How many of us have actually played badminton' You'll be surprised at how much fun there is to be had playing some of America's favorite classic outdoor games. We've got the how-to play on games like croquet, volleyball and horseshoes.
What it is: A lawn game in which players try to hit a wooden ball using a mallet, through wickets in the grass.
How to Play: There are quite a few ways to play croquet - some are more competitive than others. We prefer the most popular American form - a six-wicket croquet. The idea is that a "striker" uses his or her mallet to hit a ball, making it the striker ball. By making a ball the "striker ball" the stiker may use it to move and score points directly or by hitting other balls with it. A striker cannot use his or her mallet to strike an opponent's ball.
For a complete list of rules as well as strategy tips, check out the United States Croquet Association's website.
What it is: Another lawn sport, players of badminton attempt to hit a shuttlecock (a.k.a. birdie) over a net using racquets.
How to Play: Badminton is similar to tennis in that the goal is to hit the birdie over a net using racquets. It can also be played in singles or doubles on a rectangular court. Players are awarded points when they hit the birdie over the net and onto the floor of the opponent's side. Players can only hit the birdie once - if the birdie does not make it over the net in one strike, the other team is awarded a point.
What it is: An outdoor game played between two people. The idea of horsehoes is to toss horseshoes so they land around stakes in the ground. Typically, the game is played in a sandbox, but we like to play in the backyard.
How to Play: The National Horseshoe Pitchers Association has a complete guide on competitive (and official) play, but we keep game rules simple when having fun with the family. Take turns tossing four horsehoes around stakes in the ground. We usually start off by standing 20 feet apart, but you can go right for the traditional 40 feet if you like! Whoever gets the most horseshoes on their respective stake, wins.
What it is: A team sport in which players attempt to hit a ball over a net to score points.
How to Play: Players hit, punch, and spike a ball over a net and score points when one team lets the ball hit the ground. USA Volleyball has a compete list of rules and game play tips, but we generally keep to the most basic when playing family and friends. Here are the rules we use:
1. Teams can only hit the ball a max of three times - if the ball doesn't make it over the net in three hits, the opposing team is awarded a point.
2. No player is allowed to touch the ball with a double hit.
3. Only the serving team can score on a ball that hits the floor.
no touching the net!
4. If a ball falls outside the area of play, no point is scored - UNLESS the opposing team attempts to volley it back and misses!