Cal Invitational UC Berkeley

2025 — Berkeley, CA/US

2025 California Invitational
Hosted by Berkeley Debate
February 15-17, 2025


This is your formal invitation to the 2025 Cal Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament, to be held February 15-17, 2025.

We plan to hold our usual offering of both speech and debate events in-person for all three days of competition. We will also offer online-only parliamentary and world schools debate divisions.

Entry Procedures and Waitlist


We do not accept paper checks. To enter the tournament you will need to pay online through Tabroom, using either a credit card or an e-check/ACH. See your Tabroom invoice on the “Fees” tab of your entry for additional payment details. Note that credit card transactions will automatically have a 4% handling fee added to your invoice. A W-9 is available on the right for those of you that require one for your accounting department.

Every year we have a waitlist for all events. We will also have entry caps in most events. You will not be guaranteed a spot until you submit payment and are cleared from the waitlist. To increase your chance of being cleared from the waitlist we strongly recommend that you submit payment well before the January 17th entry deadline. Many programs submit payment in early Fall; the longer you wait, the lower your chances of getting off the waitlist. Do not make any non-refundable travel arrangements until your entries have been moved off the waitlist on Tabroom and into the tournament.

All entries, accompanied by fees, must be received by January 17th in order to be considered for entry into the tournament. It is also VERY possible that we will have to turn away entries due to space limitations.

The drop deadline is also January 17th. You will not be refunded for drops subsequent to this date.

For the online Parli division only, fee waivers may be granted upon request and to schools which are members of Urban Debate League (UDL) programs. For information, please email the tournament.

Events and Divisions

Open CX

Open LD

Open PF
Middle School PF

Varsity Congressional Debate

MS Congressional Debate

Varsity World Schools Debate (online, no in-person component)

Varsity Parliamentary Debate (online, no in-person component)

Dramatic Interpretation
Humorous Interpretation
Duo Interpretation
Extemporaneous Speaking
Impromptu Speaking
Informative Speaking
Original Oratory
Program Oral Interpretation

We reserve the right to cancel or combine divisions with insufficient entries, and will notify participants in advance of any COVID-related changes.

All divisions will receive trophies for all elimination round participants.

There will be 4 preliminary rounds of individual events, 5 preliminary rounds of Open Debate divisions, and 6 preliminary rounds of TOC Debate divisions. Specific event schedules will be released on Tabroom in advance of the tournament.

Students may double enter in-person in speech and debate, and may double enter in speech events except extemp. All double entry is at a student’s own risk. No accommodations will be made for a student missing a round due to double entry. Students may only participate in elimination rounds in one event due to scheduling - students clearing to elims in multiple events will have to choose which event to continue in.

TOC divisions are a Tournament of Champions qualifier in the following:
Double Octafinals in Silver PF
Octafinals in Gold PF
Octafinals in CX
Octafinals in LD
Top 6 in Congress
Speech events according to size

Tentative Schedule

We will have a completely revised schedule for 2025. The below is extremelytentative and will likely not be finalized until early 2025. During the tournament, the schedule remains subject to change as necessary.

Saturday 7:45a Open Debate/Speech Round 1
Saturday 10:00a TOC Debate Round 1
Saturday 12:30p Open Debate/Speech Round 2
Saturday 3:00p TOC Debate Round 2
Saturday 5:30p Open Debate/Speech Round 3
Saturday 8:00p TOC Debate Round 3

Sunday 7:45a Open Debate/Speech Round 4
Sunday 10:00a TOC Debate Round 4
Sunday 12:30p Open Debate/Speech Round 5
Sunday 3:00p TOC Debate Round 5
Sunday 5:30p Open Debate/Speech Elim 1
Sunday 8:00p TOC Debate Round 6

Monday 8:00a TOC Debate Elim 1 & Open Debate/Speech Elim 2
Monday 10:30a TOC Debate Elim 2 & Open Debate/Speech Elim 3
Monday 1:00p TOC Debate Elim 3 & Open Debate/Speech Elim 4
Monday 3:30p TOC Debate Elim 4
Monday 6:00p TOC Debate Elim 5
Monday 8:30p TOC Debate Elim 6

Policy Debate will use the 2024-2025 NSDA topic.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate will use the 2024-2025 January-February NSDA topic.

Public Forum Debate will use the February 2025 NSDA topic.


