The Turks--some of the finest horsemen in the world--keep in practise with a traditional sport called cirit throwing.
GV: Teams riding up bearing flags (2 shots)
GVs Spectators looking on
GV: Rider throws first Cirit and is chased by opponent who scores a hit and is chased back across field
SV: Spectator cheering
SV AND GV: Rider from first team throws Cirit and rides off
SCU: Spectator watching
GV: Rider from first team throws Cirit and opponent blocks
GV: Rider from first team throws two Cirits and misses (2 shots)
GV: Rider from first team chases opponent, who ducks on side of his house, first rider throws cirit and misses.
GV: Rider from first team throws Cirit and misses
GV: Rider from first team throws Cirit, and rides back across field, and is hit by opponent's Cirit
SPORT: CIRIT THROWING
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Background: The Turks--some of the finest horsemen in the world--keep in practise with a traditional sport called cirit throwing. The idea of sport is to hit riders on the opposing team with a cirit--a kind of wooden stick.
SYNOPSIS: Cirit throwing conjures up the pageantry associated with Turkish cavalrymen for centuries. This match took place in the barren province of Erzurum in northeastern Turkey, watched by hundreds of enthusiastic spectators.
Each cirit is a metre long, made of dried oak branches. The game starts when one horseman calls the name of an opponent, and begins riding forward. He throws his cirit at the opponent, and in turn is chased back across the playing areas.
Cirit-throwing, which originated in central Asia, has strict rules--despite the appearance of the game. The only target allowed is the rider, not the horse. If an opponent's horse is hit accidentally, then the thrower has to leave the field.
The skill of the game comes in avoiding the cirit, and the horsemanship involved can be spectacular.
During the period of the Ottoman Empire, cirit-throwing reached the peak of its popularity, but it is still widely played in Turkey. The game ends when all the cirits have been thrown, and the team with the greatest number of hits are the winners.