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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

Spellers who are in (or have recently completed) Grades 1 through 8 as of May 23, 2020 are eligible to participate.

Registration

All spellers, including current SpellPundit students, must register for the competition by signing up at www.spellpundit.com.

Each speller must pay a registration fee of $25. This registration fee is not refundable.

Registration is first come, first served. Registrations will be closed after reaching capacity.

Prize Money

Competition winners will receive cash prizes. The champion, 1st runner up, and 2nd runner up, 4th ranker, and 5th ranker will receive $2500, $1000, $500, $250, and $150 respectively. All other Grand Finalists will receive $100 cash prize.

The prize money may be redistributed in some special circumstances. For example, if the top prize is shared by 3 people, the total prize money of the top three ranks will be equally distributed.

Online Written Tests

The online written test will consist of 25 spelling questions and 25 vocabulary questions. The duration of the test will be one hour (60 minutes).

There will be a total of four online written tests conducted: May 23 morning (~11am CST), May 23 afternoon (~4pm CST), May 24 morning (~11am CST), and May 24 afternoon (~4pm CST). All four written tests will contain different words and will be designed such that they are of overall equal difficulty.

Speller should take only one of the written tests. Speller should select the written test time slot that suits them best while registering.

Qualifying to Oral Spelling Bee rounds

Some spellers will be invited to participate in the oral rounds on May 26 (~6PM CST), and May 27 (~6PM CST) based on their score on the written test. Written test scores of all spellers will be used to determine the cutoff score for qualification for the oral rounds. A speller will be invited to join the oral rounds if their score is equal to or higher than the cutoff score.

Judges may choose some younger spellers for the oral rounds using a lower cutoff point.

Online Oral Spelling Bee Rounds

Every speller who qualifies for the oral rounds will be assigned to either Group A or Group B or Group C or Group D. Oral rounds for Groups A and B will be held on May 26 (~6PM CST) and oral rounds for Groups C and D will be held on May 27 (~6PM CST) respectively.

The Grand Finals will be held on May 28 (~6PM CST) for the winners from Groups A to D. About 4 spellers from each group will advance to Grand Finals. Under some special circumstances, the number of spellers from a group could be higher.

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

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).

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.

If technical or other difficulties are experienced, during spelling a word, the judges may give the speller a different word for the round.

If technical difficulties continue with a small number of spellers, organizers will continue the bee without the spellers who continue to have technical difficulties.

Judges may at their discretion use alternative tools to communicate with spellers, especially if there are many technical challenges.

If technical or other difficulties are experienced, the judges may give the speller a different word for the round

Word Lists and Official Dictionary

Spellers will be provided with a word list consisting of 1000 spelling and 1000 vocabulary words after registration.

Spellers who are registered for the competition will be able to prepare the word lists using SpellPundit software for no additional cost.

Out of the 25 spelling words in the written test, 10 words will be asked from the provided list. Out of the 25 vocabulary words in the written test, 10 words will be asked from the provided list.

The Merriam Webster Unabridged Online Dictionary at (http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/unabridged/) will be the official source for words and word information for the bee.

Computing Requirements

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..

Software would not work on a phone or tablet. The software works only on Windows or Mac computer (laptop or desktop)

The speller or a parent should have admin rights to install software on the computer, such as Zoom.

Online Logistics and Honor System

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, dictionary), or any software (e.g. online dictionary).

When taking the online written test, spellers must not switch browser tabs or open other websites/software/files on their device. If they do, the software will close the online test and the speller is disqualified from the competition

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 computer screen will be continuously recorded. Spellers should adjust their webcam position such that judges can see the speller and surroundings.

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.

While taking online written test and oral rounds, ideally 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) all the time. Parents and siblings should not help speller in any way and if they do, speller will be disqualified from the bee.

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.

Ultimately, this competition is an honor system and we rely on the integrity of spellers to uphold the fairness of the competition.

Oral Bee Logistics

Parents should watch the bee livestream in a separate room from the speller. No one other than speller should remain in the room.

If a speller is out of the completion, they can continue to watch the bee on the Zoom or Livestream.

Like regular bee, speller should not receive any external help from any source (e.g. parents, siblings, internet, dictionary, etc.). If judges believe that speller is receiving any external help, speller will be disqualified from the bee.

Judges may ask a speller to show the entire room, using the webcam, if they have any questions.

Prior to receiving each word, the speller should show hands to the judges. Hands should be in the Zoom video frame. Speller should continue to show their hands while the speller is spelling his/her word.

End of the Grand Finals

The bee will end when there is only one speller. To win the bee, 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.

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 considered joint winners and the prize will be distributed. If one speller misses the word, the remaining two will continue till the end of the 30 word list.

Appeals and Judges Roles

All judge's 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

All judge's 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

Online spelling bees are very challenging and may face technical difficulties. If necessary, judges will select winners using a different criteria (such as online written test scores).

Privacy and Permissions

We will be recording speller's (and others in the room) movements and actions on the computer screen during the spelling bee. By registering for the competition, spellers give SpellPundit permission to record both.

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.

SpellPundit may provide contact information of winner(s) parents information to the media.

SpellPundit may use the recorded material in preparing promotional videos.

SpellPundit may send newsletters to registered spellers (spellers may unsubscribe at any time).