Record 69 nations featured in final 2019 WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings

Record 69 nations featured in final 2019 WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings
Belize and Chile are the latest countries to join the WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings while Canada earned the most points and Belgium gained the most places following the final update of 2019. Four Olympic continents represented in the Top 10 while a record 69 countries and territories are now ranked in women’s softball, with USA still No. 1.

LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today released the latest WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings, which weigh a country’s National Team performance in WBSC-sanctioned international competitions over a four-year period (2016-2019). After the 2019 season**, a record-setting 69 countries are now featured in the new WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings.

“The international softball family keeps growing, with 69 countries and territories now featured in the standings, showcasing the global reach of our sport,” said WBSC Softball Chairman Tommy Velazquez. “To open the Olympic year, the six qualified nations for Tokyo 2020 are ranked in the top 10, assuring the highest level of play and competition during the historic return of softball to the Olympic programme.”

Belize, Chile earn first-ever world ranking points

The WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings welcomed two new countries - Belize and Chile - as it closed 2019 with a record number 69 participants.

A fifth-place finish at the Central American Championship earned Belize its first three ranking points while Chile, hosts of the next Pan American Games Lima 2023, also gained three points after a last place finish in the South American Championship.

At the other end of the rankings, four of the five Olympic continents — the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania — have at least one representative in the Top 10, reflecting an elite global representation not common in team sports.

Canada earned the most points, Belgium gained the most places

Nothing changed in the top six spots of the ranking, with world No. 1 USA, No. 2 Japan, No. 3 Canada, No.4 Puerto Rico, No. 5 Mexico and No. 6 Chinese Taipei retaining their places in 2019.

However, with their first-ever medal at the U-19 World Cup, a silver medal at the Pan American Games, a second place finish at the Americas Olympic Qualifier and a bronze medal at the U-17 Pan American Championship, Canada earned the most points in 2019 with 1,478 to narrow the difference with USA (1,433) and Japan (1,213). Previously, USA (4,588) had a 379 points difference with second place Japan (4,209), who had a 638 points gap with Canada (3,571).

China advanced one place in the rankings to finish 2019 in seventh place, surpassing world No.8 Australia after claiming the silver medal at the Asian Cup, finishing in eighth place at the U-19 World Cup, fourth at the South East Asian Cup, and third in the U-17 Asian Cup, to earn a total of 829 points.

The Netherlands overtook Italy to become the top European nation in the WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings in ninth place. Despite earning more points during the 2019 season (623), the Azzurre suffered the expiration of 389 points from the 2015 Junior World Championship, in which the orange team didn’t participate; so 512 points were enough for the Netherlands to take ninth spot in the new world ranking, only 67 points ahead of their European arch rivals, who completed the top 10.

Belgium was the top mover, reaching their best position ever. Their 14th place finish in the European Championship gave them 140 valuable points to help them climb 10 places from 47 to 37. Germany and Poland gained eight positions each, while Spain improved by seven places and entered the top 30 for the first time.

The WBSC rankings can be found at the WBSC World Rankings Website, featuring functions such as tracking, trends, top climbers, charts, country-by-country comparisons, ranking by continent, points earned by each National Team/Federation per competition, and a world rankings news section in six languages — English, French, Japan, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.

** The WBSC-sanctioned international competitions in 2019 include the WBSC U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup in Irvine, USA; the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru; the Asian Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia; the European Championship in Ostrava, the Czech Republic; the Americas Qualifier in Surrey, Canada; the U-19 African Championship in South Africa; the U-17 Pan American Championship in Barranquilla, Colombia; the U-17 Asia Cup in Guizhou, China; the South East Asian Games in Clark, the Philippines; the South American Championship in Guayaquil, Ecuador; the Central American Championship in Guatemala; the East Asian Cup in Zhonghang, China; as well as five sanctioned events. The WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings also reflect the expiration of all points earned in 2015 international competitions.

Read More: Men’s Softball World Rankings: Japan take No. 1 spot for the first time ever