The game involves teams of men playing a ball-like knob of apricot root (in lieu of a ball) with long wooden branches (in lieu of sticks). At night, the game is played with a felt-covered ball that is set alight. A game is reported to last for two periods of roughly 15 minutes.
Games are often organized by tribes or villages, played on a lawn or a large flat area at major festivals, gatherings or for recreation. Goal nets are on each end of the field, with a equal number of players per team.
The stick is called a Beikuo Tarikebei in Daur, beikuo meaning a stick with curved root, made from Quercus Mongolica wood.
The ball is called a Daur Pulie, and is the size of a baseball, available in several materials : Wood Ball is made from Quercus Mongolica wood. Hair Ball is done by rolling the hair of cattle and wild animals. Fire Ball is used for night games, and made from white mushrooms collected from birches, is dried hard and empty in the centre, the fungus is pierced, then injected with pine oil for lighting on fire, these fire balls can also be made from felt covered balls soaked in pine oil. Some balls have also been made from bone.
According to the rules of the game, the player shall not steal or strike from the left, or hit or trip with the stick any other player. No one except the goalkeeper may catch the ball with hands or feet.
The Daur people are descendants of the rowdy Khitan nomads who founded the Liao Dynasty in the tenth century. Like fellow ex-banes of China the Mongols, Daurs excel at riding, shooting wrestling and beikuo.
Using meter-long oak sticks and a ball made of apricot root, the Daurs never bothered with shooting goals. The object is to smack the apricot-root ball over the other team’s boundary line, approximately 50 meters apart.
According to historical China records, the sport consisting of a ball and stick was popular in the Tang Dynasty. Called Jiju in History of Liao, the sport is still popular in the Liao Dynasty.