Digor or Degor (Bhutan)
Name of sport (game)
Name in native language
Place of practice (continent, state, nation)
Digor is a traditional target-based sport of Bhutan, which has some similarities to boules or petanque. This sport is traditionally played by village men all around Bhutan. The game is slightly different in various regions. Organized games between neighbouring villages are now rare. Today the game is played for social reasons, mostly at annual religious festivals. Sometimes it involves a bet that concerns the organization of the event, where the loser must engage in its preparation to a large extent, while the winner has fewer tasks to do. This type of betting takes place among local communities or among friends.
The digor (degor) is a traditional game played in Bhutan, which is often mistakenly described by foreign authors as a type of shot put. There are many elements that make it different from the shot put game (including the way of throwing). It is played with a pair of round flat stones, which are thrown in the direction of two wooden targets placed on the ground roughly 20 meters apart.
The only required equipment is a pair of flat round stones for each player. The size and weight of the stones vary, depending on player’s strength and preferences. A player can have as many stones as he wants, but he can throw only twice.
Digor can be a team or individual game. If three people are involved, the game is played individually. If there are four or more people they divide into two teams that compete with each other. The number of players is not limited however too many of them slows down the game. It’s said that optimal number is seven players in each team.
Players try to place their stone as close to the target as possible. The technique of throwing is similar like in softball. Players who throw later can hit opponent's stones, throwing them out of the scoring area and replacing them with their own stones. This is more difficult when the stones which were thrown first were heavy and large. Usually, players prefer heavier stones because they are difficult to move and at the same time they can be used to knock out opponent's stones.
Points are counted when all the stones have been thrown. A point is given if the distance between the stones and the target is smaller than the distance between the thumb and the middle finger of the outstretched hand. If two or more opponent's stones fall in the same range, the one nearest to the peg scores a point. If all the stones in the scored area belong to one team, the team scores a point for each stone. There is no defined number for points to be scored to end a game, but the limit is usually set to 21.
Sources of information
Bhutanese traditional sport – Degor – on Trans World Sport. (2012, May 26). Retrieved from Trans World Sport’s Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFctbWXwED4