Category Archives: Affirmative Strategy

Some thoughts on permutations

One thing that has annoyed me a lot recently is the proliferation of a million rapid fire permutations in the 2AC. These things work because oftentimes the other team won’t here them all, or the judge will allow the affirmative to clarify later in the 1AR/2AR what the 3 words said in the 2AC meant and how that avoids the net benefit. So I’ve put together some thoughts on how judges should evaluate permutations and how debaters should respond to them.

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New Affirmatives at the TOC: How Did They Fare?

There were substantially fewer new cases read at this year’s TOC than in the recent past. But how did they do? I would like to compile a comprehensive list—the following is what I have so far:

Head Royce, Round 1, vs. Rowland Hall AF, LOSS
St. George’s, Round 1, vs. Wayzata, LOSS
Ashland, Round 2, vs. Lexington CS, LOSS
St. Francis AP, Round 2, vs. Head Royce, LOSS
GDS, Round 3, vs. Kinkaid, LOSS
St. George’s, Round 3, vs. Westwood, LOSS
Pembroke HV, Round 4, vs. CPS PT, LOSS
Glenbrook South KS, Round 5, vs. Rowland Hall AF, LOSS
McDonogh, Round 5, vs. Woodward, LOSS
St. Mark’s, Round 5, vs. Glenbrook North MP, LOSS
Eden Prairie, Round 6, vs. Dallas Jesuit, LOSS
Rowland Hall FT, Round 6, vs. Pembroke HV, LOSS
Whitney Young, Round 6, vs. Kinkaid, LOSS
Pembroke HV, Round 7, vs. Chattahoochee VW, LOSS
Woodward, Octafinals, vs. Rowland Hall AF, LOSS
Chattahoochee CR, Octafinals, vs. Westminster, LOSS
Glenbrook South DT, Octafinals, vs. Bronx, LOSS

Gulliver Prep, Round 1, vs. MBA, WIN
Harker PM, Round 1, vs. Rowland Hall FT, WIN
Oak Park-River Forest, Round 1, vs. Harker, WIN
Westwood MT, Round 4, vs. MBA, WIN
Edina, Round 5, vs. Grapevine, WIN
New Trier, Round 5, vs. CPS, WIN
Ashland, Round 6, vs. Damien FV, WIN
Westminster, Round 6, vs. Chattahoochee, WIN
Woodward, Round 6, vs. Bronx, WIN
New Trier, Round 7, vs. Chattahoochee CR, WIN
Pembroke BS, Round 7, vs. CR Washington, WIN
Westminster, Quarterfinals, vs. Bronx Science, WIN

Please use the comments to post additions/corrections using this format (team reading the new aff, the round, vs. opposing team, WIN/LOSS).

Changing The Federal Poverty Measure: A Viable New Affirmative at the TOC?

One of the affirmatives that was produced during the summer at both the Baylor and Northwestern institutes advocated a change in the Federal Poverty Measure in order to provide more needy individuals with access to means-tested social services. To the best of my knowledge, however, no teams have consistently read this affirmative during the season—at least not on the national circuit. Will this be a popular new case at this weekend’s Tournament of Champions? A few thoughts about the viability of this affirmative are below the fold.

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Defending The Affirmative: Tips For Answering Multi-Plank Counterplans

An increasingly popular negative strategy in high school debate over the past two seasons has centered around the multi-plank counterplan. Most often associated with Michigan State University at the college level, the multi-plank counterplan is presented as a single off-case position that includes two or more “planks” in its text. Instead of presenting multiple counterplans as separate off-case positions, in other words, the multi-plank counterplan presents them as a single argument.

Typically composed of multiple policy options aimed at solving all or part of the affirmative case while avoiding a disadvantage that links only to the plan but not the counterplan, the multi-plank counterplan is now commonplace in high-level debates and has become a potent weapon in the negative’s strategic arsenal.

Affirmative teams that fail to adapt and keep up with this negative innovation are putting themselves behind the proverbial eight ball. This article is an attempt to help affirmative debaters effectively respond to the multi-plank counterplan and construct a winning strategy to defeat it.

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Answering impact calc in the 1ar 2- the basics- The DA does not turn the case

The most important impact argument you have to answer is “turns the case”. This is something a lot of judges latch onto when deciding close debates and it always goes badly for the aff. Basically once they can see there is not a clear aff ballot they kind of go “eh, disad turns the case, neg” without needing to put in much more thought. Not that this judging approach is entirely without merit mind you- often turns the case will be the only actual comparative impact assessment given by either side.

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Answering Impact Calc in the 1AR- Part 1 Opening thoughts

The 2NC extends politics and does their usual song and dance:

The disad o/w the case- timeframe, probability, magnitude, and here is a card that says were there to be a war, the affirmative’s advantage would in fact become a disadvantage!

This is where most 1AR’s fold and pretend if they ignore it that it will go away. There even seems to be an inverse relationship between quality of 2NC impact analysis (or outlandishness occasionally) and propensity of the 1AR to answer it. If this description fits your 1AR’s you should probably change that.

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