Beautiful warm weather means time to be outside in the yard. There’s gardening and mowing the lawn, backyard picnics and barbeques, and my favourite, lawn sports. Being outside playing games is a great way to fight the sitting disease (take that lawn chairs!) and enjoy the nice weather. And if you don’t have a backyard, the local park is calling your name.
Whether you are practising solo, playing with the kids, or have the neighbours over for a friendly competition, lawn sports are a great way to get some physical activity in while socializing and having fun outside. Here are some lawn sports to try this summer. Search online for specific rules and find sets for each game at most retail department stores or even second hand.
- Bocce: Play with teams of one, two, three or more. Each team picks a colour and then takes turns rolling their ball to try and get it closest to a smaller white ball. Bocce can be played on the grass or even on the beach. Players can run leading up to their throw and the throwing motion is palm up or palm down.
- Pétanque: Very similar to bocce only it’s played with hollow metal balls and players must stand still with both feet on the ground when throwing. Find an open space and you’re good to go! Add some more activity to your game by racing to pick up the balls after your turn. (Fun fact: rumor has it an old reigning champion had trouble standing because of arthritis and therefore modified the game so that throwing was done standing still).
- Lawn Bowling: This one is played on a grass court, the ball is bowled rather than thrown, and the ball is less spherical on one side. Take your lawn bowling game to the next level – there are many lawn bowling clubs, leagues, and even tournaments you can join. Club courts have specific dimensions, and some clubs encourage a formal dress code.
- Horseshoes: Play one-on-one or in teams of two. Toss a ‘leaner’ for one point or ‘ringer’ for three on your way to 40 points (or whatever predetermined number you’ve agreed on).
- Croquet: Players hit their ball with a mallet through a circuit of hoops in a specific order and finish the game by hitting an end target. There are leagues and tournaments for this game as well, but I like playing just for the fun of it.
The beauty of lawn sports is they can be played by everyone at any age and skill level, they`re inexpensive, and they can be played anywhere there’s a patch of grass, hard dirt, sand or gravel. What are you doing this weekend? How about inviting some friends over for a picnic and game of pétanque!