This yr’s Scripps Nationwide Spelling Bee has been canceled after organizers concluded there may be “no clear path to securely set a brand new date in 2020” due to the coronavirus pandemic. The choice, introduced by Scripps on Tuesday morning, means children who’re in eighth grade this yr will miss their last alternative to compete within the nationwide finals. Scripps is not going to change eligibility necessities for subsequent yr’s bee, which is scheduled for June 1-3, 2021, at its longtime venue, a conference middle exterior Washington. The bee has all the time been open to children by means of the eighth grade.
“Our hearts exit to the spellers who received’t get their last shot at successful due to the pandemic and the troublesome selections it’s prompting us to make,” Paige Kimble, the bee’s government director, mentioned in a press release.
The bee, televised by ESPN since 1994, had solely beforehand been canceled in 1943-45 due to World Battle II. The primary Scripps bee was held in 1925.
Final yr’s bee led to an unprecedented eight-way tie after organizers ran out of phrases troublesome sufficient to problem one of the best spellers.
Scripps had introduced on March 20 that this yr’s bee can be postponed, however didn’t decide to a brand new date.
Organizers mentioned Tuesday they’d discover a option to acknowledge the greater than 150 spellers who had already received their regional bees and certified for the nationwide finals.