The Pro Kabaddi League has definitely changed the sport in more ways than one. But the most telling alterations were the subtle tweaks to the rules that made the game faster and appealing to the viewers.
Reducing the raid duration to 30 seconds, the addition of the bonus line, do-or-die raids, and super tackles helped the game to be more eventful, at the same time offering teams more chances to get back into the contest and maintain the balance of the game.
While most rules have made a positive impact on the game, few rules have left the fans scratching their heads.
One such rule is penalizing the defenders that follow the raider into the lobbies without a struggle or a touch.
Lobbies are the yellow strips on the sides of a Pro Kabaddi playing area that only come into play once a touch has been initiated. A player is deemed out of bounds if he steps into that area before a raider initiates the touch.
The lobbies are meant to give the raiders extra space to maneuver after making a touch while escaping back to the mid-line. However, teams have started using loopholes in the rule to their advantage. In difficult situations when raiders find it hard to score points, they have often drifted into the lobby without a touch when they see defense moving for a tackle.
It’s impossible for defenders to abort their tackle in a split-second and end up following the raider into the lobby without a touch. So effectively, defenders that enter the lobby in an honest attempt to make a successful tackle are deemed out of bounds along with the raider.
Hence, the raider without any endeavor to force touch on defenders ends up getting the defenders out, even if it means sacrificing himself in the process.
In most occasions, more than one defender steps out into the lobby in an attempt to make a tackle, making it a profitable outcome for the raider without really trying to score points.
This season, teams have used this loophole on a regular basis and those moments have proved to be pivotal in the outcomes of a number of matches forcing the technical committee to have a re-think.
“We want to change it [lobby rule] and we are experimenting with the outcomes if we alter that rule,” Pro Kabaddi’s technical director E Prasad Rao told reporters in Ahmedabad.
“We are looking at football and basketball. When the ball goes out, the play is dead. Similarly, when the raider goes out, the play should be dead,” he added.
Rao, however, said that they would need to have a closer look at how the change could impact the game in different scenarios to make sure there is no room for any more loopholes before pressing ahead with the change next season onwards.
“We have a panel of senior coaches where we propose changes. The experiment it and give us the feedback. Like all rule changes we will follow this procedure for this change as well,” he confirmed. Read More