No player is greater than the game! This is true, but there are many, many sports lovers in India who play and practice just for the love of sports.
Also, sports makes you disciplined, motivates you to keep fit and yes! teaches you how important keeping good health and practicing is to become a champion.
The sixer that we see flying across the field, the punch of a boxing champion and the athlete who makes your knees go numb by his speed have all practiced alone, one time each day, to reach where they are - on the champions podium.
Sports Authority of India (SAI)
The main function of SAI is to hunt for new talent in sports and nurture them. The sports body arranges for infrastructure, training equipments, coaching and tournaments. All National Federations and Indian Olympic Associations are recognized by IOA. They are all also affiliated with it.Address: SAI, C-52, Kotla Mubaraq, Gurudwara Road, New Delhi, Delhi
The Indian Olympic association (IOA) was established by Dorabji Tata with support of Director of YMCA - Dr.A.G. Noehren. Indian participation in Olympic Games, South Asian Games, Common Wealth Games come under purview of IOA.Indian Olympic Association
Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Lodi Road, New Delhi-110003
Department of Youth Affairs and Sports in India
When India hosted the Asian Games in 1982 (IX Asian Games), the Department of Sports was set up. However, in 1985, its name was changed to the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports. Address:
Minister of States for Youth Affairs and Sports
Room No. 401,C-Wing, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi - 110001
This sports body has political responsibility for sports in India. It is headed by Cabinet Minister. Department of Youth Affairs and Sports is managed by National Sports Federations. However, BCCI (administrative body of Cricket) is an exception! There are more than 70 National Sports Federations (NSF) which are duly recognized. Sports in Andhra Pradesh | Arunachal Pradesh | Assam | Bihar | Chandigarh | Chhattisgarh | Delhi | Goa | Gujarat | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu and Kashmir | Jharkhand | Kerala | Maharashtra | Manipur | Meghalaya | Mizoram | Nagaland | Odisha | Puducherry | Punjab | Tamil Nadu | Sikkim | Tripura | Uttar Pradesh | Uttarakhand | West Bengal | Telangana
Popular Sports in India
In India, Cricket and football are the most popular sports. Hockey is the National game of India. Other sports loved by Indian population include Table Tennis, Badminton, Lawn tennis, cycling, swimming, weight lifting, athletics, boxing and wrestling.Amateur Athletics Federation of India
Room No. 1148, Gate 28, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi - 110003
Football was introduced in India during the mid-nineteenth century by British soldiers for their recreation. The first football match in India was played between ‘Calcutta Club of Civilians’ and ‘The Gentlemen of Barrackpore’ in 1854.
Durand Cup was founded by then India's Foreign Secretary, Mortimer Durand at Shimla in 1888 and is one of the oldest competitions in this field. India won the 1962 Asian Games and finished second in the 1964 Asian Cup. India continued its success in Merdeka Cup too from 1964 to 1966.
Administration of Football game in India is done by the All India Football Federation (AIFF). AIFF is affiliated with Regional Asian Football Confederation and FIFA.
2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India
The 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup will be organized in India. Being the host country, India will automatically play in the tournament. League System in Football comprises of I-League (founded in 2006), I-League 2nd Division (has 21 member clubs evenly divided among three divisions), State League football (with each state having its own league), Calcutta Football League, Youth leagues (I-League U19) and Indian Super league.
Cup competitions include Indian Super League (founded in 2013), Federation Cup (started in 1977), Durand Cup, Indian Super Cup, Santosh Trophy and IFA Shield.
All India Football Federation
Gate 28, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi - 110003
During the 16th century, cricket was played in Southern England. By the 18th century, it became the national sport of England.
As British Empire expanded far and wide, cricket started being played in other countries as well. It was in mid-19th century that the first international match was organized in India.
Cricket is very popular in India, Australia, England, West Indies and Southern Africa. Test cricket is the highest standard of first-class cricket. Cricket is played in a new avatar in the 21st century - the limited overs form Twenty20 is loved by Cricket lovers.
