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 Indian media. Both the course of the game and the rules are a lot more interesting than Cricket.

Special features are that players have to stop breathing during certain game phases. Teams try to get rid of players of the opponent. Binding rules were first set up in 1921 on the occasion of a major tournament in the state of Maharashtra.

For more than 4000 years, Kabaddi has been in South Asia. Even Buddha himself has been looking for distraction in his teaming. The game goes on since prehistoric times. It is also in the Mahabharata.

In Kabaddi, there are two teams of seven players, each with five reserve players. The game is 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. This team sport combines elements from wrestling and ring-fencing. The players face each other on a round or rectangular field. They send their raider into the opposing 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 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, 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. He can return to his own half without having struck off an opponent. This is a successful raid if the player reaches back the so-called baulk line. After such a pointless attack twice in a row, the team must score (do or die).

A defeated defender is off, as is a raider, whose attack gets 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. It is also permitted to use a separate player for each point achieved (up to seven players).

For Kabaddi there are international, national and regional competitions. Since 1990 the sport has been an integral part of the Asian Games. The Kabaddi players, yet, 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 is now fighting for the return as an Olympic discipline.