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IBAF and ISF announce plans to merge to improve chances for 2020 Olympics

by on Jul.24, 2012 @ 11:17 pm, under Other

From the IBAF website:

The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and the International Softball Federation (ISF) have announced their plans to merge into a single International Federation (IF). This announcement follows meetings of both the ISF and IBAF Executive Committees, who will recommend to their respective Congresses the formal merger.

The IBAF President Riccardo Fraccari and ISF President Don Porter communicated their Federations’ intentions in a joint letter to the President and Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In so doing, the sports of (men’s) baseball and (women’s) softball will be presented as two disciplines of a single IF for consideration for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games programme.

And a snip from an Associated Press report (click in for a lot more info):

The IOC executive board will decide next May which sport to recommend for inclusion. The final decision will be made in a vote of the full IOC in Buenos Aires in September 2013.

The absence of major league players in the Olympics was a major factor in the IOC's decision to drop baseball, and the issue remains crucial to any chance of reinstatement. Major League Baseball has been unwilling to shut down the season during the Olympics.

... Porter and Fraccari said they have scheduled a meeting with MLB officials in New York on Aug. 1 to seek a solution.