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Olympics

List of sports likely to be included in Los Angeles Olympics 2028

Published at :October 12, 2023 at 10:23 PM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : South China Morning Sports)

Ashwathy Rajendran


Cricket was last played in 1900 edition.

The Los Angeles Olympics 2028 is set to feature cricket alongside squash, lacrosse, flag football and baseball/softball to offer a diverse array of events. The five newly suggested sports following extensive discussions between LA and the IOC's Olympic Programme Commission are anticipated to receive formal confirmation within sometime. The official ratification is scheduled to take place at the 141st IOC session in Mumbai which will commence this Sunday (October 15th).

Among the five proposed sports, three have a history of being contested at the Olympic Games: baseball-softball (1992–2008 and 2020), cricket (1900) and lacrosse (1904 and 1908) while Flag football and squash would be Olympic debutants.

However, the addition of five new sports presents a challenge for the International Olympic Committee to stay within its athlete quota of 10,500 for each Games. Breaking, which was chosen for Paris 2024 has not been included for 2028.

Cricket

After extensive debate and diplomatic efforts, there has been a revived campaign in recent years to bring cricket back to the global stage following its inclusion in the Commonwealth Games. The main issue that has persisted is the strong opposition from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which has been concerned about relinquishing its autonomy to the country's Olympic committee.

The current Olympic broadcasting rights in India are reportedly valued at just £15.6 million ($20 million) for Paris 2024. However, experts suggest that this figure could potentially surge to £150 million now that cricket has been added. The T-20 format will be added for both men and women.

Lacrosse

Lacrosse made its Olympic debut in the early 1900s which is one of the fastest-growing sports at high school and college levels in the United States. The sport is fast-paced and high-scoring "sixes" event which is played over four eight-minute quarters.

However, there are some concerns to consider. Lacrosse's global appeal is somewhat limited beyond the United States and Canada. Additionally, the sport can be expensive to play due to the required equipment which doesn't align with the preference of Olympic officials for games accessible to athletes from economically disadvantaged nations.

Squash

The inclusion of squash in the 2028 Olympic Games is met with enthusiastic appreciation by key stakeholders as the idea has been passionately lobbied for over the course of several decades. The World Squash Federation (WSF), US Squash and the Professional Squash Association (PSA) have collectively welcomed the decision made by the LA28 Organizing Committee to recommend squash for inclusion in the LA 2028 Olympic sports program.

The WSF expressed that this decision marks a significant and thrilling milestone in the sport's history as it approaches the possibility of making its debut appearance in the Olympic Games. This recognition paves the way for squash enthusiasts worldwide to witness the sport's excellence on the grandest sporting stage.

Baseball/Softball

While baseball and softball both made appearances at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, they were omitted from the Paris 2024 program. However, there is hope for their return at LA 2028. The men's baseball and women's softball is included in LA28's list of proposed sports. This addition of baseball receives strong support as the discipline is innovative, and community-based which can be played in backyards, schoolyards, community centers, stadiums and parks across the U.S. and the globe.

Flag football

The addition of flag football to the list of proposed sports for the 2028 Olympics holds significant promise and marks a milestone in the sport's history. Flag football, a non-contact variant of American football stands out as a unique and exciting choice.

While American football may not be as widely played globally, there is a noteworthy connection between flag football and the NFL. However, there may also be consideration for sports more familiar in regions like Asia and Africa.

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