December 23, 2016
The World Baseball Softball Confederation today revealed the 2016 end-of-the-year standings in the Official WBSC Baseball World Rankings, which weigh a country's complete National Team results (from U-12 to Professional) in international competitions over a four-year period (2013-2016). The end-of-the-year (2015 vs. 2016) rankings also take into account the results from the final competition on the official 2016 international baseball calendar, the U-12 Asia Championship 2016, which recently concluded in China.
"These world rankings reflect a very healthy movement and an unprecedented interest in baseball at the international level -- among fans, broadcasters, media and the players themselves -- highlighting the ongoing development drive and evolution within our sport," said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari.
Finishing first at multiple events in 2016 -- including the U-23 Baseball World Cup®, which was the top international event of the year, and the U-18 and U-12 Asia Championships -- as well as earning 2nd Place at the U-15 Baseball World Cup, Japan continues as the top-ranked country and has established a record lead of 771 points over the No. 2 nation, United States. Japan has been defending the top positon in the world rankings since November 2014.
The Republic of Korea and Mexico in 2016 hit all-time highs in the rankings, becoming the No. 3 and No. 6 baseball superpowers in the world followed by No. 4 Chinese Taipei.
14 other Asian countries included in the top 70 list are as follows;
18 China, 24 Pakistan, 26 Hong Kong, 34 Philippines, 35 Thailand, 48 Indonesia, 52 Sri Lanka, 54 Iran, 56 Mongolia, 60 India, 66 Iraq, 66 Singapore, 69 Afghanistan and 70 Nepal.
International Baseball Calendar 2017
Next year's international schedule features three world championships, including the WBSC-sanctioned flagship World Baseball Classic (6-22 March), the U-18 Baseball World Cup (1-10 Sept) in Thunder Bay, Canada, and the U-12 Baseball World Cup (28 Jul - 6 Aug) in Tainan, Taiwan.