Tag Archive | "Olympics"

WBSC appoints Kenyon & Kenyon LLP’s Colbert as General Counsel, Cuba’s Castro as Global Ambassador

Press Release by WBSC

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The WBSC, baseball and softball’s world ruling body, at its executive meeting in the Olympic Capital this past Saturday, appointed Edward Colbert of the Washington D.C. office of law firm Kenyon & Kenyon LLP as WBSC General Counsel and Dr. Antonio Castro as WBSC Global Ambassador.

Colbert, a partner at Kenyon, considered by Fortune 500 companies as one of the most elite intellectual property law firms in the world, has significant experience in international intellectual property licensing and acquisitions, and manages the trademark portfolios of leading retailers, companies and organizations worldwide.

Colbert helped create and shape the United States Olympic Committee licensing program and was involved in the licensing and enforcement of Olympic marketing rights in the United States and certain related global rights for the U.S. Olympic Teams. He serves as an arbitrator on the International Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne and for the American Arbitration Association.

WBSC Global Ambassador Castro, who has been a strong advocate of sports diplomacy and baseball and softball’s bid to return to the Olympic stage, has served as an executive committee member of the International Baseball Federation since 2009 and will have an expanded role within the WBSC, particularly as the geopolitical landscape evolves, and will have a seat (without vote) on the WBSC Executive Board.

Castro, who was present for WBSC’s meetings in Lausanne, was also a member of WBSC’s official presenting team in which baseball and softball finished second in voting – only behind wrestling – for a place in the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games, a vote that took place at the International Olympic Committee session in Buenos Aires, Argentina in September 2013.

The WBSC Executive Committee also appointed Italy’s Vincenzo La Rocca as a member of the WBSC Legal Commission. La Rocca oversaw legal proceedings at the first-ever WBSC Congress last year, which formalised the historic union of baseball’s and softball’s two independent international sport federations.

Castro, Colbert and La Rocca will assume their positions within the WBSC leadership immediately.

Copyright © 2014 WBSC. All rights reserved.

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Baseball and Softball Are Still in the Running for the 2020 Olympic Games

Earlier this year in April the Baseball and Softball Federations combined with the ultimate goal of having the sports return to the Olympic Games. Through this combination the World Baseball Softball Confederation was born.

The first goal of the WBSC was to get the sports on the shortlist to return to the games in 2020.

That first goal was achieved this past week when the IOC Executive Board announced that baseball/softball would be on the short list. They will join wrestling and squash on that short list with one to be chosen this coming September when voting will take place by the IOC Congress in Argentina.

There were eight different presentations from International Federations with only the three chosen to move on to the final round of voting. The Programme Commission Chairman, Franco Carraro, announced after the convention that the vote required nine rounds of voting.

The IOC Congress will meet this September in Buenos Aires. They will first approve a core list of 25 sports. In addition to those 25 sports, rugby 7 and golf will be added for the 2020 Games. The final sport, there will be 28 sports, will be chosen between the three finalists out of wrestling, baseball/softball, and squash.

It is not over yet, but the WBSC is still working hard to get the sports back into the Olympic Games for 2020.

Visit PlayBAll2020.com for more information.

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Major League Baseball Says It Will Not Change Schedule to Accommodate the Olympics

Baseball was an Olympic sport from 1992-2008 before it was dropped from the London Games.

The sport has been on a campaign to get it back into the Olympics for the 2020 Games. However, that effort might have taken a blow as MLB has said it will not change its schedule to accommodate the Olympics.

IOC President Jacques Rogge has said the sport needs to make its best players available just like they are in hockey and basketball.

The IOC board will meet next week to select one or more sports to put up for consideration by the IOC General Assembly for possible admission into the 2020 Games.

The international baseball and softball federations are merging in an effort to better their chances of being chosen by the IOC for inclusion in future Olympic games.

The sport has started its own international event in 2006 called the World Baseball Classic. Earlier this year the WBC was played for the third time with the Dominican Republic winning its first title (Japan won the first two).

So if baseball is to win its bid to be re-included in the Olympics, it will be without major help from MLB.

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New World Baseball Softball Body Born at Historic Tokyo Congress

Marks Milestone toward Olympic Games Inclusion

New Olympic Campaign Logo, Theme, Social Media Platforms “PlayBall2020.com” and Vision to Give Every Boy & Girl Chance to Play Ball also Launched.

Join the PlayBall2020 Lineup on Facebook and show your support!

Press Release from World Baseball Softball Confederation

TOKYO — Baseball and softball players, supporters, and fans worldwide – from professional leagues to local clubs and junior teams – have come out ‘Swinging For The Fences’ and pitching for the Olympic Games, following the launch of a global campaign to get baseball and softball back into the Games

The campaign was launched in Tokyo, one of the global power centres for the two sports. It followed an historic vote by international baseball and softball federation leaders and delegates worldwide  – from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, including China, India, Iraq, Russia, Brunei, Nigeria, Ghana, Pakistan, Fiji, South Africa and many other nations – to ratify a landmark constitution that unites the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF) as a single new international sporting federation, known as the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).


