Tokyo 2020 Sets Out Requirements and Timetable For New Sports

Tokyo 2020

The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee Monday released a timetable and specific requirements for sports looking to be included in the Summer Olympic Games.

According to a release, Tokyo 2020 will be executing a program to identify “one or more additional events” that will be proposed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on September 30.  Then, it’s up to the IOC to determine which, if any, sports will be added to the program when a vote is taken at the 129th session ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games next year in August.

This new process comes in the wake of the approval of Agenda 2020 that adds more flexibility to the sport program in a way that makes the Olympic Games a better, more sustainable fit with the host nation.

The Tokyo Dome could host Olympic Baseball in 2020 (WBSC Photo)

The Tokyo Dome could host Olympic Baseball in 2020 (WBSC Photo)

Baseball and Softball, sports that are widely embraced in Japan at both the amateur and professional levels, are clear favourites to be included in the 2020 program.  Other sports that have recently campaigned for available spots including Squash and Wushu are also seen as contenders, and the Billiard Sport federation has also indicated interest.  Karate, Skateboarding and Surfing are other potential applicants.

The “Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel” will consider three key principles when when making proposals to the IOC:

  • The additional event(s) will serve as a driving force to promote the Olympic Movement and its values, with a focus on youth appeal
  • The additional event(s) will add value to the Games by engaging the Japanese population and new audiences worldwide, reflecting the Tokyo 2020 Games vision
  • The selection procedure will be open and fair

By June 8, interested International Sport Federations (IF) are requested to return a response form that was distributed to qualified IFs on May 8th.  Qualified IFs include those that are already recognized by the IOC, are not currently on the Tokyo 2020 program and and are not competed exclusively on snow or ice (making them a Winter Games candidate instead) – 33 in all.

A panel (see complete list below) will determine which interested sports fit within the key principles, and a shortlist will contain those that are invited to participate in Phase II of the process.  These applicants will make presentations to the panel beginning June 22.

Application timeline:

Phase I

8 May 2015 – Application forms sent to all IOC Recognised IFs
8 June 2015 – Deadline for submission of completed applications
22 June 2015 – Shortlist announcement – shortlisted IFs will be requested to submit further details.

Phase II

22 July 2015 – Deadline for the submission of further details.
Early August 2015 – Presentations in Tokyo
30 September 2015 – Selection of the event(s) and deadline for Tokyo 2020 to submit its proposal to the IOC

Composition of the Tokyo 2020 Additional Event Programme Panel Members (alphabetical order):

Tsuyoshi AKIYAMA, Vice Governor of Tokyo
Tsuyoshi AOKI, Vice President & Secretary General, Japanese Olympic Committee
Tomiaki FUKUDA, President, Japan Wrestling Federation
Fujio MITARAI (Chair of the Panel), Honorary Chairman, Japan Business Federation (Keidanren)
Toshiro MUTO (Vice Chair of the Panel), CEO, Tokyo 2020
Joichi OKAZAKI, Executive Managing Director, Japan Sports Association
Atsuko TOYAMA, Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Observers (alphabetical order)

Kimito KUBO, Director General, Sports and Youth Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
Koji MUROFUSHI, Sports Director, Tokyo 2020
Naoko TAKAHASHI, Executive Board Member, Japanese Olympic Committee

Robert Livingstone

About Robert Livingstone

Robert Livingstone is a senior editor, award-winning journalist and author, covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. He is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians. Follow him @enotsgnivil