As a lacrosse player and fan, I’ve always been curious about lacrosse being in the olympics. I did some research about this exact topic, and here’s what I found out:
Is Lacrosse an Olympic Sport?
Right now lacrosse is not an olympic sport, but we’re getting much closer to changing that! Jim Scherr, the CEO of World Lacrosse, has plans to make the sport return to the Olympics by as early as 2028. This is great news for lacrosse fans all around the world.
In November 2018, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to provisionally recognize the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL). This means the FIL can get funding from the IOC and apply for development programs. The funding and development programs will make it easier for new nations to join the sport and compete at a high level.
What are the Olympic-style lacrosse rules?
Currently there are 62 member nations of World Lacrosse, and Scherr is trying to grow that number to 100 nations. In order to spur this growth, the FIL and US Lacrosse are experimenting with new olympic-friendly rules. This includes ideas such as reducing the number of players on each team and shortening the length of games. Although these rules might be different than what we consider “normal lacrosse,” it will make it easier for nations with less experience to join in. In addition, the Olympics has a limited number of spots for athletes to compete, so teams with fewer members give lacrosse a better chance at becoming an olympic sport.
There have been mixed responses to these new rules. Some players are encouraged by the rules and believe they will help grow the sport, while others have responded negatively and believe the new rules will change the sport completely. Either way, I think it’s pretty cool to think that in less than a decade, I could be watching Brazil play lacrosse.
Has Lacrosse Ever Been in the Olympics?
Yes! Lacrosse was a medal sport in 1904 and in 1908. In addition, lacrosse was a demonstration sport in 1928, 1932 and 1948. I wish there was a video of these games!
Overall, lacrosse is headed in the right direction to becoming an olympic sport. With recognition from the IOC and smart rule changes, we could be watching the next generation of lacrosse in Los Angeles in 2028.