How to Play KanJam

KanJam has been one of the hottest summer games for the past few years, and it looks like this summer will be no different.  One of the great things about KanJam is that it seems like everyone plays a little bit differently.  While we have our own thought on some of the best house rules and variations on KanJam, below are the official rules for playing KanJam.  If you haven't played before, or are looking to transition to competitive play, these rules are the best place to start.

Set Up/Basics of Play
KanJam is quick and easy to set up, and can be played in virtually any open space.  To begin set the two Kans up facing each other with slots at the front.  The official distance for KanJam is 50 feet between goals, but new players may want to start closer to begin with.  Once the Kan is set up, it cannot be touched during game play, which includes holding the Kan down to give your partner a sturdier target to shoot it.  

KanJam is played in two teams of two, with partners on the opposite end of the playing field from each other (one at each Kan).  Before beginning, decide who will shoot first.  This can be done however you want - youngest team, rock paper scissors, flip the disc like a coin (top up or down), etc.  Generally, teams will take the "hammer" and shoot second so they can have the last shot at the end of the game.

Teams alternate throwing to their partners, with each partner getting a throw before the next team goes.  Players throw the disc at the opposite Kan, where their teammate will usually attempt to deflect the disc at or into the Kan (more details on scoring below).  If your team is not throwing, you must step aside to allow for a clean shot and cannot interfere in any way.

The deflector has one chance to tip the disc.  The tip can be made with either or both hands, and can occur anywhere, even in front of the Kan if the throw is short.  The deflector may not carry (grab and throw) or double touch the disc.

In a standard game of KanJam, the winner will be the first team to reach exactly 21 points.  Going over 21 points results in a deduction of points equal to the amount scored that round (details in the FAQ).  Both teams must be given an equal number of throws, so if Team A threw first and reaches 21, both partners from Team B will be given a chance to throw and match.  If Team A had thrown second but reached 21 first, Team B would not be given a chance to match.

There are three basic ways to score - Dingers, Deuces, and Buckets.  A Dinger (1 Point) is scored when the deflector tips their partner's throw and it hits the side of the Kan.  A Deuce (2 Points) is scored when the throwing hit the side of the Kan directly with no assistance from their partner.  A Bucket (3 Points) is scored when the deflector tips their teammate's throw into the Kan and it lands inside.  It can be tipped through either the top of the slot, though a defection through the slot is rare.

One of the most exciting moments in KanJam is an Instant Win.  An Instant Win occurs when the thrower tosses the disc directly into the Kan (either through the slot or the top) without a deflection from their teammate.  If the disc goes through the slot and out the top of the Kan without landing inside, it will be scored a Deuce (2 Points).  If an Instant Win occurs, the team will automatically reach 21 points and the other team will not get a chance to tie, even if they have the hammer.

Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if my team scores more than 21 points?
If a team score points that puts their total over 21, the points that would have been scored are instead deducted and play carries on.  For instance, if Team A had 20 points and scored a Deuce (2 Points), the two points would be deducted instead of added and their new total would be 18 points (instead of 22).

What happens if there is a tie?
If both teams reach 21 points on the same turn, a sudden death overtime period begins.  Each player will get a shot in the normal progression, and whatever team scores the most points in this round wins.  If the game is still tied, another round of overtime begins until a winner is established.

Where can I shoot from?
Shots can be taken anywhere behind the Kan.  Though the distance of the playing field is measured from the front of the can, shots are taken from the back.  Players can choose to move to the side for a different angle of shot as long as they stay behind the imaginary extension coming from the back of the Kan.

Can I use two hands to deflect?
Yes.  Tipping can be done with either one or two hands.  Note that if two hands are used, it must be done simultaneously as double hits are not allowed.

Can I only use my hands to make deflections?
While hands are by far the most common and effective method of tipping, any body part is permitted, including the chest and feet.  No matter the body part, the double touch rule must be followed.

Can I deflect the disc after it hits the Kan?
Once the disc hits a surface (ground or Kan), the play is dead.  If the disc hits the Kan for a Deuce, bounces up and is deflected in, it will be scored as a Deuce rather than a Bucket.  Similarly, if the disc hits the Kan then is deflected at the outside, it will be scored as a Deuce rather than a Dinger.

What if the Kan is knocked over by the disc?
If the Kan falls over on an Instant win or Bucket, it will count so long as it remains inside the fallen Kan, exits through the bottom end, or remains at least halfway inside the Kan.  It will not count if it exits the top end of the Kan, and instead will be scored as a Deuce or a Dinger depending on the circumstances.

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