Softball at the 2008 Summer Olympics

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at the Games of the XXIX Olympiad
Softball 2008.png
Pictogram used to identify softball at the 2008 Games
Venue Fengtai Softball Field
Dates August 12–21
Teams 8
Gold medal 
Silver medal 
Bronze medal 
Competing teams

Softball at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing took place over a ten-day period starting August 12 and culminating in the medal finals on August 21. All games were played at the Fengtai Softball Field. Olympic softball is a women only competition, with men competing in the similar sport of baseball.

The International Olympic Committee had voted to remove softball from the program for the 2012 Olympics. Many theories abound, but the most common one is that the U.S. teams are simply too dominant in the sport, having won gold in the previous three Olympics and winning them convincingly.[1] 2008 was the last time that softball will be contested at the Olympics unless it is reinstated at a future date. The IOC declined to include softball in the 2016 Summer Olympics at its October 2009 meeting.[2]


In one of the major upsets of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Japan defeated U.S. 3-1 to win the gold medal. The Americans have won gold and dominated their opponents in the previous three Olympics. This is the only Olympic Softball Gold Medal that the U.S. has not won. Their dominance was cited as one of the reasons why the IOC voted to drop the sport from the 2012 Olympics.

Gold Silver Bronze
 Japan (JPN)

Naho Emoto
Motoko Fujimoto
Megu Hirose
Emi Inui
Sachiko Ito
Ayumi Karino
Satoko Mabuchi
Yukiyo Mine
Masumi Mishina
Rei Nishiyama
Hiroko Sakai
Rie Sato
Mika Someya
Yukiko Ueno
Eri Yamada

 United States (USA)

Monica Abbott
Stacey Nuveman
Crystl Bustos
Jennie Finch
Laura Berg
Lauren Lappin
Lovieanne Jung
Cat Osterman
Tairia Flowers
Andrea Duran
Jessica Mendoza
Victoria Galindo
Kelly Kretschman
Caitlin Lowe
Natasha Watley

 Australia (AUS)

Jodie Bowering
Kylie Cronk
Kelly Hardie
Tanya Harding
Sandy Lewis
Simmone Morrow
Tracey Mosley
Stacey Porter
Melanie Roche
Justine Smethurst
Danielle Stewart
Natalie Titcume
Natalie Ward
Belinda Wright
Kerry Wyborn


Competition format[edit]

Eight teams compete in the Olympic softball tournament, and the competition consists of two rounds. The preliminary round follows a round robin format, where each of the teams plays all the other teams once. Following this, the top four teams advance to a page playoff system round consisting of two semifinal games, and finally the bronze and gold medal games.


The eight teams in the Olympic softball tournament will qualify through a series of tournaments. China, as the host nation, is guaranteed one automatic entry. The top four finalists at the 2006 Softball World Championships will be qualified for the Olympic tournament. Finally, there will be continental qualifying tournaments for Europe/Africa, Pan-America, and Asia/Oceania, with the winners of each tournament earning a spot in the Olympic tournament.

Qualification schedule[edit]

Date Event Location Qualifier
Host Nation  China
Aug 20-29, 2006 2006 ISF World Championship China Beijing  United States
June 9–16, 2007 Europe & Africa Olympic Qualifying Tournament Italy Trieste  Netherlands
Feb. 1-5, 2007 Asian & Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament Chinese Taipei Tainan City  Chinese Taipei1
Aug. 19-24, 2007 Pan-American Olympic Qualifying Tournament Venezuela Valencia  Venezuela

^Note 1 : Chinese Taipei is the official IOC designation for the state officially referred to as the Republic of China, more commonly known as Taiwan. (See also political status of Taiwan for details.)

Group stage[edit]

Preliminary round[edit]

Qualified for the semifinals

The top four teams will advance to the semifinal round.

All times are China Standard Time (UTC+8)

Team W L RS RA WIN% GB Tiebreaker
 United States 7 0 53 1 1.000 - -
 Japan 6 1 23 13 .857 1 -
 Australia 5 2 30 11 .714 2 -
 Canada 3 4 17 23 .429 4 -
 Chinese Taipei 2 5 10 23 .286 5 2-0 vs. CHN/VEN
 China 2 5 19 21 .286 5 1-1 vs. TPE/VEN
 Venezuela 2 5 15 35 .286 5 0-2 vs. CHN/TPE
 Netherlands 1 6 8 48 .143 6 -

Tiebreaking procedures follow the International Softball Federation's standard procedure for the resolution of ties.[3]

August 12
August 13
August 14
August 15
August 16
August 17
August 18

Medal round[edit]

The loser of 1&2 seed game will play the winner of the 3&4 seed game in the bronze medal match. The loser of the bronze medal match wins the bronze medal while the winner goes on to play the winner of the 1&2 seed game for the gold medal in the gold medal match.

  Semifinals Bronze medal game Gold medal game
1   United States 4  
2   Japan 1         1   United States 1
      3   Australia 3   2   Japan 3
  2   Japan 4  
3   Australia 5
4   Canada 3  

Semi finals[edit]

Bronze medal match[edit]

Winner advances to gold medal match. Loser wins bronze medal.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
 Australia 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 7 2
 Japan 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 11 1
WP: Yukiko Ueno(4-1)   LP: Tanya Harding(3-2)
Home runs:
AUS: Kerry Wyborn,
JPN: Megu Hirose

Gold medal match[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
 Japan 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 3 4 0
 United States 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 5 2
WP: Yukiko Ueno(5-1)   LP: Cat Osterman(3-1)
Home runs:
JPN: Eri Yamada (2)
USA: Crystl Bustos (6)


  1. ^ Dodd, Mike (August 21, 2008). "Even in defeat, U.S. proves point about softball's parity". USA Today. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  2. ^ "Olympic Leaders Approve Golf and Rugby for 2016 Summer Games". Fox News. Associated Press. August 13, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]