Category Archives: Baseball

Global Growth: 14 New Nations Enter WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings in 2018

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced a record 48 countries and territories are now featured in the new WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings, with 14 nations making their historic debuts.
Representing global expansion in the Americas, Asia and Europe, the new nations entering the WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings include Belgium, Chinese Taipei, Croatia, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Lithuania, Malaysia, Peru, Slovakia, Sweden and Thailand.

“The addition of 14 new countries to the Men’s Softball World Ranking is yet another example of the global reach of this discipline,” said WBSC Softball Division Chairman, Tommy Velazquez. “Half of these new nations come from Europe, a continent that will host the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup 2019 for the first time in history; undoubtedly it will boost the growth of men’s softball around the world.”

The latest Men’s Softball World Rankings include 2018 results from the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship in Prince Albert, Canada, the European Softball Championship in Havlickuv Brod, Kostelec nad Orlicí, Czech Republic, the Asian Softball Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia, the South American Softball Championship in Monteria, Colombia, and the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia.

All five Olympic continents – Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania – have at least one representative featured within the Top 12 of the rankings — baseball/softball is one of the few global sports to have such a continental spread atop of the world rankings.

Top 3 spots spread across 3 continents: Oceania, Americas and Asia

The top three positions in the rankings are held by countries from three different continents. Oceania’s New Zealand is still the top-ranked nation (3,524 points), followed by Americas-representative Canada (3,388 points) and Asian nation Japan (3,384 points), who trails the No. 2 spot by only four points.

Australia climbed one position to fourth in the world, behind the Aussies’ first-place finish at the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship 2018 in Prince Albert.

With ranking points having expired from the Junior Men’s Softball World Championship 2014, winner Argentina dropped one place and is now the fifth-ranked nation in the world.

No. 7 Czech Republic remains Europe’s top-ranked softball nation and sits only 15 points behind No. 6 United States. Both nations maintained their previous positions in the rankings.

New leader in Africa

Behind a 10th-place finish at the Junior Men’s Softball World Championship, South Africa advanced two spots to a historical high of 12th in the world, overtaking Botswana to become the top-ranked country in Africa.

The WBSC Softball World Rankings weigh a country’s National Team performance in WBSC-sanctioned international competitions over a four-year period, including the Junior Men’s and Men’s Softball World Championships, multi-sport games, continental and regional championships, and friendly matches.

The web-based version and methodology of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings can be found at http://www.wbsc.org/rankings.

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2019 Word Baseball Softball Congress To Be Staged in Sakai City, Japan

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced that the 2019 World Baseball Softball Congress will be hosted by Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan, in collaboration with the Baseball Federation of Japan (BFJ) and the Japan Softball Association (JSA).

Baseba­ll and softball leaders and delegates from over 135 countries and territories will be summoned to meet from 20-21 November in Sakai City, to discuss and decide the future direction and global strategy of the sport, in addition to voting on baseball/softball’s expansion through new Members (i.e., National Federations and Associate Members). In conjunction with the Congress, WBSC Executive and Commission meetings will be held in the historic Japanese city.

The gathering of baseball and softball’s global leaders in Sakai will take place following the second edition of the major international baseball flagship Premier12 — a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifier. The second round (“Super Round”) and Finals of the II Premier12 will take place in Japan in November 2019.

“WBSC is very excited to partner with Sakai City and bring together baseball’s and softball’s decision makers at the III WBSC Congress,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “Sakai City — one of Japan’s most important and historic cities — is the ideal host for the next WBSC Congress, as baseball and softball are in their most important times in history, leading to the Premier12 2019 and the Olympic return at the Tokyo 2020 Games. The baseball and softball world will also come together in Sakai to ensure our sport shines as brightly as possible at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and beyond.”

Mayor of Sakai City Osami Takeyama said: “Sakai City is honoured to be entrusted as the host city of the III WBSC Congress 2019. Baseball and softball are loved in Japan and around the world, and this is a timely opportunity to drive attention and showcase our city’s great offerings and attractions both nationally and globally, particularly as the focus turns to baseball and softball at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.”

