Global growth: 14 new nations enter WBSC Men's Softball World Rankings in 2018
- WBSC Men's Softball World Rankings expands to record 48 nations.
- South Africa takes over as the top-ranked African nation.
- All five Olympic continents featured within the Top 12.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland --The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced a record 48 countries and territories are now featured in the new WBSC Men's Softball World Rankings, with 14 nations making their historic debuts.
Representing global expansion in the Americas, Asia, and Europe, the new nations entering the WBSC Men's Softball World Rankings include Belgium, Chinese Taipei, Croatia, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Lithuania, Malaysia, Peru, Slovakia, Sweden, and Thailand.
"The addition of 14 new countries to the Men's Softball World Ranking is yet another example of the global reach of this discipline," said WBSC Softball Division Chairman, Tommy Velazquez. "Half of these new nations come from Europe, a continent that will host the WBSC Men's Softball World Cup 2019 for the first time in history; undoubtedly it will boost the growth of men's softball around the world."
The latest Men's Softball World Rankings include 2018 results from the WBSC Junior Men's Softball World Championship in Prince Albert, Canada, the European Softball Championship in Havlickuv Brod, Kostelec nad Orlicí, Czech Republic, the Asian Softball Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia, the South American Softball Championship in Monteria, Colombia, and the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia.
All five Olympic continents - Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania - have at least one representative featured within the Top 12 of the rankings -- baseball/softball is one of the few global sports to have such a continental spread atop of the world rankings.
Top 3 spots spread across 3 continents: Oceania, Americas, and Asia
The top three positions in the rankings are held by countries from three different continents. Oceania's New Zealand is still the top-ranked nation (3,524 points), followed by Americas-representative Canada (3,388 points) and Asian nation Japan (3,384 points), who trails the No. 2 spot by only four points.
Australia climbed one position to fourth in the world, behind the Aussies' first-place finish at the WBSC Junior Men's Softball World Championship 2018 in Prince Albert.
With ranking points having expired from the Junior Men's Softball World Championship 2014, winner Argentina dropped one place and is now the fifth-ranked nation in the world.
No. 7 Czech Republic remains Europe's top-ranked softball nation and sits only 15 points behind No. 6 United States. Both nations maintained their previous positions in the rankings.
New leader in Africa
Behind a 10th-place finish at the Junior Men's Softball World Championship, South Africa advanced two spots to a historical high of 12th in the world, overtaking Botswana to become the top-ranked country in Africa.
The WBSC Softball World Rankings weigh a country's National Team performance in WBSC-sanctioned international competitions over a four-year period, including the Junior Men's and Men's Softball World Championships, multi-sport games, continental and regional championships, and friendly matches.
The web-based version and methodology of the WBSC Men's Softball World Rankings can be found at www.wbsc.org/rankings .