World Baseball Classic to be Postponed to 2023

It is possible the World Baseball Classic will be pushed back to 2023. It was supposed to have been played in March 2021, but with the Olympics being pushed back to 2021 that was going to create some scheduling concerns with the Asian teams. Many of the Asian teams temporarily halt their mid-season to accommodate the Olympics. They would normally start the 2021 season early to make up for the lost games, so that would impact on the March 2021 date of the WBC. The WBC was also hoping to expand their team participants from 16 to 20 countries. Two qualifiers were to be played to select those teams. They were to be played in March but had to be cancelled because of the corona virus.

The new dates are pending a vote of the WBC tournament board. The major leagues are the main organizers of the event. The games were going to be held mainly in the United States, with the finals in Miami. Other venues included Japan and Taiwan for the qualifying rounds. Those venues may change based on circumstances.

Assuming the games are approved for 2023 it will be six years between events. A lot can change during that time. The 16 countries that have automatically qualified may not be as strong in baseball during that time period. Perhaps there will be more qualifiers in 2022 to identify new teams. This year in the qualifiers France was relying on Bruce Bochy to manage them into the WBC and the Philippines was hoping that putting Tim Tebow on their roster would win a qualifier. That will not happen in 2022, or whenever the qualifiers for the WBC are scheduled.

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