Introduction of Traditional Games

Malay society is rich with variety of traditional games. These games is usually played during free time.Traditional games are very popular among people who live in rural area. It has been played by our ancestor since their are young. Nowadays, most of traditional games is not being played anymore by the children as they are more attracted to play computer games. However, some of the children who live in rural area still interested to play the traditional games. The most popular traditional games played by children are congkak, wau, gasing, batu seremban and many more. There is no doubt that Malay traditional games is one of the cultural heritage that is priceless and cannot be replace because it symbolize our custome, culture, and identity of one nation.


Ketingting game, also known as a game 'Buat Rumah Batu', 'Tinting' and 'ciak Tingting' is one of the Malay cultural heritage which is still popular nowadays. It’s a children's game that is not only entertainment, but also beneficial for mental and physical development to the players. This game was practiced especially by rural communities that still maintain their ancestral heritage. In addition to information about ketingting can be found anywhere, including books, museums and the internet. Through the resources of society around the world to know and understand the characteristics of the game and thus recognize ketingting Malay cultural heritage.


According to the study of History, ketingting game, started during the Roman Empire. Ketingting introduced among the Roman soldiers as military training who honed physical the strength and resilience. During the training, the soldiers will run while carrying heavy sacks and reliable method can enhance the agility and resilience of their feet. By leveraging this training the soldiers can survive longer. When Rom children see the training, they begin to imitate their warriors training to create and modify ketingting game. The warrior training structure transformed into a kind of interesting games among children. 
The Roman Empire

Ketingting game is different in many countries in terms of number and size of the box, how to play and the tools used. But the two basic features of the universal game is 'squares' and skills 'jump'. Although various theories and sources say that ketingting comes from different places, but the society in each country consider the game as ancestral legacy them.


Alaskan / Hopscotch
La Thunkuna
Ekaria Dukaria
One Leg Jump
Ketingting / Buat Rumah Batu
New York
Ketingting game can be played by all people from various cultures


Typically, ketingting played in open spaces are flat. In rural areas, a spacious yard made ​​field ketingting game. The parents believe the game is considered a safe run in the house because of the movements of their children can be supervised while managing their own works. While in urban areas, children play on the playground or in courts cement floored. Chalk is used to draw a box on the floor. Grass or lawn area is not suitable for this game because of the difficulty drawing a box with chalk. Furthermore, the corps will covertly thrown amid the grass and will affect the game. The game is played in open spaces can salutary the body because the air is clean and fresh compared with indoor games limiting movement of individuals.


  • Ketingting usually played by children aged 6 to 15 years. Number of players was unlimited and at least two players. 
  • Girls and boys love this game because fun game and test the stamina and efficiency of a player. 
  • Despite their age or body size is not a decisive victory in the game ketingting, kids usually prefer selecting the players of a similar age with them.


  • Players need to throw 'corps' in the box 'Home' by rotation. Core player closest to the line 'Home' will start the game. 
  • Players will be standing at the beginning when the game starts. 
  • Players must throw the 'corps' in box 1 first. Then the players will continue to jump until he returned to the starting point (jump on one leg for a single number and both legs for an even number of squares).
  • A player must finish the game until 'corps' him thrown in box 7. 
  • At the end of the round, now it is now step choose 'Home'. Players will be throwing 'corps' in any of the places where the fall. In 'corps', will be 'Home' players. 'Home' can be decorated with a pattern of players according to player preferences.


Rules and regulations in the game will facilitate the game and also discipline the players. Players who do not comply with the rules will be fined or lose a turn. For offenses larger, players will be removed from the game. Here are the general rules ketingting game;
  1. 'Corps' players can not be the same because the players can be tricky to distinguish. 
  2. During the play, 'corps' may not fall outside the box, on the lines of any parcel and the parcel 'Home' player.
  3. Hand and foot players can not step on the line while jumping or compartment while taking the 'corps' them. 
  4. A player is given three chances only when the selection of the 'Home'. During the selection of the 'Home', if 'corps' fall on the line, or 'Home' of other players, players are considered 'dead' and will restart the game from scratch. 
  5. Players can jump in their own ‘Home’ but not at the other players’ ‘Home’ and don’t forget stepping on any parcel except' home 'player.

