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Kibasen (Cavalry Battle)

Kibasen, which literally translates to "Cavalry Battle", is a type of piggyback riding sport that is played in Japan. The sport is played by school children during their annual sports day.

Kids going for a piggy back rideKids going for a piggy back ride. Photo by Cheryl Empey (

A game is played on a large field and can consist of as many teams as possible. In each team, there are four players, of which three players are at the ground, and one player rides on top of the three players. All players of a team wear a bandana. The bandana plays a significant role in the sense that, if the bandana of the player riding on the top is grabbed by any of the opponent teams, the team to lose the bandana is eliminated.

As soon as the game starts, each team can target any of the other teams on the field and try to separate the players or grab the bandana of the player on top. The players at the bottom are not allowed to use their hands, but can use their momentum to knock down other teams. Teams get eliminated even if one player on the ground gets separated from the others.

A game goes on until all teams in the field are eliminated except one, who are declared as the winners.

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