California Invitational Berkeley Debate

2023 — Berkeley, CA/US


2023 California Invitational
Hosted by Berkeley Debate
February 18-20, 2023


This is your formal invitation to the 2023 California Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament, to be held February 18-20, 2023.

We plan to hold our usual offering of both speech and debate events for this year's tournament in-person for all three days of competition. We believe the chances of a COVID-related cancellation are very low this year.

We are of course subject to any changes in relevant policies from the CDC, U.C. Berkeley, and state and local authorities.

Entry Procedures and Waitlist


To enter the tournament you will need to either pay online through Tabroom (credit/debit card or Paypal), or mail a check for the amount owed on Tabroom. For either payment option, see your Tabroom invoice on the “Money” tab of your entry for additional payment details. Note that online 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. You will not be guaranteed a spot until you submit payment. To increase your chance of being cleared from the waitlist we strongly recommend that you submit payment well before the January 13th entry deadline. 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 13th in order to avoid late fees. Any entries received after January 13th will be assessed a $25 late fee per entry. Any entries received after February 1 will be assessed a $50 late fee per entry. It is also VERY possible that we will have to turn away late entries due to space limitations.

The drop deadline is also January 13th. You will not be refunded for drops subsequent to this date.

Events and Divisions

Policy Debate
Varsity CX
LIncoln-Douglas Debate
Varsity LD
Public Forum Debate
Varsity PF
Middle School PF
Congressional Debate
Varsity Congressional Debate
Middle School Congressional Debate
World Schools Debate
Varsity World Schools Debate
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.

There will be 3 rounds of individual events. Specific event schedules will be released on Tabroom in advance of the tournament, but our overall schedule is likely to be similar to previous in-person years.

Students may double enter in-person in speech and debate, and may double enter in speech events. 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.

Varsity 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

Our tentative schedule is as follows. Please note that the schedule remains subject to change based on room availability and event sizes.

We plan to run IE and Congress prelims entirely on Sunday, to give schools only bringing speech students an option to reduce their number of hotel nights and travel cost, as well as reduce the total amount of time spent waiting between IE rounds.

Congress prelims may run on a modified schedule on Sunday with longer rounds depending on room availability

7:45am CX/Worlds/MS PF/JV PF Round 1
9:30am VLD/JVLD/VPF Round 1
11:15am CX/Worlds/MS PF/JVPF Round 2
1:00pm VLD/JVLD/VPF Round 2
2:45pm CX/Worlds/MS PF/JV PF Round 3
4:30pm VLD/JVLD/VPF Round 3
6:15pm CX/Worlds/MS PF/JV PF Round 4
8:00pm VLD/JVLD/VPF Round 4

7:45am CX/Worlds/MS PF/JV PF Round 5 and Congress Round 1
9:45am IE Round 1
11:00am VLD/JVLD/VPF Round 5
1:00pm IE Round 2
2:30pm CX/Worlds/MS PF/JV PF Round 6 and Congress Round 2
4:15pm VLD/JVLD/VPF Round 6
6:15pm IE Round 3
7:45pm Debate Events Triples and Congress Round 3
8:15pm IE Octas


8:00am All events Remaining Elims

Policy Debate will use the 2022-2023 NSDA topic.

Lincoln-Douglas Debate will use the 2022-2023 January-February NSDA topic.

Public Forum Debate will use the February 2023 NSDA topic.

Congress Legislation has now been posted on the Tabroom website. It can also be found in a shared Google Folder here:

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 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 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.

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), contact us at


The penalty for a judge failing to report to an assigned round is $75 per round. This fine is assessed even when a replacement judge is found.

All entry fees, late 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 California 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 authorized adult (e.g. school coach, parent, or club representative). An adult must be in attendance at the tournament with students at all times.

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.

Hybrid teams (entries from more than one school/club) are not allowed.

Hotel Information

Hotel block information is available on the sidebar. More hotels and additional information will be posted soon.

We look forward to hosting you!

Berkeley Debate