Points of Order should be called, but I will also do my best to protect new arguments… don’t be excessive with them though [I’ll be vague about what that means, but be an adult] 


RVI’s have never been good arguments, read them at your own risk.  



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



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


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



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


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


Critical affirmatives can be cool, but they also put me in a weird position as a judge sometimes.  If your affirmative is positioned to critique DAs, then I still want to see specific applications of those arguments to the DAs.  I need to see how the DA demonstrates your argument to be true in some specific way.  By that I mean, if the negative outright wins a DA, I would need to see why that would mean the affirmative shouldn’t lose early, often, and specifically.  The same is true of any set/genre of negative positions. 



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


For me, performances [and this is definitely for lack of a better term that groups non-policy/non-topic oriented approaches] have the potential to make very compelling arguments.  However, I will vote for framework as answer to these arguments if the other team “wins” the position. 



In general, the CP/DA debate is probably what I feel most comfortable judging accurately and I think CPs that solve the affirmative are very strategic. There are probably enough arguments on both sides to justify different interpretations of how permutation or CP theory in general should go down, that I don’t have strong opinions about many CP related issues.  


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


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

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Joe Provencher - Texas Tech U

Saved Philosophy:

Joe Provencher – Lewis and Clark


The Quick hits for Prep time:


Unless told otherwise, I default to net-bens/policy making.


If you want me to evaluate topicality via competing interpretations, slow down a bit through your interpretations so I have the text exactly as you intend it. You should also probably take a question on your definition/interp if it's particularly long/nuanced/complex/crazy.


I used to tell teams I believed all advocacies in round should be unconditional. However, a lot of the conditionallity debates I saw were really terrible, and probably had PMRs going for the theory without really understanding it, and then expecting me to vote every time for the aff as a result of my philosophy. So I'll try my best to explain it more below, but for your quick evaluation of me now, know that I don't really think conditionality is necessary (maybe not even good), but will do my absolute best to be open to the theory arguments made in round.


I think that counter-plans must compete via net-benefits or mutual exclusivity. Other CP theory arguments are going to be an uphill battle for my ballot.


I don't think I'm biased one way or another on the kritik. I think good K debate is good, and bad K debate is bad (and good theory debate is good, bad theory debate is bad, etc, etc). Just get small in the rebuttals, one way or the other, and pick your winning argument. Like any argument, if you suspect I may not be 100% familiar with the literature you are using, then make the tag line very clear so you can read your warrants as fast as you want.


Take some points of information. Be cordial.

Call as many points of order as you want, but it should be limited to the individual calling the point of order, and a response from the opposing individual making the argument. There should never be a debate, or any back and forth, about whether an argument is new. Make your point, respond to it. 



Some further reading for your strikes:


On conditionality: I would never explicitly tell a team not to run a certain argument in front of me. However, out of all the reading I've done, and rounds I've seen, I can't imagine a world in which the MG puts out a good Condo bad shell, the PMR goes for it sufficiently, and I do not vote for it. Maybe the reading I've done is insufficient, but I'm not convinced yet, and the limited condo debates I've seen have been bad ones that only reinforce that opinion. However, I'm trying to stay open to furthering my education in the activity and would encourage anyone to come find me and talk (maybe outside of round) so we can keep the discussion going.


On topicality: I believe that T is a discussion to find the best definition of a word in the resolution. The standards debate is a debate about why a particular definition is very good. A lot of times, especially with teams yelling about ground to DAs they're supposed to have, I think that focus gets lost. If a plan doesn't link to your DA, it might not be because they have mis-defined a word. It might just be that the DA is not good. Consequently, the claim that NEG can read DAs is not a reason your definition is good. That just means they can run DAs. Most debaters are good enough to come up with some kind of offense on the spot.


In general: Good debate gets small at the end of the rounds. Rebuttal speeches should be deep and specific, and focussed around why I must prioritize a single given story. Do that, you win.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Kyle Cheesewright - The College of Idaho

Saved Philosophy:

 “All that you touch  

You Change.  

All that you Change  

Changes you.  

The only lasting truth  

Is Change.  

God Is Change.”

–Octavia Butler, “Parable of the Sower.”


Debate is a game. Debate is a strange, beautiful game that we play. Debate is a strange beautiful game that we play with each other.


I love debate. It’s the only game that exists where the rules are up for contestation by each side. There are some rules that aren’t up for discussion, as far as I can tell, these are them:


1/ Each debate will have a team that wins, and a team that looses. Say whatever you want, I am structurally constrained at the end of debate to award one team a win, and the other team will receive a loss. That’s what I got.


2/ Time limits. I think that a discussion should have equal time allotment for each side, and those times should probably alternate. I have yet to see a fair way for this question to be resolved in a debate, other than through arbitrary enforcement. The only exception is that if both teams decide on something else, you have about 45 minutes from the start of the round, to when I have to render a decision.


Pretty much everything else is open to contestation. At this point, I don’t really have any serious, uncontestable beliefs about debate. This means that the discussion is open to you. I do tend to find that I find debates to be more engaging when they are about substantive clash over a narrow set of established issues. This means, I tend to prefer debates that are specific and deep. Good examples, and comparative discussion of those examples is the easiest way to win my ballot. Generally speaking, I look for comparative impact work. I find that I tend to align more quickly with highly probable and proximate impacts, though magnitude is just so easy.


I tend to prefer LOC strategies that are deep, well explained explorations of a coherent world. The strategy of firing off a bunch of underdeveloped arguments, and trying to develop the strategy that is mishandled by the MG is often successful in front of me, but I almost always think that the round would have been better with a more coherent LOC strategy—for both sides of the debate.


At the end of the debate, when it is time for me to resolve the discussion, I start by identifying what I believe the weighing mechanism should be, based on the arguments made in the debate. Once I have determined the weighing mechanism, I start to wade through the arguments that prove the world will be better or worse, based on the decision mechanism. I always attempt to default to explicit arguments that debaters make about these issues.


Examples are the evidence of Parliamentary debate. Control the examples, and you will control the debate.


On specific issues: I don’t particularly care what you discuss, or how you discuss it. I prefer that you discuss it in a way that gives me access to the discussion. I try not to backfill lots of arguments based on buzzwords. For example, if you say “Topicality is a matter of competing interpretations,” I think I know what that means. But I am not going to default to evaluating every argument on Topicality through an offense/defense paradigm unless you explain to me that I should, and probably try to explicate what kinds of answers would be offensive, and what kinds of answers would be defensive. Similarly, if you say “Topicality should be evaluated through the lens of reasonability,” I think I know what that means. But if you want me to stop evaluating Topicality if you are winning that there is a legitimate counter-interpretation that is supported by a standard, then you should probably say that.


I try to flow debates as specifically as possible. I feel like I have a pretty good written record of most debates.


Rebuttals are times to focus a debate, and go comprehensively for a limited set of arguments. You should have a clear argument for why you are winning the debate as a whole, based on a series of specific extensions from the Member speech. The more time you dedicate to an issue in a debate, the more time I will dedicate to that issue when I am resolving the debate. Unless it just doesn’t matter. Watch out for arguments that don’t matter, they’re tricksy and almost everyone spends too much time on them.


Before I make my decision, I try to force myself to explain what the strongest argument for each side would be if they were winning the debate. I then ask myself how the other team is dealing with those arguments. I try to make sure that each team gets equal time in my final evaluation of a debate.


This is a radical departure from my traditional judging philosophy. I’ll see how it works out for me. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. For the record, I have strong opinions on just about everything that occurs in a debate round—but those strong opinions are for down time and odd rants during practice rounds. I work to keep them out of the debate, and at this point, I think I can say that I do a pretty good job on that account.


I just thought of a third rule. Speaker points are mine. I use them to indicate how good I thought speeches are. If you tell me what speaker points I should give you, I will listen, and promptly discard what you say. Probably.


For the sake of transparency: My personal gig is critical-cultural theory. It's where my heart is. This does not mean that you should use critical theory that you don't understand or feel comfortable with it. Make the choices in debate that are the best, most strategic, or most ethical for you. If your interested in my personal opinons about your choices, I'm more than happy to share. But I'll do that after the debate is over, the ballot submitted, and we're just two humans chatting. The debate will be decided based on the arguments made in the debate.


“[Y]ou can’t escape language: language is everything and everywhere; it’s what lets us have anything to do with one another; it’s what separates us from animals; Genesis 11:7-10 and so on.”

-David Foster Wallace, “Authority and American Usage.”


Old Philosophy

A Body's Judging Philosophy

Debate has been my home since 1996—

and when I started, I caressed Ayn Rand

and spoke of the virtue of selfishness.


I am much older than I was.

These days, I am trying to figure out

how subjectivity gets created

from the raw material of words

and research.


I have no interest in how well

you can recite the scripts you’ve memorized.

Or at what speed.


I will not be held responsible

for adjudicating your bank balance.

And I will not provide interest on your jargon.

I will listen to your stories

and I will decide which story is better,

using the only currency I am comfortable with:

the language of land,

and the words that sprout from my body

like hair.


I remember the visceral intensity

of the win and loss,

and the way that worth was constructed from finishing points.

I am far too familiar with the bitter sting

of other names circled.


I think that the systemic is far more important

than the magnitude.

Politics make me sick.

And I know that most of the fun with words,

has nothing to do with limits,

because it’s all ambiguous.

And nothing fair.


These days,

I read Deleuze and Guattari,

and wonder what it means when classrooms are madhouses.

And all that remains is the


Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Cheryl Maiorca - The University of Oklahoma

Saved Philosophy:

First and foremost, I view parliamentary debate as a speaking event. Parli is debate, but because it is extemporaneous and requires preparation within a limited window of time the ability of each participant to both reason and articulate an argument in a professional manner is a vital part of the activity. The goal of parli is not to speed through an information dump without being able to link evidence to argument. While I can generally understand when students speak quickly or “spread” – my flow is the ultimate guide to how the round has unfolded. If evidence is presented and does not make it onto the flow because of speed, if the other team calls a point of order I will go with what is on my flow.

Parliamentary debate is designed for well-read college students to develop a case within a limited timeframe. Because of this, if I am presented with “canned” cases that have obviously been rehearsed and used before I will be more likely to decide that the team without a canned case has won the round. There is a time and a place for running a kritik of the resolution, arguing topicality, or arguing that a case is abusive but using theory should not be prioritized over well-reasoned argument.

Affirmative teams: Debate the resolution. If “this house believes cats are better than dogs” I do not want to hear about the importance of free trade coffee. Define your terms but play fair and develop a case that builds upon the resolution itself. That said, I love when cases are topical but not necessarily straightforward. I encourage creative interpretations of the resolution but expect that the case will fit the resolution and not be something that was prepared weeks in advance that you try to cram into the current topic. I want you to create your argument during your prep time and explain why that argument wins the round.

Negative teams: I want to see clash. Engage with the topic as defined by the affirmative team. If you believe that there is not ground or that the affirmative definitions are unfair, it is okay to state that belief but argue the case anyway. Provide me with a counterplan, give me the disads of the affirmative case, and/or provide clearly reasoned and linked rebuttal. Arguing fairness, vagueness, and topicality at length takes away from the educational value of parliamentary debate.

Both teams:: I hate human extinction arguments. I find them trite and overused. Advocate your case and explain why your opponents’ case is wrong without telling me yet again that the world will end.

Finally, I expect civility. I gave a student 8 speaker points once because when his opponent stated he would answer a question at the bottom of the flow he argued with that and spent 45 seconds of an 8-minute constructive wasting his opponent’s time. Asking questions in parli is an art form and I encourage them, but I do not see any reason why anyone is unable to wait for someone to get ideas spoken before breaking his or her train of thought. I want to see disagreement and opposing ideas but I do not want to see poor sportsmanship, rudeness, cruelty, dishonesty about evidence, or gross exaggerations about what your opponent has said.




Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Matt Reisener - The University of Texas at Tyler

Saved Philosophy:

Background: I spent four years debating for William Jewell College and competed at both NPDA and NPTE from 2010-2013.

General Information (TLDR Section):  As a rule, debaters should not feel that they need to substantially alter their strategies to fit my preferences. Just because I read Heg and PTX every round when I competed, doesn’t necessarily mean I expect you to do the same. Read whatever arguments you believe will best help you to win the debate round, and I will do my best to fairly evaluate them in making my decision. That being said, understanding my thoughts on certain arguments may help inform your strategies, as I’m much more qualified to judge a Heg Good/Bad debate than Lacan vs Baudrillard.

-I believe all affirmatives should include a fiated, topical plan text.

-I am a big fan of warrants. As a rule, if a team reads an argument against you that is not coherent or warranted when it is initially read, I will give you a certain degree of leeway in answering it in later speeches. For example if the LOC reads a disad that does not make any sense to me until the MO/LOR, I will give the PMR a longer leash in answering that argument than I would under normal circumstances. This won’t be a problem in 99% of debates, but if your strategy is to purposefully muddle the debate in the constructives, do so at your own risk.

-I will clear you if I can’t understand you. I feel pretty confident in my ability to flow fast debaters, though I may ask you to increase your volume if you tend to speak quietly, particularly if I am relegated to the back of the room.

-I believe each debater should have to take at least one questions during a constructive speech (if asked).

-While I am not in the business of discounting particular arguments on face, I will warn you that I am not likely to vote for “fact/value debate good,” “perms are advocacies,” “Aff doesn’t get fiat,” anything dealing with attitudinal or existential inherency, or reverse voting issues unless the other team just drops these arguments completely.

- I flow the LOR on a separate sheet of paper. It probably goes without saying, but I think splitting the block is extremely abusive, and will likely discount the LOR entirely if it is spent going for arguments not in the MO.

-If you think an argument is new, call a point of order. I will do my best to protect you from new arguments, but it is to your advantage to alert me when the other team is making one just to be safe.

-Please provide copies of all texts (if at all possible) and read all interpretations slowly and at least twice.

