Kho kho

Kho kho
Boys in a Government School in Haryana.
First played India
Contact permitted
Team members 12 players per side, 9 in the field and 3 extra

Kho kho (Template:ENGLISH KHO KHO) is a popular tag sport from India. It is played by teams of 12 nominated players out of fifteen, of which nine enter the field, who try to avoid being touched by members of the opposing team.[1] It is one of the two most popular traditional tag games in the Indian subcontinent, the other being Kabaddi.[2] Apart from the Indian subcontinent, it is also played by the Indian community in South Africa.[3]


The word kho seems to be derived from the Sanskrit verb root syu- meaning "get up go".


In 1999, The Asian Kho Kho Federation was established during the 3rd edition of the South Asian Games. Member countries included India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives. The 1st Asian Championship was held at Kolkata in 1996 and the second championship at Dhaka, Bangladesh. India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Japan, Thailand were participants of this championship.


Each team consists of twelve players, but only nine players take the field. A match consists of two innings with each inning consisting of chasing and running turns of 9 minutes each. One team sits on their knees in the middle of the court, in a row, with adjacent 8 members facing opposite directions. The runners play in the field, three at a time and the team that takes the shortest time to touch all the opponents in the field, wins. There is a pole on each end and the runner can go between two players who are sitting in zig-zag manner, but the chaser is not allowed to turn back while running and go between the players. However, the chaser can go to the pole and touch it and can go back or towards the other side.


A Kho kho playing field is rectangular. It is 36 by 18 metres (118 ft × 59 ft) in length and width. There are two rectangles at the end. The dimensions of each rectangle is 16 m × 2.75 m (52.5 ft × 9.0 ft). In the middle of these two rectangles, there are two wooden poles. The central lane's dimensions are 2,350 cm × 30 cm (925 in × 12 in). There are eight cross lanes which lie across the central lane, whose dimensions are 1,600 cm × 30 cm (630 in × 12 in). It makes the small rectangles and each of them are 16 m × 2.3 m (52.5 ft × 7.5 ft) (the two rectangles of near by the wooden poles are 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) wide), at right angles to the central lane and divided equally into two parts of 7.85 m (25.8 ft) each by the central lane. At the end of the central lane, the free zone tangent to the post-line, two smooth wooden posts are fixed, 120 cm (47 in) high from the ground, and their circumference is no less than 30 cm (12 in) and no more than 40 cm (16 in). The equipment used in Kho kho are poles/post, strings, metallic measuring tape, lime powder, wire nails, two watches, types of rings having inner circumference of 30 cm (12 in) and 40 cm (16 in), score shots (like a whistle, for instance), and equipment to record the results.


There are usually two referees standing on the opposite sides of the rectangular field. Both carry a stopwatch and each of them is responsible for giving a decision on their opposite side of the field (because they can watch the game play in front of them more clearly than when it is on their same side).


  1. "Tripura KHO KHO Association @ Tripura4u". Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  2. Peter A. Hastie (1 July 2010). Student-Designed Games: Strategies for Promoting Creativity, Cooperation, and Skill Development. Human Kinetics. pp. 52–. ISBN 978-0-7360-8590-8. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  3. A trip through SA's indigenous games. 14 March 2012.

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