15 Indian outdoor Games that are on the Brink of Extinction: Here is a List!

These once-popular children's games have been the victims of the virtual generation and must be revived before they are lost forever

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Children playing in India, Pixabay

April 25, 2017: Lagori, Kancha, Gilli-danda, Kho Kho – any of these names sound familiar? If you’re in your 40s or 50s, this mention is bound to evoke a torrent of nostalgia for the memories of summer days spent playing outdoors with friends. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, your parents and grandparents could tell you a tale or two about why the mere mention of these games makes them teary-eyed.

But what about the children of this generation have the same memories who prefer to spend their time playing video games in a virtual world? They should know about a few such forgotten yet interesting games.

1. Kancha or Marbles: This game is still a popular among kids in rural areas. The game is played with round glass marbles. The rules are simple; the motive is to collect as many marbles as possible by shooting and striking other marbles with the ones you have. The game can be played by any number of people.

Childern playing with marbles, Wikimedia

2. Chain: Another classic children’s game that is losing popularity now is chain. The game can be played by any number of people, usually not more than 10. The game consists of a ‘denner’, whose mission is to catch the other players. If the denner catches another player, the player becomes part of a chain formed by holding hands and then has to help the denner to catch the remaining players.

Kids playing chain, Wikimedia

3. Lagori or Pithu: A once-popular game among kids in India, It involves a ball and a pile of flat stones stacked on top of each other. One member of a team throws the ball at the stack to knock the stones over and the team then tries to restore the pile of stones while the opposing team ( known as the hitters) throws the ball at them. If the ball touches a person, he is out and his team has to continue without him. This game is played by two teams, any number of members.

lagori, Wikimedia

4. Hopscotch or Stapoo: Hopscotch can be played by one or more people. It is a popular playground game in which players have to throw a small object into numbered spaces of a pattern of rectangles marked on the ground and then hop or jump through the spaces on one or two legs to retrieve the object.

Hopscotch, Wikimedia

5. Chhupam Chuupai or Hide-n-Seek: Hide and Seek is a very popular children’s game that can be played by any umber of players. The players hide themselves in a marked area, to be found by one or more seekers/denners. The denner closes his eyes and counts till a certain number, after which he looks for the hidden players.

Children playing hide-and-seek, Wikimedia

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6. Chor-Sipahi or Tag: Chor-Sipahi, the Indian equivalent of the western game “Tag” is played by two teams with any number of people. One team is of thieves (chor) and the other team is of sipahi (police). The sipahi team tries and catch the chor, after which the turn changes (that is, the chor become the sipahi and vice versa).

children playing tag, Wikimedia

7. Four Corners: Four corners is a game often played by primary school children. The game needs 5 players. Four corners are designated, and one of the players is chosen as being “it”. The rule is; the remaining players have to swap corners without being caught by “it”. If a player is caught by “it” or is without a free corner to stand in, he has to become “it”.

8. Lattoo: Lattoo is a game that can be played by one or more people.It involves spinning a wooden top (lattoo), which has grooves in it lower half and a nail at the bottom, on which it spins. A thick string is wrapped around the grooves on lower half. Pulling the string makes the top spin.

a boy spinning a lattoo, Wikimedia

9.Gilli-Danda: Gilli Danda is a game very similar to cricket and baseball; played in two teams. The game is played with a small piece of wood reduced on both sides known as gilli and a large piece of wood that is used to hit the gilli known as danda. The aim of the game is to hit the gilli as far as possible.

Playing Gilli-danda, Wikimedia

10. Langdi: Langdi is a popular children’s game, especially in the state of Maharashtra. The game consists of two teams, each team has 12 players. The team that wins the toss defends first. A player is sent by the opposing team to tag as many defenders as he can, while hopping on one foot. The team that tags the most defenders ends up victorious.

Langdi, Wikimedia

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11. Dog and the Bone: The game consists of two teams of usually 5-10 members each, and an object such as a bottle or handkerchief, which is designated as the “bone.” A player from each team has to come forward and attempt to take the bone placed at the centre of the playing area back to his team. The player who fails to take the bone will go out of the game.

playing dog and the bone, Wikimedia

12. Maram Pitthi: A game, played in two teams, is very similar to dodgeball. The teams scatter around in a large area and players from a team try to hit players of the opposing team with a ball (usually made of sponge). If a player is hit, he is out of the game. Passing between players of the same team is allowed.

Maram pitthi or dodgeball, Wikimedia

13. Vish Amrit: It is the Indian version of the game “lock and key”, played by any number of players. The mission of the denner is to touch the other players, giving them vish. As soon as vish is given the person stays there until teammates give him/her amrit. The game ends when all players have been caught and no one is left to give amrit.

children playing Vish amrit, Wikimedia

14. Kho-Kho: The game consists of two teams of nine players each, who are required to chase down and tag the players of the opposite team to win the game. The chasing team sends out nine players onto the field, who have to sit in a straight line with alternate players facing opposite sides. The chasers have to make sure they catch the runners who enter the field one at a time before time runs out.

Kho Kho, Wikimedia

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15. Kabaddi: Indian origin game Kabaddi was on its way to extinction, but is now regaining its popularity. There are several forms of the game, but most involve two teams of seven players each. The teams have a designated area of their own. Players have to raid the other team’s area and try and touch one of their players, hence making the touched player “out.”

Kabaddi, Wikimedia

It is time we make sure this very interesting games don’t go extinct, It is important for today’s virtual generation to acknowledge these amazing games and participate and enjoy these.

– by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

  • Deoraj Chaturvedi

    Kabaddi has now become the second most watched sport on Indian Television