2017 World Baseball Classic – Qualification

2017 World Baseball Classic – Qualification
Tournament details
Host countries  Australia
 United States
Dates February 11 – September 25, 2016
Teams 16
Tournament statistics
Games played 24
Attendance 111,795 (4,658 per game)

The Qualifying Round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic was held from February 11 to September 25, 2016. Teams which participated at the 2013 World Baseball Classic were automatically qualified for the 2017 tournament except the four nations which ended up last in their respective groups-Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Spain which had to play in the qualifiers along with 12 other national teams. 16 teams participated, divided into four groups of four teams each. The winners of each of the four groups qualified for the 2017 World Baseball Classic.[1]

The qualifiers were organized as four independent modified double-elimination tournaments featuring four teams each. The final game was winner-take-all, even if won by the team emerging from the loser's bracket. That is, the team emerging from the winner's bracket might be eliminated despite losing only one game.

Australia, Mexico, Colombia, and Israel won their qualifiers and will participate in the 2017 tournament. In their respective brackets, both Australia and Mexico were top seed (signified by home-field advantage) as well as the team that had competed in the 2013 tournament. However, Colombia defeated top seed Panama as well as 2013 participant Spain to advance, while top seed Israel defeated 2013 participant Brazil.


Minor league players

Qualifier 1 featured 16 players who are affiliated with Major League clubs. Nine MLB-affiliated players were on the Australia roster, three on the South Africa roster, two on the New Zealand roster, and two on the Philippines roster.[2]

Qualifier 2 featured 34 players who are affiliated with Major League clubs. Sixteen MLB-affiliated players were on the Mexico roster (representing 57% of the Mexico roster), eleven on the Nicaragua roster, six on the Germany roster, and one on the Czech Republic roster.[3]

Qualifier 3 featured 31 players who are affiliated with Major League clubs. Sixteen MLB-affiliated players were on the Colombia roster (representing 57% of the Colombia roster), ten on the Panama roster, four on the Spain roster, and one on the France roster.[3]

Qualifier 4 featured 41 players who are affiliated with Major League clubs. Twenty MLB-affiliated players are on the Israel roster and four more Israel players are recent Major Leaguers (together representing 86% of the Israel roster), twelve MLB-affiliated players are on the Great Britain roster, nine on the Brazil roster, and none on the Pakistan roster.[4]

Experienced Major League players

Only a few experienced Major Leaguers participated in the spring qualifiers. These included relief pitcher Peter Moylan of Australia, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and pitcher Óliver Pérez, both of Mexico,[3] and catcher Carlos Ruiz of Panama.

Qualifier 4 took place in September, after the end of the minor league season but during the Major League season, and thus no active Major League players participated. Although Brazil now has a few young Major League players, Israel was the team most likely to be adversely affected by this circumstance. In 2013, Israel also was placed in a qualifier that took place during the Major League season and thus was unable to include a number of Major League players of Jewish descent who had expressed interest in playing for Israel.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] Without these players, Israel narrowly lost its 2013 qualifier to Spain.

Israel's roster included eight former Major Leaguers: catcher Ryan Lavarnway, infielders Ike Davis, Cody Decker, Nate Freiman and Josh Satin, and pitchers Josh Zeid, Jason Marquis and Craig Breslow.[4] On the other hand, infielder Ty Kelly, one of Israel's twenty minor leaguers, had to withdraw from the qualifier after he was called up to the New York Mets.


Four stadiums will be used during the qualifying round:[1]

Qualifier 1 Qualifier 2 Qualifier 3 Qualifier 4
Australia Sydney, Australia Mexico Mexicali, Mexico Panama Panama City, Panama United States New York City, United States
Blacktown Baseball Stadium Estadio B'Air Rod Carew Stadium MCU Park
Capacity: 3,000 Capacity: 19,500 Capacity: 27,000 Capacity: 7,000
No Image

Pools composition

Qualifier 1 Qualifier 2 Qualifier 3 Qualifier 4
 Australia  Mexico  Colombia  Brazil
 New Zealand  Czech Republic  France  Great Britain
 Philippines  Germany  Panama  Israel
 South Africa  Nicaragua  Spain  Pakistan

Pakistan is the only team in the 2017 qualifiers that is participating in the World Baseball Classic for the first time. It replaces Thailand, which participated in the 2013 qualifiers.

