Baseball/softball, cricket (T20), flag football, lacrosse (sixes) and squash are the five sports submitted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Executive Board (EB) to the upcoming IOC Session as additional sports for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 (LA28). These additional sports were proposed by the LA28 Organising Committee, for its edition of the Games only, and were reviewed by the Olympic Programme Commission (OPC) before being put forward to the EB.
For baseball/softball, cricket and lacrosse it would be a return to the Olympic Games, while flag football and squash would be making their Olympic debut in LA.
“The choice of these five new sports is in line with the American sports culture and will showcase iconic American sports to the world, while bringing international sports to the United States. These sports will make the Olympic Games LA28 unique,” said IOC President Thomas Bach. “Their inclusion will allow the Olympic Movement to engage with new athlete and fan communities in the US and globally.”
This selection of sports is the result of a thorough process and analysis based on evaluation criteria set out before the process began, including gender equality. It considered the utilisation of existing facilities, involving a wide range of sports communities both in the United States and globally, and incorporating some of the most popular sports in the United States and across the globe.
Lacrosse was created by the Indigenous Peoples of North America and started to spread internationally in the 19th century, initially to Great Britain and Australia. Its potential inclusion on the LA28 sports programme (with the sixes format) would be its third appearance at the Olympic Games, after St Louis 1904 and London 1908. Its presence at LA28 would provide a unique opportunity to connect its North American heritage with its growing youth appeal. Lacrosse is experiencing tremendous development both in the US and globally, with four continents represented in the world ranking top 10.
The full release from the IOC with notes on all five sports can be found here.
LA28 discipline programme
The LA28 discipline programme has been finalised by the IOC EB and will not require any approval by the IOC Session.
Like the other decisions, it was based on the recommendations of the OPC. The OPC undertook a full review in the context of the Los Angeles 2028 programme principles approved by the IOC EB in April 2022, reflecting the Olympic Charter, the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020+5, and both the IOC’s and LA28’s vision for the Games.
Overall, the discipline review highlighted various opportunities that exist for the IOC, LA28 and the IFs to work together to reduce the cost and complexity of the sports programme at the Games.
Following a holistic review of all existing and new disciplines proposed by the respective IFs with sports on the LA28 programme, only one change has been made to the discipline programme compared to Paris 2024, with beach sprint rowing, a format of the coastal rowing discipline, included on the Olympic programme for the first time. It will replace the lightweight double sculls (men 2x and women 2x) events. The inclusion of beach sprint rowing is the outcome of a decade-long development of coastal rowing with the active support of rowing communities across the world. The new discipline will share an existing Games venue, to be determined, with another sport.
A critical consideration in the discipline review was maximising venue-sharing opportunities and leveraging existing, world-class venues and infrastructure in LA and the US. This will be reflected in the LA28 venue master plan.
The programme of events and athlete quotas will be finalised after Paris 2024. The OPC will now work on ensuring that the final athlete quota numbers for the Olympic Games LA28 remain reasonable and below the overall quota for Tokyo 2020.