-Numbering your arguments does wonders for my flowing. That being said, I promise I will still write down your arguments even if they are delivered stream-of-consciousness style and absent any tags.

-An average speaker will receive 27 speaker points from me. If you receive 30 speaker points, it means that you have given one of the single best speeches I have ever seen in a debate round.


-Unless specifically told otherwise, I evaluate all theory arguments as a priori.

-I view all theory debates through the lens of competing interpretations. If you do not have a coherent interpretation on a theory position, I will find it very difficult to vote for you.

-I do not necessarily need proven abuse on theory in order to vote for it, but being able to articulate a clear instance of in-round abuse will likely increase your chances of winning a theory debate.


-I don’t hate the Kritik, I really don’t. But I honestly do not have a ton of background in most of the K lit, particularly more post-modern arguments. I feel fairly comfortable with the Cap, Biopower, and Militarism debates, but I do not delude myself into thinking that I have read all of the relevant literature on these topics. Therefore, if you want to debate the K in front of me, PLEASE give me a general thesis of the argument at some point during the shell, and try to define all of the obscure terms of art you use so that I can figure out what you’re talking about.

-The best Kritiks are either topic-specific or include specific links that directly answer the affirmative. The worst Kritiks are those that are composed entirely of post-modern buzzwords, rely on links of omission to interact with the affirmative, and name-drop authors at the expense of reading warrants. If you believe you can debate the K without falling victim to the pitfalls listed above, then you will probably be safe reading it in front of me as long as you can explain the argument effectively.

-I have no idea what judges mean when they tell LOCs/MGs to “engage the Kritik” when answering it. If they mean that you should answer its substantive claims as opposed to exclusively reading procedurals and permutation arguments, then I absolutely agree. But in my experience, certain critics use “engage the Kritik” as a euphemism for, “the only way to answer the Kritik is by trying to move father left than the Kritik.” I am not one of those critics. If you want to answer the K by out-lefting it, go right on ahead. But you should also feel free to impact turn, read framework offense, defend the merits of fiat, or just read 8 minutes of reasons why the alternative would collapse hegemony. In my mind, giving a list of reasons why the thesis of the Kritik is a terrible mindset to adopt is the definition of “engaging the K,” regardless of which side of the political spectrum you approach it from.

-I am predisposed to think that the Aff should get access to the impacts of the PMC.

-Alternatives should include a clear description of what the world looks like after their implementation. If you do not defend that anything physically changes in a world of the alt, you should include an explanation of what happens after the critic takes this action.

Narratives/Performance/Non-Traditional Debate:

-If you’re aff, my preference would be that these arguments are somehow couched in the defense of a fiated, topical plan text. If you’re neg, go crazy.

-I’m inclined to believe that debate is a game, that policy-making is good, and that the affirmative should generally try to talk about the topic, but if you can justify not doing these things, then don’t let my predispositions stop you from debating the way that you’re best at. Just make sure that everyone is treated with respect when reading or answering these arguments, which can be very personal for competitors. Remember, this is supposed to be fun.


-These arguments are much more in my wheelhouse. Disads that outweigh and/or straight turn the affirmative tend to be the most strategic in my eyes.

-It would take a Herculean effort on your part and/or a concession on the part of the other team to convince me that it is legitimate to perm a disad.


-I assume that all counterplans are conditional unless specifically told otherwise.

-All counterplans should strive to be textually and functionally competitive. 

-For what it’s worth, I tend to think that PICs, Conditionality, and Topical Counterplans are all acceptable, while Delay, Veto/Cheato, and Object Fiat CPs tend to be pretty abusive. However, I will allow these questions to be settled in the round.

-Permutations should include some sort of text explaining how the affirmative can interact with the counterplan (example: perm-do both, perm- do the counterplan, etc).

-I tend to think that severance and intrinsic perms are abusive, and that a well-warranted theoretical objection is a reason to reject these arguments, but I will let this question be decided in the context of the debate.

Weighing Impacts:

-You should do this. A lot. Kevin Garner taught me how to debate, so I am very partial to buzzwords like, “probability,” “timeframe,” and “magnitude,” being used to describe your impacts.

-Absent arguments to the contrary, I will default to voting for impacts with the largest magnitude.

-Offense wins championships in debate. Defense can be very useful insofar as it prevents the other team from accessing their offense, but defense alone cannot win you the debate round.


Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Matthew Hogan - University of Nevada, Reno

Saved Philosophy:

Name: Matthew Hogan School: University of Nevada, Reno Section 1: General Information 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. Judges who write philosophies that are not clear will be asked to rewrite them. Judges who do not rewrite them may be fined or not allowed to judge/cover teams at the NPTE. To begin, I have about 12 years experience in the activity between competing in high school policy, competing in college parli, and coaching parli for 3 years. My general approach to evaluating the debate is that the government team has the responsibility to defend the topic and their case, while the negative can challenge either of those two burdens to win the round. I believe the affirmative team should defend the resolution. This means that if you want to run a critical affirmative, you need to explain to me how this position is topical under the specific resolution. I allow quite a bit of leeway when it comes to affirmative interpretations of resolutions, so the least you can do is spend the extra 30 seconds explaining how you are topical. My only exception to this burden is a project affirmative, but I need a good framework explaining why this is more important than the topic, and probably an explanation as to why you are not running the position just to skew your opponents out of the round (ie: disclose your project if it is that important to you). Opposition Teams, your Kritik should also be topical either to the resolution or specifically to the plan text. Generic links, links of omission etc, don’t really do it for me. Link specific discourse, the plan text or the wording of the resolution. Really try to engage your opponent or the resolution with the kritik, don’t run the kritik just for the sake of running it. Also, I believe in negation theory, so you can have contradictory arguments in the round. Just make sure you parameterize down to one of the two arguments by the rebuttals. If you are going for both arguments in the rebuttal and are winning both, I don’t know what to do with the two competing claims you are winning and, thus, disregard them both (government teams should know this too). I am open to procedurals of all kinds, kritiks, diusads and counterplans. I am willing to vote for either liberal or conservative positions, so long as those arguments are not deliberately racist, sexist, etc. I am ok with speed, so far as you give a little pen time between claims, since this is parli after all. A good idea would be to give a warrant after the claim, so I can get pen time and so you can actually support your argument. Above all else, I expect both teams to be respectful to each other. Don’t deliberately be mean, rude or patronizing. I am ok with banter, sarcasm, etc, but being rude just for the sake of bullying your opponent will upset me. Not enough for me to vote against you, but enough for me to dock your speaker points substantially. Points of order should be called in front of me. If something is blatantly new for me, I will do disregard the argument. If there is a grey area, I may allow the argument unless a point of order is called. I think it is better to be safe than sorry. My idea of net-benefits is probably not traditional, where whomever has a higher magnitude wins. Unless you tell me why I need to prioritize magnitude first, I will evaluate net-benefits to my default standard which is: probability>timeframe>magnitude. My political philosophy is that high magnitude debates stagnate real action and reform, which is why I prioritize probability. That isn’t to say that I won’t evaluate magnitude first if you tell me why I should abandon my default judging standard. If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me Best of luck to you all!!! Section 2: Specific Inquiries Please describe your approach to the following. 1.​Speaker points (what is your typical speaker point range or average speaker points given)? ​26-29 2.​How do you approach critically framed arguments? Can affirmatives run critical arguments? Can critical arguments be “contradictory” with other negative positions? ​Critically framed arguments are cool with me for both teams. Critical affirmatives should be topical to the resolution (see above), and still give the negative some ground in the round. Critically framed arguments should have a clear framework for both teams that tell me how I should prioritize the position. Without a winning framework that prioritize the critical argument first, I will weigh it equally to other positions. Yes the position can contradict other positions, as long as you collapse to only one of the positions in the rebuttal. My one exclusion to this rule is that if you run a critical position based off the discourse someone uses, and then you use that discourse, then your contradictory positions can cost you the round, since you can’t take back your discourse. 3.​Performance based arguments… ​I am also ok with performance based positions, so long as they meet a standard of relevance to the resolution. However, it needs to be clear to me that I am evaluating the performance rather than the content, with reasons why I should evaluate performance first. The opposing team should have the right to know if they are actually debate the performance or the content, instead of being excluded by a team switching back and forth between frameworks. 4.​Topicality. What do you require to vote on topicality? Is in-round abuse necessary? Do you require competing interpretations? ​ ​I don’t require competing interpretations. If you tell me why your opponent has a bad interpretation, I won’t vote for it. If you want me to vote for your competing interpretation, though, I need counter-standards. I don’t need in-round abuse as long as the standards and voters you are going for aren’t related to ground (ie: grammar and Jurisdiction). However if you are going for a fairness voter with a claim to ground loss, then I need the abuse to be present in round. I do give government teams flexibility in being creative with the topic, as long as they can win topicality, but I am also more likely to vote on topicality than some other critics may. 5.​Counterplans -- PICs good or bad? Should opp identify the status of the counterplan? Perms -- textual competition ok? functional competition? ​Counterplan is assumed dispositional to me unless told otherwise. If asked about the status of the counterplan, the negative team should answer their opponent. Counterplans of any kind are ok with me, as long as you can defend the theory behind the counterplan you ran. All theory is up for debate for both teams when it comes to counterplans. My favorite counterplans are plan exclusive counterplans, but I will entertain any kind. 6.​Is it acceptable for teams to share their flowed arguments with each other during the round (not just their plans) ​Yes, teams can share flowed arguments. 7.​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 first, krtiks second, then net-benefits. You can easily tell me why I should prioritize differently in the debate. Additionally, if nobody is winning the theory as to why I should look to one argument first, then I will weigh procederuals vs. kritiks vs. plan/da/cp equally under net-benefits and weigh the impacts of each. So you should be winning your theory debate on your position.​ ​ 8.​How do you weight 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")? ​As mentioned before, I prioritize probability first. I will still consider things like magnitude and timeframe, I just give more weight to more probable impacts. Therefore things like dehumanization can outweigh extinction or vice versa, as long as you are winning the probability debate. The other option is give me framework reasons as to why I should prefer magnitude or timeframe first. BOLDED TEXT REFLECTS CHANGES TO MY PHILOSOPHY ON 10/29/12 Case Arguments: Fact cases generally make me upset and uncomfortable because I feel I must always intervene. Value resolutions, a little less so. I am most comfortable with policy rounds because I think it incorporates the other two types of rounds and then goes beyond; however, I will listen to the round no matter how it is formatted. Affirmative cases should be well-warranted, clear, and solvent; after all, affirmative does get the benefit of choosing their case. I think inherency is a difficult battle to win for the negative; however the link and impact debate are incredibly important. I probably give more value to solvency attacks then other critics. I view solvency/advantage links as the internal link to all the impacts I weigh for the affirmative, so for the same reasons why proving a no link on a disadvantage make it go away, I feel the same is true for solvency. Lastly, I will default to a net-benefits framework until either team provides me with a different framework in which I should view the round. Disadvantage Arguments: Generally enjoy the disadvantage debate. Disadvantages must be unique, with well-warranted internal links and articulated advantages. I hate hearing big impacts like global warming or nuke war without a clear articulated scenario of how we get there and how the impact occurs (same goes for the affirmative case). Example of a bad impact: Emissions create ocean acidity and lead to extinction in the ocean and the world. Example of a good impact: CO2+H2O results in carbonic acid, eating away the calcium shells of shellfish and coral, which are the 2nd most biodiverse place on earth and a major food source for all animals. I WILL NOT DO THE WORK FOR YOU ON THE IMPACT DEBATE. Links are very important as well, and while a risk of the link will get you access to the impacts, probability will greatly decrease, which given the right affirmative rebuttal may still not result in me voting for large impacts. Link turns are only offense if the government is winning the uniqueness debate. Counterplan Arguments: The following are my default views on counterplans; however, counterplan theory is completely up for debate, and I will listen to any counterplan if you defend and win the theory debate. I actually enjoy very clear, competitive counterplans. Delay counterplans generally are unfair and honestly quite unnecessary, since if you are winning the disadvantage, the CP isn’t required unless you have small impacts. Consult counterplans are a little less unfair than counterplans, but I feel somewhat the same towards these counterplans as I do towards delay. Consult CP’s have a little more offense, though. PICs are fine, but a little abusive (just a little J). I would just hope that you have a specific disad to the part you're PICing out of. I'm fine with topical counterplans. My default view is that perms are a test of competition, and not an advocacy. A perm is all of plan, and all or part of the counterplan. Anything outside of this, and I'll have a sympathetic ear to Opp claims of severance or intrinsicness. I prefer if you write out the counterplan and perm texts on separate pieces of paper to avoid debates about shifting perm/CP texts. I view all CPs as dispositional unless I'm told otherwise. To be clear, this means that Opp can kick it only if Gov perms it. If Gov straight turns the CP, Opp is stuck with it, unless they've declared it conditional at the top of the CP. Lastly, losing the counterplan doesn’t mean a loss for the opposition. Multiple Conditional (and usually contradictory) Counterplans will probably lose you the round, if your opponents tell me why they are abusive. They force the gov team to contradict themselves, run multiple uniqueness scenarios and definitely skew your opponents out of the round. Please do not run them. You already get the option between the status quo and/or a competing advocacy. You don’t need 3 more! (This applies to a kritik alternative and a counterplan, unless the counterplan is the alternative. Kritik Arguments: Framework of kritiks is incredibly important. Without a clear framework, I will simply weigh the kritik against the case, which generally means all you have is a non-unique disadvantage. I would much more prefer specific links to the aff case/rhetoric over resolution links (I am somewhat sympathetic to the affirmative when they don’t get to choose the resolution or side). More local impacts (personal/individual) will get you further in terms of the solvency of your alternative than huge impacts like “root of all violence”. However, I will listen to larger impacts as well, as long as your solvency can convince me that I can solve the root cause of all violence simply by signing my ballot!!!. Your alternative should be written and clarified if requested, and your solvency needs to be articulated well. Best option for the affirmative to answer the kritik is to perm, answer framework, or challenge the solvency. Impact turning something like, “the root of all violence” is risky, and chances are, the kritik probably will link in some way to the affirmative case. T and Theory Arguments: I give a lot of flexibility to the affirmative to be creative with their interpretation and affirmative case. On the flipside, I enjoy topicality debate more than most judges. I guess the two balance each other out and will result in me being able to hear arguments from either team regarding topicality. Interpretations should be clear, and preferably, written out. Ground/Fairness claims should have proven in-round abuse in order to win them; however, you might be able to convince me that prep-abuse is important too. Otherwise, in-round is the only thing that will win you a fairness debate. Other standards and voters can still win you topicality, though. Your voters should be related to the standards for your interpretation. Short, blippy, time-suck topicality will make me very sad and less likely to vote for it. If you are going to run topicality, you should be putting in at least as much effort as your other arguments if you expect me to consider it. Other theory arguments like vagueness, policy framework best, etc are all up for debate in front of me. However, theory should be explained clearly, and you should give enough pen time on these arguments, since generally there are not as many warrants for theory arguments as there are for case arguments. Approach to Deciding: Net-Benefits paradigm until told otherwise. I cannot stress enough the importance of the rebuttal for evaluating impacts. Tell me where to weigh, how to weigh, and why I should weigh the impacts the way you tell me too. I prioritize impacts in the following order unless told otherwise: Probability of impacts comes first, Timeframe second, and magnitude last. I will not vote on a try or die of nuclear war that has low probability if the other team has a 100% chance of feeding 100 people and saving their lives. This is contrary to my personal political perspective that catastrophic rhetoric can lead to political paralysis. However, if you want to go for big impacts, you can convince me to change my prioritization of impacts by arguing why I should prioritize timeframe or magnitude. Convince me why timeframe matters more than anything, or probability, or magnitude. Any of these can be enough to win you the round, even if you are losing one of the other standards for weighing. Big impacts don’t necessarily result in a win, unless you tell me. Without any weighing, I feel like I must intervene and do the work for you (which I don’t want to do), and you may not enjoy the decision I make if I do. Without weighing being done, I will default to probability over timeframe and then timeframe over magnitude. If you fail to argue why I should change the way in which I prioritize impacts, you may lose the round despite winning the line by line because I will default to a more probable impact scenario. THIS IS IMPORTANT, since most judges evaluate magnitude first and this is not in-line with my own views on policy-making. So if you are a large magnitude impact debater, you must make it clear why the magnitude should come before a highly probable, small impact advantage for your opponents. Presentation Preferences: Speed is generally fine with me. There are only a few teams that may be fast for me, and I will let you know during your speech if you are going to fast. Should you decide not to slow down, then you may not get your argument on my flow. However, I believe that this is an educational activity while also a competitive one. Therefore, if your opponents are asking you to slow down because they can’t engage, and you refuse to, you may win the round, but you may not get very good speaker points in front of me. I believe using speaker points is the best way of balancing my responsibility in making sure debate is inclusive and educational, but at the same time not being interventionist by giving somebody a loss for speaking to fast. Sitting is fine and won‘t affect your speaker points, but you’ll generally speak clearer and quicker standing, so I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to stand for your own sake. I am fine with communicating with your partner, but will only flow those arguments that are coming from the speaker. If communicating with your partner is excessive, then your speaker points may be affected. The person speaker should be answering cx questions (but you can get input from your partner). CLARITY is the most important thing in terms of presentation.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Phil Sharp - University of Nevada, Reno

