|Most recent season or competition:|
2017 World Baseball Classic
World Baseball Classic logo
|No. of teams||16 (finals)|
The World Baseball Classic (WBC) is an international baseball tournament sanctioned from 2006 to 2013 by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and after 2013 by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC). It was proposed to the IBAF by Major League Baseball (MLB), the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), and other professional baseball leagues and their players associations around the world. It is the main baseball tournament sanctioned by the WBSC, which grants to the winner the title of "World Champion".
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
The International Baseball Federation is the former worldwide governing body recognized by the International Olympic Committee as overseeing, deciding and executing the policy of the sport of baseball. The IBAF has since become the international baseball "Division" of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, the officially recognized world governing body for baseball. One of its principal responsibilities under the WBSC is to organize, standardize and sanction international competitions among baseball's 124 national governing bodies through its various tournaments to determine a world champion and calculate world rankings for both men's and women's baseball. Prior to the establishment of the WBSC, which has since superseded its authority, the IBAF had been the lone entity that can assign the title of "world champion" to any baseball team delegated to represent a nation. Its offices are housed within the WBSC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland—the Olympic Capital.
World Baseball Softball Confederation is the world governing body for the sports of baseball and softball. It was established in 2013 by the merger of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF), the former world governing bodies for baseball and softball, respectively. Under WBSC's organizational structure, IBAF and ISF now serve as the Baseball Division and Softball Division of WBSC. Each division is governed by an Executive Committee, while the WBSC is governed by an Executive Board.
It previously coexisted with Olympic Baseball (until 2008) and the Baseball World Cup (until 2011) as IBAF-sanctioned tournaments,but baseball has not been on the Olympic program since 2008, after it was voted out by the International Olympic Committee in 2005. The final men's Baseball World Cup was held in 2011, and was discontinued to streamline the international calendar.
Baseball at the Summer Olympics unofficially debuted at the 1904 Summer Olympics, and became an official Olympic sport at the 1992 Summer Olympics. The event was last played in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing with South Korea taking the gold; the sport was dropped from the Summer Olympic programme, but will be revived as part of the programme for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
The Baseball World Cup was an international tournament in which national baseball teams from around the world competed. It was sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF). Along with the World Baseball Classic, it was one of two active tournaments considered by the IBAF to be a major world championship. The baseball tournament at the Summer Olympic Games was also considered a major world championship while baseball was an Olympic sport.
The International Olympic Committee is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Created by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas in 1894, it is the authority responsible for organising the modern Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
The tournament is the first of its kind to have the national teams of IBAF's member federations feature professional players from the major leagues around the world, including Major League Baseball. In addition to providing a format for the best baseball players in the world to compete against one another while representing their home countries, the World Baseball Classic was created in order to further promote the game around the globe.
After a three-year gap between the first two installments of the tournament, plans were made for the World Baseball Classic to be repeated every four years following the 2009 event. The third installment of the Classic was held in 2013, and the fourth was held in 2017.
Modeled after the FIFA World Cup and organized in large part as a response to the International Olympic Committee's decision to remove baseball as an Olympic sport in 2005, the WBC has grown into a major sporting event worldwide, though to a lesser extent in the United States. In fact, the final series in 2006 and 2009 rank among the highest-rated sporting events in Japanese television history.
The FIFA World Cup, often simply called the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the senior men's national teams of the members of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the inaugural tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946 when it was not held because of the Second World War. The current champion is France, which won its second title at the 2018 tournament in Russia.
The 16-team field for the inaugural 2006 tournament was pre-selected, featuring the countries judged to be the "best baseball-playing nations" in the world; no qualifying competition was held.The tournament format featured round-robin group play in the first and second rounds, followed by single-elimination semifinals and finals. The first game in WBC history saw South Korea defeat Chinese Taipei 2-0 before a crowd of 5,193 at the Tokyo Dome on March 3, 2006. South Korea went on to advance to the semifinals with a 6–0 record but lost to Japan (a team South Korea had beaten twice in the earlier rounds) for a berth in the final game. Meanwhile, Cuba defeated the Dominican Republic in the other semifinal. Japan then defeated Cuba 10–6 to be crowned the first champion of the World Baseball Classic.
