There are plenty of benefits of playing lawn games as an adult. Are you looking for the best lawn games for adults? There are plenty of them. They include:
What you will learn
- 1 Bocce ball
- 2 How to play Bocce Step by step
- 3 Horseshoes
- 4 Backyard Croquet
- 5 Badminton
- 6 Bean bag toss
- 7 Common terms in the game
- 8 Ring toss
Bocce ball, Boccie or Bocci as its popularly known is a game with an ancient lineage. While it started in Egypt, it was popularized by the Romans and emperor Augustus.
Traditionally, it was played on natural soil courts, but over the years it has evolved and now you can even play it on your grass.
Bocce is a calming and strategic game that gives you a competitive way to spend hours on your lawn in the pleasant company of friends and family.
The object of the game
The aim of the game is to throw your bocce balls closer to the “jack” or “pallino” than your opponent.
The first team that attains 12 points first, wins the game where the winning team should win by at least 2 points.
Traditionally, bocce courts were 60 feet long by 12 feet wide, but you can use a court of any size as long as it accommodates your team.
You use a coin toss to determine who paces the jack to start off the first frame or choose one team to begin the game.
You can play bocce ball with 2-8 players.
One player per team = four balls per player
Two players per team = two balls per player
Four players per team = one ball per player
How to play
The aim when playing the game is to cross the center line and land at least 12 inches from the side and backboards.
You are given two attempts to land inbounds then you allow the opposing team to place the pallino in play to start the frame.
There are two ways you can play the game: open bocce and tournament style.
In open bocce, you toss the pallino any playable distance and direction to begin each frame. The initial player who placed the pallino throws first.
Play alternates until you have thrown all of the 8 balls. Once you are done, calculate the frame score.
When it comes to the tournament style of playing, the initial player who placed the pallino throws the ball first.
The player is then succeeded by the team furthest from the pallino. The inside team only throws after the opponents have thrown all of the 4 balls. After throwing all the balls, you calculate the frame score.
How to play Bocce Step by step
Start with getting the bocce ball set. Standard bocce sets come with 8 colored balls. 4 of each color, often green and red. The smallest ball is called the jack or pallino.
Different skill levels are associated with balls of different sizes where the smaller balls are used by beginners while the larger ones are used by professionals.
After getting the balls, choose your team. You can play the game using two single players pitted against one another, or by two teams with two, three, or four players each.
Avoid having teams of more than four as you will have fewer balls than players hence not all players will get a chance to bowl.
Since you will be playing on the lawn, you don’t need to build a bocce court. To start the game, you need to do a coin toss. It doesn’t matter who gets to go first.
The team that won the coin toss gets two opportunities to throw the jack into a zone of 5 m. If the team fails to get the jack into the prescribed zone, the second team takes over.
When you are playing on the lawn, throw the jack as far away from the players so that the game doesn’t become too easy.
Once the jack gets to the zone, the team that hasn’t bowled tries to get the ball as close to the jack as possible.
The team whose bocce ball is furthest from the jack gets to bowl its remaining Bocce balls in succession. The aim is to get as close to the jack as much as possible.
You are allowed to hit the jack when you are bowling. If the bocce ball is touching the jack, it’s known as a “kiss” or “baci”.
This throw is worth two points if the ball remains touching the jack at the end of the frame.
After each team has thrown all the balls, measure which team has the bocce ball closest to the jack.
The winning team will collect one or more points depending on the position of their other balls, while the other team doesn’t score any.
As mentioned, the team with bocce balls that are kissing the jack gets two points. If the balls from the two teams are equal distance from the jack, no points are awarded and you have to play another frame.
At the end of every frame, tally the points and start the next frame. Continue playing until a team gets 12 points.
The finer points
The throw that you make can be a toss, roll, bank shot, bounce, or anything else. You can make an overhand or underhand. It all depends on your liking.
You are allowed to “spock” your opponents ball. You can even intentionally knock it out of play.
If you live in a hilly area, don’t shy away from bocce as the game can be fun. You only need to watch out that you don’t hurt yourself.
Bocce has a proud and ancient history. Even the pope has played it. Be respectful, cordial, and courteous with the other players.
You can go ahead and drink, measure as closely as possible, knock the other players ball out of the way, but don’t disrespect the popes game!
Once referred to as the Barnyard Golf, horseshoes have been played for centuries. The game is one of the best lawn games for adults. It involves tossing four horseshoes towards a stake in the ground and scoring points.
The players alternate turns and attempts to either throw a “ringer” that circles around the stake or get it as close to the score as possible.
Why should you play horseshoes?
