Daur field hockey
The Daur people have always been known for their valiancy and skillfulness in battle. Ever since ancient times, they have done well in riding and shooting, wrestling and playing field hockey.
Field hockey, as called "Beikuo" in the Daur language, is a traditional sport with a long history. According to historical data, a sport called "hitting a ball while walking", which is similar to the present sport of field hockey, was very popular in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). But it gradually disappeared. It is fortunate that such a field hockey tradition has been inherited from one generation to another in the Daur regions.
The stick the Daur people use to play the game was about one meter long, mostly made of oak, and hooked at the bottom. The ball is made of apricot root or felt and is as big as a tennis ball. The original game doesn't include shooting goals, instead, both sides draw a boundary line, and if either side crosses the other's boundary, they win. According to the original way of playing, there is no saying of goal shooting. Both sides drew a boundary line, and either side would win if they hit the ball over the line. In a modern, formal game, a goal is set up at each end of the field, 50 meters apart, and the first side to score a goal wins.
On each festival or happy occasion the Daur people will hold a "Beikuo" game. Everyone, the young, the old, the weak and the strong, take part. At night, they will play the game with a fireball. A fireball is made up of birch tree knots, stuffed with pine cones or other flammable things, or a felt ball dipped into oil. The ball is lit when the teams face-off, and the teams fiercely compete to gain control of the ball, which draws bright lines across the field when it is passed.
In 1976 the first national hockey team was founded in Daur Autonomous Banner of Morin Dawa, filling in the gap in China's list of national sports. The autonomous banner was later called the "Hometown of Field Hockey."