A game born and played in ancient India, Kabaddi is an integral part of the Indian culture. It is one of the spokes that balances the wheel of our tradition.
There are various Kabaddi styles that have branched out from the original game, like – Gaminee and Punjabi. It is known by various names in different places, like hadudu in Bangladesh, chedugudu in Andhra Pradesh and hututu in Maharashtra.
Kabaddi is also the National Game of Bangladesh and Nepal. It is also very popular in the Indian states of Punjab, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra. It is played predominately in the rural areas of our country, with people spending a lot of time honing and improving their skills. Some play the game as a profession, some play it for fun.
India is the most successful country in the world, when it comes to the game of Kabaddi. India has won all the World Cups and Asian Games so far, both in the men’s and women’s category.
Kabaddi as a game has been mentioned in the Mahabharata, and was also practiced in Indian Vedic Schools. Kabaddi was introduced to the world during the Berlin Olympics in 1936 by India. The game was introduced in Nationals in the year 1938. The first Asian Kabaddi Championship was held in 1980, and the Indian team emerged victorious, defeating Bangladesh in the finals.
In the international version of the game, two teams of 7 members each play a match with 20 minutes halves with 5 minutes break in between. The teams take turns sending a “raider” into the other half. To win a point, the raider must take a breath and chant “Kabaddi Kabaddi”, run into the other half, tag one or more members of the opposite team, then return to his home half before inhaling again. The raider will be declared “out” if he inhales before returning to his side, or returns without touching an opponent. If the tagged defenders are not able to catch the raider, they will be declared out.
Pro Kabaddi League was introduced in 2014 in India. The league was based on the Indian Premier League. The first edition of the tournament began on 26 July 2014 with eight franchises based at eight different cities in India, consisting of players from all over the world. Jaipur Pink Panthers won the inaugural edition. The other teams in the competition were from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Vizag, Patna, and Kolkata.
Kabaddi is a sport which is very popular in South Asia, mainly in countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal. There have been many films based on Kabaddi, like Badlapur Boys and Okkadu. The game is dominated by India, be it the World Cups or Asian Cup. It is a favourite pass time for the people living in the countryside, and it helps keep them fit and fine.