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. The top 20 finishers at this tournament will earn an invitation to the 2023 Coolidge Cup. Details are below.

Date:       Saturday, April 22, 2023
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, April 18 at 11:59pm ET
Judge Reqs: Each competitor please provide one judge
Attire:     Business Professional 
Schedule:   Schedule for the Day (TBA)
Rules:      Coolidge Debate Rules (1v1 Format)
Seminar:    Pre-tournament seminar TBD
Judge Training: We will have a virtual judge training session 
                the week before the tournament. Details will 
                be posted here. It will be recorded. If you cannot 
                make it to the training, please watch the 
                recording at some point before the tournament.


The resolution for the tournament is, “Resolved: Among U.S. Presidents, Calvin Coolidge should be ranked in the top 10, not 24th.”  (For reference, in the most recent ranking of presidents published by C-Span, President Coolidge was ranked 24th.)

The intent of this resolution is to have students debate the relative merits and achievements of U.S. Presidents, with a focus on President Coolidge’s place in history. While it may be necessary to briefly explain or defend your choice of criteria by which Presidential performance should be measured, do not let your round to be dominated by argumentation about the fine details of ranking methodologies. Judges will be instructed to reward historical arguments over arguments that overly depend on methodological critiques.

Research Brief

The research brief is available here (PDF). 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 additional research and case-writing. You are not limited to the arguments and sources in the brief.

Additionally, every student who registers for this tournament is eligible to receive a hardcover copy of the book Why Coolidge Matters, published by the National Notary Association. If you would like us to mail you a copy of this book, simply indicate so in the registration form.

Tournament Structure

One day; four rounds. Since the goal is to identify the top 20 students in order to award bids to the 2023 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 2023 Coolidge Cup, which will be held July 2-4, 2023.  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). 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 2022-2023 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