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  • You don't need to prepare every word in the dictionary to be Be a National Spelling Bee Champion.

  • You don't need to prepare every word in the dictionary to be Be a National Spelling Bee Champion.

Ease

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Speed

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Accuracy

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Competition Information & Rules



Eligibility


  1. Students who are in K - 4 grade, as of April 2021, are eligible to participate in Junior Spelling Bee
  2. Students who are in 5 - 8 grade, as of April 2021, are eligible to participate in Senior Spelling Bee

Registration

  1. All spellers, including current students, must register for the competition by signing up at https://spellpundit.com/spell/users.php.
  2. Registration fee is $35 for Junior and Senior Spellers. The registration fee is non-refundable.
  3. Registration will be on a first come, first served basis and will close after the capacity is reached.

Prize Money

A total of $7000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the Spelling Bee winners. The top 10 will receive trophies in addition to cash prizes.

Junior Spelling Bee: Grades K-4 Senior Spelling Bee: Grades 5-8
Junior Spelling Bee Champion: $1500 Senior Spelling Bee Champion: $1500
Junior Spelling Bee First-Runner-Up: $700 Senior Spelling Bee First-Runner-Up: $700
Junior Spelling Bee Second-Runner-Up: $500 Senior Spelling Bee Second-Runner-Up: $500
Junior Spelling Bee 4th Place: $200 Senior Spelling Bee 4th Place: $200
Junior Spelling Bee 5th – 10th Place: $100 Senior Spelling Bee 5th – 10th Place: $100
Total Cash Prizes: $3500 Total Cash Prizes: $3500

Spelling Bee Schedule

Junior Spelling Bee Senior Spelling Bee
Written Test: April 10 Written Test: April 11
Semi-Finals: April 17 Semi-Finals: April 24
National Finals: April 18 National Finals: April 25

Junior and Senior Spelling Bee Preliminaries Written Test (Online):

  1. Preliminaries will consist of an online written test with 25 spelling questions and 25 vocabulary questions. Duration of the test will be about 1 hour
  2. There will be 3 online tests in each category, and students can choose to participate in any one of the 3 tests

Junior and Senior Spelling Bee Semi-Finals (Online):

  1. A specific number of students from the Preliminaries as determined by the organizers will be invited to the National Semi-Finals
  2. The National Semi-Finals will consist of oral rounds only and the top students will be determined based on elimination method

Junior and Senior Spelling Bee Finals (Online):

  1. A specific number of students from the Semi-Finals as determined by the organizers will qualify for the National Finals
  2. The National Finals will consist of oral rounds only and the top students will be determined based on elimination method

Semi-Finals and Finals Oral Rounds Details

Spellers should join the oral competitions using an online link provided by the organizers prior to the start of the oral rounds. Spellers who are late to join the competition will be disqualified.

  1. The oral rounds will be conducted in standard spelling bee format (i.e., a speller will be eliminated from the competition if they misspell their word).
  2. In each round, the speller has 2 minutes to spell the word they are given, starting from the time when the pronouncer first says the word. The speller may seek information in the first 90 seconds, and no questions are allowed in the last 30 seconds of their time.
  3. If technical or other difficulties are experienced, during spelling a word, the judges may give the speller a different word for the round.
  4. If technical difficulties continue with a small number of spellers, organizers will continue the bee without the spellers who continue to have technical difficulties.
  5. Judges may at their discretion use alternative tools to communicate with spellers, especially if there are many technical challenges.
  6. Parents should not be in the same room as the speller. They can watch the Facebook livestream of the bee from a separate room. No one other than speller should remain in the room while the speller is taking the test.
  7. If a speller is out of the competition, they can continue to watch the bee via Facebook Livestream.
  8. Just like a regular bee, the speller should not receive any external help from any source (e.g. parents, siblings, internet, dictionary, etc.). If the judges believe that a speller is receiving any external help, the speller will be disqualified from the bee.
  9. Prior to receiving each word, the speller should show both hands to the judges. The speller should continue to show the hands while spelling his/her word. The hands should be visible in the Zoom video frame until the speller finishes spelling the word. The secondary device should show the room the speller is in.

