Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Last Olympic roster announced

USA Softball announced their national team line-up for the 2008 Olympics. The LA Times story about the announcement is supposed to be about the predominance of Californians on the roster (15 of the 18 are from CA; though 3 people will be cut before the Olympics to bring the roster down to 15 so that stat may change). But since that isn't really a good angle in a story about women's softball, most of the article focuses on 2008 being the last Olympics and the efforts veterans like Lisa Fernandez and Stacy Nuveman (who have both made the preliminary roster) are making to keep softball an Olympic sport.
How successful such efforts are remains to be seen. The decision to take softball off the Olympic schedule along with baseball, in hindsight, seems like a confluence of misunderstandings. The fact does remain, however, that the US dominates the sport internationally with Japan and Australia working hard to catch up. But there are plenty of other sports where one or two countries dominate. But their history is longer and we call these periods of domination "cycles." Keeping softball in the Olympics is the only way to grow the sport internationally and give it the chance of actually having its own cycles.

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