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Best Beach Games - Armchair Empire

Best Beach Games

The beach is awesome; sun, sand, ocean, and GAMES. We live at the beach and are self proclaimed experts in hosting the perfect beach game day.  We’ve ranked these games based on fun and portability, but mostly fun factor.

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We are not here to preach the importance of sunscreen, but please people - use that SPF 30 all day, everywhere. Seriously, just do it. These games are going to get you off your nice beach recliner under the umbrella and out further more into the elements, namely the sun. Yard and Pub Games will not bear the burden of responsibility for your sunburn. This list is twenty years in the making. It began with Bocce, Horseshoes, and a frisbee in the mid 1990’s. Then in 2010 we found Cornhole, then came BeersBee, Kan Jam and Spike Ball.  All the games on this list make our beach days longer and better and we hope you enjoy them all. 

#1  Spikeball

Spikeball is sweeping the nation since appearing on the television show Shark Tank.  The game plays like a 360 degree version of volleyball.  Players play in teams of two and get three total hits of the soft ball to hit the net, which sits in the center of the playing area.  Like volleyball, the goal is to hit shots that are unreturnable by your opponents.  The real fun comes in that there are no boundaries in Spikeball, all players are free to run anywhere they want after the serve.  Spikeball is as fun as it gets when it comes to high energy yard games. 


#2  Bocce Ball

Bocce Ball on the beach involves more tossing than rolling of the balls, but is still a great sandy game.  Bocce will have everyone wanting to play again and again.  The game is simply to throw your heavy colored balls closest the the tiny white Jack Ball.  Bocce is played with 2-6 players.   The sets are a bit heavy, but all come with a sturdy carrying case.  Refer to our Best Bocce Ball Sets for more info. 


#3  Horseshoes

Horseshoes has and always will be a favorite here at Yard & Pub Games.  There is something so magnificent about the sound of a horseshoe striking the steel stake.  Ringers are as exciting an accomplishment as any in beach games.  For more on the sport and a list of the best sets available, visit our Best Horseshoes Sets post.   


#4  Beach Volleyball

Beach Volleyball may be the only Olympic Sport on this list, but that doesn't mean us amateurs can't enjoy it.  This game would rank higher if the net setup were a bit easier. However, once that net is set and the boundaries are drawn, GAME ON!  Beach Volleyball allows for amazing digs and dives & sets and spikes!  This is also one of the more active games here, so pump up a volleyball & pump up the adrenaline factor for your Beach Volleyball game. Our Best volleyball Sets features 5 great sets to choose from for your beach sports collection.


#5  Beers-Bee

Beers-Bee goes by many names and varying scoring rules, but no matter what you call it or how you score, the game is crazy exciting and keeps you on your toes.  Throw a frisbee to knock the beer bottle from its perch while the other team attempts to catch both the frisbee and the bottle.  BeersBee is almost perfect fr the beach, and this particular featured set includes an awesome backpack carrying case and cooler.  


#6  Ladder Ball

Ladder Ball ranks high on our list not because it brings anything new to the genre, but because it's just so weird and wonderful.  There are a ton of great sets out there, but we highlight the Top 10 Ladder Ball games here.  The bolos players throw take practice to figure out; and even then, gravity takes over and points can be gained/lost in milliseconds.  The game can be played with 2-4 players of all ages.   


#7 Washers

Washers ranks in top 10 thanks to the price point, ease of setup, and transport-ability.  The rules are very simple and the quick rounds will be enjoyed by anyone who plays.  The difficulty of Washers is that center scoring cylinder; it takes a great stance and throwing technique to get in there. Washers plays well on the beach thanks to the convenient carrying case and the washers themselves are heavy enough to withstand wind gusts.  


#8  Paddle Ball

Paddle Ball is played with two people of any age or skill level with a few minutes to kill at the beach.   As far as we know, there are no rules, no time frame, no winner no loser.  Wow, what a nice change of pace, right?  Just start hitting the ball back and forth until you become thirsty and need a cold beverage.  Check out all of our recommendations for paddle Ball sets here. 


#9  Bucket Pong

Bucket Pong is beer pong, but supersized.  Without the need to fill these buckets with the liquid of your choice, bucket pong takes on a more family friendly, game-y approach than the drinking game that inspired it.  Bucket Pong is a lot of fun, it plays easier than beer pong but should be a hit for a wide range of audience.  The entire set is made to be carried, so bringing Bucket Pong to the beach is a breeze!


#10  Kan Jam

A new comer to the yard sports arena, Kan Jam has all the good things you want in a game.  All 4 players need focus, dexterity, determination and a drink in their hand.  This frisbee based game will test your agility, accuracy and teamwork.  Points are had when the frisbee goes into the open top via a teammate deflection or a great toss.  We really really enjoy playing this and you'll enjoy our article all about Kan Jam here.  

