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Field Hockey

2008-11-05 16:25:00 COC Website

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The field hockey game of the Daur ethnic group is a typical type of the traditional game and a unique item of Chinese sports.

According to historical records, in the Tang Dynasty, there was a popular game called "ball game on foot" quite similar to modern-day field hockey. But as time went on, the game was almost lost among other ethnic groups of China than the Daur minority, in which it was carried on and further developed.

The hockey stick of the traditional Daur game is made of fine oak tree wood from trees with crooked roots and straight trunks after grinding and polishing processes. The ball is as big as a baseball. There are usually three ball types: wooden ones, hairy ones and fiery ones. And bone balls are occasionally used. Wooden balls are made of polished oak tree wood; hairy balls are made of twisted threads of domestic and wild animal hair; and fiery balls are made of hardened white fungi on birch trees. The ball is hollow inside, with several holes on the hard shell and a pine torch is placed within. The ball remains lighted after the torch is ignited. Such balls are ideal for nighttime games.

The traditional Daur field hockey is usually held among clans and villages during grand festivals, gatherings or slack seasons. A piece of plain grassland or an open area in a village is often chosen as the competition arena, with no set rules for the size of the ground. A goal is set up on both ends of the ground. The two opposing teams are supposed to have the same number of players. The team scored more goals is the winner.

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