Wednesday, April 12, 2017

K is for Kho-Kho

For the letter K, in keeping with my theme of revisiting/remaking childhood memories with my kids, I have kho-kho (a traditional Indian sport similar to tag). According to online sources, this game is one of the oldest forms of outdoor sport, tracing it's roots probably in the game called Rathera, played during the time of the Mahabharatha with raths (or chariots). Early versions of the game were almost rule-free and  the first ever rules for the game were published from Gymkhana Baroda, in 1924. 
How to play the game: Bare-bones version below and for a more detailed version, you can look up many resources online, including here
  • Two teams of twelve play against each other with one team as the chasers and the other, the dodgers. They take turns in swapping these roles every seven minutes. 
  • Eight members of the chasers team need to line up (sitting/kneeing) down the middle of the field while facing opposite directions alternately while one person waits at any one end of the row of seated chasers.
  • That one person from the chaser team has to try to tag members from the dodgers team who enter in batches of three (and the next batch of three enters when all three initial members are out - either by being tagged or other rule violations). 
  • The active chaser can only chase in one direction, one side of the middle row, and can change directions only at the ends of the row. and only one active chaser at a time. 
  • They can take assistance by requesting another chaser to continue the chase by tapping the back of the teammate facing the opposite direction and saying 'kho'. This normally happens when the opposing team crosses the line to the other side 
  • (Note that the dodgers/defenders can run across the middle row, change directions, run anywhere within the field while the chaser as mentioned before, only one direction, one side)
  • The aim of the game: well, be the fastest to tag all members of the opposing team; and have fun!! 
Our version of the game on the playground when we were kids normally ended up being - two teams of any number of players that were there (but at least 5-6 in each team), any field size that worked for us, and the rules were mostly followed..:) but we had lots of fun and I hope to introduce the game to my kids to play with their friends.

The video below mentions teams of 9 players each (but this could mean the 9 active players). This video does a good job of illustrating the rules and how to play the game. 

Another video featuring part of a kho-kho match in India

Q to the reader:  What was a favorite outdoor childhood sport? Playing hide and seek outside at night in the dark was a fun one for us (especially when there were power cuts and the moon was just bright enough but not a full moon!)

Signing off on the letter K as I continue on the #AtoZChallenge and #UltimateBloggingChallenge
My #AtoZ2017Posts and #UBCPosts: 
  Theme_1 A3 B4 C5 D6 E7 F8 G9 H10 I11 J12 K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
(thanks to Mrs.Dash for the above idea of the links for each post for these challenges)


  1. Thank you for visiting my blog. And thank you for teaching me about a game I never even knew existed! By the way, I plan to read On Writing this year too!


  2. This is a very nostalgic post for me as I grew up playing kho kho.
    The other day I was thinking if anyone nowadays plays those games or even the indoor game like antakashni seem to be fading away...
    Enjoyed reading it thanks for sharing :)
    Best Wishes!
    Killer's Confession: A Poem

  3. I remember playing kho kho when I was growing up. It used to be fun and apart from those basic ones that you shared there were hardly any rules. Great well researched post.
    Parul Thakur | happinessandfood

  4. Its wonderful to look back at our own growing years through our kids.
    loved the post.

  5. Interesting game. I believe I have played variants when I was a child

  6. I've played know who while in school. Wonder if the kids these days even know about it. Thanks for taking me back in time with this post.

  7. Kho Kho and kabbadi, two games I loved playing as a kid. This made me nostalgic! Great post!

  8. Exciting and interesting post.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Read mine here-KOLKATA IS THE CITY OF JOY


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