TOURNAMENT RULES & FORMAT
OFFICIAL KANJAM RULES
TOURNAMENT RULES & FORMAT
This is a major tournament which will follow official KanJam rules. Full rules available below (scroll down on this page or click here to access rules categories). Referees will also have a printed copy of the rules and will be available for any questions.
Since this is a competitive, major tournament with media presence, we want to maintain a professional image for KanJam as a sport, which is why this is geared to be an alcohol and drug-free event. We still want everyone to have fun, but there have been issues in the past with allowing alcohol, so we need to ensure players/spectators are abiding to this guideline.
Teams are asked to leave all flying discs at their courts when games are completed.
Only KanJam discs provided at the tournament will be used in games.
If a dispute arises, the game pauses and all four players from both teams must come to a mutual agreement. KanJam has always been a friendly game, so please politely enforce your own games if a referee is not available! If an agreement cannot be reached, teams should seek out a referee to make a decision (such as a re-throw).
Once the tournament starts, teams must play every game with the same partner; no substitutions are allowed (see Game play in the official rules). Exceptions can be made in certain situations, but may be subject to disqualification from playoffs.
Players should throw the disc within 20 seconds when it is their turn to throw. Referees can call a delay after 20 seconds when players are purposely taking too long waiting for the wind to die down. Players must then throw within five seconds before the throw is lost.
There will be two lines marked at each goal. The shorter line (front of the goal) simply marks the 50 ft distance between the goals. This is not a stepping line. The longer line (behind the back edge of the goal) is the stepping line. Both feet will need to be behind this longer line when the disc is released (see Throwing/Release Rule in the official rules).
Tournament rules and format are subject to change at anytime at the discretion of tournament organizers and referees. This could be due to time constraints, total number of teams, or weather.
All teams will be placed into one of two Conferences. Each Conference will consist of two divisions. (There are four color-coded divisions total). For the regular season, teams will only compete against other teams in their division.
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Regular season “Scramble” games will be played to regulation 21 points (subject to change at anytime based on weather conditions).
Each team will play every team in their division once (one game). There is no specific order as to what team to play.
Teams are encouraged to move along in continuous play. Each division will be assigned a referee. Should players need to leave the field for an extended period of time (ex. lunch), they should first check-out with their referee, and then check-in with them when returning. If leaving the tournament early, teams will also need to inform their referee. This will help with tracking teams when it gets down to the end for those looking for specific teams to play. “Scramble” round will end at a designated time.
Upon completion of the “Scramble” round, teams will need to return their clipboard and scoresheet to their assigned referee for their division. Scoresheets will be checked for accuracy. Teams that fail to turn in clipboards/scoresheets or have intentionally modified their record will be disqualified.
Teams will be ranked on a basis of total wins. Teams with equal number of wins will be ranked based on head-to-head play.
In the event that head-to-head play cannot determine rank, a three-round total points shoot-out will be held between tied teams (if time permits). An Instant Win shot in a tiebreaker shoot-out will be counted as 10 points.
If, for any reason, a team leaves the tournament before the “Scramble” round ends, that team will forfeit all their games. All teams will receive a win for this game, regardless if they had the chance to play them or not. Even if someone had previously lost to a forfeited team, they will still get a win. All teams should be able to finish all their regular season games within the allotted time. Teams that are unable to complete their schedule of games may be subject to forfeiture.
The top 12 teams from each division will qualify for the playoffs (48 teams total).
The tournament coordinator will announce what courts will be used for playoff series.
The higher seed in each series will have their choice of which KanJam court the series will take place.
All playoff games will be played to regulation 21 points, in “best-of” series.
If a referee is officiating a series, please note that teams are still responsible for keeping score of games.
For each series, there will be one clipboard with a scoresheet provided. This scoresheet must be completed and handed in to the main pavilion by the winning team once the series is over. Teams will not advance until this completed scoresheet is returned. Teams can certainly wait until the series is over before filling out their scoresheet if they wish to do so.
The top 4 teams from each division will receive a “bye” for the first round (Divisional Wild Card Round).
Teams will maintain their seed throughout the divisional playoffs (Top seed plays bottom seed, etc.)
Teams will only compete within their division until a divisional winner remains.
The divisional winners will compete in the Conference Finals.
The winner of each Conference will compete in the World Championship Finals.
The entire playoffs bracket will be available to view in the pavilion.