You don’t need much
The horseshoes you use in pitching aren’t actual equine footwear. They are U-shaped metal bars, twice the size of an actual horseshoe.
You can find horseshoe sets in most of the large sporting goods stores. you can also buy them online.
In addition to the horseshoes, you also need to have a paper and ruler to mark the score.
The game is easy to set up
For you to play the game you need a level ground that at is at least 6 feet wide and 46 feet long. At each end of the field, you should have “pits” that are at least 4 inches deep. Fill them with sand, dirt, or sawdust.
Drive a stake into the center of each pit until 15 inches remain above the surface. Remember, opposing stakes should be 40 feet from each other.
The game is fun to play
To play the game you need to divide into two teams and give two horseshoes to each team. Flip a coin to see the team that pitches first. The first pitcher throws both horseshoes, one at a time.
Experienced players should throw behind the foul line while the kids and beginners throw from anywhere behind the second foul line.
After the first team has pitched, the next team should pitch from the same end, aiming for the same stake. Once you are done, tabulate the scores and retrieve the horseshoe.
Continue pitching while alternating between teams until all the players have pitched. This constitutes an “inning.”
Remember the object of the game is to toss the horseshoe so that it falls encircling the stake. If it doesn’t land around it, it lands within 6-inches of it.
Some of the rules you should know when playing include:
- When someone is pitching, the opponents should stand quietly behind the other platform. Teasing or taunting the players aren’t permitted. You also shouldn’t try blocking the toss.
- The pitchers’ feet should stay behind the foul until the horseshoe has been tossed.
- No one can start walking towards the opposite ends of the playing area, until all the players have pitched both shoes for the current turn. This is to prevent injuries from coming about.
- If you have a large lawn and multiple playing areas, the areas should have barriers to prevent injuries from coming about.
- A ringer, when a player encircles the stake with the horseshoe, is worth 3 points. For the toss to qualify as a ringer, a straight edge should touch both points of the shoe.
- If no one scores a ringer during a round, the shoe closest to the stake receives one point. A horseshoe leaning against the stake or touching it is included. For the shoes to quality for the score, they should be within 6-inches of the stake.
- The player who threw both shoes closer to the stake gets two points
- If there is a leaner, a horseshoe that lands vertically against a stake, it counts as one point
- Horseshoes that have landed outside the 6-inch space around the stake or outside the pit area don’t earn any point. They are known as dead shoes.
- Continue playing until all the players have played or a team has reached 40 points.
- Cancellation rules: If you would like to make the game more interesting and competitive, you should include cancellation scoring rules.
- Here your score points just as you would in the count all game; however, by pitching the same exact game as your opponent, you cancel out their points.
- For example, if your opponent throws a ringer and scores 3 points, you can attempt to do the same and cancel out the points they would have earned. If you are successful at it, its referred to as a “dead ringer.”
How can you make the most from a horseshoe game?
The first thing to do is to get a group of your fun friends and ask them to play.
Remember, safety is the most important thing to consider when playing. Aim to keep all the players, and surrounding adults and children safe.
As mentioned above, no one should walk around when a player is pitching. If you have two pitches, have a protective barrier. Remember, to keep quiet. No one should be shouted at when pitching.
Another excellent game you can play as an adult. The game has been around for decades and it quickly gained its popularity as it’s easy to understand.
The object of the game is to advance your ball through the course, scoring points for each wicket. While doing it stake in the correct order and direction.
The winner of the game is the one who scores 14 wicket points and 2 stake points for each of the balls. If playing a timed game, the team with the most points at the end of the period wins.
What do you need?
You need a croquet set that contains 6 hoops, 1 peg, 4 mallets, and 4 balls colored red, yellow, blue, and black.
Optional additions you might need include: 4 hoop clips of matching colors that indicate the next target, a small mallet for hammering the hoops and pegs into the ground, 8 corner pegs to mark the end of the yard-lines, and 4 corner frags.
The backyard doesn’t have to be a perfectly manicured lawn, but short grass provides the best playing surface. If you have a large lawn, go for the official full-size court that is 100 feet long by 50 feet wide.
Since you are playing in the backyard, you can always adjust the size and shape of the court to fit the size of your lawn.
Remember to define the boundaries using chalk or string. You can also use stakes or flags.
How to play croquet
Start by tossing a coin to determine the team to make the choice. The team that wins the toss, gets to decide whether they want to play first or second.
The other team selects the pair of balls they want. red/yellow or blue/black.
The side that starts the game hits any of their balls into the court. After their turn, the other side hits their ball from the starting point. After that, you can start getting extra shots, if any.
