SPARKS, Md. — A decades-long quest for lacrosse to return to the Olympic Games has taken a significant step forward. The LA28 Organizing Committee announced today its recommendation of lacrosse as one of five sports to be added to the program for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Final approval of the additional sports to the Olympic program for 2028 will be voted on during the International Olympic Committee session in Mumbai, India from October 15-17.
“This is incredibly exciting news,” said USA Lacrosse CEO Marc Riccio. “The Olympics are the pinnacle of sport globally and inclusion would bring unmatched visibility and investment in the sport around the world. The LA28 Organizing Committee’s recommendation shows an appreciation for the significance of lacrosse and an understanding of its potential. We’re not to the finish line yet, but this a major step forward in the process.”
Lacrosse was one of nine sports that LA28 had previously announced it was considering adding to the program. The five sports receiving its final recommendation to the IOC are baseball/softball, cricket, flag football, lacrosse and squash.
“LA28’s proposed sports ignite the imagination on the field of play and drive culture off it. They’re relevant, innovative and community-based, played in backyards, schoolyards, community centers, stadiums and parks across the U.S. and the globe,” said LA28 Chairperson Casey Wasserman. “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.”
Lacrosse was last included in the Olympic Program in the 1948 Summer Olympics in London as a demonstration sport. Lacrosse was also a demonstration sport at the 1928 and 1932 Summer Olympics and was twice included as a medal sport — 1904 and 1908.
On the international level, lacrosse has seen staggering growth in recent years. Brazil was announced as World Lacrosse’s 86th member nation in May and the organization has added 13 new members just since 2022.
World Lacrosse competition includes box lacrosse, field lacrosse and Sixes. Sixes, a new fast-paced discipline developed to spur growth internationally and best position the sport for Olympic inclusion, would be the format used for the Olympics.
Sixes made its international championship debut at The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama. Canada, the United States and Japan medaled in men’s lacrosse and Canada, the United States and Australia were the medalists in women’s lacrosse.
About USA Lacrosse
USA Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is a Recognized Sport Organization of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. As the governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse in the United States, USA Lacrosse leads the U.S. National Teams Program and establishes universal standards. With more than 400,000 members across the country, USA Lacrosse unites the community of players, coaches, officials, parents, and program leaders. Working together, we inspire participation, enrich the athlete's experience, and support the growth of the sport.
Source: USA Lacrosse