Jorabin (Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria)

Jorabin (Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Syria)

Name of sport (game)

Socks playing

Name in native language


Place of practice (continent, state, nation)

Jorabin is a nostalgic game which is played in all regions of Kurdistan, also in other countries where Kurds nation live like Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria.


The origin of this game is unknown. Many elderly people believe that it comes from ancient times in Mesopotamia. However, there are not any written documents that could prove this information. This game is a heritage that its philosophy is very interesting and special. During long and boring nights of winter and autumn people in villages did not have many interestings activities to spend free time Therefore, creation of such interesting and competitive game makes spending time joyful and enjoyable. Jorabin is not a game just for entertainment. Players and people connection is an opportunity to exchange ideas and their familiarity whith each other.


Name of this game seems quite logical because it is played by using socks, but the socks which are used in the game are special and knitted by women, therefore they considered as a handcraft in Kurdistan, moreover, they are not wearable. Five or ten pairs of socks are necessary to begin the game. Socks lay in two rows (five socks in the front row and another five are set behind the front row). You can see the arrangement of socks in the photo1. One of the main objects in the game is an apple oak that is shaped and smoothed skillfully (an apple oak is seen in the photo1).


The number of players (Jorab Baz (means player in Jorabin)) in each side are five, six, seven or more (five players in each team is more usual). Interestingly, there is no limitation in age and sex of players in Jorabin. A five years old child can compete with a ninety years old man or woman.
Referee by tossing a coin gives the apple oak to the team which is selected by the coin. The most experienced player usually puts the socks in front of himself (photo2) and hides apple oak in one of his hands and puts his hand in all socks (you are not allowed to use both hands); his task is to put the apple oak in one of the socks. This action needs cleverness because any clue or symptom can be traced by their rivals, therefore they can find the sock with the apple oak in it. To clearly understand the game better in this article we have two teams (team1 and team2).


Success in the first GOAL
In an example, team1 has the apple oak and their leader or one of the other players is putting the apple oak in socks. If team2 finds the apple oak in the first try (at this moment the attacker, before putting his hand on the selected sock, says GOAL and attacks the sock), the referee gives them ten points. When the team is not able to find the right sock, there are different modes that will be investigated in the following paragraphs. Before illustrating other modes, pay attention to pic1 to understand the game efficiently. In picture1 each circle is a sock. As a result of an unsuccessful attack of team2. there is no choice for team2 by guessing and choosing some of the remaining socks. We have two parts with different modes in each of these part. 1. Successful guesses 2. unsuccessful guesses.

Successful guesses
Team2, for example, choose seven socks of nine remaining socks (they can choose from one sock to eight socks in this stage, it depends on their decision).
In this mode the apple oak is in team2 guesses, therefore the leader of team1 says “apple oak is yours”. Now, players of team2 prioritize these seven socks from A to G and the leader or one of the players as an attacker puts his hand on the first sock which has the least priority, in this example sock G has the least priority (pic2). There are three modes. (mode1) If the attacker before putting his hand on sock G says GOAL and the apple oak be in the sock G, team2 is successful in getting its second GOAL and team2 takes 11 points (the second GOAL has 11 points for the team).
(mode2) Suppose that the attacker before attacking doesn’t say GOAL and the apple oak is in sock G in this mode team2 lose 7 points and team 1 gets 7points; the referee writes seven points for team1, because team2 has selected 7 socks of 9 socks.
(mode3) in this mode the attacker doesn’t say GOAL before putting his hand on sock G and also the apple oak isn’t in sock G. Team2 increase the possibility of finding the apple oak and removes the socks G, therefore finding the apple oak is more feasible. After removing sock G, the attacker of team2 puts his hand on the sock with sixth priority, for example, sock F. In this stage mode1, mode2 and mode3 may happen to sock F too. If mood 1 occurs team2 gets 11 points. If mood 2 occurs team1 gets 6 points and if the mood3 occurs the game for team2 is going on. The game will be continued for all socks until finally team2 finds the apple oak and gets 11 points for its second goal It is possible that in any of remaining socks team2 isn’t be able to have a correct guess and gives points to team1 and the leader of team1 again has a chance to hide apple oak in socks. Whenever team2 gets the second GOAL, the apple oak is for its players and they place the socks in front of themselves to hide the apple oak in the socks and team1 has to find it.

Unsuccessful guess
In this level the apple oak isn’t in team2 guesses, therefore the apple oak is the two remaining socks R1 or R2(pic3). there are two moods. (mode1) If the team2 attacker puts his hand on sock R1 and the apple oak is in it, team1 gets 10 points because 7 guesses of team2 added to 2 remaining sock 7+2=9 but in this game, we don’t write 9 points and 9 considered as 10, therefore referee writes 10 points for team1. (mode2) In this mode, the attacker puts his hand on sock R1, but the apple oak isn’t in this sock, surely the apple oak is in R2 sock and team1 gets 8 points.7 guesses of team2 added to 1 remaining sock that apple oak was in it (R2.7+1=8).
When the team1 points are given to them. The team1 leader has a second chance to hide the apple oak in the socks.

1. The game will be continued until one of the team gets 150 points earlier and that team is the winner
2. Only one player can put his hand on socks and attack or say the decision of the team to their competitors.
3. In all parts of the game, referee investigates the game and writes the points to teams, Moreover, any conflict can be solved just by referee decision.
4. Spectacles are not allowed to intervene in the game or disturb the concentration of players.
5. The size of socks is identical and they are made of the same materials.
6. During the game you should respect your rival and referee controls any harsh of players.
7. hen the leader is putting the apple oak in the socks, the players of another team are not allowed to touch the socks until he finishes his activity.
8. It is very important that before attacking to the GOAL the attacker must say GOAL, otherwise, the referee doesn’t accept the GOAL and rejects it.

Current status

Fortunately, Jorabin in spite of all other alternatives in this modern time is very popular among Kurdish. Kurdish respect for their customs and traditions is famous among other nations in the middle east.



Many people believe that Jorabin is the most popular and well- known traditional game in Kurdistan and it is registered as intangible heritage in Iran.



Some clubs during these years have established in different cities although these clubs are not registered in official and governmental centres. There are a lot of players (Jorab Baz) from different generations that is one of the unique characteristics of Jorabin.


Sources of information HYPERLINK "برگزاری-دوازدهمين-دوره-مسابقات-جورابين-شهرستان-مهاباد-جام-فجر"6435985 HYPERLINK "برگزاری-دوازدهمين-دوره-مسابقات-جورابين-شهرستان-مهاباد-جام-فجر"/ HYPERLINK "قهرمانی-تیم-معلم-مهاباد-درمسابقات-جورابینجوراب-بازی-جنوب-آذربایجانغربی"2032723 HYPERLINK "قهرمانی-تیم-معلم-مهاباد-درمسابقات-جورابینجوراب-بازی-جنوب-آذربایجانغربی"/



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