The lobby in kabaddi is a 1 meter wide strip of mat that runs along the inside of each longer boundary. It is marked with a different color than the rest of the mat, usually yellow. The lobby is out of bounds for both raiders and defenders until a struggle (contact) is initiated.
The lobby rule was introduced in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) in 2014 to make the game more exciting and unpredictable. It allows raiders to score points by stepping into the lobby and touching the baulk line, even if they are not able to touch any defenders.
The lobby rule can be used by raiders in a number of ways. For example, a raider can use it to escape from a group of defenders or to score a quick point if the defenders are not paying attention. However, the lobby rule can also be used by defenders to their advantage. For example, a defender can follow a raider into the lobby and try to tackle them before they can reach the baulk line.
Old Lobby Rule in Kabaddi
The lobby rule is one of the most controversial rules in kabaddi. It was introduced in the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) in 2014 to make the game more exciting and unpredictable. The rule states that if a raider steps out of bounds into the lobby and a defender follows them without making a touch, both players are considered out.
The lobby rule has been praised by some for making the game more exciting and strategic. However, it has also been criticized by others for being unfair to defenders. This is especially true in cases where a raider deliberately steps into the lobby to take out multiple defenders.
One of the most famous examples of this happened in the 2019 PKL season, when Patna Pirates raider Monu Goyat took out five Bengaluru Bulls defenders in the lobby, including the entire cover defense. This incident led to calls for the lobby rule to be changed.
In 2023, the PKL decided to remove the lobby rule altogether. This was done in response to the criticism that the rule was unfair to defenders and made it too easy for raiders to score points.
Here is a more detailed analysis of the pros and cons of the lobby rule:
- Makes the game more exciting and unpredictable
- Forces defenders to be more strategic
- Gives raiders more opportunities to score points
- Can be unfair to defenders
- Makes it too easy for raiders to score points
- Can lead to strategic loopholes, such as raiders deliberately stepping into the lobby to take out multiple defenders
Overall, the lobby rule is a controversial one with both pros and cons. It is important to weigh the two sides carefully before deciding whether or not to support the rule.
My opinion on the lobby rule
I believe that the lobby rule was a good idea in theory, but it was not implemented well. The rule was too easy to exploit by raiders, and it often led to unfair results. I am glad that the PKL decided to remove the rule for the 2023 season.
I believe that the game of kabaddi is better off without the lobby rule. The game is still exciting and unpredictable without it, and it is more fair to both raiders and defenders.
Controversy regarding lobby rule in Asian Games 2022
During the 2022 Asian Games played in Hangzhou, there was a controversy caused by the lobby rule during the final between India and Iran.
The event took place in the final minutes of the game, when the match was tied at 28-28, and Pawan Sehrawat of India stepped into the lobby while raiding and claimed he had not touched any player. Now according to the old law, which is not adapted in the tournament, the players following Sehrawat into the lobby, should have been penalized.
Since there were at least 5 players who had followed the player they were supposed to be given out. And India should have had been granted a total of 4 points, while Iran should have gotten the solitary point. Eventually giving India a 3 point lead in the game.
However, a lack of proper refereeing and umpires in the match caused chaos. There was a huge debate about which rule should be adapted. According to the new rule, the player who stepped out in the lobby is out and the raid ends with it. Since one another player of Iran had stepped out, both teams were handed 1 point each.
Later, India protested the decision, as according to the old rule, defenders into the Lobby were supposed to be given out.
The Iranian team then sat on protest and the game was suspended indefinitely.
Later, when the game was resumed, the point were given in the favor of India, according to the old Lobby rule. Eventually helping the Indian Kabaddi team in winning the Gold Medal in the sport.