Sepak takraw (Malay: sepak raga; Jawi: سيڤق راڬا; Thai: ตะกร้อ, RTGS: takro, pronounced [tā.krɔ̂ː]; Khmer: សីដក់ Sei Dak; Lao: ກະຕໍ້ka-taw; Filipino: sipa; Vietnamese: cầu mây), or kick volleyball, is a sport native to Southeast Asia. Sepaktakraw differs from the similar sport of volleyball in its use of a rattan ball and only allowing players to use their feet, knee, chest and head to touch the ball. It is a popular sport in Southeast Asia. In Malaysia, the game is called sepak raga or takraw. It is also kataw (Lao: "twine" and "kick") while in Thailand it is called takraw. InMyanmar it is known as chin lone, and is considered more of an art as there is often no opposing team, and the point is to keep the ball aloft gracefully and interestingly. In the Philippines, besides "takraw" it is also known as sipa, meaning "kick". Similar games include footbag net, footvolley, football tennis, bossaball, jianzi and sipa. These similar games all involve keepie uppies. Etymology
"Sepak" is the Malay word for kick and "takraw" is the Thai word for a woven ball, therefore sepak takraw quite literally means to kick ball. The choosing of this name for the sport was essentially a compromise between Malaysia and Thailand, the two powerhouse countries of the sport. History
The earliest historical evidence shows the game was played in the 15th century's Malacca Sultanate, for it is mentioned in the Malay historical text, "Sejarah Melayu" (Malay Annals). The Malay Annals described in details the incident of Raja Muhammad, a son of Sultan Mansur Shah who was accidentally hit with a rattan ball by Tun Besar, a son ofTun Perak, in a Sepak raga game. The ball hit Raja Muhammad's headgear and knocked it down to the ground. In anger, Raja Muhammad immediately stabbed and killed Tun Besar, whereupon some of Tun Besar's kinsmen retaliated and wanted to kill Raja Muhammad. However, Tun Perak managed to restrain them from such an act of treason by saying that he would no longer accept Raja Muhammad as the Sultan's heir. As a result of this incident, Sultan Mansur Shah ordered his son out of Malacca and had him installed as the ruler of Pahang. In Indonesia, sepak takraw was spread from nearby Malacca across the strait to Riau islands and Riau area in Sumatra as early as 16th century, where it is also called as Sepak Raga in local Malay tongue, at that time some of Sumatran areas were part of Malacca sultanate. From there the Malay people spread across archipelago and introduced the game to Buginese people in Sulawesi. Then the game is developed as Buginese traditional game which is called "Raga" (the players are called "Pa'Raga"). The "Raga" can trace its origin from Malacca Sultanate, and was popular in South Sulawesi since 19th century. Some men playing "Raga" encircling within a group, the ball is passed from one to another and the man who kicked the ball highest is the winner. "Raga" is also played for fun by demonstrating some tricks, such as kicking the ball and putting it on top of player's head holds by tengkolok bugis (Bugis cloth headgear similar to Malay tanjak). In Bangkok, murals at Wat Phra Kaeo which was built in 1785, depict the Hindu god Hanuman playing sepak takraw in a ring with a troop of monkeys. Other historical accounts mention the game earlier during the reign of King Naresuan (1590–1605) of Ayutthaya. The game remained in its circle form for hundreds of years, and the modern version ofsepak takraw began taking shape in Thailand sometime during the early 1740s. In 1829 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...
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