How to Play Kabaddi?

Kabaddi is a renowned South Asian contact sport that originated in Ancient India. It is prevalent throughout the country and is the state sport in Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Telangana, and Maharashtra. In India, the game Kabaddi has various regional varieties, including the Sanjeevani, Gaminee, Punjabi, and Amar versions, each of which has a slightly different interpretation of the game's rules.

The traditional Indian sport of Kabaddi has a 4000-year history and is one of the oldest in the world. Outside of India, it is also quite famous in Iran and the national sport of Bangladesh and Nepal. Kabaddi is also well-liked in other nations with Indian and Pakistani populations, such as the United Kingdom, where the England Kabaddi Federation UK oversees the game.

Kabaddi's popularity has grown by leaps and bounds since its debut as an exhibition sport on the margins of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The game saw its debut at the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982 as a demonstration sport before becoming a medal event in 1990 and being one ever since. The International Kabaddi Federation, which is composed of more than 30 national associations, is the organization in charge of overseeing the game's regulations all over the world.

The Rules of Kabaddi

Before we get into how to play Kabaddi, let's understand rules of the game −

While the regulations for traditional Kabaddi, played on mud in rural India, vary, elite leagues and competitions like Pro Kabaddi, the Kabaddi World Cup, and the Asian Games all adhere to the same format.

The Size of The Playing Arena

The dimensions of a kabaddi court for competitive men's Kabaddi is 13 m by 10 m, per kabaddi regulations. The court is smaller for women and measures 12m by 8m. The dimensions, however, can be different for international and local contests.

The midline divides the playing field into two halves and delineates each team's territory. Opposition raiders must cross the midline to start with a raid.

Bonus Line And The Line of Balk

The balk line runs 3.75 meters per side parallel to the midline. For a raid to be acceptable, the raider must breach the balk line with one foot while maintaining the other foot in the air. The raider cannot try to get points until the raid has been approved.

The bonus line runs one-meter parallel to the balk line. However, the extra line is only in play if there are six or more defenders on the mat. While receiving bonus points, a raider must cross the bonus line with particularly one foot on the ground and the other in the air. A raider cannot withdraw to his side with a successful bonus point attempt until he completes this.

Duration of a Kabaddi Game

A kabaddi match lasts for forty minutes. Each half lasts 20 minutes, and the teams trade sides at halftime. However, in a knockout match, it will add 7 minutes to decide the winner of the game. There is a one-minute pause between each of the two three-minute half of the seven minutes.

If there is no apparent winner after the extra time, the Golden Raid becomes the match decider.

Rules of Golden Raid

Before the Golden Raid, will conduct a fresh toss, and the team who prevails will have the chance to raid. The bonus line will then be the balk line, with seven players on the field for each group.

The raiding team will score extra points if the player crosses the line in addition to the touches they receive from the defenders. The winning squad is the one whose player starts the raid first and scores even one point.

The criteria for being out and revived do not apply; only points earned during the Golden Raid are counted. That team will play with fewer players if a brief player ban occurs during the tiebreaker. When computing bonus Points, these players will be taken into account.

How to Play Kabaddi

On a big quadrilateral mat split into two halves, two teams of seven players each square off.

To score points, a player from the attacking side must enter the opposing half, touch as many opponents as possible, and then exit back into their half. The assaulting player is referred to as a raider, and the play is referred to as a raid. There is a 30-second time limit on each attack.

The raider declares all players he tags before returning to his side and sending them outside the playing area. Only when their team scores a goal will they be resurrected.

Teams can also win points by tackling the raider and stopping him before he hits the midline or returns to his half.

After the contest, the team with the most points wins. A team is deemed "all out" and returns to the mat for a new play if all its seven side members are out. For giving all-outs, the opposing side is given extra points.

Types of Raids

Teams take turns conducting raids. There are different types of raids, as illustrated below −

Empty Raid

A raid is considered empty if the raider doesn't score any points.

Do-or-Die Raid

A do-or-die raid comes after two empty attacks. The raider must score a point; otherwise, he is eliminated.

Super Raid

A Super Raid occurs when a raider successfully touches three or more defenders in a single raid.

Super Tackle

A Super Tackle occurs when the opposing team successfully tackles a raider while having three or fewer defenders on the ground. For each Super Tackle, teams are awarded one additional point.

A team receives an extra point when they successfully eject every opponent player (2 in Pro Kabaddi). After an all-out, all seven players from both sides return to the playing field regardless of their dismissal order.


Two teams of seven players each play Kabaddi. The objective is to accumulate the maximum points by tagging out opposing team players at the end of 40 minutes. There are many rules and raid variations, such as All-out, Super Raid, Do-or-die, etc.