Last Updated - pre-TOC '21
Good job surviving eDebate. This has been an incredibly hard season for us all as both competitors and people. Be proud of yourself, because I'm genuinely proud of all of you.
You'd think I wouldn't have to say this, but apparently I do: if opponents make reasonable requests for accommodations regarding personal trauma, disabilities, identities, etc before the round starts and you do not meet those accommodations, I absolutely can and will vote against you on principle. The same goes for doing things in the round that actively makes debate as a space unsafe for people. You cannot change this stance and I will lose zero sleep over it.
This is at the top because I know it's why you're here - the tier list for framework 2NR tricks/impacts is:
S: “Clash turns and outweighs the case because persuasion and complex thinking/research skills”
A: “Procedural fairness means no incentive to research the aff or play the game” (not my personal 2NR but I'll happily hear this done well if its your thing)
B: Skills/topic ed, I guess
C: Literally anything else, shouting random buzzwords about third/fourth level testing without explanation of the impact
FF: “Fairness means you can't evaluate the aff because it hasn't been tested yet,” “small schools” (I will almost certainly not vote on the latter and will loathe you for making me vote on the former)
"Trill recognize trill shalt be the whole of the law." - me
VERY IMPORTANT: Before the debate, both teams/debaters can give me recommendations for a song/s to listen to during prep time, which I will do, and if I vibe with it I may bump speaks.
Because everyone seems to have one of these sections these days - will update as time goes on.
Policy 2020-21 - CJR - This topic sucks. Please, god, can we have some innovation from my K team buddies? Getting tired of Coppell DR knockoffs. My usual "topic ed is the worst framework impact" stance is still in effect, but it is far better on this topic than others. Topicality questions I don't have many hardline stances on, mainly because nothing in this topic is a real term of art which sucks, but abolition affs are probably T.
LD JF21 - LAWs - Good research and good mastery of that research will be rewarded with a bump in speaks, because this is legitimately the best topic LD has had in years for good debates grounded in robust literature (even though the division of ground fucking sucks). Love arms control debates. (Still) questioning whether or not single state affs are T, mainly because to me "bans" in arms control usually means international laws/externally imposed - did South Africa "ban" itself from having a nuke? Haven't entirely made up my mind, mostly just think those affs are cheaty/too good. Phil stuff seems wacky good on this topic.
"Who is this guy?"
Jack C Hays '19
UH Debate '23
Conflicts 2020-21 -
I am a consultant for Westside High School's policy team, mainly working with Westside SK and Westside RY.
In addition, I currently coach Trinity Valley KK, Coppell VS, Plano West DJ, Garland LY, Live Oak RS, Westlake AK, *inhale* Perry JA, Cooper City NR, Los Altos BF, and Cardinal Gibbons RS in LD.
I have previously coached Lovejoy KC, George Ranch NS, Lindale PP, Newsome DB (before he quit lol), Princeton TK (very briefly) and Memorial DX.
I have a personal friendship with Plano East NG, so I conflict him too.
I graduated from Jack C Hays HS in 2019.
Don't call me "judge" or any other honorific please. Patrick is fine. Fox is fine if you don't wanna call me Patrick.
"What does he think debate is?"
Debate is a competitive activity centered around research, argumentation, and persuasion. I am an educator who's job it is to adjudicate the competitive aspect of the activity and enable growth and progression of the students in all the others. There are two teams (or two debaters), and they are the only people taking part in the debate. I will decide the debate based on the arguments made by the debaters, with regards to both what the arguments they make are as well as how they tell me to evaluate them within the constraints of my ability to do so and meeting the threshold for a complete argument. The debate will take place within the constraints of the tournament set speech and prep times, and at the end I will submit a decision with one winner and loser. If you try and tell me that anything outside of this set of statements is "binding" on my "jurisdiction" as a judge, you are simply blatantly incorrect and I will deeply resent you trying to tell me how to do my job.
"So how should I pref him?"
While its kind of a cop-out, the most honest answer is "it depends." That being said, overall I tend to be mostly tech over truth, in that my threshold for a complete/coherent argument is very rigid (and probably higher than the current LD meta, lol), but if what you say meets it, go off. Robust explanation of good arguments and explicit comparison is a safer bet with me than blippy nonsense that relies on stuff going unanswered.
