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.
Types of Kabaddi
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.
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
Important dates in the history of Kabaddi are noted below :-
DEVELOPMENT OF KABADDI IN THE UK