One of the most acrobatic and athletic sports is Sepak Takraw, which is also known as kick volleyball and is popular in Thailand and Malaysia.
Sepak takraw comes originally from South East Asia and its history goes back to the 15th century. The name comes from the Malaysian word for ‘kick’ (sepak) and the Thai word for ball (takraw). It has elements of volleyball, soccer, gymnastics and martial arts.
The Game of Sepak Takraw
Sepak Takraw is played in a similar way as volleyball, but with this sport, you are allowed to use your head, knee, chest and knee. This spectacular sport is played with a rattan ball.
Each team has three players and it is the goal of the game to move the ball in a maximum of three touches over a high net into the court of the opponent. Sepak Takraw sets are played to 21 points and most official matches are won by best of five sets, so the team that wins 3 sets wins the match. Whenever a team commits a fault, the other team is awarded a point and the next service.
Each team can make one player substitution during each set and a team can also ask for a time-out, which lasts one minute.
The court is similar to a double sized badminton court, measuring 44 by 20 feet (13.4 x 6.1 meters). The net is similar to a net that is used during volleyball games and is made of cord or nylon.
The ball is spherical in shape and is made of synthetic fiber or one woven layer. The Sepak Takraw ball can be in one single color or in various colors, as long as the color does not influence the performance of the players in a negative way.
ISTAF – International Sepak Takraw Federation
The ISTAF, International Sepak Takraw Federation, is the international governing body for the sport. It was founded in 1992 and at this moment there are 28 national federations member of the ISTAF, 21 from Asia, 2 from North America, 2 from South America, 3 from Europe and 1 Caribbean country.
(Source: Travel-wonders.com, Wiki, sepaktakraw.org)