I'm very expressive. Read my non-verbals.
"Okay well, should I pref him..."
"...if I'm a policy kid?"
Yeah, sure. I'm a journalist external to debate, so I genuinely enjoy dense, technical research and value good evidence highly, but none of that matters if you can't do the work to explain it. I will most likely read key cards after the round (although it's ideally because I'm just confirming the 2N/AR's explanation of evidence, not just to figure out what it said for myself).
- My ideal policy 1AC is two well constructed advantages with robust internal link evidence to 3-4 different impact scenarios. Fewer big impacts with better internal links > shotgunned extinction scenarios with 5 second cards. I expect case debate as I expect the sun to rise - 0% risk probably isn't a thing but I still think that if there's negligible risk of the aff vs the DA I'm inclined to just not vote for you. Good impact turns are underutilized, as debaters are cowards. Courage will be rewarded.
- My ideal 2AC/1AR/2AR to the K gives concise, technical arguments and contextualizes offense to the aff's internal links - you may not know the K better than the 2N, but you should definitely know your aff; use it. Some evidence is probably essential, but moderate cards + aff explanation and spin > The Dump (TM). Impact framing/comparison is often lost - the 2AR solely on Framework + case o/w + link defense is not only welcome, but appreciated.
- My ideal 2NR on a DA articulates a clear warrant for turns case as well as an external impact, and does a lot of work on comparative risk. Politics is fine and dandy, but the Rider DA is a godless abomination. Uniqueness > link, because nothing else makes sense. Not much to say here. Do it.
- CPs are very cool and well-researched process CPs in particular are literally my favorite args (which means ConCon and consult don't count, lol). Default to sufficiency framing because why wouldn't I? Condo and negation theory are good and probably infinite (LD: its still good but less infinite, after like 4 condo I become more sympathetic), but I think judge kick is godless and will very much try not to kick the CP for you (basically unless the 2AR straight drops judge kick, don't count on it).
"...if I'm a K person?"
Absolutely. These are the debates I think about the most these days, and I do a lot of reading and research in this area both inside and outside of debate. Outside of debate, I'm a disabled Marxist. I say this not to discourage you from reading non-disability/Marxist/etc positions, but to let you know this is where I come from - I've researched and coached more or less every K in this activity. Good K debaters are (imo), no matter what their background, organized and technical, with lots of contextual and specific explanations/examples.
- K affs should defend a shift from the status quo to solve an impact - if I do not think this is the case by the end of the 2AR, I will err super heavily negative because, shockingly, affs should defend things. Presumption is underexploited by the negative, but most presumption args should be less about the ballot and more about solvency (or lack thereof). Explaining why debating your aff is valuable is crucial. Overviews are fine but as time goes on, returns diminish. Case debate is essential, and I'm pretty good for the impact turn - I think the aff should be able to explain to me what it does and why it's good, which means saying those things are actually bad is obvious fair game. Wanna restate - the less 2As defend the more annoyed I get.
- Neg blocks/2NRs vs policy affs should be highly organized, overviews kept to a minumum, and most explanation done on the lbl. Organizing your 2NC/1NRs to mirror the 2AC order is good. Link debate on the permutation, framework on framework, etc. Framework should be a model of debate, so "reps first" isn't really an argument. Links should be contextualized to disprove why I should vote for the aff (whether the aff is a policy or a research object - tell me which!), and should be impacted out to some sort of turns case or external piece of offense. Examples - lines from aff ev, references to CX, etc - do them. If I don't know what the alt does by the end of the 2NR my threshold for the 2AR goes way down. Impact framing and comparison is often forgotten in these debates, and should be present in the block/2NR. Floating PIKs should be set up explicitly in the block (LD: if it's not set up in the 1NC, the 2AR gets new responses - you don't have a block! When does it "float?"), and if I miss it, that's your fault for trying to cheat. 2NRs that go for the PIK that don't robustly explain what the PIK actually looks like tend to lose to the perm, so explicitly re-contextualizing the alternative is probably in your interest - the one policy panel I've sat on was because of this.
