Nashville, TN - National Pro Fastpitch announced today the schedule for the 2013 Championship Series. The Series will return to The Ballpark at Rosemont in Rosemont, IL for the second year in a row and the final year of a two year contract for the Championship.
The Championship Series is the league’s culmination of the regular season and includes all four of the affiliate league teams. The 2013 Championship Series will begin on Thursday August 22 with the finals on Saturday August 24. For the first time since 2009, the Championship format will change. The two notable changes include eliminating the best of 3 structure from the first 2 rounds of competition and reducing the length of the Championship from 4 days to 3.
The Championship Series structure seeds teams based on their regular season finish. Opening day of the Series, Thursday August 22, will feature one game only at 7:00 pm CST. That game will pit the #4 seed against the #3 seed with high stakes. Only the winner will continue Series play. The loser of Thursday’s game will be eliminated.
Friday’s lineup will open up at 5:30 pm CST with the winner of Thursday’s game facing off against the #2 seed in the Series. The loser of Friday’s opening game is eliminated. The winner of Game 2 will move into the Championship’s Final Series, which is a best of 3 series against the Championship’s #1 seed. Game 1 of the Final Series is slated for an 8:30 start time on Friday night August 23.
The Championship’s Final Series will continue Saturday with Game 2 at 4:00 pm CST. Game 3 of the Final Series, the “if necessary” game, if needed, is scheduled for 7:00 pm CST.
Sunday will be a provisional rain date in the case of inclement weather throughout the Series.
“We continue to try and perfect the Championship format,” stated NPF Commissioner, Cheri Kempf, “and this is another version that certainly puts more weight into the seeding. I think that is something our owner’s were really looking for, and at this point, compacting the Series into a 3 day event, also makes good sense for the League.”
Since 2011, ESPN has carried the Championship game of the Series on ESPN2 and ESPN3. The 2013 Series is again expected to have national television coverage with an announcement regarding that coverage expected in the near future.
The NPF celebrates its 10th Anniversary in the 2013 season. Opening Day is June 5, when the Chicago Bandits will host the Akron Racers for a 4 game series that lasts through June 8. Defending Ringor Cup Champions, USSSA Pride will open up on June 9 as they host the NY/NJ Comets in Kissimmee, FL. That series will last through June 11. The four league teams are scheduled to play an 88 game regular season schedule before heading to Rosemont, for the Championship Series.
About National Pro Fastpitch: National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002. www.profastpitch.com