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Turkish Javelin or Jereed (cirit)

Turkish National Sport Javelin

Turkish Javelin or Jereed (cirit)

The Jereed or Turkish national sport Javelin is a traditional Turkish team sport played outdoors on horseback in which the objective is to score points by throwing a blunt wooden javelin at the opposing team’s riders. The javelin is called “jereed” and that is how the points of the game were scored.

History of Jereed

During the Ottoman period, the Turkish Javelin or jereed became a popular war game demonstrating the bravery of its participants, with competitions being held at the Istanbul Hippodrome. Despite its popularity, it was banned in 1826 by Sultan Mahmut II who considered Turkish Javelin too dangerous.

Turkish Javelin or jereed
Turkish Javelin or jereed

Turkish Equestrian Sport Le Javelot

The game of Turkish Javelin was very popular throughout Anatolia 50-60 years ago. The great Turkish interest in horse breeding, and their tremendous success, turned first into entertainment and then into sport under the name “jereed”. The game of “jereed” is commonly played by men and generally practiced at weddings, special days or fairs. Now it is only played in a few regions to mark the celebration of ceremonies, mainly those around Erzurum and Kars in eastern Turkey, although this sport can also be held in Konya in the center of Anatolia and Balikesir on the Aegean Sea.

Javelin Field

It is played on a field that is 140 meters long, 40 meters wide and has soft soil. At both ends of the field are designated 7-metre-wide “regimental stops” and immediately in front of them are “forbidden areas” that are 5 meters wide. The 7-meter sections extending from the forbidden area to the center line are called the shooting range and are indicated by dashed lines.

Rules And Gameplay

In equestrian javelin matches, each team must have at least 7 players. The players who come out to the playground by greeting the audience take their places in two groups. After the toss for the first right of attack and field selection, the teams take their places at the regimental stops. If you are interested in Turkish dances have a look here. If you want to participate in long-term horse riding tours, you can check our page.

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