2019 Coolidge Cup championship round debaters Ezra Schrader (left) and Joshua Anumolu (right)
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.
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. Exactly 8 students will compete in declamation at the Coolidge Cup, and approximately 65-70 students will compete in debate at the Coolidge Cup. To be eligible in either event, all Coolidge Cup competitors must be in grades 9-12 during the 2020-2021 academic year.
How to Register Once You Have Qualified
If you have earned an invitation to the Coolidge Cup and you have accepted it by notifying Debate Director Jared Rhoads, then your next step to confirming your spot is to fill out the 2021 Coolidge Cup Registration Form at the bottom of this page. Registration will open in the spring.
More than $15,000 in scholarship prizes will be awarded at the 2021 Coolidge Cup. In declamation, the top three competitors will earn prizes. In debate, the top 16 competitors will earn prizes. The exact prize structure will be announced closer to the date of the tournament.
For declamation, each student will declaim three different speeches from President Coolidge. Two of these declamations will be delivered privately in front of a panel of judges. One declamation will be delivered in front of all attendees at one of our full-group assemblies (e.g., at our morning gathering, lunch, or dinner). Students will be ranked based on their cumulative scores.
For debate, competitors will compete in four preliminary rounds. The top competitors will move on to the elimination portion of the tournament, eventually ending in a championship round.
Resolution & Research Brief
The resolution for the 2021 Coolidge Cup will be announced in the spring of 2021. A research brief on the topic will be provided approximately one month in advance of the tournament.
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.
2018 Coolidge Cup winners with Robert L. Luddy, Maria Luddy, Ben Voth, and Jared Rhoads