Policy Debate Judging Statement Guide
When composing your policy debate paradigm/philosophy/preference statement, please attempt to answer these questions:

1. Who should you not judge? These are the schools you either coach for or debated for.

Pius XI

2. What is your experience with policy debate? Were you a policy debater in high school? Are you a coach of a team? Did you debate in college? If so, what kind of college debate did you do - NDT, CEDA, APDA, NPDA, NFA LD, etc? Did you debate some other form of debate (public forum, Lincoln-Douglas, Congressional) in high school? Have you been a frequent judge? Were you involved in a summer institute? Have you been involved in related actives (such as forensics, model UN, or mock trial/moot court)?

Three years high school debate, policy. VSS last two years. No college debate team was available for me in college. Did extemp as well in high school for two years in forensics.

3. How long have you been involved with debate? Are you a first-year out? (First-year outs are prohibited from judging varsity divisions).

Been judging full-time since returning to the state in 2008. Spent parts of 1993-1998 judging. I have done policy, LD and PF as well as three years of forensics judging.

4. What are your thoughts on the rate of communication? What emphasis do you place on persuasive communication? Do you place any restrictions on cross-examination?

Speed is fine if you can control it. Unfortunately, most people don’t know if they can control it or not, so it can become a problem. Good way to look at speed: A 90 mph fastball with good location always beats a 98 mph pitch if you have no idea where it’s going to go.

Open cross-ex is fine if both sides agree to it. Personally, I think it’s a monumental waste of three free minutes of prep time for your partner, but if you feel the need, go for it.

5. What kind of debate do you like seeing: one with many different issues or one with a few in issues that are discussed in-depth?

A wide-ranging debate can be great while so can a debate that focuses on only one or two issues. Each debate is like a snowflake: no two are the same. Do what you want.

6. What are your thoughts on Topicality? What does the negative need to do in order to win on Topicality? Do you need to see in round abuse or is potential enough? Is topicality a voting issue? Is topicality a game of competing interpretations?

T is always a voter, although it’s not always worth voting on. The neg must show that there is clearly a problem with the aff case. (Example: If the resolution calls for the removal of military presence and the aff case states they will remove all .45 cal pistols from the lockers of servicemen and women in Japan, you’ve got a good T violation.) You can run a time-suck T on occasion if it’s close, but running three or four Ts, watching the other team pound you with them and then dumping them in the next speech borders on abuse. That approach isn’t endearing.

7. What are your thoughts on Counterplans? Do they need to be non-topical or just competitive? Are there any kinds of counter plans you find particularly objectionable?

8. What are your thoughts on Kritiks/critiques? How do you weigh different kinds of impacts? Do you need to find a functioning alternative in debate?

I group CPs and Ks together for this reason: Handing half of the neg teams I’ve seen this year a counterplan and a kritik file is like handing a toddler a bag of meth and an assault rifle. They run K with no sense of why they’re running it or how to use it to force me to vote in their favor. They run counterplans that they punt by the 2NC after they get killed. The affs then spend half the time in the 2AC (or if it holds past the 2NC, in the 1AR) screaming “perm” like they’re at a hair salon.

At the end of the day, I have no problems with any particular arguments, if they are done well and the team that is making the argument provides a solid rationale as to how this should factor into my decision. In the end, tell me to vote on something and I’ll vote on it. Tell me not to vote on it, I won’t. Above all else, tell me WHY I should be doing what you want me to do. Don’t tell me anything and I’ll do what I want and that will probably be disappointing to everyone involved.

9. How do you think about conditionality and negation theory?

Fine with it, if the points are well made and the debaters tell me WHAT to do and WHY I should do it.

10. What are your thoughts on theory? Do you have suggestions for debaters on theory debating in front of you?

I’ll listen, but you’ve got to give me value here. Don’t tell me “we’re doing X” and expect that I’ll understand and value it the same way you do. Use your persuasive powers to get me the information I need to make an informed decision. And again, just like every other argument/tool/approach in a round with me: If you’re running it just to run it or just to see if you can make the other team’s heads pop off, I’m not going to be a huge fan


Lincoln-Douglas Debate Judging Statement Guide
When composing your Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate paradigm/philosophy/preference statement, please attempt to answer these questions:

1. Who should you not judge? These are the schools you either coach for or debated for.



Pius XI

2. What is your experience with LD debate? Were you a LD debater in high school? Are you a coach of a team? Did you debate in college? If so, what kind of college debate did you do - NDT, CEDA, APDA, NPDA, NFA LD, etc? Did you debate some other form of debate (public forum, policy, Congressional) in high school? Have you been a frequent judge? Were you involved in a summer institute? Have you been involved in related actives (such as forensics, model UN, or mock trial/moot court)?



Three years high school debate, policy. VSS last two years. No college debate team was available for me in college. Did extemp as well in high school for two years in forensics.

3. How long have you been involved with debate? Are you a first-year out?



Been judging full-time since returning to the state in 2008. Spent parts of 1993-1998 judging. I have done policy, LD and PF as well as three years of forensics judging.

4. What are your thoughts on the rate of communication? What emphasis do you place on persuasive communication? Do you think about cross-examination?



Speed is fine if you can control it. Unfortunately, most people don’t know if they can control it or not, so it can become a problem. Good way to look at speed: A 90 mph fastball with good location always beats a 98 mph pitch if you have no idea where it’s going to go.

Cross-ex is a good place to pry loose some key points that can add value to the round. Make sure to pull them through to your main speeches to emphasize the value of what you’ve discovered and explain why I’m supposed to view these points as important.

5. Do you believe that the debaters have equal burdens to prove their case or is the negative only required to prove the resolution false?



I think the debate can be valuable in either light, although simply not being as bad as the other team isn’t what I’m shooting for in a good round. The negative has to do more than prove the resolution is false, otherwise, every affirmative would lose as a matter of course. However, in some rounds, proving how the aff is part of the larger problem created by the resolution is enough to win.

6. Is winning the value/criteria debate essential for a debater to win? Is selling his/her position as the most desirable world/worldview sufficient to win?


I’m fine with a V/VC debate if that’s where the round goes. If you ditch that as a matter of course, you end up with basically a short, maverick policy round. Not quite what we want to see out of LD. If you can demonstrate value on your end or how you meet the opponent’s view on V/VC, I’m fine. However, winning this argument isn’t the only way (or in some cases, the best way) to win the round.