Hold your breath! Pro kabaddi is here

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  • Published 30.07.14

It’s fast and it’s macho! It’s the Pro Kabaddi League! Before you book your seat at Netaji Indoor Stadium on Wednesday or tune in to the live telecast on Star Sports to cheer your team, here’s what you need to know

Bengal Warriors (Calcutta)

Captain: Nilesh Shinde

Owner(s): Kishore Biyani (Future Group)

Media partner: The Telegraph


Bengaluru Bulls

Captain: Manjit Chillar

Owner(s): Kosmik Global Media, a production company


Match starts: 8pm (organisers suggest you take your seats by 7.30pm)

Venue: Netaji Indoor Stadium, the Warriors’ home turf

Seats: 12,000 people

Tickets: Available online at kyazoonga.com, at select Big Bazaar stores and at the venue. For the opening match, prices are Rs 100 and Rs 250 and for the next six matches, Rs 150 and Rs 300. Season tickets also available for Rs 500 and Rs 1,000

Can’t carry: Food, water and video camera

Can carry: Still camera


Journey so far: Bangalore have the nose in front, winning their two matches so far. Bengal have lost their only match to Mumbai 36-25


Surface: Mat

Court contours: 13mx10m

Play field: 13mx8m (it widens to 13mx10m, including the lobbies, once the struggle starts, which means, once there is contact between the raider and the first defender)

Areas and lines on court (see diagram)

Middle line: JI — The line that divides the field into two halves, each half is called a court

Baulk line: MN and QR — 3.75m from midline. If this line is touched, a raid is considered successful even if no defenders are tagged

Bonus line: OP and ST — 4.75m from the midline. Comes into play when there are at least six defenders on court. A raider who touches it gets a bonus point. But none of his “out” players can come in because of it

Lobby: The court widens by one metre on each side once the “struggle” starts as the lobbies on either side get included


Seven players start the game. There are five substitutes available

A player can’t weigh more than 85kg

20-minute halves with a 10-minute break

The teams take turns sending a “raider” into the other half

To win a point, the raider must take a deep breath and hold it, run into the opposing half, tag one or more members of the opposite team, then return to his home half before inhaling again

The raider has to chant “kabaddi, kabaddi” to show the referee he has not inhaled in the opposition half

The defenders tagged in a successful raid have to leave the court temporarily (the same number of players of the raider’s team who were “out” can return to court)

For every player tagged in a successful raid, one point is earned

When all the defenders of a particular team are out, a “lona” is scored and the opposition gets two points but all seven defenders can come back on court

The leaders on points at full time wins (there can also be a draw such as the match between Mumbai and Vizag)

How a raider can be out:

A raider is out if he strays out of court (including the lobby), essentially if he is pushed out of the playing area. If he takes a defender with him, the defender is out too

If a raider inhales during a raid, he is out. The chant “kabaddi, kabaddi” has to begin before he leaves his half