Saved Philosophy:

I competed in HS Policy and College NPDA. I was formerly the ADOF at WWU (3 years) and the DOF at Univ of Montana (2 years). I took two years off to go and teach debate in Korea. I am now the DOF at UNR (9 years).

I evaluate the round as a flow-based policy-making critic of argument. Not a fan of the original argument being nothing but a tag with no warrant and the PMR back-filling. I hold you to the arguments you made and as a critic of argument, I will evaluate the degree to which you have warranted and convinced me of that argument. If your argument did not make sense the first time you said it, it is not likely to win my ballot. At the end of the debate, all judges must do work to make their decision. I feel that I attempt to make my involvement in the decision something I am consciously aware of as opposed to pretending that debates somehow decide themselves.

In the event that the decision is not clear-cut, I will attempt to use a standard and fair method. Some things that you should know:
A. I will weigh arguments through the frameworks the debaters provide. If a team wants me to vote on an Education standard on a T but they are losing an RVI on Education on the K, How do I weigh who has harmed Edu the most? Procedurals and kritiks are ultimately a request for me to employ a different paradigm in the debate (not post-fiat policy-making).

B. In the event of clash, I will side with the team who has the more reasonable story and articulates the best standards to prefer their argument. In the absence of standards, I will default to the team whose argument is most intuitive as presented.

C. In the event of dropped or under-covered arguments, I will vote based upon how well you warranted the argument. If a team drops a 20 second T that didn't make any sense, I won't vote on it. If you think your arguments are winners, make them sufficiently the first time you present them. Additional

1. I DO think that an AFF should be an inductive proof of the res, but I also think that as long as they are reasonable, the NEG should be quick on their feet with arguments. I might not vote on T but I will consider how well a Neg team does when caught by surprise and give them the benefit of the doubt a little. I like creative and strategic movement within a topic area, AS LONG AS YOU EXPLAIN HOW YOUR CASE IS A PROOF OF THE RES BEING TRUE. I prefer a policy, if the res allows you to do it.
2. I think that the current policy of blipping and back-filling is yucky. I don't mind how fast you talk but I think it is intellectually bankrupt to simply spew out a bunch of buzzwords and taglines and try to win without actually knowing what your arguments mean or explaining them. Please note that I haven’t judged a ton of rounds this year and so my pen is slow.
3. A lot of debaters get lost in the minutia and don't understand the purpose of the particular argument they are making. Then they say something like, "The Uniqueness controls the direction of the link." Which is true but is NOT persuasive to hear in a rebuttal. Explain what you mean and how that affects the outcome of the debate. All arguments should be impacted to my decision.
4. Rebuttals should not be line-by-line repeatals. You must crystallize the debate and provide some guidance into my decision making given the negotiated frameworks. The less you do this, the more I have to figure out how to vote. I will flow the LOR straight down the page (like a big overview). Once the PMR is over, I will look back at the LOR arguments before I vote.
5. I find Kritiks to be interesting (if people explain the critical perspective in a way that makes sense) but I find debate to be a problematic format for them. If you run a K or performance on the aff, please provide a clear Role of the Ballot and defend the fact that you defend the topic. If you run a K on the neg, I expect to see a unique link in the debate with a functioning alternative and solvency. Case-turns from critical theory perspective often work better through the policy-making paradigm.
6. Over-reliance upon buzz words like dehumanization will not be persuasive to me. Explain what it is and why it is bad and don't say things like "Dehum is worse than death" unless you have a good reason that is true.
7. Your internal link story is more important than big, wanky impact stories.
8. I would like to be entertained in the back of the room. Judges all enjoy good intellectual throwdowns with solid clash and warranted arguments. Few of us enjoy the dry, combative, boring rehashing of theory blocks and race to the bottom that teams are choosing in an attempt to win.
9. Watch my freaking non-verbals. If you continue to say "we are the most limiting interpretation" and I am holding my hands up and shaking my head, I probably am looking for you to explain how you’re obviously under limiting interp is actually providing for better limits.
10. I am liberal. I will vote in as unbiased way as possible based on the arguments in the round and my predisposition on questions of debate theory, but I thought it was fair to tell you my political leanings. 11. Don't be rude. Avoid sexism, racism, homophobia, general inappropriate behavior and all the other isms. Be a good sport. Some of the things you say are inevitably going to be less good comparatively. Don't act like you should win every single argument. 

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Louie Petit - University of North Texas

Saved Philosophy:

Debate is a game.   

My preference is debate centered around a plan focus style of debate.  This is not say that other debate styles should or do not exist, but it is to say, I prefer policy debates, and I enjoy judging policy debate rounds.  I will not immediately rule out or prohibit other styles of debate, but I want to be clear, my preference is debates about the plan and competitive policy alternatives. As a judge, an educator, and a debate coach, I can respect all styles of debate/arguments, but prefer certain ones as well.  My preference serves as a starting point to how I think about debate, but will not be used to exclude any style of debate.  


I lean heavily neg on counterplan theory questions.  Conditionally is generally good, but I think the format and speech times of parli debate begs the "generally good" question.

If both teams are silent on the question, my presumption will be that counterplans identified as “conditional” mean that status quo is always an option for the judge to consider, even if the counterplan is extended by the 2nr.  This presumption can easily be changed if debated by either side.

Counterplans which result in the affirmative, probably, not competitive.  I’ve written many of these counterplans, and voted on many of these counterplans many times, so do not think they are off limits 

The K

First, see above.

Second, If you are going for the K you best have well developed link args to the plan and alternative that is competitive. Explain what the alternative does and how it interacts with the AFF. 


All about competing interpretations and which interp is best for debate. 

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Brian Lain - University of North Texas

Saved Philosophy:

Brian Lain

University of North Texas_

Judging 20+ years.


I have judged at 5 NPDA tournaments this year, been judging national circuit NPDA for the last 3 years.  I have been judging CEDA/NDT for the last 20 years and have judged.  I am familiar with current theory on race/performance, kritik/framework theory. Couterplan/disposition theory.  I could not say that I have a predisposition on any of these issues I try as much as possible to let debaters work things out. That being said.  I default to looking for offense and defense. Those are the ways I decide my ballot. 

I work very hard in debates. I concentrate. I teach courses about argumentation and rhetoric at both grad and undergrad level. This greatly influences my thinking in debates. I do not feel that debates are necessarily won by ushering forth the truth. Debates are won by doing the best communicating in an argumentatively competitive setting. I am not a slow thinker, However, I do encounter several debates where speakers are so unclear that I cannot follow critical points in the debate. This happens at the peril of those speaking. I am a critic of argument and as such try to listen and compare arguments as the debate is going on.

I am not a fan of voting on theory, however, I'll do it if you are behind or if its very in-round. Predispositions: counterplans have to be a reason to reject the Aff. Plan- Inclusive Counterplans are ok, Dispositional counterplans are  OK. I think the Aff has a small burden that they must overcome in terms of presumption, then the Neg must usher forth arguments in order to disprove the affirmative.

I try to be as objective as possible, with the above predisposition included. In general, I prefer arguments which contain good reasons and strategies which make logical sense. I am less likely to be tricked by the use of big words and I often like to hear justifications.


Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Hunter McCullough - University of North Texas

Saved Philosophy:

I have judged mostly high school and college policy debate, but have judged a few parli tournaments over the last 2 years. As such, most of my thoughts about debate are shaped by policy, but I also have some specific opinions about parli as well. My opinions below reflect a mix of the two.


 T-Theory - I tend to err aff on T and neg on most theory arguments. By that, I mean that I think that the neg should win a good standard on T in order to win that the aff should lose, and I also believe that theory is usually a reason to reject the argument and not the team. In parli, I think that predictability and ground are the most important standards and that.

- Conditional advocacies are good, but making contradictory truth claims is different. Smart teams will exploit bad neg strategy, which will undoubtedly yield better speaker points than a theory debate, even if the aff wins.

CPs - I'm certainly a better judge for CP/DA debates than K v K debates. I particularly like strategic PICs and good 1NC strategies with a lot of options. I'd be willing to vote on consult/conditions, but I find permutation arguments about immediacy/plan-plus persuasive.
- I don't think perms are ever a reason to reject the aff.
- I don't think illegitimate CPs are a reason to vote aff.

Disads - Run them. Win them. There's not a whole lot to say.
- Teams that invest time in good, comparative impact calculus will be rewarded with more speaker points, and likely, will win the debate. "Disad/Case outweighs" isn't a warrant. Talk about your impacts, but also make sure you talk about your opponents impacts. "Economic collapse is real bad" isn't as persuasive as "economic collapse is faster and controls uniqueness for the aff's heg advantage".

Ks - My general line has always been that "I get the K but am not well read in every literature". I've started to realize that that statement is A) true for just about everybody and B) entirely useless. It turns out that I've read, coached, and voted for Ks too often for me to say that. What I will say, however, is that I certainly focus my research and personal reading more on the policy side, but will generally make it pretty obvious if I have no idea what you're saying.
- Don't think that just because your impacts "occur on a different level" means you don't need to do impact calculus. A good way to get traction here is case defense. Most advantages are pretty silly and false, point that out with specific arguments about their internal links.
- I think the alt is the weakest part of the K, so make sure to answer solvency arguments and perms very well.
- If you're aff, and read a policy aff, don't mistake this as a sign that I'm just going to vote for you because I read mostly policy arguments. If you lose on the K, I'll vote neg. Remember, I already said I think your advantage is a lie. Prove me wrong.

Case - Don't ignore it. Conceding an advantage on the neg is no different than conceding a disad on the aff. You should go to case in the 1NC, even if you just play defense. It will make the rest of the debate so much easier. 

