2023 K12 National Spelling Bee Terms and Conditions




Registration for the K12 National Spelling Bee begins at 9 AM (ET) on November 14, 2022, and will close at 11:59 PM (ET) on Friday, January 13, 2023. Participants must register within that timeframe to be eligible for the Contest.


Contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. Contestants must be enrolled in grades 3–12 at time of entry. Parents or guardians of students under the age of 13 must submit registration on behalf of their student(s). Employees of Sponsor and its respective parent company, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, retailers, distributors (collectively, “Contest Entities”), and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household of each are eligible to enter or win. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor’s decisions are final and binding on all matters.


Visit https://k12.com/stride-competitions and follow all onscreen instructions to complete the official entry form. Submitting a registration by the deadline is required to be eligible. For the purposes of these Official Rules, receipt of an entry occurs when Sponsor’s server (or Website) records the entry information. Any automated computer receipt (such as one confirming delivery of entry) does not constitute proof of actual receipt by Sponsor for purposes of these Official Rules. Entrants are subject to all notices posted on Website, including but not limited to Sponsor’s privacy policy.

Except where prohibited by law, entry constitutes permission for Sponsor and its agents to use each winner’s name, prize won (if any), hometown, likeness, video, audio, and statements for purposes of advertising, trade, promotion, and publicity (including online posting) in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world in perpetuity, without additional compensation, notification, or permission. Use does not imply a winner in this Contest nor create a confidential relationship between you and the Sponsor or any of its respective affiliates or subsidiaries.

All entries must be received no later than 11:59 PM (ET) on Friday, January 13, 2023. Entries received after the deadline will not be part of the Contest and not be eligible to win.

Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entry for any reason, in its sole and absolute discretion.


Registered spellers are encouraged to study the spelling word list provided by K12. Most, and perhaps all, spelling words will come from these lists; however, actual words used throughout the competitions are not limited to the recommended pages and may come from pages recommended for another grade level. In addition, words may be chosen from any source deemed appropriate by the Spell Master.


  • Spelling bee end times are approximate and may extend beyond the designated time. Spellers and proctors should be prepared to be flexible.
  • Spellers are required to have an adult proctor present. The proctor must be visible beside or behind the speller during the bee.
  • Spellers and proctors must be present in the session on time. Arriving late will disqualify the speller.
  • Spellers should be prepared to use their mic and webcam as directed during the competition.


Prior to participating in any spelling bee, prepare your computer.

  • Spellers must use a computer with a working mic and webcam (please do not use a phone).
  • Ensure that you have a strong Wi-Fi signal.
  • Use the Google Chrome browser and be sure to apply any available updates.
  • Clear the cachebefore each competition to ensure optimal functionality in Zoom.
  • During competitions, ensure optimal internet connectivity by minimizing Wi-Fi use on other devices in the home.



  • The Spelling Bee is conducted in rounds. Each speller remaining in the spelling bee at the start of each round will spell one word in each round.
  • Spellers who misspell a word do not advance to the next round.
  • A speller is strongly encouraged to use the say-spell-say format.
  • A speller will be disqualified for cheating or disrupting the bee.


Time Limits

  • We will not be timing students in this bee.
  • However, if the judges feel the student has let too much time pass before answering, they may give the student a 30-second warning. The student will be eliminated if the student does not spell the word in those 30 seconds.

Challenging a Judge’s Call

  • An adult proctor may challengea judge’s call. To challenge a call, the proctor must raise their hand at the end of the current round. The judges will review the challenge and share their final decision.
  • Once a new round begins, a dispute cannot be made for a previous round.
  • In the event of a challenge, decisions will be based on https://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/.
  • The decision of the judges and Spell Master, including that an appeal was untimely, will be final in all questions.

General Rules

  • An adult proctor must be seen behind or beside the speller during their turn.
  • Spellers should speak loudly and look into the webcam when spelling.
  • A speller who leaves the Zoom room for any reason, including technical issues, is disqualified and cannot return to the room.
  • An adult proctor who leaves the room for any reason, including technical issues, disqualifies their speller and they cannot continue to participate.
  • Spellers should take care of bathroom needs before the bee. In case of an emergency,the adult proctor must inform the judges by raising their hand.
  • Background noise distractions (such as children, barking dogs, and outside noises) must be kept to a minimum.
  • The area near your location must be free from all items except the device you are using for the competition—writing utensils, paper, dictionaries, and other items are prohibited. Headphones, Bluetooth devices, and other communications are not permitted.
  • The speller and the adult proctor should both dress appropriately. Offensive or disruptive attire, including any apparel with political messages or that may reasonably be considered harassing or discriminatory based on gender, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, religion, race, color, age, or disability, is prohibited.
  • Virtual backgrounds are not permitted.
  • Video must be on at all times.
  • If any speller is looking away from the camera during their turn, the speller may receive a warning and may be disqualified if it happens a second time.


