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lawn sports: best games to play in your own backyard

get the scoop on the best lawn sports

Lindsey Blackmore
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Lindsey Blackmore

Playing sports or games with loved ones is a healthy way to bond and bring out each other’s competitive side. Staying active and enjoying the outdoors encourages mental health, especially when social interaction is involved. Whether you have a big backyard or are looking to play at a park, here are some of the best sports and games to enjoy on the grass with some friends.

Lawn Sports for Team Play

Feeling the urge to play and win? Here are a few popular competitive games to play on your lawn, whether in pairs or teams.

Cornhole

The classic cornhole, otherwise known as the bean bag toss, is more competitive than you might think. Players take turns throwing bean bags at a raised platform with a hole in the end. There are various ways to play with mild rule adaptations.

Spikeball

Made popular in recent years after airing on SharkTank, Spikeball is a fast-paced and fun game. It combines playing rules similar to volleyball and four square, only the ball is bounced on a trampoline-like surface and caught by the other team.

Ring Toss

Ring toss is similar to cornhole where two players try to swing a set of rings at the opposite stake. If the ring lands on the stake, the team gets a point. 

Horseshoe

Popular among the camping crowd, horseshoe allows two teams to throw different colored sets of horseshoes at the opposite stake. Horseshoe is simple for kids, teens and adults to play, and can be a good backyard sport for every season.

KanJam

KanJam uses a flying disc or frisbee and two bins. Two teams take turns where one person throws the disk and the other tries to deflect it into the bin. If the disc goes into the bin, they score a point. 

Bocce Ball 

Two teams of one, two or four players use a set of bocce balls (pronounced “bah-chee”) to hit the target object called a pallina. Balls must be thrown underhand or rolled and always remain within the boundaries of the game.

Backyard Games for Parties

Group games, fun games and games for parties (this includes adult parties, too). Here are the popular backyard games today to enjoy at a celebration.

Giant Jenga

It’s Jenga, but huge: lifesize towers you have to try not to tip over when pulling out single blocks from the spot of your choice. 

Water Balloon Toss

Every outdoor kid’s favorite party sport is absolutely the water balloon toss. You might as well call it a water balloon fight because that’s what ends up happening 99% of the time anyway!

Beer Pong

One of the classic backyard party games for adults, many 21+ folks have memories of learning all the weird rules and silly tricks of this game. It’s like ping pong meets bowling, but with booze-filled plastic cups. Drink responsibly. 

Yardzee (Giant Yahtzee)

Giant dice to play Yahtzee in your lawn: how much more ridiculous and fun can you get? If you’re a numbers person, this might be your new favorite game. 

Best Active Backyard Games

If you want more of a sporty game that’ll get your heart rate going, here are some active backyard games that never get old.

Pickleball 

People get real serious about Pickleball, especially in Philly. Its motto is, “easy to start, but hard to stop” thanks to its simple rules and fun play. Combining elements of tennis and ping-pong, it can be played indoors or outdoors.

Flag Football

Even without body slams, football is an aggressive and sweaty team sport. Flag football belt sets are cheap to find, or you can make your own.

Badminton 

Badminton is ideal for backyards because of its grass-friendly equipment and widespread enjoyment. It’s been popular since the 16th century and still holds up as a popular sport around the world. 

Trackball (Trac Ball)

A game that involves tossing and catching a ball with a glove or racquet: Trac ball is coming back in popularity after years of being forgotten. 

Social Lawn Games

If you want to take things slow and bring people together for good conversation while playing a backyard game, here are your best options. 

Croquet 

A legendary British game, croquet involves up to six players, each with their own mallet and ball. There’s a designated way to set up a course, and each player must hit their ball through the hoops in a particular order. There’s also a chance for the winner to troll other players as they finish the course.

Potato Sack Race

Want to laugh and take turns trying to beat your friend at something embarrassing? Potato sack races are timeless and true games of social amusement. 

LARPing

If you identify as a geek or you love using your imagination, LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) is a game that can go on for… years. Using costumes, fake swords, strategy and imaginative play, adults and kids can enjoy the experience of pretending to be a character on an epic mission. 

Inflatable Bowling 

It’s bowling, but on the grass. Using oversized, inflatable bowling pins, practice getting a strike and compete for the prize while players stand around and socialize between turns. 

Find Leisure Outdoor Sports Near You

Want to find new people to play outdoors with? Whether you’re looking for amusing backyard sports or more serious athletic teams, the eseo (every sport for every one) app connects locals who share similar interests. Download the app now!

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get the scoop on the best lawn sports