The Final 4 and World Championship Finals (best of 7) will be recorded.
There will not be any video reviews. Referees have the final call.
In the event referees need to discuss a call with another referee, a stoppage in play will be called immediately while a decision is made.
In the Final 4 games, teams are still responsible for keeping score. Referees are only there to make calls. The World Championship Finals will have a scorekeeper, so there is no need for teams to keep score for this series.
OFFICIAL KANJAM RULES
Ever wondered what the rule is when the flying disc is thrown into the slot and comes out the top of the goal? Or how about when the disc is deflected into the slot? Well, this is the place to be. All the updated, official KanJam rules are on this page. Sanctioned and officially recognized events will follow the official KanJam rules. Tap on a category below to get started.
KanJam consists of one flying disc and two scoring containers that serve as goals.
First time set up of goals - Attach KanJam Label: Lay each goal flat with shiny side up. Carefully attach one "KanJam" label above the "Instant Win" slot on the front of each goal.
To assemble goals, insert the three tab ends into the slotted openings. Insert the tabs from the outside to the inside of the container.
The official distance between the goals is 50 feet. This distance should be measured from the front of one goal to the front of the other goal. Place the goals 50 feet apart, with the Instant Win slots facing each other.
For tournaments and leagues with multiple courts set up aside one another - KanJam courts should be placed no less than 15 feet apart from each other to allow room for deflecting. For larger events or those with limited space, it would be acceptable for a distance of 12 feet between courts.
Only the official KanJam flying disc shall be used in game play. All other flying discs are not permitted in official games.
Only one flying disc is used in game play; both teams will use the same disc.
The right to throw last is called having The Hammer. Choosing to throw last (The Hammer) is generally considered to be an advantage, similar to having "last bats" in baseball.
Traditionally, The Hammer was decided by a finger shoot of "odds or evens." In more recent years, players seem inclined to simply flip the flying disc like a coin and have one player call heads or tails, heads being the KanJam side of the disc. Either way is acceptable, but the team winning the call is not forced to take The Hammer. If a team would prefer to go first, that is absolutely their right as the winner of the toss.
In a match versus the same team that consists of more than one game (competing in a "best-of" series), the losing team automatically decides if they want The Hammer when the next game in the series begins. The lower seed in tournament/league play does not automatically start the series with The Hammer. For game #1 of any series, there must be a finger shoot or a disc flip to decide the throwing order (Hammer option).
Play consists of four players divided into teams of two. Members of the same team (partners) stand at opposite goals. This simply means partners stand at opposite ends of the court. Partners will alternate throwing and deflecting a flying disc.
One partner throws the flying disc and, when necessary, the other partner redirects (deflects) it toward or into the goal. After both partners complete one throw each, the flying disc is passed to the opposing team. The thrower can score points with a direct hit to the goal or the deflector can score by deflecting the flying disc to hit or land inside the goal.
Players waiting to tip may NOT touch the goal in any way, even to let it edge up to their legs for support. It must remain free standing at all times to be legal.
Deflectors can move anywhere within the playing area to redirect the disc, including in front of the goal if necessary.
Once the game starts with the first throw, players must finish the game from the same end. Partners are not allowed to swap ends in the middle of a game. If in a "best-of" series, players can switch ends after the completion of a game.
No player substitutions are allowed in the middle of a game or tournament/league play. For tournament/league play, once play begins, teams must play every game with the same partner.
All official KanJam games are played to 21 points. Depending on the exact format, many tournaments and leagues will adjust "regular season" play to shortened games.
A team must achieve an exact score of 21 points to win, and teams must complete an equal number of turns (except when an Instant Win is scored). See Going over for more.
If the team that starts the game reaches 21 points first, the team with The Hammer always has their last turn to either catch up in points, or, if 21 points is not attainable from one round of throwing, toss an Instant Win. If the team with The Hammer reaches 21 points first, they are the winners; the other team does not have another round to tie.
Any disputes over the score, rules, or a certain play must be decided before the game is over, unless the dispute happens on the game-deciding play. Disputes should be resolved prior to completion of a game or series.
Since a team must score exactly 21 points, if a given throw results in points that raise a team's total score above 21, the points from that play are deducted from their current score and play continues. For example, if a team has 19 points and accidentally dunks a BUCKET (3 points), their score is reduced to 16 points (current score of 19 points - 3 points = 16 points). If a team has 20 points and hits the goal on the fly for a DEUCE (2 points), their score is reduced to 18 points (current score of 20 points - 2 points = 18 points).
