Kabaddi Brief History & Popular Types

Last Updated on April 28, 2021 by admin

Kabddi is the super sport with a wonderful history behind. There are a different types of Kabaddi, played at different levels, across the world.

Let’s explore in depth to understand; Kabaddi history with popular types, , brief timeline, etymology, skills & facts that we needed to know about Kabaddi sport.

History of Kabaddi, Timeline & Types of Kabaddi

Kabaddi, a primitive Indian Subcontinent game, is one of the oldest games ever played in history. It is a game that features fighting, raiding and aggressive spirit which was right there when human was dependent on hunting and warring for survival.

As human beings have always tried to find entertaining and recreational sources be it killing animals, fighting with enemies or playing crude games.

Apart from other deadly adventures, the games have been loaded with entertainment, fun and particularly they involved rare untoward deadly occurrences. Thus,human kind resort to sports for recreation.

History of Kabaddi, Kabaddi types & Skills

There emerged many games that are still ruling the arena, but one significantly old and exceptionally sprightly game that has achieved colossal popularity recently is Kabaddi. As per historical evidences, the earliest form of Kabaddi evolved in ancient India’s southern regions, particularly in Tamil (now Tamil Nadu) about 4000 years ago.It started off as a game of running and hitting and vice versa.

As per one seemingly believable story, some boys used to play a game of hitting and chasing for the reward of something sweet like candies. When a boy is hit by the other, the one who was hit, ran behind the hitter to retaliate and that went on and on.

Kabaddi Name Meaning

Etymologically the word “Kabaddi” is a combination of two words “kai+pidi”, which collectively mean “to hold hands”. This games, however, involves holding/touching opponents if not their hands in particular.

Spread of Kabaddi

This game spread to other parts of India and Asia by means of traders. Kabaddi, within India and across Asia, is known with different names such as: Hu-Tu-Tu (Western India), Ha-Do-Do (Bangladesh, Eastern India) Chedu-Gudu (Southern India) Gudu (Sri Lanka),Theechub (Thailand), Bhavatik (Maldives) and Kapardi (Nepal).

Brief Timeline of Kabaddi

Kabaddi, after passing a considerable period in lackluster, rose to prominence from early 19th century.

Let’s trace a brief chronological history of Kabaddi.

  • 1921: The formation of the rules of Kabaddi.
  • 1923: The revision of existing rules of the game.
  • 1923:First ever tournament“All India Kabaddi Tournament” was held in this year.
  • 1938:Inclusion of Kabaddi in Indian Olympics Games (now National Games).
  • 1950: The formation of All India Kabaddi Federation.
  • 1972: The formation of Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India.
  • 1980: In this year the first Asian Kabaddi Championship was organized.
  • 1982: The year, the Kabaddi was included in Asia’s biggest sport event “Asian Games”.
  • 1984: Kabaddi got included in the games organized by South Asian Federation.
  • 1990-94-98-2002: Kabaddi was the part of all Asian Games that held in these years.
  • 2004: First ever Kabaddi World Cup was organized in India and won by the same country.
  • 2005: The First Asian Women Championship was held in India.
  • 2006: For the first time in Asian Games, Kabaddi was played on a dedicated indoor stadium.
  • 2007: Included in Second Asian Indoor Games.
  • 2014: The inaugural season of “Pro Kabaddi” that made this game immensely popular overnight.
  • 2016: Third Kabaddi World Cup was held this year.
  • 2018: The Super Kabaddi League was inaugurated by Pakistan.
  • 2019: The biggest Kabaddi World Cup that included 32 (male teams) and 24 (female teams) was organized by Malaysia.

Popular Types of Kabaddi Sport

Kabaddi, similar to its different names, is played with different forms. These forms may differ in terms of the rules, manners of playing and the courts. Let’s have a look at its variant forms.

1. Standard Style (Rectangular Indoor Court)

This format is adapted for international competitions and “Pro Kabaddi League”. In this format each team should have 7 on field players and 5 substitutes.

The indoor court has to be 13 m long and 10 wide with sidelines, end lines, baulk lines, bonus lines and a center line that divides the court into two equal half. This game lasts for 40 minutes which comprises of two halves of 20 minutes.

One team is known as defending team and other is the attacking team. The defenders of defending team have to protect their court from the raider of opposing team.

To score points, on the one hand, the raider (of attacking team) has to enter opponents’ area and cross the baulk line and touch any of his opponents or enter bonus line and return to his court without getting caught for a period of 30 seconds.

