The Unique Sport of Kabaddi

Bangladesh is a sport loving country with over twenty-seven different international games played here and the national sport of Bangladesh is Kabaddi is played throughout the country.

Kabaddi is a game with two teams consisting of twelve players each. In order to play Kabaddi, a large playing area measuring 12.50 meters by 10 meters is required. Each team has a half of this area, which is separated by a white line, and it is here that they compete against one another for the highest score.

When the game is in action only seven of the twelve-man team can be on the field at any one time, while the rest of the members wait for their turn. Other individuals on the field during the game include two linesmen, one referee, a timekeeper, a scorer and two umpires. The object of Kabaddi is to touch or capture depending on whether your side is playing defense or offense. The Kabaddi game lasts for approximately twenty minutes during each half with five minutes for players to take a breather and change sides.

Before the game begins the two teams each elect a member to toss a coin and see who will start first. Whichever side wins the toss both sides will send one of their teammates or a ‘raider’ over to the opposing team’s side, repeatedly calling out the name of the game. Before the raider runs to the opposite team he must first take a deep breathe and then in that one breath try and touch as many of the players on the opposite team as possible, while chanting, before heading back to his side. Every player that the raider touches is then considered out.

The challenging team’s aim is to try and capture the raider. If they are successful in capturing the raider and preventing him from going back to his team before his one breath is up, he will be considered “out”. Once the raider from the one team has either successfully returned or was captured then the next team sends a raider to do the same. Members on either side can also be considered out if they touch either the boundary line or the ground outside of the boundary line with any part of his body. The only time this does not count is if the Raider is struggling to get free from his opponents.

Indeed, Kabaddi is an interesting and rather unusual sport, but it is extremely popular in Bangladesh and visitors to the country will find watching the sport fascinating as well as entertaining.