Posted on March 23, 2020 at 8:26 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The Scripps National Spelling Bee may be canceled for 2020.

Organizers said Friday that the event wouldn’t be held in late May, because of the coronavirus outbreak (which has canceled many of the bees that funnel winners up to the main event), but they did not commit to a new date, reports the Associated Press.

If the bee doesn’t take place this year, it would be the first time since World War II that the top young spellers in the United States didn’t have a chance to show off their skills.

And even if the event is rescheduled, the rules require that participants not move beyond eighth grade before August 31 — so depending on the timing of the rescheduled bee, we could possibly see ninth-graders compete … or previous contenders could age out.

Young spellers are, understandably, urging bee organizers to do everything within their power to ensure a competition still takes place in a safe way; you can read their reactions in the Associated Press.

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