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IOC Approves Five New Sports for Los Angeles 2028


The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Executive Board has given the green light for the inclusion of five additional sports in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic program.

The newly approved sports, including Twenty20 cricket, flag football, six-a-side lacrosse, squash and baseball/softball, will feature in the LA28 Games based on the IOC’s rules that allow host cities to propose sports for IOC endorsement. These five sports were selected either because they represent American sports to a global audience or are global sports yet to establish a presence in the United States.

Among these selections, squash and flag football will make their Olympic debut, while cricket, baseball/softball and lacrosse will make a comeback to the Olympics after varying periods of absence.

Cricket, which appeared once in the Olympics in 1900, will be played in its shorter Twenty20 (T20) format at LA28. The US is already slated to host the men’s T20 Cricket World Cup in 2024 – a landmark Stateside event for one of the world’s most popular sports.

In early-02023, the US inaugurated its first T20 competition, Major League Cricket, with six men’s and women’s teams, aiming to transform the landscape of American cricket.

Baseball/softball, a beloved sport in North America, returns to the Olympics after being featured in Tokyo 2020 but missing out for Paris 2024.

Lacrosse, a sport with indigenous North American roots, last appeared at the Olympics in 1908 and has gained worldwide popularity in recent years.

These five proposed sports complement the initial LA28 sports program, consisting of 28 Olympic sports announced by the IOC in February 2022, encompassing a customarily wide range of athletic disciplines.

However, the full list of sports for LA28 is yet to be finalised, as the inclusion of boxing, modern pentathlon and weightlifting remains to be confirmed.

The International Union of Modern Pentathlon recently announced that the IOC EB has proposed the sport for consideration in LA28. The final decision will be subject to a vote during the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, India, taking place from October 15-17.

The IOC has also submitted weightlifting for a vote, following a shift in anti-doping efforts to the International Testing Agency to combat doping issues in the sport.

The future of Olympic boxing remains uncertain, with a decision for inclusion in the Los Angeles Games pending. In December 2022, the IOC indicated that boxing would be excluded from future Olympics until the International Boxing Association (IBA) governing body undertakes significant cultural changes.

“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,” an IOC statement read.

Since the IOC has not recognised any other governing body to replace the IBA, the status of boxing at LA28 remains on tenterhooks.

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