The Pro Kabaddi League Season 9 playoffs are going on with all four semi-finalists locked in after the conclusion of both the eliminators with the matches to be played on 15th December 2022 in Mumbai. The semi-final lineup looks like this – Match 1 is between Jaipur Pink Panthers and Bengaluru Bulls whereas Match 2 is between Puneri Paltan and Tamil Thalaivas.
The concept of the Pro Kabaddi League is very different and out of the box, which is one of the main reasons for the popularity of the league. This concept becomes more interesting when the teams go into the playoffs. Today, we will have a look at what are the different rules and regulations in a PKL playoff match.
This season some of the Pro Kabaddi League’s rules were amended to benefit the teams. This included allowing the teams to announce a total of 14 players in their match day squad, allowing the teams to make 7 substitutions during the match and one at half time stage, so effectively 8 substitutions per match.
On this rule change, the technical director of PKL, E Prasad Rao said, “the top performers over the last few seasons have been the young players and with more youngsters coming in every season, so we want to give more opportunities to the coaches to use their upcoming players.”
In the playoff matches, all the other rules of a normal Pro Kabaddi League match are applicable along with some other additional rules. The first and foremost is that teams get 2 reviews each in a playoff match for one half. They have to exhaust their review in that half only as it does not get carried to the second half.
Effectively, it gives the team an added advantage in an important match to change the umpire’s decision if they feel it is wrong. The other rules are the same more or less but when the match ends in a tie, a tie-breaker takes place and it has a whole new set of rules which are very unique.
As we all know, a playoff match in PKL cannot end in a tie for obvious reasons. So, if a match ends in a tie after the scheduled play of 40 minutes (2 halves of 20 minutes each), teams play a tie-breaker to decide the fate of the match. The tie-breaker structure looks somewhat like this – both the teams announce a starting 7 that will take the mat for the tie-breaker.
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Each team gets five raids and the team who scores the most points wins. During the tie-breaker, no player leaves the field if he gets out. All seven players stay on the mat until the tie-breaker is over. The raids are done by five raiders who are announced prior to the tie-breaker in a pre-decided order only.
One interesting rule is that the baulk line which is ahead of the bonus line becomes the bonus line in a tie-breaker. So, if a player crosses the baulk line he gets a bonus in the tie-breaker. The strategy of a tie-breaker is completely different from a normal match due to the changes in the rules.
The team which raids first in the match also raids first in the tie-breaker. Teams also get a review each in the tie-breaker. If the tie-breaker also ends in a tie, a golden raid decides the fate of the match and it keeps on going until a winner is decided.