Getty Images

Over more than a century since the Olympic games were first introduced in their modern form back in 1896, the landscape of the sporting world has been altered dramatically by the introduction and popularization of various spectator sports. And in that timeframe, the Olympics have been adjusted accordingly.

Stay up to date with how countries are performing at the Games by checking out our medal counter

This year is no different, as the Tokyo Olympics will feature five new additions to its lineup of games. Below is a complete look at the five new sports being introduced for the 2020 Olympics:

3x3 Basketball

In addition to five-on-five basketball, the Olympics have introduced a new 3x3 basketball tournament comprised of eight men's and eight women's teams. The rules of 3x3 basketball vary from standard basketball, as games are played on a half court with only four players in total. Baskets are worth one point -- or two points if they come from beyond the arc.

The games end after one team scores 21 points, or go to overtime if neither team has reached that total after 10 minutes of play.


Karate is one of three sports unique to the Tokyo Olympics due to their popularity in Japan, a group which also includes baseball and softball. While karate normally features five weight classes, the International Olympic Committee has condensed the total number of weight classes to three.

There will be a total of eight medal events for karate:

  • Three kumite (head-to-head sparring) for men
  • Three kumite for women
  • Kuma (solo demonstration) for men and women

Forty athletes will compete in karate, with no more than one representative from each country.


Long one of the most prominent extreme sports, skateboarding has finally been given a place in the Olympics with the introduction of two different disciplines. Skateboarding will be divided into two different disciplines:

  • Street
  • Park

In street skateboarding, athletes will compete on a course that features real-life obstacles, such as stairs and rails. Each skater will take two 45 second runs and perform five tricks that will be judged on a score out of 10. Out of those seven total performances, the four highest scores of each skater will count.

In park skateboarding, skaters will compete within a dome-shaped bowl with each skater making three runs. The skaters will be judged on a 100-point scale, with only their best score counting. The highest and lowest scores of each skater will both be thrown out.

A total of 80 athletes representing 26 countries will compete in skateboarding, with all events being narrowed down to eight-person finals after the preliminary heats.


Olympic surfing will be held at Tsurigasaki Beach in Chiba, with 40 surfers competing in various heats. Surfers will attempt to catch as many waves as they can during their allotted time, with judges scoring out of 10 on each wave. The top two scores of each surfer will end up counting.

While surfing is slated for July 24-28, it should be noted that surfing events are contingent on weather conditions.

Sport Climbing

Sport climbing presents an indoor rock climbing competition, with athletes climbing an inverted wall that features holds placed in for them to scale. While the three disciplines of sport climbing -- speed climbing, lead climbing, and bouldering -- are usually contested separately, the Olympics will see the three combined into one.

In speed climbing, two climbers will compete head-to-head as they scale a 49-foot wall. The wall is also 49 feet tall in lead climbing, but the holds are placed in a way which makes it more difficult to reach the top. While most speed climbs occur within seconds, lead climbing takes place within a six minute time limit.

In bouldering, the wall is only 13 feet tall and athletes do not use a safety rope. Bouldering is scored based on the difficult of routes that climbers use to make their way to the top.

Sport climbing competitions will consist of 20 men and 20 women, and are set to take place from August 3-6.