El Cerrito Berman Parli and IE Invitational

2020 — El Cerrito, CA, CA/US

Tournament announcements, including parli resolutions, can be found here:




Update 2/18/2020: You can download the release form on the main page. You can upload completed forms by going to "Entries," then clicking on the individual entry whose forms you want to upload.


Greetings to All,

El Cerrito High School Speech and Debate warmly invites you to attend our first annual Berman Invitational, a one-day tournament featuring both parliamentary debate and individual events. The tournament will offer prelims in debate and three prelims in IEs, all breaking to finals.  


The tournament will be held on Saturday, Feburary 29, 2020 (Leap Year!) at El Cerrito High School. We are located at 540 Ashbury Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530.

Cathy and Sandy Berman were beloved long-time coaches here at El Cerrito, who dedicated themselves to forensic education both at El Cerrito and in the larger community, and led the ECHS team to competitive success over many years. This tournament is dedicated to them.



We will offer SPAR, DI, HI, Duo Interp, OI, OO, POI, Extemp, The Moth Storytelling, Impromptu Eulogy, and Dual Improv With Props.

A bit of explanation about our less common events.



               SPAR: One-on-one mini debates.

2 minutes prep

2 minute Aff constructive (followed by 1 minute cross-examination)

2 minute Neg constructive (followed by 1 minute cross-examination)  

1 minute Neg rebuttal

1 minute Aff rebuttal


Impromptu Eulogy: standard impromptu rules (2 minutes of prep for a 5 minute speech), except, well, you’re pretending somebody famous just died, and you’re giving the eulogy.


Dual Improv with Props: a team of two people draw two random props out of a box. Ten minutes to prepare an Expository speech, improv scene, or story inspired by those two props. During a given speech, the next team will prep.


Moth-Style Storytelling: speaker chooses one of three prompts, then has five minutes to prep a five minute true story from the speaker’s own life. Stories must have a narrative arc with in-depth detail, ending with a moral or lesson (like The Moth).



We plan to offer novice and varsity divisions in all events, but reserve the right to collapse divisions based on entries. Novice is defined as first year of competition in debate (for parli) and first year of competition in IEs (for IEs).


Double and Triple Entry and Beyond

You really should double enter. The schedule makes it easy. Are you a debater who has always wanted to try SPAR--or some other speech event? Or perhaps a speech person who has always wanted to try debate? Now's your chance!


Competitors may enter as many events as they like. Entering debate and one IE will be a straightforward matter; beyond that, you’re on your own: it’s allowed, but you alone are responsible for being in the right place at the right time.




One parli judge covers two teams. One IE judge covers 5 entries. The uncovered parli entry fee is $75. For IEs, it is $25.



Let’s face it, plastic is destroying the planet. So, after watching The Story of Stuff, we’ve decided not to stimulate the manufacture of more fossil-fuel-based statuettes. Instead, we will give out (reused and recycled!) trophies handed down from past graduates and/or certificates!


$20 school fee. IE entries are $15 ($25 for two-person events). Parli entries are $40 (novice) and $50 (open). Please make all adds and drops by February 20 at 5 pm. You will still be able to make changes and drops on-line after that, but you will be charged $25 for changes, and drops will be non-refundable.



We will provide breakfast and lunch to judges and coaches. Competitors may purchase lunch.


Parli Rules/Flextime!

Internet and partner prep, except that one preliminary round will follow New York Parliamentary Debate League prep rules: “Each team will have 15 minutes to prepare without the help of any outside sources, such as prepared briefs, the internet, coaches, and any other research material.” 

The tournament will use flextime for all rounds, as follows:


PMC: a 5-minute constructive speech given by the first Government speaker


Opp flex: 2-minute flex time controlled by the Opposition


LOC: a 7-minute constructive speech given by the first Opposition speaker


Gov flex: 2-minute flex time controlled by the Government


MG: a 7-minute constructive given by the second Government speaker


Opp Flex: 1-minute flex time controlled by the Opposition


MO: a 9-minute speech given by the second Opposition speaker. No new arguments in final 3 minutes. 


Gov flex: 1-minute flex time controlled by the Government


PMR: a 4-minute rebuttal given by the first Government speaker


Flex time may be used by the controlling team to prepare arguments, have the two partners talk to each other,  and/or cross-examine the other team. In the case of cross-examination, either partner may ask/answer questions.


No Points of Information in this round. Points of Order allowed in PMR and the final 3 minutes of MO only. In rebuttals, debaters are allowed to make new responses if it is their first opportunity to do so.


This is the last weekend that tournament points count for NPDL Tournament of Champions qualification, so make it count!