Spelling Bee Rules
Students participating in the Western Pennsylvania Spelling Bee must be in fourth through eighth grade and must not have passed beyond the eighth grade on or before February 1, 2012. A participant must not have reached his or her 15th birthday on or before August 31, 2011.
The Western Pennsylvania finals will be an oral competition, with elimination
on a "miss-and-out" basis in the traditional Spelling Bee manner.
Contestants shall step forward and compete in alphabetical order for the
semi-final rounds and by random selection for the final round.
The word list used in the Western Pennsylvania finals is made up of
representative words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee study materials and other words selected from
Webster's Third Unabridged Dictionary.
In competition, after the pronouncer gives the contestant a word, the
contestant may also pronounce the word before spelling it, after spelling it,
or not at all.
A contestant may request the pronouncer to re-pronounce a word, define it, or
use it in a sentence. The pronouncer shall grant the request 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 start spelling. The
speller will not be granted a request for a root word.
If, inadvertently, no definition of a homonym is given by the pronouncer, the
correct spelling of either word shall be accepted as correct. When a speller
has been given the definition of a homonym, the speller must spell the word
that was defined.
It is acceptable for a speller to begin spelling a word, start over and change
No speller shall be disqualified for failing to include a capital letter or
such punctuation marks as hyphens and apostrophies.
Upon missing the spelling of a word, a contestant immediately drops out of the
contest, except as provided in rule 11. The next word on the pronouncer’s list
is given to the next contestant.
If none of the contestants remaining in the Bee at the start of a round spells
a word correctly during the round, all shall remain in the competition.
If only one of the contestants remaining in the Bee at the start of a round spells a word correctly during that round, a new one-word round begins and the contestant shall be given an opportunity to spell the next word on the list. If the contestant succeeds in correctly spelling the new word, the contestant shall be declared the champion. Otherwise, all the contestants remaining in the Bee at the start of the round shall remain in the competition.
All oral appeals must be made before the speller would have received his or her next word had he or she stayed in the spelling bee.
Any participant receiving verbal or nonverbal cues from the audience will be
This competition is open to all children in the region regardless of
Judges are in complete control of the Bee. Their decision shall be final on all
questions. Judges will use Webster’s Third New International Dictionary as
their final authority.
Spelling Bee Homepage
2013 Western Pa. Spelling Bee reuults
2012 Western Pa. Spelling Bee results
2011 Western Pa. Spelling Bee results
2010 Western Pa. Spelling Bee results
2009 Western Pa. Spelling Bee results
Spelling Bee rules
Where did the term “spelling bee” come from?