SpellGenius Online Spelling Bee
Nov 15, 2020

Contest Rules for the 2020 SpellGenius Online Spelling Bee

  1. A speller registering for the November 2020 Spellgenius Spelling Bee must be eligible for the Scripps National Spelling Bee 2021. The speller must be in 8th grade or lower during the 2020-21 Academic Year. There is no lower end to the grade.
  2. This spelling bee is conducted entirely online on our online platform Zoom. A computer with a working microphone and webcam is required. It should be tested in advance by the participant/parents.
  3. The Preliminaries takes place on the morning of Nov 15 and is the first of two distinct segments of the competition, Preliminaries and Finals. The Finals segment will take place in the afternoon of Nov 15. Both segments comprise only of oral rounds.
  4. The preliminaries consist of oral rounds with participants grouped by grade groups. Each speller will have a chance to multiple rounds and there is no elimination in the case of incorrect spelling.
  5. Top 15 - 20 from all groups based on cumulative score will progress to the Finals. In case of a tie, this number may be modified to accommodate participants with similar score.
  6. Finals format: The rules for the finals round are that of an elimination spelling bee, continuing until a champion is declared. No appeals are allowed and the judge’s decision is final. Definition, parts of speech, and language of origin will be provided upon request, but not sentence usage.
  7. Official Dictionary and source of words Merriam-Webster Unabridged, available at, is the final authority and sole source for the spelling of words.
  8. Since this bee is online, the audio quality will be tested with a sample word before time starts. During the Preliminaries and Finals, the speller’s time at the microphone has a limit of 2 minutes.
  9. The online Spelling Bee will be based on honor code. The participants would swear to strictly follow the honor code. They will only use their knowledge and intelligence to spell the words and will not use any dis-honorable means including the help of others, or looking at other sources. Parents are required to monitor the participants. There are enough measures to catch any kind of cheating (please see below point 10), but the goal is that we wouldn’t need to use those mechanisms. Ultimately the values we teach children are more important than any awards.
  10. The speller MUST stand 3 feet away from the camera. At least half of the speller’s body must be visible in the camera. The speller’s eyes must be on the camera at all times. The judges reserve the right to disqualify spellers if they don’t follow these rules.
  11. The judges and pronouncer will not communicate with the speller during the final 30 seconds of microphone time. The judges will disqualify any speller who does not provide a complete spelling before the expiration of time. If speller was disconnected due to poor connection, a new word will be provided upon reconnecting.
  12. The pronouncer strives to pronounce words according to the diacritical markings in Merriam-Webster Unabridged. Homonyms: If a word has one or more homonyms, the pronouncer indicates which word is to be spelled by defining the word. The pronouncer responds only to the speller’s requests for repetition of the word’s pronunciation, a definition, a sentence, part of speech, language(s) of origin and alternate pronunciation(s). If the speller wishes to ask if the dictionary lists a specific root word as the root of the word to be spelled, the speller must specify a pronunciation of the root (not a spelling), its language and its definition.
  13. A speller may also be disqualified if (a) in the process of retracing a spelling, alters the letters or sequence of letters from those first uttered; or (2) in the process of spelling, utters unintelligible sounds.
  14. Mathus Academy will record the entire Spelling Bee and may publish either full recording or parts of it on the website, social media or other forums.
  15. Mathus Academy and its affiliates may reach the registered participants/parents for any future offerings via email or phone calls.
  16. Fee for the registration of the Contest is $25. The fee is not refundable.
  17. Mathus Gift certificates can be used for any of Mathus Academy classes or SpellGenius subscription

While there are cash prizes to encourage the children, the most important part of the Online Spelling Bee is participation and the precious practice. There are not many Spelling Bees conducted by Scripps toppers that are available throughout the country. Absorb the spirit of the online Spelling Bee and have lots of fun!

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