Cricket, Baseball, Flag Football, Lacrosse and Squash officially proposed for Los Angeles 2028 Olympics

The Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games organizing committee (LA 28) Monday proposed five new sports to be included on the program including baseball-softball, cricket, flag football, lacrosse and squash.

Afghanistan vs. Sri Lanka at Cricket Asia Cup 2023 (ICC Photo)
Afghanistan vs. Sri Lanka at Cricket Asia Cup 2023 (ICC Photo)

The proposal will be reviewed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Program Commission before being recommended to the IOC Executive Board for approval. The EB will meet in Mumbai, India Thursday and if the governing board agrees the plan will be presented to the IOC Session for rubberstamp approval. That Session, also in Mumbai, begins Sunday (October 15) and the Program Commission is scheduled to be heard on Monday.

Flag Football and Squash will appear on the program for the first time in history.  Baseball and Softball have appeared at the Games from 1992 to 2008 and again in 2020. Cricket appeared once at the Games in 1900 and lacrosse was contested in 1904 and 1908.

Interested sports missing the cut include breaking – a dance sport set to debut at Paris 2024, kickboxing, karate and motorsports.

Surfing and skateboarding, two culturally significant sports in Southern California, were added to the program by the IOC last year because of their youth focus that could further Olympic principles.

LA28 chair Casey Wasserman said the new sports “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 most significant addition is Cricket, with a popular compact Twenty20 format that is a perfect adaptation of the sport for the Olympics. Cricket is high on the list for the IOC who hope the addition will help the Olympics build new inroads to India. Broadcast revenues could soar in the world’s most populous nation where cricket is the favorite sport. India is hosting the decision-making meeting next week and is also considering a bid to host the 2036 Games.

LA 28 officials were set to finalize the proposal last month but an announcement was delayed at the last minute because vital meetings had not been held, according to the IOC. Unnamed sources said stakeholders were still negotiating to find a way to include cricket along with local favorites Baseball and Flag Football without exceeding the overall 10,500 athlete quota.

No new information has been released on athlete quotas. In a statement the IOC said “If approved, the final event program and number of athlete quotas in the additional sports will be finalized in the future.”

Lacrosse has proposed a ‘sixes’ format for LA 28. In a statement World Lacrosse said “We are absolutely thrilled and honored by LA28’s decision to propose lacrosse for inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games. We are one huge step closer to a monumental milestone for our sport and international community.”

Squash could be included after a disappointing run of several failed bids that kept the sport on the sidelines. It has developed a compact and dynamic venue concept that fits well with IOC sustainability goals.

The World Squash Federation said in a statement “The WSF, US Squash and the Professional Squash Association welcome the decision by the LA28 Organizing Committee to recommend squash for inclusion in the LA 2028 Olympic sports program.”

“The decision is a significant and exciting milestone in squash’s history as the sport nears inclusion in the Olympic Games for the first time.”

Baseball and Softball would return with the same format that has been tested at recent Games that had men participating in a six team baseball tournament and women competing in a similar softball tournament. This time, however, they would be staged where baseball is as popular as anywhere else on the planet with three major league teams in the region.


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Flag Football is a non-contact version of American Football and is backed by the National Football League (NFL) who describe the new format as the future of its sport. Both men and women would compete in separate tournaments, helping further the IOC’s goal of gender equality.

The five proposed sports would complement the 28 already included on the LA 28 sports program including aquatics, archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, canoeing, cycling, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, rowing, rugby sevens, sailing, shooting, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball and wrestling.

Recent IOC reforms allow for additional proposed sports from local organizing committees “in order to introduce innovation and sustainability and promote gender equality” according the IOC.

Tokyo 2020 included baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing. Paris 2024 next summer will add breaking, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing. The Milan Cortina 2026 Winter Games named ski mountaineering as an additional sport.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.

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