"The Bowl must go on" has become a mantra of sorts around Vocabulary.com these past few weeks.

With everyone shifting to remote learning and so many school and sporting events being canceled, it’s been a comfort to know that the Vocabulary Bowl season would continue since the competition takes place online. Despite all the disruption, students across North America are rallying, and it looks like they are on target to hit the huge Bowl Goal we set back in the fall — mastering 40 million words this season! Last we counted, the tally was up to 39.7 million words and climbing. And you've still got until 11:59:59 pm in your timezone on April 30th, so keep playing, keep lighting up those leaderboards, and together we'll get there!

A Gargantuan Thank You

While we're all a little disappointed that awards season won't quite be the same this year (more on that below), right now we're just so grateful for the phenomenal level of participation and effort that all you extraordinary educators and students are showing in the face of adversity. Thank you! You continue to amaze and inspire us each and every day.

Big Awards — More Trophies, Banners, and Certificates

As the season winds down, one Bowl Goal that many of you are still striving toward is earning one of the official awards that are up for grabs in each division. Last September, we announced that we're expanding the Bowl awards for the 2019–2020 season. In addition to the Champions Cup that's awarded to the top high school and middle school at the end of the season, we'll also award trophies in Divisions I, II, and III to the top high school and middle/elementary school, and to the runners-up.

Plus, we're giving out banners to the winners above, as well as to the top ten high schools and middle/elementary schools and the top ten schools in Divisions I, II, and III. We're also awarding a champions banner to the top school in every U.S. State and Territory, and every Canadian Province. Lastly, we'll award an official Vocabulary Bowl achievement certificate to the Top 100 high schools and the Top 100 middle/elementary schools for the season.

See the full Vocabulary Bowl rules for details.

Small Adjustments — Tweaking the Timing

In early May, once the official results have been confirmed, we will post the winners and the final Vocabulary Bowl Roundup Videos. The videos will feature a special awards segment honoring the trophy winners, plus loads of shout-outs to the up-and-comers who gave it their all this season. We will also email an official announcement to the principal at every winning school with all the details of their accomplishment — including virtual banners and certificates — that they can share with their school community.

The main way that school closures will affect the Vocabulary Bowl is when it comes to the presentation and distribution of the actual awards. May and June are typically awards season for us. That's when members of our team make dozens of school visits to deliver your hard-earned prizes and celebrate with you, plus we ship hundreds of banners and certificates to those schools we're not able to visit in person.

Sadly, we won't be visiting schools any time soon, and with most school offices sitting empty we're not putting lots of packages in the mail just yet. Instead, we're adjusting our plans to make sure that every single one of the winning schools still gets the recognition you worked so hard for, just in a slightly different way (for now!). We are still having all the awards produced and customized (as we speak, actually!), and soon enough we'll be reaching out to school administrators to figure out a plan that works best for them. We're hoping that — when everyone feels safe and ready for company — that we can see lots of you in person when schools reopen. 

In the meantime, we're still rooting for everyone! So keep playing until the final Bowl buzzer sounds, and if your school comes out on top of the leaderboards, we'll be in touch.