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Saturday, March 2, 2024

IOC To Vote On Adding New Sports For 2028 LA Olympics

  • The LA28 committee endorsed baseball/softball, cricket, flag football, lacrosse, and squash to be added to 2028’s program.
  • If ratified, flag football and squash would be included in an Olympics for the first time.
The Olympic Rings outside the Olympic Center on Main Street in Lake Placid Jan. 9, 2023.
Frank Becerra Jr. / USA TODAY NETWORK

The LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games shared its recommendations for sports to be included in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles ahead of the International Olympic Committee’s 141st session in Mumbai on Oct. 16.

The LA28 committee endorsed the addition of baseball/softball, cricket, flag football, lacrosse, and squash to the 2028 program. These sports will be presented in Mumbai next week, where the IOC will take a final vote to include them in the Games officially.

“[These sports are] relevant, innovative and community-based, played in backyards, schoolyards, community centers, stadiums and parks across the U.S. and the globe,” LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said. “They will bring new athletes to the Games, engage diverse fanbases and expand the Games’ presence in digital spaces.”

Cricket, which was only played at the Olympics once in 1900, is one of the most popular sports in the world; it reportedly boasts over 1 billion fans and 300 million participants, largely due to its enormous popularity on the Indian subcontinent, where 90% of fans come from. The Twenty20 version of the game would be played at the 2028 Games.

Lacrosse was previously contested at five Olympics — but only twice for medals (1904, 1908) and most recently as a demonstration sport in 1948 with no medals awarded. The sport hopes to make the Haudenosaunee the first indigenous nation to ever compete at the Olympics under its flag. Lacrosse would use the Sixes discipline for its 2028 program.

Baseball and softball have had a checkered history at the Olympics.

The former was first contested for medals at the 1992 Games, with the latter following in 1996. Both sports were removed from the program for 2012 and 2016, added back for 2020 (staged in 2021), and then removed again for 2024.

Flag football and squash would be included in an Olympics for the first time, assuming the IOC ratifies them and LA28’s other recommendations next week.

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