By Emery R.

Kabbadi is a game that originated in an early Indian civilization. It is the national game of Bangladesh and the state game of Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, and is a part of the Asian Games. My class played this game before spring break to wrap up our unit on Southeast Asia. When I asked my Humanities teacher, Ms. Kate Michalak, why she chose this game for us to play, she told me that she wanted something way beyond the United States and because she wanted an authentically Asian game for us to play, that was safe, or could easily be made safer, what with the rules. 

Set Up: 

Two teams are on opposite sides of a field. Basketball court, swimming pool, an actual field, it doesn't matter. The members of each team hold hands. That is a crucial part of the game. You can use chalk to draw the lobby (a line), the bonus line, and boundaries.

The Raider: 

The two teams take turns sending a "raider" to the opposing half, to earn points by tackling members of the opposing team. You might want to substitute tackling with tagging so that nobody gets hurt. There is a line called the lobby that the raider cannot cross, unless they are tagging one of their opponents. If the lobby is crossed by the raider then they are out. After tackling/tagging a member of the opposing team, the raider tries to return to their home side. Tagged members of the opposing team are out and are sent off the field for the rest of the game. The raider can also earn an extra point if they touch a line fittingly named the "bonus line" and return to their home. The raider can be out if they cross a boundary line or if a part of their body touches outside of the boundary line (exceptions are taken if they are struggling with a member of the opposing team). 

The Defenders: 
The defenders during all of this, are trying to stop the raider by trying to tag them. They can use their linked bodies to trap the raider or bait them and then tag them, whichever strategy they want to use. A common strategy in my class was to snake around raiders and trap them so that they could be tagged. If any of the defenders cross the lobby, they will be declared out.

A team gets an extra two points (called an Iona) if the whole opposing team is out. In the end, the team with the most points is declared the winner.

Ms. Michalak said that it's funny how games popular in the U.S. have become popular world wide, but there are other games that are played throughout a whole continent and we don't even know they exist because we've grown up our whole lives playing basketball and tag, and not looked beyond our country for games to play. I very much agree with her because you see tons of people play basketball every day, but you never see them playing something like Kabaddi that originated outside of this country.

Being cognizant of others' cultures encourages good things like friendly relations with other countries and ethnic groups, and gives you a new piece of knowledge. Games like Kabaddi are one of the most enjoyable ways to learn about different places and peoples around the world.

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