Sepak takraw

Sepak takraw (Indonesian/Malay: "kick"; Thai: "takraw"; Lao: "ka-taw"; Filipino: "sipa")cite web
author=Shawn Kelley
title=Takraw: A Traditional Southeast Asian Sport
accessmonthday=July 30
] or kick volleyball is a sport native to Southeast Asia, resembling volleyball, except that it uses a rattan ball and only allows players to use their feet, knee, chest and head to touch the ball. It is a popular sport in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Philippines and Indonesia.

In Thailand, the game is simply called "takraw". It is also "thuck thay" (Lao: "twine" and "kick") while in Malaysia it is sometimes called "sepak raga". In the Philippines it is known as "sipa", meaning "kick".

Similar games include footbag net, footvolley, Bossaball, jianzi and sipa.


The sport had already become popular in Malaysia and Thailand by the early 1400s. Back then it was called "takraw" in Thai or "sepak raga" (literally "kick rattan ball", because the ball is made of rattan) in Malay and played mainly by men and boys standing in a circle, kicking the ball back and forth between them.

In Bangkok, murals at Wat Phra Keow depict the Hindu god Hanuman playing takraw in a ring with a troop of monkeys. Other historical accounts mention the game earlier during the reign of King Naresuan of Ayutthaya. The game remained in its circle form for hundreds of years, and the modern version of "sepak takraw" began taking shape in Thailand sometime during early 1740s. In 1866 the Siam Sports Association drafted the first rules for takraw competition. Four years later, the association introduced the volleyball-style net and held the first public contest. Within just a few years, takraw was introduced to the curriculum in Siamese schools. The game became such a cherished local custom that another exhibition of volleyball-style takraw was staged to celebrate the kingdom’s first constitution in 1933, the year after Thailand abolished absolute monarchy. Later in 1935, the game was first played differently in the state of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia during the Silver Jubilee celebration of SMK King George V. [ [ Gajah Emas Game History] ]

By the 1940s, the net version of the game had spread throughout Southeast Asia, and formal rules were introduced. In the Philippines the sport was called "Sipa", in Myanmar, or Burma, it was dubbed "Chinlone", in Laos "Kator", "cầu mây" in Vietnam and in Indonesia "Raga."

International play is now governed by ISTAF, the International Sepak Takraw Federation. The King's Cup World Championships are held every year in Thailand .

Takraw in the United States

The earliest accounts of organized takraw in the United States involve a group of students from Northrop University in University learning about and playing the sport in Los Angeles. Takraw really began to take off, however, in the late 1980s when Kurt Sonderegger, a student taking time off from the University of Maine and working in banking in Switzerland , met a fellow American who showed him a bouncy ball made of woven strips of rattan. The traveller told Kurt that the ball was from Thailand and gave Kurt the ball as a gift. Kurt was intrigued. As a soccer fan, takraw had an immediate appeal to him. On a whim, Sonderegger booked a trip to Thailand to explore more.

While in Thailand Sonderegger discovered the actual sport of sepak takraw and was hooked. He connected with the major wholesaler of the balls, Marathon, and returned to Maine with a load of plastic balls and the idea of starting a business. He had heard about the takraw team at Northrop and decided to move out to Los Angeles to start his business there.

L.A.'s Asian community and Northrop's team had already established a takraw community in and around Los Angeles. Kurt dove head in and by 1989 with his ball selling business established, as well as founding the United States Takraw Association. That year he was sent an invitation from the International Sepaktakraw Federation and Kurt along with a few of the Northrop group travelled to represent the United States in the World Championships.

The team was beaten badly but the takraw world was enchanted with the fact that non-Asian teams had competed at the World Championships.

Rules and regulations

Measurements of court and equipment often vary among tournaments and organizations that operate from a recreational to a competitive level; "international competitive rules and regulation are used in this section."


Area of 13.4 m x 6.1 m free from all obstacles up to the height of 8 m measured from the floor surface (sand and grass court not advisable). The width of the lines bounding the court should not be more than 0.04 m measured and drawn inwards from the edge of the court measurements. All the boundary lines should be drawn at least 3.0m away from all obstacles.

The center line of 0.02 m should be drawn equally dividing the right and left court.

