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Baseball and softball bodies unite to seek Olympics return

July 24, 2012
The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF) are set to merge in an effort to return their sports to the Olympic program.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to exclude the two sports fromthe Olympic program in July 2005 with baseball and softball making their last Games appearance at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
As separate bids, the two sports then failed to make it onto the program of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Baseball and softball will be vying with karate, roller sports, sports climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu for inclusion in the Games program when the IOC l vote on one new sport for the 2020 Olympic program in September 2013.
The heads of the two governing bodies believe that the merged federation, provisionally named the International Baseball and Softball Federation, will help boost their prospects.
ISF President Don Porter told Reuters "we feel if we can work together it might be much more possible to regain Olympic status.
"Both our sports are trying to find things that will improve them. Become more attractive and interesting."
IBAF President Riccardo Fraccari, added "we decided to join into one federation. There has been unanimity in this.
"The decision by the IOC to take us off the Olympic program obviously disappointed us but we learned a lot. We looked into the reasons why and we addressed them."

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