From Mud to mat: The development of kabaddi Mat in the Kabaddi Game

In India, except for the national game Hockey, there are many other famous games that have won the hearts of millions of people. One such game is Kabaddi; it was mainly played in villages. But as the craze of kabaddi has grown among people with time it has become a national game and is slowly growing its popularity globally.

India has taken part in four Asian games in Kabaddi and has won the gold medal in all four. Kabaddi originated from India, so every Indian knows how important it is. No matter, Cricket is gaining popularity in the world; it has made us proud. Moreover, we can say that kabaddi is our cultural game as its origin is from the time of Mahabharata which adds more ethical value and importance to Indian life.

The Journey from Mud to kabaddi Mat:

Earlier Kabaddi was played in the mud, the shift to mat has made Kabaddi a more raider-friendly game, but it is not all gloom for the defenders.

In the monsoon of 1996, E.Prasad Rao, who is now a technical director of the International Kabaddi Federation. He was a gold medal-winning coach with India in the first Asian games, 1990, and the coach of the Srilanka national Kabaddi Team. But due to Torrential rains, the players couldn’t practice for the match. So Rao decided to train the players indoors in the taekwondo mat.

The ideas of playing kabaddi on the mat were established but as the mats were very soft, it hampers the mobility of the players. But after practicing kabaddi for a month-long on the mat, the surface felt perfect for kabaddi. So Rao started to develop the idea of playing sports on the mat other than the mud surface. So he thought of inventing the idea of playing kabaddi on the synthetic mats.

Making of kabaddi Mat:

In the year 2002, in the build-up of Busan Asian games, Kabaddi has been excluded from the event due to lack of space for hosting the event. Rao who has been working on making the desired mat for the Kabaddi game has taken this experimentation to the official level.

So, Rao connected with the South Korean Company, Daewoo to execute this plan. The taekwondo mat was developed by increasing the tensile strength from 40 to 60. But playing with bare feet on the mat has left the players skinned feet. It was the evident that player needed shoes to play kabaddi on the mat surface. So the wrestling shows were then used.

By including kabaddi mat in the game, it has become more glamorous. But players however love to play on both the surfaces. The shift of the Kabaddi game from mud to mat has made the game more exciting. It has also avoided any kind of injuries to the players.

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