By: Jocelyn Ash
After a long winter of lockdowns and rationing toilet paper, I can’t wait for summer to begin. I’m tired of the dark and the cold, all I want to do is finish up the school year and spend as much time as I can outside.
The past year has been a lot of quarantining which means I haven’t been able to see my friends and family nearly as much as I’d like. However, rolling into summer, the COVID-19 restrictions allow for outside visitation and social distancing up to groups of ten people. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a party to me.
Growing up my summers consisted of a lot of camping. It was something my entire family loved to do. We would load up the camper with tons of food and games, hitch the boat onto the back and pull everything out to the lake. These summers were the highlight of every year for me.
I hardly get to go anymore considering my family is in Manitoba and I’m in Edmonton all year round for school, but I try my best to give the adventures I had growing up to my friends here.
With that being said, I have come up with a list of fun games I want to play outside during the upcoming summer. I’ll have to spend tons of time outdoors in order to make up the amount of vitamin D I lost over the past winter, not to mention I’m ghostly pale and could really use some warmth in my complexion. So, fun games in the sun with my friends seems like the best way to spend the summer.
I spent most of my time at the lake playing games, my personal all-time favourite being Washers. There are different ways of playing Washers, but the one I enjoy the most is using a 3-hole board.
The game consists of two wooden frames about 16 inches wide by 48 inches long and 3 inches deep (at least these are the dimensions of mine) and spaced 10 feet apart. Each board has three 4-inch holes spaced equally apart and cut vertically down the center. Most people DIY their own board, but they can be purchased on Amazon, Wayfair and so forth.
I loathe the sound of metal washers hitting wood, so when I made mine, I covered the wood with carpet – highly recommended. A washer is a thin round plate with a hole in the middle, like thin metal donuts if that helps with visualization. The game is typically played 1v1 or 2v2 with partners standing at opposite washer platforms, I’m going to describe the 2v2 playing style.
The disc shaped washers are tossed anywhere from the behind the front of the board (I usually stand on the board). The first hole is worth 1 point, the second is worth 3 points and the third is worth five points. If a washer slides off the board it doesn’t count for anything. Whichever team reaches 21 points first wins.
Each team has three washers and all six begin at the same end. If you accidentally knock the opposing team’s washer into one of the holes, those points count. Once one side has thrown all of their washes, the opposing side simply lifts up one end of the board and reuse the washers just thrown. I prefer to keep score out loud as I throw and tally up points as the game continues – it’s the easiest way to remember the scores. If a team goes over 21 points, then they ‘bust’, and their score reverts back to zero and they have to begin again.
Washers is my all-time favourite game because it’s laid back and competitive at the same time. The drinking aspect of washers is pretty casual. You can sip throughout the game or make it a series in which the losers have to chug after each round and so forth. Washers is such a chill game that it’s really easy to customize how drinking works in. It also doesn’t take a lot of brain power to play washers, all you’re really doing is tossing metal rings onto a board, but at the same time there exists a competitive edge – you want to kick the asses of the opposing team. Playing washers is the perfect way to relax on a sunny day, in my opinion.
One of the best games to play outside surged to popularity once again in the past few years, and involves a bat and beer.
What could go wrong? It’s called Dizzy Bat and is pretty simple to play, all you need are whiffle balls, a whiffle ball bat and drinks.
Basically, what you do is chop the very bottom off of the whiffle ball bat and cut or drill holes into the side (about 4 inches from the top) to allow airflow through the top. Then fill the bat with your alcoholic beverage of choice and chug away. Players can drink out of the bat, but I mean germs and COVID, so I suggest to just chug the drink from the can!
After the chugging has commenced touch the bottom of the bat to the ground and lean over the top of the handle. Then spin around it 10 times. After 10 spins have been completed, the player must stand up and try to hit the can (or ball because we like the environment and don’t want the cans or pieces of the cans everywhere) that another person pitches to them. The player must hit the ball, or they have to take another turn.
Let me just tell you, this game is dangerous with a capital D. Dizzy Bat gets you tipsy and dizzy so fast that it’s almost impossible to hit the ball half of the time. This game is hilarious, and more often than not I have found myself on the ground with a face-full of dirt. If you’re wanting to spice up the game and enhance your drinking experience, I highly recommend turning it into a relay race. Watching five people run around like chickens with their heads cut off has got to be one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life. If you’re looking for a summer drinking game that will leave you sore – from both falling and laughter, Dizzy Bat is definitely the game for you.
