It is a general belief that sepak takraw was played as early as the 9th Century. Traditionally a game of the Malays in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, sepak takraw is also played in other Southeast Asian countries like Philippines, Thailand, Burma and Laos. It is also known by different names -- sepak raga, sipa, takraw, ching loong or kator. An enduring pastime, it combines the teamwork of volleyball, the dexterity of football and the fine finish of badminton. The net for the game was introduced in the 1920s.
In 1957, players and officials gathered at Istana Kampong Glam to standardise sepak takraw rules. Since then, it has become an international sport as countries in Southeast Asia adopted these rules. Sepak raga continued to be played as a recreational game without the competitive element.
Sepak takraw was introduced in the 3rd SEAP (Southeast Asia Peninsula) Games in 1965 and has since then been a regular feature in the Games. As a result, the ASTAF (Asian Sepak Takraw Federation) revised and standardized the rules for competitions which have undergone many revisions over the years.
- An area of 13.4m x 6.1m free from all obstacles up to the height of 8m measured from the floor surface (sand and grass surface is not advisable).
- The width of the lines bounding the court shall not be more than 0.04m measured and drawn inwards from the edge of the court measurements. All the lines shall be drawn at least 3.0m away from all obstacles.
- The centre line of 0.02m shall be drawn equally dividing the court into two halves.
- At the intersection of the center line with each sideline, the quarter circle shall be drawn from the side line to the centre line with a radius of 0.9m measured and drawn outwards from the edge of the 0.9m radius.
- The service circle of 0.3m radius shall be drawn on the left and on the right court, the centre of which is 2.45m from the base lines of the court and 3.05m from the side lines, the 0.04m line shall be measured and drawn outward from the edge of the 0.3m radius.
- The posts shall be 1.55m for man and 1.45m for women in height from the floor and shall be sufficiently firm to keep the net strained. It shall be made from strong materials and shall not be more than 0.04m in radius.
- The posts shall be erected or placed 0.3m away from the side line and in line with the centre line.
- The net shall be made of fine ordinary cord or nylon with 0.06m to 0.08m mesh. The net shall be of 0.7m wide and not shorter than 6.10m in length and taped at both ends with 0.05m tape from top to bottom to be in line with court sidelines, called boundary tapes
- The net shall be edged with 0.05m tape both at the top and the bottom of the net supported by a fine ordinary cord or nylon that runs through the tape and strains over and flushes with the top of the posts. The top of the net shall be 1.52m for man and 1.42m for women in height from the centre and 1.55m for man and 1.45m for women at the post.
THE SEPAK TAKRAW BALL
The Sepak takraw ball shall be a sphere of one woven layer having 12 holes with 20 intersections. It shall be made of either natural rattan or synthetic fiber. If it is made of rattan, it shall consist of 9-11 strains. The circumference shall not be less than 0.42m and not more than 0.44m for man and 0.43m to 0.45m for women. The weight before play shall not be less than 170 gm and not more than 180 gm for man and 150 gm to 160 gm for women.
1. The players shall wear jerseys/T-shirts and shorts for man and round neck T-shirts with sleeves, shorts length at knee level for women, and sports shoes with rubber soles. It is forbidden for players to wear anything that endangers themselves or the opponents during the game. In case of cold weather, the players are permitted to use track suits.
2. The entire apparel of a player is regarded as part of his/her body. All jerseys/T-shirts shall be tucked in.
3. Anything that helps to speed the ball or that helps the movement of a player is not allowed.
4. Captain of each "Regu" shall wear an arm band on the left arm.
5. All jerseys/T-shirts shall be numbered on the back. A player shall be assigned with a permanent number throughout the tournament. Only numbers 1-15 are allowed to be used by each participating team. The size of the number shall not be less than 19 cm in height.
RULES OF THE GAME
1. The game is played between two "Regus" consisting of three players on each side.
2. One of the three players shall be at the back, and he/she is called "Back".
3. The other two players shall be in front, one on the left and the other on the right. The player on the left is called "Left Inside" and the player on the right is called "Right Inside".
4. Substitution of a player is allowed at any time on request made by the Team Manager to the Official Referee when the ball is not in play.
5. Each "Regu" is allowed to make one substitution only.
6. Player who is sent off by umpire during the game, shall be allowed to be substituted, provided the substitution has not been made.
7. Any player having played in any "Regu" whether in the starting lineup or as a substitute shall not be allowed to play in another "Regu" for the team in the current game.
8. Any "Regu" having less than 3 players shall not be allowed to continue the game and will be considered as having lost.
THE TOSS AND WARM UP
Before commencing the game, the umpire shall toss disc and the side winning the toss shall have the option of "First Serving" or of "Choosing Side". The "First Serving" shall "warm-up" first for 2 minutes followed by the other "Regu". Only 5 persons are allowed to move freely in the court with the official ball.
