Kabaddi was actually started by the British while they were in India. They played it for fun, but the Indians took it seriously! Kabaddi is a traditional sport which was originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is a popular team sport with strong influences of wrestling or ‘kushti’. The word ‘kabaddi’ means ‘holding your breath’ in Hindi.
The popularity of kabaddi has spread far and wide. It is played even in Japan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Another interesting fact is that it is the national game of Bangladesh, even though it is played extensively in India. Many people think it as an Indian sport, but the origin of Kabaddi is still not known. It is played with great enthusiam in Indian states like Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Historians trace the game back to 4000 years!
What you need
Kabaddi is a simple and inexpensive game. You do not require a huge field to play. The field or the playing area is generally of dimensions 12.5m x 10m, divided into two halves by a line. The two teams occupy one halve each of the two.
How to play kabaddi
1) Two teams per game
2) Each team consists of 12 players. 7 are on court from each team, 5 are on reserve
3) The team winning the toss sends a ‘raider’ to the other team’s half, chanting “kabaddi kabaddi” in one breath
4) The raider has to touch any opponent team player and get back to his half or at least touch the center line dividing the playing area
5) The opposing team members make a semicircle amongst themselves and cleverly dodge the raider, while also looking for an opportunity to catch the raider before he gets back to his half
6) If the raider touches an opponent team member and gets back to his half, he scores a point, and the opponent team member is declared out
7) If the opponent team members catch the raider and prevent him from getting to his half or push him off the playing area, then they score a point and the raider is declared out
8) Even if the raider can’t return to his half chanting “kabaddi kabaddi” in the same breath, he will be declared out
9) The two teams alternate between attack and defence
10) The reserve players join in if any of their team members become out
11) Each game consists of two 20 minute halves, with a break in between for change of sides