Kabaddi Tips & Techniques (Raider and Defender)
Kabaddi is a high-octane game that has been played in India for ages. Great souls like Gautam Buddha, along with his disciples, have played this sport. The game of Kabaddi also finds mention in the ancient Indian mythological scriptures like the Mahabharata. Kabaddi is a contact sport that requires stamina, strength, strategy, and agility. Although the game itself seems quite simple and modest, much practice is necessary to master the skills and techniques of the game. In India, Kabaddi has always been considered a rural game however with invent of the PKL; Kabaddi fever is catching up not only in the urban circuits of the country but on the global level.
The introduction of the Pro Kabaddi League has promoted the game of Kabaddi in an unprecedented manner. Kabaddi has scaled new heights in terms of popularity and following in the country and beyond. Many young and talented kids now are taking up the game of Kabaddi seriously and trying to make their career in the sport. The popularity of Kabaddi has increased in such a manner that the Pro Kabaddi League is now the second most-watched league in the country after the Indian Premier League, which indicates that Kabaddi has a bright future in India.
The 7th edition of the Pro Kabaddi extravaganza is all set to begin on the 20th of July with the 12 teams all set to lock their horns once again to get the Pro Kabaddi League champions crown.
In this light, let’s go back to the basics of Kabaddi and learn about a few essential tips and tricks of Kabaddi. What does it mean to attack and defend in Kabaddi? How do the teams manage to keep their scoreboard ticking in a match?
Kabaddi Techniques & Tips
In a game of football, a striker has to go past the numerous hurdles in the form of defenders and ultimately the goalkeeper to score a goal and put the ball into the back of the net. Similarly, in the game of Kabaddi, the raider has to prove his mettle on the mat against a host of defenders in the rivals’ half to secure the points (touchpoints and bonus points).
What is a raid?
It is a play in the game where a player enters the opponents’ half crossing the midline in the court to fetch a point or more by getting a touch on any of the defenders on the mat in the rivals’ half.
What are the essential components for a raid to be legal?
The raider must chant the word ‘Kabaddi’ throughout the raid. He must begin his chant of ‘Kabaddi’ before entering the opposition’s half and crossing the midline. The raider shall continue to do so until he returns to his half. Once into the rivals’ half, the raider also must cross his foot over the balkline to make the raid legal. If he fails to do so, then the referee shall declare the raider out.
From which side can a raider enter the rivals’ half of the court?
Well, the raider can enter the rivals’ from either side of the court, right or left. For instance, Anup Kumar is a right raider, so he prefers to enter the opposition’s half from the right side while Deepak Hooda who is a left raider prefers to enter the opposition’s half from the left. However, there are some players such as Rahul Chaudhari who have the unique ability to raid from either side of the court.
What are the different techniques raiders use to fetch the raid points?
There are numerous ways of securing a point while raiding; the important ones are listed as follows:
Hand Touch: Quite simply, if the raider touches any of the defenders with his hand, it is known as hand touch. However, it is not as simple as it sounds, and it requires a lot of practice and time to master this skill. The critical element of hand touch is to take advantage of the slightest lapse on the defenders’ part and swiftly get the hand touch on any part of the body of the defender. Specialist: Rahul Chaudhari
Toe Touch: The Raiders generally use this technique when they like to operate from a safe distance and avoid going near the defenders. In such a case, the raiders touch the defender with their feet. For this to be successful, the rider needs to have a flexible and strong lower body to execute the long stretch of legs combined with a sense of timing. Specialist: Anup Kumar
Kick: Usually, the raiders prefer to maintain a safe distance when there are around four or fewer defenders on the court. In such a situation, raiders plan their attack on the defenders in the covers by initiating a back or front kick to score a point. Specialist: Jasvir Singh
Jump: One of the most exciting skills of a raider in the game of Kabaddi for the fans and the viewers is when the raider executes a jump from the mat over a defender to escape towards his own half.
In many cases, the raiders jump over a chain of defenders too to escape and score multiple points. Specialist: Sandeep Narwal
Dubki: Dubki is a skill where the raider manages to score a point or multiple points while bowing below the arm span of a host of defenders. By doing so, the raider can effectively escape from the clutches of the defenders too. Agility and speed combined with power are the key aspects to execute this difficult skill. Specialist: Pardeep Narwal
Bonus: The bonus point comes into effect only when there are 6 or more defenders are present on the mat. To score the bonus point the raider needs to cross the bonus line with one foot touching the mat across that particular line while the other foot shall be in the air and should not be grounded outside that area. Specialist: Jang Kun Lee
Can a raider score more than a single point on a given raid?
Yes, a raider can score multiple points in a single raid by touching more than one defender. In addition to that, the raider can score multiple points by getting a combination of touch and bonus points, if the bonus is active.
In the game of football, it is the duty of defenders alongside the goalkeeper to stop a striker from scoring. Similar to that, in the game of Kabaddi, defenders have to stop and catch the raiders and prevent them from scoring the points.
Who is a defender?
All the players who are on present the mat on their side of the court, when a raider from the opposition team is raiding are said to be defenders. Some players have the unique skills to be defenders as they can pin down the raider according to their specific positions on the mat.
What are the different positions for the defenders on the mat?
When the entire team is on the mat, there are positions for all seven players on the court.
