Press release World Baseball Softball Confederation
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today unveiled the 2017 end-of-the-year standings in the Official WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings Presented by ENEOS.
National Team softball competitions experienced record levels in 2017, with 13 new nations earning ranking points for the first time, expanding the WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings Presented by ENEOS from 21 nations to 34, marking an increase of 62% from 2016.
All of the five Olympic continents — Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania — had at least one representative within the Top 12. Softball/baseball is the only team sport to have such a global spread atop of the rankings.
Of the 34 nations currently ranked, only 7 remained in the same position from 2016, while 6 improved their position.
New Zealand atop the World
New Zealand (3,540) remains as the World’s No. 1 men’s softball nation, after winning a record eighth WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship last July.
Only 48 points separate No. 2 Canada (3,074) from No. 3 Japan, followed closely by No. 4 Argentina with 3,010 points.
Australia rounds out of the Top 5 with 2,780 points, after securing the silver medal at the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship.
13 Newcomers Break into the WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings
The 2017 international softball calendar saw an increase in WBSC-sanctioned events that impacted the rankings, as all world championship qualifiers, as well as continental championships, are now factored into the rankings.
This new rankings methodology allowed 13 new softball nations from three continents to earn points for the first-time ever: Aruba, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, and Turkey.
Botswana saw the largest jump of all nations, gaining seven spots after the highest finish (8th place) in the country’s history at the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, Canada.
The WBSC Softball World Rankings Presented by ENEOS track a country’s entire National Team performance in all WBSC-sanctioned international competitions over a four-year period, including the U-19 Junior Men’s and Men’s Softball World Championships, multi-sport games, continental championships, and friendly series.
The web-based version and methodology of the WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings Presented by ENEOS can be found at www.wbsc.org/rankings.