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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 10:37 pm 
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I have always been under the guise that counter plans should only be run in the 1NC. However at a tournament recently my partner refused my speech flow so i sinned... and ran 6 counter-plans in the 2NC. Ever since ive been considering this question in a little more detail. Is it really bad debate theory or unethical to use counter-plans in the 2NC?

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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:05 pm 
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I ran a CP in the 2NC once, in my second debate ever! And the other team was a novice team too, so they didn't object, and the (alum) judge accepted it since nobody questioned it. We still lost though, because it was a dumb CP. :P

That said, I think it's a bit of a double-standard, depending on how far you take the CP. Some people I know don't technically run "counterplans", they have "opportunity cost DAs" where they say "doing the aff's plan forfeits the opportunity to do this better plan". I think that's legitimate in the 2NC since it's not claiming any fiat. It really is just a new DA. But if you're actually proposing an alternative, that is borderline-abusive in the 2NC if only because the 1AC needs to establish their plan in their first speech, so I think the neg should have to as well.

Another way to look at this is to think of the negative as implicitly proposing a "counterplan" of maintaining the SQ in the 1NC by arguing straight-up. Then by introducing a "real" CP (not an opp-cost DA) in the 2NC, they are effectively switching plans. Since aff is not allowed to do that (as far as I know), neg shouldn't be allowed to either.

However, if you feel confident defending the theory, go for it! After all, it's not against the rules (read: not unethical, although some might disagree), and theoretically-sketch arguments can do well if you have good arguments to back them up and judges that are open to them. :)

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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:26 pm 
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kingwill wrote:
Some people I know don't technically run "counterplans", they have "opportunity cost DAs" where they say "doing the aff's plan forfeits the opportunity to do this better plan". I think that's legitimate in the 2NC since it's not claiming any fiat. It really is just a new DA.
It should be pointed out that, arguably, all counterplans are opportunity cost DAs, and whether or not the Negative "claims fiat" or not has no effect on the round. This is mainly an issue if you're a rezcentrist, and it gets super complicated, so you might not want to go there. [warning: linked thread will make your brain hurt]

Will's other points are spot-on. Ultimately it's mostly a courtesy thing - debates run smoother when the plans involved are all presented up-front.

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Last edited by MSD on Thu May 09, 2013 11:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:33 pm 
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MSD wrote:
It should be pointed out that, arguably, all counterplans are opportunity cost DAs, and whether or not the Negative "claims fiat" or not has no effect on the round. This is mainly an issue if you're a rezcentrist, and it gets super complicated, so you might not want to go there. [warning: linked thread will make your brain hurt]

haha, I remember trying to follow the arguments on that thread and giving up very quickly. :P

/spam

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- Will

2010-11 | Freshman | Bardsley/King | IX | 13th at Regionals
2011-12 | Sophomore | Dovel/King | IX | Q'd to Nationals
2012-13 | Junior | Dovel/King | IX | 17th at Nationals
2013-14 | Senior | Dovel/King | IX | 5th at Nationals

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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2013 11:51 pm 
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DanielThetford wrote:
I have always been under the guise that counter plans should only be run in the 1NC. However at a tournament recently my partner refused my speech flow so i sinned... and ran 6 counter-plans in the 2NC. Ever since ive been considering this question in a little more detail. Is it really bad debate theory or unethical to use counter-plans in the 2NC?

It was an awesome strategy, but only because we almost won the debate round because you did that. :lol:

But there truly are no debate rules, and I think that running CPs in the 2NC will only confuse the judge even more, especially if the Affirmative team calls you out on it.

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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:02 am 
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Here is my view:

First my thoughts on theory (Thanks to Isaac Harris). Why does theory exist? There are no rules. Why are we imposing rules if they aren't really rules? The reason for this is because it makes logical sense to do so. To prove this point I will go over two of the stock issues briefly.
Top: The logical reason for T theory is based on the limitations provided by the Resolution. It only makes sense that affirmative teams must be under that resolution.
Sig: The logical reason for Significance is this: if the problem isn't big enough to merit change, then why are we making a change?

