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Sports and Culture

Know all about India's very own rugby game called Yubi Lakpi

Indian 'jugaad' has always gone to extreme ends and coconut snatching is just one form of a game that has evolved with time

Know all about Indias very own rugby game called Yubi Lakpi

A glimpse of the action(source-chase your sport)


C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 26 Oct 2021 4:36 AM GMT

We have all heard of Rugby and American football due to their popularity across the world. India too has seen a recent surge in the promotion of rugby across the county especially amongst the youth levels of the game. But there is one sport similar to rugby that has had its presence in the country for a long time. Manipur is the home of India's very own version of rugby named Yubi Lakpi. The coconut snatching game is extremely popular across the state and has been played for several centuries and by several generations of passionate sportsmen.

The origins of the game are disputed with many saying that Yubi Lakpi is an evolution of the historic ceremonial enactment of nectar sntaching in the Samudhra Manthan. Apart from that, the literal translation of Yubi Lakpi taken from the Meitei language is 'coconut snatching'. There are several claims that rugby has evolved from this game but the evidence to support this is minimal.


The rules of the game are fairly simple for those who understand the basics of rugby or football. Each team has 7 players who compete alongside each other against the opposition team. The field is 45m x v 18m and is similar to a smaller sized rugby pitch. At each end of the field are two lines/boxes that measure 4.5m x 3m placed in the centre of the line. The players are expected to aim to cross this line with the coconut in their hand and offer it to the judges seated behind the line.

Other rules:

1) Players cannot carry the ball while holding it to the chest. They can only carry it under the arm
2)No tackling can be done if a player does not have the ball. Players cannot use their hands and legs to kick out a player.
3)Players are expected to play bare feet and usually only wear shorts while playing

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