1983 Cricket World CupThe 1983 ICC Cricket World Cup was also referred to as Prudential World Cup. It was the 3rd Cricket World Cup. Indian team was the champion under captaincy of Kapil Dev.
2011 Cricket World CupThe 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup was the 10th Cricket World Cup and the champions were INDIA! The opening ceremony was held in Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka (Bangladesh).
IPL - Indian Premier League 2015The 2015 season of IPL is the eighth season of IPL and is referred to as IPL 8 and Pepsi IPL 2015. In 2014, the winners were Kolkata Knight Riders.
The tournament was held in different cities in India and 60 Twenty20 matches were held in all. The champions in 2015 IPL are Mumbai who defeated Chennai Super Kings.Board of Control for Cricket in India
C/o Cricket Association of Bengal, Club House, Eden Garden, Calcutta.700021Women's Cricket Association of India
A-434, Defence Colony, New Delhi-110003
Well, hockey was introduced in India by British servicemen. The first club for hockey was formed in 1885 in Kolkata. In the next ten years, hockey reached new levels with commencement of the Beighton Cup and the Aga Khan tournament. India was part of 1928 Olympic Games and kept the winning streak for many more years.
Synthetic Turf for Hockey
Early 1970s was the period when synthetic grass fields started being used for hockey. Olympic Games that was held on synthetic turf for the first time was the 1976 Montreal Edition. Nowadays, synthetic pitches are compulsory for national and international tournaments.
The International Hockey federation (FIH) has promoted Deepa Kumari as International Outdoor Hockey Umpire in 2015.
Hockey India LeagueHockey India League (HIL) is a professional league held in India. It is also referred to as Hero Hockey India League (HHIL). The first season of HIL was played in 2013 in which Ranchi Rhinos became undisputed champions
Other teams include Delhi Wave Riders, Kalinga Lancers, Dabang Mimbai, Punjab warriors, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Ranchi Rays andMumbai Magicians.
Every HIL franchise comprises of 24 players - 10 foreign players while 14 Indian players who come through an auction. The 2015 Hockey India League (HIL 2015) was the third season of this tournament. Held in January-February, 2015, the champions were Ranchi Rays!
Dhyan Chand is a legendary figure in Indian and world hockey. Other famous hockey players include
Dhanraj Pillai, Balbir Singh Sr, Mohammad Shahid, Ajit Pal Singh, Udham Singh, Gagan Ajit Singh, Ashok Kumar, Leslie Claudius and Baboo Nimal.Indian Hockey Federation
Room No. 106, National Stadium, New Delhi - 110003Indian Women's Hockey Federation
Room No. 6, 1st floor, Shivaji Stadium, New Delhi
This an ancient and old sport of India. It is also included in Olympic games. In olden days, it was used as a means for staying physically fit. Wrestlers wore the traditional 'langota' - loin cloth. Wrestling is also known as 'dangal' in India. Malla Purana of 13th century refers to a group of Gujarati Brahmin wrestlers known as Jyesthimallas.
It is a form of 'malla-yuddha' and finds mention in Mahabharta. Bhima was a great wrestler just like Jarasandha, Duryodhan, Karna etc. In Ramayana, Hanuman has been depicted as a great wrestler too.
In 1904, freestyle wrestling was introduced during the St. Louis Games for the first time. During the fourth London Olympic Games held in 1908, competitions were organized for both styles. In Athens games in 2004, female wrestling was also included.
Sushil Kumar Solanki is an Indian World Champion wrestler. Other talented wrestler from India includes the name of K D Jadhav or Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav. Geeta Phogat is a woman wrestler from India.Wrestling Federation of India
South Plaza, I G Stadium, I P Estate, New Delhi-110002Indian Style Wrestling Federation
1335, Sector-17, Defence Colony, Gurgaon (Haryana)
Boxing is a combat sport amongst two people and tests endurance, speed and reflexes of the participating sports persons. They throw punches at each other with hand gloves. Mohammad Ali Qamar became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.
