Softball at the Olympic games is competed in by only women. Men compete in the similar sport, baseball
. This is the last Olympic games softball will appear in, the International Olympic Committee has voted to remove softball from the program for the 2012 and all following Olympics. In can only be reinstated by the IOC, it will vote on this subject again in 2009.
Eight teams qualify for the Olympics through a series of tournaments, the host nation is guaranteed one automatic entry. The top four finishers at the 2007 Softball World Championships will qualify for the Olympics. There are also other qualifying tournaments for Europe/Africe, Pan-America and Asia/Oceania, the winners of each tournament earn a spot in the Olympic games.
The Olympic competition consists of two rounds. The preliminary round follows a round robin format, where each team plays every other team. After this, the top four teams advance to a playoff round consisting of two semifinal games and ending with the bronze and gold medal games.