Elle (sport)

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Sri Lanka elle
එල්ලය බලා වේගයෙන් පහරක් එල්ල කිරිම Sri Lanka Elle - 1960
Highest governing bodyAssociation of Sri Lanka Elle
First playedSri Lanka
Team membersSixteen players and four substitutes
Mixed genderMen and women elle team
EquipmentElle bat and ball
VenueElle ground, paddy field or shore
OlympicStill not going to international level

Elle is a very popular Sri Lankan bat-and-ball game, often played in rural villages and urban areas. It involves a hitter, a pitcher and fielders. The hitter is given three chances to hit the ball pitched at him or her. Once the hitter hits the ball with the bat – often a sturdy bamboo stick – the hitter has to complete a round or run which includes four possible "stoppings" spaced 55 metres (180 ft) apart. A strikeout happens if the hitter's ball is caught by the fielding side or if the fielding side is able to hit the hitter with the ball while he or she is in the course of completing a run. The hitter can stop only at one of the three stoppings in the round thereby paving the way for another member of his team to come and become the hitter. The side that gets the highest number of (complete) runs wins the match.


Historians predict the game existed from around the 20th century and it is not clear by whom the Historigame of elle was introduced to Sri Lanka. Even though one cannot find definitive sources on the origin of the sport, there is evidence to suggest that the game predates the 20th century. The sport of elle in Sri Lanka goes back to more than two thousand years.[1] It is played among villagers during their free time in the evenings after work and especially close to the new year season; it was an interesting and competitive sport for the average person.

එල්ලේ පන්දුවට පහරදිම

Simple yet sturdy sticks made the early bat while the improvised ball was sometimes a dried fruit of wel kaduru (Cerbera manghas). After reaping the harvest from their paddy fields, farmers would gather together with their families by the now barren fields and play elle to celebrate the joy of a well-earned break.

එල්ලේ පන්දුවට පහරදිම

An elle game was a communal activity enjoyed by the whole village, young and old, male and female alike. It was a time to enjoy, laugh and cheer on your loved ones and neighbors as the whole village would break into teams and play the game as a tournament. Elle would also be played as regional tournaments where teams representing adjacent villages or towns would battle to win the title of best elle team. This would gradually spread to national level championships played with good cheer.

එල්ලේ තරගයක් Sri Lanka elle - 1960
එල්ලේ තරගයක් Sri Lanka elle - 1960


In a match, the maximum number of players in a team is sixteen with the minimum being twelve. The team with the lesser number would not usually call for the excess number of players to be removed from the opposing team. Instead the additional players in the larger team could be included in the line up prior to the commencement of the third innings. Striking or fielding could be decided upon by the toss of a coin.

Elle ground[edit]

The playing area should be without obstructions especially to the running area. It should have an identical distance to the front and the two sides. The playing area should be marked with a line of 3 centimeters in breadth leaving at least five meters to the back of the striking spot.

Note: For matches played by school children the running distance between the bases would be less. Accordingly, for school matches the distance would be 11 m whereas for other matches arranged at sports society levels the distance would be 12 m.


Equipment used in the playing area:

Two posts ten meters in height similar to a bamboo tree, six posts two centimeters in breadth and one meter in height and eight flags to be tied to the end of the posts. (The height of posts from ground level should be 1 meter.)

Elle bat[edit]

ප්‍රථමයෙන් භාවිතා කරන ලද පොල්පිත්ත

The elle bat should be made out from well-seasoned bamboo and the length and breadth of the bat can be in accordance with the requirements of the striker. Its circumference should not be changed under any circumstances. However, the elle bat could be bound with material without using any metal in order to protect it from breaking or being damaged.

Elle ball[edit]

Until such time as a special ball is specifically made for elle, tennis balls are used. The fur on the ball could be removed/shaved before use but removing of fur to make the rubber visible is strictly prohibited. A rubber ball or another light ball could be used instead of a tennis ball, but it is of paramount importance that the ball used should be common to both teams.


  • Sri Lanka Elle Official Web Page of Sri Lanka Elle
  • *එලලය About Sport Of Sri Lanka Elle]-S Jude Silva No 56 B Thibbotugoda, Ganemulla First time Edited Web Page for Sri Lanka Elle - In Year 2000
  • About Sport Of Sri Lanka Elle-S Jude Silva No 56 B Thibbotugoda, Ganemulla First time Edited Videos for Sri Lanka Elle - In Year 2000