Chinlone is a very popular traditional game in Myanmar which can be loosely described as a combination of both sport and dance. It’s a 1500 year old team sport which is unique in a way that it is completely non-competitive as there are no opposing teams. However, despite of there being no competition it is still a highly demanding sport which requires a lot of skill and stamina. The focus in Chinlone is not given on defeating the opponents but on performing beautifully. The word “chinlone” means cane ball in Burmese which is the official language of Myanmar. The game gets its name from the ball woven from rattan which is used in this game. When this ball makes contact it makes a clicking sound and the rhythm of this sound is considered as one of the aesthetic parts of this game. This game played by both men and women and it has become a featured part of the many Buddhist festivals that are held in Myanmar. There are six points of contact that are used to strike the ball in Chinlone. These contact points are Players use six points of contact with the ball: the top of the toes, the sole, the heel, the inner and outer sides of the foot, and the knee.
The game is played inside a circle which is usually around 22 feet in diameter. A team consists of six players and all of them position themselves inside the circle. One of the six players moves to the centre of the circle while all other players try to assist him or her by trying to the ball that he strikes back to him in a single attempt. The player in the centre is called a soloist and tries his or her best to demonstrate sports and dance moves. At present, in this game players have over 200 different ways of kicking the ball. Then back and forth between the soloist and the other players continues until the ball drops on the ground and is declared dead. After that the play resumes again and another player may take the place in the centre. Music played using Myanmar’s traditional orchestra is also an important part of this game and along with adding to the enjoyment of the crowd it also serves to inspire the players to give their best.