Recently, The Scripps National Spelling Bee had 8 co-winners when the kids participating got all the words right. And now, Experts Say Tougher Words Need to Be Used to Guarantee A Single Winner Every Year!
Personally, I think it’s great that 8 kids were smart enough to outsmart the words given to them via Scripps.
However, experts disagree and some are even saying the spelling bee is “broken” claiming that words are reused or are too easy for kids and there are tougher words out there to use.
Scripps National Spelling Bee posted on Facebook saying:
“They closed the Bee with 47 correct spellings in a row and made history together. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the 8 Co-Champions of the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee!
– Rishik Gandhasri, California
– Erin Howard, Alabama
– Abhijay Kodali, Texas
– Shruthika Padhy, New Jersey
– Rohan Raja, Texas
– Christopher Serrao, Pennsylvania
– Sohum Sukhatankar, Texas
– Saketh Sundar, Maryland”
I mean, 47 correct spellings in a row? I am sure the average adult can’t even do that!
But the issue is larger than that, lots of previous spelling bee winners along with parents and coaches mentioned how words are often reused allowing contestants to study these words and know them almost perfectly.
According to reports, it took 5 1/2 hours to get down to 16 kids and that’s when bee organizers huddled for an emergency strategy meeting, where they came up with a contingency plan to end the bee with more than the maximum of three co-champions allowed under the rules.
Makes sense considering I am sure people were tired, hungry and ready to be done.
“The ability of those spellers was simply greater in aggregate than we prepared for. They were structurally prepared for kind of a duel between two spellers. What they recognized was they didn’t have enough words of that very high level, of the most difficult level. … They were all difficult words, but not the most difficult words. They had already gone through them.” -Peter Sokolowski, an editor-at-large at Merriam-Webster.
Why could this even happen?
That brings me back to the earlier statement made where previous winners said the spelling bee is known to reuse words…
“The spelling bee recycles words, so it’s really predictable. There’s really no reason to recycle words,” said Scott Remer, the 2008 fourth-place finisher and author of “Words of Wisdom: Keys to Success in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.”
Moving forward, experts are saying there are plenty of words in the dictionary to use and that if they want to have a final winner each year moving forward, they need to use tougher words.