Kabaddi: Weird but popular sport you didn’t know existed

words Alexa Wang

There are a lot of different team sports. Everybody has heard of such sports as soccer, baseball, hockey, and cricket. They are popular all over the world. However, there are sports that many people do not know even exist. Kabaddi is one of them. Despite being unfamiliar to the majority, it is quite popular in some regions.

History of Kabaddi

Kabaddi as a sport occurred in ancient India. However, first official competitions took place in 1938, when it was introduced to the Indian Olympic Games. One can be talking about Kabaddi on SportsAdda, which is now popular mostly in India, Iran, Bangladesh, and South Korea. In 1982, this sport was demonstrated at Asian Games and then added to the Asian Games’ Programme.

Features of Kabaddi

To understand this sport, we need to define it and name its main features. Kabaddi is a team contact sport. Traditionally, two squads consisting of seven people compete against each other. The objective of the game is for a player, who is called raider, to run into the opponent half of the field and tag out defenders, as many as possible. The player should do it without being tackled by the opponents and in a single breath. When a raider tags someone, he earns a point for his team, and when he is being tackled, a point goes for the opponent team. 

One of the main characteristics of kabaddi is that it’s a contact sport. It is not dangerous, but there are some risks involved for the players.

Styles

There are two main styles of kabaddi right now. The first format is called a standard style, and it is the most common. The rules are the following:

  1. Two teams with seven players each;
  2. Court of 33 × 43 ft for men and 26 × 39 ft for women;
  3. Five players in reserve for each team;
  4. Rectangular court indoors;
  5. Two 20-minute halves with a 5-minute break.

The standard style is usually played in major tournaments such as the Kabaddi World Cup. As for the circle style, it is chosen for the amateur level games. The rules for circle format are similar to the standard style. However, the former has a circle court and is usually played outdoors.

Tournaments

Although kabaddi is not popular worldwide, there still are major tournaments and championships for this sport. Nevertheless, athletes do not wear any protective gear. The equipment consists of shorts, a T-shirt, boots, knee, and arms support. You do not need any expensive gear to start playing kabaddi.

  1. Kabaddi World Cup

It is a tournament in standard style for women and men kabaddi teams. Traditionally, there are 12 participants. The first World Cup took place in 2004, and since then, there have been three championships: in 2004, 2007, and 2016. The Indian team won each time.

  1. Kabaddi at the Asian Games

Asian games are a major tournament for many kinds of sports including kabaddi. The last edition took place in 2018.

  1. Pro Kabaddi League

It is an important kabaddi tournament in India. Since Indian teams are the strongest, the games are usually very interesting and tense. Pro Kabaddi League is an annual championship.

Famous Players

Although kabaddi players are not as popular and rich as footballers and cricketers, they still are dedicated athletes. Among famous kabaddi players, there are Pardeep Narwal (India), Manjeet Chillar (India), Jang Kun Lee (Korea), and Meraj Sheykh (Iran).

To conclude, kabaddi is one of the most underrated sports in the industry. Being a kabaddi player requires physical as well as mental strength. We are sure that the popularity of kabaddi will increase in the future.

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