With the MLB in winter slumber, the World Baseball Classic 2023 will give fans a chance to partake in high-level baseball action before the start of the new season.
After being postponed for two years, this year’s edition of the WBC will be a highly anticipated event that will again showcase the diversity of the sport and be baseball’s answer to the World Cup.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2023 World Baseball Classic. We’ll provide updates throughout the spring with expanded coverage in February and March.
What is the World Baseball Classic?
The World Baseball Classic is aiming to be baseball’s version of what the World Cup is to soccer. A once every four years event that brings together teams from around the globe representing the best baseball-playing countries on the planet.
When and where is the next World Baseball Classic?
The first round of the World Baseball Classic tournament begins on March 8, and then everything wraps up with the WBC Championship game on March 21 in Miami, Florida.
Here is the full WBC 2023 schedule, and round-by-round locations for the World Baseball Classic.
First Round – WBC Tournament schedule
Second Round – 2023 World Baseball Classic schedule
|Pool A & B (Q1)
|Pool C & D (Q2)
Semifinals – WBC 2023
|Q1 Winner vs Q2 Runner Up
|Q2 Winner vs Q1 Runner Up
WBC Championship Game
|Semifinals 1 Winner vs Semifinals 2 Winner
Who plays in the WBC?
There are 20 teams from around the globe participating in the World Baseball Classic this year. The tournament is broken down into four five-team pools, with each of the three host countries in their own brackets. Here are the teams in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
- Chinese Taipei
- Czech Republic
- Great Britain
- Puerto Rico
- Dominican Rep.
World Baseball Classic Tournament Rules and Regulations
The WBC has a unique rule set different than the MLB Playoffs. Firstly, like the World Cup, it begins with a round-robin format that teams must advance from, then faceoff in single elimination matchups.
There are special extra-innings rules to bring games to an end quicker, and pitch counts for participating pitchers. The goal is to protect many of the players that will go on to compete in the MLB regular season from incurring an injury.
How often is the World Baseball Classic?
The World Baseball Classic typically happens every four years, but there was a two-year gap between the first World Baseball Classic (2006) and the second WBC in 2009. In addition, there was a six-year gap between the 2017 WBC and the 2023 World Baseball Classic, with the fifth postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When was the last World Baseball Classic?
The United States won the most recent WBC in 2017. Defeating Puerto Rico in the championship game dominantly by a score of 8-0. It was the first-ever World Baseball Classic championship for the US.
The WBC was expected to go down in 2021, however, with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging around the world, the event was postponed and will return in March of 2023.
All previous WBC champions
- United States – 2017
- Dominican Republic – 2013
- Japan – 2009
- Japan – 2006