- If you plan to extend a K in the 2NR and use that to answer the case, be sure you're winning either a compelling epistemology argument or some sort of different ethical calculus. General indicts will lose to specific explanations of the aff absent either good 2NR analysis or extensions of case defense.
- 2As... I've become increasingly annoyed with 2ACs that pay lip service to the case without responding to specific arguments or extending evidence/warrants. Just reexplaining the advantage and moving on isn't sufficient to answer multiple levels of neg argumentation.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Alyson Escalante - University of Oregon

Saved Philosophy:

I competed in NPDA/NPTE parli debate for four years, two at El Camino College and two at the University of Oregon. As such, I've debate both on communication centric local circuits as well as national level competative circuit debate. The round is yours, and you are free to do what you wish with it. I will do my best to accomodate the type of round the teams involved decide to have. I do have some preferances but I will attempt to minimize the impact they have. This paradigm is meant to provide transparency for how I understand and aproach debate so that you can understand the biases and preferences which inform my evaluation of a round. Theory: I generally have a middle of the line threshold on most theory positions and I don't have particularly strong opinions on most of the debates about ideal pedagogy, except in relation to topicality. In general my threashold is lowest for questions of topicality and I tend to prefer that the affirmative team defend the resolution. I am willing to judge rounds where that is not the case, but the affirmative should have ample justifications for their decision and I tend to be sympathetic to topicality/framework. In terms of theoretical questions regarding counterplan status, I default towards understanding conditionality to be positive, but I am more than happy to vote on a condo bad shell which is not properly adressed. Critiques: I'm fairly comfortable with most literature bases for the main popular critiques on the national circuit. While I enjoy critique debate, I generally find that it massively simplifies incredibly complex literature. As such, I will reward debaters clearly well versed in, and understanding the nuance of their literature, with speaker points. In general I have a better understanding of more traditional political critiques of capitalism, the state, or other objective political institutions. I am also fairly comfortable with my understanding of criticisms grounded in broader continental philosophy. I am less well read in the fields of critical race theory and critical legal studies so if you want to read positions grounded in this literature please be sure to explain terminology and concepts so I can understand their function in the round. "Identity politics": I don't really like the term identity politics but it seems to be the term the circuit has settled on so here we are. Anyway, I generally find these rounds dificult to judge when not provided with a clear framework for how I am supposed to engage the round. If you want to read these kinds of arguments you should answer a few questions for me. What is my role in this round? Am I here as an objective observer flowing the round or should my social location and identity effect my interaction with the arguments being made? Should I stick to a logocentric understanding of the flow as an objective measure of the round, or should I evaluate without emphasizing the flow? If you address these sorts of questions you will have a significantly easier time winning my ballot. If you do not give me a paradigm to evaluate the round I will default to the flow, which I often find is insufficient for evaluating the affective and personal aspects of these rounds. Just tell me what you prefer. Disads: I probably prefer plan versus disad debate the most. I'm not particularly opposed to any particular disadvantages and I generally find that the more generic disads such as politics, hegemony, business confidence, or other generics are a really interesting debate when a team goes above and beyond in researching these positions and understanding the nuances of the story they are telling. If you have any questions not addressed here please feel free to ask me before round.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Joe Allen - University of Oregon

Saved Philosophy:

Generic information: I do not wish to impose my views on the activity through my ballot. What I mean by this is that I think you certainly ought to debate in front of me in a fashion consistent with what you're best at--and allow me to adapt to you. I fundamentally believe that nearly all aspects of debate are negotiable, and certainly a multitude of different kinds of strategies can be fun to watch and fun to do. I believe those who insist on debate conforming to their view of the activity are narcissistic and don't get the point. I also think that the notion of the inevitability of intervention does not remove the responsibility to evaluate issues in a fair and honest fashion--in fact it strengthens this obligation. I will do my best to make decisions which are not informed by my predispositions but rather a serious evaluation of the issues as they were debated. My burden of striving for non-intervention will not prevent me from passing judgment. This ought not be confused. I will make a decision based on judgments I make (clearly) but I will not be dishonest about the objective flow of the debate in order to cater to my own debate ideals. I am a debate nihilist (you might say), I begin with the assumption that what you can do in debate is only limited by your imaginative capacity to justify your argumentative choices. There is no strategy that I didn't try as a debater--who would I be to tell you that you can't do the same? Specific information: Despite my strong belief that our predispositions should have no effect on the outcome of our judging, I must admit that I obviously do have predispositions about this activity. I've spent enough time doing it, and even more time thinking about it, that I am not a clean slate. I'll put my slate away for the sake of fair deliberation, but here's a glimpse of what my slate looks like. Topicality: Unless argued persuasively otherwise, I default to assuming that topicality is both a voting issue and an issue of competing interpretations. I went for topicality a fair amount in debate. I truly believe that affirmatives who make a good faith effort to support the topic (even if for a very abstract or nuanced reason) are the most strategic. Even some of the most strategic critical affirmatives I've ever seen affirmed the topic. I suppose a good general rule is that if you're not trying to be topical, you should have a good reason why. I have never heard a definition of reasonability in my entire life that made more sense to me than competing interpretations (doesn't mean I'm not open to the possibility). I believe that the specificity of the standards and how effectively they are compared (T debates are impact debates like everything else) is often the decider. Counterplans: I tend to assume that counterplans are a very useful strategy available to the negative. I am not predisposed against conditional counterplans, and frankly I'm also not predisposed against multiple conditional counterplans. Surprisingly perhaps, I also am not strongly against counterplans which don't compete textually (particularly if they are authentically within the scope of the topic). The reason I think textual competition is usually a good limit is precisely because most counterplans which textual competition limits out are those which detract from topic education. If yours doesn't and you can justify your counterplan you're fine. If you say there's a textually competitive version of the counterplan I will know if you're lying (just so you know). It's really all about what you can justify. The quality of your solvency evidence is generally a great indicator of how smart your counterplan is. The kritik: We shouldn't be afraid to have kritik debates because they serve as a way of making sure that our assumptions can be justified. That being said, our assumptions can be justified, and I appreciate people who do in fact engage critical teams and make an effort to defend the perspectives which inform their arguments. A few uphill battles critical debaters might find with me are that I often think critical framework arguments do not particularly limit the affirmative very much. For example, the reason it doesn't make sense to me to say that representational debating is object fiat or utopian fiat is that disads and cases are also representational. There is no part of debate that isn't already a performance, and there is no part of debate that isn't already representational. It's about the desirability of those representations. Another roadblock critical debaters might find with me is that I have no problem signing off on topicality or evaluating the framework debate against the kritik. I did this plenty against kritik teams, and I'm not opposed to framework if you cannot justify the way your kritik is framed. If they're responsible for their representations why aren't you? I don't like the fact that kritik debaters uniquely have to have a sheet of paper justifying the existence of their argument right out of the gates, but if you cannot win that your argument should exist I think you should find a different argument. I also am a sucker for sophisticated and clever permutation arguments. Perhaps this is why I think the best kritiks are topic specific and turn the case. Theory: I think theory serves a vital role in regulating debate trends, like a filter. Sometimes a strategy is a winning one precisely because it's not crafted in a fashion that is fair. Sometimes a strategy is antithetical to education to a degree that merits its total exclusion. Again, these questions are answered best through a framework of competing interpretations where sophisticated impact calculus happens at the level of the standards debate. If you can justify it, you can do it. Theory debates are one of the best tests of whether or not you can justify your given strategy. For this reason, I take it seriously and think it should be evaluated first. I will not evaluate it first only in the circumstance where you lose the priority debate (which sometimes happens). My default assumption is that fairness and education are both good, and keep the activity alive. This does not, however, remove the obligation to demonstrate why something is theoretically objectionable to a degree that merits the ballot. I also tend to fall further on the potential abuse side of the spectrum than the real abuse side. Just because you don't perform abuse (in the sense of how much of their strategy has in-round utility) does not automatically mean the way your strategy is positioned is suddenly educational or fair. Disads: A well argued disad can be a beautiful thing. If you can't outweigh the case, read a counterplan that pairs well with your disad. If you want, read two. You could also surprise me and debate the case effectively (I will appreciate this). I do not dislike politics disads, but those which do not have any real link specificity annoy me a bit. Sometimes the politics disad is the right choice, sometimes it's not. Depends on the topic. The greater the specificity and applicability the happier I'll be. I love a well crafted topic disad. If your disad authentically turns the case, then I'll probably be inclined to thinking it's a good disad. Be prepared to debate all levels of disad uniqueness (not just top level) including link uniqueness, internal link uniqueness, and impact uniqueness. Things that really annoy me: 1) Process disads. If your disad relies on the process of the plan passing, rather than the outcome of the plan, I will not like your disad. If you say things like "the plan will be horse-traded for x" or "the plan will move x off the docket" I will be utterly dissatisfied with your lazy and bankrupt disad. To be clear, it is the job of the aff to identify how absurd your disad is. I will not hesitate to vote for shitty process disads if the aff fails to correctly answer them, but it'll make me feel bad about myself and the state of debate. 2) Theory debates which begin in the PMR. Sometimes really egregious things happen in the block. In this case, I may very well vote for theory which begins in the PMR. Example: the negative splits the block. However, I am more often than not wildly uncomfortable with theory debates in which the negative has no opportunity to contest your argument. The best example I can think of here is that the MOC should take a question. My intuition is that you get the last word, and so you should have the upper hand in dealing with these situations without putting me in an awkward position. This is one of my least favorite debate arguments. 3) Spec arguments or T arguments which have no resolutional basis. If your spec argument has no basis in the topic, or requires the aff to be extra-topical in order to meet your interpretation, I will think it's a bad argument. E-spec is a good example of such an argument. This is especially egregious in instances in which T arguments have no basis in the topic since T is supposed to be explicitly premised on the language of the topic. 4) Floating pics. Alternatives should not include anything resembling the plan. They should especially not literally include the plan text. If they do, and you do not win the debate on perm: do the alternative with appropriate theory arguments about how nonsense it is for the alt to include the plan I will be pretty pissed. The negative should have to make alt solvency arguments in order to demonstrate why the alt solves the aff, and the aff should be entitled to argue that the aff is a disad to the alt. If the alternative does not enable this debate to occur, it's more than likely theoretically bankrupt. I would hope that the aff would identify this. 5) Incorrect permutation strategies. For every silly nonsense counterplan which shouldn't exist, there is a solid permutation text which makes such counterplan look pretty silly. I really appreciate it when the aff correctly identifies the appropriate permutation, and conversely, I really don't like it when the aff fails to problematize bad counterplans with the appropriate permutation. 6) Failure to offer impact comparison. Clearly I have no desire to intervene. It is up to you to ensure that the debate is resolvable in a way that doesn't require me to compare things myself. I will always decide debates based on what occurs in your own words. I will not put the pieces together for you. I will not assume your position to be a priority if you fail to demonstrate this for me. Impact calculus is the centerpiece of how you can accomplish this. 7) Failure to identify things which are theoretically bankrupt. What bothers me the most about asinine strategies is when I'm put in a position to have to endorse them with my ballot, and I absolutely will if you fail to allow me to do otherwise. It is your responsibility to filter out irresponsible debate trends with sound objections to them. Take your responsibility seriously so that I don't have to make decisions which I know endorse things which are not good for the activity. Summary observations: I suppose my views on the ideal strategy are almost always informed by the topic. The best K's turn the case and are topic specific, and the same can be said for the best disads. The best counterplans have very quality solvency evidence and a sensible net benefit.The best critical affs affirm the topic and discuss issues pertinent to the topic literature. There's always a good strategic option for a given topic, and it's up to you to find it. I will not be a hindrance to that process. Whatever you think is situationally best given the strengths of yourself and your opponent should be what you go with. I'll adapt to you. You'll probably debate better when you do what you're best at. Almost all debate is fun, it should be a question of what's the most situationally strategic option. One last thing: I am a very expressive judge. 9 times out of 10 you will know what I think of your argument. I will shake my head at you if you say something really absurd, and I will nod for arguments that I agree with. I can't really control this very well (I've tried). On very very rare occasions I will verbally declare an argument to be stupid during the debate. Do not take me too seriously. I vote for stupid arguments when I would be intervening otherwise, and not all smart arguments are round winners. If it's very difficult for you to deal with non-verbal reactions to your arguments or this is very distracting for you, don't pref me. I literally could not possibly be less interested where I end up on your pref sheet.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Steve Farias - University of the Pacific

Saved Philosophy:


Steven Kalani Farias – University of the Pacific



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


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


Section 1: General Information-


While I thoroughly enjoy in-depth critical and/or hegemony debates, ultimately, the arguments you want to make are the arguments I expect you to defend and WEIGH. I often find myself less compelled by nuclear war these days when the topic is about education, a singular SCOTUS decision, immigration, etc. BE RESOURCEFUL WITH YOUR IMPACTS- ethnic conflict, mass exodus, refugee camps, poverty, and many more things could all occur as a result of/in a world without the plan. I think debaters would be much better served trying to win my ballot with topically intuitive impact scenarios rather than racing to nuclear war, ESPECIALLY IF PROBABILITY MEANS ANYTHING BESIDES A DROPPED, BLIPPED INTERNAL 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 don’t ALL get on my flow. I am unafraid to miss them and just say “I didn’t get that”. So please do your best to use words like “because” followed by a strong logical basis for your claim and I will do my best to follow every argument. Also, if you stress your tag I will be able to follow your warrants more too.


Section 2: Specific Arguments


“The K”- I do not mind critical affirmatives but be prepared to defend topicality 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 K’s without alternatives are just non-unique disads. I think that reject and embrace are not alternatives in and of themselves, I must reject or embrace something and then you must explain how that solves. NEW: In terms of ballot claims, I do not believe the ballot has any role other than to determine a winner and a loser. I would rather be provied a role that I should perform as the adjudicator and a method for performing that role. This should also jive with your framework arguments. Whoever wins a discussion of my role in the debate and how should perform that role will be ahead on Framework. For performance based arguments, please explain to me how to evaluate the performance and how I should vote and what voting for it means or I am likely to intervene in a way you are unhappy with. Also, please do not make myself or your competitors uncomfortable. If they ask you to stop your position because it emotionally disturbs them, please listen. I am not unabashed to vote against you if you do not. I believe you should be able to run your argument, but not at the expense of 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 doesn’t meet its own interp arguments).


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


Counterplans- CP’s are the best strategy, IMHO, for any neg team (or at least some alternative advocacy). It is the best way to force an affirmative to defend their case. PICs, Consult, Conditions, etc. whatever you want to run I am okay with. I do not think that “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 (T’s and Specs). Then I look for counter advocacies and weigh competing advocacies (K’s and Alts or CP’s and Disads). Finally, I look to see if the affirmative has won their case and if the impacts of the case outweigh the off case. If you are really asking how I weigh after the explanation in the general information, then you more than likely have a specific impact calculus you want to know how I would consider. Feel free to ask me direct questions before the round or at any other time during the tournament. I do not mind clarifying. Also, if you want to email me, feel free ( If you have any questions about this or anything I did not mention, feel free to ask me any time. Thanks.




