Is Lacrosse Going to Be in the Olympics? The Best Answer to Your Questions!

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Are you a die-hard lacrosse fan? Are you looking for answers to important questions, such as: Is lacrosse going to be in the Olympics? If so, this blog post is for you!

In this article, we'll look at the history of lacrosse and the chances of seeing it someday on an Olympic stage. We'll also consider the potential benefits and challenges of getting lacrosse into the Olympics.

So, read on to discover the answers together!


Take Away Key Points:

  • Lacrosse teams were part of the Olympic Games in the past - in 1904 and 1908
  • Due to the official IOC rules, the game was only a demonstration sport later in the century
  • The main reason for removal is that the program is not recognized by the official federation and IOC
  • Male and female teams will not participate in the Summer Olympics in Paris 2024
  • The inclusion is expected in Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028
  • Other sports included in the program are flag football, softball/baseball, cricket, karate, squash, motorsport, breaking, kickboxing

Lacrosse's Brief Olympic History

You must be wondering: how is it possible that America's oldest and fastest-growing sport doesn't have its place in the Olympics? The main reason for such an issue is the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC set specific rules for which lacrosse was never formally accepted as an Olympic sport. However, lacrosse did take place at the Olympic games in the past, and due to its expansive growth and global popularity, it might become an Olympic sport in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Let's take a step back and briefly explain the lacrosse Olympics' history.

History of Lacrosse at the Olympic Games

is lacrosse going to be in the 2024 olympics

Lacrosse was played twice as a full-medal sport in the Olympics in 1904 and 1908. Both times, the Canadian team won the gold medal.

However, due to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and its rules, men's lacrosse was only recognized as a demonstration sport in 1928, 1932, and 1948.

But let's refer to the medal-winning sport first.

1. Lacrosse as an Olympic Sport 1904

The lacrosse teams competed in the 1904 Summer Olympics. The discipline consisted of two US and one Canadian team. However, all competitors were Mohawk nation players.

Canada won a gold medal thanks to its Canadian Shamrock Team, consisting of French players.

A fun fact is that another American team was supposed to participate in the Olympics that year. However, the team members arrived late and thus were disqualified from the competition.

2. Lacrosse as an Olympic Sport 1908

Lacrosse returned to the Olympic games at the Summer Olympics in 1908. The competition was held with two teams only. The first lacrosse team was from Canada, and the second was from Great Britain. Canada won again and took the gold home.

What is the International Olympic Committee?

will lacrosse become an olympic sport

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the main representative body and guardian of the Olympic Games. In addition, the organization is the leader of the Olympic Movement.

The organization is global, acting as a catalyst for cooperation between all crucial Olympic stakeholders. Thus, the officials support and collaborate with the:

  • the athletes
  • the National Olympic Committee
  • the International Federations
  • Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games
  • the Worldwide Olympic Partners
  • and Olympic broadcast partners.

The IOC collaborates with public and private authorities, including the United Nations and other international organizations, to ensure the best conditions for participating in the biggest world championship.

The body was established in 1984 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Thus, the city has become the Olympic capital. Through their activities, the officials are privately funded. However, they distribute 90% of the revenues to developing sports and athletics at all levels and invest in a wider sporting movement.

What is the IOC's Major Goal?

The major goal or vision of the International Olympic Committee is building a better world through sport.

However, to grant inclusion into their world, the association required different nations to fulfill various conditions and fit the set standards.

So, let's see why they have removed the lacrosse teams from the competing program.

Reason From Removal

Although the US and the Canadian team presented their country at the beginning of the 20th century, the rules for participation tightened and became stricter later in the century.

As a result, lacrosse was removed from the championship because the sport was not governed by the International Federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

For the sport to be an official Olympic discipline, lacrosse must be governed by the International Federation. The official governing body must propose the men's game to the organizing committee of the Olympic Games and the International Olympic Committee. Once the IOC accepts the proposal, lacrosse will receive full recognition at the championships.

Will Lacrosse Return to the Olympic Games Any Time Soon?

is lacrosse going to be an olympic sport

The journey of returning the men's game to the Olympic games has already begun. World Lacrosse (the former Federation of International Lacrosse) was founded in 2008. The official organization governs the international sport of lacrosse.

Since it was recognized as an international lacrosse body, the association represents men's lacrosse, women's lacrosse, and an indoor variant of the sport. In addition, they have taken significant actions to return lacrosse to the Olympics.

Find more information below.

