How to Make a Kan-Jam-like Frisbee Game

August 8, 2011 | by Ethan (email) |

Back in my prime (a whole six years ago at this point), I really enjoyed playing ultimate frisbee. I played the game as much as humanly possible. All through college I was the team’s co-captain, and I had a blast traveling to other universities and competing in tournaments. After college, I managed to find some pick-up games, but that didn’t last long. Life took over, and I didn’t have time to play.

Remember the old saying, “If you can’t play, teach”? Well forget that.

If you enjoy ultimate frisbee or frisbee golf as much as I do, but can’t find the time to play, I’ve got the game for you.


It’s called Kan Jam, and it’s a ton of fun. The basic gist of the game is that two teams compete to throw frisbees into cylinders (called “kans”) separated by about 50 feet. One person from each team stands at each “kan”. The person at one kan throws the frisbee to the opposite kan while the teammate standing at that kan attempts to direct the frisbee without actually grabbing the disc. Here’s the marketing graphic from Kan Jam’s web site.

I liked Kan Jam so much I decided to make a set of cylinders for myself. The game costs about $50 online after shipping, or you may be able to find it locally for about $25. The materials I chose for this job cost about $50, but the cylinders I constructed are sturdier than the original Kan Jam kit’s.

I also wanted to share this project with you, which was one motivation for shelling out the extra money. We think the original Kan Jam is a great buy if you don’t have the time/motivation to build your own. It’s great for parties and an all-around good time.

The Materials

I didn’t have much of a plan for this project before heading out to the store. I knew I wanted a sheet of flexible plastic that I could bend into a cylinder and some means of attaching the two sides of the plastic. Chatting with a Lowe’s employees didn’t help much–they couldn’t catch the vision. Undeterred, I began roaming the aisles. In the “Windows & Doors” section, I came across exactly what I needed: clear, flexible sheets of plastic that people normally use on storm doors, garage windows and things like that. I purchased two 2′ x 4′ x 0.80″ sheets, the perfect dimensions for my Kan Jam look-alike. I couldn’t find a good latch, so I did the next best thing to fasten the sides – rivets and a metal plate.

This is the plastic I purchased.
Editors update: Turns out this is not the best choice for materials. The thinner, more flexible plastic is better for absorbing hits from the frisbee while the thicker plastic (like the one below) tend to crack.


Here’s the metal plates. I found them with the deck-ties.

metal plates

Here’s a picture of the riveter. We didn’t have a riveter in our shop, and I figured this one might come in handy for future jobs as well.


Assembling the Kan Jam Look-Alike

I took everything back home and grabbed a drill, bit set, circular saw and a rasp. I started by marking holes where I would place rivets. My marker is giant and you should use a smaller one.

marking holes

holes marked

Next, I drilled out the holes.

Drill through plastic

I used two metal plates per can and a total of six 1/8″ rivets for each metal plate. I placed the metal plate on what would be the inside of the goal, and the smooth side of the rivet on the outside of the goal.

Views of Placing the Rivets


Inside of the goal.

Rivet stubs on inside of can

Outside of the goal.

Smooth side on outside of can

Next I cut the “instant win” slot. I’m not sure what the official Kan Jam measurements are but I cut a 16″ x 3″ hole centered on the plastic and 4″ from the top. That’s small enough to be a real challenge.

Instant win slot

I used my handy twin-blade circular saw from Ridgid. It worked perfectly, but many saws can achieve this cut if you don’t have a twin blade.

Slot cut

Bending the plastic, and adding the rivets can be a real challenge by yourself, so grab a buddy. You can see I left the protective plastic on until I was finished wrangling everything in place.

The can

If you’re following along, grab your rasp and use it to smooth out the edges of your “instant win” slot.


Clear goals will be really difficult to see so I picked up some spray paint and went to town.

painted goals

I decided these goals needed a name. After much deliberation, I decided to call them BAHA. I know you’re going to ask why, and I don’t have a good answer. It just sounded good.

baha template

Green paint

I think they turned out really nice!

Finished goal

You may be wondering if all this is really cost effective, and the answer is no…. no it is not. Here’s the cost breakdown (assuming you already own a riveter):

  • (2) Optix 4′ x 2′ sheets = $40
  • (4) Wood to wood tie plate = $3.36
  • Pack of 1/8″ aluminum rivets = $5.28
  • (2) Cans of spray paint = $8.00

Keep in mind that these goals can’t be disassembled, however they should withstand a beating.

Are you going to attempt this project? Ever played Kan Jam before? What other games do you enjoy?

13 Responses
  1. paintergal says:

    Of course you built your own! I wouldn’t expect anything less. 🙂
    Thanks for the tip on the yard game. With three kids in their 20’s and a large back yard, I am always looking for outside games to play when they are home. This looks like fun!

  2. Obviously Corn Hole (aka Bags) is a must have but we’ve also came across another frisbee game called Polish Horseshoes or Frisbeener that you’ve got to check out.

    • Ethan says:

      Polish Horseshes looks like my kind of game… and waaaay easier to make / transport. Maybe I should just forget about Kan Jam 🙂

  3. Icarus says:

    So this game is the fresbees version of bags/cornhole? You could get very creative with the color and name of the goals.

  4. modernhousewife says:

    You could use them for cornhole too and then they are multipurposed!

  5. MissFixIt says:

    Looks like fun times. I cannot throw a Frisbee if my life depended on it.

  6. Eek565 says:

    I have never heard of this game. I wonder if I could use my old frisbee golf discs…

  7. PhotoEthan says:

    I play pickup games once in a while. Those look awesome! I’ll also suggest them to a friend of mine who’s going to school in Norway who plays in a league there. I bet you could modify the design slightly and make them pretty easy to breakdown and store almost completely flat.

  8. JustME says:

    What a neat game. I’ll have to tell our son about it. Not something I could play because I, like MissFixit, can’t throw a Frisbee if my life depended on it. Okay I can but they always wind up to my right or almost behind me. Hmmmm…. wonder if I stood sideways if I could make a point? Ya think?
    Oh and I didn’t know what Cornhole was either so I Googled it. They have their own Association! Who knew?
    Corn Hole

  9. Paul&Aundrea says:

    This sounds like a game my husband’s family would love. I’ve never heard of Corn Hole either, but one of my BILs made his own ladderball sets a while back. The boys always end up making up different games/rules to challenge each other.

  10. Richard Janda says:

    I made my own set by using two plastic trash cans. Cut bottom out and cur the 3″x16″ hole in the side of each.

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