Kabbadi is one of the ancient games of India with evidence of its existence going back as far as 4000 years. There are two teams on a dodge ball size court that is divided in half. One player from one side walks up to the half waypoint and before crossing the line takes a deep breath, and starts chanting "kabbadi kabbadi kabbadi" over and over again. The player has to touch a member of the opposing team, the whole while chanting "kabbadi kabbadi kabbadi", and then dart back over the line, any part of the body is enough, before they run out of breath. The defense tries to draw the raider in as close as possible and then everybody pounces on them. There are many variations. I've always played that the defensive side must all be touching each other until the raider makes first contact. Then we all jump on the one person. This is not official. The first person that is touched is out. It is a full contact sport and gets pretty violent. I have yet to play a game of kabbadi without a torn shirt and/or blood. But it’s fun. It’s rugby type violence.

There are official rules but they are not needed unless you’re thinking about turning pro. Here they are:

The objective is to get the most points as possible in two 20 minutes halves. Both teams have twelve players, seven on the court and five in reserve. The kabbadi court is 12.50m x 10m.. Whoever is touched by the raider is out if the raider crosses back to their half of the court in one breath. If you stop the person from getting back to the other side the a point for your team. Every time a raider tags someone and gets back that is a point for their team. Two points are awarded if all the remaining members of the team are tagged, that is called a lona. Only the stopper that has been touched may attempt to stop the raider. If another stopper tries to stop the raider a point is awarded to raiders team. Going out of bounds is the same as losing your breath. There is one ref, two umpires, two linesmen, a timekeeper and a scorer.

We also played another game called Goongi Kabaddi. Were there is no court and just a line. You cross the line, chanting "kabbadi" and try and touch the other person who tries to tackle you. Not the most complex of games but a fun beach game for sure.

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