Monday, September 9, 2013

Baseball and softball benched by the IOC

The recent news baseball and softball failed its combined bid to return to the Summer Olympic Games is quite a setback for these sports. The Olympics was the apex for softball and its omission following the 2008 Beijing Games still remains a questionable decision given how popular the game is across the world, and also because it is a sport of amateur status which was once a fundamental of the Olympics. Baseball didn't help itself though by failing to offer true "Dream Teams" during the three Olympic Games it had professional status and the scheduling of the Olympics has generally clashed with the most elite baseball leagues. Therefore to try to offer baseball's best talent was something which couldn't be guaranteed and the bid would have been better served by offering a model similar to Olympic Soccer, which is a team roster mostly consisting of players under the age of 23 years old and four over aged players. In total baseball had five Olympic Games as an official medal sport to justify its continuation and its move from amateur (1992 and 1996) to professional (2000, 2004 and 2008) status failed to deliver the biggest names of the sport. The baseball facet of the bid should have aimed to work within the boundaries it could better control, and an aged based team structure was its best chance. Without Olympic status softball and baseball in Australia will continue to be bypassed for additional government funding, but there still remains a chance the 2020 Olympic Games hosted in Tokyo, Japan could feature these sports which are very popular locally and there are sufficient facilities already in place where Olympic events could be played.   

For all my baseball themed books please refer to these links:

Aussies World Baseball Classic Experiences from 2006 to 2017 and also available from United States Amazon

Aussie Baseball Musings and also available from United States Amazon

Aussies in the Majors and also available from United States Amazon

Boomerang Baseball and also available from United States Amazon

The American Dream: From Perth to Sacramento and also available from United States Amazon

No comments:

Post a Comment