What is Sepak Takraw?
It started as the royal game in the 15th century in Southeast Asia. It doesn’t allow a ball to fall on the ground where there is a line of circle without a net. In the early days, it used to count how many times you bounce the ball. The rule changed several times later. Since 1945, it started to set up the game with a net or a pillar. The game rules were unified from 1960 to 1965 in cooperation with four countries; Malaysia, Laos, Singapore, and Thailand. When the Asian Sepak Takraw Federation was set up in 1965, it became a popular game in Southeast Asia.
Sepak Takraw in Thailand
Since the Bangkok Asian Game took place in 1998, it became increasingly popular in Thailand. There used to be many competitions in Thailand. The first half year of the Thai league called ‘Toyota Cup’ starts from March to July and ends from November to January. Also, the Prince Cup and the Princess Cup are held in February and September. Thailand is the only country which has a pro-league. It is participated by almost 10 teams every year. Nakhon Pathom and Ratchaburi are the most famous teams among them.
How to play
There are three types of games, which are Regu, Team Event and Double. The Regu consists of 5 players and other 2 players are applicants. The Team Event is composed of 3 Regu teams among 12 players. Lastly, the Double is made up of 3 players and one applicant. The Regu game starts when the players who are positioned forward and front kick a ball opposite to the team, while the double game starts when the players toss a ball at the end line. Players can only use the foot without using hands and arms.
There are 3 types of positioned players called the server, feeder, and striker. The server hits the ball with high speed, making it difficult for the opponent player to defend a ball. The feeder helps the striker to kick a ball and also kicks a ball. The striker or killer usually blocks the high kick from the opponent side. This game does not use hands or arms. It mostly uses legs and foot by touching a ball three times to pass the ball to an opponent.
By Kim Min Jung, ASEAN Correspondent from Thailand