NCAA Division I Softball Championship
The NCAA Division I Softball Championship tournament is held each year in May and June and features 64 college softball teams in the United States, culminating in the Women's College World Series (WCWS), which is played in Oklahoma City.
Tournament play and team selection
The tournament is unique in that it features three tiers of competition and a loss doesn't necessarily eliminate a team from contention. In fact, throughout the entire tournament a team can lose a total of four games and still be crowned champions.
During team selection the top sixteen teams are given "national seeds", which are used for organizing the brackets. The first tier, called "regionals", consists of 16 locations that include four teams competing in a double elimination bracket. The regional containing overall #1 seed will be matched up with the regional containing the overall #16 seed, the #2 seed will be matched up with the #15 seed, and so on. The winner of each regional moves on to the second tier, the "super regionals".
The super regionals are played at eight locations throughout the country and consist of the 16 surviving teams, with the higher seeded team usually hosting. Two teams are matched up at each location and they play a best-of-three series to determine who moves on to the Women's College World Series.
The final eight teams meet in Oklahoma City in the Women's College World Series. The WCWS is further divided into two sections. The first part resembles the regional tier, as teams are broken in two groups of four to play in a double-elimination bracket. The winners of each bracket then meet in a championship series, held at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, which is similar to the super regional tier in that it is a best-of-three series. The winner of the WCWS is crowned national champion.