Which is the traditional game of India which consists of traits such as cooperation, devotion, keenness, self-esteem, speed, and quick thinking? The answer is Kho Kho! This traditional Indian sport is more than a game. It is a personal development tool for the one who loves to take up the challenge. One can clearly say, Kho Kho game is an inexpensive but highly enjoyable game.
It is one of the most popular traditional sports in the country. Some of the interesting facts about the game: The position of the players sitting is random; one will never find the same set of players sitting in the same order as when the game starts. The game requires immense stamina and speed. There are many famous Kho Kho players in India who have taken this game to another level. So are you planning to start a new game? Why wait? Today, we bring you the perfect guide to the Kho Kho game and all the kho kho information.
Tracing the roots of Kho Kho Game
It is a tag game of our country. Its roots are as old as epic Mahabharata, with plans and strategies likely derived from the epic itself. As the tale narrates, on the 13th day of the war, the Kaurava Guru Dronacharya planned the sole tactics ‘Chakravyuh’, a special military defensive plan broke by Abhimanyu. Unfortunately, he died as he had to fight alone against 7 warriors and he was badly injured. His style of fighting reflected the concept of ring play – a defensive tactic in the game. The game during age-old times involved ‘raths’ and chariots and was named Rathera.
History of Kho Kho
The Asian Kho Kho Federation first came into existence in 1987 at the time of the third SAF Games in India. The game gained international credit with the first Asian Championship which was held in Kolkata in 1996. The second championship was held in 2000 which added further shine to the game.
Modern Day Kho Kho
The modern-day game was invented in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The Deccan Gymkhana of Pune tried to lend a sense of reliability and recognition to the game by introducing certain rules and regulations to make it more formal. As a result, countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives also participated in the game.
Kho Kho Game Terminology
|Pole||A specially made wooden cylindrical construction erected firmly at both sides of the playfield.|
|Chaser||The sitting team who tries to catch the opponent team member who is running. Chaser sit-in square over cross lines with an alternative back.|
|Runner||The player of the opposition who saves himself from being caught by the chaser.|
|Central Lane||Two parallel lines from one pole to another.|
|Cross Lane||The parallel lanes cutting the central line at the middle of the playing area.|
|Kho||The word Kho is actually a pass given by one chaser to another.|
|Early Getup||When the sitting chaser gets up before getting a Kho.|
|Late Kho||when active chaser delays in the touch for giving Kho to another|
|Changing The Direction||When active chaser goes in the wrong direction against rules.|
|Minus Kho||A violation of directional fault in which the chased cannot make the running player out unless Kho is passed back to two teammates or touch to a pole.|
|Lobby||The free space area around the playfield.|
|Free Zone||The area by the sides of pole lines in which the direction rule is not followed and a runner can move in any direction.|
|Square||Square-shaped area by the cutting of center lane and cross lane used for sitting of the chase.|
Kho-Kho Ground Measurement
Talking about ground measurement, the playground for the game is 29 meters long and 16 meters wide. At each end of the longer side of the rectangle, it has two areas measuring 16 meters in length and 2.75 meters in width. A wooden pillar of 120 cm is located at the inner center of the line of this rectangle as shown in the figure above. The perimeter of the wooden pillar is between 30 to 40 cm. There is one straight line on either side of the pillar.
There are 8 pairs of parallel lines between these two wooden pillar posts. Each pair of the line is 30 cm away from each other and 2.30 meters away from the next pair. Coming to the equipment, the game requires two watches, whistles, measuring tape, boric powder, and stationery to write results.
|Total area requirement||30m x 19m (inclusive of the lobby from all sides measuring 1.5m wide.)|
|Playing Area||27m x 16m inclusive of 1.5m x 16m of free zone behind both poles|
|Pole Distance||24m Central lane joining two poles measuring 24m length x 30cm width|
|Cross lanes||8 – intersecting the central lane. Each lane measuring 16m x 35m|
|Pole Size||Height (above ground level – 120cm to 125cm, Diameter 9-10cm)|
Kho Kho Rules
- Played between 2 teams
- The number of players in Kho Kho- 12 players but only 9 of them can compete on the pitch.
- A standard match encompasses two innings.
- Each inning will have 9 minutes which includes chasing and running.
- The chasing team sits or kneels in the middle of the court in a row. Each player sitting next to each other will see on the opposite sides (in an alternative direction).
