2021 World Baseball Classic

From BR Bullpen

The 2021 World Baseball Classic, the fifth edition of the World Baseball Classic, was originally scheduled to take place in March 9-23, 2021, with games played in three countries: the United States, Japan and Taiwan. Qualifiers for the tournament were scheduled to take place a year earlier, in March 2020, but were postponed indefinitely due to the global coronavirus pandemic that shut down sporting events around the world just as these were about to begin.

The pandemic had sweeping effects on the world of sports, with major events canceled or postponed all over. In international baseball, the 2020 Olympics were postponed by a year, as well as qualifying events leading up to them, and various countries canceled or delayed their baseball seasons. In the circumstances, rumors began to circulate in early May 2020 that it would be impossible to hold the tournament as scheduled. As a result, organizers were looking instead at a date in 2023, allowing for a major international tournament in 2021 - the re-scheduled Olympics - Qualifiers in 2022, and the fifth edition of the WBC the following year. Before this could be confirmed, however, the re-scheduled tournament also needed to be included in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB owners and the MLBPA, as the current one expired at the end of 2021. The process to reach a new CBA was difficult as it resulted in the 2021-2022 lockout, but the new dates for the WBC were made official with the settlement of the protracted labor dispute.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Cesar Brioso: "World Baseball Classic canceled for 2021 because of coronavirus pandemic", USA Today, May 11, 2020. [1]
  • Christina De Nicola: "2021 World Baseball Classic venues revealed: Marlins to host 3 rounds, including finals; others at Chase Field, Taichung, Tokyo", mlb.com, February 25, 2020. [2]

Related Sites[edit]

World Baseball Classic
2006 | 2009 | 2013 | 2017 | 2021 | 2023 | 2026