Thursday, March 6, 2014

Published on 2014 Incheon Asian Games official blog on February 25, 2014: http://blog.incheon2014ag.com/sepak-takraw/
First introduced and contested in the Asian Games 1990 in Beijing, China, sepak takraw (kick volleyball) is a sport native to Southeast Asia. The name itself came from two languages: “sepak” defined as “kick” in Malay; Takraw a “rattan ball” in Thai. It is found in the cultures of Southeast Asia as early as in the 11th century: Takraw in Thailand, Sipa in Philippines, Sepak Raga in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, Chin Loon in Myanmar, Rago in Indonesia and Kator in Laos. It is also very similar to the “Cuju”, an ancient Chinese ball game and Japanese traditional game, “Kemari” that involves kicking a ball into the air and counting the number of kicks.
Sepak takraw is a spectacular mix of football, volleyball, baseball, badminton and gymnastics. It is a competitive skill ball game which requires the use of the feet and head to keep the ball. Unlike any other sports, it is one of the toughest games in the world that postulates flash reflexes, precise control and gravity-defying leaps.

The Court

sepaktakraw
Image from Google
The standard Sepak Takraw courts are similar to the badminton court with the following dimension.

Playing Style

The distinctive playing styles have evolved over the years. These are a few notable ball-service styles that are executed today:
Horse-kick: the player kicks the ball using the foot sole
sepaktakraw
Image from Google
Sunback or Stingray spike: the player jumps and kicks the ball over the same shoulder as their kicking foot.
sepaktakraw
Image from Google
Roll spike: the player kicks over the opposite shoulder.
sepaktakraw
Image from Google
Cartwheel: the player spikes with the in-step.
sepaktakraw
Image from Google

Interesting Facts

  1. The use of hand during the game is prohibited.
  2. There is no rotation in the defense position.
  3. It is counted as a score when the ball touches the net before failing into the opponent court.
  4. The speed of the ball can be up to 140km per hour.

South Korea Sepaktakraw Team

sepaktakraw
Picture from Korea Sepaktakraw Association
The South Korean Sepaktakraw national team have been gaining momentum with several wins in recent events.  In the 1st Sepaktarkaw ISTAF Super Series competition held last September, Korea defeated top seeded Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand to come out victorious.
The ISTAF Super Series is an international sepaktakraw competition organized by the International Sepaktakraw Federation.  It gathers the best team to compete in a series of tournaments to see which country is the best.
Another successful outing by the South Korean team both women and men, was at the World Championships.  This time, the top seeded national teams were determined to avenge their defeats.  However, Korea men’s team did succeed in winning a silver (regu), and 2 bronze (double, team event).  The women team won a silver (regu) and bronze (team event).

Sepaktakraw at Incheon Asian Games

sepaktakraw
Picture from Korea Sepaktakraw Association
Sepak Takraw, also known as one of the strangest games in the world will be featured at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.  The Southeast Asian teams are favorite to win but with the home ground support behind Korea’s team, who knows which way the ball will land.  Get ready to be amazed by the jaws-dropping movements and the exciting matches!
The official 2014 Incheon Asian Games Writer ‘IAG-Crew’ ㅣKit Yee, Thoong

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