During his raid the raider must keep on chanting the word “Kabaddi” breathlessly. One the other hand, defenders should try to hold the raider and prevent him from returning to his court after touching them for a period of 30 seconds.

Each point results in the exclusion of one opposing player and inclusion of one teammate. The aim is to send all the players of opposing team out of the court in a designated period.

2. Pro Kabbadi

This is the most famous form of Kabaddi in India. It follows the same rules and regulation of standard style. However, it has additional rules of raids and tackle that are given bellow:

a). Empty Raid (Zero Point)

A raider can raid twice. If his first raid earns no point, it is known as an empty raid. His second raid becomes “do or die” which suggests that he should either get a point or lose it go out of the court.

b). Super Raid (three or more points)

This raid is highly rewarding. When a raider, on his raid, scores three or more points by touching antis or stepping into bonus line.

c). Super Tackle (two points)

The super tackle comes into play when the defending team has 4 or less players on the court and they manage to capture the raider and retain him for 30 seconds in their court. A super tackle offers 2 points to the defenders.

Note: In Standard Style Kabaddi, the raider is captured by the entire defending team, no matter who has been touched by the raider.

2. Circle Style (Circular Outdoor Court)

This variant is popular in various regions and rural areas. This variant of Kabaddi is monitored by Amateur Kabaddi Federation. Circular Kabaddi has four major forms that are played in different parts of India and outside of it. Those forms are as follows:

a). Sanjeevani

This form is similar to standard style in terms of playing manner and object. This form is played on a circular court with 9active players in each team.

When a player scores a point, his opponent has to go out and his teammate makes the entry. Once a team sends out all its opponents, gets 4 extra points for this remarkable feat. This form also remains continue for 40 minutes as a standard game.

b). Gaminee

This variant of Kabbadi is also played on a circular court with 7 players in each side. However, it is slightly different in terms of scoring points. When a team scores a point, its opposing team loses on player who has to go out.

Once a player is out, he has to remain out until his entire team is expelled. Once the entire opposing team is out, the other team gets a point. This game is timeless and continues until a team scores 5 or 7 points in this manner.

Note:In Gaminee, there is no concept of revival of players after each point.

c). Amar

This form is similar to Sanjeevani in terms of its duration. It lasts for 40 minutes. It is known as “Amar” probably because it allows an out player to be inside the playing area during the whole course of the match. The word “Amar” means alive.

So, the player who has been touched by the opposing player remains alive and active on the court and is not expelled. For every successful touch, a team gets a point. It is the time that plays the crucial role in this form of Kabaddi. The team having more points at the end of the time, wins the match.

d). Punjabi Kabaddi

This variant is famously known as Panjabi Kabaddi because it originated in Panjab, India.It is adapted byKabaddi World Cup and the World Kabaddi League. This form has other sub-forms such as:

e). Lambi Kabaddi

This form is known as Lambi (which means long) because of its unlimited playing area. It is played with 15 players on a 15 to 20 ft circular court.

However, as soon as the raider comes to touch his opponent, his opponent can run,wherever he wants, to escape himself from getting touched. While the raider, for touching his opponent, has to chase his target wherever he goes.

Note: In this form of Kabaddi, the rule of out of bounds is not applicable. Hence, the players can play out of the circle of playing area.

f). Saunchi Kabaddi

This game is played on a circular court, with unlimited number of players. This form of Kabaddi is unique and more challenging in terms of its scoring mechanism.

To score the raider has to hit/touch his opponent on the chaste only. While the defender, in an attempt to hold the raider, can only hold him with his wrist. If the raider hit his opponent other than his chaste, it is a fault. On the other hand, if the defender grabs the raider other than by his wrist, it is a foul.

g). Goongi Kabaddi

This form is Kabaddi is known as Goongi (which means mute/silent) because the raider has to raid silently without chanting the word “Kabaddi”. This is probably the only format where the raider has to be mute.

To score, the raider has to simply touch his opponent with silence and return to his court soon enough. While the defender has to stop the raider by holding him in possession for a specific period.


  • In Circular Style Kabaddi, the raider is stopped by one defending player who has been touched by the raider.

  • Other defending players do not try to assist their teammate when he is scrambling with the raider


Kabaddi is the sport of activity and enthusiasm. Coming with a rich history behind, a matchless popularity and understandable game variants, the Kabaddi is indeed a super sport among the list all popular sports of world.

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