Golden Gate Invitational

2017 — Berkeley, CA/US

Link to GGI 2017 Topic and Tournament Announcements:


Dear Friends,

Please join us for this year’s installment of the Golden Gate Invitational, held at UC Berkeley’s campus this October 28-29, 2017.  We will offer six preliminary rounds of NPDA parliamentary debate and plan to break all teams with a winning record.

This invitation contains information on our schedule, as well as registration and logistical information. If you have any questions, please feel free to send them to Additionally, registration and further updates will be available on Tabroom at:

We look forward to seeing you this fall!



Trevor Greenan, Tournament Director



Saturday, October 28

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

Sunday, October 29

8:30 AM                                    Topic Announcement, Round 6

10:30 AM                                  Elimination Debate 1

1:00 PM                                                Awards

ASAP                                        Elimination Debate 2 through Finals.


 **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 have a warm room with all results posted. 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 one full elimination round beyond the round in which their school is eliminated. We request that all critics upload a philosophy on


Each additional uncovered debate entry costs $150. 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 for more details.


Entry Procedure

We will handle entries through, at:

Please submit all entries by Wednesday, October 18, 2017.  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 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:

$65/NPDA entry

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

$150/uncovered team.


We are willing to provide fee breaks or negotiate reciprocity agreements on a case-by-case basis.  Please email us at if you are interested. 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 cover their entries with qualified judges.



We will recognize the following with awards:

·       All teams advancing to the elimination rounds;

·       The top 10 speakers;

·       The top 3 schools in sweepstakes, as well as the top community college (3 points per prelim win and 3 points for each team in elimination rounds, based on a school’s top four teams).


All those receiving an award will be presented with a certificate for their success; sweepstake certificates will be framed. We will be sanctioned by the NPDA and will count for both NPTE and NPDA points. 


We will also offer the Sharmi Doshi ’10 Award to recognize a person or team who has made particularly valuable contributions to empower women, people of color, or other groups who have been under-represented in the debate community. We recognized both Mike Selck (Southern Illinois) and the team of Megan Gaffney & Katie Bergus (Oregon) in 2012, Alice Lin (Berkeley) in 2014, Amanda Ozaki (Concordia) in 2015, and Steve Farias (University of the Pacific) and Quintin Brown (Washburn) in 2016. We look forward to recognizing another deserving member of the community this year.




If you are flying, Berkeley is easily accessible from both Oakland and San Francisco airports. Southwest Airlines and JetBlue Airways are particularly inexpensive options. The most inexpensive way to get to Berkeley from either airport is by BART (our equivalent of the subway):

Oakland: Take the northbound Richmond train. Get off the train at the Downtown Berkeley station (Center St & Shattuck Ave).

SFO: Take the northbound Pittsburg/Bay Point train and transfer to the northbound Richmond line at Oakland City Center/12th street. Get off the train at the Downtown Berkeley station.

Visit for help with directions and train schedules.

Both airports also offer taxi and shuttle service to Berkeley; taxi costs are about $75 from SFO and $40 from Oakland.

Hotel options:

  • Hotel Durant (walking distance) 2600 Durant Avenue Berkeley, California 510-845-8981
  • The Shattuck Hotel (walking distance) 2086 Allston Way Berkeley, California 510-845-7300
  • Best Western Inn (10 min drive) 920 University Avenue Berkeley, CA 94710 510-849-1121
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites (10 min. drive) 1175 University Avenue Berkeley, CA 94702 510-548-1700
  • The Double Tree Hotel at the Marina (15 min drive) 200 Marina Boulevard Berkeley, California 510-548-7920

Hotels outside Berkeley:

  • Emeryville Courtyard Mariott (15 min drive). This was the NPTE Tournament Hotel, though availability for the GGI weekend is limited because of the football game. 5555 Shellmound St, Emeryville - (510) 652-8777
  • Richmond Courtyard Mariott (20 min drive). 3150 Garrity Way Richmond, California 94806 USA. 510-262-0700



Berkeley is known for having a great variety of high-quality, inexpensive restaurants. Here are a few of our favorites, which we encourage you to check out between rounds or whenever you have time:

  • Gypsy’s: Inexpensive, delicious Italian food; the pasta and calzones are especially good. Located on Durant between Bowditch and Telegraph
  • Steve’s Korean BBQ: Heaping portions of grilled meat and/or vegetables, served with rice and bean sprout salad. Voted Best Korean Food by the Daily Californian several years running. Located on Durant between Bowditch and Telegraph.
  • Thai Basil: Quality, fast Thai food. Delicious. On Durant, between Bowditch and Telegraph.
  • Crepes a Go-Go: Excellent crepes; a Berkeley staple. On Telegraph less than 1 block from campus.
  • House of Curries: Great Indian and Pakistani food. It is on Durant between Bowditch and Telegraph, in an old white hotel.
  • Blondie’s: Good, cheap pizza, with a daily special. On Telegraph next to Crepes-a-Go-Go.
  • Sunrise Deli: Excellent Mediterranean food. Best hummus in Berkeley. On Bancroft, down the hill from Telegraph.
  • Kirala: Even better sushi. Emily Maine’s favorite restaurant. On Shattuck & Ward.
  • Brazil Café: Excellent Brazilian-inspired food; the tri-tip sandwiches and mango smoothies are excellent. On University Ave., just east of Shattuck.
  • Zachary’s Pizza: The best deep-dish pizza west of the Mississippi (and we’re not making this up!). On College, between Claremont and the Rockridge Bart just past the Berkeley-Oakland border.
  • Gregoire: High-quality gourmet sandwiches, salads, and dinners served out of a small storefront on Cedar Street in Berkeley’s famed Gourmet Ghetto. A bit far to walk, but very easy to drive to. Call in your order ahead of time if you can!
  • Cheeseboard Pizza: The stuff of legends, located on Shattuck in North Berkeley near Vine Street. The line can stretch down the block, so be prepared! Cash only.
  • Sliver: Similar to Cheeseboard and much closer, on Center St. between Oxford and Shattuck.
  • Suya: African Caribbean Grill, spicy and flavorful.  On Oxford St. near the Center St. intersection.
  • Berkeley Bowl: Not a restaurant, but the world’s most famous grocery store and a great place to pick up healthy, fresh snacks for the tournament (including out of bulk bins). The produce section is unbelievable. At Shattuck and Oregon.