Section 1 – General Information


Experience: Rounds this year: >50 between LD and Parli. 8 years competitive experience (4 years high school, 4 years collegiate NPDA/NPTE and 2 years LD) 6 years coaching experience (3 years NPDA/NPTE and LD at Pacific and 3 years NPDA/NPTE at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale) 


General Info: I am okay with whatever you choose to read in the debate because I care more about your justifications and what you as the debaters decide in round; however, theory I generally have a high threshold for voting on except CONDO Bad, in which case the threshold is lower. CPs/Alts are generally good ideas because I believe affirmatives usually solve harms in the world and permutations are not advocacies. 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 and would appreciate if you were more resourceful with impacts on your advantage/disad. I think probability means more than just a blipped or conceded link. The link arguments must be compared with the arguments of your opponents. 


Section 2 – Specific Inquiries

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


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


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


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


3. General Approach to Evaluating Rounds:


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


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


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


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


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


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




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


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


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


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


9. What is your policy on dropped arguments?


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


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


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


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


Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Reed Ramsey - University of the Pacific

Saved Philosophy:

I am a policy maker. I evaluate the debate through a comparative impact comparison. If you forgo this comparison I will have to make that call for you, which is never a good thing. I will listen to your kritik, but only if it has specific application (IE specific links/narrative) to the topic. That being said I want you to have a topical plan text. I think topical plans foster a more productive discussion from both sides of the debate. Theory is fine, but only under certain circumstances (mainly when it is egregious abuse). I also think that negative CPs and Ks should be unconditional. In my ideal world, I would like to hear two disads and a lot of case arguments from the negative, and a ton of impact calculus in the rebuttals. My approach to debate is that it is a game, and everyone can play however they want. With that being said I believe that the current trends of parli show that it is hard to be a one-trick-pony, which means that debaters should have a grasp on politics of the world as well as critical argumentation. Bottom line, I think debate is fun, and I would like to keep it that way.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Jonathan Bruce - University of the Pacific

Saved Philosophy:

I competed in Parli and LD for four years at University of the Pacific. I am pretty much fine with anything being run in front of me. However, as the cliche goes--do not assume I know the literature base behind the K you wish to run.




Disads: My favorite type of debate to watch is a Disad vs. Case debate. So I like them, is what I’m getting at there. I am not against any type of Disads being run in front of me. Albeit, if you chose to run a Politics DA, what helps to make Politics more compelling is if you include a specific reason X Plan Text of the AFF would cause a reaction to the specific BILL/Proposal your D/A is about. In other words, please don’t say “Repub backlash because yeah!” raising thumbs like Fonzie.


CPs: Sure, they’re a useful thing, so run it if you want. Conditional CPs are perfectly fine, I believe they do make more sense for Policy debate. Unconditional CPs make more sense for Parli Debate. So, I won’t disregard Condo-Bad theory, on face. I will be viewing both as you characterize them.


Theory: Proven abuse is more compelling, to me, than potential. I might actually be light weight vexed to have to sit and listen to potentially being abused in some hypothetical round in the future, for 17 minutes. That aside, I am not a fan of someone running multiple (3+) theory positions to me in one LOC. If you run any form of Vagueness, just make sure the link to what is vague and the link to what offense you lose, subsequently--is clear.


K: Like I said above--make sure the thesis of the K is clear. So, perhaps, chose to slow down in the portion of the K that has a thesis. Parli is not Policy, I can’t check your arguments afterward, so clarity is the most important item here. Now, K debate becomes a game of controlling some type of grand Uniqueness frame. It’s a great home, subsequently, for tech, advanced debaters. I will give leeway, thus, to new debaters and their responses to the normative tricks of all such “non-normative” K’s.  




Performance: Nah.


Critical Affirmatives: Just establish the link between your literature and the resolution’s topic. I’m not saying you have to be topical. You don’t. I’m asking you to briefly describe why your K is relevant to this topic.


Impact Calc: Timeframe > Magnitude > Probability is the default way I will frame impacts in the rounds. If you don’t like that, then do impac calc in the LOR/PMR and tell me the 1) The frame 2) Why that frame is important (given the context of that round’s arguments.)


Speed: Blaze it. That being said, don’t be rude to new debaters, allow them to engage.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Alley Agee - University of Utah

Saved Philosophy:

General overview: I consider myself a very open judge. I do not care what you run, as long as you do it well and justify it. I vote for the team that gives me the easiest out without or with minimal intervention. The only position I will not vote for out of principle is the argument that I personally have to affirm with my ballot that debate is meaningless. Arguments that ask me to personally affirm some philosophical position with my ballot also do not sit well with me. I think these types of positions do violence to the critic (or have no solvency, probably this one). So, keep my name or the phrase “the judge” out of your advocacy and solvency and you should be fine. Additionally, I usually prefer topical affs, though what counts as topical for me is pretty broad—make some link arguments or impacts specific to the resolution and you’re probably topical. This is because I think part of the unique education that you get from parli debate comes from changing topics. Even if you want to talk about your critical aff, considering the topic specific implications, link stories, or just general ways your critical position relates to the topic gives you a new way to think about that critical aff and probably does more for your education. This being said, I certainly have no problem voting up non-topical affs, and I’ve done it plenty of times. But I’m going to be swayed by theory with a good education voter a little more easily than other critics. Finally, the part that everyone says in every philosophy—be courteous, acknowledge your privilege or position of power and don’t exert it, respect your competitors and the arguments they make, and be respectful of me. If you don’t do these things I can assure you your speakers points will reflect it.

If you want to know more specifics, you can keep reading.

Experience: I competed in NPDA all four years of undergrad with appearances at two NPTE tournaments. This is my third year coaching college parli, and my second year at the University of Utah.

Critical arguments and K’s: Run them. I love a good K debate. However, I do find them harder to judge if they get messy. This usually happens when the links are not clear, the team does not understand their lit, or the alt and alt solvency aren’t clearly explained. This becomes particularly problematic when both teams run critical positions. I will like you and your K more if you have topic specific links or implications. See my comment above about non-topical K affs. This season, I’m becoming increasingly more frustrated with sloppy alternatives that do not solve or make sufficient arguments about solvency, so you should take time on your alt and alt solvency in prep time. Framework/methodology always come first for me in K debates, whether its K on K or otherwise. Spend time telling me why your framework and methodology is best in comparison to the other team’s framework/methodologies. Additionally, don’t forget to deal with the links page.

 **This doesn’t mean that you have to run critical positions in front of me. I actually really dig a good straight up debate, increasingly more so because I rarely get to see them. I don’t think teams use the DA/CP strat as often as they should.**

 Theory/T: Also fine. I do not believe that in-round abuse has to have occurred to vote on T, mostly because I’m not really sure what in round abuse vs. potential abuse actually means (though you can certainly make arguments about that). I believe that T is a position just like any other position. If you win that sheet of paper and you tell me why that sheet of paper means you win the whole round, then I will vote for you. This goes for all theory positions. In general I think if you’re going to win T or any other theory position in front of me then you need to collapse down to just that position. If your theory position is really a priori, then you don’t need anything else to win the debate. Usually, I think you should only run theory to get you something in the round, i.e. to protect your links. (But just because they no link your DA doesn’t mean you automatically win T).

 Speaker points: I give speaker points ranging from 26-28 points. My average this semester has been around a 27.5. I determine speaker points based on the arguments you make and strategy. A killer MO collapse will get you a 29/30. An LOR that doesn’t stick with her MOs collapse will lose points. If you are mean or rude I have no problem giving you 0 points. Seriously, I’ve done more times than I can count.

 General Practice: Be smart and make good arguments. Tell me why you should win the debate. I like it when my RFD is literally a quotation from one of the rebuttals. I’ve bolded this because too often debaters forget to contextualize the round in the rebuttals for me. I think the constructive speeches are you just laying the groundwork for you to make your actual argument in the rebuttal. Clear voters are key. Finally, debates should start smaller than where they began. 

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Ben Mann - University of Utah

Saved Philosophy:

I am currently the Director of Debate at the University of Utah. This is my eighth year involved in college parli debate: I competed from 2010-14 on the national circuit at Lewis & Clark College, coached and judged parli extensively for two years at the University of the Pacific, and am now in my second year as a coach at Utah.


I take my role as a critic very seriously. My goal is to limit judge intervention and allow you to debate the way you would like to debate. I am comfortable with a variety of argument types, including Ks, theory, CPs, critical affs, and so forth. I evaluate debates based on comparative access to comparative impacts. In other words, I will vote for the team that demonstrates to me that they best access the most important impacts in the debate.


In front of me, success can best be achieved through resolving areas of tension in rebuttals (such as explaining why your uniqueness or link warrants should be preferred) along with using impact calculus (such as timeframe/magnitude/probability) to highlight the most important arguments. I appreciate collapse (external and internal) in the block and the PMR, as it typically makes for cleaner and more substantive debates. I also appreciate clear, specific warrants and smart offense. I will assign an “average” speaker point total of 27.5, and move up or down from there. I am not okay with sexism, racism, and other forms of oppression that occur within the debate round, nor am I okay with rudeness or personal attacks.


Last season, I judged a fair number of critical debates. I am not sure if this is a product of parli’s increasingly critical turn, assumptions about my argument preferences, or both, but I enjoy either policy or critical debate. I have a somewhat decent background in critical theory (my primary research is in critical/rhetorical approaches to disability and gender) but do not take this as an invitation for me to fill in arguments for you. I will also do my best to evaluate any framework/theory arguments against critical debate fairly.


One final note: the one and only time in which I did not feel like I could vote for an argument comfortably due to my own background came from a round last season in which a team suggested that death would “solve” disability issues. You can d-dev, but know that my own background means I am likely uncomfortable voting on arguments that specifically argue for death to disabled populations. It’s too close to home.


Any other questions? Feel free to ask me at

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Jason Jordan - University of Utah

Saved Philosophy:

*I have fairly significant hearing loss. This is almost never a problem when judging debates. This also doesn't mean you should yell at me during your speech, that won't help. If I can't understand the words you're saying, I will give a clear verbal prompt to let you know what you need to change for me to understand you (ex: 'clear,' 'louder,' 'slow down,' or 'hey aff stop talking so loud so that I can hear the MO please'). If I don't prompt you to the contrary, I can understand the words you're saying just fine.  

*make arguments, tell me how to evaluate these arguments, and compare these arguments to the other teams arguments and methods of evaluating arguments. I am comfortable voting for just about any winning argument within any framework you want to place me within. I have very few, if any, normative beliefs about what debate should look like and/or ‘be.’ 


*Unless I am told to do otherwise, on all portions of the debate I tend to use the heuristics of offense/defense, timeframe/probability/magnitude, and uniqueness/link/impact to evaluate and compare arguments.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Kennedy Clayton - University of Utah

Saved Philosophy:

Things that annoy me:

Not respecting people, their pronouns, opinions, beliefs, triggers, etc. Also, people who get offended and upset with others without specifying their pronouns, opinions, beliefs, triggers, etc.

Not giving me a road map at the beginning of each speech.

Not consolidating in PMR/LOR: give me 1-3 reasons to vote for you, tell me how/why you win this argument, pinpoint where these arguments are.

People who don't follow the Rules of the Game. You are "playing" the game, know the rules. And, if you don't know the rules, ask for them.

All of the -isms (aka sexism, racism, ageism, size-ism, etc.) Don't be an a**hole.

Double wins. It won't happen. I was taught better. Just don’t try it.

General Information: I graduated from the University of Utah May 2016. I competed on the U’s forensic team in Parli for roughly 2 years. The very first collegiate tournament I ever competed at was Mile High, thus I have a real love-hate relationship with it. Life (read: forensics) really does not need to be taken so seriously. We win some, we lose some, we continue to exist. Anyway, that being said, I am down with just about every strat. I won't do the work for you, don't drop args. I absolutely hate vague impacts that EVERYTHING WILL ALWAYS LEAD TO NUKE WAR AND OH BOY WE ARE ALL DOOMED, so just don't be vague. Give me a real reason for everything. I like big impacts with subpoints. Side note: you will probably think I am either still in high school or maaaybe a college sophomore when entering round. I assure you, while I am fond of my small and youthful genetics, I am qualified enough to judge your round and over the legal adult age. So, don't be surprised when I walk in.

Framework: In my opinion, this is the STRONGEST part of any debate. I need you to tell me/convince me how I should evaluate the round and why. This is a priori to any argument in front of me. If I don't know how to weigh your argument in this round, chances are your opposition will give me a way that you would not be too stoked about. Topicality: Oh boy, oh boy. I was coached by Rob Layne, so I do love a good topicality to vote on. Yes, a GOOD topicality, meaning clean, clear, concise, extended, and fought for. If you go for topicality, I prefer you make that your only arg in the rebuttal. Obviously, must prove clear abuse. Advantages/Disadvantages: Please don't lie on politics likely I'll know and be incredibly annoyed. Also, on politics, I don't buy that Republicans, Democrats or Liberals, Conservatives are evil/good. That is a HUGE generalization of individuals and largely fueled by the information fed to us via social media or clickbait news articles/videos based off of one person's words. I love a good Heg or Relations AD/DA. Don't be vague though give those links some beef (or the vegetarian/vegan equivalent).

Case: I like a solvency page, like a real solvency page or at least a statement of "hey judge, our AD's are our solvency". I think a solely off case neg strat is pretty bold and I would not necessarily recommend that in front of me. But, yo, if you can make it work, I’d love to see you try.

Counterplan: Pretty basic: I think you should have one. Condo bad every time. Be VERY clear on solvency and why it is better. Time delayed CPs are real silly: 0/10 would recommend.

