Saturday, 22 Jun 2024

Sepak Takraw: The Exciting Game of Kick Ball

Sepak Takraw, a captivating volleyball-like game originating from Southeast Asia, has gained immense popularity worldwide. In this article, we will explore the rules, history, and equipment of Sepak Takraw, as well as delve into the intricacies of scoring and winning the game.

The Origin and Popularity of Sepak Takraw

Sepak Takraw, which translates to ‘Kick Ball’, has a rich history dating back to the 15th century. It is played on a volleyball-style court with a net across the middle. Unlike volleyball, players are not allowed to use their hands; instead, they must utilize their feet, head, knees, and chest to touch the ball. This unique aspect adds an exciting twist to the game.

Popular across Southeast Asia, Sepak Takraw holds a special place in Malaysia and Thailand, known respectively as ‘Sepak Raga’ and ‘Takraw’. In the 1940s, formalized rules were introduced, and since then, the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) has been governing the sport worldwide. The game has also gained popularity in the USA, Canada, and other western countries with significant Southeast Asian communities.

Object of the Game

The primary objective of Sepak Takraw is for one team to score more points than their opponents by causing them to commit a fault. This fault results in the opposing team being awarded a score. However, there is a unique variation called ‘Chin Lone’, played in Myanmar, where teams focus on keeping the ball aloft in creative and graceful ways, rather than competing against each other.

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Players & Equipment

A game of Sepak Takraw consists of two teams, each comprising three players. The positions include the ‘Teukgong’, who stands furthest back on the court, and the Left and Right Inside players, who play closer to the net on each side. The ball used in the game is made of synthetic materials, approved by ISTAF for competition. These balls are meticulously woven and must have 12 holes and 20 intersections, adhering to regulation size and weight standards.

The game is played on a court similar in size to a double badminton court, measuring 13.4 x 6.1 meters, with a net stretched across the center at a height of 1.5 meters for men and 1.42 meters for women.


Scoring in Sepak Takraw is straightforward, as each fault committed by the opposing team results in a point for the other team. Faults include various violations such as the Tekong jumping off the ground to serve, failure to lick the ball during service, touching the net, failing to cross the ball to the opposition’s half, and many more.

Winning the Game

To win a game of Sepak Takraw, a team must win two sets. Each set is won by the team that reaches 21 points first. In the event of a tie at 21-21, a tiebreaker will be played, where the first team to open up a two-point lead or reach 25 points is declared the winner. Due to the fast-paced and athletic nature of the game, physical fitness, flexibility, and teamwork are crucial for success.

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Rules of Sepak Takraw

Sepak Takraw adheres to specific rules to ensure fair gameplay. Some key rules include:

  • Games are played by two teams of three players.
  • Courts must meet the regulation size and markings set by ISTAF, and an official Sepak Takraw ball must be used.
  • The team to serve first is determined by a coin toss.
  • The server kicks the ball over the net while keeping one foot in the service circle.
  • Players can only touch the ball with their feet, head, knees, and chest; any other body part contact results in a fault.
  • Each team is allowed a maximum of three touches to return the ball without letting it touch the ground.
  • Failing to return the ball over the net before it hits the ground awards a point to the opposing team.
  • Points are scored through the opposition’s faults, resulting from various violations.
  • The first team to reach 21 points wins a set, and the first team to win two sets is declared the overall winner.


Q: How many players are there in Sepak Takraw?
A: Each team consists of three players.

Q: What are the equipment requirements for Sepak Takraw?
A: The game is played with a synthetic ball approved by ISTAF, featuring specific woven patterns and dimensions. The court should meet the standard size and have the appropriate net.

Q: How is Sepak Takraw scored?
A: Points are awarded whenever the opposing team commits a fault, as outlined in the rules.

Q: How is the game won in Sepak Takraw?
A: To win a game, a team must win two sets by reaching 21 points first. In the event of a tie, a tiebreaker is played.

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Sepak Takraw, the exciting game of Kick Ball, originated in Southeast Asia and has gained international popularity. With its unique rules, equipment, and scoring system, Sepak Takraw offers an exhilarating and physically demanding experience. By adhering to the regulations and playing as a cohesive team, players can strive for victory in this fascinating sport.

For more information and to experience the thrill of Sepak Takraw, visit our website and join the growing global community of Sepak Takraw enthusiasts.