Sepak takraw is one of the traditional sports from Sulawesi, Indonesia. Sepak takraw started growing in Indonesia in 1970 when Singapore and Malaysia visited Indonesia. Sepak Takraw first appeared in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and then went into Sumatra and Borneo. Sepak comes from Malay, which means kick, and Takraw comes from Thai, which means woven ball. In Sulawesi, Sepak Takraw is known as “sepak raga” or “meraga/maddaga.” The word “meraga/maddaga” is taken from the Bugis language, which means to entertain.
In the past, sepak raga was played to traditional music. At this time, sepak raga is played in various ceremonies and at parties. Sepak raga is a blend of sport and art. This sport requires dexterity and agility. It is played by a team, each team consisting of 5-15 people wearing traditional Makassar clothes which consists of passapu (Makassar’s typical headgear), dress cap (traditional suit) and lipa sabbe (sheath made of Makassar silk fabric) .
Sepak raga is played on a flat piece of land, and with a circular diameter of at least 6 meters. They play with a woven, rattan ball, with a diameter of 15 cm. At first, the players stand in a circle. One of the players tosses the ball to start the game.
There are several requirements in this sport:
– The player may use his legs, thighs, shoulders, chest, and head. But he must not use his hands.
– Players must not monopolize the game, all players are entitled to the opportunity to show their skills.
– The ball must not fall to the ground before the game is finished. If the ball is dropped before the game is finished, then the player who dropped the ball will be ejected and the game starts again from the beginning.
This sport has grown in the international world and has a different nickname in every country. In Indonesia, it is known as sepak raga, in Thailand it is called sepak takraw, and in the Philippines it’s known as sipa.
Today, sepak takraw is a mixture of soccer and volleyball, using a rattan ball. This sport is played on a badminton doubles court and the players cannot touch the ball with their hands. A sepak takraw match is played by two teams. Each team consists of 3 players and 1 reserve player, namely:
- Tekong (defender) is the player who starts the game.
- Apit left and Apit right, this position is filled with 2 other players who are on the left front and right front.
The parent organization of sepak takraw is ISTAF (International Sepak Takraw Federation). Every year they hold a match called “King’s World Cup Championship.”
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