Kabaddi is a popular contact team sport. It is played by two teams that both consist of twelve players each with seven players per team taking to the field of play at any one time. The game is played in a large square arena in 20 minutes halves, for a combined playing time of 40 minutes. The object of the game is to simply score more points than the opposition team within the allotted time. To do this, each team must attempt to score points by both attacking and defending.
When attacking, the offensive team sends a player (known as a raider) into the opposition’s half of the court, whilst chanting the word ‘Kabaddi’ repeatedly, tagging members of the other team, and running back within 30 seconds. The more opposing team members they tag, the more points they score. The first goal of the raider is to reach over the baulk line. Failure to do this results in the raider being out, and cannot participate in the next part of the game.
The second goal of the rader is to touch as many players as he can and make it back to the midline before he is caught and tackled by the defenders. Raider can do this in several ways, with a hand touch, a toe touch, a kick or by trying to escape a tackle and reaching for the midline. But if the opposing team can physically prevent them from returning to the midline, they score no points! Several tactics can be used such as the angle hold, back hold, front tackle, and forcing them off the court entirely.
In Kabaddi, players can be temporarily sent ‘out’ of play for a variety of reasons. Whenever your team gets a member of the opponent team out, you have a chance to bring back or revive someone on your team who has previously been ruled out to re-join the team.
Lobby – It is an extended area of play. These are only active when a defender has been touched, and give both raider and defender more room to try and score or get the raider out.
Bonus Line – The bonus line is only active when there are 6 or 7 defenders on the court. If a raider puts one foot in the bonus line and with one foot in the air, he will score one point as long as he makes it back to the midline.
Super Tackle – If there are 3 or less defenders on the defending team and they manage to tackle a raider, this is known as the super tackle, and score two points. One for eliminating the raider and a bonus point for doing so with 3 or less defenders.
Do or Die Raid – If a team has two unsuccessful raids (they score zero both times), the third raid is the ‘do or die raid’. Failure to score on the third raid results in the raider being out.
All Out – If in the rare instance a raider gets all the defenders out in one raid, this is known as the ‘all out’. The raiding team gets one point per player and an additional two points.