The international governing bodies for baseball (International Baseball Federation) and softball (International Softball Federation) have approved the formation of one federation that will govern both sports—The World Baseball Softball Confederation.
“In addition to the increased visibility, our sports under one banner will provide the footing for clear and consistent messaging,” WBSC co-President and current ISF President Don Porter said in a release.
The leaders of the WBSC are in Lausanne, Switzerland, to present the sports' case for reinstatement in the 2020 Summer Olympics. A presentation will be given on Wednesday, Dec. 19, to the International Olympic Committee's executive members, who will then make a recommendation to the Program Commission.
“Our swift agreement on this issue is a good indicator of our ability to work together as a team and of keeping the focus on our primary objectives of further developing baseball and softball and of obtaining results that will help us earn a place on the Olympic Programme,” said WBSC co-President Riccardo Fraccari and current IBAF President.
This merger further pushes the idea that the sports can be a two-for-one deal. As John Manuel wrote in July, it would be one bat-and-ball sport with two disciplines: men's baseball and women's softball. A hypothetical scenario would be the two sports share the same facility with the baseball team walking in the Opening Ceremonies and playing during the first week of the Olympics. The field would then be converted for softball, the women would use the venue and fill the men's rooms in the Olympic Village and play during the second half of the Olympics before walking in the Closing Ceremonies.