Good Old Days: All About Chapteh

Good Old Days: All About Chapteh

All About Chapteh: A Popular Traditional Game in Singapore 

In this digital age, games are usually played online. Because of this, children and adults are often stuck at home, ending up with less exercise and poor social skills.

Thankfully, there are still old-school games that are very much alive. These include chapteh, a common pastime for children before the rise of technology.


What Is Chapteh?

This is a traditional game in Singapore that is played worldwide, particularly in Southeast Asia. It is known by many names: chatek, capteh in Singapore and Malaysia, 毽 子 (jianzi) in China, da cau in Vietnam, and peteca in Brazil.

This game uses a rubber disc with coloured feathers attached to a plastic or rubber sole. It is similar to the shuttlecock in badminton. However, the difference is that it should be kept in the air for as long as possible, primarily through kicking.


Who Invented Chapteh?

This game dates back to the 5th century BCE in China. It originated from Cuju, similar to football. It was used to train military men and played by Shaolin monks in Henan during the Tang Dynasty to improve their martial art skills.

For two millennia, the game remained popular. It became more known as Chien Tsu (jianqiu), which means arrow, during the Song Dynasty.

Eventually, chap teh became well-loved worldwide. This inspired the founding of the International Shuttlecock Federation in 1999.


This game used to be purely for leisure, but it eventually got recognised for its competitive nature. In 2003, it was included as a competitive sport at the 22nd Southeast Asian Games held in Vietnam. Different countries participated, including Bulgaria, China, Chinese Taipei, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Germany, Greece, Hungary, and Indonesia.


At present, this game is known as shuttlecock kicking worldwide. It is also still celebrated and played in Singapore. In fact, it is promoted in museums, themed cafes, retail outlets, and more.


What Are the Benefits of Playing Chapteh?

 No matter the age, this game is enjoyable. Here are some benefits of playing it:

  • Boosts agility and speed
  • Develops ball control skills
  • Encourages more social interaction with peers
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Offers a fun way to exercise
  • Provides an easy and affordable way to ease boredom
  • Teaches good sportsmanship


What Are the Rules of Chapteh?

The game's main objective is to keep the chapteh in the air for as long as possible. Players have to kick, hit, or bump it up with the foot's heel or other parts of the body, except for the hands, to prevent it from touching the ground.

 This game can be played individually or as a team.


For individual games, the first player is decided by letting participants kick the chapteh with the heel without putting the foot down. The one who gets the highest score before the shuttlecock hits the ground or before their foot touches the ground plays first.


Individual players keep the shuttlecock in the air until they miss it or lose their footing. This time, they are allowed to put their foot down after every kick. The one who reaches the winning tally of kicks or has the highest score wins.


For group games, players form a circle and take turns passing the shuttlecock around and keeping it from falling onto the ground. The team with the highest number of total kicks wins.


Where To Buy Chapteh In Singapore?

Chapteh is a fun, affordable, and unique way to start a new hobby, get exercise, or spend time with friends and family. Best of all, it can be the perfect present for anyone, regardless of their age. For instance, it can be used as gifts for students from teachers or as giveaways at corporate events!


If you’re wondering where to buy chapteh in Singapore, you’ve come to the right place! We are OneDollarOnly, a reputable supplier that has been in business for 25 years. We offer over 500 products, logo printing, and customisation.


Our items go as low as $0.50, so you’ll never have to worry about hurting your budget when you order from us. Also, we have local stock. This means you can have your items delivered within just 3-5 days.


To learn more about traditional games in Singapore, read our Traditional Games Guide. Or if you want to discover more about the different old school games and their history, check these out: