WBSC U-18 Women's Softball World Cup groups announced

A total of 18 teams will open the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Women's Softball World Cup in three groups of six teams at three different venues in Monteria, Colombia, in in Pingtan, China and in Dallas, USA.

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has announced the groups for the WBSC U-18 Women's Softball World Cup, the most prestigious international youth softball event in the world. The two-stage tournament will begin with the group stage in 2024, with the final scheduled for 2025.

13 teams have already qualified:

-Americas (5): To be determined.

-Asia (4): No. 2 Japan, No. 4 Chinese Taipei, No. 14 Philippines and No. 15 China.  

-Europe (5): No. 6 Italy, No. 8 Netherlands, No. 9 Czech Republic, No. 13 Great Britain and No. 21 Ireland.

-Oceania (2): No. 32 New Zealand and No. 10 Australia.

-Wild Card/Host (2): No. 1 USA and No. 23 Brazil.

The team line-up will be finalised after the Americas Qualifier, which takes place from 30 March to 6 April in Monteria, Colombia, and will determine the final five qualifying nations for the premier youth softball world championship. 

Group A, to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 23-27 July, will cinsist of fourth-placed Chinese Taipei, ninth-placed Czech Republic, 13th-placed Great Britain, Colombia (hosts), 23rd-placed Brazil, 32nd-placed New Zealand, one team from the Americas and a one wild card. The tournament will be played at the Estadio Municipal de Beisebol Mie Nishi in the centre of Sao Paulo. 

Hosts and 15th-ranked China are in Group B, along with second-ranked Japan, sixth-ranked Italy, eighth-ranked Netherlands and two teams from the Americas. The action will take place from 14 to 18 August at the Pingtan Softball Stadium in Pingtan, China.

Group C will be played from 28 August to 2 September and will feature the world's top-ranked team, hosts USA, No. 10 Australia, No. 14 Philippines, No. 21 Ireland and two teams from the Americas. This group will take place at The Village Dallas in Dallas, Texas. 

The group stage match schedule will be announced at a later date. The top two teams from each group, plus two wild cards, will advance to the World Championship Final, which will be played in Dallas in the summer of 2025 at the same Group C venues. 

The U-18 Women's Softball World Cup (formerly the Junior Women's Softball World Championship and the U-19 Women's Softball World Cup) has taken place on all five continents. The most recent edition was held in Lima, Peru, in 2021, where the USA defeated Chinese Taipei 1-0 in a thriller.