PLANT CITY, FLORIDA -- The game schedule for the 2008 Olympic Softball competition was announced today. The International Softball Federation (ISF) unveiled the 32-game slate that spans August 12-21 at Fengtai Softball Field in Beijing, China.
Each of the eight teams will play each other once during round robin play, meaning that the first seven days will see four games played each day. An ‘off day’ is provided on August 19 in the event of rescheduled games due to weather. Two playoff games will be played during the day on August 20, followed by a game that night that will determine the bronze medalist. The grand final is set for Thursday evening, August 21, with the winner earning the gold medal. The team they defeat will be awarded the silver medals.
The first game of the 2008 Olympic tournament will see Chinese Taipei take on Canada. The same two teams met on the first day of the 2004 Games in Athens (Game 3), a 2-0 Canada victory.
Game 2 this August will see Team USA begin defense of their Olympic gold medal when they take on Venezuela, who will be making their first-ever Olympic Softball appearance. The host country takes the field for Game 3 on opening day, meeting the Netherlands, who return to the Games for the first time since the sport debuted at the Olympics in 1996. Play concludes that night with longtime international softball rivals Japan and Australia squaring off in a match-up of the 2004 bronze and silver medalists, respectively.
The full schedule is available by single-clicking here.
Fengtai Softball Field was built for the 2008 Olympic Softball competition and opened in August 2006 with the ISF’s XI Women’s World Championship, which also served as the sport’s Olympic Test Event. Last year the venue hosted the China Cup.
The ISF is the world governing body of the sport as recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). Softball (women's fast pitch) made its Olympic debut at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. There are 130 affiliated countries in the ISF and millions of participants in the sport worldwide.