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Kabaddi is a wrestling sport originating from very early Indian civilization. The word Kabaddi is derived from a Tamil word Kai-pidi, literally meaning "(let's) Hold Hands", which is indeed the crucial aspect of play. It is the national game of Bangladesh, and the state game of Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh in India.

In the international team version of kabaddi, two teams of seven members each occupy opposite halves of a field of 10 m × 13 m in case of men and 8 m × 12 m in case of women.[1] Each has three supplementary players held in reserve. The game is played with 20-minute halves and a five-minute halftime break during which the teams exchange sides.

The rules of the game are as follows. Two teams occupy opposite halves of a small swimming pool or field and take turns sending a "raider" into the other half, to win points by tackling members of the opposing team; then the raider tries to return to his own half. The goal of the raider is to tag or wrestle ("confine") members of the opposite team before returning to the home half. Tagged members are "out" and temporarily sent off the field. The raider must not cross the lobby at least he touches any of his opponents. If he does so then he will be declared as "out". There is also a bonus line which ensure extra points for the raider if he manages to touch it and return to his side of the field successfully. The goal of the defenders is to stop the raider from returning to the home side before taking a breath. If any of the seven players cross the lobby without touching the raider he will be declared as "out".

The raider is sent off the field if:

Each time when a player is "out", the opposing team earns a point. A team scores a bonus of two points, called a "lona", if the entire opposing team is declared "out". At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.

Matches are categorised based on age and weight. Six officials supervise a match: one referee, two umpires, a scorer and two assistant scorers.

Types of Kabaddi[edit]


In Sanjeevani Kabaddi, one player is revived against one player of the opposite team who is out, one out, one in. The duration, the number of players, dimensions of the court, etc. have been fixed by the Kabaddi Federation of India. This form of Kabaddi is the closest to the present game. In this form of Kabaddi, players are put out and revived and the game lasts 40 minutes with a 5-minute break in between. There are nine players on each side. The team that puts out all the players on the opponent's side scores four extra points for a 'Lona'. The winning team is the one that scores most points after 40 minutes. The field is bigger in this form of Kabaddi and the 'chant' different in various regions. Modern Kabaddi resembles this form of Kabaddi especially with regard to 'out & in system' and 'Lona'.


This is played with seven players on either side, in a field of no specific measurements. The characteristic is that a player put out has to remain out until all his team members are out. The team that is successful in putting out all the players of the opponent's side secures a point. This is akin to the present system of 'Lona'. After all the players are put out, the team is revived and the game continues. The game continues until five or seven 'Lona' are secured. This form of Kabaddi has no fixed game time. The main disadvantage of the Gaminee type is that the player is not in position to give his best performance since he is likely to remain out for the better part of the match until a Lona is scored.

History and development[edit]

Women playing Kabaddi/Sadugudu in Tamil Nadu

Modern Kabaddi is a synthesis of the game played in various forms under different names.[2] Kabaddi received international exposure during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, demonstrated by Hanuman Vyayam Prasarak Mandal, Amaravati, Maharashtra. The game was introduced in the Indian Olympic Games at Calcutta in 1938. In 1950 the All India Kabaddi Federation came into existence and compiled standard rules. The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) was founded in 1973. After formation of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India, the first men's nationals were held in Madras (renamed Chennai), while the women's were in Calcutta (renamed Kolkata) in 1955.The AKFI has given new shape to the rules and has the right to modify them. The Asian Kabaddi Federation (AKF) was founded under the chairmanship of Mr. Janardan Singh Gehlot.

Kabaddi was introduced and popularised in Japan in 1979. The Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation sent Professor Sundar Ram of India to tour Japan for two months to introduce the game.

In 1979, a return test between Bangladesh and India was held at different places of India including Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Punjab. The Asian Kabaddi Championship was arranged in 1980 and India emerged as champion and Bangladesh runner-up. Bangladesh became runner-up again in 1985 in the Asian Kabaddi Championship held in Jaipur, India. The other teams in the tournament were Nepal, Malaysia and Japan. The game was included for the first time in the Asian Games in Beijing in 1990. India, China, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh took part. India won the gold medal and has also won gold at the following six Asian Games in Hiroshima in 1994, Bangkok in 1998, Busan in 2002, Doha in 2006 and Guangzhou in 2010.

