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Kabaddi Information: History, How to Play & Rules

Welcome to the thrilling universe of Kabaddi! A sport that combines physical prowess, tactical intellect, and breathtaking speed, Kabaddi has captivated millions of hearts worldwide. In this guide, we delve deep into the heart of this adrenaline-packed game – from its humble beginnings to its rise on the global stage. We’ll navigate through the game’s intricacies, rules, strategic nuances, and the intense training regimes of the players. Whether you’re a seasoned fan or new to this exhilarating sport, we invite you to explore the dynamic world of Kabaddi and discover why it continues to fascinate spectators and athletes alike. Buckle up for an exciting journey into the compelling world of Kabaddi!

Information About Kabaddi

Kabaddi is a fascinating sport that requires a unique blend of physical strength, strategic thinking, and sheer tenacity. Often deemed as a sport not for the faint-hearted, it is a game that tests an individual’s endurance, agility, and ability to make quick decisions under pressure.

A typical Kabaddi match features two teams, each comprising seven players. Aspiring Kabaddi players must have the excellent lung capacity for the game demands sustained physical exertion, often in breathless sequences. Muscular strength is another essential requisite, given the sport’s intense physical contact nature. Equally critical is a sharp presence of mind to outmanoeuvre the opposing team and make split-second strategic decisions.

The Kabaddi playing field is divided into two halves, each belonging to a respective team. The teams are divided into ‘antis’ and ‘raiders.’ The ‘antis’ constitute the defensive unit tasked with preventing the raiders from tagging them, while the raiders’ objective is to breach the enemy line, tag as many antis as possible, and return to their half—all in a single breath.

The beauty of Kabaddi lies in its simplicity. A raider is declared ‘out’ if they cross the boundary line, can’t hold their breath while raiding, or if any part of their body touches the ‘lobby’ (inactive area of play). However, it’s the complexity of strategic play, quick exchanges, and unpredictability that truly brings the sport to life.

To ensure fair play and adherence to rules, six officials supervise a match: two umpires, a referee, a scorer, and two assistant scorers. Their collective roles encompass making crucial decisions during the game, maintaining the score, and ensuring that the conduct of the match aligns with the prescribed rules of Kabaddi.

What is truly remarkable is Kabaddi’s rise on the international stage. While deeply rooted in South Asian traditions, the sport has transcended cultural and geographical boundaries. The international Kabaddi arena has standardized court dimensions: 10m x 13m for men’s matches and 8m x 12m for women’s matches, ensuring a universal standard for professional play.

Worldwide tournaments like the Kabaddi World Cup, Asian Games, and the immensely popular Pro Kabaddi League in India have catapulted the sport into the global limelight. From Asia to Europe, and North America to Australia, Kabaddi’s popularity continues to surge, owing to its unique blend of tradition, athleticism, and strategy, encapsulated in its thrilling gameplay. The expansion of Kabaddi stands as a testament to the universal appeal of this electrifying sport.

History Of Kabaddi

Kabaddi information
Photo by Tehmasip Khan on Pexels

Embarking on a journey through the annals of Kabaddi’s history feels akin to flipping through the vibrant pages of an ancient epic. Imbued with intriguing legends, cultural traditions, and historical milestones, Kabaddi’s saga resonates deeply with the historical ethos of India.

The sport finds mention in Tukaram’s Abhang, where it is suggested that the divine Krishna himself indulged in the game, establishing Kabaddi’s connection with India’s spiritual mythology. Yet, a different thread of history ties Kabaddi’s origins to the southern lands of Tamil Nadu. The sport is believed to have emerged over 4,000 years ago, serving as a platform for showcasing courage and strength—traits sought after in a prince by princesses or potential brides.

Kabaddi’s roots dig even deeper into the soil of India’s iconic epic, the Mahabharata. The game is often linked to the valiant Abhimanyu, whose lone battle against a horde of enemy warriors mirrors the gameplay of Kabaddi—a solitary raider, much like Abhimanyu, fights off a group of defenders.

Moreover, Kabaddi’s evolution is intrinsically tied to the traditional sport of Jallikattu, practised by the Ayar tribal people residing in the ancient Mullai region of Tamil Nadu. Here, the notion of a player venturing into the opposition’s half in Kabaddi was likened to taming a raging bull without physical contact, a central theme in Jallikattu. The Sangam literature offers references to this connection, reinforcing the sport’s historical significance in the region.

