Tire racing, or tee-wong-law, is played in the rural areas of Thailand. This game first started with a spare time and a bamboo ring taken from a used threshing basket.

In the past, many households used this kind of basket for multiple purposes such as threshing rice and storing household items or food. When baskets were damaged and adults could no longer use them, the children took the ring that held strips of bamboo together and used it as a wheel to play with.

And that’s how the tire racing game was invented.

Over time, children discovered that they could use a bicycle tire instead of the bamboo ring.

Since then, the game has become a favorite for many boys. And it remains a favorite because it is inexpensive, easy to make and fun.

All you need is:

  • a clean tire from a bicycle or motorcycle,
  • a stick about 1 foot long,
  • an open space, and
  • a start and finish line.

The rules of the game are simple.

You roll and control the tire with the stick as you race. If your tire falls over, you’re out of the race. 

The first person to cross the finish line with his or her tire still upright is the winner!

A beginner should start with a flat surface. When you are more advanced, then a slope adds to the challenge.

Thai children often play this game during their free time: after school, on weekends or any time when there is a gathering of children.

On some occasions, a contest might be held to find the best player in the village. This game is not only a fun activity but also good exercise, developing the  children’s muscles, agility and coordination. With just a tire, a stick and an open area, children can have a great time!

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5 Comments Add a Comment
  1. mina.w
    Jul 13, 2012
    at 6:40 am

    I’m from Okinawa, Japan and I remember at school they taught me that the generation that were children during and after the WWII used to play this game. I think my mother even knows how to play this. Her friends and her used to use the wire ring though.
    I’m very impressed that children can find a way to play with almost anything when they get a hold of it.

  2. Jul 13, 2012
    at 9:57 am

    This blog post came at the perfect time! I’ve been playing with the idea of teaching my students about what children in other cultures do in their free time—and you’ve given me a perfect first lesson! I think my kids will love tire racing and thinking about what it would be like to live in Thailand. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Jul 13, 2012
    at 11:41 am

    What great pictures! Those boys are definitely having a great time playing that game. I remember learning in school about a variation of this hoop game that was played by children during the early days of the United States. Due to the simplicity of the materials, this is a good game for people to teach children almost anywhere in the world.

  4. Stacey
    Jul 13, 2012
    at 6:56 pm

    This is wonderful! My child in Thailand mentions this game, and I always wondered what it was.

  5. Diane
    Jul 14, 2012
    at 8:24 pm

    this sounds like rolling a hoop that kids in America used to play,in days gone by. I played it with a hula hoop, I need to write to my girl in Thailand and see if she has played it, this is a great story

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