This page is a guide to help you create a paradigm/philosophy/preference statement for the Wisconsin State Debate Tournament. The suggested questions included here are not meant to be a limiting list. Judges may provide more information than answers to these questions. This is intended as a starting guide to help you think about what to write. Remember, you are attempting to help high school debaters improve their debating. Please provide enough information to achieve that objective.

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.
  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)?
  3. How long have you been involved with debate? Are you a first-year out? (First-year outs are prohibited from judging varsity divisions).
  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?
  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?
  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?
  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?
  9. How do you think about conditionality and negation theory?
  10. What are your thoughts on theory? Do you have suggestions for debaters on theory debating in front of you?

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.
  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)?
  3. How long have you been involved with debate? Are you a first-year out?
  4. What are your thoughts on the rate of communication? What emphasis do you place on persuasive communication? Do you think about cross-examination?
  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?
  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?