Qualifying round

Qualifier 1

Australia won all three of its games to advance easily. South Africa defeated New Zealand in the opening round and again in the losers' bracket to reach the final game, but lost to Australia 12–5.

  Preliminaries Semifinals Qualifier
  South Africa 7  
  New Zealand 1  
  W1   South Africa 1  
  W2   Australia 4  
  Philippines 1
  Australia 11  
  W4   Australia 12 Q1W
  W5   South Africa 5
L1   New Zealand 17  
L2   Philippines 7  
  W3   New Zealand 2
  L4   South Africa 9  
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Feb 11, 2016 13:00 South Africa  7–1  New Zealand   Blacktown Baseball Stadium 2:58 529 Boxscore
Feb 11, 2016 19:30 Philippines  1–11  Australia 7 Blacktown Baseball Stadium 2:56 1,442 Boxscore
Feb 12, 2016 13:00 Philippines  7–17  New Zealand 8 Blacktown Baseball Stadium 3:18 623 Boxscore
Feb 12, 2016 19:30 South Africa  1–4  Australia   Blacktown Baseball Stadium 2:46 2,237 Boxscore
Feb 13, 2016 18:30 South Africa  9–2  New Zealand   Blacktown Baseball Stadium 3:32 1,367 Boxscore
Feb 14, 2016 14:00 South Africa  5–12  Australia   Blacktown Baseball Stadium 3:29 1,766 Boxscore

Qualifier 2

Mexico won all three of its games to advance easily. Nicaragua defeated both of the other two teams but lost by wide margins in both of its games against Mexico. The Czech Republic performed surprisingly well, giving close games to both Mexico and Nicaragua and defeating Germany by a wide margin.

  Preliminaries Semifinals Qualifier
  Germany 4  
  Nicaragua 5  
  W1   Nicaragua 0  
  W2   Mexico 11  
  Czech Republic 1
  Mexico 2  
  W4   Mexico 12 Q2W
  W5   Nicaragua 1
L1   Germany 3  
L2   Czech Republic 15  
  W3   Czech Republic 6
  L4   Nicaragua 7  
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 17, 2016 12:30 Germany  4–5  Nicaragua 10 Estadio B'Air 3:34 3,773 Boxscore
Mar 17, 2016 19:30 Czech Republic  1–2  Mexico   Estadio B'Air 2:29 14,711 Boxscore
Mar 18, 2016 12:30 Czech Republic  15–3  Germany 8 Estadio B'Air 2:59 2,187 Boxscore
Mar 18, 2016 19:30 Nicaragua  0–11  Mexico 7 Estadio B'Air 2:32 12,715 Boxscore
Mar 19, 2016 18:00 Nicaragua  7–6  Czech Republic 11 Estadio B'Air 3:57 6,558 Boxscore
Mar 20, 2016 19:00 Nicaragua  1–12  Mexico 7 Estadio B'Air 2:48 16,521 Boxscore

Qualifier 3

In the opening round, hosts Panama defeated France while 2013 participant Spain fell to Colombia. France then eliminated Spain while Colombia defeated Panama. Panama eliminated France to gain a rematch against Colombia, which won the final game 2–1.

  Preliminaries Semifinals Qualifier
  Colombia 9  
  Spain 2  
  W1   Colombia 6  
  W2   Panama 3  
  France 2
  Panama 9  
  W4   Colombia 2 Q3W
  W5   Panama 1
L1   Spain 3  
L2   France 5  
  W3   France 4
  L4   Panama 7  
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Mar 17, 2016 13:00 Colombia  9–2  Spain   Rod Carew Stadium 3:42 2,145 Boxscore
Mar 17, 2016 20:00 France  2–9  Panama   Rod Carew Stadium 2:41 11,744 Boxscore
Mar 18, 2016 13:00 France  5–3  Spain   Rod Carew Stadium 3:42 852 Boxscore
Mar 18, 2016 20:00 Colombia  6–3  Panama   Rod Carew Stadium 3:11 12,559 Boxscore
Mar 19, 2016 20:00 Panama  7–4  France   Rod Carew Stadium 3:19 2,016 Boxscore
Mar 20, 2016 18:00 Panama  1–2  Colombia   Rod Carew Stadium 3:07 6,204 Boxscore

Qualifier 4

Team Israel celebrating on the field after defeating Great Britain on September 22, 2016.

