KanJam is a fun and fairly simple game to play in the backyard, on the beach, or pretty much anywhere outside where you have 50 feet of space to spare.
We'll give you a quick overview of the rules and how to play KanJam, as well as some tips on being a better player so you can beat your friends!
How To Play KanJam
KanJam is a frisbee based 2 on 2 team game that involves throwing a frisbee at a trash can-like target. Points are earned when you hit the trash can with the frisbee, or when your partner deflects or "jams" your frisbee into the can.
While you don't have to be an "athlete" to play Kan Jam, you do need to be able to throw a frisbee somewhat accurately and be able to move a little bit side to side in order to help deflect your partner's throws.
KanJam is one of those games where having 3 people who are really good and 1 person who can't throw a frisbee into the same zip code can really sap the fun out of it. It's tough for a single player to carry a team - so ideally you want 4 people who can both throw and deflect respectably to maximize the fun.
In Kan Jam you set up the cans 50 feet apart from one another and then teams take turns throwing and deflecting for points. So I would throw to my partner, he would throw back to me - then the other team would each have their throws.
Beginner Tip: If 50 feet of distance is a bit too much, feel free to move the cans closer together to accommodate your skill level. The rest of the rules will remain the same.
The first team to 21 wins - unless someone hits an "instant win" which is done when you throw the frisbee perfectly through the mail slot on the front of the can. See below for the official Kan Jam rules illustration:
Like any other backyard game, you might end up making some house rules - but here are a few other official rules you should know:
- You have to throw from behind the can on one side or the other.
- If the frisbee hits the ground before being deflected or hitting the can you don't get any points
- You have to end on exactly 21. If you go over, like if you have 20 points and you score a 2 pointer, then your score is reduced by that amount as a penalty. So you'd have 18 points and continue playing.
- You can't hit the disc twice, catch and throw, or use 2 hands to deflect.
- Teams should get an equal number of turns. In other words, if the other team started and gets to 21 first then your team gets a chance to tie (or instant win). If you do tie it up, then you do one sudden death round and see which team scores more in that overtime round.
The ways to score in KanJam break down like this:
As mentioned earlier, all of this goes out the window if someone throws their disc through the mail slot and gets an instant win.
If that doesn't happen, the first team to 21 wins.
Tips For Winning KanJam
KanJam is fun even if you lose, but it's always better to win. Here are some tips and tricks to end up on the smiling side of the scoreboard:
Know Your Partner
Many of us are average throwers and tend to do the same thing over and over - like the frisbee always fades left. Once you know your partner's tendency, get in the best position to deflect it.
Remember - you can deflect from in front of the can, so if the disc is going to land short - run up and deflect it before it hits the ground!
You need to be able to put the frisbee in the general direction of the can in order to give your partner a fighting chance. So if you need to brush up on the basics, check out this short video and make sure you've got the basic form down and then get a few warm up tosses before you start playing.
Slow It Down
For most non-serious KanJam players, you don't really need to worry about hitting the mail slot - it's probably not going to happen.
So the next best thing is to put a disc in position to be jammed into the top of the can by your partner.
To do that, you don't need to throw it really hard. In fact, if you are zipping it down there at 100 MPH it's going to be tougher for your partner to deflect it and they'll probably hate you for hurting their hands...
So, just try to throw a nice and easy frisbee that kind of floats over the top of the can and gives your partner plenty of time to react and slam it.
Where To Buy KanJam
KanJam is one of my personal favorites! I could play it all day long even though I'm not the greatest frisbee thrower. Typically you can buy it locally at sporting goods stores, or even big box stores with a decent sporting goods section near the rest of the outdoor games.
However, the easiest way to buy it is on Amazon where you can get it shipped quickly and for free to your doorstep.