Sacrificing Goats to the Olympian Committee

A group of Afghans wants to make Buzkashi an Olympic sport, reports USA Today:

To understand how ambitious -- even crazy -- this is, consider the game. Buzkashi, which means "goat grabbing," is a violent sport with virtually no rules. Players, called chapandaz, gallop at breakneck speed over a dusty field, fighting over a dead animal without a head....

Rashid knows the game needs to be standardized to export the sport, played principally in Afghanistan and some Central Asian countries. Previous efforts to impose consistent rules have gone nowhere.

The game has no rounds or time limits. Galloping horses regularly spill off the field, sending terrified spectators running for safety. Some games are played with 12-man teams; others are scored individually with hundreds of horses careening around the field.

"It's very violent," says Maqsud, who also has seven buzkashi horses. "Animal rights activists wouldn't like it."

A spokesman for the International Olympic Committee, Mark Adams, said he was not aware of any overtures from buzkashi officials. He said there might be concerns that the sport is not widely known and has no governing body that regulates it.

Of course, some people have tried to regulate it:

the Taliban imposed a rule that prevented the use of a carcass, allowing only the skins of calves or goats stuffed with straw. The Taliban considered it sinful to kill an animal without using its meat. Buzkashi enthusiasts, such as Rashid, still speak bitterly of that era.

Elsewhere in Reason: The British authorities' attempts to suppress mob football.

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  • John Tagliaferro||

    To understand how ambitious -- even crazy -- this is, consider the game. Buzkashi, which means "goat grabbing," is a violent sport with virtually no rules. Players, called chapandaz, gallop at breakneck speed over a dusty field, fighting over a dead animal without a head....

    This is different from a rodeo how?

  • anarch||

    This is different from a Senate race how?

  • ||

    I have to admit, there are things to like about the Afghans.

  • ||

    P.J. O'Rourke gave the definitive description of the game. If you haven't read "Give War a Chance" go buy it today. The chapter on Afghanistan is prescient.

  • BakedPenguin||

    That could be a cover to a Bathory album.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Maybe, but they'd be inviting a lawsuit from the Rolling Stones.

  • But||

    Not that there's anything wrong with copyright theft.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Ahhh, you're right, Jesse. Forgot about that one.

    The Afghans in Kabul city
    chased a goat corpse through the park

  • ||

    Up next, Al Trautwig calls the Baby Seal Clubbing contest from Hudson Bay.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    I'm in! Going to Sears now for my small mattock.

  • 2999||

    I just use my 4 iron.

  • Mad Max||

    Buzkashi, together with women's beach volleyball, should lock in the 18-30 straight male demographic.

  • Kolohe||

    I'm over thirty now, but would definitely watch Walsh and May-Treanor play buzkashi

  • ¢||

    THE BAPHOMET IS NOT EDIBLE

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Food Nazis are on the pumpkin pie thread.

  • hamilton||

    I would Pay-per-view to see this. ESPN suddenly has a new prime-time option.

  • Binky||

    Make Bukkake an Olympic sport. It at least has rules.

  • Xeones||

    Not if you're doing it right, Binky.

    Seanbaby covered buzkashi years ago.

  • T||

    If I have learned anything from watching the IOC over the years, it's that you can get them to agree to damn near anything.

    The Afghans just need to step up with the hookers, blow, and unmarked bills. We are obviously not teaching them how a real representative government works.

  • ||

    Can we also make an olympic event out of that varient where the game is played with the head of a fallen enemy?

  • Binky||

    That's what I said: Bukkake! ;)

  • Episiarch||

    Hell, lacrosse became a standardized sport; no reason this can't. But I propose that a requirement is that it be played with Ingrid Newkirk's headless body.

  • T||

    But I propose that a requirement is that it be played with Ingrid Newkirk's headless body.

    We only get to play once, then, Epi. Unless you're willing to start breeding Ingrid Newkirks for later sporting use.

  • ||

    Hasn't Newkirk willed her body parts to slaughterhouses and abattoirs all over the world?

  • T||

    I thought she wanted to be fed to animals so they would be imbued with her revolutionary spirit and rise up against their human oppressors.

  • ||

    Tangentially related to this: I highly recommend Terry Pratchett's latest, Unseen Academicals. It is, in part, about standardizing street football. It's also got one of the greatest arguments for the necessity of evil I've read in fiction.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Of course. If it is by Terry Pratchett and it is Discworld, I will read it. I mean, there's like...28 or something Discworld novels. Of all of those, there's only been one I disliked. Hell of a track record.

  • d||

    LOVE his books! Which one didn't you like? Just curious . . .

  • Steve Smith||

    Does the U.S. have a team?

  • ||

    It's just not the same without Omar Sharif and Jack Palance
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067216/

  • smartass sob||

    "It's very violent," says Maqsud, who also has seven buzkashi horses. "Animal rights activists wouldn't like it."

    Hey, no problem - just sustitute a human corpse for that of the goat. I'm sure the activists would be perfectly happy with it.

  • Ibn Larry||

    Bring it on. Everyone knows Rambo's the best at buzkashi. So one more gold medal for the U.S.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUlVXdoqITk

  • Xeones||

    Does the U.S. have a team?

    Not yet, but as long as you can keep from raping the goat, the horses, and the other players, i'm sure they'd be happy to have your sasquatch strength.

  • Agent Provacateur||

    Of course, some people have tried to regulate it:

    the Taliban imposed a rule that prevented the use of a carcass, allowing only the skins of calves or goats stuffed with straw. The Taliban considered it sinful to kill an animal without using its meat. Buzkashi enthusiasts, such as Rashid, still speak bitterly of that era.

    This raises the obvious question.Why can't we equip and pay these "good Afghans" to fight the Taliban? Authoritarian killjoy busybody animal rights supporters are the enmey of all freedom loving people.

  • Agent Provacateur||

    "enemy/enemies"

  • Sonny Amin||

    It took me 25years to bring this game to
    USA with rules and regulations and came
    back to Afghanistan after 30years to introduced the game to our troops in Kabul ,of course we can make this an olympic game.

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