The ancient Indian sport of Kabaddi has a 4000-year history, making it one of the oldest sports in the world. If you are from the sub-continent, you may be familiar with the game of Kabaddi, and you may be even tried your hand at a few raids. Even though there are references to Kabaddi in the chronicles of ancient India, the sport only really gained popularity as a spectator sport in the 20th century. Although its roots are still debated, several hypotheses from religious believers believe that Kabaddi originated either in the Sistan region of modern-day Iran or during the Vedic era of ancient India. So, in this article, we’ll talk about everything linked to the sport of Kabaddi as well as some of its players. But, before that, let us know a little about Kabaddi.
Well, the popularity of Kabaddi, which was introduced as a demonstration sport during the Berlin Olympics in 1936, has grown immensely over time. And after making appearances at the Asian Games as a demonstration sport in 1951 and 1982, Kabaddi attained its goal of becoming a medal event in 1990 and has remained a constant ever since.
The emergence of leagues like Pro Kabaddi has helped Kabaddi, one of India’s national sports, gain prominence in recent years. Pro Kabaddi has changed the sport, which was long thought to be a contest of raw physical power, by placing more of an emphasis on player fitness, agility, temperament, and strategy. Along with these improvements, Kabaddi has undergone several changes in terms of how it is played now compared to in the past. Here is a brief overview of the kabaddi regulations, how to play the game, and the sport’s history for those who are new to it.
What Is Kabbadi?
Kabaddi is a popular contact sport in which two teams compete on opposing halves of the field. It is sometimes referred to as kabbadi or kabadi. The goal of the game is for a single offensive player, known as a raider, to sprint into the opposing team’s portion of the field and tag out as many of their defenders as they can. Each team has seven players. The Indian subcontinent and other nearby Asian nations are big fans of it. Even though there are references to Kabaddi in the chronicles of ancient India, the sport only gained popularity as a spectator sport in the 20th century. It is Bangladesh’s national sport. It is considered to be the official sport of the following regions in India: Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.
ALSO READ: Is Kabaddi In The Olympics? Know Here!
With the introduction of Pro-Kabaddi, this once-played-in-the-streets game has evolved into an indoor activity. In addition to this, it has been successful in luring high-profile celebrities and securing expensive endorsement deals for its athletes. Until more recent times, the game of Kabaddi was never played with the intention of making a living via it. This game is known by several names in different parts of the Indian subcontinent.
How To Play Kabaddi?
On a huge quadrilateral mat split into two equal halves, two teams, each with seven players, compete against one another. To score points, a player from the attacking team must enter the opposing half, touch as many opponents as possible, and then exit back into their own half. The attacking player is referred to as a raider, and the play is referred to as a raid. There is a 30-second time limit on each raid. The raider declares all players he tags before going back to his side and sends them outside the playing area. They can only be brought back to life if their team has scored points.
Teams can also win points by tackling the raider and stopping him before he touches the midline or returns to his own half. Teams take turns performing raids, and at the end of the game, the team with the most points wins. If all seven players on a team are eliminated, the team is said to be “all out,” and the remaining players must start a fresh play from the beginning of the mat. Also, extra points are awarded to the opposing team for calling all-outs.
Rules Of Kabaddi
Unlike traditional Kabaddi, which is played on mud, modern competitive Kabaddi adheres to a set of rules that have been accepted by top leagues and tournaments, such as Pro Kabaddi and the Kabaddi World Cup. Thus, the rules are listed and illustrated below.
1. Kabaddi Court: Playing Area Size
The size of a kabaddi court for competitive men’s Kabaddi is 13 m by 10 m, as per kabaddi rules. The court is somewhat smaller for women and measures 12m by 8m. The measurements, however, can be a little different for international and local contests. The midline, which divides the playing field into two halves, outlines the territory of each team. To start a raid, opposition raiders must cross the midline.
