kabaddi: History, Formation, Rules and how to play

This game is played between two teams on opposite halves of a field or court. And is also called kabbadi or kabaddi. It is scored by tagging as many opponents as possible without being caught. Or taking a breath before returning to one’s home territory as fast as possible.

Players take turns crossing onto the other team’s side and repeating “kabbadi, kabaddi” (or another chant). Points are awarded for tagging all opponents without being caught. In North India, it is known as hu-tu-tu, in Bangladesh and Eastern India as ha-do-do, in Sri Lanka as gudu, and in Thailand as theechub.

Prehistoric times were crucial for the development of human reflexes, which led to the origin of the game. An ancient Indian epic poem, the Mahabharata, describes the legendary battles of Kurukshetra. And describes an event that resembles kabbadi, an attack by Arjuna’s son, Abhimanyu, on an enemy camp.

Traditionally, kabaddi has been played by students in Indian gurukuls (guru-run schools) as a means of physical exercise. It is important to note that, despite minor variations, the game’s primary objective of raiding enemy territory remains unchanged.

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Rules of kabaddi:

Early in the 20th century, Indians formalized the rules of kabaddi and published them in 1923. Two years later, the Indian Olympic Games in Calcutta (now Kolkata) included the game as an event. Exposing the game to international audiences at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.


A national championship for men and for women was first organized by the Kabaddi Federation of India in 1952 and 1955, respectively, following the Federation’s establishment in 1950. Kabaddi became popular outside India’s borders in the late 20th century thanks to the Amateur Kabbadi Federation of India, which was formed in 1972.

Bangladesh also designated kabbadi as its national game in that same year. In 1990, national kabaddi teams began competing in the Asian Games after the Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation was formed in 1978.

It is typically played on a rectangular court by seven players per team by the beginning of the 21st century. But in India and elsewhere, there is also a form of “circular” kabbadi that is popular. Mumbai (Bombay) hosted the first Kabaddi World Cup in 2004, where Asian, European, and North American teams competed.

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