What Is Sepak Takraw
Sepak takraw, also known as Sepaktakraw or kick volleyball, is a sport where players kick a rattan-made ball between two teams. It is a team sport, and it’s played on a badminton-like court. Apart from being made of rattan (climbing palms), it can also be made from synthetic plastics.
The game is popular in South-East Asia, and there are 2-4 players on the court. Though the game resembles volleyball, it has different rules. Players should not use their hands to touch the ball. They can only use their feet, head, chest, and knees, hence the name kick volleyball.
This game has a long history, especially in Malaysia, where it was known as Sepak Raga. It is governed by the Asian Sepak takraw federation, which was formed in 1965. The association’s primary role was translating the rules to English for international games. Below is a detailed look into the development of the sport as it is known today.
Origin And History Of Sepaktakraw
In Malay, Sepak means ‘kick’; in Thai, Takraw means ‘rattan ball’. These two words are from different languages for the word ‘Sepak Takraw’ or to kick a rattan ball when translated.
The history of sepak takraw started in 1960. It was after a meeting among officials from Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, and Thailand in Kuala Lumpur to discuss a name and standard rules. The game was previously known as Sepak Raga Jaring, and it first appeared in the Southeast Asian Games in 1965.
It is a national sport in Malaysia managed by the Malaysian sepak takraw association. The International Sepaktakraw Federation (ISTAF), formed in 1988, governs and manages international sports internationally.
Sepak takraw’s origin across Asia is undoubted as it resembles several sports within the continent. They include Sipa in the Philippines, Kataw in Laos, Cuju in China, Sepak in Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The Jegichagi in Korea, Da Cau in Vietnam, Sek Dai in Cambodia, and Kemari in Japan are also related to the sport. In Philippines sepak takraw is known as Sipa.
These cultural games are highly dominant as they have been around for over 1,500 years. As a modern sport, sepak takraw was not meant to be competitive. Its aim was to increase physical activity. However, during the 1940s, the game became more popular. It was also first played on a badminton court in 1935.
How To Play Sepak Takraw
The objective of sepak takraw players is to score more points than the opposition. They need to cause the opposing team to commit a fault, awarding a score. Each team is also known as regu. Mostly, each team will have three players with defined positions. Sometimes the game can have two players or four per team.
These positions are the ‘Teukgong’, where a play stands at the back of the court. The other positions are the Right (the attacker or striker) and the Left (the feeder/tosser or setter). These two players are closer to the net on each side of the court.
The ISTAF, founded by Asian Sepaktakraw Federation (ASTAF), determines the synthetic material for making the sepaktakraw ball for competitions. These balls should have one woven layer and 20 intersections, and 12 holes. It can also be made from synthetic fiber.
The sepak takraw ball should also follow the regulation’s weight and size. The weight for the men’s sport is 170 to 180 g (6.0–6.3 oz) and 150 to 160 g (5.3–5.6 oz) for women.
It should have a circumference of 42 to 44 cm for men and 43 to 45 cm for the women’s team sport. Players can use a single-colored or a multiple-colored ball. However, it should not be in a color that can affect any team’s performance.
Sepak takraw rules and regulations also specify the playing area. The court should be the same as a double-sized badminton court. It should be 13.4 x 6.1 meters (44 ft × 20 ft) in dimensions and have a net at the center.
The playing area should also be void of obstacles up to 8 meters (26 ft) from the floor surface. It is not advisable to play the game on the sand grass court. The width lines on the court should also not exceed 4 centimeters (1.6 in). They should be drawn inwards from the court edge measurements. The boundary lines should also be at least 3.0 meters (9.8 ft) away from obstacles.
Apart from the boundary lines, the standardization rules also state that the center line should be drawn 2cm (0.79 in), equally dividing the left and right court.
There are specific rules and regulations for the net used in sepak takraw sport. It should be made from 6 cm to 8 cm mesh of fine ordinary cord or nylon. The net should be 0.7 m in width and 6.10 m in length. The net should be 1.42m for women and 1.5m for men.
