Start Time
December 3, 2022
End Time
December 4, 2022

1. Contest Details


A speller qualifying for the 2022 t.Lab Spelling Bee Contest must meet these requirements: 

1. The speller must not have earned the legal equivalent of a high school diploma.

2. The speller must not have reached the age of 19 on or before December 1, 2022.

3. The speller, upon formally registering using the electronic registration form for the spelling bee, must provide proof of grade or age.              

4. Students with special needs will be accommodated. Parents or Guardians should inform t.Lab Staff of conditions and needs before October 15, 2022.

Registration and Fee

A $15 fee is required to participate. The student must be registered by his/her guardian at

Contest Dates

K-4th Grades: December 3, 2022 at 5pm US Eastern Time

5-8th Grades: December 3, 2022 at 8am US Eastern Time

9-12th Grades: December 4, 2022 at 1pm US Eastern Time


The contest will be conducted in groups via Zoom


Students will be divided and compete in groups:

·     K-4th grades

·     5th-8th grades

·     9th-12th grades


Students from each group will win:

·     1st Place: $150

·     2nd Place: $100

·     3rd Place: $50


·     All students are required to turn their camera on during the contest.

·     All students must abide by t.Lab’s Standards for Online Sessions.

·     No papers or review materials should be accessed during the contest.

Word List

Word list will be sent to registrants. To register, visit

2. Preliminary

The Preliminary Rounds are the first of three distinct segments of the competition: Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3. Additionally, there are Semifinals and Championship Finals.


The scores will be added to the Semifinal Rounds. No student can be eliminated in the Preliminary Rounds.  

Round  1 Correct  answer: 10 points, incorrect answer: 2.5 points

Round  2 Correct  answer: 10 points, incorrect answer: 2.5 points

Round  3 Correct  answer: 10 points, incorrect answer: 2.5 points

Preliminary Round Competitive Activity:

Each individual will spell the word orally for each round.


3. Semifinal

The Semifinal Rounds are three distinct segments of the competition: Round 1, Round2, and Round 3.


Scores from the preliminary rounds will be added to the scores gained from the semifinal rounds. The highest scoring student(s) will advance to the championship rounds.

Round  1 Correct  answer: 10 points, incorrect answer: 2.5 points

Round  2 Correct  answer: 10 points, incorrect answer: 2.5 points

Round  3 Correct  answer: 10 points, incorrect answer: 0 point

Semifinal Round Competitive Activity:

Each individual will spell the word orally for each round.


4. Championship

The Championship Finals consist of rounds of oral spelling beginning with Round Seven and continuing until a champion is declared (or co-champions are declared).


Round  1 Correct  answer: 10 points, incorrect answer: 2.5 points

Round  2 Correct  answer: 10 points, incorrect answer: eliminated

Round  3 Correct  answer: 10 points, incorrect answer: eliminated

Round 4 onward - Correct  answer: 10 points, incorrect answer: eliminated (Championship words)

Championship Round Competitive Activity:

Each individual will spell the word orally for each round.

Operational Procedures:

All spellers, who have not been eliminated from the competition, spell one word in each round. Upon incorrectly spelling a word, the speller is eliminated from the competition, except as provided under “End-of-Bee Procedure” herein. All spellers eliminated in the same round are tied for the same place. 

Championship Words and Provision for Declaration of Co-Champions:

At the beginning of the fourth round in which either two or more spellers remain, the pronouncer will move to the 25-word championship section of the word list. If a champion does not emerge in the course of administering these final 25 words, the remaining spellers will be declared co-champions. In the event that a round beginning with more than two spellers ends with only one speller to begin the next and perhaps final round, the pronouncer will not move to the championship section at that point in the competition.

End-of-Bee Procedure:

If all spellers in a round misspell, all remain in the competition and a new round begins with the spellers spelling in their original order. If only one speller in a round spells correctly in a round, a new one-word round begins and the speller is given an opportunity to spell the next word on the list (anticipated winning word). If the speller succeeds in correctly spelling the anticipated winning word in this one-word round, the speller is declared the champion. If the speller misspells the anticipated winning word in a one-word round, a new round begins with all the spellers who spelled correctly and incorrectly in the previous round. These spellers spell in their original order.


5. Official Dictionary and Source of Words

Merriam-Webster Unabridged ( is the final authority and sole source for the spelling of words; the primary source used to craft the pronunciations, definitions, and language origins for the Bee; and the only authority consulted by officials, as well as the sole source used during the Bee to verify the information in our prepared lists. If more than one spelling is listed for a word, any of these spellings will be accepted as correct if the following three criteria are met: (1) the pronunciations are identical, (2) the definitions are identical, and (3) the words are identified as being standard variants of each other. Spellings having temporal labels (such as archaic, obsolete), stylistic labels (such as substand, nonstand) or regional labels(such as North, Midland, Irish) which differ from main entry spellings not having these status labels will not be accepted as correct.

