India has a tradition of sports and physical fitness. In recognition of the importance of sports, a separate department was set up in 1982, prior to the commencement of the 9th Asian Games. Subsequently, the first ever National Sports Policy was announced in 1984. The Ministry of Human Resource Development was set up in 1985, with the objective of integrating efforts for development of human potential in the areas of Education, Women & Child Development, Arts and culture, Youth Affairs & Sports through its constituent departments.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) was established in 1984 as a registered society in pursuance of a Government of India resolution. Its main objectives include the effective and optimum utilisation of various sports facilities and all matters pertaining to sports promotion and sports management.
The Sports Authority of India is contributing towards development of sports through its various programmes viz.
India is home to a diverse population playing many different sports across the country. Football is a popular sport in some of the Indian states. The country has won eight Olympic gold medals in field hockey. Kabaddi, an indigenous sport, is popular in rural India, and India has won all the Kabaddi World Cups to date. Several games originated in India including chess, snooker and other regional games. India has won medals in badminton, kabaddi, hockey and many other sports and disciplines. However, cricket is the most popular sport in India.
Recently, different forms of martial arts have also gained a lot of prominence in India. India has hosted and co-hosted several international sporting events, including the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the 1951 and 1982 Asian Games, the 1985, 1995 and 2016 South Asian Games, the 1987, 1996 and 2011 Cricket World Cup, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, the 1989, 2013 and 2017 Asian Athletics Championships, the 1982 and 2010 Men's Field hockey World Cup, 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 2005 and 2017 Asian Cycling Championships
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a premier twenty20 cricket league held every year from 2008. The I-League and Indian Super League are football league tournaments held since 2007 and 2014 respectively, the Pro Wrestling League is a wrestling league held by Wrestling Federation of India since 2015, the International Premier Tennis League is a tennis league held jointly at India with other Asian countries and the Hockey India League is held since 2013.
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.
India has recently hosted the 2017 FIBA Women's Asia Cup, the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the 2017 ISSF World Cup, the 2016–17 Men's FIH Hockey World League and will host the 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup
Sports League to start in India are the Indian Athletics League and the Ultimate Table Tennis.
The history 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), 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 1951 and the 1982 Asian Games, 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.
Administration and funding
Political responsibility for sport in India is with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, which is headed by a cabinet minister and managed by National Sport Federations. The only major exception is the BCCI which is the administrative body of Cricket, is not a NSF. Presently there are more than 70 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$480 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.
International sports events held in India
Following is a list of international sports events held in India:
|Multi-sport event||Asian Games||1951||New Delhi|
|Field hockey||Field Hockey World Cup||1982||BHA Stadium, Bombay|
|Multi-sport event||Asian Games||1982||New Delhi|
|Cricket (ODI)||Cricket World Cup||1987||Multiple venues|
|Multi-sport event||South Asian Games||1987||Kolkata|
|Multi-sport event||South Asian Games||1995||Chennai|
|Cricket (ODI)||Cricket World Cup||1996||Multiple Venues|
|Tennis||Chennai Open||1996–||SDAT Tennis Stadium, Chennai|
|Multi-sport event||Afro-Asian Games||2003||Hyderabad|
|Field hockey||Men's Hockey Champions Trophy||2007||Chennai|
|Football||AFC Challenge Cup||2008||Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi|
Gachibowli Athletic Stadium, Hyderabad
|Multi-sport event||Commonwealth Youth Games||2008||Pune|
|Field hockey||Field Hockey World Cup||2010||Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi|
|Multi-sport event||Commonwealth Games||2010||Delhi|
|Cricket (ODI)||Cricket World Cup||2011||Multiple Venues|
|Field hockey||Men's Hockey Champions Trophy||2011||New Delhi|
