10 new countries break into latest Men’s Baseball World Rankings, Japan remains No. 1

2020-01-16 15:16:51
  • Africa activity pushes baseball rankings to all-time high with 85 nations and territories
  • Following flagship Premier12 win, Japan keeps top spot in baseball world

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- Ten new countries, led by seven from Africa, have entered the latest WBSC Men’s Baseball World Rankings, which were released today and have expanded to include a record-high 85 nations and territories across the globe.

The newcomers to the WBSC Men’s Baseball World Rankings include African nations Burkina Faso (57th), Ghana (T-73rd), Kenya (62nd), Nigeria (70th), Tanzania (T-73rd), Uganda (49th) and Zimbabwe (53rd). Oceania added two new representatives with Fiji (72nd) Palau (82nd), while Asian nation Bangladesh (79th) also made its debut in the world rankings.

“Having 10 new countries, including seven from Africa, included in the WBSC Men’s Baseball World Rankings illustrates the unprecedented level of international baseball activity which has taken place around the world in 2019, especially across the African continent, as nations prepared for and attempted to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics,” said WBSC President and Baseball Division Board Chairman Riccardo Fraccari. “We can expect even more record numbers of participation this year following the recent announcement that mixed-gender five-on-five Baseball5 will be a medal event at the Youth Olympic Games 2022 in Dakar, Senegal.”

Japan will head into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this July-August as the top-ranked baseball nation in the world, with a commanding lead in the WBSC Men’s Baseball World Rankings following a first-place finish at the flagship Premier12 last November.

USA (2nd), Korea (3rd) and Chinese Taipei (4th) maintained their positions in the rankings, while Mexico (5th), Australia (6th) and Netherlands (7th) all advanced one spot, as Cuba (8th) fell three places.

Rounding out the Top 12, Venezuela (9th) held its position, while Dominican Republic (10th) advanced two spots by overtaking Puerto Rico (11th) and Canada (12th).

The WBSC Baseball World Rankings measure National Team performance — from U-12 to Professional — in WBSC-sanctioned international competitions over a four-year period.

The full WBSC Baseball World Rankings and formula can be found at https://rankings.wbsc.org/.

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