From Ancient India to Modern Era

In southern Asia, one of the most widely enjoyed game is Kabaddi. A contact sport that has its roots in ancient India, Kabaddi has millions of fans in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and beyond. In Bangladesh, it is so beloved that it is considered a national game and it is part of the curriculum for students in Nepal on the orders of the government. However, like every other game out there, Kabaddi has its own rules too. These Kabaddi rules are going to be the focus of this piece.

The Rules of Kabaddi

Rules of kabaddi

If you have watched any session of pro kabaddi live shows, you will see any of these Kabaddi game rules in action. The game is governed globally by the International Kabaddi Federation and here are the rules outlined for the contact sport: 

  • When the match starts, there has to be a coin toss. Whoever wins the coin toss is going to decide which side is going to do the raiding first. When the second half of the match commences, the side that did not do the raiding will be the one to commence the second part of the game by launching the raid. 
  • For each Kabaddi match, there should be six officials. These are the scorer, referee, a pair of umpires, and a pair of assistant scorers.
  • The matches of Kabaddi are arranged in categories based on the weight and ages of the players. 
  • Every team of Kabaddi can have a maximum of 12 players. But of these dozen players, only seven of them can be on the field playing simultaneously. 
  • Each match has two halves with each half lasting for 20 minutes. There is a half time break that will last for five minutes only. 
  • Before a raider can get a point, the raider has to inhale and then run into the side of the opponents and touch one or even more opponents and dash to their side of the pitch before breathing in once more. It is the team that is being raided that does the defending and players must do their best to ensure the raiders do not touch them. 
  • The raider has to prove that another breath has not been taken and to do this, the raider has to constantly shout the word ‘Kabaddi’. If the raider does not do this, then the raider has to return to their half of the pitch with zero points. The opponents are then awarded one point which will be recorded for defensive play. 
  • There are two teams on the pitch but the rules have it that each will defend and raid in turns. After the first half, the two teams also have to change their sides of the court. The team that defended initially in the first half will be the one to open the second half of the game by doing a raid on the opponents. This is how the game is going to be played until the time elapses. The team that manages to garner the highest number of points at the end of it will emerge the winner.

Like every other game out there, Kabaddi has its own rules too. It is these rules that give the much-beloved sport its essence and it is respected all over the globe. Without these rules, there will be no Kabaddi. Whether there will be changes or not to these rules all depend on the International Kabaddi Federation.