The summer heat is upon us, calling our names to spend more of our free time outside. But the backyards, beaches, and parks aren’t solely reserved for barbecues, sunbathing, and picnics.

They are also the arenas for heated competition.

There are of course the classic outdoor lawn games of bocce ball and corn hole, but what if you want to play something a little more active? Then the following games are for you!

Spikeball

You’ve probably played the cul-de-sac favorite game of four square at some point in your life, and you’ve definitely heard of volleyball. Now imagine a sport that combines those two competitions into one.

Enter Spikeball.

From casual matches on the beach with friends to organized pro tournaments, Spikeball’s popularity is exploding around the world.

Equipment

Spikeball comes with an official net setup and two balls. When assembled, the net is a flat circle three feet in circumference, sitting about one foot off the ground. One ball is used during game-play.

How to play

The official rules define teams be made up of two players each (team A and team B).

Team A starts a point by serving the ball off the net so it bounces towards team B. Once the ball is in play, teams have up to 3 alternating touches between the two team members to hit the ball back off the net, similar to volleyball.

After the initial serve, the ball and teams can move 360 degrees around the net. There are also no out-of-bounds markers. You can hit the ball off the net as far as you can.

If a team fails to return the ball off the net within three touches or the ball hits the ground, rim of the net, or bounces twice on the net after a return, a point is earned. First team to 21 wins!

Kan Jam

Tossing the frisbee has been a summer pastime since the late 1950’s. Sports such as ultimate frisbee and disc golf have evolved since the flying disc’s creation, but there’s another fun frisbee game that doesn’t involve a huge field or dozens of players.

Kan Jam is somewhat a combination of disc golf and basketball and is a perfect game for your backyard, beach, or park sessions.

Equipment

Kan Jam comes with one official frisbee and two “kans” or goals that have a smaller opening on the face and a larger opening on the topside.

How to play

Place the two goals 50 feet apart from one another, with the small openings facing each other.

Just like Spikeball, two teams of two are needed to play. A member from each team stands at each goal.

The game starts with a player from team A throwing the frisbee towards the goal on the opposite side. If the frisbee directly strikes the goal but does not go into either of the openings, that team earns two points. If your teammate standing at the goal the frisbee is thrown towards deflects the frisbee into the larger opening on the topside of goal, one point is earned. If your teammate dunks the frisbee into the larger opening, three points are earned. If the thrower perfectly places the frisbee into the smaller opening, that team automatically wins.

Team B waits for their turn during team A’s throw. After each throw, alternate teams and throwers. First team to 21 wins!

Paddle Ball

Ping pong tables aren’t very portable, and the grass or sand aren’t great courts for tennis balls. Luckily, another paddle sport exists that is perfect for your summer settings.

Paddle ball can be either a leisure activity of volleying the ball back and forth or an intense competition.

Equipment

Paddle ball comes with two paddles and one small rubber ball.

How to play

One person per team is required. Between the two of you, decide the size and the halfway point to define the boundaries of the court.

One player serves the ball by hitting it towards the other player. Without letting the ball hit the ground, the other player returns the ball by hitting it back towards the other player. If the ball hits the ground within the boundaries of the court in the opposing player's half, a point is earned by the player who last hit the ball. If the ball travels outside the boundaries of the court, a point is earned by the player who did not hit the ball.

First player to 21 wins!

Get creative! The rules of any of these games can be tweaked to however you feel like playing. Your backyard, beach, or park is your arena. Have fun this summer!