Vocabulary, lightning round added to National Spelling Bee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Scripps National Spelling Bee is undergoing a major overhaul to ensure it can identify a single champion. Organizers have added vocabulary questions and a lightning-round tiebreaker to this year’s pandemic-altered competition. Vocabulary has previously been part of the bee only in written tests but now will be part of the high-stakes oral rounds. The lightning round would be used at the end of the finals if the bee hasn’t identified a single winner. Spellers would get 90 seconds to spell as many words as they can. Some current and former spellers say the changes emphasize speed and memorization over skill.