Which Game Is India’s National Sport?

A national sport is an integral component of a country’s culture. Some sports, such as sumo in Japan, Gaelic games in Ireland, and field hockey in Pakistan, are de facto national sports meaning they are not established by the law, while others, such as taekwondo in South Korea, are de jure national sports, which means that they are established by the law. 

Read on to find out about the national sport of India and how to play it. 

De jure vs de facto national sports

Let’s begin by looking into de jure and de facto sports in more detail. 

In some countries, legislation has designated a sport as the national sport. This means that the law has clearly stated which sport is their national sport. This includes countries that do not have a national sport according to the law. The list below mentions the de jure sports around the world.

De jure national sports

Country/TerritorySportYear defined asBasis
 ArgentinaPato1953Argentina Decree Nº 17468
 CanadaLacrosse (summer)1994National Sport of Canada Act
Ice hockey (winter)1994National Sport of Canada Act
 ChileRodeo1962Official letter No. 269 of the Consejo Nacional de Deportes and Chilean Olympic Committee
 ColombiaTejo2000Colombia Law 613
 IndiaNoneN/AStatement of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
 MexicoCharrería1933Presidential decree by Abelardo L. Rodríguez
 NepalVolleyball2017Cabinet of Nepal decision
 PhilippinesArnis2009Republic Act No. 9850
 Puerto RicoPaso Fino horse riding1966Puerto Rico Act 64 of 2000
 South KoreaTaekwondo2018National Sport Designation Act for Taekwondo
 UruguayDestrezas Criollas2006National Law Nº 17958

The list given below shows the de facto or unofficial national sport for some countries. Some of these nations may have an official national sport specified by the law and also a de facto sport that may be deemed a national sport by various sources from time to time.

De facto national sports

 AnguillaBoat racing
 Antigua and BarbudaCricket
 AustriaAlpine skiing
 Basque CountryBasque pelota
 ChinaTable tennis
 Dominican RepublicBaseball
FijiRugby Union
GeorgiaRugby union[
HaitiAssociation football
 IndiaField hockey
 IndonesiaPencak Silat
 IrelandGaelic games
 LatviaIce hockey[
 MadagascarRugby union
 MalaysiaSepak takraw
 MauritiusAssociation football
 MongoliaArchery, Mongolian wrestling, Horse racing
 MontenegroWater polo
NepalDandi Biyo, Kabaddi
 New ZealandRugby union
 NorwayCross-country skiing (winter)
 PakistanField hockey
 Papua New GuineaRugby league
 PeruPaleta Frontón
 PhilippinesSipa, Basketball
 PolandMotorcycle speedway

What is the national game of India?

Indian hockey team is the most successful team in Olympic history.

The Indian government has picked several aspects as symbols for the nation’s identity, heritage and tradition. The tiger, for example, is India’s national animal, the peacock its national bird, and the lotus its national flower. All of this is common knowledge, and most Indians can relate to it.

Similarly, when asked about India’s national sport, the most likely response will be hockey. With eight gold, one silver, and three bronze medals, the Indian hockey team is the most successful team in Olympic history. Some of the top field hockey players in the world have come from India, including the famous Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh Sr, and Dhanraj Pillai. 

Pro Kabaddi League not shifting season 8 to Sri Lanka, says organisers |  Business Standard News

Kabaddi, the next best guess, is also a popular game in the country. The Indian kabaddi squad has dominated the international scene, winning all World Cup events and seven gold medals in the Asian Games.

However, despite these accomplishments, the above-stated games are not the national game of India. In fact, India does not have a national game or sport. 

Why is there no national game in India?

In the year 2020, a school teacher from Maharashtra’s Dhule district filed a Right to Information (RTI) request with the government, asking when hockey was proclaimed India’s national sport. However, he received a reply stating that the government had not designated any sport or game as the country’s national game. This is because their goal is to encourage and promote all popular sports disciplines. 

But, following India’s outstanding performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, many people all over the country, called for hockey to be declared the national sport. A lawyer even filed a public interest lawsuit (PIL) at the Supreme Court. His petition sought the court to order the Indian government to declare hockey the national sport and assist it reclaim its previous grandeur. The apex court, however, rejected the plea. Thus, India would not have a national sport unless the government formally recognises hockey or any other sport as such.

All about field hockey

Although hockey is not the national sport of India, the Indian hockey team has been performing very well. The following is a list of Indian Olympic successes in the sport of hockey.

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 Meda

Field hockey, commonly known as hockey, is an outdoor sport. Here, two opposing teams of 11 players compete against one other. The participants strike a small, hard ball into their opponent’s goal using curved sticks at the striking end.


It is most likely one of the oldest games still played today. Even 1200 years before the beginning of the ancient Games of Olympia in Greece, the simple sport of manipulating a ball with a stick existed. The current game was first mentioned in 1527 when the Galway Statutes in Scotland outlawed the game of ‘hokie,’ which involved tossing a small ball with the use of sticks or staves. 

The present approved version of field hockey was created by the British as a popular school activity in the nineteenth century. In 1921, the London Hockey Association was formed, and the regulations were formalised. The International Hockey Federation was also created in 1924 with the goal of bringing the mostly British sport to the rest of the globe.

