GASB15 Jan 17, 2013
"India has no base for sports despite its enormous population. India does not have the
wherewithals. Sport in our country is khel-khood [just a bit of fun]. It goes against the
grain of our country, against our tradition, to play sports the way they do in the west. If a
child in our country returns from the playground he is not asked by his parents how he
fared, but slapped for missing his studies and wasting his time in khel-khood....In all
modern countries sport is accepted as a part of life. In our country the authorities do not
even know what playing facilities are available in our schools...Out of some 600,000
schools.... some 1.8% have playgrounds....In a country of 800 million people there are
only 11 gymnasiums. ... We are just not organised for sports....Though we are
producing coaches they just cannot get jobs because the whole thing is not properly
(Ashwini Kumar, representative of India on the International Olympic Committee for
many years, said in 1984)
As an art form:
Exercise is listed as one of the 64 arts in the Kama Sutra
Aesthetic nature of sport
The manipulation and presentation of sport by the media can be viewed as a sort
of art form
This is a sport that was not imported from another country. It is a sport that originated in
South Asia and may be around 4000 years old.
Kabaddi means ‘holding a breath’
This comes from the fact that the ‘raider’ must hold his breath during an entire
How it is played:
Two teams occupy opposite halves of a small ﬁeld.
The teams take turns sending a "raider" to the opposite team's half, where the
goal is to tag members of the opposite team before returning to the home half.
Tagged members are "out" and temporarily sent off the ﬁeld.
The goal of the defenders is to stop the raider from returning to the home side
before taking a breath.
Matches are categorized based on age and weight. GASB15 Jan 17, 2013
Six ofﬁcials supervise a match: one referee, two umpires, a scorer and two
In India, the game is seen as a villager’s/boy’s game
They don’t even realise that there is a national team for this sport
Interest has spread to other countries such as Italy, Canada, the United States
Canadian athletes nabbed in doping scandal at Kabaddi World Cup (Joe Friesen, the
Globe and Mail. Nov. 17, 2011)
Four members of the Canadian team suspended for doping
Australia and United States teams suspended for doping
Doping is a huge problem is this sport, due to sponsorship pressure and cash
o The World Cup prize is $500 000 to the winning team
This doping problem makes it difficult to the bring the sport to Olympic level
because they do not want to deal with the doping issues
1 in 5 athletes test positive for doping
Courting Kabaddi, politicians play a dangerous game (Joe Friesen, the Globe and Mail.
Dec. 1, 2011.)
Canada is trying to bring awareness to the sport
There are many Indian members of parliament that are pushing for the culture of
the sport to be acknowledge
o There have been several trips to other countries to watch games or to
present trophies etc.
It is a good sport for community gathering
Canada has a visa program for Kabaddi players to come to Canada to play with
Canadian teams for the summer
o These players can earn from $20 000 to $30 000
However, the government needs to push for the sport to become drug free
o Most of the Canadian team tested positive for doping at the World Cup
o The sport is not a national sport so it does not need to follow Canadian
Channel 4 UK did show Kabaddi matches during 1990s but were eventually
dropped due to lack of interest GASB15 Jan 17, 2013
Kabadasses was a TV pilot in the UK that was supposed to be about some
friends that wanted to make an all British Kabaddi team but didn’t know enough
about the sport so had to recruit other people.
This sport was imported along with the British colonialists. Despite popular belief, not
everyone in India took to the sport. It was originally only played by the Parsees and the
Princes of the country.
“The paradox is that cricket, the ultimate of team games expressing a philosophy that
goes beyond the game, has in India produced neither a philosophy