History of Kabaddi: How, Where & When Kabaddi Originated

Pro Kabaddi
Pro Kabaddi

History Of Kabaddi

Kabaddi is a contact team sport that originated in the Indian subcontinent. It is a very popular sport in Asia.It is the national sport of Bangladesh and Nepal. This is most played in some of the Indian states like Tamil Nadu,  Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Bihar and also the state game of these states.

Kabaddi Logo
Kabaddi Logo

Kabaddi History:

According to mythology, Kabaddi was originated many years ago in ancient India. Still We don’t know truly how and when it originated. The world knew about this sport first time in 1936 Berlin Olympics, where India demonstrated this game to the world. The first game was played in the Indian National Games which was held in Calcutta(now Kolkata) in 1938. There was no perfect rules and regulations at that time. And finally, in 1950 All Indian Kabaddi Federation was founded and they finally made some rules and regulations for this sport. In 1979, Sundar Ram visited Japan and made this game popular there. Slowly this game spread all over the world and now countries like USA, New Zealand and Australia etc. take part in the biggest tournaments in the world.

19th Century Kabaddi
19th Century Kabaddi

Name Came from and some other names:

Kabaddi came from Kannada word “kai hidi’ which means to hold hands because in the game defending side players have to hold each other’s hand to make a chain so that they can catch the raider easily. This sport has many other names in different places of the world.




Odisha, Karnataka, Telangana and all over the world


Andhra Pradesh


Tamil Nadu




Eastern India






Also, Check For Origin Of Football.

Rules and Regulations:

Two teams having 12 players on each side compete with each other. From the 12 players, 7 plays and 5 are in reserve. The Kabaddi court is divided into two halves by a line called Midline and the length of the court is 10 by 13 meters (33ft×43ft) for men and 8 by 12 meters (26ft×39ft) for women at the international level. Each court has an outer line within which every player have stay. If you will cross the line then the point will go opponent. Two sides take a turn to send a raider into opposing/defending team’s half.

Kabaddi Court
Kabaddi Court

Each raid has a time limit of 30 sec. and the raider has to “kabaddi” until the raid is over. If the rider manages to touch a player from the opponent side then the raiding team gets the point. But if the raider is caught/tackled by defending team then the point goes to them. Other than the outer line each court has two other lines, a baulk line, which the raider has to cross to make the raid valid. And another one is bonus line which gives an extra point to the raiding team if the raider touch the line and the number of players present in the defending side is not less than 6. With time some nice rules added, here are those rules.

Kabaddi Rules Table
Kabaddi Rules Table

Notable Competitions:

Asian Games:

In 1990 Kabaddi was played for first in Asian Games. Since then to till now India is the gold medalist in this event, bagged 7 gold medals in 7  Asian Games. Bangladesh won 3 Silver Medals. And now many Asian countries play this game and ready for 2018 Asian Games.

Kabaddi World Cup:

It was first played in 2004, then in 2007 and 2010. But From 2010 onwards it is held annually. India is also Unbeaten here, like in Asian Games, won every edition played so far. The 2016 Kabaddi World Cup was  Played from 7 to 22 October 2016 in Ahmedabad, India. Twelve Countries competed in this tournament. In the Final, India beat Iran  by 38-29

 Women’s Kabaddi World Cup:

The first time it was held in Patna, India in 2012 where Indian Women beat Iran team in the Final. India retained his championship next year by defeating debutant New Zealand team.

PRO kabaddi League:

It was first started in 2012. Like Indian Premier League(IPL) this was started for a business purpose. Players all across the globe were auctioned and participate in this tournament.

Some other honourable mentions- World Kabaddi League, Asia Kabaddi Cup, UK Kabaddi Cup, women’s Kabaddi Challenge and Pind Premier League etc.

To Know More About Origin Of Football, Click Below:

History of Football: How, Where & When Football Originated