The 2006 World Baseball Classic was the inaugural tournament between national baseball teams that included players from Major League Baseball. It was held from March 3 to 20 in stadiums that are in and around Tokyo, Japan; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Lake Buena Vista, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Scottsdale, Arizona; Anaheim, California; and San Diego, California.
A round-robin tournament is a competition in which each contestant meets all other contestants in turn. A round-robin contrasts with an elimination tournament, in which participants are eliminated after a certain number of losses.
The South Korean national baseball team is the national baseball team of South Korea. They won the Baseball World Cup in 1982, and participated in the Summer Olympic Games of 1984, 1988, 1996, and 2000. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, it won the gold medal in a final victory against Cuba. Currently, the South Korean men's baseball team is ranked 3rd in the WBSC World Rankings.
The 2009 tournament featured the same 16 teams as 2006, but the controversial round-robin format from 2006 was replaced by a modified double-elimination format for the first two rounds (the semifinals and final game remained single-elimination). The eight teams advancing from the first round were the same as in 2006, except for a "Cinderella" performance by the Netherlands, which twice defeated the Dominican Republic to reach the second round. In the semifinals, South Korea defeated Venezuela while Japan defeated the United States. Japan then emerged victorious for the second straight Classic, winning the final game over South Korea 5–3 in 10 innings.
The 2009 World Baseball Classic was an international baseball competition. It began on March 5 and finished March 23.
In sports, the terms Cinderella, "Cinderella story", and Cinderella team are used to refer to situations in which competitors achieve far greater success than would reasonably have been expected. Cinderella stories tend to gain much media and fan attention as they move closer to the championship game at the end of the tournament. The term comes from Cinderella, a well-known European folk tale embodying a myth-element of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. The title character is a woman living in unfortunate circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune. In a sporting context the term has been used at least since 1939, but came into widespread usage in 1950, when the Disney movie came out that year, and in reference to City College of New York, the unexpected winners of the NCAA Men's Basketball championship also that year. The term was used by Bill Murray in the 1980 hit movie Caddyshack where he pretends as the announcer to his own golf fantasy: "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion."
The Netherlands national baseball team is the national baseball team of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, representing the country in international men's baseball. They are currently ranked as the best team in the Confederation of European Baseball, and the team is also ranked eighth in the WBSC World Rankings.
The buildup to the 2013 tournament included a qualifying round for the first time, with the four lowest finishers from 2009 having to re-qualify against 12 additional teams. This resulted in two new nations making their first appearances in the WBC, as Brazil and Spain respectively replaced Panama and South Africa. The round-robin format was revived for the tournament's first-round, while the second-round remained double-elimination. Italy was the biggest surprise in the early stages of the tournament, making it to the second round with wins over Canada and Mexico. The tournament ended in an all-Caribbean championship game, with the Dominican Republic defeating Puerto Rico, which had upset two-time champion Japan in the semifinals. The Dominican Republic also became the first (and to date, only) team to go undefeated (8-0) through the tournament.
The 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC) was an international professional baseball competition, held from March 2 to March 19, 2013. This was the third iteration of the WBC, following the two previous tournaments, held in 2006 and 2009.
The Qualifying Round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic was held from September 19 to November 19, 2012. Although the 2006 and 2009 editions of the World Baseball Classic were contested by the same pre-selected field of 16 teams, for the 2013 tournament only the 12 teams that won at least one game in 2009 were guaranteed a berth in the main tournament. The other four contested the qualifying round along with 12 additional teams invited by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF).
The Brazil national baseball team is the national baseball team of Brazil. The team represents Brazil in international competitions. The team is currently ranked 17th in the world.
The 2017 tournament returned to the format used in 2006, where both the first and second rounds were round-robin, though with the addition of tiebreaker games if needed. Colombia and Israel qualified for the first time, with Israel, using a roster mostly of Jewish American players, able to reach the second round in its WBC debut. Defending champion Dominican Republic extended its WBC winning streak to 11 games, dating to the 2013 tournament, before also being eliminated in the second round. The United States won its first WBC championship, defeating Japan and Puerto Rico in the semifinals and finals, respectively. Puerto Rico had been undefeated in the tournament before losing in the final, in game where its most important pitchers were not allowed to play due to WBC rules. In semifinals, Puerto Rico defeated Netherlands in a historic 4+ hour-game, while USA defeated Japan in an unusually short game.
