Dropping Softball from the Olympics

Dropping Softball from the Olympics

Post by Chrisztopulos » Thu, 05 Sep 2002 14:12:42

I read in horror that the IOC is considering dropping baseball and
softball from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.  The reason:  ?we want
to see if the composition of the program can be improved?.   When asked
about the criteria for a sport being included in the Olympics, Jacques
Rogge stated that it was based on ?popularity, universality, and that it
not cost too much, not hurt an athlete?s health and bring necessary
diversity?.

It was mentioned that Baseball failed to attract top major league
players since the season overlaps with the Olympic Games.  Since when
are the Olympics about Major League players?   Aren?t the Olympics for
amateur athletes, about giving amateur athletes a stage to perform
on?.the ultimate goal to achieve?   How many amateur athletes do you
know of that are currently threatening to go on strike like Major League
Baseball Players?  Will Olympic games in the future be jeopardized by
players who are on strike?  If the Olympics are about Major League and
professionals than we have failed our amateur athletes.  We have lost
all vision of the meaning of amateur sports.

I cannot imagine any other sport that fills the criteria as well as
Softball.  There are 122 national associations/federations registered
with the International Softball Federation (ISF) which organizes and
conducts world championship competition in women's and men's fast pitch,
junior women's and men's fast pitch, women, men and co-ed slow pitch and
women and men's modified pitch.   From friendly pick-up games, to house
league, to rep ball, to international competition, softball is a sport
that promotes a healthy, active lifestyle for players aged 5 to 95
around the world.

The ISF is dedicated to the development of Softball in countries that do
not currently play the sport.  Greece, the host of the 2004 Olympics did
not know what softball was two years ago and are now getting ready to
field their first Olympic Softball Team with the assistance of the
ISF.   They have taken ordinary citizens of Greece and provided them
with the tools, knowledge, and means to play a sport that is enjoyed my
millions of people.

Women?s Softball was introduced on the Olympic stage in 1996 in
Atlanta.   The Olympics are the ultimate goal for women in softball?. we
do not currently have a professional ?League of our Own?.
Softball has proved to be a sport that is popular, played around the
globe, relatively low cost, and improves the health of players of all
ages.  It fulfills all of the criteria set out by the International
Olympic Committee. Dropping softball from the 2008 Olympics would serve
as a huge injustice to our sport and our athletes