When you’re packing the car for your next beach trip, don’t forget to bring these classic seaside games.
Similar to horseshoes, Beach Bocce players set a target, which is referred to as the jack, and throw an object as close to it as possible. For this game, the object is a small ball. After drawing a five- to eight-foot court in the sand, any player stands inside the circle and throws the jack away from it. One by one, the other players follow suit. Whoever gets the ball closest to the jack starts the game. For each additional round, the winner of the previous round throws first. The goal with each round is to land your ball closer to the jack than your opponents. When all balls have been thrown, the round is over. The first player to reach 13 points, or another number of points that is determined before the game begins, is the winner.
This old-school game only requires two metal stakes and four horseshoes. The goal is to throw your horseshoes closest to the stakes in a court that measures 50 feet in length. In each inning, players take turns throwing two horseshoes, one at a time. You will earn three points for a ringer (when the horseshoe circles the stake) but zero points if your opponent also scores a ringer. If no ringer is scored then the player whose horseshoe is closest to the stake receives one point in that inning. If you throw the only ringer in the inning and your other horseshoe is closer to the stake than your opponent then you would receive three points for the ringer and one point for the closest horseshoe. The game is played until you reach a certain number of points or complete a certain number of pitches that is determined before the game begins.
This game can be played in the sand or the ocean using a flying disc and two goal containers, depending on the type of containers you purchase. No matter where you play, the rules are the same: play to 21 points or to an instant win, play in teams of two, and take turns throwing. The deflector scores points for the team by slapping, kicking, kneeing or redirecting the disc into the goal, but the deflector can’t carry or control the disc in any way. You will earn three points for a bucket slam dunk (deflector redirects the disc and it lands inside the goal), two points for a deuce (thrower hits the side of the goal unassisted by a partner) and one point for a dinger (deflector redirects the disc to hit any part of the goal). An instant win occurs when the thrower gets the flying disc directly in the basket without assistance. The only difference when playing on land and in the water is the distance of the goals. They should be 50 feet apart on the beach and 17 feet apart in the ocean.
All you need for this game is two ladder stands, each with three steps, and three golf ball bolas (a nylon rope with a golf ball at each end) for each stand. Before you begin, separate the ladders by 15 feet. When playing a four-person game, two people from opposing teams are on each side. After a coin toss to decide who throws first, each player throws all three bolas, one at a time. The top step of the ladder is worth three points, the middle step is worth two points and the bottom step is worth one point. Players can knock each other’s bolas off the ladder during the course of each round so they lose those points. To win, a team must reach a total score of 21 points. If a player goes over on the last throw then his or her points for that round don’t count.