2016 Kabaddi World Cup :: The Kabaddi Evolution - News

The Kabaddi Evolution

16 September 2016

With the Kabaddi World Cup on the horizon, let’s dive deeper into the sport’s history and how it came into the prominence it has gained today.

When one hears the chants of “Kabaddi Kabaddi” in India and when you get there to watch it, you will notice the intense use of physical prowess by the players. The game, as it progresses, gets entertaining and aggressive as each team tries to get the better of the other by gaining maximum points to win it. With cultural and physical importance resting upon it, Kabaddi in India is recognized as a state sport in several Indian states while it’s a national game in a few countries. it is clear to us visually that it is a hard-bodied contact sport, where only the toughest and the fittest survive the rigours of the game.

While kabaddi has been around for years and popular in traditional pockets, it recently garnered a great deal of interest and commercial prominence with the inception of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi, a league in India that has revolutionized the way we view the exciting sport.

Here, we look briefly at the history of kabaddi, which may answer questions one may have about the sport.

While it is still unknown how the name ‘Kabaddi’ came into existence, the origin of the game dates back to prehistoric times played in different forms. Primarily of Indian origin, the sport is known differently across the country – like Hu-Tu-Tu and Ha-Do-Do in western and eastern India respectively, while in Southern India, it’s known as Chedugudu. With different names, the styles differed too and the kabaddi of today is a synthesis of these various styles. The game was played with a view to improve the physical and mental state.

One player chanting “Kabaddi!!! Kabaddi!!!! Kabaddi!!!!” charges into the opponent’s court and tries to touch the opponent closest to him, while the seven opponents manoeuvre to catch the raider. This is kabaddi, the match of one against seven, known as the game of struggle.

The players on the defensive side are called “Antis” while the player of the offence is called the “Raider”. The attack in kabaddi is known as a ‘Raid’. The antis touched by the raider during the attack are declared ‘out’ if they do not succeed in catching the raider before he returns to the home court. These players can resume play only when their side scores points against the opposite side during their raiding turn or if the remaining players succeed in catching the opponent’s raider.

The first time kabaddi received international recognition was when it was demonstrated as a sport at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Since then, the game in India gradually evolved but across the world, it was picked up at a slower pace – with the First Asian Championships held only in 1980. The game was included in the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games from 1984 at Dhaka, Bangladesh. Kabaddi was included as a discipline at the 11th Asian Games Beijing in 1990 and India won the lone Gold Medal in Kabaddi. India has been the reigning champion ever since and created history in Indian sports by winning five consecutive Gold medals in the Asian Games.

In the upcoming Kabaddi World Cup at Ahmedabad, 12 countries will be participating and that number adds to the distinction of the sport, giving the world a great opportunity to script a new page in the history of the sport. The competition is formidable and the teams will be raring to go in a bid to create history.

With the right focus and investment in the sport, the future of kabaddi is surely worth looking forward to. We wish all the 2016 World Cup participants a great tournament!