Other Indian boxing champions are Vijender Kumar, Akhil Kumar, Jitender Kumar, A.L. Lakra and Dinesh Kumar. India's Mary Kom is a legendary figure in Boxing.
In a recent film on Mary Kom, Priyanka Chopra played the main role as Mary Kom. Pinki Jangra, L. Devendro Singh, Kavita Chahal, Shiva Thapa are other talented boxers from India.Indian Amateur Boxing Federation
Room No. 158-A, Gate 28, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi - 110003
This is an important Olympic sport. Famous shooting champions from India include Abhinav Bindra, Jitu Rai,Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Vijay Kumar, Gagan Narang, Apurvi Chandela, Ronjan Sodhiand Anjali Bhagwat. The sport is administered in India by The National Rifle Association of India.
Basketball in India follows FIBA rules (rules laid down by International Basketball Federation) for organizing basketball championships.The first Indian National Championship for basketball (men) was organized in 1934 in New Delhi. Basketball Federation of India (BFI) administers this game in India. It is mostly played in schools and colleges and is popular among the youth.Basketball Federation of India
A/66, Derawal Nagar, Delhi - 110031
Badminton in India is administered by Badminton Association of India. Indian 'shuttler' Saina Nehwal, Srikanth Kidambi,Parupalli Kashyap, Chetan Anand, P.V. Sindhu, Jwala Gutta, Valiyaveetil Diju, Ashwini Ponnappa, Ajay Jayaram, Sourabh Varma, Chandrapal Reddy M are players who are bringing laurels for India. Names of former players include Prakash Padukone, Pullela Gopichand, Aparna Popat, U. Vimal Kumar and Syed Modi.Badminton Association Of India
C/o Jackson's Hotel, Civil Lines, Jabalpur
The Table Tennis Federation of India manages the sport. Sharath Kamal has won many medals for India. Soumyajit Ghosh is the current National Champion of India in Table Tennis.
Other popular players include Chetan Baboor, Arup Basak, Soumyadeep Roy, Sourav Chakraborty, A Amalraj, Sanil Shetty, Harmeet Desai, K Shamini, Poulomi Ghatak, Mouma Das, Ankita Das, Madhurika Patkar, and others.
Table Tennis Federation of India
Room No. 1144-A, Gate-28, J N Stadium, Lodi Road, New Delhi-110003
All India Tennis Association (AITA) established in 1920, is the governing body of tennis in India. Leander Paes, Sania Mirza, Mahesh Bhupati, Akhtar Ali, Anand Amritraj, Vijay Amritraj, Somdev Devvarman, Ramanathan Krishnan, Ramesh Krishnan, Rohan Bopanna, Prakash Amritraj, Ankita raina, Vishnu Vardhan, Karan Rastogi etc. are famous names in this game.All India Tennis Association
B-3/7, Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi-2
In chess, we have a star player - Viswanathan Anand who has held the title of World Champion many times! All India Chess Federation governs chess tournaments in India.
Popular names in chess include Dibyendu Barua, Parimarjan Negi, Koneru Humpy, K. Sasikiran, Sandipan Chanda and P. Harokrishna.
The wealthy have better access to golf grounds in India as it is an expensive game. One of the popular golf player in India is Jeev Milkha Singh. Other famous golfers include Jyoti Randhawa, Shiv Kapur, Gaurav Ghei and Arjun Atwal.
