The World Baseball Classic was first approved by the IBAF in 2004 and contested subsequently in 2006.

The first pitch of the 2009 WBC final (Stephen Dunn-Getty Images/MLBThe World Baseball Classic is the first international baseball tournament to feature players from all the world's professional leagues on the National Teams of IBAF's Members.

The World Baseball Classic was created in order to further accelerate the global expansion of baseball, as the inclusion of baseball in the Olympics (1984 - 2008) more than doubled IBAF's National Federation Members, exploding from 54 to over 120 NFs while baseball was on the Olympic Programme.