The birth of the world’s newest international sporting federation is a milestone in the campaign to rejoin the Olympic Games sports program after being delisted in 2005.

“This is an historic day”, said IBAF president and WBSC co-president, Riccardo Fraccari. “We have brought a new level of worldwide unity and determination to our quest to return to the Games.  The 65 million currently playing baseball and softball around the world now have a single federation to rally behind.”

President Fraccari said the international baseball community was “honoured and humbled” to have the opportunity to rejoin the Olympic Games in 2020,  and thanked the IOC for guidance and trust provided in forming the new federation, which he said would “provide greater support and resources for the athletes and help to develop the sports”.

Fraccari continued: “We are on a great journey to return our global sport to the Olympic stage. We’ve been listening and learning from the Olympic Family and the IOC to understand what it takes to be included as a sport at the Olympic Games.”

“This is in the best interests of the athletes and putting the welfare of the athletes and the future of sport first, and inspiring young athletes to stand on the highest podium that an athlete can aspire to—the Olympic Games,” he said.

“We have reached a milestone in our journey to put baseball and softball back in the Olympic Games, and today I am proud to announce that the full membership of the International Baseball Federation voted to ratify the new Constitution of the World Baseball Softball Confederation.”


The WBSC also outlined its unique vision for the campaign. “Our vision is to give every boy and girl in the world a chance to play baseball and softball and to inspire them to take up the sport through the Olympic Games,” said ISF President and WBSC co-President, Don Porter.

“Baseball-softball is a game that anyone, anywhere can play.  There are no barriers to participation.  If you’ve got a bat and ball you can play, regardless of age, gender, social, cultural or economic stature.

“Baseball and softball help to empower women and provide pathways for women and young girls to experience and participate in sport in all cultures,” said Porter.


The WBSC also revealed the theme for its Olympic Games campaign, “Swing for the Fences,” heralding a global call-to-action for baseball and softball players, supporters and teams to rally behind the Olympic Games bid.

A new website for the campaign was revealed: PlayBall2020.com. Social media platforms to engage and enable baseball and softball communities worldwide were also unveiled to highlight the massive following the sports have and to share the passion to rejoin the Olympic Games.

The WBSC’s new logo for the campaign was also unveiled. It symbolizes the unique appeal that has made baseball and softball among the world’s most watched, followed and commercially successful sporting brands and experiences.

The new federation and Olympic Games inclusion campaign, has the support of players worldwide, and was launched by two of Japans softball stars, Yukiko Ueno, who pitched the Japanese team to the Gold Medal at the Beijing Olympic Games, and Nana Okamura, a new rising star who pitched Japan to victory in U16 ISF Softball World Cup and became the youngest player ever on Japan’s national team.


The WBSC’s Olympic Games campaign is also supported by professional baseball and softball leagues around the word, including Nippon Professional Baseball, Major League Baseball in the United States, Korean Baseball Organization, the Chinese Professional Baseball Leagues, and numerous league partners in Latin America, Australia and Europe, who are united in their desire to participate in the Olympic Games.

“I am sure that all of my counterparts in the professional leagues share our enthusiasm for Olympic baseball and softball,“ said Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner and former Japan US Ambassador, Ryozo Kato, who said in an emotional address to the Congress, telling delegates that baseball had helped Japan to recover and grow after the devastation of the second world war, and was a catalyst for peace, uniting nations and people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

Worldwide respected Japan baseball legend, Sadaharu Oh, also made a strong personal appeal for support to get baseball back into the Olympic Games, while the President of the Japanese Olympic Committee and IOC member, Tsunekazu Takeda, said he would like to see the excitement and joy of baseball experienced by people all over the world, especially among young people.

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How Could the Location of the Olympics Effect Baseball’s Chances?

Recently the International Baseball Federation and International Softball Federation combined forces to try and make a stronger push to be included in the Olympics once again.

The sports were dropped for the 2012 Olympics in London and are off the table for the 2016 Olympics in Rio as well. The next possible chance to regain Olympic status is for the 2020 Games, and I think there is a chance.

Not only will the combined effort from baseball and softball help the cause, in fact the two federations recently voted to combine into a single body, but the finalists for the 2020 Games includes a baseball crazed country. Of course the location of the games plays only a tiny part in the overall decision, but I think it is worth looking at how the location could play a factor.

The three finalists for the games include Madrid, Istanbul, and Tokyo. The host and the fate of the games will be decided next September at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires.

So let’s take a look at each location and what it might mean to the bid.

Istanbul, Turkey

Baseball and softball are not huge sports in Turkey. Soccer, basketball, and volleyball are popular sports, but there is a national baseball team. The team was formed in late 2008 and the team competes for the European Championships, but the sport is hardly on the radar there. I feel safe to say that if the decision is to put the Olympics in Istanbul, that baseball and softball will likely be left out.

