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Who is eligible to take part in the Scripps National Spelling Bee?

We discuss the students that are eligible for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Zaila Avant-garde competes in the first round of the the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals in Orlando, Florida on July 8, 2021. Photo by JIM WATSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The 2022 Scripps National Spelling Bee will take place this week. The preliminaries took place on Tuesday. The quarterfinals will run on Wednesday, June 1st from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. The semifinals follow from 8-10 p.m. ET and the finals will take place on Thursday, June 2nd from 8-10 p.m. ET. All rounds will be aired on ION. There will be a live stream that tracks the action at

In order to be eligible for the spelling bee, the student has to meet a number of qualifications. They cannot have won a previous Scripps National Spelling Bee (SNSB) national final. They have to attend a school that is officially enrolled with the SNSB and they can’t have passed beyond eighth grade or be 16 years of age. The speller either has to be a champion of a local SNSB-sanctioned event or be a spelling champion selected to compete in the national finals through an official SNSB program. Other qualifications can be found here.

The 2021 winner was Zaila Avant-Garde who made history as the first Black American and first speller from Louisiana to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. The 2022 competition saw 234 spellers from across the U.S., the Bahamas, Canada, Germany and Ghana compete in the preliminary rounds.