Sepak Raga / Sepak Takraw

“Sepak” is the Malay word for kick and “takraw” is the Thai word for a woven ball, therefore sepak takraw to kick ball. The name was given for the sport after an agreement between Malaysia and Thailand, the two major forces of the sport. Variations of this were played in other Southeast Asian countries too; in Thailand it was called "Takraw", in the Philippines, "Sepa Sepa", in Myanmar, "Ching Loong", in Indonesia, "Rago" and in Laos, "Kator".


Earliest historical evidence shows that the game was played in the 15th century’s Malacca Sultanate. The Malay Annals described in the incident of Raja Muhammad, son of Sultan Mansur Shah who was accidentally hit with a rattan ball by Tun Besar, son of Tun Perak, in a sepak raga game.

In Bangkok, murals at Wat Phra Kaeo, which was built in 1785, depict the Hindu god Hanuman playing sepak takraw in a ring with a troop of monkeys.

At first, the game remained in its circle form and the players played keepie-uppies unlike the format now that is almost similar with Volleyball.


The modern version of sepak takraw is competitive and took shape in Thailand almost 200 years ago.
In 1829, the Siam Sports Association created the first rules for the game. Four years later, the association introduced the volleyball-style net and held the first public contest.
By the 1940s, the net version of the game had spread throughout Southeast Asia, and formal rules were introduced. This sport became officially known as ‘sepak takraw’.
International tournaments are now governed by ISTAF, the International Sepak Takraw Federation. The King’s Cup World Championships is held every year in Thailand and it is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the Sepak Takraw circuit.
Sepak takraw has also become a regular event in the Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games.


  • The Takraw ball is made of rattan stems or very hard plastic. 
  • A ball weighs approximately 250 grams.
Original Rattan Ball
Modern Synthetic Ball


  1. In takraw game, some players stand up and form a circle. 
  2. The game begins with one player tossing the ball to his hand. A voice will fondle the ball with his foot once or several times, before kicking it towards other players. 
  3. Players who form the circle or circles must take turns fondle the ball and control it from falling to the ground. If the ball is dropped, the game in the round ended. 


  • This game requires agility and physical efficiency and sharpness of eye to measure movement. The goal of each player is to boost the skills to take delivery of sport and fondle ball comfortably as long as possible. 
  • Game duration is not specified except in the competition which is usually organized as a team event. Successful teams make the most nicknames in a given period is calculated to win.
  • At this time there is no longer played sepak raga, it has changed the name to sepak takraw. Sepak takraw snitch two teams separated by a net, as in badminton. 
  • Sepak takraw team consists of three players.Skipper to kick start and control the back court. Surround left and right to control the front of the wedge ring and take on the main task of turning off the ball in a tennis opponent.

Hide and Seek

Hide-and-seek or hide-and-go-seek is a game in which a number of players conceal themselves in the environment, to be found by one seekers. In some places, it is called as "main ibu" or "main induk" or "petak kumpet" or "aci sorok". This game is one of the types of outdoor games. A tree or tall pole will be the places for the seeker to find another players that hidden from him.


  • To find the players who were hiding in somewhere. 
  • To spend our leisure time. 
  • To make a good relationship among friends and the players


  • Before starting the game, all players will choose one player of them that can be the seeker. 
  • They will make a voting by Lalalitamplom which carried by all players.


  1. The seeker will start counting from 1 to 100 or less with loudly. 
  2. After the count had been finished by the seeker, he or she will start looking for other players which hidden around the main places. 
  3. If the seeker had found one of the players, he or she has to mention the name of players loudly and followed by the mention the word of “ibu”. 
  4. The seeker must run to the main house and touch the main house for the purpose of avoiding the discovered players to touch the main house. 
  5. The seeker will continue to seek another players until had found them completely. 
  6. After all the players have been found by the seeker and no one of the players had touched the main house, then the first discovered players will be the new seeker.