The first two iterations of the Classic featured the same 16 teams, chosen by invitation. A qualifying round was added leading into the 2013 tournament and takes place in the year before the WBC proper. The top 12 finishing teams from each WBC are automatically entered in the next edition, while the four lowest finishers (the teams that finish in last place in their first-round pools) are relegated to the qualifying round. Qualifying consists of four four-team modified double-elimination tournaments, with the winners earning the last four slots in the main tournament. The addition of qualifying has so far allowed four nations (Brazil, Colombia, Israel, and Spain) from outside the original 16 to compete in the WBC.
|Year||Final Host||Final||Semifinalists||Number of teams|
|Champions||Score||Runners-up||3rd place||4th place|
| 2006 |
| 2009 |
| 5–3 |
| 2013 |
| 2017 |
After the conclusion of each WBC championship game, players from the losing team receive silver medals, followed by the winners receiving gold medals. The third-place team receives bronze medals at a separate date. The WBC does not hold a third-place playoff, so the ranking of the third- and fourth-placed teams is determined by the WBSC.
|Rank||Country||Gold ||Silver ||Bronze ||Total |
A total of 20 nations have competed in the WBC proper, with 14 appearing in all four editions. Japan has been the most successful, as the only nation with multiple WBC titles (2006, 2009), the nation with the most wins in WBC play (23), and as the only nation to reach the championship round in all four WBCs. The Dominican Republic owns the best overall winning percentage in WBC games at .750 (18-6 record), bolstered by its 8-0 mark en route to the 2013 title. A surprising first-round elimination in 2009 stands out as the Dominican's only poor showing. If qualifying rounds are included, Israel also has a .750 winning percentage (9-3 record), with a 4-2 record in the WBC itself.
Along with Japan, three other nations have advanced to at least the second round in all four WBCs: Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the United States. Team USA posted an underwhelming 10-10 overall record through the first three WBCs, with only one appearance in the semifinals. The Americans broke through in 2017, going 6-2 on their way to their first WBC title. Cuba lived up to its history of strong international play by reaching the finals of the inaugural WBC in 2006 before losing to Japan. However, subsequent Cuban teams have failed to make a significant mark on the tournament, making three straight second-round exits and going just 2-7 in second-round games since 2009. Meanwhile, Caribbean rival Puerto Rico made consecutive appearances in the WBC finals in 2013 and 2017, albeit losing both, and stood second to Japan for the most all-time WBC wins (20) after the 2017 tournament.
The Netherlands, South Korea, and Venezuela have been other countries to reach the championship round. Other teams to have reached the second round at least once are Chinese Taipei, Israel, Italy, and Mexico. Conversely, of the 14 teams to appear in all four tournaments, three have never made the second round: Australia, Canada, and China.
The most significant award for individual performance during the tournament is the Most Valuable Player Award. Whichever player wins it receives a trophy after the final. The inaugural winner of the award in 2006 was Japan's Daisuke Matsuzaka, who pitched 13 innings and finished with a 3–0 record. Soon after this performance, Matsuzaka received a multi–million dollar contract to join the Boston Red Sox of America's Major League Baseball.Again in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Matsuzaka received the world classic MVP, finishing with a record of 3–0 and an ERA of 2.54. In 2013, Robinson Canó won MVP after hitting .469 with two home runs and six RBI over the course of the tournament. Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman took home the award in 2017 for the United States. Stroman posted a 2.35 ERA over three starts and no-hit Puerto Rico through six innings in an 8-0 win in the Finals.
|2006||Daisuke Matsuzaka||Starting pitcher|
|2009||Daisuke Matsuzaka||Starting pitcher|
|2013||Robinson Canó||Second baseman|
|2017||Marcus Stroman||Starting pitcher|
At the end of each edition of the World Baseball Classic, an all-star team is selected based on their play in the tournament. Three pitchers, eight other position players (one each at each position, including three outfielders), and a designated hitter are named to the team. In the four editions of the Classic thus far, players representing 10 different countries have been named to an All-WBC team, with Japan and Puerto Rico leading the way with nine representatives each.
All-time WBC individual leaders in various statistical categories through the end of the 2017 tournament, excluding qualifier games.
