NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The International Softball Federation (ISF) and the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), which are separate and independent international federations recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as governing their respective sports, announced today that they have agreed to explore the feasibility of collaborating on a single, joint presentation to the IOC seeking to restore softball and baseball onto the programme of the Olympic Games in 2020.
The IOC and the Local Olympic Organizing Committees (LOOCs) have faced increasing financial and organizational pressures in recent years as a result of the growth of the Olympic Games and the accompanying new venues and numbers of athletes that must be accommodated. In a 2005 vote undertaken with a view to controlling the size of future Olympic Games, softball and baseball were dropped from the 2012 Olympic Games programme and subsequently were not reinstated in a 2009 vote for the 2016 programme.
Mindful of the concerns and pressures facing the IOC and the LOOCs, the IBAF and ISF are analyzing the savings and the reduced impact that may be derived from a combined proposal that women’s softball and men’s baseball share a venue and share space in the Olympic Village for the Summer Games in 2020.
Should an agreement be reached to work together, the ISF and the IBAF believe that they would be able to demonstrate compelling reasons why, under such a proposal, their respective sports should be reinstated onto the Olympic programme.
The IBAF and the ISF would work closely with the IOC to assure that any joint proposal would accomplish their goals in a manner that complies with the Olympic Charter.
The ISF and the IBAF will meet again – perhaps as soon as next week’s SportAccord convention in London – to talk further about the possibility of the two federations working together on such a proposal.
- Courtesy of the ISF