Luddy Debate League

The Luddy Debate League is a regional debate league in North Carolina that is co-run by the Coolidge Foundation and the schools founded by Robert L. Luddy. Those schools are Thales Academy Apex, Thales Academy Rolesville, Franklin Academy, and St. Thomas More Academy. Throughout the year, the Coolidge Foundation helps to organize debate tournaments at these schools.

For the 2018-2019 season, there will be four Luddy Debate League tournaments: #1 on August 25th at Thales Rolesville, #2 on November 10th at Thales Apex, #3 on February 16th at Thales Apex, and #4 on May 11th at Franklin Academy.

Join us for the Luddy Debate League’s second tournament of the 2018-2019 season!

Date/Time:     Saturday, November 10th from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Location:      Thales Academy Apex (1300 N Salem St, Apex, NC 27502)
Eligibility:   All North Carolina students grade 6 through 12
Registration:  Please register below by November 2, 2018
Attire:        Business Professional
Schedule:      Download the schedule for the day

The resolution for this debate is:

“Resolved: The United States Federal Government should adopt a carbon tax.”

Download the brief (PDF) prepared by the Coolidge Foundation.

Students will begin the day with a seminar on the debate topic delivered by a local policy expert. Then they will debate in teams of two in multiple rounds throughout the day, getting a chance to argue both sides of the resolution. Students are welcome to find a debate partner ahead of time, or register as a “single” (in which case we will pair the student with another student on the morning of the tournament).

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. The tournament will have separate high school and middle school brackets. All interested students are encouraged to participate, regardless of whether they are experienced debaters or brand new to debate.

Students should register through the form at the bottom of this page by November 2, 2018. If interest exceeds the number of classroom spaces and judges that we have, then it is possible that we may have to close registration after that date and not allow late registrations. Note to students: to make this the best experience for everyone, please plan to be there for the full day. Students who arrive after the first round has begun will not be allowed to participate.

The event is free and lunch will be provided to all students and judges.

Debate Format and Style

In the Luddy Debate League, students debate in teams of two. If you are new to debating in this league, we highly recommend you review our Luddy Debate League Debate Guide, which provides details about the format, style, rules, and so on.

Relation to the Coolidge Cup

For 2018-2019, the Luddy Debate League tournament that will serve as a direct qualifier for the Coolidge Cup will be the May 11th tournament at Franklin Academy. The other tournaments in the Luddy Debate League are not direct qualifiers for the Coolidge Cup. Please note, however, that in order to receive a bid to the Coolidge Cup from the May 11th qualifier tournament, a debater must have participated in at least one other Luddy Debate League tournament this season. If a debater is a top placer at the May 11th qualifier tournament but has not participated in any other Luddy Debate League tournaments that season, the bid will go to the next-highest-placing eligible student.

We Need Volunteer Judges!

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 curious, take a look at our Information for Luddy Debate League Judges. Additionally, we will hold a brief judge training session on the morning of the tournament, where we will give you all the guidance you need and answer all of your questions. To volunteer as a judge, Register to Judge for the Luddy Debate League.

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 Debate in the Luddy Debate League

  • Your debate partner still needs to register, even if you list them here. If you do not have a debate partner, that's okay. Just leave this field blank. We will pair you with someone on the morning of the debate after everyone checks in.
  • Photo and Medical Release Form

    If you have never filled out our photo and medical release form, please complete the form (see link) and upload it.


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