• Written By Varsha
  • Last Modified 25-07-2022

What is the National Game of India?


National Game of India: India does not have an official national sport even with the on-growing popularity of Cricket and Hockey. Although several experts claim Hockey is India’s national sport, in actuality, Hockey is not the national game of India. Till now, India has won eight Olympic gold medals in Hockey and six world cups in Kabaddi. Many ask if should cricket be the national game of India, but none is recognised as the national game of India. However, the national sports day of India is celebrated on August 29, 2022.

Apart from sports, the Indian government has chosen various aspects as symbols for the nation’s identity, heritage, and legacy. For example, the tiger is the national animal, the lotus is the national flower, and the peacock is the national bird. Let us look at the article to know more about why there is no game has been recognised as the National Game of India. Let us also know some of the popularly believed national games of India.

National Game of India: Overview

In 2020, an RTI query prompted the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to explain when the Centre had announced Hockey as the ‘national game’ of the country. However, according to the United Youth Ministry, India does not have a national sport yet, although most Indian people are confused with Hockey as India’s national sport.

Is Hockey the National Game of India?

A teacher named Mayuresh Agrawal, who teaches in the K. Patil International School, Sindkheda Taluk, Dhule district, filed a query to RTI (Right To Information) asking, “Is Hockey a national game of India? If so, when was Hockey declared as the national game of India”.

On 15th January 2020, the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports replied that the centre hadn’t declared any sport or game as the national game of India for the RTI query filed by the teacher. Mayuresh Agarwal filed this query under RTI when his students asked him about the declaration year of India’s national game.

“The government has not declared any sport/game as the Indian National Game, as the government’s objective is to encourage/promote all popular sports disciplines,” as stated by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports replied to the RTI query filed by Mayuresh Agarwal (Source: Times of India).

Importance of a National Game

Though India doesn’t have any national sport, the national sport holds much importance; they are:

  • National sport promotes physical activity in a country. It highlights the relevance and value of sports to citizens. 
  • Having a national sport for the country impacts how citizens interpret and participate in it. 
  • Above all, like every other national symbol, it adds value to the country’s identity.

History of Hockey in India

The Indian Hockey Federation was established in 1925. The Indians’ first international Hockey journey was to New Zealand, where they played 21 matches, winning 18 of them, drawing two, and losing one. This victory aided India’s Hockey squad in standing out among other nations even though hockey is not the national game of India.

This triumph over New Zealand inspired many Indians to take up Hockey. Between 1928 and 1956, the game of Hockey was quite popular. India won six consecutive gold medals in the Olympic games during this period, making it the golden era in the history of Indian sports.

Even though Hockey is not the National Sport of India, the India Hockey team performed tremendously well. The list of India’s achievements in Olympics Hockey is tabulated below. These remarkable achievements led most Indian people to believe Hockey is India’s National Game.

Venue/Olympics NameYearAchievements
Amsterdam Olympics1928Gold Medal
Los Angeles Olympics1932Gold Medal
Berlin Olympics1936Gold Medal
London Olympics1948Gold Medal
Helsinki Olympics1952Gold Medal
Melbourne Olympics1956Gold Medal
Rome Olympics1960Silver Medal
Tokyo Olympics1964Gold Medal
Mexico City Olympics1968Bronze Medal
Munich Olympics1972Bronze Medal
Montreal Olympics19767th Position
Moscow Olympics1980Gold Medal
Los Angeles Olympics19845th Position
Seoul Olympics19885th Position
Barcelona Olympics19926th Position
Atlanta Olympics19968th Position
Sydney Olympics20007th Position
Athens Olympics20047th Position
Beijing Olympics2008Did Not Qualify
London Olympics201212th Position
Rio Olympics20168th position
Tokyo Olympics2021Bronze Medal

Students can learn more about sports by visiting the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, handled by the government of India.

Although India has won various awards and accolades in multiple sports, no sport has been officially recognised as India’s national sport. But looking at the statistics, India has been making numerous Hockey, Kabaddi and Cricket accomplishments. There is no Indian national game or sport to promote all sports and games.

Furthermore, similar to Hockey, the Indian Kabaddi team has dominated the sport internationally by capturing seven gold medals in all World Cup and Asian Games competitions. Yet, right now, Cricket is the most popular & highly loved sport among Indians.

Before knowing some frequently asked questions on Indian games, let us know about some achievements by Indian sports players by knowing the list of first in Indian games.

FAQs on the National Game Of India

Q.1: Is Hockey the national game of India?

Ans: No, Hockey is not the national game of India. The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs has decided to encourage and promote all the disciplines of sports. Thus the officials haven’t declared any sport or game as the national sport of India.

Q.2: What is the national game of India?

Ans: Due to Indian players’ tremendous success in Hockey, citizens of India believe Hockey is their national sport of India, yet the Indian Government has not recognised it.

Q.3: How many gold medals did the Indian Hockey team win in the Olympics?

Ans: Indian hockey team achieved 8 gold medals until the Olympics 2018.

Q.4: Who is the father of Hockey in India?

Ans: Dhyan Chand, a prominent hockey player who played a major role in winning 3 gold medals in the Olympics, is considered the father of Indian Hockey. Also, Dhyan Chand’s birthday is celebrated as a national sports day in India.

Q.5: Is Kabaddi the national game of India?

Ans: No, Kabaddi is not the national sport of India. Though Kabaddi is one of the most popular sports in India, it is not the national game in India. Kabaddi is the national game of Bangladesh.

Q.6: Should Cricket be the national game of India?

Ans: Cricket isn’t India’s national game, and despite India’s world rankings in cricket, no official announcement has been made.

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