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Sepak Takraw, the sport you’ve never heard of (but wish you had)

Sepak Takraw

We don’t know who invented sepak takraw, but whoever it was must have been a masochist gymnast. This may just be the most entertaining sport you’ve never heard of, and we need to see it on an Olympic stage ASAP.

The basics

If soccer and volleyball had a baby (as if they aren’t hard enough on their own), it would be sepak takraw, and it would be (and is) insane. Sepak takraw takes the hard parts of volleyball (the high net, small court and the rule that the ball must remain in the air) and the hard part of soccer (precise ball control without your hands) and combines them into a sport that looks far too difficult to be possible.

Basically you’re playing volleyball with your feet, and the ball isn’t the only thing that’s airborne. The insane jumps and flips that are performed by the players may just be the best part of watching this high-energy and seemingly impossible game.

Still with us, kinda? Good. Read on…

A young boy playing Sepak takraw with a ball.

How it started

You may have never heard of it but sepak takraw is huge in Asia, and has been played for centuries. It’s unclear where it originated but it has deep and strong roots in a number of Southeast-Asian countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.

The name “sepak takraw” comes from a combination of the Malay word for ‘kick’ and the Thai name of the ball used in play. The sport has huge tournaments across Asia and its popularity is slowly but surely spreading all across the globe.

Sepak Takraw balls

The rules

Sepak Takraw


Horse Kick

A high kick

Sunback Spike

Performing the horse kick while jumping

Roll spike

A sunback spike performed with a flip

Inside kick

Hitting the ball with the inside of your foot

Knee kick

Hitting the ball with your thigh


Hitting the ball with your forehead

Sepak takraw court


Team Thailand is currently ranked number 1 in both men’s and women’s sepak takraw for the ISTAF World Cup. Thai players are also known for perfecting some of the most challenging moves in the game.

To learn more about sepak takraw, visit the official website and prepare to be wowed.

Thailand Womens Team