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Baseball and softball officially join forces

Apr 15, 2013, 10:35 AM EDT

Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

The international baseball and softball federations ratified a joint constitution Sunday to officially form the World Baseball Softball Confederation. Both sports hope it will improve their chances of getting back into the Olympic Games in 2020.

“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 co-President Don Porter.

The IOC executive board will choose at least one, but probably a couple, of the eight candidate sports during a vote in St. Petersburg next month. Then the full IOC membership will pick which sport gets the lone spot on the Olympic schedule at yet another meeting in Buenos Aires this September.

Baseball and softball were ousted from the Games after Beijing, but the sports have been working hard to grow the game internationally, and to make it appealing to the IOC with rules changes, including shortening games. The Confederation will face wrestling, squash, karate, wushu, sport climbing, roller sports, and wake boarding in the vote(s).

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