How are sports included/excluded at Olympics? All you need to know, history & other details

How are sports included/excluded at Olympics? All you need to know, history & other details

IOC included cricket and squash at the Olympics for Los Angeles 2028, which were not a part of the roster earlier.

Indian sports lovers couldn’t be happier as cricket has been added to the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, after a gap of 120 years. The last time cricket was played at the Olympics, was in 1900, and with just two teams in the competition, Britain won the gold medal, and France settled for silver. Apart from cricket, four other sports have also been added to the Olympic roster — squash, flag football, baseball, softball, and lacrosse.

While this comes as good news for the sports fans of these disciplines, there are a few sports that have not made the cut for 2028. One of them is boxing. InsideSport takes a look at the criteria followed by the IOC to include/exclude a sport:

The IOC Criteria

Earlier, for a sport to be considered for inclusion, it must be widely played in at least 75 countries, spread over four continents. But that rule stands abolished.

  • The foremost rule is, that an International Federation of Sport should be recognized by the IOC
  • Only sports which comply with the Olympic Charter, the World Anti-Doping Code, and the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competition are eligible to be in the programme.
  • The IOC Executive Board proposes a list of sports that could be included; the rest of the IOC then votes. The IOC is also in charge of deciding what criteria must be met in order for a sport to be included.
  • The hosts of the Olympics have a say too. So sports which the hosts dominate, are usually included.
  • The number of players, scheduling, and venue limitations also play a big part.

These are just a few criteria that must be met for a sport to be part of the Olympics.

History of Inclusion/Exclusion

The Tokyo Olympics saw the inclusion of skateboarding, surfboarding, sport climbing, and karate for the very first time. Baseball and softball made a return after the 2008 Beijing Games. When the two sports were removed from the 2012 games, the reason given was — they did not have a mass appeal.

Water motorsports, tug of war, and polo were all played at the Olympics at one point, but don’t find a spot anymore. The same is the case with croquet and basque de pelota. There are some sports, that were dropped earlier from the Olympics, but made a comeback at a later stage. Archery was brought back in 1972 and tennis in 1988. There is something called the demonstration sport as well, which is a true representation of a country’s cultural values. For the 2024 Paris Olympics, break dancing has made the cut.


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