The IOC adopted new rules today that could make it easier for sports to gain entry into the Olympic Games. But don't expect to get "Up Close and Personal" with frisbee golf anytime soon.
While the new rules lower the bar for inclusion, they also take pains to protect the stodgy Olympic status quo.
Under the new rules, new sports can be added to the games with a simple majority vote. Previously, a two-thirds vote was required.
But the new rules also maintain the current limit of 28 sports for the Summer Games. In addition, they adopt a voting procedure that seems likely to leave the current roster of 26 sports largely unchanged.
Under the new rules, the IOC will vote every four years on a block of 25 (26 in 2009) sports for the Summer Games. The block will be based on the current roster of 26 sports.
IOC President Jacques Rogge said core sports will only be removed for "exceptional reasons," such as mismanagement, corruption, refusal to comply with anti-doping rules or dramatic loss of popularity.
Once the IOC approves the core sports, it will decide on whether to add new sports, working from a short list proposed by the Executive Committee.
With only a simple majority required for inclusion, it seems likely that one or two new sports will be added to the 2016 Games. (The roster is already set for the 2008 and 2012 Summer Games.)
Among the sports that are likely to be short-listed are baseball and softball, whose representatives are still fuming after being cut from the roster for 2012.
Other hopefuls are roller sports, golf, karate, rugby and squash, the five sports rejected by the IOC in 2005.
And don't be surprised if a non-traditional sport like skateboarding makes the list. The Executive Committee has been actively looking for ways to attract a younger audience to its multi-billion dollar extravaganza.