With an Unprecedented 8 Co-champions, Are Spellers Just Too Good for National Spelling Bee?

WASHINGTON — While many will celebrate what the eight champion spellers — including three North Texans — accomplished at this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee, the sheer number of winners has raised questions about how the competition should be handled as spellers get better and better.After co-champions were declared each year from 2014 to 2016, the bee worked to resolve that issue by adding a tiebreaker test. That test wasn't used in 2017 or 2018, and it was removed from this year's procedures.The finals on Thursday lasted for more than nine hours. After witnessing how long the morning session took, competition officials created a contingency plan in case multiple spellers were still standing at the end of the night."When we began to comprehend the mettle of our finalists, we began to think about what could possibly happen this evening," Paige Kimble, executive director of the bee, said at a news conference afterward. "We went into the evening with the plan that we executed on this evening."  Continue reading...

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