Skip to main content
Office of Sport


In most parts of Australia, the young boys (and sometimes girls), played mock combat games for enjoyment and as a practice for adult life. Toy spears or shafts were made from grasses, reeds and rushes. The spears were held at their lighter ends and thrown either with the hand or with a toy woomera (throwing stick).


Two teams of 4–8 players

Playing area

A volleyball court Equipment

Sponge balls, paper balls, fleece balls or socks filled with a light substance

Game play and basic rules

This is a team throwing and dodging game. Players stay in their own half and behind the spiking line (front court) of the volleyball court. On the signal to start, the players throw the balls and try to hit the players of the opposing team. Any balls in the middle area of the court (between the spiking lines) are retrieved when there is a stoppage in play.


This activity would be most suitable for younger children and could be used in a classroom.


  • Players throw from behind the base lines of a badminton court.
  • Have one or two players in the middle attempting to avoid being hit. If hit, the successful thrower swaps into the middle. Use both ends or throw from one end only.
  • Individual taktyerrain contest. Two players stand on carpet squares (small mats or a 2 metre by 1 metre marked area) and face each other about 5–7 metres apart. Players have a sponge or fleece ball in each hand and try to hit their opponent below the shoulders without being hit themselves. Players may move around on the mats (dodge), jump into the air, or bend down to avoid being hit but must remain on the mat. After the balls are all thrown they are regathered and the competition begins again. Conduct individual contests to three or five hits or hold an elimination contest in teams.


The activity is named after the word ‘to fight’ or ‘hit one another’ (taktyerrain) in the Wembawemba language of Victoria.  

Top of page