Ultimate College Softball
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NCexile

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Reply with quote  #1 
From the cover of SI to nothing.  How much will this hurt the sport? I know in my area soccer and volleyball have become the 'sports of choice' for the best female athletes. I see the olympic hype associated with the U.S. teams only contributing to this trend.
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #2 
Soccer and Volleyball have been the sport of choice for many years.  This is not new. My daughter graduated high school 7 years ago, when softball was still in the Olympics, and in terms of high school participation softball was fifth in popularity.  Basketball, soccer and volleyball have always been higher in participation numbers.

Let's face it, softball never did and never will be televised live in prime time by NBC during the Olympics.  That will always belong to volleyball. 

When it was in the Olympics softball got as much notoriety as BMX racing or fencing.  I don't think being in the Olympics is that big of a boost.
NCexile

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Reply with quote  #3 
Good points. Clearly the major demographic for any televised sporting event is the male 18-35 segment.  No question volleyball (especially the beach variety) plays better to that group for apparent reasons. Then there's also the fact that even softball players, for the most part, will not watch other girls play softball.  So, you're right, it might not matter much except to those few players who could leverage an SI cover into some endorsement deals. Without the Olympics there will be no next Jenny Finch.
BillSmith

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To my mind, equal to the lack of the Olympic competition is the waning of interest in the movie A League of Their Own.

A generation of softball players was generated by that movie. The recent film, How Do You Know, that was only remotely related to softball, was a box office flop.

The grassroots are sowed by a Pied Piper to follow or a carrot to chase. Currently the college game is the only one in town.

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TheHammer

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Reply with quote  #5 
Maybe the thing softball has to do to attract a male audience is change their uniform like beach volleyball. wearing a uniform that is masculine won't attract men.
DJPort2008

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHammer
Maybe the thing softball has to do to attract a male audience is change their uniform like beach volleyball.


Play softball in bikinis?
TheHammer

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Reply with quote  #7 
DJPort2008 how many guys do you think will go to a softball game played in bikinis??????
I am sure most games would be all sold out.
fhoenix

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The announcers during the world championships in canada commented that they were asked about the uniforms several times and they relay the reason the uniforms for international competition are still shorts and not the baseball uniforms that colleges have turned to is because they want softball to look different than baseball.

And for fandom and olympic tv vieweing softball (just like baseball) is the slowest paced of the team sports, least action with longest break between action. So you have lots of time to see the athletes standing around or in dugout. And for the male viewing audience 18-35 softball is the least feminine. Gymnastics, swimming , soccer, track relay teams, tennis, volleyball, beach volleyball, water polo, basketball, etc.
Sucks that many young men watch women sports to see fit feminine women compete...and if some are also hot...bonus. Guys are not drawn to watching the butch athlete and neither is marketing. In women mma some disliked gina carano because she was hot, good, and people tuned in to watch her. Ratings soared and people filled the areans to watch her fight but the purist and hard core fans did not want people watching the fights because of hot women that had skills--they wanted people to tune in to watch the sport. Then gina went to american gladiators, movies, and took time off to do every magazine out there and tv shows and movies. Ratings for women fights dropped like a ton of bricks. You could hear crickets chirp. Watching women who looked masculine and like they were on steroids or watching bigger ones who looked like they just got out of prison didn't sell.

And what did mma do? They got more women that looked feminine. They still had masculine butch ones but the feminine ones that look good get people in the doors and watching. And what did the masculine butch females say after seeing the drop after gina left? "Whatever gets people watching is good for our sport". We all benefited from her. Those boxing matchs before and after benefied from the audience and viewers she drew. Her publicity brings attention to our sport. Instead of trying to get people to watch purely for the love of the sport embrace getting fandom of all types. Jenni finch got fandom with skillz and looks. Wherever she appeared on magzines, tc, tv shos, etc. the softball banner was right with her.

Once you get guys watching softball to see women playing ball you will have many of them continuing to watch it as the sport. If that doesn't work they can go to what the porifessional women baseballers wore in the 40s--skirts.


