50 Sports That Are Not In The Olympics

Exploring 50 Sports Absent from the Olympics: Unveiling the Diversity Beyond the Rings

CafeTopic.com – The Olympic Games have long been a celebration of human athleticism and competition, showcasing the world’s most exceptional talents across a diverse range of sports. However, as the Olympics have evolved over the years, some sports have found themselves excluded from the grand stage. In this journey through history, we delve into 50 sports that are no longer part of the Olympic program, yet have left their mark on the world of sports.

These forgotten sports, once celebrated for their unique challenges and cultural significance, have gradually faded from the Olympic spotlight. From disciplines that harken back to ancient times to those that captured hearts in more recent decades, each sport carried its own blend of excitement and heritage. While they may not grace the Olympic arenas today, the legacies of these sports endure, echoing the evolution of athletic pursuits.

Join us as we explore the stories of these 50 sports, from the ones that captivated audiences in the early days of the modern Olympics to the more recent departures. As we reflect on their absence from the Olympic stage, we’ll rediscover the spirit of competition, dedication, and camaraderie that defines the essence of sportsmanship. So, let’s embark on this journey to honor the sports that once graced the global stage and celebrate the rich tapestry of athletic diversity that continues to evolve.

List of Sports That Are Not In The Olympics

  1. Squash
  2. Cricket
  3. Surfing
  4. Skateboarding
  5. Breakdancing (Breaking)
  6. Bowling
  7. Karate
  8. Rugby Sevens (Summer Olympics includes Rugby Sevens, but not Rugby Union)
  9. Wushu
  10. Softball (Softball was previously part of the Summer Olympics but was removed after 2008)
  11. Baseball (Baseball was previously part of the Summer Olympics but was removed after 2008)
  12. Sumo
  13. Netball
  14. Polo
  15. Water Skiing
  16. Wakeboarding
  17. Chess
  18. Darts
  19. American Football
  20. Ultimate Frisbee
  21. Korfball
  22. Snooker
  23. Squash Tennis
  24. Bowling
  25. Powerlifting
  26. Bodybuilding
  27. CrossFit
  28. Billiards
  29. E-sports (electronic sports)
  30. Paddleboarding
  31. Bocce
  32. Futsal
  33. Orienteering
  34. Air Sports (Paragliding, Hang Gliding, Skydiving)
  35. Underwater Hockey
  36. Axe Throwing
  37. Kabaddi
  38. Tug of War
  39. Wood Chopping
  40. Aikido
  41. Arm Wrestling
  42. Bandy
  43. Capoeira
  44. Dodgeball
  45. Footgolf
  46. Sepak Takraw
  47. Pickleball
  48. Table Soccer (Foosball)
  49. Toe Wrestling
  50. Yoga Sports


Squash is a fast-paced racquet sport played in a confined court. Despite its global popularity and physical demands, squash has not yet made its way into the Olympics, possibly due to limited available spots for new sports and competition from other racquet sports.


Cricket, a bat-and-ball team sport, has a massive following in several countries. The Olympics have not included cricket largely due to concerns about the sport’s global representation, limited available space, and the need for short-format versions to fit the Olympic schedule.


Surfing involves riding waves on a board, showcasing both athleticism and a connection to nature. While it has a distinct cultural significance, its inclusion in the Olympics faced challenges due to the unpredictable nature of waves at different locations.


Known for its tricks and urban culture, skateboarding has gained popularity globally. Its inclusion in the Olympics was a recent development, debuting at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, making this sport a dynamic addition to the Games.

Breakdancing (Breaking)

Breakdancing, also known as breaking, showcases dynamic moves and artistic expression. It’s set to make its Olympic debut at the 2024 Paris Olympics, bringing street culture and dance into the global sporting spotlight.


Bowling’s omission from the Olympics might be due to the limited number of sports that can be accommodated and the relatively low profile of professional bowling on the international stage.


Karate, a martial art focused on strikes and movements, is making its first appearance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Its journey to Olympic inclusion reflects its global appeal and cultural significance.

Rugby Sevens (Summer Olympics includes Rugby Sevens, but not Rugby Union)

While Rugby Sevens is part of the Summer Olympics, traditional Rugby Union is not currently included due to space constraints and competition from other team sports.


Wushu, a Chinese martial art, combines performance and combat. Its absence from the Olympics may be due to the existing martial arts disciplines and limited spots for new sports.

Softball and Baseball

These were once part of the Olympics but were removed after the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to a combination of factors, including limited global reach and differences in rules between various regions.


Sumo wrestling, deeply rooted in Japanese culture, is not yet an Olympic sport, likely due to its cultural specificity and the complexities of its competition format.


Netball, a popular team sport primarily played by women, is absent from the Olympics due to the need to balance representation across various sports and genders.


Polo, a team sport played on horseback, was part of the Olympics in the early 20th century but is not included today, possibly due to its limited global reach and the logistical challenges of equestrian sports.

Water Skiing

Water skiing’s absence could be attributed to the diverse range of water-based sports already in the Olympics and the need to prioritize other disciplines.


Similar to water skiing, wakeboarding’s absence may stem from the already existing water-based sports and the selection process for new additions.


Chess, a strategic board game, is not included due to its non-physical nature, as the Olympics primarily focus on sports involving physical exertion and competition.


Darts’ omission could be due to its lack of physical athleticism compared to other sports in the Olympics.

American Football

American football’s absence might be due to its limited global appeal outside the United States and Canada.

Ultimate Frisbee

While popular, Ultimate Frisbee’s absence could be due to competition for limited Olympic slots and the desire to include more traditional sports.


