Australia is now the fourth-ranked women’s softball team in the world after the latest standings were released by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
The ranking – down from third place in the previous standings – is a reflection on the Aussie Spirit’s disappointing 10th placing at the Softball World Championship in Surrey, Canada, this year.
The new world rankings come after a reformatting of the WBSC’s rankings methodology to give weight to additional events.
Japan remains ranked No. 1 in the world, after a second-place finish in Surrey.
Winning the gold medal was not enough for the second-placed USA to move up in the rankings, although they narrowed the points gap behind Japan.
Four continents (Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania) are represented within the Top 10, while all five continents have at least one team the Top 25.
Canada has risen to a historic high at No. 3 in the world, continuing on their momentum of winning the bronze medal in Surrey.
New Zealand rounds out the top 5 and China remains at No. 6 .
No. 7 Puerto Rico enters the top 10 for the first time. Their bronze medal finish at the Junior Women’s World Championship helped push them to their highest position to date.
Netherlands remains the highest-ranked European nation at the No. 8 post. Chinese Taipei drops four spots to No. 9. Mexico moves up four spots to round out to the top 10.
Brazil has made the biggest jump, advancing seven spots to No. 11.
The top-ranked nation in Africa is No. 23 Botswana.
The WBSC Softball World Rankings reflect a four-year cycle, with points generated from recent competitions including the Women’s Softball World Championship (max 1150 points), and U-19 Women’s Softball World Championship (max 920 points).
The qualifiers for the softball World Championships, multi-sport and continental games and championships, and all WBSC-sanctioned events involving softball national teams, will be granted world points beginning in 2017.