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Buzkashi, which is also called kokpar or kokboru, as well as Ulak Tartish, Kuk Pari, Kök Berü, and Ulak Tyrtysh, is a sport in which riders on horses attempt to drag a goat carcass toward the goal. Buzkashi is played around Central Asia, usually in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and also Iran. It is the national sport of Afghanistan.

Buzkashi competition in AfghanistanBuzkashi competition in Afghanistan

The riders usually wear heavy clothing and head protection to protect themselves from whips and boots. As per the Afghan Olympic Federation, the game is played on a field with a square layout, which is 400 meters on each side. Each team should have 10 riders each, but only five riders can play each half.

The game lasts around 90 minutes with 45 minutes each half, with a 15-minute break in between. Sometimes, the games can last for several days.

A person who plays buzkashi or kokpar is called a Chapandaz or a Shabandzon. The game has two main forms: Tudabarai and Qarajai. The Tudabarai is the simple form; the goal is just to grab the goat. In Qarajai, the riders must carry the carcass around a marker, and then throw it into a scoring circle.

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