Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 10 - Chapter 1 - Verse 19


तत्रोपाहूय गोपालान् कृष्ण: प्राह विहारवित् ।हे गोपा विहरिष्यामो द्वन्द्वीभूय यथायथम् ॥ १९ ॥


tatropāhūya gopālānkṛṣṇaḥ prāha vihāra-vithe gopā vihariṣyāmodvandvī-bhūya yathā-yatham


Kṛṣṇa, who knows all sports and games, then called together the cowherd boys and spoke as follows: “Hey cowherd boys! Let’s play now! We’ll divide ourselves into two even teams.”


The word yathā-yatham means that Kṛṣṇa naturally wanted the two teams to be evenly matched so that there would be a good game. In addition to the pleasure of sporting, the purpose of the game was to kill the demon Pralamba.