HISTORY OF SEPAK TAKRAW
THE TRADITIONAL CIRCLE GAME
The oldest form of kicking the traditional woven ball used in the game was for players to stand in a circle and try to keep the ball in the air as long as possible without using their hands or arms. The circle game has no set rules, required very little space – which was important in the jungles of Southeast Asia and the ball was woven out of rattan which was found in abundance. The circle game provided villagers of all ages with fun, recreation and sense of shared community.
Today, 500 years later, the circle game is still a popular form of takraw played recreationally throughout Southeast Asia and has taken hold in other countries as a form of recreational “sport for all.” The circle game has more recently evolved into a competitive sport in its own right. First, in Thailand, a game was developed where players hang a hoop of 5.8 meters above the center of a circle. The more difficult the style of kick used to put the ball through the hoop, the more points are awarded for the successful kick. This style is known as Takraw “Lawd Huang” or Hoop Takraw.
A new variation of the Hoop Takraw was approved during the ISTAF Biennial Congress held in November, 1996. Known as “Circle Takraw” or “Circle Event,” the game is played with 5 players who stand in a circle and received different levels of point for each passing kick. The more difficult the passing kick, the more points are awarded the team. Circle Event has been included as a medal event in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games.
SEPAKTAKRAW IS OFFICIALLY BORN
Sometime around the early 1900’s, takraw enthusiasts in Southeast Asia decided to add a net and a set of rules similar to volleyball to make the game more challenging and competitive. An exhibition match was held in Penang, Malaysia in 1945 where it received a tremendous response and spread like wildfire throughout the rest of the Malaysian Peninsula and the Southeast Asia.
In 1960, representatives of various Southeast Asian countries met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to establish a standard set of rules and regulations for the game.
In 1965, two developments occurred which were to change the course of the sport of Sepaktakraw as it is hitherto known. First, on December 19, 1965, the sport was officially named Sepaktakraw after heated discussions between Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Laos at the Southeast Asian Peninsula (SEAP) Games Federation meeting. A compromise was reached whereby the word “Sepak” – the term used in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and translates into “kick” and the word “Takraw” – the term used in Thailand which means “woven ball” were combined and the official name of the net game became Sepaktakraw.
1965 also saw the game coming of age at the international level when it was introduced at the SEAP Games (now known as SEA Games) as an official medal event. Since that time, Sepaktakraw has taken great strides forward, making it as a medal event for the first time in 1990 Asian Games held in Beijing, China and again at the 1994 Hiroshima Asian Games. In the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games, Sepaktakraw included men and women’s events and also the new “Round Circle” discipline to combine for 6 total medals.
Name of Game from Previous Countries
Sepak Raga or Sepraga
Sepak Raga Jala
Rago (South Sulawesi)
ASTAF or ISTAF now its SEPAK TAKRAW
SEPAKTAKRAW GOES HIGH TECH
In 1984, high technology came to Sepaktakraw when a Thai inventor revolutionalized the sport with the introduction of a new synthetic Sepaktakraw ball. While the traditional rattan ball that was used for years worked well, the growth of the was threatened by the rattan ball’s problems in quality control, lack of standardization and...
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