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The only Himalayan kingdom where archery is a national sport is Bhutan. Bhutanese sports comprises of both traditional and modern international games. Traditional sports are more followed out of passion while modern sports have come into picture since globalization. Archery is the national and most popular sport in Bhutan. Competitions are held regularly in most villages. The archery tradition in Bhutan comes from an indigenous culture that dates back to 600 BC. But international rules and modern equipment are unknown or unusual among most of Bhutan’s inhabitants. Other traditional Bhutanese sports include khuru, soksom,pundo, and digor.
International sports enjoy considerable popularity in modern Bhutan. Besides archery, many people in Bhutan play basketball, football and cricket.
Traditional sport in Bhutan is all about Archery. Being a national sport, it has been prominent since centuries. Archery has been more than a sport and tradition for the Bhutanese population who seem to thrive in the fervor of the magical sport. Bhutanese archery is a little different from its counterpart in other countries in terms of placement of the object and atmosphere.
Khuru (darts) is a popular outdoor team sport often played during festivals and archery tournaments. When playing khuru, heavy wooden darts pointed with a 10 centimetres (3.9 in) nail are thrown at a paperback-sized target 10 metres (33 ft) to 20 metres (66 ft) away.
Soksom, akin to the javelin throw, is a sport in which players throw a javelin a distance of 20 metres (66 ft).
Digor is a game resembling shot put, horseshoes, and pétanque. It is played with a pair of spherical flat stones that are hurled at two targets (pegs) fixed in the ground about 20 metres (66 ft) apart. It can be played one-on-one or in teams of up to seven players. Digor is played all over Bhutan, though most often by men in rural areas.
Pundo is a traditional Bhutanese game most resembling shot put. It is played by throwing a stone weighing over a kilo as far as possible. The throwing movement is from the shoulder, with the stone held flat in the hand. It is usually played by laymen
Bhutan participates in modern international sports in three main areas. Archery, the national sport, is played internationally as well as domestically using modern equipment, and the kingdom maintains an Olympic archery team. Further, Bhutanese basketball, football and futsal teams compete at national, international, and Olympic levels. Cricket also enjoys a considerable following in Bhutan.
The Bhutan Olympic Committee was formed in 1983 and recognized by the IOC the same year. For each Summer Olympic Games since 1984, Bhutan has fielded male and female archers to compete in the kingdom's national sport. They have never competed in the Winter Olympic Games nor the other events of the Summer Olympic Games; they also have never won an Olympic Medal. Bhutan sent only one athlete to the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics but lost in the quarterfinals of the athletics event.
The Bhutan Basketball Federation joined the international basketball federation FIBA in 1983. Its national team has played many qualification games for the FIBA Asia Championship but still waits for its breakthrough.
The sport of football in Bhutan is run by the Bhutan Football Federation. The association administers the Bhutan national football team as well as the A-Division.
In 2002, Bhutan's national football team played Montserrat, in what was billed as The Other Final; the match took place on the same day Brazil and Germany in theWorld Cup Final, but at the time Bhutan and Montserrat were the world's 2 lowest ranked teams. The match was held in Thimphu's Changlimithang national stadium, and Bhutan won 4-0.
The Bhutan national futsal team represents Bhutan in international futsal competitions and is controlled by the Bhutan Football Federation.
The Bhutan national cricket team represents the kingdom in international cricket matches and is one of the most successful affiliate nations in the region. Bhutan became an affiliate member of the ICC in 2001. They made their international debut at the 2004 ACC Trophy, where they made the quarter finals. They again competed at the ACC Trophy in 2006 but were eliminated in the first round after a series of heavy defeats. Their only win came against newcomers Myanmar.
Following the 2006 ACC Trophy, the tournament was split into two divisions, Elite and Challenge. Bhutan took part in the 2009 ACC Trophy Challenge, where they were runners up. This result qualified them for the next ACC Trophy Elite as well as Division eight of the World Cricket League.