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2011 Spelling Bee Rules

2011 Spelling Bee Rules

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Published by: Columbia Daily Tribune on Feb 28, 2011
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Rules for Local Spelling Bees 
We encourage spellers, parents, teachers, and spelling bee officials to read these rules prior to anyspelling bee.
These rules are guidelines designed to assist spelling bee officials and spellers at the local level. Spellersshould check with their local spelling bee officials for the rules in effect in their area. Spelling bee officialsinclude the pronouncer, judges, coordinator, and sponsor.
While local spelling bee officials have the prerogative to amend Rules 2 through 11, amendmentsparticularly any amendments to the end-of-bee procedureshould be undertaken only with carefulconsideration of the various outcomes that may result from the amendments.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee has no authority over the conduct of local spelling bees (namely,spelling bees other than the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Washington, D.C. area). Consequently,the national office will not render judgments relating to the conduct of local spelling bees. Individualsbearing complaints about the conduct of local spelling bees should register their concerns with localspelling bee officials. DECISIONS OF LOCAL SPELLING BEE OFFICIALS ARE FINAL.
Rules for Local Spelling Bees 
are not the rules in effect at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in theWashington, D.C. area. When a local spelling bee official says, “We use the national rules,” he or she isprobably indicating that the
Rules for Local Spelling Bees 
are in effect.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Washington, D.C. area operates under a significantly differentset of rules called the
Contest Rules of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
These rules containprovisions that are specific to unique conditions at the event in the Washington, D.C. area. Their successful implementation at the local level is considered impossible and therefore is not recommended.
1. Eligibility:
A speller qualifying for the 2011Scripps National Spelling Bee in theWashington, D.C. area must meet theserequirements: (1) The speller must not have won a ScrippsNational Spelling Bee championship in theWashington, D.C. area. (2) The speller must attend a school that isofficially enrolled with the Scripps NationalSpelling Bee. (3) The speller must not have passedbeyond the eighth grade on or beforeFebruary 1, 2011. (4) The speller must not have repeatedfourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth gradefor the purpose of extending spelling beeeligibility. If the speller has repeated fourth,fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade, thespeller must notify the Scripps NationalSpelling Bee of the circumstances of graderepetition by March 23, 2011; and theScripps National Spelling Bee will, at its solediscretion, determine the speller’s eligibilitystatus on or before April 30, 2011. (5) The spelleror the speller’s parent, legalguardian, or school official acting on thespeller’s behalfmust not have declared toanother entity an academic classificationhigher than eighth grade for any purpose,including high school graduationequivalency or proficiency examinationsand/or examinations such as the PSAT,SAT, or ACT. (6) The speller must not have earned thelegal equivalent of a high school diploma. (7) The speller must not have completed or have been enrolled in more than six highschool-level courses or two college-levelcourses on or before April 30, 2011. (8) The speller must not eschew normalschool activity to study for spelling bees.The Scripps National Spelling Bee definesnormal school activity as adherence to atleast four courses of study other thanpage 1
Rules for Local Spelling Bees 
language arts, spelling, Latin, Greek,vocabulary, and etymology for at least four hours per weekday for 34 of the 38 weeksbetween August 30, 2010, and May 21,2011. (9) The speller must not have reachedhis/her 15
birthday on or before August 31,2010. (10) The speller must have won a final localspelling bee on or after February 1, 2011. (11) Once having been disqualified at anylevel of a sponsor’s spelling bee programbetween June 2010 and April 2011, thespeller remains disqualified for the 2011Scripps National Spelling Bee and may notseek advancement in the 2011 ScrippsNational Spelling Bee program throughanother sponsor and/or enrollment inanother school. (12) The speller, upon qualifying for the2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee in theWashington, D.C. area, must submit acompleted Champion Bio Form, aCertification of Eligibility Form, a signedAppearance Consent and Release Form,and a hard copy of a photo to the ScrippsNational Spelling Bee no later than March27, 2011. The speller will notify the Beeatleast 24 hours prior to the first day of competition in the Scripps National SpellingBee in the Washington, D.C. areaif any of the statements made on the Certification of Eligibility Form are no longer true or requireupdating. The speller’s sponsor will provideaccess to the necessary forms. The Scripps National Spelling Bee maydisqualify prior to or during competition anyspeller who is not in compliance with any of itseligibility requirements; and it mayat any timebetween the conclusion of the 2011 ScrippsNational Spelling Bee and April 30, 2012require any speller who is found to have notbeen in compliance with any of the eligibilityrequirements to forfeit the prizes, rank, andother benefits accorded to the speller as a resultof participation in the 201
Scripps NationalSpelling Bee.
 2. Format:
The spelling bee is conducted inrounds. Each speller remaining in the spellingbee at the start of a round spells one word ineach roundexcept in the case of a written,multiple choice, or online test. The spelling beemay be conducted orally or in writing or in amanner that is a combination of the two;however, if the spelling bee officials specify anoral format, the speller may not demand awritten format except under the conditions of Rule 4. 
