New World Baseball Softball Confederation born
Announcement marks milestone in diamond sports' campaign to re-join Olympics
04/15/2013 3:41 PM ET
SYDNEY, 15 April - The new World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced overnight the launch of "Play Ball 2020", the unified diamond sport global campaign to ‘Swing for the Fences’ and get baseball and softball back into the Olympic Games.
The campaign was launched in Tokyo, one of the global power centres for the two sports. It followed an historic vote by international baseball and softball federation leaders and delegates worldwide to ratify a landmark constitution that unites the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and International Softball Federation (ISF) as a single new international sporting federation.
IBAF President and WBSC co-President Riccardo Fraccari said, “This is an historic day. We have brought a new level of worldwide unity and determination to our quest to return to the Games. The 65 million currently playing baseball and softball around the world now have a single federation to rally behind.”
The WBSC also outlined its unique vision for the campaign. “Our vision is to give every boy and girl in the world a chance to play baseball and softball and to inspire them to take up the sport through the Olympic Games,” said ISF President and WBSC co-President Don Porter.
The WBSC’s Olympic Games campaign is also supported by professional baseball and softball leagues around the word, including Nippon Professional Baseball, Major League Baseball in the United States, Korea Baseball Organisation, the Chinese Professional Baseball Leagues, and numerous league partners in Latin America, Australia and Europe, who are united in their desire to participate in the Olympic Games.
Australian Baseball Federation CEO Brett Pickett said, “This global push is very important for baseball in Australia; being an Olympic Sport makes a positive difference to the positioning of baseball in the Australian sporting landscape. The Federation and the Australian Baseball League (ABL) are 100 percent behind this joint bid and I encourage all baseball players and fans to show their support also”.
The campaign's new website, PlayBall2020.com, will be the heart of an aggressive global push for individuals to join the lineup and click to show their support.
This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.