These are the basic rules to get you on track to play Takraw in the official way (see below for more comprehensive rules), we also encourage all kinds of practice as it will make you a more versatile player, try out tricks, make up new games, and play Original Takraw (The variation where a circle of people keep the Takraw in the air)
N.B. The rules have changed slightly. To see a summary of the changes:
1.1. 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 court not advisable).
1.2. The width of the lines bounding the court should not be more than 0.04m measured and drawn inwards from the edge of the court measurements. All the boundary lines should be drawn at least 3.0m away from all obstacles.
The Centre line of 0.02m should be drawn equally dividing the right and left court.
At the corner of each at the Centre Line, the quarter circle shall be drawn from the sideline 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 back line of the court and 3.05m from the sidelines, the 0.04m line shall be measured and drawn outward from the edge of the 0.3m radius.
2.1. The posts shall be 1.55m (1.45m for women) in height from the floor and shall be sufficiently firm to maintain high net tension. It should be made from very strong materials and shall not be more 0.04m in radius.
The posts shall be erected or placed firmly 0.3m away from the sideline and in line with the Centre Line.
3.1. The net shall be made of fine ordinary cord or nylon with 0.06m to 0.08m mesh. The net shall be 0.7m in width and not shorter than 6.10m in length and taped at 0.05m from tape double at the top and sideline, called boundary tape.
3.2. The net shall be edged with 0.05m tape double at the top and the bottom of the net supported by a fine ordinary cord or nylon cord that runs through the tape and strain over and flush with the top of the posts. The top of the net shall be 1.52m (1.42m for women) in height from the centre and 1.55m (1.45m for women's) at the posts.
4.1. The Sepak Takraw ball shall be spherical in shape, made of synthetic fiber of one woven layer.
4.2. Sepak Takraw ball without synthetic rubber covering must consist of the following characteristics;
4.2.1. Have 12 holes.
4.2.2. Have 20 intersections.
4.2.3. Has a circumference measuring not less from 0.42m to 0.44m for men and from 0.43m to 0.45m for women.
4.2.4. Has a weight that range from 170 gm to 180 gm for men and from 150 gm to 160 gm for women.
4.3. The Sepak Takraw ball can be in plain single colour, multi-colour, and luminous colours, but not in any colour that will impair the performance of the players.
4.4. The Sepak Takraw ball can also be constructed of synthetic rubber or soft durable material for covering the ball, for the purpose of softening the impact of the ball on the player's body. The type of material and method used for constructing the ball, or for covering the ball with rubber or soft durable covering must be approved by ISTAF before it can be used for any competition.
4.5. All world, international, regional competitions sanctioned by ISTAF, including but not limited to, the Olympic Games, World Games,Commonwealth Games, Asian Game and SEA Games, must be played with ISTAF approved Sepak Takraw balls.
5.1. A match is played by two Regus, each consisting of three players.
5.2. One of the three players shall be at the back and he is called a "Tekong".
5.3. 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 a "Left Inside" and the player on the right is called a "Right Inside".
6.1. The male players must wear jerseys/T-shirts, and sports shoes (women: round neck T-shirts with sleeves, shorts length at least at knee level for woman players); and sports shoes with rubber soles. It is forbidden for players to wear anything that endangers the opponents during the game. In case of cold weather, the players are permitted to use tracksuits.
6.2. The entire apparel of a player is regarded as part of his body. All jerseys/T-shirts should be tucked in.
6.3. Anything that helps to speed the ball or that helps the movement of a player is not allowed.
6.4. The Captain of each Regu shall wear an armband on the left arm.
6.5. All jerseys/T-shirts are to be numbered at the back. A player must be assigned with one permanent number throughout the tournament. Each participating team is allowed to use only number 1 to number 15. The size of the number shall not be less than 19 cm in height.
7.1. There shall be no repeat of the same player in any team competition involving more than one Regu.
7.2. 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.
7.3. Each "Regu" may nominate none to maximum of two reserve players, but can make only one substitution in a match.
7.4. A Player who has been sent off by Referee during a match may be substituted, provided no substitution has been made.
7.5. Any "Regu" having less than 3 players will not be allowed to continue the game and will be considered as having lost.
