Name of sport (game)
Name in native language
Place of practice (continent, state, nation)
Tibet Autonomous Region,China
More than 1000 years.
Yajia (Tibetan-style Tug-of-war) is a traditional game and sport of Tibet. It originated from Tibetan traditional spirit - to be more specific from Tibetan belief that elephant is a holy messenger from God. Therefore, Tibetans imitate actions of elephants which they think may bring them good luck.
1) Everybody can take a part in the event. Just before the match, contestants have to weigh themselves in order to compete with opponents of the same weight category. Only then match can be fair.
2) If it is held in an open space, a court with 9x2m is assembled. Two finishing lines are drawn 2.4 metres apart with the point zero in the middle of the court.
3) A 6 metre-long ribbon is attached to the necks of two contestants, then put the way it could get through between their legs and its central mark (usually yellow ribbon or knot) could be positioned right above the point zero.
4) The target for both contestants is to drag the yellow ribbon across the finishing line. The first to do so wins a set. A match usually consists of three sets and whoever wins two of them wins the match.
5) If neither of contestants can drag the ribbon across the line in 90 seconds, the set is considered to be a draw. In such a situation contestants take a 2-minute break and try again.
6) If after 3 sets contestants are in draw situation, another set is added to the match. Time limit of the extra set is 60 seconds. During an extra set:
a) Contestants can win having the yellow ribbon dragged over the finish line
b) Wins the contestant who dragged the yellow ribbon closer to his finish line (if neither of them made it across)
7）Participants cannot pull the ribbon with their hands and have to stay in a kneeling position. Otherwise they can be penalized or even disqualified.
It is an events of Minority Traditional Sport Games in China.
Beside Tibetans it is common for other minorities to take a part in Yajia.
Beijing Association For Traditional Sports of Nationalities
Address:He Ping Li Xi Jie,Dongcheng District,Beijing,China 100010
Tel:+86 10 64281673