Madrid, Spain

This is the curious one right now. Spain made a surprising run into the 2013 World Baseball Classic defeating Israel in the qualifier. However in a country where soccer is king, baseball is often overlooked. There is a league in Spain with 10 teams that play, but there isn’t a team in the largest city in the country.

I think the sport could get a big boost here with a nice run in the World Baseball Classic which is possible, but in the end might not be likely. If the national team can put a few wins on the board, it might help the sport gain a little recognition but don’t look for it to become an overnight sensation.

Having Spain in the WBC definitely helps the cause, but it doesn’t seal the fate either way for the sport.

Tokyo, Japan

Baseball is a religion here. Even though sumo wrestling might be the countries national sport, baseball has the largest professional sports league here. It is easily one of the most popular sports in the country and that is a huge plus. I feel if the Games came to Tokyo that there is a strong possibility that the sports are added back.

The country has one of the strongest national programs in the world. They are the 2-time defending WBC champion and have won 3 medals at previous Olympic Games (1 silver and 2 bronze). I can’t imagine anything they would want more than to not only host the Olympic baseball competition but also win it on their home turf.

The summer Olympics have never been played in either Istanbul or Madrid, but they have been held in Tokyo in 1964. No matter what the decision that the IOC comes down with, it’s going to be a tense time in the baseball world as they wait to find out the fate of the sport.

These are just my thoughts on the subject. I’d like to hear yours as well.

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IBAF and ISF Agree on New Name for Combined Body

With the historic vote from the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF) approving the formation of a new unified international federation to govern both baseball and softball together, the leaders have announced that a new name has been chosen. The combined group will now be called the World Baseball Softball Confederation.

By combining both sports under one umbrella they will be able to increase the visibility for both sports and continue to deliver a consistent message. The quick agreement also seems to show their willingness to work together which is a huge step in the right direction as both sports try to get back in the good graces of the Olympic Commission.

The WBSC is looking to have its sports included in the 2020 Olympics. The site of the Olympic Games is still up in the air as the three finalists are Tokyo, Istanbul, and Madrid. The host city will be selected in September 2013. At the same time the IOC will vote on whether to include an additional sport from baseball, softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding, wushu, and beach soccer.

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After PASO Assembly IBAF and ISF are closer to an agreement

A Memorandum of Understanding for an Olympic joint bid may be presented to the IOC within the end of March

IBAF President Riccardo Fraccari attended the 50th General Assembly of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) in Mexico City.

The Assembly confirmed in his chair long time President Mario Vazquez Rana (Mexico).

The greatest asset of PASO is the Pan Am Games and baseball is a part of it since the opening edition (Buenos Aires 1951). During the Assembly the PASO Medical Commission reportedthat the baseball tournament of the 2011 edition in Guadalajara (Mexico) was played clean andin compliance with the anti doping Code.

The PASO Assembly was also a chance for the IBAF and the International Softball Federation(ISF) to hold private meetings on the matter of Olympic reinstatement.
President Fraccari met with ISF President Don Porter to analyze various points of theMemorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a joint bid for the 2020 Games. Both Presidents acknowledged the potential once the MOU is signed. Now they will consult their respectiveOlympic Reinstatement Committees to ensure that the wording on the agreement meets the approval of both parties.

Fraccari and Porter will meet again on March 17 at the Dutch Federation 100th anniversaryGala in Rotterdam. The Gala will be another occasion to finalize an agreement and officially move forward together.

After an agreement is sealed, the MOU will be presented to the International Olympic Commitee (IOC) for approval. This could eventually reduce the total number of sports on theshortlist for reinstatement to 7.

During the General Assembly (coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the Japanese Olympic Committee) of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), an agreement between the 2 International Federations led to the inclusion of softball in the program of the 2014 Asian Games as adiscipline of baseball.

IBAF and ISF will have a shared booth at the upcoming Sportaccord Convention  in Quebec City (Canada).

Courtesy IBAF.org

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The Federation of Japan presents a video on Olympic reinstatement

It will be shown at the Tokyo Dome during the friendly matches on Saturday March 10 and during the exhibitions between Majorl League and NPB Teams on March 25 and 26

Baseball fans and players will see the message of the IBAF and the Baseball Federation of Japan that supports the campaign to bring back baseball to the Olympics on the giant scoreboard of the Tokyo Dome during the 2 charity matches on March 10.
The first match (played by japanese amateur players) starts at 12:00 (Tokyo time) and will be played by the All Star teams of thr Industrial Leagues representing JABA and College, and theprofessionals game is scheduled at 18:25 when Samurai Japan of NPB will take on All Stars ofChinese Taipei.

The short slogan in 11 different languages with the respective National Flags will appear in this sequence: JapanChinese TaipeiKoreaChinaPakistanAustraliaFranceItaly,NetherlandsU.S.A and Brazil.


A short version of the same Video will be shown at the 4 Exhibition Games that the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics will play against Tokyo Yomiuri Giants and Osaka Hanshin Tigers at the Tokyo Dome of March 25 and 26.