For International Tournaments, the game shall be managed by the following officials:
8.1. Two technical delegates to the Sea Games, Asian Games and World Championships and any other international competitions that are sanctioned by ISTAF. The expenses of the Technical Delegates involving round trip air tickets, accommodations, meals and allowances of US$75.00 per day shall be paid by the organizing committee. The host country must guarantee proper accreditation for technical delegates who have been appointed. The technical delegates must be allowed to inspect the competition venue, facilities and equipment to insure that they conform to ISTAF regulations.
8.2. ISTAF Members Jury of Appeals - 4 members to be appointed to a Jury of Appeal to any ISTAF sanctioned competitions including Asian Games, Sea Games and other International and Continental competitions sanctioned by ISTAF. The host country shall provide accommodations, meals and internal transportation during the competition period. Members of the Jury shall be paid US$20.00 per day for their services. Two (2) members of the Jury of Appeal are to be appointed by the host country of whom one of them is the technical committee chairman and shall act as the chairman of the Jury of Appeal. As for the other member of the Jury of Appeal from the host country, he will act as secretary without vote.
8.3.1. When hosting any Sepak Takraw competition sanctioned by ISTAF including World Championship, SEA & ASIAN Games, Continental & Regional Championships, International Competitions it is incumbent upon the host nation to ensure that at least (2) International Referees approved by the referees committee are in attendance to officiate the tournament.
8.3.2. The Chairman of the referee committee or his representatives shall be appointed by ISTAF to oversee the officiating of ISTAF sanctioned competition. The host shall provide economy the round trip air-tickets, accommodation, meals and internal transportation during the period of competitions and shall pay US$30.00 per day for their services.
8.3.3. The host nation shall provide economy round trip air tickets, accommodation, meals and internal transportation during the period of competitions and shall pay the appointed referees a stipend of US$30.00 per day for their services
8.4. Officials in International Tournament shall wear a blazer or blouse the colour of which shall be approved by ISTAF.
8.5. Official Referee is fully responsible to his/her duties and to uphold and protect the Laws of the Game, Tournament Rules and Referee Standing Order. His/Her duty is:
8.5.1. To received the court of play, list of Referees, players and the competition fixtures which must be in accordance to the requirements of equipment and officials as specified by ISTAF from the organizer.
8.5.2. To be present throughout the duration of the competition and to ensure that all Referee/Assistant Referee and Linesmen strictly adhere to the current standing orders in performing their duties and smooth functioning of the game.
8.5.3. Empowered to appoint or replace a Referee/Assistant Referee and Linesmen base on their performances.
8.5.4. An avenue of appeal, which shall lay within the authority of Official Referee with regard to the decision of a Referee on a question of Law, and in all such cases the decision of the Official Referee, shall be final.
8.5.5. To suspend or terminate the game whenever considered necessary for the reason of adverse elements or weather condition, interference by spectators, or any other cause, that he reasonably deems to be necessary for such stoppages.
8.6. The Referee shall carry out his/her duties fairly, firmly and he/she should be guided by the Laws of the Game, Tournament Rules and Referee's Standing Order. His/Her authority and the exercise of the powers granted to him/her by the Laws of the Game commences as soon as he/she enters the court of play. He / she is :
8.6.1. To receive the Team/Score sheet from the Official Referee and to announce the name of the Tournament, the regu, match number and the players of the competing teams.
8.6.2. To ensure that players and spectators are kept informed of the progress of the match by announcing loudly and clearly the scores using the proper technical words of the game.
8.6.3. To have discretionary power to stop the game for any infringement of the Laws, to allow for substitution, time out and rest in accordance with the Rules of the Game.
8.6.4. Authorized to make a decision and shall consult the Assistant Referee or Linesmen if it is necessary in order to justify a decision or probable decision when deciding on contentious issues for any decision on matters base on points of facts provided by the Laws of the Game.
8.6.5. Authorized to send off (red card) any player, officials or spectators who, in his/her opinion, is guilty of violent conduct, serious foul play or who persist in misconduct after received a caution (yellow card).8.6.6. To return the completed Team/Score sheet and submit a written report to the Official Referee on incidents that occurred during the game.