  1. Once the seeker has determined by the players, the seeker should stand up to close his eyes at the main house. 
  2. If there are players who are hiding at the outside from the main places, they will be the new seeker and must take the role as the seeker.
  3. If another player has opportunity to touch the main house, then the seeker will be the seeker again and the game will be restarted. 
  4. Such things can also happen when one of the players has touched the main house by mention the word of “ibu”, then the game will be restarted and the seeker will implement its role again.


Gasing or tops spinning, is a traditonal games popular among Malay(Native people). Especially amongst the villagers in the State of Kelantan and Melaka. Each season after the rice harvest,several villagers will come together to challenge each other in an ultimate test of skill. The villagers believed that the spinning tops would help bring good harvest.

Both adults and children can play the game. But bigger or giant top spinning is more of a games for adult than children. the one used by adults are much bigger in size and can spin for a period of time whereas the one played by kids are much smaller.

The Gasing or top spinning is usually made of wood or hard fruit, iron and lead. One of those huge top from Kelantan actually weighs about 4 to 5 Kilograms while a smaller top is about 0.1 to 0.5 Kilograms.

Gasing or top spinning is split into two(2) categories. One is for ornamental purposes and while the other is for playing.

Different Shapes of Gasing

  1. Plate-Shaped 
  2. Heart-Shaped 
  3. Hat Top
  4. Egg-Shaped 
  5. Berembang-Shaped



  1. Pangkah Totok
  2. Pangkah Hentak
  3. Pangkah Layang
  4. Pangkah Tebang

Gasing Contest

  1. The "Spinning Contest", the one who can spin his top for the longest time wins the match. Once the top has been launched, the top is carefully scooped off the ground using a thin wooden bat. It will then be transferred to a little wooden surface and left to spin for as long as possible. The trick here is to ensure that the top doesn't topple during the transit. Tough as it may seem and unbelievably so, the current record stands at two hours.
  2. The "Striking Match" is far more exciting that the first. At least you won't need to stand there for hours watching a top spin and spin and spin. The "striking match" is as the name suggests. Each contestant must try to hit their opponent's tops so that the already spinning tops will topple and loses its balance and speed.

Spinning Video :


Konda-kondi is one of the traditional game. This game is one of the creations of the Malay community in the old days as a way to entertain and have fun after a long work.In Indian society, it is called 'Kaunda kaundi'. Konda-kondi is a small game hitting with long wooden sticks. Konda-kondi also known as "Perik Mata" requires a sharp mind and strength of the players, when thinking in a safe direction to scrape wood and wood chase dikuis to disable the opponent's side. Konda-kondi game is one of the simple and fun game. 
There are a lot of version of playing this game. Different states or different town boys and girls have their own set of ways to enjoy them with a different set of rules that goes along with it.


  • Two stick different sizes (wood stick or pipe stick or steel pipe)
  • —A hole 
  • People who play the game 
  • A team


  1. This game requires a minimum of two players; it's a wonderful pastime for couples who want to spend time in the park without being booked for close proximity. However, it will be best if we play in the big group. To play this game, we should divided into two groups. 
  2. Need two sticks of equal length, about 8 to 12 inches long. —One stick will function as a projectile, and the other is a bat to launch said projectile.
  3. —Dig a hole. If you are in a location where hole-digging is not possible, seek an indent in the ground. 
  4. Decide which team will be batting first. From this starting team, choose a single member to begin. Said member will wield the batting stick.
  5. The batting player hooks his/her batting stick under the projectile stick and flicks it up as far as possible. The opposing team must scramble to catch the projectile stick before it hits the ground. 
  6. —If the opposing team manages to catch the projectile stick, the batting team loses its turn and the teams switch roles.


During the game, if it can be caught short stick by anyone in the group B, so players flicking short wood treated 'dead'. If a player in the group B managed to catch a short stick with using only one arm, all players in the group A treated 'off' and Group B will start the game anyway. If the opponent's side successfully throw a short stick into the hole, the player flicking a short lumber treated 'off' and had to stop the game, other players from the same team, the next player will continue the game.

