Sepak takraw is a kick volleyball type of sport; native to and popular in Southeast Asia. Sepak takraw differs from volleyball because it uses a ball made of “rattan”. Also, players may only use their feet, knees, chest and head to touch the ball, while moving the ball across what appears to be a volleyball-type net.
In Malaysia, the game is called sepak raga or takraw. In Thailand it is called takraw. In the Philippines, besides “takraw” it is also known as sipa, meaning “kick”. “Sepak” is the Malay word for kick and “takraw” is Thai for a woven ball, so sepak takraw means to kick the ball. The choosing of this name for the sport was a compromise between Malaysia and Thailand, the two powerhouse countries of the sport.
It is believed that the game originated from military and martial arts training and “games”, especially with the use of the feet to keep the ball (or whatever the original object was) moving back and forth over the net.
The court is 44 ft × 20 ft, and usually of a hard surface. The distance from the base to the top of the net is approximately 4 feet 11 and 3/4 inches (slightly lower for women). The official ball must be made of synthetic or woven fiber. There are very specific rules regarding the balls and all balls must be approved by the governing body.
Take a look at how they make the “outer” portion of the ball.