The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) today unveiled the 2021 end-of-the-year Softball World Rankings. In the women’s rankings, USA regained the top spot after winning the WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup in December. In the Men’s category, four continents are represented in the top four spots for the first time in history.
The WBSC Softball World Rankings measure National Team performance — from U-12 to top level — in WBSC-sanctioned international competitions over a four-year period. The end-of-the-year rankings reflect the expiration of all remaining points given in 2017.
USA retakes No.1 in Women’s Softball World Rankings
USA regained the top spot in the Women’s Softball World Rankings after winning the WBSC U-18 Women’s Softball World Cup, played in Lima, Peru, in last December. Japan had surpassed USA as the highest-ranked nation in August, after the Tokyo Olympics gold medal win. It’s the only change in the top six.
China dropped two spots after losing their 2017 points and finished the year in ninth place. Italy and Australia moved up to seventh and eighth, respectively.
Peru, one of the biggest gainers after their sixth place finish in the U-18 World Cup, re-entered the top 25 after climbing eight positions to finish the year as the world No. 22.
In addition to the ranking points generated from the U-18 Softball World Cup, movements in the rankings also stem from the expiration of points earned in 2017.
Global representation atop the Men’s Softball World Rankings
The 2021 end-of-the-year WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings shows the sport’s reach across the globe. For the first time in WBSC history, nations from four different continents are listed in the the top-four spots of any ranking. Japan (Asia), Argentina (Americas), Australia (Oceania) and Czech Republic (Europe) sit atop the Men’s Softball World Rankings after 2021. With South Africa (the highest-ranked African nation) moving to 10th place, all five Olympic continents are represented within the top 10.
With almost no official competitions played in 2021 as a result of the ongoing pandemic (the only official tournament was the European Championship), the latest WBSC Men’s Softball World Rankings have been mostly impacted by the expiration of points from 2017.
The top three positions remain unchanged in the Men’s Softball World Rankings. Japan finished the year atop the list with 2,927 points, 110 ahead of second-ranked Argentina (2,817). No. 3 Australia closed out the year with 2,304 points.
The Czech Republic moved up two places, as a result of their European Softball title, elevating the country to fourth in the world, their best position ever, relegating New Zealand and Canada to fifth and sixth, respectively. Czech Republic’s No. 4 ranking also represents the highest position ever for a European nation.