World Lacrosse

After the foundation of the World Lacrosse, the organization has taken multiple steps to chase its Olympic dream and bring the game back as a full-medal sport. The governing body has taken the following actions:

  • In 2017, lacrosse debuted at the World Games, a championship that was run and recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
  • In 2018, the World Lacrosse was granted provisional status by the IOC. Thus, the World Lacrosse opened the doors for negotiations. The governing body unlocked the funding for development and gave the International Federation three years to confirm with the Olympic Charter. In addition, the World Lacrosse will continue to attend meetings and receive funding, publications, seminars, and other resources. They have also gained membership in the International Sports Federation (GAISF).
  • In July 2021, the OIC granted full recognition to World Lacrosse, bringing a dream closer to reality.

However, the journey is still ongoing. The Olympic charter states that men's lacrosse must be practiced in 75 countries on four continents to participate in the Olympic games fully. The Olympic charter requests a minimum of 40 counties on three continents regarding women's lacrosse.

Fortunately, the World Lacrosse surpassed the given limit. Men's and women's lacrosse is today recognized with a membership of 77 countries on six continents. In addition, World Lacrosse added seven new members in 2021 and 34 in the last decade to achieve its goal.

The World lacrosse also claimed its global media rights deal with ESPN to carry the championships through 2023. The cooperation supports the World Lacrosse Men's Championship in San Diego next summer, the World Lacrosse Women's Championship in Maryland in the summer of 2021, and the World Lacrosse Men's U21 Championship in Ireland.

Summer Olympics 2024 in Paris

Will men's and women's lacrosse participate in the Summer Olympics in Paris 2024? Unfortunately, NO.

Although the games have gained a grant from the IOC, the World Lacrosse must submit a proposal to the Olympic organizing committee and be formally accepted.

However, World Lacrosse is cooperating with the Iroquois Nationals team to help the association from the National Olympic Committee.

The main goal of the National Olympic Committee is to seek IOC recognition in 2024 and participate in the 2028 Olympic games.

Summer Olympics in Los Angeles 2028

Will lacrosse fully participate in the Los Angeles 2028 Summer Olympics? Possibly yes!

Lacrosse is one of the nine sports summoned by the Los Angeles 2028 organizing committee to present their proposal and argument for inclusion at the Olympic games. Thus, World Lacrosse is expected to introduce the "Sixes formally."

The World Lacrosse Sixes is a lacrosse game with fewer players. The game better fits the IOC and their requirements to make the Olympic games smaller, reducing the complexity of staging and making it less costly.

Other sports that were included and fully recognized by the committee include flag football, motorsport, kickboxing, cricket, breaking, baseball/softball, karate, and squash.

There are 29 sports in the Olympic Games, but beginning with the Tokyo Games in 2021, the IOC approved other sports crucial to a city, a region, or a country. Thus, the officials added five sports in Tokyo and four to Paris Summer Olympic Games 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Lacrosse the most popular?

Lacrosse is the most popular in North America. The five most popular states in lacrosse include:

1. New York

2. Massachusetts

3. Maryland

4. Illinois

5. California.

Is Lacrosse only played in North America?

why isn't lacrosse in the olympics

No, lacrosse is played internationally in 77 countries across six continents. But, the sport is still the most popular in the USA and Canada since the US is the primary origin of the sport.

However, as the leading officials were committed to including the sport in the Olympics, the sport is nowadays recognized around the globe.

Does Lacrosse have a world cup?

Yes, lacrosse has a world cup, known as the World Lacrosse championship. The tournament takes place every four years for men, and it's internationally recognized. The next world cup will be held in San Diego in 2023.

Is Women's Lacrosse a full-medal olympic sport?

Women's lacrosse is not a full-medal Olympic sport. Like the men's variant, women had never had an International Community and governing body recognized by the IOC. However, thanks to the World Lacrosse, as the only recognized official federation for lacrosse, the women's game and international development are also on the program.

If the play is accepted as the full-medal sport in the Olympic Games, the female teams will also play in the newly-made "Six" format.

Final Words

Right now, the game of lacrosse has yet to be an Olympic event. However, that could all change in 2028 when Los Angeles hosts the Summer Olympics. After that, the OIC will consider the official World Lacrosse proposal, and if they succeed, lacrosse will enter the hall of fame with full-medal sports.

This would be a huge accomplishment for the sport and help bring even more attention. It would also give teams who have dedicated their lives to playing lacrosse a chance to compete on the biggest stage in the world.

Freddy Woods

Freddy is the heart and soul of Lacrosse Runner. As a former athlete, Freddy is very passionate about Lacrosse. He keeps up with the sport's changes and innovations and often tests the new equipment released by the leading manufacturers. Read more here