Coolidge Debate League at the Luddy Schools

The Coolidge Debate League at the Luddy Schools is a debate league for high schoolers and middle schoolers in the greater Raleigh region of North Carolina. It is jointly 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 organizes debate tournaments at these schools. These tournaments are open to all students grades 6 through 12.

The 2019-2020 Season

There are four tournaments scheduled for the 2019-2020 season:

  1. September 7th at Thales Academy Rolesville
  2. November 16th at Thales Academy Apex
  3. March 7th at Thales Academy Rolesville (co-sponsored by St. Thomas More Academy)
  4. May 9th at Franklin Academy [Cancelled due to COVID-19]


Information About Our Next Tournament

Date:      Saturday, March 7th, 2020
Time:      Arrive between 8:15am to 9:00am
           Students must be present by 9am to participate  
           If running late, you must email
           Tournament day goes from 9:00am to approximately 5:30pm 
Location:  Thales Academy Rolesville
           1201 Granite Falls Blvd, Rolesville, NC 27571
Eligible:  All students grade 6 through 12
Cost:      FREE for students of Luddy schools (Thales, Franklin, STMA)
           $10 for students of other schools and homeschoolers
Register:  Register using the form at the bottom of this page
           Registration closes on Monday March 2nd at 11:59pm ET
           For each tournament, please register once as a team
Attire:    Business Professional
Schedule:  Schedule for the Day [PDF]


Resolution and Research Brief

The resolution for the March 7th tournament is: Resolved: The United States should adopt Medicare For All, thus instituting a single-payer system of healthcare.

To help you with your cases, the Coolidge Foundation has prepared a research brief that you can download here.  The research brief is intended to clarify the topic and help you get started 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 research and case-writing. You are not limited to the arguments and sources in the brief.

Additionally, our friends at the What’s the Res? podcast have once again recorded a special resolution analysis episode for this very occasion! Check out the recording here.

Tournament Overview

You will begin the day with a seminar on the debate topic delivered by a subject matter expert. 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.

Lunch will be provided to all students and judges. A small number of salads will also be available, but we are unable to accommodate specific dietary needs or preferences.

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 2019-2020, the Coolidge Debate League tournament that will serve as a direct qualifier for the Coolidge Cup will be the May 9th tournament at Franklin Academy. 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 May 9th 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 (



Thank you for your interest. If you are registering a team from a non-Luddy school, please use the form below. If you are registering a team from Thales Apex, Thales Rolesville, Franklin Academy, or St. Thomas More Academy, DO NOT use the form below. Instead, please contact your Luddy-school coach (Mr. Loizos, Mr. Herring, Mr. Baker, or Mr. Kirkendall, respectively), and they will register you directly into the tournament using Tabroom.

Registration for the March 7th tournament is now closed.



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