|Multi-sport event||South Asian Winter Games||2011||Dehradun and Auli|
|Motor sports||Formula One (2011 season)||Indian Grand Prix (30 October 2011)||Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida|
|Field hockey||Olympic Field Hockey Qualification||2012 Summer Olympics (London)|
Qualification Tournament 1
|Motor sports||Formula One (2012 season)||Indian Grand Prix (28 October 2012)||Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida|
|Cricket (ODI)||Women's Cricket World Cup||2013||Multiple Venues|
|Multi-sport event||South Asian Games||2013||Delhi|
|Field Hockey||FIH Men's Hockey World League (2012–13 season)||2013 Round 2 (Delhi leg)||Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi|
|FIH Women's Hockey World League (2012–13 season)||2013 Round 2 (Delhi leg)|
|Motor sports||Formula One (2013 season)||Indian Grand Prix (27 October 2013)||Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida|
|Superbike World Championship||17 November 2013 (Cancelled)|
|FIH Men's Hockey World League (2012–13 season)||2013 Round 4 (Final round)||Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi|
|Field hockey||Men's Hockey Champions Trophy||2014||Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar|
|Multi-sport event||Lusophony Games||2014||Goa|
|Tennis||Davis Cup World Group Play-offs||2014||KSLTA Tennis Stadium, Bangalore|
|FIH Men's Hockey World League (2014–15 season)||2015 Round 2||Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi|
|FIH Men's Hockey World League (2014–15 season)||2015 Round 4 (Final round)||Raipur|
|Cricket (T20)||ICC World Twenty20||2016||Multiple Venues|
|Cricket (T20)||2016 ICC Women's World Twenty20||2016||Multiple Venues|
|Multi-sport event||2016 South Asian Games||2016||Guwahati and Shillong|
|Wrestling||2017 Asian Wrestling Championships||2017||Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, New Delhi|
|Cycling||2017 Asian Cycling Championships||2017||Indira Gandhi Arena, New Delhi|
|Badminton||2017 India Super Series||2017||Siri Fort Indoor Stadium, New Delhi|
|Squash||2017 Men's Asian Individual Squash Championships||2017||Express Avenue Mall, Chennai|
|Shooting||2017 ISSF World Cup||2017||New Delhi|
|Table Tennis||India Open (table tennis)||2017||Thyagaraj Sports Complex, New Delhi|
|Football||FIFA U-17 World Cup||2017||Multiple Venues|
|Basketball||FIBA Asia Women's Cup||2017||Banglore|
|Basketball||2017 FIBA Under-16 Women's Asian Championship||2017||Banglore|
|Boxing||AIBA Women's Youth World Championships||2017||India|
|Golf||Indian Open (golf)||2017||New Delhi|
|Multi-sport event||2017 Asian Athletics Championships||2017||Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar|
|FIH Men's Hockey World League (2016–17 season)||2017 Round 4 (Final round)||TBA|
|Field hockey||Field Hockey World Cup||2018||Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar|
|Cricket (ODI)||Cricket World Cup||2023||Multiple Venues|
India at major international sports events
Main article: India at the Olympics
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, widespread vegetarianism, 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.
Main article: 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.
Main article: India at the Asian Games
India hosted the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982 at New Delhi. India is the 6th most successful country winning 602 medals including 139 gold. India has won the gold medal in Kabbadi ever since its inception.
The National Games of India
Main article: 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 Narang, 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.
Main article: Field Hockey in India
Field Hockey is a popular sport in India. Until the mid-1970s, India dominated international field hockey, winning eight Olympic gold medals and won the men's Hockey World Cup held in 1975. Since then, barring a gold medal in 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. Its 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 Indian hockey team not qualifying for the 2008 Olympics and finishing last in the 2012 Olympics. Currently, the Indian team is 5th in the rankings of the Fédération Internationale de Hockey sur Gazon (FIH, English:International Hockey Federation), the international governing body of field hockey and indoor field hockey.
India has hosted two 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-recognised, 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, recognised 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 recognised 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 recognised by the FIH, which has also decided to provide a 30-day window for the forthcoming seasons so that all top players can participate.