The first four turns
In the first four turns, the players have to play all the balls. For example, if you played the red ball first, the other team has to decide to play the blue or black ball. If they choose the black ball when making the third turn, you have to play the yellow ball, then lastly the blue ball.
After the first four turns
Once you are done with the first four turns, the team that started the game has to choose the ball again and begin their next round of shots. Each team should only make a single shot.
It should only continue if it has earned extra shots.
After earning two extra shots
You earn extra sots after you have earned a hoop.
To score a hoop point you need to pass the ball far enough from the hoop such that all the remaining balls have crossed the wire of the hoop on the side playing the game.
When a team earns an extra shot, the playing player has to hit the ball in such a way that it touches one of the three balls.
Of the two extra shots, play the shot in such a way that the striker ball gets into contact with the ball that has been hit.
Make the second shot in such a way that the striker ball lies.
When the ball gets off the lawn
When the ball gets out of the lawn, replace it at a place one meter away from where it got out. The play should continue and there should be no penalty on the team.
After making the shot, if the ball lies within one meter of the boundary, place another, one meter away from the boundary.
Striking the ball with the mallet
Soot the ball with any end face of the mallet, and no other part. Strike the ball cleanly. Remember that you can’t remove the hoops and peg that enable the players to play. You also aren’t allowed to put your feet on the ball.
Finishing and winning the game
The winning side is the one that earns six hoop points for each ball and then strikes the peg with both balls. This takes place when the croquet stroke and continuation stroke are shot.
When making the shot, the balls should be aligned in such a way that the croquet stroke hits the partner’s ball with the peg.
When the striker’s ball hits the peg, follow it up with an extra shot.
You can also easily win the game by striking a peg with each ball in two different chances. For example, you strike a red ball and hit the peg.
In the next turn, you hit the yellow ball so that it hits the peg.
Things you should know about backyard croquet
There are four balls: blue, red, black and yellow. They should be played in this order.
You shouldn’t move the hoops, pegs and other balls in order to facilitate play
The person whose turn is to play is called a striker. A turn consists of just one strike. If there are only two of you, one player uses the blue and black balls while the other player uses red and yellow balls.
If you are four players, each player strikes their own ball. Blue partners with black and red partners yellow.
When starting the game, always toss a coin. The winner should strike first using the blue ball, then red, black, and finally yellow.
When striking your ball, take care that you don’t touch another ball with your mallet as it constitutes a “fault.” It’s also a fault to hit your own ball more than once. This is termed as a double-tap.
When you make a fault, you get a penalty. Here your turn ends and no points are scored. Your opponent can decide to take their turn from where the balls are or have them returned to where they were.
Even if it’s your turn, don’t touch any ball. You also shouldn’t let any ball touch you. If it happens, you lose the next turn.
You also should take care that you don’t play the wrong ball or play out of turn. If this happens, your opponent can choose whether to replace the balls or not.
Badminton is said to be the king of lawn games. Created in British India during the 19th century, badminton is a globally recognized sport and you can play it anywhere.
The objective of the game is to hit the shuttle over the net so that it lands in your opponent’s court. You can hit the shuttle fast, slow, flat, high or low.
You can even smash it with maximum power or use delicate touch shots.
You start a rally when you return the shuttle. You begin a rally with a serve. This gets the shuttle into play.
After that, you will be engaged in a battle to outwit your opponent using strokes that aim to increase your chances of winning.
You win a rally when you hit the shuttle on to your opponent’s court. You also will win the rally when your opponent hits the shuttle out of court.
Just like tennis, you play badminton in singles or doubles.
Before you hurry to get badminton equipment, you should try out the game first. Borrow a racket and shuttle from a friend or sports center.
The racket has two sides: The forehand face and backhand face. You can hit the shuttle using either of the faces.
Practice and master the basics then go ahead to get the equipment.
When setting up the equipment ensure that the net covers the entire width of the court. The net should also be tight.
Not slack. Place the net in the middle so that both court halves are the same size.
When it comes to playing, you should follow these badminton rules.
Bean bag toss
Bean bag toss, also popularly known as cornhole or corn toss involves throwing square corn or bean-filled fabric bag at a hole in a wooden platform from a distance of 30 feet.
You need two platforms that are facing each other on either side of the court then take turns throwing the eight corn-filled bags in a hole in the platform.
The aim of the game is to get the beanbag in the hole. You should note that even if you don’t get the bag into the hole, you will still earn points when you get the bag on the board.
Common terms in the game
For you to play the game, you need to know the basic terms used. They include:
Singles and doubles
You can play the game one on one or as doubles just like in tennis. When you play one on one, both players play from the same side of the court and pitch into the same hole.