Now that we have this down let's go over the logic behind counterplans.

Counterplans are designed to give the Negative team the ability address the issues in a different manner that may or may not fix the problem in a better manner. Why should they be presented in the 1NC? For 2 fold reason:

1. It creates the Negatives stance, philosophy and main argumentation for the entire round. A CP is the foundation you lay for all the arguments you run against the Aff team.

2. It creates a good even debate. If you run a counterplan in the 2NC here is what happens:

2NC runs CP
1NR backsup neg points
1AR must now refute all of the 1N points, and construct new arguments against the counter plan. This does two things. A. it overburdens the 1AR. (This isn't too serious of a problem imo) B. It forces the 1A to create arguments in a speech that that can't make arguments.
2NR calls abuse on 1AR for creating new arguments in rebuttal speech. (not every team would do this)
2AR raps up the messy round.

There is also a removal of clash, because you have two less speeches to hash out the arguments. You as the negative team wasted two whole speeches and 2 CX's that could have been used to your advantage. Your first speech and your opponents 2 speech.

Overall the reason I think a 2NR CP is wrong is because it is abusive, illogical, and doesn't help the Negative in any way.

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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 12:19 am 
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I think there is one important thing to take into account before running a 2NC CP, your judge. Any Traditional parent judge will most likely vote you down for running a CP in the 2NC, so unless it's your only option, I would personally avoid it. I wouldn't suggest creating a strategy that contains a 2NC CP, but if you are impromptu neg for example, and you don't think of it until later in the round, go for it. Most paril debaters/parli alumni will vote for a 2NC CP, if you win the theory debate. Just be careful who your judge is.

On the theory side of things, here are the main arguments to support 2NC CP's:
1. “C” is for constructive - The 2NC is a constructive, so we get to make new arguments. Not allowing 2NC counterplans expands AFF side bias.

2. Education - a) Forces critical thinking – makes the 1AR use specific, critical and in-round thinking which only makes debate more educational. b) Breadth vs. depth – new counterplans allows a wider coverage of the various policy solutions to the alternative.

3. Ground - It’s reciprocal – new in the 2 is key to checking back new 2AC add-ons.


And here are the main arguments against them:
1. Interp - CP's are an apriori issue and should be covered in the 1NC, just like T.

2. Education - Depth vs. breadth – it’s best to compare our options in depth because we can learn about the specifics of the plans and how they work.

3. Ground - Sandbags the 1AR: the NEG can just read a CP w/o our limits which means the 1AR will inevitably have a ton of arguments to respond.

4. No more constructives – the aff doesn’t get a 3AC to answer completely new 2NC arguments.

There can definitely be strategic benefits and drawbacks to running 2NC CP's but in Stoa/NCFCA, the majority of our judge pool will not accept this type of strategy. I would suggest you stay away from it as much as possible.

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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 1:14 am 
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We ran a CP in the 2NC at the open with a parent judge and had no problems. The two reason for this I believe is because we were able to keep things very organized and because the CP made sense (We ran reform 1267 instead of abolish).

I think in the end it comes down to how you present your arguments. If its clear your trying to abuse the 2NC as a speech, there's something to be said about that. However, to complain that the 1AR will have to bring up new refutation is a cause of splitting not a cause of new CPs so that is a non-unique argument which is irrelevent.

I personally see no problem with it but that might be because my partner is a beast and I'm the 2A :D

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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 2:26 am 
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kingwill wrote:
I ran a CP in the 2NC once, in my second debate ever! And the other team was a novice team too, so they didn't object, and the (alum) judge accepted it since nobody questioned it. We still lost though, because it was a dumb CP. :P

That said, I think it's a bit of a double-standard, depending on how far you take the CP. Some people I know don't technically run "counterplans", they have "opportunity cost DAs" where they say "doing the aff's plan forfeits the opportunity to do this better plan". I think that's legitimate in the 2NC since it's not claiming any fiat. It really is just a new DA. But if you're actually proposing an alternative, that is borderline-abusive in the 2NC if only because the 1AC needs to establish their plan in their first speech, so I think the neg should have to as well.

