Friday, March 5, 2010

Mulligans, Dover Style

Many communities raise money through spelling bees, but to my knowledge only Dover offers the Mulligan Option.

This excellent suggestion came to us from the Dover Eyes team, who played in the first Bee in 2006. One of the members of that team is an avid golfer, and suggested that we sell Mulligans to enable a team to "take another shot" at their round.  We know a good idea when we hear one, so we debuted the Mulligan concept in 2007.

Buying a Mulligan ($100) enables a team to stay in a round after having spelled a word incorrectly.  Here's how it works: you buy the Mulligan in advance--either sign up at the Library or you can buy them when you check in at the Bee (6.30 p.m. on the 25th).  You must pay for the Mulligan before you are given it--we will take checks at the Bee, but not IOUs!  At the start of the Bee, the MC will formally announce that Mulligan sales have ended.

The Mulligan itself is a little card on a stick. If your team has spelled a word incorrectly, you hold up your Mulligan, and someone from the Bee will retrieve it from you, and you may stay in the round.  (And yes--we do keep track of who has bought one, so bringing your homemade Mulligan to the Bee won't work.)

Mulligans are not valid in the Championship Round--if you make it to the very end, your team will have to relinquish its Mulligan for the final round.

Even the best teams use Mulligans. In Bee history, there have only been a couple of teams who have never used their Mulligan.  To my recollection, every winning team we've had since '07 has used a Mulligan prior to the Championship Round.

As of this writing, there is only ONE TEAM who has purchased a Mulligan....maybe the word list is too easy this year? 

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