With an aim to make the sport more fast-paced and bring in more strategic game-play, the organisers of the franchise-based Ultimate Kho-Kho league have decided tweak a few rules by reducing the time of play in an innings to seven minutes from the traditional nine minutes, restructuring in the points system and introduction of ‘Wazir’ as a trump card to win more points.

The new rules mean each match will be of 28-minutes and should see a lot more points scored.

The most interesting feature of the matches will be the introduction of ‘Wazir’ who is free to run either left or right in the wing but cannot cross the centre line and will have to always get a perfect Kho otherwise he will get a foul. Wazir is being considered as the trump card that a team can use to benefit more points and attacks.

Talking about the innovations, Sudhanshu Mittal, President, Kho Kho Federation of India said, “We brought in the concept of Wazir to make it more modern, more exciting, and more youth friendly. We are very confident that people will enjoy this new approach and style that this traditional sport will bring.”

There has also been a basic restructuring in the points system. Now every Skydive — players dive to become airborne to tag the defender — will fetch additional 1 point and so will pole dives. Regular Tags, however, stays the same and gets the team one point.

Keeping in tune with the changes, instant replacement of defenders has also been introduced. Review system per inning will also be in place for the very first time where each team is allowed 2 referral opportunities in every inning. With each unsuccessful review, the opponent team will bag 1 point. Follow on and sudden death continues to remain among the basic rules of the sport.

Eight teams will be vying for the title. 15 members will make up every team out of which two will be international players and two under-18 players.