Kabaddi is aptly
known as the "GAME OF THE MASSES "due to its popularity,
simplicity, easy to comprehend rules, and public appeal. The game
calls for no sophisticated equipment what so ever, which makes
it a very popular sport in the developing countries. It is basically an out door sport played on clay court, of late
the game is being played on synthetic surface indoors with great
success. The duration of the game is 45 minutes for MEN &
Junior BOYS with a 5 minutes break in between for the teams to
change sides. The duration of the game is 35 minutes with a 5
miniutes break in between for WOMEN, GIRLS, Sub-Junior BOYS
and Sub-Junior GIRLS.
Kabaddi is a combative team game, played
on a rectangular court, either out-doors or indoors
with seven players on the ground for each side. Each side takes
alternate chances of offence and defense. The basic idea of
the game is to score points by raiding into the opponents court
and touching as many defense players as possible without getting
caught on a single breath. During play, the players on the defensive
side are called "Antis" while the player of the offense
is called the "Raider". Kabaddi is perhaps the only
combative sport in which attack is an individual attempt while
defense is a group effort. The attack in Kabaddi is known as
The antis touched by the raider during the attack are declared
'out' if they do not succeed in catching, the raider before
he returns to home court. These players can resume play only
when their side scores points against the opposite side during
their raiding turn or if the remaining players succeed in catching
the opponent's raider.
Yoga, the Indian science to control body and mind through meditation
and self-control .plays an integral part of Kabaddi. The raider
has to enter the opponent's court chanting the word "Kabaddi"
while holding his breath and has to continue to do so until
he returns to his home court. This is known as 'Cant',
which is closely related to "Pranayama” of yoga.
While Pranayama is about with holding breath in order to exercise
internal organs, cant is the means to with hold breath with
vigorous physical activity. This is perhaps one of the few sports
to combine yoga with hectic physical activity.
The game calls for agility, good lung capacity, muscular co-ordination,
presence of mind and quick responses. For a single player to
take on seven opponents is no mean task, requires dare as well
as an ability to concentrate and anticipate the opponent's moves.
The sport has a long history dating back to pre-historic times.
It was probably invented to ward off croup attacks by individuals
and vice-versa. The game was very popular in the southern part
of Asia played in its different forms under different names.
A dramatized version of the great Indian epic, the "Mahabharata".
has made an analogy of the game to a tight situation faced by
Abhimaneu, the heir of ' the Pandava kings when he is surrounded
on all sides by the enemy. Buddhist literature speaks of the
Gautam Buddha playing Kabaddi for recreation. History also reveals
that princes of yore played Kabaddi to display their strength
and win their brides!
The game, known as Hu-Tu-Tu in Western India, Ha-Do-Do in Eastern
India & Bangladesh, Chedugudu in Southern India and Kaunbada
in Northern India, has undergone a sea chance through the ages.
Modem Kabaddi is a synthesis of the game played in its various
forms under different names.
Amar literally means invincible. This is a form of Kabaddi,
which is played based -on points scored by both sides. The play
field has no specific measurements and nine to eleven players
constitute each of the teams. In this form of Kabaddi, there
is no 'out' and .revival' system or 'Iona' but time is the deciding
factor. The main advantage of this form of the game is that
tile players remain in the court through out the match and are
able to give their best performance
This form of Kabaddi is played with nine players on either side,
in a play-field of no specific measurements. The principle characteristic
of this form of Kabaddi is that a player who is put out has
to remain out until all his team members are put out. The team
that is successful in putting out all the players of the opponent's
side secures a point. This is akin to the present system of
'Iona'. After all the players are put out, the team is revived
and the game continues. The game continues until five or seven
'Iona' are secured. The game has no fixed time. The main disadvantage
of this form of Kabaddi is that the player Is not in position
to give his best performance since he is likely to remain out
for the better part of the match until a Iona is scored.
This form of Kabaddi is the closest to the present game. In
this form of Kabaddi, players are put out and revived and the
game lasts for 40 minutes with a 5-minute break in between.
The team consists of nine players on each side. The team that
puts out all the players on the opponent's side scores four
extra points for a 'Iona'.