The WBSC Congress is the highest legal authority within the world governing body of baseball and softball, and the WBSC Congress in Sakai City marks the first time it will be held in Asia. The final International Baseball Federation (IBAF) Congress was held in Tokyo, Japan, in 2012.

Mexico wins their first-ever World Cup in Baseball, Social Media reacts

The Under-23 Men’s National Baseball Team of Mexico captured the nation’s first-ever official baseball world championship Sunday night, defeating favourite and previously unbeaten Japan in the Final of the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup® 2018, before more than 7,000 fans at Estadio Edgar Renteria in Barranquilla, Colombia.

The WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup — the year’s top national team/international baseball competition — was broadcast live in Mexico by Claro Sports.

WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup

Social media exploded across Mexican society, with celebrities, artists, writers, musicians, politicians, major news networks, journalists, athletes and clubs from other sports, and fans liking, retweeting and/or sending celebratory tweets in response to the Mexican U-23 National Baseball Team’s historic 2-1, 10-inning victory in Barranquilla.

Mexico’s most important media outlets, including Diario Record, El Universal, ESPN Mx, Medio Tiempo, Multimedios Deportes, Televisa, and Univision, pushed news of the country’s historic win to millions of their social media followers and subscribers.

Mexican billionaire Alfredo Harp Helu tweeted, “Mexico world champions in baseball, the U-23 [National Team] defeated Japan in the final, 2-1 in 10 innings.”

Liga MX football club Tigres UANL tweeted, “We will always be proud to see Mexicans succeed and more if they are world champions.”

Footballers from the Liga MX Women also liked and/or retweeted WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup content following Mexico’s win.

Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB) CEO Javier Salinas and LMB clubs praised the team and players on their historic result. The Mexican U-23 National Team under the Mexican Baseball Federation (FEMEBE) was formed by players in LMB, the country’s top-tier professional baseball league.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari and Barranquilla mayor Alejandro Char were both in attendance for the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup Final and tweeted their congratulations.

Among the many notable tweets, likes and retweets were those from Mexico’s National Commission for Physical Culture and Sport (CONADE), popular sports journalist Ines Sainz, WWE’s Sin Cara and AC Omonia footballer and Olympic gold medallist Jorge “Chatón” Enriquez.

According to Twitter analytics, WBSC generated a 1,593.5% increase in social media impressions and a 1,795.0% increase in profile visits during the U-23 Baseball World Cup (reporting period 17-29 October).

The announcement of the final game result is also one of WBSC’s most popular posts on Facebook, having generated over 10,000 shares and 48,517 likes across all shares (at the time of writing).

It is anticipated that baseball will continue to rise in terms of popularity and talent in Mexico, with president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pledging to promote the sport in the country. Mexico is currently ranked sixth in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.

Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania all represented in Top 10 of latest WBSC Baseball World Rankings

Chinese Taipei has earned the most WBSC Baseball World Rankings points in 2018; Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Chile are the biggest gainers

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today unveiled the newly updated WBSC Baseball World Rankings, which weigh a country’s National Team performance — from U-12 to Professional — in official WBSC-sanctioned international competitions over a four-year period (2015-2018).

Underscoring baseball’s growing status as a major global team sport, representatives from the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania are all present within the Top 10 of the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.

“These rankings show that baseball is being played at elite levels all around the world, including key targets like Europe and Oceania, with Africa’s development on the rise as well,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “This ongoing global growth will boost the case and excitement for baseball and softball’s long-term Olympic future beyond Tokyo 2020, looking toward Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.”

The new standings in the rankings reflect recent results and over 250 games from such events as the U-15 Baseball World Cup®, the Asian Games, the Central American and Caribbean Games, the East Asian Cup, the South American Baseball Championship, the U-18 and U-12 continental championships that were played in Asia and Europe, the U-12 Pan-Am Championship, and the Balkan Baseball Championship, in addition to international friendlies.

The United States — winner of the U-15 Baseball World Cup in David, Panama, and the U-12 Pan-Am Championship in Aguascalientes, Mexico — remains atop the rankings, a position the Americas nation has held since February.

