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LA28 to include five new sports in its Olympic program

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved the proposal of the LA28 Organising Committee to add five new sports to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 2028. The sports are baseball-softball, cricket, flag football, lacrosse, and squash. These sports will join the existing 28 sports on the program, as well as other sports that made their recent Olympic debuts, such as skateboarding and surfing.

Baseball-softball returns to the Olympics after Tokyo 2020

Baseball-softball was one of the five additional sports that were included in the Tokyo 2020 Games, along with karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. The sport was previously part of the Olympic program from 1992 to 2008, but was dropped for the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games. Japan won both gold medals in baseball and softball at Tokyo 2020, defeating the United States in both finals. Baseball-softball will not be featured at the Paris 2024 Games, but will make a comeback at LA28.

Cricket makes its Olympic comeback after more than a century

Cricket was last played at the Olympic Games in Paris in 1900, where only two teams participated: Great Britain and France. Great Britain won the gold medal by defeating France by 158 runs in a two-day match. Cricket has since been absent from the Olympic program, despite being one of the most popular sports in the world. The LA28 proposal includes cricket in its Twenty20 format, which is a shorter and more exciting version of the game that lasts about three hours. Cricket is expected to attract a large global audience, especially from countries like India, Pakistan, Australia, and England.

LA28 to include five new sports in its Olympic program

Flag football makes its Olympic debut as a variant of American football

Flag football is a limited-contact version of American football that involves players wearing flags or belts that can be pulled off by opponents instead of tackling them. The sport is popular among amateur and recreational players, especially in the United States, where it has more than 20 million participants. Flag football is also played internationally, with the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) organizing world championships since 2002. The LA28 proposal aims to showcase flag football as an inclusive and accessible sport that can appeal to a wide range of fans.

Lacrosse returns to the Olympics with a new format

Lacrosse is a team sport that involves players using a long-handled stick with a net at one end to catch, carry, and pass a small rubber ball into the opponent’s goal. Lacrosse was played at the Olympic Games in St Louis in 1904 and London in 1908, with Canada winning both gold medals. The sport has since been a demonstration sport at several Olympic Games, but has not been part of the official program. The LA28 proposal introduces lacrosse in its sixes format, which is a faster and simpler version of the game that features six players per team instead of ten.

Squash joins the Olympic program for the first time

Squash is a racket sport that involves two or four players hitting a small rubber ball against a wall within a four-walled court. The sport is played in more than 180 countries, with over 20 million players worldwide. Squash has been bidding to join the Olympic program for several years, but has been unsuccessful until now. The LA28 proposal recognizes squash as a sport that requires high levels of skill, fitness, and strategy, and that can showcase the diversity and talent of its athletes.

The LA28 Organising Committee said that the proposed sports “ignite the imagination on the field of play and drive culture off it” and that they are “relevant, innovative and community-based”. The IOC said that the proposal reflects the flexibility and sustainability of the Olympic program, as well as the promotion of gender equality. The final event program and number of athlete quotas for the additional sports will be finalized in the future.

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