Round Robin at Berkeley

2021 — Online, CA/US




Dear Colleagues,


You are invited to send up to two parliamentary debate teams to the first Round Robin at Berkeley, hosted on April 24th and 25th by Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley. 


For the varsity division, on Saturday, five rounds of preliminary competition adjudicated by two qualified critics each will determine the participants in the “round-robin” style elimination rounds, held on Sunday. Judge qualifications are outlined in Part 3 of this invitation. The team winning the most ballots on Sunday will win the Round Robin at Berkeley. Because of the round-robin nature of this tournament’s elimination rounds and the need to provide quality judge preference, as a condition of entry ALL CRITICS will be committed through Sunday night.


Please review details of the tournament noted in this invitation. If you have any questions, please contact the team at We hope to see you at the end of April!  



TOURNAMENT RULES – Except as specified in this invitation, NPDL-TOC regulations will govern the tournament. Hybrid teams will be allowed to compete. Their entry will count as 1 full entry for one of their respective institutions. Three person teams are not allowed to compete. One maverick (single-person) team will be accepted per institution. While every effort will be made to solve any problems that arise through consultation with all involved teams, the tournament director has final say in all matters related to the tournament in order to ensure the completion of the tournament. 

TOURNAMENT ENTRY – Entries will be accepted at Look for the “Round Robin at Berkeley” link. Each institution is guaranteed two entries, and extra entries will be put on the waitlist. Decisions about the waitlist will be made once we have a good understanding of the size of the tournament.  Entries must be completed by 11:00 pm Pacific time on Monday, April 19th, 2021. Any changes to teams must be made by Wednesday, March 21st, 2021. Judge entries will also be due April 22nd. Depending on entry size, coaches will confer to establish run-off round procedures that will determine qualifications for the Round Robin portion of the tournament (Sunday). 

TIMES FOR DEBATES – Following the announcement of the topic, debaters will have 25 minutes to prepare arguments and be present, ready to begin the debate. Each round of competition will utilize the following times:

Prime Minister Constructive: 7 minutes

Cross-Examination of PMC: 3 minutes

Leader of Opposition Constructive: 8 minutes

Cross-Examination of LOC: 3 minutes

Member of Government Constructive: 8 minutes

Cross-Examination of MGC: 3 minutes

Member of Opposition Constructive: 8 minutes

Cross-Examination of MOC: 3 minutes

Leader of Opposition Rebuttal: 4 minutes

Prime Minister Rebuttal: 5 minutes


Additionally, points of information are allowed during constructive speeches at the discretion of the debater who has the floor.

DISCLOSURE - Please help us keep on schedule. Ballots must be submitted before disclosure/discussion. Ballots are due 1 hour and 45 minutes after the announcement of the motion. Following the deadline for submission of ballots, time has been built into the schedule to allow critics to disclose their decisions and give feedback to debaters. 

POSTINGS & RESULTS – The pairings and results of the previous round will be made available at While every effort will be made to ensure that results postings are timely, keeping the tournament on schedule will supersede results postings. 




PRELIMINARY ROUNDS – Each preliminary debate will be adjudicated by two critics. The computer will randomly match round one. Rounds two through five will be power-matched based upon the results of all previous rounds. Power-matching will be high-low in win-loss brackets. When brackets are uneven, teams with the weakest opposition record will be pulled up to the next highest win-loss bracket. The tournament will use the tabroom tabulation software. 

PRELIMINARY ROUND TOPICS – Topics for debate will be determined by the tournament topic committee. The tournament topic committee membership will be announced within the next few weeks.

ELIMINATION ROUNDS - Advancement to and seeding in elimination rounds will be first based upon ballot count, followed by Z-Score (judge variance), then adjusted speaker points, next total speaker points, and finally by opposition record. Because the elimination rounds format is round-robin in nature, if two teams from the same school both advance, they will debate. Teams from the same school will be pre-selected to debate in the first RR debate of Sunday. 

The top 6 teams will advance to the Round Robin portion of the tournament. The tournament will do its best to avoid leaving teams with similar records out of the Round Robin debates. If a “clean break” at 8-2, 7-3, or 6-4 yields a full round-robin field (6 teams), then no debate-in round will take place. However, if necessary, a sudden death “debate-in” round may be scheduled. 

SIDES & MOTIONS – Prior to each elimination debate, after viewing pairings and judging panels and having a chance to review judging philosophies, matched teams will be asked to offer one possible resolution for the debate. Before teams are able to view both resolutions, participants will flip a coin with the winner choosing the right to select (a) the resolution for the debate among the 2 resolution choices offered by the 2 matched teams or (b) the ability to assign the sides for the debate.

After that decision is made, both teams will view the resolutions (2 minutes). At the conclusion of that time period, the team choosing the resolution will do so; then, the team selecting the sides for the debate will do so (1 minute review period). In the event that matched teams submit the exact same resolution, matched teams will flip only for sides.

Submitted resolutions should be debatable and educational as well as non-harassing and non-hostile. Teams are, otherwise, encouraged to be innovative in the construction of their resolutions. The tournament director (host) reserves the right to refuse a submitted resolution due to violation of campus policy (i.e. the resolution language constitutes harassment of an individual participant, protected group, is discriminatory, etc.). In the unlikely situation that must occur, the submitting team will simply be asked to revise or re-submit another resolution. 

FINAL PLACING – In the round-robin portion of the tournament, teams will first be ranked by total ballot count, followed by head-to-head matchups (based on ballots from day 2), and if needed Z-Score (judge variance).

JUDGE ASSIGNMENT – The tournament will use mutually preferred judging (MPJ) assignments to assign critics in a way that ensures as much mutuality as possible, while also attempting to maximize preference. 




ENTRY FEES - Fees will be assessed at the entry deadline. Each team will cost $40.00. Payment can be made through check or PayPal only. Checks should be made payable to “Parliamentary Debate at Berkeley.” PayPal payments should be sent to We cannot accept credit cards. The $40.00 per team covers entry and ensures that the tournament does not run at a loss. We cannot accept uncovered teams for the Round Robin, unless contacted in advance. It is your responsibility to ensure that your teams are covered. 

OPEN JUDGING COMMITMENT – One judge is required for every team entered into the tournament. No exceptions. All judges are obligated through Sunday night. In order to have panels for the round robin portion of the tournament, judges are committed through the entirety of the tournament, even if their teams do not advance to the second day of competition.
A qualified judge is at least a high school graduate or equivalent AND a coach or former open debater. Experience in debate events outside of parliamentary debate is accepted. Any questions about what characterizes a qualified judge should be directed to

AWARDS – The Top Speaker and Tournament Champion will both receive awards. Each team advancing to the Round Robin portion of the tournament will receive awards as well. Speaker awards will be determined first by adjusted points, then by total points, followed by double adjusted points and finally by judge variance (Z-score). 

RECORDING OF ROUNDS – Affirmative consent is required from all tournament participants and critics that you wish to record via audio or video. Without affirmative consent you may not record.

PLATFORM – We would like to use Discord to run the tournament. This would help us keep tournament costs low, as well as making it easier for us to organize rounds. However, we are aware that some school districts prohibit their teams from attending tournaments run on Discord. If you are in this position, please let us know as soon as possible at Since we’re guessing the tournament will be fairly small, the plan is to default to Discord unless there are any teams who cannot use Discord that wish to attend, in which case we will use NSDA Campus.