The International Olympic Committee (IOC) threw a curve ball at the international softball community when they voted to remove the sport from the Olympic competition. Originally, it was only baseball that was to be removed from the Games because there were too few teams. But it was decided that softball would be dismissed too.
In 2005, the IOC met in Singapore and made the decision that softball would be dropped out of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The committee felt that it was not played enough outside the United States. It was deemed 'too American.' Especially when you take into account that the U.S. has taken home the gold in softball since it became a medal sport in 1996.
Lisa Fernandez, three-time softball gold medalist, expresses her views on the removal. "You almost feel like a failure because you dedicated your life and you trained the way you trained, it's heartbreaking, you know, especially for those athletes who have dedicated since 1996 when they were 12 knowing there would be a shot in 2012. Now there isn't."
Girl softball athletes all across America have made petitions to reinstate softball in the Olympics, so they one day can have a future with the sport. As a softball player myself, I was disappointed with the IOC's decision. Although I am not Olympic material, I enjoy watching and playing the game. I sympathize with those who will never get the chance to represent their country by participating in the Olympic Games.
However, this isn't the last inning. Softball fans still have a chance because the sport has the right to reapply for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Hopefully, one day they can bat it out of the park and get softball reinstated.