When I was younger, I noticed the adults playing a game that involved two short ladders made of plastic with only three rungs that opposed each other. They would throw a string with two balls on the end (a bola) towards the ladders, and if they hit, the momentum and weight of the balls would wrap around the rungs and hang on tightly.
Asking what exactly this game was called, I was answered with the name ‘Testicle Toss.’ From that moment onwards I referred to the game as such, until I was told that the game is actually called Ladder Golf.
Each rung on the ladder is worth a certain number of points. The lowest rung is worth 1 point, the middle bar equals 2 points, and the top earns 3 points. If the Bola wraps around the side of the ladder the point counts for whichever row it is on. The game is played in pairs or on teams of four; first team to 21 points wins.
The set up works a lot like Washers: for example, if you’re playing in teams of four, two people from each team will stand at a ladder. The Bolas are different colours in order to indicate teams. One side throws first, alternating teams as they go.
Now, the drinking aspect of the game can be incorporated in many ways. I typically just take sips of my drink throughout gameplay, but you can also drink if someone misses the ladder entirely when throwing, or the losing team can drink the difference between their points and the winning team, and so forth. I think the best thing about summer drinking games is that you can really make them your own and play however you want to.
Overall, the game is pretty simple, which I like, because sometimes you just want to laze around in the sun and not have to put a ton of effort into a game. Ladder Golf is perfect for some chill day-drinking and a guaranteed good time. Since it’s so popular Ladder Golf can be purchased anywhere from Canadian Tire to Walmart. This game is a staple to play in the summertime and always makes for a good time.
This next game is one that is very common among all people of drinking age around the world.
The game is relatively simple and is the best played outside if you don’t want alcohol coating the floors of your house. It needs at least two players, but a multitude of people works best for this game.
Everyone organizes lawn chairs in a large circle, at least 6 feet apart, and takes a seat. From there, you get a drink of your choice (that is in a can) and set it a little way out in front of you, don’t want to get hit by a dart. The objective of this drinking game is to throw the dart and hit someone else’s drink. If you manage to hit the can, the dart will leave a hole and the person then needs to proceed with shot-gunning their drink. After removing the dart from the drink, you make the hole bigger, hold it up sideways to your lips, tilt your head back, crack the tab open and chug away.
This game has provided me with a multitude of experiences. Some being rather great and others I refuse to talk about. Beer Darts has got to be the quickest way to get drunk (just like Dizzy Bat), and is great for getting in a good chat or bumping some tunes with your friends. Either way, there’s just something so profound about playing this game on a hot sunny day, a breeze occasionally sweeping by and cooling everyone off.
Considering the circumstances, I’d say this game is a great excuse to get the gang together for a socially distanced party. Throw on some tunes and just enjoy the company, maybe toss in a water here and there as well, especially if you’re directly in the sun.
The most underrated drinking game of all time has got to be Beersbee. This game really tests your capability as an intoxicated person, and it’s all too fun. What more could you need on a hot sunny day other than a frisbee and ice-cold drinks? It’s a team game that requires skill, accuracy and little physical activity – yet it still keeps you moving, but with a drink in hand, however. The game is literally designed to get you wasted and has never disappointed in my experience. The game hasn’t always been a drinking game and does not need to be played with the assistance of liquor.
Beersbee or ‘Fricket’ as it was originally called, is meant to be played 2-on-2, but modifications are often made to suit the masses. Teams of two play on the same side of the field, about 20-30 feet away from the opposing team. If there are any poles around that you can use to set a beer can on top of, then do so, but if not, stakes typically come in a Beersbee kit and are easy to procure.
The objective of the game is to knock you competitor’s can to the ground with a frisbee, and let me just say this, drinks don’t necessarily help with accuracy. The throwing team garners 1 point if they knock the can down by hitting the pole and 2 if they knock the can clean off with a direct hit. The team not throwing is on the defensive and can catch the frisbee. However, if they attempt to catch the frisbee and do not, they must drink and end up losing a point.
Basically, you have to take a sip of your drink every time you screw up, whether the frisbee is out of bounds, isn’t catchable, or if you spill your drink and so forth. The losing team must finish their drinks. This game can be played with or without liquor and is always a good time.
I’ve always loved Beersbee for the fact that it can be played very competitively or just as a casual way to spend a hot summer day. It feels to freeing to be out in the sun with your friends, chatting and having fun together. I definitely missed it during this past summer.
Regardless of which game you decide to play, all of them are a fantastic way to get outside and enjoy a social distanced visit in the sun with some friends. If you’re like me and haven’t been able to get out of the house a whole lot this winter, I highly recommend. Stay safe and healthy!