All players, coaches, referees, timekeepers or any person is referred in these rules must know the rules of the game and abide by the rules.

General Rules:

  1. A team consist of 12 Players, one Coach and other Supporting Staff. 9 Players will take the Field in the beginning to start the match.
  2. An inning will consist of Chasing and Defense turns which shall be of 9 minutes each for Men/Women.
  3. The Captain/Coach shall give record of names of the players with their respective uniform number at the beginning of the turn. 3 Runners shall enter in the Court in a batch of three for their Defense. Subsequently, next 3 Runners shall enter the Court through their Entry Zone only. When third/last Defender of a batch is declared out, next 3 Runners shall be inside the Court before two KHOS are given. Those Runners who fail to enter within the time lapse of two KHOS shall be declared out for having entered late (Late Entry).
    • The Runners shall continue to enter the Court for Defense in the same batch until the end of the turn. The order of batch shall not be changed during a turn. If a Defender is declared out by showing RED CARD by the Referee, a substitute is allowed to Defending side and the substituted player shall enter with the same batch, if they have to come inside in the same turn.
    • The Runners who may enter early shall not be declared out but called back by Referee/Scorer – 2.
    • An Attacker who put out the last Defender of the batch shall not chase the new batch of Defenders. He shall give KHO, if attacks, it shall be Foul.
    • After giving a KHO, if any of the Runners enter the Court, Attacker is allowed to chase the Defender. It is not obligatory to given two KHOS to chase a Defender who has already entered.
    • As soon as the first Defender of a batch is out, next batch of Runners shall occupy the Entry Zone. Each side shall enter its Runners to the Court through their Entry Zone only.

Game rules:

