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Softball's Olympic Reinstatement


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#21
jlurban

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Two-time Olympian Jessica Mendoza (2004 & 2008) has been chosen as one of twelve softball players from around the world to participate in the Athlete Ambassador program for the BackSoftball Campaign aimed at getting softball reinstated for the Olympics in 2016. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Michele Smith (1996 & 2000) will serve as chairperson for the group (see separate post).

Jessica, Michele and eleven other Athlete Ambassadors will represent softball at different international events, helping to get the word out about softball’s attempt to reestablish itself as an Olympic sport. The International Olympic Committee votes on whether or not to reinstate softball into the 2016 Summer Games at their Session in October 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark (see separate post).

#22
jlurban

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News article from GamesBids.com, posted 4/4/09, 10:22 AM CST:

Softball Makes Progress Towards Olympic Reinstatement

Softball is one of seven sports vying for a spot on the Olympic program starting in 2016. The IOC will meet in October in Copenhagen to vote on at least two new sports to add to the Summer Games but for the International Softball Federation (ISF) this is a reinstatement campaign since Softball was already an Olympic event over four Olympiads starting in 1996.

Last year the ISF launched BackSoftball—an initiative to get softball back into the Olympics that includes a 10-point blueprint of what it hopes to achieve.

"We've addressed most of the issues; some slower than others so that by the time we get to the IOC [International Olympic Committee] in June, we can show that we've made progress," President of ISF Don Porter explained to GamesBids.com.

"We've positioned the issues in front of IOC members and we keep softball in the news."

Porter outlined further achievements including the addition of more major competitions and attracting attention from the media—especially television.

A key element of the blueprint is to increase the number of dedicated Softball Federations that will help increase the number of worldwide participants in the sport.

"There are seven or eight new federations about to be organized and were going to try to accelerate that. There should be four or five in the next month or two," Porter said.

As a strategy to drive interest in the Middle East, the ISF became involved in "Generations For Peace"—an initiative of Jordan's Prince Feisal to help children become involved in sport and to promote sports leadership in the region. Softball's inclusion in the program has given young females opportunities to participate and as a result, Jordan has established a National Softball Federation and the ISF has made inroads in the region.

But reinstatement won't come easy.

"We've got some really good competitors," Porter said.

"It's hard to gauge [how we are doing], it's a work in progress. Softball has many elements including universality, growth, youth and female participation."

In another positive step forward, the ISF is opening a new office in Lausanne, Switzerland this month in order to escalate their level of communication with the IOC—also based in Lausanne.

Several new events and tournaments are scheduled between now and the decision date in October, and new softball regional training centres are opening in Santo Domingo, Moscow, Rome and Beijing.

Softball will be competing against baseball, golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller sports for its chance to be reinstated on the Olympic program.



#23
SpartanIlliniCub

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Jamie Gray's "Save Softball" petition continues to get new signatures every day. Her second petition is currently up to 3,487, and has 4 new signatures today!

#24
SpartanIlliniCub

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A segment from HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumble" talks about softball's removal from the Olympics and includes an interview with Don Porter, President of the International Softball Federation. It also features an interview with Jennie Finch and Jessica Mendoza about their reaction to the news that softball is no longer an Olympic sport. Good segment!



#25
Gigi

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This is a great idea. It could also help many countries such as Peru, where softball is unpopular but well known for many
young girls that want to develop this sport and need support in order to reach their softball goals.

I play on a team called the Black Hocks. I am trying to improve my pitching but here is still difficult doing that.

Anyway this forum is awesome and I hope you keep in touch with somebody who is interested in knowing about us!

See you soon!

Gigi

#26
KCSoftball

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I was reading where London may put cricket in the 2012 Olympics. Now that's an international sport! The Back Softball group is missing the boat—why are they not working on England's softball program so they will want to put softball in the 2012 London Olympics? They are allowed to put 2 sports on the Olympic list for 2012!

#27
jaybird921

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I believe that both softball and baseball will be reinstated. I think the only reason they were voted out is because England does not play either sports and does not want to build stadiums for them.

#28
GuitarJoe

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They do in fact play both baseball and softball in England. The Great Britain National team has participated in the World Cup in Oklahoma City as well as in several other international competitions.

www.baseballsoftballuk.com

#29
KCSoftball

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England is building stadiums for softball & baseball anyway. Frankly, I am not holding my breath about reinstatement. The IOC is a pompos group of old men (and women) who want people to kiss their a--. Hopefully I am very wrong! All one needs to do is look at what sports(?) are in the Olympics and what sports are not in. Those people don't care about sports, only about their own standing in the IOC and what's in it for them!

#30
jlurban

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I was reading where London may put cricket in the 2012 Olympics.

Ironically, cricket was probably the forerunner of the game we know and love as softball! Read my article Is Cricket the Ancient Ancestor of Softball?

