Underrated Summer Games

Friendly Competition in the Friendliest of Confines

Mother N. has figured it out: the weather is finally warm enough to get outside! Let’s be real, is there anything better than being in the backyard with your crew, having some sodas and getting into a few games? The answer to that is no, no there isn’t. Here are a few of the more underrated games you can easily bust out at your next BBQ, backyard bash, or park chill.

Bean Bag Toss (a.k.a. “Cornhole”, “Tailgate”)

Bean Bag Toss

(Photo by Tony Alter via Flickr)

The rules are simple: players take turns throwing bean bags at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. A bag in the hole scores 3 points, while one on the platform scores 1 point. Play continues until a team or player reaches the score of 21.

Giant Beer Pong

What’s a party without a little pong? Just up the scale by using garbage cans and a volleyball. The beer is optional, but obviously more fun.

Kan Jam


(Photo by nuhmocuh via Flickr)

KanJam was created in the 1980s by Charles Sciandra and Paul Swisher in Buffalo, New York, and was originally called “Garbage Can Frisbee.” The object of the game is to score points by throwing and deflecting the flying disc and hitting or entering the goal. The game ends when a team scores exactly 21 points or “chogs” the disc for an instant win. Players must get exactly 21 – if you go over, it reverts back to 17 points.

Ladder Golf

Ladder Ball

(Photo by J. Fagner via Flickr)

The items needed to play are two ladders and a set of three bolas per team (two golf balls with a string through them). Each ladder has three rungs, each rung scoring a different point value. One common method of scoring is to have the rungs be one, two and three points. In one variety the top is worth 1, middle is 2, and bottom is 3.



(Photo by John Knut via Flickr)

This Swedish lawn game is played on a rectangular playing surface. “Kubbs” are placed at both ends and the “king” (a larger wooden block) is placed in the middle. The object is to knock over the “kubbs” by throwing wooden batons at them. It’s like a neat Scandinavian combo of bowling and horseshoes.



(Photo by julie neumann via Flickr)

Any glass bottle will work, but like with all things, beer makes it more fun. The game is played by taking turns throwing a Frisbee at a glass bottle that rests on top of the stakes in the ground. The two stakes are placed anywhere between 6 to 12 m apart. Players must hold a drink in one hand at all times, leaving only one hand free for throwing and catching.


This game is similar to badminton, but faster and looser. The field consists of two squares measuring 5.5 meters on each side. The distance between the squares is about 12 meters. The rackets are similar to the ones used in squash but are specially produced for Speed Badminton. They are 58–60 cm long, and the material and the strings are different. The ball is called a speeder and is heavier than a conventional badminton shuttlecock. The aim of the game is to reach the square of the opposite player with the speeder. If the speeder falls outside the opposite square, the other side gains a point. Both players are allowed to step out of, or any where inside their square during play. The game ends when one player has at least 16 points.
Do you have any awesome under-appreciated summer games? Tell us about them in the comments!