As the Aussie Spirit prepare for the most important event on the softball calendar, fans who can’t make it to Japan will be pleased to know that every game will be live-streamed.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation has announced that all 73 games of the XVI Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan, will be free to view on the WBSC YouTube channel.
“These agreements will guarantee record coverage and engagement for the Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, driving the exposure and excitement of our sport to millions of households and mobile users across the world, while further building the anticipation of baseball and softball’s historic return at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said.
This year’s tournament is even more significant than usual, because the winner of the event will also gain automatic qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. If Japan — which has automatic qualification as Games host — wins the tournament, the runner-up will be given an Olympic berth.
Softball is returning to the Olympics for the first time since 2008. Australian softball has a unique record, having won a medal in every Olympics in which softball has been contested.
What: XVI Women’s Softball World Championship
Where: Chiba, Japan
When: 2-12 August 2018
Defending champions: USA
Teams and their world rankings:
Aussie Spirit (4)
Chinese Taipei (5)
Puerto Rico (6)
New Zealand (11)
Great Britain (14)
South Africa (35)
Aussie Spirit schedule:
Friday 10am (11am AEST): Australia vs Venezuela
Friday 3.30pm (4.30pm AEST): Australia vs China
Saturday 10am (11am AEST): Australia vs Italy
Sunday 2.30pm (3.30pm AEST): Australia vs Canada
Monday 10am: (11am AEST): Australia vs Botswana
Tuesday 6pm (7pm AEST): Australia vs Great Britain
Wednesday 7pm (8pm AEST): Australia vs Japan
Friday August 10-Sunday August 12: Playoffs
Teams are split into two pools. Australia plays seven games against Pool B opponents, with the top four in each pool to go through to playoffs.
Aussie Spirit team:
|Amelia Cudicio (NSW)||Kaia Parnaby (NSW)||Carmelle Sorensen (Qld)||Belinda White (SA)|
|Chelsea Forkin (Qld)||Samantha Poole (NSW)||Tarni Stepto (NSW)||Tamieka Whitefield (Qld)|
|Leigh Godfrey (WA)||Stacey Porter (NSW)||Taylah Tsitsikronis (NSW)|
|Stacey McManus (NSW)||Ellen Roberts (NSW)||Jade Wall (Qld)|
|Kaia Parnaby (NSW)||Justine Smethurst (Qld)||Clare Warwick (ACT)|
|Head Coach||Fabian Barlow|
|Assistant Coach (battery)||Kelly Hardie|
|Assistant Coach (hitting)||Troy Baverstock|
|Specialist Defensive Coach||Kym Tollenaere|
|Performance Enhancement Coordinator||Dee Anderson|
|Team Manager||Lisa Anderson|
Head Coach Fabian Barlow says:
“The World Championship will be very tough as the number of top-tier teams is deeper than ever before. There are no easy games and you need to be prepared to bring your A game every day, and we will prepare them both physically and mentally for that.
“I’m extremely comfortable the players that have been given this honour will stand up and accept the challenges that come with competing against the world’s best teams.
“In saying that, it’s important we remember we also are one of the best teams in the world and we back ourselves against anyone on any given day.”