The Coolidge Debate League at the Luddy Schools

The Coolidge Debate League at the Luddy Schools is a regional debate league for high schoolers and middle schoolers in North Carolina. It is jointly run by the Coolidge Foundation and the schools founded by Robert L. Luddy (Thales Academy Rolesville, Thales Academy Apex, Franklin Academy, St. Thomas More Academy, and others), but tournaments are open to students grades 6 through 12 from any school–even from schools beyond North Carolina who are willing to travel.

The 2023-2024 Season

There are four tournaments scheduled for the 2023-2024 season:

  1. September 9, 2023, at host Thales Academy Rolesville
  2. November 4, 2023, at host Thales Academy Apex
  3. March 2, 2024, at host Thales Academy Rolesville
  4. April 13, 2024 at host Franklin Academy


Information About Our Next Tournament

Date:      Saturday, April 13, 2024
Time:      Check-in starts @8:15am; Morning seminar @8:45am
           Tournament day goes until about 3:45pm 
Location:  Franklin Academy High School
           648 Flaherty Ave
           Wake Forest, NC 27587
Eligible:  All students grade 6 through 12
Cost:      FREE for Luddy schools
           $10 per team for other schools and homeschoolers
Register:  Luddy schools: your coach will register you on Tabroom.
           Non-Luddy school teams please register below.
           Registration closes Tuesday, April 9th at 11:59pm ET.
Attire:    Business Professional 
Schedule:  Schedule for the day (note the new times!)

Resolution and Research Brief

The resolution for this tournament is, Resolved: Immigration is a net positive force for the U.S. economy.

A research brief is available for download here. The purpose of the brief is to help you with 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 evidence in the brief.

Tournament Overview

You will begin the day with a seminar on the debate topic. Then you and your partner will debate against other teams in multiple rounds throughout the day, getting a chance to argue both sides of the resolution. We ask that you find a partner in advance and and register as a team. If you do not have a debate partner, you may register solo and we will attempt to pair you with another solo debater, but we cannot guarantee that there will be someone to match you with. Going maverick is allowed but discouraged.

All students grades 6 to 12 from any school are eligible to compete, including homeschool students and students from schools other than the ones named above.

Format and Style

Students will compete in the Coolidge 2v2 Debate Format. 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.


The tournament will have three divisions: middle school, high school novice, and high school varsity. High school teams with no experience or minimal experience may elect to participate in the novice division. (We define a novice as a debater who has participated in no more than two tournaments in his or her lifetime.) Teams with experience debating in either the Coolidge Debate League or other leagues should participate in the varsity division.

Coolidge Cup Bids

The fourth and final tournament of the school year (April 13th at Franklin Academy) will serve as a qualifier tournament for the 2024 Coolidge Cup national championship tournament which takes place July 2-4 in Plymouth, Vermont. The top 10 varsity high school finishers (i.e., the top 5 teams based on wins and total speaker points) from said qualifier tournament will receive an invitation to compete at the Coolidge Cup. Note that the Coolidge Cup uses a 1v1 format in which students compete individually. To receive an invitation to the Coolidge Cup at the April 13th tournament, you must have competed in at least one prior tournament in the Coolidge Debate League at the Luddy Schools this school year.


We need volunteer judges for our debate tournaments! We welcome citizen judges of all types, including parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, and other members of the community. Experience with debating or judging is not necessary. If you are interested, please take a look at our Information for Judges. On the morning of the tournament, we will hold a brief judge training session, where we will give you all the guidance you need for the day and will answer all of your questions. To volunteer as a judge, Register to Judge.


If you have any questions about the tournament, the league, or about judging, please contact Coolidge Foundation Debate Director Jared Rhoads (


Register for the Next Tournament

Thank you for your interest. If you are registering a team from a non-Luddy school or homeschool, please use the form below. If you are registering a team from Thales Apex, Thales Rolesville, Franklin Academy, St. Thomas More Academy, Thales Raleigh, Thales Waxhaw, etc., DO NOT use the form below. Instead, please contact your Luddy-school coach, and they will register you directly into the tournament using Tabroom.

Registration for the April 13th tournament is now closed.



Students compete in a tournament at Thales Academy Rolesville, August 2018