Kabaddi: Popular In India, But Hardly Known Worldwide
There are a lot of popular team sports in the world that are always in the public eye all over the world, such as football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, etc. However, there are certain kinds of sports, which are common only in particular regions and most people don’t even know they exist. For instance, have you ever heard of kabaddi?
Kabaddi (kabbadi, or kabadi) appeared in India about 5,000 years ago in the course of the Kurukshetra War and was aimed at improving hunting and self-protection capabilities. Some people claim, however, that this sport has its origins in Iran.
In 1938 kabaddi was first played in the Indian Olympic Games. In 1982 this sport was shown at Asian Games.
So how is it played? There are usually two teams that play on the opposite sides of a field. Individual players, called raiders, need to run to the opposite side of the field and tag as many another team’s opponents as possible without being caught. While running and tagging players, the raider chants “kabaddi, kabaddi”.
The most widely used is the standard style of playing which involves the following rules:
1. Each team consists of seven players.
2. The sizes of courts are: 33 × 43 ft for men and 26 × 39 ft for women.
3. A team has got five players in reserve.
4. The sport is played indoors, the court is rectangular.
5. A match has two halves, each lasting 20 minutes, and there is a 5-minute break in between.
The standard style of playing kabaddi is considered to be a serious one, being played in tournaments. A circle style, on the other hand, is regarded as an amateur version of the game. Generally, the rules are quite the same, however, the court is circular, and the matches are played outdoors.
Kabaddi is not popular globally, nonetheless, several significant tournaments are held. No special equipment is needed to play kabaddi, only shorts, T-shirts, arm and knee support, and boots.
1. Kabaddi World Cup has taken place since 2004. It is a tournament for male and female teams. It was held three times, and each time the Indian team was the winner.
2. Kabaddi, together with other kinds of sport are represented at the Asian Games. The following Games are scheduled for 2022 in Hangzhou.
3. Pro Kabaddi League was established in 2014 and takes place annually. Yet, it was canceled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The most famous kabaddi players are Pardeep Narwal and Manjeet Chillar from India, Jang Kun Lee from Korea, and Meraj Sheykh from Iran.
By way of conclusion, we want to stress that kabaddi is one of the most undervalued sports on the planet. The rules are easy, playing it is fun, and like lots of other team sports, it requires agility, quickness, and physical strength. We hope this game will take its niche among other popular sports soon.