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Flag football among new sports being considered for 2028 Olympics

By Kevin Dotson, CNN

(CNN) — The Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee (LA28) has proposed five new sports for inclusion in the 2028 Games: flag football, baseball/softball, cricket, lacrosse and squash.

LA28 said that its proposal will be reviewed and put forward by the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Executive Board for ratification at an IOC Session in Mumbai, India, on October 16.

“LA28’s proposed sports ignite the imagination on the field of play and drive culture off it,” LA28 Chairperson Casey Wasserman said in a statement.

“They’re relevant, innovative and community-based, played in backyards, schoolyards, community centers, stadiums and parks across the US and the globe.

“They 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.”

If approved, the new additions will mark an Olympic return for several of the sports and a debut for flag football – a non-contact version of American football – and squash, which have never been part of Olympic competition.

Cricket has appeared at the Olympics once previously in 1900 in Paris. Lacrosse appeared at the Olympics in 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, and in 1908 in London.

Baseball was introduced as a medal event at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona with softball being added in 1996 in Atlanta.

Baseball and softball were then removed from Olympic competition after the Beijing Games in 2008. They were reintroduced as a combined sport at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but will not be part of next year’s Paris Olympics.

“Inclusion in LA28’s new Olympic sport proposal was supported by a holistic review of each sports’ ability to create a positive impact on the LA28 Games, while upholding LA28’s existing framework for reuse of venues and sport parks, allowing LA28 to maintain its people-first approach to delivering an unparalleled Games experience,” the organizing committee said in its media release.

An IOC spokesperson told CNN Sport that the proposal for additional sports in 2028 “has been well received,” adding: “We are looking forward to the upcoming presentations.”

World Lacrosse told CNN Sport that it is now “one huge step closer to a monumental milestone for our sport,” while the International Cricket Council (ICC) said that it is “delighted” to have been recommended for Olympic inclusion.

CNN’s David Close and Jill Martin contributed to reporting.

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