History of Kabaddi
DIFFERENT STYLES OF KABADDI
1. Standard Style
2. Circle style
The exact origins of Kabaddi are disputed, with theories suggesting that Kabaddi originated from either the Vedic period of Indian history, or the Sistan region of present-day Iran. The game was said to have been popular among the Yadava people, an abhang by Tukaram stated that the god Krishna played the game in his youth, while the Mahabharata contains an account of Arjuna being able to sneak into hostile areas and take out enemies unscathed—which parallels the gameplay of kabaddi. There are also accounts of Gautama Buddha having played the game recreationally.
Despite these conflicting claims, India has been credited with having helped to popularize Kabaddi as a competitive sport, with the first organized competitions occurring in the 1920’s, their introduction to the programme of the Indian Olympic Games in 1938, the establishment of the All-India Kabaddi Federation in 1950, and being played as a demonstration sport at the inaugural 1951 Asian Games in New Delhi. These developments helped to formalize the sport, which had traditionally been played in villages, for legitimate international competition.
Standard Style Kabaddi
In the international team version of kabaddi, two teams of seven members each occupy opposite halves of a court of 10 by 13 metres (33 ft × 43 ft) in case of men and 8 by 12 metres (26 ft × 39 ft) in case of women. Each has five supplementary players held in reserve. The game is played with 20-minute halves, with a 5-minute half break in which the teams exchange sides. During each play, known as a “raid”, a player from the attacking side, known as the “raider”, runs into the opposing team’s side of the court and attempts to tag as many of the seven defending players as possible. For a raid to be eligible for points, the raider must cross the baulk line in the defending team’s territory, and return to their half of the field without being tackled. While doing so, the raider must also loudly chant the word “kabaddi”, confirming to referees that their raid is done on a single breath without inhaling. A 30-second shot clock is also enforced on each raid.
A point is scored for each defender tagged. If the raider steps beyond the bonus line marked in the defending team’s territory, they earn an additional point. If the raider is successfully stopped, the opposing team earns a point instead. All players tagged are taken out of the game, but one is “revived” for each point a team scores from a subsequent tag or tackle (bonus points do not revive players). Players who step out of the boundary or lobbies are also out. A raid where no points are scored by the raider is referred to as an “empty raid”. By contrast, a play where the raider scores three or more points is referred to as a “super raid”. If a team gets all seven players on the opposing team out at once (“All Out”), they earn two additional points, and the players are placed back in the game.
Additional rules are used in the Pro Kabaddi League; if a team has two empty raids in a row, the next raider must score a point on their next raid or else they will be out (“do-or-die raid”). Additionally, when a defending team has fewer than four players left on the field, tackles are worth 2 points (“super tackle”).
Circle Style Kabaddi
There are four major forms of Indian kabaddi recognised by the amateur federation. In Sanjeevani kabaddi, one player is revived against one player of the opposite team who is out. The game is played over 40 minutes with a five minute break between halves. There are seven players on each side and the team that outs all the players on the opponent’s side scores four extra points. In Gaminee style, seven players play on each side and a player put out has to remain out until all his team members are out. The team that is successful in outing all the players of the opponent’s side secures a point. The game continues until five or seven such points are secured and has no fixed time duration. Amar style resembles the Sanjeevani form in the time frame rule, but a player who is declared out stays inside the court while play continues. For every player of the opposition touched “out”, a team earns a point. Punjabi kabaddi is a variation that is played on a circular pitch of a diameter of 22 metres (72 ft).
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