Australian baseball, softball governing bodies backing 2028, 2032 Olympic push

Australian baseball, softball governing bodies backing 2028, 2032 Olympic push
The leadership of both organizations is willing to work with the WBSC to make baseball/softball a permanent feature on the Olympic programme.

Following softball and baseball’s return to the Olympic cycle during the Tokyo 2020 Games, Softball Australia and Baseball Australia have begun discussions on the diamond sports returning to the sport’s biggest stage in LA 2028 and Brisbane 2032.

Softball Australia’s National Women’s team, the Aussie Spirit, competed at the Olympics for the first time since Beijing 2008, while Baseball Australia’s National Men’s team, Team Australia, were unfortunately forced to withdraw from their Tokyo Olympic Qualifier due to Covid-19 concerns. The Aussie baseball squad made their last Olympic appearance in 2004.

Both disciplines achieved their best result at the Olympic Games Athens 2004, winning silver.

Discussions between Softball Australia and Baseball Australia are well underway with the sports' international governing body, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), committed to working with the International Olympic Committee to have the diamond sports as a permanent member of the Olympic programme, starting from LA2028.

“Having our national teams at the Olympic Games is an immeasurable boost to the profile and marketability of our sport,” Softball Australia chair Richard Lindell said.

"We had considerable growth across our digital audiences during the recent Olympic period, and we now have a new group of heroes to celebrate and sell the sport to the next generation," added Lindell. "Becoming a permanent sport on the Olympic programme would bring many benefits to our sport both financially and at a participation level, so we hope to gain momentum in those areas by targeting a return for consecutive Games at Los Angeles, Brisbane and beyond."

Baseball Australia CEO Glenn Williams said baseball and softball’s impressive showing at Tokyo 2020, which featured record television broadcasting figures in the host country, as well as its proud Olympic history and global appeal, are all valuable assets to becoming a permanent fixture on the Olympic programme, starting with LA2028.

"We're looking forward to working with the WBSC, our fellow National Sporting Organisations and softball and baseball stakeholders across Australia to secure our sports' future," Williams said. "Both softball and baseball are incredibly inclusive and marketable sports globally. They deserve a permanent fixture in the Olympic cycle."