Another intriguing facet of Kabaddi’s history reveals that it found favour with Gautam Buddha, who is said to have played the game recreationally. This notion adds a layer of serene spirituality to the otherwise vigorous sport.

Over the centuries, Kabaddi evolved, retaining its popularity and cultural relevance. Before the 1980s, it was a cherished emblem of childhood in India, signifying not merely a game, but a celebration of speed, agility, and thrill, along with a testament to physical fitness and mental alertness.

As time passed, the sport experienced an organic evolution, transforming from a traditional rural pastime to an organized competitive sport in the 20th century. While the sport’s modern-day journey and the development of its international competitive structure are remarkable, the heart of Kabaddi remains in its rich, diverse, and vibrant historical roots that span across the length and breadth of India.

Modern Kabaddi

The narrative of Kabaddi unfolds like a captivating tale that seamlessly blends tradition with modernity. Throughout its evolution, the essence of the game has remained constant, while its forms and names have varied across regions. Known as HA-DO-DO in Bangladesh and Eastern India, HU-TU-TU in Western India, Kaunbada in North India, and Chedugudu in South India, Kabaddi exhibits a rich linguistic diversity reflective of its widespread popularity.

Like a river adapting its course over time, Kabaddi has evolved to meet the changing tides of the sports landscape. A prime example is seen in South India, where Kabaddi takes on the form of Veera Vilayatu. These regional variations, each with its unique nuances, contribute to the vibrant tapestry of modern Kabaddi, a testament to the game’s flexibility and adaptability.

From its indigenous roots, Kabaddi has embarked on a global journey, making significant strides on the international sports stage. It has transcended boundaries, weaving its way into the cultural fabric of over 65 countries worldwide, proving that the thrill of Kabaddi is universal. Today, Kabaddi proudly stands as the national sport of Bangladesh.

Despite its global spread, the game maintains a strong foothold in its home region. Its popularity in countries like India, Pakistan, and Nepal underscores Kabaddi’s enduring appeal in South Asia. However, the sport’s charm isn’t limited to this area alone. From the Far East nations of Japan, China, Malaysia, and Thailand, to the distant shores of Argentina in South America, and up north to Canada, Kabaddi has found enthusiasts far and wide.

In Iran, the sport has seen tremendous growth, highlighting the game’s ability to bridge cultural divides. In these nations, Kabaddi is more than a sport—it’s a cultural exchange, a demonstration of physical prowess, and a celebration of strategic brilliance. As Kabaddi continues to expand its global footprint, it carries with it a piece of its rich history, perfectly balancing its traditional roots with the dynamism of modern sport.

How to play Kabaddi (Introduction)

Great! You’re all set to dive into the enthralling world of Kabaddi. Let’s start from scratch, and we’ll have you up to speed in no time.

Kabaddi, a sport often regarded as a form of ancient wrestling, is more than just a game—it’s a dynamic display of strength, agility, strategy, and teamwork. The term “Kabaddi” itself hails from a Tamil word “Kai-pidi,” meaning “holding hands,” which aptly symbolizes the essence of unity in this game. While Kabaddi is immensely popular in India, it also enjoys the status of the national game of Bangladesh.

Now, you’ll find that Kabaddi isn’t a one-size-fits-all game. It has many variations and names across different regions of India, even being called ‘Hu Tu Tu’ in some states. However, it is especially loved in the villages of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.

But let’s get down to the basics of how to play Kabaddi:

How to Play Kabaddi

The game is a contest between two teams, each made up of seven players. The action takes place on a rectangular court, divided into two equal halves. Each team occupies one-half of the court.

The objective of the game is simple: One player from the attacking team—known as the “raider”—runs into the opposing team’s half of the court to tag as many defenders as possible, then return to their half of the court without being tackled by the defenders.

Sounds simple? Well, there’s a catch. The raider has to do all this while holding their breath and chanting the word ‘Kabaddi.’ If the raider takes a breath, the raid is over.

And that’s just the tip of the Kabaddi iceberg! As you get more familiar with the game, you’ll come across more complex rules and techniques. But for now, this should give you a good start. Happy playing!

