Kho-Kho can be played by men, women, and children of all ages. The game requires a very small piece of evenly surfaced ground, rectangular in shape, and 27m by 15m. The only equipment required are the two poles. The game lasts no more than 37 minutes. There will be Two Teams as usual.
Each team consists of twelve players, but only nine players take the field for a contest. A match consists of two innings. An innings consists of chasing and running turns of 7 minutes each. Eight members of the chasing team sit in their eight squares on the central lane, alternately facing the opposite direction, while the ninth member is an active chaser, and stands at either of the posts, ready to begin the pursuit. Members of the chasing team have to put their opponent out, touching them with their palms, but without committing a foul. All the action in Kho-Kho is provided by the defenders, who try to play out the 7 minutes time, and the chasers who try to dismiss them.
A defender can be dismissed in three ways:
- If he is touched by an active chaser with his palm without committing a foul,
- If he goes out of the limits on his own,
- If he enters the limit late.
Defenders enter the limit, in batches of three. After the third and last defender of batch is out, the next batch must enter the limits, before a ‘kho’ is given by the successful active chaser. Defenders have full freedom of movement on both sides of the central lane, but the active chaser cannot change the direction to which he is committed. He cannot cross the central lane. An active chaser can change position with a seated chaser, by touching him from behind by palm, and uttering the word ‘kho’ loudly, and simultaneously, chase or attack is build up through a series of ‘khos’ as the chase continues with a relay of chasers.
At the end of the innings there is an interval of 5 minutes and an interval of 2 minutes, in between the turns. Each side alternates between chasing and defense.