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Updated: December 3, 2011
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Copyright © 1997-2011
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2011 by Marco Stoovelaar

World Baseball Classic to replace World Cup
DALLAS, Texas (USA) - The World Baseball Classic will determine the new Baseball World Champion in the future. At the XXVI Congress of the International BAseball Federation (IBAF), which was held this weekend in Dallas (USA), the plan was presented in which the World Baseball Classic of March 2013 will be the first in which the winners will be declared world champion.

In the Fall of next year (dates to be determined, sites to be announced in January), Qualifiers for the WBC will be held for the first time. There will be four Qualifier-groups (double elimination) of four teams each. The winners of these groups will qualify for the WBC. The sixteen countries that will participate in the Qualifiers are Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, South Africa, Spain and Thailand.

MLB Senior Vice President International Business Operations Paul Archey announced the update at the Opening of the Congress. He stated that a lot was accomplished during the first two editions of the WBC from which 13 million dollar was distributed to the IBAF and the participating Federations for development.

The representatives of 63 Federations later voted on the new scheme for international tournaments. That resulted in the WBC replacing the World Cup, which was played since 1938 and in October was won by the Netherlands.

Also, the AAA World Cup (18 and under) will become the 18 and Under World Baseball Classic in 2013, while the AA World Cup (16 and Under) will become the AA World Cup (15 and Under). Also to be played is a Women Baseball World Cup.

Two new tournaments will be introduced. In 2014, the first World Cup 21 and Under (every other year) will be played and 2015 will see the first edition of the IBAF Premier 12, a tournament that involves the best 12 teams of the world and will be held every fourth year (eh, was that last tournament not called the World Championship in earlier years.....?).

(December 3)

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