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Kabaddi at the Olympics

Kabaddi is an ancient rural Indian sport, popular in India and elsewhere in Asia, and is spreading worldwide. In 1936, it was a little known sport (as it is today!) but the sport got some international exposure being played at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.

Kabaddi is not on all lists of demonstration sports, but the followers of the sport are definite that it was part of that Olympic Program, with the sport demonstrated by Hanuman Vyayam Prasarak Mandal, Amaravati, Maharashtra.

The game involves two teams of seven players, on a field roughly half the size of a basketball court, and played over two 20-minute halves. The teams take turns in sending a "raider" across to the opposite team's half, where the aim is to tag as many opponents as possible before returning to the home half. Tagged members are then "out" and sent off the field. All the while the raider must hold his breath — to prove it he must continually chant a word ("kabaddi" in the Indian form of the game, hence the name).

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