The Squash Rackets Federation of India or SRFI is the Indian governmental apex body for the game of squash. Indian squash players include Cyrus Poncha, Ritwik Bhattacharya, Saurav Ghosal, Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal, Siddharth Suchde and Harinder Pal Sandhu. Squash Racket Federation of India
C/o The Calcutta Racket Club, Near St. Paul Cathedral Chowringhee Road, Calcutta-700071
Billiards and Snooker
India has proved its mettle in billiards in the world forum. Champions include famous names like Pankaj Advani, Geet Sethi, Wilson Jones, ashok Shandilya and Michael Ferreira. Billiards and Snooker Federations hold camps for coaching the youth in this game and popularizing it.Billiards and Snooker Federation of India
C/o The Bengal Bonded Warehouse Association, 25 Netaji Subhas Road
Calcutta - 700001
Traditional and Ancient Sports in India
Traditional sports in India include boat racing, Secal Sandai (cock fight), Jallikattu (taming the bull), Rekla (bullock-cart race), gilli-danda, kancha, kite-flying, Indian Martial arts, kho-kho etc.
Kho-kho is played in schools and inn rural regions. There are 12 players who have to avoid being touched by team members of the opponent team. Kabaddi and kho-kho are loved by students in schools - both in villages and towns.
Kabaddi is mainly played in villages in India. There are four forms of kabaddi played in India --- Amar, Suranjeevi, Huttuttoo, and Gaminee.India won the Kabaddi World Championship in 2007 and in 2013 held at Gurunanak stadium (Ludhiana, Punjab) in India. India is also the host to World's first Kabaddi League-Pro kabaddi league which was introduced in 2014.Amateur Kabbadi Federation of India
119/1A, Harish Mukherjee Road, Calcutta - 700026
Boat RaceVallam Kali
(or boat race) is a traditional boat race in Kerala. It is mainly organized during harvest festival Onam in autumn. Kerala snake boat race is very famous and so are Kallada Boat Race, Nehru Trophy Boat Race and Aranmula Boat Race!
The Kallada boat race is conducted along the straight portion (nettayam) of Kallada River. The Nehru Trophy Boat Race is held the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha in Kerala. Popular event of the race is the Chundan Vallams (snake boat) competition!
This race is conducted annually on second Saturday of August. Aranmula Boat Race the oldest river boat competition in Kerala. It takes place near a temple in Arumala.
Jallikattu is enjoyed during Pongal festival. However, Rekla race and Jallikattu both have been banned since 2014 by a Supreme Court Order due to animal welfare issues.
Archery Association of India governs archery in India. Deepika Kumari, Laishram Bombayla Devi are names to reckon with in this sports field.Archery Association of India
Ambapeth, Amravati, Maharashtra
The Judo Federation of India was constituted in 1965. Thoudam Kalpana Devi of Manipur is a famous judoka.
Cycling is more popular as a recreational sport in India than as a professional sport. Mountain biking has picked up in popularity. The 2013 Asian Cycling Championships took place at the Indira Gandhi Velodrome in New Delhi in March 2013.Cycling Federation of India
504, Sector 11-B, Chandigarh - 160019
There are other traditional sports in India which are played in rural regions.Gilli danda
is played in villages in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. A small stick (gilli) and another large stick (danda) is used for playing. It is played like cricket. Only the ball is replaced by gilli.Kancha
is yet another traditional sport played using marble glass balls and mostly played by boys in cities and villages. The marble kept in a circle has to be hit by the player.
Kite-flying is popular during Makar Sankranti in India. The sky is full of colourful kites. Well, this one is a passionate game for sure!
Top Sports Awards in IndiaFor highest achievement in sports, sports persons are awarded with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award. For excellence in coaching, coaches are given the Dronacharya award.
Dhyanchand AwardDhyan Chand Award is awarded for lifetime achievement in sports and games, It is given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. The award is named after the great Indian hockey player Dhyan Chand.
Dhyan Chand Award recipients in previous years have been Shabbir Ali, Harishchandra Birajdar, Sushil Kohli, Ram Kumar (basketball), Hakam Singh, Mukhbain Singh.
2014 awardees of Dhyan Chand are Gurmail Singh (hockey), K.P. Thakkar (swimming-diving), Zeeshan Ali (tennis).
Dronacharya AwardInstituted in 1985, the Dronacharya Award is presented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, government of India. It is given for excellence in sports coaching. The award comprises of a bronze statuette of Dronacharya.
