Traditional Games

People of all cultures developed traditions of competition proving skill, cunning or intuition. Games from all over the world were shared along trade routes. However, in the past century, the traditional games of many cultures have faded out of the experience of new generations. Generic, Olympic-type competitions have replaced cultural games for tribal youth. In that games were a prominent way of passing on customs, traditions, and heritage, those pathways to the traditional values have been lost.

The old time Native American games of strength, skill, stamina and intuition were played by all ages of tribal members. Within the community of the tribe there was an obligation to share the economic gain of superior abilities with others. Competitions taught social responsibility for others and gave personal strength to spiritual values of their way of life.

The theme of the International Traditional Games has been, “What Holds Us Together” and “Honoring the Differences.” These themes celebrate President Jefferson's directive to Captain Lewis that, “in all your discourses extend the hand of peace.”

Traditional Tribal Games

Canoe Races/Double:

Ten canoes with two people in each canoe will race a quarter mile water course. There will be three heats to a category and six categories. The first two canoes in each heat will advance. Categories include: Youth: 8 – 11 year olds; Youth: 12 – 14 year olds; Youth: 15 – 17 year olds; Men: 18 – 39 years old; Women: 18 – 39 years old: Coed: 40 years and older.

Canoe Races/Teams:
One canoe with 12 paddlers race a ½ mile water course. One canoe goes at a time and each race is timed allowing eight teams to compete per category. Categories include: Coed: 14 – 17 years old; Men: 18 years and older; Women 18 years and older; Coed: 40 years and older.

Shinney:
Shinney is played with willow sticks and is played using field hockey rules. A rectangular goal with a 5 foot span and 5 foot height will be at end of the playing field. Teams consist of eight players. The playing ball will be deer hair stuffed with tanned deer hide. Categories: Coed Youth: 8 - 11 year olds; Coed Youth: 12 - 15 year olds.

Shinney

 

 

 

 


Traditional Lacrosse:
Lacrosse is played on a round field with a 21-foot tall pole placed in the center of the field. Atop the pole is a goal piece (carving of deer skull) or two ribbons defining a goal area on the pole. The object of the game is to propel a ball from the net pocket of the lacrosse stick into the goal area on the pole. Categories: : Coed Youth: 8 - 11 year olds; Coed Youth: 12 to 15 year olds.

Doubleball:
Doubleball is played with willow sticks with a goal 10 feet wide and 10 feet high. There are eight athletes on each team. Categories: Coed Youth: 8 - 11 year olds; Coed Youth: 12 to 15 year olds.

Arrow Throw Competition (Crow Version):
This game is competed with teams of two. One team competes against another team in a single elimination round. The playing field is 35 yards long for 18 year olds and younger. The playing field is 40 yards long for the older competitors. Both team players cast long arrows (about 5 feet in length) at a target on the ground. Then the second team tosses. Points are awarded for closest to the center of the target. Categories: Boys Youth: 10 - 17 year olds; Men 18+.

Hoop and dart:
Competing teams of ten athletes line up along the length of both sides of a 30-foot alleyway and attempt to throw their darts through a netted hoop that is thrown to roll down the alley. The game will use the Salish Hoop. Contestants whose darts stay in the hoop when it stops are awarded points -- 5 points for the center; 1 point anywhere else in the net. The hoop throw will alternate between the two ends of the alleyway. Teh darts are approximately 18 inches long. Each team member has one dart, so only one throw/contestant (10 throws per team) is allowed for each throw of the hoop. Teams play four games in a day the first two days. The aggregate core determines the team's seeding for the single eliminationtorunament on the last two days.Categories: Coed Youth: 8 - 11 year olds; Coed Youth: 12 to 14 year olds; Coed Youth: 15 – 17 year olds; Men's: 18 years and older; Women's: 18 years and older; Coed Team: 40 years and older.

Individual Games

Hoop and Long Arrow:
This is played on a 30-foot alleyway on the ground. Ten athletes line up along the alleyway and attempt to throw their long arrow through a beaded hoop that is thrown to roll down the alley. The contestant to stop the hoop's roll with the long arrow is awarded points. The hoop is alternated with a throw from one end and then the next throw is from the opposite end of the alley. Contestants must bump two positions down after each throw to equalize the play. The long arrows are 3-5 feet long. The alleyway is setup on packed dirt or on grass. Each contestant has six arrows, so only one throw/contestant is allowed for each throw of the hoop. Contestants can replay the game repeatedly each day to better their score for that day. Categories: Coed Youth: 8 - 11 year olds; Coed Youth: 12 to 14 year olds; Coed Youth: 15 – 17 year olds; Men's: 18 years and older; Women's: 18 years and older; Coed Team: 40 years and older.

Kickball:
Runners will race kicking a hackey-sack type ball with an attached 3-inch braided tail down a course 100 yards and back. The ball and runner must cross the finish line to be counted as a finish. At the turnaround, both runner and ball must cross the turnaround marker to be considered qualified. Heats will be run by age category in groups of 20-25 runners and they will have balls of different colored tails. The top three runners from each heat will be taken from each heat to go into a finals heat each day for a First, Second, and Third place winner. Considering a first, second, and third award for each category for each day is 54 awards (18 awards each day x 3 days). Categories Coed Youth: 8 - 11 year olds; Coed Youth: 12 to 14 year olds; Coed Youth: 15 – 17 year olds; Men's: 18 years and older; Women's: 18 years and older; Coed Team: 40 years and older.

Missouri River Race: (changed each year)
One 10K race starting about 1 mile northeast of Cochrane Dam following the River's Edge Trail to Giant Springs State Park (Heritage Unit). The racing field will be limited to 150 athletes only. Runners will be entered on a first-come/first served basis and must be pre-registered. Categories: Coed Youth: 8 - 12 years old; Boys: 13 to 17 years old; Girls: 13 to 17 years old; Men's: 18 to 39 years old; Women's 18 to 39 years old; Men's 40 years and older; and Women's: 40 years and older.


Atlatl Gear

Atlatl Target:

Individuals throw ten darts each at an archery target placed at 15 meters distance. The setup will allow 40 participants in each age category. Scores will be recorded by scorekeepers, based on closest to the center of the target. Several rounds of throw-offs may be necessary to assign place winners. Winners of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in Men's, Women's, and Youth divisions will receive certificates and prizes. Categories: Coed Youth: 8 – 17 year olds; Men's: 18 years and older; Women's: 18 years old and older.  

Atlatl Gear

 

 

 

 


Primitive Bow (Novice):
Individuals will shoot ten arrows each at an archery target placed at 15 meters distance. The setup will allow 40 participants in each age category. Scores will be recorded by scorekeepers, based on closest to the center of the target. Several competitions may be necessary to assign place winners.

Winners of 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in Men's, Women's, and Youth divisions will receive certificates and prizes. This event will require 10 targets, 10 support frames, 15 atlatls, 75 darts. Categories: Coed Youth: 8 – 17 year olds; Men's: 18 years and older; Women's: 18 years old and older.

Primitive Bow (Expert):
Individuals will shoot ten arrows each at an archery target placed at 15 meters distance. The setup will allow 40 participants in each age category. Scores will be recorded by scorekeepers, based on closest to the center of the target. Several competitions of throw-offs may be necessary to assign place winners. Winners of 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in Men's, Women's, and Youth divisions will receive certificates and prizes. Categories: Coed Youth: 8 – 17 year olds; Men's: 18 years and older; Women's: 18 years old and older.

Youth Bow



 

 
Honoring & Teaching Traditional Native Games
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