For the first time ever, there will be no oral speaking element for the Dallas Regional Spelling Bee and beyond -- all answers will be typed out using a remote Online Testing Platform, or OTP.
The 63rd annual Dallas Regional Spelling Bee will be hosted by the Dallas Sports Commission on Friday, virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those in the eighth grade or lower that have won their individual spelling bee and local county bee qualify to participate.
The Dallas Regional Bee OTP, which will have contestants type out words and answer vocabulary questions, was developed by Scripps and will be in place for regional spelling bees across the nation.
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Twenty-six students from 16 counties will make up the pool of contestants to compete at the competition.
Contestants that win first and second place will advance to the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition this June.
The online preliminary stage of the Scripps National Spelling Bee will take place first, then the virtual quarterfinal and semifinal before the in-person finals that will host the top 10 to 12 contestants nationwide in Orlando on July 8.
Southwest Airlines said if a Dallas contestant makes it to the Orlando finals, then they will provide an all-expense-paid trip to the competition.
"This has undoubtedly been a challenging year for everyone, but I am so proud of the perseverance of our students representing the Dallas region in the Scripps National Spelling Bee," Dallas Sports Commission executive director Monica Paul said. "We commend our spellers for remaining focused while participating in a unique spelling bee competition. We wish them all the best of luck."
For more information about the 63rd Annual Dallas Regional Spelling Bee click here.