After an exhilarating week of international baseball, the 2013 World Baseball Classic now has all 16 teams on paper. Of the four pools, two went as expected and saw Canada and Chinese Taipei advance to the big show, but each saw surprising victories and memorable upsets. The IBAF world rankings have already rewarded Spain for their upset, but Brazil and New Zealand both saw impressive leaps up the chart.
The IBAF rankings were last updated after the September qualifiers and, since then, Pools C and D have been completed, along with the South American Championship. The Federation’s system for the listing is done on a four-year cycle with some tournaments carrying more weight than others, so several rankings were hard to predict.
What was expected is that the Kiwis and Brazil, the winners of the third pool, were due for a bump, while Chinese Taipei could expect to benefit from their Pool D championship. Brazil jumped from No. 28 to 20th, and has improved 13 places in a year’s time. New Zealand was unranked before the WBCQs in Taiwan, but is now No. 29 in the world.
Taiwan moves up a spot to No. 7, the spot they held in 2011. Panamá (No. 14) and Nicaragua (No. 15) switch places after the latter’s disappointing showing in Panamá City, with the hosts still with a lot of ground to make up on No. 13 Dominican Republic. The fourth member of the pool, Colómbia, only improved two places, but are less likely to fall than when they were at No. 20.
Despite Thailand’s lacklustre performance, they move up four places to No. 23, while the Philippines are one behind them after hurdling climbing 10 spaces up the chart. Argentina slots in just ahead of Thailand after winning the South American Championship.
The Top 30 is as follows:
|Rank||2011||Member Federation||Total Pts|