I played my fair share of beer pong in college. It was crazy-fun, but looking back, how was consuming beer that’s had a dirty ping pong ball thrown into it a thing that we were all totally OK with? Gross. If you were also a fan of beer pong, you will be instantly familiar with the “basics” of this summertime backyard game I like to call bucket ball. Your party, up-till-dawn, walk-of-shame memories will come streaming back to you, because bucket ball is a family-friendly version of beer pong. The game will last well into the long summer nights, and parents and kids of all ages will enjoy this fun outdoor game. Plus it’s a great way to cool off on a sizzling summer day. Here’s how to play:
- 12 white 5 gallon buckets from Home Depot, $4.47 each
- small red and blue basketball, or a ball in the garage, such as a volleyball
Step 1: Set up the buckets in 3, 2, 1 order on two different ends of the yard.
Step 2: Fill the buckets with water a quarter to halfway full (so they don’t tip over). Warning: This may be the start of a water fight…which is all the more fun!
Step 3: Pick your teams.
Step 4: Play ball. Rules are below.
You can make your own rules, especially when kids are involved, but these are the rules we play by.
- Teams are two vs. two.
- You must always shoot from behind the buckets.
- You can shoot the ball underhand or overhand—whatever way you want.
- Players on each team must take turns shooting the ball.
- The ball can bounce or fall directly into the bucket for a score.
- Once a player makes a shot into the bucket, you remove that bucket from play. The first team that has no buckets left wins. The less buckets there are, the harder the game becomes.
- For kids, it’s easier to set all the buckets out and leave them out, instead of removing one every time a team scores. If you play this way, set a number to play to and the first team to that number (i.e., ten) wins.
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