Team Canada may have missed its first chance to secure an Olympic berth in baseball, but they’re not done yet.
Next up is the WBSC Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier taking place March 22-26 in Arizona where they can either book their tickets to Tokyo 2020 or keep their Olympic hopes alive for another couple of weeks.
No curveballs here – find out what Team Canada must do to qualify for the first Olympic baseball tournament since Beijing 2008.
What happened at Premier12?
Featuring the top 12 teams in the world, the WBSC Premier12 in November saw two teams qualify for Tokyo 2020. Canada started off on the right foot with a 3-0 win over Cuba but followed that up with successive 3-1 losses to South Korea and Australia, ending their tournament.
Mexico and South Korea claimed the Olympic spots that were up for grabs there, joining Japan (host nation) and Israel (winner of the Africa/Europe Qualifier) as the first four teams to qualify for the six-team Olympic tournament.
Who is playing at the 2020 WBSC Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier?
Canada is one of eight teams fighting for the one Olympic spot that will be awarded at the Baseball Americas Qualifier.
Ranked 12th in the world, Canada was drawn into Group B with Cuba (#8), Venezuela (#9), and Colombia (#14). Group A features the United States (#2), the Dominican Republic (#10), Puerto Rico (#11) and Nicaragua (#15).
Team Canada’s roster for the tournament will be announced closer to the first game.
What is the format of the Americas Olympic Qualifier?
The Baseball Americas Olympic Qualifier will begin with round robins within each group which will be played March 22-24. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super Round. Head to head results among those teams from the Opening Round will carry over into the Super Round standings.
In the Super Round, to be played March 25-26, each team will play two cross-group games and the team with the best record will earn their berth at Tokyo 2020.
The second- and third-place teams from the tournament will get one more chance to win an Olympic spot, advancing to the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier which will take place June 17-21 in Taichung, Taiwan.
Who is playing at the WBSC Baseball Final Qualifier?
The two teams from the Americas will join four others in the last chance tournament – Chinese Taipei (#4), Australia (#6) Netherlands (#7), and China (#21).
A single round robin will be played with every team facing off against each other once. After five days of competition, the top-ranked team will earn the final qualification spot at Tokyo 2020.