  1. Any 8 Chasers shall occupy the Chaser Block facing the Side Line in such a way that no two adjacent Chaser facing the same Side Line. The ninth Chaser (Attacker) shall stand in either of the Free Zones to start the chase. Once Free Zone is opted by an Attacker to start the attack, then he should not be allowed to change the same.
  2. After the commencement of a turn, no Chaser shall leave the Chaser Block without getting a KHO or change the face. If he does so, it is a Foul and repetition of the same will amount to misbehaviour. Referee/Umpire can compel the Chaser(s) to sit in a manner which was assumed at the commencement of the turn.
  3. At the commencement of a turn, the first batch of three Defenders shall be inside the Field and remaining Runners shall occupy the seats meant for them. After a Defender is out, he shall occupy the seat meant for him near the End Line.
  4. An Attacker cannot cross the Central Lane between the Post Lines to go to the other half of the Court or to the Free Zone.
  5. A foul shall not be declared if an Attacker, while chasing, touches/crosses that line of the Central Lane which lies on the side of his Chasing half. However, if an Attacker while touching or at the time of touching or as a result of action in putting out the Defender does so, Foul shall be declared and Defender shall not be declared out.
  6. If a KHO is given, it shall be given from behind a Chaser by touching the Chaser by hand between an imaginary shoulder line and waist line and uttering the word “KHO” with a sufficiently loud tone so that the Defender and officials can hear. A Chaser shall not get up without getting a KHO.
    • If the action of uttering the word KHO precedes the action of touching by hand, then it shall be deemed as Foul.
    • A Single action of touching will not be deemed as a Foul. However, only uttering ‘KHO’ and do not touching a Chaser by hand, will be considered as Foul. If an Attacker touches a Chaser sitting in the Chaser Block nearest to the Post, when Defender is near the Post, KHO must be given.
    • If an Attacker utters any word other than the word ‘KHO’, it will be deemed as Foul. Uttering the word ‘KHO’ or any word resembling ‘KHO’ by any of the Chasers will also be treated as Foul.
  7. The following three actions of an Attacker where a ‘KHO’ is given will be allowed. However, the feet of an Attacker shall not go beyond the Cross Lane.
    • An Attacker’s front foot need not necessarily be in touch with Cross Lane.
    • An Attacker may be in the Cross Lane.
    • An Attacker’s at least one foot should be in touch with the Cross Lane all the time, while the other portion of his body may go beyond that Cross Lane.
    • After touching a Chaser except nearest to the Post (1st& 8th Chaser) if an Attacker moves away beyond the Cross Lane, he shall be deemed to have continued his attack and he shall not be allowed to utter ‘KHO’ from the distance.
      However, if an Attacker moves along with the Cross Lane toward the Side Line without committing any Foul, he may come back and give ‘KHO’.
    • An Attacker cannot rest or support on a Chaser to put out a Defender. It will be deemed as Foul.
  8. An Attacker shall not give a KHO to the extended arm, leg or any part of the body tilted towards him by a Chaser. Touching the back of the Chaser should not be insisted upon.
  9. After giving a KHO, an Attacker shall cease to be so and shall sit down immediately on the Chaser Block of the Chaser to whom a KHO was given.
    • After giving a KHO, it shall not be a Foul, if the Chaser while sitting loses the contact of the Cross Lane.
    • The natural time needed to sit on the Chaser Block after giving a KHO must be given. However, this action should not obstruct the Defender and if obstructed, a Foul shall be declared.
    • After receiving a KHO, an Attacker can touch a Defender before leaving the Chaser Block.
  10. After getting a KHO, the Chaser will immediately be an Attacker and shall move towards the half that he is facing and shall go in the direction which he has taken by going beyond the Cross Lane of the Chaser Block or turning his Shoulder line towards any of the Posts. He cannot recede. As long as any part of the foot of an Attacker is touching the ground of a Cross Lane, he is not supposed to go beyond that Cross Lane.
    • While moving on Cross Lane, if an Attacker at the time of the chase, slides/steps back, is not a Foul.
    • If an Attacker steps back at the time of getting up after a Flat Dive is allowed.
  11. An Attacker shall take the direction to which he turns his shoulder line. An Attacker, while going in a particular direction turns his shoulder line through more than a right angle to the direction which he has already taken, it shall be a Foul.
  12. During the execution of Post Dive, dragging of supporting leg and turning of the shoulder line more than 90 ° shall not be a Foul, but touching or crossing Central Lane by any part of the body will be a Foul.
  13. An Attacker shall take direction according to one of the actions, whichever he performs first.
  14. Once an Attacker has taken a direction, he has to go to that direction till he reaches the Free Zone unless he gives a KHO before that. An Attacker shall not go to the other half of the Court unless he turns around the Post through the Free Zone.
  15. The rules about taking the Direction and Receding shall not be applicable in the FREE ZONE.
  16. The Chaser/s should sit in a manner which does not obstruct the Defender/s. If a Defender is touched as a result of such an obstruction, Defender shall not be declared out. If chaser does so, it shall be declared as Foul.
  17. The deliberate action of moving/tilting shoulder, thigh or any other part of the body by a Chaser towards a Defender who is running near the Central Lane, which may cause to obstruct or obstructed the Defender, it shall be treated as a Foul and he shall be warned by Referee/Umpire.
  18. During a turn, an Attacker may go out of Court but he shall follow all the rules about taking Direction and Receding even when he is out of Court.
  19. An Attacker shall not be insisted on entering the play Field/Court through the Free Zone if he goes beyond the extended imaginary Post Line. Rules about taking Direction and Receding are not applicable even when an Attacker is in the area (towards Free Zone side or behind the Post) of imaginary extended Post Line.
  20. A Defender cannot touch a Chaser. If he does so, he shall be warned once verbally in a turn. If he repeats the same, he shall be declared out.
  21. A Defender shall be declared out if he is touched by hand by an Attacker without violating any rule or if he goes out of Field. he shall be declared out by a short blow of a whistle.
    • Deliberately pushing, catching, pulling even by uniform or hitting the Defender will be treated as misbehaviour.
    • While Chasing a Defender, if an Attacker after violating any rule, pushes a Defender out of the Field, the Defender shall not be declared out.
  22. If a Defender is put out as a result of a Foul or a Foul is committed immediately as a result of the action taken implies that there should not be a time lapse between Foul and action while putting a Defender out, he shall not be declared out. The protection from being out due to a Foul is applicable to an Active Defender.
  23. If an Attacker/Chaser violates any rules, the Referee/Umpire shall declare a Foul by blowing a short whistle continuously and shall immediately compel an Attacker to go in the direction opposite to that of which he is going. Immediately on hearing a signal given by the Referee/Umpire by his whistle, an Attacker shall go to the direction indicated by the Referee/Umpire and if the Active Defender thereby becomes out, he shall not be declared out and an Attacker shall have to follow the direction indicated by the Referee/Umpire. He is not compelled to give a KHO.
  24. If a Foul committed either by an Attacker or Chaser, does not give any advantage whatsoever to the Chasing side in their chase and disadvantage to the Defenders, it shall not be declared as Foul. The Foul shall be ignored.
  25. An Attacker cannot change his Direction by simply kicking the Post by his leg. if he does so, it will be declared as Foul.

