WASHINGTON – The National Spelling Bee is putting plans for a world bee on hold.
The E.W. Scripps Company announced last year that it was considering an international competition. But on Wednesday, Scripps said it has "no immediate plans" to launch a world bee.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee has included international participants since 1976. A girl from Jamaica won in 1998.
Preliminary plans had called for competing countries to hold their own national bees and for the world bee to feature teams of three spellers from each nation. That would mean limiting the field at the National Spelling Bee to U.S. residents only.
Spelling bee director Paige Kimble says the world bee remains in the company's long-term plans and that more than 60 countries have expressed interest in participating.