As this doubles as an "update the family" and "everything Thailand" blog I figured I'd quickly share something sports related.Thailand is gaga over football, or soccer. But there is one sport that I have found especially interesting called "takraw" ตะกร้อ. Takraw is a volleyball-like sport with teams on either side of a net, but instead of using your hands to volley the ball back and forth, the players use all other parts of their body.The net is about head high and the court rather small as well. Play starts with a serve. A player tosses the ball to the server who stands in a small circle in the center of the court. The server kicks the wicker or rattan ball over the net to the receiving team. Play continues, volleying the takraw back and forth until it hits the ground.The sport is highly exciting, with acrobatic spikes of the takraw, usually involving an upside down Street Fighter-like kick. Some of the blockers are brave and attempt to block spikes with their heads! Fast paced combo of hackey sack and volleyball!
Check out this short Youtube video of some takraw play. Not the best video, but it'll give you a great idea of how exciting the sport is. You must click and play this video, the still photos don't do the sport justice. (Pictures and video taken from various online sources, not mine)Thailand and Malaysia are two takraw powerhouses. Takraw is played in schools, competitions such as the Asian Games, in empty lots, between buildings and even out in the sticks.
I'll let you know when I try my hand (or feet) at this awesome looking sport!