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Kabaddi, the athletic version of 'Eagle versus Chicken'

www.ehangzhou.gov.cn| Updated: March 23, 2022 L M S


Players compete in a women's kabaddi competition at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, India in 2018. [Photo/CFP]

Kabaddi, a term most people aren't familiar with, is actually an official Asian Games sport that originated in India and boasts a history of over 4,000 years.

Dubbed the athletic version of "The Eagle Catches the Chicken", kabaddi is a contact sport similar to wresting and requires no equipment except for an area that is 13 meters long and 10 meters wide.

A central line divides the field into two equally-sized sections which serve as home bases for the two opposing teams. Each team has 12 players, with seven on the pitch and five substitutes. Players on each team stand in their own half of the court and take turns leading attacks. Each half is 20 minutes for men and 15 minutes for women.

The attacking team must chant "kabaddi" throughout the game. If they pause, say the word incorrectly, or breathe, the attack must stop immediately. Kabaddi also has a "resurrection" system – if either the defense or offense scores a point, they can "resurrect" a teammate.

Kabaddi players are known to be extremely agile, and the game is very fast paced, making it thrilling to watch.

Kabaddi made its debut in the Asian Games in 1990 in Beijing.  In the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, women's kabaddi was listed as an official event. However, kabaddi is still in a developmental stage in China.

The kabaddi event of the 19th Asian Games will kick off at the Xiaoshan Guali Sports Center in Hangzhou on Sept 19.


The Indian national men's team wins gold at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, India in 2018. [Photo/CFP]

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