We received this press release that is worth sharing about women’s softball being missed in London. I would add to it that men’s baseball was also missed. We would like to see both women’s and men’s softball, along with women’s and men’s baseball added to the games in the future. There is no doubt that both are growing sports globally and that they are great spectator sports that would generate both great television as well as live audiences. I feel for the baseball and softball athletes that are currently in their prime that will never have the opportunity to compete at an Olympic Games.
You will notice from the press release below that men’s baseball and women’s softball have joined forces in an effort to get those two sports back in the games. In the process, the international baseball and softball organizations are ignoring part of their membership (that being women baseball players and male softball players). Presumably, the goal would be to start with trying to get men’s baseball and women’s softball back into the Olympics and then both organizations would work to have women’s baseball/men’s softball added at a later time.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 15, 2012
SOFTBALL WAS MISSED IN LONDON
Sentiment was Echoed Throughout Traditional and Social Media
PLANT CITY, FLORIDA (USA) – The 2012 Summer Olympics in London closed this week with medals, records, and memories flowing out of England. One of the recurring stories, however, was about a sport that wasn’t in this year’s Games.
An article entitled “OLYMPIC SOFTBALL STILL IN THE NEWS,” posted last week on www.ISFsoftball.org, included a list of links to stories published in a variety of newspapers about the sport being missed at this year’s Games, after having been a medal sport at the previous four Summer Olympics (1996-2008). In fact, still more articles have been written since that posting on the official ISF website.
“I certainly congratulate the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and LOCOG (London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games), and LOCOG’s Sebastian Coe and his marvelous army of volunteers on a very successful Games these last two weeks,” International Softball Federation President Don Porter said. “The 2012 Olympics were well-organized and certainly were a sporting spectacle worthy of a ‘ten’.
“That said, we certainly wish our sport would have been there once again, especially when we all saw how many female athletes were making their mark. But, as the Games inspire young athletes to aim for the pinnacle of their sport, we too can use this as an opportunity to fuel our campaign to give softball players the best chance of realizing their dream in 2020.”
The ISF president’s comments were in reference to the vote next year on which one sport will be added to the programme for the 2020 Olympics. Softball is one of the sports on the shortlist announced last year by the IOC from which they will consider a candidate to add to the Games in eight years time.
The social conversation around the London Olympics very much included softball too, with their being a 760 percent increase from a week ago in users “Talking about this” relative to the Facebook page for the official Olympic softball reinstatement campaign page (www.facebook.com/BackSoftball). Twitter was very much alive with talk of softball’s absence too (#BackSoftball). And, of all the shortlisted sports, softball sits first in terms of total video views on its official YouTube channel (almost 270 thousand).
As seen on the aforementioned Facebook page, one of the Olympic teams in London showed their support for softball. The United States women’s water polo team posed “softball style” in Team USA batting jerseys for a picture in the Athletes Village. And, country music star Jason Aldean even sent out a tweet that noted softball’s absence from the 2012 Olympics.
The final vote for the sport to be added to the 2020 Games will be held in September 2013 at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires.
About the International Softball Federation
The ISF is the world governing body of the sport as recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federations). Softball (women’s fast pitch) made its Olympic debut at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. There are 127 affiliated countries in the ISF and millions of participants in the sport worldwide. The sport is contested in more than a dozen multi-sport Games. Learn additional details about the Federation at www.ISFsoftball.org.
MEDIA: For more information, please contact ISF Director of Communications Bruce Wawrzyniak at brucew@ISFsoftball.org, +1-813-864-0100, or +1-813-453-8762.