HomeTraditional GamesKho Kho Game History, Ground Measurement, Terminologies, Laws, Game Rules

Kho Kho Game History, Ground Measurement, Terminologies, Laws, Game Rules



Cricket, soccer, volleyball, basketball, and others originated in other countries. The Indian sports industry adopted these games much later. For example, people began playing cricket during the British era. So, most games that you see at present are from other places. 

There are only a few sports native to the Indian land. For example, Kabaddi, chess, and others have originated here. And now, almost the entire world plays it. One such game which still prevails in our culture is Kho Kho. 

It is quite a unique game, with the rules and regulations different from others. This article will study more about how Kho Kho came into existence, the Kho Kho ground measurements, and more. 

Kho Kho Roots in the Pages of History 

Kho Kho history
Kho Kho history

From young children to young people, everyone likes to play Kho Kho game. It is one of India’s native games. Its roots are deeply embedded into the pages of history, which is why Kho Kho is called an ancient game. 

Have you ever played tag games? 

If yes, then you won’t have any difficulty in understanding how Kho Kho came into form. Legend says that the sport was famous during Mahabharata. On the 13th day of the great Kurukshetra battle, Guru Dronacharya adopted a defensive action to fight seven warriors. His tactics and moves resembled the ring play rule. 

It is from there Kho Kho began popular in Indian society. And now, almost everyone loves to play this game. If you take a sneak peek at the rural schools, you will see how teachers improve kids’ agility and strength with this game. 

In 1987, the Asian Kho Kho Federation came into existence. After that, in 1996, India played in the first international match in Kolkata. 

Kho Kho Game- a Brief Overview 

The Kho Kho game is played out in an open field between two teams. Each team has twelve players in all. Nine players will sit on the field in a single line. The rest three players will run and chase the opponent team. 

One can play this game on the normal field like parks, lawns, and more. Also, it is possible to play it on a professional Kho Kho field where one won’t have to make the ground measurements. So, if you want to learn this game for participating in championships, register yourself with the Federation. Other than that, you can play it with your friends for fun on any ground. 

Some Terminologies to Know about Kho Kho

Kho Kho Terminologies
Kho Kho Terminologies

For understanding this sport, you need to learn the terminologies. They are not rocket science. So, you won’t have to face a lot of struggles. Below we have discussed the fundamental terms that you may need later on.

  1. Chaser: A chaser sits on the line with alternative backs. He/she always tries to catch the running player from the opponent team.
  2. Pole: To mark the horizontal boundary, two long stands are erected at the extreme ends. These poles can be a long bamboo stick.
  3. Central lane: This consists of two long lines having a minimum width and running from one pole to the other.
  4. Runner: A runner is that player who will be running from in between the chasers.
  5. Kho: When one chaser touches another team, they speak the word “Kho” to pass over the control.
  6. Early outfit: This is when a chaser gets up from the original seat before someone says, Kho.
  7. Cross lane: Two vertically parallel lines will form the cross lane. It will cut the central lane, thereby forming a cross.
  8. Late Kho: This move happens when a chaser gets up from his/her position after another player says, Kho.
  9. Lobby: This is the free area around the playground where players play Kho.
  10. Free zone: No directional rule is applicable here. It is the area behind the poles. A runner can run in any direction.
  11. Changing the direction: This is a defaulter move because the chaser moves in an opposite direction.
  12. Square: Multiple cross lanes will cut the central lane and form small squares. Chasers will sit in each square only.

Kho Kho Field Measurements and Size

Kho Kho Ground Measurements
Kho Kho Ground Measurements

Before you start playing the game, you must know more about Kho Kho ground measurement. The field is usually 29 meters in length and 16 meters in breadth. A distance of 2.75 meters needs to be kept free from the shorter sides of the rectangular field. So, the playing area will be 23.5 X 16 meters. 

The two poles will have a height of 120 cm and the perimeter must vary between 30 to 40 cm. There will be two parallel lines, running along the 29 meters rectangular edge. Along the vertical plane, you have to draw eight parallel lanes. The distance between two lines of one vertical lane is 30 cm and the distance between two adjacent lanes is 230 cm. 

Kho Kho Game Rules 

Kho Kho Game Rules
Kho Kho Game Rules

The gaming rules of Kho Kho are simple. But if you don’t understand them properly, you will get a foul card. In this section, we have shed light on the basic rules of this sport.

  • Two teams play the game, where each team will have twelve members. 
  • From twelve members, nine players will be chasers and the rest three will be runners. 
  • There will be two innings in an entire game. 
  • Every inning will last for 9 minutes maximum and it will include both cashing and running. 
  • All the chasers sit on the central line. If one chaser is facing the front, the adjacent chaser will face the opposite side. 
  • A chaser can touch the nearest player of his/her team and say Kho. This will transfer the control to the next player. 
  • If team A’s chaser touches team B’s runner first, team A will be the winner. 
  • Toss usually decides which team will be the chaser and which one will be the runner. 
  • Winning also depends on the score each side will make. 

Skills Needed to Play Kho Kho

Kho Kho Game Skills
Kho Kho Game Skills

A defender should be flexible and quick. He/she needs to defend the runner from his team so that the opponent chaser doesn’t catch him. A good reflex and a sense of time are the two main skills that will help a defender to excel. 

Similarly, a chaser must have focused attention. Catching the defender is the main job. One chaser can pass the right to catch the defender to another member by saying, Kho. 

Foul in the Kho Kho Game

Foul in the Kho Kho Game
Foul in the Kho Kho Game

A foul move will happen when a chaser violates the game rules. For instance, if he suddenly changes the direction, the referee can give him a foul card. Similarly, while saying ‘Kho’ the chaser needs to touch hands with another player. If he fails to do so, it will be a foul move. 


Kho Kho is a very popular game in India as well as other Asian countries. The game lasts for nine minutes only. But the fun level is super high. Chasing the runner, passing the control, and keeping oneself safe are full of thrill and excitement. So, if you are on a picnic with your cousins, you can try out this game. Also, Kho Kho has now got international recognition. Thus, you can play on this level also, like a professional Kho Kho player. 

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