(Last Updated on : 13/11/2017)
Khong Kangjei is a form of hockey
played in Manipur
. It is also referred to as Mukna – Kangjei or wrestling
hockey. It is also known as only kanjei sometimes and generally known as foot hockey, Manipuri hockey or hockey on foot. It is one of the most popular games in Manipur which requires stamina, speed and liveliness. It is one of the home-grown sports of Manipur
Etymology of Khong Kangjei
The name Khong Kangjei is derived from the Meitei terms khong (foot), kang (ball or round object) and jei, which is derived from the term chei (to hit).
History of Khong Kangjei
The origin of the game is traced back to the ancient Hayichak era, before Christ
. According to a myth
, a young boy, belonged to a royal family was once seen playing with a curved club and some round object. The youngster was right away named ' Kangba ' and was later on lifted to the throne of Manipur. He was a positive supporter of the game, which came to be known as Kangjei Shanaba. Manipuri hockey is similarly popular as polo
is in the state
Contest of Khong Kangjei
Khong Kangjei match is challenged between the 2 teams of 7 players. The match is judged by an umpire, who also changes the signals of sides (pun onba) and the end of the match. Each team has a head, referred to as a panjenba, and take part when the umpire throws a ball between them at the middle line. A team tries to score goals against the challenger, and the team first to get a fixed number of goals is declared as the winner. Each player has one part of equipment, a slightly curved bamboo
stick, about 4 feet in length similar to a hockey stick. It is used to hit a ball made of bamboo root of approximately 4 inches in width.
Each player is connected with an opposite player, and the two never leave each other during the match. Players can pick up the ball and run with it. A player may also kick the ball, but must strike the ball with the stick to score a goal. A player may block the challenger; tripping opponents is allowed, and is known as a collar. A player carrying a ball may be physically challenged by the challenger, which requires the two players to wrestle (mukna), after which the game resumes.
Positions of Khong Kangjei
Each player in the team of seven assumes the following positions:
Pun - Ngakpa (Full back).
Pun - Ngakchun (Half back).
Punlluk (Left wing).
Pulluk (Right wing).
Pun - Jen (In).
Pun - Jenchun (In).
The opposite team takes up positions in the reverse order.
Khong Kangjei is an outdoor game played by separating the players into two groups. The stick is shaped very much similar to the current day hockey stick.