Spelling Bee Canceled for the First Time Since 1945
On Apr. 21, Scripps announced that this year’s National Spelling Bee would be canceled because there is “no clear path to safely set a new date in 2020” during the coronavirus pandemic. In March, organizers were previously hopeful by saying this year’s bee would only be postponed. Next year’s bee, scheduled for June 1-3, will not have altered eligibility requirements, meaning that eighth graders this year have missed their last chance to participate. “Our hearts go out to the spellers who won’t get their final shot at winning because of the pandemic and the difficult decisions it is prompting us to make,” said the bee’s executive director, Paige Kimble, through a statement. The bee’s organizers are currently finding a way to recognize the more than 150 participants who won their regional bees and were qualified to compete in this year’s national finals. The cancellation is only the second ever in the National Spelling Bee’s long history. The first canceled bee was in 1945 due to World War II. Last year’s bee also made history when it ended in an unprecedented eight-way tie after organizers ran out of words to give. The Scripps National Spelling Bee is a nonprofit spelling bee held annually in the United States. Contest participants are 14 or under and come from all over the world. The first National Spelling Bee was held in 1925, and it has been televised by American sports channel ESPN since 1994.
Chris Hong Copy Editor
1. Why was Scripps' National Spelling Bee canceled this year?
2. What will happen to this year's eighth graders that wanted to participate?
3. When was the last time the National Spelling Bee was canceled?
1. Do you think eighth graders this year should be given a chance to participate in next year's spelling bee?
2. Did Scripps make the best decision by canceling the spelling bee?
3. Instead of canceling the spelling bee, what could have been alternative ways to have it this year?
4. Why are spelling bees important for students?