One Two Som


 This is a simple game played around the world with many names and variations. This game very common among children. The game is known by different names around the world. 
    • "Rock-Paper-Scissors" (UK), 
    • "Ching Chong Cha" (South Africa), 
    • "Janken" (Japan), 
    • "Schnick, Schnack, Schnuck" (Germany), 
    • "Chin Chan Pu" (Mexico)
It's a good way to decide who's turn it is to do something, and it's also played competitively. The game is often used as a choosing method in a way similar to coin flipping, drawing straws, or throwing dice. Unlike truly random selection methods, however, rock-paper-scissors can be played with a degree of skill by recognizing and exploiting non-random behavior in opponents.

Place : Anywhere

Number of players : Two

Equipments : Your hands  


The players varies from any age, and any number of players can be involved. With only our hands, the excitement and joy is on a league on its own.

STEP 1 : Shape one hand into a first shape. - Both of you must move your fists up and down three times while saying together "rock, paper, scissors" (the fist coming down each time a word is said). Do not touch each other; this motion is performed entirely up and down in the air in front of you.
STEP 2 :Make a gesture on the third count. - There are three gestures you can make, and which one you choose is up to you.
Rock : a close first
Paper : a flat, open hand

Scissors : index and middle finger extended

STEP 3 : Figure out if you won; Rock smashes scissors, scissors cut paper, paper covers rock. - The winner can demonstrate their victory by "acting out" their gesture (e.g., if you make scissors and the other person makes paper, you can close your fingers around their flat hand to mimic scissors cutting paper). If you both turn out to make the same gesture, it's a tie, and you have to try again.
STEP 4 : Play two out of three (2/3). - This is optional, but most people prefer to play three rounds. Sometimes, the loser of the initial game will call for "two out of three", so that they can have another chance to win.


  • Use paper a lot, unless you are beginning. Most people actually tend to start with scissors, so start with rock.
  • If you're facing someone who knows this trick, start with paper. But if he knows you'll do that, chose scissors and so on.
  • If they haven't done a certain action recently (rock, paper, or scissors) then plan accordingly. Think ahead about which object would destroy them and use that one.


Ceper or "Tutup Botol" is a game based on the use of bottle cap 5 piece (now this can get from the soy sauce bottle cap). It is one of the traditional games often played in the children. Ceper is the popular games around 1970-1980.
This game usually involves two players and more. The way to play the game is determined by counting the number of successful ceper available during the weighing ceper.  A ceper will represent the two marks.


  1. Each person will weigh ceper (1 ceper represent 2 points). Player with higher point will start first. Ceper must be stacked overlapping (vertical) and placed on the hand.
  2. Then all the ceper was the measles and the opposing team will determine which ceper to be flipped.
  3. If the overlapping two, ceper is called chicken. While if the overlapping three it is called “jamban”, and overlapping four it is called flowers.
  4. Winners will be determined by the total number of ceper successfully weighed and will be calculated according to marks.


Rule No. 1
This game need five steel caps or ‘ceper’. Please press a little to make the steel caps easier to lob.

Rule No. 2
This game need more than one player to make this game more exciting and interesting.

Rule No. 3
Player determine the rotation by lob action. The player who lob the caps and get big number of caps get the advantage to start the game.
Rule No. 4
Player will spin the ceper to play. Make sure each piece of ceper is not overlap.
Rule No. 5
If the allocation meets the criteria of the rule, the game can be continue with take one of the ceper which are scattered.

Rule No. 6
If chosen have been made, the other player need to decide which ceper should be flipped.

Rule No. 7
If the player success, player need to lob the ceper to get point. Each player need to remember his own point and if the player cheating about his point, his point consider zero. Normally, this game need supporter to remember their point from any carelessness.