POSITION OF PLAYERS DURING SERVICE
9. At the start of play, the players of both "Regu" shall be in their respective courts in ready position.
10. Serving "Back" player shall have one of his/her feet inside the serving circle. The other foot, shall be outside the circle to kick the service ball.
11. Both of the "Inside" players of the serving side, shall be in their respective quarter circles.
12. The opponent is free to be anywhere within its court.
START OF PLAY AND SERVICE
13. The side that chooses to start the game, shall start the first set. The winner of the first set shall change side and start the second set.
14. The throw shall be executed as soon as the umpire calls the score. If any of the "Inside" player throws the ball before the umpire calls the score, it shall be a re-throw and a warning shall be given to the thrower. During the service, as soon as the ball is kicked by the server, all the players are allowed to move about in their respective court.
15. The service is valid if the ball passes over the net, whether it touches the net or not, within the boundary of two boundary tapes and falls inside the opponent court.
16. The execution of the serving by the "Back" player can be kicked in any manner, provided one of his/her feet shall be always touching the ground in the service circle.
17. The serving side during service
- The "Inside" player who is making service throws, plays about with the ball, (throwing up the ball, bumping, giving to other "Inside" player, etc.) after the call of score has been made by the umpire.
- The "Inside" player lifts his/her feet or steps on the line or crosses over or touches the net while throwing the ball.
- The "Back" player while kicking the service ball, the other foot does not touch the ground or steps on the service circle line.
- The "Back" player does not kick the ball on the service throw.
- The ball touches his/her own player before crossing to the opponent court.
- The ball goes over the net but falls outside the court.
- The ball does not cross to the opponent side.
18. Receiving Side During Service
- To create distracting manner or noise or shout at respective opponent.
19. For Both Sides During a Game
- Stepping on the centre line.
- Any player who touches the ball on the opponent court.
- Any part of the player's body crossing over the opponent's court whether above or under the net except during the follow through ball.
- Playing the ball more than 3 times in succession.
- The ball touches the arm.
- The ball rolls over the body.
- Stopping or holding the ball under the arm, between the legs or body.
- Any part of the body or player's outfits e.g. shoes, head band etc., touches the net or the post or the umpire chairs or falls into the opponents court.
- The ball touches the ceiling roof or the wall (any objects).
- Any player who delays the game unnecessarily
CHANGE OF SERVICE
Change of service is given when any fault is made by the serving side or the receiving side kills the return.
Each "Regu" can request for one time out of one minute by team manager or official coach per set and tie break set when the ball is not in play. Only 5 persons are allowed at the base line.
SCORING OF POINTS
A point is given to serving "Regu" when its opponents have made a fault.
TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF PLAYER
20. The umpire can suspend play temporarily in the event of obstructions, disturbances or any injury to player which need immediate treatment, for not more than 5 minutes. If after 5 minutes, the player is unable to continue, a substitution shall be made, provided substitution has not been made.
21. In the course of such suspension, all players are not allowed to leave the court to receive drinks or any form of guidance.
22. The winning point for a set is a maximum of 15 points.
23. To allow for 2 minutes rest at the end of the first and second set respectively.
24. If each "Regu" wins a set, the game shall be decided in the tie break set of 6 points.
25. Before the tie-break set take place, the umpire shall toss disc. and the side winning the toss shall have the serving first.
26. The change of side shall occur in tie break set whereby one "Regu" has reached 3 points.
27. Every player shall abide by the rules of the game.
28. Only the Captain of the "Regu" is allowed to approach the umpire during the game.
Players disobeying rules shall be penalised by the umpire
29. Showing dissent by words or action towards any officials, with regards to any decision and to any players or spectators.
30. Using foul or abusive language to any officials, players or spectators.
31. To take any improper step or action in order to influence any decision made by the officials.
32. To leave the court without the permission of the umpire.
33. To give the ball to his/her opponent with his/her feet.
34. To commit ungentlemanly conduct.
35. To disobey orders and rules of play.The umpire may use one of the following cards.Yellow Card - CautionRed Card - ExpulsionRed Card shall be given to the following offences committed "INTENTIONALLY"
i) Persist in misconduct after receiving a caution.
ii) Violent conduct (e.g. striking, kicking, spitting, etc.)
iii) Using foul or abusive language.
Note: Any player who is shown a red card shall be sent off the court and disciplinary action shall be taken against him. The player concerned shall not be allowed to play in any game until sanction has been made
MISCONDUCT OF TEAM OFFICIALS
Disciplinary action shall be taken against Team Officials or his/her team for any misconduct or disturbances committed by the official or team during a tournament whether in or outside the court.
The game shall be managed by the following officials:
- 1 Official referee
- 2 Umpires
- 6 Linesmen (4 Side Line and 2 Base Line)
In the event of any question or any matter arising of any point which is not expressly provided for in the rules of the game, the decision of the Official referee shall be final.