Today, the World Baseball and Softball Confederation presented the new world rankings baseball. In this ranking, the Dutch moved one place up, from the ninth to the eighth thanks to several good performances of several national teams. The other European top team, Italy, lost two places and dropped to the twelfth spot in the rankings, barely enough for the Premier 12 which will be played next year.
Thanks to another terrific performance by team Kingdom of the Netherlands during the 2017 World Baseball Classic, the Dutch earned a lot of points. But this wasn’t the only reason why the Dutch rose to the eighth spot. Several youth teams performed well during the European championships they participated in.
The Dutch earned 1,133 points in total. The U23 team won the European championship, beating the host Czech Republic in a nerve wrecking final. The U18 team earned some points despite their eighth place during the World Cup. And of course the U15 that was the runner-up during the European championship in which they fell to Germany in the final in Wiener Neustadt in Austria. Also, the U12 team earned points with a third place during the U12 European Cup.
Only three countries managed to collect more points than the Kingdom of the Netherlands. No. 1 in the rankings, Japan, earned 1,604 points, the USA (2nd) collected 2,127 points and Korea (no. 3) collected 1,178 points.
Australia made the biggest jump from place 11 right into the top ten to the seventh spot. Especially Australian youth teams performed well and earned the Aussies that big jump.
The Netherlands can earn the most points in 2018 with the U15 World Cup and the U23 World Cup. It is up to them to collect enough points, so the Dutch will remain in the top ten and secure a spot in the Premier 12 tournament, which will serve as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Even though the Italian U12 team won the European Cup, Italy drops two spots, out of the top ten. With the team in the twelfth spot, it will be questionable if the team will manage to stay in the top twelve.