Courtesy IBAF.org

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Sport bringing hope to young people in Zambia

Press Release International Olympic Committee

A delegation led by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today concluded a visit to Lusaka, Zambia, where it visited the Olympic Youth Development Centre and other community projects in the area.

The delegation said it was pleased with the impact the centre – a pilot project established by the IOC in collaboration with International Federations and the local government – was having on young people in the region since its opening in 2010.

The IOC President and UN Secretary-General met young athletes during a tour of the centre, the first in a series of multi-sport facilities scheduled to be built in developing countries as part of the IOC’s Sport for Hope programme. The aim of the programme is to provide young people and communities in developing countries with opportunities to practise sport and receive education on the values of Olympism.

The Olympic Youth Development Centre has already been visited by thousands of athletes from Zambia and neighbouring countries. The facility includes synthetic football and hockey pitches, a running track, tennis courts, a boxing ring and multi-purpose areas that can accommodate sports such as basketball, handball, weightlifting, volleyball, judo and gymnastics. The centre also offers a wide range of educational programmes, health services and community activities aimed at improving the quality of life in a country ravaged by HIV, poverty, crime and unemployment.

“This is my second visit to the Olympic Youth Development Centre and I am honoured by the presence of the UN Secretary-General – proof of the strong and increasing cooperation between the IOC and the United Nations,” said President Rogge. “Having met with some of the young athletes using the facilities here today, I can see firsthand how sport truly is bringing hope to the young people of Zambia and neighbouring countries. We look forward to replicating this in other parts of the world.

“This impressive centre goes beyond excellence in sport. It helps to educate young people about healthy positive lifestyles, literacy, life skills and gender empowerment,” said the UN Secretary-General. “All of us – the government of Zambia, the IOC and a wide range of UN agencies – are working as a team. Our goal is to make all the Zambian people winners.”

The IOC recently began work on the second Olympic Youth Development Centre in Port-au-Prince, in collaboration with the Haitian government and National Olympic Committee. The centre is scheduled to open in 2014.

The delegation also met young people from the Chiawa Game Management Area, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project, where IOC President Rogge made a financial donation on behalf of the Olympic Movement. The contribution will be put toward renovating the community’s football pitch and dressing room, and providing basic sports equipment. The facilities will feature an information area designed to educate the community on pressing environmental issues in Zambia, such as forest management and biodiversity. The IOC chose the project because it advocates sustainable development among young people using sports development as a tool.

The delegation’s first stop of the day was at the Fountain of Hope centre in Kamwala, where UNICEF’s implementing partner, Sports in Action, is running a project focusing on the rehabilitation of street children and other young people through sport. The project offers formal education and health services using sport as a tool and is part ofInternational Inspiration, the official international sports legacy programme of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The goal of International Inspiration is to enrich the lives of 12 million children in 20 countries by offering opportunities for physical education, sport and play, with all the benefits they bring, such as improved health and self-empowerment.

Other members of the delegation included IOC Vice President Thomas Bach, IOC Executive Board (EB) Member Sam Ramsamy, IOC EB Member Nawal El Moutawakel, IOC Member in Zambia Patrick Chamunda, and UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Wilfried Lemke.

The IOC obtained UN Observer status in 2009. Today, the IOC works with more than 20 UN agencies to build a better world through sport. The IOC is active in assisting the UN Member States achieve their Millennium Development Goals, which aim to make progress in eight priority areas: ending poverty and hunger; universal education; gender equality; child health; maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS; environmental sustainability; and global partnerships.

Courtesy IBAF.org

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Japanese Olympians help IBAF Olympic Reinstatement Drive

Baseball Clinic to be held on December 4, 2011

Baseball Federation of Japan will host the 2nd Olympic Baseball Players’ Clinic at the Tokyo Gas Company’s Omori Ground on Sunday, December 4, 2011. 20 former Olympic Baseball Players from Japan will coach 200 young players of the Under 12 age category.

The instructors include big names as Michio Ogasawara, 3rd baseman of Tokyo Yomiuri Giants (Atlanta), Koichi Ohashi, coach of Orix Buffaloes (Barcelona) and other players of both professional and industrial leagues.

The 1st Clinic was held on December 4, 2010 at Toyota Ball Park in Aichi.

Courtesy IBAF.org

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Baseball reinstated at Japanese Olympic Committee

Yoshinobu Suzuki, Vice President of Baseball Federation of Japan, elected into Executive Board of Japanese Olympic Committee

Tsunenori Takeda (63) was reelected as President of Japanese Olympic Committee for the 7th term. The new mandate will be a 2-year extension to his current mandate. The process took place at the Executive Board meeting in Tokyo, Japan June 29, 2011. Noriyuki Ichihara (69), Executive Director, newly joined two other Vice Presidents, Tomiaki Fukuda (69) and Masato Mizuno (68) were also re-elected. After more than a decade of absence at the executive level, the newly elected Executive Board has seen a representative of baseball, Yoshinobu Suzuki, elected. Currently he is also the Vice President of Baseball Federation of Japan.

