PKL Tie-breaker format explained

Pardeep Narwal raids as UP Yoddha vs Tamil Thalaivas goes to a tie-breaker PKL

On Tuesday night in the Pro Kabaddi League, we saw Eliminator 2 between Tamil Thalaivas and UP Yoddhas decided by a tie-breaker, which the former won 6-4.

During the league stages of the PKL, the only consequence of a tie is both teams getting three points each, as opposed to five points for a win. However, with identifying a winner being mandatory in the eliminator, the PKL has instituted a tie-breaker, on the lines of Football's penalty shootout.

Unlike the penalty shootout, which bottles the tie-breaker down to one aspect of the sport, the essence of the tie-breaker in Kabaddi is pretty much the same as regulation time, with one raider pitted against seven defenders.

Here are the rules for the PKL's tie-breakers.

  • Each side nominates 7 players to take the court for the tie-breaker.

  • Each side gets five raids one after the other, with the first raid being done by the team that made the first raid of the match.

  • Every raid is a do-or-die raid, meaning if the raider comes back without a point-scoring action, the defending team will get a point.

  • Raiders are nominated before the tie-breaker, and the order cannot change at any point during the tie-breaker.

  • The baulk line, which generally signifies a legitimate raid, also acts as the bonus line during the tie-breaker.

  • There are no outs or revivals, as is normally the case after a successful raid or tackle. Each team will have 7 players on court at all points during the tie-breaker.

In Tuesday's eliminator, the teams were tied at 2-2 after two raids from each team. After that the Thalaivas went on a spree of points, and were content with giving away one 'free' raid point to the Yoddhas, just to ensure that there were no multi-point hauls at any point of time.

There is an element of risk in the tie-breaker especially when the scores are tight, as the Yoddhas found out when the Thalaivas managed to go on a run of consecutive points, which meant the comeback was impossible.