Coolidge Cup Online Qualifier for Debate

There are several ways to earn an invitation to compete in debate at the Coolidge Cup. One way to try to earn an invitation is to compete in the Coolidge Cup Online Qualifier for Debate, which is an online tournament run by the Coolidge Foundation. Top finishers at this tournament will earn an invitation to the 2024 Coolidge Cup. Details are below.

Date:       Saturday, March 16, 2024
Time:       Check-in time 9:30am ET
Format:     1v1 Coolidge Debate Format
Location:   Online via Zoom
Eligible:   All U.S. high school students grade 9-12
Cost:       Registration is free
Register:   Register via the form at the bottom of this page
Deadline:   Please register by Tuesday, March 12 at 11:59pm ET
Judge Reqs: Please provide a judge if you can, but if you cannot,
            do not let that be a barrier to participating
Attire:     Business Professional 
Schedule:   Schedule for the day (PDF)
Rules:      Coolidge Debate Rules (1v1 Format)
Training:   Judge training video to be sent to all registered judges
Tournament: The Zoom link for the tournament will be emailed 
            to registered competitors and judges, as well 
            as posted here.


The resolution for the tournament is Resolved: The United States should adopt a balanced budget amendment.

Research Brief

The research brief can be downloaded here. The purpose of the brief is to help you get started on your case preparation. You are welcome and encouraged to use the brief as a starting point and build upon it by doing your own research and case-writing. You are not limited to the arguments and sources in the brief.

Tournament Structure

One day; four rounds. Since the goal is to identify the top 12 students in order to award bids to the 2024 Coolidge Cup, there is no need to narrow the field all the way down to a single champion, we will not do outrounds.

Format and Style

Students will compete in the Coolidge 1v1 Debate Format. This is the same format that is used at the Coolidge Cup. If you are new to debating in this league, we highly recommend you review our Debate Guide, which provides information about this particular format, style, and rules.

Bids to the Coolidge Cup

This tournament is a qualifier for the 2024 Coolidge Cup, which will be held July 2-4, 2024.  The Coolidge Cup is an expenses-paid national invitational speech and debate tournament sponsored by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation. It is held in President Coolidge’s historic hometown of Plymouth, Vermont, and takes place each year during the week of the Fourth of July. More than $15,000 in scholarship prize money is awarded to the top finishers. Learn more about the Coolidge Cup.


We ask each competitor to supply one judge if possible (e.g., a parent, grandparent, teacher, coach, etc.). However, if you cannot supply a judge, please do not let this be a barrier to your participation. Experience with debating or judging is not necessary. Register to judge in this tournament. Note: the Coolidge Foundation uses only volunteer citizen judges; we do not hire judges for pay.


If you have any questions about the tournament, the Coolidge Cup, or about judging, please contact Coolidge Foundation Debate Director Jared Rhoads (


Registration for this tournament is now closed. Thank you.



Students competing outdoors at the 2018 Coolidge Cup in Plymouth, Vermont, July 2018