Kabaddi Game Rules

Understanding the game of Kabaddi is very simple. It is a seven-a-side game where one player from one side chants “kabaddi…kabaddi..kabaddi..” and enters the opposition’s half and tries to touch at least one player of the opposition so that he can go back to his own half safely. On the other hand, all of the seven players try to stop the opposition player to go back to his half safely by trying to grab him and keep him under their control till he loses his breath. If a player touches the opposition player and returns to his half safely then not only the player whom he has touched is out but he can make a player alive from his own side who had been out before him, just in case.

But here’s the twist: The seven players of the opposing team, known as “antis” or “defenders”, will do everything they can to stop you from returning to your half of the court. They’ll try to grab you and hold you in their half until you’re out of breath. If they succeed, it’s their win.

On the flip side, if you, the raider, manage to touch an opponent and dart back to your half safely, not only does the touched player get ruled out, but you also have the power to revive one of your teammates who was previously declared out. It’s a brilliant mix of offence and defence, strategy and strength.

This back-and-forth between raiders and defenders, the adrenaline, the strategy, and the pure physicality, makes Kabaddi a thrilling sport to play and watch. Each match is a test of breath control, agility, speed, and teamwork. Now, with the basic rules in your arsenal, you’re ready to enjoy the high-octane action that Kabaddi promises. Game on!

Training for Kabaddi: A Comprehensive Guide

When we talk about the sport of Kabaddi, we’re delving into a realm that demands strength, speed, and dexterity. It’s a captivating blend of wrestling and tag, brimming with energy, strategy, and, most importantly, teamwork. For those aspiring to excel in this exhilarating sport, a well-rounded training regimen, complemented by a balanced diet, is imperative. As the sport’s popularity grows, let’s demystify the integral aspects of training for Kabaddi.

Common Training Routines and Exercises

Like any other high-intensity sport, from “kho kho” to football, Kabaddi requires a dynamic, comprehensive training plan. As a Kabaddi player, your training should not only amplify your strengths but also bridge any gaps in your physical prowess.

Cardiovascular workouts are a must-have in your training arsenal. A strong cardiovascular foundation enables you to sustain the fast-paced, relentless action that Kabaddi matches are renowned for. Short sprints and interval training mimic the game’s explosive bursts of energy, enhancing your raiding efficiency.

Strength training shouldn’t be overlooked. Exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, and bench presses build muscle power, perfect for withstanding tackles and grounding your opponents. For all-around fitness and agility, incorporate bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and burpees.

Furthermore, Kabaddi demands flexibility and balance, making Yoga and Pilates excellent choices. Their potent combination of strength, balance, and flexibility can give you an edge on the court.

Diet and Nutrition for Kabaddi Players

Even with the most rigorous training regimen, you won’t be able to perform optimally without proper nutrition. It’s a vital piece of the Kabaddi puzzle, fueling your body for maximum performance and ensuring swift recovery.

Protein is paramount. It helps repair and build muscles after intense training sessions. Incorporate sources of lean proteins like meats, dairy, legumes, and plant-based proteins into your daily diet.

Carbohydrates are your body’s primary energy source, powering you through those demanding training sessions and matches. Opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Your diet should also include healthy fats. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and seeds, provide the sustained energy required for endurance sports like Kabaddi.

Staying hydrated is essential, given the high-intensity nature of Kabaddi. Ensure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day to compensate for sweat loss during training and matches.

Also, consider incorporating practices like Hot Yoga for Weight Loss as part of your routine. It helps maintain a healthy weight, enhances flexibility, and aids in recovery, making it a valuable addition to a Kabaddi player’s lifestyle.

A well-rounded Kabaddi diet should be rich in various colourful fruits and vegetables, ensuring you’re getting a full spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals.

Mastering Kabaddi isn’t simply about learning the rules or honing the tactics. It’s about embracing a lifestyle that’s centred around fitness, agility, and overall well-being. The blend of the right training, proper nutrition, and consistent practice will set you on the path to becoming a proficient Kabaddi player. Remember, the journey to excellence is a marathon, not a sprint. Here’s to your success in this exciting sport!

International Competitions

Kabaddi Information: History, How to Play & Rules
  • Kabaddi World Cup: India has come out winners when two different kinds of Kabaddi world cups were held by two different organizers.
  • World Kabaddi League: It is based on Formula 1 and it will be played between August and December 2014 where teams will travel across four continents. The Bollywood actors have purchased a few of the WKL teams.
  • Apart from these two, a Pro-Kabaddi competition or league is also starting in India in which players from various countries are involved.

