As a child, one of the favorite pastimes in India was playing sports. Popular sports include forms of tag such as Kabaddi, Pakda Pakdi, Lagori and Kho Kho. Playing sports such as Kho Kho ensures athletic ability and fosters team spirit from a young age.
The digital age is here and with it times have changed. Kids no longer want to play outdoors or spend time away from their screens. This makes them lethargic, inactive and often overweight. Schools and institutions are now putting an emphasis on sports or athletics so kids can remain healthy. Balancing studies with sports lets them have a fully rounded education and childhood. Children from the 90’s didn’t need that since they had no gadgets or devices to keep them occupied. They loved running around, playing games or just chasing each other on the streets. The games from the 90s are still relevant and being played by the current generation. Indian kids have adapted Western games and sports like football among others. But they also favor Indian games and sports that have been played for decades in our country. Don’t you remember sunny afternoons and lazy winter evenings running around with your friends? The joy of just being a carefree child and present in the moment is incomparable to anything else. Thinking about it makes everyone nostalgic and miss your childhood! Let’s talk about Kho Kho and it’s origins.
Kho Kho was invented in India. Nobody can point out the actual origin or invention of the game but it has been in India since centuries. The first form of tag or running played in India was very simple. It involved running and touching the nearest person. The person would then become the runner and start chasing others. The name of the game is derived from Sanskrit and means ‘Get up/Go.’ The objective of the game is as the name implies. Kho Kho needs 2 teams of 12 players each. Team A enters the field first and 9 players sit on the field on their knees. The other 3 players then run and avoid being touched by Team B.
The team that takes the shortest time to touch all players will win the game. Team B or the chasers can’t turn back while chasing the players. Players from Team A can run between the sitting players and even turn back. The beauty of Kho Kho is such that it improves dexterity, speed, agility and reflexes. Players of the game need to be really quick, coordinated and strength. Its small but intense game time enthralls spectators and audiences. As the game caught on among Indians and locals, the clubs started making official rules. Maharashtra and Pune were mainly responsible for spreading the game of Kho Kho through India.
The Kho Kho Federation of India was formed to promote and encourage players of this exciting sport. In 1982, the game was included for the first time in the Asian Games. A Federation Cup was hosted for Kho Kho and both men and women’s teams competed for the Cup. The fact that games such as Kho Kho and Kabaddi were getting highlighted was crucial. It allowed poor and underprivileged children, players and sportsmen from all sections to participate. This game unlike cricket was from India and understood by Indians. It empowered the rural areas to see something of their own making getting so popular in the country.
Due to Kho Kho’s inclusion in the Asian Games, it spread to other countries. The game was adapted in countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The rules and equipment used in official settings have particular measurements. Two referees or umpires are required to assist and make the final decisions on every outcome.