Sun, Sun, Sun, Here It Comes – Ranking The Top Lawn Sports

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The beginning of summer is usually the golden time for sports. The MLB season is closing in on the All-Star break, the NBA Finals are getting underway and the UEFA Champions League gets its wheels churning. Sadly 2020 had other plans. The MLB seems like it will never return at this pace, the NBA plans on returning in the end of July – but who really knows – and top-tier soccer is slowly making its way back with the Bundesliga starting back up in May, and the EPL returning just yesterday.

According to the University of Utah in an April 23 article, drinking in the U.S. is up 55% from this time last year. Big shocker? I don’t think so. 2020 has been throwing us a steady diet of Barry Zito curveballs and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop anytime soon. Without sports on TV to distract us, with many gyms, courts, and fields still closed, where does the common person turn?

It’s obvious isn’t it? Lawn sports. 

Got a beer in your hand? No problem. There are tons of games you can play holding a beer. Need to socially distance? Got you covered there too. Not an athlete? No worries, big fella. I’m going to break down the best lawn sports for each occasion, right here, right now.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the rating system. All ratings are based on a 1-10 scale. Athletic rating, the higher the number the more out of shape and uncoordinated you can be. Social Distance rating, the higher the number the easier it is to avoid your friend who didn’t shower. Drinkability rating, this one explains itself. Accessibility rating, the higher the rating the less crap you have to buy and find room for in your garage. And then there’s the Fun rating. All of this is calculated into a highly sophisticated equation that formulates the Overall rating.

Cornhole

(2-4 players)

Pretty obvious place to start. A hot riser in the land of lawn sports over the past few years, cornhole offers a “play at your own pace” option with minimal movement or athleticism required. The only equipment required are bean bags and a pair of cornhole boards. If you don’t have it, don’t worry. You can easily improvise with a designated landing area and something soft to throw. After nine or ten beers, you’ll hardly notice the difference.

Athletic Rating – 8

Social Distance Rating – 6

Drinkability Rating – 8

Accessibility Rating – 6

Fun Rating – 7

Overall Rating – 7

Wiffle Ball

(4-12 players)

An all-time classic lawn sport, wiffle ball is not for everyone. The coordination level is way beyond your average game of cornhole, not to mention you need a whole lot more space. This one’s for the hardcore lawn gamers. All you need is a bat and a ball (preferably a few) and some ice cold beers. No shirt, no shoes required. This is one of the only games on this list where you’ll actually get a sweat on. So if you’re more into drinking than playing, move on to the next one.

Athletic Rating – 4

Social Distance Rating – 8

Drinkability Rating – 6

Accessibility Rating – 9

Fun Rating – 9

Overall Rating – 7.2

Baseball

(6-12 players)

If wiffle ball is too hardcore for you, maybe baseball is more your speed. This game combines America’s pastime with America’s pastime, baseball and drinking. Similar to beer pong, all you need to play is a pair of pong balls and ten plastic cups. Four cups are set in a line to shoot at. The first cup represents a single, the second a double, the third a triple, and the fourth is the almighty dinger. On either side of the table are two cups. These are the steal cups.

You have a lineup just like in baseball, each batter gets three strikes, or can foul out. A foul out is when the opposing team catches a ricochet off a cup. Anytime a player reaches base the steal cup can be used. Each team has a player manning the steal cup, if the offense wants to steal they simply have to chug their beer and flip the cup before the other teams defender. Games rarely make it past the seventh inning unless you have a bunch of veteran players.

Athletic Rating – 10

Social Distance Rating – 1

Drinkability Rating – 10

Accessibility Rating – 10

Fun Rating – 10

Overall Rating – 8.2

Croquet

(3-6 players)

Although croquet sounds regal, prestigious and exclusive, it was actually invented by the Irish, which gives you every right to play literally wherever and get piss drunk whilst you do so. It’s quite a leisurely game; you hit a ball through hoops with a mallet, using whatever technique you so choose—the golf-like pendulum, backwards between the legs, or the more casual polo type swing. Though you might think, “gosh where do I even get a croquet set? Isn’t it expensive?” you would be wrong. It is a fact that 9/10 adults over the age of 50 have a croquet set somewhere in their home. The best part is you can hit other people’s balls! Let out your inner Lucifer, get a little tipsy and soak in all the Vitamin D you can handle with an afternoon of croquet.

Athletic Rating – 10

Social Distance Rating – 10

Drinkability Rating – 9

Accessibility Rating – 8

Fun Rating – 7

Overall Rating – 8.8

Muff

(3-6 players)

Muff is a personal favorite of mine. It takes minimal set up, if you graduated kindergarten you can figure this one out, grab a ball and get in a circle. You can use different balls but really it’s meant to be played with a soccer ball. This one is more difficult to drink to but the more you play the easier it gets. It’s hands-free so drinking isn’t difficult, but timing when to down your beer is key. The object of the game is to juggle the soccer ball as long as possible. Soccer rules apply—feet, heads, shoulders are all in play. Whoever is responsible for letting the ball hit the ground gets a letter, whoever spells M-U-F-F gets knocked out. You play until one person remains. You can play with burns or no burns. Burns are when the losers (depending on how many players you have) have to line up and the winners each get to kick the ball at them once. Usually muff includes minimal drinking and maximal bickering.

Athletic Rating – 4

Social Distance Rating – 1

Drinkability Rating – 1

Accessibility Rating – 10

Fun Rating – 10

Overall Rating – 5.2

Stump

(Any – depends how much beer you have)

Stump is a fairly new game on the scene. Like any truly good drinking game, it comes from German origins. To play, you need a hammer, nails, a stump or stump substitute (make sure it’s sturdy) and lots of beer. Each player claims a nail in the stump. You then go around the stump with each player flipping the hammer on full rotation in the air, catching it, and in one swift motion hitting another players nail. If you fail, you drink. If you knock the nail down or bend it, that player drinks. There are many other variations to the rules but these are the basics. You can play this one from sun up to sun down. It’s a simple game that everyone can play just keep an eye on the hammer.

Athletic Rating – 8

Social Distance Rating – 5

Drinkability Rating – 10

Accessibility Rating – 10

Fun Rating – 6

Overall Rating – 7.8

The secret league of lawn sports has an infinite selection of games that are almost as fun to watch as they are to play. And you can drink while you do it, so what have you got to lose.

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About Author

Ryan is a writer born and raised in Seattle. A graduate of UW, this lifelong Husky fan never thought he’d be writing for an Oregon based news site, but he also never thought he’d see his Dawgs go 0-12. Just don’t ask him to write about the Ducks. You can often find him on the hardwood (when his knees allow it) or with his friends playing boardgames and poker. Ryan also coaches high school basketball and spends countless hours staring at his dog or finding books to add to his library. Hopefully one day you’ll catch his name on the front of a novel or attached to a screen play, but until then you’ll find him here.

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