Kok Boru

Kok Boru

Kok Boru – Traditional Kyrgyz Horseback Competition.

Kok Boru, which translates to English as gray wolf, has its origins in the distant past, from a time when men went to go hunt for prey to feed their families and cattle remained under the supervision of elders, women and youth. Wolves often attacked livestock and caused many problems. After returning from the hunt, angry men would go to chase after the wolf pack. Having caught up with the pack, they would pick up running wolves from the ground, throwing them between each other almost playfully. The game today requires teams to throw a dead sheep or goat into their opponent’s well on the playing field.

The main goal of the game in the past was training for fighting. While playing kok-boru, men and horses were taught to be fearless. The game trained men to be courageous, brave, and daring, qualities needed by warriors.


KOK BORU – national horseback competition (Kyrgyz Republic).

Composition of the teams – 16 people: 12 players, 1 coach, 3 grooms.

Athletes older than 18 are allowed to take part in the competitions. The participants in the competitions are all men. Teams are allowed to participate in the competition, if there are at least 8 players on the team.

Each team must have 2 sets of uniforms in different colors (with protective elements) consisting of headgear (tebetey), boots, and a kamchy (horse-whip), as well as an official sports uniform. On the back of each participant’s jersey must be a number, which shall conform to the numbers indicated in the application.

The day before the game starts the relevant ground jury together with the teams’ representatives organizes a technical meeting, where the toss-up procedure is performed, and depending on the number of the applications filed, the competition procedure is determined: the number of groups, play-off games and final games. Two teams having the highest Asian Kok Boru rating are placed in separate groups. Before the beginning of each game, the teams’ representatives must be present when weighing the goat carcass.

Determination of winners and score (set) points:
- Awarded to the winners - 3 points;
- Loser - 0 points.
- the teams that finished with an even score during the regular time (group games), have a shoot-out: winners are awarded 2 points and losers 0 points.

The teams will play semi-final and final games. If there is a draw during the regular time, the teams will play an extra period. During the extra period there is a golden carcass rule. If the teams play with an even score, they have a shoot-out.

According to the results of Kok Boru, the Great Kok Boru Player and the Great Kok Boru Horse will be determined. The Great Kok Boru Player will be determined based on the largest number of carcasses. The Great Kok Boru Horse will be the horse of the Great Kok Boru Player.

The Great Kok Boru Player will be awarded money, other valuable prizes and ethno attributes. His name will also be added to the Great Winners’ Book of the World Nomad Games. The Great Kok Boru Player will be an honored guest at the next Games, where he protects (defends) his title from contenders. If he loses or does not take part in the competition at all, the name of a new Great Kok Boru player will be written in the Book of Great Winners of the World Nomad Games.

Competitions are held under the current rules of the Kok-Boru Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Download: competition rules of Kok Boru