After last year's cancelation due to the COVID-19 crisis, the annual tournament will return later than usual, on July 8, and will only feature 10 to 12 finalists competing in a slimmed-down format. The finals will follow three preliminary, quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, held virtually over a course of several weeks as opposed to during the competition's usual in-person "Bee Week." The annual Spelling Bee is usually held around Memorial Day. "The decision to limit the in-person portion of the competition to no more than 12 spellers was made in consideration of the health and safety of participants, their families and everyone involved in the event's production as the country continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic," organizers said in a press release. Adam Symson, president and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company, added: "Now, as the world continues to adapt to an ongoing pandemic, Scripps is committed to reimagining the beloved competition in a way that safely allows our exceptional spellers to continue this iconic tradition on the national stage."