The sport of Kabaddi originated from south Asia and was mainly played by villagers aiming to keep fit. However the sport became competitive for the first time when it was included in the Asian Games in 1990, and has been in every edition since.
Most recently in 2014 Kabaddi undertook an IPL style franchise and created the so called ProKabaddi League with huge success, in the year 2015 it was the second most aired sport in India behind only cricket! The ProKabaddi league features teams from Mumbai, Delhi, Patna, etc and take on homegrown players as well as international players from the likes of Iran and South Korea.
2016 saw a revived version of the Kabaddi World Cup after two previous editions in 2004 and 2007 both of which India won. 2016 saw 12 teams compete covering all 5 continents. Will we see Kabaddi in the Olympics soon?
How is it played?
The game consists of two teams of 7 players on a 10 by 13 meter court. The pitch is split into sections, primarily in two halves.
Each team takes it in turn to send one player into the opponents half and their aim is to try and touch as many players as they can and make it back to their half within 30 seconds. However the opposing team can tackle you at any moment.
If you successfully touch 3 players and make it back to your half you will win your team 3 points and the opposing 3 players are knocked out of the game. However if you are tackled and do not make it successfully back to your half the opponents will get a point and you are knocked out of the game.
If one team has less than 7 players on the pitch due to knockouts then these players can be revived if their teammates earn points. For example if there are only 4 players left in your half and your teammate scores 2 points on the raid, 2 players can then come back into the game and you will now have 6 players.
Throughout the 30 seconds you must chant the word Kabaddi repeatedly without breaking the chant, adding yet another dimension to the game.
It is said to be a game of chase combining a range of skills to be used in conjunction with speed, strength and stamina.
Read more on rules here… International Kabaddi Rules