The Past and Present of NCAA Softball Rules and Championship
The term NCAA stands for National Collegiate Athletic Association. This is a non-profit organization that governs the athletes of different institutes, organizations and the number is 1281. Other than governing the athletes, it also organizes the sports and athletic program of various colleges and universities across the USA and Canada. If the statistics are to be believed, the organization helps around 450,000 students to take part in the annual sports govern by the NACC. Here in this discussion we will have a look at the NCAA softball rules but before that let’s have a brief look at the working process of this association.
This is undoubtedly a great effort made by this organization towards the development of the sports culture in the n nation. It sanctions a wide list of sports that includes basket ball, baseball, beach volleyball, softball, football, cross country, field hockey, bowling, fencing, water polo, ice hockey, tennis, track and field, diving, soccer, gymnastics, rowing, swimming, rifle and lacrosse. The latest inclusion in the list is the breach volleyball. The first championship of this game was help in the last school year.
The head-office of NCAA is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. According to the reports, a large part of the revenue of this association comes from the basketball tournament of men Division I. In the year 20141, it made record earning in terms of revenue. The amount was near about 1 billion dollars. Assumptions are that 90% of this revenue came from Division I Basketball Tournament (Men). However, the good thing is the amount was given away to a number of institutions and organizations to help their athletes and sports persons.
There is a typical set up of NCAA, this is called the three division set up Division I, Division II and Division III. This structure was adopted by NCAA in 1973. Under the provision, schools that fall in Division I and Division II category can offer scholarship programs to their student-athletes to encourage them in sports. On the other hand, Division III schools cannot offer any scholarship programs to their students. Due to this categorization, larger schools compete in Division III category and smaller schools compete in Division II and III category.
Ok, let’s now focus on the NCAA softball rules. The Division I Championship Tournament for softball is held in May and June every year. There are altogether 64 college softball teams that participate in the tournament. And the tournament ends with Women’s College World Series. This is played in Oklahoma City.
Division I, Division II & Division III Softball Championship
The rules of the tournament are very unique. There are three tier of the entire tournament. This is not a knock-out tournament where teams are eliminated after a loss. In fact, in this tournament, each team can afford to lose maximum four times and still can be titled as the winner of the championship.
The first step is the selection. The top 16 teams are selected for “national seeds” and this is used for creating the brackets. The first tier is named regionals. Here, 16 locations are included and that is divided in four teams. These four teams can compete in double elimination bracket. Now, on the basis of the national seeds the team containing #1 seed will be paired with #16 seed and the team containing # 2 seed will be paired with #15 seed. The matches continue like this. The winner of each regional reaches to the second tier that is called “super regional”.
In this part of the tournament eight locations are selected throughout the country and 16 surviving teams participate. The team with the higher seed usually plays the host. Like the earlier step, two teams are matched up for each location. And this step will determine which team will qualify for the Women’s College World Series.
At the end of this part, the final 8 teams qualify for the Women’s College World Series and they meet in Oklahoma City. The World Series is divided in two sections. In the first section, the teams are divided in two groups with 4 teams in each group. They play a double elimination bracket. The winner from each bracket faces-off in the championship series. The championship is held at ASA Hall of Fame. This is a best of three series. And the team which will win the WCWS championship will be titled as the national champion.
Quite like the Division I, in the Division II level, Women’s College World Series is the final chapter of the NCAA Division II Softball Championship. This is for the college softball teams of Division II across the US.
Softball used to be one of the twelve women’s sport associated with NCAA Championship in the school year of 1981-1982. During this time, NCAA was engaged in contradiction of opinion regarding the governance of women’s collegiate sports with AIAW. Till then the AIAW was continuing governing the twelve women sports along with other sports. However, a year later the NCAA, conquered the AIAW in a dual women’s championship.
And quite like the Division II Women’s College Championship, the final step of the Division III Softball Championship is Women’s College World Series. The formula of the championship is similar to that of Division II championship. The tournaments of all these Divisions are equally popular
Among all the teams, the most successful team in the history of the championship is TCNJ. They have won the national title for five times and the latest winner is Tufts. They have bagged three national titles so far.
So, that was a brief detail about the NCAA softball rules. The most successful team in championship history is TCNJ, which has 5 national titles. Tufts are the current champions, who won their third title in 2015.