6. Time Constraints

During oral spelling rounds in the Preliminaries, Semifinals and Championship: The speller’s time at the microphone has a limit of 2 minutes. Time begins when the pronouncer first pronounces the word. For the first 1 minute and 15 seconds, the speller will have the benefit of viewing a monitor displaying a traffic light in green light mode. After 1 minute and 15 seconds, the monitor will show the traffic light graphic in yellow light mode and will also show the time clock as it counts down to the 30-second mark. At the 30-second mark, the monitor will show the traffic light graphic in red light mode and will also show a countdown of the remaining 30 seconds. The judges and pronouncer will not communicate with the speller during the final 30 seconds (red light mode).  

The judges will disqualify any speller who does not provide a complete spelling before the expiration of time (0 seconds in red light mode). If the judges and pronouncer need to discuss a competition-related matter while a speller is contemplating a word, they may pause the time clock, and they will inform the speller when they pause and resume the time clock.


7.  Special Needs

TheBee strives to provide accommodation for spellers who have diagnosed medical conditions. All requests for accommodation of special needs should be directed in writing to t.Lab Staff before October 15, 2022. The judges have discretionary power to amend spelling requirements on a case-by-case basis for spellers with diagnosed medical conditions.


8. Pronouncer's Role

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.

Speller's requests: In oral competition the pronouncer responds only to the speller's requests for repetition of the word's pronunciation, a definition, sentence, part of speech, language(s) of origin and alternate pronunciation(s). When presented with requests for alternate pronunciations, the pronouncer or associate pronouncer checks for alternate pronunciations in Merriam-Webster Unabridged ( 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. The pronouncer will grant all such requests as long as they are in accordance with time constraints outlined in Rule 6.

Pronouncer's sense of helpfulness: The pronouncer may offer word information - without the speller having requested the information - if the pronouncer senses that the information is helpful and the information appears in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged (


9.  Judges' Role

The judges listen carefully, determine whether or not the words are spelled correctly and uphold the rules. The decisions of the judges are final. 

Misunderstandings: The judges will not respond to the speller's question(s) about the word and its pronunciation but, if the judges sense that the speller has misunderstood the word, the judges will direct the speller and pronouncer to interact until they are satisfied that reasonable attempts have been made to assist the speller in understanding the word within the time constraints outlined in Rule 6. It is sometimes impossible to detect a misunderstanding until a spelling error has been made, and the judges are not responsible for the speller's misunderstanding.

Pronouncer Errors: The judges compare the pronouncer's pronunciation with the diacritical markings in the word list. If the judges feel that the pronouncer's pronunciation does not match the pronunciation specified in the diacritical markings, the judges will direct the pronouncer to correct the error as soon as it is detected.

Disqualifications for reasons other than clear misspelling: The judges will disqualify a speller (1) who does not turn the camera when it is the speller's time to receive the word unless there are extenuating circumstances that, in the judges' sole discretion, merit holding the speller's word in reserve and offering it to the speller after all other spellers in the round have spelled and before the close of the round; (2) who engages in unsportsmanlike conduct; (3) who, in the process of retracing a spelling, alters the letters or sequence of letters from those first uttered; or (4) who, in the process of spelling, utters unintelligible or nonsense sounds.

Speller activities that do not merit disqualification: The judges may not disqualify a speller (1) for failing to pronounce the word either before or after spelling it, (2) for asking a question, or (3) for noting or failing to note the capitalization of a word, the presence of a diacritical mark, or the presence of a hyphen or other form or punctuation.


10. Speller’s Role

The speller should face the camera and pronounce the word for the judges before spelling it and after spelling it. The speller, while facing the camera, makes an effort to pronounce each letter distinctly and with sufficient volume to be understood by the judges. The speller may ask the pronouncer to say the word again, define it, use it in a sentence, provide the part of speech, provide the language(s) of origin and/or provide an alternate pronunciation or pronunciations. The speller may also ask root word questions that meet the specifications delineated in Rule 8.

Misunderstandings: The speller is responsible for any misunderstanding of the word unless (1) the pronouncer never provided a correct pronunciation; (2) the pronouncer provided incorrect information regarding the definition, part of speech, or language of origin; or (3) the speller correctly spelled a homonym of the word and the pronouncer failed to either offer a definition or distinguish the homonyms.