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4 Must-Play Backyard Games

Boccie balls in the grass

Coming up with some fun games to play in your very own backyard can be very rewarding. That is, only if you are creative enough to think of them. While traditional games such as flag football are typical options, consider some of these games the next time you step outside with family and friends.

Bocce ball

This game calls for precision. The rules of the game consist of two teams trying to get their bocce ball(s) closest to the target. Before each round begins, a coin can be tossed to determine which team starts. That team then chooses someone to throw the jack, the target in question. The balls are color-coordinated to differentiate each team and multiple points can be earned for either one team or both. The game finishes once a team achieves the communicated amount of points.

Pickleball

Originally made by three dads, this game combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. While usually played on the court, this game can be temporarily set up right in your backyard with the help of some chalk and tape. In addition, a temporary net is needed. You’ll want to set all of this up while using the chalk and tape to create your desired backyard Court. The rules of the game are quite simple and require a proper underhand serve. Players are not allowed to step into the non-volley zone marked off on the front of each side unless the ball has already bounced on their side. There is also a double bounce rule that the ball must bounce at least once on each side of the net for the players to begin volleying it in the air.

Horseshoes

This game makes for real competition as it can be played between two to four people using horseshoes. Two stakes are usually set up 40ft apart but can be adjusted depending on the size of your backyard. Players stand near one of the setup stakes. The object of the game is to throw your horseshoes close to the stake. Horseshoes that are within six inches of the stake are worth one point while those wrapped around the stake, known as ringers, are worth 3 points. The point system is determined by counting each team’s points and subtracting them to give the remaining points to the team that won that round.

Croquet

The game can be set up in your very own backyard by applying the central peg in the middle of your lawn and then four hoops that hit each corner, making a rectangle with a peg equidistant (in the middle) from each corner. In addition, two more hoops are added on opposite sides of the central peg and create a midpoint between the cornering hoops and central peg. Croquet can be played in singles or doubles, or no teams versus teams. Colors can be assigned to distinguish player order. Players each take one turn to correctly guide the ball in the correct order and direction with a mallet. You may only hit the ball with the striking end of the mallet, if not the play does not count. The ball must also completely surpass the hoop to be considered as a point. The first team to finish with 14 points, wins.

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Written by Alina Hoarau

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