- K v K debates - stuff gets muddled very fast in these debates, so examples + organization + clear impacting out of arguments is the winning move. I could be convinced "no perms in a method debate" may be a good argument in the abstract, but it certainly doesn't rise to the level of one in most debates. Read Marxism at your own risk - perversions of the immortal and revolutionary science and revisionist nonsense like "socialism is when healthcare" or "talking about racism is neoliberal" will make me more annoyed and I'd rather you just go for framework than be an annoying socdem.
- Gonna be transparent - I haven't been in many performance debates. That being said, I like it, I coach this more and I'm actively working to think about it more. If this is your thing, don't be deterred from doing it, just be aware this isn't my background.
"...if I expect clash debates?"
Most definitely. I am very far from both "Framework is genocide" and "no plan no ballot" types, which makes me a pretty ideal mutual pref for these rounds imo. I think on a capital-T truth level I err slightly aff for reasonability reasons, but my actual voting record errs slightly neg - do with this what you will.
- Affs - I think some form of dialogue/role for negation is good and there should be a general telos and stasis for discussions - my ideal affirmative articulates a model of debate that has both but impact turns the negative's specific stasis point/telos i.e: not "debate is bad" but "their model of debate is bad, ours is better." There is a value to debate and I intuitively think it's important to be able to preserve and explain it, even if there's disagreement over what said value is.
- Negatives - TVAs and SSD don't need to solve the content of the aff, but debating them needs to solve the aff impact turns/offense (or at least most of it - I think of this stuff through sufficiency framing). 2NRs lose when they don't collapse and explain a terminal impact or comparative i/l work on limits/ground. They also lose when they don't mention the aff at all. They win by doing all of the above. Hanging out/working with Evan Alexis has made me more convinced fairness is an external impact, but it rarely gets explained enough to be one - "sure, debate is a competition, but why do I care?" is common in my RFDs. I like game theory research, and if you wanna get good at framework you should too.
- All of the above can be changed by good enough (or bad enough) debating. I've voted aff on impact turns to debate itself with no counterinterp (cringe), and voted neg on "topic debating is good because we all should be lawyers someday" (also cringe). To me, Framework (and good 2ACs to it) are about the process of debate over the course of a topic/season rather than the content of individual rounds/arguments. As such, "state good/bad" or even "topic good/bad" doesn't really make sense as a response to/argument for Framework.
"...if I'm a phil debater?"
Maybe. Not the most well versed in these debates (although I do coach them a lot more lately), and there are just better judges for these rounds you could pref, but I genuinely enjoy them and find them interesting, and I think I historically give pretty alright decisions in these rounds.
- Clear explanation and explicit interactions are good. I find these debates are simultaneously too blippy and also too top-heavy, and making sure you avoid both will help your chances a lot.
- I'm well versed in certain philosophies of ethics, but my issue is explaining how that translates to an impact metric in a debate round, so explain this stuff like I'm a well-read non-debater I guess?
- If you're going for phil affs vs the K, pref me a bit higher - I find these interactions interesting and actually do like these debates, provided they don't devolve into blippy nonsense and there's genuinely robust contestation.
"...if I'm a tricks machine?"
Please god no. I despise these debates and my threshold for these arguments is gonna be substantially higher. I will (begrudgingly) vote on them if a clear claim/warrant/impact is asserted and won (which is rare, but happens), but these debates are legitimately emotionally exhausting for me to judge because of how banal and infuriating I find them and I'm seriously gonna start tanking speaks moving forward for a prioris/TT/skep/logcon/etc. Also not voting on condo logic/tacit conditonals.
"...if I'm a theory debater?"
At your own risk. Lower for tons of spammy shells, higher for more policy-esque topicality debates, between the two for Nebel. I've been told my evaluation of these debates is erratic when interactions aren't very clear in very dense 2NRs, but I also did coach Aditya, so it's not like I know nothing. The wonkier the shell, the greater my threshold for winning it is.
- Topicality is a question of predictable models of the topic, which I believe is determined by research and literature. As such, I value evidence with intent to define terms of art more than good limits in the abstract. LDers: This doesn't mean semantics, it's actually the opposite - I care much more about topic literature consensus than grammar, because the latter has much less to do with how topics play out. You can go for semantics, but tread carefully. Offense/defense because why wouldn't I. Reasonability and competing interps could go either way in these debates, but reasonability is a question of the aff's interpretation, not what the aff did. Saying "the aff is/n't reasonably T" makes no sense to me, because it's about whether their model of debate is reasonable. Linguistic descriptivism > prescriptivism.
