Since its inception in 2014, Pro Kabaddi League has proven itself to be one of the best initiatives in the field of sports. Not only has it made kabaddi a well-known sport in the world but also revolutionized this very own indigenous sport. The league has seen nothing but tremendous growth over the seasons. Pro Kabaddi League will be the first professional indoor contact sports league in India to host games.
History of the league
Pro Kabaddi League was an initiative by the visionary Mashal Sports Pvt. Ltd. and Star Sports Pvt. Ltd. The introduction of such high-level games has made kabaddi an aspirational sport for both audience and players. Pro Kabaddi League has heralded a new era for the sport. Both Mashal and Start Sports have jointly worked in elevating this sport to a whole new level. They have met the international levels with new and exciting twists in rules and regulations and also how the game is viewed.
They have infused new life into this sport. It is a perfect blend of major metropolitan cities of India along with regions where kabaddi is yet to gain a foothold. Currently, the league has participation from almost every state of the country. It has attracted both national and international attention through its outreach over the past seasons.
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- Charu Sharma- An Indian commentator, compere and quiz master; Sharma is the director of the Pro Kabaddi League. Well known for his television presentation, he is one of the owners of Mashal Sports. He says, “the sport had immense popularity throughout India – from the street to the national level – was an eyeopener. I wondered why the game hadn’t been made more available to us.”
- Anand Mahindra- An Indian billionarre businessman, chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra, he is also the owner of Mashal sports. The face of Indian capitalsim, Mahindra has an extensive profile as an industrialist as well as is a member of NSDF. He says “I always felt it is important to encourage other sports (compared to cricket), especially those that bring communities together and promote active lifestyles to Indian youth.”
The format of Pro Kabaddi League
The Pro Kabaddi League takes place in a double round-robin and playoff format.
A round-robin tournament is also known as an all-play-all tournament. It is a competition in which every contestant meets all other contestants in turn. Similarly when the number of teams increases they are divided into two groups and the winner of each group faces one another in the finals. Both these methods have been followed in the league for over the years.
The playoff format progresses as follows
- The teams at third and fourth position compete against each other. The losing team is eliminated.
- First and second placed teams then compete against each other. The winner of this game directly qualifies for the finals.
- There is a match between the winner of the first game and losing team of the second game.
- The final match takes place between the winners.
An overview of all seasons
- Season one– This season took place from 26th July 2014 to 31st August 2014. In the inaugural season U Mumba and Jaipur pink panthers had a fierce final. Jaipur beat Mumbai by 35-24 to be crowned as the first champions of Pro Kabaddi League.
- Season two– This season aired on Star Sports from 18 July 2015 to 23 August 2015. U Mumba succesfuly beat Bengaluru Bulls to be crowned as champions in this season. There was a close, nail biting match that ended in a 36-30 on the scoreboard.
- Season three– The CEO of Star India, Sanjay Gupta announced that he wanted to make this league a 5-week affair happening 10-weeks a year. At the end, Patna Pirates won the title of champions devoid of the fact that one day they will rule this game.
- Season four– Running succesfully, this season aired from 25 June to 31 July 2016, with the existing eight team participating in the league. The Patna Pirates became the first team to win the title twice consecutively in this season.
- Season five– There was an increase in popularity of the Pro Kabaddi League over the seasons. As a result of this new teams from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, and Gujarat also joined the league. In the finals the defending champions Patna Pirates shocked everyone when they made history by being the three times champion by defeating Gujrat Fortune Giants by 55-38.
- Season six– The season was full of excitement and thrill. Zone B toppers, Bengaluru Bulls beat the Zone A toppers, Gujarat Fortune Giants by 38–33 in the finals.
- Season seven– This 2017 season was the seventh edition of this league. Bengal Warriors performed exceptionally to win the championship a margin of 39-34.
- The winning hatrick- Patna Pirates is undeniably the most succesfull team in the league. They have won three titles consecutively in seasons 3,4 and 5.
- The love story of Do-or-Die raids and Ajay Thakur– Thakur is a raider whose achievements could not be described in word. Nothing can stop him when it comes to do-or-die raids. In 80 matches, he has scored around 23.1% of his total raid points from do or die raids.
- Pardeep Narwal ‘the king’- Narwal is the most unpredictable player with superhuman powers. He is the ‘record breaker’ of Pro Kabaddi League he has continously made and broke records over the course of seven seasons. Few of them are: he became the first player to cross 1000 raid points in the Pro Kabaddi League history. In the same match, he completed his 52nd Super 10 in PKL. In season 5, the 8-pointer raid by him swept away the full team of Haryana Steelers in Eliminator 2. At the end of Season 6, he held the record for most points in a single raid (8), most points in a single season (369), and highest points in a single game (34).
- Most Super Tackles in a Season- Puneri Paltan holds the record have having the maximum number of tackles in a season. They had succesfully executed 34 Super Tackles in Season 6.
All the teams that are a part of this league.
|Team||When they Joined|
|Patna Pirates||2014, Inaugural season|
|Bengaluru Bulls||2014, Inaugural season|
|U Mumba||2014, Inaugural season|
|Puneri Paltan||2014, Inaugural season|
|UP Yoddha||2017, Season five|
|Telugu Titans||2014, Inaugural season|
|Jaipur Pink Panther||2014, Inaugural season|
|Tamil Thalaivas||2017, Season five|
|Dabang Delhi||2014, Inaugural season|
|Haryana Steelers||2017, Season five|
|Gujrat Fortune Giants||2017, Season five|
|Bengal Warriors||2014, Inaugural season|