A speller qualifying for the Vibha DC Spelling Bee 2016 must meet these requirements:

  • The speller must not have passed beyond grade 5 on or before April 1, 2016.
  • The speller must not have reached his/her 12th birthday on or before October 1, 2015.

Vibha reserves the right to disqualify a speller who does not meet the above mentioned eligibility requirements. If a speller is found not to have complied with the rules and regulations of Vibha DC Spelling Bee, then Vibha, at any time between the conclusion of the Vibha DC Spelling Bee 2016 and 31st December 2016, reserves the right to strip the speller of any prizes, ranks and other benefits accorded to the speller as a result of his/her participation in Vibha DC Spelling Bee 2016.


  • Parents or guardians of spellers can register online.
  • On-site registration will start at 10:00 AM on event day.

Audience Participation

  • Each Participant is allowed to bring one audience member for free.
  • Free admission for children under the age of 5.
  • All other audience members are required to pay a nominal participant fee. Tickets will be available at the venue.


The event will start at 11:00AM. All participants are expected to arrive at the event location no later than 30 minutes prior to the announced starting time of the contest.



The participants will be split into 2 groups:

  • Group-1: Kindergarten thru 2nd Grade
  • Group-2: 3rd thru 5th Grade
Preliminary Round

During the Preliminary Round, the spelling bee will be conducted as follows:

  • The two groups of participants will have separate written tests that may be conducted in parallel.
  • The written test will include questions of the type Fill In the blanks, Scrambled Words, Find the correctly-spelled words.
  • The grade level of the participant will be taken into consideration when the scores are tallied for the entry into the Oral Round.
  • All grade levels will have a representation on the stage for the Oral Round.
  • 15 participants from each group will proceed to the Oral Round.
  • Please note that the evaluated written test papers will not be returned to the parents.
Oral Round

The Oral Round (also the semi-final round) will be conducted on stage separately for Group-1 and Group-2, one after the other. A percentage of the words in the first 3 rounds of the orals will be derived from the word lists communicate to the parents via the Vibha DC Spelling Bee Study Guide.

During the Oral Round, the spelling bee will be conducted as follows:

  • The Oral Round will be conducted until 2 spellers remain.
  • Upon incorrectly spelling a word, the speller is eliminated from the competition, except when all spellers are eliminated.

The 2 spellers who remain – the finalists – will proceed to the Championship Finals.

Championship Finals

Championship Finals will be conducted on stage separately for Group-1 and Group-2.

During the Championship Finals, the spelling bee will be conducted as follows between the top 2 finalists.

  • These spellers spell in their original order
  • 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.
Grade Level Winners
  • The last standing participant in his/her grade level will be announced to be the ‘Grade Level Winner’.
  • In the case, where all the participants in a particular grade level are eliminated from the competition in the same round, i.e. we have a tie for the position of a grade level winner: the participants written test score will be used to determine that grades ‘Grade Level Winner’.
  • If the written test scores are the same for the tied participants, they will all be announced as joint ‘Grade Level Winners’.

Source of Reference

Webster's Third New International Dictionary and its addenda section, copyright 2002, Merriam-Webster, (Webster's Third) is the final authority for the spelling of words. All words given in competition are entries in Webster's Third. If more than one spelling is listed for a word that the pronouncer has provided for the speller to spell, any of these spellings will be accepted as correct if all of the following three criteria are met: (1) The pronunciations of the words are identical, (2) the definitions of the words are identical, and (3) the words are clearly identified as being standard variants of each other. Spellings at other locations 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.

Time Constraints

The speller's time at the microphone has a limit of 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Time begins when the pronouncer first pronounces the word. At the end of 2-minutes, the pronouncer will alert the participant that 30 seconds are remaining. The judges and pronouncer will not communicate with the speller during the final 30 seconds. The judges will disqualify any speller who does not provide a complete spelling before the expiration of time. If the judges and pronouncer need to discuss a competition-related matter while a speller is contemplating a word, the time clock may be paused. The speller will be informed when the time clock is paused and resumed.

Pronouncer’s Role

The pronouncer strives to pronounce words according to the diacritical markings in Webster's Third.

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 to the speller's requests for a definition, sentence, part of speech, language(s) of origin, and alternate pronunciation(s). The pronouncer does not grant requests for alternate definitions. When presented with requests for alternate pronunciations, the pronouncer or associate pronouncer checks for alternate pronunciations in Webster's Third. 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 Time Constraints.

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 Webster's Third.

Speller's role

The speller makes an effort to face the judges and pronounce the word for the judges before spelling it and after spelling it. The The speller makes an effort to face the judges and pronounce the word for the judges before spelling it and after spelling it. The speller while facing the judges makes an effort to utter 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 Pronouncer’s Role.

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.

Judges' role

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

Interaction with the speller: Because seeing lip movements may be critical in detecting misunderstandings or misspellings, the judges encourage spellers to face them when pronouncing and spelling the word.

Misunderstandings: The judges participate in the exchange of information between the speller and pronouncer if they feel that clarification is needed. Also, the judges listen carefully to the speller's pronunciation of the word; and, if they sense that the speller has misunderstood the word, the judges work with the speller and pronouncer until they are satisfied that reasonable attempts have been made to assist the speller in understanding the word within the time constraints described in Rule 7. While the judges are responsible for attempting to detect a speller's misunderstanding, it is sometimes impossible to detect a misunderstanding until a spelling error has been made. 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 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, prior to the conclusion of the preliminaries on April 10th 2016, discloses any portion of the Round One test content to a Web site or individual, including a parent or legal guardian;
  2. who refuses a request to start spelling;
  3. who does not approach the microphone when it is time to receive the word;
  4. who engages in unsportsmanlike conduct;
  5. who, in the process of retracing a spelling, alters the letters or sequence of letters from those first uttered; or
  6. 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.

On the Day of the Contest

  • Participants and their parents/guardians must report to the check-in desk and produce their online registration receipt and any one form of ID for the speller. (Passport/ US birth certificate/School Picture ID)
  • After check-in, spellers will be given numbered tags that must be worn at all times during the contest.
  • It is the responsibility of the spellers to be present at the contest room 30 minutes before the contest starts. Latecomers will not be allowed to compete in the contests.
  • Parental interruption in any form during the contest is unacceptable and the organizers reserve the right to ask the parent(s) to leave the contest venue or face disqualification of the speller.
  • The spelling and vocabulary contests shall be judged using Webster's Third New International Unabridged Dictionary. Words shall be pronounced according to the diacritical markings of the dictionary.
  • A speller has the right to dispute judge's decision and request a hearing before the start of the next round in the contest. Parents are not allowed to approach judges directly.
  • Parents can submit a written complaint/dispute to an onsite volunteer who will, based upon the merits of the claim, refer the matter to the judges at the end of that round. In any dispute, decision of the judges is final.
  • Any changes to the rules will be announced before the start of the competition, but the judges always have the right to change rules on site without prior notice if the situation warrants. All decisions made by the judges are final.
  • The usage of video or the use of cell-phone cameras, is not permitted during the contests. The organization reserves the right to take photos and videos for its use.


NO REFUNDS will be issued under any circumstances.