Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you know it's Summer Olympics time. We've been enjoying an occasional Olympic event; gymnastics, swimming and the tandem diving was amazing.
We can't help but feel an emptiness as we watch. The sport we've spent years watching our daughter play, supporting her and encouraging her to do her best and maybe she can go to college and perhaps the Olympics someday, is no longer in the Olympics.
Softball should be in the Olympics.
Girls don't have the same post college opportunity that boys do. Professional softball doesn't pay even close to what their baseball counterparts make. Did you even know there was a National Pro Fastpitch League?
The only reason pro softball has gotten any notoriety, other than the millions of females who play and love the game, is because of the Olympians who have chosen to play in the league. We know who the players were on the Olympic teams and many of them have a job year- round with ESPN or they have endorsements.
Will the pro fast pitch league continue to grow if women's softball doesn't get the exposure it once did in the Olympics? Perhaps at a snail's pace.
Softball not being in the Olympics is like taking a giant leap backwards for the sport. Everything the Olympians did to glorify the sport is nullified. It's a slap in their faces and a smack down to the young athletes who dream of a future in fastpitch softball.
*For more recent information with answers to why softball isn't in the Olympics anymore as well as the efforts to get it reinstated, check out the following article in the Chicago Tribune and this one in the LA Times.