Rule No. 8
Player need to collect their point according to the condition. The criteria of stack that unbalance the point
  • Ayam : ceper overlapping two
  • Jamban : ceper overlapping three
  • Hujan/Ribut/Taufan : when someone bother


Congkak or Congklak is a mancala game of Malay origin played in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Southern Thailand, and some parts of Sumatra and Borneo. Close variants are Dakon or Dhakon (Java), Sungka (Philippines), Chongka' (Marianas), Jogklak (interior of Java); Dentuman Lamban (Lampung), Mokaotan, Maggaleceng, Aggalacang or Nogarata (Celebes), Chonka (Sri Lanka) and Naranj (Maldives).

Congkak, which is often considered a game for girls, has simple rules that allow the boards to have different numbers of holes. Congkak boards are often made of teak or mahogany wood are often elaborately carved into various shapes such as naga or birds.
The word congkak is believed to originate from old Malay "congak", meaning "mental calculation" which is mainly practiced in this game. It is regarded that an efficient player who mentally calculates a few steps in advance will have an advantage in collecting points to win the game.
The word congkak or congklak also means cowrie shells, used in the game.


The oldest mancala game boards were found in a ruined fort of Roman Egypt and date back to the 4th century AD. The game was likely introduced to Southeast Asia by Indian or Arab traders in the 15th century.
It is believed to have spread throughout Malay world through merchants via Malacca, an important trading post at that time. In the early days, it was thought that this game was for the king and family and palace residents, however later it spread to the general population of the kingdom. Beside the Malays, the Indian Peranakan also enjoy playing Congkak.


The Congkak board has fourteen holes in two sets of seven (some have ten holes in two sets of five, some have eighteen holes in two sets of nine), plus an additional bigger store-hole for each player. Each player controls the seven holes on their side of the board, and their score is the number of seeds in their left-hand store. In Indonesia, the holes are called anak ("child"), while the larger store holes are called indung ("mother").
A congklak with two sets of nine instead of seven

A total of 98 pieces are used in the two sets of seven board version. In Southeast Asia, cowrie shells and tamarind seeds are the most common. Seven seeds are placed in each hole except for the players' store. The objective of the game is to capture more seeds than one's opponent.

The main method of play has rules as described below:
  1. Players take turns moving the seeds except in the first move which is performed simultaneously, beginning with the hole closest to his/her own store. After this first simultaneous movement, once the last seed falls into an empty hole, the players' first turn is over and the opponent of the player who reached an empty hole first commences his/her turn after the other player has finished his opening move too. On a turn, a player chooses one of the seven holes under their control. The player removes all seeds from this hole, and distributes them in each hole clockwise from this hole, in a process called sowing. Sowing skips an opponent's store, but does not skip a player's own store.
  2. If a player is unable to fill a hole with seven seeds that hole is considered sunog ("burnt"); all excess seeds are returned to the store. The round begins with the player with no sunog holes taking his/her turn sowing first.
  3. If the last seed falls into an occupied hole, all the seeds are removed from that hole, and are sown starting from that hole. The process continues until the last seed falls into a player's store, or an empty hole.
  4. If the last seed sown falls into a player's own store, they immediately earn another turn, which can begin at any of the seven holes under their control.
  5. The game ends, when a player has no seeds in his holes at the start of his turn. The remaining seeds are awarded to his opponent.
The objective of the game is to capture more seeds than one's opponent.

Batu Seremban

Selambut or also known as Batu Seremban or Serembat is a traditional game played in Malaysia. Selambut is a reference to the north and east coast of Peninsular, while on the west coast of Peninsular is called Seremban game. It is usually played by girls individually or in groups of two to five people.

Selambut games only need a few pieces of fruit. Rubber seeds, pebbles or small stones, chunks of other objects commonly used round, often as much as five seeds. In addition, the cloth bag sewn and filled with saga seeds, sand, etc. are also used.
The game is often played at leisure, on the porch of the house, in the house, in the park or anywhere else that there is a clean, flat surface. The players sit on the floor, and play in turns.