An attempt to popularise kabaddi in Great Britain was carried out by Channel 4, who commissioned a programme dedicated to the sport. The programme, Kabaddi in the early 1990s, however, failed to capture viewer attention despite fixtures such as West Bengal Police versus the Punjab. Kabaddi was axed in 1992, but not before its presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy suffered a collapsed lung while participating in the sport.[3][better source needed] Alt-rock band The Cooper Temple Clause formed a kabbadi team in 2001 and were, at one stage, ranked seventh in the British domestic standings.[3][better source needed]

In the 1998 Asian games held at Bangkok (Thailand), the Indian Kabaddi team clinched the gold medal. The chief coach of the team was former kabaddi player and coach Flt. Lt. S P Singh. [4]

International competitions[edit]

The second Kabaddi World Cup tournament was held in 2007 with India winning over Iran in the final round.[citation needed] The Punjab government organised a Circle Style 2010 Kabaddi World Cup from 3 to 12 April 2010. On 12 April 2010 Indian team emerged as the winner after beating Pakistan in the finals. The opening match of the tournament was held in Patiala while the closing ceremony took place in Ludhiana. India won the first edition of the Circle Style Kabaddi World Cup, Beating rival Pakistan in a 58–24 victory. The final of this 10-day tournament was played at Guru Nanak Stadium.[citation needed]



The Kabaddi Federation of India (KFI) was founded in 1950, and it compiled a standard set of rules. The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) was founded in 1973. The AKFI has given new shape to the rules and it has also the rights of modification in the rules. The Asian Kabaddi Federation was founded under the chairmanship of Sharad Pawar.

The Governing body of Kabaddi in Asia is Asian Kabaddi Federation (AKF) headed by Mr. Janardan Singh Gehlot. AKF is affiliated to Olympic Council of Asia. Parent body to regulate the game at international level is International Kabaddi Federation (IKF). Their website is http://www.kabaddiikf.com . India won the world cup in December 2014 by defeating Pakistan in finals at Punjab

In 1979, a return test between Bangladesh and India was held at different places of India including Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Punjab. The Asian Kabaddi Championship was successfully arranged in 1980 and India emerged as the champion and Bangladesh as the runners-up. Bangladesh became runners-up again in 1985 in Asian Kabaddi Championship held in Jaipur, India. The other teams included in the tournament were Nepal, Malaysia and Japan. Kabaddi was played as a demonstration sport at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. The game was included for the first time in Asian Games held in Beijing in 1990. Eight countries took part including India, China, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. India won the gold medal and has since won gold at the following three Asian Games in Hiroshima in 1994, Bangkok in 1998, Busan in 2002, and in Doha 2006.

Kabaddi is popular throughout South Asia, and has also spread to Southeast Asia, Japan and Iran. It is the national game of Bangladesh where it is known as Hadudu. It is the state game of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra in India. It is played by the British Army for fun, to keep fit and as an enticement to recruit soldiers from the British Asian community. The game is also played extensively in the small town of Peebles in the Scottish Borders, mainly in the local primary school playground, where it is favoured to more traditional childhood past-times such as 'British bulldogs' and 'Kiss, Cuddle and Torture'.[citation needed]


Kabaddi is played in all parts of Pakistan, especially rural areas, in one form or the other. It is also popular sport of the sub-continent and in many parts of India and Bangladesh, Kabaddi is played with equal zeal and enthusiasm. Its forms and styles vary from region to region. Malik Mushtaq was the best player of kabbadi in Pakistan. He was declared man of the tournament in Canada at the World Kabbadi Cup 1981. In Pakistan, Faisalabad is known as the nursery of Kabaddi. It has produced many world class players. Lahore, Gujranwala, Qasoor, Nankana Sahib, Sahiwal, Okara, Bahawalpur, Multan, Bahawalnagar are the other centres of kabaddi where circle style kabaddi is very famous. It is also called the Village game of Punjab, Pakistan.


Kabaddi (Bengali: কাবাডি) is a very popular game in Bangladesh, especially in the villages. Often called the 'game of rural Bengal', it is now the National Game of Bangladesh. In some areas Kabaddi is still known as [Ha-Du-Du], but Ha-Du-Du had no definite rules and was played with different rules in different areas. [Ha-Du-Du] was renamed Kabaddi and given the status of the National Game in 1972.

The Bangladesh Amateur Kabaddi Federation was formed in 1973. It framed rules and regulations for the national game. In 1974 Bangladesh played a Kabaddi test match with a visiting Indian team, which played test matches with the district teams of Dhaka, Tangail, Dinajpur, Jessore, Faridpur and Comilla. In 1978, the Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation was formed at a conference of delegates from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan in the Indian town of Villai. Kabaddi is one of the most popular games in schools of Bangladesh.


