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Cathi Aradi

IOC May Reconsider Softball's Place in Games

It is anticipated that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will reconsider the removal of softball and baseball from the 2012 Olympic Games sometime during the upcoming IOC session, scheduled for February 8-10 in Italy. 

Don Porter, president of the International Softball Federation, is optimistic that softball will regain its place on the London Games program, and has spent much of the last eight months meeting with IOC members to lobby for their support. 

Last summer, softball was taken off the program of the 2012 Summer Games following a vote that was very close and, as a result, led the ISF to immediately seek reconsideration. The upcoming meeting, in conjunction with the XXth Olympic Winter Games in Torino, is the first time the IOC has met since softball and baseball were dropped. 

The ISF President will attend the IOC Session accompanied by ISF Executive Vice President/Olympic Softball Mrs. HE Huixian (China), ISF Deputy Secretary General Ms. LOW Beng Choo (Malaysia), and ISF VP/Europe Mrs. Jelena (Tomic) CUSAK (Croatia). 

Porter said he will go there cautiously optimistic. “We’ve talked to many people who support reconsideration of women’s softball for the 2012 Olympics. Now we need the re-vote to solidify our rightful reinstatement. Millions and millions of softball athletes, coaches, umpires, administrators, parents, and fans around the world are all waiting for it.” 

Porter recently attended the 1st Commonwealth Softball Championship in Australia, and is lobbying to get softball added to the program of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. 

“Our sport is already on the program of 16 multisport games, which shows its universality and thus counters a previously reported criticism of softball not being a global sport,” Porter said. He also pointed out that softball has many additional qualities that mirror what is expected of an Olympic sport, such as a clean doping record, the best athletes participating in the Games, low cost venues that will get continued use following the Olympics, and the promotion of women in sport, to name a few.