In the opening round, Israel defeated Great Britain while 2013 participant Brazil defeated Pakistan. Great Britain then eliminated Pakistan while Israel defeated Brazil. Great Britain eliminated Brazil to gain a rematch against Israel, which won the final game 9–1.

  Preliminaries Semifinals Qualifier
  Pakistan 0  
  Brazil 10  
  W1   Brazil 0  
  W2   Israel 1  
  Great Britain 2
  Israel 5  
  W3   Israel 9 Q4W
  W5   Great Britain 1
L1   Pakistan 0  
L2   Great Britain 14  
  W4   Great Britain 4
  L3   Brazil 3  
Date Local Time Road Team Score Home Team Inn. Venue Game Time Attendance Boxscore
Sep 22, 2016 12:00 Pakistan  0–10  Brazil 7 MCU Park 2:40 1,210 Boxscore
Sep 22, 2016 19:00 Great Britain  2–5  Israel   MCU Park 3:08 3,919 Boxscore
Sep 23, 2016 12:00 Brazil  0–1  Israel   MCU Park 2:56 1,862 Boxscore
Sep 23, 2016 19:00 Great Britain  14–0  Pakistan 7 MCU Park 2:49 1,359 Boxscore
Sep 24, 2016 20:00 Brazil  3–4  Great Britain   MCU Park 2:54 1,480 Boxscore
Sep 25, 2016 18:00 Great Britain  1–9  Israel   MCU Park 2:44 2,016 Boxscore


111,795 (avg. 4,658; pct. 33.0%)

Additional rules

A pitcher threw no more than 85 pitches per game in the Qualifying Round unless the pitcher needed more to complete a batter's plate appearance.

A pitcher must:

A mercy rule came into effect when one team led by either fifteen runs after five innings, or ten runs after seven innings.

An alternative version of the IBAF's extra inning rule was also used. If after 10 innings the score is still tied, each half inning thereafter starts with runners on second and first base. The runners are the eighth and ninth hitters due in that inning respectively. For example, if the number five hitter is due to lead off the inning, the number three hitter is on second base, and the number four hitter on first base. For the first time in the World Baseball Classic, this rule was actually employed in this year's qualifiers, as the Qualifier 2 game between Nicaragua and the Czech Republic went into the 11th inning. Nicaragua scored three runs in the top of the inning, the Czech Republic only two in the bottom,[14] so Nicaragua went on to the final game of the bracket.


  1. 1 2 "2017 World Baseball Classic qualifiers are set". MLB.com. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  2. "Managers, schedule, rosters set for Classic Sydney qualifier". WorldBaseballClassic.com. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 "Rosters, schedules set for next Classic qualifiers". WorldBaseballClassic.com. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  4. 1 2 http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com/news/article/197767370/
  5. "World Baseball Classic: Israel, managed by Bra". Sporting News. May 21, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  6. Belson, Ken (June 1, 2011). [http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/01/israel-to-participate-in-2013-world-baseball-classic/#h[MLBIan] "Israel to Participate in 2013 World Baseball Classic"]. The New York Times. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  7. "Israel invited to qualify for World Baseball Classic". JTA. June 2, 2011. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  8. Jeremy Fine. "The Great Rabbino". Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  9. Aaron Yellin (June 7, 2011). "Israel to Participate in 2013 World Baseball Classic". The Forward. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  11. Ben, Daniel (May 1, 2010). "Baseball / Jewish MLB stars could play for Israel". Haaretz. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  12. Leichenger, Alex (June 21, 2011). "Jewish baseball player supports Little League efforts". Jewish Journal. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  13. Belson, Ken (June 8, 2011). "Shawn Green Says He'd Play for Israel in World Baseball Classic". The New York Times. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
  14. http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com/game#game=gid_2016_03_19_ncaint_czeint_1,game_state=Wrapup

External links

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