is a popular sport played among Pacific Island peoples and
is derived from the English game of cricket. Unlike cricket
however, kilikiti is full of singing, dancing and colourful
uniforms with island style rules and mixed-gender team
members from all age groups.
introduced Kilikiti into the Pacific Islands in the late
19th century from the London Missionary Society (LMS).
game soon took on its own identity to suit the temperament,
attitude and lifestyle of the locals. Without the protective
equipment needed for the hard cricket ball, the locals
played in their everyday clothing that consisted of a lava
lava (a wrap around material worn instead of pants) with a
bare top, singlet or shirt.
Samoa, so passionate were the people about the sport that
they eventually claimed kilikiti as their national sport.
Throughout the rest of the Pacific, a kilikiti green was a
standard feature in the village. Today that passion for
kilikiti continues no matter where Pacific peoples choose to
America to Australia, regular kilikiti competitions are held between
church, village and island groups. In New Zealand, a formal association
has been set up to promote kilikiti as
a professional sport. Since 1999, the New Zealand Kilikiti
Association (NZKA) has hosted the Supercific Kilikiti
Tournament - a national tournament with a $100,000 prize
pool. Last year it also hosted the inaugural World Cup
Kilikiti Tournament in which seven countries
Marketing Manager Arena Muaulama says while it was exciting
holding a world-sporting event, standardising the rules of
kilikiti was their first priority. All seven countries were
used to their own rules and needed to conform to a universal
have developed an exam now that umpires are required to
sit," says Muaulama. "That means when we have international kilikiti
here or overseas, our umpires will be qualified and not just plucked
from anywhere. Our aim is to raise the professionalism of this sport."
still has many similarities to cricket. It has bowlers,
batters, and fielders and two wicket keepers instead of one.
But it's there that the similarities end. In kilikiti
there are two bowlers operating alternately from each end of
the wicket with 20 players per team.
traditional cricket the majority of the team tend to be
specialist all-rounders. Kilikiti also has it's own unique
equipment and playing gears not only for the game but for
the players. The bats on average are 1.2 metres in length
and are a cross between a baseball bat and a war club. These
three-sided bats are always colourfully painted and are
often hand made to the player's specifications.
kilikiti used to take up to three days to complete with
whole villages taking part. The NZKA has amended the rules down to 70
minutes, which is perfect for TV. The first team bat for 30 minutes and
the second team face the same amount of balls bowled in the innings.
Due to the rules being revamped it is not unusual during a
Supercific Tournament to
have eight games per day. 6's and 4's have also been
introduced (traditional scoring is 1's & 2's) to make
the game more competitive for both batting and fielding.
says having high prize-money stakes also motivates teams to
perform more competitively and lessens the chances of the
Supercific and World Tournament competitions being
prize-pool money is sponsored by money transfer company
want to stand out and have a higher standard of play. We're
here for anyone of any culture who wants to
more information, visit the NZ Kilikiti Association's
or email Arena Muaulama at:
Kilikiti Tournament, Auckland
26 December - 5 January 2002.
Nations Kilikiti Tournament - Wespac Trust Stadium,