WBSC Womens World Championship groups and schedule announced

May 10, 2018, 3:16 p.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY — The groups and full competition schedule for the 2018 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship (WWC) was released earlier yesterday by the WBSC. The USA Softball Women’s National Team (WNT) will travel to Chiba, Japan and compete in the 16th WBSC Women’s World Championship from August 2-12, 2018, where they will look to defend their Gold Medal finish at the 2016 World Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada.  This also marks the first opportunity teams will have to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.


“We’re looking forward to competing at the WBSC Women’s World Championship this August,” said USA Softball Executive Director, Craig Cress.  “Our Selection Committee has done a tremendous job of putting together a very talented roster that has a great mix of veteran leadership and newcomers to the international scene.  We expect high-level competition and can’t wait to watch Team USA compete.”


Click here to view the complete schedule for the USA Softball WNT at the WBSC Women’s World Championship


“We are very excited to have the opportunity to defend our World Championship [Gold Medal],” said World Championship Head Coach, Ken Eriksen. “The host committee and the WBSC have worked very hard to ensure quality venues for all countries. Team USA is looking forward to our ‘Journey to Japan’ starting in June!"


The 16 participating countries, representing five Olympic continents, have been drawn into two groups. Competing in Pool A, Team USA will take the field against Mexico in its opening match August 13 at 12:30 p.m. JT (August 12 at 10:30 p.m. CT). The Red, White and Blue are also scheduled to play Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Puerto Rico and South Africa as part of preliminary round-robin action before heading into the playoff rounds. The top four finishers from each group will advance to the double page playoff round, while nations not advancing will compete in the placement round. The top nation will claim the first of five available softball spots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with Japan qualifying automatically as the host country.


“The Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba will be an exciting and challenging 73-game top-tier global competition,” said WBSC President, Riccardo Fraccari. “The stakes will be extremely high with the tournament awarding one nation a ticket to be a part of softball’s historic Olympic return at the Tokyo 2020 Games — this is where softball’s Road to Tokyo 2020 begins.


Led by Head Coach Ken Eriksen, the World Championship roster was announced in January following the WNT Selection Trials in Clearwater, Fla. The WNT heads to Japan having won Gold in their last appearance at a WBSC Women’s World Championship, while the program has accumulated 10 total Women’s World Championship titles.


Click here to see the 2018 USA Softball Women’s National Team roster


Highlighting the Women’s World Championship roster:

- An Olympic Silver Medalist (Monica Abbott)

- Thirteen World Championship veterans (Monica Abbott, Ali Aguilar, Valerie Arioto, Kelly Barnhill, Kasey Cooper, Sahvanna Jaquish, Haylie McCleney, Michelle Moultrie, Aubree Munro, Janie Reed, Keilani Ricketts, Delaney Spaulding, Kelsey Stewart)

- Four World Championship rookies (Taylor Edwards, Rachel Garcia, Kirsti Merritt, Danielle O’Toole)


The 30,000-seat Chiba Marine Stadium, home of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) club Chiba Lotte Marines, will host the playoffs and finals, while NASPA Stadium, Akitsu Stadium and ZETT A Ball Park will host the preliminary and consolation rounds.


Tickets for the 2018 WBSC Women’s World Championship are set to go on sale online May 19. For updates on the USA Softball Women’s National Team and events throughout the 2018 season visit www.USASoftball.com.


About USA Softball

USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition in every state through a network of 69 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.


As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit www.USASoftball.com.


About the World Baseball Softball Confederation 

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland -- the Olympic Capital -- the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 202 National Federation and Associate Members in 143 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually. 


The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Softball World Cups, Softball World Championships (Men, Women, U-19 Men, and U-19 Women), Premier12, World Baseball Classic, and Baseball World Cups (U-12, U-15, U-18, U-23 and Women's).


For more information, visit www.wbsc.org, which is available six languages: English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.