Events generally follow CHSSA rules ( Debate events follow TOC/NSDA rules for things like side flips and internet usage rules. In the event CHSSA does not cover an event or scenario, we defer to NSDA rules ( Some events may have specific rules modifications; these may be communicated by the respective tabroom staff, or printed directly on the ballots provided to judges.

We expect attendees to abide by the NSDA's Harrasment and Discrimination Policy:

Judge Commitments

Judge commitments for each event are listed as part of your Tabroom entry. Note that judges may not double enter events.

All judges are committed through the first elim on Monday (usually the Double or Triple Octafinals depending on event size), or one round beyond the elimination of your teams, whichever is later. Even if your school doesn’t have any teams in elimination rounds, your judges are still committed through the first elimination round on Monday. Elim judging commitments also apply in all divisions of an event so if you have a JV team in your Varsity judges are still committed and vice versa.

If you have debaters in the elimination rounds, you must provide at least one judge per entry that is available to judge in the elimination rounds. Failure to provide adequate judging to cover your entries in elimination rounds will result in dropping your entries.

If you have judges who can only come for certain days/rounds there is a way to indicate that on Tabroom. After you have entered the judge there will be a link for “Availability.” When you click on that link you will be able to turn off judges for particular round/days. It’s very important that you enter that information into the website to avoid missed judging fees.

Note that you are responsible for covering your judging obligations in all time slots - marking a judge as unavailable means you will need to provide another judge that can cover the obligation during that time slot.

All judges must be 18 years or older, and not currently enrolled in high school.

All judges must have a valid phone number entered in Tabroom.

Hired Judging

The tournament will have limited hired judging available. All judge hire requests should be submitted via Tabroom. Hired judging fees are not refundable.

If you would like to be hired as a judge by the tournament (and are not already obligated for a full commitment with a school), please fill out the form here:


The penalty for a judge failing to report to an assigned round is $100 per round. This fine is assessed even when a replacement judge is found.

All entry fees and any other penalties/fines must be paid in full before a team will be allowed to advance to the elimination rounds (or the next elim).

Decision Times

Decision times will be strictly enforced. Policy rounds must be decided two hours after the announced start time, and LD/PF rounds must be decided fifty five minutes after the announced start time.

COVID Safety Protocols

All attendees are solely responsible for following all guidelines from your institution. The Cal Invitational accepts no responsibility or liability for the health of tournament attendees. All participation in the tournament is at your own risk.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is strongly recommended for all tournament attendees. However, there is no tournament vaccination requirement.

We will utilize the best practices and any rules and regulations required by the University or recommended by the CDC. We will keep attendees updated with specific policies as we get closer to the event.


All students must be entered in the tournament by an adult (18+) who is legally responsible for all entries attending the tournament as part of that Tabroom entry. If entered representing a school or club, that adult must be authorized to act on behalf of the school/club (e.g. a school coach, school administrator, or club administrator).

Independent entry is allowed, however, all independent entries must have the word "Independent" in the name of their Tabroom school on their tournament registration. Independent entries may not represent themselves as affiliated with a school.

The designated adult contact in Tabroom for the school's entry (or independent entry) must also be an adult authorized to act on behalf of, and legally responsible for, the entire entry. The designated adult contact for the entry must be reachable by phone and remain within a 5 minute walk of campus at all times during competition.

Hybrid teams (entries from more than one school/club) are not allowed. If attending affiliated with a school, it must be the school at which the student attends classes and plans to graduate.

Students may not enter themselves. A parent/guardian not officially affiliated with a school may not act as the authorized adult for students other than their own children.

Failure to abide by these policies is grounds for immediate removal from the tournament. Refunds will not be provided.

Both the TOC and Open divisions of debate events are open entry for 6th-12th grades. We leave it to the coach's discretion which division is most appropriate for their students.

Middle School PF and Middle School Congress are for students in grades 6th-8th.

Maverick Entries

Maverick teams are not permitted to enter prior to the tournament. If a team becomes maverick due to illness of a partner during the tournament, the ill debater may miss no more than 2 debates to be able to return and continue debating. Mavericks may win the debate. Mavericks will not be permitted to clear to elimination rounds.

Hotel Information

Hotel block information is posted on the link on the sidebar, and will be updated as more hotels are added.

We look forward to hosting you!

Nathan Fleming

Director, Berkeley Debate