Thailand Takraw League was established in 2002. There are 10 teams in the league, originating from and named after the different provinces in Thailand.
Each team must have multiple uniforms to prevent playing a team with the same color jersey. Shirts or “jersey” must be tucked in. Each must be numbered, and the numbering scheme is 1-15 only. The captain must wear an armband to signify his position.
Each game is referred to as a “regu”. “Regu” is a Malaysian word that is used to refer to the three players on each side of the court (comparable to the word “team” in English). Players may not use their hands or arms, other than to throw the ball to the server. A player may not touch the ball more than 3 times without returning the ball to the opponent side before touching the ball again.
The center player is called a “Tekong”, where he/she serves the ball at all times. The other two players are called the “Feeder” and the “Striker/Killer”. It doesn’t matter which player (Feeder or Striker) plays on which side of the Tekong. A Feeder is the player who sets the ball for the Striker, who usually does a spike. bicycle, or acrobatic kick to send the ball to the opponent’s court.
A coin toss decides which team goes first. That team serves the ball first. The winner of this first set will be the team that serves the ball first for the second set. Just like with most court-sports, there are many “out of bounds” conditions, referred to as “faults” in Takraw. Some faults including touching the ball with the hands; stepping out of bounds; or the ball travels outside the court.
The game is played in 2 sets with a 2-minute rest between the sets. Each set is played up to 21 points, however, to win, there must be at least 2 points between the teams. If less than 2 points between teams, the set is extended. If there is a tie with one team each winning one set, a tie breaker set is played to 15 points.
The team managers, coaches, players and team officials are not allowed to dispute the referee’s decision during the match or to act in any way that jeopardizes the continuity of the match. In fact, players will be removed from the game if they show disrespect to other players, including cursing or spitting! Team officials who commit unsportsmanlike conduct are immediately escorted out of the facility.
For each set or “regu”, the winning team gets one “league” point. At the end of the year, the team with the most league points wins — there is no playoff or championship.
Point of Interest: Although most of the players in the Thai Takraw League are Thai, there are also a few Malaysian players as well.