Main article: Football in India
See also: All India Football Federation, India national football team, and India women's national football team
Football was introduced to India during the British colonial period. Although India has never been represented in any FIFA World Cup, it did qualify in 1950, though it did not take part, as they were not allowed to play barefoot. India was an Asian powerhouse in football in the 1950s and 1960s. During this golden era, India created history as the first Asian team to reach semi-finals in an Olympic football tournament in 1956 Summer Olympics at Melbourne and Neville D'Souza became the first Asian and Indian to score a hat-trick (record remains unbeaten) in an Olympic match. India also finished as runners-up in the 1964 AFC Asian Cup. But later on, the standard of football started to decline due to lack of professionalism and fitness culture. India currently ranks 97th in the FIFA rankings as of 10 August 2017.
Football is, nevertheless, widely popular both as a spectator sport, and as a participation sport in some parts of the country such as Kerala, West Bengal, Goa and the Northeast. The India national football team represents India in all FIFA tournaments. The Yuva Bharati Krirangan of Kolkata was the second largest non-auto racing stadium in the world.
In June 1937, at the Army Headquarters, Shimla, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) was formed at a meeting of the representatives of football associations of six regions where the game was very popular in those days. It is the governing body for football in India. Domestic competitions for men's football include the Indian Super League, I-League, I-League 2nd Division in the Indian League System and the annual knock-out style Federation Cup. For women's football the India women's football championship. However, it is European football, such as the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, and the UEFA Champions League, which are very popular among Indian football fans, especially in metropolitan cities.
The 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup will be the 17th tournament of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. FIFA revealed on 5 December 2013 (as part of their Executive Committee meets in Salvador, Brazil), that India will be the host. This will be the first time India will host an international football competition at world level. To help increase interest in youth football in advance of the 2017 U-17 World Cup, India has launched the Mission XI Million programme.
Main article: Tennis in India
See also: All India Tennis Association
Tennis is a sport among Indians in urban areas. Tennis has gained popularity after the exploits of Vijay Amritraj. India's fortunes in Grand Slam singles have been unimpressive, although Leander Paes won a singles bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics. Since the late 1990s India has had impressive results in Grand Slam doubles, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have won many men's doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam titles. Sania Mirza is the most notable Indian woman tennis player, having won a WTA title and breaking into the Top 30 WTA rankings, also winning three Grand Slam doubles events, the first at Wimbledon in 2015. On the men's side, young Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri are flying India's flag on the ATP Tour. Yuki was the Australian Open junior singles champion in 2009. Rohan Bopanna has won two mixed doubles titles.
Main article: Badminton in India
Badminton is played widely in India and it is one of the most popular sports in India. Badminton's popularity has grown in these years. Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal has been ranked in the top-10 rankings since 2010, peaking at no. 1 in 2015., and has been named the Most Promising Player of 2008 by the Badminton World Federation. The most successful doubles player from India is Jwala Gutta, who is the only Indian to have been ranked in the top-10 of two categories. She peaked at no. 6 with Valiyaveetil Diju in mixed doubles and at no. 10 with Ashwini Ponnappa in women's doubles. Other successful players include P.V. Sindhu, Aparna Popat, Prakash Padukone, Pullela Gopichand, Syed Modi, Chetan Anand, Parupalli Kashyap, Prannoy Kumar and K. Srikanth and also don't forget Saina Nehwal.
Padukone and Gopichand, both won the All England Open in 1980 and 2001 respectively making them the only Indians to ever win the prestigious title. At the 2012 London Olympic Games, Nehwal won the bronze medal in the individual women's competition, the first for the country. India has won medals at the BWF World Championships as well, with Padukone winning in 1982. The doubles pairing of Gutta and Ponnappa became the first women to win the medal when they won the bronze in 2011. Sindhu won consecutive medals at 2013 and 2014 editions. Nehwal won a silver at 2015 Championships. Badminton is a fast growing sport in India.