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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2005 > Statement from Little League International

Statement from Little League International

Williamsport, Pennsylvania
July 8, 2005

This statement is regarding the removal of baseball and softball from the “Programme of Sports” at the Games of the XXX Olympiad in 2012, as announced by the 117th International Olympic Committee Session in Singapore today.

(The text of this statement may be attributed to Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball)

Little League International is deeply disappointed with the action taken today. The addition of baseball as a full medal sport in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, and softball in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, helped to fuel the development of local Little Leagues internationally. During that time, millions of boys and girls around the world have benefited from playing Little League Baseball and Softball, as baseball and softball federations in those countries have allocated resources to help children learn these sports.

Little League pledges to continue to work closely with the baseball and softball federations of the world, particularly with Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball, and Aldo Notari, President of the International Baseball Federation, to ensure that these international sports are again recognized as full medal sports by the International Olympic Committee.


Statistics:
Number of Little Leaguers worldwide in 1984 (the first time in 20 years baseball had been a demonstration sport in the Olympics): 1.88 million
Number of Little Leaguers worldwide today: 2.65 million
Number of countries with Little League programs in 1984: 27
Number of countries with Little League programs today: 81
Softball was never a demonstration sport in the Olympics. Its first year as a full medal sport was 1996.