2. Baulk Line
The baulk line is drawn parallel to the midline at 3.75 meters in either half of the area. For a raid to be legal, the raider must cross the baulk line with one foot while keeping the other foot in the air. The raider is able to make an attempt to score points only once the raid has been validated.
MUST-READ: Is Kabaddi Famous In Korea? Here’s The Answer!
3. Bonus Line
The bonus line runs one meter parallel to the baulk line. However, the bonus line is only in play if there are six or more defenders present on the mat. A raider must cross the bonus line with one foot on the ground and the other in the air to receive bonus points. A raider will not be able to successfully withdraw to his side of the map with an effort to earn bonus points until after he has completed this step.
The rectangular, multicolored space on each side of the court is the lobby. Only when raiders and defenders have made contact does this area become active. If there is contact, the raider can enter the lobby and use it as cover for his escape, and the defenders can utilize the same manoeuvre to stop the departing attacker. Players will be forced to leave the mat and stay on the bench until they are revived if they enter the lobby without making any contact.
5. Duration Of A Kabaddi Match
A kabaddi match lasts for forty minutes. Each of the two halves lasts for twenty minutes, and at the halftime break, the two teams switch positions. However, in the event of a knockout match, if the game finishes in a draw, an additional seven minutes will be added to the end of the match to determine the winner of the competition. There is a one-minute pause in between each of the two three-minute halves of the seven minutes. If at the end of extra time, there is still no clear winner, the match is decided by Golden Raid.
• Golden Raid
A fresh toss will be held prior to the Golden Raid, and the team that wins it will have the opportunity to raid. The baulk line will then serve as the bonus line, with each team fielding seven players. If the player is seen to cross the line, the raiding team will receive bonus points in addition to the touches that the raider makes on the defenders. And, if the person who goes on the raid first scores even one point for his team, they will win the match.
The only points scored during the Golden Raid are recorded; the out and resurrection rules do not apply. The team in the tiebreaker will play with fewer players if any player is temporarily suspended during the match. These players will be included while calculating bonus points. The outcome of the match will be decided by the flip of a coin if the score is still tied after both sides have attempted Golden Raids.
6. Number Of Players In Kabaddi
There are seven players on the mat for each team, plus five replacements. During the course of the game, a team may substitute a maximum of five times.
READ MORE: Where Is Yukigassen Played? How Is It Played?
7. Scoring Methodology
To successfully score a point, a raider must touch a defender in the other team’s half and then return to his own half without being stopped. If the raider is able to make it back to his half of the mat successfully after earning a touch point, he will be awarded one point for each player that he touches, and the players that he touches will have to leave the mat if the raider was successful. In addition, for the attack to be successful, the raider must continuously sing the term “kabaddi.”
A raider has a maximum of thirty seconds to accomplish a raid, and as was said before, they are eligible to receive extra points if they are able to successfully cross the bonus line with one foot in the air and the other foot across the line when there are six or more defenders on the mat. And, if the defenders are successful in bringing down the raider before he crosses the midline, then the defending team receives a point, and the raider is said to be out of the game. The players on a team can be revived in the same order in which they were eliminated from the game for each raid point that they score.
Other Terms Related To The Sport Of Kabaddi:
1. Empty Raid
A raid is considered to be empty if the raider doesn’t score any points from it.
2. Do-or-die Raid
The third consecutive raid after two successful empty raids is considered a “do-or-die” raid. The raider must score a point; otherwise, he is eliminated.
One additional point is awarded to a team when they successfully eliminate all of the members of the other team from the match (2 in Pro Kabaddi). After an all-out, all seven players from both sides, regardless of their dismissal order, return to the playing area.
4. Super Raid
A Super Raid occurs when a raider successfully touches three or more defenders in a single raid. A Super Raid is also considered to include a bonus point and the elimination of two defenders.
5. Super Tackle
A Super Tackle occurs when the opposing team successfully tackles a raider while having three or fewer defenders on the ground. For each Super Tackle, teams are awarded an additional point.
NEXT-READ: Is Calcio Storico Still Played?