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President Fraccari addresses National Federations to consolidate Olympic Reinstatement Campaign

The 119 national members federations, the global baseball community will need to play a strong role in baseball’s reinstatement ambitions

Lausanne, June 22, 2011

On the eve of Olympic Day, the President of the International Baseball Federation, Riccardo Fraccari, issued the following statement to baseball’s national federations:

“The International Baseball Federation is leading the campaign for the return of our sport onto the program of the 2020 Olympic Games.  The success of this campaign will need the support of the entire baseball community, especially the strong collaboration of the National Federations.  All of our efforts must be well-coordinated to maximize and amplify our message that our sport encourages Olympism and that our values are in line with the Olympic movement.

“It will be on On July 4th of this year that the IOC Executive Board will officially select a small number of sports to begin thoroughly evaluating for possible inclusion onto the 2020 Olympic Programme, and our institution remains optimistic about the initial hurdle. Further ahead at IOC Session in 2013 in Buenos Aires, the Programme will be finalized.  During this important period under evaluation, we must clearly demonstrate that the development of baseball would be greatly enhanced and impacted, if it were resubmitted onto the Programme.  Additionally, we need to refer to the benefits and growth of our sport due to the fact that it was an Olympic medal sport from 1992-2008.  At the same time, we must prove that baseball will add value to the Olympic Games—and not simply commercial value, but with ideals like inclusiveness, tradition, sportsmanship and excellence, to name a few.

“I can confirm that this is not just a campaign of the IBAF; this is a campaign that invites the entire baseball family to participate and become active by engaging the international sports community. But before we act on behalf of Baseball’s Olympic Reinstatement Campaign, I strongly suggest that all of our communications in its name share a common theme, which will help to give an image that our movement is serious, well-directed and well-coordinated. At this moment, ALL OF US can immediately implement the use of the official reinstatement logo on all official communications (newsletters, outgoing e-mails, letterheads, etc.), which will allow us to gain exposure quickly and with no impact on budget figures.

“In the future, we will be organizing press conferences and activities at strategic locations/events to further promote and strengthen the reinstatement campaign.  We will need to keep the entire community aware of these events to help publicize and become involved in them.  We started out with a successful campaign launch in Taipei that was well covered by the press.  We need to continue on this momentum together in order to accelerate this process and gain as much exposure as possible.

“With regard to digital media, the IOC closely watches the activity and checks the number of ‘followers’ of respective International Federations on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  Therefore, we also need to refer as many people to IBAF through these channels.  The IBAF office is preparing instructions for everybody in this regard, as well.

“Also for your awareness, a page dedicated to the reinstatement campaign is currently being constructed at ibaf.org.  This will be a point of reference for our movement and we will be able to link to this site. Upon completion, the IBAF office will forward everybody the exact address of the webpage.”

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Chinese Taipei Baseball Association announces beginning of Olympic Reinstatement Campaign

Taipei City, Chinese Taipei – The Chinese Taipei Baseball Association (CTBA), in conjunction with the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and Ministry of Sport have announced the beginning of its Olympic Reinstatement Campaign.

Present at the press conference was Mrs. Tai, Shia-Ling – Minister of Sports, Mr. Thomas W. Tsai – President Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, Mr. Riccardo Fraccari – President IBAF, Mr. Chen, Tai-Cheng   – President CTBA, Mr. Tom C.H. Peng   -Member at large IBAF and Kao, Chih-Kang Athletes representative and Two-time Olympic baseball participant.

The campaign includes full support at the highest levels, including the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Sports, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association and the IBAF. Mrs Tai, the Minister of Sports noted about baseball,

“A sports worthy to be part of the Olympic movement, as a sport that promotes health, builds character and Sportsmanship” said the Minister of Sports.

In conjunction with high-level support, the campaign also features fan level activities, notably banners in all 130-train stations across Chinese Taipei allowing fans of the game and Olympic Baseball the opportunity to sign to indicate support for reinstatement.

IBAF President Riccardo Fraccari had the opportunity to address the press conference, applauding the efforts of Chinese Taipei, and emphasizing the need for continued globally coordinated action, especially with the looming decision of the IOC Executive Board scheduled for July 4th. (The day when the IOC executive board will decide which sports will be a candidate for the 32nd Olympiad in 2020.) President Fraccari also stressed the need to clearly demonstrate that baseball is inclusive and accessible, includes all types of athletes be it males, females, youth, adults, and athletes with disabilities.

The IBAF and President Fraccari will return to Chinese Taipei in July, for the IBAF 12U Baseball World Championship.

Courtesy IBAF.org

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – The International Softball Federation (ISF) and the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), which are separate and independent international federations recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as governing their respective sports, announced today that they have agreed to explore the feasibility of collaborating on a single, joint presentation to the IOC seeking to restore softball and baseball onto the programme of the Olympic Games in 2020.

