Scoring & Scenarios
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. **Temporary Modification for 2020: Each team is allowed to use their own KanJam flying disc due to COVID-19 concerns.
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 goal. Partners are not allowed to swap sides (goal they throw/deflect from) in the middle of a game. If in a “best-of” series, players can switch sides after the completion of a game.
The starting goal is the end/side where the first thrower starts the game or series. In a “best-of” series, once the series begins, every new game must start from the same starting goal. If teams cannot come to an agreement on which goal to start the game/series from, here is how it is decided:
- Higher seed gets choice (seed cannot be random, must be based on regular season/pool play results). If there is no regular season/pool play, then better bracket gets choice. For example, teams in the winner’s bracket will earn choice over a team in the loser’s bracket. If teams are not yet seeded, such as regular season/pool play games or series, move on to #3.
- If both teams are the same seed (or bracket), then best playoff record gets choice. For example, Team 1 is 8-4 and Team 2 is 8-2 in playoff games. Team 2 would get the choice since they had fewer playoff losses. This does not apply to regular season/pool play or double-elimination brackets, so move on to #3 in those cases.
- If still tied or all other scenarios don’t apply, then the team that wins the Hammer toss will decide if they prefer The Hammer option for Game 1 or which goal to start from. If they choose The Hammer option (can elect to throw first or take The Hammer), the opposing team gets choice of starting goal, and vice-versa.
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, some 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 goal. 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.
- Legal: slapping, hitting, striking, kicking, kneeing, and redirecting.
- Illegal: catching, throwing, lifting the disc, stopping the disc in mid air to cause it to fall straight down, palming of the disc to control its flight, pulling the disc, pushing the disc, double hitting the disc, and any other action taken that controls the disc in any way.
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:
- CARRY – Tipping style with hands apart, each on one edge of the disc from left to right
- CLEAN DEFLECTION – Tip with hands together, striking the disc’s middle edge or the disc’s top center
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:
- Tipping must be done with only one hand.
- If a team lands on 13 points exactly for a score, they reduce their point total.
- Players cannot tip a disc in front of their own goal.
- Game play consists of more than one flying disc.
- Players must play with a beverage in one of their hands.
- Goals are set up at a distance of 30 feet.
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.
- DINGER – 1 point: Redirected Hit
Deflector redirects thrown disc to hit any part of the goal.
- DEUCE – 2 points: Direct Hit
Thrower hits the side of the goal unassisted by partner.
- BUCKET – 3 points: Slam Dunk
Deflector redirects the thrown disc and it lands inside the goal. This will almost always occur through the top of the goal, but may also occur if the disc is deflected into the slot opening.
- INSTANT WIN! Direct Entry
Thrower lands the disc inside the goal unassisted by partner. The disc can enter through the slot opening on the front or through the open top of the goal. When an Instant Win occurs, the throwing team is declared the winner and the opposing team does not receive a “last toss” option.
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
Trapped disc on top of goal
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).
Into the slot and out of the goal
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.
Disc hits the goal first and then deflected into goal
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.
Goal falls over on an Instant Win or a deflection
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:
- Disc exits through the bottom of the goal.
- Disc remains inside the “fallen” goal.
- More than half of the disc remains inside the fallen goal. If exactly half the disc remains in the goal and half out of the goal, then the Instant Win or BUCKET (3 points) will count.
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.
Disc lands on the top of the goal
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).
Disc stuck in tabs
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.
Unlike a traditional game, a marathon game is one that is timed, rather than playing to a specific score. The team with the most points at the end of the time period is the winner.
If an Instant Win is shot in a marathon game, it will be counted as 10 points.
Rule Changes (Versions)
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:
- 6/29/2020 – Marathon games section added and ruling for Instant Wins thrown in these games.
- 5/7/2020 – Flying Disc: Temporary change for 2020 to allow use of two flying discs (one per team) in game matches.
- 9/18/2019 – Starting goal rule added in Game Play section.
- 4/19/2014 – Release Rule: Updated to eliminate 40 foot throwing line.
- 11/2/2013 – Perfect Game: Updated to include overtime.
- 8/10/2013 – Release Rule: Updated to foot fault at back of goal instead of arm extension at front of goal.
- 6/14/2011 – Official Rules: Full official rules written to include all possible scenarios not previously included in original game rules.
- 4/11/2010 – Interference: Updated to forfeit in the event of interference done purposely.