Permutations: Perms are always a test of competition as far as I am concerned, unless you specify differently. Intrinsic and severance bad, but I won't do the work for you. Tell me how and why. The K: Vague = Bad: which is really all I have to say about that. Except I appreciate topic specific critiques the majority of the time. Also, probably best to slow down and make framework and plan text a little more clear. I can follow fast spreading for the most part, but when introducing your theory, I would appreciate clarity. Etc: (speaker points) Oh boy, speaker points, what we all really care about! For a variety of reasons, I think speaker point are real silly. But, I must engage in the system. Here are some pointers to get points: Be kind to one another: abusive language, attitudes, and non-verbal behavior are likely to immediately receive a VERY low score and I will intervene. It is Parli rules to take at the very least 1 question in each constructive speech: don't be an a**hole though. Take questions, answer nicely, and also don't ask stupid questions (yes, there are such things as stupid questions). Spreading is fine: but again, don't be an a**hole. If I can't understand you (unlikely) I'll say something. I'll ask you to slow down or clear your voice. If an opponent asks you to and you don't, you are giving me plenty of reason to give you low points and giving them plenty of reason to run a kicka** abuse argument (that they ABSOLUTELY should run). Also, I clearly don't mind if you curse around me. But, we should be mindful and respectful of others if it bothers them. 10/10 would recommend including a quote from "Mean Girls" or a Star Wars reference. Chances are you'll get a 30.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Rob Layne - University of Utah

Saved Philosophy:


As an overview, I have been competing in and judging debate rounds since 1993.  I competed in policy debate, was in deep outrounds at NPDA, and was competitive in NFA-LD. I have been a primary prep coach for all of the teams that I have directed or assisted with including Willamette University (before they cut their NPDA program), Texas Tech University, and the University of Utah. With over 20 years of experience in debate, I have watched debate formats change, transition, replicate, and reform.  I’d like to think that I am a critic of argument, where the rules of the game matter.  That doesn’t mean that appeals to authority are sufficient, but feel free to assess these conceptions of debate as part of your audience analysis.


Some general notes:

(As a competitor, I always hated reading a book for a judge philosophy so here are the bulletpoints).


  1. Compare warrants between contrasting arguments.
  2. Compare impacts using words like “irreversibility,” “magnitude,” “timeframe,” “severity,” and “probability.”
  3. Use warrants in all of your arguments.  This means grounding arguments in specific examples. 
  4. Make sure your permutations contain a text and an explanation as to what I do with the permutation.  My default with permutations is that they are simply tests of competition.  I don’t typically believe that permutations get you out of a disad (shielding the links) or that you capture a counterplan win you when the perm.  If you have a different conception, make an argument to convince me how your permutation should work.
  5. Use internal and external structure like Subpoint A 1. a. i. instead of saying “next” or stringing arguments together without breaks.  I try to keep a careful flow, help me do that.
  6. Be cordial to one another. There’s no need to be mean or spikey.  I get that it’s an event that pits a team against another and debate can feel personal…but there’s no need to spout hate.
  7. I take a careful flow…if you’re unclear or not giving me enough pen time don’t be upset when I ask you to clear up or slow down a touch.  Let me have time to flip the page.
  8. Allow me to choose a winner at the end of the round.  I don’t award double wins or double losses.
  9. Have voters and standards attached to procedural arguments if you want me to take them seriously.  “We meets” and counter-interpretation extensions are your friends.
  10. I will protect you from new arguments in the rebuttals. There’s little need to call superfluous Points of Order.  If you call them, I’ll take it under consideration.
  11. Have an alternative attached to your criticism or at least explain why you don’t need one.
  12. Be on time to the round. Already have used to the restroom, gotten your water, found your room, etc.  I will follow the tournament instructions on lateness, regardless of prelim or outround. Please don't come to the round and then go to the bathroom, please relieve yourself before prep begins or during prep.  
  13.  Compare standards if there are competing interpretations present.
  14. Connect the dots between different arguments to illustrate how those arguments interact.
  15. Kick arguments in the opp block to go deeper on selected arguments.  Going for everything tends to mean that you’re going for nothing.
  16. Know the difference between offensive and defensive arguments. I still think arguments can be terminally defensive as long as it’s explained.
  17. Avoid extending answers through ink. Answer opposing arguments before making key extensions.
  18. Extend arguments/case via the member speeches to have access to them in the rebuttals.
  19. Not everything can be a turn. Please avoid making everything a turn.
  20. I do think that you can cross-apply arguments from other sheets of paper in the rebuttal.  It’s not like paper is sacrosanct.  If the argument was made in a prior speech, then it’s fair game.
  21. Enjoy the debate round. I’m not going to force fun on you, but not everything has to be so serious.



Speaker points:

I typically give speaker points from 25-30. My average is a 27. 30’s from me are rare, but they are occasionally given. You likely won’t see more than one 30 from me at an invitational tournament. At NPTE, I’ve typically given out 3-4 30’s. I expect that most debaters at the NPTE will likely be in the 27-29 range.


Critical Arguments:


I tend to enjoy critical arguments as long as they’re well explained. Framework your argument (Role of the ballot/judge and/or interpretation about what you get access to) and provide an alternative (tell me what the world post-alt looks like and have solvency grounded in examples). Affirmatives can run critical arguments. If you’re running arguments that are incongruent with other arguments, you should likely have an explained justification for doing so.


Performance based arguments:

Please don’t ask me to sit in a circle…have a discussion…rip up my ballot…get naked…or do anything that most folks would find mildly inappropriate. I think that debate is a performance. Some performances are better than others. Some performances are justified better than others. If you prefer a framework of a certain type of performance, make sure your framework is well articulated and warranted.




I require an interpretation, a violation, and a voter. You should probably have standards for why your interpretation is better than other interpretations. I don’t require competing interpretations, but it can be a useful tool. I don’t require in-round abuse, though it will help to prove why your interpretation is preferable.  I have a low threshold on procedurals.  Folks do wanky stuff…explain why your version of debate is preferable and why that means I should vote for you.  I am skeptical of MG theory arguments and will hold them to a higher standard than I would LOC theory.



I think folks should tell me why they get access to their counterplan in the LOC. I might have a very different conception of a PIC than you do (for example, PIC’s are plan inclusive counterplans, which mean they include the entirety of the text of the plan). I think opp’s should identify a CP’s status to avoid procedural args like conditionality. Permutations should be explained. I want to know how you think they function in the round. My default status for a won permutation is that I just stop looking at the CP. If you have a different interpretation as to what I should do with a permutation, you should articulate my options.



Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Michael Middleton - University of Utah

Saved Philosophy:

Michael Middleton

Judging Philosophy

A Quotation:

“The present situation is highly discouraging” –Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari

A Haiku:

Debate is Awesome

Judging Makes Me Cry Softly

Do I weep in vain?

Some things to consider (when debating in front of me):

10.  I DO NOT support speed as a tool of exclusion

9.    I DO NOT like deciding for myself what is the most important thing in the round or how to evaluate the competing arguments; You should do this for me.  You will like it less if you don’t. On the other hand, I will like it more.

8.    I DO like well-structured debates. I also like interesting structures.

7.    I DO like creative interpretations; I DO NOT like when you don’t explain/provide a rationale for why I your interpretation makes for a productive/rewarding/interesting/good debate.

6.    I DO NOT like nor understand potential abuse arguments; I DO like and reward teams that demonstrate compellingly that the quality of the debate has been compromised by an interpretive choice made by the other team.

5.    I DO NOT vote for any given argument or against any given type of argument.  Run whatever strategy you like; Be clear about your strategy.

4.    I am a participant in the round also.  While I make my best effort to vote on who is winning and losing the debate based on the arguments, I use speaker points to evaluate and highlight both excellent and poor behaviors, i.e. if you create a hostile environment, you get massively low speaker points.

3.    Jargon does not equal argument. Nor does it equal a good time.

2.    Cross-application does not equal new argument. It doesn’t really equal anything.

1.    Debate is not life.  Losing a ballot will not steal your humanity.  I tend to prefer rounds that demonstrate everyone in the room knows this.

0. Have Fun

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Steve Doubledee - Washburn University

Saved Philosophy:

Debate is a game of strategy and persuasion. Those who can strike the perfect balance between these two will always win my ballot.

Things I prefer...
1.I prefer debaters embrace the topic... Topic specific Aff, DA, K, CP, Politics-(specific links), Case, T, Specs etc...are all appreciated. I also understand sometimes you have to run a critical aff via poor ground for the Aff.If you like running identity based arguments I am probably not the judge for you but I will listen.
2.I prefer debaters give impact analysis via timeframe, probability, and magnitude. I will always privilege high probability small impacts over low probability big impacts.
3.I prefer debaters not attempt to speak at a rate they cannot handle.

Things I demand...
1.I want a written copy of all texts Plan, CP, Alts, Perms etc... if overly complicated...if plan is the rez then no need.
2.Be kind to each other. If you are rude it will hurt your speaker points. I am not a big fan of cursing in debate rounds.

Theory thoughts...All theory arguments are fine. Below is my only "theory pet peeve".

Conditional strategies are fine but should be justified through the lens of Aff/Neg flex. So many times debaters want to list off all the advantages of conditional strats but fail to justify why they deserve the right to conditionality in the first place---Aff/Neg flex is how you do so. If the Aff has high flex--(meaning a lot of possible Affs, bidirectional resolution etc...) then the Neg probably has some good justifications for why they need the reciprocal right of conditionality to counter the Aff's use of parametrics.. If the Aff has low flex--(meaning one possible Aff) then the Neg probably will have a harder time justifying why they should have the right to conditionality....Seems like a PIC would be better in this instance.




Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Keenan Hogan - Washburn University

Saved Philosophy:

4 years of high school policy debate

4 years of parliamentary debate at Washburn

4 years of debating why I went to medical school


I have seen some extremely extensive judging philosophies from those who have spent a great deal of time in the debate community. Frankly, my ideas about debate structure and theory are not that well-developed, which my judging philosophy will reflect. If you have a specific question, feel free to ask me and I will try to answer. Also, that is just how my face looks - it has nothing to do with you or your arguments.

This is my third parli judging experience this year and my flowing wasn't top-notch to begin with, so your top speed may be overwhelming (not to mention you are way less articulate than you think you are). If you ask, I will gladly let you know if your speed or clarity has become an issue. Heck, if the mood takes me, I might even yell, "Clear," but probably not. If I stop flowing, you have lost me.

Overall, I view debate like a numbers game (or robot-like, as Doubledee might say). I believe a winnable impact must have uniqueness controlling the direction of the link and an internal link to a prioritized impact more probable, faster or larger than theirs. Nuance makes a story more probable, defensive arguments make a story less probable, etc. The team most likely to win my ballot tallies the balance sheet on the arguments by the end of the debate.

I believe a procedural issue must have a standardized interpretation being violated and why I should care. Abuse is not a prerequisite, but is simply one way to view a procedural debate (but a pretty convincing way, nonetheless). As above, competing claims/warrants will be tallied, with nuance and offensive arguments providing legitimacy.

I don't mind conditional counterplans or conditional counterplan theory. Proper competition for a counterplan is open for debate. As in the rest of the debate, quips, lingo and exclusively debate phrases may have escaped my brain in the past few years (or you may have invented some new ones). Regardless, you're better off saying more than, "Invisible Perm," and just moving on because I may not (definitely won't) have any idea what you're talking about.

I was never great with critiques and I probably haven't become an accidental savant in my time away. You should include a thesis page to get me on board, solid solvency with the role of the ballot to keep me interested, and interact with the resolution/PMC to protect my sanity. I can only guarantee that I try to make the correct decision at the end of the debate, but I can only judge what I understand.

No arguments that I can think of would cause me to stop listening or prematurely sign my ballot, but there are several that would make me think less of you as a person and make it easy for the opposing team to win. Be respectful, if not nice.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Phil Samuels - Washburn University

Saved Philosophy:

Samuels, Phil
Name: Phil Samuels
Affiliation: Illinois State University / Washburn University
# of Debates Judged this Year: 31
# of Years Judging: 11

General Information:
I am writing an all-new philosophy although many of the same issues, conclusions, and biases will still apply.  I don’t judge a lot of parli debate.  In fact, the ONLY time I judge parli is here at the NPTE.  For some of you that may give you pause, however, it shouldn’t.  I judge A LOT of policy rounds throughout the year. Just keep in mind I love debate and I understand argument so it should not be a huge jump for me to judge any of the rounds here.  So lets get to specific.

Specific Information:
Government and Oppositions: I don’t care.  I don’t care what you do.  Just try to do it well.  If your thing is Baudrillard then do that and if your thing is US hegemony do that.  Whatever you do crush it. 

Counterplans: Yes—some defaults you should know. This means unless you tell me I will “default” back to these positions and beliefs. 
 A.  Conditionality: I think counterplans are always conditional, unless told otherwise.
 B. Competition: I default to functional competition.  This is not a strong default but it is my default.  What does this mean for you?  It has 2 implications: first, you can read advantage counterplans and ban the plan counterplans.  Second, you have to win a net benefit (an offensive argument) to win the debate.  The impact of this is that presumption flips aff.  So if you want to access presumption rely on my other biases that are that the SQ is always an option.

