Kabaddi – The sport Originated in India

school children playing kabaddi

Kabaddi is a sport that has a very long history in India and knowing that India has the highest world cup titles to their name, only signifies the power of Indians in Kabaddi.
India is a cricket-loving nation, no other sport has such a fan base and followers compared to Cricket.
After the evolution of the Indian Premier League, the craze for cricket has only increased.

fans illustartions

But In recent years we are getting to see that sports other than cricket are also getting noticed and the franchise tournaments in other sports also have helped them to gain more viewers and supporters.

Kabaddi is one such sport, that we were playing since childhood but the viewership and fan following of the kabaddi was very less.

But After the Introduction of the Pro Kabaddi League, The interest in Kabaddi for many has grown big and it is only after the Indian Premier League (Cricket) in terms of Viewership.

So Let’s see the History and Dominance of our own Indian Sport, KABADDI.

History of Kabaddi

Kabaddi is an ancient sport and has some history dating back to Mahabharat.


There are many instances recorded of Kabaddi being played in the history books, such as the Chakravyuvha formed in the war of Mahabharat where Abhimanyu was killed has some similarities to kabaddi sport.

It was considered a first step to learning war skills because in kabaddi you should have multiple skills to succeed which were similar to making war strategies.

Also, some records show kabaddi played by Gowthama Buddha in Buddhism literature.

Kabaddi is the word derived from the Tamil word Kaipidi, which means “gripping the hands”.

Kabaddi is the national Sport of Bangladesh.
It has many names in different regions of India.
In Andhra Pradesh& Telangana it is called chedugudu, In Karnataka, Kerala & Maharastra is Kabaddi, In West Bengal as and ha-du-du, ha-tu-tu in western parts of India.

Also, Check this blog of my friend Chandra Shakti about martial arts.

Kabaddi- The sports

It is a very unique sport that does not require any equipment to play like any other Some rules and points systems are there to announce the winners. The modern Kabaddi has evolved many times to make the game more entertaining.

It was played in different styles in different parts of India. and The game today we are watching has evolved from all those styles.

It is played between two teams consisting of 7 players each and 5 substitute players. It is played in two halves of 20 mins each.
In every round, a person from one team goes to the court of another team to touch the opposition players and gain points as many as possible.

He will have 30 seconds to do that and return to his court and when he steps onto the opposition court he continuously has to chant kabaddi… kabaddi… in a single breath.
So It requires breathing practice as well.

And when any Raider comes to the opposition court, the 7 players should try to catch the Raider and they are called Defenders. and If the defenders successfully catch the raider, before he crosses the mid-line, then the points will be awarded to the defending team.

And at the End of the 40 mins, the team which has more points will be awarded as the Winner.

Kabaddi- India

Kabaddi players playing

Even though Kabaddi was been played since ancient times in several parts of India also in some other countries to some extent, it was only after the 1930s that the game got some recognition.

The major competitions included kabaddi as a medal event only in the late 90s. also, the sports authorities for kabaddi are formed after the late 90s.

The Major Tournaments of Kabaddi include the Kabaddi World cup, Asian games, and Pro Kabaddi League.
India is a Powerhouse of Kabaddi.

World Cup:

The kabaddi world cup was started in 2004 and since its inception, India has won the world cups in 2004,2007, and 2016 World Cups. They are the World Champions of Kabaddi.

Asian Games:

The Kabaddi event was included in the Asian games in 1990 and

Again India has dominated here as well winning the medal in 1990,1994,1998,2002,2006,2010,2014.

In 2018, for the first time, India was not in the medal tally in Kabaddi. Iran won the gold at the 2018 event.

Pro Kabaddi League(PKL):

Pro Kabaddi Legaue match

Pro Kabaddi League or PKL was started in 2014 and Since its inception, the popularity of Kabaddi and viewership of the sport has increased rapidly, gaining more popularity among the players.

It was started by the influence of the franchise-based model of IPL, and as Kabaddi was played very widely in India from the roots of schools, the Inaugural edition gained huge success.

Initially, it was started with 8 teams played in the round-robin format. Jaipur Pink Panthers won the first edition of the Pro Kabaddi League.

After 2017, 4 new teams were added to the tournament.

Patna Pirates are the Successful team of the tournament, winning the trophy 3 times and
In 2022, in the 9th edition of the PKL, Jaipur Pink Panthers won the title for the 2nd time.

The Most successful raider of the tournament(All-Time) is Pardeep Narwal called Dubki King, Record Breaker.
and the Most Successful Defender of the Tournament(All-Time) is Fazel Atrachali from Iran called sultan.

The rules are the same as the standard game, but some additional rules are made to make the game more attractive. such as

  • ¬†After two empty raids, 3rd raid will be the “Do or Die” raid where the raider has to score a point to return.
  • When the tackle is done by 3 or fewer players on the mat, then it is considered a “super tackle” and two points are awarded.

Encouragement for Young Players

Pro Kabaddi League has become a platform for new emerging talents. many new players have gathered success and popularity through PKL.

The Likes of Pawankumar Sehrawat, Nithin Tomar, Naveenkumar, Maninder Singh, and many others have gained enormous fanbases and followers, all because of the Pro Kabaddi League.

Also, we expect that the fame and popularity of the tournament will just keep getting more and help benefit many young players coming into the game.

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This is the blog written as part of my assignment for the Digital Deepak Internship Program.

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