What is Kabaddi?

My dad came to me a few weeks ago and told me the basics of the weirdest sport I’ve ever heard of- Kabaddi.  Kabaddi originated in ancient India, and it’s a popular sport in South Asia today. While it may seem a little complicated, the rules are quite simple.
There’s two teams of seven players, split off in a square arena. The game has two halves of twenty minutes each. The teams will flip a coin or use any other random method of deciding something to see who goes first. If your team goes first, you must send a “raider” across the center line. When the raider is in the other team’s territory, they must try to tag the other members of the team. Each player they touch equals one point for their team, but only if they make it back to their territory safely.
Here’s where the twist comes in, though: the raider must repeatedly yell “kabaddi” while in the other team’s territory. They cannot stop repeating the word until they cross the center line back into their own team’s territory. If they stop yelling or take a breath on the other team’s side of the court, no matter how small, they must return to their own side of the court, scoring no points. Plus, each member of the raiding team must raid in a sequence, and if they go out of order the opposing team gets one point.
But what if your team doesn’t go first? Well, your team has to defend. You are now “anti-raiders” or “stoppers”.  Your goal is to keep the raider from tagging you and crossing back to the center line. To do this, you can either run away from them until they run out of breath, or physically restrain them by tackling or grabbing them. The raider must not be grabbed by the hair or any body part other than the arms or torso.
Those are just the basics of the game. You’ll go back and fourth between raiding and defending for the two twenty minute halves, with a five minute break in between. I have never played it before, but it definitely seems like a lot of fun. To me, it seems like a game we would play in gym class or Phys Ed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.