India has been the number one team in the world dominating just about every international Kabaddi tournament and has won all the World Kabaddi Cups so far. Due to the growing popularity of the sport, the World Kabaddi League (WKL) was formed and is officially the first worldwide circle style Kabaddi league in the history of the game. The WKL was founded in 2014 and has teams participating from India, Pakistan, Canada, USA and the United Kingdom.
World Kabaddi League Fixtures & Format
The WKL features a total of 8 teams that will compete against each other in 4 countries and play in 14 cities across the world. There are a total of 144 international kabaddi players who have been signed by these 8 teams and a combined total of 15 crore rupees has been paid WKL players and coaches.
PTC Punjabi has bagged the rights to telecast the WKL across the globe while Sony Six has secured the rights to broadcast the WKL in India.
The WKL takes place during a four month season where teams play each other in round robin matches (round robin is also a betting type used in various sports like cricket, as mentioned in our cricket betting strategy guide).
The top four teams will then compete in an elimination event that is held in Mohali, Punjab, India. The team that ends up winning the final will be crowned as the WKL champions.
How to play Kabaddi
Kabaddi is played in two twenty minute halves with just a five minute halftime break for players to refresh themselves and change sides on the court.
Each team is made up of seven players and the game begins when one team sends a player who is also known as a raider to try and get across the other team’s line and tag a member of the opposition.
The raider has only 30 seconds to do so and must be careful not to be trapped by his opponents when trying to tag a member of the opposition. The team that secures the highest points during the 40 minute game is the winner.
The WKL started in the month of August during the 2014 season and in February during the 2016 season.
The WKL was played in more than 10 different stadiums during the 2014 edition and some of the arenas used to by the WKL include the Abbotsford Arena, FirstOntario Centre, Nassau Coliseum, SMG Stockton Arena, Sleep Train Arena, LG Arena Birmingham, The O2 Arena in London, GNDU Hockey Stadium, International Hockey Stadium Mohali, Hockey Ground, Punjab Agricultural University, Bhatinda Hockey Stadium and the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
The league follows a format of playing a minimum of two matches each day during the group stage.
The WKL decided to cut down on expenses during the 2016 edition of the tournament and scaled down the tournament to just 45 days and will host matches only in Punjab.
The World Kabbadi League of 2014 was played between the Khalsa Warriors and United Singhs:
WKL Kabaddi Teams
The eight Kabaddi teams that feature in the WKL include:
- Vancouver Lions (Canada) – owned by Gurjit Singh Purewal
- Yo Yo Tigers (Canada) – owned by Honey Singh
- Khalsa Warriors (UK) – owned by Akshay Kumar
- Punjab Thunder (Canada) – owned by Thind Properties and Rajat Bedi
- Royal Kings (USA) – owned by Thiara Company
- California Eagles (USA) – owned by the Tut Group
- Lahore Lions (Pakistan) owned by the Government of Punjab
- Pakistan and the United Singhs (UK) – owned by Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha
Some of the most popular players in the league include Sujeet Singh (Royal Kings); Avtar Singh (Speedy Singhs); Talwinder Singh (Punjab Thunders); Loveroop Singh (Vancouver Lions); Sukhvir Singh (United Singhs); Satish Kumar (California Eagles); Rupinder Singh (Yo Yo Tigers) and Baldev (Haryana Focus).
History of Kabaddi
Kabaddi is a contact sport that originated in India and for many years was only popular in the Asian sub-continent. The sport has grown in popularity over the years and is played in a number of countries incorporating a number of Indian Kabaddi styles such as Punjabi, Sanjeevani, Amar and Gaminee.
While the sport continues to be recognized as Kabaddi across the world, it goes by different names in countries like Bangladesh where it is called hadudu and is considered to be the national game of the country, despite cricket being so popular in Bangladesh as well. In the Maldives, the game is known as baibalaa.
- Enlisting Bollywood actors and actresses to promote the league
- Pakistan participating in a league that has significant Indian ownership
- Growing popularity of the sport across the world
 wikipedia.com, WKL, 2016
 livekabaddi.com, Kabbadi Live Season Matches, 2016