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Entertainment / Games

Kho Kho – Traditional Indian Game

Kho Kho – Traditional Indian Game

Kho Kho is a popular traditional Indian outdoor game. The game demands a very good strategy as well as physical strength. It is played between two teams of nine players each. Kho Kho is played mainly during the summer holidays. The origin of Kho Kho is supposed to be from Maharashtra. Kho Kho is played by Boys and Girls and there is no age bar as long as they can play the game.


The game is played in a rectangular court. A line is drawn lengthwise to separate the court into two halves. Two poles will be erected on both ends of the centre line. The teams are called Chasers and Defenders.

The chasing team enters the court first. Eight out of the nine players line up and sit on the centre line. Alternate players face opposite direction. The ninth player is called the Chaser and stands next to one of the poles.

Three players from the second team (Defenders) then enter the court. There will be one or two referee(s) who controls the game. The Chaser or Defender is decided by Toss. Normally a match consists of two innings of Chasing and Defending teams, lasting up to 9 minutes.

Playing Kho Kho

The Chaser should capture the Defenders by chasing and tagging them. The Chaser can run only in one direction. Chaser cannot cross the centre line but the Defenders can cross the line and run in any direction. If the Chaser has to change direction, he must do so by running towards a pole and turning around it.

When the Defender crosses the centre line to the other side, the Chaser can switch position with one of the team mates. The team mate should face the direction where the defender is. The Chaser touches the back of the Team Mate saying Kho and then it is that person who plays as the Chaser.

The Chaser should capture the Defender while he is within the court. When all the three Defenders are captured, the next set of three defenders enter the court. The game continues and ends when all the nine Defenders have been captured. The game ends after the 9 minutes even if none of the Defenders are captured.

The Chasers become Defenders in the next round and the game is continued in the same way till all the nine Defenders have been captured or when the stipulated time is over.

The team who captures all nine defenders in the shortest time are the winners.

Tournaments and Championships

There are a lot of tournaments and championships that take place in India for Kho Kho. These championships bring a lot of awards and prizes to the people who shine in the game.

  • Arjuna Award
  • Eklavya Award for men
  • Rani Laxmi Bai Award for women
  • Veer Abhimanyu Award for boys of 18 years old
  • Janaki Award for girls of 16 years old
Picture Credit
Video Credit: Rocking Guys Yo

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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  1. Wow. Remembered my childhood so much. It was super fun in school days. Had participated in many school tournaments & done captaincy as well😄

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