Area schools participate in Spell Bowl

13 teams from Hancock, Shelby counties vie for spelling titles

GREENFIELD – Thirteen Spell Bowl teams from Hancock and Shelby county schools competed in the 24th Annual Elementary Spell Bowl competition at Greenfield Central Junior High on Thursday.

Teams were divided to compete in four, color-coded enrollment classifications based on grade and number of competitors. First-place winners of the competition were:

  • Blue Division: Sugar Creek Elementary School.
  • Yellow Division: Maxwell Intermediate School.
  • Orange Division: Hendricks Elementary.
  • Red Division: Morristown Elementary.
  • Green Division: Brandywine Elementary.

The event is conducted as a team concept. The competition contains eight rounds featuring members from each team scoring points by writing the correct spelling of eight words, varying in difficulty. Students who finished a round with a perfect or near-perfect score received a special commendation.

Maxwell Intermediate School’s fourth-grade team won in the yellow division with 42 points, ranking 9th in the state.

Maxwell’s fifth- and sixth-grade team took second place in the blue division with 51 points. The school’s blue team was beat by Sugar Creek Elementary by a single tiebreaker point, said Hancock County spell bowl host Caitlin Gordon.

Maxwell students prepared for academic spell bowl by practicing twice a week since mid-August, said Maxwell spell bowl coach Anne Tilley. Competitors studied more than 700 words in preparation for the tournament, reading and writing 50 words at each training session.

“We’re very pleased with the outcome,” Tilley said. “I hope I’ll have some more competitors return next year. They did a fabulous job, … and we’re very proud of them.”

Five hundred and twenty-three teams competed at 45 area competitions across Indiana. The top 10 spell bowl teams in the state will be recognized with a plaque or certificate.

Statewide results are available online at