Kabaddi Adda

Raider tricking defender into the lobby: A Kabaddi Rule that just has to go

Our Very own Bharat Ka Khel, has very simple rules to understand- In General, but a combination of rules leads to a very peculiar situation that , when invoked often heavily penalises one team!
Its high time this rule is reviewed.

The damaging impact of the rule we felt was captured to its fullest when we published this out 3 weeks ago. But this last week has been insane. 
Started off the week with Puneri AGAIN falling prey to the "Raider unlawful lobby entry rule" in the 52nd raid in their match against haryana steelers, when Rohit Gulia very cleverly used the rule to its best and got both the cover defenders of Puneri Paltan in one go. While this might have had limited implication on the result of the game, the big moment came in the next couple of days.

The Big game between the defending champions and the Champions from the season just before.  Warriors are down to their last man, Nabibaksh and trailing by 6 points. Nabibaksh goes into raid and runs towards the right corner, doesn't get a touch steps into the lobby and gets a defender on him. Now what does he do, keeps struggling till the entire bulls defence comes together to stop him. You would call it a successful tackle and all out, giving the bulls a 9 point lead.

Instead Nabi has other ideas calling for a review saying he never touched a defender, so all those involved in the tackle have stepped into the lobby when it wasn't active, so all 7 defenders of the Bulls have to be out. 

So from being 9 points up the Bulls fall behind by one point. They don't recover and finally lose the game by one point. 

Should this rule go? Suhail & Me have a chat on this in our weekly show. Including the excerpt at the end. 

This got repeated in just the next match, where vijay almost pulled a rabbit out of the hat in raid 53 for Dabang Delhi from under the nose of Haryana steelers in the immediate next game. 

Will "THIS RULE" be the defining event of this season? 


ORIGINAL PIECE was PUBLISHED on DECEMBER 30, 2021 (below here)

Imagine this, 

you are a young Puneri Paltan defence of 

  • Abinesh - debut PKL game
  • Sanket - 7th PKL game
  • Sombir - only his 2nd game for Puneri as their first choice right corner

you have been demolished in your first game of the season just 2 days ago

your captain is injured, your lead raider is out of form and had to be subbed out

but you have reached the 33rd raid of the game and are leading a Telugu titans team by 2 points but with Sid Desai going at you - who has already picked up 4 points in 6 raids

Now imagine this defence has just combined to tackle Siddharth (even though he slipped a bit)


BUT - a few seconds later all your four defenders are given out because the raider had already sneaked a small part of his hand into the lobby before the tackle happened.


This is what happened in the 34th raid of the game , and instead of being ahead by 3 points, Pune fell behind by 3 points. 

This ended up rattling Pune so much that in the immediate next raid (36th raid) they ended up giving away another 3 point raid. Luckily it was half time, coach Anup re-grouped his wards and sent them out with renewed vigour and luckily for them, this one moment did not end up defining the game. 

Sadly for Puneri Paltan this, happened to them again, in their very next game this happened again to Pune in the 37th raid of their game against Patna Pirates. Close game pune was leading 12-11 before the raid, but Monu Goyat very cleverly - during a do or die raid - steps into the lobby and while he goes out, takes three defenders with him. This game turned on its head after this moment and the Paltans looked a deflated unit with the inevitable all out that followed, and went on to get demolished. Your heart must go out to this young team, who have been defeated by the vagaries of sport!

A very similar event happened in the match between Dabang Delhi and Haryana Steelers during PKL 2019. With just 11 minutes left in the game, and the Steelers mounting a comeback, Chandran Ranjith sneaked out 4 defenders in this game

This time it was very obvious that Chandran Ranjit intentionally stepped into the lobby, very slyly (referee didn't catch it, players didn't catch it), during a do or die raid, and then enticed 4 defenders to block him. So although he was out Harayna steelers lost 4 defenders. This moment completely deflated them and they went on, to get demolished over the game. 

The RULES that matter: 

  1. If a player steps out of the FOP (field of play) then he is declared out
  2. When there is contact between raider and defender the FOP expands to also include the lobby

So what happened in both these situations

Raider was struggling to get a point, so he faked an effort, slyly got a part of his body into the lobby. So raider is out, now any contact between raider and defender does not activate the lobby.

So even if a defender dashes the raider off the mat, the defender will be declared out because he stepped out of the FOP

If the referee spots that a raider has stepped out of of the FOP the raid is stopped, but this lack of observation by the referee causing so much match changing impact definitely deserves a re-look. Kabaddi should have conversations on the spirit of the game, but also on the rules leading to this absurd decision delivery.

Does these series of decisions make any sense?

At the end of the day kabaddi is so beautiful because its all about skill and finesse, do we want it to devolve to a game where every team starts doing whats "within" the rules of the game.

Of course, the decision in both cases is as per the rule book. But is it within the spirit of the game?