Sepak Takraw or kick volleyball is a sport native to Southeast Asia. It differs from a much similar sport of footvolley in using a rattan ball and allowing players to use their feet, knee, chest and head to touch the ball. The sport has gained popularity over the years and will be included in the Olympics 2002. It is quite prevalent in countries such as India, Indonesia. Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand. It has different names in these countries like its called takraw or sepak raga in Malaysia, kataw in Laos, takraw in Thailand and in Myanmar, the sport is known by the name of chinlone. Similar games to Sepak Takraw includes footvolley, football tennis, footbag net, jianzi and bossaball.
The most historical evidence of the games shows that it was first played in the 15th century Malacca Sultanate as it was mentioned in the Malay historical text. The details of the incident describes Raja Muhammad to have been accidentally hit by Tun Besar, a son of Tun Perak in a Sepak raga game. The game has evolved since then and some of the variations are to be believed was caused by cuju, an ancient Chinese military exercise.
International play is now under the governance by the International Sepak Takraw Federation, abbreviated as the ISTAF. Some of the major competitions of the sport that are held every year are ISTAF Super Series, ISTAF World Cup and King's Cup World Championships.
By: Neha Maheshwari