Contest rules of the 2011 scripps national spelling bee
Contest Rules of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Beein Washington, D.C.1. Eligibility:A speller qualifying for the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., mustmeet these requirements: • The speller must not have won a Scripps National Spelling Bee championship in Washington, D.C. • The speller must attend a school that is officially enrolled with the Scripps National Spelling Bee. • The speller must not have passed beyond the eighth grade on or before February 1, 2011. • The speller must not have repeated fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade for the purpose of extending spelling bee eligibility. If the speller has repeated fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth grade, the speller must notify the Scripps National Spelling Bee of the circumstances of grade repetition by March 23, 2011; and the Scripps National Spelling Bee will, in its sole discretion, determine the spellers eligibility status on or before April 30, 2011. • The speller—or the spellers parent, legal guardian, or school official acting on the spellers behalf—must not have declared to another entity an academic classification higher than eighth grade for any purpose, including high school graduation equivalency or proficiency examinations and/or examinations such as the PSAT, SAT, or ACT. • The speller must not have earned the legal equivalent of a high school diploma.
• The speller must not have completed nor ever been enrolled in more than six high school-level courses or two college-level courses on or before April 30, 2011. • The speller must not bypass or circumvent normal school activity to study for spelling bees. The Scripps National Spelling Bee defines normal school activity as adherence to at least four courses of study other than language arts, spelling, Latin, Greek, vocabulary, and etymology for at least four hours per weekday for 34 of the 38 weeks between August 30, 2010, and May 21, 2011. • The speller must not have reached his/her 15th birthday on or before August 31, 2010. • The speller must have won a final local spelling bee on or after February 1, 2011. • The speller must not have been disqualified at any level of a sponsors spelling bee program between June 2010 and April 2011. Further, if the speller becomes disqualified at any level of a sponsors spelling bee program before April 2011, the speller will be disqualified from competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and may not seek advancement in the Bee program through another sponsor and/or enrollment in another school. • The speller, upon qualifying for the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., must submit a completed Champion Profile, a Certification of Eligibility Form, a signed Appearance Consent and Release Form, and a photo to the Scripps National Spelling Bee no later than March 29, 2011. The speller will notify the Bee, at least 24 hours prior to the first day of competition in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., if any of the statements made on the Certification of Eligibility Form are no longer true or require updating. The spellers sponsor will provide access to the necessary forms.The Scripps National Spelling Bee may disqualify prior to or during competition anyspeller who is not in compliance with any of the above Eligibility Requirements; and it may—at any time between the conclusion of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee and April30, 2012—require any speller who is found to have not been in compliance with any of theEligibility Requirements to forfeit any prizes, rank, and other benefits accorded to thespeller as a result of participation in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee.2. Format:
The competition has three distinct segments: Preliminaries, Semifinals, and ChampionshipFinals.The Preliminaries consist of a 25-word written test (Round One Test) and two rounds oforal spelling onstage (Rounds Two and Three). Spellers take the Round One Test at 8:00a.m. on Tuesday, May 31.The Semifinals consist of rounds of oral spelling and will likely be concurrent with thecompetitions live daytime broadcast on ESPN on Thursday, June 2. If the ESPN broadcastconcludes while a Semifinals round is in progress, spellers who have not spelled in theround will advance to the Championship Finals broadcast on ESPN for the conclusion ofthe Semifinals round.The Championship Finals consist of rounds of oral spelling and are concurrent with thecompetitions live primetime broadcast on ESPN on Thursday, June 2, unless the ESPNbroadcast begins in a round that began during the Semifinals. The Championship Finalswill not officially commence until the last Semifinals round has concluded, and prizes willbe awarded accordingly.For all rounds except Round One, all spellers who have not been eliminated from thecompetition spell one word in each round.3. Official dictionary and source of words:Websters Third New International Dictionary and its addenda section, copyright 2002,Merriam-Webster, (Websters Third) is the final authority for the spelling of words. Allwords given in competition are entries in Websters Third. If more than one spelling islisted for a word that the pronouncer has provided for the speller to spell, any of thesespellings will be accepted as correct if all of the following three criteria are met: (1) Thepronunciations of the words are identical, (2) the definitions of the words are identical, and(3) the words are clearly identified as being standard variants of each other. Spellings atother locations having temporal labels (such as archaic, obsolete), stylistic labels (such assubstand, nonstand), or regional labels (such as North, Midland, Irish) which differ frommain entry spellings not having these status labels will not be accepted as correct.
4. Eliminations before the semifinals:In the Preliminaries there are no eliminations. Instead, spellers receive one point for eachword spelled correctly on the Round One Test. In the oral spelling segment of thePreliminaries, Rounds Two and Three, spellers receive three points for correct spellings andzero points for incorrect spellings. The potential maximum combined score that a spellermay achieve for spelling in the Preliminaries is 31.Maximum of 50: Immediately after the Preliminaries a "maximum of 50" standard isapplied to spellers scores accrued during the Preliminaries. Spellers scores are plotted on achart. Beginning at 31 on the chart, spellers at each consecutive scoring level are addeduntil a sum of no more than 50 spellers has been attained. All remaining spellers areeliminated. All spellers eliminated prior to the Semifinals are tied for the same place.5. Eliminations due to misspelling during the Preliminaries, Semifinals andChampionship Finals:Upon incorrectly spelling a word during the oral portion of the Preliminaries, the spellerremains in competition. Upon incorrectly spelling a word during the Semifinals andChampionship Finals, the speller is eliminated from the competition, except as provided inRule 12. All spellers eliminated in the same round are tied for the same place.6. Progression of competition:At the beginning of any round in which either two or three spellers remain, the pronouncerwill move to the 25-word championship section of the word list. If a champion does notemerge in the course of administering these final 25 words, the remaining spellers will bedeclared co-champions. In the event that a round beginning with more than either two orthree spellers ends with only one speller to begin the next and perhaps final round, thepronouncer will not move to the championship section at that point in the competition.
