World Kabaddi Day Date in the current year: March 24, 2022

World Kabaddi Day World Kabaddi Day celebrates one of the most popular traditional sports in the Indian subcontinent. It is observed on March 24 every year to commemorate the foundation of World Kabaddi, an international organization that aims to promote kabaddi across the world.

Kabaddi is a contact team sport that somewhat resembles the game of tag. It is played between two teams consisting of seven players each (plus each team can have up five supplementary players that are held in reserve).

In the standard version of kabaddi that is played internationally, the teams occupy opposite halves of a court. One of the teams sends the “raider” to the opposing team’s half; the raider attempts to tag or tackle as many of the defending team’s players as possible, while they try to stop (tackle) the raider. The trick is that the raider must continuously chant the word “kabaddi” because the raid is supposed to be done on a single breath. When the raid is over, the defending team becomes the raiding team.

Kabaddi is believed to have originated during the Vedic age (c. 1500 – c. 500 BCE), which means that the sport is thousands of years old. According to an abhang (a form of Hindu poetry) written by the renowned Marathi poet Tukaran, Krishna played kabaddi in his youth. The Sanskrit epic Mahabharata recounts the story of Arjuna sneaking into the enemy’s camp and taking enemies out one by one – a strategy not unlike kabaddi. Some sources even claim that Gautama Buddha played kabaddi recreationally.

Despite the long history of the game and its immense popularity in the Indian subcontinent, kabaddi became a competitive sport only in the early 20th century. The first organized competitions were held in the 1920s. In 1938, kabaddi was introduced to the program of the Indian Olympic Games (the predecessor of the National Games of India).

Kabaddi went international in 1951, when it was played as a demonstration sport at the First Asian Games in New Delhi. However, it took almost four more decades to officially add kabaddi to the program of the Asian Games.

Kabaddi is still most popular in the Indian subcontinent, namely in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh; it was even declared the national sport of Bangladesh in 1972. However, there are kabaddi enthusiasts in other countries as well. For example, the Kabaddi World Cup has welcomed teams from Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Canada, England, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Poland, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkmenistan, and the United States.

Other international kabaddi competitions include the Asia Kabaddi Cup, the European Kabaddi Championship, and the Junior World Kabaddi Championship. The first professional league, the Pro Kabaddi League, was established in 2014.

World Kabaddi was formed on March 24, 2018 to promote the sport on all inhabited continents across the world. It unites national kabbadi associations from over fifty states. The organization is registered in the UK and headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

World Kabaddi Day commemorates World Kabaddi’s foundation anniversary. It is marked by competitions, demonstrations, exhibition matches, and other events designed to promote kabaddi.

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International Observances

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World Kabaddi Day, kabaddi, international observances, team sport, traditional sport, World Kabaddi