After a hiatus in 2020 due to the coronavirus, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is set to return in 2021. Because of the ongoing pandemic, the format for the upcoming Bee has been altered, but will allow for a champion to be crowned in person.
The Scripps Spelling Bee final will be held on July 8 at Orlando’s Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World, and will be aired live on ESPN2. The Bee generally has been held in late May near Washington DC.
The rounds leading up to the final will be held virtually. The semifinal round will be on July 27, and aired on ESPN platforms. Details for the preliminary and quarterfinal rounds have not been announced.
The final round will feature 10 to 12 of the top spellers from the Scripps Bee. The Bee is open to children across the United States and around the world who have not started high school.
The limited number of in-person participants was done in consideration of the health and safety of the participants, Bee organizers said.
“Since its beginnings nearly 100 years ago, the Scripps National Spelling Bee and its spellers have inspired audiences across the globe with a compelling combination of academic excellence and engaging entertainment,” said Adam Symson, president and chief executive officer of The E.W. Scripps Company. “Now, as the world continues to adapt to an ongoing pandemic, Scripps is committed to reimagining the beloved competition in a way that safely allows our exceptional spellers to continue this iconic tradition on the national stage.”
Regional bees are ongoing and are being conducted by individual sponsors.