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Kho-Kho

Kho-Kho is one of the popular games in India. The origin of this game cannot be traced, as some of the other games like Atyapatya, which find a mention in early medieval literature. It’s said that this game must have been played by the end of the 19th century. Some believe it evolved from Shivashivi, a simple 'chase and catch' game. 


Kho-Kho is one of the popular games in India. The origin of this game cannot be traced, as some of the other games like Atyapatya, which find a mention in early medieval literature. It’s said that this game must have been played by the end of the 19th century. Some believe it evolved from Shivashivi, a simple 'chase and catch' game. 
In 1944, Deccan Gymkhana in Pune started the Indian version of this game through a tournament, with certain rules and regulations in place. The rule book of Kho-Kho was published by the All-Maharashtra Physical Education Board in 1935. Many changes were added to the principal draft after consultations with players and officials. Authorities also made concerted efforts to popularise this game in the country. The All-India Kho-Kho Federation is an apex body for the sport and controls the game in India. In an annual sports extravaganza held under the aegis of the Maharashtra Government, Kho-Kho always gets a prime position. The popularity of this game has increased even in rural areas due to this. 
The dimensions for the ground are 111’ X 51’. The central guide is 1’ wide and 81’ long. The poles at both ends of the central guide are 4’ high and 16” in  diameter. The central guide is divided into 8 parts with a distance of 8” between them. The divisions near the poles have a distance of 8.5” between the pole and the first division. Each team consists of nine players. The eight players sit across the central guide facing each other in the opposite direction. The ninth player stands near a pole. Three players from the opposite team enter the arena, and the player from the other team, standing near a pole, tries to catch the three. After the three are declared out, the next batch enters the arena. A lon declared over the team who fields first and credited to the account of the other team, after all from the running team are out. This cycle goes on till the stipulated time is over. Each team has two players as a reserved lot, who can substitute an injured player. 
Two umpires, a chief umpire, a scorer and sometimes a match referee officiate in a match. This game requires a lot of practice to control one’s running skills, agility, presence of mind and understanding of the match situation. This game encourages individual skills as wells team spirit. The best male and female players in the national championship receives the Ekalavya award from the apex body of the sport.

Districts/Region

Maharashtra, India.

Cultural Significance

Kho-Kho is one of the popular games in India.


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