Word Lists and Official Dictionary

  1. Students will be provided with a word list consisting of 1000 words after registration. The word list for the Junior and Senior Spelling Bee are different.
  2. Students who are registered for the competition will be able to prepare the word lists on SpellPundit website for no additional cost.
  3. Out of the 25 spelling words in the written test, 15 words will be from the study/word list. Out of the 25 vocabulary words in the written test, 15 words will be from the study/word list.
  4. The Merriam Webster Unabridged Online Dictionary (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com) will be the official source for words and word information for the bee.

Computing Requirements

  1. All spellers should have a computer (not a phone or not a tablet) with a microphone and webcam. Spellers without a computer with microphone or webcam are not allowed to participate.
  2. The interface for the Preliminaries will not work on a phone or tablet and will work only on Windows or Mac computer (laptop or desktop).
  3. The written test software has been tested extensively using chrome browser. Spellers should download the chrome browser (on Windows or Mac) for the written test.
  4. The speller or a parent should have admin rights to install software on the computer, such as Zoom.
  5. In addition to the computer described above, spellers should have a second computer, a phone, or a tablet with webcam. This second device is used to monitor speller’s room.

Online Logistics and Honor System

  1. The entire competition (written and oral round) will be held online. During all rounds of competition (written and oral), spellers must not seek help from any external resources. This includes, but is not limited to, other people (e.g. parents, friends), any devices (e.g. phone, computer, additional computer or monitor, dictionary), or any software (e.g. online dictionary).
  2. Spellers should take written and oral rounds in a quiet and well-lit room.
  3. When taking the online written test, spellers must not switch browser tabs or open other websites/software/files on their device. If they do so, the software will close the online test and the speller will be disqualified from the competition
  4. During all rounds of competition (written and oral), spellers are required to be in front of a webcam, and their physical movements as well as operations on the computer screen will be continuously recorded. Spellers should adjust their webcam position such that judges can see the speller and the surroundings.
  5. Spellers should not mute themselves at any time, but the judges may choose to mute all spellers at their discretion. Spellers should remain as silent as possible when they are unmuted in order to avoid disrupting other spellers and the competition.
  6. While taking the online written test and oral rounds, ideally, the speller should be alone in a room with no one else in the room. If parent(s) and sibling(s) want to be in the room, they should be behind the speller and judges should be able to see parent(s) and sibling(s) at all times. Parents and siblings should not help the speller in any way and if they do so, the speller will be disqualified from the competition.
  7. Spellers should not seek any competitive advantage by any other means. As a general rule, if something is not allowed during a regular spelling bee (e.g. possession of a phone during competition), it is not allowed in this online competition.
  8. Organizers may ask a speller to show the entire room, using the webcam, if they have any questions
  9. Ultimately, this competition is an honor system and we rely on the integrity of the spellers to uphold the fairness of the competition.

End of the Grand National Finals

  1. The bee will end when there is only one speller. To win the bee, the last speller has to spell his/her own word and a championship word. If a speller misses the championship word, all the remaining spellers from the previous round will be reinstated.
  2. When there are only three or less spellers remain in the bee, we will begin using a 30-word list. If no speller misses his/her word during this stage, all three will be declared as joint winners and the prize money will be distributed. If one speller misses the word, the remaining two spellers will continue till the end of the 30-word list.

Judging

  1. All judges’ decisions are final. Depending on the circumstances of the competition, judges reserve the right to change the rules of the competition. Judges will do their best to preserve the integrity and fairness of the competition
  2. In case of unexpected technical difficulties, if necessary, judges will select winners using different criteria (such as online written test scores).

Privacy and Permissions

  1. The organizers may record speller's movements and actions on the computer screen during the contest. By registering for the competition, spellers/parents give the organizers permission to record both.
  2. Oral rounds will be broadcast live on various social media channels. All parents, spellers, other family members who appear on Zoom video, are agreeing to broadcast their images and images of the property.
  3. The organizers may provide contact information of winner(s) to the media.
  4. The organizers may use the recorded material in preparing promotional videos.
  5. The organizers may send newsletters to registered spellers.