I enjoy playing tennis and have recently began playing pickleball with a group of friends on a regular basis. While our city has painted pickleball lines on some community tennis courts, it can be tough to get a court in the evening when we play. Plus in the area where I live, this summer has had some extreme heat as well as smoky air from wildfires which make it unhealthy conditions for playing outdoors. Luckily I have discovered Jazzminton Sport, a new game that features elements of pickleball, badminton, and table tennis.
What Is Jazzminton Sport?
Jazzminton Sport is a revolutionary paddle game for 2 players, ages 10 and up. Players use paddles to hit specially designed birdies through an opening in a net. The game is portable and can be played either indoors or outdoors and does not require a large play area. Jazzminton was created by Steven Mueller and produced by Funsparks. It’s currently available directly from Funsparks’ website as well as from Amazon. The game sells for $199.99 at both sites.
Jazzminton Sport Components
Here is what you get in the box:
- Elastic Attached Steel Frame
- 2 Premium Paddles
- 6 Birdies – 4 Sport, 2 Wind
- 4 Balls
- Padded Carry Bag
- 2 Anchor Hooks (wind stabilizing)
- 2 Anchor Ropes (wind stabilizing)
- 4 Court Hooks (boundaries)
- Court Rope with Winder (boundaries)
- Manual + Rules
The net and frame form the main area of play. The frame stands 7.5 feet tall and is 5.1 feet wide. Unlike most game nets, the Jazzminton Sport net is suspended above the ground and features a window through which the game is played.
Jazzminton Sport comes with two wooden paddles that are a bit larger than a table tennis paddle but smaller than a pickleball paddle. Each features a comfortable wrapped grip that is easy to hold on to during play.
These specially designed birdies are different from those used in badminton. The four sport birdies have more and multi-colored feathers that are designed to slow as they fly through the air. This helps keep them from flying too far so that they can be returned while in a smaller play area. The two orange wind birdies have fewer feathers so they can travel faster and are not affected by wind as much as the sport birdies.
Jazzminton Sport comes with its own padded carry bag. Its dimensions are 34″ x 9″ x 6″ which make it easy to store and take with you. There are two pockets along one side of the bag for the paddles as well as the balls, hooks, anchor ropes, and court rope to keep everything organized. Since everything altogether only weighs 12 pounds, it is easy to carry around.
How to Play Jazzminton Sport
Jazzminton Sport is easy to assemble and set up to play. Start off by removing the frame from the bag and placing it on the ground. Unfold the frame and attach each rod together to form the frame. There is elastic connecting all of the rods so there is no confusion about which rod connects to another. Unfold and lay out the net and then slip the rods through the openings on the sides of the net, ensuring the logo is at the bottom of the net. Slide the top rod through the opening in the top of the net. Attach the top rod to the frame using the two-way connectors. Attached the hooks at the end of the elastic cord from the bottom of the frame to the bottom of the net to hold it in place. Finally, stand the frame upright and attach the legs at the bottom. If it is windy, you can use the anchor hooks and anchor rope to secure the frame to the ground so it does not blow over.
The rules for Jazzminton Sport are simple. You don’t need to create a court, but a space of at least 8 feet by 18 feet. For the first time you play, pass the sport birdie back and forth without using the net until you can rally for some time. This lets you get use to the paddle and birdies. Next try passing the birdie through the window in the net until you can rally back and forth for a while. Once both players feel comfortable, you can start a game.
Start off by rallying back and forth through the window. The winner of the rally will serve first. The server must stand a minimum of six feet away from the net and serve underhand. If the birdie goes through the window, but touches the net during the serve, it does not count and you redo the serve. The game is played to either 11 or 21 points. For an 11-point game, players alternate after each served twice. In a 21-point game, a player serves five times and then alternates. If the score is ever tied when one point away from winning, 10-10 or 20-20, then players alternate after each serve until the game is won.
The game is played with rally scoring meaning you can score whether you are serving or receiving. A rally continues until one player cannot return the birdie through the window. The other player then scores the point. A game must be won by two points. There are no out of bounds so players must try to return the birdie each time it comes through the net. After the serve, the birdie is allows to touch the net as it goes through the window.
For windy conditions or a more challenging game, players can choose to use the wind birdies or the balls. These are less affected by the wind and can travel farther than the sport birdies. Therefore it is suggested you create a court around the net using the court rope and hooks. Each player should have a 16′ x 16′ court on their side of the net. For these games, a birdie or ball must drop within the boundaries of the court in order to score a point. If it falls out of bounds and was not touched by the person receiving the hit, then the receiving player scores the point. This is similar to other racquet or paddle sports.
Why You Should Get Jazzminton Sport
When I first heard about Jazzminton Sport, I was intrigued. I enjoy racquet and paddle sports and was curious about one that could be played indoors or outdoors with a small footprint. Once I received the game, I was impressed at how easy it was to set up. I like how the rods of the frame are all attached by elastic cord. Plus there are foam holders around the bottom rods into which the other rods can be pressed to hold them together and prevent them from hitting each other inside the carry bag. Speaking of the carry bag, this is well designed as well. It has padding to help protect the frame and other components and the pockets help keep it all organized. While it took me a bit longer the first time to set up the frame and net and then take it down, once I understood how everything goes together, I can set it up in a couple minutes and be ready to play. You can also just fold up the feet and set it against the wall for storage if you are going to be using it at the same location frequently.
While the physical components are well made and easy to use, I really love the game of Jazzminton Sport. I have played it inside as well as outside and it is amazing how little space you really need. At first the game is a bit slow as both players learn to play and focus on just getting the birdie through the net. However, after only a few games, the pace can pick up as players become more comfortable and start returning the birdie with overhand shots. While the sport birdies don’t travel too far, they can come through the window fairly fast before they slow down. I like that all you have to focus on is getting the birdie through the net and not if it will land out of bounds.
The included wind birdies and balls add flexibility and variety to the game. They require an area with dimensions of 16′ x 32′. Both the wind birdies and balls can travel faster and farther, so creating boundaries is necessary. Now when hitting the birdie or ball, you need to make sure you don’t hit them too hard or they will go out of bounds and you lose the point. This type of game takes more skill and practice and also provides a greater workout since you are moving around in a larger area. I like how the designer basically crated a second game the frame, net, and paddles.
I was surprised at the workout you can get from playing Jazzminton Sport. Even though your feet don’t move long distances, you are constantly shuffling forward, back, and to the sides to return the birdie and your heart rate will increase, especially as you start hitting the birdie harder and faster. My son and I enjoyed playing the game in our backyard. I took Jazzminton Sport to the tennis courts to play with my pickleball group. While two people were waiting for their turn to play since we did not have enough courts for everyone, they could play Jazzminton Sport near the fence. Those who tried it really had a good time. I even brought the game to the high school where I teach and set it up on walkway outside my classroom. Students could go out and play once they had completed their work. They liked it so much they game back to play some more Jazzminton Sport at lunch. Everyone I know who has played this game has had a great time.
I love playing Jazzminton Sport and am very impressed with its quality and design. I like how it is portable and easy to setup and take down. The carry bag is small enough that it is easy to through in our car to take with you and then over your shoulder to where you want to play. You can play it it on concrete, grass, dirt, and even sand. This game also makes a great gift that will get people up and active. For all these many reasons, I highly recommend Jazzminton Sport.
For more information, visit the Jazzminton Sport webpage! Here is a video showing Jazzminton Sport in action.
Disclosure: GeekDad received this product for review purposes.