The Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Organizing Committee has nominated five sports that should be on the Summer Olympics programme. The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to make a decision on this matter at its conference, which will be held in Mumbai, India, from October 15 to 17. This relates to lacrosse, squash, baseball/softball, cricket, and soccer. Breakdancing, which remains an Olympic event in Paris next year, has been dropped again.
First of all: How does a sport actually get Olympic status?
The organizing country can nominate sports. For example, Tokyo wanted climbing, skiing and baseball in 2021. The IOC itself could also grant the sport Olympic status. The requirements are strict. Sports must be popular; Reach through TV and social media is very important. The IOC finds young people particularly interesting, because the audience for traditional sports is relatively old. It should be fast, flashy and accessible. It is also important that men and women play this sport in many countries. In addition, the IOC is looking at financial matters: Are the costs of building the sites limited?
Why did LA2028 choose these sports?
Casey Wasserman, president of LA2028, said these games are “relevant and innovative” and are played in schoolyards, playgrounds and parks in America and around the world. Baseball and softball are of course major professional sports in America, which have often changed their place in history: they were on the program in Tokyo, not in Paris next year, but perhaps again in 2028. Cricket is the second biggest sport in the world after soccer : It is very popular in Great Britain and all its former colonies, but did not appear in games after 1900. There are several reasons why lacrosse is flag football.
Then why lacrosse?
First of all, this has a cultural background. This sport originated in its original form 500 years ago among the indigenous people of North America. It is the summer sport in Canada and the fastest growing school sport in the United States. It is a team sport involving ten players in each team, where each player carries a stick (cross) with a net at the end. Inside it is a hard rubber ball weighing about an ounce and a half, about the size of a tennis ball. The goal is to shoot the ball into the opponent’s goal using the stick. In 1904 and 1908, lacrosse was an Olympic event, and in 1928 it was a demonstration sport during the Amsterdam Games. This sport only came to the Netherlands around 2000. The Netherlands has approximately 700 competitive players in both men’s and women’s competitions. The men’s national team recently ranked fourteenth in the World Cup tournament held in San Diego, while the women’s national team ranks seventeenth in the world rankings.
What is “Football Science”?
This is derived from American football, but is much cheaper, more accessible and safer. The final reason is that interventions and physical contact are prohibited. Therefore the chance of (permanent) injury as in American football is much lower. In flag football, teams of five players try to get the ball to the other side on a smaller field (45 meters long). To stop the attack, the opponent must try to pull the flag from the belt. Last year, the sport was on the program for the first time at the World Games in Alabama, where America won the men’s race and Mexico won the women’s race. This sport flourishes in many countries. IMPORTANT: The NFL has supported the Olympic nomination. The Professional American Football Competition Organization reports that several young NFL stars have already signed up: they want to join the hunt for Olympic gold in 2028. The International Olympic Committee will want to for commercial reasons. In the Netherlands, soccer falls under the umbrella of the United States Soccer Federation and is estimated to be played by approximately 1,000 people.
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