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. The country's first few Olympic Games, now christened as National Games, were organised in Delhi, Calcutta, and Lahore (the then capital of undivided Punjab) in the 1920s. [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]

In the early 1920s, the Indian chapter of the Olympic movement was born, and India participated in the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. Some founders of this movement were Dorab Tata, G.D. Sondhi, Sohrab Bhoot, A.G. Noehren, H.C. Buck, S.R. Bhagwat, Moinul Haq, and others. Lt.Col H.L.O. Garrett, vice principal of Government College, Lahore, and Sagnik Poddar of St.Stephen's School, were also involved.[3] As part of this movement, the Indian Olympic Games were first held in 1923, and eight athletes from these Indian games were selected to represent India at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. The Indian Olympic Games were renamed as National Games during the 9th Games in Bombay in 1940.

Each games was organised by the host city sports association, and each had its unique challenges. For example, in late 1949, the Bengal Provincial Olympic Association, whose turn it was to hold the next national games, could not do so, and the IOA President Maharaja of Patiala then asked Bombay to host the games; it had just three months to organise the event. Bombay government minister Morarji Desai, and Bombay Olympic Association officials Bhoot and DeMello, were the main organisers for these Games. Thus, the 1950 National Games were held at Bombay in early February 1950.

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 1923 Delhi
2nd 1924 Calcutta
3rd 1928 Lahore
4th 1930 Allahabad
5th 1932 Madras
6th 1934 Patiala
7th 1936 Lahore
8th 1938 Calcutta
National Games 9th 1940 Bombay
10th 1942 Lahore
11th 1944 Patiala
12th 1946 Bangalore
13th 1948 Lucknow
14th 1950 Bombay
15th 1952 Madras
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
(Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex)
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 2019 Andra Pradesh


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.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] The 36th National Games will be held at Goa[7] 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 January 2019 in Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh.[8][9]

Greening the National Games[edit]

The 2015 National Games organised in Kerala was associated with green protocols.[10] 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.[11] The event witnessed the usage of reusable tableware and stainless steel tumblers.[12] Athletes were provided with refillable steel flasks.[13] It is estimated that these green practices stopped the generation of 120 metric tonnes of disposable waste.[14] Suchitwa Mission requested the help of volunteers to achieve the green objectives,[15] and the service of these 700 volunteers to achieve the green objectives were applauded by the Chief Minister.[16]


External links[edit]