In past years, the 209 spellers who advanced all would have attended the early rounds in person – an event called Bee Week — but that was adjusted due to lingering COVID concerns.
Saturday’s preliminaries run from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., while Tuesday’s quarterfinals go from noon to 6 p.m. Both will be streamed on the ESPN3 digital network. On Saturday, contestants will have to spell two words correctly and answer a “word meaning” question correctly to advance to the quarterfinals.
The 209 national finalists range in age from 9 to 15, and 47 of them have previous experience competing in the national finals. Sixteen have siblings who are former national competitors. This year, spellers from the Bahamas, Canada, Ghana and Japan will also participate in the finals.
“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. “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 opening ceremony and other special events will be live-streamed, with details at spellingbee.com. The semifinals and finals will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPNU.
Nathan McElroy, 11, Marietta Veritas Classical Academy
Isabella Fletcher, 12, Steubenville Harding Middle School
Rajshekhar Basu Sarkar, 12, Van Buren Middle School
Sahana Srikanth, 12, Mason Middle School
Sarah Thompson, 12, Lisbon David Anderson Jr. High
Christopher Dominick, 13, Struthers Middle School
Kerem Duyar, 13, Avon Middle School
Sophia Lopez, 13, Cedarville Middle School
Hurshil Nittala, 13, Olentangy Liberty Middle School
Angelia Schmerr, 13, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
Andrew Yeager, 13, Doylestown Chippewa Jr. High
Lyrik Brown, 14, Bridgeport Middle School
Nicholas Williams, 14, Tuscarawas Central Catholic Jr. High
Matthew Dufour, 15, Ashtabula Lakeside Jr. High