In Batu Seremban game, There are several levels or different ways of celebration. The game will start with a simple first stage, in which a piece of fruit called a used, up to a more difficult level or top level of seven named.
Fruit One:
  • All fruits should be dispersed, put in all the fruit is not touching one another.
  • A fruit will be the mother, and the mother had to be tossed into the air.
  • At the same time, a fruit on the floor should be collected.
  • Such behavior will continue until all the fruit on the floor already collected,
Fruit Two:
  • Two ways of play is the same as the fruit one.
  • Only two pieces of fruit should be harvested in the same time.
  • This means that the mother will tossed two times.
Fruit Three:
  • Fruit three little difference.
  • On the first toss, just one seeds will be collected.
  • Toss the two, three seeds will be collected simultaneously.
Fruit Four:
  • Fruit mother would tossed into the air.
  • At the same time, the player must collect all four pieces of fruit that are on the floor together.
Fruits Five:
  • Fruit of the five will be played as four.
  • Players must toss of mother-to-air and collect the four pieces of fruit on the floor simultaneously.
  • After that, of the mother should be tossed into the air and at the same time, four pieces of fruit that is in the player's hand must be placed on the floor so that only the mother of the only ones who will be welcomed.
Fruit Six:
  • In the sixth stage, the players are slightly different opinion.
  • At this stage, the player will get two pieces of fruit that will be of the mother.
  • When a piece of it is tossed into the air, another piece of the mother should be exchanged with other fruits found on the floor to finish.
Fruit Seven:
  • Fruit is a sequence of seven of six.
  • Two pieces of fruit that is in the hand should be tossed simultaneously.
  • After that, only one of which will be collected seeds.
  • Fruit mother should be celebrated with both hands.
  • One in the left hand, and another on his right hand.
  • In the end, the mother of the latter will also be celebrated tossed.


Wau game is one of the traditional games of the Malays since hundreds of years ago. The game contains elements of authentic Malay culture. This can be seen in the form of patterns and designs available on the wau. The word "wau" is said to derive from the word Thailand as the state of Kelantan, Terengganu, Perlis and Kedah use the word. Word kite is used in many states in the West and South Coast of Peninsular Malaysia such as Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Johor. This can be proved by Tun Seri Lanang note stating that Raja Ahmad flying a kite together young men and royal family, and was not called playing wau. In addition, the appearance of the name is also associated wau resulting sound of a tied bow wau. When raised into the air, the leaves ibus installed on the bow will produce a sound "wau", "wau", "wau" is rhythmic.

This game is one of the hobby population in rural areas, especially for the states in the North West of Kedah, Perlis and Kelantan. Kite game has become a tradition of the game after the harvest. They play wau to relieve tired after working in the fields. They also feel happy while playing and see each other up there in some places, and their district will hold an annual festival and the most beautiful kite competition between districts.
Artisans skilled wau has its own way of measuring and weighing when whittle bamboo wau frame. Tips that would be obtained from the elders, but the actual ability is gained through experience. 


Wau game arrival in Malaysia is uncertain validity date and origin. However, according to historian Clive Hart, a kite in Malaysia comes from China. This is because the design and character have in common with traditional kites from China.
Kite in the past using a wide tree leaves. Possibility of evolution kite in Malaysia have also absorb cultural elements from China.


In Malaysia, there are many types of Wau tradition. Three types of kites lifted as National Traditional Wau is Wau Bulan, Wau Kucing and Wau Jala Budi.

Wau Bulan
Wau Kucing
Wau Jala Budi


A marble is a small spherical toy usually made from glass, clay, steel, plastic or agate. These balls vary in size. It is usually played by children. Marbles can also be used in some other games, such as congkak. They are often collected, both for nostalgia and for their aesthetic colors. 

Marbles game usually involves throwing marbles on the target accurately. It is usually played by boys aged between seven and twelve years. Number of players does not exceed five.
Flat land and open space is a suitable field for a play marbles. Marbles used for this game is kind of marbles are made of limestone, white and big toe.


A circle drawn on the ground diameters of 1 m. A straight line was built at a distance of 3 m from the big lines. This line is a marker start point game.


