No gear or pants, just bare feet and hands

Kabaddi gets the grip of the community

Sri Kalgidhar Sahib, the Gurdwara in the South Auckland suburb of Takanini was a beehive of activities last fortnight as it marked its tenth anniversary.

More than 25,000 people including Prime Minister John Key, Labour Leader Andrew Little, Members of Parliament Phil Goff, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Dr Parmjeet Parmar, community and religious leaders and families visited the Gurdwara to participate in the festivities and listen to soul-searching Kirtans.

These are reported elsewhere in this Special Report.

Exciting Tournament

But what is a Sikh festival without Kabaddi?

True to their passion, thousands of Sikh men, women and children and those of other faiths witnessed the Kabaddi competition held on March 7 and 8, 2015.

There were eight teams including New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United States of America and India competition at the Tournament.

The Winner

The SGPC (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee) team from India, popularly known as ‘The Sardar Team’ was declared the Winner, followed by the second team from India as the First Runner-Up.

The teams from Canada and Australia jointly won the Second Runner-Up position.

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.

About the Game

The following article by Navtej Randhawa, a prominent member of the Sikh Community representing the young generation appeared in our April 1, 2011 issue.

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 this great game.

It has fast action, is competitive and utterly unpredictable.

Spectator Sport

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.

Raiders & Stoppers

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 Australia, Britain, Canada, and USA.

There are eight established Kabbadi Clubs all over the North Island and when summer hits, it is show time!

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