LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today revealed the dates and venues for the first-ever WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup 2016, which will be hosted by the city of Monterrey, Mexico, from 28 October to 6 November.
The world governing body also announced the expansion of the U-21 Baseball World Cup to a new U-23 format, in order to further raise the elite competition level by allowing nations to utilise the top players up to 23 years-old.
The official Baseball World Cup™ platforms, which are for the title of world champion, will now be competed in the age categories of U-12, U-15, U-18, and U-23, as well as Women’s.
The U-23 Baseball World Cup will now distribute one of the largest sums of world ranking points in the sport of baseball, only behind the WBSC Premier12 and the WBSC-sanctioned World Baseball Classic, the top-tier events that allocate the first and second amount of ranking points, respectively.
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said: “We are excited to expand to this new U-23 Baseball World Cup format and position this world championship behind our flagship events, which will further raise the profile and reach of the WBSC four-year tournament cycle.”
The U-23 Baseball World Cup 2016 in Monterrey will be the top international competition of the year, allocating 690 world ranking points to the first-ever U-23 world champion. (1,380 points are awarded to the winner of the Premier12; 1,150 are awarded to the winner of the World Baseball Classic.)
Centre stage of the U-23 Baseball World Cup 2016 will be one of the highest capacity baseball stadiums in all of Latin America, at the 27,000-seat Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey, home of professional club Sultannes Monterrey of the Mexican Baseball League (LMB).
Other stadiums that will host U-23 world championship games include Parque Hundido UANL and Unidad Deportiva Alfonso Martinez Dominguez, which will undergo renovations and upgrades to meet international standards, leaving a legacy for the community and future generations of local baseball players.
The official emblem and look, as well as the competing National Teams, of the new WBSC U-23 Baseball World Cup will be announced in the coming weeks.
Baseball’s inaugural U-21 world championship was launched in 2014 and allowed for a limited number of U-23 players to compete, and included players affiliated to professional clubs, such as the Australian Baseball League, Chinese Professional Baseball League, Major League Baseball, Korean Baseball Organization, Mexican Pacific League, Nicaraguan Professional Baseball League, and Nippon Professional Baseball.