Ding-He-Zi (China)

Ding-He-Zi (China)

  • Name of sport (game): Ding-He-Zi (Olive nut drop game)
  • Name in native language: 顶橄榄核/顶核子游戏 (in Shanghai dialect)
  • Place of practice (continent, state, nation):


  • History:

    Ding-He-Zi is a traditional children’s game originated from Shanghai-the city which has the largest population in China. But now it is played everywhere in China.

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    The game has a 200-year history which is believed from local workers from 19th century.

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  • Description:

    The equipment is very simple. All you need for this game are two olive nuts (one painted in black, one painted in white) and a target board (made of plastic or paper).

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    The olive nut is usually 3cm in length. The target board is 1mx1m in size and has three circles painted on it. Three circles are 10cm, 20cm, 40cm in diameter.


    The aim of the game is to drop the black olive nut to hit white olive nut(the goal) and make the white olive nut bounce out of circle. The further the white olive nut bounce from the center, the more points you will get.

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    1. Before the game, the white olive nut (the goal) is placed on bullseye of the target board.

    2. The player stands outside the outer circle of target board and has their feet apart.

    3. Then the player picks up the black olive nut with his thumb and forefinger(left or right hand).The player must keep a straight body and cannot bend his knees before dropping the black olive nut.

    4. When he/she is ready, the referee will allow him/her to drop the black olive nut. When dropping the black olive nut, he/she is allowed to incline the body no more than 10 degrees and the hand holding the black olive nut is not lower than his/her neck.

    5. After dropping, he/she scores points according to the position of the white olive nut (goal):
    a. 1 point if the white olive nut leaves the bullseye and is located inside the 10cm-diameter circle,
    b. 3 points if the white olive nut is located between 10cm and 20cm-diameter circle.
    c. 5 points if the white olive nut is located between 20cm and 40cm-diameter circle.
    d. 10 points if the white olive nut is located outside the 40cm-diameter circle.
    e. If the player does not hit the white olive nut, he/she scores no points.
    f. If the white olive nut is located on the line between two score zones, he/she scores the higher points.

    6. Each player has 5 chances to drop the black olive nut in 2 minutes in this game. After each drop, the white olive nut(the goal) is resettled on the bullseye of target board.

    7. The final score of a player is the total store of 5-chance drop. When it comes to a draw, players are given another 5 chances to play until the champion is decided.

    8. Variation: In an informal game, you could change the points of different score zones.

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  • Current status:

    Practiced sport

  • Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.):

    It improves aiming skills and patience and it is suitable for people of all ages. And it is one of event games on annual Shanghai Folklore Games Festival.

  • Contacts:

    Shanghai Community Sports & Games Association
    Huangpu District, Shanghai, China
    Tel:+86 21 6327 3227

    Huangpu District Sports Bureau
    300 East Yan’an Road, Shanghai, China
    Tel:+86 21 6466 2776
    Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Sources of information :