KritikalAffs and Kritiks:Yes—some defaults you will want to know.
 A. Framing vs. Framework—Crash course in terminology (this is not just for Parli, I am adding  this to all my philosophies). Framework is an argument about cheating.  When you read framework you are saying that the Gov/Opp has violated the rules of debate in some way and should be punished by losing the debate.  Framing is an argument about which impacts matter.  This can be tricky because questions of ontology, epistemology, and axiology are all about what impacts matter, even though they are commonly called framework arguments.  Framing debates tend to inform the judges on HOW to read the evidence.  For example, if you are going for capitalism bad and you make the argument that we should be suspect of their evidence because their authors are driven by profit motive.  That is both an epistemology and a framing argument.  See how that works?  If you have any questions ask.
 B.   Alternative—not convinced that you have to have one but if you don’t then you had better be reading some type of offense against the case or status quo solves arguments.  Otherwise the Affirmative (Gov) gets all their case to weigh against your DA/K without an alternative.   If you have an alternative you should talk about how it solves the affirmative or at least the root cause of the affirmative harms.
 C. Ethics vs. Consequences—I think it is important for teams to know that my default method of evaluation is to weigh the consequences of each teams proposed (non)action(s).  Unless I am given a detailed framing analysis by the critical team I will just assume that you want to weigh the Gov v. the K.  So keep that in mind.  All this means is that you have to find some way to make their impacts not matter in their frame of evaluation as well; solvency arguments (serial policy failure), metaphysics arguments (ontology first), and inevitability arguments (terminal UQ take-outs and try or die args) can really help you accomplish these goals. 

The DA—clearly.
A. Politics-yes
B. Geo-political DA’s—Umm yes
C. Trade-off DA’s—Yes please
D. Impact Calculus—I cant stress the importance of this—Use the DA to turn the case. 

I will vote on Topicality and Framework.  There is little chance that you will win my ballot on Counterplan theory.  There is no chance that you will win my ballot on perm theory.  This all assumes that it is not conceded.  Learn to debate T and FW like a DA.  The same terminology applies and it is easier for judges to understand.  We have 3 disads to their interpretation ect…

Speaking and Persuasion

Some things to think about when preffing me.  First, I tend to think that slowing down is a good thing.  Second, I am becoming a clarity Nazi.  Why be fast and unclear? If you have something good to say why would you want people to miss it?  Third, pen time. In policy debate people are fast but they also read cards which gives judges pen time to rest their hand to make sure they are caught up ect.  In parli there are no cards, so no pen time.  I need pen time.

Speaker Points: Assuming this is a 30-point scale
24-26-you lack the fundamentals of argumentation.  You have made assertions, which you were rude about, and you have lacked warrant or data.  To get these points you have to be a real out of touch asshole—think Rick Santorum
26-27—you were not good but all hope is not lost—not yet.
27-27.9—you need work, a lot of it but you’ll be fine…. someday.
28-28.5--you are pretty good at debate—you were clear and smart and made good arguments.  You should probably be in outrounds.
28.5-29—yeah, you will be good no matter what style of debate you do; LD, parli, policy, it doesn’t even matter.
29-29.5—at some point I probably cried in this debate.   

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Lauren Knoth - Washburn University

Saved Philosophy:

Currently at Penn State working on my PhD in Criminology with an emphasis on actuarial risk assessments at sentencing and victimization.

Currently judging for: Washburn University

Debate is a game. Each team will play it differently and ultimately you should stick to what you’re comfortable with. However, if you’re running identity/performance based arguments, you should strike me. Often I think these arguments replicate the types of violence they are attempting to solve for, they make far too many assumptions about the people in the room, and they are deployed in the wrong forum. More often than not, I will vote for framework arguments against these positions if you do choose to read them in front of me. My general preference is for a debate that embraces the topic. This does not preclude criticisms, but suggests that I would prefer topic specific criticisms.

With that said, this philosophy is to make you aware of how I see the round in general, but the bottom line is if you win the offense in the round and can clearly explain this using warrants and interacting with the opponents positions, you’ll win my ballot. I also prefer debates to be civil and without any ad hominem arguments. If this occurs, it will be reflected in your speaker points.

Preface on speed: this should be no problem; however if you are ridiculously fast, you may want to knock down to your mach 7 or 8 speed instead of mach 10. Clarity is most important, and if I can’t understand or follow you, I won’t hesitate to say clear. Developed, warranted arguments are also more important than a million unwarranted blippy arguments.

Advocacies/Interpretations: two options – (1) provide me with a written copy of the text (preferred) or (2) slow down when you read the plan/cp/alt and read it at least twice. This is also important in theory debates. Too often a team has lost because they didn’t understand their opponents original interpretation OR the judge didn’t catch the entirety of the interpretation (Just ask Joe Allen). Really I do think the proliferation of texts is a good thing.

Topicality: I need a framework for evaluating this argument, and without one I am likely to default to competing interpretations. Any other framework (i.e. reasonability) needs to be explained well. Other than that, I enjoy a good T debate and when done well I think it can be strategic.

Theory: Overall I think there needs to be a discussion of the different interpretations, and like T I need a framework for evaluating the argument. It is up to the debaters to tell me if the particular theory argument is a voting issue, or a reason to reject the argument. One important distinction – thanks to my years being coached by DD, I do think there is an intimate relationship between aff and neg flex that often is ignored. Theory should be used to justify why you get to read specific arguments, not just reasons those arguments may be good or bad in general. For example, situations with large aff flex (insert whatever reason why) may justify the use of multiple conditional strategies (read: neg flex) for the negative. Including discussions of these critical issues is more likely to persuade me one way or another on a theory position. **One theory argument I am particularly compelled by is multiple worlds. I dislike when teams read multiple conditional strategies that contradict each other. At a minimum, if I’m not voting on this theory argument, I think it does justify severance perms from the aff (again read: aff flex). For example, if the neg reads a war with NK disad and a security K based on the representations of a war with China Adv, I think the aff should be able to “perm: pass the plan without the security representations in the adv.” If the neg is able to severe out of their discourse and reps with the NK disad, why shouldn’t the aff be allowed to do the same thing? Multiple conditional strategies can be deployed without these large contradictions.**

Disads – yes please. Particularly if they are intrinsic. I understand the strategic choice to read politics in some instances (ask Calvin Coker); however, with topic areas and specific resolutions (i.e. pass X policy) I am more likely to be persuaded by a topic specific, intrinsic disad.

CPs - Love them. I don’t care if they’re delay, consult, enforcement pics, adv cps, etc . I think each can be strategic and justified through NB. I am more persuaded by functional competition than textual competition. You can have this theory debate if you want, but I think your time is better spent beating the CP and NB.

Ks – also fine. The biggest problem I have with K’s is the common assumption that everyone in the community is familiar with X author and everything they’ve ever written ever. This is certainly not the case for me. Criminal theorists I can get behind since I am immersed in this literature frequently; however other authors I am likely to need additional explanation for. This may be as simple as a clear concise abstract or thesis at the beginning of your K. This is also important if you are using author specific language that isn’t common knowledge. It may be strategic to slow down in the beginning and make sure that important terms or concepts are made clear early. Intrinsic k’s are preferred to the always linkable cap etc., but I am willing to listen to any of them. See the intro to this philosophy about identity based/performance K’s.

***Important*** I need to have a clear explanation of what the alternative does, and what the post-alt world looks like. Stringing together post-modern terms and calling it an alternative is not enough for me if I have no idea what the heck that means. I prefer to know exactly what action is advocated by the alternative, and what the world looks like after passage of the alternative. I think this is also necessary to establish stable solvency/alternative ground for the opposing team to argue against and overall provides for a better debate. Good theory is nothing without a good mechanism with which to implement it, and I'm tired of this being overlooked.

Perms (CPs/Ks) As may be obvious by some rounds I’ve debated in, I love a solid perm debate. Perm texts need to be clearly articulated – slow down a bit and perhaps read them twice especially if it’s more complicated than “do both.” Do both is fine for me as a perm text, but you should explain what that means or how that happens.

One last thing – IMPACT CALC. The last thing I want is to evaluate a round where I have no idea what should be prioritized over what, how disads interact with case advantages, and I just have a bunch of arguments randomly on the flow with no story or explanation. Rebuttals should serve to write my ballot, and if you’re lucky my RFD may be a quote from the LOR or PMR. I think impact calc is undervalued, particularly by negative teams. Probability, Magnitude, and Timeframe are all strategic tools that should explain why I’m voting for you at the end of the round. These also serve to clarify the offense in the round and provide a succinct explanation for your overall strategy.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Aly Fiebrantz - Washburn University

Saved Philosophy:

Director of Forensics and Full time policy debate coach at Cypress Bay High School in Weston, FL (4 years). The below is my policy philospophy however i dont think anything changes between the below and parli. I debated at Washburn from 2008 to 2011 and then coached at TTU for one year. Feel free to email me if you have questions. I may not be familiar with new spiffy trends. 

General: Read whatever arguments you would like to read that you think are best appropriate for that round. I will not wholesale discount or credit arguments at face value. I think people should be nice to each other. I prefer well researched, executed positions whether that be in the form of traditional or non traditional strategies. I believe in tech over truth, if an argument is dropped it's probably true. While this might be difficult depending on the argument, I prefer to have the least amount of judge intervention. Most importantly I believe the debate round isn't about me it's about the debaters.

Framework Debates: I do not think I lean one way or the other. I think good in-depth framework debates are certainly part of the debate. I don't think you need to defend a plan or the state necessarily but I do think you need to defend your interpretation of debate if asked. Tech >Truth which means specific line by line debates are awesome but be sure you compare worlds/standards. I think you need to extend an interp and violations if you go for Framework in the 2NR/AR. I find myself frustrated in many framework debates because various impacts are not compared. How do I evaluate fairness vs. oppression? 

Non Traditional Debate: I think these debates can be awesome and really enjoyable to watch, however I think you need to defend your interpretation of debate. If that means you don't have to talk about the resolution then tell me why. If that means you don't have to have a plan text that's fine just explain/defend yourself. I sometimes find Framework arguments responsive, and reasons to reject the affirmative it quite honestly just depends on the debate round.

Topicality: I think a lot of the affirmatives on this year's topic are not topical. However if you go for T you need to do it well (just like anything else) you also need to extend an interp, violation, and reason to vote in the 2NR.  

I don't think my opinions on traditional debate disads/cps etc are particularly unique. They're good arguments and things you can win, I prefer topic specific research to generic spending disadvantages but if you win the argument than you win the argument. 

Debate is fun, super cool and we should treat it as such!!

E-mail me if you have any questions and include me on email chains please :)

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Kinny Torre - Western Washington University

Saved Philosophy:

First year out of the activity. I've debated for 7 years (3 years policy and 3.5 years parli) I've coached high school debate for 3.5 years and I currently coach for WWU


 tl;dr My judging philosophy is contextual to each round so, show up ready to debate and there shouldn’t be a problem. I know that debate has radical potential but we can probably only achieve it if we have some fun along the way ;) 


Usually, I default to the flow because it’s best way for me to process information. I’m not saying that I’m objective and to consider judges that evaluate debates through the flow as inherently objective is very harmful. That being stated, I do my best to evaluate the round through the competing lens that I am given; otherwise, I will be left to my own arbitrary view of debate. Note: that’s not to say that I will view the round through the lens of a policy maker but rather that I’ll evaluate the arguments the way that I think they should be evaluated unless I am told otherwise.


In other words, run tix and delay, Nietzsche and heg, a project, or several procedurals. My judging philosophy is centered around the belief that the debaters ought to determine the way through which I evaluate the round. Unless given an alternative lens, this means that I default to competing interpretations on procedurals and framework because I’m not sure how else I would answer those questions.


Lastly, a few tips if you want me to like you as a debater:

  1. Obviously, don’t be exclusionary or an asshole to your opponents or partner. If you're mean to your partner or your opponents there's a higher chance that in a close round I'll do the work for the oppossing team. 
  2. Usually, you don't have to call a point of order; often it times the argument doesn't matter and (usually) my flow is good enough that I should be able to tell. Nevertheless, if you feel like you need to call them then shoot. 
  3. I usually do not find "this is not the place for this argument" style of argument to particularly persuasive unless you can prove that there was a significant imbalance in ground AND that this is bad. 
  4. Please don't make one argument an should have entire positions that prove why you should win. 
  5. Don’t assume that just because I was a K hack during my last few years that I know about the random argument that you found on redcritque; every argument needs a clear a warrant  
  6. Read all advocacies and texts twice or slowly (or both). I know that you have super dope argument about the semiotics of capitalism but I also need to know wtf you're gonna do about it
  7. If you’re clearly winning sit down

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Margaret Rockey - Western Washington University

Saved Philosophy:

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

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

Judging Generally

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


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

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

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


Don’t have anything in particular to say about this other than that I have a high threshold for evaluating anything other than plan text in a vacuum in determining interp violations. Everything else seems a solvency question to me, but make the arguments you want to and can defend.

Independent Voters

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

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Marshall Thompson - Wheaton College

Saved Philosophy:

Brief History:

I did ‘circuit’ LD debate for four years in high-school, graduating in 2011. I have had a good degree of success in LD both as a competitor and coach.

I did Parli for about a year and a half at the beginning of college but for various reasons decided not to continue it and have been an assistant coach for the Wheaton team this last year, I have not judged as many parli judges as many people, but have judged a lot of HS LD rounds over the last four years.

General (Possibly) Useful Things:

While I don’t think that ‘tab’ judging is coherent, my decisions still tend to correspond with those decisions made by other supposedly ‘tab’ judges. I think there is value in having a plurality of modes of discussion in any activity, especially forensics; and will be fairly willing to vote on most arguments assuming you adequately defend them.

That said, because of my experience with HS LD I am far more receptive to ‘analytic’ philosophy, especially as regards ethical questions, than most judges in parli (assuming you explain and defend it well). I am almost perturbed by how readily the parli community tends to adopt a vague and poorly defined consequentialist calculous. Certainly I will use a standard of ‘net-benefits’ but if you propose a different one it will not be an uphill battle in front of me, I don’t have any predisposition to assuming net-benefits is the end-all be-all of ethical deliberation.

Also because of my experience in HS LD I am probably a better (not necessarily that I am biased in favor of them, but just that I trust my ability to make the right decision) judge for those types of debate that tend towards abstraction ‘philosophy’/’framework’/’theory’ than I am on ‘classic policy’ style or more ‘progressive performative’ style arguments.

I default fairly strongly to explicit weighing and give significantly more weight to weighing extended from earlier speeches than to weighing first made in the rebuttals. If there was one thing that I think Parli debaters do in miss adapting to me it is a lack of nuanced weighing, especially when answering theory and Ks (people running theory and Ks tend to weigh a fair amount).