  • You MAY ask to have a word repeated, up to 5 times.
  • You MAY ask to hear the word in a sentence 1 time.
  • You MAY ask for a definition of the word 1 time.
  • You are ENCOURAGED to use the SAY, SPELL, SAY format (e.g., dog, d-o-g, dog). This ensures you heard the word correctly before you start to spell.
  • Once you begin to spell a word, you may not make corrections. Once a wrong letter is pronounced, it cannot be changed.
  • You may restart a word if you begin to spell the word and then say, “I am going to start over.” You may then repeat the letters already spelled and continue the word. For example: “Spark, S-P-A, I’m going start over. S-P-A-R-K, spark.”
  • After you spell a word, a panel of judges will determine if you spelled the word correctly.
  • If you MISSPELL a word, you will not advance to the next round of competition.


  • There are three grade bands: Grades 3–5, Grades 6–8, and Grades 9–12.
  • School-level winners will advance to the Semi-regional bee. Semi-regional winners will advance to the Regional bee; there are three regions. Regional winners will advance to the National bee.
  • Semi-regional and regional winners will receive certificates.
  • Regional 1st and 2nd place winners at each grade band (elementary, middle, and high school) will receive an all-expenses paid trip to compete for the title of K12 National Spelling Bee Champion (airfare and hotel only for each finalist and a single chaperon per finalist, food and transportation will be the responsibility of the family). Family must attend the in-person event. Failure to attend the in-person event will result in repayment of flight and airfare costs back to K12.
  • Regional 3rd place winners will receive AirPod Pros (ARV: $200 each, Total ARV: $600).
  • National winners at each grade band (elementary, middle, and high school) will receive:
    • 1st place — $2,500 Amazon e-gift card (Total ARV: $7,500) and a Microsoft Surface tablet (ARV: $500 each, Total ARV: $1,500)
    • 2nd place — $1,000 Amazon e-gift card (Total ARV: $3,000)
    • 3rd place — $500 Amazon e-gift card (Total ARV: $1,500)

Amazon is not, in any way, associated with Sponsor or this Contest. Gift cards will not be replaced if lost, stolen, or mis-used. IRS form 1099 may be issued, and winners must provide all information necessary for the form 1099 before receiving the award.


Winners will be notified by email, telephone, and/or U.S. mail within 14 calendar days of the End of Contest Entry Period and may be required to complete and return a notarized Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and, where permissible, a Publicity Release (“Affidavit/Release”) within seven days of date specified on notification, or an alternate winner may be determined. If an Affidavit/Release and/or any required document(s) is not returned within such time period, or if a selected winner cannot accept or receive the prize for any reason, or if they are not in compliance with these Official Rules, the prize will be forfeited, and an alternate winner may be determined. If a winner is otherwise eligible under these Official Rules but is nevertheless deemed a minor in their state of primary residence, the prize will be awarded in the name of winner’s parent or legal guardian who will be required to execute Affidavit/Release (and any other document required by Sponsor) on the minor’s behalf. Prizes are expected to be awarded within 30 days after winner verification. Prizes are not redeemable for cash and are non-assignable or transferable except to a surviving spouse. No substitutions are permitted except the Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a prize, or portion of any prize, with one of equal or greater value in case of unavailability. Winners acknowledge that the Sponsor and all other businesses concerned with this Contest and their agents do not make, nor are in any manner responsible for any warranty, representations, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, relative to the quality, conditions, fitness, or merchantability of any aspect of any prize. Each winner will be responsible for all federal, state, local, and income taxes associated with winning their prize. Incidental expenses on any prize not specified herein are each winner’s sole responsibility.


