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 12 finishers at this tournament will earn an invitation to the 2023 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 with the form below or via Tabroom
Deadline:   Please register by Monday, January 22nd at 11:59pm ET
Judge Reqs: Each competitor should bring one judge if possible.
            If the judge requirement is a barrier to registering 
            for this tournament, please reach out to us.
Attire:     Business Professional 
Schedule:   Schedule for the Day (TBD)
Rules:      Coolidge Debate Rules (1v1 Format)


Resolution and Research Brief

The resolution for the tournament is Resolved: The United States should adopt the balanced budget amendment known as Senate Joint Resolution 13. 

Note: It is the intent of this tournament to have students debate the particular balanced budget amendment known as Senate Joint Resolution 13, that has been proposed by Senator Mike Lee. Should the name or number of that proposal be changed by Congress in the weeks leading up to the tournament, we ask students to remain focused on the intended topic (the idea of a balanced budget amendment).

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 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 a copy of this book, simply email Coolidge Debate Director Jared Rhoads at Please allow at least a week for the book to arrive.

Tournament Structure

One day, four rounds. Since the goal is to identify the top 10 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. 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 for this tournament is not yet open. A registration form will appear here when registration opens.


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