In the height of summer, there’s nothing better than enjoying the great outdoors with a group of friends. The following will explore several outdoor sports and games that you can play with a group of friends. Not all of the below activities require an even number of players.
Team-Based Gel Blasters
Similar to paintball, gel blaster guns are game guns that release non-harmful bullets. Gel blasters, however, don’t require such intense clean-up afterward so can quickly become a group favorite. They also tend to hurt a little bit less when you get hit, making the activity more inclusive.
If your friend group is a fan of paintball, this alternative is perfect. You might want to give everyone a few week’s heads up the first time you play; as these specialists in gel blasters point out, countless accessory items can drastically change the game. Give everyone the time to figure out their tactics and which type of gel blasters most suits the way they’re comfortable playing a combat-based game.
Capture The Flag
Capture the flag is a classic game that involves splitting a group of friends up into two teams. Each team is given a flag (or another object that is easily seen that can act as a flag like a t-shirt or a scarf). You’ll also need something to divide your “field” in half. Please note that your field could be literally anything. It could be a forest; it could be a house, including the front and back yard. This game has even been played in a lake before. All that matters is that the middle is marked, resulting in a split of your field into two pieces that are rough of equal size.
Each time is given time to hide their flag somewhere on their side of their field. And then you need some way to agree that the game has begun. The goal is to capture the other team’s flag by finding it and bringing it safely back to your side of the field. The only trouble is that when you’re in enemy territory if they tag you, you must go to the area they’ve designated as their jail. You can’t break free, but if someone from your team finds the jail and tags you, you’re free to move about.
Strategies quickly develop in this game as most teams like to designate someone (or a group of someone’s) to stay guarding the flag while the rest of the team sneaks across enemy lines in search of their opponent’s flag. You might also designate someone to guard the jail area.
Be forewarned; this isn’t always a game where the fastest people win. Quite often, stealth and strategy are what makes a winner in capturing the flag.
Spikeball has taken parks by storm; you’ve probably seen people bouncing a ball off of a little net between them at the beach or your local greenspace. This is Spikeball. The game is for four or six players and is simple to set up. Teammates stand across from one another and work together, trying to get their opponents to miss the ball. You’re not allowed to carry the ball, hold the ball, or touch the ball with two hands at once. Moreover, you’re not allowed to touch it twice in a row. All you can do is spike the ball into the net. Each team is allowed (between all players on that team) to touch the ball three times before it belongs to their opponent. The goal is to set the ball up for a spike your opponent can’t spike back.
You probably played this game when you were a little kid, but it turns out this is still great fun to play with adults around the pool or in the lake. Based loosely on the character of Venetian merchant and explorer Marco Polo, this game starts with one player who is “it.” This is Marco. Typically, Marco counts to ten before beginning to give everyone time to get somewhere safe to begin the game.
The person who does it keeps their eyes closed the whole time. When they say “Marco,” everyone else must say “Polo.” They can then follow the sound of everyone’s voices to try and catch them. If they tag someone, that person is the new Marco.
There is a variation of this game where people are allowed to get out of the pool in the game, but if Marco calls out, “Fish out of the water!” anyone outside the water is out and becomes the new Marco. Since it is usually easy to hear people climbing out of a pool, this makes the game a bit tougher for the contestants as it will be tempting to climb out when Marco is close to them.
The above games should give you a few ideas of games you can play outdoors this summer. It’s more than okay to alter rules creating “house rules” just to be sure everyone playing knows what the alterations are and what they mean for gameplay.