Once, kabaddi was a sport played only in India and that too mostly in rural areas. Today, kabaddi has acquired a global flavour and become popular in countries like Pakistan, Iran, Canada, Bangladesh, Australia, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Malaysia etc. In India, it remains a very popular sport, though still played mainly among people in villages. It is regarded as a team-contact sport, a recreational form of combat training. Kabaddi was originally meant for developing self defense, responding to attacks and developing reflexes of counter attack by individuals and groups. Two teams occupy the opposite halves of a small field and take turns sending a player called ‘Raider’ to the ‘opponents’ half. The Raider must touch an opponent to ‘eliminate’ him, but if the opposing team manages to hold on to the Raider till he runs out of breath saying ‘Kabaddi, Kabaddi’, then it is the Raider who gets ‘eliminated’. After raiding the opposing half, the Raider tries to return to his own half while holding his breath and chanting “Kabaddi, Kabaddi.” It is an exciting yet simple and inexpensive game and requires neither a massive playing area, nor any expensive equipment. Kabaddi is known by different names in India like ‘Chedugudu’ or ‘Hu-Tu-Tu’ in Southern India, ‘Hadudu’ (Men) and ‘Chu- Kit-Kit’ (Women) in Eastern India and ‘Kabaddi’ in Northern India.
Kabaddi is probably the only game which requires just a ground and a whistle. Kabaddi came on the international map during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. But unfortunately this was the only year when kabaddi was played in the Olympics. Later, in 1985, at the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in Dhaka, Bangladesh, kabaddi regained its international status. In 1990, Kabaddi saw another breakthrough, when it was included in the Asian Games. These were the 11th Asian Games at Beijing, China and since then kabaddi has been a regular event in the Asian Games. In 1991, India participated in the 1st World Kabaddi Championships held at Hamilton, Canada. It was included in the 2nd Asian Indoor Games in 1997 held at Macau, China. It was also included in the 1st Asian Beach Games in 1998, held at Bali, Indonesia. It is by far the only game being played in all the 3 versions of Asian Games i.e. Asian Games, Asian Indoor games and Asian Beach Games. Women’s Kabaddi was included in 16th Asian Games in 2010 at Guangzhou, China.
In 2004, the 1st Kabaddi World Cup was held in India. Later, it was held in 2007, 2010 and 2011. India has won all the four World Cups played till now. In all the four World Cups, India remained unbeaten throughout the tournament. In 2012, Indian kabaddi achieved another mile stone when it hosted the 1st Women World Cup at Patna, Bihar and also won the tournament by beating Iran in the final.
India to Organise 2012 Kabaddi World Cup in December 2012
The 2012 Kabaddi World Cup will be organised by India. It will commence on December 15 and will be held in Punjab. A total of 12 teams will participate in the sporting event this year. The 12 teams will be further divided into two pools with six teams in each pool. Kenya from the African continent will take part in the event for the very first time. The event comprises of league-cum-knock out stages wherein top teams from each pool will automatically advance to the semi-final. The Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal said that the decision to host the third Kabaddi World Cup was taken to promote the sport and enhance its chances of making it an Olympic sport. The State Government had organised the first World Cup in 2010 with Rs 1 crore as cash prize. In 2011, the second World Cup was organised and the cash prize was doubled to Rs 2 crore.