I have a lower threshold for voting on theory arguments than many people in the parli community (especially in my willingness to vote even when there is no ‘actual abuse’). However, I also think that theory debaters in parli are generally very poor because there is a lack of internal coherence between the individual standard arguments and the logic and argument of the voter. Spamming counter standards will be less useful in front of me than weighing a specific standard in terms of its relevance for what matters in debate.


I can follow just about any parli speed in the sense of comprehending the arguments being made. That said, I have never been great at flowing (I am dyslexic and so have difficulty recording information in a written fashion). I have not had difficulty in most fast parli rounds, but top speed parli does begin to push my limit in terms of getting everything down. What that means then, is that you can probably go as fast as you want (in terms of my ability to flow, I will still expect you to make arguments in a way your opponent can access), but if you are being both fast and quite blippy I may have a problem. If you use speed to judge develop greater detail to a smaller number of arguments then your fine.


I try to assign speaks based generally as follows:

30-There was nothing that could have been clearly improved on

29.5-30-Your speeches would probably have beaten the top teams in the country.

29-29.5-Your speeches might not beat, but would hold their own even against the top teams in the country.

28-29-There were no major strategic, argumentative or technical flaws, but the fine-tuning separates these performances from the top ones.

27-28-There were occasional major issues of strategy, clarity, argument quality etc.

26-27-There are major issues with most of distinct aspects of your speeches.

My speaks are probably disproportionally influenced by how ‘clever’ I find your arguments and strategies.

I will drop your speaks severely for being mean or disrespectful to your opponents.

I will drop your speaks severely if your increased debate exposure to exclude your opponent from the activity. You can use speed to develop your own arguments, do not use it to keep your opponents from getting your argument down. You can use Jargon to precisely refer to an idea, but do not use it to keep the idea you are getting at opaque from your opponents. 

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Rebecca Sietman - Wheaton College

Saved Philosophy:

I am a former policy debater, and I have been coaching NPDA parli for 12 years. I believe it’s my responsibility to do everything I can to vote based on the arguments made in the round, and I will default to a policy/net benefits framework if not told otherwise. With that said, run the arguments you want to run. While I do my best to set aside my own preferences, here are a few specific things you should know about me: I will vote on procedurals and Ks, although procedurals are not my favorite arguments to vote on. Ks can be one of my favorite arguments or least favorite arguments, depending on how well you run your K. I typically find proven abuse most compelling on a T or spec debate because I give Gov wide latitude in interpreting/defending the resolution. I prefer depth of analysis/warranted arguments over generic shells/tag lines. I understand why certain arguments inevitably impact out to nuclear war, but I can grow weary of nothing but extinction scenarios. I will vote on politics disads, but they are one of my least favorite arguments because they often break down at the link/internal link level. I usually side with Gov on perm debates and think PICs are fine, but I’ll listen to any CP theory arguments you want to make. I enjoy case turns. I prefer that you use your rebuttal to tell me where you’re winning and why I should vote there, and I am more compelled by weighing that is extended into the rebuttals from previous speeches. I don't like to be yelled at. I enjoy spirited debate but want to see you treat one another with respect. I will protect you as much as possible by discounting new arguments in rebuttals, but I still prefer that you call points of order since it’s a good check against the effects of any sleep deprivation I might be experiencing at the moment. :) Since I'm from the Midwest, I never hear project debates so I will listen respectfully but might not know what to do with it if you run one. Being from the Midwest also means that the speed I'm used to is a little slower than some west coast teams. I prefer speed that is used to deepen your arguments rather than speed to proliferate blippy arguments. If you have questions about anything, please ask.

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.

Amanda Perkins - NPTE Hired

Saved Philosophy: n/a

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.
My pronouns are she/her/hers and you can call me Amanda. I attended high school in Oregon and began competing in LD and parli when I was 15. Later, I did NPDA debate for the University of Oregon for several years. Like many of the strong debaters who have heavily influenced me, I believe that: -“The round is yours, and you are free to do what you wish with it.” -Alyson Escalante -“You certainly ought to debate in front of me in a fashion consistent with what you're best at--and allow me to adapt to you.” -Joe Allen Basically, I approach debate as a participant driven activity that should be more about students/competitors than judges. There are no arguments that you should blanket-statement NOT read in front of me. I will do my best to evaluate whatever you put in front of me in the best way I know how. With that said: I’m not uncomfortable with speed. I promise that I will clear you at least twice before I stop flowing what you say. I’m also not uncomfortable with tanking speaker points for people who try to just spread out younger teams so they can’t engage in the debate at all. If your opponent asks you to modify the speed/volume of your speech so they can engage in the debate, please do that. I don’t think anyone should ever be required to take a question during their speech time. I won’t flow your arguments if your partner is reading them during your speech time, the words need to come out of your mouth. I don’t think anyone should ever be required to give a plan text, but I would encourage you to read important texts SLOWLY, twice. To be quite frank, I really don’t know that much about the economy and international politics. That is to say, while I am an engaged member of society, I don’t have the nuanced knowledge about these topics that some of you have. I’m happy to listen to your econ DAs, but they need to be pretty well warranted and explained. Basically, don’t spend 30 seconds zipping through a page of superfluous econ links that (somehow?) impact out to global starvation and expect me to vote on that. If you articulate a weighing mechanism/a means of impact calculus or framing for me (and you should, please), I will default to that mechanism. If you fail to articulate this, I will unfortunately have to default to my personal biases about what impacts outweigh others. In that case, probability and proximity are pretty important considerations for me. K debate: I’m happy to listen to a K debate, but choppy tag lines with a particular western philosopher’s buzzwords strategically placed throughout does not a debate case make. That is to say, if you’re reading Lacan and most of your argument is just to periodically say “the lack!” in a debate voice over and over, I’m not going to find that very compelling even though I’ve read Lacan and know what you’re talking about. Projects/performance: I’m also happy to listen to these, but just doing something weird and surprising similarly does not constitute an argument. If you choose to be non topical, please provide either a) argumentation about why what you’ve chosen to talk about is more important than the topic or b) a strong topic specific link. Finally, I would like to say that I although have been striving to be even slightly more like Ben Dodds since I met him years ago, in terms of judging, I will strive to emulate the man. Like Ben, I will take evaluating your round very seriously. This is both because I’m very interested in how debates can best be resolved/decided and because I know exactly how much energy, passion, and effort goes into your preparation to compete. Please feel free to ask me any other questions before the round!

Brittany Hubble - NPTE Hired

Saved Philosophy: n/a

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.
BG: I competed in debate for El Camino College for 2 years and this is my second year out. 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. Impacts: 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. Disadvantages: 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. Counterplans: 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. Conditionality: 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. Kritiks: 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. Theory: 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 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. Being new to judging and understanding that speaker points can impact you in a tournament in ways other than speaker awards, I would say that I am currently on the more generous side of awarding speaker points. That is not to say I just hand out 30s or will not tank your points for being a jerk. I have a very low tolerance for offensive rhetoric or rudeness in rounds. Miscellaneous: 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.

Brandon Fletcher - NPTE Hired

Saved Philosophy: n/a

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.
Brandon Fletcher California State University Long Beach, Spring 2017 TLDR: -I think that debate is a space for you to debate however you would prefer to debate. I do not have major preferences with style, and would prefer you make the arguments that give you the best strategic and competitive opportunity to win. While there are things I may like or dislike in specific debate rounds, I am not someone who will police particular behaviors in round, and you should debate in whatever manner you feel most comfortably with. -That said, like every judge, I also have sets of biases and predispositions that filter my evaluation of the debate round. Below is Addendums: -- I will take longer than other critics to make a decision in highly competitive debate rounds, and as a byproduct of a learning disability usually have to take time to read, reread, and think about things before rendering a decision. If this is a problem for you, strike me. --Please use “they/them” pronouns when not referring to me by name --Please don’t read arguments related to suicide, or the range of mental factors typically and normatively described as “mental illness,” at least in a sense that will elicit an affective reaction from me. Statistics are one thing, a narrative that deals with severe depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts are not. Requirements to win my ballot: -Below is a list of nonnegotiable things about the way that evaluate debate rounds, which includes starting points for evaluating arguments, and how I prefer the structure of the debate to play out. --By default I evaluate a topical plan versus the status quo or competitive policy option or competitive alternative advocacy. If you want me to change this, explicitly tell me how you want me to view the debate round --I only evaluate arguments that are made in the constructives and extended in the rebuttals. If you want an argument as a strategic option, extend it in MG or in the MO/LOR. I will also protect against new arguments in the rebuttals. --Each argument needs to have a minimum threshold of coherence and explanation and I am fully comfortable disregarding an argument that is blippy and nonsensical. For example, claiming you win on timeframe is not an argument. Claiming you win on timeframe because economic collapse and ensuing great power wars happen before global warming destroys the environment is an argument. --I reserve the right to ask for a copy of plan, interpretation, and alt texts. --Impact calculus wins debate rounds. I leave it up to you to compare the probability, timeframe, magnitude and reversibility of impacts and tell me which ones to prefer and why. The more work and explanation you do, the less I have to do, and the less I will fill in the gaps to render a decision. --Generic arguments don’t bother me so long as they are executed well. If you’re really good at the Cap K, 50 states/courts and politics or something, I wont be angry if you decide to read that in front of me and can win it well. --I’m generally not expressive when I evaluate debate round, and that doesn’t mean that I dislike you, but instead should be taken as my general demeanor. Unless I look extremely happy or extremely angry, don’t take my facial expressions to mean that you’re doing anything really bad or really good. I generally just look apathetic when watching debate rounds, so don’t take it as a bad thing. --To evaluate theoretical issues I rely on violations that are made in round. For those unable to read between the lines, I am not likely to vote on disclosure theory, as I have no way of evaluating whether a violation did or did not occur. Negotiable: -Below are expectations and dispositions that are 100% negotiable. For example, I may really like conditionality, but if you cant defend substantively defend that decision, you are not going to win. --NEW—I have a much lower threshold for voting for topicality, and framework arguments when read against non-topical affirmatives. What constitutes a topical affirmative is to be debated by the debaters, but I do not have much sympathy for 2AC’s and 1AR’s that cannot read a competitive counter interpretation and defend it. If you cannot beat topicality or framework substantively, or outweigh the impacts of the theory shell, I do not think you deserve to win. --NEW—While I am not attempting to constrain the argument you read in the debate round, I am really not going to be stoked by arguments heavily reliant and informed on the personal experiences of the debaters in the round. This is not to say that I don’t want to hear identity politics, or kritiks, or projects that attempt to change debate as a formative and ideological structure. However, I have personally been reminded of some deep personal trauma regarding some of the arguments I’ve heard last year, and quite frankly I would rather not be re-experience that. --Case debate is the best. No matter what strategy is read, I will appreciate a strong central focus on clashing and engaging with the affirmative, which includes a mix of well warranted offensive and defensive arguments. --Critical affirmatives should be topical, and if not, I need a good reason why you shouldn’t have to affirm the topic. --I don’t like personalized advocacies that rely on weaponizing the experiences of debaters in the round against each other. --Clash of civilizations debate are awesome. --Condo is good, as long as it isn’t abused to an absurd degree. One condo advocacy should be fine, two is stretching it based on the context, and highly sympathetic to condo bad if there are three or more advocacies in the debate round. --Anything is theoretically up for debate, will not automatically reject anyone for any type of strategy that they deploy --Most CPs are theoretically find for me. No ideological issues with consult, pics on any topics, etc. But be prepared to defend the theoretical legitimacy of that strategy. --I love theory debates, especially when they are well developed, warranted, and topic specific. --I have a strong love of critical arguments. Familiar with most modern, post-modern, structuralist, and post-structuralist philosophies, and I am most well versed in (listed in order), Disability Studies, anything by Foucault (biopower), Nietzsche, Marx, Fem IR, and Security. --Don’t be an asshole. Seriously, don’t be rude. If you’re already face crushing another team, you don’t need to go over board. --I don’t like normatively ethically problematic impact turns. I will not be happy, nor will your speaker points, if you’re arguing that rape, genocide, racism, etc. is good. I also have an extremely low threshold for teams that explain why said unethical impact

Lindsay VanLuvanee - NPTE Hired

Saved Philosophy: n/a

Question 1 : Please enter your judging philosophy.
Background: Since many of you do not know me, nor I you, I figure I should fill you in on who I was as a debater because it has helped to frame some of my views about debate. I did policy debate all throughout high school and college. I’ve coached policy at Idaho State University, Weber State University, and the University of Southern California. However, I’ve coached a little parli on the side for College of Idaho and Concordia. As a debater and coach, I have made my bread and butter on arguments based in gender literature. This has ranged from and probably wasn’t even limited to queer theory, psychoanalytic feminism, feminist discourse analysis, trans rage, and post-colonial feminism. However, I have plenty of experience going for and coaching many other arguments. As a high school debater, I primarily went for politics and specific counterplans. Other K literature I am pretty well accustomed with includes Nietzschean arguments, spatial politics, race, Marxism, ecology, and theology. General: I tend to evaluate things on a more holistic, meta scale. Top-level framing issues often have a significant impact on how I evaluate the micro-issues in a debate. I also think that my threshold for explanation of an argument can tend to be higher than most. To further emphasize this, I think I am more persuaded by fewer, better developed arguments than more, slightly less developed ones. Less is often more. Parli Specific things: I don’t really care for Point of Orders. I get that they might be strategic to throw whoever is speaking out of their rhythm or whatever, but often times I can tell if an argument is new. I’ve flowed, I promise. I still am somewhat unsure of where I sit in regards to particular theory arguments and how they shift with the different format from what I’m used to. But in policy, as a default, I tend to think conditionality is likely fine, that counterplans benefit from functional and textual competition (so consults are suspect, for example), and that you get to read a K. For further reference, this is my policy judging philosophy: