Kabaddi is basically an Indian game which has a massive popularity in India and its hinterland. In India, kabaddi is played under different names. In the southern part of India, the game is known as Chedugudu or Hu-Tu-Tu. In eastern India, it is affectionately known as Hadudu (for male) and Kit-Kit (for female). The game is known as Kabaddi in northern India. Breathing control, raids, avoidance and movement of hands and feet are the basic skills that must be mastered to play Kabaddi. Players must gain strength and learn offensive and defensive skills in order to perform well in a game that combines the features of rugby and wrestling.
Kabaddi has been recorded in Indian history, but only became popular as a competitive sport in the 20th century. Since then, Kabaddi has become one of the biggest sports in a number of countries and has been added to the wildly popular Asian Games. Kabaddi is popular in the Indian subcontinent, especially in Pakistan and Iran. Kabaddi is also the official game of Karnataka, Punjab and other states of India.
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What is Kabaddi
Kabaddi is a contact team sport played by two teams of seven players each. The two teams play on opposite halves of the field or court. Kabaddi matches are 40 minutes long. Each half is 20 minutes with a 5 minute break in between. The goal of the game is for the players to enter the other side of the field, after chanting “Kabaddi! Kabaddi!” The object of the sport is to allow one player of the attacking team to get inside the defending team’s half of the field within a certain period of time. The attacker will try to touch the defender without being caught by the defender and then run back to the attacking team’s half of the field. If the attacker touches a defender, he scores. Conversely, if the defending team catches the attacker, the defending team scores.
The History of Kabaddi in India
The origins of kabaddi date back to prehistoric times. Kabaddi was primarily designed in India as a way to build strength and speed in young people. In the beginning Kabaddi was played to improve the skill of self-defense and to train the ability to react quickly to attacks. It also honed an individual’s reflexes to counterattack.
In 1918, Kabaddi was given the Indian national game status. Standard rules and regulations for the game were also formulated in the same year. These rules and regulations were printed only in 1923. In the same year, an All India Kabaddi Tournament was organized in Baroda. From then on, the game grew considerably. In 1938, the game was introduced at the Indian Olympic Games held in Calcutta, which gave it international recognition.
The All India Kabaddi Federation (AIKF) was formed in 1950 to improve the popularity of Kabaddi as a sport in India. Since its inception, the AIKF has strived to raise the standard of the game. National level Kabaddi Championships have been held regularly since 1952. Another organization, the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), was formed in 1973. The aim was to popularize the sport in India’s neighboring countries and to organize national level tournaments.
Over time, kabaddi has grown in popularity. Many tournaments have been organized for Kabaddi at the national and international level. One of them was the Indian National Kabaddi team which performed very well. The 1981 Federation Cup Kabaddi tournament held in India was a milestone in the history of Kabaddi in India. In 2004, India hosted the first Kabaddi World Cup in Mumbai, which was another milestone for India. India also won the championship. India’s efforts in Kabaddi have so far earned international recognition and brought laurels to it.
India National Kabaddi Team
In 1950, the Indian National Kabaddi Team was formed. This team has been consistently representing India in international kabaddi championships. The Indian national kabaddi team is the most successful national kabaddi team of any country till date.Kabaddi became an Asian Games event for the first time in 1990. India won gold medals at the Asian Games in 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 and has won all three Kabaddi World Cup events to date.
Why Kabaddi is popular in India
The increase in money is the greatest reason for the growing popularity of the sport in India. After the Pro Kabaddi League championship in India, huge amounts of money are being poured into the sport. The aim was to make the sport as famous as possible. This led to the emergence of better players and the game gained the popularity it deserved. Kabaddi is a game of fun and entertainment for players and spectators alike for the following reasons.
- Need for contact with the players
- Small game format, only 40 minutes
- Requires proper strategy
- Players must build their speed and strength
- The game can change drastically at any time
PKL has established itself without a huge name advertising the game. As the league grew financially, the players became star players and saw their brand value rise. PKL earned over 12 billion and over 6 billion in revenue from different kinds of sponsorships associated with the teams. In the fifth season of the league, Vivo joined the league as the main sponsor. This is the most important deal ever seen in Indian sports besides cricket.
Over the years, PKL has struggled to gain popularity and revenue to finish second only to IPL. Kabaddi has become the second most watched game in India, after cricket. The Pro Kabaddi League gets more viewers in India than the soccer World Cup, one of the most watched game events in the world. When the three Pro Kabaddi Leagues received higher TV ratings than the recent Indian cricket team’s Test win over Australia, the sport achieved its rising popularity.