Dandi Biyo is a very simple game, and is equally dangerous. Some say it is the National Game of Nepal. But, there is no documentary evidence to prove it (at least, I don’t know. If you have more information please comment.)
I am not against this sports being a National game. But, before a decision is made, there should be certain prerequisite of sportsmanship and safety of players and spectators. To illustrate my point let’s analyze the following photo:
In the photo above CPN-UML leader KP Sharma Oli is seen inaugurating Dharan Sports Tourism Festival, by playing Dandibiyo in Dharan on April 27‚ 2011.
Before the ‘sport’ considered a sport, let alone a ‘National Sport’, there has be a standard for everything that is used in the sport. These standards are required so that the competitions are fair and the result of one game can be compared to another. A slight variation on the length of dandi or biyo can have a very different result.
Some points to be noted:
- A sports need to have standard playing gears. The dandi KP is using to play the game is a simple piece of wood. If it were to be a sport, that piece of wood should be standardized in terms of the type of wood, length, diameter and grip friction.
- Same applies to the biyo piece. Length, diameter, tapering angle and so on should be standard.
- The hole in the ground – It is clear from the photos that there is no standard used to create the small hole on the ground. There should be a standard procedure to create the pit with standard depth and width of pit.
- Safety: Throwing a double pointed piece of stick in the air is a risky stuff. There is a high chances of the biyo to land on the body of the player or the onlookers and injure them. A strike on eye can make a player blind. So, there should be some protection measures to save the sensitive body parts of the players. Some protective measures can be helmet, safety goggles, protective pads and so on.
- A playground – The game needs a proper playground with safety net to save the viewers. The dimensions of the playground should also be standardized.
- Last but not the least – the game needs proper rules. The official rules would make it consistent and organized. So, far the only rules players follow is what they think is right and they can convince the other party.
Photo credits – Ratna Prasad Acharya and Arjun Sharma