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Office of Sport


This was a spear game played by some Aboriginal groups on Cape York Peninsula in North Queensland. The men used a throwing stick (woomera) to project a big killing spear (kalq) toward the next player. The spear would travel around the circle of men who were armed only with their woomera — which they used to deflect the spear to the next player. When the small boys played they used spears with a blunted end.


A group of 4-6 players form a circle about 2-3 metres apart — distance depends on age and ability


  • Each player has a small bat or a tennis racquet
  • A tennis ball or airflow ball

Game play and basic rules           

This is a cooperative team game. The aim is to try to hit (volley) the ball around a circle of players without it touching or bouncing on the ground between hits.

Players start by standing on a marked spot/area in a circle.

One player hits a ball (preferably underarm) toward the player next to them. This player uses their racquet or bat to hit/deflect the ball to the next player in the circle.

When the ball returns to the first player or does not complete the circle then the next player in the circle starts the game again. All players have a turn to start with the ball.


In a team competition a point is awarded to the first team to hit the ball around the circle after a signal to start. Players must stay the correct distance apart and must start again if the ball is not hit around the circle in the designated manner.

A competition could also be held with a point awarded to the team with the most hits.


This could be used as a training game for tennis as well as in physical education classes.


  • Younger players can be allowed to bounce the ball between hits. Use upward hits to the next player.
  • Continuous kalq. Each group tries to hit the ball around the circle as many times as possible without the ball hitting the ground. Either count 1 point for each player who hits the ball successfully to the next player or 1 point for each time the ball goes around the circle and comes back to the thrower. Compare team scores after a set time.
  • Skilled players may use two balls.
  • Practice. One player stands in the centre of the circle. A player hits the ball to the centre player who hits it out to the next player in the circle; this player then hits the ball back to the centre player who hits it out again, and so on around the circle. After the ball has been hit to every player in the circle the centre player is changed.


This game has been named after the word for spear (kalq) in the language of the Yir-Yoront people from North Queensland.

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