The History and Evolution of Circle Kabaddi: From Local Sport to International Phenomenon

February 25, 2023

Kabaddi is a sport that originated in India and has been played for centuries. It is a contact sport that requires strength, agility, and strategy. There are various forms of kabaddi played in different parts of the world, but in this article, we will focus on Circle Kabaddi, also known as Punjab Circle Style Kabaddi, which has become an international phenomenon in recent years.

The Origins of Kabaddi

Kabaddi has its roots in ancient India, where it was played as a recreational activity by people of all ages. The earliest known reference to kabaddi can be found in the Mahabharata, an epic Indian poem written over 2,000 years ago. In the poem, the game is described as a test of strength and skill, played by warriors on the battlefield.

Over time, kabaddi evolved into a more structured sport with specific rules and regulations. The game became popular in rural areas of India, where it was played as a way to build strength, stamina, and teamwork.

The Evolution of Circle Kabaddi

Circle Kabaddi, also known as Punjab Circle Style Kabaddi, is a variant of the game that is played in a circular field, with a radius of 22 yards. The game is played by two teams of 12 players each, and the objective is to raid the opponent’s side of the field and tag as many players as possible, without getting caught by the defenders.

The game is played in two halves of 20 minutes each, with a five-minute break in between. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. Points are scored by tagging opponents and returning safely to the home side, or by getting the entire opposing team out.

Circle Kabaddi originated in the state of Punjab in India, where it was played as a traditional sport for centuries. The game was popular among farmers and rural communities, who played it as a way to stay fit and build community.

In the 1980s, Circle Kabaddi began to gain popularity outside of Punjab, thanks in part to the efforts of sports enthusiasts who wanted to bring the game to a wider audience. They formed kabaddi clubs and organized tournaments, attracting players and fans from all over India.

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The Rise of Circle Kabaddi as an International Sport

In the early 2000s, Circle Kabaddi began to gain traction as an international sport, with teams from countries like Canada, the United States, and Australia participating in tournaments. The game was also recognized by the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF), which was established in 2004.

The IKF has since organized several World Kabaddi Championships, which have been held in India, Pakistan, and Canada. The tournaments have attracted thousands of fans and have helped to promote Circle Kabaddi as a global sport.

In recent years, Circle Kabaddi has become even more popular, with the launch of the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) in India in 2014. The league, which features both Circle Kabaddi and Standard Kabaddi, has been a huge success, attracting millions of fans and generating significant revenue for the sport.

The Future of Circle Kabaddi

The future of Circle Kabaddi looks bright, with increasing popularity, professionalization, and a connection to tradition all contributing to the sport’s growth. With more and more people taking up the sport and investing in its development, it is likely that Circle Kabaddi will continue to thrive and entertain fans for generations to come.

One of the reasons why the future of Circle Kabaddi looks promising is because of the increasing popularity of the sport. In recent years, the game has gained a significant following not only in India but also in other parts of the world. The Pro Kabaddi League, which was launched in 2014, has played a major role in popularizing the sport and has become one of the most-watched sporting events in India. With the growing interest in Circle Kabaddi, it is likely that more and more people will take up the sport, leading to an even larger fan base.

Circle Kabaddi is poised for a bright future is the increasing professionalization of the sport. With the introduction of the Pro Kabaddi League, players are now able to earn a living from playing the game. This has led to an influx of talented players, and with the competition getting more intense, the level of play is expected to improve even further. As the sport becomes more professional, it is likely that more resources will be invested in developing infrastructure and training facilities, which will help to nurture young talent and grow the sport.

Circle Kabaddi is a sport that is deeply rooted in Indian culture, and this connection to tradition is one of the reasons why the sport is expected to thrive in the future. The game is played in villages and cities across India, and its simplicity and accessibility make it a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. As the world becomes more globalized, the appeal of traditional sports such as Circle Kabaddi is likely to increase, and this could lead to even more interest in the sport.

Answers You Want to Know

  1. What is Circle Kabaddi?

Circle Kabaddi is a popular contact sport that originated in India. It is played by two teams of 12 players each on a circular court. The objective of the game is for one player, known as the raider, to enter the opponent’s half, tag as many defenders as possible, and return to their own half without being caught.

  1. How is Circle Kabaddi played?

Circle Kabaddi is played on a circular court with a diameter of 22 meters. Each team has 12 players, and the game is divided into two halves of 40 minutes each. One player from each team, called the raider, enters the opponent’s half to tag defenders while chanting “kabaddi, kabaddi.” The raider must do this while holding their breath and cannot release it until they return to their own half. The defenders try to stop the raider from returning by tackling them.

  1. What are the rules of Circle Kabaddi?

In Circle Kabaddi, players are not allowed to cross the boundary lines of the court or touch the ground outside the court with any part of their body. The raider must hold their breath while crossing into the opponent’s half and cannot cross the center line. The defenders try to tackle the raider without grabbing their limbs or clothing. If the raider successfully tags defenders and returns to their own half, their team scores a point.

  1. What are the benefits of playing Circle Kabaddi?

Circle Kabaddi is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, endurance, and agility. It can help players improve their cardiovascular health, develop coordination and reflexes, and build muscle strength. Playing Circle Kabaddi can also help develop teamwork and communication skills.

  1. What is the history of Circle Kabaddi?

Circle Kabaddi has its roots in the ancient Indian game of Kabaddi, which was played in various forms across the country for centuries. The modern version of Circle Kabaddi was developed in the early 20th century in the state of Punjab, India. It gained popularity in other parts of the country and is now played competitively in India and other countries.


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