Korfball’s exclusion may result from the focus on sports with broader international appeal.


Snooker’s absence might be due to its limited representation in certain regions and its indoor nature.

Squash Tennis

Squash tennis, a variant of squash, is not in the Olympics due to its relatively niche following and the limited space for new sports.


Bowling, a popular recreational activity and competitive sport, has yet to find a permanent place in the Olympic Games. Despite its widespread appeal and active international community, a few factors have contributed to its absence from the Olympic roster.

One challenge is the limited number of available spots for new sports in the Olympics. As the Games strive to showcase a diverse range of athletic disciplines, competition for inclusion is fierce. Bowling is up against a multitude of sports vying for a chance to be part of this prestigious global event.

Additionally, the perception of bowling as a recreational pastime rather than a traditional competitive sport may play a role. While there are professional bowling circuits and tournaments around the world, the Olympic selection process often weighs factors such as global reach, tradition, and cultural significance.

Nonetheless, the absence of bowling from the Olympics doesn’t diminish its appeal or the skill required to excel in the sport. Bowling remains a beloved activity enjoyed by people of all ages, whether for leisure or in competitive settings. While the Olympic spotlight may not currently shine on bowling, its continued presence in communities worldwide speaks to its enduring popularity and unique place in the realm of sports and entertainment.


Powerlifting’s omission could be due to the presence of weightlifting in the Olympics, which is a similar strength sport.


Bodybuilding’s absence could be attributed to its focus on aesthetics rather than direct athletic competition.


CrossFit, a fitness regimen, is not included in the Olympics due to its variation from traditional competitive sports.


Billiards’ omission might be due to the distinction between sport and recreation in its gameplay.

E-sports (electronic sports)

E-sports’ absence might result from its non-physical nature and evolving status as a competitive discipline.


Paddleboarding’s absence could be due to its recent emergence and the process for considering new sports.


Bocce’s exclusion might result from its limited international following and recognition.


Futsal’s absence could be attributed to the existing representation of football (soccer) in the Olympics.


Orienteering’s omission might result from the focus on sports with direct head-to-head competition.

Air Sports (Paragliding, Hang Gliding, Skydiving)

Air sports’ absence could be due to the logistical complexities and risk factors involved.

Underwater Hockey

Underwater hockey’s exclusion might result from its niche appeal and logistical challenges.

Axe Throwing

Axe throwing’s absence could be due to its relatively recent surge in popularity and unconventional nature.


Kabaddi’s exclusion might result from its regional focus and limited global recognition.

Tug of War

Tug of war’s absence could be attributed to its non-standardized format and focus on physical strength.

Wood Chopping

Wood chopping’s omission could be due to its specialized nature and limited international appeal.


Aikido’s absence might be due to its non-competitive nature and focus on self-defense.

Arm Wrestling

Arm wrestling’s exclusion could result from its informal nature and limited international recognition as a competitive sport.


Bandy’s absence could be due to its regional popularity and limited global reach.


Capoeira’s exclusion might result from its classification as a martial art, dance, and cultural practice rather than a traditional sport.


Dodgeball’s absence could be attributed to its non-standardized rules and focus on elimination gameplay.


Footgolf’s omission might result from its recent emergence and the distinction between traditional sports and recreational activities.

Sepak Takraw

Sepak takraw’s absence could be due to limited international awareness and recognition.


Pickleball’s exclusion might result from its relatively recent popularity and unique blend of tennis, badminton, and table tennis.

Table Soccer (Foosball)

Foosball’s absence could be due to its recreational nature rather than traditional competitive sports.

Toe Wrestling

Toe wrestling’s omission could be attributed to its non-standardized rules and novelty nature.

Yoga Sports

Yoga’s absence might be due to its focus on holistic well-being rather than direct competitive sport.


These sports, though absent from the Olympic Games, continue to thrive in various ways, reflecting the diverse nature of human athleticism and interests. While the Olympics aim to provide a global platform for showcasing sports, the selection process takes into account a wide range of factors, including tradition, popularity, and available resources.

As we conclude this exploration into the realm of sports that have faded from the Olympic stage, we are reminded of the ever-evolving nature of athletic pursuits. While these 50 sports may no longer hold a place in the Olympic Games, their legacies continue to resonate within the hearts of athletes, enthusiasts, and communities around the world.

The reasons for these sports’ absence are as varied as the disciplines themselves – from the challenge of accommodating new sports within a limited schedule to the need to balance tradition with innovation. Each sport, whether deeply rooted in cultural heritage or a product of modern creativity, has left an indelible mark on the tapestry of human athleticism.

These forgotten sports are a testament to the diversity of human movement, skill, and dedication. Their exclusion from the Olympics doesn’t diminish their significance; rather, it highlights the vast landscape of sports beyond the Games. The stories of these sports serve as a reminder that the pursuit of excellence, camaraderie, and the thrill of competition are not confined to a single arena.

As we applaud the sports that grace the Olympic stage, let us also celebrate the sports that have written their chapters in history outside the Olympic rings. The legacy of these sports lives on through the memories, records, and the enduring passion of those who continue to practice and cherish them. From kabaddi to squash tennis, sumo to water skiing, each sport adds a unique thread to the rich tapestry of human movement, reminding us that the spirit of athleticism transcends boundaries and time.

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About the Author: Salman Alfarisi

Salman Alfarisi, a seasoned writer and adept journalist. Years of honing his craft led to versatile skills in various genres. Journaling, his personal outlet, morphed into insightful narratives. As a journalist, Salman's unbiased reporting and in-depth research stand out, covering diverse topics. His writing aims to resonate, forging a lasting writer-reader connection.

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