In November 2013, the IPC announced that recognised International Federations (IF) of summer sports not yet on the Paralympic programme had until 17 January 2014 to express an interest in being part of the Tokyo 2020 Games. Furthermore, International Federations already on the Paralympic programme could also suggest additional disciplines for inclusion.
The six sports and three disciplines, to apply to the IPC are:
- Powerchair football
- 3-on-3 Intellectually impaired basketball
- Electric wheelchair hockey
- Amputee football
- One-person multi-hull - sailing
- Blind match racing - sailing
- 3-on-3 - Wheelchair basketball
The next step in the process is that the IPC Governing Board will meet in Sochi, Russia on 5 March 2014 to check which of the sports and disciplines that have expressed an interest meet the minimum criteria for inclusion in the Paralympic Games. Those that do will progress to the second phase of the application process.
From 24 March 2014, the 22 established sports in the Paralympic programme, plus those additional sports and disciplines that have been approved by the Governing Board, will be invited to complete a comprehensive questionnaire before 25 July 2014.
In October 2014, the IPC Governing Board will meet to decide which sports will make up the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Sports Programme.
Currently there are 22 sports on the summer Games programme - athletics, archery, boccia, canoe, cycling, equestrian, football 5-a-side, football 7-a-side, goalball, judo, powerlifting, rowing, sailing, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, table tennis, triathlon, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis. The two latest additions are para-canoe and para-triathlon, and both will make their Games debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
Xavier Gonzalez, the IPC’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “I would like to thank the nine sports and disciplines for applying to be part of the Tokyo 2020 Games. The high number of applicants I think highlights the health of para-sport and growth of the Paralympic Movement.
“In 2020 we want the sport programme to feature the best sports possible in terms of athletes, Paralympic values, quality of global competition, reach, gender balance and impairments catered for, as well as appeal to spectators, media and broadcasters.
“The IPC management team will now review each application before the Governing Board meets in early March before a final decision is taken in November.”
Since the first Paralympic Games in Rome, Italy, in 1960, the Paralympic Games have continued to grow in size and stature. The first Games featured 400 athletes from 23 countries competing in eight sports - archery, athletics, dartchery, snooker, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair fencing and wheelchair basketball.
At London 2012, the Games involved a record 4,237 athletes from 164 countries who took part in 503 medal events across 20 sports. A cumulated global audience of 3.8 billion watched the Games, whilst 2.78 million tickets were sold, making the Paralympics the third-biggest sporting event in the world behind the Olympics and FIFA World Cup.
In 2010, para-badminton, intellectually impaired basketball, para-golf, powerchair football and para-taekwondo all applied to be part of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Sports Programme but were unsuccessful with the IPC Governing Board instead choosing applications from para-canoe and para-triathlon.
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be held from 25 August to 6 September 2020.