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, and St. Thomas More Academy), 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 2022-2023 Season
There are four tournaments scheduled for the 2022-2023 season:
September 10, 2022, at Thales Academy Rolesville
- November 12, 2022, at Thales Academy Apex
- January or February (date TBD), 2023, at Franklin Academy
- April or May (date TBD), 2023, at St. Thomas More Academy (location to be confirmed)
Information About Our Next Tournament
Date: Saturday, November 12, 2022 Time: Check-in starts at 8:30am Tournament day goes until about 5:15pm Location: Thales Academy Apex 1300 N Salem St, Apex NC 27571 Eligible: All students grade 6 through 12 Cost: FREE for Luddy schools (Apex, Rolesville, Franklin, STMA, Waxhaw) $10 for teams from other schools and homeschools Register: Luddy schools: your coach will register you on Tabroom (link TBD). Non-Luddy school teams please register below. Registration closes Monday, November 7 at 11:59pm ET. Attire: Business Professional Schedule: Schedule for the Day
Resolution and Research Brief
The resolution for the tournament is, “Resolved: Among U.S. Presidents, Calvin Coolidge should be ranked in the top 10, not 24th.” (For reference, in the most recent ranking of presidents published by C-Span, President Coolidge was ranked 24th.)
The intent of this resolution is to have students debate the relative merits and achievements of U.S. Presidents, with a focus on President Coolidge’s place in history. While it may be necessary to briefly explain or defend your choice of criteria by which Presidential performance should be measured, do not let your round to be dominated by argumentation about the fine details of ranking methodologies. Judges will be instructed to reward historical arguments over arguments that overly depend on methodological critiques.
The research brief is available here (PDF). 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 additional research and case-writing. You are not limited to the arguments and sources in the brief.
Additionally, every student who registers for this tournament is eligible to receive a hardcover copy of the book Why Coolidge Matters, published by the National Notary Association. We have already started to distribute these books to schools. Please check with your coach. If you are registering independently, then write to Mr. Rhoads at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your mailing address. Please allow at least a week for the book to arrive.
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.
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.
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.
Relation to the Coolidge Cup
For 2022-2023, the Coolidge Debate League tournament that will serve as a direct qualifier for the 2023 Coolidge Cup will be the fourth tournament held at St. Thomas More Academy in April or May, 2023. The other tournaments in this league throughout the year are not direct qualifiers for the Coolidge Cup. In order to receive a bid to the Coolidge Cup from the qualifier tournament, a debater must have participated in at least one other Coolidge Debate League tournament this season. If a debater is a top placer at the qualifier tournament but has not participated in any other of our tournaments that season, the bid will go to the next-highest-placing eligible student.
If you have any questions about the tournament, the league, or about judging, please contact Coolidge Foundation Debate Director Jared Rhoads (email@example.com).