Weird Sports – Kabaddi

I have to admit when I first heard of Kabaddi I had absolutely no idea what it was, or how big of a sport it was either.

Initial internet searches showed only the tip of the iceberg, the ever useful Wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabaddi the strangely compelling you tube video’s :  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvTIX_W53Bk  (not sure if I have overstated that particular example).

All of these combine to give a flavour of a sport that is taken very seriously in particular areas of the world.

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In this game there are two teams on opposite sides of a small field. The teams take it in turns to send a lone raider into enemy territory to try and tag a member of the opposite team and get back into home territory to score a point. To complicate things the raider has to hold his breath and chant the word Kabaddi. The raid must take place within a single breath or the raider is declared as out.

The international version follows the same basic rules as outlined above, disappointingly they don’t seem to need to chant during the raid though.

Wikipedia seems to outline the conditions for victory quite well for those with a burning desire to know what they are.

Kabaddi was previously part of the Olympic Games and in the Early 1990’s Channel 4 commissioned a television programme dedicated to the sport, to try and spark interest in it.

The British Army started playing Kabaddi as a way of keeping fit. I suppose it is useful when posted to an area with no exercise equipment, as long as you have enough people for the teams and the judges you could just throw a game together.

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The best way to boost the popularity of the game is if more people play it. What better way to boost the number of players than starting Office Kabaddi.

In my office, teams usually have some sort of sweets to munch on throughout the day. Office Kabaddi could have a raider from one team approach and attempt to “capture” some food from the other team. It would all have to be done within one breath and you would lose points for being tagged by a member of the opposing team. If the game was popular in the building, you could have cross floor competitions where raiders have to get up and down the stairs within the single breath.

Under those conditions it would be important to declare the canteen or kitchen areas were declared neutral territory, it would be bad for the sport if teams were stealing each other’s lunch!

After all, in some offices Lunch is the most important part of the day.