Kevin Yanofsky's Judging 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 prior to college. 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.
  • 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 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 is 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 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. 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 get 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.
  • I read a lot of pomo, 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 become circular, and the most persuasive way to break that chain is to specifically answer the logic and warrants the framework team is using to justify their shell coming first (without relying on the assumption your K is true).

last updated: 9/30/2015

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