Know the game - Kabaddi
Kabaddi: What you need to know
So as you will all be aware, today is the start of the Pro Kabbadi League 2017.
You weren't aware? Well let us give a brief introduction to the game that graced Channel 4 back in the mid 90's and kept many a student glued to a TV set for an hour once a week.
The long and short of it is that 2 teams of 7 occupy half a field (10x13 m for men, 8x12m for women). Each team takes it in turn to send a 'raider' into the oppositions half. The raider's job is touch one of the opposition and make it back to his half without getting tackled. If he/she gets tackled and held, they defending team gets the points and teh raider is eliminated.
Seems easy? The caveat is that the raider has to hold his/her breath for the entire duration of their attack! Hence why the raiders chant "kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi" to prove to the referee that they haven't taken a breath. The raider must tag an opponent and return to his/her half without inhaling in order to get the points.
They play for 20 minute halves with a 5 minute break and a change of ends.
The Vivo Pro Kabaddi league is based in India and has 12 franchise teams competing from July until October for the title. Last seasons men's Champions were the Patna Pirates whilst the Storm Queens won the women's final!
You can watch the action on Sky Sports in the UK and Fox Sports in the US. To find out more about Kabaddi, take a look at these links.