So with that resolved, I'll jump into the discussion.
I researched quite a bit about counter plans, and I read in a book that for a counter plan to be valid, it must be three things:
Was this in the DFW sourcebook?
1. Non-topical (This seems to be because if it was topical, then it would be affirming the resolution, and thereby saying the affirmative team was right)
Yes when you run a normal counterplan, but no when the counterplan is inferred. My partner and I run counterplans all the time but not as in here is our plan, mandates, etc. We just say hold on a sec the plan the AFF team presented is not the best solution (and there own evidence advocates a different solution) you should not vote AFF when their plan is not the best solution.
2. Competitive with the Affirmative plan (In other words, you can't enact both)
Again no, plan inclusive counterplans are perfectly valid as well (when run correctly) the argument is basically we should add another mandate to the aff team's plan in order to make it solvent/not lead to XYZ DAs. Again the judge shouldn't waste their ballot on a bill that is not in it's best/final form
3. Advantaged (The plan needs to have advantages)
And finally. No dur, who would ever run a counterplan that has no advantages :P?
Now, I did read on Wikipedia that there is something called the Negation theory, which says that the Negative can agree with the resolution but just has to refute the Affirmative's case. But that was Wikipedia. ;) I couldn't find it anywhere else. It seems the vast majority of the alumni/professionals/scholars/coaches believes that a topical counter plan is an automatic surrender by the negative team.
This theory is also known as parametrics. Basically saying as soon as a plan is presented the whole resolution narrows to a debate of the plan, the best argument for it is the real world (congress, parliment, etc.) also it is team POLICY debate and so we are debating the policy and not a truth statement (i.e. the Rez). With that said I just ignore debate theory in my 1nc, why even go there? If the AFF wants to debate it fine I wreck them on it but it comes across better when the judge isn't even given a reason to believe counterplans are invalid.
Thoughts from those of you who are experienced?
There you go.