The winning team of each World Baseball Classic is rewarded a large silver trophy as its primary recognition. The two trophies earned by Japan during the inaugural and second classics have been on display at the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.[ citation needed ]
In addition to the standard rules of baseball, the World Baseball Classic employs the following additional rules:
A pitcher cannot pitch more than:
A pitcher can still finish a batter's plate appearance even if the limit is reached, but must come out after completing the plate appearance.
A pitcher cannot pitch until:
Games are called if one team is ahead by:
Mercy rules do not apply during the championship round.
The designated hitter rule applies for all games.
Starting with the 11th inning, teams automatically start with runners on first and second base.These are the players in the two batting order positions previous to the leadoff batter for the inning.
During the first and second rounds, video review is available only for "boundary" calls, such as determining whether a potential home run ball was fair or foul, did or did not clear the fence, or was interfered with by a fan. Such reviews can only be initiated by the umpires and cannot be requested by the teams. For the championship round, video review is available for all situations it would be during a Major League Baseball regular season game.
Unlike regular season play, where the number of runs by which a team wins a game is not relevant, the number of runs by which a WBC team wins may be relevant if a tie later develops in the standings. This caused problems during the 2013 WBC, where one game spawned a bench-clearing brawl between the Canadian and Mexican teams (Canadian hitter Chris Robinson had bunted for a base hit after Canada had already taken a large lead, causing Mexican pitcher Arnold Leon to throw three consecutive pitches at the next hitter, Rene Tosoni).
A player is eligible to participate on a World Baseball Classic team if any one of the following criteria is met:
In 2006, many high caliber players from both Major League Baseball and in leagues around the world participated in the World Baseball Classic. Amongst the players that made the All–WBC team were Americans Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr. From Japan, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Ichiro Suzuki and Tomoya Satozaki were on the team. Other internationals included players from Cuba—Yulieski Gourriel, Yoandy Garlobo and Yadel Martí; and from the Dominican Republic—Albert Pujols, Pedro Martínez and José Bautista. The 2009 Classic saw a similarly high-profile field, with a number of players such as Hall of Famers Pedro Martínez, Iván Rodríguez and Chipper Jones and the major international debuts of Cuba's Yoenis Céspedes and Aroldis Chapman.
For the 2013 tournament, many high-profile players decided not to participate, including key players from the 2009 Japanese team such as Yu Darvish, Ichiro, and Hisashi Iwakuma. However, other prominent players came, such as Miguel Cabrera, David Wright, R.A. Dickey, Joey Votto, Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Canó, and José Reyes, among many others.
In 2017, former All-Stars such as Adam Jones, Chris Archer, Buster Posey, Paul Goldschmidt, Andrew McCutchen and others played for the United States. For the Dominican Republic, former All-Stars Adrián Beltré, Robinson Canó, Manny Machado, José Reyes, Edinson Vólquez, and more participated. Adrián González played once more for Mexico, and Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltrán represented Puerto Rico alongside up-and-coming stars such as Javier Báez, Carlos Correa, and Francisco Lindor. Venezuela's roster included José Altuve and Miguel Cabrera.
The tournament was announced in May 2005 by Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig.Major League Baseball had been attempting to create such a tournament for at least two years; negotiations with the players' union (MLBPA) and with the team owners had held the plan back. Owners, notably New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, had been concerned about their star players being injured in international play before the beginning of spring training, and the professional season. This was a concern for the MLBPA as well, but their primary objection was with drug testing. MLB wanted the stricter Olympic standards in place for the tournament, while the union wanted current MLB standards in place. Eventually, a deal was reached on insurance for player contracts and a fairly tough drug testing standard. MLB teams would not be able to directly block their players from participating.
Similarly, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and its players' association had a disagreement over participation in the tournament. While the owners initially agreed to the invitation, the players' union was concerned about the time of year the tournament was scheduled to take place, as well as their right to be better represented for the 2009 tournament. On September 16, 2005, after four months of negotiations, NPB officially notified the IBAF and MLB they had accepted the invitation. In September 2012, after having threatened to boycott the event despite its domestic popularity,Japanese players agreed to take part after reaching a compromise with tournament organizers on sharing sponsorship and licensing revenue.
