Sports in India

The Word 'Sport' comes from the old French word called Desport which means "Leisure", but this word has changed its connotation with the passing time. Now sports are no longer believed to be practiced only in leisure time. Today they are one of the major parameters to judge a country's development and growth and are fast becoming great career options for the future generations.

Football


Popularly known as soccer, Football is the most popular sport in the world. It is played across 93 countries in the world and has 208 member nations. FIFA (The International Federation of Association Football) world Cup is the largest and most glamorous sporting event in the world. It is largely played in European Sub-Continent. 19 editions of the football world cup have been played uptil now out of which Brazil have won maximum five World Cups. The craze of football is such in Europe that the whole nation seems to come to halt when ever there is a Football tournament. Not many people know that this much loved European game is Chinese in Origin. A Chinese document compiled between 3rd and 1st century BC mentions a practice known as 'Cuju' meaning Kick Ball. It later got popularized from China to Japan and Korea.

Cricket


Cricket the most popular game in Indian subcontinent is the National Game of England. It is believed to be invented in around 16th century. The earliest recorded evidence of existence of Cricket is the mention of the sport called "Creag" played by Prince Edward. Today, Cricket is played at International level by 11 major Countries. It is played in three formats; the Tests, the ODI's (one day International's) and the more recent 20-20. The craze for this game in the Indian Subcontinent is such that people worship the cricketers when they win matches but on the flip side they are severely criticized for bad performance. The ICC (International Cricket Council) is the governing body for cricket and it has 104 member countries. The IPL or Indian Premium League is the new craze among the cricket lovers. IPL is earning big bucks for BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India).

Basketball


Basketball is one of the most popular games in USA, China, Russia, Canada, Argentina and Spain. The ruling body for the game is FIBA (International Basketball Federation). The NBA (National Basketball Association) is the richest and most popular basketball leagues in the world. NBA has close to 30 teams. Wining Olympics is considered to be the highest honor in International Basketball like any other sporting event. USA holds record for maximum number of Gold Medals in Olympics. Basketball is said to have originated in North America.

Hockey


Played on the natural grass with a hard ball, Hockey is largely played and popular in Asian subcontinent though Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa also are known for hockey. Hockey is the National Game of India and its neighbouring country, Pakistan. The ruling body for the game is FIH (International Hockey Federation). Other than the most popular Field Hockey, the other forms of the game are Ice Hockey, Inline Hockey, Roller Hockey, Sledge Hockey and Street Hockey. The game of hockey finds mention as early as 600 BC in Greece.

Baseball


Baseball is relatively less popular game as compared to Soccer, Hockey and Cricket. The governing body for Baseball is IBAF (International Baseball federation). New York Yankees are the most known club in the domain of Baseball. Baseball is also called National Pastime Game in US (United States). MLB (Major League Baseball) is the one of the premier Baseball leagues in the World. The game of Baseball owes its origin to North American Continent and is considered to be a development from the older game of Rounders popular in the Great Britain and The Flanders.

Rugby


The most watched sport on television in Australia, Rugby Union is believed to have been originated in England in the early 19th century. The governing body for Rugby is IRB (International Rugby Board). 115 nations are members of IRB. The 6-nations are the most popular championship in Europe and Tri-Nations in the Southern Hemisphere. The Rugby World Cup is held every four years.

Volleyball


Volleyball is the National Sport of Sri Lanka and is very popular in United States, Brazil, Japan, China, India, Philippines, Russia and Poland. It is also a popular sport in southern India, North America, Eastern Europe and Brazil. The game of Volleyball is said to have been originated in Holyoke city of United States (US). Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) is the major body governing the game. FIVB organizes FIVB World League and the World Grand Prix (Women's Volleyball) championships.