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Sepak takraw

A boy practising a sepak takraw kickA boy practising a sepak takraw kickSepak takraw, or kick volleyball, originated in Southeast Asia and is popular in all countries in the region today. It differs from the similar game of footvolley by its use of a rattan ball and only allowing players to use their feet, knee, chest and head to touch the ball. Sepak takraw is a game of great skill, requiring breathtaking acrobatics. The players often try something similar to a bicycle kick in football, jumping and flipping in mid-air to kick the ball at speed over their shoulders. The game is known by different names across Southeast Asia. In Malaysia it is called as sepak raga. In Thailand, it is simply known as takraw. In the Philippines it is also called sipa, meaning "kick".

Diagram of a sepak takraw courtDiagram of a sepak takraw court


The international version of sepak takraw is played on a court similar to a double sized badminton court. It measures 13.4 by 6.1 metres (44 feet by 20 feet). Across the middle is a net similar to one used in volleyball net. The top of the net is 1.52 metres (5 feet) high in the men's game, 1.42 (4.5 feet) in the women's.

The ball used for sepak takrawThe ball used for sepak takraw


A sepak takraw ball, about the size of a grapefruit, was originally made only of woven rattan, the bendy, woody stem of the climbing palm tree. Nowadays it is usually made of synthetic fibre.

A sepak takraw match in progressA sepak takraw match in progress


"Sepak" is the Malay word for kick and "takraw" is the Thai word for the woven rattan ball. Sepak takraw therefore means "kickball".

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