Golf and Rugby to Join 2016 Olympic Programme

09 Oct 2009
IOC News Press Release

Copenhagen - The sports of golf and rugby sevens have been voted today by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session for inclusion in the programme of the 2016 Olympic Games - awarded last Friday to Rio de Janeiro. The two sports had been recommended by the IOC Executive Board (EB) in August following an extensive evaluation by the Olympic Programme Commission of the seven sports seeking to enter the programme.

“Both golf and rugby are very popular sports with global appeal and a strong ethic,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge. “They will be great additions to the Games.”

The two sports, voted on separately in alphabetical order of the sports, golf then rugby, received a simple majority of votes cast by the members of the Session. The result of the first vote was not revealed to the Session until the vote for the second sport had taken place. The IOC President elected not to take part in the vote.

 “The International Golf Federation is absolutely delighted by today’s results. We thank the IOC for the thorough process and we are looking forward to playing our part as a member of the Olympic Movement,” said Peter Dawson, Secretary General of the International Golf Federation. “This is great for golf and we hope to be of great benefit to the Olympic Games as well.”

Bernard Lapasset, President of the International Rugby Board, said: “I am so delighted and proud. My thanks to the IOC members for their wonderful support. Rugby is honoured to be a part of the Olympic Sports Programme and we are already looking forward to Rio 2016.”

Golf was played at the Games in 1900 in Paris and in 1904 in St Louis, while rugby was part of the programme of four editions of the Games between 1900 and 1924.

In addition to the two new sports, the Session also voted to accept the list of 26 core sports on the programme for the Olympic Games in 2016.

During the 119th Session in Guatemala City in 2007, the IOC approved a simplified voting process for new sports to enter the programme. The IOC members also requested guidance from the EB in the selection of the new sports and entrusted it to make a proposal to the Session based on the work of the Olympic Programme Commission.

In 2002, the IOC decided to conduct a systematic review of the Olympic programme after every edition of the Games to ensure that it remains exciting and relevant.  



Additional information:
All changes to the sports programme for 2016 and for 2020 on a provisional basis.

Format of the golf competition for the Games proposed by the International Golf Federation (IGF): eight-day competition (four for men and four for women) with 60 men and 60 women. Both men and women play 72 holes of stroke play, 18 holes per day. Medals will be awarded to the three competitors with the lowest total score. For more information:
Format of the rugby competition for the Games proposed by the International Rugby Board (IRB): two to four days of competition of rugby sevens. Teams will be split into two pools of six with a total of 12 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams (288 athletes). The two top teams in each pool will qualify for semi-finals. For more information:

Click here for the list of the 26 core sports


For more information, please contact the IOC Communications Department:
Tel: +45 205 27 415 e-mail:, or visit our web site at

Broadcast quality videos can be accessed and downloaded for free: click here
Login: IOC
Password: MEDIA2009
For an extensive selection of photos available shortly after each event, please follow us on Flickr
To request archive photos and footage, please contact our Images team at:   
Video on demand
Click here to replay the events of the Olympic Congress with the video on demand option.
Click here for video on demand from the IOC Session.
Social media
For up-to-the-minute information on the IOC and regular updates, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
The IOC sponsored a video contest with the help from Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and other Olympians who called for submissions in a series of video challenges posted on the IOC’s web site last August. More than 200 people entered the competition and two winners were chosen to travel to Copenhagen.



back to top