Flag football appears poised to make its Olympic debut at the Los Angeles Games in 2028, as organizers said Monday the sport was among five recommended additions to the program, per The Los Angeles Times. L.A. 2028 officials also requested cricket, baseball/softball, squash and lacrosse be added when the Summer Games return to the United States for the first time in 32 years.
The sports were among nine finalists to join the core Olympic events in L.A. The others included breaking — which is on the Paris 2024 docket — karate, kickboxing and motorsports. Surfing, skateboarding and sportclimbing, which debuted at the Tokyo Games, will return.
The International Olympic Committee will take an official vote on the five recommendations on Oct. 16, per the L.A. Times. Originally set for early last month, the vote was unexpectedly delayed as the IOC cited “ongoing discussions” with L.A. 2028 organizers.
“We were willing to challenge the status quo and think differently about what’s possible for the Games,” Kathy Carter, the L.A. organizing committee’s chief executive, told the L.A. Times on Monday.
The NFL has been among the biggest proponents of adding flag football to the Olympic program as part of its push to make football a global sport. The league partnered with the International Federation of American Football last summer to push for flag football’s Olympic inclusion.
Cricket last appeared at the Olympics in 1900, when Great Britain and France played in the only match. But the sport, specifically the short-format T20 variation that will be played at the Olympics, has surged in global popularity with the rise of the Indian Premier League this century. A stream of the league’s final in May drew approximately 32 million concurrent viewers, Bloomberg reported.
Baseball and softball were included in the Tokyo program but will be on hiatus in 2024 before returning in 2028. Lacrosse previously appeared at the Olympics in 1904 and 1908
The 2028 Opening Ceremony is scheduled for July 14, 2028, with the Games running through July 30, 2028. The Los Angeles Paralympic Games will run from Aug. 15 to Aug. 27.
(Photo: Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images)