Buzkashi – the polo sport played with a headless goat

March 9, 2013 in Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East


The national sport in Afghanistan is called Buzkashi. Buzkashi is often compared to polo, in which to teams compete on horseback trying to score goals using their clubs. Buzkashi is very similar as it is a game played on horseback, propelling an object toward a goal. In Buzkashi, the object is not a ball, but instead a headless goat or calf.

Buzkashi polo in Afghanistan 1

The calf or goat is normally beheaded and disemboweled and has its limbs cut off at the knee level. Before the game, the carcass is soaked in cold water for 24 hours, to make it more tough for the rough game. Sometimes the carcass is also stuffed with sand to give it extra weight. The game is simply played by the horseback riders passing the headless goat or calf from one to another, until it can be thrown into the goal.

Buzkashi is the national sport of Afghanistan, but is also played in a number of other countries. It’s popular in countries in Central Asia such as Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan. The game was actually banned in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime, as it was considered to be immoral. (Via: wikipedia.org, Pictures: wikimedia commons)

Buzkashi polo in Afghanistan 2

Buzkashi polo in Afghanistan 3