Competition Rules


1. Eligibility: A speller qualifying for the 2020 Canada Super Spelling Bee Regional Competition in Ottawa, ON must not have passed beyond the eighth grade on or before May 31, 2020.

2. In competition, all words will be chosen from official lists compiled from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and provided by Spelling Bee officials. The official list is the final spelling authority for the competition.

3. The competition will be oral; contestants must spell the words orally and the use of pens and/or pencils and paper will not be allowed.

4. Judges have the final say and are in complete control. Their decision is final on all questions presented.

5. Spellers may ask the pronouncer to repeat the word, use it in a sentence, definition of the word, language of origin, part of speech, alternative pronunciation, and/or root word. The pronouncer may provide these aids until the judges decide that the word has been made clear.

6. When a speller starts to spell a word, they may stop and start over. However, they may not change the letters already spelled at the beginning.

7. If the word is a homophone in which case the Pronouncer must give the definition and an example sentence without being asked. The contestant must give the spelling of the word as defined, not a homophone of the word.

8. If a word has more than one acceptable spelling, any spelling listed in the word list, tie-breaker list or the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, for that word will be accepted.

9. If the speller misspells the word, they immediately drop out of the contest. The next word on the list is given to the next speller.

10. Spellers may protest or raise an objection before the next round starts, but otherwise no protests are to be made.

11. While spelling, spellers must face the judges and say the word, spell the word, and repeat the word again. This continues for each round.

12. The speller has a time limit of two minutes. Time begins when the pronouncer says the first word.

13. Judges must listen carefully and decide whether a word was pronounced correctly and has been spelt correctly.

14. Spellers may also be disqualified if the following actions are committed: the speller does not approach the microphone on their turn, poor sportsmanship is used, speller alters the letters or sequence of letters from the first attempt, if unintelligible sounds are used, or any misconduct or inappropriate behavior towards judges, audience, other spellers, or pronouncer.

15. When the final two spellers are presented, the elimination process changes. When a speller misspells a word, the other speller will be given a chance to spell a different word. If the second speller spells the word correctly, then they will get a second word which is the championship word. If they spell the championship word correctly, they will be declared the winner.

16. If they do not spell the second word correctly, all spellers from the last round are back in.

17. If both spellers misspell their word, the competition continues.

18. Parents and supporters will be unable to crowd the front of the stage for photos. Photos may be taken from your seat only. A photographer and videographer will be on site. You can purchase a photo and video packages from the photo booth.

19. There will be food and drinks available for purchase. No food in the gymnasium, spellers and guests may only take water into the gymnasium.

20. We ask that spellers arrive at 12:30 PM to sign in and collect their Spelling Bee t-shirt and gifts.

21. We remind guests that this is a business casual event. Please dress accordingly.