Five sports played at the Southeast Asian Games

The Southeast Asian Games officially began on Wednesday in Burma, although competition got under way last week. Eleven countries are contesting this tournament, which began in 1959 and is held every two years.

So far, the host nation tops the medals table. Here's a quick rundown of some of the more unusual sports on display.

Kick volleyball

Sepak Takraw has been ever present at the Games for the last 40 years. Unlike volleyball, players cannot use their hands and the ball is made of rattan palms.

Sepak Takraw The sport is played on sand at the Asian Beach Games
Wushu

Several martial arts are contested at the SEA Games. Wushu developed in China after the war. A school at Tianjin claims to have taught students who have gone on to win more than 1,000 medals at national and international competitions.

A wushu training centre in Tianjin, China
Chinlone

This is a combination of sport and dance, with a circle of six players attempting to keep the ball in the air while executing - as elegantly as possible - some complex moves, many of which take place behind the player, with the heel, for example.

Chinlone played on the streets of Myanmar
Traditional boat racing

There are usually two boat sizes, with crews of 10 or 20. Each rower kneels in the boat and rows using a single-ended paddle, in a sport reminiscent of dragonboat racing.

Traditional boat racing
Petanque

This form of boules is played in several countries outside France, including parts of Southeast Asia. It's a legacy of the French colonial presence in the region.

Petanque training

Follow @BBCNewsMagazine on Twitter and on Facebook

More on This Story

In today's Magazine

Features & Analysis

  • Baby in boxStrange case

    The remarkable appeal of the Finnish baby boxes


  • WW1 gas mask being demonstratedTrench terror

    Did the soldiers of WW1 have an irrational fear of poison gas?


  • Mitt Romney, speaks at the podium as he concedes the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention 7 November 2012Aura of a loser?

    Mitt Romney looked presidential but could never pull it off


  • A woman holds up a feminist sign.PC virus

    Is liberal speech policing out of control?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ReadingBest books

    BBC Culture takes a look at ten books you should read in February

Programmes

  • A car being driven by Cruise Automation technologyClick Watch

    The tech which could allow any car with an automatic gearbox to become self-driving

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.