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2020 Scripps National Spelling Bee Cancelled

Losing one of ESPN’s fun summer televised competitions s-u-c-k-s.

Abhijay Kodali of Flower Mound, Texas, Sohum Sukhatankar of Dallas, Texas, Rishik Gandhasri of San Jose, California, Shruthika Padhy of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Rohan Raja of Irving, Texas, hold up the trophy for photographers after 20 rounds of competition and won the championship of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The 2020 Scripps National Spelling Bee has officially been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic — marking the first cancellation since 1945. One irony is that you can spell what happened to the 2020 Scripps National Spelling Bee two ways: canceled or cancelled, as both are correct.

But that is the official announcement today as the annual spelling bee will not take place, and those students in eighth grade will not be able to participate in future events as well.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is canceling its 2020 national finals due to the ongoing concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus and uncertainty around when public gatherings will be possible or advisable.

This decision follows the Bee’s announcement on March 20 that it was suspending the national finals and hoped to reschedule. The Bee has determined there is no clear path to safely set a new date in 2020.

More than 150 local sponsors successfully completed their regional programs by declaring champions before the coronavirus-related restrictions went into effect. The Bee will recognize those spellers in the coming months.

It’s a loss not only for ESPN programming, but for the students across America that have studied so hard to get to this point. To have the pinnacle of what they want to achieve taken away is very sad, and we hope they don’t feel too lugubrious* about this decision.

Let’s hope there’s a way these kids can compete via Zoom or some other way, even if it’s not for the official trophy or scholarships offered.


What is the definition of the word?
“Mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially in an affected, exaggerated, or unrelieved manner.”

What is the part of speech?

Can you use it in a sentence?
“The fine spellers across America that qualified for the Scripps National Spelling Bee shouldn’t feel lugubrious at all, as they’ve given everything they have even though they won’t be allowed to compete this year.”

Language of origin?
Latin, from lugubris: ”mournful, doleful, pertaining to mourning,”