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. We are pleased to say that the 2021 Coolidge Cup will be happening in person this year in Vermont. The competition days are July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. (Competitors should treat July 1st and 5th as travel days.)
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 more than 80 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.
More than $15,000 in scholarship prizes will be awarded at the 2021 Coolidge Cup.
For declamation, the prize structure is as follows: 1st Place $1,000; 2nd Place $750; 3rd Place $500; 4th Place $250. All 8 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; Semi-Finalist $1,000; Quarter-Finalist $500. The top 16 finishers in debate will all receive our Coolidge Cup leather notebook.
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.
For debate, competitors will compete in four preliminary rounds. The top 32 competitors will then move on to the elimination portion of the tournament, eventually ending in a championship round.
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.
Register for the Coolidge Cup
If you have received and accepted an invitation from the Coolidge Foundation to compete in the 2021 Coolidge Cup, please register for the tournament using the form below. Your registration is required in order to secure your spot and is extremely important to our planning. If you accept your invitation at the time when you earn it, but fail to register by the time we close the registration form in May, then you will not be able to compete at the Coolidge Cup.
Registration for the 2021 Coolidge Cup is now closed.
2018 Coolidge Cup winners with Robert L. Luddy, Maria Luddy, Ben Voth, and Jared Rhoads