Sepak Takraw is a mixture of two legendary sports, football and volleyball, and that’s why it is also termed kick volleyball. This sport is very much popular in the Southeast Asian region, and if you go much deeper, then you will get to know that Sepak Takraw is a mixture of two words; Sepak in Malay (Malaysian Language) means kick, and Takraw in Thai means Rattan (woven) ball. It’s somewhat similar to how they call livescore in Thai – ผลบอลสด.
So, if you compile both the words, you will find their true meaning, i.e., kick to the rattan ball. This article comprises every element of Sepak Takraw, from its origin to rules and regulations, so stick to the end to know this sport in more depth.
Sepak Takraw- Origin At A Glance
The game is widely spread across Southeast Asian countries, and in such countries, the name of this sport is also different. As per some experts and historians, it is believed that this sport originated in Malaysia around the 15th century. During that period, Malay people didn’t consider it a sport but usually took it as a task for physical activity.
The Malay people believe that playing Sepak Raga would keep their bodies fit because they can use the head, shoulder, knee, chest, and feet to pass the bowl. The involvement of so many body parts in a single sport was an outstanding idea to exercise. Since then, the demand and craze for this sport began, and currently, it is the most popular sport in Southeast Asian countries.
Sepak Takraw – History
Sepak Takraw, a National Sport in Malaysia, has a long history, so let’s dig out that one. In the early days, the soldiers needed to exercise to maintain their physique, so they grabbed a ball and started passing and kicking each other. In 1935, there was a grand event in Malaysia, i.e., the silver jubilee of George V and Sepak Raga was first played on the badminton court, and it was highly appreciated.
The evolution of Sepak Takraw took place, and with time, various improvements were made; finally, in 1945, a competition was held in Penang, which gained a lot of popularity, and since then, it has widely spread across the southeast Asian countries.
Some experts say that Sepak Takraw is a form of Cuju (A Chinese Traditional Game), but at present, this game is very popular in Southeast Asian Countries. Considering the same, a body is formed, known as International Sepak Takraw Federation, whose prime aim is to conduct and monitor the game and tournament.
Today, major international tournaments (Super Series & World Cup) take place to recognize the Sepak Takraw players. Also, every people around the world should know about this sport.
Sepak Takraw- Rules
Every sport is played with certain rules to maintain the decorum of that sport; likewise, Sepak Takraw is bonded with certain rules, such as service conditions, foul factors, and many others. So, let’s see the major rules of Sepak Takraw, which make this game more challenging.
In Sepak Takraw, two teams participate, where the number of players differs. For instance, if a team has three players, it is considered as Regu, and if two players are involved, then it is quoted as doubles. In most competitions, the Regu form is generally applied where three players occupy a triangular position in the court, i.e., one at the back and the other at the left and right sides, respectively.
The player at the back (Tekong) performs the service, and the other two are considered attackers; the left one is known as the feeder, and the right one is called the killer.
Once the Tekong serves the ball, the other players can take action on the court, and before the service, they should remain in the static position. During the service, the Tekong can’t kick the ball during the service throw, as he has the only option, i.e., throw. The attackers and killers can’t touch the net while throwing the ball, and on the off chance, if the ball fails to pass the net, it is considered a foul.
The game is mostly played in 3 sets, each comprising 21 points, and the team who scores more is termed the winner. Furthermore, in the last set, the side of the team changes but with a condition, i.e., a team’s score should reach 11. If any team commits a mistake, it will be termed a fault, and the opposite team will gain one point.
The service changes after every 3 points scored by the team, which means an alternate server method is applied, giving both teams a chance to serve the ball.
Sepak Takraw- Equipment Involved
The major equipment involved in this sport is the ball and the net, but some safety is also essential for the players, and for the same, protective guards and shoes are also included. Now, let’s more in-depth about the rattan ball and the court dimension.
In Sepak Takraw, the takraw term means rattan ball, which comprises 12 holes and 20 intersections. With time, the material used in the ball was changed; synthetic rubber is currently used to comfort the players. If you go for the dimensions of the ball, then its circumference is 42cm (for men) and 43 cm for women. Furthermore, the ball is light in weight, and in general, it is only 170-180 gm for men, and for women, it is even lighter, i.e., 150 gm.
If the ball needs any modification, such as the inclusion of new material or the advanced method applicable for the ball design must be approved by ISTAF as it is the key governing body of Sepak Takraw.
The Sepak Takraw game is played inside the court, whose dimensions are 44 ft by 20 ft (area), and the post height is 26 ft; in short, you can say it is the replica of the badminton court of double size. Considering the width of the boundary line, you will find it is very narrow, i.e., 4 cm, and the center line which divides the court is 2 cm.
The service region has different dimensions, comprising a service circle of 0.3 meters, whose center is taken from a distance of 2.4 meters from the court’s baseline.
Sepak Takraw Net
The material used in the net is nylon having multiple meshes whose size is 6 cm, and if you go through the dimensions of the net, you will find that the net is 0.7 m wide, 6 meters in length, 1.52 meters in height, and the boundary tape is 0.05 meters.
Shoes are very important in this game, and one with light weight is considered good. Nanyang is the leading shoe brand in Thailand that deals in Sepak Takraw shoes. The firm makes shoes for the players and considers all the aspects related to the game, such as good grip, flat soles, good quality padding stuff, and others.
Sepak Takraw is the game played by the native regions in every country of southeast Asian regions. The demand is very high, and considering the same, the federation organizes the competition to make it more popular so that everyone worldwide knows about this sport.