Kabaddi is a popular contact sport that originated in India and is played between two teams of seven players each. It is an team sport requiring speed and power that is known for its fast-paced action, physicality, and strategic gameplay. Combining elements of wrestling, rugby and badminton with fencing-esque foot techniques like badminton or fencing.
Kabaddi serves as the national sport for India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Additionally popular among young men in Sri Lanka, Japan, Indonesia and Pakistan; Kabaddi can be played using different styles and forms; ultimately winning teams are those which score most points! In this article, we will explore the history of kabaddi, the rules of the game, different styles of play, and the top players and teams.
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Table of Contents
Kabaddi has its roots in ancient Indian mythology and was played as a form of exercise and entertainment. The game gained popularity in the early 20th century and was introduced in the Indian Olympic Games in 1936. It has since become a national sport in India and has gained international recognition with the formation of the International Kabaddi Federation in 2004. It has become one of the most beloved sporting traditions in India and even features in the Asian Games!
Also Read : Development History of Kabaddi in India
Kabaddi is a team sport played on a rectangular court that measures 13 meters by 10 meters. The game is played in two halves of 20 minutes each, with a five-minute break in between. The objective of the game is for one player, known as the raider, to cross the centerline and tag as many players on the opposing team as possible before returning to their side of the court without being tackled.
Each match requires six officials – a referee, scorer and two assistant scorers. The referee has the power to issue warnings or disqualify players while the scorer records scores and time-outs. Each team consists of 12 players but only seven can take the field at a given time.
The opposing team’s objective is to prevent the raider from crossing the centerline and to tackle the raider before they can return to their side. Defenders should try to take hold of the raider by seizing him or her on their chest or wrists; any other part of their body being grabbed constitutes an offensive foul and should not be touched.
If the raider is successful in tagging an opponent and returning to their side, their team earns a point. If the opposing team successfully tackles the raider, they earn a point. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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There are three different styles of kabaddi:
- Standard Style
This is the most common style of kabaddi played in India and is also known as the “national style”. In this style, the entire court is considered “in play” and the raider must return to their side of the court by crossing the centerline.
Standard style features two teams of seven players competing on opposite sides of the court. Players from each side take positions in either right or left corners, right and left covers, right or left-in positions to support cover defenders, right or left-in positions to provide cover defense, and right and left in positions as support defenders – these rules bear many similarities to modern forms of kabaddi.
- Circle Style
Circle style is played on a 22 meter circular field bounded by boundary lines to mark 13×10 space within each team’s territory. In this version of kabaddi, teams compete by taking turns occupying half the court and scoring points on their turn.
This style is played on a beach or sand court and is a more relaxed version of standard style. In beach kabaddi, the court is smaller and there are fewer players on each team.
This style is played on an indoor court and is a faster-paced version of standard style. The court is smaller than in standard style kabaddi, and there are typically fewer players on each team.
Top Players and Teams
Kabaddi has a rich history of talented players and dominant teams. Here are some of the top players and teams in the sport:
|Ajay Thakur||India||Arjuna Award (2019), Kabaddi World Cup MVP (2016)|
|Pardeep Narwal||India||Kabaddi World Cup MVP (2019), PKL MVP (2017, 2018)|
|Fazel Atrachali||Iran||PKL MVP (2016), Kabaddi World Cup MVP (2016)|
|Manjeet Chhillar||India||Arjuna Award (2015), Kabaddi World Cup Champion (2016)|
- Ajay Thakur
Ajay Thakur is one of the most successful and respected kabaddi players in India. He has won several awards and accolades, including the Arjuna Award in 2019 and the Kabaddi World Cup MVP award in 2016. Thakur is known for his speed, agility, and strength, and has been a key player for the Indian national team in numerous international competitions.
- Pardeep Narwal
Pardeep Narwal is a star raider for the Indian national team and has made a name for himself as one of the most dominant players in the Pro Kabaddi League. He has won the league’s MVP award twice (in 2017 and 2018) and was also named the Kabaddi World Cup MVP in 2019. Narwal is known for his quick movements, powerful raids, and exceptional scoring ability.
- Fazel Atrachali
Fazel Atrachali is a standout defender and captain of the Iranian national team. He has been named the PKL’s MVP once (in 2016) and was also the Kabaddi World Cup MVP in 2016. Atrachali is known for his physicality, toughness, and ability to read the game, making him a formidable opponent for any raider.
- Manjeet Chhillar
Manjeet Chhillar is a versatile player who has excelled in both the raiding and defending aspects of kabaddi. He has won several awards and honors, including the Arjuna Award in 2015 and the Kabaddi World Cup championship in 2016 with the Indian national team. Chhillar is known for his athleticism, strategic thinking, and leadership skills.
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|Patna Pirates||India||PKL champions (2016, 2017)|
|U Mumba||India||PKL champions (2015)|
|Iran National Team||Iran||Kabaddi World Cup champions (2004, 2007, 2016), Asian Games champions (2010, 2018)|
- Patna Pirates
The Patna Pirates are one of the most successful teams in the PKL, having won the championship title in 2016 and 2017. The team is known for its strong and aggressive raiding, with players like Pardeep Narwal and Monu Goyat leading the charge. The Patna Pirates have a loyal fan base and are considered one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the league.
- U Mumba
U Mumba is another powerhouse team in the PKL, having won the championship title in 2015. The team is known for its balanced and disciplined gameplay, with a strong focus on defense and strategy. U Mumba has produced several top players over the years, including Anup Kumar, Fazel Atrachali, and Shabeer Bapu Sharfudheen.
- Iran National Team
The Iran national team is widely regarded as one of the best kabaddi teams in the world, having won multiple international competitions over the years. The team is known for its strong and physical defense, with players like Fazel Atrachali and Meraj Sheykh leading the charge. The Iran national team has a proud history in the sport and is considered a major threat to any opponent they face.
These players and teams have achieved great success in kabaddi and have contributed to the growth and popularity of the sport both in India and around the world.
Kabaddi is a thrilling and exciting sport that has a rich history and cultural significance in India. The game has gained international recognition in recent years and has attracted a large and dedicated fan base. With its fast-paced action, physicality, and strategic gameplay, it is a sport that appeals to fans of all ages and backgrounds.
Whether you’re a seasoned fan or a newcomer to the sport, kabaddi offers something for everyone. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved and experience the excitement of this amazing sport. From the intense competition of professional leagues to the casual fun of beach, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and experience the excitement of this amazing sport. It’s time to play kabaddi!