Olympic Oversight

The 2012 Olympics won’t be happening in NYC, for whatever that’s worth, but now we hear that baseball and softball have been eliminated as Olympic sports. That’s sad, and it’s wrong. If there’s room for “sports” like rhythmic gymnastics, there surely must be space for one of the world’s most popular games—and surely its greatest—a sport growing in popularity on nearly every continent. Boo.

12 comments… add one
  • Boo f-ing hoo. How many games did YF actually watch, last time out? Has he been a big booster of the international development of the game? What up with the instant cosmopolitan-ness of my co-blogger, only once the hammer comes down on our beloved game?
    Jettisoning the watered-down effort that is the baseball competition is no big deal, with one caveat: there ought to be a world cup of baseball, a real tri-annual (or whatever interval seems doable) tournament involving professionals. Now THAT would be something worth watching, and something that might inspire international development of the game.
    With softball, that loss probably hurts the women’s game in much more measurable terms, and for that the IOC should be chastised. Baseball doesn’t need the olympics, but women’s softball programs worldwide just might.

    SF July 8, 2005, 5:23 pm
  • I think SF is aware that the development of international baseball is FAR MORE than a passing interest for this blogger.
    Whatever the failures of previous Olympic baseball tournaments, the answer is surely not the termination of the program, but the improvement of the system–and with the Olympics 7 years away, there is surely time.
    There’s no better opportunity than the Olympics for building the sport’s international profile and popularity. That it will not have that chance is really sad, and anyone who doesn’t think so, I think, is misguided.

    YF July 8, 2005, 5:53 pm
  • Why the olympics, though? Why not a real World Cup, with true professionals? Why is it the olympics or bust? Or is it not? Can YF clarify his position on this?
    I don’t think NO tournament is the right solution, so stop implying that I am misguided – I think an alternate format is the way to go; it would help make more players available (instead of tying their potential availability to the timing of the summer games, which for the most part is terrible) through independent scheduling. It would be baseball-centric. And the quality of the competition would be fascinating.
    But we could just stick to the craplympic competition, of course, and keep YF happy.

    SF July 8, 2005, 6:02 pm
  • Wow, this site has gotten all postmodern all of a sudden. When SF posts, is it really SF? Or is it YF? Why is YF sometimes SF but SF is never YF? Are they actually the same person?

    Earl July 8, 2005, 6:28 pm
  • Who said anything about the Olympics being exclusive of other tournaments? We’re all for a World Cup. Great. But why should that preclude the Olympics, which is a bigger stage? A WC would ostensibly only be watched by participating countries. The nice thing about the Olympics is that the platform is wider; it presents the game to a wider audience, and encourages that wider audience to participate.

    YF July 8, 2005, 6:30 pm
  • Earl: Apologies for the confusion. As you may have noticed, some of the formatting has changed slightly here over the last few days, as a result of some seriously unwanted changes at Typepad, our hosting service. A YF investigation has revealed that these changes are what have led to the inaccurate author lines on the posts. Shouldn’t happen again.

    YF July 8, 2005, 6:36 pm
  • What does the IOC use as criteria when determining which sports are Olympics-worthy and which ones are not? I mean, short-track speedskating? 2×2 beach volleyball? Retarded. Why not make 3×3 half-court hoops a medal event? Or minature golf? Dodgeball? Marco Polo! I actually really like the Olympics, but powers that be sure do make some non-sensical decisions sometimes. And I agree with SF–no biggie for baseball, but no doubt a blow to women’s softball.

    Spidey July 8, 2005, 7:07 pm
  • Dodgeball!!! Now THAT’S a good idea. We can already feel the outrage from YF should they nix that one…

    SF July 8, 2005, 8:07 pm
  • I don’t know that it presents the game to a wider audience, really. Where I come from it’d be far below shooting and gymnastics and whatever else in TV coverage. Might end up on some 4am reruns or something. Would have been interesting to see the Brits have to field a team though. Not as easy as circling vaguely greek soundign names on rosters.

    billyfrombelfast July 8, 2005, 11:37 pm
  • >> What does the IOC use as criteria when determining which sports are Olympics-worthy and which ones are not? << The sport must be: played in a minimum # of countries; and organized (with committees & tournaments) in those countries. Politics probably plays a part in some of it too.

    billyfrombelfast July 8, 2005, 11:41 pm
  • Isn’t not seeing any Finch-like softballers the bigger issue here?
    I mean, come on IOC, get your priorities in order.

    JTP July 9, 2005, 7:43 pm
  • Article re: World Cup competition in today’s Times.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/10/sports/baseball/10score.html

    SF July 10, 2005, 10:04 am

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