National Games of India

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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. It was in 1924, in erstwhile Punjab, that the Indian chapter of the Olympic movement was born. The founder was G.D. Sondhi, the first Secretary of the Punjab Olympic Association. Lt.Col H.L.O. Garrett, vice principal of Government College, Lahore, was the President of the founder body. The same year, the country's first Olympic Games, now christened as National Games, were organised in Lahore, the then capital of undivided Punjab.[1][2]

National Games of India
Abbreviation Indian Olympic Association
Motto Get Set Play
First event 1924
Occur every 2 years


Indian Olympic Games (Early National Games)[edit]

The Games were held every two years from 1924 as Indian Olympic Games and were renamed as National Games when they were first held in Bombay in 1940.It was started by a famous person Sagnik Poddar who reads in St.Stephen's School.

Modern National Games[edit]

The Indian Olympic Association, the premier sports organising body of the nation, mooted the concept of the National Games. For several years it was conducted on a low keynote. However, the Modern National Games on the lines of the Olympics were held in 1985 in New Delhi. Thereafter Kerala(1987), Pune(1994), Bangalore(1997),Manipur(1999), Ludhiana(2005), Hyderabad(2002) and Guwahati(2007) have hosted the Games.

Periodicity of National Games[edit]

The National Games are required to be held once in two years leaving those years in which the Olympic Games and Asian Games are scheduled to be held. Only in exceptional cases or natural calamity, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) can allow relaxation from the general rule. The duration and the regulation of the National Games is entirely within the jurisdiction of IOA.[2]



List of National Games of India
Competition name Number Year Venue
Indian Olympic Games 1st 1924 Lahore
2nd 1926 Lahore
3rd 1928 Lahore
4th 1930 Allahabad
5th 1932 Madras
6th 1934 New Delhi
7th 1936 Lahore
8th 1938 Calcutta
National Games 9th 1940 Bombay
10th 1942 Patiala
11th 1944 Lahore
12th 1946 Lahore
13th 1948 Lucknow
14th 1952 Madras
15th 1953 Jabalpur
16th 1954 Delhi
17th 1956 Patiala
18th 1958 Cuttack
19th 1960 Delhi
20th 1962 Jabalpur
21st 1964 Calcutta
22nd 1966 Bangalore
23rd 1968 Madras
24th 1970 Cuttack
25th 1979 Hyderabad
National Games
(new format)
26th 1985 Delhi
27th 1987 Kerala
28th 1994 Maharashtra
29th 1997 Karnataka
30th 1999 Manipur
31st 2001 Punjab
32nd 2002 Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam
33rd 2007 Guwahati
34th 2011 Ranchi
35th 2015 Kerala
National Games
36th 2016 Goa
37th 2018 Chhattisgarh
38th 2020 Uttarakhand
39th 2022 Haryana


List of National Winter Games of India
Competition name Number Year Venue
National Winter Games 1st 1996 Gulmarg
2nd 2000 Manali
3rd 2002 Auli
4th 2004 Gulmarg
5th 2008 Gulmarg

List of Winners[edit]

Year Host 1st Position 2nd Position 3rd Position
2007 Assam Services Manipur Assam
2011 Jharkhand Services Manipur Haryana
2015 Kerala Services Kerala Haryana

Performance of Host States[edit]

In recent times, the host states of National Games have consistently featured in the top 5 in the overall medal tally. Kerala had become the Champions when it hosted the event in 1987. The 1997 National Games was hosted by Karnataka and they won the largest number of medals. Manipur which had finished 9th in the 1997 National Games, became the overall champions when they hosted the event two years later. In 2001, hosts Punjab became the champions. Andhra Pradesh which had won only 11 Gold Medals in 2001 went on to become the Champions when they hosted it in 2002 winning a whopping 94 Gold Medals overall. Assam had managed to win only a single gold medal and had finished 21st position in 2001. But, in the subsequent 2007 National Games that they hosted, they were the second runners-up winning a total of 38 Gold Medals. In 2011, Assam finished 15th overall winning only 5 Gold Medals. Jharkhand had been in the 15th position in 2007 National Games. They rose to the 5th position when they hosted it in 2011. In 2015, hosts Kerala secured the second spot in the medal tally. One main reason for this trend is the higher number of participants from the host state and comparatively lesser number of participants from other states.[3]

Future Games[edit]

Though National Games are supposed to be held once in 2 years, it is faltering on this schedule. It took Guwahati five years to conduct the games after the National Games in 2002 are organised in Andhra Pradesh.

The 34th National Games had been postponed six times before finally opening on February 12, 2011.[4] The 35th National Games were to be held at Kerala in 2012, it was then announced that it would be held from 31 January to February 14, 2015.[5] The 36th National Games will be held at Goa[6] at the closing ceremony of 35th National Games in Kerala, Goa contingent said the games would be held in November 2016, and the 37th National Games will be held after that in Chhattisgarh.[7]

Greening the National Games[edit]

The 2015 National Games organised in Kerala was associated with green protocols.[8] This was initiated by Suchitwa Mission that aimed for "zero-waste" venues. Waste Management programmes were implemented at the 29 venues. To make the event "disposable-free", there was ban on the usage of disposable water bottles.[9] The event witnessed the usage of reusable tableware and stainless steel tumblers.[10] Athletes were provided with refillable steel flasks.[11] It is estimated that these green practices stopped the generation of 120 metric tonnes of disposable waste.[12] Suchitwa Mission requested the help of volunteers to achieve the green objectives,[13] and the service of these 700 volunteers to achieve the green objectives were applauded by the Chief Minister.[14]


External links[edit]