Host cities, new dates revealed for WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup 2020 in Mexico
New competition dates: 30 September - 9 October
LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- 26 March 2020 -- The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today announced that the Mexican cities of Ciudad Obregon and Los Mochis have been awarded the hosting rights of the WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup® 2020, which will now be played from Wednesday, 30 September, to Friday, 9 October.
The III U-23 Baseball World Cup will be staged at the 16,000-seat Estadio Yaquis, which opened in 2016 and is home of the Yaquis de Obregon of the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and the recently renovated Estadio Emilio Ibarra Almada, home of the LMP's Cañeros de Los Mochis. Estadio Yaquis will serve as the main venue, also hosting the Super Round and Finals.
All 12 qualified teams competing for baseball's world title in the U-23 category have been confirmed:
• Africa (1): No. 24 South Africa
• Americas (4): No. 5 Mexico (host, defending World Champion), No. 7 Cuba, No. 8 Venezuela, No. 15 Nicaragua
• Asia (3): No. 1 Japan, No. 4 Chinese Taipei and No. 22 China
• Europe (2): No. 16 Czech Republic and No. 19 Germany
• Oceania (1): No. 39 New Zealand
• Wild Card (1): No. 3 Korea
From the Americas, Mexico, as host nation, received an automatic entry into the U-23 World Cup and will be joined by the top three finishers from the recent continental qualifier, Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela.
The Czech Republic and Germany emerged out of the U-23 European Baseball Championship that was held last August in Prague, with the 'home' team finishing first.
Chinese Taipei, Japan and China qualified for the U-23 World Cup as the top three teams of the Asian Baseball Championship last October, while fourth-place finisher Korea was subsequently awarded a wild card.
New Zealand earned the right to represent Oceania after rival Australia withdrew from their qualifying series.
South Africa claimed Africa's spot in the U-23 World Cup as the continent's highest-ranked National Team in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings.
Birth of the U-23 Baseball World Cup
The WBSC launched the U-21 Baseball World Cup in November 2014, which saw Chinese Taipei beat Japan in the final on home turf in Taichung, while Korea won the third-place game against Nicaragua.
The U-21 global competition expanded into the U-23 Baseball World Cup in 2016 in Monterrey and Saltillo Mexico. Japan defeated Australia in the final, while Korea beat Panama to win the bronze medal.
Mexico won the second edition of the U-23 Baseball World Cup, which was held in Barranquilla, Colombia, in October 2018. It was the first-ever official baseball world title for Mexico, after the nation defeated Japan in 10 innings in the final, while Venezuela topped Korea to finish third.
Previous U-23 Baseball World Cups have included the top young professional players from clubs affiliated to the Australian Baseball League (ABL), Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), Major League Baseball (MLB), Mexican Baseball League (LMB), Nicaraguan Professional Baseball League, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), in addition to other leagues around the world.