History of Hockey in India and international
In 1921, the London Hockey Association was formed, and the regulations were formalised.

The game was introduced in India under British rule. Calcutta was established as India’s first hockey club in 1855. Then, in 1908, the Bengal Hockey Organisation was founded and was India’s first hockey association. India also competed in the first Olympics, which were held in Amsterdam in 1928.

History of women’s hockey

The superstars of India women's hockey team: Tales of sweat, tears and  humble beginnings - Sports News
In 1974, the inaugural Women’s World Cup was held, and in 1980, women’s hockey became an Olympic sport.

Despite the Victorian era’s limitations on women’s sports, hockey grew more popular among females. Women’s teams have been playing friendly matches since 1895, but a genuine international competition did not begin until the 1970s. In 1974, the inaugural Women’s World Cup was held, and in 1980, women’s hockey became an Olympic sport. The Worldwide Federation of Women’s Hockey Associations, the sport’s international governing organisation, was founded in 1927.

Equipment required

1. Field hockey stick

ALFA AX5 COMPOSITE HOCKEY STICK WITH STICK BAG, Size: 37 Inches, Rs 4150  /piece | ID: 23420069062
Field Hockey Stick

Each participant has a “stick” that is usually between 80 and 95 cm in length. The sticks were originally made of wood, but now, they are made of composites such as fibreglass, carbon fibre or kevlar. Due to the potential of damage from sharp edges, metal is not allowed in field hockey sticks. 

The stick is flattened on the left side. Furthermore, it has a rounded grip, as well as a J-shaped hook at the bottom. The game only uses right-handed sticks as left-handed ones are not permitted.

How to make wooden hockey?

2. Field hockey ball

Field Hockey Ball | Field Hockey equipment | Field Hockey Equipment
Field Hockey Ball

Field hockey balls are hard white spherical balls made of solid plastic. The balls measure 71.3–74.8 mm in diameter and weigh about 156–163 g. Indentations are frequently used on the ball to prevent aquaplaning, which can result in variable ball speeds on wet surfaces.

3. Goalkeeping equipment

Goalkeeping Equipment

A fully outfitted goalie must wear a helmet, leg protection, kickers, as well as a stick. Goalkeepers may use either a field player’s stick or a specialised goalkeeping stick, as long as the stick’s dimensions are within legal limits. Furthermore, they also wear chest guards, padded shorts, extensively padded hand protectors, groin protectors, neck protectors, and arm guards. 

How is it played?

The game is played on a rectangular pitch, by two teams of 11 players each. The field measures 100 yards long and 60 yards wide, with a centre line and two 25-yard lines. The goalposts are 4 yards wide and 7 feet tall. A goal is scored when the ball enters the goal and is touched by the goalkeeper’s stick while still within the shooting circle. The ball can only be struck using the flat left side of the stick.

Team build

A typical team consists of five attackers, three halfbacks, two fullbacks, and one goalie. A game consists of two 35-minute halves separated by a 5 to 10-minute interval. Only in the event of an injury is a time-out called. The goalie wears thick, yet lightweight padding and is authorised to kick or stop the ball with his foot or body while in the shooting circle. All other players, on the other hand, can only stop the ball with their stick.


Two players, one from each team, confront each other with the ball on the ground. After three taps on the ground and three taps on his opponent’s stick, each player attempts to strike the ball, putting it into play. 

When the game kicks off, the players proceed to attack the opposing team in the hopes of scoring a goal. The man receiving the centre pass can only stand in the opposing half of the field, while the rest of his teammates must stay within the defending goal’s half. The person receiving the centre pass may strike the ball in any direction.

While the team players continue to pass the ball and hunt for scoring possibilities, the opponents tackle them and try to seize control of the ball.

What moves are against the rules?

In field hockey, there are a variety of fouls. It is against the rules to raise the stick over the shoulder when playing the ball. Stopping the ball with the hand, as well as the body or foot, is a foul. Fouls are also committed by lifting the ball, undercutting it, as well as hooking an opponent’s stick.

Finally, a player is not allowed to hinder an opponent by placing his stick or any other part of his body between the opponent and the ball, or by sprinting between the opponent and the ball. The majority of fouls are punished by the opponent receiving a free hit from the location of the violation. 


India’s most popular sport is cricket, and the country has hosted and won the Cricket World Cup several times.

2FK84MD Worcestershire v Essex – LV= Insurance County Championship – New Road, Worcester, UK. 29th April 2021. Essex’s Sir Alistair Cook batting during day one of the LV= Insurance County Championship cricket match between Worcestershire and Essex, at New Road in Worcester, Worcestershire. Credit: Max Willcock/Alamy Live News.

Cricket is a bat-and-ball sport in which two teams of eleven players compete on a field with a 22-yard pitch in the middle and two wickets at either end. The game begins when a fielding team member, known as the bowler, “bowls” the ball across the pitch to the wicket at the opposite end. An “over” is completed once they have done so lawfully six times.

