Cricket and flag football are among five sports approved for 2028 Games

To reach new global audiences, the International Olympic Committee approved five new sports on Monday, adding cricket and flag football to the 2028 Los Angeles Games schedule.

At an IOC meeting in Mumbai, lacrosse, squash, and baseball-softball were also accepted after being suggested by the 2028 organizers.

According to IOC regulations, each host city may request that several sports be added to their Games.

The influential IOC Executive Board had previously granted the go-ahead to the five proposed sports organizers last week, and the session on Monday approved their suggestion with a show of hands.

The IOC session also authorized the addition of modern pentathlon after the World Federation switched horseback riding to an obstacle course after a coach hit a horse that refused to leap a barrier at the Tokyo Olympics.

After adjustments were made to its anti-doping testing processes, among other things, weightlifting also confirmed its place. Both competitions had been tentatively excluded from the LA Games.

Boxing’s participation was still in question. Therefore, any decision to add it was put on wait until governance concerns were resolved.

Significant progress

After making a single appearance at the 1900 Olympics, cricket, which has a considerable following in India, is returning to the Games with a planned six-team Twenty20 format for both men and women. Cricket has a rapidly expanding worldwide viewership.

Greg Barclay, the chairman of the International Cricket Council, said, “We are delighted that cricket’s inclusion in the LA28 Olympic Games has been approved by the IOC Session today.

“To have the opportunity to showcase our great sport at the LA28 Games and hopefully many Olympic Games to come will be great for players and fans alike.”

Given that there are an estimated 2.5 billion cricket fans globally, the IOC hopes that the sport’s addition would excite and include a sizable, new Olympic audience.

With an estimated brand worth of $8.4 billion, the Indian Premier League cricket competition is one of the richest sports leagues. It continues to draw the best players and coaches worldwide to India.

The competition similarly uses the T20 format.

Although the inclusion of all five sports is just for one iteration of the Games, the boost offered by participation is expected to stimulate growth and ensure that the Olympic product remains appealing in the following four-year cycle.

Five-person teams compete in flag football, a non-contact variation of American football. At the LA Games in 1932, American football made its final appearance as a demonstration sport.

According to Pierre Trochet, president of the International Federation of American Football, “We are confident that flag football will bring a thrilling new dimension to the Games, uniting them for the first time in history with America’s number-one sport in its youngest, most accessible and inclusive format.”

Several past Games have included baseball. After being dropped off the 2020 Tokyo schedule in 2012 and 2016, it was reinstated; however, it won’t be included in the Paris Games.

Baseball’s female equivalent, softball, has been played in five previous Summer Games, but it was not on the schedule for Paris.

Squash had long sought inclusion, most recently in 2013 for the 2020 Olympics, whereas lacrosse had previously appeared as a medal sport in 1904 and 1908.

The introduction of squash, according to U.S. Squash Chief Executive Kevin Klipstein, “is a significant breakthrough for the sport.”

“Being part of the Olympic Games has been a long-held goal for the squash community, and inclusion will serve as a catalyst to increase awareness of what is already a major participatory sport globally with a long and diverse history.”

 

Hey there, I'm Jessica, a sports writer with a focus on women's sports. My insightful articles shed light on the achievements and challenges faced by female athletes, inspiring readers with stories of determination and resilience.

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