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Spelling Bee 2017 – Rules

New Haven Reads Spelling Bee Rules

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  1. Smile and have FUN!

  2. Each team will consist of three members, including a Captain. The Captain is the designated speller for the team.

  3. Words to be spelled will be drawn from the Word List. Tips for studying and spelling will be available on the New Haven Reads website.

  4. In the event of an unbreakable tie for first place between two teams, words will be selected from a “Stinger List” to determine a winner. This is at the discretion of the Judges.

  5. Teams will compete in rounds—called Swarms—of a minimum of six teams. Teams will remain in the swarm as long as they have spelled each word correctly.

  6. The first word in each round will be a practice word. If a team gets this word wrong, they remain in the competition. The second word in each round will start the elimination round. This does not apply in the final.

  7. During each swarm, the Word Master will present words for all eligible teams to spell collectively. The Word Master will pronounce each word, give its definition, use it in a sentence, and pronounce the word once more. Teams may ask the Word Master to pronounce the word one additional time, but no more.

  8. Teams will be given 20 seconds to collaborate on the spelling of the word. The clock will begin after the Word Master has announced the word and given its definition. The captain may not begin to write on the whiteboard provided until time has begun. Captains are asked to please write the word as large and legibly as possible.

  9. Captains must stop writing as soon as the Official Bee Time Keeper indicates that time is up. Teams may be eliminated if they add to, edit, or erase their words once time is up.

  10. Once time has elapsed, teams will display their whiteboards simultaneously, as directed. Judges will then determine which teams have correctly spelled the word and which have incorrectly spelled the word. The Word Master will spell the word aloud to confirm its spelling. Teams may not erase their whiteboards until the Judges and Emcees indicate all spellings have been approved. The Judges may ask a Captain to spell the word orally for clarification of the team’s intent. Teams who have misspelled the word will be eliminated from the swarm. Teams will turn over their name cards on the table when eliminated.

  11. The swarm is over when all but one team are eliminated. Winners of each swarm will then be recalled for the Final Round, where the same rules will apply.

  12. Judges make final decisions on all questions. There are no appeals.

  13. Don’t forget Rule #1!

Register your team here!

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