Why baseball/softball deserves an Olympic place

Fri 6 Sep 2013

With the vote on whether baseball/softball, wrestling or squash is given a place at the Olympic Games in 2020 just a couple of days away, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) has listed ten reasons why our sports deserve the place.

According to the WBSC, there are ten very important facts that demonstrate why bringing baseball and softball back to the Games can be good for the Olympics as well as good for our sports.

1.  FAN BASE: baseball and softball have a worldwide fan base of 200 million spectators at professional and amateur levels.

2.  WOMEN: the global growth of softball ensures greater access to sport for women in all cultures.

3.  ACCESSIBLE SPORTS: anyone, anywhere can play baseball or softball, regardless of age, gender, disability, culture, social or economic standing.  There are no barriers to playing our games.

4.  GREAT SPECTATOR EXPERIENCE AT PRO LEVEL: perfect for the Games.

5.  A GROWING BROADCAST AUDIENCE: the World Baseball Classic -- the newest elite global championship -- was broadcast into 200 countries this year.  And broadcast of the World Cup of Softball in July reached 140 countries.

6.  ROBUST GROWTH OF THE INTERNATIONAL GAME: demonstrated with new tournaments such as the Premier 12, the Under-12, and Under-21 in baseball and the Under-16 World Cup in softball.

7.  DIGITAL MEDIA YOUTH APPEAL: baseball has one of the largest digital media operations and youth followings in world sport.

8.  COMMERCIAL APPEAL: baseball and softball have shown a remarkable ability to attract corporate sponsorships to major tournaments.

9.  AN INVESTMENT IN THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL SPORT: the partnership between the WBSC and the IOC would benefit the culture of sport worldwide and strengthen the Olympic Movement.

10.  PARTICIPATION IN EMERGING NATIONS: millions of young boys and girls would have new opportunities to dream about playing for their national teams in the Olympic Games.
 

Dramatic change

"Baseball and softball have globalised dramatically over the past 10 years, with player, fan and club growth on every continent and in many cultures," said Don Porter Co-President of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, which is leading the campaign to have softball and baseball included at the 2020 Olympic Games.

"A continuous fan growth, combined with exciting cutting edge digital media appeal for young generations, make baseball/softball a relevant candidate to join the Olympic Movement," said the WBSC's other Co-President, Riccardo Fraccari.

The final decision on which sport will gain a place at the 2020 Games will be made at the IOC Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sunday 8 September.

The Congress will also choose a host city for 2020 from Tokyo, Madrid and Istanbul, and elect a new IOC President from among six candidates who are running for the post.

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