History & Objectives of the National Games

     Olympian Suresh Babu with the Games Torch at the University Stadium, Trivandrum in 1987




The genesis of the National Games is in the Olympic movement, which gathered momentum in the country in the 1920s. Aimed at promoting Olympic Sports in the country, the National Games in India was envisaged as the Indian Olympic Games in its initial years. The culmination of this movement was the launching of the 9th edition of the Indian Olympic Games at Lahore in undivided Punjab in 1924. The competitions were held every two years in a major city of the country ever since. From 1940, the Indian Olympic Games was held as National Games. This event comprises of various sports disciplines in which sportsmen from the different states of India participate against each other.


The city of Lucknow hosted the National Games in its first post-independence avatar. The duration and the regulations of the National Games are entirely within the jurisdiction of the Indian Olympic Association. Although the periodicity of National Games is two years it is not allowed to coincide with the years scheduled for the conduct of Olympic Games and Asian Games.


2015 welcomes the National Games to Kerala for the second time in its 35th edition. The first occasion was in 1987 when the 27th National Games was held at Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Alappuzha, Kochi, Thrissur and Kollam.


National Games Venue Year
XXXIV Ranchi 2011
XXXIII Guwahati 2007
XXXII Hyderabad 2002
XXXI Punjab 2001
XXX Manipur 1999
XXIX Karnataka  1997
XXVIII Maharashtra  1994
XXVII Kerala 1987
XXVI Delhi 1985
XXV Hyderabad 1979
XXIV Cuttack 1970
XXIII Madras 1968
XXII Bangalore 1966
XXI Calcutta 1964
XX Jabalpur 1962
XIX Delhi 1960
XVIII Cuttack 1958
XVII Patiala 1956
XVI Delhi 1954
XV Jabalpur 1953
XIV Madras 1952
XIII Lucknow 1948


The Games before 1947


Sno Place/State Year
Indian Olympic Games
1 Lahore 1924
2 Lahore 1926
3 Lahore 1928
4 Allahabad 1930
5 Madras 1932
6 New Delhi 1934
7 Lahore 1936
8 Calcutta 1938
National Games
9 Bombay 1940
10 Patiala 1942
11 Lahore 1944
12 Lahore 1946


The next 36th Games will be hosted by Goa, and the 37th by Chhattisgarh.


Objectives of the National Games

  • The National Games is organized for the benefit of sportspersons, sports organizations, sports technical officials and sports administrators of India.

  • It is to be organized economically with administrative and technical efficiency by providing decent accommodation & catering facilities to the participants besides providing the international standard competition venues and sports equipment.

  • It’s meant to bring awareness among the States/UTs about the necessity for creating the sports infrastructure of international specifications for raising the standard of Indian sports.

  • It aims to enable the States/UT to organize the national and international competitions thus strengthening the competition program in the country with focus on talent identification for building the medals winning National teams in the International competitions.

  • It aims to attract the youth in large numbers for participation in sports activities.

  • It aims to improve the organizational skills of the sports administrators for staging the International multidiscipline games in India. 

  • It aims to provide avenues to the persons associated with sports to acquire the latest skills in sports administration and technical developments of the discipline concerned.

  • It aims to enable the persons associated with sports to acquire the latest interpretations on the technical rules and regulations of the discipline concerned and their correct application during competition situation.

  • It aims to inculcate sports culture among the people of all walks of life and educates the people about the importance of sports to build healthy society.

  • It aims to develop and strengthen the marketing of sports in a professional way to make the sports organizations at national, state and district level self-sufficient to implement their sports developmental schemes such as talent identification and nurturing and holding competition.

  • It aims to inspire the Government and Governmental organizations to spread sports culture among their employees and the people in the neighbourhood. 

  • It aims to utilize the leisure time and surplus energies of the people for constructive activities through participation and organizing sports activities.