Pro Kabaddi League is on Sky Sports
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 25/06/16 4:04pm
Kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi… This is a game for the bold, the brave and the courageous. This is India's game. And it's on Sky Sports on Saturday night, SS5 from 11pm.
Watch the promo (above, translation below) to get a flavour of the kabaddi excitement ahead of Sky Sports' exclusive highlights of the third edition of the Pro Kabaddi League.
Season One champions were the Jaipur Pink Panthers - co-owned by Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan who also has a stake in reigning Indian Super League football champions Chennaiyin FC - while last year's winners were the Mumbai-based U Mamba franchise.
Some of you may be familiar with kabaddi - think Trans World Sport on Saturday mornings in the early 1990s - but for those of you that are not, here is a brief guide to the game, which turned professional in 2014.
Pro Kabaddi Rules
Known as the 'game of the masses', kabaddi is a seven-a-side sport which has its origins in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Pro Kabaddi is played on a rectangular court measuring 13m x 10m, and each match consists of two 20-minute halves with a five-minute interval at half-time.
Each side alternates between attack and defence, with the basic idea being to tag as many opponents as possible while on offense, before returning to cross the halfway line unhindered.
When a side is on offense - more commonly referred to as a Raid - the player who ventures into an opponent's half must tag opponents and return to his half while chanting audibly and without taking a breath.
Raiders are rewarded with a point for each player they tag, providing they can successfully return to their half without losing their breath.
Players that are tagged are out of the game if the Raider makes it back to his own half and can only return once their team has scored points. But they remain in the game if they are tagged, and the Raider is prevented from getting back to his own court.
If the defending team captures a Raider, they win a point and if they can do so with three defenders or less, a bonus point is awarded.
Once a Raider has returned to his own court, the other side has five seconds to commence their Raid.
If a team has three unsuccessful Raids, the Raider who goes third is declared out and the opposing side wins a point. If all opposing players are eliminated by one team, they receive two additional points for an All-Out.
If the scores are level at full-time, two additional three-minute periods are played with the match settled by a Golden Raid if the scores remain tied.
Each squad is comprised of a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 12 players, of which two must be from overseas. Each match features a 90-second time out and teams are permitted to use up to five subs.
Five points are awarded for a win, while losers earn a point in defeat unless the margin is greater than seven points in which case the losing team receives no points.
At the end of the season, the top four teams in the league enter the semi-final stage with the two victorious sides meeting in the final to battle it out for the Pro Kabaddi title.
Watch Pro Kabaddi highlights on Sky Sports 5, Saturday 11pm.
PROMO VIDEO TRANSLATION
'This is India's game. This is a game for happy-go-lucky people. This is a game for the bold, the brave and the courageous. This is India's game.
'Make some noise. Ladies and Gentleman we are back for Season 3 of Pro Kabaddi and tonight and for the next 35 days we have three hours of blockbuster action featuring kabaddi's superheroes - our action stars.
'There are seven defenders in the ring with only raider attacking. It's a blockbuster suspense-filled 40-minutes of play.
'Get ready for the thrill. You have to be cunning and intelligent like a chess player and you need to have leopard-like speed.
'Every match, every raid, every time.
'Everyone is urging you forward because losing is not an option my friend/friends.
'For the next 35 days, India will be captivated by the kabaddi so get involved.'