crawl 20 metres….this
height-weight thing has to do with some optimum kabaddi size….A centre
of gravity issue, a strength versus agility thing……. All the players
are medium-build and stocky….this
body type makes it easy for the South to participate……
Aakar Bhai has (momentarily we hope) switched off the political channel and activated the sports channel. And what an exciting game it is: Professional Kabaddi. There is even a Pakistani pro-k team that is expected to participate.
A few fun facts….the game did NOT originate in China. Instead it is the Dravida civilization that gets the credit. Also it is the national sports of Bangladesh where it is known as hadudu (we suspect cricket is more popular).
Did you ever play kabaddi in your youth?? We did (really), our school even had a ladies k-team (Iran vs. Taiwan, above). Why not give it a try, it is loads of fun, there is even beach kabaddi (Indian team, below). Plus the youth (in the enlightened west) are no longer encouraged to play contact sports (dodge-ball anybody???).
Thus all in all, good news for the legions of AP fans (and also the haters). Enjoy the new avatar while it lasts!!!
There is something very warming about watching Pro Kabaddi. I
mean in the names of the players. Their origins are on display and they
are men from simple peasant stock.
This shows also in the way that they
speak when interviewed. Thick north Indian accents abound. “Bilkul
amajing hai” one player said before a match. Two team captains are
police inspectors from Haryana.
The other thing that is
interesting is the way they look. Kabaddi players do not resemble our
cricketers. This is not a sport where one can get away purely on talent
with the unfit and chubby Tendulkar-Gavaskar type of body.
players tend to be of a particular height, about 5’8″, and around 78
kg. Let’s go through the list of captains to demonstrate this.
Bangalore’s Manjit Chillar is 5’7” and 80 kg, Mumbai’s Anup Kumar is
5’9” and 80 kg, Jaipur’s Navneet Gautam is 6’ and 80 kg, Patna’s Rakesh
Kumar is 5’9 and 78 kg, Bengal’s Nilesh Shinde is 5’8” and 79 kg,
Hyderabad’s Rajaguru Subramanian is 5’8” and 77 kg, Delhi’s Jasmer Singh
is 5’6” and 78 kg, Pune’s Wazir Singh is 5’6” and 83 kg.
is no shortage of Punjabis and Haryanvis who are 6’3″ and 100 kg and can
crawl 20 metres with three men on their back. That there is not a
single man of those dimensions in any team leads me to suspect that this
height-weight thing has to do with some optimum kabaddi size.
of gravity issue, or a strength versus agility thing. All the players
are medium-build and stocky and – here’s some armchair sociology – this
body type makes it easy for the South to participate. There are quite a
few Southerners, including a 39-year-old (inevitably nicknamed Anna) in
the Bangalore team.
Something else struck me after watching
kabaddi for a second night. Here is a game that could become our version
of basketball. A made-for-TV sport that is tough and exciting and
followed nationally, with encounters short enough to be watched over a
couple of beers. A physical sport that leaves one with a sort of
satisfaction that cricket often doesn’t. This was especially true after
watching the first match on Sunday, a terrific contest between Bangalore
The show opened with the usual celebrity interviews.
After the Khans and Big B on Saturday, however, the standard plummeted
and we had Rakesh Omprakash Mehra and Nakul Vaid (I don’t know either)
and Karan Patel (no relation).
Of course there also was the one
celebrity who could be relied upon for a quote. “Although the Pink
Panthers aren’t playing today, we’re here for Ronnie, and for the U
Mumbai team and to support kabaddi,” said Abhishek Bachchan. Achcha. I
was clearly wrong to think he came because he doesn’t have much work.
other irritating thing is that Star has decided to play the national
anthem before every match, so that is twice in one night. As a result,
the chanting is in the same dreary atmosphere as in cinema halls, where
it is inflicted on revellers who have gathered for something else.
it began, however, as I said, it was an outstanding match and had me so
riveted that the ice cubes melted and diluted the good liquid in my
The match was won by Bangalore, the work of a
superb raider called Ajay Thakur, who did most of the offensive work for
his team. He had a calm and lethal manner, picking up a point or two
every time he went over. Explaining his team’s win on Saturday, Thakur
said simply: “Hum sab 80-up the”. (We were each of us over 80 kilos). A
man to watch out for in this tournament.
Sunday’s match was
actually a close run thing and with 10 minutes to go, Pune were tied
30-30, mainly because of plenty of penalty points picked up in the first
half. But then some tactical play by Bangalore (explained lucidly by
commentator Suhail Chandhok, racing driver Karan’s brother) took the
You should give watching Pro Kabaddi a try. Though
some of the rules are recent inventions, and sometimes things are not
easy to understand, the game is never boring. I thought it might be,
when I saw Saturday’s matches, but Star appear to be cleaning up their
act and telecasting it the right away.
Rule of the day: When a team down to three men catches a raider, it wins two points instead of one.
Kabaddi is a contact sport based on wrestling originated from
very early (Tamil) Indian civilization. The word Kabaddi is derived from
the Tamil words Kai-pidi,which literally meaning “(let’s) Hold Hands.”
Kabaddi is popular throughout South Asia, and has also spread to Southeast Asia, Japan and Iran. It is the national game of Bangladesh where it is known as Hadudu. It is the state game of Tamil Nadu where it is said to be founded as Sadugudu, Andhra Pradesh,Punjab and Maharashtra in India.
It is played by the British Army
for fun, to keep fit and as an enticement to recruit soldiers from the
British Asian community. The game is also played extensively in the
small town of Peebles
in the Scottish Borders, mainly in the local primary school playground,
where it is favored to more traditional childhood past-times such as ‘British bulldogs’ and ‘Kiss, Cuddle and Torture’.
India won World Kabaddi Cup in 2013 held at Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, (Punjab) India.
In the international team version of kabaddi, two teams of seven
members each occupy opposite halves of a field of 10 m × 13 m in case of
men and 8 m × 12 m in case of women.
Each has three supplementary players held in reserve. The game is
played with 20-minute halves and a five-minute halftime break during
which the teams exchange sides.
The rules of the game are as follows. The teams take turns sending a
“raider” into the other half. To win a point, the raider must take a
breath, run into the opposing half, tag one or more members of the
opposite team, then return to his home half before inhaling again. The raider will chant “kabaddi, kabaddi” with his exhaling breath to show the referee he has not inhaled.
The raider will be declared “out” and will not gain the point if he
inhales before returning to his side, or returns without touching an
opponent. The tagged defender(s) will be “out” if they do not succeed in catching the raider who tagged them. Wrestling the raider to the ground can prevent him escaping before he needs to inhale.
Defenders may not cross the centre line (the “lobby”) of the field
and the raider may not cross the boundary lines. However, there is one
bonus line which can grant extra points for the raider if he manages to
touch it and return successfully.
Players who are out are temporarily sent off the field. Each time a
player is out, the opposing team earns a point. A team scores a bonus of
two points (called a “lona”), if the entire opposing team is declared
out. At the end of the game, the team with the most points wins.
Matches are categorized based on age and weight. Six officials supervise a match: one referee, two umpires, a scorer and two assistant scorers.