May 25, 2017

History of the World Series

oregonApril showers may bring May flowers, but there’s so much more in store! We’re one month closer to the start of the NCAA’s 2017 Women’s College World Series, so start getting excited for lots of amazing action to come. There are 291 Division I teams eligible to play – that’s more than 6,000 student-athletes across the country. Regionals and Super Regionals will be held later in May to determine which teams will compete, so you’d better start practicing your cheering skills ASAP!

This year’s World Series will be held at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from June 1-7. This is the 36th year for the championship and the 27th time it has been held at the Hall of Fame Stadium! Let’s dive into some history to get pumped for what’s to come.

The NCAA Division I Softball Championship began in 1982 with only 16 teams. The first World Series took place in Omaha, Nebraska, where UCLA beat Fresno State 2-0. This foreshadowed lots more winning down the line for the Bruins.

With time, the championships began to grow. The bracket expanded to include 20 teams in 1988, 32 in 1994, and 48 in 1999. In 2003, it reached its current size of a whopping 64 teams. As the number of teams grew, so did interest in the championships – and the number of girls playing softball around America.

The games have taken place in Oklahoma City every year since 1990, except in 1996, when the championship briefly moved to Georgia.

UCLA and Fresno State have had the most appearances in the championships; they’ve both been selected to play 30 times. However, UCLA has largely dominated the competition, winning 11 times. Trailing behind the Bruins are the Arizona Wildcats with 8 championships and the Arizona State Sun Devils with 2 – must be something about those year-round warm temps!

Can’t make it out to Oklahoma City to root for your favorite team until you’re hoarse? No worries! This year’s championship will be televised on ESPN!

Who will you be cheering on at the World Series?