The Growing Internationalization Of Women's Fast Pitch Softball
Under the looming return of women’s fast pitch softball to the 2020 Olympics in Japan, more and more national teams and their players are coming to the U.S. where they can gain the most experience against the best teams in the world by joining the U.S. National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) softball league. NPF provides elite female athletes an opportunity to pursue a professional career in fastpitch softball beyond their collegiate and amateur success. Some international teams and their players have already made this move and more are expected between now and 2020.
The five 2018 NPF affiliate teams consisted of the Aussie Spirit, Beijing Shougang Eagles, Chicago Bandits, Cleveland Comets and USSSA Florida Pride. The NPF will be entering its 16th season in 2019. It currently has teams from three continents and players representing the national teams of six countries. Some of the NPR’s players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada and China among which are the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball. On October 30, 2018 NPF, in conjunction with Softball Canada, announced the addition of the Canadian Wild to the league.
With this growing internationalization there will be a need for the international players to obtain the appropriate visas to allow them to compete for pay in the U.S. The P-1 visa is for an athlete or team to come to the U.S. to compete individually or as part of a team.