Spelling Bee

Scripps National Spelling Bee

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a highly competitive annual spelling bee in the United States. It is the nations largest and longest –running education promotion, with participants from other countries as well. It is run on a not-for-profit basis by The E. W. Scripps Company and is held the week following Memorial Day weekend, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center hotel in Oxon Hill, Maryland near Washington, D.C. It is open to students who have not yet completed the eighth grade, reached their 15th birthday, nor won a previous National Spelling Bee. Over the years, the competition has been opened to contestants all over the world. Participants from countries other than the United States must be regional spelling-bee winners as well.


The National Spelling Bee was formed in 1925 as a consolidation of numerous local spelling bees, organized by The Courier-Journal in Louisville and having nine competitors. Frank Neuhauser won the first National Spelling Bee held that year, by successfully spelling "gladiolus."

The origin of the word "bee" as used in "spelling bee" is unclear. "Bee" refers to "a gathering", where people join together in an activity. and the origin of this sense of "bee" is related to the word "been".

The Spelling Bee Competition

Qualifying Regional Competitions

To qualify for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, a speller must win a regional competition. Each region may set its own rules for a spelling bee. Regional rules may not correspond exactly with the national spelling bee.

There are many books they can refer to: Spell it (officialstudy booklet), School Pronouner’s Guide (include some surprise word), Sponsor Bee Guide.

(To participate in the national competition, a speller must be sponsored. )

National competition format

Round One

Now referred to as the Round One Test, it consists of 50 words, 25 of which are deemed "score words". The score words are the only words that will count towards a speller's overall score, and their status is undisclosed until the actual results announcement. This test will be taken on a computer. Spellers use headphones to listen to a recording of Dr. Jacques Bailly, the Bee's official pronouncer, pronouncing each word, its language of origin, definition, and usage in a sentence. Spellers then type their spelling of each word using the computer keyboard. They may correct their spellings as much as they wish until they complete the entire test.

Because the spellers do not take the test at the same time, they are absolutely prohibited from discussing Round One words with anyone, including their parents and official escorts. To do so would be cause for disqualification according to the rules.

Each correctly spelled score word on the Round One written test is worth one point. Round Two and Three

Round Two is an oral round, in which spellers spell a word from the Bee's official dictionary, Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, which has over 476,000 entries. Every speller participates and has a chance to take the stage. A correct