Friday, August 19, 2022

World Baseball Classic releases schedule, venues, team pools ahead of 2023 return

World Baseball Classic releases schedule, venues, team pools ahead of 2023 return

The WBC, won by the United States in 2017, will return next year with a final in Miami

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Following a two-year pandemic-related hiatus, the World Baseball Classic will return in 2023. Dates, venues, and pools for the 2023 WBC were announced Thursday afternoon by World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI). Two qualifying events will take place later this year, then the WBC itself will be held across the globe next spring.

This is the fifth installment of the WBC and, for the first time, the tournament will expand to 20 teams. The 16 countries that participated in the 2017 WBC have an automatic berth in the 2023 WBC: Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States, and Venezuela. The remaining four spots will be decided in qualifying events:

  • Qualifier Pool A (Sept. 16-21 in Germany): Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, France, South Africa, Spain  

  • Qualifier Pool B (Sept. 30 to Oct. 5 in Panama): Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama

Now here are the pools for the 2023 WBC:

Dates

March 8-13

March 9-13

March 11-15

March 11-15

Location

Taichung, Taiwan

Tokyo, Japan

Phoenix, Arizona

Miami, Florida

Teams

Chinese Taipei

Australia

Canada

Dominican Republic

Cuba

China

Colombia

Israel

Italy

Japan

Mexico

Puerto Rico

Netherlands

Korea

USA

Venezuela

Qualifier team No. 1

Qualifier team No. 2

Qualifier team No. 3

Qualifier team No. 4

“We are honored and excited to welcome fans to Chase Field for the 2023 World Baseball Classic,” Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall said in a statement. “This event is another example of Arizona’s strong reputation as an international destination for major sporting events. I am proud that the D-backs will host fans from United States, Mexico, Canada, Colombia and one additional team to cheer for the most talented players in the world. Our fans created an electric and memorable atmosphere for the 2013 WBC, and I am confident their pride and passion will be on display for the world to see once again.”  

Pool play is a round robin double-elimination tournament. From there, the top two teams in each pool advance to what amounts to an eight-team single-elimination bracket. Here’s the 2023 WBC schedule following pool play:

  • Quarterfinal No. 1: March 15-16 in Tokyo (winners and runners-up from Pools A and B)
  • Quarterfinal No. 2: March 17-18 in Miami (winners and runners-up from Pools C and D)
  • Semifinals: March 19-20 in Miami
  • Championship game: March 21 in Miami

“Along with our fans, partners and the entire South Florida community, we are honored Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have selected loanDepot park to host all three rounds of the 2023 World Baseball Classic,” Marlins owner Bruce Sherman said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming fans from across the globe to loanDepot park to cheer on many of the top players in the game taking part in this prestigious event.”   

We are months away from 2023 WBC rosters being finalized, though we know Mike Piazza will manage Italy, and Orioles slugger Trey Mancini has committed to play for the Italian team. Some countries are more enthusiastic about the WBC as others. Team USA has had some trouble luring the best of the best to the tournament over the years.

The WBC showcases the top talent in the world in a best-on-best tournament, and is part of MLB‘s efforts to grow the game globally. Japan won the 2006 and 2009 events before the Dominican Republic won the 2013 title. The United States beat Puerto Rico in the 2017 WBC. 

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