The executive board (EB) of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved the five additional sports put forward for inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 (LA28) Olympic program.
Now approved, Twenty20 (T20) cricket, flag football, six-a-side lacrosse, squash, and baseball/softball will all take place at the games under rules that allow host cities to put forward sports for IOC approval. The five sports were put forward as they either represent US sports to a global audience or are global sports yet to make their way to the US.
Of the five selections, two – squash and flag football – will be appearing at the Olympic games for the first time, while cricket, baseball/softball, and lacrosse will all be returning to the games after various absences.
Cricket has appeared once at the games, in 1900, and will be played at LA28 in its shorter T20 format. The US is already set to host the men’s T20 Cricket World Cup in 2024, preparing it for the spectacle of hosting one of the world’s most popular sports.
Earlier in 2023, the US also inaugurated its first T20 competition, Major League Cricket, with six men’s and women’s teams aiming to “transform” American cricket.
Baseball/softball, one of the most popular sports in North America, will be returning to the Olympics after featuring at Tokyo 2020, but missing out at Paris 2024.
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Lacrosse, a sport invented by the indigenous people of North America, last appeared at the Olympics in 1908, but has gained global popularity in recent years.
The five proposed sports come in addition to the 28 Olympic sports in LA28’s initial sports program announced by the IOC in February 2022, including aquatics, archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, canoe, cycling, equestrian, fencing, soccer, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, and wrestling.
However, the full list of sports set to take place at LA28 has not yet been finalized, as the status of boxing, modern pentathlon, and weightlifting are all still to be confirmed.
The International Union of Modern Pentathlon today (October 13) stated that the IOC EB had submitted the sport for consideration for LA28, and that the 141st IOC Session will vote on the prospect. The IOC Session will meet in Mumbai, India, between October 15 and 17.
The IOC has also put forward weightlifting for a vote after its anti-doping efforts were delegated to the International Testing Agency in order to combat the problem of doping in the sport.
The future of Olympic boxing, however, is still on the table as any decision regarding its inclusion remains on hold.
In December 2022, the IOC stated that boxing would be shut out of future Olympics until the International Boxing Association (IBA) governing body institutes a “drastic change of culture”.
At the time, the IOC stated: “If a decision had to be taken today regarding the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028, the IOC Executive Board would not be able to recommend the IOC Session to include boxing in the sports program under the authority of the IBA as IBA has not demonstrated that it has successfully addressed the ongoing concerns around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability, and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes.”
As the IOC has not recognized any other governing body for the sport in the IBA’s place, the prospect of boxing at LA28 remains in limbo.