Spelling Across Time And Need
Eligibility, Rules and Etiquette for Spelling Bee 2001
- Each contestant becomes eligible when they have won a county or state spelling
championship. A county winner must represent a minimum of 12,000 school age
students (high school and younger).
- No student may be born before Dec. 1st, 1985.
- All participants must arrive between 1:49 and 2:13 to check in.
- The students must not have studied any words from Spelling for Genius’,
Spelling Impossibility, nor Words that Confound.
- Students must not, at any time, have eschewed regular school work, sports,
inhalants, or television to study spelling.
- Entrants must never have been disqualified from any spelling event, nor
ever have been expelled from school for any reason other than pulling the
fire alarm, or going into the wrong bathroom (ie. a boy going into the Girls
Room, or visa versa).
- Students must never before have been a champion at a Spelling Across Time
And Need event.
- An escort, professional or otherwise, must accompany all participants to
the San Francisco area and the spelling bee itself.
- Words should be pronounced according to the diacritical markings in Webster's
Third New International Dictionary and its Addenda Section, copyright 1993.
If a word has one or more homonyms, the pronouncer will indicate which word
is to be spelled. If the listed word is not properly identified, either by
defining it or distinguishing the homonyms, any correct spelling of any homonym
will be accepted.
- In competition, after the pronouncer gives the participant a word, the participant
will be encouraged to pronounce the word before spelling it and after spelling
it. The judges may ask the speller to pronounce the word several times before
spelling to ensure that the speller has heard the word correctly from the
pronouncer. The judges do have absolute authority and can do whatever they
want. They can wear underwear on their heads, or request that a word be skipped
because it seems too hard, or too easy, or even if two or more of the judges
simply don’t like a particular word.
- A participant may or may not be disqualified for failing to note that a
word is capitalized.
- The participant may ask the pronouncer to pronounce the given word again,
define it, and/or use it in a sentence. The pronouncer shall grant all such
requests until the judges agree that the word has been made reasonably clear
to the participant. Root word and/or language of origin questions will not
be entertained by the pronouncer or judges (unless, of course, the judges
choose to reveal the information).
- Spellers may not "chunkify" a word in order to spell it differently.
- The judges may or may not disqualify any participant if they don’t like
the way the participant is looking at them or at the pronouncer.
- If none of the contestants remaining in the competition at the start of
a round spells a word correctly during the round, all shall remain in the
- Having started to spell a word, a participant may stop and start over, retracing
the spelling from the beginning; but in retracing, there can be no change
of letters or their sequence from those first pronounced. If letters or their
sequence is changed in the respelling, the speller will be liquidated, drawn
and quartered, or simply disqualified.
- There is to be no public fornication, on stage or anywhere, during the spelling
- Upon missing the spelling of a word, a participant immediately drops out
of the contest, except when there are only two spellers remaining (or if the
judges wish to grant the person "just one more chance").
- When the participants are reduced to two, the elimination procedure changes.
At this point, when one participant misspells a word, the other participant
gets a new word. If he/she spells the new word correctly, plus the next new
word, he/she becomes the winner. If he/she does not spell both new words correctly,
the first speller receives a new word. If the first speller spells the new
word correctly, plus the next new word, he/she becomes the winner. This process
continues until a winner is declared.
- At any time during the Bee, any speller wishing to appeal a decision, must
make a loud oral request immediately to the judges. The deadline for
an appeal is before the participant affected (ie. the participant) would have
received his/her next word had s/he stayed in the contest. The participants
are allowed legal counsel, while any and all decisions made by the judges
– at any time – are final, unless the judges choose to change their, or someone
- You will be disqualified if you are not present when it is your turn to
spell, unless you’re peeing or pooing. For any other reason (save a "true"
medical emergency) the participant will be immediately and unforgivably excised
from our clique.
- You are expected to display sportsmanlike conduct. You face possible disqualification
for conduct on stage that may be construed as an aid or distraction to other
spellers. Any speller bringing any object on stage that may be construed as
a spelling aid faces disqualification. Any speller that "acts out"
or "misbehaves" faces possible disqualification.
- Say please and thank you.
- There is no ironclad time limit for spellers. Nevertheless, spellers do
not have unlimited time at the microphone. A minute and a half is usually
sufficient time for each speller at the microphone during Round One, and two
minutes is usually sufficient during the higher round(s). If a speller exceeds
the expected time mark, the official timekeeper shall discreetly notify the
judges. The judges shall then decide whether or not to request an immediate
spelling. The judges may disqualify any speller who ignores a request to start
- There will be no pranks, or "prank-like" behavior permitted.
- No particiant will be allowed to "make-fun" of another speller,
the pronouncer (regardless of how much you’d like to), the judges, or security.
Actions of this sort will call for doing something really bad to the mean
person. Making fun is not nice, unless among friends and then, only to a limited
- Skirts shall be no shorter than six inches.
- No cheating.
- No shouting.
- No spitting.
- No fighting.