Cirit is a traditional equestrian sport of Turkey which employs horses known as jereed. Horses are both sacred and indispensable to the Turks and from time immemorial, the people of the middle east are using horses for many purposes. All the days of their lives have been spend in the company of horses.
Cirit is a way of developing equestrian skills, and requires two teams of horsemen, each of whom is armed with a dried date, oak or poplar stick. These sticks are 70-100 cm long with a width of 2-3 cm with blunt ends. Originally, these sticks were denser and thicker, but in order to reduce the risk of injury, the players started preferring sticks made of poplar wood, which became lighter when dried. The players ride horses specially trained for the sport.
The sport is played with two teams who are placed in rows of 6, 8 or 12 players in a field that is 70 or 120 meters long. Cirit players are dressed in regional costumes, mount their horses and with their right hand they hold the first cirit that they throw while holding other cirits into their left hand. One rider from each side rushes ahead towards the opposite side until they are within 30-40 meters of range of the other side. Then a player from opposing side then shouts the name of a player from the other team, inviting him to enter the game. He then throws the Cirit in his right hand to that player.
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