Corners: This is the position for the defenders as they occupy the outermost position in the defence on the right and the left side of the court and are hence termed as corners.
IN: The first immediate player next to any of the corners either on the left or on the right is referred to as the “IN. In a full defence of seven, usually, the left raider takes the Right-In position, and the right raider takes the Left-In position.
Covers: Covers are the wall of the defence, and they occupy the central position when it comes to defence. Players in this position are usually on the heavier side in terms of the weight and posses much brute strength. With 7 players on the mat, there are two covers in the right cover and left cover position.
Centre: This position generally is occupied the third or do-or-die raider. He is saved as a back-up plan for the critical moments in the game. He also is expected to play a secondary role in the defence.
What are the different techniques defenders use to execute a tackle?
Ankle Hold: The corner defenders usually initiate this tackle by grabbing the ankle of the raider during his attempt to sneak in a bonus point. Specialist: Surender Nada
Thigh Hold: This technique is mostly exhibited by the stalwart cover defenders, who strike at the opportune time by holding his thighs with both hands and pinning him down when the raider tries to switch his direction on the mat. Specialist: Ravinder Pahal
Back/Waist Hold: This tackle requires brute strength and power to be executed. Executing this tackle, the defender grabs the raider by his waist or back depending on the position of the raider and then hauls him mid-air to disturb his balance. By doing so, the defender effectively shut down the raider’s chances of escape. Specialist: Fazel Atrachali
Block: When the raider goes deep on one side of the opposition’s court fancying his chances against the corner defenders, another defender caught him unaware at the back and completely blocked his path with his entire body; this technique of executing a tackle is known as the block. Specialist: Manjeet Chillar
Chain Tackle: A tackle is where two or more defenders coordinate amongst themselves, form a chain, and block the raider’s path and then shut him down on the mat with no escape route.
Can the defence of any team earn multiple points from pinning down the raider?
It is only possible in the Pro Kabaddi League and not in regular Kabaddi which played under the rules of AKFI. In the Pro Kabaddi League, when there are 3 or fewer defenders present on the mat, and they successfully manage to pin down the raider, they thereby successfully execute what is called a ‘Super Tackle’ for which the defending team earns two points. Otherwise, unlike raiding, the defence can win a single point for executing a successful tackle on the raider.
How to become a good Kabaddi Player?
Just like any other sport, Kabaddi too requires dedication and hard work. It is crucial for any player to dedicatedly practice and devote themselves to the game to become a good player. Here are the essential things every budding Kabaddi player should focus on to become a professional Kabaddi player:
# Physical Fitness: To play any physical sport, a player needs to have strength, stamina, and endurance as these are the basic things required to play at the highest level. Kabaddi is a sport in which the players need to be on their toes all the time during the game. The game of Kabaddi demands a lot of physical and mental strength as the players need to improve their reactions, and they have to think quickly as well. Kabaddi can get rough at times, and there is a high risk of injuries too, so the players have to be physically fit to negate the effect of injuries. Stamina and functional physical fitness will help the players in recovering quickly. Players must do running, crossover exercises, and strength workouts to build endurance.
# Diet: Eating habits of a player determine his body structure and affect his physical health; therefore, a player should be conscious of his diet routine. A Player’s diet should complement his work-out routine. An ideal diet should be the right mix of proteins, carbohydrates, including abundant minerals & vitamins.
# Concentration: Concentration in every sport is critical. During the tense situations in the matches, players tend to be under much stress as a small wrong move can define the outcome of the match. In such situations, a calm and peaceful mind helps the players to make the right move at the right time. Every Kabaddi player must also learn to be patient as the game of Kabaddi at times can get aggressive and make the player restless. Yoga and meditation can help the players in building their concentration.
# Practicing the Moves: As the old saying goes, practice indeed makes a man perfect. One move which is practiced 100 times will pose a significant threat to the opponent rather than those 100 moves which are practiced just once. Players must spend their time practicing each move to bring perfection in their game and master it. Mock raids with the fellow teammates will help the players in preparing them for tense and critical situations during the match. During practice, every individual also will get aware of their strengths and weakness, on which they need to improve and work more.
# Devising a Good Strategy: A good strategy is vital to winning matches. A team should never enter the playing arena without a concrete game plan. Every player (raider/defender) must study the moves of their opponents carefully and understand their gameplay. For instance, every defender has a signature move like ankle hold or body block; raiders must study that and make his game-plan to score points accordingly. Every team must also be ready with the contingency plans for all types of situations in case the original plan doesn’t work.
# Maintaining the Decorum: Kabaddi is a game where the ethics and honour of a player matter the most. The game of Kabaddi is a bit rough and tough, where players put their heart and soul to get the point on the mat. At times, some players do not accept that they have been touched in the quest to win. Every player must maintain the decorum on the mat, respect the game, and they should accept the final decisions sportingly for the integrity of the game.
# Teamwork: A united team that shares a great bond among them wins more often than not. Teamwork is the key to winning in any sport and any match in Kabaddi for that matter. I case if a raider doesn’t score points, he must know that his team and defence have his back. When it comes to defence, teamwork to catch the raider is crucial. Defenders have to work together to hold the fort on the mat and tackle the opposition’s raider. A team that works together score points faster and achieves bigger goals.