Japan, Korea and Cuba all maintained their previous positions within the Top 10, but No. 2 Japan has narrowed No. 1 USA’s lead (from 416 to 270 points) while moving further ahead of No. 3 Korea and No. 4 Cuba. Japan claimed the silver medal at the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, earned bronze at the U-12 Asia Championship in Taipei, Taiwan, and finished fourth at the U-15 Baseball World Cup. Korea won the Asian Games and the U-18 Asia Championship, and finished in 2nd Place at the U-12 Asia Championship, but did not qualify for or earn ranking points from the U-15 Baseball World Cup.

To date, Chinese Taipei national teams have earned the most points in 2018, elevating the nation’s ranking from sixth to fifth in the world, exchanging places with Mexico. Chinese Taipei won the U-12 Asian Championship, claimed 2nd Place at the U-18 Asia Championship in Miyazaki, Japan, and earned the bronze medal at both the U-15 Baseball World Cup and Asian Games.

Europe’s top-ranked baseball nation, No. 7 Netherlands, winner of the inaugural European Super 6, advanced two places in the rankings, bypassing the now No. 8 Australia and idle/No. 9 Canada. Netherlands also finished in 8th Place at the U-15 Baseball World Cup, ahead of 9th Place Australia.

Puerto Rico — baseball gold medallists at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia — continues as the 10th ranked baseball nation in the world.

No. 11 Venezuela and No. 12 Dominican Republic remain at the critical cut-off point for qualifying into next year’s biggest and most exciting international competition, the II WBSC Premier12®, which is a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Qualifier. Baseball’s Top 12 ranked nations at the end of 2018 will compete in the global flagship Premier12, with the upcoming U-23 Baseball World Cup in Barranquilla and Monteria, Colombia, to serve as the last major opportunity to advance in the rankings.

Biggest gainers in 2018
No. 31 Indonesia +16
No. 41 Sri Lanka +11
No. 50 Chile +10
No. 58 Georgia +10
No. 34 Ukraine +9
No. 42 Ireland +9
No. 65 Nepal +8
No. 33 Philippines +7

Top teams in 2018 (most ranking points earned)
Chinese Taipei: 645
Japan: 636
United States: 490
Panama: 398
Rep. of Korea: 376
Cuba: 343
China: 317
Brazil: 287
Netherlands: 261
Dominican Republic: 254

U-23 Baseball World Cup Set To Open in Colombia…

U-23 Baseball World Cup set to open in Colombia; 150 million potential broadcast reach expected

The top international baseball competition of the year — the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup® — is set to open tomorrow (Friday, 19 October), with 12 nations ready to battle for the title of world champion over 50 games in Barranquilla and Monteria, Colombia.

WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup

The global tournament is expected to generate a potential broadcast reach of approximately 150 million, while fans from over 200 countries and territories are expected to follow coverage online.

Through WBSC’s broadcast partners, coverage of the U-23 Baseball World Cup will be offered in five languages, including English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.

For the first time ever, the WBSC will live-stream all games of a Baseball World Cup in English and Spanish, and audiences worldwide will be able to watch the U-23 Baseball World Cup for free at youtube.com/wbsc and facebook.com/wbsc.

Host Colombia, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands and South Africa will battle in Group A at Barranquilla’s Edgar Renteria Stadium, while Australia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Korea, Puerto Rico and Venezuela will battle in Group B at Monteria’s June 18 Baseball Stadium.

All 12 National Teams will play five games over the next five days, with the top three teams from each group advancing to the Super Round in Barranquilla.

World No. 5 Chinese Taipei and No. 6 Mexico will officially kick-off the global competition tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.

National Team rosters feature players within the organisations of the Australian Baseball League (ABL), Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), Colombian Professional Baseball League (LCBP), Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM), Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), Major League Baseball (MLB), Mexican Baseball League (LMB), Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), Puerto Rico’s Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC) and the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP), in addition to other leagues from around the world.

WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup

The winner of the U-23 Baseball World Cup will be awarded 690 world ranking points — the largest award of any international baseball event this year and third-largest overall, following the major international competitions, Premier12® and the World Baseball Classic.

For more information, the official website of the U-23 Baseball World Cup is available in six languages (English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese) at http://www.u23bwc.wbsc.org. All tournament information, including rosters, scores, statistics, standings, daily reports and photos for editorial use, will be published on the official website.

