Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Kabaddi

Kabaddi is an ancient rural Indian sport, popular in India and elsewhere in Asia, and spreading worldwide. 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. The whole time that the raider is in the oppositions half, he must hold his breath — to prove it he continually chants a word ("kabaddi" in the Indian form of the game, hence the name). The attributes of a good Kabaddi player is speed, power and big lungs!

There are different types of Kabaddi. One is the international, in this type; two teams with seven members each play. They occupy positive halves of the field. Each has three players for substitutes. The sport has two 20-minutes halves, and a five-minute break during halftime. The teams exchange sides during half time.

In 1936 at the Berlin Olympic Games, it was a little known sport (as it is today!) but it got some international exposure (see more about Kabaddi at the Olympics).

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Check out our Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport?

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