Category Archives: IOC

4-29-2017 Junior Women’s National Team

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 28, 2017

 

Schedule announced for 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team

 

OKLAHOMA CITY — USA Softball has announced the Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT) schedule for the 2017 season, highlighted by events in four major cities, including the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Junior Women’s World Championship (JWWC) and the World Cup of Softball. As the team prepares to defend and strive for back-to-back Gold Medal finishes at the WBSC JWWC in Clearwater, Fla., a mixture of exhibition games and training in multi-cities, along with competing against some of the top international teams at the World Cup of Softball, will headline the summer for the 24 athletes who make up the training team roster.

 

Click here to see the complete schedule for the 2017 USA Softball Junior Women’s National Team

 

“I’m really excited about the schedule we have for our Junior Women’s National Team,” said Head Coach Laura Berg (Corvallis, Ore.). “They’ll have lots of time to bond together at practice, during games and traveling to our tour stops.  I believe playing against the older international players at the World Cup of Softball is key to preparing them for the Junior Women’s World Championship.”

 

All 24 members of the training team will meet at USA Softball headquarters June 11-19 in Oklahoma City, Okla. to train at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex to officially kick off their 2017 season. Highlighting the Oklahoma City tour stop will be exhibition games on June 16 (5 and 7 p.m. CT), June 17 (3 and 5 p.m. CT) and June 18 (9 a.m. CT).  From there, Team USA will travel to Concord, Mass. to continue training on June 23.

 

The athletes will take a brief break before returning to Oklahoma City for the World Cup of Softball, which will be held July 5-9, and face powerhouse teams from across the globe. The team will continue on and hit the road for Clearwater, Fla. where they will train during the days leading up to the WBSC JWWC, set to take place July 24-31 at Eddie C. Moore Complex.

 

The JWNT will conclude their season in Ohio where they will participate in an exhibition game on August 9 before the Major League Baseball (MLB) Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series on August 10 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The RBI program is the Major League Baseball youth initiative designed to provide young people from underserved and diverse communities with opportunities to play baseball and softball, while also encouraging academic achievement and success, and teaching the value of teamwork and other important life lessons.

 

Announced earlier this year was the coaching staff for the 2017 JWNT, including Head Coach and four-time Olympian Berg, in addition to Assistant Coaches Trisha Ford (Fremont, Calif./Head Coach at Arizona State), Kristie Fox (San Diego, Calif./Head Coach at UT-Arlington), two-time Olympian Natasha Watley (Irvine, Calif./Director of Operations at CSUN), and three-time Olympian Lori Harrigan-Mack (Las Vegas, Nev./Pitching coach at College of Southern Nevada).

 

Fans at home can follow along all summer long with the USA Softball National Teams at USASoftball.com.

 

8-3-2016 IOC Adds Baseball/Softball to 2020 Tokyo Program

Softball and baseball added to Tokyo 2020 Olympic program following IOC approval

Aug. 03, 2016, 2:35 p.m. (ET)

OKLAHOMA CITY – The hopes and dreams of millions of softball athletes across the globe have been answered today as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted today to approve the addition of five new sports to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today.  The decision, which comes after the IOC met in Rio de Janeiro, was made possible after the groundbreaking Olympic Agenda 2020, which provides flexibility for the future of the Olympic Movement to encourage innovation in the Olympic program.  In addition to softball/baseball, other sports that will be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing.

“What a truly great day for the sports of softball and baseball,” said ASA/USA Softball Executive Director Craig Cress.  “For softball and baseball to be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games program is a dream come true for many athletes across the world.  USA Softball is proud to be the National Governing Body for the sport of softball and will continue to work diligently every day to promote our great sport of softball on the world stage.”

