Traditional Bhutanese Sport
Archery is the national sport of the Kingdom. Archery was declared the national sport in 1971, when Bhutan became a member of the United. Since then, the popularity of Bhutanese archery has increased both inside and outside Bhutan, with a measure of government promotion. Bhutan also maintains an Olympic archery team. Previously, competitions were held only at dzongkhag and gewog levels, however modernly, archery tournaments and competitions are held throughout the country. Archery is played during religious and secular public holidays in Bhutan, local festivals (tsechu), between public ministries and departments, and between the dzonkhag and the regional teams. Archery tournaments and performances have also become a significant point of interest for tourism in Bhutan.
Archery is a national sport in Bhutan and is organized nationally within the Bhutan Archery Federation. Traditional Bhutanese differs from Olympic standards in technical details such as the placement of the targets and atmosphere. The distance to the target is about 130 metres (430 ft). The relatively small targets are cut from wood and brightly painted, usually measuring about 3 feet (91 cm) tall and 11 inches (28 cm) wide. Traditionally, Bhutanese bows are made of bamboo, and arrows from bamboo or reeds, fletched with feather vanes. Arrows may be painted and tipped with metal arrowheads. The quiver may be wooden, with an animal hide covering and a woven strap.
Khuru (darts) is a traditional Bhutanese sport. It is a popular outdoor team sport often played during festivals and archery tournaments. When playing khuru, heavy wooden darts pointed with a 10 centimetres (3.9 in) nail are thrown at a paperback-sized target 10 metres (33 ft) to 20 metres (66 ft) away.
While playing the game players actually stand near the “Target” as other players are throwing the darts from far away using all their strength. Every time when they hit the paperback-sized target… the players “sing & Dance”.
Khuru is a game that does not need expensive equipment like archery. Anybody can play the game and it’s enjoyable too. A further attraction is that Khuru, played at close quarters, allow spectators to watch every move of the game even the style of the players thus intensifying the sense of competition. The points are counted is the same way as archery.
‘Degor’ is a traditional Bhutanese game which is often mistakenly referred in literatures as a kind of shot put by foreign authors. It differs from shot put in many ways. It is played with a pair of spherical flatstones that are hurled at two targets (pegs) fixed in the ground at a distance of about 20 meters apart. The game is played all over Bhutan, but is normally played more in rural areas. Although there are no restrictions, the game is normally played in Bhutan by men.
The only required equipment for playing the game is a pair of flat spherical stones for each player. The size and weight of the stones differ from player to player depending on his choice and strength. A player can have as many stones of any size as he wants, but can play only two at a time.
Degor can be played as a team game or individual game. If there are three persons, the game is played as on individual gaming basis. If there are four or more persons, it is preferred to be played in two teams that compete against each other. There is no fixed numbers of players on the teams, but too many players make the game slower and cumbersome. So, normally seven players on each team is the maximum number for an ideal game.
Soksom, akin to the javelin throw, is a sport in which players throw a javelin a distance of 20 metres (66 ft)
Pundo is a traditional Bhutanese game most resembling shot put. It is played by throwing a stone weighing over a kilo as far as possible. The throwing movement is from the shoulder, with the stone held flat in the hand. It is usually played by laymen.