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Kabaddi is a sport that undoubtedly very few of you must have heard of if any at all. Unlike a lot of sports, Kabaddi does not include a ball as part of the game. The game is like football, wrestling, and tag all at once.

Kabaddi originated in the modern Tamil region of the Indian subcontinent, a few thousand years ago, as a pastime that has evolved into the national sport of India, with competitions all over the world and currently, the VIVO Pro Kabaddi Tournament is taking place in India. The game can go by different names like Ha-doo-doo, chu-kit-kit, and hu-tu-tu.

Kabaddi is played with 2 teams of 12 players each, 7 starters and 5 reserves, playing for two twenty minute halves. At the end, the team with the higher score wins. The Kabaddi court is 13 meters by 10 meters. The midline divides the court into two halves. Around the middle of one of the halves, is a baulk line. A bit after that, is the bonus line. The rectangles at the sides are known as the lobbies.

Whichever team wins the coin toss, they send out a person known as a raider first, which in this case is the blue team. His job is to tag as many defenders, which consists of the entire other team, and make it back to the midline. However, he must cross the baulk line while raiding. The raider gets only 30 seconds to raid and at the same time must chant the word Kabaddi repeatedly, without stopping to pause for breath: that is, he only gets one breath. The defenders jobs, who are the yellow team, are to tackle the raider, and not let him back to the midline, thus preventing a successful raid. But, if the raider touches one of the defenders, and makes it back to the midline, not only does the raiding team get a point for each defender touched, those touched defenders are out. All players who are out must go and sit in the sitting block. The catch is that no one can substitute him back in, until someone from his team gets a point. Then, the team may call a player back in. The lobbies can only be used once the player has touched a defender, so that he gets a bit more space to run to his side. In most Kabaddi matches you will see the defenders holding hands. The reason is because, if a defender steps out of bounds, then he is out, and the raiding can continue.This process repeats for the entire game, switching back and forth between the two teams.

Following are some special terms that you should know:

How to play Kabaddi – Part 1 

All Out/Lona: When all of the players are out. Then, seven of the players get revived, but only seven, because that is the limit for one team on a court.

Super Tackle: A super tackle is when three or less defenders are defending a raider, and they make the tackle.

Super Raid: When the raider scores 3 or more points in a raid, it is known as a super raid.

Do-or-Die Raid: If a raid has been unsuccessful for two consecutive times, then the third raid must be successful, or the raider is out, and the defending team receives a point.

In my next blog, I will continue this one by explaining how scoring is kept, and how to score. Leave a thought in the comment section, and see you next month!

Reader Interactions


  1. I liked how you have explained drawing the court. It connects dots and makes it easily understandable. Great work, looking forward!

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