Takraw Balls were originally woven from rattan. In 1982 a Thai engineer revolutionized the sport by introducing woven synthetic balls. Today, almost all players around the world use synthetic takraw balls.
How to Select a Takraw Ball for Players:
Weight: Takraw balls range in weight from 140 grams to 200 grams. Normally younger and beginner players start with lighter balls and move up in weight. For advanced players the optimal weight for advanced Sepak Takraw balls is 175 grams. Some people use heavier balls for additional spring or when playing outdoors in order to minimize the effect of the wind.
The Weave: The tightness of the weave of takraw balls determine the spring, bounce and speed. A "soft" ball has less bounce. A "hard" ball will have maximum bounce.
Official Takraw Balls: The official ISTAF Sepak Takraw ball for Tournament play for men is the: Marathon MT201, and for women is the: Marathon MT201 Jr
In Takraw, the most important piece of equipment, with the exception of ball, is the athletes footwear. Most players prefer to kick in court shoes. They are popular mainly because of their support and flat surface at the instep, unlike the flared sole of a running shoe.
Popular makes/models include:
Adidas "Stan Smith"
Converse "All Star"
In general, any lightweight athletic footwear with a flat instep will work efficiently. Players often must develop a feel for their desired footwear by trial and error.
About the Game.
Sepak takraw is a skill ball game originated from Asia. It combines the teamwork of volleyball, the dexterity of soccer and the finesse of badminton. In Thailand it is called takraw, but the official name of this internationally recognized game is sepak takraw. Without a doubt it is one of the world’s most exciting sports, both to play and to watch, yet it is relatively unknown outside of Southeast Asia. Playing the sport requires little in the way of equipment or preparation but it does require quick reflexes, coordination, agility and, above all, technique. Thick skin is also helpful; a skillfully kicked takraw ball can travel at speeds of over 60mph!
The game is played by two opposing Regus, a team of three players each, on a court separated by a net similar to badminton. It begins with the service, executed by a ball toss from one player to the Server. Then, the players try to beat their opponents using their legs and head, except their hands, inside three kicks. The highlight is the "spike" (see right picture above). This is the most dramatic and explosive move in the game for spectators to watch as players go mid-air, twisting and turning to power the ball down into the opponent's court. To play takraw, players can use either a net, a hoop, or simply stand around in a circle formation. Whatever the style, the object is to kick the ball to another player without the ball touching the ground. Players can use any of their lower limbs and body but absolutely no hands!