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Jianzi (Shuttlecock)

Jianzi is a traditional Chinese sport which was derived from another ancient Chinese sport Cuju. The sport is named after the object that is used to play the sport with, called a jianzi, which loosely resembles a weighted shuttlecock. In English, both the sport and the object with which it is played are referred to as shuttlecock or featherball. Other names referring to this pastime is capteh and kikbo.

The objective of the sport to always keep the Jianzi in air by striking it predominantly with the legs. Other body parts except hands can also be used to strike the jianzi.

There are several variations of game play depending on whether the sport is played at a recreational level or at competitive level. At a competitive level, matches are played in courts that are similar to that of badminton courts, with a net in the middle. The most popular format of Jianzi, which originated in 2009, is called Chinese JJJ (which stands for "competitive Jianzi-kicking), and most Jianzi tournaments are conducted in this format of the sport.

a kid trying to keep the Jianzi "shuttlecock" in the aira kid trying to keep the Jianzi "shuttlecock" in the air

In Chinese JJJ, a badminton court with only the inner markings and a low net of height 90 cm is used. This enables for football types of kicks and makes the sport more exciting. Matches are played in both singles and doubles format. Tournaments are conducted for men, women and mixed doubles teams.

At a recreational level, several formats are used for game play like, 8 to 10 players assembling around a circle and play till one player is left, or players individually competing to keep the jianzi in air for the longest time.

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