Halfway through this list and we havent even touched on some classics like football or frisbee toss. These two don’t offer many competitive options like the top 10, but are marvelous ways to spend some time in the sand.  What we’ve done is included links to our favorite brands and types of games. You can believe that these games and in particular, the products highlighted are the best of the beach gear available.

#11  Water Bounce & Skip Ball

Water Bounce/Skip Balls are great for waist high ocean water.  Everyone loves diving and jumping and splashing and throwing and bouncing......you get the picture.  These fun balls skip and bounce off the surface of the water.  They are a great way to stay cool in the water while being active.  The timing of skips an bounces takes a bit of trial and error, but once you've figured it out, you'll wonder "where have these balls been all my life?"  Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys ocean surf or pool games. 


#12  Football

Football Toss and the beach......duh.  Of course you're going to bring a football to the beach. We prefer the classic pigskin style shown to the left, but there are dozens of other football variations that work great on the beach - check them all out on our Football Toss 101 post.  grab a a friend or two and play a nice game of catch or find a dozen folks and start a six on six flag football match.   


#13  Ring Toss

Beach Ring Toss sets are advertised as for children and young adults, but honestly we play this game on the regular at the beach.  It's very light and easily packed in a beach bag.  The scoring is straightforward and the scoring pegs & hemp rings are built to last.  For a light game that can be played by everyone in no time at all, Ring toss hits all marks for a good beach game. 


#14  Cornhole

Beach Cornhole is great.  We list the best boards and bags for you in the Best Cornhole Boards & Bags post.  It's a hall of fame game played in backyards, beaches, pubs, and tailgate parties with 2-4 players of all ages.  Set up is simple, and can be played for hours. Games are played to 21 points with points that cancel each other out.  Have a look at some rules, terminology, and game variations in the Cornhole Rules and Play post.   


#15  Ramp Shot

Ramp Shot is a great choice for those wanting an more active game.  Played in teams of two, one player attempts to throw a ball into the oddly shaped ramp about fifteen feet away.  A make is worth three points for their team.  If the ball misses, but hits the ramp, it can be caught by their teammate (for one point) or an opposing team member (giving the opposing team an extra throw).  Games are played to exactly 15.  With three players involved in each throw, this game keeps the action going. 


#16  Scatter/Molkky

Scatter/Molkky is a unique combination of some familiar games.  Players take turns throwing a wooden rod at a set of smaller wooden pins (known as 'skittles').  Players can score the number of points indicated on the skittle if that is the only one they knock over, if they knock over multiple skittles they receive points equal to the number they knock over.  Molkky is a unique twist on a familiar feeling game, players stand quite close to the playing area making the game more about picking the right pin to go after than skill of being able to knock over a pin from a long distance. 


#17 Frisbee

Frisbee throwing on the beach is a no brainer.  It's simple, athletic, a little dangerous and it makes you look really cool.  Make sure you choose a heavier disc as the one we feature here.  You'll need the weight to slice through the beachy winds.  Look even cooler with behind the back catches, forehand flips and between the legs tosses and grabs.    


#18 Beach Soccer/Futbol

Beach Soccer/Futbol really needs no introduction or hype.  Great way to have some fun with the kids young and old.  The right ball for the sandy, wet beach does require a little explanation.  This Baden Beach soccer ball should be the last beach soccer ball you ever buy.  It is both sand and waterproof, brightly colored for maximum visibility and retrieval.  Show off your soccer tricks or just kick it really far and watch the kids chase it - Beach soccer works on all levels.   


#19  Jai Alai

Jai Alai  is sometimes referred to as Scoop ball, but that's just sounds silly.  This fantastic wiffle catch and throw game passes the time in worldly style.  A product of India, the true sport is insanely popular there, but only a recreational endeavor most everywhere else.  The Jai Alai sets are lightweight and provide a great alternative to other catch throw games out there.  


#20  Kubb/Viking Chess

Kubb/Viking Chess has been around for a few hundred+ years.  The game involves throwing a short, round rod across the playing field (about nine yards long) attempting to knock over your opponent's Kubbs (pronounced Koob, as in "boob" or "lube").  Knock over a few Kubbs and your opponents then get to throw those back across the field where they are then set upright.  This team must then knock over these field Kubbs before going after the original starting Kubbs.  This repeats until one team is able to knock over all of the opposing Kubbs, they then must knock over the King (located in the middle) to win.  That's a lot of explaining for a unqiue game, but this is a truly a very fun game.

There you have it. Including just one of these games in your next beach adventure will make the day better. I hope you return to this top 20directory when you need to add another pastime to those great beach days.

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