Sport of the Month January 08: The oldest form of football
About 2,500 years ago cuju, a game similar to football was being played in China.
Literally translated, cùjú means ”to kick a ball.” Cù is ”to kick” and jú is a type of leather ball filled with feathers.
Played over a net, the game consists of players who can use any part of their body (this is where the high skill levels and creativity fit in) to return the ball.
Therefore players who are more experienced with football may choose to use heads, chest, thigh, feet - players who are more familiar with other sports might choose to use more hand based activity such as volleyball digs and volleys. It is a little like keepie-uppies or header tennis.
Rules of Cuju:
- The ball can bounce once
- The ball can be played off any rebound (eg walls or net) so is best played indoor
- Any body part can be used
- Number of players is not set
With its ancient origins there is also a martial arts feel to the game in terms of discipline and respect. The scoring system in Cuju counts down. This means in effect that every time you or your team make a mistake you lose a point. The referee or "Cuju Master" can take off points from the team for anything such as dissent, bad attitude, or touching the net.
Where can I play?
Catton Grove primary School in Norwich have started playing Cuju. For more information, contact Martin Radmore on 01603 723697 or firstname.lastname@example.org