WBSC has launched a new web platform for its world rankings ©WBSC

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has unveiled their first-ever dedicated world rankings web platform.

Available here, the launch coincides with the confirmation that Japan and the United States are top of the respective men's baseball and women's softball world rankings for 2018.

The new WBSC world rankings website features functions such as tracking, trends, top climbers, charts, country-by-country comparisons, ranking by continent, points earned by each national team/Federation per competition, methodology, and a world rankings news section in six languages - English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.

WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said: "This marks a major milestone, as the baseball and softball world rankings web platform is now among the biggest of any sport.

"WBSC is proud to unveil this new innovative service for the worldwide baseball-softball community and all WBSC's members who have been requesting this.

"On the commercial side, the world rankings are among WBSC's top generators of traffic as well as media and fan engagement, and we will soon be announcing a new rankings partner."

A comparison chart on the newly launched WBSC world rankings web platform ©WBSC
A comparison chart on the newly launched WBSC world rankings web platform ©WBSC

Tracking of the WBSC world rankings is available dating back to the inception of the baseball world rankings in 2009 and the launch of the softball world rankings in 2016.

WBSC oversees and manages baseball's and softball's official world rankings across four disciplines - men's and women's baseball, and men's and women's softball - and across 135 countries and territories.

With the launch of the new web platform, WBSC also released the final 2018 rankings in men's baseball and women's softball, which include a record number of 76 nations.

Japan earned the most ranking points in 2018 to overtake the United States and reclaim the number one ranking in the world in men's baseball.

Absent at the biggest international event of the year, the Under-23 Baseball World Cup, the US fell to number two, despite winning both the Under-15 Baseball World Cup and the Under-18 Pan-Am Championship this year.

South Korea earned the third-most points this year to hold their number three ranking, while Chinese Taipei maintained fourth place.

Mexico won their first-ever World Championship in baseball, at the Under-23 World Cup, helping the nation to earn the fourth-most points in 2018.

Japan earned the most rankings points in 2018, but the United States remain top of the women's softball list.

Canada are third with Puerto Rico and Mexico advancing to fourth and fifth place.