If I ask Thai people about Thai sports, what will they think of? Somebody may think of Muay Thai, somebody may think of Takraw.
Nowadays, Muay Thai is widespread all around the world. A lot of people know a lot of details about Muay Thai but has anyone know some details about Takraw?
I would like to introduce my favorite sport,Sepak Takraw, to you. Let see, how much did you know about this Thai sport.
Sepak Takraw is a sport native to South East Asia. It was firstly played in 15th century. Sepak Takraw is similar to volleyball but there are some differences about the ball and the usages of players’ body.
The sport uses a rattan ball and only allow players to use their feet, knees, chest, and head to touch the ball.
You might be curious about its name because we only call it “Takraw” not “Sepak Takraw” when we play or watch it. We usually call it “Sepak Takraw” when there are official match only. Why’s that?
Aforementioned, Sepak Takraw is a South East Asia’s native sport. Therefore, its name is different in each country. In Laos PDR, the sport is called Kataw that means twine and kick. In Philippines, it is known as sipa, it also means kick. In Cambodia, a name of the sport is Chin lone. As you might already guess, it means kick too.
What about the word Sepak Takraw? Where is it from? In Malaysia, they call the sport, Sepak Raga. Sepak means kick and raga means basket. Takraw is a Thai word for a woven ball. Therefore, Sepak Takraw quite literally means to kick a ball.
The choosing of this name for the sport was essentially a compromise between Malaysia and Thailand, the two powerhouse countries of this sport. However; nowadays, we don’t have to fear Malaysia anymore, they are not as strong as they used to be. The rival country of Thailand is South Korea. You may not know that the land of boy band can kick and they kick it well.
Nowadays, the international competition is now governed by ISTAF, the International Sepak Takraw Federation. There are three major competitions for the sport, the ISTAF SuperSeries, the ISTAF World Cup and the King’s Cup World Championships are held every year. Your oppa is a runner-up for the last year.
Sepak takraw is now even a regular sport event in the Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games. However, I hope that one day it will be played in the biggest event of sport world, Olympics game so that the world will recognize Thailand as the king of woven ball!