The inaugural Women's World Cup
was held in Edmonton (Canada) in the Summer of 2004, after having been chartered by the IBAF in 2002. Before this tournament, the only other international women's baseball competition was the Women's World Series
, that were played for the first time in 2001, following the success of a game played in May 2000 in Tokyo between Japan and Usa in front of 3,000 fans. Canada and Australia joined Usa and Japan and hosted the 2001 and 2003 editions, while the 2002 World Series
where played in the Usa (St. Petersburg ,Florida). The 2004 edition featured a record 8 participants, with Korea, India, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei joining the tournament. After that edition, the World Series
were overshadowed by the World Cup
and became a merely american event played at the "Dysney Wide World of sport" complex in Orlando, Florida.
Women baseball has actually been played in the United States of America since late 19th
century. Maude Nelson in 1908 was the first woman to pitch in a baseball match against men and people believe she inspired the world known baseball anthem "Take me out to the ball game". Lizzie Murphy in the 1920ies appeared in exhibition baseball games, including the All Star Game
(both in the American
and National League
) . In 1934 Olympic hero Babe Didrikson (in the 1932 Games
in Los Angeles she won the gold medal both in javelin throw and 80meters hurdles) pitched exhibition games for the Athletics, Cardinals and Indians.
Women baseball enjoyed the most success in the years from 1943 to 1954. Those were the seasons when the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) thrived. The league was born thanks to Chicago Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley . Originally the ball was pitched underhand, but the rule was changed in 1948, when smaller size balls where introduced. In 1992 the history of the league inspired a movie named "A league of their own", directed by Penny Marshall and starring Geena Davies, Tom Hanks and Madonna.
In 1994 the Women's National Adult Baseball Association (WNABA) was born. By 1995 it had over 100 teams affiliated in 16 States in the US. The same year Ila Borders pitched for the Duluth Dukes in the independent Northern League
, becoming the first women to play pro baseball.
In 1997 a business man from San Diego named Mike Ribant launched a professional league called Ladies League Baseball. The league was cancelled after playing 12 games of a 56 game schedule in the second season.
After the World Cup
was launched, two more women signed pro contracts: in 2008 Eri Yoshida joined (at age 16) the newly formed independent Kansay League
in Japan and in 2010 signed for the Chico Outlaws in the independent Golden League
in the USA.
In the same season
Tiffany Brooks joined the independent Continental League
The 2012 edition was played from August 10 to 19 in Edmonton, Canada. Japan celebrated its third consecutive title, defeating the United States in the Gold Medal Game. Canada finished in third place.
The continental representation
of the Women's Baseball World Cup (est. with the 2016 edition) is as follows:
Total No. of National Team Participants (12)
Wild Card (2)