The International Olympic Committee has voted to drop softball and baseball from the Olympics in 20012. Drake softball coach Rich Calvert says it’s not a total surprise that softball got cut. He says it’s a global issue more than anything else, as he says softball always been a sport they’ve looked at. He says the committee felt softball and baseball weren’t getting the global recognition around the world that they were getting from powers like the United States. Former Drake player Dani Tyler played on a U-S gold medal softball team. Calvert says the sport became a victim of the U-S success. He says it’s just hard for anyone to put a team on the field to even compete with the U-S, which is possibly the reason they decided to eliminate the sport. Calvert says softball has made great strides in the U-S. He thinks softball’s popularity is at an all-time high with participation up in all age groups. He says Michigan became the first team east of the Mississippi to win the NCAA national title, so it’s more of a national game with talent coming from across the country. Calvert says part of the popularity probably has to do with the T-V and magazine and newspaper coverage the sport has gotten in the Olympics. Calvert says he doesn’t expect any short term impact on the sport as softball will still be played in the 2008 games, and he says hopefully it can get back to the games in 2016. Baseball and softball were the first sports dropped from the Olympics since polo was cut in 1936.
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