The IOC and the Local Olympic Organizing Committees (LOOCs) have faced increasing financial and organizational pressures in recent years as a result of the growth of the Olympic Games and the accompanying new venues and numbers of athletes that must be accommodated. In a 2005 vote undertaken with a view to controlling the size of future Olympic Games, softball and baseball were dropped from the 2012 Olympic Games programme and subsequently were not reinstated in a 2009 vote for the 2016 programme.

Mindful of the concerns and pressures facing the IOC and the LOOCs, the IBAF and ISF are analyzing the savings and the reduced impact that may be derived from a combined proposal that women’s softball and men’s baseball share a venue and share space in the Olympic Village for the Summer Games in 2020.

Should an agreement be reached to work together, the ISF and the IBAF believe that they would be able to demonstrate compelling reasons why, under such a proposal, their respective sports should be reinstated onto the Olympic programme.

The IBAF and the ISF would work closely with the IOC to assure that any joint proposal would accomplish their goals in a manner that complies with the Olympic Charter.

The ISF and the IBAF will meet again, perhaps as soon as next week’s SportAccord convention in London, to talk further about the possibility of the two federations working together on such a proposal.

About the IBAF – Founded in 1938 and Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland the Olympic Capital, the International Baseball Federation is a non- governmental organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as administering baseball at the world level. The IBAF works to develop and grow the game of baseball globally and is currently composed of 119 National Member Federations.

About the ISF – Headquartered in Plant City, Florida (USA), the ISF is the world governing body of the sport as recognized by the International Olympic Committee and SportAccord (formerly the General Association of International Sports Federations). Softball (women’s fast pitch) made its Olympic debut at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. There are 127 affiliated countries in the ISF and millions of participants in the sport worldwide.

Press Release International Baseball Federation (IBAF), www.ibaf.org

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Chile: Federation Criticizes the Olympic Committee, Baseball Players are Outraged

By Jose Jerez

Chile: Federation criticizes the Olympic Committee, Baseball players are outraged

Baseball was not included in the 2014 South American Games in Santiago and its supporters fear that the diamond in the National Stadiumwill disappear.

“We’re in the South American Games? We do not even exist for the Olympic Committee. Each day we grow more and everyday they take more ground” fired the Cuban, Norge Núñez the technical manager of the Baseball and Softball Federation. This discipline was present at the last Games in Medellin, but the idea of Chile’s Olympic Committee was to include more sports with medal options for Chile and baseball was left off the list.

“Our Strategic Development Plan only funds us with 10 million pesos (+US$ 21,000) a year; only ten million. But we have risen from 11 to30 clubs each weekend and about 800 athletes practice our sport,”said Nunez.

But the future can be even worse for baseball, as in the remodeling of the National Stadium and is scheduled to build a park where the baseball diamond is located. “We believe they can take it away from us and send us to some other remote location. We spoke with Gabriel Ruiz-Tagle (IND director) and told us that this project is not fully defined, but was ordered by the President Piñera. We do not know what will happen to our space, in which we have invested over 100 million pesos, “says Núñez Norge.



(Jose Jerez is a BaseballdeWorld Latin Correspondent.)

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Softball Rejects Joint Olympic Bid with Baseball

Softball again rejects joint Olympic approach with baseball
Despite a recent plea from International Baseball Federation President Riccardo Fraccari that a joint baseball-softball bid is the “only way back into the Olympic programme,” the International Softball Federation has decided to go its own way in seeking Olympic reinstatement for 2020.

In a letter to Riccardo Fraccari, ISF President Don Porter said, “The International Softball Federation has always acted as an independent sport, and presently plans to continue that internationally accepted practice.”

“Softball has been an independently governed sport for many years,” Don Porter continued. “Softball, on its own, meets all criteria for inclusion as an Olympic medal sport, a position it has enjoyed through the 2008 Games in Beijing.”

Unanimous Support

At a meeting in Venezuela last month following the Women’s World Championships, the ISF Board of Directors gave unanimous support to continue plans to re-present softball – both women’s and men’s fastpitch – for consideration for the 2020 Olympic Games.

A decision on the sports to be included in those Games will be made in 2013.

The ISF believes that softball only lost its Olympic place — on a tied vote in 2005 — because of issues that IOC members had with baseball, and a mistaken belief on the part of many members that baseball and softball were two formats of the same sport.

As a result, the ISF has tried to make it clear in its BackSoftball reinstatement campaign that softball is a separate and different sport, and the ISF has pressured many baseball/softball federations around the world to dissolve the relationship so each sport to function on its own.

Both baseball and softball applied to regain their position as Olympic medal sports for the 2016 Games but golf and rugby were the two sports recommended last August by the IOC Executive and confirmed by the IOC Congress last October.

Courtesy Britishbaseball.org

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Baseball Strikes Out With Olympics

BERLIN – The results of the individual voting, round by round, for the two sports going forward for a 2016 decision by the International Olympic Committee made grim reading for the losers.

