By: International Olympic Committee
Baseball/softball, cricket (T20), flag football, lacrosse (sixes) and squash have been officially included as additional sports on the programme for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028 (LA28). The decision has been taken by the 141st Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The five sports were proposed by the LA28 Organising Committee as a package for their edition of the Games only, and were reviewed and supported by the IOC’s Olympic Programme Commission (OPC) and Executive Board (EB).
For baseball and softball, cricket and lacrosse it will be a return to the Olympic Games, while flag football and squash will be making their Olympic debut in LA.
- Baseball and softball have been part of the programme at several editions of the Olympic Games, most recently at Tokyo 2020.
- Cricket was on the programme for the Olympic Games Paris 1900.
- Lacrosse was included on the programme at St Louis 1904 and London 1908.
- Flag football and squash will make their Olympic debut at LA28.
“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.”
“I have long believed that we have an incredible opportunity in Los Angeles to create the most compelling Games, not just for us, but for the world. Our Olympic sport programme, in its entirety, reflects this belief,” said LA28 Chairperson Casey Wasserman. “We are excited to embark on game-changing collaborations with major professional leagues that will unlock massive opportunities to amplify the Olympic and Paralympic story and captivate new audiences.”
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.
Modern pentathlon and weightlifting
The IOC Session also supported the recommendations made by the IOC EB concerning the status of modern pentathlon and weightlifting, which were not part of the initial sports programme for LA28.
- Modern pentathlon: The IOC Session endorsed the recommendation from the IOC EB to include modern pentathlon on the LA28 sports programme, acknowledging the replacement of horse riding with obstacle racing and the optimisation work conducted by the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) to reduce costs and complexity. As noted by the IOC EB, it is essential for the UIPM to continue to implement the necessary changes in governance and modernise as an organisation. Without the replacement of horse riding with obstacle racing, the sport would not have been included in the programme.
- Weightlifting: The IOC Session accepted the IOC EB’s recommendation to include weightlifting on the LA28 sports programme following the decision of the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) to delegate its anti-doping management to the International Testing Agency (ITA), and its sanctioning to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) at least until the end of 2028. The effectiveness of the anti-doping programmes for the Paris 2024 Olympic qualification and Olympic competition will continue to be closely monitored by the IOC, as will the implementation of the governance and cultural changes adopted by the IWF.
Following the IOC Session decision to withdraw recognition of the International Boxing Association (IBA), the IOC has not recognised another governing body for Olympic boxing. Therefore, the IOC EB decided that any decision regarding the inclusion of boxing on the LA28 sports programme is put on hold, so there was no discussion of this by the IOC Session.
The discipline programme was approved by the IOC EB on 13 October 2023, while 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.