The manager, coach and substitutes shall sit in the place provided for them.
The following acts are punishable:

  1. Persistent addressing to officials concerning their decisions.
  2. Making derogatory remarks to officials.
  3. Committing actions tending to influence decisions of officials.
  4. Making derogatory acts or personal remarks to the opponents.
  5. Making derogatory acts or personal remarks to the spectators.
  6. Deliberate coaching during the game from outside the Ground.
  7. Leaving the Play Field without permission of the Referee during the match and before the declaration of the result.

A referee shall take action according to the gravity of their offence.


  1. For a minor offence such as an argument with the opponents, spectators or officials and shouting etc., – a verbal warning shall be given by the Referee. In case of repetition of the offence, a warning shall be given by showing a Yellow Card.
  2. For a serious offence, the Referee may disqualify the concerned players/manager/ coach for rest of the match by showing a Red Card.
  3. If a player is shown Yellow Card twice in a match, he shall be forbidden from the participation of rest of the match and for the next match also of that particular tournament. If he is shown Yellow Card in 2 different matches in a particular tournament, he shall be forbidden from the particular for the next match to that particular tournament.
  4. If a player is shown Red Card in a match, he shall be forbidden from participation for the rest of the match and for the next match also of that particular tournament.


  1. The Referee shall perform the following duties:
    • He shall check the Score Sheet, Ground etc. and take the toss before starting the match (as explained in the Rules of The Game.) He shall help the Umpires to perform their duties. In case of any difference of decision between them, he shall give his final decision.
    • If any player intentionally obstructs the conduct of the play or behaves in an ungentlemanly or mischievous manner or intentionally violets any of the rules, the Referee at his discretion shall penalize the defaulting player/s. The penalty at his discretion shall range according to the default from warning a defaulting player or the entire team to the extent of prohibiting participation in further play of the match.
    • If a Defender is shown a Red Card by the Referee to penalize his offence, he will be declared ‘out’ and shall be forbidden from the participation for rest of that particular match and for the next match too. His substitute will be allowed to play in the same batch if the batch is to come/play again in that particular turn.
    • The Referee shall instruct the Time Keeper to start the turn after checking the readiness of both teams and officials.
    • He shall synchronize his Stopwatch with the Stopwatch of the Time Keeper and shall check the time after each turn.
    • He shall check the scores of the sides at the end of each turn from the Score Sheet and also announce the result of the match by checking the Score Sheet after the completion of the match.
    • He shall alone keep the time during the additional inning of a Minimum chase.
    • The referee will communicate and coordinate amongst officials.
    • He shall be over all responsible for the smooth conduct of a match.
    • The referee shall move in the Lobby and shall conduct the game. For any reason, if they enter the Field, then they should come back to the Lobby immediately without obstructing the progress of the match. They shall give decisions by helping each other. Umpire shall declare a Foul and Compel Attacker to act up to rules, if Attacker does not follow the rules. If there is any unfair means in the Ground, they will warn the concerned players verbally and show Yellow Card and shall bring it to the Referee’s notice for further action, if necessary.


The Time Keeper shall start the turn by blowing a long whistle followed by a short whistle, after getting the direction from the Referee. The end of the turn shall be declared by him also by blowing a long whistle. He shall enter the Lobby and declare the completion of each minute of play loudly by raising his arm holding a time indicator above head so as to display to all concerned.


He shall note down and check the names and t-shirt number of the players. He shall record the performance of the players of both the teams. At the end of the match, he shall perpare the Final Scores of the two sides and the result of the match. He shall get the Score Sheet duly signed by all the officials. After completing the Score Sheet, he shall hand it over to the Referee for checking and declaring the result of the match.

He shall record the order of the Defenders along with their batch. He shall keep a record of the Defenders who are OUT (along with the attacker who puts out) and asked them to sit in the place provided for them. He shall record the process of substitution. The coach should inform him for the desired substitution, mentioning the T-Shirt number of player/s being substituted OUT & IN. He shall inform the Referee about the substitution being done. The Runners who may enter early shall not be declared out but called back by him.


Kho-Kho head: Aashi Maheshwari, contact her at (+91) 9924117051 or