By their powers combined….
Baseball and softball could merge into one international governing body in hopes of returning to the Olympics.
The sports are meeting with Olympic officials this week to find out how much co-operation is required to regain their summer games status, International Softball Federation President Don Porter said Tuesday.
“There are a lot of benefits of being an Olympic sport. That is what you have to weigh against losing your identity,” Porter told The Associated Press.
Porter and International Baseball Federation (IBAF) President Riccardo Fraccari are meeting separately with IOC sports director Christophe Dubi to get a better idea of the bidding process for the 2020 Olympic program.
Fraccari said the sports “have to study many things.” Baseball-playing countries must first back a joint bid at a Dec. 3 meeting in Dallas.
Baseball and softball are competing with karate, roller sports, sports climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu for one spot on the 2020 program. The IOC will vote on the sports in September 2013.
The IOC voted in 2005 to remove baseball and softball from the Olympic program after the 2008 Beijing Games.
Two years ago, baseball and softball failed to get IOC support for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics when offering separate proposals for women’s baseball and men’s softball. Golf and seven-a-side rugby, which offered men’s and women’s medal events, were voted onto the 2016 program.
Baseball and softball officials now agree, following IOC advice, that co-operation is their best hope of regaining Olympic status.