Rules of Kabaddi | How it is Played?

Kabaddi, which is now a famous sport all around the world, in the beginning was only restricted to the subcontinent. It is a sport that involves both physical power and agility, and if you lack any of the two, you can’t compete in it. Some people may confuse it as wrestling but it is quite different from it, you don’t have to fight but mostly protect yourself or capture your opponent for a particular amount of time.

Rules of Kabaddi

Despite being a typical, casual subcontinent sport, Kabaddi is now played in countries like the USA, Iran, and a few other European and Gulf countries. Kabaddi is the national game of Bangladesh and one of the national sports of Nepal.

Objective of Playing Kabaddi

Kabaddi has a simple objective, score as many points as you can and win the game. But winning a point is not as easy as it sounds to be, it takes a lot of effort and agility. You are either defending yourself or attacking at the opponent’s half.

When attacking, an opponent team’s player comes in your half to touch any of your team members or you, and if he manages to escape after touching, the opposition team gets a point. The same is true when you invade the opposition team’s half.

How to Play?

Kabaddi is a team sport in which an equal number of players from both sides participate in the match. Both teams have their own halves and a player from each team in alternative turns raids the opposition’s half in order to tag one of his opponents and return successfully to his half.

Professional Kabaddi games have strict rules regarding fouls and how many times a player can invade the opposition’s half in one round. Make sure you read all the rules discussed below to learn all the rules applied in a professional Kabaddi match.

General Rules of kabaddi

  • Each team can play 12 players in a game but can’t field more than 7 players at once.
  • To win a point, a raider must run into the opposition team’s half and tag any of the opponent and then return to their own half of the pitch.
  • While raiding into the opposition’s half, the raider must keep saying “Kabaddi”, “Kabaddi”. If he stops saying it, he will go out and the defending side will get a point.
  • After raiding once, the raider doesn’t go back to his half but back to the dugout. Another player joins the team on the field as his replacement.
  • The players are revived in the same sequence they left the ground.
  • The opposite team must defend themselves and prevent the raiders from tagging them. If he still manages to do so, only the tagged member will stop the raider.
  • To stop the person, a player can get hold of the opponent, simply by grabbing their limbs or torso. A raider can’t be grabbed by hairs or clothes.
  • Only the tagged player can grab the defender, not every team member can run after the raider.
  • If a referee thinks the defender tried to grab the raider by clothes or hairs, he can award a point to the raider.
  • While running after a raider, a player cannot touch the center line.
  • The time of the raid is 30 seconds. If the raider fails to make a tag in this time, a point will be awarded to the defending team.
  • Each team gets an equal number of turns in raiding and defending – varies from game to game.
  • Teams switch sides after the first half.
  • The team which defended first in the first half attacks first in the second half.
  • The game goes on until all both halves have been completed and the team with most points is declared as the winner.

Toss in kabaddi

With the help of coin toss, it is decided which team will attack first or in other words, attack the opposition team’s half.

Time Duration of a Kabaddi Match

The match of kabaddi is played in two halves of 20 minutes each. At the end of the first half, both teams get a 5-minute break.

Teams switch sides after the first half.

Kabaddi Playing Field

Kabaddi is played on a simple and grassy field. The different spots in a kabaddi field are:

Mid Line: As the kabaddi field is divided into two halves, the dividing line is called the midline. The length of the midlines is directly proportional to the width of the field.

Baulk Line: Every raider has to cross the baulk line – which is usually 3.75 metres away from the midline – to make the raid legal.

Bonus Line: End lines means the four boundary lines that we surround the court – or in other words, they form the court. End lines should be 3 to 5 cm in width.

Note: There are different types of kabaddies with little differences but all international tournaments are played in casual style kabaddi – commonly known as circle kabaddi. The playing field doesn’t have any such dimensions, usually they divide the ground into two halves and form the Mid, Baulk and Bonus line to get things started. That’s all you need for a kabaddi game.

Equipment in Kabaddi

There is no equipment required in Kabaddi , however, players are not allowed to wear fancy clothes and only essential clothing (typical kabaddi clothing) is allowed on the field. No protective gear can be used by players nor any kind of watch or gloves can be used by any player participating in the game.

Kabaddi matches are generally played with bare top and legs. However, if a team wishes to wear simple clothing resembling their country flag, they are allowed to do so.

Umpires in Kabaddi

There are two umpires and one referee who supervises a kabaddi game. Usually everything is taken care of by umpires but if there is a disagreement between them, then the referee can come in and pass his judgement to settle the dispute.

Famous Kabaddi Tournaments

Most of the international Kabaddi tournaments take place in Asian countries, mostly in India, Pakistan and Irfan. Here are a few of them:

  • Kabaddi World Cup
  • Asia Kabaddi Cup
  • Junior World Kabaddi Championship
  • European Kabaddi Championship

Governing Body

International Kabaddi is taken care of by the International Kabaddi federation. The federation was formed in 2004 and it consists of representing members from different countries like Pakistan, India, Thailand, Iran and a few other countries where Kabaddi is played.