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Monday, October 5, 2015

Softball Takes Another Steps Toward Olympic Return

Thanks to a strong push from Tokyo-based organizers of the 2020 Olympic Games, the joint bid for softball & baseball's return to the Olympics is now on the short list for official consideration by the IOC for inclusion in the 2020 Games.

Even as 2016 remained a slim possibility last year, 2020 has always seemed the best opportunity if a return is possible. The Japanese are solidly behind the movement for a return and for the first time, as hosts, were allowed to make an official proposition for additions to the Olympic bill.

Six sports in total were proposed to be added for the Tokyo games, though five is the official number thanks to baseball & softball's joint bid. The other "sports" include karate; skateboard; sports climbing; and surfing.

Per the official news release, the proposal includes allotment for six teams with roster space for fifteen players. One unmentioned but important note is that this would likely require qualifying tournaments in 2018 and '19 to determine which countries will participate, adding a level of legitimate gain and contention to currently minimally-impactful tournaments.

The final decision on whether or not to add the suggested sports and events to the 2020 Games rests with the IOC; their decision will be made at the 129th IOC Session in Rio in August 2016. The 2016 Games will run from August 5 - August 21.

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