What is Kabaddi?

Kabaddi is an interesting sport originated from India and played extensively in the Far East. It is the official sport game of some  states of India such as Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Telangana and Maharashtra . Also, Kabaddi is very popular in  Iran, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand and Pakistan. It is considered a national sport of Nepal and is taught in schools. The International Kabaddi Federation has more than 30 member countries. Kabaddi  which appeared in the Asian Games in the 1990s became increasingly popular after this date.

Main Goal

The aim of the game is based on the principle that a player enters the opponent’s field, touches opponent’s players, and returns to his own field. However, the player has to hold his breath during this time. For this reason, it is also called “breathless hit-and-run”. The team that scores most wins the game but a draw is also possible at the end of the match.

Players and Equipment

Kabaddi is played with 2 teams of 12 players, and  7 players could be on the field at the same time. the game field has the size of 13m x 10m  and divided into two halves. The field can be both sand or grass.

Basic Rules of Kabaddi

  •  In line with a physical justice principle, matches are classified according to age and weight.
  •  Kabaddi matches involve 1 chief and 2 assistant referees.
  • Match duration consists of two periods consisting of 20 minutes each. A break of 5 minutes is allowed in-between.
  • The match starts with coin toss which determines which team will attack first but that team starts with defence in the second half.
  •  The player who goes into the opponent’s field to attack is called the raider. (S)he touches one or more opponents and returns to his field. Yet, in the meanwhile, (s)he can not breathe during the attack and he has to scream “kabaddi” without a break to prove that he is not breathing. Even a pause is a sign of breathing, and a rival team will automatically is granted a score.
  • The defending  team tries to catch the raider and prevent him / her from returning to his / her field by catching from the body (hair and clothes are forbidden). Wrestling-like movements could be possible.
  • Teams attack each other one by one.

See for how to play kabaddi:


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