How to Play Sepak Takraw

Sepak takraw makes volleyball look like a cake walk. This popular Asian game combines volleyball, soccer and a hint of martial arts. Think of it as volleyball on steroids, complete with jump kicks. Sound like a challenge? Here are the basics of the game.

  • Two teams of three players play on a court that measures 20 by 44 feet. The net stands five feet tall. A team is called a regu.
  • The ball, made of hand-woven rattan, weights five or six ounces and is approximately one foot five inches in diameter. The ball has 12 holes and 20 intersections.
  • The server, or tekong, stands in the back. The two remaining teammates play the front line, one of the right, known as the right inside, and the player on the left is the left inside.
  • One foot must stay in the serving circle when serving. A teammate tosses the ball and one of the server's feet must remain planted on the ground while kicking the serve. The serve must happen as soon as the official announces the score.  Once the serve is on its way, players can move around their side of the court.
  • The ball can not touch the arms. Similar to volleyball, one team cannot kick the ball more than three times in a row. If this happens, the other team receives a point.
  • A team must score 21 points to win and must win by a two-point margin. If the set is close, it may extend to 25 points, but this is the ceiling.
  • Each game has two sets, unless a tie-breaker is necessary. In the tie-breaker, the first team to 15 wins, unless the game is tied. Then, the first to 17 points wins.
  • In competition, shorts and jerseys or T-shirts are required. The regu captain must wear an armband on the left arm.
  • Teams may have two substitutes on the bench, but only one substitution per match is allowed.

Sepak Takraw builds leg strength and flexibility and develops hand-eye coordination. Try a game and experience Asian-style volleyball.

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