The rise of Kabaddi in India

By Real11 - Jan 24 2022 761 Views


How is kabaddi slowly but gradually gaining momentum in India

The rise of Kabaddi as a mainstream sport has been phenomenal. From an ancient sport to a global success- the journey of this team sport has been enriching.  Kabaddi  is undeniably popular – television is constantly broadcasting his game, newspapers cannot pass a day without talking about the game, and playgrounds are full of children enjoying grapple and the murk 

This is the same game that had its second World Series held in 2007 and no one noticed and now Kabaddi is all over the place! Who could have predicted that it would rise to the glory we see today? From a forgotten sport to an insanely popular sport, Kabaddi has undergone a tremendous transformation and the Indian Kabaddi League has played a key role in the game's renaissance.


Indian Kabaddi League

The 2003 and 2007 Kabaddi World Championships were barely broadcasted in India and not advertised. The international organizations at Kabaddi decided to repackage the sport and present it in a way that caters to prime-time audiences. With 8 teams, international players and of course prime time slots, the Indian Kabaddi League was ready to take the centre stage. But how can a lesser known sport attract such large audiences? That's a big gamble when you think about it.

The gamble eventually paid off in 2014 and we saw an impressive inaugural season and that was just the beginning. In the 2015 edition, the number of viewers increased by 56% compared to the first edition. In addition, Indian Kabaddi League earned excellent ratings and earnings, leaving the Indian Football League a mile away. Those were clear signs that a new powerhouse had arrived at the scene.  

The Premier Badminton League, which was established  in 2013, returned in 2016 and recorded a huge 75% increase but failed to match the revenue or fame of Indian Kabaddi League  in terms of attendance. Indian Kabaddi League increased cumulative growth by 51% to establish their impact as the second most popular sport in the country. With such stunning stats, one might wonder what makes it so special.


The Game

With 40 minutes of playtime, Kabaddi is one of those sports that can decide who wins or loses within an hour. Sports that have longer playing time get poor reviews for their inability to consistently create magical moments and drama. This is where Kabaddi gets a big advantage.

Plus, there's high-octane action, which is mainly due to the small playing field. Every minute of the game is a moment of potential ecstasy. The pace of the game is hard to keep up with and the thefts keep coming while the stats on the TV screen make you wonder what the next move is. Sometimes people have the misconception that kabadi only requires muscle strength and no mental fortitude. Well, ask a fan who jumped from his seat when his team managed to waste time on the attack. After all, they are all important!


The Teams

There is no weakness or strength in Kabaddi other than rhetoric. The Indian Kabaddi League  has 12 strong teams that each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but once the game starts, it's impossible to predict which team has the upper hand. This adds to the fear and drama that unfolds as the clock ticks down to 40 minutes.

Talking about any particular team, there is an interesting solution to it. Among the young players looking to make a name for themselves are internationals who have played at the highest level. Often an outside factor emerges, strangely prompting the viewer to form an emotional connection with the player, their team, or their dynamic. Knowing that this is an ancient sport that originated on the soil of this country, there is an additional attitude towards it which is manifested in the size of the audience.


Role of Online Fantasy Kabaddi Leagues

There are plenty of reasons behind the growing popularity of the ancient sport. One of the major reasons is the inception of online fantasy kabaddi leagues. The infusion of team sport and fantasy gaming sphere has been a massive hit. The opportunity to compete against the best in the game within the online space has been a massive hit. Real11 is one of the many fantasy sport platforms that allows users to play fantasy kabaddi. Come and be a part of India’s favourite fantasy sports destination.   

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