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 (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 in all schools in the region, grades 6 through 12.

The 2020-2021 Season

There are four tournaments scheduled for the 2020-2021 season:

  1. September 12, 2020, “virtually hosted” by Thales Academy Rolesville
  2. November 14, 2020, at Thales Academy Apex
  3. Spring 2021 tournament hosted by St. Thomas More Academy (details to be announced)
  4. Spring 2021 tournament hosted by Franklin Academy (details to be announced)


Information About Our Next Tournament

Date:      Saturday, November 14th, 2020
Time:      Check-in from 8:30am to 8:55am
           Tournament day goes from 9:00am to approximately 5:00pm 
Location:  TBD (In-person or Online via Zoom to be announced)
Eligible:  All students grade 6 through 12 in NC and SC
Cost:      FREE for students of Luddy schools (Thales, Franklin, STMA)
           $10 for teams from other schools and homeschools
Register:  Luddy school teams please register through your coach.
           Non-Luddy school teams please register below.
           Registration closes on Monday, November 9th at 11:59pm ET
Attire:    Business Professional
Schedule:  Schedule for the Day TBD


Resolution and Research Brief

The resolution for the November 14th tournament will be posted here at the beginning of October. Check back soon.

The research brief for the tournament will be posted here when it is ready. 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 research and case-writing. You are not limited to the arguments and sources in the brief.

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.

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 2020-2021, the Coolidge Debate League tournament that will serve as a direct qualifier for the Coolidge Cup will be the fourth tournament at Franklin Academy in the spring. 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 (


Register for the Next Tournament

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. Jackson, or Mr. Kirkendall, respectively), and they will register you directly into the tournament using Tabroom. You must have a full team (i.e., two people) in order to register.

Registration for the November 14th tournament will open on October 1st.



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