Skip to main content
Office of Sport



In areas of North Queensland a game of throwing skill was played. A large sized animal bone (with twine attached to it) was thrown over a net (used to catch emus) and into a pit or hole. Considering the distance to the hole, great skill was required to correctly aim the bone and ensure that it did not touch the net.


  • Up to 8 players
  • The game is played singly or in teams of 2–4 players

Playing area       

A badminton court and net or similar arrangement


  • Use ‘foxtail or comet’ balls or a tennis ball in a stocking to represent the bone with twine attached. When a ball in a stocking is used, the length of the foxtail may be adjusted.
  • Use a large plastic bin as the pit or hole

Game play and basic rules           

A bin is set up in each half of the court to allow for two games at the same time. Players try to throw the foxtail from the baseline of the court over the net and into the bin. The bin is placed touching the inside of the centre of the front line of the court.

A longer distance could be used for very skilled players.

Players take turns to throw the foxtail into the bin. Younger players may hold the foxtail in the middle of the tail and older players hold it where the end and centre sections join.


The game is usually played for fun and recognition for a successful throw.


  • Sports day competition event. Use the usual set-up or arrange medium-sized storage bins (circular) along the sideline of a tennis court. Competitors line up on the opposite singles sideline. A player has 10 attempts to throw the foxtail into the bin. Record the results. A longer competition would consist of three rounds of 10 attempts. The first round would be from the centre line, the second round from the singles sideline and the third round from the doubles sideline.
  • Tabloid version. As a tabloid or skill activity players in groups of 4–8 line up behind one   another. Players take it in turns to throw the foxtail into a small bin from 3–5 metres away.  As an extra challenge the balls are held in the middle of the tail and are lobbed over a set of Kanga stumps into the bin. Players retrieve the ball after their turn and give it to the next player. Keep a team score for a set time or number of  turns.


The game is called kee’an which means ‘to play’ in the Wik-Mungkan language of North Queensland.

Top of page