Another way to look at this is to think of the negative as implicitly proposing a "counterplan" of maintaining the SQ in the 1NC by arguing straight-up. Then by introducing a "real" CP (not an opp-cost DA) in the 2NC, they are effectively switching plans. Since aff is not allowed to do that (as far as I know), neg shouldn't be allowed to either.

However, if you feel confident defending the theory, go for it! After all, it's not against the rules (read: not unethical, although some might disagree), and theoretically-sketch arguments can do well if you have good arguments to back them up and judges that are open to them. :)


Hehehehe. That was fun.

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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 2:49 am 
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Please don't ever do this. It's abusive, annoying, and kind of mean.

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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 3:17 am 
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013 wrote:
Please don't ever do this. It's abusive, annoying, and kind of mean.

That pretty much sums it up. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 3:09 pm 
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The best reason not to run a 2NC counterplan against an experienced and well-researched affirmative team is that they'll straight-turn it several ways, leave the 2NR with a whole lot to cover, and then go deep in the 2AR on whichever argument the 2NR did the weakest job answering. I think the theoretical objections to 2NC counterplans are an uphill fight to win in a debate between evenly matched teams, but the substantive strategic risks they pose for the negative are the real reason you don't see more of them.


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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 7:30 am 
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DrSraderNCU wrote:
The best reason not to run a 2NC counterplan against an experienced and well-researched affirmative team is that they'll straight-turn it several ways, leave the 2NR with a whole lot to cover, and then go deep in the 2AR on whichever argument the 2NR did the weakest job answering. I think the theoretical objections to 2NC counterplans are an uphill fight to win in a debate between evenly matched teams, but the substantive strategic risks they pose for the negative are the real reason you don't see more of them.

Dangit, he took exactly what I was going to say. Well, mostly.

I'm fine with them from a theoretical standpoint. A constructive is a constructive, so do whatever you want with it. I know I'm much less of a traditionalist than most of the NCFCA community, but I don't care one bit about running or not running strats because of "fairness," "education," or "ground." If its unfair, then the aff can run that argument and win that its abusive. I don't think there's a such thing as in-round education loss, and, to quote a fantastic debater who graduated in 2012, "Ground is what you walk on to go to the library and do research." So, from a theoretical standpoint, knock yourself out.

From a strategic standpoint, probably not a good idea, even if you run it conditionally or dispensationally:
You would think that if you run it cond/dispo, then the 2NR can kick it quickly and go for something else. Problem is, if the aff runs cond/dispo bad in the 1AR, the 2NR won't have a good time. Any good aff will realize that and run a quick, 1 minute shell they can collapse to if its undercovered. That forces the 2NR to spend probably 1-1:30 on it, which is pure defense (therefore with the aim of "don't lose," rather than "win"), leaving very little time to actually try to win the round. So you're in a bad position if you run it dispo/cond. In an outround once I was neg and ran two Ts, dispo K, DA, and case answers. My opponent ran a dispo-bad shell that sucked her time, but she knew I was probably going to kick the K. So even though she spread herself out, she forced me to answer dispo bad. That spread me out even more than it spread her out, and forced me, in terms of time allocation, go for everything. In other words, even though I kicked the Ts and K, I spent so much time kicking the K I spent the same amount of time kicking it as I would have going for it (from a theoretical standpoint, I couldn't just go for it and say I didn't violate the dispo-bad because the in-round abuse she was claiming occurred the second I said "dispo" in CX; even though I eventually would make it my advocacy, it still skewed her 1AR strat, which was the abuse). I lost on a 2-1 exactly for that reason. Granted, that was LD, but the same concept applies.
If you run it as unconditionally, then any good aff will just throw out 6 turns, answer back case, extend the turn you inevitably drop, and win on a risk of solvency.

So, from a strategic standpoint, I would say no.

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Last edited by LocutusofBorg on Mon May 13, 2013 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:27 am 
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Or you can run an add-on advantage that the counterplan can't solve. Very typically they mistake it for a disadvantage to the counterplan, and they make the choice to kick the counterplan. That doesn't help them at all, because now you've got an unanswered add-on in the debate.


