Lacrosse to return to the Olympic Games in 2028
World Lacrosse’s decades-long vision to return the sport to the Olympic stage has been realized, with the International Olympic Committee approving lacrosse’s inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
A New Era for lacrosse starts now.
As an athlete, this is the dream. And today, the next generation lacrosse player picking up a stick for the first time can dream big. There have never been more opportunities for players at the youth, high school, college and professional level. To every lacrosse organization around the world that continues to invest in the growth of the game: thank you. We’re back.
As athletes, this is the pinnacle of our sport, and we would like to thank the entire lacrosse community around the world for their dedication, passion and unwavering commitment in this journey for Olympic inclusion. It is a true celebration of the rich history of lacrosse, and a testament to the unity of our sport.
What lacrosse discipline will be played in the Olympics?
In 2028, men’s and women’s lacrosse will be competed in sixes, an incredibly fast-paced, compact version of the sport at the intersection of field and box lacrosse, making it equally accessible to all lacrosse athletes.
Which teams will play in the 2028 Olympics?
The qualification process will be set in early 2025 once the number of team allocations is confirmed by LA28 and the IOC. Until that process is set, approved and implemented, no teams have qualified. The 2026 World Lacrosse Sixes Championships (men and women) is expected to be the culmination of the qualifying process.
How many teams will compete in the Olympics?
The number of teams – which will be the same for men and women – will be finalized in early 2025 based on allocations managed by LA28 and the IOC.
What teams are eligible to compete at the Olympics?
Team/country eligibility is determined by the IOC and typically requires recognition by the UN and representation by an IOC-recognized National Olympic Committee.
Individual athletes must meet both World Lacrosse and IOC eligibility requirements.
Will the Haudenosaunee be able to play in the Olympics?
World Lacrosse has the utmost respect for the heritage of lacrosse. As the originators of the game, Native Americans are represented by Haudenosaunee Nationals Lacrosse, which is recognized as a full member of World Lacrosse and is warmly welcomed and celebrated at WL events. World Lacrosse also successfully advocated for the Haudenosaunee’s inclusion in The World Games 2022, where both their men’s and women’s teams competed.
Participation at the Olympic Games follows a specific structure involving the 206 National Olympic Committees. World Lacrosse will finalize the LA28 qualification process with the IOC after Paris 2024, and is fully committed to collaborating with the IOC, LA28 and relevant NOCs to find creative solutions to showcase the sport’s history and enable a pathway for the Haudenosaunee to participate in the Olympics while respecting the Olympic Games framework.
Where will lacrosse be played in LA?
Lacrosse fits into the existing LA28 venue plan, and the sport’s competition location is expected to be finalized by LA28 in the coming months.
What happens after 2028; is lacrosse still in the Olympics?
Under the IOC’s process, new sports are initially added for a single edition of the Games and may then become part of the more permanent program, though inclusion for any sport is never guaranteed.
- World Lacrosse’s Top Moments from 2023
- Joint statement from World Lacrosse and Haudenosaunee Nationals Lacrosse
- ‘Women’s lacrosse is a powder keg’ – on the first-time inclusion of women’s lacrosse at the Olympics
- Lacrosse’s return to the Olympics: Q&A
- Leading lacrosse organizations join forces in Elevate28 with shared goal of doubling U.S. participation in the sport to 4 million annual players by 2030
- Meet the New Era of lacrosse