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Baseball and Softball Among Five Sports Proposed for 2028 LA Olympics

The LA28 Organizing Committee has announced its proposal for five additional sports to be included in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The proposed sports are baseball-softball, cricket, flag football, lacrosse, and squash. The proposal will be reviewed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and presented to the IOC Session for approval later this month.

Baseball-Softball Could Return to Olympics After Missing Paris 2024

Baseball and softball are among the most popular sports in the United States, and have a strong fan base around the world. Both sports were part of the Olympic program from 1992 to 2008, and made a comeback at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021, where Japan won both gold medals. However, they were dropped for the Paris 2024 Games, as the host city did not include them in its proposal.

The LA28 Organizing Committee hopes to bring back baseball-softball to the Olympic stage in 2028, as they believe they are relevant, innovative, and community-based sports that will engage diverse fanbases and expand the Games’ presence in digital spaces. The proposed format for baseball-softball is similar to the one used in Tokyo 2020, with six teams each for men’s baseball and women’s softball.

Baseball and Softball Among Five Sports Proposed for 2028 LA Olympics

Cricket, Flag Football, Lacrosse, and Squash Also Proposed for Inclusion

The other four sports proposed by the LA28 Organizing Committee are cricket, flag football, lacrosse, and squash. These sports have never been part of the Olympic program before, although cricket and lacrosse have been featured as demonstration sports in the past.

Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world, especially in countries like India, Pakistan, England, Australia, and South Africa. The proposed format for cricket is Twenty20 (T20), which is a shortened version of the game that lasts about three hours. The LA28 Organizing Committee expects cricket to attract a large global audience and showcase the diversity of Los Angeles.

Flag football is a variant of American football that involves less physical contact and more speed and agility. The proposed format for flag football is mixed-gender teams of eight players each. The LA28 Organizing Committee believes flag football will appeal to young and urban audiences and promote gender equality and social inclusion.

Lacrosse is a team sport that originated from Native American tribes and involves passing, catching, and shooting a ball with a stick. The proposed format for lacrosse is Lacrosse Sixes, which is a fast-paced version of the game that features six players per team on a smaller field. The LA28 Organizing Committee hopes lacrosse will honor the indigenous roots of the sport and showcase its growing popularity in North America and beyond.

Squash is a racket sport that is played on a four-walled court with a small rubber ball. The proposed format for squash is singles matches for men and women. The LA28 Organizing Committee thinks squash will demonstrate the athleticism and skill of the players and highlight the sport’s global appeal and accessibility.

IOC to Review Proposal and Make Final Decision

The proposal by the LA28 Organizing Committee is based on the framework set by Olympic Agenda 2020, Olympic Agenda 2020+5, and Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter, which give flexibility to review the Olympic program for each edition of the Games in order to introduce innovation and sustainability and promote gender equality. The host city can propose additional sports for approval by the IOC, but must also keep the total number of athletes within the range of 10,500 overall.

The proposal will be discussed by the IOC’s Olympic Program Commission, which will issue a recommendation to the IOC Executive Board (EB). If accepted, it will then be presented to the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai, India on October 15-17. If approved, the final event program and number of athlete quotas in the additional sports will be finalized in the future.

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