Friday, June 21

Why do kabaddi players rub their hands with soil?

If you've been wondering "Why do kabaddi players rub their hands with soil?", keep reading because we've got all the answers

Kabaddi is a popular sport in India and other South Asian countries that has been played for centuries. One unique tradition that is often seen in Kabaddi matches is the practice of soil-rubbing. This tradition involves players rubbing soil on their bodies before a match, and it is believed to have several benefits for the players. If you’ve been wondering “Why do kabaddi players rub their hands with soil?”, keep reading because we’ve got all the answers

What is Kabaddi?

Before we delve into the tradition of soil-rubbing, let’s first understand what Kabaddi is. Kabaddi is a contact sport that originated in ancient India and is now played in various forms in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The game is played between two teams of seven players each, with the objective being to score points by tagging or touching opposing players and returning to one’s own half of the court without being tackled.

Kabaddi matches are fast-paced and intense, requiring players to have a combination of strength, agility, and endurance. The sport is known for its physicality and demands a high level of fitness from its participants.

The Tradition of Soil-Rubbing

One of the most distinctive traditions associated with Kabaddi is the practice of soil-rubbing. Before the start of a match, players can be seen picking up a handful of soil and rubbing it on their bodies, often on their arms, legs, and face. This ritual is believed to have multiple benefits for the players, both physical and psychological.

Physical Benefits

One of the primary reasons why Kabaddi players rub soil on their bodies is for its abrasive properties. Soil acts as a natural exfoliant, helping to remove dead skin cells and dirt from the players’ skin. This can be particularly useful for players who sweat profusely during matches, as it helps to keep their skin clean and free from bacteria that can cause infections.

In addition, the abrasive nature of the soil can also help to improve blood circulation in the players’ bodies. By rubbing soil on their skin, players stimulate the blood vessels near the surface of their skin, which can help to increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to their muscles. This can enhance their overall performance on the field and reduce the risk of cramps or muscle fatigue.

Psychological Benefits

In addition to the physical benefits, soil-rubbing also has psychological benefits for Kabaddi players. The act of rubbing soil on their bodies is believed to help players ground themselves and connect with the earth before a match. This can help to calm their nerves and focus their minds, allowing them to enter the game with a clear and centered mindset.

Furthermore, soil-rubbing is also thought to be a form of purification for the players. In many cultures, soil is seen as a symbol of fertility and renewal, and by rubbing it on their bodies, players can cleanse themselves of negative energy and impurities. This can help them feel more energized and spiritually prepared for the challenges ahead.

Cultural Significance

The tradition of soil-rubbing in Kabaddi is not just a practical or psychological ritual; it also has deep cultural significance. In many South Asian cultures, soil is considered sacred and is seen as a source of life and vitality. By rubbing soil on their bodies, Kabaddi players are paying homage to their roots and connecting with the land that sustains them.

In addition, soil-rubbing is also a way for Kabaddi players to honor the traditions of the sport and the generations of players who have come before them. By participating in this ritual, players are reaffirming their commitment to the game and showing respect for its history and heritage.


The tradition of soil-rubbing in Kabaddi is a unique and meaningful practice that has endured for generations. By rubbing soil on their bodies before a match, players are not only taking care of their physical and mental well-being but also connecting with the cultural and spiritual roots of the sport. This tradition serves as a reminder of the deep connection between humans and the earth, and the importance of honoring and respecting the land that sustains us.

As Kabaddi continues to grow in popularity around the world, the tradition of soil-rubbing will likely remain a cherished and integral part of the sport. It is a ritual that not only enhances the performance of the players but also serves as a symbol of unity, tradition, and respect. So the next time you watch a Kabaddi match and see players rubbing soil on their bodies, remember the rich history and significance behind this ancient tradition.

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