Recipients of the Dronacharya Award are Ramakant Achrekar (coach of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar), Michael Ferreira, Guru Hanuman, Wilson Jones (billiards player), S. M. Arif, Ilyas Babar, Bahadur Singh Chouhan, Sunil Dabas, Pullela Gopichand, Maharaj Krishan Kaushik, Purnima Mahato, Homi Motivala, Syed Naeemuddin, O. M. Nambiar, Gopal Purushottam Phadke, Cyrus Poncha, Om Prakash Bhardwaj, A. Ramana Rao, Maha Singh Rao, Shyam Sunder Rao, Hawa Singh, Jagdish Singh, L Ibomcha Singh, R.D. Singh, Sanjeeva Kumar Singh, Satpal Singh and G. E. Sridharan.
2014 Dronacharya awardees of Dronacharya award are Mahabir Prasad (wrestling), N. Lingappa (athletics), G. Manoharan (boxing), Gurcharan Singh Gogi (judo), Jose Jacob (rowing).
The Arjuna Awards are given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, government of India to recognize outstanding achievement in National sports. Instituted in 1961.
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (RGKR) Award
The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (RGKR) is India's highest honour given for achievement in sports, given by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, government of India. The words "Khel Ratna" literally mean 'sports gem' in Hindi.
The award is named after the late Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India. This award was started in 1991.Since then, this is the third time it has not been given to anyone.
Ekalavya Award is awarded by Government of Karnataka for the outstanding performance in sports. Recipients of Eklavya award are Farman Basha, Rohan Bopanna, Nisha Millet, H. Boniface Prabhu, Subhadra Pradhan, Padmini Rout and Dilip Tirkey.
Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar Award
Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar award was introduced in 2009 for promoting involvement of corporates and institutional boards in sports. The award scheme has been revised this year. As per the new scheme, the award will be given in four categories ---
- Identification and nurturing of young talent
- Encouragement of sports through Corporate Social Responsibility
- Employment of sports persons and sports welfare measures and
- Sports for development.
Adventure Sports in India
For those interested in adventure sports, there are many sports such as rock climbing, kayaking, rowing and yachting etc. to test your nerves! Well, you need to indulge in these sports activities only under the supervision of a professional trainer.
Mountaineering and Trekking
The Indian Mountaineering Foundation administers mountaineering in India. This foundation is affiliated to the International Federation of Sport Climbing.
Famous mountaineers of India are Bachendri Pal, Krushnaa Patil, Asim Mukhopadhyay, Sudipta Sengupta, Gurdial Singh, Narendra Dhar Jayal, Mohan Singh Kohli, Nirupama Pandey, Satyabrata Dam, Sandeep Arya And Chandra Prakash Vohra.
Do you love to enjoy the thrill of riding on the wild waters of untamed rivers? Well, here are some destinations you can choose for rafting in India
- Rishikesh (Ganga river)
- Rafting is held between Padum and Zimo regions in the Zanskar river George
- River Indus on Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
- Bhagirathi river --- Bhagirathi offers 150 kms. of pure white water rafting thrill!
- Teesta river, Sikkim and Darjeeling
- Brahmaputra River Rafting Expedition in Arunachal Pradesh
- Kali/Sharda River Rafting Expedition in the Pithorgarh district of Uttarakhand
- River Barapole in Coorg in Karnataka provides excellent rafting opportunity.
Red sand stone cliffs of Badami in northern part of Karnataka make it an ideal destination for rock climbing. Hampi is a village in Bellary district of Karnataka which has many Granite Boulders.
You must visit Hampi in November-December. Ramanagram, located 50 kms. from Bangalore is one of the earliest rock climbing locations in South India. The rock type seen here is mostly granite. Turahalli is in Bangalore where there are more than 30 boulder routes on granite.
Hot Air Ballooing
Hot air ballooning will serve you an adventure of the lifetime! There are many clubs in India which have trained Pilots and crew for this purpose and have fully certified hot air balloons.