How Many Types Of Kabaddi Sport Style Are?
The standard version and the circular version of the kabaddi game are the two most popular versions. The acknowledged standard version, which consists of seven players per team, is played on a rectangular court that is 10 by 13 meters (33 ft 43 ft) for men and 8 by 12 meters (26 ft 39 ft) for women. The game is broken up into two halves of 20 minutes each, separated by a 5-minute halftime break during which the teams switch positions. There is a 30-second time limit on each raid as well. However, in some parts of India, the circular version has remained common. This form of Kabaddi, also known as Punjabi Kabaddi, is played on a 22-meter-diameter circular field. The Sanjeevani style, Gaminee style, and Amar style are the other three variations of this game that are played by amateurs in India.
In the Sanjeevani method, one player gets revived in opposition to one exiled player on the other team. There are still seven players on each side, and an additional four points are awarded to the team that eliminates all of the players on the opposing side. In the Gaminee version, seven players compete on each side, and a player who is thrown out must stay out until everyone on his team is out.
A point is awarded to the squad that successfully eliminates every member of the opposing team. There is no set amount of time for the game to last; it goes on until five or seven of these points are obtained. In Amar style, a player who is declared out remains on the court as play continues. A team receives one point for each opponent player that is “out” after being touched.
About Punjabi Kabaddi
The game of Punjabi Kabaddi is played on a circular pitch. It comes in many different variations, including the Lambi Kabaddi, Saunchi Kabaddi, Goongi Kabaddi, and 19 other traditional variations. Major international competitions like the World Kabaddi League and the Kabaddi World Cup adhere to this format.
• Lambi Kabaddi
In Lambi Kabaddi, 15 players compete on a 20–30 foot-diameter circular field. There is neither a boundary nor a referee. As far as they can, the players can run. While raiding his opponents, the raider must utter the phrase “kauddi kauddi.” The additional guidelines are reminiscent of the Amar kabaddi style.
• Saunchi Kabaddi
Boxing and Saunchi Kabaddi are quite similar. It is well-liked in Punjab’s Malwa region. There is no restriction on the number of participants who can participate, and the sport takes place on a circular path. Typically, a bamboo is buried in the ground and covered with a red cloth. The winner parades it around. In this variation of Kabaddi, the raider only strikes the defender in the chest. If the raider does so, the defender is allowed to grip the raider’s wrist, but it is a foul if the defender grabs any other part of the raider’s body. The defender is declared the winner if he successfully subdues the raider by holding his wrist. If the defender is unable to maintain their hold on the raider and the raider is able to flee, then the raider is considered to be the winner.
• Goongi Kabaddi
In Goongi Kabaddi, a raider simply touches the member of the other team without speaking or saying the word “Kauddi” aloud. Anyone he touches is only allowed to attempt to wrestle him to the ground and prevent him from returning to his side. If he quits, the defender receives the point. And, if he is able to go back to his half of the field and touch the line, then the point will be awarded to him.
History Of Kabaddi
Though unproven, speculations from a number of sources claim that the game of Kabaddi dates back to ancient India’s Vedic era and may have started in modern-day Haryana. The Yadava people were reported to have enjoyed playing the game, and an abhang by Tukaram said that Lord Krishna had done so when he was younger. The Mahabharata also features a line about Arjuna’s ability to slip into dangerous situations and defeat opponents while remaining unharmed, which has been compared to the game’s strategy. There are also claims that Gautama Buddha enjoyed playing the game.
Despite these contradictory assertions, modern Kabaddi is a combination of the game that was played in many variations throughout the Indian continent under numerous names. With the first organized competitions taking place in the 1920s, their inclusion in the schedule of the Indian Olympic Games in 1938, the founding of the All-India Kabaddi Federation in 1950, and their use as a demonstration sport at the first Asian Games in 1951 in New Delhi, India is credited with helping to popularise Kabaddi as a competitive sport.
