Coolidge Cup Qualifier for Debate in New Haven

The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation is proud to announce that it will hold a Coolidge Cup qualifier tournament at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, on December 9, 2023.

Tournament registration is free, and lunch is provided. The tournament is open to all students grades 7-12 from any school or league (note, however, that 7th and 8th graders are asked to compete in the Novice division and are not eligible to earn a Coolidge Cup invitation). We will have a Novice division and a Varsity division.

Tournament details are below:

Date:       Saturday, December 9, 2023
Time:       All day (about 9:00am to 5:00pm)
Format:     1v1 Coolidge Debate Format
Divisions:  Varsity and Novice
Location:   Watson Center at Yale University
Eligible:   All students grades 7-12
Cost:       Registration is free
Register:   Register below by Wednesday, December 6 at 8am ET
Attire:     Business Professional 
Judges:     Schools please bring one judge for 
            every two competitors or fraction thereof, 
            and email the name of the judge and their school
            to Mr. Rhoads at
Schedule:   Schedule for the Day



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

This is a one-day tournament with both Varsity and Novice divisions. We will have four preliminary rounds, and then determine final rankings based on wins/losses and cumulative speaker points. Competitors will be paired randomly for round one, and power-paired thereafter.

Trophies will be awarded to the Top 8 Novice debaters and the Top 8 Varsity debaters. The top 10 varsity finishers (who are in high school grades 9-12) will each receive an invitation to the 2024 Coolidge Cup, which is a national invitational speech and debate tournament sponsored by the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation and held in President Coolidge’s historic hometown of Plymouth, Vermont, the week of the Fourth of July. Learn more about the Coolidge Cup here. The Coolidge Cup invitations also include a monetary prize.

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 format, we highly recommend you review our Debate Guide, which provides information about this particular format, style, and rules. Consistent with Coolidge Debate, this tournament will recruit and use volunteer citizen judges. Schools are not required to provide judges for this tournament.


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 now closed. Thank you!