Kho-Kho Competition


One of my classroom routines in Spoken English class is to ask students what they did last night, and 9 times out of 10, I get the same response: Last night, I played kho-kho. What was this kho-kho? It sounded a lot like a board game to me, so that's just what I assumed it was.

This morning at Spoken English class, a few of the boys told me that the school was having a kho-kho competition and that I should go and watch. "Sure!" I said. I imagined a bunch of students sitting in the auditorium, huddling over boards and game pieces. I'll stay for a few minutes, say hi to my students, and head back to the staffroom, I thought.

After teaching third period, Yogesh, Dave, Apeksha, Adarash, and I headed to the competition. "It's at the third ground," Yogesh told me. The third ground? That's just a huge field by the hostel. Students are playing board games there? On the other side of the bridge connecting the third ground to the rest of the school, we saw a mass of students surrounding a playing field marked with white powder, much like a football field. We got closer to find students in team uniforms running and chasing each other down a line of other squatting team members. Each time a player was tagged out, the audience wooped and hollered. I tried to figure out what the point of the game was by watching, but after a few minutes, I just felt more confused.

I found Dhirenbhai, the computer teacher, standing on the opposite side of the field, so I went over and asked him to explain the rules to me, and it all started to make sense. Here are the rules in a nutshell: How to play kho-kho

We came when the first half of the finals were underway, and the Kadod team, made up mostly of juniors and seniors, were the chasers. The opposing team finished the 7-minute half tagging out 4 members of the opposing team. Here’s a picture taken of the Kadod team during half-time as they kept repeated to themselves over and over again all they needed to do was to prevent 4 of their teammates from being tagged out to win.
The whistle signaled the start of the second half. There was shouting. There was diving. And there were some very close calls. Two Kadod players were tagged out within the first 2 minutes of the half. I could feel a wave of anxiety spread over the onlookers. But then Jaunti, Kadod’s star player, stepped out onto the field. Even in the wet mud, Jaunti was able to maneuver swiftly away from chasers, making split-second decisions to cross over the line to avoid falling into traps. One minute passed, then two, and then three. Out of frustration, players of the other team began lunging at Jaunti desperately. Each time he was able to avoid begin tagged, Kadod fans would jump and cheer to push him on. The final whistle blew, and Kadod was victorious 4-2! All at once, the students rushed the field and lifted the players onto their shoulders. It was an awesome display of school spirit.

With this victory, Kadod will play in the district competitions on August 30th. Since most of you readers are probably new to this sport, you have no other team to root for besides Kadod, so wish them luck!


Mallory Shan said...

The terminologies make this game seems like Quidditch on land.

Grace said...

looks like fun :D

zaid said...

hmmmm i miss my school now i am in usa ......

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