Takraw: Kick Volleyball from Southeast Asia






Sepak takraw or kick volleyball is a sport native to Southeast Asia, resembling volleyball, except that it uses a rattan ball and only allows players to use their feet, knee, chest and head to touch the ball. It is a popular sport in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Australia, Philippines and Indonesia.

History

The sport had already become popular in Malaysia and Thailand by the early 1400s. Back then it was called takraw in Thai or sepak raga (literally "kick rattan ball", because the ball is made of rattan) in Malay and played mainly by men and boys standing in a circle, kicking the ball back and forth between them.

In Bangkok,

murals at Wat Phra Keow depict the Hindu god Hanuman playing takraw in a ring with a troop of monkeys. Other historical accounts mention the game earlier during the reign of King Naresuan of Ayutthaya. The game remained in its circle form for hundreds of years, and the modern version of sepak takraw began taking shape in Thailand sometime during early 1740s. In 1866 the Siam Sports Association drafted the first rules for takraw competition. Four years later, the association introduced the volleyball-style net and held the first public contest. Within just a few years, takraw was introduced to the curriculum in Siamese schools. The game became such a cherished local custom that another exhibition of volleyball-style takraw was staged to celebrate the kingdom’s first constitution in 1933, the year after Thailand abolished absolute monarchy. Later in 1935, the game was first played differently in the state of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia during the Silver Jubilee celebration of SMK King George V.

By the 1940s, the net version of the game had spread throughout Southeast Asia, and formal rules were introduced. In the Philippines the sport was called "Sipa", in Myanmar, or Burma, it was dubbed "Chinlone", in Laos "Kator", "cầu mây" in Vietnam and in Indonesia "Raga."

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

1 comment:

Mel said...

In Brazil it's also very common! But here, we play on the beach. We call it futevolei (like football + volley).