Coolidge Cup Qualifier for Debate in Dallas

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 Qualifier for Debate in Dallas, which is an in-person tournament run by the Coolidge Foundation in partnership with the Southern Methodist University Debate Program. The top 10 finishers at this tournament will earn an invitation to the 2024 Coolidge Cup. Details are below.

Date:       Saturday, January 27, 2024
Time:       All day (about 9am to 5pm)
Format:     1v1 Coolidge Debate Format
Location:   Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX
            Check in at Dallas Hall
Eligible:   All U.S. high school students grade 9-12
Cost:       Registration is free
Register:   Register via the form below
Deadline:   Please register by Wednesday, January 24th at 11:59pm ET
Judges:     Bringing a judge is greatly appreciated 
            but not required. Judges may register here. 
            Lay judges and beginners are encouraged!
Attire:     Business Professional 
Schedule:   Schedule for the Day
Rules:      Coolidge Debate Rules (1v1 Format)



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. Thus 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 in July 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.). Since we also recruit volunteer community judges, we expect that the overall judge burden will be low. The parent, teacher, or coach that you bring may only have to judge one or two rounds. Experience with debating or judging is not necessary. To judge, please register through (if you have an account and are familiar with that website). Or fill out our judge registration form here.


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


Registration is now closed for this tournament.


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