The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), in collaboration with event-host USA Baseball, today announced the postponing of the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 due to player, personnel and spectator health and safety measures amid concerns surrounding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
Dates for the rescheduled Baseball Americas Qualifier in Arizona will be announced at a later time.
The Americas qualifier was set to take place in Surprise and Tempe, Arizona, from March 22-26. After consulting with governmental and medical authorities, as well as following the guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO), the WBSC and the Local Organizing Committee (USA Baseball) jointly decided to postpone the event.
"The health and safety of our athletes, coaches, staff and fans remain the top priority of USA Baseball, and we applaud the international federation's shared commitment to the overall well-being of athletes globally," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. "We will continue to collaborate with the World Baseball Softball Confederation in order to deliver a world-class international baseball event in the future. Additionally, our staff will continue working diligently with our coaches, scouts and Major League Baseball in preparation for this tournament, as we remain dedicated to our goal of representing the United States at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."
The eight national teams set to compete in the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier include host-country USA, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
The winner from the WBSC Baseball Americas Qualifier will earn a berth into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, while the second- and third-place finishers will have a second chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020 at the Final Qualifier in Taichung and Douliu, Taiwan, which has been rescheduled from April 1-5 to June 17-21.
The winner of the Final Qualifier will earn the sixth and final berth into the Tokyo 2020 Olympic baseball tournament.
Four nations have already qualified for baseball at the 2020 Olympics: host Japan, Israel, Korea and Mexico.