Kabbadi is the ‘Real Sport’ of South Asia.
We can all boast about watching Rugby and Rugby League but how many of us actually understand the game?
Kabbadi is big and growing at the grass root level in New Zealand.
It is an exhilarating sport, whether you are watching or playing Kabbadi.
It has fast action, is competitive and utterly unpredictable.
Kabbadi, a game once played by Punjabi farmers after the harvest to show who was the fittest, is not for those with weak hearts.
Players wear no shoes or any other protective gear, just shorts.
There would be lot of grabbing, tackling, crouching and twisting. It is a big spectator sport.
It is a game of two, 20-minute halves or set number of raids.
Each team consists of five or six stoppers and four to five raiders. At any given time, only four stoppers and one opposing raider are allowed to come into action on the field.
The object of the game is for a raider to attack the opposing semi-circle of stoppers, touch any one of the stoppers and make it back to his starting point without being caught.
The raider would have 30 seconds to complete his raid.
A successful raid will result in one point for the raider’s team.
On the other hand, every time a stopper prevents the raider from going back to his starting point, the stoppers’ team gets one point.
The first point of every match is worth 1.5 points so a match can never be a tie.
The team with the most points wins.
In New Zealand, we are still ‘new children on the block,’ compared to established Kabbadi Leagues around the world.
Apart from India, the two other major Kabbadi players are Canada and England.
There are eight established Kabbadi Clubs all over the North Island and when summer hits, it is show time!
The Takanini Gurdwara recently hosted its annual inauguration tournament and there was some real talent in action.
It was a beautiful, Sunny Day and sunscreens were on and many were wearing shades and hats to keep them cooler.
Apart from local players, two teams from India and Australia were hosted in the local Gurudwara grounds in New Zealand’s largest Kabbadi Tournament.
Show match between the visiting Indian team and Australia before the final Local
League match proved to be a real crowd-pleaser.
The Tournament witnessed a large number of fast-paced raids from some of the best players on this planet, having the spectators jump from their seats with joy and excitement.
Players were showered with money for putting a real show of strength and talent. Australians put up a strong opposition to the visiting Indians but could not keep up to the latter’s level of fitness and skills.
Thereafter, the Local League finale between Sikh Sports Club Tauranga and Kalgidhar Sports club (Takanini) had everyone cheering. It was a very close, fast-paced game with action and excitement.
Several stops were made and raiders brought back some heavily contested raids for their teams. Tauranga took out the grand prize with a very close margin at the end.
The New Zealand Kabbadi Federation ensured that all the games were played with international rules and regulations.
It was a well-organised tournament. Around $35,000 worth of cash prizes were distributed to various games included Kabbadi, Soccer, Volleyball, and Children’s Kabbadi.
The Sports events were organised by Daljit Singh, Rajinder Singh Jindi, Manpreet Singh, Ranvir Singh Lali, Tarsem Singh Dherowal & Kabbadi Federation President Varender Singh Breli.
Makhan Ali, one of the best Kabbadi commentators in the world was invited from India to host the game.
Navtej Randhawa is a prominent member of the Sikh Community, representing the young generation.
Kabbadi New Zealand 2011
New Zealand: Seven Teams of 10 players each.
One Team each from Hastings, Waikato, Tauranga, Te Puke
three teams from Auckland
India: Two Teams of 15 players each
Australia: One Team of 11 players
India vs Australia: India declared Winner
Local Teams: Tauranga Sports Club declared Winner
Winner: Massey United; Runner-Up: Auckland Lions Sports Club
Volley Ball 2011
Winners: Pukekohe Spikers;
Runner-Up: Shri Kalgidhar Sports Club
Beginning on April 10, 2011