(Last Updated on : 23/02/2013)
Kho-Kho is one of the most popular traditional sports in India and it is played quite extensively in the country. The game of Kho-Kho is an immense test of the participants` physical fitness, strength, speed and stamina and it also requires a certain amount of ability on behalf of the participants. Though there is confusion about the exact timing of the inception of Kho-Kho and also about the origin of the game, many historians say that it is actually a modified form of Run and Chase. It is played by a team that comprise 12 players, where only 9 players enter the arena. In Kho-Kho, the participants simply need to chase and catch their opponents in order to win the game. In the ancient time, the game of Kho-Kho was played on `raths` or chariots in Maharashtra
and it was known as Rathera.
Kho-Kho is a simple game where the players dodge, feint and burst control speed. The main aim of the participants in the game of Kho-Kho is to catch the opponent by pursuit and to chase, rather than just run.
Rules of Kho-Kho
The rules for Kho Kho were framed in the beginning of the 20th century. A Committee was formed at Gymkhana Pune
in 1914 for framing the rules and the first ever rules on Kho-Kho were published from Gymkhana Baroda (now Vadodara
) in 1924. According to the rules and regulations of Kho-Kho, each of the participating teams consists of 12 players, though only nine players take the field for a contest. There are two innings in a match and an innings consists of chasing and running turns of 7 minutes each. One player of the chasing team play the role of an active chaser and the remaining 8 members of the team sit in their 8 squares on the central lane, alternately facing the opposite direction. The active chaser stands at either of the posts and gets ready to begin the pursuit.
It is mandatory for the members of the chasing team to put their opponent out by touching them with their palms and without committing a foul. The defenders are actually the main active players in the game of Kho-Kho, as they try to play out the 7 minutes time, and the chasers keep on trying to dismiss them. In Kho-Kho, there are 3 ways through which a defender can be dismissed:
* If an active chaser touches him with his palm without committing a foul,
* If the defender goes out of the limits on his own, or
* If the defender enters the limit late.
Usually, the defenders enter the limit, in batches of 3 and after the third and last defender of batch is out, the next batch has to enter the limits, before a Kho is given by the successful active chaser. The defenders are allowed to move on both sides of the central lane, however, the active chaser does not have the permission to change the direction to which he is committed. He is also not allowed to cross the central lane. An active chaser can only change his position with a seated chaser, by touching him from behind by palm, and uttering the word Kho loudly. A chase or attack is also built up simultaneously through a series of Khos as the chase continues with a relay of chasers.
There is an interval of 5 minutes at the end of each of the innings and there is also a break of 2 minutes in between the turns. Each of the sides alternates their positions between chasing and defence. There is no bar for the participants in the game of Kho-Kho and people from all age can participate in the game. The game can be played by men, women, and children of all ages and Kho-Kho does not require a lot of equipments to play. The time limit for the game is not more than 37 minutes. The first national Kho-Kho championship was organised in Vijayawada
, Andhra Pradesh
in 1959-60. The Government of India
has also initiated a number of honourable awards for the game such as the Arjuna Award
, Eklavya Award for men, Lakshmi Bai
award for women, Veer Abhimanyu
award for boys under 18, and Janaki award for girls under 16.
Playing Field of Kho-Kho
The game of Kho-Kho requires a rectangular playground that is evenly surfaced, with dimensions of 29m by 16m. There are 2 rectangles at the end which comprises of 2 wooden poles. The central lane is 907.50 cm long and across the small squares, lie 8 cross lanes which are 500 cm long and 70 cm wide. There are 2 posts at the end of central lane, which rise 120 cm above the ground surface with a circumference of 30-40 cm.
There are a number of domestic tournaments of Kho-Kho which are organised in India and the tournaments include the likes of National Championships, Junior National, Sub Junior National Championship, School Championship, Mini School Championship, Primary Mini School Championship, National Women Championship, All India Inter University Championship and Federation Cup. The Kho-Kho Federation of India (K.K.F.I.) is the primary governing body of the game in India and it has its branches in all the states.
The KKFI has been conducting Mini, Junior and Open National Championships for both men and women in almost all parts of India.