Friday, July 28, 2017

Pro Kabaddi League: A Sport That Takes Your Breath Away

Kabaddi is an ancient team sport from South Asia that is especially popular in India. In the North Indian region of Punjab, Kabaddi is a popular sport. Pro Kabaddi is currently dominating the coverage of the sports channels of Indian media. And quite honestly, both the course of the game, the athletics and the rules are a lot more interesting for me than India's national sport Cricket.

Special features are that players have to stop breathing during certain game phases. Teams try to get rid of players of the opponent. The history of the game can be traced to prehistoric times. It is mentioned in the Mahabharata.

For about 4000 years, Kabaddi has been played in South Asia. Even Buddha himself has been looking for distraction in his teaming. Binding rules were first set up in 1921 on the occasion of a major tournament in the state of Maharashtra.

This team sport combines elements from wrestling and ring-fencing. The players whose constitution resembles that of rugby players face each other on a round or rectangular field. Alternately they send their raider - robber - into the opposing half.

In Kabaddi, there are two teams of seven players, each with five reserve players. The game is played in two halves of 20 minutes each on a pitch of 12.5 meters by 8 meters. Each team has one-half of the playing field.

Alternately, one team sends a player, called Raider, into the opponent's half. The goal of the raider is to knock down as many players as possible (touch by hand or foot) and then return to their own half. If the attack (raid) is successful, the attacking team receives a point for each defeated opponent. For a successful raid, the attacker must not inhale while in the opponent's half. To make it verifiable, he utters kabaddi kabaddi.

The defending team can thwart the attack, typically by tearing the raider to the ground. For a defeated attack the defenders get a point. According to international rules, the Raider can also end the attack prematurely and return to his own half without having struck off an opponent. This is considered a successful raid, if the player has previously reached the so-called baulk line. Such a pointless attack is allowed to a team but only twice in a row. Afterwards, a score must be achieved (do or die).

A defeated defender is off, as is a raider, whose attack has been thwarted. A player who is out of play must leave the field and sit on the reserve bench. The corresponding team has a player less on the field in the following raids. Depending on the rule variant, it is also permitted to use a separate player for each point achieved (up to a maximum of seven players).

For Kabaddi there are international, national and regional competitions. Since 1990 the sport has been an integral part of the Asian Games. In 2004 the International Association IKF was formed. The Kabaddi players, however, dream of more. Today in Asia, tomorrow in Olympics is the motto on the Internet pages of the Asian Association. Once, Kabaddi was already a guest at the Summer Olympics at the 1936 Games in Berlin, as a show insert. Kabaddi activists are now fighting for their sport to return as an Olympic discipline.