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Cirit which is also known as Jereed, Jerreed, Jerid or Jerrid, is a traditional Turkish equestrian team sport played on horseback in which the objective is to score points by throwing a blunt wooden javelin at opposing team's horsemen.
Cirit gained its highest popularity in the 19th century. Today it is not as widespread as it once was, but is still enjoyed as a spectator sport. There are at the present time around 50 clubs spread across nine Turkish provinces.
Cirit was spread by Turks, who living as nomadic tribesman in the Central Asian steppes, spread it over the Ottoman territories as far as Arabia and European countries, where it was enjoyed in German and French speaking areas of the 17th century.
Teams of six, eight or twelve riders using horses specially bred and trained for this dangerous and fast-charging chase game, which is contested over two 45-minute periods.
Cirit is a means of improving equestrian skills, originally played to improve the cavalryman’s attack and defensive skills, and during campaigns to whip up their enthusiasm for battle, becoming an essential sporting and ceremonial game.
To begin the game, a rider trots towards the opposing team, shouts the name of a player and throws his jereed at that player, he then gallops back to his side, pursued by the challenged player, who throws his jereed at the fleeing player. Another player from the first team comes out and meets the retreating rider. The player from the second team starts riding quickly to his corner and takes his former place. This time, his rival chases him and throws a jereed at him, and so it continues.
This is a game with high values of sportsmanship and etiquette
To hit or endanger a horse instead of the rider, is against the rules, and causes the offender to be sent off the field.
A player wins points when he hits his rival with the stick or catches an incoming jereed in mid-air. He will loose points for actions that might endanger a horse, falling off his horse, or throwing the stick from closer than five meters during a pursuit.
Level of Demand
The table below shows the maximum levels of demand that this activity requires. NOTE: These are not entry levels or levels of requirement and has nothing to do with ability.
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