Highest governing body IKF
Nicknames Sadukudu, Hadudu, Bhavatik, kauddi, Hu-Tu-Tu, Hu-Do-Do, Chedugudu
First played "kalithogai"
Contact Permitted
Team members 7 per side
Mixed gender Yes, separate competitions
Type Team sport, Contact sport
Equipment Nil
Venue Kabaddi court
Country or region chiefly South Asia
Olympic No
Paralympic No

Kabaddi is a contact team sport that originated in Tamilnadu. It is the national sport of Bangladesh. It is also popular in South Asia and is the state game of the Indian states of kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Telangana. .[1]

Two teams compete, each occupying its own half of the court. They take turns sending a "raider" into the opposing team's half and earn points if the raider manages to touch opposing team members and return to the home half, all while chanting word "kabaddi". However, if the raider is tackled and prevented from returning, the opposing team gets the point.

The game is known by its regional names in different parts of the subcontinent, such as Kabaddi or "Chedugudu" in Andhra Pradesh Kabaddi in Kerala and Telangana, hadudu in Bangladesh, bhavatik in Maldives, kauddi or kabaddi in the Punjab region, Hu-Tu-Tu in Western India and Hu-Do-Do in Eastern India and chadakudu in south India.

In earlier versions, the raider had to continuously sing a song, which varied by region. This was later condensed to repeating the name of the game (Kabaddi, Sadugudu, etc).


Kabaddi originated in ancient Tamil region, which is predominantly present day Tamil Nadu and parts of other South Indian states[2][3]. Tamil empire spread this game to south east Asia during their sea trade. The word Kabaddi might have been derived from the Tamil word "kai-pidi" (??????) meaning "to hold hands". Kabaddi received international exposure during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, demonstrated by India. The game was introduced in the Indian National Games at Calcutta in 1938. In 1950 the All India Kabaddi Federation (AIKF) came into existence and framed the rules. Kabaddi was introduced to and popularised in Japan in 1979 by Sundar Ram of India, who toured Japan on behalf of Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation for two months to introduce the game. In 1979, matches between Bangladesh and India were held across India. The first Asian Kabaddi Championship was held in 1980 and India emerged as champion, beating Bangladesh in the final. The other teams in the tournament were Nepal, Malaysia, and Japan. The game was included for the first time in the Asian Games in Beijing in 1990 where seven teams took part.


At first this game is designed and played as simulator version for bull sports Jallikattu, raiders are considered as bulls who play against the defenders. So essence of the game is the holding of the raiders by the defenders. Though variations emerged and rules were framed, the game's principal objective remained unchanged.

Standard style

A kabaddi court
Modern Rules of Kabaddi as played in ProKabaddi

In the international team version of kabaddi, two teams of seven members each occupy opposite halves of a field 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.[4] Each has three supplementary players held in reserve. The game is played with 20-minute halves and a five-minute halftime break during which the teams exchange sides.

Two teams consist of 7 players each on the mat, but it's perhaps the only sport where attacking (raiding) is an individual attempt and the lone raider is faced by a challenge of a 7 man defensive unit. It is mandatory for raider to chant word "kabaddi" when the 30 second raid is in play to show the referee that the raider is exhaling and not holding his breath.

The first goal of the raider though is to get cross the midline and then go past the Baulk line in the opposing half, making the raid valid. The high intensity contact sport with two halves of 20min each revolves around the raider's (attacker) second goal of touching as many opposition players as possible before returning to his own half without being tackled and also within the 30 sec raid clock ticking down. A raider has many arrows in his quiver to get the job done: toe touches, hand touches, kicks, reverse kicks or by escaping a tackle and reaching the midline.

The number of players tagged equals the number of points scored, all whilst repeatedly chanting the word "Kabaddi". A raid is which a team scores three or more points is called a "Super Raid". The raider can also score an additional "Bonus" point when there are 6 or 7 defenders on court by placing his forefoot over the Bonus line with his other trailing foot in the air. The Bonus point though, does not bring about a player revival and raiders run the risk of going too deep into the opposition half, giving the defense a chance to pounce.

