Berkeley International Parliamentary Debate Invitational
2024 — NSDA Campus, CA/US
Thank you very much for your help in conducting this tournament. Without your volunteer support, this valuable educational experience could not be offered to our students!
If you have never judged a debate round before, that’s fine! You have all the skills you need. As long as you are willing to give the debaters your attention during the round and do your best to make a fair decision, you are qualified!
ESSENTIAL POINTS TO REMEMBER:
Tabroom account: you must have an account on tabroom.com in order to judge. Log in to this account when you arrive at the tournament and monitor the site throughout the day.
Press “start round” when you receive your ballot. You may have judged at other tournaments with a different rule.
Submit and confirm your decision as soon as possible after the round is over. You must confirm your decision to fully submit the ballot. The tournament cannot proceed without your decision. You can add feedback after your decision has been submitted. If you have any problems accessing or submitting your decision, come to the judge room on Zoom right away.
Leave your own knowledge and biases about the topic outside the round. What matters is what is argued by the debaters themselves.
If you disclose your decision or give feedback (optional), do so after submitting your ballot.
For Rounds 1-5, we are using NSDA Campus for rooms. If you are not experienced with NSDA Campus, please watch this training video. If you have questions about any aspect of the process, you can always ask the Judge Room staff.
If you do not receive a ballot for the next round, stay in the judge room until released. We may still need you!
Make sure you know the names of the speakers, so you can give each one the correct score.
Do not give oral feedback before submitting your ballot; after that, it’s optional.
Please submit your ballot no later than ten minutes after the round ends. After you submit your decision, you will see a page asking you to confirm it. You are not finished until you confirm and Tabroom tells you the ballot is confirmed. You must confirm your ballot for your decision to be recorded. The tournament cannot proceed until every judge has submitted a decision. We encourage you to enter significant comments, but please do that after you have submitted and confirmed the win/loss, ranks, and points information. If you have any problems accessing or submitting your decision after the round, come to the judge room right away.
You must not judge students whom you know. If you know a student in a group you are about to judge, inform tournament staff immediately, and the ballot will be reassigned.
It is important that all students feel welcome and supported. Before the tournament, please read this handout on Culturally Competent Judging.
THANK YOU FOR JUDGING!
Parliamentary Debate Judging Instructions
What is Parliamentary Debate? Parliamentary debate encourages extemporaneous or spontaneous argumentation between two debaters supporting a resolution and two debaters arguing against it.
Judges and Debaters should be in their room before the scheduled start time, in order to do topic strikes. The topic strike procedures are in the sidebar in Tabroom.
Some topics are policy topics, in which the Government team proposes a plan. Opposition may defend the status quo (current situation) or present a counterplan.
Topics may specify an actor (“The United Nations should declare world peace”) or not (“Communism is superior to Capitalism.”) Traditional parliamentary debate topics begin with “This House,” e.g., “This House believes that Communism is superior to Capitalism.”. Like other topics, a “This House” topic may or may not specify an actor, e.g. “This House, as Russia, would invade Ukraine.” If “This House” is undefined, the Government team may choose to present a definition of “This House,” so long as it is reasonable.
First Government Speech/Prime Minister Constructive.................................................7 minutes
First Opposition Speech/Leader Opposition Constructive…………................................…8 minutes
Second Government Speech/Member Government Constructive……………...................8 minutes
Second Opposition Speech/Member Opposition Constructive…...................................8 minutes
Leader Opposition Rebuttal………………………………………...................................................4 minutes
Prime Minister Rebuttal…...............................................................................................5 minutes
Debaters may interrupt a speaker to make “points of information” during the constructive (first four) speeches of the debate--if the speaker agrees to take the point. Points of information are NOT allowed during the first and last minute of each constructive speech, or at any time during rebuttal speeches.
Points of Order are allowed in rebuttal speeches for the sole purpose of protesting a new argument. One debater makes the point (< 15 seconds), and then the speaker responds. The judge is then expected to “take it under consideration,” or declare it “well taken” or “not well taken.” When there is more than one judge for a round, they also take the point under consideration separately.
This tournament also has Points of Clarification, which are non-argumentative questions in the first two speeches seeking to clarify the other side’s interpretation of the topic, or its advocacy. Time stops for POCs.
At this tournament, students may consult their partners, reference materials and the Internet during their 20 minute prep time. NO OTHER PERSON MAY HELP A TEAM PREP. No research is allowed during the round.
Each team receives 10 minutes total “tech time” per round to resolve technical issues.
If you have a question about the rules that could affect your decision, ask tournament staff after the round.
This tournament follows the National Parliamentary Debate League online round rules, which include the following evidence rules:
SECTION 12: Evidence
A. Debaters should primarily rely on logic and general knowledge.
B. Debaters should not cite published sources during the round. Judges should enforce this rule by giving a claim supported by a citation the same weight as they would give a claim not supported by a citation.
In making your decision, it is critical to put aside your personal views on the topic being debated and base your decision solely on the arguments presented by each team. It is not the students’ job to change your mind on an issue, only to do a better job of debating than their opponents.
Filling out the Ballot
You must render a decision and vote for either the Government or Opposition team.
You must also rank each speaker, with the best individual debater being 1, and assign speaker points to each debater based on your evaluation of their speaking style, skill & the effectiveness of their delivery in the round. In order to be fair, it is very important all judges use the same criteria for speaker points. Please consult the scale printed on the ballot.
Input the scores and decision, then submit the ballot ASAP to keep the tournament on time. You can edit the comments after submitting the ballot.