Though the first two World Baseball Classic finals were shown on ESPN in the United States, the entire 2013 tournament was shown exclusively on MLB Network domestically.MLB Network also had the television rights for the 2017 Classic. Also at the moment, ESPN Deportes provides Spanish-language coverage and ESPN Radio has audio rights for the Classic. Sportsnet is the current broadcaster in Canada while ESPN America covers the tournament for the United Kingdom, Ireland and other parts of Europe.
The first qualifier round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic aired in the United States and Puerto Rico on the MLB Network; and in Australia, New Zealand, and selected surrounding islands on ESPN.
Excluding qualifier games.
|Year||Total Attendance||# Games||Avg Attendance|
Unlike comparable tournaments the FIFA World Cup and FIBA Basketball World Cup where one country hosts the entire event, each WBC has used multiple hosts spread around different parts of the world. Thus far, seven different nations have hosted at least one WBC pool, with each edition of the tournament featuring games played in Asia, Latin America, and the United States. The championship round is traditionally held at Major League Baseball stadiums in the U.S.
Host cities are listed with the number of WBC rounds they have hosted in parentheses. Each year is then listed along with the round hosted: 1st, 2nd, or Championship.
The Japan national baseball team is the national team representing Japan in international baseball competitions. They have reached 2nd place in the Baseball World Cup in 1982, and have won the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009. The team is currently ranked #1 in the world by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
The Australian national baseball team represents Australia in international baseball tournaments and competitions. They are ranked as the top team in Oceania, and are the Oceanian Champions, having been awarded the title in 2007 when New Zealand withdrew from the Oceania Baseball Championship. After achieving a last (16th) place in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, their ranked dropped to 13, which is the lowest rank Australia ever got. The highest rank they have achieved is their current rank of 7th.
The United States national baseball team is the national baseball team of the United States in international-level baseball competitions. The team is currently ranked 2nd in the world by the World Baseball Softball Confederation. Team USA won the Olympic baseball tournament in 2000 and the World Baseball Classic in 2017.
The Venezuela national baseball team is the national team of Venezuela. They are currently ranked ninth in the world by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
The Dominican Republic national baseball team is the national baseball team of the Dominican Republic. The team has won the Baseball World Cup in 1948 and World Baseball Classic in 2013. They are the first team to have won both world competitions. They are currently ranked the 12th best in the world by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
The Puerto Rico national baseball team is the national baseball team of Puerto Rico. The men's senior team is currently ranked 11th in the world, while its women's counterpart is 12th.
The Cuba national baseball team is the national team of Cuba. The team is made up from the most professional players from the Cuban national baseball system. Cuba has been described as a baseball powerhouse and currently ranks 5th in WBSC's world rankings. It has medalled in all five Olympics in which baseball was played.
The Italy national baseball team represents Italy in international baseball competition. The Italian national team is as of 2018 ranked 16th in the world.
The 2017 World Baseball Classic (WBC) was an international professional baseball competition, composed of 16 competing nations, held from March 6 to March 22, 2017. It was the fourth iteration of the World Baseball Classic. The first-round hosts were Seoul, Tokyo, Miami and Zapopan. The second-round hosts were Tokyo and San Diego, and the championship round was played in Los Angeles.
There were a number of controversies surrounding the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
The following is a list of squads for each nation competing at 2006 World Baseball Classic. The tournament started on March 3 and the final took place on March 20, 2006.
The championship round of the 2013 World Baseball Classic was held at AT&T Park, San Francisco, California, United States from March 17 to 19, 2013.
The following is a list of squads for each nation competing at the 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC). The deadline for submitting provisional rosters was January 16, but teams had until February 20 to finalize their roster decisions. Provisional rosters were announced on January 17, and final rosters were announced on February 20.
Team Israel has competed in the World Baseball Classic since the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier round. In 2017 Israel competed at a World Baseball Classic qualifier for the second time, and for the first time qualified for the main tournament.
The championship round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic took place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, from March 20 to 22, 2017. The championship round was a single-elimination tournament. Japan and the Netherlands advanced to the championship round from Pool E. Puerto Rico and the United States advanced from Pool F. Defending champions Dominican Republic were eliminated in the second round.
Pool F of the Second Round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic was held at Petco Park, San Diego, California, from March 14 to 18, between the top two teams in Pools C and D. Pool F was a round-robin tournament. Each team played the other three teams once, with the top two teams advancing to semifinals. The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and United States advanced to Pool F.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to World Baseball Classic .|