The World Baseball Classic (WBC) is a worldwide baseball tournament whose objective is to spread out the appeal of the game of baseball all over the world. Approved by the International Baseball Federation, the WBC is participated in by various nationwide teams from all over the world. The very first tournament was held from March 3-20, 2006 in various arenas in Tokyo (Japan), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Orlando (Florida, USA), Phoenix (Arizona, USA), Anaheim (California, USA), and San Diego (California, USA).
Throughout this inaugural edition of the World Baseball Classic, 16 nations adjudged as the very best baseball-playing nations worldwide were welcomed to send their national teams. These sixteen groups were divided into four pools, namely:
– Swimming pool A– Japan, China, Korea, and Chinese Taipei
– Pool B– Canada, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States of America
– Pool C– Cuba, Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico
– Swimming pool D– Australia, Dominican Republic, Italy, Venezuela
The tournament was a carried out in a round-robin style of competition, where each team played when against the other three groups in the swimming pool. The leading two pool leaders of A and B were put together in the 2nd round into one new pool (Swimming pool 1), and the leading 2 swimming pool leaders of Swimming pool C and D were created in a brand-new pool (Pool 2) likewise for the 2nd round. Again each team in the brand-new swimming pools bet the other 3 when, with the leading 2 from each pool put together in a single elimination pool for the semifinals. The champs and runner-ups of each pool face each other for a single game, with the winners dealing with each other for the finals to determine the champion.
In Swimming pool A, Korea emerged the winner (3-0) while Japan can be found in second, while Mexico and U.S.A., each with a 2-1 win-loss slate, became the winners of Swimming pool B. These four winners formed Swimming pool 1 for the 2nd round.
On the other hand, Puerto Rico (3-0) and Cuba (2-1) led Pool C, while, in Swimming pool D, the Dominican Republic (3-0) and Venezuela (2-1) plainly controlled. These four formed Swimming pool 2 for the second round.
The second round once again saw Korea (3-0) dominate Swimming pool 1 to move into the single-elimination pool, with Japan, who tied with the United States and Mexico with comparable 1-2 win-loss records, but ended up being the second team from Pool 1 for the single removal pool due to a much better standing in the tie-breaker assessment. In Swimming pool 2, the Dominican Republic and Cuba led the pack with similar 2-1 win-loss records. The Dominican Republic emerged as the champ in this pool due to a better standing in the tiebreaker assessment.
The single-elimination round for the semifinals was one identified by upsets in which runners-up Japan and Cuba beating Korea and the Dominican Republic respectively. In the final video game, Japan defeated Cuba to become the first champion of the World Baseball Classic.
The next WBC competition will be held in 2009, after which the competition will be held every four years. Downloads of the First World Baseball Classic Live Feed may be downloaded from the main World Baseball Classic Website.