How Often is the World Baseball Classic Played?


Written by

Michael Rogers



Leo Hagenes

how often is the world baseball classic played

The World Baseball Classic, or WBC, is a distinguished tournament that brings together the finest baseball players around the globe to represent their countries. The goal of the WBC transcends beyond borders, intending to promote baseball on the world’s biggest stage.

So, how often is the World Baseball Classic played?

The WBC occurs every 3-4 years, and a lot of countries and MLB greats are encouraged to participate. Each tournament runs for more or less than a month.

Frequency of the World Baseball Classic


How Often Does the WBC Happen?

The WBC Baseball is held every 3-4 years, with the goal of bringing together different elite systems of teams on the world stage. Each team from all over the globe sends their strongest players to compete with other powerhouse teams.

This tournament is similar to that of the World Cup, with its qualifying rounds held in different continents. Usually, the tournament srats every March, overlapping the MLB training season.

The World Baseball Classic was first an idea in 2005, with its announcement following accordingly in the same year. As years went on, the tournament has been a quadrennial pinnacle for baseball players and enthusiasts alike

The First WBC

After the WBC’s first announcement in 2005, the tournament officially started in 2006. Despite the disapproval from some team owners of the MLB, the WBC pushed through its advocacy of creating a much larger community for baseball as a sport.

Aside from the MLB which pitched in support of the WBC, several baseball unions and organizations like Nippon Professional Baseball and Korea Baseball Organization have also been part of the solid structure of the tournament.

Because of the overwhelming support it received from these unions, opportunities have opened for baseball players to play for their home countries.

In the first stretch of the tournament in 2006, Japan had taken home the crown as that year’s WBC Champions.

The Most Recent WBC

After the 4th iteration of the WBC in 2017, the supposed 5th iteration in 2021 was postponed due to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. With this, the last World Baseball Classic tournament happened in March 2023, with Japan taking the coveted trophy.

The championship game happened last March 21, 2023, which was held in Miami, Florida. This was a toss between two powerhouse teams – USA and Japan, but Japan outlasted the former with a 3-2 standing to clinch the crown.

This is the third time Japan has won a WBC Title since 2006.

The Next WBC

The next World Baseball Classic schedule is set to be played in 2026, 3 years after the 5th iteration and 20 years after the first WBC tournament. There are no specifics on the WBC format yet, but 16 teams have already qualified for the 2026 WBC.

After this iteration, it will be decided whether the MLB and WBC would agree to hold tournaments more often than a span of 3-4 years.

History of the World Baseball Classic


There have been 5 editions of the WBC during the years of 2006, 2009, 2013, 2017, and the latest in 2023. Here is the list of winners in all these iterations:

  • 2006 – Japan, with Daisuke Matzusaka as MVP
  • 2009 – Japan, with Daisuke Matzusaka as MVP
  • 2013 – Dominican Republic, with Robinson Cano as MVP
  • 2017 – United States of America, with Marcus Stroman as MVP
  • 2023 – Japan, with Shohei Ohtani as MVP


To those of you who have long been here watching the magic of baseball, and those of you who are starting to bask in the enchantment of the sport – knowledge is everything. While we wait for the next World Baseball Classic iteration in 2026, we’ll surely enjoy it more if we know the tournament’s deep-rooted advocacy for baseball.

We now know how often is the World Baseball Classic played, and that it brings together the most decorated players from the most decorated teams from around the world to play with one common goal – love of the sport.

Thanks for being here!

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