Baseball, softball still have chance at 2020 Olympics, says IOC president

Jennie Finch

Baseball and softball’s hope of returning for the 2020 Olympics did not end when they lost an International Olympic Committee vote in September.

The sports will be discussed at an IOC Executive Board meeting in December and in Sochi in February, IOC president Thomas Bach said in Tokyo on Wednesday.

“I am open for more flexibility in the Olympic program,” Bach reportedly said. “But first we have to see what the rest of my colleagues in the IOC think.”

In September, the IOC voted for one sport to be added for the 2020 and 2024 Olympics. It chose wrestling over a joint baseball-softball bid and squash.

Going into the vote, there were reports that the losing sports could still be added to the Olympics.

How baseball-softball could get a second chance is outlined by Agence France-Presse.

The question of which sports will be contested should be decided seven years before an Olympics, according to the Olympic charter.

Bach, however, said the seven-year rule can be changed by an IOC vote.

Baseball joined the Olympics in 1992, followed by softball in 1996. They were both voted out by the IOC in 2005, taking effect after the 2008 Olympics.

Jennie Finch learned of IOC vote while leading softball camp with 400 girls