- Paragraph theory good, RVIs bad, disclosure good. These are predispositions I have (along with the condo stuff above) that are quite difficult (but not impossible) to debate out of.
- LDers: The universe is not infinitely expanding - nobody in theoretical physics has thought this was a thing since about the late 2000s - expansion is finite and constrained by the total amount of matter/energy that exists, so it'll eventually stop. This is where theories about the heat death of the universe comes from. Nick Bostrom is a moron and I'll never forgive him for popularizing this (and other) nonsense. Big pet peeve.
- LDers: Not voting on any sort of shell about clothes or people's behavior. It's worthless and annoying at best and violent at worst. Stop it.
- LDers: 2NRs on shells should focus less on lots of blips and more on sitting down and explaining internal links with explicit comparison. Treat it like a topicality 2NR in that regard and your chances of winning go way up, otherwise I may intervene to resolve unclear parts of the debate in ways you dislike.
- LDers: 1AR theory is fine, but again, impact out stuff very explicitly and don't leave it in my hands to decide.
- LDers: I'm evaluating every part of the debate after the 2AR. Trying to change this loses you 0.1 speaks for every speech you exclude.
"What about the weird pet peeves and thoughts every judge has but always forget to put in their paradigms?"
This will be updated over time, but...
Deeply uncomfortable voting on "this person did this thing and that's bad" unless I literally see it. I don't feel comfortable evaluating the conduct of minors who I don't know outside of these very limited interactions.
"Perm, do both" isn't an argument by itself and if this is all you say I will treat it as a new argument in your next speech when you explain it.
People who say "winning X means u auto-affirm/negate" annoy me because its never that simple or clean.
Inserting re-highlighting of opponent's cards? Fine and dandy. Inserting whole cards from different parts of the article? Gotta read it.
Not okay with cards about debate written by active debaters at the time of authorship. Non-negotiable. Won't flow them. Sorry.
My debaters have pointed out when people go for indexicals, if I decide under my index that these arguments aren't real and I don't need to flow them it's impossible to deny this. Will be thinking about this moving forward.
The best way to make me want to claw my eyes out is overly semantic debates over Role of the Ballot/Judge. I vote for who wins. These arguments are cop-outs for actual framing arguments 9/10 debates. No clue why people pretend these arguments are magically above any other framing argument in the debate because you used a cheeky four-word phrase.
Mich KM hasn't been funny for years (if they ever were) and I only recommend showing me your shitty Will Morgan impression if you want a 27. Glorify predators if you want, but don't expect me to vibe with it.
That being said, debaters who display the true Poster's Spirit will be rewarded handsomely.
If me and Ali Abdulla are on a panel together there's like a 90% chance we vote the same way.
Stealing prep time annoys the hell out of me. Don't.
Most of you don't understand Lacan well enough to go for it.
I will protect the 2NR like a mother protecting her firstborn.
Might give extra points for authors/args and cards I haven't seen before in K debates - I like rewarding original research over backfile recycling.
Long "framing contentions" alone are not good ways to answer DAs, but using them in conjunction with smart i/l defense is cool.
I decide most debates very fast. Like sub two minutes for a decision. Even in close rounds. Don't take it personally.
I enjoy small talk, actually.
"Wow, that was certainly, uh, thorough. Anything else?"
Debate should be a safe space for everyone. Respect pronouns, respect people's personhood, etc.
Debate should also be fun! Jokes, charisma, and being interesting to judge (even if it includes some pandering, lol) will all boost speaks.
Stolen from Yao-Yao: "I believe judging debates is a privilege, not a paycheck." You work hard to debate, and I promise I will work hard to judge you and give a decision that respects the worth of that.
Finally, a wager, as I am a gambling man at heart - if the 2AR/2NR sits down early, +0.3 speaks for every 30s saved if you win, but -0.3 speaks for every 30s if you lose. Your move.
Good luck, and see you in round!