LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The World Baseball Softball Confederation today announced the groups and Official Look of the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016, which is set to open in 100 days, on 29 July in Iwaki, Japan.

The 12 nations that have qualified into the III U-15 Baseball World Cup have been drawn into two Opening Round groups of six:

Groups - WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016 - Landscape (1)

Group A features defending U-15 Baseball World Cup 2014 champions Cuba and also No. 20 Colombia from the Americas, world No. 1 Japan and No. 4 South Korea out of Asia, No. 13 Australia – Oceania’s top-ranked nation, and No. 16 Czech Republic – Europe’s third-highest ranked nation.

Group B features four nations from the Americas in No 2. United States, No. 6 Venezuela – the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2014 silver and bronze medallists, respectively – and No. 7 Mexico and No. 17 Panama. No. 3 Chinese Taipei (the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2012 bronze medallist) out of Asia and No. 30 New Zealand out of Oceania complete the group. Venezuela’s U-15 National Team won the inaugural U-15 Baseball World Cup 2012 in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Only the top three nations from each group will advance and battle each other in the phase two Super Round for a spot in the finals (Third/Fourth Place match and U-15 World Championship Final). The competition schedule will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

With the most recent release of the WBSC Baseball World Rankings, the U-15 Baseball World Cup in Iwaki is set to be the most elite U-15 competition on record and will feature the top ranked nations in baseball, including the world’s Nos. 1-7.

The winner of the U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016 will be awarded 440 world ranking points.

Official Look of the U-15 Baseball World Cup Unveiled

The Official Look and core visual elements of the WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup were revealed, complementing the recently designed Official Emblem. The visual identity aims to reflect a modern and powerful youth world championship brand, which also serves to reinforce and fit within an overall branding system of all WBSC Baseball World Cups and the flagship Premier12™. The logo and core assets were designed by the British firm, WORKS.

Official Slogan of Baseball’s World Cups

WBSC has rolled out the first-ever Official Slogan of the Baseball World Cup™ platforms: “For the Title of World Champion”. The tagline will form a central and unified theme across the branding strategy and the merchandising/licensing of all Baseball World Cups (U-12, U-15, U-18, U-23, and Women’s).