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The difference between Standard Style Kabaddi and Circle Style Kabaddi

Vidhi Shah
19.30K   //    04 Nov 2016, 17:57 IST
Circle Style
The Circle Style format varies from the traditional Standard Style

The Kabaddi extravaganza did come to a minor halt when India won their third consecutive title at the Standard Style Kabaddi World Cup last month under the aegis of captain Anup Kumar. However, the sport is back in action for its fans with the 6th edition of the Circle Style World Cup Kabaddi being inaugurated on Thursday in Punjab. 

Also read: Indian squad for Circle Style World Cup Kabaddi announced

Although they are different formats of the same game, there are several similarities and yet key notable differences in the two styles of play. The prime aspects of distinction are as follows:

Organizers and Governing Bodies

Standard Style: This form of Kabaddi is governed at the global stage by the International Kabaddi Federation headed by Mr. Janardan Singh Gehlot and in the nation by the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India both of which played the most pivotal role in organizing the World Cup.

Also, this is the format which comes into play at the Pro Kabaddi League, Asian Games, South Asian Games, Asian Indoor Games and the Asian Beach Games.

Circle Style: Often called the Punjab Circle Style of kabaddi, this format is governed by the Amateur Circle Kabaddi Federation of India. The World Cup Kabaddi is, however, organised each year by the Government of Punjab. The format is followed at the major international tournament, the World Kabaddi League. 

Past History of World Cup and Participating Teams

Standard Style: So far, there have been 3 editions of the World Cup, all of which have been held in India with the hosts emerging as champions each and every time. At the 2016 World Cup at Ahmedabad, 11 nations apart from India gunned for glory including the likes of USA, UK, Japan, Korea, Bangladesh, Iran, Thailand, Kenya, Australia, Argentina and Poland. 

Circle Style: The World Cup has been held annually since 2009 with the exception of last year, and hosts India have claimed the title in each of the five previous editions, since its inception. At the 6th BR Ambedkar World Cup Kabaddi, 11 teams will be vying for the crown in the men’s section which includes India, England, USA, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Iran, Sweden, Tanzania, Kenya and Sierra Leone while 8 teams shall compete in the women’s category; India, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, USA, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Mexico and Tanzania. 

Field of Play

Standard Style: IKF approved kabaddi mats measuring 13 meters x 10 meters form the playing court. There is the MID-LINE that divides the court into two equal halves for the two competing teams. BAULK LINE means each of the lines in court parallel to the mid line at a distance of 3.75 meters which the raider has to cross in order to legitimize a raid. 


The LOBBY area are strips on both sides of the court. During a raid, if the raider or defender enters the lobby without any contact between the raider and the defenders, then those players will be removed from the field of play. 

BONUS LINE means the line between the baulk line and end line, it gives the raider a chance to claim a bonus point by crossing the line in a particular manner when there are 6 or more defenders on court. 

Circle Style: The playing field is a circle with a radius of 22 meters. It is divided into two halves by a MID-LINE, thus establishing two sides of the court for the rival teams. There are NO lobbies or bonus lines in circle style kabaddi. 

PALA is considered to be a gate in the center of the playing field. The Pala is demarcated by lines drawn/ marked from the center point of the midline 3 meters on each side and the raider will reach his home court safely only through the Pala/gate.

The BAULK LINE or the essential limit is a line drawn from the Pala post with a radius of 6 metres on each side of the midline. 

Number of Players and Substitutes

Standard Style: All the players should be below 80 kgs in terms of body weight in order to be eligible for the squad, and 7 players take to the mat as the starting team with a host of  five substitutes on the bench, who come into action as and when required according to the situation of the match. 

Circle Style: There is no weight limit in order to compete in this format of the sport. Eight players form the starting squad with 5 rolling substitutions allowed to take place during the course of the match. 

Scoring System

Standard Style: The teams can either bank on raid points or tackle points to increase their points tally: 

Raid Point (Bonus): With 6 or more defenders on court, if the raider crosses the bonus line with the trailing foot in the air, he will be awarded a bonus point. 

Raid Point (Touch): When a raider initiates a touch on one or more defenders and returns to the mid line, he gets touch points equivalent to the number of defenders he has touched. Also, the defenders who have been touched are forced out of playing action while an equivalent number of players come onto the playing field for the raiders’ team.

Tackle Point: If the raider initiates a touch, but is stopped in his tracks by the rival defenders and is unable to cross the mid-line, the defense is awarded a tackle point. 

All Out: When all the players of a team are forced out of play, an All Out is said to be inflicted and the opposition is awarded two extra points for the same. The play then resumes with the entire team of 7 players taking to the mat again. 

Circle Style: The out and revival rule is not applicable in the Circle Style, which is a major difference between the two formats. Also, the defenders are known as anti in this form of the sport. In order to score points, the rules are as follows: 

Touch Point: No one raider can go in for two consecutive raids, and the raider can touch only one anti on his turn. If the raider touches more than one anti, a point will be awarded against him.

Tackle Point: Similarly, only one anti can try to catch/ tackle the raider in order to stop him. If more than one anti tries to stop or catch the raider, the raider will be declared safe and a point will be awarded against the anti. 

Self Out: If any player goes out or is pushed out of boundary or midline during the course of play, a point will be awarded against him and the raid will be declared as over. 

During the struggle, if any player crosses the boundary or midline first a point will be awarded against him. However, if the raider crosses the midline through the Pala, he will be awarded a point. 

Notable Similarities

Each match lasts for a duration of 40 minutes, with two halves of 20 minutes each. The trade mark rule remains the same across both the formats that the maximum duration of each raid is 30 seconds and during the raid, the raider has to keep chanting "Kabaddi Kabaddi", known as the Cant, failing which a point will be awarded to the opposition.