The two yellow tramlines down the sides of the court are known as the "Lobby" areas, which are essentially extended areas of play that get activated after a touch or a struggle between raider & defender, giving both extra room to make an escape or shove the raider off court. It is a game of 1 vs. 7 however and the defenders don't let the raider off easy. The defense's goal is to stop the raider from returning to his own half, through the midline. Just as with the raiders, the defenders too possess skill sets they use to keep the raiders down like an ankle hold, thigh hold, a running "dash" off court, a block, a chained tackle, a dive or a back hold (grabbing the trunk of the raider from behind). When the raider is kept down or thrown off court before getting back to his own half, the raider is forced out onto the sitting blocks temporarily until revived and the defending team earns a point.

If a team eventually loses all seven men on court, the result is an All-Out giving the team that enforces it an additional 2 points following which all seven eliminated men are revived from the sitting blocks once again.

The new rules of Pro Kabaddi reward gutsy defending too & a team is awarded 2 points for a "Super Tackle", when three defenders or fewer keep a raider down in any raid. The "Do-Or-Die Raid" is another new rule to add more intensity & increase scoring rates. If a team has two successive Empty raids (i.e. they score zero both times), the third potential empty raid is a Do-Or-Die raid and failure to score in this third raid in a row results in the raider being out until revived.[5]

Circle Style

Circle Kabaddi

There are four major forms of kabaddi played in India which are recognised by the amateur federation. In Sanjeevani Kabaddi, one player is revived against one player of the opposite team who is out - one 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 either side and a player put out has to remain out until all his team members are out. The team that is successful in ousting 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 doesn't leave the court, but instead stays inside, and the play goes along. For every player of the opposition touched 'out,' a team earns a point.[6]Punjabi Kabaddi is a variation that is played on a circular pitch of a diameter of 22 metres (72 ft).[7]

Notable competitions

Standard style

Kabaddi World Cup

The standard style Kabaddi World Cup, is an indoor international kabaddi competition conducted by the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF), contested by men's and women's national teams. The competition has been previously contested in 2004, 2007 and 2016. All the tournaments have been won by India.

Asian Games

Pictogram of kabaddi
(video) Kabaddi being played in Japan, 2015

Kabaddi has been played at the Asian Games since 1990. The Indian team has won all seven Gold medals, with Bangladesh being second most successful at the game.

Pro Kabaddi League

The Pro Kabaddi League was established in 2014; the league modeled its business upon that of the Indian Premier League of Twenty20 cricket, with a large focus on marketing, the backing of local broadcaster Star Sports, and changes to the sport's rules and its presentation to make it more suitable for a television audience.[8] The PKL quickly became a ratings success on Indian television; the 2014 season was watched by at least 435 million viewers over the course of the season, and the inaugural championship match was seen by 86.4 million viewers.[9][10]Do-or-Die raids was an additional rule introduced in Pro Kabaddi League; this has really made Kabaddi an audience friendly sport.

Women's Kabaddi Challenge

Women's Kabaddi Challenge is a Kabaddi league in India started like Pro Kabaddi League for women's. Three teams will took part in inaugural season in 2016 and the league was played across seven cities in India. The first season was played in 2016, from 28 June to 31 July and was broadcast by Star Sports in India. The final was scheduled along with men's version on 31 July. Final was conducted between Storm Queen and Fire Birds. Storm Queens produced a last second turnaround to defeat Fire Birds 24-23 in the final.

Circle style

Kabaddi World Cup

The circle style Kabaddi World Cup, is an international kabaddi competition administrated by the Government of Punjab (India) contested by men's and women's national teams. The competition has been contested every year since the inaugural tournament in 2010, except for 2015 due to the 2015 Guru Granth Sahib desecration controversy. The women's tournament was introduced in 2012. As of October 2016, every tournament, men's and women's, has been won by India.

Women's Kabaddi World Cup

The first Women's Kabaddi World Cup was held in Patna, India in 2012. India won the championship, defeating Iran in the finals.[11] India retained the title in 2013, defeating debutants New Zealand in the finals.

