Why is Baseball not in the 2012 Olympics?
First, it feels a little weird not having baseball or softball in the Olympics this year after working on baseball and softball fields during the past 3. It’s really hard to believe. So what happened? I have been asked this question a lot lately. In 2005 news folks reported that the IOC decided to vote baseball and softball out of the Olympics. Baseball was eliminated by a vote of 54-50 and softball was deadlocked at 52 which resulted in removal of the sports. ESPN put out a story about a so-called secret meeting where they voted off baseball and quickly tried to vote in karate and squash to replace Baseball and Softball. That’s why there are only 26 sports in the 2012 Olympics instead of 28. http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/news/story?id=2103234
In 2006 a re-vote was taken and it was 46-42 against baseball and 47-43 against softball. The first Olympic sport to be removed from the games since they booted polo in 1936.
The answer to “why” depends on who you ask and what you read as to the reasons baseball and softball lost the Olympics. Some say it was politically influenced because of anti- American feelings, others say it was due to differences regarding drug testing. Some say it was due to not having the best players represent the sport. All of these theories can be debated as to their accuracy but i do know that the IOC had their eye on introducing new sports to the games and unfortunately baseball and softball drew the short straw.
In 2009 there was a 3rd IOC vote and again we were not even shortlisted to the top 3. At this vote, Baseball and softball presented separate bids. The governing body of baseball “IBAF” is working very hard to get the game back into the Olympics. This time with a potential for softball/baseball to have a combined bid. I think we have a really good shot at making it back in under the leadership of IBAF and the ISF.
The GOOD NEWS! The sport Federations are making major strides towards being included on the shortlist for the 2020 games . The reinstatement campaign is in full force and the game is growing tremendously around the world. I have seen numbers on the web where there are 2 million or 4 million even one report says 10 million kids playing little league baseball. If you want to support the game and see softball and baseball back in the Olympics you should send letters and support to the federations in your country. Send a letter to the IOC too! The more we grow the game in our hometowns around the world, the better our chances will be for inclusion into the 2020 Olympics.