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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #9 

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JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hammer - At your age, you should remember that there is no sense in reading the menu if you can't eat the food.  It's like throwing raw meat in front of a toothless lion.      Frank
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"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
veteranb

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Reply with quote  #11 
Softball in the Olympics was a boost to the game because it get young girls interested in maybe playing in the Olympics. It also helped the international federations financially because now some of the federations charge their own players to be members of the respective national team. The best game of softball is played in college and will only get bigger and better. The international teams, because of a lack of finances, aren't getting better,only worse, and personally I don't expect softball to ever get back into the Olympics. There are personality differences internationally holding the sport back and until those people are retired or gone, the situation won't change.
TheHammer

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Reply with quote  #12 
Frank....Frank don't you know that I am still 39 as my buddy Jack Benny.
by the way what you mentioned might not be too active, but the eyes are more than 100% O.K.
fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #13 

Any sport that gets the olympic exposure benefits. It puts a giant spotlight on it and it gets american media exposure as well as international media coverage. They don't just show the sports they explain them and highlight the stars of the sport. You could have shuffleboard as a sport and it would benefit (the summer olympic  version of curling).

It doesn't "hurt" the sport..,but it is a missed opportunity to showcase the sport worldwide and get a moment in the sun with american media and sports fans. Mostly it is a missed opportunity for the young ladies and women who play and will be at least 8 years before the opportunity comes again. Some, like cat osterman, said they cannot watch the olympics because they should be there. Same feeling I heard from some  girls from conferences that were shut out of the college world series or felt snubbed.


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fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #14 
Osterman to watch Games with clenched teeth

[Andrea Duran, Jennie Finch and Caitlin Lowe receive their silver medals after a 3-1 loss to Japan during the women's gold-medal softball game.]
Getty Images

Andrea Duran, Jennie Finch and Caitlin Lowe receive their silver medals after a 3-1 loss to Japan during the women's gold-medal softball game.

(Reuters) - With much of the world anxiously counting down the hours until the beginning of the London Olympics, Cat Osterman admits her passion for the sporting spectacle is half-hearted at best.

The two-time medal-winning pitcher for the United States softball team traces her lack of enthusiasm to her sport being eliminated from the Olympic program.

"We're excited for people we know that get to go over again but you can't help but think we should be going through processing, we should be getting on a flight soon, we should be over there," she told Reuters in a telephone interview Monday.

"I can't say I see commercials for London and I'm overexcited about it."

Osterman helped the U.S. to the silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Games, the swan song for the sport in the Olympics.

The 29-year-old southpaw, arguably the sport's most well-known player, said she has friends participating in London and perhaps for that reason alone will watch the Games on TV.

"There's just a little bit of an edge when you watch it knowing you should be over there, maybe you should get to watch it live, instead of on TV," said Osterman, who plays in the National Pro Fastpitch league.

She said softball did not get a fair shake as an Olympic sport and discounted the belief held by many that Americans were just too dominant. U.S. teams have earned three golds and one silver during Olympic play.

"There were four Olympics but that's not a lot," said Osterman, who won a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games. "You have to allow countries to catch up and allow the sport to grow.

"Obviously, softball is not very popular in Europe but they didn't really give it a lot of time to grow. They didn't even give people a chance to make it grow there.

"It was a short-lived reality and really unfair."

The Americans outscored their opponents 51-1 in winning the 2004 gold but four years later lost the title game to Japan.

"We've always had close games with Japan, Australia has always been a formidable opponent and even China every now and then has a great pitcher that can hold us too," Osterman said.

"People didn't get to see the international competition year-in and year-out. They saw it only every four years. Every year it's a dogfight."

Softball officials are partnering with baseball -- also given the Olympic guillotine -- with hopes of getting back into the program in 2020.

By then Osterman will have missed a chance to redeem herself after being saddled with the loss in Japan's 3-1 victory in the Beijing title game.

"No way in 2020," she said. "I'm already coming to the end of my career in a couple of years. When I joined the national team I always thought 2012 would be it.

"No way I could hold on that much longer."