Baseball will have been hugely disappointed not only to fail to gain re-entry to the Games, after competing at Beijing last year, but in failing to reach the final round of voting for the second sport.

Similar sentiments will have been shared by softball, whose short-lived, 12-year Olympic tenure also came to an end in Beijing. At least softball did make it to the final hurdle, albeit collecting only two of the possible 14 votes, far behind golf.

Officials of the international squash organisations will also wonder what went wrong after a busy campaign which even involved bringing the sport’s top players to meet and greet at international sports conferences and congresses.

Voting among the executive board was conducted in two separate secret ballots with IOC president Jacques Rogge, as is his custom and right, withholding his personal vote. To win, any one of the seven sports (baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby, softball and squash) needed an absolutely majority of eight votes.

The first ballot ended up: rugby 7, karate 3, baseball 2, golf and softball one each and roller sports and squash each no votes.


Roller sports and squash were thus dropped from the second round which rugby won conclusively with nine votes followed by softball 2 and baseball, golf and karate all one each.

Rugby was thus happily excluded from the second round of balloting for the other favoured sport.

The first round ended: karate 5, golf 3, baseball and softball 2 each then roller sports and squash one each. A subsidiary vote saw roller sports eliminated by squash 10-4 for the right to contest the second round.

Golf now came to the fore with six votes, followed by karate 4, baseball and softball two each and squash none. Squash thus failed to make the third round in which golf was again the winner with seven votes ahead of karate 4, softball 2 and baseball one.

Baseball’s humiliation was thus complete with the sport, not even managing to make the final round of voting. This proved fourth time lucky for golf which attracted a decisive nine votes, pursued – at a distance – by karate on three and softball on two.

Harvey Schiller, president of the International Baseball Federation, would have little doubt about where the blame lay for both sport’s failures.

Hours before voting began, he commented: “If we are rejected the decision will be based on the roster sizes of both baseball and softball. I don’t believe one can be brought in without the other based on gender concerns.

“We have reached out to softball on numerous occasions including the last hours to no avail. If baseball is added, there may be concerns with the women’s game and vice versa for softball. They should have listened!”

Written by Keir Radnedge/Sports Features Communications

Photo courtesy of thejakartaglobe.com

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Save Olympic Baseball Website Launched

USA – SaveOlympicBaseball.org is an organizational website promoting the sport of baseball’s hopeful return to the Summer Olympic Games.

SaveOlympicBaseball.org was created in an effort to help, aid, and assist in the facilitation of the world-wide grassroots campaign that the baseball world is conducting that advocates the reinstatement of their sport to the Olympic programme.

SaveOlympicBaseball.org is a nonprofit worldwide organiZation and an ever-growing source of information for the sport of baseball’s quest to be reinstated as a sport in the Summer Olympic Games.

SaveOlympicBaseball.org locates its head office in Dakota City, Nebraska (USA), and is currently operating satellite offices in Melbourne, Australia; Vienna, Austria; Gent, Belgium; Brno, Czech Republic; Paris, France; Almaty; Kazakhstan; and Moscow, Russia.

SaveOlympicBaseball.org is headed up by Managing Director Bob Protexter, an international baseball veteran with more than two decades of service to the sport having traveled to over twenty countries world-wide spanning from Latin America to Europe to the Far East.

Protexter’s Olympic experiences include working as a Russian translator at the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games in 2002. Protexter is also the Founder and President of Russian International Baseball and is the Owner and Operator of Total Baseball Development.

Baseball’s Olympic Predicament

In 2005 baseball was voted out of the Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Baseball was the first sport to be voted out of the Olympic Games since 1936.

In 2008 baseball was played for the last time in the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Baseball was originally voted into the Olympic Games as a medal sport in 1986 by the IOC.

In 1992 baseball was first played in the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. In 2009 baseball is seeking reinstatement and inclusion, once again, into the Olympic sports program by lobbying and appealing to the IOC. If baseball is voted back into the Olympics by the IOC this year then the sport will once again begin competing in the Olympics in 2016.

Decision Makers

The IOC Executive Board, founded in 1921, consists of the IOC President Count Jacques Rogge, four Vice-Presidents, and ten additional members to equal fifteen members total.

Rogge overseas the Executive Board as they manage the affairs of the IOC, assume the ultimate responsibility for the administration of the IOC, and conduct the procedure for acceptance and selection of candidatures for the organization of the Olympic Games.

He was born in Gent, Belgium, and is an Orthopaedic surgeon, but spent years as a sportsman himself in Yachting competitions in the Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968, Munich in 1972, and Montreal in 1976, while also competing as a rugby player on the national Belgian team.

The Executive Board last met in Lausanne, Switzerland on June 15 and 16 where the four candidate host cities for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games gave technical briefings to ninety-three of the one hundred seven members of the International Olympic Committee.

