What are the skills, rules evolved from history of Kabaddi?

Kabaddi Play

One evening, we were in Talakadu, near the banks of mother Kaveri. Talakadu is a part of the Mysuru district. Moreover, it once had about 30 temples, most of which are buried under the sand now. In other words, it looks like a desert. We were around 16 youths together on a trip. The first thing that came to our minds looking at the sand was to play Kabaddi.

To get a gist about the article please watch the below video.

The ancient sport that dates back to about 5000 years. It sets to have its beginning during the Kurukshetra war. Kauravas trap Abhimanyu with the formation of Chakravvyuha. He would have only learned to break through a Chakravyuha while entering it. However, the enemies trap him and kill. Our ancient Indians created Kabaddi to remember Abhimanyu’s valor and bravery.

If you have played kabaddi, you know that it is a different kind of experience altogether. The only game in which, the offense is an individual effort while the defense is a collective effort.

What are the different names of Kabaddi?

Kabaddi is called in different names in different places. Some of them are weird.

The game is known as Hu-Tu-Tu in Western India, Ha-Do-Do in Eastern India and Bangladesh, Chedugudu in Southern India, especially in Andhra & Telangana, and Kaunbada in Northern India. It has had many changes that it went through in the ages to come.

Furthermore, people call it in some unique names in various parts of India, mostly restricted to South.

  • Chedugudu in Andhra.
  • Sadugudu in Tamil Nadu
  • Jai Bhavani in Maharasthra
  • Bhatvik in the Maldives

Modern Kabaddi is a synthesis of the game played in various forms under different names. Let us get started with the ruled and regulations in Modern Kabaddi.

How have rules of Kabaddi changed in History?

Before talking about the history of something, we should know what it is and how it is played at present. Therefore, let us briefly learn about how awesome a game can be. There are two major forms of Kabaddi.

Kabaddi Court

Standard Style

Basic Rules
  • In here, there are two teams of seven members
  • They occupy opposite halves of the court, while, at any moment, one is called the opponent team and the other the raiding team
  • The court measures, 10 by 13 meters (33 ft × 43 ft) in case of men and 8 by 12 meters (26 ft × 39 ft) in case of women
  • The time duration of each match is two 20 mins. divided into two halves, with 5 mins. break. This is when the team changes its sides
How to play?
  • There is a play for each side when a raider raids the opponent team
  • The opponent team has to defend the raider
  • Raider attempts to tag as many players as possible from the 7 in the opponent team
  • The opponent’s court divides into almost two halves
  • We call the dividing line as baulk line
  • In the same way, we call the two sidelines covering the length of the court as fighting line
  • The raider has to either cross the opponents’ baulk line or touch the opponent to get a point
  • The opponents have to catch hold of him and not allow him to go back to, his half of the court
Advance Gyan
  • While the opponents catch the raider, they can only make use of the fighting line. If they cross the boundary line the raider team gets a point
  • Without catching the raider the opponent team touching the fighting line will fetch points to the raider team
  • If the raider touches baulk line or opponent, the raider team will get points
  • If the opposing team catches the raider, the opponent team will fetch points
  • All this happens while the raider loudly chants “kabaddi kabaddi…” without compromising on their breath
  • If the raider feels like wanting to inhale breath, he has to come back to his half of the court
  • Whoever is tagged is taken out of the court and will not be able to participate in the court’s activity until he is back
  • When the opponents catch the raider, he is taken out of the court
  • There is a bonus line crossing which the raider gets an additional point
  • The players out of the court join when the opponents’ team player is out, one for each one

There are four other forms of kabaddi from the amateur federation.

They are,

Sanjeevani Kabaddi

    • one player is revived against one player from the opposite team who is out
    • played for 40 mins. with five mins. break
    • seven players on each side

Gaminee Style

      • one player out has to remain out until all the players are out
      • seven players play on each side
      • the team that is successful in making everyone out is the winner

Punjabi Kabaddi

    • with the same rules, this type of kabaddi is played on a circular pitch of twenty-two meters diameter

Kabaddi Trend

A couple of years ago, there was a very low trend in Kabaddi. Moreover, only the students from local colleges and schools used to play Kabaddi. However, after the advent of “Pro Kabaddi”, the trend has gone really high. In addition, a lot of players have come forward to play Kabaddi from urban cities. Above all, the exposure for the combative game has increased from 2014.

International competitions

There are many competitions conducted. Here, they play in standard style, accepted nation-wide.

