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Know your game

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There are two types of Kabaddi in India: National style and Circle style (sometimes called Punjab style). National style is a slightly different in that it is played in a box shape boundary and has more than two players for each of the teams. Circle style, as the name implies, is played in a circle shape boundary and can also have more than two players per team. The rules for the game of Kabaddi are fairly simple.

The two teams each stand on their half of the division in the middle. A player from one team, called the ‘raider’, advances to the other in an attempt to tag one of the other players, called the ‘stoppers’ and come back to his side without being stopped. When playing the National style, the raider can tag more than one player, whereas in Circle style, he may only tag one player.

The difficulty is that the raider must tag and reach his own side within one breath, usually repeating the words ‘Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi’ to indicate to the referee he is not taking extra breaths. In tournaments now, however, the raider has 30 seconds to make his tag and come back to his own side. If this player is able to cross and reach his own side without being stopped by a ‘stopper’ a point is earned for his team. If, however, the raider is stopped before he reaches his side by crossing the center line, he loses a point which the other team gains.

In National style Kabaddi, more than one stopper is able to stop the raider; likewise, a raider can tag as many stoppers before coming back to his own side, earning as many points as possible. Overall, the team with the greatest number of points in the allotted time wins. Circle style Kabaddi is the more popular in the Punjabi community because of its frantic pace and the one-on-one struggle between the raider and the stopper.

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