Competition Information

Get ready for the 92nd Scripps National Spelling Bee! We have included everything you need to know about the competition, including a schedule, our admission policy for onstage competition sessions and the speller dress code. Download a PDF copy of this information.

Competition Schedule

Admission and Seating Policy

Contest Rules

What to Wear

Prizes

Competition Schedule

*All times are subject to change.

Monday, May 27

The 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Preliminaries Test

11 a.m. — 11:45 a.m.          Preliminaries Test          Maryland Ballroom

Spellers will have reserved seats in the Maryland Ballroom for the Preliminaries Test. All spellers take the Preliminaries Test together from 11 to 11:45 a.m.

 

Tuesday, May 28

The 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Preliminaries

8 a.m. — 4:35 p.m.        Round Two                         Maryland Ballroom

  • Group 1 (Spellers 1-114): 8 — 9:35 a.m.
  • Group 2 (Spellers 115-228): 9:45 — 11:20 a.m.
  • Group 3 (Spellers 229-342): 11:30 a.m. — 1:05 p.m.
  • Group 4 (Spellers 343-456): 1:15 — 2:50 p.m.
  • Group 5 (Spellers 457-570): 3 — 4:35 p.m.

8 a.m. — 4:35 p.m.        Round Three                       Maryland Ballroom

  • Group 1 (Spellers 1-114): 4:45 — 6:30 p.m.

 

    Wednesday, May 29

    The 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Preliminaries, continued

    8 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.        Round Three, continued                        Maryland Ballroom

    • Group 2 (Spellers 115-228): 8 — 9:45 a.m.
    • Group 3 (Spellers 229-342): 10 — 11:45 a.m.
    • Group 4 (Spellers 343-456): 12:45 — 2:30 p.m.
    • Group 5 (Spellers 457-570): 2:45 — 4:30 p.m.

    Announcement of Finalists

    ~4:45 p.m.        Maryland Ballroom

    The top scorers on the Preliminaries Test who spelled correctly in Rounds Two and Three will be invited to the stage for the Announcement of Finalists. No more than 50 spellers will advance to the Finals.

     

    Thursday, May 30

    The 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals

    10 a.m.        Maryland Ballroom

    The 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals

    8 p.m.             Opening Remarks        Maryland Ballroom

    8:30 p.m.        Competition               Maryland Ballroom

     

    Admission and Seating Policy

      Onstage Competition — Tuesday, May 28, Wednesday, May 29, and Thursday, May 30

      All oral rounds of competition take place in the Maryland Ballroom. Seating for the competition segments on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

      Each speller can also reserve up to three tickets to the Primetime Finals (Thursday, May 30). Additional Primetime Finals tickets are not available; general admission seating will begin at approximately 7:45 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

      If you are a member of the general public or are associated with a speller but do not have a credential, you must go to the Bee’s registration desk at the Gaylord National prior to entering the ballroom on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning or prior to entering the standby line on Thursday evening. You will be required to present a photo ID in order to receive a Registered General Attendee badge, which is necessary for event admission.

       

      Contest Rules

      The Contest Rules of the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee were available to spellers and the public on Wednesday, April 10.

       

      What to Wear

      Onstage Competition — Tuesday, May 28, Wednesday, May 29, and Thursday, May 30*

      Spellers should wear comfortable attire, but remember, you might be on television! Please avoid the following fabric patterns, which do not display well on television:

      • Small stripes
      • Checks
      • Small prints
      • Houndstooth

      Unacceptable forms of dress for any segment in the competition

      • Accessories or clothing featuring a logo or brand name
      • Accessories or clothing that may be distracting or offensive
      • Outerwear (e.g. jackets, coats)
      • High-heeled shoes
      • Shorts
      • Tank tops and halter tops
      • Miniskirts
      • Costumes
      • Hats and head coverings (unless associated with religious beliefs)
      • Props (including stuffed animals)

      *If any part of the speller's clothing is incompatible with broadcast standards and practices, a Bee staff member will request that the speller change clothing.

      Events outside of competition

      Spellers are welcome to wear their Bee T-shirts during competition segments. Many spellers also wear their special T-shirts to the Bee Week Kickoff Party. For the Awards Banquet and Farewell Party, a dress shirt and slacks or a party dress is appropriate.

      Speller Name Badges

      Spellers will receive a personalized name badge from the Bee during Speller Registration on Sunday, May 26. We ask that spellers wear their name badges during the Preliminaries Test and during all Bee Week events. However, please leave your name badge with a parent or guardian during all levels of onstage competition.

       

      Prizes

      Here's what all spellers, our Finalists and the Champion will receive for being such first-class spellers.

      For All Spellers

      From Merriam-Webster

      A one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Online

      From Mr. Jay Sugarman

      A 2019 United States Mint Proof Set, given in honor of his father Samuel Louis Sugarman, who revered academic achievement

      From Encyclopædia Britannica

      A one-year subscription to Britannica Online Premium

       

      *For the Finalists

      From the Scripps National Spelling Bee

      A commemorative medal and:

      • Misspell in Rounds 4 through 6 - $500 gift card
      • Misspell in Round 7 through to 7th place - $2,000
      • 6th place - $2,500
      • 5th place - $5,000
      • 4th place - $10,000
      • 3rd place - $15,000
      • 2nd place - $25,000

       

      *For the Champion

      From the Scripps National Spelling Bee

      a $50,000 cash prize and Scripps National Spelling Bee engraved trophy

      From Merriam-Webster

      a $2,500 cash prize and reference library

      From Encyclopædia Britannica

      $400 of reference works, including a 1768 Encyclopædia Britannica © Replica Set and a three-year membership to Britannica Online © Premium

      Plus

      a trip to New York City (Champion plus one parent ) for the Champion to appear on Live with Kelly and Ryan, which airs weekday mornings in national syndication, and

      a trip to Hollywood (Champion plus one parent) for the Champion to appear on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! which airs weeknights at 11:35|10:35c (pending availability).
       

      For the Champion's School and Sponsor

      From the Scripps National Spelling Bee

      Engraved commemorative plaques

       

      *Spellers who are eliminated from the competition in the same round are assigned the same rank (place). Cash prizes for spellers who are tied for first through sixth place will be determined by the method used in the following examples: 

      If two spellers tied for first place, the cash prize for each would be the sum of the prize amounts for first and second place divided by two (the number of spellers tied); therefore, each speller tied for first place would receive $37,500 (($50,000 + $25,000) / 2). 

      If three spellers tied for first place, the cash prize for each would be the sum of the prize amounts for first, second and third place divided by three; therefore, each speller tied for first place would receive $30,000 (($50,000 + $25,000 + $15,000) / 3). 

      If three spellers tied for fourth place, the cash prize for each would be the sum of the prize amounts for fourth, fifth and sixth place divided by three; therefore, each speller tied for fourth place would receive $5,833.33 (($2,500 + $5,000 + $10,000) / 3).