The Pro Kabaddi League is back, with Season 4 of the new, glitzy version of India’s ancient sport sometimes knows as “the game of struggle.” Match Day Three gets underway Monday in Mumbai, India, highlighted by the first-place Puneri Paltan taking on Patna Pirates, who will be playing their first match of the new season.
Season 4 is the second of 2016. Inspired by the success and marketing of the Indian Premier League cricket tournament, the Pro Kabaddi League organizers, including broadcast network Star Sports — owned by News Corp., the same company that owns Fox Sports in the U.S. — unveiled the inaugural PKL in 2014.
Pro Kabaddi League signs on 11 sponsors for season 4 https://t.co/uQmx3tM2RK
— Livemint (@livemint) June 26, 2016
The updated, high-glamor version of the sport which dates back to prehistoric India and Asia, found instant success with Indian TV viewers, leading the PKL to present both Seasons 3 and 4 in 2016.
All 60 Season 4 Pro Kabaddi league matches will be packed into an intense, 37-day span, with the season getting underway on Saturday, June 25, and running through July 31, when the championship final will be played at Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad, India.
Puneri Paltan are off to a spectacular and fast-paced start, seeing action on all three of the PKL’s first match days in the current season, with wins on both the first and second days of competition.
On Day One, Puneri overcame a slow start to edge past Telegu Titans 28-24 on the strength of a powerful second-half performance.
On Day Two, Paltan continued to roll, burying the mighty U Mumba, who finished top of the PKL table in Season 3 — though Mumba lost to Patna Pirates in the grand final — after winning the PKL 2015 championship.
Kapil Sharma and Virat Kohli kick start the Pro Kabaddi League season 4 – view HQ pics! https://t.co/DHfRV07oMb
— BollywoodLife (@bollywood_life) June 25, 2016
But Puneri, the third-place finisher in Season 3 earlier this year, manhandled U Mumba, rolling up a score of 41 to just 19 for their opponents.
To find out how to watch a live stream of Puneri Paltan vs. Patna Pirates on Match Day Three of the Pro Kabaddi Leage Season 4, see the bottom of this article. The match is scheduled to get underway at 9 p.m. India Standard Time at DOME@NSCI SVP Stadium in Mumbai, India, on Monday, June 27.
For kabaddi fans in the United States, that start time converts to 11:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 8:30 a.m. Pacific.
— India In News (@IndiaInNews) June 26, 2016
The day’s first match, Bengal Warriors vs Dabang Delhi, starts one hour earlier and will also stream live.
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Pro Kabaddi League 2015 Final Live Online: Bengaluru Bulls Vs. U Mumba,
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Pro Kabaddi League 2015 Live Online: Telugu Titans Vs. Dabang Delhi
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For viewers who have never seen a kabaddi match, the action can appear difficult to understand without some background information. Basically, the sport is a hybrid of wrestling and the children’s game of tag — but with a twist.
While traditional kabaddi can be played in any open space, the professional version played by the PKL uses a large wrestling mat as its playing surface.
The mat is divided into “territories.” Each team, consisting of seven players, sends a single player, known as a “raider,” into the opponent’s territory — where he must face all seven of the opposing defenders, known as “antis,” at once.
The raider scores points for his team by tagging as many of the defending players as he can and return safely to his own territory without the defenders wrestling him to the mat.
Seems simple — but again, there’s a twist. The raider must get in and out of opposing territory without drawing a single breath. He takes a deep breath before staging a raid, but to insure that he does not sneak a breath while on the raid, he must chant “kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi” over and over again until he has finished raiding his opponents’ territory.
There is also a clock, with each raid limited to 30 seconds.
[Featured Photo via Pro Kabaddi League Facebook]