The organizing committee for the Los Angeles Games reported it will propose adding flag football, lacrosse, squash, and cricket to the Olympic program for 2028. The organizing committee is also aiming to bring baseball and softball back.

Lacrosse last appeared in the Olympic games in 1908. Baseball (men) and softball (women) were included in the 2020 Tokyo Games but not selected for the Paris 2024 games. Cricket played once before at the 1900 Olympic games. Squash has never been part of the venue.

“LA28’s proposed sports ignite the imagination on the field of play and drive culture off it. They’re relevant, innovative and community-based, played in backyards, schoolyards, community centers, stadiums, and parks across the U.S. and the globe,” said LA28 Chairperson Casey Wasserman. “They will bring new athletes to the Games, engage diverse fanbases and expand the Games’ presence in digital spaces, further amplifying LA28’s mission to deliver an unparalleled experience.”

The five proposed sports would be 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, football (soccer), golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, rowing, rugby, sailing, shooting, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, and wrestling.

This proposal comes after LA28’s Request for Information (RFI) process that opened to nine IOC-recognized International Federations (IF) in June 2022.

Each sport participating in the RFI was evaluated on the IOC-approved sports program evaluation criteria, developed to assess sports disciplines and potential new sports for the LA28 Olympic Games, including economic responsibility, gender equality, sport integrity, fan interest, and youth relevance.

“In building the Olympic sports program, we were willing to challenge the status quo and think differently about what’s possible for the Games in Los Angeles,” said LA28 CEO Kathy Carter. “We approached the process holistically and authentically, ensuring that our decisions were grounded in the Games’ commitment to fiscal responsibility. And we’ve landed on a bold and balanced proposal that will energize the Games with culturally relevant competition and boundless possibility.”

LA28’s additional sports proposal will be under review and put forward by the IOC Executive Board for ratification at the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai on October 16.

Photo courtesy Reuters