OBJECTIVE: To determine the physical and physiological profile of kabaddi players and the physiological demands of playing a kabaddi match. METHODS: Maximum aerobic capacity (VO2max), maximum ventilation (VEmax), O2 pulse, respiratory equivalent (RE), maximum heart rate, and O2 debt were assessed on 16 players. The somatotype of the players was calculated by the Health and Carter method. Heart rate was monitored during a selection trial match on eight players who represented India in the Asian Games, 1994. From the playing heart rate, oxygen consumption (VO2) was computed through a heart rate v VO2 regression equation. Maximum lactate was evaluated from the blood samples collected at the end of the match. RESULTS: The average heart rate and oxygen consumption during the match were 146.5 (SD 9.25) beats min-1 and 2.25(0.59) litre min-1 respectively. During raiding the maximum heart rate attained varied from 162.4(11.3) to 177.4(4.2) beats min-1. Out of 40 min of match play a raider raided on average on 8.13(2.03) occasions. The average time per raid was 20.8(6.26) s. The match heart rate and oxygen consumption was 72.3-83.3% of the maximum heart rate, and 43.5-70.5% of VO2max respectively. Maximum lactate at the end of the match was 6.13(2.53) mmol litre-1. Kabaddi players had the somatotype of 2.68-4.71-1.83, with absolute back strength of 175.0 kg. VO2max and O2 debt were 3.59(0.36) litre min-1 [47.82(3.68) ml kg-1 min-1] and 5.3(1.85) litres (70 ml kg-1) respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Kabaddi is an intermittent sport. The rest pause during the game is sufficient for recovery. During raiding the main source of energy is anaerobic
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