Watch the 88th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee live online Wednesday and Thursday to see which one of 285 spellers as young as 9-years-old ranging in age up to 15, will emerge as the most superior speller of 2015. But for viewers who watch live online, the 2015 Bee offers a bonus — a “play along” version.
That’s right, viewers who watch the National Spelling Bee live online can choose the option of a home version that allows viewers to test their own skills against those of the competitors when it comes to spelling such words as flibbertigibbet, syzygy, triskaidekaphobia, and schadenfreude.
To find out how to watch the Scripps National Spelling Bee live online from Washington D.C. — both the regular broadcast and the “play along” version — see the information at the bottom of this article.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is divided into five sessions over two days. The first preliminary round runs from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 27, followed by a second preliminary round from 1:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
The semifinals test round takes place Wednesday evening from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Again, all times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.
The big day comes on Thursday, May 28, with semifinals running from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by the nail-biting Championship Final Round from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The finals round could actually run past the bedtimes of at least some of the contestants. The youngest speller in the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Cameron Keith of Boulder, Colorado, is just 9-years-old.
Parents, kids, and educators who watch the National Spelling Bee live online will also see how much heredity, or family influence, plays a role in spelling skills. Three of this year’s contestants are the siblings of previous National Spelling Bee champions.
The field this year is almost equally divided between girls at 51 percent and boys at 49. According to Scripps, 80 percent of the spellers are between the ages if 12 and 14, and an astonishing 117 of the kids speak more than one language fluently.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee will be televised by ESPN and ESPN2, which means that to watch live online requires the WatchESPN live stream, which available at this link using login credentials from almost any cable provider. To watch on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, download the WatchESPN app. Most set-top devices such ad Roku, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast also carry WatchESPN for viewing on television monitors.
But the Play Along Version will be carried live by ESPN3, the online-only service of ESPN, which is available free via WatchESPN even without a cable subscription. All major internet service providers and most smaller ISPs provide access to ESPN3. For a complete list, check this link, or try the instructions at this link if you do not have an account with an ISP that carries ESPN3.
A preview of the live online Play Along version of the Scripps National Spelling Bee may be viewed in the video at the top of this page.
[Image: Alex Wong/Getty Images]