Kabaddi World Cup

  • Std. style kabaddi outdoor play
  • International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) conducts the competition
  • Both men and women participate

Asian Games

  • Since 1990
  • The Indian team has won every single match since then

Pro Kabaddi League

  • Established in 2014
  • Based on IPL and T20
  • 435 million viewers watch this

Super Kabaddi League

  • Pakistan hosts the league
  • to renew the interest in the sport in Pakistan

Women’s Kabaddi Challenge

  • Women’s only Kabaddi league
  • First played in July 2016

Asian Kabaddi Championship

  • The 10th season played in 2017
  • Indian won 10th gold by defeating Pakistan

Kabaddi Masters

  • First in Dubai in 2018
  • UAE hosted for the first time
  • Indian won by defeating Iran

History of Kabaddi

Kabaddi is a very ancient game that is played from the time of Mahabharat. Further, there is a mention of Kabaddi in Mahabharat. Krishna and Balarama played kabaddi with an asura sent by Kamsa. Kamsa sent demons to kill Krishna and Balarama. But, both of them knew this fact. Subsequently, Balarama kills the demon.

There is another mention of Kabaddi. Lord Krishna, tutors Abhimanyu when in the womb, about Chakravyuha. By the time Krishna reaches the point in the story, where he teaches how to break the Chakravyuha and come out, Subhadra (the mother of Abhimanyu, whose womb Abhimanyu will be in), will be asleep. So, Abhimanyu will never learn to break and coming out of Chakravyuha. Unfortunately, he has to go alone, as no one else there knew this art. He gets killed by his enemies. Kabaddi was created to remember Abhimanyu and his bravery.

Abhimanyu fighting against Kauravas


Kauravas Chakravyuha was a seven-tiered defensive mechanism. If you observe, in Kabaddi, there are seven defensive players. Subsequently, they will all form a semi-circle to trap the raider. Like how the Chakravyuha created by the Kauravas trapped Abhimanyu.

Kabaddi, a Combative Game

Kabaddi is the only combative game where the offense is an individual effort while the defense is a collective effort. Therefore, even now it is called Warrior’s game. This was a mandatory game for Kings. Kabaddi was the first step for a warrior to learn war.

Did Buddha play Kabaddi back in the History?

Yes, it is true. Buddhist literature mentions Gautama Buddha playing Kabaddi with his peers in Gurukula. Moreover, there is a movie that shows a scene, where Little Buddha plays Kabaddi. Bernardo Bertolucci’s movie shows it, in 1993. The extras in the movie were Nepalese kabaddi players and officials. They are very happy about the movie and talk about it fondly.

Buddha played Kabaddi in history

There is another history for Kabaddi. Many people attribute the origins of Kabaddi to the Tamil region of India. This region is currently Tamil Nadu. Tamil region spread this game to South East Asia during its sea trade. Kabaddi word derives from a combination of two Tamil words – “Kai-Pidi”. Kai-pidi means “to hold hands”. We can clearly see the players from the defending teams holding their hands to form a semi-circle. People in Tamilnadu even today call it “Veera Veliyattu“, meaning Game of the Warriors.

At present, as I mentioned before, there are several types of Kabaddi. However, despite the differences, Kabaddi calls for tremendous fitness of body and mind. It instills the ability to concentrate as well as anticipate the opponent’s move.

Kabaddi has 7 players like in Chakravyuha

What skills has Kabaddi taught through the History?

Kabaddi demands a range of skills. Moreover, these are the prerequisites to play an official game and win.

For instance;

  1. agility
  2. muscular co-ordination
  3. speed
  4. strength
  5. catching
  6. kicking
  7. stamina
  8. reflexes
  9. presence of mind
  10. strategy

There will be tremendous pressure on the players, in addition to the physical strength.

Kabaddi’s Popularity

At present India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Iran, Korea, Argentina, Canada, U.K, China, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, Indonesia…and many more countries play Kabaddi. Further, it might be a part of the Olympics very soon.

How is Kabaddi an Honest Game?

There are other indirect qualities that the players of the game at one point or the other, learn.

  1. Defenders admit when the raider touches them
  2. TV review system comes in handy when referees commit mistakes. However, this is, as opposed to many games that many countries object on using these types of systems.
  3. No scam, no match-fixing, no fixing scandals. Above all, nothing as such has ever been reported
  4. Raider calls for touch only after actually touching the opponents. He does not make any false accusations.

In conclusion, India was responsible for creating such a lovely game, Kabaddi. Let us all support this game and make it popular on the international level. Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi…

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