In 1996 Jimmy McCarthy of St. Petersburg, Florida, became the first profoundly deaf speller to compete at the national level. He tied for 48th place in the field of 247 spellers.
If you are a member of the media and are seeking credentials to cover the Bee on Wednesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 26, click here to complete our online application.
Preliminaries Test: Tuesday, May 24, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. EDT
Preliminaries: Wednesday, May 25, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT. Streaming live on ESPN3.
Finals: Thursday, May 26, beginning at 10 a.m. EDT. Live on ESPN2.
Finals Continued: Thursday, May 26, beginning at 8 p.m. EDT. Live on ESPN.
Credentialed media will be allowed to enter the Maryland Ballroom one hour prior to the beginning of the competition.
The 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee takes place in the Maryland Ballroom at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Click here for directions.
Parking: Credentialed media can receive vouchers on request to cover self-park charges for the Gaylord National garage on May 25 and 26.
Media Seating: Credentialed members of the media will be able to sit in a reserved area near the front of the Maryland Ballroom. Space designated for members of the media will include tables and power strips for equipment, as well as a designated area for photographers and videographers.
Media Desk: Members of our staff will be available to answer questions and provide information during Bee Week at the Media Desk located immediately outside the Maryland Ballroom. The Media Desk phone number is 301-965-5571. The Desk will open about 60 minutes before the start of each segment of the competition.
Media Room: Credentialed members of the media will also have access to the Bee's Media Room. The Media Room includes tables and power strips for media who need to complete and submit stories.
Wi-fi: Wireless internet access is available to the media during Bee Week. Login information is available at the Media Desk.
Paige P. Kimble is the executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Paige is the 1981 national champion, and she has served the program in various capacities since 1984. Valerie Miller is a corporate communications manager for The E.W. Scripps Company. The Bee's spokespeople may be contacted by calling the Media Desk during Bee Week or through our customer service request form. Click here to access the form and submit your inquiry.
The best opportunity to interview Paige Kimble and Dr. Jacques Bailly, the 1980 national champion and the official pronouncer of the Bee, will be at a media avail on Wednesday, May 25. The event will be at noon in Gaylord's Camellia Rooms 3 and 4. Advance registration is not required and lunch will be provided.
Round results will be posted on spellingbee.com in real time on May 25 and 26.
Media who are on site and need a report urgently can visit the Media Desk for a results printout from the Internet. The Media Desk can also provide a phone update at 301-965-5571.
Live updates and results will also be posted in real time on May 25 and 26 via Twitter at @ScrippsBee and using the #spellingbee hashtag.
All interview requests must be submitted through our customer service request form. Click here to access the form and submit your inquiry.
ESPN holds exclusive live coverage rights for all competition hours on Wednesday, May 25 and Thursday, May 26. Credentialed media are permitted to video record the competition for non-live broadcast.
Print copies of the 2016 Bee Week Guide will be available to the media onsite at the Media Desk.
Updates and news will be posted on the following social media channels.
Thousands of professional photos will be uploaded and tagged on Flickr – they are available for hi res download and media usage with photo credit to “Mark Bowen/Scripps National Spelling Bee.” To find a specific speller, search “2016speller[speller number]”