!http://active.typepad.com/teamsports/images/72813758_1.jpg![http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/72813758_1.jpg]I was looking through Sports Illustrated's Most Interesting Pictures of the year and came upon an amazing action shot of an athlete serving the ball in a sport I wasn't familiar with. I was intrigued and, after a little research, found this sport to be fascinating. You might also find it interesting, especially if you are a soccer or volleyball fan.
Sepak Takraw, which literally translates to Kick Volleyball, is a cross between soccer and volleyball. This fast-growing and popular sport in Asia is called Takraw for short and is played on a badminton doubles-sized court. The Takraw ball is traditionally hand-woven and made of rattan stems or very hard plastic weighing approximately 250 grams.
Two teams compete for higher scores by spiking a ball into the opponent���s court. Each team gets three chances to kick, knee, shoulder or head the ball back to the opposing team. Like in volleyball, there are passes, sets and spikes���but the strokes must be made soccer-style: no hands or arms allowed.
The most prestigious tournament of this sport is the King's Cup World Championships, the most recent of which was held in Bangkok, Thailand. As of 2006, there have been 21 King's Cup tournaments.
(Photo provided by Getty Images, taken by Ian Walton)