Sri Lanka Sports

Sri Lanka cricket
Figure 1.-- Here junior and senior schoolboys are practicing cricket after the school day. They are wearing hats because they are practicing with soft rubber balls rather than the much harder regulation leatgher balls. Note, elder boys are wearing trousers while the younger boys wear shorts.

Sports are popular in Scotland. The sports played are the ones introduced by the British during the colonial era. Youth sports are primarily played at schools. Most schools provide the opportunity for students to participate in various sports as extra-curricular activities. This is especially true of the private schools which are better finnced. When performing these sports there are specific types of clothing and gear worn. The types of clothing for each sport are same among all the schools except the colour of the uniforms. The most popular boys' sports are: cricket, basketball, volleyball, badminton, tennis, and rugby.


Cricket was brought to Sri Lanka by the British during the colonial period when they governed Ceylon. In early years cricket was restricted to British people who lived in Sri Lanka Before the independence. But after the independence cricket has becoming popular among the Sri Lankans and as a result many boys’ schools started to provide facilities to practice cricket as an extra-curricular activity. The standard uniform for cricket in Sri Lanka is a short sleeved white T-shirt and long white trousers. The original T-shirt was long sleeved, but Sri Lanka chooses short sleeved shirts due to the tropical climate. These clothes should be a relaxed-fit and not to be tight to the body. Schoolboy cricketers also follow this dress code but based on the age the pants become short or long. Usually boys under 15 years wear short pants instead of long pants. Short pants are worn at lengths between just above knee-length and mid-thigh length. This uniform differentiation is to help identify the junior and senior players/ teams. Shoes and socks also should be in white and made from canvas or synthetic. Shoes need to be absorb sweat to reduce heat. Also cotton socks are popular due to this reason. When playing cricket using soft-balls (balls made by rubber or other lightweight material) players only caps or hats. But when play using regulation leather and very hard balls, only the batsman and the wicket keeper wear a head-gear (helmet). Sometimes, during inter-school matches players wear colour T-shirts instead of white shirts. Sometimes it is identifiable instructors/ team leaders advices junior players (15 years and under) to wear long pants instead of short pants to minimize injuries can be happened during the match (game).


Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six active players, separated by a high net. This game can be played indoor as well as outdoor. It is the national game of Sri Lanka, though it is not popular like cricket. But, from mid 1990’s it is becoming popular among school kids. When comparing with cricket uniforms, volleyball clothes are not so relaxed-fit. Players are wearing different colours of T-shirts and shorts according to the colours of their school or the sports club. Usually the garment is made from cotton, but sometimes the shorts are made using artificial fabrics (maybe nylon or polyester). Shorts are normally in mid-thigh/ brief shorts because this is a very active game and provide more flexibility and comfortable to the player during playing the game. When playing volleyball, the players wear knee-guards to prevent injuries which can be occurring when falling. Players wear leather or canvas Shoes with cotton socks while playing the game. The colours of the shoes and the socks also vary according to their team.


Badminton is played by either two opposing players or two opposing pairs within a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Shuttlecock and the racquet are the main equipments of this game. Players play this game by hitting to the shuttlecock using the racquet and passes over the net. History of badminton in Sri Lanka is unclear, but it assumes to be here from Britain like cricket. Still in Sri Lanka badminton is not very popular among elders and it only popular highly among school kids and played by them disregarding the gender. The reason maybe this is the game which has less in number of rules and not difficult to learn. Costumes which are worn by the players are little similar to the cricket uniforms. But the difference is instead of wearing white clothes, the payers wear clothes with different colour codes as well as pure white and only wear shorts. Garments are designed to provide more flexibility and comfortable to the player during playing the game. Players wear leather or canvas Shoes with cotton socks while playing the game. The colours of the shoes and the socks also vary according to their team. Image 4: A couple of prep schoolboys wearing their school badminton uniform. Image 5: A badminton team of prep schoolboys. Note that they are wearing a dress code which is similar to the cricket uniforms.


Rugby is a form of football and this game is played by boys who have greater physical strength. This can be classified as the second most popular sport in Sri Lanka among boys. Rugby is mostly played by the boys who are above 12 years old. This game became popular after mid 1980’s among boys’ schools. In early years, costumes which are worn by the players are similar to the volleyball uniforms. But later, the clothes become changed. Nowadays players wear T-shirts without collars and wear different types of shoes and socks. Also clothes are tighter to the body than volleyball clothes. This help to prevent injuries and give extra strength for the player. Players wear heavy-duty shoes because rugby is played in muddy and slipping grounds/ pitch. Also they wear different kinds of guards including knee-guards to gain protection against injuries. But we can identify boys below 15years old play rugby without shoes and guards. The reason for this maybe they are playing the game under a lower weight. Image 6/ Image 7: An incidence of a junior players rugby match between teams of two colleges. Note that every boy is playing the game with barefoot. In image 7, there is a boy wearing a guard in his sole. Image 8: A group of junior rugby team in late 1980’s. Note that boys are wearing Tshirts with collars. Image 9: A group of rugby team in year 2008. The boys are wearing T-shirts without collars.


There is no big difference between costumes of badminton and tennis. Virtually the dress codes are same but the sport is different. Image 10: A tennis team of prep schoolboys after rewarding.


Suits which are wearing by boys when playing basketball is same as the players wear in the United States.


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Created: 8:35 PM 10/5/2008
Last updated: 8:35 PM 10/5/2008