With a bigger field than ever, the 2023 World Baseball Classic promises to bring some of the most exciting baseball the international event has to offer.

For the first time, pool play is going to be four groups of five rather than four groups of four, raising the number of teams to 20 from 16. The three favorites: The United States, the Dominican Republic, and Japan, are all in different pools as well, meaning we could end up seeing an utterly stacked semifinal round.

However, to get there won’t be a cakewalk. They must first take one of the first two seed in pools and then win a quarterfinal round. With all of the talent playing in this year’s World Baseball Classic, there are numerous obstacles on the way to Miami.

Here’s how the World Baseball Classic will work in 2023, as it’s a bit different than previous years.

MORE: World Baseball Classic schedule 2023: Dates, times, channels for every game

World Baseball Classic 2023 format


16 teams automatically qualified for this year’s World Baseball Classic, and four got in through qualifiers. Those four are Nicaragua, Panama, Great Britain, and the Czech Republic.

Qualifiers took place in September 2022, and all 16 teams who participated in 2017 automatically qualified. Qualifiers were played in two pools: Pool A in Germany and Pool B in Panama. The top two teams from each pool got in after surviving double elimination.


Pools will begin March 8 in Chinese Taipei and conclude March 15, which will also mark the first day of quarterfinal play.

In pools, teams will each play four games round-robin style. The top two nations from each pool will go on to quarterfinals. Pools are being played in Chinese Taipei, Japan, and the United States.

Pool tiebreakers

Because each team plays each other once, ties in the standings will simply go to the winner of the head-to-head matchup. There will be no tiebreaker games or questions of runs per game. However, if three teams end up tied, the following criteria are followed:

  • Lowest quotient of fewest runs allowed divided by the number of defensive outs recorded in games between the teams that are tied.
  • Lowest quotient of fewest earned runs allowed divided by the number of defensive outs recorded in games between the teams that are tied.
  • Highest batting average in games in that round between the teams tied.


This is where things are changing. Instead of pools resulting in Pools E & F being formed, the quarterfinals will kick off a tournament-style bracket.

In the quarterfinals, which will be played in Tokyo and Miami, the first seed from Pool A will play the second seed of Pool B, the first seed of Pool B will play the second seed of Pool A, the first seed of Pool C will play the second seed of Pool D, and the second seed of Pool C will play the first seed of Pool D (in variable terms: A1 vs. B2, B1 vs. A2, C1 vs. D2, and D1 vs. C2). Pools A & B will play in Tokyo, and Pools C & D will play in Miami.


From here, the tournament will move to Miami’s LoanDepot Park for good. In the semifinals, the winners of quarterfinal Game 1 and quarterfinal Game 3 will play, and the winners of quarterfinal Game 2 and quarterfinal Game 4 will play.

Game 1 is A1 vs. B2 and Game 3 is D1 vs. C3. That will be the first semifinal. Inversely, the second will be Game 2, or B1 vs. A2, vs. Game 4, or C1 vs. D2.


The finals, also played in Miami, will be the winners of the semifinals.

List of World Baseball Classic pools for 2023

The initial games of the World Baseball Classic are broken into four five-team pools. They’re as follows:

Pool A — Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium (Taichung, Chinese Taipei)

  • Chinese Taipei
  • Netherlands
  • Cuba
  • Italy
  • Panama

Pool B — Tokyo Dome (Tokyo, Japan)

  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia
  • China
  • Czech Republic

Pool C — Chase Field (Phoenix, Arizona)

  • USA
  • Mexico
  • Colombia
  • Canada
  • Great Britain

Pool D — LoanDepot Park (Miami, Florida)

  • Puerto Rico
  • Dominican Republic
  • Venezuela
  • Israel
  • Nicaragua

World Baseball Classic 2023 bracket

Here’s a look at the full bracket:

Per www.mlb.com/world-baseball-classic

World Baseball Classic 2023 standings

This section will be updated once games begin. 

World Baseball Classic 2023 schedule

Here’s the full list of WBC games in 2023.

Pool A (Chinese Taipei)

March 711 p.m.Cuba vs. NetherlandsFS1
March 86 a.m.Panama vs. Chinese TaipeiFS2
March 811 p.m. Panama vs. NetherlandsFS2
March 96 a.m.Italy vs. CubaTubi
March 911:30 p.m.Cuba vs. PanamaFS1
March 106 a.m.Italy vs. Chinese TaipeiTubi
March 1011 p.m.Panama vs. ItalyFS1
March 116 a.m.Netherlands vs. Chinese TaipeiFS2
March 1111 p.m.Chinese Taipei vs. CubaFS2
March 127 a.m.Netherlands vs. ItalyFS2

Pool B (Tokyo)

March 810 p.m.Australia vs. South KoreaFS1
March 95 a.m.China vs. JapanFS2
March 910 p.m.Czech Republic vs. ChinaTubi
March 105 a.m.Korea vs. JapanFS2
March 1010 p.m.China vs. AustraliaFS2
March 115 a.m.Czech Republic vs. JapanFS1
March 1110 p.m.Czech Republic vs. KoreaFS1
March 126 a.m.Japan vs. AustraliaFS1
March 1211 p.m.Australia vs. Czech RepublicFS2
March 136 a.m.Korea vs. ChinaFS2

Pool C (Phoenix)

March 112:30 p.m.Colombia vs. MexicoFox
March 1110 p.m.Great Britain vs. USAFox
March 123 p.m.Great Britain vs. CanadaFS1
March 1210 p.m.Mexico vs. USAFS1
March 133 p.m.Colombia vs. Great BritainFS2
March 1310 p.m.Canada vs. USAFS1
March 143 p.m.Canada vs. ColombiaFS2
March 1410 p.m.Great Britain vs. MexicoFS1
March 153 p.m.Mexico vs. CanadaFS2
March 1510 p.m.USA vs. ColombiaFS1

Pool D (Miami)

March 1112 p.m.Nicaragua vs. Puerto RicoFS2
March 117 p.m.Dominican Republic vs. VenezuelaFS1
March 1212 p.m.Nicaragua vs. IsraelFS2
March 127 p.m.Venezuela vs. Puerto RicoFS1
March 1312 p.m.Dominican Republic vs. NicaraguaFS2
March 137 p.m.Israel vs. Puerto RicoFS1
March 1412 p.m.Nicaragua vs. VenezuelaFS2
March 147 p.m.Israel vs. Dominican RepublicFS2
March 1512 p.m.Venezuela vs. IsraelFS2
March 157 p.m.Puerto Rico vs. Dominican RepublicFS2

MORE: 2023 World Baseball Classic: 10 pitcher-hitter matchups we can’t wait to see


March 156 a.m.Tokyo Pool B runner-up vs. Pool A winnerFS2
March 166 a.m.Tokyo Pool A runner-up vs. Pool B winnerFS2
March 177 p.m.MiamiPool C runner-up vs. Pool D winnerFS1
March 187 p.m.MiamiPool D runner-up vs. Pool C winnerFox


March 197 p.m.MiamiQuarterfinal 1 winner vs. Quarterfinal 3 winnerFS1
March 207 p.m.MiamiQuarterfinal 2 winner vs. Quarterfinal 4 winnerFS1


March 217 p.m.MiamiSemifinal 1 winner vs. Semifinal 2 winnerFS1

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