Kabaddi Making Headway In SUKMA Games

Last update: 15/04/2014

By Nalini Ramiah

Kabaddi is an ancient sport which has its origins in early Indian civilisation.

The game started out as a sort of training in self-defense and was initially known as Sadugudu.

Over the years it developed into a team sport which incorporates elements of wrestling and rugby and subsequently, the name was changed to Kabaddi.

You don’t need a big field nor expensive equipment to play Kabaddi. This 'no frills' feature makes Kabaddi a popular past time among rural communities.

The Malays have their own version of the game which they call 'Galah Panjang' (long pole).

A Kabaddi court has two halves. Each half has a Baulk Line and a Bonus Line.

Two opposing teams occupy the opposite halves of the court with each team consisting of seven players.

There is a referee for each half of the court. There is no mixed team. Boys and girls play separately.

The game starts from the center line from where each team will try to raid the opponent side of the court. The raiding team must touch the opponent’s Baulk Line so that their team members can pass safely through to the opponent’s side.

Once they have done this the players will then go for the Bonus Line in order to score bonus points. Upon reaching the opponents' Bonus Line a player will lift his/her left leg and simultaneously raise the right hand to let the referee know that he/she has scored a point.

Once they have reached the Bonus Line players will try to touch any one of the opposing team members to earn extra points for the team. A player gets one point for every opponent that he/she touches. The touching may be done using either the hands or feet.

The games lasts for about forty minutes with a short five-minute break in between after which the teams change sides. The team with the highest score after times up wins.

You need strong lungs to play Kabaddi. Players are required to utter aloud the word 'Kabaddi' without any break.

The player will be running from one side of the court to the other, trying to touch the opponent by using either the hands or the feet, and then run back through the centerline to his half.

And all the while the player must not break the 'Kabaddi' chant or he/she will be stricken out of the match.

Kabaddi was first introduced in the SUKMA games in 2010 and Selangor has come out as champion ever since.

In the SUKMA 2013, two female players, Jananiejay a/p Jagathesan from Selangor were awarded the Gold medals in the Best Player category.