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Olympic Softball, Explained: How Group Play, Leaderboards Work In 2021 Tournament Format

The most is not always the happiest.

Olympic softball has unfortunately been a recurring event since its introduction in 1996, with the last two Games not featuring any softball, much to the chagrin of the US team and the softball-hungry rest of the world.

Regardless, however: softball is back in the Olympic spotlight in 2021, and with just six teams in the mix, participation is down from eight teams in 2008, 2004 and 2000, making it a bigger field. lightweight – and one that the United States should win a gold medal. It would be their fourth gold medal overall and their fifth in as many Olympics in which softball has been played.

Here’s what you need to know about the 2021 Olympic Softball Tournament.

MORE: Full TV show to watch Olympic softball games

How the 2021 Olympics Softball Tournament Works

The Olympic softball tournament is actually an easier tournament to understand and follow before the first game on July 20. While the Olympics in the past featured groups and a playoff system, this year is much simpler with fewer teams to play. :


In total, six teams qualified for the 2021 Olympics: Japan, United States, Italy, Mexico, Canada and Australia. Here’s how they did it:

Japan was a self-qualifier to be the host nation.

United States won the 2018 Women’s World Softball Championship, winning a qualifying bid for the Olympics.

During an Africa / Europe qualifying event in 2019, Italy won, allowing them an offer.

– During a qualifying event for the Americas in 2019, Canada and Mexico emerged, winning offers for the Olympics.

– In an Asia / Oceania qualifying tournament in 2019, Australia won, allowing them an appearance for the 2021 Olympics.


The softball tournament is pretty straightforward: each team will play against each other once in a single round robin for a total of 15 games. The matches will be played in two stadiums outside of Tokyo, in Yokohama and Fukushima.

Once those 15 games are over, the peloton moves on to the finals: the top two teams vying for the gold medal in the gold medal match on July 27. The bronze medal match between the third and fourth placed teams precedes it in July. 27.

Olympic Softball Games Ranking

The leaderboards work like a normal baseball or softball season: each team will face off once, with the top two teams qualifying for the gold medal game. The third and fourth placed teams land in the bronze medal game.

The first match of the 2021 Olympics will take place on Tuesday, July 20:

In law Team Games played Victories Losses Works for Works against Race differential Return games
1 Australia
2 Canada
3 Italy
4 Japan
5 Mexico
6 United States

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