Sepak Takraw Rules And Regulations – Scoring
The rules and regulations of sepak takraw state that the team first serves should start the first set. The referee tosses the coin to determine the serving team. However, the team that wins the first set can choose the service. The player serving executes a throw when the referee calls the score. If a player throws the ball before the call, there must be a rethrow. The referee also gives the thrower a warning.
Once a player receives the ball from the server, they should kick it over the net with the other foot in the service circle. Unlike volleyball, sepak takraw players should only kick the ball using their head, knees, legs, and chest. Touching the ball with any other body part leads to a fault earning the other team a point.
Apart from not touching the ball by hand, players should only kick it three times to return it over the net. The ball should not touch the ground during these touches as it leads to a fault. Failing to return the ball over the net in these three touches earns the other team a point.
When playing ball sepak takraw, theplayers’ outfits, jerseys, headbands, and shoes should avoid touching the opponent’s net. Doing this leads to a fault and a point for the opposition. Moreover, the ball should not touch the roof, ceiling, wall, or go out of the court’s boundaries to avoid a fault.
Causing distractions or shouting at the opposing team when serving also earns them a point. The server should also not jump off the ground to serve.
Scoring in sepak takraw occurs when a team faults. It leads to points for the other regu. A team that scores 21 points wins the set. The first team that wins two sets wins the game. However, if there is a draw, the teams continue with the set, with the winner being the side reaching 25 points. The team can also win if it leads by two points.
Additionally, the game should be played by two teams of three players. The court also needs to fit the Asian sepak takraw federation requirements. Equipment of sepak takraw should also meet this set requirement.
What are the skills in playing sepak takraw – Shots and techniques
Playing sepak takraw requires an agile, flexible, and strong player. This game has a combination of various spikes, serves, and kicks. Players can easily pick up easy techniques and shots when they begin training. However, some kicks and styles need longer training durations to master and execute flawlessly.
One of the techniques players should learn is the inside kick. It is the most basic and common kick in this sport. It aims to control the ball. Players execute the kick with the inside of the foot. To make the move, a player should stand feet apart while bending the supporting leg. They should then hit the ball with the inside of the other foot.
The other move players learn is the knee kick. This move uses the thigh, specifically the part just above the knee, to hit the sepak takraw ball. A player adopts a matching stance while raising the knees as high as possible. It is a kick that players use to receive a serve.
A header in sepak takraw involves using the forehead to serve or strike the ball. Players use this technique when the ball is too high for a kick. They can also use the outside kick.
The outside kick is a defense shot that moves the ball upwards. For this move, players use the outer part of the foot while bending the knee inwards. The whole kicking leg should be at a right angle at the knee. Both the foot and the calf should point outwards.
Skilled sepak takraw players execute the horse kick serve. It is difficult to achieve as it requires great skill and flexibility. A horse kick is an extremely high kick. Players kick the ball as high as they can, then hit it backwards over their shoulders or head using their feet.
The other technique requiring skill is the sunback spike. It resembles the horse kick. However, players do this in a jump. A player should take off on one leg, kicking the other up while still in the air. They should then kick the ball over the shoulder or head before finishing up the kick. Finally, sepak takraw players can learn the roll spike. A player jumps on one leg and flips in the direction they want the ball to go while still in the air. They then kick the ball over the opposite shoulder using the other foot while airborne.
Where Did Sepak Takraw Originate?
The Chinese may have introduced Sepak Takraw to Southeast Asia. The traditional Cuju game may have inspired this game. However, several countries in Southeast Asia have a form of this game in their roots.
Who Invented Sepak Takraw?
The creator of this team sport is Hamid Mydin. On 25 June 1960, the Malayan Sepak Raga Federation, now known as the Malaysian Sepak Takraw Association, recognized his input.