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Dec '08 02

IBAF to Host “Baseball in the Olympics” Summit

press release International Baseball Federation (IBAF), www.ibaf.org

Fochi named Athlete Representative to the Executive Committee

(LONDON) – The International Baseball Federation’s (IBAF) Executive Committee met in London Monday to outline the federation’s goals and strategy heading into a critical 2009 calendar year in which baseball’s Olympic fate will be determined.

The biggest headlines from the meeting stem from the IBAF’s continued push to strengthen baseball’s presence in Europe. The Executive Committee (EC) agreed on plans to host a “Baseball in the Olympics” summit in Europe in the first quarter of 2009. The event will include all levels of participation, and the federation has plans to invite local youth leagues, including representatives from Little League Baseball International, business and media partners, and many of the professional baseball organizations.

IBAF President Dr. Harvey Schiller said that the federation’s Executive Committee understands what the sport of baseball needs to do over the next 12 months in hopes of returning to the Olympic Programme in 2016.

“We had a successful meeting, and we’re looking forward to another good year of baseball,” Dr. Schiller said.

Other headlines from the one-day meeting:

  • The EC received and is responding case-by-case to concerns from a number of combined baseball and softball federations in regards to the International Softball Federation’s recently-stated plan to eliminate combined federations.
  • The EC accepted a report from the federation’s anti-doping administration to increase out-of-competition testing for IBAF tournaments in 2009.
  • The IBAF is now considering bids to host the 2012, 2014 and beyond IBAF AAA World Junior Championships (18U).
  • Former Italian National Team player Massimo Fochi was voted as Athlete Representative to the Executive Committee, and was granted full voting and voice rights. The second baseman/pitcher was a key part of Team Italy’s 1984 (demonstration), 1992 and 1996 Olympic Teams.
  • The EC accepted provisional membership of Cambodia.
  • The next IBAF Congress will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland Nov. 14-15, 2009.
  • On behalf of the entire federation, the EC formerly congratulated members of the Chinese Baseball Association for their tireless work in ensuring a successful baseball competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

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