At the corner of each at the center line, the quarter circle shall be drawn from the sideline to the center line with a radius of 0.9 m measured and drawn outwards from the edge of the 0.9 m radius.

The service circle of 0.3 m radius shall be drawn on the left and on the right court, the center of which is 2.45 m from the back line of the court and 3.05 m from the sidelines, the 0.04 m line shall be measured and drawn outward from the edge of the 0.3 m radius.cite web
author=International Sepaktakraw Federation (ISTAF)
title=Sepaktakraw: Laws of the Game
accessmonthday=July 29


The net shall be made of fine ordinary cord or nylon with 6 mm to 8 mm mesh. The net shall be 0.7 m in width and not shorter than 6.10 m in length and taped at 0.05 m from tape double at the top and sideline, called boundary tape.

The net shall be edged with 0.05 m tape double at the top and the bottom of the net supported by a fine ordinary cord or nylon cord that runs through the tape and strain over and flush with the top of the posts. The top of the net shall be 1.52 m (1.42 m for women) in height from the center and 1.55 m (1.45 m for women's) at the posts.


The sepak takraw ball shall be spherical in shape, made of synthetic fiber or one woven layer.

Sepak takraw balls without synthetic rubber covering must consist of the following characteristics; Have 12 holes. Have 20 intersections. Have a circumference measuring not less from m to ft in|0.42|frac=4 to m to ft in|0.44|abbr=yes|frac=4 for men and from m to ft in|0.43|abbr=yes|frac=4 to m to ft in|0.45|abbr=yes|frac=4 for women. Have a weight that range from G to oz|170|precision=1 to G to oz|180|precision=1 for men and from G to oz|150|precision=1 to G to oz|160|precision=1 for women.

The ball can be in plain single colour, multi-colour, and luminous colours, but not in any colour that will impair the performance of the players.

The sepak takraw ball can also be constructed of synthetic rubber or soft durable material for covering the ball, for the purpose of softening the impact of the ball on the player’s body. The type of material and method used for constructing the ball, or for covering the ball with rubber or soft durable covering must be approved by ISTAF before it can be used for any competition.

All world, international, regional competitions sanctioned by International Sepaktakraw Federation, including but not limited to, the Olympic Games, World Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and SEA Games, must be played with ISTAF approved sepak takraw balls.


A match is played by two "regus" (teams), each consisting of three players.

One of the three players shall be at the back; he is called a “Tekong”. The other two players shall be in front, one on the left and the other on the right. The player on the left is called a “Left Inside” and the player on the right is called a “Right Inside”.

tart of play and service

The side that must serve first shall start the first set. The side that wins the first set shall have the options of “Choosing Service”.

The throw must be executed as soon as the referee calls the score. If either of the "Inside" players throws the ball before the referee calls the score, it must be a re thrown and a warning will be given to the thrower.

During the service, as soon as the Tekong kicks the ball, all the players are allowed to move about freely in their respective courts.

The service is valid if the ball passes over the net, whether it touches the net or not, and inside the boundary of the two net tapes and boundary lines of the opponent’s court.


coring system

When either serving side or receiving side commits a fault, a point is awarded to the opponent side including making next service.

The winning point for a set is 21 points, unless the point is tied at 20–20, the set shall be decided on a difference of two points, up to a ceiling of 25 points. When the score is tied at 20–20, the referee announces “Setting up to 25 points”.

The game is played in 2 sets with 2-minute rest in between.

If each "Regu" wins one set, the game shall be decided in the third set called "Tiebreak" with 15 points unless the point is tied at 14-14, then the set shall be decided on a difference of two points, up to a ceiling of 17 points. When the score is tied at 14-14, the referee announces “Setting up to 17 points”.

Before the tiebreak set takes place, the referee shall toss a disc or coin, and the side winning the toss shall have the option of “Choosing Service”. The change of sides takes place when one “Regu” reaches 8 points.


ee also


External links

* [ English Sepak Takraw Association]
* [ USA Takraw Association]
* [ Gajah Emas]
* [ TAKRAW - A Traditional Southeast Asian Sport]
* [ Sepak Takraw Informations (Association in Europe/Germany/Berlin)]
* [ Takraw in Thailand]
* [ Rattan takraw balls]

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