Baseball New Zealand becomes the first international baseball federation to join USA Baseball.
The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced the groups and the schedule for the Americas Baseball Olympic Qualifier on Thursday. The event will take place from March 22-27 at Surprise Stadium (Surprise, Ariz.) and Tempe Diable Stadium (Tempe, Ariz).
Visit www.wbsc.org, the official tournament website, for more information. The website is available in six languages: English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.
Team USA is currently ranked No. 2 in the WBSC World Baseball Rankings and will look to join host-country Japan, Korea, Israel and Mexico in the six-team Olympic baseball tournament. The U.S. will open the tournament in Group A with the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico.
The top two teams from Group A and Group B will advance to the Super Round. The winner of the tournament will earn a spot in Tokyo 2020. The second and third-place teams will advance to the WBSC Final Olympic Qualifier in Taiwan.
The opening round schedule for Team USA is as follows:
March 22: USA vs. Nicaragua (7 p.m. MT)
March 23: USA vs. Dominican Republic (7 p.m. MT)
March 24: USA vs. Puerto Rico (7 p.m. MT)