Published on : 01/12/2018
By : Arista Asmawati
The blue-and-white is moving its way to the top.
Israel made the biggest jump in the World Baseball Softball Confederation World Rankings in 2017, advancing from No. 41 to No. 19.
The blue-and-white defeated four Top 10 nations – Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Korea and Netherlands – in its World Baseball Classic debut in March of last year.
Team Israel ended the WBC with a 4-2 record, reaching the last eight of the tournament. Israel registered three consecutive victories in Pool A in Seoul, South Korea to advance to the second round in Tokyo.
The blue-and-white then beat Cuba, before losing to the Netherlands and Japan, who both went on to progress to the semifinals.
Elsewhere, first-time winner of the World Baseball Classic, the United States moved to within 321 points of top-ranked Japan, cutting the lead by 450 points. USA Baseball National Teams are the current title holders of three WBSC World Championships: U-12 Baseball World Cup, U-18 Baseball World Cup and World Baseball Classic.
The absence of the US in the first two editions of the U-23 Baseball World Cup (2014 and 2016) has been significant, with Japan, the current U-23 world champion, maintaining the No. 1 ranking by earning 1,236 points in these two events.
Baseball’s world rankings weigh a country’s national team performance in WBSC-sanctioned international competitions (from U-12 to Professional) over a four-year period. Points earned from the 2013 WBC have expired.