8.7. The Assistant Referee shall assist the Referee fairly, firmly and should be guided by the Laws of the Game, Tournament Rules and Referee's Standing Order.
8.7.1. To inspect the court of play, lines on the court, the net, the post, the ball, Referee's/Assistant Referee and Linesmen chairs in accordance with specification.
8.7.2. To inspect players attire in accordance with rule. 6.1.
8.7.3. To conduct the "Toss" of a coin or disc with the captain of competing regus.
8.7.4. To observe the players committing faults on Referee's blind sides, the centre line and at the net.
8.7.5. The Assistant Referee shall be provided with a supply of balls and when the original ball has gone outside the court of play, the Assistant Referee shall immediately throw a new ball to the nearest player of the next serving side or otherwise directed by the Referee and to collect the ball after the end of a match.
8.8. The Linesmen shall be fair, firm and seated attentively at their specific area of responsibilities.
8.8.1. To indicate whether a ball is 'IN' or 'OUT' to the specific lines assigned and to inform the Referee if in doubt.
8.8.2. Prohibited from eating, drinking, smoking, talking, cheering or shouting and to remain at the specific area until the game ends.
Before commencing the game, the Official Referee will toss a coin or disc and the side winning the toss shall have the option of "Choosing Service" or "Choosing Side". The side winning the toss 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.
10.1. At the start of play, the players of both "Regu's" must be in their respective courts in a ready position.
10.2. The Tekong shall have one of his feet inside the serving circle.
10.3. Both of the "Inside" players of the serving side must be in their respective quarter circles.
10.4. The opponent or receiving Regu is free to be anywhere within its court.
11.1. The side that must serve first shall start the first set. The side that wins the first set shall have the options of "Choosing Service".
11.2. The throw must be executed as soon as the Referee calls the score. If either of the "Inside" players throws the ball before the Referee calls the score, it must be a re thrown and a warning will be given to the thrower.
11.3. During the service, as soon as the Tekong kicks the ball, all the players are allowed to move about freely in their respective courts.
11.4. The service is valid if the ball passes over the net, whether it touches the net or not, and inside the boundary of the two net tapes and boundary lines of the opponent's court.
12.1. The Serving Side During Service
12.1.1. 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 Referee.
12.1.2. The "Inside" player lifts his feet or steps on the line or crosses over or touches the net while throwing the ball.
12.1.3. The "Tekong" jumps off the ground to execute the service.
12.1.4. The "Tekong" does not kick the ball on the service throw.
12.1.5. The ball touches his own player before crossing over the opponent court.
12.1.6. The ball goes over the net but falls outside the court.
12.1.7. The ball does not cross to the opponent side.
12.1.8. A player uses his hand or hands, or any other part of his arms to facilitate the execution of a kick even if the hand or arm does not directly touches the ball, but it touches other objects or surfaces instead when doing so.
12.2. Serving And Receiving Side During Service
12.2.1. Creating distracting manner or noise or shouting at his opponent.
12.3. For Both Sides During The Game
12.3.1. Any player who touches the ball on the opponent side.
12.3.2. Any part of player's body crosses over into opponent's court whether above or under the net except during the follow-through of the ball.
12.3.3. Playing the ball more than 3 times in succession.
12.3.4. The ball touches the arm
12.3.5. Stopping or holding the ball under the arm, between the legs or body.
12.3.6. Any part of the body or player's outfits e.g. shoes, jersey, head band etc., touches the net or the post or the Referee's chairs or falls into the opponent's side.
12.3.7. The ball touches the ceiling, roof or the wall (any objects).
13.1. When either serving side or receiving side commits a fault, a point is awarded to the opponent side including making next service.
13.2. The winning point for a set is 21 points, unless the point is tied at 20-20, the set shall be decided on a difference of two points, up to a ceiling of 25 points. When the score is tied at 20-20, the Referee announces "Setting up to 25 points".
13.3. The game is played in 2 sets with 2-minute rest in between.
13.4. If each "Regu" wins one set, the game shall be decided in the third set called "Tie-break" with 15 points unless the point is tied at 14-14, then the set shall be decided on a difference of two points, up to a ceiling of 17 points. When the score is tied at 14-14, the Referee announces "Setting up to 17 points".