Kabaddi Federations around the World

  • The Asian Kabaddi Federation – AKF
  • The Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation – AAKF
  • The Kabaddi Federation of India – KFI
  • Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India – AKFI
  • Pakistan Kabaddi Federation – PKF
  • The Bangladesh Amateur Kabaddi Federation –BAKF
  • The Iran’s Amateur Kabaddi Federation – IAKF
  • The England Kabaddi Federation UK – EKF

Other Nations in which Kabaddi is popular: Chinese Taipei, Nepal, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, New Zealand, and Canada.

In conclusion, Kabaddi stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of sports and athleticism, even as we explore the achievements of the richest sportsmen, the fastest knockouts in the UFC, and the unsung heroes like Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari. With its roots deeply embedded in Indian culture, Kabaddi has captivated audiences around the world with its thrilling gameplay and strategic prowess.

While discussing the realm of sports, it’s impossible to ignore the achievements of the richest sportsmen who have redefined the boundaries of success. Their remarkable dedication and exceptional talent have propelled them to great heights, both on and off the field. However, amidst the glitz and glamour of sports, we must also recognize the humble origins of sports like Kabaddi, which embody the true essence of competition and community spirit.

In the realm of combat sports, the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) has witnessed some of the fastest knockouts in history. These awe-inspiring moments showcase the raw power and lightning-fast reflexes of the fighters as they deliver swift, devastating blows that leave their opponents stunned. While the UFC provides a thrilling spectacle, it’s important to remember the diverse array of sports that offer unique experiences and capture the imagination of fans worldwide.

Amidst the excitement of global sports, it is equally important to shed light on the unsung heroes who have made significant contributions. Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari, often referred to as the unsung face behind Indian football, played a pivotal role in the revival and popularization of the sport in the late 19th century. His relentless efforts laid the groundwork for the growth and development of football in India, shaping its future for generations to come. Just like Kabaddi, the story of Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari serves as a reminder that there are countless individuals who have shaped the sports landscape through their dedication and passion.

In the world of sports, each individual and moment carries its own significance, leaving an indelible mark on the collective memory of fans and enthusiasts. From the staggering wealth of successful sportsmen to the heart-pounding knockouts in the UFC, and the inspiring endeavours of figures like Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari, the world of sports continues to evolve and inspire. It is a realm where talent, dedication, and perseverance converge to create moments that transcend boundaries and unite people in the spirit of competition and celebration.

So, as we celebrate the achievements of sportsmen and honour their legacies, let us also appreciate the diverse range of sports that bring joy and excitement to millions. Whether it’s witnessing the unmatched wealth of sports superstars, relishing the lightning-fast knockouts in the UFC, paying tribute to the unsung heroes of sports like Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikari, or embracing the captivating world of Kabaddi, the realm of sports remains a captivating arena that continues to capture our hearts and fuel our passion.

Who is considered to be the father of Kabaddi?

Harjeet Brar Bajakhana (5 September 1971 – 16 April 1998) is considered to be the father of Kabaddi. He was a professional Kabaddi player who played as Raider in circle style kabaddi. He was born in Bajakhana village, Punjab, India.

What do you mean by Super 10 in Kabaddi?

The term Super 10 refers to a situation where a raider gets 10 or more points in a single match. These points can be both a bonus and touchpoints. But, these points can never be the ones rewarded to the overall team. (like technical points).

Why is Kabaddi not included in the Olympics?

The biggest reason why kabaddi is still not included in the Olympics is the absence of professional Kabaddi associations and leagues. Apart from that, if a sport has to qualify for the Olympics, it has to be played in 75 countries and 4 continents. This particular reason diminishes the chances of kabaddi being included in the Olympics.

What is the match duration of Kabaddi?

The match duration is different for Men and Women.
For Men and Junior boys 
The overall match is of 40 minutes. It is then divided into two halves of 20 minutes each. Among both the halves, there is a break of 5 minutes each. 
For Women, Junior Girls, Sub-Junior Boys, and Girls 
The overall match is of 30 minutes. It is then divided into two halves of 15 minutes each. Among both the halves, there is a break of 5 minutes each.

What is the age criteria for playing Kabaddi?

There is a certain age criterion for playing Kabaddi,
For Senior Men and Women:
There is no specific age for this category. It is open to everyone.
Junior Boys and Girls:
The player should be 20 years of age or below that on the last date of the event.
Sub- Junior Boys and Girls:
The player should be 16 years of age or below that on the last date of the event.


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