The winning team is the one that scores the maximum number of
points at the end of 40 minutes. The play field is bigger in
this form of Kabaddi and the 'cant' was different in various
regions. Modem Kabaddi resembles this form of Kabaddi a great
deal especially with regard to 'out & revival system' and
'Iona'. The present form of Kabaddi is a synthesis of all these
forms of Kabaddi with a good number of changes in the rules
Kabaddi attained National status in the year 1918. Maharashtra
was the pioneer state to bring the game to the National platform
and give it further popularity. Standard rules and regulations
were formulated in 1918 but were brought out in print in the
year 1923 and in this very year, an All India Tournament was
organized at Baroda with these rules. Kabaddi has not looked
back since then and numerous tournaments are organized all over
the country through out the year.
Kabaddi received its first Inter-National exposure during the
1936 Berlin Olympics, demonstrated by Hanuman Vyayam Prasarak
Mandal, Amaravati, Maharashtra. The game was introduced in the
Indian Olympic Games at Calcutta, in the year 1938. It was in
1950, that the All India Kabaddi Federation came into existence.
Regular conduct of National level championships as per laid
down rules and regulations began with effect from the year 1952.
After the formation of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India,
the first men's Nationals were held in Madras (now re-named
Chennai), while the women's Nationals were held in Calcutta
in the year 1955.
The rules were modified and some changes were introduced to
the game during the National Championships held at New Delhi
in the year 1954. Efforts were made to demonstrate the game
in the World Youth Festival held at Moscow in the year 1957,
but due to various unforeseen reasons, this could not be accomplished.
The game was included in the curriculum of the Indian University
Sports Control Board as a main sports discipline in the year
The game got further recognition when the School Games Federation
of India included it in the school games in the year 1962. This
body has taken up the responsibility of organizing state and
national level competitions for school going children all over
the country in various sports on a regular basis, every year.
The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India, the new body, came
into existence in the year 1972. This body was formed with a
view to popularize the game in the neighboring countries and
organize regular National level Men and Women tournaments. After
the formation of this body, sub-junior and junior sections were
included in Kabaddi national level tournaments, as a regular
Kabaddi was included in the curriculum of Regular Diploma courses
in coaching conducted by the National Institute of Sports, the
premier institute to develop sports in the country with effect
from the year 1971. There after, qualified coaches in Kabaddi
are being produced every ear. The neighboring countries, Nepal
& Bangladesh also send I their coaches for the diploma course
in various disciplines including Kabaddi, regularly. These qualified
coaches are equipped to train players at different levels in
a systematic manner with sports science back up.
In the year 1974, the Indian men's team toured Bangladesh as
part of the cultural exchange program to play five test matches
in different parts of the country. The Bangladesh returned the
visit in the year 1979 and played five test matches in India.
The Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation was formed in the year
1978, during the silver jubilee celebrations of National Kabaddi
Championships in India, organized at Bhilai, Madhya Pradesh.
The first Asian Championship in Kabaddi was organized in Calcutta,
in the year 1980. A goodwill tour was organized in the year
1981 in which, the Indian men & women teams visited Thailand,
Japan and Malaysia to play exhibition Kabaddi matches. Federation
Cup Kabaddi matches also commenced in the year 1981.
Kabaddi was included as a demonstration game in the IX Asian
Games hosted by India in the year 1982. In the year 1984, an
open Inter- National tournament was organized at Bombay (now
renamed as Mumbai), in India. During the Tri-Centenary celebrations
of the city of Calcutta, an Inter-National Invitation Kabaddi
Tournament was organized in the city.