13.5. Before the tie-break set takes place, the Referee shall toss a disc or coin, and the side winning the toss shall have the option of "Choosing Service". The change of sides takes place when one "Regu" reaches 8 points.
Each "Regu" can request for one time-out of one-minute rest by team manager or official coach per set when the ball is not in play. Only 5 persons are allowed at the base line.
15.1. The Referee can suspend play temporarily in the event of obstructions, disturbances or any injury to a player who needs immediate treatment, for not more than 5 minutes.
15.2. An injured player is allowed up to 5 minutes injury time-out. If after 5 minutes, the player is unable to continue, a substitution must be made. If the injured player's team has already made a substitution, the match will be declared a forfeit in favor of the opposing team.
15.3. In the course of such suspension, all players are not allowed to leave the court to receive drinks or any form of assistance.
16.1. Every player must abide by the rules of the game.
16.2. Only the Captain of the "Regu" is allowed to approach the Referee during the game.
Fouls and misconduct are penalized as follows:
Disciplinary Sanctions -
17.1. Cautionable Offences
A player is cautioned and shown the yellow card if he commits any of the following six offences:
17.1.1. is guilty of unsporting behaviour
17.1.2. shows dissent by word or action
17.1.3. persistently infringes the Laws of the Game
17.1.4. delays the restart of play
17.1.5. enters or re-enters the court without the Referee's permission
17.1.6. deliberately leaves the court without the Referee's permission.
17.2. Sending-off Offences
A player is sent off and shown the red card if he commits any of the following five offences:
17.2.1. is guilty of serious foul play
17.2.2. is guilty of violent conduct, including an act executed with deliberate intent to cause injury to his opponent
17.2.3. spits at an opponent or any other person
17.2.4. Using offensive or insulting or abusive language and/or gestures.
17.2.5. Receives a second caution (Yellow Card) in the same match.
17.3. Commits a cautionable offence either on or off the court, whether directed towards opponent, team-mate, the referee, an Assistant Referee or any other person, for which a yellow card is awarded for each the offence committed is disciplined as follows
First Yellow Card:
Second Yellow Card received by the same player in different matches, but in the same tournament.
Penalty: a) One Match Suspension
Third Yellow Card received after suspension for the first two Yellow Cards in the tournament by the same player.
Penalty: a) Two (2) Matches Suspension
b) A Fine of US$100 (One Hundred Dollars) is to be paid by the club or any other body the player represent in the match
Fourth Yellow Card
Yellow card received after two match's suspension for the earlier Third Yellow Card in the same tournament by the same player.
Penalty: Immediate suspension from playing in the next or subsequent matches in any tournament sanctioned by relevant Sepak Takraw controlling authority until a Disciplinary Committee is convened and a decision have been reached on the matter.
Two Yellow Cards received by the same player within the same match.
Penalty: a) Two (2) Matches Suspension
b) A Fine of US$100 (One Hundred Dollars) is to be paid by the club or any other body the player represent in the match.
c) A Red Card will be given for a third disciplinary offence committed in any other matches in the tournament.
17.4. A player who commits a sending-off offence either on or off the court, whether directed towards opponent, team-mate, the Referee, an Assistant Referee or any other person, for which a red card is awarded, for each of the offence committed is disciplined according to the nature of the offence committed is disciplined as follows:
17.4.1. Offence : A Red Card
Send-Off from the game and immediate suspension from playing in any tournament sanctioned by the relevant controlling authority for Sepak Takraw until a Disciplinary Committee is convened and a decision has been reached on the matter.
18.1. Disciplinary action will be taken against Team Officials or his team for any misconduct or disturbances committed by the official or team during a tournament whether in or outside the court.
18.2. Any team official who commits a misconduct or disturbances will be immediately escorted out from the arena by the tournament officials and the Official Referee and will also be immediately suspended from being a team official, until a Disciplinary Committee is convened and a decision has been reached on the matter.
19.1. In the event of any question or any matter arising out of any point, which is not expressly provided for in any of the rules of the game, the decision of the Official Referee shall be final.
The amendments have been approved during
the International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) Congress
on 12 December 2004, at Bangkok, Thailand.
Information sourced from USA Takraw Association