Those cities are Chicago (USA), Tokyo (Japan), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Madrid (Spain). The seven sports seeking to join the Olympic programme displayed their vision for inclusion in the Olympic Games in a series of individual presentations. Only two Olympic programme slots are available, and those two chosen sports will next appear at the 2016 Games.

The IOC Executive Board will meet next in Berlin, Germany on August 13 and 14. At that time the Executive Board primary focuses will be which two of the seven candidate sports will be recommended for acceptance in the Olympic sports programme.

The IOC Session, scheduled in conjunction with the Olympic Congress, will be in Copenhagen, Denmark on October 1 and 2 where the final voting process will take place, and a final decision will be made for those two sports.

Why is baseball in the Olympics important?

In 1986 baseball was voted into the Olympic Games by the IOC. In that year there were sixty countries listed as having ‘National Baseball Federations’ with memberships in the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) – (www.ibaf.org). The IBAF was founded in 1938 and is a non-governmental organization recognised by the IOC as administering men’s and women’s baseball at the world level.

An individual country’s ‘National Baseball Federation’ is that nation’s official governing body for the sport, and is responsible for growing, advancing, and developing that country’s baseball. Following this positive IOC vote in 1986 for baseball in the Olympic Games, the sport of baseball started immediately to grow and prosper in many, many countries.

This year the IBAF lists more than one hundred twenty-five countries as having ‘National Baseball Federations’. The Olympic Movement is directly responsible for this explosion and increased popularity of baseball across the globe. Countries all over the world have started new baseball programs from very humble beginnings in the last twenty years. Now in 2009 that progress is severely threatened unless baseball is reinstated back into the Olympic Games.

Many countries rely simply on Olympic recognition to merely sustain and maintain their baseball programs. Many baseball burgeoning countries are now in perilous danger of losing their programs without this Olympic recognition.

The work of the International Baseball Federation

The IBAF is working diligently day and night on returning baseball back into the Olympic Games as part of what they call a ‘New Dynamic Direction’ for the sport. ‘Mission Critical’ is another term deemed by the IBAF for their project of inclusion for the sport of baseball once again to the Olympic programme.

The group presentation of the IBAF to the IOC Executive Board in June was a success, and their work continues. As well the IBAF has repeatedly encouraged people in all parts of the globe to write letters and make calls to IOC members in support of baseball. The IBAF also frequently states that it is very important for people to constantly update IOC members about the new developments of baseball around the world, especially on the grassroots level.

Additional efforts of the International Baseball Federation

The IBAF is covering every detail with things such as creating a partnership with Pitch In For Baseball (www.pitchinforbaseball.org) to provide equipment for youth groups around the world. Pitch In For Baseball is a nonprofit organization that provides one of the world’s leading equipment donation services, and has collected and redistributed baseball equipment and uniforms to underserved children in more than 50 countries. Their mission is to help kids and make friends all over the world by sharing the great game of baseball.

The IBAF has even gone to the lengths of sending copies of the book ‘A Glove of Their Own’ (www.agloveoftheirown.com) to key members of the International Olympic Committee. ‘A Glove of Their Own’ is an award winning book that illustrates and tells a story of sandlot kids who inspire an adult to share in their baseball and life experiences.

Bob Salomon, one of the book’s creators along with authors Debbie Moldovan, Keri Conkling, and Lisa Funari-Willever share in the book’s message of generosity by donating proceeds from each book sold to various nonprofit organizations. The IBAF likes the principles of the book as an example of how baseball can again be a social unifier and teach values bigger than the game itself.

This is one of the key foundations of the IBAF’s pitch to be reinstated to the Olympic programme in 2016; that it is a game for all. IBAF President Dr. Harvey Schiller said that, “Baseball is a game that teaches teamwork, how to overcome adversity and discipline, and was the game that broke the color barrier in sport, and we thought that this book was a perfect way to help explain how those simple ideals are conveyed through the sport. The lessons in the book can be understood by anyone and adapted to any of the lessons we learn in life, and really captures why baseball is so much a game for all.”

SaveOlympicBaseball.org is answering the call for the request of world-wide participation by having the primary purpose of showing people around the world how they can partake in the global grassroots campaign that is seeking baseball’s inclusion, once again, into the Olympic program.

SaveOlympicBaseball.org fulfills this purpose by providing public listings of contact names and mailing addresses of International Olympic Committee members enabling supporters to directly voice their enthusiasm through letters supporting baseball’s return to the Summer Olympic Games.

SaveOlympicBaseball.org encourages teams, coaches, administrators, parents, and fans world-wide to write letters and postcards supporting Olympic baseball, and then to send those letters and postcards to members of the IOC Executive Board and to the IOC members themselves as well.

Your voice matters.

Photo courtesy of theonion.com

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Who will win the 2017 World Baseball Classic?

  • Puerto Rico (31%, 27 Votes)
  • Dominican Republic (13%, 11 Votes)
  • USA (13%, 11 Votes)
  • Mexico (11%, 10 Votes)
  • Other (8%, 7 Votes)
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