Joint Press Release of October 15, 2012

The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and the International Softball Federation (ISF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining the procedure for establishing a new international federation (IF) to govern both baseball and softball exclusively, as created by the ISF and the IBAF.

As part of the MoU, a Joint Committee will be formed, comprising 8 persons (ISF President and 3 members appointed by the ISF, and IBAF President and 3 members appointed by the IBAF), to oversee all facets of the merger process.

“The MoU gives us the basis to move forward in our Olympic campaign, and gives us added confidence that our plans to merge our two Federations will receive the needed support from our NFs,” said ISF President, Don Porter.

The Joint Committee will set out to have the new federation officially recognized by the IOC, in addition to managing all aspects of the proposal to the IOC for inclusion of men’s baseball and women’s softball on the 2020 Olympic Games Programme.

The leadership of the ISF and IBAF have agreed that such a proposal would be considerably strengthened and better serve the interests of baseball, softball and the athletes represented therein than to have each sport submit separate proposals.

“This is an exciting milestone for baseball and softball and an extremely important step towards our collective efforts to reinstate our sports in the Olympic Programme in 2020,” said IBAF President, Riccardo Fraccari.

The ISF and IBAF leaders’ immediate priority is to establish the campaign platform and prepare for their presentation to the IOC’s Olympic Programme Commission in December.

The IBAF and ISF will turn to their respective Congresses for formal approval of the merger, with the ISF congress set to convene in Houston on October 30 and IBAF implementing a postal vote in the next few weeks.