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10 sports not in the Olympics

Here are 5 sports that are not featured in the Olympics, but probably should be.

Image: Shutterstock

The Olympics is the most popular sporting event in the world, with athletes from all across the globe coming together to represent their country in their respective discipline. The governing bodies for most sports want to be included in the games, but, to keep the event manageable, not all sports make the cut.

As we're less than a year away from the next Olympics, lets ake a look at five popular sports that won't be featuring in Paris 2024:

1. Cricket

Cricket, a British sport, is the second most watched sport in the world, with over 2.5 billion fans. Despite its massive fandom, cricket is not a part of the Olympics. It was in the first modern Games in 1896, but was later withdrawn due to a lack of entrants. However, after a successful women's cricket tournament at the Commonwealth Games in 2022, the sport will be returning to the Olympics in Los Angeles 2028.

2. Polo

One of the poshest sports around, polo has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, but hasn't been a part of the Olympics since 1936.

3. Darts

While darts may not take much vigor, many consider it a sport. There have been great efforts by various official dart organisations to get darts into the Olympics, and the Olympic Committee have said it may become incorporated in the 2024 games.

4. Squash

Around 17 million people around the world play squash, but it has repeatedly seen its bids to be included in the Olympics rejected. However, this all changed in the recent round of voting and, like cricket, squash is set to be played at the Olympics in 2028.

5. Bowling

Did you know that bowling dates all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians? Bowling was temporarily introduced into the Olympics as a demonstration sport at the Seoul Summer Games. However, only 20 countries participated and the sport hasn't made a reappearance since.

6. Mixed Martial Arts

The popularity of Mixed Martial Arts or MMA is largely down to the large private organisations, like the UFC, who run and manage competitions within the sport. It’s a hugely popular sport on TV but a lack of standardised scoring and the violent element of the sport that involves kickboxing, standard boxing, wrestling and grappling means it’s not quite ready to be included in the Olympics yet.

7. Netball

Netball is a hugely popular sport with world championships and a real prominence in British schools and also in Commonwealth nations such as Australia and Singapore. Outside of these regions, the sport’s popularity wanes significantly, and it is also seen as a female-only sport. Though this doesn’t have to be the case, the Olympic Committee mainly looks for sports with equal participation between men and women for consideration for future games.

8. Lacrosse

Lacrosse used to be an Olympic sport and was a designated medal sport in the 1904 games in St. Louis and also in the 1908 London Olympics. It fell back to being considered a demonstration sport in the 1920s-1940s and nowadays there simply isn’t the demand. Lacrosse is quite popular in the USA and Canada but not the wider world.

9. Kiteboarding

In Paris 2024, we see Olympic Surfing for the very first time and maybe this will pave the way for other water sports like kiteboarding. Kiteboarding is a fairly new sport and is also known as kite surfing. You ride your surfboard whilst being propelled by a large kite and the Global Kitesports Association holds regular world championships, but it has not made it up for discussion by the Olympics committee just yet.

10. Snooker

Snooker is a cue sport that is beloved in the UK, China, and some other Commonwealth countries. The popularity of the sport in these regions is limited to the male game usually and the sport has not come up for consideration for the Olympics mainly due to this. If the sport had wider popularity and the female game was the same high standard as the male, there would be a chance of snooker being considered for the Olympics.