  1. To start the game each player must swipe your marbles into the hole master. The marble into the hole or the nearest parent is treated as the first player starts the game and these marbles followed by almost a second and so on.
  2. The first player will flick the marbles to all the marbles that are in the area of ​​a circle that out. If the flick does not hit it assumed dead and the second player will make a flip to these marbles are there, so on until all players completed flips over other players marbles.
  3. Players can release the turn but on the condition that it must include the marbles into the hole holding his first. The player will ensure his marbles always be close to the hole every time parent flips done. This makes it easier to control the game.
  4. Each exchange turn to the next player, the player who took his turn required to enter the marble into the hole before flick holding opponents marbles. If the marbles do not go into the holding hole, turn to the other players given.
  5. Scoring based on the large number of flips made ​​against opponents marbles until all players finish their turn.
  6. Two way fines are levied against players who collect the lowest amount. The player will lose his marbles in the hole inserting parent and all players will cross marbles. The second way is by each player once a flick of the lost marbles away from the circle.


Capteh is a traditional game that requires great dexterity and balance in keeping a feathered shuttlecock in the air for as long as possible by kicking it up with the heel of the foot. A popular game among children in Singapore, it is also well known internationally.


The earliest reference to a game of kicking a feathered object dates back to the 5th century BC in China. Later known as Ti Jian Zu or “kick little shuttlecock”, the game was used to train military men. Shaolin monks in Henan during the Tang Dynasty were also known to have practised the game to strengthen their martial art skills. It remained popular for about two millennia, from the Han (206 BC-200) until after the Sui and Tang dynasties. During the Song Dynasty (960-1278), chien tsu (jianqiu) meaning “arrow” became the game’s more popular name. The name is still used to refer to the “shuttlecock” used in badminton. 

In Vietnam, the game is known as da cau. In the 2003 SEA Games held in Vietnam, capteh was included as a competitive sport. Internationally, the game is also known as shuttlecock kicking. Featherball Associations in Europe, USA and Turkey also show how international the game has become.
In Singapore and Malaysia, the game is known as capteh. The name is thought to be either Malay or Hokkien in origin. Variants of the name include chapteh, chaptek and chatek. The game is still very much alive in Singapore. As recently as March 2009, a capteh competition was organised in Singapore.


  • USA - kikbo
  • Vietnam - đá cầu
  • Malaysia - sepak bulu ayam
  • Singapore (and SE Asia) - chapteh or capteh or chatek
  • Japan - Kebane (蹴羽根)
  • Korea - jegichagi or jeigi (to most Koreans known as sports only for children)
  • Indonesia - bola bulu tangkis or sepak kenchi
  • Philippines - larong sipa
  • Macau - chiquia
  • India - poona (forerunner of badminton) (unknown to most Indians)
  • Greece - Podopterisi
  • France - da câu or plumfoot or pili
  • Poland - zośka
  • The Netherlands - "Voetpluim" or "voet pluim" or "Jianzi"
  • Cambodia - Sey
  • México - Gallito


The game is played using an object also referred to as a capteh, a rubber disc topped with rooster feathers. The game involves keeping the capteh in the air for as long as possible by kicking it up using the heel of the foot until it is missed or dropped. In the past, homemade capteh were made of old tyre tubes and discarded feathers. The game can be played individually or in a team. Though familiar to Singaporeans as a game of leisure, it has also been played as a competitive game.

When played in a small group, players are judged individually on the number of kicks they make. The players agree on a winning tally of kicks, and the first person in the group to reach that tally, or the player with the highest score in the group, is considered the winner. To decide who plays first, each player kicks the capteh using their heel and without putting the foot down. The one with the highest score before the capteh falls to the ground or their foot touches the ground is the one who starts first. For the game proper, the player kicks the capteh until he misses it or loses his footing. The player is able to put his foot down with each kick. However, he is not allowed to use his hands to touch the capteh. 

When played in groups, a circle is drawn, marking the play area for each team. Alternatively, the team makes the circle. The game is played in the circle with the first assigned player attempting to keep the capteh in the air until it falls to the ground within the circle. Then the next team member continues the count while playing in the circle. This continues until all team members have taken a turn in the game. The winning team is the one that scores the highest number of total kicks.