In kata, the athletes demonstrate a series of offensive and defensive movements against a virtual opponent and are evaluated on strength, speed, rhythm, balance and power, among other things, using a points system. 
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After being absent from the last two Summer Olympics, men’s baseball and women’s softball return to the summer Olympic Games. Though baseball not being wildly popular around the world, only six countries will compete.
Climbing is making a long overdue appearance, alongside skateboarding. Surfing and Karate are also along for the ride with Baseball and Softball. 

After being postponed in 2020, we’re fairly certain the Tokyo Olympics will take place in July 2021. Time will tell.
Once a sport relegated to the streets of southern California and mostly niche competitions, skateboarding is making its Olympic debut. Men’s and women’s Olympic skateboarding will consist of two events: park and street. The street course is designed to replicate street skating, with stairs, ramps and rails that riders can use to put together a series of tricks. Athletes skate individually on three timed runs and are scored on things like the difficulty of their tricks, speed, height and originality. Only their highest-scoring run is taken into consideration for overall rankings. 

New sports at the Tokyo Olympics


In the Olympics, men’s and women’s sport climbing will consist of three disciplines: speed climbing, bouldering and lead climbing. In speed climbing, two athletes secure themselves to ropes and race each other on a fixed route to the top of a 15-meter high wall. 
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Adam Ondra is among the favourites for a gold medal in climbing.

man skateboarding in an outdoor skate park
Bouldering walls are shorter but include a variety of challenges, like tiny holds and overhangs.
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Baseball and softball are both played in roughly the same manner with a few differences: Softball is played with a larger ball on a small field and the pitcher throws underhand from flat ground (not a mound). Softball bats also tend to be shorter, lighter and smaller in diameter. Learn more about baseball and softball.
Although climbers compete in these three events separately in world cup competition, each Olympic athlete will have to participate in each one as a mixed event, which has caused controversy in the climbing community. Final rankings will be determined by combined scores. Learn more about sport climbing.

Sport Climbing

woman bouldering
Here’s everything you need to know.
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woman bouldering
In kumite, two weight-matched competitors face off in an 8 by 8 meter area for 3 minutes. They’re awarded points when they land strikes, kicks or punches with good form, power and control on the target area of their opponent’s body. The person with the most points at the end of the match or the first person to amass an eight-point lead is declared the winner. Want to dive deeper into karate? Head to the World Karate Federation’s site for more.


In addition to the new and returning sports above, the International Olympic Committee has also given the green light to a variety of new events within basketball, swimming, track and field and more. Check out a complete list at and then read about how you might be to still score tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics

Sports returning to the Tokyo Olympics

Baseball and Softball

Bouldering involves climbers — without safety ropes — individually trying to ascend as many fixed routes on a 4-meter high wall as they can within 4 minutes. And in lead climbing, athletes will try to climb as high as they can on a 15-meter high wall within 6 minutes, again using safety ropes. If two people reach the same height, the person who did it fastest wins. 
And if it can be done safely, we’re looking forward to it. Particularly because this year, the Olympics is debuting some awesome new sports that’ll work fantastically for viewing audiences back home.

softball on a field
After a two-Games hiatus, both softball and baseball will be back in the Summer Olympics lineup in 2020.

Surfing makes its Olympic debut next year when women and men shortboard competitors hit Shidashita Beach on Japan’s Pacific coast. Four athletes compete at a time, with each heat lasting 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the quality of the waves. During that time each wave can only have one rider. Instead of being judged on how many waves they catch, the athletes are judged on the difficulty of the maneuvers they perform, with masterful execution on large waves bringing the highest scores. An athlete’s two highest scores count, with the two surfers at the top of the rankings moving on to the next round. Learn more about competitive surfing.

There are tons of new events too

Skateboarding will bring a dash of street culture to the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. 
Fittingly, karate — a martial art that originated in Okinawa during the Ryukyu Dynasty — makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo, joining judo, taekwondo and wrestling. It consists of two disciplines for both men and women: kata (forms) and kumite (sparring). 

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