- Kabaddi is a contact team sport popular in South Asia and is the state game of several Indian states.
- Kabaddi has originated in ancient Tamil region, the present day Tamil Nadu and parts of other South Indian states. However it received international exposure during 1936 Berlin Olympics.
- The word Kabaddi has probably been derived from the Tamil word “kai-pidi” meaning “to hold hands”.
- The first Asian Kabaddi Championship was held in 1980 in which countries like Nepal, Malaysia, Japan and Bangladesh participated along with India.
- Despite the origin of the sport being in India, the sport did not receive its deserved respect and popularity in India until the first “Pro Kabaddi League” was held in India in 2014.
- International Kabaddi, which is an indoor sport, is essentially played on synthetic matresses.
- The size of the Kabaddi court is 13 X 10 meters for men and 11 x 8 meters for boys and women.
- This court is divided into two parts by the “ Mid-Line” in which the two teams defend themselves.
- The size of the “Side Lobby” is 1 meter wide on both the sides.
- The “Baulk Line” is 3.75 meters from the “Mid-Line”.
- The “Bonus Line” is 4.75 meters from the “Mid-Line”.
- The distance between the “Baulk Line” and the “Bonus Line” is 1 meter.
- Mattress: The Kabaddi Mattress is a synthetic matress which provides grip to the players. The necessary lines are printed on the mattress. The matress can be disassembled after use.
- Shoes: Kabaddi needs specialized shoes. These provide perfect grip on the Kabaddi mattress and also provide ankle support to some extent.
- Support Equipments: Players wear joint supports such as knee support caps and ankle support caps as per need while playing. For muscle support, they may have kinesiology tape as a support.
- Raiding: A ‘raider’ is a person who has the earn maximum points while the opposite team is defending during a short period of 30 seconds. This requires great amount of agility, presence of mind and stamina. The raider can either touch an opponent or cross the bonus line for scoring points for his/her team. Strength of core, calf and leg muscles are mainly tested while raiding.
- Defending: A ‘defender’ defends along with his/her team. The aims of a defender are to either not let the raider touch him/her or if at all he/she gets touched, to not let the raider cross the “Mid-Line”. Although, eventually every player in the team plays the role of a defender, there are specializations in defending. A defender is named by the position in which he/she defends. For eg. Left/right corner, left/right cover, left/right Ins are the types of defenders. According to their positions, they different skills.
- Duration: The duration of the match is 40 minutes which is divided equally in two halves of 20 minutes each along with 5-15 minutes interval between the halves. During these halves, the raiders of the two teams raid alternately with one raid carrying maximum 30 seconds while the opposition team defends in its own half of the court. While doing this the raider has to ‘Cant’ the words “Kabaddi-kabaddi”. Otherwise he/she is considered as out.
- Substitution: A team consists of 7 players and total five substitutions are allowed in the match of Kabaddi. This number of allowed substitutes is high in comparison with other games as there is a high chance of injury in the sport. A substitution can only be carried out during the time between any two raids. The bench can contain 5 players who are available for substitution.
- Line Rules:
- A raider has to either cross the “Baulk Line” or to touch a player in the opposition to return safely into his own half after a raid.
- The “Side-Lobbies” get activated when a raider touches a defender. Unless that happens, the player who goes into the lobbies is considered out with immediate effect.
- In order to score a point without touching the defencer, a raider may cross the “Bonus Line”. Both, the Baulk Line and the Bonus Line have to be crossed with one leg of the raider on ground and the other leg in the air.
- The touches made by a raider are only legitimate if he/she crosses the “Mid-Line” within the given time limit. If the raider is held back by the defenders, the defending team gets a point.
A foul is committed when a defender tries to hold back the raider by holding his/her clothes. Also, any other harsh physical activity besides holding back by the defender or pulling to the Mid-Line by the raider can be given as foul by the refree. A refree also has the power to book the players with green, yellow and red cards. The meanings of these cards are:
- Green Card means a warning for any violation of rules.
- Yellow Card means 2 minute suspension from the game along and 1 technical point to the opposition.
- Red means 1 technical point to the opposition and suspension for the rest of the match. In this case, the team that loses the player continues the match with the remaining players. No substitution for the red carded player is allowed.