The Pro Kabaddi qualification process has been constantly evolving ever since the league’s inception in 2014.
The first four seasons of the league saw the eight participating teams compete in a double robin round format with the top four sides at the end of the league stage then qualifying for the semi-finals, which was followed by the final.
Season 5 and Season 6 of Pro Kabaddi were played in the zonal format with the addition of four new teams to the tournament.
The zonal format comprised six teams divided into two groups with each team playing the other sides from their group as well as the rival group twice. The top three teams from both the zones at the end of the league stage then qualified for the playoffs.
In the playoff stage, the top two teams from each zone competed in the first qualifier and the winner of the contest directly made it to the final of Pro Kabaddi.
In the eliminator, the second-placed teams from each group played against the third-placed team from the opposite zone.
The winner of the two eliminators then played in the third eliminator and the winner of that contest competed against the loser of the first qualifier.
The winner of this match then progressed to the final to play against the winner of the first qualifier.
Season 7 of Pro Kabaddi switched back from zonal to the double robin round format. The top six teams at the end of the league stage now qualify for the playoffs and the bottom four qualified teams competed in the eliminator.
The winner of the two eliminators then play the top two teams of the league stage in the two semi-finals. The winner of the two semi-finals then qualifies for the final match of the Pro Kabaddi season.
The Pro Kabaddi Season 8 qualification process is expected to be on similar lines as Season 7 although there is no official confirmation yet.
How does the Pro Kabaddi points system work?
The winner of a Pro Kabaddi match gets five points whereas a tie between two teams accounts for three points each. If a team loses by a margin of seven points or less, the losing team earns one point from the match.
For the qualification process, if two or more teams are tied on the same number of points at the end of the league stage, the score difference is taken into account. The team with a higher score difference progresses.
The score difference of a team is the score tally of the margin of victories and losses throughout the league stage.
As already mentioned, the team with the better higher score progresses to the playoffs in case two sides are tied on points at the end of the league stage.
Author: Kaustubh Potdar
Featured photo: Pro Kabaddi