It’s a good thing there are three strikes in softball before you’re out. After the sport was pushed to the sidelines for the 2012 and 2016 Summer Games, it is among the newcomers—along with its sibling, baseball—for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
One month after the good news, softball event veterans are already working to ensure the sport they love will never be out of the Olympics for good.
“Our quest is to show the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 planners that they made a great decision to put softball back in the Olympics,” says Ron Radigonda, executive director of the softball division of the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
There are plenty of reasons to suggest Radigonda and his peers will do just that. For one, few outside of the IOC members who voted softball out of the Olympics during a 2005 meeting understand the logic behind the move. Attendance was strong and the competition level was solid in past Summer Games, notes Radigonda.
“It’s always been a mystery to us,” Radigonda says of the vote in Singapore, in which baseball also struck out. Interestingly, softball was closer to remaining an Olympic sport at the time.