Kambala is traditionally a simple sport which essentially, to entertain rural people of the area. The 'track' used for Kambala is a slushy paddy field. The contest generally takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, each pair race in wet rice fields, controlled by a whip-lashing farmer. Historically, the winning pair of buffaloes was rewarded with coconuts and bananas. Today, gold coins, silver coins are given; in some competitions, cash award is also popular. Some organising committees award eight gram gold coin as first prize. However, Kambala today has become an organised rural sport, with elaborate planning and scheduling to accommodate competietions at different places. The "Kambala Committee" is formed and arranges races in several categories like Kane Halage, Hagga Hiriya, Hagga Kiriya, Halage, Adda Halage etc. People place massive bets on the buffaloes to win and one can witness more than 20,000 spectators in a well-organised Kambala, egging on and cheering the buffaloes to complete the race.
In traditional form of Kambala, racing is non-competitive, and he-buffalo pairs run one by one in paddy fields. A ritualistic approach is also there, as some agriculturists race their he-buffaloes for thanks giving (to god) for protecting their animals from diseases.(e.g.in Vandaru,Choradi villages)
Innovations are made in conducting kambala race and in some places day and night races are arranged under floodlights.