The genesis of the National Games is in the Olympic movement, which gathered momentum in the country in the 1920’s. The need to identify national talent that could be picked for the Olympic Games, prompted the initiation of the National Games. The culmination of the efforts of Dr A. G. Noehren and Harry Crowe Buck to assimilate and channel the energy of the youth through a pan-India sporting event led to the launch of the 1st edition of the Indian Olympic Games at Lahore in an undivided Punjab in 1924. The first three editions were all held in the city of Lahore. After the eighth edition in 1938 in Calcutta, the event was christened as the National Games. The city of Lucknow hosted the National Games in its first post-independence avatar while the first National Games on the lines of the Olympics were held in 1985 in New Delhi.
The duration and the regulations of the National Games are entirely within the jurisdiction of the Indian Olympic Association. Notwithstanding the frequent periods of stresses and strains, the Olympic Movement has not lost its sheen or vigour. On the contrary, it is strengthening thanks to the involvement of the state governments across the country in creating sophisticated state-of-the-art infrastructure in centres like Guwahati, Ranchi, Kerala and now Goa.