Softball and baseball’s global reach, loyal fan-base and positioning across many of the biggest sports markets, including Japan, offers a unique opportunity to further spread and elevate the Olympic brand.  The decision today further highlights the growing global appeal of the two sports, particularly among young people and women.  In Japan, softball/baseball have remained atop the landscape and a central part of the culture for more than 70 years.  Other factors considered in the sports package include the impact on gender equality, the youth appeal of the sports and the legacy value of adding them to the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Softball spent four “quads” as an Olympic sport debuting in the 1996 Atlanta Games with the final Olympic softball competitions taking place in Beijing in 2008. Softball and baseball were ousted from the 2012 Olympics following a vote from the IOC in 2005 in which softball, needing a simple majority of votes (53), received just 52.  Despite its exclusion from the Olympics for the past eight years, international softball has become increasingly competitive as a record 30 nations competed in last month’s 2016 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada and a record-breaking 12 nations competed at the World Cup of Softball XI in Oklahoma City, Okla.  This was also highly showcased during the USA vs Japan All-Star Series in Tokyo and Sendai, Japan, where members of the USA Softball Women’s National Team squared off against Japan in a three-game series.  A record-breaking 31,448 fans attended Stage One of the series at the Tokyo Dome, while an additional 3,000 fans attended the final two stages at Shellcom Sendai.

“Thank you to the IOC and the WBSC for this tremendous honor for not only our sport, but our athletes and the millions of young girls who dream of one day being an Olympian,” said USA Softball Women’s National Team athlete Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.).  “This means so much to not only our USA Softball Women’s National Team program, but to millions of girls across the world.  Even if I’m not there, knowing that softball athletes will get to compete on the highest stage against the best competition in the world is amazing.”

In four Olympic Games appearances, the USA Softball Women’s National Team claimed three Gold Medals and one Silver Medal finish while setting numerous international records and are one of only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three-consecutive Gold Medals.  In 2012, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Lisa Fernandez and the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team were honored for their accolades with induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.  Members of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team set 18 Olympic records in Athens.  Among the team records set were the most hits (73), highest team batting average (.343) and highest slugging percentage (.559). Fernandez set the individual record for batting average with .545 while Crystl Bustos’ 10 RBI and five home runs were also records.

This decision comes just 10 days after the USA Softball Women’s National Team claimed their first WBSC Women’s World Championship title since 2010 after defeating Japan 7-3 in the Gold Medal finale.  As a team, the U.S. finished the 2016 WBSC Women’s World Championship with a .436 team batting average, 19 home runs, 80 RBI and outscored opponents 83-10.  The pitching staff was lights out, allowing just eight earned runs for a 1.19 ERA.

 

SPY note: The WSJ says the inclusion for 2020 is not binding on future Olympiads.  IOC has 28 permanent venues, and sports like baseball/softball will have to br added as new Olympiads are proposed.

7-30-2016 PGF Innovations Boost Fastpitch Softball

Two events hosted Friday night by Premier Girls Fastpitch significantly expanded horizons for18U girls while yielding a sharp focus on players who could be selected for the 2020 USA Olympic Team.

The PGF national championship matched two traditional Gold-level powerhouses: Firecrackers Rico and Cruisers. The Firecrackers, coached by Tony Rico, defeated the Cruisers coached by Mel Siever, 2-0.  Three hits each with a strong performance by Katherine Vestal who pitched out of two bases loaded jams.

Later, the PGF inaugural All American seniors game was won by the West squad 4-3 on a walkoff single bottom 7th.  The West squad was coached by Jennie Finch, with assistants Toni Mascarenas and Crystyl Bustos.  The East squad was coached by Jennie Ritter, with Garland Cooper and Suzy Brazney.

Significantly for the long term interests of the sport, ESPN broadcast both games live.

Equally significant, the stadium at Bill Barber Park in Irvine was full both games.

US international interests are in good hands.  The national team fielded by USA Softball won Gold at its most recent tournament and a relatively young squad will be in the mix for 2020 berths with the youngsters showcased tonight.

Virtually all players in the All American game are committed, with players entering this fall into several dominant college programs including national champion Oklahoma.

