Authored by Ann Myers in Outdoors
Published on 10-22-2009
From zombie battles to pickle ball, adults have plenty of choices in outdoor games. Whether you are a college age or senior adult, opportunities for outdoor exercise are plentiful. Many take little equipment other than a ball, stick or racket, and a net.
Backyard Outdoor Games
The equipment for traditional bocce ball or croquet is easy to set up on the lawn out back. Lawn bowling is related to bocce ball as Golfquet is to croquet.
An outdoor game suited to tailgating is BlongoBall. It has rules similar to bocce ball except that there are goals. The goals can be set at further distances for increased difficulty. The BlongoBall is two balls on a string which is thrown underhanded. The object of the game is to hang the ball on the horizontal bar of the goal. As in bocce ball, an opponent can dislodge an already hung BlongoBall. The NCAA Football Toss is a variation on this game played with bolo balls.
Other traditional outdoor games include horseshoes, badminton, and volleyball. In instances where outdoor space is limited variations on these games exist.
Texas Horseshoes, also known as Washers Toss, is a game that uses washers and wooden boards drilled with three holes each. The boards are spaced ten feet apart. Then players take turns tossing the washers into the holes.
Bean bags are another item for tossing. A variation on this game is disc golf which uses a bean bag type frisbee tossed at a center hole in a wobbling board.
Outdoor ping pong or tether ball are other outdoor game options that are portable.
Organized Outdoor Games
Some outdoor games for adults require more organization than the backyard variety due to the need for special equipment or a greater amount of space. For example, shooting competitions may have specially built sets, or a race walking competition goes through a town. Pool volleyball requires a pool; softball a field; and paintball a park.
Today’s 50 and over adults are not claiming shuffleboard as their outdoor game of preference. Their outdoor game is pickle ball. Played on a badminton court with the net lowered, pickle ball is tennis crossed with ping pong. Players volley or bounce a plastic whiffle-type ball using paddles larger than ping pong paddles. It is a lower impact game than tennis.
Young adults are playing the game Humans vs. Zombies on college campuses. With rules developed by Brad Sappington and Chris Weed, this indoor and outdoor game was first played at Goucher College in 2006. The game is a version of tag. All players start as humans except for one designated “original” zombie. A human wins by surviving the game long enough for the zombies to starve. A player needs a bandanna, Nerf gun or socks, and computer access to play the game.
The days of outdoor games like kick ball or 4-square may be long gone. But if any of the above outdoor games set a precedent, variations of older games will be keeping adults active in the outdoors for years to come.