This post is about a small, strategic step, which you can add to your arsenal of Negative strategies.
( For more reference, I expanded an idea that I got from a post on Travis Herche’s blog, and I encourage you to follow it. Enter the flexible strategy ‘Blitz the Negative.’ Forgive me if many of you already know this, but hear me out.
1NC – Instead of response to the harms, or defense of the SQ – stick with just off case arguments ( and maybe some plan side). Only run Topicality, DA’s, Significance, Vagueness, Specification, etc… If you have your three killer DA’s, then run them in the 1NC. This ensures that the judge knows bad things will happen from the start.
2AC – Due to your tactic, the 2A cannot use their pre-prepared responses to harms – or solvency, not to mention boosting the Aff. advantages. The 2A must spend time debating YOUR arguments. This means that potentially, there are sixteen minuets being spent on your arguments thus far, and only eight on the Aff’s.
2NC – Now you can bring up all the on case responses that you have been itching to run. Take out solvency with a folding chair. Then bring out the big guns on plan side attack. Advantage responses are good here too. Communication between you are your partner is key. Make sure you both know what the other is running.
1NR – Now, respond to the 2A, and bring through all your DA’s (make sure to use impact calculus). This means that there has now been potentially 29 minuets spent on Neg. arguments and only 15 or so spent on Aff case, and your responses. The 2NC counts both ways – for you and against you.
1AR – The 1A is now caught between answering the full fledged DA’s, and responding to all the on case arguments. More likely than not, he/she will inadequately answer at least one or two arguments. If you are lucky, he/she will even drop something. You can overload the 1AR in new ways.
The rest of the round proceeds as normal.
I realize that this strategy looks a lot like Split the Neg. I would bet money that many debaters have subconsciously been doing this for a while, just as part of their nature.
Some things to keep in mind. This strategy works best with lots of evidence and material to use. However, you are not limited to evidence. This strategy also looks a lot like what a Opposition team does in Parliamentary. Many times the opposition team will take the whole first speech to present their own contentions – some of which are not related to Gov. arguments. Not only does the judge hear your arguments debated for 75% of the round, but the debate skips all the re-iterations of why the Aff. case is so good. Last thing, I cannot stress how important partner communication is. Pre-round, and in-round, make sure you communicate. Make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to who’s running what. Don’t assume they know everything to run, and don’t assume you know everything either. Whisper, write, I don’t care how you do it, but get on the same boat.
Thank you for humoring me! Good luck, and go win some negative rounds.
Currently a junior, Thaddeus is a second year Stoa debater in CONTROL Speech & Debate, California.