Lacrosse is one step closer to being included in the 2028 Olympics. The LA28 organizers recommended that lacrosse along with five others be included in the 2028 games. The International Olympic Committee will vote on the proposal at their upcoming meetings in Mumbai, India later this week. “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.”
While many are used to seeing the 10v10 version of field lacrosse, the SIXES version will be the format on display in the LA28 games. Lacrosse was in the Summer Olympics in 1904 and 1908 and was a demonstration sport in 1928 and 1932. This will be an unprecedented moment in lacrosse history as this has been a decades-long journey to see it included in the Olympic program.
Lacrosse to the Olympics – One Hurdle to LA28
The growth of the sport at the international level helped build momentum and excitement about the possibility of it being included. The SIXES format while it is different, fills a void as an exciting back and forth game that could attract new fans. It is 6v6 with a shot clock, face-offs only to start quarters, a small field, and small rosters. There is also more uniformity in rules between the Men’s and Women’s games which will make it easier to follow both. The Sixes format was built with the end goal of Olympic inclusion.
“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.”
The major question surrounding this announcement will be whether the Haudenosaunee will be included in the games. While World Lacrosse recognizes them, it is unclear if the IOC will allow them to participate. It seems unlikely that this will go on without their participation, but those questions along with qualifying will be discussed at a later stage. There is precedent for situations like this, so there is a strong case for the games to happen with their participation.