The Ultimate Guide to Kabaddi: Rules, History, and Popularity

Kabaddi, a game that has roots tracing back to ancient India, has seen a resurgence in popularity globally. This contact sport combines strength, strategy, and agility, making it an exciting game for both players and spectators. In this detailed SEO blog, we will explore the history, rules, variations, and rising popularity of Kabaddi.

History of Kabaddi

Kabaddi originated in India over 4,000 years ago. It was initially developed as a means of self-defense and to develop physical strength and stamina. The game is mentioned in ancient Indian texts such as the Mahabharata. It gained prominence in South Asia and spread to neighboring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

In the 20th century, Kabaddi was introduced to the international sports arena. The game was included in the Asian Games in 1990 and has been a part of the event since then. The formation of the Pro Kabaddi League in India in 2014 further catapulted the sport into the limelight, attracting global audiences.

Rules of Kabaddi

Kabaddi is played between two teams of seven players each. The objective is for a single player, known as the “raider,” to enter the opposing team’s half, touch as many defenders as possible, and return to their half without being tackled. Here are the basic rules:

Teams: Each team has seven players on the court and five substitutes.

Court: The playing area is a rectangle measuring 10 meters by 13 meters for men and 8 meters by 12 meters for women.


  • A match consists of two halves, each lasting 20 minutes with a 5-minute break.
  • The raider must chant “Kabaddi, Kabaddi” continuously to prove they are not inhaling.
  • Points are scored by raiding or defending. The raider earns points for each opponent touched. Defenders earn points by tackling the raider.

Out and Revival:

  • A player is “out” if they are touched by a raider and not tackled, or if they step out of bounds.
  • A player is revived when their team scores a point.

Variations of Kabaddi

There are several variations of Kabaddi, including:

  1. Circle Kabaddi: Played in a circular field without a central dividing line.
  2. Beach Kabaddi: Played on sand with slightly modified rules to suit the playing surface.
  3. Indoor Kabaddi: Played on a mat inside a sports hall with a smaller playing area.

Popularity and Global Reach

Kabaddi’s popularity has soared with the advent of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). The league has attracted sponsorships from major brands such as Vivo, Tata Motors, and Dream11. The televised matches have garnered millions of viewers, making it one of the most-watched sports in India.

The sport has also found fans in countries like Iran, South Korea, and Kenya. International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) has been instrumental in promoting the sport worldwide by organizing various championships and tournaments.


Kabaddi is a dynamic and exhilarating sport that continues to grow in popularity. Its rich history, simple rules, and thrilling gameplay make it a favorite among sports enthusiasts. Whether you’re a player, a coach, or a fan, understanding the intricacies of Kabaddi enhances your appreciation of this ancient yet modern sport.

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