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, December 3, 2022 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 Wednesday, November 30th 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 Rules: Coolidge Debate Rules (1v1 Format)
Resolution and Research Brief
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.
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 a copy of this book, simply email Coolidge Debate Director Jared Rhoads at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow at least a week for the book to arrive.
One day, four rounds. Since the goal is to identify the top 12 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 2023 Coolidge Cup, which will be held in July 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.). 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 Tabroom.com (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 (email@example.com).
Registration for this tournament is now closed.
Students competing outdoors at the 2018 Coolidge Cup in Plymouth, Vermont, July 2018