Chinlon - A Cane Ball Story
Chinlon is a woven rattan ball, around 12cm in diameter, which is used for different kinds of games resembling soccer or volleyball. It might also be the object of artistic performances by one or several skillful Myanmar who enchant the assisting public with their incredible creations of graceful and dance-like movements. The harmonious movements of the players' bodily flexibility naturally fascinate the spectator. Both, the player and the spectator, share equally the joy of play. Chinlon also refers to the different styles of playing.
The informal "backyard" type of playing is to kick the ball around from player without ever dropping it.
How to play a cane ball?
6 peoples standing in a circle play a more formal type. Each player has to keep the ball aloft using 6 areas on the feet and legs during 5 minutes for each part. He has to apply 30 techniques and gets one point for each kick. Points are subtracted for loosing the ball or using the wrong body part.
In many competitions, there is yet another kind of plays applies. It includes individual as well as group performances in the above manner. In Mandalay, there is a yearly national competition that lasts several days and attracts big crowds of people from morning till night.
Individual players are required to keep the cane ball aloft as long as possible and the gathering spectators enthusiastically count all the kicks.
In-group competitions, the successful kicks of the whole team are counted. Some players perform great feats in trying to save the ball from falling down, and these actions always evoke fervent cries of crowd. This style involves any parts of the body such as shoulders, arms, feet, legs, the chest and the head.
A different performance is played at competitions as well as on the street; the latter is also an excellent trading. It consists as playing the chinlon over volleyball net. The rules are similar to those of the original volleyball game, but the players are allowed to use their head and feet to throw the ball to the other side of the net. Good chinlon players stand out with brilliant performances like aerial pirouettes that push the ball over the net.
In whatever manner chinlon is performed, it always asks a lot of effort, zeal and dedication from each player belonging to a team of a perfect technique and perseverance from the individual player. It is a game for co-operative endeavors, yet provides opportunity for the exhibition of the highest form of individual skill.
Both kinds of play guarantee the spectator a thrilling, exciting and joyful experience from the beginning to the end.