In doubles, the teams split and face each other. One player from each team is on either side.
Just like in other sports, the bean bag is broken into the inning. In an inning, each side pitches four bags. Both teams should play all of the four bags to complete an inning. You should note that there is no preset amount of innings.
Pitching is throwing a bag. When playing singles, opponents take turns throwing the bags until they have pitched all of the four beanbags.
For doubles, the teammates alternate tossing the bags in between the turns. Each team should pitch only one bag per turn.
In the hole
Getting the corn bag inside the hole is the ultimate goal of the game. You earn three points for every bean bag. You should know that anyone can get the bag in the hole.
If another player knocks your bag in, you still earn the points.
In the count
This is a technical term for when you get the bag on the platform but not in the hole. When you do this you have a chance of someone knocking it in later. You also score a point every time you get the bag on the platform.
Out of count
This is when you don’t hit anything but the ground. When you do this you don’t earn any points. When your opponent pushes your bag off the board, you lose the point.
Pitch rotation depends on scoring. If you keep on trying scores, the first pitch rotates between sides.
Tips to score easily
There are a number of tricks you can use to easily get in as many bean bags in the holes as much as possible. Some of the tricks you can use include:
Pick the right pitching stance
You can pitch the bag while standing or step forward with your pitch, the same way you do when bowling. It all depends on you. When you are making the pitch, ensure that you put some air into the pitch.
Flatten the bag
Before you pitch, flatten the bag completely. A crumpled bag won’t slide properly on the board and it will be harder to control. Smooth out the beanbag and pitch down the middle of the board.
You should always shoot for the middles as the bag will get in the hole. It also might get in the way preventing your opponent from scoring.
Put a spin on it
It’s always good for the bag to spin so that you have higher chances of getting it in the holes. While you should put a spin on it, avoid overdoing it. This means the bag shouldn’t be making summersaults as you are throwing it.
Master the important pitches
You need to know about the important pitches to increase your chances of winning. They include:
- Airmail: It goes straight in the hole and it’s often the hardest to land
- Slider: This is landing the bag on the front of the board and sliding it
- Blocker: Places the bag in the front of the hole while blocking the opponent
- Push: it Pushes the bag into the hole
- Practice: You can’t go far without practicing. You need to practice the different pitches as much as possible.
Winning the game
For you to win the game you need to get rid of any obstructions that might be there. This calls for you to ensure that you don’t have any clothes that are working against you.
The clothes shouldn’t be too long or loose as they might get in the way of your pitch.
Some of the best clothes to wear are biker shorts. You also should ensure that you are wearing the right shoes that you can easily move around in.
Don’t wear sandals even if they are excellent bar wear.
Another trick you can use win the game is getting into your opponent’s head. A little trash talk can go a long way at messing up a pitch hence give you a leg up.
When you are having friends over, it doesn’t hurt playing the game while holding the beer.
You can even have a little drinking game on the lawn where someone takes a shot every time they fail to throw the bag in the hole.
Ring toss is similar to bocce ball, except you will be using rings. You play the game with two to four players.
If you have only two players, each player takes turns to toss all of the rings once at a time.
If there are four players, you have two competing teams. Each player takes a turn at throwing her rings. After all the players have taken their turns, you tally the points.
The rings are made from anything from metal to plastic. Since the rings come in different colors, you are able to easily tell which rings are yours.
In some ring toss games, each player gets five rings. In other games, a player gets four rings in total. In such a case, each player gets two rings.
Ring toss set up
You need to have a ring toss board where you place the pegs vertically. You can also place the stakes in the dirt using a wooden box with pegs.
If you want, place a single stake vertically in the ground. To increase the difficulty of the game, you can add or remove the pegs.
The simplest form of a game is a board with one peg. Here you place the pegboard or stakes 10-15 feet from the players. You should then toss the ring from behind a clear line so that everyone tosses the ring the same distance.
How to score in the game
You play the game up to 21 points. You get a ringer when you throw a ring onto a peg or stake. Ringers count for three points. If a player gets two rings on the same peg, it’s counted as double ringer and counts for six points.
When players don’t make any ringers, the ring closes to the peg gets one point. If two players both make ringers on the same peg, they cancel each other and no points are scored.
In the event of a tie, the game has to go on until you break the tie.
Ring toss variations
There are plenty of ways in which you can play the game. One of the ways is playing it in water with floating rings and pegs. You can also customize it to any design of your liking.
The cool thing with the game is that it’s portable; therefore, you can move with it anywhere you want. You can also make it out of anything, including ropes and wooden stakes placed in the ground.