Sport in India India is home to a diverse population playing many different kinds of sports across the country. Cricket is the most popular sport in India. Field hockey is the most successful sport for India at Olympics in which India has won eight Olympic gold medals. Kabaddi is the most popular indigenous sport in the country. Other popular sports in India are badminton, football, basketball, chess, shooting, wrestling, boxing, tennis, squash, weightlifting, gymnastics, athletics and table tennis. Some indigenous sports are also popular in India such as Kho-kho, Kabaddi, Fighter kite, Polo and Gillidanda among others. There are some popular sports which has originated in India such as Chess, Snooker and Kabbadi.
India has won Olympic medals in Badminton, Wrestling, Shooting, Weightlifting, Boxing and Tennis. India has also won World Cups in Cricket, Field Hockey and Kabbadi. India has hosted and co-hosted several international sporting events including the 2010
Commonwealth Games, the 1951 and 1982 Asian Games, the 1987, 1995 and 2016 South Asian Games, the 1987, 1996, 2011 Cricket World Cup and 2016 ICC World Twenty20, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, the 1989, 2013 and 2017 Asian Athletics Championships, the 1982 and 2010 Men's Field hockey World Cup, 2016–17 Men's FIH Hockey World League, the 1979, 1987, 1991, 2003, 2010, 2013 and 2017 Asian Wrestling Championships, the 2009 BWF World Championships, the 2004, 2007 and 2016 Kabaddi World Cup (Standard style), the 1980,1992 and 2009 Asian Table Tennis Championships, the 1981 ABC Championship, the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship for Women, the 1989, 2005, 2013 and 2017 Asian Cycling Championships. India has recently hosted the 2017 FIBA Women's Asia Cup, the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the 2017 ISSF World Cup and will host the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup.
India has some premier domestic leagues in different sports which are very popular in the country. Indian Premier League (IPL) is a premier Twenty20 & the most popular cricket league in the world held every year since 2008. The I-League and Indian Super League are premier football league tournaments held since 2007 and 2014 respectively, the Pro Kabaddi league is the most popular indigenous league in the country held since 2014, the Hockey India League is the premier hockey league held since 2013, the Premier Badminton League is the badminton premier league held since 2013, the Pro Wrestling League premier Wrestling league held since 2015 and Ultimate Table Tennis league held since 2017.
Major international sporting events annually held in India include the Chennai Open in tennis, the Indian Masters in golf, the India Open since 2008 and Royal Indian Open since 2001 in badminton. From 2011 to 2013, India hosted the Indian Grand Prix Formula 1 race at the Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida. The National Games of India is a national domestic sports event which has been held in the country since 1924 and for developing multi-sports culture in India Khelo India School Games, an event for under-17 school kids, had been started from 2018 as its first edition.
The geography of sports in India dates back to the Vedic era. Physical culture in ancient India was fuelled by religious rights. The mantra in the Atharvaveda, says, "Duty is in my right hand and the fruits of victory in my left." In terms of an ideal, these words hold the same sentiments as the traditional Olympic Oath: "For the Honour of my Country and the Glory of Sport." Badminton probably originated in India as a grownup's version of a very old children's game known in England as battledore and shuttlecock, the battledore being a paddle and the shuttlecock a small feathered cork, now usually called a "bird."
" Games like chess (chaturanga), Snooker snakes and ladders, playing cards, originated in India, and it was from here that these games were transmitted to foreign countries, where they were further modernised.
India hosted the Asian Games in New Delhi in 1951 and 1982. The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports was initially set up as the Department of Sports in 1982 at the time of organisation of the IX Asian Games in New Delhi. Its name was changed to the Department of Youth Affairs & Sports during celebration of the International Youth Year in 1985. India has also hosted or co-hosted several international sporting events, including the 1987 and 1996 Cricket World Cup, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, the 2010 Hockey World Cup, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Major international sporting events annually held in India include the Chennai Open, Mumbai Marathon, Delhi Half Marathon, and the Indian Masters. The country co-hosted the 1987, 1996, 2011 Cricket World Cup and the first Indian Grand Prix in 2011.
recognised national sports federations (NSF), of which 38 have politicians at the helm. Sports Authority of India, the field arm of the Ministry, supports and nurtures talent in youth, and provides them with requisite infrastructure, equipment, coaching facilities and competition exposure. Dorabji Tata, with the support of Dr. A.G. Noehren, then director of YMCA, established the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) in 1927. IOA is responsible for the Indian continent's participation in the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games (outdoor, indoor and beach), and South Asian Games. Each Olympic and non-Olympic sport has a federation at the national level. The selection of the national teams is done by the respective national federations and then recommend to IOA for official sponsorship for participation in the games conducted under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, Olympic Council of Asia, Commonwealth Games Federation, and SAG.
A special feature of the Indian Olympic Association is that the National Federations and the State Olympic Associations are affiliated with and recognised by it. The main task of the State Olympic Associations is to promote the Olympic sport and to ensure co-ordination among the State Sports Associations. In 2010–11, the total budget for sports and physical education schemes is ₹31,177 million (US$430 million). Hockey, in which India has an impressive record with eight Olympic gold medals, is said to be the national sport. The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award are India's highest awards for achievement in sports, while the Dronacharya Award is awarded for excellence in coaching. India has been criticised for neglecting women in sports, as depicted in the film "Chak De! India", where women's sports associations are under-sponsored and out of funds.
India at the Olympics The Indian Hockey team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, later going on to defeat Germany 8–1 in the final. A single athlete, Norman Pritchard, represented India in the 1900 Olympics, winning two silver medals. India sent its first national team to the Olympics in 1920, and has participated in every Summer Olympic Games ever since. India has also competed at several Winter Olympic Games since 1964. India has won a total of 26 Olympic medals. India won its first gold medal in men's field hockey in the 1928 Olympic Games. Abhinav Bindra became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games, and India's first gold medal since 1980, when the men's field hockey team won the gold.
