The World Baseball Classic

As a way to encourage baseball across the globe, MLB created an international baseball tournament.

The World Baseball Classic

20 countries have competed throughout the 13 years of its existence. The tournament was created after baseball was taken out of the Olympics. The winner of the tournament is crowned the top baseball country and team until the next tournament, four years later.

To qualify for the tournament, teams are judged off of their previous performance in the tournament, and the top 12 teams are automatically qualified. The other teams must play in qualifying rounds, where they enter a larger pool of countries. The teams are then divided into four pools, and the winner of each pool then qualifies.

First Round

In the first round, four pools of four teams play each other- each team playing three games. The top two teams from each of the pools advance. There are now eight teams.

Second Round

In the second round, the eight teams split into two pools of four teams. Each team plays three games again. The top two teams from each pool advances. There are now four teams.

Third Round

In the third round, the winner of Pool E plays the runner-up of Pool F and the winner of Pool F plays the runner-up of Pool E. The winners of these two games advance to the championship.

Fourth Round

The fourth round is the championship game, so the two teams play each other to determine who is crowned the world champion.

Tournament Rules

  • Pitch count limits are enforced.
  • There are mercy rules.
  • Video replay review is still available.