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The games which we played or non-Olympic project

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Hamid Ismailov Hamid Ismailov | 14:52 UK time, Thursday, 24 November 2011

With the forthcoming London Olympic Games next summer, BBC World Service is preparing a great deal of programs about and around these games.

What I'm going to talk about today are the games which would never make it to the Olympics, but which are dear to our hearts.

There are games, which, I'm sure, you and me were playing in our childhood with no less devotion than football or basketball, but these games might be so local, that even in the next village or in the next country hardly anyone knows about their existence.

Today I'll tell you about two of such games, which are played in the suburbs of Tashkent - Uzbekistan's capital.

The first one is called Chillyak and played outside.

For that game you should have two thin sticks which you could find anywhere: one of the bat-size, another one of the pencil-size.

The number of players is either two or - if there are more - they are divided into two teams.
You mark a circle on the ground and the game starts by playing 'keep it up' by keeping the small stick in the air with the big one.

The player who has the most hits without dropping the small stick starts the game.

Standing in the circle, he raises the small stick from the ground with the end of the big stick and hits it as hard as possible.

Another player, who is out in the field, tries to catch the small stick.

If he catches it, he goes inside the circle and the game continues with the players swapping places.

Yet, if the second player doesn't catch the stick, he or she throws it from the place where it was dropped towards the circle and the first player tries again to hit the stick.

This time the second player has no right to catch the small stick.

He just watches for how far the small stick will fly.

The first player then measures the distance with the big stick.

The game lasts until one player reaches the agreed number of yard-sticks (50-100).

If the second player throws the small stick and it drops within the circle, the first player is out of the game.

((In both cases when the main part of the game is over (one player reaching 50 yard-sticks or another player dropping the small stick into the circle) the winner once again juggles the small stick with the help of the big one and then hits the same number of consecutive times the small stick to a certain distance.))

The punishment of the looser is to run that distance on one breath, making a 'zooooo' noise.
The winner runs along monitoring that the looser doesn't cheat.

Here's a video of this game which was produced by Johannes Dell with the help of Sirojiddin Tolibov.

Another game is called Walnuts and played by any reasonable number of players, but usually - three to four people.

Every player puts onto the ground one walnut (usually unpeeled, green one), which is called 'gun' - in one line, leaving 1-1,5 m distance between the guns.

Then the players throw from the same starting line their small, well-polished walnuts, called 'soqqa' towards the guns.

The aim is either hit one of the guns (in which case you both gain the gun and the right for a first go) or to lay your soqqa closest to any gun.

So when everyone had thrown their soqqa's the player who either hit the gun or is the closest to it starts the game.

If two or more people hit different guns, the closest to the next gun goes first.

Further complication is when the first player hits the gun' and the second player hits the first players soqqa.

In that case the first player is out of the game and passes his gained gun onto the second player.

If the third player hits in the last scenario the second's soqqa, he or she takes all.
But let's assume that the game starts in a dull mode and nobody hits any guns.

In that case the player whose 'soqqa' is the closest to any guns goes first: he hits either the nearest gun to gain it, or another player's soqqa to get him out of the game.

The game lasts either until all guns are lost to different players, or all soqqa's apart from the winning one are out of the game.

There are more complicated rules for the 'endspiel' when one gun and two soqqa's are left in the game, but that one for an advanced level.

When you watch the video all these complicated rules will hopefully make sense.

So take walnuts and try this game in your family.

I'm sure you had the games which are not widely known.

Why you don't share them with me, so along with the majestic Olympic Games we could have our nice and small season of non-Olympic Games...

You can write them up, you can take pictures of them or make a video and send to me, so all of us can share the games which we played in our childhood.


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