Flag football may be latest sport added to Olympics

Flag football

A new sport may be on list for the 2028 Olympic games.

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The NFL has written a proposal to the International Olympic Committee to add flag football to the slate of sports for the Los Angeles Olympic games that will be held in 2028, The Associated Press reported.

A vote by the IOC on the proposal will come during meetings in Mumbai, India, that begin later this week.

But flag football isn’t the only sport that could be added to the competition.

There were also proposals to add baseball, softball, lacrosse, squash and cricket.

“LA28′s proposed sports ignite the imagination on the field of play and drive culture off it,” LA chairman Casey Wasserman said, according to CNN.

The sports, according to Wasserman, are “relevant, innovative and community-based, played in backyards, schoolyards, community centers, stadiums and parks across the U.S. and the globe.”

If approved, several of the sports, such as baseball, will return to Olympic competition, while it will be the first time for flag football and squash, CNN reported.

Cricket was at the 1900 Paris Olympics; lacrosse was at the Olympics twice — 1904 and 1908.

Baseball was part of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, while softball was at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Both sports were removed after the 2008 Beijing Games and brought back in 2020 for Tokyo, but not part of the games in Paris.

This isn’t the first attempt to get American football played on an international level. The NFL has already had games in Europe for about a decade, the AP reported.

“The NFL is such a uniquely American sport and this is their big, global try,” Dan Durbin told the AP. “The NFL dominates in the U.S. You get 10 miles into the Atlantic or Pacific and it disappears. This gives it a chance to make it visible to a global audience.”

Durbin is the director of the Institute of Sports, Media and Society at the University of Southern California.

Flag football is played on a 50-yard field, not counting the end zones, instead of the 100 yards that a traditional NFL game is played on. It has five players on each side, with both men and women able to take part, USA Today reported. It is noncontact with no tackling, diving, blocking, screening or fumbles, according to the official NFL Flag Football rules.