The Scripps Spelling Bee Has Been Canceled for the First Time Since World War II
Auslaut. Erysipelas. Bougainvillea. Aiguillette. Pendeloque. Palama. Cernuous. Odylic.
No, that’s not a spell to get rid of the coronavirus, it’s the eight championship words from last year’s final round of the National Spelling Bee!
Our personal favorite sporting event of the year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee is a showdown of the country’s best spellers facing off against each other in a bid to become the year’s champion speller. The Bee is a tradition 90 years strong now and with each year, the competition becomes more intense and dramatic as the words get harder and more obscure.
But this year, because of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns all over the country, there are questions about whether the Scripps Spelling Bee finals round will take place at all.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the 2020 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals.
Is the Scripps National Spelling Bee canceled?
Heartbreakingly yes, the 2020 Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals tournament is officially canceled because of ongoing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. The organization first announced in March that the finals would be suspended, but at the time, they didn’t provide a new date for the event.
The Bee has a rich history, ever since the first competition in 1925, and it continues to capture audiences, while helping students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts, and, according to the official website, "develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives."
Will the Bee finals be rescheduled?
Sadly, this official cancellation notice comes months after the organization already announced they would be suspending the May event back in March when the lockdowns began.
At the time, Paige Kimble, the executive director of the Bee had said that the organization hoped the crisis would be resolved soon and that Scripps would be able to reschedule the event.
Unfortunately, due to the federal government’s ineffective response to the crisis and the fact that the U.S. has more reported coronavirus cases than any country in the world, the organizers simply cannot guarantee the safety of its attendees and have opted to cancel the Scripps National Spelling Bee for the first time since World War II.
Last year’s event broke all kinds of records, as eight contestants were named as co-champions after they each won 20 rounds of spelling. Each winner received a $50,000 cash prize as well as a custom-designed Scripps Cup. This year, the finalists were set to receive a backpack along with other keepsakes.
Could there be an online championship?
We hate to be the bearers of bad news but the organization looked into several ways to host a virtual spelling bee, just as many schools have been forced to recreate the classroom online. However, "there was not a clear path for a virtual event,” said the organization, as they feel that "trying to replace that experience with a stay-at-home version would pale in comparison.”
The Scripps Spelling Bee is the latest sporting event to succumb to coronavirus concerns, joining all major American sports leagues that have also suspended their games indefinitely.