The batting side features one player at each end of the pitch, with the player opposite the bowler attempting to hit the ball with a bat. The batting team scores runs when the ball hits the field’s boundary or when the two batters run across the pitch, resulting in one run. The goal of the fielding team is to prevent runs from being scored and to dismiss each batter so they are “out”.

Being “bowled” occurs when,

  • The bowled ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails
  • The fielding side catches a hit ball before it reaches the ground
  • Hitting a wicket with the ball before a batter can cross the crease line in front of the wicket to complete a run

These are all methods of dismissal. The innings finish after 10 hitters have been struck out, and the sides switch roles. 

2. When and where was the first national game of India held?

The Indian chapter of the Olympic movement was founded in the early 1920s. By 1924, a provisional Indian Olympic Association (IOA) was formed, and the Indian Olympic Games were held in Delhi in February 1924 to select athletes for the 1924 Paris Olympics. During the event, seventy athletes, representing practically every province and State in the Empire, comprising Hindus, Muslims, Anglo-Indians, and Sinhalese, ate their food around the same table and mingled intimately.

The games were thereafter held every two years, and at the 9th Games in Bombay in 1940, they were called National Games. The Indian Olympic Association, the country’s sports governing body, proposed the National Games idea to promote the growth of sports and the Olympic movement in India and was in charge of host city selection.

3. Which country national game is kabaddi?

Kabaddi is Bangladesh‘s national sport, which was awarded formal recognition in 1972. 

Kabaddi is a contact team sport played between two teams of seven players. The goal of the game is for a single offensive player, known as a “raider,” to run into the opposing team’s half of the court, tag as many of their defenders as possible, and return to their own half of the court in a single breath, all without being tackled by the defenders. If a player is touched or tackled, they are pulled out of the game, but they are brought back in for each point scored by their team as a result of a tag or tackle. 

The game is also well-known throughout the Indian subcontinent. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh compete in this state game. 

 4. What is the National Sport of the United States?

Baseball is the de facto national sport of the United States.

Baseball is the de facto national sport of the United States.

Baseball is a sport in which two opposing teams, each of nine players, take turns fielding and batting. The game begins when a pitcher from the fielding side tosses a ball that a batter from the batting team attempts to hit with a bat. The offensive team’s goal is to hit the ball into the field of play, allowing its players to progress counter-clockwise around four bases and score “runs.” 

The defensive team’s goal is to keep hitters from becoming runners and runners from advancing around the bases. 

When a runner makes a legal trip around the bases and reaches home plate, he or she has scored a run. The winning team is the one with the highest runs.

5. How is Golf played?

Bangalore Golf Club, Sankey Road, Bangalore
How is Golf played?

In golf, players must strike balls into a succession of holes on a course in the least number of strokes. Golf does not have a uniform playing area. In fact, navigating the different terrains seen on the course is essential for the game. 

The game is usually played on a course with an 18-hole or 9-hole ordered sequence. Each hole on the course must have a teeing ground to begin with, as well as a putting green with the actual hole or cup, which must be 11 cm in diameter. Other basic terrain types in between include the fairway, rough, bunkers, and different hazards, although each hole on a course is unique in its layout and design.

Individuals or teams with the lowest score on the most individual holes in a whole or complete round win the game.

6. Which country’s national game is Football ?

Association football - Wikipedia
Football is the national sport of Brazil

Football is the national sport of Brazil. It is a team sport in which two teams of 11 players compete with a spherical ball. The game is played on a pitch, which is a rectangular surface with a goal at either end. The purpose of the game is to score more goals than the other team by kicking the ball into the opposing goal in a time limit of 90 minutes. Except for goalkeepers within the penalty area, players are not permitted to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play.

7. What is ice hockey?

Ice hockey is a contact winter team sport played on ice skates on a rink with appropriate lines and markings for the event. It is one of the quickest ice team sports, and it is part of a tiny group of four ice-skating team sports that presently comprises bandy, ringette, and rinkball, regardless of their accompanying variations. In ice hockey, two opposing teams control, advance, and shoot a closed, vulcanised rubber disc called a “puck” into the other team’s goal using ice hockey sticks. One point is awarded for each goal. The winning team is the one that scores the most goals. In a formal game, each side has six skaters on the ice at any given time, unless there are any penalties, and one of them is the goalie. The game referred to as ice hockey is now recognised and proclaimed to be Canada‘s national winter sport.

8. What is lacrosse?

Lacrosse is a team sport in which players use a lacrosse stick and ball to compete. Players carry, pass, catch, and fire the ball into the goal are all done using the head of the lacrosse stick. Field lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, box lacrosse, and intercrosse are four different variations of the sport with various sticks, fields, rules, and equipment. Field and box lacrosse are contact sports for males, and all players use protective equipment such as helmets, gloves, shoulder pads, and elbow pads. The women’s game is played outside, with only stick-to-stick contact allowed. Women’s players wear eye protection, while goalies are required to wear helmets and protective pads. Intercrosse is a non-contact sport for men and women that is played inside. Lacrosse is recognised and declared to be Canada’s national summer sport.

Share with your friends

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *