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Statement from the WBSC on Olympic baseball scheduling


Published: Jul 18, 2013

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The following is a statement from the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) on the possible inclusion of baseball and softball in the 2020 Olympic calendar:

 

We have the full and unwavering support of Major League Baseball (MLB) and all the pro leagues around the world. They are fully behind our campaign to include baseball and softball in the Olympic Program - and they are supporting us in numerous substantial ways. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s (WBSC) innovative new format for Olympic baseball – a six-day tournament with eight international teams – there is no need to shut down the MLB season for professional participation. We will work together with all the professional leagues to find creative scheduling solutions to avoid any conflict with the Olympic championship games, but we have seven years to find the right formula. Commissioner Selig is on record in support of baseball and softball in the Olympic Games, and we fully support his commitment to MLB's loyal fans.

“As the globalization trends of baseball and softball continue to accelerate, we are convinced that baseball and softball together will add enormous appeal and value to the 2020 Olympic Games and beyond. With the commercial, economic, broadcast and digital marketing power of the professional game – and the powerful appeal of baseball and softball to young people and women everywhere – our sport would add tremendous value to the Olympic Games and strengthen the movement through our global participation, now 65 million players strong, and fan base.

“The WBSC leadership is fully committed to continue engaging the professional baseball leagues and working with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to find realistic and attractive solutions for the professional players to be available for their national teams, and we are very satisfied with the progress we have been able to achieve thus far and are fully confident that we will continue to take steps forward."

 

The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) was formed under the authority and merger of the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF). The body has been established to provide a unified voice and governance for all disciplines of baseball and softball. The WBSC has 133 national federations under its wing. In 2005, both baseball and softball were voted out of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. In 2011, both sports announced they were preparing a joint proposal to revive play at the 2020 Summer Olympics. Baseball and softball are competing with bids from wrestling and squash to be included on the program for the 2020 Olympics, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) vote will come during its meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on September 8, 2013.

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