acronym Plan Inclusive Counterplan; noun

A term used in policy debate to describe a plan presented by the negative team that includes aspects of the affirmative team's plan with a few exceptions. These types of counterplans are seen as competitive because they access the benefits of the affirmative plan and seemingly avoid the disadvantages the negative team claims the original plan has.


PIC is an accepted word in the debate community, both at the high school and collegiate level. In policy debate, the affirmative team will present a plan that affirms the resolution. For instance, if the resolution states: "Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase alternative energy incentives in the United States", then the affirmative team might propose to pass some piece of legislation that deals with alternative energy incentives. As a PIC the negative team could say pass the legislation but replace 'alternative energy' with 'clean energy' because clean is politically neutral word.

Debaters often use acronyms in their speech because of the fast pace of the debate. Policy debaters in particular must make a lot of arguments and read evidence to support every claim in what they would consider a very short amount of time (8 minutes). Because most of their judges are also apart of the debate community, using acronyms does not affect communication as the judge is likely to understand these terms as well. Thus, this term and many others could be considered shibboleths to determine the experience of the debater. It would be more likely to be used by varsity debaters and hired judges than novice debaters and lay judges.

Etymology :
acronym form of:
1. plan: a proposed course of action, alteration of L. planum 'level or flat surface'
2. inclusive: from L. in- 'in, into' + clud~clus 'close' + ive 'adj inflection - demonstrative'
3. counterplan: compound of counter-~contra- 'against, facing' + plan
Source :
"We will be running a PIC, so their exact plan but change the agent to the United Nations." (Pacific Meets the Delta Swing Tournament, Stockton, CA: November 9, 2008)
Last modified: 29 November 2008


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