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  • Ryan Hogue

My 5 Favorite Backyard Games

It’s Friday and the sun is finally out! It has not been the best week for weather by any means but now that the weekend is on the horizon we have a beautiful day out. And looking at the upcoming forecast, it looks like nicer weather is indeed coming our way. This is my favorite time of the year. The cold is gone, it isn’t too hot yet and there is a nice breeze most days. It’s the perfect time to get together with friends and family for a BBQ, cookout, get-together or whatever you want to call it. Part 2 of this blog will come out next week and feature my favorite foods to serve at an outdoor get-together but for now we're gonna list my top 5 favorite cookout games to play with your family and friends. Good food and good people can make any party great. But when you add in some friendly and slightly competitive fun into the mix it only gets better. Now there are so many different games and variations you can play but as of right now the ones below are my favorite ones to play. As always feel free to comment or message with any thoughts or ideas! I’d love to hear about some games I haven’t tried yet!

Spikeball- This game is one that I actually avoided for a while. As someone with a bad back, the videos I saw of athletes diving backwards 20 yards from the center of the game, practically doing flips instantly made me say no thank you. But after hearing more and more people rave about it whether it be my younger sister or my neighbors, who are grandparents, made me give it a try. While yes it can get highly competitive if you have 4 high class athletes really getting into it (which is one of the reasons it's so great) but you can also play it at your own pace. It gives me flashbacks of being younger and trying to keep the ball or balloon from touching the ground. This game is kind of like volleyball but you spike the ball against a springy net that's placed on the ground that sends the ball back up instead of you hitting a ball over a net. Main idea is to not be the person or team whose turn it is to hit it when the ball touches the ground. So simple but so much fun.

Cornhole- Chances are if you’re from the eastern shore you already know about this one. I don’t think I’ve been to the beach, a party, cookout or gathering of any kind and not seen at least one cornhole board. The only problem with this game is if you’re not familiar with it, then you need to find someone else who also isn’t familiar to play against because you will quickly notice the skill discrepancy. This game is easy to pick up but hard to master. While you’ll be excited to get one of your throws in, there's people out here sinking nearly every throw. Regardless if you can find similarly skilled people to play with, this is a classic and extremely fun.

Bucketball- This took an already great game and made it better. I’m sure most of us have heard of or played water pong or beer pong. Where you line up 6 cups in a triangle formation across from your opponent and alternate trying to shoot ping pong balls in the opponent's cup. Well this took that and supersized it! Instead of ping pong balls you use kick balls and instead of red solo cups you use big bins. This game will be a hit with people of all ages!

Giant Jenga- I can not believe how popular this game is. They took the Jenga we grew up with and made it giant! I can guarantee if you have it sitting out there will be people playing it non stop. Never has a slower paced game been more intense. Wit and steady hands are all you need to play this game. And trust me pride is on the table as a loss means all the blocks come crashing down on you. Obviously if you have kids you’re going to get one they can reach but for adults the bigger the Jenga the better!

Bocce Ball- I grew up playing this and to this day it is one of my favorite backyard games. Sure, would I love to play touch football, whiffle ball or basketball but those games aren’t always exactly inclusive of everyone. When I would get together with family, which included people of all ages, this was something everyone could play. It’s kind of like horseshoes but instead of two stationary poles, one player throws a smaller ball somewhere in the yard and each person has two larger balls that they try and roll to see who can get closest to the small ball. This is very low impact but also fun and gets people moving. Also depending on your landscape this game can get very challenging and intense!

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