These changes made it possible for the sport, which was previously only practiced in rural areas, to become officially sanctioned for international competition. Kabaddi was added to the Asian Games schedule starting in 1990 after being showcased once more at the Delhi Asian Games in 1982.
Popularity Of The Sport Kabaddi
The Indian subcontinent is home to a flourishing Kabaddi community. In 1950, the Kabaddi Federation of India (KFI) was established, and it created a set of uniform regulations. Pakistan Kabaddi Federation is the organization in charge of overseeing Kabaddi in Pakistan. In Bangladesh, the sport known as Kabaddi is referred to by a different name: “Ha-du-du.” Ha-du-du is a game with a variety of rules that vary depending on where it is played. The national sport of Bangladesh is Kabaddi, which received formal recognition in 1972. In 1973, Bangladesh’s Amateur Kabaddi Federation was established.
READ MORE: WWE SummerSlam 2022 Card, Ticket, Date, Time & Location!
The Community of Kabaddi in Iran was established in 1996, the same year they joined the Asian Kabaddi Federation, and they joined the International Kabaddi Federation in 2001. In 2004, the Iran Amateur Kabaddi Federation was established. The national sport of Nepal is Kabaddi. In the majority of Nepali schools, Kabaddi is played and taught starting around the third grade. The British Army also played Kabaddi for recreation, physical fitness, and as a recruiting tool for British Asian personnel. Indian, Nepalese, and Sri Lankan immigrants introduced Kabaddi to the United Kingdom. The England Kabaddi Federation UK is the authority in charge of Kabaddi in the United Kingdom (England).
International Competition Of Kabaddi
The following tournaments are played according to the standard format for Kabaddi;
1. Kabaddi World Cup
The International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) hosts an annual outdoor international standard style kabaddi championship called the Kabaddi World Cup. And both men’s and women’s national teams from around the world compete for the title. The contest has previously held in 2004, 2007, and 2016. Indian athletes have won in every competition. In the championship game for 2016, India won the title by claiming a 38–29 victory over Iran. This result gave India the trophy. With 32 men’s teams and 24 women’s teams competing, it was the biggest world cup in kabaddi history.
2. Asian Games
Before becoming a medal event for the first time in 1990, Kabaddi was played as a demonstration sport in the First Asian Games in 1951, 1982, and again in 1990. From 1990 until 2014, the Indian national team won every men’s and women’s kabaddi match at the Asian Games. Iran became the first nation other than India to win kabaddi gold medals at the 2018 Asian Games, while India’s men’s team took home bronze and Iran’s women’s team took home silver.
3. Pro Kabaddi League
In 2014, the Pro Kabaddi League was founded. The league adopted the Indian Premier League of Twenty20 cricket as a model for its operations, focusing heavily on marketing, having Star Sports as a local broadcast partner, and making adjustments to the sport’s regulations and presentation to make it more appealing to a television audience. The Pro Kabaddi League swiftly gained popularity among Indian television viewers; during the 2014 season, at least 435 million individuals tuned in, and 98.6 million saw the first championship game.
4. Indo International Premier Kabaddi League
The IIPKL’s first edition took place in Pune, India. The Bangalore Rhinos took home the championship for the first season.
5. Super Kabaddi League
The Super Kabaddi League debuted in Pakistan in May 2018 as part of an effort to rekindle the country’s passion for the sport.
6. Asian Kabaddi Championship
The tenth Asian Kabaddi Championship (AKC) season was held in Gorgan, Iran, in 2017, and India won its tenth gold medal after defeating Pakistan in the championship match.
7. Kabaddi Masters
The first Kabaddi Masters was held in Dubai from June 22 to June 30, 2018. It was the country’s first-ever kabaddi competition. Six teams were present. The event was won by India after they defeated Iran in the final match with a score of 44–26. The Indian Defense was superior to the Iran Defense, which contributed to India’s victory.
8. Junior World Kabaddi Championship
The first Junior Kabaddi World Championship took place from November 11–14, 2019, in Kish Island, Iran. 13 teams were present. The event was won by Iran as they defeated Kenya in the final with a score of 42–22. This competition did not include Team India.