- The chasers should end in the quickest time possible.
- The chaser will touch the nearest possible player on his/her back and say ‘Kho’ to give him a chance to chase.
- The team that takes the shortest amount of time to touch the player chased, is adjudged as the winner.
- The runner or the chaser is decided by toss.
- The captain of the chasing side may end the turn before the allotted time.
- The side that scores more wins a match.
- When a defender is out, he should enter the sitting box from the lobby.
Kho Kho Information
- Both teams will comprise nine players. Before the game begins, two captains will have a toss. The toss-winning team decides either to defend or to chase.
- If the winning team decides to chase, they set up an eight-member team to chase the opponent team in a span of 12 minutes. There will be two innings provided for both teams.
- The game starts by chasing down the opponent with the help of team members in a straight direction. The defender should not cut the line or change the direction in order to avoid getting out or touched by the opponent. A chaser can give maximum passes (Kho) to his teammate while chasing. After 12 minutes, the team, which takes the best quick time to touch the player chased wins the game.
Duties of Defender in Kho Kho
Defenders must be quick enough. The defender should highly possess qualities such as flexibility and speed. Defenders must have a sufficient amount of reflex in the body because it allows them to change the direction to keep the game active in a real way.
Duties of Chaser in Kho Kho
Chasers are the opponents of the defender, whose aim is to touch the defender. It is recommended for every chaser to keep a close eye on his defender. This helps them to give a perfect pass (Kho) to their team member in order to touch the defender and bag points. It is essential to block the opponent in various ways to gain points in an easy manner.
Kho Kho Skills
Judgment of direction is one of the foremost skills one must hone while playing the game. This skill proves how fast and attentive you are. You must be very responsive with your teammates. This is required while getting up from the square. This game burns your calorie. One must run fast. It’s not just a relay, it includes a single chain running, zig-zag running, and straight running.
Role of Referee
The referee must give a thorough look at the score sheets and playing area. The referee must coordinate with the umpires, in order to perform their duties well. If a player purposefully obstructs the conduct of the play or behaves in an ungentlemanly or mischievous manner, the referee can penalize the defaulting player. A referee can announce the warning by calling the chest number of the runner or chaser and showing a Yellow Card. It shall be recorded by Scorer-1 by marking the chest number in the warning column. The referee can announce the ‘forbidden’ from participation in future play in a similar way as a warning by displaying a Red Card.
Kho Kho Federation of India
The game’s primary sports body is known as the Kho-Kho Federation of India (KKFI). It has its branches in all the states and it has been conducting Mini, Junior, and Open National Championships for both genders, in many parts of India.
— Kho Kho Federation of India (@KKFIOfficial) December 5, 2020
Tournaments in India
There are many tournaments played in India namely, National Championships, National Women Championship, Junior National, Sub Junior National Championship, All India Inter-University Championship, School Championship, Mini School Championship, Primary Mini School Championship, and Federation Cup. As per some media results, after the success of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) in India, another traditional sport from our country is set to get a league of its own this year. The League will be called Ultimate Kho Kho.
Awards in India
There are special awards given for the players who show prolific performance in the game. Janaki Award is given to a girl (Under 18) for her stellar show in the game. Veer Abhimanyu Award is similar to Janaki Award but it’s awarded to a boy who comes under the age of 18. The Karnataka government once recognized Ekalavya Award for the game. In 2008, Adarsha CP won this award.
Kho Kho Players
Indian Kho Kho Team
Following are the major Kho Kho players in India: Balasaheb Pokarde (captain), Raju Buchannagari, Sagar Potdar, Shreyas Raul, Akshay Ganpule, Sudarshan, Deepak Madhav, Abhinandan Patil, Satyajit Singh, Suresh Sawant, Muneerbasha Ahamadjohn, Dhanwin Khopkar, Sibin Mailankil, Jagdev Singh, Tapan Paul.
These women Kho Kho players are the gem of India: Nasreen (captain), Kajal Bhor, Priyanka Bhopi, Aishwarya Sawant, Pornima Sakpal, Krishna Yadav, Nikita Pawar, Apeksha Sutar, Sasmita Sharma, Eshita Biswas, Mukesh, Maya, Parveen Nisha, Kalaivani Kathirkaman, Nancy Jain.