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Women’s College World Series format, explained: How many games, bracket & more NCAA softball rules to know

Only eight teams remain in the 2024 NCAA Division I softball tournament, finalizing this year’s Women’s College World Series field.

Unlike MLB, whose World Series consists of only two teams in a best-of-seven series, the WCWS — just like baseball’s College World Series — is made of two distinct rounds of play. To be crowned national champions, this year’s winner must traverse both before they can claim the ultimate prize of the sport.

The favorite to do that this season is Oklahoma despite entering Oklahoma City as the No. 2 seed behind No. 1 Texas. The Sooners have dominated in the postseason while the Longhorns barely survived a super regional with Texas A&M. A victory would mark the fourth straight title for the Sooners.

Whether the Sooners can claim college softball dominance for yet another season remains to be seen. Seven teams — 1-seed Texas, 4-seed Florida, 5-seed Oklahoma State, 6-seed UCLA, 8-seed Stanford, 10-seed Duke and 14-seed Alabama — will aim to dethrone Oklahoma.

MORE: Watch Women’s College World Series live with Fubo (free trial)

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2024 Women’s College World Series, including rules, number of games played, bracket and more:

Women’s College World Series format

The Women’s World College Series features aspects of both regional (double-elimination) and super regional (best-of-three series) play. They are as follows:


The WCWS starts with two four-team brackets, each engaging in a double-elimination portion of play. Competition in a given bracket starts with two games that produce two winners and two losers, each advancing to a winners and losers bracket, respectively.

The teams in the losers bracket will play each other, with the loser of that game being eliminated. The winner of the losers bracket game will then play the team that loses in the winners game from the opposing bracket. Whoever loses that game will be eliminated. At that point, only two teams per bracket remain (four total).

The team advancing from the losers bracket (which at that point will have two wins and one loss) will then play the team advancing out of the winners bracket (two wins and zero losses). The former team must beat the latter team twice to advance to the WCWS finals, while the latter only has to win once.

Whichever team wins — whether it be the losers bracket team twice or the winners bracket team once — will advance to the finals.


The two teams that advance from their respective brackets will face off in a best-of-three series, emulating the super regional round of play. The first team to win two games will be crowned the national champion.

MORE: WCWS bracket 2024: Full schedule, times, TV channels

How many games are in the Women’s College World Series?

The Women’s College World Series will feature at least 12 games in the double-elimination portion and could have as many as 14 games. The WCWS finals will have at least two games, with a potential third game if necessary.

All teams are guaranteed two games in the WCWS. Everything else is dependent on the outcomes of the games. For example, a team that sweeps the WCWS — double-elimination and finals combined — has only to win five games to be crowned national champions: three from the double-elimination round of play, plus two in the best-of-three finals.

A would-be national champion that loses one game in both the double-elimination and finals rounds must win eight games total: five from the former portion, and three in the latter.

Women’s College World Series bracket 2024

Here’s a look at the 2024 WCWS bracket ahead of the double-elimination portion of play:

Bracket 1

  • No. 1 Texas vs. No. 8 Stanford
  • No. 4 Florida vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State

Bracket 2

  • No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 10 Duke
  • No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 14 Alabama

Women’s College World Series schedule 2024

Here is a game-by-game breakdown of the 2024 Women’s College World Series.


Date Game Time (ET) TV
Thursday, May 30 Game 1: No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 14 Alabama  Noon ESPN, Fubo
  Game 2: No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 10 Duke 2:30 p.m. ESPN, Fubo
  Game 3: No. 1 Texas vs. No. 8 Stanford 7 p.m. ESPN2, Fubo
  Game 4: No. 4 Florida vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State 9:30 p.m. ESPN2, Fubo
Friday, May 31 Game 5: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser 7 p.m. ESPN2, Fubo
  Game 6: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser 9:30 p.m. ESPN2, Fubo
Saturday, June 1 Game 7: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner 3 p.m. ABC, Fubo
  Game 8: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner 7 p.m. ESPN, Fubo
Sunday, June 2 Game 9: Game 5 winner vs. Game 8 loser 3 p.m. ABC, Fubo
  Game 10: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 loser 7 p.m. ESPNU, Fubo
Monday, June 3 Game 11: Game 7 winner vs. Game 9 winner Noon ESPN, Fubo
  Game 12*: Game 11 rematch 2:30 p.m. ESPN, Fubo
  Game 13: Game 8 winner vs. Game 10 winner 7 p.m. ESPN2, Fubo
  Game 14*: Game 13 rematch 9:30 p.m. ESPN2, Fubo


Date Game Time (ET) TV
Wednesday, June 5 Game 1 8 p.m. ESPN, Fubo
Thursday, June 6 Game 2 8 p.m. ESPN, Fubo
Friday, June 7 Game 3* 8 p.m. ESPN, Fubo

* – If necessary

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