Players from the same team must each complete one throw every turn, except when an Instant Win is thrown on the first shot of a turn and certain situations in Overtime (see Overtime below). Once again, anytime an Instant Win is thrown, the game is automatically over.
Once a team reaches 21 points on the first throw of their turn, they still must toss the disc back to the starting end. In the event the disc happens to hit the goal on the fly on the toss back or their partner accidentally tips it to score points, that team will be over 21 points, and follows the rules described above for going over.
If both teams reach 21 points in the same number of rounds, the game is extended to overtime.
Overtime consists of each team taking a single turn; this would mean that each partner will get one throw. After the first team completes their turn, the team with The Hammer must either tie the opposing team's overtime score to force a second overtime round or simply score more points for the outright victory.
For example, team #1 throws and scores 2 points total. If the team with The Hammer scores a clean BUCKET (3 points) on their first throw, the game is over as a victory for team #2. In this case, there is no need for the team with The Hammer to throw the disc back, as they already won the game.
Example of how overtime scoring works
If both teams score 4 points, for example, another round of overtime begins. The game proceeds as one round of overtime as needed until one team outscores the other.
It is not uncommon to have a game extend to multiple overtime rounds.
An Instant Win thrown in overtime still ends the game. The opposing team does not get a chance to complete their turn, even if they have The Hammer.
If a player purposely interferes with play, they automatically forfeit the game and the opposing team is declared the winner.
If it is incidental interference, teams will come to a mutual agreement if a re-throw should be warranted. This will happen mostly in leagues and tournaments where courts must be set up close together. It is not unusual to have players from adjacent courts running out to make a play on or near another court. If a player from another court is in the way, interference can be called and a re-throw is permitted.
There is no redo for things such as wind unless the entire goal itself blows away in the middle of a throw or a deflection. There is also no redo for a situation where a player jumps for a tip and hits a tree or other object.
Players must have both feet behind the BACK EDGE of the goal when releasing the disc. Players cannot step up to the 50' line in front of the goal, as this is simply for measuring the distance between the goals. This is not a stepping line. The rule applies to ALL players, regardless of age or gender.
When a throw is deemed illegal (foot fault), the correct etiquette would be to issue that team a warning. The second violation of this rule by the same team would result in no points from that play. There will be no re-throw or make up of that play. In a situation where there is a blatantly obvious violation of the release rule (i.e., a player steps completely past the back edge of the goal), then points from that play will be automatically voided.
Enforcement of the release rule is the responsibility of each team if a referee is not present.
Physically challenged players may be offered individual accommodations regarding the release rule.
The most important aspect of the game is deflecting (tipping). KanJam in essence is a game of deflection. While there is no one perfect way to tip, there are many tips which should be considered "carries." A carry is not only when a player catches and throws the disc into the goal. A carry is called on any illegal deflection.
When fielding a partner's throw, the deflector may not carry or control the disc in any way. No points will be awarded if a deflector double-hits or "carries" the disc.
Example of the flip-up, the hardest deflection to make. This is the most common play that results in a "carry," but this video demonstrates the proper way to make the play. A hard hit with the disc flipping over end over end results in a clean play and awesome shot!
More comparisons of carrying vs. clean deflections:
Enforcement of double-hits and carries is the responsibility of each team if a referee is not present.
Deflections can be made using one hand or both hands. Deflections off other body parts (such as foot, stomach, etc) are valid, as long as there are no double-hits.
House rules and unawareness of official KanJam play has created several common myths most new players seem to have. Here are a few of these INCORRECT notions about KanJam:
These house rules and misconceptions should be ignored to be considered an official KanJam game.
A perfect game in KanJam is when one team wins a game by throwing all BUCKETS (3 points). There cannot be any catches or misses. This can still count as a perfect game if the opposing team keeps pace and extends the game to overtime, as long as the team continues to throw only BUCKETS throughout overtime. If an Instant Win is thrown by either team, the perfect game does not count.
Disassemble goals by carefully unlocking tabs. Store the goals with flying disc in original box, or flat if desired.
No points are awarded when a throw hits the ground or object (such as a tree) before striking the goal directly or making a tip.
