OTTAWA, ON – Baseball Canada was officially introduced as one of the 16 teams that will be participating in the second edition of the World Baseball Classic which was announced today by Major League Baseball.
The Classic will take place in March, 2009 and will allow the best Major League Baseball players to represent their country in international competition.
The 16 teams announced are the same as the inaugural tournament in 2006 with talks of expanding that number for the 2013 edition of the Classic.
“We are very excited to be once again invited to participate in such a high caliber tournament and we look forward to showcasing some of the best baseball talent in this country and to compete against the best in the world,” says Baseball Canada President Ray Carter.
A round-robin format will allow each country to play teams within its pool once. The top two teams from each pool after Round 1 will advance to Round 2, with the top two teams from each pool moving on to the semi-finals. Both the semi-finals and championship game will use a single-game elimination format.
This time around, all four first round competitions will be played outside the United States leaving the door open for Toronto to potentially host for the first round. Games in the second round will take place in the U.S., which will also host both semi-final contests and the championship. An announcement on the host cities will be made next month.
Baseball Canada’s field staff and team roster will be announced at a later date.