Disney Hosting 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee National Finals
The Bee is back! Beginning June 12,the Scripps National Spelling Bee returns to TV screens across the country. And, for the first time ever, the Bee will feature a hybrid format that allows more than 200 spellers to compete in both a virtual and in-person competition. The best news? Walt Disney World is hosting the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee!
This year’s spelling bee national participants represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Department of Defense Schools in Europe.
Disney fans will be excited to hear that the final round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee will be held at Walt Disney World Resort on July 8. The finals will be hosted in person at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and will feature 10-12 accomplished spellers. The event will be broadcast live in primetime on ESPN2.
Other highlights of this year’s program:
- Participating countries include the US, Canada, Japan, Ghana, and the Bahamas.
- Ages of the national finalists range from 9 to 15.
- A total of 47 national finalists have experience competing in the event in previous years, and 16 have siblings who are former national competitors.
- The champion will receive a $50,000 cash prize.
- For the first time, the Bee will invite audiences to view special events for finalists including the opening ceremony, a presentation from dictionary partner Merriam-Webster, pre-shows for the semifinals and finals, the awards ceremony and more. These speller engagement elements will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube, and more information will be available at spellingbee.com.
- This year, spellers will also have the opportunity to connect and celebrate their achievements through various digital platforms. This digital experience hub features videos, gaming elements and virtual social events.
Local sponsoring organizations enrolled in the Bee’s year-round educational program held regional competitions in February and March to identify national competitors. Due to the global pandemic, local and regional bee organizers were allowed to conduct their contests through the Bee’s online testing platform. This method allowed them to keep up with the local and national testing requirements while also satisfying their local pandemic response regulations.
“The Scripps National Spelling Bee is back, and with it, the tradition of watching a tremendous group of spellers take on the dictionary,” said Dr. J. Michael Durnil, executive director of the Bee. “We look forward to celebrating our 209 national finalists and all they’ve accomplished over the last year. To our audiences watching at home: tune in – on your mobile devices, laptops or televisions – and help us cheer on these truly exceptional young scholars.”
The official 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee live broadcast follows this schedule (all times Eastern):
- Preliminaries: Saturday, June 12, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on ESPN3
- Quarterfinals: Tuesday, June 15, noon-6 p.m. on ESPN3
- Semifinals: Sunday, June 27, 7-11 p.m. on ESPN2 (Play Along version on ESPNU)
- Finals: Thursday, July 8, 8-10 p.m. on ESPN2 (Play Along version on ESPNU)
As the outbreak continues to impact the US, the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex will follow the same precautionary protocols as other venues. The event’s organizers are also reviewing their COVID-19 protocols with medical experts at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to help facilitate a responsible experience for all.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is just around the corner. Learn about the competitors and meet the spellers at spellingbee.com. Follow all the action leading up to and during the competition on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Disney Hosting 2021 Spelling Bee Credit: The E.W. Scripps Company
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