#31
KCSoftball

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BMX, mountain bike, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline & synchronized swimming are some of the sports in the Summer Olympics.

Now, maybe cricket? And these people dropped softball? No rhyme or reason!

#32
SpartanIlliniCub

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I believe the IOC has one primary goal: maximize revenue from the Olympics. I am hopeful the World Baseball Classic, which was wildly successful (mostly overseas in East Asia), will force the IOC to reinstate baseball—and hopefully softball will follow along behind. The IOC won't let pride get in the way of profits, and the WBC is proof that baseball (and softball by extension) has a massive international following that can translate into dollars in the IOC's coffers. Check out the WBC stats listed below—the IOC can't ignore these numbers!

  • The final between Japan and Korea on March 23 drew 54,846 fans, the largest crowd in World Baseball Classic history.
  • A total of 141,854 fans attended the three games in Los Angeles over Championship weekend...43,630 fans attended the Japan vs. United States Semifinal on March 22, the second largest-crowd in World Baseball Classic history.
  • ESPN’s telecasts of this year’s semifinals (Korea vs. Venezuela Saturday, March 21, and USA vs. Japan Sunday, March 22) and final (Korea vs. Japan, Monday, March 23) averaged 1,820,000 viewers (up 24 percent) and a 1.4 rating (up eight percent).
  • In Japan, the final earned a 36.4 rating despite starting at 10:30 AM on Tuesday morning.
  • Sunday night’s telecast of Japan vs. USA on ESPN was the most-watched World Baseball Classic telecast in U.S. history by posting a 2.2 rating.
  • The 2.2 rating of Japan vs. USA more than doubled the 1.0 rating both semifinals produced in 2006.
  • Japan vs. USA was the most watched sports event on North American cable television last week.
  • More than 15,000 fans watched the final from Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, South Korea.

www.sportsagentblog.com

#33
Successfulgirl

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According to Around The Rings, softball has made it to the "Final Seven" and is still in the running to be reinstated to the 2016 Olympic program. Sweet. In August, two of the seven sports trying to score a spot on the program (including baseball, golf and karate) will receive news that could be as memorable as one's Sweet Sixteen birthday.

All seven sports are conducting "Hail Mary" presentations in June to the Executive Board of the IOC. In August the IOC EB will narrow the group of seven down to two. These will be submitted to the IOC for final approval around October 6th at the XIII Olympic Congress & 121st IOC Session in Copenhagen, Denmark.

#34
KCSoftball

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People need to read the Around The Rings piece above. One will then see the IOC is all about "the money." They want our money from TV, etc., but don't want us! The IOC is all politics and money! Not about sport! Sport is only the hammer they hold over everyone's heads.

#35
sballer4life

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When the IOC removed baseball and softball from the 2012 Olympic program, it didn't replace them. So it's adding two back for 2016—hopefully one will be softball!

The "Final Seven" candidates sports:*

1. Baseball
2. Golf
3. Karate
4. Roller Sports
5. Rugby
6. Squash
7. Softball
-----
*Two will be selected in August 2009 by the IOC Executive Board, then the entire IOC will vote for approval around October 6, 2009.

Notice that softball and baseball are not "tied together." That's a huge plus, as it had been widely speculated that baseball's steroid scandal was one of the reasons softball was dropped from the Olympic program in the first place (see the separate topic The Unthinkable Question, Does the NPF Drug-test?).

#36
KCSoftball

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The campaign for softball's Olympic reinstatement continues:

BackSoftball team continues world tour at AIPS Congress in Milan

Softball pledges $100,000 for the sport in Africa

#37
MeghanBrennan

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Don Porter, International Softball Federation President, continues to focus on spreading softball around the globe.

Check this out on ESPN: http://sports.espn.g...amp;section=oly.

#38
KCSoftball

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For baseball's perspective on this: http://www.awbf.org/...o_add_women.htm.

Baseball's proposal is to add a women's component to its bid to get reinstated for the 2016 Olympics, after failing to unite with women's softball. I for one don't know of many girls playing baseball.

Another piece of the pie gone! It's getting smaller and smaller!! :)

#39
ATrain5

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According to ESPN.com, Don Porter (the Internation Softball Federation president) said a joint bid with softball and baseball, to make the sports eligible for the 2016 Olympics, is unlikely to happen—the main reason being all the steroid allegations baseball has been surrounded with. Now, it's a good reason not to join them (baseball), but do you think that it is a smart move? Wouldn't two be stronger than one?

#40
SpartanIlliniCub

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TODAY on ESPN the top story was allegations of Roger Clemens taking steroids during his career. I guess there is a new book coming out that accuses him of taking them. ESPN just finished reporting A-Rod's confession to taking steroids in 2003 when he was with the Texas Rangers. Baseball is getting such bad press right now, the best thing for softball to do is distance itself as much as possible. Baseball is public relations poison right now.




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