Once again the International Softball Federation (ISF) has made clear that they didn’t have understood the signs of these times. On Monday the governing body of World Softball released a press release (see below), which simply stated that they don’t want to have anything to do with Baseball.
The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) with presidents Harvey Schiller and Riccardo Fraccari up in front has made several attempts in the last couple of years to present a joint Olympic reinstatement bid together with Softball. But ISF President Don Porter either didn’t respond altogether or countered with moves like encouraging European Softball Federations to become independent from Baseball, even though this isn’t working on the old continent with tight relationships between the two sports.
It is now nearly one year ago that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose to select Golf and Rugby as replacements for Baseball and Softball in the 2016 Olympic programme. However both sports still haven’t given up and hope that the Olympic family changes its mind. But this isn’t going to work when Softball continues to be so stubborn and thinks it is better off without Baseball’s help. If Porter and the ISF continue to go this path, Softball is in danger to die outside of the United States.
Press Release International Softball Federation:
SOFTBALL MOVING FORWARD ON ITS OWN
Olympic Reinstatement Efforts Will Continue as Independent Sport
PLANT CITY, FLORIDA (USA) – “The (International Softball Federation) has always acted as an independent sport, and presently plans to continue that internationally accepted practice.” That statement was part of a letter that Don Porter, the president of the sports’ world governing body, sent recently to International Baseball Federation President Riccardo Fraccari. The communication was intended to make clear softball’s position as it relates to seeking to be re-admitted to the programme of the Summer Olympics.
Mr. Fraccari had written to Mr. Porter stating that a joint baseball-softball bid is the “only way back into the Olympic program.” Last month at a meeting in Venezuela the ISF president received the unanimous support of the Board of Directors to continue plans to re-present softball – both women’s and men’s fast pitch – for consideration for the 2020 Olympic Games. A decision on the sports for that programme will be made in 2013.
Mr. Porter noted in his letter to the IBAF president that, “Softball has been an independently governed sport for many years and its independent and separate proposal was accepted in 1991 by the (International Olympic Committee) when softball was added to the Olympic programme beginning in 1996.”
He further noted that, “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, which completed softball’s fourth Olympiad as a medal sport.”
The ISF ran a “BackSoftball” campaign aimed at getting the sport reinstated for the 2016 Olympics but was not among the two sports on the IOC Executive Board’s shortlist recommended last August for addition to those Games. Softball had first been left off the programme of the 2012 Olympics following a tie vote at the IOC Session in Singapore in July 2005.