The South Asian Federation included Kabaddi as a regular sports
discipline from the year 1984. Kabaddi was played for first
time in the SAF games at Dacca, Bangladesh. Since then Kabaddi
is being included in every SAF Games, which is played every
once in two years. For the first time in the Inter-National
Kabaddi scenario, India faced defeat at the hands of Pakistan
and had to be satisfied with second place, winning the silver
medal, in the VI SAF Games at Dacca, Bangladesh, in the year
The second Asian Championship was hosted by India and was organized
at Jaipur, Rajasthan. Malaysia and Japan participated for the
first time in this Championship. In the XI Asian Games held
in the year 1990 at Beijing, China, Kabaddi was included in
the main disciplines. This was a major landmark in the history
of Kabaddi. India won the Gold Medal, which was a proud and
unforgettable moment for Kabaddi lovers who had strived to bring
Kabaddi to the Asian platform. India has been the reigning champion
in the succeeding Asian Games held in 1994 at Hiroshima, Japan
and in the Asian Games held in 1998 at Bangkok in Thailand.
An International Women Kabaddi tournament commenced in the year
1995, called the Nike Gold Cup, sponsored by NIKE, Japan. The
III Asian Championship was hosted by Sri-Lanka in the year 2000.
For the first time, Sri-Lanka secured a silver medal, defeating
Kabaddi stalwarts Pakistan, in this Championship.
Kabaddi will be introduced to the African countries as a demonstration
sport in the Afro-Asian Games, which is to be hosted by India
in the year 2002. This is a feather in the cap for Kabaddi lovers
and has been made possible thanks to the efforts of Mr. J.S.Gehlot,
President, Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India and the Indian
OF THE GAME
There is a gradual but marked change in the style of the game
during the past fifty years. What was once considered a game
of brawn is not so now. The introduction of more techniques
to the came has made it relatively easier for a player with
more skill than weight to score points against better-built
Over the years, the game's pattern changed along with the rules
and the size of the playfield. The concept of Kabaddi as an
Indigenous Game of India first came up during the year 1921
in Maharashtra, when a certain framework of rules was prepared
and the game was played on the pattern of Sanjeevani & Gemini
in a combined form. A special committee was constituted in 1923
which amended the rules. These rules were applied in an All
India Kabaddi Tournament organized during the same year.
It was the Hanuman Vyayam Prasarak Mandal, Amaravati, Maharashtra,
which took up the task of organizing and developing Kabaddi
in a more systematic & scientific manner. This Institution
believes in the maxim " A healthy mind in a healthy body",
and has been doing yeoman's service to sports in general and
indigenous games in particular, over the years. During the years
1927 to 1952, Kabaddi was played in different parts of the country
based on rules framed by the various clubs and organizing committees,
which mushroomed and gained in prominence. There were frequent
disputes over the rules during tournaments owing to lack of
uniformity in the rules and regulations followed in various
parts of the country.
In Maharashtra, the pioneering state to regularize the game
and bring it to the National platform, Kabaddi, which was known
as "Hu-Tu-Tu", was played according to the rules framed
by the Deccan Gymkhana from 1928 to I 938.
The introduction of the game to the Inter-national arena as
a demonstration game in the 1936 Berlin Olympics led to the
inclusion of Kabaddi in the list of priority games of the Indian
Olympic Committee, in the year 1940. Thereafter, Inter-provincial
Kabaddi tournaments were organized biannually.
The matches at the district and provincial level were played
as per the rules framed by the Akhil Maharashtra Sharirik Shikshan
Mandal, while the Inter-Provincial Championships were based
on Buck's Rules of Games and Sports, published by Mr. H.C Buck,
Founder principal of YMCA College of Physical Education, Madras.
The Indian Olympic Games were re-named as National Games in
the year 1952 and are since being organized once in a year instead
of biannually. The All India Kabaddi Federation, which was formed
in the year 1952 appointed a 'Rules Sub-Committee' with the
express purpose of laying down standard rules and regulations
to be followed by affiliated provincial units all over the country.
A new set of rules were framed by the Rules Sub-Committee based
on Buck's Rules and the game rules followed till then by the
Akhil Maharashtra Sharirik Shikshan Mandal.
The game's pattern also changed over the years, along with the
standardization of rules and regulations. Some of the major
changes in the game's pattern include the introduction of the
Unproductive Raid Rule, Time Out system, Bonus Line Game, etc
that did not change the basic structure of the game but all
the same had a lot of impact. Some of the major changes that
had an impact on the game are being elaborated in this chapter
for the benefit of the readers.
