The full 2021 Rules for Local Spelling Bees will be released in November 2020. For eligibility requirements and tips on how to run your spelling bee, see below or visit spellingbee.com/rules.
1. Eligibility: A speller qualifying for the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee (SNSB) national finals must meet these requirements:
(1) The speller must not have won a SNSB national finals.
(2) The speller must attend a school that is officially enrolled with the SNSB.
(3) The speller must not have passed beyond the eighth grade on or before August 31, 2020.
(4) The speller must not have repeated any grade for the purpose of extending spelling bee eligibility. If the speller has repeated any grade, the speller must notify the SNSB of the circumstances of grade repetition by March 31, 2021; and the SNSB will, at its sole discretion, determine the speller’s eligibility status on or before April 30, 2021.
(5) The speller — or the speller’s parent, legal guardian or school official acting on the speller’s behalf — must not have declared to another entity an academic classification higher than eighth grade for any purpose, including high school graduation equivalency or proficiency examinations and/or examinations such as the PSAT, SAT or ACT.
(6) The speller must not have earned the legal equivalent of a high school diploma.
(7) The speller must not eschew normal school activity to study for spelling bees. The SNSB defines normal school activity as adherence to at least four courses of study other than language arts, spelling, Latin, Greek, vocabulary and etymology for at least four hours per weekday for 34 of the 38 weeks between August 24, 2020, and May 17, 2021.
(8) The speller must not have reached his/her 15th birthday on or before August 31, 2020.
(9) The speller must have been declared a champion of an SNSB-sanctioned final local spelling bee taking place on or after February 1, 2021, or be a spelling champion whose application for participation in the SNSB’s self-sponsorship program has received final approval by the SNSB.
(10) The speller, upon qualifying for the 2021 SNSB national finals, must submit to the SNSB a completed Champion Bio Form, a Certification of Eligibility Form, a signed Appearance Consent and Release Form, and a photo. The speller will notify the SNSB — at least 24 hours prior to the first day of the SNSB national finals — if any of the statements made on the Certification of Eligibility Form are no longer true or require updating. The speller’s sponsor will provide access to the necessary forms.
(11) The speller must not have any first-, second- or third-degree relatives (i.e., sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, half-sibling, first cousin or great-grandparent) who are current employees of The E.W. Scripps Company.
The SNSB may disqualify prior to or during competition any speller who is not in compliance with any of its eligibility requirements; and it may — at any time between the conclusion of the 2021 SNSB national finals and April 30, 2022 —require any speller who is found to have not been in compliance with any of the eligibility requirements to forfeit the prizes, rank and other benefits accorded to the speller as a result of participation in the 2021 SNSB national finals.