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  1. You should receive a copy of the spelling bee list a few days before the bee so that you can review the words and check the dictionary if you have any concerns.
  2. The pronouncer is in charge of directing the spelling bee. Welcome the participants and explain the rules.
Spelling Bee Rules:  
      1.  The pronouncer will say the word and give a short definition and have the student  pronounce the word.

      2.  As of 2016, the official dictionary for all spelling bees is Merriam-Webster Unabridged which is available only online.  The speller may ask for 1) the word to be pronounced again, 2) the derivation, 3) the definition to be repeated, 4) alternate pronunciations, 5) the part of speech, 6) the tense, or 7) the word to be used in the sentence.  All of this information will be included in the pronouncer’s list.

      3.  "Having started to spell a word, a speller may stop and start over, retracing the spelling from the beginning, but in retracing there can be no change in letters or their sequence from those first pronounced.  If letters or their sequence are changed in the respelling, the speller will be eliminated."

  1. Have the spellers introduce themselves giving their name, grade, and school.
  2. Have three spellers standing at the microphone at all times to avoid wasting spelling time while walking back and forth from their seats.
  3. Conduct the practice round, encouraging the spellers to speak into the microphone, enunciate clearly, and ask questions about the words.
  4. Begin with the "SPELL IT!" words on your list, eliminating each speller as they make a mistake.  The pronouncer is the final judge as to whether the student has spelled the word correctly or not (with the help of dictionary judges and teachers, if necessary).  If a speller misspells a word, it’s a good idea for the pronouncer to spell the word correctly so the speller can learn from their mistake.
  5. (new rule as of 1998)  Capitalized Words:  "When a speller spells capitalized words in a spelling bee, only the sequence of the letters matters: to spell a word correctly, a speller need not specify that the first letter is a capital letter."
  6. (new rule as of 2012)  Hyphenated words and words with spaces.  "Only the sequence of the letters matters, a speller need not specify hyphens or spaces." 
  7. When you have used all of the "SPELL IT!" words on your list, or when there are five spellers left in the competition (whichever comes first), proceed to the "CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND WORDS" on your list.  If any spellers remain in the bee after you have used all fifty "CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND WORDS," they shall be declared co-champions. 
  8. When two spellers remain the rules change.  Explain the new rules and complete the spelling bee.

When the number of spellers is reduced to two, the elimination procedure changes.  At that point, when one speller misspells a word, the other speller shall be given an opportunity to spell that same word.  If the second speller spells that word correctly, plus the next word on the pronouncer’s list, then the second speller shall be declared the champion.

If one of the last two spellers misses and the other, after correcting the error, misspells the new word submitted to him/her, then the misspelled new word shall be referred to the first speller.  If the first speller then succeeds in correcting the error and correctly spells the next word on the pronouncer’s list, then he/she shall be declared the champion.

If both spellers misspell the same word, both shall continue and the one who first misspelled the word shall be given a new word to spell.

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