The inaugural season of Ultimate Kho Kho is here and there’s a lot of excitement around what the indigenous sport has to offer to modern sports enthusiasts. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the league is simply a shift of Kho Kho from mud to mat. It has the potential to become a jamboree of fast-paced action mixed with drama and pure athleticism.

Here we will be throwing light on some aspects of the league that can make you more aware of what to expect from the next big thing in Indian sporting history.

Team Composition

A squad consist of a minimum of 20 players and a playing team consists of 15 Players, one Coach, one Assistant Coach, one Manager and other Supporting Staff. However, 7 Attackers and 12 Defenders will take the field at the beginning of the match. All the players must wear the player uniform having numbers printed from 001 to 999 on both sides (front and back).


The game will be played in two Innings. An Inning will consist of Attacking and Defending turns which shall be of 7 minutes each. Each match will consist of two Innings. There shall be an interval after an Inning and a short break between two turns.

League System

In the league system, the winning team will get 3 Points and the losing team will get zero point if the margin is more than 3 points. In case of a tie, both the teams will get 2 Points each. If the winning margin is 3 points or less, then the losing team will have a chance to get 1 point.

If there is a tie in a group league points, the leader in the table will be decided by the Net Score (difference between scores taken and scores given to the opponent) of the concerned teams. The criteria for deciding league standings with multiple teams on the same league points will be who has the most number of wins, followed by the higher average points scored per game and lastly, head-to-head in the league phase between the two teams.

Scoring System

The Attacking team will get 2 points for each successful out without Sky Dive, Pole Dive and Boundary Out or Self Out. However, an additional bonus point can be won if the defender is declared out by executing a Pole or Sky Dive or if the defender goes Out of Field.

The Defending side will get two additional bonus points if any batch survives for 2:30 minutes and plus two bonus points for every 30 seconds they remain on the mat, thereafter. In case of an all-out, which means dismissal of all the Batches in a turn, the attacking team will be awarded 3 bonus points.

Review Rules

Two reviews will be allowed for both teams – one for the first innings and one for the second. Both the Attacking as well as the Defending team can take the review immediately within 15 seconds after the action is completed. However, only the Team Captain or the concerned Defender or Attacker can request the Match Referee for a review. If the review request remains successful, then the review option will be retained, but in case the review request remains unsuccessful, then one of the review options will be forfeited.

Important Terminologies

Boundary: The rectangular area surrounded by the lines parallel to each other and equal to the length and width of the Play Field is known as the boundary.

Post: The strong wooden or fibre post that is perpendicular to the ground and fixed firmly to both ends of the play field.

Central Lane: It is a rectangle in between two posts which divides the play field into two halves.

Cross Lane: Each of the rectangles, measuring 40 cms in width and equivalent to the width of the play field, intersecting the Central Lane at a right angle is called the Cross Lane.

Free Zone: The portion of the field behind the Post Line on either side is known as Free Zone.

Entry Zone: The area marked in the Lobby away from the Boundary Line on both side of the Scorer’s Table is known as Entry Zone. It is meant for the defenders to take entry in the Play Field for their defence.

Perfect Kho: To give Kho, an Attacker should touch the sitting Attacker by his hand from behind him in between the imaginary shoulder line and waist line and then utter the word ‘Kho’ loudly and distinctly. Giving Perfect Kho is a process of transferring duty by one Attacker to another Attacker of the team.

Boundary Out/ Out Of Field: If a Defender loses contact of his feet with the Play Field and goes out, he is said to have gone Boundary Out or Out Of Field.

Wazir: Wazir is an Attacker who does not need to abide by all rules applicable during Attacking except the crossing the Centre Lane and the rules of a ‘Perfect Kho’.

Power Play: It is a period in which two Wazirs can attack during their Attacking Turn.

Minimum Chase: In the knockout matches, if the points are equal for both the teams, an additional Inning shall be played on a minimum chase basis along with Power Play: In this, the Referee will start the turn of this additional Innings and as soon as the first point is scored, the turn shall be closed by the Referee. The time for scoring this first point shall thus be noted. The team who takes less time to score their first point shall be declared the winner of the match. If needed, this process shall continue till the winner is decided.

For the complete rulebook, click here.