Asia Kabaddi Cup

The Asia Kabaddi Cup has been held twice in consecutive years. The inaugural tournament was held in 2011 in Iran. In 2012, the Asia Kabaddi Cup was held in Lahore (Pakistan) from 1 to 5 November. In the 2012 ASIA Kabaddi Cup, Pakistan won against India with a technical win after Indian team forfeited the match following a dispute.

UK Kabaddi Cup

Kabaddi received major recognition in the United Kingdom during the 2013 UK Kabaddi Cup. It featured the national kabaddi teams from India, England, Pakistan, the United States, Canada, and a local club team sponsored by SGPC. The UK Kabaddi Cup hosts the Punjab circle style of kabaddi.

World Kabaddi League

World Kabaddi League was formed in 2014.[12] The league includes eight teams from four countries - Canada, England, Pakistan, and the United States - and plays the Punjabi circle style of kabaddi.[13][13] Some of the teams are owned or part owned by actors - Akshay Kumar (Khalsa Warriors), Rajat Bedi (Punjab Thunder), Sonakshi Sinha (United Singhs) and Yo Yo Honey Singh (Yo Yo Tigers). The inaugural league season was played from August 2014 to December 2014.[14] United Singhs (Birmingham, England) won the finals defeating Khalsa Warriors (London, England) in the first season.[15][16]


Kabaddi is a popular sport in South Asia. The Kabaddi Federation of India (KFI) was founded in 1950, and it compiled a standard set of rules. The governing body for kabaddi in Pakistan is Pakistan Kabaddi Federation. In Bangladesh, a variation of kabaddi called Ha-Du-Du is popular. Ha-Du-Du has no definite rules and is played with different rules in different areas. Kabaddi is the National Game of Bangladesh and the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of Bangladesh was formed in 1973. In Iran, the Community of Kabaddi was formed in 1996, in same year they joined the Asian Kabaddi Federation and in 2001 they joined the International Kabaddi Federation. The Iran Amateur Kabaddi Federation was formed in 2004.

Kabaddi is one of the national sports of Nepal. Kabaddi is played and taught at a very early age in most primary schools beginning in the third grade or so in most Nepali schools. Kabaddi was also played by the British Army for fun, to keep fit and as an enticement to recruit soldiers from the British Asian community. Kabaddi was brought to the United Kingdom by Indian and Pakistani immigrants. The governing body for kabaddi in the United Kingdom is the England Kabaddi Federation UK.

In popular culture

Films depicting kabaddi
Anime and manga depicting kabaddi
Dramas depicting kabaddi

See also


  1. ^ "A tale of kabaddi, Bangladesh's national sport - Dhaka Tribune". Dhakatribune.com. Retrieved 2017. 
  3. ^ "Definition of 'kabaddi'". Retrieved 2017. 
  4. ^ "Rules of Kabaddi". International Kabaddi Federation (IKF). Retrieved 2014. 
  5. ^ http://indianexpress.com/article/blogs/sports-blogs/everything-you-need-to-know-about-kabaddi/
  6. ^ "Kabaddi In India: Origins, success and current pitiable state". Sportskeeda.com. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 2015. 
  7. ^ Kissa 2 Kabaddi da. Sarwan Singh Sangam Publications. ISBN 93-83654-65-1. 
  8. ^ "Kabaddi gets the IPL treatment". BBC News. Retrieved 2016. 
  9. ^ "Pro Kabaddi league viewership second only to IPL". The Hindu. Retrieved 2016. 
  10. ^ "Simple, visceral, fun: why the ancient sport of kabaddi is enjoying a resurgence". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016. 
  11. ^ "India win first women's Kabaddi World Cup". Hindustan Times. 4 March 2012. Retrieved 2012. 
  12. ^ "World Kabaddi League launched". The Hindu. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 2017. 
  13. ^ a b "World Kabaddi League announces team franchise names and logos". IBNLive. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 2013. 
  14. ^ "Home - The official website of World Kabaddi League". Worldkabaddileague.net. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 2014. 
  15. ^ "United Singhs crowned World Kabaddi League champions". IBNLive. 22 November 2014. Retrieved 2013. 
  16. ^ "Honey Singh's kabaddi team Yo Yo Tigers suspended". Hindustan Times. 15 November 2014. Retrieved 2013. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Top US Cities