Cricket, Flag Football Among Sports Vying for LA 2028 Inclusion

Outside of the 28 core sports included in every Olympics, each upcoming Games has the opportunity to approve additional sports for inclusion based on local appeal, per an IOC policy enacted in 2020.

In Tokyo, those disciplines were skateboarding, surfing, karate, sport climbing, 3×3 basketball and freestyle BMX, and softball also made its return to the Games after 13 years. At Paris 2024, the additional sports will be breaking (competitive breakdancing), sport climbing, skateboarding, and surfing.

So far, four sports have emerged as contenders of the 2028 Games in Los Angeles, the United States’ first Olympics since the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City and first Summer Games since Atlanta 1996.

Softball and baseball could return, especially with professional baseball’s popularity in the United States. The World Baseball and Softball Confederation plans to pursue inclusion for both sports, it reaffirmed ahead of the Tokyo Games.

The International Cricket Council announced in August that it plans to pursue cricket as an additional sport for either 2028 or Brisbane 2032. That included establishing a worlding group with representatives from various national governing bodies. Cricket, one of the most popular sports in the world, has been rapidly growing its presence in the U.S. in recent years. Among recent efforts is Major League Cricket, a new U.S.-based professional that’s garnered investments from multiple major investors, including the Indian Premier League’s Kolkata Knight Riders — which are co-owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan — and numerous tech executives.

Cricket will be included in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

Finally, the National Football League is involved in an effort to get a five-on-five version of flag football into the Olympics, which is being spearheaded by the International Federation of American Football. The non-contact version of American football is included in the program from the 2022 World Games, which are also in Birmingham.

It would also make a lot of sense for skateboarding and surfing to stick around for 2028, given their popularity in Southern California, but no formal announcements have been made yet.

The IOC wants to keep the Summer Games’ athlete field to around 10,500, so any new sports that entail a large number of athletes could have a harder time getting into the Games (meaning individual sports could have an advantage). Cricket teams have at least 15 players, and similarly, IFAF flag football rosters historically consist of a maximum of 15 players.

The IOC is expected to finalize the LA 2028 sport program at its session in Beijing in February 2022.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
17 days ago

One of these games is a massively popular sport across most of the world with a long history and rich traditions while the other is a game most of us Americans played in gym class…

Reply to  erik
17 days ago

Flag football would be the gridiron equivalent of Rugby 7’s or 3 x 3 basketball – they’re not going to put full-contact football in the Olympics for any number of reasons including injuries, team size, and US dominance.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Brian
17 days ago

Exactly. As soon as I read flag football I thought that’s perfect because it’s just like 3 x 3 basketball. Sport climbing is going to become a fixture. There was immense popularity on Olympic message boards during the Games. It’s ideal because there are few athletes and a unique confined vertical competitive area that is perfect for live spectators plus television. The speed event is going to be separated next time. Extreme canoe slalom will be added for 2024. It is a wild event that can resemble a Monty Python skit, with so much flailing at head level.

Ol' Longhorn
17 days ago

I’m training for tiddly-winks 2032. Who’s in with me?

Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
17 days ago

The IOC has dropped more than a few hints that they could consider adding competitive video gaming (aka E-Sports) in the future.

17 days ago

I get cricket but flag football? C’mon man.

17 days ago

Break dancing is still a thing, who knew?

Drama King
17 days ago

Break Dancing 🤦🤦🤦

17 days ago

Plastic cup stacking is gaining in popularity. It has a legitimate shot at becoming an Olympic sport based on some of the other inclusions.

17 days ago

1m diving would be nice

17 days ago

Cricket?? Cricket?? Come on laddies, before we see crickets running around BRING BACK the PLUNGE! a very exciting and demanding aquatic sport. I am also in favor of Fag Football a very intense game with great athletes can be exciting and fast paced.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

Read More »