The game of Kabaddi is played across the length and breadth of India. This popularity can be ascribed to the simplicity of the game and the fact that it requires no sophisticated equipment. Since Kabaddi is an Indian game, India has been at the forefront of promoting the game at the international stage. India played a pivotal role in laying down standard rules and procedures for Kabaddi in the 1950s. The Indian Amateur Kabaddi Federation president Janardhan Singh Gehlot was instrumental in establishing the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF) in 2004 and he was elected the first president of IKF.

India's efforts to popularize Kabaddi has paid rich dividends as the country has won all the Asian Games gold medals, since the game was introduced in the 1990 Beijing Games. Talking about the techniques of the game, there are two teams that occupy the opposite halves of a field. In turns, one team sends a 'raider' into the other half, in order to win points. The raider, who goes inside has to touch any one of the teammates from the other team and immediately run back to his line, without even once letting off his breath during the whole raid and chanting the word "kabaddi". On the other hand, the members of the other team have to grab the raider down before he reaches his line.

Kabaddi is an Indian game which requires both power and skill for its play. It was known by various names in various places. For example, CHEDUGUDU OR HU-TU-TU in Southern parts of India, HADUDU (Men), CHU KIT-KIT (Women) in Eastern India and KABADDI in Northern India. It is a simple and inexpensive game and doesn't require a big playing area or any playing equipment Regular Kabaddi tournaments are held throughout the country.

Field of play

 The play ground of the Kabaddi shall be level and soft preferably made of earth, manure and sawdust. The ground shall be 121/2 meters X 10 meters. For women and Juniors the measurement shall be 11metres X  8 meters. The mid line drawn divides the play ground into two courts. There shall be strip of one meter wide on each side of the playfield, which is called Lobby. In each half, at a distance of about 3 meters from the mid-line and parallel to it lines of the full width of ground shall be drawn. These are Baulk lines.

History of Kabaddi in India

Kabaddi is essentially an Indian game, which commands huge popularity in the India as well as its hinterland. In India, kabaddi is popular in different names. In the southern parts of India, the game is referred to as Chedugudu or Hu-Tu-Tu. In eastern India, it is fondly called Hadudu (for men) and Kit-Kit (for women). The game is known as Kabaddi in northern India. Breath control, raid, dodging and movement of hand and feet are the basic skills that one has to acquire, in order to play kabaddi. The player has to acquire power and learn both offensive and defensive skills to excel in the game, which combines the characteristics of rugby and wrestling. Read on to explore the history of kabaddi in India.

History of Kabaddi Game In India

The origin of kabaddi can be traced to the pre-historic times. In India, kabaddi was primarily devised as a way to develop the physical strength and speed in young men. During its inception, kabaddi was played to boost the self-defense skills and to develop quick responsiveness to attacks. It also sharpened the reflexes of counter attacks of the individuals, who mostly played in groups or teams. Kabaddi also finds place in Hindu mythology. The dramatized version of the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata, has made an analogy of the game, wherein the warrior Arjuna's son Abhimanyu faces a tough time, when he is trapped in the 'Chakravyuha' set by his enemies of the War.

Kabaddi In Mythology
Historians suggest that some other ancient scripts have proved that kabaddi existed in the pre-historic times in India. In Mahabharata, Arjuna had a unique talent in the game of kabaddi. He could effortlessly sneak into the 'wall' of enemies, destroy them all and come back unscathed. As per the Buddhist literature, Gautam Buddha played kabaddi for recreational purposes. It says that he loved to play the game and took it as a means to exhibit his strength, which helped him to win his brides. It is quite evident from the manuscripts discovered by the historians that kabaddi was a much adored game in the ancient times.

Kabaddi In Modern India
In the modern times, kabaddi was given the national status of a game in India in 1918. The state of Maharashtra is accredited with upbringing the game to a national platform. Consequently, the standard set of rules and regulations for the game were formulated in the same year. However, the rules and regulations were brought to print only after a few years, in 1923. During the same year, an All India Tournament for kabaddi was organized at Baroda, wherein the players strictly followed the rules and regulations formulated for the game. Since then, the game has come a long way. Its popularity increased and a number of tournaments were organized at national level, throughout the country. The game was introduced at the 1938 Indian Olympic Games held at Calcutta, which fetched it international recognition.

With a view to increase the popularity of kabaddi as a sport in India, the All India Kabaddi Federation (AIKF) was founded in 1950. Since its establishment, the AIKF has been working towards uplifting the standard of the game. To serve the purpose, it has been conducting National level kabaddi championships on a regular basis since 1952, in accordance with the set rules and regulations (for the game). In 1955, the first men's national tournament was organized in Madras (the present day Chennai), while the women's nationals were held in Calcutta (the present day Kolkata). The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) came into existence in 1973, in order to popularize the game in the neighboring countries of India as well as to organize national level tournaments.

Inclusion Of Kabaddi In Curriculum
In 1961, the Indian University Sports Control Board (IUSCB) included the game of kabaddi in its curriculum, as a prime sports discipline for the students. This raised the status of kabaddi as a game in India, further. Thereafter, the game was introduced as one of the important games in the school by the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) in 1962. This decision played the pivotal role in urging the school going children to participate in state and national level competitions for the game, organized by the SGFI. Another development in the history of kabaddi in India took shape in 1971, when the National Institute of Sports (NIS) included Kabaddi in the curriculum of Regular Diploma courses.

The Present Day Scenario
The popularity of kabaddi has increased over the passing years, from being a popular game in the rural India to a sport recognized at the national level. A number of championships, both at the national and international level, have been organized for kabaddi, wherein the Indian national kabaddi team has delivered remarkable performances. The introduction of Federation Cup Kabaddi matches in India in 1981 is a milestone in the history of kabaddi in India. India touched another milestone in 2004, when she hosted the first ever Kabaddi World Cup, in Mumbai. The country won the World Cup, as well. She has produced a number of talented Kabaddi players, so far, who have earned international recognition and brought laurels to the country.

Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India

The Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI) is the central body for the administration and promotion of game of Kabaddi in India. Established in 1973, AKFI is preceded by the Indian Kabaddi Federation, which came into existence in 1950. Apart from promoting the game in India, AKFI aims at uplifting the standard of the sport in the neighboring countries of India. It also organizes international kabaddi tournaments for both men and women, in India. Sub-junior and junior nationals and zonal competitions are also held by AKFI, to promote the game at the local level. It has given new shapes to the rules and regulations formulated for the game. Janardhan Singh Gehlot AKFI president is the current. He is also the president of the Asian Amateur Kabaddi Federation and the International Kabaddi Federation.