The Coolidge Cup

2019 Coolidge Cup championship round debaters Ezra Schrader (left) and Joshua Anumolu (right)

Overview

The Coolidge Cup is a 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. The competition days are July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. (Competitors should treat July 1st and 5th as travel days.) It is a fully chaperoned experience, and most travel expenses are covered for competitors.

Here is the 2024 Coolidge Cup Schedule.

How to Qualify

To compete in the Coolidge Cup, students must qualify in either declamation or debate through various Coolidge Cup qualifier competitions held across the country. See the list of qualifying methods for details. 12 students are invited to compete in declamation at the Coolidge Cup, and roughly 80 students are invited to compete in debate at the Coolidge Cup.

Prizes

More than $15,000 in scholarship prizes will be awarded at this year’s Coolidge Cup.

For declamation, the prize structure is as follows: 1st Place $1,000; 2nd Place $750; 3rd Place $500; 4th Place $250. The top 4 finishers in declamation will each receive a trophy. All other declamation competitors will receive our Coolidge Cup leather notebook.

For debate, the prize structure is as follows: 1st Place $5,000; 2nd Place $4,000; 2 Semi-Finalists $1,000 each; 4 Quarter-Finalists $500 each. The top 8 finishers in debate will each receive a trophy. All octofinalists (the top 16) will receive our Coolidge Cup leather notebook and an automatic invitation to next year’s Coolidge Cup tournament.

Format

For declamation, each student will declaim multiple speech excerpts from speeches by President Coolidge. Some of these declamations will be delivered in front of a small panel of judges, and some will be delivered in front of judges and peers at one of our larger assemblies. Students will be scored at each of these, and ranked based on their cumulative scores. These speeches are assigned a few weeks in advance of the tournament so that students may familiarize themselves with the material. It is not expected that students memorize the speech excerpts.

For debate, competitors will compete in a series of preliminary rounds over the first two days of the tournament (July 2nd and 3rd). The top 32 competitors will then move on to the elimination portion of the tournament, eventually ending in a championship round on July 4th.

Speech Packet (for Declaimers), and Resolution & Research Brief (for Debaters)

The 2024 Coolidge Cup competition speech packet for declaimers (Rounds 1-6) is available for download here.

The 2024 Coolidge Cup resolution and for debaters is: Resolved: Lockdown policy served Americans well during the Covid pandemic. A research brief is available here for you to read and use. This is intended to help you in your preparation. You are not limited to the arguments or evidence in the brief.

Volunteer to Judge at the Coolidge Cup

The Coolidge Foundation highly values the idea of the “citizen judge,” as we believe that good speech and debate should be aimed at making a logical case that any person can understand. Volunteer judges do not need any prior experience in speech, debate, or judging. If you are interested in judging, take a look at our Information for Judges. We will provide all the judge training you need. If you are interested in judging, please Register to Judge.

Competitors are not obligated to provide a certain number of judges. However, if your coach or family member is joining you at the Coolidge Cup and is interested in judging, he or she can indicate that they would like to judge using the registration link above.

 


Register for the Coolidge Cup

Below is the registration form for the 2024 Coolidge Cup. If you have received and accepted an invitation from the Coolidge Foundation to compete in the 2024 Coolidge Cup, then please fill out this form. This is the form that truly makes your participation official! This information is extremely important to our planning and it is required in order to secure your spot. Please do not fill out this form using a smart phone. It will not work correctly. Use a computer.

We will close this registration form on Sunday, June 2nd at 11:59 pm ET. If you have not registered by that time, then you will not be able to compete at the Coolidge Cup and your spot will go to someone else.

 

The registration form for the 2024 Coolidge Cup is now closed.

 

 

2018 Coolidge Cup winners with Robert L. Luddy, Maria Luddy, Ben Voth, and Jared Rhoads