 

EAST vs. WEST TEAMS – FINAL HIGH SCHOOL ALL AMERICAN SELECTIONS

Garland Cooper Coached by Jennie Finch
Jennie Ritter Toni Mascarenas
Suzy Brazney Crystal Bustos
First Name Last Name State Position College First Name Last Name State Position College
Nicole Mendes TX P/1B Oklahoma Mia Camuso CA 1B/OF Oregon
Caroline Hedgcock IL P Arkansas Amanda Doyle CA Inf LSU
Kendyl Lindaman IA C Minnesota Dejah Mulipola CA C Arizona
Jordan Roberts FL C Florida Montana Dixon CA C Stanford
Kayla Konwent WI C/3B Wisconsin Tristen Edwards CA OF/C Nebraska
Shannon Rhodes TX 3B/2B Oregon Jessica Harper CA Inf Arizona
Morgan Mc Callum S Kentucky Bradie Fillmore ID SS/P Cal
Taylor Ellis TX MI Baylor Madilyn Nickles CA P/UT UCLA
Claire Jenkins AL MI Alabama Nicole Bates CA SS Washington
Madison Naujokas IL MI JMU Mackenzie Boesel CA SS S. Carolina
Alissa Dalton TX MI/3B Oklahoma Madison Uden AZ MI Michigan
Miranda Elish IN P Oregon Nerissa Eason CA P Oregon St.
Katie Chronister FL P Florida Mariah Lopez CA P Oklahoma
Maggie Balint PA P Oregon Alyssa Loza CA P/1B ASU
Jacquelyn Switzer GA OF Florida Aaliyah Jordan CA OF UCLA
Ciara Bryan GA OF/3B Georgia Jenna Holcomb CA OF Tennessee
Elissa Brown AL Inf/OF Alabama Kelsie Whitmore CA OF/MI Fullerton
Hannah Edwards PA OF Pitt Alyssa Barrera CA OF/2B Utah
Kelbi Fortenberry TX OF/MI TX A&M Unable to Attend
Jaime Hoover GA C/3B Florida Unable to Attend
Bailey Hemphill LA C Alabama Unable to Attend

Spy could not attend and did not have a lineup so more detail was not available.

7-24-2016 IOC Decision on Russian Athletes

Decision of the IOC Executive Board concerning the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016

I.

The IOC Executive Board (EB) has today further studied the question of the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. In its deliberations, the IOC EB was guided by a fundamental rule of the Olympic Charter to protect clean athletes and the integrity of sport.

The study included the discussion of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Independent Person (IP) Report by Prof. Richard McLaren; the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on 21 July 2016 concerning the rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF); as well as the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code.

Given the urgency of the situation, with the Olympic Games Rio 2016 starting in 12 days, and the athletes’ entry process already underway, the IOC EB had to take a preliminary decision with regard to the participation of Russian athletes in Rio de Janeiro. Prof. McLaren states in his report that it “fulfils partially the mandate of the Independent Person”. This is why the IOC supports his request to continue and finalise his work. On the other hand, this situation leads to an urgency for the IOC which does not allow it sufficient time for hearings for affected athletes, officials and organisations.

The IOC EB has given the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) the opportunity to present the case of the Russian athletes and the ROC. This was done by Mr Alexander Zhukov, ROC President, at the beginning of the EB telephone conference, which he left immediately following his presentation.

During his presentation, Mr. Zhukov explained that the Russian Federation and the ROC guarantee full cooperation with all international organisations to shed light on the issue in every respect. He also guaranteed that the ROC commits to a complete and comprehensive restructuring of the Russian anti-doping system. In this context, he stressed that the ROC is committed to clean sport and would work towards guaranteeing clean sport in Russia.

He further stated that all Russian athletes selected for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 have been tested over the last six months by foreign anti-doping agencies. Samples were taken by foreign doping control officers and the samples analysed in foreign laboratories. Russian athletes who participated in different competitions in all sports have submitted more than 3,000 doping samples. The vast majority of the results were negative.

The IOC EB discussed the status of the ROC. In this respect, it took note of the fact that the IP Report made no findings against the ROC as an institution.

The IOC EB took note of a letter dated 23 July 2016 from the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF). In this letter the ISSF confirms having received from WADA information about the three “disappearing samples” concerning shooting. The ISSF states that these three samples had been entered, at the time they were reported, into WADA’s ADAMS Results Management System as positives, and all the result management procedures have already been followed.

