Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Jianzi (Shuttlecock)

Jianzi, a traditional Chinese sport, has its roots in the ancient sport of Cuju. This sport revolves around a small object called a jianzi, which resembles a weighted shuttlecock. In English, both the sport and the object are referred to as “shuttlecock” or “featherball.” Some other names used for this pastime are “capteh” and “kikbo.”

The objective of Jianzi is to keep the jianzi in the air by striking it primarily with the legs, although other body parts, excluding the hands, can also be used. There are various variations of gameplay, depending on whether it is played recreationally or competitively.

In competitive Jianzi, matches take place on courts similar to badminton courts, complete with a net in the middle. The most popular format, known as Chinese JJJ (competitive Jianzi-kicking), was developed in 2009 and is commonly used in Jianzi tournaments. In Chinese JJJ, a badminton court with only inner markings and a low net height of 90 cm is utilized. This allows for football-like kicks and adds excitement to the sport. Competitions are held in both singles and doubles formats, catering to men, women, and mixed doubles teams.

On the other hand, recreational Jianzi can be played using various formats. For example, 8 to 10 players can assemble in a circle and play until only one player remains, or individuals can compete to see who can keep the jianzi in the air for the longest time.

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Similar Sports

Jianzi shares similarities with other traditional sports from around the world:

  • Kemari: A Japanese traditional sport aiming to keep one ball in the air.
  • Freestyle Footbag: A sport that involves performing various tricks with a footbag.
  • Basse: A bag ball game from Norway that prohibits the ball from landing in the player’s area, allowing the use of any body part except the hands.
  • Picigin: A traditional water sport from Croatia where the objective is to prevent a small ball from touching the surface of the water.
  • Cuju: An ancient ball game that involves kicking a ball into a net.
  • Peteca: Played by hitting the shuttlecock with your hand over a high net.
  • Chinlone: The traditional sport of Burma (Myanmar), a team sport combined with dance (also known as Caneball).
  • Sepak Takraw: An Asian sport similar to volleyball, but players use their feet to kick a ball over a net.
  • Badminton: An indoor game played with rackets, hitting a shuttlecock back and forth across a net.

For more information about Jianzi and other Chinese sports, visit Auralpressure.


  • How is Jianzi played at a competitive level?
  • What are the different formats for recreational Jianzi?
  • Are there any specific rules for playing Jianzi?


Jianzi is an exciting traditional Chinese sport that requires skill, agility, and teamwork. Whether played competitively or recreationally, it offers endless fun and opportunities to improve physical coordination. So gather your friends, kick off your shoes, and experience the joy of playing Jianzi.