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Five New Olympic Sports

Officials have added five new sports to the 2028 Summer Olympic Games!

Five pentagons, each outlined in one of the Olympic colors and each showing people playing one of the new Olympic sports, including baseball, cricket, squash, lacrosse, and flag football.

© Svyatoslav Lypynskyy/stock.adobe.com, Rob Tringali—MLB Photos/Getty Images, © Mitchell Gunn, Aspenphoto, Bluiz60/Dreamstime.com; Photo illustration Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

The next Summer Olympic Games will take place in 2024, but officials are already planning for the 2028 Summer Games. The International Olympic Committee has decided to add five new sports to the 2028 Games. They are baseball/softball, cricket, squash, lacrosse, and flag football. All five are team sports.

The Olympics take place in a different city each time. The 2028 Summer Olympics are set to occur in the American city of Los Angeles, California, so it’s fitting that three of the new sports were invented in North America. Here’s a bit more about how each of the sports is played.

Baseball/Softball

In professional sports, baseball is usually played by men while softball is usually played by women. The two sports have similar rules. A hitter hits a ball with a bat and then tries to run around three bases and back to home plate to score before someone from the other team has a chance to tag the player with the ball. If a player from the other team catches the ball before it hits the ground, or if the hitter is tagged while running around the bases, they are out and don’t score.

Cricket

As in baseball, cricket players try to hit a ball with a bat, but there are many differences between baseball and cricket. In cricket, the game area is a rectangle called a pitch. A batter stands on each end of the pitch in front of small wood structures called wickets. Someone from the other team, called a bowler, throws the ball to one batter. If the bowler knocks down a small stick that rests on top of the wicket, the batter is out. If the batter hits the ball, the two batters run to switch places (and their team scores). They keep batting until the other team’s players recover the ball.

Squash

In squash, two players stand on one side of a four-walled indoor court and use rackets to hit a ball against the wall in front of them. Each player tries to keep the other one from getting control of the ball when it bounces back.

Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a bit like field hockey. Players use sticks to try to get a ball into the other team’s net, which is guarded by a goalkeeper. But unlike a hockey stick, a lacrosse stick has a basket on the end. A player can scoop up the ball into this basket and use their stick to throw the ball toward the net.

Flag Football

In football, players try to get the ball toward the goal while the other team tries to stop them. In professional American football, players try to stop their opponents by tackling them, or knocking them down. In flag football, players have flags hanging off the waistbands of their uniforms. One player can stop another player from running with the ball by getting that player’s flag.

NEWS EXTRA!

Rangers Win World Series

Members of the Texas Rangers smile and embrace one another on the field.

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images Sport

The Texas Rangers are World Series champions! The Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 in Game 5 of the series. It’s the Rangers’ first World Series title ever.

“It’s just awesome,” Rangers shortstop Corey Seager told the Associated Press. “It’s a really special moment.”

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Fun Fact

Michael Owens/Getty Images Sport

Mark Andrews (number 89) of the Baltimore Ravens runs with the ball during an NFL flag football game in February 2023.

Flag football will be one of the events at the 2028 Summer Olympics. There’s a chance that the U.S. flag football team might be made up of professional football players from the National Football League!

Sports That Came and Went

Aerial view of a stadium in which athletes stand in rows on the field and spectators fill the stands.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

This photo was taken at the first modern Olympics in 1896.

The very first Olympics Games took place around 3,000 years ago in ancient Greece. The modern (newer) Olympic Games began taking place in 1896. Over the years, different Olympic sporting events have come and gone. Here are a few events that were once part of the Olympics. Would you want to try any of these?

 

Croquet

Year it was last part of the Olympics: 1900

How it’s played: Use a mallet (a kind of stick with a head on it) to hit balls through a series of hoops that are stuck into the ground.

 

High jump for horses

Year it was last part of the Olympics: 1900

How it’s done: Ride a horse as it jumps over a high wall.

A horse and rider jump over a hurdle.

La Vie au Grand Air, 1900

This rider and horse won the last “high jump for horses” Olympic event in 1900.

Swimming obstacle course

Year it was last part of the Olympics: 1900

How it’s done: Swim while trying to get through or over obstacles (things that are in the way). In the Olympics, people had to swim in a river and climb over a row of boats.

 

Plunge for distance

Year it was last part of the Olympics: 1904

How it’s done: Dive into water and glide as far as possible without using any part of your body to push yourself forward.

 

Tug-of-war

Year it was last part of the Olympics: 1920

How it’s played: With a team, pull on one end of a rope as another team pulls on the other end. See if you can pull the other team toward you.

Meeting of Frontiers/Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., "The Olympic Games, 1904" (06003479)

Meeting of Frontiers/Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., “The Olympic Games, 1904” (06003479)

This tug-of-war contest took place in 1904.

Get to Know the Games

Getty Images: Alexander Hassenstein, Cameron Spencer, Ryan Pierse, Jed Jacobsohn, Mark Ralston—AFP, Houston Chronicle—Hearst Newspapers; Dreamstime: Ukrphoto, Celso Pupo Rodrigues, Pniesen; © pleclown (CC BY-SA 2.0); Animation Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

There are both Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics, and each one features different sports. You can learn more about Olympic events at Britannica!

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adjective

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