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In fact, the final series in 20 rank among the highest-rated sporting events in Japanese television history.
The tournament format featured round-robin group play in the first and second rounds, followed by single-elimination semifinals and finals.
Qualifying consists of four four-team modified double-elimination tournaments, with the winners earning the last four slots in the main tournament.
The addition of qualifying has so far allowed four nations (Brazil, Colombia, Israel, and Spain) from outside the original 16 to compete in the WBC.
The World Baseball Classic (WBC) is an international baseball tournament sanctioned from 2006 to 2013 by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and after 2013 by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).
A total of 20 nations have competed in the WBC proper, with 14 appearing in all four editions.
Puerto Rico had been undefeated in the tournament before losing in the final, its second straight runner-up finish.
The first two iterations of the Classic featured the same 16 teams, chosen by invitation.
After the conclusion of each WBC championship game, players from the losing team receive silver medals, followed by the winners receiving gold medals.
The third-place team receives bronze medals at a separate date.A qualifying round was added leading into the 2013 tournament and takes place in the year before the WBC proper.