The Scripps National Spelling Bee returns this year with top spellers from across the U.S. and the globe gathering near Orlando, Florida, on July 8 to compete in the nationally televised event.
The 10 to 12 finalists who will travel to the Orlando area will have earned the right to compete in the finals by advancing through three levels of competition: the preliminary, quarterfinal and semifinal segments. In past years, those three rounds were held over one week – Bee Week. This year, due to the global pandemic, the preliminaries, quarterfinals and semifinals will be held virtually in the weeks leading up to the July 8 finals and will be broadcast live on ESPN platforms. The semifinals are slated for June 27, and dates for the earlier virtual rounds of the competition will be announced this spring.
The Bee’s RSVBee invitational program that was available for spellers in highly competitive or unsponsored local markets during the 2018 and 2019 bees will again be on hiatus for 2021 due to the programming adaptations of this year’s bee.