Softball—along with baseball, surfing, karate, skateboarding and sport climbing—will now be played at the next Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan. The news comes on the heels of the IOC announcing in June that it would recommend all five sports unanimously for the 2020 Olympics in a general assembly vote in Rio de Janeiro just ahead of the start of the 2016 Games.
Softball, which had been omitted from the Summer Games for the 2012 and 2016 Olympic years, was initially removed from the program just two days after London was awarded the 2012 Games in 2005. A committee composed of 85% men eliminated the sport, despite it being played competitively in roughly 130 countries around the world. The last Olympic pitch was subsequently thrown in Beijing in 2008.