2019 Golden Gate Invitational

2019 — Berkeley, CA/US

Dear Friends,


Please join us for this year’s installment of the Golden Gate Invitational, held at UC Berkeley’s campus this October 26-27, 2019.  We will offer six preliminary rounds of NPDA parliamentary debate and plan to break all teams with a winning record.




Saturday, October 26

8:00 AM—8:30 AM                 Registration (Dwinelle Hall)

8:30 AM                                  Topic Announcement, Round 1

10:15 AM                                Topic Announcement, Round 2

11:45 AM—1:30 PM               Lunch

1:30 PM                                  Topic Announcement, Round 3

3:30 PM                                  Topic Announcement, Round 4

5:30 PM                                  Topic Announcement, Round 5

7:30 PM                                  Topic Announcement, Round 6


Sunday, October 27

8:30 AM                                  Elimination Debate 1

10:30 AM                                Elimination Debate 2

1:00 PM                                  Awards

1:30 PM                                  Elimination Debate 3

3:30 PM                                  Elimination Debate 4

5:30 PM                                  Elimination Debate 5 (if necessary)


 **Please note: We reserve the right to adjust the schedule as necessary. If the schedule is adjusted, we will notify all participants as soon as possible.  We anticipate that all rounds will be held in Dwinelle Hall.


NPDA/NPTE Parliamentary Debate


The Golden Gate Invitational offers 6 rounds of open NPDA/NPTE parliamentary debate. All competitors who meet NPDA eligibility standards are welcome to compete in the open division, regardless of experience level. We will break up to 32 competitors with a 4-2 record. Topics will be announced at a central location and released online, and teams will have 20 minutes to prepare before the round. Rather than a strict forfeit rule, teams arriving at their room after the end of the 20 minutes prep will have the time that they are late to the round subtracted from their first constructive speech (ex: if the affirmative team is 1 minute late, this would result in a 6 minute PMC, or a 7 minute LOC if the negative is 1 minute late). The team will forfeit the round when the entirety of the first constructive speech has run out.

We will be using 2 minute flex time after the PMC and LOC, and 1 minute flex time after the MGC and LOR to be used for preparation or cross-examination (same flex time system as NPTE). We highly encourage judge disclosure (though we ask that you turn in your ballot before doing so) and will post all results online. We will administer the tournament in accordance with NPDA rules and will be sanctioned by the NPDA. Teams will be seeded based on W-L record, adjusted speaker points, opponent wins, total speaker points, double adjusted speaker points, and a random number, in that order. We will break brackets in elimination rounds.

We will use the mutual preference judging system to allow teams to rank their judges.  We plan to offer at least three categories, dependent on the number of entries.  We also plan to offer strikes, as long as there are enough judges. We reserve the right to waive MPJ if teams do not bring an adequate number of judges.




One judge will cover 2 debate teams. Teams may share half-commitments, but otherwise we expect judges to be available for every round. If you choose to split your commitment between multiple judges, we will do our best to give your judges rounds off, but reserve the right to “draft” your excess judges if we cannot avoid doing so without disregarding strikes. If we do so, we will either (a) try to relieve your judges of their elimination round commitments or, failing that, (b) pay them $20 per extra round judged.

Please bring sufficient judges to cover your entries! We charge a steep uncovered judge fee because it has historically been difficult to hire enough judges to cover all uncovered teams. Judges must have an undergraduate degree or be out of competitive eligibility. Judges are committed for one full elimination round beyond the round in which their school is eliminated. We request that all critics upload a philosophy on tabroom.com.


Each additional uncovered debate entry costs $200. Not a typo.

If you have judges in excess of your commitment, we would like to hire them. We will offer $20 per round, and will pay judges willing to commit to the entire weekend an extra $25 on top of any rounds judged. Experienced judges may be offered a premium rate for the weekend. Please email calparli@gmail.com or tgreenan@berkeley.edu for more details.


Entry Procedure

We will handle entries through tabroom.com, at:


Please submit all entries by Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 8PM PST. This is a hard deadline. Schools will be responsible for the cost of any drops after this date. 



If you must bring a car/van, parking is available in several structures near campus for a fee. Please see http://pt.berkeley.edu/parking/visitor for details. On Sunday, street meters are not enforced; so street parking is free and highly recommended. One note on transportation: It is not necessary to rent a car/van to attend the Golden Gate Invitational. Berkeley is highly accessible by public transportation, and there are MANY restaurants around the campus. Please consult the link above for more information on public transportation.



We will charge the following fees; however, if these are at all financially prohibitive to your team, please email us to discuss potential fee breaks or reductions:

$100/NPDA entry

$50 school fee (waived for NCFA member schools and student-run programs). 

$200/uncovered team (in addition to entry fees).


Fee Breaks:
Due to the increasing costs to reserve space on campus in the last few years, we have been forced to increase the registration fee this year. However, our aim is to make this tournament as accessible as possible, particularly to student-run and other low-budget teams. As such, if this fee is unaffordable, please email us at calparli@gmail.com or tgreenan@berkeley.edu and we will do our best to provide fee breaks or negotiate reciprocity agreements on a case-by-case basis.

We tend to be very generous, but cannot help you if you do not contact us first. We expect that any team receiving a fee break will assist us in covering their entries with qualified judges.