Hot air balloon rides can be enjoyed in large groups. After landing, passengers are invited to roll on top of the balloon to squeeze out all the excess air from the balloon! Well, health benefits include positive energy and exercise.
The Ballooning Club of India
8-B, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi 110002.
Best site for paragliding in Himachal Pradesh is Bir Billing village for aero sports paragliding as well as hang gliding. Paragliding training is offered in Kamshet near Mumbai also. So, here's your opportunity to fly like a bird.
Paragliding Association of India
3/7, Artists Village, Sector No. 8, C.B.D. Navi Mumbai - 400614, Maharashtra
Kayaking in India has become a popular sport. Flat-water kayaking is enjoyed in rivers,lakes and ocean. Paddling in India can be experienced in Ganga River in Rishikesh, Bangalore (more of week end paddlers) and Chennai.
Rowing was brought to India by earlier British settlers. Calcutta Rowing Club founded in 1858 was the first club for rowing in India. Rowing Federation of India administers the sport. India's first ever Asian Games gold medal was won by Bajrang Lal Takhar in 2010.
Rowing Federation of India
No.7/15, Sriram Colony, Alwarpet, Chennai – 600018, Tamilnadu, India
Sailing or sailboat racing is also known as yachting. Yachting takes place offshore or out in the ocean. Sailboat racing can be experienced in two categories, class and handicap.
The first boat to reach the finish line wins. In the latter, boats of differing types race against each other, with the scores decided according to each boat’s handicap. This is computed either before or after the race.
The Yacht Club
Sanjeevaiah Park, Necklace Road, Hyderabad, Telangana
Snorkeling is a sport in which you equip yourself with a diving mast, snorkel (a tube) and swim fins while swimming in the sea. The snorkeler can see underwater marine life and coral reefs. Snorkeling is a less strenuous activity than scuba diving.
Destinations in India for Snorkeling
- Lakshadweep Islands: Bangaram, Kadmat
- Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Corbyn's Cove Tourism Complex, Havelock (Andaman and Nicobar Islands)
- Snorkel Grand Island in Goa.
- Netrani Island in Karnataka.
- In Maharashtra, enjoy snorkeling at Arabian Sea at Konkan and also visit the beach in Tarkarli.
Courts/Fields for Different Games
Even while the field you are playing in looks alike, it will be called by different names depending upon the game you are playing! Surprising. Know more about this:
- Tennis, Kho-kho, kabaddi, volleyball, handball, badminton: Court
- Baseball: Diamond
- Skating, Boxing: Ring
- Swimming: Pool
- Golf: Course
- Horse Riding: Arena
- Karate and Taekwondo: Mat
- Cycling: Vellodrome
- Polo, Hockey, Football: Field
- Cricket: Pitch
- Shooting, Archery: Range
- Ice Hockey: Rink
Famous Stadiums in India
For a crowd of 5,000 spectators or even more, a stadium is needed to create the right environment for enjoying any sport especially cricket, football and hockey etc. Know more about where the biggest stadiums are located in India :
- National Stadium (Hockey and other sports), Mumbai
- National Stadium (Hockey), Delhiwankhede Stadium (Cricket), Mumbai
- Nehru (Chepak) Stadium (Cricket), Chennai
- Varabati Stadium (Cricket), Cuttack
- Brabourne Stadium (Cricket), Mumbai
- Shivaji Stadium (Hockey), Delhi
- Indraprastha Stadium (Indoor Games, Delhi
- Ambedkar Stadium (Football), Delhi
- Eden gardens Stadium (Cricket), Kolkata
- Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium (Athletics ), Delhi
- Green Park Stadium (Cricket), Kanpur
- Firozshah Kotla Ground (Cricket), Delhi
- Keenan Stadium (Cricket), Jamshedpur
India has expressed interest in bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics in Ahmedabad, and Delhi. This will further popularize sports in India.