India has won very few Olympic medals, despite a population exceeding one billion, around half of them under the age of 25. Numerous explanations have been offered for the dearth, including poverty, malnutrition, neglected infrastructure, the lack of sponsorship, the theft of money and equipment, political corruption, institutional disorganisation, social immobility, the predominance of cricket, and other cultural factors.
According to several informal statistics, India is the country with the lowest number of total Olympic medals per capita (out of those countries which have won at least one medal). In the Winter Olympic Games, India has seen four consecutive representations–Nagano (Japan, 1998), Salt Lake City (Utah, USA, 2002), Turin (Italy, 2006), and Vancouver (British Columbia, Canada, 2010). Shiva Keshavan, Asian Champion in luge represented India in all four winter games.
India at the Commonwealth Games India has competed in fourteen of the eighteen previous Commonwealth Games; starting at the second Games in 1934 hosted the games one time. India hosted the Games in 2010, at Delhi. India is the fourth most successful country with a total of 436 medals including 156 gold medals.
India at the Asian Games India hosted the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982 at New Delhi. India is the 4th most successful country winning 602 medals including 139 gold. India has won the gold medal in Kabbadi ever since its inception except in 2018.
National Games of India The National Games of India is a sporting event held in India. It comprises various disciplines in which sportsmen from the different states of India participate against each other. The country's first few Olympic Games, now christened as National Games.
Shooting is an important Olympic sport in India. Of India's 26 Olympic medals, 4 have come from Shooting including a Gold by Abhinav Bindra in the 2008 Olympics. Indian shooters who have excelled at the world stage include Abhinav Bindra, Jitu Rai, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Vijay Kumar, Gagan Naran, Apurvi Chandela, Ronjan Sodhi and Anjali Bhagwat.
The Indian shooting contingent for the 2012 London was one of the largest to date. There were a total of 11 shooters including 4 female shooters. India's first medal in the 2012 Olympics was when Gagan Narang won the bronze in the 10m Air Rifle event. This was the same event in which Abhinav Bindra won India's first individual gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics Beijing. The second medal came from the unheralded army man Vijay Kumar when he won the silver in the 25m rapid fire pistol event after finishing 4th in the qualification rounds. He had to fend off some tough competition from the third-placed Chinese Ding Feng.
A notable performance was made by Joydeep Karmakar who finished 4th in the 50m rifle prone event. A strong medal prospect Ronjan Sodhi who is an Asian Games gold medallist, however, crashed out in the qualification rounds of the Double trap event.
Field hockey in India Field Hockey is a popular sport in India. Until the mid-1970s, India men's team dominated international field hockey, winning 7 Olympic gold medals and won the 1975 Men's Hockey World Cup. Since then, barring a gold medal at the 1980 Olympics, India's performance in field hockey has been dismal, with other hockey-playing nations such as Australia, Netherlands and Germany improving their standards and catching up with India.
decline is also due to the change in rules of the game, introduction of artificial turf, and internal politics in Indian field hockey bodies. The popularity of field hockey has also declined massively parallel to the decline of the Indian hockey team. In recent years, the standard of Indian hockey has gone from bad to worse, with the Men's team not qualifying for the 2008 Olympics and finishing last in the 2012 Olympics. Since 2014, the men's team is trying to regain its lost glory little by little as they become runners up at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, then winning a much needed 2014 Asian Games gold and 2017 Men's Hockey Asia Cup to finally establishing the Asian dominance after long time but before that India lost to Belgium in the quarter final of 2016 Rio Olympics. India men's hockey team is eyeing for gold at the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup as its going to hold in India, as support of home crowds which is a must need to defeat the aura of the Australians who constantly dominating the Indian team in the recent years in various finals such as the 2014 & 2018 Hockey Champions Trophy. Currently, the Indian men's team is 5th in the rankings of the Federation International de Hockey sur Gazon (FIH, English: International Hockey Federation), the international governing body of field hockey and indoor field hockey.
The Women's team came of age in 1980 when they first participated at the Summer Olympics and achieved the 4th place. The first golden moment for the team was in 1982 at the Asian Games. Since then not much of happening moments in the team history, though in 2016 after 34 years, its a little hope when Indian women's team qualified for the Summer Olympics and they went on to win the 2017 Women's Hockey Asia Cup claiming the Asian dominance after 2004. India Women's team failed to win any medal in the Women's Hockey World Cup. The present team is ranked 10th by the Federation International de Hockey.
India has hosted two Men's Hockey World Cups–one in 1982 in Mumbai and another in 2010 in Delhi, where they finished fifth and eighth respectively. India also hosted the annual Hockey Champions Trophy in 1996, 2005 and 2014. Until 2008, the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) was the apex body for hockey in the country. However, following revelations of corruption and other scandals in the IHF, the federation was dissolved and de-recognized, and a new apex body for Indian hockey called Hockey India (HI) was formed on 20 May 2009, with support from the IOA and former hockey players. HI, recognized by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), has the sole mandate to govern and conduct all activities for both men's and women's field hockey in India. Although the IHF was reinstated in 2010 it is not recognized by the FIH. The IHF conducts a franchise-based tournament called World Series Hockey (WSH), with its first season conducted in 2012. However, it is not approved by HI or the FIH.
HI also conducts a franchise-based tournament called the Hockey India League (HIL). Its first season was in 2013 and is inspired from the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI's) highly successful Indian Premier League. The tournament is recognized by the FIH, which has also decided to provide a 30-day window for the forthcoming seasons so that all top players can participate.