FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Triple Crown Sports and the NFCA have joined forces to bring back the National Invitational Softball Championships, a 48-team postseason Division I event, that will highlight the explosive growth of women’s softball and the depth of talent on college rosters from coast to coast.
The NISC returns to the scene in May 2017, with its selection day set for May 14, about an hour after the NCAA releases its 64-team bracket.
The NISC will place six teams in eight regionals, with a double-elimination format on May 16-18 determining the final eight teams. Those eight teams will play May 21-24 at one site in another double-elimination event to determine a champion.
“The time is right to add a postseason tournament in softball. There is tremendous parity throughout the country and fan interest is at an all-time high,” NFCA Executive Director Carol Bruggeman said. “The NISC will create postseason opportunities for highly competitive and successful teams. Triple Crown Sports will run a first-class tournament allowing one more team to finish their season with a championship victory.”
The NISC will feature 32 teams receiving automatic berths – one from each of the nation’s 32 conferences. The next 16 teams will be at-large selections, with metrics such as RPI, record versus top 50 RPI and other ranking systems being used. Teams must also have a record of .500 or better.
“In regards to the difficulty for teams to get an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament from a mid-major conference, this event now gives them an opportunity to build their fan base and program during the magic of a postseason experience,” said Dave King, CEO of Triple Crown Sports.
— Courtesy Triple Crown Sports