kabaddi History

Though kabaddi is primarily an Indian game, not much is known about the origin of this game. There is, however, concrete evidence, that the game is 4,000 year old. It is a team sport, which requires both skill and power, and combines the characteristics of wrestling and rugby. It was originally meant to develop self defence, in addition to responses to attack, and reflexes of counter attack by individuals, and by groups or teams. It is a rather simple and inexpensive game, and neither requires a massive playing area, nor any expensive equipment. This explains the popularity of the game in rural India. Kabaddi is played all over Asia with minor variations The game of Kabaddi takes two forms -Rectangular and Circular. Although the history of both is uncertain, specific information points to when/how Kabaddi was initiated and grew from its roots: -

The most original story places it in the 'MAHABHARATA', which tells of a great war between the Padavas and the Kauravas. The story goes that Arjuna, the great Pandav warrior was one night recounting battle tactics to his pregnant wife. He was telling her the secret of penetrating the 'chakravyuha', the seven-tier defensive circle perfected by the Kauravas. Abhimanyu, their unborn child, was also listening in his mother's womb. Unfortunately his mother fell asleep before Arjuna could tell her how to escape from the deadly circle. As a result, when Abhimanyu grew up and became a warrior like his father, he broke into the 'chakravyuha' but was unable to get out, being encircled and killed in the attempt.
Kabaddi is a team pursuit game and was used to train soldiers before battle (like the gladiators in Roman Times). The objective is for one Soldier to raid the enemy's territory, 'kill' as many opposing soldiers as possible and return to camp. But as in the 'Mahabharata' - the raider may himself be 'killed'. The soldiers in Kabaddi are raiders and defenders; the battle is the pitch; the 'chakravyuha' is the chain created by the defenders.
A number of names besides Kabaddi have been used to describe the game, such as-Do-do-do, Bhadi-bhadi but these have now been phased out. Others, such as Chedugudu or Hu-Tu-Tu in southern parts of India, Hadudu (Men) and Chu - Kit-Kit (women) in eastern India, and Kabaddi in northern India.

Types of Kabaddi
In India, Kabaddi is recognized in three forms:
" Surjeevani
" Gaminee
" Amar

The 'Surjeevani' form of Kabaddi is played under the Kabaddi Federation of India, and is governed by its rules and regulations. In the 'Surjeevani' form of Kabaddi, one player is revived against one player of the opposite team who is out. i.e. one out, one in. The duration of the game, the number of players, the dimensions of the court, etc. have been fixed by the Kabaddi Federation of India.

In the 'Gaminee' type of Kabaddi, there is no revival. When all the players of team are out, the game ends. So there is no time limit in this category.

In the 'Amar' form of Kabaddi, whenever any player is touched (out), he does not go out of the court, but stays inside, and one point is awarded to the team that touched him. In this way, one point for each touch of the opposite team, i.e. to the team who touches the anti player. This game is also playedon a time basis, i.e. the time is fixed.

This form of kabaddi is played in Punjab, Canada, England, New Zealand, USA, Pakistan and Australia. In the Amar form of Kabaddi, each team consists of 5-6 stoppers and 4-5 raiders. At one time, only 4 stoppers are allowed to play on the field. Every time a stopper stops the raider from going back to his starting point, that stoppers team gets 1 point. on the other hand, every time the raider tags one of the stoppers and returns to his starting point, his team gets one point. At one time, only one of the stoppers can try to stop the raider. If more than one touch the raider, an automatic point is awarded to the raider's team. If the stopper is pushed out by the raider or vice versa, then the team whose member is still in the field gets a point. If both the raider and the stopper go out, the result is a common point, where nobody gets a point. There is a 30 second time limit for the raider from the moment he leaves until he returns to his starting point. This rule was only recently introduced (1994) after controversy with some raiders abusing the old system where they were able to struggle through a point until they ran out of breath from repeating the word Kabaddi.

In the northern part of the country, i.e. Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, this game is played in a circle. This is known as 'Circle Kabaddi' or Amar Kabaddi. If it is played without a court, as in some places, it's called 'Goongi Kabaddi'. The Goongi Kabaddi is nothing but wrestling between two players.

The first world Kabaddi championship in the history of the game, was organized in Hamilton when approximately 14,000 people packed Copps Coliseum, to watch stars from India, Pakistan, Canada, England, and the United States compete.

Kabaddi is played in many states and territories of India and Pakistan, each having their own Kabaddi Association. Universities, Schools and local club teams have developed as well as a National Team. Several Teams abound within the Services (i.e. Army, Police, Railways) as well as in large Private Companies.

Important dates in the history of Kabaddi are noted below :-
1936 Demonstration match first played at Berlin Olympics Kabaddi first became officially recognized.
1950 All India Kabaddi Federation established. a standard set of Kabaddi rules were formalized.
1955 First Kabaddi Indian National Championships held in Calcutta. It was here that women played competitively for the first time.
1972 All India Kabaddi Federation re-launched new mandate to take sport out of villages and into cities.
1973 Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) was founded 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 Mr. Sharad Pawar (Maharashtra).
1982 Kabaddi was one of the demonstration games at Asiad '82
1990 Included in Asian Games at Beijing. Eight countries took part including China, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Kabaddi is played in many states and territories of India and Pakistan, each having their own Kabaddi Association. Universities, Schools and local club teams have developed as well as a National Team. Several Teams abound within the Services (i.e. Army, Police, Railways) as well as in large Private Companies.

Due to tension between India and Pakistan as neighboring countries, the people in UK tended to keep their distance. The Indians were able to organize the game quicker due mainly to financial backing provided by the GURDWARA (Temples) whereas the Pakistan's (probably due to being the poorer counterpart) gave a more laid back approach to the game. It was the spirit of Kabaddi however that helped towards uniting the two countries and provided respect amongst players.
Kabaddi was brought to the UK. Approximately 25 to 30 years ago by Indian and Pakistan-borne players. The game was developed through second generation (i.e. UK borne) children of these Asian descendants, bringing fresh perspective to Kabaddi. A seasonal sport, Kabaddi is played mainly in the summer outside in the parks.

The dates below plot Kabaddi progress in the UK, with particular reference to the West Midlands.
1969 Birmingham, Blackburn, Bradford Kabaddi Clubs founded.
1982 Explosion of other clubs developed (i.e. Spark hill) due to increased numbers.
1986 Balsall Heath Carnival in Birmingham held Kabaddi fixtures for three years running.
1986 Kabaddi tournament held in Blackburn, Bradford, Birmingham and Blackburn entered teams, the latter having two players brought specifically from Pakistan to enhance team strength.
1990 Alexander Stadium Birmingham held Circular Kabaddi tournament for UK clubs.
1991 Another Circular Kabaddi tournament held at Alexander Stadium Birmingham.
1992 National Kabaddi Association (NKA) formed pledging to promote both versions of the game.
1993 First World Indoor Kabaddi Tournament held at National Indoor Arena Birmingham. 6 teams competed 4 from India and 2 from Pakistan with a demonstration match by a selection of UK players.