THE battle for Olympic status is about to intensify.

Eight sports were approved earlier this week by the organising committee of Tokyo 2020, with 18 being rejected.

The eight have until July 22 to submit proposals before making presentations to the Tokyo organisers in August. A final choice of events to be proposed by the Japanese organisers to the International Olympic Committee will be made by September 30 and a decision on a new discipline for 2020 will be made in Rio de Janeiro by the movement in August next year.

At stake is greater exposure for the fortunate sport, potentially worth millions of pounds in advertising, sponsorship and TV rights, not to mention the kind of government support that is denied non-Olympic events.

Baseball, omitted after 2008 in Beijing, has aligned with softball in a bid to return, but may have to halt the US baseball season to ensure the presence of the best players (basketball and tennis once faced this requirement and conceded). The sport seems likely to be restored - it's hugely popular in Japan, so guaranteed to sell seats and hike up US TV rights fees. However, softball will need to broaden its appeal. Just three nations won 11 of 12 available medals in the last four editions of the Games in which it was contested.

The seven other sports from which one or two can be chosen as demonstration events are: bowling (tenpin and ninepin), karate, roller sports, sport climbing (a demonstration sport at the Youth Olympics in China last year), squash (rejected for a place on the main Tokyo programme), surfing and wushu, commonly known as kung-fu.

Demonstration sports usually reflect the host nation's culture because they boost ticket receipts and sponsorship potential. Karate hopes to follow another host-nation martial art, judo, onto the Olympic stage. Judo was a demonstration event in 1964, when Tokyo last hosted the Olympics, and has been a full medal discipline since 1972.

Significant sums will be spent on the respective campaigns. When wrestling was readmitted, holding off baseball and squash, it was rumoured to have spent $10m in a campaign which included radical rule-changes and admitting women's events.

The 18 to miss out are: air sports, bowls, bridge, chess, dance-sport, floorball, flying disc (frisbee), gridiron, korfball, netball, orienteering, polo, racquetball, snooker, sumo, tug of war, underwater sports, and water skiing.

They will try again, encouraged by reforms initiated by IOC president Thomas Bach who is intent on making the Games more appealing to younger spectators.

Of the 18 sidelined, snooker - despite my own personal reservations about its merits especially on the biggest sporting stage of them all - was the one in which Scots might have been expected to make the biggest impact, given John Higgins and Stephen Maguire being denied a World Cup team victory by two Chinese teenagers. But certain factors put it beyond consideration.

Even within the sport, opinion was heavily divided. It exposed lack of female participation and disinterest in key markets. Even supporters cited the snooker's slow-burn nature, likely to take longer than the marathon and 50,000 metres walk.

The IOC consider only sports for both sexes, and the gulf between men's and women's snooker is more obvious than in traditional disciplines like athletics and swimming, and even newer ones like football. Female snooker participation numbers fall far short of IOC requirements.

At least as pertinent is the fact that the whole of the US boasts only some 400 registered tables - damning given the importance of TV rights fees. And who needs enemies when influential players such as Ronnie O'Sullivan have asserted that the WPBSA world championships is "really boring"? Gerald Ratner could hardly have made a worse promotional pitch.

Snooker is, however, on the programme of the 2018 World Games, in Wroclav. Orienteering, in which Scotland hosts the world championships starting on July 31, is also on the schedule in Poland.

This event is organised by SportAccord, whose president, Marius Vizer, made an ill-advised attack on the Olympic movement at their recent meeting in Sochi. Opposition to his views was so overwhelming that he resigned.

In doing so he leaves his organisation tarnished by association, and that is unfortunate. A total of 53 disciplines in 27 sports will be contested in the 2018 SportAccord event. Only two are replicated in the Olympics. Clearly, the World Games serve an important need for sports which the IOC can't or won't endorse. They must learn to co-exist.