Planning To Take Up Kabaddi? Skim Through These Important Rules

Kabaddi is a popular contact sport of India, which has taken the world into its stride. Kabaddi is more like an MMA-form of Red Rover, as players do whatever they can to prevent a player from returning to his/her team. The Raiders have to hold their breath the entire time for which you got to possess:

  • Endurance (from breath-holding and moving)
  • Running
  • Dodging
  • Kicking
  • Defensive Skills
  • And Taunting (never to be underestimated)

Many regions in India have their own versions of Kabaddi- Sanjeevani, Gaminee, Punjabi and Amar, with slightly different interpretations and a new set of rules.


A player needs to score as many points as possibly more than that of the opposition in the stipulated time by either attacking or while defending. When attacking, the raider must touch one or members of the opposition to score a point. When defending, the objective is to capture the raider, before he/she touches the centre line.


Kabaddi is a game of two teams with seven players on each side of the surface measuring 13m x 10m which is separated at the centre by a white line. It is one such game that requires nothing special.

  • BAULK LINES: They are in parallel to the middle line, 3.75 meters (12.3 ft) from it on either side.
  • BONUS LINES: They are in parallel to the baulk lines, 1 meter (3.3 ft) from away on the side opposite the middle line.


  • Each team can have 12 players but only 7 come into play at one time
  • Matches of Kabaddi are categorized as per the age and weight of the players
  • Six officials keep a watch of each Kabaddi match. They are-Referee, scorer, two assistant scorers and two umpires
  • The match lasts for 40 minutes with 20 minutes for each half and a break of 5 minutes
  • The match of Kabaddi begins with the toss of a coin. The winner decides on whether to raid first or defend. In the second half, this process is reversed
  • To win a point while raiding, the raider has to take a breath and surge into the opposition’s half, touch one or more players and return to their own half, before inhaling again
  • To prove that another breath hasn’t been taken, the raider must continue to say the word ‘Kabaddi’. Failing to do it, even for a moment means that the raider must return to his/her side without a point and the opposite team wins it for a successful defence
  • When the team being raided is defending, its players must prevent the raiders from touching them but should be quick enough to capture the raider. Raiders can be captured by their limbs or torso, not by their hair, clothes or anywhere else, and defenders cannot cross the centre line



When your team is able to get the entire opposition team out and none of their players has any chances of coming back into play, your team earns a “Lona” (two extra points for that play). After this, the opposing team allowed to revive.



 When your team is left with three or fewer defenders and they are able to capture the raider, then an extra super catch point is awarded to your team. This point is other than the point you earn for capturing the raider, so it is two in total.


One point is awarded for most of the penalties in Kabaddi to the opposing team. Below are the wrongdoings that go in favour of the opposing team in the form of points

  • If a raider does not chant “Kabbadi” while attacking, the raid is cancelled and the team defending earns a point with a chance to execute a raid (but the raider is not out)
  • If the attacker is late in chanting the word Kabaddi (that means he/she begins chanting the word after crossing the centre), the raid is cancelled and the defending team earns a point with a chance to raid (but, again, the raider is not out)
  • If a raider goes out of order, the defending team gets a point and the raid is cancelled
  • If more than one raider enters the opposition’s area at a time, the raid is cancelled and the defending team earns a point
  • If any defender enters the attacker’s side, before its turn has come, each defender involved gets the opposing team a point
  • If, after a Lona, the wiped-out team is unable to send its revived players back to the field within ten seconds, the opposing team gets a point
  • If the attacker’s team members try to help him/her by giving warnings or advice, the defending team earns a point
  • If players forcefully get out so as to earn a Lona and give life to their teammates, the opposing team earns an extra point for every offending player that was on the field. This will be other than the two Lona points

So, Kabaddi-Kabaddi.

Read: How Is Kabaddi Slowly Gaining Momentum Over Other Sports In India?
Moaiyed Pithewan