Example of an Instant Win thrown over the top.
In most cases where the disc is "trapped" on the top of the goal after a deflection and then eventually falls in the goal, this is considered a "carry" and results in no points. Generally speaking, the disc comes to rest on these plays and is "held" before it falls in, which is an illegal play (see Deflecting/Tipping for more on "carries").
OUT THE TOP - If a deflector tips the disc into the goal and it bounces back out through the top, it is only counted as 1 point. A bounce-out will count as 1 point, regardless if the disc touches the goal off the deflection or comes out of the goal cleanly.
OUT THE SLOT - If a deflector tips the disc into the goal and it comes back out the slot, this also counts as 1 point. In this situation, the disc must touch the goal off the deflection in order to count as 1 point. If the disc is tipped into the goal and comes out the slot cleanly, it will be no points.
If a player touches the disc (or catches it) as it is bouncing up, this is a double hit: the disc is dead where it is touched. As long as the player touches the disc a second time before it hits the ground outside the goal, this is still a legal BUCKET (3 points).
Example of bounce-outs. This also shows how to make contact a second time in order to kill the play and still get a Bucket (3 points).
A player may NOT use this same strategy to "save" an Instant Win he or she thinks may pop out of the top. In the case a player touches a disc inside the goal which has entered from the Instant Win slot, this shall be scored as a DEUCE (2 points) as long as the disc touches the goal first. If the disc enters the slot cleanly and then touches the player, this will be scored a BUCKET (3 points). To avoid the issue and confusion, if a disc seems to be approaching the Instant Win slot, simply back away and become a spectator.
If a player throws a disc and it enters the slot opening and comes out the top of the goal without the deflector touching the disc, it is not an Instant Win, but rather a DEUCE (2 points). To be a legal Instant Win, the disc must remain inside the goal. If this happens and the disc doesn't touch the goal at all, it is no points.
In a similar situation, if a thrown disc enters the slot opening without the deflector touching it, hits the back of the goal, and somehow comes back out the slot, it will only be counted as a DEUCE (2 points).
If a thrown disc enters the slot opening, comes out the top of the goal, and then the deflector tips the disc toward the goal, it will be a DEUCE (2 points), providing the disc touched the goal before it was tipped. If this same case occurs and the disc enters the slot cleanly, it will simply count as either a DINGER (1 point) or BUCKET (3 points), depending on whether the deflected disc hits the goal or lands inside of it. One again, for any shot approaching the Instant Win slot, it is recommended to back away and become a spectator.
If a thrown disc is deflected into the slot opening and somehow comes back out, either through the slot or open top (very rare), this is only counted as a DINGER (1 point), as long as the disc touches the goal. If this happens and the disc does not touch the goal at all, it is no points.
If a disc strikes the goal on the fly without deflection, it is a DEUCE (2 points) regardless if your partner then tips it either into the goal for a BUCKET (3 points), hits the goal for a DINGER (1 point), or misses completely. In other words, once the disc hits the goal on the fly for two points, no more action on that turn will be counted unless the disc somehow flips or falls into the goal for an Instant Win.
If the goal falls over on an Instant Win shot or a BUCKET (3 points), scoring will depend on which end the disc exits. The Instant Win or BUCKET (3 points) will only count in the following scenarios:
A disc exiting the top, as the goal falls, is scored as only a DEUCE (2 points) on the Instant Win shot and a DINGER (1 point) on the deflected shot.
Example of Instant Win with goal falling over. Since the disc exited the bottom of the goal, the Instant Win still counts.
In the rare case the disc is deflected and comes to rest for more than five seconds on the top edge of the goal (perfectly balanced), this will count as a DINGER (1 point).
If this same situation were to happen on a direct throw without the deflector touching the disc (extremely rare), it will be counted as a DEUCE (2 points).
In another rare case where the disc is deflected and becomes "stuck" in the back part of the goal between the plastic separation by the tabs, this will count as a DINGER (1 point).
Like in the previous case, if this same situation were to happen on a direct throw without the deflector touching the disc (extremely rare), it will be counted as a DEUCE (2 points). The five seconds rule also applies in these situations.
The KanJam official rules were written in 2011 to cover all possible game scenarios not previously included in the original game rules. As the game progresses and gets more competitive, there have been some changes to the official rules. All the rules listed on this page are up-to-date. Here is the list of changes made: