All the Thursdays along with occasional Mondays have been given off.

The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 9 is set to begin on October 7, 2022 and the schedule for the first half of the league has been released. All 12 teams will play a total of 11 matches till November 8th and the second half schedule will be released soon.

Like the previous edition, PKL 9 will have “triple panga” matches at the weekends. All the Thursdays along with occasional Mondays have been given off. In this article let’s discuss how having more rest days can benefit players, the league, and the fans.

From the players’ point of view

After having a look at the schedule a team generally plays three games in a week in the first half of the league. The same will likely apply for the second half as well, barring a few changes. Having many matches takes a heavy toll on a player’s body both physically and mentally.

Suppose if any player gets injured then they might not feature in many matches. For any injury, proper recovery process rehabilitation is required which generally takes time. In a sport like Kabaddi which is a fast-paced game, injury can occur thick and fast.

Before PKL, 8 state teams are set to take part in the National Games. PKL starts just after a weeks time and many important players are taking part in the National Games. Although the National Games were announced in a short period, the players can suffer from playing too many matches. 

Many might think not many Kabaddi players get to play in such a lucrative league in India, but ultimately the player’s body needs to adapt to the game in a short time. Apart from PKL, there are Senior Nationals every year and the players do not have the luxury to play on the mats apart from these two tournaments. 

Before the pandemic players had the luxury to travel across different states but now the league is held only in 3 venues with no movement allowed outside. 

These are the few reasons why the league could have considered prolonging the league for the player’s benefit further than the original schedule.

From the League’s point of view

PKL is the most watched league in India after the IPL which is a huge success. In PKL 9 the games are played across 3 venues ( Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Pune). Before PKL not many in India knew about Kabaddi players but since its inception, many have become national stars and are rated highly compared to other sports.

Having made a good reputation for the league there are a few aspects where the league can work upon.

The umpires have to officiate every day in one of the matches. In the past, we have seen umpires making huge errors even with the use of technology. This can be because they might not be officiated before in such high-intensity games along with the use of technology.

Probably the umpires need to be reviewed regularly and given good practice. There would be umpiring camps held before the start of the league but officiating in front of crowds is a different experience that they need to adapt to.

A wrong mistake from an umpire can shift the momentum of the match which has happened in the past. So in this short league, the umpires do not have the luxury to rectify their mistakes which can ultimately dampen the league’s reputation.

From the fan’s point of view

For any sport to excel it is ultimately the fan’s support which is required and this has made PKL achieve success in a short duration. Fans also love this Kabaddi as it is a fast-paced game finishing within an hour’s time.

The consumption of sport is a must for anyone watching the game and like the last season the games this time too are clumsily scheduled. Last year due to the pandemic many stayed at home and were watching the game but this year slowly many offices and places have opened and it is now for them to decide what to do.

It is not that people will not watch PKL but consuming too many matches within a short duration would not be preferred by many. 

It was understandable last season as the Pandemic was not over and the League had to finish the matches quickly. But this time the league had the luxury to conduct matches periodically not affecting anyone above.

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