Kai

Brief Description

This is a hand-hitting (volley) game in which players attempt to keep the ball in the air for as long as they can.

Game Requirements

  • Indoor or Outdoor Setting
  • Teams of 4 – 8 players
  • A small beach ball or soft ball.

Instructions

This is a hitting game which can be played as a cooperative game. Players in each team attempt to make as many consecutive hits as they can and work through the letters of the alphabet — one letter for each hit. Each time the ball is hit the players call out a letter of the alphabet.

Players stand or kneel in a circle about a metre apart. One player hits/throws a small soft ball or beach ball into the air and the players take turns hitting it upwards with the palm of either hand (usually with an underhand action).

The team starts from the letter A again if players:

  • do not keep their hands open and flat in contacting the ball
  • miss the ball and/or it hits the ground
  • hit the ball twice in succession
  • hit the ball back to the player who previously hit it to them
  • catch or trap the ball with any part of their body

For younger players the teams may be allowed to continue from the letter they were at before they made a mistake. The ball must be hit above head height for younger players and at least a metre above head height for more experienced and older players.

Scoring

In a team competition the game is decided by the team which is able to work their way furthest through the alphabet in a set time (2–3 mins).
A competition could also be held with 1 point awarded to the team with the most consecutive hits in a set time. Younger players may use one or both hands.

Background

In this game from the Torres Strait a number of players stood in a circle and sang the kai wed (ball song) as they hit a ball up in the air with the palm of their hands. The game was played using the thick, oval, deep red fruit of the kai tree which is quite light when dry.