(Last Updated on : 22/02/2010)
Khong Kangjei is a form of hockey played in Manipur. It is also referred to as Mukna - Kangjei or wrestling hockey. The game originated in the prehistoric era. According to a legend, a young boy belonging to a royal family was once seen playing with a curved club and some circular object. The youngster was instantly named ` Kangba ` and was later on elevated to the throne of Manipur. He was a firm supporter of the game, which came to be known as Kangjei Shanaba. Manipuri hockey is equally popular as polo is in the state. There are 7 players on each side who make use of a cane stick, which is approximately four and a half feet in length and largely resembles the modern day hockey stick.
Play being with the ball being tossed into the centre field (hantre huba). Any player can then kick it. However only making use of the stick scores a goal. The ball used is about 3" and is known as kangdrum. The opposing side can tackle the player with the ball. But a player cannot tackle any opponent if he is without a stick. The game finished as soon as the any side scores the number of goals decided upon by the teams earlier.
The playing positions for the game are as follows:
Pun - Ngakpa (Full back)
Pun - Ngakchun (Half back)
Punlluk (Left wing)
Pulluk (Right wing)
Pun - Jen (In)
Pun - Jenchun (In)
The opposing team takes up positions in the reverse order.