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 Monday, March 11 at 11:59pm ET
Judge Reqs: Each competitor please provide one judge
Attire:     Business Professional 
Schedule:   Schedule (PDF) (TBD)
Rules:      Coolidge Debate Rules (1v1 Format)
Training:   Judge training TBD
Tournament: The Zoom link for the tournament will be posted here.
            Meeting ID: 821 5339 0532
            Passcode: 361621  


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 10 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.


To ensure that we have enough judges to run the tournament smoothly and efficiently, each competitor is asked to supply one judge (e.g., a parent, grandparent, teacher, coach, etc.). We also recruit some volunteer community judges, so the judge burden at our tournaments tends to be low (i.e., we probably will not need you to judge every single round), but we do need every competitor to provide a judge. (Teams, pairs of siblings, and the like are allowed to provide one judge per every two competitors.) Experience with debating or judging is not necessary. Register to judge in this tournament.


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


  • Competitor Information

    Please enter the following information about you.
  • If you think it might help us, feel free to include any tips on how to pronounce your name. Put accented syllables in all-caps. (E.g., KATH-rin BASS-it)
  • What high school do you attend? (Or if homeschool, write Homeschool.)
  • What grade are you in for the 2023-2024 school year?
  • If you have a debate coach and can share his or her email address with us, please do so here.
  • Parent / Guardian Information

    Please enter the following information about your parent or guardian.



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