In a statement issued on Monday, Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), revealed that the rule requiring prospective sports to wait seven years before being potentially added to the Games may be abolished.
Bach called the rule outdated:
I know that the Olympic Charter is not set in stone, we have to evolve, adapt to modern times.
I personally would be very much in favor (of changing the rule). The seven-year rule is more or less obsolete. If the IOC, organizing committees and international federations agree then the seven-year rule must not be applied.
I hope there will be changes, I hope I will see some of these changes implemented in my (eight-year) term as president (Reuters).
However, Bach did say the rule has its purposes:
I do not necessarily want to drop the seven-year rule. It can be necessary for a completely new sport, but if we all agree in a certain case that the rule must not be respected because technical conditions are met then why not?
If the IOC indeed alters the charter, that could spell good news for sports like baseball and softball. The two sports missed the cut for inclusion in the 2020 and 2024 Olympics, but there’s been a push to have the decision reexamined in light of how popular both sports are in Japan.