Sports in India
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The history of sports in India is very ancient and dates back to the Vedic era. It is more likely that many of today's Olympic disciplines are advanced versions of games of strength and speed that flourished in ancient India. Chess, wrestling, polo, archery and hockey (possibly a fall-out from polo) are some of the games believed to have originated in India.
Following are the some of games played in India
- Gilli-Danda: It is a sport played using one small stick called 'gilli' and one long stick called 'danda' like cricket with ball being replaced by Gilli. This games is generally played in villages of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana etc states of India.
- Kancha: It is played using marbles called 'kancha' in India in cities as well as in villages also. The festival of 'Makar Sankranti' is marked with competitions of this sport in various competitions.
- Badminton: Badminton is a very popular sport in India. Badminton is supposed to have originated in India 2000 years ago.
- Bandy: India is having a Bandy team and Bandy Federation of India takes care of it. It's headquarters are in Himachal Pradesh. Bandy is generally played in northern India where there is generally snow and ice.
- Boxing: Boxing is not so populated game in India. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Vijender Kumar won a bronze medal in the middleweight boxing category and Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar qualified for the quarterfinals.
- Cricket: Cricket is the most popular sport in India. India won the 1983 Cricket World Cup under Kapil Dev and finished as runner-up in the 2003 World Cup under Sourav Ganguly.
- Cycling: This history of cycling in India dates back to 1938. Cycling Federation of India takes care of the sport.
- Golf: Golf is an emerging sport in India. It is more popular in wealthier classes than the middle class and poor class peoples in India. There are numerous golf courses all over India. There is an Golf Tour. India's men's golf team won silver at the 2006 Asian Games.
- Ice hockey: Ice hockey in India is mainly played in the Himalayan region of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. In winter season the game is extremely popular and there are more than 25 clubs and villages that play the sport. However, due to shortage of artificial freezing, the game is limited to cold winter months of December, January and February which facilitate natural freezing of lakes and ponds.
- Kayaking: Indian flat kayakers are considered emerging powerhouse in the Asian circuit. Aside from professional flat water kayaking, there is very limited recreational kayaking. Indian tourists consider kayaking a one-time activity and not a sport to be pursued.
- Kabaddi : Kabaddi sport basically originated in India. It is one of the most popular sport in India played mostly in villages. India has taken part in four Asian games Kabaddi and won gold in all four of them.
- Lawn tennis: Tennis is popular among Indian in urban areas. However, India's fortunes in the Grand Slams singles have been unimpressive although Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupati have won may Men's Doubles and Mixed Doubles Grand Slam titles.
- Mountain biking : Mountain biking is getting popular in India also. From the last four years, Himachal MTB has been organised regularly by HASTPA, and NGO. It is attended by a number of national and international participants, such as Indian Force, Indian Air Army, ITBP and a number of young and energetic MTB individual riders from cities like Bangalore, Pune, Chandigarh and Delhi.
- Ruby: Like other sports founded in England and introduced during the British Raj such as cricket, rugby union has a long history in India. The first recorded match was played on Christmas day 1872, at CFC in Calcutta. Although low in profile as compared to cricket or field hockey, it is growing as some Indian sporting clubs are beginning to embrace the game.
- Throwball: Throwball is also gaining popularity in India as a competitive sport and Indian authorities of the game was instrumental in organizing Asian level and later, world level association for the sport. The game is popularly played in schools, clubs, colleges throughout Asian countries such as India, Korea, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Pakistan and Nepal.
- Voolleyball: Volleyball is a sport played all over India, both in urban as well as rural India. It is a popular recreation sport. Indian ranked 5th in Asia and 27th in the world. Currently, an important problem for the sport is the lack of sponsors.