Dylan Brugman


TL;DR version: I don’t think that my job is to define for you the way that debate should be done. You should debate what you’re good at, not what I did/liked as a debater.
**The only caveat: Please read interpretations/plan texts/and alt texts twice. That is the best way for me to get them down. Texts would be even better, but do what you want there.

Longer version:

I think that debates are won on offense, and I think that debates are won on strategy. I think that debate is capable in some ways of being a tool of liberation and expression, but I think that it is primarily a game to be played by two teams. The educational aspect of debate is nice, but if debate were about education, I would expect both teams to read textbooks to me about calculus or something during their speech.

Win however you can and in whatever way you can.


Hardly ever an issue. Clarity and argument depth often is. The way I flow is: I flow the claim and then flow the warrants underneath them. If I miss the claim, I flow the warrants and infer the claim from those warrants. If I miss both, your arguments are not warranted enough for me to write them down, and I will tell you to slow down.

If you are unclear, then I will yell clear. Your options are to
either become more clear, or slow down until you are clear. Or keep
mumbling I guess.


Run them. I default to competing interpretations, and that is the best way for me to evaluate theory, because it comes down to whoever debated it best and requires (arguably) the least intervention on my part; however, if I am given arguments as to why potential/proven abuse is good reason to pull the trigger, or why I shouldn’t evaluate T, and the other team fails to provide an adequate answer, I’ll bite. Topicality is a voting issue, it is not a reverse voting issue. It’s your fault if you let T become a time-suck. SPECs are generally for bad debaters.

The Criticism:

Can be run on the aff or the neg. Affs can be topical or not topical (as long as you provide adequate warrants as to why you are running a non topical aff), and affs can use fiat or not use fiat.

A note about the criticism: If it is general/you assume that both teams understand it, I don’t need a thesis. If you are running something that I’m not familiar with/is super complicated, I would run a SHORT thesis. Most of the criticism’s that I ran were environmental, fem, and queer. I understand race pretty well, but if you start into post-structural, European philosophers like Baudrillard, Agamben,
Derrida or the like, I need some indication of the thesis of the argument. For some reason, reading a bunch of leftist white academics wasn’t a thing we did at ACU in my undergraduate. That being said, I
like hearing new things, if they are explained to me.

I debated the criticism a lot as a debater, but in my old age, I prefer a Disad/CP debate. I also like DA/CP/K debate a lot if the negative can win condo.

Criticisms/Turns of language in the PMC/LO/MG are generally ok. They are arguments that force the other team to spend time answering, which is always a good thing. Sometimes they make the other team look silly too, that can’t hurt your chances, right?

On narratives/performance: Do it if you want, but when you introduce your own stories and experiences into a competitive environment, you make them competitive, and weaponizing identity doesn’t help anybody in my experience. Do not physically hurt yourself or others in front of me (I cannot believe that I have to put this in a judging philosophy now). We should protect our activity and the people in it, and physical violence, I’m afraid, is not a good way to do this.

Permutations are good to run on the aff. So are impact turns, and so is framework. And if you want to run a framework that policymaking is the only way to evaluate the round, I’ll evaluate that. Framing them out of the round is a good way to win.

In general, I default to seeing permutations as tests of competitiveness, but will gladly hear all of the arguments about why they’re more than that. In general, when answering the criticism, do anything to win.

Conditionality/multiple worlds:

I don’t mind voting for a conditional argument, I also don’t mind voting on condo. I don’t care if you run three counter plans and a K, I don’t care if they conflict, and I don’t care if you collapse out of all of them into case turns. You should be the best condo debaters you can be though, because if you lose on condo or multiple worlds, I’ll vote against you. My favorite opp strat to watch as a judge is DA/CP/K debate. But each team should have one strategy that they’re going for in the rebuttals. Opposition, you should go for one sheet of paper in the block (unless its a Disad/CP combo). Don’t you dare stick to both disads. That is so bad. It’s like the worst part of debate. Trust me enough to vote in the direction that you tell me.


Are good. I like them to be big, and really like to have “burnt, dead bodies” in a disad. Dehume impacts are fine, and so are value to life arguments. With all disads, specificity is key (especially with politics). Lazy debaters are rarely rewarded, and many disads are lazy.


Run as many as you want and run whatever you want. If you’re on the aff, run theory and run disads to the Counterplans. Also, permutations. Those are always a good thing.

Case Debate:

Offense is better than defense, but I think that impact defense (or impact turns) can be a pretty powerful tool.

A note on impacts: I like impact calc, and I think it makes things easier for me. I default to extinction outweighs Dehume, but I am also very open to hearing impact frameworks that prioritize certain impacts over others. Everybody should let Ben Campbell teach them how to do impact calc, because that’s the exact way that I feel about it.

Speaker Points/Etiquette/etc:

I don’t call the house to order, I don’t even know how to do that. I don’t particularly like thank you’s, but go for it I guess. I don’t care if you talk to your partner or prompt them. I don’t care if you stand or sit. You should wear some klnd of clothing, but beyond that, you do what you want. I pretty much roll out of bed every morning. I don’t care if you stand or sit, if you say “point of information” or not, or if you do the little teapot shindig when you ask a question (you know the hand on the head and the other one outstretched? Yeah, that’s pretty silly).

I always liked it when I felt that debaters were friendly to me, and I always disliked debaters that were not friendly to me. I think that for a lot of teams, being welcoming to them is important, inside and
outside the round. Last year, I felt that my own RFD’s were kind of mean spirited, and I’m trying to be more helpful in giving debaters an RFD that seems well justified. Because of that, I’ll always flow on paper, but I’ll probably open up my laptop afterwards and type up my RFD to read back to you. This is the best way for me to lay out the round and make the best decision possible. In addition, I promise to be respectful of you in my decision, and will always say something that is honest, but also encouraging. That being said, during the debate, I’m not very expressive, and may even look a little perturbed. I’m not, I promise, that’s just the way that my face looks.

I like jokes and references from Dungeons and Dragons, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Warhammer 40k, Firefly, Isaac Asimov books, The Sopranos, The Wire, The West Wing, Slavoj Zizek, my main man Barry-O, Kim Il-Sung/Jong-il/jong-un, and other weird things.

Speaker points:

My speaker points were a little lower than average last year, so I tried to change that this year, and create a more reliable/valid scale for speaker points. It is as follows: if I give you a 27, I think that you are a good debater, if I give you a 28, I think that you should be breaking, if I give you a 29, I think that you should be getting a speaker award, If I give you a 30, I think that you should be in finals. You want good speaker points? Then your rebuttal should be my RFD.