The carrom game became very popular among the masses in the 19th century. It is mainly played among the rich and elite class people by Maharajas and Rajas. During that period the board that was used was mainly made of wood or glass.
Although the game of carrom was played widely in India, there was no uniformity in the specifications of equipments and rules of the game. The game of carrom became very popular among the masses in India during early part of the nineteenth century. This game was also popular with elite class and was being played by Rajas and Maharajas in their palaces on the carrom boards made of both wood and glass (one Carrom Board made of glass is still available in the palace of Maharaja of Patiala) before the First World War. Carrom was being played at competitive level in many Indian States even before India's independence. Before the federation came into existence the game of carrom were played with no fixed rule. There was no proper rule for carrom in place, but all these stopped after the formation of All India Carrom Federation in 1956. Members of the federation made important policy decisions regarding the game and a proper structure for rules and regulation was put in place.
First national championship conducted by the federation was in the year 1956 at Nagpur with Men's Singles, Men's Doubles and Men's Team events. Slowly, after certain point of time, the federation also started arranging matches for women in national championships, and also introduced games for junior players (under 18 years of age), sub-junior players (under 14 years of age), cadet players (under 12 years of age), youth players (under 21 years of age) and veteran players (above 45 years of age) in national championships. Though mixed doubles were introduced, but the federation eliminated Mixed doubles in the late nineties.
Right from its inception till 2011, the All India Carrom Federation not only conducted 117 national championships in senior, junior and sub-junior categories but also introduced Zonal and Inter-zonal Championships, All India Federation Cup Ranking Tournament, Inter-Institution National Championship and various Prize Money and Invitation Tournaments and giving appropriate exposure to carrom players at national level. It worked hard to promote the game of carrom among the people of India.
The federation has come a long way ever since its formation. It has grown in status and stature. From just 6 state associations in March 1956, the federation now boasts of 30 state associations, and 18 institutions as its associates. By adding to the number of affiliate members the federation has been able to spread the game.
The Federation started registering all carrom players at the grass root level and made it compulsory for all players to get themselves registered before they participate in District, State and National level tournaments every year. At the national level, it took several steps to popularize the game in the country, provide better facilities and environment to the players and smooth functioning of the Federation
Government of India's All India Council of Sports, in 1970, recognized the All India Carrom Federation as a government aided body and that helped AICF become eligible for diverse facilities from the Indian Government and the game of carrom started getting treated at par with other games.
All India Carrom Federation, over the years have been successful in getting grants and aids from Indian government for all the championships organized since 1995. The federation in 1995 formulated guidelines for Technical Directors/Delegates, Chief/Assistant, Chief Referees and Umpires and formulated 'Code of Conduct' for Indian participants in international events and made it mandatory for them to sign it before they participate in international events. The federation in 1997 decided to formulate several rules and regulation covering wide range of organizational and technical aspects like new systems for selection of Indian team, team draws, play-off matches, National Ranking, tournament fee, increase in number of days for junior and sub-junior nationals, upward revision in dearness and traveling allowance of players/ officials/umpires, prize money, system for draws, seeding, introduced new transfer & registration policies for players etc. and brought all those regulations in a comprehensive manner in the booklet titled 'Tournament Guidelines'.