3. Word list:
Local spelling bee officials areresponsible for selecting the word lists for use ateach local spelling bee. Many local spelling beeofficials use word lists generated by the ScrippsNational Spelling Bee. These lists include manywords that appear in the current edition of 
Spell It! 
as well as some “end-of-bee” words. All wordson Scripps National Spelling Bee word lists areentries in
Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 
and its addenda section, copyright2002, Merriam-Webster, the official dictionary of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 
4. Special needs:
Spelling bee officials willstrive to provide accommodation for spellerswho have physical challenges. All requests for spelling bee officials to accommodate specialneeds involving sight, hearing, speech, or movement should be directed to spelling beeofficials well in advance of the spelling bee date.The judges have discretionary power to amendoral and/or written spelling requirements on acase-by-case basis for spellers with diagnosedmedical conditions involving sight, hearing,speech, or movement. 
5. Pronouncer’s role:
The pronouncer strivesto pronounce words according to the diacriticalmarkings in Scripps National Spelling Bee wordlists and
Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 
and its addenda section, copyright2002, Merriam-Webster. Homonyms: If a word has one or morehomonyms, the pronouncer indicates whichword is to be spelled by defining the word. Speller’s requests:
The pronouncer responds to the speller’s requests for adefinition, sentence, part of speech,language(s) of origin, and alternatepronunciation(s). When presented withrequests for alternate pronunciations, thepronouncer or an aide to the pronouncer checks for alternate pronunciations in either 
Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 
 and its addenda section, copyright 2002,page 2
Rules for Local Spelling Bees 
Merriam-Webster or 
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary,
eleventh edition. Thepronouncer does not entertain root wordquestions, requests for alternate definitions,or requests for markedly slower pronunciation. Pronouncer’s sense of helpfulness: Thepronouncer may offer word informationwithout the speller having requested theinformationif the pronouncer senses thatthe information is helpful and the informationis presented in the entry for the word in a2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee word listor 
Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 
and its addenda section,copyright 2002, Merriam-Webster. 
6. Judges’ role:
The judges uphold the rulesand determine whether or not words are spelledcorrectly. They also render final decisions onappeals in accordance with Rule 11. They are incomplete control of the competition and their decision is final on all questions. Interaction with the speller: Because seeingthe speller’s lip movements may be critical indetecting misunderstandings or misspellings, the judges encourage spellersto face them when pronouncing and spellingthe word. Notice of rules: The judges ensure that allspellers and audience members are givenan opportunity to receive a complete copy of the rules prior to the start of the spelling bee. Misunderstandings: The judges participatein the exchange of information between thespeller and pronouncer if they feel thatclarification is needed. Also, the judgeslisten carefully to the speller’s pronunciationof the word; and, if they sense that thespeller has misunderstood the word, thejudges work with the speller and pronouncer until they are satisfied that reasonableattempts have been made to assist thespeller in understanding the word. While thejudges are responsible for attempting todetect a speller’s misunderstanding, it issometimes impossible to detect amisunderstanding until a spelling error hasbeen made. The judges are not responsiblefor the speller’s misunderstanding. Pronouncer errors: The judges compare thepronouncer’s pronunciation with thediacritical markings in the word list. If thejudges feel that the pronouncer’spronunciation does not match thepronunciation specified in the diacriticalmarkings, the judges direct the pronouncer to correct the error as soon as it is detected. Disqualifications for reasons other than clear misspelling: The judges will disqualify aspeller (1) who refuses a request to startspelling; (2) who does not approach themicrophone when it is time to receive theword; (3) who does not comply with theeligibility requirements; (4) who engages inunsportsmanlike conduct; (5) who, in theprocess of retracing a spelling, alters theletters or sequence of letters from those firstuttered; or (6) who, in the process of spelling, utters unintelligible or nonsensesounds. Speller activities that do not meritdisqualification: The judges may notdisqualify a speller (1) for failing topronounce the word either before or after spelling it, (2) for asking a question, or (3)for noting or failing to note the capitalizationof a word.
 7. Speller’s role:
The speller makes an effort toface the judges and pronounce the word for thejudges before spelling it and after spelling it. Thespeller 
while facing the judges 
makes an effortto utter each letter distinctly and with sufficientvolume to be understood by the judges. Thespeller may ask the pronouncer to say the wordagain, define it, use it in a sentence, provide thepart of speech, provide the language(s) of origin,and/or provide an alternate pronunciation or pronunciations. Misunderstandings: The speller isresponsible for any misunderstanding of theword unless (1) the pronouncer never provided a correct pronunciation; (2) thepronouncer provided incorrect informationregarding the definition, part of speech, or language of origin; or (3) the speller correctly spelled a homonym of the wordand the pronouncer failed to either offer adefinition or distinguish the homonyms.
8. Correction of a misspelling:
pronouncer and judges will not ask the speller topage 3
Rules for Local Spelling Bees 

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