UNPRODUCTIVE RAID RULE
The Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation at the behest of certain
member countries introduced the Unproductive Raid Rule. The
'rule reads as follows. "If in three consecutive raids
by a side no point is scored by either side, the opponent's
will get a point. The referee shall immediately declare such
point which is to be recorded in the running score sheet by
cutting the number with a cross mark "X". The counts
of such unproductive raids shall not be carried over to the
game after 'Lona', recess at half time and to extra time."[Rules
of Kabaddi Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation 1980]
As per the rule, in case no point is scored in three consecutive
raids, the opponent's side automatically gains a point. The
referee is to immediately declare the point which shall be recorded
in the running score sheet with the mark 'X'. Though the score
sheets records the scoring of a point, there is to be no revival
of teammates as in the normal points scored. The idea behind
the introduction of this rule was to make sure that the raider
went all out to struggle and gain points in order to avoid the
risk of giving away points to the opponent's side through three
consecutive unproductive raids. However, it did not work out
the way in which it was visualized, since the game lost some
of its thrill and the scores did not reflect the true picture
of the team's performance.
After practicing the rule for three years in the National as
well as Inter-National level, it was unanimously decided by
the Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation and the Amateur Kabaddi
federation of India to cancel the rule. Now the rule is not
in force at either the National or the inter- National level
TIME OUT SYSTEM
The time out system has recently been introduced in the Asian
and Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India rules. Hither to, "Time
Out" was allowed when called by the captain of the team,
with the permission of the referee, only in the event of injury
of a player, not exceeding two minutes. Even in such an instance,
no player on either side was allowed to leave the court without
the permission of the referee.
The Time Out Rule reads:
" Each team shall be allowed to take two 'time out' of
30 seconds in each half. Such time out may be called by the
captain/coach of the team with the permission of the referee."
- During the time out, team shall not leave the ground.
Any violation is committed by the player/s/coach; a technical
point shall be awarded to the opponent team.
- Official time out: In the event of any injury to a player
only, the referee shall call such time out. Such time out
should not exceed two minutes."
BONUS LINE GAME
The bonus line rule came into existence in the year 1978 as
an out-come of some experiments conducted during a workshop
organized by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India in the
year 1976, to make the game more interesting. The Bonus Line
is a line drawn parallel to the baulk line at a distance of
one meter from the baulk line towards the end line.
The rule reads:
- Bon-us Line should be drawn at a distance of one meter
from the baulk line towards the end lines.
- One point shall be awarded to the raider when he completely
crosses the Bonus Line. If the raider is caught, he shall
be declared out and the opponent shall be awarded one point.
One point shall also be awarded to the raider for having
crossed the bonus line first. In this situation, the raider
shall be awarded first point.
- The bonus line will be applicable when there are minimum
six players in the court. The bonus point shall be awarded
by the Referee/Umpire after the completion of the raid,
by showing thumb upwards towards the side which scores.
- There shall be no revival for bonus point.
- The bonus point shall be marked in the shape of a triangle
in the running score.
- If the raider after crossing the bonus line reaches home
court safely touching one or more antis he will be awarded
one bonus point in addition to the numbers."
It is further clarified that
crossing the Bonus Line is not compulsory and this rule applies
only when the raider crosses the bonus line before the struggle.
This rule makes the game more interesting since agile raiders
can score points for their side without the risk of a struggle.
A good defense is required to counter the raider's move to cross
the Bonus Line and as such, the defense will concentrate on
the Bonus Line, which will make the playing area smaller and
increase the game's tempo. Without the Bonus Line, it is possible
that both sides begin very cautiously and end up with zero or
single digit points, which makes the match very dull and slow.
It is also possible that neither the raider nor the defense
will take any risk, which will make the result of the match
This rule is being followed in the Kabaddi tournaments at all
levels in India and efforts are being made to include the rule
at the Asian Level. In the meeting of the Asian Amateur Kabaddi
Federation held during the SAF Games at Katmandu, Nepal 1999,
it was decided that the Bonus Line Rule be adopted by all member
countries on an experimental basis for competitions at National
level so as to consider the inclusion of the rule in the next
Asian Games 2002.