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Welcome \ Travel \ Recreation





Sepak Takraw

One of Thailand's most unusual sports, Sepak Takraw, is an exciting combination of the skills of soccer, the teamwork of volleyball, and the pace of badminton. This sport and its variations are popular throughout Southeast Asia, and Thailand is one of the perennial powers in the sport, which is showcased at both the Asian Games, and the South-East Asian (SEA) Games. In Thailand Sepak Takraw is extremely popular with people of all ages, and it is not unusual to see people playing it at schools, temples, on the side of the road, in vacant lots, or just about anywhere.

Variations of Sepak Takraw

Net Takraw
Net Takraw is played in teams of three, on a small court, similar to that used in badminton, using a small, hollow, rattan ball. Players attempt to keep the ball aloft by using a variety of body parts, such as the feet, legs, knees, thighs, shoulders, and head. Serving is a team effort, as one player throws the ball to the server, who launches it spinning over the net. Much like volleyball, each team has three touches to send the ball across the net, and players often use these to set up teammates for spikes. It is much more difficult than it seems, however, and more advanced players have developed techniques that are truly amazing to watch. Net Takraw's acrobatic flip kicks and shoulder kicks require the most flexible and agile of athletes, not to mention kicks such as the cross-legged jump kick, in which the player jumps into the air and crosses one leg over the other before spiking the ball across the net. The pace of the game is lightning-quick, and the points are seldom longer than a few seconds long. The scoring system is similar to that used in volleyball in that there are side outs, and points can only be scored on one's serve.

Hoop Takraw
With the exception of Net Takraw, Hoop Takraw is the most common form of Takraw found in Thailand. Hoop Takraw is played in teams of seven players, who stand in a circle beneath a suspended hoop. The objective is for the players to collectively pass the ball back and forth while trying to put it through the hoop. Each team is allotted a time of 30 minutes to get as many points as possible, and successive teams try to best the score. Hoop Takraw, much like Net Takraw, requires a tremendous amount of skill, and some players are able to do trick kicks that must be seen to be believed. Perhaps the most difficult of these is a kick in which a player makes a hoop of his arms behind his back, lets the ball pass through, and then heels the ball back into the air and through the suspended hoop. Although Hoop Takraw is slower paced than Net Takraw, it is by no means easy.

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