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Cathi Aradi

Olympic Softball Schedule Announced

Olympic softball gold medalist United States will open defense of its title against Canada to launch softball at the Sydney 2000 Games, while host Australia, the '96 bronze medalist, begins play against New Zealand. These will be the first of four opening day contests scheduled for Sunday, September 17. The complete schedule was announced yesterday (January 16) by the International Softball Federation (ISF) and the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG).

Preliminaries run from September 17-23. After a scheduled rest day, the top four teams advance to the semifinals and finals September 25-26 In Olympic competition, all eight teams play each other once, with four games scheduled per competition day, two preliminary games per session. The semifinals will be played as a doubleheader on Monday September 25, with the bronze medal game to be played that night. The gold medal game will be played at 7.30 pm on Tuesday, September, 26.

Top four teams go into a semifinal system where third plays fourth (loser eliminated) and first plays second (winner into Grand Final, loser plays winner of third vs. fourth, winner of that game into the Grand Final).

Tickets to the Olympic softball tournament remain available. General ticket sales are set to resume in March.

NBC announced last summer that it plans to televise all USA Olympic softball games on either NBC, MSNBC or CNBC.

Click here for more information on The Sydney 2000 Olympics

The full schedule:

September 17

10.30 a.m. Canada vs United States

1 p.m. China vs Italy

5.30 p.m. Cuba vs Japan

8 p.m. Australia vs New Zealand

September 18

10.30 a.m. China vs Japan

1 p.m. Cuba vs United States

5.30 p.m. Canada vs New Zealand

8 p.m. Australia vs Italy

September 19

10.30 a.m. Japan vs United States

1 p.m. Cuba vs Italy

5.30 p.m. China vs New Zealand

8 p.m. Australia vs Canada

September 20

10.30 a.m. Cuba vs. New Zealand

1 p.m. Australia vs Japan

5.30 p.m. Canada vs Italy

8 p.m. China vs United States

September 21

10.30 a.m. Italy vs New Zealand

1 p.m. Australia vs United States

5.30 p.m. Cuba vs China

8 p.m. Canada vs Japan

September 22

10.30 a.m. New Zealand vs United States

1 p.m. Cuba vs Canada

5.30 p.m. Australia vs China

8 p.m. Italy vs Japan

September 23

10.30 a.m. Cuba vs Australia

1 p.m. Canada vs China

5.30 p.m. New Zealand vs Japan

8 pm Italy vs United States

24 September

Rest Day

September 25

9.30 a.m. Team 1 vs Team 2

noon Team 3 vs Team 4

7.30 p.m. loser of 1 vs 2 plays winner of 3 vs 4 (loser receives bronze medal)

September 26

7.30 p.m. winner of 1 vs 2 plays winner of 7.30 p.m. game