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The National Sport of Bangladesh is Kabaddi.

Kabaddi in Bangladesh is exhilarating, combining both strength and agility while fostering a sense of camaraderie amongst players.

To learn more about sports culture in Bangladesh, read our article about the most popular sports in Bangladesh.


#1 History of Kabaddi

  • 1920s-1930s: Kabaddi is believed to have been popularized in modern Bangladesh during this time, with origins tracing back thousands of years in ancient Indian history.
  • 1950: Kabaddi was first included in the Bangladesh Education Board’s college and school program.
  • 1972: After Bangladesh’s independence, Kabaddi was declared the national sport.
  • 1974: Bangladesh played its first official Kabaddi tournament in India, competing against several other nations.
  • 1982: Kabaddi was included in that year’s Asian Games, exposing the thrilling sport to a larger audience.

#2 Culture and Traditions

Kabaddi holds a special place in Bangladesh’s cultural identity, with its emphasis on teamwork, agility, and physical strength resonating with the nation’s values. In rural areas, the sport remains an important pastime, often played during festivals or local gatherings.

Bangladesh’s thriving Kabaddi scene is nurtured through various tournaments and leagues across the country, fostering a sense of pride and unity in the sport. Numerous competitions organized at the college, school, and district levels spotlight the nation’s athletic talent and passion for the game.

In addition, the Bangladesh Kabaddi Federation (BKF) hosts multiple national and international events, highlighting the country’s commitment to sustaining and promoting Kabaddi both within its borders and on the world stage.

#3 How it Works: Rules, Gameplay and Equipment

πŸ“• Rules & Gameplay

  • Teams: Kabaddi is played with two teams consisting of seven players each on a 13 x 10-meter court.
  • Raid: A single player, known as the “raider,” enters the opposing team’s half to tag opponents while chanting “kabaddi” continuously.
  • Points: The raider earns points for tagging opponents, who are then out of the game. Defenders can also earn points by capturing the raider before they return to their own half.
  • Revivals: Tagged players can rejoin the game if their team’s raider successfully tags an opponent in a subsequent raid.
  • Match Duration: The game consists of two halves of 20 minutes each, with a 5-minute break in between.

βš™οΈ Equipment & Gear

  • Court: A standard Kabaddi court measuring 13 x 10 meters with clear lines dividing both halves.
  • Uniform: Players typically wear a simple uniform comprising a vest and shorts.
  • Surface: Kabaddi can be played on soft ground, grass, or mats to minimize injury risk during physical tackling.

#4 Modern Development of Kabaddi

In contemporary times, Kabaddi has evolved to attract a wider audience, with professional leagues such as India’s Pro Kabaddi League gaining significant popularity. This has led to increasing interest in the sport, with new talent emerging from Bangladesh and across the region.

Technological advancements have further refined the sport, with better facilities, equipment, and training methods available to athletes. The use of advanced analytics and strategies has raised the level of competition, bringing a heightened level of excitement to the game.

Lastly, the spread of Kabaddi’s popularity has fueled the growth of women’s participation in the sport, with competitive leagues and international tournaments giving female athletes a platform to showcase their talents and contribute to the sport’s ongoing development.

#5 Kabaddi and the Olympics

While Kabaddi has yet to become an official Olympic sport, it has been featured as a demonstration sport in the past. The 1936 Berlin Olympics showcased Kabaddi alongside other traditional sports, providing a worldwide platform for the game to gain recognition.

Efforts to include Kabaddi in future Olympic Games persist, with several countries, including Bangladesh, pushing for its inclusion. If successful, this would greatly enhance the sport’s global visibility and provide an opportunity for the world’s best athletes to compete on the grandest stage of all.

#6 Famous Athletes and Achievements

  1. Md. Arduzzaman Munshi: Considered one of the best Kabaddi players for Bangladesh, Munshi has represented the country in numerous international competitions, including the Asian Games and South Asian Games.
  2. Zahidul Islam: As an important figure in Bangladesh’s Kabaddi scene, Islam has often captained the national team and participated in multiple successful campaigns, earning medals in both the South Asian Games and Asian Games.
  3. Feroze Alam Kiron: Kiron is a seasoned Kabaddi player from Bangladesh who holds various national records. He has participated in several international events, representing the country with honor and contributing to its successes.
  4. Md. Jamaluddin Mohammed: Achieving success in both national and international competitions, Mohammed has become a prominent figure in Bangladesh’s Kabaddi landscape, inspiring future generations of athletes to pursue the sport.

#7 Where to watch Kabaddi

  • Broadcasting and Streaming: Major Kabaddi events are often televised on local sports channels and national broadcasters in Bangladesh, such as BTV and GTV. International competitions may also be available on streaming platforms such as YouTube or Facebook Live.
  • Notable Venues: For a thrilling live Kabaddi experience in Bangladesh, venues such as the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka and the Chittagong Stadium are ideal locations. Local clubs and regional competitions may also host events at a variety of smaller venues throughout the country.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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