npressfetimg-1309.png

Ultimate Kho Kho — Welcome revival or departure from roots? – Sportstar

A solitary point, won with only seven seconds remaining on the clock, separated Odisha Juggernauts from Telugu Yoddhas in the final of Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK).

The nail-biting final justified its billing as an edge-of-the-seat, made-for-television extravaganza. For over three weeks at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune, kho kho enjoyed a degree of spotlight it may have rarely experienced before.

“Our philosophy has always been that it is first a television product. The idea was to package it as a one-hour appointment viewing, competing against news, movies, and entertainment channels,” says Tenzing Niyogi, the CEO and League Commissioner of UKK. That explains the rule tweaks, the elevated difficulty levels, the drama created consciously around the blink-and-you-miss-it nature of the sport, and technological innovations such as the use of the spider camera, which found use in indoor sports for the first time in India. The purpose is to add life to a sport with coloured kits and shorter formats.

The changes

For the uninitiated, there are some fundamental differences between the kho kho that is played indigenously and the kho kho that was played in UKK.

The first difference was the move from mud ( mitti) to mat. Although artificial surfaces are used for national tournaments, that switch has not quite percolated to the grassroots, making UKK’s use of the mat seem unique.

ALSO READ – Rahul Bose: ‘Don’t want a single national player to leave rugby due to lack of money’

The second change was the reduction of the size of the field. Traditionally, the two poles in kho kho are 24 metres apart. UKK brought that down to 19m. The space crunch allows room for only seven attackers as opposed to the traditional nine. Confining the action to a shorter field of play resulted in players needing to be quicker, more agile and durable, but the shorter field coupled with the hard mat also increases the risk of injury.

The third and perhaps the most sweeping alteration to the game has been the introduction of the Wazir (equivalent of the Bishop in chess).

The Kho Kho Federation of India sampled this in leagues in the run-up to UKK. An attacker can traditionally move only in one direction but a Wazir is allowed to attack on both sides. The attacking team is allowed a ‘powerplay’ in each innings to field two wazirs, which makes a defender’s life harder.

“A defender who was able to spend four minutes is finding it challenging to spend even one. The one who actually does (spend longer than one minute) becomes a star,” Sanjeev Sharma, the head coach of Gujarat Giants, which finished as the third best team, explains.

Nurturer, aficionado: Shrirang Inamdar at his residence in Pune. Inamdar, secretary of the Nav Maharashtra Sangh, a kho kho club in Maharashtra, believes the kho kho played in the UKK is devoid of the jeevanaachi mulya – the basic life values that make up the soul of the game.
| Photo Credit: LAVANYA LAKSHMI NARAYANAN

“This format requires incredible levels of fitness. The ones who will crack the fitness bit, the ones who will have muscular strength, will succeed in this format.”

That’s another stark departure from the agile, leaner bodies that are usually preferred, given that the name of the game is to dodge. One might think that these changes sway …….

Source: https://sportstar.thehindu.com/other-sports/ultimate-kho-kho-2022-ukk-odisha-juggernauts-telugu-yoddhas-pune-maharashtra/article65898347.ece

A solitary point, won with only seven seconds remaining on the clock, separated Odisha Juggernauts from Telugu Yoddhas in the final of Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK).

The nail-biting final justified its billing as an edge-of-the-seat, made-for-television extravaganza. For over three weeks at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune, kho kho enjoyed a degree of spotlight it may have rarely experienced before.

“Our philosophy has always been that it is first a television product. The idea was to package it as a one-hour appointment viewing, competing against news, movies, and entertainment channels,” says Tenzing Niyogi, the CEO and League Commissioner of UKK. That explains the rule tweaks, the…….

A solitary point, won with only seven seconds remaining on the clock, separated Odisha Juggernauts from Telugu Yoddhas in the final of Ultimate Kho Kho (UKK).

The nail-biting final justified its billing as an edge-of-the-seat, made-for-television extravaganza. For over three weeks at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune, kho kho enjoyed a degree of spotlight it may have rarely experienced before.

“Our philosophy has always been that it is first a television product. The idea was to package it as a one-hour appointment viewing, competing against news, movies, and entertainment channels,” says Tenzing Niyogi, the CEO and League Commissioner of UKK. That explains the rule tweaks, the…….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.