On the basis of the Findings of the IP Report, all Russian athletes seeking entry to the Olympic Games Rio 2016 are considered to be affected by a system subverting and manipulating the anti-doping system. The IP Report indicates that, due to “the highly compressed timeline”, the IP has “only skimmed the surface of the extensive data available”. The IOC EB therefore came to the conclusion that this view cannot be restricted only to athletes from the 20 Olympic summer sports mentioned in the IP Report.

Under these exceptional circumstances, Russian athletes in any of the 28 Olympic summer sports have to assume the consequences of what amounts to a collective responsibility in order to protect the credibility of the Olympic competitions, and the “presumption of innocence” cannot be applied to them. On the other hand, according to the rules of natural justice, individual justice, to which every human being is entitled, has to be applied. This means that each affected athlete must be given the opportunity to rebut the applicability of collective responsibility in his or her individual case.

After deliberating, the IOC EB decided:

1. The IOC will not accept any entry of any Russian athlete in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 unless such athlete can meet the conditions set out below.

2. Entry will be accepted by the IOC only if an athlete is able to provide evidence to the full satisfaction of his or her International Federation (IF) in relation to the following criteria:

• The IFs*, when establishing their pool of eligible Russian athletes, to apply the World Anti-Doping Code and other principles agreed by the Olympic Summit (21 June 2016).

• The absence of a positive national anti-doping test cannot be considered sufficient by the IFs.

• The IFs should carry out an individual analysis of each athlete’s anti-doping record, taking into account only reliable adequate international tests, and the specificities of the athlete’s sport and its rules, in order to ensure a level playing field.

• The IFs to examine the information contained in the IP Report, and for such purpose seek from WADA the names of athletes and National Federations (NFs) implicated. Nobody implicated, be it an athlete, an official, or an NF, may be accepted for entry or accreditation for the Olympic Games.

• The IFs will also have to apply their respective rules in relation to the sanctioning of entire NFs.

3. The ROC is not allowed to enter any athlete for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if he or she has served the sanction.

4. The IOC will accept an entry by the ROC only if the athlete’s IF is satisfied that the evidence provided meets conditions 2 and 3 above and if it is upheld by an expert from the CAS list of arbitrators appointed by an ICAS Member, independent from any sports organisation involved in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

5. The entry of any Russian athlete ultimately accepted by the IOC will be subject to a rigorous additional out-of-competition testing programme in coordination with the relevant IF and WADA. Any non-availability for this programme will lead to the immediate withdrawal of the accreditation by the IOC.

Beyond these decisions, the IOC EB reaffirmed the provisional measures already taken on 19 July 2016. They remain in place until 31 December 2016, and will be reviewed by the EB in December 2016.

Additional sanctions and measures may be imposed by the IOC following the final report of the IP and due legal procedure by the IOC Disciplinary Commission established on 19 July 2016 under the chairmanship of Mr Guy Canivet (Vice-Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission, former member of the French Constitutional Court and President of the French Cour de Cassation) and the IOC EB.

The IOC EB reaffirms its serious concerns about the obvious deficiencies in the fight against doping. The IOC thus emphasises again its call to WADA to fully review their anti-doping system. The IOC will make its contribution to this review by proposing measures for clearer responsibilities, more transparency, better supervision procedures and more independence.

* The IAAF has already established its eligibility pool with regard to Russian athletes.

II.

The IOC EB further studied the request by the Russian track and field athlete, Mrs Iuliia Stepanova, to compete in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as a “neutral athlete”. Since Mrs Stepanova declined to compete as a member of the ROC Team, the IOC EB had to consider the question of whether an exception to the rules of the Olympic Charter is possible and appropriate. Since this request has important ethical aspects, the IOC EB had asked the IOC Ethics Commission for its advice. The Ethics Commission has heard Mrs Stepanova and IAAF and ROC representatives.

Mrs Stepanova is basing her request on her role as “whistle-blower” with regard to the manipulation of the anti-doping system and corruption involving the WADA-accredited Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) and the IAAF. The Ethics Commission applauds the contribution of Mrs Stepanova to the fight against doping. It put this contribution into the perspective of Mrs Stepanova’s own long implication, of at least five years, in this doping system and the timing of her whistle-blowing, which came after the system did not protect her any longer following a positive test for which she was sanctioned for doping for the first time.

