Baseball, softball merge federations

TOKYO -- Baseball and softball have joined forces in a bid to return to the Olympics.

The international federations of both sports on Sunday ratified a constitution to form the World Baseball Softball Confederation.

The formation of a single sporting federation is expected to improve the chances of both sports returning to the Olympics for the 2020 Games.

Baseball and softball have been out of the Olympics since 2008. They are competing against seven other sports for a spot in the Games.

The IOC board will meet next month in St. Petersburg, Russia, to select one or more sports to submit for final consideration to the IOC general assembly in September.

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