Kho-Kho is one of the most famous traditional games in India, which can be played by men, women or children of all ages. Physical fitness and speed are the requisites of this game. A modified form of the ancient 'run chase', Kho-Kho can be played in a small area, 27 m by 15 m of even ground, rectangular in shape. The only equipment required are two poles. The duration of the game is around 40 minutes.
The game Kho-Kho is played between two teams of twelve players each. Nine players are allowed to take the field at a time. An innings consists of chasing and running turns of 7 minutes each. Each team takes turns in chasing and defending. Eight players of the chasing team sit on the central lane alternately, facing in the other direction. The ninth player, an active chaser, stands by one of the posts ready to start chasing. Members of the chasing team are to dismiss their opponents from the game by touching them with their palms, without committing a foul. The defending team in the game tries to play out the prescribed 7 minutes and the chasers are constantly engaged in the effort to dismiss them.If the defender goes out of the prescribed line, he goes out automatically.
If the defender is touched by an active chaser with his palm without committing a foul, if he goes out of the limits on his own, or if he enters the limit late, he may be dismissed. Defenders can move on either side of the central lane but an active chaser cannot change the direction to which he is committed, namely the direction he was facing when seated. However, an active chaser can alternate with a seated chaser, by touching him from behind by palm, and uttering the word 'kho' loudly, and the chase is kept up through a series of 'khos' as the chase continues with a relay of chasers. An interval of 5 minutes is allowed at the end of an innings and one of 2 minutes is allowed in between the turns.
The Kho-Kho Federation of India (K.K.F.I.) is the chief sports body for this game and it has branches in all states.