Kabaddi-like games are common in certain rural regions of Iran and in these areas it is a popular game for children and adults. In Iran there are different names that they call this game according to the area. In some areas – especially in the center of Iranian plateau, Khorasan and Mazandaran Kabaddi is known as Zu/Zou (Persian: زو‎), in Gilan as Do-Do (Persian: دودو‎), in Khuzestan as Ti-Ti (Persian: تی‌تی‎) and in Sistan and Baluchestan as Kabaddi/Kabedi/Kavedi/Kaveddi/Kavaddi (Persian: کودّی، کبدی‎).[5][6]

In Iran, the Community of Kabaddi was formed in 1996, in same year they joined the Asian Kabaddi Federation and in 2001 they joined the International Kabaddi Federation. The Iran Amateur Kabaddi Federation was formed in 2004.[5]

United Kingdom[edit]

Kabaddi was brought to the United Kingdom by Indian immigrants and Pakistani immigrants. The governing body for kabaddi in the United Kingdom is the England Kabaddi Federation UK. The UK also played host to the 2013 UK Kabaddi Cup.

Women's teams[edit]

Women's kabaddi was first introduced in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. India won gold and Thailand were runner-up with silver. Bangladesh and Iran were knocked out in the semi-finals and shared bronze.


The following national teams played in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games:

  1. Bangladesh Bangladesh
  2. Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
  3. India India
  4. Iran Iran
  5. Nepal Nepal
  6. Malaysia Malaysia
  7. South Korea South Korea
  8. Thailand Thailand

Asia Kabaddi Cup[edit]

The Asia Kabaddi Cup has been held twice in consecutive years. The Inaugural tournament was held in the year 2011 in Iran. In 2012, the Asia Kabaddi Cup was held in Lahore, Punjab from 1 to 5 November. It is considered one of the biggest events for circle style kabaddi.

In 2012 ASIA Kabaddi Cup held in Lahore, Pakistan in 2012 was won by Pakistan against India with a technical win with score 37–31 after Indian team rejected to play further.

UK Kabaddi Cup[edit]

The UK Kabaddi has been happening for many years, but received major recognition during the 2013 UK Kabaddi Cup. It will be one of the biggest international level kabaddi tournaments to happen in England. It featured the national Kabaddi teams from, India, England, Pakistan, USA, Canada and a local club team, Golden Temple (SGPC).

Kabaddi World Cup[edit]

Men World Cup

The Kabaddi World Cup was first played in 2004 and then in 2007 and 2010. So far India is the unbeaten champion in Kabaddi World Cup. Pakistan and Iran are the next most successful nations, with the former being runners-up thrice and the latter twice. Note that Pakistan did not play the first two editions of the Kabaddi World-Cup (2004 and 2007) due to political tensions with the host nation India.

Results of Kabaddi World Cup to date:

YearFinal match
2004India India 55 – 27 Iran Iran
2007India India 29 – 19 Iran Iran
2010India India 58 – 51 Pakistan Pakistan
2011India India 59 – 25 Canada Canada
2012India India 59 – 22 Pakistan Pakistan
2013India India 48 – 39 Pakistan Pakistan
Women World Cup

The Women's Kabaddi World Cup was first played in 2012 in Patna, Bihar, India. India won the championship defeating Iran in the finals.India retained the title in 2013 by defeating the debutants New Zealand in the finals. [7]

Results of Kabaddi World Cup to date:

YearFinal match
2012India India 25 – 19 Iran Iran
2013India India 49 - 21New Zealand

New Zealand

2ND WORLD CUP KABADDI FOR WOMEN 2013 held in India. The Indian women's kabaddi team successfully defended their title. They defeated the New Zealand women's kabaddi team in the finals.


1 Point2 Bonus3 Other4 Catch1+2+3+4 TotalLona pointTotal pointPlayer Name and Chest No.
111Ms. Suvarna Bartakhe
Ms. Krishna ( INDIA )
333Ms. Abhilasha Mhatre ( INDIA )
2133Ms. Priyanka Negi ( INDIA )
Ms. Rashamita Sahoo ( INDIA )
7188Ms. Mamatha Poojari – Captain ( INDIA )
Ms. Deepika Henary Joseph – Vice Captain ( INDIA )
Ms. Vindyavasini Sinha ( INDIA )
Ms. Promila ( INDIA )
333Ms. Kavita Devi ( INDIA )
Ms. R. Nagalakshmi ( INDIA )
555Ms. Priyanka ( INDIA )
1320823225INDIA Team Total
760619019I.R OF IRAN Team Total

1st Women World Cup -Patna-Bihar

See also[edit]

Films about kabaddi

Pop culture references In the 1993 movie 'Little Buddha' in which Keanu Reeves plays the Siddhartha Gautama, a game of kabbadi is depicted. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Buddha


External links[edit]