process of chasing and fleeing, while trying
to hit an opponent with a stick, is the essence
of the game, which requires skill and sportsmanship.
To hit the horse instead of the rider, which
is regarded as the sign of an inexperienced
player, is against the rules, and the offender
is sent off the field.
The referees, who are former cirit players with
standing in the community, count the number
of hits and at the end of the game announce
the winning team. Experienced cirit players
rarely miss hitting an opponent, and are skilled
at avoiding hits themselves by bending low,
hanging down from one side of the horse, and
other feats of acrobacy. Part of the skill lies
in training the horses so that they play a significant
role in the outcome of the game. The formation
of the two teams has its traditional etiquette.
Care is taken not to put players who are on
bad terms in opposing teams, and players who
display deliberately hostile behaviour during
a match are blacklisted.