Shuttlecock | Brazil

Name in Original Language


Area Where Played



This game is believed to have its origins with the indigenous before the Portuguese colonization arrival. The most widespread version to its origin says that the natives used to make the shuttlecock with leaves, feathers and rocks in order to have fun. After the arrival of the Europeans, the game continued to be played for centuries.
In 1920, Brazil went to its first Olympic Games, and the swimming team took some shuttlecocks to warm up before the competition. The game attracted interest of the other delegations, which asked how to play and what its rules were.
Although the first competitive version of the game showed up in the 40s, it got strength during the 70s, in Minas Gerais.
Nowadays the game is still largely played in Brazil and other countries as Germany, Japan, France, Estonia, Slovakia and Switzerland. Its competitive version is less popular in Brazil, occurring mainly in the state of Minas Gerais.

Detailed Description

The name “Peteca” comes from the Tupi Guarani (native indigenous language) and means “to hit”. The game is commonly played as entertainment and fun between children of the most different realities in Brazil. It is founded in indigenous villages and also in big cities. Besides that, the game can also be seen during the physical education classes, as a way of developing motor coordination.
The game is simple and requires only the shuttlecock to be played. Even though it can be founded in toys stores, most people make their own shuttlecock with the most different materials, such as rocks, sand, rubber, leaves or anything that can create a heavier base combined with the feathers above it.


The rules of the game are simple. The players must hit the shuttlecock to each other with the hand. The objective is preventing that it falls on the floor.
The competitive version of the game is very similar to volleyball. Played on a court (15m x 7,5m doubles and 15m x 5m singles) divided by a net (2,43m for men and 2,24m for women). Each team must hit the shuttlecock only once to exceed the net. The objective is making the shuttlecock touch the opponent court. Each set ends with 16 minutes played or if a team score 12 points before it. The winner of the game is the best in a two out of three sets.