Entrant agrees to these Official Rules and the decisions of the judges and the Sponsor, and on their behalf, and on behalf of their respective heirs, executors, administrators, legal representatives, successors, and assigns (“Releasing Parties”), release, defend, and hold harmless the Contest Entities, as well as the employees, officers, directors, and agents of each (“Released Parties”) from any and all actions, causes of action, suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, bonds, bills, specialties, covenants, contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, variances, trespasses, lost profits, indirect or direct damages, consequential damages, incidental damages, punitive or exemplary damages, judgments, extent, executions, claims and demands whatsoever, in law, admiralty or equity, whether known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen, against Released Parties which any one or more of the Releasing Parties ever had, now have or hereafter can, shall or may have which in any way arise out of or result from Entrant’s participation, acceptance and use, or misuse of any prize.

In the event Sponsor is prevented from continuing with the Contest as planned herein by any event beyond its control, including but not limited to fire, flood, hurricane, earthquake, explosion, labor dispute or strike, act of God or public enemy, satellite or equipment failure, riot or civil disturbance, terrorist threat or activity, war (declared or undeclared), or any federal, state, or local government law, order, or regulation, or order of any court or other cause not within Sponsor’s control or concerns regarding the safety of any winner or guest, Sponsor shall have the right to modify, suspend, extend, or terminate the Contest. Entrants assume all liability for any injury, including death or damage caused or claimed to be caused by participation in this Contest or use or redemption of any prize.

This Contest shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, U.S., without regard to its conflicts of laws provisions. Entrants hereby agree that any and all disputes, claims, causes of action, or controversies (“Claims”) arising out of, or in connection with, this Contest shall be resolved, upon the election by Entrant or Sponsor, by arbitration pursuant to this provision and the code of procedures of either the National Arbitration Forum (“NAF”) or the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), as selected by the Entrant. IF ARBITRATION IS CHOSEN BY ANY PARTY WITH RESPECT TO A CLAIM, NEITHER PARTY WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO LITIGATE THAT CLAIM IN COURT OR HAVE A JURY TRIAL ON THAT CLAIM. FURTHER, NEITHER SPONSOR NOR ENTRANT WILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN A REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY ON BEHALF OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC OR OTHER PERSONS SIMILARLY SITUATED, OR AS A MEMBER OF ANY CLASS OF CLAIMANTS PERTAINING TO ANY CLAIM SUBJECT TO ARBITRATION. EXCEPT AS SET FORTH BELOW, THE ARBITRATOR’S DECISION WILL BE FINAL AND BINDING. NOTE THAT OTHER RIGHTS THAT ENTRANT WOULD HAVE IF ENTRANT WENT TO COURT ALSO MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE IN ARBITRATION. The arbitrator’s authority to resolve Claims is limited to Claims between Sponsor and Entrant alone, and the arbitrator’s authority to make awards is limited to awards to Sponsor and Entrant alone.

Furthermore, Claims brought by either party against the other may not be joined or consolidated in arbitration with Claims brought by or against any third party unless agreed to in writing by all parties. No arbitration award or decision will have any preclusive effect as to issues or claims in any dispute with anyone who is not a named party to the arbitration. Notwithstanding any other provision in this Agreement, and without waiving either party’s right to appeal such decision, should any portion of this provision be deemed invalid or unenforceable, then the entire provision (other than this sentence) shall not apply. Sponsor is not responsible for any typographical or other error in the printing of the offer, administration of the Contest, or in the announcement of any prize.


The Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by Website users, or tampering or hacking, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest, and assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction, or unauthorized access to the Website. The Sponsor is not responsible for injury or damage to an Entrant’s or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating in this Contest or downloading and/or uploading materials from or use of the Website. If, for any reason, the Contest is not capable of running as planned by reason of infection by computer viruses, worms, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which, in the sole opinion of the Sponsor could corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, the Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest and determine winners from all eligible entries received prior to that action taken.


For the names of the winners (available 14 calendar days after end of Contest), please visit https://www.smore.com/y9d23-national-contest-challenge-winners.


By entering the Contest, Entrant agrees that collected information from Entrant may be used for future communications, solicitations, and marketing efforts (via U.S. mail, phone, text, or email) by Sponsor regarding its products, services, school offerings, including current offers, promotions, and enrollment opportunities, in addition to being used to notify winners. Calls and texts may use a device that will autodial the number provided. Message and data rates may apply. Refer to the Sponsor’s privacy policy at https://www.stridelearning.com/privacy-policy.html to learn how to opt out if you do not wish to receive future offers from Sponsor.



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