Rules & Procedures

 
  • Participants must be 18 years or older,
  • Eligible: those who have not won 3 times, or have not won a national spelling bee for adults.
  • We provide paper and for those without a writing instrument, we provide pencils.
  • For Round 1, place your name at the top right of the paper and on left number from 1 to 20.  
  • Round 2 has 15 words, Round 3 has 10, and Round 4 has 5.
  • You'll have 20 seconds to spell each word after we pronounce it. After the round, we’ll repeat them.  
  • A schwa is an unstressed vowel, so asking for repeats may not help.
  • Print clearly, no cursive.  If we can’t read it, we can’t mark it.
  • Don't worry about capitals, hyphens, spaces, or diacritical marks (such as cedillas or grave accents). 
  • To correct a mistake, put a line through the word and write it again.  Do not erase or insert letters.
  • In Round 1, you’ll mark your own paper, X for incorrect.  If you qualify for Round 2, we’ll recheck your paper.  In all other rounds, we mark the papers of those in the running. 
  • We take about 20 people into Round 2, about 10 into Round 3, and about 5 into Round 4.  A tie for first at the end of Round 4 results in a Sudden Death Round.
  • Do not collaborate on spellings - no use of cell phone or text messaging.
  • We consult several unabridged dictionaries to confirm the spelling of the words we select, including Merriam-Webster, Random House and Oxford American.  
  •  OUr event is the first Saturday after Valentine’s Day each year.
  • After a 3rd win, a competitor must retire from competition and serve on the committee.