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White Sox world champs playoff washed out

TONY SMITH
Last updated 07:38 23/08/2014

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The White Sox's world women's softball championships playoff game was abandoned today without a ball being pitched.

Heavy rain lashed the venue at Haarlem, near Amsterdam, forcing tournament organisers to postpone all games until tomorrow.

The White Sox, who have qualified for the top-eight for the first time since 2002 (not 2006 as reported earlier), were due to play Chinese Taipei in the first round of the playoffs.

But play was unable to get underway.  The Japan v Australia, United States v Canada and Netherlands v China games were also postponed until tomorrow.

But the forecast isn't flash, with showers predicted and a 70 per cent chance of rain in the Amsterdam area tomorrow.

The International Softball Federation will be anxious to complete the tournament, being held in Europe for the first time.

Only one women's world championships final has been rained out, in 1990 in Normal, Illinois when the United States and New Zealand were tied at 0-0.

The ISF controversially awarded the gold medal to the United States because they were unbeaten in section play. New Zealand lost one game in pool play but were in the tougher section.

Ed Dolejs, who coached New Zealand to four successive world series medals between 1978 and 1990, including the gold medal in 1982, has always maintained New Zealand would have gone on to win the 1990 final.

He still regards the 1990 medal as "silver, tinged with gold''.

New Zealand has never been in the medals since 1990, finishing sixth in 1994, 11th in 1998, sixth in 2002, 11th in 2006, 12th in 2010 and 13th in 2012.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Black Sox have won the world men's title four times in the same period, in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2013.

There are two reasons for those contrasting records. The Black Sox are as dominant in men's softball as the nine-time world champion Americans are in the women's game.

But, the women's world championships have traditionally been much more competitive than the men's edition.

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