 


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uclart47

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Reply with quote  #15 
The Olympics gets along just fine without softball but can international softball survive without the Olympics. Yes probably, but we need to get to a point where a given tournament can be won by more than 1 or 2 teams.
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JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #16 
Without the Olympics showcase, fastpitch loses its most important glamour appeal.  Yes, there is still International Softball, but it doesn't have the vast showcase and hoopla  to a general audience that occurred every four years with the Olympics.  In my opinion, the loss of Olympic Softball was a major blow to the growth of International Softball.  A wise man once told me that my softball schools were like Seventeen Magazine; we had to reinvent ourselves every four years to reach a new audience.  I think the Olympics provided such a launching pad for International and even National Fastpitch and it no longer exists. I feel strong words for Mr. Rogge and Mr. Easton.   Frank
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoiseyGuy
Without the Olympics showcase, fastpitch loses its most important glamour appeal.  Yes, there is still International Softball, but it doesn't have the vast showcase and hoopla  to a general audience that occurred every four years with the Olympics.  In my opinion, the loss of Olympic Softball was a major blow to the growth of International Softball.  A wise man once told me that my softball schools were like Seventeen Magazine; we had to reinvent ourselves every four years to reach a new audience.  I think the Olympics provided such a launching pad for International and even National Fastpitch and it no longer exists. I feel strong words for Mr. Rogge and Mr. Easton.   Frank


I'm not so sure I agree.  Certainly NBC would not have televised softball in prime time.  It would have been relegated to online viewing similar to sailing and BMX racing.  So, that would leave "glamor" to just representing your country playing against other countries.  Isn't that what we have now?

As to little girls growing up dreaming to play in the Olympics, c'mon.  The turnover on Olympic softball teams was so little that only a handful of new players appeared on the team every four years.  Winning the lottery is a more attainable dream.
fhoenix

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Reply with quote  #18 
LMU echo'd what I said many times about team usa softball and pro softball now in general---there are few spots open and many many talented young women wanting them. Take the players that were on team usa this summer and the best american players from NPF to make the usa olympic team. In that scenario most of team usa this summer is at home watching olympics as Osterman, abbott, mendoza, lowe, morgan, etc. play in olympics again. Jennie finch and a few of the other former olympians that retired last year would have held on for one more year to play olympics.

Sure...only the top of the top of the top will make it so most aren't denied a shot at olympics when most cannot even make NPF after a good college career---ask ncaa homerun queen record holder and top sluggger last year camilla carrera...her softball career stopped. She wasn't picked up. No room on teams. What about 2012 Team USa sweetheart Sam Fischer? Her college is done and she isn't on an NPF team. And each year the competition for spots get harder since all the graduating seniors, plus players internationally, plus those that did not make teams the year before are all trying to make teams......and there are only 4 teams (20 spots per team= 80 pro softball spots). By comparison there were 60 players drafted in pro baseball's first round. So yes..the turnover was so small that the elite played and played and played and few others had a shot.

On the other hand every sport benefits from the olympic spotlight.
The problem with softball at the olympics is it is the longest and slowest paced sport so it cannot be prime time. No one I know outside of softball fans or players watched an olympic softball game on tv. Just highlights.
There are many sports at olympics I can name now that most here did not see or have ever seen on tv during olympic broadcast so it isn't just softball.

Soccer is top sport in world by miles followed by basketball--those had their own nbc-run channels for the olympics and had people worldwide tuned in watching live or one of the repeats. You can show a zillion gymnastic, track and field, swimming, and other events in the time to air 1 inning of softball. Same with baseball. But if baseball has pro players (they are trying) it has the star power the media loves and sponsors want to jump on....but it still wouldn't air primetime because it would be the entire 2 hours of their show from 7-9 pm (most likely 7-10 pm to complete the game) AND if you go extra innings you have to leave the event so no one is happy with that.

Also....americans are spoiled in olympic sports. We win most gold and most medals. We dominate. Most other countries are celebrating like it is 1999 when they get any medal. So international softball would benefit from olympics even if american viewers didn't really care. Japan, america, australia, canada, and china not so much but for czech republic, netherlands, south africa and others the olympic exposure is huge to it growing there.
The euro teams that get crushed need the olympics....and america needs those teams to be competitive. Established sports can have dominance--new sports have to be competitive internationally (and get euro teams in the mix not just north america and asia).

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Dewey

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Reply with quote  #19 
Ex-Olympic softball gold medalist Jung living in real world

TheHammer

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Reply with quote  #20 
Dewey, read that article this AM also
was very impresse by her accomplishing her wish.
but my question is why a picture with that snobbish other player.
Dewey

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHammer
Dewey, read that article this AM also
was very impresse by her accomplishing her wish.
but my question is why a picture with that snobbish other player.


Hammer - I like JT quite a bit.  I think you need more sweetener in your coffee.
TheHammer

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Reply with quote  #22 
Tell that to my doctor. he has forebiden anything sweet, even in sayings.
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