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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2013 2:18 pm 
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013 wrote:
Please don't ever do this. It's abusive, annoying, and kind of mean.

It's never "mean" to realize your 1NC strategy has no chance and throw a hail mary. Most poor tactics can be beaten. Stop the hail mary.

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 2:30 am 
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Well, if it's a last-ditch effort, I suppose go for it? I don't know. I think there's probably a better hail mary effort in almost any situation than a 2NC counterplan. I was referring to a premeditated strategy designed to frustrate.

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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 9:04 pm 
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013 wrote:
Well, if it's a last-ditch effort, I suppose go for it? I don't know. I think there's probably a better hail mary effort in almost any situation than a 2NC counterplan. I was referring to a premeditated strategy designed to frustrate.

"designed to frustrate" is frustrating and I guess "mean"

The rest of it, that's ok. For example:
- You decided you are against a really tough team much better than you and need to try something creative, to either go down in a blaze of glory or squeak by
- You thought and thought and thought and came up with a really good justification for it that nobody on this thread or who has kneejerk reactions to theory had anticipated. This is a great strategy that exposes the weaknesses of theory preconceptions, while the strategy itself may be weak as well.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 12:29 am 
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DrSraderNCU wrote:
Or you can run an add-on advantage that the counterplan can't solve. Very typically they mistake it for a disadvantage to the counterplan, and they make the choice to kick the counterplan. That doesn't help them at all, because now you've got an unanswered add-on in the debate.
Assuming the CP is conditional, of course. (Kicking CPs is fairly uncommon in the NCFCA/Stoa, at least when involving strategy beyond "uuhhhhhh that didn't work, let's stop talking about it.") Even if they don't kick, however, having an extra advantage may help you win the net-benefits debate.

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COG 2016 generics-only sourcebook - NCFCA/Stoa (thread)
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:35 am 
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The problem with Counter-plans in the 2NC is that they shift the negative advocacy halfway through the round. It is very similar to the Affirmative team changing their plan during any part of the round. People say "C means Constructive!", but I think most people would agree that the Affirmative can't change their plan in the 2AC, even if it is a "Constructive" speech.

If the Negative shifts advocacy from the 1NC to the 2NC, then that means the 1NC and 2AC speeches have been totally wasted. CPs in the 2NC substantially decrease the quality of the debate round.

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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:40 pm 
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RPatz wrote:
The problem with Counter-plans in the 2NC is that they shift the negative advocacy halfway through the round. It is very similar to the Affirmative team changing their plan during any part of the round. People say "C means Constructive!", but I think most people would agree that the Affirmative can't change their plan in the 2AC, even if it is a "Constructive" speech.

Actually, over half of the college debate circuit (myself included) would say that, theoretically, the aff can run a new aff out of the 2AC. Its not smart from a strategic standpoint, because then you let the neg block tee off on it, but theoretically there's no problem with it.

Quote:
If the Negative shifts advocacy from the 1NC to the 2NC, then that means the 1NC and 2AC speeches have been totally wasted. CPs in the 2NC substantially decrease the quality of the debate round.

No, they aren't wasted, they become part of the game; any semi-decent aff or neg will extend and leverage what was said in the 1AC-2AC against/for the CP. That's....usually why you would run a new CP or K in the 2NC; the aff gave you an awesome link. Heck, I've run a new K in the PMR (parli version of the 2AR) because the neg was racist in the speech just before that, and it was an immigration round. I wouldn't suggest that, but its not a problem theoretically. Also, if the neg needs a set advocacy in the 1NC, then they can't bring up new DAs, solvency answers, etc in the 2NC. They also can't run conditional CPs or Ks, because the decision to kick (and thus their advocacy) doesn't come until the 1AR. That's why, again, the majority of the NFA, NDT/CEDA, and NPDA circuits say new/conditional CPs are fine. As for "decreasing quality of the debate," that's simply not true. If you've ever seen a round with a 2NC CP or cond CP between two high-level teams, those rounds are straight-up awesome.

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