9. European Kabaddi Championship
In 2019, Scotland played host to the inaugural competition for the title of European Kabaddi Champion. Poland defeated Holland in the final match to claim the tournament victory. Poland won the match with a final score of 47–27 over Holland. The World Kabaddi Federation arranged the second edition, which was played in Cyprus in 2021. In the championship game, Poland prevailed over the hosts, Cyprus, by a score of 29-15 to successfully defend their title. The third edition will be held in Italy in 2022.
NEXT-READ: Is Olympic Gold Medal Real?
Some Of The Best Kabaddi Players
The game is becoming increasingly well-known and well-liked as a result of increased media coverage on a global scale. So, in this article, we’ll look at the greatest kabaddi players in history. So let’s get started.
1. Anup Kumar
He was a member of the Indian Kabaddi squad that won the Asian gold medal in 2010 and again in 2014. In the PKL, Anup leads the Jaipur Pink Panthers. He is renowned for his tactics and holds the record for the most points scored in PKL’s inaugural season with 169. He is renowned for his “toe touch” manoeuvre, in which he extends his leg and touches the defender’s feet solely with his toes.
2. Pradeep Narwal
He was the newest kabaddi legend, and his special skill, Dubki, rocked the kabaddi world. Pardeep has racked up a tonne of points at the domestic and PKL levels. He played on the victorious teams of the 2016 and 2017 Asian Kabaddi Championships. At the 2019 South Asian Games, he also took home a gold medal. Pardeep has accumulated many records in PKL.
He once stunned the kabaddi world by scoring 8 points in a single raid against the Haryana Steelers. He had served as the Patna Pirates’ one-man army. Pardeep established a new record for the most expensive player ever bought at a PKL auction. He was bought by the UP Yodha team at auction in 2021 for a staggering 1.65 crores. He is, without a doubt, the best player among the top kabaddi players in the world.
3. Pawan Kumar Sehrawat
He had a reputation among players in the pro kabaddi league as being the best high flyer in the league. During one match, Pawan jumped approximately five and a half feet in the air to escape a defender who was standing on the mat. He didn’t receive many opportunities to play the game and had a rough start to his PKL career. However, he improved his performance in PKL season 6, where he scored 271 raid points. He used his great raiding prowess to lead the Bengaluru Bulls team in winning the title for the first time. In season 7, Pawan Kumar Sehrawat nearly surpassed the record for the most raid points in a single season by scoring 346 raid points.
4. Rahul Chaudhari
In this high-stakes game, Rahul was one of the superstars with the most awards and accomplishments. He is sometimes referred to as the face of professional Kabaddi. He was the second-highest scorer for Telugu Titans in the first season of the Pakistan Premier League with 151 points. Rahul led the Telugu Titans for a few seasons; however, he was unable to lead them to the championship game. Rahul is famous for his hand touches, especially his sprinting ones. He can fast transition from one area to the other and raid in both corners. Rahul Chaudhari finished the pro kabaddi league with 1014 points, which is the second-highest total in pro kabaddi history. In this vibrant league, he is also the only other player to reach 1000 points. He has special raiding abilities.
5. Deepak Niwas Hooda
The pro kabaddi league’s most successful all-arounder is Deepak. He currently holds the record for the most points in the league (943), making him the top all-around player in league history. He first played for Telugu Titans, where he established himself, and now he represents the season one champion Jaipur Pink Panthers. Additionally, he twice served as captain of the past PKL Champions. In addition, Deepak is an all-around raider who even plays defence on occasion for his side. He is one of the successful players for the Indian kabaddi squad and domestic teams in addition to the professional kabaddi league. Deepak is a member of the South Asian Games gold medal-winning teams from 2016 and 2019, as well as the 2016 and 2019 kabaddi world cup winning teams. Hooda was hence one of the finest kabaddi players.
ALSO READ: Is Kabaddi In The Commonwealth Games?