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2014 Adult Spelling Bee Rules


1. Each team consists of three members. Each member will be given a pad of paper and pen at the beginning of the BEE. The Hive Directors are the King Bee (M.C.-Jay Markwalter ), the Word Bee (Wordsmith-Dr. Stephen Smith), the Bee Keeper (Timer-John Raber), the Honey Bee (Spell Checker-Matt Aiken), the Drone (Score Keeper-Ty Maxwell ) and Honey Maker (Honorary Judge-Dr. Bonita Jacobs) The last 4 are the judges and will be in appropriate Bee-Judgeship attire.


2. Three or more rounds will occur.

3. The King Bee is the Master of Ceremonies and keeps the show rolling along. The Word BEE calls out each word and determines the level of words. The Bee Keeper keeps the length of time for each team to spell the word. The Honey BEE checks the spelling of each word. The Drone keeps up with and calls out the team name and sponsor to spell next.

4. Each team comes to the microphone to spell a word when called.

5. The word list for the Spelling BEE is made up of intermediate and advanced words chosen from the resources of the National Spelling Bee. The study list can be found on the internet at Words will be pronounced according to the diacritical markings in the dictionary shown on the website.

6. The Word Bee will call out the word, give a definition, and repeat the word. In the interest of time, no other information will be given. Definitions will be given during rounds one and two. The judges will decide, based upon time constraints, whether definitions will be given in later rounds.

7. The team at the microphone has 20 seconds in which to spell the word after the second pronunciation. One member of the team shall spell the word after having collaborated with the other team members. Having started to spell a word, the speller may stop and start over, retracing the spelling from the beginning; however, the letters and/or their sequence may not be changed in the respelling. If they are, the spelling will be judged as incorrect.

8. If the spelling is correct, the team remains in the BEE.

9. If the spelling is incorrect, the judges will sound the buzzer and the team will leave the stage, and report to the balcony of the theater for the “Free Bee” where they will enjoy refreshments and the rest of the show.

10. Each team has one occasion in which to goof up. It’s called the “Mulligan”. Each team will be given one Mulligan card to use to offset any word given. The Mulligan must be submitted to the Judges before an attempt is made or the word must be spelled.

11. The winning team will be determined as follows: If there is a tie, both teams take turns spelling words. If one team misspells a word, the other team gets a chance. If both teams misspell the word, new words will be given until one team correctly spells two words in a row.

12. Any question relating to the procedures or spelling of a word will be referred to the judges immediately. No protest can be entertained after the contest has ended.

13. The judges are in complete control of the Spelling BEE. Their decisions shall be final on all questions.


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