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Kabaddi — National Game of Bangladesh

Kabadi recog­nised as the national game of Bangladesh, kabadi is played by two teams of 12 play­ers each on a 12.50 metre by 10 metre rec­tan­gu­lar court in which a player, while hold­ing his breath, dashes into the oppo­nent team’s area, touches some player(s) and/​or wres­tles out to come back home safely with­out releas­ing his breath and thereby scores point for his team. The team con­sists of 12 play­ers but only seven play in the court and the rest stay out of court as extras. While intrud­ing into the oppo­nents’ area the player clearly and audi­bly repeats the word ‘kabadi’ with­out break and with­out releas­ing the breath.

The time for the match com­prises two halves of 20 min­utes each and 5 min­utes break in between. A team earns one point by throw­ing out each one player of the oppo­site side. Two extra points are added as bonus when all play­ers of the oppo­nent party are out. The team that earns the greater num­ber of points in the stip­u­lated time wins the game.

Kabadi is a very pop­u­lar game in Bangladesh, espe­cially in the vil­lages and, for that, it is also called the ‘game of rural Ben­gal’. In some areas kabadi is also known as ha-​du-​du. But despite its pop­u­lar­ity ha-​du-​du had no def­i­nite rules and it used to be played with dif­fer­ent rules in dif­fer­ent areas. Ha-​du-​du was given the name kabadi and the sta­tus of National Game in 1972.

Bangladesh Ama­teur Kabadi Fed­er­a­tion was formed in 1973. It framed rules and reg­u­la­tions for the game. Bangladesh first played kabadi test in 1974 with a vis­it­ing Indian team, which played test matches with the dis­trict teams of Dhaka, Tan­gail, Dina­jpur, Jes­sore, Farid­pur and Comilla. In 1978, the Asian Ama­teur Kabadi Fed­er­a­tion was formed at a con­fer­ence of del­e­gates from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pak­istan in the Indian town of Villai.