The World Baseball Classic was first approved by the IBAF in 2004 and contested subsequently in 2006, organised and hosted by Major League Baseball.

The World Baseball Classic was the first international baseball tournament to feature players from the world's top professional leagues on the National Teams of IBAF's National Member Federations.

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.

The 2013 edition of the World Baseball Classic, which included qualifiers and expanded to 28 of National Teams was officially recognised as the Baseball World Cup by the IBAF, giving winners Dominican Republic the title of World Champions.

The policy of the world governing body to recognise the World Baseball Classic as the sole Baseball World Cup was also part of a united effort to streamline and concentrate the men's National Team calendar by discontinuing the staging of the Interncontinent Cup following the 2010 edition and a separate Baseball World Cup after the 2011 edition. 

- See Baseball World Cup

- See Intercontinental Cup