Everything You Need to Know About the World Baseball Classic

From key dates to tournament structure, here's a rundown of important details about the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

SAN DIEGO, CA - MARCH 14: Puerto Rico Second baseman Javier Baez, Puerto Rico Third baseman Carlos Correa and Puerto Rico Shortstop Francisco Lindor look on during an instant replay during the second inning of a World Baseball Classic second round Pool F game against Dominican Republic on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at Petco Park in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The World Baseball Classic is fast approaching! For the first time in six years, teams from around the world will compete in this must-watch tournament. Stars like Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Francisco Lindor, and so many more will face off for the chance to hoist the WBC trophy.

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming event.

Qualifying Teams

The WBC has been expanded from 16 to 20 teams this year. All countries that participated in the 2017 tournament automatically qualified, while other nations competed for the four additional tournament berths. Great Britain, Panama, Nicaragua, and the Czech Republic won the qualifiers and were awarded spots in the tournament.

The teams have been split into four pools for the first round. Pools are loosely determined by location.

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Pool APool BPool CPool D
Chinese TaipeiJapanUnited StatesPuerto Rico
NetherlandsSouth KoreaMexicoVenezuela
CubaAustraliaColombiaDominican Republic
PanamaCzech RepublicGreat BritainNicaragua

WBC Roster Announcements

Preliminary rosters have been announced for most teams in the tournament, with a final list of players due by Tuesday, February 7. The official rosters will be revealed on Thursday, February 9 on MLB Network.

Details about preliminary rosters can be found on Wikipedia, as can details about finalized rosters (once they are announced).

Tournament Structure

Round One

The first round of the WBC begins on March 8 and runs through March 15. In the first round, each team plays every other team in their pool. For example, Team USA will play Great Britain, Mexico, Canada, and finally Colombia. The top two teams in each pool will advance to the second round.

Round Two

Eight teams in total will advance to the second round. From this round onward, all games are single-elimination, meaning the winning team advances and the losing team heads home. The teams from Pool A and B will compete in Tokyo, with the winner of Pool A taking on the runner-up from Pool B and vice versa. The teams from Pool C and D will do the same in Miami.

The second round will take place from March 15 to 18.

Championship Round

Round three, also called the Championship Round, will take place at loanDepot Park in Miami. The winners of the Pool A/B quarterfinal will face off first on March 19, followed by the winners of the Pool C/D quarterfinal on March 20. The winner-take-all championship game will take place on March 21.

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The WBC does not have a third place playoff game.

WBC Locations

Three countries have been selected to host the WBC: Japan, Taiwan, and the United States.

Pool A will play at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium in Beitun District, Taichung, Taiwan. This stadium also played host in the first round of the 2013 WBC.

Pool B will play at Tokyo Dome in Bunkyo, Tokyo. Tokyo Dome is the home stadium of the Yomiuri Giants of NPB.

Pool C will play at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, home ballpark of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Chase Field also hosted first-round games in the 2006 and 2013 WBC tournaments.

Finally, Pool D will play at loanDepot Park, home of the Miami Marlins.

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The second round will be played at Tokyo Dome (for Pools A and B) and loanDepot Park (for Pools C and D). The championship round will be played at loanDepot Park.

How to Watch the World Baseball Classic

Fox Sports will broadcast the entire WBC tournament in the United States. Games will be aired across FOX, FS1, FS2, FOX Deportes, Tubi, and the FOX Sports app.

WBC Important Dates

Feb. 7: Official rosters due

Feb. 9: Official rosters announced

Mar. 3-6: Team arrivals

Mar. 5-9: Exhibition games

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Mar. 8: Tournament begins

Mar. 15: Second round begins

Mar. 19: First quarterfinal

Mar. 20: Second quarterfinal

Mar. 21: Championship game