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Sports Then and Now




5 Sports You Can Play at Home

Posted on July 17, 2020 by Martin Banks

Are you tired of sitting inside playing video games all day? Looking for something other than checkers and cornhole to start a friendly competition with your family and friends? Get your blood pumping with these fun activities perfect for warm summer days:

1. Ping Pong

Ping pong — or table tennis — is much less strenuous than a typical game of tennis. Plus, you can play indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather. All you need is a ping pong table, some paddles, a few balls and a competitor. 

The aim of the game is simple. Hit the ball over the net and back to your opponent. If they are unable to return the volley, you win a point. The first player with 11 points wins the game.

2. Darts 

Waiting around at the pub for an open dartboard can be annoying, especially if all the pool tables are taken, too. Take matters into your own hands and get your own board instead. Invite your friends over to break it in and offer a prize for the winner to keep things interesting. 

If you’d rather not hide away in your basement playing darts, take the competition outside with lawn darts. This game generally comes with two targets and a few weighted darts that may be up to a foot long. Toss the darts into the rings to score points. 

3. Basketball 

If you have a basketball hoop and a few willing friends, playing a pick-up game is a fun way to spend a summer evening. However, if only a few people are available, consider playing games like H-O-R-S-E and Knock Out.

Regardless of what you play, remember to practice safety. If you’re in a driveway, keep the garage door closed to prevent it from falling. Refrain from running under moving garage doors to retrieve a runaway ball. Teach kids to look for cars before grabbing the ball from the street.

4. Badminton 

Badminton is similar to ping pong in that you’re trying to hit an object — in this case, a shuttle — over the net onto your opponent’s side. However, you usually play this game with a volleyball-sized net and webbed rackets. You can also play in teams of two outside if you wish.

There are multiple rules to familiarize yourself with before playing, including hitting the shuttle only once on each side and serving with an underarm swing. Proper court and net setup will also require a bit of research as the process differs from volleyball or tennis.

5. Croquet 

For more than 150 years, Americans have enjoyed the backyard sport of croquet. While short grass may make for the evenest playing field, you don’t have to manicure your lawn perfectly to set up a suitable court. 

Arrange the wickets and stakes in a double diamond pattern and strike your balls through the wickets using your wooden mallet. The first person to score 14 wicket points and two stakes for each ball wins the game. Of course, there are quite a few more rules and pointers regarding setup, bonus points and player turns, so read up on them and keep them handy as you play the first few rounds.

Try Something New

If you’ve never tried these sports at home, practice one or two and see how you and your friends enjoy them. Odds are, if you haven’t played before, neither have they. Mix up the rules and figure out how to play together. As you try new games, you might find you have a knack for one that you would never have thought to play had you stuck with video games and chess.


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