Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    Abrupt end to Scripps National Spelling Bee with 8 sharing the title
    #1
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    Apparently the panel ran out of words to challenge the 8 remaining students...

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/li...e-live-tv-espn

    And no, I am not cheering the outcome.

    Has this competition always ended on a Thursday? If that is the case, the committee should have been prepared for such an event where they may eventually run out of words or be forced to go to a Friday in case it got very late. If you expect the competition to end on a Thursday, you turn the dictionary inside-out to have enough rarely-used words to go to a 50th rotation with 5 kids left. They quite probably could have broken 5 more by the 27th or 28th rotation, and the competition would have been over by Friday afternoon, if they were to start in the A.M.

    In the years 1925 to 2013, only one competition ended with co-champions (2 sharing the title). That was back in 1950. The years 2014 to 2016 all ended with co-champions. After that stretch, you would think they would have expanded their list of words beyond a fever-pitch to crack the remaining few.

    My guess is, they didn't; and the committee came to the competition with the same number of words that they came with in recent years past. I would have thought there was a possibility that they'd stop a competition with 3 remaining, but not eight!

    I am not convinced they were prepared for such an event where they'd be left with so many kids and not enough words. But 2014-16 should have been a warning. Next year they'd better come with three times as many words as they had in their arsenal this week.
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    #2
    They should do like chess, and if there's a tie at the end of regulation, go to blitz spelling to determine the winner.
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    #3
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    What a pointless competition it is these days...like memorizing digits of π....
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    #4
    I think they should have decided it on penalty kicks
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by CookyMonzta View Post
    The years 2014 to 2016 all ended with co-champions. After that stretch, you would think they would have expanded their list of words beyond a fever-pitch to crack the remaining few.

    My guess is, they didn't; and the committee came to the competition with the same number of words that they came with in recent years past. I would have thought there was a possibility that they'd stop a competition with 3 remaining, but not eight!

    I am not convinced they were prepared for such an event where they'd be left with so many kids and not enough words. But 2014-16 should have been a warning. Next year they'd better come with three times as many words as they had in their arsenal this week.
    I do not buy the excuse that they ran out of words. Although I have not seen any reporting about it, The Bee (like track and field and most other marginal events) is beholden to the television broadcast which probably insists that the competition must end within the live window. Even Wimbledon has now been forced in to final-set tie breaks.

    Because of 2014-2016 ties, there was a tie-break procedure in place starting in 2017 based upon a written test taken by the finalists before the final rounds. This procedure was dropped this year.

    The organizers defend the outcome, citing speller fatigue as their primary concern. These are kids, after all, and it was getting close to midnight.
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    #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bambam1729 View Post
    I think they should have decided it on penalty kicks
    Come on, they should go to a fist-fight. Multi-talented nerds would then be rewarded for their scrappiness.
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    #7
    Tiebreaker: who can most quickly and accurately dial a 10-digit phone number on a rotary implement?
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    #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wamego relays champ View Post
    I do not buy the excuse that they ran out of words. Although I have not seen any reporting about it, The Bee (like track and field and most other marginal events) is beholden to the television broadcast which probably insists that the competition must end within the live window. Even Wimbledon has now been forced in to final-set tie breaks.
    Makes sense. Which makes it even more of a cop-out. What will they do next; call an end to a baseball game because it goes way beyond the time a network is willing to give it, especially if it goes past the 18th inning?

    Because of 2014-2016 ties, there was a tie-break procedure in place starting in 2017 based upon a written test taken by the finalists before the final rounds. This procedure was dropped this year.

    The organizers defend the outcome, citing speller fatigue as their primary concern. These are kids, after all, and it was getting close to midnight.
    Bad idea. They drop the tie-break procedure, and they end up declaring an 8-way tie. Another cop-out. They've pretty much tainted the outcome by doing this, especially if there have been years when this contest ran into Friday. In which case, today they should have picked up where they left off. This is not like track or swimming, when you can only go so far with the technology that you must declare a dead-heat.
    Last edited by CookyMonzta; 05-31-2019 at 05:56 PM.
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    #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conor Dary View Post
    What a pointless competition it is these days...like memorizing digits of π....
    Thank you Conor Dary!!!! I have been thinking the same thing for years. What's the point of learning to spell words, that hardly anyone uses, or know the meaning of. Outside of a spelling bee, who uses those words?
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    #10
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    You're welcome...
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