- A record 67 countries and territories are now ranked in Women’s Softball.
- Puerto Rico and Mexico hit historic highs, move into the top five of the world rankings for thefirst time.
- Japan earned the most world rankings points in 2018.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The sport of softball continues its global expansion with five new countries from three different continents making historic debuts in the final 2018 WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings, which include a record high of 67 nations.
Highlighting softball growth across Africa, Asia and South America, Bolivia (No. 67), Indonesia (No. 37), Lesotho (No. 66), Malaysia (No. 65) and Zimbabwe (No. 60) entered into the Women’s Softball World Ranking points for the first time.
The newly published Women’s Softball World Ranking reflect results and standings from WBSC-sanctioned international competitions in 2018, including the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan, the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, the African Softball Championship in Pretoria, South Africa, the Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, the U-19 Asian Softball Championship in Pampanga, Philippines and U-19 European Softball Championship in Staranzano, Italy, the South American Softball Championship in Oranjestad, Aruba, as well as nine sanctioned events.
“It’s been a very prolific year for women’s softball, with sanctioned international competitions on every continent and record growth in the WBSC Women’s Softbal World Rankings,” said WBSC Softball Chairman Tommy Velazquez. “These ranking are a testament of softball’s continued global expansion and increasing international profile, ahead of the historic Olympic return at Tokyo 2020. And the launch of the new U-15 Softball World Cup in 2021 will inspire more and more young girls to play softball around the globe.”
Japan earns most rankings points in 2018, but USA remains on top of the Softbal World
The top three teams in the rankings remain the same. USA claimed the XVI WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in Chiba, Japan, and now owns the last four WBSC Women’s Softball World Championships (2016 and 2018 flagship events; 2015 and 2017 junior tournaments). After their win in Chiba, the US National team accumulated 4,588 points and increased the gap with second place, Japan, to 379 points.
However, No. 2 Japan earned the most points in 2018, to compensate for the loss of 1,150 points, expired from 2014 World Championship title. Besides the silver medal in the World Championship on home soil, they claimed the Gold Medal at the Asian Games and won the 7th East Asian Softball Cup. They added 1,369 points this year, for a total of 4,209. Canada retained the third place, after a bronze medal performance in Chiba.
Puerto Rico and Mexico advanced two spots, and complete the top five of the WBSC Women’s World Ranking. Puerto Rico, the new No. 4 nation in the world, finished fifth in Chiba and added a Gold Medal in the Central American and Caribbean Games Barranquilla 2018, for a total of 3,320 points. In the meanwhile, Mexico was seventh in the last World Championship, and claimed the Silver Medal in Barranquilla, ending the current year in the fifth spot. In both cases, it is their highest ever ranking.
Chinese Taipei earned the Silver Medal at the Asian Games but dropped one place to No. 6, after the expiration of 760 points of the 2014 World Championship.
China earned 731 points in 2018 and climbed four positions in the chart to finish the year again in the top 10. No. 8. China is only 40 points behind No. 7 Australia (2,701). Two European teams close the top ten, No.9 Italy and No. 10 Netherlands.
The WBSC World Rankings weigh a country’s National Team performance in WBSC-sanctioned international competitions over a four-year cycle. The full rankings and methodology are published at rankings.wbsc.org