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Homesport singaporeCNA Explains: The 2028 Olympics will have cricket and squash. How are...

CNA Explains: The 2028 Olympics will have cricket and squash. How are sports selected for the Games?

SINGAPORE: Earlier this week, it was confirmed that five sports would be added to the programme for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

The sports – cricket, squash, baseball-softball, lacrosse and flag football – were proposed for inclusion by LA Games organisers and received approval at an International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Mumbai.

CNA looks at how sports are selected for the Olympics:

What are the criteria that sports need to meet?

First, the sport needs to be recognised by the IOC, and must be governed by an International Federation. 

Only sports that 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 a Games’ programme.

Under the current IOC rules, each host city can propose the inclusion of several sports for their edition of the Games. This started at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

At the Tokyo Olympics, the host nation’s organising committee proposed sport climbing, skateboarding, surfing, baseball-softball and karate, all of which were approved.

A list of 35 criteria were used when the IOC evaluated these new sports proposed. They cover five main themes: Olympic proposal, value added to the Olympic Games, institutional matters, popularity and business model. 

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Next year’s Paris Olympics will see breaking make its Games debut with sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing to feature based on the organisers’ proposal.

“Paris 2024 has taken the opportunity provided by the IOC in the Olympic Agenda 2020 to propose additional sports to enhance its programme and overall concept. The IOC is keen to set a new standard for inclusive, gender-balanced and youth-centred games,” said the organisers on their website.

“Paris 2024 submitted its proposal to the IOC to integrate four new sports that are closely associated with youth and reward creativity and athletic performance.”

Who decides which sports will be selected?

Only sports that 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 Olympics programme, which consist of two components – sports and events.

Upon a proposal from the IOC Executive Board, the IOC Session will vote on the sports programme for an edition of the Olympics.

Singapore Baseball and Softball Association president Foo Pei echoed this, saying that the Olympics is the “pinnacle” for competitive teams seeking to represent Singapore.

“We welcome the news that baseball and softball are included in the Olympics programme for LA2028,” she said.

She added that the men’s baseball and women’s softball teams’ debut appearances at the recently concluded Asian Games give the “beginnings of a blueprint” to work towards LA2028.

“We have to set our sights high and work towards that. But a lot still needs to be done,” she said.

“This includes exploring more ways of funding our athletes’ dreams of representing Singapore at the highest sporting stage.”

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