Baseball and softball have been given hope of returning to the program for the Olympics after making the shortlist of sports to be considered for the 2020 Games.

The two sports, which were cut from the Olympics after the 2008 Games, will be up against six others for one spot on the program, according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Squash and karate – two sports that were slated to join the Games but failed to garner the required number of IOC votes at the final hurdle in 2005 – are also in the running, along with wakeboard, sport climbing, roller sports and wushu.

The shortlist will be evaluated and possibly reduced in early 2013, according to IOC president Jacques Rogge. “Twelve sports were considered, eight were retained,” added Rogge, who confirmed that surfing, dancing, bowling and netball missed out. The final list will be put to the vote in late 2013 at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with one spot thought to be available.

The IOC president also confirmed on Monday that men’s and women’s ski slopestyle and snowboard parallel special slalom events would take place at the Sochi 2014 Winter Games. In slopestyle, boarders and skiers aim to do tricks while negotiating rails, jumps and bumps through the downhill course. “Such events provide great entertainment for the spectators and add further youthful appeal,” said Rogge.

In April, the IOC added women’s ski jumping, men’s and women’s ski halfpipe, mixed relay in biathlon and team events in luge and figure skating to the Sochi Games program. The IOC delayed a decision at the time on slopestyle and a team Alpine skiing event after saying that more time was needed to review their technical merits. Although slopestyle was approved on Monday, the team Alpine event was not.

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