Twenty-four of the nation's top collegiate softball teams are set to participate in the sixth NFCA Leadoff Classic February 23-25 in Columbus, Georgia. Competition will be held in South Commons Stadium and South Commons Complex. Last year's champion and runner up, Washington and Fresno State respectively, will again be in the field this year as will defending Women's College World Series champion Oklahoma.
Other members of the 2001 LOC field who made 2000 WCWS appearances are Southern Mississippi, Washington, California, DePaul and Alabama. Of the 24 teams in the field, 16 competed in NCAA postseason play in 2000 and 15 are ranked in the current USA Today/NFCA Top 25.
The tournament format consists of six, four-team pools. Following pool play, the top team from each pool, along with two at-large teams, will advance to the Gold Championship Bracket. The remaining four second-place teams along with four at-large teams will be placed in the Silver Championship Bracket and the remaining eight teams will be assigned to the Bronze Championship Bracket. All brackets will be single elimination consolation. Each team will play a minimum of five games (three pool, two bracket) regardless of pool or bracket assignments.
Saturday bracket play will be at 5:30 p..m. and 8 p.m. Sunday bracket Play is scheduled for 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.