After a careful evaluation of the arguments, the Ethics Commission gave the following advice to the IOC EB:

“While it is true that Mrs Stepanova’s testimony and public statements have made a contribution to the protection and promotion of clean athletes, fair play and the integrity and authenticity of sport, the Rules of the Olympic Charter related to the organisation of the Olympic Games run counter to the recognition of the status of neutral athlete. Furthermore, the sanction to which she was subject and the circumstances in which she denounced the doping practices which she had used herself, do not satisfy the ethical requirements for an athlete to enter the Olympic Games.”

The IOC EB accepted the advice of the IOC Ethics Commission, also taking into consideration its above-mentioned decision not to allow any Russian athlete who has ever been sanctioned for doping to participate in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Therefore, the IOC will not enter Mrs Stepanova as a competitor in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

However, the IOC EB would like to express its appreciation for Mrs Stepanova’s contribution to the fight against doping and to the integrity of sport. Therefore the IOC invites Mrs Stepanova and her husband to the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Furthermore, the IOC is ready to support Mrs Stepanova so that she can continue her sports career and potentially join a National Olympic Committee.

Lausanne, 24 July 2016

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7-5-2016 World Baseball Softball Report

BASEBALL, SOFTBALL OLYMPIC APPEAL HIGHLIGHTED BY RECORD-ATTENDANCE FOR TOKYO DOME DURING INTERNATIONAL SOFTBALL SERIES
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The opening game of the World Baseball Softball Confederation-sanctioned international softball series between world’s No. 1 Japan and No. 2 United States attracted a record crowd of 31,448 fans to the iconic Tokyo Dome, reinforcing the sport’s rapid growth and its universal appeal.

It was the first time in history that an international, elite softball competition was held in the Tokyo Dome, which is the home of the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball.
Japan, the 2008 Olympic gold medalists, defeated USA, the 2004 Olympic gold medalists, 5-1. The three-game international softball showcase was staged in Japan from 23-25 June and won by Japan.
Officials from the Organising Committee of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were in attendance to observe the opening game.
The final two games of the series were brought to Sendai. It was the first international softball event in Sendai since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
A home run derby, which was held prior to each game, was a fan-favorite adding to the electric atmosphere and overall fan experience and highlighted the WBSC’s commitment to deliver a sports product that captivates and inspires audiences worldwide.
“Baseball and softball’s global reach and loyal fan-base, especially among young people and women, combined with its popularity across many of the biggest markets in the sports industry, including Japan, offers a unique opportunity to further spread and elevate the Olympic brand, while connecting it with new audiences and more young people,” WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari said.
“The unprecedented success of this three-game series further highlights baseball and softball’s growing international appeal.”
Baseball / softball at the National Team level has never been as popular as it is today — among fans, broadcasters, partners and the players themselves. In Japan, baseball / softball has remained atop the landscape and a central part of the culture for more than 70 years. The WBSC Premier12 global baseball championship last November was Japan’s most-watched international sports event broadcasted in 2015.
Both the USA and Japan expanded their professional women’s softball leagues this year, which further strengthens and promotes healthy active lifestyles among women. The sport offers young people across the world — particularly girls — a safe and accessible route to get involved with sport and the WBSC is actively promoting global grassroots participation for girls and women, in line with IOC President Thomas Bach’s Olympic Agenda 2020 vision.
WBSC Secretary General, Low Beng Choo: added “It was a privilege to be in attendance at this record-breaking series. The passion, enthusiasm and dedication of the softball fans in Tokyo was clear for all to see and I have no doubt Japan is in a position to stage a remarkable WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship in 2018.”
Japan will host the flagship softball competition in 2018.
A record 31 women’s national teams will unite later this month at the 2016 Women’s Softball World Championship in Surrey, Canada.
A final vote on the composition of the sports programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be taken at the IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro in August, and, if approved, it would constitute “the most comprehensive evolution of the Olympic programme in modern history,” according to a recent IOC statement following the IOC Executive Board’s unanimous vote to recommend baseball/softball among a new sports package for the Olympic Games in 2020.