Hatching Egg Game (China)

Name of sport (game)

Hatching Egg Game

Name in native language


Place of practice (continent, state, nation)

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China


The origin of this game is unknown. It is popular among Kazak people especially Kazak children in Xinjiang, China. It is believed that Kazak people have invented this game during their grazing life. Now it is played by children of other minorities in China as well.


This game needs a quick reaction and good dexterity. The aim of this game is to avoid being hit by a tennis ball or rubber ball thrown by other players.
You need a tennis ball/rubber ball (with a diameter of 5-6cm), some small pebbles or coins, some markers, sticks (if play outside), cardboard or wooden board (if play indoors). A court at least 8mx8m in size is needed. 5 to 6 players are preferable for this game.

Detailed rules:
1. Six or seven holes are digged in a dirt surface which is 10cm in diameter and 5cm in depth each. Each hole is assigned a number corresponding with player’s number 1-6. If played indoors, you could cut holes on cardboard or wooden board and put number markers inside instead.
2. A starting line is drawn about 2-3 meters away from the closest hole.
3. Players draw lots to decide their number (or simply assign numbers to them).
4. All players stand behind the starting line. Player 1 starts the game by rolling or tossing a tennis ball to other player’s holes. He/She has three chances to roll and toss the ball. If he/she succeeds, the player who’s the ball lands in the corresponding hole (as an attacker) must pick up the ball instantly and tries to hit other players while other players (as dodgers) run away and try to avoid being hit. If the attacker succeeds in hitting the other player, the player who is hit gets a penalty point. If the attacker misses, the attacker receives a penalty point. A small coin or pebble (as an egg) will be put inside the penalized player’s hole (represented as a penalty point).
5. Now it is player 2’s turn to toss the tennis ball. The rules are same as step 4& step 5.
6. Everyone takes turns to roll/toss balls until someone gets 5 penalty points. Then he/she is out of the game and becomes a loser. The game is over. He/she will receive some humiliation from other players such as being patted by other players or imitating chicken sounds. Then the game starts over again. After several rounds, the player who gets the least penalty points wins. Variation:
A. If a player tosses or rolls the ball to his/her own hole, he/she will receive a penalty point.
B. If a player cannot roll or toss the ball inside a hole (except his/her own’s) within three chances, he/she will receive a penalty point.
C. Sometimes an additional hole is digged in this game (as the red hole in the following graph shows). It is acted as “an egg bomb”. If someone rolls the ball to the trap hole at any time during the game, he/she will lose this round of game instantly as the “egg bomb explodes”. So you need to be careful not to roll the ball to this trap hole.

pole gry

A similar game played in Greece called “lakkoudakia” (literally “puddles”)

podobna gra w Grecji

Current status



This game improves aiming and motor skills.


Sources of information