Central Asian Games

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The Central Asian Games is an international cultural sporting event organised by the Silk Road League. Its focus is almost exclusively on the traditional sports of the region; there are other forums which deal with modern & western sports such as football, volleyball, athletic events and Battlegame. The Silk Road League members all participate, but participation is not limited to these states, and in the past, national teams have been seen from Russia, China, Persia, several of the Indian states, and even teams from further afield (the Scottish Kökbörü team of the 2001 Games is now legendary in Silk Road League lore).

Sporting Events

List of Sports

The current list of sports played in the Games include the following:

  • Racing Events:
    • 600 qulaş (1100 yd) Short-Distance Horse Racing (men's & women's)
    • 1 çaqırım (1167 yd) Short-Distance Horse Racing (men's & women's)
    • 1½ çaqırım (1750 yd) Middle-Distance Horse Racing (men's & women's)
    • 2 çaqırım (2334 yd) Middle-Distance Horse Racing (men's & women's)
    • 3 çaqırım (3501 yd) Long-Distance Horse Racing (men's & women's)
    • Three Day Race (mixed)
    • Camel Racing (men's & women's 1, 1½ and 2 çaqırım)
  • Other Equestrian Events:
  • Marksmanship Events:
    • Rifle Events:
      • Rifle Shooting (men only)
      • Mounted Rifle Shooting (men only)
    • Archery Events:
      • Target Archery (men's & women's) - shooting for accuracy
      • Distance Archery (men's & women's) - shooting for distance
      • Penetration Archery (men's & women's) - shooting for depth of penetration into a heavy log.
      • Ballistic Archery - shooting over a high wall with a spotter on the wall. (men's, women's & mixed doubles)
      • Mounted Archery (men's & women's) - shooting for accuracy at a gallop
  • Combat Events:
  • Throwing Events:
  • Falconry:
  • Combined Events:
    • Combination Fencing (men's & women's) - Şamşır and short spear combined event
    • Archery Triple Crown (men's & women's) - triple event with contests for accuracy, distance & penetration
    • Men's Jetigüş ("7 Strengths")
    • Women's Jetigüş ("7 Strengths")

Demonstration Sports

In addition to the competition sports, since the fall of the SNOR the Games' organising council has become fond of "demonstration sports" from other parts of the world, drawing on other traditions. Thus the Games has seen demonstrations of Chunkey, Kemrese sheepdog trials, Highland Games demonstrations, and other traditional sports from around the world. The selection criteria for these demonstration sports are fairly arcane, but generally, the sport must be a fairly local (ie non-mainstream) or highly traditional sport, or must be considered "accessible" to the kind of people who attend the Games. Demonstration sports are not "test runs" for possible inclusion in later games, but are seen as a form of cultural exchange, whereby the peoples of Central Asia may be introduced to less-familiar sports from around the world, and may introduce presumably-prominent sports personalities from the world to Central Asian sports; the perception of the organising committee is that this will help both to raise the profile of Central Asia in the world and to foster goodwill toward the region. It remains to be seen whether this last is an accurate perception or not, but the inclusion of Central Asia on foreign sports teams' calendars is certainly raising the profile of a region which has been relatively unknown until recently.

Locations of the Games

Year Number Host City Notes
1971 1st Buxara, Turkestan First Games
1974 2nd Örgöö, Mongolia (now Niislel Hüree) -
1977 3rd Ürümçi, Uyguristan -
1980 4th Gordion, Turkey -
1983 5th Almalıq, Turkestan Intended to be in Qarağanda, Qazaqstan (Russia)
1986 6th Baku, Azerbaijan First participation of Moghul Realm
1989 7th Khem-Beldyr, Tannu-Tuva First Women's Jigitlik/Atçılıq event
1992 8th Herat, Moghul Realm First post-SNOR Games; Demonstration: Chunkey; Boycotted by Turkestan
1995 9th Sagan-Ude, Buryatia Demonstration: Highland Games
1998 10th Qarağanda, Qazaqstan Demonstration: Cricket
2001 11th Elista, Kalmykia Demonstrations: Sumo Wrestling, Hibercrosse
2004 12th Istanbul, Turkey Demonstration: Kemrese Sheepdog Trials, Whummlin
2007 13th Ufa, Bashkortostan Demonstration: Greek Marathon Foot Race, Romanian Oină
2010 14th Kazan, Tatarstan Demonstration: Indian Kalarippayattu martial arts, Araucanian Pato
2013 15th Tehran, Persia Planned demonstration: ?


Organising the Central Asian Games was one of the first things that the Silk Road League did; this went a long way to convincing the Russian White Council that the new organisation they had permitted was harmless. The first Central Asian Games were held in 1971; the triennial schedule was agreed upon in order to synchronise and not conflict with the World Games, which are held a year prior to the Central Asian Games.

Notable Games include the first ever Games in 1971, the following Games in 1974 in which Turkey participated for the first time, the 5th Games in 1983, which was originally intended to be held in Russian Qazaqstan, but which the Russian-led CMAEC council managed to block, and the 1992 Games, which was the first held after the fall of the SNOR.

The Highland Games demonstration event of 1995 led to the Scots putting together a Kökbörü team in time for the Games of 2001. They lost every match, but were regarded with a kind of amazed awe by the Central Asians, who had never seen anyone outside of the region play the sport before. They were expected to be welcomed back at the following Games, but the unfortunate death in 2003 of the Scots' team's leading light and main organiser seems to have put paid to the Scottish team.

The Games of 1992 were boycotted by Turkestan over the decision of the Silk Road League organising committee to allow Uyguristan, with whom it was fighting a low-intensity war, to compete.