After taking a year off due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Scripps National Spelling Bee will be buzzing again this spring / summer, leading to an in-person championship to stream on ESPN2.
Yet this year’s bee will be a little different, the virtual preliminary rounds not being bundled into a single intense Bee Week, but rather running from mid-June to the end of June.
“We gave up on the idea of bee week early on because we knew we couldn’t get hundreds of people to a safe place,” said Bee General Manager Carolyn Micheli, at the Associated press. “We found what I think is a pretty exciting and creative way to structure the competition over several weeks that will be fun for the kids, generate excitement and I think it’s a great way to deal with a tough situation. .
A total of 12 finalists will then meet at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Florida on July 8.
This year’s all-oral bee will also be trotting harsher words much sooner, after the 2019 championship ended in a tie at eight (rather than dragging the rugrats into the wee hours of the night).
The 2020 cancellation of Scripps National Spelling Bee marked the first time since World War II that the event had been canceled.