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Baseball, Softball Combine to Bid For Spot on 2020 Olympics

Dec. 1, 2012

Seven years after they were dropped from the Olympics, softball and baseball are joining forces to form a single international federation in a joint bid to return to the 2020 Games.

The two sports, which were last played at the 2008 Beijing Games, had each failed in individual attempts to win reinstatement for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

The two governing bodies plan to unite into the International Baseball and Softball Federation in hopes of increasing their chances of coming back for the 2020 Games.

Right now the biggest obstacle is getting major league baseball stars to play, but that of course won’t affect women’s softball.

The new proposal calls for men’s baseball and women’s softball to be played at a single venue over seven to 10 days. Each tournament would feature eight teams. Baseball and softball would be two disciplines under a single sports banner.

Softball had been in the Olympics since 1996, and baseball since 1992. The two sports are competing with karate, roller sports, squash, sports climbing, wakeboard and wushu for inclusion in 2020. Only one spot on the Olympic program is open.

The International Olympic Committee executive board will decide in May which sport to recommend for inclusion.

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