Spelling Bee Guidelines:

  1. Two students from each grade (grades 3 – 8) will be selected to represent their school in the grade level competitions.  Each school can also submit one alternate per grade. The alternate will be used to replace one of the two representatives in that grade who may need to be excused due to illness or family emergency. Participants must be currently enrolled in the grade in which they are competing.
  2. Each school will either select their grade level participants or conduct their own local spelling bee. It is recommended that the school hold a qualifying Spelling Bee for each grade level prior to registration. Classroom or School Bees may be conducted either in writing or orally, or a combination of the two methods.
  3. The LCS Festival Spelling Bee shall be an oral competition with elimination on a single-elimination basis in the traditional spelling bee manner.
  4. Words shall be selected from the official word lists, the lists are located at the bottom of this page. Words dictated will not be presented in the order they are written in the list.
  5. Words shall be pronounced according to the diacritical markings in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, from which the pronouncer shall select the definition of definitions that he/she gives. After the pronouncer gives the contestant a word, the contestant must pronounce the word before and after spelling it. Failure to do so shall result in elimination.
  6. The contestant may request the pronouncer to repeat the word, define it, 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 contestant. Judges may disqualify any contestant who ignores a request to begin spelling.
  7. Having started to spell a word, a contestant may stop and start over, retracting the spelling from the beginning, but in the retracing there can be no change of letters and their sequence from those first articulated. If letters or their sequence is changed in the spelling, the speller will be eliminated.
  8. Upon missing the spelling word, a contestant immediately drops out of the contest. The next word the pronouncer dictates is give to the next contestant.
  9. When the contestants are reduced to two, the elimination procedure changes. At that point, the pronouncer will stop the competition and state the new rules. When one contestant misspells a word, the other contestant shall be given an opportunity to spell that same word. If the second contestant spells that word correctly, plus the next word the pronouncer dictates, then he/she shall be declared the champion.
  10. If one of the last two contestants misspells a word and the other, after correcting the error, misspells the new word submitted to him/her, then the misspelled new word shall be referred to the first speller. If the first speller then succeeds in correcting the error and correctly spells the next word on the pronouncers list, then he/she shall be declared the champion.
  11. If both spellers misspell the same word, both shall continue in the contest, and the one who first misspelled the word shall be given a new word to spell. The contest shall then continue under rules 9 and 10.
  12. The Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, shall serve as the final authority for the spelling of words in the state finals. If more than one spelling is listed for a word, any of these spellings will be accepted as correct if the word appears in boldface type and if it either matches the pronunciation and definition provided by the pronouncer, or if it is clearly identified as being a standard variant of the word that the contestant has been asked to spell. Boldfaced spelling at other locations have archaic, obsolete, or regional labels that are different from those at the main entry will not be accepted as correct.
  13. The student must request the pronouncer to indicate, either by defining the word or by explaining the homonyms, which word is to be spelled.
  14. Any question relating to the spelling of a word should be referred to the judges immediately. The deadline for making a grievance is before the contestant affected would have received his/her next word had he/she stayed in the contest. No grievance will be entertained after that word has been given to another speller. When only two spellers remain, a grievance must be made immediately, that is, before the second speller has started to spell the word given him/her, or, if both have misspelled the same word, before the correct spelling is given to the audience.
  15. The judges are in complete control of the bee. Their decision shall be final on all questions.