National Round Robin- Berkeley, CA- March 2-3, 2019


We would like to invite the entire community to add the 2019 National Round Robin to your schedule as you plan your budgets for the 2018-2019 season.

The 2019 National Round Robin will be held on the campus of the University of California-Berkeley, March 2-3, 2019. Please join me in thanking the students involved with Parli Debate at Berkeley for their generous offer of hospitality.

As expected, the tournament will feature:

2 days of intense competition. Saturday/Sunday with built in time to enjoy the delicious accommodations of downtown Berkeley.

Your best 2 teams. Any college/university may be represented by a maximum of 2 teams, no qualification or previous partnership records required. The entry fee should remain around $100 per team (might have to be slightly adjusted based on Cal Parli’s room rental costs).

No Topic Areas. Preparation for The National Round Robin takes place over the course of the year using the final preliminary topic from 6 regular season invitational tournaments. In 2018, the tournaments were Jewell, Rice, Berkeley, L&C, UCSD, Washburn. Previous tournament attendees will have the opportunity to vote to rotate topics among tournaments by region. However, usage of the tournament host’s regular season tournament will remain a fixture of the topic selection process. The final prelim topic from GGI (October 27-28) will certainly be used as a NRR preliminary debate topic.

Cross-Examination. The National Round Robin features true cross-examination time after every constructive and dedicated in-debate prep-time for each side.

Debater-Designed Elim Resolutions. The NRR’s “bring your own resolution” elimination round format allows students the freedom to construct their own resolutions for the elimination debates— flip for side/topic choice.

Tournament Structure. Appropriate preliminary debates with 2 judges (either 6 prelims or 5 prelims + a “Debate-In” round for bubble teams). Based on ballot count, 6 teams advance to a true round-robin on Day 2. The second day of the NRR is likely the most rigorous single day of competition that you will find throughout the entire competitive season. Any format changes are democratically decided at the tournament or shortly before. If changes are made to the tournament schedule/policies, out-round elimination process, etc. attending schools will be democratically consulted and a “1 vote per squad” vote will be held. We have had great luck with real-time, open democracy for the tournament in both 2017 and 2018.

Prefs and Tabulation. A-B-C MPJ with appropriate strikes. We anticipate that Konrad will tab the 2018 NRR once again.

Equity. Since the NRR is not “owned” by an extroverted organization, the tournament meets the demands of the host institution related to enforcement of campus policies/procedures with respect to Title IX, sexual harassment, equity, substance abuse policy, smoking, etc. We expect the community to show deference to Parli Debate at Berkeley related to any requests for judge credentialing, program accountability, etc.

In the first two years, the NRR Tournament has become a premier parliamentary debate event in terms of rigor, variety of styles, research, and depth. Any team can win any debate. Upsets are a feature. For anyone considering adding this tournament to your schedule, it is worth mentioning that only 2 individual teams advanced to Octofinals at the 2018 NPDA National Tournament representing colleges or universities who did not attend the National Round Robin in 2017 or 2018 and 6 of the 10 teams competing during Day 3 of the 2018 NPTE featured at least one debater who competed at the NRR in 2017 or 2018. The NRR is absolutely a premier event in our activity. We look forward to seeing everyone in Berkeley during the first weekend of March 2019.


NRR topics up to this point are–

Jewell- Repatriation of land in the United States to indigenous people ought to be the primary goal of the anti-colonial efforts in the United States.

Rice- The UN should substantially increase its regulation of artificial intelligence.

Lewis & Clark- The Korean War should be officially declared as over.

Berkeley- The United States federal government should enact a federal Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights.

UCSD- The United Kingdom should hold a second BREXIT referendum



ucsd doesn’t have a tournament


Yes. SDSU. Sorry. That typo was my mistake in the first place-- which included the survey, etc.


Washburn: The USFG should establish a sixth branch of the armed forces, the U.S. Space Force

The Brexit topic is going to be so out of date by the time this tournament happens, they should probably consider changing that.


Could they just use round 5?
This has actually been stressing some of my students out a bit, too.


I don’t want to speak for the Berkeley folks, other than to say that the National Round Robin doesn’t have a formalized system to handle this. The operational pedagogy has always been “defer to host school.”

Trevor mentioned at Mile High that the final invite should be out very soon, I suspect the students at Cal will figure out an amicable way to deal with this. :slight_smile:



Just to follow up on this, we’ve decided to use the prelim 5 topic from SDSU, based on the comments people left. If anyone feels strongly that we should do something else, though, please just let me know!


Isn’t this aff also not inherent? The US, Mexico, and Canada are all anticipated to ratify the USMCA, which will supersede NAFTA. The topical aff would be no NAFTA for x months until USMCA is ratified.


I think there’s still ground based on the ongoing ratification process, but you’re probably right that this isn’t ideal. I’ll discuss potential replacements with some of the previous directors of the NRR, we’ll have a final topic decided in the next few days.


In order to resolve the inherency issue while also maintaining the existing regional diversity of the tournaments we’ve chose to pull NRR prelim topics from, we’ve decided to use the final prelim topic from the Sunset Cliffs Classic for this year. The topic will be released February 9th, at which point I’ll add it to the Tabroom site for the tournament.


Additionally, the tournament invitation and registration are now available online here:


Round 6 of Loma:
Resolved: On balance, strengthening America’s southern border will significantly endanger our domestic well-being.