LAUSANNE, Switzerland — China will send its first-ever youth National Baseball Team to a world championship, as the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) awarded the Asian nation a wild card into the U-15 Baseball World Cup® 2018, to be staged 10-19 August in Panama.

China is the 12th and final nation to be confirmed for the U-15 Baseball World Cup, baseball’s pinnacle tournament and highest level for players aged 13-15. China is currently No. 22 in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings and No. 4 in Asia.

“With our sport’s renewed Olympic status, baseball and softball’s growth and popularity have been accelerating in China,” said WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari. “China’s inclusion in the U-15 Baseball World Cup will further boost youth programmes and help identify talent – and potential future stars — across the nation, while attracting new Chinese audiences to our game.”

Set to compete For the Title of World Champion at the IV WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018 will be National Teams from all five Olympic continents: Africa, all the Americas (North-, South-, Central America and the Caribbean), Asia, Europe and Oceania.

WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018 Panama – The 12 Nations

  • Africa: No. 26 South Africa
  • Asia: No. 2 Japan, No. 6 Chinese Taipei
  • Americas: No. 1 United States, No. 4 Cuba, No. 12 Dominican Republic, No. 14 Panama, No. 19 Brazil
  • Europe: No. 9 Netherlands, No. 21 Germany
  • Oceania: No. 8 Australia
  • Wild Card: No. 22 China

The 12 National Federations will have until 31 July to evaluate and select the 20 best players in their respective countries/territories and officially submit their 20-player National Team rosters.

Cuba is the two-time defending U-15 World Champion, having won the last two U-15 Baseball World Cups (2014 and 2016).

Dominican Republic and USA are the current U-15 Co-Champions of the Americas, while Japan, Germany and Australia are the current U-15 Champions of Asia, Europe and Oceania, respectively. South Africa was unchallenged in the category.

The IV WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2018 will introduce seven-inning games, reduced from nine-inning games in previous editions.