7. Time constraints:The spellers time at the microphone has a limit of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Time beginswhen the pronouncer first pronounces the word. For the first 1 minute and 45 seconds, thespeller will have the benefit of viewing a monitor displaying a traffic light graphic in greenlight mode. After 1 minute and 45 seconds, the monitor will show the traffic light graphicin yellow light mode and will also show the time clock as it counts up to the 2-minutemark. At the 2-minute mark, the monitor will show the traffic light graphic in red lightmode and will also show a countdown of the remaining 30 seconds. The judges andpronouncer will not communicate with the speller during the final 30 seconds (red lightmode). The judges will disqualify any speller who does not provide a complete spellingbefore the expiration of time (0 seconds in red light mode). If the judges and pronouncerneed to discuss a competition-related matter while a speller is contemplating a word, theymay pause the time clock, they will inform the speller when they pause and resume the timeclock.8. Special needs:The Scripps National Spelling Bee strives to provide accommodation for spellers who havephysical challenges. All requests for accommodation of special needs involving sight,hearing, speech, or movement should be directed in writing to the director of the ScrippsNational Spelling Bee before April 30, 2011. The judges have discretionary power toamend spelling requirements on a case-by-case basis for spellers with diagnosed medicalconditions involving sight, hearing, speech, or movement.9. Pronouncers role:The pronouncer strives to pronounce words according to the diacritical markings inWebsters Third.Homonyms: If a word has one or more homonyms, the pronouncer indicates which word isto be spelled by defining the word.
Spellers requests: In oral competition the pronouncer responds to the spellers requests for adefinition, sentence, part of speech, language(s) of origin and alternate pronunciation(s).When presented with requests for alternate pronunciations, the pronouncer or associatepronouncer checks for alternate pronunciations in Websters Third. If the speller wishes toask if the dictionary lists a specific root word as the root of the word to be spelled, thespeller must specify a pronunciation of the root (not a spelling), its language, and itsdefinition. The pronouncer will grant all such requests as long as they are in accordancewith time constraints outlined in Rule 7.Pronouncers sense of helpfulness: The pronouncer may offer word information—withoutthe speller having requested the information—if the pronouncer senses that the informationis helpful and the information appears in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee word listor Websters Third.10. Judges role:The judges uphold the rules and determine whether or not words are spelled correctly. Thedecisions of the judges are final.Interaction with the speller: Because seeing lip movements may be critical in detectingmisunderstandings or misspellings, the judges encourage spellers to face them whenpronouncing and spelling the word.Misunderstandings: The judges participate in the exchange of information between thespeller and pronouncer if they feel that clarification is needed. Also, the judges listencarefully to the spellers pronunciation of the word; and, if they sense that the speller hasmisunderstood the word, the judges work with the speller and pronouncer until they aresatisfied that reasonable attempts have been made to assist the speller in understanding theword within the time constraints described in Rule 7. While the judges are responsible forattempting to detect a spellers misunderstanding, it is sometimes impossible to detect amisunderstanding until a spelling error has been made. The judges are not responsible forthe spellers misunderstanding.
Pronouncer errors: The judges compare the pronouncers pronunciation with the diacriticalmarkings in the word list. If the judges feel that the pronouncers pronunciation does notmatch the pronunciation specified in the diacritical markings, the judges will direct thepronouncer 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 start spelling; (2) who does not approach themicrophone when it is time to receive the word; (3) who engages in unsportsmanlikeconduct; (4) who, in the process of retracing a spelling, alters the letters or sequence ofletters from those first uttered; or (5) who, in the process of spelling, utters unintelligible ornonsense sounds.Speller activities that do not merit disqualification: The judges may not disqualify a speller(1) for failing to pronounce the word either before or after spelling it, (2) for asking aquestion, or (3) for noting or failing to note the capitalization of a word.11. Spellers role:The speller makes an effort to face the judges and pronounce the word for the judges beforespelling it and after spelling it. The speller while facing the judges makes an effort to uttereach letter distinctly and with sufficient volume to be understood by the judges. The spellermay ask the pronouncer to say the word again, define it, use it in a sentence, provide thepart of speech, provide the language(s) of origin, and/or provide an alternate pronunciationor pronunciations. The speller may also ask root word questions that meet the specificationsdelineated in Rule 9.Misunderstandings: The speller is responsible for any misunderstanding of the word unless(1) the pronouncer never provided a correct pronunciation; (2) the pronouncer providedincorrect information regarding the definition, part of speech, or language of origin; or (3)the speller correctly spelled a homonym of the word and the pronouncer failed to eitheroffer a definition or distinguish the homonyms.12. End-of-bee procedure:
If all spellers in a round misspell: If none of the spellers remaining in the spelling bee at thestart of a round spells a word correctly during that round, all remain in the competition anda new round begins.If only one speller in a round spells correctly: If only one speller spells correctly in a round,a new one-word round begins and the speller is given an opportunity to spell the next wordon the list (anticipated winning word). If the speller succeeds in correctly spelling theanticipated winning word in this one-word round, the speller is declared the champion.If a speller misspells the anticipated winning word in a one-word round:A new round begins with all the spellers who spelled (correctly and incorrectly) in theprevious round. These spellers spell in their original order.