Softball Back in the Olympics

Bri Reyes, Communications Dep

Softball was returning in the 2020 Summer Olympics, but due to Covid-19 the Summer Olympics will be pushed back to July 2021. Softball is not the only sport that is performing in the Summer Olympics, the other sports are skateboarding, surfing, karate, sport climbing, and baseball. The question, is why are they just now bringing back or adding sports? Will they take them out again? When did softball even join the Olympics?

Softball in the Olympics

Softball first performed in the Olympics in 1996, but everyone was requesting for it decades before. People have been writing about their opinions and been talking about softball since 1950! Softball was taken out of the Olympics in 2008 and that decision hurt all the softball athletes and young girls. The sport was the first sport taken out since polo in 1936. Lisa Fernandez was one of the USA Olympic softball players and she talked about how that hurt girls all over the world. She explained how that was one of the only stages they have to showcase their talent to everyone.

Why are they bringing it back?

Each hosting country has an opportunity to add or bring back some sports to the program for that edition. In this case, Japan chose to bring back and add skateboarding, baseball, surfing, sport climbing, softball, and karate. The reason why they are bringing back softball is because the sport is huge in Japan. Team USA has already qualified to play in the Summer Olympics after defeating Japan in the 2018 championships. Japan will also be competing since they can have automatic first bids as being the hosting country. Regional teams from around the world will be filling in the remaining four slots.

How did they leave and why?

Why and how did the sport leave the Olympics? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) held a secret vote to remove softball from the Olympics. Softball was the first team to be removed since polo in 1936. All the players and girls around the world were devastated. This hurt so many young girls and softball players because this was one of the only places they were showing their talent. But fortunately, Tokyo Japan was able to host and add softball to the program this year.

Due to Corona, the Olympics have been pushed back to 2021 but we are still so grateful to be having softball and different sports at the Olympics this year. I am so excited to also be able to watch the other added sports, baseball, skateboarding, karate, sports climbing, and surfing. Watch out next year for the Olympic games and go Team USA!