Learn Thai – Sepak Takraw

Sawatdii ka,

Do you know Sepak Takraw?

Last Satureday I saw a group of taxi motorcycle riders in my soi playing Sepak Takraw on the side of the street, so I thought I needed to find out more  about this and share in my blog.

Sepak Takraw  (เซปักตะกร้อ) was created by the royal family of Malaysia about 500 years ago. The name itself comes from two languages. Sepak is “kick” in Malay, and Takraw is the “ball” in Thai.


The court and the net height and size are identical to those used in badminton and each team has three players. The rules are very similar to those in volleyball, with the following five important exceptions.

  • The use of hands is not permitted.
  • Each player may touch the ball only once before it is kicked over the net.
  • There is no rotation in the defense position.
  • It is a score (net in) even if the ball touches the net before falling into the companion court.


 The player who kicks a serve surely puts a leg (shaft foot) in the service circle, and takes a toss from the player who went into the quoter circle (the semicircle of a radius 90 cm done around the contact point of the center line and the sideline), and kicks the ball.
When a game bigins by one serve, a ball can be touched by the attack of one time to three times. You can use a head, a back, legs, and anywhere except for the arm from the shoulder to the point of the finger.


 The sepak takraw ball shall be spherical in shape, made of synthetic fiber or one woven layer.

A ball made of plastic is being used as an official ball from the 11th Beijing Asian convention. Sepak takraw balls without synthetic rubber covering must have 12 holes and 20 intersections. The weight of the ball is 170g-190g, and the size of it is a perimeter 40cm. It is much smaller than a handball, a little bigger than a softball.

The ball can be in plain single colour, multi-colour, and luminous colours, but not in any colour that will impair the performance of the players.

Highlight of the game

The player jumps as much as his height , and a ball is struck by the spike like acrobatics and hatched. The speed is about 140 km per hour!

The international organization of the Sepak Takraw

International play is now governed by ISTAF, the International Sepak Takraw Federation. The King’s Cup World Championships are held every year in Thailand.

Sepak takraw is now a regular sport event in the Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games.

Both an Asian Sepak Takraw league (ASTAK) and the headquarters of the International Sepak Takraw league (ISTAK) are in Thailand, Bangkok. There are members of 18 countries. 

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepak_takraw

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2 Responses to Learn Thai – Sepak Takraw

  1. Ellery 28/02/2011 at 17:06 #

    Absolutely badass!

    Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see a match when I come to Thailand.

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