WBSC Unveils Official Promotional Video for U-23 Baseball World Cup 2018 in Colombia

The World Baseball Softball Confederation today unveiled the official promotional video for the upcoming WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup® 2018 — the biggest international baseball event of the year and biggest ever to be held in Colombia — which will be staged from 19-28 October in Barranquilla and Monteria.

WBSC’s broadcast partners will incorporate the promotional video into their opening title sequences, and the host cities will be showcasing the version in Spanish.

The promotional video will also be played before each game to help create an electric in-stadium experience for the fans, teams and players themselves.

The script:
The World’s Pro Leagues
Next Generation of Stars
NOT your local team
It’s COUNTRY vs. COUNTRY
Last chance for PREMIER12® 2019
For the Title of WORLD CHAMPION

The exciting 1-minute-15-second video of the global baseball event was produced in collaboration with Leeds, UK-based, mega-event branding experts WORKS.

Twelve teams — including the U-23 National Teams of Australia, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Puerto Rico, South Africa and Venezuela, representing Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania — will compete For the Title of World Champion across 50 games in Colombia.

National Team rosters are expected to feature players within the organisations of the Australian Baseball League (ABL), Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), Colombian Professional Baseball League (LCBP), Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM), Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), Major League Baseball (MLB), Mexican Baseball League (LMB), Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), Puerto Rico’s Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC) and the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP), in addition to other leagues from around the world.

The winner of the U-23 Baseball World Cup will be awarded 690 world ranking points — the largest award of any international baseball event this year and third-largest overall, following the major international competitions, Premier12® and the World Baseball Classic.

For more information, the official website of the U-23 Baseball World Cup has been launched at u23bwc.wbsc.org and is available in six languages (English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese). All tournament information, including rosters, scores, statistics and standings, will be published on the official website.

WBSC Unveils 50-Game Schedule For Upcoming U-23 Baseball World Cup in Colombia

National Team rosters are expected to feature players within the organisations of the Australian Baseball League (ABL), Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM), Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), Major League Baseball (MLB), Mexican Baseball League (LMB), Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), Puerto Rico’s Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (LBPRC) and the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League (LVBP), in addition to other leagues from around the world.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said: “The U-23 Baseball World Cup will be the last major opportunity to earn world rankings points and be among baseball’s 12 best nations, which earns you qualification into next year’s Premier12, which is baseball’s first Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Qualifier.”

Twelve nations will compete For the Title of World Champion across 50 games from 19-28 October, with Group A games at Edgar Renteria Stadium in Barranquilla and Group B games at June 18 Baseball Stadium in Monteria.

Opening Round – Day 1
Game 1: Superpowers from the Americas and Asia will collide when world No. 5 Chinese Taipei and No. 6 Mexico meet.
Game 2: The 2016 U-23 silver medallists, No. 8 Australia, will open against No. 11 Venezuela, the current U-23 Pan Am champions.
Game 3: No. 2 Japan, the defending U-23 World Champions, will face Africa’s top-ranked team, No. 26 South Africa.
Game 4: One of Europe’s top squads, No. 18 Czech Republic, will battle one of the top-ranked teams in Asia and the world, No. 3 Korea.
Game 5: Caribbean rivals and baseball powerhouses — No. 12 Dominican Republic and No. 10 Puerto Rico — will open their world cup tournament together.
Game 6: South American host No. 16 Colombia will entertain Europe’s top baseball nation, No. 7 Netherlands.

The top three teams from each Opening Round group will advance to the Super Round at Edgar Renteria Stadium, while the bottom three finishers will compete in the 7th-12th Place Round at June 18 Baseball Stadium.

World Championship Final

The two nations with the best Super Round records will play in the World Championship Final at Edgar Renteria Stadium on Sunday, 28 October, at 19:00. The 3rd/4th Place Bronze Medal Match will be staged at the same venue at 13:00.

The winner of the U-23 Baseball World Cup will be awarded 690 world ranking points — the largest award of any international baseball event this year and third-largest overall, following the major international competitions, Premier12® and the World Baseball Classic.

The broadcast and live-streaming schedule will be announced in an upcoming news release.

For more information, the official website of the U-23 Baseball World Cup has been launched at u23bwc.wbsc.org and is available in six languages (English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese). All tournament information, including rosters, scores, statistics and standings, will be published on the official website.