WATCH: One of the only places to play this Hmong sport just opened in St. Paul - Bring Me The News

WATCH: One of the only places to play this Hmong sport just opened in St. Paul

A tuj lub court just opened in St. Paul. It's the first in Minnesota and one of the only courts in the U.S.
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St. Paul now has a tuj lub court.

A what?

(To get a feel for the game, we recommend watching the video above.)

Tuj lub – it's pronounced "too-loo" and it's a traditional Hmong sport.

The fact that this court just opened in St. Paul's Duluth & Case Recreation Center on Tuesday is a pretty big deal.

Not only is this the first tuj lub court in Minnesota – organizers say it's just the second official court in the U.S.

Keng Yang tells GoMN his father taught him to play the game years ago.

"We've been playing for 15 years here," Keng Yang explained.

But up until now, they didn't have a court.

"I'm excited," Keng Yang said. "Now we have a court."

Chia Chue Yang plays the game too. He also makes the tuj lubs – or the tops you use to play.

"It's like American Super Bowl," Chia Chue Yang says, explaining the significance of the game to Hmong culture.

While tuj lub is traditionally a game played by Hmong men, State Senator Foung Hawj says everybody is invited to play on these courts.

"It's also for Hmong women, for young girls. And it's not just for Hmong alone, too. It's for everybody," Hawj explains.

So how do you play?

Tuj lub is played in teams.

According to some instructions posted by the City of Maplewood, players stand on a launch pad and use a stick with a rope on the end to throw their tops at the other team's tops.

The opponents' tops are positioned on a long strip (St. Paul's is 70 feet) and the goal is to knock them out of the way.

If you're interested in learning more about various stages of the game (yes, there are stages) or how to set it up, click here.

Hmong in Minnesota

According to the Minnesota Historical Society, there are more than 66,000 Hmong in Minnesota.

Additionally, the Twin Cities metro area is home to the largest concentration of Hmong in the entire country.

The ethnic group has ancient roots in China and started coming to Minnesota in 1975 as refugees. At the time, there were wars going in Laos, where many of the people had been living.

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