15 Pandemic-Friendly Backyard Sports

Young woman playing croquet
A young woman playing croquet on a lawn. (Getty Images)

Each team is placed on one side of the net, holding a racket, rallying the shuttlecock over the net until the opponent breaks the rally. Requires badminton rackets, a shuttlecock, net, and ideally more than two players.

Place each board 27 feet apart from players facing each other when there are multiple people. Toss bean bags at board to score points. Requires one or two cornhole boards,
preferably eight bean bags and ideally more than one player.

Place wickets in a figure eight pattern (one in center). The first person to knock their ball through all wickets, following a particular pathway, wins. Requires one or more croquet mallets, ideally four different colored croquet balls, six-to-nine wickets and around two-to-six players.

Divide the playing field into two sides throw dodgeball at the opposing team. Players are “out” when struck by a dodgeball or opposing team catches their thrown ball. Last team standing wins. Requires fire or more foam or rubber dodgeballs and ideally more than two players.

Egg-and-Spoon Race
The winner is the first person/team to cross the finish line with the egg securely placed, without support, on the spoon. A dropped egg can be picked up or result in a restart or disqualification. Requires multiple eggs (real or plastic), large tablespoons.

Place each stake 40 feet apart from players facing each other when there are multiple people. Toss horseshoe at stake to score points. Requires four or more horseshoes, one or two stakes, and at least two people.

Thrower is placed by oneself while the receivers are next to each other. The thrower shouts out a particular number and whoever catches it earns said amount of points; deducted if the ball is dropped. Requires one small ball or frisbee and at least two players. 

Ladder Toss
Set ladders 15 feet apart from players facing each other with multiple people. Points are earned if bola attaches to rungs. Play up to an absolute number, such as 21 points, for added enjoyment. Requires a ladderlike structure with three rungs, six bolas (three of two
colors), and at least two players.

Set cans 50 feet apart from each other with one teammate on each side. Both players, the thrower and deflector, must work together in order to score points. Instant win if the disk lands inside of the can, through the front hole or up top, unassisted. Requires one flying disk, two KanJam cans and two-to-four players.

Each side rallies the pickle ball over the net until a point or “fault” is given. Score when the opposite team hits the ball out of bounds, off the net, or to the wrong opponent. Requires a courtlike surface, one pickleball [wiffle ball], multiple pickleball paddles, a net and two-to-four players.

Each team, starting on each side of the net, is given three hits with their hands before needing to spike the ball onto the net. Points are scored by ways including getting the opposing team to hit the ball onto the ground or use more than three hits. Requires one spike ball, one net, and four players.

Each person must hit the roped ball in a particular direction while dealing with the opponent reflecting it the opposite way. A point is earned when the ball is tangled as far as it can go. No catching or throwing is allowed. Requires one stationary pole, onw volleyball/
rubber ball, a rope, and two players.

Wiffle Ball 
Each team will attempt to hit a pitched wiffle ball with the bat and step on four “bases” before receiving three outs where they must switch sides. The team to have the most runners touch “home plate” wins. Outs include opponents catching the ball, and hitter failing to put the ball in play after three swings. Requires one wiffle ball bat, one wiffle ball and at least two players.

Ultimate Frisbee 
Each team attempts to throw a frisbee to teammates until it is caught in the opposing end zone. Thrower is limited to three steps. Requires one frisbee and at least four players.

The ball is rallied over the net until the opponent breaks the rally. Points are earned when the ball hits the opponent’s ground, the other team hitting the ball out of bounds, or the other team hits the ball into the net. Requires one volleyball, a net, and at least two players.

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